The Shady Porch: 2011 Retrospect - Best, Worst & Funniest!


2011 Retrospect - Best, Worst & Funniest!

As 2011 is coming to a close, The Shady Porch is closing in on a milestone. I am approaching my 200th day of blogging! That's right, January 8th will be day 200 of The Shady Porch! The days have passed in a blur, for sure. I will be honest and confess that I've wavered about continuing at times. There are moments I feel overwhelmed, but there are also great rewards, especially friendships forged! I blame myself for feeling overwhelmed because I have yet to get my schedule figured out.  I am praying that 2012 will be the year I can figure out how to build my best blog, make time to be the best me, and how to enrich my home and family.

With the end of anything, we...(okay...I) tend to reflect, so I thought I would share some of the most popular posts, some of the funniest, and my worst blog post to date.  

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

The Most Popular Food Post was, by far, the Chicken Dumpling Casserole. This is due to the blogger's new best friend, Pinterest (although I recommend it to everyone)! Right around Christmas this pin took off on Pinterest and I've gotten nearly 1000 hits on it since Christmas!
Hooty the Pine Cone Owl

The Most Popular Craft Post was my Framed Pine Cone Owl. As a newbie to blogging, I'm learning what folks find interesting and this project's popularity took me by surprise! I got several features for this project, which is always exciting! I was also touched when one reader said she was going to suggest this as the winter project at a residential complex where she worked!

DIY French Script Lamp Shade
The post that received The Most Comments was the DIY French Script Lampshade. This project turned out to be really easy. Once I ran out of ideas about what words and symbols to put on the shade, I used Google translate. I typed phrases I liked such as, 'love you til the end of time' and then Google translated it into French and I added them to my shade!  Most of the comments were readers that were wanting to make a French Script shade of their own and were encouraged by my post. Reader comments encourage me, so it is a win-win for everyone!

I had two projects that qualify for The Funniest Posts! At least the emails and comments let me know that everyone took the projects in the spirit intended...that I should not take myself too seriously. The most popular of the two posts was the Turkey Menu Chalkboard.
Turkey Menu Chalkboard
My Fall Scare-folks that are hardly scary!
This project was a spur of the moment brainstorm idea birthed from scrap wood we had around the house. 

The next post that I found to be the most fun and playful was the Pumpkins, Mums & Scare-folks, Oh My! The scare-folks not only added some whimsy to my front porch for Fall, I have them in storage and I plan to put them in the garden to hopefully spook the deer (or maybe give the deer a chuckle, too)! 

Mmmm...Great! Macaroni & Cheese
Challenge Winners & Top 5 Finishes!  I can't wrap up the year without reflecting on successes in various challenges I've joined! One such challenge is the monthly Crazy Cooking Challenge that began in September. Of the 4 Crazy Cooking Challenges held so far, The Shady Porch has won 2! The Mmmmm...Great Macaroni & Cheese as well as the Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes with Bacon. Here's a really BIG THANK YOU to everyone that voted for me in the, friends, decades of my hubby's former students -- you are the winners in my eyes! I can't explain how much I appreciate your support! You're
Cheesy baked Mashed Potatoes with Bacon
TP & Papertowel Tube
 Another challenge that I enjoyed and finished in 2nd place was the 10th Iron Crafter's Challenge. In this challenge we had to create something using toilet paper and paper towel tubes.  I made a Whimsical Table Tubetop.  This served as a centerpiece for my kitchen table this Fall. 

I said I would share my worst and, fortunately, I deleted that post awhile back. It was from the 1st days of my blog and I had no clue what I was doing. However, don't fret there is still a bevy of choices for The Worst Post of the Year! When I first started blogging, I thought I had to post something everyday or I was a failure..needless to say I worked myself silly those first few weeks and, as I mentioned above, I'm still struggling with a workable schedule but this post proves my point that I was clueless...Many Projects...Nothing Finished!    

I really enjoyed going back and reflecting over the last 191 days. I can see room for improvement, but, thankfully, I can see that I've already made some progress too! If there is something you particularly enjoyed during these early days of The Shady Porch, please let me know! I cannot do any of this without you (and I wouldn't want to), so stay tuned and we'll have a blast in 2012!