Dining Outdoors During Winter in Michigan is Fun!

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In a world where (some) governmental leaders abuse their power and authority – we the people are sometimes forced to improvise. When you think about it… blogging and internet marketing have some parallels with life in general. Circumstances that are 100% out of our control sometimes force us in directions that we never could have predicted or imagined. Did I think I would be dining outdoors, in Michigan, in the middle of January to celebrate my birthday in 2021? No, I did not. But it happened. Did I think I would be diving head-first into Pinterest to kick off 2021 in an attempt to drive traffic to my various blogs? Nope. I wouldn’t have predicted that one either. But I’m doing that too!

Blogging and internet marketing and life, in general, are all very similar. It’s all about rolling with the punches. Sure, we can make plans and set goals and hope for the best. But, we all know that most things rarely ever go exactly as planned. As the saying goes, “expect the unexpected.” Here’s another good one… “the only thing constant is change.”

The Featured Image

Pictured above is my wife Susie and I at a restaurant called Noco Provisions, this past Saturday evening. My birthday was the day before and I had told Susie that the ONLY thing I wanted for my birthday this year was to go out to eat somewhere. You see, in the great state of Michigan, our psychotic governor thinks she is an emperor or a queen. She rules us people, the residents of Michigan, and she decides which businesses are allowed to operate. Well, restaurants have not been allowed to have indoor dining for over 2 months now.

Fortunately, many restaurants in West Michigan have gotten creative. This one set up a giant tent in their parking lot and equipped it with propane heaters and is serving it’s guests ‘outside’. Here is a picture of my brother and his wife, across the table from us, with the actual restaurant in the background.

The outside air temperature was around 30 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s around 0 Celsius for you non-American readers). The overhead propane heaters did a pretty good job of keeping us toasty warm – but we also brought our own little Buddy portable propane heater to put under the table to keep our feet and legs warm. It was pretty awesome!

Even if you don’t live in a country or state that forces you to dine outdoors in the winter – I highly recommend owning one of these portable propane heaters. They come in quite handy for many situations.

Matt’s Dumb Ass Weekend Update

So… Saturday evening I was able to enjoy a night ‘out-on-the-town’ with just my wife and my brother and his wife. Adults only! That was great – but not to exclude our kids from my birthday weekend celebration – Susie planned a trip for the whole family to go tubing at Double JJ Resort. We spent hours flying down the hill on tubes and getting tugged back up by a rope. It was a ton of fun! Here is my family, taking a break and having some drinks.

Afterwards, we headed to the Rio Grand Steakhouse, where we had reservations to eat in one of their ‘outdoor’ pods that they have setup on their patio. This was another fun dining experience. We were seated inside this tiny little greenhouse thingy with an electric space-heater running to keep us warm. Here is me and Elena and Susie on one side of the table…

And here are Eli and Ethan on the other side…

During both of my ‘out-to-eat’ experiences this past weekend, there was a light snow falling from the sky. I was tickled pink and had THE BEST birthday weekend ever – as I love the cold and the snow and I love going out to eat with friends and family more than anything. Despite our governor not allowing indoor dining in our state – we made the best of it and had a couple of really great experiences.

Perhaps you noticed the Carhartt hats that my kids are wearing? Carhartt is the best!

Well… This is a ‘Passive Income’ Blog

Call me crazy – but (as I mentioned in the intro paragraph) I’ve been diving head-first into Pinterest marketing lately. Starting during the first week of January this year – I decided to give Pinterest a real and genuine effort to try to drive traffic to this blog as well as my AmaLinks Pro blog. Despite my failed attempt with Pinterest in the past – I can definitely see the potential – especially in the internet marketing (make money online) niches.

I see lots of stories of others who are having success. I’m talking tens of thousands of visitors per month type success – just from Pinterest! If others can do it – I can do it too! And the cool thing is – the whole process can be very passive once you get things rolling and start to get some traction on Pinterest.

During the beginning of January, I spent quite a bit of time educating myself on how to use Pinterest for marketing and to drive traffic. Things have changed with Pinterest over the last couple of years. I really think I’ll be able to make it work this time! I’ll definitely write an entire dedicated blog post on the topic of Pinterest alone – after I have some positive results to share.

I Can’t Stop Buying Stuff on Amazon

Our neighbors gave us a 3D pen because they weren’t’ using it and they just wanted to get rid of it. I didn’t even know that 3D pens existed! My kids have been making some interesting creations with it. We had to purchase some 3D pen filament refills from Amazon so the kids could continue to have their fun. Here is a robot that Ethan made with our 3D pen (it took him 3 hours!)…

Here is a 3D pen, available on Amazon, very similar to the one that we have…

 

Products You Want but Probably Don’t Need

Don’t forget to check out ‘Today’s Deals’ on Amazon. Formerly known as ‘Lightning Deals’ – these are sale prices on certain items on Amazon that are very time-limited. Some of the deals are just… meh. But some of the deals are really freaking good deals. You might not even know that you want or need some of this stuff – but sometimes the deals are just too good to pass up. Check em out right now!

 

Today's Deals on Amazon

 

Did You Know?

Nearly 2 out of 5 websites on the entire internet are now powered by WordPress! New data has revealed that 39.5% of websites are powered by WordPress, up from 35% in 2020. This is an astounding number – one that cannot be ignored. If you don’t already have your own website, powered by WordPress… what in the world are you waiting for? Start your own website today. All the cool kids have their own websites. Don’t be the dork without a website or blog.

Products That Don’t Compare

Since I teased you with the whole 3D pen thing above – why don’t I show you a nice comparison table to see a few others (along with one item that does not compare).

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Fortnite, Fortnite – Let’s Go!

I’m getting better at this game! As mentioned in my last ‘Weekend Update’ post – I’m probably the coolest dad because I play Fortnite with my kids and their friends. They’re all WAY better than me – but I can hold my own. I played a fair amount last weekend, usually later at night.

For whatever reason, I decided to keep landing at Salty Towers. It’s almost always a hot drop this season and I figured I should learn a new town, where there is likely to be more action, and either kill or get killed. Recalling one game, in particular, that I played this past week… I landed at Salty and got a couple of kills, then while running from the storm I got three more. A 5-kill game! For me… that is really good. Especially the way I was killing these dudes like a pro.

I was even building to get higher than the enemies then jumping down and shooting them in the head with my tac (tactical shotgun) while I was still in mid-air. I didn’t even know I could do that – but in this particular game – somehow I did! I was playing out of my mind! I ended up with 7th place overall in that match (out of 100), but I was super-stoked because my skill level seemed to suddenly improve.

My Google News feed on my phone showed me this article about how to get better at Fortnite. I forwarded it to Eli (my 10-year-old son) sort of as a joke because he is already basically a pro. I got home from work and he told me he read the entire article. He used it as part of his quota for reading that he needs to do for school. He totally got the humor in me sending that to him… because he really doesn’t need the advice. He is far more advanced as a player and doesn’t need some of the basic strategies that the article talks about. Lol

AmaLinks Pro is Cool – Just Trust Me on This 🙂

All of the links in this post that lead to Amazon were created and inserted using AmaLinks Pro – a premium WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates. Full disclosure… I am the co-founder of AmaLinks Pro.

If you like the elements on this page that link to Amazon and want to be able to create them super fast and easy on your own WordPress site – check out AmaLinks Pro.

 

Learn More About AmaLinks Pro

The End

This concludes this ‘Weekend Update’ post by Matthew Allen. We’ll see you in the next one!

Dining Outdoors During Winter in Michigan is Fun!