Friday, 25 September 2015

Simple Skin Care

We all know how important it is to have a great skin care routine. Cleanser, toner and moisturiser are
usually the bare minimum now with so many other products sneaking their ways into our everyday
regimes. It's all well and good using these products and hoping that they will make us look 10 years
 younger and as fresh as a daisy but without eating properly and concentrating on the basics, how
well will they really work? 

I'm going back to the very basics, before all the magical creams, and take a look at what we can do
ourselves to look beautiful. 

  1. We all know how important it is to drink plenty but to get glowing skin we should be aiming to
     get about 6 glasses a day! And that does not include coke or coffee. 
  2. Fruit and Vegetables!!!!! I can hear you all now, "5 a day, yes yes we know!" But did you
    know that carrots, broccoli, apricots, strawberries, watercress and oranges are all skin
    superfoods, so get them down you as often as you can! 
  3. Chocolate hasn't been linked to having problem skin, so you can still indulge in your little
     choc-attacks. Within reason people! 
  4. Skipping meals is a big no-go when it comes to healthy skin so make sure you're sticking to a
    regular, balanced diet. 


Winter is on it's way out (thank goodness) and Summer is just around the corner so here's some
things to remember for when the sun comes out.
  1. Slap on that suntan lotion! Do it before you get dressed as part of your normal moisturising
  2. Don't forget about the skin on your lips. They are so prone to burning and people often miss
    them out so invest in a lipsalve with SPF.
  3. If you can stay out of then sun between 12 and 3. You're all shouting at me again, "We know
     this!" but how many of you actually do it?! 
  4. Buy a fashionable summer hat, one that you really like, and WEAR IT! 


Although we may be seeing a tad more of the sun now, Winter is still lingering and so we need to be
protecting our skin from the cold weather. 

  1. Cold weather and freezing winds dry out the skin and make us itch so make sure you're
    covering up and trying to keep as much of your skin away from the elements. 
  2. If you're layering up in this weather then make sure the layer closest to your skin is a light
    cotton as this keeps the skin warm and dry and is less likely to irritate it. 
  3. I know you're all dying to hop into a nice hot shower or bath when you get in but the water
    dries out your skin! I'm afraid that if you want beautiful skin you're gonna have to turn the heat
     down just a little bit, and keep your time in the water to a bare minimum! 

So there you have it, just a few tips and tricks to save our skin without the expensive products.
However, integrating these pointers with your usual regime will most definitely give you the best
skin you have ever had! 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Going Vegan?

Tomorrow is #HugAVeganDay, did you know? I have been considering going Vegan for some time now and I just don't know what's stopping me.

There are a lot of people making the transition into Veganism nowadays for a variety of reasons: health, environmental and of course for the animals. Conversely there are still a huge amount of people who view Vegetarians and Vegans in a negative manner, maybe because they just don't understand it fully. 

Personally I would like to go Vegan for the heath and ethical reasons. I am a huge lover of animals and I disagree with the way they are treated in the meat industry. The only reason I haven't made the change already is that I am nervous about not getting all of the nutrients that I need. I am a lazy cook so I need food that can be prepared quickly and with very little effort and everything I have seen about Vegan cooking takes a lot of work. I suppose I should just stop being so lazy! I also truly believe that going Vegan may help cure my raging eczema, and that would be a miracle! 

I'm going to turn my Vegan journey into a regular segment on here so that you can see how I'm getting on and so that I can share my thoughts and discoveries with you. Maybe I could even help a few of you on your own way to becoming a Vegan! 

One of my all time favourite Vegan's is Sweetsugarcrumble. She is an absolute gem and I love her blog and her Youtube channel so you should definitely check her out. 

Here's to going plant based!

Lottie x 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


The time is almost upon us once more and it's time for thousands of us to grit our teeth and take the plunge to stop smoking this October. It will be hard, no one is denying that, but it will be so worth it! 
I quit smoking just over a year ago after smoking for just under 6 years. Although I enjoyed smoking it had become a crutch and I had had enough so I decided to stop, no matter what it took. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was bloody hard work and some days I just wanted to cry. But a year on I can safely say that it was the best decision I have ever made. 

