If We Were Having Coffee #14

imageCoffee posts are normally saved for the weekend, but a conversational post is exactly what’s needed today.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had a busy week. The first part of the Summer Term has started, and the students are now moving into exam mode. If I’m being honest, I was dreading it – the last week before the Easter holidays was challenging as the both the students and staff were tired, and I was expecting frayed tempers and double to usual eye-rolls when we came back as this is the most stressful part of the year for many. However, it’s been calm and relaxed, the students have worked hard, and I’ve been greeted with smiling faces and enquiries about my holiday. I’ve covered a diverse amount of subjects, from maths, science, history and geography, to English, food technology and travel and tourism, and I’ve witnessed a rather surprising amount of highly intelligent conversations amongst them. Within the older classes, I’ve been really impressed by their tolerant opinions, and they’ve taught me a thing or two – not a bad way to spend the week!

However, this has ultimately meant that my blogging activities have decreased, and I am desperately looking forward to making some sort of attempt to catch up on all my favourite blogs and social media link-ups. Indeed, the more time I spend in the blogosphere, the more I see just how much is shared in such a short space of time – it’s fascinating. Continue reading

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Jake’s Coffee Box and Tea for Two

I was in town yesterday and after attempting to finish off the final last-minute Christmas present list, I was shattered. I stopped in a cafe to sit down for a minute and have a drink and a sandwich, and checked my Facebook page while I was doing so. This showed up on my feed after a page that I follow shared it…

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Jake’s Coffee Box is one of the smallest businesses in Birmingham, operating from a former phone box on Eden Square. It opened in August, after a charitable trust called ‘Thinking Outside The Box’ was given planning permission to convert the phone boxes into kiosks, allowing them to be rented. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #10

CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s been an unexpectedly busy end to the week…

I had another day of supply yesterday – this time a little busier than the day before. I was predominantly covering Spanish, which was quite an experience as I can’t speak anything more than basic conversational sentences, but it was interesting to see how much the students already knew. I had a group of Year 7 students who were in their first ever lesson, so instead of doing the cover work that was set I took the opportunity to teach them the basics – ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye,’ ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ how to ask someone what their name is, how to say their name and how to count from one to twenty. It was really enjoyable – I learnt as much as they did, and it has inspired me to learn more in my free time. It’s amazing how many useful instructional videos are available on YouTube!

And then there’s that one class. The one where every student is a superstar. The one where you can joke and have a bit of banter and then can trust them to not just do the work, but to automatically try and create extra work for themselves just because they enjoy it. The sort of class that challenges you as much as you challenge them. It reminded me just how great the profession can be. Not great enough to make me wish for my old job back, but it was a nice end to the day. I’ve been offered an entire week of supply next week, but I’m only going to do four days – I didn’t quit just to go straight back in full time and I want a day to be able to have time for myself. My freelance stuff starts the following week, so I’m taking the opportunity to earn some extra cash for Christmas while I can. After all the worries over the summer, I didn’t expect to be turning down work within a fortnight of term starting – perhaps someone is watching over me…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time with The Bloke – he’s stayed at work late this week (he also works in a school) and leaves early in a morning, so I haven’t really seen much of him. It’s his birthday next month (which I always get far more excited about than he does), and what he doesn’t know is that after a sixth month search I finally managed to find a particular item for his present on eBay, at a quarter of the price of what I saw it advertised at last year. It’s been delivered already and is in perfect condition, with the only problem being that it is ridiculously small. I think what I might do is wrap it in a really large box, just for a giggle. I’m also taking him to ‘Brick,’ the UK’s biggest Lego convention (yes, he’s one of those), and I am expecting that his already extensive collection will be added to… Fun!

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Yum!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I met up with some friends last night – they are all former colleagues and most have moved on to new schools, and it was lovely to see them and to hear how much they are enjoying their new jobs. We went for a meal at Prezzo, an Italian restaurant, and I treated myself to a lovely goats cheese salad and a cocktail, and during the course of the night I laughed so hard that my face hurt. I always feel so lucky to be able to spend time with people that I can truly relax with and enjoy their company – I’m blessed to know some wonderful human beings!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have made further progress with decluttering and organising my stuff. It occurred to me over the summer that we are surrounded by things that we haven’t used since we moved into the house eighteen months ago, so I spent a few hours having a sort out last week. I regularly give things to charity shops, taking in lots of bags of clothes over the last few months, but this time I found things that I could sell – my Nintendo Wii, my Nintendo DS, The Bloke’s Nintendo DSi, extra controllers and a ton of games and DVD’s. I checked out the prices for the current items on eBay, and inquired at a games store in town and a Cash Generator on the high street. I didn’t expect to get much from it all, but because we’ve kept it all in good condition and have all the original boxes, the Cash Generator offer was surprising and far more than anything I saw on eBay and anywhere else. Consequently, I dragged three large bags of items in this morning and I have another to take in, and was given the equivalent of the money I spent in Barcelona the other week, which we have divided according to who owned what, and have used some of it to do a food shop for the next few weeks without touching our bank accounts. It’s nothing compared to what we spent on the items originally, but every little helps, and now we have a little more space than before!

What about you guys? What are your plans for the weekend?

The ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ series was created by Part Time Monster. Everyone is invited to join in, and you are welcome to share your coffee posts on Twitter every Saturday with #WeekendCoffeeShare – hop on over and join in the fun!

Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share, with Part-Time Monster

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks, and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

If We Were Having Coffee #7

imageIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been quite an emotional week.

On Sunday, my oldest friend, M, lost her mother to cancer. Yesterday, The Bloke and I travelled up north to attend the funeral. I’ve been quite lucky in life in that I haven’t had to attend many of them, but this means that I don’t cope very well during the service section of the day. True to form, I was a snivelling wreck, particularly when I saw another old friend, J, that I hadn’t spoken to in quite a while. All the way through school, M, J and I were a trio, and over the years we’ve created hundreds of memories, but over the last year J and I had drifted apart – busy lives got in the way. J is currently six months pregnant, and when she and her parents arrived we both burst into tears and gave each other a massive hug. It was truly nice to see her, although I wish the circumstances for our meeting would have been better.

The service was beautiful, and so many people had turned up from all over the country to say goodbye that there weren’t enough seats in the crematorium. M was able to read a poem that she had written herself. I admired her strength – I don’t think I would have been able to do the same – and we all laid a single flower on top of the coffin as we left. It was a beautiful send-off for a beautiful lady…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went back to work after a thoroughly wonderful few weeks, and I’ve had one of the best teaching weeks that I’ve experienced in a long time. I think that it’s mainly because my boss has returned from maternity leave so my timetable is lighter and therefore the pressure is less. I have still had a lot work to do, but for once I’ve been able to deal with it without being interrupted with random bit of paperwork that need immediate completion. I’ve been able to get in the classroom and enjoy my lessons – the weather has been beautiful, the students have been in a good mood, and we’re now reaching the final stretch of the academic year. After handing in my resignation about a month ago, the weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have just over 40 working days left, and the job hunt begins!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been a blogging douchebag this week. Comments have been left unanswered, posts have yet to be posted, and I’ve barely touched any social media. The next few days are going to be spent catching up – on busy days I miss the interaction and enjoyment that I gain from the blogging world. I’ve decided to start a mini series about the different places to eat and things to do in my beloved city, Birmingham, and I fully intend on enjoying all the things it has to offer over the next few weeks. I rarely do guest posts, but I have one lined up for the 1st May over at Hugh’s Views and News, and hope you can join me there! I also have lots of advertising opportunities available!

The ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ series was created by Part Time Monster. Everyone is invited to join in, and you are welcome to share your coffee posts on Twitter every Saturday with #WeekendCoffeeShare – hop on over and join in the fun!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

If We Were Having Coffee #6

imageIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that the positive thoughts appear to be working and this week has proven to be a good one. I’ve found myself responding to The Bloke’s enquiries about my day with stories of good lessons and interactions with students, funny staffroom jokes and little achievements that I’ve accomplished, which is something I haven’t been able to do for a while… and it’s Friday evening. Nothing is ever negative about Friday evenings – I settle down with The Bloke and the cats in a warm, clean pair of jammies, watch some pointless television and get my blog on! I also discovered that I’m destined to inherit a fortune – I was contacted by someone in Burkina Faso who has informed me that she has been left $3.1 million, of which she is willing to share 50% with me! All I need to do is send across my full name, date of birth, occupation, bank account numbers and passport details. Hmm… Maybe not.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am delighted to hear that the Elvis exhibition has arrived in London – quite fitting during what would have been his 80th birthday year. My mother’s lifelong dream is to visit Memphis, (which my sister went to last year), but as I can’t afford to pay to take us to America, this is the next best thing. She doesn’t know that I’m booking tickets yet, but I can’t wait for her reaction when I tell her. I like doing these sorts of things for her – I took her to Glen Campbell’s final tour after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and later to see Jack Jones in concert (which had the best seats ever), and last year I surprised her with tickets to see The Commitments musical in London, complete with a meal at The Ivy and a hotel room at Leicester Square. It isn’t much, but these are the sorts of memories I cherish and I enjoy seeing the look on her face  – I see them as little thank you’s for being a constant support. I’m very lucky.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the blog has also been amazing recently too – I’ve written my first guest post in quite a while for my friend Steve, met some lovely new people, indulged in random conversations and have been able to read some wonderful posts. My post on Stumble Upon, ‘The Tale of a Sociopath’ is still going, and another has been picked up and is currently being shared around, although not to the same level – ‘Professional Or Hobbyist?’ is a love it or hate it sort of post that was Freshly Pressed in November 2013 and it incited both positive and highly angry comments throughout, mainly because I believe that many misunderstood the context of which it was written.. or it just pissed them off. Either way, it provoked a discussion, which I always like from blog posts.

Blogging!

Blogging!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the most surprising thing in my recent blogging activities was the response I received to my advertising promotion at the beginning of the month – inspired by my New Year resolution to ‘take the risk’ I decided to take move onto the next step and offer four advertising spots a month for bloggers and companies wishing to increase their traffic. I assumed that it would take months to get any form of reply, but I was delighted to receive an email within a matter of hours. Over the last week, I’ve gained two sponsors – Jolene at ‘Valley Girl Gone Country’ and Helena Turbridy’s ‘Effective Change For Life’. Both are beautifully written, engaging and interesting and you can find both in the top right corner of my blog – please go and check them both out! However, it hasn’t stopped there – both have seen an immediate increase in their stats (ask them if you wish to find out details). Even more amazing, the Feburary spaces are completely filled already, and I have already had a space reserved for March and another for July. Awesome. If you are interested in reserving a space for March and beyond, visit this post…

If we were having coffee I would tell you that, while it has been a wonderful week in my own life, the world outside has experienced yet more tragedy, the most recent being the awful events in Paris. I’ve attempted to write about it on several occasions, but after realising that my words couldn’t it justice, I have decided to leave you with the most beautiful tribute I have seen. The picture was wrongly attributed to Banksy, but I am glad that his popularity has allowed this gorgeous image to get a large amount of well-deserved publicity. My thought are with the victims, their families and the people of France.

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What about you guys? If we were having coffee, what would we talk about?

The ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ conversational posts were created by Part-Time Monster. You may be interested to know that she is doing a coffee blog link up this weekend… Create your own coffee posts and join in over the weekend!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

If We Were Having Coffee #5

This series of conversational posts was created by Part Time Monster and are normally designed for weekends, but as last weekend was quite busy I thought I would use my day off as an opportunity to update my original post that I had prepared earlier.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I was absolutely delighted with the response I have received on the blog over the last few weeks. I haven’t been able to post as much due to work commitments, but the comments, emails and messages are still coming in! I miss not being able to write when I feel that I need to, and it’s great to know that there are those out there who still think of me when I’m not around. It’s much appreciated. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #4

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weekend went far too quickly for my liking. I met some old friends for a meal and a drink in the town where we went to college fourteen years ago. They’re all beautiful, glamorous ladies who turned up wearing lovely dresses, and as usual I had a great time catching up with them. Almost all are new mothers to beautiful children, so a large part of the conversation was about motherhood, to which I could only offer an occasional ‘aww bless,’ but I’m really pleased for them.

I would tell you that my mum’s house felt a little strange after the death of one of her dogs last week. She still has two, and the dog was only small, but the atmosphere of the house seemed quieter and a little more empty. One of her other dogs was behaving very strangely towards me throughout, approaching me with caution and being very nervous when I stroked him, which upset me a little as I have never been cruel or raised my voice to him.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how saddened I am at the execution of British Aid worker David Haines. While I will keep my angry thoughts to myself (and I am not going to get involved in a political discussion surrounding this), I will say that my thoughts and condolences are with his family – I can’t possibly imagine what they’re going through.

I would tell you that I am feeling a lot more refreshed, having slept for hours this afternoon, almost causing me to miss my train to return home. However, I haven’t been able to completely relax and have remained anxious for a lot of the time, so one of my tasks for this week is to research relaxation exercises and practise them.

I would tell you that I’m delighted to have access to WiFi again. My mother doesn’t have the Internet and my phone finds it almost impossible to find a connection. I’m surprised at myself at how frustrated I get after a while…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m excitedly planning for The Bloke’s birthday next month, despite the fact that he’s always a miserable bugger when facing the prospect of being another year older. I’ve bought him the Lego Ghostbusters car and a few figurines that I’ve seen him eyeing up, and hopefully that will take the focus off his age. I’ve also told him that he’s only as old as the woman he kisses, and as I’m 32 he’s got nothing to complain about!

I would share with you my recent playlist, most of which features tracks from 80’s films. I seem to be revisiting my musical youth a lot recently – you can’t beat a bit of the Footloose soundtrack!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m really annoyed with my vets. One of my cats was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a year ago and since then we have religiously injected her twice a day with insulin and spend a fortune on special food to ensure she remains in good health. We have learned how to take her blood sugar levels regularly and her levels are good, and she is in an excellent, happy condition. However, when we went to pick up the usual two vials of insulin for the vets the other day, they told me that they have only given me one vial and they wouldn’t give me any more until I brought her in for blood tests, that apparently are compulsory every six months. This is the first we had been told about it, and nobody mentioned it six months ago. Apparently, these tests are going to cost me £100, which I don’t have, and her insulin is not going to last until next pay day. Can anyone in the UK with vet experience advise me on the legalities of holding back essential medication as a way of holding me to ransom?

I would tell you that I’ve lost 10lbs in weight since the summer. I’ve got another 50lbs to go, but I’m quite pleased about it… I will have a beach-ready body by next year. I want to go to Vegas, so I’ve got something to work towards!

If we were having coffee, I would share with you the picture of my youngest sister that appeared on my Facebook wall yesterday. She is getting married at the beginning of next month and so held her Bachelorette Party in York, a beautiful, historical city that is miles away from where my mum lives. I expected to see pictures of penis – shaped straws, drunken women in fancy dres etc. However, nothing quite prepared me for the image of my sister being straddled by a very unnattractive, completely naked male stripper. My eyeballs were bleeding – it’s something that I can’t unsee. My mum, however, thought it was hilarious. At least she’s having a good time – I hope they didn’t pay too much money for the experience – I’d be wanting my money back!

What about you? What would you tell me if we met for coffee?

 

Created by Part Time Monster, these are a series of conversational posts. They’re a great idea if you don’t wish to focus on a specific theme. Check out her blog and create your own!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.

http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

If We Were Having Coffee #3

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While this is usually a weekend feature, first suggested by Part Time Monster, I liked the idea of a conversational post this evening.

If we were having coffee:

I’d tell you that today was quite stressful, being the first full teaching day back, and that I am glad that it is Monday night as this means that I have tomorrow off (I don’t work on Tuesdays this year). I’m enjoying the daily challenges that present themselves, and I find that I have a good rapport with new classes, but I’m physically and mentally shattered at the end of each day – I suppose that it will get better as the weeks progress.

I’d also tell you that my blogging plans to catch up were thwarted by Paul and his karaoke evening on Saturday night. It is his birthday today and so on Saturday I ended up drinking a little too much, singing random songs and thoroughly enjoying myself whilst happily munching my way through lots of garlic dough balls and vanilla slices that he and his landlady had put out as part of a buffet in the pub that he works at. Unfortunately, my hangover was bad and my bedroom smelled like an Italian restaurant had set up shop in my bedroom the following day, so there wasn’t much blogging taking place. I felt rough. I blame Paul.

My mum is really sad at the minute – her elderly dog, Jess, who is an Alsatian cross that she got after she and my father divorced, is ill. It’s not looking good. It reminded me of how I felt when Wobbly, my 19 year old cat, passed away earlier this year. I still miss her. I feel a little bit helpless because I know there isn’t anything that I can do to make her feel better – I’m going go up and see her this weekend and harass her.

I’m currently obsessed with the song ‘Hooked on a Feeling,’ by Blue Suede. I loved it in Ally McBeal, it was used in Guardians of the Galaxy and Paul played it on Saturday. I’ve been listening to it almost constantly ever since. Suffice to say, the students weren’t very impressed today.

I’d tell you that I saw Christmas cards in the local card shop. It’s September. We haven’t even had Halloween, or Bonfire Night yet. It annoys me every year. It always reminds me of my failed attempts to create the perfect Christmas every year, and failing miserably.

What about you guys? What would we talk about if we went for coffee?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.

 

If We Were Having Coffee #2

I love the idea of a conversational post, the idea created by Part Time Monster and lots of blogs that I follow participate.

The-Expandable-3-OfficialIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went to see The Expendables 3 at the cinema yesterday, and loved it. It isn’t going to win any Oscars, but the one liners, in jokes and an all star cast consisting of my favourite action stars all on one screen made me so hyped up I had to control myself from standing up in the middle of the theatre and screaming ‘yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!’ at the top of my voice. Of course, it was even better in the fact that it starred Dolph Lundgren, the most beautiful man ever created and the subject of a 26 year obsession. If you like senseless violence, huge explosions and cheesy dialogue, this is the film for you. I haven’t enjoyed a film this much since Avengers Assemble.

