Saturday, April 19, 2014

Social Saturday 4/19/14

April 26th- Lush Cosmetics Grand Opening from Noon-5pm at Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines, IA

April 27thIowa Blogger Coffee Date from 10am-Noon at Smokey Row (RSVP: Katelyn at

April 27th- Martiza of Beauty For Bloggers is hosting a complimentary hair workshop that will be filmed for a fun promotional video on!  Space is limited {there are only 5 spots left!} & if you're interested, email Maritza for details at

Now Until May 2nd- Strut Your Style Pin & Win contest with & Ladies' Home Journal. Enter to win a $500 shopping spree. Enter here!

May 16th5th Annual Rock the Block Fashion Show at the Kansas City Live Block! in the Kansas City Power & Light District at 8pm. More info here!

May 18thSpring Style Swap Party in Chicago from 3:00–6:00pm. For event details and ticket information, click here. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites link up, v.7

Happy happy Friday #MidwestBloggers! We're excited to bring you another edition of our Friday Favorites Link Up. We've handpicked some awesome links from around the Midwest Bloggers network to share with you all as you kick start your weekend! Have a great link for next Friday send it to us at with the subject line "Friday Link Up" for a chance to be featured. 

Our Faves!

1) The #MidwestBloggers news just keeps getting better! Congrats to Ivy of Wake Up for Makeup for becoming a finalist in the Allure magazine's beauty blogger awards! Vote here:

2) We love the way that Monica, voice of Caravan of Style mixed her masculine leather jacket with her feminine floral midi. That combo never gets old.

3) Amanda of  A Hammer & Heels knocked it out of the park with this uber chic and ridiculously simple DIY marble tray. We will definitely be making this ASAP.

4) We love these fitness moves from Katelyn of Katelyn Now. With swimsuit season approaching, make sure you have the right gear to help you look and feel your best.

Don't forget to share your favorite post of the week below!

Interested in hosting a Friday Favorites link up with us? Email us at!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Giveaway: $500 Shopping Spree

We're super excited to give the Midwest bloggers a chance at a $500 spring shopping spree thanks to and Ladies Home Journal. We're all about personal style so this Strut Your Style Pin & Win contest is perfect. Show off your most loved spring style by pinning your favorite look and enter to win a $500 spring shopping spree! Check out the 10 stylish spring looks here but most importantly...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hometown Favorites: Chicago's Madison & Rayne

Although we love a healthy meal at home, it's hard to balance life, blogging & work when there's so much going on! Luckilly for us, the lovely ladies of 2 Girls in 2 Cities are dishing about a few of their favorite dinner kit delivery services, including Madison & Rayne in Chicago! Read their review and check out an awesome discount code if you're in the Chicago area. 

Jennie of 2 Girls in 2 Cities recently tried her first dinner kit delivery service and was really impressed with the quality of her meals and how affordable of an option it is. It's perfect for nights she doesn’t feel like cooking but still wants a healthy, filling dinner in. To spread the news of Chicago-based Madison & Rayne, Jennie is sharing what she learned about the company, as well as how you can get $25 off your first meal order.

What is Madison & Rayne?
Madison & Rayne is a Chicago-based business that combines the quality of a personal chef with the convenience and cost savings of cooking at home. The co-founders are Melanie Mityas and Chef Josh Jones, a professional chef. Madison & Rayne offers contemporary American dishes to people who may not have the time or energy to shop for ingredients. Every ingredient for the meals are prepared in Madison & Rayne’s kitchen, then delivered, ready-to cook, to customers. “Think personal shopper, personal assistant, and personal delivery all rolled into one,” says Mityas.

The meals are delivered to customers once a week. Everything is packed in airtight containers (which are recycled) and all ingredients are chopped, the sauces and stocks are already prepared, and each ingredient is labeled so that the preparation is step-by-step and fool-proof.

Is it easy to follow along?
Each meal comes with step-by-step directions and typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes from start to table. They use a minimal amount of pots, pans and utensils. In case the “chefs” do run into any questions, Madison & Rayne even provides a hotline that’s manned Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for customers with questions.

Who is Madison & Rayne for?
This is a great solution for someone who lives alone or couples who may not have the time to cook or don’t want to buy many ingredients for just one meal. It’ also a great solution for parents who would like to expose their children to cooking and a mature palette, but make the food prep simple for them. Or, parents can enjoy the meals on their own while their children enjoy simpler meals.

What are the menu options?

There are many popular, signature dishes that are always on the menu, but Madison & Rayne also adds many special items on a bi-weekly basis. All of the dishes are based on seasonality and many ingredients are locally sourced, so customers always cook with fresh ingredients that are at their peak.

Dishes can be ordered with gluten-free options and many can be ordered as vegetarian dishes. Also, customers with food allergies can request substitute ingredients.

How do I order?
Customers may order once a week before Saturday at 5 p.m. to have their dishes delivered Tuesday afternoon or evening. Go and select the meal and serving size you want. For a limited time, at checkout enter code 2GRLS25 for $25off your first order. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Behind the Brand: Maya of Charmingly Styled

Happy Monday Midwest Bloggers! We're kicking off the week with one of our co-founders, Maya over at Charmingly Styled! See how she started blogging and her advice for those who are just starting out! 

1)   When & why did you start blogging?
I started blogging about a year and a half ago when I was working a not so creative corporate job. Most of my day was spend crunching numbers and managing a team, so I wanted an outlet to work on my design skills and showcase my love of fashion. I had no idea it would turn into such a great way to meet bloggers from around the world and create an incredible community of people with similar interests! 

