Shelly's Bits and Pieces: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Idea: Glee Gum Review & Giveaway

For months, I had been hoping for an opportunity to work with Glee Gum reviewing some of their awesome products.  Glee Gum is a small company from Rhode Island that makes both home candy and gum making kits and ready to chew all natural chicle gum!  My daughter and I both love to chew gum, and I had heard so many wonderful things about Glee Gum, I could hardly wait to try it!  I'm very happy to say that I was NOT disappointed!

 More about Glee Gum:  "Glee Gum is all-natural, gluten-free chewing gum with no artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners nor preservatives. Glee Gum is the only gum in North America made the old-fashioned way, with chicle! Chicle is a natural tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforests of Central America. Once all chewing gum was made with chicle, but today most gum is made entirely from synthetic stuff. Not Glee Gum! Glee Gum uses chicle because it is an eco-friendly way to help conserve the rainforest. Chicle is also what gives the gum such great, long-lasting chewing texture! Glee Gum is a “green” gum right down to the packaging, which is made from biodegradable, recycled cardboard. So chew with Glee, naturally!"


Our thoughts on Glee Gum:  My daughter and I really like the taste of the gum.  I have to say, it reminds me of the gum I chewed as a child!  It is not super sweet, which is a good thing!  I love the fact that it is all natural and that it has no artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners nor preservatives.  Not many products in our society can say that!  Glee Gum is one product that we will continue to purchase!



Thanks to the wonderful people at Glee Gum, one lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win 1 case of Wee Glee Gum!  This would make a wonderful stocking stuffer for your gum lover!  Winning is easy!  Simply visit the Glee Gum and tell me something you learned about them!  You can do this daily for an extra entry.

Want more entries?
*Visit Glee Gum on facebook and tell them I sent you (2 extra entries)
*Follow Glee Gum on Twitter (2 extra entries)
*Follow me on twitter @sleatham1 (2 extra entries)
*Follow me on Google Friend Connect
*Subscribe to my blog
*Add my button to your sidebar (5 extra entries)
*Blog about this giveaway (5 extra entries)
*Tweet about this giveaway (Twice daily for 2 extra entries each)
I am trying to win Glee Gum from Shelly's Bits & Pieces http://bit.ly/hmgn5Z @sleatham1

Giveaway open to US residents only and ends at 11:00 pm EST on December 13, 2010.
The winner is #7 Nonapig.  She has responded and the giveaway is closed!  Thanks to all who entered!
Disclosure:  I received samples of the prepackaged Glee Gum to review.  No other compensation was received!  All opinions are honest and either my own, or those of my family members!

Five Helpful Tips for Holiday Tech Shopping

Twittermoms has teamed up with Staples and has asked bloggers to blog about their five most helpful tips for holiday tech shopping. Since my hubby and daughter are the ones that I have to buy these types of gifts for, I thought I'd post my tips! I hope they help someone.




1. Before you go shopping, know what you are looking to buy. Get the specifics from the person you are buying the present for. There are so many different variables to consider when purchasing any techie gifts, and you do not want to go shopping without knowing what you are looking for!



2. Go online and compare products and prices. If you know what is on the market, and you know what prices to expect, you won't experience ticket shock when you get around to making the purchase. An informed consumer makes the best decisions. The most expensive item is not always the best product on the market. Check out Consumer Reports and customer reviews too!



3. Keep your eyes open for deals and discounts. You can find discount codes online by simply searching for them, and a lot of retailers offer free shipping this time of year. Beware of paying extra for express shipping. This can often add tens of dollars to the shipping price. You should never have to pay full price for a product. Many retailers are turning flips to get customers in the store...check the sales fliers! Some local stores and less known retailers might actually have a lower price than big name stores!



4. Ask friends and family members for recommendations on which products to buy and where to buy them. You might be surprised to find out that one of them might have the inside scoop on where to get the best deal. You can also check with your blogging friends to find out if they could give you some insight as well!



5. Personalize the gift if you can. Skins and other bling can be purchased for many of the important tech gifts you might purchase. If your daughter is in to Twilight, you could buy her a special Team Edward or Team Jacob skin for her iPod. You might also want to think about loading their favorite music to an ipod or maybe a favorite book to an ipod or Kindle.



No matter what gift you choose for your loved one, the most important thing to remember is to not get over stressed about it! Going broke just to buy a gift can end up killing your holiday cheer. Take a deep breath! Relax! Everything will be just fine! Merry Christmas, and Happy Shopping!

Dsclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Gift Idea: Orient Automatic Watch USA Giveaway


Finding the right Christmas present can be a very hard thing to do.  A nice watch can be a great gift for women and men.  An Orient Automatic Watch can be the perfect watch for the special man or lady in your life.  The CTT02001B watch is a modern looking watch and the CEVAD001B is a more urban looking watch.  Both are very handsome watches and would look great on your special man! 
CTT02001B

CEVAD001B

If you're considering giving a watch as a Christmas gift, you can't go wrong with a watch from Orient Watch USA. 

Giveaway:  One lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces reader will win one of the watches featured below (a $135 value!) 



Ladies:



BNQ1X003F
Green Face





BNQ1X003J
Blue Face


BNQ1X003H
Red Face

BNQ1P001M
Pink Face

Mens:
CEM5J006U
Khaki Face

To win, Simply tell me which watch you would choose if you won.
Bonus Entries:
Follow me on Twitter as @sleatham1 1 Extra Entry--Leave Twitter id in comment
Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect 1 Extra Entry--Leave id in comment
Tweet this giveaway:   2 Extra Entries each--Leave link in comment (unlimited)
I entered to win an Orient Watch (valued at $135) at Shelly's Bits & Pieces http://tinyurl.com/242ybd2 @sleatham1

Giveaway valid for US mailing addresses only, and ends on December 12, 2010 at 11:00 PM EST.
Winner will be drawn at random, and notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.


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Research Randomizer Results
1 Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 54 -- Unsorted

Job Status:
     
Set #1: 42   Tracy R is the winner and she has responded!  Thanks to all who entered!


DISCLOSURE: No financial compensation or products were received in exchange for this post.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Gift Idea: Mummy Mazes: A Monumental Book Review & Giveaway

Fun & Educational Gift Idea!

My daughter loves reading about Egypt and the mummies of ancient civilizations. They are actually studying about them in her Social Studies class this year. I was offered the opportunity to review a copy of the book, Mummy Mazes: A Monumental Book, by Elizabeth Carpenter, and there was no way I could turn it down. I'm honestly not sure who enjoyed the book more, my daughter, or me! We even shared the book with my daughter's teacher, and she loved it as well.
Here is more about the book from Workman Publishing:
The first new idea in maze books since Egyptian times. Originally self- published, Mummy Mazes has won awards and seals of approval from Dr. Toy, The National Parenting Center, Independent Publishers, and Creative Child Magazine.
Written and drawn by Elizabeth Carpenter, Mummy Mazes is ingeniously designed to open up to 28 poster-size pages—these are deliciously big mazes, the kind kids will pore over for hours. There are mummies, monuments, and intricate murals, ancient gods and the Pharaoh’s mask, scarabs, an Egyptian night sky, and the Giant Sphinx who guards the pyramid complex at Giza. The meticulously drawn mazes lead kids through hieroglyphics, cracks in the limestone, detailed wall paintings, and more. Adding to the fun, each maze is linked by an adventure—the reader joins Professor Archie Ologist on an expedition from the Colossi of Memnon into the heart of long-lost tombs, learning along the way about the cat-goddess Bastet, why both men and women wore wigs, and how much linen it sometimes took to wrap an important mummy (three miles’ worth!). Once all the mazes are completed, there’s a hieroglyphic puzzle to solve at the end—and then the whole doubles as a coloring book. The pages are perforated to tear, color, and then display on the wall.

Here is what we thought:
The book is very reasonably priced at $11.95 and really held our attention. Trying to figure out the way out of the maze is a lot of fun, and is hard enough to keep you coming back for more. The information provided on the poster size pages is extremely interesting, even to adults! We spent lots of family time going through the book, both completing the mazes and coloring the pages. Don't let the fact that the book is geared for ages 8-12 hold you back. Younger kids will enjoy helping you figure out the maze and color the pages! Adults will enjoy it as well! You and your kids will learn about ancient civilizations and mummies, without even realizing it!

Giveaway: I have one copy to give away to a lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader. All you have to do is comment below. Tell me what you think you would enjoy more, working on the maze, learning about mummies, or coloring the pictures.
After you have commented, you can gain additional entries by doing any of the following:
* Follow me on twitter @sleatham1 1 extra entry – Please leave your Twitter ID in the comments.
* Subscribe to my blog 1 extra entry
* Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect 1 extra entry
* Add my button to your sidebar 5 extra entries – Please leave your link in the comments
* Tweet about the giveaway 2 extra entries – Please leave your link in the comments (Unlimited)
I am trying to win Mummy Mazes: A Monumental Book at Shelly's Bits N Pieces http://tinyurl.com/24bhupa @sleatham1

Disclosure:  I was provided with 2 copies of the book, one to review and one to giveaway.  I was not given any compensation for my review, and I was not required to post a positive review.  All opinions are my own and are true!

Giveaway open to US and Canada, and ends at 11:00PM EST on Dec. 12, 2010.  Winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email!  You MUST leave me your email address so I can contact you.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. 



Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 15 -- Unsorted

Job Status:
     
Set #1: 11

Winner is #11 Nonapig.  She has responded!  Thanks for all those who entered!
Giveaway now closed! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Favorite Road Trip

My favorite road trips have always revolved around history! When I was a child, we took a lot of short day trips to some of the local historical sites in the NC/VA area. Discount Tire and TwitterMoms have joined together and posed a question to bloggers wanting to know special memories from their favorite road trip and also any tips too. I hope you enjoy learning about my favorite trip! Enjoy!




My favorite trip was the one we took to Appomattox,VA. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this historical site, I'll explain a little. On Palm Sunday, 1865, General Lee's surrender to General Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia signaled the end of the Southern States attempt to create a separate nation...aka the Civil War! History is fascinating to me and when you realize that visiting many of the historical sites is free or at a very reasonable price, it becomes enticing to me as a destination for a family day/weekend trip.



We decided to forgo the normal highway routes and we took the back roads. It was a beautiful trip. The dogwood trees were blooming and the other trees were filling with beautiful green leaves. We were very lucky that the day was sunny and the temperatures were wonderful. They ran in the 70s and we had a nice breeze as well. We didn't realize that we were visiting during the weekend commemorating the 145th anniversary of the surrender. WOW!!! We were shocked and amazed!



There are many places to visit there, but none better than the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. There are many wonderful buildings to visit there and lots to see. Prepare to be transformed back in time to 1865! One of my favorite buildings there is the Clover Hill Tavern. It was built in 1819 and it is the oldest structure within the village at Appomattox Court House NHP!!! YES...the original structure!



There are many other buildings there, including the courthouse and the McLean house. The courthouse was rebuilt after a fire destroyed it, and the Mc Lean house is a replica filled with period items! The National Parks Service also offers a Junior Ranger Program for kids 7-13. They are given a booklet with tasks to accomplish and when they finish, they are given special treats and a certificate. You'll be surprised how much this influences your children.  They love completing the tasks and will find that they are actually learning something too! 



My tips for you are very simple!  Remember to take the back roads! Don't forget to stop and check out historic markers! Have fun with your family!  You might find out that any road trip can be fun, as long as you enjoy it with the ones you love!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comfort and Joy

I have been blessed with a wonderful family and when I heard about Twittermoms newest challenge for bloggers, I had to post. My family means the world to me, because we are much more than just related by blood, we are linked by the heart.

On August 16, 1985, my brother and I were with our church youth group returning from a trip to Niagara Falls. While we were on the way back, a tractor trailer hit our church van and flipped it 3 times. Three people out of the eleven on board were killed. My brother and I were lucky. Although we were severely injured, we were still alive and had not lost any family members.

When my parents were notified about the wreck, they knew they needed to make the long drive from North Carolina as soon as possible. They left immediately with only the clothes on their backs. My grandparents stepped in and went over to our house and took care of everything there. They fed the animals, made the needed phone calls and started making preparations.

Thanks to my father's lead foot, they made the trip in record time and arrived at my hospital in the early evening. I say my hospital, because I was in Wellsboro, PA. My brother had been taken to a hospital in Elmira, NY. I had been asking about my brother all day, and was told NOTHING. My parents cleared everything up for me and I was able to hear his voice that evening. My blood pressure did not go down until I heard him speak. I realized that no matter how much of a pain he can be, I did love him after all! I found out the next day that he had been asking for me and was having the same problem...worrying about me.

I understand now that my brother was my comfort. Through the entire situation, I was comforted when I realized that he was going to be okay.

The doctors wanted my brother and me to have surgery, and my parents felt it would be better for us to have it in our home state. My aunt and uncle stepped in here. They knew that my parents could not afford airline tickets to get us home. They not only bought the tickets, they flew up to accompany us home. From the moment they arrived, they served to comfort us!

We arrived home to find cards, flowers and gifts waiting for us, along with more food than our family could eat. It seems that our extended family and our church family had prepared food, sent flowers, gifts and cards, and called to find out what we needed. The overwhelming feeling of love that came from these people is beyond description.

After all the surgeries were over, it took quite a while for us to heal physically and emotionally. I will never forget all the love and COMFORT my family showed us during our time of need. This was truly my aha moment. I understood what family actually meant! Family does not have to mean blood relatives. Your family is the group of people who provide you with Comfort, Joy and above all Love!

Send a friend a free pack of Kleenex: http://www.kleenex.com/softnessworthsharing


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Kleenex blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

10 Tips for Weaving the Hottest Runway Trends into Your Day-to-Day Looks.

I'll be the first to admit that I do not know a lot about fashion! I love clothes, but since I am a stay at home mom, I rarely buy anything new. Well, TwitterMoms has teamed up with Sears Kenmore asking bloggers to share 10 tips for weaving the hottest runway trends into your day-to-day looks. Although it is not my forte, I'm going to give you my tips.

1. Go online and check out the latest fashions either in fashion blogs or in online magazines. You can get a lot of valuable information if you look for it.


2. Start off your new runway look by getting an updated hairdo. A new hairdo can take years off your look and can be just the right place to start.


3. Go to the mall or your favorite department store to get a makeover! You can get free makeovers from many make up counters and when a professional does it, you can get a better idea what works better for you.


4. Shop stores like Kohl's, Marshall's and TJ Maxx! You can get name brand fashions at more affordable prices.


5. Change your accessories. If you check out the latest trends in accessories, you can change your entire look, by adding or taking away something. Accessories are a more reasonably priced way to get started too.


6. Shoes. Don't forget to update your shoes. Shoes do go out of style, and what was fashionable in the 1980's is not necessarily still in fashion!


7. Watch TV. It does sound a little strange, but you can get an idea of what the fashion trends are by checking out what the celebrities are wearing!


8. Love yourself. Realize that every fashion is NOT for every body type. Love yourself enough to alter the current fashion trend to match your body type.


9. Get clothes tailored to fit. It really is the perfect way to make sure your fashion sense stands out! When your clothes fit you the way they are supposed to, you feel better about yourself and about wearing them!


10. Shop in the off season. When you can, buy clothes as the season is ending. You can get some outstanding deals by shopping during this time. When the season is ending, and stores want to reduce inventory, the consumer benefits!!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my tips. They were a challenge for me to wrap my brain around, but if I was trying to give my day to day look a boost, this is the way I would go! Have a wonderful holiday season!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Kenmore blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

14 Ways to have a Fresh and Festive Holiday

The holiday season is quickly approaching and it is time to start planning! Twittermoms and Snuggle have teamed up and are asking for bloggers to post our own fourteen tips on ways to have a fresh and festive holiday. As I am a HUGE holiday girl, I have bunches of ideas! I hope my ideas help someone!

1. Plan things out on paper! When you write things down, you are less likely to forget something and you can always go back to your list and make changes!

2. Start early! Do not wait until the last minute to start preparing for the holiday. You only stress yourself when you procrastinate! Start early, then relax and enjoy!

3. Let your kids help! Even the smallest child can help! Give them the chance to join in the fun of decorating and even in the chores of cleaning!

4. Bring a little outside indoors! Decorate with some of nature's beauty! Holly and berries are beautiful when displayed...Keep away from small kids!

5. Don't worry about missing a few photos...Concentrate on enjoying the holiday with your family. Photos are great, but not at the expense of missing everything!

6. Get some rest. Do not try to do everything yourself! If you get over-tired and end up sick, no one will enjoy the holiday! Pace yourself and rest...things will get done!

7. Want photos of your kids in their Christmas best? Take the photo BEFORE you leave the house...or before anything is eaten...or played with! You're more likely to get a CLEAN child this way!

8. About a week or two before you decorate, clean and declutter! You might be surprised how much this will help. It's much easier to decorate a clean house than a dirty one!

9. Visit Santa Claus!! Take the family to the mall and visit with Santa! Everyone can use a little more magic in their lives, and Santa can do that for even the grinchiest person!

10. Break out the holiday movies and enjoy them with your family! Nothing is more heart warming to me than watching holiday movies with the ones I love!

11. Send Christmas cards. Take the time and actually write to the people you are sending them to. Re-connect with friends and family you have not seen in a while! You'll be surprised what good a card can do!

12. Go outside and play with your kids and pets! Every time I go outside and play in the snow with my daughter, I feel like a kid again myself! Nothing beats the feeling of love your kids give you when you spend time with them!

13. Set a budget and stick to it! Do not put yourself in the poor house trying to buy everything and make the perfect Christmas. The perfect Christmas is one you spend with the ones you love!

14. Say thanks! Be thankful for what you have...your family, friends, home...it is all important! And remember, the reason for the season. I know everyone has different beliefs, but for me,
JESUS is the reason for the season!

I hope you enjoyed reading my list! I certainly enjoyed compiling it for you! Wishing everyone a safe and blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Snuggle blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Store Brand Formula, a Cheaper Comparable Option

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

When my daughter was born, our pediatrician recommended a certain brand of formula for me to use.  I never even thought about using a store brand because I assumed that since she had not recommended it, the store brand formula was not as good as the name brand.  I wish I knew then what I know now.  I could have saved some money!  The new 10th Edition of the Consumer Reports Best Baby Products writes that they see no need for parents to choose expensive national brand infant formulas over their much more reasonable store brand counterparts.   Store brand formulas have historically cost less because they are not heavily marketed or advertised and are not given away to hospitals for free. The company then will pass that cost savings along to the consumer. As much as $600 can be saved annually on formula purchases by new parents, according to some estimates. 

According to author Sandra Gordon, and the editors of Consumer Reports,  "All formula marketed in the U.S. must meet the same nutrient specifications, which are set (by the FDA in 1980) at levels to fulfill the needs of infants."  This means that store brands are the nutritional equivalent of national brands.  Recently certain Similac powder infant formulas were voluntary recalled   because of the possibility of the presence of a small common beetle.  The good news is that the FDA determined the formula posed no immediate health risk, but some infants could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of  irritated GI tracts. 

With all the things to worry about, buying expensive, name brand formula should not be one of them.  Store brand is a cheaper, comparable option.  Think before you buy!

  Rece

 

 

Historically, store brand formulas cost less because they are not heavily marketed or advertised and are not given away to hospitals for free. That cost savings is passed along to the consumer. As much as $600 can be saved by new parents annually according to some estimates. 

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 Tips for Smarter Holiday Shopping & Gifting

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved Christmas shopping. My mom always swears I was born an adult, because even at five and six years old, I would look at the prices and tell her how much things cost and would look for a cheaper price. Well, I have not changed much in those thirty some years! I still love to Christmas shop, and now more than ever, I look for the best price. Twittermoms has teamed up with Office Depot and challenged bloggers to come up with 10 tips for Smarted Holiday Shopping and gifting. Here are my ideas. I hope they are useful to some of my readers!



1. Set a limit and stick to it. If you maintain your limit for everyone, you will feel better about how much you spent overall and no one will look like they are your favorite!

2. Shop the clearance areas first. Just because an item is on clearance does not necessarily mean something is wrong with it. Examine clearance clothes for holes, tears or stains! Make sure boxed items are sealed. If they are not, ask the customer service person to go through the box to make sure everything is included.

3. Shop year round! You can get wonderful deals during the "off" season. I buy hats and gloves when winter is over, because retailers are usually trying to reduce their inventory and the prices are lower. The perfect time to buy seasonal items is AFTER the season. This includes things like sleds and decorations!

4. Give a gift certificate to a restaurant or movie theater to a couple or family instead of individual gifts. This gives them something to do together without having to pull the money out of pocket to do themselves. Lots of restaurants offer bonus gift certificates when you buy a certain amount. You can get an extra $10 for every $50 gift certificate you buy to some restaurants.

5. Buy Online! You can save quite a lot of money when you buy items online, especially when you get free shipping. With gas prices closing in on $3 a gallon, free shipping can provide a major savings. You don't have to go out in the cold and crowds, and you don't have to drive from place to place searching for a gift, when you order it online.

6. Make a list and check it twice. Sounds funny, but it works for Santa! If you have that list and go back over it, you are less likely to forget someone, like a teacher, paperboy, or neighbor, and have to run out at the last minute to make a purchase

7. Always get a gift receipt. I know we always hope to make the right decision and have a happy recipient, but that does not always happen. Children grow a size. Someone else buys the same gift for them that you bought. They just have different taste than you do. It is the thought that counts, but with a gift receipt, they can take it back and make themselves happier!

8. Have a handmade Christmas. Bake cookies or a cake as a gift. If you sew, why not make a pillow, quilt or apron. If you scrapbook, you could make them some pages where all they have to do is to adhere their photos and journal. You could also give the gift of yourself. Babysit for your neighbors as a gift. Tutor a friend's child as a gift. If it saves someone money and they can use it, it's a gift!

9. Shop sales! Get out there and look. Sales are not going to just fall in your lap. Study sites online where you can view Black Friday ads, so you will know where the deals are. Some stores will match pricing, so if your store will, go for it!!

10. Take a deep breath and realize that no one is perfect, and remember the real reason for the holiday. The best gift you can give anyone is love. So long as you give love, nothing else matters! Sit back and relax...and know that all is right with the world!


Hope these help someone!!

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas everyone!
 
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Office Depot blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 Office Depot gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CSN Stores, for Christmas and Everyday


I love doing my holiday shopping online.  OK, I love doing any shopping online.  One of my favorite places to shop is with CSN Stores, because they offer me the chance to look over over 1 million products(and rising) and shop at 200+ online stores.  You can find pretty much anything , from children's backpacks to doggie stairs! 


 
 The backpacks come in all different shapes, styles and sizes!




 
 
 
 
 
The doggie stairs also are available in many different styles and heights!








Since Christmas is right around the corner, I thought I'd show you a few Christmas gift ideas you can choose with CSN Stores. 

For the special chef in your life, you could buy them  a nice Wusthof Silverpoint II Fourteen Piece Block Set of knives.  For that special person, why not buy the a Pointhaven Grapevine Bed in a Bag Set?  Maybe you have a child or two on your Christmas list.  You could always get them a KidKraft Ride Around Town Train Set with Table or maybe a  Schwinn Roadster 12" Tricycle.  Whatever you are shopping for this Christmas, Chances are you can find it at CSNstores.com

What item will I be reviewing for CSN Stores?  I guess you'll just have to come back by Shelly's Bits and Pieces again to find out.  Til next time, thanks for stopping by!  Happy Shopping!

Disclosure:  I will receive a gift code to be used at one of the CSN stores for writing this post.  All opinions stated are my own!

          ~~~~~Shelly~~~~~

Friday, November 12, 2010

USC Rossier School of Education's MAT

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of 2tor. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are many reasons why people put off getting a college education.  Tuition is expensive!  I need to work and just don't have the time to go back to school.  I don't want to lose time with my family.  These are all very valid reasons, but in the age of online education, these reasons should not hold you back! 

Obtaining your college degree can help you begin a career and can help you go further in your current career.  Thanks to the USC Rossier School of Education's MAT, you can earn a degree from home while continuing with your life.

The USC Rossier School of Education's MAT at USC offers current educators and aspirng teachers the prestige of earning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from an elite research university, with the convenience and flexibility of studying online!  Some of the benefits are:

• Highly interactive online learning combined with field-based experiences

• Groundbreaking tuition reimbursement program

• Accelerated program you can complete in as little as 12 months

• Opportunity to become a part of the elite USC Trojan Family

• Tuition reimbursement and scholarships

• MAT@USC Student Blog, hear insights about the program from actual students

• Rossier and the MAT@USC were awarded by AACTE for innovative use of technology in education

• Technology video that introduces the interactivity of the program

• First cohort of the MAT@USC graduate in May 

You can earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from an internationally renowned research institution with a 100-year history of educating teachers to be agents of change from a School of Education which has been ranked #22 in the United States, and #9 among all private universities by US News and World Report.  They offer an innovative combination of highly interactive online learning with field-based experiences in your local area and a groundbreaking tuition reimbursement program designed exclusively for MAT@USC graduates.  You will have the opportunity to learn from distinguished USC faculty recognized for their contributions to modern education.  Online students receive full USC student status and benefits, participation in commencement ceremonies and free lifetime Alumni Association memberships and the opportunity to become part of the elite USC Trojan Family.

So what are you waiting for?  For program information you can simply click on the words to learn much more!  Education is important.  Don't allow excuses to keep you from achieving your dream!


 

 

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Online Education with Ashworth College

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ashworth College. All opinions are 100% mine.

