Monday, December 31, 2012

Oral-B Professional Precision 5000 Review

Oral hygiene is very important for good health. I did not realize how important it really is until I was diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome. It causes me to have dry mouth which can cause gum problems and other dental issues. I found out that lots of times, using standard tooth brushes would cause my gums to bleed, because I was brushing too hard. I felt like I had to brush hard to get my teeth clean. The last time I went to my dentist, he recommended that I use a "power" or electric toothbrush. I was given the opportunity to try the Oral-B Professional Precision 5000, and now I am sold on it!

My teeth now feel clean and my gums are actually beginning to look healthier!  The oscillating, pulsating, and rotating movements are cleaning my teeth better than the hard scrubbing I had been doing previously.  I also love the signal to move "quadrants" every 30 seconds, so you can clean your entire mouth and brush for a full 2 minutes!  My dentist is very pleased with how great my teeth look, and I was so pleased, I purchased these Oral-B Professional Precision 5000 toothbrushes for my hubby and daughter.

Oral-B is offering a $20 mail-in rebate on select power toothbrushes November 18 through December 31, 2012. Please visit for more information.  
Learn more about Oral-B by visiting them:  website, FacebookTwitter

 Disclosure:  I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Modern Mom on behalf of Oral-B and received a product sample to facilitate my review.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pump It Up/Scribblenauts Unlimited for Nintendo 3DS Review & Giveaway

In conjunction with their efforts to stimulate the imaginations of children across the country, Pump It Up, the national leader in the children’s entertainment category, is hosting a national contest surrounding the release of the award-winning video game, Scribblenauts Unlimited, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Scribblenauts, the best-selling, award-winning puzzle game franchise that challenged players to imagine anything and bring it to life, is back with Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Wii U™, featuring more expansive gameplay and setting no limits on how the player uses his or her imagination within the game.
Created and developed by 5TH Cell, Scribblenauts Unlimited features a huge side-scrolling open world with new, high-definition hand-drawn scenery and objects where players can help the game’s hero, Maxwell, solve robust puzzles and challenges by summoning any object they can imagine. Players now have the ability to create their own original objects, assign unique properties, and share them with other players online – to be used in game or further modified as they like!
Beginning November 12, Pump It Up’s Facebook fans across the country can enter for a chance to win a Family Home Entertainment Center of their choice and Scribblenauts Unlimited video game for the Wii U™ console launching later this month.
“Scribblenauts Unlimited is a fun, interactive game that encourages creativity by letting players imagine anything and bring it to life. In our efforts to reignite the imaginations of young children with programs like Adventure Parties and Pop-In Playtime, the game fits well with our brand message,” said Lee Knowlton, CEO for Pump It Up.

The challenge of the contest is to help Maxwell, who will be placed in a Pump It Up environment, reach the Starite at the top of one of their Slippery Slope inflatables. To enter the contest, participants will write 2-3 sentences on how this can be achieved using any object in their imagination.

The winner, who will be selected based on Facebook votes, will be announced on Friday, December 28 at 11:00 AM PDT. One second prize winner will receive a Video Game Console of their choice and Scribblenauts Unlimited video game for Wii U. Five additional runners up will receive a copy of the Scribblenauts Unlimited video game for Nintendo 3DS™ as well.

Kids and families can learn more about the contest by visiting the Pump It Up Facebook page or when visiting their local Pump It Up location for Pop-In Playtime, where they can experience the creative and stimulating environment similar to the one found in the Scribblenauts Unlimited game.
Pump It Up’s Pop-In Playtime is a fun destination for kids to play and is designed to encourage social and active behavior through exercising through their bodies and imaginations. Kids and parents are invited to visit their local Pump It Up location to jump, bounce, slide and climb around in the in a fun, safe, indoor environment. With the Pop-In Playtime punch card program, families who come to play four times will receive their fifth visit free.

My family really enjoyed playing the game!  I love that you have to use your brain...and imagination!  This would be a great addition to any family's game cabinet.  Honestly, I think I played it as much as my daughter did!!   One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win a copy of their very own!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!

