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Sunday 29 December 2019

2019 Is Almost A Wrap

A sparkly star jumper and jeans rounding off the Christmas season for over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
Well, it's almost over - Christmas 2019 and an entire decade.  Just New Year's Eve to go, and to be honest, Mr Mutton and I am usually in bed before midnight.

I took a break from blogging this month.  It was all getting too much.  Work is very full-on at the moment; there were a couple of US trips not too far apart, and the inevitable cold that follows from all the germs on the plane.

A brother-in-law died unexpectedly in December, in India, and one of the lovely sisters who runs my gym died, both in their 50s.  It makes you think how precious life is, and how we need to embrace it and do what we want to do.

I was seriously thinking about not blogging anymore because it takes a lot of time, time which I am constantly nagging myself should be spent doing housework / yoga / walking or gardening,  whichever task I'm feeling guilty about neglecting.

I'm also conscious that we shouldn't be buying so much "stuff," and people are quite judgmental now about women (and bloggers) buying clothes.  While I agree we should be more thoughtful about what we buy, and where from, let's not forget the fashion industry in the UK is worth 26 billion pounds with 800,000 people employed.

A lot of people who don't get blogging and think it a worthless vanity pursuit think that we do it because we must be very narcissistic. I'm quite introverted and I enjoy blogging as a way to show my "other" side, as well as making me feel less like a ghost, someone who glides through life without being noticed.

I also like flying the flag for women over 50 who are marginalized by society and either pigeon holed as grannies or "mutton dressed as lamb"  should we dare to wear anything short, clingy or low cut.

And I love the community of like-minded women that support each other, in the blogosphere and on Instagram.

Reviewing The Situation

So after Reviewing the Situation, as Fagin would say in Oliver!, I decided to carry on blogging, but more on my terms.  Working with brands is wonderful but I put a huge amount of effort into researching and creating the posts, so as a hobby blogger I'm going to stop working with brands unless it's one of my regulars or a clothes/beauty brand I really adore.

I'm going to do fewer "shoots" as I call them, with several pictures of one outfit.  I want to be a bit more relaxed about it all.  Instead, more posts about what I've been wearing day-to-day, which are more popular, and my "Five for FriYay" type posts where I write about five things that I'm liking. I'll also carry on with Sentence a Day - next one is published on 7 January - as it's a good forcing function to make me do things and get out and about.  My Christmas will be covered in that post which will feature December.
Is This Mutton, style blog for the over-50s, on December 2019
Today's outfit is a pair of old jeans from M&S - they remain my favourites - and last year's Christmas jumper, also from M&S.   I'll be back on Wednesday with the return of #WowOnWednesday.

If your New Year's Eve involves a party, a pub or fireworks, enjoy!  I will be glad to see the back of 2019 and look forward to putting up my new David Bowie calendar for 2020. I suspect New Year's Eve will be spent with Henry Cavill and The Witcher, with maybe a cheeky glass of champagne. Until then my friends, bye for now!

Sharing this post with Claire Justine, #sharealllinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style,  Style with a smile at Stylesplash, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, Red Carpet Link Up at Glamadventure, Muttonstyle, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style and #BloggerClubUk or #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings.

For More Mutton

Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies 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 4 December 2019

Everyday Outfits and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

There's a ttwist in the design of this Fabienne Chapot blouse - it features aliens. Worn with grey and silver by Is This Mutton style blogger Gail Hanlon
Today my friends I present another quick round-up of outfits I've been wearing.  First, a work wear outfit that has a twist. I love the quirky design of this "aliens" Paris blouse by Fabienne Chapot from The Bias Cut.  At first sight it doesn't look like aliens, but then some of my colleagues realized and thought it very amusing.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Sentence A Day November 2019: My birthday!

Fri 1 Nov
Watched Rocketman at last. Disappointing - too much focus on Elton's unhappy family.

Sat 2 Nov
Dreamed I was queuing up for a Xmas dinner but they ran out. Went out early to do shopping.  Not fussed about rugby (it’s the final of something and England didn't win).  V wet and windy

Sun 3 Nov
No gym today as J needed my car to meet up with his running buddies. Will be glad when his new one arrives. Did roast chicken and took a lot of blog pics.

