Archive for September, 2019

The Best Lunch Box Hacks

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019


Make kids love lunch time a little more and make your life easier with these easy hacks for packing lunches. From a fun sushi sandwich idea to a lunchbox and snack station set-up, these school lunch life hacks will make your mornings a little easier. Includes a free printable too!



Thank you to Rubbermaid LunchBlox® for sponsoring today’s post! 

Lunches can get a little boring in our house so today’s post will hopefully inspire you AND ME to make lunchtime more fun for our kids.

Over the years, I have found a few lunch box hacks that help save me time, money, and keep our family organized.

I am excited to show a few of those to you today and share our free printable to help your kids be part of the process for assisting with lunch creation.

Let’s get packing!

The best lunch box hacks from

best lunch hacks from

best lunch hacks from

Freeze Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches For The Week

My daughter’s favorite sandwich is the good ol’ PB&J.

Did you know that you can freeze your sandwiches for the week instead of making them daily?

If your child’s favorite is this sandwich too, simply spread peanut butter on both slices of bread to create a wall to prevent the jelly from making your bread soggy.

Smear your jelly on in the center of one slice of bread and then put the two slices together.

By creating an assembly line of sandwiches for your week you only dirty up the kitchen once.

This trick is so simple that your kids can do it!

Sushi sandwich lunch hacks from

Rethink Your Sandwich Styling

When sandwiches start to get a little boring, try making a sushi sandwich instead.

Dust off that rolling pin and roll your bread out flat to create the base for your sandwich sushi.

Add your child’s favorite meat and then their favorite string cheese combo. Roll it tight and slice in half.

For kids that aren’t as big of a fan of crusts or bread (I have one of those kids too!), this is a great way to get them to still eat a sandwich without investing in a pricier wrap option!

Oh, and it’s sneaky- they don’t even notice the crust!


Get Organized With a Lunchbox Station

Few things have stood the test of time in our house when it comes to organization.

Let’s just say that we are a family with great ideas, but poor execution once those ideas are in place.

There is one thing though that has helped us a lot over the years and it is a lunchbox station in our pantry.

I used chalkboard labels to be able to switch our drawer categories as needed so this pantry can grow up with our kids culinary tastes.

The nice thing about having it set up this way is that kids can assist when making lunch preparations.

I also love that we are able to actually see and use the items in our pantry.

When loads of boxes are placed on shelves, they can often get lost in the shuffle.

Having this organized helps me to not purchase duplicate items and to actually use the things we purchase.

lunch hacks from

Get Smart Lunch Packing Solutions

Our family had been using a lot of plastic baggies and disposable items to create our lunches, but I knew we could do better.

I have seen a lot of documentaries on waste and what we are doing to our planet and we talk about it a lot with our kids.

We knew improvements need to be made.

Have you seen the Rubbermaid LunchBlox® products?

I hate to sound like an infomercial, but seriously these are so smartly designed!

Everything snaps and fits together into one piece, including the ice pack to make putting together and pulling out your lunch a streamlined process.

I’m absolutely hooked.

Today I’m showing off their Sandwich Kits and that you can find over at Target.

To prevent you from my experience of walking in forty different aisles to find these, I’ll share an awesome little tip I have discovered on their site.

Rubbermaid Sandwich Kits


If you type in your store on the Target website it will pull up the exact aisle you can find these in at your store AND how many are available.

If your store doesn’t have them, you can save yourself a trip and order a set (or 4 like me!!) to be delivered to your doorstep.

After discovering the exact aisle, I found them over in the grocery section by the other food storage options!


best lunch hacks from



best lunch box hacks from



best lunch hacks from



lunch hacks from

Don’t feel like you have to be limited to just sandwiches on the bottom.

I have found this is a perfect place for packing a delicious meat, cheese, and cracker combo or it would even be the perfect spot for a salad.  

Did I mention these are actually microwave, dishwasher, AND freezer safe? Yup. They also happen to be BPA free.

These containers aren’t just for kids though.

I can’t imagine a better way to get healthy snacks in throughout the day then this system.

Keeping fueled is just as important for adults as it is for kids.






If packing a lunchbox to carry to work as an adult feels a little weird, I’ve got good news.

They also make these really cool Rubbermaid Fasten+Go™ Sandwich Kits that are just like this system with a lid and removable strap for one-handed carrying.

Welcome to the grown-up lunchbox system!


I picked up two of these for my husband & I and am so excited to get back to better lunches this year.

We need it as much as our kiddos.

Lucky for you, there is a Cartwheel offer to save your family some money on the Rubbermaid LunchBlox® and the Rubbermaid Fasten+Go™ products! Yay! Here are some deals you can score right now!

20% Off Rubbermaid Fasten+Go™ All Items (deal available through August 13th)

5% Off Rubbermaid LunchBlox® Sandwich Kit (deal available through August 13th), 5%-

Note: this coupon will go live on August 28th! Don’t miss it…

20% off Rubbermaid LunchBlox® (available on 08/28 through 09/03)



Lunch box helper printable from



I hope you enjoyed these ways to make lunch easy and fun again!

I hope you also enjoy our free Lunchbox Helper sheet and be sure to read this fantastic post on how you can get your kids involved in helping take the hassle out of lunch preparations!

Thank you to Rubbermaid LunchBlox® for sponsoring today’s post! 


Best Lunch Box Hacks from


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Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019


Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

These freezer-friendly sandwiches are the perfect item to keep on hand for busy mornings. Although this recipe contains bacon, this can easily be omitted for a vegetarian freezer dish too. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with eggs and cheese on a toasted english muffin. Follow this easy tutorial for a healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes!

I’ll be honest, freezer cooking has saved our family tons of money over the years. The freezer breakfast sandwiches I am sharing today are my new secret weapon for busy mornings (or evenings) at our house.

I started to really become a fan of freezer recipes for breakfast when I put together my favorite make-ahead breakfast burrito recipe. These were filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and bell pepper and are a cinch to whip up.

I loved them so much, in fact, that I hosted a sleepover buffet for my daughter with a make-your-own breakfast breakfast burrito bar.

In case you were wondering, it was a total hit!

Today’s breakfast sandwich preparation is a little different than the way we prepared our breakfast burritos. Instead of scrambling our eggs, we will be baking a sheet pan of our egg mixture and cutting them into circles for our breakfast sandwiches. With the addition of bacon (totally optional!!) and a slice of cheese you have the PERFECT frugal ingredients for a breakfast that your whole family will love.

