A personal style and beauty blog by a working woman who wants to instil joie-de-vivre in the over 50s

Search This Blog

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

My Life in Hairstyles and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

Teenage girl in the 1970s with medium length dark wavy hair
How experimental have you been with your hair over the years?  I didn't think I had been, until I started looking at the archives. Folks, I have had short hair, long hair, a bob, a mullet, permed hair, hair extensions (klaxon) and went from dark to red and then blonde.  Let's look at the evolution.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Meeting a fellow blogger to see the Mary Quant exhibition in London

Two mid life fashion bloggers in the UK meet up for the first time at the Victoria and Albert Museum
One of the best things about blogging is meeting fellow fashion bloggers. On Saturday I met up with Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper, and we spent an enjoyable day at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Beauty Update and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

Beauty products for a cleansing and moisturizing regime for a mature woman including a hyaluronic acid serum, clay mask and micellar cleanser
It's been a while since we had a beauty catch up so I thought we'd start with my current routine before moving onto bubble face masks and a great offer from John Lewis.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Garden and Clothes Fashion at Sissinghurst

Woman posed by an arch with spring planting at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent
Had a day off last week to visit the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, with Lynn. The gardens were created by poet and writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold, a diplomat and author. When they moved in, the gardens and original castle were a complete ruin. They weren't professional gardeners but created gardens including the much copied white garden.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

In The Pink - and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

Pink midi skirt from Marks and Spencer worn with pink and white rose print blouse and white 40s style wedges.
Last week in my post about making poor fashion choices for summer  I mentioned I had my eye on a particular pink skirt. Here it is in all its pepto-bismol glory.  Reader, I bought it. I love the length, colour and the fact it has a belt. Check it out here. Pink is centre stage for spring/summer 2019: there are variations of it everywhere. And pink really does suit everyone.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Dancing for Joy in White Jeans

Side view of blonde woman in white frayed edge wide leg jeans and geometric print blouse by Esprit with white Stan Smith trainers
Having enjoyed such fabulous weather for the long Easter weekend, I'm dancing for joy in my new print shirt and wide leg white jeans - a perfect casual outfit for summer.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Making better choices for summer - and Link Up

Like most of you I've been getting my summer clothes out of storage and pondering over what I need.  I made some poor choices last year that I hardly wore, for one reason or another. Quite a lot of my "old stalwarts" from years gone by are looking a bit dated for this year, so I'll wear them only at home.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Fabulous silk for sweet dreams

I discovered the magic of silk for bedding a few years ago and I've been sleeping on silk pillowcases, and under a silk duvet, ever since. So I was delighted when Jasmine Silk got in touch to offer me a pair of their ultimate silk pillowcases.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Getting Ready for Easter - and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

As Easter approaches more and more homes in the UK will have an Easter tree decorated with glass baubles, eggs and sheep
Easter in the UK was until fairly recently an "ecumenical matter" as Father Jack would say, and had not been commercialized in the way that blights Christmas. Now it's a case of "Easter is the New Christmas."

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Fancy Pants and Naked Sandals

A spring garden is the setting for midlife blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in wide statement trousers, silver sequinned top and silver naked sandals
One of my best buys last summer was a pair of cropped polka dot statement trousers. I wore them far more than I thought I would. They were made of quite a delicate material and sadly have ripped, but fear not! I found a pair of wide statement trousers for this summer from the same retailer.  I'm also wearing "naked sandals" - have you heard of this trend?

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Lilac Brogues Give Me a Spring in My Step - and Link Up

Lilac brogue shoes worn with a long metallic pleated skirt, purple tights and cashmere jumper and lilac bag.
Be still my beating heart, for I have found a pair of lilac brogues! I love brogues - they're a stylish addition to any outfit and can look a bit edgy - and I love lilac as well. So I was thrilled to find this pair of Brighton brogues from British firm Yull at The Bias Cut.com.  They'll look great with jeans and trousers, but also with a long skirt as an alternative to white trainers.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Sentence a Day: March 2019 - a new baby, a ballet and buns

Fri Mar 1
Up at 4am for an early flight home from Nuremberg, Germany, where I've been attending a tech trade fair.  Back home by 8.30 and treated us to hot cross buns from the local baker's.

Sat Mar 2
Shopping. Had a lifting facial with Sue at Endermospa. Needed it, feeling very jaded after a week in an air conditioned trade fair!  Read about it here.

Sun Mar 3
Back in my routine of gym, shopping, housework and cooking a Sunday roast. We started watching Game of Thrones again from the start, in readiness for the new season. I know some of it off by heart!

Mon Mar 4
Don't feel myself. Bit spacey, constant headache, achey. Didn't go to work or in fact get much done. Scala Radio launched by Simon Mayo - classical radio station. Finished a book The Hunting Party, which was promising but then turned a bit predictable.

Tues Mar 5
Worked from home. Very busy in aftermath from last week's event. Booked for us to see the new Van Gogh exhibition in May.

Weds Mar 6
In office. Listened to the Homecoming podcast for the first time and loved it (although I didn't take to the TV show). Had a delivery of a pair of wide jeans and a silk shirt from Boden. See the blog post here.

Thurs Mar 7
Office. Lots of meetings today. Less stress-y now as a lot of the deadline for follow ups have been met. Curry for dinner.

Fri Mar 8
Sunny. International Women's Day. Published a post about Barbara Castle, a UK politician that many of us admired.  J took delivery of his new Samsung S10. Fish n chips for supper.

Sat Mar 9
Woke up early and finished a book The Silent Patient. Did my food shopping in Epping.  Ironing.  Started a new book, 9 Strangers, by Liane Moriarty. Went out with friends for a drink.

Sun Mar 10
Gym, roast beef, blog shoot, 2 posts written. V windy.

Mon Mar 11
Lovely spring day although cold and windy. US agency over. Meetings nearly all day. Had made a salad but bought a sandwich (v bad).  Started the Horror of Dolores Roach podcast series.

Tues Mar 12
In the office. Back on the straight and narrow with a kefir and banana breakfast and yesterday's salad.

Weds Mar 13
At home. Very windy. Again. Spotted that the Clematis Montanas are starting to bud. Always amazes me how they go looking dead and lifeless to suddenly shooting with greenery. Dinner of salmon, sweet potato, celeriac beetroot squash
A Clematis Montana springs into life, London March 2019
Thurs March 14
Finished 9 Strangers - about a spa break which becomes very challenging, shall we say. Enjoyed it.

Fri March 15
Working at home.

Sat March 16
Went to see a Harold Pinter play, Betrayal, with Tom Hiddleston.

Sun Mar 17
Sunny but cold. Walked to PP. Roast chicken.  Published St Patrick's Day post

Monday Mar 18
In office. Long dull day.

Tues 19 March 
At home. Saw the nurse at the surgery for a check up.

Weds 20 March 
In office. Hold up on M11 but still got to office in good time.

Thurs 21 March
No ftf meetings so worked from home. Ordered some Easter goodies, simnel cake and Easter crackers. Gym. Signed the online Brexit petition calling for a second referendum.

Fri 22 March
At home. Cold, cloudy. Hot cross buns. Simnel cake came for Mum.

Sat 23 March
Gym and shopping in Epping. Set myself a charity shop challenge and found a black t shirt with sequinned sleeves and a jacket. See the post here. Did some gardening, first time this year.

Sat 24 March
Rachel and Sean came for lunch. Cooked a gammon with jacket potatoes. Did a blog shoot - three outfits! Watched Bohemian Rhapsody.

Mon 25th March
Went to Covent Garden to see the ballet Don Quixote. Had dinner in the theatre beforehand with my three sisters-in-law. Ballet was spectacular, very lavish, huge corps and excellent scenery and staging.
Is This Mutton'#s Gail Hanlon - third from left - with her three sisters-in-law at the Royal Ballet production of Don Quixote

Waiting for curtain up at the Royal Opera House in London
Tues 26 March
In office. Did shopping first. Forgot to wear a coat and was a bit chilly!

Weds 27 March
Worked from home.

Thurs 28 March
Getting ready to go to Devon.  Bagged up some winter clothes.

Fri 29 March
Had a six hour drive to Devon but wonderful weather.  Listened to crime podcasts on the way. The wife of John's son went into hospital as their baby is overdue, and an induction is likely.

Sat 30 March
Lovely weather again. Took Mum to a garden centre and had lunch. Planted 2 clematis for her.

Sun 31st
Sunny. Wanted to get some photos of us both before we went out, but the camera/smartphone app was not working, Sony having replaced the existing one. Went to a shopping centre in Torquay followed by Mother's Day lunch at the Grand Hotel. First time we've been there and was lovely.

Apple tart with clotted cream
My step grand daughter was born. Proud grandad John went to see the baby. I was still with Mum.

Sharing this post with Wordless Wednesday at Claire's World, #BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings and #ThinkingOutLoudThursday at Penny's Passion 
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Fast fashion or thrifted chic? And Link Up

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in thrifted print jacket and black top and skirt with silver accessories
It's only logical that after my post about what I'm doing to reduce the use of single-use plastic, I would return to the issue of "fast fashion". This is a contentious topic for fashion bloggers like me, and lately it sometimes feels as if we're letting the side down by not buying more in charity shops  ("thrift" or "consignment stores" in the US). But it's not as clear cut or easy as it sounds.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

A new shape for jeans: Boden Helston

Which style of jeans for 2019?  Nothing is completely ruled out, thankfully. But the older woman need to choose with care to avoid looking dated.  Boden's new Helston Sailor jeans are a great choice with their flattering style and gold buttons.
I've written before about how tricky it is to get jeans trends right. When you were rocking straight/drainpipe and flared jeans back in the 70s, wearing them second time round can make you look dated. But even worse is wearing "mum jeans" which make you stand out as middle-aged.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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."

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

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

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. 


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!

Blog Design Created by pipdig