I Broke My Blog

I broke my blog, but you can learn from my mistakes / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

On Thursday I did the unthinkable: I broke my blog.

But Kelsey, I’m reading your blog. How can it be broken?

Because I’m a damn idiot, that’s how.

I’m not great at coding, but since starting my blog in 2014 I’ve managed the technical stuff all on my own. I started on Wix.com, then moved over to Blogger, then in January of 2016 I changed everything over to self-host on WordPress. I bought my own domain and migrated my existing blog over to my new one so all the links redirected. It’s way harder than it sounds, and I did it on my own. Not to toot my own horn but I have been pretty proud of this.

Until Thursday, that is.

It all started because I want to improve my SEO. Following the instructions of an article on Yoast, I wanted to remove the numbers from my post links to help them trend higher on Google. The article told me I could change my permalink structure and then redirect all my existing links by adding a code to my .htacess. And I believed it.

Long story short, it did not work. All my links broke. Which means 3-years worth of pins and social media shares are dead links and all lead back to my error page. I tried undoing what I did, and different plugins to help redirect my old links to new ones, etc, etc. But nothing has worked. RIP links. RIP organic blog traffic. RIP engagement. RIP my heart.

I tried everything I know to fix it, but was advised by the IT guy at work that I have officially broken my links. I apparently took the path of no return and I can’t undo it. If you’re a visual person, I was told that changing the .htaccess code officially broke the link in the chain that connects my old posts to my blog and it cannot be reconnected.

Morale of the story: Don’t mess with your .htaccess code. Consult an expert before trying to change your blog links. And don’t follow the advice of an SEO company without really looking into what could happen if it doesn’t work.

However, if you do know how to fix it, please let me know. I am open to anything at this point, including voodoo or ritual chanting. I’m also not above crying, or consulting a professional. Any and all help is welcome. And if you want to help and feel like going back through some of my old posts and pinning them to your Pinterest boards, that’d be great too.

RIP blog links. 

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How to Contact Your Representative

How to Contact Your Representative / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Hello, hi, howdy and welcome to my first official political post in which we discuss how to contact your representative. Regardless of what your political opinion is, it is very important to know how to contact your officials. Your voice doesn’t end with voting for your president and it’s important to stay in contact with your officials. But unfortunately, not everyone knows how to talk to them– or even who their representatives are. So let’s change that, huh?

Let’s just start by saying that this is a non-partisan post. I obviously have political opinions (follow me on Twitter and you know exactly what those are) but this post is not for that. The point of this post is to make sure each person is armed with the knowledge of how to stay in contact with their officials, regardless of their ideologies.

How to Contact Your Representative:

  1. Know your elected officials. Your senators and representatives are JUST as important as your president. This website is the official US Gov site on contacting your officials, but (in my opinion) isn’t as user friendly. WhoIsMyRepresentative.com can help you find who your representatives and senators are by searching via zip code or by state. It will also link you to their webpages and contact info.
  2. Learn their stance on issues that are important to you. The internet has tons of great resources to find out more about them and their voting record. VoteSmart.org and OnTheIssues.org are great sites to learn about their stance on important issues and how they’ve voted in the past.
  3. Write them a letter. They represent YOU. Let them know what issues are important to you. If you don’t agree with their record, you can tell them– but be respectful about it. They’re not likely to pay attention to a letter full of expletives. Explaining your points and why you feel that way is a much more valid argument than just telling them they’re wrong. Even if you do agree with their record, tell them, and tell them why. About.com has a great article on tips for writing a letter, and although this other template is about biology, it’s a great example of the format a general template for writing to your representatives. Just take out all the science stuff and replace it with what is specific to you.
  4. Stay updated on what is happening. Whatever happens in congress is public record, and is archived. The best places I found to read about the legislation in the senate on Senate.gov, and the House of Representatives on Clerk.House.gov. The websites aren’t super user-friendly, so take some time to explore them. Each bill has a name, so you can watch pieces of legislation as they are updated. You can follow specific pieces that are important to you and track their progress. And although the news covers them, you can also follow Executive Orders signed by Trump on WhiteHouse.gov and read them for yourself.
  5. Continue to voice your opinion. If something happens that you are happy about then write, email or call your representative’s office. If something happens that you don’t like, do the same. They are YOUR representative. And the only way they can represent you is if they know how you feel.

