A cosy cashmere cardigan from Lands’ End

We were sent a cashmere cardigan from Lands’ End for review. All images and opinions are our own.

With the cost of gas and electricity being a concern for almost everyone this winter, we’ve all been doing what our Nan’s have long been encouraging us to do, and that’s layer up, pop a vest on and find our cosiest cardigans. I live in hoodies and cardigans anyway, so my Nan would have no complaints about that. Despite that, I knew I needed a cosier upgrade to my usual cotton hoodies. Cashmere was the answer, so I opted for a lovely cashmere zip front cardigan, and with Jack Frost sprinkling his magic all around, I was keen as mustard for it to arrive.

A cosy cashmere cardigan from Lands' End

Weirdly I do have some slightly picky sensory issues about fabric. I have to have natural fibres as anything synthetic makes me itch. I live in cotton tops and at a push, some nice woollen cardigans for winter. In general I much prefer a cardigan too, as I often feel a bit stifled in jumpers. Who knows what the root of my pickiness in this respect is, but it mostly just means that my wardrobe is fairly low maintenance and easy to wash, apart from my woollens, which I handwash very carefully.

I knew my cashmere cardigan would be cosy, and thankfully it arrived on the first of the coldest days of the winter. Despite the winter sunshine, there was frost everywhere and the thermometer didn’t rise above 2 degrees all day! It was definitely a day for wrapping up, indoors and out!

A cosy cashmere cardigan from Lands' End

The cashmere cardigan I chose is available in four colours – blue haze heather, soft nutmeg heather, teal shadow heather and charcoal heather. I opted for the charcoal heather, which is a lovely soft grey which is actually a little bit lighter in colour than it looks on the website. Not a problem. I love grey, it goes with absolutely everything.

A cosy cashmere cardigan from Lands' EndOnce I unpacked it, I took a good look at it. It was very soft and it felt like a nice weight, not thin, but not at all thick and bulky. It had pockets which I love and it’s a good length for me. I have a fairly long body and short legs, so I often find jumpers and tops are too short. The cuffs and hem are ribbed. It also comes with a length of spare wool in case you need to make a repair at any point.

The cashmere cardigan also has a hood, something which I really like. Having a hooded cardigan under a hooded coat makes the inside of the hood extra cosy on very cold days.

It is hand wash only, which is totally fine. It’s not like I’ll be wearing it while I’m coal mining or mud wrestling, so it’ll just need a freshen up from time to time with some cashmere wool detergent.

A cosy cashmere cardigan from Lands' End

Cashmere clothes are made from the wool from cashmere goats. It’s known for being incredibly warm and cosy and it’s also very much at the luxury end of woollen clothing. Although on me, the cardigan looks incredibly casual, it is very much nice enough for me to wear in the office. It’s also seriously warm, so it definitely comes with my Nan’s approval!

A cosy cashmere cardigan from Lands' EndThe cashmere cardigan costs £220, but there’s currently a half price offer on the Lands’ End website, which makes it a very reasonable £110. The cardigan is available in sizes 8-20 and also in plus sizes 20-30.

This is the kind of cardigan that will last me half a lifetime if I look after it properly. It’s certainly the warmest thing I own by a country mile, and will be my go to on the very coldest days this winter. As they’re currently half price, they’d be a great buy for Christmas if you want to treat someone to some cosy cashmere!

For this and a whole range of other warm clothing, visit the Lands’ End website.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots

AD/Gifted. With winter coming, my thoughts have turned from flip flops and sun hats, to cosy scarves and warm winter boots. I feel the cold fairly acutely, so my bundling up for winter always starts a little before everyone else. With Jack Frost nibbling at my nose, I hot footed it down to Hotter Shoes in Bury to get my feet measured for Fit Fortnight (16th and 29th September) and to pick out a new pair of winter boots.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

Fit Fortnight is a great event. A few times a year, Hotter invite everyone to visit their stores and get their feet properly measured. I got the tram up to Bury, met some friends for coffee and a chat, then popped in to Hotter to get my feet measured. I usually buy size 7 shoes, but I knew that I was probably buying shoes which were slightly too big. My hunch was correct, both my feet are slightly different sizes, but the best size for me is a 6.5 E fit.

Rachelle, who measured my feet explained why I’d previously struggled with some shoes in my correct size. I have almond shaped toes which are more comfortable in a rounder toe, rather than a pointy one. This simple thing blew my mind.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

I tried on several different styles of boot. I really fancied a nice pair of knee high boots, but practicality took over. Once I’d tried on the Whisper slouchy ankle boot, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving with anything else. It’s made with the softest leather and was just so cosy to wear.

