August – 2016 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

August 2016

Help Your School with Box Tops for Education @ H-E-B!

I can hardly believe the kids are back in school again – the summer flew by. We had a really great three months with lots of family time and fun, and now we’re adjusting to school mode again – earlier bedtimes, earlier wakeup times, quick breakfasts, packing lunches… all the little routines that help make our kids’ days smoother and better.

The weekend before school began I started stocking up on favorite healthy snacks and nonperishable lunch items so we’d be prepared. We love H-E-B and all the variety they have to offer, so it was a great one-stop shop for everything we needed. As I shopped, I realized that I always gravitated towards options that offer Box Tops for Education. We love the Box Tops program, because all we have to do is shop for things we’re already planning to buy, clip the tops, and send them to school (your school will receive 10 cents for every Box Top you clip and send!) – it’s an incredibly easy way to support our school and its teachers. Just look for the box Tops label when you shop General Mills products at H-E-B.

Whether we’re shopping for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snacks, it’s easy for us to find Box Tops products to help support our schools.


I have many friends who are teachers, and my mom was a teacher for many years until she retired this summer. I know how much teachers invest in their students by purchasing many things on their own dime, so it’s incredibly important for us to support teachers and schools with great programs like Box Tops for Education.

Right now there’s an even easier way to ramp up Box Top efforts – 20 Texas schools will win 20,000 bonus Box Tops (this is a value of $2,000!). Support your school by registering here for your chance to win the sweepstakes, and let your fellow parents know so they can enter, too!



Perfect for School Lunches: Summer Citrus From South Africa Easy Peelers

This is a partnered post with Summer Citrus from South Africa. All opinions are honest and our own.

School is back. We’re still settling in to the new routine, especially in the mornings. With three kids, we’re rushing around each school day making sure breakfasts are eaten, teeth are brushed, clothes are chosen, backpacks are ready, and lunches are packed.

Lunches are a big deal to me as a mom. I’m away from the kids all day, and lunchtime is a chance to send them a little love with a great meal. My husband and I send a joke in our boys’ lunches each day – usually one of us will write the joke and the other one will draw an illustration to go along with it. It’s a fun and easy way for us to brighten the kids’ day while they’re at school!


I like to make it really convenient to pack lunches during the week, so I pre-portion lunch meat, pepperoni, and pretzel sticks in snack baggies, and choose other healthy and convenient foods to go along with them. Easy Peelers from Summer Citrus from South Africa are a great school lunch staple – they’re SO easy to put in lunches (no slicing needed), the kids have fun peeling them and breaking them apart, and they’re delicious!


We also have Easy Peelers as a snack after school. Even my daughter, who’s almost 4, can easily peel one, she loves tearing them apart, and they disappear quickly because she gobbles them up!


Here’s something else to bring a smile to your face…


I’ve got TWO amazing giveaways you’ll definitely want to enter.


First, enter to win a really fun summer prize pack: an orange pool float, RTIC Insulated Tumbler, Popsicle Mold and eos Lip Balm. Just click here to enter! This giveaway is sponsored by Summer Citrus from South Africa, and it ends September 9.

The other giveaway is one I’m hosting right here, and it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself! Check out what all you’ll win:

Giveaway prize pack

This prize pack is wonderful, y’all. The winner will get a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream Maker, dessert bowls, a citrus juicer, a zester, eos lip balm and a $50 Walmart gift card! Just enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CanvasPop Provides Quality Custom Canvases

We received a custom canvas to facilitate this review. All opinions are honest and are our own.

Brian and I completed a BIG project this summer – a huge custom built-in bookshelf in our living room. We filled many of the shelves with books, but there are some larger areas that are intended to display art. These areas are unique sizes, so finding pieces to fit just right can definitely be a challenge.

I knew right away that I wanted a photo canvas for one of the spots, and I found out that CanvasPop could provide truly custom dimensions, allowing the canvas to fit perfectly within the shelves, with a 2″ margin on all sides. We love it!


The shelves of our built-in are a little less than 4″ deep so they can hold books but not stick out too far into the space. If we got a thin photo canvas, it might look a little too recessed, so this was something I was concerned about – until I went to place our order. CanvasPop offers a 2.5″ depth, which really gives a high-end feel.

Our canvas was hand-crafted, as evidenced by the seal placed on the back:

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We’re Keeping our Furry Foodies Happy with Beneful’s New Recipe!

This post is part of an ambassadorship with Beneful. I receive products, information, and compensation as an ambassador. All opinions are my own. We’re proud to be #FriendsOfBeneful! 

Blue_POSTERBrian and I consider ourselves foodies. We love to cook, we love to test new recipes, and we love to try new restaurants. One of my favorite things to do each weekend is to look up recipes and plan our meals for the week. We’ve gotten the kids in on our love of food, too – even our picky child! So it only makes sense that in this family of foodies we don’t want to leave out our sweet dogs, Sally & Ninja.

Beneful is a brand we’ve loved for our dogs for a long time, but we love them even more now that they’ve rolled out their new recipes for their dry food.


It’s a sign to us as dog owners that Beneful really cares about making the best quality food for our furry family members. Real meat is the #1 ingredient in their beef and chicken dry foods.



Did you know you can get a free sample of the new Beneful dry dog food so your pup can give it a try?Just go here to sign up.  (By the way – it’s important to note that dogs can be sensitive to change, especially when it comes to food. Even if you currently feed your dog Beneful, you’ll want to transition to the new Beneful recipe as you would for a new type of food. Check out these helpful feeding tips and tricks for how to make the transition smoothly.)

When we got our sample in the mail, Sally was practically beside herself with excitement.


I apparently took too long to open the package, because she hopped up with her front paws on the dining table. She’s never done that before (she totally knows that’s against the rules!) but apparently the allure of Beneful was too much!


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Curlformers Make Gorgeous Curls Easy!

I’ve always had straight hair, but I’ve always loved the way curly hair looks, and have wished I could have  that look for myself. Unfortunately I’m not a morning person and just don’t have the patience to stand in front of the mirror for an hour with a curling iron.

Thankfully I can now achieve gorgeous curls within minutes each morning, with Curlformers. These are SO cool – the design is genius, and they’re pretty foolproof.


You can put them in your hair, use a dryer to set them, and remove the curlers – or if you’re like me and aren’t a morning person, you can put these in your hair at night, sleep on them, and pull them out in the morning.


Brian helped me put these in my hair since it was my first time trying them, and he said it was really easy to do. It took about 15 minutes to put them all in, so I can only imagine that as I use them more and more it’ll become an even quicker process!


Check out my suuuuuuper cute look. Yes, I look like a friendly, makeup-free clown. But friends, it is worth it. These rollers are flexible plastic. They’re not soft like foam, but I slept in them and was comfortable.

It took literally 1 minute to pull all the rollers out in the morning, and I was left with some seriously impressive curls. I played with my roots at the front a bit to give them body and de-frizz, but I was really happy with the finished product and would definitely recommend them.

Here’s a photo I took immediately after removing the rollers, and before I adjusted my roots:

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