Shelly's Bits and Pieces: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

I haven't been there since...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

One of my favorite cousins passed away from a massive heart attack on Monday.  He was only 53 years old.  When my mom called me with the news, I was shocked.  As she gave me all the details, I found myself crying.  It seems like only yesterday that we were kids and our families were at Carolina Beach.  We would go down and pretty much take over this small hotel.  My grandparents would get a room for my aunt and uncle (who were kids at the time).  Mom and Dad would get a room for my brother and me.  My cousin was there with his grandparents, parents, twin brother and little sisters.  His aunt, uncle and cousin also joined our crazy group.  We would spend the week of July 4th all together.  It was a great time.

As we grew up, we spent less time together.  Over the years, we competed in church league softball, played together in softball tournaments, and saw each other at various family events.  Although we were not together a lot, we kept in touch via facebook.  The last time I saw my cousin was at my Daddy's funeral.  Later today, I will go to visitation at the same funeral home where I said  my good-byes to my Papa, and my Daddy.  I haven't been there since they passed, and I hope it is a LONG time before I have to go again.

Rest in Peace Merle.  I love you cuz!

It comes back fast.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

One of my resolutions this year was to eat healthier.  I've been doing a pretty good job so far.  My biggest problem usually arises when we are stuck in the house.  We will eat snacks and less healthy meals.  When we heard the weather was supposed to turn bad, I decided to make a pot of homemade vegetable soup. We had a little ground beef that I didn't want to go bad, so I threw that in, then added some chicken breast.  I added onion, carrots, lima beans, green beans, peas, and potatoes, and lots of tomatoes.  Our house smelled delicious as the soup was simmering.

When the soup was ready, we all had a bowl, and it carried me back to my childhood.  When ever it would snow, my daddy would make a pot of soup.  He made the soup so we would have something healthy to eat during the time we were home bound.  I realized I cooked the soup for the same reason!  I had learned from the best!

The soup pot is now almost empty, and the roads are almost clear.  I survived this huge 2-3 inch snowstorm without compromising my healthy eating resolution.  You know what I realized?  No matter what the situation is, once you start eating healthier, you will lose weight.  The key is continuing the healthy eating, because once you stop...It comes back fast!

Yeah, that's the problem with...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

We are huge football fans!  From the moment preseason games begin, football becomes the main topic of conversation around here.  Kat is a Green Bay Packers fan, Chefy is a New England Patriots fan, and I pull for both of their teams, as well as the Seattle Seahawks.  This season, I've done more cheering than they have!

During the football season, we know that we will have something on TV to watch as a family from Thursday night until Monday night.  You can find Chefy and Kat at the local high school games on Friday night.  On Saturday, we have college games to follow.  Kat pulls for the Clemson Tigers, Chefy pulls for the University of Washington Huskies, and I pull for them, and the NC State Wolfpack.  It gets crazy when our teams play each other.  BUT...it is all in good fun!

Sunday, we will enjoy spending time with our friends while watching the Super Bowl.  Food will be eaten, lots of beverages consumed, and tons of laughter will be heard.  We will send football season out with a bang, and wait patiently for preseason football 6 LONG months away.  Yeah, that's the problem with football season...it ends too soon!

And then they were gone.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!   Although I mention a brand in this article, no compensation was received.  I just love the candy!


Hawaiian Host Aloha Macs have to be my favorite chocolate indulgence.  I love macadamia nuts, and the milk chocolate on the Aloha Macs is delicious.  Since I am a Hawaiian Host newsletter subscriber, I was thrilled when I saw the post Christmas clearance they were holding.  I scanned the site and found several things to order.  We got a box FULL of goodies, and I did my best to hide them from my family.  This candy is very rich and delicious.  I know I can only have a piece every now and then, so my plan was to ration the candy to my family members as well.

In the box of goodies I ordered, I got cookies, Caramacs, Aloha Macs, and some assorted candy boxes.  The cookies are delicious.  They are more like a shortbread, and are not too sweet.  Kat fell in love with them, and now all 3 of the small boxes we received are GONE!  Chefy likes all of the chocolate, so I have had to hide it from him to keep him out of it.  On Tuesday, I pulled out the small box of Aloha Macs and I got a piece for myself.  When Chefy saw the candy, he wanted 2 pieces.  After sharing with Chefy, I hid the candy under my jacket.  On Thursday, I got the box out and had another piece.  Chefy asked for a piece and I handed him the box.  Big Mistake!

The box remained on the table beside Chefy.  During the afternoon, I took a nap, and when I woke up Chefy was eating a piece of candy.  Later on in the evening, I heard paper rustling, and the empty box was sitting in the trash.  I had 2 pieces of my favorite chocolate candy, shared with my hubby...and then, they were gone!  BYE BYE Aloha Macs!

OH...if you want to try them yourself, they are currently on sale at HawaiianHost.com!

We didn't go because...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

As you know, Chefy's mom recently passed away. We knew we needed to go to the service, but it was  3,000 miles away, and getting there was going to be expensive.  The other key issue was that he had been estranged from his mother and sister for several years.  Although they had recently been working on it, the hurt was still there. We prayed about it, and we decided to try to get the money to go.  That was the correct decision.

We went out there with open hearts and minds.

The service was different than anything we had ever experienced.  It was called a celebration of life, instead of a memorial service.  People came in, signed a book, then ate food and chatted.  Chefy's sister did speak at the event, and she thanked people for coming.  She spoke of her mom and her husband and daughter, and never mentioned Chefy and our family at all.  Although it did upset Chefy and some of his friends who came to the event, we decided that it was best to leave it alone.  The hurt, anger and pain was not going to follow us back home.  It was over.

We didn't go because we thought everything would be settled and normal.  We went because it was his mother, and it was the right thing to do.  No regrets.  We followed our hearts.  We did the right thing!


The test was...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

During her freshman year, Kat spent the last 6 weeks of school on home bound.  She was given all the work she was missing and she basically taught herself.  I helped her as much as possible, but when it came to geometry, I was useless.  She was supposed to have an instructor come over weekly to check on her progress and to offer her assistance with any problem areas.  Notice that I said she was SUPPOSED to have the instructor drop by.  Someone at the high school dropped the ball and no instructor was ever scheduled.  When I called the school, the messages I left were being discarded because they assumed it had already been taken care of.

A week before her final exam, my husband finally got in touch with the principal and he had the freshman counselor stop by.  He came in and talked to Kat, then called the school and told the home bound head that they needed to get someone to come review with her.  The next day, a math teacher came by and they worked on some geometry problems for about 30 minutes.  They did not go over any other classes!  He told Kat that she should do fine on the exams and left.  We were concerned, but we prayed about it.

Kat took her exams several days later.  She made A's on all of them.  She had done it, basically on her own!
The test was over, and Kat passed with flying colors!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On that day...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

Can you remember where you were on January 24, 2011?  My daughter and I remember it like it was yesterday.  On that day, we were at Durham Regional Hospital visiting our Papa.  He had been suffering from cancer for 6 months, and he was drifting away from us.  Papa was heavily medicated because the cancer had metastasized and was now in his colon, liver, and brain.  He was in a lot of pain.   Kat had been begging me to take her to see him and I had been putting her off because he was no longer coherent.  Papa had not been conscious in about a week.  I told Kat that he was very pale and that he had lost a lot of weight.  I did not want her to be scared.  Then I explained that he had been unconscious and would just be laying there.  She assured me that he would know she was there, and that she would be fine.  I gave in!

When we walked into the hospital room, Kat walked over to the bed and rubbed her hand across Papa's soft, white hair.  She kissed his cheek and said, "I love you, Pa Pa."  We all were shocked when his eyelids fluttered and he spoke.  He smiled at her and said, "There's Pa's baby.  I love you."   Kat leaned in for a hug and they embraced for a minute or two.  Kat leaned up and kissed his head, and we watched Papa's eyes close again.  On that day, I learned that love can overcome anything.  Papa felt Kat there, and he came back to us long enough to soothe her 12 1/2 yr old heart.  On that day, Kat KNEW that her Pa Pa would love her forever.

I was just too busy.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

Life goes by too fast to have regrets.  Every day, I do my best to live it to the fullest.  That does not mean that I go sky diving, or do other crazy things like that.  My way of living life to the fullest is by spending my time with my family.  My time is spent in person or talking on the phone!

I call my mom several times each day to check in on her and on my grandma.  They live in a not so great area of a city that is about 45 minutes from me.  Since the death of my daddy, Mom has lived with Grandma.  I freely admit that my mom is one of my best friends.  (She shares that title with Chefy.)  We enjoy just running our mouths and saying, "I love you."  My brother works a few blocks from where Mom lives, so he checks in on them and we talk every week.  I talk to the rest of my family that much or more.  I feel blessed.

Chefy, Kat and I spend our evenings together and we try to eat together every night.  That time is important to us, so we can grow together as a family.  Kat will be grown and gone soon enough.  I cherish every minute with her.  I have truly been able to get to know my daughter, and my hubby.  My time with them is spent without regret.  I want no what ifs.  I never want to say, I was just too busy.

Enjoy your family while you can.  No one is promised tomorrow.  That has been proven to me many times over the years.  Live life to the fullest!

Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much.  Never say, I was just too busy!

When I found out...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

I spent most of the day on Tuesday thinking about life and reminiscing about all the wonderful things I have been blessed with.  My daughter Kat is the first thing that comes to mind.  As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom, and I wanted a daughter.  When God decided to bless me with a baby, I was ecstatic about becoming a mom.  Somehow, I knew the baby was going to be a girl.  I had her name picked out from the start, and I never really even considered choosing a boy's name, just in case.  We had 2 different ultrasounds and we were never able to find out for sure what the gender was.  At the last ultrasound, the baby was lying there with her hands covering her genitals.  I told the technician that it was a girl and that she was just shy.  The technician just smiled and told me not to get my hopes up, but I was sure.

The morning Kat was born, labor came hard and fast.  Anxiously, I waited to hear her first cries.  The doctor knew how excited I was to know that my baby was actually a girl, so she decided to make me wait a little longer.  When Kat was finally delivered, my doctor kept referring to her as the baby.  When they wrapped her up and handed her to me, my doctor looked down at us and smiled.  She said, "Congrats Mom, your little miracle is a girl, a healthy girl."   Then I cried!

Monday, January 27, 2014

We're Back Home

We have been MIA for a few days because we were in Seattle for my mother-in-law's memorial service. The last several days have been run, run, run!  We were happy to land back in Raleigh, and have spent most of the day trying to catch up on sleep.  I have a giveaway and several other posts to catch up on, so I will be working as hard as I can to get them up!  Thanks for reading!

God Bless!
Shelly

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Snugg - Ipad Mini Case Review

Disclosure:  We received an ipad mini case at no cost to facilitate our honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

Taking care of your tablet is very important.  Every tablet we own has a case which protects it from receiving damage from the every day wear and tear.  The Snugg offered us a new case for our ipad mini, and we were happy to try out the electric blue beauty!

About the Snugg:
It's got the perfect Snugg fit, and a Lifetime Guarantee.  Just register your case and you're covered for any unusual faults that are not general wear and tear.

Created for maximum protection - the PU leather exterior is the perfect fit for the petite iPad mini, allowing for use of all the tablet's great features while it's protected in this impressive electric blue case. The electric blue nubuck interior creates a soft canvas against your precious tablet.

All Snugg iPad mini cases come with an integrated hand strap, providing extra hold when using your iPad mini to read, check Facebook or iMessaging. Your tablet is made extra secure within the case by the resilient Velcro tab. This prevents unnecessary movement and so reduces internal scuffs and scratches.  

The stylus loop we have included is great, preventing you from losing your stylus companion.

The folio cover of this case has a few hidden features. It's great for extending your battery life - the case integrates with the sleep/wake function of your iPad mini, cleverly putting it into sleep mode when you close the cover. It's easy to wake - just open the cover and your tablet comes back to life. With all this extra battery life, you can take advantage of the great laid back angle of the 2 built in stand positions. It's the perfect position for gaming, typing and browsing your favourite sites. The flip angle is just right for catching up on your favourite shows or FaceTime chats.

We love the case.  It really is a snug fit, and although we have use the stand positions often, no wear and tear has been seen.  This is one Ipad Mini case that we recommend 100%.

Bubba Brands Hero Sport and Raptor Water Bottles Review

Disclosure:  I received a Hero Sport and Raptor water bottle sample to facilitate my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

My family is constantly drinking water.  I refuse to pay the price for bottled water, so I have a filter water pitcher that stays in my refrigerator, and we just refill our cups as we go.  I really like having re-usable water bottles on hand during sports season, because Kat always needs to have some at practice and during games.

We were sent the Hero Sport and Raptor water bottles to review from Bubba Brands.

I really liked the Raptor bottle.  The Raptor features:

  • Dual wall construction creates a insulating barrier, keeping beverage inside bottle from changing temperatures
  • Keeps cold beverages cold for 6 hours
  • Fits in most car cup holders
  • Tumbler does not "sweat"
  • Dishwasher safe





Kat preferred the Hero sport water bottle.  The Hero Sport features: 
  • Dual-walled food grade stainless steel body (BPA Free)
  • Vacuum insulated, keeping beverage inside bottle from changing temperatures
  • Keeps cold beverages cold for 24 hours
  • Sweat proof design
  • Dishwasher safe





Both of the water bottles are awesome. They do a great job keeping the beverage cold. Kat takes her Hero sport bottle with her everywhere she goes. It's like her credit card. She won't leave home without it.

Delivery Man on Blu-ray on 3/25

Disclosure: This is a non-compensated post. I just wanted to share!



Film Synopsis:  In this heartwarming comedy, underachiever David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) learns he’s actually an overachiever — he’s fathered 533 children via donations made twenty years earlier! David soon discovers that the shock of his life might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Along the way he discovers not only his true self, but also the father he could become. Also starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders — and complete with bonus materials, including behind-the-scenes footage — it’s a feel-good movie that really delivers.

Sofia The First: The Floating Palace on DVD 4/8/14

Disclosure: This is a non-compensated post. I just wanted to share!

Do YOU believe in mermaids? You will – when you set sail on a magical full-length adventure under the sea with Sofia the First! After Sofia helps a young mermaid named Oona, Sofia’s amulet grants her the power to transform into a mermaid and visit her new friend’s secret underwater kingdom. But when Cedric (disguised as a sea monster) plots to steal Oona’s enchanted Mermaid Comb, danger surfaces for both worlds. With a little help from special guest, Princess Ariel, Sofia embarks on an adventure to rescue Oona. Overflowing with oceans of song-filled fun – plus three more exciting episodes – Sofia the First: The Floating Palace proves that when families and friends work together, they can weather any storm and save the day!



Set sail on a magical full-length adventure under the sea with Sofia in SOFIA THE FIRST: THE FLOATING PALACE out on Disney DVD April 8, 2014. Witness Sofia transform into a mermaid with the aid of her amulet to help save her new mermaid friends from danger! The DVD includes a very special appearance by Princess Ariel, three bonus episodes, plus FREE exclusive friendship bracelets!

MY LITTLE PONY: CLASSIC MOVIE COLLECTION on DVD NOW!

Disclosure:  This is a non-compensated post!  I just wanted to share these cute clips!!

In honor of the My Little Pony:  Classic Movie Collection that is now available on DVD, I wanted to share a few adorable clips with you.  I hope they make you feel like a kid again.  Enjoy!

Ditto Greetings Now Available for Don Jon and Archer: The Complete Fourth Season

Disclosure:  This is a non compensated post!  I just wanted to share!  

Is your latest bromance causing an embarrassing little threat to national security? Trying to find the perfect words to get your guy to stop talking about vacuuming in front of you? Need help getting out of the DANGER ZONE in your relationship.  Let Archer and Don Jon say it for you.

For the recent release of Archer: The Complete Fourth Season and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon, to Blu-ray and DVD, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Ditto Greetings have released Dittos featuring clips from fans’ favorite moments.   

Ditto Greetings is a new online and mobile experience that allows you to turn your favorite movie and TV scenes into personalized video greetings for any occasion or moment. Fans can select from a variety of clips from their favorite Don Jon and Archer: The Complete Fourth Season moments. After creating their Ditto, fans can share it by text, email, or posting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.  And, with your personalized Ditto, you can buy or rent the movie or TV show. 

Send an Archer: The Complete Fourth Season Ditto:
http://dittogreetings.com/find-archer

Send a Don Jon Ditto:
http://dittogreetings.com/find-don%20jon

Archer: The Complete Fourth Season and Don Jon are now available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD.

Still Loving My Fossil Watch

Disclosure:  Fossil has sponsored me with this free product to facilitate my honest review.  No monetary compensation has been received!  All opinions are my own!

Back before Christmas, I joined the Fossil Style Partners and I received a beautiful watch.  Every time I wear the watch, I get so many compliments on it.  I love it so much, I have put away my other watch and I am wearing my Fossil watch every day!!  Thank you Fossil!

If you are looking for a beautiful watch, Fossil has one for you!  Why not check them out?

That's where it started.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

My parents met each other in high school.  My mama was a very studious person and my daddy was a jock. Mama was shy and generally kept to her small group of friends and her first cousin Don.  She and Don were born 2 weeks apart and had grown up together.  They were like brother and sister!  Daddy was very outgoing and he and Don were good friends.

Daddy thought my mom was cute, but was not real sure about dating his friend's "sister", the smart, church girl.  Mama thought he was cute too, the problem was, he knew it.  They were often around each other, going to the movie as a group, but never one on one.  In the fall of 1962, Mama and Don joined Daddy and a girl he was dating, Tani, for a drive in movie.  At intermission of the movie, My dad and Tani went to the concession stand to get popcorn and a soft drink. When they came back, my mom stepped out of the front seat to allow Daddy and Tani to get in the back.  Just as Tani was getting in, the seat slipped out of Mama's hand and slammed against Tani.  The entire cup of Orange Crush that Tani was holding spilled on her new London Fog coat.   She was beyond angry, screaming like a banshee, and demanding to go home.

They drove her home and she jumped out of the car without speaking to anyone.  Although my mom had apologized to her, she was having nothing to do with anyone.  That was the last time she went out with my daddy!  The following weekend, Daddy asked my mom to go out.  They did, and the rest is history.  They neither dated anyone else after that.  They were married for 48 years before my daddy passed.  This year would have been their 50th!  We know how it ended, and now you know that's where it started!  Daddy always said that Mama "Crushed the competition!"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Chorus Line - Now on Blu-Ray

Disclosure:  We received a complimentary copy of the DVD to facilitate our honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits & Pieces family.

On January 14th, one of my favorite musicals was released on blu-ray.  I was so excited that I could finally watch A Chorus Line in blu-ray quality!  The movie takes me back to my early college years.  I had a huge crush on Michael Douglas, thanks to the movie Romancing the Stone, and my roommates and I went to see this movie several times at the theater.  Never saw the movie?  Here is a brief synopsis for you:

A group of dancers congregate on the stage of a Broadway theater to audition for a new musical. After the initial eliminations, 16 hopefuls remain. As the film unfolds, the backstory of each of the dancers is revealed. Some are funny, some ironic, some heartbreaking. No matter what their background, however, they all have one thing in common - a passion for dance.

As you follow the diverse group of dancers through the audition process, you really start to care about the characters.  You will find yourself laughing out loud at some stories, and others will really make you want to cry.  You will find out how important dance really is to them, and what they have gone through for their art. One song that always makes me laugh and sing along is "Dance 10, Looks 3", which Val sings about her struggles to become a dancer.  It is also known as the T!TS and A$$ song.  My roommates and I used to sing that song and do our own special dance to it!!  The song, "One" is probably the most memorable from the movie.  It incorporates the entire cast and it is awesome!

If you have a musical lover or a dancer in your life, this blu-ray would be a wonderful Valentine's Day gift. OR, you could just buy one for yourself and enjoy it whenever you want!.  Have you ever seen A Chorus Line?  What was your favorite song? Character?  Do tell!



