A catch up, heads up and a boost up


So, the glorious sunshine has given us all a boost, hasn’t it? It certainly has for me!

I’m currently – and unsuccessfully – trying to shield this screen from the sun as I type. I thought I should get outside and stop with the: “oh, I’ll just do this and then quickly do that, before I do THIS…” It’s procrastination at its finest and has resulted in a delay in writing this blog. It’s now flipping 2:30pm!

Today, Maddie has taken her InterFoundation Modern Dance exam and has been deposited safely back at school by me. I then drove to a physio appointment; my physiotherapist, however, didn’t. It was clearly a cross-wires moment. So, instead I have hung more washing out. I had to re-wash the bedding and two other things, so if there is a mark to get out, then please tell me BEFORE I wash…

I must admit to being deliriously happy, as I have figured out how to change the temperature and speed on my washing machine… 18 months after buying it. It transpires that I’ve been VERY kind to the environment, with the majority of previous loads being washed at 20C!!! Still, nothing gets that dirty in this house, as it’s in the blinking wash SO often. Except Dan’s work gear, which I’m sure has been going on a hotter wash, I think… I hope!

Anywho, I wanted to have a little chat as there’s a lot to discuss, including a heads up on this beautiful Nails Inc Saved by the Beach Collection, coming very soon. In fact, you can pre-order it here at Today’s Special Value price, before the official launch on 9th July. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget that launches now go live from 9pm the day before!! So, technically, it’s launching at 9pm on the 8th July… crikey, are you still with me? If so, bravo and thank you! But, how exciting for those that struggle to stay up until midnight? You’re going to be in heaven.

The collection includes six delicious colours, plus the bestselling Kensington Caviar Top Coat. Some of the polishes are shiny, some creamy, some light and some bright. Also, with fabulous names like Sunning at Sunset and Poolside Paradise, they have got me very much in the holiday mood – which can’t come soon enough! Although, my garden is feeling even more holiday-like. With the new pergola, it’s the perfect spot for a sundowner. I’m going to have a sign made for it in homage to the first tune I dragged Dan up to dance to, so LOVE SHACK it will be! Although it doesn’t have a tin roof! I’m not sure the kids will approve…

I’ve also been trying out a lovely new pillow from Silentnight (808677), which will feature at a Special Price on Monday 8th July. I’ve always been a feather girl or a feather and down girl. In fact, my current pillow is a down pillow, but this new addition has been an absolute pleasure, with a lovely support for the neck. The breathability and technology that Silentnight has perfected really seems to be the secret to a great nights sleep, the power of which is magnificent, isn’t it?

I certainly missed out on a good night’s sleep the other weekend when my sister-in-law had her ‘I’m 50’ festival, which was outstanding! Joseph played in his band, along with other brilliant bands. It was just fun fun fun! Maddie had some of her girlies with her, as it was her birthday the following Monday, so we – ok, Dan – pitched a six berth tent and then a single-man tent. Luckily I was conveniently occupied elsewhere, in Dan’s van!

I didn’t even take my make-up off, which honestly rarely happens – maybe once or twice in my life (do not tell Alison Young…). It was a bit of a shock to still be fully festivaled up with sparkle, glitter and face jewels the following morning as we were rigging the field and collecting all the debris. I couldn’t wait to head back home to all my fabulous lotions and potions and being fresh faced again.

I’m currently loving my Elemis Neroli Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, which was last month’s Beauty Pick of the Month. I am also delighted to see that a mainstay for me is the Gatineau Pro-Radiance Anti-Ageing Gommage, our current Supersize of the Month. It is proper serious skincare that delivers smooth, soft skin and is more receptive to all the products we apply next.

There’s also been some super fashion finds at QVC these last few weeks from the Luca Vannuci linen range. I have just ordered this fabulous skirt, which I spotted on Kathy Taylor, as well as a lovely ghost dress called the Valentina. It just looks so fresh and pretty and is a gorgeous shade of pink. The yellow Pia Rossini kimono has also caused quite a stir, with guests and presenters clamouring for it. The white, floaty, lacy cover-up I wore in the festival pictures was last year’s Pia Rossini purchase and this yellow one has been this year’s purchase. I can’t wait to wear it!

In fact, when I get a spare five minutes, I need to inspect the QVC website further. I need some new make-up, so a few Bobbi Brown and Tarte purchases will be made. Fresh cheeks and face are required for summer… and I NEED new lippy colours!

So, Miss Maddie has turned 15 since I last chatted to you, and with it has brought about a very amusing side to this house. In fact, when I was reminiscing with my childminder, she remembered Maddie always having such a filthy and raucous laugh. I’m hearing that laugh a lot lately, which is wonderful. She’s also a great storyteller, although Dan says she really doesn’t need to give so much detail (I can’t think where she gets it from…). Either way, it has to be said that I am greatly enjoying her at the moment.

Joseph has done his induction for sixth form this week, plus a try-out session working at a wedding venue, which was successful (phew!). He’s also had some tough days labouring for Dan. He was paid, I assure you. Tom, meanwhile, is weeks away from college and any form of structure now, so I’m trying to keep him happy and occupied through a variety of activities. As long as there is something on his diary he’s a happy boy. It is quite a challenge to jiggle and organise, though.

So, a night-out for Dan and I this week was lovely. Although, we nearly missed out on it due to the logistics of children being in too many places at the same time. We managed to pull it out of the bag though, and had such a lovely time at the musical Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. It was superb, emotive and full of talent, sass and style. I properly cried at the song He’s My Boy, which was superbly sung by Rebecca McKinnis, who played Jamie’s mum. It really got me and I need to listen to it again, in a less public place…

Talking of tears, I have had a tough time controlling them recently and thought it may be a good thing to be open and discuss it a little here. Having spoken to different people, friends and colleagues, I came to the conclusion that talking about the menopause helps me to know I am not alone in feeling so dreadful in this stage of life.

I have read and listened to many things about it now and it still remains a stigma, something we are reticent to talk openly about. There appears to be disparity in the services we are offered and the help out there, but let’s hope the journey toward our ’empowered’ time can be eased – I’m trying to look at it positively! I am certainly feeling relieved, changed and happier now I have finally begun hormone replacement therapy. My emotions changed almost overnight. I feel lifted and have been told by some people that they can see a difference in me. I can only hope it continues.

If any of you reading this are in need and this nudges you to take a step toward getting help, then that’s a good thing. No, a GREAT thing! Talking of great things, I hope these next few weeks are exactly that.

Lots of love as ever and do chat with me, here on Twitter and on Instagram, it’s good to chat….

Claire xxx


  1. Kathryn Stewart July 12, 2019 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire. Love your posts as you write as you obviously speak! What a beautiful young lady Maddie is! Mind you two great looking parents helps! Don’t stress about menopause, I think it gets over hyped . I couldn’t have HRT as had breast cancer in my early 30’s. However with herbal remedies, very low dose antidepressants and it is/was fine! Mind you….maybe shouldn’t tell you but…15 yrs later and still get some hot flushes 🤣.

  2. Susan July 16, 2019 at 11:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi claire,
    How are you now? I hope you’re recovered from the 50th festival!? Brilliant! All the family photos are lovely above and happy birthday to maddie. Well done to joe too for his new job! How fun! And to maddie on her dance. She’s following you claire! I don’t think people understand quite how demanding and continuous it is to care for an extra needs child or adult so you are doing a fabulous job as ever occupying Tom. When are you all off on your summer hol? Have a great time. It’ll do you good too. It’s not just menopause when your hormones are all over the show is it but I’m so glad you’re now feeling a bit better. Being a woman is tough!
    Take care x

  3. Annie Alexander August 9, 2019 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi clare,wondering if you can help me, i have just purchased the dyson airwrap and i am struggling with getting curl in my hair and to stay in,my hair is /SO straight and fine, i find the airwrap very hot on full power which i dont know if thats normal??
    if you cant give me advice could you please tell me the womens name that sells the airwrap show, thannk you

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