The New Normal

Is anybody else getting sick of the phrase ‘The New Normal,’ or is it just me?

Unfortunately, it’s the perfect term to describe how we’re living at the moment. It doesn’t necessarily provide lots of inspiration for the journal-esque blogging content that I usually create, unless you’re interested in the rather sad-looking cheese sandwich I often make myself for lunch?
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Hints and Tips to Stay Productive When Working From Home

14 Hints and Tips to Stay Productive When Working From Home 1

I’ve been working from home pretty much every day since 2015. While at first glance it may seem like the perfect situation (and in many ways it is), but there are lots of potential pitfalls and distractions when you’re solely accountable for your own workload. Over the years I have had to remain self-motivated and develop a routine in order to be able to stay productive and keep doing it successfully.

Here are some hints and tips that I have found useful when working from home.

Set up a dedicated working area. Whether it is a small desk a the back of a room or a shed at the bottom of the garden, create an area that is solely used for work-based activities.

Have a shower and get dressed. Getting up and ready as you would do for a working day elsewhere will help to change the mindset between work and home. It’s also useful should a last-minute video chat should happen – it’s unlikely that clients or colleagues will be impressed by your pyjamas and bed hair and being ready will avoid having to quickly jump in the shower or getting changed when you’re in the middle of something.

Plan your tasks in advance. When I start the day knowing what it is that I need to be working on, I find it much easier to plan and prioritise my tasks for the day, and for this I use a Bullet Journal. I use simple trackers for daily repeated tasks that are drawn out in a simple grid form, and I fill out individual tasks in a monthly calendar layout, colouring in the boxes as I go. This saves an enormous amount of time and I find the colouring rather therapeutic. Continue reading

Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for May

Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for May Suzie Speaks

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included.

All of the images included were given with full permission from their creators and I have linked each account – feel free to go and check out the great Bullet Journal spreads they are creating on Instagram!

May seems to have come round so fast! I decided that my theme for this month is focused on the idea of simplicity – it has been rather overwhelming in recent times and I have become much more conscious on self-care and getting rid of things that are unnecessary. I have reduced my usual number of spreads and made them much more simple to match, creating vases with flowers, books and plants and accenting certain areas with a pale grey Tombow Dual Brush Pen. My main inspiration was taken from a YouTube May ‘Plan With Me’ tutorial by Christine My Linh from 2018 – I loved the simple drawings and layout. Continue reading

Seven Weeks in Lockdown

It’s been just nearly seven weeks since lockdown began, and I’m getting used to a slightly different way of living. Granted, compared to many people my daily life hasn’t changed that much – I’ve worked from home for the last 4 1/2 years and so I’m used to my own company and being self-motivated enough to stay productive – but I have to regularly remind myself that I can’t just hop out to the local shops for things I need, visit a friend or organise a date night somewhere fun in the city.

However, if these are the only things I have to worry about then I count The Bloke and I incredibly fortunate. Our families and friends are healthy, our jobs are consistent, we have food in the cupboards and the bills are paid, and we have taken to expressing daily gratitude for this to each other in conversations should one of us feel a little low. Continue reading

Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for April

Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for April Suzie Speaks

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included.

All of the images included were given with full permission from their creators and I have linked each account.

What a month April has been! With a global pandemic and a worldwide lockdown, we have seen an unprecedented change in the way that many of us are experiencing daily life. I intended to post a March set of Bullet Journals, but it is has taken a little while to adjust to the current situation, and this has also meant that the Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas post for April has only just been completed. However, in case you missed them, here are my Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for February, or my Great Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for January. Continue reading

Gratitude in Challenging Times


Three weeks ago I went to Manchester. I took my mum out for an early Mother’s Day lunch, booked a hotel room to myself, shopped, walked around in the glorious sunshine, admired the local street-art and caught up with some of my oldest girlie friends, where I got so squiffy that my hangover took several days to subside.

And then, the apocalypse seemingly happened.

It is always easy to sympathise, but equally as easy to be nonchalant when awful things are happening in a different part of the world. Despite the rapidly growing numbers of people affected and the increasing panic as Coronavirus cases arrived in the UK, it didn’t really hit home until the last ten days when the process of shutting everything down in Birmingham began. Continue reading

Review: What’s In a Name? at the Alexandra Theatre

“Look what happens when the trendy lefties move in!”

Adapted and translated by Jeremy Sams from Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière’s hugely successful ‘Le Prénom,’ ‘What’s In a Name?’ made its UK debut in Birmingham in 2017 and has now embarked on a UK tour. Continue reading

A Weekend in Manchester and Some Personal Time

It’s been a while since I blogged without purpose. I’ve missed it – the act of writing has always been therapeutic. On a personal level I’ve been busier than ever – I’ve met a whole bunch of brilliant people and my workload has reached capacity, which is amazing, but the downside of this is there’s little time for doing nothing.

I received a message from my friends from 6th form to meet up for a meal in Manchester – we have known each other for over twenty years and have stayed in contact, meeting up every so often to catch up. They’re a great group of women – all are doing well for themselves with families and jobs, and I love the fact that even though I don’t see or speak to them for months at a time, we slip back into conversation as though I had seen them yesterday.

I decided to make an extended trip out of it and booked myself into a hotel room for the night. To my recollection there has only been a single time I’ve done that during the time The Bloke and I have been together (which was when he had a minor heart operation) so the concept was somewhat of a novelty, despite the fact that The Bloke is more than supportive of any time I want to myself. Continue reading

Review: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Alexandra Theatre

Miguel Angel, AJ Jenks, Sasha Latoya, Cartier Fraser in Buddy

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to the Press Night of Buddy at the Alexandra Theatre.

Telling the story of the Texas-born rock and roll legend Buddy Holly from his meteoric rise to fame before his tragic death at the age of 22, Buddy has become known as ‘The World’s Most Successful Rock & Roll Musical,’ celebrating it’s 30th anniversary year with a 2019 – 2020 tour. Seen by over 22 million music fans since it opened in London’s West End in 1989, the show has has enjoyed extraordinary success, having played a record- breaking 4450 performances over 556 weeks on tour in the UK and Ireland, as well as 5822 performances over 728 weeks in London’s West End, winning numerous awards along the way. Continue reading

Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

This is not a pantomine…

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to watch the hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Alexandra Theatre.

Co-written by the wonderfully funny Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is described as ‘a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring.’ It has definitely been on my ‘to watch’ list. Continue reading