Friday, 30 December 2016


As 2016 draws to a close, we are very much looking forward to a new start in 2017.  We began our blog in January 2016 and were over the moon to reach 1000 genuine Instagram followers just before Christmas. We hope that means you enjoy seeing what we wear and the places we visit, and we certainly hope to bring you more of that in 2017.

But first of all we have a big night out to plan for New Year!  Anne C is wearing a beautiful pleated champagne dress which is still available from Chesca - which I think you either love or hate (Hubby thinks it looks like a nappy)!  From Anne's point of view it is really comfortable, and for a curvy shape, is very flattering.  Anne discovered Chesca some years ago and they cater for plus size - even though Anne has lost some weight (ok so she will never be a size 8!) they start at size 10 and go up to size 24 and have some stunning clothes - she wishes she could afford to shop there regularly.  Despite her dress size, she is not very tall and sleeve length and shoulder seams are always a problem, but this dress is a perfect fit and the shaped hemline balances the look.

She has accessorised with a heavy black beaded necklace from Uterque, rose gold earrings and pink pearl bracelet from Simply Devine in Tadcaster, diamante watch from Swarovski, faux snakeskin clutch bag bought in Santorini and black silk sling backs from Debenhams (similar here).

Anne H's tulip skirted black dress with a bow collar was also purchased from Simply Devine in Tadcaster and is by James Lakeland.  It is a really versatile and comfortable dress  in soft jersey, and a really flattering shape, being cut below the bust and falling below the knee.

Annes black suede court shoes are from Dune London, her diamante bracelet is from the now closed Emma Somerset  and her evening clutch is one she has had for ages.

Anne C's navy blue dress is in a stretchy jersey fabric and came from Florence and Fred at Tesco, and has a sequinned panel on the hip to give it a festive vibe. She has teamed it with navy and diamante earrings bought in M&S a couple of years ago and a diamante necklace and rose gold bangle bought at Castle Howard this Christmas. The pink pearl bracelet is from Simply Devine, bag is Anne H's (see above).

Anne H's dress is from Reiss and was purchased nearly three years ago for our cruise to the Far East. With metallic mesh sleeves and gunmetal grey tones it is a very flattering colour and looks equally dressy when worn with trousers. Her two tone grey shoes with gold decorative elements are also from Dune London - a favourite shoe shop for Anne as their court shoes are of a wearable heel height.  

Anne's diamante necklace was purchased at a Christmas stall at Castle Howard for just £14, so a  real bargain.  Her bracelet is from Laura Ashley and glasses are from Miu Miu.  


Friday, 23 December 2016


Anyone who remembers Brideshead Revisited will recognise the stunning location of Castle Howard, set in stunning countryside between York and Scarborough.

Anne H has visited previously at Christmas, but this was a first for me, though we have spent many a sunny summers day here - including a memorable occasion at a Porsche Show which was hubby's passion at the time!

But on a crisp and sunny Winter's day just before Christmas, I can honestly say it was a lovely festive day out and we had the opportunity to buy a few treats at their pop-up stalls, as well as marvel at the stunning Christmas decorations.  What an amazing place it must be to live there (though I would dread the bills as it was lovely and warm inside the house!)

I wrapped up warm in a red wool oversized coat from Kaleidescope bought some years ago but a similar one from Jaeger here, which I decorated with a white faux fur scarf from ebay to keep it Christmassy. My black trousers and red leather gloves are from M&S, favourite black suede boots from Primark and black mock-croc handbag from a stall at a summer fair.

Anne H wears a coat from COS which is the classic navy Crombie style that never seems to date.  Her scarf was purchased at a Christmas Fair at Ripley Castle a couple of years ago. The tan suede boots are from Kurt Geiger Miss KG range, called Spider, and are also available in black.  Jeans are from 7 for all Mankind and the trusty black handbag is from Loxley.  

Chatting to one of the friendly volunteers, she told us that planning the Christmas decor takes all year, with the decorator poring over colour schemes, coloured balls and whatever is de rigueur in the Christmas world! Then the actual decoration is completed by a veritable army of helpers, armed with several thousand baubles, candles and lights.  The result is a stunning array of beautifully decorated trees, table centre-pieces and arrangements - all of which of course can be purchased in the shop!

Not quite a Christmas tree - but using bare branches decked in seasonal baubles can be really effective.

A single candle in a glass candle holder or lantern, placed in a plain holly wreath makes a wonderfully simple decoration for a hall table or console.

Something a little more elaborate - especially if you have a beautiful historic stone statue to dress up!

Bags of dried oranges (available to buy at Castle Howard), together with dried cinnamon sticks or cloves can create a wonderfully fragrant decoration.  The candles in this shot are mostly actually battery operated, but look just as effective as the real thing - and are probably much safer, especially if you have young children or small animals about.

This beautiful brass electric lantern is transformed with some simple white ferns and artificial berries.

Real tealights in special holders look stunning on this branch - good to see it isn't on a real fir tree as the branches could be a fire hazard.

We loved this sturdy tree with its tea cups and saucers - all in matching blue and white Delft pottery or Willow pattern.

Simple is always effective - a long gallery of plain Christmas trees with just a string of lights for decoration. Perfect.

Sunday, 18 December 2016


I always feel as if I have to dress up on Christmas Day, when in truth, it's a day to relax, have fun and be with people you love.  After the hurley-burley of the year, Christmas Day is about family, friends and being comfortable.  I have been out for Christmas lunch to friends' homes in previous years and have felt the need to have full make-up, styled hair and beautifully manicured nails, when really, all I wanted to do was chill!

This year I think I have got it sussed!  There will just be three of us at home for Christmas Day, so I can be as relaxed and comfortable as I want to be, since I will be cooking and clearing up the mess caused by all the wrapping paper, string, bows and glitter on our beautifully wrapped presents.  Most of the day will be spent watching films and probably eating chocolates! The other Anne, however, has a full-on day for her much larger extended family and will be catering for a full house - 12 to be exact!

Ever a glutton for punishment, on Boxing Day she has also has invited us for lunch with her immediate family.  My outfit this year is one I rescued from the charity pile, and will be perfect for Boxing Day - dressy enough but comfortable.  I have lost some weight in the last couple of years and this was an outfit which was a little baggy (but I have tightened the waist line and it doesn't matter if the rest is a little loose) - perfect now for when one over-indulges at this festive time of year - and Anne is a superb cook so I know that there will be lots of lovely goodies to eat and drink.

My outfit for the day is a three-piece velvet suit of camisole, baggy straight legged trousers and a long swing jacket (it does have fur cuffs and collar but I have taken those off).

I have teamed the outfit with a statement glass necklace from John Lewis (like this but in silver) and rose gold diamante earrings from Simply Devine, and a sparkly crystal watch from Swarovski.

Anne H's very festive red silk longline shirt is from Pure Collection (although the website calls it burnt russet).  It's just a perfect length to feel comfortable in but still stylish and smart and in the perfect shade of red for Christmas. She has teamed it with a longline necklace from one of her favourite shops, Covet in Ilkley, which has a great range of unique, ethically sourced jewellery, and a handcrafted bracelet with coral inserts purchased from one of her frequent trips to Tropea. She is pictured below on her latest visit to Italy to celebrate a family birthday.


Sunday, 11 December 2016


It's that time of year again when we rummage around in the bottom of our drawers or wardrobes and dig out the sort of jumpers we wouldn't be seen dead in at any other time of the year!  But oh, they do so bring on the Christmas spirit and by the time lunch is over they look positively acceptable.

We would love to see pictures of you in your Christmas sweaters, and in the meantime here are a few from what would appear to be a fairly extensive collection from the pair of us.  A worrying trait perhaps?

First up is Anne C rocking a very fetching Santa Claus, or is it Mrs Claus?, top.  A little lighter weight than the usual knit, this might actually take us through the Christmas cooking without causing a literal burn out.  This top comes from Matalan and was purchased last year.  It just goes to prove that these tops never go out of fashion. (Note the Santa earrings!)

Anne H's top is from Tesco's F&F range and was purchased a couple of years ago. Loving the addition of the little scarf to add another dimension and something to dangle into the the gravy. Tesco have a great selection for all the family and with prices from only £12 they are a real bargain.

This one  from Marks and Spencer also last year is a little more tasteful and is in Anne C's favourite colour - pink.  The addition of the fetching sequinned tree makes this a fancy little number to rock-a-round the Christmas tree in with the help of Rafferty the cat. (Christmas tree earrings this time).

This next one has more of a ski jumper vibe but also includes a bit of sparkle to add some excitement.  This sweater is from Next who can be guaranteed to have the most amazing Christmas jumper selection with sizes for all the family.  I haven't looked, but suspect they may even have something for the family pet.

This is really quite disturbing as Anne C is usually the one who goes for the brighter, more extravagant tops and here she is again in a much more tasteful number, purchased from Bon Marche, (not a shop she normally ever goes in) with the feature of a graphic sequinned Christmas tree in gold.  (And Christmas wreath earrings for this one!) Fabulous. 

Finally Anne H has really gone all out and I think this might actually be a PJ top, but it is hard to tell.  A really in-your-face snowman with her favoured scarf to add a 3 dimensional aspect.  This top is also from Next from their range called "Today" in which she chose to hibernate in, and was purchased last year.

So this completes our selection of tops and if we are honest it doesn't even cover all of them.  

But if you are looking for more inspiration apart from the retailers we have linked here we would suggest also searching out ASOS , Boohoo and Zalando.

© Sensational Baby Boomers

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