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AWOL (again)

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Oh hi.....is there anyone out there?

How the devil are you? It's been a while.

I know, I know, I've been particularly rubbish this time. I make promises and can't seem to keep them because that damn real life gets in the way. That and the fact that I don't feel I have much to write about anymore. Body shapes, colour, style personality, it's all been covered in previous posts.


We've been in the new house for just over 4 1/2 months, it still feels strange and I'd be lying if I didn't say it's a money-pit. Or should we settle on money-gulf. Urgh!!! The central heating is still alluding the best of plumbers. Burst water pipes that went undiscovered for well, I don't know how long (thankfully on the outside and we're not on a water meter - always an upside). The wasp/ladybird/fly infestation has subsided because of the cold weather and I am so waiting for those little blighters when/if they come back. Oh and the electric gates don't work in cold weather (nothing new there, same problem, different house). And we won't even talk about the wi-fi. We have a full on comms cabinet, yeah sure it looks rather hi-tech, more cables than the BT server but it struggles with even a basic signal in our bedroom. All fur coat and no substance if you ask me.

On the upside, we've had four of the bedrooms decorated. They were a little colourful for my taste and have now been neutralised (Mr & Mrs Bland we are). The kitchen refurb is on hold as I have grander plans than first envisaged but oh boy it gives great parties. There are some fabulous windows dotted around the house that provide spectacular views. My favourite has to be the traditional arched window above the front door. It's about 16ft high directly opposite the landing and has stopped me in my tracks a fair few mornings. Sun rises are the best aren't they? Hubby is happy because he can go to the gym (ie the room at the end of the house) when EVER he wants and putting aside the heating woes, it has turned out to be a very cosy warm house indeed. Oh and Sonos. Why has no one told me that I need this in my life? It gives me so much pleasure to play music anywhere in the house. Yep, I can have a wee listening to Chopin if I want. This will be a MUST in any future house that we own. Funny because we have a Bose system in our place in Spain and have never bothered connecting it up. Fools indeed!

Flying The Nest

So time is galloping at the rate of knots and we'll be losing our son to University later this year. Well, that is if he actually buckles down and does some work because those two As and a B aren't going to happen any other way. Our daughter is firmly ensconced in London with no plans to return in the near future which means that it will be just me, hubby and the dog. It's a weird concept to get my head around and actually quite scary. I'm used to noise and clatter; that morning chaos of lost football boots and last minute homework. Any advice and experience welcome thank you. 🙏🏼

The Circle of (Work) Life

You may remember that I trained with Colour Me Beautiful way, way back and even when I stopped consulting, I carried a passion for the systems that the company had developed. In fact I based many posts on the magic of wearing the right colour. When the company changed hands a couple of years ago, I reconnected with the new CEO who happened to be my mentor when I trained and he coaxed me back into the company, not as a consultant but working on social media and more recently the company blog and newsletters. So I have the grand title of Communication's Manager. Go me! I'm thrilled to be part of the family again. Things are same but different. We still use the old systems because they work but consultants seem younger (or am I older?) and there's a much more forward thinking approach. Anyway if you're interested, here's the link to the website (if you scroll down to the bottom, you can sign up for the monthly newsletter that I write. We cover all things colour, style and make-up.


I tried micro-needling last week. Have you heard of it? Don't confuse it with the micro derma rollers that you can use at home which isn't as intense for obvious reasons. Basically it's a pen shaped instrument with needles on the end that is rolled across the face to create mild trauma to the skin. The idea is that it stimulates collagen and your skin should look plumper and clearer. It also claims to reduce fine lines and treat acne scarring.

I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt. It does, but not unbearably so. It's not a stingy needle feeling, more an unpleasant hammering as if you're drumming hard with your finger nails.  The practitioner worked quite intensively on my 11s (that't the two lines on your forehead above your nose). That hurt! And so did the forehead and above my top lip.

If you look online at images post-treatment, you'd run a mile. Horrendous is the word that springs to mind. I didn't look anywhere near as bad. There was no blood!!!! It looked as if I had a severe case of sunburn which had almost subsided by the evening of Day 2. And by Day 4 the redness had gone.

I'm on Day 6 and my skin certainly looks plumper. Actually, it did straight after the treatment but I put that down to the trauma reaction. My 11s are much better, I wasn't expecting this at all so a Brucie-bonus.

The downside is that my skin seems to be shedding it's top layer so don't plan any special events for a week or so afterwards. I was lucky in that I had a spa day booked with a friend three days later so I had a hydrating massage which has helped but hey if the skin has to come off, it has to come off right? The other thing I've noticed is that I've got a couple of breakouts on my cheeks and a cold sore below my bottom lip. Just what you need when you're going out right?

It will take a month to see the full effect and it's recommended that you have between 3 and 6 treatments but these will last a good year or so.

If you're interested, expect to pay about £100 per session but you can often save by purchasing several sessions at once. And do your research. I've come to realise that you can't always rely on online reviews. Ask around for recommendations, have any of your friends used the clinic for this or a different treatment? What was their experience?

Skincare #ad

I switched skincare products about 6 months ago. Colour Me Beautiful launched a whole new product range back in September and I was intrigued. Especially when I was gifted a couple of bottles. I'm not a beauty product addict, I just need something quick and easy to use.

The whole range is:

* Organic
* Vegan
* Paraben free (so important - check your own skincare and cosmetics. Parabens can be absorbed into the skin and are believed to disrupt hormone functions by mimicking oestrogen. So it's thought that there could be a cancer risk. Not yet proven though but why would you risk it? ).
* Packed with essential oils
* Containers are fully recyclable.

I've been so impressed, the products seem to suit my skin. No tightness from the cleansers and the day and night creams are silky soft. There's no gimmicky claims about looking 10 years younger, basically they do what they say on the tins. I particularly love the fact that you can use the toner on a cotton pad to remove the cream cleanser, very refreshing indeed.

There are occasional bundle offers which I took advantage of to complete the collection. I'm desperate to know what else is planned for release this year but there's no inside information here - I'm as in the dark as the next person!

My Wardrobe (contains affiliate links)

Pretty crap actually. I'm not the best winter dresser. As a City Chic Style Personality (find yours here), I'm far more at home in the spring and autumn months. Still trying to buy quality, classic pieces but more often than not, I see something and think, nah I've got better in my wardrobe already. So winter-wise, other than a couple of thin knits, a dress to wear over the festive period and a pair of jeans, that's it. You won't see trend-led pieces in this space (sorry).

I'm in the process of replacing my beachwear though and have picked up a few bits for the hols. Get in early if you see something that you like, that's what I've found with M&S as they don't always restock.

Black Dress | White Dress | Black & White Dress
The two black dresses are pretty versatile and can be worn in the evening too. Strappy, flat, gold sandals and a little jute or raffia bag. Done. Except wear it in the evening first before you relegate it for a day at the beach (for obvious reasons!).

Bridget Jones Big Pants But Better #ad

Don't get me wrong, I love a pretty underwear set but I also like me a big pair of pants too. I'm no knicker snob and for the last few years, have worn the seamfree pants from Sainsburys which I can't find online but they're about a fiver. No control or support, just big pants. And to be honest they're great but not 100% seamless but I like them because they stay put unlike M&S's offering that slip and slide all over the place. No one wants puddling pants and baggy bums.

Anyway, Fantasie Lingerie sent me these ages ago and I've only just got around to sharing them. These are truly seam free and they stay up. Silky soft to wear too. Cracking knickers is all I can say.

Smoothease Invisible Stretch Full Knickers £13

I was sent black, white and nude, if I'm honest I don't really see the point of white pants, I'd never wear them under white clothes and I have a fear of god that if I wear them under black, I might have an ultraviolet-light moment (because I go disco dancing daily. Right!).

Podcast Junkie

A bit late to the party but I've got into podcast in a huge way over the last year or so. An easy listen in the car, in the house, walking the dog, at 3am when you can't sleep (I'm convinced that listening to dulcet tones whilst resting the eyes is the way to go).

A few of my favourites:

1) Back issues of Dessert Island Discs. Love the girl boss ones: Jaqueline Gold, Martina Cole, Alexandra Shulman.

2) Serial: three series in total, my favourite by far is the third one which looks at the criminal justice system in the USA. Absolutely fascinating, you'll meet great characters, some with their own agendas!!

3) Finding Cleo: - so so sad. An indigenous child taken from her mother on a Canadian reservation and adopted by an American family. The series uncovers the truth as to how she died as a teenager.

4) Missing Richard Simmons.: the crazy larger than life 80s fitness guru who withdrew from society a few years ago. Compulsive listening even if the story isn't as dramatic as others.

5) Intrigue: The Rat Run: explores the mysterious disappearance of senior Nazi, Otto Wachter and attempts to trace his life after he left his native home.

6) Beyond Reasonable Doubt: if you haven't watched the Netflix series, The Staircase (and even if you have), this is brilliant. How did the wife of novelist, Michael Peterson end up at the bottom of the stairs. My ears were literally popping when I heard about the fate of his first wife.

Let me know your favourites too.

I should probably go now shouldn't I. This is an epic post. And I mean epic in length, not in fantastically curated content!

I'm outta here x

12 comments on "AWOL (again)"
  1. Yay, you are back! I was wondering if you had given up on blogging. I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading your posts about colours, shapes and styles!
    How wonderful that you are working for Colour Me Beautiful again, congratulations!

  2. Great to see you back! Love your down to earth, honest approach..the micro needling looks interesting, I've been wondering about trying one of those rollers..your home looks Fab Donna, glad you're settling in ok. It's such a big upheaval moving isn't it! X

    1. If you want to know more about microdermarolling at home Sandy, Joanna over on Poppy's Style uses one daily and knows her stuff. Yep moving is an upheaval and I can't say it's our last!! Still searching for our forever house (albeit not actively so at the moment). Thanks for your kind words xx

  3. Welcome back Donna!! I've missed your blogs! Loving the house pics, as I possibly love interiors more than fashion dare I say. And huge congratulations on the Colour Me Beautiful job, I knew something had changed with their social media lately, just didn't guess it was you. Do they have much of a Marketing Team? I'd love the chance to help re-shape their strategy, to help make them more relevant to the modern shopper.

    1. Hi Kathryn thanks for dropping by and leaving another comment (always appreciated). Interesting that you spotted a change in the CMB social media. Nope, just me on the team. I think Cliff, our CEO, has probably achieved more in the last 18 months or so than he could have ever dreamed of. So much admiration for him xx

  4. I'm here! Always love reading your blog Donna, you're a very good writer. Congrats on the new job. Winifred

    1. Hello Winifred, thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. xx

  5. Congrats on the new house and settling in!

    Umm yes. Big fan of sensible undies here too!

    SSG xxx

    1. Ha ha me too, can't beat a pair of Bridget Jones can you!!!! xx

  6. Welcome back Donna and congrats on the job. Always enjoy your posts.

    1. Hi Christine, thanks so much, it's lovely to hear that people still enjoy reading my posts (I kind of assume that we've all moved on and are so over blogs) xx