Review of the Year 2016 – January to March

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As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time for my review of the year. A chance for me to look back on my blogging year, as I did in 20152014,  2013, and 2012 and share the highlights with you, my lovely readers. As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for reading, commenting, and sharing my blog posts over the past year. I hope you’ve enjoyed the content I’ve produced this year, that you’ve tried out some of my recipes, downloaded some of my printables, or just enjoyed reading about our adventures over the year.

Review of the Year - The Purple Pumpkin Blog - January to March

It feels that history has repeated itself again this year. To quote me from the end of 2015:

As I looked back at the review of the year for 2014, I see how I thought that the year had gone pretty badly, and it’s sad to feel exactly the same way at the end of 2015 – if not worse. I started 2015 with so much gusto and drive for a good year, and as each month progressed, I slunk deeper and deeper into depression, which was made even harder, because all I did was hide it from the public as much as I could. And by public, I mean my friends online, and my blog readers. Trying to be two different people was hard, and that took more of a toll on my mental health. But, as my blog is also my main source of income, I had to pull it together, and get the content out there, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed what I’ve brought to you over the past year.

The sad thing is, is at the end of 2016, I feel even worse about myself – if that is even possible. I even hid how I was feeling from close friends and family, and had somewhat of a breakdown in October, when I spent a lot of it crying, staying in bed all day, and having little to no interest in anything. I have been to my doctors for help – with mental issues, and a few other things too. I’ve changed my anti-depressant medication, and I have to say that I can feel that working, as my mood has slowly lifted since I started taking it a few weeks ago. I’ve decided that I’m going to be the change that I need in 2017, because I cannot live my life this way any longer. I am going to put myself first, and learn to take care of me again. I aim to write more about this in the new year, and share my journey on my blog.


Read all of the January 2016 archives here


The noticeable change on my blog in 2016 has been the lack of posts per month compared with other years. Some of this has been down to me switching my Project 365, where I shared a photo a day, to Project 52, which is a photo a week. This took some pressure off me to take photographs every single day, as I had struggled with it in 2015.

I always title my photographs, and they often have a hidden/secret meaning behind them – too private to share, but just enough for me to remember.

  1. And I Miss You
  2. Climbing Mountains
  3. A New Dawn
  4. Small Victories


I wrote my Christmas at Disneyland Paris Trip 2015 Trip Report – we had such a wonderful Christmas Eve, Day, and Boxing Day at the Disney Parks.We went with my sister and her family, and it was such a magical time!


It was the Chinese New Year (of the Monkey) in January, so I created some printables, which I will update for 2017 and Year of the Rooster. I also shared a couple of Chinese recipes – Hoi Sin Pork & Water Chestnuts and Chinese Sweet Chilli Chicken & Noodle Soup.

I also shared my first seasonal Olaf printable of the year with a Mardi Gras Olaf!


I made some blogging announcements, which didn’t come to fruition in the end! I didn’t have the big revamp that I had planned. That sort of fell on its head. I have updated my blog layout a few times over the past year though – I’m never quite happy with it, and am always tinkering with the design. I had a tag line change, which has now disappeared to a new one, which is essential calling The Purple Pumpkin Blog a Creative Lifestyle Blog. I hope that sticks around for a while, as I really like that description of my blog.

I did start my second blog – Disney Tips & Trip Reports which is very part time – I’ve not blogged over there for several weeks now. I’ll work out a better schedule for it in the new year. I am shocked to read that I was planning a third blog!!! What was I thinking? That won’t be happening anytime soon!



Read all of the February 2016 archives here


I feel quite sad looking back at week 5 of Project 52 because I feel like it is one of the few times in the past year that I’ve felt truly happy. Quite clearly it was the case on that day because of the title of the picture. I really have to step up my personal efforts in 2017 to pull myself out of a slump.

  1. Because I’m Happy
  2. Roses Are Red
  3. In Bloom
  4. History Repeats Itself


I continued with the Chinese New Year printables – I really love how the Chinese Firecrackers turned out! I also made Chinese Paper Lanterns and Chinese Hand Fans. As well as sharing a couple more recipes – Beef & Vegetable Coconut Satay Curry and Beef & Broccoli in Black Bean Sauce.

2016 was the year of the roundup for me – a way to fill in the gaps as I really didn’t blog as much as I had in previous years. My first was 24 Food & Craft Ideas for Valentine’s Day, sharing my older content, and that of my fellow creative bloggers.


It looks like I picked up on my Disney Trip Report – Halloween in the Wilderness with Day 4. It took me a exactly a year to finish that trip report off. I was just too overwhelmed to go through photos, edit them, and then write all about it.

Party Printables

I finally shared the Peppa Pig Party Printables that I made for my niece’s 2nd birthday – more than a year after I threw her that party! They have been amazingly popular – expect an update on these in 2017!


I decided to resurrect my YouTube channel by stating I would start doing a vlog series – which didn’t pan out. But I did do a lot of unboxing videos through the year! I will continue working on my video content in 2017.

Collaborations with Brands

I love the balloons I created for the Star Wars Movie Night with Balloon Time! Maybe I’ll get around to actually throwing a May the Fourth party this year! I’m going to be re-reading what I wrote for Tesco Living, to re-motivate me to get up and start exercising again. I was so full of beans at the start of the year, but it was downhill for the rest of it…



Read all of the March 2016 archives here


  1. Balance
  2. Go Dutch
  3. Conspiracy Theory
  4. Sing To Me

Collaborations with Brands

My favourite this month was the post I wrote for Canestan, about The Amazing Women in My Life. It’s probably one of my favourite ever posts. I did say that I would be adding to it, but I never did get around to doing that. Another project for 2017 maybe?

I worked with DisneyLife and shared My Disney Story, and also with Disney Magic Kingdoms on the release of the new mobile game – which I am still playing!

I also started working with Bathroom Takeaway on our bathroom renovation! This was an exciting opportunity, and the end result was wonderful – we still love our new bathroom!


St. Patrick’s Day was the focus, with another roundup – 15 Rainbow Food & Craft Ideas,  some balloon decorations in collaboration with Balloon Time, and a Leprechaun Olaf. There was also an Easter Bunny Olaf too! My original Olaf is one of my most popular blog posts and pins, and I love coming up with new costume ideas for him!


Read the rest of my Review of the Year 2016…

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