Mon 4 Nov
Office. Trying Jennifer Aniston's intermittent fasting. No breakfast.  Was ok, didn't keel over.

Tuesday 5 Nov
At home. Gym. Booked BUPA health check (free on company health insurance). Also flights for US trip in Dec.

Weds 6
Up v early trying to move meetings as I had to find time to write a plan. Fortunately was able to postpone the plan meeting. New freezer came.

Thurs 7
My birthday. Had the day off and we went to see the new Tutankhamun exhibition (read my thoughts here) and Dinner by Heston. Changed mind about outfit at last min – read more.
Fri 8
Working from home, busy day. J's daughter asked if she could sleep at ours for a few days as their bathroom being revamped.

Sat 9
Misty start. Gym, shopping.  J's son, wife and grandchild came round to give me my birthday present.

Sun 10
Sent off for an OU prospectus for forensic psychology.  Watched Remembrance Day on TV. Finished planting bulbs at last. Tulips always the last to go in.

Mon 11
Office. Very dark rainy morning.  Always have favourite podcasts to enjoy on Monday drive

Tues 12
Home. Gym. Rod Stewart tickets came. We're going in December.

Weds 13
Eco delivery from DPD for for J. My postal vote was confirmed. Will be in America for work when it's the election.
In the office.

Working from home. Attempted intermittent fasting again but the problem is you eat more later in the day.

Sat 16
A rare but welcome trip into London to spend my birthday money. Bought some fashion jewellery. Met a friend for lunch. London looking festive - Fortnum & Mason's windows are like an Advent calendar.
Sun 17
Did an early blog shoot for brown trousers and a later Power Plate class so that John could use the car earlier for his running. Rachel and Sean came for lunch, roast lamb.

Mon 18
Office. Cancelled BUPA health check. It takes a long time and I'm fit and healthy so don't really need it.

Tues 19
Home. Power Plate. Deliveries raining down - Christmas presents.

Weds 20
Office.  Given some new responsibilities including an Israel project. Went out for quick drink after work with a colleague from another building.

Thurs 21
Office. Cold - 4 degrees. Saw deer on way home, grazing in woodland alongside the M25.

Fri 22
Home. Renewed gym membership. Admired the lovely containers of flowers in Buckhurst Hill, provided by the local council.
Sat 23 November
Hair colour and another cut. Had the back of my hair taken in very short.
Sun 24 November
Writing post and taking blog pics. Roasted a chicken

Mon 25
Office. Had lunch in the new building which has just opened. It's very beautiful but sadly my team is staying where we are and not moving in.

Tues 26
Working from home. Gym.

Weds 27 November
In the office, brushed up my marketing automation skills on a webinar.

Thurs 28 November
Working from home - I am driving down to Mum's in the South West this evening for a long weekend. Took 6 hours.

Fri 29 November
Wet and cold. Short drive into Cornwall for lunch at Tamar View Nurseries. Was hoping to spend some garden centre vouchers but didn't see any houseplants I wanted. Seeing this dog at the steering wheel made us smile.
Sat 30 November
Dreary day, cold. Went to Plymouth Barbican for lunch. Next year Plymouth is commemorating 400 years since the Mayflower sailed - big plans.
Had a quick look around the Christmas Market and fun fair. Were tempted by a beer festival but too many men lurking outside.
SSQuick cup of tea in the supermarket coffee shop
Sharing this post with: Weekend Blog Hop at Claire Justine, #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb and BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings

For More Mutton

Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies 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 November 2019

Party Face With Bargain Makeup: And #WowOnWednesday

Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton with the finished result of a thirty pound makeup spree to find bargain products needed for a party face.
An eyeshadow palette with 15 shades and seven other items of make-up for less than £30 - how does that sound? Well, as someone with a severe Charlotte Tilbury addiction, quite tempting - but also nerve wracking. I decided to find out if any of the latest formulations of bargain make-up could tempt me away from the luxury brands.

Friday 22 November 2019

Let's Talk Tea: The Is This Mutton? Guide

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton? takes tea with her Royal Albert Old Country Roses tea set
“Under certain circumstances, there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” 
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Today I'm talking about one of the greatest pleasures in life: tea.

The British are well known for being a nation of tea drinkers. Many of life's most significant moments are marked with a cup of tea. Newly created millionaires, according to national lottery promoter Camelot, are more likely to toast themselves with tea than champagne.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Shades of Brown and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

Is This Mutton the style blog for the over-50s dusts off a pair of 1990s brown parallel check trousers and brings them up to date with a mock neck jumper and layered coin necklace.

I was pleased to hear that brown, caramel and beige shades are in because it gives me the chance to dust off my old "Rupert Bear" trousers and style them in a modern way.

These trousers are probably the oldest garment I have - I bought them in the early 1990s. I thought at the time they were like the Oxford bags that David Bowie was wearing in the Hunky Dory era.

I like the combination of brown and white so wore my white bouclĂ© jacket from summer 2018 and my white ankle boots from last winter. 

Brown Oxford Bag trousers from the 1990s worn with a mock neck lurex striped jumper, white jacket and layered coin necklace by over-50s style blogger Is This Mutton?

What brings the outfit bang up-to-date is the top and the necklace. Thin sweaters/jumpers made of a fine fabric with a soft "mock neck" are trending so much on Asos they have an entire section devoted to them.  The mock neck is lower and looser than a polo neck, and not generally turned over. Mine, from All Saints, has a fine lurex stripe through it.

Brown and white together with check trousers, white boucle jacket and lurex striped mock neck jumper

Mega coin necklaces are another hot trend. You can either create your own by layering different necklaces, or buy one ready layered, as I did for just £25. It's a great necklace for adding drama to plain or dark backgrounds.

Gail Hanlon from over-50s style blog Is This Mutton takes two trends, mock neck jumper and layered coin necklace, and creates an outfit of brown and white suitable for office to evening wear

Close-up of check detail on brown Oxford Bag trousers dating from the 1990s, worn by over-50s style blogger Is This Mutton
The print shown in more detail on the trousers/pants
Brown and white outfit with a mock neck jumper and layered coin necklace, worn by over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?

What's the oldest garment you have in your wardrobe?  Do share in the comments.

Disclosure: no items were gifted for this post.

The colourful sheep logo of Is This Mutton, the style blog, and its weekly fashion and beauty link-up for bloggers #WowOnWednesday.

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the weekly fashion, beauty and travel link-up that helps bloggers find new readers, and readers to find new blogs to enjoy!

Last week's most clicked was Michelle from Fifty and Fab, with her thoughtful post: Decluttered and Conscious Christmas Gifting IdeasI love the idea of giving people experiences rather than more "stuff."

Michelle from blog Fifty and Fab in Christmas mood

Also with the same number of reader clicks, and my favourite last week, was Darlene from Aquamarina Style with her post Easy-to-Style Sweater Dress with Sneakers and Boots. Darlene shows how versatile a simple sweater dress can be with two different looks.

Take one sweater dress and style it two ways as shown by mid life blogger Darlene from Aquamarina Style at #WowOnWednesday.
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Friday 15 November 2019

Five For FriYAY: The Best Book, Pod and Beauty Recommendations

ARK Skincare Skinperfect Firming Serum reviewed by beauty and style blog for the over-50s Is This Mutton?
Five For FriYAY is an occasional post where I share my latest recommendations for beauty products, books, podcasts, TV, exhibitions. First up, ARK Firming Serum. ARK is a British skincare company whose products are free from parabens, mineral oil, formaldehyde and other nasties. You can shop by age and/or concern at their website.

I've been using ARK's products, gifted, for a while now, and my skin is looking brighter with a more even skin tone. It feels well hydrated, there are no dry patches, and so I am pleased with the skincare I've been using  (find my earlier posts on ARK here and here).

ARK's The Firming Serum is aimed at all age groups.

I can't say I have noticed a major firming effect after just one week, but I test products for three months so I'll let you know later. What I do like is the hyaluronic acid formula. I'm passionate about the need for women over 40 to use hyaluronic acid under their moisturizer. It makes such a big difference and you can buy them quite cheaply.

