I’m Jo, a busy, married, mum of two grown-up children, with a varied working background in education, admin, retail, hair and home care. I live in the South of England.
My passions include music, travel, writing, reading, upcycling and spending time with friends and family.
I have been writing publically since 2002. I have written articles and supplied photos that have been used in music books, magazines, cd booklets, and online forums/websites. I also run a gig guide and the social media for several bands.
I even wrote an online “book” once about growing up with a diet of music in the 70s and 80s. I will get around to republishing that at some point.
All this led to me assisting Dr Martens with their advertising campaigns and new product designs. I am currently writing for a health company.
ABOUT TEA & CAKE FOR THE SOUL
I created Tea & Cake for the Soul in 2015, initially to share my stories from road trips in the USA and to publish a series of self help tips for mental health. From then on I found that I really enjoyed writing about everything that was important to me. Things that would hopefully give something back to someone else too. Read on to find out about all the categories that I cover here on my blog. I hope there’s something here for you to enjoy.
Music has been my biggest passion throughout my whole life. As well as writing about it from my perspective, I am pleased to add some new features to this blog sharing interviews and stories from fans, musicians, promoters and DJs.
As I lead a fairly frugal lifestyle in most areas, I am able to indulge in my other passion – days out and travel. It was the comments received from the holiday diary of my first road trip to America that made me decide to get this blog up and running. I had put so much time and effort into researching the trip that I thought it would be a shame to keep all that info to myself. As well as reviewing some popular tourist spots, I also share some of the lesser known places that we have discovered through talking to locals. I cover lots of free and cheap things to do in the UK and USA. Holiday activities do not have to cost a lot. I also show you how you can get luxury travel on a budget. There will be some travel tips for packing and road trips too.
In late 2017 I wrote a series of self-help blogs about mental health. It was a long hard slog and took me more than a year to write but I finally published my personal story and hopefully lots of useful tips on how to deal with it for sufferers and carers. It has received some great feedback. I have also written some posts about menopause pertaining to anxiety and body confidence issues, and I share how I successfully gave up smoking.
A couple of years back, I went on a real mission to reduce hefty bills like insurance and entertainment packages and it’s amazing what you can do with a bit of time, know-how, and effort. I’m a savvy shopper and I share all my money saving and household tips with my readers.
I could pretend to be the perfect hostess and housewife and impress you with my culinary delights, but the truth is I just like cake, and only when there is cake involved am I prepared to spend lots of time in the kitchen! I will share some of my indulgences with you, including many that are dairy and gluten free! There will also be some savoury and budget recipes too, including some that have been passed down through the generations.
As well as the more popular celebratory days such as Remembrance Sunday, Christmas, Easter and Halloween, I like to share acts of kindness that you can carry out throughout the year and give ideas of how you can do this without it costing any or little money. I also like to promote some of the awareness days that happen around the world, and not just the most popular ones.
I enjoy going to car boot sales with my dad to find projects to upcycle, mostly household items or clothes. I get great pleasure (and quite often a lot of frustration) out of modifying something that someone no longer has a use for, into something unique that can be loved and used again. I will share some of these projects with you. I do have a strong reuse or redistribute ethos and I include lots of tips on how you can repurpose your rubbish and talk about my thoughts on greener issues.
In my recommended reading section I share my thoughts on books that I think deserve a mention. I cover the chick lit genre, poetry, children’s stories and non-fiction books that cover the subjects I love, such as music, travel, recipes, etc.
If something is good I like to shout about it, whether it be a hotel, a household product, TV programme or just good service. I rely on other people’s thoughts when making my own purchases and bookings so only post reviews and recommendations of things that I really love. You will find more reviews in my travel section.
This is the section where I share blogging round-ups, awards, blogging tips and guest posts – both guests here and links to other blogs that I have guested on.
As well as music related interviews I am also pleased to share An Afternoon of Tea & Cake for the Soul which is an interview feature for the bloggers whom I have met along the way – book bloggers, travel bloggers, chronic illness bloggers and more. Each blogger tells us a little bit about their blog and then focus on sharing their recipes, craft projects, favourite books and travel destinations. Their own little bit of tea and cake for the soul. And of course, I make sure I find out what their favourite tea and cakes are!
So that’s about it, with a few RANDOM THOUGHTS thrown in the mix too. I hope there’s something here for everyone. With all the constant changes with social media algorithms, the best way to see my posts is by email. Each time I post you will get a teaser which you can either click through to read or just delete. I do not pass your details on to anyone else.
All words and photos* are my own and property of Tea and Cake for the Soul. Please do not duplicate in full elsewhere. I am usually happy for you to publish a line or two excerpt providing it is linked back to the original post here on my blog. Please contact me for prior consent.
* I do also use stock photos from Pexels and Unsplash. They will be credited back to the original owner in the description or caption.
In the case of reviews, these are all items or services that I have paid for myself and wanted to share with my readers. If I am gifted or paid for anything in the future, it will be clearly stated at the top of that post. Rest assured that opinions will be my own and without bias. I will never advertise anything on Tea & Cake for the Soul that I have not tried myself and loved. You can read more in my Review Policy.