Our Mini Family


How to Host a Holiday Cookie Decorating Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GladeHolidayCheer #CollectiveBias


Is it even the holiday season if you aren't baking cookies? 

Nothing says winter like the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the kitchen and into the office, and having Adam run out of the office asking me for a warm cookie to nibble on. 

Since we live in Phoenix and we do not have some of the holiday and winter traditions we had as kids, Adam and I try our best to create our own traditions with our family to bring joy into our lives during this time of year! Having friends over to decorate cookies while we listen to holiday music and drink hot chocolate has become one of our newer traditions, and today I am sharing a few key recipes to help you host a holiday cookie decorating party of your own as well as some essential items to bring your holiday table to life!

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 153


Good morning!

This week was my very first ever Arizona blogger event that I hosted and I am so glad I finally did it! 


I have spent years attending events and socials since Adam and I moved to Arizona 5 years ago, and I have always wanted to host an event of my very own. For New Year's Eve last year, I made 'host a blogger event' one of my yearly aspirations and I prepared everything I needed to do to make it work and decided to just go for it!


If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat you know what I am talking about and have seen pictures. But if you are not sure what I am talking about, I will definitely share all of the details once I go through all of my pictures I took and share it with you between now and the end of the year. These chic, Rudolph-inspired party bags were just one of the adorable details from our AZ Blogger Bash (more details to come!)

15 Holiday Desserts that Are Not Cookies

Are you bored of Christmas cookies? Try one of these decadent holiday dessert recipe ideas! 


Christmas season means loads of cookies and cookie decorating, and after a few weeks, sometimes we can get a little tired of having nothing but cookies for a sweet treat to enjoy at a holiday party.

Don't get me wrong, I love cookies! But I feel like cookies are the most served dessert at all holiday parties and sometimes a girl just needs some variety. Whether it be a tart, a yule log cake, tiramisu, special hot cocoa, pie bars, or even ice cream, there are so many ways you can bring the holiday festivities to your favorite kinds of dessert recipes (that do not have to be cookies!) 

Today, I am sharing fifteen different dessert recipes from some of my favorite fellow foodie bloggers, including this recipe for hot buttered rum bundt cake from The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen blog (as well as some fabulous giveaways you can enter to win below!)

Hot Cocoa, Plaid, & ALL the Christmas Feels

This merry, comfortable yet chic Christmas-inspired OOTD gives me alllll the Christmas feels!


Sleigh bells are ringing and it's finally cool enough to wear a scarf in the valley!

We have waited what feels like forever for this kind of weather to come to Phoenix! For weeks, we have all been suffering in the heat and refusing to give up our right to wear fall sweaters, boots, and scarves. After a warm start to fall and constant 80 degrees temperatures, it has finally started to truly feel like fall in the valley of the sun.

Black and red plaid accessories are everywhere--handbags, jackets, sweaters, boots, and scarves. This scarf brings the festivity that comes with holiday fashion, and this black velvet t-shirt is still cool enough to wear so if the valley temperatures decide to spike up in the afternoon you won't start sweating. Complete the look with a few statement rings, a comfortable pair of form-fitting skinny jeans, black velvet boots, and a cup of warm cocoa! 

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 152


Happy December!

It's officially my favorite month of the year! Although I will admit, growing up I was not fond of the month of December. As a kid, I always had my friends and classmates bail on my birthday party at the last minute due to holiday plans with family or dreaded Massachusetts nor'easters and blizzards making it impossible to drive in. But after all of these years (and moving away from the snow), I have rediscovered a love for the month of December I had not had before!


Since my birthday is Christmas Eve Eve, everyone is always in good cheer and excited (and usually in good spirits) on the day of my birthday. As I have gotten older, I have felt less inclined to actually go out and celebrate my birthday the night of, but instead, I like to have a little gathering a few days beforehand or plan something after the new year. 


This year, Adam and I are thinking of traveling in January so my hope is that we can make that happen once we figure out what his hours are, so we can hopefully enjoy a trip as a belated birthday gift!

Move Over LBD, Little Red Dress is Here

Bringing back the occasional fashion blog post by popular demand, featuring this darling little red dress and suede and gold platform high heels perfect for the holiday season!


I'm embracing the red dress dancer emoji in real life for the holidays this year!

Usually, I am more drawn to darker dresses and using glitter to bring the holiday spirit into my wardrobe, but this year, I am embracing bold reds and shimmering golds to show off my Christmas cheer. 

After having lost 70 pounds, I have still been trying to rediscover my sense of style in different clothing. Typically, I lean to darker clothes since they are traditionally more flattering, but now that I feel healthier and happier and more confident in the way that I look, I've been making room for brighter clothing in my closet. This red dress is so fun and flirty, and it's absolutely perfect for Christmas parties (and I may even break it out of the closet again for Valentine's Day next year, too!) 

Chocolate Chip Holiday Brownies

Enjoy these decadent, chocolate chip brownies this holiday season with friends and loved ones! Packed with chocolate chips that melt in your mouth--perfect with a glass of milk!


It truly does not feel like the holidays without a batch of homemade baked goods!

A few weeks ago, Adam and I spent our morning baking together and listening to the Super Bowl DVD (in hopes that we put that energy back out into the universe since we'd love to see our beloved Pats head back for another ring!) We enjoyed baking and test-tasting the chocolate chips, and our condo smelled like chocolate all day. It was such a great day off from work! With that in mind, as we enter the busiest time of year for Adam's work, I try to spend as much quality time with him while I can when he is not working. With so many required overtime hours he has to put in, sometimes it feels like I hardly see him during the holidays! 

Even if Adam is hard at work and taking on overtime, I like to keep the house clean and prepare meals (and occasionally bake special sweets, like these amazing brownies) so he does not have to worry about anything else when his work day is over. Since I used to be in the same line of work as him, I know how much it sucks the life out of you and even if taking some extra time out of my schedule means helping my husband maintain his sanity you know I'll do it in a heartbeat!

These decadent, chocolate chip brownies are perfect for the holidays (and can bring you some Christmas cheer even on the toughest of workdays!) 

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 151


Good morning!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful holiday week and you were able to enjoy some time with friends and/or loved ones! 

Fortunately, Adam and I were able to spend Thanksgiving Day together and it was really nice! After celebrating Friendsgiving and then being faced with so many campaigns and feeling a bit overworked, I made the executive decision to outsource our turkey this year. 

I went down the street and ordered a smoked turkey from the barbecue place in town, and we only had to reheat it to enjoy it with all of our other Thanksgiving side dishes and wine. I just could not bear to add one more thing to stress about to my never-ending to-do list (I always end up worried I will cook a dry bird or overcook it), so I decided to hand the job over to someone else for help! They say delegating is good, right?! 

As I do every year, I proactively did not shop on Thanksgiving Day. I've shared how I feel about this in the past, but I think it is downright cruel that employers demand their retail employees to work on Thanksgiving Day. 

But the only way we can change that is if we do not shop on Thanksgiving Day, and then the big businesses will see there isn't a demand for it (so they won't supply it!) Simple business idea, I know, but something I proactively remind myself of and encourage others to follow suit. Now that I've said my peace, allow me to jump off my soapbox and share some incredible ideas from last week's link party!
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