A slice of humble pie and something else to ease the guilt

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....


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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?  


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Champagne Off duty Jumper - Boden
Khaki skinny jeans - By Malene Birger
Patchwork fur jacket - Topshop
Black oversized scarf - Mint Velvet
Pom pom hat - Amelia Jane
Quilted bag - Zara
Caitlyn boots - Seven Boot Lane

So I hope you don't mind the little off piste end to the blog, I am sat here next to the 6yr old (who I logged on in the end using a different email address as he was desperate to get started - I know, I know, it can't last...) who is shouting at the screen, THIS IS EASY... errr come on Carol, you need to up your game..!  Actually I've just worked out, I can go in and alter the level of the course and module he's on through the parental controls to make it challenging enough for his age group, so bad luck 6yr old - not going to be EASY from now on.  Carol, you're off the hook!


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CONVERSATION

33 comentarios:

  1. Snap!!..you have perfectly described the start to my half-term too. The only time mine speak is to request food. Carol Vorderman, whilst not my sartorial icon, can do no wrong in my eyes when it come to maths/literacy homework...she has been my saviour on many a tear filled/tantrum homework session!

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    1. I genuinely didn't expect to be as impressed with the product as I have been. She's truly truly amazing. And NO GUILT HERE!

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  2. I have found the lowlands in a size 40!!! please respond to this message and i will tell you where, i dont want to print in case someone gets there before you do!!!
    am so thrilled, please please respond!!!

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    1. OOOH only just seen this. Can you email me if you get a mo on doesmybumlook40@gmail.com thank you so so much xxxx (although I have sort of got my head round not having them now and should maybe hang out to see what they come up with for A/W.......... Fickle, moi? God yes!) xxxxx

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    2. Ok just sent you the link...if it doesnt arrive please tell me...cant believe they were still there...I get such a thrill out of sourcing things for people, saddo that I am....!x

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  3. Changed your mind about Coach??!!! I have but two words for you ... Henri Bendel!
    You didn't even look, did you ?!!! xx

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    1. *hangs head in shame* and whispers... no....... I KNOW I KNOW

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  4. Ooooohhh.... keep up posted re Anonymous's comment....! Do you really think OKN boots are going to be big this Autumn? I fancy some but is it too late in the season..? You have me in a quandary now!
    Not loving the Coach bags so much Kat. Don't feel badly - there are so many lovely bags out there!

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    1. Yes I do. But lots of things are going to be big news so we're probably back to anything goes. I think the bags are amazing!!

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  5. Oh I love the Coach Rhyder bags, I'll have to take a look when I'm in NY in a few weeks as I'm after a 'special' bag!

    I like the sound of the maths programme but I'll have to take a look first as I have a 6yo with SEN & maths is truly not his strong point, bless him! X

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    1. They are honestly amazing. Do have a look at The Maths Factor - you can start at a level to suit him and it does go at a pace to suit you -if you want to jump ahead you can but there is lots of repetition if you like so it goes in. And her teaching style is very accommodating too. I'd give it a go - it's fun for them too, my boys have both loved it. xxx

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  6. I've always liked Coach bags, the simpler black or tan leather bags, not so much the logo designs. I can vouch for their quality as I have two from 2006 which still look like new, I have quite a collection now! Most bought in the US. Shame they are not as good value for money now as they were in 2006!

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    1. They're still not bad value though compared to others on the market I don't think. The quality is amazing and the logos have gone back to being quite subtle. I love the fact they're like old school mulberry and unlike everything else on the market at the moment. x

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  7. I have been trying to find some khaki skinny jeans as I have always liked yours have you saw any don't really want rips and the only ones I can find are the Topshop Jamie. Many thanks

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    1. Have a look at the River Island Molly. Had them on a blog the other day with Genes in the title. Pic of me in them. xx

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  8. Not loving the Coach bags at all, but I fully support the OTK boots! They're on the runways for A/W 2015, so it is hard to go wrong.

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    1. Oh I LOVE the Coach bags - I don't think they look like Coach bags at all! (only the new ones mind you ... there are still some howlers for sure) x

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  9. Sorry not loving Coach bags never have, Mulberry fan but do prefer ones from previous years when Emma Hill was designer sadly now loosing their way.

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    1. Oh god don't talk me about Mulberry now. Haven't liked them for years. I think these new Coach bags are very reminiscent of old school Mulberry....

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  10. Hi, I have bought a dress from avenue K for a wedding last year and their were no extra charges, in fact it was a delight to buy from them. I even got a hand written note as the delivery took a few days longer than expected, but they were easy to contact and there was tracking on their order.

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    1. OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH that's amazing news....... Right, well this puts a different spin of things. Thank you!!!

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  11. I've found the boots too Kat so if you need further help, shout in my direction and I'll give you the info too!

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    1. Are they Selfridges? I'm really not sure I want to spend the extra £100!!!!! But thank you thank you thank you xxxxx (I fear I may now have spent the money mentally on all things Summer! One day of sunshine and I'm a magpie for all things warm. Woeful. Truly woeful)

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  12. H&M have done a version of those wide legged jeans. Just saying..... PS they come up small.

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    1. Just gone to order them and they don't have a 12 in stock anymore. SOB GAH! Will try and get to an H%M today... thank you xxxx

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  13. Sorry but smug Carol V winds me up to the nth degree and I really won't EVER watch anything with her on it. Or that one who's initials are MK.
    However I'm happy to learn of any other maths apps.

    BUT! Am loving your fashion blogging.

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    1. Oh NOOOOOOOOOOO! I have to say I've been super impressed with her approach in the teaching videos - my kids aren't bothered by her at all and she's exceptionally easy for them to understand. Make them wear headphones and go and have a coffee on your own in peace! xx (and thank you - thanks to Carol I do have extra time to blog this week!!) xxx

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    2. hmm headphones maybe!! ...... but she'd still be In my house though!! :)

      Lu xx

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  14. Love your honesty about school holidays (and your fashion tips obviously). Had to put a restriction on the wifi to ease my guilt over Teen Wolf's usage!

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    1. Oh god they're hard! I love having them around but the guilt at them turning into techno vegetables is enormous! Most of must be in the same boat, surely?

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  15. Hi Kat, this is the link for a very similar wide leg cropped pair of jeans from h and m: http://tablet.hm.com/gb/product/88066?article=88066-A
    Btw really enjoy reading your blog - your writing style is just brilliant, and so funny too :)

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    1. Thank you SO much for the link - they've sold out in my size. I'm going to console myself with the fact I'd look like a cheese in them. And hope you continue to enjoy the blog, thank you so so much, makes it all worthwhile. xxx

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