A Week in the Life of Lottie – Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Time Is Money

Its an age-old saying. Sure, its got some pretty cliche connotations now, but cheese aside its 100% true. I mean, would you sit 9-5 in an office if you weren’t getting paid for it? You probably wouldn’t, right?

Well, its the same for small businesses. You see, creatives don’t like working all day and not getting paid for it – the only difference is, we’re doing something that’s maybe a little less traditional. Graphic designers, hand-makers of all different and wonderful things, cake decorators, bloggers – you name it, there are people trying to make money from all kinds of ventures, but the one thing they have in common is that time goes into everything. Hell, I’d love to know of a way of making money that doesn’t take a second of my time.

I LOVE my Etsy store. I love designing and making things and I love the fact that there are people out there that are actually prepared to buy the things I make. I say ‘prepared to buy’ for a very particular reason. You see, day in, day out, I get messages from people asking me about custom designs, or they’ve seen me wearing something on Instagram and want to know how much it would cost to order it from me, and you’d think that I would love getting these messages, right? Sure, I get a little buzz from someone loving my stuff, but I just know that that is the last message I’ll receive from them, because as soon as I let them know the price, they’re gone.

You know, 9 times out of 10, I actually respond to these messages with a price that is lower than I should charge, just on the off-chance that they might go for it. Spoiler alert, they rarely do, even though I’ve already dropped the price. Why do I do it? Well because while its not the best business sense, I hate asking people for money. Worse than that, business sense-wise, it leads me to under-value my time – I mean, there is a skirt for sale on my Etsy store right now where the fabric itself actually costs me more than the price I have the skirt for sale at! I make a loss on that straight away, and then I spend 1-2 hours making said skirt from said fabric.

I blame what I refer to as ‘Primark prices’, even though its the high street in general. You can buy a dress in New Look for £10, so when you see a skirt on Etsy for £30 you feel like its priced a little steep, right? Well ignoring whatever the fabric costs the maker, when you combine the amount of time it takes to design the skirt, cut the fabric, sew it all together, hem it, fit a zip/button/elastic/whatever, you’re maybe looking at a couple of hours of work. So lets put some random numbers to that – say supplies cost £10 and designing and making took 2 hours – and you don’t want to pay more than £20 for it cos ‘that’s what you’d pay on the high street’, well that’s your non-direct way of saying that you think its ok for that maker to get paid circa £5/hour. That sound like a decent wage to you?

You see, I don’t think it does, yet I’ve been under-pricing my creations so as not to seem too steep. Well, I’m done with that. If people don’t want to value my time, then that’s fine, but I’m going to. My time is worth money, and so is everyone else’s.

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My Top 8 Most Underrated WDW Dining Locations

Cheeseburger Bao Bun from Satu’li Canteen

When it comes to planning a trip to the most magical place on earth, choosing where to eat is a big decision, and one that has to be made quite far in advance if you want to snag all the right places.

I love planning for advanced dining reservations (ADRs), and I’m always on the hunt for somewhere new and different to try; I like to believe that one day I’ll have eaten in every restaurant on Disney property, but I’ll always end up going back to my favourite spots, plus I doubt I’ll ever keep up with the expansion and addition of new eateries, but I can dream, hey?

And you don’t even need to be a total Disney buff to know of some of the most talked about dining locations of WDW; places like Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table are so iconic that I defy anyone who wouldn’t want to take a trip to these magical places. But are they the best?

These are some of my favourite lesser-known dining options that you may want to visit on your next trip:

Table Service

Grand Floridian Cafe – over 1900 Park Fare

I must admit, when I used to think of a good place to eat in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, my mind always used to jump to 1900 Park Fare. I’ve never eaten there before myself, but I see lots of people going there all the time, although I have heard some mixed reviews. Instead, I’ve always opted for GFC, and I’ve had both breakfast and dinner there, both of which have blown me away.

