February – 2013 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

February 2013

LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge Follow-Up


Well, we finished up the 21-day challenge, and our mouths are feeling “nice and shiny” as our three-year-old would put it! We’ve welcomed this opportunity to discuss oral hygiene with the kids and why it’s so important, and we are glad to be building great habits with them early on.

It was easy for Brian and me to incorporate using mouthwash into our routines, but we knew we wanted to make things fun for the kids so that they wanted to participate! Our three-year-old is still a little young for the mouthwash, but he is becoming a pro at brushing his teeth and getting all the nooks and crannies. We have a song that we sing throughout the two minutes of brushing – here’s a little peek of that song, & of C showing off his toothbrushing skills:

J – our 5-year-old – has been great about brushing for a while, but using mouthwash was new for him when we started this 21-day challenge. Here’s a video of him trying it out for the first time, and a little song we made up to go along with our toothbrushing song… we figured it was only fitting for the challenge!

Our mouths definitely feel cleaner after participating in the challenge – it’s hard to explain, but there’s just a freshness you get from using Listerine that covers every inch of your mouth, and it makes you realize how much you’ve been missing by just brushing. We’ll definitely be sticking with the challenge well beyond the 21 days, and we know our mouths will the better for it!

Don’t forget, you can participate in the challenge too. Be sure and pop over to Listerine’s Facebook page and sign up!

Note: I received products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are honest and are my own.

This Giveaway is Flatout Amazing – $50 to Walgreens!


You probably saw my Hungry Girl Flatouts post from the other day – and if you haven’t, be sure to take a look for two delicious recipes! Well, thanks to Flatouts I’m getting to host a great giveaway for a $50 gift card to Walgreens!



It’s super easy to enter – just use the Rafflecopter below!

This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, March 4. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I am participating in the Flatouts program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Healthy Sandwich Recipes with Hungry Girl Flatouts

We eat a lot of sandwiches around our house, especially now that I’m trying to make a concerted effort to eat healthier. It can be easy to fall into the rut of eating the same sandwich over and over again… but I’ve been inspired to try something new with Hungry Girl Flatouts.

One thing I love about the flatouts is that they’re available at Walgreens, so I could run in quickly and buy ingredients without having to make a long trip to the grocery store. Of course, these are popular… the first Walgreens I went to was ALL OUT!



I wasn’t about to give up, though, so I went over to another location and found some – yay!




There are several flavors available, but our store only had the rosemary & olive oil variety. I happen to love rosemary, so that was fine by me! I was looking forward to adding new flavors, and rosemary isn’t something I typically get with a standard-fare sandwich.


Once I had my flatouts, I went ahead and grabbed some other ingredients for my sandwiches. I had never realized before how many staple items are available at Walgreens, by the way – I was able to find quite a few things I needed!





We decided to try out a couple of different ideas for sandwiches, to add a little creativity and variety. It was a lot of fun, and I think we came up with some really tasty creations.

First, we came up with a basil chicken sandwich – SO easy and packed with flavor. The ingredients for this sandwich are:

  • Rosemary & Olive Oil Flatouts
  • Mayo
  • Basil
  • Deli Chicken
  • Tomato Paste
  • Shredded Italian blend cheese
  • Italian Seasoning


First I made a quick basil aioli by blending olive oil mayonnaise with fresh basil:





I spread that on the flatouts, then topped with cheese and then the chicken:




Then, for a little extra punch, I spread a thin layer of tomato paste and sprinkled some Italian seasoning.



That’s it – SO easy! You could add some baby greens too, if you wanted, but I think it was really good as it was:



Then we decided to make a hot sandwich. Since we LOVE breakfast for dinner, it was only fitting that we made a breakfast sandwich. We added scrambled eggs and bacon, and for a twist we used goat cheese spread on the flatouts. Yum!







I popped the sandwiches in the toaster oven to warm everything through, and give the flatouts a nice crunchy finish:








We loved these! Brian said the crunchiness of the toasted flatout really added to the sandwich, and the goat cheese was a nice, unique flavor with the eggs, bacon, and rosemary from the bread.



Note: I am participating in the Flatouts program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.





Great Value Valentine’s Baking Party Recap

We had the best time at our baking party! These Great Value parties are starting a tradition I think we’ll continue for a long time. It’s a great, inexpensive get-together that allows quality time with the kids and creativity (plus the ability to enjoy the finished product)!

Our party was Saturday morning, so I got up and got everything prepared.


Think I have enough heart-shaped cookie cutters? I love my little collection, and they were perfect for the party.



First we let the kids make the chocolate chip cookies. This was a fun and easy way to get them involved – I just cut slices of Great Value cookie dough and put them on each child’s plate, and then we had them roll them up into balls to put on the cookie sheet.

Next we got out the sugar cookie dough and used the cookie cutters to make heart shapes for our stained glass cookies. I will say, in hindsight, that we should’ve added a little flour to the dough so the cookies didn’t spread as much after cutting out the dough. But they still turned out cute, and the kids (and the moms!) had a lot of fun. We sprinkled bits and pieces of broken hard candies  into the cutouts:

Kristi_Cookies  Cookies_Candy

Here’s the finished product – the kids thought they were beautiful, and they tasted delicious.:



Once the chocolate chip cookies came out of the oven, we quickly added chocolate hearts to give them a Valentine look (and who doesn’t like a little extra chocolate for Valentine’s Day?) – these were SO good!





Once we finished all the cookies, we let the kids play while the moms made pies and tarts. We used Great Value pie crust and the cookie cutters to make our pies heart-shaped, of course. For the filling we just used frozen berries (thawed) and strawberry preserves. By using the Great Value brand products, we were able to make our pies for less than $10!

Jen_Pies   PiesTarts




These were SO good!! In fact, I bought more supplies and am going to make pies tomorrow night to take up to work for Valentine’s Day. They would make a great gift, and the flavor combination possibilities are abundant!

As you can see, we had another fun and tasty Great Value baking party – I can’t wait to see what products our spring baking party will feature… time to get planning!

For more fun baking party posts, check out these blogs:

Note: I am participating in the Great Value program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.


LOVE to Bake with Great Value!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! We’re going to bake some fun Valentine’s goodies this weekend with friends at our Great Value baking party and I’m looking forward to trying out some new and creative ideas! We’re going to make two different kinds of easy but creative cookies, and then we’re going to make mini heart-shaped mixed-berry pies. Fun and sweet!

First we’re dressing up some standard sugar cookies, and it’s incredibly easy since we’ll be using the Great Value sugar cookie dough. All we’ll have to do is cut out another heart out of the center of a larger heart-shaped piece of cookie dough (we’ll use the cutouts to make some iced sugar cookies) and then in the hole place two hard candies. Bake as the package directs, and voila! Stained glass cookies.

Another easy cookie idea – we’re taking Great Value chocolate chip cookie dough and adding chocolate hearts to make them a special sweet treat. They’ll look like this, only the ones in this picture are made with peanut butter dough. This would be a great little gift for neighbors or for your kids’ teachers! I think we’ll be using them to put in our boys’ lunches for dessert next week building up to Valentine’s Day.

Of course, I mentioned that we’ll be doing pies, too. I’m not following a particular recipe for these. I bought some Great Value pie crusts and frozen berries, and some strawberry preserves to make a nice berry pie – yum!

GreatValue_PieCrust   GreatValue_Berries

We’ll just use cookie cutters to cut out two large heart shapes, fill with some berries and preserves, and press the edges together using a fork. I got some decorating sugar to sprinkle on top of these to give them a little sparkle. Couldn’t be easier, and I think they’ll turn out adorably! I am thinking about packaging these with cellophane & ribbon and putting a tag that says “You’re Berry Sweet!”

I think this will be so fun and can’t wait to share the results with you! What kind of treats do you like to make for Valentine’s Day?

Note: I am participating in the Great Value program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.


Listerine 21-Day Challenge: Getting Our Mouths ULTRACLEAN!

I’ve always felt like I have good oral hygiene. I brush my teeth twice a day, after all. But then I read that brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth.  Can you believe it? I was shocked. I’m determined for our whole family to take great care of our teeth, so we are taking part in the Listerine 21-Day Challenge.


Right now our oral care routine is pretty simple – brushing our teeth twice a day, with occasional flossing. AND, I recently learned we weren’t brushing our teeth for nearly long enough each time – you’re supposed to brush for two minutes minimum, which feels like a long time. So we definitely have some work to do!

Here are some tips we learned for adults:

  • Keep your bottle of mouthwash in a visible spot in the bathroom (out of reach of the children) along with your toothbrush and a rinsing cup so that you remember to rinse twice a day.
  • Give it time. It can take up to three weeks to form a healthy habit (hence the 21 day challenge!) – stick with it, and let the results motivate you to keep it a part of your daily routine.

And here are a couple of tips for kids:

  • Make oral care fun – turn flossing into a funny-face contest, or make brushing a “Simon Says” game by calling out different parts of the mouth.
  • Play your kids’ favorite music to help them brush and rinse as long as they should!
  • Reward healthy behavior. Offer rewards for achieving brushing, flossing and rinsing goals.


As we participate in the Listerine 21-Day Challenge we will make sure we’re brushing the full two minutes, but more importantly we’re going to start using Listerine mouthwash. By using that, we can clean virtually 100 percent of our mouths. I am so glad we’re doing this early on with the kids so that they develop GREAT habits at a young age! Our boys are 3 & 5, and playing is MUCH more appealing than hygiene to them right now, but we want them to understand the importance of taking good care of themselves.

The boys are super excited to use their Phineas and Ferb mouthwash, and Brian and I love the clean feel we get after using the ULTRACLEAN mouthwash. It’s so nice to know our mouths are truly clean after using it!


What’s your oral care routine like? Do you use mouthwash, or do you just brush your teeth? I hope you’ll join in and participate too – a healthier, cleaner mouth is waiting for you! You can sign up to participate at www.facebook.com/listerine – for every person who signs up for the challenge, the Listerine brand will make a contribution to help Oral Health America’s “Smiles Across America” program toward their goal of connecting 210,000 children with needed oral health services in 2013.

Some other facts to consider:

• There are more germs in your mouth than there are people on earth!

• Oral disease is now the most chronic childhood illness in the U.S.

• More than 51 million school hours and 164 million work hours are lost each year due to dental disease.

It’s easy to see how important it is to take good care of your mouth. I’ll be checking in during our 21-Day challenge (we started on the first to make it easy to keep track) and letting you know how it’s going – and I’d love to hear from you, too!

Note: I received products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE 21 Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are honest and are my own.