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Guest Post: Increase Your Blog Traffic with These 6 Steps

Hey Guys, I’m excited to have my first ever guest blogger on the site today! I have been wanting to start getting more involved with other bloggers for a while, and fellow Atlantan Cait of Cait’s Cozy Corner seems like the perfect fit. Plus, what a fun topic! Hello, easy and valuable blogging tips! Read on!

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I’ve been blogging for about 7 years now. In those 7 years my blog has changed drastically. I was a graduate student when I began blogging, sharing various eating options I’ve had throughout the day and fitness tips. This little blog has been through alot with getting engaged, traveling the world, getting married, having our first child and now soon to be second, our 2 big moves across the US and more!

IncreaeBlogTraffic

So with all that, how do you gain traffic to your blog? How do you want to make sure your blog gets noticed in a web full of hundreds of millions of bloggers just like you? I think these 6 steps can help!

1. Be A PART of the Blogging World – When I first began blogging I would freak out if I had a comment from someone. I’d start commenting on others, replying to emails and sharing posts I loved. That really helped to boost my interaction with other bloggers and even start to blossom into friendships over the years. You have to be nice to everyone as best you can. Showing that kindness will encourage other bloggers to share your posts. Build a relationship with your role models. I’ve have so many amazing men and women out there who have helped me grow my blog and been there for me. By learning from there, you’re helping yourself and your blog.

2. Quality Over Quantity – Quality posts are important. I can’t tell you how many times I used to throw something together at the last minute, hit publish and look back thinking “Oh my gosh! How could I have done that?!” Think about your readers and what they want to hear, what they enjoy reading or how you can improve their day. Always think, what’s in it for your readers? What are they gaining from reading your post? Also, post consistently. You don’t have to post 5 times a week like I do if you’re super busy. As long as your posting great work, you’re readers will appreciate it.

3. Expand Your Ideas – Think of posts outside the box that’ll draw your readers in. I love sharing blog ideas when bloggers are stuck on what to write next because to me, that’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen. You could even interview some of your favorite bloggers or make a “Top 10” of your favorite foods, music, movies and more! Sometimes I’ve co-authored a post with another blogger and done a great link up.

4. Guest Post – To get my blog name out there, I’d always tell my favorite bloggers that I would guest post for them. Look for their most popular post and tailor a blog post after it. That gives them the most engagement and lets you know what their audience is looking for. Share your links on social media and your blog so they are able to connect with you on various platforms. Having these posts and then having your role model share your blog as well was a huge boost in numbers for me. Not only did it help my blog but it gave my followers a chance to get to know another blogger as well! #Winning !

5. Blog Theme – One of my biggest pet peeves is coming across a blog that just drives me nuts. I’m talking about tons of ads and pop ups, difficult to navigate, nothing matches and you can’t figure out you’re way around the blog. No No! Don’t have your blog like that. Clear themes are what you want! Big images! A standard method for writing your posts out so your followers know what to expect. Some bloggers will highlight certain things or bullet point. Make it easy for your readers to want to come back. Keeping things neat, clean and organized will make your readers appreciate your blog more. A clean blog is a happy blog and will help increase that traffic!

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6. Patience – You’ve gone through all the steps and now you are waiting for your blog traffic to increase. It will- but slowly. Matt Anton can attest to the struggles of learning about SEO and ranking in a Google Search. A man who used to spend hours playing video games, now was finding a passion in website developing, learning everything about SEO tips and how to make the most of the internet. He developed his own site, NJSEO. They can help build a meaningful relationship with clients using social media. They also develop effective content strategies for forward thinking companies, bloggers alike. Success stories don’t happen overnight but they do happen! Be patient and keep these 6 tips in your back pocket when you want to increase your blog traffic. It’ll all pay off in the long run!

How are you helping your blog increase traffic?

The Kind of Lovin’ That Can Be So Smooth

EmilySuggestsBotoxcover

I have been wanting to try Botox for a while. And by ‘a while’ I literally mean years. But the good thing about my procrastination is that my forehead just got more lined and creased as I waited!

A second baby and being well into my 30s now, all apprehensions I had previously about going under the needle were gone, and I was ready to embrace Botox.

I went to Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery in Midtown (they also have an office in Alpharetta), and had Dr. Beaty himself inject me. Knowing that I was at a medical office and had an actual surgeon injecting me put any unease I may have had to rest, because I knew I was completely safe and in the most reliable of hands.

Before Botox

Before Botox

 

As you can see from my ‘at rest’ before shots, I had a significant amount of wrinkles, and honestly, I just felt like I always looked weary. (You can also see my dark circles and janky eyebrow shading, but I definitely have to do the #nofilter thing here, so you can really see my results)

Before Botox

Before Botox

 

It just didn’t seem to matter how many face masks or peels or Vitamin C serums I used, my forehead always looked older than the rest of my face.

Guess whose forehead can't wrinkle up anymore?

Guess who can’t make this facial expression anymore? This girl!

 

Before you start saying that I don’t need Botox and other such lovely sentiments, honestly, no one needs Botox in a cosmetic sense of the word (it does wonders for migraines), and being in my 30s, I don’t even fit into the ‘baby Botox’ category of people getting it early. I am the perfect age to get it.

Starting to get Botox early has quite a few benefits. First of all, if you start the process of paralyzing those forehead muscles early, they will actually begin to slowly atrophy, so you’ll need less Botox over time. Another benefit is if someone at my stage of wrinkling gets Botox, I just look healthy and rested to people. If you have tons of wrinkles and get them ‘removed’, it’s a much more obvious change! See, early Botox is all about subtlety, people!

After filling out all the proper paperwork and having a consultation with Dr. Beaty about my expectations and let’s be honest, me going into full beauty reporter mode and asking him about 70,000 questions, it was time to begin.

Pregame jitters

Pregame jitters

 

Then came the part where I got a little nervous again. It doesn’t matter how badly you want a smooth forehead, there is just something a little weird about having someone stick a needle in it.

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So now the first thing everyone wants to know: Does it hurt? Well, ‘hurt’ is a relative term. I’ve gotten a tattoo and microblading (and had two babies sans meds, but let’s not even put that on the same playing field, k?), so I’ve had some invasive-type treatments before.

A little bit of 'ouch'

A little bit of ‘ouch’

 

But yes, it was uncomfortable getting Botox. Some of the pricks were just uncomfortable, and some of them got all the way painful. Not intense pain, but definitely enough to make me react.

After all my injections, Dr. Beaty applied pressure to my forehead for a little while to basically push all the Botox exactly where it should be (no dimpling!).

I even got a little icepack on my way out!

Friends that Botox together say together!

Friends that Botox together say together!

 

For about an hour and a half after getting my injections, I had a (fore)head ache. Then, it went away and the waiting game began–it takes about three days for the effects of Botox to ‘kick in’! I had no idea!
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Now the second question everyone wants to know: How does it look? Well, see for yourself.

AfterBotox

My forehead is completely smooth and refreshed. Also, weirdly, it is shinier than it used to be. Not oily, just shiny. Maybe that ‘shine’ used to sink into my wrinkles? I literally have no idea, but have to give you the full scoop on what I’m seeing.

And then of course the final question everyone wants to know: Do I like it, and will I do it again? Well, the answers are ‘yes’, and ‘I don’t know’. I absolutely love how smooth my forehead looks. I loved my experience at Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery.

AfterBotox2

Another ‘side effect’ of the Botox is that it ‘pushed down’ my forehead, which has in turn slightly changed the shape of my eyebrows. While they used to have more of an arch, now they are more straight across. No one else has mentioned noticing this change, but I can tell–especially when I’m putting on my makeup.

However, perhaps the only real ‘con’ moment I’ve had since getting my Botox was 100% mom emotion. My smurf and I have a game we play during meals sometimes, and an element of it is very quickly raising our eyebrows up and down. Well, guess who can’t do that motion now. The first time I tried and realized I couldn’t resulted in a very hilarious mommy impression from the smurf, and me trying to pretend I wasn’t tearing up about it.

So the ‘will I’ or ‘won’t I’ remains to be seen. I love how my face looks, but is my vanity worth losing some range of motion with my face?

So now, you tell me! Have you ever gotten Botox? What have been your pros and cons?

(all images owned by Emily Suggests and may not be used without permission)

 

Peace, Love and First Time Botox,

Golden Globes 2017 Recap

Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? Of course you did. No way you’re reading this blog post if you didn’t. But, did you happen to notice that there were only 4 different dresses there? That’s right. Other than a few noticeable stand-outs (Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Biel), everyone had on variations of the exact same dress.

