Did this year fly by or was it just me? But then when I think back to last January, it seems soooo long ago! Now I know what my mom and dad were talking about. Once you’re an adult, the days go by faster! It’s been another blessed year. I’m grateful to be able to share life with you all. Lots happened here on the site, both visual and behind the scenes. Here is what I’ve been up to this year!
Mom Rewritten: The Blog
My 2018 Word of the Year was FOCUS. In between juggling four kids (two of whom started high school this past fall!), I also began night school classes as a medical administrative assistant. I was pushing for focus big-time. I’m happy that I did as well as I did keeping everything going! I didn’t quite achieve the complete “one-task at a time” thing that I was striving for though. I’ll continue to work on that kind of focus in the new year.
As was my goal last year, I want to bring more of ME to the blog. I think that while not always my most “popular” or Pinterest-driven, my personal posts can really resonate with readers. I’d love to hear more about what you’d like to see me write about!
- How Do You Meet Relationship Goals When You’re Exhausted?
- Weaning a Toddler – 3 Tricks I Used to Stop Breastfeeding
Simple Living and Positive Parenting
Living simply is something I still strive for in my personal life. So naturally this concept works its way into my blog posts as well. I want to keep sharing my positive parenting approaches with you and how to live more happily on less.
- How to Encourage Creativity in Kids
- 50+ Cheap and Free Summer Staycation Ideas for Kids
- 16 Ways to Surprise Your Kids (and Tips for When a Surprise Goes Bad)
- Top Tips for Budgeting for Back to School
- 12 Secrets to Successful and Stress-free School Mornings
- Everything You Need to Know About Your Kid’s First Dance Class
Okay, so I can confess that the last two months of 2018 were a bust health-wise for me. I struggled with back pain and this often became an excuse to skip workouts. Which then, of course, snowballed into less-than-ideal eating habits. But 2019 is a fresh start and I’m already looking forward to meeting my health goals in the new year. I hope that you’ll join me on the journey!
- Getting Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising
- 14 Protein-Packed Back to School Breakfast & Lunch Ideas for Kids
I also signed up as a Team Beachbody coach to keep me accountable & the discount on Shakeology is pretty great too!
Local Living in Southern California
I love being a SoCal native and exploring my own backyard. We had the chance to do a few new things with the family this year in the way of travel and I enjoyed sharing my tips with my readers.
- What You Need To Know About Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival
- 33 Things to Do Outside In San Diego with Kids
- 8 Things to Do in Palm Springs with Kids of All Ages
I also went back to my travel archives and revamped some of my older SoCal travel guides. I updated these posts and gave travelers everything they need to know in one place! I hope that they are able to help travelers heading to California make the most of their vacations.
- SoCal Guide – San Diego Zoo with Kids and Families
- LEGOLAND California San Diego SoCal Guide
- Guide to LEGOLAND Halloween California Brick-or-Treat Party Nights
- SoCal Guide – San Diego Zoo Safari Park with Kids
- Must-Read SeaWorld San Diego Guide
Disneyland With Kids
In 2017, I helped co-found the Disneyland With Kids Facebook group with 3 fellow bloggers. We were able to see amazing growth in the group and are proudly now at over 12,000 followers! Even more exciting was that we were invited as guests of the Disneyland Resort for the holiday season. I was able to cover these two topics and spend time in the parks with my blogger friends, learning more so we could share with our community.
- Tips for Holiday Characters and Where to Find Santa at Disneyland
- Holiday Must-Do List for Celebrating Christmas at Disneyland Resort
I encourage anyone traveling to Disneyland with family to join our Facebook community and to sign up for our newsletter. We often send out exclusive discount vacation codes and special offers! I personally create the Disneyland With Kids newsletter and always add in some great vacation links to my fellow blogger’s sites.
Disney, Disney and More Disney!
Disneyland and Walt Disney World travel is a big traffic draw on my site and these new posts were no exception. I had the opportunity to visit Disneyland many times this year and covered some new topics, including Lunar New Year, Halloweentime, Festival of Holidays and Christmas. I hope that my insider tips on Disney travel have helped you on your travels. Looking forward to seeing how 2019 will develop with the opening of Star Wars Land this summer!
- Complete Guide to Everything Scary for Kids at Disneyland
- Disneyland in the Heat – Ultimate Summer Vacation Guide
I was able to check off one HUGE thing from my Disneyland bucket list in 2018 when I was invited with friends for lunch at Club 33. If you’ve been a longtime follower you know that I started this blog because of my love of Disney. My dad had just passed away and he’d always encouraged me to write so I started sharing my Disneyland tips on the web. To be able to step foot in this now-hidden Court of Angels where my dad had posed us for photos so long ago was truly touching.
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COURT OF ANGELS – when I was a little girl, my dad would pose me on these stairs for photographs. It was always one of my most favorite spots in Disneyland. I was pretty sad when it was closed off for regular guests in 2013 and was incorporated into the private entrance for Club 33. I honestly thought I’ve never see this staircase in person again. Disneyland, having the magic that it does, is full of small details like this but people often miss them in the rush of getting to the next ride. I feel very blessed to have been able to sit in the spot again and held back tears long enough to take this photo. I could certainly feel the energy of my dad in this beautiful spot that he loved so much. When you do take a trip with your kids, take the time to do these small special things like taking a photograph on a quiet staircase. Those little memories will become the most important. . Ad #HolidaysBeginHere #DWKHolidays #Disneyland #DisneylandForever #Club33 #courtofangels #courtdeanges #disneylandmemories #Disneylandholidays
Walt Disney World
I felt so blessed to return to Disney World again, this time with ALL of my kids in tow! It was the first Florida vacation for my teenagers and we truly had a magical week exploring the Disney parks and resorts. I was able to write about two of the new things we explored, the water parks and Disney’s Hollywood Studios brand new Toy Story Land!
