February Favourites

Another month has been and gone…….I think it might be just me, but the month seemed to go so quickly and so slowly all at the same time!

February saw the Husband and I go to Center Parcs for our birthdays (beautiful, cold and full of squirrels….as it should be), we celebrate my birthday, cry on Mama’s Birthday and smile again on Husbands Birthday. February is the Birthday month, as you can tell, so it has been full of cake and naughty foods.

This has also been the month of snow: as I write this, I am watching our garden peek through the white blanket. Today was our first day leaving the house after 3 days of being stuck inside……I even has to bring my 9 to 5 into The House of Lotz office and work from home…..not impressed!!

So anyway…..let’s get into what has been keeping me going through this cold festive month:

In The Kitchen:

The push for a better world with more recycling and reusable products, I have decided to do my bit. A while ago I made the conscious effort to ask for no straw when we go out anywhere as well as making sure I either have my coffee in the cafe or bring my own travel mug.

Now to take this a little bit further I have been taking these metal straws with me. This was I can have enjoy my beverage through a straw, but not contribute to a pile of plastic.

In The Bathroom:

As a beautiful birthday present, my wonderful Husband brought me a new Jo Malone shower gel to replace one that I just finished.

As an extra romantic step, he picked out one of the matching fragrances on our wedding day.

English Pear and Freesia is something that is delicate, fresh and uplifting. Even though it is a shower gel, the scent lingers all day and makes me smile without fail.

In The Bedroom:

As you all know it has been freaking freezing! According to my Dad (who is my weather expert, and is never wrong) it has been “feels like minus 12” in our area……and living in a house that does not currently have central heating fitted I have been feeling the cold!

To help keep me warm, I have been obsessed with my Yuyu hot water bottle. Yes I know this is the kids cover, however I could not stretch to a cashmere cover!

This little guy stays warm for quite a while, and given him being so long, my entire body gets warm!

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

As part of our shared birthday gift from my Mum, The Husband and I were treated to a new living room lamp. Our last one bit the dust at the end of January as a result of being a million years old and not screwing together properly.

This amazing spot lamp illuminates our living room independently of all other lights, but not in a garish way. We have fitted it with a warm toned bulb so we get a lovely warm glow.

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

I love to be organised…..we all know this….however like most very organised people, there are a few areas of my world that are messy…..One of these places is my handbag. You would all be appalled at how much of a state it is at the bottom of my bag……

In a last ditch effort to tackle this part of my world, I invested in this beautiful leather clutch from a fabulous seller on Etsy. It is expertly handcrafted, and can really take a lot of stuff!!

Added bonus: it now makes running out the door for coffee or a quick trip somewhere, I can just take this little guy filled with all my essentials and be on my way!

So…..that was February!

I hope you all had a good month, and that you have started to defrost!

Have a great week xXx hugs and love xXx


How to plan a wedding: You’re Engaged Now What?

Congratulations you lovely people! Your engaged and I’m sure you could not be happier! It is the most incredible feeling to have the person you love confirm that they want to be with you forever and declare all the things that comes with it.

Once this beautifully intimate declaration has passed, and you have to make the announcement to all you know and love, you are now bombarded with questions and pressure and…..well…far to many things that will bring on anxiety attack!

I found that everyone wants to know the date, where the wedding is, how many people are coming, what your dress looks like…..but it has only been a few days since you became engaged! Between us, Husband and I kept saying “We don’t know, we haven’t decided yet”, but in the back of our heads we are screaming “We got engaged yesterday, how are we meant to know”.

I have spoken to a lovely newly engaged friend of mine who is havening the same problem, so sweetie this is for you. These are my top 3 tips for the newly engaged.

Enjoy The Moment:

Becoming engaged is a beautiful thing. It comes with so many emotions that you need a little while to put yourself in order, and to spend time with your fiancé. I recommend just telling your family and closest friends when you are ready, and ask them to keep it to themselves for a few days.

The Husband and I kept it just for us and our little universe for a week, and then did a formal announcement when you are ready. This was you really get to enjoy the moment without a thousand questions.

Make an Engagement Plan:

When you are ready to, have a conversation with your fiancé about the things you want for your engagement/wedding. You need to be able to agree on having a long or short engagement, big or small wedding, whether you are having an engagment party or not. These things are all important but you should not make these decisions alone……your not getting married to yourself!

Set Some Ground Rules:

Girlfriends, Sisters, Mum’s and Mother In Laws to be get very excited about weddings. Some get a little bit too excited! I have a friend who had her now bridal party bombard here with wedding magazines, Pinterest pages and planner notebooks a week after she got engaged. To some that can be a bit overwhelming….and it made this bride to be run away from planning her own wedding.

