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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When I Grow Up..

Next week I’ll be turning 23. I’ll be another year older, and maybe wiser, but I’m still just as unsure about the rest of my life as I’ll ever be.

Remember when you were little, and you were so sure what you’d be when you grew up? Sure, you’d probably change your mind every couple of years, but at the time it seemed like anything was possible, and you’d probably be excelling in your field by the time you were 25. Childhood innocence meant you weren’t thinking about what degree you’d need to get, or how you’d pay off astronomical student loans, and your main concern when it came to housing was whether your house would have a bouncy castle room or a room made of chocolate. You were free to dream.

Over the years, I’ve wanted to do and be a number of things, and as another birthday approaches, I’ve been reminiscing a little..

‘I want to be a vet’

This was the first job I remember wanting. I was animal obsessed as a kid (some things never change) and to me being a vet meant playing with animals every day. Apparently I specifically wanted to be a vet for cute animals such as cats, dogs and hamsters, and refused to work with snakes or anything else that I deemed yucky or not cute.

I can’t remember at what stage I stopped wanting to be a vet, but I think it came along with the realisation that its not all playing with cute fluffy animals, and that I’d probably be traumatised the first time I was faced with having to put someone else’s pet down.

‘I want to be a fashion designer’

I think I was around about 9-10 when I started drawing clothes. I’d always loved being crafty and attempting to ‘customise’ stuff, and I got a sketchbook and started to create my first ‘portfolio’. This wasn’t a career I was overly vocal about, and I think the only person that I actually told this to was my sister, who I seem to recall told me it was stupid.

While the ambition faded fairly quickly, my love for designing and creating apparel never did, and today I’m selling my creations on Etsy, not to mention frequently wearing them myself.

‘I want to be in a girl band’

Toward the end of my primary school days, me and my two best friends at the time formed a band. I created the music on some PC software I had on my computer, and we’d sing along over and over and dream about performing in front of audiences.

The band probably lasted all of a few sleepovers, but I continued to write songs and perform until I was about 15-16, but I knew nothing would ever come of it. My confidence was knocked by some goings on in my personal life, and now I save my singing for solo car journeys and being home alone.

‘I want to be a photographer’

I’m fairly certain this one fizzled out as quickly as it came on, but I have always loved taking photos. I remember creating a website and some crappy little business cards, but at the time the only photos I ever took were probably on my dad’s little digital camera.

Photography is still a huge part of my life. Its a huge part of my blog and its something that I genuinely love doing, so while I won’t be making any big bucks out of it, me and my camera are always going to be firm friends.

‘I want to be a forensic scientist’

This was probably my most serious career aspiration. Inspired by my love of detective type TV shoes and my love of chemistry at school, I had really thought that this was going to be my career.

It stuck with me through my GCSEs, but during my first year of A-Levels I was starting to discover that university wasn’t the only path I could take after sixth form, and I was itching to be out of education and in the real world, and forensics just became another pipe dream that I was now over.

As for where I really am today, I’m just coming up to a year of being in my first proper salaried job, albeit still in customer service. I don’t love my job, but there’s a lot of change coming up in my life and I know that my time will come.

One day.

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8 People You Need to Befriend in your Office

Its now almost been a year since I traded in my soul-crushing retail job for my first taste of office life. Time flies, huh?

I’ve learned a lot about office life this year, but I think everyone knows that a key part in any job is finding how to survive the daily grind with as little stress and with the minimal effort required, and I’ve discovered that there are certain people in every office that are worth keeping on the good side of to help with this.

The smoker

You don’t have to smoke to appreciate the perks of being friends with a smoker. These are the people who normally have a good supply of chewing gum, mints and perfume, should you be in need, and are also equipped with a lighter for that inevitable moment when no-one’s thought about how they were going to light the candles on yet another office birthday cake.

The grazer

You know how there’s always that person that seems to be munching on something whatever time you look at them? Yep, that’s the grazer, and they’re gonna be your saviour on the days you’ve skipped breakfast. (I am definitely a grazer – I have a whole drawer in my desk dedicated to snacks and you can hit me up any time for some Belvita, rice cakes, nuts or hot chocolate powder!)

The scary senior

In my experience, in any workplace there’s one supervisor/manager who most people will tread very lightly around for fear of any upset. Now I’m not saying to be a total suck-up, but earning brownie points and being on the good side of this person can put you in a very good position should you ever need their help or a favour!

The tea addict

Know of someone who can’t go more than about half an hour with an empty mug? They’re back and forth from the kitchen doing tea/coffee runs all day, and generally they’re more than happy to fill up an extra cup if they’re going that way..

The part-timer

There’s nothing worse than trying to find someone to cover a shift that you can’t book off, especially because chances are everyone else in the office is probably already working the same day. Enter the part-timer – their reduced, and therefore more flexible hours means they tend to be happy with swapping as chances are it’ll benefit them too.

