Year In Review: Highlights From 2018

Greetings! It’s that time again! Every year I like to highlight some of my best moments, favorite outfits, and popular blog posts from the past year. I think this is my favorite post to write, and I hope you enjoy looking back over 2018 with me.

This year has been one of changes. Big ones — especially in my personal life, but also in my business.

Business-wise, I hired an assistant last January. Her name is Amy, and she has been a huge help behind the scenes. She creates most of my graphics, puts together my weekly newsletter, and helps with Instagram and Facebook. She also did a lot of work on my holiday gift guides. Unfortunately she isn’t local to me, so all of our communication is via telephone and text, but it’s working out well so far.

Just so you know, I am always the one writing the blog posts and social copy, responding to comments, and answering emails. It is very important to me to be the one communicating with you all, but it’s been great having some help with graphics and administrative tasks behind the scenes.

More recently, I hired a local assistant to help manage the orders and returns that have become a large part of my business since I shifted my focus to fashion. That has taken a huge load off my shoulders, as having those tasks hanging over my head and cluttering my office was draining and limiting my productivity. Having Kate come in once week to help with that keeps my office more orderly and peaceful, and also leaves me more time to do the things only I can do.

Now that we’re getting comfortable with one another and developing a good system for various tasks, I’m hoping to utilize both of these ladies even more in 2019.

I also switched affiliate networks mid-year this year, and it took some time to get acquainted with a new system and a new company, but I think I’m finally hitting my stride, and I’m glad I made the switch.

On a more personal note, we started off 2018 knowing it would be a big year for our family, but we had no idea how big. We knew our younger daughter would be moving on to middle school and our son would be graduating from high school and going off to college, but at that point we didn’t know if he’d be staying local or going across the state to a large university. We also had no idea that we would discover a new house, fall in love with it, and move in the midst of all the other changes.

Everything worked out well in the end, but not without some growing pains, and I’m definitely hoping 2019 is less eventful.

Before moving on, let’s take a look back at 2018.

Year In Review: Highlights From 2018


January started off with a bang as far as blog traffic goes. For some reason, it was one of my biggest months of the year.

The most popular post I published in January, according to Google Analytics, was A Peek Into My Closet. It’s funny to look back on that one now, especially considering I had no idea I would be leaving that closet behind when I created that post. I guess to be fair, I should share a peek into my new closet. Maybe I’ll do a post like that next month.

My favorite outfit from January was this color block sweater outfit. I actually just found this sweater in the basement in a box of a few things I put away at the very end of the last winter season. I was so excited to discover that I kept it. I’m hoping to revive it with a quick trip to the dry cleaner’s.


February’s most popular post was one from the archives that I updated and republished — What To Wear To Disney World. This post is almost always among my top 10 and gets a lot of traffic from both Google and Pinterest.

By the way, if you ever want an easy way to support your favorite bloggers, pin the posts that resonate with you to one of your relevant Pinterest boards. Pinterest is one of the main ways new people find my blog.

Also in February, the Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time ever, and our city was beyond ecstatic. Everywhere I went, people were all smiles and fist bumps. Don’t believe everything you saw on the news. There were only a few looney tunes wrecking havoc; most everyone was happy well-behaved, and it really brought the city and surrounding areas together.

My favorite outfit I posted that month was this blonde moto jacket with jeans and pumps. I absolutely love this look.


March brought us 22 Days of Spring Fashion, and my most popular post that month was this black top and ankle cigarette leg jeans. It was a cold month, and shooting spring outfits was downright painful at times, but we made it through.

For some reason, I can’t get excited about too many of my spring outfits, but I’ll say this one was my favorite. I love the contrast of the teal and white.

Also in March, Paul and I took a trip to Nashville to celebrate his birthday, and we also took a bunch of outfit pictures when we were there. The trip was definitely a highlight of the year, but unfortunately we didn’t get a single good picture of the two of us.


In April, we spent Easter with my family in Virginia, and we got a half decent family picture in my mom and dad’s backyard. I wish we were better coordinated, but it’s hard to coordinate with picky teenagers! I was just lucky I found something church-appropriate each of them were willing to wear.

Later that month, I hit the road (or the airport) again, and this time it was for a girls trip to Vero Beach. We had a blast, the weather was gorgeous with the exception of a big storm one night, and I was able to relax and enjoy a few days without responsibilities. I hope to do it again soon!

My 15 Ways to Wear White Converse was my most popular post in April.

And I think this outfit was my favorite. So simple, but fresh and put together.

I was also invited to a press event that month, where we met the cast of Hollywood Darlings. That was especially fun for my daughter and her friend, who are Fuller House (and Jodie Sweetin) fans.

April was also the month we found and made an offer on our new house. It was a month of mixed emotions and a lot of ups and downs, but thankfully it ended well.


On May 2, we listed our old house, and we were under contract within 48 hours.

The weather finally started to warm up, and my Dos and Don’ts For Shorts was my most popular blog post.

My favorite outfit… or at least my favorite photo shoot was this striped maxi dress.


June was a tough month for this mama’s heart. My youngest was promoted to middle school, and my oldest graduated high school.

D lost his cap when he threw it so we never got any pictures with him wearing it except for the professional ones.

Meanwhile on the blog, Cyndi and I teamed up again for 21 Days of Summer Fashion. My most popular post was this summer dress from Macy’s.

I’m having a hard time picking a favorite outfit from June. I loved this and this and this.

We closed on our new house at the end of the month, and the girls wasted no time trying out their new pool. D was away at camp and didn’t even see the house until we were fully moved in.


