2019 Year Review

It’s the final day of the year. I’m baking some goodies for New Year’s Eve and writing my annual year in review post. A year ago I did much the same. I’m definitely a creature of habit. We had our second snow of the year today and tomorrow looks perfect for some playtime with our daughter outside. This is my 2019 Year Review.

I want to share some personal highlights from my year, recap some of the blog posts I wrote and shared in 2019 and reflect on what has been and what might come. I always enjoy writing and sharing this post. It’s a nice reminder to myself of where I’ve been and it’s one post I write without any thoughts of optimization, comments or shares.

2019 Year Review

2019 Year Review

More About My Year

Ever since becoming a parent the years have felt, to some extent, about survival. This year I feel like we started the year in survival mode and ended the year closer to thriving. Our daughter has grown considerably this year especially in the area of independence.

That being said it was a year of “family first,” a lot of mommy and daughter time as I switched to be even more of a primary caregiver. I worked less for other clients but worked more for myself on this blog and had some great experiences including as a blog ambassador for a major regional brand.

We took many walks and many trips to the playground. We spent more time outdoors, exploring new parks and visiting some old. I cooked more and meal planned. I got and stayed consistent with my workout schedule. I struggled with “doing it all,” and while I said I would put less pressure on myself, I still did.

Blog Updates

This was my 9th year blogging I published 42 blog posts in 2019. Of those posts, 13 were brand new posts. The rest were older blog posts that I improved (some a great deal) and republished. The blogging world continues to evolve at a rapid pace. I learned in 2019 that Google will practically ignore older posts unless you update them to today’s SEO standards.

A few years ago I had more than 600 posts on my blog. Today I have roughly 260 published posts. This year I continued to cover the same topics as I have the last few years: money, household, garden and wellness. I continued to meet weekly with my blog accountability partner and we really pushed each other to do our best.

I broke both income and traffic records with my blog, surpassing the records I broke in 2018. I am incredibly happy about this and encouraged going into the new year! I also learned a lot and had some one on one sessions with my ad partners in Q4. They provided recommendations I will be implementing in the coming months.

Thank you for reading my blog! I would now like to share my month by month update including more personal details about my past year.

Related blog posts:
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• How to Get Rid of Rabbits in the Garden
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2019 Year Review


I used a Day Designer Flagship Daily Planner in 2019 for the second year in a row and really enjoyed having my life on paper. At the beginning of the year I bought into the Tidy Up movement from the Marie Kondo program, however, I found it difficult the sustain the project to its completion.

A month prior I began a regimented diet and fitness plan which I continued in January and beyond. I lost 12 pounds over the course of the year, and gained more muscle mass. The big changes I made were counting macros, weight lifting and less cardio. I did not run any road races in 2019 and I am perfectly fine with this decision.

In 2019, also began cooking more, meal planning better and overhauling my recipe box. I have not done this much home cooking since well before our daughter was born, and maybe, ever. New meals included beef stroganoff, shepherd’s pie, pot roast, ham and cheese sliders, baked chicken sandwiches and more. I published new blog posts on how to stay fit and how to stop spending money.

Stay Fit


My husband and I attended the Home and Garden Show which we now look forward to every year and spoke with a few roofing contractors. We went on more date nights in 2019 and I took our daughter to an adorable teddy bear Valentine’s Day party.

I published blogs about frugal tips from another generation and a common running injury. While I was continuing to work on my blog, my freelance work was slowing a bit.

Frugal Tips

2019 Year Review


We spent time with family and friends and with our daughter. I realize now looking back that she was hardly sick at all in 2019, which was a tremendous blessing after several years of back to back common colds which I understand are routine in the first few years.

I published a post about homemade window cleaner for spring cleaning and published a detailed guide to selling on Poshmark. Roughly two and a half years after I first joined the online selling platform, I still love it!

Free $10 Poshmark Coupon

• Enter invite code HFHAMMERS when you create your Poshmark account to receive a $10 credit toward your first purchase.

How to Sell on Poshmark


We took a trip to visit family in Toledo. We also went to Port Clinton for a family Easter gathering. I published posts about how to save even more money and Master Gardener Certification.

My husband received a promotion at work. At the same time we were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with our daughter’s daytime care. We decided to look into preschool options, determine an end date with her current care and make the family decision that I would move into more of a primary caregiver role, working less for other clients, but still continuing to write my blog.

I also chopped off my hair! Most everyone I have met since we moved to Cleveland in 2011 has known me with long hair just past my shoulders. Many had never seen me with shorter hair – which I’m still enjoying eight months later.

Master Gardener Program Ohio


As I’ve said before May is one of my favorite months with my birthday and Mother’s Day. I spent my birthday entirely by myself (well during the daytime!) as our daughter finished her final day of full-day care.

I went to Toledo and my dad and I saw the band Chicago live in concert. Back home, we began our biggest house project to date – a complete tear off and new roof – and it wrapped up after a very rainy spring.

I was honored to be selected as a Huntington National Bank Ambassador and blogger. As part of this relationship I took a business trip down to Columbus, Ohio in May. I published several blog posts including an update about multivitamin use. In my little bit of free time I started our 2019 garden.

