ASSEMBLY SPRING/SUMMER GATHERING 2019

Another Assembly Gathering has come and gone and I can’t wait to tell you all about it…

These Gatherings are like markers in the year for me - signifying the beginning of a season, a punctuation mark to welcome in something new. They take months to plan and it feels like they are over so quickly so I love to be able to record it all here and keep the memories of these special days alive.

This year for our Spring Summer Gathering I wanted to host it somewhere fresh, somewhere peaceful, somewhere that immediately felt like a retreat from the daily grind and the chaos of life. It didn’t take me long to know that Origin Community Farm was going to be that space. From the very first time we went to check out Origin as a family - a working flower and vegetable farm, cafe and community space - I felt at home. The team that run the space are some of the very best people you could know. They care deeply about what they do, they are creative, insightful, welcoming and generous and the space they have created was just the ticket for gathering almost 30 women together to eat, drink and escape routine for a while.

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TIPS FOR SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS FAMILY TRAVEL

I recently embarked on my annual epic search of a holiday. I frenzied and trip-advised and searched every airline and website and travel guide until my eyes bled to find something that met all of our criteria (and by our I mean mine).

'Going away' as a family when I was a kid was either a day-trip to the seaside or a ferry to England to visit family. We didn't go anywhere outside of the UK until we emigrated to Canada in 1992. Talk about not doing things by halves: no holidays abroad, kids, but we will be moving across the world this year. Seems legit. 

In thinking about our plans this year I've been wondering what it really looks like to travel and see places in a more low impact way. I know that flying is far from sustainable with carbon emissions being a huge culprit in climate change (although some airlines are trying out new initiatives to offset) but I have started to consider other ways that we can be more thoughtful about the impact of our travels and bring my values along for the ride.

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ON BEING A GOOD INFLUENCE(R)

I remember as an older child having conversations with my mum about influence: what kind of influence was I on my friends? What kind of influence did they have on me? That kind of thing. Maybe she saw an early rebellious streak in me. Or maybe she knew that influence was powerful – that our actions, our movements, decisions have the weight and the power to impact others; a pretty big concept to hold onto as a child but has stood me in good stead (except for my teenage years where influence was waylaid, and I got into my fair share of teenage mischief). So the idea of influence has been a strong thread in my life and I attribute my deep sense of responsibility (holler to all my enneagram ones out there) to be a good influence to those early conversations.

And now that word seems to be pretty popular, ringing in my ears when I dive into the world of social media. Some people are using it as their job description, PR’s and Marketing Teams are including it as a significant part of their campaign plans and strategies and I’m interested in having a conversation about what it really means – what mantle we are giving this term of being ‘an influencer’…

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ASSEMBLY WINTER GATHERING 2018

It’s been a couple of weeks since we had our Winter Assembly Gathering so I wanted to show you what we got up to! It was such a beautiful evening. 40 women; making, eating, and getting to know each other as we gathered at this years Winter venue, Portadown Town Centre Market. The amazing Lauren from @litphotographyni captured the whole evening for us so beautifully - makes me want to do it all again…

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AVOIDING FAST FASHION IN A CONSUMER DRIVEN SEASON

There’s really no denying it…

It’s upon us. The countdown meter at the supermarket even told me today that it’s only 32 sleeps. We are either merrily entering, gently tiptoeing or begrudgingly dragging ourselves into the Christmas season.

I’m not quite there yet - but I feel it starting to pull. I may have even started thinking about what kind of garland will adorn the mantlepiece this year and where we’ll put the tree. I may have dived back into my Christmas pinterest board.

We all know that Christmas is the highest consumer season of the year. We throw cash around that we don’t have on things that we and other people don’t really need. We buy outfits for parties and novelty clothing that we’ll forget about next year. In fact, this article exposed that one in four Christmas jumpers bought last year will never be worn again. One in three under 35’s will buy a new Christmas jumper each year (stating that they don’t want to be seen in the same one again or that they buy new ones because they are so cheap). It’s estimated that £220 MILLION POUNDS are spent every year on novelty Christmas jumpers alone. Call me scrooge. I can take it.

About 6 weeks ago, Stacey Dooley’s BBC documentary about fast fashion aired. It caused quite a stir and started some brilliant conversations on and offline. It did a great job of highlighting some of the major environmental catastrophes connected with the demand for fast, disposable fashion and people were rightly outraged and concerned with how our excessive consumption of clothes is effecting people and the planet.

I thought it might be a good time to circle back on some of those conversations - to remind ourselves about the impact that fast fashion has and how we can be agents of change as consumers, especially with party season approaching and the lure to buy new shiny things becoming a real draw.

If you are wanting to change your fast-fashion habits this season, this is for you.

If you want to pull the reigns in on your over-consumption and look at fashion as a long lasting investment, this is for you.

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THE TOP REASONS WHY WOMEN ARE HIDING THEIR BRILLIANCE (AND HOW WE CAN SLAY THOSE MYTHS) PART TWO

I’m back! And I’m ready to slay another myth with you in this series as we uncover some of the reasons why women are hiding their brilliance. In case you missed the first in the series, you can catch up here.

Today’s culprit is a big one, is connected to the fear of failure I mentioned in the first post and it is most certainly holding back and distracting women from being their most honest selves. Let’s find out what it is, shall we?

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