Have you ever tried to walk with a broken flip flop?

I have done some challenging things in my time, running 3 half marathons, climbing Mt Kinabalu (the 2nd highest mountain in South East Asia) and of course giving birth.  But have you ever tried to walk with a broken flip flop?

It was one of those days, we needed to take the dog for a walk as we were going to be out for a few hours.  We tend to go to the local park and let him have a paddle in the river, so my daughter planned her footwear carefully, or so I thought.  She decided on a cheap pair of Jelly Shoes.  We got half way down the road and then had to come back, to change them as they were hurting her feet.  I’m not surprised.

We eventually got to the park, then sadly there was a slightly grumpy grandfather of three who obviously would rather I didn’t let my dog off the lead to splash in the river.  So, we admitted defeat and started for home.


This is when my flip flop broke…..

Flip-flop malfunction in the park help I’m stuck!

Recommended Flip Flops for Corns


This isn’t the first time this has happened to me.  Once it happened in a pub but we had some duct tape and taped it to my foot so I could get home.  However, being at the local park I did not have any on me.

The Best Flip Flops for Corn Sufferers (IMO)

‘Beach shoes are an excellent solution – flip-flops that have a thong for each toe are marvellous at restoring correct functioning in the foot  and toe.’ – via the Daily Mail

I won’t go into too much detail about my dodgy feet, but I do have a corn on the ball of my right foot, which makes walking barefoot excruciating.  It feels like walking on a golf ball.  I do get it treated regularly but it does tend to build up again.  Anyhow, I had to circumnavigate the gravel paths and cobblestones, nearly making me break down in tears.  In the end, I had to call hubby to come and rescue us in the car.

I was absolutely gutted that I broke my favourite pair of LuLu Fit Flops, which I bought last year and wear all the time, as they are one of the only ones I can wear comfortably.  They’ve a comfortable toe piece and a very thick spongy foot bed, which accommodates my dastardly corn.

Flip Flops for Corn

Luckily, I have a spare pair of Reef Flip Flops. Up until the weekend I hadn’t worn them a lot, but found them just as comfortable.  The toe post is soft, so none of that first day flip flop pain. The straps are lined with an ultra soft lining, plus they have a built in arch support to support my rather flat feet and the suede foot bed allows me to walk virtually pain free.  They are a bit more casual than my Fit Flops and couldn’t wear them to work but they are perfect for a day at the Lido.





Best places for Women and Children’s Haircuts in St Albans, Herts

Top 5 Hair Salons in St Albans

I’ve lived in St Albans, Herts for 15 years now and have tried quite a few hairdressers.  For the most part, they have all been good and I have no horror stories to report but there are a few that stand out in my mind.

I typically have a half a head of highlights, a cut and a blow dry.  When times were a bit tough, after having a child, I rang quite a few in town to compare prices but they all came out around £125, which seems pretty standard, hence why I don’t get it done as often as I used to.

Here are my Top 5 Salons in St Albans, Herts

Alley Cats (0172 786 4100)

I love the team at Alley Cats.  It’s a lovely independent family run salon on London Road run by husband and wife, Apollo and Lorraine, both their boys worked at the salon till recently.  They’ve been cutting my daughters hair since she was little.  They have a cute little car seat that children can sit in to distract them.

Kids Haircuts in St Albans
Photos Courtesy of Helen, another fan of Alley Cats!

Sadly, my daughter no longer fits in it.  She loves going just so she can see what colour Apollo’s hair will be, we often have bets on it.  I’ve also had my hair done there on quite a few occasions and have always been more than happy.  Plus, Apollo specializes in men’s cuts as well.

My close friend Annie recently had her hair done there and she said they transformed her.  For the record she’s a QPR fan hence the blue.  Hair Colour is optional.

Hair by Alley Cats, St Albans


Wilde About Hair (01727 830527)

I recently went to Wilde About Hair in French Row and was thoroughly impressed.  It’s another family run independent Salon, owned and operated by Gary and Claire Wilde for the last 3 years.  I’m a huge supporter of local businesses.  I’d walked by it on many occasions but had never been in.  It has a lovely relaxed but professional feel to it, and the team seem very tight knit.

Wilde About Hair, St Albans
What a difference a decent cut makes!

