Why I’m Not Going to See Toy Story 4 in the Cinema

So apparently I want to branch out from already being a ‘bad’ blogger to also being a ‘bad’ Disney fan, but hear me out on this one.

I think we can all agree that this has been a mega year for new movies. From Avengers Endgame already smashing a tonne of box office records to the highly anticipated Star Wars Episode IX coming soon, film boffs will most likely be spending more time in the cinema in 2019 than ever before. And out of all these films, I think Disney has had the most fingers in the pie than any other production companies, with some huge films having already hit the big screen and many more still to come.

This is all very exciting for Disney fans; we’ve seen some of our favourite animated classics have a reimagining as live actions, and also some pretty huge sequels, one of which closest to the hearts of my generation being Toy Story 4. 90’s kids like myself have grown up with the adventures of Andy’s toys, many of us sobbing FAR too many tears over *that* scene in Toy Story 3, so we were all good and ready when a fourth film was announced to be hitting our screens.

I was ready to go and see it, don’t get me wrong, and I am excited for when I finally do see it, but I’m not going to the cinema for it, and here’s my reasoning..

While the experience of some films is heightened by seeing it on an enormous screen in a pitch black theatre with surround sound and no talking, I personally think that other films are somewhat ruined by it, and Toy Story 4 is one of those for me. Give me all the action and adventure on the big screen, give me stunning cinematics and world class special features, but when it comes to a feel-good family animation, to be quite honest I’d rather be curled up on my sofa at home with a blanket and pile of snacks, being able to laugh out loud when I want to without getting evils from the rest of the guests.

And as awful as it sounds, I truly do get bored watching some films in the cinema. If its not a super gripping storyline or visually incredible, I find myself sat in the dark wishing it would hurry up and be done with sooner so I can get out of there, which I probably wouldn’t be thinking if I was watching it at home – y’know, unless it was a rubbish film in the first place.

So there’s one hell of an unpopular opinion for you I’m sure, but its something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and honestly, I stand by it. Anyone else feel the same? Let me know in the comments!

Has Blogging Changed?

 

Having just returned from my accidental blogging break, but more importantly having felt slightly detached from blogging for the best part of a year now, as I have been starting my attempt to rediscover my blogging ability, I can’t help but notice that there are many things in the blogging world that seem to be different to how they were a year or so ago.

I mean, of course there is always going to be change. We live in a world where technology changes and improves on an almost daily basis, so of course the blogosphere will be reacting and evolving with the ever-changing environment, but there are a lot of things that haven’t evolved, but seem to instead have become extinct.

You see, while I may have slipped from posting on my blog, I definitely have not been away from Twitter, which I would say is my main source of interaction with the blogging world, and the majority of the people I follow on Twitter are bloggers or linked to the blogging world. I would probably also go as far as to say that Twitter is the main site of blogger interaction, would you agree?

Twitter brought my blog out of the depths of the internet and into the view of so many of my readers – I was super late to the Twitter game and started this blog over a year before I actually got Twitter. It is one of my biggest sources of traffic, and I have always taken advantage of that fact by being as active as I could on Twitter. I used to try and schedule 4-5 tweets a day to share new and older blog posts, tagging as many retweet accounts as I could and hoping that I would get those shares, and I was not alone. My Twitter feed used to be full of scheduled tweets (sometimes the same ones EVERY DAY..) but now as I scroll through I feel like I’m seeing fewer and fewer of them. I mean sure, this could be due to the ever-changing Twitter algorithm, or the fact that I’m following a more diverse range of accounts, or, as I feel it might be, it could be that scheduling constant blog promotion tweets has become a thing of the past..

Why does this matter, I hear you ask. Well, it leaves me confused as to what is acceptable for me now as I re-enter the blogging world – not that I truly left in the first place but still. If I go back to my old, 5 posts a day ways, will I be the minority, or worse still, will I be considered annoying?

Also on the subject of Twitter, where did all the blogging chats go?! I remember a time where everyone who was anyone was present for as many Twitter chats as they could possibly manage; I myself would be at my laptop with 3-4 tabs open so I could keep up with the sometimes hundreds of people weighing in on these chats and it was insane but it felt FAB. The term ‘blogging community’ has been somewhat tarnished of late so I don’t really like to use it, but this truly felt like just that – a proper community of people all wanting to talk, all wanting to be friends, all wanting to feel like part of something. I worry now that everyone is too busy trying to become better than others that they’ve forgotten that blogging used to be something that so many of us turned to because we wanted a way to express ourselves and the community made us feel like we weren’t alone.

