Monday, July 21, 2014

#SheetsAndGiggles by Angel Soft® so you aren't #SheetOutOfLuck

This post is sponsored by Angel Soft®

So #SheetHappens... I'm talking about those uncomfortable moments in the bathroom when you realize that you are out of toilet paper. If you are lucky, those moments happen at home when you have someone who will hear your cry for help. My last #SheetHappens moment was at my son's soccer game. I needed to use the restroom so bad and I never thought about checking the port-a-pottie for toilet paper. My sigh of relief quickly turned into an #OhSheet moment when I realized there was no toilet paper; I was #SheetOutOfLuck. Everyone has had an #OhSheet moment--if not several. And those moments don't respect age, gender, or tightly organized schedules. Even my four year old son has shared an #OhSheet experience.

We were coming home from a trip to Chicago and due to traffic our 7 hour road trip took close to 9.5 hours. Everyone in the car needed a break and we stopped by a restaurant with an indoor playground for lunch. My 4.5 year old son Gabe needed to use the restroom. An older lady I estimated to be in her 70's followed us into the restroom and we held the door for her. There were only two restrooms in the bathroom and she entered the stall next to us. It is hard to politely describe the noises that came from her stall. She was having some obvious intestinal discomfort, and let out a very noisy fart followed by a rather loud sigh of relief. #SheetHappens and I wouldn't have thought twice about it, but I have a very kind and outgoing son. Gabe yells out across the stall, "Do you feel better?" I know she heard him, and I tried my best to keep from laughing and prevent him from realizing that she had ignored him. Gabe was just being polite and I was completely mortified. We waited patiently until she left the bathroom because I couldn't bear to face her or chance that Gabe would look her in the eye to ask if she was okay. I was thankful that it wasn't a true #SheetHappens moment; could you imagine how embarrassing it would have been if either of us didn't have toilet paper in our stall? 

I have partnered with Angel Soft® on their #SheetOutOfLuck video campaign to discuss those embarrassing #SheetHappens moments and how Angel Soft® can help you prevent them. 

Check out more #SheetOutOfLuck videos here

Angel Soft® wants to prevent one lucky Blog of a Bluegrass Belle reader from having a #SheetHappens moment for an entire year; you would be hard pressed to find yourself #SheetOutOfLuck if you won a year's supply of Angel Soft® toilet paper! I will be hosting a giveaway sponsored by Angel Soft® for a year's supply of Angel Soft® in the weeks ahead. 

Did you enjoy these #SheetsAndGiggles moments? Do you have a #SheetHappens or #SheetOutOfLuck moment? You can share those moments with Angel Soft® on Twitter or Facebook, and follow the conversation using the official hashtags #SheetHappens and #SheetOutOfLuck. 
Are you going to #BlogHer14 in San Jose, California? Angel Soft® is an official sponsor and they have a booth (#201). You can stop by to participate in some fun booth activities and meet their team.

Disclaimer: I received financial compensation for this post from Angel Soft® however all opinions contained herein are entirely my own.






Sunday, July 13, 2014

"I and love and you" total pet care because I love you Bob.


This is a sponsored post for “I and love and you” Total Pet Care.


Meet Bob... also known as Escobar el Mafioso. He is my 1.5 year old French Bulldog, and he is as naughty as he is cute. I have a special bond with Bob; we have shared adventures and he has comforted me in times of sorrow. Bob was born in Bogota, Colombia. At the time, my son and I were regularly visiting my now ex-husband, and we really wanted a smaller dog that was easier to take along when we travel. We had been searching for months to find a frenchie puppy, and we hadn't had much luck. When we visited the breeder, Bob was the most rambunctious of the two remaining puppies. He was also the largest. Bob came home with us that same day.

We did all the necessary paperwork and Bob made the trip back to the United States with me. I traveled with a 25lb puppy in a carrier and a 3 year on my hip from Bogota, Colombia, back to Lexington, Kentucky. It was a struggle to housebreak a puppy and care for a toddler, but we managed to make it.



