10 Autumn/Winter Essentials Under £10

The weather has truly turned, so there’s now no denying that we are properly into the season of brown leaves and grey skies. Its time to hang up the summer dresses, put away the bikinis and accept that its starting to get dark before 6pm and you’ll need to bring your emergency umbrella everywhere with you.

Suddenly half of your wardrobe becomes obsolete, your skin starts going crazy and your starting to think about how much all the Christmas presents (yes I said it) you’ll need to buy in the coming months will cost you, so splashing out on all new stuff for yourself seems impossible, but I’ve got you covered with a few things that will help you survive the time without breaking the bank..

Colourblock jumper, £10, Primark

Pastel, woolly and cosy, check! Who said you have to stick to mustard and berry shades this autumn?

Full of Grace serum bar, £8.25, Lush

A lovely Lushie in my local store showed me this skincare wonder, which leaves skin feeling soft and smooth for days! Use as a standalone product, or apply it before using a face-mask to help the goodness soak in!

Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer, £6, NYX

There’s nothing worse than spending a few minutes walking through drizzle to discover that its destroyed your whole face. I have genuinely tested this under running water and saw no budge so yeah this badboy works!

Chelsea boots, £8, Primark

New boots can cost the earth, but these are crazy comfy and available in a bunch of different colours too!

Charity Pot 45g, £3.75, Lush

Cold weather can be so drying for your skin, and not only does this little pot fit nicely into a handbag or desk drawer, it also does wonderful things for some amazing causes. Psst! If you collect 5 black pots you can exchange them for a free fresh face mask!

Pink Peg Trousers with Bow, £22 £9, ASOS

I am obsessed with these trousers. I bought them on a whim and didn’t think they’d be my style but for £9 thought ‘why not?’, but I actually want to wear them all the time!

Smart Nail Lacquer in Melon, £2.50, KIKO

Because melon sounds so much nicer than mustard, and this nail paint is cruelty free and a total bargain!

Campfire Singalong 8oz candle jar, £7.50, Maple and Whisky

Fill your home with the smell of bonfires and toasted marshmallows, but I warn you, this candle will make you hungry!

Meteor Storm eyeshadow palette, £9.99, Barry M

I’ve had my eye on this palette for a little while now and I think when payday comes round this will have to be mine. Its got copper, its got berry tones and its full of shimmer!

A travel mug

Did you know that a lot of coffee places do discounts if you bring in your own travel mug? There are tonnes of cute ones out there these days too!

What are your essentials for this time of year?

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The Ordinary Haul and Review

The Ordinary, a brand by Deciem, has been taking the beauty world by storm, and having seen some big bloggers talking about these products, I decided it was time to see what the hype was about.

Being the most talked about products, I picked up both the Coverage and Serum foundations, as well as the fluid primer. I would normally never order foundation online without having tested the shades for myself first, but thanks to the very clear shade guide on the website, I pinned it down to two potential shades – 1.1 and 1.2 – and decided to order each foundation in both shades, given that its only £5.90 a bottle. Yes, you heard me.

As well as having the shades based on a number scale, I also loved the fact that each shade was then split into three tones: neutral, yellow and pink. My skin tends to be on the pinkier side, so I got the Serum formula in pink and the Coverage in neutral, and both actually work very well for me.

Coverage Foundation

Right from the offset, Coverage became my favourite of the two foundations. The formula is much thicker, which I personally prefer, and as the name suggests, the coverage is higher than the Serum formula but despite both of these facts the product feels really light on the skin.

Serum Foundation

Like Coverage, Serum has a very lightweight formula and feels like you’re not wearing anything. As I tend to always stick to thicker formulas, I was a little out of my comfort zone with this one, and because of how quickly it blends into the skin, I was finding myself going over it a few times because I wasn’t always sure if I’d fully covered that area, plus the coverage is fairly light. I was also a little out of my comfort zone as Serum leaves more of a dewy finish, and I like to keep things matte.

Fluid Primer

As someone who isn’t really a fan of primers, this was a game changer. I’m not sure I can sing this product’s praises high enough. If I’m being honest, I added it to my basket so that I had something other than foundation, and so I could tip the basket total to get free delivery, but I am so thankful that I did. The formula is bizarre; its feels kinda gel-like at first but it spreads like a dream and dries within seconds, and once dry its practically weightless.

Part of the reason I’m not much of a primer person, and I’m nervous trying new foundation is that I rarely find anything that can contend with my skin, which can switch from dry as a desert to oily as a 2am kebab within a matter of seconds, and I normally end up regretting wearing foundation by lunchtime, but I did not have a single complaint with this. I tested both foundations both with and without, and both applied so much nicer and lasted the day without any issues when I used the primer.

But seriously guys, I bought 4 foundations and a primer for less than £30, which is what I would normally spend on my regular NARS foundation, plus they’re cruelty free!

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How My Blog Planning Has Changed Through The Years

It’s always October that I find myself thinking a lot about my blog and how much it’s changed. In just over two weeks this little space of mine will be 4 years old, and I will never stop being grateful for all that blogging has given me.I look back to the early years with a lot of fond memories. I wouldn’t like to call myself naive but I think that’s exactly what I was, but innocently so. Back then I wrote how I thought I should be writing, and when I look back I cringe over how the words don’t even sound like they’ve come from me, but back then, same as I do now, I wrote because I loved doing it.

Back in the day I had no idea how to schedule a blog post, and in fact there were a few days within my first years of blogging that I published about 6 posts in a day because I had no concept of the importance of staggering my content. In those days I didn’t even know how to check my blog stats, let alone worry over them, and I didn’t think I needed a Twitter account – cute right?

For the first year or so of my blog, I just wrote whenever I had the chance. There was no real pattern of much of a schedule, and pretty much everything was posted on the same day it was written without much of a thought. It was simple and I was happy doing that.

When 2015 came around, I wanted routine. I was still LottieDoesDisney back then and I still thought all I could write about was Disney, but came up with an ingenious blog plan and routine for the coming year. For each week I would honour a particular Disney movie, and represent said movie in various inspired posts through the week – I think Monday was an intro, Tuesday was fashion, Wednesday was DIY Thursday was food etc. I don’t even think that lasted two months.

The problem with this is I felt too restricted, and by this stage I was wanting to branch out and write about more topics, and this sort of schedule wasn’t allowing me the ability to do that. I quickly ditched that, although I never stopped writing about Disney, and change was creeping in, but it wasn’t long before I was introducing new schedules that were just as tight as the old ones.

2016 came and again I planned the year out carefully with a bunch of series that I was sure I’d see through, some weekly, some bi-weekly and others monthly. At the time I loved thinking that I was so damn organised, but if for any reason the posts couldn’t be written, I felt like I’d failed the system. Knowing I had to have a certain post written by a certain day of the week made everything feel forced, and I fell out of love with the writing, so I decided to let go.

I still plan, and I always aim to keep at least a week ahead of the game, but I’m far more relaxed with my blog schedule. I am, in fact, writing as many posts, if not more than I ever have done, but I don’t pressure myself and the words just flow much better that way. I try to have 3-4 posts for each week planned at the start of each month, and that allows me to fill the spaces with the spontaneous and off the cuff posts, which often tend to be the most popular.

I’ve always said it and I always will: I just enjoy writing and being a blogger, and what’s funnier still is I always say I’m grateful for what my blog has given me, but I guess really it’s what I’ve given myself.

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Things My Personal Trainer Has Never Said

As part of my regular fitness routine, I do two 30 minute sessions with a personal trainer every week. I train with Steph not because I have to but because I enjoy it; she is as much a friend to me as she is a trainer, and she has pushed me further than I could have ever imagined.

PTs may be considered by most as paid torturers, but not only do they train hard in the gym, in order to gain their qualifications they also have to train hard and gain an incredible understanding of the human body, nutrition and training techniques, so they do really know what they’re talking about.

I’ve been training with Steph for 2 years now, and with all the wisdom she has shared with me in this time, there are some things she’s never ever said to me..

‘You can’t eat *insert here*’

Sure, a lot of personal trainers double up as nutritionalists, and many do help their clients put together meal plans and diets, but what I love about Steph is that she has never told me that there’s anything I shouldn’t be eating. Like me, she believes that treats are ok and holidays are for pigging out, and it’s so nice not having a voice in my head saying ‘you shouldn’t be eating this, what would your trainer think?’. In fact, she frequently tells me about the things that she’s eating! At the end of the day, food is fuel and if you’re still training and keeping balance, that’s all that matters.

‘You have to eat *insert here*’

As well as never restricting me, she doesn’t dictate. I get to choose what I eat, and while she’s always more than happy to offer advise when I ask for it, she lets me take the reins and learn things for myself.

‘You shouldn’t lift heavier than..’

Before I trained with Steph, I wouldn’t pick up a dumbbell heavier than about 5-6kg, and now I won’t touch anything lighter. There’s nothing she hates more than the belief that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights, and the only time she would ever stop me from going heavier is if she felt I wasn’t ready or I could risk an injury.

‘Weight gain is bad’

About every 4 weeks we do measurements. This isn’t to make me feel good/bad about myself, it’s just to track my body, and while I do get on the scales, the number doesn’t matter to her. Primarily we look at change in my actual measurements, and if the scales do go up, I’m never made to feel bad about it.

‘You shouldn’t miss a training day’

There are mornings when I wake up and I don’t feel up for training, whether it’s cos I’ve had a bad nights sleep, I’m not feeling 100% or I’m suffering from an injury. I am never told that this isn’t ok. A big part of training is understanding my body’s needs, and if it needs time off then that’s fine, and in the same way I understand that sometimes she needs days off. Missing a day or a week isn’t the be all and end all.

‘You have to get smaller’

She understands that everyone has different goals, and that not everyone goes to the gym to drastically change their body. Sure, I ultimately would like to see myself get a bit leaner, but it’s more about getting fitter and healthier, and if I don’t see any change in my body when I’m doing that then who cares?

If a professional PT has never said these things, why should anyone else?

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Blogging for a Better World

It constantly amazes me how much of an influence bloggers and vloggers actually have these days. I was browsing the beauty aisle in Superdrug the other day near a group of loud teenagers, when I heard one of them say ‘no don’t buy that, *insert name I can’t remember* the YouTuber doesn’t like it so it must be rubbish’, and I just thought it was amazing. Sure, the influence you have can vary, but it got me thinking that as a group, we could make incredible change.

Now I don’t believe for a second in telling other bloggers how to blog, or what you should blog about, but there are a bunch of ways that without compromising your blogging style, you can help make the world a better place.

Be more domestic

I’m not talking about doing the ironing or washing up, this is about cutting the carbon footprint of your shopping spree by choosing to shop from companies and brands that operate in this country. Not only will you save on hefty customs charges, but your items haven’t got to you courtesy of a plane journey!

Order with friends

If you are ordering from abroad, why not do a joint order with other people? I try to do this with a lot of US companies to save on the shipping and customs costs, but it does also save on packaging and transportation.

Promote the use of local produce

If you’re sharing a recipe, why not buy from a local producer and talk about your experience in the post? You can get great deals from your local greengrocers and butchers, they can tell you more about the produce and you’ll be supporting the local community too.

Try natural and cruelty free

You don’t have to switch out your entire makeup collection, but next time you shop try switching to a cruelty free alternative. And hey, if you don’t like what you try, you can write about that too!

Chat about the planet

Write a post on how you recycle at home, or share your favourite outdoor activities. Opt for a staycation bucket list for your next travel post, review a product from a sustainable brand, or just get chatty and talk about saving the planet!

Play a part

There are so many incredible charities that are trying to make a difference in this world, from fighting for human rights to animal conservation and saving the planet. You can blog about your experience at a fundraising event, take part in a fun run or even just promote the charity through your blog and social media – even a single tweet can make a difference!

We don’t have to make big changes, but the changes we make can make a huge difference. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?

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My Birthday Haul

Well that’s another birthday done with for the year! The day itself was fairly chilled – I had the day off work and just spent it hanging out at home, baking cakes and then had the family over for a Chinese takeaway for dinner. Nothing special, but just the way I like it.

But you didn’t come here to hear about my day, you wanted to see what I got, right?

The first presents I got to unwrap in the morning were from Matthew. He was pretty smug about what he’d got me, and even wanted me to open them early because he wanted to see my reaction, but I patiently waited until my actual birthday.

I was not disappointed. I opened what felt like the heaviest box of goodies all the way from Sephora – seven sheet masks, a cream highlighter palette and this whopper of an eyeshadow palette from the Sephora Pro collection. I’ve already searched every shade and fallen in love with it and I can’t wait to play with it some more!

Also tucked in my box of goodies, although not from Sephora, was a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic, which is a product I’ve been dying to get my hands on for a long time now, so I’m excited to see if that lives up to all the hype.


How amazing are my parents?! I had absolutely no idea that I would be unwrapping this beautiful little bag from the Disney x Coach collection, but I’m so in love with it and I’m so grateful that they managed to find one as I thought the collection was no longer available. I did also get a cutting mat and rotary cutting tool from them but it doesn’t look as cute in photos!

The rest of my family just stuck to the usual tradition of money, and I’m planning on putting some of that towards a Lush shop, and the rest towards my upcoming Florida trip at the end of the month.

A huge thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on here and on social media, it means so much to me!

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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