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

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Monochrome - and Link Up

A monochrome outfit in burgundy worn by over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
I'm a big fan of the monochrome look, which is not as many think, wearing black and white.  It applies to a single colour, which can be worn in different hues, applied head to toe.
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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Green for St Patrick's Day

Enjoying the spring sunshine and wearing green for St Patrick's Day
"Green for St Patrick's Day? How original," - it could be a quote from Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada.  But, whatever. Green is the thing for the Irish saint's day.

St Patrick's Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick died on March 17, 461. But he wasn't even Irish. Patrick's birth name was Maewyn. He was born in Roman Britain. He was kidnapped into slavery and brought to Ireland.

He escaped to a monastery in Gaul (France) and converted to Christianity. He went back to Ireland in 432 as a missionary. While Christianity had already taken hold in the country, tradition has it that Patrick confronted the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites, making Christianity more widespread.
Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon wearing an all-green outfit including sequin top and wool coat for St Patrick's Day 2019
That's the history out of the way. It was great to be able to get out into the spring garden, already colourful with forsythia, wallflowers and blue muscari. I have quite a lot of green in my wardrobe, as you may know if you've called by the blog before.
Everything I'm wearing is an old wardrobe stalwart, except the new pearl necklace from Mango. The green sequin top was a bargain from Dorothy Perkins a couple of years ago.  The skirt, ditto, from TU at Sainsbury's. The coat, which is surprisingly warm, came from Marks and Spencer a few years ago. And the boots are probably a decade old. There's a glimpse of green tights. I would probably look too much like a leprechaun if I was wearing shoes!
I used the green shades in my Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions palette  (I wrote about it here).

My husband's parents were both Irish, although they lived in London for many years. On St Patrick's Day Marie, of whom I was very fond, always came round with some fresh shamrock. We never knew where she got it from.

London always has a big St Patrick's Day parade, and here are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow last year. As you can see, Kate is wearing green. Green for St Patrick's Day? Has to be done.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sample Guinness at the St Patrick's Day Parade in Hounslow 2018. Image: PA Archive/PA Images

For More Mutton


Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. 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. 

Disclosure: nothing in this post was gifted.

Sharing this post with On Mondays we Link Up with Glass of Glam; Creative Mondays at Claire Justine,  #ShoeandTell at Style Nudge; #IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; #MuttonstyleMonday at Mutton Style; Style with a Smile at Stylesplash; Turning 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 Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda.at Elegance and Mommyhood.






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Friday, 15 March 2019

What I'm doing to stop using plastic

A large strip of beeswax wrap, a natural alternative to using clingfilm to keep food fresh. One of the ways of reducing plastic consumption in the home in a blog post by Is This Mutton dot com
Who could fail to be horrified and dismayed by the deluge of pictures showing birds and sea life being tortured to death by carelessly discarded plastic? What initially presented itself as a miracle in transforming our lives is now the planet's biggest nightmare. But we can all take steps to try to reduce our use of single-use plastic, and to apply pressure for more non-plastic packaging. Here's what I've started doing:  small steps, but we have to start somewhere.
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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

This concealer really works! Plus #WowOnWednesday Link Up

It's sad but true ladies that as we get older, we have more to hide. On our faces. It's not just pesky under eye circles but redness around the nose and pigmentation.

I've used dozens of concealers in my time, starting at age 14 with Rimmel "Hide n Heal" as it was called then.

Most of them start out OK:  there's a degree of coverage, then, over the hours, it all falls apart.  They either disappear or "pill," flaking into your lines and making you look far worse than when you started. But now I've found a real game changer in the world of concealers: Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Away liquid concealer.
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Sunday, 10 March 2019

A dress for all seasons

Green and pink asymmetric dress by Studio at Preen by Debenhams, ideal for all seasons
I don't buy dresses very often and I often wonder why, because when you find a good one, all your prayers are answered. They're comfortable, easy to style, and flattering. The Studio by Preen line at Debenhams has been raved about by many fashion writers and I couldn't resist this asymmetric dress featuring my two favourite colours, pink and green.
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Friday, 8 March 2019

International Women's Day: Remembering Barbara Castle

Today is International Women's Day and I wanted to share a profile of one of the women I admire the most, the late Labour politician Barbara Castle, nicknamed "The Red Queen."
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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Endermolift facial to stimulate collagen production

Putting the machine to work:  beauty therapist Sue Ali with her LPG Endermolift facial
After a week in Germany at an industry trade event, I was exhausted, dehydrated and feeling the effects of a convenience diet without many fruit and vegetables. So it was a great time to indulge in a special facial courtesy of Sue Ali at her salon Endermospa in Loughton, Essex.

