Entertainment – Frugal Novice
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Fun Tailgating Tips for Fall

This is a sponsored post partnered with Lustine Dodge Jeep. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Fall is here, which means it won’t be long at all until we’re in the middle of prime tailgating season. If you haven’t ever tailgated before, it’s a fun fall tradition you should definitely try! You can make tailgating even more fun if you’re prepared – check out these great tips for how to ramp up your tailgating game:

1.  Pack a kit. I’m all about being prepared, and tailgating is no exception. A toolbox with all its various compartments can be the perfect vessel for housing all the things you might need: spatulas, a bottle opener, a can opener, tongs, plastic ware, trash bags, paper towels, baggies, wipes, hand cleaner, and any seasonings you might use often when grilling.

2. Use a six-pack box (like the kind for bottled sodas or beer) to house all your sauces. Keep your A-1, Tabasco and BBQ sauce from spilling out in your car by putting a bottle in each compartment. It’ll also make it easy for you to cart the sauces around!

3. Make it easy for people to find your car. Get some helium balloons and float them high up so your friends can easily find you among all the other cars around.

4. Think smart with which vehicle you bring. A compact car isn’t going to have as much room for storage. A minivan can work well (try adding plastic drawers to the back to organize all your supplies) and then of course trucks are optimal with all the surface area a truck bed provides!

5. Create a disposable cooler. Another use for your drink boxes is to line them with trash bags (use at least two layers to prevent leaks), fill them with ice, and voila! You’ve got an instant cooler that you can easily toss when you’re done with it.

STOMP takes Texas!

I received two complimentary tickets to see STOMP. I was not compensated monetarily for my post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

If you’ve never heard of STOMP, it’s a percussion group – but that alone doesn’t even begin to convey the fun and unique performance you’ll get when you see them live. STOMP uses the body and ordinary objects in a unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy.

I’ve seen STOMP once before years ago and I remember what a great experience it was, so I’m really pumped to take my kids to see it. I love the creativity and the energy in the shows!

STOMP used to be one of those shows you only saw in the UK or in New York, but now there’s a show that tours all over the country – even to smaller cities you might not normally think of like Amarillo and Abilene in Texas.

There are two upcoming shows this month and if you live in the surrounding areas it’s not too late to get your tickets! Click here for Amarillo (November 14-15) and here for Abilene (November 16). (While you’re there, check out some other fun upcoming shows through Celebrity Attractions – there are some great Christmas ones coming!)

Here are some fun facts about STOMP:

  • STOMP has performed in over 350 cities in 36 countries worldwide.
  • STOMP’s New York City production celebrated its 15th year at the Orpheum Theatre in February of 2009, which makes it one of the longest-running shows in Off-Broadway history.
  • STOMP is the most financially successful Off-Broadway show in history.
  • The North American Tour has been running since 1995.
  • There are two STOMP troupes in Europe – a sit-down in London and a tour.
  • International engagements have included Korea, Brazil, Japan, Chile, China, South Africa, The Acropolis in Athens, Greece, and Australia.

It’s really a great show for the whole family, and it’s something that will get your kids excited about music & percussion in particular. Go order your tickets today!

Elena of Avalor Birthday Party and Birthday Cake

My daughter E just turned 4 last week, and has been excited about her birthday party for MONTHS. She ran through many different party theme ideas, and finally settled on her new favorite, Elena of Avalor. Only five episodes have aired so far, and we know them – and the songs within each episode – by heart.

Since Elena is a newer Disney princess, there’s just not a lot out there on the market yet. We found Elena toys for her gifts, but when it came to party planning we had to get creative.

The city of Avalor – and Elena’s culture – is influenced by diverse Latin and Hispanic cultures, so we decided our party would have a fiesta-type atmosphere showcasing vibrant colors.


My coworker donated some leftover tissue paper flowers from a party she’d thrown – we used them on the windows, and at each corner of our big chalkboard. Check out how easy & affordable it is to make these colorful decorations here.


I found some cute pom pom fringe ribbon in the Target dollar section; we (I have amazing family that is awesome at helping decorate, especially my MIL!) used that to drape along the arms of our chandelier, to trim out our lamps and side table, and to add some charm to the chalkboard. The “Celebrate” felt banner is also from the Target dollar section (I kinda love Target. A little lot.)

We used a lot of streamers in a variety of colors, and tons of colorful balloons, too – cheap & effective additions for creating a perfect party atmosphere.



Another easy thing to add to atmosphere is buying fresh flowers. Our local supermarket has them for $5 a bunch, and they really provide great color, don’t you think? We put a vase on the party table (as you can see in a pic above), and on the bar alongside party favors, too (I’ll get to party favors in just a bit).

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Don’t Miss the Fixer Upper Marathon This Saturday!

Well, I know what my DVR will be recording this Saturday!

HGTV has been allowing fans to vote for their favorite episodes of Fixer Upper,  and now viewers can settle in for the network’s first fan-driven programming marathon this Saturday, May 23, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Central.  In addition, fans of the series can live tweet with the show’s stars Chip and Joanna Gaines from 6 p. m. to 7 p.m. Central using #FixerUpper.

If you’re like me, you’ve gotten hooked on HGTV’s series Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna are kind, funny, and uber-talented; you watch to see the homes’ transformations, but you keep watching because Chip & Joanna are just so relatable. As a Texas girl myself, I love that they’re based in Waco – I foresee a trek to the Magnolia shop somewhere in my near future.

Beyond the beautiful designs and charming talent, Fixer Upper stands out to me because of the potential seen in less-than-attractive homes. It’s a great notion in an era where items are often discarded, and new neighborhoods are rapidly constructed. Initially these homes seem like lost causes, but time after time we’re shown that pretty much any home has the potential to be fixed up – and turned into something pretty spectacular.

Don’t forget: HGTV Twitter party with Chip & Joanna Gaines is this Saturday from 6-7 p.m. Central, using #FixerUpper.

Get Your Bathroom Holiday-Ready with Charmin

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Charmin. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

We love to have friends and family over, especially during the holiday season. And I love to decorate for Christmas, which you can easily see as soon as you walk in our front door. Getting the house ready for holiday entertaining is always a lot of fun for me, but in the past I’ve accidentally neglected a pretty important room – the bathroom!

Thankfully now I’ve gotten a handle on making our guest bathroom a welcoming spot for guests:

I mentioned in the video that I like to switch out our hand towel for one with a holiday influence – I also use a fun soap dispenser (my mom got us an adorable snowman that the kids love), I light a candle (bonus points for a cinnamon or peppermint scent) and I’ll even take surplus Christmas decor from elsewhere in the house to use in the bathroom. The Christmas tree seen at the end of the video used to be our tree topper, and now it’s a great accent piece on our bathroom counter.

Not only do I want our bathroom to look cute and festive, I want it to be a functional space that can get plenty of use without us having to worry about a clogged toilet in the middle of a party, so we use Charmin.


Did you know?

  • Consumers who buy Charmin ensure their plumbing will stay clog-free even during the busiest of times, such as the holiday season.
  • Charmin and Roto-Rooter, America’s largest provider of plumbing & drain services, have teamed up again this year to remind consumers of the clog-free and septic-safe guarantee that only comes with Charmin. Roto- Rooter plumbers recommend Charmin more than any other brand.
  • Not only does Charmin have Roto-Rooter’s stamp of approval to be clogfree and septic-safe, but it is also used by plumbers more than any other brand.

Charmin is one of those unsung party heroes – when it works well like it does, people don’t think to talk about it. But let me tell you, if you’re that house that has a clogged or overflowing toilet, you’ll be wishing you’d used Charmin instead.