My week #1

I am a bit late posting this week, sorry this should have gone up Sunday but I am currently in the Lake District on my hols. posts I thought for my weekly posts write about my week and what I have been up to.

Last week was a busy one, as I write this I am in the Lake District with John on our hols! So this week has been a crazy one of last minute shopping, washing and packing, all whilst getting things tied up at work. So a lot of this week has been spent between Hull and Cleethorpes.

I still managed to fit in a lovely Cleethorpes jaunt before heading off. I was lucky enough to work from home on Friday so at 4:00pm when I’d finished it we jumped in Johns car and head down to the beach near the yacht club where we sat and ate our tea. It was one of those perfect Cleethorpes days where the sun was shining but with a crisp chilly breeze.

Whilst there we got onto the subject of how amazing it is to see all the small, local businesses popping up in Cleethorpes. From the cafes, to the jewellery makers like Clee Glass (@cleeglass) who are my go to for seaglass jewellery, the consortium businesses like Original Emporium (@originalemporiumcleethorpes) and Arrtopia (@arrtopia_cleethorpes) who house some awesome local artists and businesses, to the clothes shops like Forw4rd (@forw4rd). I love how Cleethorpes is becoming a little, thriving hub of independents and also how the local people support them it’s so lovely to see! I can’t wait the see more companies pop up in the future.

It’s been a busy week so I am going to leave it there and go enjoy my glass of red I have waiting for me. I’ll be back with a post Wednesday, in the meantime check out some of the places I’ve mentioned and as ever if you have any places you recommend I try out please let me know in the comments!

Have a fab week!

G x

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10 Things that bring me joy in Cleethorpes

I have been focusing a lot recently on self-care and what brings me joy after listening to Georgie Morley’s Chasing Joy podcast (check her out on iTunes she’s awesome). So I thought I’d share my “go to” list of things that make me feel good in this lovely town:

1. The Beach
Number one has to be the beach (and think it probably would be for most locals). I am a self-confessed beach baby! Any excuse to be by the seaside. When I first moved back to Cleethorpes one of the first things I insisted on doing was drive down to Cleethorpes Beach and dip my feet in the sea. There is something about being by the sea that instantly calms me and makes me feel happy. The feel of the sand in your toes, the cold sea lapping against your legs, the pretty seashells by the coastline. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

2. A Cleethorpes Sunrise
There are many places around the world where you can see a beautiful sunrise and Cleethorpes might not spring to mind for most people in the country but it definitely will for us locals. Search #Cleethorpes on Instagram and you will be inundated with pictures of beautiful Cleethorpes sunrise. We’re so lucky that we get this on our doorstep and it is definitely something that makes me feel joyful and relaxed in a morning. Especially shining over the sea. Bliss.

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3. Independent Coffee Shops
I love that there are lots of independent coffee shops and cafes in Cleethorpes. I am determined to try them all. Two of my favourites are The Globe on Cambridge Street (Insta: @theglobecleethorpes) and Riverhead Coffee on Seaview Street and Victoria Street (Insta: @riverheadcoffee). Both have really relaxing and chilled vibes. The Globe have the yummiest hot chocolate and Riverhead do a mean avocado on toast! When I’d moved back and wasn’t working I could spend hours sat in these cafes (thanks for the wifi guys), job hunting, writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

4. Paddle Boarding
I was introduced to paddle boarding by my man! It was actually our first date (albeit not in Cleethorpes, sorry hometown). I say paddle boarding in the broadest of ways, I basically sit and he paddles. But there is something to be said about floating on the sea on a nice hot sunny day with the one you love! ❤

5. Pamper Day
Who doesn’t love a good pamper day! The other half and I recently went to Forest Pines (Insta: @doubletreeforestpines) which isn’t in Cleethorpes but is only a short drive away. We spent a lovely few hours laid by the pool, swimming, using the sauna and jacuzzi. It was nice to take a couple of hours away from technology, chill and spend some quality time together.

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6. Walk on the fittie
Up by the fitties is one of my favourite places in Cleethorpes. For you non Cleethorpians the fitties are a number of small chalet like houses that people live in / rent out for __ months of the year. It’s a little community down there and they are all unique in their own way. I am sure most locals have their favourite, I know I do. The beach down by the fitties tends to be quieter too and has lots of little unique surprises if you go for a walk round there (I won’t ruin them).

7. Fish and Chips
How could there be a list without fish and chips? Grimsby do the BEST fish and chips in the world (big claim I know). But ask anyone who lives (or has lived) around here and they’ll tell you the same. It brings me so much joy sitting down to a plate of battered haddock, chips, mushy peas and gravy! My mouth is watering typing this (John you know what we’re having for tea later haha).

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8. Antique browsing
Vintage Lincs (Insta: @vintagelincs) is an antique shop on Wilton Road in Grimsby. It is a treasure chest of unique antiques. I love walking around there seeing all the old, pretty and sometimes fun items they have. Some of it brings back memories of my Grandparents, a china plate set, a quirky little stool, an old style wardrobe. It’s the sweetest place and definitely worth a visit you never know what goodies you might unearth. They also have a lovely little cafe attached that serves you tea in an old china teapot. Very vintage!

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Vintage Lincs

9. Feeding the ducks on the Boating Lake
Nothing brings back childhood memories more than getting wrapped up on a cold, crisp but sunny day and going to feed the ducks at the Boating Lake. Then getting a nice cup of hot chocolate to warm you up!

10. Being close to my family & friends
After living away for seven years, being closer to my family and friends is one of the best things about being back here. My old school friends who I have known for forever, my brother, his wife and my niece, my lovely little Nan and of course my fabulous Mum & Dad who have supported me forever. I am now close by to spend more time with them (I’m not sure they’d say that brings them joy though haha) and also dog sit our little Puddin.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this list as it has given me a chance to reflect on some of the things that make me happy! If I’m in a bit of a slump, or feeling a bit down writing lists of things that bring me happiness and joy always perk me up!

I’d love to hear about some of the Cleethorpes things that bring you joy?

Take care & be happy!

G x

 

There’s no place like home……

In the Summer of 2018 I decided to move back to my hometown of Cleethorpes after living away in both London and Manchester for seven years. At first I was a little aprehensive. Would I find an exciting job that I enjoy? Would I settle back into life in a smaller town after living in two big cities?

I enjoyed the big city life whilst I was there but I can honestly say hand on heart moving back to Cleethorpes was one of the best things I have ever done. Here are some of the reasons why:

Family & Friends: After moving back in the Summer I reconnected with an old friend, who’d I’d not seen for nearly 17 years (or more), we went on a paddle boarding date and the rest you could say is history we’ve been inseperable ever since. I am able to spend more time with my family who I only really got to see every few months when I lived away and also see my friends and their families a lot more. My family are the most important thing to me and being able to spend more time with them is priceless.


The Business Community: I’ve been lucky enough to find a job I really enjoy, working with businesses across the whole of the Humber and it’s been amazing to be immersed in the business world of Cleethorpes and seeing how it’s grown since I left in 2012. There are so many independent businesses thriving here as well as the growing renewables sector where lots of exciting and big things are happening. The business community in Cleethorpes is also very close knit, I’ve noticed people really want to see other businesses do well and will help each other out when they can which is amazing to see.

The beach: I love being back near the seaside, being able to walk out of my door and be near the water in a few minutes is heaven. My favourite kind of days are waking up early (ish) to a bright, sunny day, heading down to Browns cafe for a fry up with the other half, then having a walk down the seafront all the way down to the fitties. Cleethorpes beach has recently been voted the number one beautiful place outside of London and I know why!


Through this blog my aim is to speak with local people, report back on local events, discover new places and my general life living by the seaside! I hope you will enjoy it.

G x

 

The first rule of kindness…….

I have recently been thinking about how we are (or aren’t) kind to ourselves! We spend a lot of time trying to make others happy and are taught to be kind to others. BUT what about ourselves?  

I watched The Secret a while ago and although I found parts of it a little extreme (I wish I could think about having more money and cheques flood through the door) I am a believer in the power of positive thinking and what you put out there you get back! If you are always thinking life is rubbish, you’re not good enough, you have a rubbish job, you’ll never be happy etc this kind of thinking effects your mood and in turn you won’t look for that new job, speak or meet new people, have fun or grab those opportunities.   

After attending a Business Breakfast recently held by Fluent Coaching one of the speakers, John Borland (LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2SvAceY) really got me thinking about the names we give ourselves and how these affect us in life. If you tell yourself you’re shy what will you be? If you tell yourself you’re rubbish at maths, what will you be? The same goes for more personal insults we fire at ourselves, I’m too fat, too thin, too old, too ugly, not good enough!  

So, this leads me onto being kinder to ourselves, someone said to me recently the biggest fight you will have is the one in your head. It’s so true, we’re our biggest critics but we can also be our biggest cheerleaders, if we change our mindset. This is easier said than done and I certainly don’t have this down, it’s something I struggle with every day. It’s hard to tell yourself you’re good enough, you’re worthy of being loved, you deserve to be happy……but you know what…….you are!  

I spoke to my Instafriend Vana Feliciano after listening to her podcast (check it out here: https://thequietbrave.com/) about making time for me and for the things that make me happy. It’s hard to fit these things into our daily lives but we need to spend time looking after ourselves physically and mentally so that we can enjoy this wonderful life that we have! 

Explore what feels good to you, try new things, open your mind to new adventures, or just grab a good book, curl up in bed and have some you time! Whatever makes YOU happy! Here’s some ideas of things that I love to do to boost my mental and physical state: 

  • Listen to uplifting, positive podcasts  
  • Write (journal, blog) 
  • Snuggle up with my man and watch a good movie 
  • Walk on the beach, or just in nature in general 
  • Meditate before bed with a Jason Stephenson guided meditation and my aromatherapy diffuser pumping out relaxing lavender 
  • Have a soak in the bath with a good crime thriller  

You’re not being selfish by looking after you, I feel that if we’re kind to ourselves then we feel good and in turn we give people the best of ourselves.

How do you like to take some time out for yourself? How do you help keep a positive outlook on life? I’d love to hear your ideas / thoughts!

Take care
G x 

Experience the bad to appreciate the good!

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In the last few weeks I have had a number of things happen to me (both good, bad and amazing) that have made this quote more prominent in my life. If we never experienced the bad things in life how would we recognise what is good?

In life we are faced with a number of ups and downs, twists and turns but these are the things that shape our lives. I was recently speaking to someone close to me who said he wouldn’t change anything that’s happened to him in the past the good or bad as they are the things that made him the person he is today! So true!

It is is so easy when the bad things are happening to let yourself lose sight of the good and forget about all the amazing things you have experienced. You feel like nothing will ever go right, you’ll never get that job, never meet the right person, will always be stuck in that rut.

I wholly believe that everything we experience eventually leads to new and exciting adventures. But, I also believe that although we can’t always stop life throwing us curve balls we can choose how we deal with them. Do we give up, lock ourselves away in our room, cry into our pillows, or do we stand up, dust ourselves off and give life another chance to surprise us?

So next time you’re feeling down or experiencing something horrendous, scary or daunting remember YOU’VE GOT THIS and something amazing that’ll take your breath away could be just around the corner.

Big Love
G x

Letter to my younger self!

So today is International Women’s Day and I thought that it might be nice for me to write a letter to my younger self:

Dear Gemma (or Little Gem as your friend still call you now),

You’re 34 years old and still single, but this is OK, no honestly it really is! You don’t have to be married with kids before you’re 30 like you think you should be due to the pressure society puts on women.

You have an amazing job, caring and loving family, a good group of fun friends and you’ve also had a crazy but fun time in your late 20’s / early 30’s.

You moved to London & Manchester by yourself, not knowing anyone when you were 27, had the time of your life experiencing so many different things and learning a lot about yourself along the way. You are a strong, independent woman!

You’re very trusting of people, maybe a little too trusting and yes, you’ll be disappointed by a number of people but each time you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again! You have drive and determination, are a loyal and caring friend, but also the life and soul of the party. Never change.

You will go through a stage of anxiety, loose your confidence a little, but you will come through this and it has made you the person you are today. A strong, beautiful, confident and happy woman!

So stick in there kid you’re doing great!

Love your older (and not that much wiser) self! xxx

THE LIST: Spiritual Self

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So since January I have been trying to tap into my more spiritual self. This can mean different things to different people but for me it means feeling content, relaxed and happy. Here’s a few things I have been trying over the last month:

Hot Yoga
One of the things I have been taking more of an interest in is yoga, I recently started attending hot yoga classes once a week, it’s really tough but I am told if I stick to it the easier it’ll get. It’s not just the for exercise I find that in the hot yoga classes it gives me time to relax and give myself some me time! I come out of the classes feeling light and refreshed with a clearer mind.

Angel Cards
I know for some people this might sound a bit hippy and it’s everyones cup of tea but I really do believe that we all have spirit guides who look out for us. I have used Angel Cards for a long time now, each morning I will shuffle the cards and ask for some advice for my day. After listening to Nourish and Flourish one of my favourite podcasts (www.nourishandflourish.us) where they discussed Tarot, Oracle and Angel cards I realised it is more of a belief for me and guidance. They’re not telling me my future, just giving my that guidance to help me think about certain situations.

Reki Healing
I am so excited about this one, something I have not tried before, I have my first ever reiki session this week! It’s something I have been looking into for a while and I am a big believer of chakras and energies so I am really looking forward to trying a reiki session. I have heard mixed reports so I thought the best way to see what it’s like is to do it myself!

Crystals
I have recently started to dabble in the world of crystals and their healing powers. After listening to the aforementioned podcast I do believe we’re drawn to the different crystals that we need at that particular moment in our lives.

Journaling 
So for Christmas my parents bought me an awesome mindfulness journal and I have been making a conscious effort to write in this every day. It helps me to list out my goals and then split those goals down into smaller ones to help me achieve them.

Meditation
So meditation is something I have been working on for a long time, I meditate in both the morning and the evening. Usually a chakra meditation in the evening and then a morning meditation when I wake up. I’ve devised a morning and evening routine and this is part of that routine. Headspace is an awesome app for a morning mindfulness/meditation session as they are quite short. For the evening I usually use a chakra meditation from Jason Stephenson on his YouTube channel as I have found his to be the best for me. I find meditation a great way for me to relax and to focus on myself before I sleep and to also get me ready for the day ahead when I do my morning one. Still very much a work in progress as it’s definitely easy for the mind to wonder but I’ll get there I’m sure.

So far I’m loving all the different things I am trying. What do you guys do to get in touch with your spiritual self? I’d love some recommendations!

Advice to graduates…..

Having attended the University of Manchester’s Computer Science Jobs Fair this year a number of students have asked for advice as an experienced Talent Acquisition Manager in a high-tech market on how to make their profiles and CV’s stand out in the sea of graduate applications. Throughout my years of working in recruitment I’ve worked with high calibre candidates of all levels from stand-out student and graduate placements to c-level executives, so I thought I’d write a quick blog that might be helpful to graduates applying or preparing to apply for their first roles.

The first thing I want to say is “Congratulations!”. You’ve successfully completed several years of intense education in a competitive market and have demonstrated the intelligence and tenacity needed to succeed. So, how do you stand out as a superstar in the making amongst your fellow graduates and career hunters?

Network, network, network: this is important on two fronts. Attending relevant events and getting to know people in your chosen industry will put you on their radar. Secondly when you add these events, seminars etc. onto your CV it shows you are a proactive networker and potential ambassador for your prospective employer. You don’t have to list all the events you attend, something like “always learning latest industry news and trends by attending tech-based networking events around Manchester” and maybe give a few examples. Websites like http://www.meetup.com are great for events in your local area.

Personal Projects / own websites / blogs: this is one of the most important things that I look out for on a graduate CV, especially on the technical / marketing side. This is your chance to show off your unique skills and what you can do to help convince me (or any Talent Manager) to pick up the phone and want to speak with you. This is even more important when you don’t have a wealth of work experience, so please, make sure you put your best work on display and be proud of it!

GitHub / Stack Overflow Accounts: this is a must for tech graduates, make sure you are active on these types of sites, have sample code on their, get involved with conversations. GitHub: https://github.com/ Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.com/

A picture speaks a thousand words: far too often to highly skilled graduates fail to clearly articulate their unique value because they use far too many words or dilute the impact with unnecessary buzz words / phrases. Keep your CV sharp and easy to read. Where possible, could you replace a list of bullet points with an eye pleasing timeline image, detailing your key achievements and skills learnt during your education. Or pie-charts showing how you split your time between tech-research, coding, and testing. It certainly makes it easier to read and stand out from the crowd.

LinkedIn: Your profile should always be up to date and be easily digestible, highlighting your key skills and biggest achievements. For completeness add a professional picture, and ensure there are references from respected people who have worked with you on projects, fellow students, tutors etc. Have links to your own websites, even add your CV and media to your account. Make connections to people you meet at the aforementioned networking events, connect with people at companies you’d like to work for and when you have researched what they do, contact them and reference what you have found and why you would like to find out more about life at their company.

Internships: a lot of companies are open to people interning at their companies. A number of years ago a junior android developer came to me for help, he was struggling to get his foot through the door when applying for developer roles, he had the intelligence but unfortunately no work experience. So, I put him in touch with one of my clients who saw his potential and one month after joining as an intern they offered a permanent full-time position. An internship might not lead to a job but it’s experience you can add to your CV and relationships you can build for the future.

To me, that is what makes a graduate CV stand out. Show you are passionate and proud of what you do, be proactive, and get yourself out there! Please do drop me an email if you’d like any advice around the above topic, always happy to help.

Mind, body and soul!

So in my previous post I spoke about the list of things I am working on to make me a healthier, happier Gemma.

I have nailed the new job part! The second part is my health, I am so naughty when it comes to going to the gym, or eating more healthy and being mindful! It’s so easy just to be lazy and eat rubbish food.

Here’s a list of things I promised myself I am going to stick to moving forward:

  • Going to classes at the gym & starting my running again. I hate the gym, think this is more due to the fact that I don’t know what I am doing in there, So thought classes are the way forward and running I can do outside of the gym.
  • Eating healthy, cutting out all of the snacks and bad stodgy food that I eat. Not going to deprive myself but I do need to start eating healthier.
  • Mindfulness each night, listening to inspiring Ted Talks, having time for me.

I have also started reading some really great magazines Breathe and Happinez they both have some fantastic articles in them around creating the life you want, being healthy and happy.

So here is the next step on my path to happiness!

G x

THE LIST: Looking after me!

Do you find that it’s so much easier to look after and love other people rather than look after and love yourself? Recently I have been trying to really take the time to look after me as I realised the only person who can make your life better is YOU! Nobody else will or can do it for you.

So in true Gemma style I wrote a list (love a list), a list of all the big things I wanted to change and make better to in turn make myself feel better and most positive. Then broke that list down into smaller things that I can do to reach my goals.

So I thought today I’d write about the thing that was top of the list: My Job.

For years I have worked in a number of jobs that I hated, I felt like I’d become slightly lost in the world of work and thought it was about time to take the bull by the horns and move into a role I enjoyed.

I started by updating my CV, going to networking events, meeting new people, writing my blog, putting some time into me and what I wanted from work. I applied for roles via job boards and spoke to a few recruiters really put myself out there to find something new and exciting, you know what……I did it!

I am now working in a role I LOVE, I don’t have “the dread” or that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every morning when I wake up. It’s an amazing feeling.

Now I look back at the jobs I have had over the last four years, I actually learnt some amazing skills and met some fantastic people along the way.

So now I am grateful for those days because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Also, without the things I have done to get here I wouldn’t be here today so I am also grateful for ME.

There are a lot more things on the list and I will make sure I post about the changes I am making in my life and how everything goes. I am sure there will be ups and downs, things will go right, things will go wrong but as long as I have my goals I’ll get there! 🙂

G x

P.S. Let me know in the comments if you have decided to make changes to you life and how you went about it!