A look at the week that was and a little insight into the #bloglife, sharing things I just can’t share anywhere else!
What’s on my mind this week…
There hasn’t been a TWTW for a few week’s now, I’m sorry. The truth is, I had some important family matters come up that took precedence over everything else. A lot of wonderful things have come from me leaving my office job but one of the best has to be the perspective it has given me. I didn’t realise it at the time but when I worked a regular job it really was the biggest thing in my life. It wasn’t just working 9 to 5 then coming home and switching off, it was getting ready for work, making lunches, thinking about the frustrating things that happened, missed opportunities, co-worker conflicts and so much more. It affected me far more than I ever realised.
Now, having left, I have a different perspective of what is important to me and a completely different lifestyle. I was very thankful to be able to put my business on hold all together and do what I needed to do over the last few weeks, without any worry or guilt. I was also thankful for the opportunity to reflect on my life and realise I have no regrets so far, that I’m really happy with where I am and what I’m doing right now.
One big thing I’ve been thinking about the last few days is how important it is that Matt and I keep doing this for ourselves. We don’t run our business to make anyone else happy, gain their approval or prove something – we do it because it makes us happy. Likes, followers, subscribers and viewers don’t mean anything if you aren’t fulfilled from the work you do. Luckily for us, we love what we do each day and that genuine love flows through into our work and, hopefully, connects with you. That’s what matters, the connection, not the numbers.
We made a Christmas Tree out of books, as a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to a plastic tree. Let me know if you’d like a dedicated, step-by-step blog post on how we did it!
It hasn’t been the ideal end of the year, but I’m grateful my travel schedule was clear so I could be in Brisbane when I needed to be most. In saying that, some really wonderful things have come our way and there are some amazing opportunities on the horizon for 2018. The most exciting is Little Grey Box being selected for a YouTube incubator program, kicking off mid-January. I believe it’s the first of its kind in Australia and Matt and I are one of only 8 channels selected! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to grow our video capabilities and learn, create and grow in a way we haven’t before.
I’ve spoken about it before, but looking forward, we’re definitely keen to do more video work. Ideally, we’d love to have our own travel show sharing the real side of travel. You know, those hilarious, wild, random experiences that make travel so amazing. The hidden spots, amazing locations and even the super cliche touristy things that are either amazing or awful. We’d love to make something really fun and entertaining. So, hopefully, this is the next step on that path for us.
One very exciting piece of news is we’re welcoming a new addition to our family! That’s right, you guys, Matt and I are having our second child via surrogate. Our surrogate is a cat and our child is also a cat. After the passing of our older girl, P, this year, we really missed her and felt a gap in our little family of three. Figgy is excited to have a friend and Matt and I are beyond excited to bring our new little babe home in January.
This post will be my last of the year as we’re taking some time off for Christmas and the New Year. We’ll be back in the first week of 2018 with some fresh content for you! I’m going to try my best to make a Christmas vlog episode. I’m making a Christmas Eve dinner for Matt, my mum and sisters. Christmas Day we’ll open presents then head over to Matt’s family’s for lunch – his sister is the best cook! New Year’s Eve will be spent making home-made bagels then settling in for a fresh bagel feast, just Matt and me, and watching documentaries while, undoubtedly, drinking a lot of wine or beer. I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2018. How are you spending your festive season?
I also want to do a big mental and physical clear out before the start of 2018. I find it really cleansing and important to get rid of much of the old as possible to make way for the new. I’ll be clearing out clothes and shoes, taking them to donation bins for up-cycling. I’ll also be clearing out my cupboards, throwing things out, reorganising and discarding anything that no longer serves a purpose. Then, I’ll be doing some mental cleaning and clearing too, taking the time to let go of anything I’ve been holding onto it, releasing fears and doubts and cutting the mental cord on some relationships. All of this work will make space in my life for everything 2018 has to offer and I’ll feel much lighter for doing it.
One other very important thing we’ll do is our annual planning day. I’ve spoken about it before on the blog but really should write up a detailed post on how we do it. It’s a really powerful tool for us. In short, we sit down on NYE or the first day of the New Year and take some time to reflect on all the things we did really well, personally and professionally, in 2017. We write those down and aim to do more of them in the New Year too. Then, we do some intuitive planning, finding a theme for the New Year, the things we’d like to focus on and bring more of into our lives and business. It gives us a clear vision of what’s to come and gives us a chance to refine our goals and dreams for the future, both short and long-term.
With all this in mind, I just want to take a moment to thank you. We have so many great opportunities come into our lives and those things wouldn’t be possible without your support and kindness. So, thank you so much for visiting the website, watching videos and engaging with our social content. It means the world to both Matt and me and keeps us both motivated to keep creating, especially in those tough times.
What I learned this week
I wrote a pretty epic blog post this week about 16 really important things I learned this year. It was a good way for me to reflect on the year and get some perspective on the most important things I learned this year (there were many more than 16 lessons). It’s important to take pause and take stock every now and then, to be thankful for the good and the bad and pay tribute to all you’ve achieved in the year.
News and updates
There are some very exciting things in the works for 2018, I’ll be sure to give you an update as soon as I’m able to! On the horizon though, we’ll be doing some video work with the guys at Mitsubishi, taking their sexy, new Eclipse Cross for a spin and putting it through its paces. Our YouTube incubator will run from mid-January through to February, so I’ll keep you updated on our progress and the impact it has on our channel. Seriously, the amount of knowledge on offer is invaluable. We’re so excited to learn from the experts!
I had a few great deliveries come through recently, a huge thank you to the guys at Tile for sending me through their Tile Style – you attach the tile to things like keys, camera equipment or bags and you can use it to track them. The team at Thankyou sent me through one of their Christmas gift packs, chock full of dreamy body products that are good for the body and soul as profits go toward ending global poverty. The team at Antipodes (my all-time FAVOURITE beauty brand) sent me through a whole swag of divine products, which I cannot wait to slather all over my face and body. They are the only beauty products I’ve used where I can actually see the difference in my skin the next day.
If you missed it, I did my first ever unboxing video on the YouTube Channel. Vid is below so be sure to watch that to see a few of the products I mentioned in action. I’m saving up the Antipodes unboxing for the New Year and a new edition of Mail Time.
Song of the week
The song I’ve been crushing on most this week…
Watch the brand new video up on our YouTube channel this week!
You can visit our channel, if you feel like it, by clicking here. No pressure, mate – do what ya feel!
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.