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

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Parga Paradise and Link Up

Pink sky over Voltas beach, Parga, in Greece
We've just spent 10 delightful days on the Greek mainland in the hilly, lush and beautiful town of Parga on the north west coast.

Or rather, eight and a half days, because for the first two days the weather was bad.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Vionic Kaitlyn Wedges and Link Up

Is This Mutton, the style blog for the over 50s, puts a pair of Vionic Kaitlyn wedge sandals through their paces. These sandals, in cool pewter leather, have special foot bed technology to make them as comfortable as they are fashionable
Sliding my feet into these sandals, I immediately felt I was walking on air. Spongy and supportive, these wedges are from Vionic who create very fashionable footwear that also has special foot bed technology for comfort.

I've styled them two ways:  a casual look with white jeans and a work wear look with black culottes.
The first look features the Pepe Patsy jeans which I featured here and a fun T-shirt "Wake me for champagne" from Ted Baker  (I also have it in black). My blue sequin straw bag, which I'll be taking on holiday, is a couple of years old.  
Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in pink t-shirt from Ted Baker white Pepe jeans and Vionic Kaitlyn sandals in pewter leather
In the work wear version, I'm wearing the smart black cropped trousers from Hope that I last featured here. The short sleeved knit top is another brilliant work wear piece, the sort I will wear all year long. 
A work wear look featuring Vionic Kaitlyn sandals in pewter grey and black culottes from Hope UK

Close up of Vionic Kaitlyn wedge sandals in pewter leather
Regular readers will have seen me feature Vionic's shoes before, here and here. Their footwear is now very fashion forward, under new leadership, but still has the same technology.  It's something called biomechanics, the science of the way we move. Experts in foot and body movement took their studies and created Vio‑Motion Support. Each Vionic shoe conceals this biomechanical technology under your foot to hug your arches like a natural footprint.

The Kaitlyn sandals come in three colours, oat canvas, pewter leather (shown) and black canvas. Espadrille style wedges are in vogue again this summer and Kaitlyn's ankle-tie ribbon adds some sass to this close-heeled jute-wrapped wedge with a canvas or leather upper.

I will be confident enough to take them on holiday without breaking them in:  there's nothing to rub or chafe, and walking in them is very easy because of the wedge style. An excellent addition to my wardrobe!

Disclosure:  I was gifted with a pair of Vionic Kaitlyn sandals. As always, my opinions are my own and editorial clearance was not sought or given.

Sharing this post with: Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Spread the Kindness at Shelbee On The Edge#iwillworkwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb,#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings, #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle#Stylewithasmile at StylesplashColor and Grace
There's no readers' favourite from last week because this post was written in advance. I am currently "in transit," returning somewhat reluctantly no doubt from a holiday in Greece.

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Click here to enter


Sunday, 9 June 2019

Striped Trousers from Tesco

Garden picture of blonde haired woman in striped trousers and cream cardigan
Just a quick post to show you some striped trousers from Tesco, no less, worn with my new Oasis cream cardigan and last year's polka dot sling back shoes. Tesco's Florence and Fred range used to have a few surprisingly good items, but lately I haven't seen much that grabs me. Until I saw these trousers, which have an orange stripe.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

A Personal Stylist Experience By Post - and Link Up

Woman in green and black batik print cropped jumpsuit and seashell necklace
Bloggers in the US often write about receiving parcels of new clothes selected for them and sent to them by "personal stylists."  Until recently, we didn't have anything very similar in the UK. Personal stylists exist, but until now it's been in the form of advisers giving you guidance in person on how to shop or de-clutter your wardrobe.

I came across Stitch Fix via another UK blogger, Anna at Mutton Style, and decided to put them to the test.  This is not a sponsored post.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Recent Outfits and Why Instagram is Going to the Dogs

Midlife woman in garden wearing pink midi skirt and pink animal print jumper and carrying a small pink trunk bag
A quick round up of recent outfits, plus my thoughts on Instagram. Above, you've seen this pink skirt before but now I have added a pink jumper with an interesting animal print pattern and a few sequins, also from Marks and Spencer. 
Off to a rock concert wearing all black with a matte sequin bomber jacket black jeans and sunglasses
This is what I wore to see Mark Knopfler at the O2.  An attempt at rock chick, with my sequin jacket and sunnies.

Mr Knopfler and Dire Straits somehow managed to elude me back in the day. I'm sure I categorised him as boring and too fond of the jangly guitar. But Mr Mutton is a fan, so in the interest of domestic harmony (and making sure Mr Mutton owes me one when I want to see a Harold Pinter), I bought the tickets.

I was a bit flabbergasted at how old Mr Knopfler looks at nearly 70, but I suppose I haven't seen him since the red bandana days (him, not me) of Sultans of Swing, whereas Elton has been ageing for years so it doesn't come as a shock to see him at 72.

Talking of Elton reminds me that the matte sequin jacket was bought for when we saw him in Belfast in 2016  (hitherto known as "the Elton John Jacket"). We're seeing him again in Liverpool in 2020 which gives me a new jacket opportunity. 

