2022 · bloggers · virtual coffee date · weekly

Virtual Coffee Date 2/22

Good morning HQ-ers,

Happy Sunday! Thanks for joining me for another #VirtualCoffeeDate.

Feeling a little emotional this morning as this time next week, I’ll be the proud owner of a 13 year old.

Next Sunday is my boy’s birthday!

It never ceases to amaze me how we got to this point, I mean I can’t even keep cacti alive so how my child lasted is beyond me!

It’s a weird feeling for me when I look at him, I’m still in awe at the almost 5ft 3ins of young man that mooches around the house when it seems like just yesterday he was a tiny 7lbs 6oz bundle!

After all these years, my emergency caesarean scar still gives me trouble. It itches so much sometimes I tear at it scratching with my nails… I know, I know. Barrier Cream is my friend now.

I was up early this morning again, definitely feeling 44 these days. Your bladder is never the same after childbirth.

Child came and sat on my lap for a little while this morning and we got to talking as I said to him “you’re still my baby even though you’re going to be 13 this time next week”.

I told him it’s a miracle he’s lasted this long as I can’t even keep a houseplant alive!

He asked how much he weighed when he was born…

I told him about how we found out we were expecting…

I thanked him for being the best almost 13 years of my life…

I reassured him that even though I’d not planned to be a single mum, I’d not change him for the World…

He admitted he’s scared of being a teenager…

He confessed he’s worried he’ll change…

We talked about what I wanted to be when I grew up and his plans…

We cuddled… a lot!

He’s growing up way too fast, my boy.

Thanks for reading x

2022

FridayFeels #2/22

Hello HQ-ers, we’re back with another #FridayFeels blog post!

Almost mid January with an unChristmassy Christmas behind us, it’s chilly here in the NW currently -1 degree Celsius.

As far as New Years Resolutions go, I resolved years ago to not make resolutions. I feel they put an unnecessary burden upon oneself at yes the optimum time to make starts but also at a hard time with the winter, finances etc.

Instead, I decided to make New Years Resets

I subscribe to The Business Box and was fortunate enough to receive a Business Planner inside from Perfect Planner Co. It’s a lovely item that has everything I need in a desk planner that keeps me focused and organised.

I follow the company on social media and am currently working through a challenge ran by business owner Monique Sveinsson which has been really fun and helpful in filling out sections of the planner. Everyone on the challenge are all focused, enthusiastic and supportive so it’s been a real pleasure to take part in.

The planner works for me as a reset tool which is the point of the post today.

Not knocking anyone who has resolutions, in fact if you stick to them I admire you. For me, they just don’t work so I reset instead.

Firstly I like to reflect on the previous year.

What did I achieve?

What didn’t I achieve?

Then I list my achievements and see if I can build on those or if I’ve took them as far as I could.

If I can build on them, those things are carried into the new year along with what I didn’t achieve.

They get broken up into “departments” like Work, Study, Home etc.

Then I put all the things in the right departments so I can see what needs to be done and where.

Next I like to focus on finance, I like to make sure I know what’s going in and out and when.

Then I break down month by month how I’ll get through my tasks for the year.

So everything is out of my head, in order on paper and I can check it every day to see where I’m at and it really helps me be more productive and efficient with my time.

Not necessarily resolving to do everything by said times, it’s more a reset of here’s what needs to be done, here’s the next 12 months to do it in and if not it’s done, there’s always next year. However, we know all the next years aren’t guaranteed so you try to get it done without the pressure.

I do wish I’d done this a lot earlier in my life when I think back at unnecessary pressures I imposed on myself but I’m doing it now and I’m happy with that.

What I found with this system is I’m able to plan my business as well as my life. I’m able to schedule in the time I need to work/blog/interact with social media channels to promote my work/blog. I can see the days I’m committed to my work promises I made myself and days I can take a load off and relax.

To actually block time out on paper for scheduled tasks is really important to stay on track when you work from home/remotely. This system helps me achieve that productivity.

So, how have you organised your 2022? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

2022 · virtual coffee date · weekly

The first Virtual Coffee Date of 2022

Good morning,

Pull up a chair and let’s catch up!

How the devil are YOU? Tell me here

Well it’s been awhile (again)…

… the latest Friday Feels post that was published focuses on the updates of all things CS HQ, of course it’s not all work and no play so here’s what I’ve been up to.

Firstly even with a pandemic, on the 16th December I hit my 100th gig. I am so proud of this milestone considering I was never going to pursue the childhood dream. I think back to my first ever gig in July 2019 and how I was in such a nervous state, so for me to reach that number of gigs is really something.

I decided to shelve uni because I was just too busy and I feel a lot better for it to be honest. I do love learning and enjoy studying but I think stopping at my Bachelors is the right thing to do.

Christmas was quiet yet productive, spent most of it spring cleaning 😂

What I have now is serious wanderlust just not doing anything about it until there’s less restrictions on travel due to COVID and its variants. Trying hard to avoid the news and pointless debates on social media. I’m going to trust the science over the Government and I’m going to listen to Professionals over Shanice from Facebook. For me personally, I’m bored of the whole thing and unless China are held accountable, I’ll no longer seek out news updates. In my opinion, I can’t see anyone being held accountable ever and the world will continue to revolve.

Will life be the same? Who knows. Let me know your thoughts below.

Til the next time x

2022 · friday feels · weekly

Friday Feels: Happy New Year

2022

Hello HQ-ers,

It’s been way too long!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and wish you all a prosperous New Year.

The transition between years always makes me reflect upon life so I’ve had time to think and assess and plan the direction to take going forwards.

In terms of each branch of CS HQ, there’s some updates and changes:

Online learning

Taking expressions of interest now before our first course launch so navigate here if you would like to register.

Consulting

I am available for work so see here for services I offer.

Writing

Again, I’m available for commissions and always open to collaborate so get in touch here

Comedy

After lockdown ended, I returned to performing and promoting with two comedy nights: Comedy @ The Commercial in Chester which ran fortnightly on Thursdays and Giggles @ The Griffin in Mold which ran the first Wednesday of the month.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank both venues for allowing us the space to perform, the staff who worked tirelessly to ensure everything ran smoothly and all the Comedians I had the pleasure of working with, above all I want to thank everyone who came along to #SupportLiveComedy.

It is with a heavy heart, I announce that I won’t be promoting this year as I need to focus on other things. Never say never again, however this year I think I owe it to myself to concentrate on my own comedy performance as opposed to MCing my nights for now.

It’s really been fun and I will miss it so maybe with the right venue eventually I could go again. But now, I need to really energise my own material and performance.

Of course outside of CS HQ there have also been updates and changes and you can read all about those on Sunday at our Virtual Coffee Date.

Thanks for reading!

2021 · at home with lu · random stuff · virtual coffee date · weekly

Virtual Coffee Date #7

Morning CS-HQers,

It’s been awhile since we had a virtual coffee date together. Over 3 months, in fact!

Hope you’re all well especially now as life is returning back to ‘normality’ around the Globe.

Got my coffee, so grab a brew and let’s have a catch-up!

In truth, I’ve not been too great of late. It’s a combination of many things, mostly just how busy life has become recently. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, however sometimes I’m well aware I spread myself to thinly which causes stressful situations.

I could beat myself up about it, in fact I already have to a point. I could quit but that’s not an option. So I decided I must try to manage my time a bit better which isn’t easy when there’s the School Holidays on here in the U.K.

University wise, an admin error meant I was well over studying which I could do had I not returned to comedy and started a business. So I’m in talks now to try to get that sorted out which means it’ll take a touch longer to get my Masters but it’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with waiting another year or two and I must keep telling myself that.

Comedy wise, it’s been crazy since May! I’m trying not to take too much on as pre-pandemic sometimes I had 3-4 gigs a week which is fine on paper but when you’re driving a total of 5 hours for probably a total of 20 minutes on stage, it’s not that glamorous at all. I’m really pleased with the two venues I run nights at. And I deem it a success that I’ve booked up every date til Christmas with quality new and not so new acts on the Circuit.

This Tuesday, I’ll be performing for Tom Douglas at his night in Sheffield here:

© Tom Douglas

Then on Thursday, I’m running Comedy @ The Commercial again here:

© CSHQ

Consulting/Learning wise, I’m still in the process of getting the first course finalised and ready to go so hoping that we’ll have a fully deliverable programme in the very near future.

Of course with it being the Summer Holidays, I’m absolutely shattered. We aren’t going anywhere this year as it’s not worth the risk or extra costs involved due to COVID19. But little man and I are having some lovely days out and just enjoying being at home not having to do school runs and lazing in pyjamas if the mood takes us. But? I’m really tired. Was chatting to a friend the other day and I realised I’d not read a book since 2018 other than any reading for university. I’ve tried, but I fall asleep after a few lines. This is extremely out of character as I am an avid bookworm and it’s actually quite upsetting because I genuinely feel like I don’t have the time to just sit and read.

I’m not sure if it’s just a case of poor time management, or getting older and losing the ability to concentrate, but it’s frustrating. I’m finding driving longer distances really take it out of me too and that makes me sad. It’s becoming more frequent that I feel ‘mortal’ now and with that comes such a sense of despair.

I still have hopes, dreams, goals, objectives. I’m not ready to die just yet.

So, I’m hoping I can find the motivation to carry on and maybe get a good night’s sleep.

Til the next time!

