New Year Glow Up – 2022 Edition

New Year Glow Up

Happy New Year everyone! We made it to 2022 can you believe it?! I never do resolutions because I stink at committing to them, but I do want to commit to a new year glow up for myself. I wanted to do this glow up for myself last year too, but I slacked-off and I never even started.

My main problem is that I’ve totally neglected my appearance ever since Covid hit. When the pandemic happened, I completely stopped going into the office and I have also stopped going out to bars and dinners with friends like I used to.

Since I don’t leave the house anymore except for errands and groceries, I’ve stopped dressing well, doing my hair, and doing makeup. The only clothing I’ve bought for myself since March 2020 has been pajamas, hoodies, socks, sneakers, and sweatpants. So attractive, isn’t it?

But I’m kinda tired of looking so drabby all the time. It’s been affecting my mood negatively too, as my self-confidence has dropped so much in the past two years. The lack of social interaction and the lack of care to my appearance has bummed me out. I feel like a new year glow up could help.

So I do want to start dressing up better everyday. Ok, probably not EVERYDAY, but definitely more days than I do now. And I don’t have anyone in my real life that will notice if I start improving my appearance, but I do have social media that should work instead. Is it sad if the only positive validation I have in my life anymore is from social media?

But is anyone else in the same boat? Want to consider doing a glow up for yourself as well? We could be new year glow up buddies. I’m serious.

I’ve taken a couple steps already to make this happen for myself. I’ve started the process of meeting other bloggers in real life – which will make me dress-up because I’m getting out of the house and meeting people again! I’ve already met one lady in-person who is in my same city, and I’ve started a website named Bloggers Offline to help facilitate larger-scale meetings in the future when the audience is large enough… (fyi – the registration form is up and running so you can participate too, hint hint).

Also, I’ve made an appointment at an aesthetics spa to get my eyebrows fixed on Thursday. Lol, I’m sure they’ll recommend more things to get fixed as well, but I’m open to it all! So all of this will hopefully get some momentum going for me to keep up appearances. Wish me luck! And join in if you want!

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Happy New Year!

Hi everyone! I wanted to go ahead and wish you all a happy new year now, as I might not get the chance tomorrow.

I also hope that you all have an enjoyable NYE tonight. Stay safe if you are going out! I’ll probably be asleep by 9pm if I’m lucky. 🙂

I’ll be wishing us all a fabulous 2022 full of positivity and good news! See you around next year!

Happy New Year everyone! 🎉

Favorite Christmas Gift Round-Up Post

Hi everyone!

To close-out Christmas 2021… I wanted to get everyone together for one last final themed post about this holiday. The finale topic is: “What was the favorite gift you received, or, what was your favorite gift that you gave to someone else?”

Enjoy everyone’s responses below!

  1. Pepper Valentine @ www.peppervalentine.comI absolutely love how little kids freak-out over gifts at Christmastime. My daughter is a bit too old for that anymore, unfortunately. For example, she only asked for clothes and Robux money this year. So boring! However, I do have much younger nieces and nephews that still think gifts are cool. This year, one of their gifts was a kaleidoscope and they seriously flipped out over it. They fought each other to be able to look at all the changing colors through it and just reacted with such enthusiasm and fascination. It’s this reaction exactly, that made this kaleidoscope gift my favorite one.
  2. Kinda Loud Army Dad @ best gift I ever gave (IMO) was one to my mother last year for Christmas. She loves it when I make things with my own hands. Earlier in 2020, I had white Quartz countertops installed in my kitchen. When the sink hole was cut out by the installers, I kept that piece, although I didn’t have a plan for it’s future use. It dawned on me, last November, that I could cut it down to size, and make it an address sign (for the end of her driveway) that had my mother’s house number on it. I have a decent sized work shop and I have lots of tools for cutting and shaping this type of material. Once I had the size determined, and cut, the hard part of boring holes and polishing started. In a week’s time (working on it at night), I completed it. The large metal numbers i used, were black, with a silver outline. These were placed on both sides of the sign. It was nice and I was actually proud to make it for her. It still looks great today and she fell in love with it, immediately. Lots of people have asked her where she “bought” it.
  3. Simon @ Simon’s SpaceSo the back story is that I bought my own presents for my other half to wrap. I think my favourite is a camera case backpack so I can take my camera and all the kit wherever. 
  4. BosssyBabe @ BosssyBabeOkay, so this might be a bit cheesy… But my favourite gift this year was knowing that all I really need is my little family: my husband and daughter, Charlotte. We were all so disappointed yesterday because all of our Christmas plans were cancelling one after the other leading up to Christmas day (due to high covid infection numbers). My husband and I were pretty bummed out by Christmas morning but the day turned out beautifully! We listened and danced to Christmas music all day, we opened gifts together as a family then we enjoyed a wonderful meal and a movie to top off the evening. It was splendid! Couldn’t have asked for more!
  5. Kristie @ Adventures with the Michigan MamaMy daughter, Hannah, is at the magical age of 5 where she is excited about everything Christmas. She circled almost everything in Meijer and Walmart toy books. She didn’t get everything, obviously, but she did get a 3 in 1 easel. On Christmas Eve, my husband was a good elf, and put it together for her, which is a huge gift to me. (My ex never did that with the big kids and I always struggled doing it myself when they were little.) Well, when Hannah came out Christmas morning and saw it, her eyes lit up, her mouth fell open, and she screamed, “I love it!” Seeing her happy made my Christmas.
  6. Smelly Socks @ Smelly Socks and Garden PeasMy favourite gift has got to be the pleasure of hugging my parents, laughing with my brother and his wife and just being with family. Very clichéd and I did get great gifts too, but after the last 2 years the company was the absolute highlight. My dad always picks up interesting books for me and I know I’ll enjoy them. Himself and the boys got me a mountain of chocolate truffles too and I got myself some new running shoes. Large boy has declared the gingerbread coffee syrup from Santa as his favourite and small boy is very pleased with a game of guess the animals. Himself is raring to play with his dremel.
  7. Hilary Tan @ My favourite gift this year is probably the Apple Watch that my husband got me. I finally opened it last night and so far I really like it. My goal for the new year is to get back into fitness because I feel like a lazy potato.

Such awesome contributions from you all! I’m so happy and grateful for all the feel-good and positive responses. They put a smile on my face for sure.

I wish you all a happy New Year!


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New Years Eve Plans!

Hi everyone!

Lol, my apologies for venting so hard on my previous post. I promise to reply back to all the comments but I just wanted to take a break from that whole fiasco and try to forget about it for a bit while I got my bearings together again. I truly appreciate all the support however. You all are AWESOME!!! Seriously. I want to HUG you! 🙂

I am starting to feel better because today I’m on my way to MY parents house!!! Wooo! Since I spend Christmas holiday here at home, I spend the New Years holiday with my original immediate family – parents, brother, all his kids. It’s quite the crowd.

It’s a 10 hour drive one-way but it’s ok. Totally worth it. Usually I would fly (tickets tend to be cheap for this route too), but I can’t do that with all the Christmas loot I’m hauling with me! 🙂

Christmas Loot I’m Bringing to my Parents House / Image Source: Pepper V.

And, hanging out with my parents is the perfect therapy and recovery for me. They’re not perfect, but, they suite me and my personality perfectly. They’re my comfort zone. PLUS, they’re quite chill and full of positivity and laugh all the time. People tend to gravitate towards them wherever we go.

And there’s something about my mom that makes people tell her all their secrets. Like, even on their very first meeting. And then she turns around and tells ME everyone’s secrets later. It’s awesome because I love stuff like that.

So…. I’m pretty excited about this, can you tell? 🙂

What are you all doing for New Years?

And… don’t forget that I’m doing a round-up post, and I’d like you all to participate. The topic for the round-up post will be “What was the favorite gift you received, or, what was your favorite gift that you gave to someone else?”

I might post this later tonight or tomorrow. I have 5 responses total right now, but there’s time for more! Remember, I have a 10-hour drive ahead of me today. That gives you TONS of time to send me your response too. I’ll link back to your blog as well. 🙂

Just send it via DM on any of my social medias or via email at

And also… it’s almost time for my next quarterly newsletter. I’ll be drawing my next Subscriber Spotlight winner from the persons subscribed, so if you haven’t done so yet, please consider doing so to be included in the drawing. The subscribe form is below and GOOD LUCK to all! 🙂

My previous winners were BosssyBabe and InvisiblyMe, so definitely check out their Spotlight articles (linked in their names) and tell them “Hi” if you haven’t yet! 🙂

Have a happy New Year everyone!

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7 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Minimalist Mom

Christmas is only a couple weeks away! Do you have a minimalist mom in your life? Still need some quick and easy Christmas gift ideas for her?

I think I’m quite close to being a minimalist as far as how I prefer my lifestyle. My family doesn’t necessarily cooperate with that, but my preference is definitely a “less is more” approach. But I don’t dislike gifts. I only dislike gifts that I won’t actually USE. So if I’ll use them, then they’re perfect.

As far as what the ideal gifts for the minimalist mom would be, I came up with a list of 7 things I would definitely enjoy to receive as gifts for Christmas. PLUS, they’re relatively easy to pull together quickly. See below…

  1. Portraits! I have a shortage of actual photos of me WITH my child. Since I’m usually the one taking all the snapshots of my family in all their glory, I don’t have anyone that will take photographs FOR me so I can be in the picture too. So arranging photos that mom can be in too would be a great gift. And this doesn’t have to be professional either. Just clean-up the children and comb their hair, BRIBE them with something so they’ll actually smile in the photograph, and take cute pics of the kids with their mom. So easy! And also so rare!
  2. Experiences. This would be great if there’s an upcoming concert in the area, or if there’s a class in town that she’d enjoy. There are classes for everything now! Register her and a few of her friends for an in-person cooking class, baking class, painting class, etc. With friends to accompany, these end-up being very fun (especially if you can bring snacks or alcohol)!

  3. Food and drink. I do love to eat and drink! Feed me! Making a reservation at a nice restaurant would be a good idea. Also, food baskets make great gifts. I’m also thinking about wines, alcohols, etc. Because even if I don’t eat and drink them all myself, I’ll be able to use them when I have guests at my home or I can bring them with me when I visit someone else’s home. Win-win!
  4. Gift Certificates and Gift Cards. These are pretty awesome gifts for the minimalist mom – or for ANY mom to be honest. We all love gift cards like crazy. Especially if it’s for something I have to buy anyway, because in that case it actually SAVES me money!
    Gifts for the Minimalist Mom
  5. Subscriptions and Upgrades. Ok, this is something I would never spend money on myself, but if someone else would like to spend money on it instead, then I would definitely take advantage and enjoy tremendously. I’m thinking mostly about tv subscriptions here – like for Hulu, or Discovery+ which I don’t have at the moment. Upgrades are almost the same as subscriptions. But I’m thinking here, like an upgrade to my cable tv package to get more channels. Or, once travel picks-up again… upgrades on airline memberships and hotel memberships. The perks are amazing! You can get free alcohol, special lounges, extra space, larger rooms, etc. I would never actually splurge and spend my own money on any of that… BUT, as a gift… I’d love it!
  6. Services. So if you really want to BUY something for someone that doesn’t enjoy clutter or more traditional gifts, how about a service? This can be a hair/face/nails salon service, or even a home service such as carpet steam cleaning or a deep-cleaning from a maid service.
  7. Self-Care Baskets. This would be so easy to put together yourself if you know this person very well. What do they enjoy most for themself? And whatever that answer is… just put it all in a nice basket. It can be a miscellaneous collection of alot of their favorite things such as lotions, fave snacks, lipglosses, bath items, etc and they’ll love it. One of the best gifts I ever received was a basket with a romance novel, raman noodles, cookies, and a Britney Spears tumbler and I loved it because they KNEW me. The randomness didn’t matter.

7 Gifts for the Minimalist Mom

Anyhow, that’s what I’ve been able to come-up with as gifts I would enjoy. So hopefully these ideas for gifts for the minimalist mom will help you out if you have one in your life.

What do you all think? I am missing something that a minimalist mom would like?

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Get To Know Me – Festive Edition

The Thank You!

Thank you so much to Smelly Socks at Smelly Socks and Garden Peas for tagging me! I love “Get to Know Me” stuff like this because you can actually learn alot about a person from their answers to seemingly random questions. Especially these holiday-related questions. Thanks again, Smelly Socks! I loved reading your post and getting to know you better! 🙂

Get to Know Me Better / Image Source: Smelly Socks

The Questions and Answers
1) What is your favorite winter treat?

