How to Have a Hygge Day

Hygge

As with most things I am late to become aware of different trends, usually a year or two after they have become popular.

Hygge (pronounced ‘Hue-gah’) is a Danish term for finding pleasure and comfort in simple and everyday things, with an emphasis on comfort and coziness. I only discovered the term towards the end of last year, when The Bloke bought a Hygge book for his sister at Christmas and it was something that I immediately connected with.

After having a particularly stressful few days during the week and being low (partially due to the constant rain and dull weather we seem to have experienced over what seems like months), I decided to devote today to having a full Hygge experience. The Bloke was going to be out for most of the day as he was visiting his family, so it was the perfect chance for me and the cat to indulge in a relaxing day…

I prepared for it the day before by tidying up my living room – the place where I planned to spend the day – bought an unsliced crusty brown loaf of bread, French onion soup and prepped a sausage casserole (one of my favourite dishes) for my evening dinner. Continue reading

A Morning at The Floating Spa

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Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know how seriously I take my ‘me time,’ so you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to try out a new floatation spa in the Jewellery Quarter at the weekend.

The Floating Spa is the brainchild (and obvious passion) of Naveed Ladha, the owner and manager. It officially opened it’s doors on Saturday, but I was lucky enough to attend the launch party on Friday evening, where I was warmly welcomed and given a tour of the facilities.

It’s a clean, well-designed space. There’s a reception area, a relaxation lounge for use before and after a floatation session (complete with chalkboards to write messages on), a massage room, a chiropractic room, lovely changing facilities and in two specially-designed, private wet-rooms are the floatation pods.

These pods are fantastic (and look rather space-age too!). They’re used as Restricted Environmental Stimulus Therapy (R.E.S.T), allowing the user to float weightlessly. They’re filled with Epsom Salt water, heated to 35.5 degrees to match the skin temperature perfectly, and there are options of lights or darkness (you can completely close the lid of you choose), music or silence during a session. Each experience is unique to every individual – by cutting off the senses and allowing complete relaxation, the mind and body has a chance to de-stress. Continue reading

Barcelona Awaits…

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Barcelona: make it so!

Tomorrow, The Bloke and I will be jetting off for our first holiday in five years. We took the opportunity with my new change in circumstances to book the trip during term time, something that our jobs have prevented us from doing previously, and as a result we found a brilliant deal in Barcelona for considerably less than what we would had paid if we had done the same trip during the summer.

Even after several days of packing and organising, I’ve still got a heap of things to do, and therefore haven’t been able to catch up on all of the comments I’ve received. For that, I’m sorry – I appreciate every single one and I’ll do my best to reply to all as soon as possible. However, for the next week, I am hoping to be fulfilling several items on the Bucket List – exploring La Sagrada Familia and The Gothic Quarter,  visiting the Picasso Museum and eating authentic tapas in particular – but I’m mainly looking forward to spending time with The Bloke with peace and quiet and no time limits or demands. And after spending a large percentage of the summer being green with envy at my friends and family’s photographs of their holiday adventures in all sorts of exotic locations, I’m going to take a slightly vindictive delight in posting pictures of my view from the beach. On Monday. When they’re at work. I imagine it will look like this:

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Love the hat…

However, the blog won’t be completely ignored. I have WiFi at the hotel and a number of wonderful bloggers to introduce you to during my absence – it’s always good to share the #bloglove.

Thank you for all your support, your kindness and your friendship. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

xx

A Spa Day…

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I spent the majority of the day wrapped in a big fluffy white towel and lounging around next to a lovely pool. I’ve had a full back, neck and shoulder massage and my scalp is feeling lovely after having lots of lovely oils rubbed into it.

It’s my friend’s birthday and we decided to get some time to relax and pamper ourselves. We brought a lovely lunch with us, sat and read trashy magazines and talked lots of girly talk, that is, in between jacuzzi sessions!

It is a tough life indeed! Continue reading

Time For Me…

imageIt may only be 6.30pm, but it’s Friday and after a very tough week I am feeling a sense of utter relief. The Bloke is away for the weekend (he’s attending his 30th school reunion), so I started the evening by having a drink at the pub and after returning home I changed into my jammies, cooked a nice bowl of creamy pasta, brought my duvet downstairs and I am now happily relaxed with two sleepy kitties, all of us with full bellies.

Of course, I have a wonderful relationship and I always miss The Bloke when he’s away, but this is the first time in a while that I have had a prolonged period of time to myself. I love the idea that in a world of endless possibilities and activities that I could do and see tonight, I am allowed to decide to do nothing, however wrong that sounds.

I’ve been riddled with self-doubt over recent months. Questions have been plaguing my thoughts – have I done the right thing? Did I just have a knee-jerk reaction to a stressful situation? What if I can’t find enough work to cover my expenses? However, today I was given the prospect of an exciting opportunity… I’ll give more details when I have a definitive plan, but it’s added to my sense of euphoria.

I’m also excited about Steve’s blog party tomorrow and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of lovely new bloggers! If you haven’t heard about it and want to participate, click on the link below…

https://suzie81speaks.com/2015/05/09/blog-party-next-saturday-anyone/

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I can’t predict the future – anything and everything could go wrong… But for the next six or seven hours, time is mine.

Bliss…

What about you guys? Have you got any exciting plans for the weekend?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

… And Relax!

imageWow. With three instrumental workshops, a tech rehearsal, a full evening music concert with 75 kids, two full ensemble rehearsals, two coursework folders, five awards assemblies and a set of reports on top of my normal teaching timetable in the last week, I’ve been more stressed out than I have ever been in my ten years of working in education. I’ve barely slept, my smoking habit has increased and I’ve come home and broken down in tears on several occasions while The Bloke has given me a hug and told me it will be okay.

