September – 2013 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

September 2013

Share What’s Good with Welch’s Photo Contest!

Note: I received compensation for participating in this campaign through MomCentral Consulting.

As a busy mom to three kids who also works full-time outside of the home, finding quality family moments is very important to me! We try to make sure and have real conversations with the kids at the dinner table, so we can hear what really went on during their day. Everyone (mom & dad too!) has to share their best and worst moments of the day, and that usually opens up the floor for more conversation from the kids.

Another way our family has quality time is with stories before bed. This is a favorite photo of mine from one of those story times:



Welch’s believes in the magic of “kitchen table” moments, and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. In the time it takes to drink a glass of juice or share a sandwich, a special moment can happen. That’s why Welch’s just launched a new movement called “Share what’s good™” It’s all about sharing those special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones – whether it’s at home or on the go. At you’ll find a variety of great content from fun family ideas to delicious recipes. You can share photos of your every-day moments and see how others are doing the same.

As part of the Share what’s good campaign, Welch’s has launched the “Share Your Moments” photo contest! From 9/16 to 10/25 upload a photo of your favorite family moment for a chance to win $5,000! While there is only one grand prize, everyone who enters will get a $1.50 coupon for Welch’s 100% Grape Juice – or $2.00 if you share the news. to enter. Post your photos to Twitter & Instagram, too, and use the hashtag #sharewhatsgood with your image.


Be sure and keep up with Welch’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!

Quick & Delicious Chicken Parmesan

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

With a family of five, we are always busy. Brian and I both work full time, too, and when we’re home in the evening with the kids we want to spend quality time with them and not be in the kitchen all night. Now that our oldest has started kindergarten and bedtime is even more important, we want to find meals that are fast to prepare but still delicious and nutritious.

When we get home in the afternoon we unload all of our things and let the kids have some downtime to play a little. This is our time to get dinner ready, and I have a perfect easy recipe to share that is great for busy weeknights.

I love this recipe because it’s SO easy to have the ingredients on hand. I like to go to Sam’s Club and stock up on things to keep in our pantry and freezer.


Here are the ingredients you need – just THREE:

And here are the directions, busy-family style:

  1. Walk in the front door. Preheat the oven and set water to boil on the stove. Pour a can of tomato sauce into another small saucepan and set that burner to low.
  2. Unpack backpacks, check folders, change into comfy clothes, let the dogs out back, or any other things you need to get done.
  3. Put the chicken on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven; put spaghetti in the boiling water. Add spices as you’d like to the tomato sauce (we use Italian Seasoning blend, garlic powder and crushed basil).
  4. Use the next ten minutes to chat with the kids and ask them how their days went.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and drain the pasta. Plate the dish with spaghetti, then sliced pieces of chicken, and then the seasoned tomato sauce.
  6. I keep mozzarella cheese sticks in the fridge for the kids to snack on, so I pulled some strings of cheese off and scattered them over the top of the chicken.




Diamond Candles Provide Quality & Element of Surprise

Note: I received a Diamond Candle to facilitate my review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

I love candles. I love the ambiance they provide, the way the scent wafts through the house, and how you can almost set the mood for the house by which aroma you select. So, of course, when I was offered the opportunity to review a Diamond Candle, I said sure!


I was impressed off the bat with the packaging. It’s simple and clean, and the box is an ingenious way to keep the candle safe and still easily accessible – just fold out the corners and the candle slips right out!


I thought the design of the candle itself was really well done, too. It’s simple and modern looking, and doesn’t take away from the look of the candle when you have it out on the counter.



This is no ordinary candle, though… the back of the candle explains how each one contains a ring! If you look on the left side of the candle you can see a circle not far from my thumb. That is where a small gold foil pouch was positioned, and within the pouch was a ring waiting to be discovered.

The rings are what really set Diamond Candles apart from others out there, but I can honestly say that the candles alone are worth the purchase. They’re a good quality (all-natural soy candles), the scent is really nice and they don’t burn too quickly. Which I guess can be a problem if you’re impatient and want your ring out NOW, but I like knowing that my investment in a candle will last me a while.



The boys thought it was really cool that there was a ring hidden in the candle. Not that they’re interested in jewelry, but they thought of it like a treasure hunt and couldn’t wait to see what ring I got. I have to say I was a little curious myself, because there are some rings that are worth up to $5,000!

Eventually the candle burned down enough that we were able to get out the ring, and here’s what I ended up with:


Being 100% honest, this ring isn’t my style and isn’t anything I’d ever wear, but that’s not even a problem because there are Facebook pages where women go to exchange their rings. These candles are a phenomenon, and I didn’t realize just how popular they were until doing a little research for this post! I can understand why, though. Like I mentioned, the candles are good candles – but you get the added benefit of a fun surprise waiting for you… and who couldn’t use a little surprise now and then?

Diamond Candles retail for $24.95 each, which is comparable to other high-quality candles I’ve seen on the market. And to me it’s worth it to invest in a good candle; my friend had issues with her air conditioner filter getting dirty EXTREMELY fast, and found out it was from cheap candles she had tried burning in her house. The way candles affect your quality of air is something worth considering. Not to mention that the scents from Diamond Candles are really good! I know I’ll be purchasing a Cinnamon Roll candle for the holidays!