The salon specialises in Endermologie, which is extremely popular in France where there's a salon practically on every high street.  Unlike many treatments, this one is backed by serious scientific studies. Endermologie tackles the connective tissue beneath the skin with a gentle massage machine that has dozens of different protocols.

The Endermolift facial uses the same technology specially adapted for the face. A study showed that it's the only technique in the world capable of stimulating the natural production of hyaluronic acid by an increase of +80%* without the use of injectable sources.

Sounded good to me, particularly as Sue uses the respected SkinCeuticals range in her salon.

The Midas Touch


After a cleanse and exfoliation, Sue put her magic machine to work. The "probe" makes a cute chugging little sound which is quite relaxing, and the treatment tackles different areas. My facial was intended for lifting and firming. Sue explained how the treatment also increases the natural production of collagen as well as elastin in the skin cells.  If you've been having other treatments, it enhances the results of Dermal fillers, Botox and Mesotherapy.  Importantly for me, it reduces the appearance of dark circles and eye bags and smoothes wrinkles. I like the fact it is a 100% natural, non-invasive, non surgical treatment.

Sue is one of the most highly qualified LPG practitioners in the country (LPG is the French company behind Endermologie), holding the Advanced Expert LPG Practitioner Certification.
Sue Ali, advanced LPG practitioner, at her salon in Loughton, Essex
She regularly takes new training courses and experiments on new technology from LPG as it is developed. Sue  will be bringing a new medical machine to the salon soon which tackles skin pre and post liposuction, in collaboration with cosmetic surgeons.

After the relaxing treatment, a gold colloidal mask was applied - the final Midas touch!
Middle aged woman undergoing a facial with a gold colloidal face mask applied
Sue finished off with SkinCeutical's famous CE Ferulic Serum and a moisturizer.

Afterwards I could definitely see the lifting effect, and my skin was glowing.  This is me without any make-up. My jaw line is a little more defined, my eyes are lifted and the dark circles underneath are diminished.
Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon after a facial aimed at stimulating collagen production
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary facial at Endermospa in Loughton, Essex, but as always my opinions and editorial judgment are my own. 


For More Mutton

Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. 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. 


It's Time for #WowOnWednesday!


Now folks it's that time of week when fashion and beauty bloggers are invited to share their posts, giving readers the opportunity to discover sites that may be new to them.

Last week's readers' favourite was Maria at Passion Fruit, Paws and Peonies, with her post "What do you wear on cool spring days?" 
Giving advice on how to style outfits suitable for a cool spring day in the UK: Maria from blog Passion Fruit, Paws and Peonies
The link up will be opening at 12 noon GMT - the new link up tool doesn't allow you to set a time on Chrome so I need to look into this for next week.

Inlinkz Link Party
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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Sentence a Day: February 2019

The welcome to Nürnberg sign at the airport in Germany, featuring local hero, artist Albrecht Dürer
Nürnberg; see Feb 25 
Friday 1 Feb
Woke up to snow- about a teaspoon full! Worked from home. In the evening, Team Hanlon unfortunately lost in the pub quiz that was raising money for J's sister's charity foundation.
Quiz night paper

Sat 2 Feb
Went into London. Exchanged a Pandora bracelet for a larger size  (the more charms, the more difficult it becomes to fasten). Watched a documentary about vegan ultra marathon runner Fiona Oakes. 

Sun Feb 3
Sunny; did Power Plate and went to Epping to do my shopping. I have a few snowdrops in the garden to remind me spring is in sight. 
Snowdrops in the garden, London 2019

Monday Feb 4
Horrible rainy conditions.  Listened to a sad documentary podcast Seriously, about a man with dementia who wrote a book a few years ago, Haunts of the Black Masseur: the swimmer as hero. 

