Diana Rambles

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pin Me Linky Party 138

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you! What are you plans for the weekend? Normally we go camping, but we didn't make plans this year because my son has a summer job. We will just hang around the house and get some work done, then camp next weekend.
CDIY Patriotic Party Lights from Anything & Everything - Very festive!!
Elaine’s Taco Salad Recipe from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess - Very yummy!!
Easiest Ever Lasagna Roll Up Recipe from Crystal & Co. - Looks fantastic!!
Beaded Wrap Bracelet Tutorial from The DIY Dreamer - Must do this with my daughter!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How I'm Achieving my Blogging Goals in 2015

I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; 
however, all opinions are mine. #SoFabUOTR #cbias
Back in December one of my blogging buddies was telling me about a media company called Social Fabric that she was starting to work with. I had seen Social Fabric badges on several blogs, but I had no idea what it was about. I asked my friend and a few others about SoFab and they all had great things to say. I applied to work with this company, was accepted, and started making some blogging goals. My goals included improve my photography, establish a regular posting schedule, post more engaging content, increase my page views, and to attend a blog conference.
My photography improved with the purchase of a DSLR camera and taking some online photography courses at Social Fabric University. Those courses taught me a lot about lighting and staging food photos. I still think I have lots of room for growth, but I am very happy with my progress.
I've established and kept up with a regular schedule, posting 4 times a week. I over the next several months I hope to work on planning posts out into the future. Right now I basically write up my posts a day or 2 in advance. That regular schedule has helped spark my creativity, which in turn creates more engaging posts. This is evident in the feedback I get and the increase in page views. My sponsored posts with Social Fabric consistently get the most views. This is great because I am having fun as I blog and I'm earning money.

I am very excited to be attending my first conference in July. It's SoFabU on the Road - Chicago on July 11th. I've been reading about the SoFab conferences that have taken place so far and I am looking forward to experiencing it myself. The SoFab conferences are a smaller, so you really get the opportunity to connect with other bloggers and the brand sponsors. The national brand sponsors for SoFabU on the Road are Müller, Kraft and iBlog. There will be sessions on video, sponsored posts, networking, and other learning opportunities. I never thought I was influential enough as a blogger to attend a conference or to work with brands on sponsored content, but I am.
The SoFab On the Road Conferences are not just for bloggers who already work with SoFab. All bloggers and influencers are welcome to attend! SoFabU on the Road is a unique event that allows influencers to take advantage of educational opportunities that will help set them a part from the rest. SoFabU on the Road features hands-on, interactive sessions for influencers to implement what they're learning on the spot. The sessions are paired with fun city-specific adventures where attendees get to practice their newly learned skills. You can get early bird pricing on Chicago through June 12th. Other locations/dates for SoFab On The Road are Dallas - May 30th, New York City - June 20th, Minneapolis - August 29th, Atlanta - September 19th, and Bentonville - October 17th.

It's been 5 months, and I've learned so much about blogging by working with Social Fabric. My blogging has improved so much. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge at the conference in July. I am sure I'll be adding to and adjusting my blogging goals for the rest of the year afterward.
Social Fabric® is Collective Bias’ proprietary community of nearly 3,000 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multichannel reach in excess of 130 million. For more information, please visit Collectivebias.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oven Toasted Spinach Ravioli

A few years ago when we were on a girls weekend in St. Louis, my daughter discovered a love of Toasted Ravioli. She's been begging to go to St. Lou and get some, but I'm not willing to drive that far for some food. I decided to make some instead.
Oven Toasted Spinach Ravioli
Oven Toasted Ravioli

fresh ravioli (we picked spinach)
2 eggs
2 Tbs milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
olive oil spray
Mix the egg and milk in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs, seasoning , and cheese in another. Dip a ravioli in the egg mixture and then coat each side in the crumb mixture.
Place on cookie sheet. When all are coated, spray with olive oil spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce.
My daughter not only had fun helping make this, she loved the taste. Both kids begged me to make the other half of the container right away. It pleases me that they will eat spinach cooked into things.
Do you have a restaurant favorite that you make at home?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pizza Bento Playdate

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with
Pollinate Media Group® and TONY’S® Pizza, but all my opinions are my own.
#pmedia #BigPizzeriaTaste http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

My daughter has a good friend who transferred to a different school. She misses seeing her all the time, so we have to arrange playdates for them. The family doesn't live that far from us, but we are all so busy that we don't get together as much as we'd like. We just had a playdate over the weekend and my daughter asked for pizza bento lunches. I asked her if she wanted any special theme or shape, and she asked for stars.
Pizza Stars Bento - #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad
We started by picking up the food for the lunches at Walmart. We were trying to decide which brand of pizza to get and I noticed that TONY’S® Pizza is now 30% larger. My kids love their authentic pizzeria taste, so I grabbed a Pepperoni for the girls and a Meat-Trio for my son's lunch. I also picked up some fruit, ranch dressing, and pizza sauce.
Pizza Stars Bento Supplies - #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad
While the pizza was cooking the girls put the fruit together. I sliced the strawberries and they used a mini food cutter to make little stars. They also put blueberries on food picks with stars on the end.
strawberry blueberry stars #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad
We used metal cookie cutters to cut out stars out of the pizza. The girls really had fun with this. We assembled the bentos by putting the pizza stars in the big compartment, the fruit in another, and dip in the last one.
Pizza cut Stars - #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad
My daughter picked ranch dressing and her friend picked pizza sauce. The girls nibbled on the extra pizza that we cut the shapes from, but both agreed that it tasted much better as stars.
My son enjoyed his pizza. Usually he is able to eat an entire pizza in one sitting, but with Tony's new larger size he had leftovers.
Pizza Stars Bento - #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad
I've been making bento lunches for several years now and I always get comments about how cute they are and how much time I must put into making them. I am into quick and easy! You can see how simple this was to put together. Make your kid's lunches fun with cookie cutters and some food picks! Find more tips for making food fun with my bento basics post.
Pizza Stars Bento - #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad
Right now you can save $.75 off of any TWO (2) Tony’s Pizza (14.14 oz. or larger). This Walmart digital coupon is available until 6/30/15 (while supplies last). You can learn more about Tony’s on their website or on their Facebook page!