Life Lately: Candid Happenings

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Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing still on?

I took an extended break from blogging again while I “found myself” *vomits*. Because working full-time PLUS another part-time job PLUS trying to manage my anxiety was too much. The winter was very rough for my mental health and I just now feel like I’m recovered from it. The skies are clearing up for summer and so is my mind. I’m feeling rejuvenated at work, at home, and with life in genreal. And I have tonnnsss of new ideas for posts.

So what has been happening? What’s the 4-1-1? What’s the hot gossip?!

I turned 25 in March! Happy birthday me! Sorry I missed my 25 Things About Turning 25 post, but you can read about 24 and 23 things I’ve also learned from years past. They’re pretty much the same, honestly. Maybe I’ll do a retroactive 25 things once I hit the 25 1/2 mark. I’m assuming I’ll be wiser then, but I really don’t feel much wiser now. I celebrated my birthday by buying myself presents and going to brunch with my friends. It was glorious. There was a boozy milkshake with a giant birthday candle involved, so what more could you want?

I bought a bunch of new make-up! I successfully completed my 2017 no buy make-up ban for January and February, then went HAM in March on account of “Birthday Month.” And by HAM I mean spending a sum of money at Ulta that I am uncomfortable admitting aloud. (But my Ulta Points account looks AH-MAZING!) I’ve been testing the products I purchased and am planning on doing some reviews soon– including some skincare products I got that were suuuper disappointing.

I took a break from make-up to concentrate on my skin! To totally waste all the money I spent on make-up, I have taken a break from it while I explore new skincare. I am currently trying out Curology, a prescription skincare subscription service. I won’t go into full details because I have an entire post planned, but it’s essentially an online dermatologist. You get paired with a medical professional to assess your skin and they cultivate a topical medication to treat your issues. Though my results have been slow and steady (and not without set-backs) I am very happy with how things are going. More soon!

Speaking of skincare, I have taken a serious rededication to my health. Part of busting out of my anxiety hole included busting out of my bad habits hole, and I’m pretty sure my clear head is partly due to that. I am eating much more nutrient dense foods, am back to exercising regularly, and have set new goals for myself. I’ve successfully lost 20lbs (!!!!!!) since April 1st, and am really enjoying getting back into cooking healthy meals and watching my progress. I went to school for health and wellness, but you wouldn’t know it by how I acted. I figured it was time to start living like I valued my life, ya know? You can look forward to more healthy eating posts coming your way. And maybe some exercise posts too?

That sums up my 2017 so far. Aside from raging against the political machine and continuing to let my cat rule my life, things have been good. And I’m excited to get back in touch with my blog.

So tell me, what do you want to see from Candidly Kelsey? Make-up? Skincare? Food? Bad jokes? Let me know! And leave a comment with what you’ve been up to recently!

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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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10 Ways To Fight Blogger’s Block

Don't get discouraged when you have no original thoughts. Here are 10 super simple ways to right the dreaded blogger's block. // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I’ve had blogger’s block for months, and fighting it is starting to get reallllll tiring.

The mind is a mysterious thing. Creativity is a muscle*, and it can tire just like a regular muscle. Use it too much, it gets sore, and won’t give you the results you want.  Use it too little, it will atrophy and it still won’t give you the results you want.  If you ask me, creativity is a finicky little motherf*cker.

My blog has been almost silent for months.  Words just weren’t coming to me, and it stressed me out to try to produce content that made me proud.  Eventually I just stopped, because it was making me anxious to try to worry about it.

But then today (after a conversation with my therapist, of all things) I decided to just lean into the blogger’s block. Why not write about that? How many other bloggers get blogger’s block? It’s a universal thing. Everyone can relate, so everyone will get this post. How can that possibly go wrong?

Bingo. So here is a post you definitely didn’t ask for.

10 Fool-Proof Tips To Fight Blogger’s Block

  1. Throw your computer out the window. It may not help you write a post, but at least it will give you an excuse as to why you don’t have a post. The dog ate my homework. My laptop is in a pile on the asphalt. Whatever.
  2. Write about what you ate for breakfast. Who doesn’t want to read a 500 word essay about your Cheerios? I know I’d be riveted. Extra points if there’s bacon.
  3. Interview your cat. I’m sure he/she has great ideas. When the cat is no help, interview the dog.
  4. Spin around in a circle with your laptop clutched to your chest until the words just come to you. It especially helps if you have Bloglovin’ open on the screen while you do it.
  5. Copy and paste another blogger’s post. Copy their pictures too. Make sure to remove the watermark, it’ll be fine. Nobody will notice that you blatantly ripped off someone else’s material.
  6. Look up those super helpful blog posts about needing blog post ideas. Reading about writing about your worst nightmare, or everyday make-up routine for the 40th time is definitely bound to spark some creativity. It’s like flicking a switch. Brain go ON!
  7. Cry in the shower.
  8. Organize your house. Then quit halfway though and think of a great idea to blog about as a procrastination tool while you avoid the mess you’ve made while organizing your house.  You can’t find your cat, or your child (if you have one) but who cares because now you have MOTIVATION.
  9. Listen to Lemonade and feel Beyoncé’s words move you. Becky with the good hair is bound to spark some ideas.
  10. Have a glass of wine. Or six. Totally forget about how you can’t think of a story, and just enjoy your night. Motivation is for losers anyway.

Or, you can just take a break, realize that it’s not that big of a deal, and just write what seems to flow out of you. And I’m only sort of kidding on #10. Sometimes the glass of wine really does help. Just be careful not to take it to an extreme, or you’ll end up completing #1.

Do you have blogger’s block? How have you combated it? Share your tips — real or silly– in the comments!

*Alright, scientist. No it’s not a real muscle, it’s a metaphor. Get off my back. Gosh.

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FREE Blog & Social Media Stats Tracker Workbook!

FREE Blog & Social Media Stats Tracker Workbook

Guys, I like to keep notes. Keep notes, take notes, and look back at notes. If I am going to for something, I need to be able to see how far I’ve come to keep myself motivated. I need something to help me track my progress, especially when it comes to social media stats.

The Blog & Social Media Stats Workbook

I’ve gotten slightly more savvy with Excel since starting work in October, so I decided to use that knowledge to put together a little spreadsheet for myself so I could watch my blog growth.

Once a week I write down the stats that are important to me: all-time page views, all-time sessions, and social media follower accounts. If they grow, I know I’m doing something right. If they don’t, I need to take a look at what I’m doing and reevaluate.

I’ve been using this workbook for about 2 months and loooove it. In addition to tables to chart my progress, it has graphs that automatically update showing my growth.  It’s one thing to see the numbers, but it’s much nicer to also see a visual representation of my engagement.  What is even easier is that it’s fully functional, so the graph auto-adjusts whenever I put new numbers in. Who new Excel could be so much fun?

I also like it so much that I thought I’d give it away! I know, I’m such a nice person!

So how can you get it?

Sign up for Candidly Kelsey Weekly, my Friday newsletter, and you’ll get access to workbook to download. It comes with some instructions to get you familiarized with how to use it, and also how to change the colors/fonts to make it match your taste. Because the only thing better than functionality is CUTE-NESS.

So go ahead and sign up, and start tracking your blog stats!

Bonus: If you sign up before 12am on Thursday night/Friday morning, you’ll get an extra special sneak peek into next week’s blog posts, featuring a picture that made me laugh for a solid 10 minutes. I’m not even kidding. Trust me, you NEED to see this picture.


HURRY & Sign up for Candidly Kelsey Weekly to receive a FREE Blog & Social Media Tracker Workbook!

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Something’s Changed!

Candidly Kelsey Moved to WordPress!

What’s that weird chill in the air? The sudden silence? The slight smell of WordPress? The slightly unnerving feeling that everything is completely different?

Man, you’re intuitive.

Because I’ve moved! Kind of!

CandidlyKelseyBlog.com is now self-hosted! (Pause for roaring applause.)

I made the jump from Blogger to WordPress yesterday/last night/this morning and we have finally landed. It was many, many, many hours of blood, sweat and finger calluses from pounding on my keyboard, but I finally did it and now everything on this website is mine. Mine. Mine. Mine!

So in case you notice that things look a teensy bit different format-wise, this is why.  I am slightly unfamiliar with WordPress, so bare with me while I get my bearings and get everything back to normal functions around here.

That’s all. Just wanted to share my super-smart tech victory with everyone.  Now I’m off to go nurse my hangover with a sweet potato hashbrown dish I just ordered that I definitely can’t afford to splurge on. #SUNDAY

Also, don’t forget:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

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