November – 2015 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

November 2015

Take Your Phone’s Photos to the Next Level with Olloclip

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We received the Olloclip to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and our own.

We take a lot of photos in our family. I might currently have more than 10,000 photos on my phone. Maybe. So when I learned about the Olloclip lens I knew this was right up my alley, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

The 4-in-1 Olloclip lens is compact, and easy to use. It features four advanced optic quick-change lenses (Fisheye, Wide-Angle, Macro 10x & 15x) that weigh in at less than an ounce.


The Olloclip enhances your field-of-view beyond the phone’s built-in camera. The Fisheye and Wide-Angle lenses enable you to capture more – ideal for photographing panoramic landscapes or a snapping a selfie with a group of friends. Access the Macro lenses by unscrewing the Fisheye and Wide-Angle lenses to photograph crisp close-ups and get detail-oriented beyond the naked eye.

This pocket-sized, award-winning design now works on both front and rear-facing cameras; so you can let your photos and selfies run wild. It also comes with 3 wearable pendants.

You can find the Olloclip online at!

Lemonade Cake: Mini Chef Mondays

We went to Austin this past week for Thanksgiving, and I thought it’d be fun for my mother-in-law to join in on the Mini Chef Mondays fun.

I started dating my husband back when we were in high school, and one of the first things I can remember my mother-in-law making is lemonade cake. Oh my word, people, this cake was good. It’s been years since she’s made it, though, and we realized that my kids hadn’t ever even tried it. It seemed like the obvious choice for the recipe to share with you today!


It also fit in great with a new book we recently read called Mother Bruce. It’s a fun story about a grumpy bear who loves to cook, and who inadvertently becomes mama to some goslings; there’s a part at the end that includes lemonade, so capping off the story with a treat tie-in was a lot of fun. Find out more about the book here!


Here’s the recipe – and don’t forget, as always, there are step-by-step photo instructions for you to make this cake with your kiddos!

Lemonade Cake


  • Lemon cake mix
  • Lemon jello mix
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil & 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Pour lemon jello powder in mixing bowl; then add in the boiling water and mix until the jello is dissolved.
  3. Add the vegetable oil and lemon juice, then mix.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg.
  5. Wipe 9×13″ pan down with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, then flour the pan. Pour batter in pan, then bake for 40-45 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, mix up your glaze – 2 cups powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons lemon juice.
  7. Once the cake has cooled, pour the glaze over the top of the cake and let it set until the glaze has hardened.

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Free Teacher Christmas Gift Printables

It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving has passed and now the Christmas season is here. You might be like one of my friends, who’s virtually done with her Christmas shopping before December even arrives. Or you might be like me, who has barely started thinking about it.

If you’re in the latter group, I’ve got something that’ll help you knock one recipient off your list – this printable is a great gift for teachers! Have your child color it and then put it in a frame. If you want to add more customization to it, you can get an unfinished wood frame at Michael’s and let your child decorate the frame, too.


Click here to download the free printable!

If you’d like something to go along with the printable, a perfect companion gift would be a cute jar of “snow corn.” It’s SO easy to make, and I’ve even created a snow corn label for you to download and put on your container!

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#BEFlavorFull with Birds Eye Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes

As I was cooking our Birds Eye potatoes to go with dinner the other night, our middle child, C, came into the kitchen. “Mom, it smells good in here. It smells like those potato chips I love!” he said. “You’re right!” I told him. “These potatoes are sour cream & onion, and I bet you’re going to love them!”

If you’re looking for a way to get your kids excited about veggies, look no further than Birds Eye Flavor Full frozen veggies. They have a great variety of options available, all with powerful flavor profiles that make the veggies a fun addition to any meal. The current options available are:

And in some areas (including mine), you can find these, too:

  • Sweet Chili Carrots
  • Wasabi Peas
  • Fiesta Lime Corn


I love the Flavor Full veggies too because they’re so easy. We served these on a very busy evening, and all we had to do was put the bag in the microwave. You can’t really beat that! We served the potatoes up with some dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, and our kids pretty much thought it was the best meal ever.



With Birds Eye Flavor Full veggies, it’s now easy to serve your family vegetables every day of the week. The unique and delicious flavors include Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli, Barbecue Sweet Corn, Sweet Chili Carrots, Wasabi Peas and Fiesta Lime Corn.


Harvested and flash-frozen at their peak freshness, Birds Eye uses only the highest quality vegetables for all its products. From pure and simple vegetables, to mixed medleys, to easy-to-prepare vegetables in sauce, any cook can have a host of nutritious menu options just minutes away.



Right now (through the end of this year) you can get a $1.00 off ocoupon for Birds Eye Flavor Full veggies! Just click here to download the coupon and you’ll be on your way to an easy, delicious, flavor full dinner your kids will love.

Hallmark Holiday Traditions

We received four Hallmark ornaments to review. We were not compensated monetarily for this post, and we truly love Hallmark Keepsake ornaments and their Charlie Brown sets.  All opinions are honest and our own.

If you saw my Hallmark post from last year, you know we are huge Hallmark Keepsake ornament fans. Getting new Hallmark ornaments each year is a favorite tradition of our family and is one we always plan to incorporate into our Christmas festivities.