How to Make Breakfast Sandwiches

The eggs are scrambled together with milk, salt, and peper and are poured into a prepared pan (sprayed with cooking spray) for baking.

Please don’t think you have to stop at just eggs though. This is a great recipe to add in other ingredients, like spinach or cooked veggies that you might want to put to work.

A good way to think about it is, if you would add it to a frittata, it is probably a delicious addition to these sandwiches.

Whatever combo you pick, just remember that salt and pepper are key to great flavor.

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

As you can see with my first pan, the darker nonstick yielded a browner crust on the bottom.

If you have a dark nonstick pan too, keep an eye on it. I also adjusted the cooking time and length on my second batch so I could make sure I nailed the right length of time. 

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

As these eggs are baking, it is time to prepare your bacon for baking.

Have you baked bacon before? Personally, I think it is the only way to go because it cuts down a lot on the mess and cleanup that can be required with stove top preparation.

For this recipe, all you will need to do is to line a cookie sheet with tin foil. On top of your tin foil, you will place your cooling rack. A cooling rack really helps the bacon gets crispy on all sides. 

As you know, crispy bacon is just what we are looking for, amiright?

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

Once the eggs are done cooking, remove them to cool while you slide in your bacon. Once cool enough to handle, cut them into circles for your muffins.

I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, but you don’t need one for this recipe. I found a cup that cut these perfectly for our sandwiches.

Don’t worry, the cup isn’t dusty (well….it *could* be) and is just filled with a little steam from our warm eggs.

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

Do you have a lot of egg scraps from your sandwiches? The frugal chef in me encourages you to find a way to repurpose those. For our family, I just plan to mix them into our shrimp fried rice and save a tiny bit of effort on the scrambling.

Once your eggs are cut, split your english muffins for toasting. Toasting insures that they don’t get soggy rolls, especially since we plan to reheat these for another day.

Are you gluten-free? They do make gluten-free English muffins that are available in the freezer section of many stores.

Udi’s and Glutino, for example, are two well-known brands that offer this as an option.

As with all things gluten-free though, these can be quite a bit more expensive.

With that in mind, if you really want to keep this recipe frugal, this gluten-free english muffin recipe looks like it is a winner!

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

How Do I Store My Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches?

Wrap each breakfast sandwich in a square of tin foil and then place these inside a freezer bag. I don’t add a layer of plastic wrap because they seem to hold up well with just the foil and freezer bag combination.

Now that you have your sandwiches, here are some tips for preparing them.

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

Bake and Eat Your Breakfast Sandwiches Right Away or Save Them For Up to 5 Days in the Refrigerator

By the way, don’t you think these would make a great breakfast for tailgating?

If you are making and preparing them for a crowd, wrap them in tin foil and cook them at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

I think they are awfully delicious topped with a little pesto or siracha to brighten up those flavors. These can be refrigerated overnight for the morning or even kept in your fridge for up to 5 days.

As fast as these went at my house, I’m not sure freezing them ended up even being worth it! 

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches In the Microwave Right From the Freezer

If you are planning to reheat right from the freezer, remove the tin foil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I do like to flip these halfway through and find that they benefit from being wrapped in a paper towel to help the muffin keep its consistency and absorb the moisture.

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches in the Toaster Oven Right From the Freezer

Do you have a toaster oven? This is a wonderful avenue for reheating your sandwiches. Keep your sandwich in the tin foil and toast for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches Step-By-Step Picture Tutorial from




Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe
Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe Recipe Type : Breakfast Author: Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins Total time: 55 mins Serves: 6 breakfast sandwiches These freezer-friendly sandwiches are the perfect item to keep on hand for busy mornings. Although this recipe contains bacon, this can easily be omitted for a vegetarian freezer dish too. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with eggs and cheese on a toasted english muffin (regular or gluten-free). Follow this easy tutorial for a healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes!
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim or low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • 6 english muffins
  • sriracha or pesto for topping (optional)
  • cooking spray
  • biscuit cutter, glass, or mason jar lid for cutting the egg rounds
  • 9×13 pan
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • metal cooling rack
  • mixing bowl & whisk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your 9×13 with some cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to keep your eye on it to make sure the bottom does not get dark.
  3. While the eggs cook, prepare your bacon and english muffins. Split your muffins and place them on a cookie sheet (see picture above). Set aside. Cover the bottom of another cookie sheet with tin foil. Place metal cooling rack on top and spread the bacon, making sure there is space around each piece so the bacon is properly crisp.
  4. Once the eggs are done, remove and set aside to cool. Raise the temperature on the oven to 400 degrees and slide your tray of bacon in. Cook the bacon for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Using a biscuit cutter (or glass), cut out circles of egg. Set aside scraps for another recipe.
  6. Next, slide in your sliced english muffins for toasting for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Make an assembly line and assemble the sandwiches: muffin, egg, bacon, and cheese. Wrap in tin foil and and then store the sandwiches in a freezer bag.
  8. Follow instructions for warming, in the notes section of this recipe card
Bake and Eat Your Breakfast Sandwiches Right Away or Save Them For Up to 5 Days in the Refrigerator[br]If you are making and preparing them for a crowd, wrap them in tin foil and cook them at 425 for 8-10 minutes. These can be refrigerated overnight for the morning or even kept in your fridge for up to 5 days.[br]How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches In the Microwave Right From the Freezer[br]If you are planning to reheat right from the freezer, remove the tin foil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I do like to flip these halfway through and find that they benefit from being wrapped in a paper towel to help the muffin keep its consistency and absorb the moisture.[br][br]How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches in the Toaster Oven Right From the Freezer[br]Do you have a toaster oven? This is a wonderful avenue for reheating your sandwiches. Keep your sandwich in the tin foil and toast for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Love this breakfast recipe? Here are a few other breakfast dishe we love at our house!

Slow Cooked Honeycrisp Apple Oatmeal from

slow cooked honeycrisp apple oatmeal

Easy Sausage & Vegetable Frittata from easy sausage and vegetable frittata (dairy free/gluten free)

Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs for Your Freezer from

make ahead smoothie packets for your freezer

this post contains affiliate links


Earn Money Through Rakuten Cash Back Offers

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from

Are you looking for an easy way to earn cash back or even double cash back on your purchases? Today you will learn how Rakuten can save you money online and at your favorite brick and mortar stores. Join me for the first post in our Passive Income Ideas for Moms Series.

Have you heard of Rakuten before? Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a site that gives you cashback on on qualifying purchases. Simply use this referral link to receive your first $10 to shop with and to get began earning your own cash back rewards.

How Do I Get Started With Rakuten?

Begin by adding the Rakuten extension to your computer and also downloading the Rakuten app to your phone. These two quick installations will make it so much easier to remember to use this tool when doing your shopping.

Be sure to completely fill out your Rakuten profile and either supply your shipping address for checks or PayPal account information to have your earnings directly deposited in your account.

Once you have your Rakuten account set-up, take a few minutes to browse the site and begin adding shops to your personal favorites list. Keep in mind, Rakuten has over 2,500 shops (!!!) so it might take a little bit to add all of your favorites to your own personal list.

If in doubt, your cash back button can let you know if they offer a reward or not.


Your list may look similar to mine (see above) so here are some examples of the shops I have added to my Favorite Shops list!

Old Navy
Grove Collaborative
Banana Republic
The Vitamin Shoppe
Dollar Shave Club

How Does It Work?

The purpose of these passive income monthly challenges is meant to encourage you to EARN money and not SPEND it. I encourage you to use this as a tool only for purchases you were already planning to make this month.

Earn Money Through Rakuten Cash Back Rewards from

If you are online shopping, click the store you want to shop and make sure that you have your cash back button activated. Alternatively, you can shop directly by visiting the Rakuten page itself.

Click, “Activate Rewards,” and then be sure to note any coupon codes that they also provide within the pop-up.

That’s right. You CAN layer coupon codes with your cash back rewards!

How cool is that?

Once the store has let Rakuten know that you have completed your purchase, they add and notify you of the new rewards in your account. Please note, this does sometimes take up to a few days to show up in your account. Don’t worry!

Every three months, they will send you the Cash Back you’ve earned via a Big Fat Check or the PayPal account you supplied. If you have been dependent on points for rewards before, you are going to love this strategy for making real money instead!

Earn Money With the Rakuten Cash Back Offers from

How Do I Take Advantage of Rakuten Cashback Rewards at Brick & Mortar Stores?

Do you prefer shopping the old-fashioned way? You can still take advantage of the Rakuten Cashback rewards at your favorite brick and mortar stores. Since you downloaded the app already, you are halfway there to that bonus money in your pocket.

Click on the In-Store Cashback Offers link and and on the store offer you would like to take advantage of. You will then link the offer to the card you plan to use when you do your shopping.

Once the card is saved, this will allow Rakuten to track the finalization of the purchase and add your cashback rewards to your account.

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from

How Can I Make Extra Money for My Family With Rakuten?

I want to make the most rakuten cash that I can this month so here are some things I’m planning to do to increase my balance.

Book Our Vacations & Travel Through the Rakuten App– I am attending a conference next month and never realized that they offered cash back rewards on things like car rentals, flights, hotels, and even Groupon deals. I have to book my flight anyway so I might as well make 5-6% back on my my travel expenses.

Earn Money Through the Rakuten Cash Back Offers from

Watch the Double Cash Back Stores Listing For Gifts- As we ramp up for the next round of holiday shopping, I am going to make their list of double cash back rewards a priority to shop through. If I double my earnings, that will allow me to collect my cash back quicker.

I typically purchase floral arrangements for family holidays and now I know that one of their cash back shops offers a whopping 17% back on your purchase. It will also be a good place to check if I do any subscription box services as gifts this year. Birch Box, for example, makes 7.5% back!

Purchase School Supplies & Uniforms Through Rakuten- School uniforms can be a big expense each year so it is a no-brainer that this app is the way to go to get a little of our cash back on our purchases. While I did get my kids their summer shirts, I will still need to load up on their warmer uniform apparel and winter coats.

Make Some Household Expenses Through Rakuten- There are lots of things we have to buy for our household that could be earning us some cash back rewards. Some of our regular purchases include air filters, light bulbs, toiletry items, pet supplies, ink cartridges for our printer, contacts, glasses, vitamins, and supplements. All of these can now be seen as avenues for cash back into our wallets!

If I’m printing any photos or doing holiday cards this year, I do plan to check here first before making any decisions.

We also happen to be making improvements to our home’s exterior so I will be visiting their list of shops (like Lowes & Overstock) for discounts on my new shutters and outdoor lights.

The Lucrative Refer a Friend Program- Did you know that for every referral you send to Rakuten you make $25? Each of your friends will receive $10 and you will receive the $25 just for sharing about this smart shopping app.

Obviously, being a blogger does have referral advantages, but I bet you have people in your life who don’t know how much they could be earning too. Share your referral link with them via email or through your Facebook wall.

Are you part of any Facebook groups that offer space for referral sharing? Several of the Facebook groups I am part of, for example, have a designated share thread where you can refer people to things you are loving weekly.

Keep in mind, Rakuten does offer a credit card with additional rewards, if you are looking for more money back too. The potential for stacking all of this is pretty incredible.

Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms from

Join My October Passive Income Challenge

For the month of October, I am going to be purposeful with using the Rakuten app to see how much we can earn.

Would you like to take the challenge too?

I would love to have you!

In November, I will report back what I learned through this experience and how much passive income I earned.

I’d love to hear what your experience has been with Rakuten! Have you earned money from this passive income avenue before? Do you have any tips for shopping to share with our readers? I’d love to hear them!

this post contains affiliate links

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from

Passive Income Ideas for Busy Moms

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms from

What if I told you that you could be earning thousands by learning about passive income streams? This year we are exploring the best side hustles to help you earn money for a better financial future. Be sure to bookmark this page to learn ways I’m making extra money for my family. 

Many years ago, I was featured on a couple of talk shows to chat about my experience with work-at-home scams. I just couldn’t believe my luck. This broke Midwest woman would be ON TV to teach others how to avoid scams.

Here’s the thing.

I thought that I was going to be the EXPERT.

When the segment began, I quickly realized that I was the work-at-home VICTIM instead.

I Want To Help You Because I Was Scammed

The truth was, I had been a victim of a work-at-home scam and I was really ashamed of it.

