Last week was full on but so much fun and so many new opportunities for me and my blog. I posted some of my adventures on Instagram but as we are charging into autumn now and gradually moving from our summer wardrobe to our autumn wardrobe I thought it might be helpful to share some outfits posts and tell you a bit more about what I am wearing now.
I am not great at transitional dressing so if like me you need a bit of inspiration then you might find these ideas helpful ...
Friday - Lunch at The Waterside Inn at Bray with clients of my husbands business - this goregous dress is from Mint Velvet (Langley Print Midi Dress - online only) and I wore it with my new black Whitney ankle boots from Vionic which were gifted to me.
Monday - I was invited to a women's networking event run by Make it Your Business with a special guest - which turned out to the Theresa May, our Prime Minister. She made such an inspiring and supportive speech. I wore wide leg jeans from Boden (York Cropped Jeans, currently discounted) with a blouse from the new GP&J Baker range at H&M along with my Vionic mules (see more here).
Tuesday - I was back at the gym! After a summer of indulgence (who didn't love a glass of something chilled in the garden during the summer heatwave) I am back to a healthier lifestyle and more exercise. This gorgeous outfit was gifted to me from Asquith and I did a full review on my blog last week so do go and take a look, it is all made from ethical bamboo and organic cotton and it is seriously comfortable and breathable - perfect for yoga, pilates and living in!
Wednesday - I attended the Marlow Business Girls Network meet-up (above) and then in the evening I went to a fabulous style event (below). During the day I wore black jeans from John Lewis & Partners, with a (previous season) blouse from Mint Velvet and black loafers from Moda in Pelle. The change in weather means it is getting harder to take good photos - plus one of my westies wanted to join in! I was looking up at the sky as it was so windy!
In the evening I chose to wear my new animal print blouse from Mint Velvet (Tessa Print Blouse) and was rather amazed to get over 1,000 likes on Instagram - a record for my little account. It is their current best seller and I feel a gentle dip into the animal print trend which is currently everywhere. My trousers are previous season Mint Velvet and are the 'paperbag' design, so a higher waist which is very flattering. There are lots available on the high street / online, just search paperbag trousers - Boden have a similar pair here and currently on discount. My shoes are from last year - John Lewis & Partners - own brand and are comfortable as long as you don't stand all night.
Thursday - I was interviewed live on Marlow FM (Mid-Morning Matters) about the event with the Prime Minister earlier in the week. Below I am with one of the presenters and my friend Chloe Leibowitz - Inspiring Women and Karen Rosser from Inspire my Soul. Read my interview with Karen here - she sells a gorgeous range of hand stamped, personalised silver jewellery. I had rushed from my PT session hence the workout gear!
Friday again and I was desperate for a rest, needed to get my nails done, pop into the hospital for a routine ear appointment and return a dress to Zara so it seemed a good day to try out my new camo jeans from Gap which I picked up in London a few weeks ago. I wore them with a cream jumper from Jigsaw (previous season) and a new ultra light down jacket from Mango, these are my favourite jackets for transitional dressing. My trainers are my trusted Vionic pair - new styles here.
Saturday - I attended a workshop called 'Room for Calm' at The Rainbow Rooms in Marlow and then in the evening we were at a friends fundraising event.
And finally yesterday, Sunday we were invited up to Donington to see the British GT Championships. We were the guests of Flick Haigh who was driving for Aston Martin and along with her co-driver, the favourite to win the championship - which they did! And she was the first female driver to win too. We had VIP tickets as Flick keeps her horses at my son's girlfriends dressage yard, but it also turns out that I worked for her father, ooh probably 25 years ago, when Flick was about 6, it's a small world.
I wore jeans with navy boots, a new jumper from Mint Velvet (hidden) with this lovely new scarf from Sweet-Bea (gift) which is animal print but with the added red detail which worked rather well with my cross-body bag from Aurora London and it is another ultra light down jacket, this is previous season from Uniqlo. It was cold yesterday and the jacket didn't come off (hence no photo of the new jumper)! I took an umbrella but we were so lucky that the clouds and heavy rain dispersed to leave a bright autumn day.
My busy month continues with some workshops, today Twitter and Wednesday SEO/Google, I am learning and enjoying the networking and new opportunities but it is hard to keep up with my day to day jobs and my blog!
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.
I am very excited to have been given the opportunity to review this gorgeous range of ethical activewear from Asquith. This is a brand that has only recently come to my attention but the benefits of bamboo clothing has been slowly coming onto my radar for a while.
I adore their new autumn colours. I chose the claret and pink with a hint of rust as well as a pair of black tie pants. I was drawn to the style of the black pair as they can be adjusted for the shorter leg! Being 'short' I do have a problem with this style but the Asquith Hero Tie Pants can be tightened at the bottom and therefore suitable for short and tall.
Benefits of Bamboo Clothing
Bamboo clothing in general but in particular bamboo exercise clothing appeals to me due to its ability to wick away sweat, it is breathable, soft and naturally anti-bacterial. It is exceptionally comfortable to wear and suitable for sensitive skin. It is also an environmentally low-impact fabric.
Asquith incorporate organic cotton into their range too. Also a durable and breathable fabric that will not bobble, fade or stretch. And like bamboo, feels amazingly soft against the skin.
Asquith say that once you have felt the softness of their bamboo activewear you will not want to take it off! I agree, it is incredibly soft and comfortable as well as being very flattering.
Let's be honest - you can wear it for yoga, pilates or a gym workout but hey it is also fantastic as everyday 'athleisure'. No exercise needed! I am not a fan of relaxing in PJ's but I do love a lose pant or cosy leggings. These bamboo yoga pants and yoga leggings definitely fit the bill. In fact, it is Monday morning and as I do the final edits to this post, I am wearing the hero tie pants and pink top and yes I definitely love!
Bamboo Yoga Pants
First of all I chose the Hero Tie Pants in black (see photos above) - because a girl always needs comfortable black yoga style pants in her wardrobe. They have a very soft, elastic waistband that folds over so it is flattering and holds you in (I need that)! They are so soft and drape beautifully. The tie at the hem means I can pull them tighter and therefore adjust the length. Perfect, I suspect these will become a wardrobe staple for relaxing at home, walking my dogs or even yoga!
Bamboo Yoga Leggings
Next I decided to try the new claret colour and chose the Move It Leggings (see below). As I mentioned I am quite short (not quite 5' 3") and they are longer on me but not overly so. They really are extremely soft and flattering and I doubt they will move much during a workout. They will be put to the test later in the week when I finally get back to the gym.
Bamboo Yoga Tops
I chose the Balance Bra Top in claret and the Chi Racer Top in rust (see below) to go with both my hero pants and move-it leggings. The bra top is very comfortable (I sized up) and I love the ruched detailing on the sides of the chi racer top.
I added in the Long Sleeve Smooth You Tee in pearl pink to keep me warm! It has lovely floaty puff sleeves and a wide waistband that can be worn on the hip. I love it with the hero pants as it is also soft and drapey - and comfortable!
For yoga, pilates and living in ...
Every item in their range complements each other, it is incredibly stylish with a beautiful seasonal colour palette. Bamboo makes fantastic exercise wear due to its moisture wicking properties so I don't feel a desperate need to take it off, I can run errands on the way home! I also think that the range would make a very stylish outfit to travel in - by car or by plane as it won't crease or look crushed and it will maintain it's freshness. I wish I'd had it when we flew to Sri Lanka.
They have a good range of sizes too - starting at S and going up to XL. I chose the S (M in the bra top) and everything fitted very well. The leg length is longer but I didn't find it a problem.
If you sign up to their newsletter online then you can get 15% off your first order, they also offer free delivery if you spend over £75 and all returns are free.
I am looking forward to getting lots of wear out of my Asquith items over the coming months, preferably in front of the TV and a log fire!
Disclaimer: these items were gifted to me by Asquith They asked me to try them out and review them on my blog.. All opinions and words are my own.
'Asquith uses organic cotton and bamboo fabrics to create their ethical yoga clothes. Sustainable with excellent stretch capabilities and supremely soft next to your skin, you will feel comfortable and confident in all of their ethical activewear. Discover more about Asquith's organic yoga clothes for life both on and off the mat here ...'
Late on Friday evening after quite a lot of prosecco and lots of chatting and giggling with my girlfriends - we were away on a girls weekend in the Cotswolds - I noticed an email telling me I was a FINALIST in the Beauty and Fashion category of the Brilliance in Blogging Awards run by BritMums. Well that was a shock. I had absolutely no idea that nominations were even going on but in fact I had already gone through the nomination round and made it to the finals. In my defence I was in Sri Lanka for three weeks!
After picking myself up I decided I had to make sure this was genuine. But yes on Saturday morning I realised it was indeed genuine and yes I am a FINALIST and yes I can display the badge on my blog.
I started blogging on a whim in the February of 2016 when I was due to turn 50 in the December. I didn't spend much time thinking about it - I guess it had been on my mind for a while but not seriously. I asked my son to set up a website, buy a domain name and I fairly quickly decided on Fifty & Fab as I love style and looking good, I was on a healthy eating plan, I was exercising and I did indeed want to be fab at fifty ... my plan was to record my journey on my blog and let it evolve.
And evolve it did. My initial thought was that I would be a 'style blogger' but fairly quickly I realised I wanted to be able to talk about all aspects of my life so I settled on 'lifestyle blogger'.
There are times when I am quite happy to hide away at home and tap away at my keyboard, I am not a prolific writer or even a very talented/creative one. I write as I talk, I share useful tips in a simple way, I don;t want to read anything complicated as I don't have time so I am assuming you don't either. I think my readers want to know what they can do to be and feel fabulous at fifty ... and beyond. I set out to inspire myself but to inspire others too.
But I am also slowly getting new opportunities. I was approached by Vionic Shoes, I have recently been asked by Asquith London to review their range (which will be on the blog soon). I have a fab ongoing friendship and collaboration with Sweat-Bea - I met Kate over Instagram as I love scarves and accessories and I love the scarves and accessories she sells. I've reviewed books and got to know the lovely Helen at Literally PR, I attended my first ever book launch. I appeared in Fabulous magazine for The Sun Online and I have written reviews from local businesses and friends - not because I get paid but because I want to. I have been to London for the Vionic Shoes AW/2018 launch event and met other Instagram and blogging ladies. I joined the Biz Girls network in Marlow and I have attended their networking events. I attended my first blogger event this year - BlogConLDN. I went to another networking event where I met Vicki from Honest Mum. Most of this I do by myself, walking into a room full of strangers is pretty daunting.
I now have regular features on my blog - monthly I talk about what I am doing myself to be fifty and fab #beingfiftyandfab and I have also created my Embracing Life (in Midlife) interview series where I talk to other women approaching fifty, and beyond, about what they are doing during this new phase of their lives. I recently spent three weeks in Sri Lanka which was amazing and I have blogged extensively about the experience and so I can offer suggestions to anyone else who might want to visit Sri Lanka (just do it).
But I am not, and never will be, a big blogger in big blogger world! I simply don't have time if I am honest, I really admire the bloggers who do this full time. It is hard work and not easy to find the right collaborations. This is a little bit more than a hobby, but mostly I do it because I enjoy it and one day soon I might have 'empty nest syndrome' and it will be good to have something to concentrate on. If my blog can earn a little bit so it funds itself and I enjoy the opportunities I am given then I am content.
I really hope I offer the few brands I have collaborated with good value for money and that my influence does raise brand awareness but more importantly I hope that something I do - whether it be style, health, fitness or a trip away - inspires someone else to try something new and go out of their comfort zone or just pick up a tip that is useful for their every day life. That is all!
Writing about my life is therapeutic for me, I do not always get it right and I am learning as I go along just like anyone else. I am prone to anxiety and depression and peri-menopause hasn't been the smoothest ride.
So here I am - up for a blogging award - and still quite surprised but absolutely delighted and honored and so very very thankful to whoever nominated me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for liking what I do enough to put me forward for an award. I am sure I am not everyone's cup of tea, but that doesn't matter, if you like what I do, if you like my blog then I'd love it if you could pop over and vote for me! You can do it here and it is very easy and will only take a couple of minutes.
The photos on this post were taken at the weekend. Just on my iPhone, By my friends. We try to get away every year for three nights and we have found this rather beautiful house at the Cotswold Water Park which has a wonderful view, great outdoor space and a fabulous hot tub. And sun - even though that is not guaranteed, we have been very lucky so far.
I indulged a bit too much - but I am a firm believer in living life to the full and enjoying food and wine with good friends. I am back to a much better routine now September is in full swing and I am looking forward to meal planning more, eating a bit better and fitting in more exercise. I will blog about it all soon!
In the meantime - thank you again for all your support and thank you if do vote for me!
Not Dressed As Lamb
I was delighted to be invited to the Vionic Shoes A/W 18 launch event at The Haymarket Hotel, London recently. It was such a treat as I love a day in London and it was especially lovely to be combining it with a fashion show, champagne and meeting many of my fellow bloggers who I have only seen so far on Instagram and not met in person.
I will admit to being a bit nervous but it turns out I was not alone, it always feels strange walking into a room and not knowing anyone but I was soon put at ease and got chatting to some familiar Instagram faces.