Corn-N-Tater Review

My family has been trying to eat healthier, and one way we do that is by steaming vegetables. I love eating steamed corn, broccoli and cauliflower, but I do not like having to get out a steamer pot, and all the other needed things. Baking potatoes in the oven is a pain too. Corn-N-Tater has made things so much easier for me to enjoy freshly steamed veggies without all the hassle...and burned hands!
Corn-N-Tater is very easy to use. Simply wrap your food in a paper towel and place inside the bag and throw it in the microwave. The specially designed bag perfectly steams the vegetables, without all the hassle! There are lots of designs to choose from too, so you can pick just the right bag for you!  

Disclosure: I received a sample bag to facilitate my review! All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide - Love's Christmas Journey DVD Giveaway

Inspired by the best-selling Love Comes Softly book franchise written by Janette Oke, the first-ever uplifting, almost 3 hour, Christmas story in the series. Still mourning the loss of her family, Ellie agrees to watch her brother's children when he has to leave town. When a fire is set, Ellie works with a handsome deputy to clear a friends name and learns that if she can trust her faith, this Christmas may bring more miracles than she hoped. Starring: Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Ernest Borgnine (Dirty Dozen), JoBeth Williams (Frasier), Charles Shaughnessy (The Nanny), Rebecca Hall (Pretty Little Liars), Dylan Bruce (As the World Turns), Greg Vaughan (General Hospital). 

If you are like me, you love the Hallmark Channel movies!  They always have a good meaning to them and leave you smiling.  Love's Christmas Journey fits perfectly into that mold!  I really enjoy reading the Love Comes Softly books by Janette Oke, and was very pleased to see this movie.  I was lucky enough to catch it on the Hallmark Channel, but one lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will get a DVD of their very own!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!

Christmas Gift Guide - Strawberry Shortcake: Jammin' With Cherry Jam DVD Giveaway

The glow of friendship shines brighter than the spotlight when Strawberry and her pals meet superstar Cherry Jam! Get ready for a rockin' good time as the girls face stage fright, work to impress a talent scout and consider moving to Berry Big City. Along the way, they learn that fame and fortune can be fun, but there's nothing more important than friendship.

My cousin loved Strawberry Shortcake when she was a child.  She is now a mother who has shared her love of Strawberry Shortcake with her daughter.  Whenever we would watch the cartoon, there was always a lesson to learn, and this DVD is no different.  It is very important for children to learn about the importance of friendship and this DVD, Jammin' with Cherry Jam is a great teaching tool.  I would recommend this DVD to anyone with a little girl!

Want to win it for yourself?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Talking Ben Review and Giveaway

We love plush animals.  My daughter has a room full of them and I have my fair share as well.  We have very few that make noise, but now we have one that talks back!  We received Talking Ben from Cuddle Barn to review and we seriously love him.  He is an adorable plush dog who repeats everything you say.  I love his silly voice, and I have honestly talked to him more than I should admit! 

I became familiar with the Talking Friends family of creatures when my daughter introduced me to the app on her iPad.   When I first started interacting with the creatures, I was only aware of Talking Tom.  Now, there are a lot of other Talking Friends to choose from.  You can find Talking Tom and Talking Ben products at your local specialty gift shop and at the Cuddle Barn online store located at .  From now until 12/31/2012, you can use a special code – TOM2012 – to get $5.00 off the price of each Tom and Ben you buy in the online store.  And remember, as always, their website offers free shipping to the Continental USA.  One of these toys would be a wonderful gift for any of your loved ones!  It is a top gift idea on the Shelly's Bits and Pieces Holiday Gift Guide for 2012.

Want to win a Talking Ben of your own?  Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

Crooked Arrows DVD Review

You’ll stand up and cheer for this feel-good sports thriller starring Brandon Routh (Superman Returns).  The ancient sport of lacrosse has been part of their tribal heritage for centuries, but the Native American players on the Crooked Arrows high school team are long-time losers. When former star player Joe Logan (Routh) agrees to coach the rag-tag group to seal the deal on a lucrative casino project, he sets out to turn the chumps into champs and, in the process, learns the value of loyalty himself. If the Arrows can learn to shoot straight and challenge their prep-school rivals, these fast-breaking warriors may just pull off the ultimate upset and win it all!

