Wedding 101: Gifts

This is probably a very awkward post to put up, but I feel like asking for gifts is up there in the wedding taboo list. It’s right up there with saying that you don’t want a family member in your bridal party or not wanting kids at your wedding.

I know it is a funny post to shove in the middle of this series, but it is super important that you work this out before you order or write your wedding stationary! It’s a little bit rude to send out a wedding invitation addendum saying that you want cash over gifts a week before the due date!

Anyway…..let’s get into talking about wedding gifts!

Talk To Your Fiancé:

I feel like a broken record but this is something you need to talk to your fiancé about before you start looking at things. Have you just moved house and need a load of kitchenware? Have you lived together a while and just want cash for other things or to spend on your honeymoon?

Either way, it’s time to sit and work it out……and don’t feel guilty about it!

The Big Guilt:

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when we sat down to have this discussion I had this massive pang of guilt about listing what we wanted as wedding gifts.

In typical The Boy fashion, he settled my mind by saying: “It’s like someone asking what you want for your birthday….we just have to put it out there and home for the best”

To be fair, most of our guests kept to what we asked for, and it really has helped us out. We asked for money for our honeymoon and people interpreted this in different ways. Some gave us US Dollars, some gave us Sterling so we were able to spend money on our honeymoon and then treat ourselves to some little home bits that we needed.

Clean and Clear:

When you are writing your invitations, you need to be clear with what you want as gifts. If you are asking for money, there are very sweet ways to ask (Two of my dear friends used poems which where just wonderful), we on the other hand where a bit blunt. We basically said “The biggest gift for us is having you there on our big day, but if you would like to donate to our honeymoon fund we would not say no”.

If you are registering for gifts don’t forget to say where and what the name on the list is. Otherwise you will have your guests going to every department store known to man asking if you are registered there on the off chance.

Be Clearer Than a Nuns Mind:

Make sure you are clear that people should not be obligated to get you a gift. Wedding presents are not a given, they are something that is a lovely gesture so don’t be angry if someone doesn’t opt to give you that last over priced thing that is left on your list.

Don’t Push It:

If you are doing a wedding registry, please keep in mind that your guests are already coming to your big day with all the expenses that come with it. You may want the Hermes china and the crystal, but in reality are you going to use it? Keep in mind that you won’t use these things and they will be kept for best, so are you really going to enjoy them as much as registering for 6 classic plates that you will use on repeat every day?

So that’s the gifts covered….now we have done that, stationary is up next!

Have a great weekend lovelies xXx hugs and love xXx

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Perfect Summer Pedicure: It’s all about the polish!

Happy Sandel Weather Everyone!!!! OK….so the sun coming out doesn’t mark the start of sandel season for me (or my Dadums for that matter) but for everyone else I hope you are all getting you toes out!

With this season change comes a new stock of polish colours to help brighten those toes that have been hidden away since the end of September!

Here are my top 5 polish colours to brighten those post pedicure feet and complement any sandel:

Corporate Nude:

Some workplaces have some unwritten rule about what colour polish is acceptable for a corporate environment. I wish I was kidding but no….I have had many a sandal wearing friend shop my stash for a good nude!

Sephora Formula X “Impeccable”

This one in a go to for me! It’s nude enough to not break dress code, but purple enough to give a bit of colour.

Berry Bright:

I love a berry tone for most of the year to be honest, but in the summer I like to go for something a bit brighter!

Revlon “Cherries in the Snow”

This beautiful colour is bright enough to cause a stir, but not too bright to be neon. The blue undertones bring some life to your poor pale feet!

Not So Berry Bright:

Ok, so this colour is basically the same as the last one, but it is a few shades darker. You can still make a beautiful statement, but it’s not so “wow” as the very berry bright!

O.P.I “Popular Vote”

You can just about get away with wearing this one in the office without too much fuss (both as a pedicure and manicure shade!)

Fancy Feet:

Metallic tones are a must for summer!! If you are attending any type of fancy event where your toes will be out, a metallic is that strange neutral that complements everything, but is still brings a little something something.

Sally Hansen “Pennies for Heaven”

One down side though: it’s a bit of a pain to get off, but too too pretty to not wear!