2021 · comedy · friday feels · random stuff · weekly

Friday Feels #11

Well it’s been 3 months since we had a Friday Feels post…

Hope everyone is well, I’ve missed my CS-HQers!

So as you know, I went off to do a couple of shows at the Brighton Fringe. Then I ended up with not 1 but 2 comedy nights of my own!


I have returned to performing comedy although not as much as pre-pandemic and these are the ones coming up this month.

While this was going on, I returned to University for Postgraduate study which has been a struggle, I can’t lie.

After the Pandemic Restrictions, I think I can speak for many in saying it’s become quite strange to re-adjust back into a working routine.

There is still work going on behind the scenes regarding the Online Courses so watch this space for more on that shortly.

What have you been up to? Let me know in the Comments

Chat soon x

2021 · at home with lu · bloggers · community · consulting · random stuff · virtual coffee date · weekly

Virtual Coffee Date #6

Good morning HQ-ers,

Thank you for joining me this morning over our beverages of choice!

Nice to sit down and have a catch-up with you all. How are you doing? Tell me below

I want you to remember something important; there is always a solution to any problem no matter how big or bad it is. It may not be instant, it may take effort, yet a solution is and always will be there.

You can drown out that noise and find peace once a solution is found. This gives you that chance to rediscover YOU because you are important.

Lord, wouldn’t it be great to have that as a constant counsel and support?

Many people have asked me how I got through the time I was a crime victim, and I will tell them I got through it by applying certain principles I’ve learnt.

Sadly, we usually have to go through adversities to garner the wisdom to survive. Which is really how I personally got into teaching and comedy. Both give the recipient so much while making me feel rewarded when I’ve helped them.

It’s a great feeling to make someone smile.

And next weekend I’m hoping to do more than make someone smile as I return to stand-up at Brighton Fringe.

© CSHQ 2021

It’s a good few hours drive to the South Coast so I’ll see you all back here for a brew after the U.K. Bank Holiday weekend!

But for now, let’s have a chat in the comments below!

2021 · bloggers · comedy · community · education · friday feels · random stuff · weekly · writing

Friday Feels #10

Hello HQ-ers!

Hope you’re all well.

Another mad busy week here at CS HQ with a to-do list as long as your arm, feeling slightly overwhelmed most days to straight out frazzled!

So since we last got together, in case you missed the last post, I’m going to be performing on a Triple-Bill at the Brighton Fringe Festival! So I’ve been working on a set that I’m now refining for stage.

© WTF 2021

It’s been well over a year due to COVID restrictions that I’ve performed live and yes I’m extremely nervous. However, I’m very much looking forward to this experience and a little anxiety is a good motivator sometimes.

I’m back at Uni too, so my head is buried in reading and assignments for the next 2 years.

I also launched the Podcast finally! You can listen here: Intro Episode

While this is going on, I’m still working on Online Learning HQ and it’s impending launch.

Join me for a Virtual Coffee Date on Sunday morning where I’ll go into more detail about this.

Prioritising is hard when there’s so much to say and do, isn’t it?

The kettle will be on, see you on Sunday morning!

2021 · community · consulting · education · friday feels

Friday Feels #8

Hello HQ-ers,

Well last Friday, I told you all about how I was the victim of a crime a few years ago and through official referral went on two programmes to aid my recovery and mental well-being. And that while I found it brilliant, I found some flaws that didn’t sit right with me.

I’m still working creating my course loosely based on those 2 programmes so it will be LIVE soon!

  • Accessible to all
  • No official referral needed
  • Suitable for all situations not just that specific situation the original training I did pertained to.

My aims are to raise awareness of the impact on each of us within mis-aligned interpersonal relationships and to provide tools that encourage safer and more informed choices in our lives going forward.

For more information, click HERE

Have a fabulous weekend!

2021 · bloggers · community · consulting · virtual coffee date · weekly · writing

Special Edition: Virtual Coffee Date #4

25.04.21

Today, I’m joined by Yker Valerio, Founder/Editor of Bon Vivant Caffè. Which makes perfect sense as this is a virtual coffee date! It is almost impossible to not smile when you talk to Yker because he is such a passionate character.

This is his story:


“When the Pandemic began, I was working for a consulting firm. I’d been there almost ten years. I was teaming up with another consultant and a client’s Project Manager. Although it was an exciting project, something felt a bit, ‘off’. I couldn’t put my finger on why though.

Leading up to this, I’d been directing my energy into some freelancing projects, mostly translations and writing. I didn’t realise at the time but I’d found my calling.

Writing is a lifelong passion for me, and I just felt it was time to write more. So in 2020, I made my mind up and decided to start my own business as a freelance writer and entrepreneur”

Yker’s next move is great advice to any budding entrepreneurs out there.

“Well, I decided to start my niche research right away, was a coffee blog a good idea? I took Authority Hackers approach to advance and started working on my coffee blog in July.

Curiously enough, the quarantine helped me to focus and my productivity rose very quickly. Commuting time and small-talk at the office suddenly transformed into productive time and made a huge difference for me.

Then, I realised that I needed some time to work alone. So, I prepared to launch my blog and took a part-time contract as a writer, so I could transition away from my full-time job”.

So as the World rolled down its shutters, Yker was able to reflect on his place and purpose in this world.

“All of my career I’d been around HR-related consulting, with some hints of innovation, transformation, and change.

From my standpoint, I was working in supportive roles most of the time, which was essential to me.

I felt worried about the people around me, but something made me think I would be better working on my own. So, when the crisis was becoming overwhelming for most people, I felt liberated actually.

It sounds terrible, and self-centred, but my experience as a remote freelancer and entrepreneur have given me so much autonomy and productivity I can barely understand how I functioned before this.

It still worries me the current status of the people around, but I can’t think about returning to work the way I did it before. I wouldn’t do it, as I know how I can be a lot more productive now. 

With the support of my wife of course, she has always been very supportive. I was a bit afraid of my parents’ response, but without my wife I don’t think I’d have progressed as well as I have.

Fortunately, my whole family and friends have been at my side at every step. I can’t thank them enough for the encouragement and good vibes.

I think it’s key to have a supportive circle of people around to sort the hard times, and I am lucky enough to have a beautiful family and good friends around me”. 

See? It’s impossible to not smile… 

“I can’t ignore the huge pain the Pandemic has inflicted on so many people.

Still, it has forced many organisations, institutions, and individuals to be more open about remote working, engaging in chats, social media, and all-sorts of new conversations.

I have enjoyed many online events during this year, including some coffee-related stuff like High Density, which was completely mind-blowing. I still watch the replays and learn from them.

E-learning was another huge part of my year, since I developed lots of new skills through online learning. I worked, and studied, and researched, and wrote, round the clock. I can’t imagine how difficult it’s for people without access to the internet to face this pandemic.

Every time I hear the story about people struggling because they don’t speak English, or don’t have access to the Internet it saddens me.

I honestly wish more people could have more opportunities to thrive, even in these challenging times.

Many people are afraid and anxious. Others are optimistic. Still, I think the major difference between them is those want to return to the old normal opposed to those who want something different.

As I touched on before, when I realised I was more productive and energetic working on my own, I chose to take the entrepreneurial path.

It’s risky, but no one is safe during a crisis like this one. So I took the bold step.” 

I agree with Yker, it was a risk though I understand the motivation behind it. 

“Energy or lack of, was the biggest reason that compelled me to take action. I felt tired after a meeting as a consultant, but could write the whole Saturday for my blog! 

When I noticed I could focus for 10 hours in a row on my writing, I decided that I needed to take it seriously.”

I asked Yker to reflect on the decisions he made, here’s what he said.

“I have had my ups and downs, but I feel confident that I took the best decision.

It’s challenging to deal with financial instability, but I didn’t have any guarantee it was going to be any different as a full-time employee anyway.

I have a lot more mental stamina than before. The Pandemic put everything in perspective and it’s easier for me to see petty obstacles, just as they are.

Additionally, I am more creative and productive than I was. On the downside, I am more sedentary!” 

Yeah, you and most of us now! 

“I care more about impact than perceptions now. Working as a full-time employee I did my best to contribute to my employer’s bottom line, while presenting myself as an expert consultant.

Today as a freelancer and business owner, I can only see clients, providers, and partners as people. It’s incredible how alienated I was from this simple idea, but as I see human beings in business, my decisions are better grounded and easier to make.”

And that’s not all Yker learnt from this experience… 

“Process and results are equally important. We tend to focus so much on goals that we forget that they come from our effort, energy, time, and skills. The pandemic has made me think about my fragility. 

My advice is don’t overthink about your purpose, and put top. skills to work instead. I tried to convince myself about my purpose. Yet, my goals and skillset are evolving, day after day. Looking for a purpose can be exhausting and confusing. Since I found that out, I do my best to put my skills to work whenever I can.”

And last piece of advice? 

“Love. Sounds cheesy, because we’re so blind that we’re afraid of loving and even say the word. It’s the most powerful thing we have, so sharing love with everyone has become crucial for me”.

Yker drives home a great point here. 

“There’s no magic solution or a Eureka moment that deals with lack of purpose or an odd feeling about your job or your business. It’s easier to find good things in what we have, than waiting for dreams to come true.

I just prefer to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. And I honestly believe everyone can do that as well”. 

And as that concludes our interview, readers can connect online with Yker.

Photo credit © Yker Valerio

“My passion in hobby and business is coffee and writing about coffee, so the easiest way to know more about me and engage with me is on the Website

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