Our Thoughts:
We enjoy watching movies where sports play a big part, and Crooked Arrows was no exception.  The storyline revolved around lacrosse, and although we do not know a lot about that sport, the movie was very enjoyable.  There were moments when you wanted to stand up and cheer!  The movie is about respect and loyalty, and it does a great job of defining both!!  We all recommend the movie with huge thumbs up!!

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

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green DVD Review

'Tis the season for family movies!  There are lots of movies out there to watch with your family during the Christmas holidays.  The genres are numerous, but nothing is better than a good old family movie.  My family was excited to get the chance to review the Odd Life of Timothy Green.  It is a Disney movie and we had heard great things about it from friends.

About the movie:
From Academy Award-nominated writer/director Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life, What’s
Eating Gilbert Grape), and starring Golden Globe® winner Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton,
Oscar® winner Dianne Wiest and CJ Adams as Timothy Green, comes this highly imaginative
story about a happily married couple who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream
about what their child would be like. Then one stormy night young Timothy shows up on their
doorstep. Soon they and the small town in which they live learn that sometimes the
unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts. The story is written by Ahmet Zappa
(“American Gangster,” “Changeling”).

I am really excited to tell you that we loved it!  The movie is a heart warming story with lots of cute twists and turns.  The characters are warm and very likeable.  I have to admit I think Jennifer Garner does a fabulous job in this movie and CJ Adams is very cute as Timothy Green!  Our entire family enjoyed the movie and it did keep everyone's attention the entire time.  This movie would be an ideal addition to the family DVD collection and would make a wonderful Christmas gift.  It made the Shelly's Bits and Pieces Holiday Gift Guide for that reason! 

Disclosure:  We received a media sample to facilitate our review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family!

Enter The 7th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off

Share Your Favorite Recipes And “Share The Memories
Enter The 7th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off
For a Chance To Win The $25,000 Grand Prize Package
Including Maytag® Appliances!

Entry Deadline is Monday February 4, 2013

Newark, NJ (November, 2012)—From now until February 4, 2013, enter the 7th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off for a chance to win the $25,000 Grand Prize, which includes   Maytag® appliances, cash, an expense paid trip and a beautiful crystal trophy!  This year, the contest will be held at the Manischewitz® Manufacturing Plant and Headquarters in Newark, NJ, giving contestants and guests a peek inside their state-of the-art production facilities.  The Cook-Off encourages at-home chefs to experiment with kosher products while preparing delicious recipes that could be a new family favorite, or one that has been shared for generations.

The entry deadline is Monday, February 4, 2013.  To enter, log onto, and click on the Cook-OffBanner to submit your recipe.  The recipe must adhere to Kosher guidelines, be prepared in under an hour, have no more than 9 ingredients which must include one of the Manischewitz® All-Natural broth flavors-new Turkey, Chicken, Reduced Sodium Chicken, Beef and Vegetable, plus one additional Manischewitz® product. Four finalists will be chosen by the judging panel and five semi-finalists will be posted on  from February 21st through February 28th, allowing consumers to vote online to select the fifth finalist. For complete contest details, go to  

All five finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to compete live on March 21st 2013 at the Manischewitz® Manufacturing Plant and Headquarters in Newark, NJ in front of a live panel of judges consisting of food media and other culinary experts. The grand prize package includes Maytag® appliances, cash, expense paid trip and a beautiful crystal trophy.

“As the leader in the finest kosher foods, we are delighted to invite people to prepare family recipes using their favoriteManischewitz products, “said Paul Bensabat, Co-CEO of The Manischewitz Company. “ We are equally as thrilled to host the 7th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off at our own headquarters and production facilities for the first time, to offer our guests a sneak peak at where it all begins,” adds Alain Bankier, Co-CEO of The Manischewitz Company

Delivering dependability to our customers each and every day is something both The Manischewitz Company and Maytaghave been committed to for more than a century,” said Monica Teague, Senior Manager PR and Brand Experience, Maytag. “With this common goal in mind, we are excited to bring the brands back together again this year for the Cook-off.”
Over the years, more than 10,000 people nationwide, of all ages and all walks of life, have entered the competition.  Past winners include: Eric Silberman, from Lincolnwood, IL with his Mod Matzo Ball Soup; Stuart Davis, from Cherry Hill, NJ with his Chicken and Egg Donburi; Sarah Freedman-Izquierdo of Miami Beach, Florida with her Mandarin Dumpling Soup; Amy Siegel from Clifton, NJ with her Marvelous Mediterranean Falafel Sliders; Joy Devor of Rockaway, NY with her Fantastic Flounder Rolls and Candace McMenamin from Lexington, SC with her Sweet Potato Encrusted Chicken. 

