Friday Favourites

vantage-points

As I’m writing this Friday Favourite’s post it’s 10am already which means I’ve been up for about 3 hours. In those 3 hours I haven’t managed to achieve very much other than haul myself out of bed for a lift up to Belfast, watch an episode of Gossip Girl and stalk the Thrifts and Threads blog.

For the last 3 days I’ve managed to be mega-productive when it comes to writing blog posts but this morning I woke up with no motivation whatsoever. The lack of motivation comes down to a combination of factors – a series of sleepless nights with little to no sleep along with a few mental and physical health realities over the last few days. With that in mind, as tempting as it was to go on a Netflix binge this morning I knew I would feel so much worse later on if I didn’t move from the sofa and write a blog post.

Even though I’m currently trying to grow my little blog into something useful and enjoyable for people to read and as much as I like to add value for others to my posts, it’s important for me to make sure that I get value out of blogging too. Otherwise, it would end up becoming a chore and I would lose sight of why I love writing in the first place. That’s why I try to do these Friday Favourite posts every week, to remind myself that it isn’t all bad and that with a little bit of positive thinking you can hopefully turn your day around.

Although it may not be overly useful to anyone else to read about the things that make me happy each week, it helps me to try and be more positive on day’s like today where I want to do nothing more than curl up in my bed and hide from the world.

If you’re also feeling miserable today or any day for that matter, take 5 minutes to just think about 3 things you’re grateful for or made you smile. I know some people will turn their noses up at this and that’s totally fine but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, you’d be surprised.

1.Editorial Calendar

Last week I sat down with my laptop and iCal and created a new calendar dedicated entirely to my blog. I created a colour coding system including Twitter chats, Blog posts, shoot days, events and a few others. I keep a list on my phone of topics I want to cover on my blog so using that I was able to organise my blog post ideas into different categories, marked the ones that were urgent, planned a new shopping series (#tuesdayshoesday – an edit of a different shoe trend posted weekly) and managed to fit them all into my calendar so that I have content planned Monday-Friday until the end of December.

Having an editorial calendar means that I can sit down with my laptop every morning and know what I’m going to write about that day. It saves me some thinking time and being able to check it anytime means that I can think ahead and plan my content more effectively. Although I skipped Monday (oops) I’ve managed to stick to my editorial calendar for this week and blog 4 out the 5 days. I’m pretty proud of that and for that reason my beloved Editorial Calendar has made it to the top of my Friday Favourites list.

2. #MYDV8 with guest speaker Suzanne Jackson, sosueme.ie

In a way this was another proud blog moment. This is the first event that I’ve been invited to as a blogger, not knowing the organiser. I didn’t set up my blog because I wanted to be able to go to a lot of glam events or receive freebies but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the little of that side of blogging that I’ve experienced. Until recently I hadn’t really been to many blogger events other than BLOGGERCONF last year and a few other bits and pieces I had heard about through former employers. I’m aware that this wasn’t a blogger exclusive event and that the invites were extended to a fair amount of people but that didn’t stop me from feeling proud both when I saw the invite appear in my inbox but also when I was listed as a blogger on the guestlist. People don’t realise how much work actually goes into a blog so sometimes it really is the little things like these that matter.

This wasn’t only the first reason that the #MYDV8 event has made it to my Friday Favourites. Prior to the event I went for coffee and a dander with fellow blogger Holly Boyce of Clothed In Strength. Not only is she a fellow blogger but we also went to school together where she was the year above. It’s so nice to meet other bloggers and I’m really enjoying meeting new people in general at the moment. I was so glad when Holly reached out to me and suggested we go to the event together, making the whole evening much less intimidating and much more enjoyable. If you aren’t already you need to get following Holly’s blog for honest, beautiful posts about marriage, lifestyle and of course her amazing outfit posts.

Lastly, a little moment of appreciation for Suzanne Jackson. Suzanne was probably one of the first Irish bloggers that I actively followed. She’s so driven and ambitious and clearly works very hard in life to get what she wants, a perfect example of how hard work pays off. As I listened to Suzanne talk us through her journey from losing her job when the recession hit and feeling completely lost in terms of her career path to becoming one of Ireland’s most successful bloggers, starting her own business and becoming a complete make up maven, it was the perfect motivational push I needed on a Tuesday evening.

3. Missguided deliveries

Last week Missguided caught us all off guard with a surprise 50% off everything sale. If you follow me on social media you’ll know I’ve got a whole lot of love for the Misguided brand. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine that I keep going back to no matter how hard I try to fight it. With the change in seasons and a sudden drop in temperature I’ve really struggled to work out how to dress over the last few weeks but thankfully, I was able to stock up on some winter essentials – chunky knits, boots and jumpers were the name of the game this week.

With such a high demand on the site that there was an online queue to get in and after several technical difficulties of continuously getting locked out of the site, products selling out and the site freezing, I had expected there to be a delay in delivery. I was pleasantly surprised when my misguided parcel arrived mid week and its all I’ve been wearing ever since. A more materialistic favourite this week but a new outfit always has the ability to make a girl smile.

Missguided have done it again this week with 50% off everything in honour of Black Friday. Check out my Black Friday post here for all of the details and the best discount codes as well as top tips for winning at online Black Friday shopping this year.

4. Lean In

I met with Nuala, the regional leader of Lean In Belfast a few weeks ago for what turned out to be a very motivational coffee date. She told me all about the Lean In organisation and how it works as a support community for women. I was keen to learn more about Lean In and luckily, she told me about an event they had coming up covering Stress Awareness in the workplace. Coincidentally, my mum happened to be on the panel for the event so that’s where we headed to last night.

The event was hosted by Gemma-Louise Bond (That Belfast Girl) who I’ve mentioned before on here and manages to impress me more and more with each time I meet her. Her courage to get up in front of room of people and talk about her experience with mental health and stress in her professional life was truly inspiring.

Other highlights included a mindfulness session with Warren York who provided the location for the event and a Q&A with a panel of professionals about managing stress at work.

It was so refreshing to be in a room with people who brought nothing but support and encouragement. Although Gemma and Warren both provided a few solutions to dealing with stress, what I took from the event was more that Lean In isn’t about providing women with all of the answers but providing support just by talking about these issues and knowing you’re in it together. The whole evening left me feeling very uplifted and ready to take on the world. I already can’t wait for the next event!

5. Gilmore Girls

Now that I’m forced to think about it, how could I possibly start my day in such a bad mood? Not only is it shopping galore today with all of Black Friday deals going on but today is the day that the new Gilmore Girls is released on netflix.

To celebrate the occasion as well as the birthday of a certain best friend and number one blog supporter, we’re having the ultimate Friday night in binge watching Gilmore Girls, eating our weight in baked goods and pampering ourselves silly. B-U-Z-Z-I-N-G!!!!

Enjoy your weekend.

Niamh ♥

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