Thursday, March 31, 2011

Progresso Soup Review & Giveaway

Whenever my family is in the mood for soup, we choose Progresso.  They carry the flavors we love, and Progresso is easy to prepare.  There is always a can or two in my cabinet!

I was recently offered the opportunity from Progresso through My Blog Spark to try two flavors that are new to me. I tried the Chicken Tortilla and the Light New England Clam Chowder.

The Chicken Tortilla or Tortilla y Pollo is a new, Mexican inspired soup.  Each of the Progresso® New World Recipes™ are inspired by Mexican recipes. Each one is made with authentic Mexican ingredients and seasonings. The four new Progresso soups that will be hitting grocery shelves near you are Chicken Tortilla, Meatball & Rice, Black Bean Jalapeno and Chicken & Vegetable.  My family loved the flavor of the soup, and it has now found a new home in our cabinet!

The Light New England Clam Chowder was a huge hit with my hubby and daughter.  I had to bow out of tasting it since I am allergic to shellfish, but it smelled wonderful.  My hubby loved the creamy texture of the soup, and although he is not a "light" soup eater, he did enjoy the soup.  There are 13 existing Progresso Light varieties which are now packed with bigger pieces of white meat chicken, more tender pieces of beef and added vegetables. The Progresso Light New England Clam Chowder is the first creamy Light ready-to-serve soup that holds true to the Progresso Light name and has just 1 Weight Watchers® POINTS® value per serving.

For more information about the new and improved varieties of Progresso soups as well as great recipe ideas, visit today! Also, check out Progresso on Facebook to “Like” the brand and keep up with the latest news on your favorite Progresso products, both new and old! 

My Blog Spark and Progresso sent me a wonderful gift pack and I have the opportunity to giveaway one of these gift packs to a lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces reader.

Want to win this prize pack?

How do you enter?(Mandatory entry must be completed for any entries to count.)
MANDATORY ENTRY:  Tell me what Progresso soup is your favorite, or one you would like to try.
EXTRA ENTRIES:(Leave a separate comment for each thing you do! If you do something that has 2 entries be sure to leave 2 comments and so forth.)

1 Entry (each): Follow my blog publicly, Follow me on Twitter as @sleatham1, subscribe to my blog, comment on any non-giveaway post

5 Entries: Add my button to your sidebar or my text to your blog roll (leave me the link)

1 Entry (daily): Tweet about my giveaway. Write your own tweet or feel free to use mine:

I entered the Progresso Prize Pack Giveaway at Shelly's Bits & Pieces @sleatham1  #myblogspark

Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older. Giveaway ends on April 7th at 11pm EST! Winner has 48 hours to respond to email or another winner will be drawn!

Disclosure:  Progresso and My Blog Spark provided the prize pack for my review and will also provide the winners prize.  I was not monetarily compensated for my review!  All expressed opinions are those of myself and my family!

The winner is #6 Doodle741.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Green Giant Review & Giveaway

Eating vegetables has never been a problem in my house.  My family loves their veggies. When I was offered the chance to review the Green Giant frozen Broccoli and Cheese Sauce, I knew my family would be happy to give it a shot. 

Cooking the Green Giant frozen Broccoli and Cheese Sauce was so very easy.  I just threw it in the microwave while I prepared the rest of my dinner.  The broccoli was tasty, and not mushy.  The sauce was yummy and the fact that it was only 60 calories per serving was a big plus too.  My mom does Weight Watchers and was very pleased to learn that it was only 2 points! 

The Green Giant boxed veggies can help you stay on track to achieve your weight management goals. They have twenty-nine delicious varieties that are now endorsed by Weight Watchers, and most have only a 1 or 2 PointsPlus value per serving!  My mom and I have done Weight Watchers off and on for several years now, and that is a huge plus for us. 

You can visit Green Giant on Facebook and on Twitter and "Like" or "Follow" the brand to keep up with their latest and greatest products! For more information on Green Giant and for some tasty recipe ideas feel free to visit

Our Verdict:  The veggies were tasty, easy to prepare, and fit in perfectly in my diet.  This product has been added to my normal grocery list and has become a new staple in my household!

A huge thank you to My Blog Spark and Green Giant for the wonderful items I received for my review!  The prize pack included one frozen sample of Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, an insulated tote bag, serving bowl, spoon and pedometer.

Want a chance to win this prize pack?

One lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces reader will receive the same prize pack I received from My Blog Spark and Green Giant!

How do you enter?(Mandatory entry must be completed for any entries to count.)


Tell me what your favorite vegetable is.

EXTRA ENTRIES:(Leave a separate comment for each thing you do!  If you do something that has 2 entries be sure to leave 2 comments and so forth.)

