"". October 2018 | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

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Wednesday 31 October 2018

New skincare range from Look Fabulous Forever: and Link Up

The first three skincare products from Look Fabulous Forever, the beauty brand specifically designed for the mature woman
Look Fabulous Forever, the cosmetics range developed for mature women by founder Tricia Cusden, has introduced its first skincare range. Here are my first impressions.  I've been using the three products for a week and I will return in a couple of months with a longer view assessment.

Sunday 28 October 2018

Sparkle with stars and silver

Glistening with colourful stars, this black jumper is not just for Christmas. Add a silver pleated skirt for an everyday look.

The weather, we are warned, is about to become arctic. After a fantastic summer, and warm autumn, temperatures in London plunged to 4 degrees (39) yesterday and 6 degrees (42) today with showers. Plus we put the clocks back, so darkness will fall around four o'clock. Faced with the thought of five months of gloomy weather, I treated myself - early - to a Christmas jumper. That's a sweater to my US friends.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Show me your slippers and Link Up

A cute dog guards a slipper. Part of an article by Is This Mutton? on slippers, the ultimate taboo subject!
I'm talking fearlessly today about a taboo subject. Slippers!  The focus is the type of slipper worn indoors. To see someone in their slippers, in their home, is to see them somewhat vulnerable.

I was intrigued to read about an entrepreneur who developed a trendy slipper, the Mahabis.  He had Googled flip flops and followed it with a search for slippers, and found many, many more people were actively searching for slippers.

The Mahabis slipper was then born. What makes it different is the "outdoor" sole which enables the wearer to go from house to dustbin with ease.

Slippers are not in general a young person's thing. When I surveyed the millennials in my office, very few wore slippers.  One young colleague does wear Mahabis, as does her partner.

Putting together the shopping guide was quite an eye opener. All the upmarket brands sell slippers, including the "outdoor"" type, which can be very expensive. In the last year or so it's become fashionable to wear slippers outdoors.  This very afternoon, I saw a young mother in fluffy mules which looked exactly like slippers. But she was out shopping.

I tend to buy cheap slippers - mules - from either Marks and Spencer or Next. I wear them for a few months and then bin them. Here's a selection of slippers (and the feet of someone who doesn't wear them) from my family. Can you spot my slippers?  Leave your answer in the comments below.
Several different pairs of feet in slippers for indoors
One of my colleagues also buys cheap slippers but he has a young dog who savages them, so it makes sense. That's his slipper - and dog, Dollie - above. Another colleague has shared her "hausschu":

Strange facts about slippers 

The first slippers were worn by the concubines of a rich sultan in 12th Century Vietnam. Wearing slippers kept the concubines captive. Having only soft, slippery, thin-soled slippers on their feet meant the women could never survive escape through the rocky terrain outside the harem.

So a sinister start for the slipper.

In Japan, everyone has one pair of slippers for roaming around the house, and another for trips to the toilet. Remembering to change out of your loo shoes once you have answered the call of nature is vital. According to Inside Japan: “Accidentally forgetting to take off the toilet slippers after leaving the WC is pretty much the most mortifying thing you can do”.

Judy Garland's red slippers

There are only four remaining pairs of the famous red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz. One of these pairs went to auction in 2011 with a guide price of $2-$3 million. When they weren’t sold, a group of angel donors – including Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg – clubbed together to buy the slippers and donate them to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

A second pair were stolen in 2005 and a Wizard of Oz super fan has offered a $1 million reward for information regarding their whereabouts.

Shopping for Slippers 

What are your slippers like? Or do you never wear them? Do tell!

Sharing with #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb and #WeekendBlogHop at Claire Justine.


Tuesday 23 October 2018

Tasty Tuesday: Carrot & Almond Soup

I've been persuaded by the lovely Leslie to join a recipe blog hop. Welcome to visitors from Dani's blog!  Today we're all sharing a soup recipe. Mine is a carrot and almond soup, rich in nutrients, antioxidants and protein, thanks to the veg, ginger and ground almonds. And fairly low in calories!

Monday 22 October 2018

Blue and red Eva Trends Norah cardigan worn as a dress

Style blog Is This Mutton? styles a blue and red check cardigan from Eva Trends as a dress, funking it up with a wide belt and Rew collar.
I'm loving the midi length of dresses and skirts. Somehow it seems so much more contemporary and trendy than knee length, which I used to love.

I'm wearing a navy and red linen check cardigan (as a dress) from Eva Trends. They specialize in loose fitting clothing - most items are one size, and it's fairly generous.  The loose style doesn't suit me very much - see below for the dress on its own. 
But once I'd added my trademark wide leather belt and latest red Rew collar, the dress inspired Mr Mutton to say "nice outfit" which is a compliment rarely heard in Mutton Towers.
Style blog Is This Mutton? styles a blue and red check cardigan from Eva Trends as a dress, funking it up with a wide belt and Rew collar.
You may have noticed the red tights and a pair of my prized quirky shoes from Poetic Licence. These are navy with pink bows,
Blue and red check dress with a wide navy belt, red Rew collar and red tights

Side view of navy and red check dress from Eva Trends worn by style blogger Is This Mutton?
Which look did you prefer? Loose or belted?

I'm thrilled to say that Eva Trends is offering a 10% discount across the entire website for Is This Mutton? readers. The Norah stripe cardigan is here.  Use the links I've given and the discount is yours.

I was gifted with the Norah cardigan by Eva Trends. Everything else is my own.

Sharing this post with #CreativeMondays at Claire Justine, On Mondays we Link Up with Glass of Glam; #Anything Goes  at My Random Musings, #ShoeandTell at Style Nudge; #IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; Style with a Smile at Stylesplash; Turning Heads Tuesday atElegantly 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 APocketful of Polka Dots, #Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas Thursday Moda.at Elegance and Mommyhood.

Join me on Wednesday for the #WowOnWednesday link up. I'll be talking about the ultimate taboo. Intrigued? 


Sunday 21 October 2018

Autumn bucket list update

A typical autumn scene of red and golden leaves
I didn't realise I'd have give an update on my autumn/fall bucket list quite so soon so I'm feeling a bit guilty that I haven't made much progress.

Most of the activities on my list were fairly benign and pleasant, seeing as it was my first one. I didn't want to set myself anything too demanding. Here's a recap on my list:
Image showing the bucket list for autumn/fall 2018 for style blog Is This Mutton?
1. Spring bulbs: I'm halfway through the job.  I always wait until November to plant tulips because you are less likely to have them suffer from tulip fire if you wait until the ground is colder. So far I have planted the narcissi, muscari and crocuses. It's always a challenge to find enough available containers because some of the summer planting is still going strong - dahlias and so on. But by November I will have got rid of them and can move the tulips in.

2.. Sort out the Christmas carol service.  Well, job done - although not as I planned! I invited members of the family, who all declined, and then some of my blogger chums, who also declined. So I guess it's a No this year! I may still get J to go to a different carol service, the one at St Paul's Cathedral. No tickets are needed in advance.

3. Arrange a blogger meet up for the New Year:  I'm going to organise afternoon tea at the Berkeley Hotel in London. I'm reluctant to lock down dates yet because I travel a lot for work and don't want to commit and then find I can't make my own event!

4. Get more theatre visits:  YES! Have been twice since I published my bucket list, and we're off to see In the Height of the Storm, with Dame Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce, in November. Plus I have a ballet booked for Jan and another play booked for Feb.

5. Lose seven pounds. No. I've maybe lost one or two. But there are lots of birthdays in Oct and Nov (including J's and mine) plus Christmas hard on their heels, so I'm not making this a high priority just yet.

6. Start the daily walking again:  haven't started yet.

7. Buy a year planner for 2019.  Yay - it's up on the wall! I purposefully haven't filled it in yet - don't want to show the burglars when we're on holiday, do we?

8. Buy fewer clothes and shop the closet:  I probably have bought fewer clothes than I normally do at this time of year.  I write down everything I buy so that I have a record at the end of the year. I'll be featuring more old faves on the blog in the next few weeks.

9. Participate in at least one SIA challenge. Haven't done this yet. I was very tempted by the current one, but I haven't got any florals in these colors. So here's still time hopefully for the next couple of challenges.
10. Gather some conkers:  done, and these have been placed around the house, on window sills, to deter spiders.  It may be an old wives' tale but we found it worked last year.

11. Book a mini break: not done. I'll tell you why. Mr Mutton is very fit and a dedicated sportsman. He's invariably training for something. From late Nov to April, he's training for the London Marathon and he always trains a group of beginners for his running club. From May to July, he needs to do intensive cycling training for the two week challenge he's doing, over 1000 miles across the south of France (very hilly). In theory, there's a window of opportunity now, but I know he would be itching to come back in time for the Sunday cycle rides he does with friends. So I need to go on weekend breaks with someone else! 

So progress is a bit slow - probably fewer than half of the tasks done! I'm going to delete the last one, the mini break, because it won't happen now with the marathon training season. 

Hope to do better next time ladies! Thanks to Leslie for pulling this group of bloggers together!

