Diary

Coffee Talk & State of the Blog Address

Coffee Talk

Good morning! It’s a bright and beautiful Sunday here, with the sunlight glinting off the snow. I’m looking forward to church this morning and then a lazy afternoon, although we still need to take down our 2nd Christmas tree! Yikes!!

So yesterday’s post was incredibly well-received. I’ll have to put that on my Google calendar so I remember to do one next year. (I do that when a post idea does extremely well!) I had fun putting it together, and I think it will help me make smarter purchases this year. It’s a good thing to reassess each year what things work and what don’t in ALL areas of life.

I love that this blog helps me keep a record of notable events and happenings — not just purchases, but even more important things like kids’ milestones, family vacations, accomplishments, and so much more. Often when I’m trying to remember when someone did something, I search my blog and find it. It comes in handy that way!

2016 in Numbers

Let’s recap!

1,897,971 new visitors.

Of those new visitors, 740,095 came from Google/Yahoo/Bing searches; 417,380 came directly to the site; 546,711 came from Pinterest; 58,478 came from Facebook; 32,445 came from Cyndi; and 19,178 came from Instagram. The rest are miscellaneous sites and blogs.

18,000 new Pinterest followers

1,200 new Instagram followers

800 new Facebook fans

394 blog posts

8 pounds lost (ha!)

7 states visited

2 blog conferences attended

1 new blog design

countless outfits documented

2016 was quite a year, I’d say!!!

I spent a while yesterday poofing the pillows and freshening things up around here.

Shop My Favorites

I updated my Shop Page. I’m never sure how to best describe and promote this, but I try to keep a page up to date with my best product recommendations. There is a link in the menu bar at the top of my blog (Shop My Picks) and a picture on the sidebar (Shop My Favorites) — I’m never sure what to call this page and what will cause people to want to click. I’m open to ideas!

shop my favorites

Updated Sidebar

I also did some updating on my sidebar yesterday. I took down my Holiday Gift Guide link and added a link to a new series I’m starting this week, and I also updated my Popular Posts. Do y’all every click on those? I’m just curious if people even notice them or not.

Coming Soon!

I’ve been asked for more posts on simple “mom uniforms” that can be adapted for various styles and price points, so Cyndi and I are teaming up for a 5-week series, where we will each post a new outfit every Wednesday and share the “formula” we used and how our outfits came together. That starts this week.

And we finally got around to filming the hair tutorial I’ve been promising for months! My husband can’t do video half-way. Any time I ask him to just set it up and let it roll, he ends up with microphones, lights, the whole shebang, so it’s always a bit of a production. We still need to edit it, but I hope to have the post up sometime this week.

New Email Provider

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve changed email providers, and I’m hoping those of you who have had trouble receiving my emails will find that issue resolves itself. If you still aren’t getting them, or if you’ve never signed up and want to get them, you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

It feels good to have everything updated and freshened up. It’s sort of like spring cleaning the blog. Ha!

If you ever have feedback on design and usability, feel free to let me know. If something isn’t working or needs updating, it helps to hear that from you guys because sometimes I miss things. I also rarely use my site on mobile, so if you notice any mobile issues, definitely let me know.

With that, I’m off to get ready for church! I hope you have a blessed Sunday!

Join the Conversation

56 thoughts on “Coffee Talk & State of the Blog Address

  1. Looking forward to the casual mom outfits! I’d love to see cute outfits that are practical for the playground. (You always feature such cute shoes and boots but they are never for me- I never wear heels because they are sadly impractical for my lifestyle).

  2. Happy Sunday! I was interested that you had updated your sidebar because nothing comes up on the side for me. And I had never noticed that you had a “Shop My Picks” button…it’s way at the top. There have been times I’ve wanted to find something you’d featured and have had to do a search of some kind, so happy to know you do have that!

    1. Hey Janet – can I ask what device you are reading on? with mobile devices, the sidebar buttons should be at the bottom, under the blog post and comments. On a computer, it should be on the right side as you scroll the site. I don’t know why it would be at the top.

      There is a SEARCH bar, if you ever want to search my site for a topic or product. I have one on the sidebar, and also one in the header, but that one is only visible on a computer (thus the need for both, lol.)

      I hope that helps!

      1. I read on my iPad and thought that was probably the case. However, I do follow other blogs that have a sidebar that comes up. I had just never noticed those two features on yours as one is way at the top and the other way at the bottom! ????

        1. Yes, it depends on the blog. Some do show the sidebar on the side on mobile. I have a mobile-optimized blog design, so it is laid out a bit differently on mobile devices to hopefully make it easier to read my posts. But it shows the sidebar stuff below the blog posts.

