A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.


I'm one of those jammy, annoying people that when asked how I've found wedding planning, I've replied with 'easy peasy & totally stress free'. You hear all sorts of horror stories, of things not quite going to plan, people struggling with money & women turning into 'Bridezillas' (Gosh I hate that phrase) - But not me... Everything was super plain sailing for Dan & I... No disagreements, no stress, it was actually a really lovely experience & when we look back on our day, we're filled with joy - It was just the most perfect day!
We could easily have just been lucky, but I'd like to think there were a couple of things we put in place quite early on that made our day go as smooth as possible.

Having a short and demanding time constraint when it came to our Wedding filled us both with dread. I'm all for working under pressure & to be honest find that usually doing so brings the best results, however when it came to our wedding I honestly couldn't think of anything worse. We have friends who have taken 5/6 months to plan their weddings, and to see the turmoil that they go through for something which is supposed to be the happiest day of your life - Well it just doesn't sit right with me. We booked our wedding two years in advance, which at the time did feel slightly excessive, but in the grand scheme of things it was the best thing we could of done... And you'd be surprised at just how quickly those 730 days go!

Remember it's your day.
Before we booked our wedding we were in two minds whether to do it just us two or in front of both our families. It's very easy to get wrapped up in thoughts of pleasing everybody else that the idea of it actually being your day is wiped from your memory. It's so bizarre. We were very lucky in the sense that both of our families let us do whatever we wanted when planning our big day. The only thing I'd say we struggled with when it came to pleasing others was our guest list. To begin with we planned for around an extra 50 people at our wedding than was actually there on the day... Who those 50 people were, I couldn't tell you... And that's my point exactly. Think about what you want and who you want to share your day with. At the end of the day, it's your wedding, and it's a pretty big deal so if there's anything you're not 100% happy with, make it known!
I'm sure you'll have heard people say that as soon as you put the word 'wedding' on the front of anything it doubles the price - Which is ]very true! Something Dan & I pride ourselves on is that we don't fall for marketing ploys, we're very good with money and don't fall victim when it comes to sales pitches. This helped massively when it came to planning our wedding as there are so many different options out there, with so many different price points - It's so easy to get overwhelmed & feel like you don't know what you're doing, especially when you have different businesses pitching for your hard earned cash. It pays to do research when it comes to each individual element of your wedding, which if you've given yourself the time to do so, is totally doable. Can you make that particular item yourself? Have you searched for second hand? Do you have a friend who could offer you that service as a wedding gift. I would in no way say our wedding was cheap, but we saved where we could and it made such a difference to what could have been a mulah disaster. I'm so glad we can say that no credit cards were used in the making of our wedding. Hallelujah!

What will be will be.
I'm such a positive Polly - My husband says it's both one of my best & one of my worst flaws, but when it comes to leaving things in the hands of fate I'm so laid back I'm horizontal! I believe there's only so much planning you can do when it comes to your Wedding. There's things you can control & there's things you most definitely can't, and in my opinion why worry about the things you can't control! What if it's pouring down on the day? Who cares?... You get on with it. You can't make the sun start shining, so turn those raindrops into something positive. Think about how cool and edgy your photographs are going to look. You have guests who don't turn up? Who cares?... You're still going to have your day, it's going to be amazing, and it's their loss not yours! Basically remember why you're getting married, that's surely the only way to look at it.
Take time out.
It's so easy for a wedding to take over your every existence. We're forever told it's going to be the best day of our lives, which it totally is by the way, but how much more added pressure is that? Sometimes the best thing to do when things are getting a bit too much is to take time out, it's a rule I use with most things in life & one I think works wonders. You don't have to go the whole hog and take yourself off to the Maldives, I'm thinking more along the lines of just getting outdoors. Remove your head and eyes from the situation and take your thoughts someplace different. You'll probably be surprised by how easily distracted you'll become, then when you come back to wedding planning you'll be re-motivated & ready to rock and roll again.

