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!

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Proud Moments in February

And just like that, this weird baby month is coming to a close, but its actually been a pretty great one. Its been a while since I did a monthly reflections sort of post, mainly because I prefer to look forward at what’s to come, but February has brought me so many wonderful moments this year that I figured why not look back at some of the things that I’ve been so incredibly proud of this month, and celebrate myself for a change.

Approaching a brand and getting a response

For the first time in my 4+ years of blogging, I took the plunge and contacted a brand that I really wanted to work with. I had no expectations, other than assuming that I’d probably be ignored or shot down, but just sending the email gave me a little boost of confidence because I felt I’d written a great pitch. Well that boost was then completely skyrocketed as I not only got a response, but it came back to me the very next day, and it was the loveliest response I think I could have been sent. Despite not meeting their usual requirements for sponsored work, they said they thought my email was so personal and thought my blog was so bright and colourful that they wanted to send me something anyway, and I’ve been squealing ever since!

Launching the #HappiestFitbitClub

I’ve been sitting on the idea for this for over a year now, but a few weeks ago I put out some feelers on Twitter and Instagram and I got the most amazing response! Now I have over 30 lovely club members who participate every week in my challenges, and I’m blown away by how well everyone is doing. And not only has it been a good motivation for my members, its really challenging and motivating me, and I’m feeling so good because of it! Wanna join? Sign up here!

Getting out of my comfort zone with custom orders

One of my New Years resolutions was to push my sewing skills a bit more this year and get away from just making skirts and accessories. Well, I’ve had some pretty cool custom order requests this month and I’ve got to make some amazing things that have really challenged me, but I’ve had the most fun creating them and I think they’ve turned out so well! Here’s just one of my makes from this month:

Managing at least one meat free day every week

I didn’t doubt my ability to go meat free one day a week, but I did think I would very easily slip up accidentally, but nope! I’ve been enjoying all sorts of different meal options and doing my little bit to help.

Defeating the negative thoughts

I’ve mentioned a couple of times now that I’ve been struggling a lot recently with some pretty strong negative body thoughts, but I bought myself some new swimsuits for my upcoming Aulani trip and when trying them on I actually felt pretty good. Its slow progress, I still have some not-so-good days, but I’m getting my brain and body back to where it should be.

Insta-growing!

Call it luck, call it progress, call it completely random, but I’ve finally been seeing my follower count on Instagram steadily climbing – I’ve gained over 100 followers this month and the number doesn’t seem to be dropping back like it normally does, yay!

Have you had a lovely February, or are you ready for another month to start?

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On Why Finally Putting Myself First

One of my main New Year’s resolutions for this year was to put myself first more often, and while I did put that into practice a little bit in January, now I’m really ready to commit to this, and myself.

I’ve always been the person that picked up the extra shifts that needed covering because someone else was sick, or that stayed late dealing with a customer while others ran for the door. You see, I have this awful affliction where I find it almost impossible to say the word ‘no’, and the thought of letting someone down just seemed impossible to me. Now there’s nothing wrong with being a good, reliable person, but the problem for me is that after years and years of doing it, its starting to take its toll.

Despite having started my new job, which I absolutely love, over 2 months ago now, I’ve still been doing overtime in my old position to try and earn a few extra pennies to put towards various things this year. It always seems like a good idea at the time, but in reality I end up getting super stressed out and over the last few months this stress has actually led to me being fairly unwell – in fact, I’ve been off work twice already this year due to illness which is just so unlike me. So on Saturday, I finally finished the last of the overtime I’ve pledged, and while I’ll no doubt miss the extra cash landing in my bank account each month, I think this is going to be so much better for me. I went from working 12 hour days in my old job, to going back to normal 9-5 hours in my new job but still doing overtime in between, and now I’m ready to just work normal hours, in a job that I actually like getting up for.

Ultimately, I know that I need to work on my health and my happiness. The migraines that I suffer with have been becoming more frequent over the last month or so, I keep getting coldsores, and I’ve also been battling somewhat silently with some body image issues that have been really getting to me as well. Now I have more time on my hands, I can not only get myself feeling better physically but also mentally and I think this is going to be so good for me.

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Hello February

Well if it wasn’t enough that we’re in 2018 now, we’re already into month 2, wowzers.. I’ve seen a lot of people on Twitter saying how January felt like it went on forever, and I felt that a little bit but I also have no idea where the time has gone.

