Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: August 2014

A Guide to Using Labels.

When I first started blogging, I used to label each my posts with about 5-10 labels. I thought that my labels would be used for Google searches and not just for my own blog. Once I realized that I was totally wrong about blog labels, I went through each of my posts and reduced my labels, keeping them more general and more easy to navigate. These are few things that have worked for my blog when it comes to labeling my posts, and I hope you find these tips helpful!

Unless you plan on blogging about that particular subject again, then I would recommend keeping your labels to a minimum. For example, for book reviews, I simply use the word "books" instead of labeling each of my reviews with a genre, author's name, title, etc. It's not guaranteed that I'll write about those subjects again, so I don't want to label something with just one blog post attached to it. If you're doing DIY projects, you could just label all of these posts "DIY" or "crafts" rather than labeling it with the specific project name. 

If you're doing a highlight post, like highlights of a place you traveled to or highlights of a holiday or birthday weekend, then using multiple labels is expected if you did multiple things that are worth labeling. I.e. if you spent the weekend going to a concert, going to a movie, finishing a book, spending time with friends and family and eating a fancy restaurant, then you have a number of labels that you can use with topics that you will most likely talk about again. You can see an example of that here. For the most part, I would recommend using less than three labels and keeping them simple, which brings me to my next point.

The point of labels is to separate your blog posts into different categories. If you are a lifestyle blogger, it's likely that you write about a few different topics, but the topics will usually be pretty broad, like friendship, relationships, college, fashion, advice, etc. If you keep your labels broad and simple, when your readers click on them, they'll be brought to several posts about the same category rather than just one or two posts. Not to mention, if someone is drawn to your blog via a specific post, such as a recipe, if they're interested in searching for more recipes, they can click on your label, "recipe," and it'll display all of your recipes. It would be ineffective if you only use the label for the name of your recipe because that label wouldn't lead them anywhere else. 

Having too many labels will crowd your label list. Also, readers will get easily overwhelmed by the amount of labels they have to sift through to find a certain subject. For example, if you're doing a book review, I wouldn't recommend using the title of the book as one of the labels. Instead, just use "books" or "book reviews." This way, people who are interested in the topic of books can simply click on that label and see all of the posts you've written in that category. 

If you plan on using labels at all, I would highly recommend having the "labels" gadget on your sidebar or at the bottom of your blog layout. If users want to look for posts of a certain category, having all of your labels readily available will give your readers easy access to the topics you write most about. A screenshot of my labels are below, but you can also scroll to the bottom of layout and view them there as well. 
Do you use labels on your blog posts? What other tips do you have for using labels? 

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Guest Post: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Today, one of my first and favorite blog friends is guest posting for me. Nina is a fellow Harry Potter lover, and I think we all know how much I love Harry Potter. After visiting the Harry Potter Studios in London, Nina decided to share her HP experience at Harry Potter World in Orlando, which I'm totally envious of. But you know what they say, there ain't no bond like a Harry Potter bond. Oh, no one says that?

Xo, Tiffany Khyla


Hi Friends! I'm Nina from The Grand Adventures of Me. I'm a lifestyle blogger who loves to laugh, drink coffee, and read books.

Tiffany and I are a lot alike. It's kinda creepy. We might be twins separated at birth, except that I'm as albino as a ghost and it's really not fair that she got all the melanin. We'll have to speak with our estranged mother about that one day when we find her. Meanwhile, we both have this crazy obsession love for all things Harry Potter. She actually got to visit the set of Harry Potter when she went to London, which just adds one more thing I'm jealous about. It's a happy kind of jealous though, ya know? I'm thrilled that she shared her adventures with us a few weeks ago. I, however, visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter when I was in Orlando back in 2011. My experience was just magical, and I am here to not only encourage, but implore you to make the trek to this wonderful place purely for the joy you will experience in your hearts upon arrival.

Prologue by John Williams on Grooveshark 
1) Do speak in a British accent the entire time. Remark on how fantastic everything is, and refer to everyone else as Muggles. You, my dears, are wizards and witches in disguise. And now, I'd like it if you read the rest of my points in Hermione's voice. 
2) You simply MUST go with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Yes, it usually has a 3 hour wait, but if you are as in love with Harry as I am, then it is 100% worth it. There was one particular moment between Aragog and I that made me scream just a bit. If you survive, then 10 points for Gryffindor!
3) Do try the Butter Beer. It's rather tasty! But don't try the Pumpkin Juice. It's dreadful.
4) Eventually, all the touring you will be doing might leave you a little hangry. Now I enjoy a savory meal myself, and the Leaky Cauldron is the place to eat. Just looking back on this makes my mouth water. It's a bit pricey, but you can't really put a price on the Harry Potter experience. 
5) Experience what it's like to visit Ollivander's. Remember, the wizard does not choose the wand, but the wand chooses the wizard. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to meet my wand. Instead, some children who I'm sure did not appreciate the experience as much as I would were chosen by Ollivander. I'm not bitter, but perhaps I will return until I get the chance to be chosen.
6) The Hogwarts Quartet is quite marvelous! They sing in perfect harmony many of the haunting songs we have grown to love. My personal favorite is "Double, double toil and trouble." Oh, and the frogs join in. How exciting!
7) Venture through Hogsmeade, and explore the wonders. Zonko's is magical. But be warned of the puking pastilles.
8) When you go through the castle, you'll notice the pictures on the wall move! Some of them talk, and a few of them run away if you try to take their photograph.
9) Remember to take lots of pictures. You never know when you might see someone special. ;)
10) And last but not least, cherish the memories. If you're afraid you might forget one, put them away in a pensieve.

Oh, and here's a selfie of me with a cupcake in case you wondered what my favorite food is in case you wondered what I look like. 
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New Orleans Eats.

I recently traveled to New Orleans, and I was so pumped because anytime I tell someone I'm from Louisiana, they immediately go "New Orleans!" and I'm like "no" because I had never really been before. Not overnight anyway. But now I have!

Even though I was in New Orleans for about three days, a lot of my time was spent dutifully working, so I didn't get to do much sight seeing or anything like that, but one thing I did a lot of was eat!

Okay, this actually isn't in New Orleans. It's in Lafayette, but it was too delicious not to mention. We stopped for lunch at Prejeans on our way to New Orleans. I had seen the Prejeans cookbook many times before, but I didn't realize it was a restaurant. 

I loved the fun environment. It was like an indoor swamp. There were even gators everywhere. The food was so delicious too! I got the stuffed tilapia, which was stuffed with crabmeat and shrimp and came with rice and corn macque choux. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it. Yum!

I was so excited to eat here because it was recommended by a local, which means that it has to be good. We ordered tons of appetizers - crab claws, stuffed mushrooms, fried gator, barbecue shrimp, and a few others that I don't remember. I got the fried oyster platter for my dinner, and I also ate a good bit of someone else's dinner. She got the jumbo lump crabmeat au gratin. So good!

I know Pat O's is notorious for their hurricanes, but I went there for lunch. I had the shrimp creole, and I ate every single bite of it, plus half of another's plate. She got the special, which was some sort of pasta. It was good, but I think my meal was better. Mmm mmm. 


We just stopped in here to get some pralines, but I couldn't resist getting some ice-cream. It was so hot outside! I got creole cream cheese, which is one of my favorite ice-cream flavors, and of course, this cone didn't disappoint. Their pralines are also delicious. Obvs.

Obviously, I didn't eat anything while on Bourbon, but it was my first Bourbon Street experience, so I felt like it was worth mentioning. Thankfully, we went on a Thursday, because I don't know if I could have handled all of the chaos of a weekend on Bourbon Street. There were already so many people, and I hear on the weekends you can barely walk. Okay, now that I'm done being an old lady...

We visited lots of bars on Bourbon. I loved that you could walk in and out of bars with your drinks and everywhere we went didn't have a cover charge, which was convenient. There was only one place that we went to that wouldn't allow us to bring our drink in. So if you're planning on going to the Cat's Meow, count on throwing your drink out. Other places we visited:

Saints & Sinners
This is Channing Tatum's bar. We actually went here after we ate at Pat O'Brien's, not during our Bourbon adventure. I had a Saint, and it was really sweet and really good.

The Famous Door
This bar played a lot of 80's music, so the crowd was a little older, but I still had a blast! We met some people from New Jersey who were really friendly. I also had a hurricane. Not a Pat O's hurricane, but a hurricane nonetheless. 