July was insane. I turned 46, we moved, my son came home from summer camp and saw the new house for the first time, we spent a week at the Jersey shore for a week, and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale happened right smack dab in the middle of it all.

My most popular post from June was by far and away my Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, with my #NSale Preview in second place, but another post that did extremely well was How to Pair Shoes and Handbags Without Being Matchy. That post went gangbusters on Google, for some reason.

My favorite outfit wasn’t a formal photo shoot, but it was the last picture we took in front of our old house before church one Sunday morning.

By mid-July, we were all moved in to the new house, and at the end of the month, I posted a house tour with some of my design plans. It’s funny to look back at these pictures, now that we’ve done so much. My front door isn’t even the same color now.

Home Tour & Design Plans: I'm basically walking you through the house and sharing my overall plans and ideas, both long-term and short term.


On August 5th, Paul and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary quietly in our new home with nary a picture to prove it, so I’m glad I wrote this post.

The most popular blog post I published that month was How to Wear Ankle Boots, which I wrote several years ago and updated for 2018. I also created this new graphic, which has done really well on Pinterest this year. One of my goals for 2019 is to create more images like this and hope they take off on Pinterest.

My other top posts in August were also older posts that I updated, which is probably because I did so many updates just to get through the month. It was such a busy time for our family, plus fashion blogging in August is always a weird mix of summer and fall content, and no one is really interested in shopping for either.

This denim skirt look is my favorite outfit from the month. It’s a bit of a departure from my usual jeans and sweater outfits, but I still managed to keep some denim in there!

August is also the month we took my son to college and put my daughter on her new schoolbus to the middle school. It was weird taking her first-day-of-school picture in front of the new house, and she was a little nervous to get on a new bus with different kids, but she knew a lot of them, as our new neighborhood is assigned to her old elementary school.

C is doing 10th grade in a cyber charter school — her third year schooling from home. Her first day of school picture is a little bit different. She decided to take a break from dance this year and instead is taking piano and vocal lessons.


Fall fashion was in full effect for September, and Cyndi and I did another Fall Fashion collab. My most popular post from the month was the kick-off post for the series — this scoop neck sweater and bootcut jeans.

I think this yellow rollneck sweater with leopard flats was my favorite post of the month, but I also loved this and this and this. Oh, and this too. What can I say, I love fall fashion!

We continued work on the house and spent a lot of time at band performances and football games, with D in his college marching band and R in her middle school marching band.

Also in September, I took a solo trip to Maine to meet up with my mom and visit my grandfather.


In October, R turned 13. We celebrated by taking her and D a Sixers basketball game. C is not a sports fan and opted to sit this one out.

My most popular post in October was the 25 Days of Fall Fashion recap.

I loved a lot of my fall outfits in October — even more than in September. This one was a favorite, and this, and this and this. If I have to pick just one, I guess I’ll go with the fall florals.


November was a fun month. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia, ran a 5K, had wood floors laid in our family room, started decorating our new house for Christmas, hosted Friendsgiving, celebrated D’s 19th birthday, and I posted quite a few party looks for the blog. My favorite was this gorgeous cocktail dress. I also loved this leopard sweater outfit.

Not surprisingly, November’s most popular post was my Guide to Black Friday Sales, but this post on scarves was a close runner-up.


While December isn’t over yet, it’s pretty clear my Winter Wardrobe Essentials will be the most popular post this month.

And I’ll name this ruffle cuff sweater dress as my favorite outfit, but I also loved these looks with Ann Taylor and this pink turtleneck with grey jeans and snakeskin booties.

Also in December, C turned 16, and I took her to NYC for her birthday.

And of course we celebrated Christmas.

It was so much fun to decorate our new house for the holidays and spend Christmas Day together as a family.

So to wrap up this epistle . . . 2018 was quite a year with a lot of changes, but everyone seems to be settling into our new normal, and I’m so very thankful!

Looking Ahead to 2019 & State of the Blog Address

I always look forward to a new year, and yet I’m hyper aware of how things can change in the blink of an eye. I certainly hope 2019 holds more good things! It will be hard to top 2018, though.

I have a few trips on the horizon — a Disney vacation with my mom and daughters in March, and a blogging conference in Nashville next November. We’re also hoping to get back up to Maine this summer as a family, especially since we canceled our vacation last summer when we decided to close on our new house during that time. And Paul and I would like to plan another weekend getaway for sometime this spring. That’s becoming an annual trip, and I think it’s important for us to continue to nurture our marriage — especially now that the kids are getting older and starting to live their own lives.

Business-wise, I’m feeling the need to shake things up a bit, but I’m not sure how. I’ve considered starting a JLS Insiders Facebook Group, but I’m not sure I want to run another FB group. As it is, I’m not as active as I’d like to be in the ones I have.

I definitely want to continue doing weekly Facebook Lives because I think that’s a really fun way to connect with you all, but it hasn’t done as much for growing my Facebook Page as I’d hoped. I’m pretty much at an impasse there.

I’d also like to do more with Instagram Stories, but again, there’s only so much time in the day.

It’s really hard to grow social media networks nowadays with the way algorithms are set up, and I can’t seem to post as often as I need to in order to stay in favor with the gods of Facebook and Instagram. The Facebook pages that get the most traction are posting almost every hour, around the clock, and short of hiring that out, I simply do not have the bandwidth for it. I also feel uncomfortable pushing so many products all the time. As it is, I feel like it gets to be a bit much.

Truth be told, I’m struggling with that overall as a fashion blogger. I’m a less is more kinda girl, and I prefer quality to quantity. Constantly promoting new products doesn’t really sit quite right with me, but I’m not sure what to do about that.

I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit weary. Funny, as I read through last year’s Year In Review, I said the exact same thing. Maybe it’s the time of year, and maybe it’s just the nature of the social media beast, but I do wish I could find a healthy balance… if such a thing exists.

The thing is, there is always someone doing more, and it’s natural to feel the pressure to keep up. I also know how fast things change in this space, and if you don’t pivot and evolve, it will leave you behind. I’ve seen it happen to others, so I know I can’t just rely on my good luck and coast.

I should probably take some time off to dive into my analytics, assess what’s working and what’s not, and strategize for the year ahead, but I’m not so good at that. I also could use some major help with SEO, but I’m not sure where to find it. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, and I enjoy creating content and reading and responding to your comments, so I just keep going and hope it will get to whomever it’s meant to get to.

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 all have the same struggles.

On a more positive note, I said in last year’s State Of The Blog Address that I wanted to focus on growing my email list in 2018, and I feel like I’ve made some good headway there. My overall subscriber count is lower than it was last year at this time because I had everyone re-opt in during the whole GDPR fiasco, but my open rate is something like 65%, so I feel good knowing that most everyone who is subscribed is engaged and reading along at least some of the time.

All that to say, there’s a lot to work on, and I may be conflicted about some of it, but at the end of the day, I truly love this blog… and yes, even Facebook and Instagram. 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 input.


From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you 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. The support and encouragement you give back is what keeps this blog going, so THANK YOU.

Here’s to a happy and healthy and productive 2019!

Join The Conversation

76 Responses

  1. What a year, JoLynne! I always enjoy these posts and kind of marvel at the amount of work that goes into them! I’m glad to hear you enjoy writing them! Of course, I have a blog so it’s always fascinating to hear how other people run theirs behind the scenes. You are right on in that you can ALWAYS find a blogger who is putting out more content than you, leading to that “I’m not doing enough” feeling. It’s hard to find the place to draw the line. I’ve come to a better place with that this year and I hope you’re able to find a balance that you feel better about in 2019! I also know what you mean about not being comfortable pushing “too much” product. Yet another grey area that I struggle with too. Thanks for sharing and for all the effort you put into each and every post!

  2. I didn’t understand a lot of what you were saying about algorithms and analytics, etc., but I want to say that reading your posts has changed me and my style for the better. I have never had any fashion sense, and I relied on my daughter (who has wonderful fashion style and sense) for help, but she is now married, living many states away, and she has her own busy life. So, now I have you (and Cyndi and Kay). Thank you so much for all your advice and guidance. I look forward to 2019 with you and your posts. Keep up the great work!

  3. You are my favorite blogger! Less is more and quality over quantity are your claim to fame and why I love following you! If there is anything we, as readers can do to help, please let us know. Be specific, I don’t understand some of the terminology. What’s SEO?  One thought I have is…. You have a lot of knowledge of healthy eating. We need to eat healthy to fit in our clothes and to live long, good lives. Could you interlace that into your blog somehow? Or maybe you’re tired of that from when you were a food blogger. I wish I followed you then! You’re awesome!

    1. I’m definitely going to try to do some of that. 🙂 SEO = Search Engine Optimization and it’s basically making your blog posts more easily searchable on Google so your content turns up in their search results. I have had a lot of people I know find my blog after searching “how to wear ankle boots” – for an example. 🙂

  4. Phew! That was quite a busy year! I imagine staying on top of your blog and everything it encompasses, plus a busy family,  has you running from one thing to another. 
    I just want to say that your level of engagement with your readers keeps us coming back. I always open your blog posts and have a read. There are many that I glance at, without opening, then delete. I love your honesty and openness. 
    Here’s to a successful year in 2018 and the wish of growing your business in 2019!  🥂

    1. I agree. Yours is one of the only blogs I read every day and go back to read if I fall behind (like I’m doing right now! LOL). I find I even open posts that I know I’m not really interested in the subject matter just in case there’s a tidbit that I don’t want to miss thrown in. For example, your January post on moto jackets. I don’t own one and don’t expect to get one but I opened the post anyway to at least skim through. And I read every daily email. I read them in the reading pane on Yahoo in my web browser. I don’t know if that shows as being read or not? But rest assured, I read them all and appreciate the added content and attention to give to the emails.

  5. Loved this! It was so much fun to review the year with you. You are fantastic at engaging with readers and this was another great example of that.
    I really enjoyed getting a behind the scenes glimpse of the inner workings of a blog too. The whole process kind of fascinates me.
    I don’t like Facebook all that much, but I do love your Facebook live chats so I hope those continue. I will continue to share your posts too, mainly because I think a lot of girls would get so much from your blog so I want them to know about it.
    Happy New Year!

  6. OH, to be young again!! I always enjoy your blog and your posts. Maybe every single outfit won’t appeal to me but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all of your efforts you put into them. Have loved the journey with your beautiful new home and getting it to ‘fit’ your family’s style. I have totally new kitchen cabinets to look forward to in January, thanks to our daughter and son-in-law’s generous Christmas gift to us this year!! Can’t wait. Have been through a kitchen remodel once before, years ago, and I must say…it’s a bit frustrating but we’ll live through it! Happy New Year and look forward to seeing all you post for us in 2019!

  7. Thanks so much for the newsy post, Jo-Lynne. I LOVE your posts and emails. You have helped me be waaayyy more informed about fashion and making choices when going into a store. I feel far less overwhelmed when going clothes shopping because you have schooled me in what makes sense to buy and why. Keep doing you!!  Blessings to you and your family for the New Year. 

  8. Wow, you are one busy and beautiful lady Jo-Lynne! Thank you for this interesting snapshot into your business and personal life! I’m amazed at how much goes into a Blog. I get a little of it because my daughter is working on launching hers soon. Conflicting, confusing yet with a commitment to be honest and true to oneself is what she’s finding and it sounds like it goes with the territory. Thank you for all your hard work and yes, I’m one who reads your blog faithfully everyday! I enjoy it and actually incorporate a lot of your fashion sense and outfit ideas into my wardrobe (ahem, have been buying too much between you and Cyndi–LOL)! I can understand how feeling your’e pushing too much product can be concerning to you and yet it’s how you make your living plus we followers all have personal responsibility to decide what purchases we’ll make or not. That said, I would love to see future posts on how to dress afresh with things most of us already have in our closets. And perhaps how to bring past trendy items up to date by carefully adding them or styling them differently with current fashion items, if that’s even possible. And I’m always a sucker for new ideas on how to wear my classic pieces to look up to date with what’s currently trending. Happy New Year and God bless you and your family in 2019!

  9. This has been an amazing year and to read the recap, it just seems to have flown by! I think I say that every year for me but reading your highlights I was thinking that it just seemed like yesterday – where did the year go? I just have to tell you again how much I enjoy your blog, the insights and all that you share to keep us all up to date on the latest! Your warmth shines through and I think that is what makes you and your blog so inspiring! I know you put a lot of work in to what you do and you are always consistent with posts, which I look forward to each day! Thank you and blessings for the new year!

  10. Hi Jo-Lynne! I’ve been following your blog since about August or September, when I came to the realization that I really have no idea how to put a decent outfit together confidently. I needed some help. I’m almost 39 years old and a mom of two young kids, so practicality is a must, but I also work in the public sector and money is a major concern. I have zero patience for bloggers pushing products that I will never in my wildest dreams be able to afford. Um, no. I don’t even have a walk-in closet, FFS. Anyhoo, after discovering your blog and being delighted with the content, I started trying to find other blogs I liked. I’ve discovered many blogs… but I feel like they all fall way short of striking the note your blog does: Practical, with an eye toward cost, but with occasional splurges…. affordable alternatives given for the spendy items… the acceptance that not every woman can/wants to wear 3″ heels… the fact that even moms want to look cute but not like they’re trying to be a 20-something again. In short, your blog is my hands-down favorite out of the MANY “mom fashion” blogs out there. I understand the struggle of SEO and the pressure to produce more and more content (I work in marketing), but as a fellow mom, I see the content you’re producing 7 days a week and think, “Man, she deserves a vacation!” You could back down on the quantity of posts and I wouldn’t be the least bit put-out, because I like how your posts are well thought-out and put together, with great photos. Quality over quantity, is what I’m getting at. 🙂

    This is getting long, so I’ll wrap it up with this: your blog is unique in many ways, and I love it. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with the Joneses. You’re not them and their audience isn’t your audience. You’re a perfect fit for a lot of us out there, and so long as your content speaks to us, we’ll continue to follow you and share you with our friends, and buy through your links, and support your business. So keep on killin’ it. <3

    1. Very well said, Lydia!  I’ve been following Jo-Lynne for years….back when the blog was “Musings of a Housewife”.   There have been several blogs that I’ve read/followed off and on over the years but Jo-Lynne, you are by far my favorite for the reasons Lydia has stated, in addition to many more.   I think all your readers appreciate your efforts and are thankful for all that you do to keep us looking good! 

  11. You didn’t really ask for suggestions, so pardon me if this is out of turn, but as a reader I would be interested in reading more about your daily routines such as beauty, exercise, eating. I guess all the other things that you do in addition to clothing/styling. I appreciate that you are not endorsing and pushing products that you have no experience with – it is one of the reasons I feel good following your advise and suggestions. I am a stay at home, currently not working, mom of 3 (although mine are older than yours). We’re about the same age and have been married about the same length of time – and I live in PA as well 🙂 The similarities have made reading your blog so fun for me and a blessing as well – I look forward to reading! Thank you for a wonderful 2018!

  12. Thank you, Jolynne, for a wonderful year in review post. I truly enjoyed going back through the year and seeing many of the favorite outfits that you posted that I also loved. I can appreciate all the work that goes into a post like this and what you do every day. There’s so much more behind the scenes than we realize, but you seem to have a great balance between work, family, friends, fitness and your faith. You’ve got all the important bases covered. 
    My best to you and your family for a magnificent 2019. 

  13. Happy New Year Jolynne! Thank you for all your hard work on your fashion blog. I enjoy reading your blogs everyday. We have the same style, size, shop at the same stores, and we are close in age. I have told all my friends about your blog and they love it too.  My son left for college this year and my daughter is a junior. So I can relate to so many of your blogs about your family. Thank you again! 
    I can’t wait to see all your new blogs in 2019.

  14. Thank YOU! I truly enjoy your posts, photos, tips, and your genuine personality, which shines through in your blog. 
    Happy New Year, and may you and your family ring in 2019 with God’s blessings…

  15. I love your blog. I also truly love the way you share your heart. I NEVER want to blog, but enjoy reading about the ins and outs, joys and pains. It is quite interesting. I could not handle the amount you have to do. I do follow some people that only blog a couple of days a week. I don’t even want to do that! Thank you !!

  16. I love reading about all the behind the scenes stuff that is readers don’t see or know about on a daily basis! I think it’s very interesting, but alas, I am a bit of a numbers nerd! Lol! 
    What is a yankee swap? I’ve never heard of that, but I’m always looking for new ways to have fun with family and friends!! Enjoy your family tomorrow!!

    1. It’s basically a White Elephant gift exchange – where you draw numbers, and go around picking gifts or stealing from someone who already opened – but usually a Yankee Swap isn’t quite as much gag gifts as something useful that people might really want. We have 25 people in our family, so it got to be too much to buy for everyone, and even the Pollyanna concept got difficult, so now we do it this way.

    2. Ok! Gotcha! We call that Dirty Santa! Depends on the party, sometimes we play with white elephant gifts, but most of the time we play with good stuff!!!

  17. Thank you so much for all your great advice. I think you do a fantastic job at what you do. Love that your blag is no full of product pushing. You inspire me! Have a wonderful New Year!

  18. Love your blog! I’m 51 and a busy mom of 3.  My oldest daughter is in doctoral school for pharmacy.  My middle child just graduated with her bachelors and my baby boy is a Junior in high school. I am also an educator.  Your style is timeless. I love the fact that many of your outfits give me inspiration from my own closet.
     Happy New Year!

  19. I loved reading your year-end post!! And what a year! You are beautiful inside and out. You’re meticulous, you’re smart and funny and a dear friend. Happy New Year!!!

  20. I loved reading this re-cap!   What a great year.   Thank you for all you do and the fantastic content you share on your blog.  I truly look forward to reading your emails and posts.   

  21. Hi Jolynne. I look forward to reading your blog everyday. You are a warm, lovely and honest person, and that really comes across in the blog. I love when you explain why an outfit works and doesn’t work for you. It has helped me immensely in figuring out why I’m sometimes uncomfortable with how I look in my clothes. I also love your Facebook live although Im not really into Facebook itself. Blessings to you and your family!

  22. I have loved reading your blog this year and look forward to reading it in 2019 you do a great job ! Best wishes for the new year xxx

  23. This whole post was surprisingly interesting, even though I don’t think I’ve missed one of your posts all year long. At 51, I find that there are surprisingly few blogs I’ve found that resonate with me as much as yours and Cyndi’s do. There is so much noise out on the internet these days that I have consciously limited how many writers I will follow regularly and the two of you continue to have relatable and aspirational content without being preachy, overbearing or just plain TOO MUCH. I do follow some other bloggers that seem to be partnering up with a new company every other day or having so much sponsored content that it’s overwhelming but I do appreciate that what you all do is truly a full time job and does come with associated costs that need to be met. I am looking forward to your continued style posts but also seeing how your house and decorating has come together. I do miss some of the posts you used to do about recipes, healthy eating and family updates but I understand you have to somewhat specialize your content as a fashion blogger. I hope you’ll continue to share Trunk Club unboxings, spend vs. splurge posts, and feature items from other department stores such as Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales more but I get that Nordstrom’s free delivery and returns are hard to top. Mostly I hope you’ll continue to be active in the Fashion over 40 FB group….it’s literally one of the only ones I follow daily. I don’t think there is anything else like it out there. And I would 100% love if you and Cyndi could manage to put together a meet-up somehow, or a fashion event at KofP Mall, I would totally be there!!! Happy New Year!

  24. You are my absolute favorite blogger!  I love getting your daily email and blog.  It is a highlight of my day!  You have introduced me to styles and outfits that I wouldn’t have thought of and I’m very thankful. I’m feeling like this 61 year old is a little more stylish now that I’ve followed you for a few  years!  I loved getting a glimpse of what goes on behind-the-scenes with this highlights blog. And it was fun to go back and see your outfits from the year, as well as your family events.  What a year you’ve had!  Thank you for all you put into this blog!  I’m praying you have a peaceful and happy New Year.

  25. Happy new year! I really enjoyed the recap. The “quality over quantity” is what makes this my must-read, never-miss-a-post blog. You’ve revolutionized shopping for me in that way – I’m able to strategically add items to my wardrobe based on your thoughtful and fun recommendations. I do enjoy the peek behind the scenes of your business, and I’ve also really liked the home posts. Thanks for all you do!

  26. What a great blog post. You are going to be soooo happy you have all these post.  Its like having a journal of your family alongside your fashions.  You can always go back month to month and see what you’ve been up too. Blessing. You and your family were blessed this year and I wish the same to you in 2019.  I like the personal touch you have to your blog.  During years of chronic migraines and not getting better and new medicines etc. etc.  Its really helped me to stay connected to your blog and Cyndi’s when I’m home alone so often and feeling isolated.  It may sound simple to you or even strange, but you both have helped me get through some tough times, just seeing the fashions…..I love fashion…..and staying caught up with the sales etc. when I couldn’t have otherwise.  Plus, the Christian encouragement and community of both your blogs has helped too.  I’m a Christian and we all need to pray for each other and feel connected.  I know you have lots you want to change to stay up with the blogging industry and I don’t understand it all but from a personal note, you are spot on. God is using you in ways you don’t even know.  I have never met you, but the way you write and post and share about your family, its like I know you all. Happy New Year.  

  27. Count me in as another happy reader/blog follower of yours, & this behind-the-scenes info is interesting to me too. Your take on quality over quantity is much appreciated; you definitely don’t come across as trying to sell every little thing in your posts—thank you!    I’ll echo many other comments already made about the content you’re providing—love it! Your outfit posts give such good information and ideas and help me to look in my own closet to see if I can recreate them in some way (& let me be honest, I love to shop so your posts push me in that direction as well).  I enjoy your try-on posts too because you explain what you like & don’t like about various clothes. And while that may sound contradictory regarding “pushing” clothing on us, I never see those posts that way at all from you. Again, they are informative and fun too.

    My own son has joined his middle school band and is now working on playing 3 different instruments, so hearing about your kids & their music always is of interest to me.  Seeing your home updates is fun too! I wish you continued success with your blog. Happy New Year to you & your family! 

  28. You are my favorite fashion blogger!  I’ve learned many practical things from the advice you share.  Everything is very tasteful, quality, and age appropriate….but my favorite thing about you is your genuineness.  I think we would be friends!  Keep your fb, instagram posts and newsletters coming.  I enjoy every.single.one.❤️

  29. Yes what a great year for you! I love your blog and how you do things. I am grateful that you are different than the typical fashion blogger and am with you regarding the quality vs quantity. It can get overwhelming with all there is to see and read in blogs, at least to me. Good luck as you think about this and plan for the new year.

  30. This was a fun post.  Time really does fly.  I really like that your content is quality over quantity.  Also, I like that you have more content in every post.  You often post outfits you don’t really like and explain why and what doesn’t work.  That is so helpful.  I really enjoy your Facebook lives, but that’s about all I look at on Facebook.  The whole Facebook thing just sucks up so much time and so many other posters have become too political or too Fakebook to bother getting on  just to check out bloggers.  I do love instagram and all your posts and stories.

    Happy New Year!!!!

  31. Wow – what a year! Thanks for sharing your struggles with running this year. I share some of the same struggles and sometimes it helps me knowing that I am not alone! I am turning over a new leaf for the new year – looking to shop less and just wear more of what I already have. Would love to see more posts featuring multiple ways to style an item. I appreciate all the work that goes into your blog! 

  32. It’s been exactly a year since I found your blog. I wasn’t a fashion blog reader before, but I happened upon your blog when I had just reached my goal of losing 45 pounds. I was ready to jump into shopping for a whole new wardrobe so your blog has been just what I needed to figure out what I should be wearing. I signed up for Stitch Fix after seeing the one review you did at the beginning of the year which led to me finding a lot of Stitch Fix unboxings on youtube. And that led to me starting an unboxing channel to share my clothing subscriptions. It’s been a fun hobby for me. I look forward to your post each day, and I have learned so much from you. So thank you!! And I look forward to many more outfits and tips in 2019!

  33. I’ve subscribed to your posts for about 2 years now, I think. Somehow I had missed that we are the exact same age and have been married the same number of years. Crazy. Maybe that’s why your posts always resonate with me…the major difference is our kids’ ages (I have 13 year old b/g twins.)

    I’ve loved seeing what you’ve done with your new house and love seeing pictures from your trips. I’ve also ordered several things you’ve featured on your blog, but by far the most compliments I’ve received is on the black/white dress for Macy’s.

    Looking forward to seeing more from you in 2019.

  34. Thanks for your willingness to share your feelings. As a new blogger I get discouraged and sometimes it seems like a losing battle for my blog to be seen. Your blog is an inspiration and I enjoy reading about how you manage it. If you don’t mind my asking, how long did it take for your blog to really grow?  Keep doing what you’re doing. I look forward to reading your blog every morning!

    1. I don’t mind at all! It’s hard to say, though, because it was such a different time. I’ve been blogging since 2006. It was before Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. The only people to read blogs were other bloggers. It was like this secret subculture of writers and storytellers. All that was required for growing a blog back then was to comment on other blogs. If you hit it off, they would share your stuff or tag you in a meme. Then came blog carnivals and linkup parties. It was a very inbred community, for lack of a better way to put it, lol!

      Today it’s a whole different ball game with social media and SEO. My average monthly page views haven’t grown significantly in years, and many bloggers who have been doing it as long as I have are finding theirs are lower these days than they were at one point. The space is just so saturated, and the major social media networks have implemented tricky algorithms that change on a dime. I think starting out today would be very difficult. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing, but I think focusing on engagement and building a trusted community is better than focusing on numbers. Even brands are starting to recognize quality over quantity. Good luck!

  35. Loved, loved, LOVED your recap message today. Your transparency truly is endearing. I often wonder how about the life of a blogger but only with what I see. I can’t imagine all the work behind the scenes. Thank you for sharing; your wins, losses, and challenges. Thank you for shopping, trying, posting, answering questions and sharing your family with us. Whatever you decide, always stay true to yourself. Happy New Year! 🥂 

  36. Jo-Lynne, this is such a fantastic post! What an amazing year you did have with lots of changes, but change always brings excitement and the opportunity for gratitude. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all! I wish you even more success in 2019! Happy New Year! 

  37. Hi Jolynne
    I have been a faithful follower of your for the past three years. I turned 50 this year and my oldest too started college this past fall.   I love your content as I am not always about so much new as I am about working with what I have the “right” way as an older mama.  I do have four daughters so I do follow the younger bloggers on instagram so I can help them navigate the fashion/makeup world.  I just wanted to give you a shout out for doing a great job keeping this 50 year old stylish and age appropriate.  For what it’s worth, instagram stories are a great way for you to direct followers to your current content.  I don’t do Facebook as my girls are instagrammers so that’s where I am. I follow your blog on Bloglovin.  I love knowing the Pinterest pins are helpful to you!!!  I follow you there as well.  I try to keep my email “clean” so to speak since I correspond with three different schools for my girls.  Anywho, I love you and your family.  I am happy that 2018 has been so good to you.  Peace and love from this mama from Overland Park, Kansas!  

