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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.

Fatigue Jacket for Spring

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. 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.

my spring closet

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.

summer wardrobe essentials for women over 40

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.

Summer Survival: 8 Expert Packing Tips & the Perfect Summer Travel Outfit

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.

Evening at Moreland Village

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!!!

Join the Conversation

96 thoughts on “2016 Year in Review

  1. Jolynne thank you so much for all you do I came across your blog while looking on Pinterest for some outfits that would look good for women over 50 and I saw yours . I’m so glad I did thank you so much

  2. Love this post and thank you for all your efforts and encouragement!! You really do inspire living a fuller life !!!

  3. It’s been a great year! Thank you for keeping us fashionable. You and Cyndi should consider doing a “Meet and Greet” when you come to Dallas!

  4. Wow!! What a fantastic year you had! I am really looking forward to more of your blog in 2017! I will be on a no-buy for a while coming out of the holiday season and I will look to your blog for some outfit inspiration during this time. One of my new year’s resolutions is to declutter some areas of my house and I would like to simply have “less stuff” including clothing. This will be a challenge for me as I seem to always have a running list of new clothing items that I am looking out for! Happy New Year! I don’t remember reading about your new eating habits in August … would like to hear more about that! I would also love to see posts this year on multiple ways to style items in your closet if you are taking requests 🙂

    1. I’m always taking requests. I’m going to try to do a few posts on how to wear one piece different ways. I posted some more about my eating habits in the Q&A part two earlier this week. 🙂

  5. Thanks for that walk down Memory Lane! Loved the spring/summer pictures, as we’re looking at snow now! I had been really tempted to buy that coral scraf with the whale print on it, and now after seeing it again, I really wish I had bought it! Can’t wait to see what you in store for us for 2017! Prayers for a safe trip home. Our daughter & family made it home safety from Maine yesterday. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. Hey Ginger. Glad your daughter et. al. made it home safely. We just got home a little while ago. I love visiting other places, but there is truly no place like home! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks for sharing! Looks like you had a great year. I found your blog in late summer 2016 via Cyndi’s blog so I didn’t really see the beginning. I’ll definitely be looking back at some of those earlier postings. Wishing you a very Happy 2017!

  7. I found you and Cyndi this past year and I have to say, I love both of you and I really am doing so much better putting outfits together. I am looking forward to all your posts in 2017. In fact, reading your blog is one of my favorite times of my busy day. I have a family and also teach fourth grade!!! I have shared your blog many times with other women who love you too! Most importantly, thank you for sharing Jesus through your blog. It is the icing on the cake!!!!! Keep being brave!

  8. I have really appreciated your blog and the fun way you share yourself. It was fun to look back on 2016. I’m sure 2017 will be awesome as well. Thanks for keeping it real and genuine!

  9. Thank you for all you do, hope you have a great year. I look forward to what you share !!
    Happy new year !!!!!????????????????????

  10. Thank YOU, Jolynne! I don always commen but do read the entire blog. I look forward to it every morning. Like you,I work from home and want to look presentable. I dont want to all of a sudden look at the clock and find it is 2pm and I am still in my pajamas. I’ve been caught answering the door bell. Yikes! Anyways I feel more confident even if it is a relaxed in-style outfit. My husband (retired) also appreciates.. I can’t begin to tell how my wardrobe has changed- -all for the better!
    Safe return home from Maine. looking forward to the New Year with you!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!????

  11. I also discovered your blog earlier this year and absolutely love your fun fashion sense and bubbly personality! I look forward to reading it every day! Thanks so much for giving us great ideas and for sharing your thoughts and ideas on fashion AND life. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  12. I miss the unboxing of Trunk Club on Snapchat and your comments regarding why items will or will not work. Thanks for all you do, and happy new year to you and your family!

    1. I haven’t ordered a Trunk in a while, but I was thinking recently that I need a new fix. 🙂 With the post-Christmas sales and everything being picked over in the retail stores, I think I’ll get a new Trunk and see what they can find for me. I’ll be sure to share on Snapchat! 🙂 Thanks for that feedback. Happy New Year!

  13. No Jo-Lynne, “Thank You” for having this fashion blog! I have no doubt that you and @CyndiSpivey have been and will continue to be a true blessing for so many of us. My overall style and sense of fashion has greatly improved because of your blogs. And I have some new girlfriends, even though we haven’t met yet, and the support we give one another is irreplaceable.

