14 from 14

Happy New Year! It’s now early New Year and we’ve passed the most wonderful time of the year  and are in full on reflect, review and resolve mode. This year I’m approaching my end of year review slightly differently as Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From  (yes, her again, the one with the beautiful writing and beautiful crafts on her beautiful blog who I’m always raving about, you know, the one who invented the wooly reindeer that well loved so much in this house) anyway, Sadhbh (see above!)  has offered us the use of her template “14 from 14” post to use as a review linky, and who could resist an opportunity to add one of Sadhbh’s drawings of herself and her twin girls on a blogpost.

(Note to self: resolve to get to the point quicker in 2015)

Where Wishes come From

Yes, a linky, that means that if you click on that picture above it’ll bring you to a list of lots of bloggers’ “14 from ’14” posts. (We’ve all added our own flavours, Dr How has “favourite experiment”, I have “favourite recipe” and both Office Mum and Four Walls Rainy Days have a tenuous link to a pair of jeans that I have since purchased.)

The beauty of this format is that it’s mostly good things that we’re talking about.  Sure 2014 had lots of crap too, but think positive, don your rose-tinted glasses and I’ll try not to sound smug or self satisfied as I write. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to read about roadworks, or laundry,  or the traffic or how untidy my house was or how overwhelmed I was at times, or bad things that happened,  you want to read about the good stuff, right? Right? OK, so rules established, read on.

14 from ’14

1. Most Popular Post
The most popular post that I wrote in 2014 was the one I wrote the night before I went back to work after maternity leave So Long Maternity Leave, It’s Been Great Knowing You. I didn’t spend long writing it, and it came right from the heart, even re-reading it now as I went to the post to link it here has a lump in my throat.  It resonated with a lot of people and ultimately was published in the Irish Independent.

The second post popular post that I wrote in 2014 was the post I wrote about holidaying in my home village of Duncannon- A Break with Kids In Duncannon. The day I published that post in July was incidentally the day I’ve had the most views ever in one day on the blog.

(The most popular post to date on the blog remains Easy Chicken and Broccoli Bake which I blogged in January 2013 so it’s had a while to accumulate views)

2. Favourite Post

I really enjoyed putting my Christmas wish list post together What (These) Women Really Want for Christmas and playing with the photos and graphics.

Bumbles of Rice picks

3. Favourite Recipe

The recipe I most enjoyed making, but which in reality I am unlikely to ever make again was Cathal’s cake for his Fourth Birthday Party in September. It was a Treasure Chest Cake and it turned out great, see.

Cathal's birthday cake

Cathal’s birthday cake

 

4. Favourite Photo

I really love the photos that Patrick Browne took for the Irish Independent, I’ve had this one of the five of us put onto a canvas.

Photo by Patrick Browne for the Irish Independent

Photo by Patrick Browne for the Irish Independent

 

In terms of the photos I’ve taken myself I’ve instagrammed lots – check them ALL out on instagram here and my most liked pic on instagram was this one:

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Of course I think I take much “artier” ones but what would I know? 🙂

 

5. Best Adventure

We try to adventure a lot as a family but apart from the obvious choice of our holiday in Connemara in July (which I have yet to blog properly) I think that this year’s top adventure for us was our weekend at Electric Picnic, it was so different to what we normally do and we were discovering and exploring all weekend, from the live music to the hanging around in hammocks and going up the on the big wheel, it was all new, and all fun.

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6. Most Common Theme

My Week in Dinners theme/campaign gave me five posts at different times during the year and proved very popular. I even gave it its own category so you can check out all the Week in Dinners posts here. I really enjoyed running the linky that got lots of other people sharing what they ate for one normal week, and loved nosing and realising that we’re all normal really. I’ll definitely continue this in 2015.

I also got very involved in tantrums, and the colour pink this year.

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7. Favourite Comment

I’ve been lucky not to attract negative comments on my blog, (but my articles for The Journal.ie have been another thing entirely, troll city!) My maternity leave post got lots of  comments (39!) that were warm, friendly and supportive so they are all together, my favourite comment.

 

8. My Favourite Celebration
Rather than choose one birthday in this house over the others, I’ll choose something completely random.

Our first ever celebration of Dinovember was a huge hit this year, it let our imaginations and the kids’ run wild and really brought a bit of magic to the house at a bleak enough time of year. We’ll definitely mark it again next year.

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9. My Best Move:

My best move, hmm. This is a toughie. I think, blog wise, it has to have been submitting my post on tantrums to The Journal.ie. They published it, and to date it’s had 32,000 views!

The really amazing thing is what led from it, I was interviewed on two local radio stations, and this gave me the confidence in my own opinion and also  the confidence to submit more articles to The Journal. (You can see all five articles that I’ve had published on The Journal.ie here).

This time last year I couldn’t have imagined doing a radio interview.

 

10. My Favourite Freebie:
I love ALL the freebies that my blogging has brought, my highlights have been my Netflix subscription including the events it’s gotten us invited to.  the hamper from Real Italian Foodies that I’ve yet to blog about and the Zazzle voucher.

I also loved receiving cookbooks to try like No Bake Baking, the Happy Pear and Paul Flynn for Lidl and would happily have spent the money on any of the three.

 

11. Best Blog Moment:

Getting the email one Monday afternoonfrom Huff Post Live asking if I’d take part in a TV linkup three hours later. They contacted me out of the blue having read my maternity leave post. I rushed home from work and set up my webcam with seconds to spare.

I also really enjoyed meeting Dil on her radio programme “Global Village”  on Newstalk, where we chatted about my son’s love of all things pink, she was so relaxed and warm it felt like I was just having a chat with a friend.

Being on the front page of the Irish Independent Back to School Supplement was pretty cool too, especially since it was a piece that I’d been asked to write specially for the supplement.

Huff post logo

 

12. Worst Blog Moment

Blogging, like life, has lots of ups and downs.

Begging for votes, weekly in the best blogpost competition was definitely the worst part of this year blogging. It killed me, I hated myself asking and realised I was becoming a nuisance. But I couldn’t let it slip once I’d started, and I got obsessed. I was so relieved when I go through to the judges’ round that the voting was over.

13.  My Favourite Title

Titles are hard. You try to be clever and the search engine optimisation people tell you you’re being frivolous. I employ brackets a lot too.

My favourite title stating the obvious was:

43 Things My Children Have Said Since I Kissed Them Goodnight

and my favourite more literary (ahem) one was

Are we really doing things the wrong way around? 

my response to Kirstie Allsopp saying that girls shouldn’t go to college til after they have kids.

I must work on titles. Did I mention that they’re hard?

14. What My Blog Did For Me In 2014:
Gave me confidence, got me out, helped me grow, made me grateful for what I have, kept me busy at home, made me friends, taught me, helped me learn. Blogs are great.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for my hope for 2015 post 🙂

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