2016 has been a funny old year. And that’s being kind. Talk about highs and lows. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’ll be glad when it’s over. Bring on 2017!
But, while the lows have been really low, the highs have been high. So, I’m now choosing to focus on the positive!
I’ve blogged far less this year. Well, I’ve written fewer posts anyway. There has been more balance in my life! I’ve made a few decisions about 2017, and I’m working through what they mean for me and the blog.
I chose a word for the year, Simplify, back in January and much of this year has been about achieving that aim, although latterly I have made little progress on a practical level! Slowing things down: mentally, blog and commitment-wise has been key though, and that I have managed.
Looking back over 2016, there are a few posts that really stand out for me. Ones that I loved writing, ones that meant a lot to me and ones that helped me process and move forward.
My Personal Favourites of 2016
I wrote On friendship, adventure and Miami after a wonderful trip to Miami to celebrate a friends 40th birthday. A bit of winter sunshine and lots of girly chat; good for the soul.
I’ve written a lot about writing this year, starting with On writing for me. Lots of introspective musings, but I have reached the end of the year with some clarity on what’s next!
My daughter continues to be a source of joy and challenge, and I wrote this post On being the mother of an extrovert at the beginning of the year.
A key realization in my attempts to simplify was about letting go. Not allowing a bad day to take over, and not feeling a failure when things don’t go to plan. I wrote On best laid plans, sick kids and acceptance after one such week!
Back in April we visited New York with friends. It was a fabulous few days and it was wonderful to introduce the city to the kids. They loved it, and The streets of New York City with kids is about our adventures and is full of tips for others attempting a trip with children!
Since my daughter started preschool I have missed our days together. One weekend the boys went on a Scout trip and we got to spend some time, just the two of us, and it was wonderful: Outdoors: me and my girl.
I took the summer off from the blog almost entirely, so didn’t write about any of our adventures. We had an amazing summer and a catch up post was needed, capturing the fun and laughter and quality family time: Outdoors: our summer.
Every so often you have a perfect moment, unexpected and unplanned, that makes you laugh and reminds you how precious the simple moments are. Even just enjoying the walk home from school.
My Favourite Prompts of 2016
The Prompt continues to be a key part of the week for me, and most weeks mine turns into a poem! I love to see people join in each week, a small but wonderful and talented group of writers.
These are a few of my own favourites from over the past year:
what the Critics Said
So, there you have it, some of my favourite posts of the year. But, no review of a year in blogging would be complete without listing my most read posts of the year!
Pinterest (and pre-Christmas searching for reviews!) gives me the following Top Five, and perhaps some guidance on what I should be writing more of!
1. A new entry at number one my Minecraft Diamond Sword Cake Tutorial has been hugely popular on Pinterest. Taking my inspiration from the many images you can find there for Diamond Sword cakes, I couldn’t find a tutorial for actually making one (amounts, dimensions etc.) so I made one for my son’s birthday and wrote a quick set of instructions. The feedback has been lovely, especially when someone comes back to tell me they’ve made it!
2. Falling one place to number two this year, How to tell the truth about Santa and keep the magic alive continues to do well on Pinterest, especially in the run up to Christmas (and it would appear on Christmas Day itself which saw a spike in traffic!).
3. Down one place to number three this year is my Skylanders Portal of Power Cake Tutorial. This was one of my first complicated cakes (well, it looks it, it’s actually very simple!) and still does well on Pinterest.
4. A new entry at number four, my Doh Vinci Review does well in search results, and I saw a surge in traffic heading towards Christmas!
5. Another new entry is my Minecraft TNT Cake Tutorial, the cake I made for my younger son’s 7th birthday this year. Again, this does well in search engine results, and is growing on Pinterest.
And as evergreen content on Pinterest is such a big source of traffic for me, I thought I’d pull out my Top Five posts, actually written in 2016… Again though, the cakes win!
So, there it is, 2016 in review. It’s been a tough year, personally and globally, and I for one will not be sad to say goodbye to it. But, there have been good times too, and I will hold on to them.
I look forward to 2017 with hope and a great sense of anticipation. It’s going to be a good one.
I hope you will join me for the journey.
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