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Hey, this is kinda pretty. And it's even in my kitchen! It also came from the Schwan's freezer truck. I know what time it is.

As a female blogger, I feel the pressure quite often to take gorgeous photographs of food that I’ve made myself. Here’s the deal: I cannot make pretty food.

I actually find myself unfollowing foodie Pinterest boards because they make my feed look like the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There are many reasons you won’t see pretty food photos here:

I have an extremely tiny kitchen. I live in a condominium with a very small kitchen space. It’s about the width of a hallway and the length of four upright refrigerators. Counter space is rarely available. There’s no room for prepping, or getting bags of chips or toaster cords out of the way to take any photos.

A hot dog, sitting on Fiestaware. On the stove, because the stove is the only counter space.  I guess the hot dog doesn't look bad, but can you really screw up a hot dog?

A hot dog, sitting on Fiestaware. On the stove, because the stove is the only counter space. I guess the hot dog doesn’t look bad, but can you really screw up a hot dog?

There’s very little natural light in my home. Yes, I know photos are taken best in natural light; unfortunately there are no windows in the kitchen. We have a backyard that I’ve used to take jewelry photos, but I really am not interested in getting a bunch of ingredients out in the same place where my dog frolicks and gets stinky. Drink recipes? Maybe! Oh, and you can forget about me getting a lamp or other extra lighting. Where’s it going to go?

I simply cannot make food attractive. Believe me, I’ve tried. And every time I have failed miserably. When I frost cupcakes, they look the same as they did when I was four.

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My cupcakes. I know you wouldn’t buy these at a bakery! (Know what, though? They sure were tasty.)

My parents did not make food attractive. Dad did most of the cooking, and it was for function. He made great stuff – wow, his Moo Goo Gai Pan was amazing! But there was really no need to make food attractive. If we entertained, we got cheese and fruit platters from the store. Meanwhile, when mom made a cake, she baked it in her trusty cake pan that she probably got when she was married. It would come out frosted like a four-year-old, and usually with those candy letters on it. You think my mom actually wrote on cakes? No way.

Hey, this is kinda pretty. And it's even in my kitchen! It also came from the Schwan's freezer truck. I know what time it is.

Hey, these chicken enchiladas are kinda pretty. And it’s even in my kitchen! It also came from the Schwan’s freezer truck. I know what time it is.

I am a caregiver who doesn’t have time to learn to make pretty food. The deal with being an unpaid caregiver is that you have to make an income somehow, so while juggling your patient’s health along with two or three jobs, there isn’t time to learn frosting or piping or how to properly use Pampered Chef products. Also, my mother is really tired from dialysis and all she wants is something that is ready-made for her. We are very thankful for the frozen food aisles at the grocery stores.

Hey, here are some pretty cupcakes. Made by someone else. From Eleven, the restaurant at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Hey, here are some pretty cupcakes. Made by someone else. From Eleven, the restaurant at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

If you are able to create those beautiful photographs of food, use your photo editing software to make them look good enough for Southern Living, understand that you have my utmost admiration. But that’s not me.

You’ll see my life. You’ll see photos. Many of my dog. But if you see pretty food, you can guarantee it was made by someone else. Here’s to the food and recipe bloggers who are amazing at what they do.

Right now my main concern is trying to figure out how to take photos of my black dog. That is a task in and of itself!

Is my dog black and white, or is he gold and blue?

Is my dog black and white, or is he gold and blue?

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YAY, it’s time for yet another giveaway! This $25 Gift Card to Old Navy has been with me for way too long, so it’s time to declutter and pass it along to one lucky reader! I’ve joined up with 18 other bloggers in the Lucky March Hop, organized by LeahSay’s Views and Planet Weidnecht.

You can also use this $25 gift card at Gap, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta. After I draw a winner, I’ll send a verification email, the winner has 48 hours to respond, and I’ll email the winner the gift card number and the reference number!

Don’t forget to check out these other bloggers who are participating and giving away fabulous prizes, and then scroll down for my giveaway form:


And here you go! Good luck and I hope you win! $25 Gap-Old Navy-Banana Republic-Piperlime-Athleta Giveaway

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Bye, winter skin! Rosehip Oil saves the day!

I was given product in exchange for an honest review.

Every winter, we at the Bellesouth household are plagued with horrible, flaky, dry skin. It’s awful, and no one is safe. Me, mom and the dog. We all start itching like crazy, scratching like crazy, and being driven crazy. Add my mom’s need to limit liquids as a dialysis patient, as well as her recent bout with digestive troubles, and it only gets worse!

But enter Majestic Pure Rosehip Oil. It comes in a whopping 4-oz bottle, and is absolutely AMAZING for treating that winter dryness. My first use of it was when I saw my poor mom using her bathrobe to scratch her back a few weeks ago. I first started scratching her back with my fingernails, then I realized I could be doing more harm than good; as scratching can lead to bloodletting.

So I went and grabbed this Rosehip Oil, put a few drops on her back and rubbed it in. Mom, who already takes prescription drugs for her itching, said it was extremely soothing, and that it really helped her itchy skin. Winter + Diabetes + Renal Disease just makes for misery, and this stuff is great. I also used it on her very dry elbows!

As for me, I have started using it on my nails, since I haven’t been able to get my nails done in several weeks. In spite of all the dishwashing, can opening and typing I’ve done, my nails have stayed pretty strong. I’m not sure if the oil has helped it, but they definitely don’t get soft after a bath anymore!

