Happy New Year 2012: A Year in Review
Come Take a Look Back at 2012 with MamaNYC!
A lot has happened in the last 12 months and I would be a liar if I said it was an easy and fun year. I’ve had my ups, downs, failures, successes, and everything in between. Taking a look back is a little bit of sadness, happiness, and questioning WHY ‘this’ and WHY ‘that’ happened. If anything, i will never look back with regrets. I have always been a big believer of karma and know that everything happens for a reason.
Let’s take a look back at 2012 and see what happened in the world, my life, and MamaNYC:
♦ My family kicks off the New Year with a night of overdue relaxation. No problem! After wild, crazy, and late night NYE parties every December 31st in the past, I thoroughly enjoyed going to bed before midnight. Does that mean I am over the hill, or just a parent?
♦ Although my New Years Eve (and Day) wasn’t so eventful, I kicked off 2012 with an amazing trip to Chicago for the Kenmore Blogger Summit! A great time was had by all and I was able to learn a lot about the brand, products, and gained a great respect for Kenmore as a whole.
I didn’t think it was possible to love this brand more than I already had, especially after growing up in a Kenmore appliance-filled home… but apparently there actually was a lot more to learn and see at the Kenmore Live Studio. There were approximately 40 bloggers gathered at the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago (GORGEOUS!).
Plus, we had an amazing dinner on our first night as we were graced with the presence of Google representatives talking to us about Google+ Plus!
♦ MamaNYC begins development for a blogger support group, BloggerPR. (Launches in April 2012)
♦ I was thrilled when a longtime friend asked me to host a Thirty-One Gifts review and giveaway on MamaNYC. She’s an awesome independent consultant and made by day (year actually) as I fell in love with the  Large Utility Totes and  All-in-One Organizer that she sent over for review. Both of the utility totes are used to store toys in our living room and I am thankful for that storage every day!
♦ MamaNYC hosts the 1st annual CUPIDS CASH giveaway event, which is a huge success bringing one winner a prize of $850.00 PayPal cash! This cash event has since become an annual event hosted by MamaNYC every Valentine’s Day (sign up’s are open for Cupid’s Cash Giveaway!)
♦ Whitney Houston passes away on February 11, 2012. The world mourns the loss of a phenomenal artist with an irreplaceable voice that is loved by all around the world.
♦ Readers are graced with an extravagant list of 140+ greatest love songs of all time as part of MamaNYC’s Valentine’s Day Guide.
♦ … but of course I couldn’t forget to include Valentine’s Day quotes, too!
♦ Davy Jones, best known as a member of the musical group the Monkees and star of the TV series of the same name, passes away on February 29th at the age of 66.
♦ MamaNYC ‘celebrates’ Leap Year on February 29th with a post filled with some great Leap Year facts for readers to enjoy!
♦ MamaNYC organized and hosted a group of 25 bloggers for a Viviscal review and giveaway event. Our giveaways kicked off in mid-March and was a huge success! Everyone began their Viviscal 3-month trial period and began to record their hair improvements for growth, strength, and texture.
♦ My newest feature, "Talk To Me Tuesday" starts off discussing Pacifier Problems in March 2012. All of your advice and knowledge clearly helped a LOT – my son kicked the habit 2-3 weeks after I published this post. Victory!
♦ MamaNYC’s "Talk To Me Tuesday" feature discussed Picky Eater Problems – fellow bloggers and readers sounded off about their toddler eating issues and offered up some great advice!
♦ Yum! I posted a great collection of St. Paddy’s Day recipes and crafts. Let’s just say I wish every day was St. Paddy’s day.
♦ After 4+ months of planning, research, and development – BloggerPR is launched! MamaNYC founded BloggerPR, which is a blogger support group and media outreach network. The group rapidly grew into the strong, successful, and resourceful group that it is today with 400 members and growing strong!
♦ We celebrate my sons 3rd birthday with a family party at home. Someone lucked out with lots of great gifts from loved ones! Successful birthday for the little man (as usual…).
♦ TV and American radio personality, Dick Clark, passes away on April 18, 2012 at the age of 82. He will forever be remembered and missed, especially on New Years Eve.
♦ Conceived my 2nd child, but wouldn’t find out for another 5-6 weeks!
♦ I published a post called "10 Blog Mistakes That Bloggers Make & How To Avoid Them" as part of my Blogging 101 tutorials and tips segment on MamaNYC.
