Happy New Year - A recap of 2013 and Looking forward

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you had a lovely New Years eve and holiday break and are all set for 2014. 2013 has been difficult year for myself, loosing my mother in 2012 left a large gap in my life and unfortunately I have developed a painful condition that causes extreme dry eye, it is something I am having to learn to live with but it has greatly reduced my quality of life. However, I am looking towards a brighter 2014 with some treatment later this month that could be a breakthrough. This year I also plan to improve my overall health in the hope of getting on top of an auto-immune condition which my dry eye is possibly connected with. This means going completely gluten free and not giving in to the odd crusty piece of white bread or box of liquorice. Unfortunately with the dry eye condition it often stops me going outdoors when it's windy, which in Auckland can be frequent. Therefore, I have purchased a good old fashioned re-bounder (yes they do still sell them), with the hope of jiggling my eye glands into working again and loosing the odd couple of kilos I put on last year.

With regards to the blog, 2013 has been a learning curve and exciting things have happened by way of sponsored posts. My blog is my joy and passion and I work many long hours researching, writing and sourcing wonderful images to share with you. When mid year arrived I started to receive frequent emails about writing sponsored posts on behalf of companies and finally the blog started to give back. On line stores are realising the impact a well written feature on a good blog can have on their business, not just to help drive traffic back to their sites, but also as a review of their products. I asked some of my advertisers why they chose Lee Caroline and they said that they loved the look and feel of my blog, my style of writing and the beautiful images I post, also the fact I use key search words to strive for Google's front page. I feel very humbled by their comments and will continue to strive to create great posts and images for readers and sponsors this year. Recently I made some changes to the pages on my blog which has made it easier for people to find different interiors, recipes, crafts etc within the blog. If you haven't visited my pages for a while, you may want to take a look at my Interior Design Inspiration as one example or if you love deserts you might want to check out my Sweet Delights Recipe page. This year will feature more DIY, crafts and recipes using my own images and a few exciting new changes.

With regards to the future for Lee Caroline (blog), I have purchased my first DSLR camera, a worthwhile investment as far as my blog is concerned. Once I have mastered my camera and combined it with my artistic skills, I hope to feature beautiful images of New Zealand homes. I have often drooled over the beautiful photography of food bloggers and interiors, you know, those ones where an item is in focus and everything is softly fuzzed out behind. My new camera has the ability to do all of this and more, but it will take time for me to learn, meanwhile each time I pick up the camera I learn something new. I have been quite pleased with the results of some of my photos, my one big criticism being I can't quite get my images light enough in low light which I hope will be resolved with some tuition as the Nikon D7100 is meant to be good in low light conditions.

I won't ramble on any more about 2014 but will leave you a few random images taken with my new camera. The first is my adorable little Poppy and the last two images are a sneak peek at a beautiful home I will be sharing more of next week. The image of Poppy is a little over exposed but this was done by choice and I am really happy with the effect.

 I would also like to leave you with a few links to some of my most read posts of 2013.

Lee oxo

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