Have a baby.
Okay, so this one I've thrown in with a bit of jest. We found out a month before our big day that I was pregnant and let me tell you it took all the stress out of our big day. In the grand scheme of things & as much as our wedding day was the best day of our lives, it's nothing compared to what's to come for us... And that's as exciting as it is scary!
Something that will forever stick in my mind was how many people telling me I was the least stressed bride they'd ever seen, both before I walked down the aisle and during the day itself. It generally takes quite a lot for me to get in a tizz, so I had high hopes of the wedding planning process following suit... There's the positive Polly inside of me. And guess what... It worked!

Are you married or going through the wedding planning process? How did/are you finding things?

Claire. X


I'm not one for subscription boxes, however when I recently purchased the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar & saw I could get the Look Fantastic Beauty Box thrown in for the same price I jumped at the chance. It was a no brainer!

Many many moons ago I'd subscribed to Birchbox but unfortunately my love affair with the subscription box didn't last all that long. I was introduced to so many new and rather luxurious brands which at the time was perfect, however after a while I had a build up of sample size products that I was just never going to use. Years have passed since my dalliance with Birchbox and the thought to resubscirbe had never really crossed my mind. However when I saw I could get 20% off the price of the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar if I bought the Look Fantastic Beauty Box I've never inputted my card details quicker. I think in total I saved a grand total of around 10 pence, which sounds ridiculous but if you think of it as if I've gotten the #lfbeautybox for free that sounds like a pretty good deal doesn't it.
 I sound like I'm trying to justify myself buying it, but I'm really not. I wanted it, so I bought it!

When my #lfbeautybox arrived it felt like Christmas, in the sense that I had a gift, but didn't know what was inside, it was exciting. I said to my husband I didn't want to open it until I'd got all my jobs done that day just to make it that extra bit special... And I wasn't disappointed!

The box itself is (in the words of Samira from this years love island) cutesy and inside the rather charming packaging is six amazing beauty treats.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer.
I've heard so many people talk about the elasticizer before & if there's one product that comes straight to mind when you say Philip Kingsley, it's this one, so I was super duper excited to get my hands on it. I was really surprised at how creamy this product is as a lot of the hair masks I've used previously are much more oil based. This literally feels as though you're applying an intense moisturiser to the hair, which initially felt really bizarre almost as if I was using the wrong product for the wrong job, but I went with it & I was extremely pleased with the results. I popped the product onto damp hair for around half an hour or so before shampooing and conditioning off. My hair was so much bouncier, lighter and cleaner after using the elasticizer, it made such a difference to not only the feel but the look of my hair too. I had work friends questioning me the next day asking if I'd been to the hairdressers... And if that isn't a compliment I don't know what is! I was obviously super happy with it, but to be honest if anything it left my hair feeling too refreshed - I needed a quick spray of texturising mist to save my hair from being wispy and unmanageable. My hair is usually really unruly the day after washing so this wasn't a surprise or anything  new to me. I'd definitely recommend this product & I can absolutely see why it's got such rave reviews, I can't wait to continue using it.
Eve Lom Cleanser
I think this is the product I was most excited about. I'd heard of the brand, but have never ventured into buying anything from there as I deemed it too expensive & too much luxury for little old me. I was initially surprised by the consistency of the cleanser, it's oil based, which I've used before however this one is much thicker & less malleable than what I've used before. I wouldn't say this was necessarily a good or a bad thing but I found the trick to be heating up the product first between the finger tips before popping on the face. The cleanser melts even the most stubborn make up off, I'm taking Rimmel Apocolips lipsticks & waterproof mascaras, a couple of quick swoops with the product & it's gone. I have quite dry skin, especially around this time of year (anyone with me here?) so my skin just drunk up all of the essential oils contained within the cleanser. Not only am I left with super duper moisturised skin, but my face is left feeling clean, fresh & most importantly decongested. I've really enjoyed using this cleanser & have barely made a dent in the small tub I have but I don't think I'll ever be able to bring myself to hand over my cash for this product, £55.00 for 100ml is just a little way out of my price range, this could be one for the Christmas or Birthday lists!
Omorovicza Firming Neck Cream
Whenever I receive products like this I never think I'm going to get the use out of them as I feel too young to use them. Truth be told I'm not as young as I think I am - I'm not too far off thirty and should probably start using products like this. Prevention is key! And it really helps to put the groundwork in first before the 'laughter lines' start appearing, or so they say anyway! I'd never heard of Omorovicza before, although now I have one of their products I'm seeing them all over - Doesn't this always happen! The cream is much more liquid than I was expecting, I think because Omorovicza is a pricier brand I was expecting something much richer & more intense, which unfortunately I didn't get with this product. The cream is lovely to apply and definitely gave my skin some much needed hydration, but I was left wanting more... What more I'm not 100% sure, but at  £95.00 for 50ml of product I felt a little lacklustre.

Mane 'N Tail Hoofmaker Hand & Nail Therapy
I was quite disappointed with this one to begin with, as when I saw the packaging I was excited that this would be a product to use on my hair. I didn't know Mane 'N Tail did other types of beauty products so when I saw that it was what I thought initially essentially to be a hand cream I was a little underwhelmed. Now don't get me wrong, I love a hand cream as much as the next person, but I have so many scattered across different places (handbags, coats, drawers) that I didn't think I needed another. I've been using this product however as an all over body moisturiser and it's been working wonders especially in the more stubborn areas, think elbows, knees, tootsies... Places that need a little more moisture than most. It's been great!
Lord & Berry Strobing Pencil
I was dubious about this one... Until I swatched it! And then was instantly won over by the colour. The reason for being so dubious was that I'm all for a bit of highlight and a strobe, but in pencil format, quite frankly I thought it was going to be a pain in the arse. I thought this was going to be a product I liked, but one that I would never reach for. Being a precise pencil, this highlight was always going to be amazing for the cupid bow and brow bone which is where I started and to be honest where I fell even more in love with it. The colour is such a nice champagne gold, it's perfect for highlighting a bronzey look, which is one I've been opting for more as we go into Autumn. The product is creamy enough to blend which means using the pencil on cheek bones isn't a problem. I've enjoyed using this product & will continue to keep using it however I can't help but wish the pencil was a little fatter as it would speed up the application process. The pencils are only £14.00 full size and I know Lord & Berry do some chubbier highlight sticks so will more than likely look into ordering one of those once this one has been used up.
Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil
I received a sample size oil from Aromatherapy Associates in one of my Birchboxes so I knew what I was in store for with this one. And let me tell you, it's a jolly good time! I'm much more of a bath person than a shower person so I haven't actually tried this oil by directly putting it onto my body, even though I'm sure it's amazing. What I've been doing is pouring a few drops into my bath both with and without bubbles, depends on how boujee I'm feeling. The scent is  both invigorating and energising which is exactly what you'd want on a morning & funnily enough the spa like smell lingers around for the rest of the day. It definitely makes my new bathroom feel a little more luxurious! A little goes a long way with this product, now I don't know if that's part of the price, paying £48.00 for 55ml rather than cheaper alternatives from the likes of Neals Yard Remedies. Answers on a postcard please. Although I wouldn't necessarily buy this product again, it has spurred me on to look at more bath oils, Look Fantastic do an Aromatherapy Associates miniatures gift set which I've definitely got my eye on.

I've really enjoyed getting back on the beauty box hyped experimenting with new products, especially as I can safely say I'd never have purchased any of these products beforehand. I've definitely come across some goodies and even though there's some I wouldn't necessarily purchase again, they've definitely perked my imagination and have made me think about trying out other similar products.

How do you feel about beauty subscription boxes? Have you tried any of these products before?

Claire. X

Have you read my previous posts?
Food | Afternoon tea at Bettys
Lifestyle | The second trimester
Fashion | Wedding guest outfit - The maternity edition with Maya at Asos


I love the idea of afternoon tea, but can honestly count on one hand the amount of times I've ventured out to experience the typically British lunch time delicacy. Luckily we were super generously given a gift voucher for afternoon tea at Betty's as a wedding present which was as unexpected as it was lovely - It was nice for us to spend a day out together doing something we wouldn't necessarily have chosen to do ourselves. 

Truth be told, this was our second time around in trying to use the voucher; About a month or so ago we'd driven into York with the hope of using them at the Betty's in the city center but it was just so busy & if you know one thing about my husband it's that he will not wait for food so off we tootled for burgers instead, which was nice... Just not the same - And we were left with a hankering for afternoon tea. 

Fast forward to last weekend where we struck it lucky & finally got to indulge in some afternoon tea with Bettys in Ilkley.

We queued for around ten minutes before being seated, which if the York store is anything to go by was pretty good going. Plus we were queued indoors too which is definitely not what we'd have been doing at the latter. The queue took us rather cheekily through the shop hosting rows upon rows of delicious sweet treats, teas and coffees - They had what would make some awesome Christmas presents in there too, think fat rascal gift boxes, chutney selections and hot chocolate gift bags - I'm feeling festive just thinking about it! Twelve weeks and counting!

We were seated at what I can only describe as a blogger unfriendly table, the set up was awkward & Dan had to move his seat around the other side of the table, but we couldn't complain. We weren't there for this blog post, we were there to indulge on afternoon tea & spend some quality time together which is exactly what we did. Do any other bloggers out there get disappointed when they're seated at not a great table? First world problems hey!
We started with crustless sandwiches, yes crustless! You know you're in a posh place when they cut the crusts off the sandwiches... I've never sounded so Northern! We had cucumber & cream cheese, coronation chicken, ham & mustard and then smoked salmon sandwiches, and even though they seemed small they were really quite filling and all flavours I'd never normally make. I'm a bog standard ham sarnie type of gal. This was followed closely by the middle tier, a rather large sultana scone topped with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, which now makes me want to start baking, it was so bloody delicious. And finally the third and most indulgent tier included three miniature desserts comprising of a fresh fruit tart, lemon & orange macaroon and a chocolate & hazelnut torte. I went straight in for the chocolate torte as I knew it'd be super rich, which it was, and I'd need the fruitiness of the other two desserts to balance. Finishing with the lemon and orange macaroon was definitely the best decision!
Have you ever been to Betty's before? Where's your favourite place for afternoon tea?

Claire. X

Have you read my previous posts?
Lifestyle | The second trimester.
Fashion | Wedding guest outfit - The maternity edition with Maya at Asos.
Lifestyle | Adjusting to my pregnancy body.


It seems like all I chat about these days on the blog is baby related, and I'm super sorry if that's not your thing but I'm going to squeeze one more in for good luck (sorrynotsorry) with today's post all about my experiences during the second trimester of pregnancy.

I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant and therefore 3 weeks into my final trimester, so I'm well and truly classing myself as being on the home stretch. That sounds better than saying I've got eleven weeks to go doesn't it. Eeep!
The symptoms.

I've said it a thousand times but I'm a pensioner trapped inside the body of a 28 year old woman, the back pain I've suffered with over the last ten years is stupid, and now I'm pregnant that's extended tenfold. It must be where and how baby is sitting as the pain is predominantly on my lower back - Granted I have good days and bad days, but the bad days are baaad! I've been wearing heat pads to alleviate the pain but there's only so much they can do.

One of the weirdest and most annoying things I've had, which I've later read up on and found it to be quite common, is leg cramping during sleep. Oh my goodness, there is absolutely nothing worse! I've had it before, but this is happening at least once a week now and leaves me with a John Wayne walk which lasts all throughout the following day.  I've read it's something to do with baby pressing on the nerves that go to my legs while I'm sleeping and unfortunately it's just one of those things - Hands up if you've ever had this before? I'd love to know.

Stomach wise I've definitely been feeling the change over the last three months, and I don't mean in a gross way. What I mean is that I've been getting stitches so flipping often! It's actually ridiculous - I can be out walking the dog absolutely fine for twenty minutes and the boom the stitch comes! I've got the slow the pace right down and chill the eff out much to the annoyance of the dog, and Dan of we're out with him too.

It's so strange the adjustment my body's going through - Figuring out what I can and can't do anymore has definitely been one of the more frustrating things that comes with pregnancy.
The midwife appointments & scan.

We had our twenty week anatomy scan towards the end of July which was our second, and unfortunately the possibe final opportunity to see what baby's getting up to in my tummy. Baby was super wriggly, which I thought would be the case - I've been quite lucky really in the sense that I was feeling flutters from around 16 weeks which I believe to be quite early. It's been so heartwarming and self assuring being able to feel baby move around. We were actually at the hospital for around an hour and a half trying to get baby to cooperate, and yes we found out the gender,but I won't be revealing it on my blog or social media probably until baby is actually here. Eeek!
I've had two other midwife appointments at my doctors surgery, both of which have been a general check in and catch up type of situation. The formalities have been done, for example my blood pressure has been checked, bloods taken and we have a general chit chat about mine and baby's well being - All of which have been perfect.

What we've been buying?

A couple of months or so ago we ventured into Mothercare, which let me tell you was probably the most overwhelming experience of my life. There was so much to look at & there were so many staff members there trying to approach us, it was just overwhelming - Think Lush, but on a way bigger scale. We ended up leaving relatively quickly, grabbing a takeout Costa & headed home to do some online research... And that was so much easier!

So far we have a pram & carry cot system which we ended up getting for a bit of a bargain, but only after doing a fair old bit of research. It really pays to do your research & we ended up getting our pram for less than half price - It's also worth mentioning that we checked out Facebook Market Place when it came to buying a pram, so we could have got what we wanted for even cheaper second hand, however after carefully discussing our options we decided to pay the extra & go for brand new.
We picked up our moses basket whilst doing the weekly shop in Aldi which again was a total bargain - It was one of those where after seeing it we just thought eff it, we're going to need one, lets just pop it in the trolley - Granted we looked stupid having our trolley piled sky high, but who's winning really when you're taking a moses basket away for £30!
We've amassed quite a large collection of clothes over the last six months. Baby clothes are one of those things that's just so difficult to say no to. Everything is so damn cute so admittedly Dan & I have been a bit willy-nilly when it comes to buying clothes. The baby's got a better wardrobe than I have already!
What's next?

I'm having midwife appointments every three weeks, which will turn into every two weeks the closer I get to the end. I'm hoping to put a birthing plan together in the next few weeks, which surprisingly doesn't actually scare the shit out of me. I'm going to be looking into hypnobirthing as at the moment this seems like the most 'me' route to go down, but you never know. If anyone has any hypnobirthing tips or reviews, I'd love to hear them. We've also got a few more baby bits to buy which we'll hopefully be boxing off in the next couple of months... Our plan of action is to get everything out and ready so our dog can adjust to the newness which will make the task of bringing a newborn baby home that little easier for her. A car seat & cot are imperative and definitely on this months to buy list however we're hoping to get cracking with buying the smaller practical bits such as a changing mat & baby bath soon.

I also just wanted to mention that it's amazing having other pregnant blogger babes to follow such as Jemma from Dorkface, Abi Richards and fellow Yorkshire lass Travelista.
The internet really is a wonderful place!

Have you got any advice for birth? Have you tried hypnobirthing before? I'd love to read some of your birth stories.

Claire. X

Have you read my previous posts?