- What You Need to Know About Visiting Disney Water Parks with Kids
- Ultimate Guide to Toy Story Land with Kids
I continued my partnership with the travel agency Get Away Today, even meeting with them in person early in the year. If you have any vacation plans, be sure to check them out (and I’d love if you used my affiliate link). They even offer layaway!
In 2018, I also continued as the Day Trips TravelingMom, traveled to Disney World for the annual retreat and helped open Toy Story Land with my fellow TMOMs.
- Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Theme Park Travel
- San Diego Three Day Itinerary (Including What to Do at Night)
- 50 Fun FREE Summer Things to Do in San Diego with Kids
Mom 2.0 & FLOCK Conferences
I had the chance to finally attend my first blogging conferences (in part, because the baby was finally weaned!) I traveled to Pasadena for a several day event and Mom 2.0 conference. It was awesome to spend time with some of my favorite bloggers, learn aside others and just soak up the business side. Getting booked into a surprise suite with Leslie from Trips with Tykes was an added bonus (we had a fireplace in our room!).
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CONNECTION TIME – I’m at my first #Mom2Summit from today through Friday. These next few days will be all about connection. Connection with friends and brands. Connecting the dots on my site so I can learn who I am in this big Internet community. How are you connecting? . . @dove #hourwithher @mom2summit #blogger #blogging #connection
I also relished the single-day FLOCK conferences where my mind whirred with all the knowledge! SEO was the topic in San Diego and Pinterest was discussed in Anaheim. I learned sooo much at both and hope to take in more of these amazing conferences in 2019. We were also hosted at the new Splitsville Anaheim and I was prompted to write this post.
My Number One Viewed Post for 2018
This post about the Best Shoes for Disney Parks – Why I Love Sandals! was my second most popular (my #1 post was sponsored, keep reading). This was a post that I updated and refreshed this year and glad to that I’m able to help so many find comfortable travel shoes for their Disney trips!
My most popular brand new post for 2018 was Beyond Disneyland – Great Things to Do in Southern California with Kids. I’m always excited to help families round out their vacations outside of Disney.
A New Look at Video
One big new thing you may have noticed on the site is the addition of advertising and videos. Just like on television, having ads helps offset the costs of running this site and makes it more of a business (which it is, for me!)
I have been trying to create more videos for my content, sharing them both on the site & on YouTube. If you haven’t subscribed, I’d love it if you would! Watching the videos and even sharing them really helps me with my ad revenue, so I thank you for that. I’m having fun making them and plan to incorporate even more video in the new year. This will also include more Facebook Live on my group.
Product reviews and sponsored posts only work for me when I am able to let my natural voice shine through. These are always products that I use and love at home, so I hope that you can tell I’m not pushing you to try anything that doesn’t already align with my beliefs! These were some of my favorite sponsored post reviews:
The sponsored post How to Create a Get Well Gift Box for Sick Friends was actually my #1 most viewed post for the entire year of 2018!
- High Protein Low Carb Smoothie Recipes for Breakfast
- Laser Eye Surgery Checklist for Ideal LASIK Recovery with Clearview Eye & Laser Center
- 6 Useful Tips for Walking Outside With Your Baby with ErgoBaby
- How My Family Chose Healthy Road Trip Snacks at the Convenience Store with National Association of Convenience Stores
Partnerships and Affiliates
Affiliate linking is another way for me to recoup some of the cost of running my business and to make an income. I thank anyone who has clicked and purchased through my affiliate links. Using an affiliate link is an easy no-cost-to-you way to support your favorite bloggers!
- Choosing the Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids – Amazon
- Small Homemade Aromatherapy Gifts That Kids Can Make – Simply Earth
- 9 Ways To Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holidays – Team Beachbody
Mom Rewritten Newsletter
It was one of my goals to send out a monthly newsletter to my subscribers. I was able to build my list and stuck to sending a unique monthly letter that was a personal extension of my site. If you haven’t signed up, I’d love for you to insert your email into the pop-up. And once you receive the newsletter, please take a few minutes to open it and read it. I really put a lot of time into my newsletters and would appreciate any feedback.
If you’d like to take a look back at my blog over the years, here are my other year-end reviews:
Looking Forward To 2019
As always, I extend a huge THANK YOU to my readers and subscribers! Connection and engagement is key for me, both as a human and as a businesswoman. If something resonates with you, I truly appreciate the connections. So keep commenting and chatting with me! And please share my posts, repin on Pinterest, retweet on Twitter and like on Instagram. It’s how I’ll keep growing and building this small business of mine.
Looking ahead to 2019, I have several exciting things to announce:
AWEsome Retreat – I will be one of the speakers for the inaugural year of this new conference for theme park travel bloggers! I can hardly believe it myself 😉 I’ll be speaking with my friend Leslie Harvey of Trips with Tykes about choosing the best topics to write on and how to get them seen with ideal SEO practices. If you’re interested in attending, click through and read more about it!
Star Wars Land at Disneyland – I have no immediate invitations but truly hope to make it to the parks this summer once this much-anticipated Land opens. I’ll be sharing with readers how the crowds are going to affect a regular park day attendee. In the theme park blogging community, we really aren’t sure yet how the crowd levels will hash out. We just know that there are no more “slow days” at Disneyland and Star Wars Land is going to take crowds to a new level!
Blessings to everyone in the new year and cheers for what’s to come in 2019.