I love skiing! I have been skiing for about 10 years now so I was relatively late to it but if you fall in love with the sport then there is no going back. We were lucky, as for many years my sister-in-law and her husband owned a ski chalet in the French Alps and so for a relatively sensible cost we were able to go regularly and teach the children to ski.
I love the fresh air, the mountains, the sunshine, the views, the trees and the scenery. I love that when you ski you forget about everything else, that every day stresses are left behind as you are so concentrating on not falling over! Amazingly it is a very relaxing family holiday, especially now the children are competent skiers and are older. Those first few years learning to carry skis and poles whilst wearing ski boots and helping the kids were a challenge but they are long behind us now.
It is the one family holiday that our 18 year old son still wants to come on!
This year we are venturing into pastures new and heading to St Anton in Austria and staying in an hotel rather than self-catering. And I hear the ‘apres-ski’ in Austria is brilliant.
I got myself a bit stressed though with sorting out all our skiwear. Who had grown out of what, who needed new of this that and the other. I was very cross with myself that my beloved salupettes are now a little tight on the waist and need replacing. And I couldn’t find what I wanted. We went off to a ski sale locally and I managed to get a pair, not perfect but good enough. Then when I got home and tried everything on I decided I really didn't like my jacket at all, why on earth I didn't check it earlier goodness only knows.
So very kindly my husband agreed to take me to Milton Keynes to have a look. Nothing there either! I then popped into Turners in Marlow and found a gorgeous red Spyder jacket that is fitted and short and just perfect. Typical that we travel a distance then end up buying something local. But never mind it was a very nice day out.
So I will be absent next week from blog updates but please check my social media (Facebook and Instagram) where I will be posting updates from the ski slopes. If you haven’t already ‘liked’ my pages please do go take a look! I will share photos of my new ski jacket!
One of the easiest things we can do to look more youthful is make sure our eyebrows are well maintained. Full and shaped eyebrows are like an instant facelift for us ladies that are approaching 50 and beyond.
I get mine done at the Benito Brow Bar in House of Fraser. I have a regular shape and tint. The shaping is done by threading which is a little painful but only for a short time (no pain, no gain). The very first time I had a tint, my daughter was with me, and we had a good laugh afterwards, when I looked in the mirror I was rather shocked – wow!!! I was very tempted to go back and say ‘no, take it all off’. I didn’t and not sure they could anyway but the next day I loved them. Now when I get them done it is less of a shock and seems much more natural.
As it begins to wear off (3 weeks approx.), I move onto using the award winning Benefit ‘gimme brow’ until I get time to get them done again. Benefit say that our eyebrows ‘bring balance and symmetry to our eyes and face’. Take a look at their products online and pop into one of their shops for some good advice on what is best for you.
So go on, go and take 10 years off your look!
How often do we say this? I read a comment recently from a friend (you know who you are) and she said ‘I hate all my clothes’ and I thought what can I say to help? Then I thought, we have probably all felt this way at one time or another so I should write some tips on my blog to help her and others too.
Firstly we all end up with way too much in our wardrobes, we hang onto items ‘just in case’ or ‘it might come in handy’ or ‘I just need to find something to go with it’ and of course the most common one ‘I will slim into it’. We should only keep clothes in our wardrobe we LOVE! And we should have regular clear outs – monthly at the least, sometimes more often. I have done this exercise with another friend – she felt so much better about her wardrobe after I encouraged her take several bin bags to the charity shop.
I love the book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo and it is well worth a read or her companion book, Spark Joy. Alternatively a quick google search will bring up lots of advice on the KonMari way of tidying. But basically she advocates only keeping items in the house that ‘Spark Joy’, in other words things we really love and that really make us feel happy to touch, use or wear. She suggests de-cluttering in a particular order – starting with clothes. Empty your wardrobe completely and clothes from everywhere else in the house, bring it all together in one big pile (overwhelming I know) and then hold each item one at a time – do I love this, does it spark joy? Sometimes it is easy – yes, some things you have to put to one side and come back to, and others it is an obvious no! Don’t keep things to ‘wear around the house’ or ‘for cleaning in’ etc. If it sparks joy then keep it. Keep going until you have your ‘keep’ pile and your ‘charity or sell’ pile.
Then enjoy putting the rest back in your wardrobe, treat yourself to new matching hangers, take anything to the dry cleaners that needs repairing etc, wash, iron and enjoy your new pared down wardrobe.
Once you have done this you can really see what you have and what you need to buy. You should only have items in there now you love but if you really do ‘hate all your clothes’ then it might be quite bare but don’t worry too much at this stage. I am going to do a post soon about capsule wardrobes and what basics we should try to have in our wardrobe so hopefully this will help when you next go shopping.
KonMari says it is important that when you let items go that you ‘thank them for their service’, even if an item of clothing was unworn and a mistake, you had fun buying it but you learnt that it was not for you – let it go!
I have carried out this exercise myself and I am still doing it regularly. At first it was hard to get rid of so many bin bags but as soon as I had walked out of the charity shop I felt so much lighter and knew it was the right thing to do. I also sell on eBay when I make time to do so. Now I try to have a ‘one in - one out’ policy so if I buy something new, then I let something go that is not as loved. My aim is to have a streamlined, capsule wardrobe that I love – it is a work in progress!
Incidentally the friend I mentioned above always looks lovely and I certainly don’t dislike her clothes at all – we are just too harsh on ourselves!
I was born and brought up in Kent until I moved to Buckinghamshire when I was 14. But I have kept in touch with my two best friends; we met at Thurnham Infant School when we were 6! Over the years we have continued to keep in touch, first when I moved and we’d write letters (no snapchat then) and we’d have holidays at each other’s houses then there were boyfriends, weddings, children, divorces and house moves but we still love to get together and still giggle as much as we ever did. We’ve had 40+ years of fabulous, fun and friendship. These days our get-togethers are a little easier as our children have grown up so weekends are simpler to arrange.
I really value their friendship and the years have made our bond even stronger, we love to reminisce about our school days, we lived on a small housing estate on the edge of a pretty Kent village and our weekends and holidays were filled with traditional pastimes – playing in the garden with the sprinkler in the summer of 1976, making camps, dressing up, bike rides, playing in the garden, we were ‘Brownies’ and then ‘Guides’ together, we all went to the same RC church and to the same schools. We did our First Holy Communion and our Confirmation together. We started secondary school together. We celebrated birthdays and special occasions, I remember the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Street Party on our road, we ‘performed’ together on floats for the annual village carnival, and we did our junior school play ‘Dick Whittington’ together. Our parents were friends, our sisters were friends and now we all have Facebook, Instagram and Email it is easier to keep in touch. My son and one of my friend’s sons have hit it off and have met up and spent some time socialising together.
This weekend we all got together for dinner, as one of them, after going through a difficult couple of years, has now settled in a new home and it was great for us to go and see where she is living now. Myself and Mr FF drove down late Saturday afternoon and booked into a small hotel in nearby Cranbrook, the sun shone all weekend and we enjoyed a few glasses of prosecco together and the inevitable giggling.
I treasure our friendship and long may it last!
Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties, I share fashion, beauty, lifestyle and exercise/nutrition tips to inspire others to be fifty and fab too … join my mailing list below for regular updates and offers. And don’t forget to take a look at my social media pages Facebook Instagram and Twitter.