I no longer get out of breath after two minutes of cardio, I don't spend all my wages on stupid little sticks and I no longer have to stand outside in the rain when everyone else is cosy and warm inside. More than that I have significantly improved my internal health and am no longer putting myself at risk. 

The NHS is running Stoptober again this year to try and help thousands of people to give up for good. They say that by stopping for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to give up smoking for good. If you sign up now, they will send you a free stop smoking pack to help you on your way. Pledge to stop smoking starting the 1st of October for 28 days and you could improve your energy levels, your life expectancy and your sex drive! Now who would say no to that! 

Here's the link to get you started: Smoke Free

Good Luck! And let me know how you get on.
Lottie x 

First Day of Autumn!

I absolutely love Autumn, it's my all time favourite season! The colours, leaves, bonfires, Halloween, hot chocolates and cosy nights wrapped up in blankets, what's not to love!?

Here are some fun things that I love to do in Autumn that you can try too.

  1. Wrapping up in scarves and hats, and going for a long, relaxing walk. Crunching through the fallen leaves and just enjoying nature.
  2. Baking. This is a great one for autumn and it tastes delicious too. One of my favourites is ginger biscuits (I can do a recipe post if you like?) as these as so warming, go great with a cup of tea, and the ginger really makes me think of Autumn.
  3. Conker collecting is a childhood favourite of mine. I used to go to the local park and collect conker's with my dad every Autumn without fail. Playing conkers is awesome too but just be careful because they can hurt!
  4. Autumn = Halloween which = Pumpkin carving! You could even use the flesh to bake a pie.
  5. Soup is delicious as it gets colder, as are seasonal vegetables. So why not try making a lovely, warming vegetable soup and serving it with crusty bread. 
Just a couple ideas of things you can try this Autumn. Let me know if you have any more, I'd love to try some new ones! 

Lottie x 

Controlling Relationships.

"If you loved me, you would do it."

Who of you have had a loved one say this to you? Many people don't know that this is actually a form of blackmail and something that controlling partners use on an all too regular basis to get you to do something that you are not comfortable with. 

I know, I've been there. I was in a controlling relationship from age 14-17. It was the reason I never completed college and why I have so many problems with my self-esteem and trust now. It's something that I am working on and I'm getting better, but if I can help just one person out there avoid being in this position then it would make it all worthwhile. 

Young love (or new love) is an exciting and beautiful thing but sometimes it doesn't last. Things change and all of a sudden you find yourself in something you wish you weren't. You should never feel pressurised to do something you don't to. This includes being told to wear certain clothes, or to do your hair and make up a certain way. Not being allowed to see your friends or family, your partner checking your phone or facebook, and using the age old phrase of, "If you loved me..." is all controlled, unhealthy behaviour to have in a relationship and it is not something you have to put up with, 

I know from experience how easy it is for a genuine, loving relationship to slowly slip into a controlling one. I also know how hard it is to get out of one, and how much it hurts. What you have to remember is that, although it's painful and might not be what you want at the time, getting out of a controlling relationship is always better for you in the long term. 

My ex-boyfriend used to take me out of classes at college, he would threaten me and my family and eventually things got physical which was when I knew I needed to get out. I loved him very much, he was my first proper boyfriend, and it was very painful to leave but in the end it was the right thing to do. I waited nearly a year before I did something but I encourage you to take action as soon as you see the telltale signs. The longer you leave it, the more likely you are to experience long-lasting effects. 

If you are in a controlling relationship currently, or a physically abusive one, then please get help and talk to someone. It doesn't matter who it is as long as you trust them. 
Here are some links to people you can talk to in confidence: 
  • Childline - Talk to trained professionals.
  • Elefriends - Get encouragement from others in a Facebook like setting.
Thank you for reading, and I truly hope this helped some of you. 

Lottie x 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

"Get Some Meat On Your Bones"

I hate this saying. My Nan says it to me almost every single time I see her, along with, "You're so pale, you look like a ghost."

"We need to feed you up"
"Do you ever eat?!"
"Why are you so thin?"
"You look anorexic."
"You must not eat enough to keep a fly alive."
"You are too skinny."

