With so much talk about 2016 being a crapola of a year, I thought I’d do my best to try and put a positive spin on things. Here are just a few of the things on Gift Grapevine that made me happy this year.

1. Tornado wrangling

As much as my tornadoes do their best to infuriate me and reduce our loungeroom floor to what can only be described as WWF Smackdown, these two nutbags continue to make me smile, laugh and make Handy Hubby and I extremely proud. They are growing up too fast. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. So much so that I agreed to host a craft party with 18 of Miss T’s friends for her 6th birthday (and survived to tell the tale).

Their volume buttons could be turned down a notch but we can’t be too picky. When it comes to Miss T and Mr TT, I wouldn’t want them any other way.

 

 

2. Bloggy friends

I was excited to venture to the Gold Coast for my very first Problogger conference this year. I learnt lots of bloggy stuff at the many seminars and workshops however my main takeaway was how fantastic the kickass group of bloggy friends I have are. The support I have from these girls, along with my bloggy friends who couldn’t attend the event, is invaluable and helps me keep on keeping on with Gift Grapevine. You know who you are. Thank you!

 

3. My gift memories

Speaking of bloggy friends, the “My gift memories” series continued on the blog  this year with a host of lovely bloggers sharing their favourite childhood gifts. There’s many firm retro favourites here from Emily Hawker and her favourite book and hippo friend to HandbagMafia’s obsession with Barbies, Dr Sash and her Con the Fruiterer talking doll (yes, you read that correctly), Emily from Have A Laugh On Me and her stylish green Swatch watch, the must-have pair of rollerskates owned by Maxabella Loves, and Megan from Children’s Books Daily with her beautiful keepsake jewellery.

I love this series as these stories guarantee a smile. The results are often hilarious and always heart warming with so much 1980s gold!

I can’t wait to bring you gift memories from more awesome people next year.

 

4. Favourite gift finds

Scouring the web, shops and markets for cool gift finds makes me happy. I love sharing them with you on this blog and it’s even better when I spot something produced locally or from a small Australian business.

 

5. Video – Gah! It’s me!

One of my takeaways from Problogger this year was “video is the next big thing”. I often have new toys to review or show off and find that sometimes, photos just don’t do them justice. It was with much trepidation that I hit record and made my first “Gift Grapevine reviews” videos for LEGO gift ideas and Fashion Plates. These short videos are just me being my dorky self, playing with toys! It wasn’t as scary as I expected and I found it a great way to show how things work. Keep an eye out for more next year!

 

6. You. Yes, you.

I put a lot of time and love into my gift guides and blog posts so a HUGE thank you goes to everyone who reads this blog, comments, shares or likes my stuff on social media. Knowing I’ve helped someone find a gift or hearing that a gift suggestion was loved by a child or new mum makes me incredibly happy. It’s the whole reason I started Gift Grapevine!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I’ll be taking a little break on the blog for a couple of weeks but you can still follow along with my gift finds and #holidayspam on Facebook and Instagram. Until 2017, I’ll leave you with some wise words, courtesy of this gorgeous guide to life print from Hazy Prints.

What made you happy in 2016?