Podcast Recommendations

I'm enthralled by a "rich seam" podcast (where there are lots of episodes available) called Criminal.  I love the quirky and the unusual, and Criminal is all about offbeat true crimes. They are fascinating stories, beautifully produced and narrated by a woman with a most hypnotic voice.  The episodes include interviews and the Criminal website features a new illustration for every episode.

I have, so far, particularly enjoyed the episodes "The Less People Know About Us," where the podcast revisits a woman whose identity was stolen by her mother (who also did the same to her husband) and Off Leash, where we meet a dog trainer who was seduced by a prisoner in jail and persuaded to help him escape in one of her dog crates. Don't miss the story of Count Von Cosel, utterly fascinating - and disquieting. He was a self-styled doctor who attempted to give eternal life to a patient he had been unable to save.

One podcast which has had a lot of hype has left me cold.  It's the BBC's The Missing Cryptoqueen. Now, a few months ago I absolutely loved a US podcast documentary series called The Drop Out which examined the Theranos scandal. Theranos was a medical start up created by university drop out, Elizabeth Holmes. The charismatic Holmes modelled herself on Steve Jobs and it's a jaw dropping tale of fame and ambition gone wrong. The podcast was pacey with lots of interviews.

In The Missing Cryptoqueen, we have Dr Raja Ignatova, another one said to style herself on Steve Jobs, who persuaded millions to buy into her holistic bitcoin operation. Then she mysteriously disappeared. I was initially excited but then there was a lot of hype about the final episode which put me off the rest. It turns out (spoiler alert) the mystery is still unsolved, so I couldn't be bothered to listen.

Must See Exhibition: Tutankhamun

The Tutankhamun exhibition is back in London for the last time. One hundred and fifty artifacts are on display at the Saatchi Gallery, many being shown for the first time outside of Egypt. The exhibitions ends on 3 May. After a couple more tours, including Boston, the collection will move to its permanent home, a splendid new museum in Egypt, and will never tour again.

There were three striking moments for me, and they weren't the usual fantastic coffins and gold masks.

Among the items in the boy king's tomb was a collection of boomerangs.  They were not the right shape to come back, but were used at the time to kill wildlife, as a sport.  King Tut was only 19 so his boomerangs accompanied him so that he could have some sport in his after life.
Boomerangs placed in the tomb of King Tutankhamun for his after life sport
I loved this amulet of his grandfather, Amenhotep III, placed in the tomb to protect the young king.
Amulet of Amenhotep III at the Tutankhamun Exhibition in London
I was shocked to come face to face with a picture of the mummified remains of the boy as the last exhibit, and how life-like it still looked, with teeth present. I found this amazing, considering how ancient the mummy is.  It felt like an intimate moment, gazing at the remains of a person who once lived, and quite wrong to take a picture.

It's all very well staged and there's the inevitable "have a photo taken with your choice of scenery" moment as you enter the building. Unfortunately only one picture is taken and it wasn't our most flattering look!

It's amazing to consider that after his death, in turbulent times, all memories of Tutankhamun were swept away and statues destroyed. It was as if he never lived.  But now, he is the most famous Pharoah of them all.

I have heard the exhibition gets crowded at peak times. When we went, mid afternoon on a Thursday, it was fine and there was plenty of room.  You might want to take a day off to go during the week  to avoid the crowds.

Book recommendation: Olive Again and Our Rainbow Queen

First, Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout.  The first book about Olive Kitteridge was made into a memorable TV series where the irascible and curmudgeonly Olive was played by the fantastic Frances Dormand.
The cover of new book Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout, reviewed by Is This Mutton style blog.
In the second book, the narrative is not continually about Olive but introduces us to some of her neighbours and acquaintances in the small coastal Maine town of Crosby. We see how they interact with Olive. For all her direct talking and disdain for small talk, Olive is interested in people and unwittingly draws them out. She doesn't turn away from the woman who is dying whose husband is terrified and whose friends have stopped visiting.

Olive finds a new husband in her late 70s and we see a side of her that lingers in all of us, the desire for love and attention. 

There is probably a lot of Olive in all of us because the older we get the more fearless we become, until poor health makes us vulnerable again. 

I'm on the final chapter where Olive is elderly and perplexed at how fearful and anxious she has become. It sounds like it may be a depressing read but in fact it's the opposite.  Strout's writing and observations are so fine that it's a pleasure to be savoured.

One of my birthday presents was this gorgeous little book by Guardian writer Sali Hughes, who professes to being fascinated by the Queen and the colours she wears. 

When  you see the Queen in her monochrome splendour and fantastic jewellery, you can't help but agree that she has taken her duty very seriously in terms of making sure she always stands out in a crowd. 

She has always upheld certain standards. A hat is never worn while eating (although a tiara is fine);  gloves are always worn to avoid germs;  skirts are weighted with grommets to avoid any embarrassing incidents in the wind. The Queen has been the backdrop to our lives, a constant reassuring presence. 

The Queen rarely wears neutrals but here she is in white, below. It's good to see how glamorous and fashion-forward she looked when young. The book also features the Queen in some of the prints which she only rarely has worn.  It's amazing how inconspicuous she becomes in prints and florals. If you want to stand out, a bright or distinctive colour in monochrome is the way. 

If you have any book, TV, film or podcast recommendations to brighten our weekends, do let us know in the comments below. 

Sharing this post with: ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb, Anything Goes at My Random Musings, Weekly LinkUp at Claire Justine and Linkup On the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge.

Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspot. I post extra goodies 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 13 November 2019

Recent Outfits

Style blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in red sequin top, asymmetric plaid skirt and red and black boots

This week is a round-up of recent outfits I've been wearing, smart, casual and work wear. First up: the outfit that didn't make it.

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Crazy About Boots - and Link Up

Style blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton blog shows her collection of boots

One of the things I love about autumn and winter is the return of boots. Ankle boots, long boots, over-the-knee boots, round toed, pointed toed - I love them all. And here I am surrounded by most of my collection.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Sentence a Day, October 2019: US Visit and Big Reunion

Pumpkin display for Halloween at Marks and Spencer, Epping, England
Tues Oct 1
The hubster has added Netflix to our Sky subscription at a bargain rate so at last we can start watching The Crown!

Weds Oct 2
At home. Extremely busy, last meeting at 7.30pm. Watching The Crown.......

Thurs Oct 3
Getting colder. Wore new green snakeskin boots for first time. Came home early as have late meetings again.

Fri Oct 4
One of those days where everything going wrong! Except for being able to get in size 10 (US size 6 trousers.) again. We were supposed to be going to a restaurant tomorrow for J's birthday but unfortunately they rang to say it's closed for a few days because of a flood in the kitchen.

Sat Oct 5
Nice morning, went to garden centre and bought 2 hellebores, a winter hanging basket and an indoor stephanotis plant. Did a blog shoot.

Sun Oct 6
Weather was bad. Went to gym, did roast chicken. John's birthday so kids and grandchild came round to give him his presents.

Mon Oct 7
Early start, flight to San Francisco. Attending my company's big tech event for customers in San Jose which I've helped to manage.  On plane watched films Yesterday (very good), Late Nights (average) and a documentary about Vivienne Westwood (v gd).

Tues Oct 8
Woke at 3 but ok because I class this as "me time" to read and do emails. Event started. Booth looks fantastic. Below, with a colleague on one of the demos.
Style blogger Gail Hanlon with a colleague on the Arm booth at Arm TechCon in San Jose, California
Weds Oct 9
Up at 4. Very long day as there was a lot of normal work I had to do as well as duty at the event all day. I was wearing an augmented reality t-shirt: if you clicked on the back of it, with the Zappar app, I took off!
Showcasing augmented reality at Arm TechCon: Gail Hanlon's t-shirt becomes jet propelled when activated by Zappar
Thurs Oct 10
Awake at 5.15 today, getting better! But now it's the last day. Went out with colleagues for a nice lunch salad in the sun. Left for airport 4.30 and pleasant flight home. No films - managed some sleep.

Fri Oct 11
Landed on time and home by 4.30.

Sat Oct 12
J's belated birthday celebration at The Gilbert Scott - a restaurant at St Pancras station, beautiful decor. Here's the three of us.
Dining at The Gilbert Scott Restaurant in London:  Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon with husband and stepdaughter.
And here's the birthday boy.
Sun Oct 13
Quiet day, did some work on blog

Mon Oct 14
Worked from home. Sorting out sales leads from the event. Went to the gym.

Tues Oct 15
Worked from home. Got 2 pumpkins to put outside the house to show we're receptive for Halloween trick or treaters.

Weds Oct 16
In office. Up early making salads for our lunches. A new nativity stable and characters arrived for Christmas - have always wanted one!

Thurs Oct 17
Office. Good day busy and productive.

Fri Oct 18
Worked from home, went to gym.

Sat Oct 19
Food shopping and garden centre. The pumpkin display at the top was in Marks and Spencer, Epping. At the garden centre bought 6 wallflowers plants and three trays of forget me nots. These will look great with spring bulbs.
Sun Oct 20
Walked to the gym, 2 miles. It was a  strenuous class so got bus halfway home!

Mon 21 Oct
Good day in office.

Tues 22 Oct
Dark when I left the house at just before 7. Gross.

Weds 23 Oct
At home. Went to gym. Squirrel continues to try to steal nuts in the garden - look how muscular he is!
Thurs 24 Oct
Working from home. Went into London to get a train to Plymouth at 6pm - am there for a long weekend for a reunion of the people on my first job as a trainee reporter. Read the post.

Fri 25 Oct
At my mum's in Plymouth. Blustery and wet. Had a lovely lunch on the Barbican.  Bought a secondhand sapphire ring in a shop called Pre-Loved.

Sat 26 Oct
Very wet and windy. Met up with my brother, his wife, son (and girlfriend), daughter and Mum for lunch. Later in the afternoon my friend rang to say she'd arrived and I left Mum's to stay the night in an Airbnb on the Barbican. Nine of us met up for drinks followed by dinner. Very pleasant - and a late night for me (2am!).

Sun 27 Oct
Beautiful sunny day. Originally we had all arranged to meet at 9am for a walk, but this turned out to be too ambitious so I went back to London on an earlier train. I was home by 3pm.

Mon 28 Oct
The clocks went back yesterday so it was light when I left the house. Hooray.

Tues 29 Oct
Working from home. Tidied up old CDs and found my soundtrack to the film Oliver! Been playing it ever since.

Weds 30 Oct
Up early (5.30) to make salads, wash hair, get petrol, drive to work. New monitor and keyboard came for my home PC.

Thurs 31 Oct
Halloween. About 12 kids came in their costumes trick and treating. Had to sit in darknesss after we ran out of sweets!

Sharing this post with #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb and #BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings
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Sunday 3 November 2019

Transform A Boring Outfit with Just Three Accessories

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in an outfit transformed with three accessories
I'm as guilty as the next person of throwing on an outfit on dark wintry mornings and then cursing later how boring it is.

I liked the colours and print of this Mistral skirt from last winter and purposely bought a blue cashmere cardigan to wear with it this year. So this was my intention, adding burgundy ankle boots and a cream silk blouse. Arriving at work, I realised the outfit looked dull, dull, dull.

Here's how I transformed it with just three accessories.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

A Life At Work, 40 Years Ago - and Link Up

Reunion of the class of 1979 Mirror Group Newspapers training scheme
Forty years ago I started work as an apprentice journalist on the Mirror Group training scheme.  The national daily trained a group of reporters every year to staff its stable of regional newspapers in the Westcountry. This weekend some of us met up in Plymouth to celebrate our anniversary.

Friday 25 October 2019

Five For FriYay: Reading, Podcasts, Beauty

Is This Mutton shows a pair of white hosiery gloves, ideal for preventing ladders when putting on sheer tights
Welcome to Five for FriYay, my occasional post on what I've been reading, listening to, watching and trying.

I look like a magician above but those white gloves are a godsend if, like me, you have ruined sheer tights just pulling them on. I have had so many instances over the years where a finger has created a hole or ladder, and I was unable to wear the tights in question!

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Purple and Pink

No woman is invisible in purple and fuchsia pink.  Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in violet velvet skirt and infinity scarf with pink top and cropped cardigan

Dear friends. Regular readers will know that I like pink, particularly in the bright fuchsia shade which suits my cool / clear colouring. I also like purple and lilac, which look great with pink. Certainly in this combination none of us will be invisible.

