I love summer holidays first and foremost because I get to wear dresses and bikini's. Simple! I always take too much though and as well as posting my outfits I will be giving myself a gentle reminder of what I actually wore and what I really didn't need.
I do struggle with finding cotton dresses though so if anyone has any tips send them my way! At our small apartment hotel there was a gorgeous lady wearing an amazing selection of cotton dresses and beach cover-ups - I discovered she'd been on a girls weekend away to Ibiza and had done some shopping whilst there, so maybe that is what I need to do next year.
This first dress is from Next. It is off-white and longer at the back, shorter at the front, it was one of my favourites this holiday as it was so easy to wear. I saw it in Next first of all but they only had the regular length and it was way too long so I dismissed it. Then I saw Donna at I Won't Wear Sludge Brown wear it on an Instagram post. When I next popped into Next I noticed they had it in Petites! Sold! I am wearing an 8 as I find Next come up large. My sandals are from a small online seller called Flossy Fashion London.
Ecru Lace Insert Dipped Hem Dress £55 Next
In this photo I am wearing the same dress with my Holster sandals.
This was the only time I wore shorts on holiday this year. They are from Gap and were very comfortable, I can't find them online unfortunately. I also bought them in denim (and took them with me - see note on over packing) but didn't wear them. The top is from Boden, be quick though, only smaller sizes left - I love the pom pom detail around the neck.. My trilby hat is a men's size small from Marks & Spencer and is much more substantial than the various ladies ones I have had. My sandals are from Holster UK and were soooo comfortable!
Melody Jersey Vest £35 from Boden and still available in 6, 8 10 and 20
Double Weave Textured Trilby Hat £19.50 from Marks & Spencer
I went on about these two halter neck dresses last year when I went to Turkey, honestly Boden you have to redo them. They are just so comfortable and flattering and perfect because you don't have to wear a bra with them as they are double layer jersey and hold everything in (well if you are small like me they do anyway). Sorry I can't link or recommend as they are not current stock and I've had them a few years now. They only get worn on holiday so they are still going strong.
I did a post a few weeks ago all about my Hush purchases this summer - the ones I loved and kept and the ones that weren't so good and I returned (find it here). This one has been a great purchase and I loved wearing it on holiday. It is a soft drapey fabric, very forgiving if you have a food baby and you can wear it with or without the belt.
Laurel off-the shoulder dress from Hush now in the sale at £50 - sizes 12 and 14 left
So that is all for now - I won't put all my outfits on one post as you will surely get bored as there are so many. Yes over packing and two weeks away!
I will share some more with you soon.
I'm home! I am knee deep in washing of course. And very limited on where to dry it as it has been pouring with rain since we stepped off the plane at Gatwick. The house was intact despite my 19 year old son having a few 'gatherings'! I am desperate to keep my tan so I think the St Moriz Self-Tan is going to get some use over the next few weeks.
I am kicking off my first post-holiday blog with a little overview of the island and some of the places we visited.
So Kefalonia is one of the largest Greek Islands and one of the least spoilt, It became better known as it was the setting for the book and then film, Capitan Corelli's Mandolin. Mainstream tourism has largely left it alone and their are vast mountainous areas and remote beaches that have not be touched at all. You need a car though as taxi's are expensive and public transport is non-existent. Negotiating the mountain roads is a challenge and don't rely on Google Maps, it takes you the fastest route and this often means off-roading (roads to them are not roads to us and are not suitable for the small hire cars) - yes we learnt the hard way.
We stayed near the capital Argostoli not far from the airport and in the south of the Island. We travelled with Simpson Travel and stayed in a two-bedroom suite at one of their small hotels Avithos Beach Estate (just 8 suites/apartments with a shared pool and breakfast terrace),
I didn't fall immediately in love with the island, it took some getting used to! Having been to much busier places in the past, I struggled with how remote it felt. Finding good restaurants or taverna's was an initial challenge and everything was a good 20+ minute drive away.
But, the benefit of being away for 14 nights and not 7 means that you can spend the first week winding down and finding your way around before really being able to relax.
To be honest we don't move far from the pool and sun-loungers. My daughter loves to sit and read with me and we can enjoy the view. Clean toilets are close at hand and we don't suffer with the heat that comes with being on a beach.
Once we got our bearings we found some lovely restaurants and taverna's. I can definitely recommend Il Borgo just below the Castle of St George and with amazing views from the terrace across the mountains and out to the sea. I also loved Lorraine's Magic Hill at Lourdas, get a table on the terrace at about 8 pm and watch the sunset. Lorraine makes you very welcome and the food and service are excellent.
We had two full days out. First of all we spent a day on a sailing boat, the Golden Otter, with Alan, our very friendly and knowledgeable skipper. I love swimming in the sea from a boat and we had fun trying to row the little dingy (hubby had to come and rescue us) yes it did cause some amusement!
And another day we drove up to the north of the island, via Myrtos Beach and onto Fiscardo. Myrtos Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the world and is best viewed from above, it really is stunning, white sands and turquoise sea. Fiscardo is a beautiful harbour town, very cosmopolitan 'Shopping and Yachts' and was the only town to survive the 1953 earthquake that hit the island. We had lunch there and of course a wander around the shops!
