Coffee Talk

Good morning, friends! (I had to check my calendar to verify what day it is… haha!)

I’m really dragging this morning. Yesterday we hosted Paul’s family for Christmas, and all but one of the 24 of us was able to be here. It was a lot of fun, and everyone brought food so I didn’t have to do a lot, but for some reason I was pooped by about 8:30 last night. I went upstairs and went to bed and slept till 7AM.

I never sleep till 7AM unless I’m out till midnight the night before. I started out my day yesterday with a 3 mile run, which felt great, and then after that, I was on my feet all day, and I guess I’m just not used to that. It’s funny how a change in routine can really take it out of you.

Today should be much more relaxing. I’m going to forego my run this morning, and we have church, and then we’ll just be hanging out here at home all afternoon and evening. I was on nursery duty during last week’s church service, so I’m looking forward to worship this morning.

I just want to tell you all how much I appreciate your comments on my Year In Review post. I was planning to go back and reply to them all, but that will be very redundant with all of the thank you’s I owe you all, so I’ll just say it here.

Wouldn’t it be cool if blog comments had “like” buttons, like Facebook and Instagram? Sometimes I just want to say “thank you” but I hate to clutter your inbox with an email as basic as that, and I just wish there was a way to hit a like button so you know I appreciate your comment.

I love the feedback you gave in the comments, and I read through each one. I do think I will try to add some more health and fitness content in 2019, and maybe a recipe here and there — especially during those months at the end of a season when I’m getting tired of posting outfits.

The input about people moving away from Facebook is also interesting. Personally, I don’t use my personal FB account very much — for most of those reasons. I prefer Instagram, myself, so I post most of my personal stuff on my personal account or on Insta Stories.

I would love to do more with Stories, but most days there really isn’t a whole lot to share, as I sit here pecking away at my computer keyboard most of the day. When I am doing things that are more interesting, I’m not thinking about sharing them on Insta Stories. I’m just living. But I love watching other people on Stories, so I’d like to use mine more, plus I know it supposedly helps my posts get seen more. #stupidalgorithm

I also have an issue with my kids — they don’t like to be featured on my social media. Even though I look around and see my friends sharing their teenage kids, my kids feel weird about it because I have so many followers who are strangers to them. So I’m always caught between wanting to share and wanting to respect their privacy. All that to say, I don’t use Stories as much as I’d like, but I’ll keep trying to be more active with it as I can.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but I have made a few promises to myself as I read through my Year In Review and think about the year ahead.

#1. Take More Pictures. Now, that probably sounds hilarious, as taking pictures of myself is my full-time job, but we got to the end of this year and realized we don’t have many of the kids and family. When I went to put together a family photo album for my in-laws (my annual Christmas gift to them) I realized that we hadn’t taken many pictures of our family this year. Both Paul and I committed ourselves right then and there to start taking more pictures, even if it annoys the kids. I will just make sure they know it is for our family, not for my social media.

#2. Read More. I say this every year, but I’ve allowed reading get put on the back burner, and I am once again committing to read more books this year. I read The Great Alone in about 3 days over Christmas break, and it was so nice to read again! I bought the paperback, rather than downloading to my iPad, and I found it much easier to focus without getting distracted by social media and emails. I think paper books are the way to go for me, and then I can pass them along to someone who likes to read so they don’t clutter my house.

If you have any book recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them! I like historical fiction and chick lit, but I prefer to keep it clean.

#3. Eat Intuitively. I tried doing Whole30 and Faster Way To Fat Loss this year, and neither quite worked for me. Then I got really busy after Thanksgiving and lost a few pounds just by only eating when I was hungry and cutting snacks. It wasn’t intentional, exactly, because I was too busy to eat half the time, but it made me realize how often I eat just because the food looks good or is tied to a social occasion. I also noticed how good I felt when I was listening to my body and eating for fuel and not for fun.

This is easier said than done because my busy season is over, and the next few months are cold and depressing. It’s easy to look to food for comfort and enjoyment, but I’m really going to try to focus on how I feel and try not to eat things that I know will make me feel crappy. I managed to break my soda habit thinking that way, and that was over five years ago. I know I can break other bad habits if I’m intentional about it. I already eat WAY less sugar and carbs than I used to, just because I know it will make me feel bad if I overdo it, but I’d like to get even more consistent with that.

