Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 5: Who Are You Most Grateful For?

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

Daily Gratitude Challenge Who are you most grateful for (1)

Day 5 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge is all about the people that you are most grateful for. I’m lucky in that I have a number of people in my life that are trustworthy and supportive, but this year has also highlighted those who are putting their own lives on the line every day and doing lots of incredible things to help others. Whether it is family or close friends, key workers or charities, this is an opportunity to be mindful and appreciative of those who make life just that little bit better. Continue reading

That Time The Bloke DIDN’T Propose…


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

How to Make a Beautiful Wedding Centrepiece Using Mason Jars

Wedding centrepiece cetnerpiece mason jarsFor the first few months after getting engaged, I threw myself into wedding planning. I’ve never been particularly into crafts, but I found myself maniacally scouring Pinterest for ideas, hoping to gain some inspiration for all sorts of things. In particular, I wanted to find different styles of centrepieces, with my criteria being that it had to be simple to make and cost effective. Eventually, I planned a theme and colour scheme, and from that I then amalgamated lots of different ideas to create something that was exactly what I was looking for. I showed The Bloke what I had come up with, and thankfully he liked them as much as I did.

You will need: Continue reading

The Wedding Planning Begins…

WeddingActually, if I’m being honest, that’s a complete fabrication. The Bloke and I got engaged in May (after an unbelievable proposal overlooking a 13th Century Scottish castle, and yes, I’m never going to get bored of saying that), and by June I had pretty much decided on what was going to happen on the big day. The Bloke laughed at my initial proclamation that I wasn’t going to do anything until the summer and he was right to do so – I started thinking of ideas the very next day.

Now, when I say ‘I,’ I of course mean ‘we,’ but with me having more free time than The Bloke does I’ve been able to immerse myself in Pinterest for ideas and fill out the necessary paperwork. He’s got used to coming home only to be greeted by my phone being shoved in his face with the question “Now, what do you think of this?” and to his credit he has given me his honest opinion and offered his own suggestions along the way.

I’ve never wanted a big, fancy wedding. I’ve been to a number of them, all which were fabulous and unique with loads of fantastic things to do, but as cliche as it sounds I’ve always liked the idea of a small ceremony and a lack of pomp and circumstance. We get married, we eat, then we get our dancing shoes on and have a great time with people that mean the most to us. I am determined that The Bloke and I get the chance to spend the day together, as one of the biggest regrets that my family and friends say they have about their own weddings is that they were so concerned about everyone else having a good time that they forgot to enjoy it themselves. Continue reading

Things That Will Happen When Gay People Get Married


If it’s a weekday, I will go to work. I will return home ten hours later, undoubtedly with a stress induced headache.

If it’s a weekend, I will laze about in my jammies, catch up on the blog and watch chat shows on television.

An enormous traffic jam will happen somewhere on the M6.

Someone will give birth.

Someone will die.

Mr Shouty Man will sit on the wall outside my house, shouting to himself before he walks to the park and shouts some more.

Old friends will meet for lunch.

My bus will be late and then three of them will turn up all at once.

Someone will be released from jail.

A teenager will disappoint their parents.

A parent will disappoint their child.

Someone will do something that they regret.

Epic movies will be made.

Beautiful music will be composed.

Someone will get finally get their ‘big break.’

I will lose my house keys.

A teacher will mark some work from at least one of their students.

Someone will pass their driving test.

A lovesick One Directioner will beg Harry Styles to follow them on Twitter.

Someone will win a game of poker.

I will burn my dinner.

Someone will dance around the supermarket to their favourite song.

A photograph will be taken from the top of a famous monument and shared on Facebook.

I will look at the flowery curtains in my living room with disgust, and vow to buy some new ones soon.

Someone will laugh so hard that their stomach hurts.

A teenager will Instagram a selfie in front of a mirror.

A drunken phonecall will be made to an ex at 2am.

Someone will inevitably be compared to Hitler after insulting Justin Bieber on YouTube.

My neighbours children, who live across the road, will scream and run up and down the pavement ‘doing races’ for hours.

Someone will vow that they are ‘never going to drink again’ after consuming their body weight in vodka shots the night before.

My cat will undoubtedly spend at least twenty minutes attempting to climb behind the back of the television before sitting on the back of the couch and sneezing on my head.

My other cat will fall asleep on her back, snore loudly and twitch her paws when she dreams.

Someone will hear ‘I Love You’ for the first time.

Someone will hear ‘I Love You’ for the last time.

Someone will lose their virginity.

Someone will get sunburnt after lying on a beach for too long.

My mother will take her dogs for a walk.

A tired student will pull an ‘all-nighter’ after leaving their assignment until the last minute.

Someone will achieve a life-long goal.

A child will meet their hero.

The world will turn, the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening. The sky will be blue, or it will rain, or snow, or hail. The plants will grow. People will continue to live their lives as they always have.

Above all, if gay people are allowed to marry, then two people, be it two men or two women, will declare their love and commitment to each other. Their decision affects only them, and nobody else, and I wish them all the love and happiness in the world.

I’m proud to live in a country where gay marriage is legally recognised. Other places aren’t as lucky.

Enough is enough. Live your life, believe what you want to believe, love who you choose to love, but let others do the same without fear of persecution and condemnation.

And if you don’t like it? I’ll leave it to the ever fabulous RuPaul to finish the sentence for me…


Sashay… Away


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

Image 1 credit: NY Times

23 Things You Should Do Before You’re 23

List of 23 things

At the end of 2013 I saw an article that caught my eye. It turns out, it also caught the eyes of millions of others and I watched it closely as it has went viral, spawning thousands of comments that both praised and vilified the author in equal measure.

I don’t have an opinion on the age that somebody should get married and I am certainly not using this as an opportunity to attack the author. A friend of mine, who married at the age of 22 and who now has two beautiful children once told me that she wanted to share her life with her husband and children rather than living it on her own first, and I thought it was a lovely sentiment to have. However, ’23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged At 23′ was a title that instantly appealed to me – at thirty-three years old I am not married, despite the fact that I have lived with The Bloke for quite a few years – and because of this I had an expectation that this post was going to offer some fantastic ideas or life advice that would inspire me.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.  The list of things that were given, such as eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting, disappoint your parents, hangout naked in front of a window, cut your hair, make out with a stranger and sign up for CrossFit wasn’t just uninspiring, it was downright silly (and in some cases, dangerous). I have eaten a jar of Nutella in one sitting, I have disappointed my parents (many times), I have cut my hair, but I found it ridiculous to list these as an alternative to engagement.

However boring this may sound, being an adult means having some level of responsibility, regardless of marital status. Therefore, I created my own list of things that I believe that everyone should do before they are twenty-three, whether they are married or not.

1. Gain as many qualifications as possible. These don’t have to be academic qualifications, there are lots of vocational alternatives.

2. Learn to be financially knowledgable. This may not necessarily mean financial independence, but it is important to know how to pay bills, live to a budget and understand how a bank account works.

3. Learn to cook from scratch and prepare nutritious meals with minimal ingredients. Good for the health, good for the bank balance.

4. Know how to look after yourself. Be able to keep yourself, your clothes and your home clean (you’d be surprised how many nineteen year olds that I know that still don’t have a concept of this).

5. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin, and being alone with yourself.

6. Know your alcohol limit. Just occasionally, be able to stop drinking before you go over it. It doesn’t stop you from staying out until 6.00am, it just means you can do so without having vomit in your hair.

7. In between disappointing your parents, which will usually at some point be inevitable, take the time to appreciate them and tell them how much they mean to you.

8. Occasionally, take the time to do absolutely nothing but indulge yourself. Rest, relax, recharge your batteries. Have a long hot bath, read a book, sleep all day.

9. If you can, travel as much as possible with people you love. It doesn’t have to be abroad – explore the sights and sounds of your home country. Road trip, anyone?

10. Give your time to a charitable cause.

11. Go out in fancy dress.

12. Learn at least the basic elements of a foreign language. It’s rude the assume that the rest of the world will speak English.

13. See your favourite singer/band in concert.

14. Forgive (although this doesn’t mean you have to forget) and move on.

15. Spend 24 hours without any media – no internet, tv, phone or consoles. See what you accomplish in your boredom.

16. Learn to say no, to yourself and to others.

17. Get rid of that one rude, inconsiderate friend who makes your time together a chore. Best thing I ever did.

18. Take photographs. Lots of photographs.

19. Get a job working in the service/retail industry. Trust me, after eighteen months of working at McDonalds and three years working in a nightclub, I’ll never be rude to a waitress, shop assistant or barman ever.

20. Understand that if you really want something, you’re going to have to start working for it, or be really good at asking for it.

21. Spontaneously do something that you have never done before.

22. Splurge on something that you’ve always wanted.

23. Ultimately, don’t allow fear to stop you from doing something that you have always wanted to accomplish. It’s better to try and fail than to wonder about the ‘what ifs.’

What about you guys? Are there life lessons you believe you should follow from an early age?

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

A Proud Day To Be British


In May I wrote this article, questioning what all the fuss was about gay marriage. Today, same-sex marriage was officially legalised in the UK, and I couldn’t be more proud.
MPs cheered in the House of Commons as it was announced that the royal approval had been given to the new Bill, which means that same – sex weddings will legally be allowed to take place next spring. The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and she gave her formal approval to the Bill this afternoon.
I’d like to personally pass on my congratulations to all the gay couples out there who can start planning their nuptials!!