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, inspired by Where Wishes Comes From’s ’16 from 16, I really was reminded what a positive year 2016 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). I turned 40, relatively gracefully, in May, and thanks to my birthday and the gifts that it brought I got to travel lots this year.
Here are 16 blogging moments from 2016 that sum up my year, in blog terms anyway.
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, but a post from 2016 is coming second and catching up fast- its 19 Healthy Snacks My Kids Will Actually Eat, written with my usual balance of practical advice and attempt at wit.
2. Favourite Post
I said in another linky that this post was one of my favourite five posts on the blog, and it was written this year so I guess by default then, or by prior agreement, it’s my favourite one from 2016. My middle boy will be delighted that he beat the others. A Nearly Missed Milestone.
3. Most Popular New Recipe.
The most popular recipe I blogged in 2016 was the one I shared for tomato sauce for pasta that the kids declared was the best one ever. Who am I to argue? See it here . However, my favourite thing I made was the boys’ birthday cakes, which is two things, and I haven’t blogged them yet, but just look! The green one is Ciarán’s vanilla pinata cake, and the chocolate is Cathal’s stripy chocolate and plain pinata cake. They turned out great and I’ll share how I made them on the blog any day now!
4. Most Viral Post
My love letter to Gorey was huge this year, and was the third most read post on the blog all year. It was read 5000 times in the first 24 hours that it was published, a first for me, and as close to viral as I’ve ever had.
5. Best Blog Moment
After four years blogging I won an award. I was truly delighted to win the bronze award for best parenting blog in the Boots Maternity and Infant awards in October. Did my life change afterwards? Well, no. But I did feel validated for moment and I got a winner badge to stick on my blog, see, it’s up there on the right. You can read where I told you all about it here.
6. Best Family Trip
Our holiday in Portugal really brilliant, it exceeded our expectations and it will stay as a very happy memory of 2016. You can read about it here, there’s more to come. Our Family Holiday in Portugal
7. Most Liked Photo on Facebook
I didn’t take my most liked photo on Facebook, Ciarán did. We were on holiday in Portugal and he had taken a photo for me and then didn’t want to give the phone back so he was teasing me and he kept taking photos. Holiday-me laughed and he took a series of photos as I did, this one being the last one. It’s not the most flattering photo, but it captures Holiday Mammy pretty well I think. this is one of the images of me I’d love my kids to remember.
8. Favourite Serious Post
“Serious Post” isn’t a genre, there’s no category button for it, but when something is bothering me I often blog it. Like this or this but my favourite one this year was the one that I wrote when my son asked me whose job was most important, mine or Daddy’s.
9. Favourite Freebie
Freebies are a blogging perk. They’re not nearly as common for bloggers like me as the average non-blogger thinks. This year, our opportunities were definitely more “quality than quantity” and I turned down many review opportunities. The ones that I accepted were things that we genuinely wanted to try. We had a family break in The Connacht Hotel as a review and we loved it. In fact, I think all hotels are spoiled for the kids now, as we stayed in a place this week and they were immediately comparing it to The Connacht. This draws with my review of a girlie weekend in beautiful Lusty Beg Island as my favourite freebie of the year.
10. Favourite new blog element
I introduced a new series in September which interviews bloggers about their dinnertime habits. It’s had a lot of interest and I’ve more to come with it in 2017. Read it here.
11. Most Popular Instagram Image
Fair play instagram, you liked my glass of prosecco and shellacked nails in October, or maybe it was the message that I’d won a blog award that made you like this post. Whichever it was, this was the most liked post on my instagram in 2016.
Today I won my first ever blog award- the bronze award for best parenting blog in the boots maternity and infant awards. I’m delighted, I know awards don’t matter really and I don’t blog for them, but it’s lovely to feel the love. I blog to write and to interact with people and I’m grateful for all that my blog has brought me and all the people I’ve met through it. Thanks for all the support. Cheers! 🍾🍾🍾😘😘😘
12. Favourite comment
Because my most loyal commenter can’t win every year, (and he’s biased anyway, sorry Dad) I’ve chose this one from Ruth as my favourite from 2016. It was in response to my blogpost announcing that I had won a blog award. Thanks Ruth. Every comment means so much, if you like a blog on Bumbles of Rice or anywhere and you have a moment do leave a comment, it makes the author smile and makes us realise that someone is reading.
Congratulations. When you write…the real, down to earth, warts and all you comes through…the day dreamer, the inspirational mother, the wife, the working professional…you are so real that the reader can not help to take comfort that there is someone out there who knows just how they feel, just how they are struggling or celebrating juggling raising a young family and working…well done you; for being you; for being human; for your mothering journey; for your writing talent…an award well deserved.
13. Most Preachy Post
Yes, this post that I published one week before I turned 40 is preachy, but it’s preachy good, preachy helpful and I’m still proud of it. Read it, do the things. You’ll be glad. Really. It’s here.
14. Favourite thing that I have yet to blog
My trip to New York in September, without a doubt. I couldn’t let my review of the year pass without mentioning it, even though it’ll be 2017 before it makes it to the blog. (As will my trip to Paris which would be this thing if I hadn’t gone to New York).
15. Most Reflective Post
I often blog to gather my thoughts, and this one, which came out quite poetic in the end, started as a comparative tool and ended up as a celebration of the uniqueness of each of my children’s place in our family. Big, Middle, Little.
16. Favourite Celebration
My 40th birthday might have been a moment of grief, but instead I turned it into a big celebration. I made a fuss of myself and family and friends joined it. I was so glad that I had a birthday party and got to see friends that I hadn’t caught up with in ages. I received riduculously generous presents and so many good wishes.
That was my 2016 in blogging. It was a good year all around, my blog grew, though not exponentially, I had some great opportunities, and I celebrated a “Fortival”. Thanks to you for reading and to my family and friends for the support this year.
Let’s see what 2017 has to bring!