October 2017 Wrap Up

I initially started this post by saying that October was a month of ups and downs. But then I looked back over journal entries and realised it was actually amazing. Why is it that we sometimes feel times are tough when, in reality, they're pretty great? This is why I love writing things down – I can call myself out on my own bullshit.

(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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HowToGYST.com October 2017 Wrap-Up post

On The Site –- October 2017

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

October saw one of the biggest highlights of my career to date – winning an award for my YouTube channel! I won 'Best Vlog' in the Irish Blog Awards (it's still a little surreal). So, despite having planned another blog post, I couldn't let the moment pass without writing a heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you who supports me, reads the blog, watches my videos, send me lovely messages, follows me on social media, etc. It's because of YOU that I keep pushing. So the first blog post of the month was dedicated to you, and includes a little story of how the blog came to be.

The next post was also unplanned (it was a month of just going with the flow, it seems) but I'd been hearing more and more about Swedish death cleaning so I started doing some research on what it was all about. I then compiled it all into a blog post, and compared it to the KonMari Method. It's an interesting alternative if you find that "sparks joy" just isnt' right for you.

Third unplanned post of the month (are you sensing a theme?) was my #NOvember campaign. This is one of those ideas that hit me like a bolt from the blue just as I was about to fall asleep. I'm so glad I took the time to type it into my phone before falling into blissful oblivion because I can't tell you how many blog posts I've lost to the dreaded "I'll remember it" disease.

I'd been feeling for a while that I wanted to do something significant. Something beyond just writing a blog post or recording a video. I wanted to leave a lasting impression. I wanted to inspire people beyond the thousand words of a post or the ten minutes of a video. I wanted to start a movement.

I never started the blog with the intention of changing the world, and that's still not my intention. But I've always wanted to inspire people to take a bit more control of their life and start steering it in a more positive direction. Sure, a blog post can get you all fired up, but the effects usually wear off. With the #NOvember campaign, I want people to make lasting changes in their lives.

Will you join the #NOvember campaign and say NO to something negative in your life? | October 2017

I've been completely overwhelmed by the positive response, and excited to see so many of you ready to take charge of your life. If you're not sure what the campaign is all about, I urge you to read the post and then join the movement as we say NO to negativity and allow more light into our lives. If you write about it or post anything on social media, don't forget to tag me so I can come take a look. =)

I can't wait to make this change with you!

After that I wanted to talk about motivation, not just because I know the #NOvember campaign will be tricky, but because I know in my own life that I often start things with great intentions and then completely run out of steam. So I shared some tips that have helped keep me motivated along the way, meaning I can actually see things through and complete a lot of my goals. It ain't always easy, but it doesn't have to be overly difficult either.

On YouTube –- October 2017

So the above section has already ruined the surprise but the channel only bloody won an award! To say I lost my shit would be an understatement. Many happy tears were shed. I still can't quite believe it!

A huge THANK YOU again to the wonderful Norma from interiors blog The House That Will for not only collecting the award on my behalf but also being totally sound and sending it to my parents so they could bring it over for me. (Ain't nobody got the spends for international shipping.)

Irish Blog Awards 2017 Gold Winner, Best Vlog | A Thousand Thank Yous | October 2017

And a massive THANK YOU to the organisers for hosting such a stellar event. I'm gutted I wasn't there (couple the cost of travel with the fact I had no inkling I was actually going to win) but I'm so, so grateful.

And as if that wasn't amazing enough, the channel hit 30,000 subscribers and surpassed 2 million views this month. Say WHAAAT?!

So yeah, safe to say things are going well over on YouTube. If you're not already in on the action, click that big red button below to subscribe. The channel is award-winning, don'tcha know. 😉 

YouTube subscribe button

As for actual videos, first up was a look at different ways to increase your energy levels. As a mother and businesswoman, I've tried every (legal) trick in the book to keep myself going so I can try get everything done. Of course it doesn't always happen, but I've learned a few little hacks along the way for keeping myself as fresh as possible for as long as possible. I feel like not enough people are talking about the final hack, so I really hope it helps someone!

Thereafter, I shared what to do when you completely run out of energy and motivation (with bonus footage of me dancing around the living room and generally looking a fool). When you're in an almighty funk, these tips will help you climb out of your rut. 

After that I finally tackled one that's been requested a LOT – how to fold a fitted sheet. I actually shared 3 different ways you can do it, as well as a secret hack I use myself. Which method do you use? Or are you the "roll it up in a ball and push it to the back of the closet" type?

And finally, because I really wanted to get the word out to as many people as possible, I shared a video about my #NOvember campaign.

Social Media Stats -- October 2017

  • twitter
    Twitter: almost 1,050 followers.