I was prepared to sit back and daydream, but in actual fact the music was very melodic, the band very virtuoso, and I quite enjoyed it. And it got a five star review in The Times. 
Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in khaki cargo pants and pale pink camo patterned tee shirt
I've never really done camo or khaki cargo pants before but I was inspired by the likes of Jess from Elegantly Dressed and Stylish to buy this natty t-shirt from River Island and the trousers from Asos. With the trousers you should size down because they're a bit big. I'm attempting that half tuck again, but with no true conviction.

Beware of Scammers on Instagram

There's been a lot of outrage lately about bloggers with a fake (bought) following going on brand junkets. The younger bloggers in particular want to see them ostracized and named and shamed. 

Equally insidious to me is the number of scammer accounts who follow women like us.

Before Christmas, I was looking at the locations of my followers and was surprised to see so many from Nigeria.  I then started looking at the actual followers and realised a lot of them were dodgy accounts. Scammers. They have very few followers or posts, but usually they're following quite a few. Their posts typically show men in US military outfits, random flowers and sunsets, and they claim to be "God fearing men" or, strangely, orthopedic surgeons. Their game is contacting what they see as vulnerable, naive older women, and starting up an online relationship to gradually extort money.

Quite often they send me direct messages, usually referring to me as "dear", which is a red flag right away, and I block and report them.

Instagram is very slow to deal with these.  I spent hours over Christmas deleting all the ones that had followed me and I hadn't spotted them.  It reduced my following by a thousand. Yes, a thousand, and all fake bots or scammers. 

I now remove new ones every day.

Disclosure: no items were gifted.

Sharing this post with: Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Spread the Kindness at Shelbee On The Edge#iwillworkwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb,#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings, #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle#Stylewithasmile at StylesplashColor and Grace

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. 

Don't forget to come back on Wednesday for the #WowOnWednesday link up.


Friday, 31 May 2019

Menopause Myths Dispelled

Staying active is key to tackling the menopause as described by over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon shown here on bike
Until recently I didn't talk about the menopause. It was the BBC's week of broadcasting about it that changed my mind. My husband said it was useful to know more about menopause because men are largely kept in the dark. Heck, 50% of the population will go through the menopause and I found it disconcerting how little there was on the internet when I first started "the journey."

I'm also keen to share my positive HRT experience, to show that you can get ordinary tablets from the GP and you don't necessarily need all the "bio identical" stuff which some bloggers talk about. And in fact the phrase "bio identical" is a complete con, as I will cover in this post.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Beach Beauty Essentials and Link Up

Some of the beauty must-haves for a beach holiday from Is This Mutton?
It's not long now until our summer holiday in Greece and I've been buying a few luxury beauty items in readiness, as well as attempting to keep the list pared back. Here are my tried and trusted tips, plus what I've bought and why.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Floral dress at the Chelsea Flower Show

Wearing a green hydrangeas print dress with a backdrop of purple flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show
Many months ago in the gloom of winter I booked tickets for one of the members' days at the Chelsea Flower Show, including a slap up three course lunch  (well, I knew that was one way of persuading Mr Mutton to come).

On the appointed day, the sun shone and the Muttons were off early to try to see as much as possible before the crowds arrived.

I wore a new crepe de chine dress with lovely soft fabric and drape from Nancy Mac, a UK boutique run by two sisters.  If you're going to a wedding this year, this shop may be one the place to go. Lots of 30s inspired tea dresses, coats, kimonos and beautiful prints.  Mine was very suitable for Chelsea with its hydrangeas print. It came with a petticoat, which was great for avoiding too much cleavage being on show.
In front of a stall selling copper planters and garden decorations. Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon in green and cream hydrangeas dress
The various "stalls" selling garden apparatus, clothes, ceramics, you name it, lead the way to the Great Pavilion and show gardens.

Style blogger Gail Hanlon patting a dog sculpture at the Chelsea Flower Show

An old soldier reflects.  The D Day garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
This was the D-Day Garden, where there were several soldiers and veterans on hand to describe the scene and their memories.  The "Kate Middleton garden" had huge queues and was very small when you got inside.  We were literally in and out within a couple of minutes. She had crammed some old-fashioned children's activities into the space: a tree house, a "swing" where the seat was a football covered in string, and a camp fire. The forget-me-nots and natural planting made it look foresty.  As a kid my den was in overgrown land, long since built on, and featured sprawling brambles, old-fashioned roses doing their own thing, and "snake's food."
Yellow and burgundy irises at the Chelsea Flower Show admired by style blogger Gail Hanlon in Sable hydrangeas dress
Inside the gorgeous smelling pavilion, I had a look at the Croyeux irises, brought over from France, which were featured on one of the BBC's Chelsea programmes. To be honest, irises don't set my heart beating.

Roses do.  It was very hard to get a photo of just me, under the archway of the David Austin Old English Roses stand. David Austin died a few months ago but his roses live on, and it's a family business so his sons will continue the work.  I have several David Austin roses in my front garden.
The magnificent rose arch welcoming visitors to the David Austin Roses stand at the Chelsea Flower Show, with Gail Hanlon in green floral dress
Here I am with the heucheras.  I have a few "heuchs" in a border that doesn't get too much light, as they cope well with partial shade.
Woman in green hydrangeas print dress taking photos of heuchera at the Chelsea Flower Show
I'm wearing sandals from last year, by Vionic, which have special foot bed technology to make them comfortable. At an event like this you need shoes that aren't going to ruin the day. I didn't really need the jacket but it's a brave person in the UK who sets off without a jacket or cardigan. I needed a fairly big bag but it soon became an irritant. 
There were a couple of flower walls which were excellent for Instagrammers. Here Mr Mutton looks like a blogging natural with his pose, but in reality I had taken three pictures already and he was bored and wanting to move on. To lunch.
Enjoying a glass of champagne in the Rock Terrace restaurant at the Chelsea Flower Show
Lunch in the Rock Bank restaurant was certainly a highlight. We started with a delicious glass of Fortnum and Mason champagne and the wine was unlimited, depending on how often you could attract the attention of the busy waiting staff.  I had two glasses of wine and it was a bad idea at lunchtime for someone who seldom drinks.  I had to have a lie down when I got home!  My three courses were smoked salmon, dressed crab and cheese and biscuits - I'm not big on desserts.

It was my third time at the show, the last time was two years ago (see my post here) and on one of the "public days," where the demographic was a bit younger. On a members' day, it's mostly people over the age of 60 in sensible shoes, although I did manage to find a few stylish ladies.
Selection of fashionistas at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
So that was our experience at Chelsea. I may also go to Hampton Court flower show in July - it's less formal and the crowds are a bit more manageable. Do you go to any of the RHS or other flower shows?

Sharing this post with: Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Spread the Kindness at Shelbee On The Edge#iwillworkwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb,#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings, #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle, #Stylewithasmile at Stylesplash, Color and Grace

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. 

Don't forget to come back on Wednesday for the #WowOnWednesday link up.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

A Brilliant Work Wear Solution - and Link Up

Style blog Is This Mutton? is always looking for well-cut and stylish black and white cropped trousers. This black pair from Hope is a brilliant work wear solution. Worn here with a polka dot top and matching sling back shoes.
I'm always looking for stylish cropped trousers for the summer, both white and black, and I've hit the jackpot with this stylish pair from Hope. Made in Italy, these wide legged trousers are part of Hope's Power Foundation range, with bonded fabric and an elegant pin-tuck which leaves a razor-sharp fold through the front of the legs.

What's also cool is that Hope offer these trousers in two lengths, and even free alterations if those aren't hitting the spot.

If you're not familiar with the brand, Hope is a British company founded by Nayna McIntosh when she was in her 50s.  The latest range seems to be a lot more fashion-forward: previously I wasn't tempted to buy anything because most of the clothes seemed to be "cover ups" which I think often make us look bigger. But now they have a very tempting selection, and the good quality means that these clothes travel well and don't always need ironing.

I always love polka dots and this top - well over 10 years old - and kitten heels - creates a fuss-free work wear look.  Black and white is always my go-to for work attire when I don't want to think about it. The sunglasses are from River Island.  I only used to wear Ray-Bans but I now buy a couple of fashion pairs each summer.
Mid life blogger in black cropped trousers, black and white polka dot top and matching sling back shoes
Here I'm wearing them with an orangey-red: a top with statement sleeves that was a real steal from Florence and Fred last year, and sandals from Marks and Spencer (also last year's). Pearls have always been one of my trademarks, but instead of layering up chunky pearls I'm now wearing them in longer necklaces, which is more modern - these are from Mango. In a nod to the leopard print fashion, I'm wearing a thin belt - but this is one trend that will soon behind us. Snakeskin has taken over.
Woman wearing red top with statement sleeves and black cropped trousers
The sunglasses from Vow London have red frames which go well with the top. The red bag is out of stock but this one is similar.
Woman wearing red square sunglasses and red top with statement sleeves
Sharing this post with: Wordless Wednesday at Claire Justine, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Linkup on The Edge at Shelbee On The Edge#ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb,#AnythingGoes at My Random Musings and #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle.

Get Your Wow On!

Now it's time for the  #WowOnWednesday Link Up. Readers' favourite last time was Anna from Looking Fabulous @ Fifty, with her post on "grey is the new black." Anna is a master of monochrome.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bowie Rainbow Bolt Jumper

Over 50s style blog Is This Mutton? on the joys of the Bowie stripe cashmere jumper
Who buys a jumper (sweater) in May? you may ask.  Well, I did. When I saw Orwell + Austen advertising pre-orders for their new black Bowie rainbow bolt jumper, I knew I had to be quick because these sell out very quickly.

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 
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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

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