Love & marriage – the joy of a simple wedding

By |2022-07-29T18:25:27+01:00July 29th, 2022|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

This week and next for me are all about tinsel and baubles. It's officially my 30th year in retail and 'Christmas in July'... I've been doing this for a long time! Going in and out of Christmas events on hot London days does leave you somewhat confused - it's like the feeling you get when you wake up in a hotel somewhere exotic knowing that you'll end the day back in your own bed. However, as the boys would say, [...]

Getting your confidence back after 50

By |2022-10-19T10:39:13+01:00July 22nd, 2022|Categories: Hair & Beauty, Health, Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

It's a bit of a different post today. Since the Telegraph article I've had quite a few women get in touch to ask me how I manage to feel confident at this age when it's so easy to feel that everything's in decline. As regular readers know, back in 2014 I'd lost all of my confidence and so I deliberately decided to work on it. At the time I called it 'getting my groove back' and although that sounds cheesy, [...]

On growing older contentedly – and bold SS22 looks

By |2022-04-08T16:46:05+01:00April 8th, 2022|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier, Style, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

It's a bit of a different post today, it includes clothes (of course) but it's also about growing older contentedly. When I was down in London a couple of weeks ago I met up with Nayna McIntosh from Hope and after we'd looked through the glorious new season pieces that I'll show you in a few minutes, we got chatting about things like the true markers of success as we approach the end of this phase we call midlife. You [...]

A midlife catch-up – what I’ve been doing and wearing

By |2022-04-01T17:10:30+01:00April 1st, 2022|Categories: Exhibitions, Family, Midlife, Style, Work life balance|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

And here we are on 1st April which means we're a quarter of the way through the year already. I'm not bringing you the post about getting older that I was hoping to because I just haven't had time to do it properly. Instead, when I was looking back at my camera roll trying to make sense of the fact that the year's going so quickly I realised that there were lots of photos on there that I haven't even [...]

Midlife ups and downs – and what I’ve been wearing

By |2021-11-05T17:14:34+00:00November 5th, 2021|Categories: Family, Midlife, Relationships, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

After playing catch-up on our Greek trip for the last few weeks it feels good to be talking to you in real time again. We've had lots going on and I'm going to write this post the opposite way round to usual because it has some sadness and I don't want to leave you on a downer on a Friday. So I'm starting with some midlife ups and downs and then I'll move on to happier events and what I've [...]

The empty nest – how we’re coping with the end of days

By |2021-09-22T17:16:02+01:00September 22nd, 2021|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , , , |

The end of days And just like that they've flown. After 25 years of family life our nest is empty and it's the moment I've been dreading since my boys first arrived and filled our home with love, mischief and laughter. I distinctly remember holding each one of them for the first time and feeling so many things: joy, awe, responsibility, love... all tinged with an awareness that I was heading on a journey that would be over before I'd [...]

British City Staycation – Newcastle Part 1

By |2021-08-13T16:24:51+01:00August 13th, 2021|Categories: Family, Midlife, Relationships, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Well hello, it's good to be back and talking to you after our two weeks away. I'm wondering how this post is going to work because a few of you will already have seen the photos on Instagram but of course there was no space on there to give you the full story behind them so I hope it will still be interesting for you. As you know after various holiday cancellations we decided to spend two weeks over at [...]

Preparing for the empty nest – our new place is done

By |2021-06-21T11:47:41+01:00June 18th, 2021|Categories: Interiors, Midlife, Project Happier, Retail Review|Tags: , , , , , , , |

And at last, our city apartment is just about finished. All we have left to do is find a few pieces of art for empty spots and update the bathrooms - but that will have to wait until there's no longer a global shortage of sanitary ware or plumbers working to six month waiting lists. As we sat back with a glass of wine on Sunday evening and looked around us, it struck us both that we'd done something we'd [...]

Birthday thoughts – was lockdown a lost year?

By |2021-05-18T16:47:47+01:00May 18th, 2021|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , , |

I think it's always worth taking some time to reflect as your birthday approaches and tomorrow I'll be 54 so that's what I'm doing. Of course I'm usually looking back over a busy year of personal achievements peppered with standout moments but this one, of course, has been a little different. It's hard to view the last twelve months with any kind of perspective because even though lockdown's starting to lift, it doesn't quite feel as though this strange time [...]

Newcastle update – the story so far

By |2021-05-07T17:14:11+01:00May 7th, 2021|Categories: Interiors, Retail Review|Tags: , , , , , |

Given that we've flipped back into the Narnian Winter (it's snowing again as I write) there's absolutely no point in talking about Summer clothes or outfits so it's something completely different this week. I haven't said much about our Newcastle adventure since last September so I'm going to talk about that instead and show you what's been going on there. So here's a Newcastle update - the story so far. The story so far... why Newcastle? You may remember it [...]

How love broke and remade me – a midlife perspective

By |2021-02-12T16:59:06+00:00February 12th, 2021|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , , |

Well as you may have seen on Instagram, we had a big celebration in our house this week because on Wednesday it was our 20th wedding anniversary. And I know that immediately some of you will do the maths and think but surely the eldest is 24? And you're right. You see there's a story behind our story that I've never told but today feels like the day to do it. It isn't going to be easy to write and [...]

Goodbye 2020 and hello lockdown 3.0

By |2021-01-08T16:20:06+00:00January 8th, 2021|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Well hello! How are you? I hope your 2020 ended with a Christmas that meant something to you, even if it was a bit different - and that you feel in some way restored. Hitting a new year in a state of extreme lockdown wasn't what any of us were hoping for but we'll get through it together. Today I'm going to do a quick Christmas recap for my memory bank and then I'll share the way that I'm going [...]

Midlifechic 2020 – over and out

By |2020-12-18T18:23:16+00:00December 18th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , |

My last post for 2020 - wow what a year. In fact I almost feel I should leave it at that because what can I say? I don't have enough perspective to review it dispassionately yet but I thought I'd share my immediate reflections here, even if only because one day I hope this will be an interesting sociological record to look back on. So I'm going to do it in my usual way, starting with the downs, moving on [...]

What I’ve been wearing and learning the lessons of lockdown

By |2020-06-23T16:29:38+01:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Project Happier, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Well (and I say this cautiously) it's starting to feel as though we're coming through to the other side of the great coronavirus lockdown. I hope you've had a good weekend and that you've managed to start meeting some of the people you've missed so much. We've caught up with a few friends and clients now (although the weather hasn't been great here so some conversations have suddenly been cut short by torrential downpours) even so, it's felt good to [...]

Quarantine – as the days roll on – Coronavirus 2020

By |2020-05-12T16:45:42+01:00May 12th, 2020|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Quarantine - as the days roll on - Coronavirus 2020 How are you getting on? I have to admit that today is the first day when I've felt a bit fed up of all of this so I'm glad it's a blogging day. With the possibility that somebody has happened upon this post few years on from now, let me just apply some context. We're now in the eighth week of quarantine and in Boris Johnson's broadcast on Sunday evening [...]

Pandemic diaries, reflections and new retail drops

By |2020-04-28T17:59:45+01:00April 28th, 2020|Categories: Health, Midlife, Style|Tags: , , , |

Pandemic diaries Hello from a suddenly chilly north of England. Just as I'd got into the swing of summer dressing it's behaved true to form and gone the other way - I've just had to break off to go and put some socks on when I thought I'd finished with them until October. I suppose it reflects everything else that's going on because I'm finding I just can't plan ahead for more than a week at a time at the [...]

Lockdown continues – how are you feeling?

By |2020-04-03T17:17:10+01:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Health, Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , , , , |

Lockdown continues - how are you feeling? Hello everyone, I shot myself in the foot a bit on Tuesday with a recap on what we'd been doing so today I thought I'd focus more on how this is feeling instead. Obviously these are just my personal reflections so I'm hoping that in the spirit of social diary, you'll add some of your thoughts in the comments at the end. What I'm keen to log is: as the lockdown continues - [...]

Midlife lately – strange coronavirus days

By |2020-03-20T16:55:41+00:00March 20th, 2020|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , , , |

Well hello... hasn't this been the strangest of weeks? I awoke on Monday morning to our usual routine and by Wednesday it had all gone awry. As one of my reasons for writing this blog is to connect with future generations of my family, I'm going to be logging how it feels to live through these strange coronavirus days but it won't all be doom and gloom. I'll be looking for the upsides wherever I can, hoping that Midlifechic can [...]