This has become a bit of a ramble, so I’ll wrap it up. I guess I just need to feel my way around for a while and find my own blogging way again. (But if anyone wants to clue me in on current etiquette, hit me up)

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

The cariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush from Smile Brilliant | AD

The following post contains some affiliate links and features a gifted product. All views are my own.

Let’s face it, we all feel better when we look good, right? Well, the truth is I can be a little lax in that area, and it does affect my mental health, so one of my personal New Years resolutions for 2019 was that I wanted to spend a bit more time taking care of myself and my appearance.

At first, I thought that this would be taking a bit more time to do my makeup, or being stricter with my skincare routine, and it never even really dawned on me that I could also benefit from focusing more on my oral hygiene, until I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to try out their new electric toothbrush, the cariPRO Ultrasonic.

I don’t think I’ve ever really used an electric toothbrush before, except maybe a kiddy one as a child, so I was excited to see if brushing with a little bit of power would actually make the difference that you always see dental adverts claiming. I’ve never really had any concerns about my teeth; I’ve never had a filling, braces or really needed any sort of treatment, so I’ve always thought I was doing just fine with a manual toothbrush, but how do I feel now?

My first impressions of the cariPRO toothbrush were surprising. I expected it to be quite heavy in the hand and bulky compared to the manual toothbrushes that I’m used to, but it was surprisingly lightweight and a lot slimmer than other electric toothbrushes I’ve seen before, and its soft touch grip means it holds really nicely. The brush head is quite a bit smaller than on a manual toothbrush but this makes it easier to focus on each tooth individually to get a great clean all over.

The cariPRO has five different brushing modes – Clean, Whiten, Massage, Gum Care and Sensitive – with each one having a different vibrating effect, and it also has a built-in 2 minute timer, and every 30 seconds there’s a small pause to indicate when you should be moving on to the next section of your mouth, which is super handy if, like me, you never really stop to think about how long you’ve been brushing for. The toothbrush also comes with extra brush heads, a wireless charging dock and a 2 year warranty – oh, and did I mention its totally waterproof?!

But are my teeth cleaner?

Well, they definitely feel it, but not only does using the toothbrush make my mouth feel better, it also actually makes me want to clean my teeth. I now like taking the time to brush thoroughly, alternate between the different brush modes and ensure that I am getting a full 2 minute brush in, whereas before I used to see cleaning my teeth as a bit of a chore.

Are you interested?

Well it might just be your lucky day because I’ve teamed up with Smile Brilliant to give you the chance to win your very own cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush by simply clicking hereAnd if you don’t win or you can’t wait to try it out for yourself, you can save 20% off your purchase using discount code ‘lottiedoes20‘ at the checkout, so everyone’s a winner really!

Be sure to head over to the Smile Brilliant website to see all the other excellent products they have on offer, and check out the FAQ page if you want to know anything else!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram


electric toothbrush
//www.smilebrilliant.com/widget-caripro-article/lottiedoes/773/228

Why I Won’t Write About Saving for A House

Its now been almost 8 months since Matthew and I got the keys to our first home, and truthfully I thought I would have written a lot more about the process by now, but between everything else going on in my life and my minor falling out with blogging last year, I just haven’t got round to it.

I have, however, been thinking a lot about the sort of posts that I wanted to write about this, and while at first I thought a ‘Tips on Saving for Your First House’ post would be a great idea, the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I was getting with the concept of that post. Here me out.

Its no secret that our generation, ‘millennials’, are renting for longer, if not indefinitely, and the percentage of homeowners under 30 has dropped more than significantly in the last 10-20 years. I count myself as a minority for becoming a homeowner at the age of 23 and I’m very aware that while I could write about how Matthew and I saved up for our house, there are a whole tonne of circumstantial reasons why this wouldn’t be relevant to a lot of other people.

House prices differ MASSIVELY throughout the country

As a born and bred southerner, I have lived my whole life with a notion of what I thought was the price of a house was based on what house prices were like around where I lived. I started saving as young as I could because I knew that I wanted to buy my own place at some point in my life, and I knew that wasn’t going to be cheap.

But Matthew is a northern boy, and when we did start looking at houses seriously, we knew it would be up north. I was left dumbfounded when I discovered that we could buy a detached house for less than what a 1 or 2 bedroom flat would cost in Bournemouth. Suddenly, the deposit money I had been saving all these years was more than enough for a house, despite being nowhere need what it would need to be in my hometown. The fact is, most people aren’t prepared to move across the country just to own a home, and we were lucky (if that is even the word) to be relocating for Matthew’s job, because the chances of us being able to buy somewhere down south without significant help were slim.

Not everyone can make the ‘sacrifices’ we were able to

I never moved out of my parents’, and Matthew moved in with us 9 months before we bought our house. We both worked at the same place, so it was pretty easy for us to share my car. It would be pretty easy for me to write a post saying that to help save for a house you should move in with your parents, share/sell a car etc, but I know that those options aren’t always an option for everyone.

We all have different histories

I started working at 16, and I didn’t go to university after sixth form, so I had the luxury of no student loans. I always knew that I wanted to buy a place, so I started saving super early, even before Matthew was in the picture, AND Matthew and I were able to buy together, when not everyone can split a mortgage.

We also have totally different histories to previous generations. My parents were married by my age, not fighting for jobs in overcrowded industries like so many people are today AND the housing market was a totally different place to how it is today. We just can’t compare ourselves.

Home-buying incentives and schemes

Because we bought a new-build, we were eligible for the government Help To Buy loan for up to 20% of the value of our house which is interest free for the first 5 years. If you’re not buying a new-build, you can’t apply for this, and to be honest, without this we wouldn’t have been able to afford the house we fell in love with. There are also other options, like shared ownership and Help to Buy ISAs, but again, these aren’t always options for everyone.

Now none of this is to say that people under the age of 30 can’t save enough to buy houses, I mean we’re living proof that it is possible, but I’m just a little fed up of all these clickbait articles saying that its because we love avocados (which we don’t all love just FYI) or some other ridiculously false reason, when in fact its because we’re stuck at the bottom rung of the property ladder with baby boomers stomping on our hands and so many real factors are actually affecting our generation.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so drop me a comment!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Pup Life – A Month with Finn

Its now been a whole month since we brought Finn home and our lives were turned a little upside down. Having a puppy in our lives has brought SO much joy, but its also a lot of responsibility and a total lifestyle change.

Because I work from home, I spend pretty much all day every day with this little fuzzball, and we’ve got ourselves a pretty good rhythm, and as he gets older and more used to life by the day, we’re starting to see some improvements in his typical puppy behaviour.

Sleeping

Finn was already sleeping through the night pretty well when we got him, so the only big change for him really was sleeping alone, as he still had a brother and both of his parents with him at the breeder’s. We tried to start him off with tough love, giving him a Pluto soft toy and making him sleep in the utility room by himself, but this was all a little too much too soon, and that night did not go exactly to plan.. We decided that as he would ultimately be sleeping in our bedroom with us anyway, that we would move him upstairs for his second night, and this resulted in his bed being right next to my side of the bed, and I spent the first week sleeping with one arm dangling off the side of the bed so that he knew I was there! He does now, however, sleep in his bed on the other side of the room from us with no problems, and he’s gone from waking up at 6/6.30am to sleeping until at least 7am – yippee!

House training

Despite having no issues with using puppy pads before he came home with us, once in the house, he completely disregarded the ones we put down and did his business wherever he was caught short, although he would also take himself to the back door when he needed to go BUTTT in the last week he has become amazing, and has only had accidents when we didn’t get to the back door to let him out quick enough – he sneaks off there sometimes while I’m working!

Eating

No surprises here, Finn is a dachshund who loves his food! He’s on Tails.com food, and has advanced from needing 3 small meals a day to 2 bigger meals. He loves treats, especially denta-stick type chews, and although at least 90% of the time he’s strictly on dog treats, he does enjoy a little bit of sausage as an extra special treat.

Life at home

Honestly, he naps A LOT. Most of the day when I’m working, he’s either curled up asleep under my desk or playing with his toys in my office, most of which have been thoroughly chewed now.. He has what I call ‘psycho hour’, normally between 5-6pm where he runs around like crazy for no reason, which can drive me a bit mad when I’m trying to finish up my work for the day, but is mainly just funny to watch. He spends his evenings curled up with us on the sofa, and then I normally go up to bed and he stays downstairs with Matthew until he comes up. He’s even got pretty good at when Matthew comes in from work in the early hours of the morning.

Out and about

Because of his vaccinations, we couldn’t walk Finn for the first 10 days he was with us, but now he’s getting the hang of it. Most days its just a trip to the post office and back while I’m posting orders, but last weekend during our visit to Bournemouth he spent some time at the park and at the beach and he sat nicely in two different dog friendly cafes while we had breakfast!

