It’s time for a catch up. I have a few random outfit photos that are cluttering up my desktop so I’m posting some everyday looks from the last few weeks. Before I do though, I just need to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the launch of the Midlifechic Boutique. Each sale, thought or note of encouragement has really helped me to have confidence in this new venture. It has gone better than I could ever have anticipated and I feel really hopeful about starting to develop more pieces. All of the in-stock items are now out for delivery so if you have ordered one, it should be with you very soon. In the meantime, this is what I’ve been wearing and doing recently.
August Bank Holiday!
This feels like so long ago. A new gelateria has opened up at our nearest beach so we felt compelled to try it. In my opinion it is a bit of a ‘coals to Newcastle’ affair because you can’t beat the ice cream that comes from the dairy farms in our region. Still I enjoyed confirming my views on that matter!
Spontaneous Friday night drinks
Moving on to the weekend before last. Apologies for the grainy iPhone shot but it was taken when I was persuaded to go out for a spontaneous Friday night glass of wine on my way home. People are learning that helping me out with an outfit shot is a good way of getting me to go places with them! It’s that bag again – this is not spurious product placement, I just use it a lot…
Saturday night – prosecco festival
This was the following Saturday night – a prosecco festival had come to town and so Mr MC very kindly bought tickets. It was pretty tacky – if Prosecco Events UK come to a town near you, I suggest you steer clear. Buff men dressed in very little were prowling with big gilt frames for ‘photo opportunities’ and the prosecco was the tooth-rotting kind. Mr MC was very disappointed that I refused to be photographed with an oiled up young stud but I was wearing my glittery jumper from Hush and it is hand wash only (never have I uttered a more midlife statement but I know you’ll understand)! We ended up downing our welcome drink and bailing. In the end we found a place that sold Sake which was definitely a good result for a Saturday evening.
Sunday morning -Jazz Brunch
So the next morning we had to go back and collect the car. Of course neither boy wanted to come with us at an early hour so we decided that a brunch date was in order. I suppose this is how life will pan out now. The sun was shining and there was a jazz festival on. As we ordered a second coffee without anyone sighing and wanting to move on it all felt quite promising.
I told Mr MC that I expect him to age in a dapper way like these two chaps here…
…of course he reminded me that as he is so much younger than I am, it isn’t something he needs to contemplate yet! Anyway – this is what I was wearing. When I do random outfit shots like this you see how often I repeat things. I was feeling a little jaded after our Sake evening so I wore my velvet boots to liven myself up. You can see what I mean about the cobbles around here making heels a challenge.
A day off work at Aqua Sana Spa
Last week went in a blur because I was working on the launch of Midlifechic Boutique. However I did manage to have a lovely day off on Thursday with one of my best friends who is also called Nicky. I was invited to treat a friend to a day at the Aqua Sana Spa which is based in Whinfell Forest near Penrith. It is part of the Center Parcs complex but you can go along as a day visitor.
The invitations I get usually involve a trip to London so I nearly always turn them down but this one was practically on our doorstep. It’s hard when you have to choose one friend but Nicky was my obvious choice for lots of reasons. The main one is that she works long hours at our local hospice for very little reward and no perks other than the peace of mind that comes with doing a very worthwhile job.
Neither of us are instinctive spa-goers so we didn’t know what to expect. We arrived at about 11.30am and realised that we had been invited for breakfast so, wanting to make the most of our day, we had that first. We then had a lazy time going through the fourteen different spa experiences which are mostly centred around saunas and steam rooms. They all have differing intensities and levels of heat. Some of them are fragranced with essential oils which is particularly relaxing.
We swam outside in the heated pool – I don’t think I’ve ever done that up here before – and of course being in the middle of a forest was spectacularly beautiful as the trees were tinged with golden hues. I couldn’t really take photos because there were so many people in swimwear who probably wouldn’t have appreciated it. But here’s one of us in the Japanese Zen Garden.
Just after this, we went on to have the best massage that I have ever had in the UK. It was an Elemis Deep Tissue massage and it hurt but it made a huge difference to my aching shoulders. I find it difficult to track down a ‘proper’ massage unless we’re away somewhere like Turkey where they really manhandle you but this one definitely hit the spot.
In the interests of a balanced review I would say that if there is one area that needs work at Aqua Sana it is the food. We had breakfast, lunch and then cake in the cafe. Although everything was fresh, it wasn’t particularly tasty and there was something of a mass produced / outsourced feel about it.
