gapmuse year in review: best of 2018

collage of images from our blog's best of 2018

As we wind down the year, say goodbye to 2018, and prepare to usher in the new year, we wanted to peek back and take stock of all our achievements and progress; reflect on our experiences; celebrate our wins; recognize our readers, and contemplate the new year ahead.

Delightfully, we got through the year relatively unscathed and accomplished more than we had anticipated for 2018.  We gained more blog readers and social media fans published more musings  —  a welcome surprise considering how busy and hectic our lives were — and reached more women and girls across the globe compared to the previous year.

We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for this year, including:

  • Published 14 posts happily exceeding our goal of one post per month
  • Accomplished a major milestone, our blog’s 5-year anniversary – more on this in a future musing
  • Reached women and girls in all 7 continents and 54 countries!
  • Launched our own community of women to connect, collaborate, engage, and thrive
  • Started 2 bookshelves; gapmuse Bookshelf and gapmuseKids Bookshelf to help us track and share the books we read and enjoyed throughout the year with our readers
  • Connected and engaged with thousands of people through our social media channels, especially through Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Through it all, it was not lost on us that we couldn’t have accomplished so much without your unwavering support. Thank you for reading, liking, sharing, and commenting on our musings and staying connected to us. We appreciate you.

Here is a snapshot of our best of 2018, which includes our best moment, your most popular blog and Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest posts, plus best videos.

Also, thank you for giving us a window into topics that resonated most with you. Our hope is to continue to educate, inspire and empower you by sharing more of the stories you care most about in 2019. Enjoy our look back at our gapmuse year in review!

Best Moment

Facebook image of Facebook gapmuseWomen group

The launch of our Facebook group, gapmuseWomen, a safe community for women to connect, collaborate, engage and thrive together in our daily lives. Now 78 women strong, it’s our proudest achievement of 2018!

Join us today! 

Best Posts

Who would have known when we decided to take a 6-month shopping detox that this would be your most popular post of 2018! We were thrilled to have many of you read our post and join the challenge. I’m also happy to say that I survived and beat the challenge. It gave me a sense of discipline, showed me that I have everything I need to look good in my closet, and most importantly, helped me curb my impulsive shopping habit, which was my key objective for the detox.

Our 10 most popular posts explored women’s leadership, holiday recipes, overcoming life’s hurdles to achieve our goals, the women that inspired us most in 2017, job search survival, the most memorable books to gift to our loved ones; and the importance for mothers to have a life outside of their children. They also celebrated motherhood and reflected on lessons learned from the previous year.

Thank you for making these musings our most read, liked, and shared posts. We hope they inspired you as much as they motivated us.

1. Why I Took a Break from Shopping [and Why You Should Try It Too]

Image of rack of clothes in a closet

Mama, you have so much stuff and you never wear it,” my little one said ever so casually, as she passed by my closet. Her comment gave me an unexpected jolt! I quickly glanced at my closet and at that moment realized the words my 8-year-old had nonchalantly uttered were true.

As she moved on and went about her business (because that’s what 8-year-olds do), I was suddenly struck with a little bit of shame and left asking myself many unanswered questions: Read on…

2. How Women in Leadership Fail Women in the Workplace and How They Can Do Better [with Real Life Stories]

“I’ve never had a good experience with a female boss,” I’d rather have a male boss than a female boss,” “women managers can be so mean,” “my worst experiences have been with women managers.” How many times have you heard these words uttered by women in your circle? In our case, too many! As painful as it is for us to admit it, especially as champions for women, it’s a sad and jarring reality that with so few of us in managerial and executive positions, the experiences that many women encounter with women leaders are negative. In this UCLA study of 60,000 people, women (including women managers) were more likely to prefer a male boss than a woman. Read on…

3. 4 Easy Recipes That Will Surprise and Delight Your Thanksgiving Guests

Can’t believe it’s that time of year again! Yeah, we know we say that every Thanksgiving. It’s because every year seems to go faster than the previous one and catches us a little off balance. We’re not complaining, though, because frankly, we love Thanksgiving! It’s an opportunity for us not only to entertain our family and friends with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner but also to surprise and entertain them with a dish they haven’t had before. Read on… 

4. Be Persistent: Never Let Life’s Hiccups Stop You from Achieving Your Goals [+Stunning Photos & Videos]

“We’re not going to Hawaii.” Imagine uttering those words to a little person who has been fantasizing about going to Hawaii for the past year and watching the cloud of shock, disappointment, sadness, and confusion slowly cover her face. First world problems, I know. But think back to when you were a kid and looking forward to something. Doesn’t matter how big or small it was. Your disappointment was unbearable! Read on…

5. gapmuse Best of Mother’s Day: 5 Years of Celebrating Motherhood

Dance drop off at 11am; complete science project with little one (3 weeks in!); practice her presentation; grab a snack; help teen with hair and lashes for spring concert; get little one and be ready to go watch concert; grab dinner with family, start kids’ laundry (at 10pm!) so I can finish it before the end of Dance completion season banquet tomorrow. Finalize science project folder and practice presentation again; finish laundry; have breakfast; do my teen’s hair and lashes for second show…breathe! Look fab for a banquet (with 5 hours of sleep); pick up teen to head to the banquet; arrive at the banquet, smile, put on a good attitude, and get a much-deserved mimosa! Tired yet? Sound familiar? That’s me this past weekend. Read on…

