I’ve been doing annual blog lookbacks for the last few years, run as a linky by my friend Sadhbh on Where Wishes Come From. I’ve found them a great place to reflect and to look at what I’ve done on Bumbles of Rice in the previous year and to focus on what my plans are in the year to come. Sadhbh isn’t running the linky this year, but I missed writing the post so I decided I’d still write it. So far, so riveting, huh?
Anyway, looking back I can clearly see that things have been slowing down over the past few years, blog wise anyway. In 2018 I published 29 posts, my fewest ever. (I’d 59 in 2017, 102 in 2016 and 119 in 2015). Reflecting on this I think my lack of posts is attributable to a number of things:
Firstly, we had a very busy year, concentrated around moving house . The Move itself took a lot of time, evening time to get packed and unpacked, weekend time to do the same and to wander for hours around IKEA and furniture shops, not to mention the hours spent on myhome.ie and DAFT stalking every for sale property in our chosen areas and arranging viewings. It’s worth it but in terms of a time suck it’s right up there with planning a wedding or having small children.
Secondly, as the kids get older I tend to share less, perhaps it’s due to privacy, perhaps it’s due to them not being hilarious any more, or or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve no more tips to share, I’ve it all figured out now. (You decide)
Thirdly, and also kid-related, as they get older they’re up later in the evenings or we’re out at matches or training and I’m less inclined to sit on the laptop when they are all gone to bed as it’s all so late.
Added to that I’ve spent a lot more time on instagram especially stories this year so that’s taking some of the time I would have spent on blogging previously, it’s quick and dirty, easy to get content out there and I don’t have to overthink it. It’s natural and spontaneous, a lazy way to voice opinions.
However, despite all this I’m not walking away from my blog, and while I think fewer people are interested in reading long blog posts I’m hoping that some of you are still interested in reading about our adventures or my feminist rants, or general thoughts on parenthood.
While I’d love to write more, and some days my head is bursting with ideas, I am accepting of the fact that my blog is my hobby and I can’t spend all my time on it. I have an almost full-time job, a commute, and my three busy children, my blog isn’t top of my priorities. It’s here to stay though! Here’s a rundown of the what happened on Bumbles of Rice in 2018. As always, if there’s something you’d like to see me cover drop me a line here or on Facebook or instagram (follow me while you are there, it’s impossible to grow followers there!)
Here’s what happened on Bumbles of Rice in 2018.
Most Popular Blog Post
The most popular post published in 2018 for the first time was my slow cooker recipe recommendations. I think 2018 was the year that everyone embraced the slow cooker, so this post really was popular. 12 Slowcooker Recipes
However, the consistent most popular post on the blog for the last few years is this easy recipe.
And yet, I only published one new recipe this year.
Most Popular Travel Blogpost
The post popular travel related blogpost on the blog this year was Six Things to Do in Connemara with Kids a post that I wrote in 2015.
The most viewed of all the travel posts that was published in 2018 was the post on our experience when we were invited to Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo. I’ve lots more day trips yet to blog, so it’s great to see that these are still in demand.
My Favourite Post
While in our house 2018 will forever be remembered as the year that we moved house, while we changed our abode the country changed around us. I got involved in the repeal campaign, mostly starting conversations and wearing t-shirts, but also handing out fliers and attending events. I wrote about the reasons that I was voting for repeal as at the time it was consuming me, I was taking everything that the other side said personally and felt I needed to explain why I wanted to vote. This post, let me record my reasons and led to lots of women contacting me to discuss voting, and later to thank me for convincing others. For this reason, for the memories of repealing and for the hard fought battle, this is my favourite post of 2018. The Reasons I’m Voting to Repeal.
Adventures come in all shapes and sizes and while our family holiday in Portugal was fantastic our biggest adventure in 2018 was undoubtedly moving house and settling in to our new home. The kids got very involved in the move, helping to pack, carry boxes, squash rubbish into the skip, weed the patio garden, and discover the best places to in the new garden.
Aside from the house move, we’ve had lots of other change too this year, Laoise started big school in September and I rearranged my work hours too so I’m at home with the kids two afternoons a week. It’s all good, and we’re looking forward to a lot less change this year!
I only published one new recipe on Bumbles of Rice this year (I know, I can’t quite believe it myself), it was for old school vegetable soup. I’ve tried lots of new recipes though and the ones that are going down very well here are this chocolate biscuit cake and this handy dinner that the kids love.
