Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2018!


Good Morning!!! and welcome to 2018!!!

For the last nine years (geez that means I have been blogging for TEN years now!) I have written a New Year’s Day post filled with blog updates, new series ideas, and what to expect in the upcoming year, first on Coupons, Deals and More, and continuing the tradition on Ann’s Entitled Life. This year is no exception.

Note: next week I will post the 10 “best” (in other words most trafficked) posts of 2017.

First things first: sign up for my weekly newsletter! You get a free downloadable e-cookbook when you confirm your newsletter sign-up!

This past year was terrible for blog traffic, even as the blog made money (Hubby may never recover from this development!). My adnetwork (MediaVine) is fabulous and makes things easy to earn. I also did a few sponsored posts. These are difficult for me as I need to really love (or at least deeply like) the products I am being paid to highlight. Sponsored posts pay quite well (sometimes very, very well), so I make some pretty terrible faces when I am declining sponsored work where I do not love the product or service when I am offered mucho dinero for that post.

My Facebook 2017 traffic was horrible as Facebook is now strictly pay-for-play. I saw Facebook take a nosedive in 2016 as that model became clear, but in 2017 it was an even sharper decline. If you have a Facebook account where you follow business pages (a blog is considered a business), you probably noticed you see next to none of those brands in your stream these days. That is because if a brand is not paying Facebook to get into your stream, you will not see the brand’s content (not without designating favorites and liking EVERYTHING from that business that comes your way). Since I post recipes, gardening, crafts, and DIY, I cannot justify hundreds or thousands of dollars to boost posts and get into my follower’s streams. This blog just does not make that kind of money. So, I have a Facebook page to make the sponsored post people happy, but not for any other reason.

Pinterest was painful for 10.5 months of 2017 too. They were making tweaks and changes the whole year! (Full disclosure, I own Pinterest stock through a private raise a few years back – as an investor, I wasn’t happy with Pinterest-2017, as a user I was unhappy with Pinterest-2017, and as a content provider I was really unhappy with Pinterest-2017.) It wasn’t until November that I started seeing the return of traffic from Pinterest. My Pinterest page is still a top 10,000 account – out of 200M+ Pinterest accounts. That means that less than 10K Pinterest accounts have more followers than I do. Since I was a top 10K account in 2016, and basically held steady in growth, that tells me a lot of Pinterest accounts experienced Pinterest-pain in 2017.

My IG account grew a little bit in 2017, but since Facebook owns it I expect no traffic from it… and am rewarded accordingly!!! I just can’t get into Instagram. If I want to look at pretty pictures, I will go over to Pinterest. I am sure I am missing something on IG, but what, I do not know.

Twitter is still my first social media love. I had finally broken through and was getting decent traffic from Twitter in 2017 when they closed down the API for repeat-tweet schedulers. #@!*&% A tweet lasts approximately 8-10 minutes without a lot of retweets, so repeating the same tweet (a lot) was the only way I found to reach my followers. Since the repeating is dead, without hand tweeting all the time, Twitter is just gonna go back to being my playground, and not a source of “real” blog traffic. {sigh}

I plan on taking some content creation time off in 2018. The way blog traffic arrives these days is usually off social media or search. And, I have been a search-slacker on this blog since Day 1. A lot of it has to do with how I approached Ann’s Entitled Life – it was to be my hobby blog and cost me no more than $200 a month. At that rate, and as a hobby, I didn’t need to implement great (or even good) SEO.

Welllllll fast forward a few years and this blog is hurting due to that approach. Google doesn’t really like my blog, Bing barely tolerates my blog, and DuckDuckGo just isn’t that big yet. So, I need to rework some old posts, tweak my SEO a bit and hope to get into Google’s good graces this year.

I have purchased a bazillion blogging classes (you laugh! It is true! (not really but feels like it is true)), and I want to finish them. Blogging is always changing and it is one continuing-ed class behind the scenes. I need to finish two of the courses I bought in 2017 that I actually learned a few things from (when you have been blogging 10 years, it is difficult to find classes or courses where people are reinventing the blogging-wheel), and work on that SEO.

So, while I don’t expect to not post for weeks or months at a time, I do plan on cutting back days in the summer to get some of that blogging “to do” list finished.

I do not expect to start any new features this year. Blogging “experts” recommend tightening your niche, not expanding it. Since I am a rebel, I am going to keep Ann’s Entitled Life wild and free, but will stick with the recipes (which drive most of the blog traffic), crafts (which pays for most of my costs), DIY beauty, gardening (because I like it!) and cocktails (my oh my, do people like cocktails and jello shots!!) My weekly newsletter has become the place where I yap about myself, Mr. Max, Sonny-boy, and Hubby. I do want to do more yappy posts on the blog as I got away from that in 2017.

Now in the beginning of this post, I mentioned that the blog now makes money. You may wonder what type of bills a blog incurs that it needs to raise cash. Well, everyone wants a piece of the blogger-dollar-pie. Basically, EVERYTHING costs money to blog! The hosting, newsletter, VAs (virtual assistants), programmer, plugins, designers, schedulers … I could keep going and going… and going. Blogging has not been “free” for a long time, hence why you see ads, sponsored posts, social media ads, people selling e-books, classes and courses, merchandise, etc.

Many bloggers dream of the day where they can quit their day job and blog fulltime. How many hours do people blog per week? That varies by the blog of course. When I was a deal-blogger I never worked less than 60 hours a week. Complete nonsense for a “retired” person, but I did like to help people save money.

These days, I blog as little as 10 hours a week while some weeks I blog as many as 40 hours per week. Most of my time is spent on the social-media treadmill after the content is created and posted.

That’s about it for now. I want to thank you all for reading Ann’s Entitled Life. I wouldn’t mind if you all commented a bit (ok a lot) more. I love interacting with people who read Ann’s Entitled Life. I’d like to get to know you all too. So please feel free to comment on the blog!!

If you would like to follow Ann’s Entitled Life via newsletter or social media, this is where we can connect:

Follow Ann’s Entitled Life on Twitter
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And I can always be reached through the contact me page or by emailing me directly!

Do you have any New Year plans? Resolutions? Goals? Ideas?

I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Fulfilling New Year. May 2018 be a year of much happiness and joy for you and yours!


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving Day with safe travels, and lots of stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pie. This year we are hosting family and friends at the Ann’s Entitled Life household. An early dinner so my father, and the great-neice (she’s one in a few weeks!) can enjoy. Later would just be too much for them (fresh turkey it is!)

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

Over the River and Through the Wood

by Lydia Maria Child (1844)

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go;
the horse knows the way
to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop
for doll or top,
for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood—
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
with a clear blue winter sky.
The dogs do bark
and the children hark,
as we go jingling by.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
“Ting a ling ding!”
Hurray for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood—
no matter for winds that blow;
or if we get
the sleigh upset
into a bank of snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to see little John and Ann;
we will kiss them all,
and play snowball
and stay as long as we can.

Over the river, and through the wood,
trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground
like a hunting-hound!
For ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood—
old Jowler hears our bells;
he shakes his paw
with a loud bow-wow,
and thus the news he tells.

Over the river, and through the wood—
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, “O, dear,
the children are here,
bring pie for everyone.”

Over the river, and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• For more Recipes on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered through their giveaway (now through 12/31/17).


This post was created in partnership with Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. I received complimentary products and compensation to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.

The Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ is four appliances built into one: a slow cooker; a stove top for searing and sautéing; a steamer; and an oven for baking. A true multi cooker.

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The Auto-iQ™ Technology features more than 80 pre-programmed recipes which you can select from the cookbook (included). You simply gather the recipe ingredients, select the recipe number, and violia! Dinner! Compared to a traditional slow cooker which only heats from the side, Ninja’s Triple Fusion Heat® brings bottom, side, and steam heat together for easy one-pot meals. The food is hot! and cooked very quickly. If you like slow cooker recipes and more, you will love the recipes available in the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ cookbook!

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The 6-quart nonstick pot is dishwasher-safe, there is a glass lid with handle, steaming/roasting rack, and 100+ recipe cookbook with over 80 Auto-iQ recipes. The food stays warm for up to 12 hours with the auto Stay-Warm and programmable digital timer.

Ok, so what can the do? Well, lots of stuff:

Besides the programmed meals (which saves time, and dinner-thought-headaches), there are Manual Functions:

• Sear – an innovative heating element turns your Cooking System into a skillet so you can sear meats and sauté vegetables in one pot.
• ACCUTEMP Slow Cook – Worry-free ACCUTEMP temperature control operates behind the scenes to ensure meals aren’t overcooked or underdone.
• Bake With a controlled temperature range from 250°–425° you can dry bake hearty roasts or steam bake breads, cakes, and more.
• Steam veggies for that delightful “snap” or steam light proteins like seafood to play up their naturally subtle flavors.

I wanted Hubby to use this for the blog post because of all the neat features. This is so up his alley. Unfortunately, he was very busy last week, so it was up to me. He had picked out a Jambalaya recipe from the book, and I decided to sorta follow it. I changed nothing about the cooking, but I did swap out some ingredients: smoked sausage for andouille (which is a bit spicey for me), orange and red peppers for green.

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I then followed the step-by-step instructions in the included cookbook:

• Cut up ingredients.

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• Sautéed the chicken, vegetables, and sausage together – which I was leery about since it was included with the peppers, onions, and sausage and not cooked alone – unnecessarily as the chicken was juicy, moist, and well cooked.

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• Added the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, chicken broth, spices).

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(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


• Clicked the Auto-iQ™ Layered Bowls, recipe 15, allowed it to work its multi cooker magic for 20 minutes.

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• Came back to really HOT (as in temperature), well cooked, well seasoned Jambalaya. The rice cooking was amazing – this recipe cooked for 20 minutes, and the rice was absolutely perfect. My rice cooker takes longer than 20 minutes!

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).


So, how can you get the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™?

• For a limited time, you can use my code ANN15 to receive 15% off your very own Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ offer good from now until Dec. 31, 2017.

Exactly who could use a Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™? Well anyone really but if you know a newlywed, someone having a bridal shower (this would be THE best shower gift!), someone who doesn’t really know how to cook (the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ really makes cooking simple), those people are all great candidates for a Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. If your old slow cooker or multi cooker just isn’t doing it for you, definitely look at the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ – and don’t forget this coupon code: ANN15 to receive 15% off between now and 12/31/17.

You can also enter for a chance to win one of (20) Prizes – One Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™ by entering your email (you can get additional entries for sharing on social media):


Please note: Winners will be randomly selected from all program entries and Ninja will facilitate fulfillment of the 20 winning prizes.

Also note: that giveaway widget is not hosted on my blog. I do not see any of the information you enter. It is not my giveaway. Please see the details at the entry point above.

(ad) Jambalaya made with the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™. #NinjaDeliciousDoneEasy #NinjaPartner Come read about the wonderful Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ™! Great cooking functions, easy to follow recipes, and the chance to win one of 20 being offered (now through 12/31/17).



Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for the Ann’s Entitled Life weekly newsletter, and never miss another article!



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