1 Entry (each): Follow my blog publicly, Follow me on Twitter as @sleatham1, subscribe to my blog, comment on any non-giveaway post
5 Entries:  Add my button to your sidebar or my text to your blog roll (leave me the link)
1 Entry (daily):  Tweet about my giveaway.  Write your own tweet or feel free to use mine:
I entered the Green Giant Prize Pack Giveaway at Shelly's Bits & Pieces @sleatham1 #myblogspark
 Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older.  Giveaway ends on April 8th at 11pm EST!  Winner has 48 hours to respond to email or another winner will be drawn!

Disclosure:  Product for review and giveaway, as well as all information was provided free of charge to me from My Blog Spark and Green Giant.  I was not monetarily compensated for my review.  All opinions are my own, and those of my family! 

Winner is #33 Joey from SC!
Thanks to all who entered!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Review

Great Mask for the Price

By allysmama from Timberlake, NC on 3/25/2011


4out of 5

This mask worked perfect with my hubby's Bi-Pap machine. It is lighter weight and a better quality than the one that came with the machine and it is more comfortable as well. The price of this full face mask was cheaper than our co-pay when buying from other places~ We will be buying these from now on!


My Review

Perfect Cake Pan for Car Lovers

By allysmama from Timberlake, NC on 3/25/2011


5out of 5

This heavy duty pan is ideal for car lovers of all ages. You can bake the cutest mini car cakes with it! The quality is awesome! Very Sturdy and detailed!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cryo-Cell Free BellyBag

This post brought to you by CryoCell International. All opinions are 100% mine.

Cryo-Cell is one of the world's most established
and largest family cord blood banks and when you request an information packet from them and consult with an advisor, you get a very cute free BellyBag.  You can find out more by visiting Cryo-Cell at or by visiting

I had never really thought about banking cord blood until I was presented with this blogging opportunity.  I did some research and found out that stem cells from umbilical cord blood are known to treat nearly 80 diseases, and have been used in more than 20,000 transplants worldwide and a baby's umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells.  Stem cells are special cells normally found in our bone marrow, and they form the white cells that fight infection, the red cells that carry oxygen, the platelets that promote clotting and the cells of our immune systems.  Stem cells are being used for treating such wide-ranging diseases and conditions as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, sickle cell disease, severe anemia's and severe combined immunodeficiencys, and stem cell research is continuing!  After reading all about cord blood and stem cells, I feel it gives pregnant ladies something to think about!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Old El Paso Family Taco Night Review and Giveaway

WINNER is #41 Kari~  She has been contacted~Thanks for entering~

My family loves nothing more than when we have taco night! There is just something about being able to make your food the way YOU want it, that brings my family running to the table! We normally have our family taco night about twice each month, and we spend the time laughing and enjoying each other so much.

My daughter is now old enough to prepare the taco meat and she will also chop up lettuce and tomatoes, and shred the cheese! She loves hearing us brag about how good everything tastes and how evenly she has diced the tomatoes. (Since hubby is a chef, she always tries to impress her dad!) Sometimes she makes tacos with ground beef, and other times she makes them with chicken...and grilled onions(my fave). With Old El Paso taco seasoning, my tween makes tacos like a pro!

Since I have been using Old El Paso for years, I was very pleased when I was offered a new spark from My Blog Spark! Old El Paso has a line up of products that includes chilies, dinner kits, dips and sides, enchilada sauce, refried beans, salsa, seasoning mixes, shells, and taco sauce. Old El Paso has a taco seasoning mix selection that includes flavors like Burrito, Cheesy Taco, Chili, Fajita, Mild and Regular Taco and even a seasoning mix with 40% less sodium, which is quite impressive and very tasty!

Thanks to My Blog Spark and Old El Paso, one Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win an Old El Paso  prize pack of their own!  The kit includes:
  1. A Packet of Original Old El Paso Seasoning
  2. A Cactus shaped Chip & Dip Serving Dish
  3. A set of 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper serving dishes
  4. A $10 gift card to purchase your taco fixings
To Enter:  Simply tell me what you do(or would do) to make your family taco night a success.

Extra Entries:  Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend Connect
                          Follow me on twitter as @sleatham1
                          Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post
                          Add my button to your sidebar (5 extra entries)
                          Tweet my giveaway and post the link.  (may be done twice daily)
"I entered the Old El Paso family taco night giveaway at Shelly's Bits and Pieces @sleatham1 #myblogspark"

This giveaway ends on March 24th at 11:00pm EST.  Open to US residents 18 and older.
Disclosure-I received no monetary compensation for this review. All information and the free products were provided by My Blog Spark and Old El Paso.  I abide by all FTC rules and regulations.  The words expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Makes Me Feel Lucky?

Social Moms and #Redbox have teamed together to spread the word about the redbox Lucky to Have Friends Like You promotion.  Redbox is giving everyone the chance to score free movie credits now through St. Patrick’s Day during the redbox Lucky to Have Friends Like You promotion. During this promotion, each fan receives a unique web address. Each time someone rents from your address through March 17, you get a free movie credit!!  Rental credits are valid for ten (10) days after they’ve been deposited into your account, so DO NOT DELAY!  Spread the word and you could turn your living-room into movie central!  To learn more about the promotion, click here.

As a part of sharing this promotion, I was asked to post my response to the question, "What Makes You Feel Lucky?"  Here is my response!

1.  My husband is wonderful!  He loves me, takes great care of me, and puts up with all the insanity that is my life.  I have several health issues and through everything, my loving husband has been there through all of the hospital stays and treatments.  He is the sole provider in our household, and has never complained about it!  When we met, I was a single mom, going through a horrible divorce, and he fit perfectly and made my family whole!
2.  My daughter is the light of my life!  She is very smart, does well in school, and is very considerate of others.  She is not only my daughter, she is my friend. We enjoy a lot of the same things and have a blast together!
3.  My parents are both still alive and basically healthy!  Although my daddy has had a few health issues, he is healthy now and my parents provide me with lots of love and support.  They keep my daughter once every week so my hubby and I can have a date night!
4.  I live in a wonderful small town that is the perfect size for me.  I have never been a city girl, and our small town is ideal for me!  We have a few stores and most of us are familiar with each other.  Our Christmas Parade is filled with homemade floats pulled my ages old John Deere tractors!
5.  Blogging!  I'm lucky because I have the ability to post my own thoughts and feelings on my blog.  It is wonderful therapy for me.  I have the opportunity to meet new people through my blog, and also have the opportunity to review products on it as well!
6.  Although I do not have a large quantity of friends, the ones I do have are true ones!  My closest friend and I have been friends for almost twenty years.  She knows everything there is to know about me...and she likes me anyway!
7. My grandma is still alive and very healthy.  Grandma is an 11 year (and counting) breast cancer survivor!  She is the best example of the phrase, "Great things come in small packages".  She is 4'10" of pure energy and dynamite at 83 years old. 
8.  My health has improved over the last year or so.  Although I am not healthy by any means, the medications are working and I am feeling better than I have in a while.  I still have an occasional flare with MRSA, but most of the time we can get it under control without needing hospitalization!
9.  My family is very close, and I am lucky enough to be very involved in the lives of my great nephew and niece.  Our family, cousins and all, get together to play cards, grill out and enjoy each other!
10.  I'm lucky because I KNOW I will see my loved ones again.  I became a Christian when I was a young teen, and rededicated my life recently.  I no longer have any doubt as to what the future holds for me, and it makes life so much easier me. 

Since being lucky is all a matter of personal opinion is............I am one very LUCKY Lady!
I'll actually go as far as saying I am blessed!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoy my post!
 I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and redbox blogging program, for a $25 Walmart gift card from redbox. For more information on how you can participate, click here

10 Tips for Great Family Travel is at it again. This time SocialMoms and Alamo have teamed up to introduce another fun blogging program in honor of the Alamo Insiders program. They asked us moms to share our top 10 tips for getting away with great family travel deals. Since I love travel and saving money, I knew this was the opportunity for me.

1. Plan Ahead! The earlier you start planning, the more likely you are to come across a great deal on hotel, air-fare, food and rental cars!

2. Use Coupons. Check online for coupons that can be used in the areas in which you are traveling. Groupons for area restaurants can safe you quite a bit. Also check for the coupons at rest areas and welcome centers. I've found magazines there that give great discounts on hotel rates!

3. Travel during the off season whenever possible. If you can travel during the off peak season, you can save 50 percent and more! Week nights are generally less expensive at hotels, so travel during the week when you can.

4. Start packing early. Give yourself time to get your items packed. When you rush to pack, you have a better chance of leaving something you need at home. Pack a jacket even during the summer. Since everyone has a different internal body temperature, it is better to be prepared.

5. Carry snacks and beverages with you. It is much cheaper to purchase your beverages and snacks before you head out. It can be better on your pocketbook, and on your schedule as well.

6. Sign up for travel rewards programs. If you are going to travel, sign up for frequent flyer programs, hotel reward programs, and any other programs you can find. These rewards can add up and come in quite handy!

7. Stay in places where you can cook. We recently stayed at an "extended-stay" hotel, where we had a full kitchen. It is so nice to be able to save money by having the ability to cook your own food instead of constantly eating out!

8. Don't OVER PLAN your trip. You can go broke trying to do everything. You can also end up with a very cranky family! Try to spread out the places you are sightseeing and attractions you are visiting! Sometimes Less IS More!

9. Stay with friends or family, or trade homes! You can save quite a bit of money by cutting out the hotel expenses. A few years ago, we spent the week at my sister-in-law's house while they were vacationing elsewhere!

10. Don't bankrupt yourself! While you want to have a great vacation, you still want to be able to live when you go home. Eat meals during early bird times and share larger entrees. This can add up to quite a large savings!

I hope these tips are helpful to someone! Family vacations should be fun and relaxing! Saving money on these trips is the icing on the cake!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here