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Sunday 31 January 2021

Working from Home? Dress to Impress

 Wearing your normal work clothes makes a huge difference to how you feel about working from home.  Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon in black trousers, paisley blouse and cashmere cardigan with green snakeskin boots

For nearly a year I've been working from home and I've mostly been wearing sweatshirts and jeans, or sometimes sportswear.  And I've got bored of it. Two things happened to make me decide to dress differently.

Friday 29 January 2021

Friday Favourites: TV, Podcasts, Books - January edition


I'm back with Is This Mutton's monthly round-up of reading, listening and viewing.  In the last few weeks it's been a bit of a desert on TV. There are hundreds of TV programmes to choose from, but very few are worth spending time on. Fortunately January has picked up considerably.

Without  further ado, let's look at my latest TV recommendations.


Wednesday 27 January 2021

Wearing the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021- and Link-Up

Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow are Pantone's colors of the year for 2021. Blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton gives her fashion take with a yellow maribou-trimmed jumper and grey skirt with mustard bootsThe Pantone colors of the year are Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow. These shades were, said Pantone,  chosen for their warmth and dependability. It described Illuminating as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.”  Ultimate Grey, like pebbles, is emblematic of “solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.”

I don't think I have exactly the right shades for my take with these two colors. but it gives you a good idea.  My yellow jumper with feather trim is a cooler yellow, while the boots are a warm buttercup yellow.  The skirt is predominantly grey, and the tights are definitely grey.

I've noticed that the Pantone colors of the year don't usually make it into the mainstream for a year or two. They're like the fashion shows:  they give direction.  When Ultra Violet was color of the year in 2018 I was keen to snap up pieces in this color but there was very little available.  Now you can find quite a lot.  

I asked Melissa Nicholson from Kettlewell Colours, who specialise in colours that you don't often see, for her view.  "The Pantone colors of the year puts those colours into the consciousness of our customers who then request them. If we don’t already stock a color and the Pantone of the Year is something new, I'll certainly explore it and lab dip it. I’m forever on the lookout for new colors – not easy when you already have 300 in the collection." 

Blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in her take on the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 with a yellow maribou-trimmed jumper and grey skirt
Fashion commentators were not thrilled at the prospect of these two colors.  Individually I think they are great.  Grey is dependable and reliable, and goes with lots of colors.  It's exactly what we need in these troubled times.  Yellow meanwhile has been seen a lot lately in the fashion magazines, and many blogger have been wearing it.  It's a cheerful color that reminds us of spring, but not easy to wear for many of us.

The secret is to determine if you're cool or warm toned, and you can do this by looking at the veins  on your wrist.  Blue toned equals cool,  green equals warm.  It's not very precise however.  My color analysis showed that a bright warm yellow is actually best for me.  My coloring is neutral so I can wear a combination of certain cool and warm shades, as long as they are clear / bright.  More on color in next Wednesday's post.

Yellow is often thought of as a difficult color to wear but for most of us it's finding the right shade, cool or warm toned.  Here Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon wears her take on the Pantone Colors of the Year 2021

I have fond memories of grey and yellow together.  In the sixth form at school we were allowed to wear a grey skirt and a round neck jumper of any colour, with no tie.  The freedom! I had a midi length pencil skirt in grey - a lighter shade - and v neck jumpers in yellow, pink and a weird green, knitted by my mum, and a darker green that was prickly.  

V necks were more fashionable but it was a daring move because if the deputy headmistress, Miss Collins, saw you wearing the offending item, she would make you turn the jumper round and wear your blazer over the top. Fortunately it never happened to me. 

What do you think of the Pantone colors of the year?  Let me know in the comments.

Sharing this post with: #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile and Stylish Monday at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine Whatever 

It's a busy week on Is This Mutton - I'm back on Friday with the Favourites - books, podcasts and TV, and on Tuesday with Sentence a Day for January. Hope to see you then.

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, where bloggers find new readers, and readers find new blogs to read!
Last week's readers' favourites - most clicked - were:

Suzy Turner introducing her new fashion and beauty blog, "Welcome to the Grey Brunette." 

Pamela from Style Yourself Confident with her post "What's Autumn's Magical Color?"

My favourite fashion post was by Christine from Bon Chic Style, "Recovering from COVID-19 & French Chic Black Slip Dress." I love the different ways she styled the dress, and the b&w photography, with one color image, is a visual delight.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday 25 January 2021

Lounging At Home: Style Not Age Challenge

 For the Style Not Age Challenge Lounging at Home - very apt for lockdown - Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon is wearing a wool hoody and joggers in oatmeal from Mango with an infinity scarf in Chinese Blue for a dash of colour from Kettlewell

It was my turn this month to decide the theme for the Style Not Age Challenge, and I chose the most searched-for fashion term at the moment - Loungewear. 

Wednesday 20 January 2021

What We Learnt from the First Wave of Covid - And Link Up

 The results of the 2021 annual Is This Mutton? Survey

Old-fashioned typwriter with Corona Update typed on a piece of paper. Picture by Markus Winkler for Pexels
Thanks to all of you who generously completed the annual Is This Mutton? survey. Last year was about how we feel about ageing. This year, the focus had to be about Covid-19 and how we coped with the shock of the first lockdown.

The majority of respondents was in the UK and Ireland followed by the US and Canada (20%).  Women took part from many other countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

2021 Off to a Less Than Flying Start: And Link-Up

Jumping for joy? Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in blue and green featuring a velvet midi skirt and snakeskin ankle boots
Have the first few days of 2021 had you jumping for joy?  I've seen quite a few amusing social media posts where people are saying that they had the free trial of the new year but didn't like the look of it. 

Friday 8 January 2021

I Liked Regentiv So Much I Bought More Products!

Some of the UK skincare brand Regentiv's products created to solve problems such as lines, wrinkles and lax skin texture
I was intrigued when a UK beauty brand called Regentiv got in touch with me back in October.  I've seen their ads in magazines like Good Housekeeping for years. It's a real word-of-mouth range, as you can see from the testimonials on their Instagram feed.

I've often wondered about trying their flagship product, the Specialist Serum, and Regentiv kindly sent me a bottle to try, plus the Invigorating Exfoliant. Now that I've used them for a couple of months, I was suitably impressed to buy a couple more products - the Super Lifting Serum and Neck & Decollete Rejuvenation.


Wednesday 6 January 2021

New Year Nuggets - and Link Up

Poring over her new organizers for 2021, Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon reminisces about time management systems and discusses her 2021 plans
You'll need a coffee to get through today's longish post - pity I've already drunk mine! I'm going to give you a few blog factoids from 2020 and a  look ahead to this year and what I'm planning. 

Monday 4 January 2021

December 2020 - A Sentence a Day

 A spectacular sunrise over Connaught Water in Epping Forest, winter 2020

Tues 1 Dec

Spectacular sun rise today followed by blue sky weather. Did holly trail walk in Epping forest. Had NHS letter giving me the all-clear from recent mammogram - plus another letter about upcoming home bowel cancer screening test, which is next on the list. 

Weds 2 Dec

A good news day. The second month-long national lock down has ended and my gym has reopened!  Everyone so excited. Pfizer/Biontech vaccine now approved for the UK, first country in the world to give it the all-clear. 

Thursday 3 Dec

Raining all day. Did walk, Holly trail. Wore new Rab waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers. Booked for free make-up masterclass with Charlotte Tilbury. New Christmas lit garland delivered.

Wet weather walking outfit worn by Gail Hanlon of Is This Mutton featuring Rab waterproof trousers and jacket and Seal Skinz hat which protects headphones

Friday 4 Dec

Day off - everyone at my company was given this as a "care day." I went into London to see the Emin/Munch exhibition which I pre-booked a few weeks ago in the hope it would happen. Read my review here. Quiet in town. Later had hair colour/cut in Epping. Shorter style. 

Saturday 5 Dec

Did the Yates meadow and Holly trail walk, just under 5 miles. Lovely day. Afternoon dragged. Watched film Last Christmas, based on the George Michael song and starring Emilia Clarke. A bit lame, 6 out of 10. 

Sunday 6 Dec

Overcast, cold. Walked to gym.  Got the tree and decorations down but didn't put tree up. J has a cold. Roast chicken. 

Mon 7 Dec

V cold and foggy. Did 5 miles. 30 to go, by the end of December, to complete the #Walk1000Miles challenge.  Put Christmas tree up. Letter from NHS offering the flu jab. Since I hit 60, the NHS has been all over me. 

Tues 8 Dec

Foggy again. Walked 4.3 miles. First vaccine given in the UK. Yet another letter from NHS offering me the over 60 health check. Cold enough for winter duvet - 15 togs.

Weds 9 Dec

Walk, Willow trail.  No fog and a bit milder.

Thur 10 Dec

Walked to gym. Cold. Study by Office for Nat Statistics says lockdown life was antisocial, lazy and marked by heavy drinking. Not chez Mutton, I'm glad to say (except for the antiosocial bit, but you can't avoid that in lockdown!). Attended Charlotte Tilbury virtual masterclass. Well, waited for 21 mins but she still hadn't appeared so cut my losses. 

Fri 11 Dec

Too tired to walk, needed rest day. Only have 9.46 miles to go. Cloudy. Had my first meeting at work with the new team I'm working with. Like their enthusiasm. Fish n chips,  1st time for weeks. Barbara Windsor died. Watched film Happiest Season with Kristen Stewart. Patchy, not very funny: 6 out of 10. 

