Just Because

I can’t imagine that there’s anyone who hasn’t been told at least once in their life, and most likely by their mother, that ‘just because *this person* did that, doesn’t mean you have to. If they jumped of a cliff, would you follow?’ while you rolled your eyes because it really wasn’t a big deal.

These were always things that we wanted to do; places we wanted to go or styles we wanted to copy, not things that we felt obliged to do, but as you get older, everything suddenly becomes more about what you feel like you should be doing, rather than what you actually want to do. Sure, some of these things are things that we think we should be doing for good reasons, but then there’s also a good number of things that might not always be good for us, and these are the things that we should maybe give a miss, at least every now and then.

Just because other people stay late at work, it doesn’t mean you have to

When I started my new job, I thought that just because the guy who sat next to me came in an hour before me, and often stayed past when I left, it meant that I wasn’t doing my job well enough, and frankly that’s just not true. So long as I come into work, do the hours I’m contracted to do and complete all the work that needs to be done, that’s good enough. If others want to come in early, stay late or take on extra work, that’s on them, but I did enough of that in my previous jobs and now I like that I’m able to walk away when 5 o’clock hits and not have a care in the world.

Just because you’ve made plans, it doesn’t mean you can’t cancel them if you’re not feeling it

If you’re tired, having a bad mental health day or for whatever reason you don’t feel up to it, you shouldn’t feel bad about cancelling plans. People might not always understand it, but that doesn’t matter. Put yourself first.

But as well as the things you shouldn’t be doing just because you thin you should, there are also things that you can do even though you didn’t do what other people did..

Just because you didn’t go to university, it doesn’t mean you can’t get to the same place as someone who did

I’ve actually just started working with a girl I went to school with. She went to university, and got her job through a graduate scheme. I went straight into work after sixth form, and after gaining skills and working hard, I am just one level below her, and with another year of experience and study support through work, I could move up into the same position she works in with a university degree. Sometimes there’s more than one path.

Just because you haven’t got a huge following, it doesn’t mean you don’t a good following

You could have a million followers, but if one a few hundred actually bother to support you, then you might just be better off having a few hundred followers who cheer you on at every possible moment. I mean, the Instagram algorithm is screwing us all over anyway..

There are however many billion people in the world and every single one of us is unique, so just because one or two people make you stop and think you’re missing out on something or doing something wrong, do you think that’s right?

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Friday

It’s Friday guys, we made it! Last 5.30 alarm of the week, which was torture as I actually went to bed pretty late last night and I was super tempted to just reset it for 7am and skip the gym, but I knew how much I’d regret that if I did it, and as per usual as soon as I stepped out of the front door I found my motivation.

I was really feeling the effects of a good week of solid workouts, so I kept it relatively easy at the gym, hopping on a bike for a bit, then spending some time on the resistance machines and TRX and focused on chest and back. In a week I try and make sure I’ve hit every area at least once during my various gym sessions, and this week I definitely feel like I’ve done that.

This morning was a little grey so I decided to wear my new yellow jumper from Tu Clothing at Sainsbury’s, and I got a bunch of compliments on it during the day so I figured it was a hit! Work was a totally regular day, although at one point there was a very heated debate among my team about fried breakfasts – I don’t even know how it started but it got quite loud..

While I waited for Matthew to finish, which today was only half an hour after I did, I nipped to M&S and grabbed us a pizza to cook for dinner as we were in and out as quick as we could when we got home.

I’m coming to you from the drive up to visit Matthew’s mum who’s just moved into a new house in Middlewich, and because Matthew and I also have some business to attend to in the area (this is very exciting and I will tell all tomorrow!). The weather is absolute poo so the drive will probably be slow and we’ll arrive quite late, but the last time we saw the house it wasn’t completely finished so it’ll be nice to see how it is now – although it was only today that they moved in so it certainly won’t be in a completely normal state!

Hello weekend!

A Week in the Life of Lottie – Thursday

Happy Thursday gang! Now in theory, today should have started with another 5.30am alarm, but I was actually so tired last night that I forgot to set an alarm.. Luckily for me, I can be quite a restless sleeper, waking up quite a few times most nights, and it just so happened that I had a little wake-up moment and remembered that I hadn’t set an alarm, and this was actually at 5.37, so my day wasn’t actually affected!

This morning I had another session with Steph at the gym, but today’s session was a strength session – lots of heavy weights and pushing myself which I love because I’ve discovered just how strong I can really be when I put my mind to it. I was lucky that my legs weren’t as bad this morning as I thought they would be after last night’s run, so the squatting wasn’t complete torture!

Sassing up Thursday in my favourite pink ASOS trousers

After the usual walk home, shower, change malarkey, it was a pretty bog-standard day at work for me, although part of my brain was busy thinking about my San Francisco/Aulani trip which is now only six weeks away! I hadn’t packed a lunch, so I popped out to get some soup from the M&S Simply Food across the road from the office – butternut squash, for those who were wondering – and spent the rest of my lunch break in the little kitchenette area on my floor, which is where I normally spend my lunch, and today that meant scrolling Instagram and Pinterest!

After work I headed home and spent some time working on an Etsy order that I have for my famous* (*ok, its not so famous) Chip Disneybound skirt, and I did this with Wonder Woman on in the background, cos it is International Women’s Day after all! After an hour of working, I had to go and pick Matthew up, and we headed to B&Q to have a look at a few things, then went home and cooked a chilli for dinner, which is a favourite of ours because its quick and easy but also super flavourful and filling, and I made proper tortilla chips to go with it.

Thursday night I would normally be busy with the #disneybloggerschat, but unfortunately the shopping and cooking of dinner took a little longer than I thought so I missed out tonight, but there’s always another week!

Who’s ready for Friday?

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Proud Moments in February

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

Approaching a brand and getting a response

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

Launching the #HappiestFitbitClub

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

Getting out of my comfort zone with custom orders

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

Managing at least one meat free day every week

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

Defeating the negative thoughts

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

Insta-growing!

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

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

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Are We The Next Generation of ‘I Remember When..’?

Last Saturday I walked into the Apple Store in Southampton’s West Quay shopping centre to pick up my iPad Pro. Said iPad Pro had been ordered online the day before, and courtesy of a Black Friday deal I had been emailed an £80 gift card which I was going to use to buy an accompanying Apple Pencil.

Upon entering the store, I approached a staff member with an iPhone, who simply entered my order number and within minutes another staff member appeared from a back room with my iPad (pre-paid) and an Apple pencil. He scanned the barcode for my gift card straight from my email using his phone, and I paid the remainder by putting my card into a device attached to said phone. I entered my email address on the screen, my receipt was sent to that email address, and I was free to leave the store.

During my entire time in the store I did not have to go to a single desk. There was no collection point or checkout, no lines or waiting areas, but also no chaos, and I couldn’t help but think, is this the future of retail? Will shopping become as simple as walking up to someone with a handheld device and getting an email confirmation of payment before I’ve even walked away?

Naturally, my brain went to all sorts of extremes, and I started to think about all the other things that have changed in my relatively short lifetime. As a young child I had cassette tapes and experienced the struggle of going to watch a movie only to find that no one had re-wound it back to the start after the last time it was watched. Now, I have DVDs and Blurays that I’ll often ignore if I can watch the same movie on Netflix.

We spend our childhoods listening to our parents and grandparents telling us to be grateful for x, y and z because they didn’t have that back in their day, yet already we’re saying the same thing to those who are as little as 5-10 years our junior.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s always going to be things that don’t translate across age groups. There will always be TV shows that only aired for a few years, or crazes and fashions that died out as quickly as they appeared, but think of the enormous lifestyle changes that technology has brought us – I’m talking going from brick-phones to flip-phones to smart-phones, from the days where you could probably only pay by cash or cheque to now not even having to carry your purse because you’ve got ApplePay..

Things are moving so quickly that I can’t even fathom how things will work in even just another 10 years time. Will we even have to consciously pay for things or will technology become so advanced that you can just pick something up from a shelf and walk out and be charged automatically? We’re moving so far past what we’ve known so far, I don’t think we can even try to predict the future anymore..

Sorry for the ramble but does anyone else ever think about these things?

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Can We Please Stop Making Our Pleasures ‘Guilty’?

This is something that I see on a near daily basis. ‘Listening to X is my biggest guilty pleasure!’, ‘I have an unhealthy obsession with X!’; we are constantly putting down the things we love. This is the official definition from Google:

‘guilty pleasure (noun)

something, such as a film, television programme, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.’

Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t actually see anything in that definition that implies we should feel in the slightest bit bad about what we like. Sure, what we like might not be commonly appreciated, but that doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t like it anyway.

So why do we call them guilty pleasures? Do we really feel bad about liking them? We certainly don’t seem to be too embarrassed by them if we’re tweeting about them or putting them our online profiles, so why not just own the fact that its something you like?

Its far from a secret that I love Disney, right? Well that’s because I talk about it all the time. I love talking about it, I even take pride in it, so when I see people claiming that Disney is their ‘biggest guilty pleasure’, I can’t help but take a little offence in the fact that they think its something that they should be embarrassed by or feel guilty about. I’ve talked before about referring to certain food as ‘guilty’ or ‘cheat food’, and personally I don’t think its any different when talking about other aspects of life. We’re imposing our own negative connotations, rather than just enjoying life.

If you love listening to Spice Girls, good for you! Like to put ketchup on pancakes? Ok! Just be confident in who you are and what you like.

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Things I’ve Done Since 22

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to meeeeee, happy birthday to me!

I’m not really one for celebrating my own birthday too much; I actually share my birthday with my youngest cousin who’ll be 9 today, and I’m more about making sure she has a great birthday than caring about mine. For me a birthday just means another year older, and another year to fill with adventures and achievements, and this last year has been pretty great. Shall we reflect?

  • I quit retail – after 4 years in the same job, last year I finally said goodbye to my B&Q orange apron and traded it in for an office job, hello change!
  • I’ve been on bunch of incredible holidays with my favourite people – Walt Disney World, Disneyland, a Disney Cruise and Disneyland Paris, plus some mini adventures in between
  • I went on my first solo venture to Disneyland Paris – while I did see some friends while I was out there, my DLP trip back in January was the first time I’ve fully done DLP by myself and I had such a lovely time.
  • I got to work with the Disney Store – I know it was months ago now and I keep going on about it, but it was an absolute dream blog collaboration for me and I had the best time doing it!
  • Another 3 half marathons – that’s another 39.3 miles, not to three 10Ks and any training runs in between
  • I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin – my body confidence has been up and down for as long as I can remember, but I’m finally accepting and learning to like how I look, and I have even been confident enough to post photos on social media of me in a bikini on holiday which is something I never would have done a year ago.
  • I launched yet another small business – after umming and ahhing for ages, I finally opened LottieBounds, where I sell my Disney inspired creations and I’ve been so happy with it!
  • Our first anniversary – not only did I reach my first one year anniversary ever, but I did it with the most perfect guy
  • Matthew moved in – sure, we haven’t got to the stage of moving out just yet, but we’re finally living together and we have our own little space to be together in after so much time apart

A few of these may seem small to some, but for me they are the defining moments of the last year, and I’m excited to see what I’ll do before I’m 24..

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