Your favorite blog posts + the most bookmark-worthy reads from 2016
Happy Friday, my friends! I hope your New Year has kicked off on the right foot.
As you might have noticed, I’ve spent the majority of this week offline in an effort to re-center and re-channel my focus for the month (and the year ahead).
If I’ve learned about my own personal productivity over the year’s, it’s that if I try to force something to happen — writing, photography, whatever — it just won’t. Feels inauthentic, you know?
Anyway, in lieu of today’s typical weekly link-sharing post, I wanted to do something a bit different and take a deeper look back at the most popular links, blog posts and products from ’round here over the last year — in addition to some of my absolute favorite reads from 2016.
First, let’s start with the site — here are the 10 most popular posts from the last year, ranked in reverse-order of popularity.
Most popular posts of 2016:
10. How Becoming a Fitness Instructor has Changed My Life: My life has pivoted in a lot of ways since I made a gigantic career (/lifestyle) switch from my corporate job to the fitness industry — from beauty routines to sleep habits and can’t-live-without laundry detergent.
9. My Favorite Fall Color Palette: This was one of my favorite outfits from the last year, too. Plus, it’s tough to beat the backdrop of Chicago’s gorgeous Millennium Park!
8. How to Party Smarter/13 Tips to Avoid a Hangover: My step-by-step guide in answering the question of “how do you do it?” And “It,” I imagine, is maintaining two full-time jobs (this blog and my teaching career at SoulCycle) in addition to a very robust social life.
7. My Everyday Curls Hair Tutorial: How I get my naturally wavy hair on the reg.
6. Ten Things to Do When You’re In a Rut: It happens to the best of us, right? Here’s what I do when I’m feeling down.
5. Accessory Rescue Mission: The story of what happened when I left my favorite accessory in an Uber — and the outfit is cute AF too.
4. corals + cognacs, the End of an Era: This was a hard one for me to write. Saying goodbye to corals + cognacs and rebranding my blog this year was challenging, scary and risky, and I’m so thankful you guys have been so receptive. (If I haven’t said it enough, thank you!)
3. How I Became a SoulCycle Instructor: My most favorite story to tell. My career path to where I am now was not easy — and it still isn’t — but it’s been worthy every single bead of sweat, salty tear and Ramen noodle dinner.
2. Why I Quit My Job: One of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but that leap of faith has paid off in the long run. Living on next to nothing in NYC is no joke!
1. How to Pack the Perfect Carry On: My most popular post of all time — every single year. I wrote this in 2013 right before I took a four-week trip to Asia — and packed only a carry-on suitcase. (Yes, it’s possible!) All of the traffic to this post from Pinterest. So if you’re a digital creator or a blogger, never underestimate the power of evergreen content. Figure out what questions you struggle with in your day-to-day and create content around that.
… It’s interesting to see that more than half of my most popular content wasn’t written within the last year. More than anything I want to write about things you guys will either enjoy, feel connected to or find of use, so I’m glad you still find some of the “vintage” stuff relevant and share-worthy. I’m really, really focused on creating quality over quantity in 2017 — especially within the health, wellness and travel categories.
Question for you: Last year, a lot of my content was from the column How to Be a Better Blogger (topics including how to manage your finances and Mastering Social Media). Do you want me to revive this series in 2017?
Truly, though; if you ever have a question or specific blog post suggestion, please don’t hesitate to leave it your thoughts the comments or shoot me an e-mail.
My favorite reads of 2016:
Beyond that, some of the most inspiring reads that have landed across my laptop this year were from my own groups of gals.
- Perhaps you missed this on her blog, but Jess took more than 50 flights in 2016. Da-yum! Fittingly, she wrote a killer post on her best, tried-and-tested tips on how to travel solo. (bows & sequins)
- Grace is one of my girlfriends who quite simply gets shit done — no matter how much she’s got on her plate. As such, it’s only fitting that she shared some advice on her tips for being as productive as possible. (The Stripe)
- If I could pick a set of photos to mirror my own aesthetic to, it would be these of Meghan in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I remember physically gasping the first time I saw them… Here’s to more breath-stealing memories like this in 2017! (wit & whimsy)
- One of my most heartbreaking memories of the summer was learning about my friend(s) Julia’s miscarriage. I am so damn proud of her for being brave enough to put her thoughts into this blog post. It’s one of the most powerful things she’s ever written. Love you, J! (Lemon Stripes)
- Learning how Mackenzie started her own online store, Design Darling, was fascinating. It’s incredible to see how she’s grown it from her little studio apartment in NYC to a bigger office in Dallas (and now, soon to be back to the East Coast in CT). (Design Darling)
- Carly always gives great blogging advice, but the re-vamp she gave to her lengthy post with her tips for blogging (whether you want to start one or you already have) is a really great reference. (The College Prepster)
- One of the friends I look up to the most in a business (and overall life) sense is Victoria — so it should come as no surprise that I bookmarked this post that she wrote on the five lessons she learned in owning her own business. (Victoria McGinley)
Gals, I love you. Thankful for our many memories, your genuine friendship, shared business advice and beyond. (Here’s one of my favorite memories of the majority of us — it was Fashion Week a few years ago, when we sat at Hotel Empire to charge our phones, rest our feet, refuel and drink all of the wine:)
… Perhaps less sugar next time, LOL!
Most popular products of 2016:
Lastly, here are a handful of the most popular products we’ve obsessed over from the last year.
- “Live-In” high-waisted leggings: Yep, as the description denotes — I do live in these. Every year they’re one of the most popular items you guys click on through the site. They’re great for the gym or those errands you run on the weekends. Affordable, too!
- “Highland” Over-the-knee boots: These were my biggest wardrobe investment from the last year, but they are 100% worth it. I couldn’t justify the cost for so long but I’m glad I saved up and finally pulled the trigger. I wear them with just about everything and they actually hold up above your knee — none of that obnoxious sliding down business! It’s so nice to actually be able to walk in a pair of boots without worrying about your feet hurting, too.
- “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero: This is my all-time favorite “self-help” book — and I put that in quotations because it reads like your BFF giving you a pep talk over your second glass of wine. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it enough — especially to those of you telling me you want to work on your overall outward confidence this year. This book is life-changing!
- Anything from Flight 001: Wanderlusters, unite! This is the most popular brand category you clicked out to — and rightfully so. Their stuff is so perfect and so cute for traveling. The “Go Clean” laundry bag set and universal travel adapter are essential.
- bobble Infuse water bottle: Hydration nation, hell yeah! I wrote a post on why I’ve been genuinely loving this water bottle just before the New Year, but in sum: I love that it keeps your water (or other bevvy) cold for up to 24 hours and your hot drinks, well, hot for up to 12 hours.
- The duo breakfast sandwich maker: I featured this in a gift guide (for guys), and I’m pretty sure a handful of us bought it for ourselves. Ha! I love a good breakfast sammy — now, who wants to hear some of my favorite healthy recipes? Yes? Yes, agree. Stay tuned.
Lastly, just a quick note of thanks for stickin’ by me during all of the changes we’ve been through over the last year — especially the rebrand. I read every single note and comment that you leave and they all truly make my day. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write for you for a living! I’m looking forward to seeing what stories we unfold together in 2017.
Here’s to you and the most amazingly inspired, joyful 2017. Something tells me the best is yet to come…