I like to end the month of December with a recap of the highlights (and lowlights) from the year. It’s always fun to take a little walk down memory lane.
2015 has been a pretty big year, both personally and professionally. My oldest turned 16 and started driving (hold me!) My middle became a teenager and started middle school. And my little one turned double digits. I guess she’s not so little anymore.
Professionally, the blog got a minor cosmetic makeover and a major change in direction. After 9 years of being a “mommy blog” (we all HATE that term, by the way), I decided to narrow my focus to fashion — specifically wearable fashion for women over 40. It has given me a whole new lease on life. I am loving having a niche, and I’m super excited to celebrate my 10th “blogiversary” in March. I can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon!
So let’s start back in January, shall we??
2015 Year In Review
In January, we started planning our first ever “grown-up” family vacation. I say that because it was the first time we really planned an entire vacation on our own. In the past, I’ve been invited places for the blog or visited our extended family, but for the first time ever, we decided on a destination, planned the entire trip, bought plane tickets, and reserved hotel rooms and a rental car. This was supposed to be an epic trip to the Grand Canyon, among other iconic Arizona sites, but things didn’t QUITE go as planned. I think we can say it was, in fact, a bust. But more on that in a few minutes.
What to Wear to a Winter Wedding was my most popular post in January, but What Hose to Wear with a Cocktail Dress has stood the test of time and still comes up high in my Google search results each month.
I spent most of January recovering from a torn perineal tendon (that’s in the ankle.) I didn’t travel anywhere or have any noteworthy social occasions.
In February, my husband and I visited Gettysburg for a press trip. It was freeeeezing, but we had a lot of fun. We LOVED our stay at the Federal Pointe Inn, and we’d love to go back sometime.
8 Makeup Mistakes You’re Making Right Now (And How to Fix Them) was my most popular post in February.
In March, I wrapped up 28 Days of Winter Outfits with this popular post.
Details: graphic tee by That Chic Mom Tees, similar camo skinnies, similar moto jacket, red envelope clutch
My post on Wearable Spring Trends was popular as well. I think we must have all had a bit of spring fever!
And wow, has our blog photography come a long way, or what!?!
April was the month of our infamous Arizona trip that came to a screeching halt when my son got sick. We can look back now and say all’s well that ends well, but at the time, we were terrified. We had no idea who else was going to come down with it or how we were going to get home with a child that sick. Fortunately no one else got it and my son rallied just in time to fly home, but it was not an experience I ever care to repeat.
We did our best to enjoy the resort. I would have enjoyed it MORE if I hadn’t been so stressed out, but at least the girls had fun.
You can read more about the Hyatt Gainey Ranch here. It is a FANTASTIC place to stay, should you ever find yourself in Scottsdale.
How to Wear White Jeans for Spring was my most popular post in April, and Capri Pants: In or Out was the second.
At the end of the month, I returned to Scottsdale, Arizona, for a blogging conference.
This time I stayed at the Phoenician Resort. It was interesting to compare it to the Hyatt Gainey Ranch. I still love the Hyatt, but the Phoenician wasn’t shabby either. I love the location with Camelback Mountain as its backdrop.
In May, 11 Ways to Wear White Jeans was most popular, and this date night outfit was a close second.
For the first time in many years, I got to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom. We look nothing alike, I know. (Bwahaha!)
As soon as school let out in June, we visited Pittsburgh for the weekend.
See my list of Things To Do in Pittsburgh, if you’re interested in making a visit. It was a lot of fun.
This Daily Mom Style post was most my popular post of the month.
And my Fourth of July Fashion collab with Cyndi was up there too.
Wow, did I ever need a tan!?!
In July, I turned 43. For the second year in a row, there is no photographic evidence. I guess that should tell you something about birthdays as you grow older. Either no one really cares, or we don’t want to dwell on it. At any rate, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, with the possible exception of the year I ran the half marathon. I can’t complain!
My Daily Mom Style posts were my most popular, and I found a new doctor and started getting my mojo back after a year of inactivity. It feels SO good to run again!!!
Also in July, we took our annual family vacation to Maine.
This year, we took a detour through Cooperstown, New York, and Manchester, Vermont. We stayed at the Osetaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown and visited the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Then we stopped overnight in Vermont at the darling Inn At Manchester.
While in Maine, we balanced our time between sightseeing and hanging out at the lake.
Our travels weren’t over, however! In August, my husband and I were invited to experience the chic Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, a Kimpton Hotel.
