Things I Want My Newborn Niece to Know

Advice for my newborn baby niece

My youngest sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl today. Perfectly formed and weighing 7lb 5oz after a 40 HOUR LABOUR, Baby Squidge (as she will be referred to from now on on the blog) is the first baby and grandchild in our small family of four. As my first and only niece, these are the things that, on the day of her birth, I want her to know.

You are loved and will never be alone. No matter where you are and what you are doing, you will always have a family that you can call on for anything.

However, you may meet people that don’t like you. You will meet people who try to validate themselves by trying to tear you down. None of it matters. Love yourself and who you are – it will be one of the greatest lessons you’ll ever learn in life. What others think of you is none of your business.

Be nice to your parents. Say thank you.

Keep the confidence of others, but don’t tell anyone anything that you wouldn’t mind the whole world knowing, unless they prove themselves trustworthy.

Nobody expects you to be the best at everything, but as long as you DO your best, nobody can ask for more.

You’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them, apologise where necessary and move on.

It doesn’t matter how cute you are, you will never be able to play with Uncle Bloke’s Lego sets. The Duplo is yours.

Always be kind, be generous, be helpful, but don’t be a doormat.

Try. Take risks. It’s better to have tried and failed than never tried at all.

Don’t waste your time telling lies. Half your family are teachers – they’ve seen and heard it all before, and trust me when I say that WE WILL KNOW.

Use deodorant.

NEVER base your opinions on a person on their physical attributes. ‘Attractive’ does not mean ‘nice.’

Do NOT let your parents sell your childhood toys in a car boot sale. You’ll reach thirty years old and realise that they are now worth thousands of pounds.

Don’t eat garlic the night before a job interview.

When you fall in love, be it with a boy or a girl, we will support you. That is, once we have secretly done an MI5 quality investigation to check that they are deserving of you. However, don’t tell someone you love them unless you absolutely mean it.

Don’t be afraid to wear big knickers. Those badboys will be your only source of comfort on some days!

Have dreams and goals, but remember that you are never above any job.

Don’t lend money that you can’t afford to lose completely.

Find your passion and pursue it with every fibre of your being.

You have been brought into this world for one purpose – to live your life. You’ll be given guidance and introduced to lots of new ideas and experiences, but ultimately you should make your own decisions as to what is best for you. From the music that you listen to, to the books that you read, the films that you watch, the places you visit and the career path that you choose, make it an authentic life that focuses on your happiness, not the dreams that others may have for you.

Love, Auntie Suzie xx

How to Beat the January Blues

It’s Blue Monday, so I thought I’d reblog this from last year…

Suzie Speaks

January bluesAfter a few weeks of excitement, joy, celebrations and consuming my entire body weight in chocolatey goodness on numerous occasions, I’ve hit the January blues. The decorations have been taken down and my house looks dull and bare, I feel sick and lethargic after eating so much and work starts again today for many of us.

Instead of sticking to my usual cycle of wallowing, I have decided to change my outlook this year and create a plan to help me through the next few weeks. These aren’t resolutions – I have just one goal to work towards (that I will discuss at a later date) – but they are small lifestyle changes and ideas that I am slowly going to incorporate into each day in an attempt to beat the blues.

1. Create a list of things to look forward to. I love planning things that make me happy…

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Wednesday Wander, Sacre Coeur, Paris

Paris is one of my favourite places and I loved Helen’s account and pictures of the Sacre Coeur… Please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop on over to Journey to Ambeth and say hi!

Journey To Ambeth

sacre-coeur-1It’s my birthday in a few weeks’ time, and I’m very excited about it. Not so much for the event itself – I mean, I still quite like birthdays, but they do seem to be adding up in recent years. The reason I’m so excited is that one of my best friends from Australia is coming for a visit, and she and I are going to Paris for the weekend. We’ve booked rooms in a charming small hotel where we’ve both stayed before, although not at the same time, we have seats on the Eurostar, and really, it’s going to be lovely.

The hotel we’re staying in is not far from the Montmartre district and the imposing dome of Sacre Coeur. There is also a nearby street market where, last time I visited, oranges still with their leaves were piled high on tables, while the scent of fresh bread and…

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Friday 13th, a Makeover and a Book Launch

I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly superstitious, but I wasn’t looking forward to yesterday – I had a day of supply, which is the first one since the beginning of October, and with it being Friday 13th I was anticipating that it was going to be a challenging day. My prediction seemed to be coming true when I woke up as we had some snowfall overnight, which was just enough to cause an inconvenience when getting to work…

A kitty feeling very sorry for himself

A kitty feeling very sorry for himself

Up until yesterday it had been a fairly calm week, aside from Poppy – my cat – who caused me to have two trips to the vets in a single day. He had a small lump under his jaw and after losing another of my cats to cancer, where the tumour was under her jaw, I wasn’t taking any chances. This was how it went:

Took cat to the vets
Vet wasn’t concerned about lump, but took the opportunity to give him his vaccination booster injection
Cat got upset and wouldn’t keep still
Took cat home
Cat started shivering and appeared to have a reaction to the injection
Rushed cat back to the vet
Cat suddenly perfectly fine at the vets
Took cat home

The official diagnosis? Cat appears to be a wuss, and although I had a sad little kitty feeling sorry for himself for a while, the lump has thankfully disappeared.

