Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Hotter Shoes.... The most comfortable shoes I have ever worn!

A little while ago, if you follow my Instagram account, you would have seen that I was lucky enough to attended a fantastic blogger event at Hotter Shoes in Maidstone. We were treated to drinks, nibbles and given lots of information and history about Hotter Shoes. Then we had lots of time to browse the store and try on lots of shoes, and even got to select a pair to review!

When trying on the shoes in store, I had to explain that I always have trouble finding shoes to fit my feet. Shoe shopping is usually something I dread as I almost always come away disappointed. But this experience was something totally new for me, instead of trying on loads and finding nothing to fit. I tried on loads and found loads that fit! I was so shocked! I was given lots of advice about different types of insoles to help make different styles comfy too which was really helpful. 

I was one of the last bloggers to chose my shoes, I kept changing my mind. So in the end what I did was pick one pair to review and another which I purchased because I just loved them so much. 

Of course, I never expected them to stay that comfy for long. I mean everyone knows, to wear shoes in you have to suffer for a good few days, right? Wrong! The very reason this review has taken me so long to write is that I wanted to give them as much testing as possible, I mean the title for this post is a very bold statement. You can't just go around saying 'they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn' about any old shoe can you?!  

So I am happy to report back that They really are amazing shoes, I have experienced no wearing in pain whatsoever and they fit my feet perfectly! It turns out that Hotter Shoes are so confident that their shoes will fit without having to suffer the pain of wearing them in, that they give you a 100% happy, 90 day no quibble guarantee. Which fills me with lots of confidence, and clearly says that they are confident in their own product. 

Let me tell you a bit more about the shoes I chose. Cloud Shoes. So with a name like that expectations were high. Hotter say; 'Cloud's lighter than light sole and stretchable slipper design, together with its memory foam footbed and textile lining, give you that wonderful floating feeling. Complemented by contrasting stitch detail and a handy back loop, as well as available in three contrasting colours.' 

Well. After wearing them for weeks, for walks in the county park, long days exploring London and general day to day Mummy duties. I can confirm that these shoes really are lighter than light, the memory foam insole really does give you the floating feeling and despite the amount of walking done, my feet have not hurt or ached, not even once! As a busy Mum of two, I would say these are the ideal shoes. I am practically living in them, not only are the comfy, but I am finding that they match a lot of my wardrobe too.

Now the other shoes I chose to buy were called Feather, they are part of the ultra light h92 collection. They are what I would call Trainers. Can you see my theme of shoe here?! I am all about the comfort! The Feather shoes are also lightweight and with a mesh fabric they let feet breathe (and trust me, my feet are the kind that need to breathe!) they also have a memory insole too. I recently went to Go Ape! With some friends, which is one of those tree climbing, zip wire kind of courses. I certainly put my Feather Hotter Shoes to the test here! It was 3 hours of intense climbing, balancing, swinging and zip wiring and at the end of it all I was exhausted. But my feet weren't! They were cool, comfortable and happy! 

We are going to Florida next year, which will involve lots of walking, and I have to say that both of these pairs of Hotter Shoes will be making it into my suitcase. They are practical, comfy, stylish and fantastic value for money. What more could you want in a shoe?! 

Whilst at the blogger event we were told that the soles of the Hotter Shoes made in the Hotter factory are filled with millions of air bubbles. At the time I thought that was amazing, and after wearing the shoes for weeks I now think it's genius! 

Monday, 1 August 2016

Crystal Palace Park, one year on!

Crystal Palace Park, is hands down our favourite park to visit. It's in South London and takes us just under an hour to get there, parking is free, there are dinosaurs to find and a farm to visit! What more could you want?! Well let me tell you, that is not even the half of it! So much to explore and almost all of it is free! Of course, it also holds a special place in Chester's heart because it's very close to his beloved Crystal Palace Football Club!

Well, yesterday we visited Crystal Palace Park, along with the inlaws and our Neice. We had an absolutely fantastic day, spent hours visiting the farm animals, hunting for dinosaurs, picnicing, pedalo riding, maze exploring, and ice cream eating. It truly was a great day. 

When I got home and went through my picture, I compared them to similar ones taken last summer. I was absolutely blown away by how much Chester and Millie have changed in just one short year! 

They really have changed haven't they?! Chester looks so grown up now, and Millie is so tall! 

Anyway, here are some snipits of our fantastic day.... 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Stumbling across lots of fictional character fun!

So as you may have already read, we headed up to London at the weekend for some Pizza Express and Ice Age fun.

But on the way to that fun we stumbled upon something epic! 

A BFG fun day in Leicester Square! 

Chester is so excited about the release of this movie, he loves the book, so you can imagine how excited he was when we stumbled across this free fun day! 

As soon as we walked in we were offered free ice creams

We then were asked if we would like to have our photo taken on The BFG's hand! Both children were super impressed by this and it is their prize possession from the day! 

We then wandered around further to find some of the Dream Jars that will be scattered around London this summer for everyone to find, and Chester and Millie even got to make their own! Chester's is filled with a dream about Monsters in his room and Millie's is filled with a dream about a baby going down a slide?! 

Chester was very impressed with the snozcumber (is that even how you spell it?!) and the fact you could climb in it! Although he did say it was a little slimed, eww! 

It really was a fantastic start to our day trip to London! 

To top off our day we also managed to spot Stay Pufft AND a ghostbuster in Waterloo Station!! It certainly was an awesome fictional character kinda day! 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Kayaking fun with the Beavers.

For a while now Chester has been part of an awesome Beaver colony. 5th Sittingbourne. He is a funny little boy so sometimes he doesn't always want to join in with the activities, and he won't even entertain the idea of camp! But over the last few months the leaders have manage to coax him out a bit more.

This weekend it was arranged for the Beavers to go Kayaking! Chester woke up and said he didn't want to go (what a surprise!) but we took him anyway and he had an amazing time! 

They all got a quick lesson on how to use the paddles (that's probably not the name, can you tell I am not down with the boating language?!) 

Then they all had almost an hour on the water! 

They even got to play some games, which were lots of fun and great for their confidence! 

I am so pleased that Chester gets the opportunity to take part in these kind of things. It's really great for his confidence and his social skills. He really had an amazing time, and I think we are super lucky to have found such an awesome Beaver Colony! Millie is on the waiting list too, she is counting down the days until she is old enough to join. I suspect she will be the exact opposite of her brother as she is really looking forward to Beaver Camp! 

Pizza Express and Ice Age Collision Course come together!

Yesterday was one of those really memorable happy family days!

We had been invited up to London to check out the collaboration between Pizza Express and the new Ice Age film, Ice Age Collision Course. (A huge thank you to Ruth and Katy for organising!) 

We found our way to Pizza Express on Dean Street, to see what all of the fuss was about! Chester and Millie instantly noticed the additional activity sheets on our table, and happily got stuck in whilst we waited for our food! 

One of the activities on the sheet was to draw your favourite Ice Age Character along with your favourite pizza, for a chance to win a family trip to Hollywood and a VIP tour of the world famous Fox Studios! How amazing is that?! 

Well Chester and Millie love the Ice Age films so happily discussed their favourite characters, Chester loves Diego, the tough as nails Saber Tooth Tiger. Millie loves Sid the happy go lucky Sloth! This kept them entertained until our food arrived. 

As a family, we really love Pizza Express. The Children's menu is amazing value for money at £6.95 for 3 courses, it always makes my two feel really grown up that they get to have a 3 course meal. Especially as their choices can mostly be found on the adult menu in some form or another. 
Both children had dough balls to start. Chester had the American pizza, Millie went for the Margherita. Then for dessert they chose the sundae with fruit sauce and strawberries. Of course they also had the famous Bambinoccino which they both love, only so that they can pretend to be drinking coffee like the grown ups! 

Of course, I didn't miss out. I was treated to my favourite starter Brushetta con Funghi and then the amazing new summer main of Hawaiian Pizza Express, which was a perfect balance of salt and sweet flavours. With an amazing pineapple chutney and salty prosciutto, on a white bechamel base! I am not always a fan of tomato bases so this is now my new favourite pizza, I hope it stays on the menu for longer than the summer! 

With very full bellies we walked round to Twentieth Century Fox where we were greeted by Sid and Scrat. The children couldn't believe their eyes! 

We were then very privaliged to be treated to a special showing of Ice Age Collision Course complete with drinks and popcorn! 

We all absolutely loved the film. It was very funny and had the adults laughing as loud as the children! It managed to keep my two sat in their seats and glued to the screen the whole time, with both of them declaring it was 'awesome' at the end! 

On our way out we managed to sneak another cuddle with Sid and Scrat, which really topped the day off nicely! 

A big thank you to Pizza Express, Twentieth Century Fox, and Ruth & Katie for organising our fantastic day! If you are stuck for plans in the summer holidays, I would totally recommend Pizza Express and a visit to the cinema to see Ice Age! Both my two came home very happy! 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Chester's Football poem

From an outsider looking in Chester seems like a really confident child. He happily plays with other children, and will voice his opinion in most situations.

However, put him in a class full of 30 children and ask him to read something out loud, and he becomes a totally different child. 

Over this last School year his confidence in the classroom, where is learning is concerned, has come on. It's been a very slow process, but he is getting there. 

On Friday, he came home with a letter from School about this years Spoken English competition. I asked him if he would like to take part, as I do every year. To my surprise, this time he said yes! 

I didn't want to make a big deal out if it, so gently asked him what he would like to read. Well, it was a day of surprises as he said he wanted to make up his own poem! So over the weekend we sat and experimented with different words and ideas, and eventually he settled on the poem below, which he has called 'Football'!

Today at School as part of the 'audition' process he had to read this out to his class! I presume the results will come out over the next couple of days, only 4 get to go through to the final and from what I hear lots of Children in his class were very good! But whatever the outcome, Chester came home so happy today because he had managed to read this out loud! That to me is a big fat win for his confidence! 

I am so proud of him and I really hopes this experience encourages him to be more confident with his public speaking! 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Something for me!

I am very good at putting everyone else before myself. I am not complaining about that, it's what I have always done, and it makes me happy when my kids are happy. But for quite some time now I have been meaning to find some time for myself. Just me, myself, and I.

3 weeks ago I started going swimming. Initially I tried to go at 6:30am, but quickly realised that as I am not a morning person at the best of times, it would be more realistic for me to go in the evening! 

I quickly got into the swing of it, and on my first session I swam 22 lengths. Then I got a little cocky and swam 40 lengths on my second visit. But the next day I ached all over so realised that was just too much to start with!

This last week I managed to swim 3 times and each time I did 30 lengths, so in total across the week I swam just over a mile! A pretty good achievement for me, seeing as I am very unfit! The best thing is that I am really enjoying myself. I am WANTING to go and I am looking forward to my swim days! 

It has made me realise that it is OK to be selfish sometimes, for my own wellbeing I need that time for myself. To do something I enjoy, whilst improving my fitness. I have even enjoyed some relaxing time in the Sauna and Steam rooms!