Whisper boots are available in a range of different colours (black, dark tan, navy, maroon, forest green suede and urban grey suede). I have quite a few boots in black, so I decided to ring the changes and go for the maroon. The boot has a zip up each side, which makes it easier to put on and take off. They also have a lightweight, flexible sole which make them super comfy straight away and really easy to wear all day long.

Hotter have launched the Hotter App which is free to download. You can use it to create wish-lists, see how other people style their shoes and access exclusive discounts and sales.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

The Hotter Fit Fortnight event is happening between the 16th and 29th September 2019. This fortnight is dedicated to finding you your perfect fitting shoes. In their stores across the UK you can have your feet measured to keep up-to-date with your shoe size and width as your feet can change size throughout your life. It’s really well worth getting your feet measured again; I know that finding my perfect Hotter fit means I’ll have comfy, toasty feet this winter.

If your feet like being comfortable in nice shoes, you should check out Hotter Shoes online, or visit your nearest Hotter Store.

Disclosure: I was given a pair of Whisper boots in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Nova Trainers from Hotter Shoes

AD/Gifted. Last week two things happened. Firstly my favourite pair of trainers fell apart; then I got an email from Hotter Shoes to say I’d won a pair of shoes at the Blog On Conference and would I like to visit my local Hotter store and pick out a pair. This is a classic case of the universe taking away with one hand, and giving something better with the other. “Yes”, nice Hotter lady, “I would indeed like to pick out a new pair of shoes”. So off we went to Bury near Manchester on a new shoe mission.

I visited the Hotter store during their “Fit Fortnight” (13th to 27th May); two weeks designed to help their customers find perfectly fitting shoes by measuring their feet and providing expert advice. Hotter shoes come in sizes 3 to 9 with some half sizes and extra width fitting options; so they’re pretty sure they can find the best Hotter shoe for you.

Nova Trainers from Hotter Shoes

We arrived bright and early as the Bury store was opening and we were welcomed in. They boys, whose main role was to sit quietly and grunt appreciation at my feet made themselves comfortable on the sofa and I explained my needs to the lovely shop assistants.

“I need some new trainers, my old ones have died”, said I, and I was pointed in the direction of the Hotter trainers. There were lots of different styles to choose from. I am heavily sold on the Hotter trainers which come with a memory-foam insole. My dodgy back prefers the cushioning and can really tell the difference between walks I’ve had wearing Hotter trainers and walks I’ve had with normal trainers. Thankfully they have pretty much rolled the memory-foam insole out throughout their range.

Nova Trainers from Hotter Shoes

I have recently had my feet measured by Hotter, so I knew I was a 6.5, but preferred the 7 because my toes enjoy some wriggle room. I picked out a few different styles to try on and so began my brief modelling career. The boys grunted appreciatively in all the right places, but I ended up plumping for the Hotter Nova, one of the cheaper options. Not because of the price, or especially the style, but because they were by far the most comfortable.

The Nova Trainers are described as everyday active trainers, which seem just the thing for me. I wear special dance trainers for my dance classes down the gym, but I walk miles everyday with the dog, and to and from school; so everyday active trainers are exactly what I needed.

The Nova Trainers are so comfortable, they’re like walking on air. They fit well and hug my foot well in all the right places. I opted for the navy blue colour which I thought was a really smart option and would look great with jeans. The Nova also come in Pebble Grey and Mauve Multi. They do look great with jeans, don’t they? They cost £59 and I reckon I’ll be buying another pair because my back is really enjoying me wearing them.

Nova Trainers from Hotter Shoes

Hotter have recently launched the Hotter App which is free to download. You can use it to create wish-lists, see how other people style their shoes and access exclusive discounts and sales.

If your feet like being comfortable in nice shoes, you should check out Hotter Shoes online, or visit your nearest Hotter Store.

Disclosure: I was given a pair of Nova trainers in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are my own.

Beautiful Maxi Dresses for this Autumn

This summer I have properly fallen for the charms of the maxi dress. We’ve had weeks of wonderful sunshine and a real heatwave. It’s been such a treat, but I’ve found it even a little bit hot for my usual wardrobe of shorts and t-shirts. Wearing a floaty maxi dress on the hottest days had helped me keep cool and look pretty smart and stylish too.

Although the temperature is starting to drop a little as we move towards autumn, I’m loathe to put away my maxi dresses for good, in fact I’m planning on investing in a couple more to see me through autumn and maybe an especially smart one to wear out at Christmas. I’ve fallen for the maxi dress, they hide some of the lumps and bumps I’m less keen on, without looking like I’m trying to hide anything at all.

