Well we've reached the end of May already and we've enjoyed some amazing weather - including two fantastic bank holiday weekends! I've had a really busy month, I did have a few moments of doubting my ability to blog, the GDPR stuff really overwhelmed me, but I got there and I have realised it is okay to relax a bit about it.
Do you like my new logo? And I have new business cards just arrived too. I am attending a blogging event in London this weekend - #BlogConLDN - which I am very excited about, look out for updates on my Instagram stories.
As we head into June my main objective is to do a bit more planning for our big holiday to Sri Lanka this year! I will do a separate blog post and tell you about it. I'm excited and nervous! My daughter will be staying on a bit longer to do some volunteer work and she will be flying home alone - I will spend those hours a nervous wreck no doubt.
Here is a little round up of what I got up to in May:
Exercising - I tried out nordic walking, I wrote a blog post about it here and I went again so it must have been good! The rest of my exercise routine has been a bit hit and miss though although the steps have been up. Really in reality I do quite a lot - no where near as much as others but 'comparison is the thief of joy' and I do what I can do and what I want to do.
Reading - I've read several books this month. I finished off The Cows by Dawn O'Porter over the first bank holiday weekend as I wanted to move onto reviewing a book I had been gifted No One But You by Tessa Levy, I was taking part in a blog tour and attending the launch party - which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had a day in London, a photo shoot for Fabulous magazine in the afternoon, some shopping in Oxford Street, then the book review at The Arch Hotel. The Cows was very good and I definitely recommend although the subject matter is pretty new territory for a book - let me know what you think! And of course my review of No One But You can be found on this post. I met Tessa and her two daughters at the book launch and they really are lovely people, and publishing a book at 88 years old is certainly inspirational.
Wearing - I've loved having my summer outfits out! It seemed a long time coming and I've had clothes in and out of storage and generally a bit of a 'muddly' wardrobe but it all came together in May. I do have too many summer clothes though, especially tops. They are pretty and easy to buy and as they don't get much wear due to the unpredictable British weather, they never wear out.
I had an amazing day out in Oxford and popped into & Other Stories and found a gorgeous red dress - I have been on the look out for cotton and natural fabrics to take to Sri Lanka so this was a happy find! You can find all the details and the link to the dress on my previous post here.
I wore it on royal wedding day - no reason to dress up but I did anyway! It can be worn lose without the belt or tied with the belt. It looked fabulous with my super comfy Vionic espadrilles. I've ended up with two new straw bags (oops) one was in the sale in the National Trust shop and I've added pom poms and the other was from Pull & Pear - I decided I 'had to' have a round bag and searched for an inexpensive one (and added pom poms)!
Doing - I've had such a busy but fun month - a day out in Oxford to visit Worcester College where my nephew is at university - check the post here as there are discounted tickets for varoius Oxford walking tours.
I did a photoshoot with Jodie Humphries at my home, it was a beautiful sunny day and we managed to get lots of outfit shots and some great images that I wanted to update my website - have a look! I've updated several pages and I am really pleased with how it is looking. Let me know what you think. Then I finally decided on the new logo style - I wanted to keep it simple, improve the strap-line, which now works in with my #beingfiftyandfab regular post and I love the new colour! I will be featuring some of the outfits I wore on my blog over the coming weeks - the first one is about the Zara jacket, read it here.
Oh and what about the royal wedding? Wasn't that just a fantastic backdrop, the stunning blue skies over Windsor, we couldn't have asked for better weather. We really did do it well and showcased Great Britain to the rest of the world. I sat for several hours with my daughter (and my son for slightly less time), we loved watching the guests arrive and choosing our favourite outfits. We loved following Meghan's journey from Cliveden where I have enjoyed lunch on many occasions as it is local to us. She looked so stunning - simple and chic. And her mother did her very proud - she was so dignified and coped so well with what must have been a very overwhelming and surreal experience.
And finally we were at Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park again this year, we had a warm and sunny day (a bit different to last year when we had sun and heavy rain showers). I was able to wear a dress!
Gosh I think I've chatted on far too long! Lots of information in this months #beingfiftyandfab - I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. I love to read your comments so do comment below or message me via email.
I'll leave you with one final photo of those gorgeous espadrilles. These were gifted to me and can be found on this link, but I do genuinely love them. Vionic shoes really are super comfortable, and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee so if you wear them and can't get on with them, you can return them for a full refund.
I'm off to start searching swimwear as that is next on my to do list for Sri Lanka and for a blog post!
I rarely go into the high street now, I tend to shop online, and I will often buy something I have seen on another blogger on Instagram or just by browsing and loving something. And I mostly mix what I already have with a few new things - I build outfits now rather than start from scratch.
