It’s a last minute post from me today as our house / catsitters have arrived and we’re heading off on our holidays. I’ve been working really long hours over the last couple of weeks just to get everything finished so I feel ready for a break. We’re going to our favourite Turkish resort of Kalkan. It’s our first family holiday without the effervescent eldest and so I thought we’d go somewhere that we know well. It’s going to be very, very hot… and quiet so I hear. Apparently tourism to Turkey is significantly down which seems a shame. People keep asking me whether I’m afraid but if anything, I think my regular trips to London are more risky than this one. You can’t live in fear and we love Turkey and its people.

We’re changing our accommodation for the second week because after booking somewhere smaller than usual for our downsized family, the people who own the rather splendid villa that we usually stay in got in touch with an amazing offer. It should work well for me because I usually start to get cabin fever after the first week of a beachy holiday so at least I’ll have a change of environment.

Thank you to everyone who sent in suggestions for the boy’s blocked ear last week. We didn’t manage to get an appointment with an audiologist but I am armed with all of the potions you have suggested. I’ll let you know on Instagram @midlifechic if we have any problems whilst we’re out there. Before I leave though, I thought I’d share some last minute holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books.

Last minute holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

You may remember that I did a “holiday packing from Marks and Spencer” feature earlier in the summer where they challenged me to pack for a whole holiday taking only M&S products. Last week they asked me if I thought I’d forgotten anything now that I’m heading off for real. These are the last minute items I picked up.


Cup sized bikini – they’ve had a delivery of new swimwear designs and I really liked this geo print bikini because the top is cup sized so it’s going to work if you need a bit of a boost like I do – or it will give extra support if you have a fuller cup, .

Bikini bottoms – these obviously match the top and I like the fact that they they are not cut too low and yet the higher waist is disguised by the addition of a contrasting panel. It folds over to disguise the ‘badge of motherhood’ that never seems to shift from the lower part of your abdomen.

Ombré trilby – I’m trying to remember to accessorise this year so that I can do more Instagram posts from the beach (as all good bloggers do – heaven help me)! This hat finishes this collection off nicely and feels as though it will survive a bit of bashing in my suitcase.


Beach shirtdress – this year’s trend for the beach is to wear an oversized shirt rather than a kaftan or sarong. This is an easy way to do it, it has a flattering dipped hem and you can either wear the sleeves full length or roll them up and fasten them with the button tab.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Beach shirtdress


Bronze eye pen – I’m going to swap my black lashliner with this eye pen. The bronze will be lighter and more flattering. It’s easy to apply, waterproof and long lasting.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Bronze eye pen

Nuxe night cream – I like to give my skin a break from my usual products when I go away. A friend of mine raves about this night cream so I thought I would try it. It is for visible rather than fine lines and it claims to regenerate skin overnight which will be just what I need after a day in the sun.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Nuxe night cream

Pixi sun mist – this will be great to carry in my bag both at home and away. It has broad spectrum protection and spritzes lightly over make-up without leaving your face looking shiny or greasy.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Pixi sun mist

Coral nail varnish – I’ve found it really difficult to find a proper coral shade of nail varnish this year. Everything I’ve seen has either been too pink or too red. Anyway this is the shade I like for holidays and it comes with five star reviews.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Coral nail varnish

SOS pen – I’ve managed to get myself into a habit of painting my nails every Sunday evening but I still make a mess of my right hand each time. This SOS pen will save me endless frustration.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

SOS pen


Multi-way bra – Now this has caused no end of entertainment in our house since Mr MC and the boys walked in whilst I was unboxing this delivery. It’s called the ‘100 ways to wear it multiway bra’ which makes the mind boggle. So they have been coming up with new suggestions every day. Today we had ear muffs. At least something has kept them entertained this week.

However, it is a marvellous thing. It comes with two packs of extra straps which mean you can wear it with low backed tops, asymmetric tops, racer backed tops, halter necks etc. Because the back strap is slim, I think it will also be cooler to wear in the heat than an ordinary bra.

Multi-way bra

A bespoke Kindle case

Last week I bought this bespoke cover for my new Kindle. I haven’t been in touch with the makers but I thought it was such a lovely idea – and when it arrived it was so beautifully packaged – that I wanted to show it to you.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Bespoke Kindle cover

As you see, it’s a take on a Penguin Classic. You choose your colour and the words that you want on the front. Lots of people seemed to go for ‘the secret library of…’ or just the name of their favourite book. ‘Ex Libris’ made sense to me and instead of my own name as author, I thought I’d add Midlifechic.

This is how it looks inside – your Kindle fits neatly inside a case. You can even personalise the panel on the opening cover and so I added the mantra that I bombard the boys with whenever they say they’re bored (I even managed to slip it in when I was interviewed for the BBC programme about reading last year which elicited endless groans whilst we were watching it). I truly believe that “you’re never bored if you have a book.”

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

This is the handwritten note that arrived with it.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Bespoke Kindle cover

So, as I said, this was not a blogger gift, I ordered it and paid for it myself but the whole experience was so good that I thought I’d spread the love.

Interesting hand gels

I’ve picked up a few of these tiny handbag hand gels so that we can try to avoid anyone coming down with Turkish tummy. I’ll pop one into every bag and I’m hoping that the novelty of the different fragrances will encourage the boys to use them.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Merci Handy hand gels

Holiday lipstick

I had so many requests for the colour of this lipstick when I shared this picture across my social media that I thought I should let you know, particularly because it isn’t an expensive one. It’s L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick 373 Magnetic Coral and it’s a great shade for summer. 


L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick 373 Magnetic Coral

Holiday books – light reads

And finally, I thought I’d leave you with a few light reads that I’ve enjoyed recently – I’ve been too tired to read anything worthy. So these are no brainer page turners, perfect for the first week of your holiday when you just need to switch off.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan – I’m sure you’ll have already read this but if you haven’t, do. It’s a light, uplifting read about people and their relationships with each other… and things.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

The Keeper of Lost Things

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins – lots of middle class, midlife London family insight in this one. A good twist and… you learn about beetles.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

The Night Visitor

The One by John Marrs – works on the idea of a new DNA based algorithm that matches you with the one partner in the world with whom you share a particular strand of DNA that makes you a perfect match. An interesting concept, especially when you see how it could play out. (Don’t be put off by the one liner from The Sun – it’s a better read than that suggests).

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

The One

He Said, She Said – gripping and with a twist that you just don’t see coming… you also learn a lot about solar eclipses along the way.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

He Said She Said

The holiday book I’ll be picking up first is Cartes Postales From Greece by Victoria Hislop who is one of my favourite contemporary authors. I’m taking it in hardback so that I can enjoy the images too. It was my Christmas present from the youngest and I’ve been saving it.

holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books

Cartes Postales from Greece

And with that I am logging off for a couple of weeks but I will be posting whatever we’re up to on Instagram @midlifechic. However I’m not leaving you entirely because there are a couple of posts that I will be sending live whilst I’m away so do look out for those. In the meantime, I wish you a happy fortnight whatever you’re doing. I’m hoping to come back refreshed and invigorated because it’s already looking like an exciting new season ahead. I have lots of things planned.

Until then, thank you so much for continuing to read my blog. It is a labour of love for me but you, as the people who read it, are its beating heart and you make it all worthwhile. Without you there would be no point. I do appreciate the comments and the emails that you take the time to write. A bientôt mes amies.

Disclosure: ‘holiday packing: beachwear, beauty and books’ is not a sponsored post but thank you to Marks and Spencer for inviting me to choose the last minute bits and pieces which are now packed in my suitcase ready to go.

Sales that have started

John Lewis clearance sale

Mango – up to 50% off

Reiss – up to 50% off

Great Plains – up to 60% off

Baukjen – new lines added and further reductions

Pure Collection – up to 60% off plus 15% off new arrivals here

Jigsaw – up to 50% off

Joules – up to 50% off

House of Fraser up to 50% off

Jack Wills – up to 50% off

Reiss – up to 50% off

White Company


J Crew up to 30% off

Selfridges up to 50% off

Liberty up to 70% off

Uniqlo – linen sale

Whistles summer sale – new lines added

Key Spring / Summer Style Posts

Outfits of the day and student internships

Summer clothes to buy now

Hope sale – and revisiting my past

Spotlight on Specsavers

Hush sale – what to buy

Holiday Packing Part 2

Holiday packing for women over 40 – Part 1

Summer city dressing – dresses

Chelsea Flower Show and Madeleine

The return of the trousersuit

Spotlight on Baukjen

A holiday wardrobe from Marks and Spencer

What to buy from Boden and Hush

Weekend wardrobe capsules

Uniqlo – linen and denim review

How to update your capsule wardrobe for Spring

Spotlight on Pure Collection

Finery Review – Spring 17

Spring 17 wardrobe updates

 The Midlife Series

A science based solution for thinning hair

Simple 50th birthday celebrations

How it feels to reach your 50th birthday

Curing a lifelong phobia

Midlife loneliness – a follow up

Loneliness and the midlife woman

What is midlife in the twenty-tens? 

Survey results – what you are experiencing

My story