Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Beanie Designs-Keep Your Little Ones Warm and Snuggly

There is nothing I find cuter than a little child all bundled up and wearing a hat during the winter time!  Although there are lots of hats to choose from out there, I prefer a hat that matches the child's personality.  If you are tired of boring old knit hats, Beanie Designs is the place for you!  They offer quite a large line of baby hats!  They have infant hats and toddler hats, along with headbands, clips, mittens and booties!  When my hubby and I went through their website to choose a hat to review, we literally spent an hour looking and discussing!  We liked so many hats, it was hard to choose just the right one.

Chefy wanted the Mohawk, and I was considering this cute Pink hat with Poms!  We were buying the hat for Princess Pickle, so I really did not want to stick her with the Mohawk, even if it is cute!  LOL

Just when I thought I had decided, I came across this cute hat...and my decision was made!  I love that the hats are made with organic cotton and are 100% handmade!  We ordered an 18-36 months size, and it does fit Princess Pickle, and it is large enough for her to wear for several years!  Our 13 yr old, Future FBI, can also wear it!

If you are looking for the perfect hat for your little one, make sure you stop by Beanie Designs and check out everything they have to offer!

Want a chance to win the hat of your choice from Beanie Designs? Will you choose a newborn hat, a toddler hat, or a fun baby winter hat? Simply enter below on the Rafflecopter form and you could be the lucky winner!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Carmex Healing Lotion and Healing Cream collection Review & Giveaway

 I have been using Carmex lip balm for quite a while now.  You might remember my post about two of the wonderful Carmex lip balms,Vanilla Ultra Moisturizing Lip Balm and Lime Twist Ultra Lip Balm!  When I found out the Carmex also made lotion, I was intrigued for sure!

The winter can be very hard on my skin.  It is normally dry, but during the fall and winter, it will crack and bleed from getting so dry!  When I received the Carmex Healing Lotion and Healing Cream, I put both trial sizes in my purse and placed the larger tubes in my bedroom and bathroom.  After I got out of the shower, I rubbed my legs and arms down in the Carmex Healing Lotion.  During the day, after I washed my hands, I would reapply the lotion.  I was very happy that the lotion was non-greasy!!  My arms and legs felt softer and more supple, which was a welcome relief!  Chefy's hands are very dry and cracked from continual hand washing, so he used the Carmex Healing Cream.  He was pleased that the scent was "not too feminine", and that the cream was not greasy!  Carmex  Healing Lotion and Healing Cream gets two THUMBS UP from those of us at Shelly's Bits and Pieces!

Beginning Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Carmex will be celebrating their 250,000th fan with a big giveaway!  Check out their Facebook Page for more information!
Want to try it for yourself?  I will be giving away some Carmex  Healing Lotion and Healing Cream to one lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader.  You will receive the same items I got, they are:
  • 1 Carmex Healing Lotion
  • 1 Carmex Healing Cream
  • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Lotion
  • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Cream 
Entering is simple....fill out the Rafflecopter form!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Catching Up

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you didn't over do things on Black Friday.  My mom and I went shopping at midnight and did not finish until about 6am.  This was the first time in about 8-10 yrs that we actually went shopping on Black Friday.  We had a blast together! 
We are taking the weekend off here at Shelly's Bits and Pieces.  Chefy has not had a day off, and he's exhausted!  If I had cooked a Thanksgiving meal for over 800 people, I'd be tired too!  Future FBI babysat her little cousins so their parents could shop all night on Black Friday, so she is in need of some R&R.  Me, I am in need of some rest too, but my daughter and I are planning to surprise Chefy by putting the Christmas tree up while he is at work tomorrow.  Today is all about cleaning and also getting a bit of rest! 

Coming next week...a new giveaway EVERYDAY!  Chefy will have new posts, and maybe even some surprises!!  Have a wonderful weekend!  God Bless you all!
~~~Shelly and the family~~~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chefy Says: Pringles are an ideal travel Munchie!

According to AAA statistics an estimated 42.2 million people traveled at least 50 miles over Thanksgiving last year.[1] Whether you are stuck in traffic or delayed at the airport due to weather, travelling zaps energy and fuels hunger, especially when juggling luggage, your kids and your cranky husband.

Between their smaller size and tube container shape, Pringles® Grab & Go! make the perfect air travel companion. Just throw a can in your carry-on for a guaranteed pick-me-up snack whether you’re waiting for a delayed flight or on route to your final destination. Grab & Go cans come in five flavors to satisfy everyone’s taste buds including Original, Sour Cream & Onion, Cheddar Cheese, BBQ and Pizza.  Pringles® Grab & Go cans are available nationwide at food and drug retailers in 40g and 74g cans.

