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3 Scary Dolls for Halloween | The World of Suzy Homemaker @SuzyHomemakerUK

I take no credit for the whole scary doll thing.

It was all Beloved's idea.

I simply executed it.

After all, who gets scared by a girl's toy?

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Halloween Drago Eye Tutorial for Wayfair.co.uk by The World of Suzy Homemaker | @SuzyHomemakerUK

My quest to become The Queen of Halloween took a giant leap forward this week, when Wayfair.co.uk asked me to create a Halloween-themed DIY for their Inspiration site.

Wayfair is THE place for all things home, bringing together the largest selection of home furnishings and décor, across all styles. With a selection of more than seven million home items, from thousands of brands, Wayfair helps people find the perfect product at the right price.

I've long been a Wayfair fan, having lusted after several items on the site for quite some time.

So, to say I was thrilled to be asked to provide an exclusive article for their inspirational design and lifestyle pages would be an understatement.

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Moo! Are you converted to my lovely pineapple lamp, yet?

#stylingtheseasons - @SuzyHomemakerUK's autumn makeover 2015

Welcome to OneandSeventy's latest seasonal makeover!

Erm. Yeah... I know autumn started last month. But you know how it is...

Better late than never, eh?

#stylingtheseasons - @SuzyHomemakerUK's autumn makeover 2015

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Katy. I hope I did you proud #stylingtheseasons :-)
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    You are very kind, Stacey, thank you. Thank you for dropping by via the Weekend Blog Share and for following on Bloglovin' (and on

DIY Halloween spell books | The World of Suzy Homemaker

Halloween crafting continues apace here at The World of Suzy Homemaker and today, I bring you my handmade Halloween spell books.

Think Harry Potter.

DIY Halloween spell books | The World of Suzy Homemaker

Think Practical Magic.

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thank you so much, Michelle. Very kind of you to say :-)

DIY Halloween wooden sign | The World of Suzy Homemaker @SuzyHomemakerUK

Greetings weary traveller. *cackle* and welcome to The Cauldron Inn. Come! Sit for a spell. What's your poison?

Want to break a hex with Milk Thistle? Looking for love with Verus Amor? Need a cure for flatulence?

DIY Halloween potion bottles | The World of Suzy Homemaker @SuzyHomemakerUK

The Witch at OneandSeventy has it all. Mwaaa ha ha ha ha ha!

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Jennifer. I like it. Glad you do, too :-)
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Joan :-)
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Moo :-)

Halloween Apothecary potion bottles by @SuzyHomemakerUK

So. It's September. According to the weatherman, that means Autumn's arrived. But anyone living in Blighty will know it's been Autumn for, oh... at least the LAST MONTH! Apparently, we've just had the wettest August on record. No, really? Any Brit could've told 'em that, just by looking out the window!

Sadly, it seems September isn't starting out any better and now it's even getting a bit nippy in the mornings and evenings. Marvellous. But on the bright side, September also means it's no longer too early to talk Halloween!

Yay!

As you know, I've had Halloween on the brain for weeks now, so I thought it was about time I revealed some of what's been bubbling in my cauldron. First up, it's potions and poisons... complete with 9 FREE bottle labels for you to download, so you can get started on Halloween yourself.

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Awww. Thanks hon! Not sure if you can tell, but I've really enjoyed making them! lol Just wish I was on your side of the puddle, s

Halloween Apothecary | @SuzyHomemakerUK

Hello my lovelies. How's your week been? Me, I've been having a brilliant time! I've spent the last few days knee-deep in potions, powders bats and spiders.

The World of Suzy Homemaker is preparing for Halloween!

Yes, yes... I know it's only August. If truth be told, it's a little early for all things spooky even for me, but you know what? Day after day of wall-to-wall grey skies was killing me.

Remember how last week, I lamented the non-existence of summer so much that I decided to sell my Bon Jovi collection? Well, little improvement on the weather front and autumn looming far too close on the horizon, had me in need of a serious shot of excitement to stop me spiralling into a deep, dark hole.

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Keep Calm and Ignore the Mess | The World of Suzy Homemaker

"You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette." So they say.

Well if that's the case we'd best get some ingredients in, because Beloved and I are going to be eating omelettes for months!

I'm suddenly reminded of that line in Forrest Gump. You know the one, where Bubba reels off everything he can do with shrimp? "Anyways, like I was sayin' there's all kinds a omelette. There's ham & cheese omelette, potato and bacon omelette, cheesy chicken omelette, mushroom omelette, salmon omelette, there's even omelettes in a bag..."

Now that's a lot of omelettes. Not unlike the amount of mess at OneandSeventy right now.

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in The Office 1383 0

Japanese Garden Bexley, Kent Charity Open Day 2015 | The World of Suzy Homemaker

If you've had a chance to nosey around the blog, or been following the various social media exploits of @SuzyHomemakerUK, you'll know that Beloved and I are relatively new transplants to Staffordshire, having relocated from Kent a few years ago. Last weekend, we returned to our old stomping ground for an exciting World of Suzy Homemaker exclusive.

I was over the moon to be invited to preview "Wonders of the Orient", a stunning Japanese style garden in Bexley, ahead of its charity open day on Sunday, 26th July.

This magnificent private garden opens to the public for one day only, to raise much-needed funds for Demelza House Children's Hospice. If you're in the area, I wholeheartedly recommend you swing by for a visit. As if seeing the garden wasn't enough, there will also be plants, collectables, live music and homemade refreshments.

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks hon x
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Moo :-) x

Amazing Chocolate | The World of Suzy Homemaker

A couple of weeks ago, Beloved I bobbed over to the Derbyshire Summer Market, at The Roundhouse in Derby - the first and oldest surviving railway roundhouse in the world. I'd never been before, but what a stunning venue! With its beautiful architecture, The Roundhouse is a far cry from the local village hall and yet it was still only £1 entry and £1 for parking.

Bargain!

I'm a bit of a sucker for craft markets and was expecting the usual stands of this and that. But I was in for a real treat. It wasn't just the venue that was stunning; the range and quality of the wares on offer was quite something.

Oh yes. This was MY kinda market.

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Tagged in: Derbyshire Food
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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Sharon. I can just see vintage chocolate crockery or cutlery on one of your tablescapes...!

Finger lickin' spicy barbecue chicken | The World of Suzy Homemaker @SuzyHomemakerUK

It's July and the sun is shining. That can mean only one thing...

It's Barbecue season! Whoop! Yay for al fresco dining!! (Even though Beloved hates it.)

If you're planning a barbie this weekend, I have the perfect recipe for you. More aptly named "Nicki's Kickin' Chicken" (try saying THAT after a few margaritas!), I shamelessly stole this dish from my friend Nicola who served it during a girlie get-together for the final of Ultimate Big Brother #UBB.

Don't judge me.

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Tagged in: Barbecue Recipe Summer
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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    'Twas a great night UBBER!! ;-)
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    SO easy and yet SO tasty, KariAnne! Yum.
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Nick and thanks for sharing your scrummy recipe with me. I'll have to try that addition!

#stylingtheseasons Summer - @SuzyHomemakerUK

Yep! Summer's finally arrived! That may seem like old news already, but if you've been following along for a while, you'll know that in my world, we celebrate the changing of the seasons the old fashioned way – astronomically, rather than meteorologically. If you're wondering what on earth I'm going on about, I explain all in this post from last year.

OK, so I'm still a little late to the party, but I have a good excuse...honest! Beloved and I have been away again. We spent the Solstice weekend celebrating the union of England and Scotland at our Besties' wedding!

Wedding at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England - 20 June 2015

We don't scrub up too badly, huh?
(Photo courtesy of fellow guest and old friend Nicki :-) 

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Claire. Don't forget to subscribe! *wink*

Win a bottle of Frankincense Hydrating Facial Mist from Neal’s Yard Remedies

THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER

CLICK HERE FOR THE WINNER!

One of the great things about working for myself is meeting other small business owners.

Take the lovely Harriet Radley, for instance. Harriet is an independent consultant and group leader for Neal's Yard Remedies who I met at our local WiRE networking group in Uttoxeter.

When I mentioned to Harriet I was going on holiday, she generously offered me a brand new bottle of Frankincense Hydrating Facial Mist, to trial while I was away.

As someone who runs "hot", I was really looking forward to testing this gorgeous-smelling mist to help cool me down under the hot Rhodes sun.

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thanks Kristyn. Good luck!
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Ha ha! I bet she LOVES you!! lol
in Reviews 3639 38

How to cook perfect, gorgeously fluffy boiled rice… EVERY TIME! by The World of Suzy Homemaker

When you boil rice, does it stick to the saucepan, or worse - turn out looking disturbingly like a bucket of stodgy wallpaper paste?

If so, you've come to the right blog post!

For years, I relied on packet rice, because I just couldn't trust myself to cook the loose stuff properly. Yep, I'm not too proud to admit that I've ruined many a good saucepan in my quest for the fluffy grain. Then along came Bev, who taught me this awesome and totally fail-safe method for cooking perfect boiled rice… 

EVERY time!

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Please do, John - I haven't looked back! Do pop over and let me know how it goes :-)

Why you need a responsive website | The World of Suzy Homemaker

Speak to any SEO guru and they'll tell you how they will get you on the first page of Google, GUARANTEED. Yeah, I'm not so sure that's really possible. I mean, how many websites are there in the world? Even if every single one were fully optimised, there can't possibly be enough space on the first page of Google to GUARANTEE your website will appear.

And besides, the ranking factors that determine what Google looks for change more often than some people change their underwear; it's a wonder anyone can keep up!

Sure, if you can, I'd always recommend you hire an expert. I'm just not sure I'd listen to the hype. If you can't afford outside help, there are plenty of things you can do yourself to improve your ranking and even make it onto the first page of Google. Jeez – I managed to do it and I have ZERO SEO experience!

From 21 April, you've been able to improve your chances even further, by ensuring your website has a responsive design. Moreover, if you DON'T have a responsive website, Google will penalise you and you could see your website falling down the rankings.

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    I am in awe of people like your Beloved who can get their heads around SEO. In the main, it's beyond me, but I must be doing somet

How to stop shoes from hurting your feet | @SuzyHomemakerUK

Right. Let's talk about shoes.

Specifically, my Gucci ballet pumps. (Ain't they pretty?)

Hands up all the ladies who've tried on THE most comfortable pair of shoes in the world EVER, only to discover your feet in shreds minutes after an actual, real-life, wearing-them-for-longer-than-30-seconds situation?

Yes, that.

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Tagged in: fashion How to
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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    I hope it works for you! :-)
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Yay! And somewhat relieved after gushing on about it!! lol
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Sales of Vaseline may be about to increase. Perhaps I should get in early and ask for a cut! lol
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    I KNOW! A little bit of Vaseline under all those straps...
  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Yay! Let me know how you get on!

Cinnamon Swirls - the easy way | The World of Suzy Homemaker

I'm not what you might call a talented pastry chef. In fact, you could say I'm pretty pants! I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but every attempt I've ever had at making pastry has ended up in the bin.

Resigned to the knowledge I shall never become the next Lorraine Pascale, I've long concluded that readymade pastry from the chiller cabinet is a perfectly acceptable alternative. From shortcrust to puff, all the hard work's done for you.

I was decidedly clap-happy to discover Jus-Rol's 'Bake-it-Fresh' range. From Apple Danish to Croissants, all you have to do is shape it and bake it.

Bloody marvellous!

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    They were really nice. To make them, you cut them into 6. I think next time, I might cut them into 4 and make bigger ones! :-)

DIY French-inspired Flower Pot | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Whenever I look at photos of beautiful homes, I'm always taken with the stylist's use of plants to bring a scheme to life. I just love lush greenery against a backdrop of white, don't you?

When I was looking for ideas to decorate my mantel, I just knew I had to have some. The only problem is, OneandSeventy's living room is North-facing and doesn't get an awful lot of light, so real plants wouldn't survive very long.

Also, being the clumsy sort, there's a very real chance of me ruining my mantel when I watered the plants!

My only option was to fake it.

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Weight Watchers friendly Chilli con Carne | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

When Number One was little, I used ready-made sauces for all my pasta and rice dishes. Like many working Mums, time was tight and I wanted something quick and easy. Now, I make my sauces from scratch and I can attest... they are HANDS DOWN better than stuff from a jar!

Even with shop-bought sauce, making Chilli con Carne took me around 40 minutes. This one takes 50... including the prep. So not only is it tastier than ready-made, it's still on the table within an hour.

It's also cheaper than shop-bought and better still, I know exactly what goes into it so I can regulate the calories AND the heat!

At first glance, it may seem like a lot of ingredients and yes, it does involve a little more work than cracking open a jar but trust me... once you make your own chilli from scratch, you'll never go back.

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You are unbreakable | www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

At the end of 2014, I decided to move my PA business onto a 4-day week. I figured that if I'm going to write a blog, it'd be quite helpful to have one day a week that I actually do stuff I can blog about!

My clients took it really well, especially those concerned with personal growth, who applauded my decision. Consequently, Fridays have now become "Mydays", when I get to do what I want, when I want.

Today, I decided to... clean my office.

SO rock and roll!

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  • Suzy Homemaker
    Suzy Homemaker says #
    Thank you for lovely words, Ruth. Every year, I realise where the term 'spring cleaning' must have come from. It's so therapeutic