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Hannah: Welcome to Happily Ever After the podcast where we talk about life's big stories from break-ups and breakdowns to icky secrets and happy endings. It's the stuff that makes us human. I'm your host, Hannah Harvey. I'm a writer and a parenting blogger at mumsdays dot com. That's M.U.M.S.D.A.Y.S dot com. I'd be really grateful if you could subscribe and leave a review because it basically means more people can find the podcast. And I also really love hearing from you, so please do contact me through Instagram @Mumsdays with any of your stories really and you know how you relate to the episode or even questions that you may want answering. You can find all the details from this episode in the show notes.
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Hannah: Hello and welcome to Happily Ever After with me, Hannah and today beamed in from her flat, I have Katie.
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Hannah: Hi, Katie. I love the fact that your. What's your cat called again? How do I not know this? Pardon?
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Hannah: Frank? Frank's on the window sill.
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Katie: Frank could not be less interested.
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Hannah: He's kind of giving me the evils.
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Hannah: Yeah. I'm very happy to see you in your natural habitat.
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Katie: Yeah. Here it is. Here's the plant that you hate me hanging around with.
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Hannah: No, I don't hate it. I just want you to do other things, as in addition to doing that. But anyway, Katie, something really exciting is happening. Today is our anniversary. One year birthday, Your old podcast.
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Katie: That's exciting.
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Hannah: You don't look that excited.
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Katie: Happily ever after his one year old. I am excited about that.
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Hannah: So you know what? I thought we could talk about?
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Hannah: Our lessons.
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Katie: Yes good.
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Hannah: What have we learned from a whole year of doing a podcast?
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Katie: Yeah, it's definitely been a roller coaster, hasn't it? Lots of really interesting people and lots of things we've learned from it. Yeah, that would be fun.
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Hannah: Okay, so I'll tell you what I've come up with. I've got ten things and you know, you may have others that you want to add, but we'll see where it goes. But I think the first thing that I think was very important about any endeavour, whether it's a podcast or not, is you just have to get fucking started.
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Hannah: Because it feels mega daunting sometimes to do these things. And you think. That it's going to be a really big deal. And actually. So, you know, if you're waiting for the planets to align or for your perfect, you know, your life to be completely perfect or even just waiting for something to say, then you're going to be waiting a long time.
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Hannah: And I remember having that feeling about a year ago being like, I really want to have a podcast and. Like, how do I want to feel in a year's time? So you know what they say, like, how are you going to feel in a year's time if you haven't started and if you have? So I'm just really like, I'm really happy that we just went for it, even though I didn't fully know it wasn't a fully formed idea.
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Katie: And like now we're 52 episodes in and isn't that incredible? You know.
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Hannah: Like as if that's the other thing like when you're it's daunting when you think of something and going, right, I'm going to do this and I want to be consistent, but have I got 52 ideas?
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Hannah: No, I don't. Absolutely don't. But then suddenly when you're forced to, ideas come.
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Hannah: In many ways it's like, well, I know I want to show up, so I've got to do something. Let's see what comes up.
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Katie: And it's very much about, like, what's happening in our lives as well, isn't it? So the universe loves to teach you lessons and it's fun to share that.
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Hannah: Love to teach us all. Yeah. So along with the whole theme of like sea dipping and stuff like that, my second thing is you've just got to do the thing and see what what you learn along the way. You know, sometimes. In fact, for you, like a good 5 or 6 years ago, I decided I was going to blog every day of the year. Um, and I think we should republish that because it's kind of disappeared. It's on my old site. But the lessons that I learned were things like. The things that resonate are not going to be the things that you think are going to resonate.
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Hannah: And often it's the thing that you do at the last minute that actually makes the most sense to people or you get the biggest reaction. But you would never have found that unless you committed to just doing the thing and seeing what you learn.
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Katie: Yeah. And that's like it's an element of kind of like, trusting your own creativity, isn't it? You know, like just going to know whether this thing is going to be any good. Let's see what we can do with it.
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Hannah: Yeah, exactly. Which leads me nicely onto the next one, which is along the lines of the perfectionist stuff that we were talking about a few weeks ago. Like, it doesn't need to be perfect. You know, just failure is an important lesson. I started the podcast because I was wanting to promote a retreat, the divorce retreat that didn't end up happening. But if I hadn't had that impetus to be like, Right, I really want to use this as a platform for that. When that didn't work. I was then able to be like, Oh, but it was the podcast that was important. Not that. Yeah, like this is the thing that I really loved. And but if I hadn't had the other thing that failed, I wouldn't have the podcast. And I wouldn't have learned that lesson. So it's like leaning into these urges and seeing what comes of them.