I could go on, but I’ll stop at 3. Sure, I want to exercise more consistently, do my devotions more consistently, be more present for my kids, lose 5 pounds, gossip less, send more cards, travel the world, the list goes on… but there’s only so much self-improvement one can expect in a year. Plus our efforts are always going to wax and wane with the busyness of life. It’s good to set goals and think about ways we can improve, but at the end of the day, I think we all probably need to give ourselves a little more grace.

Speaking of which, I’ve decided that I’m happy with where things stand with the blog and social media. I know I expressed some frustration and weariness with the numbers game and the pace of the job in general, but I’m at a good place. While it’s important to keep tabs on the industry and best practices and be aware of how the space is changing, I also have to remember to take it all with a grain of salt and weigh all the advice with what I know to be true for myself and my audience. I may not have the biggest followings, but I have great engagement here on the blog and on my social media channels, and I will take that over big numbers any day.

Well, I better wrap this up! I actually started this post this morning, and I’m just getting around to finishing it at almost 3PM. I took a break for church and went to lunch with friends, and now I’m ready for a nap.

I hope you enjoy what’s left of the weekend!

Join The Conversation

85 Responses

  1. Just finished a wonderful book this morning that my daughter gave me for Christmas. Clean, historical fiction… A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler. The story of Alva Vanderbilt.

  2. Oh Jo-Lynne! I am so glad to hear you say that you’re good with where you blog and social media are. For some reason that gives me hope! Getting on track with my first year of blogging has been so much work! And while I absolutely LOVE IT, it sometimes feels like a tunnel with no light at the end! So I guess when you say you’re pretty good with things where they are – even though there’s always room for that elusive growth – it assures me that one day I’ll at least be able to breathe again. Ha!

    I love you and love your blog! Always will! Happy New Year!!

  3. I think you have a good balance in your life. There are those that document everything in their day, including their children. I guess you need to do that to have the numbers but is it really worth it?
    I’ll try to be more diligent about liking for instagrams. 😉
    Happy New Year, JoLynne! 

    1. Yeah, I wonder… and clearly it isn’t for me b/c I can’t hack it. But they also probably don’t post as prolifically to their blogs. Or they have teams, or both. I have to keep it all in perspective.

  4. I was so happy to be able to sit and read your Coffee Talk.  I do have some coffee from this morning in ther thermos/carafe, so I could have another cup.  Are y’all doing anything special for NYE?  I have an 8:15 orthopedic appointment in the morning, errands to run afterwards, then will come home and tap a nap so that I can stay awake to welcome in 2019.  As of now, a couple of the guys are coming over to have dinner and enjoy the evening with us, but it may turn into a neighborhood get together.  We had planned to shoot off fireworks down at the lake house, but the rain has squashed that.  God bless!

  5. Jo-Lynne you put so much time and effort into your blog and I had no idea of all the work behind the scenes…it all appears glamorous to us followers but truly is hard work:) yes take pictures we are a family of shutter bugs lol and I don’t regret all the pics I have and yes I still print them off and place them in photo albums… our daughter will be getting married in May and when she leaves she will have photo albums from birth to age 25 which she turns in March… and our son 22 has his as well … time goes fast. I’m enjoying the last few days of 2018… we have a New Year’s Eve house party at our friends which is a tradition, then friends in for supper on new year’s day…
    Happy new year🎊🎊🎊
    I’ve been enjoying the naps too lol

  6. Hi Jo-Lynne! I’m so glad that you are making peace about your blog and business. I think that it is natural for people to feel the need to change and to improve as another new year approaches. One of the many things I like about your blog is the interaction you have with your readers. Not all bloggers respond to their readers and I really like that you do. I’m relieved that you aren’t ready to change a whole bunch of things because I love your blog the way it is!

