This is my 500th post here on Red Rose Mummy. 500 posts. That seems like such a huge number but, when I reflect, I have so much more to say and so much more I'd like to do with this blog, that it feels like a mere drop in the ocean.
I started on the 11th October 2011, with my first post (I'm hoping my titles have improved a little since then) and, looking back on that post it makes me smile so much. The comments especially. There were comments from the bloggers who I'd spoken to on Twitter for months before biting the bullet and starting, and most of them are people who I still speak to very regularly and who have been so supportive. Bloggers like The Boy and Me, Coombe Mill and The Five F's who encouraged me when I said 'you know, I might start blogging?' I'd just been made redundant after returning from maternity leave following Bud's birth and needed a creative outlet. I was reading so many blogs and enjoying them and the long-dead spark of my old love for writing, blown out by a particularly horrible English teacher, started to re-kindle. I loved how the blogs I enjoyed recorded family life and I wanted to do the same.
Over the months I've written about so many different things, there have been posts I've been particularly proud of, like my Birth Stories, a post on Remembrance, a rant about Saving our Museums and, just this week, a post on my breastfeeding journey. We've had some amazing opportunities - review products, like the Graco Evo travel system which came when our old travel system really wasn't working for us and we couldn't afford to replace it, beautiful baby products and some fantastic toys for Bud. We appreciate every single item we've had for review.
The really special thing for me has been some terrific events that I've attended, some alone and some with my family,which have allowed me the opportunity to meet some of the fabulous bloggers in our community. The North-West bloggers, in particular, have become friends - including, and if I have forgotten anyone I'm so sorry, The Brick Castle, Tired Mummy of Two, My Mummy's Pennies, Hollybobbs, This Day I Love, Ghostwriter Mummy, Sim's Life, Note from Lapland, Grumpyish Mum, Preston Precious, Mummy's Little Peeps and Plastic Rosaries. We'll all be attending Blog On in three weeks and I can't wait to spend a whole, child-free day with these fantastic women. Some blogger friends I've never met but still speak to on a daily basis, ET Speaks From Home and In the Playroom I'm looking at you here, my friends from Play Fest, as well as so many others through the marvellous medium of Twitter. They all welcomed me back with open arms despite me disappearing for five months during my awful pregnancy with Little Miss and I'll always be grateful for that.
I've been proud to work closely with a few brands - my membership of the Tefal Innovation Panel has been a revelation and their fantastic products have changed the way I cook completely. We're also toy reviewers for The Toadstool and Izziwizzi Kids Play Fest and we love sharing our opinions on toys that way and the latter has improved my vLogging skills no end! I've loved working closely with the marvellous Lynne at More 4 Mums promoting breastfeeding through her range of nursing clothing which is completely geared towards making it easier.
So what does the next 500 posts hold? More of the same I hope! I'm hoping to meet some of the wonderful bloggers that I've spoken to many times but never met 'in real life' when I attend Britmums Food and Britmums Live in the coming year. I'd love to build up a relationship with a brand who will sponsor me to attend one or both events too. I want to write more about my little family and the subjects close to my heart as I'm conscious that's not been as much of a focus for me recently. I have a linky planned which I'm hoping to start in the next couple of weeks, I've always loved joining in with them on other blogs and so creating my own seems like an obvious step. More than ever I want to continue to be an active part of this powerful, wonderful community that I'm so honoured to find myself in. Wish me luck?