May – 2011 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

May 2011

Slap Watch Review

If you’re anywhere around my age (I’ll be 30 this year), you probably remember slap bracelets with some sense of nostalgia. My friends and I loved them, collected them, and wore them in stacks on our wrists.

When I heard about the Slap Watch, I was intrigued by the concept… little did I know how much I’d love these watches! We got to review the orange and gray watches. These are silicone watches that have the framing of slap bracelets you’ll remember from the 90’s. The silicone cover makes these bracelets really comfortable, and they’re perfect for men and women alike! I wore the gray one and Brian’s been wearing the orange, and we’ll switch back and forth. J has worn Brian’s some – he thinks it is so cool! I love the way they look – nice and simple. I’ll wear mine to work all the time!

The only negative about this watch is that the band can get a little sweaty on really hot days. The silicone is easy to dry off, but I would still probably not wear this watch out to jog – although it’s very comfortable, the sweat factor would bother me. I think this watch is great for milder weather or for indoor use.

A feature that makes these watches even more unique is that the faces are interchangeable – so between the two watches, we have four possible combinations! I want to order more watches to try some of the other color combos. Check out how the two we got can transform:

If you’re looking for a unique Father’s Day gift, I think getting these would be a great idea! Not to mention the fact that you might want to wear one yourself. :) There are nine colors available, so 81 options total:

Just visit to get started shopping!

Note: I received two watches for the purpose of writing this review. I was not compensated monetarily. All opinions provided are honest and are my own.

Menu Plan Monday – Memorial Day Edition

Menu Plan Monday

Hi everyone! I am betting almost none of you will read this post until after the fact, because of it being a holiday weekend and all. I hope you all have special times with your family – and don’t forget to take at least a moment to think about all of those that have given their lives for our freedom.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t planned our meals out at all for the week. Sooooo instead I thought I’d share some of our favorite things to grill, since grilling season is in full swing!

• Burgers – we mix Worcestershire sauce in with the meat to add great flavor. I like to top burgers with blue cheese and bacon, or avocado slices. Sauteed onions are another great burger topper!

• Chicken – we have some Kick’n Chicken seasoning that we absolutely LOVE! We also use fajita seasoning quite a bit, because Tex-Mex is a regular in our house.

• Steak – we don’t do this as often, and are still trying to figure out what cuts we like best for grilling. Any advice?

• Garlic – have you ever tried this? Brian’s dad showed us and we love it. You just put some peeled garlic cloves in foil with a little bit of oil, then cook it on indirect heat. The garlic ends up so soft that you can spread it – it’s great on potatoes, burgers, bread, or even by itself.

• Corn – I hate corn, but Brian loves to grill it. Just make sure you soak the husks so they don’t burn!

What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Keeping a Clean House

If you’re like us, you have a hard time finding time to do deep cleaning around the house. For us, decluttering is a necessity for being able to, y’know, have places to sit. :) Light cleaning is a regular part of our routine, too – dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the tub, etc. When it comes to heavy duty cleaning, though, we sometimes slack. For example – with carpet cleaning, we typically have that done once a year. I always notice a huge difference between the before and after!  Now that we have our new couch we have pretty strict no-drink and no-food rules, so it’s stayed clean. But with our old couch, we needed upholstery cleaning pretty often between Josie (our dog) and the boys!

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned it, but we’re working on remodeling our teeny-tiny master bathroom. Instead of retiling the shower, we’re working on deep cleaning the tile and grout to give it a fresh look. I really think this will be one of the heaviest-duty cleaning jobs we’ll have tackled since becoming home owners!

How often do you do deep cleaning?

I disclose:

Lysol Winner & Coca Cola “Make Memories” Winner

Two giveaways ended last night, and I’m excited to announce the winners!

Congratulations Andrea! You’re the winner of the Lysol Allergy Fighting Prize Pack.

Congratulations LaShae! You’re the winner of the T-Fal steamer from the Coca Cola “Make Memories” giveaway.

Thanks to everyone for entering! I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with your families. I have two more giveaways I’ll be posting next week, so be sure and check back!

Friendly Friday – May 27

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. 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 to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

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 family-friendly 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):

When you visit Erica’s blog, bassgiraffe’s Thoughts, you might wonder how she came up with such a unique name! She combined her love of giraffes with the fact that she plays the bass clarine (and has since she was 10!), and there you have it! Erica is a stay-at-home-mom to her two little girls, and has been married to her husband Chris for over 10 years. She shares product reviews and giveaways along with posts about how her family is trying to be more eco-friendly and healthy.

If you need to sit back and take a little break, you might want to have a Latte with Ott A at her great blog! She writes about “love, life, and everything in between.” She holds a monthly linkup with an Iron Chef Challenge, where there’s a themed ingredient for the month and bloggers are the “Iron Chef” contestants. Ott A bills herself as a farm girl fashionista, and loves to cook and garden with her husband. Be sure and check out her recipe list while you’re there – you might just find something new to try in the kitchen!

The blogger at Every Day Products and More is mom to an adorable little boy and has been married to her husband (and best friend) for 12 years! There are giveaways and product reviews aplenty, along with a gift guide to help you select something special for the loved ones in your life! You’ll also be able to get really useful information, like “Must See Kids’ Movies” or “Eight Safety Tips for Blogging.”

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

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!

Pedigree Ambassador – Final Update!

Josie has been on her new Pedigree food for a while now, and she still loves it! Once we find something that works really well for us, we stick to it, so the Pedigree Small Breed Nutrition is what we’ll be getting in the future for her. She is happy and healthy, and I think her coat is shinier than ever.

Before we started the Ambassador program, we had a positive opinion of Pedigree from knowing all they do help with pet adoptions. After using the Pedigree food, we have an even better perception of the brand. I love that the food is reasonably priced, that Josie likes it and does well on it, and that Pedigree is a company that cares about animals.

Want to know what Josie thinks about her food? I did too, so I took a minute to interview her:

Don’t forget – to find out more information about Pedigree and keep up with their updates, visit them at, follow @PedigreeUS on Twitter, or “like” the Pedigree Adoption Drive Facebook page.

I wrote this review while participating in an Ambassador campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Pedigree and received dog food to facilitate my reviews and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

The Children’s Place Review

Since having children, most of my clothes shopping centers around finding cute outfits for the boys. The Children’s Place is one of my favorite stores to shop at. I love that I can find clothes for the boys that are similar in style to what Brian would wear – nothing too “cutesy,” but still young and fresh, with great vibrant colors.

We got the opportunity to review an outfit for J – a varsity polo and chino shorts. He was really proud of his new clothes, and actually asked to wear them!  I love the colors of the shirt, and the shorts are a great cut.

I’ve always been impressed with the quality of clothes from The Children’s Place, and I love that they have so many great sales on top of already reasonable prices. We’ve bought everything from PJ’s to play clothes to Easter outfits at The Children’s Place! If you don’t have one near you, you can shop online – right now they’re offering free shipping on orders over $75 (and tons of their items are on sale, including shorts for $6… after I finish this post I’m going to do a little shopping, I think!!) – you could get a great summer wardrobe for your kids really affordably!

Note: I received an outfit from The Children’s Place for review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Menu Plan Monday – May 23-27

Menu Plan Monday

It’s Sunday night, around 11:30, and I am SO SO SO tired! But I couldn’t go to bed without getting my Menu Plan post up. I’m committed, what can I say? :)

We had a good weekend, although it went by way too quickly. We got to go to DFW on Saturday for a baby shower and to see my family. I got to see a lot of old friends at the shower, which is always a good thing!

Yawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnn…. ok, I’m remembering again how sleepy I am. On to meals for the week!

Monday: We never did have our breakfast in a biscuit last week, so we’ll be doing that. J is really excited because he’s inherited Brian’s love of breakfast for dinner.

Tuesday: Chick-fil-A… we’re trying not to eat out as much, but we’re going to stick with this – it’s a good deal and the boys love it!

Wednesday: Chicken stir-fry with brown rice, carrots, onion, and zucchini.

Thursday: Grilling – chicken and hot dogs, with mixed veggies from Schwan’s (I’ll be posting a review soon!)

Friday: Leftovers – it would be nice to use the grilled chicken on a salad, maybe!

Off to sleep! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Just Jen Review & Giveaway

I am not typically a sparkly kind of girl, but wow do I love my new rhinestone shirt from Just Jen! This site has a ton of great options for various occasions, including maternity, bridal, cheerleading and more. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, they’ve got you covered! You could order custom website t-shirts for your company, or even do like I did and choose a unique phrase that suits you.

When you decide to do a custom shirt with Just Jen, you’re able to select the type of apparel you want to personalize. You’ll choose what text you want (and can select an icon from their library, too), and can pick what font and what stone color you want to use. They have a lot of options available!

I’m a graphic designer at my “day job”. When designing a text layout, there’s a standard text you use as a placeholder until you have the real content; this text begins “lorem ipsum” and is well-known among the design community. So, I thought this would be a fun phrase to have on my shirt – and it turned out GREAT!

(Excuse how tired I look – this was during the time frame that both boys were sick!)

I chose the raglan 3/4 sleeve black shirt with block font in blue zircon stones. I think it looks SO good and is a perfect shirt for me to wear on casual days at work, or just out and about. It’s high-quality and the stones are very secure. I ordered up a size from what I normally get because the shirts do run a little on the small size, and what I got fits perfectly.

Wouldn’t you LOVE to create your own custom shirt? Head on over to Just Jen and start playing with your design – it’s fun! You can order one there… and one lucky reader will also WIN their own free Just Jen shirt!

One reader will win any one Just Jen shirt with an existing design or a custom design! This contest is open to all US residents. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight CST) Monday, June 6.

Mandatory Entry: Visit and comment below telling me what your favorite existing design is!

(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 2 entries, for example, comment 2 times.

Note: I was provided with a custom shirt to review, and one is being provided for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. Any opinions are honest and my own.