Frugal Novice

#BEFlavorFull with Birds Eye Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes


As I was cooking our Birds Eye potatoes to go with dinner the other night, our middle child, C, came into the kitchen. “Mom, it smells good in here. It smells like those potato chips I love!” he said. “You’re right!” I told him. “These potatoes are sour cream & onion, and I bet you’re going to love them!”

If you’re looking for a way to get your kids excited about veggies, look no further than Birds Eye Flavor Full frozen veggies. They have a great variety of options available, all with powerful flavor profiles that make the veggies a fun addition to any meal. The current options available are:

And in some areas (including mine), you can find these, too:

  • Sweet Chili Carrots
  • Wasabi Peas
  • Fiesta Lime Corn


I love the Flavor Full veggies too because they’re so easy. We served these on a very busy evening, and all we had to do was put the bag in the microwave. You can’t really beat that! We served the potatoes up with some dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, and our kids pretty much thought it was the best meal ever.



With Birds Eye Flavor Full veggies, it’s now easy to serve your family vegetables every day of the week. The unique and delicious flavors include Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli, Barbecue Sweet Corn, Sweet Chili Carrots, Wasabi Peas and Fiesta Lime Corn.


Harvested and flash-frozen at their peak freshness, Birds Eye uses only the highest quality vegetables for all its products. From pure and simple vegetables, to mixed medleys, to easy-to-prepare vegetables in sauce, any cook can have a host of nutritious menu options just minutes away.



Right now (through the end of this year) you can get a $1.00 off ocoupon for Birds Eye Flavor Full veggies! Just click here to download the coupon and you’ll be on your way to an easy, delicious, flavor full dinner your kids will love.

Hallmark Holiday Traditions


We received four Hallmark ornaments to review. We were not compensated monetarily for this post, and we truly love Hallmark Keepsake ornaments and their Charlie Brown sets.  All opinions are honest and our own.

If you saw my Hallmark post from last year, you know we are huge Hallmark Keepsake ornament fans. Getting new Hallmark ornaments each year is a favorite tradition of our family and is one we always plan to incorporate into our Christmas festivities.

Beyond the ornaments, Hallmark offers all sorts of other really fun Christmas decor. For instance, back in 2011 we got this set of Charlie Brown characters; they each play an instrument, and they interact with each other remotely to all play songs together. They’re so fun, and our kids adore them.


This year Hallmark has released the Charlie Brown Peanuts Gang Light Up Show.  There are five, although not all of the characters have been released yet (we’re already planning to go this weekend and get Linus & Snoopy!); this set not only plays music, but it has an interactive light show timed with the music and coordinated between each piece. It’s colorful, fun, and incredibly impressive. We’re so glad to have it as a part of our Christmas decor.


Of course, I’ve also got to share which ornaments we picked this year! The kids loved looking through them all, and each one found an ornament that’s truly a perfect fit for their personality.

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Talk Around the World with Sprint’s Global Roaming


I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received product to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

The holiday season is upon us, and that means people are traveling now more than any other time of year. Some people are just headed across town; some are going across the country; and some are going around the world.

No matter where you’re traveling this year, chances are you’ll get free unlimited data and text thanks to Sprint’s Global Roaming.  That means you can keep in touch with loved ones without worrying you’ll be too broke to buy Christmas presents! How great is that?


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Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Chex Bars


If you saw my White Chocolate & Cranberry Cobbler Bars recipe post from yesterday, you know that I promised you another great recipe today – and a giveaway, too. Well, I’m here to deliver. These Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Chex Bars are easy to make and are a nice twist on the typical marshmallow cereal bar. And stay tuned at the end of this post for the giveaway details!

These bars are something I’ve been making for years. In fact, I can distinctly remember having a really stressful week my sophomore year in college and making these bars to treat myself. My kids love chocolate and marshmallows, so I thought these would be a fun treat to make for us all to enjoy. These are great for sending in school lunches, too.


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Cranberry White Chocolate Cobbler Bars: Mini Chef Mondays


Hi, y’all! First off, can you believe Thanksgiving is basically here? Texas even got temps in the 40’s so we can finally feel like it’s fall, and here in my house we are all very ready for Thursday to arrive.

Around this time of year, there are certain ingredients that really come to mind, and the cranberry is one of those. It’s something that’s important to Thanksgiving, but it’s also a flavor that’s prevalent in all sorts of Christmas desserts, too. So this week, to celebrate Thanksgiving and welcome the start of the Christmas season, E and I made cranberry white chocolate cobbler bars. I’ve gotta give credit to my mother-in-law; a conversation with her a few weeks ago about cranberry desserts is what got my mind headed down this path to begin with. Oh – I was going to just call these cranberry white chocolate bars, but Brian said they reminded him of cobbler, so he helped inspire the name.

Y’all, I’m not lying when I say this dish is one of my very favorites everIt’s a perfect blend of sweet and tart, chewy and crunchy. It is amazing and I hope you get lots of opportunities to take it to parties over the next few months, because I promise everyone will love you for it.

