Sep 14, 2014

Chromo Inc.® Ultra High Power Panel DSLR Camera Light

Bewitchin' Projects Block Party | Week 8

Can you believe we're nearly halfway through September? What is up with that?! I feel like it's still summer and it's actually starting to mellow out here in Arizona. We've been seeing like 100 degrees days, which is significantly better than 110+ degrees.

Adam and I have been swamped at work lately, and we're hoping to plan more date nights to help alleviate the minimal amount of free time we have to spend with one another. Our goal for the remainder of the month is to have 1 date night per week! What have you all been up to? Have you been super busy with school being back in session? Anyway, I am SO excited to see what you all have to link up this week--lots of great posts!

Sep 13, 2014

AZ Bloggers Meet Up | The Shine Project Headquarters

{Photo by Photography Hill}
Every few months, Arizona women of the blogging community gather together to network, learn, and have fun! We call it the "Arizona Bloggers Meet Up!" Honestly, when I first heard about the group I was a little hesitant--I thought it would be cliquey like high school, but literally every single woman I've talked to has been super friendly and shares something in common with me. Finding this group has been a blessing, as I have already grown as a blogger because of it. If you're an AZ blogger lady, you'd for sure enjoy this group!

So I went ahead and got all dolled up, and headed to the event! :-)

The event was held at The Shine Project Headquarters. Before I delve into what we did at the event, let's take a moment to talk about The Shine Project! Have you ever heard of it? Well, if you haven't I guarantee you're going to adore the purpose of this organization:

The Shine Project is a non-profit located here out of Phoenix where Ashley (the woman behind TSP) employs at-risk teens, and then serves as a mentor to these young adults through service, leadership, and family-inspired collaborations. The proceeds of The Shine Project Shop go to these young adults' education--so when you buy an adorable bracelet like this one shown below that I wore to the event, you are helping an at-risk teen save money to go to college! It's SO awesome!

I love reppin' The Shine Project

We had so many fantastic goodies to snack on, but my favorite was Proofbread's chocolate croissants! YUM! I think I had 2...OK maybe 3.

Once we got our chow down on a bit, we were offered a few different 30 minutes workshops to attend. The two that I went to were photo styling/staging with Stephanie of Life Created, and also talking about how bloggers work with brands with Emily of The Banner Shoppe and Summer of The Girls with Glasses!

I had so many great takeaways from both of these workshops--a part of becoming a better blogger is educating yourself on ways that other bloggers are succeeding; however, it is always important to remember that you shouldn't compare yourself directly to another blogger to measure success. Your success is measured by your journey and YOUR journey alone. This spoke volumes to me.

Admittedly, I have been catching myself lately thinking things like "aww man, her blog has way better photos than mine and that's why she has more followers on X Y and Z social media etc.."No! Don't do it--don't compare yourself to another blogger! For all you know, they've been doing this for 5+ years, and maybe you're only in your first 2-3 years. I think of the blogging community like real estate: you need to stake out your place and invest in your spot in this big, wild blogging world that I love and adore--and until I am ready and stable enough to "buy," I need to do my time and "rent" my space while I am still finding myself and what Our Mini Family can bring to the world. I have big plans for our blog, and that is why I devote time and energy to bettering myself as a writer, photographer, branding guru, social media manager, etc. You have to wear many hats in this job, and I'm just trying to make sure I can get to a point to get them all to fit ;-)

I left the AZ Bloggers Meet Up feeling amped up and ready to go! Special thanks to all of the women who helped orchestrate the workshops, and those who participated in speaking at them!

Toward the end of the day, there were some *amazing* prizes that were raffled off! Check all our fantastic giveaway table:

Guess what, y'all? Adam and I will be getting new photos sometime this year--because guess who won a 1 hour photo session with Let Me See You Sparkle Photography and has two thumbs? THIS GAL!

And special thanks to the vendors who provided us with some swag! Holler!

(not pictured is the delectable, Fairytale Brownies treat--which I couldn't wait to photograph!)

I mean, can you blame me?! Doesn't it look so amazing?
Once I got home from the event, Adam and I whipped out this bad boy and munched down on this divine, "Pumpkin Spice" Fairytale Brownie! I knew I had the patience to at least take an Instagram ;-)

And I am *obsessed* with our Yellow Bungalow Shop print!

Also, if you're wondering, this adorable frame is from The Squirrel Cottage on Etsy!

And finally, I'd like to thank the women who organized this past AZ Bloggers Meet Up once more! You ladies all know I adore you--you have put such a considerable amount of time and effort into making these events a huge success! Kudos to Kayla, Camille, Chrissy, and Deidre!