I chose to wear my Sosandar shirt dress (only size 10 left and in the sale now at £34.50) with my Vionic Syra casual trainers (similar styles available here). My red handbag is the Gigi from Aurora London. It was perfect for a wander in London and these trainers are seriously super comfy!
I had arrived in London about 3.30 pm in the afternoon and made my way to Oxford Circus for a quick wander around - well it has to be done and yes I did manage to buy a few bits which will be appearing on my Instagram and blog over the coming weeks.
The Haymarket Hotel is in a beautiful location right in the heart of the theatre district. I fancy staying there now. Vionic made us all feel very welcome, the room was stunning and the fashion show featured many of their new styles which will be appearing online over the coming weeks.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Top left and right - the Ellis casual trainer £120 - it comes in tan and black and the zip can be worn fastened or undone, I tried them on and they stay comfortably on your foot with no movement at the heel, they are leather and feature the removable footbed.
Bottom left - this is the Codie casual trainer £120 and it comes in white (shown), black and taupe. I love this style worn casually with leggings, skinny jeans or leisure wear. So neat on the foot. It was minimalist and stylish. Also leather and also featuring the removable footbed.
And then bottom right - the Torri high top trainer £120 also love at first sight! And it unzips at the side so no need to faff about with laces. Leather and removable footbed, it comes in natural snake, navy snake and black.
I'd love to own them all!
I was able to learn more about the brand. Every pair of Vionic shoes features a supportive, podiatrist designed footbed. They are designed to hug your arches and support your natural alignment. They can help with many common foot complaints as well as aiding stability.
Their ethos : STYLE - IT DOESN'T HAVE TO HURT.
Which ticks all the boxes for me! I want to be stylish and on trend but I do not want to have sore feet. A few years ago I went to a wedding and my shoes rubbed my feet all day, I literally couldn't walk and I said never again would I wear heels for that long. But now I can reconsider as Vionic have a stunning pair of kitten heel court shoes! The Josie £120 comes in this natural snake as well as leopard print, navy, emerald green, black suede and black leather. I tried them on, yes they are perfect!
Vionic have two types of footbed, one for their more casual flat shoes and sandals and another for their heeled shoes and sandals. The FMT Technology in their flat styles are designed to align you from the ground up, they hug your arches and encourage natural alignment. In many of their styles the footbed is removable (I only just learnt this) so you can put it in a different pair of shoes if you so desired!
I have just returned from a girls weekend away and it turned out one of my best friends had discovered Vionic a few years ago and commented on how much better they are for her feet, she suffers from plantar fasciitiis and her posture and back pain had really improved since wearing them.
They are on the more expensive side but remember they offer a 30-day wear test should you not find them the most comfy thing ever and cost per wear they are amazing as I have worn and worn mine on repeat and they still look brand new. Worth the investment in my opinion.
I was able to choose a pair from their new season range as a thank you gift for attending the event and writing this review on my blog. I chose these silver Reagan Mules £110 (also come in black). I figured they would make a great summer to autumn transition shoe before I need to wear socks and boots for months on end. I am so delighted with them. They are stylish and yes absolutely comfortable.
I wore them last week for a shopping trip to IKEA so they were properly tested for you! I styled them with a bargain top from the Gap sale (floral print top now £8.99) and my black wide leg trousers from Part Two / My Boudoir in Marlow, they are a heavy jersey and I love them, I am just venturing into the wide leg look and so far I am liking it (I tend to be a bit slow to follow a trend)!
What do you think? Will you give Vionic a try? I have just received a pair of black suede and neoprene Whitney ankle boots (they also come in grey) - they are a slightly higher heel but due to the comfort technology I am confident they will prove to be wearable, I will report back soon!
There are many more new styles on their website (www.vionicshoes.co.uk) so do go and take a look!
May I ask a little favour? - I have just been announced as a Finalist (Beauty and Fashion category) in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards #BiBs2018 organised by BritMums and I wonder, if you enjoy reading my blog, would you pop over and vote for me please? It is very easy - you can vote just in one category or more if you'd like - here is the link - Voting Form. I am completely overwhelmed, delighted and surprised to find that I am a finalist!! Thank you so much to everyone that supports me. It really is appreciated.
Disclaimer: these shoes were gifted to me by Vionic as a thank you for attending their launch event. They asked me to post about them on my social media and write a short blog review about the event and the styles I loved. All opinions and words are my own.
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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