2 Years Of The Northernist

3 Jan 2018

Happy New Year, everyone! Something that I absolutely love about coming into a new year is that it's my little old blogs birthday the next day. That's right, yesterday, The Northernist turned a whole 2 years old! It absolutely blows my mind that I've managed to keep going with this, particularly recently with my crazy busy schedule, but I've absolutely loved having this little space to ramble and share. Just like I did with my first blog birthday post, I'm going to be looking back over the months and chatting about which posts were my favourites.

So of course, January got off to a good start with The Northernist turning one, and I started an internship in my university's admissions department. If you read my 2017 ramble, you'll know that this wasn't the best job I've ever had and the misery that I felt there made me want to blog less. However, I persevered and managed to stick to my schedule the whole month (which is a post every 3 days. I'm not sure if I've ever said that anywhere, but I find that that works better for me than having set days to post on). One of my most favourite posts was the one that I wrote for mine and my fella's 4 year anniversary. It was the mushiest and most heartfelt thing I've ever written, and it was so lovely to think back over all the things we've done together. I also loved reviewing Urban Decay's Naked Ultimate Basics palette and chatting about my everyday work makeup. I remember the latter being a really big deal for me because I'd never really had the confidence to post my face before, but I bloomin' love makeup, so it was a joy to write.

I don't remember too much happening in February, other than I decided to quit my internship to pursue my love for baking, but this wasn't until towards the end of the month. I'd say that my most favourite post from this month was Sainsbury's Pinterest-Worthy Stationery, not only because it did really well with views (it's my fifth most viewed post) but because I thoroughly enjoy stationery. There's nothing more that I enjoy than a notebook or pencil set! I also loved making and writing a post about the red velvet truffles. These little guys were absolutely scrumptious and didn't last long at all. In fact, I'm thinking about making some more soon!

Then March came along - my birthday month and the month that I started working at a tea room. If you want to know more about my experience there, you can have a read about it in my 2017 ramble, but just know that it didn't lessen my passion for baking. I won't lie, it's really difficult for me to pick just a couple of favourites from this month. I feel like it was pretty good for me, content-wise. I baked a bunch of Malteser cupcakes to help out with raising funds for Red Nose Day, wrote a long overdue music post about my favourite debut albums and managed to perfect bakery-style muffins. But I think my tip top favourite was probably 23 Things I've Learned In 23 Years. It was a really nice way to celebrate my birthday on my blog, and I realise that there's so many variations of the post on the web, but it was so good to sit and think about everything I've learned in my life so far.
April was the month that J and I went on our first ever holiday abroad together, and I wrote all about in a post called 48 Hours In Amsterdam. We had such a fab time and I totally fell in love with the place. It'd be amazing to go back one day and explore all the bits that we didn't get to see this time around. But my favourite post from the month was the Turtle Bay VIP event post, not just because I really enjoyed myself, but because it kind of symbolised me conquering a part of my anxiety around attending events. The food was great, the company was great and I didn't feel alone or out of place at any point. It was a real achievement for me!

I think May was a bit of a mish-mash of a month. I didn't do any baking at home until quite late into the month, but that's because I had been planning a post with Marie Curie, listing three recipes for a perfect tea party. This was for their Blooming Great Tea Party campaign and I had so much fun planning out and making everything for this post. Those scotch eggs were something special, I swear! Another post that was a lot of fun to write was about Amanda Bell's new studio space, purely because I got to go along and see her princess dressing room. It's also another post that did really well views-wise! I guess while we're on the topic of working with people, I'll tell you about the post I did with Blinds Hut. This post made me so happy because I got to be a bit creative and make a mood board of items from the geometric homeware trend. I also won a competition out of it, which is always a plus!

June was a particularly good month for music, so I ended up writing a post about all new stuff I'd enjoyed listening to. Writing pieces like this is always a good time because I really like putting together a bunch of links and pictures so that other people can take a look at what I love. I also did a heck of a lot of baking in June, and one of my favourite baking posts from the month was the rainbow funfetti cupcakes. I made these as I was inspired by Pride, and I thought this was a very fitting way to represent that. I think that this was the month that I started to get chattier in my baking posts, so you've probably got these cupcakes to thank for that!

July was a huge month for me in terms of blogging because I received my first paid post offer and it wasn't just from anyone. It was from Panasonic! I made their ginger sponge puddings to help promote their microwave ovens, and absolutely loved it. As I've always said, I never ever set out for this blog to become a source of income or a job, but as time has gone by, I've learned that it's something I'd definitely want to pursue in the future outside of my personal blog. Maybe for a magazine or a shop, who knows! But this was the post that helped me realise that the stuff I was writing isn't too bad and maybe someday, I could earn a decent living off it. Another fave of the month was my review of the Morphe 25B palette. I'm not sure how many other people enjoyed this, but I bloomin' loved swatching the thing and telling the world about it.
In August, I became a bit of a sell out. I'd taken on too many blogging opps and they all came to being in August. I do feel a little bit bad about it, but I think that a lot of it made for really good content. What I didn't expect though, is a second paid post opportunity from Panasonic. I could've cried about it! This one was to promote their 4k TV range and to keep it as 'me' as possible, I wrote about the book to film and TV adaptations that I like. I'm a bookworm and have a degree in English, so this felt like a fab topic to talk about. Another of my faves was the summer cocktails post I did with Durham Distillery. I'm not a big drinker, but this stuff was absolutely DELICIOUS. I also got to make the drinks and take photos at my mum's house, so the whole post is summery and lovely. I just have a little yard at my house, so my mum's grassy and flowery garden was needed!

September was a good good month - I left the tea room to go back to university, went to Disneyland and got engaged. It was such a whirlwind! But of course, Disneyland featured heavily on The Northernist, but my particular favourite of all the posts was the haul one. We saved up a heck of a lot of money so we could go a bit crazy and treat ourselves, so I fully enjoyed showing you all what we bought. My toffee apple squares post was another fave from September because let's face it, who doesn't like toffee apple? The bake was insanely yummy and the post was brilliant to write, and it put me in such an autumny mood!

I'll be real, October was my favourite month of the year for my blog. I feel like my content was absolutely tip top, if I do say so myself, and choosing a fave was so hard. My favourite Halloween bake were the Spiced Latte Pumpkins. These were so different from what I normally make and I used flavours that I've never used before. They went down such a storm and I ended up making them twice because of that! Another of my faves was the Bistrot Pierre post. I had a great night eating so much delicious food (some would say too much) and writing it all up was fun, so all in all, the making of the post was a fab time! I'm trying my best to stick to two per month, but we had way too much fun at Scream Factory, making the post for it an absolute joy to write.

Ok, we're on the home stretch now! By November, I was well into the swing of being back at university, but I still managed to keep to my schedule, which I'm very proud of. I think my top favourite post from this month was the MAC Snowball kit review. I feel like my photography was particularly good in this one as kind of realised the magic of props, but I also had a lot to say, so I think the words are just as good. I also love both of the Christmas baking posts from this month - the Boozy Baileys Brownies and the Billionaire's Shortbread Hot Chocolate Cupcakes. Not only do I think that the posts are a good read, I also think the treats were scrumptious.

And last, but certainly not least, we have December, the final month of the year. This was mainly all about Christmas, but one of my favourite non-Christmassy posts was the Lane7 post. I was so excited to go along to the new bowling barcade, so I totally threw myself into writing the post. I even made some gifs for it! But my favourite Christmas post from the month has to be the Christmas sausage rolls. Nothing says Christmas quite like a sausage roll, right? These tasted gorgeous and I was so chuffed with my photos. Finally, I also loved my post about Technic's new products. I absolutely love working with the brand, so when they sent over a hamper of goodies, I couldn't wait to get stuck in.
Phew, if you've made it this far through the post, then well done you! It's been quite a year for my little blog and I've loved every minute. I've managed to keep to my schedule all year, which has resulted in 120 posts for the whole of 2017. I think that's pretty good! I also manage to post a gratitude list for every month, which is a series that I think I'll continue this year. It helped me to think about all the good things that happened each month, no matter how small, and had a big impact on my mental health.

So if you're new here, hello, I'm Olivia. It's very nice to meet you and I hope that you stick around a little longer. If you've been here a while, then thank you very much for reading my chattering and obviously extremely organised posts.

Let's meet here next year, same time, for the third birthday post!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. Love these types of chit-chatty posts, love your blog!

  2. I can't believe I've only just discovered your blog! Congratulations on 2 years and counting I'm sure, I absolutely love your content and there's nothing better than a look back on all the good work you've done!

    Beth x

    1. Oh gosh, thank you, Beth! This comment made me smile so much! x

  3. Congrats on your 2 year blogiversary! Sounds like you had an amazing year (with lots of treats!) I'm off to check out your Disneyland Paris post and the red velvet truffles... yum!

    -Amanda A Good Hue

    1. Oh gosh, thank you for spending a bit of time on my blog and your lovely comments! x

  4. Wow! I’ve been blogging for five-ish months now and I can only imagine how much dedication it would take do it for two years! Well done hun! I strive to be as awesome as you :)