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Katie: Yeah, definitely.
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Hannah: I'd say the fourth thing I've learnt is that it can be done cheaply.
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Katie: Yeah, that's true.
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Hannah: Like sometimes it's just you and me sat in my bedroom.
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Katie: Many a time it's been me and you sat in your bedroom.
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Hannah: Cramped up in the corner, trying to make as many soft furnishings around us. So the sound is good?
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Katie: And I know at one point you sort of, like, got a professional microphone, which then turned out not to work very well anyway. And now we're sort of using you son's gaming microphone.
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Hannah: To be fair, that one was better quality than mine. And sometimes
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Katie: Exactly that's what I mean.
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Hannah: When Claire Venus does hers, she just uses her apple microphones.
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Katie: Ear buds?
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Hannah: And apparently that's better than anything else that she's used. So it can be done cheaply. And there's not that much to setting up a podcast, really. Like you need somewhere to host the podcast, which Spotify will do for free, won't they?
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Hannah: So you can host it on Spotify. And then what you do is you take the RSS feed and you basically give that code to Apple and all of the other podcast places.
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Katie: And it can sync across all the different platforms as well, which I didn't realise. I thought you had to sort of like host your podcast on one and then, and then upload it to all the different ones. But no, it all talks to each other. It's very clever.
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Hannah: Yeah. So it is pretty easy. Like don't be put off thinking, Oh, I wouldn't know where to start because it's, it's really like we can do it. You're more savvy than me, but like.
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Katie: If we can do it, anyone can do it.
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Hannah: And the other thing is, you don't have to have a reason.
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Hannah: You can just do it because you fancy it. And for fun.
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Katie: Well, it's interesting how much this podcast has evolved, isn't it? Like I was listening to the trailer that we uploaded before you'd even recorded an episode a couple of days ago and it's like it was all about sort of your divorce journey. And, you know, there's many aspects of what we talk about that's still about that. But then also, like it's just it's so much wider and it's more about the people that you're interviewing and what's just generally going on in your life. And the thing that's like, it's nice not having to be that specialist, you know? It makes it accessible to more of a, um, everybody, you know, doesn't it?
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Hannah: Yeah, I think so. Well, hopefully that's the idea.
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Katie: Yeah. Yeah.
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Hannah: My next thing that I've learned is have it? You know me. I love to not break a chain, so I'm like, if I'm going to show up every week, that's important to me. Like, I don't want to miss a week. I think we maybe miss one week because I was on holiday. In the whole time.
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Katie: Yeah, we did them all over Christmas and everything. I mean, we did pre-record those ones, but I think we put one out on like Boxing Day or something, you know?
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Hannah: Yeah. So it's doing things like the reason I use a podcast studio more than anything is because. It makes it helps me be consistent when I'm not in that space.
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Hannah: So if we can batch record quite a few, it means that we've got some going out and the pressure's off. Um, but yeah, I really wanted to just keep showing up every week and just keep doing it to see what happens because obviously, you know, like 10,000 hours and all that kind of the idea of that, like you need to just practice.
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Hannah: You know, when I first showed up to do this, I was here with like, I'd spent three days, maybe even like a whole week writing out every single word I was going to say. I recorded eight episodes in that one day with Louis. Um. And it was really scary and really daunting. And now today I show up and I'm probably going to do maybe 4 or 5, maybe even six episodes, but it's with very bare notes.
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Katie: Yeah, Well, no, I don't know. Because I used to think when you had more of a sort of script, not a script. You've never had a script, but when you had very precise notes to go off that it flowed better. But actually, I think as, as our both of our confidences have gathered as we've been doing this, you know, um, when we just say what we think it's like when it's the best, you know, um, it doesn't need to be planned.
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Hannah: Yeah. Allow it to flow a little bit and see what just shows up and what comes up.
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Hannah: Yeah, I think that's nice. So yeah, the whole consistency thing though, that's what I was trying to get at, that it's just a commitment like I'm going to do this every week and as a result it means that. You do, then just do it every week.
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Hannah: You just see what comes up and some days we turn up and go, Hello? Another days. I've got proper plans.
