Midlifestylist Is One Year Old

My Blog Midlifestylist Turns One

My Blog Celebrated its First Birthday

My blog Midlifestylist is one year old.  Midlifestylist celebrated its first birthday on 24 October.  It has been a year of many challenges for myself personally, as well as a huge learning curve for my blog. I started Midlifestylist because I wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle to midlifers.  Along the way it’s developed into much more than that.  Many of my readers are outside of that age range. 

I started off thinking my blog would mainly focus on weight-loss and midlife interests.  Because of my health issues this year, the direction of Midlifestylist changed to promoting health and raising awareness of cancer and other hereditary illnesses.

I had minimal technical experience prior to starting my blog and have had to learn everything from the beginning.  I’m proud of how far I’ve come.  I started my blog on WordPress.com not realising that using that platform would limit me unless I paid for a business plan which is way above my budget. Changing over to a self hosted platform was extremely challenging.   I’m glad I did it but I’ve had to learn everything from scratch and through trial and error.  My website is almost the way I want it now, after a lot of work.  

The Best and Worst Aspects of Blogging

The most rewarding part of blogging has been all the wonderful people I’ve “met” online.  The blogging community is so supportive and I’m proud to be part of it.  I didn’t realise that there was this community before I started.

The aspect of blogging that has been the least enjoyable is the constant self promotion that is required.  I’d really rather be writing than promoting my blog on social media.  It’s a necessary evil though, if I want people to actually read my blog.

I’ve had some very positive feedback over the past year.  If I can improve just one person’s life in some way then it’s all been worth it.  My family are very supportive even if they don’t read it!

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle Through My Blog

Having my blog has been a Godsend this year while I’ve been stuck at home recovering from my surgeries.  It has helped me to channel my need for helping people while I haven’t been able to work as a nurse. I have been able to promote a healthy lifestyle and keep my mind active while doing something worthwhile.

Thankyou to my regular readers and to the people who have supported me over the last year.  Thanks to other bloggers who have shared my articles, commented on my posts, and allowed me to be a guest on their blog.  Your support has been valued very highly.

Shared at Life This Week Linkup

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Staying positive despite setbacks

Updates on Midlifestylist

It’s five weeks since my bilateral mastectomies and in that time there have been triumphs and setbacks. I’ve been trying to stay positive even though things have not gone as planned, and my recovery has been slow. I’ve been filling my time to help deal with my recovery time at home.

First the triumphs:

Midlifestylist News:

  • Midlifestylist is now officially a business! I registered the business name on the Australian Business Register and applied for an ABN (Australian Business Number). It’s exciting to see my business name on official documents. I first thought of the name seven years ago and bought a domain name but didn’t officially start my blog until October 2019. If I start earning money through my website I’ll need to pay tax so I thought it would be worth registering the name officially.
  • While I’ve been at home healing I completed a legal course for my website. I knew I’d need to get the legal side of things done before my website grew any further but haven’t had the time to sit down and tackle it until now. The course was very beneficial and included all the templates for Terms and Conditions, Disclosures, Privacy Policy and Disclaimers. A blogger that I follow had her blog plagiarised by a B-grade celebrity who made thousands of dollars off a book that she compiled from 4 or 5 bloggers’ work. The course I did covers copyright and what to do if your work is plagiarised. I recommend this course and if you’re interested, click the link highlighted. The basic course is free. If you buy one of the other courses I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Personal news:

  • My niece Ally, her friend Coralee and I raised over $1000 for breast cancer research by taking part in the GO PINK campaign. We dyed our hair pink and did a live feed which was a lot of fun.
  • My husband and I baked bread for the first time. He did all the mixing and kneading because I’m still not able to do anything strenuous. We ate 3/4 of the loaf with some homemade vegetable soup because it was so moreish. We have a bread-maker on order but it won’t come until July. It looks like everyone else had the same idea when there were shortages of everything in the shops.
  • Our vegetable garden is thriving and we’re already eating produce from it. Every year it improves because with trial and error we’re finding the best ways to do things. The weather has been perfect for growing too with lovely sunny days and plenty of rain. Winter really is the perfect time of the year in Queensland.
  • I’ve been collaborating with other bloggers on some projects which are new and exciting. One of the best things about blogging is the community of like-minded individuals that you meet online. Reading their blogs gives you another perspective as well.
Freshly baked bread - learning new skills and trying new recipes have been some of the ways I have filled my time
Freshly baked bread

Now the setbacks:

