Our Mini Family

Mongolian Beef Ramen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Conagra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. P.F. Chang's and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu® are registered trademarks owned by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc. and are used with permission. #AuthenticMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

The temperatures here in Phoenix are finally starting to drop a little bit, and that means it's time to break out the sweaters and the slow cookers!

Soups, stews, roasts, casseroles, you name it! Fall means plenty of time to enjoy comforting recipes that bring you warmth when it's cooler outside. This last week, Adam and I brought the slow cooker out of storage and used it for the first time since last winter (we enjoyed a delicious roast, vegetables, and some potato wedges!) 

A couple of days ago, Adam said he wanted some ramen for dinner and I laughed because I have not thought about ramen since I was a college student at Arizona State University (anyone who's had to scrape by through eating ramen for lunch and dinner to save money knows what I am talking about right now). 

At first, I kind of shrugged it off like it was a silly idea and thought about buying another roast, but then I remembered I saw that P.F. Chang's® Home Menu sauces made a new Mongolian sauce while I was grocery shopping at Walmart and thought it would be perfect for an easy, homemade ramen dinner that wouldn't taste like the kind of ramen I had back when I was in school. So I drew together a quick list of what I needed, drove a couple of minutes down the street to Walmart, and picked up everything I needed to make this easy, delicious Mongolian beef ramen recipe!

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 145

Good morning!

Happy Saturday! Adam is going through a lot of different kinds of stress right now, so I am doing all I can to support him however I can. Without giving away any details just yet, we are hopeful for something to come in the future!

I'll be off to the farmer's market here in a couple of minutes, and I will be grabbing as many pumpkins as I can get my hands on! We decided we want to actually get pumpkins this year--for years, we have suffered from terribly mean and inconsiderate neighbors who have vandalized our holiday decorations and sometimes our old front porch decor, but now that we are in a new spot, we are hopeful that we can move forward and decorate as we wish without having to worry about someone smashing our pumpkins like the last few years! 

We have noticed many of our neighbors near our condo have already begun decorating their porches and doorways, so we are hopeful we can do the same without any issues.  Earlier this week, I shared some of the details of our holiday decorations I have already put up in preparation for Halloween and our new neighborhood treat-or-treaters (you can check out that blog post here!)

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Enjoy this delicious, baked banana bread packed with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate melts!

Plenty of baking therapy has been going down this month! 

The stress that has come with uprooting our lives and moving, and then dealing with all kinds of issues with our new condo has left me feeling anxious and like I don't have much control over anything these days. There is something to say about baking as therapy. Sure, I love to enjoy delicious baked goods on the regular. But, the act of baking itself is so therapeutic to me it's no wonder I have spent a majority of my time in the kitchen these last few weeks!

Our cupboard has been filled to the brim with all kinds of baking goodies I have gotten my hands on since we moved in, and last week I finally got my shipment of locally sourced Arizona olive oils from Queen Creek Olive Mill that are perfect for baking (including the chocolate olive oil I used to make this banana bread!) I also finally got my hands on more parchment paper and cake flour from King Arthur Flour, which I have been sitting and waiting on until I got my last paycheck, as well as this cute cake pan I found at the antique warehouse just down the street from us!

Enjoy this banana bread recipe packed with organic, fair trade chocolate melts as a breakfast treat or an afternoon pick-me-up!

All Green Salad (A Light Lunch Recipe)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #RefreshinglyHonestSnacks #CollectiveBias

These past two weeks, it has felt like I have not stopped. 

Between searching across the valley trying to find a new home, boxing up our entire lives, moving everything ourselves (next time we're hiring movers) into our new condo, and unpacking everything and organizing all of our stuff, my life has felt overwhelmingly busy. In fact, I can count how many times on my hand we have been able to stop what we are doing in order to enjoy dinner together.

Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful we found a new place that seems perfect for the two of us! I just cannot wait until I can catch a break and feel like I can really take it all in--all of these new changes happening in our lives, that is. 

I have been trying my absolute best to not slip into unwise habits while on-the-go. I have made an effort these last couple of weeks to stock up on lighter, wholesome snacks I can carry in my purse while I am on the road working on our big move. Last week, I had a salad for lunch almost every day! Honestly, I am quite proud of myself and hope I can keep this up into the fall season even after the chaos of moving seems to calm down. Today, I am sharing one of the salad recipes I have been having quite a bit since we started our moving process, as well as some of my favorite  Honest Tea® flavors and Simple Truth® snacks!

Our Halloween Home Tour Details

Sharing our skeleton and graveyard-inspired Halloween decorations from our new home!

Our new condo is currently packed to the brim with moving boxes that still need to be unpacked, but for now, we are getting ready to decorate for Halloween since we'll be having lots of new trick-or-treaters knocking on our door in a few weeks!

Although I am not ready to share the details of our new condo just yet, I have been getting asked to share some photos of our new place. None of our rooms are quite ready for a big home reveal just yet, but I did want to share our Halloween decorations we are doing this year!

With such a tight budget to work with, I was able to snag the majority of these decorations at different stores for 99 cents each! Yes, I got most of these decorations for just under a dollar! 

All of our decorations for Halloween this year are inspired by skeletons, graveyards, and lots of chrome/silver/gold accents!

Our Mini Linky Party | Week 144

Happy Saturday!

Good morning! Before you ask, no, this is not what our new condo looks like. But I wish it was! This was a picture from our trip up to Sedona this summer from the hotel we were staying in, and I just love how warm and cozy it was, and how all of their decor was Southwest-inspired and true to the culture in Sedona! 

I've been a bit stressed with moving in and unpacking everything that I have been feeling like we need to go on a vacation, but the reality is that Adam's work schedule has ramped up and his overtime requirements are not going to go away at least until after Christmas. But we have been talking about saving up some of the extra money coming in from his mandatory overtime and hoping we can take a small trip after the holiday season is over and the new year has come!

But for now, I will be spending most of my time in the foreseeable future continuing to make our new condo feel like a home and not just a place where we sleep that has a ton of moving boxes that still need to be sorted through! 

10 Spooky Sweets and Treats for Halloween

Celebrate the Halloween season with these spooky sweets from my fellow foodie bloggers!

Halloween is only a few weeks ago, but admittedly, Adam and I have been preparing for a couple of months now! Our love of this spooky season was one of the first things we discovered we both had in common when we were friends as teenagers. 

The first time Adam and I hung out alone together without the rest of our friends was when we were still in high school, and we watched the movie Halloween in his living room and then he spent hours showing me spooky YouTube videos he found online. Half of the videos were ridiculous pop-ups of scary witches and ghosts that would just come up on the screen while it was quiet, and every single time it scared the living poop emoji out of me and then we would start laughing so hard we started to tear up. I like to be scared, and he liked to scare me. So it would seem like a match made in Heaven in the works even from when we were "just friends" in high school.

I was an aggressive young lady--you know, in the way that was like "hey, I think you're cute maybe we should make out?" kind of way. And Adam was shy and had never been talked to that way. But even as a young woman I was the kind of person who knew what she wanted, and was not afraid to ask for it. 

So as an homage to our first time really spending quality time together and getting to know each other, Adam and I watch Halloween every year and laugh about how awkward we were together when we were just figuring out the dynamic of our relationship, and how much my interest in him at the time actually terrified him more than those scary YouTube videos scared me. 

Today, I am sharing a curated collection of spooky sweets perfect for your Halloween festivities (including this Halloween Freakshake shown above from Supper in the Suburbs blog!) 

How You Can Support Breast Cancer Awareness & Enter to Win Free Pizza for a Year!

Support breast cancer research and enter to win free pizza for a year! Thank you to Hungry Howie's Pizza for partnering with me on this post to help get the word out about their contest!

While I was studying at Arizona State University, I remember many nights starting (and oftentimes ending) with a Hungry Howie's Pizza run! Their location in Tempe is nostalgic for me for this reason, because every time I go back in there I am reminded of the years I spent making friends at ASU all while pursuing my bachelor's degree and participating in my community service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha!

During my time as an active sister of the Omega Phi Alpha sorority, we had a tradition we would hold every year where we would all participate in the walk for breast cancer awareness at Tempe Beach Park. Although I have been fortunate to not have to battle breast cancer on a personal level, I make note to try to get the word out however I can during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I try to support businesses that make donations based on sales to associations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation®. 

For every pizza purchased in October, Hungry Howie’s will make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation®. So far, they have raised over $2 million for free breast cancer screenings and breast cancer research thanks to those participating in the #LoveHopePizza campaign! 

You can get involved and help breast cancer research and breast cancer awareness just by ordering a pizza from Hungry Howie's Pizza this October. Also, you can enter to win their #LoveHopePizza pink pizza box contest and have a chance at winning free Hungry Howie's Pizza for a year

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