He is super friendly and gets so excited meeting people, but he’s still getting the hang of meeting other dogs. He barks a lot when he sees other dogs from a distance, or hears dogs barking, but up close he does calm down – he just needs to get a bit more social!

I just can’t believe how lucky we are to have such a beautiful puppy, and I now can’t imagine life without him.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Rebuilding

You ever see those funny triangle diagrams floating around on the Internet, where each side is labelled with something we aspire for in life, like ‘good job’ or ‘social life’ or something similarly cliche, and then it’s captioned something like ‘you can only have two, what do you choose’?

These viral posts tend to have their comment sections full of people saying how much they relate to the ideas suggested by it, that we can’t ever seem to really have it all, but I never subscribed to that belief myself.

I always thought that I could have it all. I was *that* person who prided herself on working full time AND maintaining a blog AND being able to go to the gym every morning and while I’ve never really had much of a social life, that was mainly down to the fact that I never lived near to any of my friends, but I still found the time to go and see them and we still talked every day, but I also lived with my boyfriend and I saw my family every weekend.

Reading that, you’d think that I did have it all; it sure as hell sounds like it. But behind all that, there are some shortcomings: I still lived with my parents (not that I ever really minded that), and I worked in a job that didn’t truly make me happy, and that wasn’t a career for me.

Fast forward to today. I now own a home with said boyfriend, we have a puppy and I am living my self-employed dream. The social life aspect hasn’t really changed, although I am a little bit closer to some friends now so I do get to see them more often. This is all wonderful, and I am truly happy for all of this, but some of the walls of that triangle (or more like a hexagon) are crumbling. It would only take you a few minutes of scrolling back through my blog to see that I’ve gone from posting 5-6 times a week to going over 3 weeks without writing anything. I now live 250 miles away from the family that I adore, and as for going to the gym every morning, I can’t actually remember the last time I got in a workout.

I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining, because my life is incredible in so many ways, but each one of these things is an aspect of who I am, and I feel like by losing these things I am losing sight of who I am, and I’m now becoming one of those people retweeting that triangle diagrams saying ‘I feel attacked’. I don’t want to believe that these silly little sketches are true, I want to go back to feeling that little bit smug thinking that really I do have it all.

My life has changed a lot in the past 6 months, and I guess if anything I was naive to think that it would all be easy, because nothing about it has been, but what’s the fun in things being easy, right? There’s no shame in being vulnerable, but I’m ready to start rebuilding these aspects of my life, and rediscovering the person that I used to, and want to be.

She’s in here somewhere, just under a nice little layer of comfort podge, y’know, from avoiding going to the gym for too long, but she’ll be back, just you wait.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Meet the Puppy

I know things have been a little quiet on here lately, but they’re about to get a whole lot louder as Matthew and I adopted our first puppy on Monday! Everybody, meet Finn..

Finn is a miniature long-haired dachshund puppy, he’s 15 weeks old today and we are already so in love with him.

Truthfully, this all happened rather suddenly. Matthew and I have talked about getting a puppy since we first got together, but of course we always knew that it wouldn’t be possible until we got our own place, and then when we first moved into our house there were still a lot of reasons that we didn’t get one straight away. Finally, we settled on waiting until after we came back from our holiday in January, but last weekend I decided to torture myself by looking at puppies online, and that was when we found Finn.

I grew up with two dachshunds, both miniature long-haired, so part of me always wanted another sausage, and it didn’t take much to convince Matthew of the same! Most of the dachshund puppies for sale whenever I’ve looked have been short-haired or wirey, so as soon as I saw a listing for long-haired pups I had to show him, and I in no way was expecting him to respond with ‘ok, I think we’re ready’! So we went to meet him the following day, and were back the next day to pick him up! He was one of a little of five, with just him and one other brother left, and to make things even more perfect, his mum’s name was actually Lottie! I mean, that’s just meant to be, right?

Its safe to say that the last 5 days have been a total learning experience. I suddenly feel like a first time parent, and flit from relaxed and calm to super worried and googling every problem in a split second, but I have to keep reminding myself that I won’t have it all down instantly. We’ve already got toilet training almost down, and sometimes sleep through the night, and most of the time he’s a perfect little angel who loves naps, cuddles, and running/bouncing around the garden. As of Monday he’ll be able to go out for walks, so that’ll be the next big step for him.

Expect to see a lot more puppy content, and for more frequent Finn photos, be sure to follow my Instagram, linked below!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram