I’m not going to pretend I know everything there is to know about ‘branding yourself’ but I will tell you the most important thing I’ve learned so far. Deciding on and sticking to an easy name for your blog or brand is the most important thing you can do. I have no experience or qualifications in marketing and this website is probably the nearest I’ll ever come to having to ‘brand’ anything but when I put ‘Paparali’ into a Google search, the first thing that appears is this blog. My Twitter account, my Instagram account and my photo website (alimccann.com) also appear on the first page of the search results. When you Google my name, you get similar results although they’re spread out a bit more over the first few pages.
This blog is not exactly where I want it to be and I have a long way to go to get it to a steady readership but the name ‘Paparali’ is on everything I own from my Instagram account to Twitter to Pinterest and I think that’s a pretty good place to start.
Do you have any branding tips?
I’m thinking of starting a kind of mini-series of posts about things I find that are interesting or make me smile or when I’ve grabbed a great bargain, etc. I had to think twice about this because I don’t want it to come across like you need to be spending money and buying new things in order to be happy or fulfilled. We can very easily become obsessed with money and I’ll put my hands up and say, because I don’t earn money all year round, it can affect my mood at the times of the year when I struggle financially. That being said, the purchases I share here won’t very often be the kind that break the bank. Some of the things will be old treasures resurrected and some will cost nothing at all. So here goes….
Look what I found this week…..
1. A mason jar glass with a handle for €4.50. It’s a little steep for one glass but I have been looking for one for quite a while and although I could buy 1 online easily, it wouldn’t be worth paying the postage and packaging. “Did my diet coke taste better out of it?” you ask. Obviously!
2. Thickers. And lots of them. Up to this point, I’ve found 1 shop in Ireland so far that sells Thickers, so if I want to buy them I have to order them online from the UK or the US. I don’t think I’ve ever found them for less than €5 and then I have to pay postage and packaging on top of that. On Friday I was walking through an Irish bargain shop called Mr. Price (I suppose you could kind of compare it to a B&M or Wilkinson’s in the UK or a really tiny, not nearly as awesome Target in the US) and what did I see right there in the arts and craft aisle – Thickers!!!! On top of that, they were only €1.49 each. They had 10 different types and needless to say I bought them all…twice!
Did you find anything great this week?
I love simple, easy craft ideas that take only a few minutes to make. This wreath was made using a Styrofoam ring, some double sided tape and some ribbon. Simples.
‘I Am Malala’ is the autobiography of a courageous young girl called Malala Yousafzai. She is a 16 year old girl from Pakistan, shot by the Taliban for speaking out about her right to be educated.There is roughly 125 million children in the world today without a school place. This is a story of just one girl’s struggle to simply exercise her right to an education.
This book allows you to see life from Malala’s point of view, which is vital, as it allows you to see that she is brave beyond her years while also giving you gentle reminders that she is just a teenage girl who fights with her little brother and likes to wear pink.
The book is broken down into 5 sections. The story starts with a background on where Malala comes from, specifically her father’s story. To be perfectly honest, the first section of the book is a bit slow and I picked it up and put it down A LOT. By a lot I mean over about a 3 month period. If this happens, persevere, it will be worth it. Once I got past section 1 I read section 2 in about a week and section 3,4 and 5 in one day. I could not put it down.
Malala’s story gave me goosebumps and left me with a sense of guilt for resenting the fact that I had to go to school all those years. At 26, I enjoyed the book and learned a lot. I believe teenagers could gain some invaluable insight from Malala. If they are not using this book in second level schools, it’s a crying shame.
I want to start off by saying I do not have green fingers. Or at least I wouldn’t know if I did because the closest I’ve come to any type of gardening is watering the plants when someone is away for a week. I love a cactus as much as the next person so I decided I wanted to plant some terrariums. I had a quick look on Pinterest and it looked pretty simple to me so I went to the garden centre to buy the materials.
I already had the glass vases and had been using them for candles but decided to change it up. I bought the cacti and succulents (between IKEA and my local garden centre. IKEA was considerable cheaper), soil and stones.
The process was pretty easy and enjoyable. I covered the table in plastic sheets (it was raining outside!!) and got to work. I put some white and some black stones in the bottom of the vases for the water to have somewhere to drain to. Next I added the soil almost to the top. The most difficult part was planting the cacti because there wasn’t a lot of room but I wanted to fit three in each vase. Once they were in, I put a few more stones on top to cover the soil and make it look better.
I enjoyed it so much I decided to plant a larger succulent in a plant pot and some more in a wooden box that was supposed to be used for an indoor herb garden. I waited a while to write this post because I wanted to see if they’d survive…and they have!
I love that cacti and succulents don’t require a lot of looking after. Any tips for easy to care for plants?
1) The hamper, 2) Lorenzo & I on his christening day
My beautiful godson Lorenzo was christened last month and I put together this hamper as part of his christening gift. I think it’s a nice idea and you can put it together at a reasonable price depending on where you buy the items to put into it. I added some things he can use now and some things my friend Steph will need for him soon such as socket covers. I bought the L for Lorenzo in a craft shop, sanded it down and painted it so she can frame it, hang it on his door or put it in his bedroom.
I think it would be a great gift idea for parents of a new baby. Can I suggest putting things that a baby will need down the line such as corner covers and sippy cups. Any new mother will tell you they receive plenty of 0-3 month clothes.
(Okay okay, none of them are plastic…)
I found a shop called Cotton On, which I assume is an american brand, in one of the malls in Dubai. I went in looking for something completely different (It’s a clothes shop) but I stumbled upon a section with Typo products (another america brand, I think).
I got all four items for €20 so I reckon it was a bargain. I don’t need any of this stuff but I’m thrilled with them all. The ‘Love is the New Black’ sign is actually a paper tablet cover. I’ll be using it on the wall. It cost €4. The Eiffel Tower scissors, which I’m extremely excited about, was the most expensive item at €9. I love all things ombre and I’ve also got a thing for anything I cant write in so the notebook was a must at €4. The wooden @ sign was the biggest bargain of all at €3 and will go perfectly in the bedroom. I’m not sure if I’ll hang it on the wall yet.
Anyway, they’re my purchases for the week. Dane also bought me LOADS of scrap-booking stuff for Valentine’s Day but the less said about that the better. It is not a cheap hobby.
Oops. I’ve since learned both Cotton On and Typo are in fact Australian brands. Thanks Nikki. Keep up the good work Australia.
1) Stephen, Chris & Mam enjoying a pint & watching the football, 2) Enjoying a drink with Mam & Hepsiba. I was pretty excited that Hepsiba loved Irish Cider, 3) Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 year lease for St. James’ Gate Brewery, 4) I love that they haven’t tried to completely modernise the building on the inside, 5) The mini Guinness you receive for the taste test. I now know how to properly drink Guinness, I still hate how it tastes, 6) Dublin City, 7) The Dublin Mountains
I know I’m not the only one who feels like they could know more about their own city but because it’s so familiar you rarely get to really see it. Every now and then I get to do the tourist thing in Dublin. I must admit it’s mostly when we have family or friends visiting from other countries. Last week my second cousin Chris from Canada came to visit along with his Chilean fiancée Hepsiba. They stayed with us for a few days and mostly found their own way around Dublin while we all worked. On the Saturday we brought them to our local pub to watch the football and sample a few Irish drinks before going into the Guinness Storehouse. As I say, it’s rare I get to do the tourist thing but I’ve done the Guinness tour at least 5 times. It’s always enjoyable and I hadn’t been in a while so It was fun to go and remind myself of the story behind ‘the black stuff’. You get some information on how it’s made as well as the history of Guinness. A new to me section included learning how to properly taste a Guinness or any beer really. Unfortunately it still hasn’t converted me. The grand finale is the Gravity Bar on the top floor with a nice view of Dublin City where you can sample a free pint of Guinness.
It was great to show Chris and Hepsiba a bit of the village we live in as well as a bit of the history of Ireland. After all, the Guinness is the most important reason to visit.
While I was in Dubai with all the time in the world this summer, I read blogs constantly. I would check in for any updates every other day while eating my breakfast. As the summer went on, I would add more and more to my bookmarks list as I discovered them. Since I got home, and especially since I went back to work, I’ve hardly had a chance to look at my own, let alone any other blogs. Yesterday I sat down with my breakfast for a good hour reading away. It was lovely to check out what I had missed (which was a lot) but I also realised it was really relaxing to just flick through them at my leisure without rushing off to do something else. My new plan is to do this for an hour every Sunday morning. After all, isn’t that what Sundays are for?
I say it’s a plan but I seem to be make a lot of plans in September (back to work, all go go go with work plans, you see?) My other Autumn plans include; not working in the evenings or on weekends and taking an hour every week to lie on my bed listening to music. We’ll see how they work out. I’m feeling optimistic. Anyway, just in case anyone is looking for some new blogs to read, i’ll list the ones I have bookmarked below. I have different reasons for liking each one. Some make me laugh, I enjoy the style of writing some bloggers use, some draw me in with amazing photographs and some I just find the topics interesting. Here goes: