ALL NATURAL Stain Remover

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Things are getting real over here. Can I share real life with you? So this morning as I was feeding Sprout, he peed all over me. Through the diaper, through his clothes, and all over my shirt & shorts. It seems fitting since I planned on posting about my favorite new ancient find. 

In the midst of the craziness I often spray stains, let them run through the washer & toss them in the dryer without checking to see if the stain came out. 9 times out of 10 it does, but sometimes it’s still there and I’ve done the honor of setting it. Back in the day I would spray again and cross my fingers that it comes out the next time. But NO MORE.

Yall the sun is an amazing thing & about as all natural as you can get. Plus it’s my new stain remover! Poop stains, spaghetti stains, avocado stains…it can take them all!

Here is all you need to do: if a stain doesn’t come out in the wash, lay it outside wet (or if you forgot and dried it, dry) and let the sun work it’s magic. Stains disappear every time. I’ve yet to have a garmet in which the stain didn’t come out! I’ve found it works best on stains to white clothing, but it’s pretty good on colors too. Here are a few before and afters.

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Just make sure that you don’t leave it outside too long or your fabric will start to fade. Isn’t that amazing. You’ll never look at a diaper explosion the same way again!

Looking for other laundry hacks? Check out my how to on freshening up stinky towels & this last minute solution to being out of dryer sheets!

 

All Natural Air Freshener

So can I be honest for a minute. I didn’t get the essential oil bandwagon everyone hopped on around here about a year or so ago. I didn’t get it…but then I stumbled across an essential oil recipe that would make my stinky dog smell better. I thought it was worth a shot…and well, craziness, but it actually worked. So when we had another stinky situation at the house I decided to call on essential oils again with some all natural air freshener. Follow this link for a FREE SAMPLE kit of my favorite essential oil. 

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So it is pretty easy to make your own air freshener & you probably have most ingredients in your house (especially if you are an “oiler!” There are only 2-4 ingredient depending on your oil preferences. So I have two recipes for you…

The first is a spray for freshening lots of spaces, keep it under the cabinet and when folks are coming over or you just want your husband to think you’ve spent all day cleaning the house, give all your spaces a little spritz!

Here is what you’ll need: 1 cup of water, 1/4 rubbing alcohol, 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice, and a spray bottle. Here are a few suggestions. Lavender is great bedroom and bathrooms. It has a calming/relaxing effect. Lemon is perfect in the kitchen because it is extremely refreshing. And peppermint is really great anywhere as the smell will give anyone a nice little pick me up!

Mix the water and alcohol first, then add in about 10 drops of the essential oil (or a combination if you want to get crazy) of your choice. Shake before each use!

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The second air freshening tip is more of a stationary option, a secret smell good bowl guaranteed to freshen up any room!. We all have those areas that are extra stinky. Maybe because of a stinky trash can, a diaper pail, or it’s the dog’s favorite area to hang out. 

Here is what you’ll need: a small bowl, cotton balls, and 15-20 drops of your essential oil of choice! This is pretty self explanatory, but you’ll place the 4 or 5 cotton balls in your cute bowl. Then soak them pretty liberally with your choice of essential oil. Hide the bowl behind a picture or place on the mantle or counter. Ahhhhh….it’s so refreshing, lasts for days and you don’t have to spend all your $$$$ on crazy expensive candles (or remember to blow them out!). 

I also wanted to share with you a quick, all purpose cleaner.

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Here’s what you’ll need: 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 5 drops of lemon essential oil. First, boil the water. Then mix baking soda, water, dish soap and essential oil together in a spray bottle. Add in vinegar. Mix. 

When I finally started coming around on the idea of using essential oils I asked a friend and avid user, what is so great about them? Here is what she shared with me:

I LOVE essential oils for DIY projects. I started using them 6 years ago for therapeutic benefits which has been amazing. I quickly learned that you can make your own cleaners and homemade products with them as well. It has been an amazing journey. We have been able to make all natural organic products for PENNIES! You will want to be picky about which brand of oil you use, not all essential oils are a good quality even though they may be marked as 100% pure organic. 

So is there an area of your house that needs a little pick me up? Are you up for trying essential oils to tackle it? Follow this link for a FREE SAMPLE kit of my favorite essential oils. 

 

Jazzed Up Jarred Spaghetti Sauce

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I remember fondly the days before children. You know the days when you get to go to the bathroom by yourself, you aren’t constantly covered in spit up, and meals don’t consist of cutting everything into tiny pieces. Even with only one child, things were different…I actually had the time to make spaghetti sauce from scratch. It wasn’t insanely time consuming because a crockpot was involved, but it’s more time than I have these days wrangling two under two…so in a crunch the other night I made spaghetti with plain store bought spaghetti sauce. Yall, I must admit, it wasn’t great. What is a tired mama to do?? I needed a compromise. 

So, last week I decided to jazz up this basic jarred spaghetti sauce in hopes of a delicious but not time consuming dinner. And since I know we toddler moms don’t have time for the store, the good news is you probably have most of these ingredients to give new life to your plain sauce in your pantry & fridge.

What you’ll need: a jar of spaghetti sauce, a can of tomatoes or one whole tomato, 1/2 diced onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 .5 tsp of fennel, 1.5 tsp of basil, 1/5 tsp of parsley, tbsp olive oil

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Directions: Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and saute until translucent, add in minced garlic. Then poor in jarred spaghetti sauce and one can of drained tomatoes (or you can chop one tomato & add that), Reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add in spices/herbs and salt & pepper to taste. Let simmer over low heat for another 15-20 minutes. Poor over pasta & enjoy (with cheesy garlic toast if you want to get crazy!!). You can re-jar what you don’t use and store in the refrigerator. 

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I promise busy mom, you can do this! Happy Weekend everyone!

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Getting Preschool Ready

Can you believe summer is over? School has already started and preschoolers will be heading back in the next few weeks. My little ones aren’t quite preschool age, but I know the importance of working on cognitive and fine motor skills early.

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Cognitive skills are the basis on which we build critical thinking and the ability to analyze. Chickadee is currently 22 months and we are always trying fun activities to help her conquer such skills. Below are a few activities you can do with your little one to boost their cognitive development!

1. Personal Picture Book This is a simple photo album of your child. Talk about what they are doing in the pictures? Who’s with them? They will love answering your questions and looking at themselves!

2. Colors Most children around 2 years of age will start learning their colors. We loved learning about colors in our Color Box! Eye Spy, color style, is also one of our favorites.

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3. Exploring Senses Is their food still cold? Is the blanket soft? Talk to your little one about what soft feels like, show them examples. Then see if they can find something else that is also soft, cold, etc.

4. Concentration Our favorite activity that works on concentration are puzzles. Chickadee loves puzzles and twisting and turning pieces until they fit. 

5. Sorting A cupcake pan and a collection of colorful objects are all you need. Have your child sort the objects by color, shape, size, etc. 

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Fine motor skills are also important to develop early. These are skills we make with the small muscles in our hands. Here are a few of my favorite activities. 

1. Turn the Pages While reading a book let your child turn the pages. Let your little one to be a part of the experience in a bigger way than just listening. Let them hold the book, open it up, and turn the pages.

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2. Building Let your little one have fun with foam blocks by seeing how high they can stack them. The higher the tower the more fun it is to knock down!

3. Coloring and Painting Sometimes we do it the traditional way, in coloring books and on paper. Other times we branch out a little bit. Last week we used watercolors to decorate coffee filters and make garland. Coloring outside on the ground or fence with chalk is always fun. 

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4. Cutting It takes a lot of concentration and several of your hand muscles working together to tackle this task. Start simple. I’m thinking Chickadee and I will start with cutting straws into noddle like pieces.

5. Hand Eye Coordination You can use the straw noodles you just cut and have your little one string them onto a piece of yarn to make a necklace. Another fun activity involves filling the holes in the colander with pipe cleaners. 

As I mentioned, it is important to start the development of your child’s cognitive and fine motor skills early. While Chickadee is still a few years away from preschool, when she does begin I know I will look for a school that develops these skills. Childtime Learning Center focuses on meeting these same goals. It is a warm and inviting place where children get the nurturing they need to develop and grow.

Childtime. Opening Minds. Unleashing imaginations.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Learning Care Group. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

DIY Burlap Wreath

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Yall I am slacking around the new house. Blame it on the new baby, the lack of sleep, the almost 22 month old running around, and the fact that I’m scared to make decisions about where to hang anything because it seems so permanent. We have a pretty long punch list of projects, but we’ve about exhausted our budget for this year so we are focusing on the little things. Like the front door. 

Yall my front door was wreathless for the first four months…it was a little sad. So I finally found 15 minutes to put this burlap wreath together. It’s amazing how inviting a simple wreath will make your front door. I started with a teal bow, but I’m sure I will be changing it out for orange in the next few weeks as football season gets here. Yall, our front door will then be navy & orange! War Eagle :)

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I’ll save you the tutorial because they are all over the blog world. This one is really great! I actually watched this YouTube video and found it very helpful.