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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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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Unanswered Questions from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (*SPOILER ALERT!*)

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the LIfe and the NUMEROUS unanswered questions that the Netflix revival left us with. / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Dear Amy Sherman-Palladino, I have a few questions for you regarding the revival of Gilmore Girls.

#1: How dare you. And #2: Why are you trying to hurt me?

I stayed up until 4am last night after family left to finish the series. I cried my way through Fall, as it felt like many things I had hoped for were finally happening. When the camera did that weird close-up on Rory’s manuscript title, I cried harder than I should have– though I would also blame the chocolate martini nightcaps we had before the family time wrapped up for the sheer volume of tears.

And then… oh boy. The ending. I was waiting for those famous last four words, only to be met with THAT?!

In all fairness, I get it. I get everything coming full circle for the main cast. Rory has fulfilled her destiny to finally become Lorelai. Jess has taken on the role of Luke, as the stoic, supportive cheerleader who is probably secretly still in love with Rory, and Logan will be the abesent father like Christopher. But man, those were just NOT the final four words I was expecting.

Aside from the crazy ending, the season left us with many unanswered questions. Instead of feeling like it wrapped up loose ends, the Gilmore Girls revival instead left with many more questions that will probably rock my soul for years to come. Here are a few of them:

Who wrote that nasty letter to Emily?

In therapy, Emily claimed Lorelai left a nasty letter on her bed, but Lorelai swore it wasn’t her; she even walked out of the appointment to make her point. Who actually wrote it? I’m wondering if it was Lorelai the First/Trix, Richard’s mother, and Emily confused them. Or maybe it was a malicious attempt by someone to hurt Emily and blame Lorelai? Not quite sure, but I am a little peeved they brought that up and didn’t give us closure.

Did Stars Hallow: The Musical ever open?

You can’t just throw a doozie at us like a Christian Borle and Sutton Foster musical and then not tell us how it ends! Do my emotions mean nothing?

What about Hep Alien?

It was 9 years later and they still rocked hard as hell in Lane and Zack’s living room. Do they have an album? Did Zack like that tour as guitarist for Vapor Rub? I thought they sounded great when they rehearsed at Lane and Zack’s house, so does that mean they are still an active band?

Was Emily actually dating Jack?

She seemed happy to have him leave her in Nantucket and go back to the city. I’m sure that was symbolic for starting to heal and move on after Richard’s death while she learns to be “alone”, but still. Were they together together? Or just finding comfort in another as people who have experienced awful loss?

Did Lorelai get to tell Michel she is expanding so he could stay at the Dragonfly Inn?

Lorelai already lost Sookie, so losing Michel was just salt in the wound for the orginal Inn Dream Team. Did she ever get to tell Michel that she was going to expand the Dragonfly? Would Michel leave his position at the W and stay to help expand? How can we never know?!

What language was Berta speaking?

Though I was banking on Emily going through many maids (as you could tell by my Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards), I was really happy to see her find comfort and learn to be taken care of, and to take care of someone else beside Richard. It was great to see her start to relax and fall into herself as a person without having to keep up pretenses and live a life that had been outlined for her. Seeing her put on white Ked’s at the very end made me cry. But seriously– what the hell language was Berta speaking!?

(Also, bonus points for a great job for Rose Abdoo doing double-duty and starring as both Gypsy and Berta. She was great!)

What the HELL was the scene with Colin, Finn, Robert and Logan during that crazy night that they ended up in a tango club?

Literally so many questions. Where were they? What was with that super weird musical number? A friend told me it is incredibly simliar to a scene in Across the Universe, but having never seen that particular film, I was so lost this whole time. And wow, has Finn not aged a DAY?! Was that teary goodbye scene at the home in New Hampshire real, or were they all joking around like normal? Had she seen them recently, even though it seemed like her relationship with Logan was a big secret? I need some context here, guys.

What the hell is Rory’s problem?

Her entitlement finally reared it’s ugly head. She cites their story as a riches to rags story while pitching the book idea, but let’s be real: Rory never really knew “rags.” She spent her entire educational career being told she was special, and seems to be riding on that now that she’s into her 30s. I’m not saying it’s not okay to not have life figured out– because it totally is. But walking into an interview with nothing prepared like she did with SandySays seems very un-Rory. Get your head outta your ass, relax about the “lucky outfit” and try harder to prepare for an actual interview. Damn.

How old is Paul Anka?

The dog, I mean. He must be at least 10, if not much older, but he still looks relatively young. My dog is 3 and has so much white on her face that you’d think she’s on her death bed. Did Luke secretly swap out Paul Anka for a younger model to keep Lorelai from going crazy? Or is he actually a secret weird dog-hybrid like Loreali claimed in season 6 of the regular series?

Why were all the coffee cups empty?

It’s a show that thrives off coffee, yet all the cups were empty?! Were you trying to save money on the caffeine budget? If the budgt was really that tight, borrow some from craft services if it was really that much of a problem. But please have more respect for your audience in future shows and actually have some liquid in the cups next time.

WHO IS THE DAMN FATHER?

I have so many feelings about that ending. Not only did Rory go full circle and get herself knocked up a la Lorelai Gilmore, but she also managed to give us many options for who the father of her child could be. All signs point to Logan, in my opinion. Her very tense conversation with Christopher about how he felt about not being around to raise Rory makes me believe it’s Logan. But we also have Wookie Guy, and Paul the boyfriend to choose from. Regardless, I’m voting Logan.

