Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Les Mills Body Pump....I Love It!

Gym Motivation Les Mills Body Pump | UK Lifestyle Blog
It's been almost a year and a half since I started hitting the gym on a regular basis. One of the main things that has kept me motivated over the two years has been attending group exercise classes!

By far my most favourite class has been Les Mills Body Pump class!

Les Mills Body Pump Review| UK Lifestyle Blog The Claire Diaries

What is it.....?

Well in short expect to pump iron! No seriously this is a weights based class, Lasting 55 minutes or 45 minutes depending on which class you attend, you use a light barbell and a step to complete a full body workout! 

The class is divided into 10 sections each lasing for one track (song) and each is designed to work a different body part.
The exercises are pretty straightforward and are easy to follow. I usually get by following the person in front of me if I can't see the instructor!

Essentially the class is weights based but as there is very little rest and lots of reps per track it really does provide a good cardio workout too!

Each class follows a certain format for about a three month period which means after attending 2-3 classes you'll have got the hang of the routine. Also there is no jumping up and down so you don't need to be mega coordinated for the class!


In my opinion pretty much anyone. It's up to you whether you use a light or heavy weight. If you regularly lift weights always go lighter than your regular weight. You complete 100s of reps per class so going too heavy isn't really an option.


Find the instructor! This is probably the most important step! They will give you advice tell you what weights are best to use and give you a quick overview of any moves and combinations used in the class.


Water, water and more water
Probably a towel as the class can get pretty intensive.
Step & Matt - This is needed for usually a couple of tracks
Barbell - with appropriate weights
Dumbells or Spare Plates

Honestly give it a go......Body Pump has been great motivation for me and made me realise I much prefer lifting weights to pounding the treadmill!

Have you done a Body Pump class? Thoughts??

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

20 Unexpected Things That Happen When You Turn 30!

I turned 30 last October and for me it was a big deal! In fact I had a damn near breakdown over the fact I was no longer going to be a 20 something! 

In the 6/7 months I've been 30 some unexpected things have started happening so I thought I would share...........

Big Bang Theory Gif | Unexpected thing that happen when turning thirty

1. Hangovers Last at Least 2 days! 

Yes I had hangovers before but nothing compared to these. Prepare to feel worse at 3pm the day after drinking than the second you woke up!

2. Regrets over health and skincare....

When you're in your mid twenties nothing can be more boring than someone telling you to watch what you eat and take care of your skin. When you hit thirty you'll wake up and realise they were right!

3. You realise you have wrinkles and grey hairs!

Freaky Friday Gif Turning thirty will give you wrinkles. Uk lifestyle blog

4. Divorce....

This becomes a real thing! Sure it doesn't happen to everyone but the blissful bubble of your twenties is replaced by the stress of careers, kids, money and mortgages!

5. Bottle of Wine and A Good Film!

You suddenly realise that you don't want to spend hours getting ready to go out only to want to be at home in bed for 10:30pm. A bottle of wine and Netflix on your fancy smart TV become a better option!

Turning Thirty Gif Unexpected Things That Happen

6. People In Their 20s Think You're Old!

Bitch please I was your age like two minutes ago......It'll catch up with you too!

7. You Start Using Phrases and Saying Previously Heard By Your Parents.

"Are you going out wearing that?" "Do you not have a coat?" - Usually said to Twenty something work colleagues and relatives - They're indestructible right?

Things that happen when you are thirty - Dark Circles. UK Blogger

8. Dark Circles Under Your Eyes.....

Once just an annoying TV advert this now becomes the bane of your life. Four hours disturbed sleep is the norm right?

9. Workout!

Once your activity of choice the gym now becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. Middle age spread seems quite a real prospect!

Having a quarter Life Crisis - UK Lifestyle Blog

10. Triathlon/Marathon/Iron Man!

In a desperate attempt to prove you are still young and fit you decide to enter a Triathlon/Marathon/Iron Man event....because after all the working out you're an athlete right? Surely a triathlon is a great idea?

11. You Use a Diary.

Being spontaneous is a thing of the past. You need at least three weeks notice to schedule in a cup of coffee, after finding a babysitter!

12. Buying White Goods Is An Exciting Prospect.

Now you're a grown up Thirty Something and actually have money to stock a fridge, you have to have the nicest American style fridge you kitchen can house right?? Kitchen too small....You can always extend?

reviewing house hold products. Things you do when thirty

13. You Find Yourself Researching Products Before You Purchase.

No longer do you just rock up to Currys and say "I want that one". You spend hours trawling the internet, comparing specifications and prices! Then discussing it at length with your friends, partner and colleagues.....No You are not boring!!

You stop caring what people think. Things that happen when you turn 30.

14. You No Longer Give A Crap.....

After spending most of your twenties figuring out who you are, you no longer give a crap what people think! #librerating

15. People you know have teenage kids!

Yes you still feel like a teenager at heart so you can totally relate to them....No, no you can't. Remember you're their Mum/Dads friend they don't want to talk to you.

16. You Think You Can Actually Hear Your Biological Clock Ticking!

"Holy Crap, I need to get married and have a baby within a year!" - stop stressing you've got ages yet. 

Thing that happen when you turn thirty

17. "Oh You're Not Married? It'll be You Next Don't Worry"

Heard at every wedding, christening, party, family dinner! Just ignore it!

18. You'll Own More Joggers and PJ's Than Actual Clothes

Going out is a thing for the youngsters. Staying in wearing your sweats becomes a refreshing alternative. You can no longer name where to buy the latest designer shoes....but damn you know where to buy comfy PJs.

19. You Realise That Your Time Is Limited

Whether it's realising you don't want to spend time with certain people or realising you're only here for a limited time. You start to whittle down the things that you really enjoy doing and get rid of the things that truly bring no value to your life.

Things that happen when turning thirty | UK Lifestyle and Fitness blog

20. You Start To Enjoy and Live For Every Minute!!!

Did You Notice any Changes When You Turned Thirty?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Polish Review

UK lifestyle blogger reviewing barry m speed dry nail varnish

Being a busy mum painting my nails is usually a luxury I have very little time for. So when I was shopping in Tesco the other week and I spotted these Barry M Quick Dry Nail Paints I thought I would give them a try!

They come in some really cute pastel shades perfect for spring and summer. They also have really cute racing flag style instantly recognisable packaging which I just love. They are so easy to find in my huge bag of nail polishes which when you're in a rush really helps.

Another feature I really love is the flat round brush. It makes getting to your cuticle line a lot easier and means there is little to no clean up needed. Perfect if you have a tendency to be a bit cack handed like me!

The million dollar question....Do they dry quickly??? Well yes, yes they do! I found that one coat was dry in about 60 seconds and two coats was dry and ready for me to continue getting ready within 3-4 minutes! I will admit though that I wasn't looking for a perfect finish when I applied the nail varnish so only applied two coats. To get a really good finish I would think you would need 3 coats so drying time would be longer. All in all they generally deliver what they promise.

I bought the colours Pit Stop and Kiss Me Quick.  £3.99 - Great for a cheap quick mani!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Den Day...Part 1

Ideas for save the children den day

Whilst driving into work the other day I heard on the radio about the Save The Children Den Day. Instantly I loved the idea.

My kids love being outside in the garden and they love camping so what better way to raise some money for charity than to combine the two!

So after immediately signing up I got to pinning some ideas!

Save the children den day UK lifestyle blog the claire diaries

uk lifestyle blog the claire diaries

Interested? You can sign up here!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review: LUSH - Popcorn Lip Scrub

It has been ages since I last went into Lush. I very rarely go in as it can be a nightmare with the mini beast! I either end up spending a fortune or I spend the whole time worrying about the fact she's touching everything!

So after seeing so many Lush hauls on YouTube I though I would pop in and see what all the fuss was about.
So after a mega quick browse I found myself stood at the till with a basket full of bath bombs.....I'm a total sucker for picking things up at the till and I ended up grabbing a pot of the Lip Scrub in Popcorn flavour - The addiction continues.....It does smell amazing though and is edible!

