They say life is what happens when you are busy making plans and in March, that was certainly true. If life was a marketing calendar, then Q1 is over and out – ready for Q2’s ambitions and plans. March, like the rest of the year, was filled with decisions of the sweetest variety: shopping for bridesmaid dresses, bridal shoes, wedding colour schemes and completing invite designs (spoiler: they’re amazing) After being engaged for years, it’s hard to believe that it’s just over four months until the big day: shit’s getting real. Very real.
With my mind firmly on wedding plans, I’m stating the obvious here (and echoing many social media statuses), but how is it April already? So, without further ado, here’s March in review.
Paying it Forward
Reading that sub-title, I hope you’re cringing as much as I am typing it but it is what it is. A thrift-loving friend of mine invited me to join a Facebook group at the beginning of March entitled ‘Pay It Forward – Fabulous Fashion Giveaway’ and it’s exactly that: people list items of clothing they want to gift. I’ve joined the group with real zeal. Having been fortunate enough to ‘win’ some gifted items – I’ve started to pay it forward by listing items I’ve been gifted in the past through writing Polkadot Pink, or gifted at events.
Of course, you want to know what I’ve won? Well… a brand new Ruby Woo Mac Lipstick, a cobalt blue Ted Baker dress and a gorgeous, wool tartan scarf. All items I’ll use and love!
During March, I replied to a blogger opportunity and before I know it, an email landed in my inbox inviting me to experience a few days glamping in the Wye Valley, South Wales. I’ve always believed it’s important to do things outside of your comfort zone (remember, “The Power of Saying Yes“?) and what could propel me further out of this zone than glamping, for FOUR DAYS!
Luckily, Gina, of Culture Bean, is joining me for this expected culture shock (no WiFi, guys, no WiFi!) So, ahead of spending four days together, we decided to meet up for a day in Leek, in the Peak District.
Why Leek? I’d seen the picturesque Getliffes Yard pop up on my social timelines and had pictured Leek as a place of cobbled streets, antique shops and cosy coffee shops. My imagination wasn’t too far wrong from reality – antique shops, coffee chains but not too many cobbled streets. Unexpectedly, we did find plenty (and I mean, plenty) of charity shops and I discovered Gina may like charity shops as much as I do. We both came away with a few great finds: I found a crisp, white River Island oversized shirt, perfect for spring, while Gina found a pair of vintage looking loafers and a Fat Face needle cord skirt: all with change from a tenner!
Which left us with plenty of spends for a mid-afternoon treat: tea and cake in Getliffes Yard’s aptly named tearoom: ‘Tea-Cake’. A family run business, it’s also a boutique selling everything from gifts and homewares to homemade tray bakes – the perfect place to rest our feet for a good chinwag in the fine company of lemon drizzle and Victoria sponge. Nom.
March was when I discovered Opera North (and opera in general) when I went to watch Madama Butterfly at The Lowry, Manchester. As a classically trained pianist (you knew, I told you in this post), I’m familiar with Puccini’s work but not of Madama Butterfly, despite the Humming Chorus being a piece of music that I’ve loved for many years so it was refreshing to see a show that I knew nothing about the story line. It took a while to grow comfortable reading the words of the opera, while trying to watch what was happening on stage – but I’m definitely a convert!
YMS LDN (Youth Marketing Strategy)
Mid-week, mid-March, I made the journey to London to experience YMS (Youth Marketing Strategy) the world’s largest Youth Marketing Festival at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. Invited as guests of Student Beans, I headed down with my colleagues expecting an old-fashioned style conference and found something completely different – guest speakers passionate about marketing to Millennials and Gen Z.
It was a presentation from Hannah Morrish (part of the community team at The Student Room) about how the media portrays Gen Z that I found really thought provoking. Renaming Gen Z, to Gen FU, Hannah stated it’s ‘time to call bullshit’ on the media presenting Millennials and Gen Z as snowflakes for the sake of a quick story. To me, the presentation lacked depth, used swear words to sensationalise but it was thought provoking and on a slow news day, I invite you to spot the lazy journalism too!
Undeterred by the dreaded Beast from the East, when John and I were invited to try whisky blending with Chivas Regal, we thought if nothing else, it would be something different to do together on a Sunday evening. Even though John isn’t a fan of whisky, we both enjoyed learning about the history of Chivas Regal and making our own whisky concoction! Thinking of going? Read my review, here: ‘Whisky Blending with Chivas Regal, Manchester‘.
Get Your Shit Together
And, finally! After mentioning in February’s post how I was working on strategies to increase my productivity further, I finally polished off Sarah Knight’s ‘Get Your Shit Together’ in one glorious, Easter weekend. Although I didn’t find it as inspiring as promised, I enjoyed Knight’s tone of voice and at times, found myself laughing out loud into my cup of coffee.
Since reading this book, I’ve moved onto Kara Loewentheil’s podcasts during my daily commute – finding ‘How to Get Shit Done’ the most useful I’ve listened to so far. There are some useful theories, teamed with practical suggestions. So far, so good! If I manage to publish April’s review posts at the beginning of May, you’ll know it’s worked. Wish me luck!