Simply Be is a great place to start with shopping for Maxi Dresses, they have a great range of styles and something for all budgets.

I love the look of this Mela London Curve Floral Maxi Dress, it’s just £30 and would look just as home at work with a smart jacket as it would on holiday. I love the cut around the bust which would be super flattering.Beautiful Maxi Dresses for this Autumn

The oriental style neckline and the small gather on the waist on this lovely Joanna Hope Multi Print Maxi Dress really catches my eye. It’s currently reduced to £49.50 on the Simply Be website and it would be the thing to wear on a nice night out, perhaps with a cosy wrap. Beautiful Maxi Dresses for this Autumn

In the run up to Christmas you need a good dress or two in the wardrobe. This Together Beaded Maxi Dress is simply stunning. With an elasticated waistband, mesh netted skirt and cap sleeve, this dress falls beautifully and creates a gorgeous silhouette. It’s also jersey lined for comfort. If that’s not enough, it’s currently reduced to just £52.25.

Beautiful Maxi Dresses for this Autumn

Lastly, I absolutely love this Coast Macie Maxi Dress. It has striking contrasting monochrome panels with an asymmetric neckline, fitted bodice and sweeping skirt for an eye-catching evening dress. Love, Love, love this.

Beautiful Maxi Dresses for this Autumn

What do you look for in a maxi dress? Do you just wear them in the summer or do you wear them year round?

This is a collaborative post.

Review: Vionic Shoes Denim Midi Slip-On Sneakers

Back in May I went to the Blog On Conference in Manchester and I was the lucky winner of a pair of Vionic Shoes. They let me choose whatever shoes I wanted, and having tried on and loved their Midi slip-on shoes, I decided that they were the ones that I just had to have. The only problem was they had sold out of the leopard print in my size.

I chose instead a pair of their Denim Midi sneakers. I thought they’d look great with jeans and I could easily dress them up or down. Thankfully I was right on both counts. The Midi sneakers are one of their best sellers. They come in a range of different looks; leopard, snake, grey, denim, champagne and black. I still covert the leopard, but I’m very happy indeed with my denim pair.

Review: Vionic Shoes Denim Midi Slip-On Sneakers

The denim is dark blue, it works so well with my jeans, I am in love with how they look. They have a durable rubber sole and they’re really comfortable to wear as soon as you get them out of the box.

Vionic Shoes recommend that you wear your new shoes for just a few hours for the first few days to allow your feet to adjust to your new orthotic shoes. Within one to two weeks they should be fully broken in and they should be completely comfortable and supportive.

Their shoes are designed by podiatrists to give superior orthotic support as well as stability which helps realign the feet back to their natural position. This can help relieve common aches and pains, such as heel pain (plantar fasciitis), knee pain and lower back pain. They may be orthotic shoes; but they look stylish and you’d never know to look at them that they’re primarily designed to do your feet and your posture the world of good.

As the owner of a bad back, I really notice the difference to my pain levels depending on what kind of shoes I’m wearing. I need lots of cushioning and I always wear flat shoes; which can make dressing up for a nice night out tricky. I’ve worn my Denim Midi Slip-On Sneakers on a few evenings out; not dressy affairs, but enough to warrant wearing a nice pair of shoes. These have really fit the bill, they look smart, I look smart, I’m very happy with them.

Review: Vionic Shoes Denim Midi Slip-On Sneakers

The Denim Midi Slip-On Sneakers cost £100 (at the time of writing they have been reduced to £70 in the sale). I will not rest until I get my hands on a pair of the leopard print Midis; but for now I am more than content with my lovely denim pair.

If you struggle with back pain; poor posture or conditions like plantar fasciitis, it can be hard to find fashionable shoes which are comfortable to wear. I can recommend Vionic Shoes, they’ve really helped me feel comfortable and look fashionable too.

For more information about Vionic Shoes, visit their website.

Disclosure: Although I won these Vionic Shoes, I was under no obligation to review them. I liked them a lot, so I thought I’d share that with you.

Review: Brooke Royal Edition Hotter Shoes

Back in May I attended the Blog On Conference in Manchester. I met up with friends, attended some blogging sessions, ate cake and met Prince Charming and tried some shoes on at the Hotter Shoes stand. I then had the good fortune to have my name pulled out of a hat and I was the lucky winner of a pair of Brooke Royal Edition deck shoes.

