I always find it difficult to do a round-up of the year – especially this as so many amazing things have happened! I have decided to sum up my year in blogging and then make some predictions/hopes for 2014. I wrote a post last year saying I don’t like making resolutions…too much pressure on myself!
The first month of the year saw the first ever Prose for Thought. This poetry and prose blog hop has been a slow burn and has formed a special place on my blog where I have discovered so many talented people. I also wrote a letter to Grace for her sixth birthday. I also did my first ever vlog!
This was the month that completely changed blogging for me…for the better. I was shocked and stunned to discover that I had made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards in the Most Innovative Category. I was up against some mighty bloggers and as Willie Wonka so aptly put it ‘You? You’re just lucky to be there!’ Being a complete newbie (less than 6 months in) I felt that I didn’t stand a chance but it was amazing to have been recognised. I continued with my funees about Grace and was on the Dukan Diet.
Another fantastic month. Not only did it see This month saw the start of my big linky that has gone from strength to strength…Post Comment Love or, as it is more affectionately known, #PoCoLo. The newbie showcase was not there at the beginning but I am so glad that it is a big part of the whole thing now. I got an immense amount of support and continue to enjoy reading the diverse posts that it attracts. It also saw a ‘slightly’ controversial poem from me on Prose for Thought called ‘Competitive Mum‘! Campaigning continued for the MAD Blog awards and I was on BBC Radio Berkshire with Mike Read.
This saw the launch in the USA of Ross’ new book ‘The Hardcore Truth‘ – an autobiography about the WWE wrestler Bob ‘Hardcore’ Holly – the UK release followed on May 9th. I completed NaPoWriMo or National Poetry Writing Month, writing a poem a day. We also saw the announcement of the massive Shoulder to Shoulder to Day – an idea formed by me and Phil from Fragments from Firefly Phil to help Emma from Crazy With Twins through a difficult dose of radiotherapy treatment. In amongst all of this I found out my blog had been shortlisted for not one but 3 categories at the Brilliance in Blogging Awards.
This month I met my first bloggers in real life! This included a visit to the amazing Forest Holidays centre in Blackwood (I am hoping to have more exciting news about them this coming year) and I also had the opportunity to go to Mums Show Live and speak on one of their panels. It was a fabulous experience.
June was all about my first blogging conference – BritMums Live! I managed to secure the amazing Zita West as my sponsor, made into the final of Video in the BiBs and met my BBB (Best Blogging Buddy) Jaime Oliver from The Oliver’s Madhouse. We shared a room at the Travelodge and it felt like we’d been friends forever. This was also the month we got sent on a Keycamp holiday to review thanks to TheBabyWebsite, went to Legoland as a VIP with the MAD Blog Award Finalists and moved to Somerset.
This was the month I became co-editor of the poetry and prose round-up over on BritMums together with Helen from All At Sea. It is a fantastic honour for me and I enjoy it very much – there’s a new round-up today! It was also a month of putting our new house in order.
I found plenty to do and explore with Grace as we were living somewhere new and enjoyed finding out about the local area. We also loved reviewing lots of kids crafts and things to do. We planted and painted and created. We met up with Emma and her family from Life As It Is on their annual trip to Lyme Regis as well as finding out that Charlie Hughes from The Mad Mummy Musings was only 10 minutes up the road from where we lived – we now regularly stay in touch. I went to the Rewind Festival with Ross as a member of the press and had the opportunity to interview some fantastic people including my all-time favourite group, Go West. This was also the month I experienced some issues with Grace’s father.
Probably the most eventful month of the year! I met Marco Pierre White and Camilla Stephens – the owner of Higgidy. I attended the incredible MAD Blog Awards where I was a finalist and shared a hotel room with Maddie from Gammon and Chips. I already felt like a winner just being there. It was an amazing event where I got to met some wonderful people and the very deserving Annie from Mammasaurus won the Innovative category that I was a finalist in. I had the absolute honour of being invited to the Houses of Parliament by Lord Saatchi to listen to a press conference about his new medical innovation bill – also known as the Saatchi Bill. This also saw the month of my Bloggerversary and a massive set of giveaways on my blog.
A really difficult and upsetting month for me personally which Ross and I encountered and dealt with. I kept a diary and hope to be able to share it with you when I am ready. I wrote on of my favourite poems ever in October entitled ‘Fairy Tales Almost Never Tell The Truth’ and I received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt via my MP, David Laws, relating to an update on the Saatchi Bill. Finally I started a new regular feature called ‘Guest What?’ inviting other bloggers to send in guest posts.
A fairly quiet month in the grand scheme of things! BUT I was thrilled to become a VIP pie member with Higgidy and Tots 100. We had #higgidypienights on Twitter every Wednesday from 8 til 9pm tweeting all things pie. We were also very lucky to be given the chance to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Musical (which I was really chuffed to get the soundtrack to for Christmas from Ross as one of our favourite memories of the year). It was the month I first saw Ross perform with his new band, D-State.
This month meant I was able to give Ross something special for Christmas because of my blogging as well as give Grace a number of things I couldn’t possibly have done otherwise. As well as give to my family and friends, I donated to a charity important to me – Women’s Aid and their local Refuge. Grace and I went to see the Moshi Monster Movie preview, I got to hangout with BritMums and Marco Pierre White plus I launched a brand new blog with Cathie from Wicked World of Lucas written from our children’s – and Cathie’s dog – perspectives called ‘kidGLloves’.
So, as you can see it was an extremely eventful and very full year for me and I have to say, barr one event, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Thank you 2013.
S0, no New Year’s Resolutions but what I have decided to do is list below my hopes and aspirations for 2014:
- I love my blog and want to continue writing it for me. I would like to share more thoughts and personal feelings this year and I hope (I’m crossing my fingers as I write this) to make it into the finals of more blogging awards and maybe…just maybe…be in with a chance of winning! I also want to continue to come up with new and interesting ideas as well as helping my fellow bloggers. I want to comment more and reply to more comments on my blog!
- I am hoping that kidGLloves takes off! We have a couple of PR companies on board who we will be working on some exciting plans with.
- I am in the process of taking a children’s book writing course and have a number of ideas on the back-burner.
- I have a new acting agent and am crossing my fingers that she manages to help me to secure bigger and better jobs this year.
- I want to get fit and healthy as I would like to be around for a long time yet and I am determined to get rid of this frozen shoulder!
- I would love to get more freelance writing jobs as well as some social media work.
- Most importantly I will be putting my family first and spending quality time with them.
So, whoever you are and wherever you may be, I wish you a Peaceful and Healthy, Prosperous and Wealthy 2014. Thank you to everyone who has read, supported, shared and commented on my blog this year.
Finally I shall leave you with one of my favourite photos of the year: