"". September 2018 | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

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Sunday 30 September 2018

7 Days, 7 Outfits

Over 45s blogger Gail Hanlon in lilac top, lilac cross the body bag, grey poncho, jeans and silver loafers

I always think it's fun to see what fashion bloggers really wear, day to day. So here's a week in the life of yours truly, Is This Mutton?

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Stars In Your Eyes Palette and Link Up

 I had resolved not to buy any more eyeshadow palettes.  I used to be addicted to them - so pretty! - but found I was only using one or two shades in each one. But I couldn't resist Charlotte Tilbury's new limited edition Stars In Your Eyes palette.

Sunday 23 September 2018

Denner Cashmere Poncho

Style, warmth and sustainability:  red cashmere poncho from Denner Cashmere London
The first item of cashmere I ever had, around 15 years ago, was by Denner Cashmere London. It was a black ribbed jumper and so unbelievably soft that I knew right away I would rarely go back to wool or polyester.

I was thrilled when Denner Cashmere got in touch and asked me to choose something from their AW range.

I chose this red poncho, because I find ponchos invaluable at this time of year. The fact it has sleeves gives it extra versatility because you can wear it loose or belted, and I've shown both ways. It comes in seven colours.

Ponchos are brilliant because they go so well with everything. I wore mine yesterday to the gym, with leggings, and it looked as good as it does here with an asymmetric skirt and ankle boots. Ponchos look great with jeans.  Autumn is usually not cold enough for coats and ponchos fill a useful gap. When made of super fine cashmere like this, a poncho doesn't don't take up too much room in the wardrobe.

I always carry a poncho when I go on a plane because it's such a comfort to have the warmth and softness. And in America, on business trips, I take a poncho with me everywhere because you often need an extra layer indoors.
A beautiful red cashmere poncho from Denner Cashmere London is perfect for so many situations: Autumn, when a coat isn't always needed; on planes and on business trips. They look great with jeans, joggers and smart business dress, as Is This Mutton? shows.
Denner Cashmere's Mongolian cashmere leaves a very light footprint on the planet, especially compared to synthetic fibres, which involve converting oil into fibre. Not only is the cashmere recyclable and biodegradable, with just a little love it lasts for years and years.

I can vouch for that. I still have the ribbed black jumper.  I wash cashmere in the machine on the delicates cycle and use a dedicated cashmere washing detergent. I then dry them flat on a clothes' horse, making sure to shape the garment as it dries. Occasionally you may get a few bobbles on the sleeves and I shave them off with a cashmere comb (Denner Cashmere sells one).

Cheap, low quality cashmere often shrinks, even in the delicates wash, and bobbles very quickly. Denner Cashmere doesn't: the pieces stay beautiful so it's a good investment.
Red cashere poncho with sleeves by Denner Cashmere London, worn by Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon

A red cashmere poncho with sleeves worn with red and black by over-45s style blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton dot com
Denner Cashmere is a small London based team with a website and store in St John’s Hill, London
SW11. I've always wanted a cashmere dressing gown - it seems the ultimate in luxury - so I will be adding this one to my Christmas list. I'll also be treating myself to a cashmere polo neck jumper because there's nothing worse than scratchy wool polo necks!
The team behind Denner Cashmere London
The Denner Cashmere team 

Sharing this post with #CreativeMondays at Claire Justine, #Anything Goes at My Random Musings#IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as LambVisible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; Style with a Smile at StylesplashTurning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Chic&Stylish at Mummabstylish,  Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style. Fabulous Friday at A Pocketful of Polka DotsTina's Pink Friday, Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas 

I was gifted by Denner Cashmere but I only accept gifts that I would happily choose for myself, and my opinions are always unbiased and objective.


Don't miss a post -  follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter. 


Friday 21 September 2018

My Autumn 2018 Bucket List

Image showing a conker, the fruit of the horse chestnut tree
I've been meaning to follow the example of lovely Leslie from Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After and have a quarterly bucket list of things to attempt to do. Finally got round to it!

I'm not a big fan of autumn or winter. It's so hard to get up on those dark mornings and drive to work in the rain or fog, and then return home in the dark. You want to hibernate and eat carbs. But I try to make the best of it.
Image showing the autumn bucket list for over-40s style and beauty blog, Is This Mutton

Spring Bulbs

First up is the very pleasurable task of ordering my bulbs and planting them. Normally I would have already bought my bulbs but because we had a September holiday, I  delayed ordering them to avoid them arriving while we were away.  I usually order some crocus, three varieties of daffodil, and four or five different tulips. For next spring I'm going to choose tulips that flower both early and late in thr season. Selecting the colours is fun. There's a lot of yellow in the garden in early spring so I'm going to go for purple, white and orange.

Christmas Carols

The Christmas carol service is a fabulous event at the Royal Albert Hall in London. There are several, part of a Christmas festival.  This year it's being moved to the Barbican Centre.  It's easier for us to get to, but not so festive or special in my view. So we may skip the festival and perhaps go to the service at St Paul's Cathedral instead.

Blogger Meet-Up

It's great to meet up with fellow bloggers so I'm hoping to get a posse assembled to go to the Berkeley Hotel for their famous Prêt-à-Portea. The cakes are inspired by latest catwalk trends, and the line-up changes every six months.

Theatre Visits

It's been a bad year on the theatre front. We haven't been once! Shocking when we live in London. But I have no fewer than four theatre visits booked so far, starting with next Friday and rural drama Foxfinder, starring Game of Thrones actor Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton).

Lose 7 Pounds

I've been trying to do this for a long time but can't sustain it.  So I've told myself sternly that I must knuckle down and stick to it.  To lose weight I usually need to drop to around 800 calories, because most women of 45+ only need 1,300 calories a day for normal life.  So it's hard to be devise nutritious diets which don't have you climbing the walls. I'll still be doing my usual exercise regime.

Start the daily walking again

I started the Walk 1000 Miles Challenge on New Year's Day to get ready for the 200 mile walk we were doing in May  (which sadly I had to stop).  Since then I haven't done much walking. I find it easier in cooler weather so it's time to reinstate "the Tesco Circular" when I'm at work.

Buy a year planner

Mr Mutton is now retired and determined to fit in as many sporting holidays as he can. He's slack at using the Google or Outlook calendar so I'm going old school to try to track what he's planning.

Buy fewer clothes

I didn't buy much in summer because I found I didn't really need many new clothes. So for winter, apart from buying into a few key trends and wardrobe updates, I won't be buying many new clothes. Expect to see me "shopping my closet."

Participate in at least one "style imitating art" challenge

I love these SIA challenges, run by a team including Jen from Librarian for Life and Style. It really encourages you to think outside the box. I've only ever done two though. So let's attempt at least one this autumn!

Gather some conkers

Tick tick! Did this today. I don't tie string in them and use for some conker fights, as we did at school. There's an old wives' tale that spiders don't like conkers, and we tried it last year.  Definitely seemed to work. So Mr M will replace all the old wrinkled conkers with nice shiny new ones.

Organise a mini break

One way of livening up winter is to go on a short mini break so I'm going to arrange a long weekend in York.

I kept my list fairly short so let's see how I get on!

Sharing this post with #WeekendLinkUp at Claire Justine, #BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings, and #SaturdayShare at Not Dressed as Lamb.


Don't miss a post -  follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter.  


Wednesday 19 September 2018

Turning a wrinkled blogger into a Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess

The end result after recreating the Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess look, shown on a woman aged 50 plus

I was recently sufficiently seduced by a Charlotte Tilbury make-up tutorial to try to recreate her  Golden Goddess look, as seen on Jennifer Aniston.

How easy is it to become a golden goddess when you're a mature, wrinkled and sun damaged middle aged blogger? Jennifer is in her 40s but is rumoured to spend thousands of pounds on skin treatments involving lasers and ultrasound.

Saturday 15 September 2018

Mixing animal prints

Over 45s blogger Gail Hanlon mixing animal prints with a zebra jumper from Asos and leopard print ankle boots from Office, worn with black trousers with a gold side stripe

I was fancying a bit of zebra print.  Leopard print is soooo ubiquitous, I thought zebra print would stand out a bit more. But I couldn't resist these cute leopard print ankle boots, and seeing as Vogue suggested wearing both animal prints together, I thought why not?

Side side trousers are still a bit of a thing: mine are from Hush last season.

Leopard print ankle boots worn with a baggy zebra print jumper and black trousers

The jumper is in the latest baggy, loose style. It's not a style I normally embrace and you really need a narrow trouser, but I thought the gold in the trousers looked good with the boots.

Style blog for the over-45s, Is This Mutton, shows how to mix your animal prints
The Virginia creeper is about to explode in redness.

I have a leopard print clutch but I that would be over-egging the pudding. Do you agree?  How readily are you embracing the animal magic frenzy?  Bought any new or thrifted leopard or zebra print yet?


Don't miss a post -  follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter. 


Thursday 6 September 2018

Sentence a Day, August 2018

The father of the bride and his wife with the happy couple: Whitstable, UK, August 2018
Welcome to my month of August!

Weds 1
Bad cough. Working from home. J fell off his bike, but, every cloud - by the roadside he found a pair of cutters on the road.  I picked some blackberries from the wasteground at the back of the house, but forgot they were stewing and burnt the saucepan.

Thurs 2
Back in office.

Fri 3
Day off: we are heading down to the seaside town of Whitstable for the wedding of John's daughter Rachel to Sean. Left for Whitstable at 1.15, car loaded with wine. It was very hot so as soon as we got them I swam in the sea (stubbed toe). Met up with some of the party for dinner.

Sat 4
The big day! Weather still beautiful.  Went for a walk around the town and found some earrings that matched my dress perfectly. Around 1.30, John dropped me off at the venue at the harbour to pick up Rachel. Wonderful day.
Drop earrings bought in Whitstable to match a mint mother of the bride dress
Sun 5
After breakfast left Whitstable and back home by 11.30. Did the shopping.

Mon 6
In office. Tomorrow my company has a major event in the centre of Cambridge. Went on a recce as I'm co-ordinating the filming of around 30 videos. Took a leisurely walk back to the office, passed the river Cam and tourists punting.
Tourists on a boat in Cambridge
Tues 7
Left home around 6.30am but then had a call from J to say I'd left my notes behind. Had to turn round to fetch them. Then the motorway was busy. Was panicking in case I was late.  Fortunately got to Cambridge in time. Filming went smoothly.
Arm demonstrates machine learning
Weds 8
Even earlier start today. Left house just before 6.  On the plus side, able to leave around 3pm. Fitted in some pruning and weeding. Garden looking a bit jaded now

Thurs 9th
The busiest day at the event for me. Left home 6.35. Finished with filming of 13 videos. Exhausted. Poured with rain in the afternoon.

Fri 10th
Working from home.  J is getting packed and ready for his 15 day holiday cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats, over 800 miles. He has started what I call his nervous "panther pacing." We watched the European championship athletics.

Sat 11th
Sunny but not so hot.  Did yoga, went to Epping to food shopping and then a garden centre. Got a penstemon and some dianthus to fill late summer gaps.

Sun 12
J was mansplaining about my tyre pressures saying he would show me how to do it.  Called him out. How long have I been driving and checking my tyre pressures?!

Had roast beef. No guests today. Rachel and Sean are honeymooning in America, and coincidentally, John's son Christopher and his wife Katie are also on holiday in America - they're taking in New Orleans and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to name a couple of places.

Mon 13
In office.  Booked some fun activities for next weekend when I'm going to Mum's in Plymouth.

Tues 14
At home. Busy.

Weds 15
In office. Tyre has puncture. Booked in for Fri.

Thurs 16
Bit stressed today. So much work to do. Thought yoga might help but was mortified by knees cracking and being asked if it was me!

Fri 17
Cambridge. Tyre. Didn't take too long. As it's our last night together for a fortnight we went out and had Wagyu burgers.

Sat 18
We were both heading for the Westcountry but at different times and with different modes of transport. I left at 4.30am by car, but the closure of part of the M25 meant I got delayed anyway. Got to Mum's around 10. My brother was there. J and his bike, meanwhile, were travelling by train to Penzance ready for the start of his cycling holiday.

Sun 19
Cloudy start. Took Mum to a pretty place, the Horn of Plenty, on Dartmoor, for lunch. The sat nav decided to take me down terrible windy lanes.
Two women arriving at the Horn of Plenty in Devon for Sunday lunch
Starter of mackeral pate with flowers from the Horn of Plenty, Devon
My starter of mackeral pate 
Foodie image of belly pork with Dauphinoise potatoes from the Horn of Plenty in Devon
Main course of belly pork with dauphinoise potatoes 
We were too full for a pudding but the petits four made up for it. Drove home the long way. No twisty country lanes!

Mon 20
Mum and I went into Plymouth on the bus. Had a mooch round the shops first. Sad to see House of Fraser,  the city's flagship department store, looking so dilapidated. The chain has recently been taken over by Sports Direct but I fear the worst for its future. I had a very happy time there when I was a sixth former and working on Saturdays in the first floor coffee lounge.
House of Fraser did not keep on top of making sure Plymouth's flagship department store was looking good. Summer 2018
 Lunch at Quay 33 on the Barbican. Mum was wearing one of her trademark scarves. I got her this one.
 John, on his cycling holiday,  made friends with a Dartmoor pony. I would be very wary, seeing as I was bitten in the Lake District by a similar looking equine!
A male cyclist pats a Dartmoor pony
Tues 21
The long drive back to London, via Swindon where I used to work. I met up with former colleagues  Jill and Caty for lunch. We had some brilliant times.
Weds 22
Working from home. Collected my new green sequinned shoes from the post office. Couldn't resist them.  Felt good to be back in the gym. Have probably put on five pounds!

Thurs 23
Working at home. It's been a good year for my sweet peas. They're the perennial, "ever lasting" sort, so they don't have any scent sadly.
A tiny vase of perennnial sweetpeas, loved for their everlasting nature by Gertrude Jekhyll
John arrived in a place called Clun and had to go to a launderette called Rub A Dub Dub to do his washing. Of course he had no coins or powder, but someone helped him out

Fri 24
Working from home. Went to Body Pump.  Watched film Finding Your Feet with Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton and Celia Imrie. Very enjoyable.

Sat 25
Warm and sunny. Went into London to do some shopping. Bought a green jumper and pair of black trousers (pants).

Sun 26th
Set off early to the famous Columbia Road Flower Market in East London. Have always wanted to go there! Beautiful – narrow street lined with flower stalls. Bought three massive stems of hydrangea - see them on my Instagram - and some dried lavender. Got home before the rain set in. Poor John is cycling 80 miles today in the north of England – very wet and windy!
Fragrance to keep summer alive in the home from dried lavender
Dried lavender at Columbia Road flower market 

A colourful display of sunflowers at London's Columbia Road flower market
Sunflower display 
Mon 27th
Bank (public) holiday - day off. Up early as usual. Yoga class, then did a lot of cleaning which was very satisfying.

Tues 28th
Working from home as I have an evening blogger event in London. Yay! It's only my third one, because I'm either not available because of working, or not invited :-)  I met up with Laurie from Vanity and Me (right)  and Ashley from Lazy Daisy Jones (centre, in the pink blouse) which was lovely. More on the shoe event here.
Image showing women bloggers along the runway of a show fashion show run by Vionic UK in London
Weds 29th
Went to the office, gloomy autumnal day although it brightened up later. Sold on ebay the mint green dress I wore to Rachel's wedding. I loved it, but it's so distinctive I don't feel I could wear it again.

Thurs 30th
Working from home. Trying to keep up a regime of going to the gym every day for a class or Power Plate ---- on holiday from the end of next week and now frantically trying to lose the pounds gained down at Mum's! John reached Inverness after the most strenuous day of uphill cycling.

Fri 31st
A couple of exciting deliveries from Charlotte Tilbury  (ooh!) and John Lewis - slightly less exciting, silk pillow cases and lap trays!


Don't miss a post -  follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter.  

Sharing this post with #WelcometotheWeekend at Claire Justine, #SaturdayShare at Not Dressed as Lamb,  UK Blogger Club at My Random Musings and Continental Drift at Mutton Style.


Wednesday 5 September 2018

Latest beauty hits/misses and link up

A quick round-up on four products I've been using (or not!) recently.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Vionic trends for autumn/winter

Style blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton? at the Vionic UK runway show in London

Vionic is one of the fastest growing footwear brands worldwide and I was thrilled to be invited to their first runway show in the UK where they showcased the new styles for autumn and winter.
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