Tag Archives: Shopping

Treads School Shoes – Are they indestructible?

I’m not sure what my 7 year old son does with his school shoes. Within a day or two of wearing them, they are usually scuffed and fraying. I constantly despair that I spend around £50 a time on something which within 48 hours of first wear look like they’ve been run over by a truck. Treads are a new kind of shoe. They come with a one year guarantee and are said to be indestructible. But can they cope with the treatment my son routinely dishes out to his footwear?

We chose the Madrid style, which is the style of show he usually wears for school. They have velcro straps to fasten them and are comfortable, trainer style shoes, but smart enough to pass a uniform inspection. They are £45 (but are currently just £35 – a bargain!).

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

These Madrid school shoes are designed for active children. They’re made with soft permair leather and the tough, durable sole is moulded to the upper, so no glue. They have reinforced heels, reinforced seams, they’re scuff proof and have a shock absorbing insole. They appear to be very well-made. My son tends to wear the toes of his shoes quicker than anything else, so it was good to see that the toe area has been reinforced.

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

These school shoes are fitted with ‘dual fit’ technology which means there is a padded and shaped insole inside which you can remove if you need a wider fit for the shoe. I think this is a great idea, I know the width of my son’s feet seems to change each time we get him measured.

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

Treads currently have eight different styles of shoe to choose from and the Madrid style we have chosen are perfect for my son. They’re easy to get on and have the easy velcro strap fastener, so he can have them on and be off running within a moment.

The Treads school shoes arrived during the Easter holidays; so although he’s not worn them to school yet, he has worn them for several days to break them in. He’s worn them to an adventure playground and to a local farm; so I feel he’s given them a good work out.

He’s told me that they’re very comfortable, or in his words “like my slippers”. The soles have really good grips and he’s walked over slippy surfaces at the farm in them with no problems. The adventure playground was full of things he could and should have scuffed them on; but apart from some mud splatters they look as good as new.

I am absolutely delighted with them. We’ve tried rough, tough “indestructible” shoes before from leading brands; but they’ve all come home after a few days looking battered and bruised. I have incredibly high hopes for these Treads school shoes. I think, I really really do think these might actually be genuinely indestructible. Even if they’re not, they do have a one year guarantee.

There are several different styles of school shoes on the Treads website, with a girls range planned for next year. If your children have a habit of destroying their school shoes; then I’d say it was well worth having a look at TREADS to see if they are the answer.

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

Disclosure: We were sent a pair of Treads school shoes for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

New Shoes

I don’t actually like shopping. All that walking around looking at things and trying to decide if you need them in your life or not. It’s just not for me. I tend to do most of my shopping online these days, but there are some things you can’t get away with buying online. I’m talking about shoes.

My pesky little monkey keeps growing and I’ve heard rumour that he won’t stop for another 13 or 14 years. Every so often he has a massive growth spurt and overnight seems to be wearing clothes at least two sizes too small for him. His feet too. We get him measured regularly and despite this overnight he goes from sprinting round the place like Mo Farrah in a soft play centre, to hobbling about and crying because his shoes don’t fit. It is at best exasperating.

On Saturday we went on a shoe buying mission. The brief: to buy shoes and wellies since he’d grown out of them, again. Being shopping haters we left home at the crack of dawn (about ten past nine) to avoid most of the shoppers, the plan to be in and out before most people had finished their breakfast.

shoes

As ever the plan worked and we sped into Clarks. We sped around Clarks, got him measured and picked up what we needed. In this case a rather fetching pair of blue wellies, ready for our English “summer” holiday later this year and a pair of Dino-tastic shoes for general use with a dinosaur hologram on the side. He was happy. We were happy and what’s more, we were home in time for Saturday Kitchen.

Shop Local #SmallBizSatUK

photo (11)Today (Saturday 7th of December) is Small Business Saturday. We shouldn’t need it, and to my mind it’s a sad indictment of our nations shopping habits; but today is a day when we’re all encouraged to shop local and indeed celebrate our brilliant local shops. I’ve previously blogged about how much I love my local high street and feel I need to get behind this day of days too.

For some that’ll be hugely difficult; the enormous behemoth out of town shopping centres will have rendered their high streets barren and their shops boarded up and empty.

I know how hard it can be to make the effort to shop local, especially as Christmas approaches and it’s really tempting to just go to a huge megastore and heap everything into a trolley and have done with it. I used to do that, but the last few years, I’ve preferred to spend my money locally in the knowledge that I’m helping to provide local jobs and support businesses in my community.

Did you know that for every £100 spent in local independent shops around £48 is ploughed back into your community, whereas for huge supermarkets and the like, it’s only £13.

Warburton Street, Didsbury

Warburton Street, Didsbury

For the lucky folk of south Manchester, in particular the good people of Didsbury we are blessed with some amazing independent shops and businesses. I know a few local shops have embraced the day, here’s what I’ve garnered from Twitter, Google and local gossip.

  • Giddy Goat Toys – Mince pies, stollen cake, Kids Lucky Dip, your fave Christmas tunes playing & some very awesome toys
  • Airyfairy Cupcakes – A free cupcake with any purchase, open 10am-5pm
  • The Flower Lounge – A free gift for customers visiting the shop on Saturday
  • Harriet & Dee – A free gift with every purchase as a thank you to thier lovely customers

I urge you to shop local, especially this Christmas. It’ll give you a nice warm, fuzzy feeling, I promise.

Novelty Key Bottle Opener Review

Hodge, bless his cotton Christmas socks, at the grand old age of 38 still (yes still) gets a Christmas stocking from Santa (aka me, Santa only gives good children presents, not grown ups, no matter how well behaved they are). So I’m always on the look out for handy little bits and pieces. Practical, useful little stocking fillers that won’t break the bank.

I was rummaging round the I Want One Of Those website when I spotted the key bottle opener, it was priced at just £7.99, or 3 for £20, which seems a good deal, especially if you’ve adult stockings to fill, or secret Santa’s to shop for.

key

The key bottle opener is a handy key shaped, erm, key which is also a bottle opener which can be added to a keyring, meaning you’ll always have a bottle opener handy. It’s small, neatly designed, sturdy and makes a great stocking filler or secret Santa present.

In the interests of science I had to check if it did the job, so for you (yes you, because you’re worth it) I cracked open a cold one using the key bottle opener. It worked, success! The beer wasn’t too bad either.

Disclaimer – We were sent a key bottler opener free of charge for review purposes.

Why I Support My Local High Street

I’ve just been for a walk around my village, a place I’ve lived all my life. I popped into a few shops, I’ve stocked up my cupboards and started my Christmas shopping (eek). I love Didsbury with it’s strong community spirit and it’s great independent shops and businesses.

Didsbury is a suburb of Manchester divided into three parts, East, West and the Village. There aren’t many shops in East Didsbury, a small smattering maybe, but Didsbury village and Burton Road in West Didsbury are buzzing with independent shops and businesses. I think this makes the area so unique and vibrant.

I live in Didsbury village and my favourite shops, in no particular order are:

These are all fantastic local businesses which I make a very special effort to support. I’m married to a local businessman and I know how badly the economic downturn has affected local businesses. We try where possible to shop local and now I’m at home all day I can happily while away a few hours doing my shopping and having coffee somewhere lovely. I know that is a luxury that not everyone can enjoy.

Wherever you live can I urge you to support your local shops and businesses. Yes the big chains have their place, but if you shop locally then you’re essentially supporting your community. You’re making it an interesting, vibrant place, you’re helping to support businesses which employ local people, you’re reinvesting in your town. Most of all, you do get a nice warm fuzzy feeling from shopping locally and you’ll more than likely pick up some bargains too.

What’s your town like? Is it buzzing or does Mary Portas need to step in? Do you shop locally or are you supermarket mad? I’d love to know what you think.

Note: I’ve not been paid to write this post, I just really love my local shops!

Pink Stinks

I’m not very good at being a girl. There I said it.

From when I was a tiny baby I objected to dresses, frills, pink stuff. It was itchy and fussy. Put me in dungarees and I’d be happy. My parents painted my bedroom pink and hung up pink curtains with ruffles. I went into a full on strop for a week. I lived with that room till I was 14, I saved up enough and painted it myself.
 
I don’t wear make up, it makes me feel like Coco the clown and I look like a strange painted facsimile of me. I have short nails because I don’t like long ones, I honestly don’t know how people function with long nails.
 
I don’t own any heels. I tried them but I kept falling over and they’re not practical footwear in a mosh pit or for chasing toddlers.
 
I don’t own a dress or a skirt or anything pink or frilly. My hair is short, very short because I like it that way and who has the time for straighteners? Next week I’m going to dye it blue and shave some of it off, it’ll grow back, short hair is very forgiving.
 
I drink beer, I like ice hockey, I love Top Gear. I fancy motorbikes. I like wrestling. I love Tarantino. I love really angry music and pink stinks!
 
I was a Tom-boy who grew into a Tom-woman.
 
I’m not very good at being a girl. Sorry.
 

Silence Was Golden – the days before noisy toys!

Three years ago we lived in silence. Peaceful, golden, precious silence. We weren’t nuns who’d taken a vow, we were just two adults living in a house without a child.

Looking back we should have appreciated the quiet times, the hours when the gentle ticking of a clock was the only noise in the room. But how life has changed. No one warns you about the aural assault which comes with having a child, but it’s real and it’s relentlessly annoying!

If it isn’t the V-Tech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage merrily singing grievously annoying tunes, it’s what we’ve dubbed “Sinister Bear” eerily shouting “I’m your friend” several hours after it’s been last touched, the child long in bed.

Silence Was Golden - the days before noisy toys!

Most of his favourite toys come with a soundtrack, a relentless, nerve-tinglingly annoying one. In our peace-and-quiet seeking moments we long to throw these toys out; but the boy loves them too much and we love him too much to see him heartbroken over his annoying singing Baby Jake toy which sings no more.

What’s a frugal parent to do? Well, really the only option is to go for recycled batteries. They’re financially a far better option than buying cheap batteries which last for no time at all. I hate throwing the more expensive ones away, and throwing batteries away is environmentally a bit naughty too, so for me it’s recycled batteries all the way. Regardless of what effect the inane chirping of toddler toys does to my sanity.

I’m assured that silence will return when in twenty odd years time he packs up and leaves home. I reckon by then I’ll be used to the din and I’ll miss the creepy mumblings of Sinister Bear.

How do you cope with living with noisy toys? Do they drive you up the wall too? Do you yearn for silence like me?