Just how long is January!!? I decided to start writing this five days before the actual end of January as I was bored waiting. I am sure January 2021 has been double the length it should be. I've been checking the diary every day to see if it is the 31st yet ... bit like checking the. news every day to see if Boris has announced the pandemic is over and we can resume normal life. I'm still waiting, obviously. I gave up on dry January at about week three as after three weeks I thought I had done long enough! Not that I have succumbed to alcoholism again (only joking) but the odd glass of wine in the bath is essential!
How are you all? Bored too? The spring and summer lockdown seemed so much easier, we could pretend we were on holiday, sit in the garden, play dress up in pretty summer outfits, take insta-worthy photos and share them on the grid. Now I am pretty sure no one wants to see another jeans n jumper shot. I also loved my daily 'mud free' walks and early evening 'rosé in the garden' but in the middle of winter, my dogs are permanently filthy and I get too hot and flustered hosing them down.
But I dare not complain, I fully appreciate I am luckier than so many, I have a house in the woods, a beautiful garden, space around me, I am not home schooling .... we have not (yet and I hope won't) lost anyone close to this awful virus.
So what have I been doing ... here is a little round-up of 'being fifty and fab' in the lockdown weeks since Christmas!
Exercising - with gyms closed I hear of so many that have given up on their workouts and have not felt motivated to do anything at home instead - I understand! I don't go to a gym but I didn't have my workout space available to me until late August due to my son needing the log cabin to work from home, he has now moved to his own flat. Which meant it was time to dig deep and find some motivation. In the end it came in the form of an Online PT, Drew Gatherer, who got in touch to ask if I'd like to trial his online workouts and do a review on my blog. I did and it worked, I have felt more motivated and the accountability keeps me going. I had a bit of a blip last week where I was tempted not to bother but when you have to check-in with a real live PT, you soon get your leggings on and get on with it. Only downfall is the odd glass of wine keeps creeping back in. If you missed my reviews of Online PT then you can find the first one here. Find your incentive, your reason for doing it, and believe it is possible!
Reading - I made a vow to myself to do less scrolling and more reading! I finished Don't Bother to Dress Up by Maly Sayle and started on my next book, Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris.
A review and my thoughts on Don't Bother to Dress Up .... this book was written by Maly Sayle mother of Emma Sayle, friend of Kate and William and founder of sex party business, Killing Kittens. I was interested!
When an acrimonious divorce left Maly penniless she moved in with her daughter and started six months of chaos, laughter, tears and a lot of interesting encounters. Her book is partly based on Maly's own life, it is an easy read, which suits me as I tend to pick up and put down a book quite regularly so I don't want anything that takes me too long to get back into.
Lizzie is in her 50's, newly divorced, with no money, and nowhere to live .... her parents health is declining, and her mother has dementia. Expect humour and tears. Lizzie is supported by her three children, she moves into her daughters spare room (packed with condoms and sex toys) and decides to give online dating a try. Lizzie takes juggling to new extremes.
I am sure we can all relate to parts of Lizzie's story, she is going through many of the same things we are, maybe not all of them at once thankfully. I found it took me a while to get into the book but once I got going I was really keen to find out what happens to Lizzie and if she does get her happy ending. The story is amusing and light hearted, real at times, relatable and sometimes sad. I think sharing real life experiences in a fictional adaptation is a much needed boost for us midlife women, we need to know we are not alone with some of our day to day challenges. The book felt genuine and gave some good insights into some of the realities of caring for a loved one with dementia, but reminded us that humour is possible too.
Now I have gone to the other extreme and I am reading Cilka's Journey which is based on a heartbreaking true story. It is the sequel to The Librarian of Auschwitz and takes up Cilka's story which is briefly mentioned in Heather Morris' first book. How anyone survived the concentration camps I will never know, the human instinct to survive is so strong.
Doing ... at home! Well it is all online really, we did make it up to Bleinham immediately after Christmas for the Christmas Lights Trail, it was cold but brilliant fun and an absolutely stunning light displays. But. no other 'out out' outings!
