September – 2010 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

September 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Little Mr.Independent

C’s at that age where he’s ready to run off all over the place – who needs Mom & Dad trailing right behind? Here we were having a picnic at the park. He ran off, several yards away, and then gave us a big grin as he stopped to take a drink. :)

Chicken Taco Grande Recipe

Menu Plan Monday

Hi, everyone! Hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day holiday – I know I am! So far it’s meant a lazy morning (which is why I’m just now working on my MPM post) snacking on cereal and watching cartoons with the boys (they’re both big fans of this new Cat in the Hat cartoon on PBS, by the way – have you seen it?).

Well, last week I missed out on MPM – I had a stomach bug that was NO fun at all, trust me. Thankfully it was short-lived and I was back to normal the next morning, but it threw my entire week off. This weekend we’ve managed to get a lot done around the house and are back on track – I love that feeling! Hopefully next week I won’t be writing about how we’re all scattered again. :)

Here are our meals for the week: Continue Reading…

Pain Awareness Month – Dr. Scholl’s Review

I know as a mom of two young children I’m always moving, usually with C on my hip. Every evening it’s wonderful to fall back into bed and let my often aching back and tired feet get some rest. I got the chance to review Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics and was very curious to see what kind of difference I would see from using them.

I have to admit I’d always thought of the shoe inserts as something for older people, not something I’d need. Well, I can honestly say that I am a convert now. I tried the Back Pain Relief orthotics and wore them in my Converse. I love those shoes but the soles are pretty much completely flat with no support whatsoever. The Dr. Scholl’s inserts solved that problem – they cushioned my entire foot, and provided the perfect amount of support for my arches. After wearing the shoes with inserts all day, my feet felt perfectly fine, which is usually not the case when I wear Chuck Taylors. The inserts are trimmable, so you can easily cut them to fit perfectly in your shoe. There are several different types of insoles available:

  • Arch Pain Relief
  • Arthritis Pain Relief
  • Back Pain Relief
  • Heel Pain Relief
  • Knee Pain Relief

September is Pain Awareness Month – did you know that 80% of Americans suffer from some degree of lower body pain? Dr. Scholl’s wants to help raise awareness about pain, treatment options, and Dr. Scholl’s products that can help. They’ve recently launched a new Facebook Page with lots of information, and a $3 coupon for their line of orthotics – you all know how much I looove coupons!

If you have lower body pain, I’d recommend giving Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics a try. At around $15-$20 a pair they’re much cheaper than specialized shoes and are probably even less expensive than a copay to your doctor’s office. With the $3 coupon they’re even cheaper, too!

Note: Dr. Scholl’s provided me with orthotics inserts to review, but my opinions remain honest and unaffected, and are my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.


Friendly Friday Sept. 3

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way for everyone to get even more traffic to their blog.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers!
We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

Sara at Our Breezy Beach Life lives in Florida with her husband and young daughter who they consider the most precious gift they’ve ever been given. Sara works full time but is able to work two of those days from home. She shares personal stories in her blog as well as pictures of her family and recipes such as Monkey Bread and a frozen strawberry dessert that looks so yummy.

Alexandra at Ma, what’s for dinner? lives in Connecticut with her husband and three young sons. Alex enjoys cooking with her children and hopes that her site and cookbooks will be a catalyst for other families to cook and bond together in the kitchen. Her cookbook, Ma, what’s for dinner?, has kid-friendly recipes and 15% of all proceeds benefit Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the number one genetic cause of infant death.

Karen at Crazy Mama Karen has three children, ages four, three, and one.  She and her husband work opposite shifts, so her days are long and crazy but she wouldn’t have it any other way!  Karen loves to spend time with her family, bake, try new things, read, and write on her blog.  She enjoys writing about life stories, lessons learned, tips, crafts, product reviews and giveaways as well.

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it’s time for you to join in! Add your link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can grab the code to share the link list on your blog too.

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Little Looster Review & Giveaway

Raise your hand right now if you’re in the midst of all the potty-training craziness. Ok, you don’t really have to raise your hand. :) But I’m betting a lot of you are in the same boat we are, which is hoping against all odds that our darling little boy will FINALLY decide that using the “big boy” potty is a great idea.

When we first started trying to get J interested in potty training, we bought him a small potty seat. Even then I felt like we were adding a step to the process – I mean, we’ll get him used to that, but then he still has to get used to using the actual toilet.

I recently got the opportunity to review the Little Looster, a booster of sorts for the toilet, and I was really excited about the prospect because it meant we could try a new approach for potty training J.

As you can see, the Little Looster is U-shaped and fits neatly around the base of the toilet. It allows little ones to climb up on to the toilet and have firm footing, giving them a sense of security and aiding in the process of potty training.

When we first received the Little Looster, I wondered if it would get in the way for adults using the toilet. It did take a little getting used to, but the makers have thought a lot about convenience – there are cutouts along the bottom that help to keep it from getting in the way for grown-ups, while still allowing it to have the size needed to help kiddos feel secure while using it.

J liked trying the Little Looster right when we got it, and I was impressed – he had always avoided using the “big” potty chair before. It was easy for him to climb up on, and definitely provided solid footing for him.

I waited a while to post this review after receiving the product, because like I mentioned at the start, we are still in the throes of potty training and I wanted to be able to report on effectiveness. J still isn’t potty-trained, so know that the Little Looster isn’t going to be a magic cure-all if your child simply isn’t ready to be potty-trained. If you’re seeing signs of readiness, though, the Little Looster is a nice aid to have. It’s much more stable than using a stepstool, and the fact that it wraps around the base of the toilet is nice – it provides more of a range of space for children to place their feet (because we all know children are not going to just sit still – they wiggle!).

As far as drawbacks go, it does take a little getting used to for grown-ups, and I wish that it were available in other colors besides white. Other than that, though, this is a solidly-constructed, lightweight piece of equipment that can easily be moved elsewhere if you have guests, for example.

We still have our Little Looster up and are hopeful that we’ll keep making progress with the potty-training in the coming weeks. Would you like to have a Little Looster to help your child with potty-training? You can buy one here (shipping is very quick – I was really impressed with how quickly we received ours!) – but you also have the chance to WIN one, too!

Win It

The winner will receive one Little Looster, valued at $39.99! This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST on September 16.
How To Enter

Mandatory Entry: Go to the Little Looster site and then comment here with a fact from their “About” page.

Bonus Entries

(Only valid after the required entry has been completed)

Please leave a comment for each extra entry – if you blog about this giveaway and get 3 entries, for example, comment 3 times.

Note: Little Looster provided me with product for review and for this giveaway, but opinions provided in this review remain honest and are my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.


Sears Labor Day Sale

Ok, if you know me at all, you know I LOVE sales. Honestly, I don’t do much shopping if there’s not a sale involved – if I buy something at regular price, I wonder if I could have gotten it for less. That holds especially true for big purchases like appliances – I’m always on the hunt for the best deal.

Sears is having a big Labor Day Sale this weekend, which speaks right to my bargain-loving self! It starts today, September 1, and runs through Tuesday, September 7. The sale is called the Big Switch Labor Day Sale, where Sears invites customers to make The Big Switch to ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. To find out more about The Big Switch, you can visit In addition to financial benefits, The Big Switch also helps the environment. I know we have several ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and it makes me feel good to know we’re at least doing something to help.

Only Sears has the largest selection of ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and everyday low price guarantee. Their Labor Day Sale features a big variety of savings on a lot of different energy efficient appliances and products, including:

• 30% off all ENERGY STAR qualified appliances from Whirlpool, Samsung and Maytag.

• 20% off all other ENERGY STAR appliances.

• Extra 5% off all appliances with a Sears Card.

• Save over $700 on LG washer/dryer pair.

We have an LG washer/dryer set that we absolutely LOVE – it’s silver, so I think it’s pretty, too, but we also learned when we purchased it that it uses less water, which saves us money and also helps the environment. All of our kitchen appliances are ENERGY STAR qualified, too – that was a big priority for us when we redid our kitchen! The Sears Labor Day Sale is the perfect time to update your appliances and make The Big Switch.