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Thursday, 30 July 2020

What To Wear To The Pub


Hello my lovelies!

Well it’s true to say you haven’t been seeing much outfitage here lately. 
I’ve been generally going through a period of outfit apathy. 
Yes, I have still been wearing clothes, I haven’t gone naturist!
But daily dressing has been rather perfunctory of late.  I guess I’ve been occupied with other stuff. 

I thought things might change as my social life expands again post-lockdown.
I thought meeting up with The Sibs and neighbours for some live music at my local
would kick start things again. 


But it didn’t.  It was raining and we were walking to the pub so footwear had to be practical.  I chose the Ecco sandals I bought in Roskilde, Denmark some years ago.  Comfy and with a little wedge.  I need a little arch support for walking. 


Jeans, of course.   Walking, pub, precipitation chill  = Jeans.


My top just had to be black.  Felt right for the night.  
I started with a black lace cami, then tried several tops over it.  A shortish black linen ruffled blouse was a serious contender.  But something called me from the lurkings in the wardrobe and it was this oh so simple black loose tunic. 
Something to wear and forget about. 
And it was the right choice. 

I’m easy to spot, only 3 dancers!

If I’d been wearing little socks I would have danced them off!
I was Murder On The Dancefloor, in my head anyway. 
As soon as the band started strumming and thumping I was there, on the dance floor, oblivious to the fact that there was only me, a mum and her son there for a large part of the night.
I danced like no one was watching.
And had I been wearing that little ruffled blouse that dynamic would have changed.  I would have been conscious of watching people.  I would have been fidgeting with thar top all night, fearful of making the slightest move that would expose my tum or bum to what turned out to be a mostly passive crowd.   And that would not have been a good night.

After what seemed an eternity, the passives started mingling on the dance area and only then would my fiddley little linen blouse been ok for the night. 
So a plain old long hi-lo tunic was the right choice for a good night at the pub.  Yay me!


If the music is right for me, I’m like a Duracell bunny on the dance floor.
You too?
And what’s your choice of clobber for the pub?  If you’re out of lockdown, that is.
Or perhaps you don’t go to pubs, and I have to say this is relatively new to me.  It’s a post-lockdown going-back-to-basics thing.  After four months of a simpler life, it’s one of the keeping-things-local changes I’ve made.

Is it just me who at 70 enjoys a good night down at the local?  Covid permitting of course. 


A la perchoine,
Mary x.  



Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Simple Summer Salad

Hello my lovelies!

Oh my, just seen, I’ve been absent for a few days.  It’s been busy at Chez Pout these past few days and I guess I’m still adjusting to having social come back into my life again.  You too?  Or are you in lockdown right now?

So whilst I reassemble all the numerous draft posts and ideas I thought it would be nice to kick things off again with food.  Is there a better place to start?!




I made this extremely simple salad last week. 
I love this sort of easy goodness in summer and with increasing social activity which invariable involves some form of eating, quick, simple and clean food is what my body needs for
meals at home. 


This dish is so simply it’s rather embarrassing to give it a recipe but here goes ...

Finely slice a couple of sticks of rinsed celery and a small red onion, and stir all together with half a tin of drained chick peas. (I put the other half of the tin in a huge vegetable curry.)
Stir in a homemade vinaigrette*, top with some fresh shredded herbs. And Bob’s your uncle!

This quantity gave me meals for two days, whilst TP are things sautĂ©ed, cream sauced and potatoed - it’s HIM who should have the weight problem!


 I used basil in this salad as my indoor basil plant is going crazy at the moment.  I’m doing something right and I think that is that I replanted it from small supermarket pot to something a little larger, placed the pot in a bowl and then I’ve been religiously watering it by pouring water into the bowl, not the pot - I think basil prefers it’s watering that way.  And I think giving the plant room to grow was the other essential of this winning formula. 
I’m hoping I can remember what I did right next time I buy a potted basil. 


