Shelly's Bits and Pieces: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shari's Berries Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is closed!  The winner has been chosen!  Thanks for entering!

Mother's Day is just a week away and I know that some of us are still looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift. I had the opportunity to review some tasty items from Shari's Berries, and I am very pleased. The items I reviewed were the full dozen birthday berries and one milk caramel apple.

The strawberries were large and delicious.  The chocolate was very smooth and tasty!!  I was very impressed with how cute they were and also the fact that they are still fresh a week after they arrived!!  (The only reason I can attest to that is because I hid one from my hubby and daughter, and I ate it today!)  The strawberry was still firm and delicious and the chocolate was amazing!  The apple, OMG...the apple was so delicious, it lasted less than an hour after the box arrived! 
 
There are so many different items to choose from at Shari's Berries!  You can find many different Chocolate Covered Strawberry Gift Ideas which can include half or full dozen delicious strawberries and many other gift ideas.  You can purchase some adorable Mothers Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries and gift sets that can even offer you deliveries that will come on two separate days!  Can you imagine the look on your Mom's face when she gets some of these Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Delivered to her door?  I can only speak for myself when I tell you that I was very pleased with mine!!!  
 
Want to try these for yourself?  The wonderful people at Shari's Berries have given me a $50 gift code to give to one lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader!  Can't wait that long?  Entering BERRYGOOD at checkout will give you a 15% discount on your Shari's Berries purchases.
 
~~~~~~~~~~Giveaway~~~~~~~~~~
 
Mandatory Entry:  Simply Like Shari's Berries on Facebook by clicking HERE.  Entering is as simple as that, and if you want more chances to win, you can earn extra entries by completing any of the items below!
 
Extra Entry Options:  (2 extra per item completed)

*Follow my Blog on Google Friend Connect,
*Subscribe to my blog,
*Follow me on twitter @sleatham1,
*Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post,
*Add my button to your sidebar
*Promote this giveaway on any Linky or blog about it
*You can also tweet this giveaway, or post it on your facebook wall (twice daily for 2 entries each)

I entered to win a $50 Shari's Berries gift code at Shelly's Bits & Pieces http://bit.ly/lQMTOI @sleatham1 ends May 14. 
Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older. Giveaway ends on May 14 at 11pm EST! All comments must provide me with an email!! If you win and I have no way to contact you, I will draw another winner!  Winner must respond to email within 48 hours of notification. 

Disclosure:  I received free product to review as well as the gift code to giveaway from Shari's Berries.  I was not further compensated for my review and a positive review was not required!  All opinions are honest and belong to me and my family!

Spring Has Sprung at Pier 1 Imports!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring has arrived here in North Carolina and it is time to start thinking about outdoor furniture!  When I think about getting new furniture for my porch, the first place I think about is Pier 1....as           

Pier 1 Imports offers so many different styles and colors to choose from.  I could literally look for hours in a Pier 1 store.  I love the beautiful red scattered daisy pattern cushion for the outdoor Papasan chair.  The color and pattern just looks like Spring!  I also like the light brown, outdoor wicker rocker.   It is a very nice and sturdy rocking chair that you can make more your own by adding a cushion or pillow of your choosing.   No porch or patio would be complete without a table, and with Pier 1, you have many to choose from!  They even have very nice hammocks that can hold up to 500 pounds! 

Many of the "outdoor" products at Pier 1 would look so nice indoors.  A breakfast nook would be an ideal place for a sturdy wicker table and chairs!  A nursery would be the perfect place for a white wicker rocker.  With so many beautiful items to choose from, Pier 1 is the place to go for outdoor furnishings and more. 

For more information, and for locations, check out the Pier 1 Tweetups

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, April 25, 2011

Purex Crystals Review & Giveaway

The first product I was able to review when I became a Purex Insider was the wonderful new product Purex Complete Crystals Softener.  To be perfectly honest, I was a bit skeptical about how well these crystals would work in my wash, and I was worried that they would not dissolve.  I should have never worried about it at all!

Here is the Purex® Complete Crystals Softener TM FACT SHEET!

WHAT IT IS > UNIQUE CRYSTAL FORM, 92% NATURAL FABRIC SOFTENER
Introducing Purex® Complete Crystals SoftenerTM*; a purer way to get laundry that
smells clean and fresh for weeks. 92% natural, this product’s unique crystal form works
differently than traditional oil-based softeners that coat fabrics with oily residue, because
it infuses fibers with long-lasting fragrance. In addition, since you add it directly with your
laundry, this means no more waiting for the rinse cycle, no messy residual gunk in your
washing machine, and no more stains from spilling liquid fabric softener.

HOW IT’S USED > ADDED WITH LAUNDRY AT THE START OF THE WASH CYCLE
Why struggle with plastic fabric softener balls, risk staining your clothes or waste time
waiting for the rinse cycle? Simply add Purex Complete Crystals Softener directly with
your laundry at the beginning of every wash cycle to infuse fabrics with long lasting
freshness.

HOW IT WORKS > CRYSTALS DISSOLVE INFUSING FABRICS WITH FRESHNESS
Laundry scent lovers will perk up as freshness is infused into clothes with this new fabric
softener. Over time, traditional oil-based softeners coat fibers causing harmful oily
residue to accumulate. Purex Complete Crystals Softeners penetrate fabrics to reduce
fiber entanglement and smooth frayed fibers providing a naturally soft feel.

WHY IT’S DIFFERENT > SAFE FOR ALL LAUNDRY AND BETTER FOR FABRICS
Do ALL of your laundry—worry free! Purex Complete Crystals Softeners are safe for
all laundry and will not harm, wear down or discolor your fabrics like oil-based softeners.
Safe for all fabrics, including baby clothes, athletic wear, towels, and whites. Unlike other
softeners, Crystals WILL:
• Preserve the flame retardant benefits of your children’s clothes
• Retain your athletic wear’s wicking ability which draws sweat away from your body
• Maintain your towels’ built-in ability to absorb water

• Keep your white clothing from yellowing and graying vs. using traditional softeners
The product won’t harm your clothes and is safe and convenient for the entire family!

VARIETIES > ON-TREND SCENTS
Purex Complete Crystals Softener is available in three on-trend fragrances: Fresh
Spring Waters TM, Lavender Blossom TM, and Tropical Splash. TM
Suggested Retail Price
Purex Complete Crystals Softener is priced from $3.99 to $5.99 depending on retailer
and will be available in food, drug and mass retailers nationwide.

My opinion:  The crystals dissolved without any problems, and my clothes were left smelling fresh and they were very soft.  The Purex Complete Crystals Softener has now replaced all other fabric softeners in my home.  Our towels smell clean in the closet longer, and it is nice to open up the linen closet and experience a clean, fresh scent, without having to spray an air freshener.  I have recommended these crystals to my family members, and I have purchased several more bottles for my home use!

Giveaway:  Two lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces readers will get to experience Purex Complete Crystals Softener for themselves.(In the form of a free coupon!)  2 winners will be drawn by Random.org. Each winner will receive 1 coupon for a FREE (28 oz) bottle of Purex Complete Crystals Softener. Want to know how to enter?   Fulfill the mandatory entry by visiting the Purex Complete Crystals website and telling me what scent you think you would try first if you won.  (This entry must be completed before any extra entries will be counted.)

EXTRA ENTRIES: (2 extra per item completed)
*Follow my Blog on Google Friend Connect,
*Subscribe to my blog,
*Follow me on twitter @sleatham1,
*Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post,
*You can also tweet this giveaway, or post it on your facebook wall (twice daily for 2 entries each):

I entered to win a coupon for a FREE 28oz Purex Complete Crystals bottle at Shelly's Bits & Pieces http://bit.ly/guPoVm @sleatham1

Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older. Giveaway ends on May 7 at 11pm EST!  All comments must provide me with an email!!  If you win and I have no way to contact you, I will draw another winner!

Disclosure:  I received a sample to review as well as coupons to giveaway from Purex at no charge.  I was not further compensated for my review and a positive review was not required!  All opinions are honest and belong to me and my family!

Giveaway winners are #1 Nonapig and #39 purplelover04.  They both have been contacted! Thanks for entering!  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

W/W--Me and HB

Holding my great niece, HB!
This was taken a few months ago!  She is much bigger now!  She is the first girl baby in the family in 12 years!!

Wordless/wordful Wednesday: Linked up with Slice O Heaven, Seven Clown Circus, and more!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Memories of Baskets, Peeps and Grandma

When Easter rolls around, my mind always wanders back to the awesome 1970s!  My great grandma would take my brother and me downtown shopping for our Easter outfits.  We would wander from store to store looking for just the right outfit for us, and a hat for Grandma.  After we finished trying on clothes and Grandma was satisfied that we would look our best at church on Easter Sunday, she would walk us over to Woolworth's and help us choose all the goodies we wanted in our Easter Baskets! 

Every kid knows that finding just the right size Easter basket is important.  It needs to be big enough to hold your chocolate bunny and your other candy, but it couldn't be too big, because it had to be easy to carry when you were at the Easter Egg Hunt!  We were pretty much like every kid.  We would get more than our share of chocolate and even chewing gum, but the most important thing to me finding my yellow Peeps!  I loved looking at how cute the Peeps were in my basket, and I loved feasting on them even more. 

One Easter in particular comes to mind because it will be forever known as the year my Peeps disappeared!  After my brother and I had lined our baskets with plastic green grass, added our hollow chocolate Easter Bunny, tossed in the chocolate eggs, and slid in the chewing gum, my yellow Peeps were added to my basket and I placed it on the kitchen counter.  I was so proud of how beautiful my basket was, and I was even more excited that I would finally be able to start eating some of the candy, most importantly my Peeps, the next day.  When I woke up and came into the kitchen, my basket was still there, but my Peeps were missing.  Although I only remember that I was very upset, my daddy says I threw a "hissy fit" because my Peeps were missing.  I do remember we had an all out search for them, which included going through my brother's entire bedroom!  Since back in those days, you didn't go to the store on Sunday, I was crushed.  No Peeps for me!  We searched everywhere until we realized that out boxer, Winston, was no where to be found.  We walked outside to his doghouse to find him stretched out on top of it...eating MY Peeps!  GRR.  As much as I loved my dog, he was on my bad list that day!

I never did get any Peeps that year, but from that moment on, my daddy would buy an extra pack, just in case!  Yellow Peeps were, and still are my favorite!  I have no desire to change colors.  Memories make the yellow Peeps even sweeter to me!

Use this promo code at checkout - SMSPRING11 for 20% off all of your purchases at the Peeps & Company online store until 5/4/11!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and PEEPS blogging contest, for a chance to get a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Coca-Cola Ham Recipe Memories

When I was growing up, my mother was a terrible cook.  She burned more food than most people will ever cook.  It's not that she wasn't trying.  She really tried to cook, she was just never taught how.  Mama experimented with all different types of things.  She created a green onion chicken one night that actually had a green tint to it!  Our dog ran from that disaster!  Luckily, my daddy was a good cook and he kept us well fed!

Mama did come up with one winning item that would bring everyone to the table.   She cooked a canned ham in the crock pot.  How is that different from other people?  Mama's recipe had one secret ingredient...
a small glass bottle of Coca-Cola.  Her recipe is very simple, and I'll post it for your viewing enjoyment.

Coca-Cola CrockPot Ham

1-Canned Ham, rinsed well
1-Tablespoon of yellow mustard
1-Small Glass bottle of Coca-Cola

Place the ham in the crock pot.  Add in the yellow mustard and the bottle of Coca-Cola and cook on low heat 4 hours. 

It's just that simple, but the flavor is wonderful.  Mama would cook the ham (sometimes as long as overnight), and make some macaroni and cheese. That food would fly off our dining room table faster than you would believe!  It was a family favorite back then, and it still is today.  Mama makes it exactly the same way.  She insists on the small (green glass) bottled Coke!  No exceptions are ever allowed!

Thinking back to my childhood, most of the "food" memories I have include Coca-Cola.  It is written in my baby book that my uncle, who was 6 at the time, filled up my baby bottle with Coke, and had given it to me when I wouldn't stop crying.  It was not my first word, but "Co-Ca" was actually in the first ten.  I also remember the summers my brother and I spent with our great grandma, while our parents worked.  During the dog days of a North Caroling summer, our grandma would place two of the small green bottled Cokes in the freezer and get them good and cold.  We'd come inside from playing in the dirt, Grandma would wash our hands and faces, then grab those Cokes, pop off the lid, and we would sit in amazement as the liquid started to freeze.  Ahhh, what great memories!  Although I'm much older now, I can still get some comfort from cuddling up with a refreshing bottle of Coca-Cola. 


I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Coca-Cola® blogging program. If I am one of the first 100 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 gift card. For more information on the program, click here

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dinner Drama Ends with Barber Foods Seasoned Selects Review & $25 VISA GC Giveaway

WINNER IS #307 KLOPIN!!  Congrats!!
Dinner around my house can be a huge drama.  My hubby comes home and wants to relax.  My daughter comes home starving.  I can eat whenever the food is ready.  The problem is...what am I going to cook for dinner.  My daughter will eat pretty much anything, but the quantity she eats depends on whether or not she actually wanted what I cooked.  My hubby doesn't care what is cooked, as long as he didn't have to cook it!

Barber Foods Seasoned Selects ended the dinner drama at my house, because everyone loved it!  Seasoned Selects are a new line of stuffed chicken breast entrees at Barber Foods. They are made with white meat chicken that are stuffed with combinations of meat, cheese and vegetables. This new line is not breaded, but is seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices! Seasoned Selects are lower in calories, fat, and carbs.






Since the three of us were eating dinner, I cooked both the Chicken Cordon Bleu and the Spinach Florentine. I also checked out the Barber Foods recipe section while I was looking for a tasty side dish. I made two different side dishes, grilled sweet potato fries, and the yummy angel hair pasta. My daughter devoured the Spinach Florentine and the angel hair pasta. I was shocked since it was different than the things I normally cook!   Barber Foods Seasoned Selects now holds a permanent spot in my freezer!





 
Barber Foods is offering one Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader a $25 VISA gift card and a coupon to try their
Seasoned Selects for free!  Want a chance to win this for yourself?  Simply respond below by answering my question! 

MANDATORY ENTRY:  What is your worst dinner drama?
 (This entry must be completed before any extra entries will be counted.) 
EXTRA ENTRIES: (2 extra per item completed) 
 Follow my Blog on Google Friend Connect,
Subscribe to my blog,
Follow me on twitter @sleatham1,
Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post,
Follow Barber Foods on Twitter,
 Like Barber Foods on Facebook

You can also tweet this giveaway (twice daily for 2 entries each):
I entered to win a $25 VISA GC  & Coupon from Barber Foods Seasoned Select at Shelly's Bits & Pieces @sleatham1 http://bit.ly/fCld4A


Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older.  Giveaway ends on April 21st at 11pm EST!


Disclosure:  I’d like to thank Barber Foods for sending me products to try and a gift card for purchasing ingredients for my side dish. The opinions expressed are my own, or are those of my family and are never influenced by the company!


















Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Little Switches That Make a Difference

Social Moms is at it again!  This time, they have paired up Cottonelle up to introduce a fun, new blogging program that asks bloggers to share little switches that make a difference.  There are so very many things that immediately shot to mind.  Our life is all about making choices.  The opportunity for change is everywhere.  It's up to each person to decide where the changes should be made. 

