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Year In Review: Highlights From 2023

Happy New Year, friends! I know it’s cliché, but I can hardly believe it’s time to write another Year In Review. This is my 10th one, and I’m changing up the format a bit this year. I hope you like it!

State of the Blog Address

Like most years, 2023 had its fair share of highs and lows, both personally and professionally, but let’s focus on the highs!

Professionally, it was the most profitable year yet for my business. I published 297 blog posts, grew my email list by 7600 subscribers, and welcomed 1,504 new members to the JLS Insiders Facebook Group.

The blog turned 17 years old in March! What started as an online diary for our family of five has grown into an everyday fashion destination and virtual community serving over half a million women a month. I still find that absolutely mind-boggling.

I counted them up, and I’m actually surprised that I only participated in 12 brand partnerships last year. I’ve always been selective about the brands agree to work with and the amount of sponsored posts I accept, but this year I was even more choosy, and I believe it paid off in various ways.

For one thing, I realized that I prefer having fewer long-term partnerships to a bunch of one-off posts. I have a hard time focusing on too many projects at once, and this way, I can give the brands who are paying me a better return on their investment.

Plus, I believe it serves my audience better, as well. My content feels more authentic, and being more selective aligns with my commitment to quality over quantity, so it’s a win-win!

outfit details

The income I bring in from sponsored posts, affiliate relationships, and my ad network allows me to provide all of the content I create here on the blog and on my social media channels for free; so I truly appreciate your support of these collaborations, whether it’s commenting or purchasing or just showing up to read.

I invested in my blog in some new ways in 2023. I hired a Pinterest manager, as well as a graphics designer, and I’m working on a new website design, which should launch sometime in February.

That’s a big undertaking, and it will be my most sophisticated blog design to date. I can’t wait to see it all unfold! In the meantime, I reorganized the categories in my menu bar so you can hopefully navigate those a little more easily.

In addition to my usual Fashion and Beauty content, I ramped up my Travel section this year, and I plan to make more travel-related content a priority in 2024.

While the blog is and always will be my top priority, and the email newsletter is my primary vehicle for delivering my latest posts and exclusive content to my faithful readers, I also made a concerted effort in 2023 to post more frequently to my Facebook Page and Instagram Story.

I’m still not as consistent as I’d like to be, but considering that I don’t have a project manager or social media manager on my team, I feel like I’ve achieved a workable balance.

I have no desire to be on TikTok or to do much with YouTube, although I’m sure they would help grow my business, but I’m a writer at heart. That’s why I put my heart and soul into the blog and leave what’s left for the social media platforms. It is what it is, as they say!

Treasure & Bond Oversize Sweater (S)

I’m not much of a goal-setter, but if there’s one thing I want to work on for 2024, it’s growing my email list and making those emails more valuable to you.

There are so many things I cannot control as a creator, with Google algorithms changing on a whim and social media companies favoring certain types of content, but I do own my email list, and I want to be sure I’m using that platform to its fullest potential.

All in all, I’m pleased with how my business is growing, and I’m proud of the content I’ve put out this year.

A Quick 2023 Recap in Pictures

Okay, let’s just do a quick walk down memory lane! January was a slow month, both personally and professionally. My stats were down, and I was feeling sluggish and worn out after a busy Q4 and a lot of holiday hosting. I eventually regained my footing, and everything picked up again in February, when we started talking Spring Fashion Trends!

Since Pennsylvania was still a frozen tundra, I planned a trip to Miami to take spring outfit pictures in a warmer climate. To make it even more fun, I invited some of my fellow fashion bloggers to join me!

Miami, Florida // Tania // Jen // me // Lindsey

We brought Alison along to take pictures, and she worked her magic from dawn to dusk for two days straight, so we all came home with tons of fabulous photos to use for spring content.

Miraclesuit (10) // Fendi sunnies

Somehow, I managed to plan the trip over Super Bowl Weekend, so I wore my Eagles gear and managed to catch the end of that very disappointing game in the basement of our hotel, where it was showing in their bowling alley/bar area.

Eagles tee // MOTHER Insider // P448 John // similar belt // YSL Wallet On A Chain (option)

When I got home, I was missing Florida so much that I immediately started making plans to go back. I convinced Cyndi to meet me in Jacksonville in March, where we visited Sydney for a few days to do some spring content planning.

Jacksonville, Florida

We also scheduled a photo shoot with the lovely and talented Mary Catherine Echols, which provided more beautiful imagery for my blog and social media channels over the following weeks while it was still chilly here at home.

Ponte Vedra, Florida

Spring finally sprung in Pennsylvania, and Alison spontaneously took this picture one day in April when we were shooting photos at Valley Forge National Park.

This photo is a good reminder to stop every once in a while to smell the roses, so to speak. I realized that on a weekly basis, I nonchalantly drive through one of our nation’s stunning national parks, when there are people who travel from all over the country to experience it.

Historic Valley Forge Station

I flew to Boston in April to attend a family bridal shower that my mom and aunt were hosting. It was a rainy weekend, but that didn’t put a damper on our fun… sorry, I had to!

I wore this pretty floral dress from White House Black Market with nude pumps, and I topped it off with my light beige trench.

David finished up college in May, after five long years that included those ugly Covid years, and he’s finally found a full-time job that he seems excited about. He’s finishing up his training and hopes to start his first assignment very soon.

Also in May, Caroline and I made a quick trip to Nashville for a music event.

It was so nice to have a mother-daughter trip after she had been away all semester at college. I want to be more intentional about doing that kind of thing with my kids, now that they’re all practically adults.

Nashville, Tenessee

There were some college visits with Becca thrown in there, her first prom, as well as her many music events and performances. It was a busy spring for our family, but a lot of fun!

We traveled to New Hampshire in June to celebrate a family wedding at a historic seaside hotel.

Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, NH

July brought my 51st birthday, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, a week at the beach with some of Paul’s family, and our epic Italy family vacation.

Ocean City, New Jersey

Our Italy vacation was truly the trip of a lifetime. I still have to pinch myself to believe it really happened. All five us were able to go, which made it even more special.

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy

We hired a photographer to do family photos for us, which was rather stressful in the moment, but I’m so glad I have them. We walked all over Florence, and she took many candids as well as some posed shots at prime locations.

Florence, Italy

Paul and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in August, Caroline returned to college in Massachusetts, and I made an appearance on the Everyday Style School Podcast!

That was a really fun experience. I’m such a fan of Jen’s work, so to be interviewed by her was another pinch-me moment.

We traveled to Virginia at the end of the month for my dad’s 80th birthday party.

my outfit details

And the next thing I knew, it was time for Becca to start her senior year of high school! This is probably my last “first day of school” picture of one of my kids, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

Fall Fashion took over the blog in September, and my Fall 2023 Fashion Trends posts took off on Google and Pinterest, making September and October the biggest months for traffic I’ve ever seen on the blog.

outfit details // King of Prussia, PA

Becca turned 18 in October, and just like that, I have three legal adults living under my roof!

That was also the month of Senior Parent Night for the marching band, football team, and cheerleading squad.

my outfit details

David turned 24 in November, and before we knew it, the holidays were upon us. We hosted some of Paul’s family for Thanksgiving dinner, and spent the rest of the weekend decorating our home for Christmas.

Caroline and I went to see Beauty and the Beast in Philly one night in December, which was a fun way to welcome her home from college. She declined to be in a photo, but she took this one for me.

outfit details // Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

And Paul and I made a quick trip to Chicago a few weeks ago for his company holiday party.

outfit details // The Dalcy, Chicago, Illinois

We made a weekend out of it, and I enjoyed exploring the city that I’d only visited once before.

outfit details // Chicago, IL

Caroline turned 21 on Christmas Eve, marking another major milestone for our family this year.

And we enjoyed a quiet Christmas Day here at home with Paul’s mom. Caroline made her cinnamon rolls, we had a big breakfast, and then we spent the rest of the day opening presents and just hanging out.

We celebrated Christmas with most of Paul’s extended family this past weekend, which was a lot of fun. And then we rang in the new year here at home last night, after having dinner with friends. I don’t have a single picture to commemorate the occasion, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s better to simply enjoy the moment.

In Conclusion

It’s been quite a year, and this post doesn’t touch on half of it, but some things are just too personal or too raw to put out to the World Wide Web. Even though it’s been a hard year in many ways, you can see clearly from this post that there have also been many joyous moments and reasons to celebrate this messy life we’re all living.

Through it all, I feel so blessed to have this community of women who support and encourage me and each other. Once again, thank you all for being here.

Here’s to a healthy and happy {and fashionable} 2024! 🥂

Join The Conversation

0 Responses

  1. Thanks for focusing on writing! I like to read and don’t really make/have time for videos or podcasts.
    Happy new year!

  2. Thank you for the roundup! I enjoyed the photos particularly those of Italy and your youngest playing a ?? Xylophone on the field. God bless you and heal you from the lingering pains of 2023.

  3. Happy new year! Our kids are similar in age so I am going through many of these milestones with you. They are bittersweet. I have a fashion question. I love the black miraclesuit swimsuit with the unique notch at the neckline. I’ve tried on some in the past but they are so tight and uncomfortable. Once it’s on, does it feel comfortable to wear? Thanks!

      1. One of best things I did was invest in swimsuit (I think I got the sea level one you shared) and a couple cover ups (including one in this post) per your links. I felt good going to beach (due to afinally having a swimsuit that held things in place). Even my daughter commented she liked my swimsuit and cover ups. Thank you for all your swimsuit posts!

  4. I enjoyed your recap of 2023.. what a busy and exciting year you had! I like your genuine and honest spin on fashion and especially the hits and misses in your try ons! Very few if any do that! I also enjoy reading your blog!
    Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to what you have for us in 2024!

  5. What I LOVE about your posts is that you include outfits and pairings that don’t quite work, and you analyze/explain WHY they don’t look quite right. That is unique among the “fashionistas” that I follow, and it’s SO HELPFUL! I also like that you re-wear your tops and bottoms, combining them different ways just like real women do.

  6. Happy New Year! I always enjoy your posts. I wish you another successful year. I don’t do social media so I can only follow you on the blog.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing all this with us. What a beautiful year you’ve had! You seem to be blessed with a beautiful family and many friends. We all have our trials and tribulations thank you for sharing that you are no different than the rest of us. Have a very Happy New Years Day.

  8. Happy New Year!
    Your blog is a daily read for me, and where I consistently turn to find realistic fashion knowledge. I love that you stay true to your fashion sense, continue learning, and showing us how to be current in our own style.
    I especially love your dead of winter posts from your Florida trip(s). I am knee deep in snow, ice and heavy winter until mid May in my part of the country, so living vicariously through your Florida fashion posts is a bright spot.
    I also really love that you start posting Christmas gift guides in October (I think) because the timing of those and great mix of ideas has been super helpful to me!
    Your year in review was fun to read. I’m sure we all have lots of highlights in our own lives, and the reality is a lot of lows that aren’t necessarily something we all tend to share or review. So it’s a good reminder that life does have its ups and downs, for all of us.
    Looking forward to 2024 with you!

  9. Happy New Year to you and your family! Time really flies by. I started following your blog when your son was in high school, now he is graduating from college, all in the seeming blink of an eye. Congratulations on all the milestones in your lives. While I rarely comment, big thanks to you for all that you do. Your blog adds quality to my life…… it’s positivity and celebrating quality over fast fashion. You also help me navigate the trends. We have similar body types so it helps me to see what looks good on you. Sadly, we don’t have many of the same stores in Canada (Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack closed all their stores here in May). Still have Talbots though in case you wish to do a collaboration with them. Totally understand keeping your personal life private. Social media has a tendency to only focus on the glossy and exciting yet life is rarely just that. Hopefully whatever you are facing resolves in the best possible outcome. Prayers to you that this too shall pass.

  10. Great roundup! I enjoy hearing your life updates. I’m sure it’s bittersweet seeing your kids become adults, but I truly hope you enjoy this new season with them! I didn’t realize you had a hard year this past year. I hope and pray that things are better for you and your family in the coming year!
    As to the blog, I much prefer reading too. It seems many bloggers have gone to instagram or TikTok, but I enjoy reading an article style blog post more than just a caption on a picture or a video. Glad you keep it old school! I also don’t utilize many of the other features like I should, I truly enjoy just reading each day’s post. But I look forward to the new design. I also like less sponsored posts so you can focus on brands you really love. Although I find some of my favorites are the “how to” type posts.
    Happy new year to you and your family!

  11. Happy New Year! Love your blog, Instagram page and Facebook. Love, love, LOVE that you educate us as you figure out what works for your body type. And, I appreciate that you limit your sponsorships. So many influencers seem to wear (I hesitate to even say style) anything and several only show Amazon items. Thank you for being authentic, classy and professional. Wishing you a wonderful year personally as well as professionally. I know I will be here with you.

  12. Happy New Year Jo-Lynne. Wishing you and your family a peaceful and healthy new year. Your blog is truly a ray of sunshine in my life ! Thank you so much.

  13. JoLynne,
    Thank you for sharing life and fashion with us! Love your style. I hope 2024 is filled with less messy and more happy. Cheers!

  14. Your blog is a daily must for me, thank you for sharing all of these pictures of your lovely family. Loved seeing the photo of your dad, I can see some favor in your son David of your dad. Cherish each day with them, I so miss my parents.
    Happy new year!

  15. Hi Jolynne,

    Happy New Year! Thanks for a great recap of 2023. I truly enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it every day.

    Here’s to a happy and healthy 2024 filled with love, joy and laughter.

  16. Happy New Year! Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2024. Your blog is the best and so appreciated. Thank you for all that you do. It’s outstanding and I look forward to your blog every day.

  17. Thank you for all your hard work! I don’t need to waste any more time on line. I’m not on Instagram for that reason. I’m on Facebook to keep up with my family who lives several hours away. So I appreciate your focus on writing. You are an excellent writer!
    We went to Italy, Greece and Turkey in 2022, and I feel the same way! Was that us having all those unbelievable moments?!

