Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A Practical (But Stylish) Cold Weather Outfit for a Walk in the Woods

Cold weather \ walking in the woods \ walking the dog outfit \ Tapestry coat, deep hem skinnie jeans, grey cap and wedge desert boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog

So every day is a pile-on-the-layers day now, and I'm soon going to have to come up with many more cold weather outfits. 

Temperatures have plummeted this week in the UK (we're below zero overnight now), and whilst this week has been a week of glorious sunshine it's been cold. When we went for a walk in the woods over the weekend (it's really just a longer, more scenic route to the supermarket) I made sure all the layers were piled on underneath my coat.

(Which, by the way, it still an old favourite from a couple of winters ago: It's hard to find tapestry coats but this blue and white patterned coat is a close match if you're after something similar.)

I THINK YOU'RE EITHER A DIE-HARD BASEBALL CAP WEARER OR YOU'RE DEFINITELY NOT... I'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE FORMER FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER.

After talking about my Black Friday purchases in Monday's post, I'm wearing a couple more things from the same spree here. The grey faux leather baseball cap is a perfect all-rounder when you're having a bad hair day (hmm I seem to be having a lot of them lately) - it's nice to have a neutral colour one without any logos on it. I think you're either a die-hard baseball cap wearer or you're not... I've always been the former for as long as I can remember.

But those of you that know me well know that I'm an every hat wearer to be honest...!

Cold weather \ walking in the woods \ walking the dog outfit \ Tapestry coat, deep hem skinnie jeans, grey cap and wedge desert boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog
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Monday, 28 November 2016

Is It Okay to Buy High Street Copies of Designer Pieces? #iwillwearwhatilike

Casual autumn/fall outfit - Blush pink cable knit sweater, peg leg jeans, camel fedora, Gucci-inspired pink fringed block heel loafers, tortoiseshell handbag | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog

After the crazy madness that was cyber weekend (though I am aware today is Cyber Monday so it's effectively still in full force), 

I've been reflecting on my purchases and just how many were probably made over the course of the last few days. My absolute favourite purchase was these pink suede block heel shoes from ASOS, which are more than a little Gucci-inspired. They'd been going in and out of stock so often (try these if stock is out) I thought I wouldn't get my hands on a pair, but when they look this similar to the original - without being a direct knock-off - did I really want some after all?

I can't afford the real deal at =cough= over £600, but I wondered whether it's actually okay to wear high street copies of designer pieces.

APART FROM THE DENIM I WENT WITH FULL-ON SOFT CREAM AND BLUSH TONES, ADDED A HAT TO HIDE A BAD HAIR DAY AND REVELLED IN THE GLORY OF MY NEW SHOES. 

Firstly, the UK is set for plummeting temperatures again this week, so I think we've had what I reckon will be my last ankle-baring weekend of 2016 (unless we have an incredibly mild festive season like we did last year... seems unlikely). I went with what's the most basic of outfits for cold weather: Jeans and a sweater. Apart from the denim I went with full-on soft cream and blush tones, added a hat to hide a bad hair day and revelled in the glory of my new shoes.

Casual autumn/fall outfit - Blush pink cable knit sweater, peg leg jeans, camel fedora, Gucci-inspired pink fringed block heel loafers, tortoiseshell handbag | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog
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Friday, 25 November 2016

Sharing Hilarious Cult YouTube Channel Bad Lip Reading #SaturdayShareLinkUp

Yoda and Luke Skywalker - The Empire Strikes Back movie still

Are you a Star Wars fan? Game of Thrones? The Walking Dead? The Hunger Games? Twilight? 

If you love any of these - and more besides - then you absolutely have to check out the cult YouTube channel Bad Lip Reading. What started as guy (just the one I think) uploading stuff from the TV with crazy imagined dialogue dubbed over the top has become one of the few YouTube channels that makes me rush to hit play when something new's been uploaded.

He then moved onto music videos, does movie and TV programmes and presidential debates too.

The music videos he now does are songs he (I have no idea who "he" is, but in the comments everyone insists "he's" a one-man band) writes and produces himself - and they're so catchy I guarantee you'll be singing them all day [sorry].

It was, in fact, the only way I could watch The Walking Dead at first: I hate zombie movies, but BLR's videos were so funny that I could watch them... And eventually I got hooked on the programme.

Today marked a crazy-exciting day for me (yes, THIS was what made my Black Friday special, not any amazing shopping deals:

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Over 50 Gorgeous, Unusual Gifts to Buy From 7 Indie Sellers (+ Their Black Friday Discounts)

Over 50 Gorgeous, Unusual Gifts to Buy From 7 Indie Sellers

Yes, it's Black Friday - something that's slowly infiltrated into the UK consciousness over the years along with Halloween and St. Patrick's Day, among others. 

We don't do Thanksgiving, so UK retailers have adopted Black Friday and cyber weekend in order to get us to spend more... I'm sure the recession has a lot to do with it. But I'm not complaining, I've already done a fair bit of my Christmas shopping with some great discounts to boot.