Why I Stopped Taking My Multivitamin

2019 Year Review


In June we had our biennial garage sale. We made about $250 which I was pleased with considering we had no large items and it rained the whole day! My garage sale hacks blog post remained my most read blog post in 2019.

Our daughter had a busy time going to vacation bible school, taking her first trip to Cedar Point and attending a preschool summer camp with a focus on ABCs and reading.

We also had a lot more time together as mother and daughter. We worked more on chores and how to take advantage of her wanting to “be a helper” along with establishing a summer routine. On my blog I wrote about making strawberry jam and published a post about my organic lawn fertilizer regime.

Organic Lawn Fertilizer


Our daughter’s camp took a short break and then restarted in July. She also took outdoor swim lessons. This was her first time in a lesson without mommy and she did great! She also became an absolute pro with her balance bike by this time. We took a lot of family walks after dinner with her biking along.

I spent a weekend in Canton, Ohio with my college girlfriends. I had a blast and much needed away time… until I returned! I came down sick with a viral infection. It was the worst sickness I’ve had in years and I literally spent three days in bed with extreme body aches and fatigue. I recovered after about a week.

With everything that was going on I didn’t publish a lot on my blog but I did share my first post on behalf of my relationship with Huntington Bank.

Huntington Bank Headquarters


In August summer camp was over and we took another trip to Toledo to see family and go boating and fishing. I was active all summer with my Master Gardener program and volunteered extra hours in August. We also went to the county fair.

My fondest memory from August was my husband and I took an early anniversary vacation to the Florida Keys and Key West, the same destination as our honeymoon! It was also the first time we were both away from our daughter for a trip.

On my blog I wrote about the importance of having an emergency fund along with tips on how to leave your pet when you go on vacation. My garden was drying up by this time (literally we had little rain after a very wet spring).

But in summary I had an amazing crop of carrots this year (spring rain was wonderful or them!), we enjoyed romaine lettuce nearly all summer, grew some small pumpkins, enjoyed zinnias, a handful of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans.

Pet Sitter Instructions

2019 Year Review


This was another busy month for us. Following up on our changes from back in the spring, our daughter started preschool. We became acclimated to the school schedule and routine and it’s been really good for our family. Most important of all, she loves her school!

For the second year in a row I attended Bloggy Conference in Sandusky, Ohio. The focus was heavy on the power of Instagram (as a tool to grow your brand and direct users to your blog), search engine optimization and affiliate marketing. I walked away once again both reenergized to continue writing my blog and also a little overwhelmed at all there is to do!

I published a post about how to travel cheap, as a follow up to our vacation. I also wrote about how to get rid of rabbits which was a follow up to my popular post about getting rid of deer. I planted fall garden crops on a whim on Labor Day.

How to Travel Cheap


This is another one of my favorite months as it marked our daughter’s fourth birthday. In addition we enjoyed all of the fall fun including apple picking, pumpkin picking and more. On the home front our daughter’s rock solid afternoon nap began to slide and as of now she usually naps every other day.

On the blog front, I updated a post about the yoga mat I’ve been using for 7 years strong. I also shared a super easy homemade face scrub recipe.

Manduka Black Mat PRO


In November Lulu celebrated her 9th birthday. She also became increasingly finicky with her dog kibble. It’s been a real struggle this year dating back to early spring. Following vet’s orders we are hoping to get her on a lamb kibble that she likes and just keep her eating that.

I realized it had been six years since I left my job in corporate America! I also rounded out another year of allergy shots (I now go monthly). We had family over for Thanksgiving and then a little scare with my husband ended up in the hospital the day after. He’s OK but we now have this strange track record of someone in our family being admitted to the ER every year since 2016!

On my blog I wrote about saving money on utility bills and keeping your personal budget in check. We also sprung for an early Black Friday deal on the Instant Pot. We purchased the 3-quart Duo Nova for our family of three and so far it’s been working out wonderfully and challenging me to try making meals I would otherwise be terrified of!

How to Save Money on Gas


This month was especially busy with having a little one. There are so many activities and things to see! I had the most fun visiting the Holiday Lights at Carlisle Reservation. Our daughter also pretty much enjoyed any opportunity to drive or walk around at night and see lights.

We also went to a holiday Christmas concert and of course spent Christmas at home and time with family. Our daughter also had a Christmas program at school which proved… interesting… when she refused to sing after seeing we were there! On my blog I shared insider florist tips, Christmas baking traditions and a Poshmark tips.

2019 Year Review

In Summary

I can’t believe I’m wrapping this post up literally a few hours before the clock strikes 12. It has been a busy last day of the year but I also tend to try to cram 12 hours of activities and work into 4 hours of available time. Maybe I’ll work on that next year?

That’s my 2019 Year Review. As I’m reflecting I can already see the blessings we’ve experienced over this past year and areas where change and growth may be helpful.

Thank you again for reading my blog. To see more personal photos from my year, and the coming year, follow me on Instagram or Facebook. Happy New Year and blessings to you and your loved ones in the coming year!

Other Year in Review Posts:

• 2021 Year Review
• 2020 Year Review
• 2018 Year Review
• 2017 Year Review
• 2016 Year Review

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