Blog of the Day: A Healing Spirit

Meet Carol, the creator of A Healing Spirit!

Carol is a trained hypnotherapist and past life regressionist who lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and crazy little Maltipoo. She does more than half of her regression and hypnosis work via Skype, and particularly enjoys doing workshops and small group events.

Her interest in working with healing and grief began during the peak of the AIDS/HIV epidemic when she spent more than a dozen years as a trained emotional support worker with the community. Her skills developed further during the years she served as support person to family and friends battling serious disease and facing death. Continue reading

Sometimes, People Surprise Me: Noisy Neighbour Update

Last night I was in a bit of a mess. We had been subjected to excessive noise from our new neighbours, and because of the awful experience we have had in the past I ended up having a full blown anxiety attack.

I decided to bite the bullet and spoke to one of the lads this morning. I timed it so I caught up with him when he was leaving the house for work and asked him (in my most disgustingly nice and polite voice) if he had a few minutes. I explained about what had happened at the previous house and why this still has such an impact on us now. Continue reading

Stop Dreaming and Start Doing!

Creating a new life

There’s an inspirational quote that I often see shared around on Pinterest:

If you want something bad enough, it will happen.

Nonsense. It should say:

If you want something badly enough you have to get up, create a viable plan and work hard for it.

It doesn’t have the same ring to it, granted, but it’s certainly more accurate.

Things are happy. In fact, it’s the happiest it’s ever been and I was recently reminded of how life has changed when my Facebook and Twitter timelines were filled with desperate messages from teacher friends as they went back to work after the summer. A few years ago I would have been sitting in a training or data analysis session and feeling utterly miserable. Instead, I made myself a nice breakfast, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and the cat, watched some TV and then worked through my social media management checklist, followed by a bit of Bullet Journaling in the afternoon. Bliss. Continue reading

How to Create, Join and Use Pinterest Group Boards

Pinterest, despite all of the updates and changes that have been made over the last 9 months, is still a primary source of traffic to my blog. I took my time to join and develop my boards (and I wish I’d have done it sooner) but it remains my favourite way to share my posts and to access interesting posts that cover posts of lots of different topics.

One of the easiest ways of boosting my traffic has been the creation of my own board and joining those created by others.

Essentially, a blogging group board is like an ongoing link-up and sharing opportunity (and those of you who follow the blog regularly will know how much I like I good party). It works in the same way as all the other boards, but instead of just the creator sharing their pins, others are allowed to join the board and pin their own posts and posts from others that they have enjoyed. The more members and followers a board has, the more likely the pin will be seen and repinned elsewhere.

Each board is different, usually with specific rules depending on the creators preferences. Some are a free-for-all, ie. you can pin as many posts as you like, while some only allow one pin a day. Others ask that you share someone else’s post along with your own. Some are focused solely on a theme – blogging tips, DIY, recipes, crafts, beauty. Some have no theme at all, as long as they are blog posts. Continue reading

How to Create Flat Lay Images Using Basic Props

When I first started using Pinterest one of the things that I had to learn how to do were pinnable images. It took me a while, developing my own style over a period of time using either my own pictures or ones that were available for free on stock image sites. However, one thing that I always had difficulty in finding were what I now know as Flat Lay images – pictures taken from above of beautifully arranged objects within a specific theme.

In particular, Flat Lays are hugely popular on Instagram and are a fantastic way to tell a story. I’ve seen absolutely stunning examples of everything from travel, blogging and stationery, to clothing, make-up and food.

I’ve wanted to create my own for some time. However, I’m not a photographer. I use my iPhone and my Canon compact camera to take pictures, but my knowledge doesn’t extend past point, shoot and edit via Instagram or Canva. So, I set out to spend a minimal amount of money on some props and use basic trial and error to see what the end results would be.

And thankfully, they turned out far better than I ever could have expected! Continue reading

Things I’ve Learned in Four Years of Blogging

Blogging advice

Today marks the four year anniversary of Suzie Speaks.

Four years, 838 posts (if you don’t count the hundreds that I’ve deleted), a collective following of nearly 19,000 people, nearly 780,000 views, the biggest blogging hashtag of the weekend, an amazing Facebook group and three awards.

Since starting the blog I have quit my job, got engaged, gained a brother-in-law and gorgeous squidgy niece, travelled, attended events, reviewed everything from restaurants and cocktail bars to theatre shows, hotels and products, made a whole bunch of new friends and experienced things that I could only have dreamed of in what I consider to be my previous life. What an unbelievable journey.

The blog began as a simple online journal – an outlet to try and calm the stress and anxieties I was experiencing at the time. There were no expectations or dreams, just a desire to write. However, as my blogging knowledge grew, I found a community, started to develop promotional strategies, learned a great deal about social media and, as a result, now have a whole list of things that, if I could go back and start again (not that I would want to, mind you), I would do differently. Continue reading

On Becoming a Hermit…

Yesterday was International Happiness Day, and the blogging world was flooded with articles, images and quotes of achieving happiness.

Even without a specifically dedicated day, it’s a prominent topic. There seems to be have been a conscious movement over the last few years that focus on the ideas on mindfulness, self-care, motivation and happiness, which may be partially reactionary to the turbulent times within society, or the fact that many are beginning to realise that there is more to life than a soul-destroying 9-5. Continue reading

How to Recycle Old Blog Content

Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.

There were a number of reasons for this:

1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.

2. My writing style has changed and my earlier offerings aren’t consistent with the quality (at least, in my opinion) that I produce now.

3. My lifestyle has changed for the better. The negative tone of some of the posts are no longer relevant to my general mindset. Continue reading

To Delete, or Not to Delete?

Social Media Management

Last year, I made the mistake of revisiting a lot of my old handwritten¬† journals. I have a whole stack of them – thick notebooks mainly purchased from Paperchase that have been filled with my random scribblings over the years – and in my infinite wisdom I thought it might be a nice idea to open some of them up again and read about who I was at that moment in time. It turned out to be a huge mistake – I became very quickly aware that I was an extremely bitter person and what I found were pages and pages of rambling, nonsensical anger. I decided that, while I wasn’t going to throw the notebooks away, I wouldn’t read them again. Continue reading

Want to Build Your Twitter Following? Join my Twitter Link-Up!

At the start of 2017 I created a Facebook group – ‘Big Up Your Blog.’ I’m a member of several Facebook groups, but I find that there aren’t very many opportunities for people to actually connect and share their blog and social media accounts, so I started a ‘Social Saturday’ every week where participants could share their social media links, grow their following and connect with lots of other bloggers. Continue reading