All of the above are things that I have had said to me over the years and all of them are things that I find offensive.

I have always been thin. I danced from the age of 3 and still do so I never really put on any weight. I have a very high metabolism and I am just generally quite a small person, In the past doctors have expressed their concern from my BMI being lower than it should be but only by about 1 or 2 points and nothing to worry too much about. The fact is is that I have always been like this, no matter how much I eat. And crikey, I eat a lot!

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that phrases like the ones above are not exactly helpful. In fact they can often make people feel self conscious and worried about their appearance. I feel this way and I am perfectly healthy. But imagine if you did say this to someone who does suffer from an eating disorder, how would it make them feel? It certainly wouldn't help them in their recovery, I can bet that much!

I suppose it's just important to think about what you say before you say it, and to consider how it may be received by the person to whom you are directing it. There are better ways to compliment someone on their weight or appearance.

No matter what you're body shape, if you are healthy and happy then don't worry about what other people are saying. Just be confident with who you are because you are beautiful.

If you do think that you may know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder then please tell someone who can help them and get them the support they need.

Let's just be nice to one another and take care of each other.

Lottie x

P.s. Zoella did a blog post on this topic back in 2011 if you would like to check it out.

Just Do It

Anxiety stops us from doing things, often things that we really want to do but feel we can't. Usually because we feel shy or out of our comfort zone and we feel like saying NO is the only option. But in reality, what would really happen if we just said yes a little more? Anxiety always makes us think of the worst case scenario but 99% of the time the things we worry about never happen.

Unfortunately for us, anxiety creeps up on you and before you know it it has taken control of your life and you've become accustomed to living how it wants you to live. Living like this will make you unhappy though and you won't live your life to the fullest. Remember, that you are more likely to remember the times you enjoyed in life over the times you spent being anxious, and that's what is important.

I am controlled by my anxiety more often than not. I have stopped seeing friends (and have lost many because of this), I don't leave the house unless I really need to, I've stopped eating out as often as I used to and I have become somewhat of a shut-in. I don't want to live my life like this however, and so I've decided it's time to make a change. Nobody should live like this, it's not only draining for me but also for those around me.

I want to start saying YES to things and not holding back, and I encourage you to do the same. The big thing with anxiety is being able to prove it wrong. By doing something that you may not feel entirely comfortable with and showing that you are able to do it, you give anxiety a kick in the teeth. "See I CAN do it! That showed you!"

It's so important to enjoy our lives and to get the most out of them and if we always say no that will never happen. So just try, this week, to say YES to maybe one thing that you wouldn't normally. Put yourself outside of your comfort zone and prove to yourself that you can do it!

Lottie x

Monday, 21 September 2015

Peace Day

So, today is the International Day of Peace. Didn't know about it? No, neither did I until I saw it trending on Twitter. I wish there had been more knowledge of this and more information passed around because I think it's a lovely idea and something more people should have known about.

So what is the International Day of Peace? It was introduced in 1982, which is weird because this truly is the first time I'm ever hearing about it. The General Assembly of the UN declared it as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace. In 2001 the General Assembly voted unanimously on a resolution which states that the 21st of September would be a day of non-violence and cease-fire.

I did a bit of research and discovered that this years International Day of Peace focus is, 'Partnerships for Peace - Dignity For All' which aims for all segments of society to work together for peace.

Ok, now we know what it is, what can we do to be a part of this day?

  • You could make a Youtube video and express your views on Peace. Maybe even get together with your friends and stand up for what you believe in. 
  • You could join a peace group, there are lots of them about and you can meet like minded people. 
  • You could do a meatless day. Showing peace towards our animal friends. 
  • Write a letter, poem or use social network to let those who have the power know how you feel. Use this as your opportunity to get your voice heard. 
  • One of my favourite ideas is to just simply make peace with someone in your life. Maybe a friend you fell out with or a family member you haven't spoken to in a while, today is the perfect day to put things right. 

Thank you for reading and let's get more people knowledgeable on this subject, spread the word!

Lottie x

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Harsh Reality of Depression

So I said when I started this blog that I wanted it to be as open, honest and real as possible and I'm going to stick by that. However, that does mean that some of my posts won't be happy or particularly pleasant to read and for that reason I am warning you that the following post is not a happy one and feel free to skip it if it's not something you wish to read.

I live in a house with my boyfriend and two of our friends but I would much rather sit in my room on my own.
I am 22 years old however I may as well be an old lady because I pick sitting in and watching tv over going out any day of the week.
I can spend days in my pj's, watching youtube videos and barely eating.
I turn down exciting plans nearly every day and chose to stay in the house.
I rarely do my hair and make up, opting for comfy clothes and slippers over all the nice clothing that I own but never gets worn.

These, and many other things, make up my day-to-day existence. And I say existence because in order to have a life you need to live it and I definitely don't.

I write this post not to make anyone feel bad for me, or to be depressing. I write it because I think it is important for people to understand exactly what happens when someone is in a depression, It's important for us to break down the stigma that surrounds talking about and being open about these topics.

I don't really know what else to say other than this is me today.

Lottie x

Vegan Banana Pancakes

I want to be a vegetarian, better yet I would love to be vegan. However, every time I have tried to transition I have ended up failing miserably.

I came up with a plan to try and introduce new vegetarian/vegan meals into my diet slowly and eventually I should have enough ideas to cut out meat completely!

One of my all time favourite breakfasts is vegan and I want to share it with you today.

So the recipe could not be more simple:
  • 1 Banana (Mashed)
  • Flour
  • Almond Milk (or any kind of dairy free milk)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Sugar
And that's it! I don't have exact measurements as it really does depend on the size of your banana but you are just looking for a pancake batter consistency. 

Spray your pan with a little oil and cook gently over a low heat for a couple of minutes on each side and viola. Delicious, healthy breakfast. 

I usually serve mine with some chopped up fruit but it's delicious with dairy-free yoghurt too! 

I hope try this recipe and if you do, I hope you enjoy! 

Lottie x 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Bare Minerals for Eczema

I want this blog to be as honest and open as it can be and that's why I'm making this post. I know that Bare Minerals are a highly reputable company who do amazing products that are very gentle on the skin. However, recently I had a bad reaction to one of these products and I wanted to share it with you guys so that you are aware and can just be careful when purchasing them, especially if, like me, you suffer from eczema.

For my birthday my mum booked me in at Bare Minerals to have my make up done professionally. I had been wanting to try this company for a long time as I have quite bad eczema on my face and wanted some make up that could cover it without irritating it. Whilst there, the lady who was doing my make up asked if I would like to try some skin care and of course I said yes! The cream she used was called, 'Purely Nourishing Cream' and as soon as she placed it on my face I felt the heat leave my rash and the redness calmed down. It was such a lovely feeling and I was so excited to have finally found a product that worked! 

Sorry for the stock picture, I no longer have the cream so couldn't take my own. 

I purchased the cream and at £27 for a small tub it was not cheap however I felt that if it worked, it would be worth it. 

Unfortunately, after using the cream twice daily for about a day and a half, I started to get a severe reaction. My eyes swelled up, my lips cracked and my face looked as though it had been burnt. I stopped using the cream immediately however two weeks later my face still hasn't gone back to normal. 

I would definitely recommend that if you want to try this cream to ask for a sample tester first, particularly if you have very sensitive skin like me. This won't happen to everyone and I'm sure for many this moisutriser is a miracle worker, it's just a shame it didn't work for me. 

I did buy some of the Bare Minerals make up and that works wonders for covering up my face eczema and so I will do a blog post of that in the future because it really is wonderful. 

Thank you for reading and please just be careful when trying new products as they don't always work out!

Lottie x 

Sometimes It's Hard.. A Little Hello!

Sometimes it's hard isn't it? This little thing we call life. It can get on top of us and drag us down but we should never let it hold us there.

Welcome to my little space on the internet, 'Living As Lottie'. I wanted to make this to document my life, talk about my struggles and my triumphs, and to help you in any way I can along your journey. I want to talk about my experiences with eczema, mental health and just life in general and hopefully amongst all of that you may find something that interests you, helps you or makes you smile.

So stick around and let's get to know each other!

Lottie x