But rather than bring you yet another [yawn] post about the best things to buy on Black Friday (and where to get the best deals), I thought I'd avoid all the big brands, high street and department stores altogether and instead bring you a little bit of independent retailing into the mix.

I'm featuring 7 fantastic indie sellers - here are over 50 gorgeous, unusual gifts to buy instead of all the usual run-of-the-mill stuff...!

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Tom Pigeon Koenig - Shulman Print  White Faux Taxidermy Pink Unicorn Head  Tom Pigeon black and brass cufflinks  Lizzy O rose gold diamante wrap bracelet  Shade on Shape wooden painted vases  Lucy MacLeod Fashion Illustration
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Best of the Blogosphere - 14 Unmissable Links (Nov 2016)


The Best of the Blogosphere November 2016: Restyling wedding dresses - Menopause signs - hearing aids - Christmas sweaters - short hair for older women - and more! | Not Dressed As Lamb

My Best of the Blogosphere - Unmissable Links post is a monthly round up of things I've seen, watched and liked in the blogosphere that I'm sure you'll love too.

This month I'm sharing restyled wedding dresses, menopause signs, short hair for older women, bloggers with low esteem - and much, much more.

Do continue to support these blogs/ladies by clicking on these links and leaving a comment or maybe tweeting them, won't you? I've heard a lot of stories about negativity this week so let's buck that trend and spread some love (I make no apologies for the hippy-ish tones of that request)!

WHAT LINKS DID YOU LIKE - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

(Photo credits: Top left | Top right | Middle left | Middle right | Bottom left | Bottom right)

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As someone who's thinking she may be in peri-menopause, this post by Michelle with 8 definite signs you're in menopause has been eye-opening and super helpful for me.

Amber explains why it might be time to re-think your blog's homepage - her reasons make absolute sense... I'm on the case.

Leather, lace and velvet isn't too much - it's just sassy and stylish - as demonstrated by the wonderfully elegant 50-something Cheryl. [Note to Cheryl: It's their loss, not yours!]

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Can You Mix a Pinstripe Blazer With Check Trousers? #iwillwearwhatilike

Smart autumn/winter outfit \ fall style \ long navy pinstripe coat, check trousers, heeled ghillie shoes and black skinny scarf | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Most of you may know that my answer to the question of whether you can mix a pinstripe blazer with check trousers is, unsurprisingly, 

Of course you can. And you can throw in a polka dot shirt if you like. And maybe a striped shoe (not that I've ever seen many striped shoes, but you get my drift).

In other words, if you're feeling it, then wear it. It's what my whole blog philosophy is based on. No one has the right to tell you what to wear*, and no one should feel it's the right thing to do when an opinion hasn't been asked for. So in other words, if I wake up feeling that a pinstripe coat should be worn with a pair of plaid pants then I'm darn well going to wear them together.

*I'm talking in most situations, not when you're wise to adhere to dress code regulations of course...

IF I WAKE UP FEELING THAT A PINSTRIPE COAT SHOULD BE WORN WITH A PAIR OF PLAID PANTS THEN I'M DARN WELL GOING TO WEAR THEM TOGETHER.

As it happens I rather like this pinstripe coat (it's currently reduced!) that I wore in last week's Jaeger feature post - so much so that I wore it again pronto this weekend.

Smart autumn/winter outfit \ fall style \ long navy pinstripe coat, check trousers, heeled ghillie shoes and black skinny scarf | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Why Are Many Younger Bloggers So Horribly Competitive?

This question - why are bloggers so competitive - has perplexed me for a while.  

It's something that comes up time and time again in the blogosphere:

"Blogging is so competitive!"
"It's a dog-eat-dog business!"
"Nobody will help you when you're a blogger!"
"She was such a b**** when I met her in person!"

This cattiness is something I find absolutely abhorrent, but I'm also in slight disbelief that it actually occurs because my experience as an over 40 blogger has been nothing short of overwhelmingly positive. Yet I hear stories of this sort of thing happening time and time again, and unfortunately I find that it's amongst the younger bloggers - the 20 somethings and perhaps a few (and I mean a few) 30 somethings who are moaning about the attitudes of their peers.

But why is it like that? And is it really just amongst the younger bloggers? Is it possible to be a successful blogger without getting a reputation for being a b****?

The day I learnt about catty bloggers

I was first made aware of this cattiness amongst bloggers when I went on a (blogging) trip to Paris last year with about six other bloggers - all of whom were in their 20s and 30s. I'd not met any of them before, but they were all lovely girls.

It was a whirlwind 24 hour thing, so the one night we had in the hotel we went to the bar and sat drinking and chatting. The conversation was going well, until it moved onto whether any of us knew a particular blogger personally.

The story that followed really opened my eyes: This very successful blogger had apparently treated the people hosting an event appallingly, in a "Don't you know who I am" kind of way. My reaction was one of incredulity - I mean, did she think she was Mariah Carey or something? - but as my reaction so often when watching movies about jealous partners or people just being general arseholes is, I just find it hard to believe that these people really exist.

