Blog of the Day: The Recipe Hunter!

Meet Esmé! She’s the creator of The Recipe Hunter: Cook and Enjoy, a blog dedicated to beautiful recipes of lots of different types of foods.

Esme is originally from South Africa but has lived in Vancouver, BC for over 20 years. She loves to share her passion with cooking and experimenting with different dishes and her blog is wealth of knowledge of all things food! I love the fact that The Recipe Hunter follows a ‘tried and tested’ premise, which not only tests different recipes from a personal perspective, but gives honest reviews as to the success level of the instructions, as well as giving credit and promotion to others within the food blogging world. I always like it when I see the blog love being shared around! I also like the fact that she includes photographs of her results – as someone who enjoys cooking it helps me to feel more confident about trying new recipes and I can see what the dish is actually meant to look like! Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Married Cat Lady

I’m away this week, so i thought it would be nice to promote some bloggers for you to visit!

Meet Becca, the creator of The Married Cat Lady!

She explains a little about herself in her About page:

I am a self-proclaimed weirdo living in the Chicago suburbs with my wonderful husband and our fur babies Albus (cat) and Nellie (pup).

I enjoy Harry Potter, coffee, cat memes, gifs, elephants, yoga, Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers, 30-second dance parties, my girlfriends, the smell of babies, and an assortment of other fun things.

I am writing in an effort to bring laughter and joy into your life via my witty ramblings and embarrassing stories. Wish me luck! Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Unfold and Begin

I’m away this week, so I thought I would take the opportunity to share the blog love and promote some bloggers for you to check out!

Meet Jennifer, the creator of Unfold and Begin. I’ve known her through various communities for quite a while now, and I’ve always enjoyed her posts and the fun sense of humour she has in daily conversation!

I love interesting About pages, and Jennifer’s is highly entertaining:

My name is Jennifer Koshak and I’m on the tail end of the baby boomers.  You should know that I’m willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years.

Random Facts

Continue reading

Highs and Lows

Nearly two weeks after we got married, it’s been a time of enormous highs and some crashing lows.

I’ve been loving all of the pictures that we have been getting from our friends and family from the wedding. Some of them are gorgeous, some are less that flattering, so I’ve been collecting them into folders and I’m going to make a montage of all the awful ones and hang it on the wall. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

However, it didn’t help that two days after we got married The Bloke was told that Ofsted (the national inspection service for UK schools) would be coming to inspect the school he works at. Anyone who has ever worked in an educational institution in the UK knows that there is nothing more stressful than Ofsted – I’ve seen grown professionals reduced to tears – and as an IT Technician The Bloke receives enormous amounts of tasks and pressure from every area of the school, so he did incredibly long days and was shattered. I felt awful for him – not exactly the start I was hoping for.

We’ve been excitedly preparing for our honeymoon, getting together the last items that we will need for five days in NYC. Despite being given a large luggage allowance, we are repeating the same process that we did for Barcelona a few years ago and just taking a small, capsule wardrobe of outfits each in a rucksack that we can take onto the plane as hand luggage. We figured that it was going to be cold, we are spending most of our time being tourists and therefore we can get away with taking warm sweaters and t-shirts and just one nice outfit for something posh we have planned. It also means that there is zero chance that our bags would go missing (this has happened to me on flights before) and we don’t have to waste time at the baggage section when we land – we can just take our stuff and go. Because of the time of our flight, we’re traveling down to London and staying overnight at the airport hotel, and it’s that beautiful time of year where the lights have just gone up for Christmas so we can have a nice touristy time in our favourite city too.

We also had the opportunity to meet up with a group of Blogger’s Bash bloggers in Birmingham last weekend. We met at Bacchus, one of my favourite bars, and it was lovely getting the chance to catch up and say hello. The Bloke was in town doing some shopping so he joined us afterwards, and we indulged in lovely food and had a nice chat. I always find it strange when meeting bloggers that I have known online for years – I’ve met most of the people who were there just a few times before, but I feel I know them a little and the conversation is never boring or stunted as we all know each other’s stories from the blog posts that we read. I think they stayed for a while, but The Bloke and I had to leave early because we had to get ready for the fancy dress 40th birthday party for one of my favourite people, as you do.

The theme was film characters, so we decided that the obvious choice would be to go as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World, of course. I managed to find the hat and wigs from eBay and then I bought the rest from charity shops. What resulted was a Wayne and Garth that looked like they had been on a steady 10 year binge of hard drugs and alcohol. The party was fun – there were lots of friends and former colleagues that I hadn’t seen in years and some that came to the wedding but I didn’t get much chance to speak to them properly at the time, so it was great to be able to catch up with them all and find out how they were doing. I found it quite amusing that some of them didn’t recognise us because of our outfits – we were staring at one former colleague and even though she looked directly at us she walked past and The Bloke had to go over and say hello at the bar.

The other day, I was working through my social media checklist and saw I had a Facebook message. I was then greeted by a whole group of members of my Facebook group who had secretly been collectively scheming and squirrelling a donation for The Bloke and I for our wedding and honeymoon, and I was presented with an enormous sum of money. It isn’t often that I’m lost for words, but this was one of the rare occasions where I had no idea what to say, and I knew that thank you wasn’t enough. What an unbelievable surprise – we were totally gobsmacked. Em, Lorna and everyone who contributed – thanks so so so much… Yet another reason why the blogging community is a wonderful place to be, and I’m so lucky to know them!

And then, we had some devastating news. Our friend and former colleague passed away earlier this week. She came to the wedding and I spoke to her last Saturday via Facebook messenger, and on Monday of this week she had a sudden and unexpected illness and passed away a little while later. She had only retired a few years ago, was a devoted mother and grandmother and loved by everyone who worked with her – staff and students alike. It was a total shock, and I’m still reeling from it. She was such a fabulous woman – never forgot a birthday, always had a kind word and offered many (including myself on numerous occasions) a shoulder to cry on, and the outpouring I’ve seen since her passing has shown just how many lives she touched. I’m so grateful that I got the chance to see her and tell her how much she means to us before she passed, and that she saw so many of her friends. She very kindly gave us some money for the honeymoon as a gift so we’ve made a donation to the RNLI (of which she was a huge supporter) in her name and we’ll have a drink for her when we’re away.

Jan, we love you and thank you for everything that you have done for us… We’ll miss you and your friendship very much. May you rest in peace xx

I’ll be away from the blog for a while – I hope you all have a calm and peaceful time and I’ll catch up with you soon!

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow 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 Wedding!

My napkins on each place setting

After a lovely weekend it’s back down to earth – The Bloke is now back at work for a while before we go on the honeymoon and I have returned to the the online world. It’s been more strange than I expected in the fact that it hasn’t been strange at all – I was told by numerous people that I would feel different, but I don’t at all, apart from the fact that I greet him with ‘hello, husband!’ every time he walks through the door…

The wedding was lovely. I was told to expect something to go wrong, but absolutely nothing did – our duty manager for the day, Derek, kept things running like clockwork (he’s ex-military so that helped) and everyone seemed to have a great time. Continue reading

Mr & Mrs Bloke: Suzie Gets Married!

After months of planning and organising, I put on my dress and walked down the aisle to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ (what can I say, I like to keep things classy…).

The Bloke looked very handsome and the day was amazing. I will do a more detailed post later this week but I wanted to say thank you for all the messages and best wishes, and share a pic that my awesome photographer sent me yesterday evening…

Mr and Mrs Bloke

A massive thank you to our fabulous photographer – Andy Vokes

Blog of the Day: Gin and Lemonade

Meet Lorna! She’s the creator of Gin & Lemonade…

Lorna lives in Skye, writes, reads and lives quite happily with her husband, their daughter, lots of books, a few fish, and computers called Hemingway, Truman, and Frank. She’s 36, and happens to be a wheelchair-user. She explains more in her rather epic ‘About’ page:

Back then I had just moved in with my boyfriend (Sarge), and I wanted to write from the perspective of a youngish person with CP in a relationship and living in not the most accessible city in the world. And for added interestingness, I was an American living in Scotland for a really long time, with an accent that betrayed all my years here. Continue reading

Sometimes, People Surprise Me: Noisy Neighbour Update

Last night I was in a bit of a mess. We had been subjected to excessive noise from our new neighbours, and because of the awful experience we have had in the past I ended up having a full blown anxiety attack.

I decided to bite the bullet and spoke to one of the lads this morning. I timed it so I caught up with him when he was leaving the house for work and asked him (in my most disgustingly nice and polite voice) if he had a few minutes. I explained about what had happened at the previous house and why this still has such an impact on us now. Continue reading

Boost Your Following with the Bloggers Bash Twitter Chat!

 

One of the earliest (and most fun!) ways that I learned about networking and boosting my Twitter (and consequently, my blog) following was through the use of Twitter chats. They’re exciting, fast paced and a great way to meet new bloggers without leaving links or spamming the community with content. It is important to note that there any no links allowed until the very end.

The premise of a blogging chat is simple: the person hosting the chat will ask a question and include the hashtag associated with the chat eg.

Q1. What’s your favourite social media to use for blog promotion? #BlogBashChat

Everyone participating in the chat will answer the question and include the same hashtag eg.

Q1. My favourite is Twitter because… #BlogBashChat

You can then use that hashtag to see everyone else’s answers – if you type in the hashtag in the search bar at the top all of the answers that have included it will appear and the you can individually respond to others, again using the hashtag eg.

(In response to someone’s potential answer that Pinterest is their favourite) I don’t understand Pinterest – have you got any tips? #BlogBashChat

This creates a bucket load of conversations with people who you may never have met, which then leads to connections and networking, which then leads to following etc.

There are usually five to six questions asked by the host, with 5-10 minutes left in between each question to give time for people to answer and chat etc. The person hosting the chat can retweet some of the best answers, and individuals can too (this doesn’t mean that you retweet every answer, just some). At the end people are asked to leave their links, again using the hashtag, which allows everyone to check out each others Twitter accounts and blogs…

Here’s where it gets exciting – The Annual Bloggers Bash will be hosting their very first Twitter chat tonight from 7-8pm BST and this will become a weekly event – every Sunday at the same time.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Bloggers Bash (and if you haven’t, where have you been) – the Bash is an annual meet-up for bloggers that takes place in London. Now in their fourth year, the Bash hosts their own awards – nominated and voted for by the blogging community, a writing competition, presentations and networking opportunities, with attendees from the U.K, Europe, the U.S. and Canada, and it is rapidly growing in popularity, with over 5,000 votes being made last year. You can find out more by clicking on the link here

Join us tonight where I will be asking the questions for the first ever weekly Bloggers Bash Chat on the @BloggersBash Twitter account, using the hashtag #BLOGBASHCHAT.

Remember:

There are no links allowed until the end

A question is asked by the host using the hashtag #BlogBashChat

Participants respond to the question using the question number and the same hashtag #BlogBashChat

The hashtag can be used to find others participating.

It’s a brilliant way to network!

 

If you have any questions about what to do, let me know and I will do my best to answer them!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow 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

Blog Friends, the Cutty Sark and a New Obsession

It’s been a busy few days that have involved blog meet-ups, a jaunt around London and my new favourite thing… WASHI TAPE.

My American blog friend, Tiffany from A Girl and Her Passport is currently in London after resigning from her job in Qatar so she can travel around Europe… as you do. After talking through our posts and online for years, it was the perfect opportunity to finally meet up, so I found myself on a train at 6.10am on Saturday morning (yes, I genuinely love travelling at that time as there is nobody else around). As I was going to be ‘in town’ as such, I also took the chance to meet another blogging friend, Donna from JottoJot for breakfast as she is in the second trimester of her pregnancy. Continue reading