Friday, August 22, 2014

Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Review and Giveaway

Disclosure:   I received a bottle of this product to facilitate my honest review as part of the Purex Insiders! No monetary compensation was received!  All thoughts and opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits & Pieces Family!

NEW Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash brings hydration to your body washing experience in a tropical fun new scent.

Kat was thrilled when this body wash arrived.  The scent is out of this world.  I love the scent of coconut, and although I am allergic to it and cannot eat it, I can certainly use it in body wash.  We love that this body was did not leave our skin feeling tight like some body wash does.  We really did feel refreshed when we used it.  Out of all of the body washes we have tried, the Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango smells the best.  Nothing reminds me more of summer than coconut...toss in the mango and I am in the tropics!

Want to give it a try for yourself?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!  Two lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle.

Nonni's Biscotti Bites Review and Giveaway

Disclosure:  We received a sample to facilitate our honest review.  No monetary compensation was received! All opinions stated are those of the Shelly's Bits and Pieces family.  Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment!

Ever heard of Nonni's products?  Here is a little information about the company:

Nonni’s Foods LLC takes pride in the quality ingredients that go into making our products great. Our biscotti grew out of a true Italian tradition. In the little town of Lucca Italy our Nonni (grandma) made biscotti to share with family and friends. When Nonni came to America over a century ago, she brought that recipe with her. To this day we use that exact same recipe.
Our commitment to baking quality biscotti is not just talk. Nonni’s products are made in the manner of a traditional bakery, where no shortcuts are taken. Our biscotti contain a combination of real butter, whole egg, flour and a selection of other premium ingredients including superior quality chocolate and nuts. Our almond thins are loaded with premium nuts and made with real fruits including cranberries, raisins, mangos, bananas and blueberries. We use only the finest ingredients and we never use artificial flavors or preservatives. Each batch is made to the highest quality standards to ensure a consistent product every time.
Nonni’s takes great pride in producing top quality baked products. Some might call it obsession. We think it’s all in good taste!
Shelly's Bits and Pieces has been lucky enough to work with Nonni's in the past on some of their delicious products!  I have never been shy to tell you how delicious they are and how much we love them.  Recently, we were sent the new Nonni's Biscotti Bites to try and it was love at first bite.

We were sent a wonderful package which contained three flavors, Almond Dark Chocolate, Very Berry Almond and Double Chocolate Salted Caramel.  These bites are the perfect size to go with a quick cup of coffee or tea when you need a little pick me up.  The fact that they are under 40 calories each is just the icing on the cake.

Almond Dark Chocolate:  A mini version of the Classic Almond Biscotti, filled with almonds and dipped in rich, dark chocolate.

Very Berry Almond:  A fruity biscotti mini, filled with real berries and almonds, dipped in Greek Style Yogurt and topped with rolled oats.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel:  A delicious little indulgence, filled with creamy caramel bits, dipped and drizzled in milk chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt!

All of these are delicious.  Kat came home just as these arrived and she grabbed a couple of the Almond Dark Chocolate.  She loved them!  Chefy came in and took the bag away from her.  By the end of the evening, he had wiped out the bag.  I thought I had hidden the Double Chocolate Salted Caramel bites, but Kat found them, gave me two, and disappeared with the bag.  I found the empty bag several days later in her bedroom trash can.  Since they devoured the chocolate ones, I figured I would at least get the Very Berry Almond ones.  These are delicious too.  Although they are not as crunchy as the others, they were wonderful with my tea.

We managed to keep a few of the Very Berry Almond biscotti bites around long enough for my mom to give them a try.  She is not a chocolate person, so it worked well.  She loved them!  We agreed that the Very Berry Almond have the perfect amount of "sweet" to them.  They are not overly sweet, and they are very addictive.

Want to give them a try?  One lucky Shelly's Bits and Pieces reader will win a bag of each flavor!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!  Also, while you are out entering things, you might want to check out their facebook giveaway too.

Now that the kids are heading back to school, it’s time to get your morning back! Nonni’s is teaming up with Torani to make your morning extra special with a chance to win a box of our limited edition Pumpkin Spice Biscotti and a bottle of Torani’s Pumpkin Pie syrup! Enter now through August 31st.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gold 'n Plump Get Your Grill on Sweepstakes!

Disclosure:  By sharing this post, I am entered to win a prize!  HOWEVER, I only post things I feel positive about!  I am entering this sweepstakes myself!



 You can enter to win at this link: https://a.pgtb.me/ZQW2Vs

Saturday, August 16, 2014

MelanSol Sunscreen - The Safest 100% Natural, Tear-Free Sunscreen for Kids & Adults

Disclosure:  I received a bottle of MelanSol Sunscreen for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Each year when summer rolls around, we all know it is time to cover ourselves and our kids in sunscreen. Sunscreen is touted as a lifesaver, but the toxic chemicals in most parent-trusted sunscreen brands can do just as much damage as the sun itself. Did you know that?  I sure did not!  Common sunscreen chemicals like octocrylene and oxybenzone are absorbed through the skin and accumulate in the body!  This is scary!  They create free radicals that can damage cells, cause sunburn, and even cause skin mutations. WHAT?  Skin mutations?

Thankfully, there's MelanSol Sunscreen.  MelanSol is a CERTIFIED 100% natural, toxin-free sunscreen!  It protects, conditions, and hydrates your skin. It is available in regular and baby formulas.  MelanSol is the ONLY natural sunscreen that uses a high concentration blend of bio-active antioxidants to boost you and your child's ability to neutralize free radical damage!  That damage is responsible for sunburn, early skin aging, and skin cancer later in life.

MelanSol offers a natural approach to protecting your skin against sunburn and casual daily sun damage. Antioxidants Bio-Melanin, combined with green tea extract, a mixed form of natural vitamin E, and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide provide complete UV protection that other sunscreens fail to provide.

One of the things Kat complains about is the eye irritation that regular sunscreen causes.  My biggest complaint is that regular sunscreen takes 20-30 minutes to absorb.  WOW!  By this time, I am often already burning!  MelanSol solves those two problems.  MelanSol is the only natural sunscreen that is truly tear-free!  It also absorbs and starts protecting the moment it's applied.  No more waiting indoors to avoid burning!  Talk about instant gratification!

We used our bottle of MelanSol sunscreen when we went to the lake a few weeks ago.  We followed the directions and reapplied it every 2 hours.  Kat, Chefy, Bae and I used it the entire time we were there. NONE of us got sunburned!  This is the first time we have gone to the lake and stayed in the sun without at least one of us getting burned!  When we came home, I gave my little sister, P, the remainder of the bottle to use on her vacation.  She loved it!  After being out in the sun everyday for over a week, no one who used MelanSol sunscreen was burned!  The lotion is creamy and does NOT have a greasy feel!  MelanSol managed to convert my whole family with one bottle!

MelanSol is dermatologist approved.   It is essentially the safest, best possible sunscreen you can use on your child and yourself!  MelanSol isn't just protection for a day in the sun, it's protection for life.

MelanSol can be purchased for $25 at puresunscreen.com

Disclosure:  I received a bottle of MelanSol Sunscreen for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Vitamin Bubbles GLOW - A new way to take your vitamins!

Disclosure:  I received a bottle of Vitamin Bubbles GLOW vitamins for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Back Off Biotin, There's a New Beauty Super-Supplement in Town

When I was pregnant, my nails, skin and hair were beautiful!  I constantly received compliments on how healthy I looked.  Lots of women today take vitamin supplements to get longer/stronger hair and nails, and brighter/clearer skin. Did you know that traditional pill vitamins are not the safest option?  Most traditional beauty vitamins contain harsh chemical binders that cause you to experience stomach upset and can reduce absorption rate. Here's the kicker...only 10-20% of those pills are actually absorbed by the body! That is a huge waste of our precious money and is a lot of needless pill-swallowing! NOW, there's a new beauty super-supplement on the market that will replace 9 traditional pills with just 1 chewable liquid vitamin. YES!  I did say 9!  Vitamin Bubbles GLOW vitamins are the FIRST-EVER chewable liquid beauty vitamin.  They promise immediate absorption at 80%-90%, renewing collagen formation, tighter/brighter skin, free radical protection, stronger/longer nails, and luscious hair.  What woman doesn't want that?

If the 80%-90% absorption rate doesn't make GLOW the superior choice, GLOW also includes 7 additional nutrients that improve hair, skin, and nails!  These include horsetail extract which helps provide youthful skin and it heals brittle nails, evening primrose oil will fight acne and eczema, Inositol to restore hair volume, Vitamin B9 Folic Acid that will repair DNA, Vitamin E to slow the aging process, and Vitamin C ascorbic acid which will promote nail/hair growth!

To top that off, Vitamin Bubbles' GLOW beauty vitamins taste delicious, contain no unnatural ingredients, binders or fillers, and are gentle on the stomach. Just pop them in your mouth and let the vitamin burst as you chew.  That is an easy way to take vitamins!

You can get a single tube for $3.89 or one month's supply (10-Pack) for $34.99.  They come in such flavors as acai blueberry, jasmine mandarin, mint, and ripen grapes.

When I first saw the Vitamin Bubbles, my first reaction was to think they looked a lot like bath oil beads.  They do!  In fact, they feel a little like them, but they are NOT greasy and they do not taste like a bath bead!  These are perfect for anyone who wants the benefits of vitamins without all the pills!  Much easier to take, and a better absorption rate make these vitamins a winner!

Disclosure:  I received a bottle of Vitamin Bubbles GLOW vitamins for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Coming soon Our Holiday Gift Guide!

        Now taking sponsors and products for review!
    
It's the most wonderful time of the year, and it is getting closer every day!  

We are gearing up at Shelly's Bits and Pieces for a fun Holiday gifting season and would love to include your product(s) in our upcoming 2014 gift guide.

If you are interested in learning more about our gift guide, please email me at bleatham@gmail.com! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Titanic (1953) Review

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


Unhappily married and uncomfortable with life among the British upper crust, Julia Sturges takes her two children and boards the Titanic for America. Her husband Richard also arranges passage on the doomed luxury liner in order to let him have custody of their two children. Their problems soon seem minor when the ship hits an iceberg.

By now, I am sure that most of us have seen the 1997 James Cameron blockbuster movie Titanic.  It is a very good movie and is a nice more modern version of the Titanic's sinking.  This 1953 version of the Titanic has pushed aside the newer version and has claimed a spot in my heart.

The 1953 Titanic had a wonderful cast with Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck and a young and handsome Robert Wagner.  This movie really focused on the people on the ship, the relationships and their feelings.  I became enthralled in the problems that Julia (Barbara Stanwyck) and Richard (Clifton Webb) had.  I could feel for Julia and was wanting things to go her way.  When the Titanic hits the iceberg, their big problem suddenly seems very minor!

When it came down to the band playing Nearer My God To Thee, I got goosebumps.  The song was just so ominous sounding and made my eyes tear.  I felt as though at that moment, I could put myself in the shoes of those people.

The movie is a wonderful version and it is something I will be watching for years to come.  My mom always told me that sometimes old movies are better.  She was certainly right about this one!







Sodom and Gomorrah and Esther and the King released from the Fox Cinema Archives - Review

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

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment released a new wave of classic films on DVD from the Fox Cinema Archives in March and April of this year.  Eighteen classic movies from the 1930's through the 1970's were released.  I was lucky enough to receive two of these movies.  I requested and received Sodom and Gomorrah and Esther and the King.  Both were made during the 1960's.


Sodom and Gomorrah (1962), 154 min.
Sex, torture and betrayal follow the characters of this striking Biblical tale. After Lot leads the Hebrew people into the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, believing his people can co-exist, he must wait for divine intervention in order to help them escape. The film stars Stewart Granger, Stanley Baker and the lovely Pier Angeli.


Esther and the King (1960), 109 min.
Esther comes to the attention of the widowed King Ahasuerus, who has attempted to end hatred against the Jews led by the evil Haman. Joan Collins, Richard Egan, Denis O'Dea and Sergio Fantoni star in this Biblical tale.


Growing up in a Christian home, I have literally heard and read about these two Biblical stories hundreds of times.  When I received the movies to review, I was not sure what to expect.  Movie makers OFTEN stray from Biblical passages to expand on certain subjects to make them more interesting, or even to make them seem less harsh.  I found both of these areas while watching Esther and the King and Sodom and Gomorrah.  They are Bible based, but they are loosely based.  I understand that during the 1960's, certain areas were huge no-nos when it came to the movies, so keeping that in mind, these are good movies.

I would have loved to see clearer images and to have had a better quality sound from these movies.  At times, my TV was at full volume and I missed part of the conversations.  These movies will give you a good general understanding of the parts of the Bible that they are representing, but if you want the facts, stick to the Bible!

My mother and grandmother enjoyed viewing these movies with me.  Since they are both long time readers of the Bible, they already knew the story.  They just enjoyed the way these Biblical stories were brought to film.

These are not my favorite movies, but I will watch them again!


Son of God Blu-ray review

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


From award-winning producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and their LightWorkers Media, comes SON OF GOD, a major motion picture that brings the life of Jesus Christ to the screen like never before

  Become a part of the phenomenon that captivated the nation! Off the heels of the three-time Emmy®-nominated* History Channel miniseries “The Bible,” visionary Executive Producers Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and Mark Burnett (The Voice, Shark Tank) are back to tell the most important chapter of the greatest story ever told - SON OF GOD - on Blu-ray™ and DVD June 3 and Digital HD™ May 6 from LightWorkers Media and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. After grossing more than $60 million in box office sales and earning a coveted “A” Cinemascore opening weekend, SON OF GOD comes home to entertain and inspire millions of families and communities across the globe.

"What an honor it has been to bring the story of the life of Jesus Christ to so many people," said executive producer Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. "Now families can bring the story into their homes and enjoy together."

SON OF GOD brings the story of Jesus' life to audiences through compelling cinematic story-telling that is both powerful and inspirational. Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, this film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score. SON OF GOD shows the life of Jesus from his humble birth through his teaching, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

Led by an all-star international cast, SON OF GOD boasts phenomenal performances from Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ, Roma Downey as Mother Mary, Darwin Shaw (Casino Royale) as Peter, Sabastian Knapp as John (28 Days Later) and Amber Rose Revah as Mary Magdalene (From Paris With Love). Oscar® and Grammy® winning composer Hans Zimmer unites with acclaimed vocalist Lisa Gerrard – along with Lorne Balfe – to create the majestic musical backdrop for this epic production.

The Blu-ray and DVD release will feature an unprecedented Spanish-language version of SON OF GOD that will feature the voices of popular Latino actors Eduardo Verastegui (“Bella,” “The Butterfly Circus”) as Jesus, Blanca Soto (“Porque El Amor Manda,” “Eva Luna”) as Mary Magdalene, Jacqueline Bracamontes (host of “La Voz Mexico” “Sortilegio”) as Martha, Karyme Lozano (“For Greater Glory,” “Quiero Amarte”) as Claudia, Giovanna Acha (“Beverly Hills Chihuahua”) as Young Mary, Latin Grammy Award winner Alexander Acha as Joseph, Adal Ramones (“Saving Private Perez,” “Bailando por un SueƱo”) as Simon, Carlos Ponce (“Rio,” “Couples Retreat”) as Thomas and Academy Award®-nominated Adriana Barraza (“Babel”) as Mother Mary. Verastegui also serves as executive producer of the Spanish language version of the film.