I told the group that as a 40-something I'd never encountered anything like that, and that my community is nothing but supportive, kind and generally wonderful.

I found myself being stared at by several pairs of wide, staring eyes of disbelief.

My description of the blogging community that I'm part of was met with wonder - as if I'd just described the magical mecca of blogging. They couldn't quite believe that there were bloggers out there who stood up for and supported each other... I mean, how sad (as in upsetting, not as in pathetic) is that?

How the over 40 blogging community is different

After I told them about how much we all support each other (and this was a year ago, before I'd met all the other ladies in the Over40Collective in person), it seemed to trigger a wave of comments that I came across on social media and on blog posts - all bemoaning the fact that blogging was so competitive and bloggers so unsupportive.

NOT ONCE DID I HEAR A 40+ BLOGGER SAY THAT THEY'D ENCOUNTERED OTHER OLDER BLOGGERS BEING BITCHY AT AN EVENT, OR THAT THEY'D BEEN MET WITH ARROGANCE OR CONTEMPT WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH THEM ON SOCIAL.

(You know when you learn a new word that you've never heard before and then you hear it used over and over? It was like that with the statements about other bloggers. It was like the floodgates were opened up - after that nearly every time I chatted to a younger blogger they would mention how everyone was just so darn horrible.)

But what was so very obvious was that it was all younger bloggers saying these things. Not once did I hear a 40+ blogger say that they'd encountered other older bloggers being bitchy at an event, or that they'd been met with arrogance or contempt when communicating with them on social.

I'M REALLY NOT SURE WHETHER IT'S THE AGE THAT WE LIVE IN, OR WHETHER IT'S THE AGE THAT WE ARE. OLDER WOMEN ARE GENERALLY TOO WISE AND TOO LONG IN THE TOOTH TO GET INTO CHILDISH SQUABBLES.

I'm really not sure whether it's the age that we live in, or whether it's the age that we are. Older women, whilst sometimes thoughtless and catty, are generally too wise and too long in the tooth (and in many cases, too tired) to get into childish squabbles, cat fights and whispering behind each others' backs. Many older bloggers have already had long careers or been bringing up children for many years (or quite often both), and they just can't be bothered with behaviour that belongs in a school playground.

Why Are Many Younger Bloggers So Horribly Competitive? | Not Dressed As Lamb
So this, in a way, is an open letter to any younger bloggers out there who are either a) thinking that bloggers are all selfish and competitive, and/or b) thinking that being selfish and competitive is the way to get ahead.

Believe me, no one gets anywhere by being like that - maybe in the short term, but not in the long term.

As my mother always says: It'll come back and bite you in the bum one day, so just don't do it...!

Some uplifting quotes from 40+ bloggers

As an added extra to the post, I asked my fellow members of the Over40Collective - a professional blogging group I'm (so proud to be) part of - this question:

"In what way has another blogger helped you or someone you know in the past that you thought was really great/helpful/kind etc.? Something that helped you to either sort a problem out, or do something in a much more efficient way, or gave you lots of exposure, or something that led onto something really brilliant?"

Enjoy their answers - and if you know a younger blogger who might like to read these uplifting answers, please do share this post with them...!

(As a final note: Please note that I am most definitely NOT saying that all younger bloggers are like this. It is most definitely a minority... I think just about every single younger-than-me blogger I've ever met has been nothing short of absolutely lovely...!)


Liz, What Lizzy Loves

"I started my blog almost three years ago, having done no research and knowing nothing of the technical side. Over the years, I met more and more bloggers online and began to realise just how supportive the blogosphere is. Like-minded, supportive women are just a click (or a Tweet) away.

I BEGAN TO REALISE JUST HOW SUPPORTIVE THE BLOGOSPHERE IS. LIKE-MINDED, SUPPORTIVE WOMEN ARE JUST A CLICK (OR A TWEET) AWAY.

I tentatively made contact with one of my blogging idols when we were taking part in a competition over two years ago and we have been friends ever since. Now, she sends useful links, shares social media tips and just the other day pointed out that a social media icon was missing from my online boutique. Another blogging friend pointed out that I should be optimizing my image size so my blog loads more quickly. Day after day, these snippets of advice help to make my blog better.

I'm now in the process of helping a friend set up her own website and social media channels, using everything I have learned from my fellow bloggers to do so."


Nikki, Midlifechic

"When my very first post went live, a well-known beauty blogger picked it up on Twitter and was very supportive. She encouraged my first few posts and introduced me to Bloglovin which is how my traffic began to grow.

In the early days of blogging, when you don’t have many readers or comments, it is easy to feel defeated and I suspect quite a few people give up. Having a more established blogger to hold your hand makes such a difference so I try to 'pay it forward' and keep an eye open for bloggers who are just starting out.

BLOGGING CAN BE A LONELY WAY OF LIFE AT TIMES BUT IF YOU CAN BE PART OF A SUPPORTIVE NETWORK IT IS ONE OF THE BEST JOBS IN THE WORLD.

