I received an email a few weeks ago from a company called Thoughtfully. They offered to allow me to review one of their gift boxes and being the curious person that I am, I agreed.  I had no idea what to expect since I had never heard of their site before, but wow! was I pleasantly surprised!

I was told to pick my 3 favorites and they would randomly send me one of them.  I was so excited to see which one I would get I could hardly wait for it to get here, and I was not disappointed.   They chose the Apple Pie Story box for my gift and I couldn’t be happier.  It not only included the apple spice and pie crust mixes, it also came with 2 ceramic mini pie dishes, a red striped pot holder and the cutest set of measuring spoons I think I’ve ever seen.  (They are shaped like mini mason jars and are absolutely adorable!)


This set ended up being a perfect choice for me since I love to bake and apple pie is one of my favorites, but it was really hard to choose.  They truly have something for everyone.  There are several different sweets options, a few based on cocktails (for that relative you hardly ever see but always has a drink in their hand when you do) and also choices for hot sauce lovers, popcorn nuts or even bakers of beer bread.


Each set is unique and the items are all hand wrapped and displayed beautifully.  It’s a real treat to open up all the individual pieces in the set and discover all the goodies inside.  These would make awesome gifts for just about anybody on your list and are sure to put a smile on their face.  Right now they are also offering $5 off & free shipping on your first order when you sign up with your email.  Woohoo!  Better than that…they are also allowing me to gift a box to one of my fans.  You can choose from any of the choices below if you are lucky enough to be the winner:

(Click on the name to view product info page)

Sweet As Pie: includes a ceramic pie dish, a gold pie server, a tea towel and a set of 20 blank recipe cards. Also included is our delicious pie crust mix and secret spice mix to add that perfect last touch.

Bloody Mary Bar:  includes bloody mary mix, gourmet hot sauces, highball glasses, a recipe book and more!

Cold Brew Set:  has everything you need, including high quality Colombian coffee, coffee filters and a scoop. There’s even a mason jar to keep it chilled.

Beer Bread Set:  includes everything you need, from a loaf pan to our original recipe beer bread mix, which comes in a beer bottle.
A “Born to Bake” apron and wrench-shaped bottle opener tops it off.

Chip Chip Hooray:  comes with a cast iron skillet, chocolate chip cookie mix, and a whisk. Do it up with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles.

Tequila Cantina:   features a wooden tequila tray with cutting board and knife (for the limes!), four shot glasses and three kinds of salt–Himalayan, chilispiked and a sweetened variety. Salt plates included.

Moscow Mule: features two copper mugs, glass shaker, gourmet ginger beer, moscow mule mix, coasters and a matryoshka jigger. Top your drink off with candied ginger.

Popcorn Lovers Set:  everything you need for a snack-filled movienight, from popcorn kernels and striped bags to three delicious seasonings–bacon-cheddar, garlic and ranch.

Dynamite Feugo:  the perfect way to sample some of the best hot sauces around, including whiskey habanero, ghost pepper, and even chocolate chipotle.

Apple Pie Story:   has 2 mini pie dishes, measuring spoons, & oven mitt. We also added our favorite crust & spice mixes.

Cirque Du Sweets:  including three cast iron skillets and decorating bag, plus mixes for brownies, frosting, sugar cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. Sprinkles, milk bottles and straws too!

If you are lucky enough to win it will definitely be hard to choose and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.  There are SO many more gift boxes on their site to choose from that you should be able to find something for anybody on your list, no matter how hard they are to buy for!

For a chance to win one of these awesome gift boxes simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.  (Don’t worry, I’ve made it super simple) I will close the contest on Wednesday,  November 23rd at Midnight central time.  The winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget and will also be notified by email.  Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize.  If not claimed in 48 hours, I will select a new winner from the existing entries.  Only one email entry per person.  Anybody entering using more than one email, will automatically be disqualified.  Blog comments will go through mediation before they are posted, but don’t worry, you will get your entries immediately and I will post them when I check my emails.  #sponsored

GOOD LUCK!!  And don’t forget to show this awesome company some love for such a great giveaway!  PLEASE share with your friends and spread the love!