When I was a brand new mom , I desperately wanted to find a way to stay home with my kids. This desperation is why I signed up for a UPS & Federal Express refund software software program. With this purchase, I was promised dozens of dollars. I was so excited to get my business started and unlock this secret wealth with only $69 of software!

Frankly, I was surprised no one else had discovered it.

I was sold a software packaged that claimed to track packages to see if they were late for delivery or not.

Did you know that if a package arrives late for delivery, that you are entitled for a full refund?

According to the software company, many businesses send out large shipments, but don’t ever track their packages.

All I had to do was call, on behalf of my clientele, and they would receive a fifty percent refund.

The other fifty percent would go in your pocket for your good detective work.

Obviously, these people will agree to this because this is money that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Did you not know that you can make $50-75 an hour from the comfort of your own home just by tracking packages?

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

First of all, neither Federal Express nor UPS is affiliated with any of these software programs.

Secondly, they also had every right to refuse the refund to you. After all, you were just a third-party who did not pay for the shipping in the first place.

UPS online tracking system can only be used by the sender of the package or by the recipient, making my software absolutely worthless.

This tracking software could not be for someone’s commercial gain unless UPS openly authorized it. To top it off, UPS prohibits any uses of automated software to access its online shipping-related systems.

Therefore, the software you would be using would be deemed illegal.

I had also been under the assumption that the company would provide a list of people to contact to make this magical money.

What they actually did was provide was a list of categories of businesses to target, like the health industry or retail.

Then, apparently, you just sit back and watch people chomping at the bit to get this amazing service.

Who in the world would ever give out any of this private tracking information on their packages to a complete stranger though?

The answer to that, of course, would be no one in their right mind.

This was my embarrassing story for the world and I’m so thankful I can tell a different one now.

Passive Income Ideas for Busy Moms from

Passive Income for Busy Moms Series

If you haven’t read my book, you might not be aware that our family became riddled with debt after the dot com bomb happened. My husband’s job loss found us deep in debt and struggling to even pay for our groceries. You can read a little more about our story in this feature in Redbook!

Financial struggles, honestly, ended up being the hardest and best thing that I could have been given.

Although being broke was so damn difficult it ended up strengthening our marriage and providing a new job for me.

During that challenging chapter, I tried so many crazy things to make our family money. In the true height of my hustling days, I filled out surveys, working to accumulate points through purchases, and even mystery shopped.

Now that we are in a much better place financially, I am looking ahead to new opportunities to save for our retirement. It is also why I’m, personally, taking a deep dive into wealth building.

What fun is it to do this alone when we could do this together though?

Of course, a savvier business woman would make you buy an online course or spend time writing a book. The thing is, I’m a big fan of the blog format and think this would be such a fun exploration.

If you are saving for retirement, not making enough working full-time, or just a single mom who is responsible for two incomes (NO BIGGIE! YEAH, RIGHT!)… I want to help you.

Please keep in mind, I plan to offer realistic strategies. As a working mom, I am already to capacity with how much I can take on my plate so I understand how important it is to not sacrifice a lot more time for money.

Whatever amount of money you are after, I am hoping to provide some new ways to make money for your family.

How Will the Passive Income for Busy Moms Series Work?

Each month I will share one way you can make money for your family through a variety of avenues. These posts will encourage you to explore creative ways to make money that you may not have thought of.

I will be signing up for these programs (or as much as we can that is applicable to our family) and sharing my results after one month.

If you are interested, you can sign up for these programs too and we can share how we all did in each segment.


Here’s the thing… if there is one thing I have learned from making money through my blog, it is that you should NEVER put all your eggs in one basket.

I am using that same strategy this year to build passive wealth.

In a year, I will share how much I accumulated through these passive income streams and what I learned from the experience.

Is This Only for Blogging or Podcasting Moms?

No, this series is for everyone. I do plan to share though about how I make passive income through affiliate marketing and affiliate links in one post, for my blogging/podcast pals. I do personally know that blogging can be an incredible avenue to financial freedom. That is how we broke free from our debt-ridden lives.

I started my blog many years ago though and now it seems SO much harder to build a loyal audience. I am not saying that you can’t have instant blogging success, but I do think it takes time!

What Do I Get Out of It?

We have TWO teenagers that we hope to be able to help financially with some of their college expenses. We also are working hard to save for our own retirement and know that we need to learn new ways to save to reach those goals.

These blog posts are going to hold me accountable to try all avenues to wealth building and share this with you.

While extra money is incredible, I am even more thankful that we can spread the wealth around and bless others with it. We try to do as much as we can to assist others while still keeping our financial safety net in place.

As a blogger, I do make commissions if you sign up or purchase anything through my links. You don’t have to do that, but it won’t cost you anything to use them.

Although it might be taboo to talk about, running this website is a huge expense for our family. There are lots of expenses that go into website ownership: paying to mail newsletters, web hosting, graphic design tools, photography tools, courses, food/craft supplies, and social media scheduling tools… just to name a few!

Running this site (a gift- I promise I’m not complaining!) costs our family thousands and thousands of dollars every year.

Those commissions help this site to continue being a long term free resource to our readers.

Now that you know about the series, we will be jumping in with our first experiment together. I will keep the list of passive income stream opportunities below and the one month reflections will also be linked. Be sure to bookmark this page or subscribe to my newsletter to stay up-to-date with this experiment.

Passive Income Ideas for Busy Moms from

Passive Income For Mom Wealth Building Lessons & Results

Earn Money With Rakuten Cash Back Offers from Earn Money Through Rakuten (October Challenge)

Real Rakuten Results Cash Back Earnings Report from What Did I *REALLY* End Up Earning With Rakuten? (October Challenge Results)

Earn Money Investing In Women With Ellevest Earn Money With Ellevest (November Challenge)

What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest from What I Earned From One Month With Ellevest (November Challenge Results) Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget Header Find the Hidden Leaks in Your Budget (January Challenge)

This post contains affiliate links.


Passive Revenue Ideas for Busy Moms


Amy’s Notebook 09.20.19

Friday, September 20th, 2019

mediterranean roast chicken source

Love the notebook? Sign up for my free weekly newsletter with more incredible articles!!

I am definitely adding this Mediterranean Roast Chicken dish to our menu planner- yum!! 

The best albums of 2019 so far. There are a few on here that I need to check out!

How adorable is this idea?

Okay, I can’t stop laughing (because it’s true).

How to set boundaries that will change your life. This has changed my life, for sure!

I’m so inspired by this budget-friendly kitchen makeover.

DIY Paper Stag Horn Fern source

I adore these quirky little paper ferns for a fun room detail.

Speaking of boundaries, I love these tips on saying no. I need to work on this one!

This post has great actionable steps for a life that is less busy.

10 of the best books written by women of color.

colorful fall decorating ideas source

I love, love, love colorful homes and this colorful autumn entry makes me happy.

A new style icon-that wardrobe..I die.

The case for slow mornings. I’m trying to do this more too.

How about vegan taco “meat” for your next taco night? I want to try that!

Bookmarking this paleo chicken bbq recipe for the ol’ Instant Pot.

I’m reading (and loving) this book this month.

This was your favorite purchase this week! I couldn’t believe the price either so I can see why!


This simple pizza sauce recipe looks like a winner.

Regarding style, I am getting all sorts of style ideas from this queen of fashion.

How to cut pineapple like a Hawaiian– I can’t wait to try this technique.

Well, that’s genius.

Trying to find the best banana bread to bake? I’m feeling inspired after these reviews of the top banana bread recipes.

Do you have a small powder room too? Here are 50 style ideas to maximize and add beauty to your space.

Does anyone else get as excited as me about fall television?

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post- thank you! xoxo

Small-Budget Crushes 09.20.19

Friday, September 20th, 2019

so many fun finds this week! xoxo

printed crossbody bag

printed crossbody bag

spider bobby pin set

pocket leggings pocket leggings

classic barre socks classic barre socks


funny mom journal

the yay plate

the yay plate (okay, this is my new favorite gift)


pretty on pointelle dress pretty on pointelle dress (two hues)

teardrop earrings

tote bag tote bag (several colors- love the tags)

porcelain coffee pour over cup (only $9!!)

ruffle neck peasant dress ruffle neck peasant dress

support your local library tee

avocado multi-tool

bee's wrap bee’s wrap three pack

open neck cardi (several gorgeous autumn colors)

shuttered bookcase (two gorgeous hues- such a steal)

autumn bitelet pan



DIY Decorative Thumbtack Pumpkins

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from

These gold pumpkins are the perfect craft for autumn, even if you aren’t crafty. You will love these DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins for your home!

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to decorate the holiday table that are festive while staying easy on the budget. The gold trend has really been catching my eye this year so I wanted to create something beautiful and gold that anyone can do, no matter what your craft level.

Today’s tutorial is for a decorative thumbtack pumpkin that requires just two items for a fun and festive touch to your table.

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins Tutorial

Decorative Thumbtack Pumpkin Tutorial from

Supplies Needed

700 (or more!) gold or silver thumbtacks– these can be purchased in a package of 300 at your local dollar store

Small Faux Styrofoam Pumpkin (look for one with a fun stem detail like the glittered stem on this one)


DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from


  1. Going along one of the ridges of the pumpkin, begin inserting thumbtacks, starting at the very top and working your way down. You will want to make sure that they overlap just a bit to create a feathered effect on your pumpkin. You do not need to go to the very bottom, just enough to cover it so that if the pumpkin is placed on a pedestal or candlestick holder that you can’t see the plastic bottom. This row helps to anchor your ridge as you place the thumbtacks in.
  2. Right next to that row, again overlapping from the side and down the row, begin placing thumbtacks in the same way, repeating this process until you have covered the entire ridge. Once the ridge is filled, just check and make sure there aren’t any holes in any places and fill, as necessary, with additional thumbtacks.
  3. Begin in the next ridge, just as you did with the first, giving just a little room between those ridges so you can still see that pumpkin shape. Now repeat this process again and again, until you have filled the entire pumpkin. This small pumpkin took 700 thumbtacks, but you may need more or less depending on how tightly you are overlapping your thumbtacks.

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from

Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? Who would ever have guessed that it costs around $5 to make! I made two of them and wanted to show you a fun way to dress up your holiday table with these.

I spray painted two other faux pumpkins and then roughed them up with a little sandpaper. I filled a glass bottle with branches from our backyard to center these and then purchased these faux logs from my local craft store in two different heights to place my gold pumpkins on. I love all the variations on height and the different textures in this budget-friendly centerpiece.

I hope you find this idea easy and inspiring! Use your own creativity to create a few beautiful pumpkins of your own.

Speaking of autumn crafts…here are a few tutorials you might enjoy!

how to make a blanket scarf how to make a blanket scarf

Painted Pumpkins painted pumpkins tutorial

woodland art download FREE autumn printables

cabled earwarmer pattern cabled ear warmers (free pattern)

easy burlap wreath easy burlap wreath tutorial

Fall Burlap Wreath fall burlap wreath tutorial

how to paint laminate painted laminate fireplace to cozy up by

she shed make a she shed (best investment EVER!)

doughnut-hole-ghost-cake doughnut hole ghost cake

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from

This post contains affiliate links!

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7 Habits to Help Your Kids Have a Great Morning

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019


7 Habits to Help Your Kids Have a Great Morning from


Back to school is the perfect time to work on your family’s good habits. Set a goal of getting your kids’ great new habits to stick and make their school mornings a little easier. Just a few minutes a day and some creative thinking can make the school year start off right!


From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

How’s your fall going so far?

It’s felt a little chaotic at my house.

For weeks now, I’ve been saying, “We’re still getting into our school year routine.” But guys? We’ve been back to school for a while. If I can’t get my people into a routine soon, I’m going to have to change my excuse to, “Well, the holidays are just messing us up.” And then it’s winter break and the new year and the flu and spring break and end of school and summer. 

Because the truth is, we’re constantly entering or leaving one busy season or another.

During this stage, with two busy kids and two busy adults, we just don’t have a long stretch of “normal” to look forward to. There’s no sense in waiting to get back to normal before getting organized, finding routines, or learning how to live — because I’ll be waiting forever. 

The number one thing I’ve found that makes a difference in how my kids — and I — deal with busy seasons?


Our quantity and quality of sleep makes an enormous difference in everything — in our health, our attitudes, our discipline in the other things that make life easier or otherwise better. Sleep kind of makes our world go ‘round.

And sleep is a funny thing. Everyone needs it, but everyone needs a different amount. And everyone seems to need different conditions to get good sleep. So it’s a universal need but also a personal one.

Therefore, rather than tell you one, laser-focused solution that works for my family, today I’m sharing several things that seem to make a difference for at least one person in my house. Hopefully something I share will work for someone in your family, and together we can stop needing excuses for being so out of sorts as we move from season to season.


7 Habits to Help Your Kids Have a Great Morning

7 Habits to Help Your Kids Have a Great Morning from

Know the facts

When we get busy with evening activities and homework and movie nights and one more story at bedtime, we can easily cut our kids’ nights short without realizing it.

That’s why it’s good to know — and then keep in mind — how much sleep is recommended for each child, based on their age. This article from the American Academy of Pediatrics lists the recommended sleep times that studies have shown are the best for each age range from four months to 18 years. 

This chart was helpful for my family as it showed me that it’s not weird for my 11-year-old to need more sleep than my 4-year-old. Last year I let my older daughter stay up later than her little sister, because I assumed she could handle it. But over the past few months I’ve realized that just isn’t true. They need different amounts of sleep, and what I assumed was wrong. Now they go to bed at the same time, which feels weird — but the AAP says is acceptable and not that weird after all.

Bathe at unusual times

Sometimes it feels like I have to choose between hygiene and sleep — for my kids and for myself! But what I’ve finally realized (it only took me how long?!) is that we don’t have to bathe (or shower) at the “usual” times. I can shower before bed instead of in the morning if I have to. My kids can bathe right after school instead of getting to bedtime and realizing we’ve run out of time and skipping it…again. It seems like a little thing, but it’s made a big difference for us. (And this tip goes for any bedtime or morning task. You can have story time right after dinner, and you can make lunches at night instead of after breakfast.)

Brain dump before bed

While I don’t often struggle with insomnia, I’ve certainly spent many nights staring at the ceiling as my worries or ideas or to-do list run through my brain on a loop. I’ve learned it’s better to just turn on my lamp, grab a notebook, and write it all down. That way, my brain can rest, knowing that I’ve captured all the things and I can tackle them the next day.

Sometimes my kids need that, too. I try to make sure I don’t shut them down if they bring up a tough subject or start telling a long story at bedtime, but when possible, I will ask if it’s something we can talk about the next day. And then, to make sure they know I’m serious, I’ll let them see me make an actual note so we don’t forget to come back to that topic or story.


7 Habits to Help Your Kids Have a Great Morning from

Set alarms!

I use the alarms on my phone to keep me on track all day long, all week long. This is especially important for making sure we all get the sleep we need without being late for school or work. I set alarms for —

  • When we need to go upstairs to start the bedtime routineWhen my oldest daughter needs to bring her book out to the hallway (so she doesn’t stay up super late reading…like her mama!)
  • When I need to turn off the TV and start my own bedtime routineWhen I need to get up, at the very least a few minutes before the kids
  • When I need to wake up the kids (I need to get back to setting my 11-year-old’s alarm in her room; that helped her morning attitude a lot when we did it before.)
  • When we need to go downstairs to start packing lunches and eating breakfastWhen my oldest needs to go to the bus stop

Without those alarms, we would be lost!

Make expectations clear 

Nearly every argument my girls and I have in the morning is about whether or not they’ve completed their morning routines: making their beds, brushing teeth, brushing hair, putting on clean clothes.

It doesn’t seem hard to me, but they struggle — so writing down the morning routine and sticking it on the bathroom wall has helped.

I also included what times we do things, so they know if it’s close to 7:30 and they aren’t close to ready for breakfast, they’d better get a move on!

7 Habits to Help Your Kids Have a Great Morning from

Have your own morning routine

What makes you feel awake?

Do you need coffee before you can deal with people?

Or perhaps it’s a tall glass of ice water or a few minutes of stretching that gets your blood moving?

For me, it’s turning on all the lights, brushing my teeth, and putting on a bra. Without those things, I am a slug — and not a very nice one either. We all win when I make sure to complete my own morning routine!

Take a moment 

Look, nobody in my house likes mornings.

So I’m not about to tell you to take hours of your morning to connect with your people. But! If you can take even a few seconds to look them in the face and wish them well (on a test, with a friend, in general) or perhaps play their favorite song in the car and share a smile in the rearview mirror as you do your best car dance, I guarantee it will make a world of difference.

And if you have more than a few seconds? Five-minute family devotions, love notes in the lunchbox, or a blessing prayer in the carpool line will take little time and effort, but leave you feeling like you’ve got this morning thing mastered.

Those are just a few things that help us have better mornings.

We aren’t perfect, and don’t do every thing every day. But when we do our best to check most these boxes? We are more rested and less frazzled, and mornings don’t seem so bad (even to my house full of night owls).


What helps your family have a great morning? Be sure to scroll down for more great parenting articles!

7 Habits for Better Mornings With Your Kids from


Mary Carver is a writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. She lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons, but she lives because of God’s grace. Mary writes with humor and honesty about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places on her blog, She is the author of Fast Talk & Faith: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls and co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. She is also a regular contributor to and Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

Like this article? You might find these other parenting articles helpful too!


How to Handle Lying from how to handle lying


A New Way to Teach Your Child to Tie Their Shoes from a new way to teach your child how to tie their shoes (my kids learned in 5 minutes flat!!)


Teaching Kids the Importance of Failure from teaching kids the importance of failure

Homeschooling a Child With Special Needs from homeschooling a child with special needs


How to Find & Write Pen Pals from how to find & write pen pals


DIY Tween Confidence Kit from diy tween self-confidence kit

5 Book Series for Kids Who Love Harry Potter from 5 book series for kids who love harry potter

This post contains affiliate links.


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Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast

No need to break out your slow cooker for a great chuck roast. This Instant Pot recipe is ready in a fraction of the time, compared to a slow cooker roast. Dressed with a simple marinara sauce, this shredded beef recipe is perfect to serve over pasta or to stuff in a sub bun for an italian beef sandwich. Let me show you how with this pressure cooker recipe.

I am back again with another family meal idea that you can create in your pressure cooker.

Those of you that have my book may recognize this easy recipe that I had originally made for my crock pot. This pot roast recipe was formerly known as my, “Pot Roast Italiano,” and I thought it would be a fun one to adapt for the pressure cooker.

The exciting news is that this recipe DOES NOT DISAPPOINT AT ALL. I have a feeling that this might be in your regular recipe rotation.

If you haven’t used the sauté function on your pressure cooker, you are going to love the ability to brown your meats before you pressure cook them. 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

A three pound chuck roast can be difficult to flip so feel free to cut your roast in half, like I have demonstrated in the photo.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

After mixing these seasonings, you can spoon them on and press them into both sides of your roast, while you wait for your Instant Pot to warm up.

Not sure when it is warm? Your Instant Pot will say HOT when it is ready to go and also will sound a little beep so you can get your meat started.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from


Add olive oil to the bottom of the pan and then brown the roast beef on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes each.

Once you have this done, pull the beef out of the Instant Pot and cancel the sauté function.

Using a whisk, whisk in your tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and salt. Don’t put in the tomato paste- we aren’t ready for that thickener just yet.

Be sure to use the whisk to lift up an of those delicious brown bits, that may have been left behind by your roast, and any of those italian seasonings that may be resting on the bottom.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Set your Instant Pot to high pressure and program it for 80 minutes cooking time. I usually just press the meat button on the IP since I have that set to MORE on the settings. 

Once it is done, try to give it some time to come to a natural release (maybe ten minutes or so), but if you are in a rush a quick release won’t hurt it either.

If you are unclear about the difference between the natural release pressure and the quick release pressure, be sure to check out my post with a diagram that explains this more fully.

After releasing the lid, remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred the meat. Thanks to the effectiveness of the Instant Pot, this should be an absolute breeze.

Your final step, to complete the accompanying sauce, is to whisk in a can of tomato paste. Be sure to give your sauce a taste and sprinkle in additional salt, onion powder, or garlic powder (as needed).

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

This meat can be placed into a sub roll with a layer of sauce and melted provolone cheese. If you are wanting a more formal meal, this pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes or spooned over a big pile of pasta and sprinkled with a healthy grate of parmesan cheese.

Unlike the traditional shredded beef recipe with pepperoncini peppers and beef broth, this recipe is always a bit of a surprise to our guests with the uniqueness of the sauce and the delicious Italian flavors.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe and look forward to sharing even more pressure cooker recipes with you this month.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast Recipe

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
No need to break out your slow cooker for a great chuck roast. This Instant Pot recipe is ready in a fraction of the time, compared to a slow cooker roast. Dressed with a simple marinara sauce, this shredded beef recipe is perfect to serve over pasta or to stuff in a sub bun for an italian beef sandwich. Let me show you how with this pressure cooker recipe.
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (with their juice)
  • 1 can tomato sauce – 16 oz
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Cheese (optional)
  1. Cut your beef chuck roast into two or three pieces so that it can fit and be flipped in your pressure cooker.
  2. Turn on your pressure cooker and set it to the sauté function on HIGH.
  3. On a piece of wax paper, take a paper towel and dry out the meat on both sides so that you can get a nice sear on your roast.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of your roast and push the seasoning in with your hands to make sure that it sticks well.
  6. Add your olive oil to the hot pan and then sear the roast on both sides for two to three minutes, until your roast has developed a nice crust. Be sure to do this in batches so you get a nice sear on your roast. Set your roast aside.
  7. Turn off the Instant Pot and then add your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and more salt & pepper. Whisk this in and use your whisk to loosen any of the browned bits on the bottom into your sauce. Give it a taste and make sure you have the right amount of seasoning.
  8. Lock your lid and set it to HIGH pressure for 80 minutes (you can also use your Meat setting if you just want to press a button).
  9. Once it is done, allow it to come to Natural Release Pressure (or if you are in a hurry, you can just do a Quick Release- it won’t hurt it!)
  10. Transfer your meat to a cutting board to shred.
  11. Meanwhile, whisk tomato paste into your gravy and check your seasonings one more time.
  12. Spoon a bit of the sauce on your roast and mix it well.
  13. Serve the additional sauce in a bowl or gravy boat. Serve the roast with mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice. Leftovers can be packaged and used later in Italian beef sandwiches, toasted with sauce and provolone.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

This post contains affiliate links.

Love this recipe? Here are a few more meal ideas for your Instant Pot!

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from

best instant pot wings

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from 3-ingredient pulled pork recipe

3-ingredient instant pot ribs 3-ingredient instant pot ribs (the most popular and viral recipe on the blog)



Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from

Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below! 

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans

Monday, September 16th, 2019

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

If your favorite jeans have faded and you would like to restore the color, you won’t want to miss today’s tutorial to help you get that perfect wash back on your denim items. Follow these steps for restoring color with fabric dyes in the washing machine or even over the stovetop with this easy DIY tutorial.

Several years ago I bought the best pair of jeans ever made. They were a classic pair of black Gap Straight Fit Jeans that I found from Goodwill with a Fall ’03 label on them. They fit me like a glove, made me feel slim, and hit at the perfect length.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

Have you ever wondered what to do with a favorite pair of jeans you really love and that are really starting to look like they should be retired?

Well, today I wanted to show you how I dyed my black jeans black again and restored this old pair into something that looks like brand new for less than $5!

Yup, you heard me right!

You CAN dye jeans.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

These jeans were black, but they have faded after a million times in my washing machine.

I actually think these would have been cool in eighth grade when I begged my mama to buy me a pair of stonewashed jeans that looked like they had been beat to death.

Sadly, I am no longer an eighth grader and I am starting to feel self conscious when I wear these out.

I’m tired of being judged.

Time to hit the craft store. Grab your coupons!

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

I headed to Joann Fabrics and over by the t-shirts and t-shirt decorating supplies is an aisle filled with fabric dyes.

You will need two boxes of the powdered Rit dye in your desired color.

They do offer a liquid version, but it is my understanding that the powder seems to be a bit more concentrated and adhere a little better to the fabric.

I haven’t tested this theory, but I wanted this color to stick so I went with the powdered version.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

Back to black, old friend.

It makes me want to break out my Amy Winehouse playlist right now.

I used two boxes of this Rit dye in black for my jeans. If your aim is to go back to blue with your jeans, you will want two boxes of Navy (for dark jeans) or Indigo (for a lighter wash).

Be careful with the Indigo & Navy though as there are many comments reporting that this one can turn your jeans more purple than blue.

Always follow the package directions for the best advice!

My only experience is with the BLACK dye. As you can see in the after pictures, it isn’t a true black so this is the color that I would recommend for a dark wash jean!

Let’s get started!


How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans Tutorial

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

Our family has a HE washer so I am sharing with you how to dye your jeans using your HE washer.

At the end of the post, I will share the other Rit recommendations depending on your own scenario.

All scenarios create a big mess, but just think of your new-to-you jeans!

Did I already warn you?

This is going to get really messy.

I recommend throwing on old clothes and a pair of rubber gloves while you mix this.

In a glass measuring cup add four cups of the hottest water possible out of your tap.

VERY carefully, add 1 cup of table salt and the contents of two of the powdered packet.

Using a metal spoon and VERY carefully stir the contents.

In your laundry sink, wet your jeans in warm water and then place them in your washer wet.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

It is important to use the washer’s hottest water setting.

Additionally, a wash cycle of at least 30 minutes is recommended to obtain a satisfactory dyeing.

I set my washer to the Whitest White Cycle because it had hot water and was one of the longest running cycles on my washer.

Consult your washer manual to figure out which setting would be best for you. Go ahead and start the cycle with your wet jeans in there.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

Here comes the super scary part.

VERY carefully pour your dye solution into the spot where you put your detergent after you start your cycle.

Try to not panic like I did. I promise it will all work out.

Once the dye goes into the cycle (you will be able to tell when you open up your detergent compartment and see the dye filling in the washer) fill it with four cups of the hottest tap water possible and put it in the same exact spot you put your dye in (the powdered detergent holder) to flush the color out.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

If you value your sink, this might not be a good thing because your sink will turn blue from the dye.

You will have to bleach it if you want to maintain a pristine sink.

Ours is obviously very classy down in our basement with a single light bulb attached to a piece of string.

Try not to be jealous of my laundry room.

Once your jeans are done, run it through another round or two of a warm wash cycle with detergent.

You want to check the water to see when it begins to run clear before you dry them to make sure all the color has absorbed into the jeans.

As a precautionary measure, wash the jeans separate from other items until you are completely sure that the dye will not transfer.

After that, just run them through the dryer on your usual cycle.

Notes on Retaining Color and Resisting the Fade

Other readers have shared that Retayne is a great product to use to help your fabrics retain the rich colors that you have dyed them.

Soaking your already-dyed garment in salt and/or vinegar will not set your dye.

At best, it will just add another washing, which will help to remove some of your excess dye.

The salt in the dye bath, however, helps the dye to approach the fabric instead of staying in the water, and vinegar can helps dye nylon or wool, but not cotton (like these jeans). Neither salt or vinegar is actually a dye fixative for already-dyed fiber.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

After you are done, you will want to clean your washing machine.

Clean your washing machine immediately after dyeing has completed using the hottest water setting.

Since the machine automatically weighs fabric to determine the water level, place 3-4 old towels into the washer along with detergent and 1 to 2 cups chlorine bleach.

Wipe spills with paper towels sprayed with a chlorine bleach solution. Plastic or rubber parts may be tinted but will not stain laundry.

I happened to have a box of this Tide Washing Machine Cleaner and I used that in lieu of messing with the bleach.

That’s it.

A day of effort with less than $5 in supplies for a pair of new-to-you jeans.

Here are my new-to-me jeans…

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

My faded barely gray jeans are now a much richer and more solid color.

I still can’t believe that this is the same pair of jeans.

Just to be up front, I used the same exact spot in my house, same time of day, and same settings on my camera so this is no trick in photography.

It really has restored the color in my jeans.

How To Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

Here is a side by side of the jeans.

When they are lined up next to each other, you can see just how dramatically different this pair of jeans is.

I am amazed at the results and feel like I got a brand new pair of jeans for less than $5 in supplies.

How To Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

The one thing I was worried about was that the seam would be dyed along with the rest of the fabric, but the seam actually didn’t absorb the dye.

This was a lovely, lovely surprise!

If you are in love with a pair of jeans at the thrift store or simply want to restore some color in your old jeans, I encourage you to pick up some Rit fabric dye and give this a try!

The results are dramatic, while still being easy on your wallet!

How To Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

Other Methods of Dyeing With Rit Dye

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

For Top-Loading Machines

Fill machine with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Refer to the chart below for the right amount of dye to add. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water. Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to hot dye bath.

Wet fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath.

Set machine for extended wash cycle. Fabric should be in dye bath for at least 30 minutes before rinse begins. (You can reset your washing machine before the rinse cycle begins for extended wash cycle.)

Rinse in cold water until water runs clear. Wash deep shades in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water.

Dry item in dryer or hang to dry.

Clean washing machine using highest water level with hot water, detergent and 1 cup chlorine bleach using complete wash cycle. Clean lint traps. Plastic or rubber machine parts may be tinted but will not stain laundry.

For Front-Loading Machines

The settings and options of various front-load washing machines vary among manufacturers.

Even though there are slight differences among differing manufacturer’s wash settings, they are common in that they all introduce water to the tumbler once the garment is placed inside. They allow a time period to introduce detergent (or dye in this case), and they all finish with a spin cycle.

It is important to use the washer’s hottest water setting. Additionally, a wash cycle of at least 30 minutes is recommended to obtain a satisfactory dyeing.

Because front-load washers have built-in heaters to maintain the washer’s temperature and the water to fabric ratio is relatively high as compared to top-load machines, deep rich colors can be achieved using Rit dyes.

How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans from

For Stovetop

Fill pot with enough hot water for fabric to move freely.

Remember: Use 1 package of Rit powder or 1/2 bottle of Rit liquid dye and 3 gallons of hot water for each pound of fabric.

Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water.

Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to dye bath. Stir to mix.

Wet fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath.

Bring dye bath to simmer. Stir constantly (back and forth, up and down) at least 30 minutes.

Rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until water runs clear. Hand wash item in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water.

Dry item in dryer or squeeze out excess water and allow them to air dry.

Clean containers immediately with chlorine bleach. Scrub with chlorine-based powder, liquid, or gel cleanser, if necessary.

Love this thrifty tutorial? Here are a few others I think you will love just as much!

How to dye canvas shoes how to dye canvas shoes

how to make a blanket scarf how to make a blanket scarf

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket scarf with no-sew hidden pocket

diy fitbit bracelet diy fitbit bracelet

knitted boot cuffs diy knitted boot cuffs

cabled earwarmer pattern cabled ear warmers

DIY Outdoor Movie Night diy outdoor movie night




How to Dye Your Jeans from


Have you ever used fabric dye for any projects? Any tips or recommendations when using fabric dye? Let’s share!


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