A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

REVERTING BACK TO MUM UNIFORM, BUT THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT.

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

Mum uniform is something I'm very familiar with; It's the uniform I wore on maternity leave & it's the uniform I've reverted back to wearing now we're in lockdown.

Mum uniform [noun]:
Lounge wear/PJ's usually covered in a child's bodily (amongst other) fluids, commonly worn across multiple days.


Loungewear set from Femme Luxe.

I had a moment of reinvention when it came to personal style as I was nearing the end of maternity leave & am now at a stage where I'm comfortable again in my body and I'm pretty self assured with what I choose to wear. I've got a wardrobe full of pieces I love; Pieces I'd actually love to leave this house in, however seeing as though we're currently in lockdown & unable to leave the house, I've reverted back into my mum uniform ways.

I've reverted back to mum uniform, but this time it's different - I'm feeling myself!

Loungewear set from Femme Luxe.

It's strange thinking back to the Spring 2019 version of myself compared to now. I was a new mum struggling with the fourth trimester & was very much in the mind frame of thinking 'I'm just a mum'... Spring 2020 Claire is very different, yes I am a parent before everything, but I'm also so much more than that; I'm still my own person, I've got my own skills and passions & you better believe I'm brining the sass.... Even if I am in mum uniform.

I'm big on female empowerment & full heartedly believe we should be supporting one another like we used to when we were single & drunk in the nightclub bathroom. Thankfully I've been surrounded by a whole team of inspirational women & have built the most amazing online mama community full of wonderful ladies who have helped me, and pushed me into feeling as 'Beyonce' as I do.

Loungewear set from Femme Luxe.

Last year I was wearing mum uniform as an armour to hide myself away and to try and disguise my new postpartum body.  It's so strange to think of myself as I was back then, I actually feel like a different person.

I'd never have thought last year that I'd feel as self assured as I do today... I mean I'm not a confident person, I can't get up and talk in front of a room full of people, that's not me, but I know that & I embrace that... And that's what I believe is confidence and growth!

Growth is growth, no matter how big or small!

Loungewear set from Femme Luxe.

My mum uniform collection has grown by another two sets from Femme Luxe Finery & I feel fantastic in them both. I actually can't wait to properly leave the house in them... Let's cross our fingers!

The camel lounge wear set is probably my favourite as I prefer the boxier fit to the top, the leggings aren't super tight either which is a bonus. I knew as soon as I put the set on that I'd need it in every colour available, luckily for me the set also comes in grey and black. I actually can't get enough of this duo right now, and have worn it across multiple days since it arriving... I mean it is mum uniform after all.

The long sleeved black lounge wear set feels a little more casual because of the materialI love that the leggings aren't high waisted! They're actually a bit of a god send to be honest; I wear high waisted trousers a lot, and sometimes for the old mum tum it's just not all that comfortable, so these make for a really lovely change. It's actually quite refreshing feeling like I'm not hiding my stomach.

Loungewear set from Femme Luxe.

I'm pretty well stocked now, but I'm still on the hunt for a couple more lounge wear sets to add to my mum uniform collection. I don't think I'll ever tire of wearing my comfies & the grey & black version of the short sleeved lounge wear set I'm wearing is definitely on my wish list; I'm 100% that person who when they find something they like, it gets bought in every colour available.

Have you added any more lounge wear sets to your collection since lockdown?

Claire.X

REVERTING BACK TO MUM UNIFORM, BUT THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT. Pinterest graphic.

40 ACTIVITIES TO KEEP YOUR TODDLER OCCUPIED DURING LOCKDOWN.

Lockdown is an alarming & daunting time for anybody, but the thought of having to occupy a toddler with activities, increases the pressures tenfold. Here are 40+ activities to keep your toddler occupied during lockdown, even if it is only for 10 minutes so you can have a hot cup of coffee.

Toddler indoor play, holes in a shoebox.

Inside activities.

Holes in a shoebox - This has probably been the biggest hit for my toddler during lockdown, she loves sitting with the shoebox between her legs pulling pipe cleaners out of the holes & putting them back in again... I even popped a few ball pit balls in the box for extra sensory play, which she looses her marbles over that.

Treasure box - My daughter loves taking things in and out of a treasure box. It doesn't have to be just toys either, it could be buttons of dried pasta perhaps, anything to keep their little hands busy.

Spaghetti & food colouring - Toddlers love mess don't they, it's like they're drawn to it (unfortunately); Lay a tuff tray  or bin bags out and surround them in spaghetti and get them sifting it through their hands, they'll love it I'm sure!

Cloud dough - Another potentially messy activity to keep your toddler occupied during lockdown. Cloud dough can be made by mixing plain flour with baby oil & measurements can be played with to create a stiff dough or a sand type texture.

Rescue the toys - Hold small toys hostage by cellotaping them into a baking tray, your toddler will instinctively try and reuse them, only it'll take them a few minutes to get their head around the dilemma & you may manage that infamous cup of hot coffee.

Toys in jelly - Similar to the previous activity, only messier... And tastier!

Bottle shakers - Shakers have been a firm favourite in our house since Amelia was a baby & we did baby sensory classes. We have a couple of small bottles filled with water, pasta, glitter & pompoms and they've always been a hit, I should probably make some more.

Elastic bands around a tissue box - Otherwise known as a makeshift guitar. Unleash your toddlers musical side with a bit of elastic band plucking... Feel free to blame me if they love it too much & you don't get a minutes peace.

Toddler hiding under make shift den.

Indoor soft play - This is another one of Amelia's favourites; I pull all of the cushions off the sofas, pop them on the floor and let her climb all over them knowing she's going to be 100% safe. She loves running from one end of the room to the other across the sofa cushions, plus it gives me chance to hoover down the back of the sofas. I dare you to check yours! Mine we're minging!

Making a den - A simple den can be made by hanging a throw between pieces of furniture, or if you want to be a little extra you can use sofa cushions (after you've used them for soft play). This is another one of my toddlers favourites as she loves playing peekaboo & this is the perfect activity to do so.

Copy the king - Please tell me you get the Hey Duggee reference! We walk behind our toddler copying her every move, whether it be squatting, falling or twirling... And because it makes us laugh, it makes her laugh too.

Cleaning their toys - We've popped Amelia's toys in her baby bath with a few bubbles and she's loved swishing them around.

Ball pit - During lockdown we dug out our toddlers ball pit, something which hasn't seen the light of day for a good six months or so but she loved jumping in and flinging the balls around everywhere.... She even tidied up after herself!

Colander & pipe cleaners - This classic is a given for keeping your toddler occupied & out of trouble.

Baking - If you can bake without your toddler eating half of the ingredients, then well done you!.. But in all seriousness baking has been brilliant for us, plus it's a lovely little activity to bond over.

Colouring - All toddlers love colouring right? How long they last is another question, but if you can get a couple of jobs done while you're toddlers colouring away to their hearts content, I'd call that a win!

Toddler outdoor playing with pebbles.

Outside activities.

Pebbles in a plant pot - Who'd have thought this would've been such a hit! There's really not much to it, other than putting pebbles in a plant pot, taking them out, and putting them back in again.

Water table - Water tables are brilliant however if you don't have one a baking tray filled with water popped on a low level table has the same effect. Amelia loves splashing & ended up soaked within five minutes. She was 100% living her best life!

Mud kitchen - We don't actually have a mud kitchen for our toddler, however if we did I know for a fact she would love it! She loves anything messy & I know it'd keep her occupied fr such a long time, I'm just putting it off because of the clean up operation.

Gardening - My toddler has helped with quite a lot of gardening during lock down, I mean you've got to keep an eye on her to make sure she's not pulling flower heads off, but generally she's loved being outside & helping mum and dad. It's been just the cutest!


Toddler and puppy sitting on picnic blanket outside.

Picnic blanket - Is anyone else's toddler as obsessed with picnic blankets as mine? There doesn't even have to be a picnic there... As soon as we lay the blanket out she bounds over to use it as a dance floor before crashing out in a weird breakdance style fall. I really need to video it!

Paddling pool - On the sunnier days, we've had the paddling pool out. Amelia loves anything water related, so this is an easy one for us to keep her occupied.

Paddling pool with ball pit balls - Paddling pool 2.0

Paddling pool with ball pit balls & bubble bath - Paddling pool 3.0

Nature hunting - While we've been gardening, our toddler has developed a penchant for nature, she loves looking at worms, prodding worms & picking worms up... I mean, we're a little grossed out by it, but if she likes carrying worms around, who's to stop her.

The hose pipe - I don't know why, but my child loves being chased around the garden with the hose pipe. Obviously the water flow isn't on full pelt as I'm pretty sure it'd blow her away, but she loves being sprayed with the water, it gets so many giggles out of her.

Bring the inside out - It sounds super simple, but sometimes just playing with inside toys, outside gives them a whole new lease of life & will occupy your tiny human long enough for you to grab a hot drink. We've been taking things like the walker & rocking horse, things that she doesn't normally bother with inside & she's fallen back in love with them outside.

Toddler playing with walker outside.

Crafty activities.

Making binoculars out of toilet roll tubes - You know after you've hoarded all of those toilet rolls *insert eye roll here* why not make them into something. As my toddler is still only relatively young there's no point building the Eiffel Tower out of loo rolls (which I could totally do btw), instead we've made binoculars; A simple alternative which is sure to keep your little one occupied.

Drawing on a roll of paper - Amelia loves drawing and I've found the easiest thing to do is buy a roll of Kraft paper, lay it out on the laminate flooring & letting her loose with it... Much more fun than standard colouring books.

Ripping up paper
- After they've drawn on their roll of paper, why not get them to rip it up. My toddler loves ripping things, in fact I'm sure she'd rather rip up and destroy paper rather than draw on it.

Water mat - I've currently got a water mat on order & am waiting for it to arrive; I can't wait to see Amelia's face glow in amazement as she watches the water pens turn the mat into colours.

Potato printing - Potato printing is a classic, although it's something we've not done yet as we'd much rather use them for chips!

Make cards for loved ones - It's a bummer not being able to see family, but it's even more of a bummer your family not being able to see your child. To try and bridge the gap we're going to be making hand & footprint cards to send off to our nearest and dearest.

Colouring cardboard boxes - I saw this on Pinterest, but if you have a cardboard box big enough, pop your toddler inside with a bunch of colouring crayons and let them make their marks.

Stickers - I bought Amelia a sticker book not too long ago & although she doesn't enjoy using the actual book, she loves sticking the stickers on pieces of paper.

Pat mat - A pat mat is a laminate pouch ironed on all four edges filled with water and pieces of confetti or small toys. We made ours after a baby sensory class & Amelia's loved patting it, beating it & moving all of the shapes around in the pouch.

Toddler watching Moana on Disney+

Digital activities.

Disney + - As much as we all want to be 'Pinterest mums' creating wonderful arts & crafts to keep our toddlers busy, sometimes popping them in front of the telly is 100% okay. I'm not the biggest Disney lover out there, but we've watched so many films whilst snuggling on the sofa, it's been lovely, and I've sussed that Moana is definitely her fave!

Dancing to youtube videos - It's only in the last month or so that my daughter's started 'dancing' or doing what's otherwise known as stomping around in circles. She has her favourites, but we could literally put any form of music video on the telly and she's straight up dancing; It's the most gorgeous thing to watch.

Facetiming grandparents - It's sad to think that Amelia hasn't seen her grandparents for four weeks now, especially seeing as though she's changing so much now & learning so many different things. Thanks to FaceTime, Amelia's nana has been able to see her running around in the garden & has heard her say so many different words.

Ipad games - Before becoming a parent I thought I would't use the TV or iPads to occupy my child... Now I have my toddler however it's a different story. I do try and limit screen time, but I 100% look at them as an educational tool. We have a bubble popping game on Dans iPad aimed at toddlers & Amelia loves pressing & popping them as they're moving around the screen - Amazing for hand eye coordination.

