2016 Year in Review

As has become my habit, I’m going to end the month of December with a recap of the highlights (and lowlights) from the past year. It’s always fun to take a little walk down memory lane.

2016 has been a growing year, I have to say. I started the full-time fashion blogging in September of 2015, more or less as an experiment, and it went so well that I decided by the end of that month that I was all in, but it took me a while to find my sea legs. After a full year at it, I finally feel like I’ve got a system down, and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 holds for me business-wise!

Also this year, my son got his driver’s license, we decided to homeschool our middle child, and I’ve made some fairly significant diet and lifestyle changes that I’m really happy about. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start back in January, shall we??

2016 Year In Review

In January, I decided to try a capsule wardrobe. At that point, I was overwhelmed with all the clothing I’d purchased for my new fashion blogging venture, and I needed to simplify in a drastic way. I enjoyed the experiment, but I didn’t stick with it for long because it isn’t really conducive to my business model. However, I have become WAY more discerning about what I actually keep in my personal closet.

50 Piece Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Not surprisingly, my most popular post in the month of January was my reveal of My 50 Piece Capsule Wardrobe. Other popular posts that month that still get a lot of Google traffic are What Hose to Wear with a Cocktail Dress and How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe.

Cyndi and Jo-Lynne in Nashville

Also in January, Cyndi and I met up in Nashville for a working weekend. We had so much fun that we’re hoping to do it again in 2017, but I’m voting for a warmer climate or a warmer month. We FROZE in Nashville last year.

February

Girlfriend Getaway Weekend Vacation in Destin - Fort Walton Beach, Florida

One of the highlights of 2016 was definitely this girlfriends’ weekend in Destin, Florida. I mean, who am I to turn down the opportunity to collaborate and network with a group of smart and generous women that I love AND do it all at the beach???

In February, I also attended a Carrie Underwood concert. SO FUN.

And I traveled to NYC for a Survivor screening, where I met Jeff Probst! Such a nice guy. Truly down to earth, and you can tell he’s the same person off-screen as he is on.

2016 Spring Wardrobe Essentials

My most popular post in February was my Spring Wardrobe Essentials, and my discovery of Trunk Club for Women was a close second.

 

Also in February, I redecorated my bedroom, and now it’s my favorite room in the house.

 

March

 

In March, Cyndi and I teamed up for 27 Days of Spring Fashion, and my most popular post of the month was our kick-off post, where I styled a fatigue jacket for spring. My Easter Style post was a close second.

 

I also got to experience The Lodge at Woodloch with a few good friends, which was amazing. I still dream about that outdoor hot tub!

 

April

In April, I attended not one, but two blogging conferences. They were very different, and that’s when I started figuring out I don’t identify as much with the mom bloggers as I do with the fashion bloggers. I still feel like I straddle the two spaces to some extent, but it was definitely an eye-opening experience to attend the two conferences back-to-back.

First was rewardStyle, which is an affiliate network I do a lot of work with. That conference was in Dallas, Texas, and I got to meet up with some of my favorite fashion bloggers, including Kristie, Alison, and Cyndi (pictured above.) I wrote about that HERE and HERE.

The second conference was Mom 2.0 at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Beach, California. Can I just say, AMAZING VENUE!?! Omyword. It was the 2nd time I’d been there, and I was SO looking forward to going back because I remembered how amazing it was. I wrote about that trip HERE.

 

In April, my most popular post was alternatives to shorts, and the 2nd was when I shared my spring closet. This is when I really started to find a balance between a limited capsule wardrobe and the excess that I had before I purged my closet at the beginning of the year.

 

May

In May, I updated and republished one of my most popular posts of all time, What to Wear to Disney World, and Summer Wardrobe Essentials was my 2nd most popular post that month.

My favorite outfit from this month was this white on white with the coral spring scarf. It’s different for me.

Paul and I visited the Hyatt Chesapeake for a weekend couple’s get away.

June

In June, Cyndi and I collaborated for 22 Days of Summer Fashion, and my most popular post, once again, was my first post for the series, a summer date night outfit.

This denim skirt outfit with Crocs sandals was also popular that month, and Paul and I returned to the Hyatt Chesapeake with the kids for Father’s Day weekend.

July

July was all about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Never have I ever seen a single sale get so much hype! Of course I jumped right on the bandwagon because the sales were fabulous, and who doesn’t love fall fashion? I learned a lot and I’ll probably approach it a bit differently this year, but it’s definitely a sale worth saving up for.

My most popular post in July was, predictably, my Ultimate Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, with Fall Wardrobe Essentials coming in right behind it.

Also in July, I conducted a reader survey and shared the results here. I always find those super interesting.

And amidst all that hubbub, we took our annual family vacation to Maine, where my family has a lake home. It’s always a highlight of our year.

August

We stayed home for the month of August due to my son’s marching band practice schedule, so we spent a lot of lazy afternoons at the pool. That’s also the month we decided to put my daughter in a cyber charter school so she could do 8th grade at home. It was kind of a crazy few weeks until we got that all squared away, but we’re glad we stuck with it and gave it a try.

August is also when I started my new eating habits that somehow, miraculously, seem to have stuck, although the true test is still to come. I tend to revert to bad eating habits during the doldrums of winter and early spring when it’s so gloomy and depressing outside. I’m going to have to work hard to stay on track.

Expert Packing Tips and the Perfect Summer Travel Outfit was my most popular post in August, and my Trunk Club Unboxing with a Skinny Jean Comparison also got a lot of engagement that month.

I also really loved this casual summer pink and denim outfit.

September

September was another seasonal style collab with Cyndi, and it was definitely a big month for the blog. Everyone loves fall fashion, and after a relatively slow summer (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale hype not withstanding), it was fun to see traffic and engagement kick up again.

My most popular posts were 4 Ways to Wear Ankle Boots and Fall Plaid Shirt Outfit.

October

In October, I had the amazing experience of spending a couple of days in Palmetto Bluff, SC, with Mazda. That was definitely the highlight of my month.

My youngest turned 11, and we celebrated with a birthday party at SkyZone.

In October, I updated and republished How to Wear Ankle Boots, which is always a popular post this time of year, and 26 Fall Outfits for Women Over 40, the recap of our fall style collab, was my next most popular post.

MY favorite post of the month was When Fall Feels Like Summer. Even though the proportions are off a bit, and the sweater is a little big, I love this outfit and how these pictures turned out, even though they were just shot in our neighborhood.

November

In November, my son turned 17 and got his driver’s license. Earlier in the month, Paul and I went to a Hooter’s concert. That was a blast from the past!

The Ultimate Black Friday/Cyber Monday Shopping Guide was the most popular post of the month, and my casual camel coat outfit was the next.

We also celebrated Thanksgiving with my husband’s family and started decorating for Christmas.

christmas tree

December

In December, the holiday celebrations were in full swing! My husband and I attended his office holiday party, and later in the month, my daughter performed in a Christmas music spectacular.

We went as a family to cut down our family Christmas tree, and we spent a weekend at the Inn at Pocono Manor. They were all decked out for Christmas, and it was beautiful and so festive.

My most popular posts this month were 25 Winter Outfits for Women Over 40 and Winter Wardrobe Essentials.

winter wardrobe essentials 2017

My personal favorite was this edgy moto jacket with OTK boots.

My daughter turned 14 on Christmas Eve, and then we celebrated Christmas (twice!) before leaving for Maine to celebrate my grandfather’s 100th birthday.

christmas morning

Today we’re heading back home to Pennsylvania to ring in the New Year with good friends, if all goes well. Prayers for safe and uneventful travels are appreciated!

Looking Ahead To 2017

I’m excited for 2017, but I don’t have any hard and fast plans as yet. Cyndi and I are hoping to get together again, and I’m definitely planning to attend the rewardStyle Conference in Dallas in April. Beyond that, I’m not sure what the future holds, biz-wise or personal.

I definitely plan to continue with the fashion blogging, and I’m planning a site redesign this spring.

My son will be going into his senior year, so college visits are on the horizon. We’ll have to decide whether or not to continue with cyber school for my daughter’s 9th grade year, and at this point, I’m really not sure what we’ll do there. My little one will have one more year at the elementary school.

We don’t have any major family trips planned at this point, although I’d love to do something different. I feel like the kids are growing up so fast, and I want to make the most of the time we have together.

Usually at this point, I have my next year planned out to some extent, so it’s kind of fun not knowing what’s on the horizon. I hope it’s all good, but I know life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, and all I can do is trust the Lord to carry me through whatever lies ahead.

From the Bottom of my Heart, THANK YOU!

I want to take a moment to sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support this year and throughout all the years of this blogging escapade of mine. Your comments, your questions, just for being here and reading to the end — it truly means so much. I mean, really, if you got this far, you deserve a cookie . . . gluten-free, of course!!!!

But seriously, it takes a lot of courage to put myself out there like I do, letting y’all in on all my crazy. The support and encouragement you give back is what keeps me going, so THANK YOU.

And Happy New Year!!!