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Thursday 21 February 2013

Review: UGG Ladies Slippers

I was really pleased to be able to bring a smile to my Mums face last week, she has been going though a really tough year and a pair of beautiful slippers aren't going to solve the sadness of her losing her Mum but they certainly help in the physical comfort stakes.

I was sent a pair of UGG Australia women's scuffette II ladies slippers for my Mum. They retail for £70 and are a beautiful lightweight but durable suede slippers with super soft sheepskin lining and a cork infused rubber outsole. These slippers make your feet feel so snug it is untrue, I nearly did not hand the slippers over after trying them on!

These slippers are available in sizes 3 - 9 and I would suggest you need to order them a little larger than you normally wear them, especially if you like a bit of room in your slippers.

When the slippers arrived with me they were beautifully boxed and even the receipt was in a conqueror bonded envelope, there was no mistaking that UGG really are the creme de la creme. If you wish to use the express delivery service, there is no cost for this and your order will arrive within 2-3 days of the order being placed. Delivery is by DPD courier and you will need to sign on arrival. If you cannot receive a weekday delivery you can request special delivery on a Saturday and the cost for this is £13.95. There are free returns for exchange or refund so you have total peace of mind when ordering from the UGG Australia website.
Mum tells me she has already been showing and telling her friends about her UGG slippers and she has some envious friends now but she also said that the slippers have been really comfy and she is enjoying wearing them.
I have never owned a pair of UGG's myself but having spent time looking through the website I have found there is a real variety of styles and materials available. My particular favourite at the moment are the Lo Pro Short Perf and at £125 I think they represent good value too.

Disclosure: I was sent these slippers free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Review: Chatham Boat Shoes

I'm sat here typing this and there is snow outside and to be honest I just wan to head off on a plane to somewhere nice and warm because I seriously want to start wearing these gorgeous shoes outside. So far due to the time of year these have been restricted to my house and inside the office at work and they are super comfortable, like wearing a pair of comfy slippers.

I had not heard of Chatham Shoes before they contacted me about this review but I see they are a British company who have been established for 20 years. They specialise in nautical clothing and footwear and have become one of Britain's key marine brands.

Now I won't lie to you, I'm no sailor! I probably go on a boat about once every five years and they are normally tourist cruises rather than a nifty sailing boat that I am steering but I do like fashion and particularly footwear that is super comfortable and looks really stylish at the same time.

I enjoyed browsing the Chatham website as they have a really good shoe range, classic styles in navy, brown and white and super stylish boating and deck shoes in pinks, beige's and even yellow - they say it is this seasons colour! The shoes I choose to review are the Atlantis style and they retail for £49.00, which I think is a really fair price given how buttery soft the leather is. The finish is very good on the shoes too, they are lightweight and flexible with beautiful stitching and a nautical blue and white striped interior. Available in sizes 3 - 8, I found the fit good and true to size. They are a little on the narrow side so I would go for bigger rather than smaller if faced with that choice. I have found that as the leather is so soft they do give around the wider part of your foot.

This is how I'll be wearing mine once the weather cheers up!

My shoes arrived quickly by courier and the packaging is lovely and made you feel like you have bought a high quality premium product.There is a 28 day refund policy and you can order your shoes direct from the Chatham website or they are stocked at John Lewis and leading independent retailers.

In all I'm really happy with my Chatham shoes and am now having a look if there are some for my husband for summer.

Disclosure:  I was provided with these shoes free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Review: Chiquitos Mexican Restaurant

Its always good to have a night out with your husband and I have to be honest it is not something I do so often anymore. It is all too easy to get in the habit of staying in and sitting in the same room but without really being together.  So it made a very welcome change to get a night out, just dh and I.  No kids and not even any talk of the kids - just us being adults and chatting about what is going on in our lives and the things we hope may happen very soon.

So what prompted us to get out and remember 'us time' is important too?  Well Chiquitos approached me and asked if I'd like a date night and how could I say no to that? So we got dh's Mum to babysit and got the kids primed up to be good for Nanny and off we went nice and early - might as well make the most of our time off!

We arrived at the Hatfield Chiquito restaurant about 7.15pm on a Friday night and it was already heaving, I was quite surprised as I thought we might have beaten the crowd but at that time there was lots of families enjoying a meal together and I noticed there were two kids menus for differing appetites. Note to remember for the future.

Our greeting was good on arrival and we were immediately shown to a table. I have to be honest and say the tables were a little closer together than I would have liked and due to being on a table for two I was put off ordering the fajitas as I wondered how on earth they would fit everything on the table. Despite this we had a really good meal and were very happy with our time out at Chiquito.

We were served by Vasilis and she was very friendly and efficient, checking our food was OK and would we like more drinks. We really liked the free popcorn on arrival, a nice little extra when we sat down. I found the menu a little daunting if I am honest, there was so much there and I fancied it all. The plus side is that you could come to the same restaurant again and again and never get bored. In the end dh and I decided to order different things so we could try a bit of each.

We went for a full three course meal each and had 2 soft drinks each and the bill came to just under £55 so it was not a particularly cheap night out but we did enjoy it very much.  The food was well cooked, tasty and portion sizes were generous.

The sizzling specials on the new menu were really appealing so I went for the chicken skewers and it was superb, I most definitely will want to order that again next time.

Take a look at what we had -

Disclosure: We received a £50 voucher for the purposes of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Recommendation: Handmade jewellery from All At Sea

This week I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful handmade necklace as a gift and it is so pretty that I just need to tell you about it!

On my main blog I have been running New Bloggers Fortnight for the last couple of weeks and one of my super guest writers was Helen at All At Sea. You can tell by her writing that she is a really creative lady with a lot of passion for the things she loves in life. It turns out that one of the things she loves is crafting beautiful jewellery which she sells under the brand of All At Sea.

Very thoughtfully Helen sent me a gift as a thanks for hosting her post, of course this was completely unnecessary as it was my pleasure to host NBF and my thank you to her for her very kind generosity is to recommend her jewellery.  I'm sure you know me well enough by now to realise that had it been rubbish I would not be posting here!

The necklace I received is gorgeous and personalised, so very special to me. It has Mich on it which makes me smile as it is something only online friends call me. In real life I am always Michelle. The necklace is 18 inches long and I thought it was leather but it turns out to be natural waxed cotton - it feels very durable and the clasp has a 1.5 inch extender chain.  The star and heart charms have been crafted by Helen.

The necklace arrived beautifully packed and would be a treat to send to anyone. I was surprised to see that this necklace retails for just £12 and is a complete bargain.  Even if you add in postage, at £13.50 for a fully finished and gift-wrapped present that is a very good deal.

Take a peek -

Disclosure: This item was provided to me as a gift, there was no intention that I would blog about it but as it is a gorgeous necklace I am happy to shout it out!

Thursday 7 February 2013

Review: Lego Friends

Lego has been a prominent feature in my house for the last 9 years since JJ was born.  From a very early age he was bought duplo and managed to collect a huge amount to pass on to his little sisters. JJ moved to 'real' Lego or 'little Lego' as it often gets called in our house from about age 3 or 4 years so he was quite young but always keen and able to follow the instructions and get on with making up the sets himself with limited help.

Being the loving brother he is, JJ passed over some of his little Lego to his sisters a couple of years back and we all enjoyed turning it out in the lounge and making a creation together. Early last year when the girls were about 4.5 years Lego Friends was launched and I read much on blogs and in the media about how wrong Lego had got it by stereotyping children and producing a separate girlie and pink brand.  Apparently children are children and we should treat them no different according to their sex.  OK I'll go with that but I do believe that all kids are different and sometimes they just develop in ways you would not have imagined. I have friends who are completely non-girlie and have always encouraged their daughters to play with all types of toys and then when the little one gets to the age of about 5 years they have wanted to explore being a girl - pushing a pram, dressing in a fairy dress and all that comes with it.  As do some boys, in fact for a good while pink was JJ's favourite colour and he had a baby doll and cot but his tastes changed and that's OK.

My twins are chalk and cheese but both of them love the Lego Friends range, from the moment they first saw the boxes in our local Entertainer toy store they wanted to get their hands on it. So some saved pocket money bought them the first small set each and then their birthday in July bought a little more and just this week they have been lucky enough to receive some for review.

Sitting with them yesterday as they unpacked the Lego and started to follow the instructions (or constructions as Miss E quite correctly miscalls them) I recalled just how educational Lego is. I could really see some skills showing in my girls that I had not associated with play through building.  Following instructions, patience, manual dexterity and determination even. It was quite fun to get them to do it all themselves with just minimal help from me and that was just by coaxing. I'm very proud of the creations my little girls made.

So they have made the sets according to the instructions and that is good but the best thing about Lego is that it can be thrown into the big box along with the rest of the Lego and then next time they can make their own creation. The pony grooming set becomes part of a veterinary practise and the tree houses for the squirrels become a much bigger tree house adventure for the Lego friends characters to play in. Lego is a toy that really encourages imagination and helps children to make believe and to think outside their norm and that is excellent.

The girls received two £9.99 sets from the new collection - Emma's Karate club and Olivia's newborn foal as well as a couple of small pocket money sets which retail for the excellent price of £2.99 - Squirrel's tree house.

Disclosure: We received the Lego free of charge for the purposes of this review.  I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.