REVIEW: Hotter Shoes

I recently attended a Blogger Event at Hotter Shoes in Cardiff.  It was a great opportunity to meet up with some of the ladies I only know via blogging. Many thanks to TBAM of The BoyandMe for the invite. :)

We were welcomed by the ladies and gentlemen who work in the store – a lovely happy bunch!  Mel the PR lady told us a bit more about Hotter.

  • They started making slippers
  • Every pair of shoes have wiggle room for toes
  • The soles are filled with millions of air bubbles – one of the reasons why they are so comfy.
  • Over the past 4 years or so they’ve gone from 5 stores to 65 – not bad expansion in an age of recession!
  • They are the biggest UK sohe manufacturer – they make a pair of shoes every 20 seconds.

It was good to learn more about the company and to see and try on some of the shoes. I must admit that I have never been to Hotter shoes before and always thought that they were aimed at the ‘comfort minded’.  I was impressed by the variety of styles and why they can appeal to all ages.

After checking  their website a few days before and found several styles that took my fancy, I couldn’t wait to try them out!

 

soosie wales, hotter shoes,

Hotter Shoes – Hannah and Donna

I tried out some of the shoes but didn’t get that ‘these are right for me’ moment until I tried on the black Shake style.

 

soosie wales, hotter shoes,

Comfy Shake – Black

I’ve worn them a few times now and they are very comfortable.  They are so light you barely know you have them on. I’m really impressed with them!

Why not take a look at the website for yourself  Hotter can offer you 10% off plus free delivery you can use the following code PKCTEN and the terms and conditions are:

10% off plus FREE delivery is for first orders only. You are entitled to 10% off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products) plus FREE delivery.  This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL – I ALSO HAVE A GIVEAWAY FOR YOU TOO!

You can win a Juliet Handbag or a £20 voucher. (One winner will have the option of having the bag OR a voucher)

Just pop over to my Facebook Page and enter via the Rafflecopter  – Remember to check the T&Cs on the bottom of the Rafflecopter.

I was allowed to choose one pair of shoes for myself in exchange for an honest review. 

Week 29 #Project365 – 2014

It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster week for me.  (If you want the happier part start at Wednesday!)

The start of the week was spent reviewing our finances now that Hubby’s JSA has ended.  Making a decision whether to take his personal pension when he hits 60 next year or to leave it in to accrue for a few more years.  Working out how long our savings will last if neither of us get a job soon. We’ll actually do ok for a good while but I’d prefer not to use the savings we worked so hard to get.
There’s also the realisation that we’re not likely to have another ‘posh’ holiday – that makes me really miserable!

I’ve  been missing my son in Australia.  I really should stop watching programmes showing Australia! They remind me of just how far away he is.

Wednesday – No Orange Wednesday again so we decided to curl up on the sofa with drinks and sweeties to watch Warhorse.

Thursday – Needed a cheer up – Hubby suggested a day out so we headed for Blaenavon to take a look at the Iron Works and the Rhumney Brewery visitor centre.  The Iron Works are very interesting and there are also Ironworkers cottages to take a look at. A good area to spend an hour or two. I’ve always been interested in local history and enjoy seeing Cordell Country.
We also popped along to the Rhumney Brewery. You can see beers being made and you also get to taste some.
On the way back down the valley we stopped off in Cwmbran for a late lunch and ended up in Tiffins – an all you can eat buffet Indian. It’s usually very good but today it was mediocre at best. I can make a better curry than the ones on offer today!

Just after we got home we had a visit from OS and Ashley.  Ash has settled down so much in the past few weeks, he’s much calmer and doesn’t run about all the time. We sat in the garden while he played on his bike.

Friday – woke up with an almighty migraine. I’m so glad my medication works reasonably quickly.  I didn’t feel up to going food shopping so just made a list – argh – so much store cupboard supplies running low.  That’s what you get for not going to a proper supermarket for 4 weeks. Aldi just can’t cut it for a full shop – plus the place depresses me and I’m already falling off the sane wagon!!
We had a daytime visit from a small hedgehog.  We gave it a little bit of cat food and it eventually went on it’s way. Hubby stayed in the garden to make sure Molly Cat didn’t bother it.

Saturday – food shopping today – a proper full shop in Asda.

blaenavon ironworks, rhymney brewery, hedgehog

 

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Week 27 and 28 #Project365 – 2014

Week 27

Sunday and Monday was spent mooching about the house and garden.

Tuesday – A visit to Cardiff  for the Hotter shoes shindig. A blogger evening spent trying on shoes and meeting up with some lovely ladies including TheBoyandMe – Yes I met Me!! and Mel at Diary of a Jewellery Lover  whom I’ve been pals with online for sometime.

Wednesday – Orange Wednesday this week was Mrs Browns Boys D’movie. I love the BBC series and it can leave me breathless with laughter but the film… oh dear.. very disappointing. If you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen all the funny bits.

Thursday - Today I found out that I won a 3 night stay at Aqueduct Cottage at Goytre Wharf for this weekend.. EEKK…It may be only about 20 miles away but a weekend away is a weekend away!!

Friday – Spent the morning sorting out the packing for the weekend. We set off at 2:30pm and was sat in the cottage less than an hour later.  We were the first guests to stay there so it is all new and clean. It’s well equipped and had some lovely touches – a welcome tea/coffee tray, kitchen pack with t-towels, cloths, sponge, washing up liquid and kitchen towel. The big downer though was no interwebs.  Data connection on phone virtually non-existent and wifi signal too poor to register with local service. Oh well.. guess I’ll have to talk to Hubby then! :) (you can read more about the cottage here)

Saturday – Drove up to Hereford, lovely city and was pretty busy. They have a new small shopping centre too which is just across the road from the main city centre. I can’t understand how this is a thriving centre with lots of shops and outlets and yet Newport is failing and full of ‘cheap’ shops. Something wrong somewhere!

soosie wales, hotter shoes, hereford, orange wednsday,

Week 27

Above: Flower head in local garden, Hotter Shoes,  Gl ass cut to size,  Orange Wednesday, Hereford Cathedral, Aqueduct Cottage.

  WEEK 28

Sunday – Discussion over breakfast on where to go today. Options were Brecon, Hay-on-Wye or Big Pit. I know Hubby was keen to do Big Pit so that’s where we went. I wasn’t keen on the underground bit and wouldn’t be keen on doing it again to be honest. The museum part is very interesting and brings home how dire the conditions once were.  I’d highly recommend it, children can also go underground!  As it’s a Museum of Wales site all you pay for is parking which is currently£3. (More about Big Pit here)
By the time we ended our visit it was gone 2pm so a bit late for a pub Sunday lunch. We popped down to Pontypool to buy a few bits and bobs and a drink and made our way to Pontymoile Basin and sat at the canal edge with our impromptu picnic. We planned on going to the local pub for our evening meal – what a palaver we had.. they don’t do food on Sunday evening, neither did the Wainyclare or the Horse and Jockey! We ended up in the Harvester near Pontypool!

Monday – We bid farewell to our weekend away. Back home to water the pots and baskets. When I logged into my email I noticed that I had over 3 thousand emails. I panicked a bit,  then realised I was looking at the copy folder (I send a copy of all my emails to a folder then double check this one for wins.. what a saddo!!) There was only a thousand in the Inbox!!  That’s what 3 days of hardly no wifi does to you!!

Tuesday – Off to Cardiff again – this time at the Millenium Centre to see a production of Warhorse that we booked last October. We had Circle front row seats so had a great view. It was wonderful, powerful, emotional, sad and funny.  It’s pure class.

Wednesday – no cinema this week. There’s nothing we fancy seeing. The road opposite was closed off so that some supplies could be craned in to where a new house is being built.

Thursday – Son, DIL and Grandson came and we all sat in the garden for a while. DIL is getting quite big now, only about 10 weeks to go now I think.

Friday – One of the window panels in the bay was due to be replaced as it had gone cloudy. Despite lots of photos by the window company it didn’t come back from the manufacturers looking anything like what we had. So they decided to fit the ‘wrong’ panel so that the old panel can be taken apart for the glazing bars to used in another try at the panel!!  So they are doing what I suggested at the start!! MEN>>>>>

Saturday – decided to buy one of those Karcher Window cleaner things as they are on offer in Currys. I’ll update you all next week on what I think of it.

soosie wales, big pit, warhorse

 Above : Window before the replacement, crane lift, Big Pit, Warhorse, Emails.

 
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TRAVEL: Big Pit – Blaenavon

Big Pit is now a museum dedicated to the industrial and Coal Mining heritage of  Blaenavon, South Wales.

It was a working mine from 1860 to 1980. After it closed it was turned into a museum and reopened in 1983. It became part of the National Museum of Wales in 2001.