First up, White Ice

Gina Rodriguez wore the old Hollywood glamour version:

 

 
Drew Barrymore wore the boho glam version:

 

 
Sarah Jessica Parker wore the boho meets bridal version:

 

 
And Nicole Kidman wore the Princess Bedazzled version:

 

 
Then there’s Millie Bobby Brown who opted for the Miss Teen Glam version:

 

 
Then the bridge dress here is Emma Stone’s:

 

 
Emma then moves us into the Pretty in Pink gown, and Hailey Baldwin demonstrates that even stars who only attended after parties weren’t immune to the 4 dress epidemic:

 

 
Laura Dern wore a more colorful, gilded version:

 

 
Then Connie Britton softened things up a bit:

 

 
Giuliana Rancic decided to add a serious princess spin:

 

 
And finally, Lily Collins slipped on this number and basically told all the rest of them to sit down and take notes, because she is the princess forever and ever, amen:

 

 
And I promise you guys, this was only scratching the surface! We could have really jumped down this rabbit hole of every dress being the same if none of us had anything else to do. And to wrap up, since everyone always loves my award show superlatives, here they are, 2017 style:

 
#SquadGoals

 

 
#RelationshipGoals

 

 
#AbGoals

 

 
#BFFGoals

 

 
And last but couldn’t be any more not least:

#WhenIGrowUpGoals

 

Peace, Love and the Golden Globes,

Get the Look: Emily Ratajkowski’s Emmy Awards Makeup

Emily Ratajkowski's Emmy Makeup How-To

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)


 

There was a lot of super gorg makeup last night at the Emmys, but one real showstopper was Emily Ratajkowski. There was some chatter on Twitter about why the model and sometimes film actress was there, but when your makeup is this flawless, I don’t care if you sneaked in the back door!

Makeup artist Hung Vanngo was the man behind the beauty, and here’s how he created the look:

First, he prepped the eyelids with LORAC Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer and rimmed the lash lines with LORAC Front of the Line PRO Eye Pencil in both Navy and Aqua. Then he layered and smudged the Navy shade from LORAC’s Pro Palette 2 and Dark Navy and Glacier from LORAC’s MEGA Pro Palette 3, which launches next month.

For mascara, he used LORAC Pro Lash Pomade mascara and on the lips is LORAC Alter Ego Lip Liner in Secret Agent and Alter Ego Lipstick in Exhibitionist.

EMMYS 2016

A photo posted by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on

I for one, cannot wait for my next glam night out (hahahaha, I can’t even type that without laughing!) to try out this look!

 

Peace, Love and Emmy Makeup,

We Flawless, Ladies Tell ‘Em

BlendSmart Brush Review

via Pinterest

 
Despite how #flawless my makeup always looks (ha), I actually have a really hard time with my foundation. I have never really mastered the whole blending thing, even though I have tried every tool out there. I typically use the wet beautyblender, but still feel like I’m wiping a lot of my makeup off rather than just blending it into my face.

Now, when I say I’ve tried every type of brush/tool out there, I legit mean it. So when a PR friend of mine told me about her new client, blendSMART, I wasn’t expecting anything life-changing. Wrong!

 
How to Flawlessly Blend Your Makeup

blendSMART is a self-rotating brush that basically magically turns you into a professional makeup artist and gives you a perfectly blended, airbrush-look to your foundation. It has three interchangable heads, one for liquid foundation, one for powder and one for blush and bronzer.

And you guys, I cannot say how much I adore this brush! I just put a few dots of foundation around my face, turned on the brush and let it do its thing, and I mean. Gorgeous, well-blended, airbrushed looking makeup! It not only has me using WAY less makeup than with any of my other brushes or blender (or hands alone), but it gives me a more covered, but natural look. In other words, exactly what you want for your makeup!

How to Blend Your Makeup Flawlessly

The brush also feels really cool in your hand–like it made me feel like a total pro just holding it, nevermind my super profesh results.

So I’ve been playing around with my blendSMART and trying all these foundations that I’ve tested over the past few months that I really kinda hated, and guess what? With this brush, pretty much all of them work for me!

Bottom line? The blendSMART is a total game-changer. The Starter Set is $69 and includes the automatic handle and the foundation brush. Then, the blush head and the powder foundation head come separately and are $26 each. A really great price for something that can literally revolutionize your beauty routine, if you ask me. I mean, unless you already manage to put your makeup on perfectly, in which case, big props to you!

How to Blend Your Makeup Flawlessly

I’m seriously not sure where this brush has been my whole life, but you better believe, it’s a permanent part of my beauty routine now.

 

Peace, Love and Flawless Makeup Application,

Get the Look: Elizabeth Olsen’s Allure Magazine Cover

Get the Look: Elizabeth Olsen's Allure Magazine Cover

via Allure

 
It’s very rare that I’ll do a breakdown of a magazine cover look, but this one was just too good not to share. I also must really have a thing for blue eyeshadow, because look at the last magazine cover I featured! Ha.

Hung Vanngo is one of my favorite celeb MUAs, and he is often the genius behind Elizabeth’s red carpet looks. He is also the master behind this gorgeous 70s-inspired makeup.

