July – 2011 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

July 2011

Friendly Friday – July 22

Welcome to Friendly Friday! Please note – as of this week we’ve started having Friendly Friday begin at 8pm Central Thursday nights. This will give you early-to-bed people time to enter too!

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 one blog at random and will feature links and a write-up for that blog 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 one of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen blog & blogger for this week (and feel free to stop by and give her a little extra love):

Brandi at Frugal Farmhouse lives in a small town in Idaho and, in the past three years, has changed her goals in life. Instead of wanting a fast-paced life, she is on a journey to live a simple, quiet, eco-friendly, frugal life. From her delicious recipes (complete with yummy pictures) to her frugal tips that help readers save money to craft projects that may or may not work to her efforts to waste less food, you’ll find yourself inspired to want to join in on her admirable quest to live the good life for less.

Now that you know about this wonderful blog, 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! Don’t forget – Friendly Friday now begins at 8pm Central on Thursday nights!



Hair Today…Gone Tomorrow

Yup, I really did go with that lame title for my post! I started typing it, paused and wondered if it was too cheesy… decided it was, paused again… and went with it. Because if I can’t be cheesy on my own blog, then what is this world coming to?!

:)

So, as I’m sure you can tell, this post is about hair. Not mine, but Brian’s. He’s been letting his hair grow out since C was born, and C turned two in April. I just kind of went with it, because I figure it’s his hair, and he doesn’t tell me how to do mine.

The long hair presented some funny situations. Once we were at PF Chang’s and the waiter came up to the table from behind Brian. “Hi ladies, what can I get for you?” he said. Brian turned his head to reply, totally unfazed by this, and the waiter immediately turned bright red and apologized hurriedly.

I liked to tease Brian that he was my hippie husband, even though I doubt video games and LEGO are very “hippie” interests.

Here’s the before shot, from a couple of weeks ago on our trip to Illinois:

And here’s the after shot, from last night:

We measured his hair and it was just long enough to send off to Locks of Love. We’d measured it a couple of times before and he had decided that he wanted to make sure it was long enough to donate before cutting his hair. I love knowing that a child somewhere will get good use out of this. If you’re interested in donating, go here to find out more. It’s a really easy way to make a difference in the life of a child that is dealing with a tough situation.

So, now his hair is trimmed short and I’m sure he’ll be staying a little cooler in the midst of this crazy Texas summer. And I doubt he’ll get called “lady” anytime soon.

Wordless Wednesday

I shared this on Facebook with my friends and couldn’t resist sharing it here too.

C has moved on past a milk mustache and on to a nachos goatee.

Who knew a messy face could be so cute?

 

Summer Fun With Coca-Cola Giveaway!

This summer Coca Cola is celebrating 125 years of summer by helping to create treasured summer memories for you and your family! Just visit My Coke Rewards and explore their online park to find exclusive tips, offers, recipes, prizes and more. You can even play their instant win game!

If you’re not a member of My Coke Rewards yet, it’s easy! My parents collect Coke points and have used them toward things like 12-packs of Coke. Why not earn things for purchases you’re making anyway? It’s such a great concept. When you purchase a Coke product, just find the code on the inside of the package and enter it online  at the My Coke Rewards site.

Coca-Cola is going to help one of you celebrate summer too!

One lucky reader will win this Coca-Cola Summer Prize Pack!

The Prize Pack includes:

  • 24 Can Cooler Bag
  • Coca-Cola Visor
  • RPET Can Cooler
  • 24” Beach Ball
  • Flyer
  • 32 oz. Sports Bottle

This contest is open to all US & Canadian residents ages 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight CST) Wednesday, August 3.

Mandatory Entry: Comment here telling me your favorite Coca-Cola product!

(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.

  • Tweet this: “Want to go to the beach but don’t have a Beach Kit? @Cocacola might just give you one! Enter here – http://bit.ly/oGVzdI #CokeSummer” and comment here with a link to your tweet {1 extra entry per tweet; up to 5 tweets per day}
  • Sign up to receive my newsletter {1 extra entry}
  • Sign up to get my updates in your e-mail {2 extra entries}
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed {2 extra entries}
  • Follow me on Twitter {1 extra entry}
  • Follow me through Google Friend Connect (over in the sidebar) {2 extra entries}
  • Click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to share it on your FB wall {1 extra entriy}
  • Click the “Tweet” button below this post to share it on your Twitter feed –  can do up to two times per day {1 extra entry per tweet}
  • Blog about this giveaway and link it back here; comment with the URL to your post {2 extra entries}
  • “Like” Frugal Novice on Facebook {1 extra entry}
  • Unlimited Extra Entry Option: Leave a NEW comment on as many other posts as you like and get one entry for each comment (entering another giveaway counts too). Be sure to let me know which posts you commented on below.

Note: I received a Prize Pack, and the prize was provided by The Coca-Cola Company but The Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this giveaway. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of The Coca-Cola Company.

Car Innovations

I am always amazed at advancements in technology, and how they infiltrate almost every aspect of our lives, whether it be in the home or even in our vehicles. For instance, I know I have a hard time keeping track of when my last oil change was along with other things I have done to the car. With the advent of a digital vehicle maintenance log, it makes it easy for people like me to know the details of their car’s maintenance history. People can even get an automated meter reading.

Another technological advancement that I’m a HUGE fan of is GPS route planning software. We use our GPS on our iPhones quite a bit, whether on road trips or even in our town. I was especially thankful to have it when in San Antonio alone with J a few years ago. Brian was busy all day helping set up for a friend’s wedding, but the GPS allowed me to find a good shopping center and find my way to a friend’s house to visit.

What’s crazy to me is to think about what technology might be around by the time the boys are driving – I can’t even imagine!

Note: http://cmp.ly/3

Menu Plan Monday July 17-22

Menu Plan Monday

Hi everyone!  We are still recovering from our trip last weekend – there is a ton of laundry to be done, for one thing. Is it like that in your house after traveling? We’re tackling the laundry and we’ve tried to get in a lot more time to rest because the boys’ sleep has been not-so-great this week and they’ve been tired, which means our sleep has been not-so-great too.

We’ve had a fun weekend – Friday night we babysat our friends’ girls while they went to see Harry Potter. The kids all had a blast playing together, and we survived dinner with four kids under four!

Saturday we were at home all day – Brian made chocolate chip pancakes and we had a relaxing day at home (admittedly ignoring all the stuff to be done around the house in favor of resting)! That evening we took the boys over to our friends’ house so we could have our date night, which was great. We loved the movie and thought it was a fitting close to the series. Then we used a gift card and had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and I think I’ve mentioned before what a luxury it is to dine kid-free! I love my boys but eating out with them is a pretty busy experience, and I’m sure you other parents of young kids know what I’m talking about!

This morning was church, and the rest of the day we’ve been resting and tackling our mountain of laundry until this evening when we’re supposed to get together with our small group from church. Afterwards it’ll be time for laundry, laundry and more laundry, so I figured I’d go ahead and work on my Menu Plan Monday post now.

We’re trying to eat cheaply this week, after multiple trips and multiple birthdays at the beginning of July. Meals that create lots of leftovers are my friend. :)

Monday: Burritos. We cook up some lean ground beef and put it with shredded cheese, black beans, rice, and avocados inside tortillas.

Tuesday: Nachos – we’ll use the leftover rice, beans and meat along with some inexpensive queso and chips from one of our favorite local restaurants drive-thrus.

Wednesday: Pasta with HEB-brand marinara (seriously, my favorite marinara sauce!), green beans and carrots. We’ll keep it vegetarian tonight so that we can do something different with it on…

Thursday: Pasta – surprise! I’ll cook up some chicken we already have on hand in the freezer and add a little bit of cream to the marinara to give a different taste to the meal. We’ll have a mix of sauteed veggies, from our freezer supply.

Friday: BBQ chicken sandwiches, with the meat cooked in the crock pot during the day. I’ll just toss in some chicken (frozen) with liberal amounts of BBQ sauce (we prefer the Jack Daniels brand – it’s SO good). When I get home from work I’ll shred the chicken with forks, then make sandwiches that we’ll have with fries and some raw carrots.

If you’re looking for a fun recipe to try this week, be sure and check out Weber’s Recipe of the Week! This time it’s an asparagus, tomato, and feta frittata. Sounds like a great brunch recipe, or a way to sneak some veggies on to your kids’ plates! It looks pretty good too, don’t you think?

Have a great week, everyone! Next week I’m going to try a few ideas I got from people on my Facebook page. If you have a recipe you think I should try, be sure and let me know!

 

 

Friendly Friday – June 15

Welcome to Friendly Friday! Please note – as of this week we’ve started having Friendly Friday begin at 8pm Central Thursday nights. This will give you early-to-bed people time to enter too!

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 one blog at random and will feature links and a write-up for that blog 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 one of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen blog & blogger for this week (and feel free to stop by and give her a little extra love):

Melissa at The Life of a Sippy Cup Mom is not only a blogger but also a SAHM raising an energetic toddler. She has a passion for social media and works with her husband producing apps for the iPhone, Android and Windows Phones on Mitchell Applications. “Show Me St. Louis” has featured Melissa where she shared about the latest celebrity mom trends. She also has a passion for helping others and created Bloggers for Joplin to raise money for Joplin, Missouri, which was hit hard by a tornado a few weeks ago. Spending time with her family is very important to her and her family, and they enjoy traveling together which Melissa shares on her travel blog. As you can tell, she stays very busy!

Now that you know about this wonderful blog, 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! Don’t forget – Friendly Friday now begins at 8pm Central on Thursday nights!



Clue: World of Harry Potter – Game Review

We’re huge fans of board games in our house. Like, HUGE fans. I need to take a photo of our game armoire sometime to show you how stuffed to the gills it is with all kinds of games, from the obscure to the standard favorites.

We’re also big Harry Potter fans – we’ve read both the books and have been watching all of the already-released movies with our friends in order to get ready for the newest release THIS WEEKEND!

Needless to say, it was pretty perfect when we got the chance to review the new Clue: World of Harry Potter. We had our aforementioned friends over to play – it only seemed fitting.

Quibbler Instructions – it’s only appropriate that a missing student would be reported in the esteemed publication, right?

The game itself is the same in its premise – a student has gone missing, and a suspect has used a weapon in a particular location. However, this version steps things up a notch with a board that changes as the dice are rolled, allowing doorways to close and open, floo networks to extinguish or light back up, and an occasional dark mark to appear, throwing a wrench in people’s game plan.

The board before:

and the board after – the red means the door is closed, and you can see that a dark mark has appeared in the center of the room. The floo network (green) is open both times.

You, of course, play as one of the most well-known characters of the series.

You can use floo powder to travel through the floo network, allowing you to transport from one location to another without having to roll a certain number on the dice.

I mentioned before that sometimes the dark mark will appear on the board; if this happens, or if you roll the mark on the dice, you have to pick a card from the dark deck. You can also gain defenses by rolling a star or landing on a star space, giving you a help card. We found that these two elements didn’t come into play as much as we’d thought they would, but it was still a nice added detail to the game.

All in all, this is a really fun game that does take Clue to another level and really incorporates the theme well. We – and our friends – really enjoyed it and it’s a welcomed addition to our game collection.

Want to try the game? You can buy it online or at many of your local discount stores.

Note: We received a copy of the game for review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

 

SwimWays Twitter Party TONIGHT! (And a giveaway!)

If you’re like me and love the chance to win fun prizes, be sure and join in on the SwimWays Twitter party tonight at 8PM Central (9PM EST)! They’ll be giving away some great swim gear, including this awesome pick-your-own Grand Prize:

Just use the hashtag #SwimSteps and make sure you’re following @SwimWays and @SwimProfessor! This Tweet Grid makes it really easy to follow along, if you’d like to give it a try.

 

In the spirit of giveaways, I’m also getting to host a giveaway here, right now! One of you lucky readers will win your choice of either Fishbites Soft Swimmies or a FishKicks kickboard! This contest is open to all US residents. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight CST) Thursday, July 28.

Mandatory Entry: Comment on this post and tell me about your kids’ swim skills. How comfortable are they in the water? When did they start swimming?

(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.

  • Sign up to receive my newsletter {1 extra entry}
  • Sign up to get my updates in your e-mail {2 extra entries}
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed {2 extra entries}
  • Follow me on Twitter {1 extra entry}
  • Follow me through Google Friend Connect (over in the sidebar) {2 extra entries}
  • Click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to share it on your FB wall {1 extra entriy}
  • Click the “Tweet” button below this post to share it on your Twitter feed –  can do up to two times per day {1 extra entry per tweet}
  • Blog about this giveaway and link it back here; comment with the URL to your post {2 extra entries}
  • “Like” Frugal Novice on Facebook {1 extra entry}
  • Unlimited Extra Entry Option: Leave a NEW comment on as many other posts as you like and get one entry for each comment (entering another giveaway counts too). Be sure to let me know which posts you commented on below.

Note: I am a SwimWays ambassador. I did not receive any compensation or product for this post, but have received products in the past as a part of my ambassadorship.

Facercise DVD

If you’re looking for a way to firm up your face and make it look younger, Facercise just might be the solution for you.

According to their site, Facercise is a series of synergistic facial exercises which has been successfully implemented by hundreds of thousands of clients worldwide.  Through proper facial exercise, one can strengthen and develop the facial muscles to achieve an improved, toned, younger looking face.

Clients see a visible difference in their faces in as little as 5 days, if the techniques are applied correctly. Facercise is internationally recognized as the alternative to costly botox injections and face lifts. Facercise has been voted “one of the top 100 beauty products in the world” by Harpers & Queen magazine. The New York Times described Facercise as “bending time’s arrow the other way.”

If you’d like to try Facercise for yourself, you can buy it online here!

Note: I received a product sample for writing this post. I was not compensated monetarily.