Sparkly Sunday 8th November 2015

Sunday, 8 November 2015

YES I'm back...
It's been a little while huh?! 
I'm sorry. 
It's been a crazy time in the life of us. Moving house is a big thing as any family will know. HOWEVER moving house and country is a totally different ball game especially with a little one in tow. 
Anyway, enough about that. You follow my social media and vlogs so you know what's going on with me and the fam, so lets crack on with my first blog post in ages.
If you've not seen Sparkly Sunday before let me introduce you right now to it. This is where I share things that I've spotted over the last week that I think you should know about. It might be fashion, food, jewellery or just a song that I heard on the radio and thought you might like. Either way I hope you enjoy this post.

1. Give Kitchen

(Photo thanks to GIVE Kitchen)

GIVE Kitchen caught my eye a couple of weeks ago when I was browsing the internet looking for healthy food ideas. GIVE Kitchen are the food delivery company with a difference. They're 100% Vegan and Give back. I really love the whole concept of GIVE Kitchen. The fact that they can supply you with whole array of beautifully prepared vegan meals, and I love how they have meal plans in place as well so that you can kick start a healthy vegan lifestyle very easily and the best thing about GIVE Kitchen is that they give back, for every Give Kitchen purchase they will donate a nutritious meal to the homeless or less fortunate. How great is that? Give Kitchen set up The Give 2040 foundation which hopes to eradicate hunger, poverty and disease by 2040, since launching in June earlier this year they've already given over 400 meals to homeless shelters and towards homeless focused charity events. Anyway hop on over to their site and check them out and and enter the word SPARKLES at checkout to receive a FREE box of 7 assorted vegan truffles... cool huh? 

2. Review: OrganicHead Daniel Galvin JR

You know how much I love my beauty. It's been ages since I reviewed a beauty item so I figured I better switch on the camera and share my thoughts on these fab hair products. Please ignore the backdrop I'm slowly getting things back together in our new home and I've as of yet not had time to set up my filming location.. however I'm sure I'll sort it out soon. I'm aiming to post a beauty video every Thursday so subscribe to my channel and you can keep up to date. OH yeah also we're back doing out family vlogs too YAY!

3. Lilly and Sid

(Photo thanks to Lilly and Sid)

It used to be all about finding a sparkly pair of shoes to heart when browsing through Instagram now however it's all about finding some quirky fabulous outfits for Baby Lewis! Lilly and Sid are a lovely baby clothing store who stock the most beautiful designs if you're a mummy have a little look at the website, you won't be disappointed.

4. #ManOnTheMoon The John Lewis Christmas Advert

On the run up to Christmas every year a whole load of Christmas adverts hit our TV screens. However there's only really one Christmas advert that most people can't wait to see and that is the John Lewis Christmas advert. Let's be honest last years advert was fabulous. This years however I think is even better... 

5. Annie Haak Designs

Every so often you come across some items that you totally fall in love with. This was the case when I was introduced to Annie Haak Designs earlier in the week. The stack-able bracelets are on the top of my wishlist for my Birthday this year. I'm a big fan or stretchy bracelets anyway but sparkly stretchy bracelets.... Yeah I love them! 

(Photo thanks to Annie Haak Designs)

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I'm a Mummy but I still SPARKLE thanks to Simply Be...

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

(photo copyright Clare Elise)

I wanted to talk honestly about becoming a mummy. 

Everyone tells you about the sleepless nights and friends who already have little one's will say about how baby will do this and do that, however how often do people talk about how you might actually feel when you become a mum for the first time?


I had Baby Lewis in January 2015. Baby Lewis is now 8 months old and is totally amazing and I can truly say that he makes every single day sparkle and he makes everyone smile wherever we go. I really love being a mum, Baby Lewis is the best thing and has added so much to our lives - he is a little superstar. 
(Clare Elise, Baby Lewis and Nats from Dubai 92)

I've always had curves and have always battled with my weight and felt the pressure to stay slim because of my job as a singer / radio presenter.
During my pregnancy I put on quite a lot of weight; most of it was water weight by the end of my pregnancy and was soon to go after I had my little one. However I remember one day looking at myself in the mirror not long after having Baby Lewis and thinking, where's me?! There I was in my bathroom looking washed out after a few sleepless nights, I had this huge belly bump still and no mater which way I turned it was still there, my hair was super long as I hadn't gotten round to getting it cut yet and my lovely long nail extensions were nowhere to be seen. I remember looking at myself for a good ten minutes thinking "Who the heck is this!". I got frustrated as only certain items fit over my belly comfortably- no one tells you that after having a baby you will be left with a bit of a belly for a while. 
(Clare Elise at the end of her pregnancy)

Now me being me I was determined not to feel down about anything and I quickly changed things round. I got myself into the hairdressers and had my hair cut and coloured, I treated myself to some new bits of makeup and made sure that every day I dressed myself up and popped on a full face of makeup and decided to get online and get some new items of clothing that actually fitted me instead of feeling sad that I no longer fitted into my old pair of jeans!

I was very lucky as breast feeding Baby Lewis was very easy for me from day one and I found that breastfeeding, and also using a Belly Bandit for belly support in the early days, really helped to get my belly back down to near normal.

In June I got an awesome packet of goodies from Simply Be in the post. I decided to check out Simply Be after seeing their awesome link up with Tess Holliday.

I'm glad I checked them out as their pixie wide leg jeans are the best thing ever for new mummies or just ladies out there who want a flattering pair of jeans. Since having Baby Lewis I hadn't been able to wear any jeans before these as every pair that I tried on rubbed or pressed on my belly and made me feel very uncomfortable, however this wasn't the case with my Simply Be pixie wide leg jeans. As soon as I put them on I felt like me again - they flattered my curves and were so comfortable over my belly. YAY! 

I have to say these are my favourite jeans right now, I love them and I would totally recommend them to any new mummy who finds herself like me struggling to fit back into her jeans they are just the best. 

My outfit:

Butterfly Print Strappy Top
Simply Be Pixie Wide Leg Jeans
Simply Be Statement Necklace

So let's talk about this pretty Butterfly top that I'm wearing. You may or may not know that I have a thing about Butterflies...I love them! We had butterflies as our wedding day theme and trust me the venue was covered in sparkly butterflies by the end of the day on our wedding day. However this is a slightly unusual top for me for two reasons... a) its not stretchy and is made out of kinda floaty material (I normally go for stretchy tops simply because they are normally an easy fit) & b) it has only thin straps... I always worry about my arms!

I can say this top from Simply Be has changed my views on these kinda tops and I will be buying more! This top fits again so well and nicely covers the belly again ;) I've also had so many compliments when wearing this that I've actually forgotten about my arms! 

The joy of this outfit is that you can either dress it up or down and if you add a chunky bit of knitwear such as a lovely black cardigan this look can easily be worn from Summer to Autumn.

Also dress this look up or down; wear some pretty bright trainers or pop on a lovely pair of sparkly wedges like these ones... 

(Simply Be Jewel Wedge)

I totally love a super sparkly statement necklace don't you? It adds a bit of sparkle and glamour to the dullest of days and trust me if you're a new mummy feeling a little tired, pop on a sparkly statement necklace and no matter how tired you may be it will make you feel sooooo much better! 

(Simply Be Statement necklace)

I guess what I wanted to achieve by writing this post was to say no matter how tired you may feel as a new mummy get yourself up, dress up as much as you can in the time available put on some make up and you will feel a million times better. When you're a new mummy don't forget about you remember you are still you and you can still sparkle and if like me you looked in the mirror and felt a little down... DON'T! Give yourself a little bit of time and soon you will feel like you. However remember if you do feel really down after having a baby don't struggle through make sure that you go and see your midwife or a doctor and get some support. 

(Clare and Baby Lewis)
(This post is in collaboration with Simply Be)

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It's all in boxes... Moving House!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

I'm a little late posting this... However I thought I would still post it...  Moving House is a BIG thing... MOVING COUNTRY is a totally different thing... 

Today was a very random day.