Here’s how he created the look:

First, he rimmed the eyes with Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Waterproof Eye Pencil in I-24 and smudged them with a brush (I love this brush from NARS for smudging).

Next, he blended Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in Azure Blue (S234) over the lid and into the crease for a ‘elongated shape’.

He swirled champagne-colored highlighter (here’s a great option) and Make Up For Ever HD Blush in 320 English Rose on the cheeks and finished things off by lining her lips in a nude liner (try this one) followed by Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N18 Powdery Pink.

A couple coats of mascara and a filled in brow, and you’re done.

Are you as crazy for this look as I am?

Get the Look: Elizabeth Olsen's Allure Magazine Cover

via Allure

 

Peace, Love and Cover Makeup,

You Make Me Wanna…Paint My Nails and Wear High Heels

DIY mani tips

photo by Dennis Pederson


 

Even though I almost always have my nails painted, I haven’t gone to the nail salon in years. Between moving to a new town, having a baby and having nail products I needed to test for work, I did my own manis a few times and then, it just became a habit. Suddenly, it’s literally been more than five years since I’ve gotten my nails done!

So here are some of the products that make it easy for me to keep me nails painted!

at-home manicure tips

1. CND SolarSpeed Spray | 2. Floss Gloss Wavepool | 3. Londontown Restorative Nail Cream | 4. Smith & Cult Beat Street | 5. Deborah Lippmann Genie in a Bottle Base Coat | 6. essie Gel.Setter Top Coat | 7. Tweexy Nail Polish Holder | 8. Floss Gloss Pony

1. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: This stuff is a miracle! It sets your mani–hard–in minutes.
2. Dying for this shade for summer.
3. I try to give my nails a rest between manis, but with my TV schedule, that doesn’t always happen. To help combat damage, I massage t his into my nails and cuticles every night they’re bare.
4. Again, yes, please for summer!
5. Love this as a base coat–and when I’m in a rush–it makes my nails look gorg!
6. This is the best top coat on the market! It gives that gel look and helps manis last a LONG time!]
7. Meet Tweexy. A fabulous little invention that makes it easy to paint your nails anywhere–no spills! No hard surface needed.
8. I get more compliments on this neon coral than any other polish color I’ve used.

 

Peace, Love and DIY Manis,

As Seen on TV: Summer Mom Hacks

Everyone loves a good ‘hack’ these days, so today, I went to Atlanta & Company and shared some of my favorite mom hacks to help make life a little bit easier this summer. Check it out:

Some of these are totally life-changing, right? Do you have an amazing mommy hack I left out? Share it in the comments below!

 


Peace, Love and Mommy Hacks,

Get the Look: Katie Holmes Met Gala Makeup

There was a ton of amazing, weird, and beautiful makeup at the Met Gala, but among it all, Katie Holmes’s stood out.

"Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala

Makeup artist Genevieve Herr was inspired by a ‘more modern Cher’ and here’s how she created the look:

First, she used Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer followed by Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and concealer anywhere it was needed.

Next, she took the Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette and added bronzer on the cheekbones and in the crease of the eyelids to add depth and definition.

Then she used Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight on the eyelids and Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange on the cheeks.

She set the makeup with Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Skin Smoothing Loose Powder all over the face and Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under the eyes.

For the eyes, she tightlined the upper and lower lashlines with Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil in Parisian Night and then smudged the line with a Qtip, until there was no precise line, just definition.

Then, she curled the lashes, applied a coat of black mascara and then started with the faux lashes. She used Ardell Chocolate 886 lashes on the top, and six or seven Ardell Duralash knot-free naturals individual in short black on the bottom.

On the brows, she used Lancome Sourcils Tint.

Finally, she lined and defined the lips with Edward Bess Defining Lip Liner in Barely, making sure to blend the line, and finished by applying Lancome Color Design lipstick in Pink Drink (discontinued, but similar shade, Poodle Skirt, here)

Totally dreamy, right?

"Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals

 


Peace, Love and Met Gala Makeup,

The Best and Worst of the Met Gala

Man, if there was ever a time to use the term ‘fashion hangover’, it’s today! When you wake up to literally hundreds of emails (more than the Oscars!), and there is absolutely no way you can even begin to talk about everything you want to….that’s a good night for fashion!

So, that means it’s Best of time. Because I don’t have the time to blog about, and you don’t have the time to read about every single high or low from last night’s Met Gala, I’m just giving you my ‘best’ in a wealth of categories. And yes. That means I’m not mentioning Ciara’s hair, or Saorise’s dress or even Claire Danes’s perfection (I’ll leave that to everyone else). But here we go:

Read the rest of this entry »