We have some beautiful locations to visit where we live in leafy Buckinghamshire and one of the best must be the famous Cliveden. It is a National Trust house and a private Hotel. Mr FF and I have had lunch in their gorgeous restaurant on two previous occasions. It is a real treat; the drive up to the house is stunning and the staff, so welcoming. This time we took my parents. We were so lucky with the weather, the restaurant has the most fantastic views of the gardens and to see them in brilliant sunshine is perfect.
We were treated to a little tour of the house and got to see the Nancy Astor suite! Wow, I’d love to stay in there but unfortunately our budget won’t quite stretch right now.
But above all spending quality time with my mum and dad was what was most important. Lunch was delicious of course and the views from the enormous windows were set off perfectly by the spring sunshine. We had a short walk in the gardens after lunch and took some photos for the memory books.
I wore a navy dress from Kaliko that I’d seen What Lizzy Loves wearing a while back, it was reduced well in the sale so I purchased it and kept it as one of my ‘just in case’ dresses. It was perfect for lunch at Cliveden and for the current weather. I decided to style it with my black suede boots from Miss KG, I was a little apprehensive about the navy and black combination as I had always believed it to me a ‘no no’ but I didn’t think I’d be comfortable wearing heels especially as I knew we wanted to go for a walk after lunch. So I got onto Pinterest and did some research and found lots of navy and black inspiration and lots of advice saying it is no longer a ‘no no’ and definitely a ‘yes’. So I gave it a go and it worked! I wore my Boden blue coat over the dress and a Hobbs necklace that I have had for a good few years now. I love an excuse to dress up.
In this first one I am wearing a beautiful scarf my niece bought for me when she visited Venice, it works really well with my new lightweight but very warm jacket from Uniqlo and my tassel boots from Moda in Pelle, I am also wearing navy jeggings from M&S and a cashmere V-neck from Uniqlo.
Next up I am trying out 'sports luxe' as I took inspiration from Mrs Beckham and decided to try out Adidas Superstars. It is a departure from my usual style but I like it and it was very comfy. Skinny jeans from French Connection and handbag from Hobbs. I am wearing a simple navy jumper and a scarf from Becksondergaard.
I saw this beautiful sweatshirt from MaxMara being worn by one of the bloggers I follow on instagram and thought it was a perfect spring item (when spring finally gets here), I wore it out to lunch with a friend with my pleather trousers from Mint Velvet and my Boden coat.
And finally, this is a new jumper from Hobbs, I found it in the sale in House of Fraser, it is a lovely relaxed fit and I love the colour! It worked so well with my scarf from Phase Eight (last year) and my bracelet from my husband for Valentine's day.
Like most of us, I lack confidence in my style; I buy an awful lot, way too much, always thinking with each purchase that the item will be the perfect solution and fill the gap in my wardrobe.
Of course that doesn’t happen and I have too many clothes that remain unworn. There are many mistakes from jeans that are a little tight, or a little big or not quite the right shade of denim, there are endless dresses that I buy ‘just in case’ and then never seem to have the right occasion to wear them or just too much of one colour – this season it was grey! Skirts too! I just don’t seem to have the opportunity to wear them often, I must change that.
I have days where I love the outfit I have chosen but I also have days where I feel it just isn’t quite right. I also wear leggings and jumpers at home and spend a day in workout gear if I don’t have time to change. So I am no different to most of you ladies out there.
But I love shopping and especially helping friends with choosing clothes, I have become an unofficial style advisor or personal shopper on many occasions and I love getting a friend to step out of their comfort zone and try alternatives, I enjoy running around the shop getting sizes and matching up accessories.
My basic fashion need is to be comfortable! I love Mint Velvet’s strapline – ‘Relaxed Glamour’. I like to look smarter, I am more ‘classic’ than ‘now’ so you will very rarely see me in trainers and hoodies, I’d rather be wearing smart boots with a small heel and a jacket.
I hate arriving somewhere and finding out I have got it wrong, I will then spend the whole time feeling uncomfortable so I’d rather over-dress than under-dress.
I love adding an accessory or two to get some sparkle – always a scarf and often a bracelet or necklace, just not too much.
I will be posting soon about de-cluttering my wardrobe ‘Kon-Mari’ style, I have done a lot but I still feel I need to do more. My dream is a streamlined capsule wardrobe.
So it’s been a week now since I committed to giving up sugar in my tea! And I am doing okay, I have not caved in at all, I am not yet the one that says ‘white no sugar’ automatically but I am getting there slowly. I have to admit to cutting down on the amount of cups I have each day from about 3-4 to 2 and I think that is because I am not craving the sugar - I think I craved the sugar not the tea.
So I need to move on to the next commitment, this time it is biscuits and other small easy to grab snacks. If I don’t eat a proper breakfast or skip lunch then I get hungry around 11 am or 4 pm and if I am rushing around I reach for something easy and generally sugar laden to fulfil the craving. I need to think ‘nuts’ not ‘biscuits’!
My lovely PT and friend called it ‘mindless eating’ and she is right, it is not the meals I struggle with, I actually eat really well for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is the bits in between.
Which got me thinking … just how sugar free should we go? Is it realistic to be completely sugar free? It is in everything and unless we cook all our food from scratch there will always be some that gets through. And is it okay to still have a biscuit or a cake from time to time, just not all the time?
Now my personal view is ‘everything in moderation’ but of course if you are trying to lose a lot of weight that might not be sensible but the more we deprive ourselves the harder it is to keep to a healthy eating plan. We need to change our mind-set so that healthy eating is the only way we want to eat anyway. I honestly believe that diet and weight loss is all in the mind and that diet clubs etc should be working on what lies beneath the need to eat the wrong things.
So for me I am going to cut out the ‘mindless eating’ of biscuits etc. I will eat a biscuit but not every day. I will treat myself to a slice of cake if I am out and fancy one. But I will keep it in moderation.
As an adult we should have no more than 30g of sugar per day. A teaspoon of sugar is 4g. Ideally we should be looking for items that have less than 5g of sugar per 100g. This is low sugar. And don’t get confused with sugar alternatives – they are just as bad so avoid all ‘sweeteners’, you are actually better to have proper sugar than a sweetener! Same with butter vs. margarine – butter is better!
I have a goal – I am going to Turkey in May and I’d like to feel comfortable in my swimsuit and maybe even my bikini again! I don’t mind particularly what I weigh, I just want to be in better shape, by reducing sugar my body can regulate my hormones better and I will feel better!
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!
Use my hashtag and tag me on Instagram #beingfiftyandfab @fifty_andfab
I’d love to see what you are doing and with your permission, share some of your images.
Join my mailing list (below) for regular updates and don’t forget to look at my social media pages too..
Subscribe to receive regular blog updates by email:
I have a Just Giving page to raise funds for Dogstar Foundation and Yawajeewa Community Learning Centre in Sri Lanka - donations can be made here.