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Katie: Yeah. And sometimes when I listen back to the ones where we go, Oh, we need to do a podcast for this week. And it's like, Well, what have we been up to? Those ones where we're just like, Oh, well, this has been going on in my life. Some of those are my favourite ones. Like we say, some like, you know, not to blow our own trumpets or anything, but we say some interesting things in those ones.
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Hannah: We are very smart. We were just showing up and talking about it because that leads me onto the nice thing. The next one, which was number six, is it's okay to come as you are sometimes and just with what you've got and have a chat and see what resonates and what sticks. Like it's okay to have a mix of really planned things alongside interviews alongside me and you just having a chat about what's happening with our lives.
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Hannah: My seventh one is to take advice from people just as well-intended thoughts and try not to get too involved in what everybody else is doing. Does that make sense?
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Katie: Yeah, it does.
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Hannah: Yeah. My lovely brother, when I first started out, came to me with lots of advice about who I should be following and what I should be doing. And it kind of shook me up a little bit because I was like, Oh God, do I need to do this? And I need to make sure that I sound like I'm not reading and I need to listen to these people. But. Uh. Yeah, it's. It kind of knocked me off course a little bit. And yeah, when I'm in the midst of all this stuff, I don't really listen to many other podcasts because I don't want to like, I'm happy just being the amateur at the moment and just messing about and seeing what's interesting and fun.
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Katie: Yeah, well, there's a bunch of times that we've like, I've done research and we've tried to mimic like other formats and things like that and not mimic them, but take inspiration from like the way that other people do their podcasts and things. And it is like a at the end of the day, it's normally just two people talking to each other, you know, like there's not too much that you can like. Get wrong or change about this. Like the only thing that I think makes it any better is authenticity. And so as long as we're providing that, then it's okay, isn't it? You know, we don't need to worry about anybody else thinks, Yeah.
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Hannah: Yeah, exactly. Um. Number eight I've put is it's good to start small.
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Hannah: So there's this feeling of like, oh, everybody, you know, there's some of the bloggers that I follow and they'll do a podcast and the next day it's number one.
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Hannah: On the podcasting charts. And I'm like, Oh my God, why am I bothering? Like, why am I bothering? But then it's like. But I'm we're learning. We're learning how to do this. So not everything has to be an overnight success.
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Hannah: Being willing to show up. I think it's more important and to learn as you're going along what's important and what's less important and all that kind of stuff. Um, and look, I like. Sorry, go on.
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Katie: I was just going to say, look at how much the podcast has grown in the year when we've just taken it like one step at a time. Um, like we've got like thousands of downloads now. Lots of regular listeners. Like you're getting messages about how people enjoyed listening to the podcast and that's what it's actually all about, really. And we've just secured our first sponsor, so that's exciting as well. Like it's really because we have taken it one step at a time. I think it's given a chance to grow, hasn't it?
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Hannah: Yeah. Yeah, I really like that. And so, yeah, I love how this is like, perfectly. It's like my trail of thought. I always say, Katie's the other half of my brain, but you're literally, like, setting up my next point every time.
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Katie: Very good.
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Hannah: Yes. Well, my next point was that not everything has to have a purpose. You can literally just show up and do one because you want to chat.
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Hannah: And I the whole idea of this is from one of Austin Kleon's books. I can't remember which. It's either steal like an artist or show up or show your work. And it's this idea of staying in amateur for as long as possible, because as soon as you turn your hobby into a business or something that has to perform, it changes the nature of it. And that happened to me big style with blogging. So when I first started, I was just doing my own thing. I wasn't really following what anybody else was doing and it was growing really quickly. But and I think it was in like quite an authentic and unique way. And then as soon as I started going to conferences and speaking to other bloggers, that's when I started being like, Fuck, I need to like, do do things differently and really pay attention to what they're doing. I don't think you'd necessarily always need to do that.
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Katie: No, I agree. And I think there is something in that, um, as soon as it stops being. Like as soon as it becomes work and stops like. Like it loses its magic a little bit. You know, doesn't it, when you turn something into your job?
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Hannah: Yeah, exactly. So I think the ambition going forward more or less, is to keep doing what we're doing. And if - which is point number ten is to be open to opportunities.
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Hannah: And so if people want to sponsor the podcast, we're not going to change what we're doing. I'm not going to stop swearing. I'm not going to stop talking about dating. You know, we're not going to stop talking about our lives. Um. So being open to those opportunities if people want to be involved. But also I think we need to keep in mind what we do have to offer.
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Hannah: Because when people come on this podcast, they get business.
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Katie: Yeah, that's true.
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Hannah: And being a bit like, you know, we've done a pretty good job.
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Katie: Yeah, yeah.
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Hannah: Josie came on and as a result, people bought. You know, tickets to her retreats that cost thousands of pounds. And, you know, Katie came on, who's a style consultant back at Christmas, and she's got clients from being on the podcast.
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Hannah: So you don't have to have a massive audience. You just I think as long as we keep being authentic, like it's a good deal for people to actually come on it and to chat to us because.
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Katie: Well, it works for everybody, doesn't it? Because where the reason that those people come on the podcast is because we think it's going to be genuinely interesting to talk to them and hear what they have to say. And and it is like it works. Like I think they're interesting. I enjoy them. I enjoy the podcasts. Um, but then if somebody, if business happens as a consequence of it, that's amazing as well isn't it? You know?
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Hannah: Yeah. It's like a little win win.
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Hannah: So it's like being open to the idea of business without making it like, Oh, we must we must now turn this to business. It's a very tricky balance.
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Katie: It is a tricky balance and we're still figuring it out.
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Hannah: Yeah, we're just working around it. But yeah, I think my main point of that was you don't have to have the thousands and thousands of downloads. You just need an engaged audience who like what you're saying and that is what we have. So I think we've done a good job. I'm really enjoying it very much. Thank you for your all your help. You and Louis, who's through there and we're missing you in the studio today.
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Katie: Oh, no. Sorry, I can't be there today.
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Hannah: No, but, um, speaking of sponsors, Katie. As you know, we have got a sponsor at the moment who is the lovely Claire Venus, who I've fallen in love with since she came on about eight weeks ago. And her and her friend Laura have started a podcast called Company of Two, and they got in touch and were like, Oh, our podcast is brand new, please can we sponsor yours so you can tell your readers about it? And I've had a lovely listen to it. And it's all about it's like what happens when you have a creative business which is just you on your own. So company of one and then you have a child, hence the name of.
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Katie: Ah Company of Two! I get it!
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Hannah: Company of two!
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Katie: I'm sure everybody else got that a lot quicker than I did.
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Hannah: I'm not sure I actually said the name of the podcast, so it's companyoftwo.substack.com. And they have recorded like the first season, if you will. So there's like a few on there and they're creating like an online community within Substack so people can go and get involved. But obviously it's perfect for our audience because everybody here is like creative or, you know, you might not be working for yourself, but you're still working or you've got other side hustles going on and trying to manage like balance and motherhood, and they're just so bloody honest, which is really nice. Like it's sometimes it is a pile of shit trying to manage it all and be the woman and, you know, earning money and having ambitions and just trying to manage all these different crazy balls. So yeah, they're just doing a lovely job over there and they're looking for people to get involved, people to do kind of guest blogging and. It's. Yeah, it's just a lush little community to get involved in. For anybody who's maybe feeling a bit alone in the whole world of work and motherhood.
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Katie: Yeah. So if- you can get in touch with them on Substack if you wanted to. Or alternatively, do let us know if that resonates with you and we can put put you in touch with them.
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Hannah: Yeah. Exactly. We'll link to all of that in the show notes. So, yeah.
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Hannah: Merry Happy birthday.
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Katie: Yes, Merry. Happy birthday to you too. Yay!
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Hannah: No, seriously, Katie, though, thank you for all your help with it, because it has been it would not have I don't think I would have carried on without you, honestly. Like, sometimes you do need a partner in crime. And the fact that you've been involved since the start just means. I don't know.
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Katie: Yeah. It's absolutely my pleasure. I've enjoyed every moment of it.
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Hannah: Big Love.
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Katie: Yes. Nice.
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Hannah: See you later, Katie. Happy house hunting. You're off house hunting now, aren't you?
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Katie: Oh, yes, I am. Yes. Yeah, that's the plan. I'm going to go and see a little flat. Fingers crossed, everybody.
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Hannah: Fingers crossed. Love you.
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Katie: Bye. Bye.
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Hannah: All right, then. Thank you so much for listening. And I'll see you again next time for another episode of Happily Ever After with me, Hannah. It would be amazing if you could leave a review and subscribe. And of course, if you've got a friend who might enjoy this episode, please do pass it on for anything else. You can get in touch with me through Instagram @Mumsdays or by my website Mumsdays.com. And did you know that I've got a newsletter? So it's the best way to stay in touch and to make sure you don't miss any podcasts or any freebies or competition that we're running. And again, you can sign up to that through the website.