Other than that, it was a great experience and it was lovely to feel the difference in Nicky as I drove her home (once we found the car in the car park which took quite a long time as anybody who watched my very first Instagram Story will know. In fact I missed parents’ evening which wasn’t good but it’s a very big car park and we were in deep conversation when we arrived)! In the morning we were both tight balls of stress, on the way back we seemed to have managed to get things into perspective and I suspect that a day of doing very little had helped us more than we realised. Plus it was really good having a few hours of non-stop chat. I think as busy women it’s something we rarely carve a whole day for and we should all do it more often. Thank you Aqua Sana for giving us a lovely break.
Saturday Morning – just relaxing
Moving on to the weekend that has just gone. On Saturday morning I was feeling elated by all of the orders and kind words that had come in following the launch of the Midlifechic Boutique the previous evening. Actually I didn’t change out of this outfit all day but I wanted to show it to you because I have been building up my collection of loungewear in anticipation of winter coming. I don’t do winter well – it makes me miserable and so I’m trying to find small comforts that will see me though.
These are actually called pyjamas on the website but I find them really lovely to put on after work or on a Saturday morning. I don’t think you will find anything that is more relaxing to wear – they are soft, stretchy and snug. If you offered me a cashmere set in exchange, I wouldn’t take you up on it because these wash and tumble dry without a worry. The problem is that they have already sold out in this colour but they are available in purple and I am hoping that they will restock in time for Christmas. You need them in your life.
Another great value athleisure buy
I did also tell you that I would bring you any gems from the work that I am doing for JD Williams. This is from an athleisure shoot that I did for them and I begged them to let me keep this set. The jogging bottoms are simple grey marl but it’s the fleece that I particularly love. Everyone wears fleeces around here so I tend to avoid them but the neckline on this one is very flattering and great for winter. It is also a soft, fine fleece so it isn’t as bulky as they usually are and it’s very affordable.
Here’s a standing up picture.
Sunday – working!
Phew – so this brings me to Sunday when I had to work. Our agency has been organising a Business Expo and to be fair, I have had very little to do with it but I went along to celebrate their success. Now I just want to talk about these trousers. Every so often I have a spark of joy moment that is more like a whole firework and this was one of them. They are flares made from a jersey tweed. This means that they have all of this season’s essential texture but none of the itch factor. They have a seam down the front to hold the crease and the high quality fabric means that they swing around your ankles as you walk which looks really good – I should have done a video.
Speaking of video, the boys were so embarrassed when I posted my Instagram Story about being lost in a forest (then a car park) last week that I’m not rushing to do another one. Somehow word got to them that I had done it before they even saw it themselves. Their friends had clearly seen it and in short succession, I had a phone call from each of them (rare in itself) saying “I hear you’ve done an Instagram Story…” in very stern tones!
Anyway it is hard to capture how good these trousers are on camera – particularly when your photographer is busy and won’t go further than the car park. I urge you to try them for yourself. They’re selling out rapidly so be quick.
Here’s another shot which shows how leg lengthening they are.
As I mentioned earlier on, whenever I do outfit of the day posts that are spread over time like this, I realise which pieces I wear again and again. My Claudia Bradby simple silver hoop earrings are clearly among them along with a few other pieces of her jewellery. I love nearly everything that she makes and I like to support her because she is a woman over 40, building a business of her own for women like us. The good news is that she is offering readers of Midlifechic a 15% discount until the end of November with the code MIDLIFECHIC15.
Given that I tend to wear her silver pieces on repeat, I was thrilled to receive these earrings from her which show that she is starting to develop a range in gold. Pearls still feature in everything she does but in a contemporary way. The chains on these earrings update the simple peacock pearl studs and I suspect they will become another core item in my very limited jewellery collection.
My feather necklace was a very generous 50th birthday gift that arrived through the post in May from one of my school friends. She has exquisite taste.
New Hush collection
Just a quick heads up that the new collection at Hush launched today here. My top tip-offs would be this leopard coat which I think is the best quality:price ratio around if you happen to be looking for a leopard coat. Also this metallic pleated skirt is great – it’s had a lot of press coverage so it will sell out soon. I have one and can confirm that it will see you all the way through from now until January and beyond – see, I did that without mentioning the C word!
So, that brings us up to date with the last couple of weeks. On Friday I’m going to be talking about a new health and fitness regime that I’ve been challenged to begin. It’s an intelligent approach to changing your lifestyle and it’s online so I’m hoping some of you might join me. It’s come just at the right time because I’ve found that I’ve really lost my mojo when it comes to exercise recently. I think it’s partly because the weather’s been bad but also because given the choice, I’d much rather curl up with a book. Anyway it’s no good – I notice I’m a bit breathless when I reach the top flight of stairs at our local cinema which is always one of the indicators I use to tell myself things have to change. If you’re in the same situation, think about doing it with me, it would be nice to do it with friends. I’ll tell you all about it at the end of the week.
Disclosure: “outfits women over 40” is not a sponsored spotlight post
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