A Week in the Life of Lottie – Monday

Howdy folks! Its been almost exactly a year since the last time I did a week of daily blogging, so I figured this was due (plus I had no other post inspiration for this week..). So each day I’ll be sharing what I’ve been up to, and I hope to keep it interesting enough that you’ll still be reading by Sunday!

This morning started with a 5:30am alarm, up and out the house by 6am and making my way to the gym on foot – its a mile and a half, so about 25-30 mins to walk each way. I did a 30 mins of mainly leg focused cardio with a bit of weight training in there too, then walked home, which is a workout in itself as its mainly uphill! On the walk home I tend to get some conversation going with the #HappiestFitbitClub as Monday is always the start of a new challenge and motivation is nice and high.

When I got home I spent some time commenting on Instagram posts while having breakfast, then washed and got dressed for work. I went barefaced today, apart from filling in my eyebrows – I’m a Benefit Ka-Brow kinda gal, in case you were wondering. Grey smock dress, tights and black chelsea boots later, I was good to go!

Work was a little mad today. We were all sent home early on Thursday and the office was closed on Friday due to the crazy snow, so there was a lot of catching up to do, plus the regular month-end panic that comes with the territory of financial accounting, so there’s always a little bit of tension in the air for the first few days of a new month. I’ve been in this job for about 4 months now and although there are some things that I am very comfortable doing, there’s a few month-end jobs that I’m not so confident with because I don’t do them as much, but I was pretty happy that I managed one of the most complicated things today without needing anyone to check it over, so that was a win, but I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of my job, don’t worry!

Whenever we can, Matthew and I take our lunch break together, and as is fairly normal for me, the first part of my lunch hour was taken up by walking from the office to the high street in order to take any orders Happiest Fitness Co or Etsy orders to the Post Office, then back to the office to eat lunch and catch up on social media. Lunch is normally the time that I’ll post on Instagram, but it varies between whether I think it will be a good time or not – some days seem to be better than others.

When there’s only about an hour or so between my finish time and his, I’ll normally go for a run to the beach from the office and back in time for him to leave, but the weather was a bit poo today so I just went home, hung out with the cats for a bit and did a little bit of writing before going back to pick him up.

Dinner consisted mainly of fish fingers (yes I am a child) and we ate while watching Friends re-runs on Comedy Central, then I spent some time working on yet another new skirt design that I’m hoping to bring to my Etsy this weekend (although its been a semi-torturous process!) so stay tuned for that. I generally work with some sort of movie on in the background, and today was back to back Miss Congeniality 1 and 2 on NOW TV.

And that’s pretty much been my day! My evenings are pretty much always spent either sewing or writing or packing up orders, or a combination of all three, as today was. Sorry there haven’t been many photos today, its been pretty grey for most of today and I only really like taking photos when its nice and bright, but here’s a photo of Ronnie looking particularly adorable instead!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Ways I Want to Help The Planet in 2018

In the last few years, saving the planet in an environmental sense seems to have slipped from the minds of a lot of people. Sure, we have a tonne more recycling bins now than we ever did, and you’ve gotta pay for a plastic carrier bag now, but I think most people just think of that as a bit of a hassle, rather than remembering the reasons behind it all.

Then Blue Planet 2 hit our screens, and thanks to David Attenborough and his ability to capture an entire nation through the TV screen, suddenly the impact that the human race is having on Planet Earth suddenly started to really hit home again. I was blown away by the number of celebrities, bloggers and influencers discussing such an important topic, and using their platforms to get other people talking. Not only that, I was seeing ideas; what we can do to help this place we, and millions of other creatures, call home.

Its a subject I’ve always been passionate about, but like many others I’ve slipped back into bad habits, but in 2018 I’m determined to bring it back to the forefront of everything that I do, and here are a few specific plans I’m making:

Buying more responsibly

Local produce, UK based companies, more sustainable products etc. This beautiful top from Monki is made from 100% recycled fibres and I had no idea something so pretty could be made from recycled materials!

Donating and recycling my old clothes

On Christmas Eve I took two huge sacks of old clothes to a local recycling centre that actually sends the decent items to Africa for people living in poverty to sell in order to make money, creating industry and supporting those who need it, and the stuff that isn’t good enough they recycle, plus, you can take down old sheets and towels which they donate to the RSPCA. I still have another bag of clothes that I want to take to local charity shops to give them a new home.

No more disposable coffee cups

I’m not a tea or coffee drinker, but I do love a Costa hot chocolate, especially from a winter menu. From here on out though, I’m going to be carrying my own travel cup so that I can benefit from the discount that a lot of coffee places give to people who bring their own cups, and also save on unnecessary use of paper cups and plastic lids. No mug, no drink!

Making my small businesses more eco-friendly

Over the next few months, I’m going to try and source more sustainable packaging for all my products, as well as making more of an effort to raise awareness with my customers.

Eco-blogging

I have the gift of this platform, and I’m going to use it. Stay tuned this year for more eco-friendly content, from recycling to upcycling and so much more!

Here’s to a responsible 2018!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

The Outtake Reel

I certainly hope that it doesn’t come as a shock to anyone when I say that I am not perfect. No one is, and that’s just life.

And despite being a blogger, someone who spends most of their time taking photos with the sole purpose of sharing them online, I don’t quite have the knack for being in those photos all the time. That’s an understatement: I am grossly unphotogenic at times, and that means that for every good photo you see, chances are at least 10 other photos were taken. And out of those many, many photos that get taken, a handful are on their own level of awkwardness.

Want to have a giggle with me? These photos are all completely unstaged and accidental, and with the exception of the first photo which my boyfriend edited for the lols, these are totally unedited.

Excuse me, I seem to have lost my chins, have you seen them?

This is what happens when my go-to pose involves putting most of my weight on one leg, and you’re on a rocking cruise ship..

Why doesn’t Rapunzel have as many problems with her hair as I do?

Oh, there my chins are..

I’m awkward, you’re gorgeous. Wait what?

Some imagination?

Oh look, Royal Friendship Faire is on!

‘Yes, but have you got ALL of this in the background?’

This is but a handful of the truly spectacular facial features that I am capable of, and as they’ll never see the light of Instagram, I hope you’ve had a good laugh at my expense!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My Plan of Attack for Instagram

The algorithm might be screwing us all right now, but this year I’m determined to hit some goals when it comes to Instagram. Its always been my favourite social media app, and although engagement is a bit sucky right now, bots are a nightmare and the follow/unfollow game drives me a little crazy, I do still love it.

What I do not love is that little number at the top of my profile that just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Even when I get that little notification to say I’ve gained followers, the number never seems to change, and its a little disheartening, but I refuse to let this setback, albeit fairly major, bring me down, and I’ve been spending a lot of time so far this month coming up with things I’m going to try to get back in the game.

Plan plan plan

I’ve always liked pre-editing my photos and saving them into the handy drafts function that Instagram has, but I’ve never actually had a proper planning tool for what to post when. Well I did a little research and took a few recommendations and downloaded Unum, which is an app specifically for planning out your Instagram feed. You link your account and it imports your current feed, then gives you a whole bunch of blank squares that you can put photos into to decide exactly where you want them to go in your feed. You can even edit photos and upload them to Instagram directly from the app and I am loving it.

Get engaging

I’m ashamed to say that recently my activity with other people on Instagram has taken a dip, but I’m getting back on track by double-tapping and dropping comments whenever I can. I’m not sure if this will actually help my own account at all but if it puts a smile on the face of another user looking for some engagement then my work is done.

Celebrate others

Again, whether this actually helps my own follower count or not I don’t know or care, but recently I did my first ever Instagram story shout-out to some of my favourite accounts, and it made me so happy! I’m gonna try and make this at least a monthly thing going forward and continue spreading the love.

Spend more time looking for new accounts

I’m very much the person that follows people I know, then people who appear in the suggestions tab, and people I see sharing their links on Twitter, but I rarely just go hunting for new accounts to follow, so I’m gonna hit the explore tab a bit more and brighten other people’s days by hitting that follow button.

Get regular and utilise stats

My aim for 2018 is to try and post every day wherever possible because its rumoured that being more regular generally sees an increase in engagement. Well I’ll have to wait and see with that one, but what I am curious to test is looking at some of the analytics from my posts. As well as planning posts, Unum also has an analytics tab which shows all sorts of data from my most popular posts, best hashtags and even the best times for me to post on each day of the week based on previous engagement – apparently Thursdays seem to be my best day! PS. This is all included under the free version of Unum, but you can pay a subscription for more insights.

Have fun with it

More importantly than anything else, I just want to continue loving Instagram. Towards the end of last year I found myself falling out of love with it a little as I felt some posts were forced, or didn’t fit my style and I just didn’t like feeling that way. I’ve currently got a bit of a yellow theme going on, and with yellow being my favourite colour and also a happy colour, I’m smiling every time I look at my feed which is exactly what I want.

If you wanna help a girl out, my link is below, or you can search for me @lottiedoesdisney!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Things I Learned When I Tried To ‘Fit In’

I don’t think there’s a single day that I don’t see some tweet about how someone doesn’t feel like a ‘proper’ blogger because they don’t use a marble backdrop, rose gold props or whatever style is currently being conceived as a ‘typical’ blogger thing.

There’s a number of reasons that these sorts of comments bother me, and I’m not going to get into all of them now, but the biggest one for me is that people think that you have to conform to a particular style to be a blogger. Yes, there’s a bit of a stereotype and a lot of bloggers make jokes about being ‘basic’ or ‘cliche’ but the fact is, its just a popular style and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In my early years of blogging, I didn’t know much about my own style, or even anyone else’s for that matter, but when I started to discover more of the blogosphere, I started to feel a little bit of a tug to replicate these pretty photos I was seeing all the popular bloggers post. I started brightening my photos, doing more flat-lays and I even made myself a fake marble backdrop. And what happened?

I never used the marble backdrop

After going to all the effort of making my backdrop, it has never actually graced the pages of this blog. I tried, but I realised that it just wasn’t my style and I didn’t want to compromise myself just to look like everyone else.

I discovered more topics that I like writing about

I created this blog original to just talk Disney, but now its so much more than that and I love it. I discovered that I actually really like writing about beauty, even though I never thought I’d be a beauty blogger, and I’ve learned that there are a million other things that I can use this platform of mine to discuss.

Flat-lays are a true art form

And one I have yet to master! You may look at a flat-lay and few products laid out on a nice backdrop but oh my gosh is it so much more? I have so much respect for the bloggers who nail them every damn time, and I aspire to be even half as good as them!

I like my own style, and I like not ‘fitting in’

So I don’t fit the so-called stereotypical blogger style, and I am 100% okay with that. I like bright and colourful and that is me. Blogging is all about being your own person and doing your own thing, and I have known that all along. And yes, I love rose gold and shiny beauty products, and I like marble and pastel and pretty stationary and anything else that makes me a ‘basic’ blogger, so sue me?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be anything but yourself to be a blogger. A blogger is just someone who has a blog, simple. Love it? Own it.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My 2018 New Years Resolutions and Goals

And just like that, another year is upon us, and I think there’s something extra satisfying about January 1st being a Monday, anyone else? New week, new year, new set of resolutions and new goals to try and smash.

Resolutions

When it comes to resolutions, I’ve learnt that the key to success is being realistic, and being positive. This year, I’m focusing more on the things that make me happy, and continuing to become the person I really want to be. So here goes:

  • Put myself first more – I’ve always been the sort of person to put others needs first, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it can mean that I end up run a little bit ragged. Well, I’m learning, and this year will be more about making sure that I don’t put too much pressure on myself.
  • Start asking for what I want – I’m often too shy or nervous to put myself out there and tell other people what I want – I won’t even ask my boyfriend to take my blog photos sometimes cos I feel like its too much to ask. Long story short, it means that sometimes I miss out on things that I want to do for no reason other than my own lack of confidence, and I’m tired of that.
  • Learn to sew more stuff – when it comes to my sewing creations, I’ve got a little comfortable with making the same kinda thing. This year, I want to branch out from skirts and teach myself some more advanced patterns like tops, dresses and shorts so I can start creating more wonderful things!
  • Wake up earlier – 2017 was the year I learnt how to have a lie-in, following years of being an early riser. Well, I could really do with that extra time in the morning again, so I’m gonna get myself back into a routine of getting up and getting stuff done.
  • Learn to love photography again – as soon as autumn/winter kicks in and the days get shorter and darker, taking photos starts to seem like such a chore, especially when it comes to blog photos and Instagram. No more! I’m saving for a new lens for my camera, and I’m gonna be bringing bright and beautiful back to your screens very soon!
  • Keep being braver with makeup – I’ve been having the most fun recently playing around eyeshadow, as well as generally improving my makeup skills, and I’ve been loving it. Here’s to a more colourful 2018!
  • Hang out with more amazing people – they say you should always surround yourself with positive people and people who support you, so I’m gonna do just that.

Blogging Goals

2017 was another incredible year for this little blog of mine. Despite a few ups and downs from my end, my blog has held fast as it hit its 4th birthday. I hit all but one of my targets for last year (stupid Instagram), so I’m hoping this year will be just as successful!

  • Targets
    • 1500 Bloglovin followers
    • 3500 Twitter followers
    • 2500 Instagram followers
    • 100,000 page views
  • To achieve
    • Improve flat-lays and product photos
    • Include more photos of myself
    • Help other bloggers by retweeting posts and commenting more
    • Try my hand at proper makeup posts
    • Remember to take more little breaks
    • Just generally chat with more lovely bloggers!

Who else is feeling like 2018 is gonna be a great year?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Why I’m Disappearing for Christmas

I don’t imagine this is much of a surprise given that over the last week or so I haven’t been keeping up with my usual posting schedule, but I’m putting myself on a little Christmas break and there will be no new posts until the new year!

As I mentioned last week, I’ve started a new job and I’ve been concentrating on getting settled into a new role and new routine, as well as getting ready for the big day next week, so blogging has just had to take a back burner. This is a huge step for me, because as someone who religiously publishes at least 5 posts a week, I do feel a little like I’m letting my little blog down, but I’m proud of the fact that I’m not letting myself feel guilty for putting myself first.

I need a break, and this year is the first time that I have let myself really take one. If I’m not at work, I’m writing, or working on my small businesses, and I even blog daily when I’m on holiday. This Christmas, I think I’ve earned myself a little time off. I only have a few days off work over the festive period, and I want to spend that time enjoying myself, spending time with my family and just relaxing for a change.

I’m also concentrating on making sure come January I’m gonna be ready with great new content right from the get go, and using a new job and a new year as a fresh slate – and there’s going to be lots to come!

In the meantime, I wish you all the most merry of Christmasses, and if I’m not back by then, a lovely New Year!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram