Friday, May 17, 2019

Empower Yourself: Taking Control Of Your Life’s Direction

Empower wall decor
(Image Source)

Everyone goes through times in life where it can feel hard to keep in control. With bosses being as difficult as ever, businesses pushing you to cover bills, and all of the other little things which make life hard bearing down on you, it’s no wonder that it can feel chaotic sometimes. To give you the inspiration you need to overcome this, this article will be exploring some of the simplest ways to empower yourself and take control of your life’s direction.

The Challenges

There are a lot of challenges which can come with normal living, and facing them can leave people feeling very alone. Problems can be embarrassing, with most people working hard to cultivate the idea that they are a very responsible person, who doesn’t make mistakes in life. Of course, though, some issues will be accidental, and others won’t be down to you at all. The most crucial part of this is that you have a method to get out of it.

Assess: The first part of this involves a little bit of assessment. You need to evaluate your problems, searching for the root cause. If you’re struggling to cover bills, for example, it could be that you’re spending huge amounts of money on something else which you don’t need, and only need to cut back a little to turn the tide. Getting to the very start of the problem is always one of the best ways to start solving it.

Find Some Support: While the problems you face in life may leave you feeling alone, getting help us a lot easier than most people think. In the case of money, there are loads of charities and other organizations out there which can give you free financial advice. You never have to let a challenge hold you back, especially when you have so many people waiting to support you with it.

Your Dreams & Aspirations

For some people, the biggest problem they face will be achieving their dreams and aspirations. Taking control of this side of your life doesn’t have to be as hard as a lot of people think, though, and you have a surprising amount of power behind you already. There are plenty of guides around the web which can push you through to the career of your dreams, but very few offer advice to help you to achieve other fantasies.

Set Out Your Plan: Achieving any goal will be impossible without the right sort of plan to go with it, especially if you’ve been struggling to reach your destination for a long time. Your plan should include the steps you will need to take, the timeframe you’d like to do it in, and the investment you’re willing to make along the way. Having this in place will give you a solid idea of where you’re going, enabling you to take control like never before.

Create Contingencies: Unfortunately, plans don’t always work out, and a lot of people don’t manage to reach their main life goals. When you find yourself unable to achieve what you’d like to, it can be hard to find a new path to follow, and this makes it worth having a couple of backup plans, just in case you need to start working towards something else. These don’t need to be as detailed as the original and should relate to the work you’ve already been doing. For example, if you can’t study to become a doctor, you could consider the idea of becoming a nurse.

Work, Work, Work: While it might seem as though the most successful out there have something to hide, the true secret to making it in life is work. If you’re able to dedicate and throw yourself into your goals, it will be far easier to take control of life. In some situations, working hard can enable you to achieve goals which wouldn’t be possible through traditional methods, like running your own business.

Find Inspiration: When you’ve been working for months on end and your dreams still seem very distant, it can be easy to let yourself feel down. A little bit of inspiration is all you need to turn this around, though, with people like Cynthia Telles having incredible stories to share. Cynthia has spent much of her life working to help others, achieving academic and social feats which most people will only dream of, and she managed it all on her own. This shows that any goal is within your grasp.

Keeping An Open Mind

While it may sound like a simple idea, keeping an open mind can be a surprisingly powerful tool when you’re unsure of your life’s direction. It can be easy to feel stressed or worried when your life is changing, and most people will want to hold onto the things they know. Some changes aren’t negative, though, even when they feel like they’re making life harder. For example, finding yourself in a new job is often a challenge, and adapting to your new schedule can often feel bad, but the benefits of your new role will make it all worth it.

Of course, this goes further than having an open mind about your current situation, and it’s also worth taking the same approach with your future. With most people struggling to find the life they dream about, making small compromises is often the best way to get into something you’ll like. It might be said that you haven’t managed to achieve exactly what you wanted to, but it will be far better than getting nowhere with your aspirations.

Taking control of your life is something which most people want to achieve. There are loads of guides, blogs, and other resources around the web offering advice to help with this, but you can often succeed by following a few simple steps. Life is full of challenges, but this is what makes it interesting and keeps you growing as a person. If everything were easy, life would be quite boring, and everyone would have the best jobs around.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

How To Deal with Your Long Term Health Challenges

If you are dealing with a health issue that is limiting your ability to live the life you are used to for a long time, it might be time to change your lifestyle and make some smart adjustments. They will allow you to make the most out of every moment, and overcome your limitations and live your life to the fullest, despite your health condition. Below you will find a few tips on improving your everyday life.

A Healthy Living Environment 

Image via Flickr

One of the things you will have to pay attention to is your living space. If you have a compromised immune system, you will need to reduce the irritants and things that can cause flare-ups and inflammations. You should get an advanced air purifier to get rid of the pollen and toxic materials, as well as pollution in the air. Getting a Pest Control company to check your home for infestation and droppings that can cause allergies is also important.

Staying Active 

Image via Pixabay

No matter how limiting your illness is, you will need to make the most out of your life, and stay active as much as you can. If you cannot jog or do cardio, you might want to try Tai Chi or yoga. These two types of ancient forms of exercise will not only help you get better physically but also mentally strong. Restore your energy levels and make the most out of your rehabilitation project.

Having a Support Network

Once you realize that your life has changed forever, you might feel alone in the world and don’t feel like you want to connect with others, as they will not understand you. The good news is that you can find people online and on social media who are experiencing the same life challenges as you. Having a supportive network will help you focus on the positives and keep engaged with others.

Setting Goals

To keep on moving forward, despite your health challenges, you will need to work on setting smart goals in life. If you have something to look forward to every day, you will stay more positive and focused and can avoid overthinking things. Whether your goals are related to your recovery and rehabilitation, or your personal life, they will keep you going during the most challenging times.

Reducing the Risk of Complications

You will need to take care of your health more than ever if your body’s defense system is already compromised. This means that you will probably need to switch to organic produce, reduce your intake of processed food, and stay on track with your health. Learn about the most common complications related to your condition, and find a way to avoid them by changing your lifestyle.

To make the most out of your health, you will need to address the risks and the changes. Create personal challenges and goals, and stay focused on overcoming your limitations. This will help you stay positive every day and make the most out of the rest of your life.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Starry Night Jar lamp

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

DIY Starry Night Jar
What makes you sleep better than a night under the stars? There is something about staring into the bright lights galaxies away which can wipe away the day’s troubles.
Unfortunately, unless you’re camping or are lucky enough to be sleeping under a skylight this calming experience is limited to only a few times a year at best. Luckily we’re going to show you how to bring the stars and moon into your room to enjoy every night.
This is a great craft you can do with your little ones at any age. Watch as their imagination lights up with the delight of something you have created together. And when they grow up and no longer need (or want) their starry night you will always have this memory you shared together.
Better yet, you can create this star jar with only a few dollars’ worth of supplies. So bust out your craft table and get ready to make something special tonight.
    Here is a list of what you will need:
    • Newspaper or paint proof sheet
    • 1 small can of dark blue spray paint
    • Star stickers of any color or shape to your preference
    • 1 Large mason jar
    • 1 LED candle (can be found for $1-$2)
    First prep the area you plan to work within. Keep in mind you are working with paint so the area should be free of animals which might get into the mess… Yikes! Or somewhere the craft can be left alone to dry.
    Wipe off the jar with a dry towel to make sure there is no dust or dirt that could cause the stickers to fall off. Start by placing the star stickers around the jar in a pattern you like. This is the part the kids tend to enjoy the most. Let them have fun with it even if the stars look a little wonky ☺ Follow behind making sure they are well stuck to the jar.
    Set the jar on the newspaper or painting area you prepped. We went with a dark navy blue paint for the full effect but you can use any dark color you would like. Give it a good spray making sure there is no running paint going under or around the stickers. Set aside to dry.
    Once the jar is FULLY DRY (the paint is no longer sticky to the touch) carefully begin to remove the stickers.
    Turn on and pop your light in the jar and turn off the lights.
    Viola! You have now made your very own starlight lamp.
    Now that you have an idea how it is made you can imagine what other stickers could be used to create this night light effect. If you’re like me you enjoy any toy or decoration that inspires creativity and learning. While they may not know it its little things like this that get your little ones excited about nature and the outdoors. And with one craft may come many more. If you’re looking for something to feed that creativity check out our Levitating Moon Lamp which is sure to raise some questions in your lovely home from the hearts and minds of any age. If you’re looking for something a little more subtle check out the original moon lamp.
    **Author Bio: Brock is the founder of His store is dedicated to offering out of this world gifts for those of all ages. When he’s not looking for the next big gift you can find him tending to his vegetable garden under the sun. **

    Pursuits To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

    There are some common traits that all humans share, and activities they need in their life in order to feel thrived and happy. Work, believe it or not, is one of them -- under the right circumstances, which doesn’t always happen, work is a satisfying pursuit. As is creativity. While some people say that they’re not creative, this isn’t the case -- everyone is creative in one way or another! Now, it’s true that sometimes time isn’t on our side when it comes to getting a new hobby underway. It is, however, worth carving out the time to get something going. If you need some inspiration about what creative hobby to begin, take a read below, where we outline some common favorites.


    Write it Out

    There’s much pleasure to be had in sitting down and writing. Whether it’s a story, non-fiction piece, poem, or anything else, you might just find that you’ve got a hidden talent once you’ve got a pen in your hand. You might not end up the bestseller list, but that’s not what you’re aiming for: the joy lies in the creation, not the success. If you’re looking for guidance, you can join a local writing group, or get involved with an online community. Expressing your thoughts and ideas on paper is an excellent way to spend an evening!

    Becoming a Star

    One of the best things about living in the modern world is that access to creativity is so much more open than in the past. If you wanted to make videos in the past, then, well, good luck -- you’d need to know people with cameras, specialized equipment, and so on. Now, anyone and everyone with a laptop, and especially a Mac, can get recording, and publish their videos once they’re finished. If you don’t know whether to begin, take a look at You might make YouTube tutorials, reviews, animations, or anything else -- and who knows where it might lead to?

    Bringing Beauty

    We said earlier than humans have an inner drive to be creative, and they also have an inner desire to be outside. We belong to be in nature, not cooped up inside! Why not combine the creative and wild aspects of your being by getting into the garden, and creating something beautiful? There’s much pleasure to be had in designing your own backyard, one full of plants, trees, and water features.

    Building and Creating

    Using our hands to build was something we all used to do in the olden days. Not so much anymore! If you’re interested in getting crafty and creative, then take a look at building small objects with wood. It’s pretty cool to make even simple things like a bowl, especially if you make it a staple of your kitchenware afterward.

    Local Classes 

    Not yet inspired? Then take a look at any classes being offered in your local area. You’ll likely find there’s one for all kind of pursuits. You’ll meet people, and learn something new: nice!

    Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    Chonda Pierce Unashamed in Selected Theaters May 7th and May 9th @ 7PM

    Disclosure: I received this screener from Frontgate Media, free of charge, to facilitate my honest and unbiased review.  No other compensation has been received.

    This Mother’s Day week, May 7 & 9 at 7:00pm., you and your friends can enjoy a night of laughter and truth as only the top-selling female comedian, Chonda Pierce, can deliver.

    Chonda will make you laugh and think as she boldly proclaims the truth of the Gospel to a hurting world.  Chonda takes a journey into the hearts of the faithful as she engages some of the boldest believers in America. Mike Huckabee, Danny Gokey, the Benham Brothers, and others tell their stories of speaking truth to our culture…no matter the consequences. Don’t forget to bring your moms, grandmas and every mother in your church for a night to remember!

    Only Chonda can communicate deep and meaningful truth and make you laugh at the same time.  Chonda is unchained, unrestrained and UNASHAMED!

    My thoughts:

    I must admit that the first time I heard about Chonda Pierce was when I was offered the opportunity to view the screener and share with my readers.  If you have not heard about her, you have been missing something special.  I watched my screener one night after my husband had gone to bed.  I was sitting alone in our den with the laptop sitting on a pillow.  Right from the beginning, Chonda made me laugh.  I even caught myself responding to some of the things she said and laughed so loud one time that my hubby actually heard me, and asked if I was ok. 

    It was so nice to hear a comedian make jokes without any foul language, and most of these jokes were geared toward the women in the audience.  She talks about how at her age, her bladder has a mind of its' own, and about the horrible dating sites she has visited.  When she started talking about Plenty of Fish and a man sending her a photo of his fishing lure, I almost wet my pants!!  You have to hear the entire bit to get the full effect. 

    The best part of this to me was how she shared her testimony and the parts of the film where she is speaking with Mike Huckabee, Danny Gokey, the Benham Brothers and Michael Tait of the NewsBoys.  I learned their feelings about faith and how their faith has molded their lives.

    This is the ideal film to take your mom, grandma, sisters, and all your female friends to see.  It is entertaining and enlightening.  If you don't laugh while you listen to Chonda Pierce, you just don't get it!  Chonda is Unashamed, and so am I!  Yes, I am a Christian, and proud to proclaim that truth!

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    When Life Throws You A Curve Ball

    Life is full of surprises, and it has a funny way of springing things on you out of the blue. Good or bad, unexpected little surprises are all just part of the excitement of life. However, many of these things often have an impact financially, so whether it’s an unexpected pregnancy, a new job opportunity, the loss of your job, having an accident or getting sick, are you ready? Can you be prepared without turning into a paranoid wreck? And how can you stay positive while doing it?

    First of all, there are some instances where you could and should be prepared for something likely to happen. If you live somewhere where flooding, storms, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes are common? If so, then you can plan for such a natural disaster. Have a look anywhere online, and if you search, you can find reports and evidence of the devastating effects these disasters can have. These disasters can also happen very suddenly with no warning signs meaning that having insurance in case of these events is a must. A decent emergency kit and five-day supply of food and water are also really recommended to have on hand in your home, car or office. An emergency kit doesn’t have to be anything large or elaborate, but being prepared in this way can make a difficult situation much easier to get through.

    The most important thing you can do for yourself in the event of an unexpected event is to have a substantial emergency fund that you can access should something happen. Your emergency fund should ideally cover 3-6 months of living expenses, but if you are a single-income family, you might want to consider building an emergency fund of up to a year, which can provide security for you and your family. If you lose your job and have a hard time finding another one, suffer an unexpected illness or have an accident which leads to a gap in your earnings, then you will need something to fall back on, a safety net to put you at ease whilst you try and deal with whatever else is going on. Luckily, in many cases, if you’ve had an accident, you could be entitled to compensation which can ease the loss in earnings. You can find out more about this from a personal injury lawyer as they can advise you of the process and how long it might take to see any compensation, that way you can factor it into your plan. 

    Having this emergency fund allows you more peace of mind while you are dealing with other issues such as a job loss, illness or anything that might affect your income but it is also vital that you have adequate life insurance for your family or your spouse if you are married, and especially if you have children. Depending on your circumstances of course, if your partner doesn’t work or doesn’t earn enough to support the family without you, they will also have to deal with the loss as well as other things, so will need time off work. You and they need to know that they are cared for and make the whole thing as smooth as possible.

    When the unexpected happens, it can be challenging to think clearly and not get caught up in the emotion surrounding the event. Make sure you take care of yourself as much as possible during these times and find ways to alleviate stress and calm yourself. Whether it’s taking long walks, drawing, or just spending time with family and friends, find the activities that will help you remain calm and centered so you can make the best decisions in difficult situations.
    Also, remember to ask for help. Your family and friends will want to help but might not always know what to do. If there’s something they can do for you, whether it’s cooking, childcare even just a chat - let them know what it is they can do to help you. Professionally and personally, who do you have in your life who will be willing and able to help you if you need them? Is there a good number of people you can count on? Have you helped people yourself in the past when they have needed it too? It doesn’t have to be financially, but do you know people who can give you coaching, or counseling? Every person you know will be able to offer you something, somehow; some people will be good at providing practical help like stopping by your home to home to help out, and others will have something different to offer. Having a support system can be invaluable in an emergency so make sure you have yours there and use them.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019

    6 Tips To Prep For Your Epic Easter + a GIVEAWAY #CatholicCentral #EasterTraditions

    Disclosure:  We received a picnic basket as a thank you for sharing our honest opinion.

    Easter is right around the corner, and if your family is anything like mine, you have lots of traditions.  One of the things I always looked forward to as a kid was going with Grandma to get the goodies to put our Easter baskets together.  My brother and I would get to pick out the types of candy we wanted and it was so much fun.  We never knew everything that would be included, because Grandma would put it together for us and give it to us on Easter.  Since I was never a big chocolate eater, I usually got a jump rope, paddleball, or bottle of bubbles, instead of the big chocolate bunny.  We never believed in the Easter Bunny, we understood that Easter was all about the Resurrection of Christ.

    We did have an Easter egg hunt with my cousins, after the huge meal we would have.  Since Easter is about renewal and resurrection, our family would have our yearly family reunion on Easter Sunday.  Our routine was going to church, eat with the family, and then the kids would have the egg hunt and play while the adults would sit and catch up on family news and gossip.  Those memories are still fresh in my mind, all these years later.

    Things are a little different now that I am a mom.  Most of our family has scattered to other states and the grandmas, great-aunts and older family members have passed.  We still view Easter as our time of renewal.  We attend church and have a family dinner.  Kids get Easter baskets, new outfits, and we have made it a tradition to get photos with the Easter Bunny, even though the kids do not believe in him. 

    Easter Traditions:

    Here are 6 tips to prep for your EPIC EASTER!

     photo Easter-_DL_zps2ivif4ms.png

    What did you think?  Did any of the tips stand out to you?

    This was provided courtesy of Catholic Central!   For more on Catholic Central, visit them at: and check out their YouTube Channel:

     About CATHOLIC CENTRAL: You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers. Using a team of witty writers, appealing hosts, and even some learned theologians, we’ve created shareable, snackable videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CATHOLIC CENTRAL entertains, enlightens and inspires.


                                   Giveaway Time!!

    We are giving away a beautiful picnic basket to one of the wonderful Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below and this picnic basket could be yours!

    Monday, April 8, 2019

    THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS Film Review & Giveaway #PilgrimsProgressL3 #spon


    Easter is will be here in under two weeks, and I have an idea for a wonderful way to spend the weekend with your family.  Why not go see an animated Christian film?  The Pilgrims Progress will be in theaters on 2 days only! April 18 & 20, Easter weekend! And I am giving away tickets (fandango e-codes).
    Thursday, April 18, 7:00p
    Saturday, April 20, 12:55p

    TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!   Click here for more information or to purchase!

    Based on John Bunyan’s epic masterpiece, THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS is one of the most popular books of all time, and one of the most important stories of our faith! Second to the Bible in total copies and translations, the story was written by John Bunyan a pastor, imprisoned for sharing his faith. This powerful allegory helps families understand the spiritual journey is the most important journey in life, as well as the importance of sticking to the path, even when the journey gets difficult.

    When I was a child, I watched my grandma read The Pilgrim's Progress, and when I got old enough to read it, I had times when I struggled with the allegory.  It is not a book for some light reading!  I was about 10 or so before I really understood it.  The book is a classic and I truly feel that every Christian should at least be familiar with it.

    This film helps to introduce The Pilgrim's Progress to an entirely new generation of people.  If you have read the book, it refreshes the meaning behind it, and if it is new to you, you will go away with a better meaning about what a Christian life entails.  It reminds you that you should persevere and not give up, it reminds you to think for yourself and don't just follow others and what they tell you, and to continue to walk in the LIGHT, even though the road gets hard to navigate.  God never leaves you, even during your darkest hours.

    Parts of this movie might frighten younger children or even older kids who scare easily.  There are a few moments that I noticed the 7-year-old turn away from the movie.  She didn't like the "flying, scary mean guy", and she was promptly told by the 8-year-old that he was like the devil and that you are not supposed to like him.

    Want a chance to win tickets to go see The Pilgrim's Progress and win a Storybook too?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!

    Thursday, April 4, 2019

    3 Ways To Decide On Your Career

    It’s safe to say that your career plays an important part in your life. We all spend such a long time working, so it’s always a nice idea to be able to do a job that you love. But how do you know what kind of job you might like to do? When there’s a lot of choices, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So let’s take a look at three methods that can help you to decide.

    1. Consider Your Passions

    First of all, make sure that you factor in your passions. Maybe you love to read or write or help others or sell things? Really consider what makes you happy, as you may want to incorporate this into your career choice.

    2. Work Out Your Strengths

    But then also, we all have natural talents. We all have strengths in certain areas and it’s always nice to decide on doing something that will feel right for you and that you will be good at. So consider what kind of work comes naturally to you.

    3. Look At Your Traits

    But then also, you could think about your own personality traits for clues on what you might like to do. One example of this is using your star sign! Because when you look to astrology, such as in the infographic below, you can figure out exactly what kinds of careers might be best suited to you. It’s easy to understand what will work for you when you look to astrology, so give this a go.

    Infographic Design By Ask Astrology

    Tuesday, April 2, 2019

    Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Blu-ray Review & Giveaway! #NancyDrew #TheHiddenStaircase

    Disclosure:  Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

    Based on the Bestselling Book! 

    The iconic mystery solving teenager from the classic Nancy Drew books is back with an all-new feature-length film that will keep you guessing until the very end! Executive Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the film stars Sophia Lillis (IT and “Sharp Objects”), Sam Trammell (“True Blood” and “This is Us”), and Linda Lavin (“The Good Wife” and“Alice”) and follows Nancy Drew in her new town, making new friends and on a mission to solve the case! The film carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 for the Digital, $19.98 for the DVD and $28.98 for the Blu-ray Combo Pack. 

    After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter in River Heights. But for 16-year-old Nancy Drew, life in a small town is mighty dull. She longs for excitement, adventure, and the chance to make a difference. Nancy gets that opportunity when she is asked to help solve the ghostly activity at the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs, and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case! 

    My Thoughts:
    Nancy Drew was a big part of my childhood.  I loved to read the mysteries and I would get so involved in solving the case.  My mom always swore I tried to make a mystery out of everything so I would be able to research, find clues, and solve the case.  This movie made me feel like a kid again.  The girls and I really enjoyed sitting down and watching this together.  We tried to figure out the mystery and kept guessing until the end.  The girls have requested more Nancy Drew books, so this mama is very happy!  My family and I really recommend this movie.  Girl Power rules!

    Check out the app below and solve the case.  How long did it take you to solve the case?

    Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Escape Room & Mystery Match Blog App:

    • Welcome to the Interactive Nancy Drew Escape Room - to escape, you must solve riddles and find items to uncover the three numbers needed to open to door. Good Luck!

    • In the Mystery Match Video Puzzle, use your mouse to click + drag puzzle pieces to unlock clips from the film.

    Now for the GIVEAWAY!!

    Would you like to win a copy of Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase on Blu-ray?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!

    Monday, April 1, 2019

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

    Disclosure: I am posting to share Swagbucks earning possibilities with you. I am only compensated if someone joins under my link!

    Spring is here, and there's no better time to start earning free gift cards through Swagbucks! All throughout April, you can earn large bonuses when signing up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash.

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

    1. Sign up using this link

    2. Earn 300 SB total before May 1st, 2019. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

    3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned over $2000 in  SB, and I was able to get Amazon gift cards and airline tickets!  I love it!

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    When Your Life Changes Forever

                                                 When Your Life Changes Forever

    If you think about how many decisions you have to make every single day, your mind will be blown. From what you’re going to wear to work, to what you’re going to have for dinner. All of these little choices add up during the day, and at the end of it, we just don’t know what we want anymore. Because as well as all of these little choices that you have to make, you have to deal with all of the other rubbish that comes your way during the day. So, it’s no wonder that half of our lives we spend worrying, stressing, and wondering whether life is ever going to calm down. So with all of that going on, what are you going to do when your life changes forever? There are going to be so many different scenarios in your life where it could just change within minutes. Whether these changes are bad or not depends on the situation you’re in, and how ready you are to deal with them. So to ensure you’re ready to deal with some big life changes, we’re going to list a few today for you, in the hope that the outcome is a good life change for you. Deal with change in the wrong way, and it could turn your life on a downhill spiral forever. So, let’s take a look at a few changes, and how we think it can best be dealt with!

    Changes To Your Health

    Your health is something that you should hold very dear to your heart, but it most likely isn’t. Unless you’re someone who is a bit of a health nut, we’re sure you can all admit that keeping up with your health is pretty hard, and even eating a clean diet is a struggle. But this is all something that you’re taking for granted at the minute because if your body is snatched away from you and you don’t even have the opportunity to treat it right, you’ll regret every decision you ever made. There are so many things that could make this happen, and one of the most common at the minute is being involved in some form of accident. What seems to be super common are car accidents, simply because the roads are so crowded and dangerous at the minute. All you have to do is be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and your life could change for such a long time. Even if it’s something as simple as a broken arm, it could still all change. What you’d need is to hire the Derrick Law Firm if you're injured in a car accident, or someone similar, you’d be putting yourself ahead of the game. If you’re put out of action, your finances stop, but this is where a law firm comes into play. You could get the compensation you deserve, making it much easier to return to normal life!

    Changes To Your Family Situation

    Changes to your family situation might come thick and fast as you go through the years, but the biggest change by far that you’re going to face is the one where you find out you’re expecting. It’s no doubt going to bring you joy, but is this joy always instant? No! Should you feel bad about that? No! It’s so normal to feel in a panic when you find out you’re expecting a baby, yet it’s so easy to overcome that and for it to turn into joy. To deal with this in the best way possible, you need to start saving asap, and you need to think about getting your house ready. As soon as you become practical and start making changes to ready yourself for it, you’ll start to actually enjoy the pregnancy. It will all fly by, so try and make sure you take the time to enjoy being pregnant. You might not like it as much as you think, but when it’s all over you will wish for elements of it back!

    Changes To Your Job

    Changes to your job will either be at your own doing or the doing of your company. We’re going to talk about the change that will shock you the most, and that’s if you get let go from a job. If you do, you need to take a minute to compose and start applying for any job possible. The quicker you get any form of job to get the money in, the easier it’s going to be to deal with the fact that you have been made redundant. Once you’re settled with money coming in, you can then begin to think about what career you actually want to spend your time doing!

    The Pilgrim's Progress Trailer and Giveaway #PilgrimsProgressL3 #sponsored

    Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post with Lev3l Digital and Revelation Media.  All opinions are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

    When I was a small child, I can remember watching my great grandma sit in her rocking chair reading The Pilgrim's Progress.  She was enthralled in the story she was reading, and when she passed, the book went to me.  I have read it a few times over the years, and I was very pleased to find out that an animated movie had been made.  This movie is perfect for the entire family.  Stay tuned for my review, coming in mid-April, and another great giveaway coming on April 1st!

