Fashion and Shoes

Fashion and Shoes

Autumn is definitely on the way. Blackberries and apples are appearing in abundance. Mornings are starting to feel chilly and are much darker. Fortunately the afternoons are still have some sunshine and there is plenty of opportunity to go exploring. I like to make the most of these last days of warmth before wind and rain becomes the norm.

Recently I was challenged by JD Williams style a pair of their womens boots.  The idea was to show they could be worn on warmer days as well as in the winter. They sent me a pair of boots from their range so I could take part in the challenge. I chose a pair of Heavenly Soles buckle ankle boots. They have flat soles which are good for grip as well as decorative detailing and an ankle strap. Even better they come in wide fittings which is great for my broad feet.

Stepping out for Autumn with new boots

This weekend I put my outfit together and wore it while hunting for the Great North Snow Dogs. The Great North Snow Dogs are artworks inspired by the film The Snowman and the Snow Dog. 61 large sculptures of the dogs have been placed around the North East on an interactive trail and they will be around until the 29th November. The aim is to raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice and I am trying to find as many as I can. We found one at the Angel of the North – The Dog on the Tyne. This captures landmarks along the Great North Run similar to the flight of the snowman and the snow dog across London in the film.

Beside the Dog on the Tyne with JD Williams boots

So what does my outfit consist of? I teamed up the ankle boots with a pair of grey trousers which are from H&M. These are smart but comfy and ideal to wear whilst tracking down snow dogs. I teamed this with a sparkly black vest top which I have had for a couple of years and a cardigan from Joe Browns. I think the outfit worked together well and it was perfect for a warmish afternoon.

Dog on the Tyne snowdog

I loved the backdrop of the Angel of the North behind the snow dog, it was the perfect place for him. The Angel of the North is an iconic artwork that has been in place since 1998. It stands 20 metres tall and dominates the skyline in Gateshead. Seeing it on the horizon you know you are entering the North East.

Angel of the North

Angel of the North

Boots for Autumn

This summer I have been wearing my Hotter Shoes most of the time. They are flat shoes which are  perfect for the warmer weather. Now the weather is getting colder these boots from JD Williams will perfect. They are really comfy and will be practical to wear when it is snowy too. They are the ideal boots for Autumn.

Are you wearing boots yet or trying to hang on in summer shoes as long as possible? What do you think of my outfit? Let me know below.


I am firmly of the opinion a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes. After all you need a style for every occasion. You may get invited to a do which requires a pair of smart heels or just need a comfy pair of flats for everyday use.   I have been a big fan of Hotter Shoes since I tried a pair last year.  Not only  are Hotter Shoes really comfortable, they also helped me rescue a hedgehog. The shoes have also lasted well and are the most comfy pair I own. Recently I was invited to a blogging event at the Hotter Shoes store in Newcastle to learn more about Hotter Shoes and was excited to go along. I hadn’t realised there was a Hotter Shoes store in Newcastle. I must have walked past the entrance to it in Eldon Square loads of times without realising. I will not be walking past again.

Hotter Shoes Range

It was lovely meeting up with some other bloggers, some I knew and some I met for the first time. We had the shop to ourselves and some drinks and nibbles were provided. It gave us a good chance to have a look at the range of shoes that Hotter Shoes make. A number of pairs caught my eye, these Hattie wedges with leather uppers and little flowers have a lovely summery feel to them. The peep toe and cork wedge is bang on trend and they would look stylish with most outfits.

Hotter Shoes - Hattie

I also loved these Donna heels which came in a range of colours. These would look smart with skinny jeans or a dress and had a Cinderella feel about them. The heels are a nice size as well, they are not too high or too skinny. I don’t wear heels often but these were really comfortable. I could easily wear these all day without getting sore feet.

Hotter Shoes - Donna hels

I tend to wear flat shoes most often as they are practical. I do a lot of walking most days, taking the dog out for long walks as well as popping to the shops or going on walking tours. I also find it much easier to drive in flat shoes. Hotter Shoes have a wide selection of flat shoes that look stylish. I loved these Mexico Shoes with their lovely pastel colours and design. They were beautifully soft as well, it almost felt as if they were not there.

Hotter Shoes - Mexico

These Peony shoes also caught my eye, with its floral embellishments it looks really feminine and stylish. I hadn’t realised that Hotter shoes also did handbags. Most of these matched the shoes and Peony shoes and handbag would look stunning together.


As well as looking stylish each pair of Hotter Shoes comes with hidden comfort features. The shoes are designed to be light weight and a sole filled with air bubbles helps with this, as well as giving you the feeling of walking on air. Other design features are the memorise insoles which are made of foam to be comfortable for your feet. The seams of the shoes are designed to be flat so they don’t rub. All these features make the shoes easy to wear all day. I hadn’t realised Hotter Shoes also sell Gore Tex Shoes, a weather proof collection which is perfect for rambling or walking long distances. The comfort technology would certainly help if you have a long distance to travel on foot.

Choosing a pair of Hotter Shoes

You can imagine the excitement as a group of lady bloggers were given the chance to try on Hotter shoes and select a style that was best for them. It was an incredibly difficult decision to make as there were so many lovely pairs. Luckily the staff were very helpful and knowledgeable and worked hard making sure we picked the perfect pair. When trying on the shoes I noticed how well the shop was designed. The chairs are comfortable and the right height for trying shoes on. There are mirrors discretely positioned so you can see how the shoes look and at no time did we feel rushed. When trying on the shoes I really appreciated that the shoes come in half sizes and extra wide fittings. Having wide feet I usually have problems getting shoes to fit, but with Hotter Shoes this was not the case. I finally chose this pair of Natasha shoes. What do you think of my choice? I am really pleased with them, they are so comfortable to wear and look smart as well.

Hotter Shoes - Natasha


Ten things you didn’t know about Hotter Shoes

  1. Hotter Shoes started in 1959, as a slipper company. In the 1990’s they took everything they learnt about making comfortable slippers and applied it to making shoes.
  2. Hotter are passionate about their shoes and make sure all their staff are experts so you get the perfect fit.
  3. Hotter Shoes are a British Company and most of their shoes are made at their factory in Lancashire.
  4. The new collections of Hotter Shoes are influenced by seasonal trends. They are stylish and you will find colours to match anything you buy on the High Street.
  5. All Hotter Shoes contain hidden comfort features to make the shoes as comfortable as possible. These include soles containing millions of air bubbles to make them light, slow release foam in the memorise insoles, wiggle room for your toes and smooth and flat seams to prevent rubbing.
  6. British lasts are used to create the shoe shapes for Hotter Shoes. These are created using measurements from British feet which can be wider than those on the continent. This helps to ensure a perfect fit.
  7. There are over 80 Hotter stores throughout the UK which have a smart comfy setting to allow you to try on shoes easily. You can also order on-line.
  8. Hotter shoes have a range of wide fit shoes as well as half sizes.
  9. As well as shoes Hotter also do a range of accessories, handbags, purses and scarves. The handbags are cleverly designed to match their shoes.
  10. As well as a range of shoes for women Hotter Shoes also do a range of shoes for men.

Hotter Shoes Discount Code

I have a discount code to share with you which will give you £10 off your Hotter Shoes order plus free delivery  for the first order only. Just use the code:  PPATEN at the checkout.

Hotter Shoes Discount code


You are entitled to £10 off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products and accessories) plus FREE delivery. Minimum order value £25. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers. Expires 30/6/16


Have you ever worn Hotter Shoes? What was your experience, let me know below.



If there is one thing that you need in your work wardrobe it is a professional looking but functional work handbag. Recently I got a new work handbag. It can be hard picking the perfect work bag. When you go to work everyday you need to carry much more with you. You may have to transport documents home or carry a packed lunch. You may need take gadgets of some sort with you, a phone, tablet or laptop. As well as being able to carry everything you need the bag needs to be appropriate for different occasions. You may need to travel to meetings, network at a restaurant or just tackle public transport on the way home. Getting a bag that will go everywhere with you and that reflects your style can be hard. My choice was a satchel bag from House of Fraser. The Fiorelli Deacon medium black flap over tote bag ticked a number of boxes for me, it looks smart and is roomy with plenty of pouches inside for organisation.


Fiorelli Deacon medium black flap over tote bag

I think I made a good choice and this bag is already proving great for carrying everything I need for work backwards and forward. If you are thinking of getting a new bag for work, I put together a list of five tips for choosing the perfect work handbag to help you out.

Five tips for choosing the perfect work handbag

How will the bag be used

Think about the activities you do during a normal working day. Do you need to travel during the day and if so do you use public transport or a car? Do you need to attend lots of meetings or will the bag just be sat on a desk at work. How much do you need to carry with you? Do you need somewhere secure for your gadgets or just enough room for your purse. It is worth investing in a leather bag as these are more durable and look smart.

How will you carry the bag

If you are carrying a heavy bag backwards and forwards every day it needs to be comfortable. Think about the straps. If you are on public transport a lot you may prefer a shoulder strap you can place across your body. You may want to have two straps so you can carry the bag in your hand or over your shoulder. You may wish to try a few different styles until you find a strap that will feel comfortable for a long distance.

What do you need to organise

What do you need to carry with you on a daily basis. Will your bag need to hold  documents or carry gadgets discretely. Do you need a safe place to keep your keys and phone so you can get to them easily. I like a bag that contains lots of compartment which are secure. It is much easier to be organised when you know which section of your bag to look in to find something.


What size bag do you need

Do you need a large bag or a small bag? If you carry A4 documents on a regular basis will they fit in the bag? Do you need the bag to have structure so documents don’t get crushed or is it fine if the bag is slouchy. Think about what you carry to work every day and this should give you an indication of how large your bag needs to be.

Think  about the colour

You will be using the bag every day so think about the outfits you will wear it with. Do you want a bag that makes a colour statement to add some expression to your working outfit? Red or burgundy can be a good choice, as long as it does not clash with your normal working outfit. For a more classic look that will work with everything then black or tan are good choices of colour.



If you are looking for a bag for a special occasion you might want to read my tips for choosing the perfect handbag. What do you look for in a work handbag? Do you have any other tips you can add to my five tips for choosing the perfect work handbag? Do let me know below.


Adding jewellery to an outfit is a simple way to lift it out of the ordinary and make a statement about who you are. Everyone has different tastes in the type of jewellery pieces they like. Some people like chunky and bold, others prefer simple and elegant. I like jewellery that is unusual and different. If it has a dragon in it somewhere then all the better. I have lots of different pieces of jewellery, most of them have memories attached to them. Some I inherited from my grandparents and when I wear them I recall time spent at their house as a child. Others I received as gifts, some from my parents from their travels round the world and others I bought myself. My most treasured pieces have to be my wedding ring and my engagement ring, which brings back memories of my husband proposing. I am always on the lookout for other unusual pieces and recently I came across stunning jewellery from Glamulet.

Glamulet sell personalised jewellery including necklaces, beads, bracelets, rings and chains. Glamulet believe that every woman should have access to a range of beautiful and elegant jewellery at an affordable price. If you fancy a charm bracelet they have a lovely range of charms which fit most type of bracelets. The prices are affordable and they would make a lovely gift. I love the idea of having a bracelet where you can add different charms to remember special occasions. It is also nice to have something unique that no one else has. Recently I was sent a necklace from Glamulet to try, the enchant flower key pendant. It is a stunning silver pendant, shaped like a key. In the centre is a gemstone and the key is set with sparkling crystals.


The key is quite large but not too heavy. It is a lovely and unusual piece and something I definitely would give as a gift. The charm is stunning and the necklace itself is well packaged with a little pouch inside the box as well as a polishing cloth for keeping it sparkling. I love the colour of the gemstone, the sparkly blue makes me think of summer skies and sea.

The feature I really like is on the chain, it is adjustable allowing you to wear the necklace at two different lengths. This allows you to get the necklace in the right place for the top you are wearing. Sometimes chains can be too long and the necklace cannot be seen. This is a great feature which makes it easy to wear the necklace with more outfits.


I am really pleased with the necklace and have worn it on many different occasions. It is really eye catching and when I wear it I feel a bit mysterious, as though I am carrying a secret key that will unlock something special. The only way to keep it safe is to keep it round my neck. It makes me feel a bit like a mysterious spy. Jewellery should make you feel special and Glamulet have the magic touch to make you feel this.

If you fancy treating yourself to a necklace or bracelet from Glamulet, I have a special promotional code you can use. Just use the code: dragonsand15
at the checkout at Glamulet to get a 15% discount on your order


My son has just turned 15. I can’t believe how quickly time has passed, it only seems like yesterday he was a tiny baby. Turning into a teenager means that now I rarely see him. He spends ages in his room on line talking to his friends using video calling on his tablet. Things have moved on since I was a teenager. In those days we had to use the phone to call our friends, mobiles did not exist. Time on the phone was limited in case the phone bill was excessive. It was considered daring to phone “Dial a disc” where you could listen to the latest chart hits at a premium rate. Along with the spending ages to chatting to friends he has now started to take an interest in his appearance. He loves clothes that make him look unique and has developed his own style. He loves looking smart and was over the moon when we went to a wedding last year and he had to wear a suit.

Recently Spreadshirt, a firm that specialises in personalised clothing, got in touch with me and asked if I would like to try out their service. A large range of products can be created, from t-shirts and hoodies to aprons, mugs and blankets and even bandanas for dogs. I knew my son would be really delighted to have a personalised hoodie and let him set about designing his own.
The site was really easy to use, he chose the create option which brings up the T-shirt designer. Once in here you can choose the product and the person it is for, Men, Women or Kids and Babies. You are then shown a range of different styles with the prices clearly marked. Once you have chosen the style you get to pick the colour.


The fun then begins, you can choose the design for your hoodie. You can add designs to the front, back, arms or hood. You can choose from a wide range of already available designs or choose to upload your own. Once you have chosen your design you can add writing, choosing the font and the colour or move and resize the design until you get the style you want. My son deliberated for ages, changing styles and fonts until he got just the design he wanted. As you go though the process the price the design will be at the end is clearly shown so you can stay within your price range. It would be really easy to get carried away otherwise.

SpreadshirtHis finished design has a yellow car on the front with the words, if you are not fast you’re last written around it.  This is a family saying which basically means if you stand around dithering other people will jump into the queue ahead of you. It is a saying my son loves and he will come out with it all the time.

SpreadshirtOn the back he chose to have a variation of the saying, If you’re not quick you’re thick and added a copyright symbol to show it was a unique design. Once he had created his design it was really easy to order it. All that we had to do then was wait for it to arrive.



Delivery was actually very quick, it took around a week and that was during the Christmas period so the bank holidays would have slowed things down a bit. My son is really pleased with the hoodie from Spreadshirt. It looked exactly the same as it did on the screen and the quality is good. It should last him for quite a while. He loves the fact that he has a unique personalised design that none of his friends have and has worn the hoodie a lot.

spreadshirtWould you use a service like this? What would you design if you did?

I was sent a voucher to use in order to create my hoodie but my opinions are my own.