Wow – what can you say about the weather that hasn’t already been said across every news channel?! As I type, Storm Emma is blowing in from the sea. There is nothing to shelter us from the coastline and so the winds are whistling around us like something from a horror movie. In all of the years that I have lived here, I have never known the snow to fall so incessantly. So, I decided it was time for one of my cornucopias. Here are 11 spring pick-me-ups to help lift your spirits. (I will just add that I’m not doing a Mother’s Day gift post because presents aren’t really what Mother’s Day is about but I think these ideas would work well for that too).
Ok so technically this is lots of things but it’s the biggest spring pick-me-up I can find. To me, Sézane is like flicking through a holiday brochure. It’s an escape to a more beautiful lifestyle where every room has a Second Empire window with a view over a sunny arrondissement.
The March collection will be released on Sunday (4th March) and like the IdLF range, most of it will probably be sold through by Monday. However there is a lookbook here so you can preview the collection and be ready. A couple of my favourite looks include this breton and jeans. Can you see how Sézane is almost a French version of Boden – or perhaps Boden as it was in its innovative heyday?
These shoes are so dainty and yet a walkable height. I often notice how good French street stylers are at finding a workable heel – one that that elevates their posture but still looks as though they could zip off ‘à vélo’ if required.
2. The white boot
The white boot was key for Instagrammers last year and it is looking as though it will be more mainstream this year. Let’s not forget how useful boots can be for the British summer – I often find myself wearing my bright blue Finery boots in summer (this was Father’s Day a couple of years ago – so June)…
They’re getting quite worn now so I think I might replace them with these. I’ve chosen a block heel because I can’t help thinking that the ones with a pointy toe and kitten heel would make me feel like I’d time travelled back to the 80s. They’re a great option for adding a touch of spring even now when the weather shows no signs of turning.
3. Everyday cashmere socks
I gleaned a top tip from a friend who came round for a glass of wine last week. She is very stylish and when she took her boots off, I noticed that she was wearing socks over her tights. She told me that these have been her saviour all winter. Apparently they are meant for wearing at home so they have a slightly padded sole. However she says that she has worn them for work most days since November (she has more than one pair!). I asked if they had worn through quickly and she said that they hadn’t at all, probably because she only wears them over tights. They’re not cheap but if you suffer from frozen feet they are a luxurious solution. You can buy them in black, grey, pink and blue.
4. An absorbing read
A good book is exactly what we need for weather like this. I’ve hit a winning streak at the moment, enjoying every book I’ve read so far this year but this is the one that has stayed in my mind. Not much happens and yet everything happens. I suppose you could call it the anatomy of a marriage.
5. A new mug
This is to use whilst you’re reading your book. I confess that I do have a particular mug that I use when I’m reading and somehow it signals instant relaxation whenever I pick it up. It’s china and it says ‘feeling tickety boo’ on it. Everyone knows that they can only bring me a cup of tea in that mug if it’s a tickety boo time. However having seen this china mug with its magnificent Quentin Blake illustration, I am tempted to replace all of our mugs in the hope that it would drum the message into the middle son (and Mr MC).
6. An instant slick of spring
This lipstick was released last year but it is still going strong. You can buy it everywhere and I think I first found it at Sainsbury’s. It’s great value and it just seems to brighten your face and lift your complexion. It’s my hostess gift of the moment if we go to see friends.
7. A soothing moisturiser
I was sent this Age Confidence Cream to review a little while ago and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it because it is created for sensitive skin and my skin is as tough as an old boot. However since the dental surgery I had a couple of weeks ago and the consequential swelling and bruising of my face, it has been a gentle godsend.
Pai is a brand that you need to have on your radar. It has been created by Sarah Brown and it focuses on sensitive skin. All of the products are organic and although it is still quite small, it is really gaining traction amongst beauty journalists at the moment. I think my only criticism of the moisturiser is that it didn’t absorb easily and took quite a bit of rubbing in. Maybe I was sensitised because my face was so sore but otherwise it has been lovely to use.
8. A fragrant wardrobe
I’m bringing this to your attention because for about ten months of the year it seems to be out of stock but it’s back in. If you love the way that your Hush deliveries smell when you open the box, this is their signature linen spray. I tend to spritz it on my knitwear and coats and somehow it diffuses through my whole dressing room. It’s quite expensive for a fabric freshener but it is a fragrance unlike anything else.
9. New cashmere
I’ve had one of those exchange vouchers that M&S give you that look like a receipt in my purse for months and so when we were in Manchester a couple of weekends ago, I decided to spend it. I wanted to buy a cashmere crew neck in purple. They’d been sold out online for a while but I thought they’d have some in store, which they did. However the youngest was with me and he really didn’t like the purple. Instead he picked out the light blue and because he so rarely shows an interest in what I’m wearing, that’s the one I chose.
I’m actually quite pleased because it feels more in tune with spring than purple would have done. I’m wearing it today and I’m hoping to go outfor a quick burrito later wearing this outfit but given the state of the weather, I think I’ll be changing the boots! Forgive me for taking these shots in the comfort of my living room but with the wind chill factor, it’s currently -8°C outside. In fact I think I might completely wimp out of going out tonight.
And yes – I know I said a few posts ago that I would be swerving the wide jeans… but then I saw these in dark indigo denim and so I thought I’d order them. When I unpacked them I thought there was no way I would be keeping them but actually, when I tried them on, I really liked them. They’ve been particularly good this week because you can easily fit thermals underneath! If you like them, be quick because they’re already showing low stock.
10. A spring blouse
The trend for modesty continues this season with high necks and long sleeves. House of Fraser kindly sent me this blouse to show you and although it’s a bit too cold to wear it at the moment, I’m hoping for a balmy Easter so that I can look like a spring chicken. I really like the spotted fabric and the ruched cuffs which are on trend and yet make it easy to go about your everyday tasks. You can see how the wide crops work with something worn tucked in. As the weather gets warmer I’m imagining dressing them down with a slogan tee too.
11. A bright stripe jumper
And one last thing. I’ve had so many emails about the jumper that I featured in a header shot a couple of weeks ago that I thought I’d include it. It’s 100% acrylic so it’s pretty scratchy to wear but I really love the colours. There aren’t many left in stock at the moment but they seem to keep restocking it so keep your eyes peeled. By the way, I’m wearing the L’Oreal lipstick in all of these shots too.
It feels like ages since I’ve done one of these – February was a month when my feet didn’t seem to touch the ground. In addition to our trip to Transylvania, I spent a lot of time in London with both my marketing and blogger hats on. The difference I noticed this year in terms of blogging was that brands were keen to see me. A year ago it was hard work to get an appointment, this year it wasn’t. Midlifechic is really making headway as a recognised community. In the meetings I go to, retailers want to hear your feedback and they grill me about you and what you’re thinking. It’s helpful that you often tell me what you think about brands in the comments so that I can share it with them.
In the background I’ve had the nuisance of the abscess on my tooth – I never had problems with my teeth until I hit 50 and now I’ve had two root canals in a year! Strangely it took a couple of weeks to work out what was going wrong because rather than toothache, my symptoms were in my eye. Each time I got home from the gym I was hit by flashing lights and the beginning of a migraine. It turned out that my increased heart rate had triggered a slow building abscess to make its presence felt. To cut a long story short it meant that for one of my weeks in London, I had a face that looked as though it had been punched and it took a lot of explaining! Anyway thank you for all of your good wishes, it seems to be better now and there’s only a small patch of bruising left which I can cover with make-up.
Because I’ve been away so much, I feel as though I’ve hardly seen the boys. I did however spend a lovely night in London with the eldest. Last year, some of my blogger friends very generously bought me a voucher for Sketch for my birthday. My plan was to go there with Mr MC but he has been too busy to join me on any of my trips down. So before it expired, the eldest gallantly offered to step in. I must just say a big thank you to whatlizzyloves; thesequinist; barefacedchic; michelletyler; notdressedaslamb and ladyofstyle for giving me the gift of a very special evening with my treasured boy.
We had a cocktail in each of the bars and then dinner in the restaurant which is a visual feast.
So often I find I go to places like this and feel underwhelmed but this time I wasn’t. The food was incredibly good and I loved the way that they had created completely different atmospheres in each of the rooms. It was good for us to have time to really talk.
He has grown up such a lot in the last six months which isn’t surprising. His internship at Nike is fast paced and full of responsibility. I really can’t fault it for the experience it is giving him and in return, he is giving it his all. I worry about the hours that he works (of his own volition). He often seems to do ten hour days, seven days a week but… he just loves every minute of it.
He’s currently back for the weekend but we will only see him briefly because he’s here for his ‘old boys’ rugby weekend. I’ve been comforting myself with the thought that the pitches will be too frozen for them to play however they’ve found a 3G one so the match (where they all want to prove that they’re fitter / faster / stronger) is on.
The middle son has been down with flu which has infuriated him because it means he’s lost his 100% attendance status at school which he has treasured as proof that he is tougher than his brothers. Lambing is over and as you know, he really enjoyed it. Here are some pictures of him in action (scroll on if you’re squeamish, the eldest nearly keeled over when I showed him)!
Meanwhile the youngest is excitedly awaiting the arrival of his French copain who will be here in a week’s time. Luckily they got on really well together when he went to Lyon. It has meant that we have had to redecorate his room this week though. I mentioned that years ago, Mr MC used the boy’s favourite Cath Kidston bedlinen as inspiration and painted cowboy scenes around his walls (much to his six year old delight).
Now they have had to go and so we’ve made the shift to three teenage bedrooms. The putting away of childish things feels very Corinthian. However he is 14 and the time is right… on we go…
I’m hoping that March will be a quieter month, that the weather will get better and that I’ll spend more time at home. It’s good to have the Easter break ahead to look forward to. For now, I wish you a warm and cosy weekend. I hope you hunker down and spend it as we are planning to do… with good people, eating good food as the wind whistles outside.
Disclosure: “spring pick-me-ups” is not a sponsored post. Thank you to House of Fraser for the blouse and Pai for the moisturiser that they sent for review.
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