May 2016 Wrap-Up

Well May 2016 kinda sucked. I was basically sick for the entire month. Honestly, I haven’t been right since I launched the e-course in April. I was completely run down so my immune system took a savage beating.

But it wasn’t all bad, so let’s look back over the month of May to see what’s worth mentioning (and what’s not worth remembering).


May 2016 Wrap-Up post for

On The Site — May 2016

The theme for May was minimalism — learning to declutter both physical space and head space. ‘Cause they’re BOTH important. Obviously I can’t talk minimalism without mentioning the KonMari Method, so there were some posts dedicated to it, but I also busted some minimalism myths (because yes, you CAN be a minimalist while still owning lots of stuff), as well as discussing how and why I sit in silence for a few minutes every day. (Honestly, meditation isn’t all mumbo-jumbo.)

Click the pic to be taken to the post.​

Declutter your home header

I decided to tackle the KonMari Method for a second time. This is the first category, 'Clothes'. See how I fared, how long it took me, what I learned, what advice I'd give, and why I decided to do it twice.

A great guide to minimalist living (even with kids and lots of stuff)

How much stuff is "too much"? And is minimalist living even possible with children? I answer those questions,  and give you a free resource guide to my favourite sources of minimalist inspiration.

The KonMari Method -- Books. Before and after pics, from a bookworm. ;)

I took on category 2 of the KonMari Method -- Books. And, I have to say, it was a total odd-one-out for me. This hasn't happened with any other category...

A (former) skeptic's guide to mindfulness meditation. Beginner? This is about as basic as it gets.

A (former) skeptic's guide to mindfulness meditation, with a detailed look at how I do it (& why). Beginner? This is about as basic as it gets.

Really useful tips for completing category 3 of the KonMari Method -- 'Paper'. And a great KonMari checklist too!

Learn Marie Kondo's #1 tip when it comes to tackling category 3 of the KonMari Method -- 'Paper'. (It's harsh, but effective.)

On YouTube — May 2016

Umm… I hit 100,000 views! Whoop! AND I’m just about to hit 2,500 subscribers. Say WHAT?!

Over here, it was more (albeit different) KonMari content, and the same discussion on minimalism. ‘Cause it seems a lot of you just love hearing it in the Irish accent. 😉

I also included a wardrobe tour because I felt that people were sick of seeing huge, well-lit, wonderfully organised walk-in closets. And, truth be told, I was sick of it myself. So I grabbed my camera and recorded my current closet situation. It features everything from the ‘Clothes’ category of the KonMari Method (including shoes, bags, and jewellery). Nothing was staged or tidied or arranged a certain way… I think that’s pretty obvious from the video. 😉

My set-up may never make it to the front cover of a magazine, but sometimes I think it’s more important to keep things realistic and relatable.

Click the pic to be taken to the video.​

A great guide to minimalist living (even with kids and lots of stuff)

Social Media Stats — May 2016

  • Facebook: over 1,650 'likes'. Hard fought. It's been a slow month here.
  • Twitter: just about to hit 650 followers. I gained a few here after BloggerConf (more that on that later.)
  • Instagram: just about to hit 875 followers. Gettin' better with those hashtags! But really need to improve my photography skills.
  • Pinterest: over 1,500 followers. Still going (relatively) well, and still my #1 source of traffic by a looooong shot.
  • Newsletter: over 300 subscribers now, which is up 100 on last month. Boo-ya!

HowToGYST HQ (AKA home) — May 2016

At home, I was basically dying a slow death for the entire month. I had 2 different infections, 2 appointments with my doctor, and was prescribed enough medication to ensure my local pharmacy turned a profit for the month. Seriously, it was all antibiotics, painkillers, steroids, anti-inflammatories, decongestants…

Anyone who knows me will know I despise taking any form of medication so, when I do, the situation must be dire. So to take all of the above? Yeah, it was bad. But I’d been having a lot of headaches and migraines for about 2 weeks before finally seeing a doctor so, in the end, I was almost GLAD when she said it was a sinus infection and nothing worse.

I also managed to damage both my hamstrings AND the rotator cuff in my right arm so yeah, May was a pretty miserable month health-wise.

But look, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. For one, May is my birthday month! And, as luck would have it, it fell on a weekend when I was starting to feel slightly better (I was at the tail end of one infection and completely oblivious to the fact that another was hot on its heels). My husband surprised me by taking some extra time off work to look after our daughter, so I had 4 glorious days to do as I pleased.

First thing I did was went back to bed! Ha ha!

After that I headed to the hairdresser for a new ‘do, and then treated myself to some new clothes (all joy-sparking, of course), including an underwear set after going for a bra fitting. (If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know that that particular item has been sitting on my to-do list for some time. (That's a TICK on #14... finally!)

16 Before 2016 update

I’d been invited to attend a YouTube workshop in Google HQ here in Dublin on the evening of my birthday, so I went along to have a few laughs and eat some free pizza. And, I guess, to learn a thing or two. 😉

(Did I mention there was free pizza?)

YouTube's Irisj Strategy Day in Google HQ, Dublin (May 20th, 2016)

And then the day after my birthday was BloggerConf, which was a whole day of soaking up the wisdom of people who are currently rocking the online world. Just like last year, I walked away feeling inspired and ready to up my game.

The icing on the cake was getting to spend the day with this lovely lady (you may also have spotted her in the YouTube event pic above):

Bláithín & I at BloggerConf 2016

That’s Blaithin from A Style of Living, wedding planner and event organiser extraordinaire. She’s one of my closest friends and one of the most inspirational people I know. A seriously savvy businesswoman, and the person I turn to for advice on my site.

And that’s my new hair. 😉

I also officially received my digital marketing qualification this month, so I guess I’m not far from being a super savvy businesswoman myself!

My FETAC Digital Marketing cert

And, because you’ve all been asking, there’s still no sign of our visas. Waaah! We really need to find out ASAP because, if it’s a yes, we have to move in July (my husband’s new job is scheduled to start at the beginning of August). That gives us pretty much no time to do any house-hunting, so if any of you happen to live in Cincinnati, Ohio (or nearby), my family and I may have to move in with you temporarily. 😉

Assuming it’s a yes from immigration, we’ll be living in the States in just 8 short weeks. EEK! I’d been holding off on the packing until we heard anything but, at this stage, I think I need to make a start and just hope for the best. Worst case scenario, I’ll just have to unpack and put it all back.

Ugh, the control freak in me hates all this uncertainty!

But overall, I’m feeling pretty positive about June! I really feel like I’ve gone from strength to strength this year (illness issues aside), and I put a lot of that down to the fact that I’m setting myself bigger goals. I’m pushing myself. Not all the time, but I’m deciding what I want to do, and then I’m just doing it. I’m trying hard not to allow room for doubt or second thoughts; it’s just plan -> execute.

In my next post, I’ll be sharing something I’ve learned recently that’s helping me raise the bar and live a life without regrets, so watch out for that one!

In the meantime, if you want access to the HowToGYST free resource library, lots of extra tips and tricks on getting your shit together, and an invite to join the private Facebook group, enter your details and click that big bright button to get on the mailing list.

And, because June marks the halfway point in the year, I think next month’s wrap up post will include a progress report on how I’ve been faring with my 2016 goals. What I’ve achieved, what I’ve yet to do, what I’ve learned, and what still needs some research.

Ready to finish out the first half of the year on a high note? I know I am!


What's one goal you've already achieved this year?

And what goal have you set for the second half of the year?

Enjoy June!

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  1. Congrats on the Digital Marketing! I just found I got a Distinction in the QQI aswell. We are so smart!
    Love the blog , onwards and upwards for June.

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