5th January 2016 Helen 10Comment

2015 was a fairly quiet year on the blog but only because it was an overwhelmingly manic year in all other respects! It’s nice to look back though – not least as it means I can also look forward to the clean slate that 2016 offers.  Joining in the linky hosted by that crafty minx Sadhbh over at Where Wishes Come From, here are my 15 from ’15.

1. Most Read Post

In September I took a few days off to juggle the half days as my little people started their new school, Montessori and crèche. All week reports filled the news about the tragedies unfolding on Mediterranean beaches as the refugee crisis reached it’s terrible peak. I wrote a short post – Dilemmas of Desperate Parents, because I felt we falsly convinced ourselves we could never find ourselves in similar circumstances. As I went out the door that lunch time the news reported the discovery of the body of a small boy – Aylan Kurdi, who had drowned on such a beach as his family tried to reach a better place. His was not the first broken body washed to the shore, and even worse, his was not the last.  In either a moment of absolute humanity or shameless manipulation, the image of his lifeless body was captured and posted across the world.  His name was said, his family remembered and for a few days we sobbed and said things had to change.

The post –Dilemmas of Desperate Parents, has the dubious honour of being my most-read post of 2015. Sadly it could be published today and still ring true.

2. Favourite Post

The  ‘A to Z of Me‘ was one of those funny posts I draged my heels on but then really loved. It’s a big bag of self-indulgence but is my joint – second favourite of the year, along with my most self-ridiculing post all about a giraffe top and my terminal lack of style.

My absolute favourite was on the marriage equality referendum – not because it’s the best post but more because even seeing that word – Equality, brings me back to that weekend when we sobbed with pride at the beauty of a vote that shouted a loud and resounding ‘yes’. And with that I start misty eyed sobbing again…

3. Favourite Photo

It’s always tricky to take a photo that sums two little people up, but this one from my brother’s wedding has the measure of my Spidey and his mischievous partner in crime Yoda.  It was the featured picture from my post on managing small kids at a wedding.

Wedding Featured Image

4. Best Adventure

My best adventure of 2015 has crazily enough been my return to work.   Though I harbour secret, half-baked ambitions to stay-at-home and make lovely things all day, the realities of children and bills get in my way, so in February I returned to my office job and the realities of balancing work and family.

As the day dawned I looked back at my maternity leave – admittedly with a heavy dose of wistful fondness, but I knew I was moving on and that I was entering a new stage in my life and career that won’t stop every now and then with the arrival of a new baby.   Though I found it hard to adjust to organising three kids and a life outside of work, it has been good to get back to a job that I (mostly) like and I am (mostly) good at and (mostly) interested in.  I have that nagging feeling that either I am a grown up – or at least I’m doing a very good job of pretending, and that a new, post-baby career is just starting. It’s a nice feeling.

5. Favourite Craft

After our house move, small crafts have taken a back seat to life-size crafting like painting and varnishing so my crafty posts have been few and far between.  I loved knitting the Purl Alpaca collar for my friend Elizabeth using yarn from her very own Alpaca Dorchester. My absolute  favourite craft was the beautiful Twinkling Christmas Art – which I had been thinking about for ages but made just before the holidays. These were really lovely and I reckon will become a party staple around our house.

6. Favourite Recipe

Setting aside all the cake and dinner recipes, the Homemade Blackberry Cassis is definately my best recipe of 2015 and (more to the point) leave the the best stash in the cupboard.  It’s the ultimate feel-good, taste-good, get-tipsy tipple. Make it!

7. Favourite Comment

A bit like your kids, comments are all equally loved and appreciated – so thanks to all. I did get a good snigger out of Maud – the potatoe-muncher-in-exile’s, comment on my frittata recipe – but as she craves the spuds of her homeland, she’s forgiven.
8. Favourite Celebration

The finest celebration of the year must be our first night in our new house – and the elation of the move being over was palpable.  The first glass of wine amidst the chaos of packing boxes, dust and sawdust tasted good, and all the glasses since have helped raise a bit of enthusiasm about the millions of jobs we have left to do.

9. My Best Move

Three words: the house move. It was chaos, it is done, we survived. Definitely the move of the year!