We also visited Argostoli one morning to see the giant turtles in the harbour and another evening to have a look around and have dinner overlooking the harbour. Another evening we drove down to Skala to have dinner with our friends, we found a lovely taverna overlooking the beach and had a very enjoyable evening.
All in all we had a fabulous time. Karen and John made us very welcome at the Avithos Beach Estate, John did two wonderful BBQ evenings, we made some great friends and absolutely loved being able to relax and do nothing for two weeks.
Look out for my next post when I will share more details of my outfits, lots of dresses and bikinis.
Finally it is here! Our post-GCSE holiday! Two weeks of wall to wall sunshine in Kefalonia, Greece.
I am not a great fan of packing but for summer holidays it is so much easier - bikini's and sundresses. Perfect.
I will be posting lots on Instagram while I am away so do take a look and I will be back on my blog when I get home.
We always travel with Simpson Travel and I really do recommend them for ease of booking, simple options, luxury accommodation and really helpful staff. Great website too.
And my top tip for holidays - get yourself a Chilly Bottle, they keep water ice cold all day.
See you when I get back!
Okay so I have learnt something. The Body Coach is fantastic for losing fat and gaining muscle fast. And it is the start of educating yourself BUT it is hard to maintain that sort of lifestyle when reality sets in and you still need to cook for your family and go out and socialise. I did amazingly well last year on the SSS plan and after graduating in September I got to my best place for my 50th birthday in December. But I have struggled since then. I have tried a nutritionist, the sustain plan, macro counting etc etc. I can’t quite lose that extra little bit that would make me feel like I have reached my goal. Because life happens and I need to find balance and live my life too. For someone that is already a size 8 – 10 pushing to the last little bit is pretty hard.
I am learning that ‘reaching my goal’ is also about balance, acceptance and confidence. Not just about scales and tape measures.
It is easy (ish) to be 100% committed for 90 days. It is not so easy to do it forever.
I did a fabulous 12-week online course recently called the 80/20 Lifestyle Plan and I learnt so much about nutrition, exercise and mindset. I then did 6 weeks of one to one coaching with Dan Wheeler from Life Changing Fitness and finally I understand my journey. It is at last making sense. The fitness industry are not particularly keen on Joe Wicks and I can now see that whilst the SSS Plan (and books) have great results it is the maintaining that is the challenge and where Joe falls down. Yes there is SAS but you are still not learning how to maintain and find a balanced lifestyle. You blindly follow pick n mix or recipes but at some point, that has to change, at some point you have to go it alone. For me it has been about how to cook for my needs and what my family want to eat.
I have spent the last 6 months or so beating myself up for not being good enough, comparing myself to others that can fit in all the exercise, and to those still getting results. The reality is I cannot get up at 6 am four times a week. I don’t want to. I can’t live the lifestyle I want and fit in all the macro tracking and cooking from scratch. I need to find balance. Comparison is the thief of joy.
For a while I stopped following many of the Facebook support groups as I struggled with this comparing (plus the sheer volume of posts takes up too much time on my timeline). But I now see that I am not comparing like with like. Everyone is different and everyone is at a different point on their journey and has come from a different starting point. Some are amazingly dedicated and never skip exercise. Others like me have never enjoyed exercise and it is a mission to fit it all in. I don’t particularly like cooking either so being creative with meal planning is a challenge and I tend to muddle through. And it is just me – my husband doesn’t cook and I am a full-time mother and I want to do the best for my family as well as myself.
But I do want to be fit and healthy. I do want to have a figure at 50 that I am proud of. I want to be active, I want to be lean. And that means I must put the work in, it doesn’t happy naturally. But I also want to eat the same meals as my family, I want to go out to dinner and have a glass of wine and I want to sometimes not have to exercise if I am too busy to fit it in.
I will continue to make good choices. I rarely eat dessert or white carbs or cakes or crisps, if at all, but I do enjoy the odd glass of wine. I usually choose a healthy meal because that is what I prefer (I do not feel like I am missing out). I will keep active and exercise when I can and I will do as many steps as I can each day. But I will be realistic too.
I am about to go on holiday for two weeks and I will relax. I will spend time with my husband and daughter and I will be proud in my bikini. No, I don’t have a flat tummy but I do actually have a pretty good figure for a 50-year-old.
When I get back I still have a busy summer – we are celebrating my Dad’s 80th with a fabulous weekend away in the Cotswold's. I have two nights away at the seaside with my daughter and I have a week in Cornwall to look forward to. And these are the things I will remember, making memories with my family, I won't look back and remember the gym sessions with quite such fondness!
In September, I am going on a Fitness Weekend and that will be my springboard for the next phase of my fitness journey. My new focus. An intensive 6 weeks or so of calorie and macro counting and exercise. Then I will see where I am.
This week I talked to Dan about how to maintain and he explained that that is where Joe Wicks leaves off and everyone will put weight back on unless they understand how to maintain properly. So, I will be asking Dan to show me how to do it properly and find a way where I can enjoy my lifestyle too.
I'm learning to be confident with my own body!
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.