Saturday, December 28, 2013

Wrapping Up 2013: The Year's Most Popular Parsimonious Posts

I know it's a little cliché to say, but I can't believe how fast this year has gone by!

Lots happened this year in our little family. Max entered first grade this past fall. I tell you, I cried the first time I packed a lunch for him. All's well now, though -- we've both adjusted and are doing fine with the whole transition. My Jonah is almost three; I can't help but still think of him as a baby. It's bittersweet to watch my boys grow and get older, but, luckily, they just get better with age. My husband Kevin had eventful year at work -- he's a video game artist for Disney Interactive and the studio he works at made the popular (and super cool, I might add) game Disney Infinity. He's also been busy doing freelance work. As for me, I've just kept busy taking care of this family and home of mine, though I did have one big milestone this year: I finished the first draft of my novel! It's been years in the making and now I'm busy with the second draft. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably have it ready to publish by the time I'm 40. *sigh*

In terms of frugal and homestead-y milestones, we had a couple. The first was at the beginning of the year when we finally paid off our car and became DEBT-FREEEEE! (sorry, it has to be typed that way. If you're familiar with Dave Ramsey's show, you'll know why.)  We've since been working on Dave Ramsey's third baby step and our emergency fund is over half-way funded.  Another milestone: our first honey harvest! I can't even begin to express how exciting it was to fill all those Mason jars with honey from our very own beehives - or how much love and gratitude I felt for all those thousands of little honeybees.

Now I know I didn't post so regularly in 2013 -- about half as many as I did in 2011 and 2012. Honestly, I've let it go a little so I can juggle all the things in my life. I've never been very good at balancing my time. I feel a new year's resolution coming on...

Anyway,  I thought I'd do what I've done the last couple years and look back to see which posts were the most popular (according to page-views) and compile a list of the top ten. I'm always intrigued by the posts that get the most attention -- sometimes I write them thinking, "I'm probably the only person who finds this interesting." It's always a nice surprise to find I'm not alone.

10. Peel Appeal: 7 Ways to Use Citrus Peels

It's that glorious time of year when citrus is in season, when oranges come close to tasting like candy. Save those peels and zest, boil, scrub, clean, sweeten, burn, and/or soak them. Really, it's kind of a shame that peels ever get thrown out.

9. Off the Needles: Chunky Fingerless Gloves

I love these fingerless gloves. Not only are they comfy and cozy, but they're also great for beginner-level knitters. There's plenty of winter left, so I'd definitely recommend knitting up a pair.

8. Expecting Wonders: How to Test Your Seeds Before You Plant

Planting seeds is always a sort of act of faith. You put these little things into the soil, give them some water, and expect them to sprout -- or at least hope they do. It's a beautiful concept. That said, there is one way to ensure that they will actually grow and that is to test them. It's super easy to do and it can save you the heartache of planting old seeds that won't germinate.

7. Observations & Lessons Learned from My First Winter with Chickens

As I type this, all three of the ladies are weathering another winter out in the backyard. Winter hit us really suddenly this year; one day the high temperature was in the 50s, the next day the high temps were in the 20s. Even worse, one of my hens was in the middle of molting (seriously, feathers EVERYWHERE) and another was still growing hers back from her molt. Neither they or I were quite ready for winter when it hit, but we've gotten back into the swing of things. Both ladies are fully feathered again and all three are laying. It's definitely not as enjoyable to keep chickens this time of year, but it's not too bad. That post I wrote last February has been a good reminder for me as we do this whole winter thing again.

6. Some Thoughts on Open-Mindedness & Frugality

Basically, this is the post where I ate a big helping of humble pie. Never say never, I learned.

5. Paleo(ish) Almond-Buckwheat Pancakes

For this being one of the most popular posts of the year, you'd think I would make these pancakes more often. I honestly haven't made them in months. In fact, until I saw this post was one of the more popular ones, I sort of forgot about them. Seeing as I may have overindulged this Christmas season, I'm thinking I'll revisit this recipe soon.

4. "We're Debt-Free!" : Of Car Payments and Baby Step #2

That post was basically the blog-equivalent of my debt-free scream (not familiar with that is? It's basically this). And I'm totally going to use that inspirational/cheesy picture I found when I did an image search for "freedom" again. Being debt-free is an awesome feeling and worth the work it takes to get there.

3. Homemade Weed Killer: The Experiment and the Results

Vinegar to the rescue again. Granted, it needed a couple helpers in the form of salt and dish soap, but it killed those nasty weeds!

2.  I Made Laundry Detergent! (Again) : Easy Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Homemade liquid laundry detergent doesn't get easier than this. It takes five minutes to make, tops. No boiling or grating soap required.

1. Another 100 Painless Ways to Live Frugally

This post went nuts this year! It was a follow-up to my first list of 100 painless ways to live frugally -- personally, I think this list is better than the first. Currently working on the third one, though coming up with another 100 is going to take some creativity, for sure.

{Although this post isn't from 2013, I have to mention my post about my gingerbread cookies. It went crazy these past couple months, getting thousands and thousands of visits. One reason: it was featured on the Canadian edition of The Huffington Post. It was pretty crazy to see my little blog and the recipe featured next to recipes from Martha Stewart, Nigella Lawson, and the Food Network.}

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, whether you've been following along on my frugal journey these past four years (wow!) or if you've just found me via Pinterest. I hope my little space here has helped your life in some way. I enjoy writing it and I love taking tons of pictures of food, kids, animals, and inanimate objects for it. This blog keeps me focused on my money-saving goals partly because I feel a sort of accountability to you all. Plus, trying new things and sharing them with you keeps this homemaking and child-raising stuff fresh and fun for me. I'm not perfect at it -- not even close -- but it stays interesting due in part to you.

May 2014 be your happiest year yet!


Frances -Penilayne- said...

Congratulations on your novel progress :D

And thank you! to your husband for Disney Infinity. My girls looooove it. And, to be honest, so do I.

It's so funny that my own personal goals occassionally mirror yours over the years that I've been reading your blog now haha

Gotta love Dave Ramsey. I could really hear your debt-free scream!

Okay, enough rambling. But thanks for being the creator of one of the few things on the internet I look forward to reading :)

Frances -Penilayne- said...

Oh! And I have to share that I'm at 99% homemade toiletries and house cleaning products! (I still use Bac Out for the wee one's cloth diapers she uses at night.)

Heather said...

Oh my goodness! Thank you for the sweet words. I've got to start posting more regularly, if just for you. :)

I'll echo your sentiment: Hooray for Dave Ramsey!!!

As for Bac-Out -- there's just no homemade replacement for that stuff. It's awesome!

And I will pass on the nice words about Infinity, too. Apparently, the demographics show that there are more girls playing it than boys! Personally, the princess figures are some of the best ones (the Anna one from Frozen is my fave, I think).

Frances -Penilayne- said...

You're welcome :) Haha! Thank you, too.

That is interesting! Our girls spend so much time doing the stories, but then love to just "play dolls" with Anna and Elsa!

Related Posts with Thumbnails