12 Things I’ve Learnt from Working 12 Hour Shifts

So two weeks ago I binned off the 7.5 hours, 5 days a week working routine, and traded normality for a 3-day week rota. Now I’ve not cut down my hours, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that to be able to fit the same number of hours in, I’ll now be working 12 hour shifts. It also says that in the title of this post, so I kinda gave that one away.

At first, I thought I was mad for even considering the change, but two weeks down the line I’m settling into this routine pretty nicely, and I’ve already discovered a few things, and noticed a few changes..

I achieve nothing with my evenings anyway

It turns out that it doesn’t matter whether I finish work at 5pm or 8pm, I still get the same amount of stuff done when I get home from work. Spoiler alert, I do pretty much naff all.

I never have to worry about what shift I’m on

Its pretty impossible to forget 8am-8pm..

I never get asked to stay on an hour or two anymore

When you work from open to close, the plea for people to stay on for a little bit of overtime doesn’t get sent my way anymore!

I’ll still always get asked if I’m doing overtime

Whenever someone finishes before me, I can guarantee I’ll get asked ‘aww, how much overtime are you doing today?’. Nope, just my regular shift, thanks..

Snacks are essential

My desk drawer is stocked with Belvita, nuts, hot chocolate powder and a bunch of spare spoons for when I inevitably forget to bring one in for my morning yogurt. Gotta keep those energy levels up!

And I make myself much more comfortable

I’m talking shoes off under the desk, dressing a little bit more casual, and I’ve recently acquired a fleece blanket which I wrap myself up in on colder days and evenings. Snug as a bug in an office.

Anything to break up the day is welcomed

Team meetings, extra training sessions, one to ones, pretty much anything that takes a little bit of time from my regular work is an absolute blessing!

Suddenly regular length shifts seem easy peasy

On the weeks were I also do weekend shifts, which are only ever 6-7 hours long, those days seem to absolutely fly by.

I’m actually a lot more patient with customers

I don’t know if I’m just resigned to the fact that I’m stuck at work til 8pm anyway, but I’ve become a lot more patient with customers and a lot more relaxed about the parts of my job that I used to find a bit stressful.

I have way more stamina than I thought

When I first agreed to switch to these new shifts, I honestly thought it would kill me within a few days, but I actually took to them like a duck to water, and even my manager said she’s impressed with how little I’ve moaned during the transition.

Its not as tiring as I thought either

Sure, its an office job where I’m sat in a chair so it was never gonna wear me out too much anyway, but I still expected to feel a lot more worn out than I do, so yay!

The extra days off are so worth it

Ultimately the reason I took the change was because it means most weeks I have 4 days off a week, so I can dedicate more time to my blog and my small businesses. It also means if I do want to work overtime I don’t have to work 7 days a week to do it!

Sure, I am only 2 weeks in and adjusting to the change, but I’m already so happy with how this is working out for me, and it should mean much more content here, so watch this space!

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Apparently Glasses Aren’t Cool

I’m gonna straight up admit that I will probably rant through this whole post.

I am a proud wearer of glasses. I was 5 or 6 when it was first discovered that I was short-sighted; I was in year 1 of primary school and I was the only person in my class who needed them. I remember the conflict between being annoyed about needing them, and the novelty of having them. I had a bright yellow case that popped open at the press of a button.

I grew up with glasses on my face. My eyesight grew steadily worse, and my style in glasses grew steadily better. I went from round pinky-purple frames (aged 5-7) to blue ovals (aged 8-14) before I started discovered the classic black square frames that I’ve worn to this day.

Never once have I ever considered wearing glasses to be a problem. Sure, I have to awkwardly balance 3D glasses on top of my regular ones at the cinema, I occasionally have to take them off for some rollercoasters, and I wear them into swimming pools so that I can actually see, but I’ve just grown accustomed to that. I have no memory of what it feels like to wake up in the morning and be able to see clearly straight away – unless I’ve fallen asleep in them! – and I forget that normal people can actually see what they’re doing in the shower.

Yes, typically glasses are associated with nerds or older people, but I remember the days when girls in my secondary school were cutting out the 3D part of 3D glasses to wear the frames, and its pretty safe to say that over the last 10 years or so, glasses have become as much of an accessory as they are a necessity.

Both my mum and my aunt got laser eye surgery years ago. I remember my mum having to wear these crazy plastic things over her eyes that made her look like a fly, and I remember them raving about the results. Mum even offered to pay for me to have it when I turned 18, but I didn’t want it. My glasses are part of my look, and I’m quite open about the fact that I prefer how I look with glasses on to without. It was still a relatively new procedure when they had it done, but now laser eye surgery is becoming more popular and advertised, and this is where the spark from this post came from..

The first advertising campaign that came to my attention was for Acuvue contact lenses, and featured BBC presenter Sara Cox. Billboards and bus stop ads were created using phrases like ‘[glasses] wasn’t the look I was going for’ and ‘If I didn’t wear contact lenses.. I wouldn’t be as confident or outgoing’. This stuck a chord with me. I have always been happy wearing glasses, and the implication that glasses isn’t a ‘good look’ isn’t one that I feel companies should be using to try and sell their products. This was just the start though..

While watching some light afternoon TV, I found myself having to pause and remind an advert several times because I could not believe what I was hearing. Optical Express, a UK-wide laser eye surgery, have created an advert that has left me truly offended. As part of their ‘real people experiences’ style approach to TV advertising, the ad describes people wearing glasses as ‘unattractive’, ‘tired’, ‘old’ and ‘restricted’, while post-surgery you can feel ‘free’, ‘sophisticated’ and ‘happy’.

I actually felt my face go red with annoyance. How any company can be degrading to those who have absolutely no say in their eyesight is beyond me. Its like telling someone in a wheelchair that they’d be cooler if they walked around.

I am not restricted. I am not unattractive. I am not unsophisticated and I do not look tired or old. What I am is thoroughly annoyed. Sell your surgery to someone who cares.

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Its Okay to Have an Instagram Life

Everyone knows there’s two sides to life: the life you actually live, and the life you share on Instagram. One is polished, with perfect lighting and edited to highlight the best bits, and the other is all the messy stuff in between. We all know which is which.

People spend a lot of time joking about things being ‘Instagram-worthy’ or having an ‘Instagram life’, but life isn’t always Instagram-perfect, and that’s more than just common knowledge; its fact. Even if you don’t have a carefully tailored theme, you still choose to share exactly what you want on your profile, and let’s face it, has anyone seen someone post a photo of them doing laundry or 8 hours into a Netflix binge.

And d’you know what? That’s ok.

There’s nothing wrong with cultivating a perfect Instagram feed. We all know that no one’s life is perfect, but its nice a small outlet where you can put together all the pretty and happy moments of life. Now I’m not talking about being false – especially with all the recent blogger photoshop drama – I just think its part of our nature to show only the good bits, and I don’t think there’s any problem with that. Its an outlet, not a documentary.

Putting together my Instagram feed gives me so much happiness. Sure, it comes with the annoyance of the constant follow/unfollowing and the struggle with growth, but I would still say its my favourite social media platform because I’m a visual person and I love taking photos and posting them to Instagram. I love finding Instagrammable spots, or putting together cute shots just for the purpose of posting. It makes me happy, and whether its all entirely accurate to how my life actually looks, ultimately happiness is the goal, right?

On the flipside, I think I’m probably the most honest when it comes to Instagram stories. Sure, I’ll put the photos that I want on there, but recently I’ve also been using it as a way of sharing my venting my feelings through chatty Insta-stories, and I love seeing other people doing the same.

I’ve learnt over the years to not compare myself to the lives that I see on Instagram for this very reason; I know that the life I put on Instagram doesn’t reflect, so I don’t expect everyone else’s to. I just hope everyone is happy.

My life might not be totally together but at least my Instagram feed is cute.

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Things that Make Me Proud of Myself

I don’t know at what point in the development of society we started to focus more on our flaws than our strengths, but it almost seemed programmed into us these days. It almost seems easier to pick ourselves a part than it is to say nice things, and it feels like if you do look on the positive side of life and do build ourselves up, the fear is that it may look cocky or big-headed. Well that’s just not true.

I am definitely guilty of looking too hard at my flaws, and I think that part of me will always be that way, but there are some things that really do make me feel good about myself and my achievements, and d’you know what? I’m gonna shout about them a bit today.

When I wear an item of clothing that I made myself – or someone else does

When I was a kid all I ever wanted to do was create clothes, and now not only has it become a real hobby, but I’m even starting to make money out of my creations. I frequently wear stuff I’ve made to work and I actually love responding to ‘I love your skirt, where is it from?’ with ‘Oh I made it’.

This amazing feeling is doubled when I see someone else in something I’ve made!

Whenever I hit mile 12

In the last 2 years I have run 5 half marathons, and every single time I hit the 12 mile marker I can’t stop myself from shedding a little tear (or just having a minor cry to myself) because I can’t believe how far I’ve come – and I don’t just mean in that one run!

Being able to pay for something using money I’ve made from my small businesses

Most notably, my car’s MOT was paid for using money made from my Etsy store, as was a lot of the repair work needed. Its such an amazing feeling!

When I think about how much weight I used to lift

It wasn’t that long ago that I wouldn’t pick up a dumbbell more than about 3-kg, and now I don’t think I’d touch one that weighed less than double that. I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be and that’s pretty amazing.

Comparing my blog stats

I get the same page views in a day now than I use to get in a whole month, and my blog is only growing. This little corner of the internet of mine brings me so much pride, and I still love every day when I can call myself a blogger.

Spread a little positivity, and tell me something that makes you proud of yourself!

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Getting Out of my Comfort Zone

For someone who puts a great deal of their life and opinions online, in reality, I can be a painfully shy and awkward person, and I can really struggle with low confidence and self-esteem.

My blog, and the community of people that I have met through blogging has played an enormous part of bringing me out of my shell, and while it might sound silly, I actually surprise myself with some of the things I’ve achieved. So I’ve decided to push the boat further!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been coming up with a list of things that I want to do, or start doing, to push my comfort zone limits and boost my confidence – call it a comfort zone bucket list, if you will..

Take part in a different Twitter chat every week

I’m so bad at remembering Twitter chats! I used to make such an effort to take part in a few, but over the last year or so I just haven’t had the time and lost my confidence a little. I always see a bunch of great chats going on, or being promoted, so I’m gonna make a real effort to try some new ones out and get chatting to some more lovely bloggers!

Post a photo in a swimsuit on my blog/social media

Last year was the first year in a LONG time that I wore a bikini in front of my friends, and it felt so good, but I definitely think my body confidence has dropped again since the start of this year. I absolutely LIVE for seeing people on Twitter and Instagram strutting their stuff and loving their bodies in summer outfits and swimwear though, so I want to become one of those girls.

More Insta-vlogging

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot more vlog-style Instagram stories – unboxings, general chats etc – and I’ve really been enjoying them. It might not seem like much of a step for confidence, but I have struggled with listening to the sound of my own voice for as long as I can remember; the reason I tend to turn to a keyboard rather than a microphone is courtesy of the lisp I’ve had since childhood, and while in day to day life I forget it exists, when I have to hear myself back it can be hard for me.

Sharing more workouts

This year I have LOVED my Glass Slipper Camp series. I had so much fun creating the workouts, filming and writing these posts, and better still is the great response I’ve had from my amazing readers, so I want to do more! They might not all be blog posts, maybe photos, Instagram stories or even live streams from the gym, I just want to share more of my fitness journey and show what I’m capable of.