Toddler playing on picnic blanket.

I hope these activities will keep your toddlers busy & gives you mama's a bit of a break, because lord knows we need one! How have you been coping so far during lockdown?

PS. Did anyone actually believe me when I said I could make the Eiffel Tower out of loo rolls?

Claire.X

40 ACTIVITIES TO KEEP YOUR TODDLER OCCUPIED DURING LOCKDOWN. Pinterest graphic.

SPRING/SUMMER ADDITIONS TO MY 1 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER'S WARDROBE.

*This blog post is in collaboration and features gifted products from Lavender Sun*

It's safe to say that my daughter has a way better wardrobe than I have. I find it so much easier picking items of clothing out for her than I do myself - I think it's part of being a parent, wouldn't you agree?

With the change in seasons and the arrival of some spring/summer sunshine I thought I'd scourer the Internet in search of some new additions to my one year old daughter's wardrobe.

Lavender Sun Little Miss Foxy bodysuit.

Foxy little lady bodysuit.
You can't go wrong with bodysuits, especially during the warmer months because sometimes it's all our little ones will be wearing. I loved the 'foxy little lady' slogan on the Lavender Sun onesie as it shows my daughter's already way too sassy attitude, plus she's already got a pair of rust coloured leggings which I know will match this little foxy perfectly.

Plain white bodysuits.
Something Amelia was (actually) in need of for the spring & summer months was plain bodysuits with thin, spaghetti style straps. It doesn't happen very often, but when I put her in a nice dress, I don't like having sleeves poking out and ruining her look... You know, because she's so 'fashion!' The three pack from H&M will be really versatile and I just know she'll get lots of wear out of them.

Leopard print leggings.
Leopard print is a neutral, I don't care what you say... And I love it, therefore Amelia has to wear it, because that's how parenting works isn't it. I bought these in the size up as I wanted my daughter to get lots of wear out of them & it turns out they fit her rotund little tum perfectly!

Leopard print jumpsuit from H&M

Leopard print jumpsuit.
More leopard print, I can't help it; This time it's in the form of a jumpsuit from H&M. Again I bought this in the next size up & although it's probably a little too big for her to wear now, I can still pop her in it and get away with the sizing. Kids always look cute in oversized clothes anyway don't they.

Yellow geometric dress.
The yellow geometric dress is a bit of a cheat because Amelia had it when she was much younger; I think she had it in aged 3-6 months and we loved it so much that we had to get it again. Next do this dress in various different colours & it's such a bargain, so it was an absolute no brainer for us! In fact, I think it's an essential in any little girls wardrobe.

Floral summer dress.
We were very kindly gifted the summer floral dress by one of Amelia's friends at the childminders, her mum didn't like the style of it, but we love it, so it's a win win situation. FYI This is the type of dress I'd want to pair the spaghetti strapped bodysuits with. I love the skirt on this dress as it's super girly & I'm sure we'll get a load of twirls out of it from her this spring/summer.

Stack of girls clothes.

So there's six new additions to my 1 year old daughters wardrobe, you can guess how many I have can't you... Yup, a big fat zero, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. I love picking up new pieces for my daughter & truth be told, she'll probably end up with a few more pieces before the season ends. #SorryNotSorry

Have you made many additions to your little one's wardrobe this spring/summer?

Claire.X

MY LESS THAN £5, THREE PRODUCT SKINCARE ROUTINE.

Yes, you read that correctly, I'm currently using three products in my skincare routine that all together cost less than a fiver! What is this sorcery you ask? Let me tell you.

The price of my three product skincare routine equates to a takeout coffee... And that's the life I'm about. I'm not strict when it comes to frugality however if I can save a bit of dollar by using a product  or service I actually enjoy, then I'm going to go in all guns blazing.

Lacura skincare products,

The products I'm referencing are from Lacura, Aldi's very own luxury for less cruelty free skincare range.

