Round up of 2015 and looking forward to 2016

It’s my final post of 2015, my annual round up post.  456 posts later (many were just photo posts, I’m not that prolific with my copy),  and I wanted to share what we’ve been up to.  I’ll be including some of my favourite and the most popular posts.

rounding off 2015 looking forward to 2016


We finished off the Christmas holidays by going to the Snow and Tell story time in Oxford. A lovely treat perfect for preschoolers, although it was unfortunate we couldn’t make the sessions they were doing this Christmas.

N turned 4 and we had the usual round of birthday parties, with lots of party ideas including  a cowboy/girl theme and pirate party bag.

And there was plenty of farming talk from N.  He’s still a big fan of farming and in 2015 has been out a lot with his dad.


Sad (and happy) times as N graduated from Water Babies and therefore started his new swimming lessons, although still at the same pool.  He took to them really well, aided by the grounding in water safety, discipline, listening and basic technique at Water Babies.  My series of baby and toddler swimming posts didn’t continue as there was less progress and interest to write about.

Water Babies graduation day- final swim - living arrows

Alongside his uncle, N has started an interest in metal detecting.  Well, which child wouldn’t when there’s the chance to find treasure and spend time outside.

I also shared my thoughts about child development differences and some discussions about weddings and names – certainly very complicated to get your head around when you’re 4!


March meant some change for N, where his nursery school moved venue.  There was a lot more freedom, and of great benefit now he’s there for after school club having more space to play with.  N also had his first trip out without us – going on a birthday outing with his best friend.

N and I went on holiday to Torquay for a few days.  One of my favourite posts covered a day in Babbacombe.

I had a bit of a crafting month on the blog, sharing my origami flowers, photo tile coasters and fun paper ideas for kids activities.

My most popular post was a guest post on how to make childbirth more comfortable.  As I started my blog a while after N was born, it means I don’t really have much on pregnancy and young babies, so it was nice to offer a post on this topic.


Two big events in April were N learning to ride his bike – he took to it really well and always wants to be on a bike ride – and primary school applications.  The latter was certainly a time to be on social media – great solidarity and support amongst bloggers who were waiting on school places.

More crafting included painting your own reusable bags (perfect for the October carrier bag charge coming in) and Easter egg decorating.  If your children are into science and engineering, then check out the children’s science session we went to at our local museum.

We also got out and about a lot over the Easter holidays, including Easter events at Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon Manor.


Finally  we sold our mum’s house, and that meant I was finally able to bring home my piano.

On the blogging front we became Reading Eggs Golden Eggsplorers with some other bloggers.  A great programme to help children learn to read and improve their level.  I just need to get N to do it regularly.

I managed to get lots of photography practice in with visits to bluebell woods, May day at Sulgrave Manor and introducing cameras to children.

My favourite posts were the 10 positions of sleeping children, and the best way to put on swimming hats.


June meant it was Britmums Live time, and a chance to meet up with fellow Oxfordshire bloggers.

An office move at work meant a post about hot desking which got some discussion going.  And we had lovely visits to Legoland, Trentham fairies and Mary Arden’s farm.

Fairy trail at Trentham Gardens Estate


July saw a goodbye for N.  He had his last official pre-school day at nursery school, although he would still be there for holiday club, and then afterschool club come September.  The school settling in sessions were a great way to get used to the transition to school in September.

The other big event was going on our first camping trip.  We went with a group of girl friends and their kids, and had a blast.  So much so, that we’re planning another holiday in 2016.  Although hopefully I won’t come home to no internet for 3 weeks like this year.

Popular posts included what makes a perfect blog photo, and 5 things that swimming lessons teach children. Yes, other than the actual swimming!


My internet issues continued into August, driving me mad.  But one thing you learn with no internet is that you can built up a huge bank of blog posts ready to publish once the internet’s back up.   It really helped me realise that it’s a lot easier to be productive when you don’t have the internet open.

N had his last nursery day and sports day, and I posted my 13 tasks to do to prepare for school.

I met up with other bloggers at a Rushmere Country Park meet, and finally wrote up my plan vs reality of BBQs.  Oh, and I won first prize in a photography class as a local country show.  It’s lovely to have recognition for the work I’ve done on improving my photography.


Starting school has created lots more opportunities for really continuing to journal what we’re up to on the blog in my School Days series.  I loved reading about all the other first time school parents’ experiences, making us feel like a little community within the blogging world.  That first day I spent wandering around Packwood House – it was a very odd feeling being out without N.

Of course starting school means lots more questions from N.  I wasn’t quite expecting to discuss cremation vs burial, but that’s one of the topics we’ve chatted about.  Kids certainly keep you on your toes.


Another birthday for me, and the blog, at 3 years old.

I made the start of some big changes.  Making time for me again and getting back to exercise.  Friends dragged me along to zumba classes, before they then got overtaken by dance classes again.  It’s so great being back again and dancing.

We set out to explore the Autumn leaves at Batsford Arboretum, and then Wroxton Abbey.  And finished off with pimping pumpkins.


Following on from the exercise in October, November I started dieting.   I have the aim to get back to a healthy weight before my 40th a year away.

We reminisced at Virginia Water, enjoyed a half term walk round Stowe and shared a baby shower afternoon tea.  Not forgetting the 5 baby shower games suitable for such an occasion.


One of my most popular posts of the year was my post sharing my progress to date working through the Konmari method of organising and decluttering.  Perfect for getting prepared for 2016.

Otherwise, December was all about Christmas and advent.  We prepped for Christmas on the farm, wrote up a printable of advent calendar ideas, shared some stocking filler ideas and a 10 minute no sew nativity costume.

Christmas trips out included the theatre to see the Gruffalo’s Child, and an amazing light display at Waddesdon Manor.

So 2016’s about to arrive and I’m loving blogging as much as I’ve always done.  I’ve been able to work with some great brands this year, and talked to, and met, some lovely bloggers.  Looking forward to 2016, hopefully it will be full of more enjoyable moments and more success in blogging.

Finally, thanks to my readers, especially the regular ones.  Thanks to all of those who comment as well as just read.

Hope everyone has a fun, health and successful 2016, and hope to chat to you back on the blog and social media in the new year.

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  1. How did you manage to fit it all in!? Glad you got your piano back! I’m not surprised N likes the idea of metal detecting, we see people here on the beach doing it a lot and I always wonder what they find!
    Thank you so much for linking up to share your year!

  2. Reading Eggs is good…as long as you’ve a decent internet connection/good speed of tablet, and a child who wants to sit and do some regularly. I rely on N asking for it, because if I suggest it he won’t agree, so it’s sporadic which means we’ve not got that far. But I know others whose 4 year olds went flying through it

  3. What a great year you have had…..So many memories have been made!
    Thank you for the mention! It is an absolute pleasure to read your blog! xxx

  4. What a lovely round-up of your year, really shows what a great time you’ve had and how much you’ve got up to. I have the Konmari book… on my reading list for the new year 🙂 Happy new year to you Emma, and thanks for the mention (and for being one of my top commenters too!) xx

    1. Thanks Sara. It’s been a lovely year, and lots of firsts for us. Definitely recommend the konmari method – although I bet you’ve not got too much clutter with still doing up bits of your house – is lots still in boxes? Hope it’s a good 2016

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