Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Close Out

Last year we did a little 2010 year-end recap and I loved putting it together.  It was so fun browsing through our website past, finding out what you enjoyed and what you read.  So here we are, year end again.  And 2011 has been a year of phenomenal growth for our little blog of love.

Our big news was that in October we joined forces with Discovering the Southern Part of Heaven and blogger Katie.  It continues to be a great match.  Katie has a 2 year old and loves to explore, but DSPoH is primarily for grown-ups; DH and I love to eat out without the munchkins, so it is nice to share our thoughts on those spots with you all there.

So let's look at the numbers first: 
We gave you close to 250 new posts.
Facebook Fans: 527
Twitter Fans: 406
Google Fans: Well, that's tricky.  We switched to an RSS feed to spruce up & declutter our home page, so we can't tell.  But we know that a lot of you out there are following us, and we appreciate it!

Followers make all the difference in the world.  Knowing that we have sustained support, fabulous reader comments, and your ideas keeps us on our A-game.

We have hundreds of unique visitors every day and have even hit up to 400 unique visitors on some of our posting days (people really logged in to read about Fullsteam Brewery).

As for pages, outside of using our indexes such as By Resource and By City a lot (which is good because those things take some time to maintain), you all really enjoyed looking for ideas about animals and reading about us (we can't believe we're that interesting!).

Here are your top 5 posts for 2011:
Go Bananaz
Strasburg Children's Clothing
Bull City Gymnastics
For Mom: Pure Barre
Parkers Creek Beach & Playground

I love how these are all over the Triangle.  Our mission in starting this was to try to spread our wings to all corners of the Triangle as much as possible.  Of course, I am in Chapel Hill so that's technically home base, but our team tries to get out.  And I also am a big fan of the fact that this list includes one "for mom" item in there.  Yes, we should do something for mom, too!

And, just to throw it out there, my favorite posts from 2011, both to experience and write up, would have to be: Wine and Design, the Mamarazzi class, Bynum General Store & Music (with dinner from Allen & Sons for our picnic), Tweetsie Railroad, Vollmer Farm, and the Carolina Panthers Game.  But really, this entire project has been one great adventure.

We welcomed some fabulous guest bloggers this year, including more posts by Laura M. and Marney, and new posts by Dave and Rachel.

Our giveaways have included The Big Fun Guide to Tar Heel Country book, Madagascar Live! tickets at DPAC, tickets to the NC Symphony's Pirates Show, a WonderDad activity guide for the Triangle, tickets to the ArtsCenter SuperFun Show, Triangle Kids Club memberships, a photography session, and tickets to see the Boston Pops (although that one didn't turn out as planned, right, Leigh?!).

We've kept up our Triangle Mom2Mom weekend column, except for my little on-maternity break right now; and I started a new column over at, which involved a radio interview, that was offered to me because of all the support you guys have given me.

We've continued to enjoy working with WRAL's GoAskMom and Social Butterflies NC and were incredibly honored to have been nominated for a Triangle Moms on Main award.  Can a blog make you cry from happiness?  Is that too cheesy to even pretend?

To finish these thoughts, I'd like to get personal for a moment.  I had the joy of welcoming a new baby boy to our explorers, B.  I stay at home with my sons and this blog has been a source of great joy and accomplishment for me.  Not only has it encouraged me to get out and see more of this fantastic area we live in, it also forces me to tackle the world with kids in tow.  It becomes too easy to stay at home every day, living in my pjs until 11 am.  Additionally, this project has opened the avenues to some fantastic friendships and relationships with you readers.  Sarah C. has been a saving grace to my sanity over the past 2 1/2 years and I don't know what I'd do without her; Katie is a fantastic mother and a person I am so happy to call a friend, and we met through blogger-land; I even got to spend some time with the friendly and thoroughly enjoyable Marney, who I also met through blogger-land.  It's been fun to run into you parents out and about, at places we go (thinking of Laura R. in particular), and this blog has made me realize how much of a community of support there is, despite how large these cities are.

Our team is really looking forward to 2012 - to continuing to grow (if you like what we do, please pass us along!), to our 2012 Fitness Challenge coming up soon, and an exciting new Pinterest project to be unveiled shortly.  And, really, who knows what else 2012 will bring.

Thanks, as always, for your support and kind words.  You guys are rockstars.


At December 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM , Blogger Heather V said...

Thanks again for so many wonderful ideas for adventuring out with kids in the area.

Happy 2012-


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