What a year 2019 was eh? I feel like it went by so quickly with each month flying by faster than the month before and while I’m going to end the year on a positive note and chat about the highs, please know that there were plenty of lows too! I’ll save those for another day! I love doing these posts every year and this will be the fifth year I’ve done them, so in no particular order, here are 19 cool things that happened in 2019! 1. I came 2nd in Image Business of Beauty Awards!
This was mad because I was up against some whopper competition and I genuinely wasn’t expecting to place at all as I’m the absolute geriatric of the blogging world. The Image BOB awards is always one of my favourite nights out because it’s great craic, so many of my pals go and I get to play dress up! I bought this dress on Simply Be and loved how floaty and comfy it was and I only had to tan from the shoulders down. RESULT! 2. I did a talk for Fuschia on social media bits!
Back in October, I did a talk for some Fuschia stockists on how to utilise social media for sales and brand awareness and this was so far outside of my comfort zone, but is something I’m so passionate about and could talk about for ages. I only got to chat for 40 minutes and tried my best to give as much value to everyone as possible, but we barely touched on what I wanted to get across, so I’ll need to do more of them in 2020 and pass on my knowledge! 3. I made some new friends and had gas time with older pals!
I often wonder if I wasn’t doing something like this, would it be hard to make friends. I’m jammy enough to get to go to events and meet new people online and then offline, and the shenanigans of 2019 helped me meet new pals and solidify friendships. I met one of my good pals Lisa McGowan (you might know her better as Lisa’s Lust List) through Instagram and we chat almost every day, and I’ve been friends with Carly Colgan-Bates (from Live Lavishly) for ages now! A few months ago when I was going through a bad patch and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to continue blogging, both of these gals gave me whopper advice which was like turning a lightbulb on for me and I don’t think they’ll ever know how grateful I am to them. It’s gals like those two who make the internet a deadly place for me. I’ve so many other friends that have brought loads of joy into my life this year that we could be here for the day! 4. I was a guest on some whopper podcasts
I think 2019 was the year I discovered the world of podcasts and got stuck into them so much. I learned loads from ones on working for yourself, on working in the beauty industry and in social media. Not for a second did I think I’d actually be on any, but in 2019, the Irish podcast industry really stepped up a gear and I was a guest on two episodes of Aisling’s podcast, Private Education. I don’t talk about my private life or sex online, so this was a huge step for me. I was completely out of my comfort zone doing them, but I tried something new, and how else am I going to get better at something? I chatted with Esther O’Moore Donohue about life after leaving my job and going freelance and waffled about all things beauty with Vicki and Valerie on Stellar Magazine’s Podcast The Glow Up. And my final podcast of the year was a big long chat with one of my good pals Orla McConnon on her recently launched Adulting With Friends. Keep up the deadly work gals! 5. I did an Image event with McCauley Pharmacy!
Now while public speaking still gives me pains in my stomach with the fear and anxiety, this is the first one I did that I had no fear, no anxiety, no pains, nada and that’s because I was doing it with my pal Aisling Keenan! She played a blinder as the MC and we had the absolute chats about all things beauty in McCauley Pharmacy in Carlow and it was one of my favourite jobs ever! More of those please! 6. I abseiled down the side of Croke Park!
This was so much craic! My lovely friend Vivi from L’Occitane asked if I wanted to do the abseil in aid of Sight Savers and it was always going to be a yes. It was for an amazing cause and it turns out, I’m not afraid of heights! And typing this out just reminded me I have Go-Pro footage of the day that I need to find and watch and I know 95% of it will be of Catherine’s face as I kept going to her “is the Go Pro on?” 7. I went backstage at Christmas FM!
In the office, we listen to Christmas FM every day in December and when they asked if I wanted to come in and see where it all happens, it was the quickest YES ever! I brought my festive loving pal Kim with me too as I knew she’d be just as excited as me and we had a ball! That’s also for an amazing cause and this year they teamed up with Barretstown and I can’t wait to see how much they raised this year. 8. I went to London Fashion Week!
I. Went. To. London. Fashion. Week. ME? I went with CND and got to go backstage at two shows to see what the nail trends were and lads, I absolutely loved it! It was mayhem, I was completely 100% not cool enough to be there and yet I was in my element! 9. I went back to Provence!
Joanne and I brought Mam to Provence in July as her birthday/Mother’s Day present and her bestie Geraldine came too. We used Aix en Provence as our base and then each day we headed out on a day trip to a village and lavender fields. I just love that part of France so much and somehow I need to make it happen that I go again this year, even if it’s by myself. I went the previous year with Catherine and fell in love with it, knowing I’d be back at some point. And it was while I was wandering through the gardens of the L’Occitane Hotel while Mam and Geraldine were getting their facials that I had one of those pinch me moments. How lucky was I to go to France twice, to be in the peaceful countryside. I’ll be back France! 10. I went on some whopper press trips I turned down a few press trips that weren’t a right fit for me, but got to go on some truly gorgeous ones this year. I went to Finn Lough with ELF Cosmetics and shared a bubble dome with my pal Jen Morris, one of the funniest people on the planet.
I galavanted across the country to the Ice House Hotel in Mayo who had become a Yon-Ka spa and had much needed laughs and down time there. I was in the middle of a bout of really intense anxiety around that time, so spent the drive down doing breathing exercises which helped loads.
To celebrate the launch of the reformulated Ormedic range from Image skincare, we headed down to Monart Spa and again, had laughs and a gorgeous treatment with some of my Image favourites.
I also went to London and then Bath with L’Occitane to learn all about the Plastic Odyssey initiative which was just incredible and I know when I’m in London next, I’ll be visiting the Regent Street branch and probably moving in.
11. I had a lovely Christmas with the family!
Usually it’s just me, Mam and Joanne for Christmas, but this year we had Claire, Stephen and Matthew over which was so much fun! Seeing Christmas through Matthew’s eyes was lovely and we got to play with him loads and have all the chats. We never got our photo in front of the Christmas tree, but that’s next year’s job! 12. I hit 50k on Instagram & got verified! Pure vanity metrics, but a nice milestone to reach and also, I don’t know what the benefits are of being verified, other than being called a little blue tick. 13. I did some whopper collabs!
I loved each and every collaboration I did this year and poured my guts into them. I was so aware that the last few months were quite spon con heavy, but it’s just the way this industry works, it’s all busy and then quiet for months. I turned down the ones that weren’t a good fit for me and got to be super creative. And hopefully that will continue into 2020 gals. 14. I rearranged my office!
I took a notion to move things around in the office as it was getting a bit claustrophobic, and while it’s grand, I’ll be giving it a full makeover in 2020. And gals, I’m saying it now, my main resolution for the new year is to keep the office tidy for more than 24 hours at a time ok?! I’ve been pinning ideas on my Pinterest board with things I want to do to it next year, but I’m happy I changed it up! 15. I invested in a new camera!
This was badly needed for me and I love nothing more than investing in new equipment. I still love my Olympus Pen, but wanted something that was crisper and clearer for filming, so bought the Canon 80D body and next year I’ll be investing in new lenses. And a new tripod. 16. I realised stuff!
I won’t go into this loads, but in the words of Kylie Jenner, 2019 was the year of just realising stuff. For me personally, professionally, with friendships, with my career, I learned so much about what I want and what I don’t want. I made it a goal of 2019 to be offline a bit more because it was taking over everything, and in doing that, I got the mental clarity I needed. So now I just have to put all of those realisations into action in 2020! 17. I hit 9 years of blogging!
I don’t know how I’m still doing it, but 9 years later, and Lovely Girlie Bits is still going strong! I feel like the blog needs to make a comeback, I need to up my Instagram game, I need to get cracking on YouTube and there are like 5 other things I want to do that still involve everything that Lovely Girlie Bits is about. Thank you so much for the support gals, you’ve no idea how much I appreciate each and every one of you! 18. I did some deadly flatlay shoots! I got to live my dream a few times this year and was a director/stylist (not even sure if they’re the right words) for a few flatlay shoots for brands we look after in The Publicity Loft. I loved every step from the planning, the mood board, the prop lists, the shopping, the preparation, the shoot, seeing the photos afterwards and I want to do more of them in 2020. I like to think I’ve a good eye and know what makes a photo work and with my new tripod, I want to do them for myself too! 19. I survived another year of being self employed!
Barely! 2019 aged me so much with the stress and worry of when I’d be paid for work. Being a freelancer might sound cushy, and it has its benefits, but chasing up on invoices had my heart broke. I learned so much again, and in February, that will mark 2 years being self employed! I have so many plans and ideas I want to make happen over the next 12 months, so I need to get cracking now. Thank you to everyone who interacts with my posts, who sends emails, DMs, leaves lovely comments. Your interaction and support is why I’m able to do this and why I had a deadly year. I hope you all have a happy new year and lets get stuck into 2020 shall we?!