Sure, you don’t have the character element that 1900 Park Fare gives, but the menu is absolutely flawless in my opinion, and if you’re not on the dining plan, its actually one of the most reasonably priced table service meals I’ve ever seen – our dinner there should have cost around $65 plus gratuity for the two of us (main and dessert), and when I had breakfast there it would have been only $41 for two of us.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ – over Hoop de Doo Revue

Again, I’ve never actually done Hoop de Doo, but having had the BEST time at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, I’m in no rush to switch. Both cost the same both in cash and dining credits, both are unlimited buffets which included beer and wine for over 21s, and both have musical entertainment but Mickey’s Backyard has the added bonus of character meets and the opportunity to get up and get involved in the dancing with Mickey and the gang, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a night of more fun on Disney property. I’ve got a full review here.

Skipper Canteen

I was actually really surprised by the lunch we had here back in November – I had booked it because I wanted to try somewhere new, and then when we looked at the menu both Matthew and I felt a little meh about the offerings, but when the food actually arrived it was amazing! Yes, its a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant so there’s puns flying everywhere, but its also got a real Joe Rohde vibe to the place and the cast members were all really lovey, plus it was pretty quiet when we went!

Tusker House

I feel like I rarely hear people talking about restaurants in Animal Kingdom, so this may not be as underrated as I think it is, but absolutely rate this place. Now I haven’t been since 2014, so there may have been some changes but my whole family were blown away by the food, which not only catered for my picky-eating cousins (who at the time went as young as 5) but also for the adventurous adults in the group. Its a buffet – bonus – and although we had no idea when we booked it, its also a character meal!

Quick Service

Flame Tree Barbecue

If you ever need to make your dining credits go further, or need good value for money on your meals while in Animal Kingdom, this is the place you need to go – one meal could easily feed 2-3 people with the portion sizes you get! Also, if you want a decent view of Rivers of Light without queuing or paying for the dinner packages, grab your food from here early on and head down to the seating area on the edge of the water. Sure, you’re a little further away from the main seats, but you still get a great view!

Satu’li Canteen

This may not be underrated exactly, but if you’ve heard that its good, then that’s wrong because its AMAZING. Hands down, this is probably the best quick service meal I have ever had.

Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes

Last Animal Kingdom place, I promise! If you’re a fan of the table service restaurant, but maybe you aren’t on the dining plan, I’m gonna share a secret with you: the honey chicken that you get in the restaurant for $18.99 is identical to the quick service alternative at $10.99, its just in a plastic container rather than served on a proper plate. This is also a good place to grab breakfast if you’ve run to Expedition Everest at park opening rather than joining the 3 hour queue for Flights of Passage..

Pinocchio Village Haus

Now this may be out of date as I’ve heard rumours that PVH is changing/has changed its offering, but this was always one of my favourite places to grab lunch when in Magic Kingdom. The flatbreads make a wonderful alternative to the normal doughy pizza bases you get in most quick service places and there’s always a tonne of seating available, plus I like waving to the Its a Small World boats as they pass below the window!

What restaurants do you think don’t get enough attention?

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Proud Moments in February

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

Approaching a brand and getting a response

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

Launching the #HappiestFitbitClub

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

Getting out of my comfort zone with custom orders

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

Managing at least one meat free day every week

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

Defeating the negative thoughts

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


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

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

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Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine

I swear every year I say I want to do more outfit posts, and then either I don’t have someone to take the photos, or I’m not feeling confident enough to do it, or whatever excuse I tell myself at the time, and then my good intentions go downhill a little and I get to the end of the year realising that I’ve done only maybe 2 and I end up wishing things had been different, then the cycle repeats..

Confidence has been a big thing for me lately. I seem to either have an abundance of it, or none at all, and it can go from one to the other in half a second with no real reason. This shoot, for example, took two attempts; Matthew and I had wandered over to Barton Square from the main part of the Trafford Centre, when I decided that this was going to be the perfect location to shoot the outfit I was wearing, but for some reason as soon as it came to standing in front of the pretty stone pillars and posing for the camera, I just couldn’t do it. I blamed the sun, saying that the lighting just wasn’t right, and there were quite a few people around and as I always do when this sort of thing happened, I talked myself out of it and walked away disappointed.

Matthew, on the other hand, is becoming quite used to me having these little wobbles, and suggested that we came back in the morning when it was nice and quiet, and bright, and although I hate admitting these things, he was right. Although it was VERY cold (I mean, it was 2C and I stripped down to a t-shirt for some photos), when we went back the next morning I was in the right mood, and felt totally comfortable posing in my entirely Mickey themed outfit despite early shoppers appearing behind me every now and then!

So pretty much this entire outfit is H&M, with the exception of my well-loved Converses, trusty coat (Pretty Little Thing but years ago) and the adorable Alex and Ani Mickey bangle from Walt Disney World. The beanie I actually picked up a few years ago now but I keep seeing it pop back up in stores and I’m pretty sure its around the £7.99 mark price-wise! The t-shirt was one I saw several people on Twitter and Instagram share, and I knew straight away I had to have it – I don’t think you can tell from the photos but the rainbow part is actually glittery too! – its a size S, but has quite a lot of room in it so if you prefer a tighter fit then you may want to size down from what you would normally go for. The jeans are a different story.. These are the jeans that I’ve been ranting about both on Twitter and in Saturday’s blog post – having ordered a size 12 originally (a size larger than I am), I went to exchange them in store and could actually only fit into a size 16 (well, I could just manage the 14 but only if I had no plans to eat or breathe whilst wearing them), so if you do fall in love with them like I did, I suggest going to try them on in a store, and just prepare yourself for not fitting into your usual size, and maybe not even the next size up. They are, however, my first pair of mom jeans, and I do love feeling a bit 90s in them!

Oh, and the hoodie is from the kids section, I’m wearing a 14+ years but its still got plenty of room in it!

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Let’s Talk About High Street Sizes

So yesterday I was super excited when I got notification to say my H&M parcel had been delivered. Well no, that’s not exactly true because the email came from Hermes and I knew that there was a strong possibility that my parcel would be closer to the moon than my letter box, but that’s not what this is about.

I had ordered three items from H&M: a ladies t-shirt, size ‘S’, a pair of mom jeans, size 12 – because I’m a 10-12 and I figured I’d size up because jeans can be notoriously tricky to get right – and a hoodie from the kids section, aged ’14+’ – because I loved it, I’m quite petite so there was a possibility it would fit me, and I figured worst case scenario I’d just return it. Quite a mixed bag, right? Well, I figured I had a pretty good chance with everything fitting.

The first thing I thought I should try on was the kids hoodie, and I was super pumped to find that it fit me perfectly, yay! From the photo on the website, it was supposed to be a loose-fit style for kids, and it was a little more fitted on me, but it definitely didn’t look like I’d squeezed myself into a kids shirt. Win. I had no worries about the t-shirt fitting, but if anything it was a little looser than I expected, and then there were the jeans..

Remember how I said that I sized up? From the moment I stepped into them, I just knew that they weren’t going to fit. Despite being ‘mom jeans’, they just barely made it over my thighs, and there was absolutely no chance of them doing up. So tell me, why can I fit into a kids size item, and then not an adult size from the same store?

But this isn’t just about me complaining about my H&M order, this is about what high street stores are doing to girls and women every day. The industry is typically infamous for producing unrealistic body expectations with the use of tiny models, photoshop and various other things that make the average woman feel like a slug, but even if you take away all of these things, you’re still left with something that can be potentially so harmful, and that is the massive discrepancy between the supposed same sizes, not just between different brands, but even within the same store.

Let me put it this way: I bought those jeans a size bigger than what I am, and the size bigger than what I am did not fit me. Some of the thoughts that instantly go through my head are ‘oh my gosh, is it me?’, ‘have I gained weight without noticing?’, ‘could I actually be 2 or even 3 sizes bigger than I think I am?’. After this flood of negative thoughts about my own body, I talk myself down and remember that H&M is particularly infamous for big sizing issues, but before I could get to that explanation, I spent a few minutes feeling like absolute crap.

One time, I bought two pairs of skinny jeans from New Look – both size 10. One pair was a good fit, although actually a little looser in some places. I still have those jeans to this day. The other pair wouldn’t even go up my calf. My arm barely fit into them. Same number on the label, same shop, two completely different actual sizes.

I mean, I get that it might be completely possible to have a totally unified system, for whatever stupid reason the stores always give when challenged on this, but its not the fact that I can vary from a size 8-14 depending on where I’m shopping – I can live with that – its what this does to my confidence. Even Asos now has a ‘size recommendation’ feature, which is designed to give you a better idea of what you should order based on your personal details and previous purchases, and when I first saw it, I thought ‘hey, what a great idea!’ Well, that was until one time I saw something that I liked, selected my size, and the little message popped up saying, and I paraphrase, ‘um, you’re probably not gonna fit into that, why don’t you get the next size up?’ – yes I exaggerated what was actually said, but it actually made me feel so bad about myself that I just stopped shopping and closed the window.

In case I haven’t made my point clear enough – this is damaging. Brands can use all the curvy, un-edited models in the world, but if the size of their products doesn’t reflect some sort of consistency, girls and women everywhere are still going to be subject to the effects that the fashion industry has on body image.

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What I’ve Watched Lately

Since going back to a 9-5 job, rather than the 8-8 shifts I was working before, I’ve definitely found that I’ve had more time to enjoy some of the simpler things in life, like just spending an evening watching TV, taking advantage of my Odeon Limitless card, or binge watching things over a weekend; its been great.

Over the last few weeks especially, I feel like I’ve watched a lot of pretty great things, and so I figured I’d share some of them with you!



I know it was the third season this year, but up until now I had never seen any of the Channel 4 programme. Well, my parents started watching it and were hooked, so Matthew and I decided to give it a spin too – although Matthew had seen some of a previous series. Well, we also ended up pretty obsessed too. Not only did we catch up to my parents in the current series, but I also went back and watched the entire first season in a few sittings, and am now getting started on season 2 – its just so more-ish! I really thought that I wouldn’t get sucked into it but wow..

Death in Paradise

I love a good murder mystery, and despite having watched Death in Paradise on BBC since the show first started, they’ve just released the earlier series on Netflix, so now I’m going back and rewatching it from the start as well as waiting for each new episode on Thursday evenings. Its so unrealistic in terms of the number of murders occurring on a small Caribbean island, but also just so entertaining, and what’s great about re-watching it is I can’t remember who did it from the first time round!


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

If I didn’t have Odeon Limitless, this would not have been a film that I would have bothered paying for as I wasn’t massively interested in it at first, but I actually thought it was brilliant! The storyline was always going to be just a little far-fetched, but the cast were amazing – I mean, The Rock, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, it was never not going to be funny. If you’re on the fence, just watch it, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

The Circle

This is a Netflix original movie, and one that I have scrolled past time and time again while looking for things to watch, but Matthew actually bothered to read its little synopsis and so we decided to try it out because let’s face it, Tom Hanks is great in everything, right? Well its another one that really surprised me. From the first 15 minutes or so it doesn’t feel like its going to be much, but from then onwards I was pretty glued to the screen. For a fairly low budget film, its got a cracking cast, an interesting story and I was actually pretty upset when it was finished because I wanted more.

Black Panther

This movie was all the reviews had it cracked up to be and then some. I’m not going to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it yet but Marvel are gonna find it hard to beat. The casting, the costumes, the cinematography, the underlying message of the film, it was all completely spot on and I think it deserves every accolade coming its way.

Have you watched anything good lately?

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