Thinking ahead to the end of our lives – let’s discuss

By |2020-01-14T16:48:39+00:00January 14th, 2020|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , |

(Please note that this post focuses on thinking ahead to the end of our lives. If you are ill or recently bereaved, you may find it difficult to read... but I hope not) As you can see, I have a completely different topic for us to discuss today and at first it may not seem easy but actually it's not so bad. I'm supporting the brilliant people behind the charity Marie Curie who are trying to get us thinking ahead [...]

Hello 2020 – reflections on a midlife decade

By |2020-01-10T15:34:05+00:00January 10th, 2020|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , |

Well hello and a Happy New Year to you. I'm back to blogging a little later than planned because we had guests until 30th December and then went over to Newcastle for a family funeral so it turned out to be busier than we expected. However everything went well and mum-in-law declared it to be 'the best Christmas for years' - phew! Reflections on a midlife decade Even though it's ten days old now, I feel as though I need [...]

When life plays cat and mouse

By |2019-08-09T14:23:22+01:00July 19th, 2019|Categories: Health, Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , , |

For the last couple of weeks I've been writing two potential versions of this post in my head. You see on an ordinary morning just after we got back from France, I discovered a marble-sized lump in my breast. My immediate reaction was denial. I told myself it was just the edge of a rib but then I asked Mr MC to check and I could see by his face that it wasn't. Just like that life began to spin [...]

Midlife – making the middle years count

By |2019-07-14T16:18:09+01:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , , |

Today's post is a little bit different, I'm taking part in a writing project that was commissioned by the peer to peer lending company Zopa. To celebrate their Innovative Finance ISA, which they say “sits in the middle between low risk, low yielding cash ISAs and volatile, high return stocks and shares ISAs”, they asked a number of people to think about “the middle” and what it means to them. Of course for me, the middle immediately makes me think [...]

How to build a capsule wardrobe – women over 40 #1

By |2021-01-08T15:23:42+00:00January 11th, 2019|Categories: Project Happier, Style, Style Seminars|Tags: , , , , , , , |

...and let me start by apologising for the 'women over 40' extension on the title there. I know that a sizeable chunk of you aren't over 40 and this process has nothing to do with age, it just helps it to stand out amidst the millions of 'how to build a capsule wardrobe' posts on the internet. So, let's get started with the first part of the series that I put together over the Christmas holidays when I was working [...]

A week of two halves at Midlifechic

By |2018-10-05T17:12:20+01:00October 5th, 2018|Categories: Family, Interiors, Midlife, Relationships|Tags: , , , , |

Hello, its a post of two halves today because this week has taken an unexpected turn. I'll move onto that later but I want to start by telling you about the dinner party that I mentioned we were hosting last weekend. You see a little while ago I was contacted by a company called La Belle Assiette. I hadn't heard of them before but they're an online chef service. Their website covers most of the UK and it enables you [...]

Embracing autumn and bringing it in

By |2018-10-30T22:02:12+00:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: Interiors, Project Happier|Tags: , , , , |

It's just a short post from me today because it's been a funny old week. I've been slogging my way through a heavy cold and feeling a bit contemplative after the evening with my friend T. I've been thinking about life and reflecting on the pros and cons of the knowledge that I suppose most of us gain by midlife simply as a result of the experiences that we've lived through. The upsides are many - the 'what the hell?' [...]

Midlifechic – questions I’m often asked by readers and in interviews

By |2018-08-17T07:20:20+01:00August 16th, 2018|Categories: Project Happier, Relationships, Style|Tags: , , |

I've been interviewed for a few magazines and websites recently. So, given that quite a few of you said you'd enjoyed the FAQ post I did last year, I thought I'd pull some of the questions together just to fill the gap while we're away. I've added some of the questions that I'm asked regularly by readers too so it's a bit random... but welcome to the inside of my head (my family would tell you that it can be [...]

6 great summer reads and a competition winner

By |2018-07-24T15:09:37+01:00July 24th, 2018|Categories: Accessories, Project Happier, Travel|Tags: , , , |

We don't often talk about reading on here and yet as so many of you know, it is one of my biggest pleasures in life. Some people say I read a lot. I just counted for this post and I've read 27 books so far this year which is almost a book a week. Given that I used to have to get through four books a week in different languages when I was doing my degree, it doesn't seem a [...]

Midlife and the turning of the generations – plus what I’ve been wearing

By |2018-06-26T18:39:50+01:00June 26th, 2018|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships, Style|Tags: , , , , , , |

And so the world of style blogging is hitting its summer lull. As the sales are in full swing and the storybook sunshine goes on, I can feel my mind turning away from its usual fascination with retail towards the things that matter more. I'm very aware that for our family, this will be our last calm summer for a while. We have no important exam results to anticipate and when autumn comes, our status quo will continue with everyone [...]

