Friday, 29 August 2014

If I'd Known Then What I Know Now

Slight boast post coming up - I would apologise but I'm actually kind of proud so I'll boast away!

Nearly 7 years ago I got married! I chose the dress but quickly realised it didn't look that great on me. I'd spent hours upsetting myself trying on numerous different dresses in numerous different shops I settled on one that looked OK. Whilst I'll never be totally happy with the dress I chose or the way I looked in it, I am happy with the man I married and that's what matters most. 
Even on my wedding day I knew that one day that dress would be far too big for me, and I would look back and laugh.....Well it's been a long 7 years (nearly) but that day has finally come!
Yesterday evening I found my wedding dress and tried it on..........It's finally too big!!!!!! 

(excuse the picture quality the boy was less than impressed with taking the photo)

The Claire Diaries UK fitness and Lifestyle blog

The Claire Diaries - UK lifestyle and fitness blog
- Yes the belly is still there but it's going!!!!!

I can't tell you how proud of myself I am. I still have a really, really long way to go and I'm not 100% certain that I'll ever be totally happy with the way I look - I mean is anyone? But I know now that I am well on my way!!!!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Great British Bake Off

I love cake! Just putting that out there!

UK lifestyle and Fitness blogger Watching The Great British Bake Off

No but seriously I do love cake - I didn't get to the weight I was by eating cucumber and salad. However I am an appauling baker. It's one thing that has been on my todo list forever but due to all manner of excuses I've never gotten round to learning!

UK lifestyle and Fitness blogger Watching The Great British Bake Off

For the last few years I've satisified my need to bake by watching the bakers struggle on The Great British Bake off. I love it.
Let's be honest it's the best way I get to watch someone else making the cakes and don't have to struggle with the temptation to eat the cakes at the end of it!

I really will learn to bake - In fact I might make it my mission to learn before the end of the year.

Do you have any easy recipes you could share with me?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Last night I was browsing Instagram and stumbled across some photos of an old school friend. She looked amazing so I decided to do some digging to see what her secret was. I think I found it........The Nike Training Club app! As a big Nike Fan I thought I'd give it a go.

UK Lifestyle Fitness and Beauty Blogger Reviewing Nike Training Club App

So I downloaded it and was pleasantly surprised with what was on my screen!
I'm not normally a big fan of fitness apps. I have My Fitness Pal which I use fairly regularly but actual exercise apps tend to get on my nerves and don't always work in the way I want them too. They remind me of exercise DVD's with the exception of the Jillian Michaels ones, I always finding myself sitting and watching them - to see how hard they are obviously, only to never take them out of their boxes again!

UK Lifestyle Fitness and Beauty Blogger Reviewing Nike Training Club App

Anyway back to The Nike Training Club.
Nike have designed the app for FEMALES - Yes that's right not a scary weightlifting man in sight! There are 100+ different workouts all designed by Nike athletes! Pretty credible right?
There are 3 different programmes to choose from GET LEAN, GET TONED, GET STRONG. You can also pick workouts from top athletes, ones you might have actually heard of.

So I booked the kids into kids club at the gym and headed there this morning. I hadn't actually intended on doing the Nike Training Club workout but after 30mins on the treadmill I was losing the will to live, so I figured I would give it a go.
It was great. I had a 30 minute circuit based workout, only using dumb bells and a 5kg medicine ball. I was sweating and actually felt like I'd had a good workout at the end of it. I think next time I need to use heavier weights, but for the first time it was good and made a nice change.

I don't think I will be using it as a replacement for my weights programme or the classes I enjoy, but I've downloaded a programme so for the next 4 weeks I'm going to somehow add it in to my already packed gym programme. It can only help right?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sweat in my eyes

Wow! It's been a while since I last posted. My husband has been off work for the last two weeks so we've been enjoying some quality family time. Including a camping trip which I shall be blogging about very soon!

In the meantime, I thought it was about time for me to update on my gym progress.
Well it really hasn't been happening. Having the kids off school has actually made it a lot harder than I thought it was going to be! So far I'm lucky if I've made it to the gym once a week and eating clean has totally gone out of the window.

However the kids go back to school next week and my head is now back in the game - in part due to the arrival of my new gym headbands.....There is nothing like new gym kit - no matter how small, to get you fired back up and in the mood to workout.

UK fitness and Lifestyle blog reviewing I can I will gym wear

I picked up these super cute headbands from Southwood Stores. They are a UK stockist for the ultra cool I Can I Will workout wear!

I've been looking for some new headband for a while. My hair is forever getting in my way when I'm doing weights and it drives me insane! A lot of headbands out there move and slide about when you're working out but these have a silicone strip around them which stop them moving and at £4.00 + P&P for a pack of three they really are a steal!

Which gym wear brands are your favourites?

Monday, 11 August 2014

My Hair Care Routine

I've always had really quite long hair. Every now and again I'll get it cut into a shoulder length style but for much of my life my hair has been long. I totally love long hair but keeping it looking nice i bloomin' hard work! My hair is naturally very thin and tends to look lank really quickly so getting some volume in it is a must for me!
I am forever changing my hair routine but for now I've found one that works and I'll be sticking with least until my supersize bottle of conditioner runs out!

Looking after my hair by UK Lifestyle Blogger The Claire Diaries

Loreal Elvive FIBROLOGY Thickening Shampoo - Currently on offer in Tesco £1.99
Hair Culture Deep Cleaning Conditioner - £1.99 ALDI

I tend to wash my hair every two days as I find if I wash it anymore it becomes very dry very quickly. Two days is about the most I can go without my head resembling a deep fat fryer! 

Loreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo Product review by The Claire Diaries UK lifestyle Blogger

I've only recently discovered this shampoo when they were giving out free samples at my gym! I am now a convert. I love it. It's the only shampoo I've tried in recent times that actually gives me any volume to my hair. It costs around £4.00 at full price. For me it is totally worth the money but when the rest of my little family are using it, it can work out a bit pricey. FYI this shampoo is on offer in Tesco at the min for £1.99 - the conditioner too I think!!!!

My Hair Care Favourites from The Claire Diaries UK Lifestyle Blog

This conditioner seems to have given me my shine back! I have tried thousands of conditioners over the years and they all seem to leave my hair looking heavy and greasy. That was until I read a blog review (I can't remember where) on this conditioner. It is an absolute billy BARGAIN at £1.99 for a 1 liter tub from Aldi!
My hair is shiny and it certainly gets rid of any product build up! Needless to say I'm hooked and will be for a while I think?

What are your hair care favourites?

Friday, 8 August 2014

Summer Reads....So Far

I love to read - always have. As yet I've not converted and bought myself a Kindle (both the kids have one) so I'm still reading good old fashioned paper back books - preferably ones that are on sale at tesco... Two for £7.00? YES PLEASE. Personally I don't think you can beat a hard copy of a book, Particularly in the summertime when the edges get a little torn and tatty, you usually drop your book in the sea and there is nothing like reading a good summer book again and finding it has sand stuck in the midddle and still smells of Sun lotion....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......

Anyway now the kids have broken up for school I've not had a lot of time to read too many books, in fact i've only managed three but here is a quick synopsis and review of the ones I have read!

Summer Reads by The Claire Diaries UK weight loss Fitness and Lifestyle Blog

1) A Cottage by The Sea - Carole Matthews
A week away in a cottage by the sea with her best friends Ella and Flick, Leads Grace to an interesting week of affairs, betrayal and a new arrival............

I loved this story read it in record time. The characters were all realistic and I could certainly see traits in them which reminded me of certain people in my life! The story was a bit wishy wash in places and the trail of the story following Ella seemed to be a bit hit and miss at times but overall it was a great summer read! I'm a big fan of most of Carole Matthews books.

2) Wedding Night - Sophie Kinsella
How to stop your sister making the biggest mistake of her life!

This book was great from start to finish. It had me chuckling to myself throughout! Reading this when I was feeling a little bit down certainly lifted my mood! It has however left me slightly intrigued as to how Sophie Kinsella came up with all the sabotage ideas :-) Read it and you'll understand what I mean!

3) The Chocolate Lovers Club - Carole Matthews
Realising your boy friend is a cheating dirtbag, you actually quite fancy your boss and planning a jewellery heist....that's what Lucy Lombard has to look forward to in this story!

Personally I wasn't that great a fan of this book. Like A cottagc by the Sea some of the story was a bit random and seemed like it was just their as a filler. To be honest it was ok and makes great poolside reading but I won't be rushing back to it in a hurry!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The British Tag

Jumping on the bandwagon with this post I'm afraid folks.....It's the British Tag! Thanks to Sammi From Beauty Crush for coming up with the idea :-)

I am British born and bred and although some most days I dream about living in warmer climes I actually wouldn't want to leave!

So without further ado here are my answers............

12 of My Favourite British Things by UK fitness and Lifestyle Blogger The Claire Diaries


I don't drink all that much tea since I started my diet....water kind of took over so maybe 2/3 tops. I don't have any milk or sugar boring is that?


For this I'm torn! I love love love proper roast potatoes....not shop bought ones but proper ones like my grandmother used to make! I also love Yorkshire Puddings. It's not a proper roast without either of them!


This has to be Malted Milk - I know a lot of people hate them and I just don't get it they're gorgeous and hold the tea well whilst dunking :-)


You'll see from my Instagram feed that I love the good old British Seaside. I love to see the kids playing on the beach and eating good old traditional FRESH fish and chips....not part of the clean eating lifestyle but I call it my cheat meal :-)


There's a lot of words that I use that are perhaps best to be left unsaid on here!


Apples and Pears = Stairs. Dog and Bone = Phone.  Hank Marvin = Starving.  Adam & Eve = Believe
That's all I know....not very good am I?


Floral Gums, Midget gems and proper Wine gums from a proper sweet shop.


Honestly no idea?? I really can't think of a name? Maybe The Spitfire????


Well I'm going to have to say The Queen.....Who else???


Is this British or just in general??
BRITISH - Joules & or Next and a good traditional English Pub. Our local does a good meal!


Hmmmmmmmm Hey Jude always pops into my head - can't say it's my favourite but it does seem very British after all it gets played at every opening / closing ceremony and festival.......
Otherwise maybe Adele Someone Like You?


Yes Yes Yes..... I bloomin LOVE the stuff. when I was little I'd eat so much that it would burn my mouth.....Always looked like I had a clown smile.
Now I love a slice of Marmite on Toast when I'm tucked up on a winters Sunday morning........BLISS.

I TAG YOU......What are you're favourites??

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

North Norfolk Coast

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

This weekend we decided we would take the kids on a trip to the seaside. Having spent nearly 30 years visiting Whitby every summer I decided it would be nice to have a change and find another pretty , non tacky seaside town! We're also going camping in a few weeks so thought it would be good to investigate!

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

After nearly 4 hours in the car (traffic) we arrived in Wells next the Sea! It was gorgeous! The little town had just enough shops and a lovely little cafe. We spent about 2 hours wandering in and out of the shops and the kids had a go at crabbing.

To get to the beach we took the little land train. The beach was lovely and clean and had a fab sea channel which was perfect for the kids to jump and play in and we didn't have to worry too much!

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

Later on we headed to Hunstanton for Fish and Chips and to watch the sunset. 

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

The kids had a great day! We will certainly be heading back there soon! I'm hoping to buy a beach hut :-)

UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries visits the Norfolk Coast

Which Seaside Town do you visit?

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


One thing I've noticed lately is that now the shops are stocking their autumn clothes there is a lot of leopard print popping up about the place.

Now usually when I think of leopard print I immediately think of Kat Slater and Beverley Callard (Liz Mcdonald in Corrie) and I get put off it straight away but after looking at some of the coming season pieces I think I may be a bit more inclined to try small amounts at least anyway. I defiantly think that leopard print accessories are the way forward for me anyway.

Here's a few of my favourite pieces that I've spotted so far......

Leopard Print Fashion Ideas from UK Fitness and Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries

4 - DUNE 5 - NEW :LOOK 6- ASOS

What do you think of Leopard print and How will you be wearing it?

Monday, 4 August 2014

False Lash Effect Mascara

Recently I've found myself finally becoming interested in my skin, hair, nails and the way I look again. I don't know if it's down to the fact I've lost weight, or because i look healthier or simply just because I have an element of self esteem again but either way I'm interested.

So I've decided to start doing product reviews and some beauty posts. 

Now i really don't profess to be a professional but I know what works for me and what products I like. I'm really not into spending big bucks on products so I like to make the best of what I can afford and I thought it would be a good thing to share with the world !!

So here is my first (well technically second) beauty post!!!

Collection 2000 Volumising Waterproof Mascara!

Beauty product review from UK Lifestyle and fitness blog

Unfortunately for me I was not blessed with lush long eyelashes. In fact some days I'm lucky if I look like I have any eye lashes at all! I've spent a small fortune on mascara, and false lash products but few if any of them have given me a natural looking lash effect. I'm not big on clumpy looking mascara and super long eye lashes just make me laugh......Peacock style ones are great for a night out but not everyday wear !

I've tried expensive brands and I've tried the cheapest of the cheap but the one I've found that gives me the most natural look is this Collection 2000 Volumising Waterproof mascara. It gives my lashes a long but natural look, is easy to apply and even though it is super waterproof it's easy to remove the odd smudge when applying. 
There aren't many mascaras out there that are truly waterproof but this one stood up to my floods of tears at my sons end of school service so that makes it Fab in my book!

Do you prefer natural or false lashes?