"". April 2024 | Is This Mutton?

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Tuesday 30 April 2024

The Book of Witty Women


Dear friends.  I'm pleased to be on the blog tour to promote a ground breaking book showcasing 15 short by women, introduced by Helen Lederer. 


Monday 29 April 2024

April Showers: Style Not Age Challenge

 Gail Hanlon proves raincoats don't need to be dreary in her turquoise trench from Asos

Dear friends.  April Showers is this month's prompt for the Style Not Age challenge.  Chosen by Hilda from Over the Hilda, it's very apt because it's been pouring for the last couple of days (and indeed, most of early April).

Raincoats are a tricky business.  They're usually in three colours:  stone/ beige, black, navy.  I have a stone coloured trench in the traditional style but I wanted something more unique, in a bright colour.  


Saturday 27 April 2024

My April Calendar: Caravaggio, Bluebells and Bright Colours

A perfect rose for St George's Day: Gertrude Jekyll from the garden of Is This Mutton in London

Dear friends. We're still waiting for prolonged sunshine and warmer days here in the UK. April had lots of rain and it was mostly cold! Here's how my month played out. 


Wednesday 24 April 2024

In Love with Vintage Retro

Is This Mutton in a green textured retro dress from the 60s or 70s

 And #WowOnWednesday

Dear friends. Apologies for not being around last Wednesday, particularly to those bloggers who probably came looking for the link-up a few times.

As I explained in my post Tell Us About Personal Style, I was having a bit of a style crisis. It happens to us all, even seasoned bloggers.

Friday 19 April 2024

Amazing Pages: Books Read in April


graphic showing the books reviewed for April by Is This Mutton

Dear friends.  Another stack of books for you today with 5 stars for two outstanding Irish writers.  Joining the lovely bloggers of the southern hemisphere for #WhatsBeenOnYourBookshelf. 


Don't Let Her In by Joanne Ryan

 Cover of the psychological thriller Don't Let Her In by Joanne Ryan, reviewed by Is This Mutton

Dear friends.  A leafy suburb where people tend their gardens and wash their cars.  A peaceful place. Not in the hands of Joanne Ryan. Poison pen letters are going unchallenged because they speak the truth.  Newcomer to the road, Lena, finds someone is conspiring against her. It all ends in an apocalyptic reckoning. 

Thrilled to be in the blog tour for Don't Let Her In. 


Thursday 18 April 2024

Tell Us About: Your Personal Style

 Is This Mutton's 60s inspired mood board for how she would like to dress

Dear friends. When Sue from Women Living Well After 50 set this month's Tell Us About challenge,  I was thinking it would be easy. After all, I have often written about Personal Style. 

I planned to write about how wonderful it is when you discover "your" style, and you dress in a way that pleases you. That's what my summary said, when I sent it out last week to the other bloggers.


Saturday 13 April 2024

Six on Saturday

 Is This Mutton shares 6 pictures of plants currently blooming in her London garden in April

Dear friends.  A much needed improvement in the weather this week has seen big progress in the garden. I'm sharing 6 photos for #SixOnSaturday. Several take part in this, and a good blog with which to start is Garden Ruminations.

1. Clematis Montana

I know this is a bit of a "Marmite" clematis for many. I have 3 intertwined on the back fence, two pink and one white.  

I call it "the monster," although its flowering is always a spectacular highlight. This year the flowers are more even. Last year we pruned it late in the summer, which I knew would affect the flowers, but it was out of control.  I know one of them is the variety Rubens, which I think is this one, with darker green leaves and a pretty fragrance.  It was planted in 2012. 

2.  Tulip Purple Flag

My tulips have all gone over now except for this one. I tried it to compare with Negrita. It's shorter and has untidier leaves. I'd prefer Negrita in future, it really is the perfect purple,  and is a true perennial if planted in the garden.  (Here's Negrita in my garden if you want to compare). 

3. Narcissus Tahiti

I saw this loud and blowsy narcissus in a neighbouring garden in quantity, and thought I'd try it.  I planted bulbs at the back of my border which is overhung by "the monster" and is a barren patch in which nothing thrives.  The yellow is a bit sulphuric, so not my favourite daffodil, but it's greatly brightened up this part of the garden. 

4. Auricula 

I was surprised to find some varieties of auricula at the garden centre a couple of years ago and picked up 3 pots.  They flower reliably and don't seem high maintenance, which had been my perception of auriculas.  I'm afraid I can't tell you which varieties I have, but probably very common or garden! 

5 Tiarella Spring Symphony

A superb background plant.  Tiarellas are basically heucheras that flower.  Mine is in full flower now, and looked pretty behind tulipa Apricot Beauty.

6 Heuchera Lime Marmalade 

I've got several heuchera in a dry border in which nothing else does well, as it's got a hawthorn tree and forsythia hedge overhanging the soil.  The heuchs do very well.  I usually place a pot of purple petunias in front of this lovely lime green heuchera, it's a lovely combination.

Hope you enjoyed my six!

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Friday 12 April 2024

Leave No Trace by Jo Callaghan


Dear friends. Today's spotlight falls on a police procedural with an intriguing angle. One of the officers is a creation of Artificial Intelligence, manifested as a hologram. But AIDE Lock is treated as simply one of the investigating team. Here is an outstanding thriller, with an exciting conclusion. 

It's my stop on the blog tour for Leave No Trace by Jo Callaghan. 


Wednesday 10 April 2024

Inspired by Beautiful Birds

 Join Is This Mutton for outfits inspired by the plumage of beautiful birds.

Dear friends.  I love taking part in outfit challenges as they get the creative juices flowing, and remind us of unloved clothes sitting in the wardrobe.

Today's challenge lasts for a month at the Kettlewell Colour Club on Facebook, and it's Birds of a Feather. Here are three outfits inspired by plumage. 


Monday 8 April 2024

The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird

Cover of the novel The  Divorcées by Rowan Beaird, under the review spotlight at Is This Mutton.

Dear friends. I'm thrilled to bring you an outstanding debut novel today. The Divorcées transports us to 1950s Reno at a time when divorce was uncommon. 

Today is my stop on the blog tour for the acclaimed The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird. 

Saturday 6 April 2024

The Results are In: Books Survey 2024


Dear friends. Many thanks for all the responses to the Is This Mutton 2024 survey about our reading habits. It was the best response the annual survey has ever had. It shows how universal books are, across every age group and demographic.

So what did we find out?


Friday 5 April 2024

Nowhere to Hide by Keri Beevis

 Cover shot of novel Nowhere to Hide by Keri Beevis. This portrayal of coercive control is reviewed by Is This Mutton.

Dear friends. Today's book spotlight is on Nowhere to Hide by Keri Beevis.  It packs a real punch. Today is my stop on the blog tour. 


Wednesday 3 April 2024

Life Lately: April {2024}

 And #WowOnWednesday

Dear friends.  Hope you all enjoyed Easter and Eid, if you celebrate either of those. In today's post I'm sharing an outfit I wore recently and giving a beauty update on a few skincare products I've been trying. Plus a couple of other buys. I've indicated with an * anything that was gifted. 

We went to a pop concert, 10CC, last week, and this is the outfit I wore. The purple coat was a pre-loved gift from Penny at Frugal Fashion Shopper;  the purple wool trousers were bought from Vinted and the 1980s bow blouse was bought pre-loved from Etsy. 

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in purple with green accessories at the Royal Albert Hall, London

To liven up the purple I added my new kelly green bag from Pom Pom London.  My sparkly dance shoes from Supadance always get a few compliments, this time from a gentleman on the platform at Walthamstow station!  I'm also wearing a fresh green short tie wrap from Kettlewell, seen in the photo towards the end of the post. 

The pictures were taken in and around the Royal Albert Hall in London.  We had dinner first in one of their restaurants, Coda by Eric Chavot.  I've written a 10cc review

On my recent visit to Devon I bought a pair of new trainers.  I was looking, ever impractical, for cream and gold.  I found these at Schuh. They're Schuh's own brand, Victoria.  There is some suede going on, so I dread washing them. However I get great results when I machine wash my leather Stan Smith's. 

I have quite a few Austrian crystal necklaces in lovely colours, and now I've started on bracelets! These two beauties came from my regular port of call, Lynn's Gem Creations on Etsy. They are not as pricey as the necklaces so a good place to start. 


A few weeks ago in January I wrote about how I'd bought some products from renowned skin doctor Dr Sister, and said I'd give a longer review after using them for 90 days.

90 days is the minimum time to see results (or not) from new skincare. 

You may recall, it was a chance encounter with Dr Sister's long video that got me interested.  I've been taking the Inner Beauty tablets, one before bedtime, and using the Lash Saviour eyelash revitaliser, Younger You face cream (the name. I know!) and Crepe Rewind cream. 

I was hoping that this arsenal of goodness would destroy the large brown spots I have on my cheeks. To be fair, the more recent pigmentation patches are a lot less noticeable now.  But the largest, which I've had for several years now, is unchanged.  I'd also been using Clinique's Even Better dark spot corrector.

I find my skin is genuinely a bit brighter and more even toned since I started the skin regime. But there isn't enough slip, for me, in the day cream. I've been using it only at night. 

As for the Lash Saviour, I've been using it for about 6 weeks and haven't seen a difference yet, but that was the same for Revitalash and then it kicked in and my lashes became quite long. 


This product really works if you have crepey skin says Is This Mutton, talking about Dr Sister Crepe Rewind which she bought herself

The stand out product from Dr Sister, and it is ABSOLUTELY GENIUS, is the Crepe Rewind cream. If you have crepey puckered skin on your arms, it totally banishes it, although you need to keep using it. I will definitely stay faithful to it.  I find it's good for tightening the neck too. Normal body lotions or creams have no impact on crepey skin, and I've tried dozens.  So thank you Dr Sister.

Find Dr Sister here.  None of these products were gifted.  

ADDENDUM: Since I wrote this a few of you have told me that Crepe Rewind is no longer on the site. I've been told it is currently out of stock. Stay tooned. 


Meanwhile I've been using an old favourite, RoC, for a few weeks as my day cream. I was gifted with the Retinol Correxion serum and Line Smoothing Max Hydration cream.  I didn't like the smell of the serum - a medical sort of smell - so I didn't use it for long. But I love the cream, which has, I read,  Jennifer Aniston as an admirer.  

Retinol is the gold standard for mature skin but you have find the right formulation. There are different kinds of retinol too.  The RoC cream has the desired slip, which means it goes on smoothly and generously, giving a noticeable burst of emollience. It sits nicely under make-up with no pilling.  

RoC Retinol Correxion serum and face cream as tried by Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon who reviews it here


Wearing the new Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin Enhancing Tint: over 60s blogger Gail Hanlon

Above:  I was first in the queue to buy the new Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin Enhancing Tint. This is a very light but somehow still gives good coverage of imperfections, and doesn't settle in wrinkles like many foundations and tints are wont to do. 

I already have her foundation so I knew my shade was 7.  It's quite a small bottle but I'm pleased about that because I can take it on my 3 week cycling holiday where we have to keep packing to a minimum.  I'm also wearing a Lisa Eldridge lipstick in shade Dancecard, a lovely neutral toned nude pink. 

Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin Enhancing Tint which gives good coverage despite being very light

You can buy Lisa Eldridge at her website or in the UK from Selfridges and Space NK. She has some very good videos on YouTube where she occasionally features older models and the odd celebrity.

That's it for today's update.  I'm back on Friday with a book spotlight. 

Do you look for skincare with retinol? Do you prefer a lighter bronzer or fake tan in the summer, rather than foundation? Do let us know in the comments.  Scroll down past the link-up for the comments box. 

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WowOnWednesday is one of the bigger link-ups. Readers can find new blogs to enjoy and bloggers can find new readers. It's a win-win all round, provided you visit posts that appeal to you,  and share the love by leaving a comment or two. 


The fashion favourite was Suzy Turner with her outfit inspired by Girl on Fire by Alicia Keyes

The lifestyle favourite was Chez Mireille with her post How to Pack for a 3 Day Trip in a Back Pack

Food Favourite:  Chocolate Easter bunny Espresso Martini from Nicolle at Our Tiny Nest

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