The Best of This Life Celebrates 5 Years

The Best of this Life turns 5 years old

5 Years Ago

A little over 5 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. I didn’t have a clear direction or a chosen niche for my blog. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I understood the whole concept of blogging. I only knew one thing, I had the desire to connect with people who were enjoying the best of their lives.

At the time I began blogging, I was a new mom who had recently moved back from Virginia to my hometown, Ottawa. My husband, a U.S Navy Veteran, was on a long deployment on the other side of the world and my heart was full of conflicting emotions. I was overjoyed with my adorable baby boy, yet heartbroken with missing his father.

Creating The Best of this Life was one of many conscious decisions to focus on the wonderful things in my life, instead of getting stuck in the longing (and self-pity) that kept coming over me. And truthfully, I felt I had every reason to feel sad about some aspects of my life. My husband had not been granted leave for my son’s birth and was on a ship off the  Atlantic coast during the time of his delivery (thankfully, I had my family and friends). I experienced a long, difficult labour and afterwards, suffered for months with edema (painful water retention after pregnancy).  After the edema tapered off, I was left with chronic pain all over my body. Blood tests revealed the possibility of Lupus, which one specialist deemed might be the case. Yet, when another string of blood tests were taken, it wasn’t as clear. A final trip to the hospital and meeting with a head of Rheumatology came with a  final diagnosis that made sense to me – stress and trauma induced bodily pain, which can come under many names including fibromyalgia.  

Basically, my body (and emotions) had gone through the ringer. From seeing my husband off to a sudden deployment (and the fear/worry that brought on), moving back to Canada in my last trimester, giving birth without him at my side (thankful for my family during this time), suffering from post-delivery edema, and simply the normal sleepless nights of having a newborn and well, my system was pretty much wiped.

These are things I rarely have mentioned, not because they haven’t held their weight in my life,  but rather because with each day I overcame them. Each new day, I chose the beauty life had to offer over heartache. I chose my son. I needed to focus on my blessings and the joy in my life rather than the pain so that I could move beyond it and so that I could be the mother I wanted to be for my sweet boy. And I was.

Writing this blog became a place to be light-hearted with others who needed that too. To inspire creativity, joy, and fun even in the middle of the hardships of life.

The Best of this Life turns 5 years old

Transitions and new beginnings

Over the years, The Best of this Life has transitioned through different phases; a journal-entry style (2011), a recipe focused blog (2012), a long hiatus in 2013 due to Hyperemesis gravidarum throughout my 2nd pregnancy, and to a fresh start at the end of the year and beginning of 2014, where I shifted to incorporate more topics on the blog and redefining as a life and style website, featuring food, fashion, beauty, entertainment, family, travel and a litany of subjects. All of which I love to explore and write about, with the same frame of mind as when I first started – how in these things can we find simple enjoyment.

Over the years, my intention for this space has remained – to be a place where you (and I) can celebrate the best of this life.

Here and now

Without realizing it was happening, The Best of this Life grew up. Yet five years in, with some ground under my feet, I still feel like the world is my oyster and there are so many creative avenues to take from here. That is incredibly exciting to me and I hope it speaks to you as well of things to come! In this present time, I am fully dedicated to being the Editor and Creative Director of this website; to bringing fresh content to you, my readers and to building lasting relationships with brands I love and I know you do too. As always, I welcome your feedback and love when you comment or send me emails with ideas or things you would like to see here.

More than ever, I am committed to bringing you the best!

And what about all those hardships?

Life still throws me curveballs now and then, but I am stronger than ever and what I have to be thankful for far outweighs the tough stuff. My husband served his years and honourably left the U.S Navy, joining me in Canada. We have two beautiful, healthy children that we love and adore. I don’t suffer from chronic pain like I used to and even though I’ve had some up and downs with my thyroid since pregnancy number two, it has been manageable. Living a healthy, joyful life is my number one priority and as a family, we do this together.

The Best of this Life turns 5 years old

For my readers

To my dear readers,

I am extremely grateful for all of you. You’ve been with me along this journey, more than you’ll ever know. Your connection through comments, emails, and beyond mean the world to me. I know that every person that comes by this website is a real soul that matters, truly. I’ve missed some of your comments on social media, I’ve gotten recipe ingredients wrong, I’ve written about a things that haven’t always been a good fit – and all because I’m human. And you are too. This is something I regard very strongly when I write and share online, I am not doing so for the abyss of the internet, but for the people who come here and for the possibility that you will walk away with a smile on your face, with joy in your heart, and with inspiration for your day.