Tues Feb 5
Working at home. Did a Power Plate class before work.

Weds Feb 6
Had time to go food shopping on the way to work. Nice lunch with Berenice. Had my annual appraisal.

Thurs Feb 7
Did an Amazon pre-order of Kindle book You Know You Want this (includes the cult short story Catperson, from the NY Times).  We have a major event at the end of the month and it's now very busy - I'm organising a filming schedule and other activities.

Fri Feb 8
Working at home. Been tough week. Ghastly weather. Getting stuck into the new book. The stories are a little disturbing.

Sat Feb 9

Did an all-day yoga workshop run by a friend, Jodie. It was in a barn out in the countryside. Very enjoyable.

Sun Feb 10
Power Plate followed by shopping, cleaning and hoovering.  Was intending to do a blog shoot but by 3pm had run out of momentum. 

Mon Feb 11
In the office. Awful day. Glad to get away early. 

Tues Feb 12
Working from home. Sunny spring like day.

Weds Feb 13
In office. Went to Tesco first. New blog post, fashion tips for the petite over-50s. I'm not petite at 5'5, so it took a lot of research.

Thurs Feb 14
Didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. In office. Busy but fun day. My favourite night of the week, knowing I'm home until Mon.

Fri Feb 15
Beautiful spring day. Tulips starting to show. At home. Fish n chips. Finished The Necessary Marriage, Elisa Lodato. 

Sat Feb 16
Not sunny sadly. Had patch test at a hairdresssers in Epping.  Did food shopping. Got 2 kitchen magazines as we're finally planning to get the kitchen done. Have been putting it off for years. The naturalized bulbs look lovely in Epping.
Clusters of crocuses under the trees in Epping, Essex
Sun Sun 17
Sunny again. Went to Power Plate and Sainsbury's.  Roast beef. Both of John's kids are on holiday so it was just us. Did a yoga session with Robyn Kristen which ended with the most blissful relaxation. 

Mon Feb 18
Half term so the roads are quieter. Saw the Feb full moon. Not a great day. Felt stressed and irritable when I got home. Watched a documentary about one of our favourite hills in the Lake District, Blencathra, which was soothing

Tues Feb 19
Sunny. J took delivery of new cushions and covers for the conservatory furniture, and put them on. 

Weds February 20
Working at home. Did Power Plate. Very busy! Hoping it would have tailed off by now. Published a blog post on outfits I've been wearing.

Thurs Feb 21
In office. Briefed APAC colleagues on the big industry event next week. So much still to get across the line. Started my prep by sorting out my boarding pass, conference pass etc

Friday Feb 22
At home. Very busy. By 4pm, and after PP, suddenly completely exhausted. Went to the pub for dinner. 

Sat Feb 23
Sunny. Hair done in Epping for the first time. Bit nerve wracking as it was colour and a cut, but went well. On the way, watched transfixed as dozens of deer crossed the road.
Selfie in a hairdressers salon showing the "after" of highlights and a cut
Sun Feb 24
The usual Power Plate class and shopping.  Tomorrow leave for Nürnberg for the big trade show. Had a lot to print off (the only time I ever print things). Wrote two blog posts  for while I'm away, and did a photo shoot. Changed sheets, cooked a roast dinner. Tiring day. Alarm set for 4.15. 

Mon Feb 25
Got to the airport early even for me. Had porridge in one of the cafes. Arrived in Nürnberg just after 10am. Did some email in my hotel and then went over to the conference venue, the Messe, where our stand was being built. Always amazing to see how untidy the halls are, with fork lift trucks and rubbish everywhere, compared to the next day when it's all pristine.

Tues Feb 26
The show opened. We were ready! Busy day for me, coordinating videos and social media. Had an unhealthy meal from a shop in the train station (sandwich and crisps), and early to bed. 

Weds Feb 27
V hectic day. Our stand was even busier today. No sitting at all. Utterly exhausted when got back to hotel at 6.30. Had a bath to soothe my throbbing feet. I had a healthier diet today but suspect dehydration and caffeine withdrawal are making me more tired than usual. 
The dream team 
Thurs 28 Feb
Last day of the show. Weather still good but J got caught in rain at home. Drank more water and paced myself better. Show ended at 5pm. Had cava on the booth. Team went out for the usual end-of-show celebration. Traditional Bavarian place - I had this braised beef and gingerbread gravy. Didn't eat much of the potato dumpling. Set alarm for 4am for the taxi taking us to the airport. 

That was my month - now let's hear about yours!

For More Mutton


Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. 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. 



Inlinkz Link Party
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Monday, 4 March 2019

The Sunshine Blogger Award for Is This Mutton!

The writer of Is This Mutton? the UK style and beauty blog with her long suffering husband on the island of Skiathos in Greece
Sharing a few sunshine-y images from Skiathos last year to go with the fact that I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the lovely Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper. (I also enjoy her Other Blog which covers the weighty topic of Brexit among others!).

The award is given from bloggers to fellow bloggers who inspire creativity and positivity by bringing sunshine to the blogging community and to their readership alike. It is a way of encouraging one another as in saying ‘Hey, you are doing a great job and we can see it. Keep it up!!"

Penny nominated four bloggers and posed eight questions. So here goes!

Why did you begin blogging?

I started way back in 2006 with my other blog  because I was looking for a creative outlet. I've spent 22 years now in the hi-tech world of semiconductors, covering PCs / servers / embedded devices, and I yearned to write about topics like gardening, the arts and politics. I originally trained as a journalist so I've always enjoyed writing.

Is This Mutton? started in 2013 but quickly ran out of steam. I revived it in 2016 as a project to help me keep my hand in, as a digital marketer, when I was looking for a new job.

Has your blog changed since you started it?

Definitely - initially I posted just outfits, and the images were low-res. Here's an example from 2013. My hair is a different colour but the garden still looks the same!
I didn't really have much of a sense of my own style. My confidence has grown in the last three years and I experiment a lot more, plus my images are high res! I also put a lot more effort into promoting the blog with paid promotions occasionally and careful use of SEO and Pinterest. It's hard to find an audience because women over 50 don't generally seek out blogs, unlike the millennial age group. Even my female family members of the same age think my blog is a useless hobby and don't read it!


Blogging is time-consuming – what are the challenges you face in finding the time?

I work full-time, so I operate to a fairly strict schedule. I usually publish twice a week, Sundays and Wednesdays. I take the photos at the weekend and write the posts on Sunday, scheduling the post for Wednesday which includes the #WowOnWednesday link up. I try to have a couple of spare posts in reserve in case I'm away. If I'm going on holiday, I'll write something in advance. On Wednesdays I get to work early so that I have half an hour to promote the new post on my social channels.


When do you write a post – the morning or the evening?

Always in the morning or afternoon - never in the evening.

What is your favourite topic?

That's a tough one.  I cover my two favourite topics, beauty and fashion! Beauty posts sometimes take longer because I might take before and after pictures, and photos of the products.
I love writing about jewellery too but I've exhausted all the world's birthstones, except for a couple of gems and a new series (pending) about the precious metals.

What’s the thing you love most about blogging?

The over-40s blogging community is lovely, so supportive, from all over the world. Everyone is so positive about each other's posts. I would love to meet them all!

What’s the thing you like least?

You do worry if anyone is reading! A lot of the comments are from fellow bloggers, which is lovely, but it feels very special to have comments from non-bloggers who have taken the trouble to visit and read a post.  I think we all beat ourselves up about our numbers not increasing as much as we would like. I'm philosophical about it - as I said earlier, our target audience is not huge. As long as I'm enjoying it, that's the main thing.


Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time?

I'll be retired by then and I hope Is This Mutton? (and me!) will still be going strong.  We're all getting older and hopefully the readers will still be interested in seeing an ordinary woman,  by then over the age of 60, adopting ridiculous poses in the garden and trying to get miracles from face creams.

Now for my nominations!


