Lush Halloween Launch

Like many, I was kind of excited when the temperature dropped in the UK this week and the weather hinted that Autumn was on the way. It was short lived and followed by a warm few days, but then Lush appeared with their Halloween collections and the Autumn excitement returned!

The team at Lush Cambridge were kind enough to invite me to the Halloween bath and shower collections launch a day before they were available in store and it did not disappoint.

For starters the Punkin Pumpkin bath bomb smelled amazing and a big pile of the cheery pumpkin faces greeted us as soon as we arrived.

The in store team were so welcoming and put on some tasty mocktails and vegan treats from Wagamama for us all. The mocktail glasses were rimmed with the Pumpkin Spice Lip Scrub!

The Monster’s Ball bath bomb is another one I’m adding to my wish list for when I get a new flat with a bath!

I always love a little press event because it’s usually a chance to catch up with other bloggers and Instagrammers too. Cambridge is pretty small even though it is a city, so there are often familiar faces! This time I met Daniel who runs an awesome Lush Insta account and I caught up with Lucy and Mollie too whilst we all made bath bombs.

It was so fun making our own versions of the Groovy Kind of Love bath bomb. The colours are just so vibrant and it smells of rosewood, bergamot (my fave) and ylang ylang oil.

Lush-Halloween-Collections

Photo by Lucy

My absolute favourite scent of the night had to be the new Mercury Retrograde bath bomb though. Ginger and cinnamon make this one a proper autumn cosy night in treat!

A big thanks to Lush Cambridge for the sneak peek! Let me know if you grab any of the collection – I’ve got my eye on the Boo Shower Slime too….

I have lots of posts lined up for the next few weeks and an update on the Year of Claire too. I’ll be combining August and September for that so expect a bumper post at the end of the month!

As it is now 6 months since I closed the shop I’ve been enjoying lots of new things. I have plans to incorporate some more lifestyle content going forward, but there will still be some creative posts from time to time too. Hopefully you will all stick around 🙂

Year Of Claire – July Update

July was a bit of a rollercoaster. I had some new experiences, and I had some familiar experiences. Keeping positive for the ‘Year of Claire’ project was a bit tough at times, but I know things could have been a lot worse! So what have I been up to?

I started the month with a fun work trip to Duxford Imperial War Museum to fly over Cambridge in a 1930s Rapide. So random! Flying in a plane that was so vintage was actually a little scary and noisy, but it was awesome to see the city from up high and to look over my office too.

Even though I haven’t been blogging as much as the good old days(!) I was invited to an event at Molton Brown Cambridge to enjoy a little pamper and to catch up with other local bloggers. It was a super event trying out all their fragrances (Rhubarb and Rose was a favourite) and to catch up with Lizzie from Farm Flowers too.

I also had a chance to try out Flit which is a new folding e-bike from a Cambridge start up. They have smashed their Kickstarter already!

July was the month where things came to an end with Jack which I felt super sad about. Seeing as I had shared a little about him here it feels right to mention it briefly. That familiar feeling of a relationship ending has been hard, but we had a lot of great memories and it was a whirlwind 4 months, so I’m grateful for the time I had with him.

Spending time outside has been really therapeutic for me, so I have made the most of Cambridge summer. I didn’t feel like eating much for a while, but the cliche of ice cream during a break up actually really helped.

Keeping as busy as possible has been my strategy this month, so I’ve spent time with family, work mates and friends enjoying drinks, cinema and evenings out. We saw the new Lion King film which I loved, and my work colleagues formed a band and performed at our annual BBQ. I also had lunch at Parker’s Tavern in Cambridge which was delicious, Definitely want to go back again soon!

The heatwave hit and Cambridge was the hottest place in the UK at 38.7 degrees. Of course, that was the day I had planned an after work paddle on the river with some friends! We sweated it out for a few miles up to the riverside pub and enjoyed a storm and some welcome rain at the end.

I spent 2 days in London for a work project visiting furniture showrooms to select pieces for our new office which our company is moving to later this year. Swooning over interiors was really good, although it was pretty exhausting to travel in and have a jam packed schedule. Reminded me that I don’t ever want to go back to commuting like I did almost 10 years ago!

