Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top Ten Posts of 2012: Salad, Gifts, Kids - and Lord of the Rings?

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Dear gentle and faithful Readers,

It's been a glorious year of blogging for me, as I have have learned, studied, stretched my limits, and watched the blog grow by leaps and bounds.  You, the faithful and cheerful reader, have visited again and again, increasing our readership by several hundred percent over the course of 2012.  You can't imagine how encouraging that is to a simple blogger like myself!  It motivates me to write and write some more, learn and learn again, and try, try harder!

I look forward to another year of growth, vibrant and sustainable living, and of course some more technical learning.  Looking back over my stats from the year, I pulled a list of the most-viewed posts.  Here is our collection of the top 10 reader favorites in 2012, in ascending order ending with the most popular of all.

This guy's favorite things are his toes!

#10  |  Educational Packs for Little Kiddos
I actually shared this post in Christmas 2011, but it has remained a steady favorite.  Download some coloring and activity packs for kids, and get some recipes for a very-homemade hot cocoa night!

#9  |  Fair Careers: Why I Work Full Time
This hot topic stirred up some interesting discussion on the sidelines, and got a lot of positive reviews from readers.  I don't think any two homes needs to be exactly the same, but sometimes I think people wonder why I don't do things "the way everybody else does!"  This post may answer those questions ... and provoke even more questions to follow!

#8  |  Dinner for a Hot Day: Cold Overnight Salad

A family heirloom recipe, I finally broke down and shared it on the blog (my secret is out!).  It stayed solidly in the top two slots for over half a year, and finally slid down as new posts usurped its position - but it remains a huge favorite with you and other readers, and with myself of course, because it is one of my all-time favorite recipes!

I really don't know why or how this post made it to the top ten, but it's amusing enough that I guess people find it interesting!  It was a freak occurence during part of my long year of travel when Mr H was going through rounds of training across the country with the Navy; I guess most of you can sympathize, and hopefully got off as easily as I did, in this instance! 

This post easily scored in the top ten because of the wildly popular recipe for Indian Fry Bread contained in it.  I myself love this recipe - for a while, we were making it a few times a week (we were poor!  I didn't have yeast!  The sourdough starter died!  What was I supposed to do?!).  It's sister post, while not making it into the top ten, is still one of our popular posts and a family favorite.  

This one seems a little random to me, but we like what we like, right?  This is the post where I found out about reCap ... if you own a mason jar, you will probably want one, too!!  Or ten. 

This surprised me a little because I posted it so near to the end of the year; however, I am excited that you all enjoyed it so much and it has become one of our most popular posts!  It lists some of my favorite or most dearly desired tools for the kitchen - all the best and most tested of their kind.  It's sister post, my top picks booklist, is one of the favorite posts of the month, but not the year.  

"Kids say the darndest things ..."  This post recalls some of the funny things I've heard kids say, weird things we believed as kids, and a few comics for, well, relief.  When I was a kid, I thought pickles grew in the ocean and that's why they were so salty; as a babysitter, I learned what a bobba chaya was.  Did you believe or say any weird things as a kid, or do your kids crack you up with their unfiltered view of life?  

This detergent post definitely earned a top spot in our year review.  My favorite detergent recipe of all time - we use it for diapers and clothes, and my husband takes containers of it with him on deployment - it is easy (3 ingredients!), free of chemicals, fragrances, damaging whiteners, and skin irritants!  

I have to say, this one took me completely by surprise.  The most favorite post of the year by far, it has somehow gone viral and raked in 1,500% more views than any other post.  I don't know why; but I think it's funny.  It's not even related to my general blog topics - it's just a humorous post about Lord of the Rings!  

More favorites:  These recent posts have scored top slots for the recent months, several of them spread via Pinterest and rapidly becoming favorites with many of my beloved readers!

Render Unto Caesar: Orange Julius
Well, it definitely made my nice list.  When I went home for Christmas, I blended up a few huge batches of this drink, much to the delight of my family!  Chill out with a creamy, smooth drink that has no added sugar!

Storing and Using Bananas: Freezing and Dehydrating and other awesome uses
It's not every day you end up with five cases of bananas, but I was happy to acquire them and even happier to use them!  If you want to stock up, save up and use up bananas, this is the post for you.

Nourishing Traditions Book Review
One of my favorite cookbooks and possibly one of yours, I wrote a thorough review (with links to an interview with the author!) and gave away a copy.

Booklist: Top Picks and Recommendations
As mentioned above, when we posted my list of favorite books it became a reader favorite and I can imagine why; I love reading booklists from other bloggers who read and ponder the same topics I do, and I am always eager for new material! I am sure many of my readers feel the same, and am glad I could be of some use by sharing this list.

Off to write again with the hopes of making you a happier reader!

Mrs H

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