Thursday, April 19, 2018

Living Life Like The Money Pros

Using your money in the right way can mean something different for everyone. For some it’s not touching a penny unless you absolutely need to, for others, it’s donating to charity and making sure there’s a good tax deduction on the amounts each year, and for someone else, it’s spending whenever they want to. So whether you’ve stocked up on coupons to make sure you’re scoring the deals you need, or you’re the kind of person who socks away at least 20% of your income each month into a savings account, now’s the time for you to live life like a money pro. You’ve earned it after all! Here’s a couple of tips to get you started.

Always Pay the Rent First

Something quick to start off with. If it becomes a habit, you’re going to be less and less worried over whether or not you remembered to pay for the roof over your head this week. And because of that, you can afford to relax a little! You can easily budget in a meal plan around this, and even the odd takeout every now and then to make sure you’re living the best life you can.
                                                 
Present a United Front

If you have a partner, make sure you’re always communicating with them over your plans for the money you earn. And it’s likely that the both of you are funneling funds into the same savings account; most couples do it to increase their chance of a comfortable and successful life. Which means you both need to be on the same page when it comes to the way you use money, as their plans and motivations may be completely different to yours.

When you can tackle any money troubles together, agreeing on the biggest decisions (you can still argue whether off-brand or name brand cereal is better!), you’re going to be a lot happier in your financial situation. You can even better treat each other this way: agree to allow a few dollars at the end of the week to buy something nice or go out for a quick bite to eat together.

Try Your Chances with Investing

Investing is something people find scary, and when you don’t know anything about the nuances or methods of it, it can be! But you can easily learn, and there’s a lot of money pros out there willing to hand out advice on where your money should go to get you the best dividends at the end of the month.

If you have some savings you know are more disposable than they are essential, you can easily use these to test out the waters. You can even try using the predictions of Larry Edelson if you’re really into the idea of making sure any money you put into the stock market comes out again with at least a double return investment. Getting serious with your money saving efforts requires it!

Living life like the money pros will very soon become second nature!






Monday, April 16, 2018

Stress-Busting Tips When Travelling For Business




Let’s face it; traveling can be stressful. Airport lines, missed connections, getting lost in new places… it would be easier to stay at home than face some of these inconveniences. Still, there are times when we have to pack our bags and travel, be that for the annual family vacation or to further our career with business meetings. Hence this article. With business travel in mind, we have some ideas to alleviate your stress. Check out our tips below.

1. Don’t travel

Okay, so this is an unusual choice for an article about business travel, but if you can conduct your meetings over Skype or any other kind of video conference center, do that instead. It will save you on travel costs, and you won’t have to run the risk of the stresses we mentioned at the beginning. Still, if you do need to leave the comfort of home, consider the rest of the tips below.

2. Carry light

If you aren’t going away for an extended period, don’t stuff your bags with anything you don’t need. You will only end up struggling and tiring yourself out when you are heavily laden with baggage. Instead, focus on carrying the essentials, such as your business outfits, phone (with travel apps), and your passport, and leave everything else behind, including the proverbial kitchen sink.

3. Pick the right hotel

When it comes to picking the right hotel for a business trip, we recommend a hotel that doubles as a conference center. This way, you can meet your client at the hotel, instead of running the risk of being late when you have to travel halfway across a strange town to meet them. The Delta Hotels Edmonton South Conference Centre is an example of what you should be looking for, with boardrooms and meeting spaces. Of course, while you are traveling for business, you should also make some time for yourself, so look for a hotel with leisure time amenities - swimming pool, spa, gym, etc. - where you can enjoy your downtime when you’re away from work.

4. Get plenty of rest

Travelling can be exhausting, which isn’t great when you need to be fresh and alert for your business meetings. You don’t want to doze off in front of your clients, after all. So when you can find an opportunity for some shut-eye, do it. We also recommend you arrive at your chosen destination early (or even the night before your meetings) as you will be able to relax and enjoy the benefits of rest and sleep before the serious business of work begins.

