So long, 2013.

So, I think this is where I’m supposed to say that 2013 was a wonderful year, I feel complete, and I’m all full of good intentions for 2014. Well, kinda.

Truth be told, I find writing those posts a bit narcissistic. Every year is the best ever, and everyone feels blessed and they’re all surrounded by loads of family and friends who are amazing and they’re following their dreams and – well, honestly – I’m just a bit too Northern for that sort of thing. Or something.

So – in Northern fashion – 2013 was pretty good.

We saw a lot of world. We rode rollercoasters in Florida and camels in Jordan. We took cooking classes in Florence and watched whales in Cape Cod. We combed beaches in France and sweltered in Spain. And we just won a competition to become reviewers for a holiday company next year, so there are more adventures on the horizon, along with a summer road trip to plan.


As ever, my professional life was too hectic, I spent too much time at my desk, and not enough time talking to real life humans. Our cat left home in disgust. There were altogether too many trains. Personally, it was a mixed bag, with a mixture of new friends, old friends and people who maybe weren’t ever friends to begin with. On balance, more people made me laugh than made me cry, so I’m calling that a win.

For 2014, if I have a resolution, it’s to be brave.

If thirty odd years on the planet have taught me anything it’s that the interesting stuff mostly happens when you’re scared out of your wits. And maybe life needs to be a bit more unexpected next year. Although I’m not sure how I’m going to top Dr Ranj on a mechanical surf board for, “Things I never expected to see”. 


I thought it might be easy nice to round off the year with my ten most read posts of 2013. Feel free have a nose around if you’re new to my blog 🙂

  1. What it’s like to be a single parent 
  2. Road testing a Volvo XC90 
  3. Why I’m over Candy Crush 
  4. Dear M&S 
  5. So you’re a racist… 
  6. The one where I end up on Newsnight
  7. The one where we review a Tassimo 
  8. Top tips for family trips to Orlando 
  9. Things to do in Florence with Kids
  10. Tips for days out at the Warner Bros Studio Tour 

I’ve no idea why people want to read about Volvo and Candy Crush. But I’m glad you do. I’m pathetically grateful to those of you who read, commiserate and openly mock me, in equal measure. Here’s to another year of adventures.

Oh, and if you have a few spare minutes some of my favourite end of year posts from other bloggers that are definitely worth a read:

  • Let Her Eat Clean (Ruth never fails to inspire me with her lust for life)
  • Mother’s Always Right (I am unspeakably jealous of Molly’s new house)
  • Amy Ransom (a new blog, but one that made me laugh)
  • Soft Thistle (because I’ve loved following her journey this year and her 2013 write-up is properly moving and stuff)
  • Grenglish (because her post says what I think, only better)

Happy New Year!






Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 31st December 2013 / 12:50 pm

    I agree that spending time with family and friends has to be more important in 2014 though 2013 was lots of fun! My post popping up tomorrow 🙂
    Becky Willoughby (@LakesSingleMum) recently posted..Challenge 2014My Profile

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:10 pm

      Will pop over to read it now!

  2. 31st December 2013 / 1:02 pm

    Happy new year mrs x

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:11 pm

      Back atcha TT. Hope the hangover’s not too bad today.

  3. 31st December 2013 / 1:13 pm

    I’m thinking you’ll take that back when I start on your case in 2014, Whittle… Here’s to bravery and absolutely spending more time with humans and less time at the desk! I’ve got my eye on you. You’ve got 365 days to fit in a trip to Wales where this real human will welcome you with open arms. Thanks for the link.

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:11 pm

      Don’t make me eat flax seeds. I might cry.

      • 1st January 2014 / 4:01 pm

        Soooo 2013. I declare 2014 the year of the linseed. You’re safe (ish).

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:11 pm

      Absolutely. Bet you’re raring to go.

  4. Nikki
    31st December 2013 / 2:05 pm

    Happy New Year Sally and Flea – may 2014 bring your more happiness and adventures, less car troubles and better map reading skills 🙂

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:12 pm

      Thanks Nikki, here’s hoping 2014 is a fab year for you and yours.

  5. 31st December 2013 / 2:12 pm

    I will raise a glass to you and bravery this evening! They do say with risk comes great reward…
    Thank you for including my post. Happy new year to you and Flea, I hope the best of 2013 remains with you in 2014 and that the best is still yet to come.
    Grenglish recently posted..Raising My GameMy Profile

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:13 pm

      Thanks and here’s hoping your 2014 is full of fun, too 🙂

  6. 31st December 2013 / 3:53 pm

    Happy New year! This past year has been a good one for sure. Hopefully I will stick to my goals betterrrrr in 2014 though.

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:14 pm

      Thanks Tanya. Happy New Year!

  7. 31st December 2013 / 5:06 pm

    I might not have got a mention on your post but I sneaked in the background of one of your pics 😉
    Your year just makes me think of how little travelling I actually do, I really need to do something about that, maybe get a passport? Good luck with being brave next year, I’m sure you’ll manage it and Happy to New Year to you and Flea 🙂
    Anne recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:14 pm

      So you did! You looked v glam, too. Happy New Year, Anne, and hopefully see you soon.

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:15 pm

      Let’s not get carried away.

  8. 31st December 2013 / 7:19 pm

    Happy New Year to you and yours Love Squirrel. Looks like 2013 was a year of many memorable experiences for you and Flea – here’s to a productive and positive 2014 !
    Mammasaurus recently posted..“They don’t stay babies for long”My Profile

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:16 pm

      Thanks Saurus, hope you had a good NYE.

  9. 31st December 2013 / 9:43 pm

    Brave is a great word. It’s the one I chose for 2013 (or at least courage was, which is close enough). I found it much more helpful than a specific NY resolution. If you are one of those people like me who is most comfortable under the covers with a book and a cuppa rather than making awkward small talk with strangers, I think stating your intention to be a bit braver and push out of your comfort zones is a good thing. Heck, you may even move across the world. Have a lovely 2014 and thanks for all your hard work supporting the blogging community/ies this year xx
    Ruth recently posted..Cheerio 2013!My Profile

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:16 pm

      Ha! Definitely resolved to do more that’s outside my comfort zone this year, in all sorts of areas!

  10. Kati
    1st January 2014 / 9:02 am

    I’ve only just discovered your blog, I read one post (this one!) and I like you already! I will be reading your blog from now on. After a successful picture blog on my Facebook in 2013, I’m hoping to launch a proper wordy one this year! Wish me luck!

    Happy New Year to you and Flea!

    • Sally
      1st January 2014 / 2:17 pm

      Thanks Kati, and do come and tell us when you start your blog 🙂

  11. 2nd January 2014 / 7:16 pm

    Brilliant round up Sally – realistic and honest as ever. You’ve certainly had an eventful year! Thank you for introducing me to some new blogs too – always a bonus 🙂 Amy’s has been one of my faves for a while. Happy New Year!

  12. 4th January 2014 / 1:05 am

    I was sure I’d replied to this… whoops!
    I *loved* getting to see you again last year – and the hugs! YAY! 😀
    Thank you for including me. Here’s to hopefully getting to see you again in 2014!
    Marylin recently posted..Taking Stock: 2013My Profile

  13. Heather @ Note From Lapland
    6th January 2014 / 2:04 pm

    Life is pretty awesome really, isn’t it? You know, in a self effacing Northern way, I mean, obviously. Ahem.