The velvet midi skirt from Kettlewell has a lovely sheen and I added a bit of extra sparkle with metallic tights.  I've been finding so far this year that dark opaque tights aren't doing it for me. They suddenly look too solid, and dated with midi skirts. So I'm preferring thinner denier tights like these and the embellished brocade tights worn here.

The purple is echoed again in the infinity scarf, described as "pansy" by Kettlewell and a shade that is said to suit everyone. I don't really wear scarves except the Rew type shown here, which has a button fastening, but this scarf is good because it doesn't need tying.

Over 50s blogger Is This Mutton in pink with purple

A glamorous velvet skirt in violet with a bright fuchsia top and purple

Silver ankle boots and a cute micro bag provide finishing touches.  As an aside, I'm standing in front of one of our stained glass windows. The house dates from the 1920s and in the area where we live it was a big feature to have particular designs of stained glass in certain streets. A few years ago we replaced the windows. I managed to find a vendor who was able to take the precious original stained glass and encase it into the new frames. I'm passionate about retaining original features in houses, so this made me very happy.

Silver ankle boots with a velvet midi violet skirt and pink top and cro

I had to do this shoot in a big rush, after work, before it got dark as I didn't have time at the weekend. But phew, I got there.

Disclosure: no items were gifted for this post.

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday.

Last week's most clicked post was by Emma from Style Splash, "Rust Checked Wrap Skirt and Navy Sweater." Emma is very skilled at colour mixing and always has quirky, fun accessories.

My favourite was Darlene from Aquamarina Style and her post How to Style a Faux Leather Skirt for Fall.  I often look at the racks of coated, faux and leather skirts and trousers and then move on, thinking it's not for me. I've only ever had one faux leather skirt which was silver and hardly ever worn because it was always too big. So Darlene has given me a welcome push to think about adding a faux or leather item to my wardrobe. I think I will need to try on several to find the right fit so this will make a whole post on its own!

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Wednesday 16 October 2019

All-Green Monochrome Look - and Link Up

Over 50s style from Is This Mutton: green sequin top worn with green midi skirt from Boden and green snakeskin ankle boots

I'm going through a monochrome phase at the moment where I like to wear one colour in tonal shades. This all-green outfit combines two of my loves, green, and sequins.

Sunday 13 October 2019

Quick Update and A Few Outfits

Framed by a dramatic red Virginia creeper, woman in striped trousers leopard print boots and white boucle jacket

I've been meaning to snap more of my everyday outfits but the weather lately has been conspiring against me. You have to seize the opportunity when it's not raining. Above, here is the first outing of autumn/winter 2019 for my leopard print ankle boots from last year.  I think they work quite well with the stripes of my old Tesco trousers, don't you?  I didn't expect it to work, but the trousers have an orange stripe that complements the leopard.

It's still warm enough to get away with a jacket or blazer.  The bag is a new leather tote from Marks and Spencer. I was hoping it would be big enough for my laptop  (I even measured it) but it isn't really. But a black bag is always useful.

Casual chic with black t-shirt with cosmic print, black jeans and silver metallic boots

At the weekend I normally dress shamefully in fleeces and old jeans, but I've been buying the occasional t-shirt to try to look a bit more like a fashion blogger in my spare time. This t-shirt with a cosmic motif caught my eye at The-Bias-Cut.Com  The jeans are old, from Warehouse, and the silver boots are last winter's from Asos. 

Green midi skirt with green neoprene snakeskin ankle boots and blouse with artichokes print

I've bought a couple of pairs of boots to augment my collection. These green "snakeskin" numbers were ideal for all my green outfits. The skirt is from Boden and the artichokes blouse was a purchase last year from the Bias.Cut. 

Zara paisley print blouse with black trousers

Last week I was in the US for work and this was my outfit on the first day. I was expecting to have to change the blouse for a branded t-shirt, as I was helping out at our big tech industry event, but I was able to keep it on all day.  The blouse is from Zara and the trousers are old - they're straight legs from Marks and Spencer who do these so well.  I wore my black Adidas Stan Smith's all week - so comfortable.

I'm back on Wednesday with the #WowOnWednesday link up. Hope you can join me.

Disclosure: this post includes no gifted items but does include affiliate links. If you click through I make a few pence. 


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