It was clearly payback for me putting a hat on him at Christmas.


Just some of the products that were used!

The Friday 13th fears were also exacerbated by the fact that I’d had a brilliant day on Thursday. I was invited to the Urban Decay store in Selfridges, Birmingham, for a makeover and to test out their products, and then my writer friend GX Todd (@GemTodd on Twitter – I did a podcast interview with her and another friend Tom with last year) had her book launch at the Waterstones next to it. So, I went and had a fantastic time getting my face done, then sat in a Costa while I waited for The Bloke to arrive, editing my pictures and making notes. He arrived much earlier than expected, and had been to pick up my wedding ring on the way. It’s beautiful – plain and simple band that complements my engagement ring perfectly.


Me and GX Todd at her book launch!

We then met everyone at Waterstones and thoroughly enjoyed Gemma’s book launch. I’d never been to an official one before, and it was a really interesting event, giving me a huge insight as to exactly how much work goes into the publication of a book. And there were gorgeous cupcakes – books and cake are the perfect combination. We also bought a copy of her book – Defender – and asked her to sign it, and she’s very kindly agreed to give me an interview in the next few weeks…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s a tough life, but someone has to do it.

However, today was much better than I anticipated. It was nice to catch up with the students that I hadn’t seen in a while, I had some really nice classes and there were a few students who complained that they had me for the lesson because they knew they would have to work in silence. I love it when that happens.

So, I have a few things to write up and, as always, a lot of catching up to do.

I currently have a ‘Social Saturday’ going on in my new Facebook group. There are already loads of people participating and sharing their social media accounts, and you’re all invited! Simply click on the link here!

How to Stop Being a Doormat

How to stop being a doormat

It’s nice to be nice. It’s nice to do nice things for others. However, when nicety is unreciprocated, taken for granted or turns into an excuse for others to be dismissive of you as a human being, then it becomes a problem.

It occurred to me a few years ago that I was held in a very different regard by others to what I had always assumed. Activities and meet-ups often involved multiple changes that would inevitably make it more inconvenient and expensive for me. I spent hours waiting for people to turn up. I was repeatedly interrupted. I was owed money. It wasn’t uncommon for me to receive messages or have conversations that began with a phrase that I have come to loathe:

Can I ask a favour?

The favour. The seemingly easy and straight-forward request that would always turn into a complicated mess and leave me feeling stressed and resentful, particularly when there was no acknowledgement or thanks afterwards. And yet, the one time I remember needing help which would have meant someone having to go out of their way, not a single person responded. Not one. Continue reading

Self-Care, Honeymoon Plans and a Blog Update!


If I’m being honest, I struggled after Christmas for a little while – The Black Dog and anxiety reared their ugly heads without any warning and I spent a little bit of time consciously focusing on self-care and busying myself with little projects to keep my mind occupied. I’ve become a little obsessed with the Hygge movement, albeit a little later than everyone else it seems, and it really helps. Thankfully, it slowly dissipated and by the time New Year arrived I was feeling a little better. Continue reading

* Goin’ low

Interesting thoughts from Katherine – please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop over to teachezwell and say hello!

Teachezwell Blog

Thank you, Cee, for your weekly Share Your World challenge.  And thanks for all the amazing photography that graces your site!  Here are my answers to this week’s challenge:

Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle?  I passed a guy on a unicycle today and remembered my fond dreams of successfully riding one in a circus.  After multiple concussions and broken bones on 4-legged animals and in cars, I think I will stick with a tricycle.  Low to the ground is how I go- until I get to heaven.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?  It would be awesome if I could blog consistently!  My body has been uncooperative for a while and when I’m ailing, my mind sounds like I’m grinding the clutch in there.  If you’ve never ground the gears on a manual drive, you don’t know what you’re missing!

What was…

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Set Your Blog for Success in 2017!

Boosting blog trafficDo you want to increase engagement and traffic to your blog? Increase your following? Build your social media profiles?

Elena and I have teamed up to bring you a MASSIVE set of unbelievable offers that could help you boost your blog in 2017, with two advertising packages and an amazing course bundle that will help you to boost your Pinterest and Twitter following and engagement. Continue reading

The 2017 Magical Manifesting Diary!

With the start of the new year, I have read a whole host of posts by bloggers who are making plans for the next twelve months. One of the most prominent themes within many of them is how to plan and the format in which to do so.

I love diaries. Love them. I also love planning, writing lists, keeping inspirational quotes and recording my daily adventures in journals, but it is rare that I can find a diary that has all of them together in one place. However, I was on Facebook last month and I saw this:

Continue reading