A Pledge to Myself, Right Now

The last few months for me have been a bit of a rollercoaster. Hell, the whole of 2018 has been a total blur. To say I’ve been overwhelmed would probably be an understatement, and the probably with that is the good old saying: something’s gotta give.

So I’ve been letting things slip. I’m not proud of it, but I know that its true, and the problem hasn’t so much been that I’ve been dropping a few little things from my schedule, its that I’ve been dropping some things that are actually pretty damn important, not necessarily for other people, but for myself.

My skincare routine has diminished to me just barely washing my face in the shower, and there are days where I don’t even fill in my eyebrows. My face has hardly seen any makeup in the last few months, with the exception of when I was on holiday, and when I went to a wedding a few weeks ago, and while I have no problem with not wearing makeup, I really enjoy doing my makeup, and not doing things that I enjoy has really been affecting me.

More recently, I’ve realised that I’m not even wearing the clothes that I love to wear. I’ve gone from wearing outfits that make me feel cute to wearing whatever I can throw together that morning and avoiding looking in mirrors. Suddenly I’m finding things like posting on Instagram feel like the biggest chore on some days, and my blog has been suffering massively because feeling under pressure really hinders my ability to write. I’ve also been neglecting my body; not eating well, avoiding exercise some days and feeling totally sluggish as a result. I’m not ok with this.

So here it is, a promise to myself:

I must remember to take time out for my own happiness. If something’s gotta give, then that’s ok, but don’t let the things I love disappear.

I will look after my body, from getting back on track with eating a balanced diet and remembering to stay active, even if that just means taking a walk at lunchtime. I will drink more water. I will take those extra few minutes each day to look after my skin.

I will not let myself get caught up in negativity, and spend more time reflecting on positive, happy moments in my life, and looking forward to the amazing upcoming events that the rest of this year has to come.

I will try to always be better than the person I was yesterday, because lots of small steps are just as effective as one big one.

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Quality over Quantity

I’ll always befriend a cat

I was in primary school when I first realised that I didn’t have to be friends with everyone to be happy. Year 6, to be precise. Despite going to a tiny little school with small classes, it was already subject to a bit of cliqueyness, and I decided that rather than making myself miserable by clinging onto a group of girls who I had convinced myself didn’t really like me, I could sit by myself, or with people in lower years who I got on with better, and while that didn’t make me particularly ‘cool’, it did make me happy.

Even before then, I knew what it was like to have distant friends. My closest friends while I was in primary school were either in the year above me, so left for secondary school, or had moved to other schools a few years previously, and I got to see them on weekends or at mutual after school activities, so not seeing my best friends every day was quite a normal thing for me.

As I went into secondary school, as is fairly normal with an all girls school, I learned more about how fast-moving friendship groups could be. I started off in the ‘popular’ group in year 7, but quickly learned that I wasn’t actually happy there and moved on, and that pattern continued through my school life – when I wasn’t happy anymore, I found myself drifting away and I moved on. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t skipping from friend to friend by the day or week or even year, I was just quick to pick up when things weren’t working anymore, and I was ok with not having hundreds of best friends at the same time. I picked up some great friends over this time though, many of whom I would still consider as friends today. You see, the good ones stick.

I’ve just never felt the need for fake friends. You know, the ones you see at parties every now and then who pretend to be super interested in your life, when you know they don’t really care about you, or the ones who are only there when they need something from you, but god forbid you should ever go to them with a problem. I’d rather have 10 really good, real friends, than 100 people who couldn’t tell you anything about what’s going on in my life. It might make it seem like I’m a real loner when I say that I have no friends in my hometown anymore, but its the truth and I really don’t mind. I have wonderful friends scattered across the country, and even some across the world. I might not see them every day, or even every year, but they’re there and they’re there for me through whatever.

They matter to me.

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We’re Too Easily Offended, Huh?

We are almost one fifth of the way through the 21st century, crazy right? We live in a world that’s more advanced than even our own grandparents could have ever imagined, yet the advances that we’ve made, especially over just the last few years have been about a lot more than just technology.

You see, we now live in a world where acceptance is becoming more important and more common than ever before, and while unfortunately this still needs to see some improvement, it is now more ok than ever to be different.

I say unfortunately, because there are still more than just a handful of people who refuse to be accepting. These are the people you see on social media saying things like ‘this is political correctness gone mad’ or my personal irritant ‘people are too easily offended these days’, you know the kind. More extremely, these are the sick people who are behind shootings in gay clubs, acid attacks on members of the trans community and the people who blame the rape victims, but I’m not going to even give those people the time of day in this post.

I want to get you thinking about the comments made by the former. You see, I clearly don’t agree with them, but for very logical reasons. Take the ‘people are too easily offended these days’ comment, not only does it imply that it’s the fault of the upset person that they feel that way, but it’s also suggesting that we’ve not made any sort of advancement in the way we see things and feel about them. It’s not that people are ‘too easily offended’ by your racist/homophobic/sexist/whatever comment, it’s just that we finally live in a world where we’ve realised that it’s ok to voice our opinions and and stand up for what we believe in.

So many people throughout history have been oppressed, whether that’s been due to race, gender and identity, sexual preference, or quite frankly anything that hasn’t fit the so called ‘norm’ of a particular era, and we’re finally passed that oppression, or are at least getting there. So it’s not ‘political correctness gone mad’ when an establishment has toilets that aren’t gender specific, and women aren’t ‘too easily offended’ by the suggestion that what we wear is to blame when a man can’t control himself when he’s around them. It’s just that we now know that we can voice the fact that some things aren’t ok, and if that upsets you and your backwards way of thinking, that sounds a hell of a lot like your problem, and not ours.

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Saturday and Sunday

So Saturday was a pretty crazy day and due to my phone dying on the drive home from up north, and being too tired when I got in, I decided to combine the two days into one blog post!

Saturday was not in any way a normal day in my life, but I guess it might just be the biggest day in my life to date. You see, the real reason Matthew and I drove up to Cheshire on Friday night wasn’t just to visit his mum after her house move, but actually so that we could put down a reservation fee on a new build that we fell in love with a few weeks before. That’s right you guys.. WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE!

The house itself, being a new build, isn’t finished of course, but we’ve visited so many showhomes of the same property that we know that this is the one, and whilst we were at the development we did get to poke around a completed one that someone else has bought, just so that we could take some measurements and get some ideas for when our house is finished, and then we had to go through a lot of paperwork and sign a number of documents, but I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty because I foresee a lot of house-buying blog posts coming in the future! I am just so happy and excited, I can’t tell you..

Well after all that we were pretty hungry, so we went to the Chill Factor to have a Nando’s for lunch, because we figured the Trafford Centre one would be pretty busy – I’ve never been to Chill Factor before but it is SO COOL. After lunch, we did actually go to the Trafford Centre to pick up Mothers Day cards, I treated myself to some Lush goodies because I got a big Etsy payout this week, and then we went to DFS to look at sofas, although we got caught up in some post-match traffic around Old Trafford so that took a little bit of time to get to. We’ve actually had our sofa picked out for quite some time in the hope that we would be getting a house soon, but now we can actually say we have one, and had all the measurements we needed, it was working out the logistics of what style of the sofa would fit the space and where etc, but I think we’ve got it sorted now.

We then stopped off back at Matthew’s mum’s, where Matthew finally found his childhood Disney pin collection which he’s been looking for for ages, watched a little bit of Crufts and then drove back to Bournemouth!

Today, despite being super tired from Saturday’s antics, we were both awake just before 7am, but I didn’t get out of bed for at least 45 mins, then went and had a shower before my mum woke up and I gave her her Mothers Day present. As the sun was out, I took the opportunity to get some blog and Instagram photos taken, which I’m happy I did because the sun quickly disappeared behind a lot of cloud..

This morning I had a family friend coming round for a wedding cake consultation (oh yeah, do you guys know I’m a cake decorator sometimes too?), so I spent a bit of time playing around with some sketches and getting some inspiration from Pinterest before she arrived, and she was here for about 2 hours chatting cake stuff, wedding stuff and just having a general catch up because I haven’t seen her in about a year or so.

After she left, I spent some time doing general admin type stuff – writing up the weekly newsletter for the #HappiestFitbitClub, editing blog photos, doing some Etsy bits and packing up orders etc, before having some lunch and watching last night’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

My sister brought our cousins round early afternoon to help put together the Mothers Day afternoon tea we had planned – my job was to make the cupcakes – and the rest of the family came to ours at 4pm. Big family dinners are quite a common thing for us, and they tend to be fairly loud affairs with 13 of us round one dinner table! Once the extended family had left, we watched the only tv show that we still watch as a family since my sister moved out, Only Connect, and then my sister left too and Matthew and I watched Sherlock Holmes while I did a bit more Etsy work and some writing and we’re just gonna chill for the evening now.

