On Becoming a Hermit…

Yesterday was International Happiness Day, and the blogging world was flooded with articles, images and quotes of achieving happiness.

Even without a specifically dedicated day, it’s a prominent topic. There seems to be have been a conscious movement over the last few years that focus on the ideas on mindfulness, self-care, motivation and happiness, which may be partially reactionary to the turbulent times within society, or the fact that many are beginning to realise that there is more to life than a soul-destroying 9-5. Continue reading

Exams, Sore Feet and a Radio Interview!

It’s been an unusual few weeks!

I’ve done a radio interview, which was very exciting, I’ve continued to do some supply teaching, but I took on the role of exam invigilator towards the end of last week too – it’s mock exam season to prepare students for the process of sitting their GCSE exams. When I was initially asked about my availability I jumped at the chance – standing there for a few hours in silence with no responsibility other than to fetch paper and equipment and ensure that the students remain silent (which they do – the exams officer at the school is incredible) seemed perfect. However, after two-and-a-half days I had learnt several things. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Unfold and Begin

Unfold and BeginMeet Jenny!

Jenny is the creator of Unfold and Begin, a lifestyle blog. Her About page is one of the funniest I have read…

My name is Jennifer Koshak.  I’m a post 50 baby boomer, willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years.

Some random things about me:

  • I met my husband on eHarmony.  Yes, it really works.
  • I started my first blog 4 years ago, wrote a couple of posts and then freaked that people might actually read it. So I deleted the whole thing.  (I’m trying to move past that fear of sharing myself!)
  • My favorite color is yellow, but it looks awful on me, so I painted my living room a sunset yellow instead.
  • I’m allergic to cats, which means I only have two.
  • My husband is a chef and a chocolatier.  This can be dangerous, but so, so delicious!
  • I’m a Yoga Teacher who feels that laughter is a necessity of life. I’ve been known to quote Mel Brooks movies in class—-the concept of Be Here Now can totally be found in Spaceballs!

Continue reading

Terms and Conditions

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I travel via train fairly frequently. I’ve learned to be fairly savvy with it – I know that one of the biggest train and travel companies in particular will hike up their prices by as much as £100 for travel on the same day as booking, so making sure that tickets in advance are essential unless you want to take out a second mortgage just to pay for travel costs.

So, when they sent me an email informing them of their summer sale, with tickets on offer for £4.00 between Birmingham and London, I eagerly planned a day trip for The Bloke and I, feeling really pleased with myself for obtaining tickets for both of us for the grand total price of £16.00. Bargain.

That is, until I discovered that I’d gone and booked tickets for the opposite journeys that I wanted – I’d done London to Birmingham instead of the other way around. Idiot. Totally my fault, and I was irrationally super-angry with myself for not concentrating and making a rookie mistake.

Now, it’s only £16.00, but for the principle of it I set about getting a refund. After 5 phone calls during which I was waiting for a total of about 45 minutes and eventually resorting to Twitter because nobody answered the phone, I was informed that my tickets were non-refundable because they had been purchased in the sale. Not that this is made clear anywhere on the booking page in advance, but they got me with the fact that they had included this in their Terms and Conditions, at the bottom of a long list and buried in their website.

So, we have had to book another set of tickets, ultimately paying the same price that we would have done without the sale. I wouldn’t mind, as it was my mistake, but I am a bit cross at the fact they have made extra money from me and won’t give it back, which is always covered by the crappy Terms and Conditions. Hopefully, they can use my money (and I’m sure the money from other idiots like myself) into improving the service and getting the trains to actually be big enough to accommodate the amount of people that use them…

What about you guys? Have you ever made a mistake and then been screwed over by the Terms and Conditions?

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.

To Delete, or Not to Delete?

Social Media Management

Last year, I made the mistake of revisiting a lot of my old handwritten  journals. I have a whole stack of them – thick notebooks mainly purchased from Paperchase that have been filled with my random scribblings over the years – and in my infinite wisdom I thought it might be a nice idea to open some of them up again and read about who I was at that moment in time. It turned out to be a huge mistake – I became very quickly aware that I was an extremely bitter person and what I found were pages and pages of rambling, nonsensical anger. I decided that, while I wasn’t going to throw the notebooks away, I wouldn’t read them again. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Motivate Me!

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Meet Shelley!

The opening statement almost seems a little silly to me, as so many within my blogging community already know and love Shelley, but it isn’t as widely known that Shelley has a second blog – Motivate Me!

Motivate Me began as a set of resolutions, as Shelley explains in her extremely eloquent ‘About Page.’

It all started with a New Year Resolution…

One New Year’s Eve I set herself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set my children and myself a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions (one for each month of the year). Continue reading

Adopting my Inner Sheldon

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There’s a scene from The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon is ill. We hear “Leonard! I’m sick!” and see Leonard frantically running out of the apartment, still trying to get dressed. We quickly discover that Sheldon is particularly dreadful to be around when he is ill, to the point that his friends have a code where they hide as much as possible to avoid having to look after him.

That’s me.

I really dislike the term ‘man-flu.’ When The Bloke is ill, he gets up and carries on as normal. When I’m ill, I turn into a snivelling, snotty mess and spend most of my time complaining. Continue reading

Want to Build Your Twitter Following? Join my Twitter Link-Up!

At the start of 2017 I created a Facebook group – ‘Big Up Your Blog.’ I’m a member of several Facebook groups, but I find that there aren’t very many opportunities for people to actually connect and share their blog and social media accounts, so I started a ‘Social Saturday’ every week where participants could share their social media links, grow their following and connect with lots of other bloggers. Continue reading

How to Simplify and Authentically Grow Your Blog Without Spending Money

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Blogging is now a viable career option and there are endless examples of bloggers who have monetised their site to the point where they can quit their 9-5 job and live the dream.

Consequently, the bloggosphere (blogisphere? blogosphere? There really should be some clarification on this) is filled with ‘Earning Reports’ (which I often ignore), along with a bajillion things that we should all be doing to optimise our traffic and increase engagement to our sites. I apparently need an email list, in which I should offer incentives. I should be part of an Instagram pod or tailwind tribe. I should be self-hosted and have a professionally designed site, I should have paid advertising across all of my social media. I should be building up my social media accounts by following and then unfollowing people.

Nonsense.

No wonder so many bloggers are feeling overwhelmed or disappointed with the fact that they haven’t been able to quit their job after blogging for two months. There’s so much conflicting information that many feel the need to do everything because they have seen that it works for someone else. Continue reading

That Time The Bloke DIDN’T Propose…

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Valentine’s Day has never really been a big deal for The Bloke and I. I’m not a particularly romantic person at heart and generally we spoil each other throughout the year, so aside from exchanging cards and the odd gift, February 14th is a day that is no different to any other.

Last year, however, I had been particularly looking forward to it. We’d had the usual discussion a few days before: Continue reading