Shelly's Bits and Pieces: May 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Printed T-Shirt Review!


I while back, I was offered the opportunity to review a cute printed t-shirt from http://www.tshirtprinting.net.
I ordered a size that would work for Future FBI, and she loves the shirt!   The little crazy looking monkey has drawn a lot of attention, and several of her classmates have asked about the shirt!  The shirt itself is quality made , and the monkey decal is holding up wonderfully through the abuse it is taking!  If you're in the market for some quality custom printed t-shirts, give http://www.tshirtprinting.net a try!!

Disclosure:  I received this cute shirt to review at no cost from tshirtprinting.net, through Tomoson.  I was not required to write a positive post.  No monetary exchange took place!  All opinions expressed are my own, or are those of my family!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Kroger Shopping Quick Trip!

Chefy, Future FBI and I went into Durham to eat at Pizza Inn for lunch!  Afterwards, we stopped at Kroger to pick up a few items that were on sale!  Here is a photo of what we bought!

I bought 36 bottles of assorted Simply juices and beverages, 4 Lunchables with fruit, 2 Oscar Mayer Hotdogs, and 2 packs of Hebrew National hot dogs.  Grand total before coupons $83.00!  After coupons and discounts, I spent $7.26, for a savings of $75.74!  Not too shabby!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Extra Review: Customizable Gum Packs!


My daughter, Future FBI, is a true gum connoisseur!  This soon to be teenager knows her gum, knows what she likes, and is very protective of her gum.  This girl loves gum as much as others love chocolate...it is her one true vice!  With that being said, it was a total no-brainer for me when I was offered the opportunity from MomSelect to customize some Extra gum packages from My Extra Gum!

About My Extra Gum.com:  MyExtra gum lets you customize packs of Extra® gum for any occasion. Upload your own photos and messages, adjust fonts, colors and clip art to make each pack your own. Having a hard time deciding what to make? You can also browse the gallery for inspiration. One pack of gum, endless possibilities™. 




My thoughts:  I loved the opportunity to design my own gum packs.  The hardest part for me was choosing which photo to use.  Customizing your pack is very simple.  Simply follow the steps and you'll have something you'll be proud to share!  You can choose from many different themes, decide on landscape or portrait, choose a template, or go with a blank one... choose the background, add a logo, photo, text, clip-art, or shape and create your masterpiece!   Each pack contains 15 pieces of Extra sugar-free gum, and you also get to choose the flavor...peppermint, spearmint or watermelon!! The only negative for me was that it is a little pricey for my budget.  You must order the packs in increments of five, with a minimum order of 5 packs.  The cost is $4.99 per pack with $6.95 shipping & handling! 
Future FBI

I'm thrilled with the way my pack turned out!  What do you think?  This would be wonderful party favors.  What occasions would you customize gum packs at MyExtraGum.com?



Disclosure:  I was not monetarily compensated for this post!  I received the customized packs of gum from MyExtraGum.com for review through MomSelect.  All opinions are my own honest opinions, or those of my family members!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Luma Tweeze Review and Giveaway

I recently was offered the opportunity to review the Luma Tweeze.  I'm sure you have all seen the commercials on TV for these tweezers.  Trying the "As Seen on TV" products is something I really enjoy doing!  You always see the remarkable things they do on the commercial, but if you are like me, you have to test it for yourself to believe it!

TV Top Ten sent me a package to review which included 2 Luma Tweeze tweezers, a lighted compact mirror, and an eyebrow brush.  Here is what the company has to say about the Luma Tweeze:
The Luma Tweeze is a must product for any women. With a built-in light and flip-up magnifying glass the Luma Tweeze is a pair of tweezers that will help you get perfect eyebrows every time.

Plus, they are made from high-quality steel tips that are angled so that they can grip more firmly.

Luma Tweeze Features:

  • Built in Light and Magnifier - See what you are missing!
  • Great for tweezing, splinters, or even crafts.
  • Made of high Quality stainless steel, angled blade tips that are perfectly aligned for precision tweezing.
The Luma Tweeze includes:
  • Tweezer with built in light and magnifier
  • Lighted 5x mirror - Free!
  • Purse Lights - Free!
My thoughts on the Luma Tweeze:  Initially I had problems actually seeing what the light had illuminated.  After using it for a while, I found it easier to maneuver things correctly to be able to see.  The tweezers did a good job of being able to grasp longer hairs, but I would prefer the ends to be more tapered to be able to remove short hairs.  I did find that the tweezers were great to use while scrapbooking.  I was able to pick up tiny pieces and place them with ease!  The magnifier does help you too...but you do have to get used to it!

I received the lighted 5x mirror and an eyebrow comb/brush with my 2 Luma Tweeze tweezers.  The eyebrow comb/brush is just a standard one, but it works just fine, and it was free!  The lighted 5x mirror is very nice and I love it!  You have to install 2 of your own AAA batteries, but it works great!!

All in all, I was pleased with how the Luma Tweeze performed, and since I received two of them, I'll use one for personal grooming and the other for scrapbooking!  Want to win a Luma Tweeze to find out for yourself?
Entering is easy.  Follow the guidelines below, and remember to leave me your email address in your response.  If you win, I need a way to let you know!

GIVEAWAY:  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will receive a Luma Tweeze set like the one I received, or like the one described on their website.

Mandatory entry:  Visit TVTopTen.com and tell me another item you are interested in trying.

Extra Entries:  May be gained after completing the mandatory entry!  Please enter the corresponding number of times!
Follow me on twitter @allysmamma
Subscribe to my blog via email. Confirm your subscription & leave the email you subscribed with.(2 extra)
Follow me on Google Friend Connect.
Add my button to your sidebar.(5 extra)
Comment on one of my non-giveaway posts (2 extra per post/unlimited)
Vote for me.  Click the We're on the fence button! (2 extra entries/DAILY)

Follow TVTopTen on Twitter
Like TVTopTen on Facebook
Digg TVTopTen
Tweet this giveaway: (may be done twice daily for 2 extra entries each)
Enter to win Luma Tweeze from @TVTopTen at Shelly's Bits & Pieces @sleatham1 http://tinyurl.com/3tf239p

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 yrs and older, and will close at 11:00pm EST on June 7, 2011.

Disclosure:  The products were given to me free of charge in return for a review.  A positive review was not required and no money changed hands.  All opinions stated belong to me, and are my honest thoughts!
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Five Summer Getaways Every Kid Should Experience

 SocialMoms is at it again!!  This time, they paired with Alamo, in honor of the Alamo Insiders Program, and asked us to post about five summer getaways every kid should experience.  There are so many wonderful places to consider.  I hope you enjoy my post!


The one place that I think every child should be able to experience is Walt Disney World in Florida!!  There is so much to do there for children and adults of all ages!  If your kids are small, they will enjoy breakfast with the Disney characters.  Magic Kingdom is truly magical!  Dinner at Cinderella's castle is something that every little girl will love.(Big girls do too!!)  Over at Epcot, you can enjoy visiting all the different countries, try the different food, and enjoy some rides too!  Visit the WDW Studios and you can experience the Disney back lot and you can check out more rides, and more cool places to eat!  Winnie the Pooh fans have a great opportunity to have a photo taken with him while there.  Along with the three parks, there is so much more.  My favorite place to cool down is Typhoon Lagoon!  This is one awesome water park!  You can also shop til you drop at Downtown Disney.  If you are lucky enough to stay at a Disney Resort, you can enjoy extra park hours, along with the awesome amenities that each resort has to offer!


Each child should experience going to the mountains.  Being from NC, I love going to the Great Smoky Mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee.  Cherokee, NC and the Indian reservation offer so many learning opportunities for children and adults.  You can visit them and learn how they did things many years ago!  While in Cherokee, you can trout fish in the cool mountain waters and visit shops and museums too.  Just over the NC border, you can visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  There is so much to do in these two places alone, your week of vacation can fly by in the blink of an eye.  A must see in Pigeon Forge is Dollywood!  Every child will love the rides and the shows will make the parents happy too!


The beach is another MUST for children.  I believe that the NC beaches offer beauty, sight seeing and awesome family experiences.  Our white sandy beaches and miles of pristine shoreline are a true must see.  Enjoy fishing, shell collecting, sandcastle building, and a day in the sun with your family in a safe place.  Growing up, one of the things I loved the most about the NC beaches was the fact that you could walk quite a ways in the ocean without having a drop off.  Safe and fun!  Just add sun screen!


