Things I Am When I’m Not A Disney Fan

Because its what I talk about 90% of the time, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Disney is all I really care about. Truth is, though, there are actually a lot of other fandoms that I belong to, and while I might not always talk about them as much, many of them mean as much to me as Disney does.

I have loved Lord of the Rings since the first film came out. I was only 7 when the first movie came out (2001), so no, I hadn’t read all the books before seeing the films, but I have read them all now. The movies were a HUGE part of my childhood, and once we had them on DVD, me and my sister would watch them at least once a month, if not most weekends – all extended versions, for any other fans who care about these things. As well as the story itself, we became obsessed with all of the behind the scenes features on the DVDs (there are two discs worth for each film), which we’ve watched way more times than is probably considered normal.

The last Lord of the Rings film, Return of the King, was actually the first film I ever cried at. I was 9 years old at the time, and I wasn’t crying because the end of the film was sad, I was crying because I was sad that it was the last Lord of the Rings film, and there wouldn’t be any more movies; this was way before any of The Hobbit films had been announced.

I also LOVE musicals. Its probably the only thing that makes me wish I lived in London because I could quite easily go to a show every night. I saw a lot of musicals as a young kid because my parents have always been musical fans, but it wasn’t until I was about 11/12 that I really got into them. I’m super lucky to have seen a lot of musicals on West End, and even a handful on Broadway, and my all time favourite musical is Rent, with other favourites including Avenue Q (which is actually the musical I’ve seen the most times), Wicked and Spamalot. I’ve also seen a lot of the classics, like Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and I even saw Cats when I was very young.

And even though I’ve actually seen more musicals than I can even remember sometimes, I’ve still got a list as long as my arm of more shows that I would love to see, with the top of the list being Legally Blonde and Hamilton.

I’m also a Potterhead, I love building Lego and doing sudokus and I’m a sucker for a crime/detective show on TV (I’m patiently awaiting the return of Death in Paradise). Disney is a huge part of my life, but I am more than just a Disney fan.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Tackling Self Doubt

I think you’d have to be pretty damn confident to not ever suffer from just a smidgen of self doubt every now and then. Or this just might be how I, a severe lacker of confidence, feels about the matter. You tell me. Anyway..

Self doubt is that little voice in your head that pops up from time to time and tries to knock you down a peg or two (or a hundred) whenever you’re feeling good about yourself, or an aspect of your life; for me, the subjects that hit me hardest are related to my blog or my businesses. In fact, I’m so used to these little episodes now that at the same time as totally sucking, I know that they’re just a phase that will inevitably pass, but I’ve also started to develop my own little coping tactics for when that sinking feeling starts to take over.

Firstly, I vent

Self doubt is absolutely no good bottled up, so I tweet about it, or stick something on my Instagram story. It might look attention seeking to some, y’know, the whole ‘I feel like I’m rubbish at everything I do’ sorta thing, but I honestly am not fishing for any compliments when I do this, its just better out than in. Sometimes I don’t even vent publicly, and its a message to a friend, or a quick chat with someone, just to get it off my chest and out of my head, where otherwise I know it will fester into an endless pit of suckiness.

Then I take time out

Because a lot of my self doubt is about my small business, if I’m having a bit of a time of it, I step away, and its the same with my blog. Forcing something out doesn’t often lead to the best results, and sometimes stepping away gives you a chance to miss what you love, which motivates you to get back to it after a little bit of time. This doesn’t even have to be a vast amount of time; it can be as small as 10 minutes to go and get a drink or check your phone.

Next, I remind myself I am awesome

I don’t often compliment myself, but its always when I’m struck with self doubt that I find myself being nice to myself. Its a bit cliche but I give myself a proper pep talk and really hype myself up, but not to the point that I’m big headed, just enough to kick myself back into gear again and then I let my actions do the talking again.

And then I back it up with proof

Often, I need more than just the hype to really see my worth again, but I think that’s just because I’m a proof-liking person. So I pull up my Etsy sales, or my blog stats, or I look back at something to show how far I’ve come, and suddenly all the words I’ve been telling myself to make me feel better are actual truths, not just motivational rubbish.