Mary from Guernsey and her blog The Pouting Pensioner
Irish blogger Hilda for Over The Hilda
Anna from Mutton Style

The Questions for my Four Nominees

What's the blog post you're most proud of?
How do you get the ideas for your posts?
Where are your favourite places in the sunshine?
Tell us an unexpected fact about yourself
What's your favourite social media site and why?
Do you keep yourself on a budget for clothes for your blog?
How proactive are you in trying to build collaborations with brands, if at all?
What does your family think about your blogging habit?

The rules for this award are as follows:


Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog.
List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Thanks again Penny, it was fun answering the questions! Look forward to reading my nominees' replies. Sharing this post with: #MuttonStyleMonday at Mutton Style, Creative Wednesdays at Claire Justine, Anything Goes at My Random Musings and #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb.

I'll be back tomorrow with Sentence a Day for February.
The sun comes up over the sunbeds at Vassilias beach, Skiathos in Greece

For More Mutton

Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies (handbags and shoes) on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. 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. 











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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Beautiful spring prints from Lily and Me

Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon in floral patterned skirt, cardigan and coral top from UK family business Lily and Me
It was very timely that as the beautiful spring weather arrived, so did my parcel from Lily and Me with, hot off the press, some of their new arrivals for SS19.

Are you familiar with Lily and Me I wasn't until recently when someone mentioned them in a comment. I had a look at their website and loved their prints. I was thrilled to see that this is a family owned UK company.

Amelia and Hari launched the brand in early 2007. Coming from a manufacturing background, they had spent a number of years producing clothing for other brands and wanted to start a line of their own. Amelia and Hari were joined by brother Ben and sister Polly to make it an all family concern managing all aspects of the business. Recently ‘Lily and Me’ has undergone rapid growth and now employ a large team at their new premises in Gloucestershire.

The muse for Lily and Me is Amelia and Hari’s daughter, Lily. You can see her in the catalogues.
Is This Mutton? in Floral Meadow skirt and Kemble cardigan in Floral Meadow plus Monica top in coral from Lily and Me, spring summer 2019
Lily and Me has a distinctive range of prints and I was invited to choose a couple of pieces from the new collection. I fell in love with the colourful Floral Meadow print and chose the gorgeous Border Print skirt in Floral Meadow, £53, and the Kemble cardigan in Floral Meadow. "Co-ords" or two pieces as we used to say are still very big for spring and summer. Lily and Me were kind enough to also send me the Monica top in Coral (very similar to colour of the year Living Coral too!).

These pieces aren't on the website yet but they will land soon. The Kemble cardigan can be seen in  other prints. 
A gorgeous floral print, Floral Meadow, adorns this Kemble cardigan and Border Print skirt by Lily and Me
I was impressed with the quality: the skirt is linen but barely needing ironing even after being folded up in a parcel. I teamed the outfit with white ankle boots and nude fishnet tights  (I refuse to bare my legs in February!). Sandals will obviously look great, and I can think of many different ways of wearing these pieces.  The cardi will look lovely with white cropped trousers. The skirt will dance its way into evening wear with a silk camisole. And the Monica top will go with just about everything.
Over 50s fashion blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?

Disclosure: I was gifted with a skirt, cardigan and top by Lily and Me. My editorial opinions are always unbiased. 

Sharing this post with: 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 Dots, #Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas Thursday Moda.at Elegance and Mommyhood., Linkup at the Edge at Shelbee On The Edge, #WeekendBlogHop at Claire Justine and #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday

Last week's readers' favourite was the gorgeous Emma from Stylesplash and her post featuring her trademark cool accessories and a hat.
Looking stylish in studded boots, check skirt, hat and amazing bag from Pom Amsterdam is over 40s blogger Emma Peach from Stylesplash
We're very fortunate to have this burst of warm spring-like weather and be able to get outside for photos. Now let's see your fashion and beauty posts!







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Sunday, 24 February 2019

This week's outfits

Hello groovers. Just a quick outfit round-up today. I'm getting ready for a week in Nuremberg attending an event called Embedded World, and today is a blur of printing off stuff, a gym session, packing, writing a list of meals for J, changing the beds, roasting a chicken, and a quick blog shoot for Wednesday.

