Friday Favourites: 13 January 2017

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a Friday Favourites post. I think sometimes I get wrapped up in the fact that this feature isn’t one that is overly helpful to anyone but myself so when Friday comes around and I’m either exhausted from the week or just dying to relax and enjoy the weekend, it’s easy to convince myself that it’s ok to skip this one. Except that when I do skip it I’m annoyed at myself for not putting the effort into writing a blog post every day (of the working week) – a resolution I made after blogging most days of December. Although there are times when I really can’t be bothered to put a post together, writing and creating content is something that I really love and I know once I get started, I’ll thank myself later. It also helps me to unwind a bit better because I’m able to get most of my thoughts out on a page and process them, however heavy or light hearted they end up being. I’m an awful sleeper and anything the will help quiet my mind even in the slightest way is a blessing. Anyway, the whole reason I started this feature was to take time to reflect on the joys of the week that passed, however big or small, if they added positivity of any kind to my week, I want to make an effort to acknowledge them.

In addition to that I read Chloe Plumstead’s post during my lunch break today where she talked about her biggest and most important blogging tip. SPOILER: It’s about authenticity. She talks about how she found herself getting lost in the numbers of her blog, writing things for the benefit of other people instead of writing what she herself wanted to write and that’s what this post is to me. It’s a chance for me to get a little bit more chatty with those of you that read this and to literally just ramble on and write what comes to mind rather than overanalyzing the entire thing and comparing it to online articles by high-flying fashion writers (if you read my post about comparing yourself to others, you’ll know this something I’m working on), something which I am not – yet.

Friends

This week I am so very grateful for the friends I have around me. Having just moved to a new city where I know no one, the settling in phase can be both exciting and very lonely. Whether you’ve moved to a smaller city like Dublin or gone all out and moved to New York, the unnerving feeling of settling in is one and the same. At the weekend, I got wound up by something pretty minor and silly. It was just one of those little things that pushed a button and I needed to rant and get it out of my system. I’m pretty lucky that I not only have friends who will pick up and reply instantly when I text them asking if they’re free for a chat but will also call me out on being silly and bring me back to reality. With that said, they do it very gently and they quickly have me laughing as if nothing ever happened. It can be tough when your best friends live in other countries and are scattered all over the place but thank god for FaceTime because god knows where my sanity would be without it.

Rediscovering #Girlboss podcasts

I actually can’t remember exactly when I first started listening to Sophia Amorouso’s #Girlboss podcasts but I know I was pretty late to the game. I’d read Sophia’s book and loved it so when I finally stumbled upon her podcast series it was like all of my Christmases and birthdays came at once. Ok, bit dramatic Niamh but I do stand by the fact that it was an amazing discovery.

I like to try and surround myself with the right kind of people, it’s not alway easy but it’s definitely something that makes a noticeable difference when I make the effort. Social media is where I stay true to this idea the most. Even though I’m not physically surrounding myself with these people, given the amount of time we spend on social media and the internet, I like to at least try and make sure that everyone I follow is adding something positive to my life. Erika Fox of Retro Flame touched on this in a blog post and like most things she does, it inspired me to take a similar approach and make a positive edit to the people I follow. Being the ‘Girlboss’ that she is, this of course included bringing more of Sophia’s positive and driven energy into my life so every morning, without fail, when I set off on my commute to work (a 25 minute walk followed by 2 stops on the Dart) I stick my earphones in and listen to the #Girlboss podcasts. Each podcasts consists of an interview with a different inspiring #Girlboss, talking about their story and how they got to where they are today. I do the same in the evenings when I’m tired after a day at work but know that I still have a lot to do. It’s the perfect boost of motivation to start and end my day with.

YouTube

YouTube is another thing that I was really late to the game with. I don’t know why, but until recently I just didn’t get the appeal. I didn’t have the patience or the attention span to sit down and watch a YouTube video, especially with influencers/vloggers that I had never even heard of before.

It’s probably stemmed a lot from my love for snapchat. Snapchat is a chance to get to know influencers and bloggers a little better as they take you through an unedited version of their day-to-day life. It’s why I’ve started using snapchat more as a blogger (@niamhserena), in the hope that people feel they can get to know me a bit better and hopefully then be able to relate to my writing more (Disclaimer: Fully aware that I’m by no means a big enough blogger to talk this way or to justify this but everyone has to start somewhere and whether there’s 5 or 500 of you, it’s nice to know who is reading your work as well as whose work you’re reading).

Over Christmas and throughout December, a lot of the familiar faces of influencers that I love seeing disappeared to YouTube in the name of vlogmas. It mean’t that I had no choice but to go to YouTube to catch up with them. Through that I then discovered a few different YouTubers who I now really enjoy watching. One of which, I didn’t have to go very far to find because it’s the channel of my own brother. It started after he put up a vlog of his trip to New York, a city I’m head-over-heels obsessed with despite having never been. It was then that I realised the true skill that he had for vlogging. Then came the new fancy camera he got for Christmas and lo and behold us, Crawford-Walker’s were suddenly the stars of the show. What I love about Callum’s vlogs is that he keeps them short and sweet so the art of what he’s filming isn’t lost. The footage is kept fairly raw and although I would never admit it to his face (if you’re reading this Callum, forget you ever read this next sentence) but his taste in music isn’t bad and works pretty well in creating an appropriate atmosphere in his vlogs. If you feel like snooping on what a Christmas day in the C-W household looks like or how to spend 72 hours in New York, head to his channel linked here to witness his skill for yourself.

The Perks Of The Job

There are many perks to working for a magazine – the number one perk being the fact that I’m doing just that, working for a magazine, something I’ve dreamed about since getting my first subscription to Marie Claire as a Christmas present 6 or 7 years ago. There are other, very lovely perks and don’t get me wrong, I’m not in it for the freebies but equally, who am I to complain when a few free products head my way? I’m grateful for every product that comes my way through a colleague clearing out there desk or a general clear out of the office. Both this week and last week, I’ve managed to go home with a few new make up products, sometimes they just appear on my desk and make my day. I’m not someone who is overly talented in the make up department but that doesn’t stop me lapping up as many make up products as I can, in the hope that I’ll wake up a make up pro someday. That day is yet to come but I’m holding out for it, very patiently. It should be any day now along with my goal of being able to reach the end of the bed – something I’ve been striving for since I woke up on my 4th birthday.

Products I’ve been loving include a No 7 bronzer, Loreal blush/highlight/bronzer palette and a translucent powder by No7 – a product that beauty blogger TooDollyMakeup repeatedly recommends and if it’s what the pros are using then obviously I need it in my makeup bag.

And that’s that, a round up of the little things that brought a little or large amount of joy to my week. I’m writing this on the train home to Belfast to spend the weekend with some of my favourite people, most of all my beloved dog who better be as excited to see me as I am to see him. No doubt the makings of this weekend will create a lot of content and positivity to carry me through until the next edition of Friday Favourites.

Photos by Kellie Scott

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Niamh ♥

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