Sep 11, 2014

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies | iKuuk Silicone Baking Mat

Come grab the directions for easy, white chocolate snickerdoodle cookies!

Sep 8, 2014

Salut Kitchen Bar and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated to write this post on behalf of Salut Kitchen Bar, and all text and opinions stated below are 100% of my own words and opinion; said compensation I received did not influence this post. Images of restaurant are property of Salut Kitchen Bar, and I was given permission to use them for the purpose of this post. All other content is 100% my own.

If you live in and around Tempe, Arizona: you've likely already heard of Salut Kitchen Bar. Adam and I have been there quite a few times already, and we love going there for date night! It's cozy and has that west coast decor style we love--we've spent quite a few Sunday nights posted up here spending time with each other and chatting over a bottle of wine. 

What's especially awesome about Salut Kitchen Bar is that they offer so many deals! They have a Happy Hour special every day from 3pm to 6:30pm, and also host a Reverse Happy Hour from 9pm to 11pm Sunday through Thursday.

For the ladies, there is a "Where Women Watch Football" promotion they have specifically for Sundays--50% off bottles of wine all day long, and a lovely environment to enjoy watching your favorite football team duking it out all season long! I can think of a handful of my girlfriends who would love this, and thinking I'll need to organize a girl's afternoon out to watch the Cardinals play!

I will also add that never in all of the times that I've been to Salut Kitchen Bar have I had a bottle of wine that I didn't like; everything is superb, and you can tell that they are very selective about which varieties to offer and serve to their guests. Everything is high-quality. As a wine nerd, I thoroughly appreciate that!

They also have live music on Wednesday nights for all you music lovers out there! That goes on every Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm. Last week, for instance, they had local performer Steve Ayotte Music perform. I know that I would enjoy this every once and while, and it's great to keep in mind if you're looking for live music in and around Tempe on a Wednesday night!

But perhaps our favorite thing about Salut Kitchen Bar is their Monday night promo: $20 for a bottle of wine AND s'mores! 

You can take advantage of this promo that Adam and I love anytime on a Monday night after 8pm. I will tell you: s'mores and chardonnay goes extremely well together! I highly recommend trying that combo! 

As you can see above, Adam is thoroughly enjoying toasting his marshmallow and I was able to sneak a photo of him. And he never says no to a trip to Salut Kitchen Bar--I know for sure that Adam and I will be making a trip again next week to enjoy some time together out of our home office.

Huzzah! Now onto the gift certificate raffle:

Do you drink wine? Have you ever been to a wine bar before?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated to write this post on behalf of Salut Kitchen Bar, and all text and opinions stated below are 100% of my own words and opinion; said ccompensation I received did not influence this post. Images of restaurant are property of Salut Kitchen Bar, and I was given permission to use them for the purpose of this post. All other content is 100% my own.

Sep 7, 2014

Bewitchin' Projects Block Party | Week 7

Can you all believe it's September already?!

I am so excited! This time of year, it will start cooling down here in Phoenix, and then THAT means that I can start crafting outside more! YAY!! I have quite a few pieces of furniture I'd like to repurpose, but I have been holding out because of the 110 degrees and higher days here we have to deal with in Arizona!

But enough about me--let's see what YOU were up to this week!

Check out this crochet awesomeness!!

Read on for these crochet patterns we're featuring & the link up:

Sep 3, 2014

Planning your Halloween Costume? Get a Wig!

Disclosure: I received this wig as compensation to review in this post, and received no other compensation. My opinions are 100% my own.

It's September, and Halloween is approaching! 

Adam and I have already started talking about what we are wanting to do on Halloween, our costumes, what candy we'll buy for the kids at our complex, etc. My Halloween costumes, in the past, have been just OK. I usually don't want to spend a lot of time or money on them, but I just want to ensure that I have a good time leading up to October.  I still haven't decided 100% on what I am going as for Halloween, because to be honest, I am hoping I can draw some inspiration from the new season of American Horror Story! Last year, Adam and I went as Tate and Moira from the first season of American Horror Story (Murder House). But after looking at all of these wigs from abHair, I am inspired to consider so many options I have this year!

This is us from last Halloween:

This year, though, we're stepping up our Halloween costume game!

I am really excited about this abHair wig:

Here's how quickly you can transform the way you look for a costume:

Sep 2, 2014

Classic, Boneless Baked Pork Chops

To get the recipe, continue reading below: