A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

Travel | Hotel Topazio, Albufeira, Portugal.

If you follow my blog, you'll know I recently spent a week in Portugal... Not that you can tell, I've come back just as pasty white as when I left! Damn you pale porcelain skin! Since landing in the UK I've posted various touristy photos on my social medias however today I want to tell you all about where we stayed - Hotel Topazio.

Positioned in the pretty much perfect location between 'The Strip', Albufeiras' Old Town & the beach, Hotel Topazio welcomed us with zesty orange arms!

Hotel Topazio is situated a mere half an hours drive away from Faro airport, in the small Portuguese town of Vale Faro, towards the left hand side of Albufeira.  The hotel is located only 5 minutes away from the beach which leads onto the most beautiful natural caves with gorgeous ocean views (you can see plenty of them over on my instagram). Further down the road you'll find 'The Strip' a mile long street full of brightly lit bars & restaurants, somewhere where you'll always find something to do, whether it's a ride on the bumber cars, stuffing your face with all you can eat chinese or sipping copious amounts of cocktails. The Strip is the place to be! Traveling in the opposite direction we have Albufeiras' Old Town, a stunning town packed full of beautiful fish, steak & pizza restaurants. The Old Town is a little quieter than The Strip (only just mind) and offers a much more relazed aptmosphere, perfect for settling down on an evening with loved ones.

Our hotel room consisted of a large sleeping area with seating a seating area, a large travertine bathroom & balcony. The minimalist neutral interiors with pops of orange were very easy on the eye & made a refreshing change from the super duper white aesthetics that we're so used to seeing on the bloggersphere. The orange accents consisted of comfy bed pillows, large pieces of artwork, silk curtains, even the toiletries were tangerine! The staff were all super friendly, and were always on hand to help with anything we needed. Our room was generously cleaned everyday which after a hot & sweaty day in the sun was very much appreciated!

We stayed at Hotel Topazio for one week at the begining of July & had an absolutely amazing time. We don't actually spend that much time at the hotel when we go on holiday, but we definitely looked forward to coming back to our air conditioned sanctuary & would love to go back... Maybe I'll get a tan next time!

Have you been to Portugal before? If so where abouts did you stay?


Fashion | Head To Toe New Look in Albufeira, Portugal.

I didn't intend to dress myself head to two in New Look while on holiday in Albufeira, you could call it a happy accident, but I just loved the colour palette from this outfit & thought it was perfect for an evening meal on the beach front.

I still like to take jeans away with me when I go abroad because even though it's glorious sunshine during the day, I always feel the chill on an evening. Call me the Ice Queen, but I've always been the same - I'm always cold! I chose to take white jeans with me as they still look mega summery especially paired with pastel colours, as well as giving my legs the extra coverage I need.
Summer fashion to me absolutely screams pastel colours & this scalopped mint green tee is perfect! I love the interesting neckline cut this top has and found it super flattering on my figure. While I was away I saw so many people wearing this top in a whole host of colours & it looked perfect on everyone!
I've popped on a simple pair of gold sandals, I bought these last year & I've gotten so much wear out of them. Classic pieces literally never go out of fashion! I'm sure I'll be wearing these for many summers to come.

What's your go to summer evening look?

Thank you so much for reading. Claire.X

Top - New Look
Jeans - New Look
Sandals - New Look
Clutch - Miss Selfridge
Sunglasses - RayBan

Beauty | A Few Brush Works Beauty Tools.*

An area on my vanity that's lacking is my makeup brushes. I heavily rely on my few Real Techniques brushes, so when Nadine at Sparkle PR invited me to try a few goodies from Brush Works I jumped at the chance. 

I was lucky enough to receive three different items from Brush Works; the Powder Brush, Complexion Sponge & a set of Crystal Cuticle Sticks.

Brush Works Powder Brush.*
I love the look of this powder brush & although the bristles are shaped perfectly for defining the face they feel very different from anything else I've used. Brush Works use Taklon synthetic bristles in their products, which don't feel as flexible as others that I've tried so admittedly I was worried about this one before trying it. The brush picks up well and disperses the product perfectly onto my skin. I've found that the product doesn't cling to the brush either after applying to the face so that's amazing, as I feel like I'm getting the full benefit of the product. I've been pleasantly surprised with this brush. it's definitely made a welcome appearance in my vanity.

