Thai Food Made Easy | Social Media New Mantra Connection Not Approval
Social media is not always about the number game, tons and tons of Likes or seeking the appreciation/approval from others. It is about real people. I try my best to create a real connection with others, be authentic, how to celebrate life, filled with happiness, sorrow, fear, courage, soul searching and determination. Connection not Seeking for approval is a new mantra of social media.
Social Media, Mantra Connection, Cumbria, Dumpling, Trinity Leeds, Trinity Kitchen, Tallentire Hall, Tallentire, Lake District
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Social Media New Mantra…Connection Not Approval

People often ask me why I started my Instagram and Facebook page?  For followers?  For likes? Ego? Fulfil the lack of appreciation from people around me? Or, haven’t you got any friends?

I must admit I did question myself before. Until… I went to see two ladies who took the plunge, started their own businesses’ and are making it happen!

Just before Christmas 2018, I accepted the invitation from Ann, who I had worked with over five years ago and who now lives in Tallentire Hall in Cumbria. I wanted this visit to be as little business as possible. Hence, when I was offered a stay in their 5-star holiday cottages or in the Hall itself I was delighted to stay in the Hall and, in return, I promised to cook a Boxing Day family meal in return.Cumbria here I come!

As soon as I stepped into a big grand foyer, with warm fireplace leading to the library, games room, offices and Morning room on the right wing. Dining room and farmhouse style kitchen to the left, where I spent most of my time here. I walked up the incredible wooden carved stairs to my bedroom, which is a lady of manor room (Now, you are jealous). The whole place is absolutely stunning with a history dating back to 1290.

Later that afternoon, I prepared the evening meal for Ann, her husband, her mother and for me and my daughter I found out about the couple’s courage and passion to return this stately home to its former glory and be a sustainable holiday destination sure to wow any visitor. Ann had paused her well-respected career in health care and decided to invest in this grand property. It wasn’t easy. There were lots of ups and downs, including when Jean, Ann’s mother became unwell.

I do feel that the couple really open their valuable life experience to me … I felt… honoured, valued and happy. Later on that week, back home with a full heart… a bottle of homemade elderflower cordial and two big jars of homemade apple jelly.

Flavour Bombs at Dumpling Dumpling

After a quiet New Year, I had unashamedly failed on my New Year resolution/s. I received numerous invitations to visit various projects …but Natalie from Dumpling Dumpling is the young person behind a new start-up whom I will never forget. Graduated in Psychology and have spent years in China.

Natalie followed her intuition and dream. Her goal is to have a food truck chain around the country, feeding people with Chinese inspired dumplings, but with global fusion fillings. She drove up from Isle of Wight to Leeds, spent her time away from home and family, including the Christmas period…and still, I was greeted with a beautiful smile.

Soon, Natalie brought out the crispy vegan Hoisin Not Duck dumpling, the Mac ‘n’ Cheese dumpling and Samosa dumpling on the Sriracha mayonnaise fries. I had a lot of dumplings, but this is it!! Full, flavourful fillings in thin golden crispy pastry. They go so well with the fresh taste of oriental salad and toasted sesame seeds.

She found me a table but I soon moved and joined Natalie’s parent. Natalie’s father used to work for British Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  Well, raise your hand if you ever come across- sitting down and having a full on conversation (some in Thai) with a stranger while having lunch!!! I was busy taking photos to get some good shots for my Instagram (Don’t chuckle! I know you are one of them) Natalie’s mother sweetly reminded me to eat the food before it goes cold. She made sure that I’ve got all the cutlery and condiments. The caring gesture was truly warm my heart… Their courtesy makes me feel like home.


After these two visits … the sweet answer revealed. The reason why I joined the social media charade is not the number game, tons and tons of Likes or seeking the appreciation/approval from strangers who I don’t even know their real names. It is about real people. I try my best to create a real connection with others, be authentic and take the real-time and interest to understand what they have been through. I soon learnt how to celebrate life, filled with happiness, sorrow, fear, courage, soul searching and determination. Connection not Seeking for approval is a new mantra of social media. I slowly started to realize how much I like my job.

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Author: Marni Xuto



  • Nancy
    Posted at 06:33h, 18 January

    I totally agree with you about social media – it is about the connection. I like seeing what people are up to, not because they want approval but because they want to share for the lulz. Oooh! Love the food that you had! I am a huge sucker for dumplings. Glad you enjoyed your time out there!

    Nancy ♥

    • Marni Xuto
      Posted at 06:54h, 18 January

      Thank you for taking time comment on this special subject that close to my heart Nancy. Your view mean a lot to me.

  • Millie
    Posted at 09:06h, 18 January

    this post is really interesting and has a really good message behind it! your experience sounded really cool and thank you for sharing!:)

    • Marni Xuto
      Posted at 11:34h, 18 January

      Thank you so much. Good Luck with your Marathon and Sky Diving.

  • Elena Ciucanu
    Posted at 18:02h, 20 January

    I think everyone starting a business should read this! It is all about making connections. The numbers of “followers” means nothing in today’s world. Being able to engage with your audience is what makes or breaks your business. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    • Marni Xuto
      Posted at 19:56h, 20 January

      Thank you, Elena. Engaging, connecting and being authenticity are the keys.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 21:11h, 22 January

    I agree with you about social media!! Loved reading your post

    • Marni Xuto
      Posted at 20:47h, 24 January

      Thank you, Michelle, for your time to read and comment. Greatly appreciated

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