October – 2014 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

October 2014

Living Proof: Perfect hair Day Update

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence central for Living Proof. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.


A little over a month ago I told you how I was starting to use a line of hair care products from Living Proof called Perfect hair Day (PhD). I was only about a week in to using the shampoo and conditioner at the time, but I already knew I really liked  it.

Now that I’ve been using it day in and day out, I can definitely attest to the fact that it makes a difference. I’ve never been one to have great hair. It’s okay, but I’ve never had an easy time getting it to really look good. I have oily hair, which means I wash it daily, but then I end up with frizzy hair, which isn’t so great either!

I’m also not a person who has a lot of patience with styling my hair. I’m never going to be the girl that spends hours of time (or, let’s be honest, even one hour of time) on my hair, so I typically just blow dry it with a round brush and it ends up looking okay.

With the Perfect hair Day products, my hair looks sleek but not flat. It has body but isn’t frizzy. It’s a perfect balance that I’ve been trying to achieve for years, and I love it!

Here’s my routine: I wash my hair every day with the Perfect hair Day shampoo. It doesn’t make my hair frizzy at all (happy dance!!). I follow up with the conditioner, and once a week I use the Restore Mask Treatment.

After I let my hair towel dry a bit, I put on the Prime Extender and then the 5-in-1 styling treatment. I blow dry my hair with a diffuser and a round brush for about 10 minutes, and I’m golden!  Here’s my finished look:

LivingProof-HairFront LivingProof-HairBack


And here’s what my hair looked like before – much frizzier!


I love having a product on hand that gives me salon results for a fraction of the cost – and something I can easily keep up with on a regular basis. My husband and I recently celebrated our 11th anniversary, and it was nice getting to feel great out on our date night!


If you’re like me, a busy mom who wants to look her best without having to invest tons of (non-existent) extra time, Living Proof Perfect hair Day products are just what you’re looking for. And guess what?!

Now through November 8th, with an order of $20 or more, you can enter the exclusive code NOV2014 to get a free Perfect hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment in travel size. With this order you will also receive free samples and free shipping!

Don’t forget, you can keep up with Living Proof on social media, too! You can find them on:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Healthy Habits are Underway Thanks to LISTERINE!

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.



Well, we’ve had our LISTERINE products for a while now and we’ve been integrating them into our oral care routine – and loving it. It doesn’t take much time at all to add Smart Rinse to what we’re already doing, and as a mom it makes me happy to know that the Smart Rinse is helping to clean all the germs the boys may have missed when they brush their teeth (let’s be honest; we all know that elementary-aged kids aren’t the most diligent brushers!).

The boys think the Smart Rinse is fun because it’s green and because it has the Avengers on the front of it, so it made it easy to introduce to them. Sometimes they (especially our oldest son) can be resistant to trying new tastes, but they both were open to using this and they like swishing it, too.

I love the floss for myself, because that’s one area I haven’t always been perfect about. I’m a twice-a-day brusher, but I know flossing is crucial for oral health – and LISTERINE has floss for virtually every type of mouth. The POCKETPAKS are another favorite of mine. They’re so easy to keep in my purse and pull out when I need them. They don’t just make your breath smell better, folks. They kill germs, so these are great to use after a meal or snack (and especially after sugar). The kids love them, too, because they think it’s magical how the strips dissolve on their tongues.

Have you tried any of these great LISTERINE products? Click here to find out where you can buy them, and you can visit the LISTERINE website, too, to find out more about what all they have to offer. And don’t miss the great Healthy Habit Heroes videos on the LISTERINE YouTube page!

Be a healthy habit hero and get your kids started NOW taking good care of their teeth. We talk to our kids about how important it is especially once they get their “grown-up” teeth, and we hope that we’re instilling habits that they’ll continue throughout their lives!

Cuisinart Alfrescamore Outdoor Pizza Oven {& a Giveaway!}


Note: Cuisinart provided us the Alfrescamore to facilitate our review, and they’re providing the giveaway items. I was not compensated monetarily for this post; all opinions are honest and are my own.

We love to make homemade pizza. It’s a lot of fun mixing and matching toppings to get exactly what you want, and we like to be creative with the combinations we come up with. It’s also a fun and easy food item for the kids to help make, so it’s something our whole family can do together. With October being National Pizza Month, it’s been a great excuse to celebrate the holiday with pizza. Lots of pizza.

Of course, when we’d make our pizzas before we weren’t able to replicate the same awesome crust we’d get when we’d eat pizza out. You know what I mean – that awesome crispiness that is the perfect counter to the gooey cheese!

Now, though, our pizza making has been taken to the next level, thanks to the Cuisinart Alfrescamore Outdoor Pizza Oven.



This is my new favorite cooking gadget. I thought it would be handy and fun for entertaining, but I had no idea what a difference it would make in the quality of our pizzas! We decided to have some friends and family over for a pizza party to help us test it out.

As you can see from the photo above, you can use this outdoors – and it’s portable. Can you imagine tailgating with this amazing oven? You can do more than pizzas (even cookies, folks) so it’d really take your tailgating – or camping – food to the next level.

The oven runs on propane. We just used a small propane tank, but we’ll eventually get the stand and adapter to hook it up to a larger tank. It can get REALLY hot, which makes for an amazing pizza – and it’s outside, so it doesn’t heat up the whole house (an important feature here in Texas, where it’s 80+ degrees in October!)


We made several kinds of pizzas for testing, but I think our favorite was our baked potato pizza. SO easy – I’ll share the recipe below!

Here’s a hint, too – we buy our crust from a local pizza shop. It’s way better than store-bought crust, and if I don’t have time to make my own this is a perfect choice.


We sprinkled corn meal on the pizza peel that comes with the oven, then spread out our dough and put on the toppings.


Then we just slide it into the oven, and about 5-7 minutes later our pizza is ready!

Here’s Brian taking a look at the pizza as it cooks:


And the “after” shot:


Topped with chives and ready to serve:


It was a hit!



Here’s how to make baked potato pizza: Spread your dough with a thin layer of sour cream, then top with sliced, pre-boiled red potatoes (peel on). Sprinkle with chopped bacon (we bought real bacon bits from the salad dressing aisle) and shredded cheddar. Bake in your oh-so-awesome Alfrescamore Pizza Oven, then top with chives. SO easy, right?

Let’s talk a little more about this oven, because friends, it’s spectacular. Here are a few facts:

What is the Cuisinart Alfrescamoré Outdoor Pizza Oven?

  • Designed to replicate the perfect pizza environment of a real brick oven providing pizzeria quality pizza anywhere, any time
  • Includes a smoke chip cup which allows you to add authentic wood-fired taste (we can’t wait to try this out!)
  • Extremely portable – compact and weighing in at only 35 pounds
  • Assembles in less than 10 minutes without tools and cooks in as little as 5 minutes
  • MSRP: $249.99
  • Available online at BedBathBeyond.com, Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com and Cuisinart.com; Currently available at select Bed Bath & Beyond and The Home Depot stores!


Keeping in the theme of celebrating National Pizza Month, I’m excited to be giving away:

  • Cuisinart 12″ Pizza Peel
  • Cuisinart Pizza Cutter

This prize has a value of $39.98 and would be a great gift for any foodie! And of course, perfect accessories for when you get your Alfrescamore Outdoor Oven.

This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents and will end Tuesday, November 4. By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Rules for Frugal Novice giveaways.

What’s the first recipe you’d test in the Cuisinart Alfrescamoré Outdoor Pizza Oven?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter your “That’s My Kid” Moment in the VTech #SmartWatchSweeps

Note: The information included in this post, and a gift card, have been provided to me by VTech.


Does your child have dreams of becoming the next Mozart? Next President? Or a secret spy? Do they leave you in stitches or keep you constantly on your toes?

Kids love to show off their playful personalities and so do their parents! That’s why VTech® wants parents and caregivers to share their “that’s my kid” moments on social media. Using the hashtag #smartwatchsweeps, parents and caregivers can share and submit images of their children showing off one-of-kind kid moments, for a chance to win a VTech Kidizoom® Smartwatch of their very own!

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How to Enter

Take a pic/video of your kids showing off their silly antics for a chance to win a VTech Kidizoom® Smartwatch! You can upload your photo to http://www.vtechkids.com/smartwatchsweeps to submit your entry or tag your photo with the hashtag #smartwatchsweeps when posting it to Twitter and/or Instagram.

At the end of every week, five entries will be selected at random to receive a Smartwatch and will be highlighted as one of VTech’s “Smartwatch Kids of the Week” on their social media channels.

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Here’s all the information you need, plus ways to keep up with VTech on their social media channels:

Libman Freedom Spray Mop Got My House Photo-Ready!

Note: I received a mop and kit from Libman to help facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post, and all opinions are honest and are my own.


As a blogger, I take photos all. the. time. And as a mom, I take pictures even more often, if that’s possible. But on the flip side, as a mom to three kids we inevitably end up with messes. Did I mention we also have two dogs? So, yeah. Messes are a part of our daily life.

Part of the reason we loved our house is that the majority of the flooring is hard surface – our office/game room has hardwoods, and then everything else besides the bedrooms is tiled. Since we’ve lived in this house, though, I’ve been on the hunt for the right product to make mopping an easier task. I am not a fan of housework, so it’s really vital for me to find ways to make it as painless as possible.

Folks, I’ve found a winner in the Libman Freedom Spray Mop.



I was really curious about the name, and how exactly this mop could provide freedom – now I know it does this on several levels.




Freedom from cords – I love this because nothing is more annoying than hauling around a cord with one hand while you clean with the other, and while you try to avoid tripping over the cord as well.


The spray is just powered by a trigger that you squeeze – voila!

You also have freedom from disposable (aka expensive) cleaning pads. 

LibmanFreedomMop-Pad2 LibmanFreedomMop-Pad

We’ve used a mop in the past that does require you to purchase disposable pads, and it can add up quickly to purchase more and more! I love that this mop comes with two pads and you can just toss them in the washing machine.

And lastly, with the Libman Freedom Spray Mop you have freedom from expensive cleaners.


Libman has their own line of cleaners that work really well, with a great scent (and I love the flip top for mess-free pouring):


But, you can use whichever cleaner you like best (you could even use your own homemade cleaners!) – it’s easy to fill the reservoir.




I hope you’ll give the Libman Freedom Spray Mop a chance – I think you’ll love it as much as I do! I’ve even got a coupon for you to save money on it, because I’m nice like that. And be sure and keep up with Libman on Facebook, too!


Kohl’s Gift Card Winner Says YES to Savings For Her Whole Family!

Note: I received a gift card to facilitate a review post, and Kohl’s is providing the gift card for the winner. 

We had over 7,000 entries in the Kohl’s gift card giveaway, and the winner is…

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Winner Meghan and her family


When I emailed Meghan to let her know she won, I asked her to tell me a little more about why she says YES to Kohl’s! She said, “I love shopping at Kohls because they have a great selection for my whole family. The prices are always affordable and I love the rewards programs they offer.” 

Congratulations, Meghan, to you and your family! I hope you enjoy your $250 gift card – and just think of all the rewards you’ll earn with their Yes2You program!!

Diamond Candle Fall Scents are Here!

Note: I received a candle to facilitate my review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

I love candles and I tend to have one around for each season of the year, but fall and winter scents are my absolute favorite. Now that October is here I am more than ready to pull out a fall candle and have a nice cozy aroma wafting through the house. Our candle of choice right now? Caramel Apple Cider from Diamond Candles.


It’s got a really great scent to it that just screams fall – but of course, this isn’t just a candle. Diamond Candles each have a ring in them! It’s a lot of fun waiting for the candle to melt down enough to pull out the little foil pouch housing a surprise ring. You never know what style you’ll get, but I think the surprise is half the fun! Here’s the ring I got:


Here’s a little more about Diamond Candles:
Diamond Candles is on a mission to make home fragrance fun. We combine the scents of premium 100% soy candles with an exciting and fun RINGREVEAL™ experience. Our candles are handmade in Durham, NC and we release fresh, fruity, floral and exotic scents all year long.