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One of my favorite things about being a Social Insider (formerly known as a Purex Insider) is getting to try their new products, sometimes before they even hit the shelves.  This time I was given Purex with Clorox 2 to review.  It is designed to brighten your brights while getting your whites as white as possible.  I’ve been using it for about a week now and I am very pleased with the results.  Not only are my brights staying bright, and my whites staying white, my laundry also smells amazing.  This is some of the best smelling detergent Purex has come out with so far.  It smells very clean, and sort of flowery, and the smell really lingers on your clothes.  I pulled a shirt over my head yesterday, that I had washed over a week ago, and it still smelled wonderful.


Enter to win a coupon for a free bottle of Purex with Clorox 2 from Bella’s Blog.  Good luck!

Another thing I like about being a Social Insider is that they  give me free coupons for the product that I can choose to share with my readers.   If you would like to win a coupon for a free bottle, you can enter using the Rafflecopter below.   I will pick one lucky winner at the end of the contest.  (I have been known to pick two winners if I get a lot of entries…so tell your friends!)  Please only enter using one email to keep it fair and good luck!

*You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the 48 continental U.S. states to be eligible to win*

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Soufeel bracelets are absolutely beautiful and so well made. They are  made from high quality 925 Sterling Silver and I absolutely love the clasp they use. It is a barrel type clasp that firmly holds each end of the bracelet in place and it will not come off until you take it off. It locks very securely so there is no worry of it falling off of your wrist while you are doing your daily activities and it does not pull your arm hairs when you move. (Ugh! I hate that!) You can also tell that each bead was made with care. The details are gorgeous and they are made to last a lifetime. There are charms to suit any personality and charms for special occasions too. They add new arrivals fairly often so it’s easy to find the ones you, or a loved one, will just have to own. (These charms will also fit Pandora & Chamilia bracelet but with a much lower price.)


soufeel14This would make an amazing Christmas gift for any loved one.   You can choose from many Christmas themed ornaments or you can choose beads that have a special memory for your relationship.  I seriously had trouble choosing the beads I like best because they are all so beautiful.   I’m sure you can find the perfect beads for your special somebody.  Whether you choose a Christmas themed bracelet or one that they can wear all year, I know they will love the thought that you put into your gift and will cherish it forever.   These bracelets are nice enough to be handed down from generation to generation and since they are made from the best quality 925 silver they will last a lifetime.    They also come with a nice gift box and bag so they are ready to gift the minute you receive them.

soufeel16disclaimernocontest sharepost1



This is one handy tool!  In my opinion, this company thought of everything! Not only can you check your tire pressure, you can also cut through a seat belt in an emergency (thankfully I haven’t needed to try that tool but the blade seems sharp so …), break a window if needed and there are multiple tools that could also come in handy if needed such as a screwdriver, pliers and scissors.

I like that the LED screen is large, and lit up, so its very easy to read and that even the valve is lit up so that if you need to air a tire at night you can still see the valve stem easily. It also has a flashlight on the end which is always handy since flat tires tend to happen at the worst possible time and usually after dark in my case.  I also love that there is a gadget on the end to break a window if you happen to see a baby or a pet suffering because they were left in a locked up, hot car.  I will break a window to rescue either in a heartbeat so this is a great addition to an already awesome tool. I really can’t think of anything else they could have added to this to make it better. It’s well made and looks nice and I like having the emergency tools available if I do need them.



Enter to win a Mountain Crest digital tire gauge with multi-tools  from Bella’s Blog.  This is an awesome tool and I love mine.  Good luck!

I am happy to announce that the sponsor has agreed to let me have a giveaway for my readers.  So now one of you can also own this handy tool.  You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.   All of the ways to enter are optional and you can choose which ones you’d like to do.  (You will get 5 entries for posting a blog comment and 1 for each of the other options)  Please share with your friends and I wish you luck!

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When I was first offered this KidzLane karaoke machine to review I was thinking about how much my 8 year old Granddaughter would like it and that’s who I had it in mind for.   When it showed up my 12 year old step son couldn’t wait to try it and he and my husband ended up having tons of fun playing with it so it looks like it isn’t going to make it to her.  I was actually surprised at how nice it is.  It’s very easy to figure out and plays CDs or MP3s and the duel microphones are a great feature since it allows you to “jam out” with a friend.  Each microphone also has it’s own volume so one person won’t “drown out” the other if they sing louder.  It’s a great size and the handle makes it easy to carry around if you like dancing while using it and the buttons are all easy to read.   It’s intended for ages 5 and up and from my experience the “and up” means it’s good for any age!  My husband was having just as much fun as Hayden was and  I had a blast watching them.

karaoke8Hayden did mention that it would be nice if you could see the words to what you are singing like some karaoke machines offer but that didn’t stop him from trying.  I’m really not sure you could add that feature since you use your own CDs or MP3s but it didn’t seem to make much difference in their fun anyway.  If anything, it made it more interesting to watch as you can see for yourself in the video below.

I am very pleased with this karaoke machine and recommend it for any kid that likes to sing along with their bands or pretend they are a famous rock star.   I like the bright colors they used to make it, the fact that it is very durable and that it is so easy to operate.  This would be a great addition to “Family Game Night” and also for slumber parties or birthday parties or really anytime the kids are bored and complaining they have nothing to do.  You should definitely keep it in mind for potential birthday or Christmas gifts.  I think any kid would love to have one and I especially like that it gets them involved in what they are doing instead of just staring blankly into a game boy or something.  I am always looking for something to keep Hayden occupied and this has been great.  We had lots of fun and many giggles playing with ours.

Product Description

Kids Sing Along Karaoke Machine, CD-MP3 player & USB flash drive port, could also play WMA audio format, (UBS can only read a flash drive not from an iPod)
Anti-Skip protection, 3 digit LED display, High output speaker sound system
Fully programmable, choose your desired tracks, random play, intro play, repeat play
2 Karaoke Microphones with ON/OFF switch & a separate microphone volume control knob
Included: “9V Power Adapter”, Line-in jack to connect it to your smart phone. Option to use 6 “C” Batteries if want to operate on battery (batteries not included)




Oh how I wish this would have been around when my kid’s were little.  Luckily they are available for them to now have and use on their own kids.  There is nothing worse than having a sick child and having to feel like you’re torturing them to get their temperature.  They feel bad enough and don’t want to have to hold the thermometer under their tongue while waiting for it to work.  Or worse….when you have to use a rectal thermometer on them because they are too sick to use the oral one.  Poor kid!  Not anymore!  Whoever thought of this was a genius.  Seriously one of the best things ever made as far as I’m concerned.  You can take a temperature with this in about 2 seconds and all you have to do is hold it an inch or two from the forehead and press a button.


It has 3 modes.  One for body temp, one for room temp and one for surface temp.  Just a click of the mode button and you can easily select which mode you’d like to use.  It also has a large, easy to read screen with a back light for use in dimmer rooms.  You can click the middle button to choose between Celsius or Farhenheit and it also has a memory button that you can use to keep track of a person’s temperature in case you need to reference it later.  This could even come in handy for women who are trying to conceive since one of the best ways to know you are “in cycle” is by your temperature.   It’s absolutely perfect for using on any one that is sick and I love that you don’t have to bother them to get a temp.  It works on 2 AAA batteries, which they included, and is so easy to use.  I think every household should have one.  You would never go back to using an oral thermometer again.


Product Description:
Experience quick and simple temperature taking with the Easy@Home NCT-301 non-contact, infrared thermometer. This easy to use thermometer has the latest infrared technology to display accurate readings within a second. There is no longer any physical contact necessary to get a simple temperature reading, it should always be this easy!
Instead of startling or irritating your children, this thermometer reads at a distance and notifies you silently. Eliminating physical contact decreases the chance of cross contamination between users while silent monitoring will not disturb them. The thermometer has a beeping sound to alert for high temperatures, however this feature can be disabled so that no sound emits while taking measurements.
Tri-Color Display:
The LCD display will show one of three colors based on the temperature. Not only does this display make reading temperatures easier in the dark, but the three colors indicate different ranges. A green display (<99.1°F (37.3°C)) indicates normal temperature, yellow display 99.3°F~100.2°F (37.4°C~37.9°C) indicates low-fever and red display >100.4°F (38°C) indicates high-fever.
Excellence Guarantee:
We offer a lifetime no hassle replacement guarantee for customers.
How to Take Temperature:
1.Clear forehead area of any hair or perspiration.
2.In ‘Body’ mode (default), aim to the center of the forehead from a distance of 1.2 – 2 inches.
3.Press the scan button and wait a second for the display to show the reading.




I wanted this for my stepson when I first saw it.  He runs to stay in shape for the various sports he plays and I thought he would like to be able to listen to his music while he ran.  Since we got it for him he has enjoyed running much more.   I think the music helps keep his mind of of the “chore” of it and just makes it more pleasant for him.  He just straps it to his arm, runs the earbud wires up the back of his shirt, places them in his ears and off he goes.  The armband itself is comfortable to wear and adjusts to just about any arm width from a preteen to a pretty large man.  (works for up to 14 1/2 inch biceps)  I was a little worried that it would cause his arm to sweat more, which would make it sort of uncomfortable to wear,  but that didn’t seem to be an issue at all.  He really seems to enjoy it and hasn’t mentioned anything he dislikes about it.


I was sort of surprised when my husband said he wanted to use if while doing his lawn work.  I figured the lawn mower, weed eater, etc., would be too loud for him to hear it over but I was wrong.  He said that he can hear perfectly fine and again, this makes his chores seem much less like work and more like fun.  I am all for anything that turns chores into fun myself!  Now he rides his lawn mower around the yard while rocking out to his favorite band and he really doesn’t seem to mind doing it as much at all.


He has used it while pulling weeds, trimming bushes, weed eating and just about every other lawn related maintenance you can think of.  I would have never even thought to use it that way but I’m really happy that he is able to and that it works so well.  It’s also pretty awesome that although all of us have different smart phones, they all fit into this armband.   It’s pretty easy to use the touch screen with it on too.  The only thing that we had any trouble with is the buttons on the side,  like the volume button.  You do have to take it out of the sleeve to work the side buttons so you have to make sure the volume is set before you strap it on.  Other than that, it works wonderfully and I’m sure we will find many more ways to use it.  If my husband will share that is…..he has sort of claimed it for his own.  He does that with quite a few of the tech gadgets I get to review…..


For such a simple idea it is really nice to have.  One of those things that you didn’t know you needed until you got it.

Product Description

COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with the Samsung S5 S4 S3,iPhone 6 (4.7) and HTC One phones from all carriers – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon etc.
PROTECTION: Protects and keeps your phone safe from moisture while working out
USE: Convenient and easy to use. Easy access to ear phones and controls. Includes convenient key holder.
SIZE: Fits sizes from 9 to 14.5 inches. Not for body builders or those with biceps over 14.5 inches.
SAFETY: Night reflector feature allows for increased visibility after dark.
VALUE : Why Pay more? This is a great value for the price 🙂 So affordable why not buy two?
CARE: We strongly recommend that you hand wash and air dry this armband. Treat this armband as you would any phone case and do not place in the washer/dryer as this can cause tears etc..
MATERIAL: Nylon, Velcro and Neoprene




This is such a simple idea that I have to wonder why it wasn’t thought of before.  It was one of those things that when I saw it my first thought was “why didn’t I think of that, duh!” Flasks are nice to have if you want to carry a drink, or a few, with you but not everyone likes drinking right out of the opening.  This collapsible shot glass is genius!  It folds up and fits right into the body of the flask and when not in use it just looks like part of the design.


The flask itself is really made well too.   It has a very nice black leather cover and looks very stylish.   It has a slim design so it would fit easily into a pocket or purse and it looks really classy.    I also like the fact the BarMe included a free funnel.  It can be hard sometimes to pour into such a small opening and that really made it effortless  BUT I will say that I would have done one thing different.  I would have made the funnel collapsible too.  It is the perfect size to fit into the folded up shot glass and if it was also collapsible you would be able to keep both in the same spot.  As it is now, you have to carry the funnel separately and I would worry that I would lose it.  Even though you would probably fill it and leave the funnel at home, it would be nice to be able to carry them all together if you “needed” to.  Other than that, I would say that this is a very well thought out product and it seems to be made to last and even though it folds up, the shot glass did not leak a bit when we used it.


This would make a great bachelor party gift and would also be nice for that hard to buy for person that seems to already have everything.  Chances are they don’t have a flask quite like this one.   I will definitely keep it in mind for the drinkers on my list this Christmas.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. disclaimernocontest1



I fell in love with this tea set at soon as I saw it.  It reminded me of a set that my Grandma bought for me when I was about 5 years old.  I would sit at my little table & chairs with all of my babies and stuffed animals around me and we would have the best tea parties ever!  I seriously played with that set about 3 or 4 times each week for years and I was always trying to get people to attend my tea parties.  My brothers would reluctantly have tea with me but usually only if I provided a snack but my Grandma was always willing.  I had been looking for a nice set like this and had only been seeing cheap, plastic ones so I was super happy to find this set from Velocity Toys.  This metal tea set will hold up much better than the plastic ones and I love all the cute painted details.  It really made Kaleigh feel like the best hostess around.

teaset17This set comes with the teapot, tray, 4 teacups & saucers and 4 snack plates.  The size is perfect for toddlers on up to about 7 or 8 years old and it’s made really well.  It is intended for pretend play but we did try using it with actual juice.  The tea pot leaked just a little around the rivets but the cups didn’t leak at all and Kaleigh seemed to enjoy it much more after we gave her real liquid to play with.  The plates are a perfect size to hold a small snack like a cookie or some cut up fruit and she had a lot of fun serving everyone.  She must have filled that teapot up 2 or 3 times before we finally had to tell her she’d had enough to drink.  Since she is also going through potty training right now it was an interesting day to say the least.  (I am happy to report we had zero accidents)

teaset16 It really made me happy to see her having so much fun and it definitely brought back lots of great memories of my Grandma for me.   I hope that someday she will remember these great times too and do the same for her future Grandbabies.   Pretend play is so important and you could tell  this made her feel very grown up.  Her mother has let me know that she has played with her new tea set every day and that it quickly became her favorite toy.


Kaleigh’s eyes lit up the minute she saw hers and when it was time for her to go home she did not want to put it away.  I finally got her to understand that she could take it home with her and then she was happy,  but at first she was quite upset that she couldn’t play with it anymore.   Sometimes it’s the simpler toys in life that hold the best memories and I think this tea set really fits that bill.




BRACELET9 I had never heard of Soufeel Jewelry  when I was asked to do this review so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I accepted.  I have to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised!   First off, it arrived beautifully boxed and they even included a gift bag.  Presentation is very important and right away I knew this was a high quality item. BRACELET10 I was not wrong!  This bracelet is absolutely beautiful and so well made.   It is made from high quality 925 Sterling Silver and I absolutely love the clasp that it has.  It is a barrel type clasp that firmly holds each end of the bracelet in place and it will not come off until you take it off.  It locks very securely so there is no worry of it falling off of your wrist while you are doing your daily activities and it does not pull your arm hairs when you move.   (Ugh! I hate that!)    You can also tell that each bead was made with care.   The details are gorgeous and they are made to last a lifetime.   There are charms to suit any personality and charms for special occasions too.   They add new arrivals fairly often so it’s easy to find the ones you, or a loved one,  will just have to own.  (These charms will also fit Pandora & Chamilia bracelet but with a much lower price.) BRACELET11 bracelet15 I am totally  in love with the bracelet and charms that I received.   It looks great whether you are dressed up or dressed casually  and will work with any outfit.  The stones really sparkle and the sterling silver shines like crazy.  It is a definite eye catcher for sure.   This bracelet is so nice that I would love to pass it on to my Granddaughter someday with the hope that she too would pass it down.   I can see somebody 100s of years from now saying that this bracelet I’m wearing  used to belong to my Great Great Grandma Brenda and that just makes me happy to think about. BRACELET2

Enter to win a 925 Sterling Silver Starter Bracelet from Soufeel and a 925 Sterling Silver Charm/Bead from Bella’s Blog.   Good luck! giveaaway2braceletwinner

The winner of the giveaway will receive one starter bracelet from the sponsor at Soufeel and since they didn’t include a bead to give away, I will personally give the winner their choice of one of the beads I was sent for this review. The Starter Bracelet is a $29.95 value and the charm/beads start at $15.95 so this prize is worth at least $45

Make sure to visit the Soufeel New Arrivals page so you can choose your 3 favorite beads and you will see on the Rafflecopter widget that you will get 5 bonus entries if you do this and leave a blog comment telling me your 3 faves.

Please keep it fair and do not enter using multiple entries.  I will disqualify if I see this as that is a form of cheating.  (Thankfully that has never happened on my page but I have to say it) Please share with your friends and good luck!

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