Should auld acquaintance blog posts be forgot and never brought to mind?

Of course not! :)

Today, we’re taking a little trip down memory lane to look back at (some of) the best of She Lives Free in 2014.

YEAR IN REVIEW 2014 AT SHELIVESFREE.COM Check out the cliff notes version to see what you may have missed!

I thought alot about the heartbeat of this blog and why I chose to start it in the first place.  So for the first time ever, I decided to pick a word for the year to reflect on.  I thought getting intentional about walking out the freedom to which we are each called by focusing on the word free and all that it means would be awesome.  And it was 🙂  I also got intentional about creating a bucket list and a reading list for the new year.  All things I had never done before – and it was fun to hear from all the others who joined me!

In January, we were midway through one of our snowiest winters on record, so I shared craft ideas to do with kids that were keeping us busy on our snow days at home.  We marked Martin Luther King Day with kid friendly ideas for the holiday.  January was also the month that this little blog’s most popular post of all time was written.  It was discovered and much more widely read in later months, but I’ll always remember the emotional night I poured my heart into writing Dear Single Mom (and Sometimes Single Mom) as probably the biggest reason I know of I was meant to write this blog.

Truth is I love any good excuse for a party so naturally we made our own fun for Valentine’s Day.  I also took the opportunity in February to write on more serious {and important} advocacy related topics like Shine A Light on Slavery Day.  I also shared my heart for living like each day is your last.

March was a busy month on the blog!  Little known fact about me?  My M.Ed. is in School Counseling so funny how I found myself writing a three part service learning series for kids that month. As a gardening lover, I also shared how we got ready to dig in to the gardening season with kiddos – we were excited beyond words to welcome spring in 2014! Our enthusiasm overflowed into celebrating international happiness day on the same day as the first day of spring 🙂  But sometimes overly enthusiastic people like myself can find themselves burning the candle at both ends and struggling to find balance as we wear ourselves out trying to do and be all things to all people. Perks of optimism to a fault  😉

In April, my little girl and I had the most amazing experience with a good samaritan who may have just been an angel on earth.  I wrote all about it in my Dear Arby’s Angel letter.  April marked six months of blogging, and we celebrated with a Half Year in Review and Giveaway – like I said, I’m not one to let any good excuse for a party pass me by  😉  Another absolute favorite of mine from the month was the very first post of our much loved linkup, Make A Difference Mondays  🙂

In May, my girl inspired me to be brave and fly and I wrote about it for others who needed the same encouragement in We Can Do Hard Things.  This was also the month posts went up about National Foster Care Month  A Mother’s Day Letter from One Mom to Another also seemed to be a hit.

I never would have guessed how well my Summer Bucket List for Kids and my own Summer Bucket List would go over in June.  Love how intentional people want to get about making magical memories in the summertime!  That’s why I also shared a list of 25 Summer Date Ideas for you and your special someone  🙂  This month I also wrote about an ongoing project my Emma is working toward to help the homeless in Chicago and about our family trip to a lavendar farm, along with a lavendar lemonade recipe.

As a forever beach bum at heart, I couldn’t resist this Beach Inspired $5 Independence Day Tablescape ideas post.  For all the American Girl lovers out there, I put together a roundup of AG ideas I found on Pinterest.  In July, I also shared adoption resources here, as it’s a topic quite close to my heart.  I started writing month in review and new month goal’s type blog posts this month. This is what I’ll always consider my personal blog, but I haven’t decided yet if I’ll carry this practice into 2015 or not yet.  I closed out July with a behind the scenes look at the writing process that pulls this blog together.

In August, I wrote one of my favorite posts of the year called, The Imaginary Woman, followed by another personal post entitled Daring to Dream.  This month I also wrote about the making of a viral blog post as a back-story to the one post that went viral on this blog.  Loved telling that story of how it really came to be!

I got super personal on the blog again in September with, I Don’t Have it All Together and Neither Should You followed by Perfectly Imperfect – wow, did those two ever seem to hit home with alot of people!  I also got vulnerable with a heartfelt post on How to Rep Christ at a Christian Blogging Conference.

October marked one year for this blog, and we celebrated with a giveaway and a roundup of resources for what I used to make this blog work in year number one.  As a blogger, I always want to support and encourage others in their blogging journey any way I can – even if it’s just sharing what worked well for me, in case it helps someone else too.  I also enjoyed writing a travel review of the Lake Erie Shores and Islands area following a family trip in September.  Of course there were also the seasonal Halloween posts like Homemade Halloween Party Hostess Gifts and Pumpkin Carving Alternatives for Kids.

A few highlights in November included my letter to all the Dreamers out there – Dear Dreamer, Quick & Easy Ideas to Practice Kindness, and a roundup of Gifts that Give Back to start the holiday shopping season.  This was followed by many more Christmas related posts like Ten Tips for Christmas Caroling with Kids and DIY Shabby Chic Gift Wrapping.  I also wrote about one of my favorite holiday topics again this year, Operation Christmas Child  🙂  November was also the month I started writing for The Huffington Post and I’m excited to continue in 2015 as a contributing writer.  You can follow along and even click the heart to be emailed new HuffPo articles from me right here  🙂

We wrapped up December around here with a roundup of best of blogging resources I fell in love with this year, hoping it may encourage you bloggers out there!  I even included all the details on why I have chosen to integrate my new Young Living essential oils business into my blogging endeavors. I also closed out December with a collection of the most popular parenting related posts from 2014 on the blog. On that note, this year in review post isn’t quite over yet!  I have teamed up with some blogger buddies for one last ‘best-of’ roundup.  Keep reading to discover the best crafts, education, and parenting tips and ideas from around the web!  The post I have included in the below roundup is my Snow Day Kids Crafts that went crazy in January of 2014.  Enjoy!  🙂  I’d love to hear your favorites from the year!  Looking forward to an amazing 2015 with you through this amazing gift of an online space!

Best Kids Activities of 2014 featuring great ideas for crafts, education, and parenting all to help make raising kids just a little bit easier!




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