April – 2010 – Frugal Novice
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April 2010

Friday Follow – April 30

It’s FRIDAY, people! Are you as happy as I am? I’m so ready for the weekend. Anyone have exciting plans?

I’m hosting a giveaway right now for a great wallet – if you haven’t entered for your chance to win, click here to go check it out!

I’ll keep this short and sweet since it’s the end of the week and I’m running low on both energy and brain cells.  Click the Friday Follow link at the top of this post to find some great blogs to check out – it’s a fun way to end the week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Things I Love Thursday: Glass Containers

When I’m out shopping (especially at antique or thrift stores) one of my favorite things to look for is glass containers of all shapes and sizes. I don’t even always have a use for them in mind, but I know I’ll find something perfect to use them for. I’ve done pretty well with restraining myself, but here are a few of the ones I’ve bought over the years.

Glass Containers - Bathroom

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Wordless Wednesday: Picture of my Boys

Ok, well almost wordless (I’m not good at not saying anything). We took the boys to get their portraits made on Saturday and it went really well! J was actually the more cooperative of the two – because I told him he had a Cars sticker waiting for him at the end of the session. C was a little tired, but they both still did great. Here’s one that we got of them together – I love these boys!


Savvycents Wallet Giveaway!

Edited to add 5/7: We have a winner!

Congratulations, Natalie! If you’ll email me your address I’ll pass it on to Melinda so she can send you your Savvycents wallet. Thanks to everyone who entered… I’ll be having another giveaway on Tuesday so be sure and pop back in to enter that!

I’ve read several financial books in trying to figure out the budgeting system that would work best for our family, and one of the books I liked best suggested using an envelope system to keep track of cash for spending in various categories. Many of you probably know which book I’m talking about.

Melinda at Savvycents read one of these books and tried the envelope system herself, but quickly became frustrated with the envelopes and disorganization. She created a wallet to allow her to keep her cash in separate categories and also give quick access to everything else she needed. Continue Reading…

Menu Plan Monday – Cheap Week

We traveled this past weekend and have several other extra expenses coming up, so we kept our grocery bill low ($50! Woohoo! And that’s with medicine I had to buy for my insane allergies) this week. And we’re even having company over one night! I’m still planning on trying the fish suggestions Janalyn, Julie, and Susan recommended in the coming weeks and I’ll report back on how my experience goes – it’ll be the first time I’ve had fish in years. Anyway, on to our menu for the week: Continue Reading…

Falling Into the Gap

I don’t know how much I’ve talked about it before, but I love to shop. It can make being frugal a challenge – but I also almost exclusively buy things on sale or clearance, so that helps. Our town is pretty limited on shopping options. One of my favorite stores to shop at is the Gap. We used to have one at the mall, which then turned into a Gap Outlet, and then disappeared. Our mall is kind of pitiful, actually – we usually only go to let the boys play in the little indoor playground they have set up.

Well, this weekend we’re in DFW (that’s the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for you non-Texans) and we got to go to a REAL, HONEST-TO-GOODNESS MALL!! Ok, so the only store we went to was the Gap, but it was so nice to have options. I’m having the boys’ photos taken this afternoon (wish us luck! I’ll let you know how it goes) so I wanted to find matching shirts for them to wear. Yes, I’m that mom that dresses her children in matching/coordinating outfits when possible. I figure I better do it now before they’re old enough to protest!

So, my mom and I headed (with boys in tow) over to Baby Gap and I was immediately all aflutter at the sign I saw next to the door: All Sale Items an Additional 40% Off. Score! Right off the bat we found these great sweaters:

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Friday Follow & QOTD

I participate in Menu Plan Monday each week and am always looking for new recipes, so here’s a question of the day… What is one of your favorite recipes in your repertoire? Share a link to a recipe you love (whether it’s on your own blog or another site), and I’ll include all the links in Monday’s post so everyone can blog hop and find some new recipes to try!

Also, if you are visiting from Friday Follow leave a comment letting me know you’ve followed through Google Friend Connect so I can return the favor!!

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Things I Love Thursday: My iPhone

I’m one of those people – I would be lost without my phone, and I always have it with me. Some people hate to feel tethered to their phone, but if I forget mine at home you can be sure I’ll turn around to go back and grab it. I’ve even got a cute little case for it.

Of course I use it for its primary purpose – talking on the phone – and I’m also a BIG texter. Brian always says, “You know, that conversation would take half as much time if you’d just use the phone for what it is meant for!” but I love that I can send exactly what I want to say without the need for small talk. What do you think – do you text? I grew up when AIM first became popular, so maybe that’s part of the appeal of texting to me – it’s got the feel of chatting online.

Aside from actually communicating, my phone serves a million other purposes. I take a ton of photos with it, and have a pretty extensive photo album – over 2,000 photos:

I am absolutely in love with the calendar feature. I set reminders for myself all. the. time. I don’t know if I’d remember to do anything without it!

See? Yesterday I had to buy an apple. For a horse (really!). I’d have totally forgotten if not for the alert from my calendar.

I have a ton of applications on the phone. My personal favorite is Words With Friends (if you play, let me know your name – I’m always looking for new games!) but I also have the Bible, the Weather.com app, Facebook, Tweetdeck, and many toddler games to help us survive any instance of having to sit still and wait. Brian even got one app that lets us use our phones as a remote for our DVR. Continue Reading…

Dishes Deal

$10 in Kohl’s Cash given to me by my MIL


BOGO free on all tableware


for just $10! If I’d bought them full price it would have been $40, so I saved 75% (and that makes each dish just $1.25). I’m excited to have these, too, because they’re perfect for summer. I love chilled glass plates for salads, and colorful fruit will look great in the bowls.

These are great because they’re not fussy. I love dishes – I’d be in trouble if we had a larger kitchen with more space – but I’ve never been a fan of dishes with too much embellishment. In part because it’s just not my style, but also because I like the idea of the food holding center stage, if that makes sense (that’s the Top Chef fan in me talking, ha).

Speaking of dishes, here’s a question of the day: What is your favorite dish (or set of dishes)?

Birthday Party Recap

Now that we’ve (almost) fully recovered from the birthday weekend I thought I might share a few photos! The party went really well, and although C can’t talk, I feel certain if he could he’d say he had fun. ;)

We scattered some helium-filled balloons around the house, but for the most part we kept the decorating confined to the dining table. I have a feeling when the boys get older I’ll want to do more, but for now this works really well (and is SO easy to clean up – a huge perk for me).

I designed and printed letters to tie in to the birthday invitations, and strung them up with some brown grosgrain ribbon along the window beside the dining table:

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe & Our Menu for the Week!

We eat chicken a lot in our house, mainly because I’m the one who plans our meals. We have beef probably once a week (sometimes less) but never fish. I hate seafood, and I know I need to work on that if I’m wanting to encourage the boys to eat well! Any recommendations for seafood options I might be able to tolerate? I don’t want anything even remotely fishy tasting. (Nooooo, I’m not picky at all…)

I wasn’t too creative with this week’s menu plan – but I do have two recipes to share with you for things we really love – buffalo chicken pizza and homemade guacamole.

Monday: Grilled chicken salad with cucumber & carrots – it’s a Monday, what can I say? I wanted something easy!

Tuesday: Buffalo chicken pizza with carrots & celery – When we get wings at one of our favorite places, they serve raw veggies with them, so I think it’s a good fit to have with this pizza. Here’s the recipe so you can give it a try! It is a little spicy, so try it at your own risk, haha! Continue Reading…

Friday Follow: Party Week

The Ultimate Blog Party is coming to a close, and I’m just ramping up for my little man’s first birthday party on Saturday! I also realized I’m just eight posts away from hitting fifty posts – and, well, I can’t wait until 100 posts to do a giveaway, so I’m planning to do something to celebrate 50 soon. Keep an eye out for details!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some blogs I’ve discovered through all my blog-hopping. That’s what Friday Follow is all about anyway, right? Happy reading!

New Nostalgia

The Blessings of Modern Domestication

With Words and Lattes

Oh, and I can’t not mention my mom’s blog – her recipe index is AMAZING. Check it out if you’re looking for some new meals to try.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!