Post more selfies

On the rare occasion I do stop to take a selfie, it rarely gets shared. Normally it’ll sit on my phone for a little while until I decide to do a photo clear out and then will get deleted along with the random screenshots and weird photos that appear in my camera roll courtesy of strange Whatsapp group chats. No more! Now its time to put my face out there, whether people appreciate it or not..

Blog more about what’s actually going on in my life

The last time I did a Twitter poll asking what content people would like to see more of, the unanimous winner was ‘Personal/Life’ posts, and while I feel like I do publish a lot of post where I witter on about topics that pop into my head, I haven’t posted much recently about what’s going on for me at the moment, and change will be afoot very soon so I’m gonna make sure I’m sharing a lot more.

Experiment more with makeup

While I can go weeks without putting on any makeup (other than my eyebrows, duh), I do love doing my makeup. And while I love playing around and trying different looks with makeup when I’m sat at home, I rarely push the boat out when it comes to my day to day face, so I want to mix things up a bit more; find the courage to do brighter, bolder looks, wear different lipsticks etc.

If you have any tips for getting out of the comfort zone, drop me a comment, and if not, wish me luck!

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One Year

One year ago today, I posted what, at the time, was the most personal blog post I’d ever written. I put all my feelings about a boy into words, and sent it out for the world to see, which I had to do because the boy in question was on quite literally the other side of the world.

Its safe to say our relationship didn’t start off in the traditional way. He asked me to be his girlfriend via Whatsapp, and our third date was almost 3 months after the 2nd, and involved me flying out to New Zealand for a week to be with him. With the exception of that week, we spent the first 7 and a half months of our relationship over 11,000 miles apart, and had to battle with a 11-13 hour time difference.

Its felt as though the universe has been against us, but here we are, one year later, and the universe can keep throwing things at us because we’re going to be together for many more years to come. Matthew is so close to the end of his training, and it won’t be long until he’s in a job and we can really start to move forward with our life; a life where we don’t have to worry about the distance between us anymore.

I’m gonna get real with you guys for just a second.

I’d never put much thought into a perfect relationship, but I always knew that I just wanted to be happy, and thought that I would find it. After I ended my previous relationship, and before Matthew came into my life, I genuinely started to lose faith. I couldn’t understand why I could never get it right. Why, despite always striving to be a good person, happiness never seemed to last. Why, when I looked back, no relationship ever seemed quite right. I can’t tell you just how heartbreaking it felt to believe, even for a moment, that maybe I would never find happiness. Now I know why nothing felt right, and that is because I’ve found it now. I’ve found the guy that I can be 100% myself with, without secrets or censorship.

I really hate to sound cheesy or fake, but if any of those feelings sound familiar to you, I urge you not to give up hope. I can’t express how much my life has changed with this boy in it, and I want so many more happy years.

Happy anniversary, Matthew. I love you xxx

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A Tinderella Story

One year, and a few days ago, this one swiped his way into my life, and changed it forever.

I’ll be totally honest, I was very late to the Tinder game, and when I finally did get it, I don’t think I actually had any intentions of taking it at all seriously. I guess I was just curious to see what the hype was all about, and it quickly became clear that I was probably not the target demographic, as I found myself just endlessly swiping left passed stupid profile after stupid profile. Maybe there just weren’t any decent guys left in Bournemouth?

I dabbled on and off over the course of a few months, having the occasional conversation here and there, but nothing ever came of anything, and it never bothered me because it all felt so forced.

On May 23rd, I came across a profile where the bio read ‘Looking for someone to help me reach the minimum order amount for delivery’. I mean, there were a few other things too but that’s what I remember laughing at. I swiped, we matched, and the next thing I knew, a gif-off began..

It took one evening for the conversation to move from Tinder to Whatsapp, and I guess the rest is history! I’ve been pretty open about our relationship on here; I try to write something on the 28th of each month, and although I’ve missed a month or two, next month will be a year of writing – our one year anniversary.

I’ve never been ashamed of the fact that we met on Tinder. What shame is there in finding the person you’re meant to be with? The fact is, there’s no shame in using any of these apps or websites. I found my prince charming, and we’re living happily ever after.

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Getting my Butt Into Gear

As usual, I have been suffering a serious case of post-holiday blues. I don’t think I ever really got over my holiday back in February, and now having come back from another trip I feel yet another week behind myself; struggling to find motivation, or enough hours in the day.

I’ve gotta shake this.

I always find when I go on holiday, without fail I get this weird surge of motivation to buck up and get my ass back into a routine, or I find a tonne of inspiration or decide to make a change. This kicked in at the very start of my trip, and I spent the majority of the flight out to LA scribbling away in my notebook. Upon my return home, however, it’s all gone out the window..

The difficulty came out of the fact that I went straight back to work the next day, still riddled with jet lag, and then on top of that, found out that a bunch of my work shifts had changed, which already threw my plans out of sync. I’ve been really struggling to get out of bed all week, and have little to no motivation to kickstart any of the activities on the action plan I wrote on the plane.

No more.

While I can’t help the jet lag, I can help myself. It’s time for me to pull myself together and stop feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to be the person who hasn’t got any blog posts scheduled – that’s never been me, but for the last month or so it’s a daily occurence. I’m noticing changes in my body because I’ve been either skipping gym sessions or not having time for them, and this always makes me feel worse. I need to make myself happier again, and here are a few things on my plan of attack:

Sort my Etsy store out – I have a bunch of new pocket and ear designs to get out, and I’ve just released my custom Minnie Mouse skirts, but I also need to sort out getting a proper logo and some business cards so I can promote myself better.

Declutter my kitchen – my little kitchen has been driving me mad because I haven’t had time to give it a proper re-organise, and have lacked the time to do so, but I’ve written a step my step plan of what to do so I’m just waiting for a day off to get it all sorted.

Get my blog back up to scratch – is ashamed to have gone from the blogger who has everything planned weeks and months in advance to the person who knocks something out the night before, and while I would never publish something I thought was sub-standard just for the sake of it, I’m also not as happy with some of my recent content as I have been before, and I think my stats are reflecting this. Time for change!

Put more time into THFC – I hate that I’ve let The Happiest Fitness Co suffer as a result of my slump. I love my small business but I just haven’t had the time to give to it recently, but this is going to change so watch this space!

The next couple of weeks are gonna be busy but it’s the kind of busy I look forward to, and I know it’s gonna make me feel so much better in the long run! If you’ve ever been through something similar or have any tips, please drop me a comment!

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Do What Makes You Happy

Here’s the thing: I love being creative.

I love designing and I love creating things, and while I’ve never been much good with pen and paper, whenever I make something that I am totally happy with, and that loads of people compliment, it gives me such a great sense of pride, I can’t even put it into words.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a humble little Etsy store where I sell handmade magical creations from pocket tees to custom skirts and Mickey ears, and anything else that takes my fancy, and recently its this little store that has brought me the most happiness.

I also run two small business, the newest of which being The Happiest Fitness Co, where I design and produce magical inspired fitness and leisure wear. It combines two great loves of mine: Disney and fitness, and it just reached its 1st birthday!

My other small business is actually my longest running, while I find I rarely talk about it on my blog or social media. Did you guys know I’m also a cake decorator? I’ve been doing this since I was 16, alongside school and sixth form at first, and then alongside working.

I may not know exactly where my life is going, but I know I will always continue to do the things that I love for as long as I enjoy them, and I will work my little butt off to make a future for myself doing the things that make me happy.

What makes you happy?

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A Pro/Con List for Taking a Blogging Break

When I started my new job back in November, I told myself that I’d rein it back a little and keep my blogging down to 5 posts a week, rather than the 6-7 posts a week I was publishing throughout 2016. Well.. It didn’t last very long. In fact, since then I’ve only had a 5-post week 4 times, and I quickly slipped back into my previous pattern.

I’m not gonna lie, recently I’ve been finding it a little exhausting. In fact, since getting back from my holiday at the start of March, I’ve not entirely felt properly back on my blogging game, and that combined with a slight dip in my stats over the last few weeks has led me to lose a bit of motivation, so I’m debating taking a break.

So I’ve been writing a pro/con list, and it looks a little something like this:

Pros:

  • More time for the rest of life – I can’t even hazard a guess at the number of hours that go into writing, editing, photographing and planning posts, as well as scheduling tweets, maintaining a cohesive Instagram theme. Think of all the time for other activities!
  • A chance to clear my head – taking a step away from the keyboard for a week or so would give me an opportunity to shake my constant blogger mentality, and find new inspiration and ideas. I mean, a watched kettle never boils, right?
  • Sorting priorities – my blog has been probably one of the biggest parts of my life for the last 3 years, and stepping away would give me an idea of if I still want it to be such a big part, or whether a step back would be better for me
  • No drama or competition – I don’t get involved in blogging drama, and I try extremely hard to not find myself competing with or comparing myself to other bloggers, but it would be nice to distance myself from the negative side of blogging
  • A chance to fall back in love – they say you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone, so maybe I should walk away to make myself want to come back

Cons:

  • Dropping engagement – its generally the case that the more you post, the better your stats seem to get. Regular posting has probably been the biggest influence in my blog growth over the last two years, and I’d hate to see that growth stutter.
  • One less creative outlet – blogging has always been a way of expressing myself and getting my creative juices flowing, and while I do have other hobbies that help get my creativity out, this blog has always been the place for me to word vomit everywhere and what would it be like if I didn’t force my word vomit onto others?!
  • Missing sense of pride – I have so much love for my blog, and it always amazes me how far I’ve come in my little corner of the internet, and if I take a break, I’ll miss the joy of seeing a new post get a great response, or hitting another milestone.
  • FOMO – if I’m not blogging, will I be extradited from the blogging community that I love so much? I’d hate to miss the social side of blogging, but also any blogging opportunities that might slip passed me.
  • Filling the gap – with my blog being such a big part of my life, will I find that taking a break leaves me with a sense of missing something? What if my life turns out to be even more boring than I thought if I’m not blogging?

Quite the debate, huh? It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that these lists are both equal, and the debate is still ongoing in my head so watch this space. Or, y’know, don’t..

If you’ve ever taken a blogging break, let me know your experience and drop me a comment!

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Late Night Activities


I can quite categorically say that I am not a night owl. If I decide to watch a movie after about 8.30pm, I guarantee I will not be awake when the credits roll, and I’ve even been known to fall asleep in the cinema. Me and sleep just have this special relationship, and let’s just say I’m pretty needy.

For some strange reason, however, there are a few things that I can easily stay up way past my natural bedtime doing..

Sewing

For an activity that involves a fair amount of concentration, it seems bizarre that often if I can still be sat at my sewing machine up towards midnight, but even weirder is that I tend to be more efficient and creative the later it gets!

Cleaning makeup brushes

I find cleaning my makeup brushes oddly satisfying, and of course it makes sense to do them at night so they can dry out overnight, but it is a bit of a time consuming activity at the same time, so when its a pre-bedtime thought, it normally turns into a bit of a labour of love.

Dancing

My nighttime routine often consists of plugging my headphones in and jamming around a little bit while I’m getting ready for bed, but sometimes this quick jam practically turns into a pre-sleep workout as I dance around my bedroom until my playlist is exhausted before I am..

Planning workouts

If I’m hitting the sack in prep for an early morning gym session, my thoughts will often wonder to what my workout will bring, and I can get caught up in planning an absolute beast of a circuit to kick start my morning

Making lists

Much like this one, written at 11.30pm..

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32 ‘Controversial’ Opinions

Personally, I really don’t like the term controversial opinion. Your opinion is just that, yours, and it shouldn’t matter what other people think of it.

But in the interest of entertainment, here are a bunch of mine:

  1. I hate avocado
  2. I don’t understand the hype of music festivals
  3. Also not really keen on Katy Perry
  4. Coffee is yuck
  5. I do not understand the appeal of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast
  6. I don’t really like wine
  7. I don’t find Big Brother at all entertaining
  8. Same goes for I’m a Celebrity
  9. I enjoy cardio
  10. Not everyone suits tattoos
  11. I don’t like tea
  12. I’d rather have a long shower than a long bath
  13. I like mornings
  14. I also sorta like Mondays
  15. I don’t like to openly discuss my political or religious views
  16. The customer is NOT always right
  17. I’d rather have no friends than fake friends
  18. I hate Snapchat
  19. I actually really like Bloglovin
  20. I don’t find South Park funny
  21. Not every article on Buzzfeed is funny
  22. Yes Frozen was played out too much but it is still a good movie with great music
  23. I don’t really like Starbucks
  24. Ibiza doesn’t appeal to me as a holiday destination
  25. I cannot comprehend the worlds obsession with the Kardashians
  26. Also why do movies glamourise abusive relationships and people actually see these fictional couples as goals?
  27. I prefer Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneylands over Shanghai
  28. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day for yourself when life gets too much
  29. I don’t like smoked salmon
  30. I also like my steaks on the well done end of the spectrum
  31. I think burping is more disgusting than farts
  32. I think those suitcases with 4 little wheels look stupid and prefer those with 2

Agree with me on any of these?

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March Life and Blog Update

Happy Friday y’all! Last day of the working week, last day of the month, and a quarter of 2017 is up already! With that in mind, I thought I’d do something a little different to my regular monthly favourites, and do a little update on this first section of the year.

Happy moments in March:

Matthew has finally moved to Bournemouth this month, yay! After 8 months of long distance, we’ve both been looking forward to being in the same town for the first time in our relationship and a chance to be a proper couple. I’ve been taking more time to read, I’ve been baking more and I’ve also had a chance in the last couple of weeks to get back to my sewing machine and get some creativity flowing. Creating things gives me such a sense of happiness and pride, and I would love to be able to do it all day every day.

Products I’m loving recently:

  • Benefit Dandelion Dew liquid blush – a total whim purchase from Sephora, but this has become a daily staple for me as we start heading into Spring
  • Too Faced Sweet Peach highlighting palette – there is just so much about this palette that I love; I feel like it was made for me
  • Bite Matte Creme lip crayon in pastille – this was one of my Sephora freebies, but after saying ‘I don’t really need another lipstick’ I’ve totally changed my tune and I need more of these in my life!

What’s coming up:

I’m not very far away from my next trip and with that, my next 10K and half marathon, so the next 6 weeks will be spent planning and training. I’m also going to get my butt into gear at work and try and put in as many extra hours as I can without driving myself mad because I want to save as much money as I can in the next few months on top of my regular saving plan.

2017 target update:

(Figures as of last night!)

  • Bloglovin followers
    • 2017 goal: 500
    • Current: 545!! I actually hit 500 at the start of this month, which makes me so happy to have beat my target for the whole year already!
  • Twitter followers
    • 2017 goal: 2500
    • Current: 1972 – I’m finding growth is happening slowly, whether or not it’ll speed up by the end of the year is a different matter..
  • Instagram followers
    • 2017: 2000
    • Current: 1445 – I have gone up about 100 from the start of the year, but with it being such a fickle platform for numbers, I’m not getting my hopes up too much!
  • Page views
    • 2017 goal: 65,000
    • Current: 43640 – I’m so happy to have seen a big growth in my blog starts since the start of the year, and I know that if I can keep it up, I’ll be hitting this goal before the year is out!

And if you want to help me out with any of these numbers, you’ve got my links below!

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15 Facts About Us

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I generally save the 28th of each month to write a little relationship post, and well would you look at the calendar..?

Matthew and I have now been together 9 months, and today I thought I’d share a few fun facts about us as a couple, y’know, in case you wanted to be nosey!

1. Our first date was to the Oceanarium, and lasted 12 hours

We ended up getting kicked out of the cafe we had spent the evening in when it closed at 11.30pm

2. We’re both stupidly indecisive

Deciding where to have dinner takes an age!

3. I sleep on the left side of the bed, and he sleeps on the right

And I’m a blanket thief

4. We both love a trip to Ikea

I think we’ve been twice in the last month

5. We’ve never seen each other drunk

8 months of long distance means we’ve never had the chance for that embarrassment just yet!

6. We love McNuggets

I mean, who doesn’t, but still..

7. We have a shared Pinterest board for planning our adventures

Its mainly full of cute Pomsky photos that I put on there

8. I’m a Hufflepuff and he’s Ravenclaw

If anyone was interested to know..

9. We regularly argue over how to pronounce some words

There’s a north/south divide that often leads to debates..

10. He does all the singing on car journeys

I just sit back and.. enjoy.. ūüėČ

11. He also spends more time on his hair than I do

Owns more hair product than I do too

12. We still argue occasionally over who pays

Only cos we can both be as stubborn as each other

13. Every day I make him pinky promise not to tickle me

I am crazy ticklish and I will have a panic attack if someone tries..

14. We already have a future sofa picked out

Probably not the most normal thing for couples of our age, but we both agreed on the fact we really liked it!

15. He might not quite be at my level, but we both love Disney

And I think he’s even more excited than I am for our WDW trip in November!

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Everyone Deserves Help

On Friday night, for the first time ever, I blocked someone on Twitter for posting something that I didn’t agree with.

Normally, I’m very respectful of other people’s beliefs. I don’t mind what other people tweet, whether it be political views, personal feelings or just moaning about something that they hate, I generally go on the principal of ‘if I don’t like/agree with it, I just scroll past and keep myself to myself’. I see Twitter as a place for people to vent, and I like to believe that others would also respect my right to vent too, because nothing ever comes from unnecessary drama.

This person, however, tweeted something that I just couldn’t not react to. I didn’t respond, or pick a fight, I just decided to prevent this sort of thinking ever coming up on my feed again. But what was it they said?

Many of you would have spent Friday wearing red and eating cake for charity; that’s right, it was Comic Relief. And as I watched the ever harrowing appeal night show, tearing up at all of the unfair goings on of the world, I felt proud of the UK for playing such a big part in trying to make changes in the world, and doing as much as we can to improve the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.

I won’t quote, or name and shame, but the tweet I read implied¬†stated that those living in¬†some of the poorest countries in Africa, the adults AND children dying of diseases that we’re fortunate enough to not face here in the UK do not deserve our money. Why don’t they deserve it? Because they’re not British.

Would you ever deem someone unworthy of help? Would you ever deny a dying child medical attention? I was honestly shocked that this person could seriously watch some of these clips and not even feel a little bit of sympathy to the parents who have to watch their children die, or for the children who have had to lose their parents. Does a person’s ethnicity make any difference? Shouldn’t we do whatever we can for whoever we can?

I’m sorry if this came across a little ranty, or maybe even naive, but I’ve always been charity minded and done as much as I can, and I can’t believe that there are some people who wouldn’t do the same.

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Sunday

After another crazy night of falling asleep way early into a movie, I was surprised that Matthew was awake before I was. He was going in for sim training this morning, so I left quite early and went back to mine, where I got started on usual weekend work: writing blog posts, a stock order for The Happiest Fitness Co etc, while catching up on a few missed weeks of The Great Pottery Throwdown.


Lunchtime seemed to roll around pretty quickly, and resulted in my sister and me ordering Deliveroo and watching The Lorax, which managed to successfully distract me from the appointment I had at the Apple Store to get my phone fixed, so looks like I’ll be going another week with a cracked screen..


After lunch I hit a bit of a creative block, so I decided to remedy it by taking a break and having a bath. I used the Lush Autumn Leaf bath bomb, which was my favourite from the autumn/Halloween collection and I’ve been saving for a day like today, and I also took the opportunity to try out my Sephora eye mask, and had a good long soak while scrolling through Pinterest on my iPad. Question: am I the only person who won’t take a book into the bath for fear of getting it wet, but has no problem using my phone or iPad?


After a little bit of an afternoon slump, I got back to work, this time budget planning for my upcoming Disney trips (very important part of my life) and also writing up a new training plan for my next 8 weeks of running. More tweet scheduling done for the week, then back to writing for a bit! Dad decided to make pancakes for dinner, which felt like a win.

The rest of my evening will be spent tidying up my bedroom a bit, and getting started on a mass wardrobe clear-out that I want to get done this week, then I’m gonna curl up in bed with my book to wrap up the weekend.

Huge shoutout to everyone who’s followed along with me this week, its been quite fun doing something a little different from the usual! Normal blog scheduling will resume tomorrow, but if you ever want a nosey in on my life, there’s always my Instagram story!

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Saturday

It’s the weekend, yay! I kicked mine off with a fairly rare lie in, then dropped Matthew off at a friends before going home to shower and get ready for the day. My sister arrived home this morning from two weeks in Thailand, so we went out to lunch at Toby Carvery with my nan, then round to my gran’s house for a catch up. Doing the rounds of the  grandparents on a Saturday is a fairly normal part of our family routine, affectionately known as the grumble run!

Post grumble-run, I took Matthew on an exciting trip to the car wash because my little car was long overdue a clean, and after clearing all the rubbish out of the inside earlier in the week, I figured I’d complete the job properly and now she’s all shiny and perfect!

Once we got back to Matthew’s, I knuckled to some serious Disney trip planning – we go to WDW at the end of October and our dining reservations will be coming up in about 6 weeks so with nothing thought out, we decided this afternoon would be a good time to start! I’ve got about 8-9 days of park/dining ideas sorted, so it was just a start but after a while I got a little stuck so I threw in the towel and instead got some blog work done while Matthew was doing some work of his own.

Our evening consisted of Haagen Dazs and movies in bed, starting with Rogue One. Normally I’d be forced to watch Saturday Night Takeaway, but we conveniently missed it tonight so ah well..

What have you been up to this Saturday?

A Week in the Life of Lottie – Friday

So after my crazy early night last night – I was asleep before 9pm – I woke up way earlier than I needed to.

I arrived at work bursting for a wee. Staying at Matthew’s basically means being in a house of 5 guys with only two bathrooms and one never has toilet paper, so you can imagine the struggle in the morning, so I opted to wait until I got into the office before I had the chance to relieve myself! 

Being on an early shift, the day went by pretty quickly. I went out at lunch to go to the post office to send out some Happiest Fitness Co orders, and picked up a pastry from Bennetts as a Friday lunchtime treat before returning to the comfort of my desk and my book (you’re sensing a theme with my lunch breaks, right?).

After I got home from work, I walked round to the local delivery office to collect a missed parcel from yesterday, and when I got home the cats were in. Now, I don’t actually own cats, but we have a semi-casual agreement with the neighbours cats that when their kids are annoying them they have a tendency to come hang out at ours.. Anyway they weren’t feeling very playful, so they quickly disappeared back out into the garden.

I got changed and headed round to Matthew’s, where we did a little bit of Disney trip discussion, then headed into Bournemouth to the new cinema complex to see Beauty and the Beast – and of course I had to wear my Chip skirt again. The new cinema has only been open about a month and everything is still very shiny and new, and has these crazy reclining seats in the screens, but we just opted for regular premier seats.

The movie itself was SO GOOD. Honestly, I’m not gonna post any spoilers and I will have a proper post up in the next week or so but if you’re umming and ahhing about seeing it, just do it because I fail to see anyone being disappointed.

After the movie we got a few more cinema treats – ice cream for Matthew and a frozen Fanta for me. Also note to self, and anyone else: the new car park underneath the new cinema is PRICEY. But we are getting a Five Guys so I think I’ll let the place off..

So I’m all done with work for the week and ready for a fairly chilled weekend, stay tuned for more!

A Week in the Life of Lottie – Thursday

I’m not gonna lie, today has been relatively normal in the grand scheme of things. Alarm went off at 7am, got up, got ready for work, the daily grind.

As per usual, I spent my lunch break with my nose stuck in a book; it’s the furthest I’ve ever got into The Fellowship of the Ring without my brain hurting, and I’m determined to fight on with it, and having an hour at lunch to dedicate every day is really helping and reminding me just how much I do love reading!

When I got home from work, I decided to clear some of the rubbish out of my car – it’s been building up for a while now and as Matthew and I might be driving up to Manchester this weekend, I figured a tidy car would make the journey a bit happier! I then made a failed attempt to go to the post office, courtesy of nightmare staff who close the counter when they can’t be bothered to do it, so came home, shut up the rabbit and the chickens and jumped in the shower.

The plan was to go to Matthew’s for dinner, but that kinda fell through due to a frozen fridge situation, so instead he came round and I whipped up a classic dinner of fish fingers, sweet potato mash and peas – it’s actually the first meal I’ve ever cooked for him, and I think it truly displayed my domestic goddess skills..

We’re gonna spend the rest of our evening watching Harry Potter movies in bed, and I’ll probably fall asleep by 10:30. Rockstar.

A Week in the Life of Lottie – Wednesday

I feel like this week is much more interesting than most weeks in my life, which makes the timing of these posts pretty perfect, ha!

After an early start, I got down the gym and kicked off leg day with a mile on the rowing machine, followed by 100 reps on the leg press and 3 sets of 20 reps on both the abductors and adductors. I had moved over to the mats to get started on some more work, but due to rather embarrassing circumstances (ladies know where this is going), instead I decided to give the rest of my workout a miss, opting to go home for a shower and breakfast before work.

Work felt like a very short day, being that I spent two hours of it in a presentation, and my entire lunch break was spent at my desk with my nose stuck in my book. My team is doing admin work all of this week, which makes a nice break from the regular day to day, and an even nicer surprise was walking out of the office to find Matthew waiting for me with some pretty yellow roses!

From work, we headed into town to get dinner at Skinny Kitchen, which I haven’t been to in AGES and I was pretty excited to try something different from the menu. I got the Seriously Stacked Burger, which was a cauliflower and quinoa patty with grilled halloumi and came with a pot of amazing sweet potato fries and it was SO GOOD. Skinny Kitchen never fails to impress me, its always just the best food that makes my body so happy!

After I dropped Matthew back to his, I got home and was straight into my pyjamas before hitting the sofa and cracking on with my usual evening activities: tweet scheduling, emails, packing up THFC orders, editing photos and getting started on a few more upcoming posts, all while watching Legally Blonde and munching on microwave popcorn. Wild life that I lead, I’ll probably end up having another early night, or at least getting into bed to read for a bit before I do.

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! Its been a particularly happy day for me because I’ve had a day off work, and I’ve got so much done, yay!

Now while most people would probably kick a day off with a lie in, I was up at 5am, courtesy of a 6am gym session with my trainer Steph. I usually walk to the gym, which is about 1.5 miles and takes about 25 minutes, and even in the dark I love the walk because Bournemouth is so pretty when its quiet out, and I can watch the sun rise over the beach from the gym. My workout was a lot of upper body isolation, with supersets of shoulders, biceps/triceps and chest and back, and wrapped up with two of my menaces – burpees, and 25kg overhead press – which while I hate it at the time, it reminds me of how far I’ve come from the days of 10kg.

I was home just before 7.30am, and kicked off the start of my productive morning by getting a batch of brownies in the oven – today is a baking day! I figured its been ages since I’ve done any proper baking, and any baking posts for that matter, so I spent my whole morning flitting back and forth from the kitchen and my laptop, getting each post written as the recipe cooked/set. After the brownies it was meringues, then marshmallows and orange curd, so keep an eye out for this in the coming weeks!

After a quick lunch break – turkey salad wrap – I set about getting all the photos for the posts taken, as well as some photos for other upcoming posts, then I took a little bit of time out from blog work to do a little DIY experiment for something that might be coming soon to my Etsy shop.

Back to writing for a little bit, with my classic background noise of Friends re-runs on Comedy Central, then I headed over to Matthew’s and because the poor boy is stranded in Bournemouth with no car, I was a top girlfriend again and took him to Staples and Currys PC World to pick up a few bits before we got in for the night, and gave up on the idea of cooking dinner, instead opting to order Pizza Hut delivery, oops!

Because he goes back into training tomorrow, he’ll be spending the evening revising, so I’m set up with my iPad and book – I’m starting The Fellowship of the Ring for what feels like the hundredth time, but I actually feel like I’m getting somewhere with it this time for a change! We’ve got an early morning tomorrow so I predict there’ll be a pizza induced coma and early night!

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Monday

So a little while back I asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in me daily blogging to share a little insight into what a typical week looks like for me, and the response was pretty good, so here we go! This week seemed like the perfect time because having worked yesterday, I’m actually only working 4 days this week, so lots of time for activities!

This morning kicked off with a 5:30 alarm, which was quickly reset to 6:30 as I was still exhausted and didn’t want to force myself down the gym. It might seem like laziness, but I’m a firm believer in listening to how my body feels and not pushing myself too far, and the extra hour in bed was glorious! It also meant I could spend a little bit more time doing my makeup this morning, yay! Today’s face¬†featured my new Too Faced Sweet Peach highlight palette and ABH glow kit – two of my favourite Sephora purchases!

Breakfast was had at my desk: Belvita and a mug of Peanut Hottie from my favourite new Disney mug to brighten up my Monday morning. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of my job, but I worked overtime today, doing an 8:15-18:00 shift, so I took myself myself to Costa for lunch as a treat, where I had a halloumi and pepper foccacia (YUM) and a fruity yogurt, and sat in the window enjoying the sunshine which has finally hit Bournemouth. My lunch break is normally used catching up with social media – Twitter, Instagram etc – and then a bit of blog reading, courtesy of the Bloglovin app on my phone. We also had a team meeting at work in the afternoon which we had outside on the roof, and all the fresh air has made me feel so much happier!

Matthew came and met me from work, and I took him down to John Lewis to buy a tv, then dropped him home so that I could dash home, shut up the chickens and the rabbit for the night, then headed down to my local shopping centre for my long overdue hair appointment. I love my long hair, but I haven’t had it cut in about a year, so I had to get a good few inches off to get it back in a good condition, but I’m pretty lucky to have fast growing hair so I’m sure it’ll be back properly in no time! I also nipped into Asda to stock up on a few baking supplies for tomorrow (stay tuned!).

The rest of my evening will be spent catching up on some tv, getting tweets scheduled and generally chilling. I’m up early to be at the gym for 6am tomorrow so it’ll be a fairly early one – a girl’s gotta sleep!

What’s your day been like?

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Taking Pride In My ‘Flaws’

Photography

So I was thinking, why is it we spend so much time concentrating on what we believe to be the negative aspects of ourselves? Whether its a quirk that the people around us have picked up on, or something that we overthink on a daily basis, we all have ‘those things’ that we internally cringe over. Well I’ve had enough of that.

Towards the end of last year, I wrote a post about putting positive spins on aspects of our lives that we frequently put down, and today I’m gonna share some of my personality traits that I’m gonna start owning, rather than seeing as a flaw.

I’m a know-it-all

I don’t know where it came from, but I’ve always had a ridiculously good memory for facts, figures and information, as well as totally useless things like what I wore to my year 5 school disco. My family have always had to put up with it, and they actually rely on it sometimes, but even the people I work with have started noticing, earning me the nickname of Sponge – I absorb and retain information like there’s no tomorrow.

This almost always works in my favour, but it can be annoying sometimes as I often worry about coming across as a ‘know-it-all’, but in reality, this is in no way a flaw. It meant I did well in school, helps me excel in my job and I’m also a pub quiz BOSS. Win win, I am Sponge.

I have a need to please people

I need to be liked, and I worry constantly that people don’t like me. I doubt I’m alone in this feeling, but here’s the thing: I actually think it makes me a better person. As a result of this, I’m always great at trying to cheer people up when they’re down, or throwing out compliments like sweets at Halloween, and I notice little details (and sponge them up), which mean I get to know people better.

I’m a sensitive soul

I’m really easily bothered by conflict, whether its directed at me or not. I hate seeing other people fall out, and sometimes I genuinely feel like that girl in Mean Girls who just wants to bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles. I’ve been told that it makes me naive, but there’s nothing naive about just wanting people to get along and be nice to one another – its idealistic, but I hope to God the world gets that way one day.

These are just a few things that I’m gonna start embracing. They are parts of my life and my personality, and regardless of how the rest of the world sees them, I’m gonna own it.

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Our 2017 Adventure Bucket List

I’ve become so used to writing a relationship post on the 28th of each month, but as the long distance part of our story is finally coming to an end, I figured I’d write something a little different today. Well actually, we wrote it together..

Couple Bucket List

January is all about making plans for the coming year, so we’ve put together a little bucket list of things that Matthew and I will be hoping to do together this year, and it goes a little something like this:

  • A weekend in London – we’ve got a weekend in London booked for a couple of weeks, and it’ll be our first little staycation-type trip! We’re gonna be total tourists, see a show and go to..
  • WB Harry Potter Studios Tour – I bought tickets for us to go to the studios tour for Matthew’s birthday last month, so we’re tagging it onto the end of our London weekend
  • A trip to Disneyland Paris – gotta practice for our big trip at the end of the year!
  • Crabbing in Mudeford – Matthew’s never been crabbing before, and I can’t wait to introduce him to it
  • Go to the drive-in cinema – I’ve never been to a drive-in before, and there’s a proper one up in Manchester which we’re gonna hit
  • Fly somewhere with Matthew as the pilot – if that’s not the perk of being a pilot’s girlfriend, I don’t know what is..
  • Back to the Future marathon – apparently its not good enough that I’ve only seen the first one, ha!
  • Star Wars marathon – just cos..
  • The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings marathon – for me this is just a standard weekend, but Matthew’s never watched them with me and that’s a treat in itself ūüėČ
  • Go to Shakeaway – its a Bournemouth thing..
  • Eat in at least 3 Rainforest Cafes – we’re gonna go while we’re in London, but we’ll also have a chance to do a few more while we’re in America later in the year – ONE DOWN!
  • Go to Walt Disney World – its all booked, and WE CAN’T WAIT!!!
  • Adventures in Manchester – because I’m a total southerner, I get a guided tour of Manchester from a proper local!

No doubt we’ll be constantly adding to this list in the coming months, but I think its definitely gonna be a great year of adventure!

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5 Things I Did When I Was Single

Things I Did When I Was Single

While I’m very proud to say that I’m in a happy relationship, when I look back at the last few years, I’m very grateful for the time I was single. It was a time where, cliche as it sounds, I found myself as an individual, and I will always stand by the fact that I needed that time and that experience to make me happy in my current relationship.

Between my previous relationship and my new one, I had just over a year of time to enjoy being with myself, and there are some particular things that happened in that time that stand out as being most important for me.

Travelling alone

This is probably the biggest thing I have ever done to step out of my comfort zone, and I absolutely cannot recommend it enough. Go somewhere you’ve never been and always wanted to go, and make those memories that will always remind you how awesome and independent you can be.

Work work work

I threw all my free time into my blog and small businesses, and thrived off being a proper little #girlboss. As a result, I saw my blog grow and boom, and as well as making me happy, it gave me such a sense of achievement.

Became social

While some may not see spending lots of time on social media as a good thing, I loved it. I made new friends, became part of a community of some of the loveliest people ever and learned that friendships are love too.

Set my standards

This might sound cheesy, but being alone made me realise exactly what I wanted from a relationship, and how I wasn’t prepared to settle for less than what made me happy. Spoiler alert: this works and I found the guy who is everything I wanted and more.

I stopped doubting myself

I was always the person who needed approval in everything I did. I still am a little, but during my single time, I did what I wanted without having to worry about what another person thought, and now I’m more ok being my own person.

I’m not trying to preach the wonders of single life, and I’m not trying to say that doing these things are the key to future happiness, I just want to encourage you to find your happiness in whatever stage of life you find yourself in. Enjoy yourself!

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Why Its Okay To Unfollow

Why Its Okay To Unfollow

As society changes with time, as does social media. Its only natural that the change is reflected.

We, on the other hand, don’t always respond to these changes as quickly as they happen. In the early days of social media, when Myspace was still a thing and all the cool kids had Bebo *shudders*, we were all friends. Its the same with Facebook now; the connection is a two way street.

New SM is all about following though. Unless you keep your security settings tight, people can follow you until their hearts content, and while you get that little pop up in your notifications, you don’t get to say yes or no. And while we love watching our numbers go up and up, the old ways of social media produce a little voice in our heads that say ‘hey, follow them back’. There’s no obligation, but often it seems like a polite way of acknowledging this new person who’s watching our life. As well as this, its not uncommon to see promises of following back as a way to not only entice new followers, but also promote the idea of it being a friendship.

But here’s the thing: you don’t have to follow anyone back, and its totally ok to unfollow people. You don’t gain anything from having your feed full of content that you don’t find interesting or relevant, and its not¬†like its a personal attack on them or their account.

Its also a case of interaction – what’s the point of following someone if you know there won’t be any interaction? Followers vs actual engagements is a huge debate on social media, and I know that I’m instantly put off by an account if, for example, I replied to a tweet by someone, and didn’t get any form of acknowledgement from them. In some cases, it does actually make me wonder why I’m bothering.

The fact is, its your feed, and your account, and you can and should be doing what you want without worrying about it. Put yourself and what you want first, and if that means unfollowing a bunch of people that are clogging up your feed with negativity or irrelevant posts, then go for it! It’ll give you more time to chat with the people that you do like to see!

If you enjoyed today’s ramblings, you might also be interested in my post on what puts me off following¬†on Twitter!

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My New Years Resolutions and Goals

New Years Resolutions and Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

In the classic style of January 1st, I’m setting myself some goals and resolutions for the coming year, and would I be a proper blogger if I didn’t post them online?

Resolutions

Every year, resolutions are made and broken, so as much as possible I try to keep my choices positive; rather than giving things up, I find things to do more of etc. I’ve thought a lot about this year’s, and here they are:

  • Take more selfies – to be honest, I want to take more photos of myself in general. Its not vanity, its about gaining confidence and being happier with my appearance
  • Save more money – I’ve always been a religious saver – I think its one of my biggest strengths. This year, now I’m in a new, better paying job, I want to make sure that more money is being put towards my future.
  • Travel more – whether its seeing more of the UK, or doing a few weekend city breaks, I just want to get out there and enjoy more of the world.
  • Stay moisturised¬†– I’ve recently had the epiphany that just because my skin is fairly good, it doesn’t mean I can’t look after it
  • Read more books – I said last year that I wanted to take more time out to read, and I think in the whole year I maybe finished one book.. Take 2!
  • Shop more from small businesses – as a small business-er myself, I really want to help out more small businesses, artists and creatives and make more dreams happen!
  • Be my best self – I’m just really wanting to make 2017 the best year ever. I saw a quote on Twitter a while ago that said ‘Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it’, and I just really want to be that person.

Blogging Goals

Last year I didn’t actually set any goals at the beginning of the year; I don’t think I knew how amazing the year could be. 2016 was an incredible year for my blog, and I’m hoping for an even better 2017!

  • Targets
    • 500 Bloglovin followers
    • 2500 Twitter followers
    • 2000 Instagram follower
    • 65,000 page views
  • To achieve
    • More Insta-vlogging
    • One outfit post a month
    • Improve my fitness posts
    • Talk about my blog more
    • Participate in more Twitter chats
    • Work more on my Pinterest

What are you hoping to achieve this year?

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An Amazing Year of Achievements

Amazing 2016

2016 has not been an easy year for anyone. Its been full of all kinds of worldwide drama and negativity, but now I’m sat here looking back over it, the fact is, its really not been a terrible year.

So many amazing things have happened to me this year, which have made any troubles fade into the background, and while some may not be as major as others, here are some of the incredible things that have happened in my life.

  • I ran my first half marathon – and then my second and third..
  • I went on my first ever non-family Disney trip¬†– my Disneyland Paris trip in April was the first time I’d ever been without my parents and sister!
  • I met some beautiful people – one of my New Years Resolutions was to get out and meet more of my Disney friends, and while I’ve not met everyone, everyone I have had a chance to hang out with have been amazing!
  • I flew solo – my trip to New Zealand in September was the first time I’ve ever got on a plane by myself – kinda threw myself in at the deep end!
  • I drove an automatic car – this one’s a little random, but I’ve never driven an automatic before, and I survived!
  • I stopped blogging for the sake of it – midway through this year, I decided to stop writing posts that I wasn’t 100% happy with. This meant I stopped a few of my old series that were becoming a chore to write, and freeing up more time for new content!
  • I’ve finally visited every Disney park in the world! – ticked the last two off the list with visits to Hong Kong and Shanghai this summer!
  • I hit some incredible blogging milestones – not only did this little blog of mine turn 3 this year, but its been the best year yet by miles! I’ve published just over 300 posts this year and smashed my follower goals on social media, and its so nice to see all these achievements after I’ve put my heart and soul into this blog all year.
  • I started a new business – its always slow progress at first, but I’ve loved creating The Happiest Fitness Co this year, and I have high hopes for the coming year!
  • I left my dead end job – I finally said goodbye to retail after just over 4 years, and found a job that has a lot more opportunities for me in the future
  • I started working full time and maintaining my blog – when I started my new job, one of my biggest worries was that I wouldn’t be able to keep writing as much as I was before, so I’m so proud of the fact that I can work full-time and still post 5/6 times a week!
  • I learned who my true friends are – 2016 has been the year that I’ve come to realise that you don’t have to see people every day for them to be your best and truest friends, and that life’s too short to carry deadweight negative people around
  • I started being creative again – I turned my sewing machine back on for the first time in almost a year, and getting back into making things has made me really happy!
  • I fell in love – it goes without saying that meeting Matthew this year has been the greatest blessing and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

I don’t think I’m sad to see the end of this year, but mainly because I’m so excited for 2017 and all the excitement and adventure I know will come with it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a new year in a long time!

Fight the bad 2016 stigma and tell me some of the amazing things that have happened to you this year!

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December Favourites

December Favourites

The last month of the year is almost over, and I think we’re all welcoming 2017 with open arms, but before we do, I’m gonna sneak in a last bit positivity with my final favourites of 2016.

Lush Fairy Dust

I bought a bottle of Fairy Dust way back in October when the Christmas range was first released, but its only really become part of my daily routine in the last month or so and I’ve loved experimenting with different ways to use it, including as a dry shampoo, and also mixing it with my face powder to make myself sparkle!

DisneyLife

I teamed up with the guys over at DisneyLife UK to offer readers a free 7 day trial of the programme, which I also signed myself up for and I’ve been filling my free time with some of my favourite live action movies and the Disney Channel Originals from my childhood.

Star Wars hype

Not even ashamed to admit to the fact that I’ve seen Rogue One in the cinema twice already, and its not even been out for two weeks. As well as the film being totally amazing, I just love the atmosphere and hype when a new SW film comes out – suddenly the whole world becomes obsessed and its great!

Copper lights

Gave into my basic blogger instincts when I found these copper lights in Asda for ¬£5, and you’ve probably seen them in every blog and Instagram photo since. I have no shame, and I think they’ve added a little something extra to my blogography.

Fitbit Charge 2

Almost a year after I killed my Fitbit Zip in the washing machine, I treated myself to the Charge 2. It does everything I need it to as a fitness tracker, but I’m also finding my sleep habits super interesting and the silent alarms and guided breathing sessions are fab.

Another year done, and tomorrow I’ll be looking back on some of the incredible things I’ve been lucky enough to do this year, so stay tuned!

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The Bloggers Who Influenced My 2016

Blogger Influences

While 2016 has been rubbish for many people in so many ways, its actually been a pretty great year for my blog. Yesterday’s post was my 300th post of the year (yes, just this year!), I’ve hit a tonne of milestones and I just feel so proud of all the hard work I’ve put into it, and super happy with the results.

A lot of change has happened this year, from my layout to my writing style and the topics I’ve written about, and every one of these changes has made this blog reflect my true personality more and more. Finding my blogging voice has absolutely rocketed my confidence, but looking back I’ve come to realise that I have quite a few other bloggers to thank for inspiring me..

Dorkface

Without a doubt, Jemma is absolute blogger goals. She is the loveliest person, her work ethic is incredible, and her style is 100% goals. I’ve always loved bright colours, and in a world full of marble backdrops, Dorkface is a ray of sunshine and rainbows.

Vix Meldrew

I don’t think a blog has ever been more true and relateable, and I don’t think I’ve missed a single post this year because this girl cracks me up. Reading Vix has given me the confidence to write exactly how I want to, whether I’m feeling sassy and sarcastic, or completely open up about my feelings – not that I could ever do it as well as she does!

British Mermaid

Cara is the most beautiful person, both inside and out. I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with her this year, but as well as just being all-round amazing, she’s inspired me to wear and feel confident in whatever clothes I want, and frequently find myself thinking ‘would Cara like this?’ when I’m shopping.

Hello, Steph

I knew that 2016 was the year I’d be making much more of an effort with my fitness, but this girl has made me want to push myself harder and further. She’s my absolute fitspo queen and I’m always keeping an eye out for her amazing meal prep photos and workout selfies!

Belles Moments

This year would have absolutely not been the same without this girl. She’s my Disney soul mate and become one of my closest friends, and I can’t wait for all our 2017 adventures together. Plus she has a dreamy Instagram account that you should 100% be following.

What bloggers have had the biggest impact on you this year?

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Long Distance – The Last Leg

For those of you who have followed this story from the very beginning, I’m pleased to say that this will be the last long distance post I’ll have to write!

While its been a lot longer than we originally anticipated, Matthew will be home in less than a month! I’m not gonna lie, its a huge weight off my chest knowing when he’ll be back, and I’m so excited for that date to come around, but knowing how soon it is is making me super impatient!

Despite not being able to be together for Christmas, and missing his birthday next week, I’ve tried really hard to make sure that the two celebrations haven’t been forgotten, bombarding him with care packages: more Boomf goodies, as well as a box of Christmas goodies and a sneak peak at his birthday present – he’s not allowed to open that envelope yet though!

I, on the other hand, got my Christmas presents sent directly from the Disney Store – do I have the best boyfriend or what?

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Knowing that we’re coming to the end of this time apart is such a relief, and we’re already starting to plan all our little adventures for when he’s home! Stay tuned!

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Drunk Things I Did At My Work Christmas Party


Given that this is the third post that I’ve written semi under the influence of alcohol, you might be lead to believe that I have a fairly exciting life that often involves drinking, but I can assure you this isn’t true. Fact is, I’m a lightweight, and therefore tend to do the usual stupid drunken things that most people do, with only a fraction of the alcohol in my system..

Well last week I had my work Christmas do, and for some reason I thought it would be an excellent idea to drink vodka that night. For some, this may not seem particularly strange, but considering I haven’t really drunk spirits in maybe 2-3 years, needless to say I was leaning towards trollied fairly quickly, and this led me to do some very entertaining things.. What happens at the work party, ends up on the internet.

I did three pull-ups

The guy who hosted pre-drinks had one of those doorway pull-up bars, and two drinks down the line, we were all giving it a go and out came the gym freak within me..

I spent a lot of time twirling

A combination of a pretty dress with a flowly skirt, a fairly shiny dancefloor and all those vodka cranberries, and apparently I could not stop spinning.. I have since found video evidence of this on my own phone..

I wing-womaned like a boss

We all went to the party knowing full well that there was a guy that was into my friend, so I of course dragged her over to dance within his line of sight at all times

I walked into a table

I swear it came out of nowhere – who put that there?

I took a bunch of decent selfies

I’m always the drunk who takes too many photos, but I actually managed to get a lot of really nice ones with all my team

I stood on a lot of people’s toes

Drunk Lottie in heels is a walking weapon, and I’m ashamed that several of my friends were victims of toe-crushing

I destroyed my own feet

With all that lovely alcohol in my system, I was totally unaware of the fact that my shoes were creating huge blisters on both of my feet, which I’m still suffering from now..

I was kind enough to share my taxi

There was another woman waiting for a taxi when mine arrived, so I somehow ended up sharing with her, but it saved me a bit of the fare at least!

I had the best night out in a long time

Despite probably making a fool out of myself, it was definitely the most fun I’ve had in a long time, and I have the lovely people on my team to thank for that!

How was everyone else’s Christmas dos?

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Christmas Presents I Don’t Like Receiving

Christmas Presents

I don’t ever like to be ungrateful, but I’m sure that everyone has those items that mean you’ve got to pull out that well-practiced false ‘thank you, I love it’ face while inside you’re thinking ‘WHYYY’, right?

So for Christmas giggles, here are mine:

Earrings

I don’t have my ears pierced anymore, but when I did (and now I’m considering getting them pierced again), I was very particular about what I did and didn’t like – what I didn’t like being the majority of the ones I ever received. I appreciate the gesture, but unless you know me well enough, I’d love a gift receipt included..

Baking equipment

I do a lot of baking, and most people who know me know that. The problem is, I already have everything baking related under the sun, and I do not need another set of silicone cupcake cases thank you.

Generic bath sets

I understand the appeal of the Boots 3 for 2, but tiny bottles of nondescript shower gel and a loofer just end up being forgotten about, or stack up in the bathroom only to be used when travelling hand luggage only.

Christmas only items

It could be the cutest little Christmas gift, but to be honest I’ll just be sad that I won’t get to enjoy it for much longer before it has to go away for another year.

Mugs

I love mugs, but again, I’m very particular with the mugs I like. I also have way too many..

Books I can’t read

You know those novelty picture books or kinda funny quotes or poems that you just know are gonna sit on a bookshelf gathering dust because you’ll flick through it once and never need to pick it up again – get me a book I can read!!

What presents make you wish they’d included a receipt?

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Viva la Comfy Bra!

Putting myself out there with something a little different today!

You see, I’m 22 now, and in the last few months I’ve had somewhat of an epiphany that has lead me to believe that I’m actually growing up: I just want bras to be comfortable.

Thistle and Spire Fine Lines

I don’t know at what point during our teen years that it happens, but somehow we seem to be programmed to believe that we need super-push-up, extra padded and wired nonsense for our boobs to be happy. Well given that taking our bra off at the end of the day is considered to be a huge relief, this clearly isn’t true.

As a teenager, if it wasn’t wired, I wasn’t interested – how could anything without an underwire keep my boobs in check, right? – and this mentality has stuck with me into my twenties, but no more.

I took a chance on a cute little Thistle and Spire set I stumbled across on Asos, and from the moment I tried it on I felt something change; not only was I comfortable, I felt supported, and not in the way a sports bra squeezes everything together, it felt more natural. Of course I do still have a draw full of wired bras, but I’ve ditched the belief that they are the be all and end all, and when I’m in a bit of a bad mood or want a bit of comfort, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a comfy soft cup or bralet to make everything feel better.

So why have I decided to ramble on about my bra feelings today? Well, I wanted to talk about something that not everyone is comfortable discussing: breast cancer. Someone who used to be a big part of my life is currently going through treatment, and while she was very lucky to have caught it in the early stages, not everyone does.

If you do one thing with your day today, let it be this: check out this guide for checking yourself, and tell someone else in your life to do the same. Its not a big deal, and it could save a live.

Thank you

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Why I Love Instagram Stories


Remember when Instagram announced Stories, and the Twittersphere went crazy? ‘But they’re just ripping off Snapchat’ was the initial outcry, followed by people declaring sides in the debate.

I didn’t really care. Instagram is probably my favourite social media platform, and given that the introduction of Stories didn’t affect the main jist of the app as it was, I just kept ticking along until I finally got the update, and then continued to use it in exactly the same way, just with a few random little circles at the top of my feed.

A little time went by, and I decided to start watching a few stories, and yeah, it was pretty much identical to Snapchat, but rather than seeing my old school friends on raging night out, or a million identical selfies with an assortment of filters, I was watching some of my favourite bloggers, my favourite Disney accounts, and seeing some pretty cool things.

So I decided to start posting a few things, and I was amazed that people were actually watching them. And the more I posted, the more confident I became, and now its become much more a part of my routine.

But why have I chosen Instagram over Snapchat?

Much like with Facebook, I use my Snapchat to connect with my friends. Generally I’ll send things directly to certain people, rather than using My Story, and I probably only have about 50 people on there. I know that some of my friends wouldn’t be interested in the blogging side of my life that I save for Instagram, and to be totally honest, I’m not confident enough when it comes to sharing that side of my life with those friends.

Instagram gives me a feeling of anonymity. Yes I’m followed by a lot of my blogging friends and my Disney friends, as well as some family and my boyfriend, but those friends who don’t know this side of my life don’t know this account exists (not from hiding it, just from not knowing!), so I don’t feel self-conscious posting more of my life on my story. As well as personal stuff, I use my story to promote new blog posts, as well as my business, and it gives me a much larger audience for these things, which is great!

My Instagram username is LottieDoesDisney, so pop over and say hi!

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Long Distance Disney

So out of this last month, there have been two key moments in Matthew and my relationship, both arguably as important as the other.

Last week, Matthew was finally given an official coming home date. I’d been waiting for that news since the moment he left, and while its not as soon as I’d like it to be (its actually quite a bit further away than we’d hoped), its a day that I can look forward to, and there’s a possibility that it may come a little sooner, so we’re just crossing all fingers and toes, and remembering that two more months is nothing to the five we’ve already made it through.

This date comes from the fact that he passed his first progress test, and has now moved on to the next stage of his training, which doesn’t rely on the weather as much as the first stage, so hopefully he’ll be able to fly through it. Pun intended.

Ok, next big bit of news..

We’ve booked to go to Walt Disney World! It was semi-planned, semi-spur of the moment, but I’m so happy we’ve done it and now we’ve got something else to look forward to next year. Matthew is a huge WDW fan, and has been desperate to go back, so as the end of the free dining plan offer loomed, it only really made sense logically..

We’ll be there from October 30th-November 13th, catching both Halloween and Christmas seasons, and staying at Coronado Springs! Matthew’s never stayed on Disney property before, and he’s already chosen his Magic Band colour and created a My Disney Experience wishlist longer than my arm.. Of course I’m super excited to get planning to make this the most magical trip for him, and we’re hopefully going to do Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party too!

Its not been an easy month, but whenever I find things hard, I just think about next year and all the great things that are to come, and how it will all be worth the wait.

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My Christmas Wishlist

Tis the season for hint dropping! Falalalala and all..

In all fairness, each year I publish my wishlist so my family can use it as a guide, so this post really kills two birds with one stone, but as I had a pretty mega birthday present this year (hello Lego Disney Castle), I’m really not asking for, or expecting much this year, so I’ve just looked at a few little stocking filler-type gifty bits!

My Christmas Wishlist 2016

Ok, totally gimmicky and probably not very practical, but with 2017 being another year full of races, I’m kinda drawn to light up shoe laces so I can shine my way through Disney, and amazingly, you can get them on Amazon for about ¬£8, which is way less than I thought they’d be!

I may have a few novelty phone cases, but they’re all bulky silicone ones that I don’t use often, and my current plastic one has been dropped a few too many times and is cracked pretty badly now – well, I’d rather that than my phone itself.. Skinnydip have quite a few cute ones, but I came across the Catnut and Caticorn¬†in the sale for under ¬£10 and I think they’re my faves, as well as bargains! Speaking of cute, how adorable is Vinyl Pop Meeko?

Anna Kendrick is now an author? YESSS. Gotta get my hands on Scrappy Little Nobody, she is my sarcastic spirit animal and I think it’ll be a proper giggle.

The last few bits represent a few of my struggles in life: 1. My favourite mascara, Eyeko Black Magic, isn’t available in regular stores like Boots or even Feel Unique, so I’ve been getting by on a tube I’ve had for longer than I care to admit because I can’t be bothered to order it from Selfridges. 2. I’m a nightmare at not only hoarding stationery, but also choosing it. I have to fully vet any potential planner, and having had success with Kikki K before, this Cute planner (actually its name, not just my go-to description) seems like a good choice, although I’m also kinda lusting over the Peony Happiness Planner¬†(not pictured), but as both are undated, at least I’ve got options, ha! 3. I am a cliche rose gold obsessed girl who dreams of being a princess, and the shrewd among you may have noticed this ring on my wishlist last year. It was from my favourite jewellery store on Etsy, so my heart dropped into my stomach when suddenly the store disappeared, but I’ve recently discovered they’ve got their own website now, so yay!

What’s on your Christmas list?

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Things That Are None of Your Business

None of your business

Its very rare that I do a ranty post, but I’ve been sitting on this one for a little while now and recent events have made some of these even more relevant than before.

You’re probably noticing a great deal of irony in that title. I mean, bloggers put their lives on the internet for other people to see, so saying that certain things are none of your business seems a little contradictory, but its more about how people unnecessarily judge others based on these actions. To name a few:

How people spend their money

The main word in that being their.. I don’t know about you, but I work hard for every penny I earn, so when I treat myself to something, that’s my prerogative. I’m sick of hearing ‘you’re going on holiday AGAIN?!’ – you’re damn right I am, I’ve earnt this.

Other people’s beliefs

Ok, you might not agree with a person’s religion or political view, but they do, and that’s for them to decide. If they truly believe in something then good for them. It really peeves me when I see people trying to undermine other people’s beliefs, ugh.

