Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Looking Back

For the past couple of years, I've been doing a sort of reflective post/round-up on New Year's Eve for this blog.  (See 2016 and 2015 here!)  Looking back, 2017 was light on blogging compared to past years, mainly because I spent 19 weeks battling pregnancy nausea and didn't have an ounce of energy or spare time to write.  That made me a bit sad, because I really love this space, but sometimes something's gotta give, right?

Here are my personal Top 10 favorite blog posts from this year, in chrono order:

  1. Fire Crackers Recipe:  The only recipe on this year's Top 10 list, it was one I came back to again and again!  I don't know how many batches I've made this year.  Typically I make them in the fall/winter during holiday timing, so we have a snack to munch on.  They're spicy and flavorful and easy to make.  Our favorite combo to date is the White Cheddar Cheez-its and Townhouse Pretzel Flipsides.  These days I mix them in a Ziploc then dump them into a plastic container for sharing and munching.
  2. Big Guide to Meal Kit Delivery Services:  After trying six different meal kit services, I finally compiled a list of my favorites and thoughts.  I feel like they're great for getting you to make something outside your comfort zone, eliminating another night of takeout, and just getting back into using your kitchen.  If I try any new ones, I'll definitely have to update this post!
  3. San Antonio, Revisited:  Travel posts are often my favorite during any given year, because they remind me of the things I saw, did, and ate while away!  In this post, I had an amazing work trip to San Antonio that turned into a foodie extravaganza of sorts, because my coworkers are amazing.
  4. Tucson.  Lucky me, another work trip yielded a travel post!  Tucson isn't easy to get to (not compared to Phoenix, anyways) but I was surprised by what a food city it has become.
  5. Phoenix.  I actually went to Phoenix three times in 2017, but this post from my trip in March was the only one I ended up writing.  Food, shopping, sightseeing, this post is a typical recap but makes me smile because it was quality time with my sister.
  6. National Cornbread Festival.  I love Lodge cast iron, so convincing Dan to take me to South Pittsburg to tour the foundry was a must.  Since it's only open during this festival, we had to check it out!
  7. Pacific Northwest Vacation: Washington and Oregon.  Okay, I'm cheating here a little bit, because I actually wrote a bunch of posts about this vacation this year.  NINE to be exact.  But that's the best part about our annual vacation... there's so much to share and tell!  So check it out if you've ever wanted to visit the area, as we took a pretty cool road trip through some great cities.  This is the vacation that knocked me up LOL.  (TMI?)
  8. Sometimes, trying to get pregnant sucks.   This post was much loved for being honest.  I got a lot of feedback from folks that it made them teary-eyed or that they could relate to it.  I think that every year I have a post that is more confessional than editorial, and this was the one.
  9. Disney World for Adults.  I've lost track of the number of times I've been to Disney World, both as a child and as an adult.  Somehow, I end up there just about every year or every other year, before ever adding a kid to the mix.  Because I know that Disney isn't just for kids, I wanted to capture a trip there aimed solely at adults.  It's a great place to spend time with your friends (yes, there's booze!) and feel forever young.
  10. Pregnancy: Things I've Learned in My First 7 Months.  Written this month, I boiled down my first two trimesters of pregnancy into a single blog post.  I know I haven't posted a ton about pregnancy (two posts and a baby shower post) but it's inevitable I was going to write something.  Hopefully it's fun to read!

My most popular posts this year, according to Google Analytics, have been...
  • Review: LuLaRoe Clothing (also last year's #1)
  • Review: THINX Underwear for Periods (also last year's #2)
  • Grey Gardens Viewing Party: This little post from 2015 popped up a bunch this year in popular posts, probably because the Grey Gardens house went up for sale and interest in the cult film had a resurgence.  I can't take credit for hosting the party, only getting into the spirit by dressing as Little Edie and enjoying myself.
Of course, none of these were written in 2017, but sometimes traffic driving posts lead to readers finding the new stuff.  If you're one of those, yay!  Welcome!

As I think about 2018, I know that this blog is going to transition with me into motherhood.  I'm not saying it's going to be a "Mommy blog" (because goodness knows there are enough of those) but I am hoping to bring a glimpse into that life to this space, as the only common theme and thread I've ever had here is whatever is going on in my life.  I'm hoping that I'll still be able to travel, eat, shop, and do the things I've always loved writing about, but with a new twist... a little dude to make it more complicated, messy, and hopefully sweet.

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