It wasn’t the totally stellar beginning to the year that I hoped for; I’ve been ill quite a lot and my mental health has been quite up and down, especially in the last few weeks, plus my family got some bad news this month, so I’ve dropped off the high of the new year buzz a little, but now I’m ready for the fresh start that a new month brings. That said, January wasn’t all blue – we celebrated Matthew’s birthday, had a weekend away in Bath and I’ve been so happy with blogging and my small businesses this month, so I can’t complain about that!

I always think that February is such a funny little month, I mean, its only 2-3 days shorter than any other month but it seems that way. It just seems more manageable, y’know?

Well I plan on filling February with fun and positivity, and here are a few things I’m looking forward to..

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

I am FINALLY seeing The Cursed Child in London in a few weeks time, eek! I did read the book, so I know how the story goes down, but even that seems like so long ago now that I can’t remember every little detail, and I’m not going to refresh myself so I can experience it all on the stage.

Meat free days

With it being a little bit shorter, I thought this would be the perfect month to put myself to the challenge of doing at least one completely meat free day each week and expand my food repertoire with some more veggie options and dishes.

No more overtime

This Saturday is the last day of overtime I will be working for the foreseeable future, yay! This is despite having said the same thing every few weeks for the last 8-9 months, but this time I mean it because technically I left the job that I’ve been doing the overtime for two months ago, and its been causing me so much stress in the last few weeks that I’m just gonna put myself first and work normal days and normal hours from here on out.

More creations

I’ve launched a brand new product on my Etsy store today, and there are some fab deals and other new products that will also be appearing in the coming week or so, so stay tuned! January was an incredible month for sales and I’m so proud of that, so bring on another month!

Another Instagram milestone, maybe?

After what feels like the longest time trying to get there, I finally hit 2,000 followers on Instagram just under a week ago, and by some miracle I’m already up another 50 from there! I set myself a fairly modest, although still potentially unreachable goal of 2,500 for 2018, but if I keep going like this then maybe February will at least see me at 2,100..

Booking another Disney trip

I have no Disney park trips on the cards for 2018, but January 2019 is gonna be a good’un! DVC home resort rules means that we can book our stay at Disney’s Polynesian resort 11 months in advance, so hello booking time!

A big push for fundraising

On said 2019 Disney trip, I’ll be running my first full marathon, and I’ve decided that I might as well do something good with this madness, so I’ve set up a Just Giving page where you can sponsor me, with the money going to Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a charity very near and dear to me – even if you donate just Β£1 you can help me make a difference, and if you fancy it, click here.

Here’s to a great month!

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Getting Monday Ready

Call me crazy, but I’ve always kinda liked Mondays. I see them like a fresh start, a mini New Years every week, and this liking of Mondays has only increased since starting my new job because I don’t also dread them a little bit anymore.

I also like to think that by starting off the week right, it will mean that the whole seven days will go off without a hitch, and with that in mind there are a few things that I like to get sorted every Sunday in the hopes of a smooth coming week.

Cleaning my makeup brushes

I find cleaning my brushes really therapeutic for some reason. I don’t quite do this every week as there are some weeks I just don’t wear my makeup as much as others, but its always a Sunday evening task regardless! All my brushes are Spectrum, and I use the Freedom Cosmetics brush bath to clean them, and then let them air dry on a shelf above my radiator overnight so that they’re nice and fluffy in the morning and ready for action!

A good skincare session

Over the winter months especially, I have been making much more of an effort to be more on top of my skincare regime as the weather can drive my skin crazy, so I do have a daily routine, but Sunday’s are for a bit of extra love. Sometimes that’s a face mask, sometimes a long hot bath, and sometimes its just a longer session with my Magnitone and a few extra or more special products thrown in.

The food shop and meal planning

Sundays are normally the day that Matthew and I do our Sainsbury’s shop and decide what dinners we’re going to have in the week. We keep our weekly shop below Β£50 as we each get vouchers through a salary scheme at work, and we like quick and easy meals that we can throw together after we both finish work, so typically we have things like chilli, soup, curry etc, but also like to mix things up with whatever else takes our fancy. There’s also a little bit of meal prepping done on a Sunday night, but now I’m back working 9-5 I don’t have to stress about it too much.

Packing up orders

Any Etsy or Happiest Fitness Co orders that I’ve sorted out over the weekend end up in a little pile of boxes and packages by the door by Sunday night ready for me to take to the post office during my lunch break on Monday – no rest for the small business-er!

Tweet scheduling

Every Sunday night I try to get my whole week’s worth of scheduled tweets sorted so that I don’t have to think about them for the rest of the week. Its a slightly boring task but I know that if I get it out of the way, at least its done!

Ironing and outfit planning

I don’t completely plan out my outfits for work, but I try to think ahead so that I have the key items ready, washed and ironed so that I don’t have to worry about getting the ironing board out in the week.

Do you do anything specific to get ready for your week?

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About My Younger Self

This was me, aged 15. This photo was taken about two or three days after I had been dumped by my first long-term boyfriend – we’d been together around 8 or 9 months – by text, at around 2 o’clock in the morning. Yeah.. My two best girlfriends had slept round mine, and we had gone to a local summer festival where we tried to get as many free things as we could, ate food that came from trucks or stalls and just had some fun.

In those days I always carried a camera. More often than not it was my dad’s because he had much better ones than me, and phone cameras still took grainy, low quality photos. My phone at the time was a slid-up LG thing with buttons. Yep. I would take so many photos, most totally silly but every one a memory that I would painstakingly upload to Facebook in groups of 5, caption individually and tag, so that everyone could see. I still have every single one saved on my computer.

My two best friends were everything. Our lives revolved around sleepovers at each others houses and trips to Primark. We sat together in every class but still text each other under our desks, and we were there for each other through every breakup, fall out or family problem. We all had our own style and our own likes and dislikes, but we all respected each other. I never thought there would be a time that we wouldn’t be friends anymore. Well, we drifted apart in the end.

In those days I knew very little when it came to makeup, and I certainly didn’t wear it every day. When I did it was probably just blue eyeliner and mascara – I think by 15 I had given up on my Dream Matte Mousse in 3 shades more orange than my face actually was. My eyebrows were never filled in, nor did I ever pluck them (but that was partly because I’m quite lucky with my natural shape), but my nails were always painted. My nail varnish collection was my pride and joy and every week at school was a challenge to see how long I could make it before a teacher eventually noticed my navy blue tipped fingers and made me go to the office to take it off. Most gave up bothering.

Even back then my style was different. I wore skirts and shorts with knee high socks and high-tops – Converses were basically the only shoes I owned, and still are. I wore dungarees and band t-shirts, and actually knew who the bands were. I knew what I was wearing wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I almost thrived from it. I guess the fact that I didn’t try and blend in back then is what makes my style what it is today. To be honest, when I look back I still love every outfit.

Younger me went through a lot. I look back at some of it and wish some things had been different. I wish I could have told myself so many things about how life would be in 5-10 years time but I also applaud that version of myself for getting through it all. I almost feel like I don’t know that person anymore, but she was great, despite not believing it herself.

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Let’s Talk About Luck

Luck (noun)

“success or failure apparently brought about by chance rather than through one’s own actions”

I feel like this says it all, but because you don’t know the point I’m trying to get across, here’s some backstory..

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you achieve, there will always be someone who says ‘oh wow, you’re so lucky!’. Whether you’ve just tweeted about a promotion at work, or you’re Instagramming beach pics from a fabulous holiday, so many people jump to luck. Now don’t get me wrong, 9 times out of 10 this is probably meant as a compliment, but that’s just the thing. Unintentional as it may be, claiming luck invalidates the accomplishment.

Take bloggers for example. I follow so many incredible bloggers on Twitter, all of which produce great content, take photos that could easily appear in magazines and pour so much effort into their posts that they deserve every opportunity they get, but whenever they tweet in gratitude about one of their favourite brands reaching out to work with them, so many of the responses that come flooding in are ‘oh my gosh, this is amazing! You’re so lucky!’. Yes, it is amazing, but look at the definition of luck (see, I put it there for a reason), these things came about through hard work and determination, so that’s far from luck.

Personally, I hate being told that I’m lucky whenever I go on holiday. Sure, I guess I’m fortunate to have a job that pays well, but I earnt that job and I work hard in that job, plus I put in so much overtime for the very purpose of being able to pay for said holidays. And I suppose it helps that my outgoings aren’t too high, but again, that’s because I’m very careful with money, budget like a pro and know how to find a bargain. Yep, these are all sounding like my own actions..

I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for every opportunity that comes my way, because I am. I am so grateful and so thankful for everything I have, and there are so many things that I do think I’m lucky to have, such as my amazing family, incredible boyfriend and wonderful friends, because apart from somehow convincing them to be in my life, my actions had nothing to do with them being who they are, I just wish that we didn’t devalue accomplishments by suggesting luck has anything to do with it.

What do you think?

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