Hm, I actually eat these all-year round so they’re not completely just a “winter treat” for me. But since they fit-in quite well with the winter theme, I feel like I can say that Sno-Caps candy is my favorite winter treat…

2) What Christmas traditions do you celebrate?
Well… we’re still doing the Santa Clause tradition at my house (although this may be our last year for that). To keep it easier for me… we’ve never wrapped Santa’s gifts (to make them stand-out better from all the other gifts). And we also go ahead and open/assemble any of Santa’s gifts that require assembly so they are ready-to-go first thing Christmas morning. But isn’t that a big debate – whether to wrap or not Santa’s gifts? How do you all do it?

3. Are you wishing for snow this year?
Nope. I don’t like dealing with snow at all in my daily life. Especially here in Tennessee or Texas where the snow (IF it happens at all) is just wimpy and gross. But if I’m travelling specifically for some snow-skiing, then I love snow immensely. So just when it’s vacay or an escape, as long as it’s not part of my normal life.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Oh this one is easy – “Home Alone”. My daughter and I just watched it together this afternoon. She loves it too! My next favorite Christmas movie is “Mean Girls”. C’mon!!!! If “Die Hard” is considered a Christmas movie then dammit “Mean Girls” is a Christmas movie too! They even do a dance number in Santa outfits to “Jingle Bell Rock” so it totally counts. I will die on this hill.

5. Have you ever built a gingerbread house? What is your technique?
I’ve actually never built a gingerbread house. I think I could figure it out though. It wouldn’t look that great however. But my daughter gets to do a gingerbread house every year because she has a friend that invites her over annually and they do them together. I’m in the clear!

6. What is your favorite hot chocolate?
I didn’t realize there are multiple types of hot chocolate? I like the normal one… you know, warm milk + cocoa + marshmellows. Pretty simple. But delicious! 🙂

7. What gift are you hoping to get this year?
Haha, nothing too exciting! But I did ask my husband to buy me some new pots and pans for Christmas. The current ones we have are getting old and crusty so I’m ready to replace them. If I get them for Christmas then I won’t have to go buy them myself. So it saves me money if he gets them instead.

8. What is your warmest wintertime memory?
Hmmm this is a tough one. Since I moved away from my parents, I really enjoy the time after Christmas every year where we get together and hang out – either at my parent’s house or we meet at a travel destination instead. I just enjoy spending time with my parents; and now that I’m an adult too – I kinda think they’re cool. And I love seeing my daughter develop a relationship with them too. It’s cute when they Facetime together. Sometimes my parents don’t know the Facetime is on so they hold the phone up to their ears and we’re seeing inner-ear close-ups the entire conversation. They make my daughter laugh non-stop. I see them getting older and that has made me realize that any time I get to spend with them now is so precious. I worry about this time being limited. 🙁

And The Tagging…
Anyhow, I totally stink at tagging! I love all of you, but sometimes I don’t want to pester, and also sometimes I don’t think a post like this will fit-in with your blog theme. I definitely over-think stuff like this and I don’t mean to exclude anyone! So PLEASE feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to participate! I’d love it.

But just in case some of you would like a little peer-pressure too… I’d like to tag the following folks:

The World’s Common Tater
Adventures with the Michigan Mama
Joyful Change with Yvonne
Bill – A Silly Place
Saymber – To Be

Happy Holidays everyone! 🙂

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New Socials Are Up!

Hi everyone!

I don’t have enough content up yet to do a formal and proper launch, but since I consider you all friends (and I feel like you won’t judge me to harshly for the incompleteness), you all get the heads-up on my new project.

See, I kinda have a dream job where I travel all over the world and facilitate good people networking with other good people to accomplish good things. And if I don’t do something to make this dream-job happen for me NOW, then I might never do it.

So that’s the purpose behind my new website:

And I’m excited that I was able to grab this name on all the major social medias too. Like, that NEVER happens so this must be a good sign. So if you’re a fan of social media too, please connect with my new project over there too:

Facebook: Bloggers Offline | Facebook

Twitter: Bloggers Offline (@bloggersoffline) / Twitter

Instagram: Bloggers Offline (@bloggersoffline) • Instagram photos and videos

Now definitely don’t worry, I won’t quit this Pepper Valentine blog. I need this outlet and this support system in my life. I definitely NEED it, as well as all my friends here, so it’s not going anywhere!