5. Stay in touch with your family

Being away from your family for any length of time can suck, big time! While you will probably enjoy the opportunity for some ‘me-time’ away from family stresses, you are still going to miss them. And of course, they will miss you too. So schedule some time for a phone call or video chat, and you will all feel a little better. A familiar face or voice can make all the difference when you’re situated in an unfamiliar place, and you won’t feel as lonely when you talk to them. Still, when you’re done chatting, enjoy the opportunity to watch you want on the hotel tv, and catch up on that book you have always been meaning to read but couldn’t because of family interruptions.

Finally


Follow our tips and you will make your business travel less stressful and miserable. You might even get the chance to enjoy yourself, too. Thanks for reading, and if you are traveling for work purposes anytime soon, bon voyage!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Career Boosters You Can Work On Close To Home

When you love your career, you’ll always want to make sure that you’re doing a good job, seeing success, and generally enjoying what you do. Because you spend a lot of time working and crafting out the perfect career, it’s often good to know that you’re progressing as much as you can be. However, when you’re putting in the hours and doing as much as you can do in the office, you may feel frustrated at not progressing in the way that you want to be. So, instead, you’re going to want to think about the things you can do to boost your career outside of the office. Here are five ideas a little closer to home that can help you.

Studying Online

First of all, one of the best ways that you can boost your career and open new doors, is to study. If you’re currently limited by your career prospects, going back to school could help. But when you’re busy and you have a family, you aren’t always going to be able to go to school full-time. So instead, studying online with somewhere such as St. Bonaventure University is going to be a better option. You can boost your education in your own time and get the qualifications you need to progress in your career right from home.

Volunteering

Next, you might also find that any volunteering that you do is going to really help you to advance your career. Whether you volunteer at school or with a local cause, you will find that you learn a load of skills similar to those you would in the working world, such as management, money skills, and communication skills. So adding this to your CV can also demonstrate and show the additional skills you have that could help you to progress on in your career.



Networking

You know that contacts are always going to be important in your career. It’s the reason why they say it’s who you know not what you know. So definitely think about the way that you can network in your local neighborhood and even online to get greater opportunities to boost your career.

Blogging

Thanks to the internet, there are now so many more ways that we can all really boost our careers in the evenings and at weekends. Blogging is one of them. When you start a blog in a niche that you’re passionate about, specifically if it’s related to your job, you’ll offer experience lots of different opportunities to progress. You can also make connections or learn things that will help you to bag your next promotion.

Side Hustling

Finally, you may also find that starting a side-hustle can help you to learn new skills and progress on your career path. When it comes to advancing your career with side hustling, it’s always a good idea to pick something that you love or that will teach you new skills. From photography to cooking, this is a great way to add another string to your bow.

Different Ways to Make Some Extra Cash





We would all like some extra money, wouldn’t we? Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, there are many different ways you can make some extra income. It is always a good idea to diversify your income, as this minimizes risk should you be made redundant or experience any other sort of issues. Or, perhaps you are just looking to gather a bit of extra money for a holiday you want to take or something you want to buy? No matter what applies, let’s take a look at some different ways to make extra cash…
  1. Sell some of your stuff – One of the easiest ways to make a bit of extra cash is to sell some of your belongings that you don’t need anymore. You can easily do this online via eBay and other auction websites. Do you have any old mobile phones that you don’t use? Even if they are broken, there are companies that will give you cash for them.
  2. Freelance – If you have a skill that can be provided over the Internet, for example, writing, admin work, or design work, you should consider freelancing. This is something you can do in your spare time, as and when suits you, and it is a great way to make some extra money.
  3. Rent out your driveway – If you live in a popular area – somewhere that is popular with either tourists or businesspeople – you can rent out your driveway over the Internet. Payment will be arranged in advance, so all you need to do is leave your driveway empty.
  4. Take surveys online – There are lots of paid survey websites online today, which prevent you with an easy way of making a bit of extra cash. Some of these websites can be frustrating to use so make sure you read reviews beforehand.
  5. Provide online tutoring – Why not tutor in an area you are trained in? This could be anything from providing personal financial advice to teaching someone English.
  6. Invest – There are many different investment options for people today, from property investment to investing in Facebook stock. Assess your options to find something that is right for your financial situation and your attitude to risk, and this will help you to grow your wealth.
  7. Start a blog – Do you have something you are passionate about? If so, you already have the basis for a good blog. While you probably won’t make much money, to begin with, after time, you will be able to make an income through sponsored ads, affiliate marketing, donations, guest blogging, and much more.

As you can see, there are many different ways you can make some extra cash today. Hopefully, you have found something that appeals to you from the suggestions above.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in April #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  I receive SB for sharing.



All throughout April, you can earn large bonuses when signing up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before May 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned in excess of $1000 in gift cards.  I have redeemed for Amazon and Delta Airlines gift cards!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

I Can Only Imagine Review and Why It Touched Me

Disclosure:  We received free tickets to go see this movie in exchange for our first post.  This is our review of the movie.


Chefy and I finally got the opportunity to go see I Can Only Imagine, so we saw it at the Northgate Cinema in Durham, NC.  We were hoping that we would like the movie as much as we love the song and we were not disappointed. 

J. Michael Finley blew us away playing Bart.  You could feel everything he was feeling by simply looking at his face.  Dennis Quaid did an amazing job in the role of Arthur, Bart's dad.  I actually wanted to beat the crap out of him during the better part of the movie. Dennis and J. Michael worked wonderfully together and you could actually believe that they were father and son.  Emotions ran rampant when they were together. 

When Bart's mom left him behind and Bart ran behind the moving truck, I started bawling and I stayed on that emotional roller coaster the entire movie.  I was wanting to take Bart's pain away and give him that hug that he desperately needed.  I watched him try to be the man his father wanted/expected him to be, and it was so sad.  Nothing he tried ever seemed to work out or be enough.  I wanted to take his hand and guide him, the way his mother should have done.  Yes, it was that emotional for me. 

When Bart finally left home to pursue his dream, Chefy and I were cheering for him all along the way.  He had so much going on in his head and he was all over the place with his music.  He seemed at ease on the stage, but never more so than when he was singing Christian music.  We could really feel the difference.  He was only singing the regular songs, but he was feeling the Christian music. 

When Bart went back home to try to deal with his feelings for his father and to sort out their relationship, you started to really understand just how complicated it was.  At that point, Bart wanted nothing to do with his dad, but when found the letter about his dad's cancer diagnosis, everything changed.  The hatred that Bart had for his father was replaced by sympathy, and Bart began to see that his father had changed.  Arthur had started to listen to preaching on the radio, which led him to start reading the Bible.  God can change anyone.  You just have to be open to Him! 

Bart and Arthur got to spend time together before Arthur passed away, and that was healing for them both.  After his father passed, Bart sat down and wrote this award-winning song,  I Can Only Imagine, in just a matter of minutes.  It became the first song released by MercyMe. 

I am not going to tell you any more about the movie because I don't want to ruin it for everyone.  Now I want to explain why it touched me so much. 


My daddy was a bit of a wild man when I was a child.  He was a good man, but he wanted to do things his way, and he had a temper.  My daddy was a drinker and he liked to play poker.  My parents actually separated for a few weeks when my brother and I were small.  One of the rules my mom had for reconciliation was regular church attendance.  Daddy started attending and he started to change.  He started to stay at home more and drink less.  He started to really read and study his Bible.  When things would go wrong, instead of slipping back into bad habits, Daddy stood steadfastly and kept his faith.  Over the years, I watched him grow in his faith and I watched how God changed him.  Daddy became a preacher when I was a young adult and I was never more proud.  He walked the walk and talked the talk. 

There are lots of similarities between my dad and Bart's dad, Arthur. Both men had their own issues when they were younger and were hard to live with, and both men turned to God!  God redeemed my daddy just like he did Bart's dad, and like Bart, I lost my dad, way too early.  BUT, I am thankful that God blessed me with him for 45 years.  God came into his heart and changed him.  I can only imagine what it will be like when I meet him again in heaven!


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Changing Your Look With a Crochet Senegalese Twist #Divatress #beauty #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.


Have you ever thought about changing your look?  My daughter and her friends are always trying something new.  With all the possibilities out there, you can become overwhelmed.  If you want longer hair, you can always have hair sewn into your normal hair, latch hook it, or even wear a wig.  One of the options that is available is crochet braids.  Never heard of crochet braids?  Neither had I, but Kat’s friend Lee Lee was very familiar.  Crochet braids is loose hair that you actually crochet into your hair with a crochet needle.

Lee Lee says it is easy to do.  You need to cornrow braid your hair first.  You don't have to worry if your cornrows are thin, you can use Kanekalon braiding hair to thicken up the cornrow braids!  After the cornrow braids are ready, simply crochet it in. When it is done the right way, it is almost impossible to tell that it is not your real hair.  Crochet braids can be placed in your hair in a fraction of the time that actual braiding or twisting can be done.  You have lots of choices in styles and colors too!

Some of the styles you can choose from are the ocean wave loop, water wave loop, remedy curl, cocoa curl, Senegalese twist and so many more.  You can look at the crochet Senegalese twist by checking out the photo below!  This particular style is available in nine colors.


All of the items I have been talking about can be found at Divatress.  They offer a lot of very cool "hair" at very reasonable prices. Looking good with Divatress is easy, and it does not have to cost you a fortune!

Monday, March 19, 2018

ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES - US Movie Debut March 24 & 26 #IceDragon #FlyBy

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post to share this wonderful Inspirational Family Movie with my readers.  I will receive a gift for sharing.  All opinions stated honest and have not been influenced at all.  No monetary compensation has been received.


Based on a short story by Canadian director and producer Bruce Stacey (“God Rocks!,” “Journey to Christmas”), “Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies” will premiere in U.S. cinemas for a two-day-only event. This is the first of a planned trilogy that will follow the adventures of Melody, a gifted young dreamer, and her feisty friend Leif, as they work together to save their village from a menacing dragon.


“Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies” is based on a short story by Canadian director and producer Bruce Stacey, his faith-based adventure features the voice talents of Rheal Rees (Melody), Justin Debé (Leif) and Bill Bray (Nicholai).


Fathom Events, Chelsea Road Productions and Tricord Media present “Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies” in movie theaters nationwide on Saturday, March 24 at 12:55 p.m. and Monday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. (all local times). Audiences will also enjoy an original live-action short film featuring children's reactions to important themes raised in the feature content, as well as an exclusive music video.


Tickets for “Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies” can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 700 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website.

*Remember* The family-friendly story of “Ice Dragon: Legend of the Blue Daisies” is coming to cinemas nationwide on March 24 and 26 only. Moviegoers of all ages will enjoy this thrilling adventure, along with the short film and music video. You can get tickets at FathomEvents.com.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Can Only Imagine Movie In Theaters March 16th! #FlyBy #ICanOnlyImagine GIVEAWAY

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


If you ask any of my family members they will quickly tell you that my favorite Christian song is "I Can Only Imagine."  This song really touched my heart the first time I heard it and I cannot hear it enough.  The song really asks all the things I have wondered about. How will I act the first time I see Jesus?  What will I do? Say?  Have you ever thought about it?

When I found out that Bart Millard of MercyMe wrote "I Can Only Imagine" in just minutes, I was stunned.  It is so beautiful and thought provoking.  Now it has become a movie.  The movie will be in theaters on March 16th and I cannot wait!  You can learn more about the movie and even buy tickets by clicking here!

About the movie:  
It’s the song that brings ultimate hope to so many … often in the midst of life’s most challenging moments. Amazingly, the song was written in mere minutes by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. In reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft. 

Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn’t easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury—combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential—set Bart on a musical pathway. 

Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hits the road on an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band MercyMe—named for his grandmother’s favorite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined.


I CAN ONLY IMAGINE stars J. Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins, Priscilla C. Shirer, with Cloris Leachman and Dennis Quaid.

I have seen several clips and the trailer for this movie and I am so excited to go see it!  The cast seems to blend well together and when you add Trace Adkins to the mix, you have my attention.  

Have you seen anything about this movie?  Do you like the song?  MercyMe?  Please share your thoughts below!  I would love to hear what you think!   You can enter to win Fandango codes to go see the movie?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Star on DVD now - Plus Live Guided Bible Study #TheStarMovie #FlyBy

Disclosure:  We will receive a free promotional item for sharing this information.  No monetary compensation has been/will be  received.



My kids begged me to go see The Star when it was in theaters.  Due to the insanity of our schedule and sickness, we were not able to go see it, but the kids have seen it at a friend's house.  The Star was released on DVD on February 20th and now is a great time to check it out!  We love learning about the Nativity and this movie is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the birth of Jesus!  You can click HERE to visit their interactive website where you can learn more about the movie, get coloring and activity sheets, and even purchase the movie.  

The heartwarming animated comedy follows a small but brave donkey named Bo who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations, along with three wisecracking camels. Bo and his new friends follow the star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told.



This movie is voiced by an all-star group of people.  The voice talent includes:
  • Steven Yeun
  • Aidy Bryant
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Tracy Morgan
  • Tyler Perry
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Gina Rodriguez
  • Zachary Levi
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Anthony Anderson
  • Ving Rhames
  • Gabriel Iglesias
  • Patricia Heaton
  • Kristin Chenoweth
  • Christopher Plummer



The Star is filled with more than an hour of engaging bonus materials including the “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends,” a dance along to “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World, plus a collection of fun lyric videos that will have you singing along to the inspiring music from The Star.  Families can enjoy crafting and baking with “how-to” videos “Star Mason Jar Votives” and “Sweet and Sparkly Stars,” and they also can go behind-the-scenes to explore the amazing talent who bring these characters to life.  

In “Faith All Year Round,” renowned pastor and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin delivers a fun and engaging children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and keeping the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day. 

The LIVE GUIDED BIBLE STUDY w/ DEVON FRANKLIN is interactive and super engaging.  You can check it out by clicking HERE.  


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Swago: Spring Edition is here! (US & Canada) Earn up to 500 SB #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  We receive SB for sharing.



The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their "Swago: Spring Edition" promotion, which runs from now through Monday, March 12th at 9am PT! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:


  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores! 
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete. 
  •  You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, March 12th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely. 
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!


The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, March 12th to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of April, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

A Very Happy Easter Prayer - Children's Book Review

Disclosure:  We received a copy of this book to help facilitate our honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.


Spring might not be here according to the calendar, but our warm North Carolina weather has given my family spring fever.  Flowers and trees are blooming, birds are singing and it is almost time for Easter.  Since it is just around the corner, I'm starting to think about ways to fill an Easter basket.  I like to put some candy in it for my kids, and I also love to put a cute Easter book in it!  I make sure that my children know the real meaning of Easter and I have the perfect book for this Easter. 

Bestselling author Bonnie Rickner Jensen is back with a new book that is perfect for young children.  "A Very Happy Easter Prayer" is a great way to begin to teach young children about The Resurrection.  This board book is die-cut around the shape of a dogwood tree and is adorable.  Natalia Moore shows just how wonderful she is by illustrating these colorful pictures.  There is lots of sparkle and glitter encompassing this book and the rhyming verse will be a hit with any family!  The timeless story of The Resurrection and this charming book will bring a family together to celebrate the resurrection every year. 

My younger kids really enjoyed this book.  It is written for the pre-school crowd, so older kids might not be as enthusiastic as the younger ones.  It is so sweet and is a wonderful way to help them learn about Easter and what it truly means.  Since it is a board book, "A Very Happy Easter Prayer" is very sturdy and can withstand a lot of handling by messy little hands.  I have already had to wash off his book several times. 


You can purchase this book in lots of different places and it retails for $8.99.  Would you like to win a copy of this book for your family?  Simply enter on this link: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/enter-to-win-a-very-happy-easter-prayer.html

I would like to offer a very special thank you to Front Gate Media for allowing me to review this wonderful book. 


Dance the Night Away #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.



You're at the laundromat waiting for the washer cycle to finish and reading a magazine about local industry in your town and your eye fixes on a box advertising air dancers.  Huh? Because it seems to be your natural tendency to make random meaning out of phrases that perplex you, you start visualizing:

Out of the clouds they drift, tap dancing down rainbows, sliding down lightning bolts. Hold on to your hats, folks--the air dancers are coming!

Now the wash cycle is complete and you transfer your clothes to the dryer. But still, you can't get the air dancers out of your mind. What are these things?

You thought you'd heard it all:

  • Riverdance
  • The dance of nature
  • Dancing with stars
  • Dance of the wind
  • Dance of the sugar plum fairy
  • The dance of the planets
  • The dance of time
  • Dancing Wu Li Masters
  • Dancing bears
  • Dancing birds
  • Dancing waves

You Wrack Your Brain


You leave the laundromat and take a walk, trying to sort this out.

Since it's summer, you speculate if this is a reference to Painted Ladies and Monarchs of the butterfly kingdom that swarm your sedum garden, bellying up to the pollen bars now serving summer's delectable nectar.

Or if were fall, perhaps it'd be a poetic way to talk about the leaves that swirl in the wind presaging winter's imminent arrival.

Your brain reels. Do snowflakes dance in winter? Actually, they waltz.

You remember a classic poem, "DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN," which means "The Dance of the Rain."

Then there's Audrey Hepburn, who could have danced all night when she was Eliza Doolittle and could have spread her wings and done a thousand things she'd never done before.

There are the Flying Wallendas, who could perhaps be called air dancers.

All kinds of things dance, it seems.

On YouTube, you can even find GIFs of cute dancing animals, hilarious dancing babies.

It's None of Those

Upon reflection, you realize it could be a sort of general reference to a bunch of those. Really, anything that moves with air in such a way as to reveal air's motion could be described as an air dancer.

And then you see it, up ahead, where those people are gathered in the strip mall parking lot--what you can only describe as a giant inflatable tubular man boogying in the wind. Why, he must be 20 feet tall! And look how he sways back and forth, now down, now up. "Dude's got moves," you exclaim aloud to the other folks gathered around. "But why's he got Hoagies tattooed across his torso?"

"He's one of those advertising air dancers," someone explains to you. "See, right over there's a new sandwich shop!"

Monday, March 5, 2018

Get $3 when you sign up for Swagbucks in March (US) #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  We receive SB for sharing.



Want some extra boost for your budget this month?

If you haven't tried Swagbucks before, you can get a bonus $3 for signing up as my referral in March. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me, you can earn an additional $3 bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 4/1/18. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you want even more bonuses, you'll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That's in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend.

That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned earned close to $2000 worth of giftcards to Amazon, Starbucks and Delta Airlines!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

48 Blade Stainless Steel Meat Tenderizer Review

Disclosure:  We received a free meat tenderizer to facilitate our honest and unbiased review.  No monetary compensation was received.

Kitchen gadgets are a must when you are married to a chef.  Our kitchen is full of all different kinds.  One gadget we were missing was a meat tenderizer.  Chefy uses a meat mallet sometimes, but we didn't have a multi-blade meat tenderizer.


We received a 48 blade, stainless steel meat tenderizer from Cave Tools and I decided to put it into use.  I am not the one who usually chooses the meat for our household.  Chefy has a better idea what he is looking for and what are the best cuts.  I decided that I wanted to see if using this meat tenderizer would actually make a cheaper cut of meat more palatable.  I pulled out the pieces of beef and placed them on a cutting mat and used the meat tenderizer.  I could not believe how much I enjoyed using it.  Chefy said I got my frustrations out pounding on the steaks, and I think he was right.  My hands did not get tired because when I would push down the blades, they would basically spring back. It was quick and easy.  I was really surprised how much larger the pieces of meat became once they had been tenderized.  The blades opened tiny holes and the meat stretched.



After tenderizing, I placed the beef into a marinade and let it sit for a few hours.  When we cooked the steaks, they were a lot more tender than I expected.  All the connective tissues had been punctured and it was certainly not tough.  When meats are punctured with the multi-blade tenderizer, they cook more evenly and the marinades are absorbed deeper.  YAY!!  Win Win!


Clean up was a breeze too because this tool is dishwasher safe!  We love our new 48 blade stainless steel meat tenderizer from Cave Tools.  Although I don't foresee any problems with it, I can rest easier because I know that Cave Tools stands behind their products with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee!  Buy this Blade Tenderizer at Cave Tools and use the code TENDER15 and save 15%!  You can also find this awesome kitchen tool on Amazon.com!

What do you think about this kitchen gadget?  Do you own one?  Let me know your thoughts below!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Win $10,000 on Monday playing Swag IQ! (US & Canada Only) #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  We receive SB for sharing.



On Monday, February 26th, Swagbucks is putting up over $10,000 that you can win playing fun trivia games! SwagIQ (available for iPhone and. Android) is a live, multiplayer trivia game show you play from your phone!

Each weekday, Swag IQ broadcasts a live game. Simply tune-in at the appointed time by launching the SwagIQ app and log-in with your Swagbucks account credentials. If you don't have a Swagbucks account, you can sign up for one here and then download the app!


In celebration of Swagbucks's 10th Birthday, they're going to broadcast 4 shows throughout the day and give away at least $10,000! It will likely be more since the more people who sign-up via SwagIQ prior to each game, the bigger the grand prize!

1st Game Show: 1:00 PM Eastern Time/10:00 AM Pacific Time. Grand Prize: at least $1500.
2nd Game Show: 4:00 PM Eastern Time/1:00 PM Pacific Time. Grand Prize: at least $2000.
3rd Game Show: 7:00 PM Eastern Time/4:00 PM Pacific Time. Grand Prize: at least $2500
4th Game Show: 10:00 PM Eastern Time/7:00 PM Pacific Time. Grand Prize: at least $4000

To play SwagIQ, download the app to your iPhone and Android today. 


It's really easy to play, too:
The game show host will ask a series of multiple-choice trivia questions. You’ll have 10 seconds to answer each one. Get it right; you get SB and move on. Answer them all correctly and you can win a grand prize! If more than one player wins, the winners split the grand prize. 

Get it wrong; still play along. Some questions have a bonus SB award attached to them. If you answer those questions correctly, you get those SB, even if you’re out of the running for the big money. And, if you’re in a groove but miss a question, you’ll have the option to rejoin a game by redeeming a few SB.  When you get to the end of the game, you can claim all of the SB that you've earned.

You can use all the SB points you earn playing SwagIQ to get PayPal cash or gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and more!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Introducing Swag IQ! (US Only) - Earn More SB #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  I receive SB for sharing.



Want to earn money while answering fun trivia questions? SwagIQ (available for iPhone and. Android) is a live, multiplayer trivia game show you play from your phone! 