The know-it-all

For the times you’re stuck in a certain situation and aren’t entirely sure how to proceed, its handy to be fairly tight with that one person who seems to know every procedure and practice inside out and back to front to help you with the next step.

The great debater

Is there someone in your office who loves the opportunity to jump in on a debate, or just has to get there side across in an argument? Well it might be annoying as hell sometimes, but in other situations they can be particularly handy. There’s a guy on my team who’s like this, and if I ever have to call back an unhappy customer and don’t particularly fancy it, he’s normally more than happy to take it over.

The optimist

There is nothing worse on a bad day at work than being surrounded by people who are just constantly negative. Whether you’re in a bad mood yourself or not, its draining and it sucks for general morale. Find the sunny people and stick with them!

What gets you through the day?

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August Achievements

Do not ask me where August has gone because I genuinely have no idea, but I thought rather than wrapping up the month with my usual ‘favourites’ post, I’d go for something a little different and finish the month in a more positive way by talking about some of the things I have achieved this month!

Blog blog blogging

Over the last few months, my blog has taken a little bit of a hit as a result of other commitments, but I really feel like I’ve gotten back into the swing of things and I’m super happy that my stats are reflecting that too! I was absolutely blown away with the response to ‘A Bloody Shame‘, which is definitely the most controversial and personal post I think I’ve ever written, but the number of people who agreed with the points raised in the post just proved to me that putting myself out there and sharing my experience was absolutely worth it.

Work work working

Over the last few months I have put in so much overtime at work, and I’ve finally completed all my pledged hours – yay! While I’ve probably done nothing but moan about it while I was actually doing it, the money I’ve made from giving up days off and weekends has meant I’ve been able to pay of my Walt Disney World trip in November and finally have enough money to book the flights, so definitely worth it!

What I’ve made

I’ve been busy at the sewing machine getting outfits ready for upcoming Disney trips, and this month I’ve made the cutest coral polka dot skater skirt, which will feature in one of my Disney Cruise Disneybounds, as well as accessorising some items with my new patch designs which you can buy on my Etsy!

Bikini body confidence

Despite saying that I wasn’t going to buy any more swimwear this year, I slipped while on Asos and bought two bikinis, and not only do I love them, I actually like the way I look in them. It may take a little push to wear them in public, but baby steps, right? Plus, I stepped out of my comfort zone last week and actually posted a photo of myself in a swimsuit on Twitter!

Milestones

This month I finally cracked the 1.7K follower mark on Instagram – yippee! While I doubt I’ll be hitting my goal for the year, just hitting the next milestone seems like such a mission on Insta at the moment so I’m pretty happy. I also pipped the 2.4K on Twitter and 750 on Bloglovin, and am now creeping up to 800!

What have you been up to in August?

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Things That Happen When You Start to Think About Moving Out

So I’ve hinted a lot recently about big changes coming up in my life, and undeniably the biggest of these changes is that very soon I will be flying the nest, and Matthew and I will be moving in together.

While this might not seem like a big deal to some, it will be the first time I’ve ever left home; I didn’t go to university, and places in my town are so expensive even to rent that I was much happier living at home and saving up for when this time came. With that in mind, now we are in the process of not only trying to find our own place, but also brace for all the adult stuff that comes along with it – mortgages, show home visits and what not – a few more things start to happen..

You sign up for an Ikea Family card, and any other loyalty schemes you can find

The B&Q Club, Tesco Clubcards, you name it – anything that could either get you some money off or earn a few reward points suddenly seems like the best idea in the world.

Pinterest boards appear

Rather than spending evenings scrolling for holiday destinations or beauty tips, suddenly its all about decor, furniture and kitchens, plus any home DIY pins you think you’ll actually be able to accomplish successfully.

You start to evaluate your DIY skills

Suddenly thoughts like ‘how do you even put up a shelf?’ and ‘can I be trusted with power tools?’ pop into your head at random times and you fear that everything might just have to be held together by duck tape..

Important discussions occur

If you’ve never permanently lived with your soon-to-be new housemate, you’ll end up having long conversations about whether you’ll be a ‘shoes off at the door’ kinda house, or if you keep ketchup in the fridge or in the cupboard.

You start to panic over hosting people

Having your own place means that inevitably people will visit from time to time, and in these times its always vital that tea and coffee is stocked and there’s milk in the fridge, and does this mean you should always have biscuits in too? Is it rude to not have biscuits?!

Cashback websites become everything

Now that you actually have to worry about your own bills, when weighing up which companies to go to for things like power, broadband and insurance, its all about who works out as the best deal when it comes to that all important cashback.

You realise how many things at home you take for granted

Sure, you’ve thought about what furniture you’re gonna need, and you’ve basically decided on your dream home’s decor in your head already, but did you think about the fact you’ll have to remember to buy an ironing board, a dustpan and brush, batteries and ziploc bags?

If you’ve recently moved out and have any tips, please drop me a comment!

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