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!