This week has been pretty busy, but I hope you’ve enjoyed tagging along with me! Normal blog posts will resume from tomorrow!

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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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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Wednesday

Despite it being a running theme for the last two days, this morning did not start with a 5.30am alarm, yippee! I mean, it was 6.45 instead but that’s practically a lie-in in my books and I didn’t actually get out of bed until about 7.15, meaning I had to rush around a little to be ready and leaving the house on time to get into work for 8am – I don’t always start this early but I like having the flexibility to be able to finish at 4pm, which I needed to do today, plus it means the first hour is nice and quiet!

Today was a much more normal day at work for me, and that meant I could finally get caught up on all the work that’s been a little overdue with snow days and yesterday’s outing. Although it was Matthew’s day off, he came to meet me for lunch, and we used our 3 Wuntu offer to get a burger and fries from Cafe Rouge for £1 – Cafe Rouge is about a 2 minute walk from the office, so whenever these offers come up we always take advantage! I also had to make a quick trip to the post office to send off some Happiest Fitness Co orders, and then back to work where the majority of my afternoon was spent tackling my team’s enormous filing cupboard which has needed a good clear out for way too long.

The reason I wanted to finish at 4pm today was so I could get over to a fabric store in Ferndown that closed at 5 so that I could pick up some Disney fabric I’d pre-ordered for some custom work, but of course I ended up also buying a few extra little bits and pieces because they have such an amazing collection of Disney cotton which is notoriously hard to find from UK sellers online, let alone independent stores, so having someone nearby selling it is an absolute godsend! Traffic meant getting back home took AGES, but there was no way I was gonna talk myself out of a run tonight after not being able to go out all of last week.

It was a slow run (and I mean really slow) but today was just about getting out and doing the distance no matter how slow I ran or how long it took, and although my legs are gonna hate me in the morning and I’m pretty pooped right now, it felt good to be back out on the roads. Matthew had ordered Dominos for dinner, but as I’ve given up takeaways and fast food for Lent, I stuck to my guns and had a jacket sweet potato with beans and cheese.

Being a little worn out from my run, I’m not doing any custom work tonight, instead I’m already tucked up in bed and I’m gonna get some writing done, get some tweet scheduled and do some Pinterest scrollin’!

Happy hump day!

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A Week in the Life of Lottie – Tuesday

Ok so I don’t think I’ve actually stopped today and I am exhausted. It started with another 5:30 alarm and walk to the gym, today for a session with my PT Steph which was a circuit of cardio and power work; battle ropes, 40kg farmers walk, slams and various other methods of torture.. I love working with Steph – we have such a great relationship and although I don’t need to be training with her twice a week as I do, I do it because I want to. On the walk back I stopped off at my local delivery office to pick up a package I’d missed yesterday, which was some fabric for a custom order I’m working on at the moment, then home for a quick shower, dress and out the door again. I’d done 10,000 steps before I even got into work today..

Work was totally mad today. I got in early and instead of easing myself into my workload as I normally do – y’know, logging on, flicking through some emails, making a drink etc – I was straight into a mad rush to get some morning tasks done as we had a big presentation to go to which was going to take up the rest of the morning. Because of the number of people attending, the presentation couldn’t actually be held in the office, so we were bussed into Bournemouth town centre and it was held in a screen in the Odeon cinema complex – they even gave us popcorn! Part of the meeting was the presentation of some annual awards that are held within the department, and my team was actually voted 3rd in the Team of the Year category, but unfortunately that meant no prizes for us!

I didn’t get back into the office until past 1pm, so I had to try and cram a whole day’s worth of work into a few hours. I worked through my lunch break with just a packet of lentil crisps and an apple at my desk for fuel and just powered through everything as quickly as I could, but I had a real nasty headache come on and was definitely feeling the energy draining out of me so eventually at 4.30, having started at 8.30 that morning and not taken a break at all, I figured it was time to go home and just about managed to drag my feet back to my car.

Despite being desperate for a nap when I got home, I forced myself to stay awake and got started on cutting up the fabric that I had picked up in the morning ready to piece together later in the evening. I had everything cut out and ready before having to go and pick Matthew up from work, and set to work constructing the skirt when I got back, while Matthew cooked us a chicken curry for dinner. The rest of the evening was spent working on the skirt with Aladdin on tv in the background, and when today’s extreme tiredness really kicked in, I decided it was time to step away from the sewing machine, get into bed and write this post!

Is it Friday yet?

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