  38. I loved this newsletter!! It was nice summary of 2018!!! Wishing you another awesome year of fun and joy for you, your husband and children!!🎇🎆🎉⭐️🎆🎇

  39. Hello Jo-Lynne
    What a year for you and your family! Regarding your business I think fb is a tough one to generate more interest on as a lot of people seem to be moving away from fb. I would personally enjoy a bit more health and fitness related content as what’s the point of a fabulous wardrobe if we can’t fit in those clothes. 😉 
    I get what you are saying about it not sitting right to push a lot of product as I turn away from blogs where it’s just about fast fashion. I feel like it’s so wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think many in our age group are drawn to your blog because we are more concerned about style than fashion. Just do you; stay true to your style. I love that you share some of your life with us as well. One of my favourite blogs for sure. All the best in 2019!

  40. Thank you for sharing about you blog and your thoughts and feelings about it. I enjoy reading regularly. I love your classic style. I may not always be able to purchase but I sure would love to!
    I do enjoy yours and Cyndi’s collaborations and look forward to those every season.
    Thank you for sharing you family and faith and being that friend who doesn’t let you wear mom jeans!
    PS- I always look forward to the “How to wear Ankle Boots” post!

  41. Enjoyed your recap – what a busy year you and your family had!! We will be graduating our oldest daughter from high school this year, then sending her off to college, and I’m a little nervous about all that change! Hoping I will handle it as well as you seem to have, though I’m sure there have been some behind-the-scenes moments you haven’t shared as well. Maybe I’ll tell my husband we need to buy a new house to keep me busy enough not to dwell on our daughter leaving! 😉

    Hope 2019 is a great year for you!!

  42. Jo-Lynne, thank you for sharing the highs and lows of blogging. As other readers have stated, you are the best at quality over quantity. I have been reading your blog close to 4 years and this blog is the only blog that I read daily. It’s like a treat that I give to myself. LOL! Other blogs I can skip or only partially read. What makes your blog unique is that you add so much content and so much fashion education into each and every blog you write. Other bloggers often just show pictures of an outfit. Also what makes your blog special is that your down-to-earth, warm, caring, and genuine nature shines through. Others have said it, so I’ll repeat it: you make us feel like you are our best friend. Your fashion style resonates with me so your outfits are outfits I want to (try to) replicate. I understand your struggle of growing your business and keeping up with social media and all of the changes in blogland but I just have to say that what you are already doing is what brings me back every day. You have taught me SO much about fashion and how to put together an outfit. Your words of fashion wisdom are often inside my head when I am shopping for clothes. (Does that make me sound weird?) Thank you for all that you do and Happy New Year!

  43. Jo-Lynne this is such an amazing and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing your highs and lows. I’ve followed you for so many years! But this year, as I set out to develop my own blog, I have watched you with awe!! Lol! I have no idea how you do all you do! I can’t keep up and I don’t have kids at home anymore. But you are such an inspiration. Obviously your transparency and genuineness resonate with your readers, but I know that even that requires balance and thought. But I’ve always felt like that is your sweet spot. Keep it up, girlfriend! You’re the bomb!! 

  44. You do an amazing job and I had no idea the amount of time and effort you outnumber into it. I have to tel you I look forward to your daily posts whether it’s fashion, home, or recipes. We all feel a little overwhelmed at times but know that you are amazing and doing a great job – in blogging and in your real life. Love watching you being a mother – mine are grown and I now get to enjoy grands – nothing better. Take time for yourself – Happy New Year! 

  45. What a wonderful post! I must tell you that I love, love, love your blog and I hope you will never stop posting. I don’t know how I would dress myself without your help!!! Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family!!!!

  46. Fantastic recap of the year in your family and fashion. I have been following you for a few years now, and I have to say your blog, as it is, is perfect (to me!). If you only knew how much I enjoy and look forward to your daily posts :). I must admit I have decided to forego Facebook as it has become so negative the past few years. My social media traffic is limited pretty much to Instagram now…much more positive and less political, if ya know what I mean. 
    Anywho, all this to say ‘thank-you’ for all your time, advice, and behind-the-scenes work to keep us looking our best! You and Cyndi are my top two bloggers that I follow daily and in my humble opinion, you girls are the best! Wishing you a wonderful and blessed 2019 <3

  47. Oh Jo-lynne I enjoyed reading your year in review… I am so thankful for you. I have revamped my look and my closet since I found you.. A huge thank you for all of your posts.. I have enjoyed meeting you and your family! Thank you so much for all you do!! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019. 🎉🎶… You always look so beautiful in all of your clothing! Blessed and Beautiful lady! Have a Happy new year 🎉🎊😇 God Bless you and your family!!

  48. You’ve certainly had a busy year…and a very stylish one too! I get nowhere near the amount of traffic you do, but I share the same struggles with SEO and growing social media. Facebook is the one I neglect to concentrate on Instagram more. I just feel that FB is a waste of time, but even IG is getting harder, and I’m finding the same accounts following then unfollowing. I plan to start doing YouTube regularly next year and IG stories more. It’ll be interesting to see what changes happen with social media next year. Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

    Emma xxx

  49. Thank you so much for the recap! I really enjoyed reading it. 🙂 I think I came across your site when I was doing a search on Pinterest on how to wear ankle boots, lol. I’ve been a subscriber for about a year and a half now, I think. I rarely (if ever) miss a day. I know I dress better than I used to. 😀 Thanks so much for all the hard work you do!

  50. I was bound and determined to read this post from start to finish, and I’ve finally done it.  For the most part, I don’t get into the media reviewing the past year, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your yearly review.  It was great!  Learning about some of the behind the scenes things you and other bloggers deal with was educating for sure.  At this moment, I don’t have any suggestions for 2019.  I do appreciate you allowing us to share more than just fashion in our posts.  For many reasons I don’t have a group of girlfriends that I stay in touch with or do things with, so I really value the girlfriends in this group.  I hope that y’all had a great Saturday!  God bless!

  51. You’ve had quite an eventful and memorable year! I love following your blog and try to open and read it daily. When I’m working it’s sometimes hard to get to it, but I try find time each night to catch up with you and your latest fashion suggestions after dinner with a glass of wine. 🍷😊

     I’ve gotten many outfit ideas from you over the last several years which I love, but I especially appreciate how you talk to your readers/followers as if we know each other personally. I follow some other bloggers who come off like they’re the only “experts” when it comes to what’s trendy (and they’re 30 🙄) and it feels a little too preachy at times. And then there’s also the age and clothing cost factor which makes you more relatable to me (You’re close to my age, share a similar style, and I shop at the same places you do.) I love looking at high fashion just got fun, but don’t have the budget or the lifestyle for a $500 dress or a $350 blouse. (This vacation break I’ve been in yoga pants or jeans every single day except on Christmas & I’m loving being all casual and comfy!! 🤣 Guess that doesn’t help your business though – oops- sorry!) 

    So thank you, JoLynne, for sharing your life and fashion sense (successes and fails) with us. Your realness is what keeps me reading. Looking forward to 2019 with you, my friend! 😉💕

  52. I hope that your being worn and unsure of where to go passes quickly. I’m feeling much the same. I attribute much of it to the season and its expectations.
    I do love your blog. I’m not into FB nor do I need multi-day items. I want to manage my social media time. Whatever you decide make sure it makes you happy!

  53. Thank you! You do a great job. I find myself comparing other bloggers and content to yours, my gold standard! You have a way of relating that is humble, relatable and interesting. I especially appreciate your succinct writing style and focused posts and emails. Based on your recommendations, I have made a number of purchases, and have been so pleased. Ypu are a confidence provider!
    Great balance of trendy and practical, affordable and spluge.
    I am certain others feel the same in saying, I think if I knew you, we’d be friends.🙂
    Thank you for all you do! May God bless you and your family in 2019!

  54. I LOVE your blog and instagram!  When I turned 40, I googled “fashion over 40” and found you!  My goal was to look put together and up-to-date without looking “too young”. 😂 That sounds crazy but I wanted to look age-appropriate but stylish and classy.  That’s what I get from following you! I get compliments all the time now (2 years later) about what I’m wearing.  That has NEVER happened to me before.  I’m unhappy with my body right now but it’s surprising how many compliments I get about how I wear my clothes.  I’m looking forward to taking better care of my body in 2019 and adding in a weekend getaway with my husband.  Our middle son graduates from high school in May! Eeek!  Thanks for all you do to help me look better and feel better about myself. You’re a blessing for sure!

  55. It really has been an exciting and memorable year for your family, and I’ve enjoyed following along for all of it. Here’s to a more relaxed, yet just as enjoyable and memorable, new year for you!

  56. Your recap was great! Thanks for a wonderful year of posts. I actually found your blog over 5 years ago when it was Musings of Housewife looking for a gluten free recipe. I understand the need to focus on fashion as a way to segment your blog, etc. However, I do love when you branch out and focus on other areas too in your posts such as beauty, fitness, meals and home design/improvements. As a work from home mom of two teenagers, I relate to a lot of what you have going on in your life. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with your community. It is appreciated.

  57. Thank you for all your hard work. I follow a few bloggers, but you are the one I identify with the most. Same hair color, body type, taste, etc.  Don’t succumb to the quantity vs. quality of posts issue.   You do you.  Thanks for the AG jeans/eyebrow pencil suggestions. Life changers!😊 Happy 2019!

  58. I really like the idea from one of your blogs (I’m catching up after not reading during the Christmas break) about doing some mix and match posts. I always like to learn about basics and classics that I’ll wear for a million years. I also really like the 2 ways to wear something posts, but I do know those are more work for you! I’m just a hog, I like lots of pictures and ideas!
    Meanwhile, my 8 year old daughter was looking over my shoulder as I read this post and she totally loves the pretty party dress! She thinks I should get it to wear on dates with “Daddy”. Too sweet! She does love pretty things, like her Mama.
    Looking forward to navigating 2019 with you!

  59. Out of all the fashion bloggers I follow you are favorite and I can relate to you the most as a mom in her 40’s who feels it’s important to stay fashionable to feel good about myself.  I look forward to your email newsletters and blog posts and really appreciate the time and effort you put.  I love your insight and point of view and appreciate that you want to put quality over quantity.  Looking forward to what you have in store for 2019.

  60. You are and continue to be one of my favorite fashion bloggers. I follow several bloggers, but yours is the one I read first and consistently. Keep up the good work and continue to be true to yourself. Cheers to 2019 and another great year.

  61. What a year for your family and the blog. I really enjoyed your outfit posts and learning more about style from you. I would like to see more re-mixing pieces this year. Although I know that’s counter productive to showing new pieces. I hope you can find a good balance that works for you.

  62. You brought a little tear to my eye when I saw David’s grad picture, as I also had my oldest graduate from high school this year. He retained his cap, but lost his tassle??? 🙂 I want to say thanks for upping my style game and keeping me current. I love what you do and can’t imagine how you can put more into your day for your readers! I totally appreciate all you do and hope you know that all your readers love you to bits! I will be turning 50 this year and know that I will be doing it in style. My only regret is that with the US/Canadian dollar exchange being so bad I can’t get a lot of the clothes you show, but I am always able to find alternates. Keep up the good work and hope you have a great 2019!

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