Sat 12 Dec

Walk, lots of mud via the Yates & Holly. The "river" is wider and a group of people had come to an abrupt stop. Eventually I did a run up and jumped. They all cheered. Fortunately I managed to clear it for the 1st time, thanks to having an audience! 

Sunday 13 Dec

Don't need to walk today as I only need to do 4 miles to get my 1000, and I plan to do that tomorrow with J on a day off work.  Drove to gym and then did some shopping at Epping. 

Monday 14 Dec

Day off. Sunny start. J and I did the Copped Hall and deer tunnel walk. Very muddy. Saw the deer. at a distance, not in the tunnel. J took photos of me wearing medal, but my nose was very red like that of a certain reindeer! My bowel cancer testing kit came - oh joy.

Tuesday 15 Dec

Had over 60s health check. J did too and we were seen together at a practice a few miles away. I seem to have lost an inch in height but otherwise everything was fine. My chances of having a heart attack, stroke or type 2 diabetes are mercifully very low. 

Weds 16 Dec

Sunny start. Did 4.5 forest trails walk. Winding down at work.

Thurs 17 Dec

Blue sky. Did urban walk to post office and dropped off a card further along. 

Friday 18 Dec

My last day at work and busy with meetings until 6. Then pleased to put my "out of office" on. Two weeks off! 

Sat 19 Dec

Showers.  Urban walk 4.2 miles.  Boris announced London now in tier 4 from midnight and Christmas  effectively cancelled.  Immediately amended online shopping order to remove canapes and various desserts for Boxing Day, but was unable to cancel a click and collect order for a huge gammon (ham).  

Sun 20 Dec 

London has gone into Tier 4 restrictions from midnight, effectively a lockdown, which has put an end to families gathering over Christmas. My gym is now closed again so did a virtual class with them for the first time. 45 mins and rather arduous!  Roast chicken

Mon 21 Dec

A rest day exercise-wise.  Lorries unable to leave Dover. Big log jam. More lorries than usual have been on the roads prior to Brexit, resulting in delays, and now Macron of France is demanding that all lorry drivers have a Covid test before crossing the Channel. Some of the drivers, from Poland and other countries, won't make it home for Christmas. 

Tues 22 Dec 

Walk, forest trails. "River" getting bigger. Went to Waitrose for click and collect of the gammon. Then Ocado delivery came. Christmas food sorted. Watched Love Actually as we always do at Christmas. 

Weds 23 Dec

Urban walk which took in the large Tesco, 4.5 miles. No shortages except run out of mince pies. Had been predictions of no lettuces or broccoli because of haulier problems. Near home there are long queues for walk in Covid tests at the town hall. My mum had her first vaccine. 

Xmas Eve

Sunny day. Did virtual gym class, wore antlers. Did a blog shoot for Style Not Age - "Out and About. 

Xmas Day, Friday 25 Dec 

Cold, sunny. Dropped presents off at R & S's new house, not far away. Peered in through window as we couldn't go in. Opened presents when we got back. Christmas lunch went well. I'm a nervous roaster of turkey in case it's tough and dry. Watched Home for Xmas - sweet Norwegian comedy drama - and The Night Manager episode 1. 

Boxing Day, Saturday 26 Dec 

V cold. Went for walk, Yates, muddy. Nipped into local Tesco for baguette and salad - yes they still had some. Watched George Clooney film The Midnight Sky. 5 out of 10. 

Sunday 27 Dec

Virtual gym class. Sunny. Gammon. John was watching Spurs and I watched a documentary about Bridget Jones. 

Mon 28 Dec

Walked to big Tesco, picked up too much and had to get bus back. Cold.

Tues 29 Dec

Forest walk. V cold. Started watching The Killing.

Weds Dec 30

Oxford vaccine was approved. Quiet day doing blog photos. Sunny but v cold. Took photos of a couple of sparkly New Year's Eve outfits for Instagram tomorrow. 

Gail Hanlon from style blog Is This Mutton in silver and blush halterneck sequin top

New Year's Eve, Thurs Dec 31

Cold. Walked to big Tesco to get a few bits for tonight, quiche and salad. Afternoon: watched original Far from Madding Crowd, one of my favourites of all time (nine out of 10). Evening: watched film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018), seven out of 10. In bed by 9 as usual and asleep by 9.30.  The loud fireworks at midnight woke me briefly. Welcome 2021, we've been awaiting you! 


If you're a woman over 45, I'd love you to participate in the annual Is This Mutton? survey. This year the questions are mainly around how we experienced lockdown life. No email addresses are being captured and you don't need a Google log-in to complete the survey. Responses are entirely anonymous. The results will be featured mid-January.  Take the survey. 

Sharing this post with Shelbee on the Edge, #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb  #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of Glam 

I'm back on Wednesday with the #WowOnWednesday link up. Hope to see you then.  Wishing you all happy and healthy New Year. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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