Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Thank You 2015 - Our Year in Review!


I know I say this often but, 2015 was one of the quickest in my living memory. Not only that but 2016 is already off to a flyer as we're already one month in! I couldn't allow the year end go unmarked and in the spirit of my Monday's Moments posts give a little, scratch that, a LOT of thanks for the changes 2015 brought to our lives. 


Gorgebags Gonna Gorgebag



  • 2015 was the year that saw Adam turn 18, both of my babies, no longer babies. His birthday was just one of the Moments of the year that I mentally popped a pin in the memory. I'm sure all parents feel it, a seismic shift in your life, a lucid moment where you realise you've actually managed not to kill, maim or otherwise break the little ones in your charge. I think I may have felt it keenly because I'm a single Mam. The fact that we survived it together. They're men now, taller than their Mam, funnier than their Mam but still unable to beat their Mam in a wrestling match. Let's not be silly. 
  • Speaking of the youngest Gorgebag, he had several huge Moments of his own. He aced his Leaving (as in got exactly the points he needed), won the college place he'd been dreaming about for 2 years previous and only went and won Debutantes of the Year with his gorgeous girlfriend, Lauryn (above). 
  • Aaron, not to be outdone hopped, skipped and jumped through his Multimedia & Computing Diploma and is now putting it to perfect use with his very own blog Die Hard Dublin! Just one look at his blog (only soft launched) will show you this lad has blogging in his blood. 
  • Progressing from his Diploma, he's now turned his hand and his studies to Graphic Design. Can I get a HELL YEAH for in house blog tech assistance?! 
2015 has been, without doubt the biggest of both lads' lives so far, ipso facto, it's been mine too. 

Bloggers Gonna Blog

This pic was taken from THIS interview I did with the hilarious (she just gets it) Roisin over at How to Be an Adult
  • Last year was one of the most successful I've had with this little ol' blog to date. Not only did engagement on site and every one of my platforms continue to rise at an impressive rate (to me obvs) - having the chats daily tends to do that, but the opportunities I was afforded as a result have been quite simply mind blowing. 
  • I spoke at several conferences and networking events, the most enjoyable of all was, of course the Irish Bloggers Conference in Cork. Do you know why? Because it was the first time my incredible little sister got up to speak too. The room were, quite literally enthralled as she told them her story; you'll know Corrina from writing our Travel posts every single Tuesday; that room got the full shebang. I'm not exaggerating when I say she was just shy of a standing ovation, nor when I tell you I blubbed with pride for the duration. She wowed every single person there, just as she wows me every single day.  You have to hear this girl talk. 
  • I was thrilled to be featured on pretty much every medium of press there is, guest appearances on Newstalk, managing to get Pat Kenny to say 'greasy residue' on our national radio waves. Being interviewed by Exposé as a Blogger that Means Business and featuring in Stellar (FAVE), The Times and the Sunday Business Post as one of our country's leading digital influencers. It's pinchable, every single moment of it; pinchable. 
  • Probably the one campaign that I am most proud to have made my own was the Toyota #HappyinHybrid week. The deal was simple, you get the keys to a brand new Toyota Hybrid for a week in return for 3 social posts using that hashtag. Sure, a brand spanky car with a tank of petrol for 3 posts seemed like a sweet deal but I wanted to make it sweeter ~ I decided, in-keeping with everything we're about, to pay it forward and came up with a campaign ~ to spend the week performing #RandomActsofHappy and allow strangers feel some of that happiness ~ do please check out just how well it went HERE.
  • Probably the most life affirming move of the year for me, I began to offer social media consultancy sessions. They tie in nicely with the public speaking and networking events I've been accustomed to and allow me to channel the experience and education I've been building for years . I only started by request but, once I did, something clicked. It feels right, it feels like it's what I should be doing, there's nothing quite so grounding as finding something that works on every level. I get to talk passionately about blogging and branding, I get to help bloggers, businesses and brands alike and I get to float away from every single session with overwhelmingly positive feedback. 2016 is going to see HELLA more of that, on several levels.  
  • Finally, work wise, and the one that brought the most squeals of excitement, was the invitation to draw on those TV snapshots and join the TV3 Midday panel!! Set your tellyboxes to record on the 1st of February because you're about to see a whole lot more of yours truly. I love that they feature strong women with their heads screwed on, not one of them shy about speaking up for themselves. It's handy that I have an opinion or two, innit?

Full Circle in NYC


THE Moment of 2015, the Moment of my life so far and probably the one that will stay with me until my last breath was this very one. With the loves of my life in a very emotional place for me. 20 years, almost to the day, before this was taken I had my picture taken at the same exact spot in Central Park. I was 17, 8 months pregnant, unbeknownst to anyone but me and in the darkest place I've ever known.

Cut to this, two decades, two lifetimes later and I'm happier than I ever imagined I could be. The darkest of my days was just the dawn of our incredible life together. We were in New York for our first holiday, just the three of us together. Adam, the outrageously generous son that he is brought us there! Aaron worked his guts out on the run up and treated us while there! I try not to do #blessed, I really do but that resonates deep down inside me. They're the men I've raised. Those hearts and those minds are what every single sleepless night and endless worry were for.

Nothing will ever compare to that feeling and I'll never forget that Moment in time. I know people talk about 'closure' and seeing the full picture, this was it for me. I know, my boys know and you should know too that no matter how dark the day, brighter ones are coming. 

This is and always will be the life event that gave me my sense of perspective, allows me to drown out the white noise and face anything, any single thing that this funny old life can throw at me. My one wish for every one of you reading this is that you get to feel that too. 


A heartfelt Thank YOU for reading, clicking & interacting with everything we do, making all of this possible and 
Thank You to 2015 for being our best year yet. 
Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016 for every single one of us. 
The world is very much our lobster. 


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