T’was the week before Christmas… and I looked at my diary only to realise that I have blithely arranged for an awful lot of festive gatherings to take place… all through our house. I’m not quite sure how that happened but I have some serious food prepping to do. So, as I will shortly be mutating from Midlifechic to Midlifechef, my last post will have to be a quick one. I’m starting with a quick winter sale edit because if I don’t look now, I’ll miss out too …

Winter sale edit: best Boden buys

V vamp shoes are with us for another year. Boden’s snow leopard print works with everything and this heel is so easy to walk in.

Winter sale edit

Pony v vamp courts40% off

Glitter is not just for Christmas – a subtle flash like this will give you a lift right through the winter.

Winter sale edit

Glitter heel boots; 40% off

Classic chic going out shoes. Wear them with a party dress obviously but also with jeans and a top for an easy glamour.

Winter sale edit

Glitter party shoes; 40% off

I’m not a huge fan of leopard but I do like leopard shoes. I have them in varying heights so that there is always a pair to wear with an all black outfit.

Winter sale edit

Elegant leopard court; 30% off

This has great reviews and will work all year round. I’m confused as to why it hasn’t sold out – also available in ivory.

Winter sale edit

Going out top; 50% off

Best Finery winter sale buys

We’ve already discussed this top, it’s now in the sale. Grey with a purple hue in a great, winter-weight, washable velvet.

Winter sale edit

Velvet top; 30% off

My current favourite going out top – how can it be 50% off? The only thing I would say is that if you have a large chest you’ll need to size up.

Winter sale edit

Cobalt lace top; 50% off

I have this leather jacket. It’s high quality and British made – a simple, chic navy biker.

Winter sale edit

Navy leather jacket; 30% off

I also have these shoes, they’re pretty, comfortable and easy to walk in. I’ve featured them a lot so I won’t say any more

Winter sale edit

Ruffle shoes; 50% off

Finery is a brilliant place to buy jewellery, especially in the sale. I have these earrings and they’re an easy way to mix your metals.

Winter sale edit

Ball earrings; 50% off

I also have these boots – in fact I’m wearing them in a picture further down.

Winter sale edit

Snake ankle boots; 50% off

Best Baukjen winter sale buys

I have this top in white and can recommend it. It’s a way of doing the cold shoulder without having to rearrange your neckline constantly.

Winter sale edit

Simple cold shoulder top 45% off (also in grey, damson or white)

I mentioned these striped breton style tops last week – great length, great quality.

Winter sale edit

Everyday top; 40% off (also available in pink)

Beautiful quality shirt (I have the blue striped version). The sleeves fold back easily so you can slip your coat on.

Winter sale edit

Statement sleeve blouse; 25% off

A lighter star knit with a flattering neckline in an easy to wear cream colour.

Winter sale edit

Star knit with slash neck; 45% off

House of Fraser Sale

I have kept mentioning this Jaeger coat which I originally wished I had chosen when I was invited down to Jaeger last year. In the end I’m now really pleased that I chose the bright red one – I’ve been wearing it a lot and you’ll see it below in the snow. However this was the one that most other bloggers chose and it has not left my mind. It was reduced from £399 to £300 last week and so I ordered it in navy because stock was low. Of course I look today and they have restocked plus it has been reduced again. Grrr! However I will just point out that this is one of the few styles that is still left from the original Jaeger stock before Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought the brand and the quality changed. A very high quality coat from what was an iconic British brand at a great price.

Winter sale edit

Classic camel Jaeger boyfriend coat; (also in navy here)

House of Fraser have a huge sale on, you can find more here.

Winter sale edit: other sales worth visiting

Hope Fashion here

Jigsaw here

Whistles here

Pure Collection cashmere sale here

Clarks here

John Lewis price match hub here

Midlife lately

Betsy from Oklahoma got in touch recently to say that reading my blog reminds her of the movie ‘The Holiday’. I don’t think she was referring to me as either Kate Winslet or Cameron Diaz, it was the village scenes that she likes and she asked for more. Now, like a proper Christmas fairy, that is one wish I can grant so here you go Betsy – lots of rural backdrops for you.

It has been glorious winter weather – cold and frosty with snow capped hills. There is nowhere in the world that I would rather live when it’s like this and you can make the most of roaring fires and cosy knits. Come along with me.

A night away with Mr MC

Two weekends ago we were invited to review a country inn that has just been refurbished on the Scottish border. I’ll be telling you all about it in the new year but in the meantime, here I am, stepping from England into Scotland.

knitted dress, women over 40

Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo wool coat (g) sold out; Grey jumper dress; Boden boots (very old); Tricolor tote

This gives you a better idea of the jumper dress which has been such a great thing to wear recently. It’s a soft, non-itchy knit in a loose style with seams at the front to give it shape.

chunky grey sweater dress

Dress; Hope scarf (past season)

This was when we were exploring the area the following day. I wouldn’t usually have my photo taken in a graveyard but I was so impressed by the size of these stones and the long family histories that are inscribed upon them. It is rumoured locally that King Arthur lies in this churchyard. It was a sunny but bitterly cold day and we had to go into the shade to take the photograph – Mr MC was telling me to stop looking so frozen!

Baukjen pink jumper

Jumper; Black Jeans (now in the sale); Leopard boots (g)

We made it home on the Sunday in time for Father Christmas’s annual visit to the village. He rides through the streets on his sleigh and brings oranges for all of the children.

rotary father Christmas

The garden centre

This was one of those days when the youngest had been off school for a while with a bad chest. He was getting better so he was bored. When he was little (in fact until last year) a trip to our local garden centre with all of its Christmas displays was a big treat. Of course now that he is fourteen, when I suggested it the idea was met with an eye roll… until a couple of hours later when he sidled up to me and suggested that he wouldn’t mind coming with me if I really wanted to go… and of course when we got there he happily tucked into a cake and a milkshake at the café!

Hush wrap (past season); Jumper (g); Boden jeans (past season); M&S Chelsea boots (past season); Whistles bag (past season)

A trip to the theatre

We had a fabulous night out at The Shakespeare Schools Festival where the middle son was performing in a very contemporary adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I wonder if you can guess which part he played? Not that I’m saying he was typecast…

Shakespeare Schools Festival

Yes he was Bottom and he played the part as a DJ with a broad Northern accent. I must admit he was funny – in fact he brought the house down at certain points.

Christmas tree shopping

The following weekend Mr MC and I popped out early on a Saturday morning to pick up some Christmas bits and pieces and it started to snow which felt very festive. Rather impractically I was wearing my new pale gold boots which were a bargain and always seem to bring a smile to everyone’s face.


Jaeger coat (gAW16); Cable knit jumper (gAW17); Boden jeans (past season); Gold Boots; Mulberry bag (past season)

Sadly the snow had stopped by the time we got back to pick the boys up. As you know we have a tradition of going to a local farm to choose a tree. It was pretty muddy…

Christmas tree farm

…we come every year purely because we have such a lot of fun doing it. Within minutes the boys regress into daft behaviour…

Midlifechic and son

… I have no idea what the middle one was doing behind me – taking the mickey out of his brother I suspect.

Christmas tree farm

Cable knit jumper (g)

We couldn’t find a tree that was strong enough to hold our baubles securely so we decided to get a little one for the garden and the youngest flexed his muscles digging it up.

Christmas tree farm

I think this was some kind of male bonding moment… even Gary is looking macho.


One last rural view for you Betsy… a real English winter’s day with the sun glinting on the ice.

Christmas tree farm

A business Christmas lunch

And that brings us up to last week and a work Christmas lunch. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that Mr MC was utterly disorganised when it came to his obligatory Christmas jumper. He ran into Sainsbury’s five minutes before it started, bought this Santa hat and t-shirt and still walked away with the annual trophy – typical!

Mal and Nikki Garnett

Jingle Belle top

More Christmas shopping

This was last Saturday and another Christmas shopping trip. Here’s a close up of one of my carefully road tested cross-body bags for everyone who has asked for one. I’m wearing a jumper with rose gold sequins that I picked up when we were in Sainsbury’s too – this isn’t sponsored by them by the way. I can’t find it online but there were lots in store and it was only £20.

navy crossbody bag

Navy cross-body bag; two pocket coat

Another rural scene for you…

blue crossbody bag

Coat; Sainsbury’s jumper; Jeans; Boots; Cross-body bag;

Last orders for bags

… and one last village shot. This was yesterday when we popped out to take some of the last bag orders to the Post Office. We’ve had an influx of orders from men over the last few days so I hope you are one of the lucky recipients. Tomorrow is the last posting day so you’ll have to nudge your nearest and dearest hard and direct them here if you want one. This pale gold sequinned skirt is now in the sale. It has an elasticated waist…just saying!


Soft crew neck jumper; gold sequin skirt (g AW17 now in the sale); Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo coat (g AW17 sold out); Hope scarf (sold out); Clarks ankle boots (past season)

Let the festivities commence…

And so that brings us up to date. Christmas starts properly here tomorrow night with the village carol service and yes, I am performing in the choir. We do not make a particularly lovely sound but we compensate for it with enthusiasm. The moment when we begin the descant to “O Come All Ye Faithful” in our beautiful old saxon church is when Christmas comes flooding in for me. Afterwards we’ll all head to the village pub for a couple of drinks (after which we would probably sound a lot better – we should do it the other way round)!

Thursday is the eldest’s 21st birthday. He is catching the last train home from London and so we will all be at the station to meet him when it comes in. I can’t wait to see him. It’s the first time since he was born that I haven’t spent the whole day with him so there will be a lot to make up for when I give him that first hug. Then the younger two finally break up on Friday and we will be going to the lovely independent cinema in Ambleside for pizza followed by Star Wars. I am hoping that the force will be sufficiently with me to keep me awake throughout the whole movie…

On Saturday I will be cooking all day so that we can go out to the panto on Sunday (oh yes we will…) and then, of course, it will be Christmas Day. I’m aiming to post it all on Instagram so join me @midlifechic.

Thinking of you…

Midlifechic has had a wonderful year and without you, none of the highlights would have happened. Without you reading and interacting with this blog, our community wouldn’t be getting the attention that it is… and I wouldn’t have worked with the retailers that I’ve been involved with both here and behind the scenes. And if you hadn’t voted for me, I wouldn’t be an award winner. So thank you… for your time, your inspiration and your endless encouragement. I believe more than ever that we can change the landscape for midlifers and so I look forward to continuing that journey with you next year. Who knows where we’ll end up?

Until then, I hope every moment of your Christmas is filled with joy, love and laughter. See you next year!

Disclosure: ‘Winter sale edit’ is not a sponsored post

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