Shelly's Bits and Pieces: January 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Celebrate the SuperBowl with Del Monte Southwestern Tomatoes - Giveaway


The Super Bowl is coming up on Sunday so Chefy and I have been working hard coming up with the perfect Super Bowl Party Menu!!  We are a foodie family and we love to entertain our friends and family.  This year we have kicked some of our recipes up a notch by adding Del Monte Southwestern Tomatoes to them! Chili is a huge request every time, and by adding Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies and Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies to the recipe, we brought our A game!  Since we sample every recipe before the party, we made up a batch, and it was eaten faster than usual!

Del Monte sent me the Southwestern tomatoes to try and they were perfect in the chili.  Here is the recipe we made, with the changes! 

2 lb.  ground beef
2 pkts Chili Seasoning
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2  onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp.  tomato paste
4 cans  (15.5 oz.) small red beans, undrained
1 can Del Monte® Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1  can Del Monte® Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies
1 can  (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can of Tomato Sauce

Brown  beef in hot oil in large saucepan on medium heat; drain. Add onions and garlic; cook 5 min. or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. 
Stir in chili seasoning; cook 2 min. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to boil; simmer on low heat 30 min., stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with cheese or sour cream.


Did you know the new Del Monte Southwestern-Style Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes are the perfect way to spice up main dishes and snacking recipes?  Del Monte canned tomatoes, fruits and vegetables contain the same essential nutrients as fresh varieties, and the majority of Del Monte products are picked at the peak of ripeness and canned on the same day, to ensure nutrients and flavor are locked in!

Until February 15th, you can enter the Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off Sweepstakes.  Entering is simple! 
  • Follow the Del Monte Brand on Pinterest
  • Create a Pinterest board named Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off”
  • Pin at least two (2) Del Monte Tomato Recipes from the “Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off” Pinterest board and at least two (2) football entertaining ideas
  • Register your Pinterest board to the Del Monte page from January 21st through February 15th to be entered into the Del Monte® Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off Sweepstakes program
  • Get ready for a chance to win one of the many prizes available, including an ultimate entertainment package with a Sony® 55” LED TV, Bose® home theater system and Sony® Blu-ray player (ARV $4,779.00 USD).
I entered their Sweepstakes because I would love to win a new big screen TV!   If you would like to win one of these awesome prizes, make sure you enter!  Want to learn more about Del Monte?  You can follow Del Monte's website, Pinterest, Facebook, or on Twitter!

One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win the same gift pack Del Monte supplied me.  It included:



  • (1) Del Monte® Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • (1) Del Monte® Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies 
  •  $25 VISA gift card

  • You can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    It's BTFE Bonus Time at Sam's Club - With $25 Sam's GC Giveaway! #MyBlogSpark



    It is BTFE bonus time at Sam's Club which means it is time to stock up on some great General Mills products and help your child's school at the same time.  When my daughter was younger, I collected the BTFEs for her school, but since she is in high school now, I give these to my friends for their children to turn in at school.  The Box Tops For Education program is a very easy way to help your school without really going out of your way.  The BTFEs are on many of the products we already purchase, and it is so easy to clip and save!

    Sam's Club is providing Box Tops opportunities so you can earn more cash for your school! Not only can you collect between 6 to 14 Box Tops on some of your favorite General Mills products, but you can also check out these additional opportunities, only available at Sam's Club!


    • New Plus Members will receive 100 Bonus Box Tops.* (a $10 value to any BTFE participating school)
    • Upgrade your current Membership to a Plus Membership to receive 50 Bonus Box Tops.* (a $5 value to any BTFE participating school)
    • New Advantage or Business Members will receive 25 Bonus Box Tops.* (a $2.50 value to any BTFE participating school)
     *Offer valid only with original receipt of purchased membership taped to certificate. Only available in-club. Offers available to the first 50 new Plus Members at each club, to the first 100 members who upgrade to a Plus Membership at each club, and to the first 100 new Advantage or Business Members at each club.