I now also have a group of blogging buddies who are at hand to share tips and replace the water cooler chat that you can miss from working in an office. Blogging can be a lonely way of life at times but if you can be part of a supportive network it is one of the best jobs in the world."


Michelle, RetroChicMama

"Soon after I started my blog, someone nominated me for a Liebster Award. This unexpected, seemingly random gesture of kindness was the beginning of an online connection and we quickly became real life friends.

PROMOTING OTHER BLOGS INSTEAD OF COMPETING AGAINST THEM IS THE KEY TO GROWTH FOR US ALL.

I realised I had inadvertently stumbled onto the perfect medium for women like me to link up and support one another. Promoting other blogs instead of competing against them is the key to growth for us all.

This thought soon took hold prompting me to reach out to the women bloggers I admired. Before I knew it I had become part of something truly amazing - my new blogger girl squad genuinely wanting each other to succeed!"


Annette, Lady of Style

"The first time I learned about the importance of networking was back in the late 90s and ever since it became an essential part of my professional life. When I started blogging four years ago, I was overwhelmed by the worldwide support amongst 40+ bloggers and soon realised this is the best part about blogging.

MEETING FABULOUS LIKE-MINDED WOMEN ONLINE AND IRL WHO SUPPORT EACH OTHER... IMMENSELY HELPED ME GROW MY BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA.

Meeting fabulous like-minded women online and IRL who support each other instead of competing against each other immensely helped me grow my blog and social media - it is my aim to give back as much as I can!"


Michelle, The Barefaced Chic

"Before I even launched my blog, I decided to reach out to other mature bloggers and ask one simple question, "What is beauty?" I explained that I would be including the answers I received in one of my first posts. Not every blogger answered the question, but they all answered my email. Every. Single. Blogger. I knew then that I had found a crowd of supportive women who are happy to help each other.

I AM AMAZED EVERY DAY AT THE EXTENT OF THE POSITIVE SUPPORT (RATHER THAN COMPETITION) THAT EXISTS AND I AM SO VERY, VERY PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT.

When I published the post it received quite a few tweets and shoutouts - unexpected awesomeness. I am amazed every day at the extent of the positive support (rather than competition) that exists and I am so very, very proud to be a part of it!"


Lisa, The Sequinist

"Madeleine Albright said, "There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women." My pre-blogging career was in a very male-dominated industry, so I'd never worked with many women before.

At first I quite liked the idea of blogging because I thought it would be a solitary and independent pursuit, writing about what I love and sharing it.  I had NO idea how much I'd come to rely on other bloggers.  Almost daily, a blogger teaches me a tech-trick that I didn't know, promotes one of my posts or, more importantly, encourages me to blog on when I have the classic why-do-I-bother moments.

ALMOST DAILY, A BLOGGER TEACHES ME A TECH-TRICK THAT I DIDN'T KNOW, PROMOTES ONE OF MY POSTS OR ENCOURAGES ME TO BLOG ON WHEN I HAVE THE CLASSIC WHY-DO-I-BOTHER MOMENTS. 

Madeleine may be right about unhelpful women having a place in hell, but I certainly hope there is a special place in heaven for all of the supportive blogging angels who have helped make my first two years of blogging so rewarding, and SO much more fun than working with men!"


WHAT EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD OF BLOGGERS AND THEIR ATTITUDE? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!


Catherine

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Linking up to: Brilliant Blog Posts, Saturday Share link up
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Friday, 18 November 2016

Sharing Behind the Scenes of a Group Photo Shoot #SaturdayShareLinkUp

The Over40Collective photo shoot - behind the scenes | Not Dressed As Lamb

This week I'm sharing a couple of photos from behind the scenes of my group shoot with the Over40Collective, 

the pro blogging group of 40+ style bloggers that are set to (cue deep voiceover man voice) take on the worrrrrrld...!

I spent a fabulous weekend with the other girls where we had fun and food, talking endlessly about business and pleasure, ending it with a group photo shoot - these are just a couple of the behind-the-scenes shots taken by the photographer's assistant.

TRYING TO GET SEVEN WOMEN TO ALL STOP TALKING, PAY ATTENTION AND KEEP THEIR EYES OPEN ALL AT THE SAME TIME IS A TALL ORDER.

The final shots are going to be used on our website when we launch in the New Year - though trying to get seven women to all stop talking, pay attention and keep their eyes open all at the same time is a tall order... I have a feeling a little Photoshop to clone some eyes or mouths from another shot might be required.

So this is what I'm sharing this week - the company of good friends. What are you sharing this week and what interesting things have been happening where you are - do share in the comments!

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Jaeger | A Modern, Stylish Fashion Brand Perfect for Over 40 Women

Bold jewel colours \ Autumn look \ fall outfit \ smart winter wear \ layering \ Jaeger \ Longline pinstripe coat, red roll neck, burgundy cocoon dress and cropped flares, yellow suede clutch | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 styleNDAL banner

A brand that I'm totally in love with right now is the long-established British brand Jaeger. Right now they are producing the most modern, stylish clothing that's perfect for the over 40 woman. 

I think this bold outfit speaks for itself: I wrote on my Instagram caption when I first featured it that it was so perfect I'd marry it - in fact my husband should be seriously worried as I'd be happy to run away with it, never to be seen again...!

The other week I was invited to the brand new Jaeger store in Marylebone High Street, London, to pick out an outfit and peruse the new store and collection and explore the area. Although I know the main parts of London pretty well having lived there during my 20s, Marylebone is an area I'm not that familiar with.

THIS WHOLE OUTFIT COULD POSSIBLY BE MY FAVOURITE EVER. THE RICH JEWEL TONES AND BEAUTIFUL TAILORING COMBINED WITH THE LAYERING MAKE UP A VERY STRIKING, VERY "ME" OUTFIT.

And it's wonderful. It's classy, vibrant and exciting... It makes me miss living in London. As someone who generally dislikes high street shopping, the Marylebone experience is spot on because it's got just the right amount of busy people without being touristy, and just the right shopping destinations without feeling like you're on a typical high street. More on Marylebone Village at the end of the post... Let's talk clothes first!

All outfit photos: Moeez Tali

Bold jewel colours \ Autumn look \ fall outfit \ smart winter wear \ layering \ Jaeger \ Longline pinstripe coat, red roll neck, burgundy cocoon dress and cropped flares, yeloo suede clutch | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Monday, 14 November 2016

How to Dress For a Cold Day Sightseeing in a London Park #iwillwearwhatilike



It may have been incredibly cold, but we spent a beautiful day in Kew Gardens sightseeing the heck out of this gorgeous London park just over a week ago. 

It's one of the most beautiful places in South West London (Surrey) - I'd been to Kew when I was a kid and then again as a young adult, but never in the autumn with all the beautiful gold and red leaves everywhere. We had a delicious brunch just down the road from the gardens before making our way there, but it's so huge we barely saw half of it despite being there for several hours.

I've featured just some of the gorgeous buildings and structures at Kew - if you get a chance to go then I highly recommend it. It's a lot cheaper in the winter months and autumn is obviously spectacular (if somewhat cold)!

I HAVE A FEELING I'M GOING TO BE WANTING A DUSTER COAT IN EVERY COLOUR IMAGINABLE EVENTUALLY. THEY'RE JUST SO SMART AND FLATTERING.

As for what I wore: I'm finally showing you my new grey Marks & Spencer coat (I actually wore it with the jumpsuit but never featured it in the photo shoot) - I have a feeling I'm going to be wanting a duster coat in every colour imaginable eventually. They're just so smart and flattering.

Autumn look \ fall outfit \ cold weather style \ grey duster coat, burgundy paper bag trousers, white Stan Smith sneakers, Fair Isle sweater | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Sunday, 13 November 2016

How to Eat More, Exercise Less and Still Lose Weight


How to Eat More, Exercise Less and Still Lose Weight | Not Dressed As Lamb health and fitness

It's the holy grail of getting fit, isn't it: A diet and exercise regime where you can eat more, exercise less and still lose weight. 

Who doesn't want that? A programme that allows you to stuff your face and sit around all day without ever having to go to the gym? Where do I sign up I hear you cry?!

Er - as you've probably guessed there's a little bit more to it than that, but I can promise you that if you think the only way to get fit and lose weight is to go to the gym for two hours a day and eat nothing but celery sticks and apples then I do have an alternative for you.

It is possible to eat a ton of food, exercise less than two hours in the gym every day and still see results. This is what I've been doing for the last five or six weeks, and I wanted to share with you exactly how this strange process works (it's quite simple really).

Basically, eat more doesn't mean eat everything, and exercise less doesn't mean don't move at all. I do seem to have found a method where A (food intake) + B (exercise performed) = C (weight loss and fitness increased), but it's all about having the right formula A plus the right formula B, in order to achieve result C.

Although I'm still in the early stages, the new (to me) diet and fitness programme I'm undertaking does promise those three things - here's what it is and how it works (I'm concentrating on the exercise part this week as I've mostly covered the food aspect in this post):

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Friday, 11 November 2016

Sharing a Little Love (Because We Need It) #SaturdayShareLinkUp

There's always time to share a little love | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog

It's been a very strange week in the world, and I thought we should end it with a little sharing of love. 

Without making too much reference to what's been happening, what's done is done - the best we can all do is to continue being good to each other to set a good example to those around us. So I thought I'd make this week's Saturday Share link up a bit special by asking you all to share a bit more love than usual... I figured there's plenty to go round!

Let's start with a little love right here - link up all your blog and Instagram posts, visit a few links that have linked up as well, and leave some nice comments for others.

The link up is a chance for you to reach more people by sharing your current and evergreen posts (hence why you can link up old posts), and find amazing new bloggers and their amazing posts. Of course it also helps me with traffic if you stop buy - did you also know that comments are great because it helps bloggers with their SEO? The more a blog is updated with new content (that includes comments, as mentioned in my pros and cons of blogging daily post), the more visible it'll be in searches.

Comments count towards updated content, so get clicking through and commenting - it's a great way to share some love!

DID YOU KNOW COMMENTS ARE GREAT BECAUSE IT HELPS BLOGGERS WITH THEIR SEO? THE MORE A BLOG IS UPDATED WITH NEW CONTENT (THAT INCLUDES COMMENTS), THE MORE VISIBLE IT'LL BE IN SEARCHES.

I thought I'd share a few things I love (as an antidote to all the hateful stuff) this week:
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Thursday, 10 November 2016

How to Casually Style a Stripe Longline Blazer, Over 40 Style

It's that bright orange wall again, providing a perfect backdrop for a cold weather, casually-styled outfit. 

On what was one of the first truly freezing cold days last week we ventured out to the cinema (our don't-tell-anyone secret that is the early morning showing), so I only needed something comfy to snuggle up in and to get me from the car to the cinema. I skipped a scarf and gloves and doubled up on leg layers (thick socks and tights underneath my trousers, like I did on Monday) as it was only a two minute walk.

However, it was absolutely freezing - the wind was biting cold. Where has this sudden drop in temperature come from?

LAST YEAR IN NOVEMBER I REMEMBER GETTING OVERHEATED IN LONDON IN A TRENCH COAT... AND JUST TWO MONTHS AGO WE WERE HAVING THE HOTTEST SEPTEMBER DAY IN DECADES.

Last year in November I remember getting overheated in London in a trench coat whilst walking across one of the bridges (which are always notoriously cold and windy), and just two months ago we were having the hottest September day in decades. Dear Britain: I will never understand your crazy weather.

So... Are you wondering what film we saw?

Autumn look \ fall outfit \ cold weather style \ stripe coatigan denim wide leg trousers, chunky roll neck sweater | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

11 Irresistible Pieces of Delicate Jewellery to Shop Now

11 Irresistible Pieces of Delicate Jewellery to Shop Now

It's taken me a while to realise that chunky statement necklaces are all but over, and delicate jewellery is the style to be seen in right now. 

As a 40-something year old I do tend to take what's on-trend and what's not all with a pinch of salt, but it's very rare to see those big blingy crystal-covered necklaces in the stores - or there are very few, at least. The trend that's taken over is fine, delicate jewellery in lots of layers, whether it be necklaces, rings or earrings.

WHAT'S REALLY ON TREND RIGHT NOW ARE VERY MINIMAL DESIGNS IN GOLD, ROSE GOLD AND SILVER, AND DELICATE PIECES LAYERED UP.

So I'm not saying we should put away our statement necklaces for good (I have too many that I love dearly and will still wear!), but I've been seeing so many delicate pieces I love lately that I thought I'd show you a selection of what's available to buy right now.

Want to see some of the times I've worn delicate jewellery pieces over the last few years...?

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Monday, 7 November 2016

How to Cleverly Style a Floral Jumpsuit in Autumn/Winter #iwillwearwhatilike

Dark floral jumpsuit styled for autumn / fall / winter layered with a roll neck, boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Continuing my theme of getting the most out of your summer clothes as autumn settles in, I wore a floral jumpsuit in very cold weather this week. 

Now a floral jumpsuit may not seem like a particularly versatile piece - especially when it comes to colder weather - but the beauty of this one I got from ASOS is that it has a dark background, and dark florals always work in autumn and winter: You simply layer up and you're good to go. I added a ribbed grey roll neck (similar) that I got last winter, and you can't see but I was also wearing tights underneath my jumpsuit.

I know that some people can't wear tights at all, and some absolutely can't wear them under trousers, but I absolutely can - and have to - when it's really cold...!

I WAS ALMOST OUT THE DOOR WHEN I REALISED THAT UNZIPPING THE JUMPSUIT AND GETTING THROUGH ALL THE LAYERS TO GO TO THE BATHROOM MIGHT BE A BIT OF A NIGHTMARE.

The only problem I encountered (and those of you who've ever grappled with a jumpsuit may know what's coming) is that I wore this when travelling up on the train to London. I was almost out the door when I realised that unzipping the jumpsuit and getting through all the layers to go to the bathroom might be a bit of a nightmare, but it was too late to change into something else.

Dark floral jumpsuit styled for autumn / fall / winter layered with a roll neck, boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Sharing 7 Gorgeous Sweaters I Love, and Seeing Lloyd Cole #SaturdayShareLinkUp

Sharing 7 Gorgeous Sweaters I Love - Hobbs Anya Sweater

Another weekend is rolling around, so it's time to share all your posts in the Saturday Share link up! 

This week the temperatures have been pretty mild in the UK for this time of year, but apparently they're about to plummet... I foresee my winter coats coming out in force very soon.

Unsurprisingly I've been obsessing over knitwear and what to layer - I've just got my winter wardrobe out of storage and am discovering all the pieces I'd forgotten about over the summer. I do it every year, but every year I love the feeling of having a whole "new" set of clothes...!

In keeping with the theme of knitwear I'm sharing some of the fabulous sweaters I've seen online over the last couple of weeks - has anyone else noticed that retailers have really upped their knitwear game this season?
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Thursday, 3 November 2016

12 Interesting Pros and Cons of Blogging Daily

The Pros and Cons of Writing Daily Blog Posts | Blogging tips | Not Dressed As Lamb

At the beginning of October I wrote a post asking what your thoughts were about blogs that posted every day, 

and whether it put you off reading them. The opinions varied enormously - from "Not at all" to "God no that's far too much" - but the most common view was that as long as the content was still of a high standard you wouldn't be put off.

I'll be 100% honest and say I asked the question because I wanted to to increase my page views and visitor numbers (they'd been stagnant for a while, even going down) and thought that publishing a blog post every day was likely the answer.

It's a known fact that because there are so many blogs around these days readership is stretched thin, plus with the increase in popularity of social media compared to five or more years ago people follow you in different ways, and often it doesn't include visiting your blog at all.

WITH THE INCREASE IN POPULARITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA COMPARED TO FIVE YEARS AGO PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU IN DIFFERENT WAYS, AND OFTEN IT DOESN'T INCLUDE VISITING YOUR BLOG AT ALL.

Now that the month has ended, I'm writing a follow-up post as promised - read on for the results and my personal thoughts on attempting to write a blog post every day, and what effect it had on my stats...!


What were the results of the poll?

At the beginning of the month I asked the question: "Are you PUT OFF by a blog that posts daily?"

Out of 182 people who voted, the results were as follows:

37% - No, as long as the quality is still high
36% - No, I say the more the merrier if it's a blog I love!
18% - Yes, it's far too much to keep up with
8% - No, it makes no difference to me

Therefore with a total of 82% effectively saying they're not put off by a blog that posts daily, I think it's a good idea to post daily if you can. At least it is where my readers are concerned.


How many posts did I write in the month?

I had every intention of writing a post every day, and initially I said I would only write a post if a) it were possible time-wise, and b) if I had something interesting to say.

I ended up writing 21 out of a possible 31. Not as many as I wanted to write, but it goes to show that quite often life just gets in the way (mostly on a weekend, unsurprisingly). I don't see it as a failure, just that it obviously wasn't possible for me.

I certainly had no lack of inspiration - I have over 70 post drafts in my Blogger account (albeit some are just titles - or ideas waiting to be written), but it was time that was the problem. With everything else that a full-time blogger has to do - social media, photographing, accounting, emails, newsletters - it's pretty hard to publish every day.

The posts I wrote (and the dates upon which I posted them) were:

2 Oct: Should Bloggers Post Every Day If They Can? (I Need Your Feedback!)
3 Oct: How to Style Sequins as Workwear + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up*
4 Oct: 4 Easy Ideas for Cheap, Homemade Halloween Costumes
6 Oct: Smart Casual Look for AW16 | Bold Print Blazer With Jeans, Over 40 Style
7 Oct: New: The Saturday Share Link Up (and New YouTube Videos!)*
9 Oct: What to Expect on the Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan (Results So Far!) #notlambFIT*
10 Oct: What I Wore to an Informal Awards Ceremony + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up*
12 Oct: What to Wear With a Pink Coatigan | Head-to-Toe Black (Almost), Over 40 Style
13 Oct: Capsule Wardrobe Pieces That Suit All Body Shapes & Sizes | 4 Styles of Cashmere Sweaters to Shop*
15 Oct: The Saturday Share Link Up | Meeting Twiggy and Making a Spectacle of Myself*
17 Oct: How to Style a Camel Blazer For Autumn/Fall + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up*
18 Oct: Stuck in a Rut: The Importance of Updating Your Beauty Look and Routine Over 40
19 Oct: Capsule Wardrobe Pieces That Suit All Body Shapes & Sizes - 7 Classic Trench Coats to Shop*
20 Oct: Autumnal Layering | Styling a Camel Midi Skirt With Multi Textures and Warm Colours
21 Oct: The Saturday Share Link Up | A Star-Studded Event Vlog & Why Not Follow My Posts By Email?*
22 Oct: 12 Amazing Things to Buy From Marks & Spencer Right Now (Plus 20% Off Discount Code)
24 Oct: Cocktail Dress Code: A 1970s/80s Vintage Poppy Print Dress + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up*
26 Oct: The Best of the Blogosphere - 12 Unmissable Links (October 2016)*
27 Oct: 11 More Over 40 Fashion Bloggers With Amazing Style*
28 Oct: The Saturday Share Link Up | Sharing A Quiet Week Before Christmas Takes Over*
31 Oct: How to Wear Preppy Style in the Autumn / Fall + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up*

* These posts are all parts of series or regular posts (link ups, blogger round ups, styling series, etc).

14 posts out of 21 - exactly two thirds - are all regular features. Having regular posts like these makes it easier to plan content in advance and always have something to post.

The Pros and Cons of Writing Daily Blog Posts | Blogging tips | Not Dressed As Lamb

How did it affect my stats?

I'm going to compare October's stats to June's - this was the last month that has "normal" stats on my blog (my Google Analytics stopped working for a week in July, August is always quiet, and I had a blogging break in September). June was no different to most other months, so it's a fair comparison (and I have included 1st July so they are both stats for 31 days).

Good news - both page views and unique visitors increased:

Page views increased by 23%, from 71.6k in June to 88.3k for October.
Unique visitors increased by 22%, from 24.5k in June to 29.9k in October.
The bounce rate decreased marginally, and the pages per session and new sessions increased by a few percent (all good news).


How did I find it personally?

This is the interesting bit - although there were days when I thought I'm just not going to get this post finished and published in time, I'd usually written the bulk of the post by that point, so simply finished it and scheduled it for the next available slot. So in a way it made me much more productive: By trying to get it finished I stopped my usual online window shopping and spending an hour on the vicious cycle that is watching YouTube videos.

Case in point: This post. I'd planned for it to go out on Tuesday 1st, but was already an hour over my usual posting time of 3pm so simply moved it back to Thursday. Instead of rushing it and writing a sparse blog post just to get it out on the hour I took my time, but also didn't waste my time on other things either.

To be honest I didn't really notice that much difference in how much time it all took me - October seemed like a standard month no different to any other.


To summarise - the pros and cons of blogging daily

Pros:

1. It's very good for SEO - the more you post, the higher in Google searches you'll appear (Google favours more frequently-updated websites)
2. It gets you into a routine (especially if you post specific topics on specific days)
3. It increases page views and visitor numbers and therefore reach and visibility
4. It allows you to cover topics you may not otherwise have discussed
5. You will have plenty of posts to publicise on social media
6. It will keep your biggest fans happy
7. More posts can mean more earnings through more affiliate links
8. By aiming to post every day it can make you more productive

Cons:

1. It's a lot of work and may be too much for some
2. It can be added pressure that you don't need
3. Some readers may be put off by too many posts
4. You will (hopefully) have more comments to reply to - this can be time-consuming but is important


To summarise

In other words, you don't have to post daily, but it certainly shows that increasing your output has huge benefits. If you want your blog to become more visible, have more of a presence on the internet, reach more people and ultimately make your earning increase, you do have to post more often.

I've decided to always keep Saturdays a no-post day - it's my lowest day for traffic anyway. I'll continue with Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday as I was doing before, I've now got the new Saturday Share link up on a Friday night (always a quick post) and I'll simply post on a Tuesday and Sunday only if I have time.

TO BE HONEST THIS LAST MONTH DIDN'T SEEM ANY BUSIER OR STRESSIER THAN ANY OTHER MONTH, BUT I PRODUCED 21 POSTS COMPARED TO MY USUAL 15-17. I'D CALL THAT A RESULT.

As mentioned earlier this last month didn't seem any busier or stressier than any other month, but I produced 21 posts compared to my usual 15-17. I'd call that a result.

It's not always possible for everyone, but I'm satisfied that the harder I work = the more I gain (and, hopefully, earn). I'm simply going to continue doing as much as I can without killing myself and without compromising quality.

And that's the best we can all do...!


WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RESULTS OF MY EXPERIMENT, AND HAS ANY OF IT SURPRISED YOU? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Catherine

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Linking up to: Brilliant Blog PostsSaturday Share Link Up
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

How to Style a T-shirt Dress For Autumn/Fall | Over 40 Collective Collaboration

A rust t-shirt dress layered over grey roll neck, khaki floral wide leg pants, autumnal tri-colour leaf necklace | Autumn style | Fall outfit | Layering | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 styleNDAL banner

A t-shirt dress (or shirt dress) is an easy item to style in the summer: Just add shoes and a bag - maybe a scarf too - and you're pretty much good to go. 

But what to do with it in the autumn? It's always good to make your clothes work hard, however (as the oft-used-by-bloggers expression goes), so a t-shirt dress can be worn in the transitional season with clever layering and some key accessories. Though I did mine a little differently: Buy an item first then wonder how to style it, anyone? That's me more often than I'd like to admit...!

The item in question is this gorgeous rust coloured t-shirt dress that I got for a steal in the sale at ASOS - it's sadly sold out (no wonder when it's less than a tenner), but this one and this one are similar (just add a belt if you want to pull it in like mine). I did think about the "rule" that says if you're wearing something loose up top, go for form-fitting on the bottom... Then I promptly ignored it and went for something loose instead.

I DID THINK ABOUT THE "RULE" THAT SAYS IF YOU'RE WEARING SOMETHING LOOSE UP TOP, GO FOR FORM-FITTING ON THE BOTTOM... THEN I PROMPTLY IGNORED IT AND WENT FOR SOMETHING LOOSE INSTEAD.

I thought that gorgeous rust colour deserved some more autumnal oomph in the form of my khaki floral wide leg pants (less than half price!), some grey pointed heels to go with the roll neck top, and some statement jewellery. The question is, what's the best jewellery to wear with so many autumnal colours?

A rust t-shirt dress layered over grey roll neck, khaki floral wide leg pants, autumnal tri-colour leaf necklace | Autumn style | Fall outfit | Layering | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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