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Fashion,beauty and lifestyle for sassy over 40 women

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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Look younger with better posture

Age is no barrier to having great posture. Just look at actresses Felicity Kendal, Joanna Lumley and Cherie Lunghi
What do these fantastic ladies - actresses Felicity Kendal, (left) Joanna Lumley and Cherie Lunghi (right) have in common?

Excellent posture.

I think all three ladies have either danced or practiced Pilates most of their lives, and it shows.
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Friday, 14 July 2017

Lose weight with the Diet Plate

The Diet Plate and cereal bowl shown on a dining room table. Copyright: Gail Hanlon
With more than one in four of us trying to lose weight most of the time, it's a growing market for the diet industry to make money out of our misery.
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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Mutton's Choice Cuts: Sean Bean and More

Prepare to be surprised, amused or annoyed by Mutton's Choice Cuts, the random thoughts of Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon
Welcome to another edition of Mutton's Choice Cuts. This month I'm talking about Sean Bean, "forbidden words" that we shouldn't use in job interviews, and a formula for a Kathy Reichs book.
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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Skiathos Holiday Highlights

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton? at the Old Port of Skiathos
We're back from the Greek island of Skiathos. It's a lovely relaxing break for those who like good food, boats, pretty scenery, and, if you have kids, safe swimming in calm turquoise waters.
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Anniversary weekend

A table overlooking Hyde Park at Dinner by Heston
Birthdays and anniversaries are big for me. My mum and my grandma before her always celebrated in style, and I usually take a day off work for my birthday and organise something great. Mr Mutton, also known in the blogosphere as the mysterious "J," is somewhat bemused by all this but goes along with it, even when one of his birthdays saw him being whisked off to Edinburgh amid a whirlwind of seeing pandas, eating haggis and going to Tom Kitchin's wonderful restaurant.
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Friday, 2 June 2017

Mutton's Choice Cuts

Welcome to a new monthly feature, Mutton's Choice Cuts.  This month's selection includes the age gaps between the Macrons and the Trumps, and the unofficial World Cup of Biscuits.
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Sunday, 28 May 2017

May Beauty Round-Up

Three of the beauty products for May 2017 reviewed by Is This Mutton?
 This month I'm looking at a bronzer designed for mature skin, a vitamin C serum, a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, and a hand wash which is helping to improve my nails.
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Flowers and Fashionistas

The famous Chelsea Flower Show in London was a riot of colour, and it wasn't just the flowers. I was paying my first visit to the show for 19 years. Sister-in-law Kate and I were disappointed to see the number of show gardens reduced from 17 last year to eight with few of the big name gardeners exhibiting. Have costs become too prohibitive? There was only one garden where you queued and went up  a ramp and looked down. I remember 19 years ago doing that for the all-white Christian Lacroix garden.

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Beautiful Emeralds

Is This Mutton's guide to the history of emeralds, how to choose a beautiful emerald and what to buy
Is there a more beautiful stone than an emerald? I don't think so. Emerald is the birthstone for May, and in Is This Mutton's? continuing look at birthstones, we're going to examine this beryl in a bit more detail.
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Friday, 14 April 2017

A walk in the bluebell wood

Dressed for a bluebell wood walk: Boden jeans, Peter Hahn white shirt and Marks and Spencer gold mules
We're lucky to live near Epping Forest and to know where there is a "secret" bluebell wood. It really is off the beaten track so we were the only people there.

The bluebells were at their peak following last weekend's sunshine.  Beautiful. You could smell the sweet fragrance before you approached.
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Easter Delights and Traditions

Easter traditions in the UK and Europe, including religious celebrations and national activities
Easter is a lovely time of year, to me far better than Christmas, which is overly commercialized, filled with unrealistic expectations, and set in a gloomy month.

Retailers are determined to try to commercialize Easter of course, with Easter crackers this year and increasingly vulgar chocolate eggs. Children will apparently be given an average of £56 worth of chocolate over Easter.
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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

5 top tips for buying a new mattress


I couldn't resist showing one of my favourite clips from Monty Python's Flying Circus - buying a bed. It probably won't play if you're not in  the UK. Sorry about that.....

Why do I need a new mattress? 


Not surprisingly, as they want us to buy more often, the mattress industry and the Sleep Council both recommend we replace a mattress every eight years. By this time it will have lost much of its original comfort and support.
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Diamonds are Forever

From the four C's to a unique Downton Abbey tiara, here is Is This Mutton's guide to the birthstone for April, the diamond
"She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow."

Lucky you, born in April - for your birthstone is the diamond!
Just yesterday, the "Pink Star" diamond sold for a record £75m in Hong Kong.
But only recently, we were told that millennials in particular are buying fewer diamonds and instead opting for coloured gemstones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds. They no longer attach the same importance to diamonds that previous generations did, and the idea of "blood diamonds" appalls many young women.
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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Back to the 70s

Bloggers and former flatmates Maddie Grigg and Gail Hanlon raise a glass before the Holy Holy Ziggy Stardust gig in London
David Bowie has been a huge part of my life since I was 11. I wrote about my fandom in my old blog here, and his death here.

I haven't been able to listen to his music or watch any of the TV programmes about him since his death.
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The scents of our lives: it's National Fragrance Day

Image showing perfume bottles to illustrate article for National Fragrance Day 2017 on Is This Mutton?
Today (Tuesday 21 March) is National Fragrance Day and to celebrate, five lovely ladies are sharing with us the scents of their lives.
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

5 simple ways to get a good night's sleep

Is This Mutton's guide to getting a good night's sleep
It seems everyone is having trouble sleeping these days. Even school children, we're told.

There are sleep clinics, various herbal remedies (none of them work, by the way) and no end of lore on the internet on how to sleep.

I'm lucky in that I sleep well, generally from 10 until 6am, which is a good eight hours. I don't change my routine at the weekend - I rarely "lie in" any later than seven. You can't "bank" sleep and continually getting more than nine hours is said to be a marker for dementia in later life.

I'm a firm believer in good sleeping habits or "sleep hygiene" as it's often called. Here are my five rules for sleeping well:


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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mother's Day gifts for the older mum

Mother's Day gifts 2017 for the older mum aged 75 plus
With Mother's Day in the UK on March 26, there will be a flood of articles very soon on gift ideas, mostly aimed at mums my age or younger.

Which is great, except that they're ignoring the older mums, the mothers of Baby Boomers.

So my gift guide is aimed at mums aged 75 and over, and is unashamedly based on what my Mum, 84, would like. I've featured her in the blog previously. 

She's very keen on buying clothes and make-up and dealing with challenges like ultra-sensitive skin and wrinkles (she says she would try Botox if she could afford it). She occasionally buys costume jewellery but doesn't care much for scent and would be quite offended if confronted with a coffret of old-fashioned, or "old lady", bath products.
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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Aquamarine - birth stone for March

the birthstone for March is the aquamarine, linked to mermaids and the sea
It's March! And those of you with a birthday this month probably already know that your birthstone is the beautiful aquamarine.

This is a blue to green-blue variety of precious beryl, the group of minerals that includes emeralds.

But while aquamarine and emerald have essentially the same specific gravity and refractive index, emerald tends to be hazy and full of inclusions, whilst aquamarine has excellent transparency and clarity.
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Bright colourful leggings!

Image showing bright colourful leggings for sport from Yoga Leggs worn by over 40s blogger Gail Hanlon
Yoga Leggs Love leggings with Puma trainers and Under Armour top 
I used to wear plain black leggings and tops for my yoga and sport. I thought I was too old for brightly coloured patterned garb. But then everyone at yoga and Repose Studio, all ages and all sizes, started wearing gorgeous patterned leggings from a local firm,Yoga Leggs. When I saw how good they looked on all women, I was hooked.

I'm sporting two brand new designs, limited editions: Love, above and Hibiscus below, with the blue top; plus a pair which are also still available (Mystical Mermaid),  And I recently cracked open two new boxes of trainers.
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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Is it possible to look stylish when hiking?

Gail and John Hanlon below a rainbow hiking in the Borrowdale Valley
The rainbow was a bonus on a day when the weather was mostly grim 
What? I hear you cry. Stylish when hiking? Surely an oxymoron!
Well, dear reader, before we started our trips to the Lake District back in 2012, I had no idea I would soon be avidly scouring The North Face website for their latest drops, or scurrying into George Fisher as soon as we arrive in Keswick each time to buy more stuff.
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