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.
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