Happy New Year everyone!
After a short blogging break over the festive period, I’m back with a bit of a round up of 2016 and a look ahead at what this year will bring. We had a lovely Christmas, the girls were both very lucky and got lots of nice things. They enjoyed putting out a mince pie for Father Christmas and leaving out their stockings – and Clara’s little face when she saw Baby Annabell and a new pram on Christmas morning!
She has taken Baby Annabell to bed with her every night (she sleeps in a cot next to Clara’s bed) and is so gentle and loving when she plays with her. Izzy has been practising for a career as a YouTube star with her Vtech Camera – she has been making videos of herself doing the news. She also got a Hatchimal and a Vtech microphone, and has been treating us to a LOT of concerts where she performs Taylor Swift songs.
What did 2016 bring? Blogging-wise, I’ve continued to slowly grow my social media channels. I still have quite a long way to go to achieve world domination, but, you know, every like and comment counts, so thank you to everyone who has enjoyed my posts over the year. Blogging has brought some great opportunities, especially for my children who have really enjoyed reviewing new toys, and they loved taking part in a vlog reviewing Sofia the First toys – this is probably one of my favourite blogging moments from the year!
Offline, I’ve made some progress with my 2016 New Year’s resolution to lose weight – thanks to Slimming World I’m about 21 pounds lighter than I was (I say ‘about’ as given my indulgence over Christmas I might have put on a few pounds!). We have also had some great family times with our first ever trip to Legoland, a holiday to Portugal and a few weekends in Manchester – Izzy went to her first ever football match and both girls loved watching In the Night Garden Live and Disney on Ice. Izzy is now in year 1 at school and has started losing her baby teeth, while Clara has made the move from toddler to a little girl with a big character and has a vocabulary range which never ceases to amaze me.
So what about 2017? Well, according to Izzy she is single-handedly going to end world hunger.
I asked her what she would like to achieve this year, and suggested that stopping sucking her thumb would be a good goal for her. Eager to avoid this, she decided that a better resolution would be to “be kind to the whole world… like all the people who don’t have a mummy and daddy, or enough food and water, or have to go to war… I want to give them money to buy houses and have enough to eat and drink.”
Okay, so I need to manage expectations here, while still encouraging her to think big. I said that it would be really nice to do that – but a great way to start is to try and be kind to people and do whatever she can to help others. She’s not getting out of stopping sucking her thumb though – now she just has two resolutions to work on. I’d like to take the credit for her new found awareness of the world around her and her generosity to others, but unfortunately I can’t. I can however encourage it where possible, and take inspiration from her myself. Before Christmas, she asked if she could give away some of her selection boxes (her and Clara received 6 in one week) to boys and girls that are not as lucky as her – it was so sweet and her small request then inspired a bag full of books, jigsaws and chocolate to be donated.
She also picked Clara’s resolution for her – to make 2017 the year she is potty trained. I’m going to try and get better at meal planning and be less shouty. That will be hard, a raised voice is my default setting, especially when I am ignored the first ten times I say something, but if Izzy can aim her sights high (ending poverty) then I can try to shout less.
Hopefully 2017 will bring about some big changes and opportunities. For Kizzy, Izzy & Baby I really want to step things up a gear, although like everything in life it is down to finding the time. I’d like to film a few more vlogs, make some blogging pals and grow my social media engagement.
We’ve also made big progress in getting the house decluttered and organised – we did well with this earlier in the year but have approached it again with a new found sense of determination and it feels very therapeutic and freeing to rid our home of useless clutter that adds no value. I’ve still got a few areas to tackle in January but the house is looking loads better already (especially since the Christmas tree came down today!)
So generally I’m looking forward to a cleaner, calmer and kinder 2017, with less thumb sucking and less nappies!
Here’s my top ten most viewed blog posts in 2016:
- How to make: a sandcastle cake
- How to make: an Easter bunny bonnet
- How to make: an aquarium cake
- Scratch Sleeves – stop toddlers pulling out their hair
- Happy first birthday
- The Great Northern Christmas with Booths
- The downside to blogging
- Christmas gift guide: advent calendars for all the family
- 8 storage solutions for toys and books
- Kiddyum Frozen Meals: a quick fix for busy families
Have you and your family made any New Year’s resolutions? What do you hope to achieve in 2017? Please comment below and let me know!