A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

BRUNCH AT THE WILD PLUM - HARROGATE.

I lived every Yorkshire bloggers dream last week with a brunch trip to The Wild Plum in Harrogate.

The Wild Plum first came onto my radar maybe about a year or so ago after seeing various different bloggers living their best brunch lives there on Instagram... And I wanted to live my best brunch life too.

Image of Staircase in the wild plum.

I was forever in awe of their delicious Instagram-worthy food, however something that was majorly putting me off (and the reason it's taken me so long to go) is the accessibility.

The Wild Plum is situated above Snooty Frox, an award winning boutique which sells beautiful occasion wear as well as millinery, shoes and gifts. Unfortunately the only access to The Wild Plum is via a narrow staircase which you find once meandering around the boutique on the ground floor. Although my daughter walks, she's still very dependent on her pram (as am I, she's the slowest walker ever) which makes getting to brunch at The Wild Plum pretty difficult.

Luckily for me I had a baby free day, as May was having a Daddy Daughter day, so off I trotted (battling Storm Ciara, might I add) with my sister to get our Wild Plum fix!

Neon light at The While Plum.

After battling the storm & entering Snooty Frox we had to queue on the staircase; This wouldn't have been ideal if we'd had the baby with us, but because we'd driven so far and had already had a preview of what to come we decided to wait.

Thankfully we only had to wait around 15 minutes or so before we were seated at our table.

The staff on arrival were apologetic about the wait and welcomed us with open arms which I thought was lovely. Our specific server was so friendly, it was as if we'd known her for years, unfortunately we didn't catch her name, but everything about the service given to us on our visit was impeccable.

Claire drinking latte at The Wild Plum.

My sister and I both opted for Latte's (in fact we each ended up getting two, they were so good) but surprisingly differed with our breakfast options - She decided to go sweet & I went savoury.

My sister chose the sweet option of the classic waffle which consisted of a waffle with seasonal fruit, whipped cream, Nutella, maple syrup and junk food granola; It looked blooming incredible when it came out & if I'm honest I had that sudden pang of food envy when she was served her brunch before mine.

I on the other hand chose the full English pancake, which was made up of two pancakes sandwiched between a sausage Pattie, black pudding and a crispy fried egg. Delish right! My food envy soon went away when I was presented with my own plate.

Full English breakfast pancakes at the wild plum.

We tucked in quicker than you can say 'The Wild Plum' and oh my goodness, it was a pure taste sensation, and SO worth the fifteen minute wait beforehand.

Everything about my brunch was delicious; The pancakes were soft and fluffy, the egg yolk ran perfectly, and the sausage pattie oozed with flavour. Individually the items were enjoyable, but together they were the perfect combination!

When I was eating my brunch I couldn't help notice the level of ingredients used in my meal, you know when you can just tell that a meal has been made with quality ingredients? Well that's what I was getting from my full English pancake at The Wild Plum. It was beautiful.

At first I thought the price tag on my brunch was a little steep, but at £15 and considering the quality of the food presented to myself, I'd pay it five times over. We had the perfect brunch date.

I was living my best brunch life!

Breakfast waffles at The Wild Plum.

We loved our visit to The Wild Plum, and although I've said it's not the most child friendly of places, it wouldn't put me off going again. I'd love to go mid afternoon next time however and try out their lunch time menu as they had some mouth watering meals on there.

Where do you get to live your best brunch life?

Claire.X

The Wild Plum
34-36 Hookstone Road
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG2 8BW

HOW MUCH OF MY CHILDS FACE SHOULD I BE SHOWING ONLINE?

How much of my child's face should I be showing online? This question has been playing on my mind for quite some time now, more so since my daughter's first birthday.

The older my daughter is becoming, the more recognisable she is & it scares me.

Lifestyle image of mother and baby sat on bed.

The dilemma of deciding how much of my daughter to show online has been in my thoughts for a few months now, maybe since October/November time last year.

It's been on my mind because I feel like at present I'm giving too much of her away, I feel guilty for not being able to shield her from the online world & I feel like I'm opening her up into a world she doesn't necessarily want to be in.

But I want to show her off.

I'm proud of everything she's becoming and equally how I'm transforming myself into a flipping kick ass mama (even if I do say so myself!)

I want to share my journey.

I want to unite mama's and wing this motherhood malarkey with all of you ladies with me - I think I just need to be more conscious of what it is exactly that I'm posting & how that'll affect my daughter in years to come.

Lifestyle image of Claire Mac sitting on bed.

The problem.
Since having my daughter I've surrounded myself with the most amazing online mama community and I've met some incredible people through taking my blog down the parenting and lifestyle route, however I feel like I can't carry on showing my daughters face to the world as much as I have been doing.

The world actually can be a very big & very bad place, and quite frankly I don't want to subject my child to any unnecessary attention, especially when she can't comprehend or consent to any of what's going on right now.

The thought of someone recognising my child in the street because I've showcased her on my blog gives me the chills! Heck, I've been there before; I've been out and about & saw a child who I thought looked like a certain Instagrammers' daughter and it shocked me - That thought doesn't sit quite right with me.

To be honest looking back, I think this is where my whole change in mindset originally came from.

Should I really be recognising someone's baby who I don't even know?

Just a thought.

Lifestyle image of mother and baby sat on bed, baby facing away from the camera.

The solution.
So... I'm a parenting & lifestyle blogger, but I'm not going to show my child online? Seems rather contradictory doesn't it. This is what I thought at first, and I still do to some extent, I'm just going to work around the problem, like anything else in life!

I'll still be sharing my honest opinions on motherhood and will still be portraying parenting in all of its glory, the good the bad and the ugly, because that's 100% what I'm about. That's absolutely not going to change, I'm just going to be super careful with the imagery that I use. I'm also planning on referring to my daughter by her middle name, as well as any other lovey doves pet names we have for her - There's a few to choose from, I'm not going to get stuck!

Both decisions are of my own choosing and my desire to keep my private life that little more private.

I'm sure there'll be teething problems (not just my daughters) as I begin being a bit more privy with my family life, however If I'm honest I'm not going to be 100% strict with myself by banning her completely from my blog and socials - I just want to limit the amount my daughters face appears on my feeds.

This in turn means being a bit more creative with what I post. I still want to be very much present online & continue what I'm doing with my #TogetherInMamahood community, I just need to think a little bit more outside of the box when it comes to picture taking. Content, I've got coming out of my ears, I'm never particularly lost for words when it comes to motherhood, I just want to limit the amount my daughters face appears online, especially the older and more recognisable she's becoming.

Claire Mac looking at the camera.

I've seen a few articles circling the web (do people still call it that now) recently from both perspectives, of mama's that don't want to show their babies faces online as well as those that do. After reading both sides, I've come to the very clear decision that quite frankly there's no right or wrong answer - I think you've just got to do what's best for you, and you most certainly don't need to justify whatever decision you make.

There's enough people out there judging our parenting skills anyway isn't there? *insert biggest eye roll ever here*

If you've made sense of my inner ramblings coming out in word form, thank you for your patience - I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter?

Claire.X

HOW MUCH OF MY CHILDS FACE SHOULD I BE SHOWING ONLINE? Pinterest graphic.

WAYS TO FEEL SASSY AS A MUM.

*This post contains gifted items & is in collaboration with Femme Luxe*

Feeling sassy isn't something I've felt for a very long time; Both my body and my emotions have been on rollercoaster over the last couple of years, but I've sashayed my way into 2020 with a whole new persona.

I'm a sassy, independent woman who's ready to handle whatever the new decade throws at me.

Sassy [Adjective]:
Lively, bold, full of spirit & cheeky.


Claire Mac wearing black pic corset from Femme Luxe.

Personal style.
One of the biggest impacts in improving my confidence & becoming a sassy mama is by redefining my personal style.
Since becoming a mum I went through the battle all new mama's go through, which is figuring out what the hell to do with my new postpartum body?! I didn't feel like me for such a long time after having my daughter and it took a while to get my head around redefining my personal style since becoming a mum, but I got there in the end & now a year after having my little one I feel more confident than ever in the clothes I'm in.
Don't get me wrong, said clothes will probably be covered in dropped yogurt and my daughters drool, but I rock that look!
'You wear the clothes, don't let the clothes wear you'.
And you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to be wearing the hell out of this Femme Luxe corset top!

Sing at the top of your lungs.

Singing is something you can 100% get away with as a parent. Kids love any form of singing don't they, and you definitely don't need to be Beyonce for you both to get enjoyment out of it.
Whatever your genre, whatever your jam, just make sure you're singing at the top of your lungs - Take ownership of that song! You'll thank me for it I promise!
Last week I drove home from Middlesbrough to Leeds & I was listening to Heart Radio's club classics & oh my goodness it was just tune after tune, I was 100% living my best life belting out all of the words to Candy Staton's 'you've got the love' - Amelia seemed to like it too!
'Sing as though no one is listening.'

A good skincare routine.
My skincare routine went out of the window in the newborn days - I'd actually give you money if you could show me a new mama with a strict skincare routine - I don't think it's humanly possible.
The initial lull in my skincare routine has only made me feel so much better now I'm actually sticking to one. I think because I'd felt so shitty before (looking back at photos you can see how drearily tired I was) the transformation feels so much more dramatic... In the best way possible!
I've added some new products into my skincare routine, of which I'll talk about properly in another blog post, but I think the most beneficial thing for me is having a clean face when I go to bed at night as well as when I get up on a morning.
Who'd have thought a clean face would make you feel sassy? But it really does! Even more so if it's slathered in an amazing moisturiser and you're glory AF!

Surround yourself with sassy women.
I think the easiest way to feel like a sassy and empowered women is to surround yourself with sassy and empowered women.... And that's exactly what I've done.
'Empowered women, empower women.'
Since having Amelia I've met some amazing women online, women who are all in a similar position to myself and women who are out there absolutely killing it! They're brought things out in me which I never knew was possible & in turn I want to do the same for other women out there.
My online mama community really is the best - They've brought the sass out in me big style!

Underwear that fits like a dream.
Even when you're wearing your mum uniform; The mum bun & comfy loungewear; you can still feel sassy as hell wearing killer lingerie underneath. There's something sexy and somewhat secretive about hiding an amazing set of underwear under your regular clothes... Even if it's only you that knows about it!
'Never underestimate the power of good lingerie.'
Good underwear never fails to make me feel amazing & I've got some fabulous pieces in my collection.
I'd love to do an all empowered photoshoot with other mama's wearing beautiful lingerie sets embracing our post baby bodies. I'd love to find women who'd help put these plans in motion... Because if there's something I'm about, it's making women feel as amazing (and sassy) as humanly possible!


Claire wearing Femme Luxe black PVC corset, looking at camera.

Something has definitely clicked for me since the clock struck midnight on the 31st December. I don't know if it's because I'm working now, that I feel like I can handle anything, but I'm feeling my sassy self right now.

I'm feeling really good about myself and my abilities and I urge you mama's to feel the same!

What makes you feel sassy?

Claire.X