The outfit above is a favourite of mine, very easy: it's a black and white printed blouse, old, from Next that doesn't even need ironing;  black straight leg trousers and a black jumper (sweater) from Woolovers. I bought it recently because I wanted a loose black cashmere mix jumper and this one had a scoop neck, which these days is hard to find.

Without the red accessories, this is a boring outfit. But by adding red with the boots, bag and necklace, it becomes a lot more interesting.
Red and black: red accessories add some wow to a black and white blouse, black jumper and black trousers worn by over-50s blogger Is This Mutton?
Now, what say we to green tights?  If you've been following me for a while you'll know I love patterned and coloured hosiery. This green outfit is another of my easy work outfits - cashmere jumper from Marks and Spencer (regrettably crew neck, they don't seem to do scoops these days) and a black and green skirt from Sainsbury's. I like to add something unusual to an outfit like this, so chose the green tights. I was only disappointed that I don't have green boots as well!   Too much like Kermit?
Over-50s blogger Is This Mutton? in an all-green outfit of jumper, necklace, skirt and tights.

Supermarket chic for work: a tunic dress and mustard boots from Sainsburys worn with teal tights and silky top
Here I'm featuring two pieces from Sainsbury's - the mustard boots and dress - plus teal tights and silky jumper from Kettlewell. The dress is a pull-on, with no fastenings, so it's another joyful piece to wear to work.
As warm spring weather hits the UK, Is This Mutton? style blogger Gail Hanlon wears last summer's white boucle jacket with a short sleeved pearl studded jumper and jeans
With the unusually good temperatures and sunshine right now, most winter coats are too heavy for the balmy weather so I've been wearing last summer's white boucle jacket. It was just right, with a short sleeved pearl studded jumper, jeans and Stan Smith's, for a shopping trip yesterday.
Look how the flash has done something weird to my legs!

I'll be back on Weds with a special outfit and the #WowOnWednesday link up. Hope you can join me.

In the meantime, I'll be sharing a few highlights of Embedded World during the week if you're following me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gail.hanlon/

No items were gifted except the red necklace from Eternal Collection.

Sharing this post with On Mondays we Link Up with Glass of Glam; Creative Mondays at Claire Justine,  #ShoeandTell at Style Nudge; #IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; #MuttonstyleMonday at Mutton Style; Style with a Smile at Stylesplash; Turning 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 Dots, #Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas Thursday Moda.at Elegance and Mommyhood.
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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

What I've Been Wearing - and Link Up

Mid life woman wearing a pink Bowie flash cashmere jumper from Orwell and Austen
My bedroom is now overshadowed by the looming form of a fully extended tripod with a camera on top. No, I am not shooting dodgy videos but trying to capture more outfit shots. The selection below were mostly taken at 6.30 in the morning, just before I set off on the drive to Cambridge.

I had a bit of an existential "I don't know what to wear for work" crisis when I first started at my new job 16 months ago. It's an engineering tech company like my last one, and most people dress fairly casually.  I always think jeans are a minefield for the older woman, so it's not a look I choose for work except occasionally.

I bought a few outfits that were too dressy, but now I've found "my uniform," which is either a patterned blouse with dark skirt or trousers, a cropped cashmere cardi and ankle boots, or a print skirt with ankle boots and a plain top.

The outfit below was what I wore on Saturday for my usual food shopping, except that I was also popping into a trendy new hairdresser's to have a patch test. So I decided to up the usual shopping ante by wearing my Bowie jumper by Orwell and Austen,  and silver boots. I have worn the jumper a lot, but here's the thing: it was expensive (more than £200) but the cashmere is a fantastic quality and it washes and retains its shape beautifully. So it was a worthwhile investment. And it always gets compliments.

