"". January 2019 | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

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Wednesday 30 January 2019

What women aged over 45 really think about fashion - and link up

The results are in: the Is This Mutton? com survey of women aged over 45
I was thrilled with the reaction to the first Is This Mutton? fashion and beauty survey. Hundreds of responses! Thanks to those who completed the 10 questions. There were a few surprises in the results.

Sunday 27 January 2019

What I've been wearing this week

Over 50s fashion blogger Gail Hanlon in gym kit from Yoga Leggs - green sweatshirt and camo leggings
So here i am in January in a new outfit for the gym, after saying I wouldn't buy any clothes until my summer. But I am vindicated! My company has a special well being fund and we can buy gym memberships, sporting attire and equipment and just pay the tax. So my camo leggings and "Dance like nobody's watching" sweatshirt don't count.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Could you be the new face of Look Fabulous Forever? And link up

One of my favourite beauty brands, Look Fabulous Forever, is seeking its new Face of 2019. I've received gift products from LFF in the past which I have reviewed, here and here, but I am not being paid or rewarded for this post. It's such a lovely opportunity for women over 50 that I'm pleased to feature it on Is This Mutton?

Sunday 20 January 2019

Tartan tights for Burns Night

In celebration of Burns Night January 25, Is This Mutton pulls on blue and pink toned tartan tights

Burns Night falls on 25 January every year to mark the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. The main attraction of Burns Night is the Burns Supper. This traditionally involves participants wearing tartan, listening to bagpipes, singing Auld Lang Syne - also sung at New Year’s Eve – and reciting the great writer’s songs and poems.

Saturday 19 January 2019

The tyranny of the celebrity cleaner

I'm pleased to tell you, dear reader, that I have revived my old blog so that I can discourse on a wider range of topics. Hop over there now for my views on celebrity cleaners Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo!

You'll find a lot of miscellaneous ramblings - the last post was in 2016 and the first in 2006.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Tell me your fashion problems

Is This Mutton the over-50s fashion and beauty blog introduces a new survey to find out what women over the age of 50 think about fashion

Ladies, I need your help.

I would like to understand your particular frustrations and challenges with clothes and beauty. Women aged 50 and over rarely get asked for their views, and I want to make sure that this blog becomes valuable in helping to solve your dilemmas.

Sunday 13 January 2019

Afternoon tea at the Berkeley

Over-50s fashion bloggers Anna from Mutton Style, Michelle from Fifty and Fabulous and Gail from Is This Mutton? enjoy afternoon tea at the Berkeley Hotel in London
G'day everyone. Today's post recounts a delightful afternoon tea in London with two fellow fashion bloggers (above). It was lovely to see Michelle from Fifty and Fab and Anna from Mutton Style (on the left). It was Anna's first outing for several weeks as she has been unwell since Christmas, so everything in London looked very big.

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Why New Year's resolutions are so last year - and Link Up

I'm not a big fan of the New Year's resolution. How many of us sign up for #DryJanuary, #nospendjanuary or #Veganuary, buy expensive gym memberships, and then feel bad when everything has fizzled out by February?

This time of year is challenging enough as it is without being so hard on ourselves, I always think. But, having said I don't make resolutions, I do plan a few tweaks to my routine. Hopefully these can be sustained.

Summer holiday motivator

One thing I like to do at the start of the New Year is book the summer holiday.  This year we're back to the normal schedule of a June holiday and we're going to Parga for the first time, on the Greek mainland. A couple of things sold it for me.  The hotel is right on the beach - I prefer swimming in the sea - and there's a water taxi to whisk us to the town, 2km away.  That's the way to travel!

I find that booking the summer holiday automatically makes me think about eating healthily and wanting to go to the gym, and it doesn't seem like an effort.  For the last week I've been eating a vegetarian diet (albeit with eggs and fish) for health reasons.  I was appalled at the amount of fat that sits in the pan after the Sunday roast. I don't know if I'll sustain it but I'll give it a try. I bought a recipe book called Bosh! which has some fantastic ideas.

I'll never get Mr Mutton to eat this way so I have to prepare two meals now for dinner, but I used to do that anyway to be honest because he likes quite a lot of pasta (all the exercise he does) and I don't.

Last year's spending

One of the things I do every year is write down all the clothes and beauty products I buy. Mainly it's an aide memoir for when I'm blogging about something and need the exact name of a product. I had never counted up the number of items before.  I had quite a shock when I did do it. I'm too embarrassed to give you the number of clothes, but what's shameful to me is that I don't wear a lot of them.

So I'm not going to buy anything until summer because I don't need to. I will be "shopping my closet" gals.

A couple of sale purchases were made at the end of December but they count as 2018 expenditure. Smile.

I need to reconcile myself to the fact that my life style has changed and I don't need certain clothes. At work the vibe is very casual. Most people wear jeans every day. I don't have the regular  meetings in London with trendy ad and PR agencies that I used to have, and there are no glitzy award dinners to attend. When I need to dress smartly, I have enough jackets, trousers, skirts and blouses. I don't need new ones.

And as for putting on the glitz, forget it. My sequinned numbers and LBD's hang forlornly in the wardrobe waiting for an outing that will never happen.

Making more friends

One thing I consciously want to address this year is finding more women to socialize with. Over the years, I moved around a lot, and some of my dearest friends live a very long way away so I don't see them very often. I live a long way away from where I work, and it was the same in my last job. Doesn't help with socializing.

I used to go out with various Meet Up groups, and had a lot of fun - it's a great way to meet people. I  went to recitals, on lovely walks and visits to cultural attractions.  I don't have a lot of time for it now, except Saturdays, but I'm keen to do more. On Saturday I'm meeting some fellow bloggers for an afternoon tea, and really looking forward to it.

What are your plans for 2019? Do share in the comments.

It's time now for #WowOnWednesday where you're invited to add your fashion and beauty posts. Last week's readers' favourite was fashion blogger Nancy's reminder for the The Good Buy/Goodbye book: Coats. I considered myself reminded, and submitted a picture. You'll have to wait to see if it was a good buy or a goodbye!

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

View Nancy's post here


Sunday 6 January 2019

Hungry for Hosiery

Stylish diamond patterned tights in spruce pull this outfit of a spruce top worn under a green and yellow dress and yellow ankle boots with a splash of pink.

I've never understood the fashionistas who insist on bare legs in winter. I'm only too happy to get the tights out when the weather turns cooler. And many of you agree with me. Hosiery sales are booming and according to Global Industry Analysts, the global market for hosiery will reach $31.6 billion by 2024.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Sentence a Day: December 2018

Christmas lights in the Epping community garden, Essex, UK

Saturday 1 December
Arrived back from the US after a short business trip. Was home at 3.45pm. House very tidy!  Opened first window of beauty Advent Calendar. Hadn't slept much on the flight so went straight to bed after the Strictly Come Dancing final.

Sun 2 Dec
Had nine hours' sleep. Went to my first Power Plate for a week.  Housework, washing, roast chicken.

Mon 3 Dec
Working from home. J got the Xmas decorations down, but no time to put the tree up. Turned out to be busy day.

A former colleague who works in BBC radio sent me a Christmas card and his annual delivery of "Nicky Schiller Tat" (his description) which is always much awaited by all of us!

Tues 4 Dec
Working from home. Delivery of an intriguing lipstick called "Frog Prince" which is green but turns pink on your lips. I've always been fascinated by those, from the days of Tangee at Woolworth's.

Weds 5 Dec
Office. Took secret Santa present in. V busy day. Ordered a gorgeous lemon jumper with feather trimmed sleeves. In the evening packed for a short visit to Plymouth to see Mum. Christmas tree is still not up.

Thurs 6 Dec
Two days' holiday. Went by train - such a treat from driving - to Plymouth to take the Christmas presents to Mum and my brother.  Mum met me at the train station. In the evening my brother Rob, wife Claire and children William and Isabel came round.

Fri 7 Dec
Rainy start. Mum and I went into town by bus. Our usual restaurant, Quay33 on the Barbican, had no tables so we had to go to the place next door.  A learning there:  book!  Ate too much in the evening. Mum likes to fatten me up!

Sat 8 Dec
Had to go home as I go to the US on Mon. J picked me up from the local train station. As requested, he'd put the big Christmas tree back in the attic and deployed the "pop up" tree instead.
The easiest way to have an artificial Christmas tree. Gold pop up tree from B and Q
Sun 9 Dec
V busy with a PP class,  ironing, cooking roast beef, photographing and writing 2 blog posts. Had to go to bed without having packed case but wrote a list of what need to take.

Mon 10
Back to US for another business trip in Silicon Valley. Used Pod Parking at Heathrow for the first time. This was fun! First, pressed the button at the pod "station" in the car park to summon my pod.
Then my pod came along, just for me. It's a six minute journey to the terminal.
On the plane I watched films Crazy Rich Asians (six out of 10); The Seagull (7 out of 10); Searching (8 out of 10), All about Eve (6 out of 10).  Arrived at the hotel in Santa Clara at 5.15pm  (which is 1.15am back home).  Had 2 mojitos. Went to bed to read but fell asleep too soon. .

Tues 11 Dec
Woke at 3. Couldn't go back to sleep. Was in a two day meeting. Today was in a conference room at the hotel. Varied agenda: we broke into teams and had to make a video on any subject. Then we watched them all. The creativity was amazing! After dinner in the hotel was in bed by 9.

Weds 12 Dec
Aargh. Up at 3 again. Whiled away a couple of hours reading favourite blogs and leaving comments. After a morning's work we had a team building afternoon of sports. Some were quite funny - "human  human hippos" for example  (we Brits had never heard of hungry hippos).  Then we went into San Jose for a lovely festive dinner and Secret Santa exchange.  Dinner started with a fondue which was very retro (and delicious.).
Thurs Dec 13
Our flight home wasn't until the evening so I had a normal working day in the office. This was the most useful day of the trip for me, meeting with colleagues.  Had a grilled cheese sandwich and fries at the airport. Could feel arteries hardening!

Fri Dec 14
Managed to sleep for a few hours on the plane. This is extremely unusual for me! But very welcome. Didn't watch any films. Bit late arriving. Long delays on drive home. Had fish n chips supper.  Four Advent calendar windows to open. Our burglar alarm went off at 3.30am which woke me up. It wasn't set, so no intruders. Managed to go back to sleep.

Sat Dec 15
Had a nice long sleep. Went to Epping to do some shopping. Caught up with Christmas by wrapping presents and writing cards.

Sun Dec 16
Alarm went off again at 3.22am. Grrr. V odd as the alarm wasn't set - so at least it didn't go off in the street. Went to Power Plate. Quiet day, did cleaning.

Mon 17 Dec
Signed paperwork for new car. Worried about Mum who has shingles. Alarm company came round to fix alarm problem.

Tues 18 Dec
At home. PP. J is building another bike. Mysterious deliveries of components
Weds 19 Dec
In office. Secret Santa on desk (I missed the Christmas lunch where these were exchanged when I went to Plymouth). We had mulled wine and mince pies at work. Published post on Christmas outfits. 

Thurs 20 Dec
At home. My old car was inspected and driven away;  meanwhile J had gone to Kent by train to bring my new one home. It's my third Golf GTI and the second white one.
Friday 21 Dec
Work finally winding down. I had ordered white ankle boots in the sale from Russell & Bromley and they came. Went to PP.

Sat 22 Dec
At M&S by 7.10 to get some food bits. It was still dark and I saw the Epping community garden lit up (top, and below). Rescued a racing trolley full of food in the car park, as it careered towards a car.
The pretty lights in the Epping community garden, Essex, UK
Sunday 23 Dec
Wore a Christmas hat to Power Plate!  Did more cleaning back home.  My Christmas shopping delivery came at 7.30pm. Yummy, albeit challenging to put everything in the fridge!

Monday 24 Dec
Christmas Eve.  Sunny and mild. Still too warm for my liking. Went to Pilates. No cleaning to do. At a bit of a loose end! Started another book by Liane Moriarty, a recent discovery. I love how her characters fizz with life, and how well she paints female characters.

Tuesday 25 Dec
Met with John's kids and their spouses at Rachel and Sean's to open their presents.
Had a delicious lunch - turkey crown with all the trimmings. We watched Mamma Mia 2 in the afternoon and the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.
A traditional Christmas lunch in the UK: roast turkey crown with roast potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, bread sauce, pigs in blankets and served with champagne and crackers
Wednesday 26 Dec
Boxing Day, another public holiday. As always, had the kids round.  Cold cuts with jacket potatoes and salad for lunch and games in the afternoon.
We played best of British

Thursday 27 Dec
Did some "normal" food shopping.

Friday 28 Dec
Went to the Gainborough Family Portraits Exhibition. Gainsborough is one of my favourite artists: I love "Mr and Mrs Andrews." I popped in the Tudor Gallery but quite a few of my old friends were missing, presumably on loan. J and I went for a quick snifter at the pub.
At Trafalgar Square on my way to the National Portrait Gallery
Sat 29 Dec
Walked to Waitrose, a five mile round trip. I will be attempting the #walk1000miles challenge in 2019. Staggered home with too much in my rucksack!

Sunday 30 Dec
Went to Sainsbury's to do a big shop and bought some bakeware in their sale. Lots of cleaning and tidying up.  Threw out all the remaining sweets, chocolate and Stilton.

Monday 31 Dec
Booked two holidays, yay!  A sunshine break in Parga  (Greek mainland) in June, and a walking week in the Lake District in September.  Went to bed well before midnight. Yes, #JOMO  (joy of missing out)!  But heard the London fireworks in all their spendour.

Sharing this post with #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed As Lamb


Products to turn back time and link up

Is This Mutton? blog reviews a bumper haul of Christmas beauty products from brands including Filorga, Laura Mercier and the Body Shop. Plus the weekly beauty and fashion bloggers link up, #WowOnWednesday.

I had a bumper beauty haul for Christmas, a couple of products I've been using for years and a few I was keen to try.

Old Favourites

L'Occitane almond shower oil is a winner in my books - I love the delicate scent and the light fresh lather of the oil when it mixes with water.

Kneipp herbal bath collection:  this was my Secret Santa present from a colleague. I've used a couple of these oils before and they're sooo relaxing. The pack includes an oil for bad backs, a sweet dreams oil and a balancing oil.

Beauty Blender: these small sponges are marvellous for applying foundation. Damp the sponge first and then "bounce" your foundation onto your face, where you want it. It gives a much more natural application than a foundation brush, and I always swore by brushes!

The Body Shop: Back in favour?

I was never really into the Body Shop. But have you checked them out lately? They have some very appealing products for the older woman, and I earmarked a few to try:
British Rose plumping face mask: this was out of stock online, which piqued my interest. The mask looks like a pink jelly with bits in, and smells divine.  It's quite cooling on the skin and leaves the face fresh and smooth with no redness.
British Rose petal-soft gel toner: amber coloured with bits.  I don't use a toner very often but it's good to use after an exfoliator, to remove any last vestiges of residue.
Vitamin E cream exfoliator:  this is very gentle and can be used by all skin types. I personally like an exfoliator that feels a bit grainy  (but not with plastic beads) so that you can feel it working. But if you have sensitive skin, this would be good.
Shea exfoliating sugar body scrub:  this is the business! I have been using the pricey Elemis Ginger and Lime Salt Scrub, but this product is more moisturizing and has a lovely subtle scent. I'll definitely switch to this.
Wild Argan oil hand cream: very impressed by this because unlike a lot of hand creams, it doesn't give a tacky, dry feeling a few minutes after it's been applied. At £5 for 30ml, I can afford to have a few tubes in places where I need hand cream.

Interested to try: Filorga 

The French brand Filorga has always interested me. They manufacture injectables based on hyaluronic acid and NCTF used by specialists in aesthetic beauty. They also have a range of anti-ageing cosmetics which are sold in Marks and Spencer among other places.  They tend to get very mixed reviews for their products with some people raving about them, particularly the wrinkle fillers, and other people saying they're a faff to apply and don't work.

For Christmas I received Filorga's Hand-Absolute ultimate rejuvenating hand and nail cream, and Time Filler Mask.  I'm saving the mask, which is a super smoothing black mask with collagen and "black fiber technology."  It's suitable for all skin types and you leave it on for 15 minutes. I'm not blown away by the idea of a black mask - I like masks to be easy to remove, and I remember the Mud and charcoal masks of yore which were impossible to get off.

The hand cream is aimed at dry and damaged hands, brittle, ridged nails, dark spots and uneven skin tone, and is said to achieve good results after 30 days.  I don't have the last two problems but I have the first three so I will give it a try, on its own, and report back.

Other products in my haul

L'Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub:  I am keen to improve the condition of my hands so this hand scrub with Shea butter sounds great for exfoliating and leaving hands smooth and ready for hand cream, after just a minute.

Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator: as far as face exfoliators goes, this has everything I need and want: the satisfying grains of jojoba beads and the moisturizing heft of cocoa butter.

Escentric Molecule 01:  this was in a Liberty cracker,  and was a great way to try this much hyped scent which is said to smell like no other.  I was very keen to try it after a former colleague said it was her signature scent in my post The Scents Of Our Lives.  It's quite peppery and bracing with a hint of sandalwood, and I can smell it on myself . I don't dislike it - in fact I was tempted to put more on when I went to bed, which is always a sign that I like a perfume.

Luxury Laura Mercier body products and beauty from the Body Shop: all in the Christmas haul reported here by British blogger Gail Hanlon.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille luxe body collection:
  as its name suggests, this is pure luxury and I will use the bath products for special occasions. The scent is a surprise: the amber warms and dilutes the vanilla so that it isn't too "in your face" and ice-cream like, and the dry down leaves a wonderfully soft, feminine fragrance.

No products were gifted by brands - but I was gifted by friends and family!
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