Christmas is a time of tradition where we gather as families and celebrate. But it is also perhaps one of the moments that loss is highlighted most intensely and although happy memories of the past can help fill the gap the death of a loved one leaves behind, personally I find that grief is embedded in the daily celebrations and the fairly recent loss of both my parents is profound. However it is my mother that I miss the most at this time as year, as Christmas along with all its' preparations, from decorations, present wrapping, shopping to the provision of food was very much her domaine.
After my mothers death four years ago we found an old recipe for a Christmas cake that had been hand written by her in December 1960 and used the following two years. The 1961 bake was exactly one month before my birth and was the moment my parents moved into the house where I was born, the house that for the next twenty years was the family home. What struck me most about this handwritten recipe is not only the fact that mum was attempting a bake a cake whilst moving into a dilapidated victorian house and eight months pregnant, but also the incredibly methodical way in which it had been recorded. Beside each ingredient, she wrote the exact cost in old shillings and pence. It cost exactly £1! A fine example of good house keeping from a bygone age.
I was thrilled to find this souvenir from over fifty years ago and decided it would be a wonderful way to remember my mum by baking the same cake at the same time of year .
It was a really cathartic experience and one I shared with my twenty five year old daughter who also found the baking healing and great way to remember her grandmother. It is now the second year on the run that we've made this cake together and I wanted to share both the idea and recipe with you. It has definitely helped me cope with the grief of missing my mother in a positive way and provides a wonderful cake into the bargain. The only down side is when you calculate the cost of the same ingredients in 2017!
Reviewing "Fabulous Prime"
What are primers ?
Primers are fairly new products that have recently been introduced into makeup ranges to camouflage common signs of ageing. Primers smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and fill open pores, giving the skin a smoother, silkier, younger feel and look.
How to apply "Fabulous Prime"
Fabulous Prime is a primer specifically made for the face. Apply after the application of your moisturiser (make sure you leave a few minutes for your moisturiser to soak in) and before the application of your foundation. Start by putting a small amount on your finger tips and lightly apply moving from the centre of your face, using upwards and outwards movements.
There is an excellent tutorial on youtube that actually shows you how to apply this product.
Feel good after fifty's product review:
This product is rather amazing. It looks invisible and feels like silk. It instantly changed the feel of my skin when I applied it. It smoothed on incredibly easily and my fine lines and wrinkles were instantly diminished. It really did make me look younger! It was really hot when I was applying my makeup and after applying foundation on top of the fabulous prime I needed to dab my face with a dry tissue to cool off, the primer held the makeup in place, and the tissue was practically spotless. I had a really nice matt finish to my makeup which looked beautifully natural. I asked my husband what he thought as he really doesn't like heavy makeup and I had his enthusiastic seal of approval too!
First things first: Packaging
When you are ordering goods from the internet, packaging is important. The "Look Fabulous Forever" makeup range arrived in a really sturdy silver padded envelope, that was extremely well sealed. No problems with breakage here, everything inside was in perfect condition. This is important as we are all far to busy (aren't we) to waste time sending items back! However, the returns address is very clearly marked on the back of the envelope so you feel, it there had been a mishap during transportation, you would know immediately where to return your package. Inside the makeup was tissue wrapped in a chic thick paper black carrier, so it would make an ideal present for a friend. The bag is sturdy enough to recycle and use again for another purpose, something I love to do in this throw away world.
The makeup is well labeled and stylishly packaged in blue and silver and inside it's stored in chic, easily manageable containers.
When I saw an advert for "Look Fabulous Forever" make up, something inspired me to click on it!
I ended up watching a few of Trica Cusden's (the managing director at LFF makeup) tutorials, and I was fascinated to discover some new techniques for applying makeup, along with a presentation especially geared to older women.
Something I particularly liked was that Trica was using women who weren't models to demonstrate her makeup techniques.
This instantly helps one feel more connected to what she is saying and gives a realistic visual of the results you can attain when applying the makeup. Some of these women were long standing friends which I thought was a lovely idea,an idea I also employ on the Feel Good After Fifty website. Trica is so natural and genuine that I felt for the first time that it would be interesting to review this makeup brand.
A change of blouse
The silk blouse The necklace
3/4 Black coat Polka dots & circles
Introducing brown suede
Suede jacket The necklace
The boots 1960's
The designer dress
The dress The bag
The gloves The attitude!
Welcome to the "Get The Look" section. Here we feature real women with normal lives. The media constantly subjects us to images of celebrities, pop stars, film stars and it girls .Magazines encourage women to "Get the Look".
The "Feel Good After Fifty" website aims to present a more realistic approach to the concept of "look getting". The celebrities pictured in magazines, have often had, beauty treatments to prepare and plump up their skins, stylists to select their clothes, top designers lending the clothes for the fashion shoot and after all that expert help, a professional photographer and some airbrushing before going into print. How on earth could any normal woman from "real life" be possibly expected to "get this look" ?
This section aims to introduce ladies with natural grace and style, who have prepared themselves for a few photos and been kind enough to invite us into their private wardrobes and share their own beauty, fashion and tips for life with us.
It will provide you will simple solutions to looking amazing and illustrate how choosing items of clothing carefully will give you the scope to dress well, and change your image with ease.
A short interview is published after each feature.
Lisa is a lady who has natural elegance, grace, style and class. She looks impeccable whilst managing a busy lifestyle. Bringing up four children, running a house and working is no easy feat but Lisa manages to look stylish, fresh and beautiful . In this feature we illustrate how a variety of looks can be achieved with a small number of expertly selected clothes. Lisa will be passing on her personal style tips along the way.
Lisa has done her own make up and has a very natural look.
She applied a little fake tan as a base then waited 20 minutes for it to develop. This gives her complexion a healthy glow and camouflages minor imperfections. She has then used a little moisturiser. Some blusher has been brushed on in a soft pink tone. Black eye-liner has been carefully drawn on to the upper eye lid. Two coats of matt black mascara and a little lip gloss in candy pink finish off the look beautifully.
Note that on Lisa's skin tones with the fake tan base she has applied, neither foundation or concealer have been needed!
Lisa has selected some essential items of clothing from her wardrobe.
A pair of jet black jeans are an essential base for the following smart, casual looks.
They are highly versatile, flattering and practical.
Black suede gloves Black leather bag
A stylish leather belt in black adds a finishing touch!
Ethnic bangles Statement necklace
Pearl earrings Sunglasses
White & black contrasts The "it " bag
The collar The cross over front detail
Let's add the coats!
3/4 Black coat Focus on the collar detail
Green suede Softer tones
As a birthday present my children have treated me to a manicure and gel nails! I'm excited and have decided to make this a blog post if anyone is tempted by the idea, but like me, is wondering what it all involves?
My manicurist Pascale explains that she is going to use OPI products and that the gel nails should last for about three weeks.
She inspects the condition of my nails and remarks that they are weak and flaky, this means they are not an ideal base!
The first step is to remove any grease or remains of old varnish from the nails to maximise the adherence. She uses a colourless remover and wipes each nail with a cotton pad.
The nails are then filed with a large grain file, then a fine grain file. The nail ridges are removed to leave a flat surface.
The finger tips are then soaked in warm soapy water to soften the cuticles and make sure the nails are completely clean, they are then tidied up with the cuticle remover.
Now comes the fun bit, selecting the right colour! It's advisable to think about this choice carefully. Whatever shade you choose ,it's going to be semi-permanent for the next few weeks!
I decided to co-ordinate with my ring, choosing a deep bordeaux winter shade of red.
A base coat is applied, which is a clear varnish but needs to be fixed with UV light to harden it.
The UV fixation takes 60 seconds for each hand .
Just like a normal manicure after the base coat comes two coats of coloured polish and a top coat. However, each layer needs fixing under the UV light. It turns out to be quite a lengthy process taking well over an hour.
I'm pleased with the result but only a week later I have already lost three of the nails on my right hand! The colour just peeled off and I had to patch it up with matching normal nail varnish!
I had been warned that my nails were not really strong enough for this process so perhaps this is the reason. I'm not sure I will be bothering to go through the process again though as it seems quite expensive to only last a week!
The nails that haven't peeled look fabulous, so perhaps it's worth investing in a DYI home kit. I think it would be far more cost effective and practical for repairing the odd chip or peeling nail.
As winter draws to an end, it's typically a time of year when you feel tired, run down, lacking in energy and even depressed. Here are a few ideas to re-energise and bring positive vibrations back into your day!
Celebrate Valentines Day!
Don't let February 14th slip by without a celebration. Spread the love, serve a pink dinner, drink pink champagne or simply show someone you love them. However you choose to celebrate it's a great excuse for a bit of fun! ©
Welcome the Chinese New Year!
February 2014 marks the beginning of the Chinese year of the Wooden Horse. Traditionally the Chinese celebrate this time of year by eating fish because the Chinese word for fish sounds like their word for laughter. The food served represents positive aspects of Chinese life, for example sticky rice represents relationships and togetherness. It is a time for settling debts, clearing out and generally getting ones life in order to start the new year in a positive frame of mind. It's another great excuse to get motivated and celebrate! ©
Exercise & feel better!
One of the best ways to re-energise is by becoming more active. This can be as simple as finding time to take a brisk walk preferably in a beautiful, natural environment, or alternatively it could be a catalyst to try something completely new.
Water sports can be particularly invigorating, producing a real "feel-good factor." Aqua bike or Water Spinning is the latest craze, burning around 800 calories per session. ©
The Website for women with a fun but not frivolous feel