My Year In Review 2016

Well I don’t know where to start. 2016 has been one of the best years in my life. It’s been jammed packed with the birth of my beautiful baby girl, baby sick, sore boobs, 10 months of maternity leave, teething, lack of sleep, returning to work full-time and of course the revamp/rebrand of this wonderful blog.

I have decided to give you a quick recap over each month. This way I can reminse back over the year as well!

My Year in Review 2016

My Year in Review

So let’s start at the very beginning… a very good place to start…

January

I started the New Year so excited and full of beans! Our baby girl was due this month so not much longer to go. I had everything ready. It was just the waiting game now….

The closer the due date got the more anxious I got as I had no twinges at all. No Braxton Hicks no nothing. Baby girls due date came and went. January came and went. Was this baby ever coming out?

Favourite Blog Posts:

February

I started February feeling huge! 1 week overdue and still no sign of her wanting to come out. I must have a lovely warm snuggly home inside my womb! Saturday February 5th I had to go into hospital to be induced at 8am. The weather was horrendous. Storm Imogen was raging. Walking across the car park to the maternity unit I felt I was going to be blown away and I was carrying half a ton of weight and drenched to the bone!

Well I was in there for weekend. No baby, walking miles around the hospital corridors trying to get things started. Monday lunchtime came and all was decided that I had to have a c-section to get her out. My little stubborn baby girl was coming out no other way!

At last she was here. A beautiful butterfly emerging from a horrendous storm. Here is my birth story which will explain why it wasn’t the best birth experience.

March

Parents. Oh yes we were parents now. Baby sick, poonami’s, mountains of washing, cluster feeding, This is our life. I wouldn’t change it for the world. My only gripe is that I felt trapped as I couldn’t drive due to the c-section.

A little quiet on the blog front this month (apart from reaching my 1st Blogiversary!) as I was enjoying lots of baby snuggle time and getting ourselves into a routine. Although I was so happy to be nominated for a BiB award in the Fresh Voice category!

Favourite Blog Post:

April

We were now into an established routine and I wanted to take my blog seriously. During naptimes and after baby girl had gone to sleep I would spend every spare moment blogging. Planning my posts, writing, thinking how far I can take my blog in the next few months before my return to work in October.

I found I had the time to be more active on social media and found my tribe! The lovely Katie from Mummy in a Tutu had started up an amazing blogging support and general chit-chat group which I’m very proud to be a part of. I have made some fantastic friends through this which are always there morning, noon and night if you need them.

Favourite Blog Posts:

May

May was a great month. I felt so much better and more like my old self. My scar all healed up. Loving being a mummy. Enjoying our time together and making the most out of my maternity leave.

This was my first month that I started to earn a few pennies from my blog. I really found myself in love with it. I was so excited to wake up each morning to see what opportunities I would find in my inbox. May was my turnaround month. This month I realised I was a blogger for life. I had finally found my career I had been searching for the whole of my life.

Favourite Blog Posts:

June

Baby girl was now 4 months old. Teething and starting to get a little more interesting. As the Summer was here I was in great spirits. Spending lots of time at mum’s. Feeling really contented with life.

In the blogging world I was starting to get a little itchy feet and was feeling my blog needed a design/branding overhaul. Product and book reviews were coming in strong to my inbox, so I had to start turning work down.

Favourite Blog Posts:

July

In July I started my New Mum Stories Series. Guest Posts from others who share with us their experiences of being a New Mum or their memories of what it felt like to be a New Mum. I absolutely adore this series and planning on starting it back up again in the New Year. Please do get in touch if you love to be featured.

July was also the month I took the plunge and become self-hosted. To me this felt like the next step for my blog. Designed how I wanted it to look and not being held back by blogger. My blog became my brand my business my life.

Favourite Blog Posts:

August

In August I went back into work to have a meeting to discuss heading back to work. It was tough. I had to go back but didn’t want to leave baby girl. Baby girl reached 6 months old and her personality really started to shine through. The toughest decision was to prepare her for having formula when I wasn’t around. Up to this point she was exclusively breastfed. I had never been able to pump so was unable to build up a store for her. But we managed.

The blog was ticking over nicely in August. I was trying to plan ahead for what would happen to my blog when I headed back to work. Preparation is key.

Favourite Blog Posts:

September

My last few weeks before going back to work involved spending lots of time with baby girl. Playing games, reading and just having fun. We were thoroughly enjoying our baby sensory classes and were now in the Autumn term. Due to going back to work in October we had to change our classes to another local town which was probably more uncomfortable for me than baby girl.

On the blog I was regularly earning a few pounds doing sponsored posts. I love hosting competitions and this gave me the idea to start-up my mailing list and focus on what I can give my subscribers. I came up with a cute little mini colouring book you can download when you subscribe, and each week sent a list of my favourite blog competitions that are around at the moment.

Favourite Blog Posts:

October

October was a busy month. Not only did I return to work but I also had floods of email from brands wanting to be in my Christmas Gift Guides. October has been my busiest blog month so far! I was working flat-out to get my gift guides up. I got one up in October and the other in November so not bad!

I also ran my first Twitter competition over Halloween. It went nuts! I have well over 1200 RT’s and my notifications went crazy!

Towards the end of October it was getting easier once we were all in a routine. See I start work at 7am so it meant getting baby girl up very early in the mornings. But once she got to mum’s she settled in. I couldn’t do any of this without my mum.

Favourite Blog Posts:

November

Baby girl has reached the 9 month old mark. Weaning is full steam ahead. She’s completely besotted with pasta and will eat any type of it with anything! It’s gotten a little easier to leave her with mum to go to work, and I just love seeing her smile when I go to pick her up.

November has been my most profitable blog month so far. It was just as crazy as October but I had many more paid opportunities and hopefully these continue. We went and viewed a building site to see where our new house will be built next year. The garage is already up so that is something! I’m pushing full steam ahead with the blog so I can earn extra for new bits for the house. Hopefully next year some nice home bits will pop up for me to review as well.

Favourite Blog Posts:

December

So here we are. It’s December and baby girl’s first Christmas. Now if you asked me where 2016 went I just don’t know. The year passed in a blink of an eye. I had 10 months of it off and I could have gotten used to that! My baby girl and my blog have grown so much and have achieved lots in their short little lives. I’m eagerly awaiting to see what’s next in store.

I have yet to finalise my blogging goals for 2017 but pop back soon to check them out! 2017 is going to be the year of Rachel Bustin!

Now I need to just find some time to plan out goals!

How has your year been? As always I love to hear your thoughts.

4 Comments

  1. January 1, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    Wow what a year for you! Good luck for 2017 x

  2. January 1, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    A very busy and exciting year for you. Happy new year

    • Rachel
      January 1, 2017 / 6:07 pm

      Yes It is! I love to keep busy. Happy New Year xx

  3. December 30, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    An exciting year 2016 was for you. It’s love to look back at each month along with a favourite blog post too. It sounds that the year has got easier for you, and I hope that the return to work wasnt too bad for you both. Happy New Year. Claire x

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