Boden Statement Sweater in Polka Dot

My Favourite Blog Posts of 2017

Yup, it’s that special time of year, folks: the time when bloggers like me get super-lazy, and post a bunch of links to posts you’ve probably already read, instead of coming up with something new – sorry about that.

Actually, that’s not quite true, though: the fact is, every so often I’ll find myself having to take a quick scroll through my blog archive, to find something specific, and, more often than not, I’ll end up coming across posts that even I had all but forgotten about. I know that blog readers, meanwhile, don’t always see every single post that gets published, so, rather than allowing some of my favourites to languish in the archive, all sad and forlorn, today I’m dusting them off, and sharing them with the world. Again.

(Also, YES, I am super-lazy…)

As with last year’s roundup, these posts aren’t necessarily the ones that got the most views or comments: they’re just the ones I most enjoyed writing – and I hope you’ll enjoy reading (or re-reading, as the case may be…) them too. So, here, in no particular order, are my favourite posts of 2017…

magnetic false eyelashes review

I Tried Magnetic Eyelashes: Here’s What Happened

Back in September, I got totally sucked in by all of those Facebook adverts I kept seeing advertising magnetic false eyelashes, so I decided to buy myself a pair. And, well, then I decided to buy myself ANOTHER pair. This post was the result…
Should I have the same last name as my baby?Should I Have the Same Last Name as My Baby? 

I’m actually just including this one because it got tons of comments, but I’ve just this second realised that I did that really annoying thing bloggers sometimes do where they bring up a topic for discussion, and then never mention it again: whoops! So, the upshot is that I did decide to change my name officially, but I’m continuing to use my “real” name – which is how I still think of it, and probably always will – professionally, and for everything non-official. (So, like, online shopping orders etc – the important stuff, you know?)

Honestly, I’m still not really sure how I feel about this. I think, left to my own devices, I’d probably still be prevaricating about it, but Terry offered to help me make the switch, and as I do think it’ll be nice for us all to share a name, I decided just to go for it. I’m still working my way through the massive list of places I have to notify, so, honestly, I don’t really feel like much has changed so far: in fact, the worst part by far was the fact that I had to have a new passport photo taken, meaning that my bloated “pregnancy face” has now been immortalised in passport form for the next ten years – ouch!

Oh, and, of course, the fact is that, as soon as you get pregnant, everyone just starts to refer to you as “mummy” or “mama” anyway, so it’s like, identity? What identity?!

(Yeah, can you tell this still really bothers me? Seriously, people, I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER, stop calling me that!)

white kitchen with pale wood floors

Our Kitchen Reno: Before and After

Having spent all of May remodelling our kitchen (and replacing the flooring for the entire ground floor), you better believe I’m going to keep on posting photos of the finished result.

(We still love it, by the way, and I’m SO glad we did it when we did: sure, it was a bit of pain living in a building site during the early weeks of my pregnancy, but it was done by the time the morning sickness hit, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated – and still appreciate –  how much lower maintenance it is than the kitchen/flooring we’d had before. I used to have to clean that old floor at least once a day – sometimes twice, if it was wet out – and I just couldn’t have handled that while in the throes of morning sickness, or during the 3rd trimester!)

things pregnant women are sick of hearing

Things Pregnant Women Are Sick of Hearing

A lot of  people feel that pregnant women aren’t allowed to complain about anything AT ALL while they’re pregnant. Those people didn’t like this post…

I’m Tired of Apologising for My Non-Controversial Opinions

why did bloggers stop having opinions?When I wrote my ‘Things Pregnant Women Are Sick of Hearing’ post, I was actually a little worried about how it would be received, for the simple reason that I wasn’t joking above: some people really DO feel that it’s controversial for pregnant women to admit to feeling anything other than totally overjoyed by every second of their pregnancy (Seriously, I even had someone tell me I should be enjoying morning sickness…), just as some people feel that expressing ANY kind of negative opinion AT ALL – about anything – is totally reprehensible. Because of those attitudes, I find myself having to caveat a lot of what I say online, even when it’s something that isn’t even remotely controversial, and honestly? I’m pretty sick of it, really. Sure, endless negativity can get a bit wearing, but I really believe we should all be able to tell our own stories, and speak our own truths, without being constantly scolded for it, or told to, “Just be positive!” This post, then, is not particularly positive: it is, however, honest, and that’s something I’d like to see more of in the blogosphere. Speaking of which…

