Happy Friday, friends, and cheers to the weekend! I hope the New Year has treated you well so far. Considering I’ve barely changed out of pajamas or jogger pants for the last week, I’d say I’m off to a pretty good start! Real life returns Monday though, plus 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 2018 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 2018, 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 2018, as well as the projects you made popular…along with some geeky by-the-numbers stuff. Basically everything that made 2018 grand for me, my family, and this little blog, all in one spot!
*Recognitions & Opportunities*
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!
Hands-down, the biggest thing that’s ever happened professionally was my collaboration 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?!?
The faith and trust both Gibson and Nordstrom had 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 showed up to support the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection blew 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.’
The second biggest pinch-me moment was being part of the Gibson x Glam Holiday Collection, and having the sassiest little top named after me! The ‘Cassie Sequin Tank’ was a holiday favorite for so many of you!
Even better, was working with this stunning, talented, hard-working group of women on the project. Gibson amazes me with their support and empowerment of all women, and I’m honored to be included!
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.
HGTV Magazine featured our Dining Room in their ‘Fabulous Wallpaper’ story…so surreal to see our home in print!
I jumped at the chance to work with my Little Miss for a fun video project for a local shopping center. I’m constantly aware that she’s watching me, and hope she recognizes the power of positivity and hard work. I can’t help but think someday she’ll watch it with her own kids, and know just how much her mama loves her.
I think of you all as girlfriends, so I’m very choosy when it comes to recommending brands and products. I know sponsored content is not always a reader-favorite, so I work extra hard to make those posts just as original and authentic as non-sponsored content. But you can be sure I’d never talk about a brand or product I wouldn’t genuinely pass along to my mom or best friend. I was honored to partner with these stellar brands last year.
*Stand-Out Personal & Family Moments*
We celebrated 20-years of marriage last summer…a milestone I wasn’t always sure we’d hit. Make no mistake, I love this man with all my heart, but it’s a relationship we fight hard to keep strong, and doesn’t always come easy. It’s been an adventure full of so much joy and love, and I can’t wait for the next 20 years!
I know without a doubt that our marriage is the best gift we could give our kids, so we celebrated the milestone as a family!
The teen started his senior year of high school, so our days with him at home are dwindling. #sob As hard as it is to see him grow up, we couldn’t be more proud of the young man he’s becoming. I know the next few months will be so precious, and I’m excited for each new moment and experience to come!
Little Miss continued her love of singing and art, but added volleyball to her list of passions. Watching her blossom and grow more comfortable with her gifts and abilities is one of our greatest joys.
Part of what made the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection so special was 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. She’s actually retiring this year, so stay tuned for more Mama Sugarplum!!
Our annual family vacation is always a highlight, especially when it’s with one of our favorite families!
I loved every moment of cruising the British Isles with my Mr. SP and our dear friends!
My parents treated our family to an Alaskan cruise, and it was a week of non-stop laughs and fun!
This Blogger Conference was really more of an excuse for a girl’s trip with my favorite blogger friends, and one of the most fun weekends of my year.
Adding Mollie to our family is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, and we had the best time with these sweet girls!
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 announcement of the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Collection drew the most comments, along with the actual launch of both GxHSP and the Glam Collections. We got chatty about Kids Chores and What to Pack in a Carry-On, too.
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 ones) received more views than any others in 2018. And according to pageviews, 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 1.5 million of you stopped by last year & read over 8 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!?
*96% 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 growing fast!
*Phones & tablets remain the most popular way to read
*40% of you come directly to my site & 52% 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 readers…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 2019 is your best yet, lovebugs!