I know some of you by name, others by your blogs, and even more of you simply by your presence on my website. To all of you, thank you for being here. I hope that you’ve all, at some point, experienced a positive takeaway from The Best of this Life.

I look forward to what the future holds and I hope that you will continue to grow with me.

With love and gratitude,


The Best of this Life turns 5 years old

Do you have a favourite blog post or recipe from the blog? I’d love to hear it!
Emily Smith
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  1. First I’d like to congratulate you on your blog anniversary. You are doing a great job, keep up the good work. You have definitely been through a lot over the years and yet remain true to yourself – way to go 🙂

  2. A huge congratulations and Happy Anniversary to you, Emily! What a milestone! I’m one of those people that looks to come to your blog when I want to smile and enjoy a little bit of “happy” time. I love your photos, the colours, and your posts. One of my favourite blogs to visit 🙂 Here’s to many, many more years of The Best of this Life!! xo

  3. Congratulations on 5 years Emily! While I am new to your blog (and blogging in general), I really enjoy what you write and share. It is no wonder that you are 5 years in and going strong! Way to live a life worth blogging about!

  4. Congrats on 5 years! I love the current fashions and the design or your blog! Keep up the great fun!

  5. Happy Blogaversary! I hit my 6 year mark last October and I don’t even know where the time went.

  6. Happy blog-iversary! I’ve been blogging for over 11 years and it’s fun to look back and see how much I’ve changed and grown in that time – on and offline. Here’s to at least 5 more year of fabulous blogging for you!

  7. A huge Congrats to you on being so successful with your blog! Here’s to many more years of inspirational blogging 🙂

  8. Looks like I’m a newbie to your blog at just the right time. Been seeing some fashion shots of you these past few weeks & appreciate getting the back story today. I may sound like a wise grandmother (Im 76) & also struggled with pregnancies, births, etc. Your attitude is inspiring. Keep it up & keep writing what matters to you. The right readers will follow. Your issues, thoughts, topics are universal. At the opposite end of age spectrum, I started my blog 2 years ago, so anything is possible.

  9. I really enjoyed your HONEY GLAZED ROASTED VEGETABLES recipe. The rest of my family did as well

  10. I’ve been following your blog for about 2 years now and I really appreciate your beautiful photos, professional blog presentation and the positive energy. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s to come:)

  11. I love this so much! I can see how my own blog has grown as well, and it;s a beautiful journey… not just creating a career for myself, but being a part of a whole generation of writers and educators, as a blogger!

  12. My all time fav post was the recipe for BERRY AVOCADO SMOOTHIE!! I tried it and have been making it weekly!! Thanks!

  13. Congrats again! Wonderful blog! I am posting one of my favorite posts of yours, just one as I have many favorites here1 This one was a giveaway from LNFB, PLAYING UP THE ROMANTIC TREND WITH LNBF + $100 GIVEAWAY! #LNBFXBESTOFTHISLIFE, and I entered very eagerly as your posts had me so very curious about their clothing line. Well behold, lucky me, I won. And I was not at all disappointed with my choices I picked from their products. The softest and most comfortable clothing ever. I very much enjoy your blog and all the very nice posts. Congrats and I look forward to reading many more.

  14. Congtatulations on your five year anniversary! I really love the valentine`s day Peanut Butter Snack bites.

  15. Happy, happy day to you and your blog. I love that cake too.
    You have such a pretty blog. I appreciate all the lovely things you share.

  16. I absolutely LOVE all your gluten-free recipes…especially the pumpkin spice loaf! Congrats on 5 years!

  17. Em!! These photos are so freakin’ cute!! You look amazing and I love the washi tape diamonds!! Girl, I’m so happy for you and have seen your blog grow from the beginning! You put so much love into it and your hard work totally shows! Cheers to many more!! xoxo

  18. I just found your blog and like your posts so far. Heres to spending lots of time with you.

  19. Congrats on 5 Fabulous years , her’s to many more , i love your Blog and all your recipes 🙂

  20. woohoo! that is exciting! 5 years is definitely something to celebrate 🙂 I love your kids fashion section as well as your recipes <3

  21. Happy Anniversary! I love your posts, they are relevant to me , I love your recipes that are healthy and nutritious family friendly meals

  22. Happy Blogiversary! I’ve been cooking on a near-daily basis for a while now and often follow the recipes you most- love the images that go with them. Keep ’em coming.

  23. Your positive, uplifting attitude even in the face of personal hardship is so inspiring! Congratulations on 5 years and may this lovely blog be around for so many more!

  24. Happy Anniversary! I love your fashion and beauty reviews, as well as your local content as I also live in Ottawa.

  25. I’ve actually just discovered your blog as I was looking for Bella Aura product info and found your great giveaway. Happy Birthday on 5 years of blogging! I just started a year ago and I felt the same when I started, I didn’t really know anything about blogging or what I was doing but I wanted a place of my own to share info with others. I love your blog colours, layout and design. It feels like a happy place. That’s what I want my blog to feel like too.

  26. Happy Anniversary , i love all the recipes and contests on your blog , love reading all your post to be exact 🙂

  27. Hi, just started following. 🙂 I’m already loving your posts and the photos that go along (s’cutes). I seriously wish I found your blog sooner. Can’t wait to see more 🙂

  28. I really love the layout of this site and the fun colours! The pictures are amazing and who doesn’t love a good recipe?

  29. Happy Anniversary. One of my favorite recipes is the white bean oatmeal chocolate chip one. I love hiding stuff in cookies 🙂

  30. I love all of the recipes, especially SUGAR-FREE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SMOOTHIE. I know my family will love it and it is good for you too.

  31. I like all the recipes I’ve seen, I like all the content, in fact. I like that this Canadian, Happy Birthday!

  32. Happy 5th Birthday and to so many more, I love everything about your blog, I love the recipes and reading the posts!!

  33. Happy 5th !!! It’s nice to see you took the bright side of life instead of dealing with the bad. It so easy to dwell on the bad things in our life. This gives me some hope.

  34. Congrats on your five-year anniversary! am a big fan of your blog. I enjoy your recipes and your product reviews. But, all your posts have been great. Keep up the amazing job!

  35. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to you!! I love returning to your very pretty
    blog site for inspiration and smiles.I love your reviews and recipes and entering your
    contest! They are exciting and I wish you all the best in the future. 🙂

  36. Congratulations!! on your 5yr Anniversary!, wishing many more,, Although I have only been coming here for a short time, I love your excitement about writing things and posting honest opinions on different subjects and you have a few good recipes I don’t mind indulging in either,,

  37. Happy anniversary! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us. Always great to know what people are dealing with as well!

  38. I Love recipes! wish i would get around to try all those that I would like to try. I’m a sucker for banana loaf/muffin/whatever. I’ll need to check yours through more thoroughly.

  39. Congratulations! I love the layout of your site and the fact that the pages load quickly. I am new to your site so I will have to book mark it.

  40. Hey, congratulations and Happy Blog Anniversary!!!

    I love your reviews and recipes, they really inspire me! Thank you so much!!

  41. Happy Anniversary! Blogging is not an easy job; i’ve tried and it is difficult to think up good posts that will draw readers in AND to do that on a daily/weekly basis! Kudos to you for keeping it going for 5 solid years!

    I love your blog as it is REAL! I think everyone can relate to your posts and take something from them

  42. congrats on 5 years! New to your blog and loving the recipes. 5 smoothie bowls that instagram loved is so good!

  43. Congrats on your milestone 5 years! It seems like only yesterday. You’ve come a long way Baby! I enjoy reading all your posts and cant say any one stands out from the others, they are all informative and enjoyable reading. Keep on doing what you are doing and take me along for the ride to # 10!

  44. I just found your blog, happy birthday! I have to make these PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL CHOCOLATE-CHIP ENERGY BITES!

  45. Congrats!! I am so glad I found out about your blog. Amazing giveaways and great tips and tricks. So so so much content! 🙂

  46. It is so wonderful to read your positive outlook on life. Yes, this life has wonderful moments we must all cherish.

  47. Wow! You’ve been blogging for awhile now, I have thought about it myself but not sure still, you are the bomb for blogging and for so long!!!! I’m a little jealous!!!! Keep up the great work and this giveaway is extremely amazing, thank you!!!!

  48. My favorite thing you blog about is Fashion! You always have crisp, sharp, interesting pictures of style & your site is very clean looking & easy to navigate. Congrats on your 5 years, you are going to go far in this I can tell. My favorite post was His & Hers Vans with your husband. Keep up the great writing!

  49. Congrats to you and your beautiful little family. It’s wonderful that you have come through so much with such a positive outlook on life, it really shows. God Bless.

    I’m new to your blog so I don’t really have a favorite post yet, though I enjoyed this one a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  50. Congratulations on 5 years! I like The Best of This Life because you post awesome recipes, fashion posts, and giveaways!

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