My nephew’s christening in Donegal was very special, gathering the whole family together and marking his birth. I can’t overlooked my three babies’ birthdays, Laoise turned 5 in June and the boys turned 8 and 10 in September. They are just growing up so quickly, I want to stop time, I can just feel them slipping away, but at the same time I’m enjoying their independence and their company. We held the boys’ parties in our new house, with the bouncy castle that we couldn’t have fitted in our old house, it was lovely to welcome their friends to our new home. Naturally we went all out with the birthday cakes as is tradition in our house, Laoise had a barbie mermaid cake, Ciarán had a GAA Club pinata cake and Cathal had a self designed chocolate and sweets cake. All were deemed successes.
Favourite Kids’ Reads
I bought myself Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and have loved reading it to the kids. Cathal and I read together at bedtime and we’re really enjoying Dog Man at the moment for laughs before bedtime, we also dip in and out. Ciarán loved the Moone Boy books by Chris O’Dowd, they’re very funny, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.
My favourite book for me this year was Educated by Tara Westover. I didn’t know what to expect but the book grabbed me and I was carrying it around trying to find a spare few minutes to read it at every opportunity. That’s the sign of a good book. I also loved Donal Ryan’s From a Low and Quiet Sea and John Boyne’s the Heart’s Invisible Furies.
My Best Move
My Best Move this year was very literal – moving house. While the kids were not enamoured with the idea when we first told them we have seen them blossom as they get used to each having their own bedroom and having the space to play safely outside. Laoise got her stabilisers off of her bike within a couple of weeks of moving in and the boys’ hurling skills came on great. The neighbouring farmer may set up a business in selling sliotars, and the local wildlife will probably nest in them. Sitting on the deck in the summer and autumn mornings with a hot cup of coffee we’ve been able to say with confidence that we made the right move.
We love family weekends away so were delighted to be invited to spend Easter weekend at Crowne Plaza Dundalk. We had a brilliant time and were very impressed with the accommodation. We’d no idea of all the area had to offer and definitely recommend a visit, we took a picnic to Slieve Gullion, visited Carlingford and stopped at Newgrange on the way too.
Being invited to events is always nice and we only accept a very small number of the invitations that come our way. The kids really enjoyed the cookery class run by Supervalu when they met Bressie and the Happy Pear and the Disney previews of Ralph Wrecks the Internet and The Nutcracker, and Cirque Beserk was a great day out as was Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo. I caught up with lots of blogger friends at the launch of Andrea Mara’s latest book, One Click.
Favourite day trip
This is a really tough one, I loved going to Newgrange ( to be blogged) and to the Giant’s Causeway (also to be blogged) but my favourite was our day trip in Dublin at midterm break in February. We took the Dart from Greystones, visited the National Museum at Collins Barracks and then EPIC Ireland, met aunties and uncles for dinner in Milano and got the Dart back to collect the car. The day went so much better than expected and the kids are still talking about it and planning something for the February midterm.
I think my biggest blog surprise is that people are still reading, and that I’m still blogging! Here since 2012, with marginally less to say and much less time to say it now!
I started a series on instagram called #workstyleme to share workwear as I find it’s difficult to get workwear inspiration for standard office jobs. I hope to pick it back up in the New Year and I’d love if you’d tag me and use the hashtag if you’re posting workwear
What my blog did for me in 2018
This year I didn’t really use my blog as much as a creative outlet but I spent some time with some great friends that I have met through blogging. I was asked to write an article for a big travel website (not yet published) and got to do my now annual radio gig with Marian Finucan at Christmas. As always, my blog helps me figure out my thoughts and gives me an outlet, ask my kids and they’d say that it means we get to go to cool things sometimes on account of it. Both are true, but the first is the reason I continue to blog!
What’s planned for 2019
Planning is for wimps, or people with strategies, part of the charm of Bumbles of Rice, I think anyway, is that it’s unstructured. There’s no formula or plan. It’s like a chat with your friends, it could go off on a tangent. There’s no schedule for what I’ll post on a Tuesday or every third Monday is not Mexican night. I’m going to keep it like that, partly because it works, partly because it’s easy and also, because it’s easy. (Yes, I know I said that twice, it’s the main reason and I wanted to do this for emphasis). There will be daytrips, and cooking, and if you follow my instagram there will be many, many beach walks, that’s fire sure.
Thanks for reading, do keep in touch!