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.

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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!

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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.