Yes that's right....my little blog turns 1 year old today!
I remember SO clearly sitting in my old living room with Jon and talking about being bored in the third trimester of pregnancy while he was at work all day...we were talking about my hobbies and the subject of blogging came up, as I had previously dabbled with beauty blogging but it had trailed off when I became pregnant and suffered badly with morning sickness.
Jon knew how much I love writing and he suggested I start blogging again but this time about something more relevant (my interest in make up and beauty products waned massively in pregnancy!)
And so the idea of a pregnancy blog was born....I changed my old blog into Sparkles & Stretchmarks and I wrote my very first blog post which you can see HERE.
I have never looked back and have loved every minute every minute of blogging ever since!
I never imagined that a hobby could bring me so many lovely new friends....
Over the past year I have become even closer friends with a lovely girl I already knew from my beauty blogging days....Louise from Confessions Of A Secret Shopper.
It also gave me a shared interest with an old friend and has brought me closer to her too....Rachel from Beauty Queen UK.
And it has introduced me to so many new friends who I now talk to pretty much every day and feel as though I truly count as real friends....namely Emma from Handbags to Changebags, Alex from Bump To Baby, Emily from London Mummy of Two, Jess from Our Baby Blog, Kerry from Lived With Love and Liza from Glambambini.
As well making new friends, I have also persuaded some of my friends to take their first steps into the blogging world and seeing their blogs grow and become fantastic has been wonderful to... if you haven't already, please take a look at their wonderful blogs ... they are Lauren from Mrs Hippo & Me, Sarah from The Natural Momma In Me and, a new starter, Nicola from Mummyhood & Mayhem.
Of course as well as making new friends, I have also been introduced to so many blogs that are an absolute joy to read and inspire me every day....
Particularly Oh So Amelia, This Little House & My Pretty Mummy....their blogs encourage me to want to work harder with my own!
As well as meeting new people and finding new reads, I have been absolutely STUNNED by the opportunities that blogging has brought my way in the past year...
Unfortunately due to anxiety issues and living in the arse-end of nowhere, I have had to turn down SO many invites to events that sound absolutely wonderful....most of them take place in London and would require me travelling alone for the day which my anxiety doesn't really allow me to do....but I want to try harder to work past this in 2014 and accept some of the wonderful invitations I'm given.
I have had the chance in the past year to review some amazing products and work with some wonderful companies, I've been given some fantastic prizes to give away to readers and have even been able to make a bit of extra cash from a hobby that I absolutely adore...infact I have now been able to turn this hobby into a work-from-home job that provides me with a comfortable earning to not have to go back to work now that my maternity has ended.
This is amazing and not something I ever even thought remotely possible when I started this blog 1 year ago today!
So in short, I am so glad I started this blog and I already enjoy looking back over posts about Tyne as he's grown up and can only imagine how much better it will be to look back on it all in years to come.
So I will be continuing to blog - perhaps a little less frequently than before as I want to improve on the quality of what I post rather than sacrifice it for quantity - and I will be taking on fewer reviews to make space for more of my own writing and articles.
And of course, there'll still be plenty of pictures of this little guy....
If you have any suggestions for my blog in its second year of life, please do let me know...I would love to hear from you!
In the meantime, I thought it only right to celebrate this little milestone with a good old fashioned giveaway!
If you would like to be in with a chance of winning £250 of New Look Vouchers, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below!
The competition will close in 2 weeks time.
Good luck everybody and thank you for following me and supporting me! :)
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com