When The Bible mini-series was shown on the History Channel, my family was glued to every episode.  It was wonderful.  When Son of God came out, I knew I wanted to see how the movie makers compiled the events to tell about the life of Jesus.  We follow Jesus from his birth in a stable in Bethlehem to his crucifixion at Golgatha and on to his resurrection.  As a Christian, this movie had a very powerful effect on me.  I have and do read the Bible, and watching the scenes unfold before me made me feel as though I was there.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to learn more about Jesus.  The Son of God was not just any man.  He did not lead a completely normal life.  The movie is very powerful because it tells the Greatest Story Ever Told.  This is a true story.

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness Blu-Ray Review

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


All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward (Ingrid Bergman) knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to send herself to a poor, remote village. There she eventually lives a full and happy life: running the inn, acting as "foot inspector", advising the local Mandarin and even winning the heart of mixed race Captain Lin Nan (Curt Jurgens). But Gladys discovers her real destiny when the country is invaded by Japan and the Chinese children need her to save their lives. Based on a true story.

Movies that are based on true stories always catch my eye.  When I got the chance to review The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, I jumped at the chance.  I did a little research before the blu-ray arrived and found out that the movie is based on the book The Small Woman by Alan Burgess.  I read the book before watching the movie and it does have some differences from the actual movie, but they both get their point across.  As the opening title card reads: "This story is based upon the life of Gladys Aylward, a woman of our time, who was, and is dedicated to the simple, joyful and rare belief that we are all responsible for each other."

Ingrid Bergman proved in this movie that she was an incredible actress.  The movie is very moving, and there were times while I was watching that I had tears in my eyes.  Captain Lin Nan was wonderfully portrayed by Curt Jurgens, and he worked perfectly along side Ingrid Bergman as Gladys Aylward.  The movie is touching and it is acceptable for the whole family.  If you know someone interested in going into the Mission Field, this movie is something they should see.  I am so happy we were able to review The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.  It is a wonderful addition to our movie collection and will be enjoyed for many years to come!

After you have watched this awesome movie, take the time to learn more about Gladys Aylward.  She was a remarkable woman who lived an extraordinary life!







Kissing Jessica Stein Blu-Ray Review

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

Sex and the single girl gets a fresh new spin in this "very funny movie"! (Joel Siegel, Good morning America) Fed up with her fruitless search for "Mr. Right" and tired of blind dates from hell, attractive journalist Jessica Stein whimsically responds to a classified ad - from Helen! Making and breaking new rules of dating as they go, the two women muddle through an earnest but hilarious courtship that blurs the lines between friendship and romantic love in this "smashing romantic comedy" (Rolling Stone)

I honestly had no idea what to expect from this movie.  One of my friends mentioned it and when I got the chance to review it, I decided to give it a shot.  This movie had me laughing right from the beginning.  I laughed outloud at Jessica and her mother and grandma are all "discussing" the men at the Day of Atonement service.  It so reminded me of the way I am with my mom and grandma.

I had my share of Mr. Wrongs, so I could relate with Jessica's search for Mr. Right.  Blind dates can definitely break your spirits, and I could understand why Jessica answered Helen's classified ad.  I have several gay and lesbian friends and family members, and although I am heterosexual, I believe that everyone deserves to be loved.  Yes, Kissing Jessica Stein is about a Jewish woman, but everyone can relate to it.  It is not about being Jew or Gentile, gay or straight, or bi-sexual. This movie is about trying to muddle through life and finding that one person to spend it with.

The chemistry between Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) and Helen (Heather Juergenson) is wonderful, and I was pulling for them to find happiness together!  The supporting cast is great too.  I loved Jessica's mother, superbly played by Tovah Feldshuh.  So many of her characteristics reminded me of my own mom.  Josh (Scott Cohen) and Grandma (Esther Wurmfeld) were great in their roles as well.

If you are looking for a romantic comedy that differs from the norm, this is a movie you will enjoy.  My 16 year old daughter, Kat, really liked it, and so did Chefy.  Check it out! Kissing Jessica Stein is worth the view!