Last year I wrote a post called 13 from 13, as a recap of how I spent my 2013. I thought I'd do it again this year only I'm calling it 14 from 14 this time, for obvious reasons. I imagine this format will get trickier and trickier to fill with interesting 'moments' as the years climb higher and so I've decided to make this post a linky so that others might join in and share 14 of their own blog moments from 2014.
I'm going to use more or less the same headings as last year, plus one new one, but if you're joining in, please feel free to decide your own headings. After all 'Favourite Craft' might not be a good fit for everyone's blog! See the bottom of this post for details on how to join in.
Here, in no particular order, are my own 14 from 14.
Here, in no particular order, are my own 14 from 14.
1. Most Popular Post
While my Felt Unicorn Tutorial is still at the top of the leader board the most popular post from 2014 is 10 Things I've Learned Parenting Twins. I really enjoyed writing that post as part of Learner Mama's Linky and focusing on the positive aspects of parenting my babes. Though, looking back on it now, I'm pretty sure number one on the list must have annoyed any other parents of twins that read it. I think we just got really, really, really lucky with that one. Mind you, lately the girls have been making up for it by becoming TERRIBLE sleepers. You can't win 'em all!
2. Favourite Post:
I wrote my favourite post from this year as a wedding anniversary gift to my lovely Devo. 10 Years After is a synopsis of our love story and writing it really brought me back to the early days of our relationship and reminded me how and why we got together. It also reminded me how I always had an urge to write and create and how ultimately, that was the reason we ended up together.
3. Favourite Photo:
I tried to choose a favourite picture last year and couldn't, so I cheated by choosing two. This year I'm cheating again by choosing ALL of the photos in this post. But really, if I had to choose one it might be this one of my two little fairies conspiring together. Actually, Lile is wheedling Sábha's chocolate covered raisins from her as she'd finished her own. How's that for behind the scenes gossip!
4. Best Adventure:
This years adventure is similar in a way to last years adventure. Last year I mentioned the period of Parental Leave I took for five months and how liberating it was. This year I was made redundant and so am now sort of on permanent parental leave. I've only recently settled into 'not working'. It's taken me ages to figure out how being a stay at home parent works. And I'm only now ready to start planning for the future. I suppose when you've been doing more or less the same thing for 13 years straight, it takes a while to decompress, but I have high hopes for 2015... even if I sometimes still panic about our situation.
5. Favourite Craft:
When I got nominated for the 'Best Craft Blog' category in the Blog Awards Ireland I really ramped up the craft element of the blog. It was always my intention, but getting the nomination was a nice call to action. I enjoyed making everything I've shared here (if I hadn't I wouldn't have shared it!). It's hard to choose a favourite really. I probably enjoyed making the mermaids and the felt foxes most but I loved, loved, loved the shoe-box doll houses the girls made during a messy-play session.
6. Most Common Theme:For the second year running the search terms that lead most people to my blog involve the word 'Fairy'. I don't even blog that much about fairies, so there are probably a lot of disappointed searchers out there! Still though, at least it's nothing untoward that bring people here. That's comforting to know.
7. Favourite Comment:I should probably just change this heading to 'Favourite commentS' as, again this year, it is impossible to choose just one comment. I love the fact that people take the time to comment AT ALL, so I appreciate every single one. The ones that meant the most to me this year, however, were the ones left on the post All Change where I wrote about being made redundant from my job. The supportive response was completely overwhelming and it really helped me through a daunting time. i haven't actually figured out the 'swimming' part completely yet, but I definitely haven't been sunk yet, at least.
8. My Favourite Celebration:We had another great year of fun both observing seasonal festivities and celebrating family milestones. The birth of my niece, my Dad's 60th birthday, my own birthday, cousins' weddings - to name but a few. There's been even more family excitement this past week but I'm saving that for another post. Sábha and Lile's fourth birthday really stands out in my mind as a highlight. I really enjoyed putting their Fox and Cat party together for them and using their own designs as a key element really made it special.
9. My Best Move:Again, being nominated for the Blog Awards Ireland prompted me to take a good look at my blog and to push ahead with some changes I had long intended to do. I added new pages for Crafts, Parties and Fairies and tidied up my other pages too. I also designed a new header - which I have since changed a few times more. It's kind of addictive... There is still more work to do and more things to tidy up, but I'm pretty pleased with what I was able to achieve with a very simple template and very limited technical skills!
10. My Favourite Freebie:This year I have received more freebies than I ever could have imagined possible. This time last year I had only just started hearing from PR companies and I really didn't know how to respond, how to filter the good stuff from the bad. I've had some fantastic opportunities come my way this year from movie invites to days out to nice products. I really loved being able to offer giveaways to my readers especially. I think my favourite product was Irish Countrywomen's Association Book of Crafts. It is such a gorgeous publication and something I really love having on my bookshelf.
11. Best Blog Moment:I had some amazing blog moments this year. I had my five year blogiversary, I was offered a ton of great opportunities (see above) and I was ecstatic to make it to the finalist list of the Blog Awards. I had made the shortlist in 2013 so making it as far as the final 8 this year was a fantastic boost. My proudest moment, though, was winning the BOPS Award for Best Lifestyle and Family Blog. It was a total shock to the system when they called my name and I still feel a little tingle of excitement when I look at my award.
12. Worst Blog Moment:I tend to keep things fairly light around here and negative comments are few to non-existant. Phew! This year I put myself 'out there' a little bit more than before. I wrote pieces for a few other sites. Any comments on my other pieces were fine but the piece I wrote for Scary Mommy really attracted the trolls! I thought the piece was light hearted enough and very non-accusatory but... trolls will find something to complain about, I guess!
13. My Favourite Title:*This wasn't on last years list* I've been looking over my posts and came to the conclusion that I'm actually not very good at coming up with titles! My titles are either perfunctory 'does what it says on the tin' or slightly abstract - Happy Elbow anyone? Hmmm, maybe I should make more of an effort in that area in 2015... If I push myself to choose one from this year, however, I would choose this one. I chose it because I got a compliment. See? It's there in the comments.
14. What My Blog Did For Me In 2014:
I could just copy and paste the stuff I wrote under this heading last year as it all still holds completely true, but this space has done even more again this year. In a year of ups, downs and uncertainties (seriously, how many times did I use the word rollercoaster this year?!) this space has been one of the only constants in my life. One of the only things I had control of. One of the things that kept my confidence up when it was faltering and kept me focused when confusion reigned. I am so grateful to all my readers who spur me on to keep creating, to keep writing and to keep moving forward. Without you, I think this place might have died a long time ago. For that, I thank you.
Now it's your turn!