Friday, November 21, 2014

Hello Friday


Hey everyone, guess what? It's finally Friday! And I am so so happy about this. Anyone else think the winter weekdays feel about twice as long as summer weekdays?

I woke up today feeling happy and rejuvenated. Not only because it's the weekend, but also because for the past two weeks I've been doing the tart cherry juice challenge I previously mentioned in this post. Every single night before bed I drank one glass of cherry juice and then tracked my sleep on my FitBit.


And the results were pretty remarkable. After just two nights of drinking cherry juice my sleep habits improved immensely. I slept for a solid eight hours almost every single night. No Melatonin necessary!

I was kind of skeptical how this would work, but throughout the challenge I started researching more about the power of cherry juice and found a lot of interesting information. Not only does it improve sleep, but is helps sore muscles, fights arthritis and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.


I even got a little creative and started mixing up my normal oatmeal routine and made cherry-almond overnight-oats for an entire week for breakfast. To get the entire recipe click here.


And there of course there's also that giveaway I previously mentioned. You know the one, where you get the chance to win any of the following:

FitBit Flex in Red ($100)
SpaFinder.com Gift Card ($100)
Pottery Barn Cozy Cable Knit Throw ($130)
Natural Wake & Sleep System ($80)
Restoration Hardware Hydro-Cotton Bathrobe ($80)



If you'd like the chance to win, just enter below.

And on that note, I'm going to start my Friday. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 photo signature-23.png a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Halfway To 28...


Glasses found here. Use code THEDAILYTAYBLOGS4 for $15 off. 

 Daniel Wellington watch found here. Use code holiday_thedailytay for 15% off.

A couple of days ago I passed the halfway mark to 28. Yikes.

That seems old to me, however it doesn't feel old to me. I still feel the same way I felt five years ago. When I was little that number seemed to have a lot more reflection on how I felt than it does now.

When I was a kid I had this weird vision of what it meant to be an adult. In my young mind, being an adult primarily consisted of three major (awful) things: paying taxes, paying the heating bill and understanding how fax machines worked. In retrospect, I really wasn't all that off.

I remember when I turned 13 and I felt old. as. shit. And I loved it. The braces came off, the padded bra came out, and the lip gloss got even more glittery and sticky. My mom brought pizza to my middle school and I got to choose three friends to come eat it with me in the guidance counselor's office and I remember thinking, yup getting old is the shit.

When I turned 16 I sat in my driveway in my brand new Honda (previously used by my mom for two years) worrying whether or not I was really ready to drive to school on my own. This it it, I thought, I'm really an adult now that I have my own car. *The car was actually purchased and owned by my parents and could be taken away at any time, a fact they reminded me of quite frequently.

I turned 18 the day I graduated high school. I wrote a poem the day after graduation (because that's what cool kids did) called "Now What?" that went something like this,

We throw our caps in the sky
excitement fills the air
I look and wonder why
I feel like I should care.

Deep, right? I then went on to turn "Now What" into a 350 page novel about how hard and confusing it can be after high school. It's good stuff, guys. Someday I should share it on here, I think everyone would really love the "struggle" I went through being a middle class blonde girl from Nebraska.

I feel like no one tells you that even though you technically reach adulthood, that twelve year old with braces and pizza sauce on her shirt never really leaves you. She's always there. And when I happen to find myself in a room full of adults talking about adult things (which I'll be honest is rare given my career path) that little girl inside me often feels like a total fraud. She looks around and wonders if anyone else is just faking it, or if it's just me? Does everyone else really have this adult thing figured out? And if they do, where did I miss the boat on this?

Perhaps everyone else was learning how to be an adult while I was enrolled in improv classes learning how to be a ghost cat on stage. Yes, that may have been where I got a little off course.

Anyway, I need to wrap this up because I have to go send a couple faxes and put on my green visor to do some taxes.

My conclusion is this; getting old is weird, you can either fight it or get weird with it. I know my choice.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 Ways I've Increased My Blog Traffic


1. Utilize the power of Pinterest.

It took me too long to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon and fully understand the mass amount of traffic this platform can bring to my blog. I never thought my posts were "Pinterest worthy." And to be honest most of them aren't, but every once in awhile I force myself to write one that is. (Or one that I hope is anyway.)

Find something you can write about that others will find useful or entertaining, then create a good graphic and pin that baby on Pinterest. Even if it gets just a few pins, you will be amazed at the traffic it can bring you.

2. Take advantage of old posts.

Who says the archives have to stay in the archives? It will increase your blog's SEO (and traffic hits) every time you link to an old post in a current post.

I also suggest trying this out on Twitter. Something as simple as Tweeting out five old post links per week can increase your traffic. It has for me, anyway

3. Every once in a while write a niche post that you know will get shared.

This post received about 20k hits in a single day and about 10k every day after for the next week. I'm going to assume that if you just clicked on it chances are you couldn't care less about Norfolk, Nebraska. I knew when writing that post the majority of blogworld wouldn't like it, but I had a feeling the majority of people from Norfolk, Nebraska would.

I've written similar posts about small niche subjects that receive the same amount of traffic. Of course all 20,000 new readers never stick around, but even if I can keep a couple hundred of them it seems pretty worth it.

4. Blogger Collabs.

Find your blogger circle and help each other share posts (and traffic.) Writing co-posts is a great way to get more readers and generate new content when you feel like you're in a lull.

If you feel like your traffic is stagnant ask bloggers similar in size if you can guest post for a day. Getting in front of new eyes is always worth it.

5. Use everything you can.

This one sounds pretty vague. What I mean is that if you want to really get your blog out there, you have to use every resource you can. Tweet more on Twitter, boost more posts on Facebook, create hashtags on Instagram, pin more on Pinterest. All of those little things (as annoying as they sometimes can be)- they actually work.

Or if all else fails, just buy a bunch of fake followers from those weird "we sell followers" companies. I'm pretty sure every social media platform offers this service now. What a world we live in. Fake it til you make it, am I right?

Good luck and good night.



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Winters Bone

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vaseline for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


It snowed for the first time October 31st. Do you know what that means? It means we're in for a very long winter in Chicago. 

It means my skin is just going to crack and break off if I'm not careful. I don't know about you, but my skin suffers big time in the winter, especially my poor hands. They get so dry and red and my sad little hangnails just have a heyday. It's terrible.

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Luckily blogging came to the rescue just in time and last week I was sent this awesome package from Vaseline, containing Vaseline Intensive Repair Lotion. I was on board at Vaseline because I'm one of those people who uses Vaseline for everything. Google it, you'll see it's a miracle worker. The most recent thing I've heard Vaseline can do is improv your eyebrows. Since bushy brows are all the rage right now and I was cursed with skinny brows, I've been smothering that stuff all over my face before bed every night hoping to wake up with Lilly Collins eyebrows the next morning. It hasn't happened yet, but I still have hope.

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Anyway, I'm clearly a fan of Vaseline so I was really excited to try this new lotion that is infused with micro- droplets of Vaseline Jelly. The Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion is clinically proven to heal dry skin in 5 days. 

I took the five day challenge to see if it really works and I can honestly say it has. My hands are softer and smoother than ever. And for only $5 you really can't beat it. I even used Vasoline's test strips for proof that it really works. You can see the before and after showing that my skin was definitely dry before putting on the lotion and how much it improved after.

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Have you tried this lotion yet? What do you think?
Visit Sponsor's Site

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Tuesdays With Taylor

A new segment where I talk about all of the ways my new bestie, Taylor Swift and I are basically IDENTICAL. The similarities are almost uncanny you guys, it's kind of crazy.

For starters, you all saw Taylor's TIME magazine cover last week, right?


Well did you know that in 1997 I too was in TIME For Kids magazine. I don't talk about it a lot because I don't want to flaunt it, but I was is. It wasn't my photo per say, but it was my words. My very intellectual words I wrote in a comment in response to an in depth article about possibly sending dogs into space.

"I think going to space would be neat. But I'm not sure my dog should go. What if a dog went to the bathroom everywhere? My dog, Sadie, is housebroken but sometimes she still has accidents. Being in a space ship when a dog has an accident would be grody. But it would be cool to have a dog on the moon, I guess. One time I ate powdered space food at a museum. It was weird."

