Things I Am When I’m Not A Disney Fan

Because its what I talk about 90% of the time, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Disney is all I really care about. Truth is, though, there are actually a lot of other fandoms that I belong to, and while I might not always talk about them as much, many of them mean as much to me as Disney does.

I have loved Lord of the Rings since the first film came out. I was only 7 when the first movie came out (2001), so no, I hadn’t read all the books before seeing the films, but I have read them all now. The movies were a HUGE part of my childhood, and once we had them on DVD, me and my sister would watch them at least once a month, if not most weekends – all extended versions, for any other fans who care about these things. As well as the story itself, we became obsessed with all of the behind the scenes features on the DVDs (there are two discs worth for each film), which we’ve watched way more times than is probably considered normal.

The last Lord of the Rings film, Return of the King, was actually the first film I ever cried at. I was 9 years old at the time, and I wasn’t crying because the end of the film was sad, I was crying because I was sad that it was the last Lord of the Rings film, and there wouldn’t be any more movies; this was way before any of The Hobbit films had been announced.

I also LOVE musicals. Its probably the only thing that makes me wish I lived in London because I could quite easily go to a show every night. I saw a lot of musicals as a young kid because my parents have always been musical fans, but it wasn’t until I was about 11/12 that I really got into them. I’m super lucky to have seen a lot of musicals on West End, and even a handful on Broadway, and my all time favourite musical is Rent, with other favourites including Avenue Q (which is actually the musical I’ve seen the most times), Wicked and Spamalot. I’ve also seen a lot of the classics, like Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and I even saw Cats when I was very young.

And even though I’ve actually seen more musicals than I can even remember sometimes, I’ve still got a list as long as my arm of more shows that I would love to see, with the top of the list being Legally Blonde and Hamilton.

I’m also a Potterhead, I love building Lego and doing sudokus and I’m a sucker for a crime/detective show on TV (I’m patiently awaiting the return of Death in Paradise). Disney is a huge part of my life, but I am more than just a Disney fan.

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A Timeless Gift*

Despite everything having been a total whirlwind over the last few months, Matthew and I have had a lot to celebrate lately. We bought our first house and became homeowners in May, celebrated our two year anniversary in June, and Matthew finally started his new job at the end of July, so its been exciting times all round.

Of course we celebrated all of these wonderful moments at the times they occurred, but with all the craziness going on, I felt they were a little rushed, and I wanted to commemorate them with the right gift, which I was really struggling to find. Matthew has always supported me in everything I’ve done, and he’s worked so hard over the last few years to get his dream job, I wanted something that wasn’t just an every day sort of present, I wanted to get him something that was special. So when I was contacted by the wonderful team at Jord Watches, I instantly knew that this was an opportunity I wanted to share with him.

A watch makes an amazing gift for a special occasion, but these watches are in a world of their own. This stunning Hyde watch is just one of the wonderfully unique wooden watches that Jord have to offer – and no, you read that right, its actually wooden!

Matthew chose the Ebony & Iron finish, which is beautifully subtle but every time I see it I’m absolutely amazed at how intricate the design is. The darker colour makes styling the watch effortless, and it goes well with everything in his wardrobe. It was custom sized to his wrist measurement, and came in this incredible presentation box, which just added to the whole unboxing experience.

And while I did let Matthew choose the watch itself, I did surprise him by opting to have the back of the watch engraved with our anniversary date to add that extra personal touch to commemorate the last two years we’ve spent together.

This watch just made all my gift choosing worries disappear. Being able to have it engraved meant I could use it as a way of celebrating our special day, but also what’s wonderful about giving a watch is that in Matthew’s new job as a pilot, he’s actually required to wear a watch at all times, so I could also use this opportunity to gift him something that he’ll wear and use all the time, but that’s more than just practical, its stylish.

Jord make these incredible wooden watches in both men’s and women’s styles, plus they also do amazing wooden straps for Apple watches, so there’s really something for everyone, and with that in mind, how do you fancy winning $100 credit towards a watch of your own, or so that you too can give someone a truly timeless gift? Simply fill out the giveaway form here – plus you’ll get a 10% off code just for entering! Giveaway closes September 9th at 11:59pm.

Wooden Wrist Watch

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*This post contains gifted items. All views are my own.

1000 Blog Posts Later

This is it, blog post #1000.

In reality, this blog post is no different to any other post I’ve written, but it does mark an incredible milestone in my blogging life. Honestly, there are not many things in my life that I have stuck with for this long.

This year has probably been the hardest year for me in terms of blogging. In previous years I have always maintained at least 5-6 blog posts a week, which I know is a pretty impressive achievement considering I’ve always done this along side working full time, but this year there has just been so many other distractions and changes in my life which have got in the way.

D’you know what? That’s ok. The things that have distracted me from blogging this year have been mainly wonderful. So much time has gone into buying and moving into our house, but as the the biggest adventure of my life to date, of course it was going to take priority over blogging, and the great thing about it is that I now have a whole load of new content ideas because of it.

A huge portion of my spare time this year has also gone into my Etsy store. At the start of the year, I set myself a little target of what I wanted to make from my store each month, and when in January I surpassed it within the first week, I knew that something good was happening, and things just got better and better. Well, long story short, now we’ve moved, my Etsy store is now my full time job, along with my other small businesses. In my wildest dreams I did not think I’d be doing this back at the start of the year, but we’re only just a week into August and I’ve already covered my mortgage payment, which makes me so frickin’ proud. It also means that I’m not squeezing custom orders into my evenings and weekends, so hello more time for blogging again!

So 1000 posts later, I’m still here, and I’m still loving this little corner of the internet of mine. In October, Lottie Does will be 5 years old, and of course I’ll be celebrating big time then, but this post is a little mini celebration for me!

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How Relateable Do Bloggers Actually Have To Be?

I’ve been thinking a lot about bloggers and relate-ability lately. Let’s face it, the aim of the game for most bloggers is to create content that people are going to want to read, right? But do readers always want to see something that they can relate to?

I recently read a really interesting post by Hannah from The Giraffe’s Life about why Zoella is considered by many to be unrelateable, and I agreed with many of the points put forward; personally I’ve never really been that bothered by Zoella anyway. But regardless of whether or not her millions of fans actually relate to her life of million pound mansions, jetting off to 5 star hotels and being on the cover of every magazine under the sun, they still want to watch her videos and read her posts, which got me thinking about whether or not bloggers do actually need to be relateable?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I kinda like reading about things that I would never actually be able to do myself. Clickbait-y titles like ‘I spent £700 in Primark’ are intriguing, and I can’t help but want to see what on earth was purchased to rack up that receipt total.

From my own stats, I know that my most popular posts are my holiday diaries, especially when I’m in Disney parks, and while I’d love to live in a world where being in Disney parks is considered everyday, I know that it isn’t.

And yes, on the flipside I do love a high end makeup dupe, a budget city break and quick, easy recipe posts, but I’m also super nosey and would love to see what it was like at the latest Spectrum release party, because it’s something that I’d never get to experience myself.

I think also that there’s a huge difference between the relate-ability of a blogger and the relate-ability of their content. A relateable blogger could do the most unrelateable activities, and I’d still read what crazy stuff they’d be up to, but an unrelateable blogger could buy five things under £5 from Primark and I’d have that little meh feeling when I read it, so I guess in that respect relate-ability is kinda important.

These are just my own personal musings on the subject, I’d love to hear your thoughts so drop me a comment!

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The Reality of Relocating

Moving house can be a stressful time for anyone, whether it’s your first or hundredth time. Ok, so maybe you’ll have it nailed by your hundredth time, but you know what I mean.

You are, quite literally, packing up a life, and all of the moments and memories that go with it, into boxes and bags, and taking that life somewhere else. For a lot of people, that somewhere else probably isn’t all that far from where it was before, but when you’re relocating, that life of yours in boxes has got a hell of a way to go.Choosing to relocate wasn’t actually a difficult decision for me because I always knew it was coming, I just didn’t necessarily know exactly where it would be to, but quite honestly, the relocation side of things got a little bit lost in the excitement of buying the house, so it’s only been since actually moving in that the reality of relocating has actually dawned on me.I have to use a satnav to drive EVERYWHERE. The only place I can get to without it is the supermarket and even then I’m lucky because I only have to drive down two roads to get there. I don’t actually know where my nearest A&E department is, so here’s praying I don’t need it any time soon, and I also need to find a GP surgery, dentist and opticians nearby because I can’t really drive the 4 hours back to my current ones..I also have an endless list of things I need to update, from my driving licence to my bank accounts, credit cars, car insurance plus delivery addresses on all of my regular online stores. I’m quite lucky that my previous address is my parents house, so if any posts ends up there it’s not the end of the world, but it’s such an important thing to sort out if not.Criminally, I now have no idea what the good takeaway places are. So far I know we have a Dominos, and we’ve had a decent fish and chips, but there’s been one awful Chinese and that makes me quite sad. I do feel a little isolated. It’s the first time I’ve lived away from my family ever, and as even Matthew’s been working away over the last few weeks I have been somewhat on my own. I mean, I’m pretty good with my own company, but it’s a little bit hard not knowing where I am too well and also not having anyone to explore with, but these things will come with time.Now none of this is to say that this has been a bad experience for me at all, in fact I’ve relished the challenge of it, but it is a completely new life that I’m having to make now, and I think until that life is built properly I probably will feel a little displaced, but you know that they say, all good things to those who wait..

Our Finished Guest Bedroom

Without a doubt, moving into our first house has been the greatest adventure of my life so far. Its also been a lot of work. Sure, we had the bonus of moving into a new build, so in terms of actual work needing to be done to the house, its been practically minimal, but we knew we instantly wanted to get stuck into turning our empty white-walled canvas of our house into the beautiful home that we’ve been dreaming of since we started looking for places.

Two months later, we have made our mark on pretty much every room in the house, but nothing yet has actually been completely finished. Its things like ‘we need pictures on the wall here’ or ‘we need to finish painting in here’; little things that annoyingly still make the rooms seem incomplete.

We do, however, have one (practically) finished room, and ironically, that’s actually our guest bedroom. I say ‘practically’ because we just haven’t got round to putting the curtains up yet, but we do have them! So here it is, our guest bedroom:

This is the room where we created our geometric feature wall, which you may have already seen in previous house update posts. We actually painted this wall the very first weekend we got the keys to our house – cos let’s face it, it would have been a pain to do once the furniture was in! – and I am still obsessed with it to this day. It absolutely makes this room, and it was the jumping off point for the rest of the room’s decor.

The bed and bedside tables were ones that we already had, which are from the IKEA Hemnes collection, and then we added to what we already to had with the matching chest of drawers and mirror from the same collection. Although the space was big enough, we decided there was no point to having a wardrobe in there, and adding the mirror above the drawers makes the room seem bigger and also makes it brighter, plus the top of the drawers gave us space for some pretty little decorative features! The wall mounted plant pots were from Amazon, and the other nick-nacks are all Home Bargains.

Our big cushions on the bed are actually from Sainsbury’s, which we got on sale, the bedding is actually Home Bargains, and the pinky bedding was on sale in Dunelm.

One of my other favourite features of the room that we DIY’ed (or Matthew did, if I’m being totally honest) is the bedside lights. The wooden brackets are just cheapy shelf supports from IKEA, which Matthew drilled holes into for the cables to go through, and both the rose gold cage and the actual light fittings we from Amazon, although sold separately. Psst, the bin is actually an IKEA plant pot!

Having a stunning feature wall, we didn’t want to do too much to any of the other walls, but I wanted some artwork up and figured the colour scheme made this the perfect place to put up my Disney watercolour skyline prints. I’ve had these for years – they were up on my bedroom wall at my parents – so we just got new frames for them (also IKEA, shock) and they work perfectly in the space we had. Like them, they’re from here!

As I said, the only thing that is lacking are the curtains, simply because we haven’t put the pole up yet. I’m actually taking the curtains that I had in my bedroom at home because they’re a gorgeous light cream that would work perfectly in the room, and curtains are hella expensive so if I can reuse a pair I’ve already got and love, then job done.

So before and after, what do we think?

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Things To Remember During The Heatwave

I don’t think anyone in the UK expected these temperatures to last as long as they have done, and they’re not predicted to be dropping soon either. Yes, its summer and its supposed to be better warmer, but this constant period is not what a classic Great British summer is normally like, and I’m sure we’ve all been feeling the heat.

I, for one, have found that this heatwave has also brought a wave of sleepless nights, a lack of any sort of motivation and a need for at least two cold showers a day just to make it through, but I’ve been thinking about other things that we should all remember while temperatures are high.

People need to dress cool, don’t make them feel uncomfortable

Short shorts, summer dresses, loose tops, one of the most important ways to survive the heat is to dress cool. What is not cool, however, is to stare at people, or make them feel uncomfortable in any way because of how they’re dressed. I wore denim shorts and a t-shirt to the supermarket on Wednesday, and was made to feel so super uncomfortable by a middle aged man who was so blatantly staring at my legs as I walked past him that I actually went straight to the checkout so I could leave, rather than picking up the last few things on my shopping list.

No one is to blame for the heat, so don’t take out your frustration on them

Anyone who can maintain a constant happy mood in this heat is a hero, but its ok if you’re feeling a little fed up. That said, taking out your frustration on anyone, from family and friends to customer service workers, is not ok.

Always carry water in the car

Whether you’re going on a 10 minute journey or a 3 hour trip, chuck a couple of bottles of water in the car. All it takes is a nasty traffic jam or a breakdown for you to be stuck in a rolling sauna for longer than you anticipated with no way of re-hydrating. And on that note, make sure your screen wash is topped up!

Sun burn is not cool or funny

I personally don’t understand why anyone thinks they don’t need to bother putting on sun cream. You might be one of those people who never burns, and that’s great, but you still need to protect your skin from the sun regardless, and if you do burn, then you shouldn’t even question using it.

Think of the animals

If you have pets, its so important to make sure they’re cool and hydrated. Try to avoid walking dogs on hot tarmac or sand, brush out long haired pets regularly and you can even go as far as setting up little paddling pools or making ice lollies for them. Do what you can for the wildlife too, put out water for birds and critters and try to create some shady spaces in your garden.

Regular water and shade breaks are super important

Indoors or outdoors, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and if you are soaking up the sun, make sure you’re spending some time in the shade as well!

Enjoy it while it lasts folks, I’m sure autumn will hit us like a brick!

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