Are you traveling my car for Thanksgiving? Don’t be stuck empty snack handed! Pringles Super Stacks not only provide loads of snacking flavor options, but each can fits perfectly into most car cup holders, providing snacking options no matter how congested the highway might be. 

 I know that when we travel, I prefer having snacks that we can close up when we are finished!  Pringles make an ideal travel Munchie for all of us!

Disclosure:  All this information was provided to me.  The opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this post!   

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches: The perfect after practice food! #TysonGoodness #CBias

Basketball practice always causes Future FBI to come home starving!  Even though she is in 8th grade, they eat lunch at 10:30am.  By the time school and basketball practice end at 5:00pm, she is STARVING!  When she comes home, she looks for something that will hold her over until we eat a late dinner, or something that she can consider dinner.  She always tries to grab something that is good for her, but sometimes, she just grabs something quick!

We recently bought  the Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches for her to try out as an after practice (or ballgame) meal.  We rarely purchase frozen foods for her to consume after sporting events, but the Tyson looked enticing!  Future FBI grabbed one of the sandwiches and tossed it into the microwave.  She topped her sandwich with some ketchup and lettuce, and paired it with a sweet potato.  She was pleased by the taste and she was full when her meal was finished.

These Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches have been requested several other times, and we have already purchased a second box. You can learn more about my shopping trip by clicking HERE!
Tyson has an offer that we can all take advantage of!  Buy 2 Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwiches at a participating Walmart and receive a $5 Walmart Gift Card. - Click the link for more information! 

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions expressed are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Puppies Vs Babies Who is Cuter?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


When I first heard about the Puppies vs. Babies online contest, I knew that there would be lots of adorable photographs to view.  I mean, puppies are cute, and babies are cute.  This is going to be one serious contest!  As a mom, I feel that babies should win, BUT, as the mom of a fur-baby, I know that they are adorable too.  This Puppies vs. Babies contest is going to be harder than I thought! 

 I wish I had known about the contest in the beginning, because I know my Shih Tzu, Ginger is such a cutie.  She would have had a great chance at winning.   Or, I could have entered a picture of Princess Pickle, her chubby cheeks and adorable smile could melt even the iciest heart. 

Now is the time for you to go vote!!  Voting will be open until November 23rd, when one very CUTE puppy or baby will be named the winner and will receive $5000!  Stop by the Puppies vs. Babies online contest and vote for your favorite today!  Will you choose a puppy or a baby?  Drop me a comment below and tell me who won your heart and earned your vote!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Christmas Gift Guide: Amazon Rain Botanical Cleanser Review and Giveaway

My skin is somewhat on the sensitive side, so I rarely try new things on my skin unless I get a recommendation first.  Recently, I was offered the opportunity to try Amazon Rain Botanical Cleanser.  I wanted to learn about it before I used it, so I headed to their website and read away!

About Amazon Rain Botanical Cleanser:   Unveil More Luminous Skin 
You'll love what you'll see...and what you don't! Gently purify your skin and leave it feeling irresistibly clean with Lluvia™ Botanical Cleanser. Feel your inner beauty rise to the surface as you bathe your skin in a rich combination of natural Rainforest botanicals that leave it feeling soft to the touch.  

By infusing these vital natural ingredients into a smooth, non-foaming base, Lluvia™ Botanical Cleanser can reach deep into pores to dissolve bacteria and fight blemishes. And thanks to its unique Rainforest recipe, it also nourishes and hydrates the skin—without stripping its delicate lipid-moisture barrier.
Use daily to reveal a fresher, more youthful look that's deeply satisfying. All Lluvia™ products are entirely free of synthetic chemicals and artificial additives and made from 100% organic ingredients.
  • Remove dirt, excess oil, and makeup
  • Cleanse without harmful foaming agents
  • Restores skin's natural pH balance

Key Rainforest Ingredients:

  • Jatoba has numerous active compounds to cleanse, purify and soothe the skin. In testing, it's been shown to exhibit significant anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal activities.
  • Iporuru calms the skin by increasing skin respiration and working as a topical analgesic. The bark and leaves of the tree have been used by Amazonian tribes for centuries.
  • Stevia is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments in Peru and Brazil. Concentrated Stevia extract is applied directly to blemishes, acne breakouts and cold sores.
With all these great ingredients, I knew I would be in good hands.  Within a few uses, I began to notice my skin feeling smoother and my pores began to minimize.  I have had fewer blemishes and my skin tone does seem to be more even now.  I have been very pleased with Amazon Rain Botanical Cleanser.

