April – 2013 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

April 2013

Octonauts – Explore! Rescue! Protect! Right in Your Own Living Room


Note: We received these Octonauts items from Child’s Play Communications to facilitate our review. We were not compensated monetarily. All opinions are honest and are our own.


My boys have liked the Octonauts show for a while now, and they were THRILLED when a box of Octonauts goodies arrived! We received the Octonauts Octopod Playset, Octonauts Gup-C and Shellington, Rescue Assortment  Action Figure Rescue 2-Pack – Kwazii & the Slime Eel, and the Octonauts Octo-Compass. The compass was a hit right off the bat – the boys used it to do all sorts of exploring around the house, and they thought the fact that it makes noises and talks was SO cool.

OctoCompass OctoPodPlayset

GUP-C Kwazii_SlimeEel

The Octopod Playset is downright awesome. It’s sturdy and well-made, it’s right on par with images kids will have seen from the show, it’s colorful, and the four pods make this an easy toy for kids to share (which is a pretty big feat in itself). It promotes creativity, for sure – the boys were acting out all sorts of different scenarios and had so much fun with it! The extra toys with the GUP-C and then Kwazii were a great addition to the Octopod and allowed for even more fun. We were all really impressed with the Octonauts toys! They’re a lot of fun to have out during or after the Octonauts show airs, too, because then it allows for the kids to actually get involved and actively play along with the storylines.


Be sure to visit the Octonauts site or the Octonauts Facebook Page to get more information. These toys are made by Fisher Price, and can be found at Toys R Us, Amazon, and other retailers.


Crayola’s Big Colorful Birthday Adventure



Our boys LOVE to color. I bought them the Crayola tower of crayons a while back, and they have had a field day each filling pages of their own drawing pad. It’s so much fun seeing their creativity come out, and I can remember my own love of drawing and coloring first starting as a child. Crayola has been around for a long time impacting kids and helping them be creative!


To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world’s only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they’re out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you’re invited to join the fun!

How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click “enter now” for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child’s creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It’s an experience your kids will never forget – and neither will you!

Note: Crayola provided information for this post. I am receiving a pack of crayons as thanks for this post. I am not being compensated monetarily. 

Jorge Cruise’s Top 5 Foods to Avoid… and 5 to Indulge in, Too!

I’m in the midst of training for my first “real” 5K (more on that later), and am on a quest to get in better shape, so I thought this info from author Jorge Cruise was fitting to share!
JORGE CRUISE is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 15 weight loss books. His mission is to guarantee weight loss for busy people. Science has proven that fitness begins in the kitchen, not in the gym. By merging breakthrough dietary science with great taste he produces delicious fat melting menus. He has appeared on numerous television shows like Anderson Cooper, The Today Show, Dr OZ, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, The View, The Talk, LIVE with Kelly and Michael.
Top 5 Foods to Avoid
For anybody trying to lose weight out there, we have all heard the mantra’s of eating less or exercising more, but the new dietary science confirms that all we need to count is Sugar Calories for Extra Easy Weight Loss. I am about to show you 5 foods that you may think are healthy, but are actually spiked with Hidden Sugar Calories!!
  1. Whole Wheat Bread
  2. Couscous
  3. Quinoa
  4. Sweet Potato
  5. Brown Rice
Top 5 Indulgences to Include
For anybody trying to lose weight out there, we have all heard the mantra’s of eating less or exercising more, but the new dietary science confirms that all we need to count is Sugar Calories for Extra Easy Weight Loss. I am about to show you 5 foods that you should indulge in!!
  1. Pancakes
  2. Strawberries
  3. Jorges Chocolate Lace Cookie
  4. Wine
  5. Chocolate

I’m also getting to share one of his recipes with you – Jorge’s Chocolate Lace Cookies! This recipe is for 24 cookies:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup xylitol
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour (about 1/2 cup almonds ground in a coffee grinder)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup stevia sweetened whey protein powder
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (85% or great), chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2.  Beat together butter, xylitol, and vanilla extract until ight and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3.  Whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, whey powder, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.  STir dry ingredients into butter mixture.  Stir in chopped walnuts and chocolate until combined.
  4.  Spoon heaping teaspons of batter 2″ apart on prepared baking sheet.  Place in freezer for 5 min.  Remove and bake for 9-10 min.  Cookies will be lacy and spread during baking.  Cool cookies completely on baking sheet.
  5.  Store in airtight container.  Cookies crumble when exposed to air.

For more on Jorge’s current methods, please visit http://jorgecruise.com/the-method/

For more about Jorge, please visit http://jorgecruise.com/about-jorge/

For more information about Jorge’s books, please visit http://jorgecruise.com/the-books/

Not Just Cleaning… Healthing! LYSOL’s New Initiative

With kids in the house, cleaning takes on another vital role beyond just having your house look nice. You do it to stop the spread of germs, too! It took me a while to learn this lesson. When Brian and I were first married, I cleaned for aesthetics. I wanted our place to look nice, and I feel better in a clean space. I didn’t really think about germs other than making sure I washed my hands often.

Now that we have three kids, and especially with having an infant in the house, we are very conscious of how quickly germs – and illness – can spread. We’ve seen firsthand how the stomach bug can go oh-so-quickly from our older son to our younger one. And I even recently had the unpleasant experience of catching a stomach bug from our 6-month-old daughter. While I’d much rather be sick than have one of the kids catch an illness, I think everyone knows that when mom is out of commission it makes everything harder! It’s vital that we all stay well, and LYSOL recognizes the importance of that with our cleaning habits.

LYSOL has introduced the concept of Healthing, which is the extension of LYSOL and its Mission for Health. This is the motivation behind the creation of their products that are centered on killing 99.9 percent of germs and providing solutions for the home that help promote good hygiene and disinfection. The idea of Healthing goes beyond cleaning – and looks more holistically at how a healthy home helps to keep families thriving.

For LYSOL, Healthing goes beyond its products to provide the education and motivation to keep a healthy home and family.  This includes:

  • Connecting with 65,000 schools to promote healthy habits and good hygiene.
  • Providing educational programs that reach 50 percent of new moms with health and wellness related to caring for their newborns.
  • Working with trusted third-party organizations to promote the ideas that Healthing embodies, which include the National PTA, the Global Hygiene Council and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, to name a few.

LYSOL has some tips for keeping your house clean AND – more importantly – healthy. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Don’t let spring cleaning overwhelm you – take it one room at a time and stock up on products that will help you to get the job done effectively, including LYSOL® products, paper towels, sponges, and trash bags. (Check out my cleaning calendar for an easy schedule of doing a little cleaning each day!)
  2. Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting! Both are important components of the Healthing process and LYSOL® has products that can help with all related tasks. While cleaning and organizing is certainly important, killing germs on commonly touched surfaces can lower the risk of spreading bacteria and viruses between members of the family. (I LOVE this one because it’s simple but so true – it’s easy to disinfect while you do your standard cleaning, just by using great LYSOL products that allow you to get rid of germs easily).
  3. Don’t forget to disinfect places that you don’t see or think about often, like the door knobs, cabinet handles or sink drains. (YES! I’d add remotes, video game controllers, keys and phones to this list too).
  4. Make it a family activity and tailor tasks to specific age groups.  Give younger children simpler, one-step tasks like dusting or picking toys up off the floor, and save the more complex jobs, such as vacuuming, scrubbing, and disinfecting for older members of the family. (This is a great way to develop good habits in your kids from an early age. We are really starting to work with our boys on helping us with the cleaning.)

LYSOL disinfecting wipes are a staple in our house. We use them for cleaning countertops, our dining table, spills and more. I also love them for cleaning off hard-surface toys. What do you use for keeping your house clean AND your family healthy? Do you have any favorite cleaning tips?

You can find out more about LYSOL’s Healthing initiative on their website or Facebook page, and can also view their guidebook!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for LYSOL®. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.