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!??

reset-button

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.

I WANNA RUN

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:

roses

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

White-Bean-Bacon-&-Pesto-Soup-text

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.

JoLynneHeader.png

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

starbucks

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

white jeans for spring

We traveled to Roanoke for Easter.

easter-family-picture

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

feeding-the-giraff-620x411

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.

bloody-mary-square

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

makeup-mistakes

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.

bike-featured

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

cookbook-cover

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

We also visited Cape May as a family.

cape-may-beach

And I got to participate in my second Color Run.

The-Color-Run

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

Shanes at Fenway

things-to-do-with-kids-in-portsmouth-nh

Morning-on-Green-Lake-in-Maine

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.

harbor

And How To Wear Neon was my most popular post.

neon-yellow-with-navy-stripes

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

19-years

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.

roar-at-sunset

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 . . .

logo-mine

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

how-to-wear-ankle-boots

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.

office3

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!???