I believe every child should be introduced to history.  Visiting historic places all through out the United States can be a fun and educational thing for everyone.  My daughter, Future FBI, really enjoyed our trip to Appomattox Court House in Virginia.  It is a part of the National Parks Service, and has so much for your children to enjoy.  Each child has the opportunity to discover what life was like back in the 1860's and if they complete certain tasks, they can earn prizes and become a junior ranger!  All these activities are free of charge!!


I also believe that every child should experience Washington, DC.  There is a lot to discover and learn while visiting our nation's capitol!  Visit the many monuments, the White House and make sure to check out the Smithsonian!  The museums are the best in the world, and the experiences will last a lifetime!


What ever you decide to do, relax, take some back roads and enjoy everything our wonderful country has to offer!


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

Technical Issues

I am not sure what is going on with my blog and twitter recently.  When blogger went down, it took several posts and many comments with it.  My biggest problem was that they still have not resurfaced, so I have to write each review again...because I never saved it anywhere else!  UGH!!   Well, last night, I went to twitter to make a few tweets, and after my third tweet, I get a message saying my account is suspended....WHAT?  I have no idea what is going on with twitter, but I have sent 3 appeal requests to them, and have heard nothing!! 
SOOOO...I am going to go ahead and post my reviews and giveaways, and hope for the best!!!  Bear with me while I get all this done!!

Thanks!!

~~~~~~~~~~Shelly~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm a Proud Mama Because...

There are so very many reasons that I am a proud Mama!  My daughter was born after I had suffered 14 miscarriages, and 10 years of infertility!  She is my miracle and my blessing from God!  I'm proud of her first of all because she is MINE!  My daughter is my biggest fan.  She helps me with my couponing and even thinks it is cool to save money!  She stalks coupons, helps me cut and sort them, and she even finds good deals for me.  I'm proud of her for that!

Future FBI makes A's and the occasional B in school.  She does her homework without being told to do it, she pushes herself to learn new things, and she loves to read.  This year at the talent show, she was brave enough to stand up and sing.  There's no way I would have been brave enough to do it, but she was! This is another reason I'm a proud Mama.  During basketball season, we are busy running her from game to game.  She shows great sportsmanship and plays with her whole heart.  On the evenings that her team loses, she still congratulates the other team and also tells her team not to get down on themselves, that they played a great game.  I've seen other players get mad, fight, throw things, and refuse to speak after ball games.  I'm a proud Mama because my daughter is a good sport.

When my daughter was 10, she became a Christian and was baptized.  She made the decision on her own, and she can explain the Bible and quote some scripture as well as any adult.  This makes me very proud!  Earlier this year, we lost Papa, my grandpa, her great-grandpa, after a short battle with cancer.  She was grieving, BUT, she was more mature than most.  She focused on her great-grandma and stayed by her side during the funeral, and has been there with her almost every weekend since.  Although she misses Papa, my daughter will tell you that she knows she will see him again one day and that she is glad he's not in pain anymore.  She says she is taking care of Grandma for Pa.  This makes me a proud Mama too.

The thing that makes me the most proud is when I see her smiling face and she comes over for a hug and a kiss and tells me that she loves me.  You see, even when I think I'm doing everything wrong, she tells me I'm a great mama and she wants to be just like me.  I'm proud of the child she was, the person she is, and the lady she is quickly becoming!

This is an entry to the Proud Mom contest, I'm in the running to win $50! Sponsored by UPrinting event ticket printing services!


WOW!!  I won!!   See..."Congratulations to Shelly Leatham and Tara F for winning the Proud Mom Contest : A Mother's Day Special brought to you by GiveawayBlogs and UPrinting! Thank you to all the participants and watch out for more exciting contests here on GiveawayBlogs!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buying glasses online as a tool for saving


Times are hard and we’re all looking hard at our budgets to see where we can cut corners and save. Much of the time, in our efforts to live frugally, we mistake necessities for luxuries and try to live without, only causing us further problems down the line. This is most true in the case of eyeglasses.

Given a bad rap as being overly expensive without reason, some money savers would prefer to suffer with poor eyesight, eye strain and headaches than to splash on on the “luxury” of perfect sight in the form of glasses.

However, times have changed and the online world has taken glasses wearing to a new level with up to 70% in savings compared to offline-bought glasses and regular competitive promotions which give them the edge over other online options. Essentially, aside from the huge variety of eyeglasses available online, without question the biggest plus to online eyeglasses buying is their affordability. Online retailers such as GlassesUSA.com, provide cheap eyeglasses which rival the quality of any of their offline counterparts and are often even produced through the same manufacturers; yet cost so much less.

All you need is a recently updated eyeglasses prescription (inclusive of your pupillary distance [PD] measurement), an online method of payment, and a working Internet connection, and you have all the tools at your disposal for online eyeglasses shopping. No doubt you will be pleasantly surprised to find that you have a choice of eyeglasses in every color, material, style, and size to match all of your needs, wants. You will also find yourself in full control of your spending on all the optional extra additions to your new prescription eyeglasses.

You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain - try online eyeglasses shopping for your optical and fashion needs! Now, your next shopping trip is even cheaper! Take $25 off any order of glasses with Transitions lenses when you use the code Trans25 or take 10% off your next order when you use the code blog10.

This post was paid for and sponsored by GlassesUSA.com.

Twizzlers Landmark Summer

As the school year slowly winds to an end, vacation thoughts are being discussed with vigor in my home.  Although the economy is still on a downswing, we are determined to go SOMEWHERE this summer.  Living in Piedmont NC has afforded me opportunities to travel to the beach or to the mountains without having to drive for HOURS!  We can easily get to the beach or the mountains in about 3 hours. 

How do we choose a destination?  That is the hard part!  Who wants to have to choose?  We have found out that we can actually do both if we want.  We can travel to the Great Smoky Mountains and to Cape Hatteras all in the same week!  Want to know what makes this fun for us?  We refuse to take the highway!  My hubby plots out our trip taking the back roads and going through the small towns that make NC a great place to live!  You would not believe all the fun we have doing that!  We have found small town festivals and fairs, and now are thinking about going to Mount Olive to check out the pickle plant! 

Landmarks are very important in our vacation travels!  I've been to Niagara Falls, which is beautiful, and have enjoyed historic battlefields like Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia!  My hubby and I want to take our daughter to New York and visit the Statue of Liberty, check out Times Square, and try out some types of foods and places to eat that we've heard about on television!

What are you planning for the summer?  According to family travel expert Emily Kaufman, “The Travel Mom,” families are starting to think past the backyard “staycation” and are rediscovering the freedom of the open road. Kaufman shares the following tips for a fun and safe family road trip:

■Create a boredom bag. Convert a hanging travel cosmetic case into a case full of fun and hang it from the seat back in front of the kids’ seats. Consider creating fun works of art with Twizzlers Pull ‘n’ Peel Candy before snacking on them!
■Take your trip “online.” From GPS systems to phone applications, trips are no longer a navigation nightmare.
■Think through the snacks you pack. Avoid packing snacks that are easy to spill like juice boxes or snacks that melt. Try plastic bottles with sports tops and bring along Twizzlers Candy or Twizzlers Nibs Candy – they are easy to share and don’t melt, making them the perfect car ride treat.


www.Twizzlers.com
 What kinds of snacks do you take on road trips!  My daughter and I love the strawberry Twizzlers....
Disclosure - I wrote this as a contest entry for a Twizzlers Landmark Summer promotion prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

Shari's Berries Review and Giveaway Winner!!

The winner of the giveaway is.....#171 agatewood1 (Ashley)
 CLAIMED/Giveaway Closed

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171
Timestamp: 2011-05-17 07:38:19 UTC


You have been emailed!  Please check your spam if you don't see the email!  You have 48 hours to claim your prize, or another winner will be chosen!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

A Dog Named Slugger Review

A DOG NAMED SLUGGER
  • Author: Leigh Brill
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780984325658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984325658
  • ASIN: 0984325654
  • A Dog Named Slugger on Facebook


Reading is a passion of mine.  My mother has always been a huge reader and I admit that watching her read was a huge influence on my.  I'm even happier to admit that my daughter, Future FBI, has the same passion.  When I was offered the the chance to review A Dog Named Slugger, I was very happy to do it!  



The book is grabbed my attention from the beginning!  Who could bypass the tag line which reads, "The true story of the friend who changed my world," without stopping to check it out?  Leigh presents this inspiring story to us with all the love and dedication of someone discussing their human friends.  It is obvious from the beginning that this story was going to touch my heart.  The book chronicles the life of Leigh, who was born with congenital cerebral palsy, and the physical and emotional challenges she faced everyday.  She was at a point where she really needed some help and through a brochure a friend had, she learned about Carine Canine Companions who helped Leigh unite with Slugger!  It was not an easy road for the two of them, but with patience, lots of practice and of course, positive rewards, the two of them developed a powerful partnership and love!  


Prior to reading this book, I did not know a lot about canine companions or service animals of any kind.  After reading, I have developed a new respect for the animals and for their human companions.  This book is a must read for anyone interested in the subject, animal lovers, or anyone else who is looking for an inspiring, heart warming read!


A Dog Named Slugger is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at many other reputable stores.  It is also available on Kindle.


Disclosure:  This book was given to me free of charge to review.  I was not required to write a positive review and no monetary compensation was received.  All opinions stated are my own!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Everyone who knows me is aware that my daughter is the apple of my eye.  She is my miracle, because after 14 miscarriages followed by 10 years of infertility, I was blessed with her!  I always heard that the more love you give, the more you have to give.  I didn't know it was true until the first moment I laid eyes on my daughter!  On Mother's Day, I reflect on the reason I get to celebrate...I have a daughter...I'm a Mama!

My daughter will be a teenager in July, but to me she will always be my little girl!  I'm so thankful that she still likes to snuggle and that she still thinks she has the best mom in the world.  I look at other moms and daughters who barely know each other, and the ones who hate each other.  I cannot imagine being in their shoes and I thank God for that! 

Growing up, I loved to write(STILL DO), and I would write my parents a poem for every occasion.  This year, my daughter surprised me with one of her own.  I feel the need to share it!  I hope it brings a smile to your face!
                            Happy Mother's Day 2011
Happy Mother's Day means more than have a happy day.
Within these words lies bits of things we never get to say.
It means I love you first of all, then thanks for all you do.
It means you mean a lot to me, and that I honor you.
But most of all I guess it means that I'm thinking of
Your happiness on this special day, with pleasure and with love!
By: Future FBI

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing all moms a Happy Mother's Day!  God Bless You!
~~~~~Shelly~~~~~

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coupons and Saving Money

Saving money is something I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid! My brother would spend every penny he received, and all mine went in a bank.  All through my high school years and college, I would clip coupons and go stock up on necessary items during double coupon days.  My friends thought I was crazy, but they always managed to come and see me when they ran out of something! 

Over the years, my coupon purchases have changed, and the types of products have altered as well.  I have tried may different coupon systems from carrying them in a small holder, to a box, and now, my current method, a notebook!  I must admit, I am enjoying the notebook method!! 

My hubby and daughter love to go shopping with me and enjoy seeing how many items we can buy for the smallest amount of money!  For a while, I went through a period of hoarding.  I had more boxes of cereal than our family could eat in 10 years.  Cereal goes bad...where was my head?  I donated most of the cereal, gave family and friends their choice, and we created some interesting recipes with the rest.  Don't get me wrong, I still stockpile, but now, I donate perishable items before my stock gets out of hand! 

My best shopping trip was when I purchased $112.87 worth of groceries and had to grab a quick candy bar because the store owed me money!  I know many of you do better than that, but I was thrilled!  I'm proud to be passing on my love of coupons and saving money to my daughter.  Future FBI is a huge help and she refuses to pay full price for things she wants now!!  My hubby, Chefy, has built some shelves for me, and is a great cheering section!  Even if I won the lottery today, I'd still use my coupons.  Why waste money when you don't have to?  Do you coupon?  What were your best deals?

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon!
~~~~~Shelly~~~~~

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Product Review of Omeprazole Acid Reducer

This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

120x30_WalgrensTransparentLogo

Struggling with frequent heartburn is something I've dealt with for years.  I've tried many different brands, at lots of different prices.  I was offered the opportunity to review the omeprazole acid reducer, one of Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products.   This is the first time I have ever tried one of the Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products and I was very pleased.  The product not only worked well, but it also was cheaper than the brand name product I usually purchase.  I will save $2 each time I purchase the Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Omeprazole, and in the current economic condition of the country, every penny counts!

Purchasing these products not only saves money, it also helps support bringing preventive wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™.  Walgreens donates up to 3 million dollars annually to the  Walgreens Way to Well Fund™  .  These funds are used to provide free preventive wellness tests and other health and wellness services and education to local communities. Some of these services include preventive health tests through the National Urban League Health and Wellness Tour, as well as vouchers that are redeemable in select stores.  You can obtain more information by visiting walgreens.com/waytowellAdvertisement

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