It’s official, my friends! December is here, and I haven’t started decorating for Christmas. Well, that’s not entirely true; I did decorate the primary bedroom the day before yesterday. But if you think bloggers have it all together, let me burst that bubble and tell you that some may not. At least I do not have my Christmas tree up the day after Halloween. That doesn’t mean I do not dream of the day when I can be ahead of the game by scheduling and publishing far in advance. But for now, I am enjoying some normalcy in my life.
Keeping up with the internet life is very demanding, and I don’t need to add more stress to an already hectic season. And while I was thinking about what it is to be a blogger in 2022, trying to stay afloat in a demanding market dominated by social media, Reels, and Pins, I decided on something last week.
My heart was telling me to somehow return to my humble beginnings. Back when a blog was exactly that: a weblog. An online log of personal stories and things we love that are worth sharing. Starting today, I will bring you Neat Living Monthly, a personal blog without any agenda.
I will share with you what I am up to, what I did that month, and interesting lifestyle finds. I will also share the things that matter to me that I do not necessarily share in my regular articles. A new way to make a connection with you in a less formal and more fun format.
Think of Neat Living Monthly as the regular column you look forward to reading in your favorite magazine each month!
November and Thanksgiving Break
Where did November go? I honestly believe it was the shortest month of the year. I still have a clear pumpkin vase filled with orange and black Halloween gummy worms sitting on my kitchen counter. I guess that’s a good thing!
On November 4th, we went to see Luke Bryan in concert for the fourth time, and…he never disappoints! Boy, oh boy, I love his concerts. I think most of you know I am obsessed, and I not-so-secretly adore him and his music!
I did not host Thanksgiving dinner this year. It’s bittersweet because I have been hosting Thanksgiving at home for the last 15 years! But because our son is out of school for an entire week, we decided we could take a few days off and spend the holiday week somewhere different. So, we drove about 6 hours north to Amelia Island, FL. When we left home at 12 noon, it was 86 degrees, and by the time we checked in at the hotel, it was 59! What an adjustment for these South Floridians.
We stayed at the Omni Amelia Island and look forward to returning. It is truly a wonderful place to visit. The resort is nestled inside Amelia Island Plantation, surrounded by beautiful marshland, golf courses, shops, and restaurants. While we didn’t swim (only a few dared to put on a bathing suit in the mid to low 60s, LOL), we loved driving around the property on a -rented- golf cart. We also played tether ball, a round of mini-golf, and had a couple of date-nights downstairs at the bar! Thanksgiving dinner was delicious and laid back. A good change of pace!
Holiday Planner 2022
Continuing with the subject of not being ahead of the game, I should have had my 3rd annual Holiday Planner out before Thanksgiving, but life got in the way! I have been chauffeuring my mom to doctor and PT appointments, and well, there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Something’s gotta give, and I put my mom’s health above all.
But I worked on it as soon as we returned from our trip, and here it is! You can download it using the form below.
Things That Caught My Eye
So, here are a few things that caught my eye this past month.
- Advent Challenge on the Hallow App – A 10 min meditation to prepare my heart for Christmas. I listen to it during my morning commute.
- Giving gifts with purpose this holiday season through Food For The Poor – You can feed a child for a year for only $73
- The Chosen – I went to the movies with my friend to watch S3, Episodes 1 and 2. If you have not watched Seasons 1 and 2 yet, I highly recommend it. Whatever your idea of God, or even if you do not practice any religion at all, this is a heartwarming story, and fun to watch TV series. You can watch it for FREE, too!
- Do What Matters Most, The Planner – I read this book in 2018 (you can read my full review here), and I purchased their 2023 Planner. I am very excited!
Things I’m Loving Lately
Whenever I am happy -and obsessed- with a few lifestyle finds, I want to share them with you in a casual, unbiased, and fun way. I do not have time right now to make lengthy Reels, fully curated lists, and perfectly polished Instagram pictures. So, I give you ‘Things I’m Loving Lately’ in this easy format!
- TYME IRON PRO – Hands down, the best curling iron I have ever used. I have straight hair, and every time I curled it, it would be flat again in a matter of minutes. But the curls I make with my new Tyme last all night. And I also have cute loose waves the next day! That’s good enough for me.
- imPRESS Press-on Manicure – 90% of the time, you will find me with short, natural nails. I only get a professional mani on special occasions. But if I am in a jiffy and need to get a ‘polished look’ in my hands, these are my go-to! Love them!
- Mixed Lace Blouse – I wore this blouse on Thanksgiving and got many compliments! It’s so classy, and it’s on sale now!
- Electronic Candle Lighter Arc – It’s candle season, and I think this is the best invention ever! This candle lighter is flameless and rechargeable via USB.
- Blendable Sculpting Trio – Face Bento – I purchased this in July, and now I can vouch for it and tell you that it’s a great little addition to your makeup bag. My cheeks never looked so cute!
- Portable Garment Steamer – I took this on our trip to Amelia Island. I am obsessed!
So those are the highlights for November! I hope you enjoyed this first edition of Neat Living Monthly, and I look forward to sharing more fun things with you for months to come!