It’s the end of 2016 and I’m gearing up for a new year. With all of the hustle and bustle of the season I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of reflection on the past year here at Living a Sunshine Life. I’ve been through quite a bit and it’s been a blast!
One of my biggest accomplishments was to boost my page views from around 10,000 views a month up to 70,000 pageviews a month! This was a huge boost to my confidence, and really motivated me to buckle down on my blog work.
My top five blog posts this year were:
- The Best DIY Creamy Hot Chocolate Mix (published 2015)
- Writing Letters to Deployed Soldiers: What Not to Write (published 2013)
- Fantastic Canning Recipes (published 2014)
- Ideas for Bullet Journal Pages (published 2016)
- Breakfast in Bed with the Kids with a Paper Flower Tutorial (published 2016)
Here’s a summary of several things that happened in my life as well as here on Living a Sunshine Life over the past year.
Living a Sunshine Life Year in Review
Overcoming Health Challenges
One of the most life changing things for me this year was finally taking charge of my anxiety. It’s helped me find my focus and get more organized for the new year. Talking to my doctor and getting on medicine was the best thing I’ve ever done. I can’t believe it took me so many years of suffering from social anxiety before I got help.
For several years now arthritis has dictated what I could and couldn’t do. Let’s just say it kept me down for quite a while due to extreme stiffness and pain. This year I finally learned a few things about my arthritis which pointed me in the right direction for getting the right medication and exercises to reduce the pain. I can now say that I’m mostly pain free! My joints still pop a lot, but the pain has greatly reduced. I still limit high impact activities, but I’m much more active now than I was before, so I call this a huge win for for me this year.
I was excited to take part in a couple of ambassadorships. First I had the opportunity to partner with Beneful and share part of my life with our dog, Glory. Not only did we introduce everyone to the benefits of Beneful, but we had a lot of fun too! We explored everything from exercising Glory to dream dog parks and holiday traditions.
Poise was another brand I shared with you because it’s a product I do believe in and it has helped me out of some embarrassing situations. Conversations regarding light bladder leakage shouldn’t be embarrassing. I did my best to help spark some conversation to remind everyone what the important moments in life are and bring a little laughter and smiles to the topic.
Omaha Children’s Museum
As a local ambassador I took some time to shine some light on the Omaha Children’s Museum. We’re a homeschooling family and the kids love going out for some hands on education. It’s a lot of fun watching the girls learn through play. To help on a more general level I shared tips on visiting the children’s museum as well as ideas for themed visits to the children’s museum.
Thanks to my love of food Baker’s partnered with me through the year to share some delicious recipes! Over the year, with the help of Baker’s, I shared Berry and White Chocolate Shortcake Bark and Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Maple Pumpkin Sauce. You’ll also find Monster Breakfast Cookies and Caramel Apple Roll Ups. In January I’ll have a delicious, cozy, cheesy recipe coming up for Baker’s. I can’t wait to share it with you.
In August I decided to test the water with a positive living social media challenge. Social media all too often has quite a bit of negative vibes flowing through our feeds, and with the election happening there seemed to be more than usual. In an attempt to bring some more positive to the world I started the challenges to fill our social media feeds with something to make people smile. I hosted social media challenges in August, October, November and December. At this point I’ve decided the #SunshineYourFeed Challenges will continue in 2017!
My blogging friend over at Altamonte Family hosted a fantastic virtual cookie swap, #CookieSwappinGood. I had the privilege to participate in this cookie swap along with some other amazing bloggers. New recipes were created, and a few of my older recipes were shared. Thanks to this cookie swap you now have my Matcha Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle, Hot Chocolate Cookie Bars, and Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles.
One thing that is important to me is to continue learning my craft and bettering myself through education. It should be no surprise that I shared some of these things with you on my blog. I had the opportunity to work with a life coach earlier this year and it was an enlightening experience. To learn more about blogging I decided to take a class about affiliate marketing to learn how I can make the most of this monetization technique without hindering my blog. The information I picked up was phenomenal. So many things I hadn’t thought of, and it made a huge difference in my business planning. I also took some time to read ProBlogger again and provided a book review for you. It’s been a great year for learning and I can’t wait to start planning my continuing education for 2017!
2016 has been a wild ride for Living a Sunshine Life. I have a lot of plans for 2017 and I’m excited to get started.
How was your 2016? I’d love to hear your reflections on the year as well as the plans you have to make 2017 amazing!