Shelly's Bits and Pieces: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mega Bloks Dora’s Carousel Adventure Play Set Review

The holidays are right around the corner, and beginning on November 1st, I'll be posting a Christmas Gift Guide with a new review and/or giveaway each day! There will be lots of different items on that list, so I thought I'd give you a quick toy review to get things revved up!!

We were lucky enough to be sent a Mega Bloks Dora’s Carousel Adventure Play Set and Little Miss has had a grand time playing with it! She did need some help getting it together, and it did not always stay together, but she still loved her Dora! They recommend it for ages 36 months and up, but some kids younger than 5 might have a difficult time putting it together well enough to play with it! All in all, we were happy with the toy. When some of the pieces broke, she was still happy to have her DORA!

Disclosure: We received this toy at no charge to facilitate our review. No monetary compensation was received! All opinions are honest and are those of myself and my family!

Kellogg's FiberPlus: A delicious way to get your fiber (giveaway)


My family has an affinity for cereal and any type of breakfast bar(cereal, granola, etc).  Recently, the wonderful people at Kellogg's offered the opportunity to try out some very tasty Kellogg's FiberPlus cereal and FiberPlus Bars!!  My family got into the package before I got home, and they had already eaten most of the Chocolate Chip FiberPlus bars!  The following morning, my daughter opened the Caramel Pecan Crunch cereal and it was finished within a couple days, so I did not get any photos of them.  I also received two other boxes of bars, and another box of cereal. 


 

The dark chocolate almond is my husband's favorite!!  I have discovered a deep affection for the chocolatey peanut butter!!




The berry yogurt crunch is very tasty too!!!