Monday, January 20, 2014

So far, so good.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

My resolution for this year was to get more organized and to blog more consistently.  We started out decluttering things around the house and are continuing to do so every day.  We are getting more organized, and things are really coming together.  As for the blog, I am posting more consistently!  I might not post every day, but I am striving to do it.

I am learning that if I take things one day at a time, it is easier.  I am setting small goals so I don't get disappointed.  I realize that I don't feel well every day, and when I don't, I give myself the OK to rest.  Now, I know I can accomplish the task the next day.

I've been fighting the Norovirus for almost a week now.  I have still managed to get things done, and I feel so good about that.  I might not be at full speed, but I am moving forward.  2014 in a nutshell...So far, so good!

You can't stay...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

I am a Christian.  I have been since I was a teenager.  Being a Christian does not mean that you are perfect, nor does it mean you will have a perfect life.  Things happen!  Situations beyond our control can cause havoc in lives.  Being a Christian just helps me deal with things a little better.

Things happen in life and you get angry.  Friends let you down.  Family members will hurt your feelings. There are so many things that can happen to cause you to get mad, upset, and sometimes even doubt God. The key is to realize that God is Always in control and that His will might not match your will.  But, God does know what is best in your life.

I have had my moments when I thought I knew what needed to happen.  I married my first husband without consulting God.  I made the decision, and I dealt with an abusive situation for years.  During this time, my then husband had a dominating influence over me, and we stopped going to church regularly.  Things were bad!  At times, I felt like God had left me.  One day, I realized that it was not God who left me. I had walked away from Him.  After that realization, I started going to church, with or without my husband.  I started praying again, and I was blessed.  My daughter was born!   Then God opened my eyes!  I tried to make the marriage work and prayed about what to do.  I stayed until I was abused physically and then found out that my husband had been cheating on me.  I found out later he was cheating with men.

When I left him, I was struggling.  I was so mad with him and I was not willing to forgive.  My daddy, who was a preacher, started talking to me about it.  I soon realized that I needed to forgive my ex for things so I could move on.  If God could forgive me for my sins, I needed to forgive others.  I realized that they would have to account for what they did, and that my anger was holding me back.  All this time, I had been angry with God because I felt like He had left me, but He had been there all along.  He blessed me with a healthy little girl.  He kept me from contracting any diseases from a cheating spouse, and He is the one who gave me the strength to leave.  He would never let me down.

People will hurt you, and make you angry.  You need to forgive them.  God forgave you.  You can't stay angry with someone, harbor animosity and continue to go on.  Let go, and Let God!

We were able to focus on...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

Just a little over a year ago, we were on the hunt for a church.  We no longer felt as welcomed, or as comfortable at the church we had been attending.  It was just too hard.  Kat and I could still see my daddy there, singing, teaching and preaching.  It had become hard to concentrate on anything, other than our loss.

Kat and Chefy started checking out a few churches without me.  I was having a problem leaving my mom and grandma at our old church.  Part of me felt like I was letting down my daddy, and I think a part of me was not sure if I even wanted to go to church anymore.  I know.  I know.  I guess I was still a little angry with God, and I hated myself for that.

The first Sunday of 2013, we attended our first service as a family at Antioch Baptist Church.  When we walked in the door, we were spoken to, hugged, and had our hands shaken by lots of people.  The preacher came over, welcomed me (since he already knew Kat & Chefy), gave me a hug, and told me to make myself at home.  I was very happy to see people I knew and when the services started, I found myself feeling much better.  The choir sang a familiar song, and I felt my heart warming. When the preacher started his sermon, he started out with a reference to his family.  That reminded me so much of my daddy!  I found myself in tears before the sermon was over.  I realized that for the first time in a year, I had been able to focus on God and His love.  I was no longer angry.

Chefy, Kat and I discussed it after church, and we knew that we had found our new home church.  For the first time in months, I wanted to go to church.  I felt like my daddy was with me, smiling.  My family was whole again, and love had returned.  We were able to focus on the future, and things were looking bright!

Friday, January 17, 2014

We saw that coming!

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

We have had some crazy weather this winter.  We got cold earlier than usual, then just before the start of winter, it got warm.  North Carolina weather is known for being a roller coaster ride, and this year has been no different.  Last week, our temperatures were crazy.  We started off one day in the 60s and before midnight that night, we were down to 20 degrees!

Last Friday night, we had a bad thunderstorm.  Yes, I said thunder.  All my life I have been told that when you hear thunder in the winter, it will snow within seven days.  Well, Thursday morning, it snowed!  We only ended up with about an inch, but, the fact is...It Snowed!!   (In less than 7 days)  YEP...We saw that coming!  LOL

Have you ever heard about the thunder in winter rule?  What are some things you have been told?

The world lied to me, I thought.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

When I was a child, I was very thin.  Our neighbor kept me after school every day and she was constantly trying to fatten me up.  I was just this scrawny little blonde headed tomboy who never seemed to gain an ounce, no matter how much I ate.  My doctors were constantly telling my parents that I needed to eat more and to take vitamins.  My parents did everything they knew how.  Even when my asthma would act up and I would have to be less active, I still could not gain weight.  My pediatrician told my mom that I was just one of those people who had a high metabolism rate and that I was lucky!

Fast Forward to my late teen years....although I was still active, weight started creeping up.  By the time I was in my 20s, I was overweight.  Nothing I did made any difference.  I could diet and exercise myself to death and my weight remained the same.  After visiting several doctors, they told me that I had a very slow metabolism rate.  They suggested some things to try to improve my metabolism rate.  Nothing helped.  For years, I tried to find the balance.  I still want to lose weight, but for me, not the world.

The world lied to me.  I thought about it...When I was skinny, the world said I needed to gain weight, and when I gained weight, I was told I needed to be skinny.  The world tells us that we need to be thin to be happy.  That is a lie!  To be happy, we only need to be who we are, and accept ourselves that way!

There was a tremendous amount of stress.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

2012 was probably the worst year of my life.  On February 3rd of that year, my daddy went into the hospital for a heart catheterization procedure, ended up having open heart surgery, and never woke up again on Earth.  The sudden loss of my daddy threw me into a tailspin.  I was trying so hard to be strong for my mom and my daughter, and on the outside I was succeeding, inside I was screaming!  I was a Daddy's Girl and my daughter was a G-Dad's Girl.  I was lost and trying desperately to hold it together and comfort my grieving mother and daughter.  I realize now that I kinda lost myself for a while there.  There was a tremendous amount of stress.

My cousin RD, who was more like my brother, overtook the grandfather role for Kat, and we were spending even more time with him and his family than ever.  AND we were healing!  In May, we were devastated to learn that RD's cancer had returned .  We never imagined that we would lose him just day's before Father's Day. Just as we were starting to get back on track, life went off the rails again.