    Based on John Bunyan’s epic masterpiece, THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS is one of the most popular books of all time, and one of the most important stories of our faith! Second to the Bible in total copies and translations, the story was written by John Bunyan a pastor, imprisoned for sharing his faith.  This powerful allegory helps families understand the spiritual journey is the most important journey in life, as well as the importance of sticking to the path, even when the journey gets difficult.

    Studio: Revelation Media

    Talent: John Rhys-Davies (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), Kristyn Getty, Ben Price

    This will be in theaters for 2 days only! April 18 & 20, Easter weekend!
    Thursday, April 18, 7:00p
    Saturday, April 20, 12:55p
    You can get tickets by clicking here.

    We are giving away a Digital Interactive Storybook (ARV $20) to three (3) different winners!  You can enter to win by entering on the rafflecopter form below!

    Saturday, March 16, 2019

    5 Ways to Have a Shamrockin’ St. Patrick’s Day & Giveaway #CatholicCentral #SaintPatricksDayTraditions Ends 3/26

    Disclosure:  We received product as compensation for our honest and unbiased opinion!

    Saint Patrick's Day is just around the corner.  Time for me to cook corned beef and cabbage and make shamrock cupcakes.  As a kid, I never really understood St. Patrick's Day.  All I really knew was that if you didn't remember to wear green, you would come home bruised from all the pinches you would receive.  As I got older, I learned that I was ¼ Irish, so I decided to embrace that and to make more out of my day!  It is not all about the leprechauns and the pots of gold, St. Patrick's Day is in honor of St. Patrick who is the patron saint of Ireland.  He helped introduce Ireland to Christianity.  The wonderful people at Catholic Central want to tell you more about what St. Patrick's Day is all about!

    You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers. Using a team of witty writers, appealing hosts, and even some learned theologians, we’ve created shareable, snackable videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CATHOLIC CENTRAL entertains, enlightens and inspires.

     photo shamrock_image_zps1pwdw1k4.png

    Now for the Giveaway!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below and you could win this Saint Patrick's Day FeastKit (ARV $20)! The kit includes 1- Bamboo Cheese Board with slide out drawer, 4 - Stainless steel cutting and serving knives, and more, from Catholic Central.

    Giveaway open to US entrants, 18 years and older. Giveaway runs from 3/16- 3/26/19 at 11:59pm EST.

    Friday, March 15, 2019

    Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase! Swag Pack Giveaway! #NancyDrew #TheHiddenStaircase

    Disclosure:  Warner Bros. provided me with a swag pack to facilitate this post. The opinions I share are my own.

    I grew up reading Nancy Drew mystery books and I am so excited about the new, live-action Nancy Drew movie is here!!  It starts today and I cannot wait to go see it with the girls.  It is about time that we had some more realistic heroines!  Girl Power!  Want to know more about it?  Read on!

    After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter 16-year-old daughter Nancy in River Heights. Nancy is asked by Flora to help solve the ghostly activity at her home, the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs, and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case!

    Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase stars:

    Sophia Lillis (IT and “Sharp Objects”) as Nancy Drew
    Sam Trammell (“True Blood” and “This is Us”) as Carson Drew (Nancy’s father)
    Linda Lavin (“The Good Wife” and Alice) as Flora
    Andrea Anders (“Joey” and “Better Off Ted”) as Hannah (Nancy’s Aunt)
    Laura Slade Wiggins (“Shameless”) as Helen
    Zoe Renee (“The Quad”) as George
    Mackenzie Graham (The Purge) as Bess

    Remember...In Theaters TODAY, March 15!!

    Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Escape Room & Mystery Match Blog App:

    • Welcome to the Interactive Nancy Drew Escape Room - to escape, you must solve riddles and find items to uncover the three numbers needed to open to door. Good Luck!

    • In the Mystery Match Video Puzzle, use your mouse to click + drag puzzle pieces to unlock clips from the film.

    You can check out the trailer below!

    Would you like to win some Nancy Drew swag?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!

    Monday, March 11, 2019

    6 Important Decisions To Make During The Wedding Planning Process

    So, you’re engaged! Congratulations!!! Now what?

    The wedding planning process is full of highs and lows - there are so many details to plan, things to consider, and it will most likely take up a lot of your time, but on the day of your wedding, you will look back at every single decision you made and know that it was all worth it in the end because you ended up with the perfect day...if you made the right decisions, that is. If you are stressed, don’t worry - I am going to give you all of the details about how you can make the right decisions for you. Let’s chat about the 6 important decisions to make during the wedding planning process.

    But, before we fully jump in, let me just say that the only way you will make a wrong decision is if you listen to others and not yourself and if you do not do your due diligence. If you follow these two guidelines, you will make the best decisions!

    Your Wedding Date
    Your wedding date will depend on a few things. First of all, if you have a specific venue in mind, you will need to check with them to see what their openings are. If you do not have a specific venue in mind, you can be a bit more flexible when it comes to narrowing down the date. My first step is to choose a season. Have you always dreamed of getting married in the winter? Great! You’ve narrowed it down. Now, decide on the actual date. If you get married in off-seasons, or on off-days, you will save a pretty penny. Although your preferences are most important, you also need to consider your guests. Will it be a very expensive time to travel? Will it be easy for them to take off work? Consider what your close family and friends will have to do in order to make it to your wedding on your date of choice.