Cat's Meow
Like I said, you can't bring your drink in this bar. I found this rather annoying because, 1) my drink was in a huge cup and I did not want to pour that sucker out and 2) it was Thursday, so it's not like it was crazy busy. There were a lot of people in there, but that's not the point. We only ended up staying there for a few minutes. 

Bourbon Pub & Parade
There weren't too many people here, but again, it was Thursday. I did see the cutest old gay couple though. They both had gray hair, and they were just dancing and smiling at each other. Seriously. Adorable. I stayed long enough to enjoy a Pubalicious, and stand on the balcony observing the streets of Bourbon. 

We didn't stay at Oz too long. There wasn't much happening when we got there, unfortunately.

Bourbon Bandstand
The band at Bourbon Bandstand was playing a lot of fun songs, so we got a lot of dancing in. I got pulled onto the stage to dance, and I went with two other girls. It was fun, but my stage fright was telling me to get down even though I'd never see these people again. 

The Beach
We were told that there was a giant whale that you could ride, as opposed to a bull, but that was a lie. We left after about five minutes and stopped at the gift shop next door to buy cheesy souvenirs.

Have you ever been to New Orleans?

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Dance Around Til the Sun Goes Down.

In Shreveport, a new concert venue called The Stage recently opened. I had been wanting to go, but there wasn't anyone playing there that I knew until Jamie Lynn Spears was added to the line-up. Admittedly, I didn't even know Jamie Lynn sang, outside of her theme song for Zoey 101, which I loved, both the show and the song. I was super pumped when my friend, Claire, said she would go with me. I mean, it was a Friday night and we had nothing planned, so why not, right? 

Looking a little ratchet in the moonlight. Notice the Louisiana necklaces. Not even planned.

We both did a little research and listened to some of her music on YouTube. I listened to her EP on Spotify and played the Zoey 101 theme song a few times, crossing my fingers that she would sing it (she didn't, by the way). Neither of us knew the words to her songs, but we had a blast.
Jamie Lynn was a bit under the weather, but she still looked adorable in her shorts and leather jacket. We were surprised she didn't take the jacket off though. It was so humid outside. 

The only decent-ish picture I got.

Sidenote: I loved the setup of The Stage, mostly because I got to sit down and still get a good view of the stage. There was a dance floor and open space in front of the stage and some picnic tables toward the back and hi-boys with chairs lining the side of the area. And, of course, there was a bar. It's a smaller venue, which I enjoy because the concerts are much  more intimate. 
The lighting was horrible, and I got no good pictures, other than of my drink, and that's because the sun was still shining when I took the picture. 
She played songs from her new EP, and she also played a few covers, including "Ain't It Fun" by Paramore, which was amazing. Her last song was "Ms. Mississippi." It's not on her EP, which is so disappointing, but it was so good. She did it as a mash-up with "Oops...I Did It Again," and the crowd, myself included, went wiiiiild. I was sad when Jamie didn't come out for an encore, but I did get the set list. Ha! Apparently I got some death stares from the little kids around me, but oh well. What am I going to do with that piece of paper? Umm...dunno. Right now, it's sitting on my dining room table. Maybe it'll make it's way to the fridge. 

I was even more sad that she didn't come out for a meet and greet. I thought she would since the crowd wasn't too overwhelming, but nope. I did meet the opening act though. Her name was Lainey Wilson, and apparently she's taking online classes at ULM, which is the college thirty minutes from where I went to school at Louisiana Tech. 

Lainey Wilson

There was a table right in front of us that started with just three guys and somehow grew to a million people. After Lainey got off the stage and Jamie was gearing up to get on, I politely asked the two guys in front of me if they could step to the side because we couldn't see. He was absolutely rude and was like, "Well, I don't know where you want me to go!" and meanwhile, his giant group of friends were already starting to congregate in a different spot. I was so pissed. How rude! But don't worry. I didn't let that ruin my Jamie experience. 
I definitely see big things for Jamie Lynn. She's super cute and really talented, and I love her country sound.
Did you watch Zoey 101? Did you know Jamie Lynn Spears sings?

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Date Night at Home with Chili’s® at Home!

As much as Jon and I enjoy going out and having mini adventures around Shreveport for date nights, we also like enjoying a meal at home and curling up in front of the TV. Sometimes, we don't have the energy to make an entire recipe from scratch, so every once in awhile, we browse the freezer section at the grocery store to see what "homemade" meal we can come up with.