The Brooke Royal Edition shoes from Hotter are limited edition and were designed to celebrate this year’s Royal Wedding. They are a bright and snazzy pair of deck shoes, boldly emblazoned with a colourful print dedicated to the star-spangled banner.

Review: Brooke Royal Edition Hotter Shoes

Made from premium soft grain nubuck and velvet nubuck uppers are boldly printed with the star-spangled banner. Inside, the padded collar and tongue along with a breathable cushioned insole are designed for maximum comfort. Once shoe has a Union Jack inner, the other has the Star Spangled Banner, it’s a nice hidden touch. They have a lovely grippy sole so you won’t slip and slide on any deck.

At the Blog On Conference, the Hotter Shoes team were on hand to measure our feet. I’ve not had my feet properly measured since I was about 14, so this was a bit of a revelation. All my adult life I’ve been wearing a size 7. When they measured me it turns out that I’m actually a 6 and a half. But as I like to wear thick sports socks I figured I’d continue with a & with anything which needs socks, but for sandals I would change down to a 6 and a half.

It’s probably worth popping into your local Hotter Shoes store to get your feet measured; especially if you’ve not had it done for 25 years like me!

Review: Brooke Royal Edition Hotter Shoes

These Brooke Royal Edition deck shoes really make a statement. They’re bright and they’re bold, but they’re also a lot of fun! They are also really comfortable and a great style of shoe to wear in the summer. I’ll be packing these in my suitcase for my holidays, that’s for sure!

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Brooke Royal Edition Deck Shoes by Hotter Shoes in exchange for this review.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

2017 saw some changes for my husband. He picked up an arm injury and had to give up the gym and his beloved kettlebells and so instead, he took up running and has started to become competitive with himself. He’s signed up to do a few 10k races, and knowing him, he will be doing half marathons before we know it. A change in his physical activity levels means he’s feeling good about himself again, and that alone deserves a new outfit. We took a look at what men’s fashion experts Jacamo had to offer.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

Before we became parents he was a dedicated follower of fashion. He had a thing for Ben Sherman shirts and good blue jeans, a look he was keen to revisit. He chose this short sleeved check shirt from Ben Sherman. It’s made from navy and green checked cotton with a buttoned down collar. It cost £50 which is about average for a Ben Sherman shirt and I think it’s reignited his love for the brand (which will make buying birthday presents easier this year).

As it’s winter, he needs a nice warm jumper to keep him cosy. I picked out this twist texture knit by Label J (£20.35) in charcoal. It’s a great addition to his wardrobe and can be dressed up or down. It looks good over his new shirt and is great with jeans. It’s really comfortable and I’m slightly regretting only getting one jumper now. He will wear this to death over winter.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

No new outfit is complete without a new pair of jeans. I do love him in dark jeans, I think they look so much smarter. These Delta tapered jeans from Union Blues have a little bit of stretch in them, making them a little bit more forgiving than jeans usually are. The jeans also come with a leather belt, a really good range of sizes (and half sizes) and are just £25 a pair. He’s pleased as punch with them and they look brilliant with his nice Jacamo boots.

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

It’s so nice to see him in new clothes and feeling good about what he’s wearing. The range of sizes which Jacamo stock, means that he can find jeans which actually fit him well without having to spend a fortune. He’s delighted with his new outfit for the New Year. What do you think?

New Year, New Look for my husband from Jacamo

Check out the new season of men’s fashion on the Jacamo website.

Note: I was sent these items from Jacamo for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Storm Bloc Socks – specialist sports socks

Storm Bloc socks are designed for strenuous outdoor and sporting activities. Whether you’re walking, running or down the gym, these socks have been designed to be comfortable and hard-wearing. My husband has recently taken up running and he’s out walking the dog several times a day; so he put these Storm Bloc Socks to the test to see if they were as good as they say they are.

Review: Storm Bloc Socks - specialist walking socks

These Storm Bloc socks have been made with BlueGuard – an industry-beating anti-abrasion yarn that has been scientifically shown to last 46 times as long as a standard branded sports socks. Sold by the Sock Shop, they are so confident that these socks will last the distance, that they offer a lifetime guarantee on Storm Bloc socks. The socks are perfect for sports, running, walks, hikes and camping.

The cotton rich Storm Bloc with BlueGuard Sports Crew Socks are terry cushioned for comfort. They’re designed to help absorb impacts and reduce fatigue. They have ribbed, elastic legs, reinforced toe seams, extended heel areas and a built-in arch support. Breathable woven panels are positioned help regulate moisture and heat during activity.