During my college years, I often wished that I could attend classes from the comfort of home.  Since there was no Online College back then, I had to drag myself to class everyday.  My professors did not care about the weather, or any extenuating circumstance that kept you from class.  Today, things have changed.  No longer do you have to fight the traffic or the weather.  You can attend college from your own home, online.

Earning a college degree online is here to stay, and it is easier than ever.  Today there are almost 4,000,000 students and more than 1/5 of all higher education students are taking at least one course online .  For adults returning to college, distance education is a family-friendly way to help you get the education you've always wanted without sacrificing your current paycheck or precious time away from your family.  You can study during your lunch, when your child is napping, or while you are commuting!                                                                                                                         

Affording college online is much easier on a family budget than earning a bachelor's degree at a traditional brick and mortar institution.   Research shows tuition is as much as 88% less when you earn that degree online.  Online tuition includes all books and course materials.  Online study offers zero-interest financing plus a low monthly payment plan . Monthly payments can run as low as a couple of large pizzas, which can be afforded by most people, and unlike other schools, there are no student loans so you are guaranteed to graduate without student loan debt.bt.bt .  You c.

You can learn more by reading about Ashworth College Featured by National Education Report, and by viewing the Ashworth Video Gallery.   You can choose from more than 100+ nationally accredited career diplomas, Associate Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree and Certificate programs for today's hottest and most popular careers, including: Medical Billing, Web Design, Bridal Consulting, Interior Decorating, Human Resources, Marketing, Early Childhood Education and more. 

 

                                

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carmex Skin Product Review and Giveaway

I am a member of the Carmex® Blog Squad and I am thrilled about it!  I absolutely love Carmex lip products and I knew that this would give me the opportunity to try some new Carmex products and to blog about the things I love.  For years, I have used Carmex lip products to protect my lips from the winter cold.  I love the way it feels and the way it helps my lips!  Well, I'm thrilled to let you know that Carmex is now making skin protection products. Carmex® Healing Lotion and Carmex® Healing Cream are the skin  products I am reviewing for them right now.

Carmex® Healing Lotion is made using a patent pending process that delivers healing and moisturization without a greasy feel.  You can use it anywhere skin feels dry!  It contains rich, healing ingredients, including Aloe and Vitamin E, which nourish and moisturize the skin.  It absorbs fast and has a light, pleasant scent.  You can use it daily to help protect your skin and keep dryness away. 

My thoughts:  I really like the feel of this lotion!  It is not greasy and the scent is not overpowering at all.  I have issues with dry skin, especially during the fall and winter.  I have been applying this Carmex Healing Lotion every day to my legs and my elbows and I am truly amazed at they are not dry and rough.  I like the tube that the lotion comes in, because it is easy to handle and just the right size to use at home, or to keep in your purse.  You do NOT have to drown your body in this lotion.  A little dab really does go a long way.  The cost is $5.99 for a 5.5 oz tube, and although it might seem a little pricey at first, it isn't.  Since a small amount is needed, it does go a long way, and since it works, I'm happy to pay that for it.  (I've already purchased some as stocking stuffers for my parents and my hubby...SHHHH!)

Carmex® Healing Cream is made using a patent pending process that delivers concentrated healing and moisturization of your driest, roughest skin, especially your hands, feet, elbows and knees.  It contains 9 healing ingredients that penetrate and help repair your very dry, rough or cracked skin.  It is concentrated, so you only need to use a small amount.  Like the lotion, the cream absorbs fast for a non-greasy feel, and it has a light, pleasant scent.

My thoughts:  After giving the lotion a try, I had a great feeling about this cream.  I was not disappointed.  My feet get so rough, and when I applied the Carmex Healing Cream to them, they just felt better.  I have been using the Healing Cream overnight, and my feet are softening up, and they are no longer snagging my hose.  I have purchased a second tube for my husband to put on his VERY dry feet, and he is pleased with the results so far.  The price is $5.99 for a 4 ounce tube, but remember, a little goes a long way!

The wonderful people at Carmex sent me an awesome Healing Kit that was full of wonderful skin and lip products!  The retail value of this kit is over $52 and I am thrilled to tell you that I have one to giveaway as well!  This would be a wonderful Christmas present for you, teachers, family members, or friends. 

                      Giveaway

Main Entry:  Visit My Carmex and let me know another product you would like to try.  This must be done before you can get extra entries!

Extra Entries:  
Follow Shelly's Bits & Pieces on Google Friend Connect
Follow Carmex on Twitter
"Like"Carmex on Facebook
Tell me what flavor lip balm you would like to see Carmex come up with next.
Follow me on Twitter as sleatham1
Subscribe to my blog
Comment on any post on my blog
Post my button on your sidebar and leave me the link. (5 extra entries)
Blog about this giveaway or post it on any linky and give me the link. (5 extra entries)
Tweet about this giveaway.  (May be done 2X daily for 2 extra entries each)
Example~ I entered to win a Carmex Healing Kit at Shelly's Bits & Pieces @sleatham1 http://tinyurl.com/2d6a5op


The winner was #44 Amber.  She has been notified!  Thanks to all who entered!

                                  GOOD LUCK!!

Giveaway ends on Nov.16, 2010 at 11:00pm.  The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen!  Open to US only.

Disclosure:  I was provided with the product at no charge from the company to review.  I was not required to write a positive review and no money changed hands!  The opinions are my own honest thoughts on the products. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Review of Thiple Laundry Sorter in Chrome

Originally submitted at CSN Stores


Features:

  • Laundry sorter
  • Chrome finish
  • Removable cotton bags convenient for carrying and washing
  • Locking casters easy to move
  • Commercial sorter chrome plated, rubber casters steel tubes
  • Manufacturer provides limited lifetime warranty
  • ...


Perfect for our house

By allysmama from Timberlake, NC on 11/5/2010

 

5out of 5

Pros: Simple Instructions, Efficient, Very Simple to Assemble, Easy to Use

Cons: None

Best Uses: Keep In Laundry Room, Home, Cleaning

Describe Yourself: Parent, Homeowner

This is the perfect item to use to sort our clothes that need to be washed! Being on wheels makes it very easy to move around.

(legalese)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ten Tips for New Moms Who are Bringing Home Baby

Bringing home a new baby is nerve-wracking for every new mom. We all want to make sure our new baby is in a safe, healthy and happy environment. Twittermoms and Lysol have teamed up for a new campaign asking us for ten tips for new moms who are bringing a baby home. I'm sure each person has their own tried and true tip, here are a few that worked for me.


1. Have a few quick and easy meals stock-piled. Bringing home a baby can be stressful enough without having to worry about what to cook for dinner. In the last weeks before the baby arrives, think about things you can freeze to reheat later. Spaghetti sauce freezes and reheats beautifully. The spaghetti sauce can be used for several meals.

2. Don't be afraid to ask your friends and relatives to help you out with household chores. Things as simple as taking the trash to the curb can cause a problem for the new mom. Most people will gladly give you a hand with things if you ask them. Some people are afraid to intrude, and are just waiting for you to ask.

3. Don't put off getting the necessary baby items until the last minute. Forecasting the birth of a baby is not easy. Your baby might decide to make an early appearance, and it is much easier to have diapers, wipes and formula ready just in case.

4. Keep Lysol and hand sanitizer on hand. You will have guests stop by to visit you and the baby, and they all have germs. Since we are in the age of so many super viruses, having these items on hand is a smart move. Ask your guests to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before they hold the baby. Better safe than sorry.

5. Start making grocery and to do lists. Most of us suffer from new mommy brain after the baby arrives, and if we are in the habit of making lists, we are much less likely to overlook an important appointment or grocery item. This sure saves those late night runs for diapers or formula!

6. Wash the baby clothes before the baby arrives. You will need onesies, tshirts and socks more than anything else. Since a baby has sensitive skin, make sure their clothes are washed in Dreft, Ivory Snow or another baby detergent before you clothe the new baby.

7. Write down important phone numbers and post them on the refrigerator. I have a wipe off board on the side of my refrigerator where I write down emergency numbers, doctor phone numbers, and even close relatives phone numbers. When a new mom gets stressed, sometimes phone numbers, even numbers you call daily can be forgotten.

8. Dust and vacuum often. Dust mites can build up and can cause you and your baby to have respiratory issues. Keeping dust down can help both mommy and baby stay healthier.

9. Don't worry about spoiling your baby. Hold them every chance you can. The bond between mother and child is very important and the first few months after birth is the most important time to begin strengthening the bond.

10. Try a schedule for Mom, Dad, and baby. Sharing the responsibilities with the baby's Dad allows him to begin bonding with the baby, and it gives Mom some down time to rest and relax!

More than anything, remember to relax and enjoy being a mom. If you feel stressed, tell someone and get some help. You are human and will not have all the answers! Don't try to be supermom, and you and your baby will be happier!
 
Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”