 

Obviously I have many feelings about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I’m not sure if I’ll rewatch it due to the deep betrayal I am currently battling with, but I am looking forward to hearing your responses to the show’s reactions, Mrs. Sherman-Palladino. You got some ‘splainin’ to do. I need some closure for my Gilmore Girls.

Have you finished watching? What were your thoughts? If you have any insights to help me feel less like I waited 10 years to be let down, please share. #TeamLoganForever

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Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo

Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

The Gilmore Girls Netflix revival called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life comes out this Friday. And I am peeing my pants.

In approximately 3 days, 4 hours and 29 minutes from the time I am writing this, we will get to revisit Stars Hallow. We will get to see Luke, Lorelai, Rory, Taylor Doose, the Dragonfly Inn, the gazebo, Miss Patty’s Dance School, and the Gilmore House. We get to see Rory as I always wanted to see her: adult and struggling to find herself, just as I am also trying to do. We get to see Lorelai (hopefully) settled with Luke. We will try to find solid ground in a world without Richard Gilmore. Now it’s only 3 days, 4 hours and 27 minutes.

But whatever, I’m not that excited.

Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

As I may be watching these episodes with some of my family members this weekend- and in an attempt to stem the almost nausea-inducing excitement and anticipation I’ve been feeling lately- I decided to get a little interactive with this. Why not make this monumental event into a game? Bingo! 

Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I created 5 different bingo cards just for the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival. Each card is filled with some well-known Gilmore-isms that I anticipate to see in the four 90-minute episodes based off the last 7 seasons, as well as some new things that I hope to see. Feel free to use the Luke’s logo as a free space. Play against your friends, or yourself. Swap cards after each episode, and see who wins the most. Loser has to make the new pot of coffee.

Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Or, if you’re alone and coffee isn’t your style, turn the game into something a little more adult. Have yourself a Shirley Temple Black or a martini with a twist and drink every time you cross off an item. And give yourself bonus points if you understood those references too. Because if all goes well, you may forget to shout “Bingo!” when you fill your card.

Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

If you do download the cards and play, make sure to tag me (@iamkelskels) and use the hashtag #CKGilmoreGirlsBingo so I can follow along! I’ll definitely be playing too and would love the competition.

Happy binge-watching! Are you excited for the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival? Let me know if you’re #TeamJess or #TeamLogon. Because let’s be real, nobody should be #TeamDean.

Click here to download the Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo cards.

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50 Fall Flavors Better Than Pumpkin Spice

Out of all the fall flavors, Pumpkin Spice is far too overrated. Here's a list of 50 other ideas... / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

It’s Autumn. The best season of the entire year, and the best potential for delicious fall flavors to indulge in while you can cover up your foodie sins with endless layers of puffy clothing. And yet, this is the season that we celebrate the worst flavor known to mankind:

Pumpkin Spice.

In an entire world of culinary treats… how is this the damn fall flavor that consumes us from September-December? Literally thousands of flavors, and hundreds of which could easily compliment the background of a crisp fall breeze and leaves crunching underfoot… and we decide that friggin’ Pumpkin Spice is going to the the theme of the best season known to man?

I don’t think so.

And I’m not just saying this because I hate Pumpkin Spice almost as much as I hate Cheeto Jesus, but because in a world of endless tastes we are set to suffer with this one flavor profile to rule over the other delicious flavor profiles? Nah bro.

In the interest of spreading the good word of oh, I don’t know, any other flavor ever, I thought I’d share my top 50 other flavors that are better than Pumpkin Spice (in no particular order).

50 Fall Flavors Better Than Pumpkin Spice

  1. Chocolate
  2. Peanut Butter
  3. Chocolate AND Peanut Butter
  4. Mint
  5. Butterscotch
  6. Stale Chocolate
  7. S’mores
  8. Toffee Nut
  9. Apple
  10. Cinnamon
  11. Day-old apple cinnamon
  12. Caramel Apple
  13. Cranberry
  14. Orange
  15. Orange Spice
  16. Toasted Marshmallow– not to be confused with S’more, as this one contains NO chocolate
  17. White Chocolate
  18. Maple
  19. Salted Caramel
  20. Bad apple flavoring that really tastes like what a bad candle smells like, kind of waxy and sour
  21. A gym sock, probably
  22. Nutmeg
  23. Apple Pie
  24. Peach Pie
  25. Blueberry Pie
  26. Literally any kind of pie, like any pie at all, including spinach
  27. Caramel Corn
  28. Candy Corn (AKA literally the shittiest candy known to man)
  29. Turkey & Gravy
  30. Mashed Potato
  31. Green Bean Casserole
  32. Canned Cranberry Sauce
  33. Pink Gelatin Mold Your Grandma Makes But Nobody Eats
  34. Raspberry
  35. Toffee (minus the nut)
  36. Amaretto
  37. Wet Dog Smell
  38. Leftover Chinese Food
  39. Cat Treats
  40. Water
  41. Mint Chocolate Chip
  42. Cloves (or whatever that Christmas-smelly spice is)
  43. Apple Pie Spice
  44. Dirty Diaper
  45. Dollar Store Lip Gloss You Didn’t Mean to Eat But It Accidentally Got In Your Mouth And Now You’re Full of So Much Regret
  46. Cinnamon Toothpaste
  47. A day-old Skittle you found a the bottom of your purse
  48. Coconut
  49. Drinking Orange Juice After Brushing Your Teeth Taste
  50. Vanilla

And I could go on, but you get the picture. F*ck Pumpkin Spice.

 

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