Good stuff, right?

How do I remember my comment word for word you might ask. Because I have ten magazines from that 1997 edition in my scrapbook obviously. When something that important happens, you document that shit.

There's like a million other ways Tay Tay (that's her nickname and MINE sometimes) are alike. But because I'm short on time I feel I can best get my point across in a video. Get ready to have your mind blown.

And as you can probably tell by the thumbnail below, I'm looking very schnazzy for this video. Like super classy. By the way, what a weird name for a freeze frame of a video- a thumbnail. I don't know about you, but my thumbnail sure doesn't look like that. Now I'm just getting distracted. Anyway, here it is.




*Turning comments off, because let's be real honest no one really wants to comment on this. #letsgetweirdtuesday

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's All About The Bird

In two weeks Chris and I are hosting our first Thanksgiving in Chicago for his family and grandparents.

We are just a little bit nervous about it so we decided to give it a test run this weekend. It was... a lot of work. So much work that about half way through I decided that I should be in charge of sides only and Chris should finish the turkey. He's a whiz in the kitchen so it just made the most sense. Of course that didn't stop me from taking this proud photo holding Chris's beautiful finished product as if it were my own when everything was said and done.


Have you ever stuffed a turkey? It's very uncomfortable. I wasn't fond of it. I just kept thinking, that poor bird, how degrading.

But it sure did look good. And it tasted even better. I'm not sure how Chris seasoned it exactly because I stopped watching after awhile and just started drinking wine, but it was incredible. 


I pretty much stuck to the green bean casserole. Which we all know is super hard. And super classy. Anything that involves cream of mushroom soup and fried onion strips on top is always right up my alley. It reminds me of childhood.


A little serving of mashed potatoes because you just can't have a turkey without them.


Chris's famous "low-calorie" gravy...


And of course turkey cookies for dessert.


Kidding. I totally stole this photo from Pinterest. I didn't actually make these cookies but I definitely thought about them.

And one more shot of the beautiful bird.


Obviously it was a really exciting weekend. Welcome to winter, everyone.

Now more importantly, I'm actually giving away four pieces of the amazing CW by Corning Ware dishes you saw above. How great is their new line of colorful dishes? Not only are they wonderful to cook with, they're just so damn cute.


They're super easy to stack and are also oven/dishwasher/microwave safe. I own several pieces from their line now and can honestly say they hold up wonderfully! If you'd like to win some new dishes just in time for the holidays, simply enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

But First, Coffee

Introducing the very beautiful Kallie, from But First, Coffee.



1. So what's the story behind the name of your blog? 
Well, I'm a coffee addict and my morning doesn't start without it. I wanted But First, Coffee to be able to encompass everything I do in my life - but since nothing happens before coffee, it seemed like a good fit.

2. Your makeup is always so spot-on. Have any general tips when it comes to choosing the right makeup?
Oh man, that's a really loaded question. Sometimes it's just trial and error. For foundation, you need to know your skin. Knowing your skin type (oily, dry, acne prone) and skin tone (cool, warm, neutral) is really beneficial when it comes to choosing the right stuff.  That goes with saying; take care of your skin.  Your skin is your canvas, so treat it well!

3. What are you most looking forward to about the holidays?
Is all of it a valid answer? I love the holiday season.  The food.  The get-togethers. The cocktails. The fashion. Gift giving. Christmas songs. I'm just one happy holiday elf from the end of November until New Years Eve.

4. What are your favorite winter fashion trends this year?
I'm loving all the leather details.  I just posted about my new favorite coated jeans that are made to look like leather.  Comfy but trendy = I love them.

 5. What has blogging taught you thus far? 
Blogging has taught me a lot.  It has taught me the value of dedication and hard work, and to believe in myself if I want to do something.   It has taught me the importance of quality over quantity.  And, everyday, it reminds me of the wonderful nature of people - how nice and supportive and encouraging people can be even if they are total and complete strangers.

*Comments have been turned off, to say hello to Kallie click here. 

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