2017 has been a great year of growth for this blog and I just want to thank each of you who have read, tried out my recipes, given feedback, and supported in any manner along the way. Rather than just sending out a typical recap of last month's posts to Dash of Jazz subscribers, I thought I'd share a post with some highlights from the year based on both your and my favorites. You'll also get a better idea of what to expect from me this month and throughout 2018. And, if you aren't already on the list for Look Back at It, subscribe below for exclusive content and early access to everything!
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January 2017 began with this Daniel Fast Survival Guide and it was one of my favorite posts of the month because so many of y'all referred to it throughout last year for help with lifestyle changes as well as in preparation for this year's fast. I have updated it periodically to reflect new recipes that will work. While I am not participating in the fast this year, I am working on a number of healthy recipes to share, the first of which dropped this morning: Addictive Massaged Kale Salad. This time last year, the top post for both me and you seemed to be the Girls' Night In - Founders' Day collaboration (pictured) I did with Alana Frailey. It was so much fun to gather with my sorors, honor our founders, and create content at the same time!
In February, I shared my Aunt Georgia's Peach Cobbler recipe (pictured) and it turned out to be the most popular post of 2017! It is truly gratifying that this family heirloom interested and resonated with so many of you. This recipe was part of a virtual Black History Month roundup with a group of talented black food bloggers from around the country. You can look forward to more such collaborations in 2018. Another popular post from last February was my All-White Bathroom Reveal. This was the first room I redid in my home and a fun project to share.
There is a tie for my favorite post in March between the Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken (pictured) and my Updated Best Breakfast Hash. The chicken was my first foray into North African cuisine and a pleasure to make. The hash was a full-circle moment for me as I re-shot and slightly modified the first recipe I ever shared on the blog. The original post and recipe is here. Would y'all like for me to do more recipe updates in 2018?
In April, y'all LOVED these Turnt Tequila Mimosas (pictured)! I absolutely loved making and shooting them so it was an easy post to pick but I also enjoyed creating and sharing this DIY Custom Shoe Closet. For those of you who follow along with me on Instagram, you know I love shoes and we seem to have similar taste in them. 🙂
I think y'all know I enjoy wine (Malbec and Cab, in particular) so it's no surprise that this Budget-Friendly Wine & Essential Tools post was my favorite. Y'all seemed to like it, too! This Fizzy Honey Ginger Lemonade was the most popular post for May and was actually part of my Mother's Day Brunch menu before it became its own standalone recipe. Are there any other types of gatherings you'd like me to write about in 2018?
June is a three-way tie for favorite post between my Margarita-Infused Watermelon, Pinterest-Worthy Clean Home Routine (pictured), and this Easy Sheet Pan Meatloaf Dinner. The watermelon and clean routine were really popular on Instagram and Pinterest and the meatloaf was my first successful attempt at a Tasty-style recipe video. Your feedback so far indicates that you'd like to see more quick and easy meals like this one. Let me know if y'all also want me to work on more videos. It's something that has been on my to-do list but, I must admit, I'm nervous.
Y'all loved this Tipsy Pineapple Upside Down Rum Cake...probably because of the rum! I loved making (and eating) it just as much. Another mutual favorite is the Cherry Elderflower Smash Cocktail, which was a lot of fun to make and photograph. I also shared these Solo Travel Photo Hacks almost two years after my trip to Belize. Better late than never, right?
I loved a lot of things about August, from the Funfetti Birthday Donuts I celebrated turning 28 with, to finishing another room in my home and sharing it in this Living Room Tour, to this highly-requested post on Flower Hacks for Any Budget. Donuts are kind of my thing (they're way easier to make than cupcakes) and I shared a few fun donut recipes through 2017. I've also already whipped up a new donut recipe for 2018. Just wait on it! On a not-so-fun note, hurricane Harvey hit my hometown and many others at the end of August. This post lists many ways to help those impacted and I am happy and humbled that y'all read, shared, and took action on it.
My favorite posts of September where not explicitly related to food. I recapped a fun NOLA Girls Trip (pictured), hosted a Fight Night Watch Party, and broke down the beauty that is Vibe & Ride. Travel, entertaining, and Houston happenings are areas I plan to further explore in 2018 (a couple of things are already in the works!) and hope that y'all are along for the ride. Let me know if you have any requests.
We're back on food for October with this Spicy Chipotle Skillet Meal (pictured). It was one of the top posts of the year and bought my site down a couple of times! It's an easy and fully-customizable meal in that it can be modified to fit many different diet considerations. I plan to incorporate more recipes like this one into this year's content based on your feedback. Another favorite recipe was this Bourbon Caramel Apple Cider, which did crazy numbers on Pinterest! Bourbon popped up in quite a few recipes this year. If you have a liquor of choice you'd like to see me work with, just drop a comment below. Lastly, these Salted Caramel Sweet Potato Blondies are an honorable mention because they were just absolutely delicious.
This post about easy ways to upgrade a bottle gift was a long time in the works so I was very excited to share it with y'all. I also revealed my dining room makeover after participating in the One Room Challenge over the course of seven weeks. Many of y'all also really enjoyed this festive Thanksgiving appetizer board, which I personally had a lot of fun making and shooting. Do y'all prefer to see more entertaining posts leading up to Thanksgiving or more recipes?
Picking December favorites is like picking a favorite child because I pretty much love everything from that time of year. The DIY Photo Booth under $20 (pictured) is a front-runner because it was easy, budget-friendly, and involved my friends. Additionally, the Holiday Home Tour was fun to shoot and marked the first Christmas in my own home. If that wasn't enough, it also went over well with readers. I always end the year with a cocktail recipe and the Hibiscus French 75 was the perfect punctuation for 2017.
In addition to the best of 2017, here's a little breakdown of what we shared over the last 12 months:
- 137 total posts with a 50/50 split between recipes and non-recipes
- Of the recipes:
- 36% desserts
- 26% savory main and side dishes
- 22% drinks (about half cocktails and half non-alcoholic)
- 7% breakfast & brunch dishes
- 7% appetizers and snacks
- Of the non-recipe posts:
- 37% were related to entertaining
- 32% were related to home & decor
- 31% were related to lifestyle
I don't typically set new year's resolutions but have been motivated to write down and flesh out goals related to self-care, spirituality, blogging, and my corporate career. I'm excited. I would love to hear some of yours and if there's any way I can help you reach them through content on the blog. Thank you so much for an amazing 2017/third year of blogging and, as always, thanks for reading!
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