New Year New Me?

Happy New Year Everyone and Welcome back to The House of Lotz!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you enjoyed Insta-mas! It was so much fun and I had such wonderful feedback from you all…so…please make sure to hop on over to Instagram (@thehouseoflotz) to see what I have been up to in December!!

Today I wanted to do a little review of 2017 and go through a few bits of housekeeping for 2018…..so here we go!

What 2017 brought:

This year was such a double edged sword! It was both heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.

Let’s start with the heartbreak; we lost my Mama, which basically ended my world! It has taken the whole family so long to grieve and it is a process we are still going though. We all miss her every day and it hurts that she was not physically with us at some very special moments, but we carry her in our hearts every day!!

The beautiful parts;

This is very self indulgent to start of with, but i became a fitter and healthier me! This is a massive thing for me, and I promise to do some posts this year to share what i have learned. My health became a massive issue and it needed addressing quickly, so my lovely friend Pusheen (the fabulous lady behind Happdemic) inspired me and kicked my butt for a solid year! Even when she moved away, I kept her butt kicking going and I could not be happier. This has also brought with it a boost of body confidence and some very positive medical results!

Photo Credit: The Husband. Location: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Bikini: ASOS Curve (Bikini Separates)

The Boy and I became Mr and Mrs in October! We rounded up all our friend and family, shoved them in a very beautiful hotel and declared our love in front of them all! I know this sounds very predictable, but: it was truly the best day of my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

We also snuck off to Hawaii to rest for 2 weeks after the very busy period!

Mrs Rings: (From the bottoms up) Wedding Ring from Beaverbrookes, Engagement Ring from Somewhere online (The Husband picked it out, so no idea) Top Ring from Silver Mine Gentlemen’s Rings: Beaverbrookes

What I’m hoping for in 2018:

I’m hoping that the coming year will me a bit “smoother” to say the least! However there are a few things that I hope to sneak in before the year is out!

I’m planning on giving The House of Lotz (both the bricks and mortar home and the digital home) a bit of a face lift! Expect to see a site update, homeware favourites and DIY posts coming your way!

To continue on this healthy journey over the next year. The idea is to get my eating plan and fitness timetable down to such a perfect structure that I can come off my medicines!

I also want to dedicate more time to self care. This includes spending more time with Family, Friends and building in more time to read and check-in with myself! (I’m going to be doing a full self-care post so you can see what I’m going on about)

So that’s it! What are your plans for the next 12 months? How was your 2018?

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies! xXx

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An Early Christmas Present!

Happy Friday Everyone!!

In the spirit of advent, accompanied with my fear of YouTube, I have decided to do ‘The House of Lotz Christmas Story’

Instead of vlogmas I have decided to ‘instamas’. Every day up until Christmas Day, I will be on Instagram’s instastories sharing a little bit of cheer as well as the day to day.

Come on over to @thehouseoflotz or follow #LotzofChristmas

Looking forward to seeing you there!!! xXx

Gift Wrapping Guide: Tips and Tricks for the Perfectly Wrapped Gifts

This time of year has so many gift guides flying around, but there are no guides out there for gift wrapping. As someone who worked in the Luxury Goods world for many years, I have been subjected to many training sessions on how to wrap gifts perfectly….well…..nearly anyway! This year I wanted to impart some of the tricks and tips I have picked up. 
Giving gifts is such an amazing thing. The joy you pass onto others can never be replicated. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, it can be as simple as a bar of chocolate, but if it is wrapped with the care and attention you would give a pair of diamond earring, it makes it that little bit more special.
Today I wanted to show you little ways I like to wrap gifts to give them that extra wow….and how to wrap something circular. 

(Side Note: after working for a luxury brand for 2 years, I have mastered the art of wrapping a circular candle with only a piece of paper, scissors and ribbon…no tape required……this is now my party trick.)

Anyway, enough rabbiting on….time to get into the Gift Wrapping Guide:

Tip 1: Pick Good Tools
This week I sat down and picked out all the tools I need for wrapping all the gifts I have to give this year. In The House of Lotz, i have decided that this year i need the following:


Scissors, Washi Tape or Sticky Dots, Ribbon, Wrapping Paper and The Kikki.k Christmas Paper Lover’s Book.
The Paper Lover Books from Kikki.k are amazing! This little one has the usual scrapbook pages, pop out envelopes, gift tags, stickers and make your own decorations. I decided that this would be perfect to create that extra special layer to gifts this year.

Note: you need a really good pair of scissors. They have to be mega sharp! 
Tip 2: Pick a Theme

This sounds crazy, but this is really important! When you look under the tree, all the gifts from you should be easily picked out, so people will know that they came from your loving hands.


Every year I go for brown paper….this is a money saving effort on my part. You can get brown paper all year round, and all you need to do for different occasions is to add different coloured ribbons. 
Tip 3: Measure, Fold, Measure, Fold!

When you wrap presents, you should always measure the gift against the paper to make sure you do not use too much….and it stops you getting those ugly lumpy bits that really make me sad! With the least amount of paper means you get the crispest folds and lines. This makes your gift look professionally wrapped in store without having to add the extra cost in.


Note: Don’t be afraid to get in there with your nails on the folds. The crisper the lines the better.
Tip 4: The Little Details Matter

I’m a stickler for a the little details. The right cut in the end of your ribbon, the teeny little addition of a bow, and the use of coloured washi tape can really make the difference in a gift. All of a sudden the little box you have wrapped has turned into a masterpiece!


Note: Cut little V’s into you ribbon to get that crisp finish.

Tip 5: Round Gifts
So, this is my step by step on how to wrap a round gift…using all the tips I have given you above:

 

1)Measure your paper

2) Tightly wrap the gift and secure the edge of the paper with a sticky dot

Make small cuts in the paper following the line around the gift


Fold the pieces down tightly


Secure your pieces down with some fancy washi tape


Repeat on the other end

Secure with a bow

So, that is The House of Lotz Gift Wrapping Guide.

I hope this has been helpful for you all! If you give any of these tips a try, please let me know on Instagram at @thehouseoflotz or with the hashtag #thehouseoflotz so I can see what you have all been up to!

Have a great weekend! Hugs and Love xXx

October Favourites 

Happy Post Halloween Weekend Everyone!!
It definitely feels like Halloween today! It’s chilly, bright and all the leaves are shinning like little gems! It’s the perfect time for spooky goings on out there. 
This month I have been really getting into the ghoulishly festive spirit this month, so please excuse the odd favourites……hehehhe:
In The Kitchen:

This month in The House of Lotz has been all about getting the kitchen decorated. It’s been a nightmare getting it all done and covering up the very dark blue from the cupboards! 


So, as I have spent so much time in here, I can now say that our kitchen is my favourite part of our home! It’s still got the horrid red floor, but the beautiful neutral colours have made the space lighter and allowed my bright La  Creuset pieces shine like the jewels they are.
In the Bathroom:
This month I have spent no time in my bathroom. I’ve been nipping in to sort myself out in the morning and before bed, but that is about it. There has been no real pamper time in there for the entire month…..sad times!! If I had to pick a bathroom thing that I am loving right now, it would have to be this great eye cream from Kiehl’s.


I suffer from a very strange allergy that makes my eyes break out in hideous dry patches all over them, and there is usually nothing that clears it up. I have to slap E45 all over my face a pray for the best…..well….no more!! This avocado eye cream has saved me!! 

In the Bedroom:

With the ongoing home improvements invading all areas of The House of Lotz, I am finding myself loving furniture more and more.

We have recently invested in a new bedroom mirror and it is HUGE!!! This giant beast is from IKEA and I am super please with it!! I will be taking outfit photos in it over the next few months, so keep an eye out on my Instagram (@thehouseoflotz).

In the Livingroom (aka The House of Lotz Retreat and Spa)

As you all know, I am a nail polish junky. I can’t help it! I have spent so long not being able to express myself through the way I dress, so I have laid it all out on my nails. The joys of plus size fashion…..well, at least it has gotten a million times better over the years.
Anyway, as it is Halloween I have been decorating my nails with pumpkins…..so…..this orange nail polish has been a great investment! It is from Boots and super cheep, so for cracking it out once a year, I thought it was perfect!

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

As most of you have gathered by now, my routines are sacred to me. The little moments that I can take on completely on auto pilot and are true lay for myself really do make my day!

Most of these sacred moments involve a beverage of some type, and my morning routine is nothing without my coffee. 
Recently my ever faithful travel mug bit the big one and had to meet its maker at the local recycling plant…poor thing! So the hunt for the new travel mug began. After much searching, I landed this gorgeous little “KeepCup” from website! My favourite coffee shop has plastic versions of these covered with their own branding, but I am not a fan of plastic travel mugs, so the glass one had to be mine! 


Once I have sipped my last little bit of coffee, I pop the cup in my handbag ready for the next coffee stop.
So, that was it for October! Sorry this post was a wee bit late and there was a break in programming last week, there was a few scheduling issues.
Is there anything that I should be trying out for next month?? 
Have a great weekend everyone xXx hugs and love xXx

March Favourites

I have one word that sums up March – Germy! As you all saw last week, The House of Lotz was under quarantine due to a rather horrid throat infection that had decided to take up residence. For the best part of a week, all I could do was squeak at people and main that I was behind with everything….

However, before losing my voice and giving everyone I know a quiet life for a change, the month of March was filled with Spring-like fun…….so….here are the best things that have been keeping The House of lots going this past month….

In The Kitchen:

This month has shown the start of the Sunshine and bright tasty goodness, and my snack choices have really reflected the change in season. Pistachios are addictive anyway, but this month I have been eating them like they are going out of fashion!

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March Favourites – Pistachios

This month I have been adding these little nuggets of yumminess to my afternoon snack of Blueberries and a cup of mint tea, and they have been really hitting the spot!

In The Bathroom:

As you may have seen from my Instagram (@thehouseoflotz)…the end of February marked a bit of a hair change for me….and March has been no different! My Amazing Hair Dresser Millie from Rush Windsor has been fantastic at making my Violet-Grey hair dreams come true. She never fails to make me feel like a more Lotz version of myself….couldn’t love her more!!

Anyway….gushing aside…..with this amazing hair change has come a hair product change…….and we all know how I feel about doing anything to my hair in the first place!! At the suggestion of Miss Millie, I have invested in a Purple Shampoo and Conditioner to stop my hair going a crazy straw colour.

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March Favourites – Purple Shampoo

This particular set came from ASOS at a bargain price and its been keeping my hair perfect!

In The Bedroom:

As part of an amazing Birthday Pressie series from my Mama and Dadums, they gave my this amazing Night Serum from Lulu’s Time Bomb.

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March Favourites – Lulu’s Time Bomb

A light layer of this, combined with my usual skincare routine has been brining my skin back to its usual bright shiny self.

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

As you saw in my Nail SOS post from the 12th March, my nails have been falling apart and have been in need of a massive revamp. This has mainly consisted of buffing and filing them back to nothing and covering them in the Sally Hanson Nail Rehab.

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March Favourites – Sally Hanson Nail Rehab

This stuff is AMAZING!! 2 coats of this every few days really has been bringing the strength back to my nails, all whilst giving them a little coat of colour….very French Beauty Chic.

In The Handbag (aka The Portable House of Lotz)

So…..I appreciate that this particular favourite does not fit in my hand back, but…..it’s far too cool for me not to mention.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but, I love unicorns! They are amazing and beautiful! So when an email came through from Firebox advising me that they have a “Magical Unicorn Umbrella” I might have freaked out a little bit!

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March Favourites – Unicorn Umbrella

This combines 2 things I love, and I had to have this umbrella for my collection…yes I collect umbrellas….what can I say…I live in England, it’s a practical thing to collect!!

So….that was March from The House of Lotz. What have you guys been loving this month?

I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter Holiday Weekend xXx Hugs and love xXx

Savoury Muffins…….Part One

Muffins are funny little creatures. Most of us think of them as a sweet treats for tea time, however, they are just as yummy as savoury snack, or a nice way to switch up lunch time.

Ok, so some of you may not be convinced, so I am here to persuade you otherwise with these little yummies….so lets get started.

Ingredients:

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130g Fresh Spinach, 200g Strong Cheddar Grated, 350g Self Raising Flour, 1tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1tsp Freshly Ground Pepper, 1tsp Garlic Powder or 1 Clove of Garlic Crushed (a clove is more ideal for this, but I ran out of fresh garlic), 250ml Milk (you can use any type, I used hazelnut milk as it gives a nice nutty note to the cheese), 1 egg, 30g Butter melted.

Things You Will Need:

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A Large and Medium mixing bowl, Spatula for mixing, Metal Spoon to divide your mixture, Muffin Cases and 2 x 6 Muffin trays.

Firstly, turn you oven up to full and allow it to pre-heat. By allowing the oven to reach its highest temperature, your muffins will be given that extra boost to rise.

In your large bowl, roughly mix together the Flour, Garlic, Peppers and Cheese. By combining the dries ingredients with the cheese, you coat the cheese in flour stopping it from sinking to the bottom of your muffins.

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Once combined, leave this to one side for a moment.

In your medium mixing bowl, beat together you melted butter, egg and milk. Make sure this is beaten together well. This will make the batter nice, soft and even later on.

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Once beaten together, add the egg and butter mixture to the flour and cheese. Mix the two mixtures together well. It may take a little while to combine these two together, but keep at it.

At this stage your mixture will be very think, but that is what you need. If the mixture is too wet, you will end up with cheesy puddles later on, as a lot of water will come out of the spinach during baking.

Once these two are combined, fold in the spinach. This is not your usual type of soft folding. You will need to be a bit heavy handed at this stage to get the spinach worked in. This can take some time as well. I promise its worth it!

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Once your mixture is ready to go, divide it out into your muffin tins. This mix will make either 12 muffins, or 1 loaf.

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Drop your oven down to 170 C and bake for 35 minutes. If you are making muffins, check them after 30 minutes. If they are golden and slightly firm on the top, they are ready to come out of the over. If you are making a loaf, check it after 35-40 minutes.

If they are not golden enough for you, pop them back in the oven and check on them in 5 minute intervals. As there is cheese in the mix, you need to catch them at the right time to insure they do not suddenly burn.

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These little guys are perfect straight out of the oven with salad for lunch or light dinner.

If there are any left over, they will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge, and are super yummy served cold for a working day lunch, or afternoon snack, or even a picnic.

Well, I hope you all have fun making your savoury muffins. They are such a nice change from their sweet counterparts.

If you do have a go at making these, take a picture and tag me in instergram (@thehouseoflotz) so I can be nosey and see how they turned out. xXx