It’s been a slow start to 2016 in the dairy free kids house. Between flu and back to school everyone is still a little bit shattered and real world life has left little time to blog. The extra time for cuddles and playing with the boys have paid off though. Rest assured I have plenty of ideas and some new blog posts for 2017 coming your way very soon. Before I post the first new post of 2017 I am going to look backwards. I’m joining in the Where Wishes Come From annual New Year’s link-up 16 from ’16! I’ve done this in 2015 and 2014 so it feels like a nice tradition at this stage. So here’s a lookback at 2016 on dairy free kids.
1. Most Popular Post:
The most popular post on the blog this year again was Scones and it was also the most searched for term that led people to the site. I think I need some more scone recipes for 2017!
2. My Favourite Post
My favourite post this year was this one on inclusion. I had been wanting to write it for quite a while, and I got a lot of feedback and comments from readers about it.
3. Favourite Blog Photo:
I quite like this one, merely because it evokes memories of the sunny summer afternoon outdoors at a bbq and the boys delighted with themselves as their aunt has catered for them too with a special treat. There are tons of things wrong with the photo, the crooked horizon is killing me for a start but I do love it all the same.
4. Favourite Non – blog photos
Here are some of my favourite non-blog photos from 2016.
5. Best Adventure:
Family adventures were high on the agenda for 2016 and it didn’t disappoint. We went to Electric Picnic again and camped this time with the boys for the full two nights. It was fab but exhausting and we didn’t see very many acts with the kids in tow. Unfortunately I think Electric Picnic’s days as a family friendly festival are numbered as there were a lot more people there in 2016 and a much rougher crowd. It might be time to find a new family festival for 2017. Our best adventure this year was the 12 days we spent near Mimizan in France, the boys adored the campsite life as always and at 7 and 4 they were really the perfect age to make the most of it. During our stay we visited Bordeaux where my cousin lives and she kindly showed us around and we had a lovely day in the city. Highlight was the Miroir d’Eau fountain. We’d be still there now if I hadn’t had to drag the boys away that evening!
6. Best New Recipe:
My favourite recipe to make was the rainbow pinata cake, the boys were very excited to help make it and I was delighted it turned out ok.
My favourite to eat was the summer berry pavlova which is delightful with coconut cream. I also loved the Happy Pear’s healthy twix bars and Susan Jane White’s Halva.
7. Best Celebration:
The birthday parties and Christmas won the celebrations this year along with a big party for my parents who were celebrating a Retirement, 60th and 40th Wedding Anniversary between them in 2016. The boys came along and it was a really nice family occasion. My son sang while my Dad played bass guitar with the band, and I may have sang with my two sisters with the band also. Fab night! One of the highlights was the boys dancing with Grandpa, (their Great Grandfather)!
8. Favourite Comment:
I am grateful for each and every comment, tweet, question, like and everything else that comes in! I appreciate every time someone takes the time to comment or to engage in some way ! I’ve had some photos of recipes that people have tried out this year, I love hearing that someone’s tried something and how they got on! I also asked for votes a few times this year and am so grateful to everyone who took time to vote dairy free kids.
9. Favourite dairy free find:
I love this coffee and walnut cake from The Tasty Parlour. It is gluten, wheat and dairy free and easily available locally in my nearest SuperValu and in one or two petrol stations near me also. So handy to pick up for last minute visits to friends or if someone is popping over.
10. Best Blog Moment:
There were a lot of amazing blog moments to choose from this year but the highlight was appearing on TV3’s Ireland AM to discuss the availabilty of Free From Easter Eggs and to demonstrate how to make dairy free rocky road. My son Oscar went on with me and while it was nerve-wracking we both enjoyed it and it was a great experience.
I was thrilled to reach the final of the Irish Blog Awards 2016 in October and I made the finals of the Allergy Blog Awards which is being held in February. Both of these awards involved a public vote so I am so grateful for all the votes that came from you my readers. Thanks!
11. Best Personal Moment
I became an aunt for the first time in January with the birth of my lovely nephew Rían. And I was an aunt for the second time in September with another nephew Harry. I adore the little fellows and my boys are delighted with their new cousins!
In 2016 my product watch series continued going strong, being some of the most popular posts on the site each month. There seems to be more choice than ever for free from goods on the supermarket and health store shelves. With a new Holland & Barrett opening in my town and a new Iceland due to open in 2017 I’m sure I’ll have more scope than ever to find new products. I love when people send me photos or information on new stuff they have found too, this happened a lot this year!
14. Favourite Social Media
While I dabble a bit with SnapChat, and I do like the medium, my favourite this year has to be Instagram. I love the simplicity, nice photos, few hashtags, like, comment. That’s it. It is a nice way to engage and usually followers on instagram only follow accounts they actually like so they do respond and engage. While I haven’t been able to blog as often in 2016, I feel I’m still keeping in touch with my readers on Instagram. See you over there for more photos in 2017!
15. What My Blog Did For Me In 2016
I have been busier than ever in 2016 in my personal life with a career change and starting my own business in September. While it has been necessary to be a little quieter on the blog, it’s still a big part of what I like to do when I have free time. Again this year one of the most rewarding things about blogging has been getting to know other bloggers both online and offline. This year I met even more lovely bloggers for the first time from the Irish Food Bloggers group and I was delighted to meet some of my Irish Parenting Blogger group buddies again. I am hoping to meet quite a few allergy bloggers for the first time in February at the Allergy Blog Awards in Manchester! Regularly meeting up online for Twitter hours such as the #ABAHour on twitter each Wednesday night was a fab way to get to know some other allergy parents and allergy bloggers.
16. Looking forward to 2017
My blog goals for 2017 are simple. I hope to continue to post regularly, find new recipes to share and continue looking a bit weird in the supermarket taking photos for my product watch. As usual I aim to improve my food photography too.
Happy New Year and thank you for reading in 2016!
Have a read of the other great roundups or join in the linky yourself here: