Tamrac Aria Camera Bag Review & Giveaway

As a wife to a photographer, I never underestimate the importance of a good camera bag. Not only do you want something that looks nice for when you are with clients, but you also want it to be sturdy and comfortable. After all, camera equipment is expensive and can be really heavy (if you carry as much as Brett does). For me, I just have a small camera, and then when we are on vacation, I will also carry the video camera, GoPro, and any of my personal items. Although I constantly change my mind about what kind of bag to bring into the parks at WDW, the past few times, I wished I had a bag that could safely carry my camera and everything else I listed above, was easy to open (for the security checks and any time I need something), without being too big…and of course, it had to be pretty!

The Aria 3 Camera Bag from Tamrac seems like the perfect fit!


All the Aria camera bags come in several colors, and since we already have a bunch of black camera bags in this house (and this one was for ME), I chose to get this one in Berry!

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Like many high-end camera bags, the Aria Series is made from a rich, smooth, water-resistant nylon fabric that feels like silk.  The fabric is smooth and silky while still being incredibly durable.

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The main outside flap can be easily opened/closed by a metal clasp.

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The main compartment has a zip closure. Inside, there are three spots separated by 2 pads, so everything has it’s own space and isn’t bumping against anything else. I also like how the inside of the bag is silver…I think that helps with being able to find items better, as opposed to a black interior.

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There are additional compartments on the outside of the bag. The front space has a zipper closer…

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…and the space in the back is open with no zipper, so you can keep “quick-access” items in there. The strap can be really long if needed, and also has a thick shoulder pad.

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The Aria 3 is a stylish handbag-style camera bag that holds a compact DSLR with a small lens attached, an extra lens and a flash or a mirrorless camera with a lens attached, an extra lens, and a flash.  It strikes the perfect balance between elegance and functionality and provides discreet protection camera gear without advertising what’s inside.

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Overall, I think this is a nice camera bag for someone that doesn’t want to carry around too much, but wants everything protected and organized.

Tamrac Camera Bag

Plus, the Berry Color provides a girly touch. If Berry isn’t your thing…then you can try black, green, brown, etc.

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Tamrac also offers smaller and larger bags and backpacks, in various designs, which you can check out on their website: http://www.tamrac.com



Tamrac Giveaway

Prize: A Tamrac Aria 3 Camera Bag in the color of your choice!

Eligibility: Worldwide

Ends: December 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST

How to enter: Use the Rafflecopter form below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Influenster ModaVoxBox

It’s time to share another Influenster VoxBox! I love seeing these pretty pink boxes in my mailbox.

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This one is the #ModaVoxBox, filled with beauty items – my fave!

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What should we try first?

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All the contents of the box…

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In no particular order…

Rimmel ScandalEyes Rockin’ Curves Mascara.

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This mascara is very black, which I love. It has a curved brush, which they are calling a “broken heart brush.” I don’t like the curve of the brush, because I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to properly use it, so I just use each part separately on my inner and outer lashes. It didn’t clump and stays on pretty well. I’ll continue to use it until it is empty, but I’m not sold on the brush.

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Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion.

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This is my new purse lotion. It was nice and creamy and had a light scent. I have been giving my hands and nails extra TLC thanks to Jamberry, and this lotion is meant for hands and nails, so it is perfect to keep my cuticles moisturized and my hands feeling soft.

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Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Berry Rose

This color is a little too much for every day wear (for me, at least), but it is very pretty and there are 25 other colors to choose from! It went on smooth and I didn’t need to put lip balm on first. It lasted quite a while and my lips felt soft.

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Rimmel Moisture Renew Universal Transparent Lipliner

I didn’t know anything like this was out there! This lipliner is great because sometimes when I put on tinted balm or lip stick, I feel like it looks “messy” and needs some definition on the outside, but I don’t want to get a lipliner for every color I wear. This defines your lips and keeps the color from bleeding and can go with any color you’re wearing.

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Clairol Hair Food

This hair mask nourishes and soothes dry hair with hydrating ingredients. It’s paraben and mineral oil free and infused with honey and apricot fragrances…the fragrance makes me think of the beach or suntan lotion, which is definitely a good thing! I need to be better about giving my hair extra treatment, so I’m looking forward to using this more often, especially as my hair gets longer.

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Puffs Soft Pack.

I think Influenster knew my entire family was about to have colds, so they sent this to help us. Trent used to hate when we wiped his nose, but now when it starts running, he picks up the tissue pack and brings it to us while saying “tissue, tissue.” This soft pack is more transportable, since there is no cardboard box…I guess that means it’s more environmentally-friend too, huh?

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Swiss Miss Simply Cocoa Hot Chocolate.

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Resource Natural Spring Water with Electrolytes

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There you have it – the Moda Voxbox from Influenster!