While I love senseless violence in the fictional world, the violence that is taking place in the real world is heartbreaking, to the point where I don’t want to watch the news anymore. I read an article this morning that stated that there are thirty-two different conflicts taking place at the minute across the world. From Gaza to Ferguson, every day presents me with stories of senseless cruelty and loss. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the world is going mad.

cocktail-finalIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am looking forward to meeting up with my girlie friends tonight for the first time in a few months. Of the five of us, one is celebrating their birthday and another has obtained a job in Spain, teaching English. They are all teachers, we all met while working at the same school and they couldn’t be any more different in personality, but they’re hilarious and I love them to pieces. Cocktails, stories and lots of laughs are guaranteed!

It’s been an interesting week in the blogging world too. I’ve had lots of positive responses to my WordPress Experiment, my best friend started his own blog, I did a lovely interview with Ronovan Writes and have invited to participate in a podcast (more on that in a later post). However, I’m hugely behind in my writing – I have nine or ten of them that are almost finished and are sitting in my drafts folder, so prepare to be bombarded over the next few days!

tumblr_inline_n1relaYigt1rban68If we were having coffee, I would complain that I am fed up of hearing ‘Let It Go,’ from Frozen. It’s been released yet again by the winners of Britain’s got Talent and I am officially sick of it. It’s a great song, granted, but I’m tired of it, particularly the parodies. There are teacher versions, doctor versions, parent versions, even breaking wind versions. Enough!!!

I have two weeks left of the summer, and it is going far too quickly. Today is the final day that I am giving myself to just sit back and simply enjoy some me time. As of tomorrow, the me time needs to become more ‘work’ time. Dammit.

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You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee…

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I wouldn’t be drinking coffee. I’d be thoroughly enjoying the aromas, but as I don’t like the taste I’d be drinking a hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream or a mango and passion fruit smoothie. Oh, and I’d be eating cake. Preferably cake filled with raspberry jam.

If we were having coffee, I would bore you with tales of my running endeavours. I have gone for a run several times in the last week, always in the morning before my neighbours surface, and each time I have improved my distance, my speed and the number of calories I have burned. I hate it, but I always feel really good once I’m done.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I watched Guardians Of The Galaxy the other day, and I thought it was pretty great. It isn’t in the same league as Avengers Assemble (one of my favourite all time films and the only film I have ever wanted to see again immediately after watching it at the cinema), but the characters were good, there was the right amount of tears, laughter and action and it was a nice way to spend the morning. I would also tell you that the actress who played ‘Nebula’ is the Scottish actress who played ‘Amy Pond’ in Doctor Who and that she shaved her beautiful long red hair off for the role.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about my obsessions with Castle and White Collar, of which I am currently on Season 4 of both. I have developed a little crush on Nathan Fillion (despite hating his character in Season 7 of Buffy) and even though my friends have unwittingly provided me with spoilers I am thoroughly enjoying both programmes.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m absolutely obsessed with this song at the minute…

If we were having coffee, I would show you my Facebook newsfeed at the minute, which is full to bursting with pictures of weddings, newborn babies and holidays in exotic places. I would show you this picture of Daisy that I uploaded just to balance it out a bit. Circle of Life, anyone?

Daisy

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I awoke the other morning and immediately checked my blog, as I do almost every morning. I get a little buzz from reading all the lovely comments that I receive overnight and it always gives me a great start to the day. However, the first comment that I read started with ‘Lol, you’re such a stupid b*tch...’ Apparently, a crazy Justin Bieber fan had stumbled across my anti-Bieber post from a few months ago and decided that I needed to be lectured about how the music industry actually works. I was so grateful for the information. I would tell you that the reason why everyone hates him is that he won’t give up, he won’t break down and he stays strong. Awesome. I had no idea. It must be quite a revelation to live in a world where there is an actual belief that this famous pop star is actually going to marry them someday. Bless. My Trash comments were busier than usual that morning.

And finally, If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had far more entries than I anticipated for my Summer competition, and so I’ll announce the results in a few days!

I loved this idea, which I saw on the ever fabulous Nerd in the Brain‘s blog, who in turn saw it on the equally fabulous Part Time Monster‘s blog, who found it somewhere else. It’s one of the many reasons why I love the blogging community – they inspire me!

What about you? If we were having coffee, what would we talk about?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog