Friday, 22 December 2017

A Reflection: My Favourite Posts of 2017 | Blogmas #22

Happy Friday guys! Bring on the weekend! & oh my gosh can you actually believe that there's only three sleeps left until Christmas is here!!!? I'm finally starting to feel properly excited and in the festive spirit! I have a lot to get done though over the weekend, mostly lots of wrapping and also gathering last minute little stocking filler-esque gifts. I hope the next couple of days are not too hectic :O Are you all prepared for Christmas Day now? Or like me, do you have lots of last minute bits and pieces to sort out? 

I thought for today's post that I would share a little reflection on my favourite posts of 2017, of posts that I found the most fun to write or that were important to me for specific reasons. As my regular readers will know, the year began with a tough start for me and because of the impact everything was having on my mental and physical health, I just really struggled to blog. In February & March, I ended up only sharing one post per month! I was and still am really unhappy about my lack of posts around this time, and I thought that it would help to remind myself that 2017 was still a good blogging year, by talking about my favourite posts :) Anyhow, I hope you enjoy reading about why these posts were the most enjoyable or meaningful to me :) 

25 Reasons Why Aurora is Awesome 

Back in August, I was inspired to write this post about our adorable latest addition to the family because of National Dog Day. Some of you guys will have already seen photos of Aurora that I've shared on social media, but if not, she's a super cute Shih Tzu who looks so much like an Ewok! She's technically my sister's dog, but she lives with us all at our family home and so she's part of my life everyday. She's had a really positive impact on my mental health over the year, and she's just so adorable that she pretty much instantly puts a smile on my face whenever I'm around her :) In this post, I shared some of my favourite things about Aurora and how she behaves, her little mannerisms and actions, and how she brightens up my day! It was such fun to write because it made me focus on all of the little things that she does that are hilarious and sweet, and thus made me smile a lot as I typed :) Check out this post if you want to cheer yourself up, and look at cute puppy pictures! 

Stop Invalidating Online Relationships 

This post was personally very important to me and I'm really glad that I finally wrote about the issue because I was wanting to for a while. A lot of people in society invalidate online relationships, both platonic and romantic; they undermine them and dismiss them. They say that they are not 'real friendships' and don't believe that they can be strong and meaningful relationships all because you have never spent time together in person. It's ridiculous and it's really not nice to tell someone that for example, they can't possibility have a best friend on the internet! I have been using the internet since I was around 12 years old, and it has been a wonderful way for me to interact with others. I have met such lovely people online, and they have helped me through some very tough times. I have found people who shared similar interests or had similar life experiences and/or problems to me. All of these things have helped me not to feel so alone, and I am so thankful for that.

Being a spoonie means that I don't leave my house as much as I'd like to, and thus I spend a lot of time on the internet. It can be very isolating to deal with my mental and physical health problems, and the internet provides a way for me to still be social. I talk to these friends that I've made via the internet almost everyday and it's also a lot easily to talk about personal things when you're not face-to-face, so I am now very close with these friends :) It doesn't matter that I've never seen them in person! They are some of the strongest friendships I've ever had, and I care so much for them. This post was one of my favourites of the year because I think it is something that needs to be talked about more, so that people will stop making others feel like their relationships aren't important, just because they may not understand or relate to having online friends or partners. I'm gonna end up writing an essay on this post alone so I'll stop here, haha. Have a read  & let me know if you can relate to what I've written :) 

Build-A-Bear Pokémon Plushies 

I really enjoyed writing this post and taking all of the photographs for it! I love sharing posts about my geeky interests with you guys, and I absolutely Pokémon so it was one of those posts that are a pleasure to write. I find that I procrastinate really easily and even though I love blogging, it can make me struggle to get my ideas written up into a post. This certainly wasn't the case for this one, and I just love how bright and colourful the post is :) It's a nice cheerful one and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I did sharing it. I need to share an update at some point because I now have two more Pokémon build a bear plushies, Vulpix & Bulbasaur. Do you have any of the Pokémon plushies from Build a Bear? Or even some from another store? 

Campfire Cakes

I love this post mostly because of how proud I was of how these cakes turned out :') I'm usually very messy when it comes to baking. I have always struggled with my co-ordination skills and so decorating cakes and baking in general can be a challenge for me. As much as I love to do it, it can make me feel a little disappointed with myself afterwards when I've followed a recipe exactly, and my own finished 'product' doesn't look as good. So baking these and sharing them with you guys in this post made me feel good about myself, and when I look back at my Campfire Cakes, it makes me happy. 