Bonus: Always, always, always fact-check yourself. Don’t blindly share things that you see online. There is such a thing as “fake news” and it’s unfortunately all over social media pages. A quick Google search to see if something is real will save you from spreading false info. It’ll also keep you from looking dumb, which is nice.

There are tons of other ways to stay updated with what is happening in our government, but this is what works for me.

If you have other ways you like to contact your congressman, or other ways to stay updated on what is happening in congress, please leave them in the comments for others to see. Let’s make it a little easier to make our voices heard.

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The BEST Drugstore Make-Up

Make up doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Check out the best of the best drugstore make-up, including foundation, highlighters, bronzer, mascara, setting spray and more. / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Who says good make-up has to be expensive? It doesn’t. You can slay without giving up eating or taking out a small loan. And if you’ve ever thought about getting into make-up but don’t know where to start NOW is the time to get into it. And I’ve got a round up of the best drugstore make-up just for you.

For the purpose of this list, these are all things that can be physically purchased at a store that carries what are considered “drugstore” brands: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Ulta, grocery stores, etc. If you’re looking for things with drugstore prices but can’t necessarily be purchased at a drugstore, stay tuned for my next post featuring affordable make-up.

Presented in order of putting them on ya face:

Primer: Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Smooth – $9.99

Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation – $12.99

Dry skin kids, don’t fret at the word “matte.” I have dry skin and love this foundation. It stays all day, and doesn’t look cakey or weird on my dry skin. I recommend moisturizing, priming, then using this foundation with a very damp beauty blender. The moisturizing and the damp beauty blender make all the difference, I promise.

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – $4.99

Fit Me has been compared to the NARS Creamy Concealer. It’s got a great consistency and is a medium coverage. Plus, at the price, it’s great to get a few different colors for days when you want a super highlighted look vs. just a daily look.

Powder: Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder – $4.99

Bronzer/Contour: Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer – $14.99

Don’t freak out a the price tag, this bronzer is WORTH IT. It’s lasts forever, and the color is the perfect neutral undertone with a warm finish so you can use it for bronzing and for some light contouring. Plus it literally applies like butter. Skip the expensive latte for a few days to justify dropping the $15 dollars on this sucka, and you will not regret it. I have high-end bronzers, and still pick this one everyday. It’s the best of the best drugstore make-up.

Highlighter: Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – $4.49

It’s cult favorite for a reason: the most natural but gorgeous glow. To up the intensity, mist your brush with a setting spray before applying it to make it a little more “wet.” Much like the Butter Bronzer, I have many high end highlighters but use this one daily.

Blush: Makeup Revolution The Matte Blush – $5.00

Super pigmented and a ton of colors. Just make sure to use a light hand when applying.

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational – $8.99

Eyeshadows:

The Maybelline Color Tattoos are cream shadows and they are almost literally tattoos. I used to work triple shifts between working at a gym and waitressing, and could put these on m eyes at 9am, and get home at 3am after a 6pm-2am waitress shift and my eyeshadow would still be flawless without a primer. These are bomb.com.

Eyeliners:

This eyeliner is comparable to Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in “Trooper.” Though this one is a felt tip and the KVD is a brush pen they apply very similarly. KVD may be a smidgen darker, but for the price difference of $16 bucks I’m fine with that.

Stays all day, including the waterline. This liner applies very easily, and also lasts forever.

Setting Spray: Maybelline FaceStudio Master Fix Wear Boosting Setting Spray – $12.99

Comparable to the Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray, IMHO. They even have very similar ingredients lists. I use this as a setting spray, and to help dampen my brush when I want to intensify eyeshadow or highlight colors.

 

Just ’cause the Youtube gurus are using Marc Jacobs and YSL doesn’t mean drugstore make-up isn’t good. Drugstore make-up will still snatch your face, I promise.

Did I miss any other great products? Leave them in the comments!

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Netflix Original Stand Up: Jim Gaffigan “Cinco” Drinking Game

Brand-new Netflix Comedy Special: Jim Gaffigan's Cinco Drinking Game! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com
Image credit to NETFLIX

Guess who’s back-back, back again… Jim Gaffigan!

I looooove Jim Gaffigan. The audio recordings of his other 4 hour-long specials regularly get me through the work day– AKA make me giggle like a fool at my desk so my coworkers question my sanity. And I couldn’t be more excited that he has a new special coming out on Netflix on January 10th. The special is appropriately named “Cinco” as it’s his 5th comedy special and a lot of his jokes center around his five children and I can’t wait.

In celebration for the comedian that doesn’t drink, I decided to create a drinking game for his special. Take a drink every time he references some of his favorite topics, and finish your drink whenever he mentions my favorite bit.

I tried to stay on the “safe” side so you don’t end up so inebriated that you can’t remember his special, but Mr. Gaffigan has his favorite topics, so I hope this game will be fun. So sit back, pour a favorite cocktail, and enjoy. If you need recipe ideas, check out Elle Talk for some bomb cocktail recipes.

Enjoy!

Brand-new Netflix Comedy Special: Jim Gaffigan's Cinco Drinking Game! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

*This is 100% not sponsored by Netflix or Jim Gaffigan. I’m just a fan who loves spending Friday nights with a glass of wine and a comedy special. Pls don’t hate me, Netflix.

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2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Let's talk about our 2017 New Year's Resolutions! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Happy New Year! Anyone else waste the first day of the brand new year on the couch? No? Me either. Let’s not talk about it. But you know what we should talk about? Goals for 2017– also known as New Year’s Resolutions. Those are fun and not at all soul-crushing come October of said new year and you realize that you’re still fat, broke, and single despite making a drunken declaration as the ball drops.

So fun! Let’s do them. Below are my New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t forget to share yours with me in the comments!

  1. Eat better. I am going to start taking my lunch to work, and making an effort to cut down on unnecessary calories, like sauces, dressings, and anything else that makes food edible. But I will probably take a cheat day once per week. Give myself a chance to have something delicious. Or maybe I’ll take two per week, just to be safe. Or three. Ya know, I won’t really know until I really get there. Maybe a cheat meal… like, per day. We’ll see.
  2. Exercise more. Maybe I’ll do Pilates. Or yoga. Or Pi-Yo. Or Pi-Yo-P90x. Or just blend up a yoga mat with some kale and drink that while staring at a women’s health magazine. Probably same effect, right? And it’s healthy!
  3. Save money. I am going to start keeping a log of everything I spend my money on. Including the hundreds that I personally donate to GrubHub each month in exchange for semi-stale and cold food to be delivered to me on my couch. And stop taking Ubers when I already pay for a bus pass. Except when it’s cold, or my feet hurt, or the bus is going to take longer than 8 minutes to get to me. I have to draw the line somewhere.
  4. Be more responsible. Do my laundry before the pile casts a shadow over my kitchen counter. Buy toilet paper before I completely run out. Bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store. Stop shopping as a way to fill the emotional void. Ya know, just be smarter with my choices.
  5. Find a boyfriend. I have decided to finally give into the social construct that a woman is not allowed to be single by choice. Even though dating makes me want to throw up, and I work two jobs and like to spend my downtime on my couch as opposed to at bars that also make me anxious, 2017 will be the year I find a mate. No lesbian jokes at Thanksgiving 2017, no sir. Not this year!
  6. Accept the current political climate, hold onto my reproductive rights, feel safe walking down the street alone at night, personally identify who the Zodiac Killer is, solve world hunger, pass an Illinois State budget, and finally match up all my socks. If I have time after yoga, that is.

Happy 2017! Cheers to a new year and a new you! Good luck on your New Year’s Resolutions! #Werk

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