Chit Chat

The Year That Was – 16 from ’16

It’s that time of year again, time to reflect on Simply Homemade’s journey through 2016.It is also that time of year where I link up with Sadhbh over at Where Wishes Come From as she hosts 16 From ’16. She has had a most rewarding year, be sure to check it out, there has been much, well deserved excitement for her.

1.Most Popular Blog Post

The post popular post of all time on Simply Homemade is The Happy Pear Banana & Walnut Cake, which is no surprise as that is one good loaf! However, and quite surprisingly, the most popular post for 2016 was a post I wrote about a Netflix series back in February! That series being Cooked. That is followed very closely by my Porridge Bread which was also a big hit with you all. The most popular page is the homepage which will lead you to all you may be looking for….except homemade housewives, you won’t find any of those!!

2.Favourite Post

It’s always difficult to pick a favourite post from a years worth of writing however this one holds a very special place in my heart, A Letter to Myself, written on the eve of my eldest girl’s 16th birthday.

3.Most Popular Instagram Photo

Image may contain: drink, fire and indoor

4.Favourite Craft

We all enjoyed many crafty things this year, from changing our seasonal bowl, decorating our Easter Tree and Caoimhe’s beautiful gift for our front door step. They’re are so many fun projects to choose from, I rediscovered knitting and it is bringing me much pleasure. However, I will narrow it down to two, I was very fortunate to be introduced to egg dying by Fionnuala at Three Sons Later, better still I won an egg dying kit from her. We had such fun dying egg shells at Easter, we all loved it and they brought us so much joy! (Actually thinking back to how much we enjoyed this, it is probably my absolute favourite!)

PicMonkey Collage

For the sheer enjoyment and simplicity I must give this next one a mention too, my Christmas Candle craft. This can be adapted to anytime of year and would make beautiful gifts for your loved ones.



5.Most Common Search Term

This can be such a giggle some times. You can be truly amazed (and occasionally disturbed) at some of the search terms that will lead people to your blog! Thankfully ‘feck machine xxx’, ‘sorry you lost your grandma’ or ‘love chat of all’ weren’t in the top search terms that lead to Simply Homemade this year (they were at the bottom!) The most popular search term was ‘Cooked Netflix’

6.Favourite Freebie

I’ve called this ‘Favourite Freebie’ but really I shouldn’t! It’s a common misconception that as bloggers we are inundated with ‘freebies’ A – we’re not. B- words don’t write themselves, photo’s don’t take themselves, products don’t review themselves. A lot of work goes into producing a blog post, twice as much at least goes into reviewing a product and producing a blog post for that review. Not a freebie, a sample product that has taken valuable time to review.

I stepped back a little from reviews this year, doing less, meaning I enjoyed the ones I did do and felt they were completely relevant to my blog, to me and what I do. My favourite, again this year, is Netflix. The opportunities it affords, the never ending variety of shows to watch and the little surprises along the way.

7.Favourite Blog Series

I actually have two and they weren’t here on the blog but were two that I took part in on other social media channels which are an extension of Simply Homemade, the limbs so to speak.

The first was on Snapchat back in November and was hosted by Karen of Yankee Doodle Paddy. It was entitled 30 Days of Gratitude and while at the beginning of November it’s easy to have fleeting thoughts wondering how one would come up with 30 gratitudes for 30 days, by the end of November you realise how remarkably simple it is and even more so, how gratifying the challenge is for anyone taking part. And importantly, it reminds us that gratitude is something worth practising everyday and it is the smallest, simplest things which are the most gratifying.

The second was on Instagram and hosted by Fionnuala at Three Sons Later. It was her Advent Craft Swap. This was fantastic! Fionnuala gathered a whole host of creative folk from all around the world, encouraged us to get creative, give a gift and receive one in return. It was just rhe loveliest gathering to be a part of; with the best part being that people were receiving gifts that were completely handmade. It was wonderful to follow along on Instagram, admiring the wonderful gifts that were given; if you would like to see them just search #AdventCraftSwap.

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My gorgeous #AdventCraftSwap gifts all the way from Germany

8.Kitchen Creations from 2016


9.Favourite Comments

I couldn’t possible pick a favourite comment, I appreciate each and every single one; not only here but on all social media platforms. I have the best followers and supporters.

10.Favourite Social Media Platform of 2016

I think it has to be Instagram, it’s just pretty on there isn’t it? I haven’t really been taken with the whole Insta Story thingy or live videoing on there, that’s what I have Snapchat for, but I do love admiring all the photographs.

Image may contain: indoor and food
My Instagram #Bestnine2016

11.Post of Pride

Back in April I finally hit publish on a post that had been sitting in drafts for quite some time. I was nervous publishing it but I needn’t have been. The amount of support I received was overwhelming. That post was Body Positive – A Personal Journey. It is probably the most personal post I have ever written and when a post is personal it’s frightening when you’re not sure how it will be received. Again, it goes back to my wonderful followers, I am extremely lucky to have such a supportive bunch reading this blog.

Life is too shortDon't be at war with yourselfLove yourself, love your bodyYou are beautiful



This year Caoimhe & Jack came on board the blog too! Caoimhe has done some baking and both of them have done some book reviews. I expect we’ll see more of them in the future.

13.Most Common Theme

I don’t think there was a common theme in 2016, I don’t think there were less recipes as such, just more of everything else. Hopefully 2017 will see a more balanced selection of everything….but who knows?!

14.Simply Homemade in 2016

Simply Homemade has continued to evolve throughout 2016. I’ve mentioned before, to me it feels like a little magazine of the things I like, that’s the only way I can describe it. It’s me I guess. There will always be recipes, I love to cook. There will always be crafts, I quite enjoy crafting (though I could do with some major improvements!) There will always be my thoughts, this is my space. At one time this blog had a niche, it was mainly about food. Now it is much more than that, and I don’t mind that it isn’t fully here or there. One size does not fit all.

15.What Simply Homemade Did for Me in 2016

It gave me a voice. Somewhere to voice my thoughts. A platform to share recipes and crafts. It gave me something for me. It gave me hope. It gave me an escape.

I don’t blog for stuff. I don’t blog for recognition, though when your work is recognised it is amazing. I don’t blog for numbers. I blog because I love it. It is the most rewarding labour of love.

16.Looking Ahead

I’ve never made plans regarding Simply Homemade, I simply follow my heart with it. Perhaps that is foolish of me when blogging is near the forefront of Irish media but it has worked so far! My perspective may change during 2017, I would love to be able to devote more time to it. Perhaps this will be the year I do make plans!


If you would like to see what others are reflecting on, click on the image below which will take you over to Sadhbh’s gorgeous blog.






10 thoughts on “The Year That Was – 16 from ’16

  1. Happy New year to you and your lovely family Nicola .Looking forward to your 2017 posts /snaps and blogs.Can’t pick which is my favourite of the above, as I love them all.
    Here is to a happy & healthy 2017 💖

    Liked by 1 person

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