City break with teenagers – 4 days in Valencia

By |2018-06-06T17:29:13+01:00June 6th, 2018|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello, I'm back. My schedule is still slightly disrupted but it's good to be blogging again. Let me tell you all about our trip to Valencia which turned out to be very simple and very relaxed - just what we all needed. This is one of those posts that is a bit of a personal journal as well as a midlife style blog. As you know, one of the reasons I write is for any future great, great grandchildren of [...]

How it feels to be 50 in 2018, thoughts on midlife

By |2018-05-18T16:59:58+01:00May 18th, 2018|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , , |

It's my birthday tomorrow which means I've been 50 for a whole year. Like most people I still reel slightly when I have to write my age on a form but other than that, I feel great about it. I've just had one of the best years of my life, not because anything particularly remarkable happened but because everything finally started to make sense. I noticed this new feeling of 'rightness' when I was chatting to my auntie on her [...]

An update on 2018 spectacle trends and the new range from Kylie

By |2018-04-22T16:30:31+01:00April 22nd, 2018|Categories: Accessories, Midlife, Style, Work life balance|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

As you know, I've had an ongoing relationship with Specsavers since last summer. They're a brand that I particularly like to support because of all of the quiet behind the scenes work that they do, giving back to both their local communities and the anti-bullying charity Kidscape which I discussed in my post about their fundraising awards. This season they have asked me to look at two of their spectacle ranges in more depth. The Twiggy for Aurora collection which [...]

Reasons to be cheerful and more outfits of the week

By |2018-03-16T17:01:25+00:00March 16th, 2018|Categories: Project Happier, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I confess that as we head into another weekend with a forecast of bitter weather, I'm beginning to feel at a bit of a loss as to what to write about. It seems that we're living in Narnia's perpetual winter. Spring has completely stalled up here, the birds are quiet, buds are barely showing on the trees and the skies are many shades of grey. Even I don't feel like shopping when every day is just another jumper day. So [...]

What I’ve been wearing… and how I carved out a whole extra day in my week

By |2018-03-09T17:48:19+00:00March 9th, 2018|Categories: Project Happier, Style, Work life balance|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I've had a great week and it's all thanks to you and the very first post that I wrote this year when I was looking for a better way to manage 2018. If you remember, I was feeling as though I was being pulled in too many different directions and not doing anything well. Since then I've been spring cleaning my life whilst incorporating some of the tips you shared and at last I'm starting to see the difference. Lots [...]

Thoughts on Mother’s Day as your children grow older

By |2018-03-08T13:39:43+00:00March 6th, 2018|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships, Shoes, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

(Note to confused overseas readers - Mother's Day or Mothering Sunday is on 11th March in the UK) I've always maintained that Mother's Day is my favourite day of the year. It's better than a birthday because you don't get any older and it's a celebration of the incredible task that we undertake as we help our children grow into decent human beings. For the last 20 years I've been lucky. On Mother's Day my nest has been full and [...]

Some thoughts about our midlife Valentines

By |2018-02-09T17:07:28+00:00February 9th, 2018|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , |

It's the time of year when everyone's thoughts turn to love. Whether you like it or not, you are surrounded by hearts and flowers and meal deals for two. I have been endlessly prodded by retailers to create lists of things we should buy to prove to our loves how treasured they are. And as I've been drafting emails in reply, explaining why I'm not running a "50 things to buy your Valentine" post, it's made me think hard about [...]

How to find your purpose at midlife

By |2018-01-16T16:44:08+00:00January 16th, 2018|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier, Work life balance|Tags: , |

How to find your purpose at midlife. It's a different kind of post from me today. You see last week I was shaken by the sudden loss of a friend in the village, someone I have known for a long time. She died within days of returning home from a fantastic holiday with her husband and sons. A brain tumour that had given her no warning also gave her no chance. The whole village has been rocked by it and [...]

Happy January – searching for a better way to manage 2018

By |2018-01-09T14:05:09+00:00January 5th, 2018|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , |

Hello - and a very Happy January to you all, I hope you've had a wonderful break. We had a lovely couple of weeks off despite being beset by illness and I'll tell you all about it in a 'midlife lately' post next week. In the meantime, I'm just popping up briefly. The boys don't go back to school until Monday and so I'm trying to be around while they're off. You see we were chatting over dinner one night [...]

Marrakech in 3 days with teenagers

By |2017-11-22T12:15:16+00:00November 7th, 2017|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Marrakech in 3 days with teenagers. Before we dive fully into Christmas madness, I thought you might like to join me for a few days of sunshine. As you know, we had a little trip to Marrakech last week. It was a plan that we came up with back in the spring when we realised that my 50th birthday was going to be somewhat subdued because it fell, as it has done all of my life, in exam season. Why [...]

Side stripe trousers, a great solution… and a midlife wedding

By |2017-10-06T17:26:24+01:00October 6th, 2017|Categories: Health, Midlife, Project Happier, Relationships, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I'm following on from my post about leather leggings with a focus on a different type of trouser. You see when I was down in London last week, I gambled on not having to stand up too much in my consultancy sessions. For once, I travelled light without 'street shoes' in my bag. It misfired. I was working with a larger team than expected and so I had to stand to enable everyone to hear (and see) me. We were [...]

On children growing away – how a stair carpet floored me

By |2018-01-08T16:54:33+00:00September 19th, 2017|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , , , |

As always, it's the small things that get under your skin isn't it? For the last couple of years, as I've descended the stairs I've been aware of a patch of carpet on our landing that has been getting thinner and thinner. Last week, it finally wore through. Of course the £1,000 plus that will be required to replace it is one of the reasons that I've been ignoring it- but it's more than that. The hole in the carpet [...]

A family holiday in Kalkan and what mattered most

By |2017-08-18T17:23:36+01:00August 18th, 2017|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello, I'm back! It's always a bit strange starting the first post after a holiday. It reminds me of the first day of term when you used to feel a bit nervous about going back to school even though you were going to be reunited with all of your friends. I hope you've had a good few weeks. I'm just going to write one post about our family holiday in Kalkan this time because I'm going away again next week [...]

Hope sale – and revisiting my past

By |2017-07-07T17:05:33+01:00July 7th, 2017|Categories: Family, Midlife, Relationships, Sale, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I have a late addition to the summer sales for you. Hope will be opening their sale tomorrow (Saturday 8th July) and I have a VIP preview which means you can go onto the site and snap up the bargains before everyone else. In preparation for the new stock arriving, they are having a huge clearout from past seasons and a lot of items are 70% off. It's a great opportunity to buy something of high quality at an amazing price. Here [...]

Simple 50th birthday celebrations

By |2018-01-08T17:02:44+00:00May 23rd, 2017|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Style|Tags: , , , , , |

Hello everyone. I'm just dropping in to share my simple 50th birthday celebrations with you but, before I do, I want to say a huge thank you for every single one of your kind wishes. I felt buffeted by love from every angle on Friday. Whenever I checked my phone there were new messages from different sources and I read every single one. It was absolutely wonderful and I'm so grateful to everyone who took the time to share a moment of the day [...]

How it feels to reach your 50th birthday

By |2018-05-18T15:13:22+01:00May 19th, 2017|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , |

So my friends, today's the day. I have achieved my half century. Everyone I've spoken to over the last couple of weeks has been asking me one question - how are you feeling about it? So I thought I'd try to articulate exactly how it feels to reach your 50th birthday. Prepare for one of those long streams of consciousness - it's been a while. You may need to make a cup of tea before you sit down with this [...]

Twelve things for Tuesday – and Mother’s Day weekend

By |2017-03-28T16:46:27+01:00March 28th, 2017|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Tuesday everyone. It looks as though I will be spending a disproportionate amount of time driving this week as I have meetings that range from the Scottish Border right down to the Midlands. So I am putting together a quick post with a few of the things that I have spotted recently that I think you'll like and I'm finishing off with a round up of Mother's Day weekend. Easter This is probably the last stretch of time that we [...]

Can you cure a lifelong phobia?

By |2019-08-09T16:31:13+01:00March 21st, 2017|Categories: Health, Midlife, Project Happier, Sale|Tags: , , , |

As you can see, I'm talking about something completely different today. A little while ago I mentioned that I have been having some treatment for a phobia and that I would discuss it when it was completed. Well today's the day. So, let me tell you more about it. My phobia is 'ornophobia' or a fear of birds. It not only covers the idea of them flapping around me or even being in my path when I walk through a [...]

Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother’s Day – Spring 2017

By |2017-03-10T14:42:06+00:00March 10th, 2017|Categories: Family, Gift ideas, Interiors|Tags: , , , |

Mother's Day (or Mothering Sunday as my mum would insist) is fast approaching in the UK. I always say it is one of my favourite days of the year, much nicer than a birthday because you have a lovely day without being any older. And as I'm writing this post, I'm smiling because a funny thing happened when we were having drinks with a group of friends after Christmas. As the women were discussing what presents they had unwrapped on Christmas Day, everything they [...]

Midlife loneliness – a follow up

By |2018-05-17T14:58:47+01:00March 3rd, 2017|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Wow that was quite a response to the last post on midlife loneliness! As I said at the outset, when I receive a cluster of emails on a particular topic, it suggests that something is going on at a wider level. I knew I could count on you to rally around Anna but what I didn't anticipate was the wonderful outpouring of empathy. I'm not going to write a long post today, partly because a power cut has wiped five hours off my [...]

Loneliness and the midlife woman – making new friends

By |2017-02-27T16:08:04+00:00February 27th, 2017|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , |

Since Christmas, I've had a few emails from readers about loneliness. When I get a number of emails on a particular topic I take it seriously because I know that for each woman that speaks out, there will be others in the same situation. There is one reader that I've been talking to who I am especially worried about. I have helped her as much as I can and she has asked me to raise loneliness as a topic on Midlifechic to [...]

Something for the weekend – beauty and books

By |2017-02-28T09:38:10+00:00February 24th, 2017|Categories: Accessories, Hair & Beauty, Project Happier|Tags: , , , , , , , |

I had such a horrendous time trying to get down to London through Storm Doris yesterday that I can't quite think straight today. So I'm bringing you one of those posts that pulls together all of the things I've been meaning to tell you about for a while. Actually I think beauty and books are a lovely combination for a thinking woman's weekend! Tried and Tested Beauty Products Now, I'm planning to write a full post on skincare for women over 40 next [...]

Spotlight on Baukjen… and midlife love

By |2018-01-08T17:06:04+00:00February 14th, 2017|Categories: Midlife, Product review, Project Happier, Retail Review, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I am very pleased to bring you the first of the spotlight posts. It's a big thank you to Baukjen for being the first brand to come on board as part of this series and I'm particularly pleased to be working with someone that I haven't featured before. I have only one Baukjen piece in my wardrobe and it is a jumpsuit that I bought in a hurry after seeing it featured in a magazine last year. For some reason [...]

What is midlife in the twenty-tens?

By |2018-01-15T15:39:07+00:00January 11th, 2017|Categories: Midlife, Project Happier|Tags: , , |

So, here we, are in the retail hiatus of January when there is very little in the shops worth looking at. That means it's time for us to get into some of the deeper issues you've been asking me to cover - such as what is midlife in the twenty-tens (as this decade is now being called) and how can we age well? It's going to be one of those long posts when you may need a whole pot of tea rather than [...]

Losing the extra pounds gained over Christmas and other things

By |2018-01-08T17:09:09+00:00January 4th, 2017|Categories: Christmas, Family, Health, Project Happier, Sale, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello and Happy New Year! I know I'm supposed to be full of perky new year's resolutions but I tend to see September as more of a time to start afresh than January. For me the decorations are down, the middle son has already gone back to school and this morning, I faced the scales which led me to a moment of self loathing because I've put on half a stone. However, when I look back at the fantastic Christmas we've had, I [...]

Christmas Party outfits for women over 40 and a Christmas tree farm

By |2018-01-08T17:10:29+00:00December 13th, 2016|Categories: Christmas, Family, Interiors, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It's getting closer....Our weekend was a rush of decorating and entertaining. Here's how it went. Festive Friday I was working at home for the day but then had to go to a client's drinks party. Although they were all wearing suits because they'd gone straight from the office, I felt fine wearing a jumpsuit. It's such a saviour for things like this...not too smart, not too casual, not too dressy... Jumpsuit - this year's version; Jigsaw ponyskin heels (past season); Necklace; Earrings [...]

How to have a fun Christmas with teenagers

By |2017-03-18T23:03:27+00:00December 9th, 2016|Categories: Christmas, Family, Project Happier|Tags: , , , |

Christmas is easy when they're little isn't it. They believe everything is magical and, although it's physically exhausting, you really don't have to think very hard. But then they grow, their wishes are for bigger things and yet they still dream of the magic so I've been thinking hard about how to have a fun Christmas with teenagers. My boys are utterly resistant to anything changing. For them, Christmas is steeped in tradition and last week we had to break it [...]

New boots and old friends – a great week!

By |2016-09-28T16:37:57+01:00September 27th, 2016|Categories: Project Happier, Shoes, Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Today I am pleased to be introducing you to Lotus, a small UK based shoe brand. Until they got in touch with me, I wasn't aware of them. As you know, at the moment I tend to rely on Boden, Marks and Spencer and occasionally Clarks for my everyday shoes and Jigsaw for the special ones. It's always good to add a new brand to your arsenal, especially when it's an affordable one. A little while ago we talked about [...]

What to consider when your son or daughter leaves for university

By |2017-08-25T16:07:22+01:00September 2nd, 2016|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships|Tags: , |

I know a lot of you are facing this as I was last year, the countdown to the day when your son or daughter leaves for university. They will be brimming over with anticipation as you brim with tears of dread. I thought it might be helpful to give you an idea of what to expect, not from an expert point of view, just from a fellow mum who has been through it. It is going to be hard for you, however [...]

Kefalonia with teenagers – Part Two

By |2017-06-09T16:11:43+01:00August 26th, 2016|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

So let's get on with the second instalment of "Kefalonia with teenagers." The first week of our holiday flew by. For a change of scene, we hopped onto the ferry that trundled into the harbour every morning and headed over towards the mainland for an afternoon. Prices were about 30% lower than in Fiscardo so we had an especially nice lunch and did a bit of kaftan shopping. The distinctive thrum of a Greek ferry engine transported me right back to [...]

A holiday in Kefalonia with teenagers – Part One

By |2017-06-09T16:10:53+01:00August 25th, 2016|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello - I'm back, it feels like a long time since I've posted. So - as a lot of you guessed, our mystery destination was Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands. I managed to keep it a secret until a few days before we left when I had to give the boys a small clue in case they read my last post. As it was with you, the one I chose was too easy - Hellas. In an instant they knew [...]

48 hours in Birmingham – British Shopping Cities

By |2016-07-22T15:35:05+01:00July 22nd, 2016|Categories: Project Happier, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Despite the fact that it is the UK's second city, until now my view of Birmingham has always been rather negative. The boys know it as the obstacle we have to pass before Mr MC will agree to stop on our journeys to London. I relate it to hellish exhibitions at the NEC - and to the time I got lost in my old banger on the way back to uni and ended up stuck in an endless loop of Spaghetti Junction (I was [...]

How to have a happy family holiday with teenagers

By |2016-07-08T21:36:32+01:00July 8th, 2016|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Relationships, Sale, Travel|Tags: , , |

I had an email last week from a reader, Sue, asking about how to have a happy family holiday with teenagers. She said “you seem to manage to really enjoy your holidays with your boys. When my two were little I used to look forward to them being bigger, I imagined that holidays would be more relaxing but actually I find them really stressful. Now that they're both teenagers they just seem to be bored and we end up having [...]

Summer in the city – what to wear

By |2017-04-28T09:37:57+01:00June 10th, 2016|Categories: Project Happier, Sale, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I think summer in the city is one of the hardest things to get right sartorially. I'm casting my mind back to my commuting days, heading into the urban heat island of London and seeing the yellow haze of smog hanging over the city as the train approached Waterloo. A hot city is a harsh environment but wearing the right clothes, whether you're a tourist or a native, can make all the difference to how you cope with the day so, summer [...]

Two days in Paris, the city of love

By |2016-10-26T10:21:32+01:00May 27th, 2016|Categories: Project Happier, Relationships, Style, Travel|Tags: , , , , , |

Paris is always a good idea - you'll be pleased to know that our trip was good. So good in fact that I've had to break it up into 3 consecutive posts, Paris by day followed by 2 Parisian nights. So, how do you spend two days in Paris when you already know the city well? You revisit a few of your favourite places and make the rest up as you go along. This was our weekend... When we woke up on [...]