Lush lip scrub review by UK Lifestyle blogger

So what did I think?? 
The smell and taste is amazing! They have included salt in the ingredients so it's great for healing cut and broken lips.
It's not very practical! I found that I could only use this at night or when home and not seeing anyone for a while. The reason being I looked like a messy child after applying it.
I also think it is somewhat over priced. at £5 something you only get a little pot which I can't see lasting all that long?

Lush Product Review

 But Did It Work? Overall YES! I actually quite like it. It has left my lips feeling soft and looking a million percent better than they did. It's also made my lip stick go on a lot easier and generally look nicer!
Although somewhat over priced I think I would buy it again!

What do you think to the Lip Scrubs?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Learn to be Flexible.....

Start a Yoga Practice - Uk  Lifestyle Blogger The Claire Diaries

For the past year or so - actually nearly two now (yey me!) I've been on a serious fitness kick! 
Whilst I've loved every single minute of it, I've found that I'm now starting to get aches and pains. Not sure whether it's my age - being 30 is just so OLD! Or whether it's due to my lack of stretching.

I've been wanting to give Yoga a proper go for a long long time. This year has been a particularly hard year and I really need to find a new way to relax.
I've been to a couple of classes in the past but a really good yoga instructor seems to be the only thing my gym lacks. The yoga class is taught by an oldish instructor who doesn't seem to be able to do some of the stretches and just explains them. 
Personally I'm not very good at being given instructions. I find them difficult to follow. I also like to know that my class instructor is sweating along with me :-)

About a month ago I decided to search the internet for some yoga tutorials. I know there are hundreds of apps that can help but I'm never sure which are the good ones so decided it was time for some research. 
In doing so I can across the YouTube Channel of Yoga with Adrienne. On her channel is a 30 Days of Yoga Program which aims to introduce you to different Yoga stretches and to make Yoga practice a daily enjoyable habit.

I decided to do day one of the program just to see if it might be something I would enjoy? I'm pleased to say I loved it. The session lasted about half an hour which for my is the perfect amount of time as I can fit it around everything else I have going on.

I plan on giving the full 30 days a go. I'm not sure whether I'm going to do it back to back as a little challenge to myself - because I'm not already doing enough? (quit sugar anyone) or whether to just dip in and out when I feel like I could benefit from some deep stretching. Either way I'm hoping to report back with some of the benefits soon!

I'd love to hear whether you practice Yoga and how you feel you have benefited from it?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Vlogger

Is Vlogging a worthwhile career?

For Christmas we bought our daughter an Ipod touch.....yes that probably makes us the worst parents in the world, but in the interest of saving our sons and daughters relationship, not to mention our sanity I thought it was a good idea. In all honesty since being given said Ipod my daughters writing, spelling and reading has come on so much! It's probably down to all the texting she does - during school holidays she likes to imessage her dad and I whilst we are at work....just to remind us she is always there and we can never escape!! Joking I love her really.

Anyway one evening I was having a look at her ipod and had seen she had been spending a lot of time on Youtube watching Disney princess make up tutorials and DIY costume tutorials - which so far I seem to be doing a good job of avoiding making!
I wasn't aware the little beast even knew what Youtube was let alone how to use it. When I questioned her about it the next morning I was told "Everyone knows what YouTube is Mum" (Sassy little madam). When I asked what she'd been watching she happily told me then said "Mummy when I grow up I want to be a Vlogger"!!

This then sent me into a blind panic.....after all blogging/vlogging isn't really a career for most is it?
I spent a lot of time thinking about it I was really worried that by Blogging and Instagramming our lives I was sending my daughter the wrong impression. After all Blogging is hard work and it really does only become a career for a chosen few! 
Then I thought about Journalism - Is there really any difference between being a journalist and working freelance or being a blogger and slogging your guts out to make it?
At the minute she is only 5 and I'm not sure she really knows what a blogger does. I just want to make sure that she knows it's certainly not that glamorous!!

I decided there and then that if the little beast wanted to be a blogger I would 100% support her. Who knows she maybe the next Zoella.....

When I grow up I want to be Zoella

Not long after we had this conversation (roughly 3 minutes) the little beast announced she would actually quite like to be a police woman.......Love how fickle kids are!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Make Mornings Easier

how to make mornings easier

Everyday I wake up looking like this.......

Yeah right! I wish! My mornings usually consist of my running round the house looking like a screaming mess. Seriously I'm lucky if I can get a hair brush through my hair and get the kids out of the door on time most mornings. However I've decided it's time to change my routine to make my life easier......

I am really not a morning person and 99% of the time will do anything to have an extra few minutes in bed so a lot of these tips are about night before preparation!

*1 Prepare Lunch The Night Before

This means your lunch, the kids lunch...whoever else needs lunch! Not only will it save you a ton of money and help you make healthier choices but it will give you at least an extra 10 minutes in bed! BONUS!

*2 Plan Your Outfit The Night Before

Seriously I waste so much time in the morning trying to decide what to wear. When I'm in a rush nothing looks right and I end up getting myself into a flustered mess. Picking out my outfit the night before means I can quickly get ready and don't have to think too much about it. 
I also lay my kids uniforms out too. This means that the kids can get themselves sorted each morning without me having to find things for them.

*3 Quick Breakfast

I'm not a huge breakfast lover I usually skip it. However I find having things in the cupboards that are pre prepared makes my mornings a lot easier. At the minute I am loving Fritatas for breakfast. I tend to make them the night before and then give them a quick blast in the microwave. 

*4 Wash Your Hair The Night Before

I always do this. Then hop in the shower in the morning. It means I don't have to spend endless amounts of time drying my hair. I usually just run a brush and straighteners through it and I'm good to go.

*5 Set Alarms

Every night I set three alarms. I know when the first one goes off I have another half hour in bed. Second one means its time to start thinking about getting up, and third means its time to get the hell out of bed. Although I'm not keen on my sleep being disturbed three times, I know I still have plenty of time from the first alarm and by the third I'm ready to get up

*6 Stick to a Routine

This is my last tip. I find that once I've got a morning routine in place and both the kids and I know whats going on when, mornings run a whole lot smoother! 
It only takes a few days for a routine to set in and you will thank me for it!

What are your top morning tips?

Friday, 10 April 2015

Mummy-Daughter Date Cinderella Review!

Review of the 2015 Disney Cinderella Film

At the start of the Easter holidays I took little miss D to see Cinderella at the cinema!
After the hype surrounding the size of Cinderellas' waist and if I'm totally honest not being a huge lover of kids films I was pleasantly surprised! 

I made a huge mistake when booking the tickets and booked them for the wrong day. I'd booked them for the day before. I turned up at our local Odeon cinema (Lincoln) trying to get my tickets out of the machine with a very worried daughter stood by my side. It was only after some huffing, puffing and swearing under my breath did I realise what i'd done! 
The staff at the Odeon could not have been more helpful and transferred my tickets for no extra charge. I even managed to get the same seats. 
Now normally I huff and puff about the price of the tickets, lack of offers and the cost of the sweets but this time I was so relieved we even shared a large popcorn!

My review of the 2015 Cinderella Movie

Anyway to the film. The film followed the same story pretty much as the original Disney animated film, but what the animated film lacked and this one had in abundance was costumes!! The costumes were amazing! 
I don't think there was one female member of the audience that didn't wish she was Cinderella dancing at the ball in that Blue gown! It truly was magical and enchanting. 

Helene Bonham Carter was amazing as the fairy godmother. My only criticism is that we didn't see enough of her in the film!

My Verdict....LOVED it........

Little Miss D's Verdict.....Loved it.....

If you are looking for an end of Easter Holiday treat for the kids I would certainly recommend seeing Cinderella.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Going Sugar Free

Starting a sugar free diet by UK Lifestyle blogger The Claire Diaries

After eating quite possibly my body weight in chocolate over the Easter Weekend, I decided my diet needed a massive overhaul again and some serious cleaning up.
I've spent a lot of time over the past month or so reading about people quitting sugar and the effect its been having on their weight loss and health in general.

Let me tell you a little bit about me and my diet. I'm kind of an all or nothing girl. Either I will stick to a plan religiously or I will fall off the wagon with an almighty crash.
I tend to tell myself that if I'm good in the week I can binge on anything and everything at the weekend. This way of eating happened to work for me for a short while and while I was hammering the gym every day I continued to lose weight.
The problem started when I started work I would sit at my desk and just eat! In my head I was having a healthy lunch and dinner, then working out so what did it matter if I had the odd snack (read 3). The problem was by the time I finished work I was too tired to go to the gym but it was fine I'd eaten healthily so missing the odd session here and there wouldn't hurt....WRONG!

kick start your sugar free diet

Over the last month I decided it was time to make some changes after taking a long hard look at what I was eating I decided that I am actually a sugar addict and it is time to kick the addiction!

I read the Davina McCall Sugar Free book and the Sarah Wilson I quit Sugar book and have decided that this time this is it!
This is why I'm writing this post it will make me accountable.

Today marks day 2 of my new sugar free diet. I plan on being totally sugar free in 8 weeks.

Although it's only day two I'm pleased with how its going. I've cooked all meals from scratch and haven't touched any processed food in two days! For me this is huge!!

For the first time in a long long time I'm feeling really positive about how this will go. I'll keep you updated. I'm not sure if there will be any dramatic weight loss but I'm hoping it will improve my overall health?

Have you tried being sugar free?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter Weekend - Belton House & The Beach

Things to do at Easter


I hope you all had a lovely extended Easter weekend? I did. It was so nice to just relax for a couple of extra days and spend some time with the kiddies!

We're members of the National Trust - You know you've become an adult when you have a National Trust membership! So on Good Friday we went to Belton House near Grantham. It was the first time we had ever been and we really loved it! The weather wasn't that great but after stopping for a very nice Lunch in the restaurant, the kids took part in the Easter Egg hunt and the weather was forgotten about!

UK Lifestyle Blogger visiting Belton House

On Easter Sunday after a very lazy brunch we took Miss Betty for a run on the beach. The kids manages to burn some of their Easter Eggs off and I just enjoyed the fresh air.

Uk Lifestyle Blogger Things to Do at Easter

How did you spend your Easter weekend?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

April's Spring Homewear Wish List

Spring wish list for the home from UK Lifestyle Blogger The Claire Diaries

I rent my house! Something I'm not particularly proud of at the grand old age of 30 but it is what it is!
Because I rent I'm seriously limited for what I can do in terms of interior decor. I'm allowed to paint but wallpapering (is that a word) is somewhat frowned upon. I'm also the proud owner (renter) of the most fugly living room carpet you have ever seen! Which seriously limits my choices.
However I recently decided that it was time to give the place a bit of a spruce up so I've been trawling the internet for some little gems! I'm in desperate need of watch this space!

I was just looking online at the George at Asda range! Now normally I'm not a huge fan of supermarket interior collections but this time they have some nice pieces......for sprucing on a budget you should check it out!

UK lifestyle blogger home wear shopping list

Another store I'm currently loving the homeware in is Next! I've been a long time fan of Next buying most of my homeware things from there on a regular basis. Although for the last year there didn't seem to be anything that grabbed me. Luckily for me but not my purse that seems to have changed again.......

UK Lifestyle blogger - giving my home a spring makeover

Monday, 6 April 2015

Make Mistakes, and Other Things I Would Tell Myself!

UK lifestyle blogger letter to a teenage me

I'm back!!! I have been full of cold and flu this past week and couldn't bring myself to blog! I have been doing some researching and reading though so am hoping some good things will start to happen with this blog in the coming weeks!!

Lately I've been reading a lot of "What I would tell myself posts" and given how much my life has changed in the past few months I thought it might be an idea to write one myself?

Dear 16 Year Old Me..........

You've made it to 30! A lot has happened and not in the way you thought it might? Some of it good, some of it bad but it's made you the person you are today! If I could tell you anything it's to follow these eight pieces of advice!

1) Make Mistakes - Make lots of them! Learn from them but never regret any of them! Regrets aren't worth having, they make you miserable. Own your mistakes and move on. It will make you a much happier person in the long run.

2) You're not ugly and you're really not fat! Stay away from Pizza and Crap! I know you don't like it now, but when you fall pregnant in 2 years time ignore the cravings and keep away from it. You will get fat and it's much harder to lose the weight when you're older.
You have more willpower than you give yourself credit for!

3) Make lots of Friends! I know you're boy mad at the minute but boys won't be there for you when things go wrong! Make lots of friends and find a really good best friend who you can always turn to!

4) Alcohol - Yes you're going to drink it. I know you're sensible! Just remember cosmopolitan cocktails are great in moderation. They will make you sick and make you fall down - this is not a good look!

5) Maybeline Dream Matt Mousse - Seriously this is not a good foundation! Your face will be a different colour to your neck and you will look orange in every picture. I know you're skint now but invest in good skincare - Your 30 year old self will thank you for it!

6) Don't worry what other people think of you and stop worrying what you think of other people! Just let things happen and let things be!

7) Stay away from the tweezers! You might like super skinny eyebrows but me at 30 doesn't, We're having a nightmare trying to grow them back properly! Get them waxed from the start - honestly you'll thank me!

8) You will be happy! You won't get everything you want but you will get different things! We're 30 now and we've got two gorgeous kids, a lovely house and a great job. Life hasn't exactly gone the way we planned but its a good different!

Hang in there kid! It all works out for the best!

Friday, 3 April 2015

Making Mondays Awesome!

UK Lifestyle blogger tips for a great productive weekend

Finally the first bank holiday of 2015 is upon us! To be honest I can't believe this year has gone so fast and its already April.

One of my favourite weekends of the year has to be Easter weekend! Usually the weather is getting warmer and time can be spent outside with the Kids rather that getting cabin fever in the house.
To be honest I'm not sure what we are doing or where we are going but I know i'm determined not to go back to work on Tuesday thinking I've wasted the weekend.

Here are a few ideas to help you have a productive weekend and to stop that Monday Morning Feeling in its tracks!

1) GO OUT! Get up out of bed at a reasonable time and actually get dressed. Then go somewhere, anywhere! I love Netflix as much as the next person (more probably) but whilst staying in all weekend might seem like the ideal option you'll only regret it come monday.
Go Shopping, grab a coffee, go for a run, walk the dog......just do something so you can say you have actually left the house!

2) CHANGE THE BED(s) - I like to do this on a Sunday Morning. I love love love sleeping in a fresh clean bed. I always get a better nights sleep when my bed is clean. This then totally sets me up for the week!

3) GO TO THE GYM - Combine it with grabbing a coffee and you've covered step 1 and 3 in one go! I usually head to a spin class on a Saturday morning. Admittedly it's not my ideal way to wake up but I always feel 100% better for doing it.

4) COOK A MEAL - It might be Sunday Lunch or just a quick Saturday night supper. Cooking makes you feel like you've been productive and it stops you eating junk for one evening at least......

5) ORDER TAKEAWAY - Yes contradictory I know. They say variety is the spice of life though so give yourself one day over the weekend off from cooking and order a domino's!

6) DUVET DAY - Again I know! The weekend is for relaxing though so as long as you don't spend all weekend in the same pj's watching TV box sets you'll be fine! You certainly deserve one day a week to not get up!

7) PAMPER NIGHT - I love having a pamper night on a Sunday when the kids are in bed. It makes me feel like I've actually done something to take care of myself. Usually Mondays are pretty hectic and I don't get much time to myself so sitting in the bath listening to Spotify makes me feel a little bit better

8) MEAL PREP - I know it's really not that exciting but if you prep your meals and snacks for the coming week it means you have a small amount of free time each day to chill. Even if it's just making the kids packed lunches.........You'll feel better for it!

How do you have a productive weekend?