216 of 2016

It’s become quite the tradition for me to write up a giant list of facts of my year in review. I usually post these on January 1st, but I’m sure nobody minds me doing it a few days later this year. And this time I’ve decided to tag on a few new year’s resolutions/ a peek at some things to come in 2017 at the end of the post as well. Alright, since this blog post is going to be long enough as it is, I will just get to it.

Let’s start with the bloggy bits shall we?

  1. 2016 was the first year I joined a group of bloggers.
  2. Twice this year I joined some other beauty loving ladies to organize a giveaway and a bloghop.
  3. We have stayed in touch ever since.
  4. It is great to chat away about blogs, blogging and beauty with like minded souls.
  5. This was also the year in which my blog’s followers started to go up.
  6. I also saw quite a few people return to this space on a regular basis, which was a great development to see happening.
  7. Visitor numbers wise the year was not so great.
  8. My blog drew in fewer visitors than in 2015.
  9. This was mainly due to the fact that around April Google started giving my blog a lot less traffic which caused my visitor number to plummet nearly overnight.
  10. Needless to say I am super happy with each person that did stick around and visited my blog. Thank you!
  11. But before you think I’m going off on a moan: on other front my blog performed much better than in previous years.
  12. In total my blog received over 3500 likes.
  13. This was nearly 8 times more than in 2015 when I received fewer than 500.
  14. I published around 30 fewer posts.
  15. While audience retention when up ever so slightly.
  16. In short, there were fewer people here, but they interacted more and stuck around for longer (Hooray!).
  17. My best blog post of 2016, meaning posted in 2016 was my review of some new Catrice lipsticks. (click here)
  18. However, my best blog post of 2016 wasn’t actually posted this year.
  19. In fact, my entire top 10 is made up out of older blog posts that appeared on the blog before 2016.
  20. My top 3 included the review of:
  21. MAC’s Mehr lipstick and Soar lip pencil,
  22. Catrice’s Absolute Matte eyeshadow palette,
  23. and Catrice’s Nude Illusion Loose powder.
  24. As you can see, Catrice is a brand that has a lot of people end up on my blog.
  25. Out of my top 20 blog posts visited in 2016, 10, which is half, are reviews of Catrice products.
  26. The Absolute Matte eyeshadow palette is even my no. 2 blog post ever.
  27. The no. 1 best blog post ever in the history of Floatingindreams.com is a review of TBS’ Aloe Vera skincare.
  28. This blog post has been viewed nearly 10,000 times.
  29. 2016 was also the year in which I paid more attention to Youtube.
  30. It had been my wish to make more videos for some time.
  31. I finally figured out a way to manage a weekly video on my Youtube channel.
  32. After a very successful video I suddenly went from 20 subscribers to 300.
  33. Said video was my overview of the new Catrice & Essence products for spring/ summer 2016.
  34. This video now has nearly 15,000 views.
  35. It takes a little bit more time and effort to plan out, but I really find I enjoy making videos.
  36. The best month of 2016 was March.
  37. The origin of where my visitors, yes that’s you, come from has started to shift as well.
  38. Before most of my visitors would come from the US.
  39. This year, most visitors come from The Netherlands.
  40. The two runners up are the US and the UK.
  41. These two countries together do make up more views combined than just The Netherlands by itself.
  42. So blogwise there were good things and bad things.
  43. In 2016 I also decided to travel again.
  44. Rather than one small trip and one big one, I opted for 3 small ones instead.
  45. I spent time in London, Budapest and Rome.
  46. It was of course not the first time I went to London.
  47. This was the 7th or 8th time I visited the UK capital.
  48. I visited some favorite haunts, as well as doing some new things.
  49. It was my first time visiting the Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden.
  50. I had my first ever Butterbeer, roamed around for hours and had a good fangirl moment.
  51. But that wasn’t my only Harry Potter related activity: I also took a walking tour with Muggle Tours.
  52. I also saw a movie, went to several exhibitions and saw a Shakespeare play (Midsummer Night’s Dream) in The Globe.
  53. Of course I had to do a spot of shopping as well near the end of my trip.
  54. My second trip went to a new location for me: Budapest.
  55. I decided to book the trip a few weeks before my summer vacation as it was a city that was still on my list of cities to visit.
  56. I had heard great things and a colleague lent me his travel guide and map to help me guide around the city.
  57. I was there for just 3.5 days, but I feel I got a fairly good grasp of the city.
  58. My first full day was spent walking around the city with one of those guided tours after which you can pay however much you think the walk was worth.
  59. I also took a boat ride, visited a church and had some great food.
  60. Day 2 I spent going up to Gellart Mountain.
  61. After a short walk downhill, I went to the Gellart Spa for a moment of relaxation.
  62. After a nap, I went out for food in the Jewish Quarter and visited the Synagogue.
  63. My final day I didn’t do too much.
  64. I just had a late breakfast in a nice coffeehouse and hunted down a souvenir for my mom.
  65. Hand down my favorite trip was my trip to Rome.
  66. If there was one city still on my bucket list it was this one.
  67. I used to be a huge fan of Greek and Roman mythology as a teenager.
  68. I knew all the stories by heart and even contemplated studying history for a bit because of it.
  69. Again, I spent 4 days in the city that is cut through by the river Tiber.
  70. Day 1 I walked nearly 25 km.
  71. I went to see the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and some other sights around the city.
  72. My favorite way of exploring any city is by foot.
  73. Preferably I just roam around streets and sidewalks trying to get a grasp of a city on my first day there.
  74. On my second day in Rome, I visited St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum and the Castello.
  75. Day 3 a dream came true: I finally visited the Colosseum.
  76. A must have on any tourists’ itinerary, but for me it took me back to my teenage years.
  77. I am making it a point in 2017 to try and read up on my myths and ancient history again.
  78. So much of what I used to know has now dwindled to the background of my brain.
  79. Time to brush up!
  80. After the Colosseum I spent some more time delving around Ancient Rome.
  81. I visited the Forum Romanum and the Palantine Hill as well as some other Fora.
  82. On my final day I visited more churches that I care to count.
  83. As well as the Mamertine Prison, where St. Peter and St. Paul were allegedly held there before becoming martyrs for Christianity.
  84. On a personal level life was pretty good.
  85. Work went well.
  86. I got a permanent contract in August.
  87. I handcrafted a new curriculum for Year 1.
  88. I was awarded a new role within my school.
  89. And I took a course on leadership.
  90. And I got more and more involved in the Attractions & Theme Parks specialization.
  91. Funnily enough, for the latter, I used my blogging know how to set up a blog about the studies together with colleagues and students.
  92. We had some brainstorm sessions and came up with some great ideas to keep the space rolling.
  93. 2016 was the year in which I finally felt I could spent some more time working on myself.
  94. I started going to the gym on a regular basis at the end of August.
  95. And I have been trying to cook more fresh meals too.
  96. After 2 years of feeling a bit down and out,
  97. And also due to health problems in my family,
  98. It is great to be back at it again after what feels like so long.
  99. Also through the gym I’ve met some great new people.
  100. By now, I can fit into clothes again that I hadn’t been able to wear for some time.
  101. I haven’t reached my goal yet.
  102. However, this means that I can start 2017 on the right foot.
  103. I now have a good starting point to truly kickstart my workout routine.
  104. I am still doing similar workouts.
  105. I still dance.
  106. I still do spinning classes.
  107. I still do Body Combat.
  108. What I stopped doing this year is Yoga/ Body Balance.
  109. This past year I decided to give my hypermobile muscles a break.
  110. Instead of stretching them and stretching them to become even more flexible,
  111. I have been adding weightlifting to try and build more muscles.
  112. I try to go to Body Pump once week now.
  113. And to great effect!
  114. My backaches have lessened drastically.
  115. And while still not perfect, my pushups aren’t as sad and useless as they used to be.
  116. I do miss Body Balance though.
  117. So my goal for 2017 will be to try to fit in a Body Balance class somewhere in my routine.
  118. This will be quite the challenge as I already had trouble sticking to 4 workouts a week.
  119. Three seems to be the number I can manage quite comfortably.
  120. 4 – 5 is stretching time quite thin, but I know I can do it if I set my mind to it.
  121. Perhaps I might even decide to have one or two fewer blog posts in the end
  122. But I first have to see how everything plays out.
  123. It may also be a good thing if I don’t get to do Body Balance too regularly.
  124. Pretty much all it does is overstretch my muscles.
  125. What I need is the opposite:
  126. Stronger muscles rather than more flexible.
  127. Another new thing for me in 2016 were regular massages.
  128. I already started doing them at the end of 2015, but it became a regular thing in 2016.
  129. It may seem a bit extravagant.
  130. However those massages are what often keeps me sane.
  131. It is not only relaxing.
  132. It is a great stress relief,
  133. Loosens up my muscles that have a tendency to tense up too much,
  134. And it’s the best way to treat myself I find.
  135. Moreover it’s a great way to deal with muscle pain from all those workouts.
  136. In August I found out I’m going to be an auntie for the first time.
  137. I already spent some time finding some presents for the little nugget.
  138. It’s going to be a girl by the way.
  139. So princess dresses are very much appropriate.
  140. As is an oversized Eeyore stuffed animal.
  141. Health wise I took some more tests over summer to gauge my hayfever status.
  142. I already knew it had gone down drastically.
  143. It took more than 5 years of monthly shots.
  144. Last July my doctor informed me I could finish off my current round and make it my last.
  145. That was some amazing news.
  146. For a while I had been feeling like the injections were doing more harm than good.
  147. My hayfever flared up every time I had been to see my doctor to get one.
  148. But in my normal day-to-day life I barely noticed it.
  149. Here’s to hoping my hayfever is kept at bay.
  150. There is a slim chance my hayfever will return in full swing after 10 years or so.
  151. Let’s hope it doesn’t and I can spend my days mostly hayfever free.
  152. Over summer I spent quite some time with friends and family.
  153. My friend Alison from England visited.
  154. She stayed for 5 days and we visited several places in The Netherlands and Belgium.
  155. We went to Blijdorp, the zoo in Rotterdam.
  156. We went to Naturalis, the natural history museum in Leiden.
  157. To The Hague to visit the old prison there and do some shopping.
  158. And finally we spent a full day in Antwerp visiting churches and roaming around.
  159. With another good friend of mine I visited the Harry Potter exhibition in Brussels.
  160. Both of us are ‘fans’ of the series.
  161. And after the Harry Potter studios having been one of the highlights of my London trip, I knew I wanted to visit the exhibition.
  162. The exhibition was a bit underwhelming.
  163. It was very crowded.
  164. Some of the pieces on display also seem to have been recreated for the exhibition.
  165. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable day.
  166. We had food at an Italian restaurant and did some window shopping as well.
  167. 2016 was also the year in which I finished a Goodreads Reading challenge for the first time.
  168. I set my goal at 50 books.
  169. Ambitious, as I normally read around 30 books a year.
  170. But I ended up making it.
  171. I was ahead of schedule for a few months.
  172. But then I hit a major slump due to work being super busy.
  173. This was right before my summer vacation.
  174. Then I was so busy the first few weeks of my vacation that I barely had time to read anything.
  175. I picked up a book again when I went to Budapest.
  176. But now I was behind schedule by 2 books.
  177. I tried to play catch up for months.
  178. I didn’t truly catch up until I picked up a few very speedy reads in the form of short books and novellas.
  179. I told you all about how I experienced the reading challenge in this blog post.
  180. Since 2016 was a great year for reading, I’ve decided to try again.
  181. In 2017 I have again pledged to read 50 books on Goodreads.
  182. Follow me there to get regular updates on what I’m reading.
  183. Because I read more, my music intake went down drastically in 2016.
  184. Something had to give you could say.
  185. Music has always been the longest standing hobby of mine.
  186. I listen to and know quite a bit of music.
  187. But 2016 was a bit of a lackluster year for me music wise.
  188. I didn’t really enjoy many of the big releases.
  189. A lot of the indie music around has started to sound all the same to me.
  190. And moreover one of my favorite indie playlists quit.
  191. In short, this meant that my music listening experience felt a bit drab.
  192. There was very little to get excited over, yet I managed to find a few albums and songs that I truly like.
  193. I told you all about my music favorites of 2016 here.
  194. Here’s to 2017 and it being a better year for music!
  195. Looking ahead, I can tell you that 2017 will be a year with lots of changes for me.
  196. First of all, I’m going to be aunt.
  197. Hello, that is no ill feat and quite busy once my niece is here.
  198. But I’ve also decided that I am going to buy my first home.
  199. This has several consequences.
  200. For one, I will be saving nearly every penny I have.
  201. This means that one of my new year’s resolution is to save up as much as possible.
  202. Which in turn means less shopping.
  203. I’m sure some people who follow this space think: how does she do it?
  204. Most of the products featured on here were paid for with my own money.
  205. I simply have very cheap living expenses and as a result have quite a bit of money to spare.
  206. Once I move and the road leading up to it, that will no longer be the case.
  207. Buying a house also makes me nervous.
  208. I’ve already done some research and what I’ve gathered is that most people just do it without really know what’s going on.
  209. That would be me as well.
  210. I am trying to figure things out as well as possible.
  211. I already know what I can and am willing to spend on what type of house.
  212. Now it’s just a matter of finding it.
  213. But the whole trying to arrange the house buying isn’t the only thing that makes me nervous.
  214. Moving house will also mean moving to a new city.
  215. Which in a way means that I will have to start over as I hardly know anybody there.
  216. In short 2017 will be a very exciting year. I’m simply buckling up for the ride.

Wish to read my other yearly overviews? Here you can find them:

What was your year like?

10 responses to “216 of 2016”

  1. I opted to read 35 books this year. I really want to get back on a reading train because I remember how exciting it all was. I also decided to go on a full no-buy on makeup and skin care since I have quite a stash already. I’ll only buy things I absolutely need (like makeup remover, deodorant, nailpolish remover etc). I hope it will work out! 😊

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