As always with Mini Chef Mondays, I’ll share the basic recipe, and then below that you’ll get step-by-step photos if you’d like to make this with your kid chef!

I don’t want to forget to mention this, also: be sure and check back tomorrow for another recipe post AND a really fun giveaway. Now, let’s get on to the food!

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Dreft is More Than Just Laundry Detergent


I received samples of Dreft cleaning supplies to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and my own.


When I was pregnant with our first son back in 2007 I remember learning early on that I should wash all our baby clothes with Dreft since it was formulated especially with newborn’s sensitive skin in mind.

Now Dreft has expanded beyond just laundry detergent to a line of baby-safe cleaning products.


Their all purpose cleaner and wipes are great for keeping surfaces clean before your baby accesses them, and the odor eliminator will definitely come in handy with all those stinky diapers {amiright?}.


You can find the cleaner, wipes and odor eliminator in stores nationwide, and online too. 

This Delicious 3-Ingredient Appetizer Will be a Party Fave!


Acorn Disclosure

Thanksgiving is next week, but we’re starting the celebration early by having my mom, brother, and sister-in-law over for a pre-Thanksgiving party. Since we know a heavy meal is right around the corner, we’ve opted to keep things lighter and each provide several appetizers to share.

I haven’t had a lot of time to plan what to make, though. It’s been insanely busy at work lately – I’m a graphic designer for three magazines, and it’s right around deadline for all three. Add to that all the busy-ness that comes with being a parent to three kids under 10, and it’s easy to see why it’s hard to invest a lot of time in party prep! I’m sure many of you can relate to this not-enough-time-in-the-day feeling, right?

Because of all I’ve got going on right now, and because easy is always appealing to me, I wanted to find something quick but delicious to contribute, so I decided on this 3-ingredient recipe that I’m sharing with you today.

The idea for this recipe centers around the cheese. I love a good cheese, and when I saw this Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs gournay cheese at Walmart I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  I went ahead and picked up some of the monterrey jack & spicy pepper cheese dip, too, thinking it’d provide a completely different flavor profile to have at our gathering. Just a note – these cheeses were in a stand-alone refrigerated display up near the deli counter at our Walmart.


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Motorola Digital Monitor Keeps You Connected Near & Far


I received an MBP853CONNECT2 monitor to facilitate this review. All opinions are honest and are my own.


Before I had kids, I had no idea how wonderful monitors are. Before I had to literally crawl out of my son’s nursery to avoid waking him up after checking on him, I didn’t realize how nice it would be to have a way to check in on your baby from the other room.

Now our kids are 8, 6, and 3 – and I still use the monitor to check on them! So, since I fully appreciate the need for a good monitor, I knew my sister-in-law Lauren would need one. The Motorola MBP853CONNECT2 has all sorts of features that parents will love.


The monitor retails for $309.00 and comes with:

  • 3.5″ Color LCD screen parent unit
  • 2 Cameras (audio/video/Wi-Fi)
  • Power adapter x 3 (parent and camera units)
  • Rechargeable battery pack (parent unit)
  • User’s Guide
  • Quick Start Guide

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Medela is a Must-Have for Moms (Their App is, Too!)


I received a Medela Freestyle Breastpump Deluxe Kit, lanolin, and nursing pads  to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily, and all opinions are honest and are my own.

When I found out my sister-in-law Lauren (who really might as well just be my sister – love her!) was expecting her first baby, I immediately started thinking of the gear she’d need. As any mom can tell you, there is so much out there on the market and it can be hard to weed through it to find quality products.

Medela is a brand many people equate with breastfeeding and pumping. I remember it being the first brand I really heard about as an expectant mom, and it’s got a great reputation for well-made pumps and more. When I was in the hospital with each of my kids, I used a hospital-grade Medela pump – and loved it, so it was a no-brainer that I’d recommend a Medela pump for Lauren. The Medela Freestyle Breastpump Deluxe Kit has everything a new mom could want – check out all it comes with:


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Spread Care This Holiday Season


With the holidays approaching, my mind starts to focus on ways to teach my children about the spirit of giving. It’s something we want to instill in them year-round, but when Christmas can easily have the focus of all the gifts they want to get, we especially want them to think about ways to help others.

A couple of years ago my friend and I took my kids out on Christmas Eve with the goal of finding ways to help others. We brainstormed different things to do, but I think one of my very favorite things we did was also one of the simplest; we brought a big tub of assorted candy to Target, and let the kids wear Santa hats and hand it out to people who were shopping or who were working. The kids loved it, and it brought a smile to people’s faces.

It’s easy to feel like you really need to do something big in order to make a difference, but the truth is little acts of kindness can go a long way. And doing several little things that are within your means is better than doing nothing because you don’t have the time or resources to accomplish it, don’t you think?

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