1.  My family generally watches television every night, so I decided to turn off the television every night until about eight.  We enjoy playing games together, having some quiet reading time, and since it is nice outside, we have been going on walks and playing basketball.  It is amazing how much our communication has increased!

2.  My daughter was eating school lunches everyday, and she would come home and complain about the food, and would be starving.  I started making her lunch.  I would make a sandwich and include her favorite fruits and vegetables to eat.  She now comes home and talks grabs a healthy snack, because she is NOT starving!  She is actually eating at lunch!

3.  My hubby generally sits on the couch and I sit on the love seat.  There is no real reason for it.  We just are used to sitting in those spaces.  I decided to sit beside my hubby on the couch, and it was so nice.  We actually snuggled together there and watched television together.  It just seems so much more intimate sitting right beside my hubby instead of across from him. 

4.  Morning used to be insane around my house.  We'd run around trying to figure out what to wear, and trying to find backpacks, purses, keys, and jackets.  Since we have limited time in the morning, we started getting our clothes together the night before.  We pick out our entire outfit, shoes and all.  The clothes are placed on our dressers so we can grab and go in the morning.  The backpacks, jackets, purses and keys are all placed in the correct places the night before, so we can find them when we are ready to go!

5.  Grabbing a plastic bottle of water is such an easy way to go.  My family of three was going through at least 2 cases of bottled water each week.  That is not good for the environment, and even worse on our wallets.  I put a water filter on my kitchen faucet and bought some reusable water bottles.  I put the filtered water in a pitcher and place it in my refrigerator.  When I want water, I fill up my personal bottle and go!  I'm saving money and the Earth!

What kinds of things could you change?  Little switches CAN make a huge difference in your life!
Give it a try.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

My First Wordless Wednesday Post

You'd better get your Paws off my Slim Jim!
  
This is my first Wordless Wednesday post, and I'm really not sure if I'm doing this correctly!  Our shih tzu, Ginger had "found" a Slim Jim, and our kitty, Simba, decided he wanted her to share with him!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

NMEDA Review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NMEDA for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

When you are disabled, or when you are taking care of a disabled person, transportation can be a major headache.  No two disabled people are alike and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another.  Can you imagine the trying to buy an adaptive wheelchair vehicle when you really do not know exactly what will fit your needs?  Buying adaptive wheelchair vehicles over the internet or from a catalog can cause even bigger problems if they are not what the disabled person needed!  You need someone who can tell you exactly what will best work for you!  That is where NMEDA comes in. 

NMEDA is a non-profit trade association who educates consumers on buying products from NMEDA dealers.  NMEDA does not sell anything!  They are a non-profit association that promotes safe driving and equipment for disabled people.  The NMEDA members are required to adhere to the safety standards of the National Highway Safety Administration.

NMEDA has dealers and Quality Assurance Program (QAP) dealers.  The dealers are members who sell handicap vans and vehicle modifications for disabled people.  They offer "in-person" evaluations so you can be sure you are getting the right driving solution customized to your specific lifestyle and needs.  The NMEDA is also there when you need additional training or product refinement.  They are with you every step of the way and help you make more informed decisions.  THE QAP is the only nationally recognized accreditation program for the Adaptive Mobility Equipment Industry.  The QAP is based on the principle that in order to satisfy customers consistently, companies must have a documented and systematic approach to quality.

NMEDA dealers can help get the elderly or disabled back on the road to independence.  There is no more need to depend on others when you could be doing things yourself!  You can visit nmeda.org and find dealers in your area.  I did some checking and there are several in mine!  Why wait?  Check out NMEDA.org and start working toward regaining your independence! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Make sure you stop by and join in the fun during the UBP 2011~  I look forward to making lots of new friends and finding new blogs to follow!!  See you there!