If you are interested in joining Influenster for free so you can possibly get VoxBoxes like this in the future, contact me and I’ll send you an invite!


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.


MiniToes Baby Shoes

While Trent was learning to walk (and shortly before and after), he lived in soft-soled shoes. There was no need for real shoes and having the soft sole is supposed to help babies learn by letting them be able to move their feet and toes around and “grip” the floor. Unfortunately, we wished we had found them sooner, as Trent ALSO went barefoot for everything the first few months of his life and soft soled shoes would have been nice for him to have.

Luckily, Aubrey already has a pair of her own that will match any outfit!

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We received this pair of adorable soft-soled leather baby shoes from MiniToes! MiniToes is an Etsy shop that offers handmade soft-soled letter baby shoes, as well as other baby accessories.

These would make such a cute gift for a momma of littles or for the littles themselves…they arrives in this cute little drawstring bag.

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This simple yet fashionable shoe is Hand Made from 100% All Natural Leather. The inside of the leather is so soft and comfortable to babies’ skin and will not irritate their delicate skin. Leather is naturally breathable for your babies’ extra comfort. Easy slip-on/off shoes that STAY ON. On the sole is Soft Suede that acts as a all natural anti-slip which is very durable and flexible. Minitoes footwear mimics bare feet by flexing and bending with every step, supporting healthy growing feet.

Made out of all natural cow leather, it’s so light-weight and soft that your little baby can wear them all day and soon the shoes will wear into the perfect fit for your baby. The suede on the bottom provides the right amount of non-slip to help your baby move easily, but without slipping.

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They offer over 200 designs, for both boys and girls, and from size 0-6months all the way up to 4T! They will even take custom requests.


I had a hard time narrowing down which design to choose. I finally decided on a white & silver pair that will match any outfit…so cute and versatile! I can see her wearing these a lot! They are extremely flexible and allow her feet to wiggle around. They can store flat and weigh next to nothing, so they are perfect to put in the diaper bag for travel too. The ankle elastic makes it super easy for the shoes to slip on/off…which is awesome, since she never stops moving her feet!

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Due to sizing and how they are made, these shoes can grow with your child for several months, making them great investment that will definitely get plenty of use.

They are based in Canada, but offer fast shipping to the US as well, including extra Holiday shipping options too.

To check out all of their designs, visit the MiniToes Shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/minitoes


I received this product in order to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own and honest. Thanks for reading!


Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas from Hormel

Who’s excited for all the yumminess coming our way in just a few days? I’m pretty lucky because Brett does the cooking for the Thanksgiving dishes we bring, but if you are still looking for some recipe ideas, Hormel has a special page just for you!

Hormel Thanksgiving

One of my favorite dishes that Brett makes is sweet potatoes. They are so good with all that streusel and marshmallows on top! Here is a quick sweet potato recipe from Hormel to try!

Hormel Sweet Potatoes

Fully Loaded Sweet Potatoes and Turkey

Serve this easy side dish for your next get together.

Gluten Free: Yes
Serving Size: 4
Total Time: Under 15 minutes
Preparation Time: Under 15 minutes


  • 1 (21-ounce) package HORMEL® COUNTRY CROCK® Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup glazed pecans
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (15-ounce) package HORMEL® Turkey Breast with gravy entree
  • Cooked green beans, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 9-inch pie plate.
  2. In medium bowl, combine sweet potatoes, butter and pecans; mix well. Spread into pie plate. Bake 20 minutes or until hot. Top with marshmallows. Bake 7 to 10 minutes longer or until marshmallows are golden.
  3. Heat turkey according to package directions. Serve turkey and gravy with sweet potatoes and green beans.



Check out these Holiday Entertaining tips from Hormel:

Holiday Entertaining 101: How often have you reminded yourself or others that time with family and friends is the most important part of the holiday season? As wonderful as this sentiment is, it’s easy for it to go right out the window when you’re stressed about an unexpected house guest or a last-minute pot luck. Luckily, these simple tips from the Hormel Foods test kitchen will help keep the stress at bay, leaving you time to focus on what really what matters this fall.

  • Time it Right: Whether this is your first year entertaining or you’re known as a pro, everyone could use an extra few minutes around the holidays. One way to cut corners in the kitchen, while still delivering a rave-worthy meal, is to rely on products that eliminate your prep time. For example, Hormel® Side Dishes and Hormel® refrigerated entrees take just minutes in the microwave to heat, allowing you to enjoy your favorite meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Easy Apps: No need to stuff, skewer, bake or broil elaborate or hard-to-make appetizers. Save time and energy by purchasing stand-alone finger foods like roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and Greek olives. Pair with an assortment of cheeses, crackers and meats from a HORMEL GATHERINGS™ Party Tray, and decorate with cranberries or ivy for an attractive presentation.
  • Send-a-Side Dish: Host a pot-luck dinner and ask each guest to bring a side dish or dessert.
  • Make-Ahead Menu. If you are planning a sit-down dinner, create a menu that can be prepared in advance. Lasagnas, casseroles, stuffing and many desserts can be cooked or baked ahead of time and frozen. The day before, chop, slice and dice any additional ingredients you’ll need the day of the gathering. A few hours before the party, you’ll be able to simply warm, assemble and serve.


Get Social with Hormel


This post was written by me as part of my involvement in the Hormel Family Blogger Program. Thanks for reading!


My New Obsession: Erin Condren Life Planner

FYI – I wasn’t paid or perked to share this with you guys. I paid for this planner myself – including the expedited shipping to get it here faster haha! I just wanted to share it because I l-o-v-e it <3

I must confess that I feel a little out of whack lately…actually, a lot out of whack…and not just lately, for like the past few years. With all the stuff I’ve put on my plate (yes, it’s my own fault, but I wouldn’t have it any other way), I feel like I need to get better about keeping track of all of it and being more strategic with my time. Having two kids makes it almost impossible to create a schedule, but I’m going to try my best. There’s aspects of my life that need to get done, and apparently won’t get done unless I start making time for them (cough, workout, cough).

My entire life, I’ve always made daily to-do lists and every year, I would have a planner/calendar that I would carry with me everywhere I went. In fact, I would get so excited about my planners that I would often buy one for next year and start using it before the current year was finished! No matter how hard I’ve tried to transition to an electronic method, I just prefer my planner to be in the good ol’ fashioned paper format. But the good thing about that is that I now have my own version of a diary for every year that I have a planner. I didn’t always remember to keep them, but the ones I did keep bring me enjoyment and entertainment when I look through them every now and then. I was terrible about keeping any sort of baby book for Trent and Aubrey, but I can look back on my calendars and see the milestones I had written down.

Ok, so enough with all the nostalgia and back to one of my favorite things right now…after all, it is Friday Favorites day around the blogosphere. I found out about the Erin Condren Life Planner from seeing a photo on Instagram. At first, I thought the price was steep, but when I saw how it was made and everything that came with it, I just had to have it! I found a $10 off code to use to make it even better (you can use this link to get $10 off your order too!)

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The box it came in was so fun!

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It was wrapped so nicely!

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I couldn’t wait to dig in!

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Inside was my Life Planner, a set of elastic bands (to keep the planner closed and hold a writing utensil – I ordered these), and extra goodies…

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…actually, a whole bunch of free goodies! There were motivational stickers, name stickers, note cards, and gift tags. Everything is so colorful!

Erin Condren Goodies

Every single page of the life planner is so fun, happy and colorful. The covers are interchangeable and are very sturdy – to take a beating with all the carrying around you’ll be doing with it.

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Life motto.

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Included is a 2-page spread of the year at a glance.

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Each month has a month view, each with a different color theme, a motivational quote at the top, and an area on the side for notes.

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There is also a weekly view – also with various color themes and plenty of room to write anything and everything…or cover in stickers and washi tape!

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I love how the monthly tabs stick out on the side, making it super easy to go right to the month you want.

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In the back, there are a bunch of blank sheets for notes and extra organizational things to appease your OCD :)

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Some of the note pages are ruled, some aren’t, but they all have a little design on them.

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There are also several sheets of stickers to mark important events or reminders…

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…and then a bunch of blank stickers to create any type of reminder or event.

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One of the selling points for me was this removable mini-book to keep birthdays and contacts listed that can be moved to each new year so I don’t have to keep writing it over and over again each year. There’s a little flapped page to keep this mini-book and other loose papers.

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There is also a zippered pouch in the back that you can keep other loose items, like pens, cards, or clips.

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I have seen some super-dedicated people with amazing layouts using wash tape and stickers. Just search #erincondren on Instagram to see what I mean. I don’t think I’ll ever have the time to create anything like that, but I hope to create some fun pages to track weight-loss and blog stuff. I haven’t been able to spend the time I want to get this ready the way I want, but I’ve started keeping track of appointments, blog posts due, and other daily to-dos in it and I already feel a little more organized. Just a little. Now, if I could just find a good pouch to store it with pens and stuff (I keep seeing Instagram photos of a good, inexpensive one at Walmart, but visits to 2 local Walmarts have come up empty). I also added a Cricut Explore to my wish list so I can create stickers and other fun stuff for it – in the meantime, Etsy has plenty to offer too!

If you want to see all the life planner designs & all the other fun products offered, check out erincondren.com!

Don’t forget to save $10 off your order!