If you are travelling there from the Heads of the Valleys road you’ll come down the valley and the panoramas are spectacular. When you reach the site there is a Pay and Display car park (currently £3) and that’s all you pay.. the museum is free but please make a donation to the site.

soosie wales, big pit

When you walk into the museum you are invited to join an underground tour. You are kitted up with a helmet and torch and taken 90 metres underground by a coal miner – our guide was Russell – all of them know how tough it was and really brings to life what the conditions were like.  The tour takes about an hour.

When you come back up you can visit the rest of the museum.

  • The Mining Galleries – an innovative multi-media tour with a virtual miner.
  • Exhibitions in the Pithead Baths – the shower rooms, boot room and lockers. There are notices on some of the lockers that tell you about some of the miners and other people associated with mining. Some also have ‘sound bites’ playing.
  • You move from the Baths onto the main exhibition room which show you how mining changed over the years. Around the walls are pictures of what life was like for the families.

There is also a good cafe on site situated in the Miners Canteen

The Museum is a great place to visit if you are interested in the South Wales / Valleys history.  The Ironworks are also close by which would round off a visit nicely.

You can read more about the museum here : National Museum of Wales – Big Pit. 

Soosie wales, big pit

I have written this post to share my thoughts about Big Pit. I was not asked by anyone to write it.
All pictures and words are my own and cannot be reproduced without permission. 

TRAVEL : Goytre Wharf and Aqueduct Cottage

Goytre Wharf is part of the Monmouthshire – Brecon canal it’s about half way between Pontypool and Abergavenny.

At the Wharf you can berth your own barge or small boat and you can also hire boats by the day or longer. There is also a cottage you can rent.

Aqueduct cottage has recently been taken over by ABC Leisure and has been refurbished.

It’s a good base for exploring the Heads Of Valleys. You can get to places like Pontypool, Blaenavon (for Big Pit), Abergavenny, Hereford, Brecon and many more.

goytre wharf, soosie wales,

Goytre Wharf

Aqueduct cottage:

We had a warm welcome from Stella and Sue at the Redline office. We were given some information on the area and given the keys and instruction on how to open the waterways gates. (the main gate to the wharf is locked at night)
We were the first guests to stay after the refurbishment.  (I actually won the 3 night stay from their Facebook page).
The cottage was very clean, with basic furnishings.

They provide a good local information folder and welcome tray of tea and coffee. They also provide a handy kitchen pack, tea towels, washing up liquid, kitchen roll etc.
The kitchen has every thing you’re likely to need to cater for yourself. First aid box and torch provided too.
The living room is comfy with a small sofa and chairs, dining table and a couple of small side tables. Cozy electric log effect fire and an electric heater. TV with integral DVD player, Freesat and small music player is also provided.
Up the stairs which are very steep – as you would expect in a house like this – there are 2 bedrooms both with 2 single beds, bedside tables, chest of drawers and small wardrobe.

There is WIFI available via ‘Iwantbroadband’ but it needs a minimum signal of 2 bars and I couldn’t get that. The only WIFI all weekend was a quick connection in a pub in Hereford and Pontypool. At first I hated not being able to connect but soon got used to locking my tech away and ‘Looking up’  (Search Google there is a great video on the subject – Look Up)

We really enjoyed our stay, the beds are comfy and it’s really cozy in the evenings with no traffic sounds to disturb you.

When we left we were asked if there was anything that they could improve on at the cottage. There is very little to change it’s just ‘tweaks’. This is what I passed on to them :

Good: Welcome tea tray and provision of kitchen pack.

Things to change: The lighting in the living room. Either lower wattage bulbs or installation of a dimmer.
Hang fridge door on left. You have to step around it or reach over the door..could result in breakage/failure.
Wardrobe in bed 1 is a bit wobbly it needs either moving or packing under one (or more) corners to make it more stable. They could also attach it to the wall (via a strap) to prevent it being pulled over.

Would be nice to haves: A bedside lamp or at least a switch near the bed to turn the light on/off.
One bin provided .. Would be good to know if contents will be sorted for recycling or provide recycling bins with details of what could be recycled. Most people do this these days and would continue to do so.
The freesat remote controls the TV if not pointing it exactly at the box. Is it possible to change the frequency to prevent it doing it? (they were aware of this)
In the welcome folder – add details of where you can buy basic provisions. Where is the nearest shop ?
Wifi-See above - Most people would expect WiFi to be included as standard. Alternately promote it as a place where you can ‘Look Up’.

