Thoughts of Birmingham

I was horrified to wake up this morning to the news of multiple stabbings in Birmingham last night. There is still very little information, but after a news conference it was announced that sadly one person have died and six more people have been injured, two of them critically. It appears to be an attack by a single person who selected his victims at random, with no information to suggest that it was in any way a terrorist attack, gang related or a hate crime – something that has been speculated because some of these attacks took place in the Gay Quarter of the city.

Unfortunately, this has become an excuse for many to promote racist agendas and narratives and use it as an opportunity to start making disparaging remarks about the people and the city itself. Continue reading

Sunflowers, Sunday and September

I love Sunday mornings, particularly when the sun is out after several weeks of torrential rain. It’s hard to believe that September is only a few days away – it seems barely ten years ago that we were starting August…

Sundays are often my most reflective, and looking back it has been a long rollercoaster of a month.

Over July I posted every single day for a Gratitude Challenge… and then promptly burnt myself out. It was fairly inevitable at the time – my work schedule was crazy, lots of places were still under lockdown and I barely left the house, and while I never mind my own company (preferring more of an introverted lifestyle), I think staying indoors was beginning to get to me.  Continue reading

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 16: Hobbies and Interests

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

Daily Gratitude Challenge Hobbies and Interests

Day 16 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge focuses on hobbies and interests. Whether it is going for a run, indulging your creative side with painting or writing or building up a collection of things you find interesting, hobbies provide an outlet for stress and offer new challenges away from the workplace. This is an opportunity to look at your hobbies and interests in more detail – what makes you grateful for them? Continue reading

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 7: Travel Experiences

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

What travel experiences are you most grateful for

Day 7 is all about the travel experiences you are grateful for. Travel wasn’t really something that was particularly important to me until my late 20’s – I had been on some package holidays to a few places abroad but never really took the time to explore anything while I was there, preferring to focus on sunbathing during the day and partying at night. However, a trip to America on a school trip that I was supervising introduced me to all of the incredible things to see and do while visiting a new city, even more so when a natural disaster left us stranded for a while (and gained us an invitation to the White House). Since then, travel has become high in my priorities and I am incredibly grateful to have seen and experienced some amazing things. Continue reading

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 5: Who Are You Most Grateful For?

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

Daily Gratitude Challenge Who are you most grateful for (1)

Day 5 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge is all about the people that you are most grateful for. I’m lucky in that I have a number of people in my life that are trustworthy and supportive, but this year has also highlighted those who are putting their own lives on the line every day and doing lots of incredible things to help others. Whether it is family or close friends, key workers or charities, this is an opportunity to be mindful and appreciative of those who make life just that little bit better. Continue reading

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 4: The Greatest Advice I’ve Ever Received

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 4 Greatest Pieces of Advice

Day 4 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge focuses on advice. Whether the advice we receive comes directly from the words and actions of family, close friends and colleagues or from books, TV and films, people in power or celebrities, I have taken advice from all areas of my life and am grateful for it. Continue reading

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 2: What Makes You Special?

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 2: What makes you special

Day 2 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge focuses on you. In a world where image is seemingly everything, it’s easy to forget to be not only kind to yourself, but to appreciate and be grateful for the qualities about yourself that you admire. We’re often taught that being positive about ourselves and confident in our own abilities equates to arrogance, but I am always reminded of an article I read on Facebook a long time ago in which a woman took the compliments that she regularly gave to others and started saying them to herself every morning. I found it to be rather an alien concept at the time and quite a revelation – I like to say nice things to my loved ones but rarely took the time to acknowledge or be grateful for anything positive about myself. Continue reading

Introducing the July Daily Gratitude Challenge

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough – Oprah Winfrey

In times of struggle, it can often be difficult not to become permanently focused on the negative, and this year is certainly one of the most challenging periods in living memory. In a era of great change, the online world has become an even bigger cesspool of animosity and hatred.

Daily Gratitude

We all have those days when things seemingly go from bad to worse, but when reflecting we all have things to be grateful for every day, however small they may be. In an effort to inject a little positivity, I decided to set myself a Daily Gratitude Challenge for the entire month of July, and I am inviting everyone else to join in. I try to be as mindful as possible by taking the time to be grateful for the people around me, the lifestyle that I lead and the positive things that have happened in my day when filling out a Daily Gratitude Journal in my Bullet Journal. I find this enormously helpful when it feels like the world is imploding.

This Daily Gratitude Challenge is designed to be more in-depth. Instead of a sentence or two, each day will focus on things to be grateful for, with the act of writing becoming a larger part of my self-care routine. And with a sizeable following on Suzie Speaks, I am encouraging anyone and everyone to do the same. Continue reading

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?
Continue reading

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