Brush Works Complexion Sponge.*
The complexion sponge was probably the tool I was most excited to try as I used to use my Real Techniques complexion sponge quite regularly until my dog got her teeth into it... Story of my life! It's smaller in comparison, but shaped better especially for blending product under the eyes. The Brush Works complexion sponge is super squidgy & expands really well when damp which made the application process super duper easy. I generally find applying foundation with a sponge to be quite a time consuming process, I much prefer the quick swish of a brush however I think this tool is incredible for patting in concealer. I'm suffering with breakouts at the moment and have found using the Brush Works complexion sponge the best tool for covering them! It's a beaut!

Brush Works Crystal Cuticle Sticks.*
Something I don't take as much care of than I should, is my nails so these cuticle sticks are definitely going to inspire me to do so. The sticks have two sides to them, one slanted to push the cuticles down and the other a brightly coloured rough nib to exfoliate. The bright colours definitely make them more fun and inviting so I can't wait to keep using these! Bring on nice smooth nails - Wahoo!

Have you tried any Brush Works products before? What are your favourite makeup brushes?

Thank you for reading. Claire.x

Fashion | Khaki Striped Shorts in Albufeira.

I don't know about you guys, but when I go on holiday, I like my outfits to be simple & comfortable. The classic shorts and t-shirt combination is definitely my go to look whenever I go abroad and it's a look that in no way needs to be boring. Don't get me wrong, basics are great, I've got a wardrobe full of them, but todays' look is a little bit different.

Just before I went away I had a mad dash (as you do) around Primark and managed to bag myself this bad ass pair of shorts. I was instantly attracted to the pair for a number of reasons... The elasticated waist, the khaki stripes, front & back pockets, but it was mainly the length. Maybe I'm old now, at the age of 26, but I hate shorts that leave your butt cheeks hanging out the bottom of them. That's not a good look surely? With these they cover my bum with plenty of room to spare, they feel super comfortable on & I love the way they look with this crop.
The white crop I'm wearing is actually part of a coord set from Luxemme. Don't you just love the versatility of coords, being able to wear the pieces together or separately with different outfits. I love the lace bottom of this one as it makes me feel that bit more comfortable. I'm very fussy when it comes to crop tops, the more coverage the better for me so this bright white one from Luxemme is perfect!
They may not be the most fashionable choice of footwear, but for me white pumps are a holiday essential. I always buy a pair before going abroad because my feet burn like crazy in sandals so anything to cover my toots is a bonus in my eyes.

What's your go to daytime holiday look?

Thank you for reading. Claire.x

Top - Luxemme*
Shorts - Primark
Pumps - H&M
Sunglasses - RayBans

Event | My Hair Refresh At RUSH York, UK.

Would you believe me if I told you I hadn't had my hair cut in four months... Eeek! Well it's true! Or it was true... Up until a few weeks ago, when I was invited down to RUSH York for a complimentary cut & blow dry to celebrate their grand opening.

Upon entering the salon I was instantly impressed with the sleek modern, blogger friendly you could say, interiors. The slick black tiles and bright white walls put me instantly at ease - I knew I was going to be in for a treat at RUSH York. There's something about a classy interior isn't there that fills you with excitement?

Before doing anything, the salons owner Jess Graville sat  me down to chat through my hair care routine (which is pretty minial - eek!) and what I wanted to get out of the salon that day. I'd confessed to Jess that a hairdresser hasn't touched my hair for at least four months & that I was feeling a little stuck in a rut when it came to my locks. I wanted to keep the length however wanted to minimize the weight, because boy can it be annoying - Weirdly I have quite fine hair, but I have a hell of a load of it, as Jess was later to find out, so she suggested taking an inch off the bottom as well as putting in a few long layers.

I was given a protective cloak and lead through to the hair washing area where I was treated to a Kerastase hair treatment & a relaxing head massage. I need Dan to take a lesson in head massages, because they're seriously the best bit about going to the hairdressers... Who's with me?
After feeling super refreshed, I then sat back down with Jess who began snipping away at my tresses. She didn't take too much of the ends, however it was just enough for my hair to feel healthy and bouncy again, even more so with the long length layers. Along with my curly blow dry it's safe to say Jess made me leave feel like a princess leaving... If only it wasn't raining!

I had a fab time at RUSH York, the whole experience was amazing, not only the haircut but getting the chance to chat to Jess about her background & how she came to manage the York store. She was so lovely & friendly & I'm sure her positivity will lead RUSH York onto amazing things.

If you're on the lookout for a new hairdressers or somewhere to treat yourself, I'd 100% recommend RUSH. I  had the pleasure of popping along to the York salon however there are so many across the country, you can find your local salon here.

Have you tried a RUSH salon yet? What's your favourite thing about going to get your hair done?

Thank you for reading. Claire.x