What did my husband think? They were certainly comfortable and well cushioned. He liked the ribbing and the seams which helped stop the socks from slipping and “walking off” his feet when he walked and ran. He said it was hard to say if they did absorb much of the shock of running, but he did feel they added a little bit of bounce.

Review: Storm Bloc Socks - specialist sports socks

They certainly look the part. They are warm and comfortable for walking and running without being too hot, sweaty and synthetic. The socks do wash well and haven’t gone baggy or anything after the few wears and washes they’ve had.

They cost £13.99 for two pairs from the Sock Shop, but they do come with a lifetime guarantee.

See the full range of Storm Bloc Socks on The Sock Shop website.

Note: We were sent these Storm Bloc socks for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

My Mum wardrobe is pretty pedestrian. I like to stick to a selection of basics which I can mix and match without having to think too hard about things. I like to be comfortable and I like things which aren’t too fussy. I’m weirdly hard to please when it comes to clothes and if I’m ever going on a nice night out, stepping out of my uniform puts me in a right “does my bum look big in this” panic. 

With the changing of the seasons, I knew I needed to freshen up my wardrobe. I definitely needed a new nice top to wear on nights out and some shoes for my recent break away to Ribby Hall in Lancashire. I had a look at what JD Williams had to offer and I was pretty pleased with what I chose and what good value for money everything was.

First up was ladies footwear. I confess to being a little bit sniffy about Crocs, they’re not known for being the most attractive shoe in the world, but I’d heard very good things about Crocs Flip-Flops. Having spied them on the JD Williams website for just £24 for the pair and I couldn’t resist. 

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

I chose the navy Crocs Kadee II Ladies flip-flops because I knew they would go with everything. They are so comfortable and they have little raised beads which feel like they’re giving your feet a little massage. I’m a total crocs convert now and they’ve had so many compliments. 

My next little footwear treat were these lovely Lotus ladies Portelli trainers which were reduced from £51 to £36 – a total bargain! Lotus shoes have a great reputation for style and quality. I really loved the look of these trainers. They’re stylish and colourful but understated. They will also go with almost anything.

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

For the last few years I’ve been looking at Joe Browns tops and thinking about buying one. I have ummed and ahhed for so long because I am so fussy. What will the quality and material be like? How are the sizes? Will they be as good as they look? After much deliberation I opted for the Joe Browns Winter Floral Gypsy Blouse (£39).

Shaking up my Mum Wardrobe with JD Williams

This Joe Browns blouse is similar to something I already have, so it wasn’t too much of a leap into the unknown for me. It fits really well and the quality is great. I’d be very happy to buy another Joe Browns top in the future. It is as my friend said, something that I’d not normally wear, but she said I looked nice in it, so I’ll take that and wear it to my birthday bash next weekend!

I was pretty pleased with my little splurge at JD Williams. I’ve got some lovely new things which I can save for nice relaxed nights out over the autumn. What do you think about what I’ve chosen?

Note: I was sent these items for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

We were sent these Marvel Heat Holders for review purposes, all images and opinions are our own. This blog post contains affiliate links.

Now that the nights are drawing in and summer is giving way to autumn we are starting to wrap up a bit more against the autumn chill. The small-ish boy has a good selection of slippers and slipper-socks in various styles and with different characters on them. He loves them and so do I because they keep his toes warm on our cold floors. We’ve spent the last few days on holiday at Ribby Hall in Lancashire and whilst we were there we put a pair of Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks to the test.

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

This newly licensed sock range from Heat Holders includes two Marvel favourites – Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. The Spider-Man socks are bright red with a fleecy brushed lining on the inside. They are adorned with the spidery superhero’s famed iconic spider symbol. They also have grippy Spider-Man symbols on the soles of the socks which provide extra grip for kids who like to run about on my wooden floors.

Look at these cosy feet…

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

The boy really loved these. He’s a big Spider-Man fan so they hit the spot before he’d even put them on his feet. He really enjoyed the grippy soles and put them to the test in our holiday cottage. I knew they were a hit when I discovered him wearing them in bed. Plus they were the first thing he put on his feet when we got back to the cottage after a busy day.

These Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders socks are available in kids sizes and cost between £7.99-£9.99 (on Amazon) depending on the size you need. Heat Holders are supposed to be the warmest socks in the world. They have a tog rating of 3.1 which is pretty cosy!

Review: Spider-Man Marvel Heat Holders Socks

With the release of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” over the summer; these cosy socks are the perfect present for spidey fans. Now there’s an autumnal chill in the air, everyone needs cosy toes!

Find out more about Heat Holders on their website.