15 from '15 – My lookback on the year in blogging

It’s good to look back before looking forward, to see what the year gave us. In going through old posts for this review of the year just gone I really was reminded what a positive year 2015 was for us. It’ll go down as a good one, and it’s great to get back into that space after a few very challenging years.

The kids are growing up fast and the blog is getting more mature too, like its author (ahem). Some things I’m writing today I really couldn’t have imagined would have happened a year ago, let alone when I started the blog 3 years ago. Here are 15 blogging moments from 2015 that sum up my year.

1. Most Popular Post

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 links and shares, but still gets fresh hits every day.

The most popular post that I wrote in 2015 was my vent about “helpful lunchbox tips”, which was shared by netmums– you can read it HERE.

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2. Favourite Post

This is my least favourite question, what is a favourite post even? One that people read? One that I enjoy writing, or one that gets something off my chest?

I loved the post I wrote about being ten years married as writing it brought back so many lovely memories. You can read it HERE.

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3. Favourite Recipe

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Quick Coconut and Basil Chicken aka Fastest Lady Chicken Derval O’Rourke’s book is a winner, the kids love it and it’s tasty and healthy so it’s established itself as a family favourite.

4. Favourite Photo

Instagram told me what my nine most liked photos of 2015 were- check out the cool photocollage it made for me.

My favourites from this collection are the one of Laoise lifting the pumpkin, check out the expression on her little face, and for the emotions it raises the photo of  Laoise and I with my parents and my 4/5 of my siblings and parents after our local GAA team won its first senior county football final, what a feeling!

5. Best Adventure

Our family holiday to Italy in July (must blog it, here’s the 2012 version), it was hot, and we had cranky moments, but it was lovely to spend time just the five of us adventuring around, and eating gelato.

 

6. Favourite Linky

I really enjoyed the Barefaced Beauty Linky that I hosted in June. My motives were to get make-up tips from mammies like me, and it worked, with fifteen other bloggers joining in and sharing their routines and magical everyday makeup products.

7. Favourite Comment
I love when someone new starts commenting and interacting but my favourite comments are hard to choose.

I think my most prolific commentator in the last twelve months was my dad. (Hi Dad). He’s there to praise me and to make sure I don’t misrepresent anything, jumping in to defend my children, his doted-upon grandchildren if he feels I’ve done them any disservice.

Dad’s a bit of an armchair philosopher, but I thought this comment on my post about Climbing a Hill and Learning a Lesson.

Well done.
The philosophy of “The Grand Ol’ Duke of York” never really appealed to me either as the way to go in life.
What do you do when you get to the top of the hill?…..Why you come right back down again of course.Hello.
If you learn that lesson half way up…..well you’re already half way ahead when you’re coming back down!

8. My Favourite Celebration

This was a celebratory year. I celebrated the last birthday of my thirties in May, my brother got married on my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary in June and my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in September. The wedding involved the whole family, grandparents, aunties and uncles and including my small people, whereas our anniversary was just us.

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Don’t we scrub up well! 

We celebrated our wedding anniversary with a night away in a five star hotel. My wonderful sister minded the kids midweek for us as we enjoyed ourselves. There was prosecco, steak and no children. A wonderful celebration.

9. My Best Move

My best move, this year this is such an  easy one to choose.  I moved jobs in April. It has been so good for me and for my family, I’ve settled in now and I’m happier, I enjoy my work and I’ve much more flexible working arrangements. It was risky at the time but it’s paid off in buckets.

Here’s where I broke it to you all that change was on the cards.

10. My Favourite Freebie 

At a very stressful time in February I got an email asking if I would like to go to London for a day for some ME:TIME with Netflix to launch the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  It was amazing timing and I had such fun with a great gang of Irish bloggers I hadn’t been to London in years and our taxi driver gave us a tour of all the sites. I went to London for daytrips TWICE with Netflix in 2015 and even had lunch with Jeff Brazier.  Best blogger relations ever, I love being part of StreamTeam!

My favourite Non-Netflix Freebie was the family pass to Body & Soul, we had a brilliant day out.

11. Best Blog Moment

It’s not a real blog moment in the strictest interpretation but it came from a conversation that I had with a researcher from RTE about commuting and ended with my appearing on RTE Radio 1 on the Marian Finucane radio show to review TV with Dave Fanning three times. You can listen to my most recent radio slot HERE.

It was definitely something I could not have forecast this time last year and something that would never have come about if not for the blog.

12. Most Challenging Blog Moment

I started the year on TV when a TV crew from UTV Ireland filmed my morning commute, which aired in early January. I had no idea how hard it would be to do a tiny slot (is that the word, maybe scene?), which involved me walking into my kitchen and pretending to be going out to work. I had to redo everything three or four times and continuity completely went out the window. The interview part was fine, it was the doing my morning routine that was really hard, who knew I couldn’t butter bread the same way twice? You can watch it HERE.

13. Worst Blog Moment

I shouldn’t expect anything from my blog, after all it’s my hobby. But I admit that I was disappointed not to be even shortlisted for the new Blog Awards Ireland having been a finalist in the Irish Parenting Blog Awards in four categories, and having shortlisted in the Irish Blog Awards the previous year. Oh well, sure awards don’t really mean anything anyway, do they? (Says she who hasn’t won one!)

14. Best in Print appearance

We featured in the back to school supplement of the Irish Independent in August with tips on back to school, and the talented Patrick Browne took our photos again, I love the shots he took, even if it meant that Cathal was in his school uniform a month before he officially started school 🙂

15. What My Blog Did For Me In 2015

My blog opened avenues I’d never have thought possible with my introduction to radio, I loved it and find it surreal that I was asked to do it in the first place, and then that I was asked back again. This time last year I couldn’t have dreamt. It’s given me confidence, given me company and given me an outlet. And while it continues to do that, I’ll continue to write.

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I’ve tried to keep the blog honest and real, not too bogged down with reviews yet with some giveaways to reward people who keep coming back. My challenge this year I think is to get that balance right. I’d love to know why YOU read Bumbles of Rice, are you here for the recipes? Or the rants? Or maybe it’s the reassurance that your house isn’t the only madhouse out there.  Why ever it is, thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading and commenting and chatting this year, hope you had a good 2015 and if there’s room for improvement hopefully 2016 will bring that.

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11 thoughts on “15 from '15 – My lookback on the year in blogging

  1. You’ve sorta answered your own question – it instinctively feels real and honest. I’ve gleaned the odd recipe, but am drawn to the more reflective posts. Being real about parenting includes recognising the input from our partners; you do that to a refreshing degree. And fair play on getting the Marian Finucane gig – heard you again on the other week giving Dave a run for his word count. You’re not PR conscious in your writing, or cripplingly blog ‘brand’ and all that other yawn-inspiring stuff. Happy New Year 🙂

    1. Thank you. Those reflective ones are harder to schedule but just fall off the fingertips when I sit down and let them get themselves out of my head and into written words. On the radio gig, it’s been suggested that I’m the only person they could find who talks more than him:)

  2. Couldn’t put this in a ‘comment” – but for the craic would’ve loved to in re Dave Fanning you being the only one could talk as much- just wanted to day you should introduce him to your Mam! (Joke ! Joke ! Swear to God Joke !)

    I’ll sleep now.

    Dad

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. I think a favourite post is one you enjoyed writing and got something out of – I love your ten year married post (and pic – such a gorgeous photo.) And I need to try the coconut and basil chicken – possibly with only the smallest amount of chilli first to wean them up slowly…
    Congratulations on a fantastic year – especially your job move which has gone so well, and the radio work which feels like something you were made to do!
    For what it’s worth, I like the mix on your blog – I like the recipes (we’re still obsessed with the pancakes here…) and I like the rants and I like the everyday stuff. So don’t change anything!

  4. Thanks so so much for joining in the linky and for sharing your 15 from ’15. Great read! I also LOVE what you do. Your honesty and ‘barefaced-ness’. I am also impressed that you can give THE Dave Fanning a run for his money. You’re an absolute natural on radio. And don’t feel bad about the awards – your other achievements are proof enough that you’re fantastic!

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