happy blog cover

This year has been a big and busy one. The toddler tornadoes continued to be a gorgeous bundle of trouble. Handy Hubby was as busy as ever with lots of renovation work. Hockey season was fun, wet and successful – this means we didn’t finish on the bottom of the ladder, played with a smile and always finished with a beer or wine in hand. And finally, after much procrastination, 2014 was the year I started this blog.

So amongst all of the usual craziness, what things made me happy in 2014?

 

1. Starting Gift Grapevine
I had thought about starting this blog for a year before I actually got off my arse and did anything about it. I wish I had started sooner as I have loved every moment. I love writing about something I am truly passionate about. Heck, I just love writing again. Getting my first comment on the blog was exciting. It was a “someone out there is actually reading this!” moment.  Now I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I read that I have helped someone with a gift idea – whether it’s Christmas or a kindy birthday. That’s the whole reason I started this blog so it makes me happy.

 

2. The blogging community
I have been blown away by the number of brilliant, funny and intelligent bloggers out there. The blogging community is so welcoming and supportive of newbie bloggers like me. Thank you to all my bloggy friends and to anyone who has read, liked, shared or commented.

Singling out my favourite posts of the year is tough – a lot of very talented people wrote some amazing stuff. However if I had to pick some favourites that made me laugh, smile and think, I’d suggest these (in no particular order):

Hugzilla’s snarky posts are just flat out funny. I loved her various Thermomix rantings this year. It all started with The Thermomix Epidemic: How To Protect Yourself

Who says boys can’t wear nail poish was one of many awesome posts from Emily at Have A Laugh On Me. Emily says that her blog is always honest, often humorous and never boring – and that explains why I enjoy her posts so much.

Will pink shoes ruin my son’s chance of being an astronaut? was another gender stereotype themed blog post that I really enjoyed. Big Kid Little Kid is a fellow newbie blogger and I love reading his funny rants, all from a Dad’s point of view.

One of the most relatable posts I read this year was from the excellent Emily at emhawkerblog – Playing hide and seek in the library – A toddler’s guide. Anyone with a toddler tornado will relate to this one. Also worth checking out are her rewrites of songs – she’s one clever lady!

 

lala girl Collage

My most popular (and disturbing) post so far: A doll that poops charms – what were they thinking? Everyone agreed that this was all sorts of wrong. As Handy Hubby so eloquently put it, why would you want to wear something that has come out of the arse of a doll?

 

3. Awesome gift ideas
There are some truly hideous products out there (see the pic above). Thankfully, there are also many wonderful products for babies and kids. Discovering these has been a joy and I have loved sharing them with you all through my various gift guides and monthly gift idea picks.

My favourite items spotted this year are simple, affordable and beautiful. I have the clever Melanie from A cut above the retsy to thank for featuring the Des Enfantillages skipping ropes on her blog. I love these pastel beauties.

skip ropes

 

4. Family and friends
Mr TT entered the terrible twos this year. Much fun has been had by all (insert sarcasm font). Miss TT had an eventful year with a broken arm (unexpected dismount from the bars at gymnastics) and an operation with the trifecta of tonsils out, adenoids out and grommets in. She was such a trooper through all of this and surprised me with her resilience and recovery. My tornadoes are a beautiful bundle of craziness, energy and stubborness. It’s exhausting but I am so happy and lucky to have healthy kids, a supportive and handsome Handy Hubby and great friends with me for the ride.

making memories

My new motto

 

5. Music – hot damn!
One song this year has restored my faith in the music industry. Finally, a song and accompanying video clip that isn’t about naked women, someone’s arse or sexist and limited lyrics. Finally a song that is about fun, the joy of having a great night and a good boogie. The artists love of music just shines through in this number. It makes me want to get up and dance. The toddler tornadoes love it too. Mr TT has now taken to yelling out “hot damn!”. Thanks Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.

 

 

6. Helping out
I love blogging about babies and kids gift ideas, kids trends and childhood memories. I also love blogging about ways to help kids who don’t get gifts and share the work being done by amazing organsations like Soles4Souls Australia and Operation Christmas Child. More recently, doing our Acts of Christmas Kindness and seeing Miss TT learn about helping others has made me very happy.

tinfood2

One of our Acts of Christmas Kindness – donating tinned food. Miss TT chose the various tins and insisted on Milo because “the kids will like Milo”

 

7. Google meme game
Thanks to the Down That Little Lane Facebook page for bringing this awesome game to my attention – “head over to Google images and Google your FIRST NAME and the word MEME and post the first picture you see.”

This wasn’t first in the image results but it was certainly the first image to jump out at me!

tash-on

Apart from seeing that awesome pic of Tom Selleck, what things made you happy in 2014?