April 2013 Photo A Day Challenge

If you are unfamiliar with FatMumSlim's challenge, you can find out all the helpful details right here!  It's fun and challenging!  I've yet to do every prompt in a month, but that's OK.  You can skip a day or play catch up, the only real rule is to use the prompt!

Throwback Thursday

I haven't really jumped on to the Throwback Thursday sharing yet, but last week I ran across a photo that begged to be shared.  So I shared it on Instagram.

My husband and I were seriously young. I can't even remember what it felt like to be that young.  In the spirit of having a good laugh at least once I a week, I'm gonna get in on this TBT goodness.

Summer of 1996. I was 17.  Family vacation to Key Largo, FL.  The belly shirt...  The Jesus sandals...  The freakin' pack of Marlboro's...  The watch I'm wearing had Marvin the Martian on it.  He's always been my favorite Looney Tune.

Why be alone in all this awesomeness? I'm linking up with the Throwback Thursdays blog hop!  Check out the other links by clicking here.

Heads Up! A Giveaway is Coming!

If you're looking to grow your blog or social media following, we have a great and FREE opportunity for you!  Free is good, right?  Well, Free is AMAZING!

Isabelle from Le Chateau des Fleurs recently released a new Android app called Smartphone DNA, and to promote it she is giving away a Kindle Fire HD-which she is sponsoring entirely.  The giveaway will be hosted by My So-Called Chaos, but what we need are other bloggers to share the giveaway on their blogs in order to spread the word! In return, you'll get two of your links in the Rafflecopter to get extra promotion for you in return for posting.  This is entirely free, there is NO buy in, we just need two posts from you.
  1. Post this announcement on your blog (code will be given after you request to join) to ensure your readers/followers have the opportunity to be a part of this giveaway too! 
  2. Post the actual giveaway (full Rafflecopter and all! People will be able to enter directly from your blog!) 
If you are interested in participating in this FREE promotional opportunity, please email Miss Angie and once accepted into the giveaway you will be given all the information you need for your posts.

Giveaway is set to run from 4/10/13 to 4/30/13.
All requests to join required by 4/5/13!

Tasty Tuesday! Mandy's Meat Pies

Most of you probably don't know that several years ago I worked at Wal-Mart for five whole years.  I didn't have to check out groceries.  I had the pleasure of working the jewelry department counter for all of those years.  I took a few things away from that job.  Knowledge about Wal-Mart that I'd rather not have, realization that the time I spent there wasn't the best years in my life (that's a post for another day when I have the guts to be more open) that was in no way Wal-Mart's fault, but my own, and the best jewelry department girls that Wal-Mart has ever seen as friends.

Annie, Missy, Mandy, Christy, Ashley, Tabitha, and Mary were some of the funniest and most interesting people I've met in my life.  There were a few duds in our day... April, Amy, LaVitra..., but we survived them.  Sort of!  We had the best Christmas parties.  Every year Mandy brought her meat pies.  Scrumptious meaty pie-y goodness.  Mmmm....

I had almost forgotten about them until a few days ago when I was going through an old recipe box of mine.  I found the recipe!  I was so excited!  Probably more excited than I should have been about finding a folded up piece of old paper.  I can't wait to share this with y'all!

Mandy's Meat Pies


3 cans of flaky biscuits
1 pound ground beef
2 cups raisins
2-3 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup olives, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 egg
Meat tenderizer

Do it up:
Preheat oven to 375F.

Cook the beef and drain. Season with meat tenderizer.

Add onions and garlic.

Cook until onions are soft, then add teriyaki sauce, ketchup, olives, and raisins.  Mix well and cook to heat; stirring occasionally.

Roll out individual biscuits until flat.

Spoon meat mix onto dough.

Wet edges slightly, fold, and press with fork to seal.

Stab top of pastry with fork so air can escape and brush tops with beaten egg.

Bake in oven at 375F until golden brown.  Enjoy!

A few notes:
-- I only used two cans of 8 ct. Great Value brand biscuits.  Recipe is easily adjusts to feed more or less people.
-- Teriyaki sauce matters.  I forgot it and they didn't taste the same.

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Now What?

Hi, my name is Christine and I am a Google Reader user.

I rely on Google for way too much.  Now they are discontinuing my go-to blog reader.  I know there is some debate about blog readers and stats and comments... blah, blah, blah.  I'll admit that I didn't visit as many blogs.  Basically I'd log onto the internet and then get overwhelmed by that little number leering at me from the corner of my browser.  It was all too easy to just click "Mark as Read".

I wasn't sure which service I should switch to from GR.  There are tons of choices.  I started with downloading the Feedly app to my iPad.  It's nice, clean, and easy to navigate, but lacked the ease of commenting.

