Healthy Homemade Marinara Sauce

Posted 11-26-2017 at 12:23 PM by Jessica

Mariana sauce simmering in pan

Have you ever made your own marinara sauce? I didn’t ever even think to make my own until I was given a bunch of freshly picked tomatoes from my neighbors’ garden! I usually make homemade tomato soup, but decided to try something different this time and instead opted for marinara sauce! The recipe is super easy, and so yummy. You’ve got to give it a try!


12 cups of blanched, peeled tomatoes
2 large onions – chopped
7 cloves of garlic – minced
2 Tbsp. dried Italian seasonings of your choice (basil, oregano, thyme, etc)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat the oil in a pot. Add the onions and cook slowly until they are golden and begin to caramelize. Then, add the garlic and dried herbs. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then, add the tomatoes.

Once everything is in and mixed well, bring to a simmer and let it cook on low for about 2 hours. Afterwards, puree the mixture with an immersion blender, or carefully add to your blender, a couple of cups at a time.

There you go! Easy, healthy and yummy!

Diaper Swapers

How Saving Money Can Help Save Your Relationships

Posted 11-24-2017 at 11:50 PM by Jessica

Father and daughter

Financial problems have a habit of bleeding into every other aspect of your life. It hurts your marriage, work performance, strains other relationships, and more! When those money problems are reduced or even eliminated, those problems can subside drastically.

Less Marital Problems

A lack of money is not the cause of all marital problems, but it doesn’t help. If you don’t know how you are going to pay for this month’s rent, medical bills, or your child’s class field trip, it causes stress. A couple starts blaming each other. One should have made more. The other should have spent less. They say things they don’t mean. Eventually they figure it out, but next month is coming and they both know it.

A frugal lifestyle may not fix all money issues, but it reduces the amount of bickering it can cause. Both work hard, while clipping coupons and finding deals. They are in this together rather than trying to figure out where to lay the blame.

Children Have Healthier Money View

It’s nice that our children know that money doesn’t grow on trees. We also want them to know that money is not a defining factor in their lives. Money does not make them better or worse than anyone else. It is a tool that helps us get to where we are going. They will know better than to bury themselves under a mountain of debt in their twenties. They will also know how to enjoy a small splurge within a budget rather than go overboard and live in denial about their money reality.

Creative Solutions

When a frugal family is light on money you can really feel it. They don’t fall back on loans and credit cards unless there is no other way to meet their family needs. They will also go to great lengths to avoid that position. They will sell crafts, raise chickens, plant gardens, and even find ways to make money they hadn’t known were possible. Being short on money does not have to mean being short on solutions and there’s no better way to learn that than to live it.

Need simple Christmas present ideas? Look no further!

Posted 11-23-2017 at 12:56 AM by Kat Weeks

For those of you who love to give gifts to others, but don’t have the budget for that, this article is just for you!

Every year we all have those neighbors, family friends, teachers, and coworkers we want to give presents, but don’t want to spend lots of money on, but you can’t just keep giving cookies every. single. year… Trust me, we all know where you’re at. We’ve all been in that same exact boat!

I’m going to share what I’ve found to be the best for those special people!

1. Hot Cocoa Kits for the cold season, yet so simple and easy to make! Don’t forget cheap too!hck

2. Homemade Caramel Apple Gift for those who love to cook!



3. Gift Baskets for those who you can’t find just that “one thing” for!


4. Plus many more Mason Jar Presents!


Clean Those Makeup Brushes with This Easy DIY Cleaner

Posted 11-22-2017 at 07:29 PM by Jessica

Makeup Brushes, workplace makeup artist

When was the last time your cleaned your brushes?

This is something that is so easy and so important. If you simply clean out your brushes even once a month, you can keep them from wearing down from all of the makeup that is usually caked on them. You’re also doing your skin a huge favor by reducing the bacteria that you’re exposing it to each time you do your makeup.

Think about it, your brushes have tons of dirt, makeup, oils and bacteria on them right now. When you use your dirty brushes, your skin is the one to suffer. But don’t worry, I have just the solution for you! Simply follow these directions to create your own makeup brush disinfectant!

  • Mix roughly two parts dish soap with one part extra virgin olive oil on a plate.
  • Swirl your brushes into the mixture and gently massage it into the bristles.
  • Rinse them under warm water and let them dry on a paper towel.

The dish soap will disinfect while the olive oil will keep the bristles moisturized – making your brushes last longer, and helping to keep your skin clean as well. A total in-win situation!

Three Tips for a Successful “Fall Cleaning”

Posted 11-20-2017 at 02:57 PM by Jessica

Play time is over

“Spring Cleaning” gets way too much credit. Personally, I’m on team Fall Cleaning! While most people do most of their cleaning and organizing during the March and April months, I usually feel more inclined to most of my cleaning in October or November.

Sure, “Fall Cleaning” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but it works for me. During the colder months you’re often stuck inside the house more, meaning you have to actually live in your cluttered house. If you took care of de-cluttering in the fall, you’ll feel so much better when you’re inside on a snow day. Also, because of the holidays, you’re likely to have more guests coming into your home in the next few months than you do during every other month combined! Don’t worry about aunt Josie seeing your messy closet when she goes to hang up her coat – clean it out now!

I also like to get organized as we head into the holidays so that I can make sure I know where our decorations are located, and it feels nice to get rid of all the junk I’ve accumulated during the year so far (mostly to make room for all the additional junk we’ll accumulate during the next few months of holidays). ;)

As the weather gets crisper there’s less of a need for water balloons and beat up flip-flops, so those types of seasonal items get stored away for next summer (or thrown away if they’re too beat up, like the above-mentioned flip-flops). We also often have items laying around that are still in good use, but no longer our style or useful to us, so those items get donated. That’s just about it when it comes to how I “Fall Clean.”

Here are my best tips for getting through all the clutter without losing your mind:

  1. I make it my goal to tackle one area or room a day (I cleaned out my medicine drawer, and called it a day!)
  2. I take 3 bins with me. One for storage, another for donating (or to sell in a yard sale if you prefer), and the last for trash.
  3. Go through drawers, under the bed, everything! And throw away anything that doesn’t belong into one of those 3 bins.

If you stick to those three steps, in only a matter of weeks you’ll be totally de-cluttered and ready for the fun and stress that accompanies fall and winter!

DIY & add spice to the kitchen!

Posted 11-19-2017 at 12:54 AM by Kat Weeks

For a while now I’ve been noticing that my kitchen has so many mis-matched things and I’ve looked into buying new things but it’s going to cost me so much money for something that it’s a need but a want! Luckily I’ve found the perfect things to cost so little yet look so cute!

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Head to the dollar store
  2. Get wooden utensils
  3. Get some paint *desired color & white*
  4. Create an area that’s okay to be messy.
  5. Get paintbrushes!

Now you’ll need to mix the color of paint of your desired choice with white creating a ombre look. Doesn’t matter what utensils colors get what, but creating the look will appear the kitchen to look more together and matching!



Three Important Beauty Product Hacks

Posted 11-17-2017 at 05:45 PM by Jessica

makeup products

Beauty products cost so much money! Because of how expensive these products are, we always want to extend the life of them so that we can get the most bang for our buck. Below are five “hacks” that I have found most useful in getting the most out of my beauty products.

Heat up your mascara

Just as you think your mascara is all used up, you’ll find that you can actually get a few more uses out of it! It’s pretty simple: take your mascara bottle and make sure that the lid is sealed shut. Run some hot water in your sink and hold the bottom of the bottle underneath the hot tap. Hold it there for about 30 seconds. You could also fill up a container with very hot water and set the mascara inside. Once it’s gotten warm enough you’ll dry off the outside and when you go to use it (because of all the humidity inside the bottle) you’ll  find it works just like new! This can save you from having to run to the store before an event if you have gotten down to your last dried-up bottle.

Cut up your old products

There is more lotion hiding at the bottom of the bottle, or around the sides, than you know. If you simply cut whatever container you have in half and use something to get that last bit out, you are probably looking at another one or two uses! (Another product that often has another use or two leftover after it looks like it’s gone is deodorant. Take the container apart and scrape out the last bits, you can then rub that on, extending the life of your deodorant!)

Rub Vaseline On Your Pulse Points Before Applying Perfume

Make your perfume last longer by rubbing a small layer of Vaseline on your wrists before you spray your perfume. That way you won’t have to reapply as often!

I hope at least a few of these “hacks” can help you to extend the life of a few of your beauty products. If you get in the habit of doing these, you will find that your products may last longer, meaning less trips to the store to replenish your supplies.

DIY Fall Centerpieces

Posted 11-17-2017 at 12:57 AM by Kat Weeks

A decoration that is always so over priced and over looked in my opinion are center pieces.. As sad as that sounds but as true as it is, I have created my own and will share these amazing secrets with you!

Option 1.
Things  you’ll need:


  1. Get the vase and place all the pine cones in it.
  2. Place the flowers into the pine cones, using them as a base to keep the flowers from falling over.
  3. Once you have the flowers arranged to your desired look, wrap the ribbon around.

cp 1

This is the end look for option #1.

Option 2
Things you’ll need:


  1. Get the hot glue, vase, and sticks.
  2. Glue the sticks onto the vase all around and make sure they’re touching so you cannot see the inside of the vase.
  3. Once you’ve done that, hot glue or wrap the ribbon around.
  4. Now that the exterior is done, place the Styrofoam on the inside and arrange the flowers to your desired look.

cp 2

Easy DIY Recycled Items Crafts

Posted 11-15-2017 at 01:20 PM by Jessica

Male and female figures made by kids with simple materials

Crafting with children doesn’t have to be expensive. Most paints, play dough, and even crayons can be made at home. There are other things in our homes that make great crafting supplies. Unfortunately many of them get thrown away. The next time you throw out one of these items stop and think about its crafting potential.

Toilet Paper Rolls

If you’ve got a large family, you’re sure to have lots of these ending up in the trash. Instead of simply throwing them away, let the kiddos decorate them!

Milk Cartons

Milk cartons are great for making bird feeders or making a planter. They are sturdy enough to be hung from a balcony or tree. The are fun to paint and easy to poke or cut holes in. If you have the type with the twist cap top, that part can be used as a funnel when filling other items. A carton with top cut off can even be used as a storage container for craft supplies like paint brushes, colored pencils, chalk, and crayons.

Soda Bottles

Soda bottles can also be made into bird feeders and planters, but they are more versatile than that. They can be cut as scoops, with the top as a handle. They can be taped together top to top to make the soda bottle whirl pool. This can be made even more fun by adding a few drops of your favorite color to the water in your bottles. With a little  paper mache, paint, and a pair of scissors they can even be made into creative piggy banks.

Cardboard Contraptions

A cereal box can be turned into a robot with toilet paper roll arms and legs. If you cut them up you can use them to create buildings and props in shoe box dioramas of farms, cities, or what ever your heart desires. Or you can use the inside of boxes to create bedroom signs or create homemade picture frames. Toilet paper or paper towel rolls can be cut to create play dough cookie cutters or rolling pins.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons are a good way to store an egg shaped amount of play dough without mixing the colors. They are also a great way to separate and store paints you are using during crafting for a quick clean up.


Saved and cleaned up jars are great for jar gifts, storing homemade laundry soap, and other jar crafts. Just clean them out and keep the lid. Take off the label and whatever adhesive was holding it on. Decorate them as you see fit and use them in your jar craft the next time you use one.


Thrifty Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted 11-14-2017 at 09:08 AM by Jessica

Traditional Holiday Stuffed Turkey Dinner

If you are anything like me, you’re hoping that you won’t have to walk into a grocery store until after Thanksgiving! But if you have put off or have not been able to do your Thanksgiving shopping until now, it’s still possible to save money on what’s probably the most expensive meal you’ll make all year.

Here are just a few tips to carry you into the final preparations for  your big holiday meal.

1. Ditch store bought gravy. Make your own gravy. It tastes better and is significantly less expensive to make. This year, I am making my gravy early. I happened to already have some homemade chicken broth on hand. So, I made the gravy last night and will simply add the turkey drippings from the roasting pan once that bird is roasted! Gravy will keep in the refrigerator for one week. So, it’s a nice thing to cross off your list a little early.

2. Don’t use paper plates. Those fancy paper plates and plastic cups can be pricey. Use your nice plates and just plan to also use your dishwashing machine. It’ll end up cheaper to run the dishwasher than to buy all those plates and cups that you’ll just throw away. There is one exception, though. Yesterday, I met a lady who said that her mother-in-law called her and told her that she had a bunch of those nice paper plates sitting around in her pantry. She asked if she could bring them over on Thanksgiving. “Yes!” was the answer! So, if someone else offers to bring those fancy paper plates, you’ll get the best of both worlds: no dishes and no cost!

3. Use nature for your decorations. Walk outside your door and pick up some beautiful leaves to decorate around the house and the dining table. It’s beautiful and free!

What else do you do to keep your Thanksgiving thrifty?