May Favorites

Hi Everyone!! How are you all? How are things going?
Long time no see hu?
For the second time this year I find myself letting you know that I am still alive and that I am sorry for not being around. 
For the second time this year I have taken a step back from everything so I can get my head back in the game. This time around it has not worked as well as I was hoping, but that is because we have wedding stuff coming out of our ears….and I have spent most of my Sundays in bed…..feeling like rubbish.
Anyway, that’s that out of the way…..let’s get into the things that have kept me going over the last month:
In The Kitchen:

Ok, I appreciate this item does not spend much time in the kitchen, however it does start every day there….so I think it counts.

This month I treated myself to a new lunch bag from TK Maxx (also known as my new favourite shop). This little gem came with a drinks bottle (which is plastic so I try not to use it), 2 Tupperware boxes (again plastic, which I will switch out for glass soon) and an ice pack which is super helpful! It keeps my prepped food cool and fresh all day so I can make nothing my healthy choices all day. 
In The Bathroom:

In the continued effort to get myself in good shape, I have decided to whiten my teeth. 

Instead of going down the chemical route, I have gone down the ever trendy natural path. This mix of charcoal, coconut and clay has been making my teeth that little bit whiter everyday. 

The only downside to this: it makes a horrendous mess! To be truthful, I would rather clean up toothpaste splatter than contemplate putting peroxide in my mouth. 
In The Bedroom:

Another thing in my bid to stay on the health train, I invested in a FitBit. It is a wonderful little thing that keeps track of my steps and my heart rate during my workouts, which is great…..

However, the strap it comes with is rubbish! The rubber snags the hair on your arms and can get very grim if you do not clean it regularly.

I switched it out for a magnetic metal strap that easily cleaned and lightweight. It also makes it a lot less obvious that you are using a FitBit, as it makes the item look like a very chic watch.
In The Living Room (aka The House of Lotz Spa and Retreat):

This month has been very stressful, and I have been trying to relax as much as I can.

At the request of The Boy, I have now incorporated colouring back into my evening schedule. It is something you have to focus on that is not on a small screen. Plus, how can you not feel a small sense of joy from these little happy faces!!
In The Portable House of Lotz (aka In My Handbag):

I am one of those crazy Unicorn Ladies!! They are just the most magical things that really bring a sense of joy and wonder to the world.

To bring a sense of whimsy to the everyday, I have added this little fluffy friend to my handbag. He always brings a smile to my face when I see him dangling from my bag like a happy good luck charm. 
Well, that was May! 
I promise to do better over the next month to keep The House of Lotz doors open for guests!
Sending you love and hugs xXx have a great weekend xXx

April Favourites

Is it just me or did April just go by in a flash? Despite the fact that the days are lighter and should feel longer…this month has felt shorter than February!

To be totally honest, I think it has gone by so fast as it has been incredibly busy….we hosted a “Wrestlemania weekend”, one of my dearest friends tied the knot, a new little family member arrived in The House of Lotz (no this is not a baby….but I love him as much as a child)……..and so much more! It feels like we have not stopped!
Anyway…..after going through my social calendar, it’s time to go through the little things that have been keeping me going through this very busy month:
In The Kitchen:

Ok…I promised myself I would never be one of these people….but……I now make my own almond milk…….I feel like such a hipster!! 

Despite the fact that I feel like it is the most hipster thing to do in the world, I have to say, it is one of the most amazing changes I have made to my diet. 

So many almond milks that are massed produced can have some preservatives in that my body does not like so much, so by making it at home from scratch, I avoid the usual stomach ache!
In the Bathroom:

As you all know…..I love Anthropology….and a trip to the Sunny town of Bath would not be complete without popping in to see what is new!

After a little accident with my current skin care dish (known to others as soap dish), it was time to invest in a new one. As soon as I saw this little guy, I had to pick it up! How can you not love the springy pattern…and the fact that it does sooooo well with our bathroom??
In The Bedroom:

With all the running around and social stuff going on, I have found myself mixing up my earrings a lot! I am usually very boring and just wear my pearls and little stones, or my rose gold hoops…..

However this months I have been using these cuties from Kate Spade as much as possible. 
In The House of Lotz Spa and Retreat (aka The Living Room):

Over the last month, with all the social and other stuff going on, my anxiety has been going crazy….so….when I get home I instantly want to feel warm and cozy!

Lighting this amazing Diptyque Tubereuse candle has been creating a beautiful calming environment that makes me instantly feel better.
In The Portable House of Lotz (aka in My Handbag):

April has brought with it the Sunshine….yaaaay……and this can only mean one thing……..sunscreen is needed!!

After doing some research, I have opted for the La Roche-Posay Ultra Light SPF 50+.

I appreciate this has the longest product name in the world, but hear me out……it is so light you can use it on your face, but so protective you can use it on scares and tattoos!
So what have you all been loving this month? Is there anything i have missed out that i need to try next month?
Sending hugs and love to you all xXx have a great weekend xXx

5 Wedding Packing Tips – How to pack light for a one bag weekend

It’s that time of year again….wedding season is upon us and that can only mean one thing…….sharing a weekend bag with The Boy! Don’t get me wrong, we could take 2 bags or the big suitcase…..but I have recently purchased a new car, and getting anything bigger than my handbag in the back is a bit of a struggle (what can I say……90% of the time it is just me and my bag anyway!).

Now don’t get me wrong, The Boy’s stuff does not take up a lot of room in a bag, but it does remove my option to take 3 extra outfit choices. So with that, I am forced to streamline my choices and make sure I still have everything I need. 
So, let’s get into my top 5 tips on packing for a weekend wedding:
Do Venue Research:

Ok, I appreciate not everyone in the world has the type of anxiety I do, but I promise this is a good tip!

Doing venue research (either via Google or Instagram) can help you work out how far you may need to walk, which can help you pick your shoes. It can even, on some occasions, give you a hint on the sort of vibe your couple are going for, so you can avoid any outfit issues.
For the anxiety sufferers amongst us, the research can setting your mind as you will know where you are going and will ease off anything that may be brewing. 

Make a list:

I can not say this enough: list making is the key to making sure you do not over pack.

As always I start out with an itinerary list, then breakdown the outfits I need for each event. From that you can make a packing list that will cover all you need for the weekend ahead. 
Pack from your list:

From the beautiful list you made earlier, it’s time to pull everything out of your cupboards and drawers to make sure everything is there.

I like to make outfit piles around the room to make sure everything is there.
Roll your clothes:

From the piles, I like to roll the outfits (including underwear) together to make sure they fit into the bag nicely but they also come out the other side of your journey wrinkle free. 

Check your clothes back in:

When packing up after your amazing weekend celebrating your amazing friends and families happiness, it’s time to bring that list back out.

I like to make my tick box list multi functional, and tick clothes into the bag, and cross them out on the way back. This is the best way to avoid awkward calls and emails from hotels letting you know that you left your shoes in the wardrobe or a bra left in the bathroom!
So, that is how I prep to celebrate the joining together of 2 amazing people.
To the beautiful couple we helped celebrate last week: Congratulations to you both! May your life be filled with love, laughter, the smiles of you both and you beautiful son and nothing but positivity!
On that note, have a great weekend everyone xXx hugs and love xXx

Lemon Loaf – Drizzle, Poppy Seed or Both?

Lemon cake is such a springy thing! There is nothing quite like switching out chocolate (not fully but a little bit) for something a bit zingy and fresh!

What comes with my friends and lemon cake is a random discussion of preference……apparently people I know are either poppy seed people, or drizzle people. It’s an odd thing……however in typical Lotz fashion, I am the odd one out and I love both!
To moderately appease everyone, I have found a way to combine the 2 aspects of the best lemon cakes into 1….so here goes!
Today you will need:

130g Stork, 130g Sugar, 150g Self Raising Flour, 2 eggs, the zest and juice of 3 lemons, 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.
Tip: squeeze 1 lemon first, save the other 2 for later. 1 is for the sponge, 2 are for the drizzle. 
You will also need your usual mixing game bowels, zester, juicer and loaf pan. 
As always, we start with turning the oven up to full heat so it can pre-heat.
Beat your sugar and butter in your mixing bowl until it is light and fluffy…in colour and texture.
At this stage, it is time to zest your lemons and add the zest to the creamed mixture. Now, I like my lemon cake to have a lot of flavour, so I add the zest of all 3 lemons. If you are not into something this strong, go with 1.5 to start off with.

Leave your creamed zesty mixture to rest for about 10 minutes so all the oils from the zest can really infuse the mixture. This is the perfect time to have a cup of tea….and juice your lemons.
Once rested give your creamed mixture a good mix to bring it back to it’s fluffy texture.
Now time to add your eggs, lemon juice and flour.
The best way to combine these ingredients without having your mixture split is:
Egg 1, a third of the four, egg 2, a third of flour, juice of 2 lemon, last third of flour.
Should you feel that the mix is still too wet, add a tablespoon of flour. This usually fixes all problems!
Add in your poppy seeds. This may seem like a small amount, but poppy seeds are incredibly tiny, so you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Pop your mixture in the lined loaf pan ready to pop in the ove. To make sure you get a nice even crust, make a dip in the middle of the mixture. This will make it look a little bit like a brick, but trust me….your sponge will not have and lumps or bumps.

Drop your oven down to 180 degrees and bake for 25-35 minutes.Your cake should look golden on the top and be super bouncy to the touch.
Whilst it is still hot from the oven grab a cocktail stick and stab the life out of the top crust of your cake. 

Where you have made your wholes, poor over your remaining lemon juice. This will make the cake super moist and add an extra lemony kick.

(Traditionally you would make a syrup from sugar and the lemon juice, but I like to keep it extra simple)

This cake is best served with tea and a side of yoghurt with berries. 
I hope you enjoy your cake filled weekend lovelies xXx hugs and love xXx

Spring Nail Polish Picks – perfect for every occasion

Saturdays are for one thing: Manicures! 
Ok, they are also for coffee and loads of other fun things, but I always do my best to change my nail polish because I hate taking my 9-5 manicure into the weekend…..who needs a reminder that Monday is coming all weekend….I don’t think so!
This season I have set myself a challenge: to not use nude nail polish for as long as possible! I have the horrible habit of using nude nail polish all the time…it’s a very strange loop to be in…and it is very boring! 

Anyway, today I wanted to show you my top picks for Spring manicures…that will hopefully break me out of my “nude rut”….


Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer in “Wish You Were Here”

Takes 2 coats for full coverage, 3 for a strong solid colour.

This beautiful soft shade is perfect for those days where you need a little pick me up. It brings a little pep to my step which I just love!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “B Girl”

Takes 3 coats for full coverage. These 3 coats will give a strong colour.

This is a good alternative to the classic Essie shade “Mint Candy Apple”. It is a softer mint that the Essie shade which makes it easier to wear. 

Jessica Phenom Vivid Colour in “Copacabanna Beach”

Takes 2 coats for full colour, 3 coats for even strong coverage.

This beautiful periwinkle is so far out of my comfort zone, but I just love it! It’s so bring and springy it just makes me smile!
These 3 nail polishes will be my new season’s neutrals which I will be sporting until Summer rolls around…….I will do my best not to opt for a nude polish……watch this space!!
Have a great weekend everyone xXx Hugs and Love xXx

March Favourites!

Happy Spring Everyone!

I can’t speak for everyone, but Spring has defiantly sprung in The House of Lotz and we could not be happier! The days are longer and brighter, the bees are out and all the blossom is on the trees. My allergies are not so impressed, but never mind!
Last Month:

As you all may have noticed, I did not post a favourites last month. There are 2 reasons for this……1) I was rather busy with Wedding, Life and Blah Blah Blah and 2) I have not been able to sit and really work out what I have been enjoying over the last month. 
This Month:

I have a been feeling a little more on top of things! I reassessed, but my big girl panties on and generally got my s*** together so everything is now back to normal!
So, with all of that in mind….let’s get into March Favourites!
In The Kitchen:

I might have mentioned before, but I have a very strange obsessions with almonds! Anything that is advertised as being made with almonds, flavoured with almonds or has anything almond-y involved I am there! 

To make this obsession even “worse”, I have discovered the Unroasted Almond Milk from Alpro, which I have been using in my coffee. It makes for an amazing morning coffee and hot chocolate! Unlike most almond milks, it is not too sweet and doesn’t give me a sugar rush! This has to be the best almond milk I have tried so far!
In The Bathroom:

In the bid to declutter my life, I have been making it my mission to tidy each room of our home one by one and get rid of things we don’t need. The bathroom has not be spared this fate!!

After decluttering and reorganising our bathroom cupboards I found we needed some storage for “mini” products. Anything travel size needed to be in one place…..

I found this amazing little storage box in John Lewis that matches our bathroom perfectly….bonus, it fits all our little products and keeps them all out of the way!
In The Bedroom:

Skin oils have to be my favourite part of my skin care! It is that amazing part of my routine that signals that it is nearly time for bed.

I have recently switched over the the Kiehl’s Overnight Recovery after being very loyal to another oil for the last year. To be fair, it has been a welcome change and I love the new oil. It keeps my skin hydrated and smells amazing!

Lovelies: please do not be scared of oils or serums! They will to make your skin oily because you have used them, they bring back all the brightness and hydration that your skin needs!!
In The House of Lotz Spa and Retreat (aka In The Livingroom):

As part of my office set up in the livingroom, I have been using our footstool as my desk…..but it has been that little bit too high for me to sit properly on the floor and work without giving me back pain. 

In a bid to make myself a little more comfortable, I took one of my besties advice and invested in a beanbag cushion. This gives me a little lift so I can work better, and it keeps my in the correct position. 

(This was from John Lewis but was the last one and in clearance….sorry).
In The Portable House of Lotz (aka In my Handbag):

For my Birthday The Boy and I made our usual trip to Harrods for a spot of shopping. This year I could not even think of something to ask for……until I popped to the Louis Vuitton counter. I love Louis Vuitton and wanted to add a new little family member to my SLG (small leather goods) collection. 

After about 30 minutes of testing and mooching, I came across this 6 key pouch. This little guy has a bar across the top with 6 rings that you can add your keys too. 

This may be something that your granny would use, however, now I have one I can not live without it!
So, that was March everyone! I hope you enjoyed this little walk through what has been keeping me going this past month!
Stay tuned for next week as a baking post will be coming up!
Have a great weekend everyone xXx hugs and love xXx

What I Eat in a Day: Spring Day at The 9-5

Recently I had a very interesting conversation with a group of friends about the way we all eat. Some follow diets given by their doctors, some follow the fads that come and go, others are Mums and just grab what they can and then there is me…..

I should be use to not fitting in in most situations, but the way I eat is probably the most different to all my friends….particularly now! 
At this very moment in time most people would pop me in the ‘Shedding for the Wedding’ basket but in actual fact, I’m out to play the long game! Yes I have tweaked the way I eat, and yes I am working out with one of my favourite people to get my butt in shape, but this is not just about the results I want for a white dress……
I’ve been working hard for nearly a year to make a difference to my health. The Boy and I want to spend the rest of our lives together, so I’m not letting him get off easy with me keeling over at 55 from a heart attack.
My previous eating ‘style’ was not the best! I had just come out the other side of a very big battle with mental health which resulted in me piling on pounds (I do love to eat my feelings). Before all of this I had dropped down to a very happy size (but not in the right way) but during this time I found I could not keep up with diet, and therapy, and work, and life and trying to push myself through the day. Something had to give, and life gave me unhelpful food choices.
Now I’m on a slightly different journey and I wanted to share with a little series of ‘What I Eat In A Day’ so I can share some tricks I have picked up along the way……..let’s get into it:
The Day:

This particular day was a Sunny Monday spent at my 9-5. This was a day filled with meetings, a short dash out at lunch and a gym session.
Before the commute:

Every day for me starts with a massive glass of water, very quickly followed by a ‘large shot’ of juice and my vitamins. I take 2 iron and vitamin C tablets with an Evening Primrose Oil. This combo keeps my iron levels up (because the suck) and my hormones in check.

Today juice is the new Naked Cherry Beetroot juice. Very yummy but very rich.
Breakfast at my desk:

I know, this is an awful habit, but I just can’t bring myself to eat at 0630….it’s just not happening guys!! 

Today’s breakfast of choice is porridge with cocoa nibs, hazelnut, chia seeds and flax seeds. I make my porridge with boiling water in this super cute pot….no microwaving needed!! 

This is accompanied by my daily lemon water and a double espresso with a dash of milk.
Between Meeting Snack:

Before dashing from one thing to another I managed to grab a banana and a bottle of water. 

I think by this point my the morning I had already had 2 more of these.
Lunch Time:

This is another meal I take at my desk. I know it’s a horrible habit, but hey it works for me.

Today I’ve gone for a green salad with pear and balsamic glaze, with a side of yoghurt with garlic and pomegranate seeds.

I always feel like savoury yoghurt is overlooked my most people. It’s not just something to add fruit too, or have on something you order when you are out. Yoghurt is so good for you and the good ones are packed with love cultures that are amazing for your digestive health!! 
Afternoon Snack:

Coffee!!! Need Coffee!! 

After lunch I am useless without a coffee. I love the routine of popping to my local Cafe and grabbing something warm and satisfying. Being out of the office for a bit also makes for a very happy Lotz! 
I’m having my usual double espresso macchiato, but today I’m adding this 9 bar. I don’t usually eat things like this, but I fancied a little treat…..and was disappointed! It’s ok, it’s not great! 
Pre-gym Snack:

Grapes….and more water!! 

Ok, this was not just before the gym, but this was the last thing I had before I worked up a sweat.
Dinner Time:
After a long day and not getting home until gone 7, I was very glad that I could throw together leftovers to make something yummy! 

Today we have slow cooked beef tacos. After a long day it was time to treat myself to some cheese. These are really filling, and super tasty! I love creating things from leftovers, so this is one of my go to recipes! 
Things I forgot to photograph:

After all of this yummy food, I spent about an hour on the phone to one of my best ladies so forgot to photograph my last few items for the day.
As always, I finished of my day with 2 cups of Mint Tea and a Kinder Bueno. They are my favourite thing to have for dessert! They are just the right amount of food sweet and because they are individually wrapped, I feel like I can’t over indulge.
Through the day there was also an abundance of water….but then again, there always is with me! 
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this little walk through my day! For me, I feel like it is balanced enough without getting obsessive! I usually add in a lot more veggies, but today was an unusually busy one! 
Come back soon for more instalments of my new series! 
Have a great weekend lovelies xXx hugs and love xXx