A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

THE CLASSIC CAMEL COAT.

Okay, so here’s another party I’m late to… The camel coat! Over the last few months I’ve been very strict with myself & have only bought classic pieces and clothes that I know I’ll wear for years to come. Something I felt I was lacking in my wardrobe was a sophisticated long line coat, so when that sneaky black Friday weekend came around, I knew that I had to get one. I’d had a quick browse online and decided that this Missguided number would be absolutely perfect!





I’d opted for this oversized camel number because as soon as I saw it, I could instantly imagine the type of outfits I wanted to wear it with.  I’m wanting to create more of a capsule wardrobe so this idea of a multifunctional coat really appealed to me. It’s a fabulous fit, oversized enough to fit over a few layers (it’s getting cold now, don’t you know) and super snuggly warm to get wrapped up in. I absolutely love it!
I wanted to let my coat do the talking today so Claire being Claire, I’ve opted for an all black everything outfit. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about this colour pairing that just screams sophistication to me. I love the click clack of heeled boots too with an outfit like this…. It’s safe to say I’m feeling like a boss lady!

What do you think of todays outfit? How would you have styled this long line coat?

Claire.X

BENITO BROW BAR - SHARE THE WOW!

So something quite monumental in my life happened last week... I finally got my brows tamed! I'm quite big on well groomed brows & am always using innovative products to refine their shape, however i haven't actually had them professionally 'done' for well over a year now. Cringe! I'm so bad! I've tidied of course with use of my trusty tweezers & have always thought I'd done a half decent job but after visiting the Benito Brow Bar in House Of Fraser, I've suddenly realised how wrong I was!

BENITO BROW BAR - SHARE THE WOW!  BALLOONS.

BENITO BROW BAR - EYEBROW TREATMENTS.

BENITO BROW BAR - BROW TREATMENTS.

It wasn't until I sat my butt in the chair & got talking to the ladies at Benito, that I actually realised how bad my brows were!.. It honestly felt like they were threading my brows for a good half an hour or so! I was half expecting them to have done my full face, nut nope... Just my obviously unruly brows!
Like I said, I hadn't had my brows threaded for a very long time so the feeling of having them done was a bit of a shock to the system - It wouldn't say it was painful, it was just a little uncomfortable, but the result afterwards was fantastic! My brows have literally never looked so good! 

I'm really pleased with how Benito have worked their magic in shaping, redefining & tidying my brows. Have you visited a Benito Brow Bar before? 

Lots of love | xclaireabella

WHY DENHAM HAVE THE BEST DENIM!

Welcome to Denham, the newest denim store to hit Leeds city centre created by the rather appropriately named Jason Denham! I honestly thought the stores name was just a play on words, but hearing that the founders name was actually Denham pretty much blew my mind... It's the little things right!
The Denham brand was founded in 2008 with its' first store opening in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, however it's only in the last couple of months when the brand has ventured over to Leeds. I've witnessed the shop going up over the last half a year however haven't actually had chance to pop my head in so when my inbox pinged with an invitation to their event at the weekend, I knew I had to get myself there.





On arrival I was gifted with a much appreciated black coffee and ushered downstairs to take a peak at Denhams' ladieswear collection. I was expecting the store to be packed to the rafters with denim so I was pleasantly surprised by how large the rest of the range is. Denham have the most beautiful coats and knitwear selection. Granted they are more 'treat items' for me because of their price tags but I'd be a very happy lady in pretty much all of their clothes. It's true what they say in that you get what you pay for, and let me tell you that the quality of Denhams' garments are second to none! Denham are really particular about where they purchase their materials from as well as what products they put out there to the public. Denhams' denim (get it?) is purely sourced from either Italy or Japan, ensuring the best quality materials are used to make each of their beautiful jeans. Each jean is also hand washed so if you want to see what the denim looked like before any treatments, you should take a peak in the pockets, the difference is amazing! The Denham logo is also stitched into each item too using a grand total of 691 stitches, how crazy is that. I'd love to know how long it takes somebody just to stitch in the scissor logo. I bet it's a freakin long time. As you can see, there's a lot of effort that goes into each individual Denham garment & you definitely get a sense of that while  in store - There's a fab aptmosphere there & you can definitely sense that it's something special!





After spending a bit of time lusting after Denhams' clothing range, we were kindly invited upstairs to their Private Wardrobe... Ooooh!! What's a private wardrobe I hear you ask, well think having a personal shopper, only on a way more personal & luxurious level. Denham play host to individulas or groups of people looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the shop floor. I don't know about you but for me trying on clothes is such a pain in the arse. I hate cramming myself into a teeny tiny changing room with only a curtain of material to hide my dignity. The idea of having a full room to myself along with all clothes available in my size at my disposal very much interests me greatly!.. It's not just that the changing room is designed around a wardrobe, but yes that does help! Upstairs carries on the modern mashed up interiors of rustic industrial furniture and white washed walls. It's such a beautiful space to be in & I'm pretty sure that if I ever were to design a shop interior (you never know it may happen) it would look exactly like this one!







Jason Denhams' passions don't just lie with denim, he's an avid collector of scissors and you 100% get a sense of that in store. The shops' interior is kitted out with scissor hangers, the brands logo is a set of scissors & probably the most fun (if you like this sort of thing) is that each jean is named after a part of a scissor for example the denim range included pieces such as the Razors, Bolts & Drills. I love little trivia things like this as I think it brings the brand together & it's fabulous knowing & being a part of the founders passions. 

I'd just like to say a massive thank you to Jade for inviting me to the event. I had an absolutely amazing time & learnt a hell of a lot about denim!!

What's your favourite denim brand?

Claire. X

THE POWDER ROOM EVENT, LAMBERTS YARD.

Last week I was a lucky little duck & got myself invited to indulge in a little bit of luxury down at Lamberts Yard in Leeds. After finishing work & coming home to the usual monotonous household chores, an event like this was just what the doctor ordered. Now, pass me the cocktails!




After a warm welcome from SLB, Bridie, Deimante & myself found ourselves doing what every self respected blogger does, and we gravitated towards the bar! The Botanist were on hand offering their signature 'The Botanist' cocktail, a delicious mix of Green Mark Vodca, Havana 3 Rum & Elder flower liquor. I'm glad I got the chance to taste 'The Botanist' as it isn't normally a cocktail I'd go for, I'm a complete cocktail bore to be honest, I like my Strawberry Daiquiris' and that's literally about it. So thank you to The Botanist for opening my eyes to the world of delicious cocktails. 




I found myself wandering past the Wood Wood display on several occasions, gazing longingly at all the beautiful sunglasses. Now let's get one thing straight first, sunglasses & handbags are my weakness! I'm more than happy buying the majority of my clothes from Primark, but when it comes to sunglasses & handbags I want something a little more luxe. Something that surprised me with these Wood Wood offerings is that price wise, they aren't actually too bad!... That's what I'm telling myself anyway! I've got my eye on the Virgos', (bottom picture top right) they're just stunning & at £100 a pair I think they're great.




The star of the show at Lambert's Yard was the sneaky preview of the new Resort collection from Issa. Personally Issa isn't a brand I'd heard of however after hearing they were a favourite with the Duchess of Cambridge, I knew they'd be something pretty special! After having a good old feel (as you do) of the collection my thoughts were proven correct. The thickness of the materiel used scream premium to me, and even though some of the pieces weren't exactly to my taste (monochrome queen over here) I can definitely see why they're so popular.




Other pieces which caught my eye included the gorgeously bright, yellow Ilse Jacobsen rain cape. I love the silhouette a cape gives you & wearing this would certainly make going out in the rain that bit more fun. I've also fallen absolutely hook line & sinker in love with the Williams British handmade handbags!! I love the shapes used to create the handbags, they're so unusual & I particularly love this elongated satchel. It's just stunning!! Something a bit more fun are the Joanna Pybus furry clutch bags. Granted, they're not something I'd grab on a day to day basis but they're really fun & definitely a conversation starter.

Thank you to SLB, I had a fab evening exploring some premium brands at The Powder Room, Lambert's Yard event... Now I just need a lottery win!

Thank you so much for reading.
Lots of love | xclaireabella

CREAM TEA AT BETTYS, HARROGATE.

A few weeks ago, on what I'm pretty sure was the hottest day of the year, I took a trip up to Harrogate with my friend Nikki for a bit of shopping, a bit of gossiping & to visit the famous Bettys Tea Room for afternoon tea.
I've wanted to go to Bettys for as long as I can remember, but my foot has never stepped through the door because of how unbelievably busy it gets. The queue to get in constantly wraps around the building so it's best to get there early like we did. We popped in just before lunch and surprisingly got a table right in the window.


