Monday, December 31, 2018

18 cool things that happened in 2018!

I keep saying this, but 2018 was the fastest year of my life!  I feel like so much happened, I was playing catch up for the majority of it and while a lot of less cool things went on behind the scenes, I wanted to continue this yearly series and end 2018 on a high.  So behold 18 cool things that happened in 2018.  It's worth noting that a lot more deadly things happened this year and it was hard to whittle it down, so that's the sign of a good year wha!

1. I went freelance!

This is not a visual representation of my office, my desk, my anything ok bye.  We all know my desk has never looked this good or styled or clean!
This is the main cool thing that happened this year.  And because of it, it was the best and the most stressful year of my life and something I'll go into in another post or video because freelance life is mad.  Pure mad!  My last two jobs were so regimented and full of routine and even a year later, I still feel guilty if I'm not sitting at my desk at 9am.  I forget that I sometimes work until 10pm, but still, that mindset is sill proving tough to change, but I'm getting there.  I have a lot more flexibility now, a lot less financial stability, but I've been challenged so much in terms of creativity and I still pinch myself as to how this hobby has turned into a job.  The amount of support I've gotten this year from friends, people who follow me online, creative pals and mentors has been incredible, so I'm looking forward to seeing if I can make it work even better this coming year.

2. We went to the Strictly tour in Belfast!


I think I put this in every year because it's one of my favourite things to do with Mam and Joanne.  I'm raging that they're not bringing the Strictly tour back to Ireland this year, but for Christmas last year, I surprised the girdles with front row tickets to the show in Belfast.  I figured I might as well treat them while I had the money!   It's the best night out with all the sparkles and dancing and the absolute craic and I don't care what happens next year, we're going back to it no matter where they are.  I feel like the show this year flew by and I didn't fully appreciate it, so next year, come September, don't be asking me to do anything on a Saturday night because I'm gonna appreciate the jaysis out of Strictly.

3. I went to London with Penneys and met Alex Steinherr!


I took an Instastory of Alex and me and never saved it as I'm a thick, but sure listen, here's a lovely one of me and my pal Louise O'Reilly on the trip.  I'm Louise's Instagram Husband when we're together at events and I love her loads!   Yes, I was the closest I've ever been to puking on a bus due to the ridiculous travel sickness I get at the drop of a hat, but I had the best time over in London with a great group of women and I got to meet the gorgeous Alex Steinherr and hear all about her skincare collaboration in person.  We'd so many laughs and I didn't puke.  Those are the signs of a whopper trip if you ask me.

4. I went to Provence with my pal Catherine


Catherine and I took a notion last year to galavant off to the lavender fields in Provence during the summer and it was the best craic ever!  Who'd have known meeting a gas bridie on the internet would lead to daily chats full of dirty memes, inspiration, advice, brainstorming and a gas holiday!  We got to stay in the L'Occitane Hotel one of the nights which was just incredible and the perfect ending to a whopper few days.  We had so many laughs, lots of which didn't make Instastories and I can't wait for our next trip.  It's in the planning stages, so stay tuned!


5. I learned loads. I mean LOADS!


Eight years into this blogging (now content creation) journey and I'm still learning so much all the time.  I learned to say no to things that weren't a right fit for me and said no to people I felt were trying to take advantage of me.  I said yes to things that were totally out of my comfort zone.  Now I allowed fear to take hold a lot, which is something I'm working on,  but I also learned that I'm capable of feckin deadly things despite the amount of self doubt that creeps up every day.  I could do a post on this itself I tell ya and maybe I will sure.  This self employment thing is, as Aladdin said, a whole new world, and while I've learned loads about it, I've learned even more about myself.  Ok that's very deep and meaningful altogether!


6. I did a bit of presenting with Catherine for L'Occitane!


This was something that was totally out of our comfort zone, letting someone else film us, tell us what to say and edit, because Catherine and I are usually in control of everything when we're doing our own videos.  But we did it and I'm so glad I got to do something new, terrifying and exciting, with my pal and for a brand I love so much.  Lads, we had cue cards and a telly prompter.... Verdy fancy!

7. I stayed in the Shelbourne with Kerastase!


I'm still not over this....  To celebrate the launch of the new Elixir Ultime oils from Kerastase, I got my hair done in Zeba using the new products (we won't talk about how I spilled Prosecco all over the floor with my pal Niamh),  I had the most beautiful dinner where I didn't spill a single thing on myself, and slept in the Shelbourne.  I've gone for afternoon tea in the Shelbourne with Mam and Joanne a few times over the years but have never slept there so that's one thing ticked off the bucket list!  I've been using the Kerastase products since then and whenever I whip them out, I always think how lucky I was to get to do that.


8. I got instant highlights!


Still on the hair theme, back in April, I was invited in to get the Instant Highlights with L'Oreal and little did I know how much they'd transform my hair, my face, my everything!  I'm going to get the mop chopped in the new year and will be getting the highlights again because I loved how natural they looked, and when I went to Spain shortly after getting them done, they lightened even more and I was obsessed.

9. I pinched myself with my Urban Decay Naked Cherry palette!


I'm putting this as a cool thing because it showed me at my truest form - making a dirty looking eject out of myself and it gave a lot of people a laugh!  I hold things to my face all the time in videos and have been doing that for years, but this is the first time a product has hit back!  I spend hours a month filming and editing those one minute videos for Instagram and of course this is the video that performed the best, typical!  You can watch it here in all its glory and save it for days where you need to watch a 42 year old thick in action!  My aim with my corner of the internet is to tell you about beauty products, but also to give you a giggle and distract you from any crap going on in your life and I think I did that this year.

10. I met Charlotte Tilbury again!


I just love Charlotte and think she's gas, and what's even more gas is a room full of fangirls with press and influencers all losing their mind!  She totally does the whole "Darling" thing and I feckin love it.  And despite being sent bits to play with, I still buy my own Tilbury products during the year so I do.  For the most part, I love the products and I must do a video on my hits and misses from the brand.

11. I started doing 1 minute Instagram videos!




I'm a huge fan of one minute makeup videos on Instagram, but found there was nobody doing makeup that I could do myself.  I don't have much skill when it comes to cut creases and winged liner, I don't bake my concealer or use both cream and powder contour, and I don't really wear false lashes.  Now I love watching videos where people do those things, but it's just not what I wear on a daily basis, so I figured I would show people how I use the same eyeshadows in each look no matter what eyeshadow palette I have, I show what the products are like applied with no filter and just show that you don't have to have any skills to look half decent after applying your makeup!  I love doing them and plan to keep em going next year.

12. I upped my photography game!


I've had my Olympus Pen EPL7 (the don't make this anymore, the EPL8 is the nearest to it) for two years now and it's taken me until the second half of this year to learn how to use the settings and take it off auto!  I know I have an eye for product shots and I want to expand my skills next year and go outside of beauty, but in 2018, I did stop motions, cinemagraphs, took shots for brands, had my photos featured in Stellar magazine and in 2019, I'm going to go beyond that.  It's something I'm so passionate about and I'll keep doing behind the scenes on Instastories so you can see how my brain works!  One of my goals for next year is to learn even more and invest in more equipment, to upskill and to practice taking photos of all the things!

13. I met Trish McEvoy!


I go to a lot of events.  Probably too many to be honest, but when Trish McEvoy came over to Ireland, I'd no idea how different this event would be.  Trish was fabulous, so witty and empowering and while she showed us her products in action, we went around the room and everyone spoke about what they'd done over the last 12 months.  Of course I went into panic mode because I always get so nervous speaking in front of a crowd, but it was so lovely because I knew most of the ladies in the room, having met them at events over the years, but we never really got to have proper chats.  It was great hearing what everyone had been up to and we all opened up about things we were going through and I came away feeling really uplifted and positive.  So I can't wait for her to come back next year!

14. I looked like a lady at the Image awards!


You know me, I'm all about that hun bun and fleece life, but going to the Business of Beauty awards means I need to embrace the glitz and the glam of it all!  So I wore a dress I'd bought the year before on Asos and hoped it would fit, I curled my hair and again, didn't spill anything down myself.  Result.

15.  I worked in The Loop in the airport!


This was a true pinch me moment, getting to work in The Loop in Dublin Airport for an afternoon.  I've always wanted to work in the airport and I know 100% my Dad was looking down on me that day thinking it was verdy cool altogether.  He loved the airport and we'd always have to be there a good 3 hours before our flight so he could soak up the atmosphere, so he'd have gotten great craic out of me doing my thing there.  And it was so fitting because wandering around The Loop means that my holidays have started, so we always factor in time for said wandering when heading away!

16. I got to know some gas bridies even more!


I'm not going to start naming names or else I'll forget someone and there'll be killings!  But 2018 was the year I got to know some deadly pals even more.  These are the bridies who make me cry laughing every time I sit beside them at events, they're the ones who I nearly end up fighting with because they're too kind and give me lifts home despite them living miles away.  They're the ones who grab my bum at events and we have no photographic evidence of being together because we don't even think of the phones when we're having the chats.  They're the ones I go for a cheeky McDonalds with after being at a fancy event, and the ones I stand on the street with for aaaages after leaving an event and saying I'm too tired to go for a drink.  They're the ones who've been my advisors, my shoulders to cry on and who I've celebrated those little milestones with.  They're the ones who I knew from one side of the blogging industry and now get to work with them on the other side of it and have listened to Christmas songs with since August.  They're the ones who interact with my content (little in joke there!), who I sat beside on a plane and snorted with laughter like never before, they're the ones who when I hear the music from Magic Mike, I see them lying on the ground in France doing their bits and they're the ones who inspire me, who make me want to work harder and who I wish that 2019 is going to be a deadly year for.


17. I did some whopper collabs!


At the start of 2018, I wrote down a list of brands I wanted to work with and some of them happened!  Next year I'll be doing the same, but will keep going back to the list because I kept forgetting who was on it this year.  Shurrup yew, I'm old!  I like to try and do something deadly with my collabs and test my creativity and I'm really proud of what I did this year.  I poured my guts into each job, making them entertaining, informative and helpful for those having a look at them.  The support on those jobs has never and will never go unnoticed and while me getting paid to work is a good thing(!) but it also gives me the financial freedom to create a load of unpaid content for you to enjoy.  If I can pay my bills and go travelling a bit (and get photo props), that'll do me.  The rest is the cherry on top.

18. I reached 8 years of blogging!


I still think it's mad that I'm doing this since 2010.  It feels like a lifetime ago and yet it's flown by.  But I can safely say that starting this blog is the best thing I've ever done.  I've found something I'm good at, I've learned some new skills, I've met incredible people and gotten to do the maddest things! I never ever take it for granted that I've found something I love so much because I know for some people it can be hard trying new things to see what you enjoy, so I know I'm lucky.  I've also worked hard to get here and while it's nowhere near a job like a doctor or a teacher, my little corner of the internet is where people come if they want a distraction from stuff going on in their lives, if they want to see what mascara they should try out next, or if they want to look at pretty product photography!  It's something I'm incredibly proud of and I think that's pretty cool!

And thus ends this year's cool things wot happened this year!  I can't wait to get stuck into 2019 lads. Thank you for all the support, the interaction, the chats, the laughs, the errthang.  Yizzer deadly so yiz are.

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