Inside every deliciously fragrant Ring Candle, you’ll discover a surprise $10 ring packaged with a special code. Enter your code on our RINGREVEAL™ website to reveal if you’ve discovered a ring worth $100, $1000, or $5000. Lucky winners will choose their ring’s style and size from our exclusive ring collection.

Want to see for yourself? Watch our RINGREVEAL™ videos or go ahead and take the plunge and get your first Ring Candle today. Don’t forget to share a picture of your ring on Facebook and Instagram with #DiamondCandles and #RingReveal to be a part of the Diamond Candles story.

Free Shopular App Puts Deals At Your Fingertips!

Note: This is a compensated post. All opinions are honest and are entirely my own, unaffected by compensation.



Being a bargain lover, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save money while shopping. We regularly check store circulars, and I love a good coupon! Of course, half the time I forget to bring coupons with me, which is just one of the reasons I’m kind of in love with the Shopular app.

  • Shopular is a FREE top rated shopping app and has over 25,000 5-star reviews
  • Over 4 Million shoppers already use Shopular to save!
  • Shopular has over 40,000 of the top retail locations in the US in the app like Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and Macy’s
  • Shopular allows you to select your favorite stores so you never see unwanted deals
  • When you are close to one of your favorite stores or just arriving at the mall, Shopular shows you all of the deals happening that are relevant to you
  • Consider Shopular your personalized deal concierge, never letting you miss a deal!?

I always have my phone with me, so consolidating deals and circulars in one clean, consumer-friendly, easy-to-navigate app is incredibly appealing.

photo 1

When I open the app on my phone, I’m able to quickly scroll through deals for stores that I’ve pre-selected as ones I shop at. I don’t have to filter through tons of listings to find what I like; the app does that for me. AND I selected to receive push notifications from the app, which means if I’m near Kohl’s, for example, I’ll get a message from Shopular letting me know about any sales or deals going on at Kohl’s. LOVE.

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As I mentioned, though, I can also browse through weekly circulars. This is SO useful, because it’s much easier than navigating to each store’s site and trying to find the circular there; many stores don’t have mobile-friendly circulars and it can be a pain, but the Shopular app makes it easy.

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I also like the social aspect of the app – commenting is pretty active within the Shopular community, and it means I might find out about other bargains that shoppers have seen (i.e. a certain item on clearance at Target).

You can download the (FREE) app from the Apple store, and be sure and keep up with Shopular on their social media channels, too:

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr
And don’t miss out on this fun contest for Halloween! I love DIY costumes and can’t wait to see the entries!

7 Beauty Essentials that Make a Relaxing Wedding Week

This post is brought to you by beautyencounter.com.

7 Beauty Essentials that Make a Relaxing Wedding Week

Planning and actual preparation for a wedding can actually bring the bride (and groom) to tons of stress and anxiety attacks. It’s only normal to feel overwhelmed with so much planning to do. But during your wedding week, relax and prepare your beauty regimen as you indulge in finding bridal cologne or pampering yourself with the most luscious hand and foot cream.

Check out these 7 beauty essentials for a stress-free and beauty-infused wedding week.


1. Clarins Cleansing Milk With Alpine Herbs. Wedding week prompts you to meet suppliers and friends for final checking and last minute bridal showers. While you look stunning in your hair and makeup everytime you go out, you also have to take care of your skin as soon as you go home. Remove excess makeup and dirt in the gentlest way by using Clarins Cleansing Milk.


2. Clarins Toning Lotion Alcohol Free with Camomile. Cleanser alone cannot give your skin the freshness it deserves after a long day. To remove excess facial wash and impurities, and to bring back normal moisture levels to your skin, apply this toning lotion from Clarins. Use a cotton ball to apply.


3. L’Occitane Shea Butter 2 Piece Hand and Foot Cream Set. Dry hands and feet? No problem! L’Occitane has something to get you moisturized in this creamy set. Filled with shea butter, these tubes are meant to nourish your hands and feet. Bring them wherever you go for any emergency situations.


4. L’Occitane Angelica Glowing Eyes Eye Roll-On. A problem for any soon-to-be-bride (and basically any woman), the eyes should be the most important aspect that needs to be revitalized. If your current eye cream isn’t working for you, switch to L’Occitane Angelica Glowing Eyes Eye Roll-On. This produces the right amount of gel to massage the eye area reducing eye puffiness, dark circles and tired eyes.


5. Cool Water by Davidoff for Women Eau de Toilette Spray. Looking for the perfect bridal fragrance on your big day? Why not spray a bit of Cool Water for Women on your wrist and neck. Perfect for your beach wedding, this scent captures the freshness of the ocean combined with pineapple, citrus and white flowers.


6. L’Occitane Aromachologie Volumizing Conditioner. Lifeless and limp hair is one of the big problems when it comes to wedding week (unless you want flat hair captured in photos and memories). Use L’Occitane Aromachologie Volumizing Conditioner to give your tresses vitality. This conditioner leaves you with nourished and subtle scented hair which is also easy to style. It’s made with essential oils and natural ingredients from Provence, France.


7. Clarins Total Body Lift Stubborn Cellulite Control. A lot of women complain about their cellulite but they’ve got no time in the world to devote in keeping themselves fit and healthy. If you’re too busy to hit the gym 24/7, help yourself out with this cellulite control product from Clarins. Stubborn cellulite will be reduced, your hips will be refined, and your skin will be smoother and more elastic just in time for your wedding.

Wedding week is a busy week for brides, but you can still enjoy shopping at your own pace and time by visiting www.beautyencounter.com. Join this month’s contest too for a chance to win a $100 amazing prize. Click here for more details.

Kmart is Halloween Central!

Note: We received costumes to facilitate our review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Can you believe Halloween is in just a few weeks? I’m still slightly in denial that it’s already October (90 degree temps in Texas might contribute to that!) but we have already gotten the kids’ Halloween costumes, so I feel like we’re on top of things. With three kids, finding costumes that fit their interests and are affordable can be a challenge. Thankfully we’ve discovered that Kmart is a perfect one-stop shop for all things Halloween!

J, our 7-year-old, is into all things Pokemon, so it was a no-brainer for him; he decided to be Ash, the Pokemon trainer. He loves his costume; it came with a hat and gloves along with the shirt and pants, and he can’t wait to wear it! He even pulled out some Pokemon toys to complement the look.






C, our 5-year-old, loves Skylanders – the boys just got the new Trap Team game, so it’s especially on his mind right now! He got the Spyro costume – and boy is it a hit with him!


He thinks the hands and feet that come with it make it extra cool, and he loves it with and without the mask.





E, who’s 2, isn’t at the age yet where she requests certain costumes, so I had a lot of fun picking out this absolutely adorable strawberry costume for her.



I’ll plan to get her some green tights or leggings to wear with the costume, but since Halloween in Texas is still a pretty warm time, a sleeveless costume is great. If it does get cool, it’ll be easy to add a shirt underneath. Isn’t it SO cute, though? I love the shape of it, and the minky fabric. E’s favorite part of the whole thing was that it came with “shoes”, but I think the headband is pretty precious too!

No matter what kind of costume you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it at Kmart. They’re home to a broad collection of licensed costumes for kids and adults including top options from SpidermanMonsters HighTransformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And this year, Kmart is introducing a new line of costumes for girls from Totally Ghoul that offer 3-in-1 styles. For the price of one costume ($29.99) your daughter can have three options perfect for school, a party and trick-or-treating! As someone who loves a good bargain, a 3-in-1 costume is pretty awesome!

For those actually in charge of party planning Kmart also has decorations for both indoor and outdoor to make your house the creepiest on the block. Popular Halloween decor items this year include the Lemax Spooky Town Collection – now 25 percent off (yay, love a good sale!), and new decorations from Totally Ghoul including the Clown Playing Banjo Skeleton.

Don’t wait any longer – get ready for Halloween today! You can shop online at Kmart and have things shipped to you, or you can have things sent to your local Kmart location. And of course you can always do your shopping at your Kmart, too!

Keep up with Kmart on Facebook & Twitter, too!

Jif To Go Dippers Are the Perfect Snack for Families on the Go!

Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.



Our family, like so many others, is busy a lot of the time. We have three kids, so we have different places to go for drop-offs and pick-ups, plus commitments for school or church or things planned with friends. So it’s really important to us that we have filling snacks to keep the kids from getting hungry hungry (hungry + angry = hangry, in case you didn’t know!).


We’ve tried out lots of different snack options for the kids, but there are negatives to many things we’ve tried – chips aren’t very filling and can be messy if there’s any seasoning. Fruit is a great snack when we’re at home, but is hard to take out and about because it’s perishable.

I love having Jif To Go Dippers in E’s diaper bag when we’re out running errands. I know it’ll be something that the kids have fun eating, for one thing (have you ever met a kid that doesn’t like dipping foods?), and I love that they’re getting protein with the peanut butter.

I also like to keep Jif To Go Dippers in my desk at work. There are some days when it’s incredibly busy and I just don’t have time to go out for lunch. These are a great snack to tide me over!

Jif To Go Dippers come in two flavors: creamy peanut butter, and chocolate silk peanut butter spread. The chocolate version is a perfect treat to have! I love the sweetness of the chocolate combined with the saltiness of the peanut butter and pretzels.

You can find Jif to Go Dippers at grocery stores nationwide – at our grocery store we find them on the same aisle as crackers. You can get singles or 4-packs (I’d recommend the 4-pack; you’ll want more than 1, trust me!).

And don’t forget to enter the Jif To Go photo contest! Share a picture of how you get going in the #GetGoing photo promotion! You can enter each week for a chance to win $1,000 to use for your next adventure. The contest started August 20 and runs through October 1, so #GetGoing and go enter now!

I hope you’ll enter, too! Remember, you can enter on the Jif site, or via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Here’s the Jif info all easy right at your fingertips for you:

Jif Website: http://www.jif.com/ | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jif

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jif | Instagram: http://instagram.com/jifbrand

And here’s all the Jif To Go Dippers photo competition details and guidelines: buff.ly/WT8bQR

How do you #GetGoing?


Heroic Habits with LISTERINE!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”



Our family is still a relatively young family – our oldest son, J, is 7. C is 5, and E is 2. We’re loving this stage of life, but we’re also realizing that while they’re young it’s pretty crucial to set a good foundation for them in a variety of aspects of life! We want them to have manners, to share, to be thoughtful of others. And we want to teach them now how important it is to take good care of themselves, so that they develop good habits now that they continue as they get older.

Oral health is one of those areas that we really want to instill the importance of in our kids, and we work on making sure that it’s a standard part of their evening and morning routines. We buy fun toothbrushes for the kids – I think it’s worth splurging on to get them excited about brushing – and we make up little songs to sing to help pass the time.

But even beyond brushing we know it’s important to teach them about flossing, so we’re really excited to have the LISTERINE floss for them (and us) to use! The Gentle Gum Care floss is great for little mouths. It’s soft and springy, but still really effective at removing plaque from along the gum line. And I love the LISTERINE ULTRACLEAN EASY ACCESS Flosser for myself, because it can be difficult getting floss between those back teeth!

We’re also really glad to have LISTERINE SMART RINSE for the kids to use. Brian and I both use LISTERINE mouth wash, but it’s great to have for the kids too because you know they’re not going to always do the greatest job of brushing. The SMART RINSE helps get to all the areas of the teeth and gums, and the boys think the superhero graphic on the front is pretty awesome.

LISTERINE POCKETPAKS are another product I love for our family’s oral health. They’re not just breath fresheners, friends. They actually kill 99% of germs! They’re easy to keep in my purse for whenever we’re out and about.

How do you teach good oral health to your kids? Have you started them flossing and using mouth wash yet? If you haven’t yet, I urge you to start great oral health habits now – be a healthy habit hero! Click here to see where you can find LISTERINE products near you, and be sure to check out the Healthy Habit Heroes video series too!