Sharing this post with #Anything Goes at My Random Musings, #WeekendBlogHop at Claire Justine 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. 

Busy week on Is This Mutton? Come back on tomorrow Mon for an outfit post., with a discount code. On Tuesday I'm joining Souper Tuesday, and on Wednesday we have, of course, the #WowOnWednesday link up of fashion and beauty.


Wednesday 17 October 2018

Can these pills lift brain fog? And link up

Colourful dandelions illustrating a report by over 45s style blog Is This Mutton? on nootropics, supplements which claim to enhance brain function

Have you heard of nootropics? Nootropics are foods or dietary supplements that support brain functions such as focus, memory and concentration. I was invited by the brand Utmost Me to try their two products, Neuro Focus Plus and Neuro Rest. Here's my objective, unbiased review.

Sunday 14 October 2018

Smart look, supermarket style

Over-45s style blogger Gail Hanlon in forest green and mustard stripe dress from Sainsbury's, mustard pull-on ankle boots, also Sainsbury's, and green ribbed tights
I was doing the shopping at Sainsbury's and couldn't help noticing the clothing aisles were full of new arrivals. Plenty of on-trend colours;  a decent looking leather jacket; good looking coats.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Favourite Shirts

Close up of over-45s blogger Gail Hanlon in pink leopard print blouse from POM Amsterdam worn with a burgundy velvet jacket

Leopard print is all around us and I'm already getting bored with how ubiquitous it is, but this gorgeous blouse ticks many other boxes.  It's from POM Amsterdam at The-Bias-Cut.com and will be a very versatile asset in my wardrobe.

Monday 8 October 2018

Tourmaline - One of the October Birthstones

Close up of a beautiful pink tourmaline and diamond ring in 18 ct yellow gold from Sanders Jewellers in New Zealand.

You may thought we had covered all the birthstones by now in the regular Is This Mutton? series. Oh no, we still have a few alternative birthstones left, and pink tourmaline is one of the birthstones for October. This post was updated October 2020 with a latest shopping guide.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Sentence a Day, September 2018

Brightly coloured cycling tops on a washing line
Saturday 1 September
Seems a long time ago now, but J finally finished the Land's End to John O'Groats bike ride today, over 1000 miles. Says it's the hardest thing he's ever done - and he's run nearly 30 marathons. Here he is celebrating after the ride.
Cyclist celebrates finishing LEJOG, Land's End to John O'Groats
Sun 2
I walked to the gym for Power Plate. ("PP").  Long day of travelling for J. He was finally home by 7. His bike will follow in a few days.

Mon 3
In office. Tough week ahead, lots to do before holiday. Went for a lunch walk to try to breathe and get through stress.

Tues 4
At home. Too busy for gym.

Weds 5 
In office. J not very well. Body is trying to recover after its ordeal.

Thurs 6
Had a meeting in London. Got home, took Molly to the cattery. She doesn't mind it there. Bit worried about J who has a bad cold. We had to cancel a dinner tonight with Rachel and Sean.

Fri 7
We're off on holiday! Taxi at 3.30am to the airport. First time at London Luton for more than five years. Used to be a sweet little airport, what have they done to it? Bag drop and security took so long the plane was boarding by the time we got to the gate.  Flight to Skiathos, Greece. Arrived at our hotel just after 12. Yay! Had dinner at one of our regular haunts, the Final Step, travelling by water taxi.

Sat 8th
I was up early and took some photos of the sun rise.
Sun rise over the sea and a beach at Skiathos, GreeceJohn still poorly. We spent the day on the beach., which is what we always do. There's a button by each sunbed to summon the waiter. I watch all the shipping going by in the distance with binoculars. We always have lunch overlooking the sea, usually a delicious Greek salad for me.

Sun 9th
J a little better. Went to Lo&La, a fun Italian we love, where we had a hug from owner Anastasia. Delicious feta pastries in honey followed by carbonara. I didn't take many photos of our holiday because we've been to Skiathos five times. See my post from last year to get a flavour of the place - it was my best read post of 2017!

Mon 10th
Wind expected and the boats stopped running in the morning. I was keen to get into town to get some medication for J. Went by bus. Came straight back. Boats started operating again. Wind quickly died down.

Tues 11
J a bit better. Went into town and ate at Lo&La. Two complimentary liqueurs each, amaretto and limoncello from Anastasia. Wonderful Greek/Italian hospitality.

Weds 12
Overcast in the morning,  quite windy.  Decided we'd eat in hotel.  Shared meatballs starter - huge!  I had salmon.

Thurs 13
Storms in night. Wet. Sheltered in bar for a while and then went on beach. Mostly overcast. Had a Greek salad lunch and later, cocktails and dinner at hotel. Pork skewer with grilled veg. My bank  texted me about fraudulent activity on a debit card. Aargh. Great to know  (not!).

Fri 14
Going home day. Our suitcases had to be outside by 7.15. It was a long day getting home. Shed a tear as we flew away from Skiathos. Been there 5 times but this was probably our last time. Home by 4.30pm. Fish n chips for dinner.

Sat 15
Up early, 5.30am. Lots of washing to do; shopping and collecting M.  Had to speak to the bank's fraud team. Had an Asos delivery. Keeping the leopard print boots and zebra jumper. See them here.

Sun 16
Slept badly. Bad cough. Rachel & Sean came for lunch. Had roast chicken. Haven't seen them for 5 weeks. They scrap booked their honeymoon in the afternoon.

Mon 17
Another poor night's sleep. Back to work. Took a while to sort out my monitor etc as someone had used my desk and left everything unplugged. Home by 4.30 with brain fade.

Tues 18
V windy. Slept well. Early PP class then several conf calls. Reading Thin Air by MIchelle Paver. Very creepy ghost story (and I don't normally rate ghost stories).  Started taking Imedeen, a skin supplement.

Weds 19
Glorious late summer day. Trees changing colour. In office. Listened to a new podcast, Telegraph Fashion Unzipped. Started taking some new tablets, Neuro Rest from Utmost Me. They're to help with sleep. I'll be reviewing them soon.

Gloomy and grey. Became windy. Busy day. We had a team lunch at The Wrestlers pub to say goodbye to a colleague going on maternity leave. Thai food.

Very windy in night and this morning. At home. Did PP.  Gathered some conkers. We place these around the house, on windowsills and ledges, and they repel spiders. It seems to work. Conkers are small and shrivelled this year because the weather didn't suit them. Went to the pub for dinner.
A handful of conkers from a horse chestnut tree
Did the shopping in nearby Epping. Cold and raining. Did a shoot indoors, two outfits: a red blouse and today's outfit for a "7 Outfits,  days post. ". In a classic sign of autumn, (fall), Strictly Come Dancing started this evening.  This was the show that led to what the US calls "Dancing with the Stars." We always watch it.

Bad weather am. Went to PP. Did two outfit shoots indoors. Just us for lunch, which was roast beef. Booked to see Party/Celebration at the theatre on 26 Jan, starring Celia Imrie.

In office. Lovely day. Colder. Left early to get back for late meetings by Skype. Watched the final episode of thriller The Bodyguard, which has been gripping the UK. Convinced I saw an alien space ship but J was not bothered.

At home. Sunny cold. PP. Ordered bulbs (late). Delivery of  Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes eyeshadow palette, reviewed here.  Finished Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.  Creepy!

Day started badly, was attempting to post my new blog link up but there were problems. By the time I'd sorted it, I had to leave for work and didn't have time to make my salad for lunch. Stressy day. Stomach in knots. Realised it was unclenching as I drove home talking to Mum.

A beautiful autumn day. Worked from home. Delivery of two beautiful blouses from the Bias Cut. Have a nasty crick in neck - not sure how that happened. Thai curry for dinner.

Lovely day. At home. Did 2 sessions PP. Went into London to see a play, Foxfinder with Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton from Game of Thrones). Tiny theatre.  Quite enjoyed it. Intriguing. Saw some singers at Liverpool street as part of BBC music day.
Blogger outside a London theatre
Had hair coloured and a very light trim. Have decided to grow hair.  Lovely warm day so did some gardening.
Over 45s blogger Gail Hanlon after cut and colour
After the hair cut 
Went to PP.  Lots of housework and prepared roast pork with crackling. Yum. Asos delivery of some pairs of jeans, checked trousers (too long) and black ankle boots with silver heels.

Sharing this post with #WeekendBlogHop at Claire Justine and #Saturday Share 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. 

How was your September? Let's find out.....


Wednesday 3 October 2018

Happiness is gorgeous jewellery plus Link Up

Against a Virginia creeper background, over 45s blogger Gail Hanlon in red check asymmetric skirt, black polo neck, red and black boots and jewellery from Happiness Boutique

Today I'm going to introduce you to a boutique that has a wonderful selection of affordable fashion jewellery  (or as the US spell it, jewelry). Happiness Boutique - and just its name makes me smile!  - has a great range of up-to-the-minute statement earrings, delicate chains, bracelets, rings - you name it, with a lot of inspiration from vintage pieces.
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