Misty of Handbags and Handguns mentioned in a post the service Bloglovin'.  I remembered signing up for that service, but I'd never used it.  Just added my blog to the list.

Oh my gosh y'all!  I'm so glad that I've made the switch!  I love the look and feel of it.  It's so easy to navigate.  Bonus points for being able to import my GR feeds.  You can click the top article and the blog post will open in a frame that allows me to not only comment on that post that I'm reading, but then just click older and it will go to the next post!

I did have to re-claim my blog so to speak because when I originally signed up and claimed my blog, I was at a Blogspot address.  I couldn't figure out how to change my blog URL.  So if you were a previous follower or you'd like to become a new follower, you can click the link below or the one to the left in the sidebar!

Follow on Bloglovin

While in this process, I have discovered that the Friend Connect widget is basically useless.  Trying to navigate to the Google Friend Connect page just leads to a "page not found" error page.  I was going to send out a newsletter to those who are following through GFC to kindly ask them to jump on over to Bloglovin' and follow me there, but I've not been able to find a way to get this done!  I've gone through the widget and sent a message to each follower individually inviting y'all to change to Bloglovin'!  It's a real bummer to have to do this, but I hope to keep you all as followers!  Thanks for sticking around!

Looking Back

I spent the better part of my Saturday going through old blog posts.  I went all the way back to the very beginning of my blogging days.

Yikes!!  That was an adventure.

I am not a good writer.  I've never claimed to be, but you can definitely tell I had NO IDEA what I was doing when I first began to write posts on a blog.  I did a fair amount of deletions too.  Some posts had broken photo links, old blog links that no longer worked, and an unbelievable amount of videos that "no longer exists".

The original reason for going back was to resize images from old posts that were too big for the current layout.  Several layouts ago, I had a one column blog.  That meant I could have bigger images, but now that I'm back to a normal sized layout some images from past posts are way too big.

Reliving those memories makes me so glad that I've done this blog.  Through all it's incarnations.  From being Distract Me with Shiny Things to More to Me to now.  Through all the different platforms.  From Blogger to Wordpress to Posterous and Tumblr, all the while still keeping the Blogger.  It really was great to look back.

Most visited post?  This one on Scott Caan.  Go ahead. Click it.  I dare you!

Earth Hour 2013

It's that time of year again! Time to turn off your lights for just one hour! Find more information by visiting the Earth Hour page.

Nurturing My Photography

I have seriously neglected my camera.  Last month I was going through last years photos to pick out the ones I wanted to print out for the family album.  I couldn't believe how few photos I had taken with my "big" camera.  I was shocked.  I love my phone.  I really do, but there is no substitute for a good camera.

So now here we are at the end of March.  I think I've broken out the Nikon twice.  It's bad.  I'm bad.  I had planned on doing the Nurture Photography weekly prompts for Winter from Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud, Rebecca of Bumbles & Light, and Alicia of Project Alicia.  I have no reasons, only excuses.  I just forgot.  

I'm going to give it another shot.  Starting in two weeks, April 5th, is the Nurture Photography Spring Photo Challenge.  

You can find out more by visiting any of the above blogs or by visiting the Nurture Photography Facebook page. They are also on Instagram (hashtag #nurturephoto) and there is even a inspirational Pinterest board!

Color in Motion 5K coming to Kentucky!

The Color in Motion 5K is a great way to help support organizations.  And look awesome while doing it!

Color in Motion is a fun 5K run where you can run, walk, skip, or even dance your way to the finish line while being camouflage in COLOR from head to toe!  As you make your way through this 5K, there are four color stations where our wonderful volunteers throw color on you!

Think you'd like to give it a try?!  I've got great news!  The Color in Motion 5K is coming to Lebanon, Ky on May 11th, 2013!  For this race, the charities are the Lane Goodwin Childhood Cancer Foundation, Dream Factory, Active Heroes, and NC4K.  How cool is it that this one event can support four charities?!

The 5K run is not the only thing worth coming for!  Color in Motion COLOR PARTY is where all you color chasers join together after the run to enjoy music, dance, and best of all throw color!  This run makes memories that will last a lifetime, which anyone of any age can be part of and enjoy all the same!  Doesn't this sound fun?!

You can sign up today by clicking here and don't forget to use the promo code "timeforcolor" for a 15% discount for the event!  Registration is now open!  Learn more by visiting their Facebook page.

BISSELL and the Baby

Every parent knows the joys of stepping on a wayward LEGO or little green Army man.  Who knew that such a small little brick could cause so much pain to ones foot.  But who can resist building with them?!  Even at 34, I love to sit down and build a town, a car, a plane with the LEGOS we've collected over the years.