    I have said a special prayer for your families safe return to PA to welcome in 2017.

    God bless and Peace be with you!

  14. Happy New Year to you and your family! Thank you for the review and this blog. I look forward to it and your emails everyday. I am a much better dressed woman because of all your help! Enjoy and cheers to a great 2017!

  15. I just discovered your blog this year, but I love it. I feel like the styles your present are realistic and easy to replicate without breaking the bank. Looking forward to 2017!

  16. Happy New Year to you and your family! Wishing you all the best in 2017. Thank you for the review and your blog. I really enjoy reading them.

  17. I too recently found your blog and I am so glad I did. I love your taste of style and it is very close to mine. Thank you for your recap. I look forward to the new year and reading your wonderful ideas

  18. Happy New Year to you and yours. I have thoroughly enjoyed your Blog this year. I know you work hard keeping a household up with three children and hubby and yourself. I admire your stamina to find time to do this Blog. It’s very helpful to all. Belinda Green from South Louisiana hopes to continue with you this year. B

  19. Thank you! I look forward to your daily blog. It’s like having coffee with a friend who talks about fashion and her life. I’ve learned so much from you. Blessings for a safe wonderful New Year!

  20. love my Jo-Lynne “fixes” each day! It is so fun to be connected to the other side of the States! I miss New England and the drastically changing seasons. So happy that this has become a lucrative and rewarding career for you while allowing you to be home and focused on your family! It really is living the dream….isn’t it? Wishing you continued success!!!! xoxo

    p.s. do you still sing?

    1. I love that we connected again after all these years!!!! I’m definitely living the dream. 🙂 I don’t perform anymore. I enjoy singing in church on Sundays, but someday I’d love to join a local choral group. Maybe when the kids are older. 🙂

  21. Happy new year and thank you for the daily blogs, I really enjoy them! I’m looking forward to the Adore Your Wardrobe course coming up. Cheers and have a Tate’s gluten free ginger cookie!

    1. Ooooh, we bought a bag of the chocolate chocolate chip ones when we were in Maine. It was my sweet treat when everyone else was eating something glutinous. I hope to get back to paleo/low-sugar after the holidays, but it was a fun treat! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  22. Just found your blog this year and now it’s one of my favorites! I look forward to 2017 and the best of luck for you and your family!!

  23. Thanks again for all your hard work. Love every day of my JoLynne fix. Cheers to you and safe travels from this 67 year young grandma who loves to read your wit and wisdom everyday. My grown daughters now ask, “What would your blog lady say about that”. Ha! I have taught them a thing or two because of you. I hope 2017 will be as great as 2016 seems to have been. God bless. From Sharon in St. Louis

  24. Thanks for a great year! I move in and out of blogs, but yours is the only one I always read, including your emails. Love the balance of fashion and real life. I say that as someone who is probably at least a little above your target age (I’m 63) and way past the kids at home stage. I love your writing style and content. Here’s to a great 2017 for you and yours!

  25. It’s been a great year. I’ve seen you grow over the last year and a half. You ventured out of your skinny jean uniform into a more varied wardrobe. 2016 has been a great year! I’m looking forward to another year of inspiration my online friend.
    Safe travels!

  26. I only found the blog in the fall and love how you keep us in style! I also appreciated your comment feedback to me, I know you are the real deal with a great sense of humor! So thank you for that! I still pout every time I see Nordstrom stuff, no Nordstrom where I live in Saskatoon! You’ll have to google that! Happy New Year to a cool chick with lots of boots!

  27. I’ve got to take down the tree and empty out the entire upstairs this weekend before getting new carpet installed. I just read your capsule entries from last year and am inspired to ruthlessly clear out the closet since I’ll be touching every item anyway. Thanks for all the links and the year round up! I love your blog! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  28. Thank you!! I thoroughly enjoy your blog every day. You have often inspired me to shop my own closet to mimic a “look” you put together and I have made purchases based on your suggestions. I enjoy your honesty and your wit! Have a happy and healthy new year!!

  29. Loved this recap! I hope you are home safe and sound by now. I have thought of several questions, I hope you don’t mind taking late comers. When I buy something from Nordstrom, and if it’s not something you suggested, do you get any credit if I click on the Nordstrom’s link off your page? I do love to thrift, but purses, shoes and under garments aren’t things I would buy from a thrift store or garage sale. And trendy items aren’t typical things I would find there either. Second, if I do buy an item you suggest, do you lose your credit if I return it? I asked about Nordstroms, but please advise about other stores as well. Until I started following you and Cyndi, I thought Nordstroms was too expensive, but I have found things at my end of the price spectrum as well. I love their return policy and free shipping. if I am gonna buy something, I would like to know I am supporting your business because I appreciate all you have thought me. ????

    1. I don’t mind latecomers at all. 🙂 If you click on my affiliate link and then end up clicking off to something else on the Nordstrom website (or whatever website you’re on) and make a purchase before you close your window, I do get commission. But if you come back the next day, I don’t think so. I’m not sure how long it lasts, and it might vary depending on the retailer. If you return something, the commission is deducted. The payments don’t go through for several months, to account for returns, etc. I appreciate your desire to support my business. Thank you!!! xoxo

  30. Thank you for all you do. I know it is a tremendous amount of work all the content you put on the blog and other social media outlets. You are always a breath of fresh air. I appreciate your faith and your modest fashion. Thank you for keeping it real and staying true to yourself! Happy New Year. Looking forward to following you in 2017!!

  31. I’m so glad I found you this year! You’ve helped me and inspired me! I’m 68 this year and have always loved fashion and looking my best. But, at my age some people want to dress so old and frumpy!i I may be pushing 70, but I refuse to look frumpy! Thanks for the help! Happy New Year!

  32. I didn’t find your blog until we was all ready starting October I was getting ready for my 40th class reunion, and as looking for ideas on what to wear. Plus I had lots some weight and wanted a new style. I also have started copying some of your poses and my pictures are turning out much better. Since then I can’t wait to see the blog come up in my emails, I bookmark them so when I have something coming up, I go back and look to see what to wear. Looking forward to seeing whats in store for 2017, Happy New Year. Stella

  33. What a nice year-end review! I can tell you put tremendous time and effort into the post. I enjoy your blog and look forward to your daily posts. Thank you for putting yourself out there and giving such wonderful fashion advice. Blessings for the New Year!

  34. Love reading your blog! Found you through Cyndi and really enjoy your sense of style. I would be interested in finding the link where you talked about your dietary changes — and to see what you’re doing….you’re in amazing shape! Thanks for the time and information; also love hearing about your family….went back and read your tribute to your Grampa (the one for Veteran’s Day a couple years ago). Happy New Year!

  35. Happy New Year! I’m so thankful for your blog, I read yours and Cyndi’s daily 🙂 and appreciate all of the work you put into it. Hugs!!! Karen S.

  36. Happy New Year Jo-Lynne! Thank you so much for sharing your fashion advice. I’ve been following you for a little over a year now and I always look forward to your emails. I find now I base most of my clothing purchases on your recommendations. I truly appreciate all of the effort that you put into your blog. I can honestly say I love almost everything in my closet and that’s taken close to 50 years to accomplish…haha! All the best to you in 2017!

  37. Thanks for creating such a great space, Jolynn. I have been a reader for just over a year and I look forward to popping over everyday to see what you have posted. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  38. Hi Jolynne! Just wanted to say Happy New Year to you and your family! Always love to read your site and see what’s happening not just with fashion but you and your family too. Here’s to a great 2017!

  39. Your year in review was a great read. I found your blog this year so it was nice to read about the posts I missed. I’m going to Nashville in March so I would like to hear about not-to-miss shopping spots and restaurants/bars. Also the best place (downtown vs Opryland area) to stay also would be appreciated. Thanks in advance and I look forward to many more posts from you. Happy New Year!

    1. Bev. I’ve been to Nashville several times. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is AMAZING and pretty much a destination unto itself. I have also stayed in the Sheraton downtown (with Cyndi last winter) and at the Hyatt (I think?) downtown. The Hyatt was most convenient/central, but Sheraton was fine too. It is nice to be downtown because you don’t need a car to get to all the touristy stuff.

      In the Opryland Hotel, there are some AMAZING restaurants. Cyndi and I both ate at and loved Puckett’s. It came highly recommended. The Stage on Broadway is fun, but there are tons of bars with live music.

      I don’t have a lot more. Hope that helps!

  40. In comparison with some, I’m fairly new to your blog, JoLynne, and oftentimes, I lurk around in silence, reading and enjoying (and chuckling over) your posts. I fully intend to comment more often in this new year but I wanted to drop a quick note to say that I’ve thoroughly appreciated all your posts, and look forward to many more in 2017.

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