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Saturday, 28 September 2019

Blog Tour: The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat..



Book Jacket
The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat: John Foley*

 Something a little bit different for me today; this book is mostly aimed at pre-teens. So, I had to enlist the help of 11yr old George, to help me out. Whilst G is more into books about Star Wars, dragons or historical battles as a general rule, he was prepared to assist "purely in the name of research". (And possibly because I bribed him with cookies.)

The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat is a moving, magical and charming tale exploring love, loss and happiness through the lens of a little girl and her extraordinary bear, teaching children the importance of change and how to recognise complex notions like grief.

For young Ruthie and her dog Scruffy the days are full of fun and laughter – until certain events change everything, and it seems that Ruthie will never be happy again. But fate can also be kind, and the sudden arrival of an extraordinary teddy bear begins to restore her happiness – and to save her life just in time for Christmas.

Inspired by a rather strange-looking teddy bear gifted to his wife by her 97-year-old father, so she had something to hug when he was gone, John will donate all profits from this book to charity. As the son of a neurologist who specialised in cerebral palsy, John often heard his father speak about Mencap and their invaluable work for people with a learning disability. Also, a very close friend who encouraged John to start writing, was, as a result of a deadly illness at an early age, deeply affected by a learning disability.

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What did we think? Well, this book is split up into three mini stories. When we begin, our flame-haired cover star Ruthie is a happy, smiley young girl, living in a large family house in Hampstead Heath with her parents. What follows is a gentle and heart-warming account of how these circumstances change for Ruthie, and how she comes to terms with it. 

G says: "It's not the usual kind of book I would read but I think this is a good book because it is secretly teaching kids how to handle things like death and that is really important for everyone to know about because you might have to help a friend."

This would make the perfect stocking filler for Christmas, and is available now online and also from all Mencap bookshops. 

**Disclosure** I was sent this book free of charge for review purposes, but I did make a donation to Mencap, as I believe they're a worthy cause. 

Friday, 13 September 2019

Irregular Choice: Shroomy

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Being stuck at home with a cold this week has at least given me a little more opportunity to take some photos of a few of the new arrivals. Along with Zevra, these Shroomy boots arrived this week from Lottie's Atik - my preferred Irregular Choice supplier if I'm honest, as the customer service is second to none. If you ever need fit advice, more photos or just about any query answering, Lottie and Lu are always happy to help out, so I'm more than happy to recommend them.

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So, as for the boots? Well, the main body of them is made from a gold quilted effect PU, whilst the sides are an embroidered lilac and gold fabric, with toadstool and floral embroidery on the sides. 

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The fronts are scalloped around the laces, which are lilac ribbons and plenty easy enough to loosen off to take the boots on and off. There isn't any other way of opening these, so I was pleased to find it wasn't a faff to get them on by loosening the ribbon laces, as some other styles can take ages. 

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The finish has just the right amount of shine, in my opinion. It contrasts nicely with the glitter which is found around the scalloped edging and on the heel.

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Just the regular sole for these - I think I'd been expecting the 20th anniversary print, but that's no big deal - I don't protect my soles and it's not as though anyone ever sees the underside of my shoes anyway. 

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The heel is a fairly low one (for me) at around 7cm. These boots are the same as Chinese Whispers, just with different finishes, and also similar to my Dolly Mixture boots in height, although a slightly more chunky heel.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Irregular Choice: Zevra


It's been a while since I've been particularly quick off the mark with sharing some photos of a new addition to my collection, but I've had a few messages already asking for more photos of them, so here we are. 

So, I've mentioned a few times already this year that I feel as though the old Irregular Choice style I fell for when I first discovered the brand, is making a comeback, and I am seriously excited to see what's next. I'm also pleased that there is still plenty to keep us non-Disney fans interested. (I have to admit I'm not excited by the endless plain coloured glitter low heels, so I've been glad to see the recent new arrivals appealing more to my liking). 

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In a sneaky little mid-week release, Irregular Choice release their new "safari" collection, featuring heels, flats, bags and jewellery with a zebra theme. I'm glad that there are more and more flats being released lately, as I know that's been a common criticism over the years, but as ever, I was only interested in the Zevra heels. I was a little torn over which colourway to opt for. After some deliberation, I plumped for the pink, and I wasn't disappointed when they arrived.  

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I know this is very much a zebra, but this design has some serious Audrey Loves vibes, with the shape of the face and the stripes. (Throwback post here if you can't remember that far back!) The toe shape is gently pointed, but certainly not enough to need to size up - I went with my normal size in these and they're spot on. 

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The insides are the lovely leopard print we've been seeing a lot of this season (in Tonkasaurus Rex for example) and the main section of the shoe is lovely glittery PU with cut-out detail to show the bright pink below, which gives them a lovely texture too. 

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One of my favourite features of these (and several other new releases) is the glitter-bomb heel. No, it might not be the first time we've seen things embedded in the heels (hello Low Level Danger, Chestnut and A Million Dreams, to name a few) but it's the first which I can recall being full of glitter which moves around like this. The heels are made from a pink acrylic which is not only curved, but also hollow in the middle and filled with pink glitter. There's some space in there so that the little glitter particles can shake around and it definitely adds to the party feel of these shoes. They're fairly standard in height (a smidge over 8cm) which bodes well for me as there are several pairs with this heel which are on my current wishlist. 

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The zebra tail is made from a ponytail of multi-coloured tinsel, which swishes around with every step. I love this and think this may have been the element which convinced me to go with the multi-coloured option. Again, seriously happy party vibes with this little detail. 

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OK, so these might not be a character heel in the same way as we've seen the Family Reunion collection or last week's ducks (there's a post on those to come), but they're certainly a concept heel pair I couldn't miss out on, as I feel like IC are getting back down to business. 

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Now I just have to find an outfit to wear them with! What do you think?