So it's not so much as a slice but a full on American sized portion.
And there in lies the clue..... Yes, we're talking all things American. Well, I'm eating humble pumpkin pie. As whilst I was pontificating about how amazing all things European are and how there wasn't anything from New York that I wanted to buy.
I WAS WRONG.
Starting with the darned boots. Oh why didn't I buy them? Officially sold out everywhere in the UK - I've even rung Stuart Weitzman who have said that they're not going to be back in stock and no they can't tell me whether they're going to continue this colour for next season. I've even gone back to Russell & Bromley to see if half a size smaller or half a size larger would work. And for that much money, even I have to admit the answer is no.
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced these are going to be the big thing for Autumn. Just to torture myself, this is what I missed out on.
Lowland in Loden from Stuart Weitzman £595 (I would swear that these previously were £695 or £685 online.... I honestly honestly am convinced they were. They still are the higher price at Selfridges. Can anyone else remember?) Look at the sizes in stock. Nearly all of them, except the 40. It's almost as if someone is telling me something.....
So a couple of other regrets. And this is a left fielder here. Coach bags. I have always been such a snob when it comes to Coach (as you can see - gorging on the humble pie.....). In my defence, it's not just me. However at the airport (I'm not going to lie - I didn't even bother looking at a Coach store in the US as I just thought, meh,) with there being all of 4 Duty Free shops to look at, I meandered through Coach to waste some time.
Well. I was slightly taken aback. The bags were nothing like the Coach bags I remember of old. They're nothing even like the Coach bags from a couple of years ago when they started gaining more prominence in the UK but were adorned with rather large gold "Coach statements". These bags were gorgeous. But it was late, I had done zero research and they were still Coach bags in my exhausted head.
But.... I've done lots of thinking. I have now done lots of research and I think I may have found a new favourite handbag. These bags are nothing like they used to be, in fact they're very reminiscent of older Mulberry bags. And maybe that's because at the beginning of last year, the designer Stuart Vevers, who is old school (when it was fabulous) Mulberry and Lowe, has joined to head up their design team.
These bags are stunning. I can also redeem myself by the fact that they're not *that* much more over here than they are in the US with the pants exchange rate and tax (I'm totally ignoring the fact I saw the one I loved in Duty Free. I have to ignore that otherwise that and my lack of Lowland boot attire may send me over the edge. Middle class problems and all that.... )
However, it's definitely something to give serious consideration to for the future.
This is the one I was fawning over (the fact that it would have gone perfectly with the boots is neither here not there. I'll just focus on the money I've saved. )
Coach Rhyder 33 Satchel in metallic £595 (actually I'm talking out of my behind. This was only $650 at the airport.......moving swiftly on)
They do sell them at John Lewis so you could always click and collect...... If only I needed a black bag (or any bag if I'm honest...)
Coast Rhyder Leather Satchel in Black £325 Smaller than above.
Have also found this satchel in an Apricot. Now these seem to be miles cheaper at this site Avenue K..... but I wonder if you'd get stung for duties??
Coach Rhyder 24 in Apricot leather £285.44 or $446 - it does say Duties included... has anyone ordered from here before?
I could happily stare at this bag all day. It is truly a thing of beauty.
Perfect for the Summer would be the cross body Dakotah bag (they added the h, not me).
Dakotah mini flap cross body 21 in whiplash leather £395
But there are loads more amazing ones on the Coach website. They also have a shop at Bicester which has sealed my need for a trip very shortly.
Also of course, the minute I got back, spied this dress from Tommy Hilfiger. Do you think this is available in the UK yet? Is it heck? I went into a Tommy store this week (rather surprised actually - anyone been in one recently?) and asked but they said this was only going to be in the larger London stores and should be in shortly. I shall be hawking online to see....
And I then, on my crusade for all things new in denim, came across these jeans which I simply adore. They're sold out now at Matches. Where are they from? Oh yes, that'll be right, an up and coming designer from.... New York. PAH! "European fashion is so far ahead of our friends across the pond" was the blathering rubbish I spouted. Apart from these......and the Coach bags... and SW boots.......
Legion Wide-leg cropped jeans from Rachel Comey £290
And all this self flagellating and remorse of loss of shopping opportunity coincides with the beginning of half term. Which = a side of guilt to go with my humble pie.
Please tell me it can't be me who only struggles with how to entertain your children all day and all evening during half term? Don't get me wrong, mine would happily sit on the XBox or their ipads and Kindles (with not a lot of reading going on can I point out...) all day. They'd happily have a pyjama day every day, especially at this time of year when it's pretty miserable outside - I'm sat here staring out of the windows at thick fog and the forecast is damp and grey with rain. Joy. They're not even teenagers but still the whining and moaning that they do when I suggest a walk, belies their tender years.
And how easy is it for me to just go with the flow and let them loll about all day. I get to do more research, write more blogs, look for more sofas (we have sofa issues) and generally enjoy not rushing around with the normal chaos of a school week. But the guilt.... OH MY LORD THE GUILT. Fine for a day, I'm not supermum so I'd even go two days... (go on then, three...) Even I draw the line at a whole week.
So when I got an email through from a company called The Maths Factor, introducing themselves and asking would I like to try their service and would I consider writing a blog on it, for the first time ever, I actually did.
As I've said before, I get approached by lots and lots of very different companies with very different offerings but as a) I am keen to keep the blog as much as about the fashion related journey into my 40's straddling that line between mutton and frump as possible and b) I am inherently lazy and wouldn't know where to start writing about most other things which have zero interest to me (and therefore I assume you), I've always ignored them.
But something this time, that gives me the opportunity to spend more time writing whilst my children are doing something educational - well, I'm all over that. Not to mention not wasting money buying useless extra games for their ipads, spending money on DVDs and just generally throwing money at the issue of their boredom (I am sure people are a hell of a lot more creative than me when it comes to entertaining their children - I'm great for a morning and then I won't lie, I lose the will to live)
The Maths Factor essentially does what it says on the tin. It's a site aimed at helping young children develop a love for maths. Developed by Carol Vorderman, it teaches maths interactively (with tuition from Carol - I'll be back to that) following the National Curriculum.
They have offered me (and therefore you....) the first month for just £1 and I'm also going to see if they will consider doing some sort of offer going forward if I (we...) like it. And, and and and if you don't like it, you can get a full refund. Even of your £1. Within 30 days of subscribing, they will offer you a no quibbles, money back guarantee.
If you do like it though, it's £9.99 a month which if, after the first month for £1 (and they've actually worked on it), I can see an improvement in their maths, then that seems pretty reasonable to me. You can also cancel at any time.
I'm going in. I've signed up the 8 yr old (who, with Aspergers absolutely loves numbers despite having an unconventional way of going about it) and am waiting to hear back from their Customer Support team as to how I can also sign up the 6 yr old for his £1 month too.) who happily spent an hour on it yesterday, making his own avatar, winning marbles (you'll see) and working his way towards being able to print off a certificate.
The reason I agreed to give this a go is that I can't see there is a down side. For £1, I'm thinking if they each do at least half an hour a day, maybe I can get them to do half an hour in the morning and another in the evening, then knock yourself out on the XBox. Much less guilt at staying in for a couple of days, the kids are happy lolling about in their onesies. It's so scarily expensive to take children out these days (especially when it's rubbish weather and you're not an an outdoorsey family like we most certainly are not) that this is an excellent way to save money. And I figure anything that means a few extra pennies into the handbag fund (snort) can only be a good thing.
My main thinking is that if you can't get them off the electronic devices, at least have them doing something useful on it.
According to the literature I've been sent, they can get really good at Maths. More than 3/4 of people using the site say that both they and their children's teachers have seen a significant improvement in their numerical confidence.
I've had a quick look through and the thing I love was the visual explanation of the maths from Carol. It really does follow the way they teach it at school which frankly, as a numerical cretin, I struggle to explain, being the age of a dinosaur. Apparently if you just shout the explanation louder and slower a la Brit abroad trying to speak French, they still don't understand. Go figure.
We're going to give it a go and report back towards the end of the week (I'll do it before the 20th Feb, as that's the last day to sign up for your month for £1). Also very tempted by the webinar Carol is hosting herself at 4.30pm this Friday.... You get an intro to the site from Carol herself and can ask any questions you have. (I know it's supposed to be Maths related so I'm guessing she's not going to answer anything about the fab dresses she always wears?......) If you're interested in having a chat with Carol, details will be sent to you when you subscribe.
In the meantime, I'm off to do another super on trend blog that some of us will be embracing and some of us will be guffawing at. And no, it's not dungarees... yet.....
Finishing with the outfit from yesterday. Rugby. But on Astro *fist pump* as it means no mud, no massive long walk from the car park (yes I am that lazy), excellent coffee from the Bojangles van and not the hot cup of yuck they sell at the rugby club and no hanging about afterwards surrounded by small filthy boys on ipads (although not now they can do the Maths Factor - yes I'm thinking you can do it on an ipad too... am checking this out and will let you know).
The 6 yr old though has decided he wants to give up rugby as he has an old style rugby top (ie his brother's) and not the new one. This is a demon of my own making, isn't it?