Look Fabulous Forever search for LFF Face of 2019

Hello and welcome to this special post where today I'm working in association with the beauty brand Look Fabulous Forever. As you'll see from the title, the brand is looking for an over 50 fabulous, vibrant woman to be their Face of 2019. Are you an inspiration? Do you defy your age, stepping outside the ordinary to define yourself in your very own way? Are you full of the joie de vivre? If so, then follow the link here to apply or maybe even prompt someone who you thinks fits that description. 

Here's what the team at Look Fabulous Forever have to say about this competition - 
Last year we ran a search to seek out a ‘Face of LFF’ - an older woman whose attitude to life would reflect everything that Look Fabulous Forever seeks to encapsulate.She would also be a warm, enthusiastic and vivacious older woman who had taken risks which had pushed her well outside her comfort zone. From hundreds of deserving entries we selected 3 women - one who was named the Face of LFF and 2 runners up. Meet the winners here.

We’d like to hear from women over 50 who believe that age is no barrier to living a fabulous life. Women who have challenged perceptions of how older women should live their life, overcome adversity or found a new hobby or even made a big life change that has led to their happiness.

The overall winners prize includes:

·       Professional makeover and photoshoot

·       £500 cash prize

·       A range of LFF products

·       Personalised colour and style consultation 

·       Ongoing appearance as the Face of LFF 2019

Plus there are 2 runner up prizes also.

Dates: 19th Jan - 24th March 2019

Last year I was lucky enough to work with Annee, the Face of 2018. Annee is blessed with good genes she said, when I complimented her on her youthful skin. Between that and her pretty features I could understand why she was chosen to represent the brand for the year. But not only that, she has such a gentle nature and warm personality it was easy to see how she won the hearts of the judges. This year it could be you - so be brave and fill out the form!

Talking of brave, yes some of you may think I'm either brave or mad to be swimming in the winter in just a swimsuit, but honestly I seem to be part of a growing trend. Yes this habit was maybe once viewed as an extreme sport, but with the latest evidence that cold water bathing has huge health benefits, I'm pleased to say that I am positively mainstream now. If you need further persuading then click on the link here to read about cold water swimming. 

Yes, if you've read the article, you'll see the report shows not only benefits to general health, but also for mental well-being. At last this subject too has become centre stage and is (hopefully) about to shake off the stigma that once surrounded it. Ill health isn't a matter of choice and I've suffered from various health problems over my life, some of which I've discussed and some I've shied away from. My winter depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder, to give it its proper name) has been more or less completely banished by this simple act of sea immersion. There's no need to swim for miles or stay in the water for long either - a quick dip would work wonders. 

During the latest spell of winter weather I've seen photos on Instagram of fellow swimmers ploughing through icy lakes (yes, with actual chunks of ice) and trekking along snow covered boardwalks to reach their chosen patch of endorphin-inducing water. If you don't believe me see Julie P and Ella Chloe here. Forgive me for harping on, but honestly you can't knock it until you've tried it. Then, and only then, once you've experienced the mighty afterglow, will you understand what all the fuss it about!

When you see the ruddy glow to the skin as that rush of blood shows on the surface, then I ask you to consider that same rush of blood reaching the brain, energising the immune system, blasting through your fat cells and boosting your metabolism. I'm part of this growing revolution who chooses sea swimming over medication to keep myself well. 

Care to join me?

Anna x


My trip of a lifetime - part one

In case you're not up to speed with my news, I've been off the radar for most of January, away on the most amazing trip of a lifetime. On Friday the 4th January I boarded a Twin Otter plane flying out from St Mary's to Land's End. As I sat next to my dear friend Kate, I chattered on, bubbling with excitement at the prospect of three weeks off the islands. The purpose of my trip was to travel to South Africa, Cape Town to be precise, with the JD Williams production team to attend a photo shoot for the spring fashion campaign. The three weeks covered a visit to Manchester for the wardrobe fitting primarily and then a trip to Scotland to visit my family until we flew out to South Africa. This was yet another #pinchme moment in my life - I could hardly believe my luck that I was one of only five models being flown out for this event (two models from Cape Town joined us on location).

I felt like a kid let out of school. Excitement mixed with disbelief at my luck!

I left the islands behind, flying in to Land's End on a chilly winter morning. My first two nights were spent at Keigwin House in Penzance owned by friends and ex-Tresco residents Stuart and Fran Brint. They're very well suited to this way of life and are warm and welcoming. The premises are clean and comfortable, as well as being ideally placed for a walk along the promenade and the nearby shops. As you know, I'm not averse to a bit of retail therapy and managed to while a couple of hours away in the town before I dropped in to catch up with a friend who has relocated to Cornwall. Penzance is part of a thriving artistic community which was apparent even within the shopping centre. 

This was in a florist's window - isn't is beautiful?

What a great showcase for the creativity of these youngsters.

I don't drive, and we don't have cars on the island where I live, but if I did, then this baby pink motor would be my dream car. Oh, and doesn't it go really well with my coat?

Have food, will travel. The biggest feature of my everyday life is my food. Clean eating, without any additives, preservatives or nasty surprises is not just important, but is vital to my well being. My health story is featured here in case you think I'm just being faddy. Therefore, when I travel I take what I need to eat on the go. Airports and railway stations can't be relied on for my supplies so I always travel with a plan of where I'll be and what I'll need en route. This little cache is for Sunday the 6th when I was leaving Penzance by train to Truro and then out to St Mawgan where I was spending the night near Newquay airport. Lunch, dinner, breakfast and another lunch are all here which means no stress for me as I book into a guest house to find that they don't have the simple fare that I need. By lunchtime next day I'd be crossing London, food to hand for my meal on the hoof.

Penzance railway stations marks the end of the line in Cornwall for most travellers, but for me this was the first of many train journeys over the next three weeks. 

Ensconced on the train and time to try to get a selfie that captures the grinning excitement of the next stage of my journey. So far, I've travelled by jet boat, Twin Otter plane, minibus, train and next it's a taxi to tonight's destination. My flight from Newquay is at 7.25am with a 6am check in time. My evening comprised of dinner, TV movie and an early night. I wish I could say that I slept well, but the excitement had my mind racing the minute my head touched the pillow. At 5am I was up and dressed, waiting for my taxi to the airport.

What a lovely, joyful meeting this was. This is an Instagram friend, Laura Evans aka St Ives Mermaid and this was our first face to face meeting. Laura and I had tried to meet up in St Ives on the previous day, but she was working and I was short of time, so we decided that the fates were against us. Imagine my surprise when she breezed into the airport lounge, wearing a fabulous flower crown and oozing star quality! Oh, that girl is a living wonder. Neither of us had mentioned our forthcoming flights, so it was a brilliant surprise and boy, how we talked! We're very similar, outgoing types, but our back story is also similar too. During the summer months, Laura attends all sorts of water based events, dressed in her mermaid's tail, swimming up to the beaches and harbours in her corner of Cornwall to the absolute delight of children and adults alike. We chatted about our travel plans - she was on her way to Austria to stay with a friend and was looking forward to frolicking in the snow (snerrr as she called it). I followed her photos with delight as she did indeed have great fun in the flurries of white stuff. Laura and I hope to organise a swim together on the islands this summer - I'll keep you informed when that shapes into a definite plan.

Arriving into Gatwick at dawn was the next stage of my journey. But more of that next time ...

Anna x


January jumpers with the Style Not Age collective

Hello and welcome to our January challenge with the Style Not Age collective. I chose jumpers as this month's theme as I thought it would be our go-to item at this time of year. We've all had a pretty challenging time just getting our shots in on time as the weather seems to have played havoc everywhere this weekend. But hey, here they all are, so let's start with Hilda shall we?

Hilda's sweater is all about the back view and rather nice it is too! The ladder back with a deep V certainly lifts her jumper out of the ordinary. Skinny jeans and heeled boots round things off nicely. See more on her blog Over The Hilda.

Skinny jeans too from Emma of Style Splash and she's taken various shades of yellow as her feature colour for sock boots, hat and that cute graphic print jumper. Do hop across to her blog to read her back story.

When I first met Jacqui she told me that she has a three colour rule when she's putting a look together and today these are black, white and fuchsia which has proven to be a great combination. See more on Mummabstylish.

You could say that I'm following Jacqui's three colour rule too this month as well as taking a leaf out of her book with an injection of fun by way of the brightest of bubblegum pink, surely the perfect antidote to winter. My son Jamie bought me these sock boots for my Christmas and this is the first time I've worn them. They're the same as my beloved red ones and are also by H&M. My jumper is by ME+EM and is pre-loved, jeans are by Lee and are a lovely fit with a touch of stretch.

I've had this suede two tone belt for years now. I bought it from Benetton in Truro, another shop in the city that has recently closed down. However, it has at least been re-opened by another clothes retailer. As my nearest and most favourite retail centre I have a great interest in the city of Truro and it's future. And forgive me, but I'm just gonna have a mini-moan now about my most favourite of shops, TK Maxx. On my recent travels I've been in branches of TK in London, Manchester, Dundee, Edinburgh and Truro and I have to say how terribly disappointing the Truro branch is with regards to shoe stock. Years ago the entire width of the back of the store was full of shoes. Each size had its own rack which spread across the rear of the shop, ranging from 3 to 8. That's at least 6 islands of shoes and sometimes my sizes, a 5 and 6, would have two islands. I was in the shop a few days ago and was saddened to see that their entire shoe stock has been shrunk down to two measly racks. At the checkout I asked the assistant if they were running down their stock completely and was told it's a chicken and egg situation. Seemingly they aren't allowed more stock because their sales have fallen, and yes their sales continue to drop as the selection becomes smaller and smaller. I'm just about to write to them (a good old fashioned letter) to say my piece rather than just rant on to you.

My sweet little handbag was a recent charity shop find, costing all of two pounds. I took it abroad with me and it was the perfect size for keeping all of my valuables close at hand. Not only that, but it was ideal for both daytime wear and evening outings. I took it out to dinner and also to a party in Cape Town and this bag didn't look in the least out of place at either venue. Someone even asked me if it was a designer piece! My other accessories are two pink resin rings, both pre-loved, which my photographer and I omitted to get close-ups of, as well as a silver Tree of Life pendant and of course my obligatory Quay Australia sunglasses.

You can hardly tell from this sunny backdrop at the time that yesterday we had a gale raging across the island, could you? Steve suggested this sheltered spot, the walkway to the bird hide, timing it just right to capture the late morning sun. I'd been up early, keen to unpack my bags and get a sense of order before going back to work today. I also wanted to get back into my morning routine, so after spending some time on my blog, I waited for daybreak and got my swimming things together. I've missed my daily sea swims and am keen to get the old routine established again. I donned fleecy over trousers, big woolly jumper, fur-lined jacket, boot socks, fur lined boots, bobble hat and gloves and jumped on my bike to head to Appletree Bay.

The sea was wild, all white tops and choppy waves. 

The sun was just emerging from behind the clouds as I arrived at the beach. I watched the waves surge in and suck out again. I watched a bit longer. And then I decided that my first swim ought not to be quite so daunting - the tidal run was about 15 to 20 feet, which makes even just getting into the water a scary business. I love sea swimming, but I'm not as brave as I'd like to be. 

So I took a few photos and cycled back home again. In the distance, beyond Cromwell's Castle, I could see the waves pounding over Shipman's Head on Bryher. So no swim today then? Ah, well, maybe not. A couple of hours later when the sun was shining and the tide was high, I did a first swimming wise. I literally ran from my house in my swimsuit, out across the road and into the sea at the slipway below my kitchen window. I swam across the bay towards the quay and back. Not a big swim, but certainly a brisk one, but more importantly, a safe one. The bay was protected from the strong Northerly wind and was relatively calm. Job done!

And that's it for our January style challenge. I do hope you'll take a moment to check out the other ladies in full on their blogs. If you want to see more of these, then the December challenge is here, November here and October is here.

Thanks for dropping by. It's lovely to be home again and I'm so keen to hear from you all. Please leave me a comment to just say hello - it's great to know you're out there!

Have a super week!

Anna x


Mermaid coat

Yes, the wanderer has returned! Hello and how lovely to have your company again. The past three weeks have gone by in a flash, but conversely I feel like I've been away for ages. My huge trip has generated lots of imagery so I'm not going to rush into things, but want to sift through the photos and put together some easily digestible features for you over the next little while. 

Let's go back a bit, shall we, to that crazy flurry aka Christmas when my darling husband bought me this - from here on known as my mermaid coat due to the massive sequins/scales. Isn't it bloody lovely! Yes, I'll admit, he did have a bit of guidance as to what I'd like, but surely that's better than having an unwanted gift? The coat is from Topshop and for those of you who may be drooling at the sight of this completely over-the-top jacket, well it's good news - here it is in the sale.

I can see that the coat will be an absolute asset to my wardrobe - I imagine that I can wear this on exhibition nights as well as the obvious beach shot on a desert island somewhere too. What fun I'll have with this! The subtle iridescent colours are so flattering and lend themselves to all sorts of pastel pairings. Today's outfit features a pale pink cotton roll neck sweater and bleached denim flares with a rose gold belt - all preloved. The silver high heeled leather boots are by Buffalo London, giving just the right edge to the look.

I've used both rose gold and silver as my accessory colours here to great effect, even if I do say so myself. You can see how lots of pastel shades are present in the coat - lemon, gold, pale aqua, pink, peach, pale green - all of them opening up future styling possibilities. I know it's not everyday wear, but goodness, since when did that stop me? As you know, I've just come back from the mainland where I scooped up an orange sequined padded bomber jacket at the last minute and as I couldn't fit it into my already stuffed suitcase, well I just put it on, zipped it up, and travelled home in it from Truro. On the early morning train, waiting at the station for my lift, and at the airport, where I breezed in as if it was absolutely normal to be wearing orange sequins at nine in the morning. Dahling - I've just returned from a fashion shoot in Cape Town, luvvies!!!!!

I've mixed all kinds of textures and colours for my jewellery too - a plastic peach toned ring with another of silver and enamel, both charity shopped, plus the rose gold watch gifted to me by Nordgreen, a gold rose belt (preloved) and the glittery silver clutch which has no brand but was a ten pound buy from a small boutique somewhere. The rose gold sunglasses are by my favourite brand Quay Australia.

In my absence my dear friend and designer Bo, has been busy at work giving the blog a face lift and doesn't it look gorgeous? A new year, a new start and all that jazz, eh? 

If you've been following my recent adventures on Instagram, you'll have seen that the client asked me to have a new, sharp haircut. The image they sent me, showed a picture perfect young model with button nose, cheek bones like coat hangers and skin like porcelain. I do wonder if they had considered how this would translate across to my generous nose, wrinkled skin and thin lips? No matter. What I wonder is, which you prefer - this hairstyle or the micro fringed number?

It's great to be back on the island and to think about 2019 and what it holds. My recent trip to Cape Town showed me how life can be full of surprises, (albeit some of them rather last minute), but if you are willing to say Yes to the universe then anything is possible. We're all different and we all want different things in life, so whatever you want I would say - wish for it every morning, send that wish out to the universe couched in gratitude and then get on with everything that comes your way with joy in your heart and a spring in your step!

Please join me again on Monday when the Style Not Age collective will be featuring our January Jumpers - very topical indeed. Until then, have a lovely weekend!

Anna x

Created by bo design