When my ex-husband and I filed for divorce, Bob became my comforter. My son eventually had to start overnight visits at his Dad's and I was thankful that I had Bob to keep me company. If I needed someone to cheer me up, I had my goofy, bat-eared puppy.



Bob is a part of our family and we are very conscious about what we feed him. I want him to be as healthy and happy as possible, and that includes feeding him a high quality dog food.

I and love and you pet food is a high quality pet food line that is available at your local grocery store. It can be found at most Kroger and Whole Foods stores, so you can shop for your entire family in one store.

We are excited to give this new pet food line a try. It is made with real meat, contains prebiotics and probiotics, and it is grain-free. Bob will be transitioning to the red meat medley recipe. 

Bob has had a seamless transition over, he loves his new food and treats. I and love and you has a handy guide to help you make the transition from your old food to the new one. 




Interested in trying I and love and you pet food? There is a $3 off coupon available; just visit this link

To learn more about about I and love and you please visit their website and social media channels.

Full review and a giveaway for a gift basket of $100 worth of I and love and you pet care products in the weeks ahead.

i and love and you dog food

Disclaimer: I received product and monetary compensation for this post however all opinions 
contained herein are my own. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Blackberry Cream Cheese Hand Pie: Foodie Friday

Blackberry hand pie
I love blackberries; despite what anyone else has to say about the seeds, it is my favorite fruit. We have more wild blackberries on the farm than I have time or patience to pick. The season has just begun and we have already picked a few gallons. I made a double batch of blackberry freezer jam (recipe coming soon), a cobbler, blackberry tea, and these delicious blackberry cream cheese hand pies. I am still digging into blackberry recipes and I hope to have a blackberry cupcake recipe developed soon.

This recipe is so easy and there is no dough to make. The hardest part is waiting on them to cool long enough to eat. You should have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. I highly recommend fresh blackberries with this recipe, but you could get away with frozen.


Ingredients:

Crust
  • 1 can of jumbo biscuits (8 in a can)
  • flour for rolling 
  • 1 egg for washing and sealing
  • sugar for sprinkling 
Blackberry Filling
  • 2 cups of washed whole blackberries (do not crush)
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla 


Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Mix whole blackberries and granulated sugar, try to lightly coat each berry, let stand for 10 minutes. 
  • Allow the cream cheese to soften before using. In a separate bowl mix cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and vanilla. Don't stress if your mixture is a little lumpy, it will eventually melt. 
  • Beat an egg in a separate bowl to seal pies and "wash" the tops. 
  • On a floured surface roll out an individual biscuit. It should make a 5 inch circle (roughly).
  • Place a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture in the center of the biscuit and lightly spread around one side. Don't get too close to the edge.
  • Layer berries on one side covering the cream cheese mixture. 
  • Using a brush, lightly dust the rim of the circle with the beaten egg.
  • Fold 1/2 of the dough over to cover the berries and cream cheese, try to keep the edges aligned.
  • Crimp with a fork to seal.
  • Cut an X in the top of the dough to make an air vent.
  • "Wash" the top of the pie with egg mixture.
  • Sprinkle liberally with sugar.
  • Place on a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown
Tips
  • Only build one pie at a time, the dough won't stay rolled out for very long.
  • Try to be gentle with the berries, they are a mess when crushed.
  • This recipe is obviously baked, but you could fry them in shortening.






What is your favorite way to eat a blackberry? My favorite is probably straight from the vine; I refer to it as quality control.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Making a House a Home: Wayfair Daily Sales

This post is sponsored by Wayfair and is part of the daily sales email campaign.




I have transitioned from having a 2200 square foot house, to an 800 square foot apartment, back to a 4500+ square foot house. As our move-in date approaches, I panic thinking about the costs associated with furnishing such a large home.
I enjoy having a beautiful and stylish home, but I don't want to go broke spending lots of money on home decor. It is no secret that I am a bargain shopper. I don't like cheap furniture either and it can be hard to find a good deal on high quality pieces. I discovered Wayfair: the online store where you can find almost anything for your home. The advantage to shopping Wayfair is that you can often read reviews about products that you are ordering, and they offer daily sales where you can score some fantastic deals. 

wayfair

The sales are on items routinely found on Wayfair.com; they launch every day at 12 EST, and last for 72 hours, but quantities are limited. The categories are curated into groups such as dining and furniture, cottage-chic wall decor, entryway updates, etc. The items are discounted from their regular list price.


In one of my daily sales emails I noticed they were advertising accent chairs under $200. What kind of accent chair could you get for under $200? I fell in love with this Deco Slipper Chair in Charcoal which was only $82.99 with free shipping; I was astonished. The reviews on the chair were great. I decided that it was a deal too great to pass up, and I was impressed when the chair arrived. It was gorgeous.





A random photo I captured in our session. 
I have the perfect place for the chair when we move in: it will go in the office. But accent chairs in a photographer's home often serve a dual purpose: I have been known to relocate chairs to use in photo shoots. I decided to give my new chair a quick test run with my future niece, KK. The picture on the right is an outtake from our little mini photo session. As you can see, KK was impressed.





I also ordered a pair of outdoor throw pillows for a wooden porch swing. They were equally beautiful, and a great value at $22.99 for both.




You can sign up for the Wayfair daily sales emails in the link below. I receive no commission from email sign-up. I encourage anyone who might be interested in getting good deals on items for your home to do so. They have offered daily deals on great brands like Le Creuset, KitchenAid, and Safavieh.

When we get moved into the house, I will post updated photos of my slipper chair and pillows along with a few other Wayfair items. 



Wayfair
Sign up for Wayfair Daily Sales Emails

I am a Wayfair Homemaker and I received a gift card as compensation for this post, however all opinions contained herein are my own.




Friday, July 4, 2014

Writing with Sparklers: Photography Friday

sparkler photography                                                                                             Did you ever see cool photos of "sparkler writing" and want to try to recreate it? It isn't as hard as you might think. Actually, it is pretty easy with any DSLR camera. I have a few tricks and tips to try while photographing someone writing with a sparkler. It is a fun activity to document your family holiday or even a wedding. I did individual letters so I could print and frame them, but you can try whole words. I made the image below using four letters and a storyboard. I let Jeremy do the writing in these photos so that I could photograph them, but tonight I hope to do some writing of my own while Jeremy manages the camera. 

Here is what you need:
  • DSLR camera
  • Tripod or some level surface to sit your camera on
  • Safety sparklers (the ones that don't burn all the way to the end) 
  • A person who is handy at writing backwards or some type of photo editing software.

Camera settings:
  • I shot on Bulb mode (labeled B on my camera dial) with my Canon EOS 7D 
Writing with the sparkler:
  • You will write a mirror image of whatever you want to read. It isn't that difficult, and just takes a few practice attempts. If you have Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or other photo editing software you can go in and "flip" the image so that you don't write backwards. 
  • Frame up the shot and give whoever is writing dimensions. I told Jeremy to keep the writing directly in front of him. It will make your letters look uniform when you upload them. 
Taking the shot:
  • Tell whoever is writing to let you know when they are going to start and finish each letter. 
  • As they begin writing press and hold the shutter button. You will keep it depressed until they finish each letter. The camera will only capture what they wrote while the shutter button was held down.
  • Show the person writing the images that you took between sparklers, it will give them an idea of how to adjust their writing. We averaged 3 or 4 letters per sparkler. 





Happy July 4th, and have a safe and fun time writing with sparklers!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dr. Thomas Walker State Park: Wordless Wednesday

A story can be told in pictures as well as words. Here are a few photos from a family afternoon at 
Dr. Thomas Walker State Park just outside of Barbourville, Kentucky.