Back in 2011 Chris & I arrived in Dubai with just a couple of suitcases and a smile on our faces excited for this new adventure that we were starting.
I remember opening the front door to the very first apartment that we moved in to. It wasn't all that glamorous to be honest and was pretty basic as it was company accommodation. Don't get me wrong it was ok and we were provided with all the basics but it wasn't a home.
That changed though over time. Before we knew it we had kitted out our new home with the help of Dubizzle, Pan Emirates and Ikea and after a little while we moved closer to the city and owned a house full of furniture. Dubai had become our home.

I said to Chris earlier today that today is a pretty random day as I feel kinda a mixed bag of emotions right now. It only feels like yesterday that Chris & I were unpacking our suitcases and getting to know Dubai. However it is actually nearly five years ago and here we are not unpacking but packing the suitcase and heading back to the UK to start a brand new adventure.

As I type I'm surround by a pretty empty looking apartment. Items we need in the UK have been collected and are now on their way to be shipped, bags of items we no longer need are neatly stacked near the door ready to be thrown away or to be given away and all around there are piles of items here and there that I need to go through in order to prepare for leaving this beautiful place that we've called home for so long.

I laughed to myself this Morning! I really thought that we didn't have that much. HOWEVER now going through cupboards and drawers I see that we've managed to accumulate quite a lot of stuff between us and now that we also have a Baby Boy... yeah the amount of "stuff" we own is a little bit crazy.

I tell you something that is really cool. I've met so many lovely people in our community these last few weeks. How? By selling things online. It's great. I've listed so many items and all have been sold and have gone to good homes. This makes me happy as I'm not someone who likes to throw things away or waste things that can be used or reused again.

Last week I even found myself handing over a big bag of different types of tea bags to a couple who've just moved out to Dubai from the UK. They probably wondered why I was handing them a packet of Rington's Tea. However guaranteed one day they'll fancy an English cuppa and find that in the back of a cupboard and hopefully it will make them smile and think of us.

Our old Baby Clothing went to help a family in need and some of my clothes are going to the Philippines to help a girl's family out, our small baby cot went to a lady who's pregnant and due to give birth in October and some of my old sparkly hair clips went to a little girl who was happy because she looked like a Princess. 

All in all I'm happy because what we need from our Dubai adventure is heading back to the UK and other things have gone to other people to make them happy. 

Life is Good! 

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Baby Lewis is 7 Months Old

Monday, 10 August 2015

When I had Baby Lewis back in January we received so many messages saying "Congratulations on your new baby" but also many people said at the same time "Treasure this time as it goes so quickly".

At that point I was a brand new mum feeding Baby Lewis every 2 hours and looking after his every need and when people told me that he'll grow up so quickly I remember thinking "Yeah whatever". However now I'm sitting here with Baby Lewis to my side and thinking "How the heck are you seven months old already!".

(Grandma, Clare Elise & Baby Lewis)

It's so exciting watching him develop and grow in front of my eyes but at the same time there's a small part of me going slow down I still want to cuddle my little baby.
Over this last month we've started the weening process. He tells me when he likes his food by eating it quicker than quick but with also either knock the spoon away from his mouth or screw his little face up to let me know that the food is below par!

Nappy changing time is now becoming more of a challenge. Getting him to lie in one position for a whole 5 minutes takes skill and patience. Distraction is key, otherwise before I know it he's rolled over, the nappy's hanging half off of him and he's off to try and crawl! I found that Huggies wipes are a great way to keep him occupied during this time as he likes the rustling noise that they make.

As you can see Baby Lewis is now sitting. He absolutely LOVES his quilt from Daisy's Little Attic  . My super fabulous friend Faye set about making these lovely quilts a few months back and I was absolutely over he moon when a special one landed on our doorstep here in Dubai for Baby Lewis. At the time he was still a little to small to enjoy it. However now we have it out for playtime and he loves rolling about on it and looking at all the pretty pictures and colours. Definitely check out Daisy's Little Attic if you are a mummy as the quality of these quilts is absolutely awesome and they make a great keep sake for your little one.

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