♦ After my son begins having fits wherever we go once it is time to leave, I discuss how to deal with temper tantrums when leaving fun activities. Once it is published, I realize that I should have said "… when you are leaving ANYWHERE". My son had fits when we would leave doctor offices, food stores, deli’s, gas stations, and any other place that we would go to for the entire month of May. I put a quick stop to this behavior after following my own advice! (Whew)
♦ BloggerPR celebrates our launch with a Kickoff Giveaway Hop, which has an awesome turnaround and lots of new bloggers are welcomed into our group. Success!
♦ MamaNYC is a Wildlife Conservation Society Ambassador! We will visit all of the New York zoo’s and our aquarium in Coney Island and report back with lots of events, activities, and fun all year long!
♦ Discovered that I was pregnant with my 2nd child!
♦ MamaNYC receives a 2012 Kia Optima to review for one week! This gorgeous, luxurious, and family friendly sedan tops our shopping list as we plan to purchase a new car in 2013. I boasted all about our experience in my Kia Optima review, so be sure to read it and fall in love, too!
♦ MamaNYC must be transferred from Shared hosting into a VPS (virtual private server) due to growth and bandwidth issues, which is bittersweet (for sure!). Although my hosting package price increased (dramatically), I knew this meant only good things to come!
♦ Kicked off my 2nd pregnancy with a great post, which I called 25 Things You Should Never Say To Pregnant Women. Hopefully someone followed my tips! (Anyone?)
I completed my 3-month trial and published a Viviscal review after MUCH success and hair growth. The results were (and still are) amazing!
Continuing to try and have a little humor about pregnancy (since my 2nd one isn’t going so well), I try to add a little humor to my situation with "Creative Ways To Announce Your Pregnancy on Facebook"
♦ Celebrated my 28th birthday (Yeah, yeah…).
♦ July was a happy month for my little boy since he had an amazing opportunity to help me with a Mega Bloks review! We received a Big Building Bag and Amazing Spider-Man Bridge Showdown set, which are still used on a daily basis. My son has been building bigger and bigger buildings, animals, and other ‘creatures’ with his Mega Bloks. We definitely love their products and continue to grow our collection!
♦ The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off in London! I decided to post some Summer Olympics inspirational quotes in order to celebrate the festivities, but also to help me gain a little motivation. It helped!
♦ Heatwave! New York City is hit with a sweltering, humid, and undeniably HOT temperatures during a Summer 2012 NYC heatwave. Things got a little sticky, but we lucked out with some summer sprinkler fun!
♦ Woohoo! MamaNYC reaches 10,000 fans on Facebook AND Twitter! An iPad 3 giveaway was surely a perfect way to celebrate this amazing milestone.
♦ As I celebrate such an amazing milestone for my blog, I decided to write a post that would give my readers a look at how and why I began MamaNYC. Starting a blog was the very last thing on my bucket list for life, but the story of how I started my blog still seems like a strange twist of fate and definitely a fantastic decision – quite possibly one of the best decisions that I have made in years (besides my kids, of course..). ;O)
♦ MamaNYC attends BlogHer ’12 in New York City!
♦ MamaNYC comes home from BlogHer ’12 in New York City — with a lot of lessons learned and tips from BlogHer. I learned a lot about blogging, but mostly even more about my fellow bloggers. Everything in life is a learning experience and surely happens for a reason. If that reason means bigger and better things to come, I am all for it and take it as a HUGE blessing!
♦ We find out the gender of our 2nd child — it’s a GIRL!
♦ As moms prepare to send their children off for school, MamaNYC posts a great back to school printables checklist and talks about the benefits and perks of using Hewlett Packard HP Ink!
♦ Klout changes the algorithm and madness behind the numbers and scoring system. They introduce ‘Real World Influence’, which causes a mini-uproar amongst social media guru’s.
♦ Bloggers are enraged with anger as news develops over fellow bloggers buying Twitter followers. At least we know why some bloggers have an astronomically higher follower count than we do and that they aren’t real followers!
♦ MamaNYC takes a look back in time and composes a list of the top 15 children’s books from the 1990′s!
♦ I LOVE New York. I really do. I just had to share the top 5 reasons WHY I love New York City.
♦ Excitement grows in our home and I am pumped up for Halloween! I start sharing a collection of free Halloween printables in September, of course.
♦ September 22nd is National Car Seat Check Saturday. MamaNYC shares car seat safety tips so that everyone can make sure their car seat(s) are installed properly!
♦ Yikes! Hundreds of bloggers are randomly added to Facebook Groups without their knowledge or permission. This is a growing problem and many wonder how they can STOP people from adding them to Facebook Groups, but it isn’t foolproof and definitely won’t stop the problem in its tracks. The tips help, but many are concerned since it is very easy for someone to force them into a group.
I reach the 1/2 way mark of my second pregnancy and share an update. My 22-weeks pregnant journal update is far from exciting, but more so filled with complaints and difficulties that I have been facing. Although I haven’t been up to keeping a weekly or monthly pregnancy journal, I am happy that I was at least able to leave a few updates on MamaNYC!
♦ October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I lost my 89-year-old grandmother to breast cancer in June 2011, so I am always trying to advocate and raise awareness in any way that I can. I shared breast cancer prevention tips in hopes that someone would be saved from early detection. My grandmother waited much too long to tell anyone. We miss her – a lot.
♦ MamaNYC hosts a great event at the Babies ‘R Us Union Square in New York City! In conjunction with Graco, I had a great time as their hostess for an event discussing their newest car seat - Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 Car Seat.
♦ Halloween fun continues on MamaNYC with a great collection of Halloween jokes and riddles – BOO!
♦ New York City is hit with Hurricane Sandy: Although my family lucked out (BIG TIME), I did go without Internet and cell service for approximately 10 days. We took this as a blessing as we watched our friends, family members, and neighbors around us suffer through the aftermath of Sandy. Homes were lost, photos were damaged, and cars washed into the ocean. The recovery still continues, but the tristate area is coming back stronger than ever!
♦ Halloween is basically "called off" for our son due to Hurricane Sandy. We made the best of the day by throwing a small Halloween party at home with an impromptu pretend ‘trick or treat’ session!
♦ As if my pregnancy wasn’t difficult enough, I was now dealing with a lot of problems with my OB/GYN. I talked about why I had to change obstetricians in hopes of better things to come during the last 2-months of my pregnancy. Looking back, I should have known that things would only get worse!
♦ In an effort to help the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, I discuss five different ways that we can help either though donations or volunteerism.
♦ After taking a look around my neighborhood, New York, New Jersey, and the Internet – MamaNYC complies a list for Five Finds Friday, which includes  posts discussing the relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy. These posts talk about what is going on in the tristate area, how we have been affected and how we will recover.
♦ I’m getting closer to the end of my 2nd pregnancy! I post my 3rd trimester pregnancy update and report back some good news, but nothing spectacular. Things are lookin’ up, but I am still not 110% and likely will remain this way until the baby is born. What a drag!
♦ I share my experience as a Graco Babies ‘R Us New York City event hostess on MamaNYC – complete with photos and details about the SnugRide Click Connect 40 car seat.
♦ MamaNYC publishes a 2013 Kia Rio review after driving one around for 7-days in November 2012. This is a great car and we are sad to see it leave after our review week is up!
♦ The results are in and President Barack Obama is reelected! Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President gets it right — again!
♦ My son is styled and photographed for an amazing photo shoot with Target Kids winter apparel collection. Thanks to GLAM and #TargetKids, I receive an amazing collection of 100+ professional photos of my son looking adorable as ever!
♦ Newtown, Connecticut suffers the loss of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. These 26 angels will be greatly missed and there are no words to describe the pain our nation feelsfor these parents and families that are going through this difficult time.
♦ Lots of excitement builds up as Christmas approaches! I am able to keep my son cool, calm, and collected by printing out a bunch of free Christmas printables that I made (and shared on MamaNYC, too!).
♦ We receive another Kia for review and once again have a spectacular experience! Third time must be the charm because we fell in love with the 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid review vehicle that we received. This was definitely my favorite experience and we are considering a purchase now that we’re in the market for a new vehicle. Way to go, Kia!
♦ MamaNYC participates in #PinTheHalls in conjunction with HP and Snapfish! We receive two amazing tech products from Hewlett Packard and have a great time learning about both of them! You can read my HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook review and also learn about the HP Portable Bluetooth Speaker, too!
♦ Santa is coming and I have a very excited little boy trying to track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Thanks to NORAD and the brand new Google Santa Tracker, I am able to figure out how to track Santa Claus on Christmas!
♦ 2013 is coming whether or not we can believe it, so I put together a great list of free New Years printables for the kids.
♦ After the Christmas gifts are opened, I needed another way to keep my son busy. I put together a list of Christmas party games to help us entertain our guests, too!
♦ We start thinking about 2013 and how to celebrate the new year as MamaNYC posts a list of New Year Wishes to send friends and family!
♦ The results are in for the Marist Poll’s 2012 Most Annoying Words or Phrases list. "Whatever" has once again topped the list, obviously..
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