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Stats

At the time of publishing, Suzie Speaks has received over 1,000,000 views. Here are my readership stats:

WordPress: 11,000 +
Twitter: 8,900
Facebook: 800 +
Pinterest: 9200 +

Of all of the blogging regrets that I have, my lack of knowledge when developing my blog and hesitation when setting up my social media accounts are the biggest. Why? Continue reading

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Traditions

I love Friday night, particularly at this time of year. When we both worked in schools, The Bloke and I would desperately look forward to it – we would get in after struggling through an often crappy week, order a takeaway, get the blankets out, put the heating on and would spend of the evening snuggled up with the cats while watching a film, desperately happy that we wouldn’t have to get up and go to work the next day. Even though we’re now both in a different situation with regards to where and how we work, we’ve carried on with the weekly routine – we still curl up on the couch under a blanket and watch a film, although the cat now prefers to sleep on his own blanket on the armchair since his feline sister passed away last year.  Continue reading

Christmas in November? No!

I love everything about Christmas. I love decorating the tree and displaying the cards. I love the carols and the annual Christmas songs that are blasted out in every store. I love the Christmas market that appears in Birmingham every year (even though many Brummies I know think of it in the same way as New Yorkers view Times Square). I love wrapping the presents, drinks with friends, planning the dinner on the day and stocking up on Boxing Day treats. I love Christmas movies and over the years The Bloke and I have developed our own little traditions of when we watch them. In particular, I love the general festive cheer that the community adopts, making more of an effort to be kind to each other. Continue reading

All Change

I live in a row of terraced houses in a suburb of Birmingham with a set of neighbours on each side in the connecting properties. We’ve lived in this particular house for about 3 1/2 years, and while the residents have changed numerous times in the house to the left (which is a rental property like ours), the ones to the right have always been a nice couple that we’ve had a good relationship with.

The biggest problem with terraced housing is that the walls are often paper thin, meaning that even a basic conversation can be heard next door. A year ago I had a little rant about how noisy the new neighbours were – from the evening they moved in the music was cranked up and the parties started, but after having a conversation with one of the tenants he appeared with a bunch of flowers, an apology and his phone number with the instruction to text if they were being too loud. Continue reading

Home Alone

Today I found myself in a rather unusual situation. 

I have the whole house to myself. For the whole weekend.

I am officially home alone for three days. 

The Bloke is away on a course with one of his favourite photographers in Manchester. The course and walk-round session on Saturday takes up most of the day, so he is staying in a hotel the night before and after. He’s nervous, but I’m incredibly proud of him for putting himself in a situation that I know makes him hugely uncomfortable – he doubts his abilities as a photographer (despite the fact that his photographs are fabulous) and I’m hoping that it will prove to be a huge confidence boost and a great opportunity to meet some new people. Continue reading

IKEA: For the Stuff You Never Knew You Needed

There’s a scene in one of my favourite films – 500 Days of Summer – in which the two main characters lovingly pretend at playing house in an IKEA as they enjoy the honeymoon phase of their new relationship. It’s a beautiful sequence, accompanied by cutesy dialogue, and even though I’ve watched it a bajillion times it never fails to make me smile.

So, it was inevitable that this would be the first thing that would pop into my head when The Bloke suggested an impromptu visit yesterday morning. Despite the fact that we have lived together for years, and have been to IKEA on numerous occasions, I somehow imagined a scenario in which we would flirt our way around, being cute in various home set ups and having a lovely time.

Not quite, predominantly because I forgot how much I LOVE going to IKEA. Continue reading

Start Spreading the News…

New York montage

It has been a little while since I last posted, predominantly because I’ve been on holiday in New York. The Bloke and I visited just under a year ago on our honeymoon, but as we were there for just over four days we decided to go back for an extended period of time and try and see some of the things that we missed.

It. Was. Epic.

We travelled by subway, water taxi and cable car. We saw a ridiculous amount of movie locations and sweltered in the intense heat. I ate a Cronut, gay ice-cream, pancakes, slurped on the most amazing pink lemonade and developed a rather worrying Snapple addiction. We missed an appearance by Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick-Harris at different points, laughed (and almost cried) at Kinky Boots on Broadway and got a crick in our necks from looking skywards for so long.  Continue reading

50 Useful Tips to Boost Your Organisation and Productivity

50 useful tips to boost organisation and productivity

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included

A routine is incredibly important to productivity, motivation and organisation and a morning routine (even if you aren’t a morning person) followed by further preparation in the evening is more likely to encourage a successful day. 

Avoid focusing on the idea of perfection. There’s no such thing. Avoid getting caught up in fussing over the insignificant.

Plan your month in advance. Using a calendar, phone, diary or Bullet Journal, map out your month. I like to see an overview of everything on one page, so I create a linear list in my Bullet Journal for the entire month of dates when I have an appointment, event and a birthday to remember. I duplicate this list onto a single piece of paper that I put up on the wall at home. This allows me to see at a glance when I am free and gives me the opportunity to get ahead for times that will be busier than others. 

Create a meal plan, buy and cook food in bulk and freeze as much as possible. It’s surprising how many healthy meals can be prepared using minimal ingredients and frozen afterwards in Ziploc Freezer Bags and Food Storage Containers and even Mason Jars ready to use later. Here’s an incredibly useful list of ideas. Continue reading

Getting My Mojo Back

National Writing Day

It’s National Writing Day and for the first time in almost a month I actually have the urge to write… I was having a discussion with a bloggy friend a while ago and he talked about needing to get his mojo back. That’s exactly what my problem has been – my mojo up and left without saying goodbye.

I haven’t properly been near the blog for almost a month aside from to share my stuff for my daily checklist – the longest period of time spent away from it since starting Suzie Speaks just over five years ago. It wasn’t necessarily a planned break, I just found that I had nothing to say, the Black Dog stayed around for longer than usual and it did me good to get away from everything involved with it, instead spending some time on the new(ish) project that I have been working on.  Continue reading

A New Phase for The Bloke and Learning to Work Backwards

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I decided to focus my attentions on areas outside of my blog primarily and get a fresh perspective on various aspects of life that weren’t as positive as they should have been. I was full of ideas of where I could go and what I could do, and started by feeling motivated.

And then I got drunk, and it ended up being far more therapeutic than anything that I had planned. Continue reading