September 2017 Wrap Up

Things have been a bit of a whirlwind over here since we arrived. I was determined to hit the ground running but I had no idea how quickly I'd be sprinting! I can barely bump into a single person without them going out of their way to help me, so there are opportunities around every corner. And in true GYST fashion, I'm grabbing every one of them with both hands.

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

More... September 2017 Wrap-Up post

On The Site –- September 2017

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

I won't lie, after the move I'm pretty pleased with myself for how quickly I managed to hop back on the blog-writing bandwagon. It wasn't easy, because I've been squeezing a lot of extra things into my schedule, but I buckled down and got the job done. #likeaboss

First topic up for discussion was the KonMari Method and how we all seem to have that one category we're dreading, usually a "hobby" category. We feel we'll never be able to part with our precious belongings. For me, it was stationery. But, having done the Method twice now, I've come to realise that a quick mindset shift can actually have you looking forward to it!

After that, I talked about how to live in the moment when the best is yet to come. As someone who loves setting goals, it can be all too easy to fix my sights on the future and forget about what's right in front of my nose. And maybe you're the same, thinking you'll be happy as soon as you have a day off, or when you get that pay rise, or when the kids start school. So this post is all about being able to savour the journey instead of only just looking forward to the destination.

The last post of the month, then, was one that proved very popular – how to declutter 100 things from your home during your lunch hour. I think we all know that feeling where we want to see big results but we just don't have the time to devote to big efforts. And let's face it, when we're not seeing results, we're much more likely to feel demotivated and give up completely.

So if you feel like your decluttering efforts are coming to naught, see if my method can't help give you some extra (breathing) space.

On YouTube –- September 2017

This was an exciting month for several reasons. To start, I decided to do my first live stream on YouTube. It wasn't without its hiccups, of course, but the whole point of the exercise was to iron out all the kinks during a casual chat so that, if I want to do future ones, it should be reasonably plain sailing. Please let me know if you'd like to see more!

On top of that, my KonMari folding video hit ONE MILLION VIEWS! WOW! Giddy as a schoolgirl, I am.

AND my YouTube channel is a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards in the 'vlog' category. Winners are announced at the awards show in Dublin on October 5th. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it (it's just a bit too awkward money- and time-wise) but it's so lovely to make the finals.

Blog Awards Ireland 2017 Finalist | September 2017 HowToGYST vlog category

The first "proper" video of the month was an update on how I fared with my annual One Month Challenge (spoiler alert: I rocked it!). Not content with one challenge, I went ahead and took on another – the '18 Before 2018'. I struggled a bit with this one, and explain why in the video, but I managed to come up with 18 things all the same. Because apparently I like to run myself ragged. πŸ˜‰

I also shared a video I feel all mothers should see (or, indeed, anyone who has a lot on their plate and is wondering how on earth they'll ever have time to keep their house clean and run basic errands).

And then I wrapped up the month with a review of the golden deliciousness that is 'The Path' planner. It's designed to help you set and achieve your goals, so it's much more than just a standard scheduler. Full disclosure: the company sent me the planner for free in exchange for an honest review (which is what I gave them), and I earn a small commission (from Amazon) for each sale made through my link:

Psst! Don't forget to use code HOW2GYST for 15% off!

If you haven't done so already and you want to keep up with my videos, hit that subscribe button below. =)

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Social Media Stats -- September 2017

  • thumbs-o-up
    Facebook:​​ over 3,500 'likes'.
  • twitter
    Twitter: over 1,000 followers.

HowToGYST HQ (AKA Home) –- September 2017

What a month! It's been non-stop since we moved, in the best possible way! The first exciting thing that happened was... I got post in my PO Box! Ha ha. I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who sent letters, notes, stickers, sweets, colouring books, planners, cards, etc. It really means so much, and brightens up my entire week. I'm so grateful.

HowToGYST Laura Hutchinson PO Box address, Cincinnati, Ohio, US – September 2017

Scout started her first day of (American) school! It was a stressful process, not least of all because, apparently, state law here requires her to have a physical. Seemed a little unnecessary to me and, as it turned out, bloody impossible. I couldn't get any doctor here to sign off on her because she hasn't had the chicken pox vaccine. It's not a standard vaccine in Ireland, and it's not even required by law here (as long as I sign a waiver). Nonetheless, no-one would see her so I ended up just emailing my Irish doctor the form, and he happily signed it. But oh, the stress and frustration in the interim!

Scout's First Day of Pre-K – September 2017

Also, there's a ridiculous amount of work a parent of a school-going child has to do here! In Scout's first week alone she had to bring in 2 family photos, 3 items that described her, something for Show & Tell, and there was a Grandparents Morning and a parent orientation evening. Lordy! I haven't done so much schoolwork since I was in school myself! It's insanity. In Ireland we just send them off and wait for their school report to come in at the end of each term.

But she seems to like it, so that's something.

She also randomly asked one day how she got in my tummy. Now there's a conversation I wasn't expecting to have for several years!

Family Photo at Carrabba's – September 2017

After that my mother-in-law arrived for a visit. She lives in Florida and got out just in time to avoid Hurricane Irma. Her flight home was cancelled but she managed to get back two days later and, thankfully, her house was spared. Scout loved having her here and the two went out scooting every day, giving me a much appreciated break.

I also took my first trip to Target and, yes, I may have bought a few bits. πŸ˜‰ If you're not following me on Instagram, you totally should. I share little snippets of my days on my Insta-story. For longer-form videos, my vlog channel is the place to go.

And as for Sam... Well, he finally bought himself a car so he's happy.

Sam's Chevy Camaro – September 2017

But he also bought this:

Tabasco Sauce – September 2017

You can't tell from the picture but it's two and a half times bigger than the bottles we had back home in Ireland.


Apart from all that, I spent some time attending seminars and meetings. A few exciting projects in the works! More soon!

What I Read In September 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 was falling a little behind on my goal of 50 books for the year so I stepped up my game this month and knocked out 6. Hurray for the library having an app I can borrow eBooks from.

  • book
    "Organizing Your Life" by Cyndy Aldred. An "idiot's guide" to organizing. (That's not me being mean, it's just in the "Idiot Guides" collection.) But it wasn't my cup of tea.
  • book
    "Goodbye, Things" by Fumio Sasaki. An interesting account of the author's journey to (what could easily be considered) extreme minimalism. He references the KonMari Method in it, but I was most struck by how he said he eventually also started getting rid of things even though they brought him joy. He certainly makes a compelling case for minimalism.
  • book
    "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey. After reading "The Total Money Makeover" last month I decided to give his first book a go. Personally, I found the latter to be better.
  • book
    "Clean My Space" by Melissa Maker. Not the world's most fascinating book if you're just reading it straight through, but certainly an excellent resource for cleaning your house.
  • book
    "The Little Book of Hygge" by Meik Wiking. I just needed a quick read and this fit the bill. It's the second book on hygge I've read (actually, I didn't even finish the first, which is why it hasn't appeared on any of my reading lists) and, to be honest, probably the last.
  • book
    "I Know How She Does It" by Laura Vanderkam. The book is based on the premise that you can actually do it all and, while parts of it were interesting, I found it a slow read overall.

PHEW! Can you tell I packed a lot into September? Tiredness hit me pretty hard in the middle of the month but I made sure to get a few early nights and I was soon back on track. Now I just have to tackle my diet and fitness which, since moving to America, have both been appalling.

Let's do this!

Did September 2017 whizz by for you too?

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