Well this isn’t an image I ever thought I’d be sharing on the blog, and what a fab night we had too. This Wednesday evening (23rd September) we were invited to John Lewis in Nottingham for the launch of its Autumn Winter 2014 Private Label collection.
When the invite popped itself into my virtual letterbox, I couldn’t refuse. A chance to listen to, and meet the infamous Liz Jones, I think my reply was…HELL YEH! Continue Reading
I am already a convert to the Hotter Shoes concept, you can read my first Hotter Shoes Review HERE. However I bought mine online, and I have never been into the store. So I was very intrigued to see what I found, when I was recently was invited.
Firstly the store…
The Nottingham branch is bright and airy, but had a very homely feel, with comfortable chairs and seating areas, fresh flowers, the staff knowledgeable and friendly. I arrived midweek, it was a cold and wet day, and yet the place was buzzing with people, men and women browsing the shelves and being fitted for shoes. Even though the store was very busy, it was spacious and I didn’t feel rushed. It is a well placed store, in the centre of Nottingham, near Marks and Spencer’s, on Lister Gate – 1-3.
Shopping for shoes here really is different, it actually felt like an experience, it was a real pleasure. The staff were exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable, but most of all passionate about the Hotter Shoe brand. I chatted at length to the Manager Tracey Gwilliam-Smith, who talked me through the amazing quality and comfort of the shoes, and how proud she was to work for Hotter Shoes.
After I had browsed the shelves, I was asked to take a seat, and my foot was measured. I do struggle with some styles of shoes, and since I had my first child, my feet have grown (as has my waistline) so I was intrigued to find out what I actually measured up to be. The assistant informed me, I am a size 8 E. Which means that I have a wider than average foot. Hotter shoes come in three width fittings E, EE, and EEE the latter being the widest. That does explain why I have, had problem in recent years with certain styles, including heels.
And now the shoes…
Hotter shoes offer such a wide range of shoes, they are the UK’s largest shoe manufacturer. They are already very well known as offering unique Comfort Concept features inside and out – flexible, pillow soft underfoot cushioning to impress men and women alike. They have three core ranges, trend, signature and classic. They not only offer extra wide shoes, accommodating many different foot conditions, but they also have styles that don’t have any seams which are perfect for people with diabetes. These features are so important to many people, including myself, but what I was surprised at, is how on trend some styles are. I actually took away with me two pairs of shoes, and I could have chosen many more!
My first choice was the Nigella ankle boot – £90. It was so incredibly comfortable, but this had not taken away any of the style, which it has oodles of. I must admit I had almost given up the thought of wearing heels every day, and I really missed the dressy and smart feeling that it gave to a outfit. These heels were so comfortable, I felt my foot sink into the cushioning and I could barely tell I was wearing heels.
The have flexi grooves in the soles for maximum flex, were effortless to slip on with an inside zip and cushioned comfort in the sole you can feel but not see…..amazing! Perfect for events, and business meetings I have over the winter months.
Dress/Kin by John Lewis £59 Boots/Hotter Shoes £90
Necklace/ Chambers and Beau
Well I now was determined to treat myself to another pair of heels, but a pair of shoes. When I saw these vintage inspired heels - France £80, I knew they would be perfect. They are supple with a slight stretch in the the strap. again with grooved soles, for maximum flex, and blissful padding underfoot, it sounds as if I am exaggerating, but really you have to try these on to understand how comfortable they are.
So there you have it, classy stylish fashionable footwear and happy feet. I couldn’t be more impressed Hotter Shoes, I will be back!
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I was given one pair of the hotter shoes to review, the second I bought myself, because I fell in love!
Yes that’s right the classic Spaghetti Bolognese has been voted its top family meal. Closely followed by Pizza, a roast dinner, cottage or shepherd’s pie and at number 5 a Korma or Fish Pie. Part of me is surprised we are, dare I say boring? However if these dishes are made from scratch for an weekday evening meal or at a weekend with fresh ingredients, then actually they are classic family favourites. I know all of the Ana Mum brood would definitely eat every one of them. I must admit that really is one of the main influences when deciding what to cook in our house.
The research is part of the Tesco ‘Love Every Mouthful’ campaign. Where they are trying to encourage the UK to celebrate food in all its glory. Tesco also want to highlight ingredients that are fresh, seasonal and British. That’s got to be good right?
For more information on the Love Every Mouthful campaign please visit www.tesco.com/LoveEveryMouthful or on twitter #loveeverymouthful
So how did we make this classic? Well in fact this time Tall Dad wanted to cook, and as I don’t eat meat, he was able to taste test as he was preparing it.
To make you need :
30ml of olive oil
400g of beef mince
200ml of beef stock
150ml of red wine
1 large onion (finely chopped)
400g of chopped tomatoes
Ground black pepper
300g dried spaghetti
Heat the olive oil, add the onions with a little salt for 5 minutes over a medium heat.
Increase the heat now and add the mince, making sure you break up any lumps.
Once the mince is browned add chopped tomatoes, the stock and the red wine and bring to the boil.
Reduce and simmer add a bay leaf, leave to simmer for 45-50 mins (Tall Dad added a little chilli and Worcestershire sauce at this point)
Put the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water (cook until al dente)
Taste the sauce and add seasoning as needed
Drain the spaghetti, and combine with the sauce.
Add parmesan, and serve
We would usually serve with a big salad and perhaps garlic bread.
For this and over 7,000 other recipes go on the Tesco site HERE
This Spaghetti bolognese classic went down extremely well, and as predicted they loved every mouthful. I think I would add herbs to the recipe if I was making it, but Tall Dad said the flavours were great, so perhaps it didn’t need it.
Thank you Tesco for providing us with the ingredients to make this dish.
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We are all very excited (especially Tall Dad) that Miss N (10 years old) is going to be the mascot on the opening day of The Ashes at Trent Bridge Nottingham. So this Wednesday she will get to the Trent Bridge ground and be given an England t-shirt and cap. She will then warm up with the players. Miss N (filmed by Sky TV) will also go out with both captains for the coin toss, to start The Ashes. Tall Dad, as a life long cricket supporter and player, could not be more proud!
So watch this space….and Sky TV (!!) at 10.30 in the morning, on Wednesday 10th July. You can also follow Miss N on Instagram HERE for live photo updates. Hopefully I will have lots of photographs and maybe a few tales to share too on the blog.
In the mean time, I would love to share with you this photograph, that was sent to me by my lovely local John Lewis store.
Julia created the accessories using patterns for adult size clothing and shrinking them, for example, the cricket helmet was adapted from a winter wooly hat pattern. The attention to detail is amazing, their jumpers (knitted by Sara) have a subtle cable knit just as a real cricket jumper would have. The photos were taken by Jemma Cox in-front of the iconic Members Pavilion at Trent Bridge.
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