Travel and Money-Saving Tips When Visiting Dubrovnik

Planned and booked in advance, flights can be extremely cheap. We booked in November to travel in June with EasyJet, flying from London Luton to Dubrovnik for just £75 return. The flight from Luton took just under 2 1/2 hours.

By law, the relevant regulations of Croatia means that the provider of accommodation services in a hospitality facility is obliged to collect and record the personal data of each person using those accommodation services. Essentially, the place where you stay will take a note of your passport and travel details. You don’t have a choice in this. Continue reading

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How to Do a Blogging Mid-Year Check-In

Simple Ideas for a Mid-Year Blogging Check-In

As July has seemingly appeared from nowhere it occurred to me yesterday that over half a year has slipped by.

I’ve never really focused on a mid-year check-in before. I actively track my stats, growth and client data every month in my Bullet Journal which allows me to see progress over a long period of time, but any goals and plans I usually set are long-term (often with a deadline of twelve months) and

At the point where I decided to take blogging more seriously I had two goals that were my sole focus: to replace my teaching job with my own social media business, and to hit a million views, and I worked incredibly hard to achieve them. Once I had done both, it was almost like the fire went out – I made the crucial mistake of not setting something meaningful to work on. Admittedly, I took my foot off the gas, sat back and coasted along because, quite frankly, it was easy to stay in my comfort zone and within the deliriously happy little bubble that I had built for The Bloke and I.

This year, things have felt a little different. I’ve been quite open about the fact that I have found the process of blogging more difficult and have made several attempts to intentionally regroup and rebuild to get back to the place I was in, but with little success. As bloggers, when stats and numbers become important and we find ourselves at the mercy of social media and search engine algorithms it has felt like a constant battle and frequent addition of new strategies to try and adapt to the changes that are regularly thrown at us, seemingly with little impact.

I set goals in January (as I always do each year), but while my brain felt that these goals were realistic and achievable, my motivation clearly wasn’t as enthusiastic. I’ve done well when working for others and my social media business continues to grow, but when examining my own 2019 plans from a mid-point perspective, I’m nowhere near where I wanted (or, indeed) expected to be because I don’t have the same passion for developing my own content and direction than I do for my clients, I’m easily distracted and I’m a terrible procrastinator.

So, what to do? An easy option would be to give up and start again next year, but I was reminded recently that there’s still six months of the year left. Surprisingly, this realisation has given me the jolt that I think I finally needed.

Want to Complete a Mid-Year Check-In?

Don’t get stuck in a cycle of criticising yourself unfairly or use it as an excuse to quit. This exercise is not for the purpose of admonishing yourself for perceived failure.

The key to a mid-year review is honesty. One of the phrases that I follow closely is something that my mother uses frequently: there’s the real truth, and the truth we want to believe because it feels better. Be brutally honest with what you have already achieved, and look closely at why you are or aren’t meeting your own expectations or the goals you have set yourself.

Simplify and streamline. I have lots of goals. Tons of them. While I think it’s a positive thing to have a variety of dreams to work towards, it isn’t realistic to do everything all at once. Make sure that your goals are relevant to your priorities and are motivational. I’ve re-examined and now set myself just one goal to work towards until the end of the year, and that will remain my sole focus.

Identify distractions and establish rewards. What became evidently clear when I was examining the last six months was that I had gone off in lots of different directions after becoming distracted with other things that had temporarily sparked my interest. Furthermore, I discovered that large amounts of my daily time was wasted by things that I do purely because I enjoy them – new TV shows, flat lays, trips out etc – rather than focusing on the things that I find difficult. Unfortunately, the things I find difficult are usually the things I need to do in order to progress, so I am going to start each day with doing the more challenging things first, and have put a reward system in place.

Remove the barriers. Where possible, get rid of the negative that is getting in your way, be it people, objects or personal thoughts and fears. I’ve been working on something for 18 months and this came to a halt a few months ago simply because of the fear of the response I may get from it, which has never happened before. I’ve spent the last few weeks removing everything that I deem to be toxic, and have incorporated my new direction to continue my project into my checklist for the month.

Get yourself an accountability buddy. I have two, and I check in with them almost daily. They call me out on any nonsense or excuses I have, offer advice and ideas and are my biggest cheerleaders.

From this point, keep going every single day. Whether it is half-an-hour or half-a-day you have in which to work on something, sit down and do as much as you can. Every little point is a step forwards.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and you can also find me on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaksand my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

Suzie Does Aerobics…

I think I may have done something that I may possibly regret in the immediate future…

I’ve signed up for a low impact aerobics class.

Oh dear.

My weight has been a source of frustration for years. In my youth I exercised almost every day – I swam for a club, played on badminton teams, reached my brown belt in karate – and as a result I was strong, slim and could eat and wear whatever I wanted with little thought. Continue reading

Tales from Behind the Bar…

Warning: NSFW.

Of all of the jobs I’ve held over the years, one of my favourites was working behind the bar in different pubs and nightclubs. Of course, any job that involves dealing with the British public (particularly when alcohol is involved) is always challenging, but despite it being a physically and mentally exhausting, I absolutely loved it. I loved the staff, the interaction with the customers, the music, the atmosphere, the DJ’s – on a good night it was almost like being paid for a night out with my favourite people.

After a few years I found that the same characters appeared in every establishment: Continue reading

Kylie Minogue and a Brand New Month

Last night I watched the Kylie Minogue set at Glastonbury on TV. I love music – my degree is in the subject – and it has been one of the biggest influences throughout most of my life, but while I’ve been to see plenty of my favourite bands live in concert, I’m not a fan of festivals and generally don’t watch them.

However, I’ve got a soft spot for Kylie. I adored her as Charlene in Neighbours in the late 80’s, absolutely wetting myself with excitement when Charlene married Jason Donovan’s ‘Scott.’ So much so, in fact, that I wanted to walk down the aisle to the song that was used during the wedding scene – ‘Suddenly’ by Angry Anderson – when The Bloke and I were planning our wedding a few years ago. He wasn’t impressed with the idea, but it still remains one of my favourite songs. Continue reading

The Boy is Back

The cat looks rather handsome with his yellow and pink piggy bandage

Two weeks: 

  • Three long distance train journeys, 
  • Two flights, 
  • One long distance coach trip, 
  • Six taxi journeys 
  • Eight tube rides, 
  • Climbed at least 1000 steps,
  • Walked eight miles in one day,
  • A holiday in Dubrovnik 
  • A weekend in London,
  • A trip to IKEA,
  • Half a Sixpence at the Alexandra Theatre,
  • A visit to Martineau Gardens,
  • Two vets and a forty-eight hour stay for the cat at the veterinary hospital,
  • A follow-up consult at the doctors.

Continue reading

Glazed Ham and 10 Kuna: Four Bloggers Go to Dubrovnik

Last week I got on a plane with three other blog friends for a six-day girlie trip.

As you do. 

We’ve been friends for a number of years now – meeting in person over five years ago at the very first Annual Bloggers Bash – and after a random conversation last year about holidays we spontaneously decided to take a trip together. Within a few hours we were booked into a beautiful apartment… in Dubrovnik.

Continue reading

How is it June, Already?

This morning I was setting up my trackers for my client social media and freelance work for the month and it suddenly occurred to me that it was June. How on earth is it June already? It seems like five minutes ago that The Bloke and I were indulging in our New Years Eve snacky treats and singing Auld Lang Syne while we linked arms with the (rather disgruntled) cat.

The last five months have been really busy: I’ve gained several new freelance opportunities which I’m thoroughly enjoying, we’ve been on a number of day trips to interesting places, got up at 5.30am for each episode of Game of Thrones, watched Hugh Jackman on stage, musical theatre shows, plays and films, interviewed Marco Pierre White and generally had an awesome time. June also promises to be equally as great, with the fifth Annual Bloggers Bash (during which we are making a long weekend of it and being tourists for a few days). Continue reading

Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.

 

Hugh Jackman World Tour 2019*Warning: Spoilers*

Last night The Bloke and I went to see Hugh Jackman in concert at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham. 

While he’s most famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise and Barnum in The Greatest Showman, his career was built by performing in various musical theatre shows and his world tour entitled ‘The Man. The Music. The Shows’ takes the audience through his life and influences as a performer.

It’s something I have been looking forward to since The Bloke surprised me with tickets a few months ago – I’m obsessed with The Greatest Showman and when we were in New York last year we missed him by about half an hour at the coffee shop that he owns, so I couldn’t wait to be in the same space as someone who has achieved so much and still, by all accounts, remains a down-to-earth nice guy who adores his family.  Continue reading

Suzie and The Bloke Go to Blackpool

Blackpool Tower

The Bloke’s cousin turned 21 this week and we were invited to her birthday party last weekend… in Blackpool. 

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to the Vegas of the North, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. We visited many times during my childhood years – on a clear day it was possible to see the famous tower in the far distance from my home and we had a yearly outing to the Illuminations, where my sisters and I would be in competition to win the coveted 20p for being the first person to spot the tower on the way. Of course, my mum felt guilty about giving just one of us money and so we would inevitably each get the money, but it remains as one of my happiest memories.  Continue reading