Happy Friday from sunny Los Angeles! I had a quick work trip, and thanks to Winter Break, I was able to bring Little Miss with me! Not only do I love spending one-on-one time with her, but appreciate the opportunity to share more of what I do. She usually sees me sitting at the computer or taking photos in a mirror, so I’m thrilled she gets to see women at work, pursuing their passions!
I hope the New Year has treated you well so far. Considering I barely changed out of pajamas or jogger pants for the last week, I’d say I’m off to a pretty good start! Make sure you don’t miss Monday’s post… I’ve got a HUGE announcement you don’t want to miss!
I’ve been recapping the most popular projects and posts of last year… and there were a lot of them (over 200!). But what made 2019 so unbelievably special was you… and the experiences and opportunities that came from your support, readership, comments, and genuine enthusiasm and encouragement.
While I tend to always be pushing forward, it’s important for me to slow down and fully acknowledge the blessings in my life…both big and small… so I can truly express my gratitude. In a world of endless To Do Lists, it’s easy for me to lose sight of what I’ve accomplished, so I hope you’ll indulge me one last recap post of 2019, sharing my personal highlights.
I always hesitate to write this post because it feels so self-indulgent, but this blog is not only a space to share my creative ideas, but also my own personal scrapbook and family chronicle.
So this post is a combination of my own personal highlights from 2019, as well as the projects you made popular… along with some geeky by-the-numbers stuff. Basically everything that made 2019 grand for me, my family, and this little blog…all in one spot!
I’m constantly amazed by the experiences and opportunities that come my way through blogging. To me, I’m just sharing thoughts and ideas with friends on the internet everyday, so I’m beyond flattered when it leads to things like trips across the globe or clothing lines! Not to mention, the friendships and relationships that have come from these partnerships.
Hands-down, the biggest thing that’s ever happened professionally are my collaborations with Gibson to create a line of Hi Sugarplum pieces for Nordstrom. My heart still races when I think about it. How. Did. That. Happen?!? And not just once, but we’re about to embark on our FIFTH!
The faith and trust both Gibson and Nordstrom has in us (because I couldn’t do it without you!!), humbles me beyond articulation. I’ve never been more excited and petrified of something in my life, but the way you show up to support the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collections blows us all away! I literally have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when I say, ‘With all my heart, thank you.’
We created three brand-new Collections last year, and I can’t wait to share what we have in store for 2020!
One of my favorite posts every year is the kid’s Back to School Style with J.Crew Factory. It’s a brand I’ve loved for decades, and I was thrilled to be featured on their website with my kids.
Kendra Scott was my first love when comes to everyday jewelry, and I was honored to be selected as one of their brand ambassadors for 2019. We’re already talking about plans for 2020, and I’m excited to share even more of this incredible brand with you. I have a heart for women-led businesses, especially those that give back to their community like Kendra does!
I think of you all as girlfriends, so I’m very choosy when it comes to recommending brands and products. I know sponsored content can be a touchy subject, but rest assured I’d never talk about a brand or product I wouldn’t genuinely pass along to my mom or best friend. Sponsored or not, I won’t share it if I don’t love it!!
My goal is always to help bring value and style to your life, with a range of ideas and products for all budgets. Here are a few of the stellar brands I was honored to partner with last year.
*Stand-Out Personal & Family Moments*
Now for the really good stuff… the joys behind the camera! One of the highlights of the year for our family was our son’s graduation from high school. To see him becoming his own man is frightening and exciting, and I’m so grateful I’m here to see it all!
Later followed by his moving to college. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I’ve done as a parent (read about it HERE), but this new normal is something we’re all slowly getting used to. It’s definitely a work in progress!
Watching Little Miss blossom and grow more comfortable with her gifts and abilities was one of our greatest joys last year. We celebrated her 13th birthday with a surprise trip to New York City with Mama Sugarplum. It was an incredible few days just the three of us, and memories I’ll cherish forever.
With the graduation clock ticking, we took several family trips for everything from Spring Break to Summer. Creating these memories and sharing experiences is our favorite gift to each other, and times I’ll always treasure. The kids will be adults with separate lives of their own before I know it, and I want to savor every moment while I can!
Our annual family vacation is always a highlight, especially when it’s with one of our favorite families!
Mr. Sugarplum and I escaped for two long weekends, and time alone with him is always good for my soul… not to mention, our marriage! We celebrated 25 years together last year!
We also burned up the freeway between Dallas and Norman, and experienced Oklahoma football firsthand!
And much to my mom’s dismay, my son and I marked this new season of life with matching tattoos. When he said he wanted to share one with me, and wanted it to represent his faith, how could I deny him!?!
Part of what makes the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collections so special is being able to include my mom. She brings so much joy and life to everything she does, and having her by my side for the experience was such a blessing.
Not to mention the friendships that have grown from working so closely with the entire team…Val, Suzie and all the amazing women at Gibson.
My favorite part of blogging is the interactions with you. Every time I hit ‘publish’ on a post, I’m excited to see what you think, and am always blown away by your kindness. So I’m not surprised that the posts with the largest response are those most personal to me and my family.
The announcements of each of our Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collections continue to draw the most comments (so thrilled ya’ll are still excited for these!!). Fitness and wellness was a popular topic last year, with Five Elements of My Fitness Routine and my Q&A about Intermittent Fasting being the most popular.
My Sugarplum First Picks for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Sugarplum Favorite Things were close runners up!
Some posts take on a life of their own, and I really have no idea why one resonates more than another… but the Amazon Fashion Finds (along with the most commented-on ones) received more views than any others in 2019. And according to page views, Dressing Room Diaries and Sugarplum Style are the most popular of my regular series posts, and Shop My Insta is the most popular page.
It’s fun for me to see who you are, and where you’re coming from, according to Google Analytics:
*Over 2.1 million of you stopped by last year & read over 9 million pages. I can’t even wrap my head around that!?!
*Most of you are American (92%), with Canada, UK, and Australia up next. There are even people reading from the United Arab Emirates!?
*97% female, aged 35-44… but the 25-34 and 45-54 brackets are a tie and close second. And thanks to Mama Sugarplum’s ever-growing presence, the 55+ ladies are coming on fast!
*Phones & tablets remain the most popular way to read (did you know my site is actually designed to read best on a desktop or laptop?!).
*45% of you come directly to my site & 51% click over from one of my social channels.
All that’s to say, the majority of the amazing opportunities that come my way are because of you, darling friends… I know without your support, enthusiasm, kindness, and interactions, none of this would be possible. I can’t thank you enough for popping in every day, week, month, or leap year… whenever it is, I’m thrilled you stopped by! Even the lurkers… I know you’re there!
I know this post was a lot of toot-tooting my own horn, so thank you for indulging me. God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined, and I’m beyond humbled by your friendship, support, and kind words. I can’t thank you enough for sharing in our joys, supporting me through the sorrows, and celebrating all the silly in-between.
Your encouragement makes me excited to continue creating and sharing what I love so much (staring Monday with something BIG!!). I pray 2020 is your best yet, lovebugs!