Somewhere between Christmas and New Year, amongst tins of Quality Street, empty bottles of prosecco and my Slimming World hopes and dreams being dashed out of the window, I made the decision to do Dry January.

Foolish decision; I’ll let you be the judge of that. Why you ask? No one, especially my boyfriend, really knows. But as the beginning of February draws in, and a new month (my birthday month) approaches, there are 3 reasons why I decided to do Dry Jan. I’m going to be bold and share them with you below, and hopefully one, if not all of these points will resonate with you.

1. As a Nation, We Drink Way too Much

Well okay, this is a very brash statement, but records show there were 339 thousand estimated admissions to hospitals across the UK related to alcohol consumption in 2015/16. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like those statistics.

Even though I’m not a big drinker myself, committing to giving up the booze for January was a big feat; I’m quite partial to the odd gin and slimline tonic after a stressful day. I wanted to be mindful of my body moving into the new year, and start as I mean to go on by putting me, my body and mind first. And with my birthday coming up there will be so many evenings full of prosecco and cocktails, I just thought it would make me appreciate it that much more after cutting out the alcohol the month before.

2. I Needed a Clear Head

New year, new me? Fuck off. It was not about that, not even one tiny bit. I absolutely hate that phrase; without going off on one, why should you endeavour to create a new you as soon as January the 1st rolls around. The only time I ever want to hear that phrase pass anyone’s lips is if they’re a serial murderer, mmm’kay?

I needed a clear head in January for my relaunch; and if that’s not reason enough I don’t know what is. I’ve had so many late nights this month fuelled by coffee and matchsticks to keep my eyes open (yes, just like Tom & Jerry), alcohol just was not an option. I didn’t have the time to donate to nights out and drinks with friends this month, and to be honest I really didn’t want to lose the next day to Captain Hangover. Instead I opted for T-total dinners with friends and cosy date nights in, and Jon got me addicted to Mario Kart 8.

3. I Wanted to Say Something, and Stick to It

Now I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I hate more than setting a resolution at the beginning of the year, and just not sticking to it. It makes me feel down on myself, and inevitably I start beating myself up about it. Well my new years resolution this year was to not set new years resolutions, instead, I’ve set goals. The first being sticking to Dry January.

I knew off the bat that there was going to be one hiccup; my brother’s 40th birthday party was the 20th of January. But instead of letting this throw me off course or encourage me to give up I just gave myself one evening off, just one evening. The very next morning I was back on the wagon, and continued on to where we are tonight, the 31st of the month. The endorphins I’ve currently got rushing through my veins is called pride ladies and gents – I am so proud of myself for saying something and sticking to it.

This is a mantra I am going to take forth with me into the rest of 2018.
Why drink if I don’t have to? But if you want to have a night off and have a drink, that’s okay too – don’t beat yourself up over unnecessary things.

I encourage you to set goals for this year like I have done, and stick to them. Allow yourself to be proud of yourself.
You don’t have to do Dry January, make it your own and good luck.

Now it’s time in our house, for a conscientiously wet February.

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®

What is the most millennial thing you’ve ever done? I’ve wracked my brain and I think my most millennial moment of 2017 was when I went for brunch at Neighbourhood Spinningfields with some of my favourite Instagram gal-pals over prosecco pre 12 noon. That’s right; you heard me correctly, prosecco, in the morning. Who the hell do I think I am?

The lovely folks at Neighbourhood Manchester invited me along to sample their new Brunch menu in November 2017, and obviously they let me bring along a few lovely friends for the ride. As if we need an excuse to catch up, I asked along my beautiful friends Jacinta Dawn, Danielle of KIHT Collective and Sam Bella of The Travel Crush. Which by the way; if you’re not already following them, you should be, they’re awesome. Of course, they naturally bit my hand off (s’cuse the pun…)

Now, if you’re not already sat down, I encourage you to take a seat for this next statement; I have never been to Neighbourhood Manchester. Nope, not even for a night out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard amazing things, but I’ve never thought ahead to pre-book a table for a Saturday night or, I’ve never found myself in that neck of the woods for brunch on a Sunday morning, probably because I’m usually too hungover from the Saturday night that came before! So when the opportunity arose to go down and sample their avo-offering, how could I refuse?

Funnily enough, I’m not an avocado kind of girl. I know, avocado has been to the Tenties what Patrick Swayze was to the 80s, and shag bands were to the early 2000s. But finding avocado on my plate, you will not. If you’re like me, do not fret. Neighbourhood’s brunch menu caters to so many different palettes. I went for the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on rye bread toast, and I would not be over embellishing to say they were some of the best scrambled eggs in my life. You’d think it’d be easy to whip up scrambled eggs? You’d be mistaken, I’ve eaten so many plates-full of rubbery eggs in my time. So I was pleasantly surprised with Neighbourhood’s offering.

I had food envy over my friends though; Jacinta opted for the French Toast with, wait for it, maple syrup, crème fraiche, banana and wild berries… I had to resist creeping over to her plate for a taste. I know Danielle had a lovely visit too; I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing with you that she’s diary intolerant, which holds something of unease for her at any breakfast or brunch outing. This was no hassle for Neighbourhood; they have a plethora of milk choices, and are really easy going with alterations to the menu. Danielle managed to sort herself with some lovely poached eggs on sourdough, which I believe went down a treat.

Overall I was majorly impressed; the decor is beautiful, the staff are super friendly and, I mean, it’s got to be a hit if you’re allowed to drink prosecco before noon. I’ll definitely be encouraging my friends and family to visit Neighbourhood Manchester in 2018, not only for a party, but to sample their delicious menu. I’ve just got to get myself back ASAP to try their main menu.

Where’s your favourite place to have brunch in Manchester?
Have you been somewhere recently you’d like to recommend?
Or have you too had a lovely brunch or experience at Neighbourhood?

I’d love to know in the comments below.

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®

Everyone’s asked themselves that age old question, the one that sits in the back of your mind most of your young adult life but you’re almost too afraid to say it out loud; could I make it as a freelancer? Because my life would be so much better if I were freelance, right?

You’re *insert age here* and you love what you do, but there are certain constraints to the job that just don’t make you happy, and working for yourself may solve most of these head scratching problems. Maybe you know someone else in your field who went freelance and they’re bossing it. Or maybe it’s just always been you dream to own your own business, but the idea of actually doing it just fills you with nervous energy.

Believe it or not, I have been there; back in 2013 when I graduated University there was nothing that filled me with more dread than logging onto that HMRC portal and signing up as a registered business. Forging those initial pathways as a photographer was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. There aren’t too many employable options; you could go in-house for someone, but then depending on the company or brand your options for growth are quite limited. Or you could assist a more mature photographer with gallons of experience, and trust me I did my fair share of assisting, but following someone around with light boxes and picking up lunch orders was never really for me. My only ever real or plausible option was going freelance, but I don’t think I ever realised what that truly meant until I was in the thick of it.

“But Georgie, why are you writing this now? No one wants to hear about you or your story” I can hear my inner critic calling out to me. Do you have an inner critic? This is something that resonated with me from one of my female business-boss idols Lola Hoad (of the *One Girl Band podcast). She talks about her inner critic, Barb, and how every freelancer has that internal voice that is forever berating every creative or brilliant idea you ever have. Well, my inner critic is more of a Helen; whenever Helen creeps up and tells me I’m not good, strong or intelligent enough to own my own business or be successful in the thing I am passionate about, I have to take a deep breath, acknowledge how I’m feeling, but remember how sodding important it is I push on anyway.

I’m pretty sure this realism is one that every business owner has, embracing failure but just doing it anyway. Because if you don’t do those things that fulfil you, are you ever really living?

I’ve had countless of those rock-bottom moments when you’re not quite sure what you’re doing with your life. Having to deal with imposter syndrome on a daily basis, not knowing if you’ll make your next mortgage bill, questioning your worth, eating beans on toast for the fifth time that week, having a screaming match with your parent/friend/significant other because you’ve worked another 13 hour day and they just want to spend a little time with you, but you’ve still got so much work to do. Sound familiar?

Freelancing is so often glamourised to be different than what it really is; the grass is greener kind of attitude, and that most of it is easy-living. I refuse to sell you that rose-tinted dream. Since my **podcast interview with my beautiful friend Kat Horrocks so many truly talented individuals have approached me to tell me how inspiring I am, how they look up to me and my achievements, and how they hope to be as successful as I am one day. This is flattering, and fills me with so much joy I’m almost bursting at the seams. I want to inspire you to set your sights high, but make sure you’re prepared for change and constant learning. Be proud of your growth and also be prepared for those pitfalls along the way.

You will have to learn so many elements of business to become a freelancer, as I have done. This has only made me stronger and feathered the strings to my bow. I am not just a photographer; I am a businesswoman, accountant, marketeer, social media guru, events coordinator, networker, copyrighter, debt collector… you can imagine the list goes on.