I chopped in the delicious fronds from the top of the celery stalk - I love the oomph these leaves bring to a dish. 

*My vinaigrette dressing  is simple.  I make it in old chutney and jam jars, whatever is clean and to hand.  I put in some red wine vinegar, add 3 times thar amount of olive oil,  then flavour with salt, pepper, a teaspoon of whole grain mustard and a squeeze of honey then pop the lid on and shake it all together till it emulsifies.   I shove the pot in the fridge and use if it most days. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks but in my house it’s always used up way before then!

What’s your favourite vinaigrette recipe?


A la perchoine,
Maey x 

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Nioxin Thinning Hair Treatment


Hello my lovelies!

In my last post I talked about taking care of my appearance post lockdown and one landmark event was having my hair cut after four months in Covid-induced Isolation.

Fortunately something I did address in lockdown was my thinning hair.

My cousin recommended a treatment for thinning hair.
So I bought myself a starter kit and got with the programme last November..


Of course I took before shots.


The fringe is thin as it's the front and top that’s noticeably thinning. 


I tried a comb over side fringe but it was clear that it wasn’t a winning solution as it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul  eh. 

Looking at these pics I realise now that I should have taken a top of head shot.  Oops


The treatment comprises of a shampoo, conditioner and a scalp and root treatment that’s massaged on after the hair has been towel dried.



On

When I had a Christmas meal with my cousin a month after starting the treatment she noticed tufts of new hair has already come through and yes, I could see that too! 


Look closely.  Fine strands had appeared in the thinning area. 


Then they grew longer. 


And integrated into the hair eventually.  
I can feel the shorter hairs at the top of my head now but it’s nigh on impossible to demonstrate the growth in pictures, so you will have to trust me on this one. 

 Anyway my cousin said that had happened to her too (and her partner started calling her Tufty!)  
So it seemed to be working.   Even now I can feel the shorter hair strands, much longer now of course 



What I’d also noticed as clearer evidence was the reduced amount of hair on my brush.   I comb loose hair off my paddle brush weekly.  I used to comb off a chunk of hair the size and density of a rather corpulent hamster.   Now it’s a wispy clump.  This pic was taken soon after using the treatment.  
I now comb off an even lesser amount of hair, so that is my ongoing evidence that this product is working for me.


And this is where we are now.  The tufty strands have now integrated and are currently about 4-5 inches long. 
It's difficult to gauge whether my hair is thickening with the new hair, but my yardstick is my hairbrush and reduced hair loss has got be a good thing!
NB: this pic is a -straight from the hairdresser thrice-washed- pic with no volumising products added, which I frequently use.


The starter kit is available on Amazon, but first you need to find out what type of treatment you need.

So if you’re interested in this product, follow the link  

HERE

to complete the questionnaire to find out which product suits your hair type.

It's possible that this treatment may not work for everyone but it worked for my cousin.  It worked for me.
My hair brush says it all!

Toni and Guy salons stock the Nioxin range and it’s available on Amazon (link below).
All three products are needed, you only apply a small amount each time, and they last for simply ages.
And on that point I must add that since I've been using Nioxin my hair has stayed cleaner and fresher for longer, so I now wash every 4 days.


I hope this post has made some sense, as it's difficult to prove growing hair!
If you do try Nioxin, please let me know how it goes eh.
In fact a blogger I know has started using it so I’ll found out how things have gone for her.


Is thinning hair something that’s happening to you?


A la perchoine,
Mary.



This product has been effective for me personally. In writing this post I am not guaranteeing its efficacy for all.



Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Self-care Hair

Hello my lovelies!

I don’t know about you but I don’t take good care of myself on a normal day.  But give a girl four months of lockdown and I looked positively neglected by the end of it.  In fact I was close to reporting myself to the authorities for self-neglect!  So in the last few weeks I’ve been making some effort to start loving myself with some right royal pampering.


One of the things that needed attention was my hair.

After

I’ve been happy to let it grow during lockdown.  And I didn’t rush to the hairdresser when things were lifted over here as I quite liked the longer length.

Before

In recent weeks  my fringe needed a tidy. So I hacked at it with kitchen scissors  
My hairdresser glossed over that. 


The look of a crazed Mary Scissorhand after being let loose with kitchen scissors!

 The morning of The Cut 

But this no-make and exasperated pic says it all.  It desperately needed a trim and a bit of chopping in on top and that hacked fringe need sorting!


So I took my hair mess to our local Toni and Guy and it got a good work over.  
I look a bit more presentable now. 


I have fine hair but lots of it.  Normally.
But in recent years I’d noticed it thinning on top and the result is of course that my hair doesn't  have the bulk it once had. 
My mum had thinning hair on top and I used to do her hair in a way so as to cover up the thinning spots and that seemed to work. I can’t do that with mine as it’s long but anyway, I guess a certain president has sabotaged the comb over for the rest of us!   
Thinning hair is hereditary in our family as my cousin had suffered from the same issue as I and Toni and Guy recommended a hair treatment to combat this.  My cousin had used it a few years and suggested I give it a go too. 

I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.  How’s that for a cliff hanger?!

Meantime, have you been hacking at your hair?
How has it turned out? 

And what kind of style are you favouring right my now?


A la perchoine,
Mary x. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Underpinnings



Hi my lovelies!

Underpinnings.  Don’t you just love that word?
I’ve  heard American bloggers use it to describe underwear and it describes their function pretty well, for without the right underpinnings your dress, top, trousers just aren’t going to look their best.
Knickers need to give a firm hold with no VPL.
Bras need to lift and give a smooth line under slinkier closer fitting tops, especially if of jersey fabric. 

Cleavage bras have had their day in my underwear wardrobe and in recent years the T shirt bra has been the thing, solely because we all know what they really are for eh -  nipple cover!
 I have to say I’ve become pretty reliant on these over the years but all mine were underwired.
In the last year I’ve found underwiring to be uncomfortable - the wires start to move and rub little holes in the casing and eventually break out and poke out.  And there is no amount of good stitching that can keep those pesky wires permanently encased once break out happens.   Do you find that?


Wire break out became more and more an issue for me of late so I made the bold decision to go wireless and eventually in lockdown I found myself using my bonus time to go on a mission.
I used my time to assess my bra situation.
Despite having a huge (embarrassing huge) stash of bras,  I really had no wireless bras to speak of.
So I went on a hunt which resulted in bra restocking, my only clothes spend in probably 6 months or so.

And of course I headed to M&S - they are the go-to for British ladies’ underwear shopping eh?
And my blogger friend and reader Terri and many other Americans have started buying the brand too as M&S does so much more than just good underwear.

So enough waffle, I went WiFi the bra department so let’s see what wireless underpinnings I invested in.

My starting point was to find bras in nude and white neutrals, the base for any underwear wardrobe..


£18 for the two, up to E cup

These transitioned me well from T shirt bras, still a slightly padded bra giving nipple coverage and with a pretty lace insert. 
So I got those and some of their plain modal knickers in nude, white and black as some of my oldies had become tatty in the elastic areas 

And if I’m brutally honest here, Covid-19 highlighted more than ever that one never knows when one is going to be hospitalized and that old adage of always wearing good (and matching!) underwear in case you get run over by a bus became even more relevant in lockdown. 

Then my eyes strayed to this prettiness. 


£20, goes up to even G cup I think, so perfect for we larger ladies. 

So I bought this pretty black bralette, a new thing which mainly seems to be a bra which extends below the immediate bust line.  This one has a modest extension.  And ladies, this one is the Goldilocks bra!

It gives a lovely soft shape and is my absolute favourite, though as it’s not padded I’ve had to retrain myself in nipple alignment.  It seems to have been a lost art in the T shirt era as with those we can simply wear and forget where those nipples have strayed.  And it’s in photos that, too late. one discovers asymmetrical nippleage eh ladies?  After going out and about all day and oblivious to the headlights displayed for all to see!

Yup I absolutely loved this bra.  It gives a soft shape and actually separates the girls in the middle rather than squishing them together as most wireless bras do. 
  So I went searching for a white.  Sold out.  There was a pretty pink version however and I thought, hey why not treat myself, stray from the neutrals and buy myself something feminine and frivolous like the pink in the range which WAS still in stock. 
So I did. 




But then it opened up that fear of being knocked over by a bus and being caught without matching underwear (like that REALLY would be what I was worrying about if I WAS knocked over by a bus!).
So I had to search out matching knickers. 
And warning ladies, I’m soooo over my thong stage - it’s big Hello Mummy waist knickers for me every time these days!




These modal knickers are pretty darn perfect too.  They have a lovely lace leg edge which is followed through in a wider panel along the back.   Pretty and as there was a 4 for 3 offer, I now have a pretty pink suite in my underpinnings wardrobe. 


And that, ladies, is my underwear refurbishment journey and what I have been shopping in lockdown. 


So some very personal questions today, but expected with today’s subject matter eh. 
Have you needed to replace bras or knickers lately?
Are you a T shirt bra fan?
Have you moved away from underwired bras?
Do you find yourself exposed to asymmetric nipple display without the T shirt bra parachute?
And are you still wearing thongs or have you moved to Bridget Jones Big Girls’ Knickers too?!





Hello Mummy!


A la perchoine, 
Mary x. 








Monday, 13 July 2020

First Supper

Hello my lovelies!

How’s your weekend been?
It’s been glorious here and I’ve been busy in the garden, mostly watering, deheading and repotting. 
During the past couple of weeks I’ve completed a few indoor projects too, as some days have not been the best weather wise. 

Along the way, maybe as reward for my hard work at home, I was treated out for our first meal in a proper restaurant, my first I four months, so let’s relax today with a bit of food porn. 


A glass of wine tastes so different when out, don’t you think, and that experience is enhanced when looking out on a nice view eh? 
You can’t see it in this pic, but the window looks out on the sea. 

Here’s what we ate. 


A three cheese soufflĂ© starter with delicate yet intense flavour. 


Turbot with clams served with a cream sauce, served with new potatoes. 


Crab salad first course, served with a kohl rabi coleslaw. 


Tender chicken served on an Asian salad, such fresh flavours. 

I like to recreate dishes at home from restaurant inspiration, rather like a Pinterest style steal but with food. 
We’ve since made a Dover sole cooked in a similar cream sauce but without the clams, I don’t think they were necessary. I wouldn’t ordinarily make a cream sauce with fish as I think it stands up perfectly on its own, but this was a nice variation and one that I
I’d choose/make again. 
I’d like to recreate the chicken with Asian salad too but will have to work on getting those delicate yet pokey flavors just right and that could take a few go’s. 

We always taste each others food to max out on the eating experience.  Do you when eating out?


And throughout the meal we were able to enjoy a fine display of kite surfing right outside our window.  Here our surfer is just a flash of red sail next to a potted plant. 


And here’s what I chose to wear for this pretty special
First Supper, 


a simple and comfortable linen maxi, featured IN THIS POST HERE.


So, is there anything here you’d like to try making at home?
And dare I ask, have you been out-out yet?


A la perchoine,
Mary x.


Friday, 10 July 2020

My New Normal

Hi my lovelies!


After four months of forming new habits in lockdown, I’m slowly discovering how my new normal looks. 



I haven’t rushed back to many elements of previous my normal. 

I’m leading a quieter life. 



My groceries continue to be delivered because 
I enjoy taking time during the week to compile a list of what we need.
It saves a car on the road several times a week clogging things up, guzzling fuel and causing goodness know what damage to our planet. 
Instead a driver plans his route efficiently and drops off groceries one area at a time. 
That makes sense to me. 

I haven’t had my hair cut or my nails done YET, even though we’ve been some weeks in “normal”. 

I haven’t rushed to meet up with friends, keeping my socializing to family and neighbours. 

I haven’t felt a desperation for fancy restaurant meals, although TP insisted we had one last week!


I seem to have become more insular, and I like it that way 

Life is more peaceful, it has a slower pace. 



My only “shopping” during lockdown has been to buy a few replacement bras, which I’ll cover in another post. 

But a few pieces needed to be picked up and errands had queued up, so I allowed myself a few hours of pottering during the week. 



I bought a bronzer palette from The Body Shop. 
(I took this pic for my girlie cousins, we have a Body Shop group going on as one is a BS consultant)


And I was tempted in so many directions in that Aladdin’s Cave of goodies.  Try me?  I certainly did!


I moved from Town to The Bridge, an east coast village and working harbour.  
The island of Herm can be seen in the distance. 



I pottered around a few charity shops. 


My Favourite is one that takes in old furniture and trains special needs youngsters to upcycle and decorate, and the pieces are then sold in this shop. 


I have this exact same jewellery cupboard, mine’s plain white ... right now, I feel another project coming up!


The youngsters are learning some good skills and the shop’s profits are ploughed back to help them. 


Reflecting on things right now, life is good. 

Of course, I’m lucky that I haven’t been impacted by Covid-19.  The reflection could be very different. 


Are you carving out a new normal as you navigate your way through these stormy waters ?
If so, what does your new normal look like?


A la perchoine,
Mary x. 


Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Getting My Happy Face On



Hello my lovelies!




Who’s a happy girl? 
That’s the look of a girl who’s about to go out on her first date night in four months. 



And The Photographer seemed just as happy about it as me.  Here chatting to our drinks waiter just a few feet away from me - more on that later. . 
Mind you, La Reunion IS his favorite restaurant so maybe it was the excellent food and service in an excellent beachside location that was putting a smile on this face and not merely going out with me!


I accessorized a black dress with brown bag and shoes and threw over a orangey coral cardi.  I noted that I would never have worn brown with this black dress back in the day.  Times change eh. 


I wore probably my fave necklace of all time.  It’s made out of belt rivets and is incredibly heavy.  It’s always guaranteed to get comments, it’s that sort of necklace.  And I picked it up at a jumble sale about 25 years ago. 
Wearing it always makes me feel happy. 



Yup I was so happy I even attempted a pout!



I tried a demure look. 


But soon switched back to my date night default happy face!


The dress I chose for the night is old, 2005.  It’s a perfect summer-casual LBD.   I bought it on a day trip to Sark, a neighbouring vehicle-free island.  Our Bailiwick islands (Sark, Herm and Alderney) are now freely open to Guernsey residents again. 



This black linen shift dress has same-coloured embroidery along the hem line.  And long slits both sides - more on that later too!

I’d been estranged from this dress but was reunited with it in recent weeks when I discovered it and a few other treasures when I chanced to look in a bin bag on a high shelf in a little-used wardrobe.  Instead of finding old raggedy decorating clothes I’d thought for years were in there, I found some choice pieces that could decorate ME!  Amongst the many treasures in the bag was this old fave dress, along with another fave from 1986 (which I wore for our Liberation Day recently SEE HERE) and the brown linen suit trousers that I wore last weekSEE HERE .  What a bonanza that was!  Can you imagine what a Happy Face I had that day!


However, what didn’t make me so happy was forgetting about the side slits this dress has, as it's been maybe 15 years since I’d worn it.  
I rediscovered the slits when sitting down on a low sofa for pre-dinner drinks in the posh restaurant.  Yup it was a full ten minutes before I realised I’d been sitting cross-legged showing most of a cellulite-ridden chunky right thigh.  And the waiter had been serving drinks, taking the food order and just about everything else standing a few feet away from said eye sore.  
Ouch!


Has that happened to you?



A la perchoine,
Mary x.