We hope you’ve had an amazing holiday week and are currently enjoying some down time! We landed in Portland last night and will be here for the next several days. We’re spending time in Bend with my family. Then making our way to Portland in time for New Years Eve! I’m excited to unplug and finally take some time off (more on that in a second).
This year has definitely been one for the record books! It was an exciting year for both of us professionally and personally.
We made it through the wedding planning process. Once that was all said and done, we pulled through the craziest wedding weekend of all time. We worked together to re-plan an entirely new wedding in 36 hours without a single fight. There has never been a year where we felt more proud as a couple, or more loved by family and friends.
Looking forward to 2018, we have big plans for the blog and we can’t wait to see how they pan out.
We’re excited to give you a sneak peak of what to expect in the coming year:
More capsule wardrobe posts
The capsule wardrobe remix posts have by far and away been my most popular posts this year! They are really fun to put together, and best of all–super helpful for you! I definitely plan to continue these next year–expanding into different occasions as well. I’ll be working on a business casual capsule for work, as well as more travel capsules for certain trips I may be planning!
Again, these aren’t necessarily meant to be hold you to rigorous rules, but more, giving you the opportunity to really experiment with your own personal style and evolve it to a more confident and creative place.
More Neal content
The best feedback I got coming out of the holiday season was in relation to Neal’s gift guide for guys! SO many of you reached out asking for more men’s style posts, and just more Neal content in general. Admittedly, it’s hard to swing with Neal’s crazy work schedule, but we definitely want to commit to having him on the blog a lot more this year!
More Neal and Jess content
Another popular request we’ve had is “more Neal and Jess content” (which is super flattering by the way!?)–whether that be sharing more of our story, relationship advice, and behind the scenes of our life in general. We’d like to do a better job of bringing you behind the camera. So you can get to know the both of us on a more personal level.
More clean beauty and healthy lifestyle related content
I think one area that has changed the most for me this past year is how much more educated I am on health, nutrition, and clean beauty. It’s something I’ve become a lot more passionate about, but a topic I haven’t quite gotten the hang of bringing to life online. Luckily, I’ve heard from a lot of you that you’re also increasingly interested in clean beauty. So while I’m certainly no health expert, I’m looking forward to exploring more of this area with you in 2018!
More home content
One of our big goals this year is to REALLY finish decorating our condo. We moved in right after we got engaged. Therefore, all of our time and financial resources over the past year were dedicated to the wedding. Our house definitely got the shaft. I mean, we still don’t have real lamps with real lamp shades in our master bedroom and we have not ONE piece of art hanging on our walls. It’s BAD.
We will definitely be enlisting Kira’s help to get it all done, but I’m excited to document the process and share as I go along. Our biggest project, tentatively, will be replacing the kitchen countertops, backsplash, and sink.
A continued balance of “real life” and “pretty pictures”
Keeping things real on this blog has always been, and always will be, my top priority. I never want you to come away from a post thinking your clothes aren’t stylish enough, that your house pretty or clean enough, or that you’ll never be able to create certain makeup look on your own.
There are enough places like that on the internet–I never want this site to be one of them. Yes, of course, we all like pretty pictures, but I also think with posting the pretty “highlight reel” photos, there comes a duty of telling you what a disaster is lying just two feet to the right of the frame.
I want to give you ideas that inspire you to be able to put together an outfit you never would’ve thought of otherwise, helpful tips on staying organized, advice on the best beauty products to suit your needs, and so on.
I think Instagram stories have become my #1 favorite platform. I’ve made it a priority to NOT put makeup on before I tell you what I’m up to for the day. Or to show you the days where I’ve had an insane week, been working for 13 hours straight and therefore haven’t changed out of sweats even though it’s 5pm–or how my kitchen is always a disaster and how I’m the annoying person in the relationship who never remembers to change the roll of toilet paper.
Of course, there are two main reasons for this that I feel I need to divulge–#1. I want to be the person that always puts things in perspective for you and #2. (This is weighted equally, if we’re being honest) I’m just too lazy to make my life look perfect. That sounds EXHAUSTING.
Whether you follow on instagram, my blog, or both–I want it to be a place to embrace REAL life. That’s never going to change, but I am always looking for recommendations and ways that I can continue to do that.
A closer sense of community
I don’t really know HOW I’m going to bring this to life yet (and again, I would really love your recommendations on the topic) but by far the coolest and most rewarding part of my job is YOU. It is the community of smart, driven, intelligent women that GG has helped build, who have so much to offer–and I want to figure out a way to bring that community together even further.
I have absolutely LOVED doing reader roundup posts. They are some of my favorite to write because A. I love connecting with you guys on a deeper level on topics that don’t necessarily have anything to do with clothes and B. I think it provides us the most fun opportunity to learn and connect with one another. I’m definitely planning to continue and build upon the “crowdsourced” content in 2018.
So, with that, a couple new ideas I have on bringing our community together:
Reader meet ups?
(maybe at a coffee shop or over drinks somewhere, or maybe even a cool yoga event or something). Basically, we all have a lot in common (or we wouldn’t all be reading this blog!). So I think meet ups would be a cool opportunity to make new friends outside of our current social circles. We can meet people who we wouldn’t have met otherwise! To be honest I’ve wanted to do this for a really long time. Honestly I’ve been too afraid that nobody would come. A few of you have requested this though. So, I THINK this is something everyone would like–but any extra re-assurance would be really great, haha!
Okay, honestly, I really don’t know if this is something people would like. Facebook groups work well I know when people have something specific to teach (Like our Blogging For Keeps Facebook group) but in this instance, I really have no idea, but I like the concept of being able to connect as a community wherever you are. Like, if you’re looking for a recommendation on a new lipstick. Or trying to a figure out what to wear on a third date. For example–I think instead of it being a one way conversation with me, wouldn’t it be cool to have everyone weigh in on the subject?
Okay…those are all the ideas I have at the MOMENT (I’m sure there will be many more by the time I hit publish on this).
Out of office
Which brings me to my next point. I’ll be taking some time off my regular posting schedule until January 8th. For one, I am still a little burnt out from the holidays. They’re my busiest time of year and I’m still feeling a bit frazzled.
Second, I’m really excited for the upcoming year. So I’m planning to take several days to REALLY dive into 2018 planning, strategy, and content development.
I’ll be posting here and there intermittently with content I’ve already scheduled, but we’ll be back with regular programming the week of January 8th! BUT, in the meantime….
2018 Reader Survey
To help me with my 2018 planning, I’ve created a google doc survey below. It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes, but it will help me IMMENSELY in terms of being able to serve you as best I can in the coming year! The more detail you can provide, the better!
(Also, please don’t say anything mean–I am a human and I read each and every comment and believe it or not, really take your feedback to heart).
I can’t tell you how much your support means to Neal and I. This blog has become so much more than I had ever imagined it could be. It’s all because of you.
There are a lot of bloggers out there who tell me, “I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 50” or “blogging won’t be around forever” or wishing they could just delete their instagram accounts permanently–but that has never been the case for me, and I’m so grateful for that.
When everything hit the fan with our wedding and I went dark on social media for days–it felt good to finally sign back online during our honeymoon so I could tell you all about it.
It sounds weird, but you guys are truly like my family. I can’t truly put into words what a special feeling it is to know you really care about what I have to say–and I know Neal feels the same.
So yes, I do hope I’m still doing this at 50. I hope we can continue to learn and grow together and support one another throughout every phase of life.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we can’t wait to see where we take 2018 together.
Happy New Year, and lot’s of love from our family to yours.
Jess and Neal