What to eat?

31E72C41-7FA1-426A-B7B1-F147EEAD77B9As part of my year of “Going for Goals” I am also looking at what I eat.  I want to make changes that become my lifestyle so I can be the healthiest version of me.

January was all about exercise, and despite a couple of hiccups, I am consistently exercising three times a week on my running machine.  I am also completing a range of exercises as prescribed by my lovely NHS Physio. They are “great” as they include lunges and squats! I am not a fan of them but I know they will do wonderful things, not only for my back, but my butt and my thighs too!

So you might be wondering why it has taken the whole month of February to get organised.  Well unfortunately life has got in the way, as it so often does.  I started the month with a bizarre fake flu.  I was achy and shivery, and I felt dreadful, but I had no other symptoms.  I had the flu injection back in November and I wondered if I caught the flu but thanks ot the injection I had a very mild version – hence fake flu!  Then before I knew it, it was half term.  Now half term is still an Achilles Heel for exercise and definitely no starting any new eating plans.  Finally I succumbed to a head cold at the end of half term and it took until the end of the following week to start feeling like me again.chocmntshred_web_image_web_image

But as of Monday 26th February it was time for action.  I had already decided I was going to embark on a 7 Day Shred. And this was the day I started.  The 7 Day Shred consists of 1 shake for breakfast (or lunch), a 100 calorie lunch (or breakfast) and a 500 calorie dinner.  You also sip Hydra-Slim (10 ml diluted in 500ml of water) throughout the day.  It has ingredients that help with hunger pangs, reduce sugar craving and help to detox your body. If you exercise you can add 200 calories to your daily intake.5c97ed0b-81a5-48b5-8193-af73b37591a1.jpeg

I am actually enjoying the Shred, my willpower is being tested but I am already feeling less bloated and lighter.  My meals have been all prepared from scratch and so far I haven’t had any carbs.  I have eaten homemade soup, as my 100 calorie lunch.  My chosen shake was the Chocolate Mint version.  I made it both with cold water and with hot water. I  am now torn to see which I prefer.  I also had a high protein snack after a gym session (30 minutes power walking and my physio regime) of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for 200 calories.  My dinners have been Greek Salad with a roast chicken breast coming in at under 500 calories.  For the next few nights it will be a ratatouille style dinner with added protein and a very small portion of brown rice.2F8D2DBF-B354-44D6-8B4B-FB2923AA9913

You are only allowed to Shred once every four weeks, I wouldn’t want to it more often as I don’t want my body to go into Ketosis.  Been there done that, had the bad breath and the mood swings! The Hydraslim lasts twenty-five days so by drinking that you help to gain the benefits and continue to feel less hungry and have fewer sugar cravings.


As this week has gone on, I have thought about what comes next.  I want to find something that is achieveable and doesn’t make me feel like I am missing out all the time.  I am going to try a version of the 5:2 Diet.  Instead of starting first thing in the mornign, I will start later on and only fast for approximately 16 hours.  More on my progress and weight and inch loss to follow.



Going for goals

The kids are back to school and I’m hitting the running machine

Since the New Year, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what I would like to achieve this year. I find the changing from one year to another does naturally lend itself to some reflection and contemplation of my life.  I like to think that even at 38, I am not beyond working on me and developing in different ways. I also very realistic to the fact that when I have set myself a New Year’s resolution, I have never actually been able to stick to any  of them.


I thought a change in mindset and even wording was what I needed.  I decided I would set myself goals for the year. But that I would only set one major one at a time as I wanted to ensure each goal becomes a habit.  I felt the word goal has a sense of achievement attached to it and it would be easier to stick to this.

My first goal of the year is to start up my running again.  When I was at my peak with my running, I was running three times a week and up to 5k (3.2miles) each time.  I felt great and my body was in good condition.  However, I was taken off course by ankle surgery and plantar fasciitis among other ailments. But in December I decided enough was enough I had to get some fitness back.

I  am lucky to have a largish shed in the garden with a concrete floor that has a mini gym in it. We have a running machine, weights bench and a punch bag.

Christmas Day

Since I discovered, a few years ago, that I don’t mind running as an exercise I have always wanted to go for a run on Christmas Day but somehow I had yet to make it happen.  2017 was going to be the year I made it happen. And I did.  I actually cheered myself out loud whilst on the treadmill as I was so happy to be there.

Christmas Day – goal achieved = one happy me 


As soon as my two went back at school, I have been going to the shed three times a week. I am starting to notice a difference in my fitness and my foot and other pains are no worse than they were before so I am taking this as a positive.  I still need to dig deep to motivate myself and ensure I carve out time in the week.  One way I have found that works is to put my running gear on as my outfit for the day.  That way I know I have to run if I want to wear warmer clothes.  Which I really do as January has been cold one so far.

After 7 sessions look at the difference in time and distance

I am now at a stage where I am starting to think about my next goal.  The exercise is fast becoming a habit which is brilliant.  February is going to be all about healthy eating. Please notice I don’t say diet.  I am not going on a diet.  Again it’s all about the words.  I wanted to adapt my eating so I have a healthy diet that is sustainable.

I am also planning to undertake a 7 Day Shred, which is a week long detox and low calorie eating plan, designed to help kick start any weight loss you are planning.  You can Shred once a month so with exercise I should start to see a very different version of me.  One hopefully with more energy that ever and a stronger and leaner body too.

Do you have any goals for 2018?

Autumn and Half Term

The changing leaves

I love Autumn.  The leaves changing,  all the colours as you go along the streets and in the parks.  Its wonderful.   It makes me think of curling up on the sofa on the chilly afternoons to watch a film and drink hot chocolate.  In fact that was partially how I imagined this half term would go.  Instead we have the delight of an Indian Summer and lovely mild days and nights. My two have been spending a lot of time in the garden.  With this warmer weather in mind I knew my garden needed some attention.


One morning, this week, we were a crack team of garden makeover experts. Myself, my Mum and my two children set to work.  We have two large trees in the garden either side of us and, thanks to Hurricane Brian, there were a lot of leaves on the ground. The leaves were definitely affecting playtime so they had to go!

Did you know that we now name hurricanes, I just learned this and we are expecting more this autumn/winter season.

We kept going until there wasn’t a single leaf on the lawn. They were all amazing and it didn’t take us too long. Then I mowed it to look extra neat and had a lovely feeling of job satisfaction.

My leaf free, freshly mowed lawn…. for now!

Does anyone else view doing the garden as extra housework?  I don’t mind as I do find it quite relaxing (something my teenager self would have never believed) and you can quickly see the results of any hard work. Also when I am gardening and I get all muddy, it always makes me chuckle to think that people pay to put mud on their face! I am not certain I would want to cover myself in all the soil from my flower bed?  I think I will stick to my Vesuvio FaceMask.  Which puts in natural ingredients into your skin and you won’t find weeds in!

My "almost" weed and leaf free flower bed
My almost weed free but definitely leaf free flower bed

What are you thoughts about lawns?  I love my slightly weedy real lawn but my husband would like an artificial one.  Are you are real or an artificial fan?  I know three people who have them. I will admit they look great but for me there is something about the smell of freshly mowed grass that makes me keep mine and do my best to look after it.

Later this week, we are off to find more Autumn colours on the common.  I can’t wait.


The housework can wait… just one more chapter!

My favourite hobby is reading.  I love to carve time out of my day, every day, to read. It often comes at the cost of having a tidy house or getting a good night’s sleep. That’s just fine with me though.  I just love to escape real life in a world of fiction.  Best of all is when I combine it with a cup of tea. Sheer bliss.


I have a favourite genre, it is sometimes referred to a Chick-Lit.  I am a bit of a soft touch when it comes to modern day romance.  I really enjoy it when the character goes on a bit of a life adventure.  Being based in London, I love books set in difference locations, for example Ireland, Cornwall, Yorkshire to name a few.

I truly believe that everyone should read what appeals to them.  Reading should be form of escape.  You need to get lost in the book, caught up in the fictional world.  People have been writing books for centuries so that is reason enough to me as to why it should be a national pastime.

Some of my favourite authors are: Katie Fforde, Jane Costello, Trisha Ashley, Milly Johnson, Lucy Diamond, Victoria Henry just to name a few!  And I might own nearly all their books! c7ead6e887a0950a8fe4bb9b23addbce--so-true-reading-books

So my question to you is:  are you a E-Reader fan?  I have one and I am starting to enjoy using it.  My first love will always be a paperback.  There is nothing like opening a new book for the first time and breathing in the new book smell.

Now to the tea drining. Another part of my daytime reading ritual, juggling holding the book and drinking my tea is a not a problem!  Breakfast tea or Builders is my favourite, but I am also partial to Acti-Labs Strip Tea.  It is a great detox and there is nothing better than doing something you love and it being good for you at the same time.

Now if you will excuse me I have a good book I need to get back to!


Back to School


Last week my youngest child started full time school.  I have been feeling very mixed emotions. I was pleased he had reached this important milestone in this his life.  On his first day, he was so happy to go in, a huge relief. This was helped by not only attending the school nursery but also his older sister going there too. I was sad though, as I would miss his company in the afternoons.  I also felt a bit lost that this part of my children’s lives being at home with me is over.

