16 Orchard Toys reviews.
55 recipes, 110 LEGO posts, 200 giveaways.
1 holiday to the Isle Of Wight, 2 days out in Blackpool, 3 festivals.
4 Silver Sharks, 2 rescued house-rabbits, 1 Gary the surprise cat.
2 cases of Chicken Pox, many cases of headlice.
1 ice cold jelly bath, 1 sport relief cycle, 1 emotional support trip to the Race For Life.
1 visit to Guinness Book Of Records HQ, 2 trips to Britmums Live, 3 trips to BlogOn Conference.
3 Christmases, 27 birthdays
2 new school starters, 3 school leavers. 4 sets of GCSE's, 2 lots of A levels.
1 child moved out to go to uni, 1 child came home.
2 car accidents, 1 broken knee.
1 case of Meningitis, 1 Hernia, 2 operations.
1 child's death.
18 collections of monthly smiles.
My first ever review was a video review done for the sadly now defunct Izziwizzi Kids and Orchard Toys - 3 Little Pigs. I shudder at that video now. It was twice as long as it needed to be, tiny and grainy, and it took 5 hours to upload. It wasn't the first blog post I wrote, but it is why I am here - so thank you to them for giving me that chance.
I've been lucky enough to review some amazing things over the years, and some of them are still in daily use. My favourites are the ones which have proven the most useful over time - the Ventura Powerbank with Jump Start, the ultra-lightweight Spundown Duvet, and the amazing Miioon reversible jacket that transforms into a rucksack - 2 1/2 years of daily use makes the price tag for any of them a true bargain.
I also will always love the GoGlow Tilt Torch from World's Apart - my youngest children's constant night time companion for nearly 2 years.
We've been asked to be ambassadors for some amazing attractions, including Sealife, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Imperial War Museum North and Eureka, and it's given me the chance to take some of my favourite photos. The first time I ever took photos I was truly proud of was at the opening of Sealife in Manchester, and a photo of our children from the post hangs on my staircase.
We have been to some amazing places and taken part in some fantastic events, and made so many precious memories. Warwick Castle and the Just So Festival have proven to be our favourite, we were very lucky to be given the chance to review. At Just So we met Paul Stickland, and we have also been fortunate to meet with other authors, stars of children's TV and several Disney Princesses...
Just occasionally I've had my say when there is something I have felt strongly about. Why I feel you should take children to funerals, and my thoughts on criticism over LEGO and gender. I also gave you my warning for the eternally dieting Mum.
From the beginning of my blog through to the end, our love for small plastic bricks has shown. My very first proper post was our review of the LEGO Hobbit Goblin King Battle set, and the post that took the longest time was my 2 part review of the LEGO Simpsons House. Including building that took up 30 hours of my life and it cost us £160, but it was worth it.
I also met a man who became a very good friend because he offered to show me his LEGO Emporium, and in return we got to show him our wheelchair footballer....
My favourite posts of all 1000 are my favourites for different reasons. How To Survive A Horror Movie was a lot of fun and I really will revisit that sometime. The 3year old boy vs 3 year old sharks was a day that you can't believe actually happened, and in ways as surreal as another favourite - Easter Snow. A much more recent post which makes it into my favourites is one which will please a lot of you people in internet land, my review of our surprise family member - Gary The Cat.
I hope I have been helpful. The two posts which get the most traffic from search engines are the two least glamorous. Head Lice and Chicken Pox. I have also given my advice on spotting Meningitis in an adult or older child, Colourblindness in your children and how children cope with death. And what seems like a very long time ago I wrote a post for a lady who had just lost her child.
The post beyond all others which has the most views on The Brick Castle is the one about the event which has defined and reshaped our lives. The one thing above all others that I didn't want to ever have to write. Dear Elspeth.
|Photo credit Jen from MyMummy'sPennies|
These are a handful of my favourite posts. The ones that get the most traffic, and the ones that never got the views I felt they deserved. Those that made people laugh, and just a couple to make you cry...
Thank you for reading, and thank you for every single one of the 18,000 comments that have been left by you guys, and all of the private messages you have sent. I have read every single one. I couldn't have done it without you.