My Favourite Posts of 2017

7 Reasons Why It's Great To Be an Introvert 

In a world that tends to praise extroverted traits and label the qualities of introverts undesirable, I wanted to spread a little positivity for my fellow introverted peeps by sharing this post! Growing up, I would be made me feel really frustrated about 'being shy', which is what I thought was my problem back then. Teachers would say I was too quiet in class, that my work was great but I didn't participate enough, that I didn't put my hand up in class or join in with group discussions. I was told by one teacher that I would never get very far in life if I couldn't perform a presentation in front of a class! (Like seriously!?). It made me feel pathetic, like there was something wrong with me and when I had already endured bullying and as a consequence had a very low self image, it just made me further dislike myself. When I got older, I learnt about psychology, different personality traits and about theories such as the Myers-Briggs personality test, and through these learnt that I was an introverted person and that it was perfectly normal that I would be displaying characteristics that reflect this personality type. As an adult, I am for the most part happy with who I am as a person and I have embraced my quirks and the things that make me different. I can see the qualities that I have to offer and I have achieved lots of things despite my social awkwardness. I loved writing this post about the positive qualities of introversion, as it helped to remind me of things that made me awesome. I hope that lots of other people read my post and feel good about themselves :) You are wonderful whether you're an introvert or an extrovert! 

Geocaching In The Park

I love writing about my hobbies on my blog, and maybe bringing something to my readers attention that they may never have heard of before. It's especially great when they give it a go themselves :) Having a hobby and/or taking part in activities is something that can make us feel really good and so I think it could definitely be considered a type of self care. It makes me delighted to know that I could be helping others discover something that they then end up loving! If you've never heard of geocaching before, it's basically a mash of orienteering and treasure hunting. People have hidden 'caches' all over the world, and it's your job to find them using GPS. With all of the modern technology we have at our fingertips, nowadays you can geocache using your phone which is fantastic! You can download the app and check if there are any caches hidden in your area, and if you're ever bored or want to go for a walk on a sunny day or whatever, you could go see what geocaching is all about for yourself! Please have a nosey at my post if you're interested in finding out more about this hobby. I had a fabulous afternoon geocaching in a pretty park in my hometown, and it was lovely to do some nature photography since I hadn't been out and about for a while. I liked being able to share my day with you guys :) 

Living with OCD

I wouldn't really say that this post was a favourite of mine to write, however I've included it today because it is one of those posts that I've written that has been a super important step for me. If you're new to my blog or didn't see this post back in October when I shared it, I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as part of my generalised anxiety disorder. I don't talk about it very often because it's part of my mental illness that I am pretty embarrassed by, just because of how it is undermined and seen as not a very big deal by the kind of people that say stuff like 'everyone has a little OCD' or 'lots of people are clean freaks!'. Although OCD can involve fear of exposure to germs and also an obsession with having things neat and in order, it involves so much more than that and it can also manifest in a variety of ways in different people. I decided after being made to feel like crap so many times by people about my OCD or their apparent medical expertise of my lack of it (ugh!), I decided to challenge myself to write about it. It was a really tough thing for me to do, and I wrote several drafts of the post which I deleted; at one point I decided that I wasn't going to share it and had a bit of an emotional meltdown! But in the end, I chose to get as much down on my laptop as I was comfortable with and shared the post. This was a big personal step for me towards getting to a better place with my mental health, and so I am very glad that I did it. I can talk about it a lot more easily since and I hope that my post has helped other people not feel so alone in their own struggles with OCD and/or any other condition that they are dealing with. 

How To Learn A New Language

One of my achievements for the year is starting to learn German, even though I seriously need to up my game for 2018 and revise more, invest more time, etc. I had been wanting to learn the language for years and years, and I just couldn't find the time when I was at university. I also wasn't sure what resources to use so discovering the app Duolingo really helped to get me motivated to learn. I am proud of what I have learnt so far, using the methods that I shared in this post and cannot wait to expand my knowledge of the German language. This post serves as a reminder to me that even though 2017 has had a lot of setbacks for me, there have been things that I've achieved despite all that I've had to deal with. Again, I love to share posts that are helpful to others and sometimes I feel like there's not much that I can give to people in terms of advice or whatever, so I'm happy that I could share something to get them started on their own language-learning journeys.  

So, those are my favourite posts from my blog for the entire year. There were a few others that I enjoyed sharing with you guys a lot such as my #30DaysWild challenge nature photography posts and about my Disney Tsum Tsum collection and how I display it! I will have shared 118 posts by the last day of December and even though it's not as many as I would have liked, I'm still happy that I didn't give up on blogging when times were tough and that people have continued to read my blog even though my schedule has been all over the place. Thankyou everyone! You're so awesome :) 

Thankyou for reading! 

What have been one of your favourite posts of 2017?
Either one that you've read or if you're a blogger yourself, one that you've written.

I'd love to hear all about it! Send me links too so I can give them a read myself! 

I'd also really like to hear if there were any of my posts that you particularly liked :)


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