I feel your pain!! This isn't the kind of shopping I enjoy if I'm honest. It was a little easier when they were young in my opinion to just collect it all together by easy age related sizing, chuck it in supermarket trolley, job done. Shoes were always tricky to try on and get the right size. I started off at Clarks having their feet properly measured and that's it you are drawn into the magic feet measuring machine, never to trust your own instincts ever again or trust the kids to tell you whether their shoes fit or not. The machine is always right!. It was also a lot cheaper when they were smaller too. The prices inflate with every growth spurt and it hurts my purse.
I feel it screaming a squeezing out the last coins like financial constipation. My lads are big huge teenagers now, one at college so he can wear his 'normal' clothes as I call them. My youngest is now in the last year of secondary and I'm in that position of being a bit stingy and making it all last as long as possible. I stopped buying completely new stuff every September because it seemed a bit daft. There is that notion that with a new start to a new school year our kids need to be pristine and in all new clothes, even underwear and socks. Personally if it still fits it's still being worn until it's restricting any breathing or shoes are causing major accidents.
I'm only kidding, I have always made sure my kids are wearing the right uniform and look smart. I like school uniform, there's no fuss about everyone keeping up with fashion, it's uniform - all the same. Some of it is a bit pricey though especially when it comes to jumpers with motifs, I've had to take in the odd sharp breath and nearly hyperventilated when I've paid at the till of some super duper proper school uniform shop.
I am on the look out for mens trousers and shirts now though, Asda only go up to 17-18 years in trousers and they don't fit. I'm thinking are they small or have they shrank in the dryer? Oh heck it's a mine field isn't it? We need it to be convenient like everything else. Non iron, tumble dry friendly and enough to keep one going all week. We want wear, wash, dry with a super fast turnaround. Don't even get me started on P.E kit as well. I must have bought dozens of pairs of football boots to be only worn two or three times. I never bred natural playing footballers so they don't get used any other time. I'm hoping this will be my last splurge in the uniform department now, end of an era.
It is stressful, the shops run out of sizes, kids have to go along shopping when they would rather be at home. There's shouting and moaning, grunts from the teenagers but when it's all over, they go to school on the first day and us as parents feel we have won an Oscar or been awarded a lifetime achievement award. Sit down have a brew and congratulate oneself - you made it. What about pens and pencils, rulers, pencils cases, compass and protractor? did you get those as well? Arrrrrrrrrrghhhhh it's never ending. I may just miss the rush and do it when everyone else has done their own. A bit like doing Christmas shopping in the new year. I like to be different and never have liked following the masses, well not as I've got older.
So good luck to all those conquering the shops, malls and the sensible ones who manage everything online. Good luck to retail staff who will be asked numerous times - have you got any more of these in stock? The ones who will have to run up and down stairs just to keep the good British public happy and school kids content. You will get through it and it will be all worth it as we all indulge in that massive Facebook 'first day at school' post. So proud!!!
Thanks for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for my Verse for Thursday. Take care for now.......
I've been knitting a lot lately as I have been taking part in The Big Derby Knit which I wrote a post about here knitting-for-charity.html back in June. There will be a new project coming soon which I will write about but I decided to divert a little and have a little go at crochet. I'm a total beginner so only trying little projects to learn new stitches, well mainly dropping them and getting tied up in knots at present but I'm persevering. My nan was a big crocheter and it must be in the blood as I do actually enjoy it. Can't believe how patient I am being, normally fiddly things end up across the otherwise of the room after travelling 100mph because I've fell out with it, never to repeat the process ever again but I'm quite relaxed and haven't chucked it anywhere yet.
I had a couple of traditional hooks which in fact were my nan's and got on with them fine but then I saw these colourful beauties and wondered whether they would be easier to use with the rubber handles. Well I love them, they are really comfortable to use and the hooks seem to go where I want them to. You can get a good grip with these handles so nothing slips away and no dropping or snagging stitches. I thought they would be too bulky and the hook wouldn't move through the work easily but they do and I can say I do prefer then to the traditional kind. I believe they are very comfy for those with Arthritis and conditions such as Carpul Tunnel Syndrome because of the grip as it relieves the stress made on the joints and wrists, making crochet accessible to more people.
I also bought a crochet magazine to see if there were any top tips but also I got distracted by the free gift, as you do. It had a free Tunisian crochet hook which on one end looked like a conventional crochet hook and then the length and other end resembled a knitting needle.
Well I thought 'what does one do with that then?' It intrigued me so much I tried following the instructions in the magazine but threw that across the room, yes that did go for a ride and I ended up on You Tube. I just find following someone in a real life demonstration is easier as you can keep rewinding until you get it right.