I had my hair cut by Lizzy, a Senior Stylist with a plethora of experience.  She worked for years as a hairdresser but then moved into industry and training, but after having a family of her own reconnected with Gary and wanted to go back to the floor; by all accounts he sounds like a great guy to work for.

I just wish when my niece, who is a newly qualified hairdresser, was here from Canada she would have got a chance to work with him.  I will be definitely going back.  Plus, they have an online booking system.

Hair by Marie (01727 851991)

When money was tight I thought I would try out Hair by Marie on Catherine Street, which has a reputation for being an old ladies salon.  But this should have no reflection on Marie’s skill as a hairdresser, her techniques are totally up to date.  She did a fabulous job and I found the whole experience rather entertaining.  It’s not often you get to hang out with OAP’s drinking tea under a hair dryer with their slippers on.  But I do recommend it if you are looking to save a few pennies.


St Albans Hair and Make-up (07771 761666)

I can’t recommend Karen Snook from St Albans Hair and Make-up enough.  She charges almost half the price as the high-street salons (£66 for half head highlights, cut and blow-dry) and this is not reflective of the quality, she just doesn’t have the overheads to contend with.  Karen is mobile but she also has a lovely salon in her home in Marshallwick.  Plus, she has a wine fridge, mind you she won’t let me anywhere near it.

St Albans Hair and Make-Up
Can you spy the Wine Fridge?

Karen also works with a team of other beauty consultants and can coordinate nails, spray tans etc at the same time.  The last time I went I had my hair done, while I was waiting for the colour, the lovely Tanya Hutt did my nails (Shellac)  as a busy mum I appreciated killing two birds with one stone.

Karen was also heavily involved behind the scenes with St Albans Fashion Week.

Bit further afield

Espiritu Salon and Spa (01923 858052)

I’ve written about Espiritu Salon in the past, Mummy Friendly Salons near Radlett.  It’s only 15 minutes down the road in Radlett.  If you’ve never been to Battler’s Green I would recommend a visit to the salon and a nosy around the place, there’s a pub, vintage shops, butchers, etc.  Do check out their Mummy Mondays where you can get a free Quick Kids Cut.

Do you have any other local salons that you would recommend?  If so, please do leave in the comments section.


My Top Ten Mother’s Day Gifts for Fun Mum’s

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Mums with Personality

To avoid disappointment on Mother’s Day I take charge and organise it myself, which usually involves booking us into the pub for lunch.  Every Mother’s Day I seem to get flowers and a card, without sounding ungrateful the only people who really benefit here are Interflora and Hallmark.

Of course I cherish the cards and gifts my daughter makes at school and keep them all, even if I’m not sure what some of them are.

If  you want something done right, do it yourself – unknown

I’ve been trolling the internet to find inspiration for Mother’s Day Gifts, and I felt like I was transported to the 1950s.  Are mum’s really that boring these days?  I don’t do a lot of gardening, I don’t eat chocolate, I’m too busy to read many books, I wear minimal jewellery, baking is not my strong point, I don’t have the patience for jigsaw puzzles and I’m not a Yummy Mummy.

However, I like to think I have a great sense of humour, enjoy practical things and a lover of gadgets.

My Top 10 Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

You Can’t Scare Me T-Shirt

I’m not sure what occasion or when I would wear this would be good to have in the wardrobe for those days I need a bit more attitude.

Mum T-Shirt

Wine Tasting Gift Set

Is it #wineoclock yet?  I know I like wine but I don’t know a lot about it.

Wine Tasting Gift Set


I really want to put this photo of my daughter on a canvas and put it above my desk as it makes me laugh and would cheer me up when I’m having a stressful day. Picanova is currently offering 72% off canvases so I may treat myself  (offer ends 23rd Mar 14).

Photos on Canvas - Picanova
Say Cheese!


Scratch Map

Prior to children I was a rather intrepid traveler and have lost count of the number of countries I have been to.  I’d like to be able to glance up and remind myself of those good old days.

Scratch Map

Muffin Top Moulds

As I mentioned earlier I don’t often bake, but I would definitely use these as they crack me up.

Muffin Top Moulds

Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Lunch

This sounds heavenly albeit slightly dangerous.

Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting

Mums Wine Glass

Enough Said!

Mums Measure Wine Glasses
Not On the High Street

Foot Spa

I won’t bore you with the details but I’m struggling with my feet at the moment and this looks blissful.

Heated Foot Spa
Executive Shaving

Smart Crock Pot

This has my name all over it, I love a bit of tech and have an unhealthy obsession with my slow cooker.  It would be fab to be able to control it remotely.

Smart Crock Pot

Diagnostic Code Reader for Cars

There is nothing worse, as a woman, walking into a garage not knowing a lot about cars and having that sinking feeling you are going to be ripped off.  I’d love to be able to diagnose the problem before going in, plus it would save me the £80 for them to run the diagnostics each time

Car Diagnostic Reader


Can someone please give my husband a nudge? TIA

What not to wear?

Need help choosing clothes for work like me?

I hate clothes shopping and I’m terrible at it but I’m loving Polyvore.  I’m incapable of coordinating outfits which has resulted in an entire wardrobe full of stuff that doesn’t go together.   If the Sales are on with racks and racks of cheap tat, I panic and walk out.  I recently went to an event wearing the following outfit, a friend who lacks frontal screening and was slightly inebriated (totally mullered) exclaimed upon first seeing me ‘you look like a child who put on all their favourite clothes this morning’.  I couldn’t argue with him really.

Denim and camouflage outfit for women Autumn 2013

Where the problem starts

I prefer to walk into a shop to find a fully dressed mannequin wearing exactly what I’m looking for and if I can afford it I will buy it.  I do like flipping through catalogues, folding the pages that catch my attention but hate catalogues that have items individually (e.g a page of jeans) listed on the page without showing how they go with other stuff.   What am I supposed to do with that.  The same goes for websites.   It’s amazing how many sites don’t have ‘Look Books’   for inspiration for those of us who are fashionably challenged.

Alternatively, I’ve been known to corner the young shop assistants for their help saying ‘I have so and so to go to, what should I wear?’ which has worked well in the past, however, on occasions, they have persuaded me to buy something that was totally unsuitable, never got worn and is still hanging in the wardrobe with tags on it.  I’m in my 40s for fat snakes!

This is why I like Polyvore, I came across it awhile back.  Besides being an online clothing store it also has the facility that you can create your own sets, allowing you to put together outfits.  What’s even better is that you don’t have to stick to the clothes on their site.  You can add a button to your tool bar, so in future, when you are surfing the web looking for clothes you can ‘clip to Polyvore’.   So, if you find an outfit online (e.g. Pinterest, Fashion Sites, Tumbler) that you like, you can try to recreate it using this tool.

Creating outfits online

And if you’re still not sure if the outfit works you can always share it on your social networks and ask your friends for advice like I did.

Autumn/ Winter Work Outfits 2013

Luckily for work I don’t have to be suited and booted, however, it would be frowned upon if I wore jeans.  So, I’ve been looking for Autumn/Winter Clothes for 2013.  I still have a long way to go, but here are two that I put together so far.  I was attempting to use some of the items I already had in the wardrobe.

Women's Fashion Autumn/Winter 2013


Women's Fashion August/Winter 2013


How am I doing?  Be honest.  I’d still love to find a way to wear my camouflage jeans to work if anyone has any ideas.  Happy shopping and be prepared to lose a few hours of your life.



Missing: Reward Offered

I’m absolutely gutted, that I lost my umbrella the other night.  I managed to get into London and had it with me until the last 5 minutes.  I’m guessing I left it on the train when I got off at my stop, we may have been slightly distracted eating Kebabs and making paper hats.

Making Paper Hats

I was travelling from London to St Albans on First Capital Connect.  I’ve filled in a lost property form but guessing there is very little chance that I will ever get it back. :-(

I could just rock up to lost property and claim any old umbrella as I imagine they have thousands of them.  However, this wasn’t just any old umbrella!  It was a Wine Bottle Umbrella from Katwalk Kimberly’s, pure genius!

Wine Bottle Umbrella from Katwalk Kimberly's

My fear is that someone has either kept it for themselves or they would not have realised it was an umbrella and it’s on its way to a bottle recycling depot somewhere!

Has anyone seen my umbrella?  If you find it there’s a bottle of wine in it for you!