    Your Guest List
    This is a very important step because your entire budget will be based on this number and it will narrow down venues for you. If you are inviting 500 people, you will need to search for a wedding venue that can accommodate this many people. Start with the people closest to you and then add others along the way. Keep in mind that every single person not only adds another meal to your price, but you also need to factor in tables, chairs, flowers, etc.

    Your Bridal Party
    In my opinion, this is one of the most important decisions you can make (other than your venue + your vendors) because the people in your bridal party can make or break your entire experience. People, unfortunately, do not like to make the process as easy as possible - they bicker about where to go for the bachelorette party, talk about how much they hate the dress, and possibly even show up late, which puts stress on you. Make sure you do not choose these people because you honestly do not need any additional stress. My recommendation is to only choose people who you know for a fact will be in your life for a long time to come. Then, consider their attitude. If they are a great friend who will add joy and love to your day, add them in the mix. If they will bring a negative attitude, or make you stressed out, consider keeping them out of the bridal party. Don’t worry, though - if you have a close friend that doesn’t make the cut due to their attitude, consider giving them another role in the wedding (maybe doing a reading?) to make them feel special!

    Your Vendors
    Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Your vendors and your venue are the most important decisions you will make during the entire process because they are really the people who are putting on the show on the day of. You want to make sure they know what they are doing because if they don’t, your wedding will pay the price. I highly recommend looking up reviews, listening to personal experiences from close friends or family members, and meeting with your potential vendors before you give them a deposit. If there is anything to be picky with when it comes to your wedding choices, it is your vendors.

    Your Venue
    Your venue is the first impression that everyone will receive on the day of your wedding and your venue will also be in every single one of your wedding pictures, so make sure you choose somewhere that you love! One that I have found in North Carolina that I absolutely love is Jeter Mountain Farm. Jeter Mountain Farm is a wedding venue located in Hendersonville, NC. Imagine typing the knot surrounded by dramatic rolling hills and backdrops of hayfields and magical wooded forests because that’s what you get when you book a wedding at Jeter Mountain Farm - it is gorgeous! It is situated on 411 acres and has over 35,000 square feet of barn and kitchen area. They also have great reviews, which is very important to look at! On Google, they have a 4.7-star rating, on Wedding Wire they have a 4.8-star rating, and on Facebook, they have a 4.9-star rating. Amazing!

    Jeter Mountain Farm was established in 2005 by the Hunsader family but dates back to 1813. The farm has a long history and lots of love to share with every bride and groom. “Our prayer is that each and every couple would go on the have long blessed marriages, and remember every moment they spent here with a smile,” says Zach and Kayla Hunsader. If you are looking for a special place to tie the knot, Jeter Mountain Farm could be that place for you.

    Your Timeline
    Last but not least, your timeline is extremely important because this is what will keep your wedding flowing all night long. Your day of coordinator, your venue, and your DJ should be able to help you with this if you have no idea where to start, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it!

    Sunday, March 10, 2019

    God, I Know You’re There by Bonnie Rickner Jensen - Children's Book Review & Giveaway

    Disclosure:  Disclosure: I received this book and giveaway, free of charge, from Frontgate Media, for my honest and unbiased review. No other compensation has been received for this post.

    Where is God? Is He real?

    Look closely and you can see God's touch all over creation. Like the sun, God is warm. Like the stars, God is dazzling. Like the wind, God is all around, everywhere. God, I Know You're There, by bestselling author Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrator Lucy Fleming, reminds children of the nearness and goodness of God. Children will discover that God never leaves their side, even if they can’t see or feel Him.

    Each page will help children understand the many things in the world we can't see, touch, or hear are just as real as God is. And even if God feels distant, He is real and He is near.

    Our Thoughts:

    My kids really enjoyed this book.  They loved the beautiful illustrations by Lucy Fleming and vivid colors she used, added to this book that was so lovingly written by Bonnie Rickner Jensen.  It helps you explain to the kids that God is Real and that he is always with us.  I love the way that it is explained.  This is a wonderful book to help our young children get a better grasp of faith and understanding what it means!  It would be a wonderful addition to an Easter basket this year!

    Would you like to win a copy of this book?  Simply enter below!

    * indicates required

    How to Have the Best Easter Egg Hunt Ever

    Disclosure:  This is a guest post. 

    Arranging an Easter egg hunt is an egg-citing way for you and your children to have some springtime fun. It's also a perfect excuse to encourage kids of all ages to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. An indoor hunt is an alternative if the weather is poor but restrict the activity to one or two rooms rather than leaving the little rascals free to ransack every cupboard you've got. Importing a few extra hiding places in the form of potted plants and piles of books and boxes adds interest to the hunt.

    First Time Easter Egg Hunters
    Little ones love to collect things at any time but they'll realize how special an Easter egg hunt is if they decorate their baskets with ribbons or paper chickens before setting off. Hiding places need to be within easy reach to prevent them from overbalancing when searching for an egg so ponds and steps are to be avoided at all costs! Eggs that are bright and shiny will be easy to spot amongst tufts of grass and behind small stones or plants. Half a dozen eggs for each child should be enough to keep them happy.

    Interesting Hunts for Older Children
    You can be more devious when hiding eggs for older kids. Opt for eggs in camouflage colors that are difficult to locate amongst bushes and beneath piles of flower pots. Remember to keep a note of all the hiding places though in case you have to help them out. One way of adding extra interest is to set a trail of clues or riddles that they have to solve in order to find the eggs. This is ideal if your children enjoy working as a team. Clues can highlight compass directions, number of paces or trying to identify an object that might be a hiding place.

    Easter Races
    Adding a competitive edge to an Easter egg hunt is perfectly acceptable if you ensure there is plenty of fun and hilarity on hand. Fill the largest box you can find with play sand and bury a dozen or so small eggs. They can be pre-formed cardboard eggs or simple, flat egg shapes cut from card. Get your stopwatch ready then allow each child just thirty seconds to find an egg before returning to the starting line. Make it even funnier by drawing cracks on a few of the eggs which they don't count towards their main totals.

    Successful Easter Egg Hunts
    If you are including all ages in the same hunt you can assign different colors to each group ensuring they only collect the eggs that are meant for them. Accumulated totals are only for fun so at the end of the hunt make sure every child is rewarded with the same chocolate eggs. You can discover even more ideas over at Whooops-a-Daisy for fun-packed Easter activities.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Day By Day Chronological Bible Review and Giveaway #csbBibleL3

    Disclosure:  A Bible and information were provided by LEV3L to facilitate our honest and unbiased review.  All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.

    Bible study is one important thing I learned from my Daddy.  I can remember watching my Papa, Daddy, and Mama reading and studying the Bible and discussing passages they have read.  This is something I want to pass down to my kids and to do that, we need to find the version of the Bible that speaks to every person.

    Since I want to make sure the kids are better able to understand the Bible, choosing the Christian Standard Bible was a good place to start.  If you have never heard of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), let me tell you about it.  The CSB translation is an optimal blend of accuracy and readability translated straight from the Biblical languages.  Developed by 100 scholars from 17 denominations, the Christian Standard Bible faithfully and accurately captures the Bible’s original meaning without compromising readability. The ultimate purpose of the Christian Standard Bible is to draw readers into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. By translating ancient Scripture texts into the clearest possible modern English, the CSB allows readers to experience the Bible at its fullest. 

    The Day by Day Chronological Bible is the ideal tool for learning about the Bible.  The books, chapters, and verses of the Bible are arranged so you can track the story of Scripture, day-by-day, from beginning to end.  You can understand the flow of events and how the grand narrative of Scripture applies to everyday life.   This Bible differs from other chronological Bibles because it does not have you reading the selected passages on a certain day.  You can start your reading anytime you like and will be able to keep your place with no problem.  This Bible is broken into 52 weeks of reading, with six passages per week!

    We have been very pleased with how easy The Day by Day Chronological Bible has been to use.  Since the CSB version is easier to understand, we are able to read more and discuss it, without constantly having to look up what certain words mean.  It is a huge plus when reading with younger people.

    Would you like to win a copy of your own?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter below.  Giveaway starts NOW and ends at midnight on 1/25.  You can buy your own copy at Lifeway by clicking here!

    Wednesday, January 9, 2019

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

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

    Start your new year off right by earning free gift cards through Swagbucks! All throughout January, you can earn large bonuses when signing up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash.

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

    1. Sign up using this link

    2. Earn 300 SB total before Feb 1st, 2019. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

    3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned more than $2K worth of various gift cards!  Your SB build quickly if you participate every day.  The more SB you earn, the more gift cards you can redeem!

    Thursday, January 3, 2019

    Swag IQ Referral Promotion #ad

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

    Have you played SwagIQ? It’s a live trivia game show where you test your knowledge to win cash prizes. It’s free to play, just download the app to get started. To earn money, you must be a member of Swagbucks. It’s also free to sign up, and there are plenty of ways to get free gifts cards by using the site! Just click on my referral link to get started!

    Here’s a little more about Swag IQ:

    Monday through Thursday they broadcast a live game. Simply tune-in at the appointed time by launching the SwagIQ app and log-in with your Swagbucks account credentials. The game show host will ask a series of multiple-choice trivia questions. You’ll have 10 seconds to answer each one.

    Get it right; you get SB (points you can use to get gift cards) and move on. Answer them all correctly and you can win a grand prize! If more than one player wins, the winners split the grand prize.

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

    Have fun!

    Tuesday, January 1, 2019

    Wishes for 2019

    It is so hard to believe that 2018 is over.  I am not sad to see it go, but I truly understand what my mom always told me about time flying by as you age.  It seems like only yesterday when we were welcoming 2018.  We had hopes and dreams for the year, and unfortunately, none of those materialized for us.  2018 was not a good year for my family.

    Mama, Grandma, and I all had health struggles throughout the year, and that caused me to be away from home much more than I would have liked.  My health is pretty much at a stable place right now, but Mama is having a lot of trouble with her back and knees and Grandma is becoming more of a handful for her.  I am spending every weekend with them and any time they have a doctor's appointment, I am there for that.  I am not complaining.  I am more than blessed to still have them both in my life.

    Kat still lives at home, but I am expecting her to move out before Spring.  I cannot say that I blame her, but I will certainly miss my baby girl.

    We lost our beloved Shih Tzu, GingerBelle, in October and it has been very hard on me.  She was my constant companion and she would let me know when I was going to have a seizure.  I miss her so much, but I think I am ready to share that love with a new fur baby.  Maybe soon!

    To all of my readers, thanks for sticking with me this past year.  God Bless You All!  I wish you the best year ever in 2019!  Praying you all are happy, healthy and loved!