Finally, it’s over. The reports and coursework are done, the concert and assemblies were a huge success after being supported by some of my colleagues, my lessons were good and I have received endless amounts of praise and positive feedback from colleagues and parents. I bloody did it, and I’m proud of myself for doing so. The best part of it is knowing that I will NEVER have to do that again. My line manager is back from maternity leave after a year off, my timetable has been reduced for next term and I have less that 50 working days left until I can start my new life.

It’s Friday, it’s pay day and it’s the start of the Easter holidays. It’s the first time in a while where I haven’t experienced anxiety or chest pains. It’s my friend’s birthday tomorrow, so I’m going to put on my glad rags and dance the night away (something I haven’t done for a long time), I’m going to spend a bit of time with my family as it is my sister’s 30th birthday and have some quality time with The Bloke, and the blog, of course. I’m going to read a book, go for walks, take lots of long, hot baths and I might even get my hair cut. My school laptop is going in the cupboard, along with my marking.

The next seven days are going to be good, because I’m taking the bloody week off.

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: The Guardian

Anxiety Central

imageI don’t deal with high pressured and stressful situations. My whole body tenses up, my stomach starts to churn and as it gets worse, I panic. I stop sleeping, I start getting irritable and have an overwhelming urge to eat anything with a high carb content and covered in grease and smoke a packet of cigarettes. Stress is not my friend.

This week has been anxiety central. Important multiple deadlines at work has meant that since Monday my routine has included 15 hours of teaching and paperwork, four or five hours of sleep and, towards the end of the week, about half an hour of tears each day, including on the day that was supposed to be my day off. At one point, I was so worked up that my skin felt like it was buzzing all over my body. There was no fun, no relaxation and no chance to sit back and just breathe.

Thankfully, everything was completed by the end of today. I left work as early as I possibly could, avoiding taking my laptop with me, treated The Bloke and I to a celebratory McDonalds and even though it isn’t yet 6.00pm I have changed into my jammies and have snuggled under a duvet with him and the cats. He’s been absolutely wonderful – he always is, but I couldn’t have got through this week without him.

I’ve missed the blog so much this week. I’ve missed you guys and I’ve missed reading all your stories, poems and admiring your photographs. The interaction that I gain from this community and the process of writing things down helps me to maintain my sanity…

So, for the next few hours, I’m all yours. Tell me about your week, share with me your favourite posts, give me tips for dealing with stress, anything.

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

That Friday Feeling…

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It’s Friday night and for the first time in quite a while I don’t have anything to do or anywhere to be. Of course, there’s always school and housework that needs working on, but tonight I am safe in the knowledge that the next 24 hours are my own. I haven’t got many plans – with my sister’s wedding, The Bloke’s birthday in a few weeks and continuing diabetic cat expenses, money is a little tight this month, so I think that I’ll take myself out for a run, wrap up The Bloke’s birthday presents, edit some wedding pics, have a good sleep and catch up with some much needed reading of some of my favourite blogs. I’m quite excited – I’ve been collecting a few bits and pieces for The Bloke for a while now, and while he hates the fact that he is getting older I always try and make a fuss, quite simply because he deserves it. I wish I had the finances to to be able to take him out for a fancy meal, but I will have to wait until I next get paid. He doesn’t know it yet, (and I’m ok to write about it on here are he doesn’t read it), but I’m going to try and get us tickets to see a show and then take him to a nice restaurant with a group of his friends from work as a surprise. It’s the little things…

It’s been quite an emotional few weeks, and I’m pleased that everything is beginning to calm down so I get the chance to regroup and relax a little. The plan for tonight is to watch Season 9 of Bones, cuddle up with the cats in my fluffy socks and take lots of deep breaths.

Hope you’re enjoying your Friday!

Bliss…

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It’s an absolutely glorious day today – the weather is clear and warm with bright sunshine and a cloudless blue sky. The cats are dozing in the streams of sunlight that are coming through the window, it’s quiet and peaceful and I have had a good night’s sleep. I’ve been a domestic goddess this morning and there are already two loads of clean clothes drying on the line outside. 

I’m still trying to relax – after spending months feeling anxious and tired I know that it is going to take a little bit of time to wind down – but it’s certainly a good step in the right direction. I don’t have many plans for the day – I’m meeting my best friend for breakfast later, I fully intend to have a long, hot bubble bath and I am going to continue with the my blogging endeavours. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting back into my writing routine – I caught up with people that I haven’t spoken to in a long time, I’ve had fun reading lots of thoughts and ideas and one of my posts was featured on Mumsnet Bloggers again yesterday. I’ve also spent some time developing my other social networking sites…

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

Twitter: @suzie81blog

Tumblr: suzie81blog

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

Check them out – I’d love to see you there! 

The rest of the week is looking to be just as fabulous. I am taking my mum to see The Commitments in London at the weekend – it’s her favourite film and we were disappointed when we discovered that we had missed the musical adaptation last year, but I found out that it has returned after a European tour and I have surprised her with tickets. I have also managed to book us into a hotel right in the centre of the city (very convenient for walking home after the show rather than navigating the Tube late at night) and as an extra special treat I have reserved us a table for a late lunch at The Ivy, a Michelin starred restaurant that is famous for it’s popularity with celebrities. I’ve always wanted to go and I’m really looking forward to it…

What about you guys? What are you looking forward to this week?