As you may or may not have known, October was Breast Cancer Awareness month!  My life had been touched by breast cancer, and I am pleased to tell you that the Amazon Herb Company contributes a percentage of its profits to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of cancer for EVERY product sold. The funds from each sale go to support the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre and ACEER (The Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Resources-a non-profit org.).  With your purchase of Amazon Rain products, you can help support these wonderful organizations!

This product would be perfect for anyone who wants a great item for cleansing their skin!  Want to try this product for yourself?  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will receive a package of Amazon Rain Botanical Cleanser of their very own!  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

Kroger Gift Card Giveaway #MyBlogSpark

WOW!  I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away!!  Now it´s the perfect time to stop by your local Kroger and take advantage of the Free Milk in store promotion.  From November 13th through November 26th, with the purchase of any four participating General Mills products, you will either receive free milk (up to $3; limit of 2) or to receive $3 off your shopping order**
  • Look for some of your favorite participating General Mills products like Cheerios, Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies, Nature Valley Bars and Fiber One Bars
  • Promotion varies in different locations. Please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for specific deals and offers which include Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith´s, Fry´s, QFC, Baker´s, Owen´s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott´s Food & Pharmacy 
We received a $25 Kroger gift card so we could go take advantage of this wonderful offer!  There are lots of wonderful products to choose from!  We chose some things that paired well with milk!  We purchased Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cheerios, and some Nature Valley Granola Bars!   You can match up your coupons with the deals and get even more for your money!  Want the chance to get a gift card for yourself?  Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chefy says: Torani Syrups Rule...and a Giveaway too!

Shelly loves to visit Starbucks in the fall and winter more that any other time of the year.  WHY?  Because she loves flavored coffee beverages!!  She only wants her coffee hot, no iced coffees for her!  So, since the NC spring and summer is usually HOT, she looks forward to the cold weather so she can get her fill.  When SheSpeaks offered her the opportunity to try Torani syrups, we were both excited. 

We received Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie and Hazelnut, and she immediately brewed a pot of coffee and flavored it with the Hazelnut.  Since she likes sweet coffee, it took her a while to get the sweetness to her liking, but once she did...the pot disappeared!  I was excited to use the Pumpkin Pie, but I was worried about the sugar free aspect.  I made flan for dessert tonight and I flavored it with the Torani's Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Syrup and it was delicious!  I did add more Splenda to the recipe for a sweeter taste, but the syrup had an amazing flavor.  We had planned to add a photo to this post, but in our excitement to try the flan, we forgot!  We are very pleased with the Torani syrups we have tried and are excited to try some new flavors with the coupons we were given.  Shelly is on the look out for the Salted Caramel flavor!  Now, if I can get her to try some other flavors in cold drinks!

Interested in trying Torani for yourself?  You can go to the Torani website and enter the code: "shespeaks" you will save 10% on your purchases, or enter on the rafflecopter form below!   Two lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers will each win a coupon for a FREE bottle of Torani syrup!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide FoldFlops "Unfold and Go"

I am one of those people who really hates wearing shoes.  I do not like to have my feet confined for any length of time.  When I was working full time, I would remove my shoes as soon as I got into my car in the afternoon, and if I needed to stop somewhere, I had to put my dress shoes back on, or I had to carry another pair in the car somewhere.  When we would go out after work, carrying an extra pair of shoes was almost impossible.  No one wants to have to carry around a large bag or purse all night.  FoldFlops solve that problem!  These shoes fold in half and can easily slide into a smaller purse.  There is no need to keep an extra pair of full size shoes in your car,or your bag.  The FoldFlops are cute and comfy! 

I received the champagne colored FoldFlops and they go with almost everything I wear.  FoldFlops retail for $20 and are available in black, red, blue, pink and champagne for women and in black and champagne for men.  They are waterproof, cushioned and very light weight.  They would be perfect for me to throw in the beach bag for the afternoons when the sand is HOT.  They are on my daughter's Christmas list and would make a great gift for anyone who likes being comfortable. 

For more information you can find FoldFlops on Facebook and you can also follow them on Twitter.About FoldFlops:

Style, Comfort, Convenience
Foldflops®  introduce mobile comfort in its patented “unfold and go” hinge technology. Protection and relief unfold in a flash when feet need it most. Folds in half easily for (simple and convenient) storage in its own attractive carrying pouch.
Stylish, Sporty, Lightweight
Perfect for any occasion, lightweight and space-saving foldflops are stylish enough to wear with dresses, pants and shorts and fit easily into a jacket or cargo-pants pocket, purse, glove compartment, or briefcase.
Quality, Waterproof, Cushioned
Unlike disposable or flimsy foldable shoes or flip flops, foldflops custom molded, high quality EVA construction makes them perfect for continued wear.  A porous edged topsole to resist dirt and sweat, a ridged outsole to minimize slip, and a cushioned inset to maximize foot and arch support provide high-level comfort. Foldflops are waterproof and UV resistant.

Disclosure:  This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media.  I received a pair of FoldFlops to facilitate my review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

The Humanist Approach to Happiness Review


Product Description

The Humanist Approach to Happiness is a book that basically says - here are personal ethics, here is why they are important, and here is how you can apply them to your daily life and why doing so will help you live a happier more productive life. It isn't a philosophy book so much as a book about the pragmatic reasons for being an ethical, compassionate and responsible person.

People who can benefit from this book include:

*Anyone who wants to learn more about Humanism and it's practical application to daily life
*Teens and Young adults looking for advice on everything from dating to dealing with jerks at work or at school.
*Anyone who is struggling with self-identity issues
*Anyone who is experiencing grief and wants a Humanist perspective on how to cope with it
*People dealing with addiction that are looking for secular advice on how to gain the courage to confront their addiction.
*Anyone who wants easy to understand lessons on how to start practicing Freethought
*And anyone who wants to better understand the benefits of applying critical thinking skills and ethical values to every day problem solving

About the Author

Jennifer Hancock is the former executive director for the Humanists of Florida Association, the Tampa Humanism and Freethought Examiner for and the publisher of the DVD An Introduction to Humanism. She also publishes a weekly blog and podcast on Happiness Through Humanism and writes a freelance column about Humanism for the Bradenton Herald. 

My thoughts:  
When I was offered the opportunity to review this book, I went into it without expectations.  I was hoping to gain some insight into how to better prepare my daughter on how to handle situations in her everyday life.  Parents want only the best for their kids, and I was seeking the opinion of someone else for direction.  The book is written in everyday language and although my Christian views did not always go hand in hand with the book, I did agree that each individual should take responsibility for their own happiness!  I appreciate the practical advise on how to handle finances and relationships.  Also, as a parent, I was very pleased at the section on respecting one's elders!  I feel that people can benefit from this book because it empowers the individual.

The author has offered Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers 20% off both the ebook and the paperback formats.  
Ebook -  : Coupon code: UT36F - Price will be $4.80 instead of $6.00 - that coupon expires Oct 1st 2012.  
 For the paperback they need to go to: and use the discount code: 2SV7A43M  That will get them 20% off the list of $12.98 - so the price will be $10.38  
 The book is also available at whatever online book retailer you might prefer to use 

Disclosure:  This book was received at no charge to facilitate my review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are my own!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chefy Says: Marzetti Caramel Dip Rocks! Review & Giveaway

Ever since I was a child, one of my favorite goodies was caramel.  When I met my wife, I found a kindred spirit in that respect.  She likes caramel as much if not more than I do, and our daughter is right there with us!  Shelly loves to dip granny smith apples in caramel.  That is probably her biggest Fall vice.  We were offered the opportunity to give Marzetti Carmel Dip a test drive, and now, 2 containers later, I am here to tell you about it.

About Marzetti: 
Caramel dip is the perfect tradition for fall or just a great way to enjoy your favorite apples anytime. Try classic Old Fashioned Caramel Dip, Light or Fat Free Caramel Dip or fun flavors like Sweet & Salty Caramel Dip or Peanut Butter Caramel Dip. You can even get Pack-a-Snack Caramel Apple Dip in individual packages that are great for on the go occasions. 
Product Description:
  • Marzetti Caramel Dips are a delicious complement for any occasion – whether it’s an easy addition to an entertaining platter or an indulgent afternoon treat
  • Marzetti Caramel Dips offer the perfect accent or finishing touch to a variety of party favorites including apples, pears, pretzels and even pound cake

Usage Ideas:
  • For more recipe ideas and additional product information visit
We originally purchased the Old Fashioned Caramel Dip, and it was devoured by our daughter and her friends before Shelly and I had a chance to REALLY taste it.  We went back to look for the Sweet and Salty Caramel Dip, but it is not carried around here, so we purchased another Old Fashioned Caramel Dip.  We ate apples with the dip, added some to brownies I baked, and Shelly added some to her coffee.  We really like the flavor, and will be buying more!  
Right now, Marzetti is giving away $75,000 in prizes with their Lucky Pick Instant Win Game. You can enter to win by picking up a specially marked tub of Marzetti Old Fashioned Caramel Dip; if you get a lucky pick, you can head over to to enter the code and claim your prize.

