Make-Up, Marco and Music

Last weekend we experienced more glorious weather and I was able to indulge of three of my favourite things: make-up shopping, lunch with The Bloke at a restaurant and Eurovision.

Awesome.

My friend is getting married at the end of July and she asked me if I would accompany her while she tried out some ideas during a makeover she had scheduled at Dior.

Ooh, go on then!

It was nice to watch the make-up artist try out some ideas, particularly as her finished look was not something that my friend would usually wear, and I ended up having a lovely chat with numerous people about make-up looks, our favourite vloggers and blogging. To be fair, it’s inevitable that a conversation in my world ends up with a discussion about blogging – it’s something that my friends have grown used to over the years.

I then met The Bloke for lunch at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant at the top of the Cube in the Mailbox. It was the first time we had visited and I had heard and read mixed reviews, so I was interested to see what was available on the lunchtime menu. Continue reading

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A Stressful Cinema Experience

I’m one of those really annoying people who likes to go to the cinema and actually watch a film.

Strange, I know.

Unfortunately, a seemingly disproportionate percentage of the Birmingham movie-going population haven’t quite grasped the concept.

The other night, The Bloke and I went to watch Infinity Wars (don’t worry, there’s no spoilers). After waiting for over a year and then looking forward to it all week, we decided that (as it would undoubtedly be one of the biggest movies of all time) we would spend more to see it on an IMAX 3D screen for maximum impact, something that we’ve never done before. Continue reading

When Suzie Met Dolph

In August the brother of my oldest friend shared an advert on Facebook for a Sci Fi convention taking place in Manchester on the 2nd and 3rd December. Now, those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that The Bloke is an enormous geek, but while I like to embrace his geekiness, the convention wouldn’t necessarily be the sort of thing I would actively seek out. That is, until I saw that one person in particular would be appearing: Continue reading

12 Guilty Pleasures

 

It’s the little things in life that often provide me with the most amount of happiness. We all have our guilty pleasures, and I try to indulge in them as often as I possibly can… Here are some of my favourites!

1. Listening to boy bands. I’m generally an 80’s rock chick – give me a band with massive hair, leather trousers and power chords and I have to resist the urge not to do some air guitar – but I can often find myself listening to my favourite boy bands of the 90’s. I’ve seen Bon Jovi five times in concert, but it’s not often that I’ll admit that I’ve also seen Westlife, Take That and New Kids on the Block too. If the opportunity to go and scream along to Backstreet Boys songs ever presents itself in the future, I’ll be there… Continue reading

London Adventures

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The Bloke and I have very different opinions on what constitutes as ‘a holiday.’ Give me a beach, a pool, a bar and glorious sunshine and I’m happy. He needs things to see and do. I like to adopt my inner vegetable and lay like broccoli, while he’s a ‘get up and go’ type.

We both, however, have a common love of London, and we try and visit as many times a year as we possibly can. Booked in advance, train tickets are very cheap and the journey is only an hour and a half, so getting there relatively easy. There’s something about it that we both connect with – the architecture, history and the atmosphere is wonderful, and over the years we have joined the millions of tourists with our cameras to experience everything the city has to offer.

Last Saturday I was attending the Annual Bloggers Bash, so we decided to make a little mini break out of it. We booked a room at the Premier Inn near Euston Station for Friday night and got a ridiculously early train so we would have the entire day to wander around. After leaving our bags at the hotel, we arrived at the Tower of London in time for opening, and it was already packed – it seemed like half of the U.S. had the same idea as us that day.

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A panorama of the view from the central building

We spent the morning exploring the buildings in the glorious weather, looking at The Crown Jewels and the views of the city and being amused at the tourists making victory signs as they had their photographs taken in the red phone boxes. Their fascination with them always makes me smile – the British use them for urinating in and for advertising pornographic services. As is always the case, there was building work going on to maintain the architecture, so some of my photographs are blighted by scaffolding and cabins.

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The central building

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The Bloke testing his new camera

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Can’t take him anywhere…

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Looking a little more normal…

Afterwards, we went to the food section at Harrods to treat ourselves to a few things for a lunchtime picnic and then ate it in Leicester Square while we watched the street performers. We enquired about discounted tickets for a show, and after discovering that they were a little out of our price range we decided to book tickets at the Odeon to watch the new Mission Impossible film that evening. Granted, we could have seen it when we went home, but this particular cinema is where they host the premier screenings of new films and hundreds to celebrities have been there, so it was something else I could tick off my tourist list.

We went back to the hotel, checked in and promptly fell asleep for a few hours, both being shattered from being awake since 5.00am.

That evening, we went to the cinema and were promptly surprised by just how big the screen was, and the fact that it looked just like a theatre. The film was great – one of the best of the five, and aside from a silly woman sitting next to me who laughed all the way through it even in the parts that weren’t supposed to be funny, I had a great time.

As we were leaving, I picked up my rubbish from the floor and I noticed something underneath The Bloke’s chair. It was an A4 piece of paper, with a still of Tom Cruise in Top Gun. It read:

Congratulations! You have won a prize – please take this to one of our staff to claim it.

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Our prize from the cinema – bonus!

We weren’t sure whether it was a prank, but we took it to the manager in the foyer. I half expected him to laugh at me and tell me someone had put it there for a joke, but I was pleasantly surprised when he smiled and asked us to follow him to a little cupboard near the entrance. Our prize was a Guardians of the Galaxy poster and a copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. It was completely random, and looked a little awkward carrying it back on the Tube afterwards, but I was delighted – I had wanted to purchase the book anyway, and let’s face it, it’s always nice to get free stuff!

I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow that night. Despite having an afternoon nap, I was completely exhausted…

I love the fact that we have little adventures together. I can’t wait to see what Barcelona has to offer in September!

What about you guys? Have you visited anywhere recently?

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

 

The Quintessential English Baddie: Sir Christopher Lee

The casting of the villain in Hollywood movies has often had political motivation. During the Cold War the bad guys were frequently communists and sported Russian accents, after 9/11 they became terrorists from the Middle East. However, there has always been a tendency to cast British, or rather, English actors in the role of the cold, calculating, evil genius, often to counteract the all American hero.

The stereotype doesn’t exist with us Brits as a race, it’s all about the perception of the English accent and the assumption that our dialect resembles that of the Royal Family. This is known as ‘Received Pronunciation’, or RP, and can be defined as ‘the speech of educated people living in London and the south-east of England,’ often creating an air of imperialism, from a time when the British almost ruled the world.

There seems to be an unwillingness from Hollywood to cast their own in the role of the bad guy. The lead character almost always has to be seen as perfect and embodies the characteristics of the stereotypical hero. In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Alan Rickman’s superb portrayal of The Sheriff of Nottingham was evil, vicious and ruthless. The hero? Kevin Costner, with his heavy American accent. In the Lion King, Mufasa and Scar are supposed to be brothers. Mufasa, the ‘good guy’, is American, voiced by legendary actor James Earl Jones. Scar, the ‘villain’ is English, voiced by Jeremy Irons. In The Avengers, a whole plethora of fantastic American and Australian actors play the lead roles, battling to save the world from the evil Loki, played by English actor, Tom Hiddleston.

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Perhaps the most quintessential bad guy of them all was Sir Christopher Lee, who sadly passed away a few days ago, with the news of his death announced today. From his earlier Hammer roles as Dracula and Rasputin, and Scaramanga in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun,’ to his more recent portrayals of Saruman in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ films and Count Dooku in ‘Star Wars’ episodes II and III, Lee’s ability to demonstrate evil on-screen was unsurpassed. At the age of 93, with his imposing frame and that instantly recognisable baritone voice, Lee was a true cinematic legend. Of all the English baddies, he was the greatest.

Rest in Peace sir… You will be missed.

Photo credits: Sir Christopher Lee. Taken from Virginmedia.com

 

Want To Boost Your Blog? Advertising Opportunities On Suzie81 Speaks

Advertising

Are you looking to boost your blog? Suzie81 Speaks is looking to give sponsored and advertising opportunities!

There are two different types of advertising opportunities available: a monthly sponsorship space and a single ‘Blog of The Day.’

Here are a few facts about Suzie81 Speaks (of which proof can be provided if necessary on request).

  • Since Suzie81 Speaks began in April 2013 (in less than two years), I have received nearly 364,000 views.
  • Total number of views in 2013: 72,556
  • Number of views over 2014: 265,800
  • Average number of views a day in 2014: Between 600 and 1500.
  • Current number of followers: 10,900 (approx 6,200 WordPress, 4,500 Twitter, 120 Tumblr). I also have a fairly new Facebook page with 230 ‘likes,’ and it is growing weekly.

 

MONTHLY ADVERTISING SPACES

I am offering advertising spaces here on Suzie81Speaks every month for a period of four weeks (and I say four weeks because some months are longer) at a cost of £25.00

A £25.00 advertising package will last for a period of four weeks and will entitle you to:

  • A 185 x 185px button/banner in the upper right corner of the page, with a direct link to your blog/company, which is a fixed feature for every page of Suzie81 Speaks.
  • A copy of this button with a link and a short description about your blog/company will be featured in my menu system underneath the title ‘Sponsors.’ 
  • A reblog of one of your posts throughout the month
  • Introductions via social media to some of my favourite bloggers.
  • Promotion in the form of links to your blog/company during my #SundayBlogShare party each Sunday on Twitter.

PLEASE NOTE – the conversion rate from USD to GBP is 1=0.6254, which means that the total in US Dollars will be approximately $38.49

If you wish to advertise your blog for the next four weeks, please email me at suzie81blog@hotmail.co.uk where we can discuss the terms and conditions of the advertising.

 

BLOG OF THE DAY

This is available to WordPress followers only and there is a single space for one blogger every Sunday. There are two price options available:

Option 1: £9.00

  • A single promotional post about your blog with links to all of your social media accounts on Sunday afternoon
  • A reblog of a post of your choice on Sunday evening, during my highest traffic.
  • Promotional tweets to my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party during the day.

Option 2: £12.00

  • A single promotional post about your blog with links to all of your social media accounts on Sunday afternoon
  • A reblog of a post of your choice on Sunday evening, during my highest traffic.
  • Promotional tweets to my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party during the day.
  • Promotional tweets to all of the Twitter parties throughout the week that I participate in.
  • Introductions via social media to some of my favourite bloggers.

Disclaimers:

  • I cannot guarantee an increase in following, or traffic, but everyone that has been featured as Blog of The Day so far has indeed received higher views than their usual traffic.
  • I cannot (and will not) offer opportunities to any blogs that promote content that is racist, sexist, homophobic or promote any form of cruelty to animals. This includes hunting for sport and the wearing of fur for fashion.

Interested? Email me at suzie81blog@hotmail.co.uk.

Similarly, if you wish me to review products for your company, also feel free to email me at the same address.

Note: all payments are made through PayPal and are required in advance.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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

 

Want to Increase Your Traffic? Join My #SundayBlogShare Twitter Party!

imageI have received quite a few new followers over the last few weeks and wanted to get the message out about my #SundayBlogShare Twitter parties – I started it about two months ago and I’ve been delighted with the enormous response that it has received, with hundreds of bloggers participating each week, sharing over 1,100 posts. At the end of December I decided to be a bit more serious about it and registered it with Twubs to my Twitter handle, so the hashtag is now mine! Last Sunday was the busiest yet, with lots of new bloggers joining for the first time.

It’s a simple process – post your blog links to Twitter using the hashtag #SundayBlogShare and enjoy! If you include my Twitter handles (@suzie81blog or @SundayBlogShare) in your post I can retweet it for you too! Your posts can cover any topic and you don’t have to follow my blog or any associated social media accounts. You can participate if you have been blogging for days, months or years and it’s a brilliant opportunity to develop your social networking skills and boost your traffic and following. I have received hundreds of messages from people that saw their traffic increase immediately.

I will remind everyone again each week but here are a few rules for everyone who wishes to participate.

1. #SundayBlogShare is a happy place. Racist, sexist and homophobic propaganda will not be tolerated, and if you disagree with the content of a post it should be done in a polite and respectful manner.

2. Blog posts only. NO Amazon book promos, company promos, music promos, inspirational quotes, newspaper articles, random selfies of you drinking coffee, Justin Bieber fan promotion etc… you get the idea.

3. No pornographic images are allowed.

4. Do not use it as an opportunity to demand follows and retweets from others, but feel free to retweet posts that you like. Be generous with this – the more you retweet, the more likely you will get them in return!

5. Don’t go overboard with the amount that you post… If the Twitter feed is just a list of your own posts, you’re doing it too much. Post a few, spend some time reading and retweeting others and then come back later to post again.

6. Hashtag spamming is not allowed. For those of you who participated last week, you’ll be aware that because of the popularity of the hashtag, there was a high level of spam from people who used it as an opportunity to post hundreds of links within an hour, clearly using the hashtag to spam potential clients. I have contacted Twitter and Twubs, and hopefully the matter has been resolved, but if this sort of thing appears tomorrow I would really appreciate it if you would block and report them. Don’t engage with them, just block and report.

It starts each Sunday morning and will end at midnight. I’m in the UK, so you will need to work out times for whichever country you live in. This may mean that some of you may be participating on Saturday, or going into Monday, but please use the same hashtag…

Looking forward to seeing you there!

You can find me on Tumblr @suzie81blog and I’d love it if you would hop on over to my Facebook page and give it a cheeky ‘like.’ http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

If you would like to follow me on Twitter, my account is @suzie81blog.

#SundayBlogShare: The Final Sunday Twitter Party of 2014!

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It’s Saturday night, which means only one thing – tomorrow is my #SundayBlogShare party on Twitter! It’s the ninth consecutive party and I’ve been overwhelmed by how quickly it has grown, with nearly a thousand posts being shared last week! However, it’s also the last one of 2014, and I need your help to make it go out with a bang! 

Everyone is welcome to participate – you don’t have to follow Suzie81 Speaks or its associated social media accounts, there are no limits on the amount of posts that you share and you don’t need to have a specific theme to your blog or the links that you share. Simply tweet your link with the hashtag #SundayBlogShare and enjoy! Meet hundreds of other bloggers, retweet their posts and build your own Twitter following!

The rules are simple and easy to follow:

1. #SundayBlogShare is a happy place. Anything that contains racist, homophobic and/or sexist material will be removed and reported.

2. Blog posts only! No inspirational quotes, links to book promotions on Amazon or porn.

3. Share the #bloglove! Follow, retweet and enjoy lots of posts from blogger all over the world. However, don’t be desperate enough to beg for or demand retweets and follows from others.

You can also include my Twitter handle @suzie81blog and I can easily retweet you!

The party is on all day – you are welcome to join us at anytime throughout Sunday!

Here is where I need your help my lovely bloggy friends. The more people you invite, the more of a success it is going to be… I’ll get the drinks and the party hats, you share the hashtag with everyone you know.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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

 

2014: A Blogging Review

2014 is almost over, and it has been a roller coaster of a year. My blogging endeavours began in April 2013. I was experiencing a difficult time in my personal life and as I have always found writing therapeutic, starting a blog seemed to be the perfect solution.

Twenty months later, Suzie81 Speaks has grown above and beyond all expectectations and has become the most effective form of therapy that I have ever received. I have built up a community of over 9,000 followers and hit the 300,000 view mark earlier this month. This year in particular has been wonderful – I have been featured on Mumsnet several times (which I find amazing considering the fact that I don’t have children), I was lucky enough to be invited to a blog community meet up in Birmingham a few months ago and #SundayBlogShare, my weekly Twitter party that I started in October now has hundreds of participants every week. Above all, I have been able to communicate with a truly amazing group of people from all over the world, some of whom are now email and Facebook friends.

The process has been a huge learning curve, predominantly because I knew nothing about blogging when I started. Suzie81 Speaks does not have a theme or a niche – I like to have the freedom to write about whatever topic I am interested in at the time. Consequently, I have created a collection of varied and eclectic posts. I like to take the opportunity to review these regularly, deleting and editing where necessary, and recently I have created buttons for some of my favourites which you can see in the sidebar. I wanted to be able to share with you some of these with you – you are welcome to click on the images that take you directly to the post.

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What about you? What have been your favourite posts from your blog over the last year? If you wish to share a link, you’re welcome to do so in the comment section below!