Beyond the ornaments, Hallmark offers all sorts of other really fun Christmas decor. For instance, back in 2011 we got this set of Charlie Brown characters; they each play an instrument, and they interact with each other remotely to all play songs together. They’re so fun, and our kids adore them.


This year Hallmark has released the Charlie Brown Peanuts Gang Light Up Show.  There are five, although not all of the characters have been released yet (we’re already planning to go this weekend and get Linus & Snoopy!); this set not only plays music, but it has an interactive light show timed with the music and coordinated between each piece. It’s colorful, fun, and incredibly impressive. We’re so glad to have it as a part of our Christmas decor.


Of course, I’ve also got to share which ornaments we picked this year! The kids loved looking through them all, and each one found an ornament that’s truly a perfect fit for their personality.

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Talk Around the World with Sprint’s Global Roaming

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received product to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

The holiday season is upon us, and that means people are traveling now more than any other time of year. Some people are just headed across town; some are going across the country; and some are going around the world.

No matter where you’re traveling this year, chances are you’ll get free unlimited data and text thanks to Sprint’s Global Roaming.  That means you can keep in touch with loved ones without worrying you’ll be too broke to buy Christmas presents! How great is that?


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Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Chex Bars

If you saw my White Chocolate & Cranberry Cobbler Bars recipe post from yesterday, you know that I promised you another great recipe today – and a giveaway, too. Well, I’m here to deliver. These Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Chex Bars are easy to make and are a nice twist on the typical marshmallow cereal bar. And stay tuned at the end of this post for the giveaway details!

These bars are something I’ve been making for years. In fact, I can distinctly remember having a really stressful week my sophomore year in college and making these bars to treat myself. My kids love chocolate and marshmallows, so I thought these would be a fun treat to make for us all to enjoy. These are great for sending in school lunches, too.


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Cranberry White Chocolate Cobbler Bars: Mini Chef Mondays

Hi, y’all! First off, can you believe Thanksgiving is basically here? Texas even got temps in the 40’s so we can finally feel like it’s fall, and here in my house we are all very ready for Thursday to arrive.

Around this time of year, there are certain ingredients that really come to mind, and the cranberry is one of those. It’s something that’s important to Thanksgiving, but it’s also a flavor that’s prevalent in all sorts of Christmas desserts, too. So this week, to celebrate Thanksgiving and welcome the start of the Christmas season, E and I made cranberry white chocolate cobbler bars. I’ve gotta give credit to my mother-in-law; a conversation with her a few weeks ago about cranberry desserts is what got my mind headed down this path to begin with. Oh – I was going to just call these cranberry white chocolate bars, but Brian said they reminded him of cobbler, so he helped inspire the name.

Y’all, I’m not lying when I say this dish is one of my very favorites everIt’s a perfect blend of sweet and tart, chewy and crunchy. It is amazing and I hope you get lots of opportunities to take it to parties over the next few months, because I promise everyone will love you for it.

As always with Mini Chef Mondays, I’ll share the basic recipe, and then below that you’ll get step-by-step photos if you’d like to make this with your kid chef!

I don’t want to forget to mention this, also: be sure and check back tomorrow for another recipe post AND a really fun giveaway. Now, let’s get on to the food!

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Dreft is More Than Just Laundry Detergent

I received samples of Dreft cleaning supplies to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and my own.


When I was pregnant with our first son back in 2007 I remember learning early on that I should wash all our baby clothes with Dreft since it was formulated especially with newborn’s sensitive skin in mind.

Now Dreft has expanded beyond just laundry detergent to a line of baby-safe cleaning products.


Their all purpose cleaner and wipes are great for keeping surfaces clean before your baby accesses them, and the odor eliminator will definitely come in handy with all those stinky diapers {amiright?}.


You can find the cleaner, wipes and odor eliminator in stores nationwide, and online too. 

This Delicious 3-Ingredient Appetizer Will be a Party Fave!

Acorn Disclosure

Thanksgiving is next week, but we’re starting the celebration early by having my mom, brother, and sister-in-law over for a pre-Thanksgiving party. Since we know a heavy meal is right around the corner, we’ve opted to keep things lighter and each provide several appetizers to share.

I haven’t had a lot of time to plan what to make, though. It’s been insanely busy at work lately – I’m a graphic designer for three magazines, and it’s right around deadline for all three. Add to that all the busy-ness that comes with being a parent to three kids under 10, and it’s easy to see why it’s hard to invest a lot of time in party prep! I’m sure many of you can relate to this not-enough-time-in-the-day feeling, right?

Because of all I’ve got going on right now, and because easy is always appealing to me, I wanted to find something quick but delicious to contribute, so I decided on this 3-ingredient recipe that I’m sharing with you today.

The idea for this recipe centers around the cheese. I love a good cheese, and when I saw this Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs gournay cheese at Walmart I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  I went ahead and picked up some of the monterrey jack & spicy pepper cheese dip, too, thinking it’d provide a completely different flavor profile to have at our gathering. Just a note – these cheeses were in a stand-alone refrigerated display up near the deli counter at our Walmart.


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