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 and goal planning thoughts.
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.
Welcome to my regular #beingfiftyandfab post and it's all about what I have been up to in June to be fabulous! There won't be a July post as I will be on holiday in Sri Lanka but there will be lots ot tell you when I get home.
Do join in with my hashtag on Instagram - post something that makes you feel fab and tag me and I will share my favourites on my stories!
Exercising - oh dear oh dear, I'm really not feeling it at the moment, which is very real and proves we can't all be on it all of the time. Life does happen. And I have been so ridiculously busy. But I am not beating myself up about it. I set a June goal to just walk a bit more and although it isn't happening daily, it is encouraging me to more mindful and fit in a head clearing walk when I can. I still see my PT every week so I am getting my strength training in and at least keeping up that routine. As my friend reminds me Progress Not Perfection and I am maintaining and plodding on!
Reading - fiction wise I read a lovely book by Milly Johnson called The Queen of Wishful Thinking, I picked this one up in my local Oxfam bookshop and it was a delightful story and very easy to read. I also read How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life, now this is really interesting as it explains how smartphones are designed to pull us in and keep us there, some really fascinating facts. Then the second part is how to reduce screen time without giving it up completely, for the low down on this I am going to send you over to the brilliant blog Inside Out & Beyond, Suzanne has written an excellent post with some really good suggestions. It's still a work in progress for me but reading the book has certainly made me more aware. And of course this month I am in the final stages of planning Sri Lanka so I needed my travel guide - The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka.
Doing - because it has been such a busy month there is a lot I have been doing and a lot to share with you! I will try not to bore you though!
You may recall I popped down to London recently to attend the book launch of No One But You by Tessa Levy and for a photo shoot with Fabulous magazine for The Sun Online, well the article appeared so do take a look at it here. It was about guessing a woman's age from behind!
I wore a Karen Millen dress (reduced in the John Lewis sale) and my Moda in Pelle black strappy sandals. I had a really fun day out and loved doing the photos!
I was lucky enough to attend a talk by Vicki from Honest Mum, she is a successful blogger, vlogger and author and I met her and she is really friendly, chatty and interesting. She signed my copy of her book Mumboss and I can definitely recommend it if you are looking for a change of career after having children or want to set up your own online business or blog. Lots and lots of common sense advice and real life examples of how she manages. The first part is more aimed at mothers with younger children but still a lot of great advice throughout.
I wore a new dress from Sosandar, more about this brand later on!
I was gifted a really pretty necklace from a brand I met at BlogConLDN my first blogger event! Johnny Loves Rosie is a British brand inspired by true love, individuality and feminine style. I loved their jewellery and pretty clutch bags, do take a look. I chose the 'forever silver necklace' at just £18, it is so simple and looks fabulous with my summer outfits.
My husband spent a few days away visiting his twin brother in Cornwall and as much as I love going too, this time I needed to be at home with my daughter as she is still studying but it did give me a chance to have some quiet time at home catching up! And I got to have a girls day with my daughter, we popped into Marlow and visited my friend who is working in a new shop that has opened in Marlow (they already have a branch in Wendover - Brookes) and then we had lunch sat in a pub garden. All very civilised.
The 'happy' cushion is from another new shop in Marlow, Two for Joy, do pop in if you are in the area. My navy dress is from Hush last summer and is one of my favourites. My drink (orange juice and prosecco) matches the cushion!
Wearing - finally a very quick photo summary of some of my outifts as I have probably gone on too long!
Sosandar shirt dress for lunch out with my girlfriends. I was a bit uncertain about Sosandar and to be honest I still am - I had to size down considerably to get a good fit so they are not true to size and come up very big. My first two deliveries just hung off me and the quality wasn't great. I spoke to them and agreed to try again. They do have some lovely styles and it is good to see something a bit different, they are a sensible price point but the quality isn't high end. Worth trying though. I did feel great in this shirt dress and it did get lots of compliments!
