I thought I'd take a closer look at the Boden sale today and give you some of my top picks. I always find that their sale is a good time to stock up on good quality basics or bigger items like a coat or jacket that normally you'd think were too expensive.
The Chepstow Jacket is low stock - only available in the yellow in a 12 but such a striking jacket and at 40% off a good option for building your wardrobe.
A Boden maxi-dress is a must-have summer wardrobe staple and they have several styles and colours in the sale. I've just recently purchased the wrap maxi in black. A classic that I think will serve me well for a good few years.
My favourite summer holiday dresses, the St Lucia, are down to £29.75 in various colours.
This Tie Waist Ballet Dress is currently sitting in my basket with a yellow Favourite Crop Cardigan, see below.
The Boden 'favourite cardigans' come in lots of lovely colours and two different styles as well as cashmere options.
And finally there are lots of fantastic basic tops. I love this Supersoft Swing Tee. It is not available in this colourway in my size but it may have found it's way into my basket in a different colour. Unfortunately the bag is out of stock!
There are lots of good sales on at the moment. Take a look at Mint Velvet, Whistles, Jigsaw.
So I’ve had salon tans and I’ve done home tans. Only in recent years though, I think the home ones are so good now that I feel safe doing them, gone are the days of streaky, orange tans (I think). I did have a salon tan pre-holiday and sadly I was a bit disappointed – very ‘tanned’ hands and feet! You live and learn. Anyway in my last newsletter, I said I’d bring you some home tan suggestions. If you don’t get a copy of my monthly newsletter then please do join 'subscribe to my blog'..
Firstly, what I am currently using:
St Moriz Mousse
This is just so easy to use, doesn’t go streaky at all and lasts very well; it is also easy to top up and only takes me about five minutes every week. It has fab reviews and is very reasonably priced!
Always exfoliate first - the day before and moisturise and when you apply the tan use a fake tan mitt.
Clarin’s Self-Tanning Radiance-Plus – Face
My sister recommended this to me and I purchased it in duty free on the way to Turkey. It’s lovely; you just put a few drops onto your hand, mix with your own face cream and apply every night. Remember to wash your hands after though. It produces a very natural healthy glow on your face.
The other brand that I love and would recommend is Vita Liberata. They do a product called PHenomenal that lasts 2-3 weeks! It is a home tan, is easy to apply, and has a nice smell and yes it does last. It is more expensive to buy than some others and in fact I often have some left at the end of the summer as it does last 2-3 weeks so you use less. Good if you are going on holiday and don’t want to bother topping up while you are away.
Finally worth a mention is the very popular St Tropez Gradual In-Shower tan, launched last year and doing very well again this year. I have tried it, it wasn’t for me, you have to apply daily to get a good colour and I am too impatient to stand in the shower for 3 minutes waiting for it to develop before washing off. But it is very popular with lots of ladies so might be worth a try for some.
I have tried the new Skinny Tan (first seen on Dragon’s Den) but I didn’t feel it lasted as well and it was a lighter colour than I prefer. It does come in lots of different options though and they sell a pre-tan primer (exfoliator) which I am still using.
If you haven’t tried a home tan recently then give it a go, they are much easier than they used to be and a tan makes me feel healthy and looks great when I get my legs out and into shorts or dresses when the sun finally makes an appearance!
Last week we had a day out in Oxford and did a private tour of the City with my very talented sister Heidi who runs her own tour guide business specialising in Oxford and the Cotswolds, Walking Tours of Oxford www.walkingtoursofoxford.com.
It’s not the first time we’ve been, we have done several different tours, we’ve taken our children, family, friends and clients on a number of occasions and each time we see something different or learn something new.
It is a stunning City, steeped in history but as we live nearby we rarely step behind the main streets and become tourists. Oxford was the inspiration for many of the locations in the Harry Potter films; it has educated many of our Prime Ministers and Politicians, authors, actors and many many other figures from history. Of course it is the location for a lot of other films and television series – Morse, Lewis and Endeavour for example.
And it isn’t boring for younger children either. We have taken our children and my sister has a real talent for engaging everyone young and old. History comes alive.
I can’t do Oxford justice in a short blog post but do please take a look at the website www.walkingtoursofoxford.com and read more about it (and take a look at the TripAdvisor reviews too).
And have a look at my photos below! We did a lunchtime tour then had a Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Old Parsonage Hotel (we were lucky enough to be able to sit in the garden) but there are lots of lovely places to dine in Oxford – if you do decide to book a tour Heidi can advise you.
Yes I am biased but I cannot recommend it enough as a brilliant day out.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. And for me the best thing about it is that it takes less time … gone are the days of spending over an hour in the gym or running! And time is one thing I need more of, so this definitely ticks all the boxes for me.
Basically it is a good way to maximise your workout time by performing short bursts of specifically targeted exercises with little or no rest in between. I do 30 seconds on/exercise and 30 seconds off/rest. I then repeat each circuit 4 or 5 times and the whole session with warm up and cool down lasts 30 minutes. Or if you are doing just one exercise (i.e. exercise bike then repeat 20 times).
To be able to build up your cardiovascular strength it has been proven that you do not need to spend ages running or working out. HIIT workouts provide the same benefits as long steady CV but they also increase your metabolism, increase fat burning, decrease your blood pressure and help you lose weight!
The fitness industry is learning this is the way ahead and the trend is definitely changing towards HIIT based exercise. Some of our most high profile trainers are sharing their results; take a look at Julia Buckley and of course Joe Wicks (the programme I am following).
For the whole of Cycle 1 of the SSS plan I have been performing four HIITs per week (two at home, two with my PT). They may consist of exercises such as ‘high knees’, ‘burpees’, ‘jumping lunges’, ‘mountain climbers’ and ‘press-ups’. No I don’t like these exercises, yes they are hard but I only do them for 30 seconds 4-5 times. The aim is to get my heart rate up to its maximum and work hard. I also do ‘bike HIITs’ where I cycle as fast and as hard as I can for 30 seconds then ease off for 30 seconds then repeat this 20 times. There are hundreds and hundreds of HIIT videos on YouTube to follow as well as 30 day programmes.
Now I have started Cycle 2 I am adding in weight training. No I am not about to morph into looking like a body builder! But muscle burns fat more efficiently and it takes up less space in the body than fat so I want some more of that. I will tell you more about the benefits of weights (for us ladies of a certain age) soon.
A number of years ago I did the Marlow 5 road race. Five miles of running! I did it! I didn't enjoy the training or the race at all but it was an achievement to tick off my list. I’d never go back to running though. If you enjoy it then great, it is good for you, but if like me you just want to get fit and be healthy in the quickest time possible then HIIT is the way to go – you will get the figure you want much more efficiently and quicker.
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 and Instagram.