August 2017 Wrap Up

Can you believe I've been living in the States for a month already?! It hasn't at all been what I expected, so let's look at some stats first before diving into the details of the move and our new lives in Ohio.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I'll make a small commission. They're for books from Amazon, and they're clearly marked. Thanks for feeding my inner bookworm. For more info, read my disclosure.)

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August 2017 Wrap Up post header

On The Site – August 2017

{As usual, pinks are links, and click the pics to be taken to the post.}

Obviously it was a pretty quiet month around here. Moving transatlantic doesn't easily lend itself to keeping to a strict routine. I had hoped to have some posts scheduled in advance, but we also had the packing process to go through and many, many friends and family members to visit, so I wasn't exactly awash with available time. Still, two posts are better than none, am I right?

Having moved into a new home and being conscious of the fact that one of my 2017 resolutions was to turn my home into a haven, I wanted to share some practical tips on how to do that. We're somewhat lucky in that we got to start with a clean slate, but if that's not an option for you, there are still some things you can do to get the most out of the space you have and turn it from 'chaos' into 'calm oasis'.

While everything else was going reasonably well, the big things that totally fell by the wayside for me were diet and exercise. I've eaten more burgers this month than I have in the past year and, even though setting up a new house isn't exactly slovenly work, I still wasn't as active as I could have been. Time to change that with a large side-order of self-discipline. If you feel like that's something you might be lacking in, I've shared a simple way to stretch your self-control so you can build confidence in your stickability and exercise that restraint muscle.

On YouTube – August 2017

I shook things up a bit on the video front this month, throwing in some vlogs of the move so you could all get a bit of a "behind-the-scenes". In truth, I was worried how they'd perform because I figured people subscribed for the motivational and practical advice videos, not to see me pack a bag and hop on a plane. But, as is often the case, my fears were unfounded. They turned out to be incredibly popular, and I was so overwhelmed with the wonderful response I got to them (but also a little alarmed at the level of racism they attracted).

While vlogs aren't something I intend to upload regularly on the main channel, I'll possibly pop up the occasional one if I feel I have something "big" to share. Otherwise, I've started a second channel where you'll find all future vlogs: Laura H Vlogs. Head on over there and subscribe if you want to keep up with my American adventure. In the meantime, here are the moving vlogs from the HowToGYST channel:

Then came my very first "proper" video from the new house. Most of you will remember "Mr. Pengwing" from the vlogs, and I was sure to give him a strong supporting role in the new setup. πŸ˜‰ The idea for the video came from all the comments on the vlog saying how calm I seemed to be about all the obstacles we faced. It got me thinking about how I deal with stress nowadays and how much better I am at it than I used to be!

And, finally, because it's been requested for months and months now, I shared a flip-through of my first completed Bullet Journal. I loved looking back over it, and I'm so happy I recorded all those memories and special moments (and some of the hard ones too).

At this rate, I haven't a hope of hitting 50,000 subscribers by the end of the year, but I'm still pushing! So if you wanna help a gal out, hit that big button below. πŸ™‚

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Social Media Stats – August 2017

  • thumbs-o-up
    Facebook: just over 3,350 'likes'.
  • twitter
    Twitter: 1,000 followers. Hurray!

HowToGYST HQ (AKA Home) – August 2017

I don't even know where to begin! Obviously the big news is that WE MOVED. We've already spent a month in America. How did that happen?!

If you've seen the vlogs, you'll know that the journey wasn't exactly plain sailing flying, and we arrived in Cincinnati a day later than we expected. But journey aside, everything went swimmingly. We stayed in a hotel in Cincinnati for the first two nights while getting the basics set up in the house, and then we officially moved in on August 5th, the day after our 5-year wedding anniversary. And we love it!

August 2017 wrap-up post from HowToGYST.com

We've done SO MUCH in such a short amount of time. We unpacked all our stuff (including the shipping container that arrived from Ireland towards the end of the month), we sat (and passed) our American driving tests, we opened bank accounts, joined the local library, visited the local amusement park, attended some local events, met the neighbours (and their kids), went to IKEA, ate at Skyline Chili (an Ohio institution), enrolled Scout in a new school, bought ourselves some new gadgets (hello, robot vacuum!), set up the beginnings of a home gym in the basement, opened a PO Box, and so much more!

(In case you're wondering, you can now catch me at: Laura Hutchinson, PO Box 30211, Cincinnati, OH 45230, USA.)

It's been a bit of a whirlwind but the bizarre thing is that I haven't felt so relaxed in a long time. It's probably because I slacked off a bit on the blog post and video schedule, but I've also been making a concerted effort to wind down each evening with a book, before getting an early night. It's working wonders for me!

August 2017 – Scout's princess castle bed

I don't know what else to tell you other than life is good and we've taken to our new home like ducks to water. And it goes without saying that I'm working on making my mark on the American blogging scene in a big way. Watch this space! πŸ˜‰

What I Read In August 2017

(Contains Amazon affiliate links which means that if you buy through my link, I'll earn a small commission on the sale... and use it to buy more books. Hurray! For more info, read my disclosure.)

From here on out, I think I'm just going to list the books I read each month, rather than reviewing them. (But please do let me know if you'd like to see the reviews return.) I'll just give a very brief summary of what I thought, and if any stood out for me.

  • book
    "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie. My first Agatha Christie novel. It was on sale on Kindle so I thought I'd try it out since I'd heard so much about her. A decent read that kept me guessing. I read it on the flight over to America.
  • book
    "Murder On The Orient Express" by Agatha Christie. Another one that was on sale. Equally decent.
  • book
    "Say Goodbye To Survival Mode" by Crystal Paine. Spotted this at the library and had heard other bloggers mention it so picked it up. Wasn't overly keen.
  • book
    "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. This was referenced in Crystal Paine's book and, because I'd heard about it before, I hopped on the library app and downloaded the eBook. I haven't read his previous one, "Financial Peace" yet (though I do have it downloaded) but I'd recommend starting there because it's referenced quite a bit in this book. Not being American or familiar with their financial system or the stock market, some of the references were lost on me. Roth IRA? 401k? Haven't a notion.

And thus concludes my first month in the United States of America. Goodness knows what September will bring but one thing's for sure – it won't be dull!

I'm ready!

What's the most challenging thing you did in August 2017?

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