So I learnt the first Tunisian basic stitch as pictured and it's going well. I really like it. You go from left to right in a crochet fashion working stitches off and then work back right to left in a crocket/knit combo popping them all back on. I thought the needle would be horrendous and too big, in fact I made a clear space across my living room just in case that's where it was going to end up, obviously without piercing any human being, health and safety and all. I really love it though and think I may just learn a bit more. Had never heard of it before and to be honest haven't seen many people doing it. When I improve I may pop some video on a post so you can see how good it is. Let me get really good though first.
I you fancy the coloured crochet hooks I purchased them from Amazon they are priced at £7.99 for 11 hooks and they include sizes 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 7mm, and 8mm. Will put a link (affiliated) at the end of this post which includes all the details. I will also include a link for the Tunisian Hooks too. As I said previously there will be a new Big Derby Knit project coming soon so watch this space.
For now thanks for reading and join me tomorrow for a Verse for Thursday. Take care for now..... Here are your product links......
The new gadget in my life and after a week of owning it it's kicked me into a fitness frenzy. I love it! The best thing ever. I know......I wrote about the tracker before on january-13th-2017.html and at that time I had a voucher offer on a slightly cheaper model of fitness tracker. It was ok but there is quite difference between that one and the Fitbit. I suppose you get what you pay for really, the Fitbit just has a lot more to play around with and it is way more accurate.
Not 100% accurate and this was my major issue with these things. I could never understand why something on your wrist was measuring how many steps you were taking. This model of Fitbit is not that sensitive and doesn't count too many wrist moves so I've been converted to the masses and taken the attitude that even if it's counting a few wrist moves, I'm moving in some way.
In the last week I've certainly moved a lot more than I was doing, aiming at 10.000 steps a day and so far have managed to keep going. I'm having my heart rate measured, it tells me how many floors I've climbed, calories I'm burning, water I'm drinking and the amount of time I've exercised. Still trying to teach it to make a brew but we're not quite there yet. Its has also stopped me falling asleep on the sofa at night. I can't get an accurate sleep analysis so I have to now get myself into bed which is great as that's where I should be to sleep. I have to do so many steps between the hours of 9am and 5pm and if I've not reached 250 by the end of the hour it shouts at me, well vibrates and tells me how many I have to do to complete my task (if I should choose to accept it). No this isn't mission impossible it is possible and good fun. I find myself running frantically around the living room to keep it happy.
If I've not quite reached my target for the day even after hiking around the whole of Derbyshire I have resulted to bringing the Wii balance board and Wii Fit out of retirement. Here I can just top my steps up by doing the step class with those funny wii mii people, also good for a rainy day. The other solution I have found to rainy day walking is the Leslie Sansone videos on You Tube. You can walk a mile in your home with her so solves the problem if you can't get out. She seems like a nice lady and walks on the spot a lot which gets your steps done so all good. Personally I can finish my steps with the amount of housework and general mum stuff I do.
The app for the Fitbit is really good and did leave me in a bit of a pickle as how to log my food. I did think about logging it directly onto the app but to be honest it doesn't recognise some foods, the other alternative was to use My Fitness Pal which is good for counting the calories, I've used this before but just find the calorie thing a bit of a faff. I even thought about bailing out of Slimming World and going over to Weight Watchers because they had a fancy app and you could link it with the Fitbit. I decided not to do that though and have stuck with Slimming World. I was a bit fed up with it all but I think now I've increased my fitness, I've started to get back on track now. I've stayed under my 15 syns for a couple of days I'm feeling more positive and ready to push for my next stone award. It's quite easy and normal to become a bit disheartened with any diet, I've maintained my weight quite well but only because I've always carried on logging my food and besides I do like Slimming World, it works for me.
So there you are I eat my words and take back all I've said about these little devices. The thing is whether the information is bang on 100% accurate or not it's getting me moving and giving me targets and awards to win. I can interact socially with friends and we can challenge each other which is great motivation. I'll keep you posted on how it's all going or if it ends up in a drawer but I think not. I'm determined to get fit and I love walking. I drag my son along with me on my walks and he's looking very trim and getting fit too so it could be a new 'us' as a family.
I purchased my Fitbit Charge 2 from Amazon and below is the link (affiliated). I can definitely recommend it. It is a lot to pay but it is good quality and you can get a lot of use from it. If it improves your health and helps you lose weight then it's a small price to pay really. There are different straps and you can change them easily. I also purchased some screen protectors and I'm glad I did as whilst doing some gardening it did keep the screen safe and clean so it's worth ordering them. I'll include a link for those as well below.