HowToGYST HQ (AKA Home) –- October 2017

First up this month was a meet-up of local bloggers. It felt a bit odd driving to see a bunch of strangers, but they were lovely. We all agreed to work on one particular area of our business and to hold each other accountable. I resolved to up my game on Facebook a bit, which is why you may have seen more posts than usual from me over there. It was nice to have that kick up the arse to get me moving.

After that, my sister-in-law came for a visit. It's been so long since I last saw her! Sadly, though, while she was here, her (and my husband's) grandmother passed away. Both of them flew home to Dublin for the funeral the following weekend. I think my husband found it a bit odd to be back in Ireland, especially for such a sad occasion.

And then, of course, it was Halloween. As a total impulse purchase, I picked up a life-sized skeleton from the store about halfway through the month and proceeded to treat him as the Halloween version of Elf on a Shelf, moving him to a different position every day. He drew some attention from passersby, and the neighbours slowed down every day to see what new thing he was doing.

I hadn't planned it but it just kind of worked out that way and, I have to say, I really enjoyed it.

Jack Skellington, Halloween, October 2017

Then, despite choosing her own costume, Scout decided to change her mind on the night itself and wear something else entirely. Le sigh. But she did get to wear the new one to her Fall Festival at school so at least it wasn't a total waste.

It was her first time trick or treating and she was thrilled! A bunch of families from the neighbourhood all banded together and we walked to the next street to get some sweet treats.

Scout's Halloween costume, October 2017, Shimmer & Shine, genies divine

The big news though (apart from the Blog Awards win) is that my family are here and I'M SO EXCITED! My mam, dad, and aunt all arrived in Cincinnati late on the 30th/early on the 31st and are here for the next 2 weeks. (If things are kinda quiet around here, that'll be why.) Most of the month was spent prepping for their stay and, even though it was tiring, it was all totally worth it.

Scout was absolutely overjoyed to see them and is currently busy running them ragged. 😉

October 2017, mam & Scout on swings

What I Read In October 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.)

The local library will be the (blissful) death of me. I'm reading about 1-2 books per week yet borrowing 2-3, meaning my stack is growing and growing. And I couldn't be happier! The BEST thing about the library is that they have an app where I can borrow from thousands upon thousands of eBooks, so I don't even have to leave the house or pay money to get my bookworm on.

(To give you an idea of the extent of my addiction, I currently have 11 physical books checked out and 8 eBooks downloaded from the app, with 21 more on hold. My inner nerd is very satisfied with life right now.)

  • book
    "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. I don't know what to say about this book except that it's wonderful. I immediately went and put on a hold on all her other books. If you're looking for a seriously inspirational true story and you appreciate the beauty of a well-written word, you won't go far wrong with "Wild".
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    "Steal Like An Artist" by Austin Kleon. A very quick read (and I need them if I want to hit my goal of 50 books this year). If you're a creative type, you'll likely find something to spark your interest in here. For me, I didn't feel incredibly motivated or anything after reading it, but I did enjoy it and it was a nice reminder that hard work and perseverance usually pay off in the end.
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    "​The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. Come on, you knew I'd read it eventually. I'd had it on hold for a while and it eventually became available. It was another quick and easy read. Cheesy as feck, but exactly what I needed at the time. Read it if you love the KonMari Method and don't take things too seriously. Or if you want a challenging colouring book! (This one's all in black and white.)
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    "Invent It, Sell It, Bank It" by Lori Greiner. This is one of those books I really should have stopped reading. Unless you're an entrepreneur who has an idea for a product and want to bring it to life, you won't find much in here to hold your interest. If you are that entrepreneur though, this is a goldmine of useful, practical information.
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    "The Dip" by Seth Godin. Another quick read. (Can you tell I was playing catch-up on my reading resolution?) This one's about pushing through that wall you eventually hit when you're trying to do anything of value. You know, you start out strong but then it seems like every obstacle under the sun is thrown in your path. This book is about that decision of whether to quit or keep pushing. (And yes, there are situations where quitting is best.) A decent, if not exactly riveting, read.
  • "The Four Doors" by Richard Paul Evans. This one looked intriguing and, again, it was a short one so it caught my attention. The love affair ended there though. Not a terrible book, but I wouldn't exactly say it was life-changing. It's littered with quotes and, while they're often good, every single one is taken from one of the author's other books. That made it feel a little self-indulgent and overly promotional, and I lost a lot of interest thereafter.
  • "Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life" by Shannon Ables. Oh, I had such high hopes for this one. It had been on my reading list for years after another blogger recommended it but, for some reason, I could never get hold of it in Ireland. Maybe I had hyped it too much in my mind but I was sorely disappointed. Despite the fact that each chapter covers a certain topic, the book still felt really scattered. BUT I have to thank this book for one thing – it's made me more determined than ever to write my own. I want to write the book I thought this one should have been. The book I imagined it would be.

Would you like a video about what's on my reading list? I've been debating recording one.

Let me know!

Did you dress up for Halloween?

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