How people dress

For starters, how does someone else’s outfit affect you? Um, it doesn’t. I know a lot of people believe in dressing ‘for your body type’ or dressing ‘age appropriately’, but if an outfit makes you feel good, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

What other people’s bodies look like

I’m sick of fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, telling people they need to look like this or that.. The human body is a fascinating thing, no matter what it looks like, and to be honest, if you’re judging someone based on something as trivial as that then I think you need to take a long look at yourself.

Not gonna lie, writing this was pretty cathartic.. And I don’t mean to be rude in any way, I just hate seeing these things done, whether its directed at me, or my friends, or anyone for that matter. None of it is fair.

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Why Moana is Special to Me

Moana has probably been the most anticipated Disney film of the year, and this could be for many reasons: its the first ‘princess’ character since Frozen, the cast is pretty incredible and the trailer had most people’s jaws on the floor. Every time Disney let us in on a new snippet of information, its met by excitement all round, and even though the movie isn’t coming out until next month, I’m already incredibly grateful for this film. (I’m sat writing this having listened to How Far I’ll Go from the soundtrack for at least an hour and crying intermittently cos y’know hormones)

If you’re a fairly new reader of this little blog of mine, you may not know much about my family. You see, my uncle is Samoan, and therefore so are my three beautiful little cousins.

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Ok, so they’re a little older now than they were in this photo, but they’re still some of my favourite people in the world, and the release of Moana, a polynesian princess, means that they have a Disney princess that they can identify with.

Now you could argue that Moana isn’t technically a princess, she’s the daughter of a chief –¬†well so are my girls, technically.. Fun little fact for you: my uncle is actually a chief! So yes, they may live in the UK and not on an island in the Pacific, but they have more in common with Moana than most other little girls have with their favourite princesses!

I think if I had one wish for this film, its that it could have come out a few years ago when the girls were younger and more into princesses, but they’re still set up with a fancy dress idea for life, haha!

I really hope this film lives up to all the hype, I couldn’t be more excited for it!

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Long Distance Marshmallows

That’s right, its been another month, and I’ve got you hooked with that title, right? The story goes a little bit like this:

Not long after our last update, Matthew wasn’t feeling well and I wanted to do something to cheer him up. He’s got a thing for oatmeal and raisin cookies (a flaw I’m willing to overlook), but while I searched the internet for companies that would deliver cookies to New Zealand, cookie quality can vary from excellent to pretty poor, and instead of taking the risk of sending bad cookies, I decided instead to turn to Boomf. I’m a serious love of marshmallows, and ever since Boomf came on the scene a few years back I’ve been searching for a reason to place an order, and this seemed like the perfect time.

Turns out ordering marshmallows for someone else made me really want marshmallows too, so naturally I turned to Twitter to vent my feelings. I frequently tweet things without thinking about people actually reading them, but it turns out Matthew did. Yep, matching marshmallows!


As well as adorable like-mindedness, we’ve taken a pretty big step towards ultimate couple goals: a joint Pinterest board. Its a place for us to share ideas for all our future adventures; planning ahead makes the wait a little better. You might have also seen that I finally managed to put together a collection of our New Zealand memories in a little shadow box frame (post here!), which I love and I think I’ll be doing with many future trips!

Other than that, its been a fairly quiet month for the two of us. Between the time difference, Matthew’s flights and my work situation, we’ve not always been able to talk as much as we usually do; there’s been a lot of missing each other as a result.. But we’ve survived another month, and that’s another month closer to being back together!

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Happy Birthday Blog!

Once upon a time, in a kingdom that looks a whole lot like Bournemouth, a little blogger was born..

Blog Birthday

That time was this day 3 years ago, when I published my first post on this very blog. This isn’t the first blog I’ve ever written, but its the first one that’s stuck, and gushy as it sounds, its become a huge part of my life. Let’s look at some of my favourite parts from the last 3 years!

  • Most viewed post ever – DIY Malefienct Horns
  • Total number of published posts – 547 (including this one!)
  • I’ve visited all 6 of the Disney parks in the world!
  • Organising Disney Secret Santa 2015
  • Becoming part of the #disneybloggerschat community
  • and so many more!

There’s also a bunch of people I want to thank for supporting my blog over the years, and because I couldn’t possibly name everyone, if you’re reading this, then thank you! I know I always say it, but I 100% mean it when I say that every single person who reads my blog, whether its your first time or your hundredth time, means the world to me.

Blog Birthday

Blog Birthday

Blog Birthday

I know I said yesterday that I was going to celebrate with cake, but I changed my mind and went with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a huge amount of peach iced tea and a beautiful shiny balloon, and of course I’m celebrating with a giveaway!

This bundle contains a stuffed Chip toy, Mickey Mouse glove pen and chocolate bar from Disneyland Paris, some Redbubble stickers, Main Street Popcorn wax melts from Maple and Whisky, Fantasyland Print from ItsLizi and a Pascal Wikeez toy, and it can all be yours if you enter below! The winner will be announced on November 8th!

Enter here > > > a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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What 3 Years of Blogging Has Given Me

Tomorrow, this little blog of mine turns 3 years old.

Three years ago, LottieDoesDisney (as it was back then) came about as I began to document the planning of a family holiday to Walt Disney World, and I don’t think I ever imagined that it would become what it is today. In fact, I’m not even sure I knew what it would become.

LottieDoesDisney

Remember this?

I became prouder of my blog than I thought possible, and its growth and development meant that at the end of last year I made the difficult (at the time!) decision to rebrand into what it is today.

But what has 3 years of blogging given me?

Confidence

At the start of my blogging career, I was unsure of myself, and what my blog needed to be. What I’ve discovered is that it just needs to be me. I read back some of my old old posts from time to time and cringe a little at how stiff and fake my writing sounds; I thought I had to be professional sounding, and it comes across as stiff. Now, I know that I can write what I want exactly how I want, and my true personality shines through; my boyfriend once told me I talk like how I write, when really its the other way round – I type just how I would speak out loud.

I’ve become more confident in myself as well as my writing. I’ve never had problems coming across as confident, but my self-confidence is always where I’ve struggled a little, and yes I still have my moments, but pride in my blog has given me pride in myself.

Lifelong friends

The first year or so of my blog was very lonely. I had no idea there was a community to it, but since I’ve found my place in a community that I love (Disney bloggers, I’m looking at you!) I’ve made truer friends than I’ve ever had before. I’ve connected better with some of the beauties on my Twitter feed more than I connected to people I went to school with, and I’ve had the most amazing fortune to now have met so many of these wonderful people – people I can’t imagine my life without now, people that have been with me through bad times as well as good, and people that I can’t wait to have more adventures with.

A creative outlet

Even if no one ever read my blog, I don’t think I’d give it up. I’ve always called it my little corner of the internet, and I love that other people join me in it, but more than anything else I blog for myself. I love writing, and getting my crazy thoughts and opinions out of my head, and it still amazes me sometimes that you lovely lot like to read them!

Tomorrow I’ll be celebrating with cake, and you should definitely check back to see how you too can celebrate with me! (And more importantly, what the cake looks like)

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Things I Kinda Want To Do

The vaguest of post titles ever, right?¬†I dunno, I think this will just be a classic ramble of a post, cos you know, I don’t do that enough..

DSC05625edit1

For anyone who doesn’t know me well, I really struggle with change. I usually try and normalise this statement by saying that I just like tradition etc, but the fact of the matter is that changes can actually get me pretty worked up and anxious. Its something that I know drives my family mad, but its more than just me being difficult for trivial reasons, and to be honest I can’t really explain it.

For that very reason, the last month has been particularly strange for me. I started the month by quitting my job of 4 years, but that was fuelled by my excitement for the new job I was applying for; for a rare time I was embracing change. When I didn’t get that job, I was pretty heartbroken, and this was when my fear of change started looming again; I began questioning if I should withdraw my notice and stay at my old job, or throw myself into a period of uncertainty, which is inevitably what I did.

With all this change going on, I’ve surprised myself with how well I’ve been coping, and there’s a little voice inside my head that keeps making suggestions for further ways to introduce a little bit of change into my life, and here are a few things I’ve been considering:

  • Getting my ears pierced – I got my ears pierced aged 8, but I spent most of my childhood in a bit of a tomboy phase where jewellery didn’t really appeal to me, so it didn’t take long for my ears to seal back up. I’m really particular about the kind of earrings I like, so I’m not certain I’ll see this one through, but I’m debating it
  • Learn a language – I’m not talking basic French for awkward attempts at ordering in a restaurant, but actually taking up a proper course like Rosetta Stone, and an interesting/useful language like Japanese or Spanish
  • Go completely cruelty free – this is something I’m pretty determined to do actually. I’ve being doing a lot of research into which of my favourite brands are cruelty free, and I’m super happy that the majority are, but I want to weed out as many products from companies that aren’t cruelty free, and also use more products that contain natural ingredients
  • Attempt vlogging – I am terrified of vlogging, in both the sense that I’m scared of it taking over from blogging, and also that I’m terrified of doing it myself, but the more people I see supporting vloggers, the more a little voice in my head makes suggestions.. I dunno if I could ever go to YouTube, but I think Snapchat and Instagram stories might be worth making more effort with to ease myself in

Who knows if I’ll manage any of these things, but for me just embracing the possibility of change feels like a big deal to me.

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When Did I Become Anti-Social?

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Yesterday was my last day at work, so as tradition would have it, leaving drinks followed at the pub down the road; I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Now I’m the definition of a one pint wonder. I rarely drink anymore, and a healthier lifestyle has lead me to be the ultimate cheap date, but as it was my party, so to speak, I decided to forgo my classic role of designated driver and enjoy myself, and it took a grand total of 3 Koppabergs to have me at the perfect balance of loud and funny (in my mind) but still able to walk in a straight line. And yes, the pub closed at 11pm and my mum picked me up, but stumbling in through the door and crawling straight into bed, I felt content with a good night well spent.

I used to do this weekly. A bunch of friends and I would frequent a Sunday pub quiz, I’d get a few rounds in and try to get to bed as quietly as possible after getting home after midnight. On occasion, there would even be a proper night out in town, although those were less regular, but I’d always get that same proud feeling that accompanies a fun time.

But at some point in the last year or two, going out just stopped appealing to me. Maybe it was because my friends were all away at uni, maybe I was trying to save money, maybe I just became boring.. But I’ve missed that feeling.
Not the feeling of being drunk – this isn’t about alcohol – but it’s left me questioning at what point I started perceiving going out as a chore. I do always find myself getting anxious over social occasions, but every time I’ve bucked up and forced myself to go places, I’ve had a great time, so from here on in I’m gonna make more of an effort.

Disclaimer: most of this point was written while under the influence of those three ciders..

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Fears of a Blogger

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

I love bloggers, and I’m not just saying that because I am one. I’m saying it because they (or at least the vast majority) are a bunch of the funniest, most relateable people I’ve had the pleasure of reading the thoughts of. We all share the same obsession with social media, we all get excited by brand opportunities, and we all suffer from the same OMG moments; cue a classic tongue in cheek post about things we bloggers are afraid of!

Who will take photos for my outfit posts?

Can I ask my boyfriend to take them? How many times is too many times to drag my friend round with the promise of free food? Should I give up and risk another dodgy self-timer shoot? WHAT TO DO

What will happen when I move in with someone?

What if they don’t like all the blogging props and housewares that I’ve bought over the years? Will I have to get rid of them? Please don’t make me change my aesthetic..

Please never let my favourite products disappear

I’m currently spending my time trawling through Depop and eBay hunting down my favourite MAC highlighter that’s now been discontinued and I can’t cope with the thought of changing my makeup routine if I can never find a suitable alternative

THERE IS NO DECENT LIGHTING

Why is the sun not out all year round?¬†What if I only have time to take blog photos in the evening? Great, now I’ve gotta change my Instagram theme..

What if YouTube takes over?

I can’t talk at a camera and I can’t edit video to save my life. The keyboard is my friend, please don’t let the written word be lost..

I really hope people like me IRL

I love all the people I’ve met through social media but what if I meet them in person and I do that thing I do where I get super awkward and weird and then they hate me

What are you afraid of?

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Ways I’m Trying to Improve as a Blogger

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They say that the first step to improving yourself is my admitting weaknesses, right? If I’m honest I’m not entirely sure who says that, or if I even got that quote right, but I think it’s got a certain amount of truth to it and therefore I’m gonna run with it.

This month there’s gonna be a bit of a common theme in some of my posts as I gear up for the 3rd birthday of this little blog of mine. The theme: my blog itself! Oh, and me as a blogger, which is what I’m really looking at today.

I know I’m no blogger superstar, and you know that too I’m sure, so today I’m opening the floor to some constructive criticism, primarily from my own head, but I’m also welcoming a bit of feedback so if you read this and would like to drop me a comment or DM me on Twitter, then go ahead! The title of this post is pretty self explanatory, so I’ll crack on without further ado..

Blogger confidence

Blogging has made me more confident as a person, but I still need to grow in what I have termed in my head as ‘blogger confidence’. It’s that confidence to approach a brand I’ve been dying to collab with, or go to a blogger event without chickening out last minute, or shoot an outfit post, as well as being able to talk to more people in my life about my blog.

Photography

I’m not awful at photography, but I have been stuck in a little bit of a flat-lay rut recently and I’m keen to change that. I’ve also just got myself a new little camera so I don’t always have to rely on my chunky DSLR all the time, and I’m hoping that it’ll give me the kick to make more of an effort to improve my photos. I also NEVER bother to edit my photos, so I’ll probably give that a whirl too!

Making myself known

I used to love getting involved in blogger chats on Twitter, but for some reason recently I just haven’t been participating in any. The blogging community is so amazing and so important to me and I know I need to be making more of an effort to be part of it: reading and following more blogs, commenting and sharing posts that I love and chatting with more of the lovely bloggers out there!

The blog turns 3 on the 25th, so stay tuned for more!

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Putting a Positive Spin on Things

Positivity and happiness

I’ll be the first to admit that 9/10 times I’ll jump to the worst case scenario for any given situation faster than a rocket powered penguin. Yes, I stole that from the British Gas advert; I just love penguins. I digress.

To be honest, it’s just something I’m really good at. I like to think of it as preparation. I mean, if these ridiculous situations ever do come about then at least I thought about it ahead of time right? Ok, I might not have sorted a solution just yet, but in terms of the element of surprise, the ball is totally in my court.

^^ see what I did there? For a split second, I just convinced you (or at least I’m hoping so) that a quality of mine that the majority of people would consider to be a negative, or a flaw, if you will, was actually a strength. You see, I’m really good at that too.

I fall somewhere into the centre of a Venn diagram that has optimist, pessimist and realist circles, and while I think that that could be conceived as incredibly strange, I believe that to be totally normal. (Side note: I’m far from normal, and that’s ok). I guess whether the glass is full or empty, or any variation of the two, if I’m thirsty there are also plastic cups, bottles, mugs or just sticking my head under the tap if I really have to. I think what I’m trying to say is that I can always find solutions, or I can spin things in a way that will make me feel better if I can’t. And who doesn’t love spinning?

I’ve been thinking about a few of these situations recently; the ones that I’m yet to have a definitive solution for, and as I very much doubt I’m alone in some of these, I thought I’d share them. Here’s hoping they help someone!

I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.

Yep, I’m going straight in with the big’un. I am 22, and this hits home more than ever having just hit my 4th anniversary at the retail job that was meant to be a part-time sixth form/gap year job. The fact is for me, it’s got nothing to do with lack of direction; I frequently pull the line ‘oh I’m just trying to work things out, I’ve got plenty of time’. It works a treat when my parents friends or former teachers ask me what I’m up to now, but the truth is its a load of codswallop (I got the spelling of that right on the first attempt, woop!). There are a tonne of things I could do with my life, and better yet there are a few that stand out as things I would love to do with my life, and where I’m struggling is committing to just one. How on earth is that a bad thing?

Being single.

Ok, so this one isn’t true for me anymore, but trust me when I say I’ve done my time in this situation. For starters, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single, and the 1+year between my previous relationship and my current one was the time when I truly discovered this. More than that, I discovered myself. I travelled, I made new friends, I became a stronger, more independent person, and none of these traits are going away now I’m in a relationship again. And as well as discovering more about myself, I discovered more about what I actually wanted from a relationship; instead of becoming that needy single girl who jumps at any chance, I actually took the time to think about dealmakers and breakers, and that too has shaped me.
Bonus point on this: why was I single? Because I was waiting for Mr Right to come up and smack me in the face. Fact is, sometimes you do need to go and put yourself out there; hit a few bars, download Tinder, whatever you want, just stop waiting around if you want to change your situation.

I still live at home.

And what? I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that I love living at home. Yes I’d love to move out one day, and yes sometimes I wish that day was sooner than others, but my living situation is far from awful; I’d much rather be at home than in some god awful house share with people I have to leave passive aggressive notes for and end up living in my room because I can’t deal with awkward interaction. You know how most people have group chats with their housemates? Well so do I, they just happen to consist of my parents and sister, and I can tell you for a fact they contain just as many emojis as everyone else’s thank you very much.

How do you feel about things now? Better, I hope!

PS. I’m aware that I tend to ramble a lot in these sorts of posts. Truthfully speaking, my brain just whirrs away and my fingers tap to follow it and there’s not a whole lot of filtering going on. I think it best reflects me as a person, but I’d really love a bit of feedback on it if you want to drop me a comment!
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I Quit My Job

Yep, the title gives the game away a little..

If you keep up with my Twitter, firstly bless you, I’m a real rambler and mainly tweet absolute rubbish, but more importantly, you’ll have seen that I not only had a very exciting job interview last week, but I’ve been invited back for a second interview/initial training this coming week, eeek!

You’re probably trying to put two and two together right now and getting three. I don’t know if I’ve got the job yet, but I’ve still handed in my 2 week notice at work; you’re thinking this is a silly move, right?¬†Well yes, its risky, but the reason for handing in my notice was two-fold.

For starters, I need to be able to start training for my new job next week, so in order to serve a 2 week notice, I had to hand it in when I did, but the major factor was this: I wasn’t happy, and haven’t been for a little while now.

This is a job that I’ve been at for four years now. It was meant to be a temporary income-bringer while I figured out the next phase of my life, but I got comfortable, and if I’m being totally frank, I was good at my job and I liked that. I developed and progressed through the ranks of staff, and while I loved a little moan here and a funny annoying customer story there, I was, on the whole pretty ok with where I was.

Like all people, I’ve been through ‘I hate my job’ periods, but in recent months that’s been my constant feeling for many reasons, and I’m not going to get into all of them, but with the possibility of the new job looming, I decided to take the plunge and call it a day. It may seem naive, but even if I’m not successful at my second interview this week, I still feel like I’ve made the right decision; I struggle a lot with change and periods of uncertainty, so it wasn’t easy and it was a big step for me.

So yeah.. I’m really nervous about my interview this week, but also super excited about the possibility of getting the job as I think it will be so much fun, and if I don’t then I think it was still a good thing for me to get out of my current job and I’ll have to work out my next move!

Has anyone else been in a situation like this? I’d love some positive words!

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Happy Birthday Me!

It’s my birthday! (Yes, I know its also the day from that Mean Girls quote)

Birthday cake

Now I’m not sure if I’m feeling like Taylor Swift just yet, but I definitely am 22, despite my birthday celebrations beginning yesterday with a family dinner and a healthy-sized chunk of this incredible Banoffee and Nutella cake, made by yours truly, please feel free to drool over your screen..

Birthday Boomf

I also decided (or was pushed) to open a few of my birthday presents from the boyfriend a day early, because technically it was already my birthday in New Zealand.. I got my main birthday presents while I was out there last month, but I still got an adorable little parcel of goodies from Boomf, yay!

As for today though, I started with breakfast in bed – although I had to get out of bed to make it – which was chocolate chip brioche and Nutella, and is it really your birthday if you don’t eat cake for breakfast?

birthday breakfast in bed

boomf cake

With my family at work, I spent my morning FaceTiming New Zealand in bed; I’ve got a stinker of a cold coming on so I wrapped myself up in my new cosy jumper from French Connection and ordered Wagamamas for lunch thanks to Deliveroo!


Wagamamas deliveroo

I’ve been spoilt rotten by my family, with the absolute greatest surprise being what will no doubt be my birthday and Christmas present for the rest of my life: the Lego Disney Cinderella Castle!

Birthday presents 2016

Also a huge thank you to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday on social media, and especially to those that gave me the amazing present of 150 followers on Bloglovin and 1000 followers on Instagram, both of which I hit yesterday! Big love to you all ‚̧

Here’s to another year!

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Three Months of Long Distance

Full story here

Hobbiton selfie

Each time I write one of these posts, I’m a little amazed that a whole month has past since the last, and that’s kinda cool. This month has obviously been a little different from the previous two; its been the best and the worst.

When I say the best, I am, of course, talking about my trip to New Zealand. It was a whole week of being together – the most amount of time we’ve ever been together – and it was perfect. We¬†spent the first few days in Auckland, where we visited the zoo and sealife centre,¬†ate an amazing curry and had a great night out at this little comedy club, before driving down to Rotorua, which was unfortunately where my jet lag really kicked in, so we ended up spending a lot of time watching tv in bed while I napped! We did get to do the luge though, which was a lot of fun and we got to see some stunning views of the area.

After Rotorua, we drove to Hamilton via a jet-boating experience in Taupo, and I finally got to see where Matthew is living and working which was pretty cool. He had to fly one day, which meant I got to have a lazy day of writing, reading magazines in bed and watching funny daytime TV, but we had the evening together so we went to watch Secret Life of Pets and had a Nandos – NB: New Zealand Nandos is not as good as UK Nandos! Monday was Hobbiton day, which was really awesome and I’ll be doing a separate post on that soon, and then Tuesday we headed back to Auckland for a penguin experience at the sealife centre (AMAZING), then spent the day walking around the docks and finished up at the Sky Tower to watch the sunset before driving to the airport. I won’t go into the details of that, but it wasn’t easy to say goodbye.

Since getting home, we’ve had to get back into our previous routine, which has honestly been harder to adjust to than the first time. With weather issues slightly hindering his training, its going to be a little longer until Matt is home, and that’s been difficult for me to get my head around, but I can’t change that so instead I just have to keep looking forward.

From the other side of the world, training for Matthew is really ramping up as he prepares for his first progress test; he’s moving on from the basics to more complex flights, introducing more techniques and more detailed planning, and despite weather recently, NZ is heading into Spring/Summer, so it will be better soon, and the more flights he completes, the closer he is to coming home.

Here’s to the next month flying by!*

*All puns intended.

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