2014 Year in Review

It has become my tradition at the end of December to post highlights from the past year. I enjoy taking some time to reflect, treasure the memories and contemplate how far I’ve come. This year has been one of ups and downs, that’s for sure and certain. Wanna take a walk with me down memory lane??

2014 year in review

2014 Year in Review

I don’t really do resolutions, but I did push the reset button and set some goals last January. I don’t know that I achieved them, but it’s always good to have goals . . . RIGHT!??


There were a lot of requests for more “real food” posts in my reader survey at the end of 2013. I started out with a recap post, Real Food: Where I Am Now, and I did continue to post on real food topics for a while, but they didn’t get a ton of engagement. Ultimately, I guess I feel like I’ve said all I have to say on this topic, but I do enjoy posting healthy recipes and meal plans, and I hope you find those useful.

real food basics featured

Also in January, I announced that I was writing a book. I learned a lot during that process, but perhaps the most important was that I really like blogging. I like putting out short bursts of content and getting instant gratification. I’m glad I did the cookbook, but I’m not dying to do another book project anytime soon.

book deal

AND I was on the Dr. Oz Show!!! Not only that, but I WON my own recipe column on DoctorOz.com for a year, which was kind of a joke, but whatever. It was fun.

And I got that awful cortisone shot that I THOUGHT was going to cure . . . or at least help improve my plantar fasciitis symptoms. Little did I know how much WORSE the whole situation was going to get. And I’m still in the thick of it and feeling so much more hopeless than ever. The jaded and bitter me is having a good laugh right now at my Pollyanna self when I wrote that post almost a year ago.


In February, I cracked my nose on my sleigh bed. It was probably my all-time low point of 2014, although the stress fracture and torn tendon are definitely in contention. I know I had to be in a bad place, because my husband sent me these:


This White Bean & Bacon Soup was a highly popular post, thank you, Colleen!!!! It is still in my top 10 every week.


I think we all had Spring Fever because my most popular post in March was How To Style My Favorite Spring Fashion Trend. I chose pastels.

pastels for spring 2014

I also got an updated mobile-friendly blog design. I really loved that design, but when I rebranded, I went a different route.


And I ran my first, last and only 5K of 2014. It was a short-lived moment of glory. Le sigh . . .


In April, this post on how to wear white jeans was my most popular.

white jeans for spring

We traveled to Roanoke for Easter.


On the way home, we experienced the Virginia Safari Park. That was a hoot and a half!


In May, I became a Stella & Dot stylist. I still love this gig. I don’t do home shows, but I do enjoy getting a discount and having more variety for my fashion posts.

stella & dot

And my post on Tank Tops for the Well Endowed was the most popular.

tank tops

Colleen’s Bloody Mary recipe was the second most popular post in May, although it has had way more staying power than the tank tops post. It is still going strong here in December.


8 Makeup Mistakes You’re Making Right Now was popular in June.


I saw Evita at the Academy of Music in Philly with a few of my good blogger friends.

Sarah, Jo-Lynne & JulieAnd I got my bike.


Also in June, my cookbook was finally available for preorder.


In July, I turned 42, but there is no photographic evidence.

We also visited Cape May as a family.


And I got to participate in my second Color Run.


The next day we left for Maine by way of Fenway Park and Portsmouth, NH.

Shanes at Fenway



Schoodic Point

JL and Paul in Bar Harbor

We stopped over at my sister-in-law’s picturesque New England town on the way home.


And How To Wear Neon was my most popular post.


In August, Paul and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.


My Zucchini Recipes roundup was my most popular post.

zucchini recipes

With my Signature Style post a close second.

my signature style

And I embarked on my 21-Day Sugar Detox. While I’m close to being back where I started, I don’t regret doing it. It definitely made me more aware of the amount of sugar I ingest on a regular basis, and I know what I need to do if I want to look and feel my absolute best. I expect the 21 Day Detox or some iteration thereof will be making a reoccurrence in 2015. I felt so good when I was done, I would love to do it again and see if I can stick with the maintenance program more easily when I’m not traveling so much.

21 Day Sugar Detox

In September, How To Wear White Jeans After Labor Day was popular.

how to wear white jeans after labor day

As was Must Have Boots for Fall.

must have boots for fall

The kids went back to school.

first day of school

And I traveled to Seattle for the International Food Blogger Conference with Krusteaz.

Krusteaz blogger ambassadors at Pike Place Market

I visited Costa Rica, which is unparalleled, the most AMAZING trip I have EVER taken in my LIFE.


On the way home, I decided to rebrand my blog under my own name. It was a bit of a rush job on the logo because I wanted to have everything squared away before my speaking engagement in October. I’ve actually got a new look in the works for 2015. Stay tuned . . .


In October, How To Wear Ankle Boots was by far and away my post popular post.


Things were getting rough with the whole foot-injury/lack-of-exercise thing, and I poured out my heart in a rare vulnerable blog post. I wish I could say it’s gotten better, but . . . yeah. Well, anyway.

On a more positive note, I visited Turks & Caicos with my husband where I was a speaker at a blogging conference. It was an amazing trip, and I’m so thankful we got to experience it together.

Beaches Turks and CaicosWe got home in time to decorate for Halloween.

Easy Halloween Decorating Ideas

And Tonya Staab joined the blog as a home/DIY/craft contributor. Her first post was this stunning Halloween Centerpiece.

DIY Centerpiece for a Halloween Dinner Party

 In November, I launched my 12 Days of Holiday Outfits series with Cyndi and Kristin. This was so well received, I do believe we will need to do it again next year!!!

12 Days of Holiday Outfits

And I also started publishing my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide Series in November. Yes, November was the start to a very busy two month for the blog!

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: The ultimate guide for finding fabulous gift ideas for everyone on your Christmas list.

What to Wear for Thanksgiving Day was my most popular post.

Classy Outfit for Thanksgiving Day PLUS more stylish outfit ideas for the holidays!!

We celebrated the iconic holiday with my inlaws. Black Friday came and went, and my foot flaked on me again, rendering me an invalid for another 4-6 weeks. Oh the joys!

December was a whirlwind. I took my girls to New York City where we saw the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, ate dinner at American Girl Place, and took in a Broadway show!

Freedom Tower at Ground Zero, New York City

I made over my office.


And despite my injuries and my busyness with work, I managed to set up two Christmas trees.

my fancy tree

Our Family Christmas Tree 2014

My most popular post was What To Wear on Christmas Eve.

What to Wear on Christmas Eve

We celebrated Christmas at home.

merry christmas

But I am unfortunately closing out the year with a case of the flu. We have already canceled our plans to go to Virginia for New Year’s, and I’m super bummed about that. In all honesty, I’m not too sad to say good-bye to 2014. I had some awesome experiences, but I’m hoping that 2015 holds just as much adventure without quite so many trials. Hey, a girl can hope, right!???

Join The Conversation

13 Responses

  1. Ugh. So sorry you can’t go to Virginia and see your family for New Year’s. How sad. I hope you’re feeling better soon. Thanks for a great year of blogging! Wishing you a happy 2015!

    1. Thanks, Jodi. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. There is so much sickness going around right now, maybe it’s best to stay put. I’m just hoping that we can keep this nasty contained and no one else in the house gets it. My husband has been walking around with Chlorox wipes for days, lol!!!

  2. So sorry that you are closing out the year sick. I know that you are disappointed you can’t make it. But, take some time for yourself, drink some fluids & rest up that foot! I enjoyed reading your blog year recap. I haven’t had time to do one for my blog this year, so it was nice to read yours.

  3. I’m so happy to have discovered your blog this year, Jo-Lynne. Our family had the flu last week too, and all of our Christmas plans were de-railed, including traveling to see family. I hope you rest up and feel stronger soon. Also hoping that 2015 sees your foot injury healed. Thanks for the inspiration with your recipes, fashion, and just general chat. Happy New Year!

  4. Oh, man… guess that means you won’t be coming to visit. 😉

    Seriously, though, so sorry to hear you had to cancel. Our plans for tomorrow night are canceled as well. We aren’t sick, but everyone else is or has sick little ones, and it’s just not worth the risk. I know it’s just another day, in the grand scheme of things, but man, it stinks.

    I say bring on 2015 already!

    1. Yeah, my kids are SUPER bummed about it. At first I was relieved I didn’t have to travel, but I admit, this morning, I’m really wishing I could hop in the car and head to my mom’s and see everyone. I’m sad and feeling almost guilty I don’t do the flu shot, although I hear they missed the strain this year anyway so . . . whatever, I probably would still be sick. I feel a lot better today, but I still sound really sick. It’s all in my head at this point. I was ready to try to make tonight fun for the kids, but my daughters are in a snit b/c we can’t go anywhere. (We have an invite but I don’t think it’s very prudent to go over there with this lingering.) Ahhh… good times. Yes, BRING. ON. 2015. Amen.

  5. Thanks so much…that was fun to read through.
    I’m feeling your pain; we all have our struggles in this fallen world, don’t we?
    Everytime I see pictures of your beautiful home and neighborhood, I’m reminded that we had to short-sell our beautiful home and move into a dumpy rental when my husband lost his job a couple years back. He still hasn’t found steady work since then.
    So, just remember you aren’t alone. God will strengthen us to endure. And thanks so much for the fashion, etc., posts as it is fun to think about more lighthearted things now and then!

    1. Ugh, Jennifer, that would be awful. I’m so sorry that happened to you guys. You are so right, we all have struggles in this fallen world, and these injuries keep reminding me that this world is NOT my home. That’s an important thing to keep in perspective. I hope 2015 is good to you.

  6. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    I hope this is the year you get answers and relief with your foot. I know it’s been a long time and you are ready to scream.
    I enjoy your blog very much. You have a little bit of everything-I like that.
    I tried to watch the Dr.Oz video and the message said Dr.Oz had removed it. Bummer!

    I hope you are well soon and you and your family have a safe, healthy, happy new year.

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