10. Favourite Freebie

Bike seats and giveaways have been nice, but my god Netflix were the kings of the year when it comes to nice freebies.  We had a fabulous trip to London to celebrate the arrival of Kimmy Schmidt, endless treats for the kids and the surprise arrival of an iPad mini before the holidays.  My Wifi-less state was much bemoaned during the Summer Months but my sanity has been restored as our Netflix was back online just in time to spend a good portion of the soggy Christmas holidays flicking through the endless offering of movies and TV series.

11. Best Blog Moment

A bit like everything this year, I’m just glad I’ve managed to maintain any level of posts – and interest, this year! I know this is a decidedly humdrum achievement but sometimes surviving to the end of a particularly busy year is as trailblazing as it gets, and this is very true of 2015!

12. Worst Blog Moment

Happily there are no major cock-ups to announce so the worst bits are probably the dusty gaps between posts that can be totally forgiven – in my mind anyway!

13. My Favourite Title

At the time of writing my little ditty on sleepless nights –In the Middle of the Night, I was clearly being a very gentle and soppy soul. We’re I to write it today it’d possibly be called ‘Shut the f&€k up and please sleep’ – which would definitely have made it as ‘title of the year’. Meanwhile ‘Taking Time to Make TIme‘  still has me singing like a drunk, hoarse and talentless Dusty Springfield.

14. What My Blog Did for Me in 2015

It waited for me to get my act together – as did my 6.13 readers! Thank you!

15. Favourite Link Up

When I’m lacking a little inspiration, a good old linky gives me a great kick in the arse! This year I loved participating in Bumbles of Rice’s make-up linky as well as her Week in Dinners – another veritable kick in the backside when it comes to food. My favourite Alpaca farmer Elizabeth hosted a cookbook link up featuring lovely Babotie; Nicola  at Simply Homemade did a great series on healthy breakfast options and Fionnuala at Three Sons Later (who also writes a brilliant food blog at My Kitchen Notebook) featured recipes to use up leftovers – and I linked my Frittata receipe to both of those linkys.  Sadhbh’s Christmas Craft advent was a great incentive to write a few posts in the run up to Christmas- with a great recipe for Chocolate Roulade and a cute Christmas craft for kids.

By far though the best link-up of the year though was the Read Feel Act one on the refugee crisis which featured amazing contributions from many of my favourite bloggers. If only words could change the world. You can read those contributions here: http://thebusymamas.ie/dilemmas-of-desperate-parents/

So it’s over and nice things await in 2016 and I’m happily heading in that direction. Many thanks again to the readers and to Sadhbh for hosting this little nostalgic walk down memory lane!  For more posts in her linky check out other posts here: http://www.wherewishescomefrom.com/2015/12/15-from-15-linky.html

15 from 2015

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10 thoughts on “The Busy Mama’s 15 from ’15 – a re-cap on the year that was

  1. Ah, thanks for the mention Helen! I must say, I have really enjoyed being one of your 6.13 readers 😉
    All the best for 2016. May it be as eventful as the previous year but without the stress and with a tad more me-time for yourself.

  2. I think you’re fabulous. Even the thoughts of moving house brings me out in a rash. I can’t imagine blogging through it too!

    I’m looking forward to all the house-related posts this year. I like to show my husband evidence of other people doing renovations so it guilts him into doing stuff to our house. Indulge me a few times please? 😉

    Thanks so much for being part of the linky.
    Love, The “crafty minx” (I kinda want to change my blog name to that now…)

  3. Lovely list!!I think you did really well blogging when 2015 was such a crazy year for you. I raise a giant virtual Bombay and tonic to you!Wishing you a calmer, less eventful and happy 2016!x
    Aedín recently posted…Mini endings?My Profile

    1. You did waaaayyy better than me in the year of a house move! I take my hat off you – but will also ask you to top up that gin!

  4. Am I the .13 reader?! The one who lurks, reads, salivates but doesn’t comment as much as I should (I blame the phone) Here’s to an even better year, virtual (and I hope very real) hugs, and an outstanding amount of chocolate brioche. Xx

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