We also quietly celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. My daughter made us a gluten-free cake for the occasion, and she snapped this picture of us on my iPhone. I love it because it’s so ordinary. The lighting is awful, I’m hardly wearing any makeup, and nothing’s staged. It’s just us in the home that we made together with the three kids that we grew together, and that’s all that really matters.
My post on my favorite over-40 fashion blogs was my most popular in August, and it still ranks high in my monthly search results.
I guess a lot of women my age are looking for fashion advice! Which makes a great segue . . .
In September, I decided to try out full-time fashion blogging. I didn’t TELL you that’s what I was doing, but I’d been toying with the idea for a while. I was feeling spread too thin trying to do too many things well, and I needed a change. So when I joined Cyndi on our 26 Days of Fall Fashion, I knew it was an experiment to see if I’d want to narrow the focus of my blog permanently. I guess you know how that turned out!!
My most popular post that month was this outfit with the bootcut jeans and mustard cardigan.
In October, I updated and republished my post on How to Wear Ankle Boots. It was by far and away my most popular post that month, and it continues to be popular. I get a lot of visitors to this post from both Google and Pinterest.
My Denim Report was also a hit.
As was 3 Ways to Tie a Blanket Scarf.
And somewhere in there, we managed to celebrate my daughter’s 10th birthday.
In November, my son turned 16, and my girls and I joined my parents and my brother’s family in Disney World.
We’ve also been teaching our son to drive, which is proving to be QUITE a hair-raising experience. I had a picture of him at the wheel, but I can’t find it. Boo.
How to Wear a Down Vest was my most popular post in November.
And my OTK boots with a chambray tunic and leopard scarf was a close second.
On Thanksgiving Day, I ran a 5K and was thrilled with my time of 28:54. I wanted to come in under 30 minutes, so I did much better than I had even dared hope. It felt GREAT.
Later that weekend, we took a train ride out to a tree farm and brought home our Christmas tree.
And just like that, Christmastime was here again!!
What to Wear to an Office Christmas Party was my most popular post in December.
And my 25 Days of Winter Fashion Recap was also a hit.
One of the highlights of the month was taking the family into Philadelphia to enjoy some of the traditional Christmastime activities our city has to offer.
And on Christmas Eve, we celebrated my daughter’s 13th birthday.
Our Christmas was quiet and laid back this year.
We were planning to be in Maine this week, but our travel plans got thwarted. When we found out what a mess the airports were, we declined the offer to reschedule and opted for a refund instead. I am glad we stayed put, although I missed being with my family.
We’ve accomplished a lot around the house with these extra few extra days off that we weren’t expecting. We’ve been cleaning and purging and organizing and preparing our master bedroom and bathroom to get painted next week. I’ve bought new bedding, and I’m currently shopping for curtains and other accessories to complete the new look. I am SO excited for this makeover. It’s been 10 years since we moved into this house and decorated our bedroom, and I’m more than ready for a refresh.
Looking Ahead To 2016
I won’t be making New Year’s Resolutions or coming up with a Word for 2016, but I’m hoping to live more simply and intentionally, and I’m always striving to grow in my relationship with the Lord each day. This post from Paul Tripp really sums up how I feel about all that.
For the Christian who finds their hope in the person and work of Jesus Christ, change doesn’t take place in big, dramatic moments. Rather, the transforming work of grace operates in 10,000 little moments of life more than it does in a series of two or three life-altering events.
Are life-altering events significant? Absolutely – that’s why they’re called life-altering! But, the quality of your life and the character of your person is primarily shaped and defined by the 10,000 little decisions, desires, words, and actions you make every day.
Being a better person is truly a day-by-day and moment-by-moment endeavor, and ultimately, that’s what I’m striving for. I’ve never been one to make big declarations of intent. The lasting changes in my life have always been because I just started making better decisions, one at a time. Of course, progress is usually two steps forward, one step back, but that’s okay. That’s life!
Up Next For The Blog
As I look ahead to 2016, I’m prepping for my next fashion series — a capsule wardrobe challenge, or it might turn into a shop-your-closet challenge. I’m working out the details! All I know is, over the past week, I’ve reduced my closet to ONLY things that I love and would happily wear right now, and it’s so refreshing. Finding the proper balance between fashion blogging and keeping my closet under control is proving to be a formidable challenge, but I’m working it out.
I’m excited to get together with Cyndi in Nashville in a few weeks to work on some stylish projects we’ve been brainstorming. A few weeks after that, I have plans to travel to Florida for a working weekend with some of my best blogging buddies. I’m so grateful to my husband for encouraging me to go on both trips so close together. He’ll be the one keeping the home fires burning while I’m away, so I couldn’t do this without his support.
I’m also planning a Spring Fashion series with Cyndi for March. That’s about as far ahead as I plan anything, so we’ll all just have to wait and see what the future holds for jolynneshane.com after that!
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 guts 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!!!
87 thoughts on “2015 Year In Review”
Happy New Year, Jo-Lynne!
Happy New Year, Amy!!! I hope yours is wonderful!
Great re-cap! I missed some of these posts over the year so it was fun to catch up! And I truly look forward to reading your blog and seeing your fashion posts. You keep it real and that is why I like it! Keep it up and I look forward to they new year! Blessings to you and your family!
Thanks so much, Kim! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year JoLynne and family! Wishing you much success and blessings as you move forward…can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for my favorite blog!
Thanks, Claire!! xo
Love the recap! And thank you for doing what you do- I have to say I delete or ignore many emails and posts, BUT i always click on yours and Really enjoy reading them – it’s almost like my online magazine – age appropriate for me- even though I’m slightly older at 50 I still enjoy all the fashion and makeup and life in general advice! Because I do t want to ever dress “old ladyish” like my mom did! Happy new year to you and your family and best wishes for 2016! Now I’m off to organize my puses at the bottom of my closet so I have an excuse to buy a new one!
Haha, I like how you think! 😉 (Got my new winter bag in the mail yesterday.)
I have enjoyed your insights and fashion advice this year! Thank you so much! Happy New Year and praying it’s a very blessed year for you and your family!
Thank you, Shelley! xo
Happy New Year is so appreciate all of your posts you are a beautiful lady I know if can always find good information on your blog.
Blessings to you and your family in the new year
Thanks so much, Marla!
Thank you so much for the hard work you out into your blog. It is really a favorite of mine!
Thank you, JoAnn. That means a lot!
I’ve been a reader of your blog for many years and I should thank you! I can see it’s a lot of work, so thank you for all you do!
Thanks, Donna! I always enjoy your comments. 🙂
Happy, Happy New Year! Love reading your blog each day. Thank you for all that you do!
Thanks, Ellen! Happy New Year!!
Thank you for all that you do to inspire both faithfully and fashionably.
Happy New Year to you and your family. Blessings????????
Thank you, Gerri. Blessings to you too!
Love the recap and the outfit that really stood out the most was the mustard cardi and leopard scarf. You should wear that often. It looks fabulous on you.
Keep up the great work. I love your blog and posts, etc.
Thanks, Tracee!!! That was definitely one of my most popular this year. 🙂 It feels very fall to me, but I have definitely kept those pieces in my wardrobe thru my latest purge. 🙂
Jo-Lynne, what a wonderful recap. Enjoy your daily posts and all you have to offer. Thanks for sharing your life. Looking forward to what’s “Up Next for the Blog”!! You’re so good to us, thanks for all you do. Blessings and Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year, Mary!
I loved the recap, especially since I hadn’t found your blog in the early months. My daughter sent me a Pin from Pinterest that linked to Cyndi & that’s how I found you! So glad, I just love your style. With prayers for a happy, healthy & blessed 2016!
I love hearing how people find my blog. Thank goodness for Pinterest! 🙂 Happy New Year, Gina!!
Happy New Year to you and your family!
I didn’t find your blog until October or so, but you already got me out of my fashion rut (and the word ‘fashion’ is being used very loosely here). When I read your posts and look at the pictures I have a lot of ‘wow’ and ‘oh!’ moments. Quite a few similar items are already in my closet, but I’m bad at combining them. And putting on any jewelry was even more daunting, lol. Right now I’m still heavily relying on your pictures for inspiration, but I feel so much better about myself and how I look and hope to be able to dress myself in a few months, lol.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work!!! 2016 will be great????
I am so glad it’s helpful. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
I loved reading this post and especially liked how you ended it. Happy New Year! May it be a good one, day by day.
Thank you, Lizz! Happy New Year!!
I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have “discovered” your blog this year, Jo-Lynne! Your fashion style, sense of humor, and positive outlook on life have taught me more than you will ever know. I am grateful! Happiest of New Year’s to you and your family!
That means so much, Audrey. THANK YOU!!! xo
A co-worker and I have a small disagreement. She says you’re Cyndi’s sister, I say no. Who is right?
Haha. NOPE!!!! Not at all related. 🙂
If you need a place for your purged items my closet is available! 🙂
LOL, I wish there was an easy way to “list” them for sale. I should put my kids to work on that!
Jo-Lynne, I started following you during one of your 30 days of fashion with Cyndi… can’t remember which one. 😉 Have truly enjoyed your honesty, humor and style. I too am taking change one step at a time … as a new empty-nester! Bittersweet for sure. (Maybe a tad more sweet for my husband than me!) My word and my goal is to become more kind. In little ways. Thank you for sharing your faith!
Thanks for the kind words, Heidi. 🙂 I love the goal to be more kind. The world could use more kindness. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
What a terrific recap of your year! I think I found your blog sometime during the summer and it has quickly become one of my favorites. I look forward to your posts every day and read every word! I have lost a lot of weight in the last 9 months and your blog has helped me to reset my wardrobe. Your style is very similar to mine and you’ve inspired me to try many of the trends that work for those of us over 40. 🙂
Thanks for your commitment to your blog and readers. I hope 2016 is an even better year for you!
I’m so happy you found me, Denise, and glad it’s helpful! 🙂 Happy New Year!!
What a fabulous year and recap! Love the idea of small, life-improving/changing moments. I am glad to have this opportunity to revisit some of my fav outfits of yours and to see some I missed. Love the boyfriend jeans in March, the simple white tee, leopard scarf and mustard cardi later in the year. So pleased that you are well beyond your time spent in that unfashionable boot and back to running. Looking forward to continued collaborations between you and Cyndi. Enjoy your visit with her. My bff wants us to head up to KY to meet Cyndi this spring, too!! Have a safe and happy new year.
Happy New Year, Leslie!
love your blog and daily fashion! Keep it up!!! i agree — this is the one email I won’t delete without reading it. I’m working on making my closet smaller — any tips would be appreciated from this mom of three who is also a teacher and quickly approaching 50! Happy new year — I also love the tone of your posts and your positive outlook!! Keep up the great work.
It means so much to hear that! Happy New Year!!
I found your blog in the middle of the year, so this recap was fun to read. I love that you show everyday outfits as well as special occasions. I’ve enjoyed the problem-solving posts, too. Thanks for all that you do, and Happy New Year to you and your family!!
Thanks, Ellen. Happy New Year!!
Great job on blogging, Jo-Lynne…..I’ve come to love your blog and it’s become a favorite, maybe especially so with just turning 40…yikes! Thanks for the quote from Paul Tripp. These words were just what I needed today. Blessings on your work and New Year!
I’m so glad it resonated. A friend sent me that article this morning, and I thought it was just perfect. 🙂
This is such a great recap. Fascinating to see what resonated. Clearly you made a savvy move to all fashion all the time!
Happy New Year! I am so glad that we connected and can’t wait to hopefully see you at the end of January!
Septembers outfit is my favorite and it looks amazing!
Thanks, Tammilee. So excited for Destin!!!
Enjoyed the recap – a lot happened this year!! Hope you have a great 2016!
Thanks, Tracey! and thanks for sticking around all these years. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year!
I absolutely loved this! Love your attitude and so appreciate you “keeping it real”!
I am super excited about the possibility of a “shop your closet”. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that I have enough and need to use what I have!
Thanks again and God bless!
Yes, we have so much, most of us. I definitely want to treasure the things I have rather than always looking for the next new thing. It’s a fine balance, isn’t it? Happy New Year!!
I began following your blog this past fall. I love it. Thanks for sharing with us readers.
Thanks, Carol. Happy New Year!!
I began following your blog in mid 2015 and I’ve never looked back! Your candor, attention to details and honesty keep me coming back day after day. The way you put yourself out there each and every day is remarkable. Congratulations on your upcoming 10th anniversary in the blogging world. What an accomplishment! Being “self employed” poses its own set of challenges and obstacles but hopefully you receive affirmation of your work through your reader’s comments. You deserve it! Blessings to you and your family in 2016. Happy New Year!
Thanks so much, Michele. Being self employed definitely comes with it challenges, but I mostly love it. 🙂 I come from a long line of entrepreneurs, so it’s kind of funny that I fell into this after training to be a teacher. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
I am TERRIBLE about getting rid of ANYTHING! I admire and hope to apply your attitude of getting rid of all but what you LOVE! It will be a very slow process, (but I would imagine, freeing!) I LOVE ALOT! 🙂 Keep us posted on that! And Thanks for all of your inspiration!
It is SO freeing. I highly recommend it. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
I discovered your blog this year! Thanks so much for all the advice. My kids are the same age as yours plus one older 18 year old. It’s nice to know that there is a blog out there to help me with the 40s! I hope you and your family have a blessed new year!
We 40-somethings have to stick together! 🙂 Happy New Year!!
Great Recap! I didn’t start following your blog until late summer so now I can go back and check out some great things I see I missed! Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks for putting yourself out there like you do!
