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Ambassador – Frugal Novice
Browsing Category


Mean Green Cleaners & Degreasers Get the Job Done


Note: I am a Mean Green Ambassador and this post is part of my compensated partnership with the brand. All opinions are honest and are my own.


With three kids and two dogs in our house, we are pretty much pros at making messes. It makes pretty perfect sense, then, for me to be a Mean Green brand ambassador. E’s excited – check out her “Mean Green” mean face!


Mean Green is known as a national – and international – superior all-purpose cleaner for the toughest jobs around your house, garage or even work. The iconic “Super Strength” formula is made with a unique blend of detergents and solvents that form a powerful heavy duty cleaner and degreaser. Lab tests prove it beats nearly every other cleaner on nearly every stain. And because it’s biodegradable, non-toxic and contains no acid, ammonia, or bleach, you can feel safe using it just about anywhere, inside and out.

Mean Green’s line-up of specialized cleaning products also include Mean Green Mildew DestroyerMean Green Orange Champ, and Mean Green Antibacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner, among others. Mean Green also has a line of products made especially for professional use.

Throughout the year I’ll be trying out Mean Green products around my house and letting you know how they work. I have to confess I kind of hate cleaning the house, so I’m excited to have Mean Green products to make it easier!

Until my next post, visit their site to learn more about the Mean Green products – you can even find coupons! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Red, White & Bacon


I’m a Denny’s ambassador, and this post is a part of that compensated partnership. All opinions are honest and are my own.

With summer right around us, we’ve got several patriotic holidays coming up – Memorial Day in May, and of course Independence Day in July. To top that off, Independence Day: Resurgence will be in theatres June 24, and Denny’s is celebrating with a limited-time menu full of red, white and blue bacon dishes you’ll definitely want to try.

“Our ‘Red, White & Bacon’ menu is a tasty tribute to an all-American favorite with new, modern flavors and higher-quality ingredients to take our bacon celebration to the next level,” said John Dillon (@DillonJohnW on Twitter), chief marketing officer for Denny’s. “The renewal of this delicious diner staple goes hand-in-hand with the return of another Denny’s classic – the ‘Red, White & Blue Slam®’– brought back in celebration of ‘Independence Day: Resurgence,’ hitting theaters this summer. Stop by and salute these two favorites to satisfy your ultimate bacon cravings!”

I don’t know about you, but in our house bacon is an ingredient that reigns supreme, so we get pretty excited about a menu in which it’s celebrated. And it’s not just bacon, folks… they’ve got new thick-cut Honey Jalapeño Bacon, a sweet and spicy upgrade sure to make bacon lovers rejoice.

Check out the items on this great limited-time menu, and be sure to stop in to try them before they’re gone:

  • Red, White & Blue Slam® – As bacon makes it ultimate return to the menu, Denny’s is bringing back another classic to celebrate “Independence Day: Resurgence.” This all-American dish features two buttermilk pancakes made with blueberries, topped with sliced fresh strawberries, cream cheese icing and whipped cream, served with two eggs cooked to order, hash browns and a choice of two bacon strips or sausage links. This is shown in the photo at the top of this post – it looks delicious, doesn’t it?
  • New Honey Jalapeño Bacon Slam® – Try this sweet and spicy take on a Denny’s favorite with two strips of the finest honey jalapeño bacon, two eggs cooked to order, two pancakes and hash browns.
    Honey Jalepeno Bacon Slam

Continue Reading…

How to Feed a Family of Five for Just $20 at Denny’s!


I’m a Denny’s ambassador, and this post is a part of that compensated partnership. All opinions are honest and are my own.

I guess I should clarify my post headline, because this is just one of several ways you could feed your family of five for just $20 at Denny’s… and if you eat on a Kids Eat Free night, you can make your money go even farther! We went for Sunday lunch, and we told our boys we were giving ourselves a challenge for the meal to make the budget of just $20. They had a blast helping us figure out various ways to spend the $20 (although some of their ideas consisted of just getting 5 Cookies & Cream Mega Sundaes).

Here’s the skinny: we decided to order from the $2 $4 $6 $8 menu because there are a ton of options and you can get a lot of bang for your buck! Here were our options:



Here’s what we got:

Continue Reading…

Denny’s Denny’s = Win Win!


Note: This partnered post is brought to you as a part of my ambassadorship with Denny’s Diners. All opinions are honest and my own. Thanks to Mark Ryann for the great photos for this post!

I loved being a Denny’s Ambassador last year, and was pretty stinkin’ excited when I found out I get to continue that relationship throughout this year, too. I love all the forethought Denny’s puts into making their menus top-notch, and I love their creative and fun campaigns, like this one I get to share with you today!