  7. I still love your blog and look forward to your posts, emails, and IG stories, so I’m glad you’re happy with the way things are too and not looking to fix what’s not broken! That said, I haven’t been as interactive lately, but that’s just because I’m super busy with work and can only take the time to read on mini breaks!
    One thing I’d like to see again might be some makeup tutorials or colors you use. I LOVE your touch with makeup and especially what you do with your eyes. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

  8. Hi Jo-Lynn.  
    I am not a frequent commenter, but I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. It is really the only blog I follow consistently.  I am in awe of your work ethic, posting daily is an immense task and I truly appreciate your efforts. 
    Best wishes for 2019.

  9. Jolynne ….  as Children’s pastor for 40 years, thanks for being a nursery volunteer. It’s such a blessing to have seasoned moms, professionals, and all those great volunteers who give their time to love on, care for and give frazzled moms and  sense of peace they need to leave their baby.  It makes a huge difference having dedicated volunteers. Enjoy your afternoon nap!!!!!!!!

    1. Well, the nap sort of few out the window, but I did get 10 hours last night so I should be able to make it till bedtime… which is likely to be before 9pm. Ha! Yes, nursery workers are necessary, and I definitely appreciated them when my kids were in there. I don’t do it as much as some, but I try to take a turn every so often.

  10. Like you, I don’t make new year resolutions but I do try to look back on the year to see what worked and what things I can improve on. Fitness and healthy eating are on my list too but I did very well on that this past year and it was nice to get some compliments over the holidays, which means it worked. So this year I want to focus on having more patience. I work with retired seniors and have to be very patient with them so when I come home I don’t have much of it left for my family. I also want to work on letting go of things I can’t control 😔. I have to tell you that I admire your work and have noticed other bloggers get caught up in the Instagram issues and asking that we like their pics more…… I think if you enjoy what you do and stay true to who you are; your business will thrive on its own. I know blogging can be a tough industry but loving what you do is the most important thing. 

    1. I’ve always sworn by that philosophy, but it does get tiring to fight the stupid algorithm all the time. I understand why they do what they do. 🙂 It used to be a lot different, when the feed was just chronological. But yes, I think I need to just continue to take that attitude and let the chips fall where they may. I simply can’t be prolific on every platform, and my blog is definitely where I want to put the majority of my energy. Good luck with the patience thing. It is definitely not my strong suit!

  11. Hi Jolynne, I started following you this year and have really enjoyed reading your blogs.
    An author that I really enjoy is Tracie Peterson . She is a Christian author that writes historical novels with some romance included. 

  12. I read two fantastic historical fiction last year. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and A Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. I’d love to hear your thought if you decide to read. I like your idea of making promises instead of resolutions….my “promises” are similar to yours. Have a Happy New Year!

  13. Thank you for sharing your behind the scenes details of your blog. I don’t know exactly all the ins and outs but certainly sounds like a tremendous amount of hard work. I am not on FaceBook either for a number of reasons (don’t trust FB, don’t enjoy the competition of how great everyone’s life is, etc……)

    Many of us love your blog for who you are: authentic, genuine and kind. I follow other bloggers but yours and Cindy’s are the only ones I read everyday and comment on. Its a pleasure being part of your community!!

    For a good read, try “The Marriage Bureau” by Penrose Halson. If you like the Crown or Call the midwife, you’ll enjoy this book. Its true stories of 1940s match makers in London, England. Its quite funny (and clean).

    Well, its dropping into arctic deep freeze cold here to -15C or 5F 😩 so hunkering down to hibernate till it warms up, hopefully very very soon!!

    Happy New Year!! All the best in 2019.

  14. Thanks for the post.  I need to get better at reading too.  Some books I have read that you might enjoy (you may have read them already!) are The Scarlet Pimpernel and Sense and Sensibility.  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens is also great, but not as much of a chic book. 

  15. I just want you to know how much I appreciate your postings on all social media platforms. Of everyone I follow, I feel you are the most like me! I am a full time teacher and one goal last year was to read more; I finished 25 books in 2018 which is almost one every two weeks –really good for me! Here are some recommendations: The Nightingale, Before We Were Yours, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (bonus: there is a movie version!), Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Orphan Train, Small Great Things, Rules of Civility (really really good and I am getting ready to start A Gentleman in Moscow by the same author!) I am looking forward to seeing what 2019 holds!