Thanks, Melinda. So glad you found me! 🙂 Happy New Year!!
I loved the recap. I just started following you in September so there was a lot I hadn’t seen. I didn’t even know you weren’t always a fashion blogger! I especially loved watching the make-up videos so I could see you “live.” Thanks so much for all the effort you put into the blog. All us fashionista wanna be’s love it!! Blessings to you and your family in 2016!
Thank you, Kristine! Happy New Year!!
I love this recap Wow!! I can’t say enough about how Great it is! What a Great job you have done this year! I Love your blog! Everything! So excited for Spring Fling 2016! I also would Love to see pictures of your new bedroom when you get it finished. One day at a time…each step with the Lord. This is Great from start to finish. Thank you so much !
I hope to post pictures of my completed bedroom. I just wish I’d thought to take “before” pictures. Oh well. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
After having my third baby this summer, my body is not where I want it to be and probably won’t start getting that way until after he turns one in May. I’ve focused on giving myself grace during this awkward body phase and being more stylish to boost my confidence. Your blog has been such a big help during this time. I’m so glad I’ve found it. You’re doing great work here, and I look forward to reading your posts. Have a very Happy New Year!!!
I’m so glad to hear it’s been helpful. Definitely give yourself grace. It’s a hard stage, but you’ll get back to yourself. 🙂 Happy New Year!!
Wow! I can’t believe you already have a 16-year-old! I loved reading your year-end post. I hope the new year brings you even better things. 🙂
The Pink Lemonade Girl
Neither can I! LOL!! Thanks so much. Happy New Year!!
Looks like you had an amazing and eventful year! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog this summer. It’s really been so helpful and a lot of fun following along. I look forward to your posts every morning -it’s part of my coffee routine, lol. I dont always get a chance to comment, but im always reading. Happy New Year! Keep those cute outfits coming! 😉
Thanks so much, Holli!! Happy New Year!!
Looks like you had quite the amazing year! Although, I have no idea how you brought a Christmas tree home on a train. 🙂 Happy New Year!
Always look forward to a good recap and this didn’t disappoint! You’re doing an awesome job focusing on fashion too.
Thank you for your blog and for this wonderful re-cap post, Jo-Lynne! There is a unique and refreshing sincerity to your blog that is really welcoming and that inspires trust. I am 38 and I find so much fashion advice to be geared toward either 20 year old stick-figures, or toward a much frumpier version of mature style than I (and, I think, many of us) aspire to. Your approach and clothing choices hit a sweet spot for me. I really appreciate your combination of edgy and on trend, and tasteful and practical. Your inner and outer beauty, health, and integrity shine through in your posts. I am excited for your upcoming emphasis on simplicity – I am currently embarking on my own journey with paring down and focusing on re-mixing and matching my staple items in fresh ways. I love that you’re taking this on as a fashion blogger! What a wonderful example in an industry built on consumption. Thank you for your unique and inspiring blog. May God bless you and your family in 2016!
Wow, thank you, Adrienne. I hope I can live up to all that! 🙂 I appreciate your kind words.
Loved your recap. I didn’t start following your blog until your hook up with Cyndi, so I have bookmarked many pages to come back to as the year progresses. So glad you will be doing more style series with Cyndi.
So awesome! Thank you!
I started following your blog in the fall and I loved reading your year in review. I am so sorry your trip to Arizona didn’t go as planned. We are Arizona natives and just took our kids to the Grand Canyon for the first time in the fall. Hadn’t been since I was 4 years old. We loved it and want to appreciate our great state more. I hope you get the chance to come back. Your outfits and fashion advice have made a huge difference for me in the past few months. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Thanks, Darla!! We will definitely go back. We love Arizona. 🙂
Wonderful post Jo-Lynne! You are the real deal and that’s why I enjoy your blog so much! I wish you and your family all good things in the year ahead.
Great post! Being newer to your blog (I started following you in September) I haven’t seen most of these, so was a fun “trip down memory lane” with you. Thank you for sharing the planned & the unplanned with us. All the best to you and your family in 2016!
Hi JoLynne – I only found your blog later on in the year so this post has been great to direct me back to some of your fantastic earlier posts. Thank you so much for all the work you put in – you have given me a whole new focus when I am thinking about what to wear each day 🙂 I have just moved home to New Zealand after a few years in Asia so I’m taking a fresh approach with all sorts of things at the moment…..clothes being one of them. Happy New Year to you and have a fab 2016!
This was a lovely blog. I get the feeling of truth, fun and love.