I co-hosted a Zoom Meet-Up with Anita Feron-Clark a personal stylist, we had 50 women join us to chat about style, exercise motivation, fashion tips, colour and lots of other stuff. It was good fun and I was honoured to be asked to co-host the first event. Look at Anita's instagram @feronclarkstyle for future events, these meet-ups are free and she plans to hold them approx every two weeks while we are in lockdown with some fabulous co-hosts lined up.
We are back to the Saturday Night Quiz with our family on Zoom, we take it in turns to set the questions and usually get a takeaway and open the wine. We have a daily family house party chat to keep dad company so he doesn't feel too isolated.
We loved the snow last weekend. It started out as an odd 'I can't be bothered to do anything' day but when my daughter got back from her Nanny job and having had fun with her charges in the snow, she encouraged me to go out for a walk, we took the dogs, they love it and it was fabulous to see so many people out and about and enjoying the day.
Below, I am wearing a hand knitted hat from my friends daughter. She is knitting to raise money for her sister Jessica. Jessica is a very ill 23 year old young lady from Cheltenham and Team Diamond: Jessica's Fight for a Life is a fundraising campaign to help pay for urgent surgery, testing and treatment for her multiple complex health conditions in order to improve her very poor quality of life.
You can buy a hat like this one in a selection of colours, as well as headbands and other items from Liv's etsy shop - Liv's Cosy Creations.
Wearing - not much to report, as I said above, I am really missing dressing up and especially the ease of summer and summer dressing. I tend not to wear dresses at home in the winter as I have to wear so many layers and I don't want to wear heavy boots in the house, I just feel silly in a dress and slippers. So it has mostly been workout gear (3 x per week) or jeans and knitwear.
I did Anita's paid Zoom workshop 'Creating a Capsule Wardrobe' which was excellent and inspired me to have a further sort out in my crowded wardrobe. It is still too crowded but it is better. It is a work in progress! My daughter then wanted to do the same and she has been selling a few bits on eBay for us both. I really would love to have a more uniform based, capsule wardrobe full of investment staples like cashmere knits, amazing denim, the best workout gear, lots of colour, stylish dresses and fabulous coats. As I say, a work in progress.
Above: I tried out a couple of beautiful knits from Creative DeZigns this month, this gorgeous denim blue organic cotton jumper is styled with an arm knitted snood. You can read the full post here, I love their range of sustainable styles.
I did find an excuse to wear a dress for a few hours though, this is a recent purchase that I hope might get a proper outing in the spring, it is the Camila ecovera dress from Baukjen. It is such a soft jersey, easy to wear, hangs beautifully and is warm enough for cooler days.
I've booked a holiday! Okay it's not abroad, I felt I couldn't risk that yet. But I have organised a week in Cornwall, staying at a friends beautiful apartment that overlooks the sea! I wasn't too keen on trawling the internet for hours trying to find availability and avoid silly prices so this was an opportunity too good to turn down.
Below: wearing my wardrobe, cashmere mix scarf is an old favourite, worn with an oversized charcoal grey jumper from Hush and faux leather leggings from Oasis - see a similar look at Hush here.
My longer necklace is from The Wendy House, I was looking for something to complement the other layering necklaces I already have. I messaged Wendy and explained what I was looking for and what length and she sent videos and photos so I could choose, she then posted to me!
Let's hope February brings some better news, that we can look forward to an end date to lockdowns, and never hear that word again!
Disclaimer: I was sent a review copy of Maly Sayle's book, I was under no obligation to write a review. This post does not contain affiliate links.
January posts you may have missed:
Vitamin D supplements | and other important immune system boosts
Cosy knitwear, fabulous snoods and spring knits to cheer us up!
See a menopause GP online with Health & Her
What causes small holes in clothes?
10% off home workouts with my Online PT
My weight loss tips and healthy eating ideas
Laugh with your eyes, hug with your soul and smile with your heart.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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