Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New styles for June

Just ordered all these yummy shoes - all under £50!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

I am getting ready to order some new styles of shoes and bags, and I find myself bedazzled by the choices before me!

Should I get some gladiators? Still very fashionable, and the Shoes Galore ones are beautiful. Colourful highheel peep-toes? Very sexy. Casual sandals? Bound to be popular, they're so easy to wear and very pretty...

I wish I could take every style available, but I just can't! Watch this space, and I'll let you know what I decide.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What to do in Letchworth Garden City next week

Letchworth Garden City can seem like a sleepy town in North Hertfordshire, but there are plenty of interesting events if you are in the know! Here are a couple for next week:

Tuesday May 19th - Swap Don't Shop Ladies swishing evening at the Three Horseshoes pub in Norton. Swishing is where you get together to swap your unwanted clothes with other women. It's fun, it's eco friendly and it saves you money! Contact lisa.chambers@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

Thursday 21st May - Battle of the Bands at Letchworth Arts Centre. Free entry, cash bar, lots of local music talent - what more could you want from a Thursday night!

If you have any events in Hertfordshire that you would like to publicise, email me at sgletchworth@ntlworld.com.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A new thread

I attended a ladies' shopping & pamper night at a school in Hitchin this week. Usually at these events I am very restrained and don't indulge myself - work is work, after all! This time there was a lady doing threading - and at just £3 a treatment, I couldn't resist trying it out.

If you don't already know, threading is a method of hair removal that uses...well, thread! The therapist twists cotton thread to grab hairs and pluck them out. It is used for eyebrow shaping and other facial hair.

I was pretty nervous as I took to the couch. After all, I didn't want to be the wuss who yelped during her treatment! First job was my eyebrows. I confess that other than plucking to prevent the werewolf-brows-meeting-in-the-middle look, I don't shape them. I am quite lucky that they aren't too bushy, but as the years go by I am aware that a little "lift" would open up my eye area.

I was amazed that threading was no more painful than plucking - and because it deals with many hairs at a time it was far less of an ordeal. In less than 5 minutes my brows were as shapely and stylish as I could have wished! Next for the upper lip...

Why I am admitting to the world that I need hair removing from the moustache area, I don't know! Such dedication to my blog!

Anyway, because I have dark hair, the few I have in that area do show up. The therapist warned me that this would be more uncomfortable, and I can testify that she didn't lie! It wasn't as bad as having a tattoo (not that my upper lip is tattoed, you understand) but it did really sting. For about half an hour afterwards I felt like the area was swollen, but it wasn't. The result was amazing - I hadn't realised how dark the area appeared before.

Threading is definitely something I will have done again. People have noticed a subtle difference in my appearance, but can't identify what it is. I look brighter and fresher, like I did 10 years ago after a good night's sleep.

Threading - Shoe Lady Approved!

Monday, May 11, 2009

No more bad hair days!

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my hair. When I love it, I feel on top of the world. Whe I hate it I want to hide under the duvet. The trouble is, to everyone else, there is no visible difference between the two! (It drives my husband nuts). So I was very interested to find this site.

Wear My Hair has a great saying -

Be who you want to be now and wake up yourself again tomorrow!

How fantastic! You mean I can have long blonde hair today and go back to my reddish crop in the morning? You mean I can be an outrageous vamp on my night out and tomorrow the office won't have a clue? I could get into this!

There is a huge range of styles and colours. My favourite is Tilly - I can imagine myself as a flame-haired temptress! Since my own hair never looks any good once it gets past my shoulders, this may be my only chance to try it.

Of course, for some women hairloss is a genuine issue, either through medical treatment or illness. In 1981 when my Mum lost her hair through cancer treatment, wigs were nothing like this! What a confidence boost they would have been for her.

Prices seem very reasonable too - from just £55. I have spent more than that on a salon cut and colour before, and of course this style won't grow out!

Do let me know if you buy one - I'd love to see some pictures too!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In a lather - 2009 Soap Awards

The 2009 British Soap Awards. I admit, I'm not a soap fan and many of the "stars" could be next to me on the train and I would have no clue who they were. But as always, there are shoe lessons to be learned from a red carpet event, so I have been taking a close look at what was on show.

Top marks for colour creativity go to Samia Smith from Coronation Street. Her brave combining of aegian blue with lilac works because she is restrained with her accessories. She looks sophisticated and fresh, with a twist of individualty. Her lilac peep toes heels are a grown up choice without being boring. I like the twist detail at the front.

I'm a bit worried about Hollyoaks' Ashley Slanina-Davies. She looks like she could disappear at any moment. I know that some women are naturally very slim, and perhaps she is one of them (I have never watched Hollyoaks, this is the first time I have seen Ashley). She has a gorgeous face that her pixie crop is just right for. But I'm not convinced by the strapless dress. Maybe it is the position she has been photographed in, but I am not a fan of bones. The black shoes are very heavy in style and just serve to accentuate her petite frame. This may have been the idea, but I feel they are too much for her to carry off.

Another Hollyoaks person now. Hollie-Jay Bowes steps out of the wild west saloon for a night at the awards, in what can only be described as unflattering shoes. The black, the platform, the ankle strap - maybe on someone else, but I'm afraid they are not working here. Ankle straps can be very elegant, but if your ankles are anything less than delicate you should probably stay clear, unless you are wearing an ankle-skimming skirt or trousers. On Hollie-Jay they make her legs look short and chunky, which is a shame, as I don't think they really are.

Another person with the black shoe blues is Kym Marsh. I can't bring myself to comment on her dress, but here is a perfect lesson for all of you who believe that black shoes go with everything. They go with Kym's hair and her ankle tattoo - is that the kind of co-ordination we want? The style of the shoe definitely accentuates Kym's killer pins, but I can't understand why she chose black. Shades of blue, silver, gold, bgronze...so many options. Lack of confidence in combining colours can kill your outfit!

Kara Tointon from Eastenders went for complete co-ordination, with her dress, bag and shoes all in the same soft gold tone. The fluffy skirt is an interesting idea that is probably only an option on the red carpet (and I do think it gives her far bigger hips than she actually owns!), but the outfit works because the colours really do match. Her shoes seem to be scrunching her toes slightly at the peep toe, but that's just me looking for faults!

Now, it's time for Gladiator School. No, we're not picking up spears and shields, I just want to show you how to wear them - and how not to! They are still a big fashion trend this year and there were a few pairs in evidence at the awards. Let's look at how not to do it:
Saira Choudhrey from Hollyoaks looks every inch the star...until you get to her knees! I'm afraid a dress that finished below her knees would have flattered more, but look at those glads! She has them so tight that you can see the straps digging into her flesh. That is not a good look.

So here's someone who got it right: Zoe Lister, also from Hollyoaks, looks amazing in her fun and flirty yellow dress and glads that fit! Her legs appear to go on for ever, and this a look that mere mortals could carry off too! So Zoe wins the Shoe Lady Style Award for this event!

I've said it before, and it definitely bears repeating - you may not have the cash to splash or a personal stylist, but if you know a few simple tips you can look stylish and pulled together on a very small budget. Avoid some of the mistakes here and try something new - because the Shoe Lady knows you're going to look amazing!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Networking week!

This week I have been to 3 different types of business networking event and met lots of interesting people. I thought a brief overview of the different kinds of events might be useful for those of you thinking you should take the plunge (and you really should!)

The first event was the resurrection of the 1st Tuesday evenings of the local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses. Held at a country pub/hotel in a function room, there were about 30m business people there. The format was informal, with it left up to you to dive in and network over a drink and buffet. If you are new to networking, this could be pretty intimidating - a bit like Fresher's Week at university! Luckily the branch committee are aware of this and made a point of introducing people to others that they had something in common with.

I got talking to two lovely ladies - Melanie and Jane. As we are run businesses that complement each other, I hope we will be meeting again very soon. That's what networking is about, for me. Not sales, sales, sales, but the amazing alliances that can grow from informal conversations.

The second event was 4Networking Stevenage's breakfast. I am not an impartial judge of this one, as I am a member and help to run this group. I joined because of the energy and openness of the network members, as well as the lack of stuffy rules of the organisation as a whole. Whilst there is a meeting structure, it is designed to be flexible and not restrictive. I have found my membership to be inspiring, profitable, sociable and motivating. Not bad, really!

The final networking activity of the week was a coffee meeting of the St Albans branch of Women in Business Network. Unfortunately I only arrived for the last half hour (various small incidents delayed me) so I can't really give a full review. It was an informal session over coffee in a pub/hotel. The group were very friendly and I had a very interesting chat with Kasia. Again, I can see collaborations being good for us both.

If you run or promote a business, then you really should be networking. You'll find support, suppliers, alliances, allies, friendship, fun - and maybe even customers! But don't make find new customers your sole goal, or you'll lose out on everything else.

Monday, May 4, 2009

20% off for Tweeps!

Yesterday I made my first shoe sale via Twitter. To celebrate, I am offering 20% off all shoes to anyone who contacts me via Twitter (@shoes_in_herts). Purchases must be made by midnight Sunday 10th May 2009. Take a look at the shoes on offer at my Flickr stream and then DM me on Twitter to check out the stock situation.

This is a great opportunity to own some beautiful Shoes Galore shoes if you are not lucky enough to live near a consultant. If you do have a consultant near you, then you should definitely arrange a party - they are fantastic fun.