You can follow Marzetti on Facebook for more information!

Giveaway:  2 Lucky Shelly's Bits & Pieces readers will receive a coupon so they can try Marzetti Caramel Dip for FREE!  Want to give it a try?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form.

Chefy Says: Woozie: Insulates! Feels Great! Get a Little Woozie! (Holiday Gift Guide)

About:  Woozie is a wine glass sleeve made from top quality neoprene which insulates your wine glass and feels soft to the touch! It is fun, functional and comes in wonderful Woozie colors and is distinctive in design! Woozie is stretchable, washable, foldable and reusable.
No more warm wine to tolerate or wet glass to hold. The perfect answer for your white or red wine...keeps the temperature constant summer or winter, inside or the beach, by the campfire, in the hot tub, at the pool, playing cards or Bunco, at a party, on a boat, at a wedding...the list goes on and on. The many great colors allow you to coordinate with a theme or pick a variety of colors for glass identification! There is a Woozie for your mid-size wine glass, your  large wine glass
and for your wine bottle. Check it all out.  There is a Woozie that is just right for you.

We were sent an NC State Woozie Wine Bottle cover to review for this post.  When it arrived, Shelly and I opened it and immediately placed it over a bottle of chilled wine.  We kept the wine out of the refrigerator for almost 2 hours and it was still chilled when we checked it.  We really like the NC State design, and were happy with how easy the Woozie was to place on the wine bottle.  It has a draw string at the top and a little toggle thing to keep it fitted to your bottle.  This would make a wonderful gift for the wine drinker in your life, and would make an awesome hostess gift.  

Woozie offers so many different products and designs, I could spend forever on their website checking everything out.  They are also on Facebook!   I was very pleased to see that they carried items to promote breast cancer awareness too.  They now offer coasters, trays, bottle toppers and so much more!  They are offering a COUPON CODE so you can get 15% off your order!  Simply use the coupon code  Holiday2011.  

Disclosure:  We received this product to facilitate our review.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.  No monetary compensation was received!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Share Your Favorite Recipe To Win $1,000! (I will!) #RecipeShare

Baking is a passion of mine.  I have loved to bake ever since I was a child and I baked with my great-grandma.  Over the years, I have developed some of my own special recipes that family members always  request.  This year, I might even make some money from that recipe in the Macy’s Recipe Share ContestSheSpeaks has teamed up with Macy's and their Recipe Share Contest! Share your favorite holiday recipe for a chance to win $1000 and have it featured on Food Republic.  Go enter, because you only have until November 30th when the contest ends to show off your best holiday recipes!  Get cooking!

It is easy to enter.  Here's how:
1. Head to
2. Click the Recipe Share tab
3. Submit your recipe
4. Share the contest via Facebook and Twitter

Don't just sit here thinking about want to win?!  I sure do!  
She Speaks is jumping right in there with a TWITTER PARTY!  Come and share your recipe!
Here are the details:

When: 11/9 @ 8PM ET
TweetGrid Dashboard:
Follow: #RecipeShare

About Macy's:

Established in 1858, Macy's is the Great American Department Store - an iconic retail brand with over 800 stores across the country and online at Macy's offers an incredible selection and the best brands, tailored to each and every customer, while providing an experience that transcends ordinary shopping.

A big part of Macy's unique heritage includes our special events, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, flower shows, fashion extravaganzas, celebrity appearances and holiday traditions that range from the arrival of Santa Claus to tree lightings and festive window displays. But beyond our signature events, Macy's delivers magical moments every day through our shopping environment, service and merchandise - a great deal of which is sold exclusively through our stores. It's all part of the excitement we've been creating for 151 years, and it's all part of the magic of Macy's!

I hope to see you at the twitter party!!  Don't forget!!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Macy's and SheSpeaks. I will receive compensation in the form of a Macy's gift card for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary Chefy!

Nine years ago today, I married the man God chose for me, my soul mate, Chefy.  He stepped into a ready made family and became the Daddy my daughter deserved and he completely stole my heart.  My parents and grandparents were thrilled for me that I had found a man to love that actually loved me.  I am so blessed to be married to the one person I truly believe God chose for me.  Chefy came into my life during one of the lowest points of my life, and turned it around.  Today, as we celebrate our anniversary, I think back to our wedding.  When he gave me my ring, he gave my OUR daughter a heart necklace that reads, Two Become One, Three Become a Family, 11-08-02.  I guess he did marry my family that day, and I thank God that he did!
I love you honey!!  Happy Anniversary!  Forever & Always,  "I found a Masterpiece in You!"

Chefy Says: Sante' Nuts Rock the House! REVIEW

My wife loves nothing more than crunchy nuts as snacks!  Recently, we were afforded the opportunity to review Sante' Nuts, and they have become the new favorite brand of nuts for our family. 
We received a very nice box that included all 4 different types of Sante' Nuts, Candied Pecans, Candied Walnuts, Garlic Almonds and Salted Pecans!This review became a family affair as soon as the box was opened! I grabbed the Garlic Almonds and I must tell you they were awesome.  The flavor and crunch was amazing.  I really liked the zing they had, along with a touch of sweetness.  My daughter grabbed the Candied Walnuts and she devoured them within the afternoon.  She did allow her mom and me to try a few before the bag was empty!  They were sweetened perfectly and downright tasty.   Shelly grabbed the Candied Pecans and she loved them!  "They were crunchy with just the right amount of sweetness!"  She savoured her bag, and even shared a few with her parents, who are now in love with them as well.  Our family shared the Salted Pecans with my in-laws!  We were all in agreement that these are the BEST Roasted Salted Pecans that any of us had ever eaten!  These Sante' Nuts have been added to our family Christmas list.  The fact that they have less oil is just the icing on the cake...LOL! 

The wonderful people at Sante' Nuts have created a coupon for the fabulous Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers!  You can save 25% off any order at if you enter
2011-Blog-089 during check out!  This coupon is valid until December 16, 2011.  Try them out for yourself! 

Disclosure:  We received packages of Sante' Nuts to facilitate our review.  No monetary compensation was received.  Receipt of the product did not in any way influence our opinions.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mission Impossible Shop at #MurphyUSA #cbias #ad

My family loves having a movie night!  We have at least one every week, but most weeks we end up having two!  This week, we were in search of snacks for our family to enjoy when we were watching Mission Impossible!

Here is the storyline if you are unfamiliar with the movie:  Based on the hit T.V. series. Jim Phelps was sent to Prague for a mission to prevent the theft of classified material. His wife Claire and his trusted partner Ethan Hunt were members of Phelps' team. Unfortunately, something went horribly wrong and the mission failed, leaving Ethan Hunt the lone survivor. After he reported the failed mission, Kettridge the head if the agency suspects Ethan of being the culprit for the failed mission. Now, Ethan uses unorthodox methods (Which includes the aid of an arms dealer going by the name "Max") to try to find who set him up and to clear his name.

I prefer the first Mission Impossible movie because it was the beginning of my M I  obsession!!  The movie is action packed and you really feel for the characters.  I must admit that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is my favorite character, but Jon Voight plays a great part too! This movie is one my entire family enjoys....which is the main reason we own it!  

I was sent on a shopping mission by Collective Bias to Murphy USA to find snacks for movie night.  Here is the Google+ link to my shopping trip!  While on my shop, I attempted to use the SCVNGR app on my cell phone to check in and play a game, but for some reason, it locked up my phone every time I tried!  I did check in using 4Square! We purchased some Coke products, some Frito-Lay snacks and some Fig Newtons!  Family movie night is another wonderful way to spend time with the ones you love!  This is a tradition that my daughter intends on continuing when she gets older!

You can connect with Murphy USA on twitter and facebook.  Coca-Cola is also on twitter and facebook
Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions are my own, or are those of my family members!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chefy Says: Teriyaki Noodles with Beef and Bacon Sausage-Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations

When my daughter is in charge of dinner, things become interesting. She really does have great ideas on which foods work together. She was cooking for us because she wanted to thank us for "all of the great things" we do for her everyday. We say thank you to each other often, and cooking a meal is one way we express our gratitude for each other. Life is too short to wait to find a reason to celebrate. We celebrate all the little things in life...making an A on an algebra test, finishing a project, and most importantly, we celebrate being a family.

Future FBI knew what she wanted to cook for dinner, so we went to Walmart to pick it up! We were in search of the makings of our dinner, Teriyaki Noodles and sausage. We were planning to use the Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations sausage and decided on the Beef and Bacon sausage with Monterey Jack cheese! Here is the link to the shopping trip!

Teriyaki Noodles with Sausage Recipe

1 or 2 packages of Teriyaki Noodles (side dish package)
2 cups of water (per package of noodles)
1 package of Hillshire Farm Beef and Bacon Gourmet Creations Sausage

In a saucepan or skillet, combine the noodle mix and the water and bring to a boil. Mix in the sausages. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 11 minutes!

It is simple and tasty! This is actually one of the recipes Future FBI will make for her friends...LOL!

We are planning on trying out another one of the Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations next week! Stay tuned to see what I come up with!! Thanks for stopping by!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #cBias All thoughts and opinions are my own, or are those of my family members!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chefy Says: Oransi Ionic Fridge Air Purifier Review & Giveaway

At one time or another, everyone has experienced some kind of odor in their refrigerator. No matter how often you clean your refrigerator, that stale smell creeps back in. The Oransi Ionic Fridge air purifier is the solution I had been looking for!!

Here are the Top 10 ionic fridge air purifier features that delight:

1. Save money – for starters there are no replacement filters and nothing to clean. The air purifier uses 2 AA batteries that require replacement approximately every 90 days. Built-in micro processor controls the operation of the air purifier so it will cycle on and off to save battery life.

2. Silent – no fans.

3. Intuitive.

4. Effective in the removal of odors and bacteria to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh and your food fresher.

5. Conveniently fits anywhere in your refrigerator.

6. Attractive neutral color and cool contemporary design.

7. Easy operating instructions:

* Turn it on
* Freshen your refrigerator

8. Patented Piezo-electric technology: allows for a high negative ion output to freshen your refrigerator without the harmful side effects of ozone that is found in standard ionizers.

9. Safety: The Ionic Fridge air purifier has received safety certifications from GS and CE as well as the RoHS lead free directive. Made of durable fire-resistant ABS materials. Tested for ozone production by ITI (Industrial Research Technology Institute) and found to be 0.011 ppm which is 78% below FDA limits.

10. Operating costs: Ionic Fridge purifier average battery costs: $1/month.

I really like the fact that this little machine not only removes odors, but it also keeps the food fresher!  The cost to operate the Ionic Fridge air purifier is only about $1 each month!  That dollar cost is worth it to me to have a fresher smelling refrigerator and fresher food!  

Would you like to try one for yourself?  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win their very own Oransi Ionic Fridge purifier!  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter!

Holiday Gift Guide Day 3 Box4Blox Review and Giveaway

When I was growing up, I was like most kids, I loved to build things. I had a can of Tinker Toys and I was constantly at work building interesting contraptions. When my daughter came along, I bought her Lego building blocks. She would sit for hours and play with all the different sizes and shapes until she had exactly what design she was looking to achieve. My husband and I would often join her and we would create high rise buildings and communities. One day we found kits that would make different types of things and our obsession with Lego began!

One of the things that drove me the most crazy was looking for certain size pieces and I would have to dig through the boxes for them. Thanks to Box4Blox, all the searching is a thing of the past!

With Box4Blox, you can quickly sort your Lego blocks by size and keep them neat and tidy until you need them. The 10 1/4 inch cube works like magic and automatically grades the Lego by size. The larger ones end up on the top rack and the smallest ones are safely on the bottom!! I absolutely love this design! Kids like to drop handfuls of Lego into the box and they shake it to sort the sizes! It is really cool! Box4Blox is sold exclusively online! They offer a 60 day guarantee and they are Made in the USA!!

If you have a Lego enthusiast on your Christmas shopping list, Box4Blox is for you! They make finding and storing Lego blocks a breeze! Want to find out for yourself? One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win a Box4Blox of their very own! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide Day 2 Modify Watches Review and Giveaway

Do you have someone on your Christmas shopping list that is hard to please, or maybe a teenager that has their own sense of style? This gift idea is perfect for that person! Modify Watches are built to suit each person...what could be better!

The thought of being able to design my own watch was very intriguing.  My daughter always accuses me of picking out things that are for "old" people, so here was my opportunity to prove her incorrect!  Modify Watches are not only fashionable and flexible, they are also modifiable!!  I think you can stop by their website and build your own watch as easily as ordering take out...LOL!  They have so many faces and bands to choose from, and with inventory constantly changing, you have lots of choices! 

When my watch arrived, I was a little surprised with the size of the watch.  It is not a small dainty watch, and I LOVE it!  I ordered the white face with the black band and the gray band.  I can wear these anytime because it can be changed to suit me!  I must be honest...I wish I had chosen the blue face, but the white one is just fine with me!    Here is the watch...what do you think?
I wish this picture had been clearer, but I wanted you to get an idea of exactly how large the face is!
Much clearer!  I love it!

My daughter did not complain about this watch at all!  As a matter of fact, she is now wearing it!  She is 13 and she says it is chunky and funky!  Do you like what you see?  If you do, make sure you enter the giveaway below!  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will get to build a watch of their very own!  Fill out the rafflecopter form below for your chance!


Chefy Says: The Butch Bakery Cookbook Review & Giveaway

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470930888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470930885

Cookbooks are a passion of mine.  My wife can attest to the fact that, because I have over a thousand cookbooks right now.  It is relaxing for me to be able to sit down and go through all the different recipes.  I was very pleased when Shelly's Bits and Pieces was afforded the opportunity to review The Butch Bakery Cookbook by David Arrick with Janice Kollar. 

About the book: 
This is not your mother's cupcake cookbookThe Butch Bakery does cupcakes like nobody else. You can forget the pretty sparkles and the flowers on top, forget the pastel cupcakes for Easter or Halloween. These aren't cupcakes for little kids, but grown-up cupcakes full of contemporary, inventive flavors—like bacon, whiskey, coffee, and cayenne pepper.
The Butch Bakery Cookbook offers cupcakes for the twenty-first century—like a cupcake imbued with two different liqueurs or a devil's food cake made truly diabolical with a dose of chili powder. These are serious sweets. They're delightfully different and dangerously delicious.
  • Author David Arrick has received tremendous media coverage since opening Butch Bakery
  • Perfect for dessert or cupcake lovers who are tired of the same old vanilla or chocolate cake with icing on top
For anyone who wants a dessert that breaks the mold and challenges the taste buds with modern flavors and inspired ingredients, The Butch Bakery Cookbook delivers the goods—seriously.

After reading the back cover of this book, I knew I had to jump on to some baking.   One of my favorite recipes was "Rush Hour," which is "a stout-spiked gingerbread cupcake topped with ginger butter cream.  My gingerbread loving wife fell in love with these cupcakes!  They might be a bit too gingery for some, but we loved them.  I also have baked the "Mojito" cupcakes.  They were delicious as well, but I will admit that I omitted the peppermint extract from the frosting because Shelly is not a huge peppermint fan.  My neighbor devoured these cupcakes, and I must admit, these were my favorite.  I plan to bake the "Rum and Coke" cupcakes next, I think the guys will enjoy them during the football game Sunday.  

This cookbook is not full of your normal, everyday recipes!  These are kicked up!  I really like the section after every recipe that is open for notes.  A good chef or baker always tweaks recipes!  


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide Day 1 The Fund By H. T. Narea

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328908
If you have a reader on your list, The Fund by HT Narea could be a great choice for you.  This book captured my interest because the main protagonist is female!  The book is pretty much a political/financial thriller, and it kept my attention throughout!  This is a great read for anyone who likes thrillers...this one is a true thinking thriller! 

SynopsisU.S. Defense Intelligence operative Kate Molares is investigating a suspicious international money trail. Her instincts place her at the center of a plot involving a terrifying new kind of terrorism—financial terrorism—perpetuated by a suave, handsome Middle Eastern hedge fund mogul. His goal is to wreck the West by bringing the global economy to its knees. 

Kate’s mission takes her from the defense intelligence command center on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to the oil-fueled economy of Caracas, Venezuela; from the U.N. to the site of a deadly Islamic conspiracy in the Iberian Peninsula. Kate is in a race against time, to fit together the pieces of this global puzzle…or risk the catastrophic destruction of the world’s financial markets.

 This book can be purchased at, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart and many other retailers.  It is available in hardback or the kindle edition at Amazon!


Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of The Fund to facilitate my review.  The Synopsis was from  All opinions are honest and my own.  No monetary compensation was received for this review!

Chefy Says: An Introduction

Hello everyone!  My name is Chefy, and I am Shelly's husband.  I have been cooking since I was 13 and I am a classically trained chef who graduated from culinary school in 1994.  When I got married, I decided it was time to leave the restaurant business and find a job with better hours.  I'm currently a chef at a retirement community.  I love having a set schedule so I can be home with my family, but I do miss the hustle and bustle of the restaurant!

When Shelly mentioned starting my own post here on the blog, I was hesitant, but I'm excited to do it!  I'll be posting daily about products and recipes.  If there is anything you'd like me to post about, simply leave me a comment or send me an email at

Come back tomorrow and read my review of The Butch Bakery Cookbook by David Arrick with Janice Kollar.  We'll also be giving away a copy as well!
See you then,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Winners to Announce!!

Congratulations Winner
Congratulations to the lucky winner of both the Fun da-middles giveaway and the Freschetta giveaway!!
Shawn Andree Fun da-middles Winner #115 Shawn Andree (for Liking Betty Crocker on FB)
Freschetta Winner #88 Shawn Andree (for liking the blog post!)

Congratulations Lucky!! All winners are drawn randomly by using rafflecopter!!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Please hang with us, much more to come!!

Have a Blessed Day!