Aqueduct cottage, goytre wharf, soosie wales,

Aqueduct Cottage

If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet and good cozy weekend take a look at Goytre Wharf . 

I have written this post to share my thoughts about the Wharf and the cottage. I was not asked by anyone to write it.
All pictures and words are my own and cannot be reproduced without permission. 

Week 26 #Project365 – 2014

We had quite a busy week. We decided we would have a few short trips out.

Sunday – I had a go  at making some soft rolls, not quite like the ones over at ‘Tales from the Kitchen Shed’  but they were really nice especially when stuffed with pulled pork. :)

Monday – A trip to Goytre Wharf, it’s on the Monmouthshire Brecon Canal and you can hire boats from here. We took a picnic and walked along the towpath.

Tuesday – A trip to Abergavenny. Although we’ve been many times it was the first time I noticed the big brown tourist sign and the fact that there is a castle in Abergavenny! After a walk around the town we headed to the castle and sat on a shady bench to have our lunch.

Wednesday – Hair cut for me, done by the DIL, she chopped off about 3 inches. Orange Wednesday was CHEF – fab film, one of those feel good stories. Reminds you that sometimes you have to do what’s in your heart. Also shows the power of Social Media both good and bad.

Thursday – A bit of food shopping and a quick visit to the Range as hubby broke my Kitchen Devils knife. Its just an all purpose one with serrated edge so great for almost everything. They didn’t have anything I liked but we did find a small tray for Ashley, it’s about the size of a tea plate so handy to put his bit of lunch on. AND it has cats which he loves!

Friday – a day of tidying and cleaning around. A quick visit from son to ask if we were still ok to have Ashley on Saturday. Ashley couldn’t resist having a giddy up from Gaddy.

Saturday – Couldn’t go to the park as it had been pouring down Friday night and early morning. We popped out to Halfords for some parts for Hubby’s bike. Ashley was in heaven! He ran around the shop shouting BIKE, BIKE!  We also bought a car seat for him – one of those boosters with a back.  We’ve always used the one from his mummy and daddy’s car and it’s a real faff to strap in especially in the rain!
He was a really good boy too – holding hands to walk to the shop.

 

abergavenny, goytre wharf, orange Wednesday,

 

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Week 25 #Project365 – 2014

Had a good week all told..

Sunday – Monday just pottering about tidying the house and garden. The climbing hydrangea is almost in full bloom now.

Tuesday – Noticed the Sold sign going up on a neighbour’s house. This delights me immensely. Although we’ve never had much to do with them, they think they are a cut above. #snobbybitch.

Wednesday – Our wedding anniversary – 37 years!! We lived it up by going to the cinema to see Edge of Tomorrow followed by a couple of drinks (non-alcoholic for him!) at the local ‘spoons then on to Pizza Express. Yea!! we know how to celebrate!!

The film is the new Tom Cruise one and we only went to see it as there was nothing else on offer. I’ve read mixed reviews and wasn’t sure that I’d be able to follow the story. Its a science fiction version of Groundhog Day, he has to learn how to defeat the Omega alien. It moves at a good pace and you genuinely feel the sense of hopelessness when he realises he’s going to the ‘front’.  As with most films there are plot holes and inaccuracies but you put them aside – the main one for me was that these aliens came to earth 5 years ago and they spread across Europe but hadn’t reached the UK?? Really?? these aliens could kick some serious ass..
The ending is a bit odd too, I guess you have to come to your own conclusion of how it resolves.
As with all US films though it was an American that won the war!!

Thursday – just the usual shopping and a quick visit from son and Grandson – the Winnie photo was taken by GS with my help.

Friday – Playing with Ashley in the garden – on his bike of course!  When he arrived he wanted to see the photos on my phone, so you’ll see Gaddy watching Peppa and Ashley looking at photos!! Cheeky monkey also likes to run around with my phone case as he likes to tear the velcro open and closed.. if it makes him happy…eh..
His ‘baddie’ is healing nicely – it’ll leave a scar but at least his fringe will cover it. Thank you all for your concern last week. :)

Saturday – you’ll have to wait for today’s – I’ve left my handbag at the MIL’s – GRR… I’m not making a special journey just to pick it up.

 

winnie the pooh, orange wednesday, flowers, play

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