Thursday, December 18, 2014

Using Pinterest To Grow Your Blog

Disclosure: I am not a blogging expert.  I just wanted to share a couple tricks I've learned about blogging + Pinterest.  

I'm just going to jump right into things... because who doesn't want to grow their blog via Pinterest?  First things first, make it EASY for your readers to pin your content.  This means you should have a hover 'pin it' button - a real technical term I'm sure ;)

Here's how to do that...
((Note that this requires editing your blog template.  Make sure to back up your template first!  If you don't know how, see super easy instructions here.))

1.  Go to your blogger dashboard.  Click on Template, then Edit HTML.

2.  Use the CTRL (or CMD on a MAC) + F buttons to locate </body>

3.  Paste the following code ABOVE </body>

var bs_pinButtonURL = "";
var bs_pinButtonPos = "center";
var bs_pinPrefix = "";
var bs_pinSuffix = "";
<script src='' type='text/javascript'/>
<script id='bs_pinOnHover' src='' type='text/javascript'>
// This Pinterest Hover Button is brought to you by
// Visit for details.
// Feel free to use and share, but please keep this notice intact.

4.  Preview blog to make sure everything is still in tact.  If something is out of whack, this is when you'll be happy you backed up + saved your template!

5.  If all looks good, hit Save Template.

And you're done!

Now that you've made it a billion times more easy for your readers to pin things from your blog, let's see how YOU can track what's actually being pinned.  All you have to do is type in your browsers address bar: -- replacing yourblogurl with whatever your blogs address is.

So for instance, to see what's being viewed from my blog, I'd to go:

Pretty cool, right?  Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try and help ya out!  Otherwise, enjoy the extra traffic from Pinterest :)

Linking up with AnnieNatalie and Joey

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Loving Lately

Tis the season to shop!  And I've been doing a lot of it lately - for my friends and family of course but also a little bit for myself.  There's a whole lot of wonderfulness that I've recently discovered and what better way to share it than through a loving lately post?

This Tarte Power Pigment Lip Pencil (in Exposed) was a part of the Tarte Makin' Waves kit I ordered a couple of weeks ago.  Love the entire set but my most favorite thing may be this lip pencil!  It goes on super smooth, is really moisturizing and the color stays put for quite a while.  I've been using it daily and have plans to pick up another color soon.

West Elm has THE cutest lamps!  My favorite is this Mini Abacus Table Lamp.  It's so mini that I'm not sure where I would put it but I just love it.  It's adorable.

Michael Buble's Christmas album makes me happy happy happy.  It's played pretty much 24/7 from October through January.  No shame there.

My makeup is in need of some serious organization.  I love the clear acrylic boxes but I can't believe how expensive those things can get!  I'm leaning towards a couple of these stacking cases from The Container Store... my OCD self is already ridiculously excited.

These Vince Camuto Carleen over the knee boots.  In suede.  Does anything else need to be said?  They're on sale and have my size left... I think it's a sign.  Although Nick might kill me if I bring home another pair of black boots.

I'm probably way late - like the last person - to discover the photography app, VSCO Cam.  It makes my measly iPhone pictures look a million times better.  Hopefully this discovery will cool my "I need an expensive DSLR right now" thoughts.

This Gap pajama set has little umbrellas on it!  Adorable.  I love Gap's pajamas and they're almost always on sale (like right now) so I may have to pick these up for our new Christmas Eve PJ tradition.

And while there's no picture for this one, I am LOVING gas prices right now.  Ridiculously lame and I know I'm old but how great is it to fill up your car for almost half the price that it's been costing?!

Be sure to stop back tomorrow as I'm sharing ways to utilize Pinterest to help grow your blog :)
Linking up with Shanna and Liz

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Traditions {Holiday Link Up}

Welcome to the third and final holiday link up of 2014!  It may be the last one but it's also the best one - today is all about Christmas :)

Joey from Hodges Podges had a great post yesterday where she shared her Christmas essentials.  Things that she "needs" for it to really feel like Christmas.  It resonated with me since last year was my first married Christmas away from my family... and it just didn't feel like Christmas.  While it was fun to see how Nicks family did things and celebrate with them, it was a strange feeling to not get to do any of the things I typically do to celebrate my favorite day.  We did have a wonderful time but it made me realize how much I value traditions this time of year.

Today I'm going to share a few popular Christmas traditions.  Some are ones that I grew up with and others are new to me, things I want to start implementing with my little family.  There are so many great ones so feel free to share any I missed in the comments below!


Candlelight church service/Midnight Mass

Receive a new pair of PJs

Read The Night Before Christmas before bed

Leave reindeer food out with your cookies for Santa

Open stockings

Host a family party and have "Santa" come visit

Go caroling in your neighborhood

Drive around and check out neighborhood light displays

Visit a nativity scene


Designate one person to pass out gifts and make them wear a Santa hat

Gift each family member a new ornament

Throw some lottery tickets in the stockings

Have a family sleepover in front of the fireplace

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen to serve dinner

Watch A Christmas Story on TBS

Have a gingerbread house/cookie decorating contest

Set up a 24 hour hot chocolate bar

What's your favorite Christmas tradition from your childhood that you can't live without? And a big THANK YOU for joining us for our holiday link ups!  It's been a lot of fun and I hope we'll be back next year :)  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekending: Monday Morning Gossip

Good morning!  I'm excited to be co-hosting the Monday Morning Gossip link up with Leeann and Kimberly, thanks so much for having me!  Be sure to link up with us this morning!

We had a good weekend, it was the perfect balance of relaxation/fun/accomplishing stuff on our (never ending) to do list.

Friday night was all about painting our master bedroom.  Finally!  Goodbye purple walls!  We put one coat up and then due to the fumes, had a family sleep over in the living room in front of the fireplace.  Check that off the Christmas bucket list :)

On Saturday, we did our second coat of paint and are sooo happy with how it turned out!  The color is Cedar Key by Benjamin Moore.  Love.  Now to get on with furnishing and decorating the rest of the room - aka the fun stuff!

Later that night, we headed to a friends house for a steak dinner.  Everyone brought their dogs so it turned into a fun little puppy play date.  Although none of the other pups were too fond of Brady, he was a bit energetic for them ;) They mostly growled if he even looked at them but he still had the best time!  He's such a happy guy - and we were pretty happy that the night wore him out and he slept in until 10am on Sunday.

I had also whipped up a batch of the Pioneer Woman's peppermint fudge that I had mentioned on Friday for my dinner contribution and it did not disappoint.  This was all that was left and everyone was requesting the recipe!

Sunday was reserved for a lazy day - besides locking ourselves out of the house while on a walk with Brady.  We ordered pizza, watched Dexter (our most recent Netflix obsession), tried out a new church and checked out the Christmas lights around town.  The perfect ending to a great weekend!

And speaking of Christmas... only 10 days to go!  I hope you'll join us tomorrow for our third and final - sad face - holiday link up.  It's our Christmas edition so be sure to join in on the fun!  I'll be sharing some of my favorite traditions :)  See ya tomorrow!

Linking up with LeeannBellaCarlyBiana and Ashley

Friday, December 12, 2014

Five on Friday 12/12 + Tory Burch Giveaway!

Friday!  Even though I'm not working right now, Fridays are still extra exciting because it means Nick is home for the weekend... which really means I have another person to help corral Brady for a couple of days ;)  He tried to write this post for me but couldn't figure out the computer password...

The Perfect Black Boot
First up, this is very important.  Remember my Ivanka Trump boots I got on Black Friday?  Well, they are even MORE discounted right now!  Under $100 for the perfect black boot... crazy good price.  I love love love these boots.  I really want the grey suede but it doesn't look like they're restocking so the brown suede may need to be mine :)

Christmas Tree
Our tree is up!  I decided against doing a whole post on my Christmas decor because honestly, there isn't much outside of the mantle and the tree (which Brady has made his personal mission to destroy).  I have like 6 pieces of furniture in my house so there just aren't many spaces to decorate.  Hopefully next year we'll be totally settled in and I can go ALL out!

Make Up For Ever Primer
Thanks to Amanda for tuning me into this MUFE Microperfecting Primer in green - I'll be picking some up today.  I have a bit of redness in my cheeks and have used Smashbox Color Correcting Primer in green for years now (it really works!) but Amanda says MUFE blows it out of the water.  Has anyone else tried either of them?

Peppermint Fudge
How good does this Pioneer Woman recipe look?!  We're having dinner at a friends house tomorrow night and this is what I'm bringing - so excited.

Tory Burch Giveaway
And finally (saving the best for last!) myself and a few of my favorite bloggers are joining Zelle from Southern Style as she celebrates her second blog anniversary, to bring you a $300 Tory Burch giveaway!!!  Slightly jealous I can't enter myself ;)  The giveaway will run for one week.  Good luck to all!

Hosted By:
The Lovely Co-hosts:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with KarliLaurenJennieRebecca and April

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Splurge or Save

I've been seeing this fun post throughout blog-land (thanks to April for the original idea!) and today I'm chiming in on whether I 'splurge or save'.  Overall, I'm a pretty frugal person.  I like to spend money - a little too much sometimes - but only when I feel comfortable with the amount of saving I've done.  That way I can shop guilt-free and never have to break out those bad news credit cards!

Now, do I splurge or save on...

ONE | A cocktail dress to wear to a wedding
Save.  Because I'm one of those people that once I've worn a dress, I'm not going to wear it again, at least for a long time.  Heaven forbid people see that I'm re-wearing a dress on Instagram!  So I save and go with cheaper dresses from Forever 21, H&M or Nordstrom Rack.

TWO | A glass of wine at a restaurant
Save.  I'll usually go for the cheapest glass because I'm not a wino - honestly it all taste the same to me so why spend the extra few bucks?!

THREE | A hotel room
Almost splurge!  I like a nice hotel... but I also don't require staying at the Ritz.  I do want the best room I can get though.  Vacation is a time to spoil yourself so if that means spending double the amount to get an oceanfront room, I'm in.

Oceanfront on our Hawaiian honeymoon

FOUR | A haircut
You guys know I splurge on this one.  Remember the $300 haircut?  I do - my husband will never let me forget it ;)

FIVE | Wild card
My wild card splurge is makeup.  I have pretty sensitive skin and most drugstore products irritate things further. And in my personal opinion, I find that drugstore products just don't work as well.  I'm willing to spend the extra money on my makeup and I can do some serious damage in Sephora!

My happy place

Tell me, what's your biggest splurge?!
Linking up with AnnieNatalie and Joey