December is not only the end of the year, but it is also our blog’s birthday. It has been two years since Breanne and I met for that first Borealis lunch, writing lists, trying to think of the perfect name for our blog, and wondering what our friends and family would think.
We’ve written 225 posts since then, and tried a lot of new things. We continue to learn what works best for us — and to follow our hearts, writing what matters to us even if it doesn’t seem to fit, yet. The result is a mix of how-tos and real truth; day-in-the-life and what’s-on-our-minds; cute pictures and things that make us think; people and ideas that inspire us; and things that are just really hard and frustrating, too. Thank you for reading along and making Borealis a part of your life, too.
Borealis’s top-read posts of 2013
Last year when we did our “top posts” roundup, we looked at the dismal performance of recipes and concluded that recipes just weren’t our thing. Then in January, as Breanne was stocking her freezer in preparation for the birth of her second child, we wrote a series on freezing meals, sauces, and breakfasts anyway.
A few months later, it became clear that recipes were absolutely our 2013 thing — and our biggest thing to date. Fueled by Pinterest (we even made top pins one day in August), these posts blew away any previous records. So while recipes alone may not be our thing, recipes that involve problem-solving apparently are. If you happened to miss these the first time around, here they are again:
- How to stock the freezer: Top tips for make-ahead meals (2013’s #1 post)
- Stocking the freezer: 10 great make-ahead casserole recipes
- Stocking the freezer: Make-ahead breakfast recipes
- Stocking the freezer: 8 make-ahead sauce recipes
That we became famous for freezer meals — one of the easiest posts we wrote all year — is pretty funny to us, and a good reminder to let the blog follow our lives and not too think to hard about what we write. We also love that our big hit was a collaboration — not just something one of us wrote by ourselves.
Jen’s Top 5 of 2013
It appears people like it when I post about parties and how-tos and organizing. All of my 2013 top posts fall into these categories.
How to make baby onesies with iron-on transfers
These are truly adorable, so I’m not surprised this post outperformed all my 2013 posts (and even surged past Harry Potter Party, which is saying something). Cute, easy, no-mess baby shower activities will always be in demand.
How to plan a Super Mario Brothers party
It’s a tough call which party is my favorite — Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Super Mario Brothers. They appear to be equally loved by readers. Super Mario afforded me lots of prop-making fun.
How to plan a Star Wars party
Lots of easy DIY decor for a five-year-old’s Star Wars party, which is good, because the commercially available stuff is really not age appropriate. Star Wars will never go out of style.
How to make a paper heart garland
This one surprises me a little, it being a quick, dashed-off post written just because sewing on paper never fails to delight me and because Valentine’s Day.
How I organized my kids’ school work
I worked hard on this project and this post, and I got more out of it than just clutter control. It was fun to do with my boys, there was plenty of reminiscing, and six months later I am still using the system.
Breanne’s Top 5 of 2013
How-tos were scarce for me, as Adam and I welcomed our second child and accepted new jobs in 2013. I love that my top posts are a mix of baby, art, fashion, and career advice.
How to make a modern nursery mobile
I’m glad this one is first because this mobile is seriously pretty. I was just staring at it the other day and vowed that it would live on in my house long after I was done with it in the nursery.
Baby makes four: Advice on having your second child
This post is a collection of advice from my friends, plus my own advice, which I added mid-year after I got my feet under me. I still recall bits of this wisdom all of the time.
How to make black and white images for babies (or how to buy yourself some me-time after diaper changes)
This is my kind of project: super quick, no fancy supplies, and completely disposable when you’re tired of it. Also, surprisingly pretty.
5 things I learned on my job search
This was an easy easy post for me to write and a difficult one to share, because I was worried that people (co-workers?) would think it unprofessional. But job searching while pregnant was such a huge adventure and real truth experience that I couldn’t help but write about it.
This post deserves rereading twice a year (or before you embark on a major shopping trip). I love the fashion series we started last year (but feel bad because they are tons of work for the guest authors!).
See also: Fashion, explained #2: Kristen on buying in multiples, the strategic use of a bold accessories, and dressing for your shape.