Things I hate that other people love

Things Other People Love That I Hate

Encouraged by the response to the post above, I followed it up with a lighthearted look at some of the things other people love that I just can’t get on board with. This is one of those posts where the comments are a lot more interesting than the original post, though, so do have a read of those, too…

Why Are People So Negative About Parenthood? 

Yup, after demanding the right to be as negative as I liked about pregnancy, I also saw fit to wonder aloud why other people are so negative about parenthood. Yes, I can see the irony in this.

My question still stands, though: as soon as I announced my pregnancy, I found that a lot of people just COULDN’T WAIT to start telling me horror stories about how absolutely AWFUL parenthood was going to be, and how I’d basically ruined my life by getting knocked up. I listed a few of the dire warnings that have been issued to me in this post, and I’m really curious to see how many of them will actually turn out to be true. I will report back…

pregnancy after loss and how to live with it

Pregnancy After Loss

This was a hard, and very personal post to write, but it’s a subject I feel needs to be talked about openly, and I’ve had quite a few people contact me to say that my openness about it has helped them, which I’m really glad about. This post also helps shed some light on why this pregnancy was so hard on me emotionally, so if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been such a basket case this year – more so than usual, I mean – this will help tell you why. As will this post, actually…

health anxiety

11 Things Not to Say to Someone With Health Anxiety

This year I also decided to start talking more openly about my health anxiety, and how it affects me. This is another subject that’s quite hard for me to write about, because I know it’s not something a lot of people can understand, or relate to, but helping people understand it is something that’s important to me, so I hope that this post, and the other ones like it, have gone some way towards achieving that.

heart art on coffee cup

Inside Instagram: Fake Followers, Fake Comments, Fake Everything? 

2017 was the year I fell out of love with Instagram – partly because the changes to the algorithm means that my posts there are hardly even seen any more, but also because of the huge increase in Instagram bots or comment pods, which, combined with the number of people who pay for followers, has pretty much ruined it for me. This post is really just a rant about the situation, but, well, sometimes it’s good to get it off your chest, isn’t it?

Boden Statement Sweater in Polka Dot

A Blogger Code of Ethics

Following on from my rant about Instagram, I wrote this post, laying out my personal code of ethics when it comes to blogging, and talking about what I will and won’t do to make money from blogging.

windmills in the clouds

Why I Won’t Be Posting a Fruit as My Facebook Status in the Name of Breast Cancer Awareness

Finally, this is a fairly recent one, but every year I get annoyed by the silly Facebook memes asking women to post the colour of their bra, or a random fruit, in order to “raise awareness” of breast cancer, and this year I decided to speak up about it: here’s the resulting post.

  • It could be boring for some readers that follow you for a long time but to me? It’s a great way to get to know you more as I only started following your blog recently. I loved seeing what you care about the most through your favorite posts – it’s silly but I think this is how I could get to know you a little bit more. Thank you!

    With kindness,

    January 8, 2018
  • Marie


    Amber, give yourself a break woman! No-one thinks you’re lazy – you’ve got a newborn baby who isn’t even two weeks old yet! Even though I read your blog religiously, I’ve enjoyed revisiting these posts. X

    January 8, 2018
  • Karen


    I love these round-ups, I always manage to miss something during the year despite my best intentions and so really enjoy the chance to catch up. Also, I was so curious about hearing what you’d choose to do with surnames, so thanks for the update! I’m lucky enough that nobody will have any idea what assumptions to make once I get married (as a woman marrying another woman, nobody’s ever quite sure what you’ve done with names) and it seems like my girlfriend will want to take my name, so I most likely will not be changing mine. I did toy with the idea of us just straight-up swapping names, just to see what people would say!

    January 8, 2018