2014 was a big year. We had a whirlwind first few months with moving into a new apartment, going down to New Orleans for a wedding, I started a new job, and we were lucky enough to meet blogger friend Jamie and her husband Adam when they came to visit Seattle. And that was all in the first few months. Dan and I both went through different joyous and stressful job experiences. I lost two grandparents which I didn’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it resulted in a lot of reflection. And with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew now living in California it made the holidays feel a little lonely and a lot more quiet. Dan’s car broke down right before Christmas, a bit of an inconvenience, but it has actually made for some interesting bonding experiences – the two of us taking the bus together for the first time, as well as hanging out with my older brother who is here visiting and nice enough to drive us around. I feel like it’s gotten Dan to slow down a little and not rush around so much, there’s more thought behind what we do, where we go, and how we get there.
But honestly, the biggest part of 2014 for me has been this blog. Style and Cheek turned 3 this year and I spent some time reflecting on the changes and my plans for future posts. It was an important year for the blog – I got a new layout, had my first sponsored post and giveaway, went to my first Seattle blogger brunch, started a newsletter (shameless plug: subscribe for the newsletter if you haven’t already), and watched the blog grow; getting more views than ever. It was really hard to narrow down this list to just my 15 favorite posts from the past year because I like our content so much more now. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work on this blog and working on posts like these is a big reason why.
What were some of your favorite posts this year? What would you like to see more of in 2015? I’d love your feedback and hope you enjoy this little flashback.
1. This might have been my favorite year for food we cooked at home, all thanks to the extraordinarily good weather we enjoyed through spring and summer and the BBQ grills at our apartment complex. We spent quite a lot of time trying Jamie Oliver recipes and tried to eat as much fresh summery food as possible. I can only hope that 2015 is just as delicious.
2. In February we went to New Orleans for Kathryn and Justin’s wedding and it was probably the shortest, craziest, best trip we’ve ever taken. We were only in New Orleans for 48 hours but it was jam-packed. This might have been my favorite event of the whole year because I got to spend it with my childhood friends.
3. I love what Jamie comes up with for her weekly beauty posts. While I tend to gravitate toward the “fun” posts this Steal vs Splurge roundup was not only helpful, it is a reader favorite. It’s a lot of work putting these types of posts together but my fingers are crossed for another steal vs splurge post from Jamie in 2015.
4. Oh Blake Lively, you are the perfect woman. Not only is she one of my style icons who constantly kills it on the red carpet, she is a businesswoman who is behind one of my newest favorite lifestyle brands Preserve. As if she wasn’t already inspiring enough as is, she goes and starts a gorgeous business.
5. I did my first giveaway this year when I partnered with Lorna Jane which was crazy exciting! At first I was really anxious about posting photos of myself in activewear on the blog. But doing this post exposed me to a bunch of other people who are into active living and sharing their experiences, so don’t be surprised if more fitness posts pop up on the blog in 2015.
6. Does anyone else feel like 2104 was Diane von Furstenberg’s year? From her reality show House of DVF to her book “The Woman I Wanted To Be” and her book tour (which I sadly missed!), Diane was everywhere. My ode to DVF wrap dresses was actually incidental as I was totally unaware of the show and book tour but after exploring my local DVF store I just felt compelled to share my affection for this iconic stylish, sexy designer with you readers. You cannot deny a brand that knows how to dress a woman.
7. One topic I absolutely love but don’t feel like I post enough about is hairstyles. This is probably because I’m not really good at hair but I really like hairstyle inspiration and still pray that one day I’ll be miraculously blessed with hair skills. Until then I am more than happy to admire the hairstyles I see on the runway.
8. It was insanely difficult to pick just one ‘How She’d Wear It’ post for this roundup. Whether it was the trends we covered, the pieces available, or finding my groove with outfit creation, I seriously loved so many of the HSWI trends this year. This one about menswear blazers was so pretty but I have to mention: Fancy Sweatpants, Denim on Denim, and Duck Boots.
9. When I said “fun” makeup posts, this Michael Kors look is what I meant. Jamie is great at figuring out how to replicate beautiful looks like this one, probably because she LOVES makeup. She loves makeup so much that she constantly uses herself as a guinea pig, trying new products and then sharing her favorites with us on the blog.
10. While Style and Cheek’s demographic is mostly female, there are a decent amount of male readers (I post about food. C’mon, who doesn’t love food?). But I like to think that they’re also interested in style and I am more than willing to show you great menswear pieces, especially seasonal essentials. Male readers, if you want more posts like this one speak up!
11. This post could have been so much more! And for reasons I won’t get into, these collages are a little bittersweet. In any event I’m particularly proud of these collages and the work I put into this post. It was really challenging, but fun, to create a unique beauty look for two GORGEOUS wedding dresses. I’m no makeup pro but this post might be a template for some fun makeup/hair/outfit posts somewhere down the line.
12. This food post, specifically the roasted beer duck, has brought in so much traffic from Pinterest. It was almost instantly my most popular post this year. What this showed me was that I will never know what will bring the blog attention. In reality this was just a simple post that was written because I was struggling to come up with ideas for an alternative Thanksgiving menu.
13. Hands down, THIS dress from our roundup of 6 perfect New Year’s Eve dresses defined pretty for us. This look is utter perfection and everything we love here on Style and Cheek – lace, braids, cat eyes, ladylike looks, and a bit of romance.
14. I tend to post more about comfortable loungewear or bra/panties than I do about sexy lingerie but that doesn’t mean I don’t love me some pretty underthings. 2014 was a fantastic year for lingerie where classic sexy shapes and styles seemed to find common ground with the upward-trending boho inspired brands.
15. I’ve done cocktail posts in the past but this one on champagne cocktails was by far my favorite. This may have something to do with my love of sparkling so there’s some bias but it’s honestly a beautiful post. We ended up drinking the St-Germain signature cocktail on New Year’s Eve because it was so easy – just St-Germain and brut rose. Yum!