The Most Popular Posts of 2011

I hope that you’ve all had a restful and memorable time with your family during the Christmas season! Our holidays were relatively uneventful, but still wonderful.

My husband and I took a couple days away the week before Christmas to do some dreaming and goal-setting for the coming year. Then we spent a quiet week preparing for our holidays, which included an evening with my family, Christmas Eve worshipping with our church family, Christmas day with our children focused on thankfulness and generosity (not to mention an amazingly yummy breakfast), then Christmas dinner and Boxing Day with my husband’s family in Washington.

Though I am still trying to find a solid chunk of time to take a New Year’s planning retreat (have you taken yours yet?), I was also reflecting on the past year and tried to come up with a list of words that sum up 2011 for me:

Burnout. Replenish. Growth. Compassion. Loss. Life. Mornings. Reliance. Friendship. Purge. Dreams. Risk. Trust. 

What words would you use to describe your past year?

Most Popular Posts of 2011

It was also fun to go back through the archives and check out the statistics for all of last year’s posts to discover which ones were the most popular. Some I expected, others surprised me.

Here are the top 14 posts of 2011:

(Why 14? I have no idea, it just seemed like a good number.)

  1. 11 Simple, Homemade Gifts
  2. Seven Strategies for Having More Productive Days
  3. My Frugal Beauty Routine
  4. Treating Depression Naturally: Supplements, Herbs and Foods for Feeling Better
  5. How to Make Water Kefir
  6. Plan It- Don’t Panic: A 6 Week Meal Planning Challenge (and I’m excited to announce that as a follow-up to this challenge, I have a new meal planning eBook coming out in the next couple weeks!)
  7. The Thoughtful Parent’s Guide to Thinking Through Vaccinations
  8. Meal Plans from “100 Days of Real Food” 
  9. Two Recipes for Odor-Eliminating, Air Freshening Sprays
  10. Gentle, All Natural Deodorant Stick Recipe
  11. Homemade Herbal Vapor Rub to Relieve Coughs and Congestion
  12. Non-Toxic Cleaners You Can Make at Home
  13. Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Why I Eat Plenty of Butter
  14. 15 Fun and Frugal Memories to Make With Your Kids This Summer

Did you have a favorite post that you don’t see in this list?

More importantly, what would you like to see in the coming year? Although I’ve got plenty of ideas and have planned out the first several months of the year already, I am always eager to find the topics that matter most to YOU. 

My goal at Keeper of the Home remains,

“To be an encouraging, inspiring and Christ-centered resource for those who aspire to healthful and natural homemaking.”

What would you like to learn more about this year? What are you struggling with? Are there types of recipes you’re looking for? Aspects of more “natural” homemaking that are still a challenge? An area that you would like to make positive changes or baby steps in?

What would you like to see on Keeper of the Home in 2012?

Image by danielmoyle

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. What a great list! I love your posts that include real food education, as well as those about natural health remedies and disease prevention. Come to think of it, I enjoy all of your topics! Looking forward to KOTH in 2012!

  2. Thanks for all you do here on KOTH Stephanie! I have to tell you that yours was, I’m pretty sure, the very first blog I found when I was first beginning to search for natural living encouragement and ideas almost 3 years ago! I was so excited to find it, and I still love to read along with you and the other contributors (and miss contributing myself!) :)
    One thing I’m interested in, is exercise in pregnancy. You mentioned that you were getting up with the Maximize Your Mornings challenge and exercising – I’m just starting my second trimester and finally feeling like I have the energy, and feeling the actual physical need, to add exercise back into my day – but unsure where to start now that I’ve taken about 12 weeks off from any regular type of exercise, so I’d love to hear what you did, or are doing, for exercise while pregnant.
    Thanks, and blessings to you and your family this year!!

    • And I miss having you contribute, Emily! :) I didn’t know you were expecting again- so exciting! And I do plan to talk about exercise in pregnancy and what a HUGE difference it has made for me this time around. Probably sometime in early February I’ll share more, but in the meantime, I’ll tell you that I’ve enjoyed using Lindsay Brin’s DVDs and occasionally a pregnancy yoga DVD as well. Exercising even 20-30 minutes several times a week has been very worthwhile, and the days when I can’t do a full-fledged exercise time, I make sure that I go through a 5-minute stretching routine at least. I also didn’t start until 2nd trimester, because I’m too drained in 1st to do much of anything. You’re not alone there!

  3. Nice sharing and Happy new year!!! All the recipe you share love it…Looking forward to see more next year..Thanks and god bless always..

  4. Jennifer Hooper says:

    I appreciated the 6 week meal planning challenge. I enjoy all the topics that you cover, but this especially struck a chord with me. I am trying to have healthy, simple foods that are within a budget, and your meal plans were fabulous!

  5. Jessica T says:

    Stephanie, I’m curious how you determine which posts were the most popular? Is it based on how many visits you have with a certain subject or how many comments are made on a particular post?

    As stated above, your blog continues to be an encouragement and sought after resource in my life; keep it up! I am currently in the same place as Heidi and Nola, needing ideas for structuring my day with a toddler

    Additionally, I am struggling with basic motivation for my job as wife, mom, and keeper of my home. When I was a student, my job was clear: attend classes, pay attention, do my work well, learn and grow. As a pastry baker, it was also clear: show up on time, be helpful to customers and co-workers, pay attention to recipes, be quick and creative. Even as a wife, I knew what I needed to do: love unconditionally, be respectful, lean on God (though I didn’t do that as well I could). But now, I don’t have a job description written up for me. Since I am home all day, I take it as my job to keep everything in the home clean and organized (a very daunting task, though I enjoy doing it). I am also mostly in charge of how our son is disciplined, taught, and loved (also incredibly daunting, but mostly enjoyable). I just don’t know, or perhaps I lack the confidence in, how I am practically supposed to perform all three full time jobs (mom, wife, home). I suppose the obvious answer is seek God first and everything else will fall into place, and that could encourage writing down the motivations I find in His word to lead to my goals…and perhaps I need to start journaling more because typing this to you is helping my clarity improve. ;) All this to say, I look forward to 2012 with KOTH, because I find it helpful.

    • The popularity was based on pageviews over the course of the past year. Of course, it’s hard to be completely accurate with that, since posts from back in early 2011 have had a chance to build up more views than the more recent ones, but it still gave me a pretty good idea of what was popular. I do certainly look at comments as an indicator, but I don’t always find that it’s the best indicator to use.

      And thank you for sharing your struggles and things that you are working on in your roles. I definitely understand the challenge with the transition to being in these unique roles, compared to in a full time job. I felt that, too, when I stayed home with our first baby. One thing that helps me a lot with motivation is to be continually re-examining my goals, my schedule, etc. as a mom and homemaker, tweaking things as needed. The more purposeful that I am with my time at home, the easier it becomes to have clear direction for my days, which in turns helps with motivation.

  6. I’m finding that more and more what I look for on your site is encouraging posts about mothering and homemaking rather than nutrition. I feel like for me personally, I have reached a point where I have done a lot of changes with nutrition and natural living and so I am happy with where I am at and not seeking more changes. Perhaps down the road, but not for a long time. Maybe that sounds bad, but it’s what is right for me.

    So basically I am interested in seeing more posts on ways that you and the other writers make life work being moms and homemakers- tips and encouragement on getting things done, being productive, homeschooling, being joyful, organizing, keeping a positive God-centered outlook, etc. More posts like the ones on purging things, “seven strategies for having more productive days”, routines, how to fit things in, etc. I guess my focus is on those things because I am anticipating the busyness that having 3 children soon will bring.

    About personal retreats- I took about an hour the other day and wrote out my goals (manageable ones) and such just while on my couch. Honestly its all I could manage right now, so I did just that, its not ideal as going out etc, but it worked for me, and is helping me focus more already. My husband had the kids while I did that. Taking a personal retreat doesn’t have to be “perfect” if that is all you can manage right now.

    2011, especially the end of it from about September on, was a year of learning to trust God with my anxiety. We had a really rough fall and beginning to winter, and I know its going to get more “interesting” so I am learning about trust and control and perfectionism. Let’s just hope this baby doesn’t arrive during the renovation we have to do.

    Back to more decluttering for me! This is addictive especially with the added motivator of the baby coming! :)

  7. I’m glad to see your Good Fats, Bad Fats post on the list. That is an awesome one :)

    Looking forward what is coming in 2012!

  8. Stephanie,
    I would love to hear more about how to schedule days with a toddler. How to mix free play time with structured/educational activities. Thanks, I so appreciate this blog!

  9. I really loved the herbal vapor rub post:) I always appreciate your herbal remedies posts (we’re kind of kindered spirits in that respect)! Honestly Stephaine, I love everything you publish. I love that you remain true to the goal/mission of Keeper of the Home. Stick to that and you’ll always have my support:) Btw…I’m very excited to read your new ebook! Many blessings to you in the coming year.

  10. Great post. I think words that sum up my 2011 is ….

    Patience, prayer, waiting, watching, listening, growth, and reflection.

    I would love to continue to read more delicious real food recipes that the whole family is bound to enjoy!