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Year In Review: Highlights From 2017

Greetings! It’s that time again! Every year I like to highlight some of my favorite moments, outfits, and blog posts from the past year. I think this is my favorite post to write, and I hope you enjoy looking back over 2017 with me.

I just took a look at my 2016 year in review, and I called it a growing year. It’s the year I figured out the fashion blogging thing, and there were some family and lifestyle changes that happened as well. I think I’ll look back at 2017 as the year I really started to hone my personal style. I feel like I lost myself for a bit as I got used to fashion blogging, and I’ve gone back to my roots in some ways and grown in others. I definitely want this blog to be a resource as well as a personal style journal, so I’m always working to strike that balance.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Year In Review: Highlights From 2017

JANUARY

The most popular post I wrote in January, according to Google Analytics, was How to Purge Your Closet & Love Your Wardrobe Again. I republished it in July, which is why it has a July 2017 date on it, but it was originally published on 1/4/17. This is the perfect time to give it a re-read. In fact, my project this week is to purge every closet in my house.

The other post that was really popular in January was my Best Purchases of 2016. I plan to write one of those for 2017, so stay tuned for that!

My Best Purchases of 2016

My favorite outfit from January was this graphic tee with distressed black jeans, a denim jacket, and black suede booties.

graphic tee // AG distressed black jeans (similar for less) // / dark denim jacket // similar booties // similar red clutch // earrings

FEBRUARY

In February, I traveled to Nashville to meet up with Cyndi, and we had a blast talking and shopping and talking and shopping some more.

February’s most popular post was by far my Spring Wardrobe Essentials. It will be interesting to see how that lists changes (if it does much at all) for spring 2018.

SPRING 2017 WARDROBE ESSENTIALS

My favorite outfit from that month was this casual winter date night look. This outfit is super simple, but the accessories turn it up a notch, and I love the addition of the red coat.

BR scoop neck sweater // AG skinny jeans // similar OTK boots // leopard clutch // similar choker // similar peacoat

MARCH

March brought us 27 Days of Spring Fashion, and my most popular post that month was my kick-off outfit with this green cashmere sweater, white jeans, and coral ballet flats. I also added a khaki trench since springtime in my neck of the woods generally requires a coat.

green sweater // favorite white jeans (similar for less) // khaki trench // ballet flats // earrings

I like a lot of my outfits from that month, but one of my all time favorites is this floral trumpet sleeve top with distressed jeans and wedge sandals. This top was a step outside of my comfort zone, and in theory it shouldn’t really work for me, but I loved it. I also really like the photography in these shots. More in this post.

blouse // jeans (similar for less) // wedges // saddle bag // beaded hoops // photos: Dottie Foley

APRIL

April was a busy month! Paul and I visited Savannah for a short couple’s getaway, and we took our family to visit my parents in Virginia over Easter weekend and visited two colleges in western PA on the way.

I also traveled to Dallas for the rewardStyle Conference, where I got to hang out with these three smart, gorgeous women. We had SO much fun. I’m not sure if I’m going this year or not, but looking at these pictures makes me want to.

Caryl // Cyndi // me // Lindsay

I came home from the conference inspired to do more with my Facebook Page, and I’ve tried to do that but I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like to be. That’s something I’m planning to work on in 2018. The blog is my bread and butter and will always be my first priority, but I can’t neglect the importance of social media for getting my content out there to be discovered.

My Spring Outfits Recap post was my most popular post in April, and 6 Top Spring Fashion Trends was also highly trafficked.

I guess I’ll call this striped top and pink jeans my favorite outfit of the month, although I’m not sure if it’s the outfit or the photography that I like more. We took these pictures in Savannah. I also really like this one and this one.

MAY

In May, I visited Orlando on a press trip to see the newly improved Disney Springs. That was another fun trip.

For some reason, my blog traffic really tanked in May. Summer Wardrobe Essentials was my most popular post of the month, with What to Wear to Disney World, my White Jeans Review, and May Favorites all close behind. While they were the most popular, they received less than half the views of my most popular posts in the previous four months. I don’t really know why except that people get really busy that time of year and are probably spending less time online.

summer wardrobe essentials for women over 40

7 Ways to Wear White Pumps didn’t even rank in the top five, but it is my personal favorite post from the month. I know a lot of you were skeptical, but now that I’m seeing white booties and loafers gaining popularity, I don’t think white pumps are going to seem so far fetched as we get into the spring and summer of 2018. I’m excited to wear mine more.

My favorite outfit from May was definitely this easy summer shorts outfit. I practically lived in this outfit (or a variation of it) last summer.

JUNE

June was another slow month for the blog, and personally it’s a month I’d be happy to forget. I was suffering from a case of vertigo that lasted a full four weeks. It was also the month of my summer fashion series. We took almost all of my outfit pictures that month in the front yard, and I remember thinking that my only goal for the month was to make it through.

My most popular post was this t-shirt dress outfit, however, my favorite outfit was this beachy pullover with shorts and Chucks. I also really liked this wrap dress and this embroidered top.

JULY

We took our family to the beach in July, and while the weather was less than stellar, I have many fond memories of the trip.

We also went to Maine, AND it was the month of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It was a crazy month!!!

Not surprisingly, my Guide to the #NSale was my most popular post.

I didn’t post a lot of outfits that month, but I really like this rust tie front tank outfit and my casual 4th of July outfit. Yes, I realize half of my favorite outfits involve these AG jeans. #sorrynotsorry

AUGUST

On August 5th, Paul and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary with a quiet dinner for two. We had one of the kids take this picture on our back deck before we left.

At this point my travels were over and I was tired of summer fashion, but it was way too hot to post fall outfits, so I started my Fight the Frump series as well as my 5 Favorites. Both were very well received, and I plan to do more of those in 2018.

My two most popular posts in August were Denim Mistakes You May be Making and Fall Wardrobe Essentials.

This neck tie blouse and white jeans was my favorite outfit I posted that month, and I also really liked my 4 Ways to Wear Spruce Green Jeans.

I launched my new blog design at the end of August, and that was super exciting. (I always love getting a blog makeover.) I highly recommend Lindsay at Purr Design if you’re a blogger in need of branding/logo development or website design. She’s worth the wait.

SEPTEMBER

Fall fashion was in full effect for September, and Cyndi and I did another 26 Days of Fall Fashion series. I did notice when looking at my analytics that traffic was down overall from September 2016. It was such a hot September this year, I think people just weren’t excited for fall quite yet. Despite that, I loved most of my fall outfits. This was by far my favorite outfit series of the year.

My orange cardigan outfit was my most popular post that month, followed closely by the green quilted puffer vest outfit. Both were favorites of mine as well. Other favorites of mine were this one, this one, and this one. Oh, I liked this one a lot too, LOL! Like I said, this was my favorite fashion series.

It’s funny how some of my favorite outfit posts aren’t necessarily the outfits I end up wearing a lot in daily life. I don’t know if it’s that they aren’t practical for my lifestyle or if I like the photography more than the outfits, but that’s something I’ve noticed as I’ve picked out my favorites for this post.

My Instagram Roundups show what I actually wear, and there are a lot more pullovers and ballet flats than cardigans, blouses, and heels.

I’m okay with that, though. I do put more creativity into my outfit posts because I want this blog to be more than a personal style diary. I try to walk that fine line of being true to myself while offering enough variety to keep y’all coming back!

OCTOBER

Blog traffic started picking up during October, and Fall Outfits to Copy was my most popular post, with my 5 Favorite Lipsticks and 5 Favorite Cardigans as close runners up. Roundup posts are definitely the favorites, aren’t they!?!

I loved a lot of my fall outfits in October. This one was a favorite, and this one, and this one. My favorite, though, was definitely my camel cashmere pullover with black leather jacket and oxblood suede pumps.

sweater // leather jacket // AG legging jeans // suede pumps c/o Zappo’s // leopard clutch // photos: Alison Cornell

Also in October, my son was accepted to West Chester University and University of Pittsburgh — the only two colleges he applied to. (He’s still trying to makeup his mind.)

And my youngest turned 12. I just love those freckles.

NOVEMBER

In November, D turned 18. EIGHTEEN. I can’t wrap my head around it. His big birthday gift was Sixers tickets, but unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos at the game.

We also took D and C to see Phantom of the Opera at the Academy of Music in Philly in November. It was an AMAZING show and we all loved it.

Winter Wardrobe Essentials was extremely popular that month. In fact, I’m surprised to see that my winter essentials did better than my fall essentials post, but it did. My Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas post was a close 2nd.

This winter party outfit was my personal favorite, and incidentally, it would make a fabulous NYE outfit if you have the right venue for it. My NYE party will be too casual an affair for this outfit, but I still want to wear it sometime. I guess I should make dinner reservations for this weekend!

lace shell (plus size option) // coated jeans // similar suede pumps // coil wrap bracelet // chandelier earrings // clutch option

I also loved this outfit, as well as Alison’s photography.

sweater // skinnies (similar for less) // similar boots // necklace // earrings // photos: Alison Cornell

Alison also did our family pictures that month, and I absolutely love how they turned out.

DECEMBER

December was a strange month for the blog. I didn’t have any super popular posts that I wrote this month, but my 3 Ways to Wear a Blanket Scarf from two years ago went gangbusters. Somehow it has made it onto the front page of Google when you search “how to wear a blanket scarf.” Pretty fun!

As far as posts I actually wrote this month, Outfit Ideas for Christmas Day was the most popular, but my favorite was this suede moto jacket outfit. And there are those jeans again… sorry about that! Y’all are probably sick of seeing them by now, but I’m still not sick of wearing them, so I’m sure they’ll continue to make an appearance in future outfits. If you love the look but not the price tag, these are a pretty good dupe for $64.

moto jacket // similar turtleneck // AG legging jeans (similar for less) // booties (similar for less) // crossbody // similar necklace // sunnies c/o Maui Jim // photos: Alison Cornell

Also in December, C turned 15, and we traveled to Virginia to spend Christmas with my family. It was a lot of fun and totally worth all the pre-trip stress of how to get all of our stuff down there.

We still haven’t uploaded the pictures from the camera, but we did get this family picture on my iPhone at the hotel where we went for Christmas dinner.


So to wrap up this epistle . . . 2017 had its ups and downs, but by far more ups than downs. All in all, it was a pretty good year, I have to say.

Looking Ahead to 2018 & State of the Blog Address

I’m excited for 2018, but I don’t have any hard and fast plans as yet. I only have one trip on the horizon and it’s a personal one. I’ve got a girlfriends getaway planned for April with three of my closest friends, and I’m super excited about that!

In my personal life, 2017 hasn’t been a particularly momentous year, but 2018 surely will be. My oldest will graduate from high school (Lord willing!) and head off to college, my youngest will graduate from elementary school and start middle school, and my middle child will likely continue with the cyber charter school but she may need a change. All that to say, 2017 was a nice reprieve, but I’m gearing up for a roller coaster ride.

Business-wise, I am definitely feeling some growing pains as I try to run this blog and my social media sites all on my own. Most bloggers at my level have some help because it’s pretty much impossible for one person to do everything. Many have a full time assistant or team member working on the blog and social media accounts with them, and others hire out various tasks.

I’ve hired out a few things here and there over the years, but right now I’m pretty much a solo artist. I like it that way, to be honest, but it’s definitely hard to keep up in this space doing it this way, especially when you are opposed to buying followers and that nonsense. (Yes, really. It seems like “everybody does it.”)

My biggest problem is, I’m not one to let go of things. I guess that’s called a micro-manager. I just feel that my brand is too personal to let anyone answer my emails or comment on my Instagram or write my Facebook posts. Every time I give something up for a while, I end up taking it back. This is something I’m trying to figure out as I head into 2018.

I definitely want to continue doing weekly Facebook Lives because I think that’s a really fun way to connect with you all, and hopefully it will help my Facebook Page grow as well. I’m trying to get better about planning my Instagram content, and I’d like to do more with Instagram Stories, but again, there is only so much time. Plus the algorithm changes on both of those networks have made it way more challenging to get our content seen, and sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth it. I’ve noticed less Pinterest referrals this year as well, and I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit weary of playing the game.

I realize this is probably way more than most of you want to know about the behind-the-scenes of running a blog, but perhaps some of you find it interesting to get a peek behind the curtain of this industry. I also know that some of you have blogs of your own, and I expect you’re feeling some of the same pressure to keep up. I hope it’s reassuring to know that we’re all having the same struggles!

I feel like I’m in a good place with the blog, so at least there’s that. Even if overall traffic isn’t growing at the rate I would like, I feel like this community is growing, and that’s what is most important to me. This blog is always my top priority, and that’s a good thing because it is the only space I own and have full control over. One other thing I’ve been wanting to do is grow my email list, so that’s another area I hope to work on in 2018.

All that to say, there’s a lot to do, but I truly love it. I know I’m extremely blessed to get to do something I love that helps support our family. As always, I am open to suggestions and even constructive criticism if it’s coming from the right place. I truly value your support.

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, THANK YOU!

I can’t say it any better than I said it last year, so I’m just going to copy and paste this last section.

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

110 thoughts on “Year In Review: Highlights From 2017

  1. I have really enjoyed your blog this past year and look forward to the style inspiration in 2018! Funny… regarding the bloggers that I follow regularly, I hardly ever look at their facebook pages… to me facebook is more of a place to follow friends’ pictures and the news! I don’t like that others can see my comments on bloggers’ posts and that deters me from following/sharing/commenting on bloggers’ posts and comments on facebook. Just my 2 cents about facebook! 🙂 Happy New Year, Jo-Lynne!

    1. Interesting input regarding Facebook. I always find it interesting to hear how others view this world of social media that I’m so entrenched in.

      As I explained to someone else below, I really see my FB audience as a separate audience with some overlap. My goal is to bring those people in here, not to send you guys over there. I mean, I’m happy for you to join me there, for sure, but with the algorithm and things out of my control, I’ll take blog readers over facebook followers any day.

  2. I also have really enjoyed your blog for several years now. Thank you for all you do! I do not do Facebook but I enjoy your post here

  3. Jo Lynne. Though I am about 10 years older than you and an empty nester I find your content and ideas more interesting and useful than other fashion blogs. Your honesty and work ethic and content really shine. I managed bio tech for years and it was a huge revenue to be in charge of — I had to finally delegate. Maybe you could try am asst on a limited time frame and delegate those things that are low priority for you ? I agree with other commenter about FB— not interested and not where I get my info at all. IG is a great place to find ideas for me ( fashion; decorating and new blogs). Just my 2 cents. I appreciate your work and I really need the fashion help. May God Bless You in 2018! Julie 

  4. And thanks for trusting us enough to let us in “behind the scenes” and share your ups and downs! I’ve been with you for a long time and I appreciate that you’ve stayed true to yourself and your values and not lost your voice as the blogging world has changed. Happy New Year to you!

  5. You’ve had a good 2017 Jo-Lynne and I believe that 2018 will be a fabulous year for you, especially in the world of blogging.  Your site is my favorite for so many reasons!  I definitely appreciate you keeping it real and treating us like your girlfriends, that you share things with, that others wouldn’t get.  I need to take the time to read the post again about purging your closet, then tackle mine.  I am at a point where none of the jeans in my closet are comfortable enough for me to wear all day, so that is something I need to address.  By this weekend, we will have our WiiFit fully functional, so I am confident that with a bit of time, my size will change.  So, I need to hold off buying any pants for a while, and just make do with what I have.
    It’s a very cloudy and chilly day here, with our high not getting out of the 40’s, which I love.  I plan on taking down the Christmas tree inside, then I may start taking down some of the porch decorations.  Have a blessed day!