Father's Day was difficult for all of us and realizing how hard we were struggling, my father in law stepped up and took a more active role in our lives.  My father-in law(DAD) lived 3,000 miles away in Washington State, but he started calling every few days and just checking in.  We started discussing having him move here to NC to be close to us.  We figured it would be a win win situation.  He could spend more time with his granddaughter and we could watch over him.  Unfortunately, this plan never came to fruition.

On July 5th, my father-in-law passed away.  He had complained of a stomach bug for a few days prior to his death, and we began calling him several times a day to check in.  On the 4th, I called him and he sounded like he was disoriented.  He said he was still sick and promised that he would call his doctor or go to the ER the next day.  I called his house over and over the next morning and about 11am PST a strange voice answered.  It was a Renton policeman.  Dad was dead.

The stress of the year was overflowing.  We had lost 3 very important male members of our family in a matter of 5 months.  Kat was starting to show signs of the strain.  She was withdrawing, and was constantly worrying that something was going to happen to someone else she loved.  I was having a hard time dealing with it too.  As someone who was raised in church, I was taught that all things happen for a reason.  I was struggling to find that reason.

There was a tremendous amount of stress, and I felt like I was losing it.  One day I was sitting at home and I was listening to music.  One lyric caught my attention, " When there's no hope, thank God for grace."  I realized that there was nothing I could do to change anything.  All this time I had been trying to figure things out and handle the stress myself.  There was no hope left.  I gave all my stress over to God, and I thanked him for Grace!  I know it sounds like a lie, but almost immediately, I felt better.  Things would never be the same again, but with God's Grace, we are now flourishing!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Learning Made Fun with the Tickety Toc Matching Game

Disclosure:  Free product was received to facilitate our honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  Receiving the free product did in NO WAY influence our opinions or what we post.

  Includes: 72 Cards, 1 Rules Manual
    Ages 3 and up
    1 to 4 players

I have always loved playing matching games.  I've played them with a deck of cards, on the internet, and with the original Memory game.  Now kids have the Tickety Toc Matching Game (SRP $9.99)!
It's the classic game of picture matching – now starring preschoolers’ favorite Tickety Toc characters! Kids can flip over colorful tiles to find a parade of friendly faces, from Tommy and Tallulah to Pufferty and Hopparoo. The player who collects the most matching pairs wins!

This game is not only fun, it is also a wonderful teaching tool.  It promotes matching, memory skills, turn-taking and playing together.  It is a game that everyone can play, even those who cannot read are still able to play along...and the won most of the time!!  This is a great first game for a child!

Did you play matching games as a child?  Do you enjoy them, or do you have a child who does?

Design Masters Review and Contest Announcement

Disclosure:  Free product was received to facilitate our honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits & Pieces family.



My daughter loves cars, and she loves to sketch them.  Before Christmas, We were given the opportunity to review Design Masters, an auto sketchbook produced by Wooky Entertainment.  With Design Masters, you can use the detailed stencil sheets that are provided to trace cool car parts on your sketch page, add some color and some smoking' sticker appliques and you've just detailed your ride. The kit includes 30 sketch pages, over 35 stencils, 2 illustrated inspiration sheets, more than 140 stickers and instructions. Design Masters Sketchbook combines precision drawing with sophisticated design and allows children to create their own styling' rides by drawing, sketching, personalizing and detailing their own car designs.

Kat was thrilled.  She was able to sketch some very awesome cars!!  We received the Ford Focus sketchbook and it was a lot of fun.  Design Masters has several books to choose from, including, a
LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR, FORD MUSTANG, LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO, FORD F-150 SVT RAPTOR, FORD GT and more!  The sketchbooks are not just for kids either!  Chefy loves to draw the cars and I have to admit...I love coloring them!

To mark the new year, Wooky Entertainment is revving the engine on its Design Masters auto sketchbook line with a product giveaway celebrating the launch of its new Facebook page. The easy-to-navigate site provides step-by-step directions for car enthusiasts to detail the car of their dream. THREE lucky winners will receive $100 worth of 2014 Design Masters product not yet available in stores, including two Lamborghini sketchbooks, Official Lamborghini Color Pencils, and a high-gloss 2014 Lamborghini Deluxe Wall Calendar (poster size)! Entry is easy. Now through January 31, please ‘like’ the Design Masters page here and fill out the form.

If you have a family member who enjoys cars, or who enjoys sketching, check these out!  What do you think?  Do you know someone who would enjoy this?

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes Review

Disclosure:  Product was received to facilitate an honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits & Pieces family.


Unscented baby wipes by Seventh Generation are thick, strong and ready to get to work. Designed to be Kind™ to your baby, these generously-sized wipes are built with the cleaning power you need and the care your baby deserves. You’ll get all the comfort and performance of cloth while using fewer wipes!

Seventh Generation baby wipes are all-in-one mess masters, quickly swiping up spills and gently unsticking little hands. Count on them for beach days, spaghetti nights and everything in-between.

These wipes are:

  • Free of fragrances & dyes
  • Free of parabens and phthalates
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Flip-top opening (64 ct. pack only) is #5 plastic, which may be recyclable through programs in your town
  • Free & Clear available in 64ct, 128ct, and 256ct

Our thoughts:
We really liked these wipes.  We did not have to worry about allergies, and these wipes were strong enough to clean up more than just bottoms!  We keep them in the car for the entire family to use.  This is a product that we really like and feel good about using!

8th Continent Soy Milk Review

Disclosure:  Product was received to facilitate an honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

Our family tried a lot of new products during 2013 and one that stands out to me is 8th Continent Soy Milk!  It has become a staple in our home.  Chefy was the only one of us who was familiar with soy milk prior to our review.  I had never really thought about trying it because I grew up drinking cows milk and my daddy would never try anything new.

We were sent coupons for free cartons of any 8th Continent Soy Milk, and I immediately went to the store in search of it.  At my local grocery store, they only carry the Original.  I grabbed a carton and brought it home.  I'll be honest, I let it sit in the refrigerator for almost a week before I got brave enough to try it.  Chefy grabbed a glass for himself and he brought one for me.  When I took my first sip, I was not sure what to think.  It is definitely not cows milk!  BUT...I really liked the flavor of it.  The consistency of it is really nice, and the scent is fine too.  The soy milk is a great source of protein and calcium, and my doctor recommended it too!

I was able to track down the light vanilla and light chocolate flavors, and I LOVED them!!  Now I just need to talk Kat into giving it a try!

You can follow 8th continent here:
http://facebook.com/8thcontinentsoymilk
http://twitter.com/8thcontinentsoy
http://pinterest.com/8thcontinentsoy

Do you drink soy milk?  Have you ever tried 8th Continent?  What is your favorite?

Disney's Frozen on Blu-ray Combo Pack March 18th

Disclosure:  This is a non-compensated post.  We loved this movie and I just wanted to share!



Walt Disney Animation Studios presents a chilly twist on one of the most humorous and heartwarming stories ever told. “Disney Animation’s best since The Lion King” (William Bibbiani, CraveOnline) will melt your heart.

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey — teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven — to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

Bring home Frozen on Blu-ray High Definition — featuring a blizzard of never-before-seen bonus extras with gorgeous animation, memorable characters and unforgettable music. It’s dazzling fun for the whole family!

Release Dates: Digital HD & Digital 3D: February 25th, 2014
                      Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD & On-Demand: March 18th, 2014

Packaging:   2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) & 1-Disc DVD

New Bonus Features:
• The Making Of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
D’frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian Andersen to Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
Breaking The Ice - The Real Making Of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
4 Deleted Scenes with introduction by Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Original Theatrical Short - “Get A Horse” (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
“Let It Go” Music Videos by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel & Marsha Milan Londoh (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
Frozen Teaser Trailer (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

Feature Run Time: Approx. 102-minutes
Rated: US: PG / Canada: G (CE and CF)
To learn more visit: Frozen Facebook page http://facebook.com/DisneyFrozen
           Follow Disney on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation

Gorton’s Real Fabulous Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product to facilitate my honest review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits & Pieces family. The sponsor, Gorton's, is responsible for prize fulfillment.

One of my goals for 2014 is to eat better and prepare healthier foods for my family.  We are getting away from fried foods and are gearing our diets toward lean meats, fish and vegetables.  Kat and Chefy are big seafood lovers, and I am learning to like it.  I have found out that I really do like grilled fillets and thanks to Gorton's, I have discovered that I can make healthy meals in minutes! The grilled fillets are between 80-110 calories per serving and are gluten free.  They are flame grilled and deliciously seasoned!  YUM!!

On busy nights, I can grab Gorton's Grilled Salmon, Tilapia, Shrimp, or any other Gorton's grilled fillets, and prepare a delicious, healthy meal that every one enjoys.  Recently I decided to make fish tacos.  I did not want to use fish sticks, so I prepared the Grilled Tilapia instead.  Here is my recipe:

Ingredients:
4 Gorton's Grilled Tilapia filets
12 soft flour taco shells
3 cups lettuce, shredded
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1.5 cups diced tomato
sour cream (if desired)
salsa (if desired)

Directions:
Prepare Gorton's Grilled Tilapia Fillets according to package instructions.  Once heated, chop or dice the fillets and set aside.
Take a soft flour shell and fill as desired.

It was so simple and so delicious!  This recipe  has found a place in our weekly dinner schedule.  You can use other types of fish or even the grilled shrimp to change it up too.

Stop by Gorton's and grab a coupon good for $1 off the purchase of 2 Gorton's products.  You can also explore all the products that Gorton's offers and check out their delicious recipes.  You can also connect with Gorton's by  Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Now through February 3, 2014, you can enter the Gorton's Real Fabulous Sweepstakes  DAILY for a chance to win a $1,000 make over GRAND PRIZE as well as weekly prizes.  One lucky winner will win a $1,000 wardrobe makeover consisting of a gift card to the clothing retailer of Grand Prize Winner’s choice and twelve (12) VIP coupons, each for one (1) free Gorton’s item. There will be twenty (20) First Place Prizes.  The First Place Prize consists of three (3) Gorton’s VIP Coupons, each good for one (1) free Gorton’s item and one (1) $50.00 Visa® Gift Card.

~~~GIVEAWAY~~~
The wonderful people at Gorton's is offering a prize pack to one lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces reader. Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below.  The prize pack consists of two full-value product coupons, 1 pair of Gorton’s-branded oven mitts, a Gorton’s spatula and an assortment of Gorton’s recipe cards.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MUPPETS MOST WANTED - New Video

Disclosure:  This is a non-compensated post!  Just wanted to share!

Watch fans online go crazy over the fact that MUPPETS MOST WANTED wasn't nominated for ANY awards this year.



Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” is directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Bobin wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, “Muppets Most Wanted” hits the big screen March 21, 2014. For more information, visit Disney.com/Muppets, like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/Muppets, and follow us on Twitter: Twitter.com/MuppetsStudio.

Runner Runner NOW Available on Blu-ray and DVD

Disclosure: This is a non-compensated post! Just wanted to share!



Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck star in this high-stakes crime thriller where the lure of easy money is the riskiest bet of all. When Princeton grad student Richie Furst (Timberlake) believes he’s been swindled by an online poker site, he heads to Costa Rica to confront gambling tycoon Ivan Block (Affleck), the man he thinks is responsible. But Richie will soon face the ultimate power play as he finds himself caught between Block’s promises of unlimited wealth and the zealous FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) trying to bring him down.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World on Digital HD Feb 4 and Blu-ray Feb 25

Disclosure:  This is a non-compensated post!  Just wanted to share.

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World arrives on 3D Combo Pack, Single-Disc Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand February 25th and will be available on Digital 3D and Digital HD on February 4th! Bonus features include an exclusive first look at Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, never-before-seen extended and deleted scenes and more!

Check out the clip below:

Hershey's Spread #Share the Possibilities

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample to review while working under a Crowdtap Campaign! No monetary compensation was received!

Being diabetic, I do not allow myself to have sweets very often, but when I do, I find myself grabbing a Hershey's product.  Recently, I was sent a jar of chocolate Hershey's Spread.  I opened the jar and the smell was heavenly!  I grabbed a pretzel rod and dipped it into the chocolate.  YUM!!  I was in love!  The texture is nice and creamy and the chocolate flavor is the same delicious Hershey's milk chocolate I have loved for years!

When Chefy came home, he had to try it for himself!  He spread some chocolate on a banana and he loved it!  We sat here and discussed all the wonderful ways we could use the Hershey's spreads.  I could also put it on toast, between shortbread cookies, on apples, strawberries and more!  If you want more ideas, you can check out this awesome collection of recipes that Hershey's has created!

The Hershey's spreads are available in chocolate, chocolate with almond and chocolate with hazelnut.  We will be giving the other flavors a try!

The only thing I would change would be the sugar, fat and calorie content....but then it would not be true Hershey's Chocolate.  Would it?



I felt helpless.

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

Back in May, I went missing for a while.  Our lives had been thrown into a tailspin and I felt helpless to stop it.  Kat had been having some stomach issues and missed a few days of school with stomach pain.  We already knew she had ovarian cysts, but this pain was different.  After a day or two, she started feeling sick every time she ate.  I took her to the doctor and they gave her a new prescription for reflux, and they gave her a medication to reduce nausea.

Later that evening, Kat wanted to try to eat something, and she started experiencing pain after eating only a few bites.  She was in so much pain, she was in tears!  I took her over to our local hospital and it ended up being a 6 hour nightmare.  Kat was the only patient in the ER when we arrived, so she was immediately taken to a room.  The nurse came in and took her vitals and history, almost immediately!  The nurse came back in and told us that they wanted to do an MRI and that Kat needed to drink 3 cups of contrast.  When the nurse appeared with the contrast, she also came back with a pill for nausea.  Every time Kat would take a few sips of the contrast, she would throw up.  This continued for about 4 hours.  Kat was miserable!  She was in pain, could not stop throwing up, and she was crying!  I felt helpless!

They took her down for an MRI at about the 4 1/2 hour mark, and when they returned, they told the nurse that she had gotten sick two times while in radiology.  The nurse came in and gave Kat a shot to try to halt the nausea, and told me that she would let me know when they had some answers.  I rubbed Kat's head and wiped her forehead and cheeks with a damp cloth, and she fell asleep.  She woke up 3 or 4 times during the next hour, to throw up.  At the 5 1/2 hour mark, the doctor finally made an appearance.  He came to tell me that they wanted to transfer Kat to the Duke University Children's Hospital.  That was the best news I heard all night!   She was finally picked up for transport 6 hours after we walked into that ER.

She slept the entire ambulance ride to Duke and only woke up when the nurses at Duke were trying to move her to her bed.  She was so wobbly that I had to completely support her.  She threw up again and they put her into bed.  Kat was surrounded by a team of doctors and nurses within moments of our arrival.  She was hooked up to IVs and didn't even wake up!  I was finally able to relax because I KNEW she was finally in good hands.

One week later, she was released from the hospital.  The problem was caused by her ileum (the end part of the small intestine).  It was not functioning correctly and fluid was sitting there stagnant.  When new food or water would come in contact with it, she would throw up.  No one knows what caused it, but after a week of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines, Kat was better!  Thanks to Duke University Children's Hospital, I no longer felt helpless!

What I could see happening...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

My daughter loves singing.  She has a beautiful voice and she has decided that she wants to make Music her major in college.  She is a very self secure young woman, and she rarely doubts her talents.  Being a very insecure person myself, I am very proud of her.  She is very brave!  Kat is not afraid to perform in front of people and she actually went on an audition before Christmas.  She is a member of the school choir and she was the first youth to join our church choir.

I believe in Kat!  I know she can do what ever she sets her mind to. Her dream is my dream!  Here is what I could see happening...

Kat goes off to college and spends her summers being a musical performer at Walt Disney World.  She gets discovered while performing there and gets a music contract.  After she records her first album, she gets the chance to open for Katy Perry.  After one of her songs goes platinum, she is offered gigs on talk shows all over the country.  Finally, the country knows what we did all along..not only is Kat beautiful, but she can sing!

Hey, a mama can dream!  I could see it happening!  What are your dreams?  What could you see happening?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Can I just get my...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

My mom swears that I have always been a little on the emotional side.  My daddy called me tender hearted. Sometimes I cry at the drop of a hat.  It is not something I seem to be able to control.  My emotions seem to have a mind of their own and when something makes me emotional, I'm a mess!

I cannot watch the ASPCA commercials on TV without crying for all those poor abandoned and abused dogs and cats.  I have found myself crying while watching episodes of  the Animal Cops shows.  When I read about someone abusing a person or animal, it upsets me!  It just hurts my heart.  When I was learning to drive, a dog ran under my car and I hit him.  I was so torn up about it, I didn't drive again for over a year!  I do not think this is normal behavior, but it is me!  I can see a dead animal on the side of the road and can picture his parents looking for him, wondering where he is.  Is that crazy?

My daughter is like me in some ways, but she thinks I've lost my mind sometimes too.  I am the person who cries at movies, then I watch it again, and cry at the same spot!  Don't get me wrong, when I need to be strong, I can be.  When my daddy passed on 2/3/12, I was the strong one.  I was there for Mama and my brother.  I was able to compartmentalize things enough to get through everything, then I lost it!  I cried for days.

Don't get me wrong.  I do not cry every day.  But when I do...watch out!

Can't I just get my emotions in check?

I can't be the only person who does this.  Can I?  What are your thoughts?  Are you emotional?

We spent months...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

Before we moved to this house, we spent months fighting illness after illness.  We went from doctor to doctor and no one had any idea why we kept getting sick.  Kat's asthma got worse, so much worse in fact, that we had to get her a nebulizer so she could have daily treatments.  Chefy, who contracted MRSA during a hospital stay, had one bout with it after another.  My lupus was getting worse, and I was having  more bad days than good ones.

We purchased air purifiers to see if they would help.  My already clean house was scrubbed completely!  The carpets were removed, drapes cleaned.  Nothing helped.

As our health deteriorated, we just settled on the idea that we would just continue to have problems, and we just needed to deal with it.  One night, our plumbing went out and when Chefy pulled off some tile to work on it, he discovered black mold.  Within a few minutes, he had peeled off all of the wall paper in our bathroom.  Black mold was everywhere!  It continued on the walls in our bedroom, and throughout the rest of the house.  No room was spared.  We now had our culprit!  The mold in our house was toxic and it had been poisoning us for months!

We were told by our physicians that we needed to move quickly to get away from it.  A contractor checked out the house and found it in the floors, sub-floors, walls, and baseboards.  The only thing he suggested was to get out ASAP.  We moved within a month of finding the mold, and we are now healthier than ever!  Kat continues to have problems with her asthma but it usually only rears its' ugly head when she gets a bad head cold!  Chefy and I have not experienced MRSA breakouts since the move, and my lupus has not been as active.

I take myself back to those few months we spent trying to figure out the problem.  We never considered an environmental issue.  Now, it is the first thing I think about!

What have you spent months doing?  Do tell!


Friday, January 10, 2014

I never received an answer...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

Back in the early 1990s, I really wanted to have a baby.  My then husband and I went to a new OB-GYN to discuss getting pregnant.  The male doctor took one look at me and without examining me, he told me that my problem was that I was diabetic, had high blood pressure, and that my breasts were full of fibroids.  I was shocked.  Yes, I was overweight, but everything he insisted was wrong with me was incorrect.  I had always been active.  I played softball and golf, I exercised, rode my bike and more.  My blood pressure was always fine, and I had actually always struggled with being hypoglycemic (low blood sugar).  Also, I had no fibroid nodules in my breasts.

The doctor did not examine me that day, but he did send me to have lab work done.  He scheduled me to come back in a week.  Although I was upset with my first visit, I went back because I was told he was the "best" in our area.  When I came back in, he sent in his PA to talk to me.  She never told me what the results of my labs were, except to tell me I was pregnant.  We left that day, excited with the news and with an appointment to come back for more labs in two weeks.

Three days later, I had some of the worst cramps I had ever experienced and I started bleeding.  I went back to the doctor and was told I had miscarried. (I already knew that.)  His PA then came in and she told me that the blood tests I had done in their office several days earlier showed my HCG level was very low.  She actually told me that she expected me to miscarry but did not want to tell me that.  All the while she was talking to me, the doctor stood there saying nothing.  When the PA finished talking to me, the doctor spoke up and said, "You're young.  You need to lose some weight and try again."

At this point, I was very emotional and I asked that doctor why losing weight was always the answer to every question.  He stunned me my telling me that overweight people should not have babies because they just end up being overweight adults.  I stood up, grabbed my purse and headed for the door.  The doctor told his PA to glove up and remove the paper from the table I had been sitting on.  It was covered in blood. He then told me that I needed to go home, relax for several days, then go on a diet.  He said I should come back when I was thinner.  Not knowing how to react, I asked him how long it should take for my bleeding to subside.  He turned around and walked by me.  I never did receive an answer!

Epilogue:  I never returned to that worthless doctor.  I did get pregnant again.  I had 14 miscarriages and was eventually told that I had PCOS and Lupus.  My one daughter, Kat is my miracle.  I eventually divorced that abusive, worthless husband and married my soulmate.  I am blessed and I am happy.  The doctor on the other hand, I'm not sure he ever knew what happy was!


If you're at all interested in our...

Disclosure:  This post is a part of the Blog Dare I am participating in for 2014. Come join us at BloggyMoms!

If you're at all interested in our current state of insanity, I'll be happy to fill you in.  This post was actually scheduled to be posted on Thursday 1/9.  Our heat went out at some point during Monday Night.  Kat and I woke up to a very chilly 54 degree house on Tuesday morning.  Because of the extremely cold temperatures here in NC, Kat went to school after a 2 hour delay that day, so we snuggled together until she left.  I left a message for our Heating guy and spent my day wrapped in a blanket.  About 4pm he stopped by and diagnosed our problem...blown compressor!  Thanks to our pastor, we had space heaters to use until our heat was fixed.  

We spent Tuesday night and part of Wednesday in a house that was 60 degrees!  We were sure thankful we were inside though!  Our heat did get repaired, at a cost of $1313.00!  We're thankful we are friends with the Heating guy, because he let us pay part of it and make payments!  After church Wednesday night, I had a headache and my throat was hurting.  Thursday was a blur most of the day.  I did not feel well and I slept the day away.  The last thing I remember was watching my daughter play on the Xbox about 8pm.  This morning, Chefy woke me up on his way out the door.   Kat had covered me up at bedtime last night and left me here on the couch! 

Today is better!  The house is warm, and although I am not feeling great, I am feeling better!  I am trying to get caught up on posts.  Please continue to follow my blog!  Hoping your week has been a lot more sane than mine!

God Bless Y'all!




Thursday, January 9, 2014

Henry Hugglemonster: Meet the Hugglemonsters on DVD 1/14

Disclosure:  This is a non-compensated post!  Just wanted to share!

HENRY HUGGLEMONSTER: MEET THE HUGGLEMONSTERS

Disney Junior's Henry Hugglemonster Roars onto Disney DVD January 14th!
Overflowing with Value, This DVD Includes 6 Full Episodes Plus FREE Iron-on Decals!
 Synopsis: Welcome to the newest, happiest, most monster-rific spot on the map – the wondrous land of Roarsville – where five-year old Henry Hugglemonster lives, plays and learns something “roarsome” every day!

Together with his loving parents and grandparents, big brother Cobby, sister Summer, baby bro Ivor, and a town full of cuddly monsters, Henry embraces all the joys and challenges of growing up. Whether he’s helping his sister put on a show, setting up a hugglejuice stand or entering his monsterdog Beckett in a pet pageant, he’s always discovering new ways to be the best brother, friend and monster he can be! Packed with over two hours of song-filled fun, teamwork and adventure, Henry Hugglemonster: Meet The Hugglemonsters! will make your preschooler roar for more every time!

The Best Man Holiday Hits Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD Feb. 11!

Disclosure: This is a non-compensated post. I just wanted to share!

A tight-knit group of college friends reunites for the first time in 14 years for an unforgettable celebration in The Best Man Holiday, coming to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack including Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet™ on February 11, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.  The all-new sequel to 1999’s beloved ensemble comedy The Best Man finds all nine friends together again for a reunion packed with laughter, love, and surprises. The Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with exclusive bonus features that include an alternate ending and deleted & extended scenes.
The film’s stellar ensemble cast includes Morris Chestnut (Identity Thief), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Taye Diggs (Baggage Claim), Nia Long (Soul Food), Sanaa Lathan (Contagion), Regina Hall (Scary Movie franchise), Harold Perrineau (Zero Dark Thirty), Monica Calhoun (Love & Basketball) and Melissa De Sousa (Miss Congeniality), all reprising their career-launching roles, as well as Eddie Cibrian (Good Deeds) and John Michael Higgins (Pitch Perfect) in the long-awaited next chapter of the film that ushered in a new era of comedy.
The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet.
·               Blu-ray™ unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
·               DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
·               DIGITAL HD with Ultraviolet lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download movies to watch on iPad®, iPhone®, Android™, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players, game consoles, and more.
Bonus Features Exclusively on Blu-rayTM  
Alternate Ending
Deleted and Extended Scenes with Commentary by Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee
Smack Talk: Filming The Girl Fight Scene—Step into the ring to learn how the big fight scene was filmed. Hear from stars Regina Hall and Melissa De Sousa and writer/director/producer Malcolm D. Lee.
Bonus Features on Blu-rayTM and DVD
Gag Reel
Holiday Reunion: The Making of The Best Man Holiday—Join the cast and crew of the of The Best Man Holiday to find out how the characters, and the actors who play them, have evolved in the 14 years since the first film and what it’s like for them to be working together again, as well as how “new kid on the block” Eddie Cibrian fits in, and what writer and director Malcolm D. Lee brings to the franchise. 
Feature Commentary By Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee

SYNOPSIS
Share the laughter, love and surprises as Harper (Taye Diggs), Lance (Morris Chestnut), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Jordan (Nia Long), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Mia (Monica Calhoun), Murch (Harold Perrineau), Candy (Regina Hall) and Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) all reunite for the first time in years. As they share their triumphs and tragedies,  these college friends soon discover how easy it is to reignite long-forgotten rivalries and romances—all while new discoveries are made and secrets are revealed. The Best Man Holiday is the comedy that critics are calling “a feel-good celebration” (James Verniere, Boston Herald).