Why Lacura?

I've not tried anything from Lacura before & I'll be honest and say I picked up my three skincare products on a total whim. With all that's going on & only being able to venture out to the supermarket I thought I'd treat myself to a few new beauty bits, plus it made my (baby free) trip to Aldi feel like more of a day out; The decision to buy really was as unsophisticated as that.

Sometimes I think the purchases you don't intend to buy can be the best ones.


Lacura skincare.

My 3 Lacura skincare products.

It's the Lacura Q10 renew day cream (£1.45) which first started this whole trying out of new skincare products. Would you believe I'd actually ran out of day cream? In a flipping pandemic too! (First world problems right?)
I was drawn to Lacura's Q10 range as it's designed to help the skin from prematurely ageing, using the finest, results driven ingredients. Now let's be real, I've not got wrinkles, but what I do have is eye bags (for days) and very tired, dull skin, something the Q10 range promotes to fight against... So in the words of Anto Sharp it was going 'straight in my basket'. Lacura states the recommended age range for this product is between 30 and 50 years old, so I'm at the very (very very) beginning of what's suggested, however I'd like to think that even if you're younger or older it would still have some affect on tired skin.

Because I'd bought the day cream, I of course had to pick up the Lacura Q10 renew night cream (£1.45).  I'm not sure if that's the done thing, but I thought why not, especially considering the price point. The pricing of the two moisturisers together is still less than what I'd usually pay for skincare products. The night cream, along with all Lacura products are cruelty free and contains a skin renewing retinol complex and nourishing avocado oil, two ingredients which very much appealed to me.

The third item, I chose was the Lacura moisturising face wash (£0.85), maybe I should have mentioned this one first as it's the product I begin my skincare routine with, but I wanted to take you on my journey... Or my day out to Aldi. In all honesty I don't usually buy face washes like this one as I'm such a big fan of The Body Shop's Camomile Cleansing Butter for cleansing my skin however again similar to the Lacura Q10 renew night cream I thought why the hell not. I picked this one up over the Lacura smoothing face scrub as the label 'moisturising' really appealed to me, and if there's anything my skin needs right now it's moisture!


Lacura skincare.

Thoughts on my 3 Lacura skincare products.

The Lacura Q10 renew day cream is lightweight with an almost whipped like texture to it meaning it's super easy to apply and the littlest amount goes the longest way. I knew I'd get on with this product from the get go as I loved how moisturised and rejuvenated it made my skin feel even after the first application.

The Lacura Q10 renew night cream is much thicker in texture, as you'd expect. It takes a little more effort to sink into the skin, but the feeling of nourishment can be felt right through to the next morning. I've found that when I'm cleansing my skin on a morning, my face still feels moisturised and well looked after, something I didn't really expect from a product that costs less than a Greggs steak bake... Man, I miss Greggs!

Speaking of cleansing, I liked the Lacura moisturising face wash, I just didn't love it, and the reason for that is that I didn't feel like it did what it said on the tin. The product is a brilliant cleanser and gets rid of makeup and daily grime really easily, however something I didn't feel it does, is moisturise. Don't get me wrong, I understand some cleansers and face washes can be quite drying as they're eradicating any impurities, but I really wasn't expecting my skin to feel as tight and squeaky clean as it did using this. I thought there'd be a bit more leeway with a product which advertises itself as being moisturising.

Lacura skincare products,

My skincare results from using Lacura?

I've been using my three Lacura skincare products religiously in my routine now for the last few weeks & I have to say I'm impressed... Although I'm equally as impressed that I've managed to stick to a skincare routine as I am with the products themselves. My face definitely appears more radiant and I'm much more confident on those no makeup days... I'd even go outside with no makeup on if I had the choice.

Lacura skincare.

Would I buy Lacura skincare products again?

Yes, yes & one more time for the people at the back, YES! I'm so impressed with the moisturisers that I've already been scanning the Aldi website for what else they have to offer. My store doesn't seem to stock as much as what's available online, but already on my shopping list is the Lacura moisture boost gel moisturiser and the Lacura miracle oil spray, plus whatever else I can get my hands on because everything's so damn affordable!