Thank you so much for reading and let me know if you have a Fitbit and what you think. Ask me anything about this one and I'll try and help, just leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.
Join me tomorrow for my Verse for Thursday but for now take care........
I know what your thinking......did I really need another new bag? No probably not but there was a sale on the Cath Kidston website and she lured with in with almost 50% off.
I'm a sucker for a new bag and for those who know me well reviewing another bag will not come as any big surprise. If I go out shopping I always have to include a bag shop of some kind. It's like a radar, I'm drawn towards them in a hypnotic state. I'm sure I've taken part in a secret hypnosis act in a former life and they have programmed me to hunt down and buy loads of handbags. That's my theory anyway, some may say it is just your obsession Sue form the Brew. Well ok we all need one, as long as it's not unhealthy and under control, that's fine.
So a pretty little backpack this time. I own a couple of Cath Kidston bags and they are all different. This one is really roomy, it fits an A4 folder in and you can get a 13-15" laptop in as well so plenty of room. The actual measurements are 35cm x 32cm x 12cm and it has two zipped pockets at the front, two pockets on either side with a magnetic fastening and a zipped pocket inside. There are also two more open pockets for maybe popping a phone in or similar items. It has grab handles at the top and obviously the straps for wearing it on your back. It is nice and comfortable to wear as it is made of 100% cotton.
I love it and it will get used quite a bit when I'm out and about. My only concern as I seem to have with every bag I buy is that it is soft fabric and not sure how well it would perform in the rain, but I guess the answer is not to stand out in the rain too much with it. Quite impossible at the moment in the UK, our summer has disappeared slightly. August is proving to be a wash out so far, typical when it's the school holidays. There will definitely be a heatwave in September when the kids go back to school.
Here is the link to this bag. It was in the sale reduced from £40.00 to £25.00 so a bargain to be had.
Thank you for reading and if you have bought a new bag please share your thoughts and experiences, I have to fill my obsession in some way. Think of it as therapy for me.
Take care for now but don't forget to join me tomorrow for my Verse for Thursday.
These are the only high heeled shoes I own, I had to rummage around the back of my wardrobe to find them, yes that's how often I wear them. I purchased them from George at Asda well over ten years ago. I think you're getting a general idea that shoes are not high on my agenda especially those that require me to suffer vertigo while wearing them.
So why would anyone stipulate that they should work in them? This issue was debated on the radio today and did get me a bit hot under the collar at first. Yes there are professions that require a lady to look very smart but is there a rule on how high her heels should be? When I was little girl I used to look at photos of female flight attendants and think they looked amazing and wanted to be one at one stage. I probably looked at the heels and thought better of it. Personally I don't know how they cope with heels on in that job, you need your comfy shoes on when pushing that trolley up and down the aisle. They probably look awesome in first class but not something I've witnessed myself.
Some women do find them really comfortable and prefer to wear them so I suppose it depends on the individual. You see when I hear a debate I automatically think from my own point of view and then I remember that just because I don't like high heels it doesn't mean that everyone else is the same. One of my bad habits I'm afraid. Just don't accept the job then if you don't want to wear heels. Though I just can't help thinking that this is all a bit old fashioned, isn't there a more important issue? Like, can this person do the job? Surely the candidate or employees experience and work ethics are more important than what size heels they are wearing.
Someone actually said it was feminist dribble and they should just get on and wear them, but it isn't that really. For me it's about being comfortable and by the look of some killer heels, they wouldn't pass a risk assessment in some work places. Then there is the debate about men, well if you feel inclined I'm not one to object, NO! Not about them wearing heels but about the rules on wearing a tie, I suppose they could feel the same way. My view is that men can look just as smart without a tie. In summer it's is a definite no no, it's just cruel.
I agree with a dress code for work. I don't have a problem with employers stating what they require as to uniform though I'm not sure I could wear the promotional pizza box on the street, I think I favour ten inch heels over that. There are limits to how much you can demand, there are some nice flat shoes now or some with a small heel which look smart enough. It's about comfort especially if you are on your feet for most of the day. I have looked at high heels and longed to be able to wear them but I just know my heels would end up over my head, still attached to my feet because I've lost my balance big time. You know what comes next in the workplace after a fall on high heels - where there's blame there's a claim! So I would think twice about the heels and have a slipper friendly work place. What??It could work.
Right, I'm off to pop my pair of heels back into the wardrobe, any further to the back and they would reach Narnia where I live in the hope they would get eaten by Aslan the lion. Flats rule!!! Thank you for reading and join me again tomorrow for a Verse for Thursday.
Take for now......
What to Buy Wednesday
From May 2020 I will be writing a poem about something I may have purchased or would like to purchase.