Happy New Year! Today I am reflecting back over the last year ... it has been a bit of a tough one for everyone I think and I have had my personal challenges too but I feel like maybe I am beginning to get my sh*t together!
Blogging not only gives me a creative outlet, I love writing, it also allows me to do something for me and provides a personal history of the ups and downs of my life. I've been lucky in the last year or so to be able to work with some fantastic brands, both small and large, and learn new things, increase my knowledge and understanding and support others. Thank you so much for being here with me and taking the time to read my posts, comment or send me a message. Knowing my mutterings help and interest others is a real boost and makes the time I give to my blog even more worthwhile.
Yesterday, New Year's Day, I was thinking about my goals for 2023 and although I don't believe in new year resolutions I do like to plan ahead and think about what I'd like to achieve, do more of or do less of, and one action that helps me is having a WORD of the year. Last year I wrote about finding perspective and balance, I felt I had lost sight of what was really important to me and I certainly referred back to my word when I had some quite dark periods during 2022! The worst time being when my HRT stopped working!
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One gift I was delighted with this Christmas was my new Kindle Paperwhite ... I had an old one many years ago but found it quite limiting in it's abilities and I eventually went back to real books but in my quest to be more clutter free I wanted to free up space and not have piles of books lying around waiting to be read. And when I go on holiday - which is when I read the most - books are heavy and cumbersome to pack! My new Kindle is fantastic and I am already reading more.
My current book is The Anxious Hearts Guide by Rikki Cloos, I stumbled across her Instagram account a few months ago and loved her content around attachment theory. I have found the advice she offers really relatable not just in our relationships but in understanding me and the choices I make. Attachment theory focuses on relationships and bonds between people particularly longer term relationships between a parent and child or romantic partners. I told my daughter I was finding it fascinating and she said 'oh yes I've been studying the findings of John Bowlby for the last few years as part of my degree'. Makes sense!
And so my word for 2023 is PAUSE.
Pause before responding.
Pause before buying.
Pause before saying yes.
For me it is all about pausing for a moment to think, to reflect, to decide if I want to go ahead, to decide how to respond, to decide if it is something I want.
And that brings me onto my blogging year ... I thought I'd share the posts I loved the most and share what you loved the most!
My most popular blog post of 2022:
HRT Gel Reviews | Oestrogel and Sandrena plus progesterone intolerance
So many of you found me because of this post and so many of you reached out to ask for more information. I wrote it in early February when there was a massive shortage of HRT in the UK and I had decided to swap from my usual Oestrogel to Sandrena - at first I thought it was a fantastic change - until it wasn't and it turned out I wasn't absorbing the Sandrena gel and I started feeling awful, gradually every menopause symptom returned including anxiety, heart palpitations, low mood, a frozen shoulder, insomnia ...; life got pretty difficult. After realising what the problem was I swapped back to Oestrogel but it took many more months for my oestrogen levels to go back to normal.
I think my favourite post of 2002 was when I talked about my boudoir photoshoot with Alex at FYEO. At 55 (now 56) I love the confidence that being older brings. Who'd have thought I would have more body confidence in my 50s than I ever did in my 20s? I appreciate I am very fortunate to have good genes that have allowed me to maintain a slimmer figure but I do also have to work for it. I still have to watch what I eat, I still have to make sure I move more, and I have to try to keep alcohol to a minimum! I hope that I might have inspired others to see that you can look and feel sexy and confident even in midlife. When I was researching for my sponsored post with Ourtime (a dating app for over 50s) I was interested to learn that we feel our sexiest at age 53! You can read more here ... How to find your purpose and have fun in midlife ... create your own destiny in 2023.
My favourite blog post of 2022:
How I am embracing body confidence in my 50s with a boudoir photoshoot by Alexandra at FYEO
And a few more personal highlights this year ...
January was all about finding perspective, finding time to talk and getting a fabulously relaxing facial reflexology treatment.
In March I loved my mother's day weekend in Bath with my daughter and it was warm!
May was a visit to Barcelona, it was lovely to travel again and enjoy alfresco meals, we adored exploring the city on electric bikes.
In July I wrote about a gorgeous Airbnb I had discovered, right on the beach at Littlestone, I was invited back with my daughter and shared a review on my blog.
By August my HRT was working again and I was feeling more confident and ready to get back to my exercise, I enjoyed working with Katie Walton and trying out her Embrace Over 40 programme, it really helped me see that we can keep our workouts quick and simple.
In September I shared the results of my eyebrow makeover! I had eyebrow tattooing at Tracie Giles in Knightsbridge and I am beyond delighted with the results!
September was also holiday time ... we had two weeks in Kalkan in Turkey, but while we were there, our beloved Queen passed away, I hated being away from home at such an important and sad time in British history. We were back for the funeral though and my daughter and I visited the flower tributes in Green Park.
In October I went away on my first ever retreat and loved every moment! From stopping at Portishead on the way to spending a few days off grid at Hill Farm near Tintern with Claire from The Creatrix Journey and a group of fabulous ladies, I loved it all! We chatted menopause a lot and it inspired me to write about menopause mood swings for Menopause Awareness Month.
In November I wrote about my new favourite makeup brand, Code Beautiful and finally in December I revealed the results from my course of EMSculpt NEO treatments - and I am yet to see the final results ... look out on my Instagram in February when I reach 90 days post treatment.
I cannot believe what has happened to the world over the last three years, I truly pray that life begins to settle down a bit in 2023. When I look back to my posts in early 2020 and during the start of the pandemic it feels surreal, we had no idea what was coming. I predicted then it would take a huge toll on our mental health (I have always hated the whole working at home thing) but even I did not expect the massive fallout that transpired. I remember saying in April 2020 - life will be back to normal by September, you can't stop travel and close the world down for long! What with Brexit, the war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis and the resulting impact on mental health and our wellbeing, I have never seen anything so frustrating or unexpected and so devastating. Let's hope it soon becomes a distant memory.
Lots of love to you all.
Never hesitate to contact me if you need someone to talk to.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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