Blog of the Day: Cookie Crumbs

Cookie Crumbs (and a beautiful picture too!)

Cookie Crumbs (and a beautiful picture too!)

Meet Tasha!

Tasha is the creator and owner of Cookie Crumbs, a blog which documents her life as a wife, mother and creative soul.

Cookie Crumbs is new to Suzie Speaks, but I instantly loved the design and the tag line: ‘Welcome to my mind. Please excuse the mess, I haven’t had time to clean‘. Tasha explains her story in her About Page:

My family and I live in Iowa, where I was born and raised.  Since the birth of our daughter, Addie, I felt the struggle between being a full-time working mother and just wanting to be home with her.  I have gone from a working mom to a SAHM and back to a working mom.  Each poses it’s own set of struggles and joys… Continue reading

I Went, I Shopped, I Bought Stuff…

imageAfter yesterday’s nonsense I decided that the only thing for it was to take myself off into town and have a shop. I’m going to a wedding on Saturday and needed a dress. At least, that’s what I was telling myself.

Now, while I can easily spend hours browsing through make-up and beauty products, I’m not exactly a patient person when it comes to shopping for clothes for a number of reasons:

1. Over the last five years I’ve put on quite a large amount of weight, which means that I now have a big ass to go with the large hips that all the women in my family have inherited from my grandmother, so finding something that a/ is in my size and b/ is flattering to my pear shape is quite difficult.

2. If I do actually find something, it’s inevitable that I can’t afford it.

3. I don’t particularly make an effort to look my best when I’m trudging around, so it’s a frequent occurrence that shop assistants are rude and unhelpful (make-up assistants at a very well known brand are particularly awful in my experience) and it’s not uncommon for me to be followed by some sort of security guard who has clearly made the assumption that I’m going to steal something and is waiting to pounce on me. Continue reading

How To Shop When You Hate Shopping

how to shop when you hate shopping

I had a day off yesterday, so took the opportunity to go to the opening of the new ‘Grand Central’ centre, complete with the new John Lewis store in Birmingham. I’ve watched it take shape over the last few years, and thought it might be a chance to get started on my Christmas shopping (yes, I know it’s September, but I’m using this particular ‘C’ word already…) ahead of the mania that sweeps the city every year.

The problem is, I hate shopping. Okay, to be fair I like buying presents for other people, but I hate actually going out to do so. I hate the crowds, in particular the people who seem oblivious to those around them, and over the years I’ve had lots of bad experiences that have involved rude staff, having my feet run over with pushchairs, long queues of people monotonously complaining about having to stand in line, and one particularly angry woman screaming at me to ‘get out of the way’ in her desperation to secure a box of biscuits from the shelf in Selfridges. Nice. They must have been fabulous biscuits.

Of course, the easiest and most effective way of purchasing items is to buy them from the Internet. However, many people I know are still wary of sharing their bank details online, and there are plenty of horror stories of people who have been scammed, had to wait for weeks for items to arrive or have experienced difficulties when trying to return or replace damaged goods. I use the Internet for specific items, but I often prefer to see a product, or in the case of clothes, try them on before I buy. Continue reading

Zoella: When Success Breeds Jealousy


I’m 32 years old, and I’m not exactly what would be considered to be educated in up-to-date fashion and beauty. Indeed, my own fashion sense mimics that of a 15 year old boy, and when this is combined with frizzy hair that Monica Gellar would be proud of and make up that looks like it has been applied in a quickly moving car on a bumpy road I project an overall sense of ‘never mind, at least she tried’ when I leave the house each morning. Because of this, I don’t follow many beauty and fashion blogs or vlogs, namely because the content doesn’t often relate to my lifestyle.

However, there is one particular vlog that caught my attention about a year ago: Zoella. While I had nothing in common with her, I found myself glued to a number of her videos simply for one reason: I like her, and from the numbers she’s acquired on her YouTube account, so do over 6 million others. She’s positive, she exudes a happy and sparkly personality and above all she seems to genuinely enjoy what she does.

Recently, Zoella has started to appear everywhere here in the UK. She has her own make up line, she has become a spokesperson for Mind, a mental health charity, after discussing her own issues with anxiety, she’s recently been the recipient of two Teen Choice Awards, her YouTube following grows daily and she deserves every bit of it. She’s a nice girl with a positive message to lots of young people, and it’s nice to see that, for once, somebody is being represented as a role model for all of the right reasons.

However, as it always seems to be with the British Press, I was disheartened to read a rather unprovoked and scathing article in The Independent that openly attacked Zoella, hiding behind the premise of debating the mixed messages that she appears to give out to her fans. While I can concede that the writer made one or two valid points on these contradictions, (and am trying to avoid going all Belieber about it), I was infuriated by the fact that the majority of the article served no purpose other than to belittle a young woman who has made a success of herself.

Unfortunately, success often breeds jealousy.

The world is full of stories that need to be told every day – war, poverty, famine, abuse, cruelty, triumph – isn’t it about time that these columnists started focusing on these issues rather than wasting their talents on trying to bring others down?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

A Lovely Break

The last few days have been fantastic, but I’m glad that I have a little bit of time left before I go back to work so I can recover!


Some of the tube stations we visited


The Bloke and I couldn’t afford to go abroad this summer, so we decided to have a short break in London – there were a few things that we didn’t get the opportunity to do last time we were there and it’s somewhere that we both love…
I have just about managed to figure out the tube system – it works brilliantly but for some reason all the lines we wanted to use were delayed so we had to be creative in the routes that we took to get to our different destinations!

Our first day was spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum where we toured the ‘David Bowie Is…’ Exhibition. We were lucky to get tickets – it was the last day of the exhibition and it had been sold out for a while, but MRH had bought us tickets when she’d visited a few weeks before. It was really interesting – we were given wireless headphones which linked to different songs and videos as we were walking round, adding an extra dimension to it. His costumes were highly unusual and creative (and it’s evident from the size of them that he’s a very short and slender man), but the highlight for me and The Bloke were his suit from the ‘Life On Mars’ video and some props from Labyrinth, a film that we adore. We then took the opportunity to explore the Japanese section – I love the samurai armour!


In the evening we ate the most beautiful food at the ‘Gilbert Scott’ restaurant at the newly refurbished St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. My dessert in particular (chocolate mouse with marshmallow and toasted walnuts) was so fabulous I almost cried a little. I’ve never received service like it before – we were made to feel really special and it was such a wonderful experience.

The next day was the zoo. Both of us are animal mad, neither of us had been before and we were really excited. It’s situated near Camden, so we walked past the famous market and several Amy Winehouse tributes (her flat where she was found dead is in Camden) and arrived just as it opened. We were there for hours and only left when our feet and sore eardrums (from all the screaming kids) could take no more. I got back to the hotel and slept for several hours.


In the evening we went to see ‘Rock Of Ages’ at the Garrick Theatre. I’ve
seen the film a million times, but had never seen the musical that it was
based on, so I was looking forward to it. It turned out to be the best production I’ve ever seen. Fabulous is not the word. It was a small, incredibly talented cast who absolutely did justice to every element of the show. We left the theatre with a buzz, and I’ve had one of the songs in my head ever since.


The following day was spent being tourists in Covent Garden and down by the London Eye next to the Thames. I sat on a bench generally people watching (and resting my feet) and The Bloke went off with his camera for a while. It was windy but warm, I loved the calm and serene atmosphere and I had a really interesting time people watching.  Bliss.


We returned to three sulky cats (my friend has been looking after them while we away and they always sulk at us for leaving them) and now The Bloke is asleep on the couch.

A wonderful few days… Time passed far too quickly!!