Fashion,beauty and jewellery for the non-invisible woman over 45

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Transforming a plain dress with accessories

How to use accessories to transform a dull outfit, in this case a plain navy shift dress, Over 40s blog Is This Mutton? adds fuchsia pink and blue and a cute sequinned bag.
This dress was featured in Nancy and Shelbee's Bad Buy Book. I had bought it for a particular presentation when I wanted to have gravitas and I wore it with hardly any accessories.  I used to be fairly minimal on the accessories front. But suggestions of adding a scarf and funky bag piqued my interest so I decided to try to brighten up a dull dress.
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Monday, 23 April 2018

What I Wore in the Bluebell Wood

Is This Mutton blogger and husband in a secret bluebell wood outside London, spring 2018
We're lucky to have a secret bluebell wood not too far away, in Epping Forest. At this time of year the wonderful delicate English bluebells are out and their sweet scent drenches the forest glade.
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Monday, 16 April 2018

White and lilac blouse three ways

Styling a white and lilac striped blouse three ways. Bring any outfit up to date by adding inexpensive fashion bags and sunglasses.
My blogger friend Jacqui from Mummabstylish and I both have the same blouse - a complete coincidence, but when we realised, we thought it would be a great idea to style it a few different ways.

The blouse itself is from Marks and Spencer and has a pale lilac stripe. I've been wearing it in winter under a purple cashmere jumper but I've tried three different looks here.

The first is a playful look ideal for going out with friends, or shopping  (see the flat shoes?). The lilac cropped trousers with a delightful fringe are from River Island.  Team this with a circle bag - very "in" - and this one, in lilac, is from Acccessorize - and finally a purple beret. I bought mine on eBay for less than a tenner. The shoes are rose gold delights, old, from Boden.
Styling a white and lilac striped blouse three ways. Bring any outfit up to date by adding inexpensive fashion bags and sunglasses.
Next up: we have Melania Trump to thank for this look.  Pencil skirts are de rigeur this spring, and they can be worn with voluminous belted tops. My silver pleather skirt from Next is a bit too big and so it was a better look than tucking the blouse in. This is a more dressy outfit, ideal for a date night dinner.
Styling a white and lilac striped blouse three ways. This look is ideal for date night. The blouse is worn with a silver skirt, silver shoes and belt, and a cute purple evening bag.
I added silver shoes, a silver belt, silver lurex tights, a purple evening bag and hexagonal lilac sunglasses from River Island.
A dressy look ideal for date night:  white and lilac blouse worn with silver skirt, belt and shoes, and a purple evening bag
Finally, a look for the office. Metallic is the key here.  I'm wearing straight legged navy trousers, several years old, from Marks and Spencer, and a peplum jacket from Phase Eight (now reduced in price).  To add some interest, I have metallic brogue shoes and lurex socks from Sainsbury's, and an embellished circle bag from Accessorize.
A look suitable for the office with the blouse paired with navy trousers, a navy peplum jacket and metallic brogues.

The office look. Navy jacket and trousers and an eye catching embellished circle bag are perfect for office wear.
Up-to-the-minute bags and sunglasses can instantly update an outfit, and you can buy these relatively inexpensively from retailers like Acccessorize, River Island, Asos. Don't assume that these stores won't have anything for older women. I find they have lots of desirable items, and if you order online, you don't even have the trauma of rubbing shoulders with teenagers.

Now let's see how Jacqui got on.
Over 50s blogger Jacqui Berry from Mummabstylish styles a white and lilac blouse three ways, along with blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
Jacqui is wearing her M&S blouse with M&S cropped jeans that she DIY'd frayed herself;  M&S navy court shoes,  grey jumper from F & F, and silver Zara bag. Don't forget to visit her blog, Mummabstylish, to see the other outfits Jacqui has created with the blouse.

Sharing this post with:  Fake It Until You Make It at Fake Fabulous, #IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Style with a Smile at Stylesplash;  Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, Chic&Stylish at Mummabstylish,  Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style and Fabulous Friday at A Pocketful of Polka Dots.

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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Banish stress with Darphin Relax and Glow Set

Image showing Darphin's Relax and Glow set: a vetiver facial mask, candle and oil to help reduce toxins and relieve stress.
I love French brand Darphin. For me they are the epitome of luxury and self indulgence. If I ever want to cheer myself up, I visit their website and find a couple of things leaping into the basket, usually because they have such tempting offers.

Today I'm banishing stress and improving the health of my skin with the Darphin Relax and Glow Set.
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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Trying it on: Jumpsuits

Over 40s blogger Is This Mutton? in black v-neck crepe jumpsuit from Whistles, SS18
I've never had a jumpsuit. They've always struck me as vaguely problematic, requiring strapless bras, fake tan and an endless search to find one where the waist is in the right place and the trousers aren't making my legs look short.

I thought it would be good to break out of my comfort zone and see if I could find a good one. I have two weddings this summer and I've started to look for outfits. But, I asked myself, are jumpsuits even still a thing?
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Friday, 6 April 2018

The Blended Blog asks: Spring

It's officially spring and finally the weather is co-operating. My favourite time of year! So much promise: beautiful flowers, long languid summer days, a glass of wine in the garden in the evenings, not having to wear coats, jumpers or tights.

The Blended Blog has set us some questions about April:
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Monday, 2 April 2018

A mouse in the house and more: Sentence a Day

March 1

So when we last parted, dear reader, I was in Nuremberg at a huge trade show for developers and engineers called Embedded World. Today was the last day. We had a team dinner in a charming Bavarian hostelry, and walked there and back through the pretty medieval streets. The pudding for all was apple fritters with ice cream.  I don't always like desserts but this was divine!

March 2

Left the hotel at 4.15am (yes, you read that right) to get to the airport. Would London Stansted be open? A lot of snow in the UK.  Fortunately no problems when we landed. A kind man helped me scrape the snow off my car. Home by 9am and had a couple of hot cross buns.

March 3

Been buying Easter decorations. Has become a Thing this year  (the retailers finally see a money making opportunity). Snow is melting fast.  We stayed in for "Game of Thrones Night." We're currently re-watching all of the series for the third time.

March 4

No snow left. Walked over to my Power Plate gym  (2.4 miles each way). I'm trying to walk as much as possible for the Walk 1000 Miles in 2018 challenge. Came back, did roast beef for me and J. No guests this week.  Somehow managed 17k steps today. Shows how many steps we take at home doing housework!

March 5

Mild and sunny, amazing after last week's snow and chills. Was at work, did the "Tesco Circular" at lunchtime, 2.5 miles.

March 6

Horribly busy at work. Head down, no time for a walk.

March 7

Was due to go to a marketing conference but too busy so stayed home to concentrate on writing my 2018 plan. Went to Power Plate, did 2 classes.

March 8

Worked at home. A bit stressed. Too much to do. I've got two days off coming up, so that's adding to the pressure. Did a short walk, 2.1 miles.

March 9

Left just after 10am for the long drive to Plymouth, where my mum lives. It's about 250 miles from London but can take a long time. It did today: got there at 5.15! Mum did my favourite, quiche salad, with a cheeky schooner of sherry.

March 10

It's quite cold and drizzly, and I haven't brought the right clothes. Darn it. Went for a 3.5 mile local walk and popped into the Co-Op, coming out with a green fur trimmed parka!  Wore it when mum and I went out for lunch. We drove over to Hooe where there's a marina and had a lovely lunch at The Bridge. It specialises in fish; I had fish and chips.

Then we went to a garden centre.  For once I didn't succumb, but mum bought some dahlia tubers and compost.

March 11

Mother's Day. We have it on a different day than the US.  Raining. We followed our usual routine: first Marks and Spencer at The Willows, Torquay, a quick look at the clothes and then a flat white in the cafe, followed by Mother's Day lunch at the Corbyn Head Hotel, overlooking the sea in Torquay.  We've been coming here for 10 years.
The sea was rough today! I had roast beef with a Yorkshire pudding, and mum had pork medallions. Sadly the hotel is under new management and the lunch experience was nowhere as nice as it usually is.
Image showing a rough sea breaking onto the beach at Torquay in Devon, March 2018

March 12

Drove home. Left at 9.30am and got back at 3.15. Molly the cat rushed down the stairs to greet me.  Spent a while perusing all the info which has arrived for our May holiday, when we're walking 200 miles in 15 days on the Coast to Coast walk.


March 13

Back to work, and a lot of catching up to do. No chance for a walk!


March 14

Did a walk at lunchtime, 2.4 miles. At 4pm boarded a coach which took a group of us to Cambridge town centre where we checked into the Hilton. There are about 70 of us altogether for an induction course today and tomorrow.  The first exercises were all about networking and meeting each other - I only know one person, many have travelled from other countries. Dinner was quite late so I slipped off to bed afterwards at 10.30. Not one for drinking at the bar.

March 15

A full-on day including a business simulation where we competed against each other teams. To be honest, it was all more interesting and fun that I'd expected. The food was great. At lunch the buffet included a "healthy options" section including my favourites, salad, falafels, houmous. During the breaks we were tempted with brownies, macarons - but also fruit and healthy drinks and smoothies. The ruhubarb drink was delicious!

16 March

Worked from home. Bright sunny start. Worked all day. Finally got round to opening an Asos parcel that arrived days ago, but could tell right away two items were no good. Had dinner at the local pub.

17 March

Forecast is for snow! J and I went for an 8.3 mile walk in Epping Forest, which is on our doorstep. It was sleeting and the forest looked pretty in the frost. Saw several deer. After lunch I did the shopping. Tonight was Curry Night with Game of Thrones.
Image showing a man and woman in a frosty forest wearing hiking clothes

18 March

Was plumping cushions (as you do) and a mouse ran out! Pandemonium. The cat had brought it in but not finished the job. It ran behind the huge TV cabinet. A comedy scene ensued with J demanding the cat come down, and me opening little cupboards and seeing the mouse inside. I thought I'd caught it, wrapped in a towel, but when J shook the towel out in the garden, he didn't see it.

19 March

The cat is staring under the freezer so we think the mouse is there. J has ordered humane mouse traps. Short walk at work today. Did the Tesco Circular so I could nip in for feta cheese.

20 March

All quiet on the mouse front. J set the two traps. They're long transparent tunnels. The mouse goes in after the cheese and can't get out.  You can then release it to the wild.

21 March

Beautiful sunny day. Worked from home. We did a quick forest walk at 8am. I walked round the garden to look for signs of spring. Plenty! Buds on the clematis and forsythia hedge, and the phlox is growing again after its dormant winter.

22 March

The mouse is in the humane trap! Poor thing, it's too traumatised to even eat the cheese. J took it to Epping Forest and released it. I tried to take a picture - it's terrible, but gives you a rough impression:

23 March

Worked from home. Sunny intervals. Nipped out to the garden at lunchtime to do a "fashion shoot" (white bouclé jacket). The tripod is a bit precarious. Must order a new one.

24 March

Spent a lot of time cleaning today. Threw away some of J's many water bottles and lined the cupboard shelves. Downloaded a template and created a media kit for my blog. Very chuffed. Less chuffed when I find that Adobe doesn't now allow you to resize a PDF unless you pay a monthly fee for an upgraded product. Shysters!

25 March

Quiet Sunday, just the two of us. Sandwiched a 5 mile walk around my usual trip to the gym.  Had roast chicken. The hyacinths are drenching the front garden with their sweet fragrance.

26 March

In the office. Beautiful spring day but had forgotten my training shoes (sneakers) so couldn't go for a walk. Finished the book "The King's Curse" and started "The Queen's Fool," which covers the reign of Mary Tudor  ("Bloody Mary").

27 March

Raining. Did a walk in between showers. Couple of interesting parcels for me: a beautiful hand-made table runner for Easter, and a v-shaped pillow. Couldn't sleep in the night so made a cup of tea and read my book for a while. Sometimes I send myself to sleep musing over the Tudor family tree and who were the parents of.....?

28 March


Working from home. Pouring with rain. Poor J was up early hoping I would go out for a walk with him (makes him sound like a dog!) but I'm a bit too busy. Did two gym classes in the evening.

29 March

Day off. Sunny start. We left at 8 to do a seven mile forest walk. New tripod arrived. Put the Easter tree "up." First time I've splashed out on Easter decorations. Finally bored with the Tudors and started "The Marriage Pact" which looks very promising.

30 March

Good Friday. Public holiday (or "bank holiday" as we call them in the UK). Went with John's daughter Rachel and fiance to a new Turkish restaurant in their village. It was a little disappointing if I'm honest, but has only been open a week. Plenty of room for improvement.

31 March

Dreary day. Did a 5 mile street walk on my own (John has a schedule of walk/running so he does that on his own), Last "Game of Thrones" night for us as we have now reached the end of the latest series.

That's all for March - looking forward to April where the weather has to improve, I'm going to Miami for a work trip, and I'll be busy in the garden. Have fun folks.  I'd love it if you could link up your posts below.

Sharing this post with Continental Drift at Mutton Style;  Creative Mondays at Claire Justine;  Share the Kindness at Shelbee on the Edge#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings; Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb.



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