2016: The Year of the Blog

Two thousand and sixteen was definitely the year of the blog. Somehow I turned my blog from a small side project receiving 2,000 views a month to a life-consuming passion reaching 20,000+ people a month. I’ve invested hundreds if not thousands of hours into this blog in 2016, and I can definitely say that it’s paid off. Not only has my blog blossomed this year, I’ve become friends with so many bloggers!

I’ve had a few weeks to compile all this data, and honestly it’s amazing. This blog is a representation of setting your mind to something, dedicating yourself to it, and seeing it thrive and prosper. In 2016 I became self-hosted, landed my first sponsored post, finally figured out my branding, developed my own WordPress theme, received countless emails from readers, and found myself. So, to sum up 2016, I thought I’d show you my overall stats, my most popular posts, and set some goals for 2017.

KEEP READING “2016: The Year of the Blog”

2016: A Year In Review

If 2016 could be summed up in one saying, it’d be: It’s not what happens that counts… it’s how you react. 2016 was the year of reactions. All in all, I think 2016 was one of the best years of my life. I learned a lot about myself and other people, and I’m proud to say that I feel that I am a better person now than I was just 12 months ago. Life is about growth, life is about knowledge, and life is about developing who you are as a person. If I’ve grown, learned a lot, and found a little bit more of myself, I’d say it’s been a successful year.

Today’s post is a look back at 2016 – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and setting goals for the next 12 months. Okay so I’m totally stealing the layout of this 2017 resolutions post from Jessica Slaughter and Sarah Hubbard because the organization is perfect. I love these reflection and goal setting posts, so let’s just jump right in.

KEEP READING “2016: A Year In Review”

And My Secret Santa Is…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope you’re having an amazing day full of family, friends, and amazing food! In case you didn’t know, Cathleen from Classy Cathleen and I put together a Blogger Secret Santa this year, and I’m proud to say that we had over 25 people participate. It was such a success and I’m so excited to reveal to you who my Secret Santa was and see everyone else’s Secret Santa reveals!

This year’s Blogger Secret Santa came about because I begged Cathleen to host another one after I had so much fun participating in last year’s. She graciously allowed me to help her host the 2016 edition of the Blogger Secret Santa, and I can honestly say that I had a blast organizing all of it. After about a week of working on countless Google Docs and Google Sheets, we finally launched, and I was so excited to see so many amazing bloggers wanting to participate. Just like last year, all of the participants reveal their Secret Santa on Christmas Day (aka today) at 10 AM EST. I’m going to try my best to include links to everyone’s Secret Santa reveal posts at the end of this post, so definitely make sure you check out their reveals! KEEP READING “And My Secret Santa Is…”

How I Attempted Vlogmas and Failed Epically

If you couldn’t have guessed by the lack of activity on my YouTube channel lately, I have epically failed at doing Vlogmas. And I’m not using the word “epically” as an exaggeration. I honestly mean epically. But how can I come to that conclusion even when there’s still just a few days left for me to recover? Well, y’all, at this point, Vlogmas is a lost cause. I’m not writing this post as a “oh pity me” or a “please forgive me” but as a reminder that real life and personal health always, always, always come before anything relating to social media. Always. No exceptions.

I really think the message of this post is applicable any time of year, but it’s especially important now that it’s the holidays. I get so caught up in Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, blogging, and everything else that I forget to take time for myself. Not only for myself, but for my family and enjoying the holidays and being in the Christmas spirit.

KEEP READING “How I Attempted Vlogmas and Failed Epically”

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

Hey y’all! I’m back and semi-functioning after my wisdom tooth surgery last Friday, and ironically, I’m showing you a recipe that I still cannot eat. Every year I make gingerbread cookies, usually in the form of a gingerbread house or gingerbread men. With only 5 days left until Christmas, I was running out of time and still didn’t have the energy to make the dough, refrigerate it, roll it out, cut out all the shapes, bake the cookies, make icing, and decorate. That’s way too much work for me at the moment, so I settled on something that I think is even better – gingerbread crinkle cookies!

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies | Easy, simple, and delicious way to celebrate the holidays!

Crinkle cookies are some of my favorite (check the Instagram from this past March), and the fact that these are gingerbread makes it so much better. You still get that classic white “icing” on a gingerbread cookie which is super festive, Instagram-worthy, and delicious! So, grab your apron and mixer and get ready to make these delicious gingerbread crinkle cookies.

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Gift Guide for the Makeup Lover

Hey y’all! I’m back! I didn’t mean to take Tuesday off, but some unforeseen events occurred, and it just didn’t feel right to publish a post. As you’re reading this, I’m probably having my wisdom teeth removed or I’ve made it back home and I’m drooling all over the place while consuming liquid foods. Wow, doesn’t that sound appealing?? Haha, well while I’m at home all drugged up, here’s some makeup items that are all under $20 that I’m sure any makeup lover would love to receive!

Perfect gifts for the makeup lover in your life. All under $20! | Makeup Lover Gift Guide

*this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure.

I already own a lot of stuff that’s on this list, so I can definitely vouch for how amazing it all is. Those makeup sponges are a life saver when it comes to applying liquid foundation, blending out concealer, or buffing in some liquid/cream contour. Everyone needs a quality pair (or pairs because let’s be honest, tweezers always seem to go missing) of tweezers to get those brows on point. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with a single ELF lip color. And to top it all off, those makeup brushes are killer and I use them almost ever single day. KEEP READING “Gift Guide for the Makeup Lover”