My other feeling is what about me?  Without wanting to sound too selfish, I need to think about what I am doing next just for me.

My role has been and is caring for my children, my husband and my house. My children are at school, my husband at work. So that leaves the house!  As satisfying as it is to have a clean and tidy house, I don’t think I can spend 5 days a week cleaning and tidying it!

I decided need a plan.  As I don’t actually want to rush into anything!  So firstly I reflected. I so am fortunate to be at home at this point in my family’s life.

I already have my business which I fit in around my trio of commitments.  I love finding time to talk to people all things beauty and health.  I have a fantastic support network of local friends and family dotted around the country.

I sat down with a piece of paper and worked out what it is that I would like to do with my free time. And here is my first plan:Flapjack

EBay – I am embarking on a mass selling project.  I have plenty to sell and it will give me a clearer house which will be easier to clean and some pennies to.  A win, win win.

Random chores – I am cleaning places that have possibly never been cleaned in years (don’t judge ;-)). I am also going to sort all our photos so we have proper photo albums to look at.

Loft sorting- in the past 8 years whenever we haven’t wanted to get rid of something, we have hidden it in the loft. Now is the time to declutter and make it a place to just keep seasonal items like Christmas decorations, suitcases and fans!

Baking – I have always wanted more time to bake, so far I have made Flapjacks and a Banana Loaf. More to follow on my baking adventures in another blog.

Me 3D CorrectorTo my relief there are some things that haven’t changed at all.  Getting ready for school in the morning is still a challenge, so I am thankful I have 3D Corrector in my life.  Less than 5 minutes doing my hair and face and I am ready for the school run and to face my new days.

Happy September

Location, location, location

Recently I was on the beach with my friend. The beautiful town of Sidmouth.  She mentioned how much she loves the seaside.  Previously she lived in London and now she lives in the countryside.download  I said my husband has always said that he would like to retire to the seaside.  I am not sure where else I would like to live.  I am really happy where we live now in the suburbs of London.
But do I want to change?  My friend made the move from city to country and although it was hard to start a new life, she is so happy and settled.

Could I live somewhere else? I really enjoy having so many amenities on my doorstep. I am less than 3 minutes walk to buy milk.  We have so many transport links and things to do and see.  In the country or by the sea you have fresh air, and landscapes.  There are less people but you nearly always need a car to get about.  It is certainly food for thought.


We sat on the beach just relaxing and chatting, while our children played.  It’s moments like this that life feels good and I know how lucky I am that I can take time out with my children and friends to escape to different places.

The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky, in fact it was too beautiful as I got sun burnt!  I wasn’t impressed with myself as I try to be careful being so fair-skinned.  Luckily I have Collagen and Kelp Fondant which is amazing at calming the skin.  I popped it into the fridge for a bit and it felt so amazing on my burnt skin.  It really calmed it down.  On my forehead, I have made sure I use my Vitality C Concentrate to boost the collagen levels and hopefully repair the damage.  Sun burn is not clever nor fun and I am making a vow that I will do everything I can to avoid any further sunburn.


Party party party

After a very busy weekend, mostly ferrying my children here there and everywhere,  I am pleased to be sitting on the sofa, enjoying a very cold Corona, reflecting on my week. Does anyone else think their children have a better social life than them?!

One of the perks of my Acti-Labs business (Acti-Beauty Claire) is I get to host parties.  This week I joined forces with another Mum, from school.  Anna sells Jamberry Nail Wraps. Both are products which are great for busy people who don’t have much time but still want to take any spare minutes to look and feel good.

However, before the party I needed to prepare.  Cue massive cleaning frenzy.  Are you like me? Maintaining a fairly tidy house but kicking it up a gear when you know you have people coming over? I actually had to write a plan of everything I needed to do so I didn’t forget anything!!

Then it was party time.  I can have moments where I am quite shy. Pip.jpgHowever, start me talking about my Acti-Labs products and I forget to by shy and I’m chatting away.  I love demonstrating how fantastic the products are and at affordable prices.
Every party I do is a little bit different – which adds to the fun.  At this one, the theme was pamper, every guest got a face mask a choice of the New Skin Mask or the Vesuvio Mask.  Seeing the look on people’s faces when they feel their skin after their treatment gives me such a buzz.  Their comments telling me their skin feels so soft, looks clearer and feels cleaner is brilliant.

At the end of the night, I felt shattered but happy.  It’s times like this that I know I made the right decision to join Acti-Labs.









Mothering Sunday

Happy Mothering Sunday

What are your thoughts about Mothering Sunday?  I think today is one of choice.  What you feel you need do.  How you want to recognise and remember the important women in your life.  With a card, a phone call or a visit? To take time out for a treat or to immerse yourself in family?  It’s entirely up to you.  But also to be aware, like that any special day, it can be a hard day for people close to you.tulips-320151_960_720

Today I am spending  a very relaxing day with my family, my husband and my two children.  We  have spent some time in the garden and a roast dinner is planned for later.  I actually did some very simple weeding but it felt good as my background noise was my children having fun on their trampoline. Bliss.

Me New Skin Mask
New Skin Mask


Later I will spend some time just for me.  For me, this is taking time to do a face mask, and have a lovely bubble bath .Actually taking the time to apply my favourite body moisturiser.  As I have many crazy mornings when finding time to brush teeth and hair is a challenge let alone anything else.

As a Mum, sometimes you can feel like you lose your identity a bit. I have learnt that it is important to be a well balanced as possible. I find balance by taking some time out just for me.  It is invaluable as I can take a different perspective and challenge any difficulties in another way.  For some women, this is going to work, for others they find solace in exercise, others in chocolate or a cheeky glass of wine!

Motherhood, in fact parenthood, is as rewarding as it is challenging, you can constantly feel like you are making it up as you go along.  Just when you think you have found a solution, things change and you need to adapt.  It is also a time when you start to have an understanding of what your own mother went through as well.  Its very enlightening and thought provoking.  Therefore the time to reflect, thank people and being thanked is a joy.

Have a delightful and wonderful day.

My lovely bubble bath


Help, my tumble dryer is broken!

As a stay at home Mum, the running of the house is left to me.  It seems that housework is never ending.  There are now more time-saving domestic appliances than ever to use.  When I think of what my Mum told me about what they used to use for housework, especially to do washing, we are lucky. They had to use a mangle, which was time-consuming and dangerous for squashed fingers!

Antique mangle

At the moment I am between tumble dryers.  Mine broke, albeit after 11 years, the replacement has not arrived yet!

I feel that tumble dryers are one of those appliances that you either love or are not fussed by.  For me I love it.  It saves me having to try and drape sheets and towels all over the house.  I also wash my husband’s teams’ football kit each week and it plays a key role in getting through the smelly kit as quickly as possible! This is also not the weather to be drying outside at all.

Even when I moved into my one bedroom flat, when I first left home, I made sure there was room in the kitchen for a tumble dryer.  It was a condenser one but it still made a huge difference as drying space was limited.

The empty space

Are you a lover or indifferent? Why?

Vented or Condenser?

What is your favourite appliance?

My top 5 reasons why tumble dryers are great:

  1. They dry clothes
  2. They lead to less ironing (I am not a natural ironer!)
  3. They take us less room than a clothes airer
  4. They don’t cost too much to run on average just under £100 a year
  5. The make the whole washing process faster. I can strip my bed, wash and dry it, and have it back on my bed in under 2 and a half hours. Perfect!

So for now I will continue to work my way through my washing, one load at a time and wait, as patiently as possible, for the new one to arrive!

The night I went Country

While I am not a big live music fan – I am always up for new things.  I am more of a West End Musical type of girl.  I also love Disco, the 80s and anything I can dance along to.  I jumped at the chance for a new experience, and this time it was live music in the form of a Country Music gig.

So with County2Country ,or C2C for those in the know, just having taken place recently, I decided to join my friend Sweet Clare and friends at a Charlie Worsham gig.

However before I could leave, I needed to make a few changes.  Although I had blow dried my hair earlier in the day, it was not looking night ready. In  fact had I realised quite how crazy it looked – I would have not left the house (!) – anyway.  I needed to sort my hair and face.  Luckily I had already planned my outfit.

I started with my face. I love doing make up. I see it as artwork for my face especially when it comes to eyeshadow – this time I chose purple.  I take time and use colours that I feel work for me. Blending the colours of the palette on my eyelids.  Then lashings of mascara to make my eyes pop. Followed by some rule breaking dark red matte lipstick.  As Audrey Hepburn once said

“There is a shade of red for every woman”

And finally a quick straighned of my hair and I was good to go!  From crazed haired Mum to night out country chick.

Now to the gig, there was a great support act kicking things off, thank you Alex Francis. It was then time for the main event.  Charlie Worsham was brilliant, he has a fantastic voice and amazing guitar playing skills. I was right at the front and it was so cool!

It was a entertaining night and I can now say I have been to a Country Music gig!