I never would have imagined that something that is good for you could taste this good!!  This is a breakfast treat that everyone in my family loves!!  Want to try it for yourself?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!

~~~Giveaway~~~

Sunday, October 30, 2011

TRACFONE...a Good Choice Anytime

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

My family, like many American families, has a crazy schedule during the summer!  My daughter goes here, there and everywhere with friends and family, and I like to be able to get in touch with her!  I am a worry wart, and never want her to be without a way to contact me, or be contacted.  This was the perfect scenario for TRACFONE! 

Now that school is back in session, I expected our schedules to calm down and our need for another phone to diminish.  Boy, was I wrong!  My daughter is busier now that during the summer.  Between school, chorus, sports, and afterschool activities, I needed to be able to stay connected.  TRACFONE offers such reasonable prices, staying in touch could not be easier.

<embed flashVars="playerVars=autoPlay=no" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/7342586/tracfone_has_affordable_options.swf" width="440" height="248" wmode="transparent" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" name="Metacafe_7342586" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed><div style="font-size:12px;"><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/7342586/tracfone_has_affordable_options/">Tracfone Has Affordable Options...</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">Watch the top videos of the week here</a></div>

My parents were in need of an affordable cellphone, but they did not want all the crazy "buttons and whistles" that lots of phones offer.  My father wanted a phone that he could use that was SIMPLE, had larger buttons and a nice display screen.  He got his wish with Senior Value.  He loves the look and the ease of use on these phones!

Get into Everywhereness is a promotion from TRACFONE that offers plans that start as low as $7 per month!!  WOW!!  I could afford new TRACFONEs for my entire family.  I no longer will go alone, thanks to TRACFONE!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Real Moms Love to Eat #RMLTE

Today, I want to tell you about a new book that is coming out, Real Moms Love to Eat.  It was written by fellow SocialMom and certified health counselor Beth Aldrich.  The book is due out this winter and I am very excited to check it out!  This book is about a lifestyle, not a diet! 


About the book: 
"Real Moms Love to Eat is broken down in three sections, which include a fun and easy-to-follow 10-part plan for moms to implement to make gradual, life-long changes in their approach to food and 21 days of meal suggestions,tips, recipes and lifestyle changes—all to help you continue your love affair with food to look fabulous. Beth’s approach to healthy eating is simple and realistic for busy moms. You’ll learn a lot about the food you eat and how it impacts your body and still have loads of fun experiencing new foods and enjoying your life."

My thoughts: 
I'm excited to read the book, because I realized that I needed to make some adjustments to my lifestyle and I need to eat healthier!  This book looks like it will offer me suggestions that I can work with and live with!  I'm a busy wife and mother, and long term changes are needed to keep me around for years to come!!


For more information, see Beth's site at Real Moms Love to Eat, and you can get more information about becoming a Food Affairiate too!

Follow @realmomsluv2eat on Twitter.
Follow Real Moms Love to Eat on Facebook. 


Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Beth Aldrich - Real Moms Love to Eat blogging program, for a chance to get 3,000 My SocialMoms Rewards points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Rookie Bake-Off® Challenge from Pillsbury #MyBlogSpark

Grab your aprons and start your ovens! Pillsbury´s first-ever Rookie Bake-Off® Challenge has just begun!



The Rookie Bake-Off® Challenge consists of six weekly challenges, each providing you with a chance to win $500, 5 doable new recipes to vote on and use each week, and even inspiration from guest bloggers!

To enter for your chance to win each week, visit BakeOff.com to check out the weekly challenge and submit your entry! Just keep in mind...

* The whole shebang! Submit a recipe, story, and photo.
* A quick fix! Prep time in 30 minutes or less.
* A lot for a little! Five ingredients, including at least one Pillsbury refrigerated dough product.
* All that and more! Keep in mind creativity, consumer appeal, appearance, and include an inspiring story.

To find more information and contest rules, visit BakeOff.com.

So roll up your sleeves and get cooking for your chance to win this week's $500 prize! Best of luck!

Disclosure: I received the details from Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark. I was not compensated in any way for this post...I just wanted to share!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Becoming a Better Me with Member's Mark 4X Probiotics #CBias @SAMSCLUB

Although I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, I am not ALWAYS as healthy as I shoulld be. When things get crazy aound here, my hubby likes to grab some fast food, and my stomach pays the price. I know I should eat better, and I am working on it, but I am a work in progress!

It has been two weeks since I started taking Member's Mark 4X Probiotics! I am very pleased with how much better I actually feel!! My stomach has given me fewer problems and I am feeling better because I am more regular than ever!! When I started taking the Member's Mark 4X Probiotics, I was hoping they would work for me, but I was honestly not expecting it to help. I am so thankful I started taking them. My husband has now joined me in taking them. We went to Sam's Club and purchased a box just for him. Soon, we will be two very REGULAR people! (LOL)

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. Although I was compensated, all thoughts and opinions are HONEST and my own!

Freschetta- Proud to Support Pink Program Giveaway



October is coming to an end, and I wanted to make sure I mentioned that it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  Breast Cancer awareness is very important to me because it tried to claim the life of my grandma 13 years ago.  I am very proud to be working with Freschetta, because they are running a Proud to Support Pink Program!  Through 10/31, when you purchase specially marked packages of Freschetta pizzas and Artisan Pizza Crusts, you will be helping Freschetta reach it’s goal of a $50,000 donation to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  The deadline is just a week away, but you still have time to help out!

How do YOU get involved?  Simply purchase the specially marked packages and enter the codes at ProudtoSupportPink.com.  For each code entered, Freschetta will donate $1, up to $50,000!  They still have a long way to go to hit that max, so let's give them some support!  By entering your code, you not only help with the donation, but you will also be entered to win one of the 50 pink iPod Shuffles that Freschetta is giving away each week on the site!  They are donating 50 pink iPod Shuffle players each week to 4 cancer centers across America too!  
    ~~GIVEAWAY~~
The wonderful people at Freschetta have offered to give one of my readers a coupon for a FREE Freschetta Pizza and 2 pairs of adorable PINK earphones!  This way, you can keep a pair and also share with a friend!  If you would like to have a chance to win, simply fill out the rafflecopter entry below!  


Friday, October 21, 2011

I wanted to try Member's Mark 4X Probiotics from @SAMSCLUB because...#CBias


I have had issues with my stomach for years.  I never quite know what is going to set it off, or even why.  I was offered the opportunity to give Member's Mark 4X Probiotics a try,and I was excited to see how it would improve my digestive health!  I have vowed to become healthier, so that means I need to try to improve ALL of me!  I participated in the twitter party on October 5th, and hearing all the positive comments about these probiotics peaked my interest!

Being a regular Sam's Club customer, I was pleased to find out that the Member's Mark 4X Probiotics were available there at a reasonable price.  Name brands and their higher prices often keep me from taking medicines that I should.  If you would like more information on the probiotics and digestive health, simply click HERE!  

I'll be posting soon with an update on my use of the Member's Mark 4X Probiotics!


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  I was sent a product to review in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions are my own, and I was NOT influenced by the compensation I received. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Betty Crocker Fun da-Middles Review & Giveaway #MyBlogSpark


Light up your child´s face with a home-baked treat that can be a perfect snack any time of the day. Betty Crocker® Fun da-middlesTM are the first boxed-cupcake mix of its kind that will leave you pleasantly surprised with their sweet center! Delight your family and watch the smiles unfold as you greet them with the delicious, fresh-from-the-oven taste of new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles cupcakes.
  • Combining cake mix and filling pouch in one box, Fun da-middles cupcakes have a special creamy filling that bakes inside the cupcake.
  • Available in three delicious flavors, Vanilla Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling, Chocolate Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, and Vanilla Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, Fun da-middles cupcakes are a fun and portable treat that children can take everywhere they go!
With Fun da-middles, you´ll never need to frost cupcakes again. Because after all, it´s what´s on the inside that matters.

To download a printable coupon for $0.85 off new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles by clicking HERE!

When I was offered the opportunity to give these a try, I was really excited.  I had seen them in the grocery store, but had not purchased them.  I baked them while my family was away at school and work, and when they came home, they saw the cupcakes and were confused as to why they were not frosted.  When I explained they were magic cupcakes, they dived in!  The Fun da-middles were a hit from the start.  Easy for me to bake and a neat alternative to frosted cake!!

I have since purchased the chocolate cake with vanilla filling and it is our favorite!!   The word that comes to mind is DELICIOUS!  Want to try Betty Crocker Fun da-middles for yourself?  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win a prize package just like the one I received!!
    The winner´s prize pack will contain:
  • One sample of new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles cupcake mix
  • One cupcake pan
  • One oven mitt
  • One package of cupcake liners
  • One box of cupcake gift notes

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big G cereals and DC Comics have combined powers! #MyBlogSpark


Hold on to your capes for a breakfast of heroic proportions!
Big G cereals and DC Comics have combined powers in their dedicated efforts to promote reading among children. They have enlisted the help of the Justice League, from Batman to Wonder Woman to Green Lantern, and they are coming right to your breakfast table! Available now, specially marked Big G cereal boxes feature action packed, collectable Justice League comic books.
Want more action adventure? Each comic contains a link to www.BigGCerealHeroes.com for continuations of each story, not to mention a cut-out DC Super Hero mask on the back of the box perfect for helping the Justice League fight crime at breakfast time!




Disclosure:  All the above information was provided by DC Comics and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  I was not compensated in any way for this post, I just wanted to pass on the information!

WooHoo...I'm Back! Let the Blogging Begin!

It seems like it has been forever since I was able to get online for any period of time!  I am so sorry my blog has been neglected, but we had to get moved!!  We are basically moved in right now, but, about 25% of our belongings are still in our old house.  The problem we are having is that I cannot go over to that house and be there for any length of time.  The mold, and now the dust, are causing me lots of problems whenever I go over there.  I had to rewash everything we owned because I could still smell the old house, and would have breathing issues.  We had a little help with our move.  My parents and a friend from our church came up and helped us bring a rental truck full over, but other than that, my hubby and I have been on our own. 


My hubby gave his blessing for me to be able to get back to blogging.  He knows I'm going stir crazy and this is cheaper than therapy.  I have a lot of wonderful giveaways and awesome product reviews coming your way, and...we are also going to have a new section on the blog that we will call Chefy Says.  My hubby, aka Chefy, will be offering recipes, product reviews, and answering cooking questions.  I look forward to many more posts, and look forward to reading your comments!!

Thanks for sticking with me!
Until next time....
God Bless You!
~~~Shelly~~~

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My hubby's new favorite quick meal...T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of T.G.I. FRiDAY'S for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Recently, I purchased several T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One” for my husband to enjoy for dinner on the crazy evenings when he has to eat solo.  We purchased the Sizzling Chicken Fajitas, Cajun Style Chicken Alfredo, and Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo.  When I bought the meals, I thought they would be in the freezer for a while, because he usually only eats a solo meal once or twice each month, but as fate would have it, he had the opportunity to try all these meals within two weeks!  He really enjoyed all three T.G.I. FRIDAY'S Entrees for One that we purchased! 

Here is what he has to say about the meals.  I first tried the Fajitas, and it was a delicious, generous portion.  The Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo was the second meal I tried.  I liked the creaminess of the Alfredo sauce, and yet again, I was treated to a generous, flavorful portion.  Tonight, I had the opportunity to try the Cajun Style Chicken Alfredo.  I think I saved the best for last!  This meal was beyond delicious.  The Alfredo sauce had a great flavor and consistency, and the Cajun spices only made a good thing better!  I was very pleased with all the meals I tried, and I cannot wait to try the rest of the line.

T. G. I. Friday's has a Fun Freezer contest that is currently going on.  You can dress up your freezer and enter.  There are lots of well dressed freezers competing! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cast Your Vote for the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Apron! #MyBlogSpark


Want to get involved in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest without even having to turn on the oven? Cast your vote and help decide which apron will be worn by finalists as they compete for $1 million at the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off in March!

Adding a dash of designer fashion, Pillsbury has asked three former contestants from a top fashion design reality show to compete in a "Runway Challenge" and help design the official apron to be worn by finalists at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.

Althea Harper, Kara Janx and Carol Hannah Whitfield have each designed an apron to potentially be worn by the 100 finalists on the contest floor at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest finals which take place March 25-27, 2012, in Orlando, FL.

You can visit the Pillsbury Facebook page to vote for your favorite and help decide which design should become the official apron of the 45th Bake-Off Contest. Hurry and cast your vote before voting closes on Monday, October 17th! Go check them out! I voted for my favorite!!


Disclosure: This information was provided to me by MyBlogSpark. I did not receive anything for posting it! I just thought you might want to check it out for yourself!

Monday, October 10, 2011

T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One” A Delicious Meal

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of T.G.I. FRiDAY'S for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I recently purchased a T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One” for my husband to have on hand on the evenings he is running late and wants a quick meal.  We looked around and found several flavors he was interested.  We purchased Sizzling Chicken Fajitas, Entrées For One Cajun Style Chicken Alfredo, Entrées For One and Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo.  Entrées For One  We were very excited to see the T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “Entrées for One” available at Walmart when we were shopping. 

Here is what my hubby has to say:   Sometimes dinner for one can be a nightmare for me.  I have tried many other freezer meals, and they always taste like just that, something that was pulled from the freezer and heated.  I wanted something with flavor, something that was filling, and something that was closer to real food than generic frozen glop.   I cooked the Sizzling Chicken Fajitas for dinner the other night and it was absolutely delicious!  The flavor was bold and the portion was a nice size too.  I was very happy with the other flavors that are available, and cannot wait to try the Sesame Orange Chicken and the Prime Rib Stroganoff.  These meals have now been added to our grocery list!

You can visit facebook right now and vote in the Fun Freezer contest.  There are some well dressed freezers just waiting for your vote!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tips For Keeping Your Family Cold & Flu Free

Cold & Flu Season is upon us. Our pediatrician has already confirmed at least 15 cases of the flu! Being sick is bad enough for adults, but when your little ones are sick, Mom feels worse!! What happens if, heaven forbid, you and your kids get sick at the same time? I have been in that situation and it is horrible!! To avoid that situation, I try to prevent sickness as much as possible.

These are a few of the things we do do avoid illness in our home:

Disinfect all Surfaces- We use Lysol wipes and spray to help kill germs on all the surfaces in our home. We wipe down phones, computer mouse and keyboards, refrigerator doors and other doors, bathroom and kitchen surfaces, and also the microwave and oven doors too. We use Lysol because “Lysol Spray and Lysol Wipes kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on hard non porous surfaces.” Who can ask for more?

Wash Your Hands or Use Hand Sanitizer- I am such a stickler for hand washing! I want clean hands when my family is not sick, but when cold and flu season comes around, I want it even more! My family knows that hand washing with SOAP is very important, but there are certain instances when you cannot get to water, so I keep hand sanitizer everywhere! My daughter keeps some in her bag so she can use it at school!

Get Your Vitamin C- We keep lots of juices on hand, especially during cold and flu season. We also take a daily supplement to ensure we get the vitamins we need!

Stay at Home When Sick- If you or your child is sick, STAY AT HOME! You cannot afford to mess with your child's immune system(or your own). You do not need to put other people at risk either...keep your germs to yourself!

Being sick is not fun for anyone! There are ways to ease the symptoms, but basically, time heals! The best thing you can do is avoid getting sick in the first place! I do everything I can to keep the germs out of our house, and Lysol is a big part of that!!

Lysol Mission for Health
:
”We do more not just because we can, but because we must. Health matters. To all of us. That’s why we’ve started the Lysol Mission for Health. With new mom programs, healthy habits initiatives in schools and disaster relief efforts, we are dedicated to doing more for health. Our mission is fueled by passion and backed by our expertise in killing germs. So when you use Lysol at home, you’ll know you’re a part of something bigger.” You can also follow Lysol on facebook by clicking HERE!


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

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ginger and Hill’s Pet Nutrition

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

From the moment Ginger became a member of our family, we wanted the best for her.  When it came to her food, we went with what our vet recommended, Hill's Science Diet.   Our vet told us that the only name you need to know for pet nutrition is Hill's Pet Nutrition, and she was right.  Ginger has been so healthy and full of energy, and a true blessing in our lives!  You can pick up $30 in Hill's Healthy Mobility Coupons by checking out the Hill's Mobility challenge.  If you register, you  automatically enter  the Sweepstakes where 30 winners will receive FREE PET FOOD for a year! 

Hill's Science Diet is a wonderful way to not only feed your pet, but to treat your pet.  You can learn more about Hill's Science Diet by clicking HERE!  You can also follow Hill's Pet Nutrition on Facebook.  I can honestly tell you that we have been very pleased with our usage of Hill's.  It is a premium pet food and peace of mind is well worth paying a little more.  Ginger gives Hill's Science Diet a huge "Paws Up!"  I've entered to win free pet food for a year.  Stop just thinking about it and register today!! 

Visit Sponsor's Site