Then, I can get back and smash it

I always like to come back fighting, so I get back to things with all guns blazing. Sometimes that means I have to fake a little bit of confidence, but as the old saying goes, you’ve gotta fake it ’til you make it, right?

And remember, just because you doubt yourself, doesn’t mean anyone else doubts you.

Self doubt is just that – yourself. These feelings can come and go and come back again over and over, but I bet through all this you’ve got your own little cheer squad who believe in you no matter what you think of yourself. These people will be your rock through these moments. Believe what they tell you.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

To My Former Best Friends

They say the average friendship has a lifespan of about 7 years, and while this seems like quite an upsetting figure, I’ve come to accept it.

What this fact doesn’t really seem to consider, however, is that just because a friendship ends, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing left behind. Some friendships end for the wrong reasons, leaving sadness or bitterness in their wake, while others just fade away, leaving happy memories and nostalgia, and I really think that no matter what causes a friendship to become a thing of the past, that person will have always played a really important part of your life, and there will never be any truly hard feelings left behind, especially when it comes to the best friends.

To my childhood best friend..

I don’t even remember how we became friends. We met at school and things must have just clicked. We did so many things together, both in and out of school, and we were inseparable. I felt us start to drift when you moved schools, and I didn’t get to see you every day. You made other friends, and even though we still saw each other most weeks, I just knew that these friends were a bigger part in your life than I was. It was ok. You were destined for popularity, and I just wasn’t, and when we made it back to sharing a classroom again in secondary school, I just decided to stop clinging on. We were still classmates until we were 16, but all the years of friendship seemed to be forgotten, or at least we made it seem that way.

I still think of all those years with happy memories. We made a girl band, we knew each others families, and for so many years we came as a pair. Nothing changes that, and I really just hope that you’re happy.

To my teenage best friend..

You were the first person that I thought would be in the running for my maid of honour whenever I got married. We met through mutual friends, and although we were part of a larger group, we gravitated towards each other and there was just no stopping us. We went through boy troubles together, so many school exams, first nights out and so much more. But we were two very different people, we always were. I always thought that was why we worked, but over time our differences took over. I think we both tried to stay friends after we finished sixth form, but when we only saw each other a handful of times in that first year, I think we both stopped trying.

I saw you the other day. In fact, I think we’re working in the same building, and I think you saw me too. I don’t know if you didn’t recognise me or just didn’t want to say anything, but either is ok. I have so much to thank you for, you were my rock for so many years and I have accepted that our friendship faded out. I think it was best for both of us, but I still think of you often, and honestly with you all the happiness in the world.

To my first ‘adult’ best friend..

I thought you were a little crazy when I first met you, but I quickly got past that, or at least I liked the crazy. We made quite the pair. Despite being adults, the friendship was very similar to my younger friendships – we dealt with the boy problems, work problems and everything else along the way. You cut my hair in return for baked goods, and taught me how important it is to fill in my eyebrows. I never minded that you started going out with my ex. It had been so long since we’d been a couple and you were much better suited for him anyway. But I warned you what he could be like, and every time you came crying to me about it, I couldn’t help but think I told you so, and then you’d just run back to him anyway.

I let you drift out of my life because it was easier for me. You stopped showing any real interest in my life, and only wanted to come to me with your problems, or to make a competition out of things. I don’t like the term toxic but I felt like you weren’t in it for me anymore and it was draining the fun out of it. You don’t need me anyway, you’re headstrong and independent and it makes you stronger than I think you realise sometimes.

We had so much fun, and I’m sad it had to come to an end but it did. You seem happier now anyway, and I hope that continues for you.

My best friends now are very different to the ones that have left my life. I feel like I’ve got it right now, and have friends in my life who are gonna make it past the 7 year mark. I am happy, and I hope that my old friends have found friends who make them feel the same way that I do now.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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?

Twitter / Bloglovin/ Instagram