Breton tops and scarvesOn a very rare night where we grabbed a couple of hours together to plan our blog, Suz and I started chatting about all the “rules” for 40 plus ladies and how mostly we ignore them all (Suzanne got VERY cross reading that she wasn’t to wear her maxi dresses anymore – ridiculous right?).

But as we chatted about how much we absolutely hate being told what we can and can’t wear, we started making a list of our own rules that we do swear by, many of which haven’t changed in the last 2 decades despite getting ‘old’. Here are ours. And of course we don’t expect you to pay attention to any of them and encourage you to wear whatever the hell you want.

Suz: ALWAYS wear matching underwear (always buy two pairs of knickers to every bra).

Nic: Own at least three pairs of great fitting, flattering jeans.

Suz: Every women’s makeup essential item – nude lipstick.

Nic: Invest in your hair with a great colour and cut from a hairdresser you trust

Both: Breton Tops; the more the better (and they aren’t just for Spring).

Nic: BIG silver hoops. Big.

Suz: Delicate jewellery with a couple of bold statement pieces.

Both: Own at least one red mac and lots of good quality coats.

Nic: Shoes. Loads of them. Can’t ever have enough.

Suz: Boots are the essential footwear.

Nic: Cross body handbag. Smallish so you can FIND STUFF.

Suz: Own 800 pairs of tights. Must have three pairs in reserve at all times.

Nic: No tights.

Suz: Oversized tote bag that DOES NOT look like a baby bag.

Nic: Best phone you can afford.

Suz: Mum on speed-dial.

Nic: Mini-break every 6 weeks.

Suz: Expensive moisturiser (Even if it doesn’t work).

Nic: Thumb ring, toe ring and nose piercing. All or any of them.

Both: Scarves. An easy and cheap way to change any outfit.

Suz: Little Black Dress.

Both: Don’t take any notice of people who tell you what you can and can’t wear because you’re a certain age or shape.

 

 

 

Luke tucking in at Keepers cafeWe’ve been meaning to visit Keeper’s Cafe in Dipton for ages and finally made some time to go! A family run business, Lisa and the rest of the lovely team, go out of their way to make you feel welcome and spoil you with their GORGEOUS food and treats.

The cakes are awesome, so if you simply wanted to sit in a comfy chair and chill with your friend or partner, that’s just fine. But if you have little ones, as you can see Suzanne brought Luke for his lunch, the children’s room at the back of the cafe is absolutely perfect.

It’s not just about the homemade food, the ladies love to support other local, small businesses and there is an enticing range of gifts and keepsakes to treat yourself or someone special to.

Suzanne and I managed to get a bit of chat time whilst Luke was asleep and the setting was perfect. We sat in the front room on two very comfy chairs, relaxing with a couple of hot drinks. When Luke woke up, we moved to the children’s area.

Panini at Keepers cafeFor lunch I had the amazing cheese board which had great portion sizes, enough crackers and pickle and lots of varieties of hand picked, local cheeses. Suzanne opted for a mozzarella and tomato panini which came with coleslaw, crisps and salad. Luke had a children’s platter with ham, salad, bread and other bits and bobs, which he promptly demolished. The food was delicious and there’s a good selection of lunch time favourites all made on-site.

We weren’t chased or hurried up, the older children played together and there is plenty to keep them entertained. The prices are reasonable, the atmosphere is lovely, and there are lots of monthly events hosted at the cafe so it’s well worth checking their website out or their Facebook page.

A plethora of eyebrow makeupIf someone took the time out to explain HD brows to me I still wouldn’t get them. There are going to be many girls who’ll look back at photos of their HD eyebrows in a few years time and ask why nobody stopped them.

Still, there’s nothing quite as ageing as narrow, patchy eyebrows that have suffered years of plucking. I can vividly remember advice from an old work colleague when I was in my 20’s and she was in her 40’s, imploring me not to over-pluck as “they just don’t grow back”.

My collection of eyebrow-enhancers seems to be growing at a fierce pace so I thought I’d share my positive and negatives for each product.

    1. Clear mascara. If you have enough eyebrow to shape, clear mascara is enough to keep them groomed all day. This Rimmel tube is available everywhere and is inexpensive, easy to use and effective. My most used eyebrow product.
    2. Eyebrow pencil. Cheap and easy to use. Fills in the spaces. The original eyebrow makeup. I find it a bit of a struggle getting the colour and tone to match and it does wear off (on me?) more quickly but I’ll admit to having eyebrow pencils in most of my bags for the ultimate quick touch up. Remember your sharpener.
    3. Kiko Eyebrow coloured mascara. Easy to use (short outward strokes) fills the gaps and shapes your brow at the same time. I’ve bought two separate shades but one is too red and the other not-quite-right. And I’ve been a little over zealous on a couple of occasions and needed some swift action with a cotton bud to sort out the mess!
    4. Benefit brows. Certainly the most expensive of the products in the image. But is has lasted an absolute age (the packing is completely different now). With a separate powder and wax, 2 little brushes and tweezers in a mirrored case this product is the closest in match to my eyebrow colour, and really does fill and shape. The wax is used after the powder to help it stay put. If you’re investing in something like this, visit the counter first and get someone to show you how.
    5. Stila All Day Waterproof Brow Colour. This is my new favourite. I was tempted to try it because it’s ‘waterproof’ and lasts ‘all day.’ As it’s a brush tip, the end result is natural and not overdone. I find it really easy to use and it does last without the need for top ups.

Stila waterproof brow colour

Dad and daughterFor his 70th birthday, my dad announced that he wanted to cycle from London to Paris. And so he did with my brother and fella to keep him company. When I mentioned that I wanted to support Willow Burn Hospice near Lanchester, County Durham, by doing the Great North Run, he decided he’d do it with me. He’s 72 now. “It’s on the bucket list” says he. “Ok” says I.

And that was that. His Christmas present was sorted; entry to the Great North Run.

For many years, when I was small, my family positioned ourselves at the bottom of my gran and granddad’s street in South Shields to watch the Great North runners, specifically my Uncle Alan, run past.

If you’ve never watched 10s of 1000s of people run past the end of your street it’s a real spectacle. People of all shapes and sizes and fitness levels doing a mammoth half marathon for whatever reason they have.

And this year, the Little Dad and Daughter team will be running (well not exactly running) on behalf of the magnificent Willow Burn Hospice which provides care for people with palliative and end of life needs.

Just to be clear, Dad and I are NOT runners. This will hurt. And neither of us have ever, ever run half a marathon. To start at the age of 42 and 72 respectively is daunting to say the least. But Willow Burn is an amazing place which really cares for their patients and families and well worth some considerable effort from us to help them.

We’ll be tracking our preparations, my attempt to stay fit for longer than a few months and how much money we raise too.

Nic x

And if you’d like to sponsor us, please do!

 

 

It took me 2 years to find a local in Consett. Made all the worse because my new local, The Travellers Rest, is exactly 7 minutes walk from my house. Still, at least I know it’s there now and am certainly making up for missed time by going in every week.

Once you find a place that is comfortable, friendly, reliable and really (really) reasonably priced, why not make it a weekly treat?

The Travellers Rest is all those things and more. Dead comfy, roaring fire, barrels to stand at, church pew seats downstairs, dining tables upstairs – it’s somewhere that we feel really at home in.

The food is pub food. But really good pub food.

Chicken fajitas at the travellers rest in Consett

Above is the chicken fajitas that come out of the kitchen steaming. And I mean steaming! The food is freshly prepared and home cooked and really great value. Below is a picture of all the trappings that come with the steaming fajitas. It’s just lovely.

A bottle of wine and two main courses is never more that £30 which is an absolute steal. You’ll not need a pud if you’ve had your main course, promise.

So if you’re passing through Consett and Derwentside, make sure you stop here.
fajitas and cheese and salsa