2014 – Looking Back and Reflecting on a Massive Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

It is amazing how time passes us by so quickly. In a blink of an eye the New Year is here and the old year fades away in to our memories.

Reflect on 2014 Before we Kickstart 2015

Before we kick-start 2015, I think that it is really important to look back and reflect on the last 12 months. Sometimes it feels like I’ve done absolutely nothing because my to do list is still remains so damn long. However when I sit down to think about all that we have achieved, I realise that 2014 was actually a pretty awesome year.

Cooking Vasilopita 

My list of achievements started on the 1st January 2014 – New Years Day. My mum and I made our very first Vasilopita together. It was a recipe that I posted (on my other blog: Greek Weddings & Traditions) and it was a part of the 2014 Greek Cooking Challenge. I cooked 12 Greek recipes throughout 2014 and shared photos of my dishes on social media using the hash tag #GreekCookingChallenge.

The Greek Cooking Challenge

The Greek Cooking Challenge turned out to be a fantastic success. I was able to build a strong community of authors, chefs and cooks on the GWT blog and I now have hundreds of people from around the world doing the cooking challenge with me. I was lucky enough to collaborate with celebrity chef George Calombaris and negotiate sponsorships with brands such as White Wings and Eat Greek Flavours.

Join The #GreekCookingChallenge in 2015

In 2015, I plan to be more proactive with the #GreekCookingChallenge so I have already prepared a recipe list for each month. If you would like to join the cooking challenge then please sign up here: http://eepurl.com/4D9rf

Greek Cooking Challenge 2015

Blogging Full Time

2014 provided me with the opportunity to start blogging full-time and I have been working really hard on both of my blogs as well as my online business. I have learnt so much about blogging and online marketing and I am extremely proud of the growth that all of my website have achieved.

Problogger Training Event

Here are some blogging highlights:

  • I was super lucky to be a part of the ProBlogger Team (a volunteer) at the #PBEVENT in 2014, hosted by Darren Rowse at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast
  • The Greek Weddings & Traditions blog became a self-hosted website!! I can’t believe that I waiting so long to do this – if you have a blog and your are not self-hosted, you should definitely do it. There are so many reasons why it’s good for your blog and good for your business!
  • I actively used mail chip for email communication and I realised the importance of building a list.
  • I built a new business directory on the Greek Weddings Blog and started to generate revenue from advertising.
  • The Greek Wedding Shop made a record amount of online sales
  • I started to design, create and sell some of my own Easter Candles on the Greek Wedding Shop.

More on Blogging…

(If you’re not in to techie blog stuff, you might want to skip this part)

  • I became a professional social media consultant (I was paid for my services and advice) to help small businesses around Brisbane.
  • I created a rate card for my copy writing and consultancy services and started to treat my blog as a business.
  • I registered my online business with an official business name with ASIC
  • I learnt more about media tools such as buffer, sum all and google analytics and started to proactively schedule social media posts and follow a blog posting calendar.

Where My Blog Has Been Featured:

  • I wrote a couple of articles for an Australian bridal magazine: On Trend Bridal and I became an author on The Sounding which is an Orthodox Christian Network Blog.
  • I also collaborated with a group of awesome foodies on Facebook called Foodify – Culinary Delights From Around The World and I participated in a blogging/cooking challenge called The Secret Ingredient Game.
  • My mother in law was in Cyprus and she picked up the local newspaper. On page 7 was a surprise photo of our wedding. The newspaper didn’t ask for permission to use my photo and I’m not sure how they found it. Ironically the article is about Burglars targeting wedding guests. As they say, any publicity is good publicity, so I’m pretty happy with our international 5 seconds of fame! Lol.

Sia and Nektarios Wedding Day in the Cypriot Newspaper

When I wasn’t blogging, I was teaching. 

After 10 very long years of study, I finally graduated from university (this is my 2nd degree). I am now a qualified high school teacher and I teach business subjects including accounting, BOM, BCT, legal studies as well as hospitality.

 Here Are Some Highlights from my Teaching Career in 2014:

Of course we also did a bit of travel… and a lot of eating!

  • Nek and I visited some friends in Singapore and we had an awesome time.
  • We went to The Coffee Club Convention in Hamilton Island
  • We explored the Gold Coast and all the wonderful cafes and restaurants in the area – read more about our Gold Coast eating experience in this post: Gold Coast Foodies
  • We did a road trip down to Sydney to spend Christmas and New Years with family and watch the fireworks at the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • I used foursquare to navigate my way around Brisbane’s best coffee shop’s and restaurants and wrote a few reviews about some of my favourite places.

But it wasn’t all good.

  • On my birthday, October 15th, my beloved papou passed away. He will be dearly missed.
  • On the 31st of May, we attended a memorial service for our nephew who left this world too early.

And the sadness continues.

  • I said goodbye to my team and to all of my loyal customers at The Coffee Club Brisbane Square. The business was sold in August and my 15 year career at The Coffee Club ended. It has been an awesome journey and I must admit that it was a bit difficult to close the door and say farewell.

But then the most exciting thing of all happened. I fell pregnant!

One month after selling the coffee shop (which is also about one month of eating right, doing yoga, sleeping enough and stressing less) I fell pregnant 🙂

Our Baby Announcemnet Ice Ice Baby

  • We announced our exciting news with both a video and a photo – because my husband and I could not agree on which option to do. I wanted the balloon video and he wanted the ice ice baby photo lol.
  • I started to write blog post about all things baby related and I found a fantastic support group on Facebook for other mothers who are also due in May 2015. (Let me know if you want to join the group and I’ll add you!)

Our Baby Announcement

Our Baby Announcement – The Longer Version from Aspasia Mavris on Vimeo.

2015 is going to be an amazing year. We have a baby on the way as well as a new baby God Child, my best friend is getting married and I’m one of her bridesmaids (yes a pregnant bridesmaid) and I’ve decided to continue with my Bikram practice (despite the controversy).

I will officially become a SAHM (which stands for Stay At Home Mum) and I can’t wait for all of the new adventures to begin.

If you would like to follow me on this exciting journey, please join my mailing list by clicking this link: Join My Mailing List

Talk soon,

Sia x

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