I'm breaking with my Sri Lanka blog posts to fit in my regular 'being' fifty and fab post as I have some lovely things to share with you. And as the season changes and we start heading into autumn I wanted to bring you some outfit ideas, goal planning thoughts and inspiration to be fifty and fab.
Do join in with my hashtag on Instagram - I'd love to be able to share on stories what you have been up to #beingfiftyandfab.
My premium lightbox was gifted to me from Vavaky and can be purchased via their website (link to Amazon) for £14.96. I have an older cheaper lightbox and this one is far superior with more letters and better choice of fun emoji's and characters.
Exercising - well clearly I have not been exercising as I've been on holiday! Okay yes I could still take my trainers and work out at the hotel gym or go for a run but I am firmly in the camp of a holiday is a holiday - a break from routine and although when I was doing the Joe Wick's 90 day plan I did make an exception, on the whole I don't! I do feel that I am totally out of routine and desperate to get back to something but I am also realistic and I know how I work. And for me September is a new year, new goals, back to school, back to routine. I will share my plans with you when I do my new year goal post. I have been trying to get out for walks though - do you like our six westies? It's not easy getting a photo of them all together - two are ours and then two each belong to my two sister-in-laws.
Reading - however, I have been reading a lot! Although not as much as I would if I'd been on a sun-lounger for two weeks. Sri Lanka was a very active, busy holiday but I did still find time to enjoy some good books.
A Man Called Ove by Frederk Blackman - this was also made into a film which I need to research and watch - it is about a grumpy man called Ove and you follow his ups and downs and find out why he is so grumpy and learn that may be he;s not so bad after-all and his heart is in the right place - we all know a man like Ove (I know I do)! A charming holiday read.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Burrows and Mary Ann Shafer - my friend loaned this to me at the last minute and I loved it so much, I watched the film when I got home. It is all about the German occupation of Guernsey and is told through a series of letters. The book goes into far more detail than the film which leaves several parts out, I am glad I read the book first.
A Girl Behind Dark Glasses by Jessica Taylor-Bearman - this young lady is truly inspirational and I had absolutely no idea how bad M.E. can get, she wrote this book whilst laying in a hospital bed unable to move. Using voice technology and a series of coded nods with her family. She was let down by the system and had to fight to get the right care. Beautifully and honestly written, I am so glad I read it. Jess has since left hospital and got married, she continues to write a blog, she is an artist and plans to write more books. She is still ill and still spends a large amount of her time in bed but that doesn't stop her living her life. I have a close family friend with M.E. and it is my intention to revisit this subject on my blog in the coming weeks.
Tsunami Kids by The Gandy Brothers - when I came back from Sri Lanka I wanted to find out more. More about the country and it's history but also about the devastating boxing day tsunami. My search on Amazon led me to this book written by the Gandy brothers who lost both their parents to the tsunami in Sri Lanka, they went on to found the Gandy's flip flop range and through their business raise money to help other orphans in Sri Lanka and to fund projects in India. This is their story. Devastating in parts but motivational and humbling to read how they overcame their grief and made something good come from it.
Doing - well obviously I've been on holiday in Sri Lanka and I'd love you to take a look at my posts about it all - start here. It was the most amazing country and a wonderful experience and I am so pleased we decided to go. It wasn't cheap and it was one of those holidays we won't do every year although I'd love to go back and explore more. There is so much to see and we were there just short of three weeks and we could easily have done a full three weeks or even four weeks to just see the places we visited in more detail. See my post about our Itinerary here.
Since I came back I have been knee deep in washing and sorting through my 3,000 plus holiday photographs. As well as really missing my routine. I only have my daughter off school for the school holidays now and she is 17 and driving so it shouldn't affect my routine but it does! And as much as I love having her at home, I am keen to get back to normal next week.
I did have a fun day out on Tuesday though. I had been feeling really down, serious post holiday blues and that made for a pretty miserable bank holiday weekend and the heavy rain didn't help. I was tired and fed up. But on Tuesday I had been invited to attend the AW/18 new season launch from Vionic Shoes. This was being held at the stunning Haymarket Hotel in London and involved champage, canapes, a fashion show and an opportunity to try on the new range and meet and chat the Vionic team as well as other bloggers (who I only ever see usually on Instagram).
I got an afternoon train and headed to Oxford Street where I had a browse around - Mango, & Other Stories, Gap, Zara, French Connection and Victoria's Secret. It was a mild day and I didn't need a jacket. I wore my super comfortable Vionic trainers (see my review here) with a Sosander shirt dress. My daughter was especially impressed - that looks very on trend mum - my husband less so - he didn't get the dress with trainers thing. I explained to my daugther that when I was 17 if someone had suggested wearing trainers with a dress I'd have thought they were totally mad and that it was an incredibly frumpy, old lady, look! It'd be like me suggesting she wears white stiletto's. How times change!
I will do a full post on the new Vionic range hopefully next week as I loved it and I found out a bit more about the brand that I need to tell you.
Wearing - okay hands up who struggles with the transition from summer to autumn/winter - and especially after our heatwave, I've forgotten what wearing a jumper feels like? I feel like I have forgotten how to dress for normal British weather, I am so used to putting a dress and flip flips on. I've had a look back through my Instagram to remind myself what I was wearing last year. Not that I' complaining! Here are a few outfits that I've worn since I got back from holiday.
First up, navy jeans from 7 for all mankind, blouse (old) from Boden, Vionic trainers (still available here) and my Karen Millen summer handbag.
Red jeans from Mint Velvet, blouse (old) from Hobbs, trainers and handbag as above.
Lots of shopping my wardrobe right now, this Oasis off the shoulder top is from a couple of years ago but I don't wear it much. My daughter said it looked like the outfit Sophie wears in Mamma Mia: Here we go again (I love this film and I've been twice - if you've not been, go), The jeans are rebound denim from French Connection and my bag is from Accessorize, the espadrilles are Vionic. This was taken at Nuffield Place, a National Trust property and was the home of William Morris and his wife, the founder of the Morris Motor Company. It was a super day out and very interesting to find out about his philanthropy, he did so much!
I really can't rate Vionic shoes enough can I!? They are definitely my footwear of choice and I wear them on repeat!!! But they are seriously so comfortable AND stylish. This is an outfit you have seen before, pleated skirt from Mint Velvet, tee from Whistles and the Gigi cross body bag from Aurora London.
And finally what I wore yesterday to go to .... IKEA! These Vionic Reagan mules were gifted to me as a thank you for attending the AW/18 launch event so I had to try them out straight away. And it is another big tick from me. Take a look at them here and find other ways of styling them. I chose them as I think they make a great transition shoe - before I put my sandals away and go into boots. My blouse I picked in in Gap in Oxford Street in the sale for less than £15, it is a style I love (similar to the Hobbs navy one above). The trousers are stretchy and are from Part Two / My Boudoir in Marlow. Handbag is Accesorize as before. It worked well - a new favourite outfit, I threw a black cashmere cardigan around my shoulders in case I needed an extra layer.
So that is me right now! Trying my hardest to be fifty and fab - share your updates using my hashtag #beingfiftyandfab.
Disclaimer: Some of my links are affiliate links which means that the brand knows you have come to their website from here and I may get a small commission if you buy something and keep it. This small income goes towards the running costs of my blog so I am very thankful for every click. This is not a sponsored post, Vionic invited me to their event and I was gifted a pair of shoes, I was under no obligation to feature it on my blog.
We had planned what to do in Sri Lanka, so when we arrived we spent the first few days relaxing at the Jetwing Beach Hotel in Negombo before departing with our car and driver for the south coast first stop Bentota, onto Galle and Mirissa and finally the Udawalawe National Park to see the elephants.
I've already said in my previous post how important it is to embrace the extensive driving and travelling as part of the holiday, I loved watching day to day life as we journeyed through towns and countryside. It is fascinating and there is so much to see at every turn. It is colourful and enlightening, it is so different to how we live here in the UK.
In total we were away 17 nights so more than two weeks but not quite three. If I knew what I know now then I would extend our stay to the full three weeks. So I am going to tell you what we did, give you the highlights and suggest possible improvements to a Sri Lanka travel itinerary for three weeks in case someone else is planning a trip to Sri Lanka any time soon!
We travelled at the end of the south west monsoon season (May to August) and although still hot and very humid, we did have more grey days and less full sun, We had two short spells of very heavy rain but it is always over very quickly! You can read more about the best time to travel to Sri Lanka here.
We split our holiday into three main parts:
Well here I am, home from just short of three weeks away on holiday in Sri Lanka and what a country, I am not sure I can really do it justice, I am really struggling to find the right words to even start explaining all about it! However, I'll try to give an overview of our holiday in Sri Lanka!
We arrived and stepped off the plane in Colombo and the humidity really hit us, I have never visited a humid country before so I had no idea what to really expect. I can certainly say that we needed the first 48 hours to acclimatise and adjust to a completely different climate and culture.
Our driver met us in arrivals and thank goodness! We knew that hire cars are not recommended (and virtually impossible to find) and the easiest way to get about is to hire a driver with a vehicle for the duration of your stay. For backpackers and budget travelling, trains and buses are popular and an excellent way to cover distances fairly quickly but for us it was definitely an air conditioned mini-van that worked. Having a local with us to guide us, advise us and generally help out was an absolute essential.
Leaving the airport and seeing the reality of the busy, crowded roads was quite an eye opener. There are motorbikes, tuk tuks, buses, cars and people everywhere! It really is like the YouTube videos you see!. And everyone sounds their horn continuously! But no one gets cross or upset, there is no road rage.
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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