Shelly's Bits and Pieces: July 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy 13th Birthday Baby Girl!

I cannot believe that my baby is thirteen today!!!  It seems like only yesterday that I was waiting for her to make her grand entrance into the world....time sure flies!  I'm certainly proud of the lady you are becoming and I love you more than you'll ever know!  I hope you have a very Happy Birthday! 

Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful daughter! She was the answer to my prayers and she continues to amaze me, everyday!  Thank you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flipflop Wine: Great Taste at a Reasonable Price


Over the years we've been married, my hubby has taught me a lot about wine.  Being married to a chef can be very educational, as well as tasty!  We enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but the price of the wine is not always enjoyable.  All this has changed since we had the opportunity to try flipflop wines!  I was sent three bottles to review, and we jumped right on it!  My review wines included Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. 

On the back of every bottle of flipflop wines, they have a scale that rates the wine from dry to medium dry to medium sweet to sweet!  I love that even someone who is a wine novice can choose the perfect wine to suit their taste!  My hubby pretty much enjoys all different wines.  His taste preference generally leans toward a dry wine, and he absolutely loved the Pinot Noir.  He said it was very smooth and tasty!  The Pinot Grigio was his second favorite.  It is not as dry as the Pinot Noir, but not as sweet as the Riesling.  I must admit, although I prefer a sweeter wine, I really enjoyed both of his favorites.  I was very excited to try the Riesling, and I was not disappointed!  It was absolutely wonderful!!  I limited my hubby to one glass and put this wine away for myself! 

Flipflop wines also makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Moscato wine.  I am very excited about trying all the others and finding new favorites!  I was very pleased to find these wines at my local Harris Teeter.  The price is right too!  The wine retails for about $7 a bottle!  It certainly tastes more expensive though! 

In 2011, flipflop wines has partnered with Soles4Souls to help them achieve their goal of 11 million pairs of shoes in 2011.  For every bottle of flipflop wine purchased, Soles4Souls will distribute a pair of shoes to someone in need. The partnership with flipflop wines and Soles4Souls is important.  With more than 300 million children in the world without shoes, flipflop’s dedication to the cause is helping put shoes on more than 100,000 feet.

The partnership between flipflop wines and Soles4Souls just gives me one more reason to purchase flipflop wine! Please visit www.flipflopwines.com to learn all the delicious yet inexpensive wines that flipflop wines carry.  They also can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/flipflopwines.

Disclosure:  I received 3 bottles of flipflop wines free of charge in exchange for my review.  I was not monetarily compensated for this review.  All opinions expressed are honest and are those of my husband and myself.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My daughter has a style that is uniquely her own!

When it comes to clothing for my teenage daughter, she has a style all her own!  I commend her for being her own person, and not feeling like she has to be a carbon copy of everyone else!  JC Penney and Socialmoms have teamed up and asked for posts that talk about our child's individual sense of style.   My daughter and I have teamed up to write this post together!
What future FBI has to say:  "Being your own person is important.  You know what you like.  Don't let others talk you into a certain look, because, "Everyone is wearing this."  If you like a certain color, by all means wear it.  You just need to remember not to get stuck in a rut wearing it all the time!  I have friends who have friends who were called "goth" because they wear black shirts.  HELLO...maybe the design they wanted was in black.  I am a Twilight fan and almost every Twilight shirt I own is in black.  It is not that I'm trying to be Gothic.  I just love Twilight.   As far as school clothes go, my jeans for school cannot have holes in them due to the dress code, but when I'm going somewhere else, I like to wear my "well loved" holey jeans.  A school dress code is something else to consider.  We can wear almost anything we want to school, with a few exceptions.  We cannot wear tank tops, cropped shirts, short shorts or skirts, baggie pants, sagging pants or pants with designed holes in them.  So, the way I display my individual style is to add accessories to my clothes.  I love wearing funky necklaces, bracelets and earrings!  It takes me a little longer to get changed for gym, because jewelry is a no-no, but that is OK with me"
"My clothing choices for church and more formal events can be dressy, but I tend to stick with comfort over flair.  I'd rather be comfortable than to look like I'm trying to impress anyone.  I enjoy dressing for very special occasions, like a formal dance, wedding, or a fancy restaurant, but otherwise, I just want to be myself.  I feel that your style should be all about what you like, and who you are.  Just be yourself and give your true style a chance to shine."
My thoughts:  I have to agree with my daughter.  Your style should be your own personal choice, as long as the clothing is not offensive.  I'm proud of her style.  It is neither dressy nor sloppy, neither sporty nor nerdy.  Future FBI's style is truly her own!




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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop (2 winners)!!


Christmas in July is here!  Time to start hopping around from blog to blog and enter to win some prizes!  You might even win enough to call your Christmas shopping done!


Shelly's Bits and Pieces is blessed enough to giveaway two prize packages!   The first winner drawn will have a huge choice to make.  That winner gets to choose which one of these awesome prizes they want to accept! 
 The first prize is a Medium Package-blog make over from The World As I See It Blog and Designs.  This prize is valued at $50 and includes: 

• 2 or 3 column design  • Custom background   • Custom header  • Matching font color
• 6 sidebar titles   • Custom signature   • Custom post divider   • Blog Button
• Social network icons   • Installation
You can make over your blog and transform it into the blog you've always dreamed about!
 


The next prize is a gift certificate to Light Affection for a custom night light, which sells for $44.95!  You simply choose your favorite photo and a custom light will be made for you!  This will be a family treasure to pass down for generations!



Both of these prizes get a bonus prize pack thanks to Country Bob's Sauces!  Each Prize pack will include 2 bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce!
 Want to know how to win?  It's simple!!  Simple post your response to the mandatory entry question and you are entered!

Mandatory Entry:  (This must be done in order for any other entries to be valid!)   Answer this:  What is the best Christmas present you ever received?  Also, please let me know which prize you are entering to win.  You can say BOTH!  I would!

Extra Entries:
  1. Follow me on Google Friend Connect  (3 extra entries)
  2. Follow me on twitter @sleatham1  (3 extra entries)
  3. Subscribe via email or RSS feed  (3 extra entries)
  4. Vote for me on Picket Fences Blog (click the button on the top right of my blog) (3X entries/daily)
  5. Tweet this giveaway!  May be done 3X daily! (2 extra entries each tweet)   Enter to win #ChristmasinJuly prizes at Shelly's Bits and Pieces @sleatham1 http://tinyurl.com/4xhr6u5 , or                                                                                                                                                          Win a Blog Makeover from The World As I See It Blog & Designs at Shelly's Bits & Pieces #ChristmasinJuly @sleatham1 http://t.co/oWiSZ0k                                                                       or                                                                                                                                                   Win a one of a kind Night Light from Light Affection at Shelly's Bits & Pieces #ChristmasinJuly @sleatham1 http://tinyurl.com/4xhr6u5                                                                            

    Giveaway ends on July 31st at 11:59pm EST!  Open to US residents 18 and older!

    Disclosure:  All prizes are being given away by the sponsors.  I did not receive compensation from any of the sponsors.  Any thoughts and opinions stated are my own!

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    A Bit About the Tracfone3

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
    My family, like most of America, is very busy.  We run here and there from work to appointments, from store to store, and from kid event to kid event.  A Tracfone can be a big help during the summer.  The cost is very reasonable, so I can get my daughter a Tracfone so we can stay in touch during the summer craziness.  Did you know that TracFone offers the least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in America?  With the poor economy we have today, this is more important than ever!   They provide great nationwide coverage with excellent reception and connectivity.  Best of all, there are no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges and no cancellation fees!  Who can beat that!  If you can't afford to pay for it, there is no penalty to pay.  Recharge your plan when you need it and can afford it!   Here is what  real TracFone customers have to say about TracFone's reliability. 
    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/27yaTS82ZtY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> 

    TracFone offers lots of brand name phones from leading manufacturers like Samsung, Nokia, LG, Kyocera, and Motorola.  You can even choose from simple phones or  "Smart" phones. You can get simple phones for simple needs like calling and texting for under $10.00!  They also carry awesome phones packed with features like a camera and video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard, for $29.99!!  Plans are affordable too!  You can choose monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00, and even go as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes.  Peace of mind is worth more than $9.99.  If you're only wanting an emergency phone, this is the perfect way to go!  You can pay as you go either online or with cards available at thousands of retail stores across the country.  You can get a 1 year service card that will give you so much more. You receive double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00!      Here is more from   real TracFone customers..     
    Next time you're looking for an affordable phone, check out TracFone.  I will!   They have the most reasonable prices and plans that actually work for me, and can fit into almost any budget!!
    Visit Sponsor's Site

    Christmas in July Sponsor Spotlight--The World As I See It Blog & Designs

    The kick off to the Christmas in July Blog Hop is just a couple days away, and I'm a little frazzled. BUT...there was no way I was going to miss spotlighting another one of my sponsors! A huge thank you to The World As I See It Blog & Designs!
     Margaret was kind enough to offer an awesome package to spruce up your blog!  The winner will receive the Classic Medium Package, which includes:
    • 2 or 3 column design
    • Custom background
    • Custom header
    • Matching font color
    • 6 sidebar titles
    • Custom signature
    • Custom post divider
    • Blog Button
    • Social network icons
    • Installation

    I am so jealous.  I want to keep this prize for myself!  I have been wanting to revamp my blog, but I have NO idea how to do it.  Maybe after the blog hop I can scrounge up enough money to have Margaret work her magic on Shelly's Bits & Pieces!  She has an awesome portfolio that you can check out HERE!

    Thanks again to Margaret at The World As I See It Blog & Designs for being a sponsor and offering such a wonderful prize!!  Come Back on the 25th to enter to win!

    Til then....God Bless!
    ~~Shelly~~

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Organizing Your Move with Cablemover Review & Giveaway


    When I was growing up, we moved a lot!  My mom could get our entire home packed and ready to go in what seemed like a matter of hours.  Everyone says I'm exactly like my mom, but they are wrong.  We might look alike, but when it comes to moving, I am terrible at it!  Good thing we have Cablemover.com we can depend on.

    Did you know...Millions of Americans plan to move this summer. The average American has over 60 tasks to do in order to prepare for the move. Important decisions can slip through the tracks. Recommended by HGTV’s Lisa Laporta 


    and tech guru David Gregg,  

    cablemover.com helps you easily incorporate technology into new homes. You can connect your cable TV, phone and internet in one stop at cablemover.com
      
    How much more simple can it get?  Next time I am planning a move...I'm using Cablemover.com!

    ~~Giveaway~~
    One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win a Home Depot $25 e-gift card thanks to Cablemover.com!

    Mandatory entrySimply post below what you hate most about moving.  Please leave your email in your comment, so I can get in touch with you if you win!

    Extra Entries:  
    1. Follow me on twitter @sleatham1
    2. Subscribe to my blog via email or feed.
    3. Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect
    4. Comment on any non-giveaway post (2 extra per post commented on)
    5. Enter any of my other giveaways (2 extra entries per giveaway)
    6. Vote for me on Picket Fences, by clicking button on the top right of my blog! (2 extra/per day)
    7. Tweet about this giveaway!  (2 extra entries, may be done 2X daily)   Enter to win a $25 e-gift card at Shelly's Bits & Pieces from Cablemover.com
      
    Rules:  Giveaway open to US residents 18 yrs old and older.  Giveaway ends on July 29th at 11:59pm EST and will be contacted via email on August 1st.  Winner has 36 hrs to respond or a new winner will be drawn!
     
    Disclosure:  This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media.   I was compensated for this post, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest, and my own.

    Honey Nut Cheerios Review and Giveaway--#MyBlogSpark


    Have you heard the news? Honey Nut Cheerios has been named America's Favorite Cereal! I can believe it, because I love the taste of the delicious breakfast treat! Want more information about it? Visit the FaveCereal website by clicking HERE!  
    As a special thanks for making Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal America´s #1 choice, they are hosting a "Billion 'O' Giveaway" providing free samples of Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal to fans beginning July 4, 2011, available while supplies last. Zip on over to www.FavCereal.com for your sweet sample. 


    When I was offered the chance to review Honey Nut Cheerios, and get some cool swag, there was NO way I was going to turn it down!  My daughter and I have eaten Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast so often, that bee should be living in my pantry!  Here is a picture of the goodies I received:
    My daughter ran off with the t-shirt and the antenna, but I kept the cereal and the bowls!  My hubby is not a cereal connoisseur like I am, but he loves the Honey Nut Cereal as a dry snack right out of the box, and he snuck my cereal out to his car and finished off the dry cereal on his way to work!   I couldn't be mad!  His review of the cereal was summed up in two words, "Great Snack."

    You can also visit Honey Nut Cheerios on Facebook by clicking HERE!

    Want a chance to win the same prize pack I received?  Simply tell me why you think Honey Nut Cheerios® is America´s Favorite Cereal!  This must be done before any other entries will count!!

    Extra Entries:  (please enter the number of times stated--if you get 2 extra entries, post twice)
    1. Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect 
    2. Subscribe to my blog via email
    3. Follow me on twitter @sleatham1
    4. Share this on any giveaway linky and leave the link 
    5. Comment on any non-giveaway post (2 extra entries per comment)
    6. Vote for me on Picket Fences by clicking the button on the top right of my blog (2extra-daily)
    7.  Tweet about this giveaway (2 extra, may be tweeted twice daily) Enter to win a Honey Nut Cheerios Prize Pack at Shelly's Bits & Pieces @sleatham1 #MyBlogSpark http://bit.ly/q0v90e 
     Giveaway open to US residents 18 yrs old and older.  Giveaway ends August 1st at 11:59pm EST 

    Disclosure:  Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions stated are my own, or are those of my family members!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Going Back to School with Master Lock



    Back when I was in school, I used a Master Lock on my locker. My daughter always says she can't believe they had Master Locks back then. Hey, I graduated in 1984, not 1884! LOL! So, here we are in 2011, and I am buying Master Locks for my daughter to use in middle school. The thing I have always loved about Master Locks is that they are dependable, and I know that anything they are locking up will be safe! My best suggestion for students is to keep your combination to yourself. Things change so quickly when you are young, and people who are your friends today might be your friends tomorrow! Make sure your important personal items and your school books are safe and secure locked away in your school locker, secured by a Master Lock!



    Visit Master Lock on Facebook at facebook.com/masterlock.

    Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. I may be sent a Master Lock 1500iD Speed Dial™ Set-Your-Own Combination Lock and Visa gift card for writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am entering a contest for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Christmas in July Sponsor Spotlight

    I am very excited to be involved in the Christmas in July Blog Hop!   There will be 125 blogs participating, and there will be tons of awesome prizes given away.  One of my sponsors is Light Affection.  They make some of the most beautiful custom night lights I have ever seen.  I was lucky enough to win one in a giveaway and I am thrilled with the results!
    Start with a photo you like
    Photo is carved


    Light is put together
    Lighted Finished Product



    I am lucky enough to be able to give away a gift certificate good for one of these beautiful lights. We love the one we had made and it will be a cherished heirloom to pass down from generation to generation!

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Discovery Girls Magazine Review & Giveaway


    Being a "tween" is not an easy thing.  When I was that age, things were a bit simpler than they are today.  We didn't have all the crazy things to worry about like they do today.  A bully was someone you just tried to avoid, but now with all the social media, they have to worry about cyber bullying.  I remember wanting to be "big" enough to read the "teen" magazines.  I've been going through that very same thing with my "tween".  She really wanted to read some of the magazines, but I have found a lot of the content to be way too explicit for her age group.

    I'm very thankful for the opportunity for me and Future FBI to review Discovery Girls.  It is a nationally distributed magazine designed for girls 8-13 years old.  When they put together an issue, they travel to a different state and choose 12 girls to be their "Discovery Girls" and they work with the girls to put together that issue of the magazine.  I love the fact that they get everyday, ordinary girls!  The girls submit writings on certain topics and are used in the photos!

    My daughter and I were sent the most current issue of the magazine, the Survival Guide Collector's Edition, and the book Fab Girls Guide to Friendship Hardship.  I really enjoyed reading the articles and looking over the awesome photos that were taken of the girls.  I even enjoyed taking some of the quizzes they had.
    As much as you appreciate my "aged" opinion, I thought you might like to read the review my daughter wrote.

    "Thank you to Discovery Girls for sending me these magazines and the book to review.  I really like reading what other girls my age do for hobbies, and learning other things about them.  I liked that the magazine pictures were of real girls, with braces and glasses.  Not everyone is perfect or has the perfect body, and I love that this magazine shows that.  The quizzes in the magazine are really fun, and I found out that I'm a saver, not a spender, which was a surprise to everybody!  Reading the most embarrassing moments section was funny and it reminded me that everybody has times like that.  Looking over the Survival Guide was fun because they had photos from the last 10 years and even some updates on some of the girls. Reading about the interns was cool too.  While I am still reading the book, I have enjoyed taking the quizzes to find out how my friendships really rate, and I realize that friendship should be a gift, and not a gag gift.  Well, that is my review.  I loved Discovery Girls, and will be asking for a subscription.  The articles were clean, which made Mama and Daddy very happy, and it kept my attention.  I'd recommend it for any tween and even teens!"  Review courtesy of Future FBI.







    Disclosure: This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. All opinions stated are my own or are those of my daughter. As stated above, I received items to review at no charge. No monetary compensation occurred!
    Giveaway ends July 20 at 12:01am EST

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    10 Reasons for a Virginia Beach Vacation

    Summer is here and it is time to think about vacation! The economy is still not up to snuff, but I am lucky enough to have fun vacation destinations within a few hours drive. Virginia Beach has been a favorite vacation destination since I was a kid, so when SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism asked bloggers to share ten reasons why you'd want to visit Virginia Beach, I knew it would be an easy post for me!!
    1. The Beach...DUH!  Virginia Beach has one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.  There is a lot of shoreline to enjoy.  Build some sandcastles with the kids, splash around in the water, or just sit on the sand and enjoy the beautiful ocean view... You can't go wrong with these choices!
    2. Fishing!  You can enjoy fishing in the surf, off a pier or even go on a chartered deep sea fishing boat!  One of my first memories of Virginia Beach was my father teaching me how to fish in the surf!  It's not as easy as it looks, but it sure is fun learning!
    3. The Aquarium!!  It is open everyday from 9-5 and you can enjoy learning about the sea life that is native to Virginia.  Check out the sea turtles, loads of fish, sharks, and even get hands on with the sting-rays and horseshoe crabs.  There are also more extensive passes available for a more behind the scenes look!
    4. Visit the Military Aviation Museum!  If you enjoy history or airplanes, this is the place for you!  You can see some fully restored planes from World War II and the Korean War, and take a tour of the museum and the hangar!  The other thing that is cool about these airplanes is that they are often used in Air Shows.
    5. Miniature Golf!  When my family has tired of the beach, we love to challenge each other to a game of miniature golf.  There are lots of different courses to choose from in Virginia Beach. 
    6. Ocean Breeze Water Park!  Nothing seems to wind my family up like a day at the water park!  You can enjoy wave pools, water slides, rides, and much more!  This place can be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart!
    7. Motor World!  My husband and daughter gave me a peaceful day to relax when they went to Motor World.  They played miniature golf, rode go-carts and even played paint ball!  This place is fun for the whole family, but it is the ideal place to send Daddy off for some time with the kids!
    8. Food!  You can get some of the most delicious food in Virginia Beach!  You have got to try the Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes!  YUM!!  You should also try out theChocolate Fondue at The Royal Chocolate....one word...DELICIOUS!!
    9. Learn to surf!  My daughter has begged me to go to surf camp when we have visited Virginia Beach.  I've put her off for a while now, but this might be the year.  WRV Surf Camp offers surfing lessons to kids as young as 6!!  They have lots of experience and all the needed certifications, so why not?
    10. Accommodations!  There are literally hundreds of different places to stay at Virginia Beach.  You can check out the campgrounds, stay at a hotel or motel, rent a beach house or condo, or even stay at beautiful resort.  The prices vary, so they can fit almost any budget!
    Now that I've told you my reasons for wanting to go to Virginia Beach, why not tell me your reasons?
    I'm ready for a trip today!  How about you?

    Thanks for stopping by.....
    Until next time,

    ~~~~~Shelly~~~~~


    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    ZhuZhu Pets movie, "Quest for Zhu" Trailer...Sneak Peek!

    Check out the new trailer for the ZhuZhu Pets movie, "Quest for Zhu™".
    We are so excited to see what is going on in the land of the Zhu Zhu Pets.


    What do you think? Chunk is my fave...my daughter likes Num Nums!!
    ~~~~~Shelly~~~~~

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Blog Hop With Me!!





    I'm involved in a Hopping good time!  Come and join me and my friends, make some new friends, and have a blast!