OK, so I’m three days late but Toby Goes Bananas is now one year old! I wrote my first post on 22nd October 2013 when Toby was just over three months old, mostly as a kind of online journal and photo album of his life. I had actually been blogging since 2009 but on my other blog I mostly wrote reviews of stand-up comedy, about my various travels around the world and latterly about training to be and becoming a teacher. I had a fairly decent number of regular readers and a very active Twitter account. But when Toby was born I knew that the people who read my other blog wouldn’t really be interested in reading all about the ins and outs of life with a newborn. I had start reading more and more parenting blogs (especially during those hours spent feeding Toby in the night) and decided I would give it a go myself!
I started thinking about a name and one day Toby Goes Bananas just popped into my head as I was driving up our street. At that time we were still struggling to get Toby’s reflux under control and he did regularly go bananas. And I just thought it had a nice ring to it… I promise it’s not because I’m some massive fan of the Herbie films! I did think I might be limiting myself a bit for the future – if we have another baby then I don’t want them to be left out, but it’s OK I already have a plan for my blog should that happen.
Once I had a name I set up my blog on free WordPress and also set up a new email address, Twitter account and Facebook page. I knew it would be easier down the line if everything had the same name (and that would be one of my top tips for anyone starting with blogging). Within a month or so I knew I was really enjoying my new blog and so I registered my own domain name, although I still stuck with free WordPress for a while. Another month or so down the line and I decided to go self-hosted (I wrote a few posts about why and how at the time – you can read the first one here if you’re interested). I also redesigned my blog when I went self-hosted and made myself a new header to go with my new home.
Over the last year I have written about all sorts of things from cloth nappies to the time I was worried for my mental health. I posted monthly updates about Toby from four to twelve months, and I’ve taken part in some fabulous linkies (my favourites have to be The Ordinary Moments, which I haven’t done for ages but will get back to one of these days, and Living Arrows which I’m proud to say I have managed to do every week of 2014 so far). I’ve posted recipes and craft posts, I’ve written about weight-loss and weaning and I’ve had so many fantastic opportunities to review products and attend events which I never would have imagined a year ago. I was delighted to be a Munchkin Lindam blogger this year, as well as a Konfidence Swimologist. It’s been brilliant working with such lovely brands and getting to try so many of their great products!
The blogging highlight of my year has to have been going to Britmums Live back in June. Not only did I get to attend lots of really useful sessions I also got to meet lots of my favourite bloggers in real life too. I’ve made some great friends through blogging and for me it has to be one of the best things to come from starting Toby Goes Bananas.
I haven’t been as active on the blog since the summer but I’m settling into being back at work now and starting to feel like I’m getting my blog-spiration back so hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot more from me in the next few months and hopefully for years to come – I may have times when I don’t post much but I’m not planning on stopping blogging altogether for a long time to come!
Lastly, I just want to thank all of you have read and commented on Toby Goes Bananas over the last year. I really do appreciate it so please keep coming back!