    1. I just read Nightingale! It was outstanding!! Kristin Hannah is the only non-Christian fiction I read. Her characters don’t make decisions from a Christian worldview, but I would not ever be embarrassed if someone started reading over my shoulder 😉. Her stories are fascinating and her characters so real that I can hardly put the books down. 

      I am going to look into some of the other titles you suggested!

  16. I just read The Tattooist of Auschwitz and liked it. Not excellent writing, but a compelling story. For January book club we are reading We were Liars by E. Lockhart. So far I am enjoying it. It is a quick read. When I get hungry mid afternoon, I make a cup of hot chocolate (using the Keurig), and it fills me and satisfies any sweet craving. (Better than filling up on cookies, etc. 🙂 Happy New Year! Looking forward to your 2019 posts (fashion, recipes, fitness)

  17. There are several authors I can’t resist. Nancy Moser, Staci Rollings, Christy Barritt, and Colleen Coble come to mind off the top of my head. Also, if you have never read “The Hiding Place,” it’s a must. I read it every year and it touches me deeply every time. Aside from the Bible, it is the single most influential book in my life. 

  18. My sister writes clean historical fiction (romantic but clean), from the early 1800s. httpss://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Johns/e/B00LF3F2AE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1546212754&sr=8-2-ent
    I enjoy them even though she is my sister ;-).


  20. I love your coffee mug and your expression!! I work in an elementary school so although it wouldn’t be appropriate at school, I would love to use it at home. Where did you get the mug?

  21. Hi Jo-Lynne!
    I love everything about your blog and it is the only one I have followed for over 5 years.
    You are genuine and kind. I enjoy reading historical fiction too. A few of my favorites this year were White Chrysanthemum, Before We Were Your, Lilac girls and From Sand and Ash. Please share what you read this year. Happy New Year!

  22. I look forward to your post everyday. I discovered your blog – and Cindy’s – when my husband was sick and undergoing chemotherappy. You were one the thing I could count on to look forward to each day. I appreciate your honest, no-nonsense approach to fashion, child rearing, and life, in general. Your husband and kids are lucky to have you, as you are to have them. I get a real sense of family from your posts and pictures. My boys, too hated pictures and complained about them incessantly. Since their dad died, they have both commented about how much they wish they had more pictures… Take the photos; you won’t be sorry. Keep up the great work. It is enjoyed and appreciated:)

  23. Thanks so much for the wonderful job you do with your blog throughout the year.  I get so many great style ideas from you and you turned me on to AG Jean.  The AG Farrah highwaisted are my favorite :).  I read a lot…I’m not sure what type of books you are in to but all Kristin Hannah books are excellent. Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe also have some fun, easy reads.  If you like christian fiction Charles Martin has some excellent books that are very captivating.  Happy New Year!

  24. Happy New Year!  Thank you again for sharing your love of fashion with us and letting us have a peek into your life. Your dedication, and time and energy is so appreciated!   I look forward to a new year of blogs, Facebook Lives, and Instagram fun!  

  25. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    Just wanted to say that I’ve been following your blog for a few years and I really enjoy all the posts guiding us through the maze of fashion trends out there. I’m probably one of your older readers (61), but I appreciate all the hard work you do to keep us from looking frumpy and stuck in the past (fashion-wise)! I also enjoy all the updates on your family, home decorating and exercise regimen. I also follow you on Instagram and realize how much effort you put into everything you post. Thank you!

  26. I love to read Debbie Macomber’s books!!!! I have read all her books and I also cannot wait for her next book!!!All her stories 

    portrayed strong, courageous, and positive attitude in women of all ages!! ( clean storylines)I also enjoy Susan Mallery books.( she is one of Debbie’s author friends!!)

  27. Hi Jo-Lynne.  I am currently reading Where the Crawdads Sing and I’m loving it!!  This year I have also read and loved:  Leaving Time, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between), The Wife Between Us, The Alice Network, Before We Were Yours, The Nightingale, Big Little Liars, and The Lilac Girls.  As far as resolutions go, I prefer to make goals.  Usually I write the down, put them on a vision board, and then work toward them all year.  I don’t always accomplish all of my goals, but I usually accomplish a few really big goals, so I figure that’s a win.  Happy New Year to you and wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in 2019!  And, thank you for all you do here on your blog!

  28. I don’t comment much, but certainly do enjoy every one of your posts. I’m always impressed how much time you take to interact with your readers. It never seems like you’re in a hurry to just get something published, but rather evident you take time for each and everyone of us and always provide such helpful info and interesting reads.  I didn’t have any idea about the details of your business, but sure appreciate and admire all the effort you put into what you do.  You are genuine, warm and friendly and it’s fun getting to know you as you share your life!  Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!!

  29. JoLynne – so appreciate what you said about intuitive eating. I know that eating that way is the right thing for me. I just need to do it more consistently. I have done Whole 30 and everything out there and have a friend who is a Faster Way coach, so I’ve been tempted…But in the long run, I don’t think that’s the right thing for me.

    1. It’s this lipstick in Exotic Orchid – httpss://shopstyle.it/l/Xyza and this gloss on top in 202 Nuit & Jour – httpss://shopstyle.it/l/Xyy2. I love them together but the lipstick is also pretty on its own.

  30. Thank you for your blog. It’s the only one I follow on a daily basis. Being on the West Coast, your email is in my inbox to start my day! You have helped me this year think about my style and ensure I purchase things that work for me. I even upgraded my “casual” look. Read more and eat intuitively are on my list as well. I’ve cut out quite a bit of fat and sugar just in the past week and feel so much better. Still like my wine and food but am conscious of what goes in. With some more exercise, I hope to just feel better!

    Reading recommendations: Chilbury Ladies Choir – Jennifer Ryan, Next Year in Havana by Chanel, Cleeton, Educated by Tara Westover (best read for me of 2018), Vox by Christina Dalcher (another thought provoker), Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey, The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard.

    Thanks for sharing your lipstick. I love your make up too! Happy 2019!

    1. One more thought…on another blog I follow, she does a monthly recap of the books she’s read and recommends for one post. It’s always a fun read and I always get a book or two from her recommendations.

  31. Hi Jo-Lynne,  I follow your blog because I relate to your life more than any other blogger.  I started doing the She Reads Truth devotionals because of your recommendation.  I wanted to second the book recommendations of Where the Crawdads Sing and The Lilac Girls and add We were the Lucky Ones.   For me this year the greatest revelation was how easily I could fit Intermittent fasting into my life and how easy it was to maintain. My nurse practitioner said she has heard the same story from many patients. I tried other types, but having an eating window from around 1:00 to around 9:00 is easy. There are no other rules (for me anyway). Just black coffee or tea or plain water during the fasting window.  And I run in the morning 3 days a week. It hasn’t been a problem.  Happy New Year!

  32. Do you mind discussing a little more why FWTFL didn’t work for you? I tried it, too, with great hopes after seeing all the great success stories. I wasn’t perfect, but followed pretty closely for 2 rounds and didn’t lose an inch. 🙁 Maybe with perimenopause kicking in, it just didn’t work. I did read Monica Swanson’s little book called The Secret of your Naturally Skinny Friends, and it’s all about intuitive eating. I think this will help a lot. 

    1. I just didn’t really do the program. I wanted to stick with my own workout regimen, and I tried to fit it into the carb cycling they recommend, but I don’t think it was as effective as doing their workouts. And then I just never could quite get the meal planning and the macros. I guess I wasn’t completely committed. I think it’s doable, I just found it too complex, and I sabotaged myself by not really giving it 100%. I think it’s great for people who don’t already have a system that works for them. In my case, I know what to do; I just have to do it. 😉

  33. I’m just catching up after getting behind for a week or two. I haven’t read through the other comments but wanted to chime in that I always want to read more as well and end up not doing it. I decided this year to do the Modern Mrs. Darcy book challenge. I looked at a few other challenges as well but they all would mean reading 30+ books in the year. That seems like a stretch when I’m struggling to read. The MMD challenge is just 12 books in 2019 in specified categories but you choose the books. I figured that should be doable!

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