Yet I am still learning every day.

There is no end game and there is no final major project. I can hear the words of my lecturer Trudie ringing in my ears: “Do you ever really stop learning? Your final major project is not your final project here at University, it’s the very last thing you do before you die…” and if you think you’re the best, will you ever really grow to be more? You need to learn to not be bullied by your inner critic but also to never get too big for your boots.

Being freelance really is a rollercoaster. I do hope that each and every one of you who aspires to own your own business achieves your goals, and that your dreams of being freelance really do come true. But I feel like I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t warn you how fucking terrifying it is at times.

Does this make it not worth it?
Do I wish I’d taken an easier path with my life?
Do I regret being freelance?

No.
Not one single day.

*Want to listen to Lola Hoad’s One Girl Band Podcast? Click here.
**Want to check out my interview I did with Kat for her Put Yourself First Podcast? Click here.

All images in this post are shot by the extremely talented Adriana at @Adrianasphoto

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®

As a blogger it’s common knowledge that when we dine out the first thing we pick up isn’t our knife and fork, it’s our iPhone. That eating out with another blogger holds a sense of relief because you reach for your *insert model of mobile phone here* at exactly the same time. Or that dining out with friends or a loved one brings a sense of nervousness because you don’t know how far into the meal you have until the dreaded timer goes off and your significant other will say “have you finished yet?”

The thought of an off switch frightens me; my boyfriend Jon and I have desperately tried to implement rules at night time so that at “9pm work stops, 10pm mobile phones go down”. But if you’re a blogger, vlogger or social influencer, you’ll know that sticking to those kind of rules creates more anxiety than it does relief. It was just the same when I was shooting food for a living, but now I have added the role of ‘blogger’ to my repertoire it just seems to have stepped up a notch.

If something comes onto our radar at bedtime, why is it as important as say an email coming through at 9:33am? Is it really that we have to deal with it at that very second, or is it just an addiction? Or a fear that something we’ve worked so hard to build up could come crashing down within a matter of hours. I like to think it’s the latter, but as of late I’m not so sure.

Last night Jon & I were kindly invited down to eat at the new COSMO restaurant on Deansgate, and thats where this whole notion got me thinking, “where’s the line?” Don’t get me wrong, Jon is so understanding. If we go anywhere, and it’s for work, he just totally gets it, lets me do my own thing, and then we enjoy our lovely meal (like we did last night). But I often leave a meal with Jon with a sense of guilt if I’ve been working on my phone; “have I neglected him?” – “does he feel like an after thought?” – “does he really know how grateful I am that he came with me tonight?”. More often than not, these fears are completley self-inflicted, and if I ever were to communicate how I feel, I know he would only ever receive me with reassurance.


Images from our dinner at Cosmo Deansgate (replaced the old Red Hot World Buffet) last night – 13/01/18

First world problems, right? I know, I can hear these words ringing in my ears as I write this piece. Don’t mistake what I am saying, I am extremely grateful for every single opportunity that I am given as a blogger & creative in Manchester. It’s just last night’s ‘date night’ meal got me thinking is all this social media engagement stopping me from engaging with my own boyfriend on a night out? I want to remain present to my audience, but I also want to be in the moment with him.

I’m not going to stop inviting Jon with me to lovely experiences, as I want him there with me by my side. However I think implementing rules and boundaries isn’t such a bad idea either. Take all your snaps for social media, but then put the phone down and upload them later or the next morning, and just enjoy being with someone, and not a keypad. Write a list before 9pm of everything that needs to be done tomorrow, and then put your phone on Do Not Disturb or silent. I think Jon and I are going to start having a phone-less date night once a month – where we both leave our phones at home and just be with each other, because that moment is just for us, I don’t need to share that with anyone else but him.

Do you struggle to switch off?
What tactics do you have to power-down at the end of a long day?
Do you have a set of rules with your own significant other?

I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below.

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®

You might not have known this, but I am actually from Cheshire. Officially a converted Mancunion now, but if I ever find myself venturing back into Cheshire, I always find myself never suggesting Knutsford for meetings, lunches or dog walks. As to be honest, I find Knutsford a little daunting. I never know where anything is, I don’t understand that scary roundabout in the centre, and unless it’s on that main High Street, it might as well not exist in my eyes.

So when WeBlog North invited me last week to go to afternoon tea at The Courthouse, I was a little uncertain what to think. Mainly as it meant having to deal with that sodding roundabout and I had no idea where to park, but I was excited to go and see more of Knutsford (and I was relieved to find out The Courthouse has a car park!) When I arrived I was a little earlier than the other WeBloggers, so I got to explore.

When I walked in I was amazed with how beautiful of a setting it is. We were dining in the Barristers restaurant, which as its name suggests is set in what used to be the old courtroom; as, if you didn’t know already, the Courthouse actually used to be a courthouse, once upon a time. It’s one of the most iconic buildings in South Cheshire, and has hold host to many a court trial, famously (and disgracefully) the trial of Alan Turning in the 1950s. They’ve really kept the history of the venue at theirs hearts and minds during the renovation, the place is still seeping in it’s legacy. When you walk round the upper level of the restaurant it is hard not to gasp in awe at how stunning the interiors are.

The Courthouse doesn’t just hold host to it’s restaurant, it boasts a 50 room luxury stay, rooftop gardens, the court-house itself and also has a wonderful events and wedding space (which I know they’re holding an open day for soon! Click here for more info).

We were promptly greeted with beautiful loose-leafed teas upon our arrival, and as I was distracted taking in all the artwork on the walls by the extremely talented local artist James Blinkhorn, our afternoon tea was served. We were lucky enough to just catch the tail-end of the Festive Afternoon Tea, which included unconventional twists on old classics, so that they included christmassy influences. As someone dreading letting go to Christmas, I was more than happy to still be eating mince pie and eggnog infused afternoon treats.

However, their afternoon tea menu is quite diverse, whatever time of year you decide to visit. I’d say it’s also worth a mention that two of the WeBlog attendees were Gluten Free and another was Vegetarian, and they hosted them at the greatest of ease, and no one felt left out and everyone left contently full.

I’m pleased now to know a fail-safe place in Knutsford where I would be happy to take my family, boyfriend, or even suggest meeting a client there. The staff were delightful, and the afternoon teas was absolutely delicious. I’m just keen to go back now, and graze my way through the extensive lunch and dinner menu.

Have you ever been to The Courthouse? What did you think?
Do you have any other suggestions for me to visit in Knutsford or South Cheshire?
Let me know in the comments below.

Want to become a member or learn more about WeBlog North?
If so, click here.

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®

When you see someone successful it’s easy to think that its all come effortlessly to them. Why is this so? When that’s rarely the case, especially with professional women. In this series I hope to explore the professional realms of different working women, how they’ve got to where they are today, and what nuggets of wisdom we can be empowered by moving forward with our own careers.

This is a monthly catalogue of question and answer interviews, called the Working Woman Series. I hope you enjoy reading these pieces, as much as I enjoyed interviewing these inspiring women.

This months installment comes from local Cheshire Wonder Woman, Jacinta Russell. A girl with many different hats; her main titles include freelancer and business owner. Jacinta owns boutique marketing and design company with her Mum, Made in Cheshire. Providing services to clientele from graphic design, to social media management, to beautiful content creation. Both mother and daughter have an extensive arsenal of marketing and PR skills, and if you ask nicely they will even manage your events.

Alongside Made in Cheshire, she’s also setting up a networking group specifically aimed at girls in business called BusyGirl. Jacinta’s ideology behind the network comes from finding traditional networking groups intimidating, and more often than not – male dominated, “I’m really passionate about creating a support network of other like-minded girls who can socialise and mingle in a much more friendly and fun way…”

Lastly, Jacinta bosses it everyday as a Manchester based lifestyle blogger. She tells me, “Blogging was something I fell into almost by accident, I write content and blogs for other people and thought I’d give it a go myself! It’s definitely been an industry I’ve enjoyed being part of and 2017, and saw me work with some really great brands last year like Pandora, Candy Kittens, Selfridges and Missguided…”

I wanted to start this interview series with Jacinta is for two reasons; 1. She’s a great friend of mine, inspires me everyday, and I feel like she could be an inspiration to any young woman, no matter her industry. 2. If you haven’t noticed, take a scroll down to the bottom right hand corner of my new website, and notice who it’s designed by… Made in Cheshire. That’s right, Jacinta worked tirelessly with me throughout November/December last year to help me bring my new site and look to you guys. I’m sure she’ll receive any thank you letters, chocolates or love sonnets in the post.

***

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

I’m not sure it’s really career advice, but one thing that always sticks in my head is something my Mum told me Oprah Winfrey said (although I think it originally came from Maya Angelou), which is “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better” I think it’s really important to focus on your strengths and not beat yourself up over your own progression and journey, both in business and in life. It’s really easy to feel inferior in comparison to someone you look up, but it’s important to remember it’s all a process and to just focus on doing the best you can right now.

What’s your on-the-go snack for when you’re out and about on a busy day?

I try not to snack too often and focus more on getting three good meals a day but if I do need a bit of an energy burst, and I’m trying not to unleash the crisp-loving monster deep within me, then I’ll definitely reach for something healthy like a banana or satsuma or even some cashew nuts. I could eat bad food all day every day so I have to make a conscious effort to be sensible!

How do you balance your personal life with work?

I really do think that balancing your personal life with work is one of the biggest challenges of being self-employed. To someone who works for a company and has a boss, I’m pretty sure being self-employed seems like a dream and I suspect they imagine a lot of lazy mornings, long lunches and being able to take time off whenever you fancy.  Whilst working for yourself does allow you a certain degree of flexibility, I don’t think people realise you’re probably putting a lot more hours in than a traditional 9-5 and sometimes you have to make sacrifices others wouldn’t. I think we’re all guilty of not switching off and to be honest, I don’t have a profound answer or solution for this question! One of my biggest goals in 2018 is to learn when to shut the laptop lid and to make time for wellness and meditation – as well as just plain old fun! You can’t be ‘on’ all the time or you’ll burn yourself out.

What creative or practical tool could you not do without in work?

I absolutely couldn’t be without a paper diary – it’s just a necessity for me! I love the digital age and couldn’t survive without my iPhone, sad I know, but in terms of organisation, for me, a digital device doesn’t cut it.  When a reminder or diary appointment flashes up on my phone, I find it so easy to ignore or miss it – whereas thumbing through my diary in the morning and seeing what I have on really sets me up for the day. There’s nothing quite like committing something to memory by physically writing it down.

What keeps you driven, when things feel stagnant or flat?

Knowing that I’d hate taking direction from a boss! I absolutely love working for myself, I love working solely for my own career progression and success, and love being able to do things I really enjoy as my job. Life really is too short to be doing something you don’t love, and I know I’d just be miserable working for someone else’s dream.

Do you feel there is inequality in the workplace in 2018? If so, what can be done to inspire young people to break this?

I think inequality is part of life in general, not just the workplace, and the only way to let it not affect you is to be determined, ambitious and not let anyone put out your flame. Your age, your gender, your background or any other factor shouldn’t hold you back in a field and if a barrier is created then you need to fight to overcome it or put yourself in a different position that allows you to flourish.  I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason and sometimes a negative experience is what is needed to give you the push to make a change. In short, don’t let anything put you down and if something is, make positive steps to change that situation.

How do you respond to other people’s reaction to your career success? Whether it be positive or negative?

When you’re a young business owner, you have friends who ‘get it’ and friends who don’t.  I know some of my friends have absolutely no clue what I spend my days doing but absolutely champion and support me nevertheless and I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who are your cheerleaders! We’re all just trying to get by in the world and life isn’t easy so the nicest thing you can do is support other people in their choices, and hope they support you back.

What is your favourite Instagram account? Why?

One, you want me to choose one?! I’m forever scrolling and discovering new accounts and I just love looking at accounts with a consistent theme or really great photography.  Bloggers are my fave people to follow and at the moment I’m loving @bethsandland, @mariajblogs, @inthefrow and @lydiaemillen. They all have quite a unique style whilst still appealing to the masses and I love that.

What are three things in your work arsenal that you just couldn’t live without?

My iPhone, my MacBook and my camera. Everything I do in my job is quite social media or design focused so if I have those three items I’m pretty much set up. I’m by no means a professional photographer, but I do love to take a photo. I couldn’t be without Instagram and you can do pretty much anything if you have a laptop so I’m pretty much set up, don’t you think?

Who is your career icon? Who inspires you?

I don’t really have a career icon, nor do I have one sole person who inspires me – instead I get inspired daily from my friends killing it at their jobs, people on social media who I see pushing out great content every day, or clients I meet that are taking a brave step in leaving their 9-5 and following their dream. I think we’re part of this really fantastic ‘girlboss’ revolution; where we’re all just doing us, doing what we love and I don’t know how that can’t inspire you daily, ‘cos it does me. Girl power.

Inspired by Jacinta’s story? Reach out to her on Instagram.
@jacintadawn

All Rights Reserved - Georgie Glass 2018 ®