Tag: shoes

Back to School with Start-rite

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with start-rite.

I think this is the shortest summer holiday little T has ever had and I can’t believe that she’ll be back in school next month.  I’m panicking a bit because there are still some activities I want to do with her.  We haven’t even gone camping yet, or learned how to ride the bike without stabilizers, or learned the “You are my sunshine” song in the ukulele yet.

And yes, I do know the summer holiday will end soon.  In fact, in spite the panic, we’re actually ready for it.  She already has new uniforms in time for next month and also has a pair of  new school shoes courtesy of Start-rite.  We got little T’s first ever pair of shoes from them.  My husband was very particular about this. He didn’t want to just buy just any pair of shoe from the shops.  He wanted her properly fitted and booted.  Yes, T and has a history with this particular shoe brand and we trust it.

For this year, T chose a classic Mary Janes style for her school-shoes.  If you’ve been following our little blog for some time now, you will know that my daughter is very sporty and just like any other six, going seven-year-old, she loves to skip and run around like a loony.

What we liked about the shoes:

  • The velcro.  Admittedly, T still hasn’t mastered tying her shoelace yet so a velcro strap is a big help for her.
  • We like the style and the leather.  As mentioned, we’ve been happy with Start-rite from the beginning and know that we are getting good quality shoes.
  • At £42.99 we think that the price is just right.  Might be pricier than other school shoes, but at least we know that we’re getting our money’s worth and know that it will last her long.

When it comes to school shoes my husband and I don’t really mind spending more for better quality shoes and as I’ve mentioned, T and start-rite have a good history together, we know that this will last her till at least next year.  I won’t be surprised if it even lasts longer than that.

As parents of young and active kids, it’s always best to spend a little bit more for good quality school shoes, isn’t it, especially if we know that it will last longer than most of the other brands.

What about you?

Are you a Start-rite parent too?

We are!

Little T’s Retail Fix

The last few remaining days of little T’s half-term break was a hectic one.  We drove over to Beds to visit her grandparents, we don’t see them as much as we want, although they did spend Christmas with us.  That’s one of the downside of leaving away from family, you don’t see them often, worse for me, mine are oceans away, though luckily, I’ll be seeing some of them over the holidays!

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T loves to sit in front with her dad, we allow it only in the small roads, but once back in the main roads, we move her behind again.  I guess it makes her feel all grown-up sitting in front!

While T was happy to visit family, her main top place to visit was the mall so she could go shopping!  On Monday, while her dad was in a meeting, little T and I went for a retail fix.  She brought all her saved-up coins from her piggy bank, all £6.75 of it.  Managed to buy a small mermaid that can swim in the bath for £5.75 which was originally on for about £12!  She has a few pennies left to put back in her piggy bank.  Since she was such a good girl, we told her she could have an additional toy she could choose, she wanted a Rapunzel doll and luckily for us, there was one on sale in the Disney shop.  Phew.

And the day before that, we also went on a book shopping fix.  As you can see from the featured image, little T chose more than a couple.  She’s a lucky girl, her grandparents gave her a ten-pound note to spend in Waterstones, which didn’t take her long to do.  She chose Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by British Illustrator and The Observer Political Cartoonist, Christ Riddell which was a bit pricey at £10.99 but so worth it, with its hard bound cover and lovely illustrations.

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While her pile of books are a little bit advanced for her to read on her own (they all have chapters), she absolutely loves them.  Her current faves are the Harper series by CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell.  She loves Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella and managed to get the newly released Harper and the Circus of Dreams.  She also bought another Chris Riddell book “Ottoman and the Yellow Cat” and Witch Wars by Sibeal Pounder.  She reads them all at night with the help of her dad.

Aside from books, my little girl has a shoe addiction.  I love them too, but not as much as she does.  We’ve promised her some new converse, since her last one didn’t fit her anymore.  She’s had red, pink and blue ones.  This time she chose purple.

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Yes, they are still a little bit big for her.  But we purposely chose a size bigger, it has to last her till  at least summer! 😉

I also bought her a few clothes, just basic ones like leggings, a few tops and a dress.  Yes, it’s all about little T.  Okay fine, I might have bought myself a new top too 😉

What about you?  Do you or your little ones like shoes too?

A Little Girl's Love Affair with Boots: Top 3 Boots for Winter

My daughter loves shoes, boots, ballet flats, trainers, you name it, she’ll probably love it, especially boots.

One reason why I love autumn is because you have every reason to wear all kinds of boots, from ankle ones to knee-high boots.  And I’m afraid, little T will agree with me on this one.  Then again, if she had her way, she’ll wear boots all through out the year, regardless of the weather or seasons.  Here’s a brief history of how little T’s affair with boots began.

Her first ever boots were original cowboy boots sent to T by a cousin who lives in Texas.  So yes, I blame that cousin of mine for little T’s obsession with boots now.  You know who yo are 😉  cowboyboots_littlesteps

Here she is, wearing her heehaw boots on her second-birthday.

She absolutely loved them and would wear them everywhere.  To play-group, play-dates, even in the playground.  Of course everyone commented about them.  After all, you don’t see a little girl here in the UK wear original cowboy boots everyday 😉

After awhile, little T sadly outgrew her cowboy boots and reluctantly allowed us to keep it in a box up in the attic, we got her instead boots from Clarks.  Yes, I know a bit boring after her cowboy ones.

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Boots from Clarks, that’s such a British thing isn’t it?

Why do kids’ feet grow so fast?  I’m not sure where these very used boots went, probably in the bin since they were too over-used to donate (that’s where most of little T’s stuff go to).  Then I thought it was time for my own daughter to have her 1st ever pair of Doc Martens.  A favourite brand of mind, well not just mine, but my family back home.  Her first pair was the same colour of my last pair of DMs:  cherry red.

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I love them.  My old pair still fits me!

And then before we knew it, even this was too small for her.

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So we got her a second pair and now that second pair will soon need a replacement.  And she’s been nagging us for some new boots soon.  And if you live in the country like we do, we always start by looking on-line.  And here are her choices:

Little T’s Top 3 Picks:  Boots for Winter

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 Doc Martens.

This is actually from their boys section, since we didn’t see anything we wanted on the girls section.

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Camper.

Love the pink sole and pink laces.

However, in spite the pink, this appears to be little T’s fave:

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Clarks Girls Knee-high boots.

Sometimes I wonder whether instead of having a five-year-old, I have a thirteen-year-old in the house.  If I had my way, I’d go for the DMs again or even the Camper ones, since they are so cute.    But we always leave the decisions with T, as long as they are appropriate of course.

What do you think of little T’s choices?

Which should she choose?

Must-Have Boots for Spring (A Pisamonas Review)

I’ve always liked Spanish brands like Mango and Zara and I’m sure I’ve mentioned here countless times of having purchased clothes for little T on Zara’s website.  So I was really pleased when Pisamonas, a Spanish brand got in touch with us for a collaboration with them.

While some may think that little T is a bit boyish (there’s nothing wrong with that, of course). She loves playing with Ninja Turtles and “roughing” it out with the boys, she is also a typical little girl who loves clothes, bags and shoes.  So when we were asked to take a look at their website to choose some shoes for her, you can imagine her excitement.

If it were up to me, I would have chosen one of their lovely ballet flats.  Sadly, they are not for T.  She’s more of a boots kind of girl, so it wasn’t a surprise when she actually chose these boots Safari Chukka boots in Navy blue with pink laces.  Apparently, this style is their “specialty” and is known locally as “Las Pisamonas”

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We were really pleased when it was delivered to us.  It looked absolutely fabulous on her.  See for yourself.  I wouldn’t mind one actually and surprisingly some of their shoes for kids also come in adult sizes, so if you’re one of those who like to dress up their kids in matching outfits as their own, you might want to take a look at their stuff.

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These lovely Chuckka boots even came with a deflated blue balloon inside the box, and admittedly she was really excited with that too and couldn’t wait for her dad to blow-it up for her.

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Their shoes are obviously well made and are of high quality.  It’s also good to know that they are for a change, %100 made in Europe and not in China.  And customers will be delighted to know that they offer free shipping, free return and exchange (which is always good to know especially when ordering for little ones).

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The exciting news is that they are offering a welcome voucher for offers over £40 and I have a feeling it will be easy to spend more than that on their website.

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What I love about the shoes:

  • It’s a perfect pair for spring and summer.
  • Not chunky like most boots.
  • They are lightweight.
  • Very stylish and we love that the pink laces combination with Navy blue.
  • They are versatile and can be worn with boots, shorts, skirt and even dresses.

Dislikes:

  • The navy blue looked more like black.  But then again, looking at the photos posted here, they do look navy blue.  Even if it were black though, it still doesn’t change our opinion on how much we like it, even my husband agrees.

What little T loves about the shoes:

  • I love the laces mum.  They’re pink!
  • It’s Monster High black mum.  No, T.  It’s navy blue.  No mum, it’s black.  Whatever.  At least, she’s happy with it.

Dislikes:

  • Is there anything you dislike about your new shoes T?  She looks at me with that “What-on-earth-are- you-talking- about-woman look?”  So I rephrase – Is there anything you don’t like about your new shoes?  She stares blankly at me.  And then says “Can you paint my face like a bunny-rabbit again please mum?  I sigh and give in.  She has after all been a very good and patient little girl allowing her mother to take photos of her running around like a loony in the parking lot.

What about you?

Are you like little T, who loves shoes?

Disclaimer:  This is a collaboration with Pisamonas, however, all photos and opinions are by yours truly and of course, Little T.

Family Fever

Little T’s Review of her new Clarks Trainers

We’ve been in the hunt for new trainers for little T, especially since she’s started her gymnastics class last year. Sadly, we haven’t had the time to shop for them, especially since we live in a little village by the sea.  Beautiful yes, but to get proper trainers for your little ones, you invariably have to drive at least about 30 minutes to get to the nearest shoe shop. While we do a lot of online shopping,  however, when it comes to shoes, it’s really best to get your child’s feet properly measured (instead of second-guessing like we normally do for other clothing).

Last week, little T and I chose some Clarks trainers online and ordered them to be delivered to the nearest store, which was in Bodmin, about a 45 minute drive from where we live.  The lovely woman whom I spoke to on the phone, advised us to order more than one pair and different sizes to make sure that we don’t end up leaving Clarks empty-handed. Within a few days, I received a text message and email from Clarks, informing me that our order has arrived, which was perfect timing because it was little T’s half-term break.

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And so we arrived at the  shop with a happy little T, excited to get her feet all measured up.  We were really struck with how high-tech it was.  Last time we got her measured at their Exeter branch, they  used the old-fashioned slider-measuring gauge.  This time though, they had a tablet and even made little T click on her information like her age and sex before sliding the tablet in what looked like a weighing scale, as seen below.

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We were all impressed with their new gadget and, of course, the friendly and professional customer service at the Clarks shop, Bodmin Branch.

Then they took out the shoes we ordered, but sadly the ones little T selected online (black with a flash of pink) didn’t come in her size.  They were too big for her!  I’m glad we managed to order another back-up pair, with a different colour – pink.

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She didn’t seem to mind at all that these were pink – and I mean very, very pink – not black. Will she always be this easy to please?  I’m afraid not, but she was absolutely loving her new screaming pink trainers as if they were her first choice!

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At first, I wasn’t really impressed with her them, or perhaps I was just too distracted with how pink they looked and the fact that it actually lights-up once she stomped her little feet.  But upon closer inspection, they looked like really proper trainers, or as the Cornish would say “It’s a proper job!”

Of course, this isn’t little T’s first Clark shoes.  We’ve bought her winter boots, wellies and other kinds of shoes with Clarks before, not to mention my own pairs of shoes from the same brand 😉

And here’s little T wearing her new trainers to her gymnastics class.

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I have no idea why she’s standing like that, and please pretend you can’t see the yogurt stain on her leotard, which she had before this photo was taken.

The verdict:  I love my new trainers mummy!  I never want to take them off ever again!  Can I wear them to school please?

She actually wanted to sleep with them.  We managed to convince her to leave them on the floor.  And as I’m typing this, she is actually wearing them at home.  After all, who says trainers have to be boring?  They can be pink, flashy and sparkly especially when you’re a four-year-old like little T, don’t you agree?  So if you’re looking for trainers for your kids, you now know where to get them!  After all, they are a traditional British shoe shop, you can never go wrong with that right?

Do you have a favourite brand of trainers for little ones?  Do share.

Disclaimer:  This is a collaboration with Clarks, however, all photos and opinions are by yours truly.

Family Fever

A very long Family Love-Affair

I’m not so sure when or how my family started our love affair with Dr. Martens’ boots, all I know is that I blame my older brother for starting it.  I wouldn’t be surprised actually if it all began with his love-affair with music, specifically punk-music.  Yes, my brother loved the Clash, among others – soundtrack of my growing-up years … Shareef don’t like it, rock the casbah, rock the casbah.

To make the story short, he was the first one to have DMS in our family and of course, being the younger sibling, I absolutely had to have my own pair too.  And even my dad had his own, but it was a boring-brown one, not the classic black boots.  And since this was many moons ago, back in the old days when ALL of Dr. Marten’s boots were still all made in England, not China, and those boots, are still very much in good condition.  In fact, next time I go home, I’m going to bring them back to Blightly with me.

So of course, it’s only right that my very own daughter would have her very own DMS too:

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If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you might find photo #1 familiar.  That’s Doc as a puppy (so cute!)  She actually named her pup from her boots – Dr. Martens.

It’s also not surprising when choosing school shoes, we would also go with the same brand.  Admittedly though, it is a bit pricier than your regular Clarks school shoes, but we wanted something that would hopefully last longer than your average school shoes.

As parents, we don’t mind paying a little bit more for quality, since after all she’ll be wearing this weekly and five days in a row!  And although little T has outgrown her DMS, it’s still in very good condition (We plan to order another pair for her this winter!)  So yes, she also has school Dr. Martens’ school shoes.

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 And besides, aren’t they the cutest Mary Janes you’ve ever seen?

I was really pleased with the style and the look when my daughter’s school shoes arrived and was so excited for her to wear them, especially since she seemed so pleased with them too!

So imagine my surprise and disappointment when after less than a week, the rubber on her shoes seemed to be looking really scruffy.  Was really shocked and wasn’t expecting this to happen, especially since they didn’t come cheap.

Great Customer Service

I ranted away with my DMS guru-brother over at Viber about how disappointed I was, he just  said, why not get in touch with them?  Not really expecting anything, I did as I was told.

And lo and behold, the next day, I got a reply from them.  After an exchange of a few emails, queries, and details, they out of good-will sent us a brand-new replacement of the said school shoes!  We did send the offending pair back to them for scrutiny.

Now that’s what I call superb customer service!

I am one-very pleased mum.  Don’t you just love it when brands you patronise turns out to really, genuinely care about their customers?  So if you’re looking for hard-wearing boots or shoes for your little ones, do consider Dr. Martens and if anything goes wrong, you’ll at least know, that your concerns will be taken care of.

 It’s not surprising that my …

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Doc goes to Play School

I don’t want to go to play-school T says to me as I put her down for bed.  I don’t want to go to play-school T says to me again as she gets up in the morning.  We’ve been hearing this little protests for about a week or so now.  So we’ve been thinking of ways to try to persuade her that yes, in spite of her claims, she actually wants to go to play-school!

The good thing is, our vet gave us the go-signal to walk Doc around our little village in spite of only having his first shot (he completes all his shots two weeks from now).  He said he’d only advice against this if we lived in a city or a big town.  But since we live in a small village and thank goodness the tourists are gone (his words, not mine), it’s safe to walk our little pup around.

So we decided that Doc would take Tamsin to play-school!  Brilliant idea huh?

As you can see from the above photo, it turned out that Doc didn’t want to go to play-school either!

He preferred to sniff around on the grass and didn’t want to budge.

After coaxing him on, he seemed to have given-up and went along-side his human.

Getting tangled on his leash …

And then they finally arrived at play-school.  The children fussed around him.  But like his owner, he didn’t seem pleased at all.  T clung unto me for dear-life and wouldn’t let go. Doc and T’s Dad went home ahead of us.  I stayed behind with T.  Did I mention that she clung unto me for dear life? Oh yes, I did.

And T wanted me to take a photo of her new pink-converse.  Yes, she loves the colour pink.  We are doing this again next week, hoping there won’t be any tears.  Good luck to us.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.

What is happening?

“I’m going to stay till 3” T announced to me like a grown up, as we walked towards her play-school.  I said “Okay.  Are you sure about this?”  I just wanted to make sure that she knew what she was talking about so I rattled on and explained that staying till three means, mummy won’t show up after they’ve had their lunch like I normally do.  She was adamant and repeated “I’m staying till three!”

When we got there, she quickly joined her best-friend F and off they went.  I approached her again and asked her, just to make sure she hasn’t changed her mind, she actually almost shooed me away.  Yes, I know I was probably annoying her.  So kissed her goodbye, and left.

I chatted for awhile with F’s parents outside, but at the back of my mind, I kept thinking, how did this happen?  She actually looked impatient for me to leave.  Whatever happened to that clingy little girl who would say “I want you mummy!”  Just last night she clung to me as she cried and asked for her Dad who was away for a couple of days to attend a meeting.  She was like a little baby again asking for her mummy and daddy.  This morning though, she woke up like an adult, making decisions on her own, leaving her mummy stunned.

Oh dear, this is happening too fast.  So I’m thinking now, it’s only past 10 in the morning.  So what will I do between now and 3?  I suppose I could do some chores like hoover which she hates!  Perhaps read the whole day and not just a few paragraphs which I do while T is doing her thing in the bathroom (It takes her ages!).  Maybe, I’ll finally get to finish The Years by Virginia Woolf which I’ve been reading for months now.  Wait!  I could go and watch all the reruns of Downton Abbey or my favourite property programs like Location, Location, Location or sleep!  Have a blissful uninterrupted sleep?  All these choices of things to do which doesn’t include T is actually making me feel a bit dizzy.

So I’m back to the question, whatever happened to my little baby?  How did she go from this sweet little baby:

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To this:

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A little girl who loves to play rugby …

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And who absolutely loves her new Dr. Martens like a teenager…

This is all happening way too fast for me.

Help!

I’m lining up this post with PODcast’s What’s The Story.

My Top Five Must-Have-Summer Sandals

In spite of the ever-changing English weather, as of last week, summer seems to have arrived already and for us moms, this means getting rid of chunky boots and showing off our lovely little toes in pretty summer sandals.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been window-shopping online a lot, looking for the perfect summer sandals.

Here are my Top Five Finds:

1.  Ancient Greek Sandals:

No, it’s not just the style it’s also the name of the brand.  If I weren’t married and not a mom and just earning money for myself, these would be my ideal must-have summer sandals.

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Aren’t they the prettiest?  They’re Ancient Greek Sandals and cost about £150+.  Click here if you want to see more of their collection. Not so affordable for a mommy like me, although of course I’m sure there are loads of mothers out there who can probably afford more than one pair.  I’m just not one of them and I’m fine with that.  Maybe, because I’ve always been sort of a cheap sake and also because there are lots of other shops/brands out there who sell really lovely sandals without having to break your budget for the month. Like the ones below:

2. Topshop:  HORSHAM Geeky Sandals £20

If you prefer your sandals to be more glittery, Topshop have other designs as well.  As for me, I like my sandals simple and nice.  Yes, I’m boring that way (actually, in many other ways as well).

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It also comes in gold and white.  Click here if interested.

3.  Zara: Strappy Thong Sandals £22.99

Even back home, I’ve always loved the Spanish brand Zara.  I also shop here a lot for the little one.  They’ve got lovely dresses and cute t-shirts.  Also affordable and not pricey like the other brands.

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It also comes in different colors.  Click here if interested.

4.  Next: Toe Thong Sandal £18

The high-street British brand Next is also very affordable and I love their next day delivery without having to pay premium delivery rates.  They also have a very good customer service, not to mention really cute children’s clothing.  So it’s not surprising to find really nice and stylish summer sandals – loads of them.  All you need to do is pick your style.
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This lovely affordable sandals also comes in Tan, white and metallic colors.

Click here if you’re interested.

5. And lastly, for the cool moms who haven’t gotten over their punk-rock days yet, perhaps this River Island  White Skull Studded T Bar Sandals will do it for them.  Plus, it only costs £25.

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Click here if you’re interested.

As for me, I think I’ll go for the Topshop Geeky Sandals.  As much as I would love to wear the thong sandals, sadly, my toes aren’t as cute as my daughter’s, so best not to show them off too much.  What are your favourites?