  • I still have a lot of swelling and the wound is taking a long time to heal because of the massive post-op bleed I had on the left side. I had to have another course of antibiotics and I’ve been very restricted in what I’m allowed to do. I’m supposed to start back at work on Monday but I’m not up to that because nursing is a very active job and I’m not allowed to lift anything or do strenuous work yet. I was referred to a haematologist to try to get to the bottom of why I bled so much. It may be genetic because I’ve had a few other instances in my life of unexplained bleeding. There have been days when it all gets too much and I’ll be very down in the dumps and cry, but I’m able to bounce back and am in a positive frame of mind most of the time. I’ve had a lot of support so that definitely helps.
  • Because my mobility has been restricted I’ve been very tired at times. The worst week was when my husband went back to work after looking after me for 3 weeks. I wasn’t allowed to drive so was catching the bus and tram which meant catching 2 buses to get to my doctors’ appointments and 2 home, plus walking. I can drive short distances now and that’s been a huge improvement. We hired dog walkers so that my dog didn’t miss out on his walk and now that I can drive I can take him to a dog park where I can park so close that he can jump out of the car and go straight onto the off-leash area so I don’t have to hold his lead. He’s a big boy and at the moment I’m not up to him pulling on his lead.

The Pandemic and Social Distancing

The social distancing laws are gradually easing in Australia which is a big relief. The border between Queensland and New South Wales will open in a couple of weeks so I’ll finally be able to visit my brother who lives an hour away. We have a camping trip planned for the last weekend in August which has been delayed twice before. We’re really hoping we’ll be able to go this time. My sister-in-law’s 50th birthday party can finally go ahead as well – she was waiting for restrictions to ease. It has an Alice in Wonderland theme so I’ve been making a costume – watch this space as I may be brave enough to publish photos!

I hope all my readers are staying well and coping with whatever restrictions are on in your part of the world. This year has certainly put a lot of stress on to people and we’re all having to cope with current events. There’s still a lot of unrest from the Black Lives Matter movement, which I wrote about in my last post. I hope that this year’s events bring about lasting change for the better. The world has now woken up and it would be awesome if we all learnt the lessons that are available to us.

Taking my dog for a walk daily has been one of my favourite activities while recovering from surgery
Taking my dog for a walk daily has been one of my favourite activities while recovering from surgery

While recovering from surgery there are triumphs and setbacks. It’s important to stay positive and look to the future as this period in my life won’t last forever. I don’t regret making the decision to do risk-reducing surgery as it means my chances of getting cancer are reduced almost to zero. No matter how hard things seem right now, it is important to focus on the bigger picture. I’ve been through much worse than this in the past and I know I have the inner strength to get through this as well.

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Women of Courage Guest Post

Some time ago I was asked by Denyse Whelan to write a guest post for her Women of Courage series. I’ve been following her series every week and have been inspired by all the other guests so it was an honour to be included. Denyse is someone I admire because she has had her own battles with cancer. I look after people going through this type of cancer after they have surgery and it’s a huge deal – head and neck cancer is incredibly challenging but Denyse survived this and has gone on to write very inspirational blogs about this and many other subjects.

Since I wrote this guest post, I have had four surgeries – two planned and two unplanned. I had the surgeries with the intention of removing the organs that were targets for cancer – my ovaries and breasts. I have BRCA2 gene mutation which gives me a very high chance of breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer, and melanoma. Previous posts were written about it here, and about my surgeries here.

The link to my guest post on Denyse’s blog is here. Please read it and some of Denyse’s other blogs. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this guest post for the Women of Courage Series.

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Why Anzac Day Means so Much to Me

The last week has been pretty hard for me. I moved my website to another website host and, to cut a long story short, I lost most of Midlifestylist.com. Six months of work down the drain.

It’s really devastating and I felt like giving up, but my son gave me a pep talk last night which encouraged me to keep going. He’s a musician, music and video editor and music technician and he’s had his full share of devastating losses like this – one of his hard-drives burnt out and he lost a whole year of work a few years ago. I feel terrible because people who clicked on a link to my site got an error message, I apologise for this if it has happened to you.

The good news is, I have been able to move my website back to the original place and it seems to have been restored just the way I had it before! Enormous relief.

Anyway, I wanted to commemorate Anzac Day today. Anzac Day is a Public Holiday in Australia and New Zealand to remember our Service men and women who served in the Armed Forces. With great respect we hold dawn vigils and ceremonies in honour of these amazing people. This year was different because of Covid-19 – social distancing meant that we couldn’t gather at ceremonies so we stood on our driveways with a candle instead.

In honour of my grandfather who served in World War One, I published his story in my blog about my family history, This is Who We Are. You can read it here. It is his memoirs of his time spent serving in France for the British Army – he went to war at age 18 and spent 5 years in the front lines in Ypres, Somme and Maubeuge in many of the bloodiest battles of World War One.


Harold Norris, Private 16471 of the 18th King’s Liverpool Regiment of the British Army from 1914 – 1919. Served in WW1 in Somme, Ypres and Maubeuge in France

I also Honour my Father-in-Law Ces Henry who served with the Australian Army in Korea. He doesn’t like to talk about his time spent overseas serving our country, but we know that he was on the front lines there and conditions were particularly horrendous for them.


Cecil Henry, my father-in-law with Gwen, my mother-in-law. Cec served in the Australian Army in Korea and other overseas posts including in Japan after the war.

My sister’s son Xavier is carrying on the family tradition and is serving with the Australian Army at the present time. I’m very proud of him – his mother unfortunately passed away after years of being unwell so he overcame a lot growing up. He was deployed in Iraq for some time last year.


Xavier my nephew (far left) who serves in the Australian Army

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,

At the going down of the the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Lest we forget

Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen, September 1914

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How To Increase Traffic to your Blog

Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to your Blog

One of the most important aspects of blogging is finding an audience for your written word. We would all like our audience to read our work, so increasing traffic to our blog is essential. One of the best ways I have found is to use Pinterest. It is a search engine just like Google, where people can find exactly what they need to know using keywords. This post will give you some ideas on how to increase traffic to your blog using Pinterest and Tailwind.

If you’re new to Pinterest, you can do a free course which I highly recommend. I had no idea how to set up my Pinterest properly, create pins or link pins to my blog until I took this course, Pinterest for New Bloggers. It was incredibly helpful, for people whether new to Pinterest, or even if you’ve been using Pinterest for a while. The Course is presented by Blogging for New Bloggers who have a number of other fantastic courses. I’ve taken quite a few of them, and you can check them out here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure

Do you want to increase traffic to your blog?  Midlife bloggers - share your content and increase traffic to your blog with Tailwind Tribes.  Get your invitation here!  Midlifestylist.com  Pin image with above words in it.  Photo of a computer and pile of magazines, rose in glass
Pin image – Do you want to increase traffic to your blog?

Pinterest relies on people to Pin new Pins to their boards frequently. Having an automated schedule for your Pins takes a lot of the work of repinning contents away from you. You can schedule your Pins in advance, to Pin to boards even when you aren’t able to yourself, meaning that your Pins are getting seen regularly, thus increasing traffic to your site.

That’s where Tailwind comes in.

Using Tailwind to Schedule your Content

If you are new to Tailwind, it is a scheduling service for sharing content to Pinterest. You can join for free, and this will allow you to join 5 tribes, and schedule 30 posts to your tribes per month. Click on this link to watch a short video which explains what Tailwind is, and how it can help you share your content. In addition to the free service, you can Pay for a subscription. If you use the following link you will get $15 off Tailwind Plus:

https://www.tailwindapp.com/i/chenry1320
I will also receive $15 credit from Tailwind if you use this link

I have started a new tribe on Tailwind called Midlife Bloggers Aging Well. About this Tribe:
Midlife Bloggers Aging Well is for people in their midlife (40s-60s) who write about midlife, for example, lifestyle, health, menopause, travel, challenges of midlife, planning for retirement, looking and feeling good in your midlife. The tribe will focus on tips on aging gracefully and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as we age

This is the link to go directly to the tribe:

https://www.tailwindapp.com/tribe/join?h=lKvGsomnpiOjDe

If you write for midlifers, I invite you to join my tribe so that you can share quality information with other bloggers in our niche.

Pinterest Group Boards

I’m also taking this opportunity to invite you to my Pinterest group board, Midlifers Group Board. Sharing our content is a win-win situation for everyone. If you are not yet a member of this group board, here is the link to request to join here

I also have another group board on Pinterest for bloggers who write about maintaining a healthy lifestyle called Staying Healthy – Group Board. This is for all age groups, not just midlifers. Request to join here:

My third group board on Pinterest is Planning for Retirement. This is a group board for midlifers who are planning for their retirement – financial, lifestyle, downsizing, health, family. Request to join here.

One of the best outcomes I have received from blogging is networking with other bloggers. I really enjoy reading their content and have learned a lot this way. I would love you to join me in sharing quality information by using these platforms.

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My Top Posts of 2019

My healthy lifestyle blog has been my biggest achievement this year (apart from losing 17kg!). I’ve really enjoyed writing about a topic that I’m passionate about. The hardest part is the self promotion which goes against my introverted nature but it’s vital to gain followers if I want people to read my articles. I would like to share my top posts 2019 with my readers.

MY TOP 9 POSTS of 2019


In order, they were:
1 How to make goals that will stick,
2 Why your waist measurement matters,
3 My Weight-loss Journey,
4 Slow and Steady wins the race,
5 13+ ways to get more colour in your diet,
6 Gifts that Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle,
7 How to keep on track with your health goals during the holiday season,
8 Just change one habit at a time and
9 Losing weight is a marathon not a sprint.

Read them now to gain some inspiration! Live your healthiest year in 2020.


Thanks to everyone who has read, followed, liked and shared my posts across WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter! I really appreciate your support and all the comments, likes and shares. It keeps me motivated to write more. Please let me know what your favourite article was.

A collage of the top posts of 2019 on the Midlifestylist blog.
The top posts on Midlifestylist.com for 2019
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