The very lovely Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From has this year again obliged with kicking off the linky for a yearly roundup, this year aptly being 15 things from 2015. I took part in this last year, when it was 14 from 14 (see how this works?), and thought it was a brilliant idea so was thrilled to see it was happening again. It’s a really nice way to sum up the best bits of the year (with a couple of the not so wonderful bits thrown in to humanise me a bit!). Lots of my favourite bloggers are taking part too, you can check them all out by clicking the link at the end. It was one hell of a year for a great many reasons!
Without further ado anyway, as there is enough to be going on with, here are my 15 from ’15 – the year that was!
1. Most Popular Post
In August, the lovely Suzy gave birth to her gorgeous son Charlie, and I pondered what kind of gift to get. I decided on a hamper that focused mostly on her (and only somewhat on the baby) as from experience know the feeling of being up to my ears in baby clothes and felt that the Mama who did all the hard work deserved a treat. As it turned out, hers was made much harder, so I was glad that I’d gone with this approach as she deserved it – especially that medal! I wrote up a post documenting the contents in the hopes of inspiring others. The post was extremely popular and got my most views ever, which I was thrilled with! You can check it out here.
2. Favourite Post
This is a difficult one to pick, there have been quite a few that I’ve liked writing, and quite a few that I really wanted to write so was thrilled to get to. I have two which I’m unable to really choose between. There’s this one where the very nice and VERY talented Louise O Neill agreed to an interview with me to go with my review of her incredible must-read book “Asking For It”. There’s also this one, inspired by Maia Dunphy and her honesty about her reaction to finding out she was pregnant, which got me thinking about my own experience. I love both of them equally!
3. Favourite Photo
For sure, this one. It’s just brilliant, catching his expression like that, it’s as if he’s a man on a mission gone off on a rant. I’ll be getting him to contact customer care for me more often.
4. Best Adventure
For sure the day trip to London with Netflix – being met at the airport by a driver, driven to a swish hotel and getting to spend the day with the other Stream Teamers being spoiled (as well as a dash around Oxford St before my flight home!) – sheer perfection!
5. Finds of the Year
Ooh, there are a few of these. TV show wise, How To Get Away With Murder has been the big one. In books, Louise O Neill (“Asking For It”, “Only Ever Yours”) and Paula Hawkins (The Girl On The Train) were definite highlights. This year was also the year of the podcast with me – I’ve been loving the Irish Times Womens Podcast, Shondaland Revealed and Afterbuzz TV’s Law and Order SVU and HTGAWM series!
6. Most Common Theme
Ranting. Lots of ranting. This was a year where I had lots of thoughts, and for those that were writable about, this was where I put them. I wrote about the same sex referendum, breastfeeding in public, secular education versus the Irish education system, the issue of consent, house hunting, and a few bits about mental health.
7. My Favourite Comment
I honestly can’t pick – I get thrilled at every comment I get because it means someone is reading and caring enough about what they read to leave their opinion, whether they agree with my stance on something or not!
8. My Favourite Celebration
For sure, the Irish Parenting Blogger Awards. It was a fabulous night in the Odessa, with some very well deserving bloggers getting to bring home GORGEOUS Teapot trophies created by the very talented Colorines Wonderful. From the dinner, to the amazing snacks courtesy of Glenisk, to the brilliant goodie bags, and the company itself – the craic was mighty (and by chance, myself and himself managed to get there in a limo, completely unrelated). I’m looking forward to the 2016 Awards already!
May 23rd this year was also a day which will forever last in my memory – the day Ireland said Yes to Love – and voted to allow same sex couples to marry. Bring on the wonderful weddings!
9. My Milestones
I’m not going to beat last years (Becoming a Mammy), but this year I settled into the role and started taking this writing thing more seriously. I got some articles published (yay!), appeared in the Irish Independent talking about having my baby young, wound up on the radio talking about that time I got involved with teaching sex ed, and was included in Like Magazine’s article about strong women dealing with mental health issues. It’s not been half bad!
10. My Favourite Freebie
Do I really have to choose? I consider myself exceedingly lucky with the brands I’ve gotten to work with this year – Netflix (as part of the #StreamTeam), Becky Mantin Products, Funky Giraffe, Waterwipes and Minted.com, among others. However if truly made to choose; it’s the Netflix Mammy’s Day Off where us Stream Team ladies were brought to the fabulous Soho Hotel in London, for a preview screening of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as being well and truly pampered with delicious food, massages, manicures and amazing cocktails. It was an AMAZING day that definitely perked me up right when I needed it. (Close second is my shiny iPad Mini, courtesy again of the lovely Netflix, who really are incredible to work with).
11. Best Blog Moment
Getting to meet lots of the lovely blogging ladies from the Irish Parenting Bloggers at the inaugural Irish Parenting Blog Awards, as well as some of them during the trip to London with Netflix for the premiere of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Networking, with cocktails – how much better can you get?
12. Worst Blog Moment
Most likely, getting an email from someone regarding something I wrote which left me feeling like I’d been talking in class and caught by the teacher – while I don’t consider what I wrote to have been in any way incorrect given the circumstances, it has given me an awareness of how things are perceived, and that once it is up there, it is up there for good. Lesson learned.
13. My Favourite Search Term Used To Find Me
It’s a tie between “Things that keep me sane blog” and “www.badmammy.com”. Perhaps I should buy the domain…
14. My Best Move
This year I definitely spruced up the blog. I got more into learning different design bits, started to worship at the altar of Canva and decided to make each post more uniform as to have a cleaner and more professional look. In doing so, I’ve also created much more shareable content on things like Pinterest and Instagram, which ends up bringing a bit more traffic in. I’ve even learned bits about SEO on the way, which I plan on continuing in the coming year! Constantly learning, this blogging lark…
15. What My Blog Did For Me In 2015
This year, I became a Writer with a capital W – a fact which completely thrills me, and would not have happened had I not sat down, frustrated and housebound and VERY pregnant in February 2014 and started what was to become this blog. It has also given me new friends, like the lovely Suzy, who have in turn allowed me amazing tiny baby snuggles with their cute children. It’s also been a form of therapy, it’s allowed me to speak my mind on topics which are getting me down or getting my blood pressure up – and to interact with others in the same boat. Hello Internet.
So, that was my 2015. We’re now beginning the new era, one without Downton Abbey (sob!) and hopefully an end to the Christmas binge eating – what have you been up to? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
Make sure to check out the Four Walls, Rainy Days Facebook page – it will change your life (ahem, maybe, but you won’t know unless you try).
Also, check out the rest of the linky folk by clicking on this graphic – you’ll head straight through to the fab Where Wishes Come From – if you’ve not seen her before, you’re really in for a treat!