A couple of weeks ago I did find myself in our local shopping centre and wanted to have a proper look around, to discover a few things I hadn't been able to find online.
I walked into Zara and did my usual scanning as I walked around. I love Zara but it can be a bit hit or miss and I am a scan shopper - I can spot something a mile off - I don't like searching through rails of untidiness!
Right at the back I saw 'this' jacket ... I took a photo of it as it really caught my eye and thought I will add that to my insta stories later. Then I walked back and thought err why don;t I try it on? It was £29.99! No brainer really and I bought it (obviously). Certainly no regrets there!
I've since had so many compliments about it - I even got stopped in Top Shop a few days later when I was wearing it with navy culottes and doing a quick pick up of an online order.
My version one of this post didn't have the online link as I couldn't find it but then a lovely friend emailed me and she had found it so this is an updated - version two - with the link to the jacket - Summer Thread Peplum Blazer - I was searching for a jacket not a blazer!
It is a summer jacket, lightweight, not lined (well it was only £29.99) - it is embroidered in lots of different colours and has a lovely split detail on the three quarter length cuff's. It has a simple hook fastening and looks great done up or left open.
I've styled it here with my black coated jeans from Next (total wardrobe staple - thank you Donna at I Won't Wear Sludge Brown for the recommendation) and a simple black vest. But I have also worn it with a cream camisole and navy culottes (see my windy photo at he bottom of this post). I think it will work equally as well with white jeans to get that cream and white classic look.
And here are a few other lovely jackets from Zara that I did find when I was searching for this one originally!
Zara jacket with contrast embroidery £49.99
Zara jacket with cutwork embroidery £29.99
Zara tweed blazer £69.99
A windy day in Marlow! Taken at the Marlow Rowing Club. Such a beautiful view over the church and bridge. The camisole is from New Look and the culottes are from Warehouse. My gorgeous espadrilles are (gifted) from Vionic UK.
I have been making a special effort to read more recently. For years I have allowed my smart phone to take over and only read a proper book on holiday. But these last few months I decided to tackle my insomnia, turn off the phone earlier and go to bed with a book! I have been sharing with you some of the books I have enjoyed and I was asked recently to do a review and take part in a book blog tour! Today that book tour comes to Fifty & Fab and I am delighted to be sharing with you my review of the book and a little bit more about the author.
No One But You is the debut novel of Tessa Levy, she is 88 years old and her book is a fictionalised memoir and family saga.
And at 88 years old Tessa is proving that it is never too late to follow your dreams or try something new! Something that Fifty & Fab totally agrees with!
I absolutely loved the book. I enjoyed every page. And there was quite a lot about the story that was similar to some of my own experiences of first love, making it just a little more special and emotional for me. It got me thinking and that to me is a sign of a good book, something that makes you think about your own life, hopes and dreams.
No One But You was inspired by the life of Tessa Levy - she co-wrote the book with her youngest daughter Shelley Cassidy. From war-torn London to the high life of America and back again, this is an enchanting story that portrays a young girl's yearning for adventure, opportunity and ultimately enduring love, on both sides of the Atlantic.
The book is easy to read, with a nod to history and real life. And I always gravitate to a romance, I adore a bit of true love and a happy ending. Triumph over adversity.
Tessa was the youngest child of a large family and had the responsibility of caring for her beloved dying mother at a young age. When her father secretly marries another woman who moves into their family home with her three children, Tessa's world is shattered.
She seeks solace from distant cousins, who she has never met, in America but who she has been secretly writing to for months. When Tessa is forced to reveal the truth, an unexpected twist of fate sees her escaping her tumultuous life in London - aged just 17 - to travel across the Atlantic to stay with her American cousins.
A year and a half later, Tessa returns to England as a glamorous young woman, having fallen in love for the first time and discovered her true identify as a strong, empowered and incredible woman. However, as she crosses the cultural divide and struggles to resettle, despite her family's best efforts, to reintegrate her into their Jewish community in London, Tessa goes through a series of challenges, relationships and roles.
Eventually she meets the man she will marry but suffers another painful, premature, family death. She embarks on motherhood and a career with her trademark resilience. However life continues to challenge her happiness and she finds herself torn between the two loves of her life - one in England, the other in America and both very different.
The underlying theme of the book - is it possible to love two men in one lifetime?
Tessa Levy was born in the East End of London, the youngest of six children in a Jewish family. Like her brothers in the fashion business and her husband in the nightclub trade of Soho, she made a success of her antique business - a truly entrepreneurial woman in an era when business was dominated by men.
Tessa now resides in West London, opposite Hyde Park and maintains one foot on either side of the pond.
No One But You is Tessa Levy's first book, based on real events - a family story of displacement, hardship, disease and death but also of inclusion, friendship, love and success.
It crosses the divide not only between two cultural differences but also two faiths and families.
Asked what inspired her to write No One But You, Tessa says ....
No One But You is based on my life story - a story that I've told plenty of people and all of whom said it sounded like a novel. I didn't want it to be a straightforward autobiography though so I worked hard with my daughter Shelley to inject plenty of fictional elements to add even more spice and adventure, heartbreak and tragedy. It's fun to speak to people who have read the book and who are guessing which bits are real and which are fiction!
I am attending the official book launch party in London on Thursday evening and I am really excited about maybe meeting Tessa and her daughter - and yes I have the same question - which bits are fiction and which bits are real!
No One But You by Tessa Levy is due for release on Thursday 24th May and can be pre-ordered on Amazon on the link above..
And readers of Fifty & Fab can enter my giveaway on social media to win a signed copy of the book - please head over to my Instagram page and follow me then look out for my post on Friday 25th May where I will give you all the details!
What a perfect read for your summer holiday!
No One But You by Tessa Levy available from Amazon, paperback or kindle from 24th May.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book to read and review, all the opinions are entirely my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Not Dressed as Lamb
I've written about my wonderful days out in Oxford before - you can read more on this post. But last week it was my nephews birthday and he is at Worcester College, Oxford University so I grabbed the opportunity to join him and my sister and other family members for a private tour of the college and lunch out.
We always use the park and ride facility and Oxford city centre has changed a bit recently with the opening of the new shopping centre - Westgate, so we took the opportunity to have a quick look on the way to Worcester College. Last week I wrote about my quick pit-stop into & Other Stories on this post.
My sister Heidi is a fully accredited Oxford city tour guide - holding the green badge issued by the Institute of Tourist Guiding - it is a prestigious achievement and meant a lot of hours studying. She is also a member of The Oxford Guild of Tour Guides. Basically she is very good and knows her stuff, a love of history helps and it comes across in her tours. She is currently number one on TripAdvisor. She runs Walking Tours of Oxford and offers both public and private bespoke tours.
Heidi has set up two excellent offers on her Oxford tours for readers of Fifty & Fab - giving you a discounted rate throughout the summer. I will give you all the details - and how to book at the end of this post so make sure you scroll down!
Last week was one of those perfect days. The sun was shining. It was warm but not too hot. I was with my family and Oxford is a beautiful city to visit. I am especially proud of my nephew.
The gardens and buildings at Worcester college are stunning. And it was even better to be shown around properly by my sister and nephew and learn a bit more about life for the students at Oxford University.
I am sharing my day mostly in photos as they speak for themselves ...
What I wore ... skirt is Black Pleated Chiffon Skirt from Mint Velvet £89, slogan tee is from Whistles £49 and my denim jacket is old from House of Fraser but I hear H&M is a good place for denim jackets this season! I wore Birkenstock style sandals from Shu Shu.
If you have ever wondered about stepping off the main shopping streets and discovering what lies behind the modern buildings in Oxford or you are a Morse, Lewis or Endeavour fan then do take advantage of these fantastic offers- . I guarantee you will have a superb day out. And it's not just for adults - Heidi makes children very welcome too.
Disclaimer: This was a private visit to Oxford, and I am sharing this review with you because it genuinely is a fabulous day out!
Heidi has set up two excellent offers for readers of Fifty & Fab:
Firstly she is offering her Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Tours on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 2.00 pm throughout the coming season - this offer is available until 31st October 2018. All you have to do is follow this link and make your booking with Eventbrite at the special rate of £14 per person (plus booking fee). You will need to enter the passcode: johnthaw to access this special rate.
She is also offering her Simply Oxford University Tour on two dates - Saturday 2nd June and Friday 22nd June 11.30 am at the reduced rate of £13 per person (plus booking fee). To book this please follow this link and make your booking with Eventbrite - you will need to enter the passcode: oxon1167 to access this special rate.
Not Dressed as Lamb
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.
Subscribe below to receive regular updates by email:
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!
Join my mailing list (above) for regular updates and don’t forget to look at my social media pages too..
Online Personal Training
60 Day Online Challenge
Usually £300 now £200
Walking Tours of Oxford would like to offer readers of my blog 25% off a bespoke tour for up to 6 people with full social distancing and Covid secure measures. Please book here using code fiftyandfab.