Saturday, July 25, 2015

Five Amazing Years and a Special Giveaway

Five years ago today, I sat down and started a simple little post on blogger.com. I never dreamed that this seemingly insignificant choice would lead to an amazing online adventure.


It's hard to believe that Never Grow Up has been going for that long. I've seen many blogs come and go over the years. Even in my readership, I've seen a huge turnover. And I totally get it. Keeping something going for this long is a big commitment.

But even thought it can be overwhelming at times, I love this little corner of the internet I've claimed as my own. I've met some incredible people from all over the world, learned about dolls and toys, added extensively to my collections (sorry, Hubby!), improved in my photography and reviewing skills, and have become much more self sufficient on the computer than I ever thought I would be. ;)

Blogoversaries are always a fun time to look back over some of the milestones from over the years. So let's check them out! :)

In five years, I have:

-Accumulated 451 followers (Incredible! I still remember when my main goal was to hit 100.) :)

-Published 934 posts

-Hit 1,662,319 pageviews

-Hit 296 likes on my Facebook page

-Gathered 1,197 Pinterest followers

-Hit 185 YouTube subscriptions

-Reviewed several new toys offered to me for free review, including Zelfs and a Maru and Friends doll :D

The thing is, none of these amazing milestones would have been possible without all of you, my readers. I've never forgotten that, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. (I know it's a cliche, but it does a good job of expressing how I feel.) ;) Thanks for sticking with me all of this time. Thank you for your lovely comments and your emails (I do read them even when I'm horrible at responding to them). :} Thank you for following, "liking", reading, and everything else. I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you. :)

                                          **************************************

I thought it would also be fun to share my "bucket list" for this blog. I've already hit a lot of my previous dreams and goals for Never Grow Up, but it's always good to have a few dreams in your pocket, right? ;) Here are a few that would be incredible for the future:

-Just for fun, hitting 500 followers ;)

-Reviewing a Makie

-Reviewing a Limited Edition Disney Store Doll (Maybe I'll be able to afford one by the time they bring out all of the special Beauty and the Beast dolls in 2017, around the time of the live action movie.) ;)

-Attending a D23 Convention and sharing about it on the blog. :)

-Getting some sort of official partnership/sponsorship...I think. It would be nice to receive free items to keep down the expenses of new dolls and toys. However, independently blogging gives me a freedom to share my honest opinions without worrying about what my sponsoring company would think. I guess I'll think about this one some more. ;) (And really, it's a pretty unrealistic dream at this point anyway.)

-Taking my girls to Disneyland and blogging about it. This isn't exactly blogging related, but it is a family goal within the next few years. I haven't been since I was pregnant with Oldest Gal (it would be really nice to go again and NOT be pregnant). ;) The girls have never gone. And of course, I'd take lots of pics to share with all of you. ;)

-Attending the New York Toy Fair and sharing about it on the blog. :D This is my ultimate bucket list item. I don't know if it will ever happen. New York is very far away, and even though I get free admission to the Toy Fair as a blogger, I do NOT get free airfare, hotel and food. ;) Someday, though, it would be awesome to get to go. :)

I don't know if any of these things will ever happen, but that's okay. This blog has already taken me so much farther than I ever thought it would. Even if nothing else happens, I'm so thankful for all I've experienced already. :)

                                                ********************************

I wanted to think of a fun way to thank you guys for the adventure we've shared together. So, in honor of my blogoversary, I'm doing a special giveaway. I've chosen five items that are the typical types of items I review here on the blog. All five will be given away together as one giveaway prize for one of my readers. :D Here's what the giveaway includes:

(Sorry, everyone. Tess is not part of the giveaway. She just thought I might need someone to help display the giveaway items.) ;)

Here are the items individually:

1. A new Fashion Spree Shopkins pack. This is the "Best Dressed" collection. Shopkins are some of our favorites, so of course they had to be a part of the giveaway. ;) (My favorite one in this set is the cute little camera.)

The back of the package. You'll want to save this since it's the only place that has their names! ;) 

2. Candy-Lou the Candy Zelf from Season 5. I'm sure none of you are surprised that a Zelf made it to this giveaway. ;) The Zelfs were the very first toy line offered to me for free review by a company (without my asking first), so they hold a special place in my heart. Plus, they're super adorable. ;) Candy-Lou is one of the brand new Zelfs that has just been released.

The back of Candy-Lou's package.

3. Mini Lalaloopsy Whirly Stretchy Locks. While I haven't reviewed these recently, the mini Lalaloopsies are another of our favorites here at the Never Grow Up house. We hope you enjoy this one. She's kind of in keeping with the candy theme, too. ;) (This prize was supplied by my mom, who has been a huge supporter, fellow doll hunter, and financial provider for my blog since day one. Thanks, Mom! You're the best.) :)

The back of her package.

4. Our Generation "A Day Fur You" 18 inch doll accessory pack. This blog started out primarily as a place that reviewed 18 inch play dolls, so I wanted to pay homage to that. Sadly, shipping an 18 inch doll worldwide was a bit beyond my budget. ;) So instead, here's a fun little pack for your 18 inch dolls with everything they need for a day at the zoo. It includes a pair of sunglasses, a camera, a package of peanuts, a map of the zoo, a little baggie, and a zoo pamphlet. (This prize was also supplied by my mom.) :)

The back of the package.

5. A Funko Mystery Mini Joy in Bing Bong's wagon (a Hot Topic exclusive). I had to get something Disney in here too, of course. ;) Joy is super cute and looks great on display. Her head turns, too. :)

Joy from the back.

I apologize that Joy is opened, but I wanted to make sure it was the figure I wanted for the giveaway. ;) She will come with her original box...

...which shows concept art of all of the available figures from Hot Topic.


Giveaway Rules:

1. This giveaway is WORLDWIDE and open to ANY of my readers. :) One winner will be drawn at random and will receive all five items.

2. If you are under 18 years of age, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter. I'll need to get your mailing address, and I want to make sure that's okay with them. :)

3. To enter, please leave a comment below with your name or username AND your email address. (Please don't forget your email address. It makes it so much harder for me to let you know you've won if I can't contact you.) Comments containing email addresses will NOT be published.

4. For an extra entry, you can share this giveaway on any form of social media (your blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.). Please come back and leave another comment, telling me where you shared and leaving a link. Otherwise, I won't know to give you your extra entry.

5. The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, August 4th. On Wednesday, August 5th, I will select the winner and contact them via email. The winner will have ONE WEEK to get back to me with their mailing address. If I haven't heard from them by Wednesday, August 12th, a new winner will be chosen.

Just a side note here. I love publishing your personal comments, but I can't do so if they're in the same comment as your email address. If you would enjoy having your comments published, be sure to leave them separately from your entry comment. If it's not a big deal to you, then you can go ahead and keep your comments all together. ;)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thank you again for five wonderful years, my friends. Here's to the next five! :D

37 comments:

Anna Catherine said...

I pinned this giveaway here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/349380883570755754/

Anna Catherine said...

I shared this post on Facebook. (My Facebook is private, so a link wouldn't work.)

Anna Catherine said...

I posted about this giveaway on my blog: http://thedisneydolls.blogspot.com/2015/07/giveaway-at-never-grow-up.html

Anna Catherine said...

I posted about this giveaway on Google + (My account is private, so a link wouldn't work.)

Sunny_Harper1994 said...

When I saw Tess, I was like: "Oh my! This IS a special giveaway." Hehehe, then I saw the comment under it and had a laugh.
Congratulations on your blog and for hitting your old goals. I remember when I was pregnant and first found your blog, you were only Beastsbelle at the time. I only been around here for 2 years or so but I loved how your blog kept changing it up and growing.
Good luck on the giveaway everyone!
God bless.

Nichole said...

I've been reading your blog for a year or so. I've learned so much and fallen in love with so many new dolls because of you! (Don't worry- I won't tell my husband it's your fault! Haha) I was having trouble convincing myself that it was ok to buy toys for myself just because I thought they were cute. No one that I know outside of the Internet does that. You and your followers helped me see that's it's totally ok to love toys as an adult! Thanks for being you!

Denise Morse said...

Congratulations on your milestone

lolly said...

I have shared this on my facebook page :)

monstercrafts said...

I shared this giveaway here https://www.facebook.com/themonstercrafts/posts/738224026306576

Chris Dang said...

Wow it has been five years already. Congratulations on this anniversary you have done so much since your first post.

MyLittleMegara said...

I think you already know my email, but if you want me to give it to you again I will. I shared the giveaway on my blog:

http://adventuresindollwonderland.blogspot.com/2015/07/beastsbelles-fabulous-giveaway.html

Congratulations on five wonderful years! :D

Meritre said...

Thank you for making this open to all of us! :)
As manyothers said you showed that liking toys as an adult is not bad at all.
Congratulations on your blogoversary and I hope for at least another 5 years! :)

Hope Harman-Potteiger said...

These things are so cute! My name is Hope and I would love to enter this giveaway! I am younger than 18 but I have my parent's permission to enter. I will post another comment with my email on it. :) Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

<3Hope

Hope Harman-Potteiger said...

I shared this on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hopeharman/doll-giveaways/

<3Hope

Hope Harman-Potteiger said...

I shared it on my blog's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsdoll

<3Hope

Melissa O. said...

I shared the giveaway here
https://www.facebook.com/Purplemommi/posts/10207590697353410?pnref=story

Stephanie Jones said...

I pinned your contest to my Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/168533211032925836/

Austin Baroudi said...

Posted on my blog.
http://austieb7.blogspot.com/2015/07/never-grow-up-moms-guide-to-dolls-and.html
mcfallsk8er[at]aim[dot]com

Austin Baroudi said...

Tweeted @Austieb7
https://twitter.com/Austieb7/status/625860000892723200
mcfallsk8er[at]aim[dot]com

Austin Baroudi said...

Pinned as Austin Baroudi.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/189573465542029939/
mcfallsk8er[at]aim[dot]com

Austin Baroudi said...

Shared on Google+ as Austin Baroudi.
https://plus.google.com/+AustinBaroudi/posts/9cR8Q5Fj4FH
mcfallsk8er[at]aim[dot]com

beggarmaid said...

Shared on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvette.cuny/posts/944090568986860

beggarmaid said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/gingerandcloves/status/625933193028329472

Mark Patraw said...

Congratulations on your five year anniversary, and I hope that you'll continue to stick with it for many more! I've been coding/running my web site for 15 years now (and have had to move the address three times over that time period), but I never thought to make a note of the exact day I started, so, like a stereotypical guy, I'm clueless as to when my relevant anniversary date would actually be. :P

I also think Makies are pretty cool, but I don't have one either. Maybe they'll become more affordable over time, especially if the London-based company ever becomes big enough to branch out and set up a satellite shop in the States.

Since you live in California, wouldn't the San Diego Comic Con be a more attainable goal than Toy Fair? Most of the toy companies (Mattel, Hasbro, Tonner, etc.) have all of their product out on display in full force there too. Just a thought.

Dollxoxo said...

Wow congratulations you have done so well! 5 years is a great achievement. Keep up the good work :)

I've recently started out blogging.
I'd appreciate it if you came and had a look!

http://dollswords.blogspot.co.uk

Karina B. said...

I pinned to Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/362047257522973824/
Congrats on 5 years! I enjoy reading your blog posts, and look forward to more to come!! =)

unidentified dino said...

Posted on my blog here http://dorkydinotoys.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/awesomeness-at-never-grow-up-toy-blog.html

Alexis said...

Congratulations on 5 years! You are so amazing and I love reading your blog. I found this blog about 3 years ago from my love of American Girl dolls, but I have grown to love everything you collect. You inspire me so much! :)

XOXO
Alexis

unidentified dino said...

Here's to many more years :) I have been reading for a while but have just got a blogger account thaks so much for all your posts I am huge fan of Belles bulitins (I have read every post ) congrats :)
Also shared on Google plus https://plus.google.com/108930644821200457585/posts/5y3DEwFVQ94

Ms. AGdoll said...

Hi, I pinned this on Pinterest, here's the link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/492299802995292425/
Thanks for this giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on making it to 5 years! I know I don't post often but I have been a reader for over 2 years now. This is one of my favorite blogs and some day when I start my own I hope to have one like yours. I like how you are primary doll related but you aren't shy to branch out and talk about other toys, interests, and even a little bit about your personal life. I am looking forward to the next 5 years (and more)!

-Candycorn

P.S. I am leaving my entry in another comment.

Amber Spaulding said...

Five years that's amazing! Congrats on reaching so many years of blogging so far! I so enjoy reading your reviews, news posts etc. Your blog is truly one of my..if not favorite blogs to read :)

Amber Spaulding said...

pinned the giveaway here https://www.pinterest.com/ambeei/general/

Amber Spaulding said...

Also shared on facebook, but I dunno if you'll be able to see it
https://www.facebook.com/Ambee.imvu
The post should be at the top of the page, Didn't realize I shared it on my "game" facebook haha.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I shared this on my Google +. Here's the link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111329905248387367342/posts/K19imcHaekK
~Happy Doodler (Diana)

Farrah Lily said...

Congratulations on 5 years of blogging! What wonderful accomplishments you've made during that time. I started reading this blog about a year ago (I think I discovered you from one of your H4H dolls or BFC Ink posts!) and I've been reading ever since. Your writing is so sincere and it's always a joy to read your posts. I hope to have a successful blog like yours someday! Congrats again. :)

Emma Weasley said...

I posted about this on my blog, https://dollhood.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/giveaway-at-never-grow-up/

Thanks again for doing this giveaway.