The lovely Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From has started a fantastic linky on her blog looking back on the year that was. As this is the first year I’ve been writing my blog, theres a lot of things new and wonderful to look back on, so I’m excited to take part! There are one or two substitutions as I’m not the crafty type (once advised by an art teacher that I had “no sufficient talent) so instead will vary into my love of shiny things.
1.Most Popular Post
No surprises here, my most popular post was my first ever giveaway, kindly offered by Netflix – a years subscription and tickets to their Premiere of All Hail King Julien! The next nearest to it in popularity, minus the promise of wonderful prizes was a rant – again, no surprises, about sexism in television programming, in my open letter to Mary Curtis. It seems people like the ranting.
2. Favourite Post
Hmm, this one is a toughie. Overall there have been a few contenders but I think the winner has to be my contribution to Learner Mama’s linky “Ten Things I’ve learned as a New Mammy”. This has been a year of vast change and learning and these things were just the beginning of a massive journey of learning. In a slightly less positive, but just as important way, the close second was my foray into Post Natal Depression. It felt good to be able to get it all out, and the messages I got afterwards from others who had gotten through it too were really helpful.
3. Favourite Photo
Taken the morning of my 23rd birthday after getting numerous early wake up calls, its a simple black and white of my baby and me, hand in hand – it is the simple things 🙂
4. Best Adventure
As if the whole year hasn’t been one big adventure, I think our first trip away as parents, with E safely left with grandparents, when we went off to Kerry for the weekend (and cycled 25k, who calls that relaxing?) is definitely up there. Not the most adventurous, but it was rather lovely.
5. Finds of the Year
In order to get through teething, sleepless nights and mindless depression, I discovered a newfound penchant for pretty things. Makeup and bath bombs, to be precise. Also jeans. After my foray into maternity jeans (so good, stretchy and forgiving) it took a while to find a pair that would make me feel as good, particularly as I was far larger than I previously had been thanks to pregnancy and its linked cravings for bacon and cream cheese bagels. Next Lift and Shape jeans have proven to be a fantastic find – including the mandatory dancing in the changing room these jeans feel good feeling. As well as that, I’m a recent convert to Rimmel Provocalips, a lipstick that does. not. move! Finally, Elegant Touch false nails have been a tad of an obsession lately – instantly pretty nails with very little of the effort, yay.
6. Most Common Theme
Survival and nappies. It’s been a tough year – who knew sleep deprivation, learning on the job and putting on a brave face for the world at the same time would be such a challenge? We’ve come through the dark days though, and now I’ve got a big bold nine month old and Mama has got her groove back. Mostly.
7. Favourite Comment
Comments get me super excited because it means people are reading, and liking what they read, so the fact that I’ve got any, or many to pick from, is definitely something that has made me smile this year! The one that has stood out though is from the very early days of the blog, in fact my second comment ever, on a blogpost written very shortly after the birth of my son in March. I was new to this, terrified, having gone through 35 hours of ickiness after a not-so-fun pregnancy. Sinead from Bumbles of Rice swooped in and left a rather lovely comment which was reassuring, and made me feel like I could do it – a comment from someone who had been through what I had definitely eased the burden and made me smile when I needed it, so thank you.
8. My Favourite Celebration
Not entirely sure it counts as a celebration, but definitely the Blogger Meetup I attended in Dublin in November. Through starting this blog I’ve gotten to know some wonderful women, bloggers with amazing writing skill, humour and a great level of understanding. In November, I got the chance to meet some of them (and their beautiful babies – though I left mine at home, bold Mammy). It was great, there was wine, chats and it felt like I’d known them a lot longer than just the first time meeting them. A definite must-do for next year again!
9. My Milestones
This year I became a Mammy. I don’t think there is ever likely to be a bigger milestone, certainly my past ones (graduating college, starting a new job) have paled in significance. I spent my first Christmas away from my parents and as part of my new family in our apartment. I moved house with a baby – not recommended, though the new place is a million times better, so was worth it. It’s been a year of ups and downs, especially health wise, but at the end of it all when I look back at this year, theres a lot of positivity emanating from it.
10. My Favourite Freebie
It’s got to be the Netflix. This year I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been offered some rather lovely PR opportunities, which was a rather unexpected bonus, but becoming a member of the Netflix Stream Team in September was definitely top of my list to date. At some point I will manage to get the Apple TV working with a decent tv, but until then my subscription, and my love for all things The Good Wife, continues..
11. Best Blog Moment
Being nominated, and then shortlisted, for the Blog Awards Ireland was definitely the best feeling in the world. This started as a place to vent, a place to get out all of my heavily pregnant thoughts and has blossomed into something completely unexpected, and the recognition that my writing was something more than just sleep deprived ramblings really did mean a lot!
12. Worst Blog Moment
Deciding I’d blog every day in November – and stating that I would – and then ultimately failing because I’m not funny or creative or interesting enough to have perfect things to write every day. Pressure is not the friend of good writing, or consistent writing, and I found myself completely blocked – lesson learned.
13. My Favourite Search Term Used to Find Me
There are some very strange ones, and these are the ones that I’m not blocked from seeing. However, despite having a shortlist, I’ve got a top three so far.
“Sleep Deprivation Documentary on Netflix” I don’t think I was quite what they were looking for, but hey, if you’re interested in the movie you may as well read the book, right? This is on the normal side of search terms.
“Yummy Mummy Being a Bitch to me” Not sure how to take this one bringing people to my doorstep, but I hope they found solace in my tales of explosive nappies and looking for the perfect lipstick.
and finally, the grand winner of favourite search term used to find me to date
“Having a baby solved my quarter life crisis” No comment.
14. What my Blog Did for Me in 2014
Therapy. Release. The feeling that I was not alone when I found the incredible community online of others who have been there before and will do it again. It also serves to document my baby growing up and ensuring that if I ever do decide that its a good idea to do it all again, that I will be able to read all about the poo explosions and sleepless nights to ensure there are no rose tinted glasses waiting to be smashed second time around. It’s improved my interest in writing and given me a forum, with fantastic opportunities and the chance to meet some fantastic people. It’s given me a lot more than I ever thought it would, on that rainy day where I was trapped indoors, without chocolate when the wind was ripping roofs off buildings and I was bored.
Feel like taking part? This post is part of a linky on Where Wishes Come From – to check out her wonderful blog and some of the other participants, click the badge!