Sunday 15 March 2015

Happy 2nd birthday, Farm Girl!

My sweet blog is turning 2 today! A year ago I took a look back at the previous year, and I decided to do the same again for its second birthday. Let's call it a yearly tradition, shall we? Who would have thought that I would do this blogging gig for such a long time that there could be yearly traditions - it's amazing. 
I don't know if I say it often enough or too much, but this blog is so dear to me. You, my readers and friends,  are so dear to me. 
Blogging forces you to be introspective. I have always been a fairly introspective person, but blogging brought it up to a completely new level. If you choose to let it happen, it will take you on a journey of self discovery. It encourages you to take a hard look at your life, and to see what is good and not so great about it. Blogging has given me a whole new level of self confidence and strength. It made me walk away from the toxic people in my life, and find my own tribe. 
Over and over again I find people that inspire, enlighten, and teach me. 

Two years, 491 posts, a few re-designs (all done by me), 2,905 comments, and 1,221 followers (blog followers and all social media channels added up) later, I have come to a few realizations:
1. I will never be "blog-famous". The amount of work you have to do in order to achieve that is bananas. Also, you need a laser-sharp focus, which I severely lack. I'm still very much a work-in-progress, and I need this space to figure myself out first. Maybe some day?
2. Despite that, I love blogging more than ever, and it's here to stay! The community I have found in blogland is so amazing to me. It's mind-boggling how close you can grow to people you have never met in real life, just through reading and writing. Definitely one of the very best things about blogging!
3. SEO (search engine optimization) is a mystery too big for me to solve.

I included the most popular posts of each month based on page views. Mainly I did it because I was curious; I also wanted to see if there is any sort of trend. Turns out, there isn't. Which just proves my point: SEO is a mystery and will remain one for me forever; also, the amount of work you put into a post isn't always reflected in the page views (just look at April - what happened there??)

My one-year blogiversary inspired me to write a couple posts about blogging: Why you should blog and Why you shouldn't blog. It was also a good date month for us, because we actually went on a few dates: to LA for breakfast, a one-day roadtrip, and a trip to the nursery.
Most popular post of the month: Why you shouldn't blog (439 page views)

I started out April with a post on The rules I live by. One year later, they still apply! 
Then I learnt a few things that shook my little world: The existence of NaNoWriMo (which I fully intended to participate in, and absolutely did not do, oops), what my true passion is, and that I want to write a book. The intention is still there, with numerous drafts to prove it, and I am getting right on it. Tomorrow.
Most popular post of the month: 5-minute post (1,877 page views)

In May I was invited by Shannon to host a link-up with her and Mariah: The School of Life link-up! It was a link-up about all the big and small lessons we learn in daily life, and it was great fun. We ran it for three months, but then put it to rest because it was getting too hard to blog on Sundays. Lesson learnt: Weekends are for resting. ;-)
The farm looked particularly pretty that month, as did the peacocks. We also had our regular guest Karl-Heinz from Germany here for two weeks!
Most popular post of the month: School of Life v.3 (192 page views)

June was marked by the momentous occasion of our youngest daughter's graduation from high school. The graduation inspired this post where I reflected on life, goals, and happiness.
I also wrote my blog manifesto, documented our horses loving life, and shared one of the most difficult and raw posts I have ever written: How I feel about being a stepmother.
Most popular post of the month: Blog Manifesto (497 page views)

July was easily the best, most illuminating, and life changing month of 2014. First, I finally, finally realized that I am an introvert. Duh! For someone who claims to be introspective, that took me long enough! But honestly, it had never occurred to me since I always associated introversion with being extremely shy, awkward and weird around people. Reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain educated me about what an introvert is, and made me recognize myself as one. It explains so.much.
The next big event was that Germany won the FIFA World Cup! July 13th was a great day to be German. I also attended one of my best friend's wedding (on the same day of the world cup win, it was a momentous day all around!), and Rich and I went on our first ever cruise to Alaska
Most popular post of the month: Cellulite vs thigh gap (958 page views) 

You heard my voice for the first time in a cringe-worthy vlog (video-blog). I sort of hate and love it at the same time. I'm proud that I took the plunge, because I found it terrifying; at the same time, the quality is awful, I do a disturbing amount of eye widening, and of course, we all hate our voice when it's recorded. Seriously, it sounds way more awesome in my head!
Blog-wise it was a short month with only 13 posts because I went on vacation to Germany (more posts here and here). 
Most popular post of the month: Save the other half for pleasure and adventure (197 page views)

September has always been my favourite month. I love the late days of summer, the first hint of fall in the air, and the beginning of the turning of the leaves. That September didn't disappoint, since there were several great things that happened: I got my first free item of clothing!! eShakti sent me a free dress in exchange for a post/review, and it was awesome. 
Most popular post of the month: Little victories (a small personal victory) (294 page views) 

New month, new blog challenge! I had participated in one challenge before, and had really liked the experience. Basically, you write a post every day about the prompt they give you and link up. So I did it again, and enjoyed it a lot! However, I have to admit that I find it hard being restricted to a topic every day for 31 days. I really want/need to write about whatever is going on in my head. Another lesson learnt! 
Lily wrote her own post for the first time! She always watches me typing away and wanted to give it a try. She has posted a couple of times since, but I'm not sure if she will stick to it - you know teenagers, they are flighty. Another noteworthy event was Halloween, since we dressed up collectively at work for the first time ever and won best group costume! It was such an awesome day, and I had a blast shooting that particular photo shoot. Turns out, snarling is fun! ;-) 
Most popular post of the month:  10 lies I told myself about blogging (247 page views)

I did another giveaway (the other one in 2014 was this one). This time I teamed up with eShakti to give away two gift certificates. While I don't really make any money off my blog, I feel the overwhelming urge to give back from time to time. I get so much out of my blog and readers, I want to show my appreciation! So don't be surprised if there is another one on the horizon soon. ;-)
Some other stuff that happened: A Tour of Blogland with some of my fave bloggers; a few posts about (and with) my best friends (here and here); and the most special one: the beginning of my five-part How I Met You Father-series. 
Most popular post of the month:  104,104 calls for some freebies (277 page views)

The month of my sparkle party and 35th birthday! I told you the 35 important lessons I learnt in 35 years, which you all should read. And take to heart. Seriously!
Now, with your new-found wisdom (you are welcome), you will appreciate the following so much more: Inspiration for if you don't want to be mediocre anymore (no worries, it's not from me, I'm as mediocre as they come). There was Lily's one-year anniversary post which brought me to tears (I love that little hooligan); and then, of course, the obligatory Goals for 2015 post. I wouldn't be a proper blogger without it. 
Most popular post of the month: 35 important lessons learnt in 35 years (145 page views)

I made several big resolutions: Grow the blog! Start a link-up (which I did)! Become famous! (Not really. Well, maybe a little bit.)
Seriously though: I was really dreaming of having thousands of followers. Why? Mainly out of vanity. Yes, it hurts to admit it, but it's true: I wanted to prove to my family and friends that my blog is "successful". And how is success measured? By numbers. Numbers of followers, page views, income. But here is the thing: I'm not willing to do what it takes. As much as I find it difficult, I'm pretty sure I could figure it out if I really, really wanted to. But omg, it's hard. You have to dedicate hours every day to network, and frankly, it's not worth it to me. I thought it is, but it's not. If I were to work seriously towards getting more exposure, I would have to: spend hundreds of dollars every month on advertising; figure out how to utilize Twitter properly (which I have not, and at this rate, never will); figure out SEO; figure out the best times to post to social media; spend hours every day on commenting/networking/sending out emails; researching the 1000's of new blog-growing ideas that pop up daily. I get tired just looking at this list! I'd much rather spend the time with my husband/dogs/farm animals/friends/writing whatever pops into my mind/working on my book/reading/practicing yoga/going for walks (oh yeah, and work). There is no more time left! So fame will have to take a back seat. Oh well. 
(I didn't come to this conclusion in January, just recently. But I thought it fits best into this context.)

Well, moving on (or back? it's confusing), here are a few of my dearest posts:
As you may know, I'm a huge fan of Instagram, and I introduced some of my favourite IG accounts; I also posted several of my proposed (and since abandoned) Monday How To-series (the how-to will stay, just not on a regular basis; I overestimated my how-to teaching abilities). Plus, a personal post on how to get more self awareness
Most popular post of the month: First outfit post of the new year! (586 page views)

The month of German visitors. We had a friend come in mid-January for 3 weeks, then a one week break, and then my mother-in-law arrived for another 3.5 weeks. Obviously I had to write about it.
In bloggy news, I received another Liebster Award (yay!), switched my commenting system to Disqus (which I really like), and shared my epic (and wildly unrealistic) spring to-do list.
We went to Hawaii on vacation, which was wonderful!
Most popular post of the month: Lady Grantham's best one-liners + Let's grow together {Link-up #7} (171 page views)

The biggest, most important event is my renewed passion for yoga. I'm convinced that I wouldn't have found my way back to it without the (positive!) influence of social media, particularly Instagram. Without a doubt it will impact the direction this blog is going, because I blog about my life, and my life includes yoga once again, which makes me so happy!
Blogging made me realize what's important in life to me: Positivity, creativity, love, a healthy body and mind, animals, nature, a simple life. I love the beauty of life: gorgeous sunsets, pretty flowers, our colourful peacocks, a fabulous dress, the elegance and strength of yoga poses. 
Writing down all the big and little things for the last two years has given me such an appreciation for my life. I have moved from a place of envy and insecurity to one of gratitude and happiness. We  are all on a journey towards becoming the best versions of ourselves, and I feel that I'm on the right path.

I cannot thank you enough for reading. Thank you all so much for being here, and for making my little blog such a special place!    




  1. So inspiring!! I'm still on the journey to find inner peace. I get flashes of it, but it's hard to stay grounded all the time. I'm a work in progress, but you are true motivation! thank you for your constant openness and honesty!

  2. Congratulations! Wow, you've made this space exactly what you hope it would be, an honest space full of inspiration and strength. I will love to see where you go next!

  3. Happy birthday, Farm Girl blog!! You've had an awesome two years and here's to many, many more to come. I'm so happy to be following along. :)

  4. Happy blogiversary! I love your blog and and happy for your success. I have watched you grow and look forward to what's to come? Yoga fashion Friday perhaps? Winning the Eshakti giveaway started an addiction. I now own three dresses and LOVE them! I am trying to pace myself but they keep sending me free money! LOL

  5. Fantastic Miriam! Congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment. I just watched your blog and loved it :). I think you should give it a go again. All the best my friend. Xo Shannon

  6. I'm still very much a work in progress too, but blogging it all out for the last 2 years has helped so much in figuring things out! It's not constant, more like leaps and bounds, but progress is being made.
    Thanks so much for reading!!

  7. Me, too... I never have much of a plan, just vague ideas that eventually (if I'm lucky) turn into something. Thank you so much for your sweet words!!

  8. And I'm so happy to have you as blog friend! I'm very glad I found you and your wonderful blog. Thanks for reading!

  9. I'm so glad!! It's so great to find a retailer/store whose clothes fit and look good!
    I'm so grateful to the positive influences I have found in the blogging community, with you being one of them! Thanks SO much for sparking my interest in yoga again. It is already so dear to me, and I'm thinking of different ways to incorporate it into the blog. I'm pretty sure there will be a yoga fashion post soon!
    Also: maybe yoga on hay bails lol? Hmm, I'll have to work on that....

  10. Shannon!! So nice to hear from you! I miss your open, honest, inspiring and fun posts! Will you ever return to your blog or are you done for good?
    Thanks so much for that, I can barely watch it without wanting to hide behind my hands, gah.
    Hope you're doing well!

  11. Happy 2nd Blog Birthday!!! You know I love your blog and I'm so happy to have gotten to know you through it!! You are so honest and heartfelt in your writing. I can identify so much with so many of the things you write about and express. I know your blog will continue to grow and one day I will see you peddling your book on these pages :)

  12. Yes, you will! :-)
    Thank you so much for your support and friendship, they mean a lot to me. You're amazing! ❤


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