Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How To Get More Blog Comments


Some of my favorite types of posts to read are the ones that help me become a better blogger.  Posts like 'what I wish I knew when I started blogging' or 'how to increase your social media traffic'.  I'm always looking to learn and improve my blog and I'm sure you are, too!  So today, I wanted to talk about comments - specifically, how to get more of them.  Because if there is one thing us bloggers live for, it's comments, right?

Here are a few really easy, proven ways to increase the number of comments on your blog.

Make Commenting Easier
TURN OFF CAPTCHA!  I will rarely comment on a blog that has it turned on because 99% of the time, I can't read those little squiggly numbers and letters.  It's such a pain and ain't nobody got time for that.  Most people turn it on because of spam comments but instead of making your readers jump through hoops, just approve your comments before publishing or switch to Disqus.

Now, you may not know you have captcha turned on (this happened to me once and I'm still sorry!) so check out this tutorial to make sure it's not/how to turn it off.

Linkups
Don't just add your link and disappear - make sure to mingle!  I try and comment on five new blogs for every linkup I join or at the very least, comment on the hosts blog.  If you need any suggestions on linkups to join, I'd love to share some of my favorites with you.

Leave Comments
You get what you put out there is true even in blogging.  Anytime someone new leaves a comment on my blog, I always go and visit their blog and comment back.  Blogging is all about community and I've made so many friends that have become regular readers just through commenting back and forth. 

Ask A Question
I've found that when ending my post with a question (related to the post, of course), I always get more comments.  It makes it easy for readers to chime in and participate in your blog.  This is a bonus for the writer, too - I can't tell you how many times you guys have helped me out with your answers and suggestions, especially with home related things!

Reply To Comments
People are taking precious time out of their day to leave you a thoughtful response, so it's the polite thing to do to respond.  I know sometimes we're swamped and can't reply to everything and that's okay - but if a blogger is consistently not responding to my comments, I usually stop leaving them.  Even just a quick 'thank you' will do! 

But remember, no blogger is perfect and even someone who is trying their hardest can't be doing all of these things, everyday.  It's important to give other bloggers (and ourselves!) grace and to make sure blogging isn't all about the numbers and who has the most page views and comments, etc. - it should be about having fun!  So, what do you think?  What's your best trick to getting your readers commenting?

Linking up with Shanna

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Best Tater Tots Ever


So this was the text I got on Sunday night from my husband:

"Want to host a Super Bowl party?"

Ummm, sure!  Nothing like throwing together a last minute party in an area of the house that is 0% done.  But hey, we need friends so a party we will have.  Moving problems.

I spent all day yesterday scouring Pinterest, putting together a menu and figuring out how to make our living/dining rooms look somewhat presentable come Sunday.  One thing I KNEW we would be serving are these bacon wrapped tater tots.  I had to share the recipe with you today in case any of you are in the same boat as me.  Make these, I promise they are very good.  And very bad for you.  Two must have qualities for Super Bowl finger food!

Shopping List
1/2 bag of frozen tater tots, thawed at room temperature
Cheddar cheese (I used Sharp Vermont by Cracker Barrel), cut into 1/4 inch strips
Bacon, strips cut into thirds
1/4 cup brown sugar
Parsley for garnish, if desired

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet or put down tinfoil.  I always do tinfoil - it makes cleanup so easy!

Wrap each tater tot and cheese strip in piece of bacon.


Dredge each bacon wrapped tater tot through brown sugar. 


Place seam side down on baking sheet.


Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Garnish with parsley and serve!

A crowd favorite for sure.  What's on your Superbowl Menu?  Anything you'd recommend that I make? 
Linking up with KateMarySusan and Kristen

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Snaps: That Time Brady Swallowed A Sock

Highlights of the weekend:  making major process on our master bathroom (thank you Target), a clean puppy, delicious lasagna soup, an Amazon order placed (can't wait to read this and also picked up these!), cleaning out my closet and some pampering time with one of my favorite skin care products, Exfolikate.

Lowlights of the weekend:  the Dexter series finale - just, WHAT.  Terrible ending.  I realize we're a year and a half late but anyone else agree?  Oh, and Brady swallowed a sock (!!).

The guy loves him some socks.  They're the only thing that turn him into a mad man.  We keep them hidden but on Friday afternoon, he hit the jackpot and managed to get a hold of one of Nick's socks.  A lot of me chasing him in circles and bribing with treats ensued but to no avail.  Finally I used our ex-pen and set up a make shift gate to trap him and hallelujah - it worked!  I caught him and we had a two minute struggle in which I took a few paws/scratches to the face all while trying to pry his mouth open... when I heard GULP.  He swallowed the sock whole.