Paris is still a good idea…

By |2016-05-19T15:14:45+01:00May 19th, 2016|Categories: Project Happier, Travel|Tags: , |

  Hello. It's my birthday today. I've had a fabulous morning; my usual breakfast was replaced with a bowl of floral gum sweets (courtesy of the youngest) and I've received a bounty of good wishes from so many people that I feel utterly happy and truly blessed. I have lots of style ideas to talk to you about (and I will end with a list of style posts) but today I'm writing one of my wordy pieces because tomorrow we're going to Paris. I thought [...]

Simple t-shirts with the luxe factor

By |2017-03-18T22:21:23+00:00May 10th, 2016|Categories: Style|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

You may remember that we were going to the Hacienda Classical concert on Sunday. Before I tell you a little bit about it I'll explain why I wanted to do this post. The event was going to be outside. I had planned what I was going to wear in advance and it consisted of lots of layers that I could take on and off. Then, as you'll know, the sun came out unexpectedly in the UK last weekend and it [...]

12 things to do before you’re 50

By |2016-05-06T14:54:11+01:00May 6th, 2016|Categories: Project Happier|Tags: , |

"12 things to do before you're 50 - where did that come from?" you're thinking. Well you see after a disappointing start, we had a surprisingly lovely Bank Holiday weekend. As the weather turned bad, all plans were cancelled but instead we had a series of spontaneous get togethers with close friends and family. They're always the best ones. Of course with it being the first weekend in May, conversations soon turned to my approaching birthday - the last one of [...]

Why I Walked Away From My Midlife Career

By |2017-01-10T16:42:39+00:00March 11th, 2016|Categories: Family, Midlife, Project Happier, Work life balance|Tags: , , , , |

Given that this is primarily a style blog, I was amazed by the interest and debate that my work life balance posts provoked. There are obviously so many of us in one of two positions - struggling to maintain a career and the needs of a family or struggling to find our sense of purpose as an educated stay at home mum. I've been really touched by the many stories that you've shared with me either privately or publicly over [...]

Midlife love, celebrations and Project Happier #5

By |2017-03-18T15:08:52+00:00February 11th, 2016|Categories: Family, Project Happier, Travel|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Ta dah! Welcome to the new look Midlifechic. Mr MC has laboured hard so that it would be ready in time for its second birthday but we know there will be glitches. It  will take until Saturday 13th to flush through fully in the meantime, if you're reading on Bloglovin please could you view this post directly on my blog here just this once and let me know what you think and also if there are any viewing or technical [...]

Chilling out with my boys – Project Happier

By |2016-02-06T20:29:29+00:00February 6th, 2016|Categories: Family|Tags: , , , , , |

Just a very quick hello from me to say that after another hectic week I'm unplugging this weekend and spending some time with my boys including the prodigal son who has returned for the weekend.   (wearing Boden cashmere v neck, Jigsaw dark denim shirt, Claudia Bradbury necklace and for the eagle eyed, the only reason I don't have my wedding ring on is because I've been to the gym and it's still in my bag, fear not)! No fatted [...]

Uniqlo Spring 2016 review and Project Happier #4

By |2016-01-30T17:38:22+00:00January 30th, 2016|Categories: Project Happier, Retail Review, Style|Tags: , , , , , , |

We've nearly made it to the end of January which has to be the toughest month. Actually it would have been tougher for me if I hadn't been doing Project Happier - although I've stumbled at times, it's kept me focused. Today is my first day of not working for 12 days and I apologise if you were looking out for my adventure with my reader Sarah on Instagram on Thursday but all my plans had to be changed at the last [...]

Next, Boden and Jaeger – great new season & sale buys

By |2018-01-23T16:37:33+00:00January 22nd, 2016|Categories: Sale, Style|Tags: , , , , , , |

Everyone I speak to seems to have had 'one of those weeks.' It makes you wonder whether all the media hype about Blue Monday brings it to fruition. I knew it was coming but my work week has been tougher than I anticipated. We have a number of big exhibitions and launches coming up on top of our usual workload and these are the times when I really miss my days of working for big corporations with large teams. As Head [...]

“Project Happier” for a Midlife new year

By |2016-01-03T18:30:17+00:00January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Family, Project Happier|Tags: , |

So, here we are, in a bright shiny new year, how are you feeling? I usually hate January but I'm feeling really quite excited about the year ahead. I'm full of new ideas for Midlifechic, in the background a stylish makeover is being prepared for the site and I've decided to give my old editorial skills a brush up and start including some new areas for discussion alongside our perennial quest for chic. Lots of you have written to me over [...]

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