Both of us love Chili's. We've spent many birthday celebrations, small get-togethers and mini reunions there, particularly in college. 


When we heard about the new Chili’s® at Home line, we knew we had to give it a try. I mean, the awesome, big, bold and tasty flavors of Chili's from the comfort of our own home? That's better than Chili's leftovers, and I think we all know how good that is. 

With so many choices for Chili’s® at Home frozen foods, it was hard to pick which meals we wanted to try. We opted for the Seasoned Chicken Bites with Honey Chipotle Sauce plus these three sides: Cajun-Style Chicken Alfredo (I mean, we're in Louisiana. We couldn't not try the one with the word "Cajun" attached), Bacon Mac 'N' Cheese and Chicken Bacon Ranch. 

The beauty of all four of these things is that they all took about 30-40 minutes in the oven. That's less than an hour to a full meal. And if you're impatient (admit it. When it comes to food, we can all be a little impatient sometimes, especially if we're hungry), then you can just pop them in the microwave and cut it down to less than a quarter of the oven cooking time. 

Jon and I both enjoyed our little dinner date at home. We both loved the chicken bites and were sad after we had eaten them all. Jon's favorite was the Chicken Bacon Ranch, and mine was the Cajun-Style Chicken Alfredo. It was deliciously spicy. After enjoying our bold frozen food meal, we watched the Veronica Mars movie on HBO Go. Perfect night? I'd say so. 

If you're looking for a delicious meal in without all the hassle and with all the big, bold flavor, then you definitely have to try new Chili’s® at Home
Are you a fan of Chili's? Check out their website and see what delicious entrees you can bring to your kitchen today!

Thanks to Chili’s® at Home and Bellisio Foods for sponsoring today's post. All opinions are my own. 

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The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas {Book Review}

As a super fan of the Veronica Mars television series, I knew that I had to get my hands on this book ASAP. While I didn't start watching Veronica Mars until after the Kickstarter series happened, I still consider myself a marshmallow. I was pumped for the movie to come out and rented it off of iTunes on its release date. I watched it once, loved it and wished that I had bought it instead of just renting it, but I have this thing with actually owning tangible DVDs. I watched the movie again on my way back from Europe (instead of sleeping on that 14-hour flight, mind you), and it sparked my excitement for the books all over again.

Rob Thomas is seriously a genius for not only coming up with the idea behind the Veronica Mars series, but also being able to make a movie a decade later and still make it as awesome as the series was. And then to continue it in the form of a book...seriously, a man after my own heart.


The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line picks up right where the movie left off. Keith is still recovering from his injuries from the car accident, Veronica is living at home and picking up what little cases she can while Logan is off at sea. Mac is now using her computer hacking skills for good rather than evil. Though "good" is a relative term in this case. Wallace is still awesome. 

This show seriously has the best cast.

The book takes place during spring break and college students are running amok in Neptune. When a spring breaker disappears, Veronica is called in to both find the girl and help save face for the city. She's quickly pulled into a world of parties, booze, drugs, and crazy, and then something happens that hits a little too close home. 

If you're already a fan of Veronica Mars, then you will love this book even more than the TV series. I know I did. As thrilling as it is to watch Veronica in action, it's even more exciting to watch the mystery unfold on paper. This is one of those books that will keep you up at night and cause you to lose sleep because you just have to know what happens next. It includes all of the fun tidbits for loyal Veronica Mars fans as well as some new things to get excited about. This book is a lot darker and more intense than most of the mysteries Veronica had to solve in her high school and college days, but that just made it much more exciting and perfect for those who have been fans for many years, after all, we've all grown up a bit, including Veronica. While I have to admit, I was hoping for a little more LoVe, the absence of it didn't take away from my own love for the book.

For those that haven't gotten sucked into the amazing world of Veronica Mars, what the heck are you waiting for??!! I still recommend this book to you, especially if you enjoy a good mystery novel. This book is fast-paced and unfolds in the most unexpected ways. Like I said before, Rob Thomas is a genius. 

I give this book a 5 out of 5. It kept me at the edge of my seat and the conclusion, as well as many other elements of the book, were completely unexpected. 


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