Glazed Ham and 10 Kuna: Four Bloggers Go to Dubrovnik

Last week I got on a plane with three other blog friends for a six-day girlie trip.

As you do. 

We’ve been friends for a number of years now – meeting in person over five years ago at the very first Annual Bloggers Bash – and after a random conversation last year about holidays we spontaneously decided to take a trip together. Within a few hours we were booked into a beautiful apartment… in Dubrovnik.

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Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik: Travel Tips and Suggestions

Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik

Open from 8.00am until 7.30pm every day, the Walls of Dubrovnik (Murrales de Dubrovnik) are one of the most spectacular ways to see Old Town and beyond, offering stunning views of the iconic terracotta roofs (added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Series in 1979), Fort Lovrijenac, neighbouring islands and Adriatic Sea. They are considered to be one of the greatest fortifications of the Middle Ages.

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How is it June, Already?

This morning I was setting up my trackers for my client social media and freelance work for the month and it suddenly occurred to me that it was June. How on earth is it June already? It seems like five minutes ago that The Bloke and I were indulging in our New Years Eve snacky treats and singing Auld Lang Syne while we linked arms with the (rather disgruntled) cat.

The last five months have been really busy: I’ve gained several new freelance opportunities which I’m thoroughly enjoying, we’ve been on a number of day trips to interesting places, got up at 5.30am for each episode of Game of Thrones, watched Hugh Jackman on stage, musical theatre shows, plays and films, interviewed Marco Pierre White and generally had an awesome time. June also promises to be equally as great, with the fifth Annual Bloggers Bash (during which we are making a long weekend of it and being tourists for a few days). Continue reading

Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.

 

Hugh Jackman World Tour 2019*Warning: Spoilers*

Last night The Bloke and I went to see Hugh Jackman in concert at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. 

While he’s most famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise and Barnum in The Greatest Showman, his career was built by performing in various musical theatre shows and his world tour entitled ‘The Man. The Music. The Shows’ takes the audience through his life and influences as a performer.

It’s something I have been looking forward to since The Bloke surprised me with tickets a few months ago – I’m obsessed with The Greatest Showman and when we were in New York last year we missed him by about half an hour at the coffee shop that he owns, so I couldn’t wait to be in the same space as someone who has achieved so much and still, by all accounts, remains a down-to-earth nice guy who adores his family.  Continue reading

Suzie and The Bloke Go to Blackpool

Blackpool Tower

The Bloke’s cousin turned 21 this week and we were invited to her birthday party last weekend… in Blackpool. 

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to the Vegas of the North, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. We visited many times during my childhood years – on a clear day it was possible to see the famous tower in the far distance from my home and we had a yearly outing to the Illuminations, where my sisters and I would be in competition to win the coveted 20p for being the first person to spot the tower on the way. Of course, my mum felt guilty about giving just one of us money and so we would inevitably each get the money, but it remains as one of my happiest memories.  Continue reading

The Rocky Horror Show at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

 

The Rocky Horror Show Birmingham

The Rocky Horror Show Birmingham

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to go and see the The Rocky Horror Show at the Alexandra Theatre. It’s one of my favourite musicals (this being the third time that I have seen it), but my fifteen year old former self was particularly enthusiastic about the casting of Blue’s Duncan James in the roll of Frank’n’Furter and A1’s Ben Adams as Brad. Additionally, we were treated to pro dancer and performer (including as a pro dancer and winner on Strictly Come Dancing) Joanne Clifton, the ever fabulous Brummie Alison Hammond as the Narrator for the Birmingham shows only, and the incredible Kristian Lavercombe who was also reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1300 performances in The Rocky Horror Show around the world. Indeed, he played the role in the last Rocky Horror performance that I watched and did a brilliant job.The Rocky Horror Show first began life in 1973 before an audience of just 63 people in the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs, and tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his castle whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. The fact that it is outrageous and has a questionable plot doesn’t matter – the iconic songs and fishnets galore provide a brilliant theatre experience, and I couldn’t wait… Continue reading

Simple and Effective Ways to Build Healthy Habits

Simple and Effective Ways to Adopt Daily Healthy Habits

As my workload has increased over recent months I have found that my general feeling of anxiety and overwhelm has grown with it. I have recognised the fact that I easily slip into a familiar and comfortable rut when I feel like this, and so I have had to develop a consistent routine and adopt healthy habits to continue to be productive and motivated. Everything is instantly easier when done in moderation, and so I have taken the time to make sure that these daily habits are broken down into small chunks, becoming part of my routine instead of perceiving them as extra tasks to add to my permanently large lists. Here are some healthy habits that I have incorporated into my day.

Mindfully focus on the positive. I have a specific set of mantras and quotes that I remind myself of each morning.

Wake up earlier, even if it just by fifteen minutes. While the prospect of dragging yourself out of a warm comfy bed is the last thing that most of us want to do (particularly if you already have an early start), but those extra minutes will give your brain chance to wake up for the day. Use the time to stretch, do some deep breathing or meditation exercises. I also avoid using the snooze button.

Plan, plan and plan some more. I’ve mentioned on more than a few occasions about utilising a Bullet Journal Notebook to help organise my mind and daily activities. I use a daily tracker for my client jobs, a monthly calendar to keep an overview on upcoming events and activities and a daily log for individual tasks that I need to complete. Before I go to bed I fill out the tracker for the work I have completed (which takes five minutes as it is simply filling in some boxes), look over my monthly calendar and then write my jobs list for the following day in my daily log section. This means that I have a general idea of what I need to do when I start work and saves me the time (and inevitable anxiety) of having to figure out a plan when I have just woken up. Here’s a great post on useful Habit Trackers to develop in a Bullet Journal.

Develop a routine, schedule your time and avoid sabotaging yourself. Procrastination is a huge time waster – block out what you need to achieve and give yourself a reasonable time frame to do it, focusing on just one thing.

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The House on Cold Hill at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to watch a production of The House on Cold Hill at the Alexandra Theatre.

Adapted from the best-selling 2015 novel of multi-million selling author Peter James and based on his own experiences of a haunted house, the play is a ghostly thriller that tells the story of the Harcourt family – Ollie, Caro and daughter Jade – as they move from Brighton into their dream house in the country that has stood empty for the last forty years. As they begin to sense that they aren’t the only residents at Cold Hill, their new residence quickly turns into the stuff of nightmares… Continue reading

The 50th Anniversary Tour of Hair the Musical – The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Last night I was invited to see Hair at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. After winning the 2018 WhatsOnStage award and direct from a sell-out London run, the 50th Anniversary tour stars Dancing On Ice 2018 Winner Jake Quickenden as ‘Berger,’ Daisy Wood-Davis (Hollyoaks / Dreamboats and Petticoats) as ‘Shelia’ and Marcus Collins (X-Factor Finalist / Kinky Boots) as ‘Hud.’

Set in 1967, Hair tells the story of a group of politically active and sexually liberated  hippies – the ‘tribe’ – living a bohemian life in New York City. Claude, Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their lives against society and their conservative parents in ‘the Age of Aquarius,’ united in song as they rebel against the American flag and conscription of one of their own – Claude – into the Vietnam War. Continue reading

An Interview with Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White

Image Credit: Black and White Hospitality

On Thursday night I was invited to a special ‘Meet Marco’ event at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill on Level 25 of The Cube in the Mailbox, Birmingham.

I have been to the restaurant a number of times. This, however, was slightly different: Marco himself would be there, meeting guests and signing copies of his book. I was asked if I would like the opportunity not only to try new dishes from the menu, but to sit and talk with the great chef himself.

Along with Lauren Foster from What’s On Birmingham (check out the interview in their June edition) and a small media crew filming us, what was supposed to be a short interview became an informative and, quite frankly, rather hilarious chat that lasted well over half-an-hour. He’s an incredibly charismatic and charming character and while my nerves were obvious, it was easy to relax into conversation and enjoy his company. Continue reading