Something similar happened to us. We kept getting asked about the date when we had not even found a venue.

Before anyone can get in there and scare you off, tell people you want to take your time and think about things with you fiancé first. No back seat planners please!

I hope this gives you lovelies a little insight into what it’s like to be engaged! Next time, I’m going to talk about important resources you need to start the planning process.

Have a great week guys xXx hugs and love xXx

Avocado Cookies

Cookies are one of those things that are always a crowd pleaser! No matter if I am happy, sad or indifferent, cookies are always there to save the day!

In saying that, these little guys are always my downfall…..they are never filling, always full of junk and make you want to eat about 50 of them!!

After watching a Buzzfeed video about something completely different, I came across this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop” site….and it intrigued me! It falls under the “I’m pretending to be a healthy cookies” bracket, but it could also be an upcoming classic that i crack out again and again……after a few tweaks of course!

Right, let’s get baking!

The original recipe for the cookies is here (https://goop.com/recipes/avocado-chocolate-and-sea-salt-cookies/), but the recipes I have used is below:

4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

1 ripe avocado (mashed within an inch of its life)

½ cup brown sugar

¾ cup spelt flour

⅓ cup raw cacao powder

1 pinch salt

½ cup of something. Ok, this is not helpful but this is a little something to add some texture to your cookies. It can be chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruits, or a mix of everything.

(Note: if you fancy this, you can have some extra salt to sprinkle on top of your cookies for an extra fancy touch. You can also swap out the butter for coconut oil or a plant based butter to make these little guys vegan)

The method to these is brilliant:

First things first, pop your oven on full blast to get it heated up. These little cookies do not rise, but they need the extra heat to get going!

Blend together you avocado and butter until it is well combined.

Add in the sugar and beat until light and creamy.

Sift in your dry ingredients and then beat again until well combined.

Fold in your “something” of choice! This time I used pecans (this is basically all i had in the cupboard so I just ran with it).

This is the sucky part: leave your mix in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. I know I know this sucks, but you will thank me for it!!

In these 2 hours you can either clean your kitchen (blah) or have a cup of tea and take a rest! You can even leave these overnight…the firmer the better!

Once you have left these, it is time to put your quinel skills to the test! You are going to need 2 spoons to create balls of cookie dough.

Once you have these balls, pop them on the tray (you can fit as many as you want as long as they are not touching….these guys do not spread!)

Bake your cookies at 180 degrees for 10 minutes….and taadaaaa…your done!!

Fresh out the oven these are fudgy chocolate balls of goodness!! This is brought to you by the avocado and chocolate mixing to make beautiful magic!

These little guys will keep for 3 days maximum! After that, they start to feel like a lead balloon in your stomach thanks to the spelt flour!

Well, enjoy your cookies guys!!

Have a great week!! Hugs and love xXx

January Favorites – 2018

Well where did that month go? It feels like only yesterday I was sitting at my desk going through New Years Resolutions!

So…..today I wanted to go through the things that have kept me going through the cold and snow….

In The Kitchen:

As I have mentioned before….I live a very Granny Lifestyle that revolves around routines that keep me sane…..and healthy.

To keep my make sure I take all my vitamins/medication….I sort it all out into these lovely little pots from Muji which I am pretty sure are meant to be used for skin care. Every 10 days I stand in my kitchen and set them all out to make sure I am all healthy and happy!

These little guys have the added bonus of being screw top, and interchangeable so I can bundle some pods together and take them away with me.

In The Bathroom:

I am obsessed with a few things in life, 2 of which have taken up residence in our bathroom.

I have organised (obsession 1) my skincare (obsession 2) into this gorgeous little basket to keep everything together and accessible!

In The Bedroom:

Over the last few months, I have noticed that our bedroom carpet has become a bit squashed and lost a lot of its fluffy-ness…….which made me very sad!!

To bring a little bit of softness (and warmth) to our room, I picked up this sheepskin rug. The shade of grey is goes really well with the colour scheme and “Hygge/Minimal/Chic” vibe I am going for….with the added bonus of being super fluffy and soft on my feet in the morning…..Aaah the benefit of having all the space on my side of the bed!

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

To continue on the “Hygge/Minimal/Chic” vibe, I decided that we needed a little home for all of our warm blankets to live…rather than being dotted about the room collecting dust.

This basket came as pair with our laundry basket and has holding all my scarves until my recent declutter, but now resides next to my reading nook (fancier than it sounds) so I can grab a blanket as I read or work.

In The Portable House of Lotz (aka In My Handbag):

Over Christmas, the building that houses my 9-5 developed a massive hole in the ceiling. The joys of mixing rain with polystyrene ceiling tiles. With this has come a cold draft above my desk……and the heating being turned up……as well as a delightfully constant dripping coming from behind me.

With all of this, has come dry skin that needs some care!! I have been using my facial spray constantly to keep some kind of moisture in my skin!

So, that was January…..lets see what February brings!

Hugs and love xXx

Self Care Routine

I’m currently sat on the sofa with some home made cookies, a cup of tea a trashy movie on the TV. Tonight is an intense selfcare evening………

OK so this sounds very extreme, however this is the way we think of looking after ourselves. We all think it takes a full day every week, month, quarter, year, lifetime to take care of ourselves in the smallest way. I know I have out it off. I’ll take a rest after I do the dishes, write this email, I need to finish this piece of 9-5 work now……unfortunately this doesn’t serve the people you are trying to answer and it sure as hell does not serve you. You become tired and not satisfied with the things you are producing.

There are a few things that you can fit into your daily routine that can help you look after yourself and make you feel amazing….but they only take a few minutes. Here are 5 things that i have built into my week that really do make me feel like I am taking care of myself….

Taking a midday break:

It is so important to take a mid working day break. There are only so many emails, so many calls and so many meeting you can handle. It is the same if you are home with your children, or just home doing chores, we all need to take some time to refresh.

I like to step away from everything at least once a day, and take a break. To have coffee, just walk around, or sit somewhere else far away from the activities I am trying to undertake. When you return, even after a few minutes, you can tackle them with a fresh head.

Prep time:

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail…or something like that……

I swear, this is the wises piece of advice i have ever been given. Every night before I do to bed, I make sure that I have as much done for the following day as possible. I make my breakfast and lunch so I can just pack it in my bag and go. I make sure my gym bag is ready to go and i lay out my clothes for the next day. It means that i can stay in bed for as long as possible…..and just grab everything without thinking.

This little bit of prep makes me feel like the magic fairies have sorted everything ensuring I come to life in my own time, with the added bonus of being stress free.

Fuel your body:

OK, eating healthy foods is obvious, but you have no idea how may benefits there are to feeding your body what it really needs…..

When I am doing my food plan for the week, I think about everything that is going on in the week to ensure that I am giving my body what it needs. Gym days have more protein for dinner (as I don’t eat meat during the day as by stomach sucks!), non-gym days have lighter foods to make sure I can function at my best.

Family and Friend Time:

We all get so busy during the week that I sometimes think we forget about the people who build us up and make us feel at our best. We do so many things alone, that it is nice to have some time with others.

Since coming out of a stressful time, I now try to make sure that I reply to all my messages at least once a day, and I call my Dadums twice a week. This way I am fully fuelled with love and warm fuzzies to get me through.

My Daily Massage:

This makes me sounds like i am incredibly high maintenance…..but it is not what you think. This is part of my daily skincare routine…..

After I wash the day off my face and brush my teeth I pop myself into bed and start my moisturising…in this I like to really work the product into my skin with a little massage. I will even sneak in a little hand massage with the leftover product that is on my hands…….this makes me sleep like a baby….making it easier to take on the world the next day.

So, this all seems like a lot….I promise you that I don’t do all of these at once during the week, but jeez it is an amazing day when I do!

Have a great weekend everyone xXx enjoy some rest and selfcare xXx

How to Plan a Wedding: an Introduction!

How to Plan a Wedding: House of Lotz Style!

2017 was the year of the wedding! We celebrated 2 of our beautiful friends in April, as well as our own special day in October. We also celebrated our very dear friend getting engaged!

I know these beautiful couple so well, and we shared with each other our stresses, fears and excitements for our special day! All of this inspired me to sit down and put my thoughts in order to help the next generation of brides!

Over the next year, I will be dedicating 1 post per month to “How to Plan a Wedding”. This little series is going to cover EVERYTHING wedding related: From what to do when you get engaged all the way to that moment you walk down the aisle.

Within this, I am also going to cover some topics that I feel are overlooked in print. There will be a special feature about plus size dress shopping, and how to cope with anxiety/depression through this process.

So, to get you guys into the wedding spirit, here are a few photos from our big day that our amazing photographer took for us!

Have a great weekend lovelies! Hugs and love xXx