          1. Glad to know it’s there, now I’ll check it out! I really enjoy your blog and appreciate you explaining all this!

  3. I hadn’t ever noticed your “Shop” page. I will definitely be using it. In the last year you’ve really helped me redefine my wardrobe, Jo-Lynne. And it feels great. I like the new sidebar. I rarely scroll through it, but now that the boxes are more prominent, I’ll probably finding myself clicking occasionally. I read your post every day– It’s my treat to myself. I have a cup of tea and read your post before I start working. I work at home, which is amazing, but I have to be careful not to get lost in the Internet, lol. I do use your search fairly. The other day I wanted to look up the name of the spa lodge you stayed at last spring. Found it!

    Jo-Lynne, have you ever thought about having a meet-up. I see that a lot of your readers live within driving distance of you. It would be so much fun. Of course we’d probably all be wearing the same jeans, lol.

    Lots of snow in Southern Delaware. So much that church was cancelled. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

    1. That is a good idea! Cyndi and I have toyed with the idea of doing one when we are together, but I never thought about doing one on my own. You’re right, a lot of readers are local, so maybe I can look into that. 🙂

  4. Glad the sun is shining today for you and for me! Your sidebar comes up just fine for me and looks clear and well organized. I don’t usually click on the side bar, just because I have so little time, but it is a great place to put things that are popular and that people repeatedly show interest in. Your’s looks great. Have a great Sunday. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

  5. Good morning Jo-Lynne, a side board doesn’t appear on my iPad, but maybe that’s because it’s a mobile device. I only use iPads so I never see your site on a desk top. I loved your post today, seeing how much your audience has grown! Keep up the good work. ????

  6. Great news about the mom uniform. A lot of your ‘casual’ looks are my ‘dressy’ looks.
    Lol

    I have never noticed the “shop my picks” either. On an iPhone.
    Good to know

    Thanks for your hard work 🙂

  7. I read on an iPad. The “sidebar” shows up in the middle at the top of the page but I have to tap it to see it. Good to have the reminder today that it’s there. I come to your site each morning from the email I receive and am usually eager to read the post and ignore the sidebar. I am one of the ones who came to your site thru Cyndi and am very glad I found you. I so appreciate the time you take to explain why something works and something else doesn’t. While we are very different in size (and age! I’m 59) I still can take your advice and apply it to my outfits. Thanks for all you do!

  8. I love the new look of your website and I’m looking forward to your upcoming wardrobe series of mom outfits. I love stylish, but practical ideas. Great work!

    Aimee

  9. HI JoLynn, I am curious if you are familiar with Cabi clothes? I went to a party yesterday and they have cute pieces that seem to be in line with what you recommend. I bought several tops and a pair of pants. I have become a fan of Loft and Nordstrom because of your blog. I also do click on your past “most popular posts” if I want to browse around a little. I have pinned that one fancy gold dress you featured a few months ago. Maybe someday! Thanks for your blog I really do enjoy the posts!

    1. Yes! CAbi is a wonderful brand, with good quality clothing and styles that are sophisticated and practical. I haven’t bought any in a while, but I have had some pieces from time to time that I liked a lot.

  10. Super excited for the casual outfits for moms series! I love your style (and Cyndi’s) but since I work from home and chauffeur two boys around I find myself gravitating towards more casual outfits. I did buy some booties this fall have only worn them once as I am much more apt to throw on Chucks, Uggs, or ballet flats for running around town.

  11. I pretty much always read your blog on my laptop at home in the evening after work, and I like the side bar… sometimes I click on other posts that way, and the Instagram section is one of my favorites lately! I look at Instagram sometimes, but like the box on the side where I can click through your outfit ideas there! Honestly somehow never noticed the “My Favorites” box though… don’t know how I missed that! Really appreciate all of the work you put into your blog, it shows!!!

  12. Hi Jolynne, the “sidebar” shows at the top of the blog, just above your name. I have an ipad. Like Debbie, i don’t notice it and go straight to the main piece. I pin to my Pinterest the Blogs with fashion or info I want to remember. I’ll pay more attention to these buttons going forward.
    Welcome winter! We just received 19″ snow overnight in Carver, MA. HeDing to HHI in March- cannot come soon enough. Sure is pretty though.

  13. I read you blog on my ipad too and I don’t see a side bar either. Could it be because I read through the feedly app. I Am not a techie so if you have any suggestions let me know. I too have done google searches to find something I remember you styling but had decided months later to buy and wanted to see it again on you and info. on fit.

    1. I think on the iPad, if you scroll down, past the post, past the comments, past the “you might also like” posts, then you will see the sidebar buttons and the search bar. 🙂 That’s how it works on mine.

      1. The search bar is above the Coming Soon and Most Popular Posts on my iPad. I guess it differs depending on the electronic device you’re using.
        Breaks over! Back to cleaning! ????

    2. Yes, if you’re reading through Feedly, you aren’t seeing the blog — just the posts, so no sidebar or menu details. I forget that not everyone reads directly on the blog on a computer. I’m supposed to be techie, but I am set in my ways, so I forget how many ways there are to read my blog.

  14. Congratulations on a successful year! I am so happy I found your blog thru Cyndi’s. I do use the sidebars all the time. I love going back and making sure I didn’t miss anything. Keep up the good work and here’s to a fabulous 2017!

  15. Morning Jo-Lynne,

    I have a few questions:

    1. Do you get “credit” for my purchases when I click on the hyper- link to the item, or do I need to go to “Shop My Favorites”? I want you to get your fair share as my personal shopper!

    2. I know you highly recommend “Adore Your Wardrobe” and I was curious as to what outfits/tops you stay away from as a result of this course? Also, what type of time and money investment is involved? I’m a little short on both right now (we’re building a new home, need I say more!)

    3. Do you still wear trendy items from years past? I’ve copied you on so many tops especially some cardigans and the Lush roll-sleeve top and I was curious if you still wear them? The cardigan I love of yours has navy blue, mustard and cream colors in it with a long fringe hem in front. You featured it in Fall of ’15 I think. How about the fur vest?! I didn’t buy it, but thought it was cute for the right occasion. Oldies but Goodies!

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Cyndi! I really appreciate your support and desire to shop through my links! 🙂 I do get credit for your purchases from any of the posts on my blog. As long as I use an affiliate link, I get credit for sales made from that link.

      AYW is $149 for the first course. There is no additional fee except what you will want to purchase as you learn what looks best on you. There is a Course 2, which is more in depth, and was another great investment. That’s where I learned more about color and how to use color to change the proportions of an outfit or how the eye sees an outfit. Course 2 also gets into dresses and skirts, whereas Course 1 focuses on pants and tops. There is a method to the madness. 🙂

      I have learned what length top looks best on me, so now I try to steer clear of tops that are too long or too short. I’ve also learned the perfect pant length and rise, but it is hard to always find that exactly so sometimes I settle, but that definitely helps me weed out a lot of the riff-raff, so to speak. 🙂 I generally stay away from tops that are more voluminous and I try to buy v-necklines or scoop necks, but again, I make exceptions, but at least now I know why I’m making the exception, and I know how to use accessories to help reset the balance that might be thrown off by the less flattering neckline or cut of top. Does that make sense?

      I actually just ordered a new Lush roll-sleeve top! LOL! I gave away my others, and I wanted one for an outfit I’m planning. Because of the blog, I wanted a different color than I’ve shown before.

      I remember that cardigan you mention. I actually was wishing I still had that the other day. Again, because of my blog, and because that particular item is so memorable, I decided to pass it on to someone who loved it (I have friends and family members who like to shop my closet) but it was a great piece. I simply can’t keep everything I feature, even if I love it. I just don’t need it all.

      The fur vest I returned. I always felt frumpy in it and never wore it other than to style for the blog. It is a piece I see on other bloggers and think it’s cute, but for some reason, it made me feel matronly, even when I tried to style it with a casual outfit.

      If I had a bigger closet or a different lifestyle, I would keep more stuff, but I truly end up wearing the same few things over and over, and I prefer to pass on the things I don’t need so someone else can enjoy them. It also makes me feel overwhelmed when my closet gets too full. That said, I am wearing a sweater and pants today that are several years old, so some things do stand the test of time. 🙂

      1. Thanks for taking the time to reply! Great info on ATW.

        I still wear my fringe cardigan (I bought the burgundy, black & ivory) and every time I do I get so many compliments. Guess it’s a keeper in my closet for awhile longer…

        1. I just signed up for the AYW – after watching Kelly on a live Facebook event last night and pondering it for several days I decided to take the plunge. Jo-Lynne always gives good tips so if she’s a big fan of it, I figured it was worth the investment in myself!

  16. Excellent, really looking forward to your Mom series, as it’ll be relevant for me. I dress your style the 2 days of the week my kids are in childcare, but I need ultra casual, hard wearing stuff the rest of the time. Can you do a post on black trainers/sneakers? I’m thinking of getting a pair but not sure, I’ve got white ones but wanted something for winter that won’t show stains as much!

  17. I read on an iPad. Shop my pics is at the top and most popular are at the bottom below the reply box. There is no sidebar though.
    I always thought most of your outfits were everyday, suitable for running errands and meeting friends for coffee. You quite often wear a heel of some sort now that your feet are happy so I just substitute with flats.
    Looking forward to another great year with you!

  18. Looking forward to your Mom outfits.
    What is a Twelfth Night party? (I have a friend visiting from Sweden and she was telling about Twelfth night in her country).

  19. So excited for the Mom outfits! Thanks for all the great content you have delivered in 2016 and looking forward for what is coming in 2017! Also a big THANK YOU to your husband for taking such great photos for the blog. I know it takes a lot of effort and planning for both of you and I really appreciate the quality. I think it is so sweet that your husband takes your photos!!

  20. Super excited to see the colab with Cyndi on the mom outfits. I work full time but still want to look put together when I am at the boys soccer games or a night out with my husband. Just more casual ideas. Thanks!

  21. Do you have a blog where someone can cruise around. I get your emails everyday and see “you might like” at the bottom, but not any tabs anywhere else. Is it because I always read on my phone and the setup is different?

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