The jeans are parallels from Warehouse. As I mentioned, I find jeans a minefield.  You can so easily wear the wrong sort and be instantly labelled as middle-aged/staid. I read recently that boot leg jeans are back, but for many they didn't go away.  I would advise caution until the really young and trendy start wearing them. Then we can reclaim them without looking retro.
A pink cashmere jumper with the "Bowie flash" by British firm Orwell and Austen, worn with black jeans and silver boots

A fawn midi skirt worn with white silk blouse and long ivory cardigan and leopard print boots
Next up, a fairly innocuous work outfit: shades of camel and beige livened up with a pair of leopard print boots. But a trifle dull, don't you think? I was regretting all day that I didn't add a leopard print belt or scarf.  See how the scarf instantly lifts the outfit (this photo was taken a few hours later, and without flash, which seems to have aged me about 10 years!  (Memo to self:  ignore those who say "don't use flash....").
Adding a leopard print scarf lifts an outfit of fawn midi skirt, white blouse and long ivory cardigan
Note the long cardigan, which came from Marks and Spencer Autograph.  I have two long cardigans and find them incredibly useful.  How did I manage without them all this time?
A burgundy print skirt worn with a pink silk blouse, cropped cashmere cardigan and burgundy ankle boots
I wore this Lily and Me print skirt (also reduced) a few weeks ago with a burgundy top that has a spectacular bow, and a special pair of knee-high suede burgundy boots.  This time I wore it with a pink silk shirt, cropped cashmere cardigan and flat burgundy boots and navy tights.

Handy tip: I keep all my navy tights, belts and socks in a bag that hangs on the door, to avoid me wearing black by mistake. The light in the bedroom is very gloomy in the early mornings and navy and black both look the same in that light! Wearing black and navy together can traumatize me for the day.
A statement patterned blouse from Pom Amsterdam worn with a green cropped cardigan, navy trousers and burgundy boots
Finally, back to the eerie yellowy glow of 6.300am flash with my other signature look:  flat ankle boots, straight trousers, a patterned blouse and a croped cardigan. The blouse is from The-Bias-Cut.com and it's now in the sale.

Sharing this post with High Latitude Style, #ChicandStylish at MummabstylishFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style. Fabulous Friday at A Pocketful of Polka Dots, #Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas Thursday Moda.at Elegance and Mommyhood, #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb and #WeekendBlogHop at Claire Justine.

#WowOnWednesday

Last week's readers' favourite was Mary from The Pouting Pensioner, with a popular post on What I've been Wearing Lately. I've chosen my favourite oufit from the selection:
Now let's see what you've been wearing. Any fashion or beauty posts are welcome in #WowOnWednesday.


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Sunday, 17 February 2019

White and black

An abstract patterned white and black midi skirt worn with an ivory jumper and white ankle boots. A contemporary look for a woman of any age
After no spend January I was itching to get something new, so here it is, an abstract print midi skirt and baggy white jumper with buttons. Plus my gorgeous Russell & Bromley white boots.
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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Fashion tips for the Petite Over-50s - and Link Up

This is the first in a new series on Is This Mutton? addressing some of your fashion dilemmas, as revealed in our recent fashion and beauty survey - results here. Today the spotlight is on tips and know-how for petite women.
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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Beauty repeat buys and link up

The most useful beauty product reviews are not the posts which tell us about glossy new products but those which tell us about the items that we buy on repeat. These are the products which are reliable and do what they say on the packaging.
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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Sentence a Day: January 2019

Couple walking in Epping Forest on New Year's Day
Tues 1st January
Mild start to the New Year and we went out early for a walk in Epping forest, 4.70 miles.

Weds 2 January
Back to work, although working from home.  Not too frantic. Tomorrow is worse.

Thurs 3 January
At home. Busy!! This period, between Jan and end of Feb, is very hectic.

Fri 4 January
Working at home. Rush to get an ad finished. Did Power Plate but have a pain similar to tennis elbow so had to be careful with weights.

Sat 5 January
5 degrees. Did my food shopping in Epping. Got my first bunch this year of British daffodils. Had a smile at the Twitter response from all the great museums of the world to a tweet from @TheMERL (the Museum of Rural Life) - "Show us a duck."
Vase of British daffodils
Sun 6 January
Walked to Power Plate, nearly 5 miles there and back. A vegan recipe book was delivered, Bosh!  Had an M&S nut roast for lunch. Am trying to eat more plant based meals.

Mon 7 January
In office. Busy day. No time for a walk.

Tues 8 January
At home. Lovely day. Molly the cat likes to join me at work.
Molly the black and white cat belonging to fashion blogger Is This Mutton
Weds 9 January
Into London for two meetings with podcast producers.  Like old times. V cold, walked between the two meetings.

Thurs 10 January
In office. Busy day! Head spinning.

Fri 11 January
At home. Tough Power Plate class. Fish n chips for dinner.

Sat 12 January
Went to the National Gallery to see the exhibition of Impressionists on loan from the Courtauld. Utterly amazing to be so close to iconic works - and they encourage you to take pictures.
Close up of Monet Water Lily Pond
Monet: Water Lily Pond, 1899
Manet: "A bar at the Folie-Bergere, painted a year before he died 
Van Gogh: Sunflowers
Then I met up with fellow bloggers Annemarie from Mutton Style and Michelle from Fifty and Fab at the swish Berkeley Hotel, where we had a "Prêt-à-Portea". Read more here.
Cake stand featuring cakes with a couture influence at the Berkeley Hotel in London
Sun 13 January
A day that started with a Power Plate class and then cleaning and roast beef, which smelled so delicious I had to have some.

Mon 14 January
In office. Crazy busy. Long day, 12 hours.

Tues 15 January
At home. Quiet day. Had hair done - "after" photo below. Watched one of my favourite films, Contact, after reading a newspaper report about reports of extraterrestrial noise in space.
Is This Mutton? blogger Gail Hanlon after a colour refresh and trim with Jodie Blewitt
Weds 16 January
Went to work by train today. Went to a team dinner at a Thai restaurant.  Home by 10.55. V tired.

Thurs 17 January
Up at 5.45 to drive to work and touched to find J had left a teabag in a mug for me.  Prints day at work.This is when we wear prints. Not sure why.

Friday 18 January
Home. Did Power Plate for the first time since Sun. My "Women of the First World War" brooch came from the Royal British Legion. Beautiful, and in memory of a lady called Nellie. I will wear it proudly in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday in November.

Sat 19 January
Shopping as usual in Epping although annoyingly forgot to get daffodils. Went out in the evening for a Greek mezze with John's daughter and her husband.
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Sun 20 Jan
Just the two of us today. I nipped out to get daffodils and also some treats for the tuck shop at work because tomorrow is supposed to be Blue Monday.

Mon 21 January
Blue Monday was fine! Everyone loved the treats. Cheery day.

Tues 22 January
At home. Went to a meeting in London pm. Was sunny and pleasant but temp had dropped and was raining when I came out.

Weds 23 January
Risk of ice, so worked from home.

Thurs 24 January
Got the train to work. In the evening went to a colleague's leaving do at a former bicycle shop, now a restaurant (and called "The Old Bicycle Shop"). Had a lovely room upstairs.Service was very slow so bit concerned about catching train home.
Fri 25 January
Worked from home. Power Plate, fish and chips.

Sat 26 January
Went to see Party /Celebration plays starring Celia Imrie at the Harold Pinter Theatre. In front row of balcony. Quite short, was finished by 9.15.
Looking down from the balcony in the Harold Pinter Theatre, London
Sun 27 January
Power Plate, later class, so that I could return a parcel at Waitrose. Roast beef with Rachel and Sean. Sadly, Johnnie Walker off for six weeks for a heart operation - missed him on Sounds of the 70s  (BBC Radio 2).

Mon 28 January
Office. V cold. Good day. Fun

Tues 29 January
At home. Sunny not so cold.

Weds 30 January
In office. Early so went to Tesco to do some shopping on the way to work. Our new brown bin for garden waste was delivered - bigger. We're very lucky, our council still empties the refuse and recycling bins each week and the garden refuse bin once a fortnight.
Thurs 31st January
Up at 5.30 making salads for lunch and dinner. Left work at 1.30 as the forecast changed to an amber warning for snow. Did the rest of my meetings at home.

Sharing this post with Weekend Blog Hop at Claire Justine, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings and #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb

Now link up your Sentence a Day Posts


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