Sunday, December 27, 2020

2020 Blog Recap and My 2021 Word For The Year

Finishing Out The Year and Looking Forward 

Hello everyone!  Today's post is dedicated to recapping some of my favorite posts and images from the blog from this past year and also sharing my new "word for the year" for 2021. Hope you all had a great Christmas day and enjoy this post! 

This pic from my post on adding the color blue to outfits certainly was my most visited post of the year with 2,419 views. Blue with black is a great color combo and I love this outfit each time I see it. Definitely look in your closet and find some blue and black clothing items to wear together! I think you will like the result!

pansies blooming

Finding joy during isolation was another very popular post. It's been a challenge to find joy this past year, in my honest opinion, but I have certainly given it a go each day! Looking for joy in simple things works best for me; things like pretty flowers such as the pansies in the above pic, enjoying beautiful scenery,
reading books and making music have given me great joy during this pandemic. And, as always, my faith gives me joy and spending time in prayer and scripture reading and times of devotion have been very important. When 2020 first began and we were just starting to hear about Covid-19 I don't think any of us realized what this year would bring. And what we are still dealing with even as 2021 is almost here. So, finding joy is still part of my daily quest and even after the pandemic has passed I will continue to look for joy in all the ways possible. 

Sadly, this was the year when my international collaboration with "Match Made In Seven" came to an end. I was a bit surprised when it ended and truly enjoyed the fun collaboration and monthly challenges that caused me to think outside of the box when it comes to fashion. I think I grew a bit with my sense of fashion during my time with this group and I am grateful for having had this opportunity. I now feel more confidant that I can be a little different and bolder with my fashion choices while retaining the classic styles that I love to wear. Sometimes, a little challenge to our fashion styling can be a good thing!

Of course, it goes without saying that anytime Cassie makes an appearance in my posts the pageviews go up!  Cassie and Garden appeared together in their first cat detectives installment and worked together to solve the great pencil mystery. Cassie has assured me that she and Garden would be interested in a second detective installment so look for that on the blog in the coming year. With two cats who are sleuths, you know my house rocks with excitement all year round!

This year has found me shopping my closet a lot more looking for go-togethers to create interesting outfits. My post on styling denim with white garnered lots of reader interest and posts on shopping my closet in general were also popular. I think readers enjoy seeing how I put outfits together and I have, out of necessity, done that frequently this year using what I already own. As a blogger, I am amazed at how other bloggers are able to style new clothing in every single post. I have neither the desire, nor the money, to do that kind of thing. For me, using what I own and having fun matching items together in new ways is a challenge that I enjoy. Of course, I enjoy shopping as much as the next person, I won't deny that, and I have used online shopping more this year than ever before. Adding a few new items along the way adds to the fun of styling fashion for my readers. I believe that playing dress-up is not just for little girls. "Big girls" can enjoy dressing up too!

Due not only to Covid isolation but also to The Mr.'s retirement, we found ourselves staying home a lot more this past year and used this time to accomplish some big house projects. One such project was the rebuilding of our stairway banisters. The Mr. removed the old railing and built in the new including finishing the wood and adding the gorgeous metal balustrades. I love the swirly filigree on the balustrades! So pretty. 

We also completed some major driveway work during the year which included replacing a culvert and adding on to our driveway. We hired experts for this, of course, and they did a great job. Every time it rains hard I am so thankful that we no longer need to worry about our driveway washing out due to our old cement culvert getting jammed up with debris. Such a huge blessing to have this taken care of! 

While in years past, I have written specific devotional posts, this year I found myself incorporating scripture and devotional thought into posts about other topics. I didn't really plan on doing this, but it seemed to just organically evolve that way during the year. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what you prefer as readers. Do you prefer separate devotional posts or do you prefer the incorporation of scripture and devotional thought into a post that contains other topics? While my blog is definitely about my personal styling of life it is also good to know what my readers are interested in reading. 

If you are a regular reader, you may have noticed that I have posted less frequently this year. In all honesty, there have been times this year when I have felt that, as a blogger, I just didn't have much to say. Part of that may be that this year has been full of so much negativity with not only the pandemic but also political issues that I didn't really want to bring into the blog, even though I have strong opinions on many issues. And staying in the house so much due to concerns about catching the virus meant I just didn't have lots of news. I haven't traveled and have eaten out very little. Shopping has been mostly online and I didn't think you would be interested in hearing about my trips to the grocery store! I shared a few outings with the Mr. to take drives or go on a hike and that garnered some reader interest. But, on the whole, I found my posts happening farther and farther apart because I simply didn't have much to share. This past year has been tough on everybody and I personally have had several times throughout the year when I felt like enough was enough! But, if this year has taught me anything, it is that I need to be grateful for all of the little things in life that I have taken for granted over the years. And, yeah, I've learned that they are not so little. Things like giving and receiving hugs from family and friends; being able to actually SEE family and friends whenever I want; worshiping inside a sanctuary with my church family; walking, without fear, into a store to shop; eating, without fear, inside a restaurant; seeing the smile on someone's face because you can actually see their face; and most of all, not feeling fearful every time I go somewhere. It's going to feel HUGE, in my opinion, when we reach the point where we can go places without a mask on. In fact, it may feel strange because we have become so used to it. But, I can tell you this, I won't take seeing people's faces for granted ever again. Sometimes, we don't know what we have until we no longer have it. And that is what 2020 has taught me. So, with that thought in mind, let's move on to my "perfect word" for the year 2021. 

In 2021, I want to aspire to live with intention. Because I'm imperfect I give myself permission to mess up, but I'm still going to really give it a try. Living with intention means living life "on purpose" and living with "an aim or a plan" in mind. This means I won't just let life happen around me but I will actively participate in that life. You may be thinking, "but isn't that what we always do with life? Well, I'm not sure. Staying at home so much this year has given me time to think. And, sometimes I think that it is very easy to let life just happen without really having a plan or purpose in mind. Living life with intention may take a little more work. It means really giving thought to how I want to approach styling my life. It means asking myself some thoughtful questions as I go about my daily activities. Questions like: What objectives do I want to complete during this flute lesson? How do I want to eat today to maintain good health? How do I want friends and family to feel after I visit with them? And, how do I want to feel after visiting with them? How does God want me to serve Him this day? These are just a few questions that will crop up as I seek to style life with intention. I have a feeling that living with intention will have much to teach me in the coming year. Living with intention will not be about my controlling life or life controlling me. It will be about being thoughtful about life with God leading me along the way. I hope that you will continue to be along for the ride as I seek to live with intention in 2021!

You know that I love comments so I ask that you leave one. Let me know what you have enjoyed this past year on the blog and what you would like to read more of in the future. Let me know if you chose a perfect word for your year and what your thoughts are about living with intention. I can't wait to read your thoughts!

Until Next Time,



Sharon said...

What a beautiful post, Debbie! It is really nice to revisit some of your blog posts and to see what other readers enjoyed. Your 2021 word really speaks to me. I think living with intention is a great goal, and it makes sense that 2020 has pointed out to us that life is precious. I think living with intention will be a way to make the most out of that precious life.

Iris said...

Enjoyed the post - and LOVE that outfit in the first picture. It's very flattering and you look great.

2020 has definitely been a difficult year. Looking forward to 2021.
Grace & Peace, Iris