  18. Wow! This year has flown by, congratulations on all your families accomplishments this past year. 🥳I have been with you from the start almost and still enjoy your blog post the best. Thank you for all your hard work you put into this blog. ❤️❤️❤️ Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year!

  19. Some say blogs are dead but it is my favourite forum. Obviously yours is thriving. I think it is because of your analysis of outfits. Why they work or don’t. It helps us to put outfits together successfully. Your How to Wear posts are another favourite, especially with new trends. I also like that you add a personal touch to every post. We feel like we know you and trust you.
    Happy New Year Everyone!

  20. Thank you for all that you do ! Happy New Year! I really enjoy your writing , and I am glad that you focus more on that than social media . Thank you also for limiting your paid partnerships , I do feel like when you post an affiliate link , it is truly something you value. Too many bloggers/ influencers have jumped on the Amazon and Walmart fashion trend and I am so glad that you haven’t !

  21. I would like to say ditto to what others have commented here! May you be encouraged! I’m staying here!
    I’m at about the same stage of life as you too. Lots of transitions. Thank for sharing this beautiful post.

  22. What a great year end post. I so enjoyed it. I love your blog and look forward to it every morning. I’ve been a follower now since 2015. You do such a great job. Looking forward to another year ahead with you. You are lovely and have a lovely family. Bless you and Happy New Year.

  23. PS. I don’t have social media like Facebook or Instagram so I treasure your writings on the blog post. You are a great writer. I’m thankful you haven’t fallen to the Amazon/Walmart deal. I like to see clothes from Nordstrom, Loft and Gap myself.

  24. Hi Jolynne! Your blog makes me excited about life and hopeful about the future. I’m so glad I found you in 2023!

  25. Happy New Year! I’ve been following your blog for over a dozen years. I love that you focus on writing.Our styles and body shape are similar and your content and comments help me so much deciding what will work for me. You have made me a more careful shopper and I make fewer purchase mistakes because of you. I don’t watch videos even from bloggers I like and I have discontinued following bloggers who feature Target, Wal Mart and Amazon all the time. I don’t shop there for clothes! I would rather see things that have quality and longevity even if they are more than I think I want to spend. I love glimpses into your family life and travels. It makes you a real person and I’m sure we could be friends in real life if we had the opportunity. I rarely comment but always look forward to your blog. Thank you for all you do. You are greatly appreciated!

  26. Thanks again Jo Lynne for all you do for many women out here, myself included. Life sure is messy, and the true joy is actually somewhere inside that mess, so I found out. I just do my best guided by my faith..
    Wishing you and yours, and all members of this wonderful community a very Blessed 2024 full of Joy, gratitude and resilience !

  27. I really enjoyed your recap. I did something similar for myself last year, and hopefully tomorrow I can do it again for 2023. I feel ya on the hard parts that are too raw and personal for the web. Grief and heartache seemed to be reigning emotions for us, but in the midst of agony, there is always beauty to behold. I need to remember that more often. As always, I’m so thankful I found your blog. Here’s to 2024!

  28. I’m not on social media at all so I appreciate your focus on the blog and email newsletter! Happy New Year and thanks for all you do.

  29. What a lovely recap and photos of your year. Life dishes out both challenges and joy and I appreciate you acknowledging that and yet, focusing on the positive. I followed you for a long time and you remain my favorite blogger. Thank you so much for providing intentional, useful and quality content for us. Many blessings to you and your family in 2024.

  30. Happy New Year! Thanks for taking us along with you on your fashion journey of hits and misses, trends and classics and life’s joys and struggles. . I love your blog! ❤️

  31. Jo-Lynne! Happy New Year to you and your sweet family! Even though you are almost 20 years younger than me, I feel like we could be friends! I also live in the Philadelphia area (across the river in Jersey), I enjoy the local aspect of your blog. Your writing is interesting and fun to read and your “What I wore lately” and How To blogs are my favorites. I also really enjoy catching you on Instagram and our Facebook group. Sorry to hear of your struggles and pain in 2023, I pray those things work out in 2024. God is good and gracious as long as we trust and follow his leading. Some day we will catch up with each other at the King of Prussia Mall! Keep up the good work, your faithful readers sure appreciate you!!

  32. You are, hands down, my favorite blogger. Your content is intelligent, authentic, and helpful. So glad to call you my friend.

  33. Happy New Year! I’m a daily reader and I appreciate how you share some family life with us. Your content is so valuable to me and I hope you have a blessed 2024.

  34. I loved reading this recap of your year. You had a busy, busy year! I would rather read a blog post than watch a video any day, so I appreciate your focus on writing the blog. Have a wonderful 2024!

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