2)   What’s the greatest thing that’s come out of blogging? 
Connecting with other bloggers and brands has been so rewarding {and definitely worth the hours it takes to blog!}. Part of how I got my current job was through networking with other bloggers, so it's really helped propel my career. 

3)   When you’re not blogging, what can you be found doing? 
You can find me working {a lot!}, eating my way through Chicago, watching movies with my super cool boyfriend and ogling other people's puppies {I have a problem…}

4)   If you were stranded on a desert island, what would be the one thing you would take with you?
Coffee, lots and lots of coffee. Also a solar powered computer to I could write my friends emails ;)

5)   What’s the one piece of advice you would share with bloggers just starting out? 
Don't compare yourself to others! As one of my favorite quotes says, "don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle." It's hard sometimes when you're just starting out to establish yourself and your community, but just keep going! You'll find that all your hard work pays off if you stick with it. 

6)   What’s your “can’t live without” piece in your closet, kitchen,  home etc? 
I lovea good Kate Spade purse, and I've acquired quite the collection from their 75% off sales {score!}

7)   On a Friday night, what can you be found doing? 
Hanging with my sweet man-friend, drinking a bottle of wine & blogging! 

8)   How do you balance blogging with a work/social life? 
Isn't that the million dollar question! Between blogging for my own blog, Midwest Bloggers & work full time, it's definitely a challenge. I tend to take a whole day out of the weekend to get ahead on blogging, otherwise there's I don't have enough time with everything else during the week. 

9) What’s your dream job if you haven’t landed it yet? 
I currently work in social media, and I would love one day to do social for a fashion or lifestyle brand! Otherwise, it would be amazing to start my own management and consulting company as well. We'll see where my career takes me, but I'm crossing my fingers :)

11) Guilty pleasures?
Pretty Little Liars. Popcorn. Lattes. Lots of chocolate :)

12)  What’s your favorite “little thing” in life? 
Snail mail {even though I'm terrible at sending it!}, coming home to clean house after a long day {as rarely as it happens} and catching up with friends over drinks! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Favorites link up, v.6—Go Blog Social Recaps

In honor of Go Blog Social last weekend, we're linking up with any posts recapping the event. We'd love to share as many as possible.

Here are a few of the things we loved from GBS 2014:

1. It was the first time the 4 co-founders have ever been together. Crazy huh?! We do everything via Google Hangouts. R to L: Maya, Lauren, Sam and Katelyn. After getting so inspired at GBS we're committed to busting our butts to bring the Midwest as much blogging success as possible.

2. How yummy we're the Colors Macarons. We could of ate the entire macaron tower. Thank goodness they ship.

3. The Berg Event Space was beyond perfect for this event. All of the natural light, exposed brick and rustic features made for the perfect conference setting. And how cool was the Photo Bus?

4. We loved all of our speakers. They were so inspiring, transparent and motivating. Here are the Friday #GBS2014 speakers (minus Jessica of How Sweet It Is)? L to R: ShareASaleKit of TheKittchen, Nicole of Cedar & Rush, Kelly of Kansas City MamasAmanda of Amanda Marie Portraits and Jessie Style & Pepper

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Behind the Brand: Chelsea Photographie + HUGE Photography Discount

We're super excited to have Chelsea of Chelsea Photographie on the blog today. We all know how important photography is to create a successful blog so we're thrilled that she's sharing a few tips. But the best surprise is the photography discount she's offering exclusively to Midwest Bloggers. This is HUGE people!

Location: Ames, Iowa

Occupation: Animal Science Student at ISU / part-time Photographer

Hobbies: Aside from photography—taking care of animals, going to concerts, shopping, and spending time with my boyfriend and friends!

I couldn’t live without my….?  Cats

When & why did you start doing photography? 
I have always been that person with a camera on them at all times, taking pictures of everyone and everything. Roughly two years ago is when I started taking photos, first fashion-inspired, and then gradually for friends and interested clients professionally.

What’s your favorite thing about photography? 
People are always telling me to put my camera down and enjoy the moment, but I find that the best part of photography is years later being able to have the ability to physically see a memory that I enjoyed so much.

When you’re not snapping pictures, what can you be found doing? 
Probably being around animals. My life revolves around them in every aspect.

What kind of Camera do you use? Lens? 
Canon T3I Rebel - 50mm f/1.8, or Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

What’s the best piece of photography advice you can offer a blogger? 
Embrace YOUR personal style. It's your vision for a reason and comparing yourself to other people will do no good. Pick up the camera and take pictures of anything and everything. Always be your own competition.

How do you edit your photos? Any tips you can share? 
Each photo is different, but generally I like to stick to what is true to the photo (no crazy color converting or wild effects). My best advice is to practice editing on pictures you find online. Sometimes "playing" with other images can give you a different perspective.

What is the biggest mistake people make in photography? How can they fix this? 
Don't expect perfection immediately. Photography is an art that constantly improves and changes as you grow and learn. Be patient and again, don't compare your work to the work of others.

Do you have a website?

What’s the best way to contact you? 
Via the contact form on my website!

We hear you’re offering one heck of a Midwest Blogger’s photography deal…. Yes! I am offering a very special price of $30 dollars for every blogger session. This includes one hour of shoot time (Usually amounts up to 5 outfit changes) and edited digital copies of the photos.