August – 2012 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

August 2012

Winner Announcements!

Congratulations, everyone!!

Fiber One Prize Pack Winner:

Chuggington Stack Track Winner:

Ergobaby “Bundle of Joy” Set Winner:

Walking & Jogging a Breeze with Kelty Speedster Swivel Deluxe Stroller

I think it crosses every woman’s mind at some point – how will I lose this baby weight? A favorite way for me to fit in exercise has always been walking and a little bit of jogging, because it’s something I can do for free and enjoy the outdoors at the same time (when it’s not, y’know, 100+ degrees outside)!

The right jogging stroller can make a big difference in your success with this post-baby. For one thing, having a jogging stroller period is important because otherwise you’ve got a built-in excuse to not get out and exercise. But beyond that, you want a good stroller that is easy to use, has good features, and will keep your baby safe.

Kelty is a brand of outdoor products that also happens to produce a great jogging stroller, the Speedster Swivel Deluxe (did you know it was the recipient of’s “2011 Best Stroller” award?).

The stroller has a nice sporty feel to it and comes in either a blue or yellow shade. It’s incredibly easy to assemble and to collapse, which we noticed right away! It also has a ton of features parents will love:

Safety Features:

  • Rear wheel brakes
  • Runaway leash

Stroller Features:

  • Swivel front wheel, with lockout option
  • Easy folding design
  • Bell to alert others
  • Independently reclining seats
  • Fully padded seat and frame
  • Adjustable height handle (34-45″)
  • Quick-release wheels
  • Adjustable sun/rain hood
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Reflective accents
  • Seat-back storage pocket with key fob
  • Under-seat storage bin
  • Water bottle holders

But how does it perform in action? Well, I’m 37+ weeks pregnant, so getting out and jogging isn’t exactly appealing right now, but my friend Amanda and her daughter Rea tested the stroller out for me – and Amanda gave rave reviews! I think Rea did too. :) She said the stroller has a smooth ride (thanks to the inflatable tires rather than hard tires so many strollers have) and was easy to maneuver. The storage bin’s size was really impressive, too – if you’re out and about for a long day of activities, it’s easy to bring along whatever you might need. Here are a few photos we snapped of the stroller:

Note: I received a stroller to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own or those of my guest reviewer, Amanda.

Chuggington “Traintastic Adventures” DVD {Giveaway}


Our boys love to watch Chuggington episodes and they were thrilled when we received the newest title to review – Traintastic Adventures! Another cool thing about this DVD is that it comes with free collectible cards, a first for Chuggington fans!

There are six fun adventures included on this DVD, AND a bonus “badge quest” episode. Watch as Brewster tests a speedy new invention, Koko’s stunt-training saves the day, Wilson gets stuck on the track lift and everybody competes in a big chug-of-war! These episodes showcase social skills that include accepting responsibility, tackling new challenges, being patient, helping others and the importance of teamwork.

We love how Chuggington makes learning fun and teaches kids things without them even realizing it! Would you like to have this traintastic DVD for your Chuggington fan? You’re in luck, because you might just…

One winner will get a copy of the Chuggington: Traintastic Adventures DVD! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Friday, September 14. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: As Chuggington Conductors, we received a Chuggington DVD to facilitate our review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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mombo Taggies Deluxe Slipcover

Back in June I reviewed the mombo nursing pillow. If you haven’t read that review, be sure and check it out to see all the features that make this nursing pillow a step above anything else you might have already tried – seriously, it’s impressive! It’s made by Comfort & Harmony, whose products I’m loving – be sure and keep up with them on Facebook!

One of the features I liked about the mombo was the many cover options available – and my absolute favorite is the pink Taggies deluxe slipcover, which I just got the chance to review! Babies just seem drawn to tags, so I’ve always thought Taggies products were so clever and perfect to use with little ones.

As with all of the mombo covers, there are two sides to this cover – one is solid pink, soft, and velvety, with an embroidered owl and two Taggies wings.

The other side is cotton with a fun polka dot and owl print to it.

And around the sides of this pillow are colorful tags babies will love to play with, making tummy time more fun!

I love this cover (they have a blue one too, for you moms of boys!) and can’t wait to use it with our daughter. Taggies makes all sorts of great products from sleepers to blankets to books and toys – all meant especially for little hands to enjoy!

Note: I received a Taggies mombo cover to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Car Seat Safety Tips



Did you know that seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly? I’ll admit, we found out a while back that we had been making some rookie mistakes when it came to car seat safety. Before you hit the road, check your car seat – it’s crucial that our little ones are fully protected when they’re in the car.

BritaxPavilion_Onyx has a great checklist you can use to make sure you’re following the right steps for installing and using your car seat. In the meantime, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size. Choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
  • You may have heard that a child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat, but recommendations are now that children up to age two should remain rear-facing. I know we’re planning to keep baby E rear-facing for two years once she is born! It can seem like an inconvenience, but it’s worth the safety it provides.
  • Choose a seat that you can trust. There are a lot of seats on the market, but after a lot of research we decided Britax seats are the best choice for us. They go to great lengths to make sure their seats provide maximum levels of safety, and we feel good knowing our kids are well-protected.

Start Your Baby off Right – Sealy Posture Perfect Crib Mattress {Giveaway}


When you bring your newborn home from the hospital, you’ll likely have everything all set and ready to go. Where they sleep will be one of your biggest decisions, and having a safe space is vital. When we picked our crib mattresses for each of the boys, we did research on the features and safety information of various options. We knew we wanted something we could really feel good about them sleeping on.

Do you need a few tips for picking out a crib mattress? Be sure and check out this video for some really helpful suggestions:

Sealy is a brand name in mattresses that we’re familiar with and have confidence in – they’ve been around for years! We felt really good about using the Sealy Posture Perfect mattress for baby #3, especially after reading up on it. Here are its features:

  • 180 durability tested innerspring coils provide long-lasting posture support
  • Secure-edge heavy gauge steel border rods give maximum support around the perimeter where toddlers will sit
  • Two firm hypoallergenic layers cushion and comfort baby while providing a supportive sleeping surface
  • GREENGUARD® Children & Schools Certified: This entire mattress is GREENGUARD® Children & Schools certified for indoor air quality and low chemical emissions to help create a healthier sleeping environment for your baby
  • Waterproof cover and lock-stitched waterproof binding resists stains, moisture and mildew
  • Entire mattress wipes clean with a damp cloth for a sanitary sleeping surface
  • Mattress also fits toddler bed frames
  • 35-year warranty on workmanship and materials
  • Meets or exceeds all flammability, lead, phthalate and CPSIA testing and does not contain toxic fire retardants
  • Proudly Made in the USA

The mattress is great – it fits wonderfully in our crib with no gapping around the sides. It’s a thick, firm mattress that will provide a supportive, safe sleeping surface that we can feel good about.

One winner will receive a Sealy Posture Perfect crib mattress (ARV $109.99)! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, September 17. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: As a Kolcraft Mom, I received a mattress to facilitate my review, and one is being provided for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Five Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party


Dinner parties – they either turn out delightful or disastrous! We typically have more casual get-togethers with friends, but with the holidays approaching I thought you might enjoy this guest post on how to make your next dinner party a great one!

Everybody has heard or experienced first-hand when a dinner party goes wrong, but follow these five tips and your next soirée should go swimmingly.

Think of a theme

A themed get-together can give a dinner party some much-needed structure and brings into play a fun element, with fancy dress always a good laugh. Fancy dress is also a good ice breaker when mens and womens costumes can range from the weird to the wonderful and from serious to sexy costumes from, which is a site worth checking for inspiration on themes.

Keep it simple

Create a menu of dishes that you’ve made before as the last thing you want is for some unexpected mishaps in the kitchen to lead to a culinary disaster. While you’ll be keen to show off your skills in the kitchen and could be tempted to be ambitious with what you make, don’t try and be a show off because there’s always the chance that it’ll backfire.

Set the mood with the perfect playlist

The music you listen to at a dinner party is just as important as the food choice and the selection of drinks to go with it. Ideally, music should be a background noise that’s not too intrusive and creates a good ambiance.

Relaxation is crucial

Hosts should go out of their way to ensure their guests feel as relaxed as possible – and hosts need to feel at ease as well. Staging a dinner party can be stressful, which means things like keeping the menu simple can help to reduce the pressure. Make sure all your guests have been introduced into each other if it’s the first time they’ve met.

Put on some original entertainment

Having an ‘activity’ to distract your guests can be the difference between a good dinner party and a great dinner party. Maybe you or somebody you know has got an unusual hobby that you could teach them? Or maybe you could have an interactive element to your evening, like DIY cocktail making.

Whatever you decide to do for your party, keep it true to your “style” and it’s sure to be a hit!

Ubbi Diaper Pail Brings Style To & Removes Odors From Your Nursery

Almost every nursery has a diaper pail, whether parents choose to use disposable or cloth diapers. They’re never the most attractive things, but they’re functional so we stick them off to the side and hope they won’t really be noticed.

That’s not the case anymore thanks to Ubbi diaper pails! These pails are made of steel and come in a variety of fun colors that really enhance the style of your nursery.

Of course, with having our first girl (and after having two boys) I am totally embracing the pink, and was thrilled to get the hot pink Ubbi to review for our nursery. I love that it adds a pop of color, and I am planning on putting it in a spot right inside the door – a very visible spot that I probably wouldn’t put a normal diaper pail! You can even get decals to add more design flair to your pail, but I like the look of ours as it is.

The top has a sliding mechanism to open and close it, and it has a lock feature that allows you to keep little hands from unintentionally opening the pail when you’re not ready.

There’s a rubber gasket around the lid that helps to seal in odors.

One of my favorite aspects of the Ubbi pail, though, is the ability to use a standard 13-gallon size trash bag and NOT have to buy specialty bags! I can’t tell you how many times with our old pail we’d run out of refills right at the most inconvenient time. And it’s SO easy to install the bag!

When you open up the pail there’s a ring:

You just tuck the bag down inside the ring, folding the sides of the bag over the outside of the ring and inside the pail:

And voila! You’re all set to go:

I am a huge fan of the Ubbi pail. It does retail for more than the pail we used to have, but when I consider the fact that I’m not going to have to spend $6+ on each and every refill, I feel like the costs balance out pretty quickly… and to me the aesthetic appeal of the Ubbi is worth a lot in itself. This would be great to add to your registry, or to give as a gift to someone and really add something special to their nursery.

Keep up with Ubbi on Facebook and Twitter for news on the latest colors available and other great updates!

Note: We receive an Ubbi diaper pail to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Wubbanub – Cute & Useful Pacifier!

Whether you’re a parent or not, you’ve likely heard of a pacifier. You may not, however, know about the Wubbanub – I know I didn’t until just recently, and this is my third pregnancy! The Wubbanub was created by Carla Schneider when she grew tired of losing the pacifier for her baby – she sewed a favorite toy right to the pacifier, making it easy for infants to snuggle the toy and get comfort from the pacifier all at the same time.

The pacifier is made of medical grade silicone and BPA free. The soft plush portion provides comfort to the touch and makes it so much easier for the baby’s little hands to grasp and manipulate the pacifier them self. Which means fewer bouncing, rolling and lost pacifiers and less rooting around in the stroller or bag to find the pacifier.

So cute, isn’t it? And look at all of the varieties available:

Wubbanubs are available at stores and boutiques around the country, and on some online stores (like Amazon) as well!

Note: I received a Wubbanub to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for my post. All opinions are honest and are my own.


Brownies on the Brain: Fiber One Prize Pack Giveaway!

FIber One Brownies gift pack

I LOVE chocolate, and brownies pretty much always sound good to me. But when you’re trying to eat healthy, you can’t exactly just chow down on brownies… or you couldn’t, anyway, until Fiber One came out with their 90 calorie brownies. They have two varieties – chocolate chip cookie and brownie – and both are really delicious! They’re slightly airier than your typical brownie, but they’re still soft, chewy and rich tasting, giving you the sense of treating yourself. Also, each serving provides 20 percent of the Daily Value of fiber (5g)!

One winner will receive a Fiber One prize pack, which contains:

  • 1 box of Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookie flavor
  • Survival kit including:
      • Brain Stress Ball: To help relieve stress from a busy day
      • Water Bottle: it’s important to drink enough water during the day to stay refreshed
      • Ear Tube Buds: Listening to music (especially classical) can help you focus and spark creativity
      • Office Turf: Nature is a source of relaxation. Bringing a little bit of the outdoors inside can help you feel rejuvenated and calm
      • Mini tote bag: Can carry all the items for the “survival kit.” This bag can also be used as a lunch bag or to carry wholesome snacks like Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies


This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Friday, August 31. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received a Fiber One Gift Pack set to facilitate our review, and one is being provided for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own. The gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

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Ton of Fun: The Latest Chuggington Stack Track, Wilson’s Wide Ride! {Giveaway}


We love trains in our house, and the boys are always excited to have new trains and tracks to play with. When our latest review item arrived, the boys were thrilled. This is one impressive track, at 2 feet tall! There are four different layouts you can build, and this set attaches with other stack tracks, allowing you to build a really impressive and wide-spread setup to play with.

Here’s J with the track so you can see how it compares size-wise to him:

There are a lot of fun features to this track, including a lever at the top that both sends your train down the track and makes fun noises, construction cones that fly off and a sign that spins as the train goes by, and the winding track that is fully navigated from top to bottom in one swoop. It’s a lot of fun, and really sturdy, too.

Oh, and you know I mentioned the sets can be put all together to make one massive set? Check out what you could end up with when you combine them:

One winner will get a Chuggington Stack Track set! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Thursday, August 30. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: As Chuggington Conductors, we received a Chuggington Stack Track set to facilitate our review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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