I started panicking.  After calling Nick, our vet and consulting Google (of course), we headed over to the emergency animal hospital ASAP to induce vomiting before the sock started digesting.  Luckily this story has a happy ending as the poor guy threw the sock up on the first try!  

He was pretty loopy the rest of the afternoon thanks to the drugs so needless to say, we had to cancel our plans for that night and stick at home with him to make sure he didn't have a bad reaction.  I'm happy to report he was back to grabbing the dish towel off our counter within a few hours so he's going to be just fine ;) If only this was a lesson learned but I highly doubt this will be our last emergency vet trip...

The rest of the weekend was the same as usual - house work, lots of good eating and just hanging out.  I'm wrapping my Sunday up at the moment in my ugliest comfiest pajamas while Nick is at hockey and binge eating chocolate peanut butter gelato.  Life is good. 

Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Linking up with BellaCarlyBiana and Ashley

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday's Five 1/23

The biggest success of the week?  I AVOIDED THE FLU!  I was so sure I was going to get it - I even scheduled my posts out ahead of time (which, side note, is really nice and I should do that more often) but thankfully I'm still healthy and think I may be out of the woods.  Cue the Taylor Swift song.  Cheers to Friday and a much better weekend than the last!

ONE | Volleyball
The church we've been going to has open volleyball in the gym every Thursday and last night was our first time attending.  It was a lot of fun - everyone was really nice and it just felt good to get out there and play again!  

TWO | Dalmatian Print
Literally obsessed with this bathroom.  And dalmatian print in general.  Wallpaper in our half bath is going to be a must!


THREE | Figode Ankle Boots
After seeing these ankle boots on both Zelle and Pamela's blog, I wanted them for myself.  And after seeing that they were on major sale, I NEEDED them!  They're both cute and comfy - now if only the snow would melt so I can finally wear them outside of my house.


FOUR | Zoodles
I jumped on the zoodle bandwagon (using this baby) and haven't looked back!  We made chicken teriyaki and it was amazing - didn't even miss the rice.  What are your favorite zoodle recipes?  I want to try them all! 


FIVE | Blog Problem
I have no idea why but for the last couple of weeks, my paragraph breaks have been disappearing from my blog posts.  I can type up the post and everything looks good but if I need to re-open the post to edit something, all of my paragraph breaks disappear.  I then have to manually re-enter them which is a big pain in the you know what.  Has anyone had this problem before?  I can't find any solutions online for how to resolve this in Blogger. Help?!

We're off to see Foxcatcher with some friends tonight - hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead!
Linking up with KarliLaurenJennieRebecca and April

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Look for Less: Home Decor

One thing I've realized with the new house is that buying furniture is expensive.  Like, very expensive - especially if we're talking about furnishing an entire house as we're doing!  It's been important to me to splurge on certain things (like rugs and bedding) but this means that I need to save in other places.  I love a good deal so it's been fun envisioning what I like via Pinterest or other blogs and then hunting down those same pieces in my price range.  

Here are three 'looks for less' - although none of them are too expensive if you do feel like making the splurge ;)


West Elm Box Frame Coffee Table vs Target Threshold Mixed Metal Coffee Table


Lenox Imperial Caviar 5 Place Setting vs Target Threshold 5 Piece Izon Flatware Set


Jonathan Adler Letter Pillow vs Comfy Heaven Monogram Alphabet Pillow

Linking up with AnnieNatalie and Joey

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Confessions


It's been a while since I've had an ol' fess sesh here on the blog.  So why waste any time?  Let's get right to the good stuff!  

I confess that I'm having a serious love affair with Pinterest right now.  I go in waves of love and boredom and right now I'm straight up obsessed.  I've been wasting way too much time pinning recipes I'm never going to make, clothes I'm never going to buy and projects I'm never going to do.  But hey, I'm having fun.  Join me here!

I confess that I suck at taking off my eye makeup at night.  I'm a freak about washing my face and all that jazz but I'll usually leave my mascara/eyeliner on for like two.. three.. days.  It's so bad.  Hence why I never wear eyeshadow.  Because you have to take that stuff off every night.  I'm thinking about investing in this remover to help make life easier - supposedly it takes everything off in one swipe.  Doubt it but I'll give it the old college try (what does that even mean?).

I confess that I pretty much ate an entire bag of Snyder's peanut butter pretzels in one day.  They are so good.  And in my defense, it is kind of a small bag.  It's risky business being quarantined from your sick husband in the living room that's connected to the kitchen.

I confess that this post was probably one of the hardest ones I've ever written.  Or maybe awkward is the better word.  It's just weird to write nice things about yourself.  Not to mention, the whole time I kept wondering if it was coming off "too braggy" - I still really hope not!  

What do you got for me?  Tell me I'm not alone over here in my Pinterest obsession, pretzel binge eating, three day old makeup?

Linking up with Shanna, Morgan and Melissa