July 2017 Wrap Up

This is the final wrap up post from Ireland. We move to the United States on August 2nd, so I guess this is the end of an era. I've no idea what the future holds, but I know I'll make the most of it. So, for one last time from the Emerald Isle, here's what happened this past month.


​(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 the bookworm in me. For more info, read my disclosure.)

HowToGYST July 2017 wrap-up post

On The Site — July 2017

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

Given that we were just over the halfway mark for 2017, I started with a big mid-year review. Back in January, I set myself no less than 12 resolutions and, truth be told, I was feeling that I'd failed with a lot of them. But the review not only showed me that I've made more progress than I thought, it also reignited my enthusiasm and dedication to my goals. If you haven't already done a mid-year review for yourself, I'd highly recommend it. I included a free printable in the post to make it easier for you.

I won't lie, though, some of the goals on my list left me feeling a little overwhelmed, particularly because, when I set them, I hadn't foreseen that we'd be moving to the US. So with that in mind, I shared what I do to overcome that frazzled feeling when tasks seem too daunting, and to plough through them and make progress regardless.

After that I was arse-deep in decluttering, knowing that the transatlantic move was just around the corner. It was like the KonMari Method on steroids in my house, but a lot of people mentioned that they struggled with decluttering and the whole "sparks joy" concept. So, with that in mind, I compiled a list of alternative decluttering questions you can ask when "Does this spark joy?" just doesn't cut it. Frankly, if you have anything left after you go through these questions, it'll be a miracle. 😉 I included a free PDF so you can save it or print it out for reference when it comes to culling the contents of your home... or even just your handbag.

When I started facing into the reality of the move, then, I realised how lucky I am that I have a job I love, that allows me a lot of freedom and flexibility, and means I can work from anywhere (with a decent wifi connection). I know not everyone is as fortunate, so I wrote a piece on how to find your passion, but I included a little caveat that seems to be missing from most modern advice. I hope someone finds it helpful in finally leading a life they love.​

After that I packed away my laptop and got ready to move halfway across the world!

On YouTube — July 2017

The big news here was that we hit 25,000 subscribers! Halfway to my 2017 goal of 50,000.

On the video front, first up was my mid-year review. I try not to double up on content between the site and YouTube, but I know not everyone follows me on both so I occasionally break that rule.

Then, because I was just back from holidays AND packing for our big move, I figured it was only right and proper that I share some of my top packing tips. In the description box, I included a link to a free packing checklist which, much to my surprise, has become hugely popular. Have you downloaded yours yet? Am I missing anything? Let me know!

After that came the video where the thumbnail took almost as much time as to record the video itself. Ha ha. But y'know what? I like it! With the upcoming move, I have big plans to reinvent myself, so I shared my guaranteed method for how to become a brand new you in literally seconds! Who's tried it?

Thereafter came my annual HowToGYST One Month Challenge. I'm sure you're sensing a theme by now but my challenge for August is linked to my transatlantic move, and I set a similar challenge for all of you. (Don't worry, you don't have to be moving to take part.) You'll find all the details in the video, and can either take me up on it, or try your own. Either way, let me know what goals you're going to smash this August.​

After that I was into the middle of the moving chaos but, thankfully, I had the foresight to schedule a video in advance. A few weeks previously, Scribbles That Matter had sent me one of their notebooks to review. I know it's seen as a Bullet Journal alternative, so I went ahead and pitted it against the official Bullet Journal notebook from Leuchtturm1917. I was surprised to find a clear winner!

And did you hear I'm aiming for 50,000 subscribers by the end of 2017? Help me make it happen by clicking that big ol' subscribe button below!

August 2016

Social Media Stats — July 2017

  • Facebook: 3,250 'likes'. More than I was aiming for, which is great.
  • Twitter: just about to break 4 figures – 990. 
  • Instagram: over 1,500 followers. A greater than average increase because I've been spending more time there this month, engaging with others.
  • Pinterest: over 5,150 followers. A decline here in recent months because I've been neglecting it slightly.
  • Newsletter: more than 3,250 lovelies on the list.

HowToGYST HQ (AKA home) — July 2017

The month was mainly dedicated to packing and prepping for the move (and, at times, losing my mind). It was a long, challenging process, and not one I'm keen to repeat. Having said that, it went as well as it could have. No major hiccups, just the tedious task of decluttering, sorting, itemising, valuing, and packing up all our worldly possessions.

The removals company came on the morning of July 25th and worked their magic in wrapping and packing the bulk of our belongings. Everything was transferred to a shipping container which will first make its way to a larger European port to meet up with a bigger shipping vessel and, from there, everything will slowly make its way across the Atlantic.​ Assuming it all clears customs without incident (fingers crossed), our stuff will arrive in Cincinnati in about 6 weeks.

Lots of goodbyes were said and, though they were sad, I know I'll keep in touch with everyone and will make a conscious effort to see them each time I'm home. And my parents are going to be coming over to visit us in October, so that's something to look forward to.​

HowToGYST July 2017 wrap-up post | Careline removals company Ireland

The downside to the whole thing (apart from the temporary loss of sanity) was that Sam's birthday fell in the middle of it so we didn't get to celebrate properly. I'm hoping to put that right once we get settled into our new home. He's been so helpful during this whole process, and surprisingly organised (I like to think I'm finally starting to rub off on him), so he deserves a treat.​ Plus, he finally got rid of that damn Tabasco sauce, so there's even more reason to celebrate! 😉

HowToGYST July 2017 wrap-up post | Me & Sam on holidays

​I also got word that HowToGYST has been nominated in the Irish Blog Awards, so that's super exciting!

And, as if I didn't have enough on my plate already, I started a second YouTube channel where I'll be posting vlogs. They'll be on various topics but, for the foreseeable, you can expect a lot about the move and the transition from one culture to another. So, if you want to follow along with my American adventure, or just fancy a behind-the-scenes of what my life is like, I'd love it if you'd hop over and subscribe: Laura H Vlogs.

To coincide with the new channel, I also started a new blog: LauraHutchinson.ie. There isn't much up there yet, but the plan is for it to house the random other thoughts and topics that don't fit here on HowToGYST, including my other passions of digital marketing, reading (expect book reviews), etc.

And speaking of book reviews...

What I read in July 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.)

I know I said I'd retire these reviews but it didn't make sense to exclude them from the last Irish wrap-up post. Plus, I only read one book for the entire month. 😉 (If you want to split hairs about it, I actually started it in June.)

I did start a second but it was a library book and I didn't get it finished before I had to bring it back.

  • "The Run Of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson" by Jeffrey Toobin. This is a detailed account of the "trial of the century" (that being LAST century, of course) which I found fascinating, but would have preferred if it had stuck to the facts. Instead, some of it seemed to be based on the author's personal opinion and perception (for example, about how the trial lawyers felt and what their thoughts were while questioning a witness). Nonetheless, it provided a lot of interesting behind-the-scenes information. If you're curious about the case or you enjoy true crime stories, and can overlook the overly "reading-between-the-lines" style, it's worth a read.

And that's a wrap, not just for July 2017 but for my life in Ireland (at least for the foreseeable). I've no idea what adventures await us in America, but I know we'll make the most of them.

See you on the other side!​

What was the highlight of July 2017 for you?​

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  1. This is a good and motivating wrap up. I always appreciate your thoughts.

  2. Busy month – now to find the country store

  3. Best of luck with the move. We emigrated to Canada three months ago. Packing up the house was absolute chaos for us!

    • The packing actually went relatively smoothly for us. It was the journey itself that was horrendous. (Of course, our stuff hasn’t actually arrived yet so I guess I should wait and see what happens with that!)

      How are you finding life in Canada? Is it very different?

      • Some things are mostly the same in Montreal, other things are quite different. The language barrier is probably the biggest thing. A lot of people do speak English, but you can’t rely on it so I’m working on improving my French. It takes a while to figure out how things work and where to get particular groceries etc. It’s a fantastic place to live in many ways. Lots to see and do. The hardest thing is we’ve two young kids so getting anything done at all is so much slower with them!

        • I’m finding the same. I’ve decided for now that I’m only going to go grocery shopping alone. When I have it all figured out, then I’ll bring my daughter with me. Until then, I’ll only go when my husband’s home to look after her. So much less stressful!

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