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  1. Just like last year we marked the beginning of Christmas with a trip to Stewarts Garden Centre to see Father Christmas arrive

    We went with the ChelseaMamma gang (well no-one takes a photo quite as well as Kara!). After being entertained by the Dorset Marching band Father Christmas arrived! This year on a double decker bus!  Whilst he did his rounds meeting as many children as he could, the moo's jumped on the bus for a look around.  

    santa claus is coming to town

    We did get a photograph with him! 

    Father Christmas 2014

    BACK : Elf, me, Sebby, Father Christmas, Daddy Moo, Olive, Elf

    FRONT : Charlie, Isaac, Megan 

    Afterwards we went inside and saw the reindeer. Then I enjoyed a lovely sit down on the bench, while the children watched the snowman and Thomas the tank train. Although it was very similar to last year, there is something familiar and homely about it - definately the signal for Christmas beginning! 

    Every year we try and go somewhere different to visit Father Christmas as there are so many places to go in Dorset. If you are a Dorset based business providing a Father Christmas event or Santa's Grotto, please do pop your link below. If you are a Dorset based blogger who has written about seeing Father Christmas (this can be a review post too) then pop it on the link below.

    Where you can find Father Christmas/Santa's Grottos in Dorset and reviews from bloggers who have been there. 

  2. In February 2010 there 5 Hotter Shoe Stores now there are 65 proving that you can sell comfortable footwear to the masses! I used to love high heels. I always had a pair of slip on flats in ,my car for driving as that's how high my heels were! Being 5ft 3 I always felt the need to have heels on well that was until I fell pregnant with Charlie! OMG did I get fat! I couldn't even wear boots my feet swelled so much and to make things worse it was winter! Unlike the girls I couldn't loaf about in my flip flops. It's amazing how after spending time wearing flats you don't actually feel comfortable in heels anymore. I've got stuck in that rut of buying impractical footwear because its pretty and then leaving them to sit gathering dust.

    I've heard of Hotter before I vaguely remember a mail order catalogue floating around at grandma's years ago, which is probably why I assumed they were for OAP's. BUT no you'd be surprised! Not only do Hotter have bang on trend lines – which even make me feel like I shop in the OAP section but they cleverly fuse comfort with style.


    Photos from Louise Jolley Photography 

    Each pair of Hotter shoes soles is filled with millions of air bubbles. Even the men's shoes are as alight as a feather. Hotter's secret is Comfort Concept - super soft leathers, lightweight, cushioning, flexible, breathable and fittings to suit you (did you know they have half sizes!). As part of a lovely bunch of Bournemouth bloggers we were invited to meet the team, talk shoes and try on LOTS in the Bournemouth store. I instantly feel in love with a pair of taupe leather knee high boots called the Hampshire. The first size I tried on fit like a glove (the lovely gentleman even checked they were fitting correctly you don't get that service in New Look!)

    There's a pair of different coloured socks under these #hotter #boots #shoesietuesday @charliemoos

    A photo posted by spicers1976 (@spicers1976) on

    It was really good fun and lots of giggles trying shoes on and everyone was a surprise! In the man tailoring section (which I loved!! I'm defo thinking about getting a pair of Somerly!) some of the shoes had hidden elastic for extra comfort and flexibility and yet they still looked chic! And as my trusty fashion sources tell man tailoring is where it's out may have to dig out some tuxedo trousers and a bow tie this Christmas!

    Avid readers of my blog will know that Kara from Chelseamamma and I love going on outdoor adventures with the children. Where I went for a funky not very practical for muddy puddles boot, Kara opted for the lovely Carmen in chocolate brown.  A cosy faux fur lining keeping her toes snug, whilst the GORE-TEX® technology offers complete waterproof protection. Elasticated detail adds extra flex. The GORE-TEX® range also have the tongues sewn into the side of the shoe so you really don't get wet feet!

    From not knowing exactly where the shop was even located I am now a convert!! In 2003 £6m was invested into a new factory purpose built in the North West of England. In a time where manufacturing is mostly produced overseas it's great to see a real English brand. All the staff we met were hugely passionate about Hotter and the brand ethos. Seriously, yes I was provided with a free pair of boots to review but if you do get the chance to pop down to a Hotter store then do it. The staff are really knowledgeable and who in their right mind wouldn't want shoes that felt like you were wearing slippers!  

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