One thing I would really love to try is using rosehip oil as a scalp treatment. I’ve read that it works wonders for dry scalp (another condition mom and I suffer during the winter), and all you have to do is let it sit in your hair for 30 minutes before rinsing it out. Have any of you tried this?

Major Rosehip Oil turnoff: The smell. There’s just something… off about the scent. I was expecting it to smell like roses since, hey, rosehip – but, naah. The good thing is that Rosehip is used as a carrier oil, so you can mix it with your favorite scented essential oils to make something that softens your skin and smells good!!

You can purchase Majestic Pure Rosehip Oil here.

Do you have any suggestions for Rosehip oil?

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Chit-Chat1

Hey, y’all! Another giveaway to get you through the week! This week has been looking up for me; caregiver duties are reducing now that Mom is getting better, and the snow is gone so the cabin fever is gone as well! We’re all happy – especially the dog! Here you go, and as always, good luck and I hope you win!!

Chit-Chat1

 

Welcome to the

Chit Chat Comment Sweepstakes

Organized by Budget Earth

 

With the weather being so cold outside, many of us are snuggled in our blankets and enjoying a nice hot drink. If you are anything like us, it means you are sitting with your laptop enjoying your favorite blogs between bouts of Pinterest mania. As a thank you to our loyal readers, a bunch of us bloggers got together and created this super cool giveaway! Unlike traditional giveaways, this one contains no follow pages, likes or follows – just good old fashioned comments! In other words, we want your thoughts and to see what stuff you like the most on our blogs.

Each of the entries are either a daily comment on a blog, or a single one-time comment. We tried keeping it as easy as possible so that you can sit back and relax while trying to win some extra spending money. So, what is the prize? Well, someone is going to walk away with a $100 Amazon Gift Card or cash through Paypal – your choice!

Before entering, just make sure to read the rules below and then enter on the Rafflecopter! Good luck everyone & may the odds be forever in your favor!

Chit Chat Comment Sweepstakes

  • One lucky reader will win $100 Amazon Gift Card or Cash via Paypal.
  • Open Worldwide.
  • Winners will be chosen at random through Gleam via Random.org.
  • Sweepstakes ends March 1th at 11:59pm ET.
  • Winner will be notified via email.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
  • Budget Earth is responsible for prize fulfillment.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter.
  • Only one entrant per household.
  • Void where prohibited.
  • Entering the giveaway form means you agree to terms above.
  • Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This blog did not receive compensation for this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this sweepstakes. Prize fulfillment will be handled by Budget Earth.

Would you like to have your products featured in a giveaway event? Want to increase your social media exposure? Contact susan.l.bewley@gmail.com to see how I can help YOUR company today!

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It’s time again – time for another faaaaabulous giveaway! This time it is for this amazing gel nail polish kit. I am a huge fan of nail polish, and having a nail artist for a next-door neighbor for the past six years has made me love it that much more! If your nail polish comes off at the drop of a hat, gel is definitely the way to go. It lasts for weeks and still looks good when it’s removed, save for the cuticles where your nails have grown. But enough about me – good luck and I hope you win!

Couture Starter Gel Nail Polish Kit Giveaway with Extra Polish of Winners Choice! ($115 ARV)

couture5555

Sponsored By ~ Couture Gel Nail Polish

Hosted By ~ Deliciously Savvy

Co-Hosted By:

Heartbeats ~ Souls Stains

Michigan Saving and More

MyStyleSpot

Life in a House of Testosterone

Thrifty Momma’s Tips

&

Beck Valley Books

PLUS A BIG Thank You To All Other Blogs Helping To Promote This Amazing Giveaway! Thank You!

**************************************************************

A Big Thank You To Couture For Sponsoring This Giveaway!

**************************************************************

1 LUCKY Winner will receive the Couture Starter Gel Nail Polish Kit w/ Extra Polish of Winners Choice! ($115 ARV)

Here Is A Description Of The Prize:

Gel Nail Polish Kit includes everything you need for a salon-quality gel nail polish manicure at home ($99 ARV):

  • Your Choice of 1 Couture Gel Nail Polish Color
  • Base Coat
  • Super Shine Top Coat
  • LED Espree Salon Lamp with 30 second dry time
  • Instructional DVD and brochure
  • Exclusive Cleanse and Remove Products
  • And a bonus salon quality manicure tool kit
  • Zippered Cosmetic Case

PLUS An Extra Couture Gel Nail Polish Color of Winners Choice ($15 ARV)

Check Out Their Colors HERE

Total Value ($115 ARV)

couture333

Cool Product Facts:

America’s #1 Selling Gel Nail Polish!
* Over 100 Bold And Beautiful Colors
* Up To 3 Weeks Wear
* Free From Harmful Chemicals
* Made in the USA
* No Animal Testing
Hollywood celebrity stylists are choosing Couture Gel Nail Polish for their clients!
* Jennifer Lopez
* Kristen Bell
* Queen Latifah
* Oprah
* The Cast of Pretty Little Liars
* The Cast of Glee

And Now The Giveaway!!!

Giveaway Dates: 2/25 12 AM EST until 3/17 12 AM EST

Open To Us Residents and must be 18+ to enter

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) on 3/17/15!
Good Luck!

[click to continue…]

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