Frugal Novice

Give Your Baby a #SecondHug with Huggies Little Snugglers

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My good friend has an adorable baby boy, and they’ve used Huggies® from the get-go. I knew they’d be glad to get some new Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers to help keep their newborn’s perfect skin clean and healthy. Since I can remember how quickly babies go through diapers, I went to Sam’s Club to get a big box (204!) that should last them a while.

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Little Snugglers have a GentleAbsorb Liner with a tiny, soft pillows that provide a cushiony layer of protection between your baby’s skin and the mess, and a color-changing wetness indicator to let you know when your baby’s diaper is ready to be changed. There’s a softer outer cover that’s breathable, and an improved pocketed waistband that keeps all the mess where you want it and helps you avoid blowouts!

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Huggies also has Natural Care Wipes that provide a gentle clean for your baby’s naturally perfect skin. Huggies Natural Care® Wipes with TripleClean Layers are thick enough to handle any mess, with a texture that’s soft against your baby’s skin. They have triple clean layers, they’re hypoallergenic, fragrance, and alcohol free, with a touch of aloe and Vitamin E.

Check out this great deal! Buy any two Little Snugglers diapers and/or Natural Care wipes and get a $10 Sam’s Club e-gift card by following these instructions: Buy any two packages of Little Snugglers diapers and/or Natural Care wipes between 5/9/16-6/30/16, snap a photo of your receipt and email/text it to Huggies@ by 7/15/16. You will receive a code and instructions within minutes to get your $10 Sam’s Club e-gift card. You will also get $3 in instant savings off Huggies Diapers at Sam’s Club from 5/11-6/4!

 

Give Your Child a SmartStart With Schwinn

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This post is sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own.

I can still remember – vividly – the day I first learned to ride my bike without training wheels. I must have ridden up and down our driveway 20 times! And two years ago I got to encounter that magical moment in our oldest son’s life. It took some time, but once he’d figured it out he was so proud.

Now our middle son, C, is 7, and he has been wanting to learn to ride his bike without training wheels for months. He’s nervous, though, and has been putting it off. We’ve been trying to think of everything we can do to make learning to ride a bike as easy of a process as possible – and that’s where the Schwinn SmartStart bikes come in. Here’s why I love SmartStart bikes for new riders:

  • 16” wheel size – classic learn to ride size.
  • Easier to learn to ride-better balance
  • Safer because less wobble
  • Light-weight for stability
  • The seat is shaped and sized to fit a child
  • When a SmartStart seat is raised to fit a growing child, the distance from the seat to the handle bars increases. This increases the reach distance and will allow the bike to grow with them
  • The grips are smaller for smaller hands
  • The geometry matches the pedal width to a child’s hip width
  • Like all Schwinn bikes, SmartStart bikes have a limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike

We went to Toys R Us to pick up the bike:

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C was super excited to try out his new bike. We got the Schwinn Burnout 16 Inch bike and he thought the colors were, and I quote, “awesome!”

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Teaching Healthy Sun Care Habits – #MimicMommy

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This post was sponsored by Neutrogena as part of an influencer activation for The Motherhood. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

It may just be May, but it’s basically been summer in Texas for weeks now. With the abundant sunshine comes lots of time outside, whether it’s in our yard, on a walk around the neighborhood, at baseball practice or one of the many other places we end up.

Being outside and enjoying sunny days is great, but it also means we need to take precautions to protect our skin – and especially our kiddos’ skin! Did you know that despite all we know about sun protection, skin cancer continues to be a health epidemic in the U.S.?  On average, more than 350 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every hour – even though skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.

We talk to our kids about the importance of sunscreen, but the best way to really get them to buy in to sunscreen is by example. Studies show that kids are more likely to adopt healthy habits, like applying sunscreen, if they see their moms applying it on themselves. Sparking this simple, healthy behavior change early on may help reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer later in life.

I am completely committed to instilling safe sun behaviors in the next generation of children, so I always make sure my kids see me applying sunscreen on myself first to set the right example. I can remember having a couple of painful sunburns as a kid, and I don’t want them to have to go through that – both because of the pain and because of the long-term damage it can inflict upon their skin.

We went to the Texas Rangers game (the craaaazy one with the punch) – and with all the antics going on, we ended up being out in the sun for almost 4 hours. We used our Neutrogena sunscreen to protect our skin and keep us from getting sunburned while we rooted for the Rangers!

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Because of how important I think skin health is, I’ve partnered up with Neutrogena, the #1 Dermatologist Recommended skincare brand, to help spread the word about teaching our children skin protection – and in particular, being an example for kids with our own sunscreen usage.

Neutrogena has a variety of sunscreen options, and it’s great for our family. I love the UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. It has a high SPF, and it’s so lightweight – not heavy and greasy like so many sunscreens! The kids love the CoolDry Sport because it’s so easy for them to apply (note – if you let your kids do their own sunscreen, closely supervise to make sure they get good coverage!) and this summer I know we’ll adore having the Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray while we’re at the beach.

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My sister-in-law loves the Pure & Free Baby sunscreen for my nephew – so we’re all covered… literally!

Head over to Neutrogena Choose Skin Health for more information – and check out Neutrogena’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more skin health care tips.

Now it’s your turn to show how you #ChooseSkinHealth by getting your kids to #MimicMommy! Three lucky winners will receive a set of Neutrogena sunscreens for the whole family!

For Moms:
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

For Kids:
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 70+

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Share a Coke and a Song – and a Gift – With Coca-Cola!

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone.  #SongsToShare  #CollectiveBias

With Father’s Day coming up soon, I’m already thinking about gift ideas. My husband is an amazing gift giver, and gifts are my love language, so I’m all about finding the perfect gift.

In that spirit, I thought it’d be fun to create a great gift basket that any music lover would love. Coca-Cola™ was my inspiration with their Share a Song bottles and cans, so I headed to Brookshire’s to pick up some bottles. Shopping at Brookshire’s is great because of their Thank You Card reward program. You can save on fuel or groceries just by shopping with a registered card – every dollar earns one yourpoint. You can save 10¢ per gallon on fuel for every 100 yourpoints or get 5% off on groceries for every 500 yourpoints. Gotta love that!

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There were a lot of different types to pick from, but I decided to go with the glass bottles with the lyric “A moment like this.” I think it’s a great snippet to remind us to celebrate the moment!  To continue the music theme I got some fun red headphones and some rock star-worthy shades.

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To complete the package I made some fun coasters with packaging from the Diet Coke®! I got some plain white tiles at the craft store, cut out shapes from the packaging (making sure to highlight the fun song quote!) and decoupaged the pieces on to the tiles. Didn’t they turn out great? I love the lyric “Celebrate the good times, come on!” and think it’s perfect for any celebration – be it Father’s Day, a birthday, or even just to celebrate someone for being the amazing person they are.

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Download the Shazam App, available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and other devices to get your Coca-Cola Share a Song. What song lyric would you want on your bottle of Coca-Cola or Diet Coke?

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

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Y’all. I love thumbprint cookies. Love them. I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe here until now! This is another recipe that was originally on my food blog and I’m excited to finally be sharing it on Frugal Novice, too.

When I was pregnant with E, I craved three things: bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-stuffed jalapeños, beef (steak, brisket, burgers, you name it and I craved it), and thumbprint cookies.

Since I had gestational diabetes, though, I had to really watch my sugar intake, so that meant virtually no cookies throughout my pregnancy. Insert frowny face.

I apparently talked a lot about thumbprint cookie withdrawal, because after E was born I had several friends and family members that brought me boxes of them from a favorite local bakery. If that’s not a sign I am surrounded by amazing people, I don’t know what is.

I decided that since thumbprint cookies rank up so high on my favorite cookie list I really ought to work on figuring out how to make them at home.

To me, chocolate is the perfect balance to the mild flavor of thumbprints, so I paired an extra-chocolaty buttercream with the cookies. C, our five-year-old, declared that they definitely needed sprinkles. Of course they did! Genius.

What you end up with is a light, crunchy cookie and a sweet, center. A perfect, colorful cookie combo that can’t help but make you smile.

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Mean Green Cleaners & Degreasers Get the Job Done

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Note: I am a Mean Green Ambassador and this post is part of my compensated partnership with the brand. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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With three kids and two dogs in our house, we are pretty much pros at making messes. It makes pretty perfect sense, then, for me to be a Mean Green brand ambassador. E’s excited – check out her “Mean Green” mean face!

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Mean Green is known as a national – and international – superior all-purpose cleaner for the toughest jobs around your house, garage or even work. The iconic “Super Strength” formula is made with a unique blend of detergents and solvents that form a powerful heavy duty cleaner and degreaser. Lab tests prove it beats nearly every other cleaner on nearly every stain. And because it’s biodegradable, non-toxic and contains no acid, ammonia, or bleach, you can feel safe using it just about anywhere, inside and out.

Mean Green’s line-up of specialized cleaning products also include Mean Green Mildew DestroyerMean Green Orange Champ, and Mean Green Antibacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner, among others. Mean Green also has a line of products made especially for professional use.

Throughout the year I’ll be trying out Mean Green products around my house and letting you know how they work. I have to confess I kind of hate cleaning the house, so I’m excited to have Mean Green products to make it easier!

Until my next post, visit their site to learn more about the Mean Green products – you can even find coupons! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Style & Substance: Kelly Moore Bags

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Note: I received a bag to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily; affiliate links are included in this post. All opinions are honest and are my own. 

I am a purse loyalist. I’m not one to switch bags to coordinate with various outfits; I find one I like, and I stick with it for a long time.

I’m also pretty picky about what purse I carry. It needs to:

  • look good – this is something I’ll have with me day in and day out, so I want it to be something I’m pretty thrilled with.
  • have plenty of space… but not be a big cave that everything will get lost in. I love organization (in a way that clearly reaches nerdy levels!) and a cluttered bag would drive me nuts.
  • be durable – as I mentioned above, I’ll have it with me pretty much all the time, which means it’ll go to baseball practices, dance rehearsals… and it’ll be subjected to my three children at any given time. So yeah, durability is key.

In my search for an ideal bag, Kelly Moore has been a brand on my radar for a while now. Many of my friends have talked about their love of the brand, and if you haven’t seen them before, Kelly Moore bags are pretty stinkin’ gorgeous.

We all know the old adage, though – form follows function. Do Kelly Moore bags hold up? I selected the Monroe, and put it to the test(s):


It’s definitely a great looking bag – I love the rich, saturated color and the high-quality finish – and there are many ways to wear it. Above, you can see I’ve got shorter straps on my shoulder, but it also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap.

That’s not all, though – the front pouch on the bag is actually removable, so you can have a small cross-body purse AND the larger bag to carry separately. This is my favorite setup:

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Quick & Easy (& Healthy!) Meal Ideas

We love to eat dinner together around the dining table as a family, but sometimes it can be really hard to make it happen. In an effort to do this more often than not, we’ve realized we need to find meals that are realistic to make on a busy evening. It can be easy to think we’re stuck with cereal or salads night after night, but there are a lot of options for dinner that won’t cause you to spend the whole evening in the kitchen. Check out these great meal ideas:

Check out Meals Easier (and Healthier) Than Boxed Mac and Cheese

by Tend Editor at Mode

Red, White & Bacon

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I’m a Denny’s ambassador, and this post is a part of that compensated partnership. All opinions are honest and are my own.

With summer right around us, we’ve got several patriotic holidays coming up – Memorial Day in May, and of course Independence Day in July. To top that off, Independence Day: Resurgence will be in theatres June 24, and Denny’s is celebrating with a limited-time menu full of red, white and blue bacon dishes you’ll definitely want to try.

“Our ‘Red, White & Bacon’ menu is a tasty tribute to an all-American favorite with new, modern flavors and higher-quality ingredients to take our bacon celebration to the next level,” said John Dillon (@DillonJohnW on Twitter), chief marketing officer for Denny’s. “The renewal of this delicious diner staple goes hand-in-hand with the return of another Denny’s classic – the ‘Red, White & Blue Slam®’– brought back in celebration of ‘Independence Day: Resurgence,’ hitting theaters this summer. Stop by and salute these two favorites to satisfy your ultimate bacon cravings!”

I don’t know about you, but in our house bacon is an ingredient that reigns supreme, so we get pretty excited about a menu in which it’s celebrated. And it’s not just bacon, folks… they’ve got new thick-cut Honey Jalapeño Bacon, a sweet and spicy upgrade sure to make bacon lovers rejoice.

Check out the items on this great limited-time menu, and be sure to stop in to try them before they’re gone:

  • Red, White & Blue Slam® – As bacon makes it ultimate return to the menu, Denny’s is bringing back another classic to celebrate “Independence Day: Resurgence.” This all-American dish features two buttermilk pancakes made with blueberries, topped with sliced fresh strawberries, cream cheese icing and whipped cream, served with two eggs cooked to order, hash browns and a choice of two bacon strips or sausage links. This is shown in the photo at the top of this post – it looks delicious, doesn’t it?
  • New Honey Jalapeño Bacon Slam® – Try this sweet and spicy take on a Denny’s favorite with two strips of the finest honey jalapeño bacon, two eggs cooked to order, two pancakes and hash browns.
    Honey Jalepeno Bacon Slam

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infanttech smarttemp Bluetooth Thermometer for Infants

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Note: My sister-in-law received an Infanttech Smart Thermometer to facilitate this post. 

If there’s anything you can remember from the early days of parenthood, it’s probably the overarching feeling of needing to protect your baby in every way possible.

When your child gets sick for the first time, it can be a totally overwhelming feeling. And every degree of fever can be an added level of stress. I can remember several times setting my alarm to wake up periodically through the night to check the kids’ temperature and see if they needed medicine.

The infanttech smarttemp is wearable technology in a different way than one might traditionally think of it; it’s an adhesive thermometer that connects via Bluetooth to your smart phone.

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  • Smarttemp is a smart Bluetooth thermometer designed for children where a parent can track body temperaturecontinuously in real time through their smartphone.
  • Get alerts when the temperature rises beyond the threshold and 
  • Receive medicine reminders when it’s time for another dosage.
  • Parents can also share the temperature graph with their Doctor
  • Easy placement underarm with adhesive pad (included)  Can be used for up to 24 hours at a time and is not a one time use.

The smarttemp is easy to use – just download the free smartphone app, place the thermometer under your baby’s arm with the included adhesive pad, and monitor your baby’s temperature from your phone. You’ll receive alerts if your baby’s temperature rises, so you can have the comfort of knowing your baby’s temperature is being monitored even while you sleep.

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You can find the smarttemp on the infanttech site, at Kohl’s, or on Amazon, too.

 

Three 20-Minute, Family-Friendly Meals

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We are almost always busy in our house, and I’m sure many of you can relate. Because of this, we’re always on the lookout for quick, healthy, and delicious meals our whole family can enjoy even on the busiest of nights. PastaFits has graciously given me three 20-minute meal recipes to share with you today that I can’t wait to try!

Easy Campanelle

Easy Campanelle with Greens and Pancetta

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. campanelle
  • 8 oz. mustard greens, tough stems removed, roughly torn or chopped
  • 6 oz. pancetta, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup/1 oz. sliced garlic
  • 4 tsp./~½ oz. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp./1 oz. toasted pine nuts

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the campanelle according to package directions. Two minutes before its ready, add the mustard greens. Cook for the last two minutes. Drain and reserve.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the meat is golden and crisp. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic and starting to brown.
  3. Toss with the reserved pasta and mustard greens. Heat through and drizzle with lemon juice. Divide between 4 bowls and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Reinvented Beef Stroganoff

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Chicken Tacos with Spicy Avocado Tomatillo Sauce

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In doing our menu planning for the week, Brian and I were reminded of a favorite recipe that we haven’t made in a while – chicken tacos with spicy avocado tomatillo sauce. I added it to our menu for the week, and decided it was perfect timing to share with you, too.

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We make tacos quite a bit in our house, but we can tend to fall into a rut of ground beef, shredded cheddar and lettuce. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the classic taco fare, but we’re starting to have more and more fun coming up with a variety of taco fillings – and this chicken taco with avocado tomatillo sauce is a winner. It is so, so good.

How good, you ask? The kids complimented me on the chicken. They ate the chicken without complaining. At all. 

I know, I know – now you understand how amazing this recipe is.

It’s pretty, too, isn’t it?

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