     You can learn more about Sam's Club and the Box Tops for Education program below:

    ◊     BTFE site on Sam's Club Website: www.samsclub.com/boxtops    
    ◊     Sam's Club Website: www.samsclub.com    
    ◊     Sam's Club Facebook: www.facebook.com/samsclub    
    ◊     Sam's Club Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/Samsclub    
    ◊     Box Tops Website: www.boxtops4education.com/

    We purchased several bonus BTFE products during our trip to Sam's Club.  I was very pleased to get 8 Bonus BTFEs on the Toaster Streudels, and 6 extra on the Totino's Pizza Rolls, Nature Valley Granola Bars and Honey Nut Cheerios!

    Want to win a $25 Sam's Club Gift Card so you can get your own bonus Box Top items?  Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    No nonsense Leggings and Tights - Style Made Easy

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

    When it comes to figuring out exactly what one word describes my style, the decision is fairly easy for me.  Comfort rules the way in my life.  If I am not comfortable, I'm not me!  My wardrobe is pretty sparce and I own a lot of single color dresses, blouses and skirts, so I can easily mix and match.  My look can at times be somewhat on the dull side, but thanks to No nonsense leggings and tights, no one has to know exactly how limited my wardrobe can be.  I can match some cute colored tights with a simple black dress and my outfit quickly turns from yawn to yeah!  I can add some cute No nonsense leggings to a maxi shirt and bring a new look to life.  I matched the blue tights I received with my red and white dress and pulled off a very cute patriotic look.  The mauve leggings I received were matched with a black maxi blouse and boots and I received a lot of compliments! 

    No nonsense offers a large variety of colors that can match any occasion.  No nonsense tights and leggings can be easily purchased at most food and drug retailers as well as at many mass retail stores like Walmart.  The price is very reasonable, so purchasing more than one is a lot less expensive than buying other clothing items to match with the rest of my wardrobe.   

    Fashion expert, Jill Martin is the co-author of "I have nothing to wear!" and is the NY Correspondent for Access Hollywood.  She has teamed up with No nonsense to provide women with fashion tips and to provide them with information on clothing trends and how to add the cute No nonsense leggings and tights to your wardrobe to be in the latest style. 

    You can follow No nonsense on Facebook and also on twitter

     

    Visit Sponsor's Site

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Unilever Soft Spreads are Good to Know! ~ Baking Set & Gift Card Giveaway


    Since I am married to a chef, most of the cooking and baking is done by my husband.  He has always been a butter snob when it comes to baking cookies, but when I was offered the opportunity to learn about Unilever Spreads and their Good to Know initiative, I had to try something different.

    Did you know that Unilever offers a wide variety of soft spreads, including Country Crock, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Promise, Brummel & Brown, and Imperial?  They are they are proud to say that ALL of their spreads are Good to Know because they:
    •     Have 0g trans fat per serving
    •     Contain no partially hydrogenated oils
    •     Have no cholesterol
    •     Are 70% less fat than butter per serving
    •     Have 30% fewer calories than butter per serving 
    Now that we know the spreads are healthy, how does it taste?  DELICIOUS!

    I made One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe courtesy of Unilever and ICBINB)

    Ingredients:
        1 cup (2 sticks) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® All Purpose Sticks
        3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
        1/4 cup granulated sugar
        1 tsp. vanilla extract
        1 large egg
        1/2 tsp. baking soda
        2 cups all-purpose flour
        1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Instructions:
        Preheat oven to 375°.
        Beat I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® All Purpose Sticks with sugars in large bowl with electric mixer or wooden spoon until smooth.
        Beat in vanilla, egg and baking soda.
        Stir in flour until blended.
        Stir in chocolate chips.
        Drop mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets.
        Bake 10 minutes or until edges are golden.
        Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes.
        Remove cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

    These cookies were delicious!  I actually preferred them to the chocolate chip cookies my hubby baked with BUTTER!!  My family devoured these cookies and I even made more for the cookie swap!  I must admit I was shocked with our taste test!  Now I can serve my family cookies....with a little less guilt! 

    I was sent a very nice gift pack from Unilever to facilitate my review!  Want a chance to win?  You can win a Unilever spreads prize package which includes Silpat® baking sheet liner, Steel Cooling Rack, Nonstick cookie sheet, Stainless steel cookie scoop, $10 gift card to Target or Walmart to purchase your Unilever spread of choice and baking ingredients!  Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Cedarmont Kids Gospel Sunday School Songs Review

    Sunday School was always a special time for me as a child.  I loved to go to hear all the stories about Jesus and learn about the Bible!  Our teachers were wonderful and they instilled the love for God in me through these stories, the Bible and through music!  When our daughter was small, we purchased a lot of Cedarmont Kids CDs and DVDs to teach her more about Jesus, and she soon fell in love with the music.
    We recently were given the opportunity to review the Cedarmont Kids Gospel Sunday School Songs CD and just like all the other CDs they made.  The CD has a total of 30 tracks which include 15 split tracks for you to sing with them as background!  The songs include:
        1. Bless That Wonderful Name        
        2. Free At Last
        3. I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me
        4. Standing In The Need Of Prayer
        5. Dry Bones                                               
        6. My Soul Is A Witness For My Lord
        7. The Welcome Table                                           
        8. Down To The River To Pray
        9. Come And Go With Me To That Land                                       
        10. Old Time Religion
        11. Everybody Ought To Know                                       
        12. Guide My Feet
        13. I'm Going Home On The Morning Train                                   
        14. Chatter With The Angels
        15. Every Promise In The Book Is Mine    
        Tracks 16-30 are Split Tracks of above songs

    We really received a blessing from the CD.  I love hearing the children sing, and I know that children love it as well.  This CD is a wonderful way to introduce children to gospel music, and would be ideal for a Sunday School teacher too!  This can be purchased at Amazon and other wonderful retailers!

    Disclosure:  We received a free copy of the CD to facilitate this review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

    2012 Year in Review

    Putting this post together has taken a lot out of me, but I know I needed to do it!  I am not sad to see 2012 end!  This year has been a very hard year for me in a lot of ways, and although it ended on an upswing, it will always be remembered as the year of loss.  On January 26, 2012, my daddy went into the hospital for a heart cath.  We waited for hours before the doctor came out and told us that they could not place stints and would be doing bypass surgery the next day.  When Daddy came up from the recovery room, the doctor explained everything and told me that they would take him down to surgery at 7am.  I asked to stay the night but since Mama was staying, once my hubby and daughter arrived, I went home.  I arrived at the hospital early the next morning only to find that they had already taken him down to surgery.  We waited for what seemed like forever, until the nurse came out to tell us that it was taking longer than expected, but that he was doing fine.  When he finally came out of surgery, the surgeon came by and told us that he had some damage to his heart, but that the surgery went well.  She then encouraged me and mom to go home since he would be out most of the night and since he was in the CCU.  About 2am, I woke up with a bad feeling and called the hospital.  The nurse could not talk with me because she was on the phone with my mom.  I immediately knew something was wrong and started getting dressed.  Within minutes, Mama called and said Daddy was having problems.  I got my hubby out of bed and he drove me straight to the hospital.  Daddy had woke up during the night and wanted his breathing tube out and he panicked.  He started coughing and it threw his heart rhythm off.  They placed him in a medically induced coma so his heart could regain rhythm.  This was Jan. 28th, Mama's Birthday!  While we waited in the CCU waiting room, the surgeon suddenly appeared and told us they were taking him back down to surgery. Daddy was having issues breathing and they needed to see why.  They ended up re-opening his chest, and it would remain open the rest of his stay.  Mama and I never left the hospital until Daddy succumbed to pneumonia and passed on Feb. 3, 2012.  He was 65 years old!  He and my mom had been in love for 50 years and were only a month shy of their 48th anniversary.

    At the end of March, we were told that my cousin Roger, who was like a brother to me, was told that his cancer was worse.  Intense chemo ensued, but in June, just a few days before Father's Day, he joined my daddy, his best friend, in Heaven.  

    On July the 5th, I called my father in law, who had been sick for about a week, and a police officer answered the phone.  "Dad" passed away during the previous night and was found by the police officer doing a wellness check. 

    This was the 7th family member we lost during an 18 month period! 


    During all that was going on, Mike lost his job the end of May.  He found another one within a month, but he took a big pay cut!  HOWEVER...with this economy, we are blessed he is working!

    We had a cruise planned before all of this, and we decided to take my mom with us!  Mike, Kat, Mom and I went on a Bahamas cruise and had a great time.  It was hard being without our loved ones, but we did have fun and laugh together. 

    Kat started high school in August, and she made A-B honor roll the first semester!

    I had a few wins this year, but Mike had the biggest win!  He won a trip for the 2 of us to the Marlboro Ranch in Montana!  We are going later this month!!  Pictures and a blog post will follow the trip!

    That was our year in a nutshell.  We suffered the loss of 3 important family members by mid year, and yet, the year ended on an upswing!  God never gives us more than we can handle, and this year he has shown me I am stronger than I ever imagined!

    Period Panteez Review ~ Have a Neater Period


    When I was growing up, I never had normal periods.  My cycles were all over the board.  Sometimes they would last a week and not return for several months, and sometimes they would go on for months at a time.  I dreaded my cycles because I would undoubtedly ruin some sheets, night clothes, and underwear.  My feminine protection seemed to move around during the night and they would leave me unprotected.  Back then I could only dream about finding something that would solve my period dilemma.  Although I no longer have to worry about periods, I worried that my daughter would suffer from the same problems.  She did, until we discovered Period Panteez!

    Period Panteez, triple-layered boy shorts are engineered to:
    •       prevent pad displacement
    •       provide maximum coverage and support
    •       protect from leakage and accidents
    •       boost confidence and peace of mind
    •       save money and embarrassment
    •       provide ultimate comfort and protection
    Period Panties by Period Panteez provide just the hug you need!

    Period Panteez patent pending design incorporates:
    •     a soft, natural Natural, Eco-Friendly cotton inner layer for ultimate comfort
    •     an innermost, leak-resistant pad-shaped layer for protection
    •     a stretchy outer layer that acts as shapewear and helps cramps!
    •     a plush, extra soft waistband for extra comfort and support

    Since using the Period Panteez, we have not had ANY period problems.  The sheets and night clothes have remained clean!  WOOHOO!

    Here is what Kat has to say about them:  "Period Panteez are very comfortable and they do a great job in keeping me clean during my periods.  I used to hate mornings during my periods because I would usually wake up to a mess, but since I received the Period Panteez, I have not had that problem.  I have asked for several more pairs because they are comfy and once you try them, you will not want to take them off!"

    The Period Pride Movement
    It is an inevitable occurrence. It is a woman's rite of passage. It is a gift from God. Without it, life wouldn't even exist. And way too many of us are ashamed of it!
    Our Period is a blessing and a miracle! Our period allows us the ability to have children and to carry on our family heritage! Our Period must be celebrated and we should be proud of it, period!
    If you agree, please join in the movement and take The Period Pride Pledge!

    Period Pride Pledge for Ladies:   I will embrace, celebrate, and be proud of my Period, period!
    Period Pride Pledge for
    Guys:   I will respect, honor, and be understanding of all ladies' Periods, period!


    You can follow Period Panteez on facebook or twitter too!

    Disclosure:  We would like to thank Period Panteez for the free pair Kat reviewed.  They are a godsend!  No monetary compensation was received!  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces Family.