How often have I accidentally vacuumed up a LEGO?  A few times, but more often than not, the brick would get stuck in the brush.  Loudly stuck in the brush.  I've never searched through the bag or, when I went bagless, the receptacle for that rogue brick.  So when I was contacted about trying out a BISSELL Perfect Sweep Turbo, I was curious.  They said that it was great at picking up those little rogue bricks.  I was skeptical.

It worked!  Later that day my daughter spilled half a cup of her cereal.  I immediately grabbed the BISSELL and swept them right up!  The debris container is easy to remove so clean up was easy!

I've been using it every morning to quickly sweep up my kitchen floor.  It really is a handy tool.  It's lightweight, easy to use, and has a great rechargeable battery.  Our 20 month old loves helping out and sweeping up with it.
Mom's Little Helper from Christine Bewley on Vimeo.

Excuse the messy kitchen (and the oven timer)! At least the floors are clean!

Find out more about BISSELL on their webpage, Facebook, and Twitter.

*I was provided with a sample of this product.  All opinions are my own.

Hey! Yo!

What's going on y'all?!  Bet you were wondering where I R-U-N-N-O-F-T too!  That's a reference to "Oh Brother Where Art Thou", by the way.

I've been frustrated.  The frustration has escalated quickly.

What am I frustrated with, you ask?  The freakin' IRS.

We filed our taxes as soon as my husband received his W2 from his employer.  On January 18th.  JANUARY 18TH!!!  It was a Friday.  Eight weeks ago yesterday.

We still don't have our refund.  We still don't have any answers.

Have you ever tried to call the IRS directly?  Don't bother.  They won't answer.  Well, they will answer, but it will be an automated system.  I love how their website says they have "LIVE" support.  I've attempted to contact them numerous times.  Pushing every option on their "LIVE" support automated phone system.  I've still never been able to speak to a human being.  The tax preparer?  The same people we have been using for over 10 years?  They can't help us either.  "Just delays", they said.  "It's happening to everyone", they said.

No.  No, it isn't.

I'm more frustrated than normal because we are trying to buy our first home.  We got all the little ducks sitting in their rows.  Except for that stinkin' federal tax refund!

Blarg.  Sigh.  Sorry, I just had to vent.

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  Today is just as beautiful.  I'm going to stop being worried, frustrated, and irritated.  I'm going to go hang some clothes on the line and enjoy the day.

Just in case you haven't seen that movie...

For the Love of Nails

I've been a nail biter since way back. Pretty much as long as I can remember.  My Mom tried many different techniques to try and help me quit biting my nails. We tried hot sauce, Avon brand polish (and others too!) specifically made to help you stop biting your nails, but nothing helped.

I thought it would be easier to quit as I got older. It didn't however and anytime I got stressed out I found myself biting my nails all over again. I finally figured out that if I kept my nails painted on a regular basis I didn't bite them as often. The problem is that I then encountered a new problem. 

My nails split.

I've tried several different strengthening products and ones that are meant to prevent splitting.  Same thing keeps happening.  I'm just about ready to throw in the towel!

Any suggestions?!

*Thank you to cup_cakr on Instagram for the suggestion of OPI's Nail Envy.  I'm going to search for that and give it a try!

Sausage Biscuit Bites

Several months ago my MIL made a recipe she'd pinned on Pinterest.  A twist on the classic sausage ball.  Found at Plain Chicken, the Sausage Biscuit Bites are an easy and quick snack!

What you'll need:

2 cans (10 ct.) flaky biscuits
1 pound of sausage
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

How to make:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix together sausage and cheese.  Form into about 1 in. size balls.

Separate each biscuit into two layers.  Place one layer of biscuit into each cup on muffin pan.  Than place a sausage ball into each cup.  Bake for 8-10 min or until done.  

The original recipe calls for 40 sausage balls, 40 biscuit layers, and a mini-muffin pan.  I used 32 sausage balls, with 32 layers because I bought 8 ct. containers of biscuits.  I don't have a mini-muffin pan (don't judge me), so I just used a regular pan. Also this can be changed up by using regular, hot, or even Italian sausage!  Not to mention your cheese choices.
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March 2013 Photo A Day Challenge

Can you believe we are at the month of March?!  Spring is almost here and I'm excited to start fresh.

If you are unfamiliar with FatMumSlim's challenge, you can find out all the helpful details right here!  It's fun and challenging!  I've yet to do every prompt in a month, but that's OK.  You can skip a day or play catch up, the only real rule is to use the prompt!