Saturday, November 16, 2019

Holly Lane Christian Jewelry Review and Giveaway #hollylane #hollylanegiveaway

Disclosure:  I received this necklace at no charge to facilitate my honest and unbiased review.  All thoughts and opinions stated are my own!


Unlike a lot of my friends, I am not a huge jewelry person.  I prefer pieces of jewelry that have meaning or a background story.  Most of my pieces were gifted to me for different occasions and it is rare that I purchase anything for myself, but when I was offered the opportunity to review Christian jewelry from Holly Lane, I was thrilled.  I spent about an hour on their website trying to decide which piece I wanted and fell in love with lots of them.  Narrowing it down to one was the hard part.

Never heard of Holly Lane?  This wonderful company has been in business for over 16 years and was not named for the founder, but for the street, the founder lived on when she started the business.  Here's more about Holly Lane: 

Our line of sterling silver Christian jewelry is intentionally designed to create opportunities to share Christ with others and to be worn as a personal reflection of faith. Each piece is designed in central Virginia by jewelry artist Tiffany Scott who has based her designs on verses from the Bible in order to bring comfort to the wearer and be a representation of God's promises. These unique designs are meant to catch the attention of others and spark conversation about the verses they are based on.

Each piece of verse-based Holly Lane jewelry comes with a Story Card that features the verse reference on the front, and an explanation of the design's significance on the back. Tiffany's love for semiprecious gemstones shows through in her use of many different gems throughout the line. The Holly Lane line is designed so that the customer can put together their own personal combination of pendants, chains and bead drops based on the promises they are holding on to and how God is currently speaking to them in their lives.

As I said before, it took me quite a while to choose my piece of jewelry.  I chose the Wonderfully Made necklace because sometimes, I need a reminder!

When my package arrived, I loved how it was boxed, so I wanted to share some photos with you so you can really get a feel for how this company cares!






Everything was put together with so much love and care.  I was so very impressed with the packaging because I have ordered things from other places and they have been just tossed in a box for shipping.  Holly Lane goes the extra mile to show they care! 

Christmas is just around the corner and I hope you will check out Holly Lane.  The craftsmanship involved in the making of this jewelry is wonderful.  I recommend them whole-heartedly!  They have been kind enough to offer my readers a code to use to receive 20% off their purchase at hollylane.com.  Simply use 20FORYOU 

There is also a giveaway!  You have the chance to win a $100 e-gift card to Holly Lane.  Winner will be chosen 11/20/19.






Friday, November 15, 2019

DIY Milk Carton Lamp - Guest Post

Disclosure:  This is a guest post by Brock Ingham.**


We all know how important lighting can be in a home, heck! It’s the only reason you see things past 8:00pm…

All kidding aside, lighting can truly transform the design of any room (for good or for bad). Ever walk into a room and get creeped out just from the sight of a flickering blue fluorescent bulb? It can be a deal-breaker for any design and takes all the focus away from the relaxing rocking chair or beautiful throw rug.

In this post, I am to break the common misconception of needing to invest a lot of money to get a beautiful chandelier for your home. No need to break the bank here, we’re going to make a lamp completely from milk cartons (almond milk to be specific)

Now, I’m not prejudiced as to what milk you drink or use I just found that the tetra cartons used for almond, cashew, and other nut milk come in the perfect size and structure. You could certainly opt-out for a juice carton or something similar if you prefer.  In my experience, the nut milk cartons work best. 🙂

Here is what you will need to get started on your DIY Milk Carton Lamp :
⦁ 15 – 25 milk, nut or juice tetra cartons ( The number is based around the size of the lamp you want)
⦁ Spray paint of your choice  ( I went with silver)
⦁ Fishing wire or sting
⦁ A few battery operated LED’s
⦁ M3 or double-sided tape
⦁ Let’s begin!

Make sure all your cartons are well washed, open them up to be flat pieces of material and allow to dry.


This is the tricky part so look at the images closely. There’s nothing special about the design so feel free to go rogue with your own origami type design (triangle patterns work best).  So long as you build in the flap that ties the pattern together.

Cut the carton up into 2-inch strips the longest way down. Fold them into the triangle pattern shown below with a strip on one side of each sticking out.


Get to folding!

It felt like I must have folded a hundred of these things to get it to the proper size I wanted. Again, this will depend on how big you want your lamp to be. I’m sure it would look great with 30-40 of these little triangles, so long as you can close the loop that creates the ball.

Once 5 or 6 have been built you can connect the triangles to create a hexagon pattern like the ones below.

Continue to put the hexagons together that will form the ball. To start forming the ball you can leave one of the flaps open to attach them to one another or you can simply glue each section together.  Using glue may be more effective in the long run.


Although the tetra packs tend to have a shiny surface there will still be some color from the outside of the pack showing. This is why I decided to spray paint the entire globe silver. I didn’t know how the paint will react with the waxy coating on the tetra so I wanted to make sure the color blended well. (it did)

You could opt-out for another color choice here, I think black or gold would look really nice as well.

Once dry, maneuver the LED’s inside the lamp and secure with the M3 or double-sided tape. Run the fishing line from the bottom of the lamp, secure again to the top of the lamp and leave enough line to attach to any point of the ceiling in your desired room.


You’re all set! Sit back in glory as you send good riddance to that flickering bulb you left behind. If you are looking for more unique lamp options that take way less time (only a click of a button) check out the Original moon lamp made using 3D printing here.

**Author Bio:
Brock is the founder of Levitatingmoon.com. His store is dedicated to offering out of this world gifts for those of all ages.  When he’s not looking for the next big gift you can find him tending to his vegetable garden under the sun. **

Monday, November 4, 2019

CINDERELLA AND THE SECRET PRINCE DVD Giveaway Ends 11/11

Disclosure:  We received a copy of this DVD to facilitate this post.  All opinions are honest and unbiased!


On November 5, a secret, never-before-told tale of Cinderella comes to DVD from Shout! Kids and Gold Valley Films. The charming Cinderella and the Secret Prince is sure to have children spellbound this winter! Available for preorder now from shoutfactory.com and amazon.com.

With the help of good fairy Crystal, Cinderella and her three mouse friends are able to escape the attic they live in and make it to the Royal Ball at the palace … but they soon discover a terrible secret. The real Prince has been turned into a mouse by an evil witch … and the “Prince” standing in front of everyone at the Ball is an impostor! Cinderella and her faithful furry friends must embark on an all-new adventure to restore the real Prince to his true form and help him defeat the forces of darkness.



Cinderella and the Secret Prince is voiced by Cassandra Lee Morris (Your Name), Chris Niosi (TOME), R. Martin Klein (Perfect Blue), Tony Azzolino (The Grover Complex), Kirsten Day (Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures), Wendee Lee (Cowboy Beebop: The Movie), Stephen Mendel (Barbie: Dreamtopia), Terrence Stone (Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft), and Stephanie Sanditz (The High Life), directed by Lynne Southerland, and produced by Allen Tsang at Gold Valley Films.



My family really liked the movie and the girls have already watched it several times!  Would you like to win a copy of your own?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!
There will be 2 winners!

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Perfect Foods For Festive Parties

According to different times of the year, there are certain foods that are more suited to the season than others. Sometimes we like to eat light when it’s beach body season and you’ve got a swimsuit to slip into. Sometimes we like to eat heavy and hearty when it’s Sunday lunch during the springtime, and all the family has come round! And sometimes we like to eat because of the weather - if it’s cold outside, we fill ourselves up with warming, hearty foods, to help the evening go by smoother.

And there’s no occasion more fruitful when it comes to food than a party, and Christmas is all about keeping the festive spirit alive!

No matter where you’re going this Christmas, whether you’re staying at home or heading abroad, there’s going to be a festive party of two nearby that you’ll love to attend! And because of those endless partying possibilities, here are some of the best foods to layout on the spread, to keep your guests thinking of Christmas as they dance and carol the night away.



Mulled Wine

So it might not be a food, but it’s definitely part of the food and drink spread that’s commonly laid out at festive parties. It’s a staple of the season, after all, and your party just wouldn’t be complete without a batch! Especially if it’s below freezing in terms of cold outside!

But any old flagon of wine isn’t going to cut it here; there’s a long history behind it, dating back to the Romans. And considering such a great amount of trial and error, red wines seem to be the common favorite amongst the people who like to drink the stuff. So, if you’re in need of a mulled wine recipe, look no further: we’ve got a perfect one for you right here.

Mince Pies

Not everyone likes them, do they? But if you do, and you’ve got a friend coming to the party who does too, you’re going to chow down on them for all you’re worth. And seeing as they’re not too hard to make, you can whip them up in just a few minutes, and be able to feed a whole village with the product by the time you’re done. Now isn’t that in the Christmas spirit?!

But don’t just stop at the mince pies! Make sure you’ve got something to pair them with too - whilst you’re at it, check out this whipped cream recipe, because the two pair, as well as gloves and hands, do during the winter period.

Macaroons!

They’re a favorite at all kinds of parties, thanks to being colorful and tasty little hits of flavor. But come Christmas time? They’re unmissable for when a party rolls around! Of course, they can be very tricky to make, especially if you’re never tried your hand at it before, and that’s what makes them quite pricey if you decide to just go out and buy instead.

However, if you are a first-timer, follow this rather quick macaroon recipe. It’ll get you to grips with the basics of making these biscuits, and if you’ve got some spare time on your hands, make two or three batches to really learn the craft. If you bring them along to a party, you’re definitely going to be the favorite person of the night!

Christmas Canapés

The ‘beginning with m’ naming convention over, this last hit of flavor will work great for any festive party you hold or attend in the upcoming season! Christmas canapĂ©s can be of the sweet or savory variety, and depending on the kind of tooth you have, make as many of each as you like.

No matter what ingredients you’ve currently got in the house, there’s a good chance you’ve got the makings of a good Christmas canapĂ© recipe all ready to go. Got some cheese in the fridge? Perfect. Got a bit of cauliflower in the bottom drawer? Even better. Or maybe you’ve got some frozen cranberries leftover from the summer? Put them to good use here!

There are a lot of foods you can layout at a festive party, but some are going to work better than others. If you're really trying to set the atmosphere, make sure you follow recipes like the ones we’ve listed above! The amount of effort you put in here will be paid back tenfold by anyone who comes along to your party, so there is no love lost here!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Christmas Jars In theaters Nov. 4, ONE NIGHT ONLY! Review and Giveaway #ChristmasJarsL3

Disclosure:  We watched a screener copy of this DVD to facilitate our honest and unbiased review.  All thoughts and opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.  All prizes will be fulfilled by the sponsor.

When I looked at my calendar, I realized that Christmas is just around the corner,  This year will be harder for our family since we lost our 91-year-old matriarch, my grandma, on August 28th.  My grandma loved Christmas more than anyone I have ever met, and I can honestly say that she passed her love of Christmas to me.  I am one of those people who can listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies year-round!  With that being said, I am lucky enough to have viewed a new movie that is coming for one night ONLY in theaters!  Christmas Jars will be in selected theaters on NOVEMBER 4, 2019 ONLY!

About Christmas Jars:

Based on the beloved novel by Jason F. Wright, CHRISTMAS JARS shares the story of Hope Jensen, a reporter who uncovers the remarkable secret behind a holiday phenomenon: money-filled glass jars anonymously given to people in need. The New York Times bestseller has created a new holiday tradition that has changed the lives of people in their time of need, all over the country. CHRISTMAS JARS is a one-night movie event that provides hope to all as we enter this special season. In theaters Monday, November 4 only, CHRISTMAS JARS is a heartfelt reminder that kindness truly is contagious.

Check out this movie trailer:


My thoughts:

This movie touched my heart in so many ways.  It deals with adoption, loss, giving, and most of all LOVE!  I loved the movie from beginning to end and there were times when I was crying.  When my brother and I were small, we started Christmas Jars around September and we would use the money we saved to buy Christmas gifts.  That was the original idea of the family who started the jars, but thanks to the kindness in their daughter's heart, that idea morphed into so much more.  Instead of buying gifts for their family, that money became a gift for someone in need!  Such a blessing.  I will gladly recommend this movie to everyone.  Whether you are a believer or not, this movie will touch your heart.



Check out the website for CHRISTMAS JARS by clicking here.  You can buy your tickets, watch movie trailers and snippets, and learn even more about the movie on their website.  Start your holiday season out with a heartwarming movie event!  Remember, CHRISTMAS JARS will be in theaters Nov. 4, 2019 for ONE NIGHT ONLY!

GIVEAWAY!!

We are giving away a DVD copy of this wonderful movie!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below and you could own your own copy!  This movie might start a tradition that you will love forever!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Comforting Dishes To Serve On Cold Winter Nights

Is there anything more comforting on a cold winter night than a tasty warm dish? Herbs and spices can really help to warm us up on a night where the temperature drops below freezing - take a look at the comforting dishes below for a few ideas:

Chili

Chili is a great dish because you can make it to your own tastes. It can be mildly spicy, or you can add lots of different spices for a real kick. It all depends on your tastes. Plus, you can use Quorn mince if you’re trying to cut down on animal products. The vegetarian version is just as yummy!

Curry

There are all kinds of curries you can go for depending on your mood. Whatever you choose, there’s no denying that this is a dish sure to warm your bones on a freezing cold night. Whether you can only handle a tikka or you’re brave enough to go for a bhuna, this could be the ideal comfort dish.

Mac And Cheese

Is there anything more comforting and filling than mac and cheese? If you love gooey, cheesy dishes then this one is for you. All you need to do is add your pasta, various cheeses of your choice, milk, and herbs to your pan or slow cooker and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time.



Stew

Who doesn’t love a hearty stew? You could even throw in some dumplings for good measure! If you’d like to feel extra warm and snug, look at the best red wine facts and see if you can figure out what drink goes best with your dish. You’ll hardly notice the cold at all!

Soup

Soup is always a winner, and the perfect excuse to use seasonal vegetables such as pumpkins. The wonderful thing about pumpkin soup is that you can add as much or as little spice as you like, as well as lots of coconut. Then, you can spray the seeds with oil and roast them in the oven, before sprinkling with salt. They make the perfect soup topping or snack!

Slow Cooker Minestrone

This vegetable-packed soup is usually also dotted with pasta to make a wholesome and nutritious meal. You can also add croutons for a satisfying crunch.

Brownies

You can’t forget the deserts! Brownies are one of the most delicious and gooey treats straight out of the slow cooker. Try it!

Better yet, all of the above dishes can be made in the slow cooker - yep, even mac and cheese! This means all you have to do is throw your chosen ingredients in (you may want to check out a few recipes first if you haven’t made it before) and then leave it to cook all day. You could say that many of the above dishes make themselves! You can leave it there for hours and it’ll be the perfect temperature when you’re ready to eat it. It’s the perfect way to save time and still enjoy a tasty, home cooked meal.

Leave your own ideas below!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Staying Organized: How To Manage Relatives Far Away

Most people grow up and move away from their family homes in the pursuit of education and experience away from the apron strings of their parents. It’s not unusual that as we settle our own lives away from home, our parents' age and become infirm. Some people move back to their family towns and homes to be closer and look after their parents. Others choose to stay put, having already put down roots elsewhere.

When this happens, it’s ahead and heart tug of war. You want to be able to help, but if you have life pinned down elsewhere, it’s not always easy. However, there are plenty of ways that you can help your relatives to manage their lives, even if you are miles away.

Person Holding a Stress Ball


Providing long-distance elderly care is important for their health and wellbeing, and while you don’t have to be a carer to look after someone that you love, you just need to be informed of the situation at hand. Once you know what they need the most, you can ensure that you are remotely giving them that help. Forgetful relatives could benefit from you setting up a physicaladdress.com virtual mailbox to manage their incoming and outgoing mail. This way, they don’t have to worry about surprise bills coming into the house that confuse them further. Your elderly relative may not need to go into a care home, but that doesn't mean that they don't need your support.

You could arrange for home caring by a care assistant who can go into the house and look after them in their own surroundings. This service can be a happy medium between avoiding a care home and giving your family members the extra care and support that they need. Ensuring that you can manage their care, pay attention to their finances and pay their bills for them is vital for their health and wellbeing. The best thing that you could do is to ensure that they don't have to worry about the paperwork while they feel supported physically.

A comprehensive care plan - even for social care, such as home visits for companionship - can make a huge difference in the life of someone who lives far away from you. You may not be able to get there all the time and even just having someone to talk to can change the way they feel. It also prevents isolation, which is one of the worst things that could happen to an elderly relative. You may feel guilty for not being able to be there yourself, but it’s not how you should feel. Your parents and family raised you to spread your wings and fly, and they’ll still be happy and proud of you if you still lived far away. You may not have been born to care for elderly relatives, but that doesn't mean that you can’t help where you can.

Keeping their affairs managed keeps them healthy, so help where you can and don’t panic if you can’t be there yourself!