6. gapmuse Reflections: 10 Most Profound Takeaways from 2017 that Will Help Women Flourish in 2018 [+Video]

Split image of a woman looking out into and away from a water fountain

Can you believe it’s the end of the first week of February already? If your answer is yes, join our club because neither can we! It seems like every new year goes faster than the previous one and catches us off guard. The upside is that it also gives us a chance to peek back and reflect on the learnings that impacted us the most in the past year. We’re thrilled to have made it into the new year (in one piece!), and even more excited to apply what we learned in 2017 to do better. Read on…

7. How to Survive the Pain and Frustration of Your Job Search and Thrive [from a Jobseeker’s Lens]

Ouch! Any of these ring a bell? Chances are if you’re like us and of working age, your answer is a resounding, yes. Some of you may be searching for a job right now, others may have not done it in a while, while the rest may have gone through it in the distant past. Either way, we can all agree that it sucks to be on the receiving end: Read on…

8. 8 Women (and One Man) Who Inspired gapmuse the Most in 2017 [+Video]

Image of women that inspired us, popular hashtags of 2017, Pussy Hat, Women Marching in January

Every start of the year we publish a list of women who inspired us to do and be better in the previous year. 2018 is no different. The only disparity, perhaps, is that We’ve never been more proud and excited to publish the musing because it’s been quite a year for women! From a young rising tennis star, media mogul, and actress, to a mom, engineer, and financial guru, these women showed us how to be fearless, win with wit and grace, look out and stand up for ourselves and other women, manage our finances, follow our dreams, and much more. Read on…

9. 8 Memorable Books to Gift Your Loved One this Holiday [+ Ideas for Kids!)

We love to read! There’s no denying that a good book can change your mood, spark an idea, inspire you to do be and do better, enhance your job or business, teach a new skill, and much more.

Collage of women and girls reading in different locations (in bed, at the beach, on the floor plus images of books to read.

In an ideal world, we’d love to read at least a couple of books a month. But we all know with our hectic lives, it’s virtually impossible to do it. It takes me at least a month and some to get through one book and that’s with lots of maneuvering (stealing moments to read during my lunch break, when the kiddos are in an activity (sports, dance, etc., after I’ve watched what they’re doing for a bit), before I go to sleep, pockets of free time over the weekend (we’re talking 30 mins here and there if I’m lucky.) You get the picture. It’s tough! So you can understand that when I get through a book, a juicy one at that, I can’t help but want to share it. Read on…

10. Why Every Mother Should Have a Life Outside of Her Children [Without Guilt]

Image of woman walking towards a vineyard.

It’s back to school again (can you believe it!) and you’re busy juggling your kids’ schedules, last minute shopping, transportation, lunches, and anything else that needs to happen for a successful school year. Some of you may be sending your kids to pre-k or kindergarten, some to elementary, while others to middle school or even high school.

For moms in the latter category, you’re probably starting to grapple with the idea of becoming empty nesters. Yikes! And if you have an 8th grader or high schooler, you might even be feeling like one already since he or she may have declared their independence and spends less time with you. Read on…

Best Video 

Just as your most popular post was the detox from Shopping, your favorite video was the one with me perusing my closet that we included in the post. Others that made it to your most-watched list were whale watching, feedback from our readers, and our San Francisco Carnaval videos. Thank you for watching.










Best Instagram

Judging by your most popular Instagram images, we were glad to know that you enjoy Mother Nature, reading, creativity, photography, food, beauty, hiking, music, and art as much as we do. Thank you for viewing and liking our images!















Best Facebook

We love that you appreciated our phenomenal women showcase during Women’s History Month and Black History Month and joined us in recognizing them for their invaluable contributions to society! We appreciate you for spreading the word by sharing our posts with your friends and family. We were also encouraged and inspired by your enthusiasm for fighting for injustice and kindness. We sure need most of both today more than ever.

Best Pinterest

Out fashionistas couldn’t get enough of our culottes! Your most popular Pinterest post has been the gift that keeps on giving and has remained our most viewed and repined post for the past 3 years!

Best Twitter

We were not surprised to learn that our “words matter” post from our Wall Street Journal Women in the Workplace event resonated with you the most. We were thrilled to know that the words we use in the workplace are important to you as much as they are to us.

There is no year that goes by without its ups and downs. Our 2018 was no different. We experienced some trying moments as well as some exhilarating times. As 2019 approaches, we choose to be forward thinking; to focus on our wins, to learn from our challenges, and to do everything we possibly can to thrive in the new year.

We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us for the past 5 years! We’re eager to continue our journey forward together and to share musings to enrich all of our lives.

“Celebrate your progress. And then pack any of the shit that you need to leave in 2018 into a metaphorical bag and drop it off somewhere. Bye 2018 baggage! You don’t need it on this 2019 trip.” – Molly, The Assembly

Happy New Year gapmusers! Hope 2019 brings you prosperity, joy, and anything else you desire. 🙂

Be inspired.

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