When you’re about to put the pedal to the metal for a big race, it’s important that you’re all fueled up – and no one knows that better than Denny Hamlin, NASCAR star driver. Of course, Denny’s Diners understand the value of fueling up, too – with good food! So it only makes sense that these namesakes have teamed up together for a really cool partnership. Denny Hamlin has introduced the world’s first – and ONLY – “Denny’s Denny’s,” a mobile unit which features an authentic Denny’s booth, Hamlin’s famous fork collection and syrup gas tanks.

If you’re a NASCAR fan you’ll want to be sure and stop by to check out the custom “Denny’s Denny’s” as it travels with Hamlin from track to track.

Continue Reading…

Tasty Travel: A Trip to the Denny’s HQ & Test Kitchen #DennysDiners

Note: I am participating in a compensated campaign as a Denny’s Ambassador. All opinions in my posts are entirely honest and are my own.



I’ve always loved behind-the-scenes looks at things, so when I had the opportunity to travel to the Denny’s headquarters in Spartanburg, SC I was pretty excited. I’ve been eating at Denny’s since I was a kid, and I consider myself a quasi-foodie, so this was right up my alley!

You can see our awesome ambassador group in the photo above – it was great meeting the other bloggers that are a part of the Denny’s team! We were all treated to a great day, starting with a meeting in the Denny’s board room to hear about some of their marketing – both past and future – and hear from various members of the Denny’s team.  I love that they employ both traditional media and social media to really get their message out and connect with people (PS – If you’re not following them on Facebook and Twitter, you should be!).

After we finished in the board room, we got a tour of the new Denny’s test kitchen, led by Sharon Lykins, Sr. Director of Product Innovation.


She told us about all the smart details they put into the kitchen for storage and efficiency, and I was incredibly impressed at all the research and testing they put into each and every menu item. Sharon also told us about how they provide freshness  in Denny’s food – from the grapes in their chicken salad to bringing in fresh fruit and cutting it in-house, they put in a lot of effort to make the food great.

Speaking of chicken salad, we got to sample their chicken salad sandwich and it is SOO good. I definitely know what I’ll be ordering next time we go!


We also got to try their Alaska salmon filet, a great option on their Fit Fare menu:


I wish I could tell you about a few of the other things we tried that will be on the menu soon… I’ll have to wait, though! There’s one item in particular that I just couldn’t stop eating at the test kitchen, and I can’t wait to take the whole family to try. Trust me when I say it is scrumptiously delicious!

Thanks to Sharon and the Denny’s test kitchen chefs for an amazing meal!


We got to provide our feedback while we were at the test kitchen, too. It meant a lot to me that Denny’s really cares what consumers and moms think, and I’m glad I got to help contribute to the process!

One other thing we talked about while at the Denny’s HQ was their No Kid Hungry campaign,  a national movement aimed at ending childhood hunger by connecting kids with healthy food where they live, learn and play.


Did you know 1 in 5 kids struggle with hunger in the U.S.? Just text “Dennys” to 877877 to donate to No Kid Hungry and receive a coupon worth $5 off your next meal at Denny’s.

In addition, guests are invited to contribute to the cause via two alternative means this year, including making a monetary donation of their choice at dennys.com/nokidhungry; all who donate online will be e-mailed a coupon for $5 off their next $20 meal at Denny’s.

Customers can also pledge their support by purchasing one of three exclusive No Kid Hungry campaign t-shirts – designed by Denny’s team members in Texas, Nevada and Kentucky – for $10 each. T-shirts are produced by Booster, available at dennys.com/nokidhungry and a portion of all sales goes directly to No Kid Hungry.

Don’t forget, stay connected with Denny’s: Denny’s Site • Denny’s Facebook • Denny’s Twitter

Denny’s Diners and Atari Team Up for Delicious Fun

Note: I am participating in a compensated campaign as a Denny’s Ambassador. All opinions in my posts are entirely honest and are mine and my family’s.


There’s nothing quite like a classic, is there? My husband is a big gamer and he had to have the Atari 2600 system in his collection, along with some of the classic games like Centipede and Asteroids.


Of course, Denny’s is another classic that’s been around even longer than the Atari, so it just makes sense for the two to team up to bring us something deliciously fun: classic Atari games remastered with a tasty twist.

  • Hashteroids – You’re aboard the SS Denny’s Condiment Transport ship and the mission is clear: deliver 40 tons of condiments to the 4th planet in sector 7d.
  • Centipup – Once upon a time, a young boy named Danny came across a bottle of syrup and with just a slight squeeze the bottle’s sticky contents had the power to turn anyone or anything into a fried egg.
  • Take-out – A wall made entirely of delicious Denny’s breakfast items appears blocking all the take-out orders from their rightful owners. The only way to feed customers is to break down that wall!


If you’re wondering how to get your hands on these fun games, I’ve got great news for you – they’re free through the Denny’s app! The remixed Atari games are just one of several new features available on Denny’s recently refreshed “Build Your Own” mobile app, which allows users to build and personalize their app exactly how they like, from their homepage layout to a variety of themes. I have an iPhone, but the app is available on Android devices, too.



Love this fun video promoting the games – doesn’t it just take you back to when you played the originals?

Along with the remixed Atari games, Denny’s has also remixed some of their “greatest hits” menu items:


Like the Red White and Blue Slam:


And the Baja Moons Over My Hammy:



We had to go check this out for ourselves, so we met up with some friends at our local Denny’s on Tuesday – which also happens to be when our location offers FREE kids’ meals, making it really affordable for our family of five.


Jackson noticed the sign for the games and was excited to find out I had already downloaded the Denny’s app on my phone for the kids (and me and Brian!) to play.


Colin noticed that there was a new animal featured on the kids’ menu and wanted me to take a picture of him with it.


Everyone in our family eats well at Denny’s, even the littlest of our crew!



Fun was had by all!

Don’t forget to download the Denny’s app to get access to the remixed Atari games! Just use your phone’s QR scanner to scan the code below:



And be sure and stop in for some of the deliciously remixed “Greatest Hits” on the Denny’s menu, too!

Denny’s is Fun Dining for the Whole Family!

Note: I am participating in a compensated campaign as a Denny’s Ambassador. All opinions in my posts are entirely honest and are mine and my family’s.


With a family of five, we all have quite different tastes, so it can be difficult to find a restaurant that we all really enjoy. One thing we all agree on? Breakfast is pretty much the best meal ever.

Denny’s, then, is pretty much the ideal place for us to eat. Not only are they known for their breakfast meals, there are so. many. options. Seriously, our picky child had a hard time deciding what to order because so many things looked good to him.  Of course, they serve more than breakfast, but that’s our favorite!

Mother’s Day weekend my mom was in town visiting and we decided to all go to Denny’s after the boys’ baseball game on that Saturday morning. They had really worked up an appetite so it was perfect timing.


If you have small children, you know that the quality of a kids’ menu can make or break the restaurant experience. If it’s a fun menu, it’ll keep them occupied and happy until the food arrives. Denny’s has partnered with National Geographic to create a menu that is engaging and educational, and it was a hit!




We were really impressed with just how many items there were for the kids to pick from, and I love the format – even non-reading kids can easily see what they want since the menu is filled with pictures.


The boys both picked the chocolate chip pancake breakfast with bacon on the side. The breakfast kids’ meals are just $3.29 each, and lunch or dinner items are $3.59 – so affordable.

Dennys_C_KidsMeal Dennys_J_Bacon

Another highlight of eating at Denny’s for all three kids was the cupcake cups we got with their drinks. Baby E can’t say much yet, but she let us know loud and clear that she loved her cup and we were not to take it away from her!


As a side note, the cups are great to drink from but they also make really nice storage, too – we took ours home, cleaned them out and they’re perfect for storing small toys, or “treasures” as our kids would say.

And, because I love to share a good deal, be sure and visit Denny’s on a Kids Eat Free Night! The Eat Free offer is available on Tuesdays at participating locations from 4 pm – 10 pm; you get two free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée of $4.00 or more! We will definitely be taking advantage of that on a regular basis.

I asked the kids each a little about their thoughts on the Denny’s kids’ menus in this video below – be sure and stick around until the end for an original “Denny’s song” by our 5-year-old. :)

Just so you know it’s not just the kids’ food that’s delicious, check out my amazing peanut butter, banana & chocolate chip french toast, and my mom’s awesome avocado BLT:



Head on over to your local Denny’s today – your kids will thank you! And be sure and stay connected with Denny’s by following them on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest! I’ll look forward to bringing you more about all the latest and greatest Denny’s happenings here, too, as a Denny’s Ambassador!


Potty Training Check-In #CelebrateFirstFlush

Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pull-Ups. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


E is definitely at the phase where she wants to do everything herself. So independent! We’re glad, though, because it’s really amazing seeing her learn to do new things all by herself, and it’s even more amazing to see a huge grin on her face when she’s successful with what she’s trying!

We’re still moving slowly with potty training, but she is giving us more and more signs that she is ready. She’s started telling us if she is dirty (which, incidentally, the boys didn’t do until they were 3 – this girl doesn’t like to be dirty)!

My biggest tip as we’re on this potty training journey is to start introducing the idea of potty training as early as possible. This doesn’t mean sticking your baby on the potty as soon as they can sit up, but let your child come to the restroom with you and talk to them using basic words so that “potty” becomes a part of their vocabulary and isn’t a foreign concept to them.

As they get older, even before they’re ready to actually start potty training, let your child sit on a little potty seat just their size. It gets them familiar with it and will make potty training seem less intimidating. We like to use a potty seat that can adapt to sit on the real toilet, too (it’s SO nice to just be able to flush everything away).

Let your child practice pulling on their Pull-Ups and taking them off, too. Praise them for being a “big boy!” or “big girl!” whenever they put their pull-up on or sit on the potty. We tried all sorts of bribes with the boys, but I think praise goes a long way. Every child likes to hear that their parents are proud!

We’re so thankful to have the Big Kids Academy tips to refer to for other great potty training ideas. Potty training can be a frustrating experience for everyone involved, but the more you know – and the more prepared you are – the smoother things will go. Before you know it, your little one will be diaper free! Don’t forget you can also get tips from the Pull-Ups Facebook page and Twitter page, too.

Pull-Ups  has recently announced that they’re partnering with The First Years, who makes potty training systems and seats (we used their potty seats with both of the boys!). Their seats have great colors and even some fun Disney themes to help get your kiddos excited to sit on the potty. Right now if you purchase a specialty potty system from The First Years, you’ll get a FREE sample pack of Pull-Ups Training Pants, too!

So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about potty training your child (we’ve totally been there), take a deep breath and go check out the Pull-Ups resources I mentioned above. You can do this, and it can be easier than you think!

Pull-Ups First Flush Ambassador Check-In


“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Pull-Ups. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”


As I mentioned recently, I’m pretty stoked to be a Pull-Ups First Flush Ambassador. It’s awesome working with brands we truly love, and since Pull-Ups were so great with our two boys, we  know they’ll be a vital tool in potty training E, too. She is a full-on toddler now and Pull-Ups are a great way to introduce the idea of underwear to her with still having the safety net of absorbency for any accidents that happen in the early stages.

The designs on the Pull-Ups are great – pink with polka dots and Minnie Mouse’s face, which E definitely noticed and pointed at when I first showed her the Pull-Up. Fun designs definitely make an impact on how accepting kids will be of trying something new, so we appreciate that Huggies makes both the boy & girl Pull-Ups with fun, familiar characters on them.


Pull-Ups have amazing features to them, three of which really stand out to me:


When there are inevitably accidents in the beginning part of potty training, it’s comforting to know that there are extra-absorbent spots in the most important areas.


These are SO easy to pull up and down, and the elasticity also provides a nice snug fit.


SO, SO, SO important to still be able to open the Pull-Up on the sides – I love that this feature is included!

One tip that is important to remember when potty training is to make sure your child isn’t wearing clothes that make going more difficult. Pants with buttons should be avoided. When you’re around the house, you can just let your child run around with a shirt and their Pull-Up on to make it even easier!


Huggies doesn’t just provide products to help parents with potty training, though. Be sure and check out all the different tools and resources they offer, too, available on the Big Kid Academy via the Pull-Ups websiteFacebook page, and Twitter page. These make it even easier to start potty training and celebrate milestones!

There’s also a Big Kid App available on Apple and Android smart phones. The app offer videos and songs and a Big Kid checklist to help your little one in his or her nighttime routine. I have an iPhone and love the app – it’s nice that I’ve got something right at my fingertips no matter if we’re home or visiting grandparents out of town!

Chug Away to Safari Fun With Chuggington {Giveaway}


It’s getting close to the holidays, and if you’re anything like us you’re on the hunt already for gift ideas, especially for your little ones. Chuggington has released two new track sets from TOMY just in time for gift-buying – Koko’s Safari Set, and Brewster’s Icy Escapade set.

As Chuggington Conductors, we got to try out the Koko’s Safari set. It’s a 38-piece wooden set that has elevated tracks, a 2-in-1 safari tree tunnel, and a door and a gate for trains to go through. It even makes jungle sounds, which adds a level of fun to it. It retails for $99.99 and is available exclusively at Toys R Us.

The boys were really excited when we arrived and couldn’t wait to open it. Trains in general are going to be exciting to them, but I think seeing the tree and the two levels of tracks on the box gave them an immediate idea of how fun this set would be.

Here it is all assembled:

One winner will get their own Chuggington Koko’s Safari Set! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+.Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Wednesday, November 7. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: As Chuggington Conductors, we received a Koko’s Safari 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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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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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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