Deep Love for a Deep Red:

Blue toned reds are one of my go to colours all year round, but it’s not just the colour that I love about this bottle of joy.

Essie Gel Couture “Bubbles Only”

I know I gave this a bad review last year, but I think I just picked up a duff shade. This darker shade is perfect, and will last a good week or 2 on your toes……so perfect for your summer vacation!

So those are my top pedicure shades that I will have in rotation this summer!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend xXx Hugs and love xXx

Relaxing Evening Routine Tips

The post is dedicated to my Beautiful Friend Cazzy:

Switching off and getting rest can be so so difficult! We all live our lives at a million miles an hour. Our days go by in a blur of waking, working and all of a sudden we are waking again. It feels like we never stop.

But why is that?

Why do we feel this way?

I really think that it’s because we do not switch off at night. We get home and just keep going! Cooking, laundry, personal calls, personal projects and then trying to spend some time with our loved ones. This is even extended to the weekend where it feel just like one long workday evening.

Last year I was very guiltily of this! Planning a wedding is like having a second job, no matter how much help you have.

To try and turn my mind off and get some rest I turned to my evening routine and it became my haven! Here is my 5 step night time routine that will guarantee you a restful evening (and hopefully a good night’s sleep):

Tea Time:

The Boy drinks a lot of tea, so there is no surprise that after dinner is free from such a beverage! Mint tea is the perfect way to finish of the day; it helps with digestion and the warmth is so relaxing. There is nothing quite like sitting with your favourite mug at the end of the day.

We also take this time to catch up on our TV shows and spend some much needed time together.

Good Night Phone:

I love my phone. There is no hiding it. As soon as my 9 to 5 is done, I am all about checking my emails and Instagram! The problem with that is that I would check it use before bed and moan about not getting any sleep. There is a blue tone to the light that apparently disturbs your sleeping pattern.

After another episode of dropping my phone on my face in bad, I came to the conclusion that something had to be done! My phone now has a very strict 10pm bedtime Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday it is 30 minutes before whatever time I decide to go to bed. This way my eyes get and I can complete my oil based skincare without making a mess!

Bed Prep:

Before the next step in my routine, I like to make sure my bed is ready for me to snuggle up and drift off to sleep. This involves a liberal spraying of the “This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray” all over my pillow and sleeping mask! This blocks out any sneaky light that may come from outside, and really helps as the nights get lighter!

Hot Steamy Showers:

I’m an evening showered, mainly because I spend such a long time in there that doing it in the morning means I would be late to work every day! I also find it a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day.

This is the start of my “Me Time” where I steam and exfoliate my face, spend some time with my body brush and use all the fancy shower products I can find!

This little bit of luxury (and phone free time) really lets the mind start to slow down and become more peaceful!

Daily Mini-Facial:

After a my very steamy shower all my pores are open and ready for some skincare!

As I am already relaxed, there is no harm in spending a little time relaxing my mind with a facial massage. Yes I do this every day, and yes it is worth it!

I pop my night oil on my hands, warm it up and go to town with stimulating upward strokes. Sometimes I will even go in with my jade roller and give my lymph nodes a little something to work with, but this is usually after a really heavy week, or having eaten a lot of salt!

After all that i am super sleepy and off for a nice long nap!

How you are all having a wonderful weekend xXx

Hugs and Love xXx

May Favorites

That’s another month that has come and gone! It really does feel like 2 minutes ago I was working out my New Year’s resolutions!!

This past month has been truly wonderful! The Husband and I have been away for a few days, completed a few household projects and this weekend we celebrate my Nana’s 90th birthday…so it really has been a fun filled month!

With all that going on, I have spent some time at home and really been enjoying it! So….what has been making me so happy around our home……

In The Kitchen:

The joy of health issues is that no matter what you try and do, they just seem to evolve when you are not looking. Over the last few months I have been slowly removing things from my diet, so I am now in a sort of paleo/dairy and soy free limbo.

The other day I really fancied ice cream…..so….after reading every single label in the supermarket I discovered Booja Booja!

This is an ice cream that has between 4 and 7 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce! This sounds odd my I have this rule that if I don’t know what and ingredient is, I don’t eat it.

Their chocolate and a version of pralines and cream make you feel like you are eating the most guilty treat, but it won’t make me ill….yaaaaay!!

In The Bathroom:

During my journey to find an eating plan that works for me, my skin has really taken a kicking! I’m dry, have a chin breakout and greasy all at the same time!

In an effort to save it I have been using my Foreo face brush more often than my usual routine allows. Bringing this little guy out every other day rather than once a week has really made a difference! Adding a new BioDerma face wash has just made it that much better!!

In The Bedroom:

I made the ultimate skincare fail when The Husband and I were away……I ran out of day cream!! I always have one as a backup, but this month I haven’t been able to get to Boots to stock up!!

As I needed something to go under my SPF in a hurry, I went into John Lewis and looked through my favourite skincare area……The French Skincare section!! I picked up this luxurious Nuxe cream that protects my skin from clogging up with the SPF, but also allows it to do its job!

On days that I am not leaving the house, I have been known to use it on its own in as a nourishing treatment.

The House of Lotz Retreat and Spa (aka The Living Room):

I will go into this in more detail in a Wedding 101 post, but after your wedding there is a little void left behind….mainly in your house where you have been storing it all!

This little void in our home made us both realise that we needed to decorate…ASAP!

Mid-month we stripped everything out of our living room, deep cleaned and redecorated! We have gone from what I now see to be a horrible yellow/cream to a beautiful white/green with a pastel green accent wall. This has made such a refreshing change and I just love it!!

In The Portable House of Lotz (aka in my handbag):

This year I have joined the glasses wearing club! I have been wearing reading glasses for years, but in February I was advised that wearing my chic little glasses all the time!

What comes with wearing glasses full time comes one big massive drama……smudges!! They come out of thin air and just land on your lenses! In a bid to keep these at bay, I picked up these cleaning cloths from Muji. They are like tissues that are slightly treated with lense cleaner. I must admit that I use them more than once because I feel guilty throwing them away after one use, so I have also been using them to clean my phone!!

So that is what I have been loving this month!! What have you guys been loving? What am I missing out on?

Sending hugs and love xXx have a great weekend xXx

Closed for Building Work

Good Afternoon Everyone!

Happy Saturday!!

Today The House of Lotz will not be taking guests.

The building (not the site) is undergoing some work…..at the moment I can not find my laptop or desk as they are packed away somewhere!

Normal service will resume as soon as the paint is dry and my desk has been set up!

Hugs and love xXx have a wonderfully weekend xXx

Wedding 101: Picking Your Venue

Where you get married is probably just as important as what you wear on the big day….but if you haven’t got anywhere to say “I Do” then the dresses and suits are all going to go unused!

This is the part of your big day that takes so much thought……and cost….so it’s best to make this decision slowly….if you put a deposit down and decided half way through planning everything you have not made the right choice for you, all that money has gone down the tube!

Picking a venue is a funny little thing so, as with most things in The House of Lotz, there are 5 things to keep in mind when you are venue shopping…..

Your Resource:

No matter where you are getting married, finding a good resource is a must! There is much to be said for plugging in “Places to get married in (insert town here)” but there is nothing like picking up a magazine!

If you are someone who likes more of a conventional magazine “Brides” is a good one to pick up, however I am rather partial to “Rock and Roll Bride”. No matter what magazine you pick up, there will be a useful directory of locations divided by area at the back of the magazine.

Appointments:

Once you have found some venues that you like a little bit, make appointments to see them…all of them! I know I know this sounds horrible, but I would recommend seeing every venue you find the tiniest bit pretty or fits your aesthetic. Your never know what little gem you might come across!

Sales Representatives:

Now these guys are wonderful and will sell you whatever you want, but please remember they are there to sell you a service, so do not feel bad about asking the hard questions.

One of the venues I visited I sat with the rep for 20 minutes discussing budget only to find out that we had to pay an extortionate sum of money to just book the rooms. Room fees where not included in the packages!

Follow Ups:

Do not be afraid to visit places more than once. These appointments can go so quickly and you can miss so many things from your list of 50,000 questions and want to speak to the rep again face to face. Or you might even want to just go to the venue and walk around on your own.

Are venue was brilliant! We went back 3 times to look around before booking, and then another 4 times before the big day.

I eventually made myself an email form to send to venues after appointments to make sure I covered everything;

Can you send me your full package list

Please price each package at ‘this many people’ with a per person breakdown

Do you have any licenses or missing any licenses that will help or hinder our day (things like noise restrictions and fire work licenses)

Parking Restrictions

Disabled Access

This all seems like a lot, but follow ups are your best friend!

Find Your Process:

This is probably the most important thing to think about. I hear of so many couples who argue about going to venue appointments. The families want to come, the bridal party want to help, the groom doesn’t want to go…hell half the time the bride doesn’t want to go!

Before you embark on these appointments it’s ok to set some ground rules, even between the 2 of you.

The Boy and I came up with a wonderful plan for venue hunting…..I made all the appointments, went to all the appointments and picked out the best ones to take him back to. Most brides would be horrified at this but, The Boy and I have been together a long time, we have been house hunting together and albeit very fun, he is not into this sort of thing. In the end I took him back to one venue and he loved it just as much as I did! If he didn’t we had a deal that he would have to find somewhere else for us to get married!!

Well, that’s the venue tips! Please remember just to follow your heart! If you want to get married in a castle with a grand theme or if you want to get married in a barn and have a picnic, as long as you both love it that’s all the matters.

Hugs and Love xXx Have a great weekend xXx

Step into the Perfect Pedicure

Feet can really pilorise people. They are either a love or hate item. There is a wealth of people who think they are the most attractive thing on a person. There are equal amounts of people who think they are horrid things that should just live in shoes.

I can honestly say ‘eegghh’ to feet….however I hate my own more than anything! They have been abused over the years by high heels, combat sports and wearing sandals all year round.

Over the last 2 years I have really made an effort to look after my poor little toes! Over this time I have found a few things that can really help keep them in tip toe shape (I couldn’t resist the pun).

Foot Soaks:

Soaking your feet is the best way to start off a pedicure. They do it in the salons, so why shouldn’t you take the time at home. As with everything there are a few routes you can take.

If you have the time, I’m a fan of watching TV or reading a book whilst soaking my feet in a bucket of warm water. Adding a few Epsom salts really ads to the spa feeling, and helps get rid of any aches and pains.

If this is too time consuming and you a blessed with a shower over the bath, just let the shower run for a few minutes before your ready to get in. This will give you a few inches of water and allows you to be a bit more time frugal.

Added Tip: if you have some clothes you want to wear in the next day or so, hang them in the bathroom whilst you’re letting the shower run and let the creases just melt away!

Exfoliation Exfoliation Exfoliation:

After your all soaked out, it’s time to get into the skin with some exfoliation. If you have a body scrub grab a handful and get scrubbing!! If not using a rough towel when you get out the shower will do.

Make sure you get right up to the nail bed to help remove those stubborn cuticles.

The Foot Files:

These giant nail file looking items are AMAZING! I hate to be so traffic but they really do get rid of the hard bits that no amount of exfoliation will!

Over the time I have upgraded to a battery powered number that has saved me time, money and effort!

Keep going at it until ur skin is soft and smooth. If at any point you get any pain, stop…..your at the soft bit so there is nothing more you can do!

Good Scissors:

Trimming cuticles can be made so much easier by having the right tools!

Whilst the skin is still wet, I push my cuticles back and then trim them at the base, making sure I don’t get too close….that’s just calling for disaster, and a plaster!!

Heel Repair Balm:

I always associate this with my Nana. She is diabetic and has a special balm that stops her heels from cracking. I thought this was nonsense until I split my heel at her house (this happens a lot and I usually just ignore it). She put some of this stuff on, and gave me some to take home, instructing me to apply it every day for 3 days.

I saw this stuff is magic! My heel was fixed in the time she said and now I use it every pedicure as a preventative measure! It’s brilliant stuff!!!

Warning: DO NOT put this on areas that do not need it! It will build up a rough patch that you have to deal with later!!

Nail Polish is always a nice way to end this yummy treat, but that is a whole different ball game….and a story for another time!

So, how do you look after you feet for the summer months? Are you a luck one who doesn’t have to think about these things or someone who suffers every time they think about sandals?

Sending love and hugs xXx have a great weekend xXx