So a mixed bag for the month and a bit of a struggle as ever with the migraines and anxiety. I try my very hardest to enjoy the well days and not dwell or write about the difficult times too much. I also started flat hunting again as I am growing tired of living in a houseshare with 8 other people. It has become quite stressful at times, but I now have some horror stories of places I’ve viewed which keeps me laughing about it.

How we are already into August I do not know! I will be spending more time with friends and doing some house/dog sitting this month so there might be some cute content coming this way.

Flit – The Lightweight Folding Electric Bike

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Gemma at Flit to try out the prototype of their new lightweight folding electric bike. I met Gemma in my previous life on the craft market scene, so we had a good old catch up before I was whizzing along the guided busway in Cambridge and geeking out about the features of the bike with her.

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Image by Flit

As much as I love nipping around town on Florence, I had been considering getting a road bike this year. However, a folding bike has always been something I had considered for commuting. The Flit is so lightweight and with a rolling motion of the back wheel plus a couple of twists on the front, means it is so easy to fold!

As I mentioned, I geeked out with Gemma about the stats and discovered the Flit can travel up to 40km on a single charge which takes 3 hours! So what was it like to ride my first folding bike and more importantly, my first e-bike?!

FlitBike_FoldedAtStation
Image by Flit

I loved it! The speed is controlled using a simple button on the handle bars and you definitely feel it when the assist kicks in! I reckon I could half my commute time with the Flit – that’s if Cambridge traffic would allow me to really get going.

Electric-Folding-Bike-Flit

The prototype I tried was this gorgeous minty colour – I’d say Cambridge Blue really. I believe the final product might have some minor changes such as changing the matte finish and some of the aesthetic details. Flit-Bike-Folding-Bicycle-Details

The battery sits in the bar underneath you, so it’s all contained neatly in the bike, with no need for external attachments. Nifty!Folding-Electric-Bike-Cambridge

The team at Flit are planning to launch on 30 July 2019 via a Kickstarter campaign. You can sign up for updates on their website here.

It was so ace to see what a Cambridge bike start up can produce after 3 years of hard work. Do help spread the work for their campaign if you can! Here’s a quick video of me whizzing along 🙂

Year of Claire – June Update

I’m planning to write these Year of Claire updates on a monthly basis going forward – hopefully I’ll have enough to add to each one! Now that summer has officially begun, there were plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the good weather. Although it’s typically raining outside as I type this….We started the month enjoying Strawberry Fair on a suuuuper hot day. It was the perfect people watching day. We also went back to the Bingo night at Thirsty and Jack won this time!My office had their annual summer party which I had planned along with my colleagues. It was a big event with over 200 people, lots of food and drinks, mini golf, ice cream, music and all the fun.Hannah and I spent a lovely day at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge making flower crowns with Anna from Anna’s Flower Farm. I was kindly gifted the workshop and it couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend activity. A separate post on this coming soon because I just want to share all the flower snaps! The same weekend was Cambridge’s first Pride which we popped to in the afternoon, although we had missed the parade (which was on punts on the river in the pouring rain!).Jack and I were lucky enough to dog sit for Hannah and Ian whilst they went off to a wedding in London one weekend. Leo is a 1 year old cockapoo who is so well behaved! We took him out to the Gog Magog Hills just outside of Cambridge so he could run around in the fields. Conveniently they also had a cheese festival on at their farm shop, so we picked up some tasty cheddar and stopped for a scotch egg too.My friend Jess messaged to say she had some spare tickets to the King’s Men choir at the University, so my housemate and I joined her for this wonderful concert on the river banks of King’s College. The singers performed from punts on the river and the acoustics were just amazing! It felt very Cambridge and a little bit special.June was a bit of a stressful month for my family, as my Grandad was in hospital. I spent some time supporting family and visiting him before he moved into his new care home this week. In contrast, I met Jack’s entire family at his Dad’s birthday party and we also went to watch his Baseball team play a home game in Cambridge.We enjoyed a gifted trip to the Foodies Festival (first one in Cambridge, but they are National events) on the hottest day of the year. We did beer tasting, enjoyed duck wraps and live music, and had a pint on a bus bar!On the final day of June, we cycled out of town to Angelsea Abbey to spend the day with my Mum and her husband. There is so much more to see there since I last went – specifically the inside of the the house and the rose garden.We ended the month (which satisfyingly ended on a Sunday) enjoying a pint at Other Syde in Cambridge; a riverside bar at the Museum of Technology which has so many fun things happening over the summer.Writing all that down made me realise I actually had a really busy month! I tried hard to stay well, but migraines did get the better of me mid-month meaning my spin class and workout schedule was thrown off for a couple of weeks. I’ve learnt to accept I won’t always be well and to just do what I can on the well days. July is already shaping up to be another fun one……until next time!

The Year Of Claire – Mid Year Update

It’s been a minute since I sat down to write a blog post. In fact, it’s almost 3 months! After closing the shop at the end of March, I took some time out to switch off from business life and to focus on the Year of Claire.

2019 has been a great year so far. I’ve been taking time for new hobbies and challenges and generally having a lot of fun.  Here’s a recap of the first 5 months.

January

I announced my shop closure and began making plans to sell off stock. It was a scary announcement to make after 7 years!

I got promoted in my day job, started elevator notes and went for loads of lunchtime walks, 14 in total. I did yoga every single day at home, 12 hours across the month. I also knitted a scarf – first creative project in a long while that was just for me.

Year-Of-Claire-January

February

I sent out over 100 glitter heart pins in February, which confirmed they were a best seller. What a cheery product to mark the end of all my orders!

I also started paddle boarding lessons which was a challenge in the winter weather, but it was so satisfying to get the hang of it.

My insomnia was getting me down so I did a sleep therapy course, started reading before bedtime and finished a book.

Year-Of-Claire-February-Fun

March

At the beginning of the month I went on a fun first date at a local bar where we ended up playing unplanned Bingo. I won the Jackpot and it’s been going well ever since…..

I signed up for a Fun Colour Rush run and began training using the Couch to 5K running app. I carried on reading to finish another book and also taught a crochet class at a local haberdashery.

March was pretty busy because it was also the month I closed my shop! I packed up tons of pink boxes and received some lovely messages from customers. It was definitely bittersweet, but it felt right and the start of a new chapter.

Closing Down Claireabellemakes

A few days after the shop closed, I went on holiday to Amsterdam with Jo and some of my housemates. We stayed in an amazing Air bnb near Vondelpark and explored for 4 days. I love visiting Amsterdam in the Spring time and even more so with people who love food and drink as much as I do.  I slept so well and had a ton of fun.

Year-Of-Claire-March

April

I reignited my love for spin classes in April and cycled a lot of ‘static’ miles. I also tried out a tandem bike with Jack which had me cry laughing. I carried on with the 5K running training and we went to the driving range.

I went to my first ever football match (Cambridge United), watched Jack play Baseball in the sun and visited family over Easter weekend.

Year-Of-Claire-April

May

May was more time with family as my sister came to visit with her family and we went punting on the river.

I took 5 days off work and did more paddle boarding, once for Jo’s birthday and then again in a bigger social group which I was nervous about! We had a great time and the weather was just perfect to paddle up to Grantchester.

My workmates and I went to the Beer Festival and I may have had a sore head the next day…..

Year-Of-Claire-May

Jack and I went to the outdoor cinema hosted by Enchanted Cinema (gifted visit) and I tried not to cry watching A Star Is Born.

Jo and I hosted an In Colourful Company colour walk in Cambridge and also completed our 5K Fun Colour Rush run in about 30 minutes.

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So life is a little different now! Working 9-5 and having my evenings and weekend again has been SO GOOD.  I had definitely forgotten what it was like to have time just for myself and to explore new hobbies without feeling guilty that I should be spending time on the business.

I have had some tricky days with migraine, insomnia and anxiety so it hasn’t all been cheery.  Sometimes I forget that I can’t do everything and I need a reminder to pace myself from time to time.

This time has also allowed me think about where I want to take my blog going forward. I plan to use this space as a personal journal to share more Year Of Claire posts and all the things I’m interested in. If there is anything you’d like to hear about, just shout! I’m always open to ideas and to hear what you want to see from my relaunched blog.