My statement trousers and navy blouse were from Hobbs last year, then a pink top from Zara with white jeans. My favourite white jeans are from French Connection this year (rebound denim) and this top was a quick purchase in Zara. Then my red jeans - read my post here, styled with a Zara blouse, past season, but lots of similar styles available in Zara.
This off the shoulder dress was another successful Hush purchase last summer! I wore it out for dinner at The Ivy Marlow Garden. The Boden sale has started but I picked up these fun sandals and this simple stripe dress at 30% off before the sale started.
I've just got back from an super weekend away in Kent - revisiting the village where I grew up but it deserves a post of it's own so I will try and fit that in before I go away.
Hasn't the weather been amazing! I love summer, I love summer clothes! Long may it continue.
Have a wonderful summer everyone and watch my Instagram for Sri Lanka photos.
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.
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!
Welcome back to my monthly series where I tell you what I have been doing to BE fifty and fab and where I hope you will share on Instagram what you have been doing using the hashtag #beingfiftyandfab! I'd love to share some of your photos.
Well what happened to our weather?! We get a heatwave and then we are dumped right back into winter again. Now I know the English weather is unpredictable but it's playing havoc with my wardrobe organisation! I'm hopeful for the bank holiday weekend though!
Here's what I've been up to this month ...
Exercising - I've attended two great events this month to inspire me to keep healthy and to keep exercising! First of all a wonderful seminar all about the mind / body connection run by Bev from Floresco Fitness and Fat Loss Coaching - read more about it on my blog here. Then this weekend I was away at a Fitness Weekend in Surrey with an awesome group of ladies. I went to my first one last September and I was lucky enough to be invited again. The weather wasn't quite so kind this time but despite some initial reservations that it would pour down all weekend we were rather pleased and lucky that it mostly stayed dry (but cold). Generally I am not a fan of games but I did have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs joining in some traditional 'sports day' type activities! Three legged race anyone?
Reading - This month I started and finished Together by Julie Cohen. So good! It had only just been released and I had forgotten that I had pre-ordered it so it was a nice surprise when it turned up. There were a lot of Instagram posts about it and it has been very well received and enjoyed. My daughter is now going to read it. Emotional, compelling and a page turner based on a love story with a twist to the ending. Worth a read! Which meant I didn't then get around to joining in with the book club book this month!
Wearing - We had a mini heatwave! Then it got freezing cold again. I am totally confused and my wardrobe is all over the place. I spent quite a few days getting my summer clothes out and putting heavy winter jumpers away. But I didn't put my coats away thank goodness and I have kept a selection of spring knitwear in my wardrobe, just as well as I have needed it all again. I even started with my self-tan - I love St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse it's a bargain price and it is easy to apply (with a mitt, try St. Moriz Self Tanning Applicator Mitt) and never goes blotchy.
Above - French Connection Rebound White Jeans with Jack Wills blouse from last year , French Connection Rebound Vintage Blue Jeans with navy jumper from Gap and scarf from Sweet Bea and far right wearing my Uniqlo packable jacket with Vionic sneakers, jeans and star scarf from Mint Velvet
Doing - We had a super weekend away in Chatham which I wrote about in this post and then my daughter passed her driving test - first time, which was really exciting and will mean another change in routine for me - after 15+ years, no more school run. I'm looking forward to the long bank holiday weekend, nothing in particular planned, wouldn't it be fab if we could get outside in the garden?
I met with a lovely lady for a bespoke training session to talk all things blogging and I am really inspired and keen to share my new ideas with you. Jodie Humphries is a blogger at Maidenhead Mum and a photographer and a digital marketing specialist - wow - I am going to move my blog onto WordPress now things are moving along a bit so do bear with me when the swap over happens, I am a bit worried about all the techy stuff but I have a lovely lady helping me.
Which leads me onto a new interview series I am going to start - I have met so many inspiring and capable 40-50+ women especially recently so I want to share their stories with you. Coming soon I hope.
Enjoy May! Let's hope spring gets going properly this month!
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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