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

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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

April Favorites

This month has been crazy! The weather has been all over the place, I have been all over the place, family have been all over the place. It’s been a busy month that just has not stopped…..but even still it has been wonderful.

The month started out with both myself and The Boy where home sick for a few days. We had family stay with us, I then stayed with some of my best friends for a girls weekend, and not I am glad to say my Dad has come home from being in hospital…yaaay!!

So, with all that coming and going….what has been keeping me together?

In The Kitchen:

Over the last month I have had to make some dietary changes resulting in me no longer being able to eat soya and any bovine derivatives. This means no butter, no cheese, no yoghurt and not stake….booo!!

As with anything, when someone tells you that you can’t have something you want it that bit more. All I have been thinking about is cheese burgers and brownies. I haven’t been able to replace the burger, but i have found this raw vegan brownie that is really hitting the spot.

In The Bathroom:

I have one thing to say: Bubble Baths!

After being ill and then over working in the gym to get back on track, I have needed this down time on a Sunday to keep my muscles soft….it has the added bonus of me not loosing my mind before the week had started!

In The Bedroom:

In my bid to recover after a very busy month, I have been spending more time than usual in my pyjamas.

After having a massive declutter of all my clothes, I needed to reinvest in nightware. I picked these sets up from ASOS and I just love them! They are comfy, warm and never fail to bring a smile to my face after a long day.

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

“April Showers Bring Forth May Flowers”….well I just could not wait that long!!

In a bid to bring the Spring and keep the warm spell we had a few weeks ago going, fresh flowers are making their way back into The House of Lotz. We have to be so careful with fresh flowers because of our collective allergies, but these beautiful little blooms do not drop pollen and just look so darn cute!! This time next week I am hoping that I can get my hands on so peonies!!! (Yes I know….generic blogger flowers).

In The Portable House of Lotz (aka The Hand Bag):

Sickness in a house can mean only one thing……hand sanitiser! I keep it in my bag all year round, but i find that it comes into use more when there is illness going around!

I really can’t stand the gel sanitisers that are out there, so finding this very natural spray was a god send!! There is an added bonus that it smells incredible……and it evaporates very quickly!!

What has been keeping you going this month? What have I missed?

Have a great weekend lovelies xXx Sending hugs xXx

Wellbeing at Work

Wellbeing is such a buzz word at the moment, however I think people become a bit freaked out by the term. As soon as you say to someone tells you they are making their wellbeing a priority, people think they are mad or have too much time on their hands.

In reality, making your wellbeing a priority means that you are trying to look after yours! Given how fast pace our lives can be,how full on our jobs and social media can be, we need to start putting ourselves first a bit more!

The biggest portion of our day is spent at work…..this is also where we take care of ourselves the least! We start the day with beautiful intentions but as soon as we open our emails those intentions are long gone and we are plotting our trip to the vending machine and skipping lunch to work on something important.

I don’t like to be all preachy but: This is not healthy at all lovely guests! This is the quickest way to put your mental and physical health at risk! Just by asking a few changes, or putting in a few “Plan Bs” you might be able to finish the day not feeling like you have been hit by a bus!

So here are my tips for looking after yourself at work:

Take Regular Breaks:

An obvious one I know, but how many breaks did you take today? Hand on heart, I can say I went to the ladies room twice, filled my water bottle once and took a 40 minute lunch break and that is only because i had to run errands!

Taking regular breaks to just get away from your screen and get the feeling back in your butt can help you be more productive and able to take on your next task more efficiently.

These breaks do not have to be far from your desk, or involve anything extravagant. They can just be a little trip to catch up with a friend for 5 minutes, but every little helps!

Drink More Water:

This little trick can help you with time number 1. Drinking more water is good for your skin, your internal organs and ladies it can help with your menstrual cycle.

Grab yourself a litre water bottle fill it up first thing and again when you take your lunch break. This will hydrate you the recommended amount and will force you to take breaks as your body needs it.

Work Smarter Not Harder:

Tracking our tasks and things to do is just part of the usual day-to-day at any 9 to 5, however how often do we look at this mammoth list and get lost, overwhelmed and even bored!

Over the last year and a half I have created this bullet journal/to do list hybrid that helps me keep track of tasks, sub-tasks and overtime hours that need to be banked.

Every task has a title, every sub-task has a tick box and all the hours go o a tracker. (I will do a fill post on this later on once I have perfected my little technic)

Eating vs Nourishing:

We all do it……too many emails, too many calls, too many meetings and your boss has just dumped something else on you that means you can’t take a lunch break and you are starving! So you smash back a cup of coffee, packet of crisps and a chocolate bar from the vending machine….this is not good for you!

This behaviour will just result in your blood sugar spiking and you crashing later on. So what is the solution? Personally I keep a snack jar full of nuts in my draw, and I prep my lunch the night before (again a story for another time). This way no matter what, there is something I can much on that nourish my body rather than taking it on a rollercoaster!

Keep It Fun:

Being in the office is dull and horrible at the best of times! The office I am in is beige and yellow……it makes my spirit sob daily…..and it has been scientifically proven that if your brain is not stimulated by your surroundings it will stop making new cells.

To avoid this at all costs, my desk is covered in colourful pens, sticky notes and things that I can use to activate what little grey matter I have left!!

So this is how to put you first during your 9 to 5! During this portion of the day, we neglect ourselves….we would never put up with this behaviour from anyone else, so why do we do it ourselves?

Have a great weekend lovelies xXx hugs and love xXx

What’s in my Gym Bag?

I never thought i would be one of those people, but after 2 years of going I am now a gym addict.

Maybe addict is a bit too strong…..gym enthusiast maybe would be a better way to describe it. I am there 3-5 days a week, mainly at lunch times because the gym is empty. My workouts are not really planned or scheduled anymore but I like to hit a few keep point and not do the same workout 2 days in a row.

This gym malarkey started as a thing to shed some flab before the wedding, but after losing 6 stone and seeing some amazing results it has made its way into my routine.

So….being a seasoned gym goer (lol), i have found a few things that I can not live without for my weekly sweats….so here are my top 5 most used things in my gym bag:

My spare glasses:

It’s official, in my 30’s I am not officially blind!!! So much so that I have to wear my glasses every waking moment. However in typical Lotz fashion my new glasses are very pretty and I would like to keep them in good condition for as long as possible.

To do this I keep my spare old glasses in my gym bag, just to thrown in to make sure I don’t hit the wrong button on the elliptical….and to read my book on the bike. Yes I know this is an odd habit, but you need to make time where you can……and it’s a darn site safer than reading whilst driving.

Water Bottle/Cup:

An obvious thing to take to the gym, but you would be surprised how many people i have seen taking those teeny tiny plastic cups onto the machines and drinking all of it before they are even a third of a way through their workout.

I have the view of “the bigger the better” when it comes to gym drinks receptacle. I tend to swap between this glass one from Kikki.k and my metal Beast. Both take a liter and I do my best to finish the lot before my hour is up.

Pen and Post-it:

I have always been one of those people that gets absorbed in what they are doing and will forget where I am up to in my workout. I kind of get lost in this circuits cycle and keep going until I fall down.

Having a pen and post-it near me means I can tally up my circuits to make sure i have done the correct amount of repartitions.

Added extra: sticking my post-it to my water bottle means I can hydrate whilst I make my reps off!

Travel Yoga Mat:

This has been the best investment I have ever made! This super soft, super sticky and very portable mat from Sweaty Betty has been the best £50 I have ever spent.

Gym mats are always over worn and usually a bit gross, so by taking your own you have a little bit of home comfort….as well as actively encouraging you to stretch!!!

Added extra: I try to do one yoga/Pilates routine a week (usually on a Friday). If the weather is nice I like to take my workout outside, so by having my own mat i can do this with ease!!

Microfibre Towel:

A standard towel is something I see hanging in our locker room every day. On the up side it’s nice to know my female colleagues shower post workout, but these towels take all day to dry and start to smell after a while.

After having mentioning this to Miss Pusheen, she recommended I try this microfibres option. Takes up a fraction of the space and soaks up the same amount of water if not more.

The one I have is part of a set from Amazon. Very cheap and excellent quality! Having the smaller one with you as is another bonus, as if you are planning a super sweaty workout you can take it around the gym and dry off mid session.

What do you guys keep in your gym bags? Is there anything you would recommend me trying out as we start a new week with new workouts to be had?

Have a great weekend xXx hugs and love xXx