The combination of Swiss confectionery & Yorkshire warmth (not to sound biased) is an absolute success, we received a super duper warm welcome as soon as we stepped through the gorgeously ornate doors & into The Montpellier Cafe Bar. There was an instant buzz of excitement, we knew straight away that we were going to be in for a treat!


After looking through the menu & trying to suss the huge variety of teas I ended up playing it safe and ordered a pot of Peppermint Tea... Not very original I know, but sometimes too much choice can really freak a girl out. The tea came out on a super cute silver tea tray with a seperate pot of sugar cubes and a strainer. The tea was a beautiful blend & really refreshing, I unfortunately however couldn't finish it because there was just too much (and I didn't want to pee my pants) but it was really scrummy.


There were two options for afternoon tea, one being the Yorkshire Cream Tea which had a selection of scones, strawberry preserve & clotted cream which sounded delicious, however what we opted for was much sweeter, the Afternoon Tea Patisserie Selection; A selection of three miniature afternoon tea cakes and patisseries. 
My eyes lit up when I was delivered my plate of sweetie goodness. On it was a fresh fruit tart, chocolate layer cake & a macaroon. All three items were delicious, especially the chocolate layer cake (gahhh it was amazing) it was so so rich but it was bloody lovely & surprisingly just the right size. The whole plate was just the right amount of food & with the copious amounts of tea we were drinking, we left feeling surprisingly full.


We had a wonderful day & I would 100% go back to Bettys, it was an amazing experience & really nice to just chill out and have a girlie gossip! Have you been to Bettys before? 

Claire.X

WHAT I WORE TO #TheCityGirls EVENT.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending #TheCityGirls event at The Liqorist in Leeds. I'll be posting more about the event next week (it was ahhmazing) but today we'll just be looking at what I wore.

After the event I was actually heading off to a friends Hen Party so I needed a good transitional outfit. Something casual enough for during the day but also something slightly dressy for a night on the tiles. That's when I thought monochrome... You 100% can not go wrong with a monochrome outfit.


I don't think I've styled this blouse on the blog yet, but I've had it for a little while now and I've worn it loads. It's amazing because from the front it looks like an average black blouse however on the back it's a dipped hem with a coat tails style slit up the back. I love how lightweight it is too, perfect for the glorious (hoping I'm not speaking too soon) weather we've been having.
I've contrasted with super bright white jeans, that if I'm honest are a teeny tiny bit too tight for me, but what the heck... I'm a slave to the fashions... I didn't eat too much at the event, lets put it that way. I've worn skinny jeans for the last hundred years & think they always look best paired with a floaty or over sized top to balance out the silhouette.
Because of the beautiful weather I decided to wear open toe sandals, and I kept them flat knowing the busy day I was going to be having. If I'd have worn heels I would have been absolutely buggered by mid afternoon.
Even though I work in a jewellers I don't acually wear too much jewellery but because my outfit is very minimalist I thought I needed it today. I've gone silver, picking pieces from Pandora, Charmed Ivy & an amazing ebay find!

If you were at the event I'd love to see your links, it was great meeting so many new people.

What do you think to todays' monochome outfit?

Claire.X

INTRODUCING OUR LEMON BEAGLE PUPPY.

This week something bloody amazing happened!... We got a puppy!! *Insert ridiculously girlie scream here!!* Dan & I have wanted a dog for honestly, as long as I can remember, but because we've been living in a flat two storeys up we thought it'd be pretty difficult & unfair on a newborn. 
However!...We're moving house this week into very our own home  with a garden & let's be honest, we didn't really need an excuse to buy a fricken adorable puppy, but that's what we're blaming it on!

From being a little girl I've always wanted a beagle, there's just something about the breed that really struck a chord with me. Maybe it's the colouring, maybe it's the super duper long ears, maybe it's the naughtiness, maybe it's all three - Who knows? But I love 'em!!
We put a lot of research into getting our little beagle pup & this is where we discovered the Lemon Beagle. As far as I was aware beagles were black, white & tan (tri-coloured) I had no idea a Lemon Beagle even exsisted, but let me tell you, my heart melt when I saw them! 
Still keeping the typical beagle pattern, Lemon Beagles have a white, caramel, tan colouring - In other words, they're flipping beautiful!! I knew we had to have one!!

We used pets 4 homes to search for our perfect companion which is a really helpful & easy website to use. By the looks of it you can advertise pretty much any animal for sale which is cool. After a few hours of searching (it didn't take long at all) we found the most adorable 8 week old pup!

Meet Willow...



There was only Willow & 1 of her sisters left when we went to visit, so it was absolutely heart breaking choosing between them & breaking them up. Luckily for us the other pup was being collected a couple of hours later, making light of the situation.

We've had Willow for three days now & even though she's been a little bit naughty (which we can totally look past, because she's so young) she's been unbelievably good! She seems to have settled really well & has almost (barring the sofas) differentiated between what's hers & what's ours in the home. 
We've gone straight in with toilet training because it's something we thought would take a really long time for her to master, plus we didn't really know how to do it. Eeek! Surprisingly however, she's picking it up rather quickly! We've given her a specific toilet area, with newspaper down on the floor & she's really taken to it. She's still having a few accidents, every now and again, but what she's learnt so far is amazing, we're really impressed with her. 
We've found out after bringing her home, that beagle's are supposedly renowned for being quick learners so I think we've got a good'un!



Willow hasn't had her full injections yet, so we can't properly take her out unfortunately. We're hoping to get booked in at the vets this week so she can have both sets of injections & then start going for walkies. All in all, it'll be another 4 weeks before she can go outside properly which feels like absolutely ages away at the moment - Hopefully it won't take too long!

At the moment Willow is really snuggly - I think she's used to having her brothers & sisters around to cuddle into! Once she gets cosy, she can literally sleep for 80% of the day & loves snuggling into cushions, throws & pillows which is the most adorable thing! She looks ridiculously cute with her long white ears flopping down over her eyes!! Argh - I could just eat her!! She's so bloody beautiful. 



Have you got any tips for training a new pup? We'd love any tips & tricks you've got! 

Lots of love | Claireabella & Willow. X

A WEEKEND STAY IN GRIFFON FOREST LODGES, NORTH YORKSHIRE.

Where have I been?... It really takes a lot to get me stressed, but (& I'm sure you'll agree) there comes a point after working continuous 40 hour weeks where your brain slowly begins to frazzle. 
The pressure of buying our first house together (mainly because we don't know what we're doing) has really taken it's toll on Dan & I. And after just over two months of the buying process, we're very nearly homeowners, we can see the light & the end of the tunnel now & it's finally getting to the stage where we can get giddy about having those precious little keys in our hands!
Miraculously finances have worked in our favour & we had a little bit of left over money to treat ourselves with, which was amazing... Hence a no phones, no internet, no stress break to Griffon Forest Lodges.






The lodges are set in Griffon Forest (Duh) just outside of York, which was a perfect location for us as it's only an hours drive from home. We've stayed in a similar lodge before so we kind of had an idea on what to expect, but how this one differed massively is just how outdoorsy & close to the woodlands the lodges are. Surprisingly there are over 50 lodges on the complex, but because each lodge is privatised in its' own little woodland setting, you wouldn't have a clue. It's so peaceful & serene.
The lodges are decorated in a typical log cabin style, heaps of pine & tonnes of cosy fabrics to snuggle up with. 
Griffon Forest Lodges have everything you could ever want, basically they're the most stunning homes from home... Only with a hot tub! 
Gahh I miss that hot tub already, it was amazing.




We decided to get out & about, and explore as much countryside as possible  and even though we forgot our flask we took both our butts on an 8 mile hike. 
We walked from a teeny tinny (& pretty creepy) village called Thixendale (sorry if you live in Thixendale) right over the valleys to Wharram Percy, an aincent village with the most beautifully ruined church. 
I love finding hidden treasures like this! I think people underestimate how beautiful the UK can be.




We also spent a day at Castle Howard, which in all honesty I'm still not 100% what it is, or who it belonged to, but let me tell you something - It's bloody stunning! With over 2000 acres of surrounding woodland & gardens as well as the actual house itself you could literally spend all day there. I'm really into architecture & interior design yet it was the outside space that blew me away - It's certainly given me ideas for my own garden in the new house... Even though we have nowhere near the amount of space!


We spent an amazing, blissful five days in the lodge which is exactly what the doctor ordered. We were out exploring most days (I didn't want to bombard you with scenery photos) so it actually feels like it's been a really tiring week, especially on my little legs, but it's been fantastic. 
Perfect to get away from it all, forget about the house stress, the social media pressures & get back to basics... Not that a hot tub's a basic, but you know what I mean.

I'm sure I'll be back blogging regularly in the next week or so, but for now I'm just going to chill out and relax & more importantly wish I was still in the tub!

Claire.x