Have you tried anything from the Lacura range?

Claire.X

MY LESS THAN £5, THREE PRODUCT SKINCARE ROUTINE. Pinterest graphic.

BLACK TEE 5 WAYS.

*This post features gifted products & is in collaboration with Femme Luxe*

I'm a creature of habit when it comes to fashion (there I said it) & hold numerous amounts of the same type of item in my wardrobe, one of which is the humble black tee.

I have various different black tee's in my wardrobe; They're staple pieces that have seen me though various different stages of life, so with that in mind I want to honour the black tee in this post, advising how I wear them & why they're never going to leave my wardrobe.

Black tee five ways - Femme Luxe blog post.

The black ruffled tee.
You know when people say jeans and a nice tee... This is my nice tee! If I'm getting dressed up and going out, which let's be real isn't all that often, jeans and a nice tee is my go to look.
I love this mesh ruffle scrappy trop from Femme Luxe as it shows just the right amount of flesh, but still covers up a multitude of sins. My body's changed a fair amount since having a baby & although I'm on the body positivity train 99% of the time, there are still times when I don't feel my bad ass self; This mostly happens of course when I least want it to, such as during evenings out or at networking events, fortunately for me however I know this black ruffled tee will see me though! I usually wear it with high waisted black jeans for a slick all black outfit however I think it'd look lovely with a leather look or dark denim pencil skirt, what do you think? *Frantically searches ASOS for denim pencil skirt*

Black tee five ways - Femme Luxe blog post.

The black cami.
Would you believe it if I told you that I actually dislike cami tops. It's not a style I'm 100% comfortable in wearing, but it's a style I think you 100% need in your wardrobe.
The reason I'm not the biggest fan of cami tops is I really dislike the way the spaghetti straps sit & leave the tops of my arms exposed. You'll be reading this thinking 'don't be stupid Claire' but I've got this real bug bearer with the tops of my arms, I always have done & I probably always will do - You'll notice that previously with the black ruffled tee, I'm shielded with the Bardot style ruffles.
I've paired this black cami from George at Asda with a mini yellow satin skirt, but I also wear it for work under my suit, or tucked into a pair of mom jeans with white trainers for a more casual look.

Black tee five ways - Femme Luxe blog post.

The black slogan tee.
I'm all about casual dressing & I think an absolute necessity of that is a slogan tee!
Something cute, something witty or something sassy, I love a good slogan tee & one of my favourite ways to wear them is with an oversized blazer.
The contrast of the Femme Luxe 'trust in your sauce' slogan tee with my more tailored checkered blazer is a basic uniform for me, it's an outfit I wear so often & one that can be easily dressed down with a pair of mom jeans or dressed up with a tailored pair of black trousers & heels.

Black tee five ways - Femme Luxe blog post.

The sexy black strapless tee.
After having my daughter, something I've had to learn to be again is 'sexy'... I'm using quotation marks, as on the sexy scale I currently feel a 3 out of 10 sat here in a hoody and my joggers, but one item of clothing that instantly unleashes my inner Beyonce is this cropped black corset tee.
I've not worn it with anything other than my mom jeans yet, as I like the contrast between the two, but I really want a long line crisp white shirt to wear underneath as I think that'd look amazing...  I think that'd be just the right amount of sexy!

Black tee five ways - Femme Luxe blog post.

The plain black tee.
And finally the classic plain black tee! The tee we all have in our wardrobe which so often gets overlooked. 
This plain black tee from Femme Luxe is slightly oversized and has rolled sleeves which give it a more casual look but it actually goes with everything... Tucked into mom jeans, yup! Worn underneath a strappy slip dress, yup! Worn with a suit for work, yup! The possibilities are endless!

I'd like to think that even though these are all black tee's, they're all quite different & all add something unique to my wardrobe, even the plain black tee!

Are you like me? Do you own lots of the same types of clothing items?

Claire.X