Each weekday, Swag IQ broadcasts a live game. Simply tune-in at the appointed time by launching the SwagIQ app and log-in with your Swagbucks account credentials. If you don't have a Swagbucks account, you can sign up for one here and then download the app!

Our game show host will then ask a series of multiple-choice trivia questions. You’ll have 10 seconds to answer each one. Get it right; you get SB and move on. Answer them all correctly and you can win a grand prize! If more than one player wins, the winners split the grand prize.  

Get it wrong; still play along. Some questions have an SB award attached to them. If you answer those questions correctly, you get those SB, even if you’re out of the running for the big money. And, if you’re in a groove but miss a question, you’ll have the option to rejoin a game by redeeming a few SB.  

The first public game is today at 4PM Eastern Time/1PM Pacific Time. So, tune-in then win up to $1000 playing SwagIQ. The host will review how to play before the game starts!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Napping Princess Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Review and Giveaway (2 Winners)

Disclosure:  We received a free copy of this DVD to facilitate our honest and unbiased review.  All thoughts and opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces Giveaway.  Please note that the sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.


From visionary director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East) comes a sci-fi fantasy that effortlessly weaves together the rapidly evolving technology of today’s world with the fantastic imagination of the next generation, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature – Independent, at this year’s Annie Awards.

The year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa often dozes off, entering a dream-world called Heartland full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But when her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is kidnapped for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it’s up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him. Together they realize that Kokone’s dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, uncovering a trail of clues to her father’s disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone’s family.

With an ambitious mix of multilayered action, whimsical characters and inventive machines, Napping Princess is a genre- and universe-blending film that shows that following your dreams is sometimes the best way to discover your past.

My kids have never watched any anime, so I was not sure exactly what to expect when we received Napping Princess to review.  The DVD is targeted to kids ages 9+, and when you watch it for a little while, you understand why.  The story is a complex one and you have to pay attention to follow it.  It goes back and forth between Kokone's dreamworld and reality until almost the end of the movie.  Our main kid viewers were a 9 year old male, 8 year old female, followed by a 13 year old female, 19 year old female, and me.  Since my kids were not familiar with the genre, it took them a few minutes to get used to the ways the characters looked and their clothes.  They had no real problems following the movie, and they liked the sci-fi aspect of it.  Our 13 year old guest seemed to enjoy the movie the most and she actually borrowed it to share with some of her 11-14 year old friends.

Are you interested in checking this movie out for yourself?  Do you like Anime, Sci-fi, or have an older child or teen who does?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below and you could win!  Two lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers will be randomly chosen, from the rafflecopter entries!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Get $3 when you sign up for Swagbucks in February (US) #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  We receive SB for sharing.



Want an extra boost to your budget in February??

If you haven't tried Swagbucks before, you can get a bonus $3 for signing up as my referral this month. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $3 bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 3/1/18. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you want even more bonuses, you'll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That's in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend. 

That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned over $1500 which I have redeemed for Amazon and Delta Airlines gift cards!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The first Swago: Shopping Edition of 2018! Earn up to 300 SB #ad

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  We will receive SB for sharing.



Still recovering from all of your holiday shopping? The online rewards site Swagbucks has a smart and fun way for you to earn and save when you spend.
 
Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.

Click here to get started!

Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):


  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value - up to 300 SB - enough for your first $3 gift card.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, January 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.


Also, if you sign up through me this month, you'll get a $10 rebate when you make your first purchase via Swagbucks Shopping! You can activate it in the "Swag Ups" area of "My Account"

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January Swago with Spin & Win (US)

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  I receive SB for sharing.  I only post about things I believe in, and Swagbucks is one of my favorite money makers!



The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their January "Swago" promotion starting Monday, January 8th at 9am PT and running until Monday, January 15th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:
  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!  
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete. 
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, January 15th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely. 
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!
The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, January 15th to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! 
God Bless you all!
2018, here we come.