September – 2010 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

September 2010

Friendly Friday 10/1

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way for everyone to get even more traffic to their blog.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

Do you ever think to yourself that My Life Ain’t Always Beautiful? Melissa does and shares it with her readers through her sweet and creative writing, tasty recipes, fun crafts and entertaining pictures. Together with her Hubby, Munchkin Prince, Munchkin Princess, adorable new kitten Lucky and angel baby Andy Leigh, you’ll find out that even thought their life ain’t always beautiful, it’s filled with love.

Combine an energetic 2-year-old and a teething 4-month-old and a great collection of product reviews and giveaways and what do you get? Life at Mommy’s Little Dino’s! Kari fills her blog with adorable pictures of her boys, personal posts of their adventures and the great shopping deals she has found. You won’t want to miss what these Dinos are up to next!

Just reading the title The TRUTH about Motherhood instantly grabs your attention, doesn’t it? Truthful Mommy writes a brutally honest blog that deals with the issues that affect us all. We’re all thinking it, so it’s about time someone put it out there! Motherhood is filled with the good, the bad and the ugly and one visit to The TRUTH about Motherhood and you’ll find out that you’re not alone on this wild ride that our children put us on!

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can grab the code to share the link list on your blog too.

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wallables Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of Wallables before? I hadn’t before doing this review, but now am a big fan.

Wallables are 3-dimensional sculpted wall décor products made out of soft and eco-friendly polyurethane foam made from US grown soybeans. They attach to any flat surface with easy on, easy off Velcro patches, allowing  them to be removed and repositioned. Wallables are safe and have passed both the ASTM and CE toy safety standards. Wallables are interactive, making them very inviting for small hands to touch, feel and experience.

Continue Reading…

1001 Grill Covers

We love our grill and use it a lot. We also want it to last, because it definitely wasn’t a cheap purchase! To me, a good grill cover is a necessary accessory. It protects your grill from the elements and helps keep it clean and in great shape.

In stores, the covers are often plain and bland, and it can be difficult to find the size you need. 1001GrillCovers.com provides a variety of colors and prints – you can find something that’s more personalized to your taste and will make your patio more attractive at the same time.

Take this cover, for example – the banana leaves cover is elegant with a dark navy background and neutral-colored pattern, and provides a subtle tropical feeling.

Want something more festive? Check out this chili peppers cover! How fun would this be to have on your patio? The red really pops off of the black background, don’t you think?

The dark background for the covers allows them to look cleaner for a longer period of time as well, because they won’t show dirt like lighter colors will.

1001GrillCovers.com also has covers that accommodate larger grill tops, still providing variety of options to give personality to your grill. There are covers available for grills as large as 88″, which is a size virtually impossible to find in stores.

Getting a grill cover is a great step toward protecting the often pricey purchase of your grill. Keep it clean while you’re not using it and protect it from the winter elements that will be here soon. Visit 1001GrillCovers.com and find a cover that fits your grill – and your style.

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/3

Christi

Friendly Friday 9/24

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way for everyone to get even more traffic to their blog.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

Blogging about fashion, fun, baking and decorating ideas are some of the things Rebecca writes about at I Just Cherish Today.  She is madly in love with her husband and started her blog to showcase building their first house together and decorating it.  But it has turned into so much more with her theme being to cherish each day and the opportunities that are right in front of us.

Over at The Frugal Free Gal, you will find a very frugal military wife and stay-at-home-mom to a two year old daughter.  She loves using coupons, finding good deals at thrift stores and getting things for free or almost free.  She gives God the credit for giving her financial wisdom these past few years.  By being frugal, she can help others in need in the future.

Teresa at Grammy Girlfriend has been married to her wonderful husband for 38 years and has two children, two children-in-law and four grandchildren who call her Grammy.  She loves her family, blogging and so many other things, and she writes about all of these as well as her beautiful Christmas and  fall crafts which include a fall wreath she plans to post about soon.

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can grab the code to share the link list on your blog too.

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

DIY Fall Decor

I started this post with Top Ten Tuesday in mind, because I hadn’t participated in what feels like forever, but I really only had five ideas in mind for this list. Oh well, right? I hope you’ll like at least one of these ideas and maybe even give it a try! Now, mind you, it still feels like summer here in Texas, but I’m ready for fall so maybe it’ll be here before long. In any case, I’m excited about decorating this year because J’s actually old enough to enjoy it.

I’ve got my eye on a few things at Target but, let’s be honest, I’ll probably wait until they’re on clearance to buy anything, so I won’t have those things to use until next year. In the meantime, I’ve been looking around for ideas of things I can do on my own – and I’m sharing my finds with you. If you’ve got any other great ideas, please pass them my way!

1. Candy Corn Wreath – I found this from Woman’s Day and I love it! I think it would be a fun project to do with your kids, too (although I don’t know that you’d end up with neat little rows like in their photo. I love the graphic pop the bright colors give against the black duct tape underneath. ETA: Check out my wreath here!

2. Orange Peel Topiary – (from Save On Crafts) I’m kind of in love with topiaries to begin with, and I especially love the natural feel that this one has to it. The instructions for this make it sound like drying orange peel isn’t all that hard, and it wouldn’t cost much at all to make this.

3. Paper Pumpkins – (About.com)  These look so simple to make, and I love the idea of doing several different sizes to have grouped together for a centerpiece. You could put any sort of pattern you like on the paper, allowing you to give it a more modern or traditional feel depending on your preference. I’ve seen some examples that just had a simple green tube for the stem, which I really liked. You could get the kids in on this project too!

4. Pine Cone Garland – (from Twig & Thistle) I love this for it’s simplicity and because you could totally use this for both the fall and winter. I think I’d use red ribbon for mine, and then weave an orange ribbon around it for the fall; then when Christmas is close, remove the orange ribbon and put an evergreen garland behind this one. If you made the orange peel topiary too you could have one beautiful, nature-inspired mantle!

5. Indian Corn Wreath – (from Better Homes & Gardens) – I know, I’ve included two wreaths in this list. Well, once Halloween is over you’ll need a wreath to last you through November, right? :) You can’t get much more simple than this – just take Indian corn and hot glue it to a straw wreath, with the husks pointing outward. You could glue them in a random order like this, or could alternate dark and light ears for a more graphic pattern.

Christi

Menu Plan Monday Sept.20-25

Menu Plan Monday

Our weekend ended up being pretty busy! Friday night I worked on getting items ready to sell at our local consignment sale. I am in the midst of what I like to call the Great Toy Purge 2010, so I had a lot to get ready. When I look at the pile of things to sell I can’t believe we had that much stuff in our play room. Of course, this purge should really extend to everything in the house, not just toys. But hey, it’s a start! Saturday night J told me his tummy hurt. And I, being the sympathetic mom that I am, totally thought it was an attempt to stall bedtime (hey, it’s happened many times before). I felt more than a little bad when he threw up half an hour later! He got sick several more times throughout the night, and it was so pitiful! He felt much better Sunday, thankfully – but man, what a weekend. I’m wondering if the week will be less busy than the weekend!

Speaking of the week – here’s what we’ll be eating:

Monday: I didn’t end up making the breakfast in a biscuit, so we’ll be doing that.

Tuesday: Chick Fil A or Jason’s Deli, though I’m not sure which yet. I’m also on the hunt for other places that do free kids’ meals so we can have some variety!

Wednesday: Gnocchi – when we make a batch, it makes a TON and we always freeze a large portion of it, so we’ll be having this. I’m not sure what sauce we’ll do yet, though. I read that Gorgonzola sauce is a really good pairing, so I might try that.

Thursday: Eating out – Thursday is my birthday! :)

Friday: Grilled chicken with sauteed carrots and brown rice – something nice and simple will be a great way to end the week.

Saturday: I’m not sure what we’ll have. I think we’ll be doing a game night with friends, so we’ll have to figure something out that we all like.

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

Christi

Little Looster Winner!

Sorry for the delay in posting this – I meant to post it yesterday! Thanks to everyone who entered the Little Looster giveaway. The winner is….

Wendy – congratulations!

Friendly Friday 9/17

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way for everyone to get even more traffic to their blog.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers!
We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

If you’re like most people, you fall into a rut of cooking the same meals over and over again. Well, Inspired 2 Cook can help pull you right out – this is a blog all about recipes, and it’s filled with a variety of meals that are sure to add some excitement back into your meal planning. She takes her own photos, which is really nice so you know what you’ll be ending up with! All recipes posted on the site have been tested by the blogger, so you also get a review before you go to all the trouble of making the meal.

Debra at Since That Moment writes about life since her son Matty was born in 2009. She says at the top of her blog, “3.26.2009. A boy named Matty was born. I would never be the same,” a sentiment I think all moms would agree with. Debra loves photography and poetry too, and shares some of her work on her blog. You’ll also find recipes and posts about day-to-day life with her husband and adorable son!

Roz at La Bella Vita says that her blog is a written and visual journey about all the things that she considers beautiful in her life. She likes to use her blog as a place to reflect on the beauty God has placed in her life. On La Bella Vita, you’ll find beautiful photos of her gardens, great recipes, and links about Italian life. Roz hopes that after visiting her blog you feel inspired to welcome more beauty and deliciousness into your life.

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can grab the code to share the link list on your blog too.

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

AnytimeCostumes.com Review & Giveaway

Are you gearing up for Halloween yet? As J gets older, it’s more and more fun to plan for the holidays. This is the first year he’s really been excited about dressing up as something (C’s still little enough that we can pick his costume for him!). I got the chance to review a costume from AnytimeCostumes.com recently, and we let J pick which one he’d like to try. His choice? Read on to find out!

AnytimeCostumes.com has a TON of options to choose from, all categorized to make it easier to sort through. They have costumes for infants, toddlers, children, and adults. They even provide ideas for group costume themes or for couples to dress up as together. We had a lot of fun looking at the children’s costumes with J! Here are some of our favorites:

Woody & Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story

It’s-a me, Mario!

The Roaming Gnome – this one cracked me up!

But ultimately it came down to what J really wanted to be, and he picked…. Continue Reading…

Chicken Taco Soup Recipe – and Our Menu for the Week!

Menu Plan Monday

We had a really good weekend! We spent a lot of time at home, which was just what we needed. Saturday included tent-building under the dining room table – just the start of many, probably more elaborate, tents to come. Oh, and I made that Chicken Taco Grande recipe I included last week. We loooooved it and are definitely adding it to our rotation. :) Yesterday afternoon Brian and I did some cooking together, which is always a lot of fun for us. We made gnocchi, and Brian made a really good prosciutto and garlic sauce (we finally found it in a random spot at HEB). We also made homemade ice cream – we followed a cookies and cream recipe but used mint Oreos instead. Soooo good! Anyway, enough about yesterday’s food – here’s what we’re eating this week:

Monday: Tonight we’re having chicken stir fry with carrots, onions, broccoli, and brown rice. We usually season our stir fry on a whim – sometimes with Chinese 5 Spice, sometimes with Teriyaki sauce, and sometimes with a random assortment of seasonings. It’s fun finding new flavor combinations!

Tuesday: I think we might be shaking things up a bit this week – we’re thinking about going to Jason’s Deli for their free kids’ meals, instead of our normal Chick-Fil-A. Jason’s Deli is another place we really enjoy eating as a family, but it’s a little pricey for us so we don’t eat there that often. Free kids’ meals sure would help keep the cost down, though!

Wednesday: I’m making Chicken Taco Soup – it’s a slow-cooker recipe that we just love, and I figured by the middle of the week I’ll be tired and will really appreciate having dinner almost ready for me when I get home from work.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 12 oz. chicken broth
  • 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • shredded cheddar
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Place onion, beans, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and Rotel into your slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken (uncooked) on top of the mixture, making sure it’s covered by the other ingredients.
  2. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for at least 5 hours. I start ours in the morning before leaving for work and it ends up cooking for about 8 hours, and it does just fine.
  3. Using two forks, shred the chicken, then stir to mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Right before serving, mix sour cream in – or you can serve a dollop on top, along with shredded cheese and crumbled tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Thursday: Leftover soup – the recipe makes a lot!

Friday: Breakfast in a Bun. This will be an experiment so hopefully it’ll turn out well! We’re going to scramble eggs and cook some bacon, and then take biscuit dough and press it into muffin tin cups. We’ll scoop some eggs and bacon into each biscuit, then bake for a little while, top with cheese, and pop them back in the oven for the cheese to melt. I think we’re also going to make hash browns to go with them. Have I mentioned we love having breakfast for dinner?

Saturday: We never had the buffalo chicken tenders last week, so we’ll do those. I’m not sure what veggies we’ll have with them yet – maybe I’ll do celery and carrots like you’d get at a wings place.

Friendly Friday – September 10

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way for everyone to get even more traffic to their blog.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers!
We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

If you’re looking for great crafts, recipes, child-rearing tips and fun ideas to try with your kids, Holly at The New Hampshire Nanny has them all. With 20 years of nanny experience under her belt, it is no wonder that each of Holly’s posts feature great pictures and clear instructions – and make her readers want to run straight for their art supplies or to the kitchen!

When it comes to a blog that makes you feel right at home, Steph at Sharing the Pages of Life knows how to make her readers feel welcome and keep the conversation going. As well as writing about her beautiful family and sharing pictures of her gorgeous daughters, Steph includes a spiritual aspect to each of her posts that will make you want to take a moment and worship right alongside her.

By taking “A brief look into life, going green, recycling & saving money,” Anne at Mommy Has To Work shares a great collection of tips, reviews and giveaways for products for all aspects of life. From cleaning to music to decor to food, you’ll find this working mom has an item that can help in your efforts to go green and along with her adorable children, she’ll show you how.

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can grab the code to share the link list on your blog too.

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sam’s Club Gift Card Winner

The winner of the Sam’s Club gift card is….

Rachel D! Congratulations, Rachel – and thanks to everyone for entering!