  6. Well said!  Loved  the 2017 year in review, read every word of it.  It’s a busy life you lead there Jo-Lynne!  I really like the fact that when you do a post, you have a lot of “meat” to it, so to speak!  You don’t just throw out some outfits, a few random comments & have a nice day.  I like the in-depth info on the outfit, as well as some daily personal tidbits.  You give your blog the personal touch and how life really is.  Not some glossed over, everything is wonderful fairy tale!  Especially when you were going through the vertigo and dental issues.  I’m looking forward to some fresh ideas for spring.  Also will be giving your closet purge a re-read.  Speaking of purging – how does one stay focused & compete the job?  I have good intentions & start out like a gangbuster, but lose steam after a week or so…Regarding my clothes closet purge – I really need to be ruthless in purging some of those seasonal screen printed tops I’m so fond of!  I can’t help it!!  My grown daughters hate them!  Seeing you wearing a lot of solid tops,  made me realize my wardrobe would go a lot further than the printed ones I own!  Wishing you and your family a happy & healthy 2018.  You certainly have a lot of changes coming up!  

    1. Haha, I agree with your kids and the seasonal screen printed tops. LET IT GO… LET IT GO… 😉 No, really, though. Wear what makes you happy. Life is short! It’s just fashion, after all.

      So staying focused…. I don’t know that I have any tips, but I’m pretty ruthless once I get started. I just haven’t started yet. HA! I think I’m just an all or nothing kind of person.

  7. Um…wow…this post must have taken so much work! What an awesome read this was for me. Your blog has been so helpful and encouraging and on many days seemed like a breath of fresh air at just the right moment.
    I loved the behind the scenes look at what really goes into a blog…..so interesting!
    My favorite posts of this year were the fall fashion series. I got a lot of practical style advice/guidance that really helped boost my confidence and make my wardrobe more wearable. I admire many women of style but I have to say your blog is the one I look to for outfits that best represent my life and my wardrobe needs.
    Happy New Year! I look forward to following this blog in 2018.

  8. I give your blog an A+! I think you do an absolutely outstanding job. You educate us and still remain personable and fun to read. I love the fact that while you blog about fashion you are not a shallow person and you have fashion in its proper place on your list of priorities. I love your personal style and I love the fact that you use the same pair of jeans in most of your favorite posts. I think that is how most of us do it too! I have a pair of jeans I have worn several times a week for the past two years.

    1. Thank you, JoAnn. I do hope I keep fashion in its proper place. When one’s job revolves around it, it’s easy to be consumed with it, but as fun as it is, it’s really not what I want to be about. And yes, those jeans… I wear them 4 or 5 times a week some weeks. HA! Before blogging, I didn’t have a lot of clothes. I’m happy wearing the same few things as long as I love them.

  9. 2017 was my second year following your blog. I look forward to it every day as our lives are very similar. In addition, I love your taste and style. I have enjoyed the Facebook live sessions although usually can’t watch them “live”. Just a little FYI, I think once graduation time rolls around, you’ll figure out why readership drops off that time of year. Of course, not everyone has a child graduating but last year I honestly was the busiest I have ever been when my son was graduating! Hold on tight!! And throw in wedding season, etc., people just have tons to do! Happy New Year to you! Thanks for brightening our lives and wardrobe! 

    1. Yes, I totally get that those are busy times. I figured that was the cause but it’s always a bit demoralizing to see traffic drop off. Fortunately you guys keep me in comments, and those mean way more to me than drive-by traffic. 🙂

  10. I love all that you do. I know both May and December are busy months and that is what keeps me from reading the emails that aren’t the necessary ones. You do a great job and I enjoy seeing how you balance church, family and work and appreciate your example of it! Your 5 favorites and fight the frump posts are always fun and helpful. Good luck as you plan for the new year. I think I will be joining you on your closet cleaning!

  11. You do a great job. If I could only read one blog it would be yours. Love your style & sincerity. Look forward to 2018 with you.

  12. It is so nice to see from the beginning of the year to now how much your children how grown and changed in one year! God bless you and your beautiful family…All the best in 2018!

  13. Thanks for the look back over this past year. It was nice to see some of my favorite posts again so I can try to recreate them for myself. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be showing us in 2018.
    I had major surgery again in 2017 and can’t wait to see this year end. I know you’ve had your share of health issues too.
    Here’s to a blessed and healthy 2018 for all of us.
    Again Jo-Lynne, thank you so much for all of your hard work. I look forward everyday to seeing what you’ve put together for us.

  14. I really enjoy your blog Jolynn. I read it every day and follow you on Instagram but not Facebook ( I only keep up with family and friends there). Love your humor and casual style!
    Happy New Year!

  15. Thank you for your post. I so enjoy your posts and willingness to share yourself and family with me and other fellow readers.

  16. Jo-Lynne, you already know you are my favorite blogger!  Your content on the blog is fresh and honest!  I love that. Business, in general, has its ups and downs, and your business isn’t excluded from that. You have growing pains which is a good thing. You will figure it out, but I enjoyed reading about the mechanics of the business. It’s so different from my career. Thanks for being an inspirational teacher!

  17. I just started reading your blog a few months ago, but I really enjoy it! It’s definitely a daily read for me. Over the past year, I’ve lost over 50 lbs and really enjoying buying clothes again. Perhaps a little too much. 😉 However, I’ve never felt proficient at pulling an outfit together, even before I gained that weight a few years ago. I came across your blog and it definitely has helped me branch out a bit with putting things together and even adding (gasp!) accessories. So thank you!

  18. I am so glad I started following your blog 2 years ago. It has kept me out of that retiree frump mode. I have enjoyed all your different posts from purging your closet to how to dress for so many occasions from a rock concert to New Years Eve. I love your shopping posts that you tell us what works so we can address those issues with our own body types. I enjoy getting your daily mail and miss it when it’s not thee. I also think you should take time off when life piles up on you for some r and r. (Not too much though!). I have enjoyed going through 2017 with you and wish you and your family a wonderful 2018. 

  19. You were one of my very first bloggers to follow a few years ago, and you are still my favorite. I appreciate the personal/informational/inspirational balance of the blog, and it is always evident that you take pride in your work and value your readers. I’m pretty sure I read every post of 2017, but it was still fun to look back again and hear your thoughts from each month. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the new year!
    Sidenote on Facebook -I follow along on there, but I rarely comment because of the privacy. I seriously hate the way comments show up in friends’ feeds. Your posts are very helpful though, and I do enjoy them even if I don’t comment there!

    1. Thanks for being such a faithful commenter. I always enjoy your feedback. And I hear ya on the Facebook thing. I feel that way too, actually! I try to be aware of that when I comment.

  20. Love your blog, as long as you are having a great time doing it, don’t ever quit! You might need some residual income in your life, if you don’t already! 🙂 Do you do all the household stuff yourself? Maybe pay someone to lighten your load in that way (housekeeping, shopping, yard maintenance) so you can focus on your talents and your family…enjoy your NYE party! I know you want to focus on FB more, but it really is a crazy world over there…you’re doing a good job on the videos! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. We do hire out housekeeping and yardwork and things like that. I’m all for hiring out the mundane stuff.

      I feel like my Facebook Page is almost a different audience. There is some overlap, but it’s also different. People aren’t as considerate over there either. Here I get an occasional snarky comment, but on FB people seem to feel a lot more free to say whatever is on their mind. It’s kind of annoying, but I generally take it all in stride.

      The main reason I want to focus on Facebook is because I think my target audience (40-50 y/o women) spends a lot of time over there, so I’m hoping people find me there and then start following my blog. It’s also a lot easier to post sale alerts and things that are time sensitive, but I realize not everyone who reads my blog wants to deal with Facebook so I try to put as much on here as I can. 🙂

  21. Happy New Year to you and your family.
    I am new to your blog this year and I will be staying – I love the content of your blog. Thank you

  22. I really enjoyed this article– thanks so much for putting it together! I don’t know what all goes into everything you do, but I have had a taste of it in my own job, and I can’t believe how much time it takes!

    Although it seems that some or many of your followers aren’t on Facebook, that’s actually where I discovered you! I get emails too, but I love seeing you come up in my FB feed! The one suggestion I have for your blog is the links to other postings– when I click, it updates the current page to the new post, but I would love it if that link would open to a NEW page without closing the one I’m already reading so I can remember to read it after I’m finished with the current post. Does that make sense?

    Wishing you all the best in 2018!!! 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you found me on Facebook! That is why I want to do more over there – I am hoping to bring more people into our community here.

      I know what you mean about clicking to other postings. I thought I had it set up to open a new window. I wonder if that plugin got deleted when I was having issues earlier this month. I will check on that. Thanks for that feedback!

  23. I’ll take my gluten free cookie with another cup of coffee!  Great job this year Jolynne!  Blessings to you in 2018!  Ill be here!

  24. Love, love, love your year end review.  You did so great as always.  I loved the last paragraph you wrote.  You are thanking us and we should be thanking you.  You have come into our homes and made our mornings more fun and its always so fun to read about your family, joys, struggles, fashion etc. etc.  I think woman need to not feel alone in life’s journey and I know that the ONE thing that truly keeps all of us who know the LORD connected is HIM.  Pray about the new year 2018 to come for what HE has for you in your blog.  I know you feel the pressures of the OUTSIDE world and what all the other bloggers are doing, but if you pray for what the LORD has for you, you can’t go wrong.  You will then see your blog grow in ways you never imagined.  I think part of why yours works so well with so many ladies is you do your own answering of emails and Facebook.  I can’t imagine you giving that up to someone else.  Another reason is YOU keep it real.  Its not like reading the annual Christmas letter with ONLY good in it and not sharing struggles like we all have.  Keep up the good work and Pray, pray, pray.  Love to you and your family and Happy New Year.  

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I appreciate that. I often start my day that way, praying that what I do here on the blog, as frivolous as the topics may be, will somehow be used for His glory. But I appreciate your reminder as I sit here looking at numbers and strategizing. Numbers are only worth so much. The community – these comments – that’s why I do what I do. So thanks for being here and for your encouragement. 🙂

  25. I appreciate that. And I do want to assure anyone reading along that I have never and would never farm out my words. 🙂 (I love the way you worded that!) I have had people create Facebook content for me that I tweak and post if I feel that it resonates, but I would never have anyone writing or responding as me. Ever.

    I do think having someone to research and plan instagram and facebook posts could be helpful, or someone watching the sales of popular items I’ve worn so I know when to post sale alerts… things like that I’m considering. But I will always be the one posting and commenting and responding.

    I’ve considered trying to find an “assistant” of sorts who would handle the unboxing and returns… or even employing one of my kids, but so much of that still requires my hands on it (or I feel like it does.) I guess I’m just not a good delegator. LOL.

  26. I really enjoy your blog and have incorporated many of your tips into my wardrobe.  You have inspired me to try many new “looks”.  I love the Moto jacket that you featured in December.  Is the color Silver Screen or Midnight Toker?  Thanks!  God bless you in the new year!

  27. I loved this post! I loved seeing what were your personal favorites and the ones readers responded to! I loved seeing the pictures because it took me back to when I originally saw/read it. 

    I was curious… was there a personal favorite post or outfit or adventure you had from the whole year? And a clear crowd favorite?

    I really think what you said about the September numbers had everything to do with the summer that seemed to go on and on… it was sweltering months after the Nordstrom sale… I wonder if that impacted their sales? And by the way, I think you set the bar on reviewing the Nordstrom sale! 

    Thank you for all of your work and commitment to excellence. I am glad you keep the reins on those pieces where your heart can clearly show! 

    Your friend in the Mitten state, Amy

    1. Ohhh, that is a good question! I’m actually working on a Top 10 post with the top 10 posts of the year and Top 10 products purchased. Actually, I can’t tell what was actually purchased, but I can tell what links generated the most sales.

      As far as a personal favorite, the trip to Savannah with Paul was a highlight. I love the photo shoots we did there, and we also enjoyed some fabulous meals and enjoyed a lot of downtime by the pool. Some of the outfits we photographed there were among my favorites.

      I’m going to say my favorite outfit of the year was that pink floral trumpet sleeve top with my AG distressed jeans, and SW wedges from April. I only wore it once (at the RS conference) but every picture in that outfit I love. I also love that blue lace shell with coated jeans and SW suede pumps. I really do hope to get to wear that somewhere!

  28. Jo-Lynne, I have been following you for a couple of years now. What attracted me to your blog was the clothes you were showcasing as they matched my style of dress and your outfits were easy to replicate. This past year has been a game changer for me as you started adding more and more comments on what worked in an outfit, what you would change in an outfit, and most importantly, the WHY of a great outfit. It all started to make much more sense to me. I now feel like I can look at my clothes and outfits that I create and critique them more easily based on the knowledge you have imparted to your readers. To me, that is what has elevated your blog from all the others that I read. No one else takes the time to add the details like you do. I can’t imagine the time commitment this takes on your part but it is appreciated immensely. Your down-to-earth personality also resonates with us. Like your blog states, you ARE the girl friend who keeps us all in the know. I wish you all the best in 2018 and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!

    1. Thank you, Bev. That is so interesting. I don’t think I even realized I had started doing more of that until you mentioned that you’ve seen the evolution. I think it goes to show that I am understanding what works and doesn’t so much more, which is exciting. Fashion doesn’t come naturally to me, even though I enjoy it. I’m so glad my posts are helpful to others too!

  29. One of my favorite outfits was your December “suede Moto jacket” ensemble and that super cute navy blue off-the-shoulder top you styled in the spring on your trip to Savannah. I got a similar jacket in November from Stitch Fix & love it & got the navy top from LOFT too. 

    I started following you in summer of 2016 after finding you by accident on Pinterest in a cute floral LOFT tee and white jeans! ????  I follow several other bloggers on Instagram, but you’re the only one I subscribe to for daily emails. I’ve told you this before, but I’ll say it again, you are the most relatable and your fashion sense and style works well for my lifestyle and career as a teacher. I like that you try to keep your readers aware of what’s trendy and you style it in a way that works for women in their “middle chapters” of life. I’m 51 and I certainly want to still look young and current, but I realize that there are now certain things that don’t work for me and are best left for the 20 somethings out there. I appreciate your acknowledgment of that as well. 

    Stay warm inside! I was just watching the nationwide weather report on the news and boy-oh-boy does it sound crazy cold back there!! My husband laughed at me this morning when I was complaining of being too cold (he and my boys were eating breakfast and watching TV outside this morning – it was 64 degrees ????☀️) 
    You should plan a trip to the west coast in 2018! 

    As far as Facebook goes, I don’t follow you there because I’m just not a frequent FB viewer anymore. I got tired of all the arguing and political banter last year and started to stay away. I also don’t like the non-private commenting part of it as others people have mentioned on here. 

    Anyway- thanks for ALL your effort and time you put into your blog! I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us in 2018! 

    1. I hear ya on the arguing and political banter on Facebook. I can only take so much of that till I hide people. haha!

      I appreciate your encouragement and your thoughtful comments. And ohymword, 64 sounds balmy right now! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  30. What a great post today! Your blog is one I look forward to, and I’m always happy to see your daily emails. Then I usually save the actual post for my lunch breaks.  I enjoy your style, your comments about what does & doesn’t work for you, and the behind-the-scenes info is so interesting to me. It’s nice that you do keep things real with us. There are a few blogs I’ve follow where I end up feeling that the blogger was trying to give the impression that she was keeping it real but it sounded a bit made up (if that makes sense??). You never come across that way, so thank you! I also love your posts where you try on clothes you’ve recently ordered or your dressing room pics–those tend to be my favorites (maybe I’m shopping vicariously through you!). 

    I do follow you on Facebook now but I never comment there–the privacy thing others have mentioned goes for me too. But, the FB posts are great to see b/c they alert me to good sales or remind me to hop back over to your blog if I missed something.

    Happy 2018 to you & your family!

  31. This is a fabulous post and a great review. It’s evident in your blog you truly take the time for each and every one of us.  I love how you connect and we all can relate in one way or another!   You do a great job communicating. Thanks for the insight into blogging!  Love your fashion, your spirit, and your opening up about real life and sharing your family!!  Best wishes for the New Year!  Looking forward to your continued inspiration!  

  32. Thank you so much for all you do! I love your style, love how real you are and how you let us into your life! God bless you in 2018,

  33. I realize that I’m in the minority here, but I do not frequent Facebook. I would never look for you there. I love your blog, have it bookmarked and read it daily. I’m 51 and love that you suggest styles that are age appropriate and trendy. I get compliments on my outfits at work. I work in a high school so I don’t want to look like our students! I feel more confident in my own style thanks to your fashion insight. Please don’t grown too big and become famous. I feel like your blog is mine and mine alone! Kinda like Downton Abbey before it became popular. I loved that show when it was ‘mine’ before the world got a hold of it and made it a ridiculous obsession. Happy New Year!

    1. Haha, Melissa, you made me laugh. If I haven’t gotten rich and famous after 12 years in this biz, I doubt it’s going to happen. 😉

      As I said to someone else, my main reason for wanting to work more on Facebook is to bring more into our community here, not to make Facebook my main gig. Not much chance of that – their algorithm makes it really hard for my content to be seen over there.

      I appreciate so much that you enjoy my blog enough to have it bookmarked. That’s a high compliment. xo

  34. Your blog is my favorite fashion blog to follow and since I started taking an interest in what I wear earlier this year, I have learned so much from you! I echo everyone that said they appreciate how you keep it real with the ups and downs of life. I also love how detailed you get regarding your outfits and what works/doesn’t work. 

    This was a really interesting and eye opening post. I hope you find ways to grow without losing the personal touch that you have here. 

    Best wishes for an awesome 2018!!

  35. Yours and Cyndi’s are my “for sure” read most days.  Completely appreciate all the hard work that goes into these blogs.  I love fashion, but not sure I could keep up all year long like you do–it’s so evident that you are working your tail off to provide real content.  Thank you for that.  I don’t do FB.  (Our kids call it brag-book!)  I had to giggle at your white pump comment–we’ll all be buying white shoes this Spring–you know it!!  Cyndi has started the fire for those with her cute boots.  And you are right—taking every darn thing out of the closet is the only way to purge.  My sister-in-law forced me to do just that several weeks ago as she taught me how to “Kondo” my closet (boy, was I resistant!), and I was shocked at how much of a difference that makes.  Well, Happy New Year from the Pacific Northwest.  And an early Congrats on your graduate.  You have such fun in store with that in 2018!

    1. Thank you, Bonbara! And yes, the Kondo approach is really ground breaking! Even though I keep my closet fairly purged on a regular basis, I can’t wait to tackle it full KonMari style this weekend. 🙂

  36. I’ve been reading your blog for years, and it’s one that–no matter how many emails I get or how far behind I am–I never delete until I have read it. I am a big Facebooker too, but for some reason your posts seldom show up in my timeline–and I don’t have time to go hunting. I have an Instagram account but never go there, and Pinterest just never has seemed to work on my iPhone, which is what I’m always on. 

    I do think you’re way too hard on yourself, and some of your “reasons” why this or that thing isn’t right for you seem extreme to me. You always look good! Most of us would kill to look like you do. 

    These next few months will be an absolute whirlwind with your son graduating…enjoy as much of it as you possibly can. ❤️

    1. So Facebook uses an algorithm to determine what they think you want to see in your feed. I have 16,000 FB Page followers, and only about 3,000 see any given post, unless I pay for ads. It is frustrating. You can like AND follow the page (they are not the same thing – if you do both, it is more likely to show my posts to you) and then the more you interact with the Page (commenting/liking on my posts) the more it will show in your feed. But I also understand that not everyone wants to be liking/commenting because of privacy issues. It’s frustrating, as a content creator, to put stuff out there and know that people who have basically “asked” facebook to see my posts (by following my page) aren’t seeing it.

      I say all this not to complain, but to explain to those who may not realize that is how it works.

      You’re sweet to say I’m hard on myself, but I’m not trying to be difficult when I explain why things don’t work or don’t look as good as they could. I am trying to be educational, not to put myself down in any way. 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement! xo

      1. That is really fascinating how Facebook works. The only reason I’m on FB is to keep up with family and friends, especially the ones who don’t live near me. I do follow your page and the group “Fashion for Women Over 40” but I have never posted a picture and rarely comment on either FB page. The whole privacy issue is the reason I don’t post or comment but I do enjoying reading the posts. My point here is that your blog is what I enjoy the most and I look forward to the daily emails and posts but I totally understand why you want to use FB to attract more followers.

  37. I, too, minimize commenting and liking on Facebook. Thank you so much for your blog. I continue to learn so much from you. I read all the way to the end…I’m ready for my cookie! Thank you for keeping us cute!

  38. I just started reading regularly around September. Was reading Grace and Beauty before (and still do) but your style resonated more with me. And I just like how real you are in your posts-personal but not too much so…
    I’m with others that FB is more for friend and family connections (but I’m also in the 50+ crowd so may not be hip on those types of things). Wait, is hip really a way to describe things anymore…
    Anyway, thanks for your blog. I really like it!

  39. Hi Jo-Lynne!  I started following following you about three years ago and the comments above pretty much sum up what I love about you and your blog so I have very little to add. I love starting every morning with your email and a cup of coffee. My favorite thing about you is how you encourage everyone to be their best selfs. You offer alternatives at different price points and showcase clothes from national retailers. Your outfits can be modified or adapted for nearly every woman at any age or shape. I really appreciate that, because at 61, I am older than your target demographic, yet I feel your blog is perfect for me. Also, your fashion guidance and  observations of life are ‘real’ and timeless. The level of care, work and honesty that you put into your blog is inspiring, and distinguishes your blog from most of the others out there. Thanks for all you do! 

    P.S. Maybe you can train your daughters as helpers for returns, post office runs or other tasks you’d be willing to delegate? While this might be aggregating to all of you at times, but it would give them real life job experience that they could put on an application when they need a summer or college job. OR, what about hiring someone who knows you very, very well and would enjoy the pleasure of helping you grow your business? I work for my friend whom I’ve known for 20 years and I enjoy helping her business be successful. 

    1. Hi Mary, thank you for your encouragement. That means so much. xoxo

      I’ve tried to get my kids to help with the boxes and returns, but I still have to be the one to keep the spreadsheet (I keep track of all purchases and returns… it is daunting!) Sometimes my son will run to the post office for me but he hates to do it. I like the idea of a friend who gets what I do and can work alongside me. I think having someone local would be ideal. I’ve often thought about that but I just don’t know who. And I worry that if I don’t like how they do things, that would get awkward. This is why I end up doing it all myself, lol. And really, I can do it all. I have enough time, but there are some areas that I just can’t grow on my own – namely my social media accounts. And maybe that’s ok. I will say, hiring a photographer this year has helped a ton. And Alison is good at the kinds of photo shoots Paul and I aren’t – the beauty products and things. I am going to use her more for that sort of thing for sure.

  40. Jo-Lynne, you do such an amazing job with your blog and I am even more impressed knowing you are doing everything yourself. I have my own reservations about certain things that seem to be expected from bloggers and perhaps that is why I don’t get more traffic. I guess I am conflicted in some ways. I work part time, take care of my grandson after school and when he is off of school and my heart of hearts is to become a fiction writer. But, that being said, I do enjoy doing the fashion and faith blogging, so I want to keep it up. I really appreciate your honest and consistent approach. I wish you a wonderful 2018 and though I know your mother’s heart will shed some tears sending off your oldest, I hope that you will have many moments of joy. Keep up the great work. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

  41. Like many comments above I also don’t comment on FB. It’s my place to connect with friends and family. I might see a link to a blog post that I am interested in so I’ll check my bloglovin feed more quickly that day/week but I rarely comment on any bloggers page. I have Instagram but am rarely on it…it’s just one more thing that I don’t have time for.

    Please don’t apologize for wearing your favorite jeans, tees, sweaters, etc over and over. That’s real life and we all do it. I would rather see you rock the same items over and over again and totally own it!

    Good luck to your family in 2018 on the school front. I have a senior as well and I find myself putting up a strong exterior in front of my daughter as we finalize the college selection, attend final school shows and go into her last season of basketball. You and I both know that this final semester is going to fly by. Bittersweet for sure!

  42. Hi Jolynne,
    I’ve been reading your blog for about two years and I don’t comment very often.  I love how real you are and how your blog seems like a girl friend chat.  Thank you for all you do, I look forward to your email every day.  Hope 2018 is a wonderful year!

  43. I do enjoy your blog and your fashion and family posts. Like many others I don’t particularly like mixing my Facebook feed in with blogs that I follow, Facebook is for my personal life. Not too fussed with insta as at heart I’m a reader. I’m in my late 50s but enjoy seeing how life is unfolding with you and your family, my family are older than yours and I live a long way from the USA but there are things we have in common and that keeps me reading. I even did the Adore Your Wardrobe course on your recommendation and now realise what I was doing wrong with my jeans for all those years. I’m looking forward to 2018 and particularly seeing your fashion posts and hearing your family news. 

  44. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    Thanks for a great end of the year wrap-up post. I have been following you for several years now, and I truly enjoy all the ideas and inspiration. I do follow you on FB, but I read the blog more. However, I do have you and Cyndi set up to appear first in my feed anytime I sign on :). I will say I have liked the “live” posts even though I can’t watch live because I am at work. Try not to pay too much attention to the mean comments on FB. Some people seem to thrive on being negative. One of my favorite posts is the Sunday morning “Coffee Talk”. I look forward to it every week! Thanks again for all of your hard work to bring us the latest in fashion ideas! Happy New Year!

  45. I love so many things about your blog. Your style is one I identify with, I’ve learned so many things, and my appearance has improved from your example. I enjoy the sales updates, and “unboxings” are fun. I don’t have an I-phone, but I enjoy reading the Instagram Roundups.

    One thing I appreciate about your blog is that I know it’s going to be there on a regular basis. Having a schedule (whether it’s daily or Mon/Wed/Fri or whatever) is a big help to readers. I understand if a blogger wants to take a break and announces it. It’s just better if readers know what to expect. Your reliability is a great strength IMO.

    Thank You, and Happy New Year!

  46. Hi Jo-Lynne! I always love this post! Thanks for a great year! Love your blog! I would love for you to review your LV Neverfull ???? I’ve recently been looking at it more and would love to hear your thoughts! I’m trying to decide between the Neverfull and the Speedy Bandolier!
    Debbie J Waxhaw, NC

    1. Hey Debbie. I love my Neverfull. It’s so versatile. It’s a purse, a travel bag/carry-on, laptop bag, all in one. That said, they’re so common, I like the idea of a different style, and the Speedy is gorg. Tough call!!! Either way, I think you’ll love it.

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