For over 120 years, The Manischewitz® Company has inspired great family recipes and ideas.  Today, the Manischewitz®product line continues to innovate with new and improved products that maintain the highest quality of ingredients.  The ever-expanding line of products range from traditional Jewish fare such as  matzo, gefilte fish, potato pancake mix, matzo ball mix and macaroons, to all natural broths and gravies, as well as Gluten-Free products and products with a Mediterranean twist.   Many products feature the “Manischewitz Health and Wellness Icon” which communicates the healthy attributes of the products such as being all-natural and an excellent source of fiber, low sodium, no MSG, sulfite-free, no artificial preservatives or ingredients and so much more!

Additionally, the cook-off raises awareness regarding Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM), a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The Manischewitz Company is the founding sponsor of JAHM, and works with the JAHM steering committee to drive awareness of events and programs. Updates on JAHM are available on and will continue through the end of JAHM on May 31, 2013.

To get inspired to create an original recipe using any of the new Manischewitz broths, visit the recipe section of

How it works
U.S. residents 18 or older are invited to submit an original, easy-to-prepare entrée using any flavor of new Manischewitz Broth product.  Recipes should have no more than a total of eight ingredients and be prepared and cooked in one hour or less. For official contest details log onto, complete the official entry form and submit your recipe online or by mail. Entries must be received by February 4, 2013.  Four finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and one finalist will be selected during the online people’s choice vote from February 14-28, 2013. Five contestants will compete live in New York City in front of a panel of live judges on March 21, 2013.

Disclosure:  No compensation of any type was received for this post.  I thought my reader would be interested, so I am sharing it!

Holiday Food Safety Tips

                                                 Holiday Food Safety Tips

At the store…

          Shop inside to outside. Most grocery stores have their nonperishable products in the center of the store and their perishable products around the outside perimeter.

 Tip: When shopping, go to the center and get your nonperishable items first, such as canned and dry goods, and then gather your refrigerated, frozen foods and hot deli items last - right before checkout. This will ensure that hot foods stay hot and that frozen items stay cold, even in your vehicle trunk on the way home.

In the kitchen…

          Start with a clean kitchen. The holidays usually mean more cooks in the kitchen, increasing the risk for cross-contamination. According to a recent NSF germ study, the kitchen is the germiest place in most homes, especially the kitchen sponge and sink area — items that are typically used in multiple stages of the cooking and cleaning process.

Tip: Avoid spreading germs and bacteria by placing wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes at least once per day — and especially after coming into contact with raw meat, poultry or fish juices or dirt from produce— and replace often. Using towels and rags that can be sanitized in the clothes washer's hot water cycle is a good alternative to sponges.

Tip: Disinfect the sides and bottom of your kitchen sink regularly (1–2 times per week) and after any food prep activities where raw meat, poultry, or fish juices or dirt from produce may have touched the sink surface.

Tip: Clean the dishwasher to get rid of the nasty odor that can be a result of grease and dirt buildup. When cleaning your dishwasher, make sure you clean the hidden parts, neutralize the smell, and remove the limescale. Cleaning the dishwasher will ultimately help maintain the machine and keep your kitchen clean. Always use a dishwasher cleaner to clean the dishwasher. Also, if something goes wrong with the dishwasher, get a qualified person, and have it repaired if the problem is minor try to fix it yourself.

          Don't attempt to thaw frozen food (even a turkey) by leaving it to sit overnight on a kitchen counter.  Use one of the following methods instead:

Tip: Refrigerator Method (allow 4-5 hours per pound). Keep the meat in its original wrapper and place in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. Plan to cook the meat within 1 to 2 days of thawing when using this method.

Tip: Cold Water Thawing (allow about 30 minutes per pound). Place the meat in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge the wrapped meat in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the meat is thawed. Cook the meat immediately after it has thawed.

Tip: Microwave Thawing (check your owner's manual for maximum size meat you can thaw, the minutes per pound, and power level to use for thawing). Remove all outside wrapping and place the meat on a microwave-safe dish to catch any juices that may leak. Any meat thawed in a microwave must be cooked immediately.

          Don't wash your meats. There's no need to wash meats before cooking. If you do so, bacteria can splash onto worktops, dishes, and other foods. Proper cooking will kill bacteria.

Tip: If you choose to brine meat, don’t rinse the meat item after soaking. Rather, remove the meat item from the brine water, place on a platter, and brush any excess salt or other seasonings off the meat. If disposing of the used brine water down the kitchen drain, be sure to immediately clean and disinfect the sink and any other nearby surfaces that may have come into contact with the used brine or raw meat juices.

          Avoid cross-contamination: In the excitement of cooking a large meal, bacteria can easily spread between foods if proper food handling procedures aren’t followed.

Tip: Use color-coded cutting boards to distinguish between surfaces used for raw meats and vegetables. After using utensils that have come in contact with raw meat, wash them in hot soapy water or put them directly into the dishwasher.

Tip: Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling uncooked meats or when switching from one food type to the next.

          Don't stuff your meats. As mishandled or undercooked stuffing can lead to foodborne illness, consider cooking your stuffing separately in a casserole dish to help ensure meats and vegetables are thoroughly cooked.

Tip: If you choose to stuff meat, wait to do so until right before putting your meat in the oven. Use only pre-cooked meats and vegetables in the stuffing mixture and cook the stuffing until it reaches at least 165° F. Do not stuff whole poultry with cooked stuffing.

Serving food . . . 

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Since bacteria grow the quickest when temperatures are between 40º F and 140º F, keep perishable foods refrigerated or iced down until just before serving, and keep hot foods above 140º F once fully cooked.

Tip: Cover dishes with lids or foil to help keep food warm longer. If serving a buffet, use chafing dishes or slow cookers to help keep hot foods hot, and nestle cold foods in ice beds to help keep them cool.

When guests are late . . .         
           If guests are scheduled to arrive within the hour, hot food can usually be held safely in the oven.

Tip: To prevent food from drying out, cover the dishes, or wrap with aluminum foil. Cold foods should be kept refrigerated until just before serving.

          If guests are delayed for more than an hour, hot foods may dry out if kept in a warm oven for more than an hour.

Tip: Separate the food in shallow containers and store in the refrigerator. When the guests arrive, reheat the food to an internal temperature of 165° F. Cold foods should be kept refrigerated until just before serving.

When storing leftovers . . . .

          Refrigerate leftovers before serving dessert. Bacteria can grow on foods left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

Tip: Before you sit down to enjoy dessert, put all leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.

          It isn’t necessary to cool food before refrigerating it. Food should be placed into the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible to discourage bacteria growth.

Tip: Separate large quantities of food into several loosely covered shallow containers to speed cooling.  Once cooled, cover the leftovers

Disclosure:  The above information was provided to me from NSF International.  I felt the information was important and needed to be shared!  No compensation of any type was received!

A Cat In Paris DVD Review

We enjoy watching animated movies, and when I was offered the opportunity to review A Cat in Paris, I was really excited.  I was already aware that it was a French movie, and it had been dubbed into English.  I wasn't too sure if that would have any effect on the way I viewed the movie, but it did not! 

About the movie: 
The Academy Award-nominated A CAT IN PARIS is a beautifully hand-drawn caper set in the shadow-drenched alleyways of Paris. Dino is a cat that leads a double life. By day he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother is a detective in the Parisian police force. But at night Dino sneaks out the window to work with Nico a slinky cat burglar with a big heart, whose fluid movements are poetry in motion as he evades captors and slips and swishes from rooftop to rooftop across the Paris skyline. A CAT IN PARIS is a delightful animated adventure perfect for both adults and children a witty and stylish "animated noir" with a jazzy soundtrack featuring Billie Holiday and a thrilling climax on top of Notre Dame cathedral.
Featuring the voices of Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River), Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston (The Royal Tenenbaums) and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket).

