I wasn’t actually planning on doing a round-up like this but sharing some behind-the-scenes details about my top Instagram photos yesterday on my stories was so well received I thought I’d do the same here for some of my most popular blog posts. This was the year of getting personal for me on the blog. In my own life, I’m a bit of an introvert and a very private person, so opening up was not and has not been easy. The kind and positive responses I continuously received from all of you was what encouraged me to share more of myself and my experiences (good and bad). And what I realized along the way is what connects us IS our shared experiences. So many of us have the same struggles, insecurities, dreams and goals. So I’m very much looking forward to more of that in 2018. But first, here’s what everyone was reading this year.
Jess Ann Kirby cooks her spicy chicken ramen for a comforting lunch or dinner

#10: Spicy Chicken Ramen

It honestly makes me SO happy that this ramen recipe is in the top 10. I make this at least once a week and I have it down to a science now. The nice thing about it though is you can constantly mix it up by adding different veggies, spices, etc. I came up with it by combining a few different ramen recipes online, which of course now I can’t find. It’s such a quick and easy meal and SO perfect for chilly winter days.

#9: #metoo

I had no intention of writing this post. I just woke up one morning and decided to write down some of my stories. I left it as a draft for several days before I published because I was so crippled with anxiety and fear about what I had written. A lot of what was in that post I had never told anyone before and now I was essentially putting it out there for anyone and everyone. But the response to this post was unbelievable and the stories that other women shared with me, publicly and privately were inspiring, gut wrenching and comforting.

 

Jess Ann Kirby in a camel coat and striped sweater for spring
Jess Ann Kirby cheers to her 30th birthday on a boat in Newport

#8: What I’ve Learned In My 30s

Quite honestly I’m shocked this is a top post mainly because it’s only been on the site for less than a month. I knew I wanted to write something around my birthday but I wasn’t quite sure what. What got me started on this post was when I discovered that one of the most searched phrases about me was “Jess Ann Kirby age.” I was pretty surprised that people a) that interested in how old I am and b) didn’t already know since it’s not something I try to hide.

#7: We Bought A House

Not too surprised this is in the top 10. This was such a huge accomplishment, milestone, and life moment for us. It’s just CRAZY to go back and watch the video of what our house looked like when we first moved in. It doesn’t even look like the same house (from the inside anyway). In 2018 we’ll tackle the exterior, haha!
Jess Ann Kirby pours a glass of veuve cliquot in Newport Rhode Island
Jess Ann Kirby's fall style in a chunky knit turtleneck sweater, rag and bone leather belt and madewell velvet mules

#6: Chunky Knit Sweater & Boyfriend Jeans

Kind of crazy to me that this is the ONLY fashion post in the top 10 (from 2017 anyway, this bathing suit post and this outfit post are technically top 10 but they’re from 2016 so I didn’t include them). Honestly nothing particularly groundbreaking about this one, but I was really excited about this outfit and just had a feeling it would do well. You can’t go wrong with a neutral chunky knit and good denim.

#5: Personal & Professional Goals for 2017

Clearly I was on my A-game last year because I published this post January 3rd. I haven’t even THOUGHT about my goals for 2018 let alone sit down and write anything. But looking at this post again for the first time in months is inspiring me to think about what I want to achieve this year. I definitely did not meet all of the goals I set in 2017, I would say I maybe succeeded in about half. Good time for me to reflect on that and see what I can do/change in 2018 to have a better success rate.
Jess Ann Kirby's home office setup with a gallery wall
Jess Ann Kirby takes a hike on the Cliff Walk in Newport Rhode Island

#4: 6 Ways to Deal with Self-Doubt

I’m a generally positive person and don’t often get down but I had a major rough patch this summer. I was just so anxious and stressed out. A combination of burnout at work and stress from buying our first home just had me in such a funk. Taking the time to write this post was incredibly therapeutic and quite frankly was what ultimately helped get me out of the rut I was in.

 

#3: How to Be a Successful Blogger

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a recipe for success, haha, but I really took a lot of time putting this post together. It was also really exciting to write because it was the first post I published after the launch of my branding and website re-design. If you are thinking about starting a blog or have one and are feeling stuck this is a great read and resource.
Jess Ann Kirby gets some work done in ripped jeans
Jess Ann Kirby styles her kitchen open shelving with pops of pink and bright colors

#2: Kitchen Renovation

This project was a BEAST. The first thing we tackled as homeowners (and by we I mean mostly Craig). It was a labor of love and quite a learning process. I will definitely share an update on this in the New Year with some more info about how we chose certain things, where we saved money, and how we’re liking the finishes and changes we made.

#1: The Truth Behind Making a Living as A Full-Time Blogger

Not at all surprised that this is the number one post, mainly because it was shared about a bajillion times. And I can see why. Blogging as a whole has a lot of mystery around it. What inspired me to write this post was being incredibly frustrated by hear time and time again how “nice it must be to not really have to work.” My head was about to pop off if one more person made a remark about how “blogging isn’t really a job” and asking me “if I actually make money.” No folks, there’s no trust fund here, TRUST ME. I don’t think there’s nearly enough transparency in this industry and I am planning to change that. I will be sharing more about the realities of blogging as a business in the New Year and hopefully shedding some light on the things that aren’t typically discussed openly.
Jess Ann Kirby grabs a coffee at Bolt Coffee Co in Providence Rhode Island