Our thoughts:
Although the movie was different than what we are used to watching, we still enjoyed it.  There were some pretty dark themes in it, but nothing that was too bad.  I would not recommend it for very small kids because it did not keep our smallest ones attention.  In honesty, the movie appealed more to my husband and some of the older viewers.  It is available for purchase at Amazon and other retailers nationwide.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of the DVD to facilitate my review.  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are honest and are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

Blue Nile - Making Your Holiday Merry

As we wind down the final days before Christmas, gift purchases are becoming more important than ever.  There are a lot of choices, but making sure you get a thoughtful, quality gift should be at the top of your list.  If you are searching for a gift for the lady in your life, consider jewelry!  I love nothing more than opening a box to find a beautiful necklace, bracelet, earrings or ring.  My teenage daughter, Kat, feels the same way. 

One of my favorite places to browse and shop online is Blue Nile.  They sell so many beautiful items, I could spend hours shopping!  They ran a program, Extraordinary Days of Christmas, that just concluded on the 14th, where they gave away lots of beautiful jewelry.  Right now, you can register on their website for a chance to win a $5,000 Blue Nile gift certificate.  Blue Nile is also offering free shipping until December 22 for a December 24th delivery!!  This gives even the worst procrastinator the chance to browse at his leisure and make a decision!  If you are worried that your recipient won't like your gift, Blue Nile also has a 30 day return policy. 

Why not check out Blue Nile today and look at all the beautiful jewelry they sell.  With their selection, I'm sure you can find something for everyone! This is why Blue Nile made the Shelly's Bits and Pieces 2012 Holiday Gift Guide!
Disclosure:  I did receive the pictured earrings to facilitate my review, HOWEVER, all opinions stated are honest and my own.  No monetary compensation was received!

Torani Syrup - Adding Flavor to Everyday Recipes

Being married to a chef has a lot of perks.  My hubby does most of the cooking around here and when it comes to deciding which flavors to mix, he rules!  I love having a latte in the evening.  I am not too picky as to the flavor, as long as it tastes good.  Chefy has been mixing different flavor syrups, coffee and creamer to give me a change of pace, and I love it!  Recently, he started using sugar free syrups when he makes my latte to help keep my blood sugar under control. Since I became an insulin dependent diabetic, and I have tried to do better, and he is a huge help! 

Recently, we were given the opportunity to try out two Torani Sugar Free Syrups, Hazelnut and Pumpkin Pie.  I already knew that I loved the regular hazelnut, and I hoped the sugar free would be good too.  I like pumpkin pie, but having a sugar free syrup, I felt unsure about.  For a change of pace, Chefy mixed a little Sugar Free Torani Hazelnut into his homemade sugar free hot chocolate and it was fabulous!  The flavor combination was out of this world.  One morning for breakfast, he added the Pumpkin Pie syrup to the pancake batter...WOW!  We inhaled these pancakes!  He has made me a latte with both as well, and I love it!  I am very pleased that we tried the Sugar Free Torani syrups.  They not only taste great, but they also help me stay healthy! 

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post from SheSpeaks and Torani!  I received the Torani Syrups and coupons from them to facilitate my review.  No monetary compensation was received!  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yummy Earth Organics Gummy Bears Review & Giveaway

My daughter loves Gummy Bears!  Whenever we are on the hunt for snack items, she always requests gummy bears! I do not mind purchasing them, but sometimes I worry about how much sugar she is ingesting!
A lot of them are made from ingredients that I cannot pronounce, and that causes some huge red flags for me.  I recently was chosen to review Yummy Earth Organics Gummy Bears and I have been very pleased!

YumEarth organic holiday candy is made with real fruit juice and other delicious organic and natural ingredients. 

YumEarth, the #1 organic candy company in the US, is proud to offer YumEarth Organics Gummy Bears for the holiday season. The growing concern among parents to feed their children healthier food has translated into demand for more family and planet-friendly choices to celebrate the holidays.
YumEarth Organics Christmas Organic Gummy Bears are made with real fruit juice and other planet-friendly and natural ingredients. They contain no artificial colors or flavors and no major allergens, such as gluten, nuts and dairy and no high-fructose corn syrup.  Each serving provides 100% of daily vitamin C and has less than 70 calories.
YumEarth Organics Christmas Gummy Bears come in snack packs perfect for stocking stuffers or parties.  YumEarth Organics Gummy Bears are the world’s first organic gummy bears with the quintessential bouncy texture of a traditional gummy in mouth-watering fruit flavors: Pomegranate Pucker, Strawberry Smash and Sour Apple Tart.
YumEarth Holiday Candy
YumEarth Organics Christmas Gummy Bears
SRP $6.99 (6oz)  12 units/case (Includes 10 snack packs)
YumEarth is the #1 organic candy company in the United States and has international distribution in over 40 countries.  YumEarth was founded by two dads wanting to share great tasting wholesome treats with their families.  YumEarth is dedicated to making delicious treats and sweets with all-natural ingredients, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no major allergens, such as gluten, nuts and dairy.   
YumEarth offers 22 unique flavors, including Pomegranate Pucker, Blood Orange Cocktail, Strawberry Smash, Chili Mambo Mango and Perfectly Peach in its range of candy that includes everything from grocery pouches and bulk to fancy gourmet bags of YumEarth Organics Lollipops, YumEarth Organics Gummy Bears, YumEarth Organics Sour Worms, YumEarth Organic sCandy Drops, YumEarth Naturals Sour Beans and YumEarth Naturals Gummy Bears.
More information and a store list is available at
and visit them on Facebook and  Twitter

I have been purchasing the Yummy Earth Organics Lollipops for several years, and we have never been let down by their flavor or quality.  The gummy bears did not fail us either!  The gummy bears were a little chewier than the ones we had been purchasing, but the fact that they are made from real fruit juice and natural ingredients trumps that!  I love that these gummys are packaged in individual servings, because it makes it much easier to know how much your kids are eating!!  They also make excellent stocking stuffers!!

Want to try them for yourself?  Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below!

Friday, December 7, 2012

SUPERPRETZEL Sweet Cinnamon Review

When we go out to the mall, I will usually stop by and get a nice hot pretzel.  Sometimes I get the salted ones, but I love nothing more than the ones with cinnamon and sugar.  I never really thought about having them at home until I was given the opportunity by the SUPERPRETZEL family to review their new Sweet Cinnamon pretzel!  

About Sweet Cinnamon SUPERPRETZELS:
Delicious when eaten plain, topped with cinnamon sugar, dunked in icing, dipped in chocolate sauce or sandwiched with ice cream, this sweet treat is line priced with Original SUPERPRETZEL Soft Pretzels  and can be found right next to them on shelf!

  • Cinnamon infused sweet dough with a cinnamon sugar packet included in the box
  • Perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert
  • Found in the frozen snacks section of your local retail store & NOW available at your local supercenter
  • Fun recipe ideas!

We tried them out one Sunday afternoon as a snack during the football games.  The pretzels are super easy to make and they were delicious.  I ate mine plain, but Chefy and Kat dipped their pretzels in chocolate.  Everyone was happy with the taste!  Sweet Cinnamon SUPERPRETZELS earned a huge Thumbs UP from the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.  How would you eat your pretzel?  Would you leave it plain like I did, or would you be a dunker?

You can follow SUPERPRETZEL on Twitter or Facebook to learn more.  These pretzels are available in your grocer's freezer!  

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012 Review and Giveaway Holiday Gift Guide MUST HAVE

We are huge picture takers.  We scrapbook a lot of them and others are displayed throughout our home either framed on the wall or sitting on bookcases and coffee tables.  Some of our photos have been put on coffee mugs and even a mouse pad.  We took about a thousand photos during our week long cruise vacation, and I wanted to do something special with them for Christmas gifts.  I decided to create several different items at as gifts, and it is so hard to choose my favorite!  

I made a fleece blanket for my daughter for Christmas, and although she knows she is getting the blanket, she has no idea which photo I chose, so I cannot post it here until after Christmas!  The blanket is large enough for her to use as a throw, and was actually larger than I expected.

The second item I made was a pillow case for KatThis photo was taken on the cruise of Kat and our waiter.  He was wonderful and she just loved him.  The pillow case is soft and as you can see, the photo looks great.  No distortions at all! 
I also made ornaments for the entire family in memory of my Daddy who passed away earlier this year.  The ornaments are 3"x3" and are porcelain.  They are a wonderful quality item!

There are so many great items to choose from at MailPix, it was hard to decide what to make.  The turnaround time was very quick.  I had my items within 10 days. 

Want to win a fleece blanket of your own?  Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below!  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces Reader will have a chance to make their own!

Whole Fruit Smoothies Review

We love fruit!  We go through more fruit in a week than most people eat in a month.  Smoothies are another must for us.  J & J Snack Foods has come up with the perfect product for my family...Whole Fruit Smoothies! 

About Whole Fruit Smoothies:
Whole Fruit Smoothie is the newest addition to the Whole Fruit Line by J & J Snack Foods. Available in three flavors: Mixed Berry, Pineapple Mango, and Strawberry Banana. Each 4 fl. oz. cup is only 100 calories of smooth, creamy and delicious fruitiness using the highest quality ingredients.

The perfect blend of fruit and milk, Whole Fruit Smoothie delivers superb taste and quality, with better-for-you benefits. Just like the name says, Whole Fruit Smoothie has real pieces of fruit in each cup. Every cup is ready to eat, just take off the lid, grab a spoon and enjoy!

  • Only 100 Calories per serving
  • No prep work needed
  • Real fruit in every bite
  • Looking for a drinkable treat? Pop the cup in the microwave for 20 seconds, stir and enjoy.
We found out that we preferred to eat them straight from the freezer.  Pineapple and Mango are two of my favorite fruits, and the combination of those two was delicious.  I loved the fact that there was actually real fruit in every bite!  Chefy loved the Strawberry Banana and he finished his package and started eating mine.  Our teenager, Kat, really liked the Mixed Berry and also grabbed one of my Pineapple Mango.  These Whole Fruit Smoothies are very refreshing and are the ideal afternoon snack.   You can learn more about Whole Fruit Smoothies by following them on Facebook.  

Give them a try!  I bet you will fall in love with them just like we did.  If you give them a try, come back here and let me know what you think!

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

Galaxy Press Stories from the Golden Age Audiobooks

If you have someone on your Christmas list who loves "golden age" stories, Galaxy Press has the perfect item for them!  They publish an original line of fiction works written in the 1930's and '40s by the author L. Ron Hubbard that is available in both book and audiobook I highly recommend the audio editions.  They are done in the style of radio theater with cinematic sound effects and are very well put together.

The  Golden Age Stories website has a whole list of genres to choose from.  You can choose from Air Adventure, Sea Adventure, Far-Flung Adventure, Tales from the Orient, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Western books.  My daddy would have enjoyed these audiobooks because the stories are from the golden age, without the language and situations that are in the books of today.  If you have a hard to buy for person who enjoys books from the "golden age"  these books/audiobooks would be a great gift this holiday season.

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

Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Square Glass Food-Storage container Review

We often have left overs after our meals, and I sometimes worry about the safety of storing them in plastic containers.  I find that they stain easily and if used in the microwave, they begin to get grooves inside.  I prefer glass containers and was thrilled when I was offered the chance to review a Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Square Glass Food-Storage container. 

I was sent the small one, which is the11 3/4-ounce one.  It was perfect to hold my left over sweet potatoes!  I really like that it can be used in the microwave and freezer!!  It is microwave and dishwasher safe, and the polypropylene lids are safe for food contact.  One less thing for me to worry about all together!  I have given the container a good work out since it arrived and I can report that even when it contained spaghetti, it came clean and there are no stains on the lid either.  

 Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Square Glass Food-Storage containers are available in a set of 3 right now at Amazon, and I did put them on my Christmas wish list.  The set of 3square glass food storage containers come with frosted lids in 11 3/4-ounce, 33 1/4 ounce, and 67 3/4 ounce sizes.  They would make a wonderful addition to any holiday setting!

Disclosure:  I received one container to facilitate my review!  No monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.