Homemade Mattress Deodorizer

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If you couldn’t tell already–I’m on a huge essential oils kick. This next one was a super easy leap for me. I’m a co-sleeping mom to a baby with severe acid reflux. This means I get spit up on my bed nightly (among other gross baby stuff). Plus, I was grossed out about dust mites, etc. I’d never cleaned/deodorized my mattress (yes, that’s gross). So, I found this Pinterestlink and knew I had to try it.

It’s insanely simple. I used about two cups of baking soda and 10 drops of essential oil.

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Mixed this all together and use something to sprinkle the mixture all over your mattress (I used my powdered sugar shifter). Leave it on for an hour or longer and then use your vacuum attachment to vacuum it off.

Next time I’ll try lavender as it’s supposed to be calming but I must say lemongrass smells AMAZING. It just makes me happy.

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Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

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Rory had the typical toddler reaction to having a sister–she reverted back to having potty accidents. ALL THE TIME. ALL OVER HER FLOOR. Needless to say I’m not ready to pay to shampoo them because I’m not yet sure she’s finished with the accidents but I needed something to make her room no longer smell like a urinal. Using three of my favorite ingredients I hit the mother load of deodorizers and I owe it all to yet another Pinterest find.

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Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

1/2c Borax
1/2c Baking Soda
20-25 Drops of your favorite essential oil OR 1tsp. Ground Spices

Mix it all together, pour into a shaker or some sorts (an empty Parmesan Cheese shaker is perfect). Sprinkle onto the carpet and let it sit for 20 minutes before you vacuum up. I used lemongrass (one of my favs) and it smells so clean and fresh upstairs. I’m seriously in love with how easy this is and how clean it all smells.

Chocolate Protein Shake

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After I found this recipe for a chocolate protein shake on Pinterest, I decided to give it a whirl. I’m officially hooked. The original recipe swears it tastes just like a Wendy’s frosty, but I wouldn’t go that far. I actually don’t add all of the ingredients because a couple are more speciality items that I didn’t want to buy until I knew I liked the general taste of it. I’ve been burned on smoothie/protein shake recipes too many times!

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Protein Frosty
Serves one

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (6 ounces) Almond milk (or milk of your choice, I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

10-15 Ice cubes

1 scoop Vanilla protein powder

1-2 TB Unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it, I use 1TBS)

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (Supposedly this is the KEY ingredient, but honestly I haven’t used it and it still tastes great!)

1/4 tsp Guar gum (or use more xanthan if you don’t have guar) (Again, I haven’t added this yet because I HATE buying weird ingredients if I’m not sure ill use them ).

Sweetener of choice (frozen banana, stevia packet, a few dates, xylitol, or agave) I use stevia.

Directions:

Blend.

Enjoy!

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Now, I’ve stumbled upon an “ah ha” moment while making this. I hate cleaning my blender. Such a pain. Until I actually read my blender (after 7 years) and realized there was a setting called “easy clean”. It was as if angels were singing the chorus of “Hallelujah”. I added water to fill about half the blender and two drops of dish soap and blended. Viola! Clean blender.

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Yes, I realize this is relatively common sense-but it never clicked for me until now. I will definitely be using my blender much more often!

Candyland Birthday Party

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I absolutely LOVE planning parties. Seriously, I do it to relax and have some “me” time scouring Pinterest for ideas. I thought I’d go back and show you Rory’s three birthday parties. This one, was actually in a life pre-Pinterest (how we functioned back then is beyond me)! I decided before I was even pregnant with Rory that her first birthday party was going to be a Candyland themed party. I LOVED that game as a kid and since all parents force things they love/loved onto their children it was a no-brainer. We had it at a local park in the middle of August (btw the Midwest, middle of August was a HORRIBLE idea). So here’s her first birthday in pictures:

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The invitation. I have this weird obsession with invitations. To me they signify the whole event, so you want one that makes people want to be there. I fell in love with this one I bought on Etsy and printed via Snapfish. Cute and pretty reasonably priced.

 

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The cake. I decorated it obviously to look like the Candyland gameboard. My favorite part are the actual Candyland playing pieces on it.

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Another view of the cake.
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The candy buffet. You can NEVER go wrong with a candy buffet. We had blow pops, smarties, gummy bears, gum balls, tootsie rolls, lemon drops, candy necklaces and old fashion candy sticks. Everyone got a Chinese takeout box to fill with their favs.

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We had to have a Candyland themed bounce house.

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Rory LOVED it. As did all the other kids.
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Instead of gifts we asked for everyone to bring a donation of new school supplies to donate to foster care kids that otherwise won’t have supplies. I was floored by how much stuff we were able to donate. Rory still got way too many gifts, but it’s nice to know that the bulk of it went to less fortunate kids.
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This is how she was the rest of that day. Passed out on the wood floor.

High praise from our girl!

Homemade Shout Stain Fighter

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I’m really into homemade cleaning products lately. Anything that saves money, is easy to make and involves mainly stuff I have on hand is where I’m at. So, when I found this homemade Shout stain remover recipe on Pinterest, I HAD to try it. Especially when I realized I keep everything on hand except Ammonia and I can pick that up for $1 at the grocery store.

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Homemade Shout

2/3c. Dish Soap
2/3c. Ammonia
6TB. Baking Soda
2c. Warm Water

Mix well, add to spray bottle. Shake bottle if solution has been sitting for awhile. Use as normal shout would be used but I’d suggest rubbing the sprayed area together.

I’ve tried it on three items so far: one with dried formula puke, one with markers and one with what appeared to be blue ink. All three were gone without rubbing but I’d suggest it for more set in stains.

Quick, no knead homemade bread without a bread maker!

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I hate kitchen gadgets. I really do. Unless I know I’ll use them constantly it’s not something I like to keep lying around (which is why this summer I am yard selling a ton of wedding presents from seven years ago–I figure if I haven’t used them in seven years I won’t ever). But, I LOVE homemade bread. The smell, the taste, everything. I still refuse to bite the bullet and buy a bread maker and because of this handy recipe I found on Pinterest, I may not have to.

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Crusty Bread Recipe

– 3c White Unbleached Flour

– 1 3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt

– 1/2 tsp. Rapid Rise Yeast

– 1 1/2 c Water

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In a large bowl add flour, salt and yeast. Mix well (I use a fork or whisk). Add water and mix.

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Cover with plastic wrap and leave out (NOTE: DO NOT PUT IN THE FRIDGE) for 12-18 hours.

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Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. The original recipe post the person used a 5.5 quart cast iron pot. She said you could use anything with a lid that would work in the oven. I don’t have anything that will work for that. What I do have, however, is a large Pyrex glass bowl. I’ve made it now each time using the same bowl–some times covering it with tin foil and other times not. I prefer not as the bread is more golden brown and crustier. No need to oil the pot/bowl/whatever you use. As soon as the oven in preheated place the bowl/pot in the oven for 30 minutes to warm up.

In the meantime, dump the dough onto a floured surface. NO NEED TO KNEAD THE DOUGH! Just shape it into a round loaf, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

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Carefully remove the pot from the oven (it will be insanely hot). Dump the load in the pot (I flour my hands because the dough is super sticky). Put the lid on and cook for 30 minutes. If you do use a lid, after the 30 minutes remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes .

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Enjoy!

Taking a stand

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If you’ve been on Facebook for the last day or so, you’ve seen the sea of red equal signs in your newsfeed signaling people who believe that anyone should be able to get married—regardless if they are gay, straight, transgendered, etc. I saw so many of my friends’ profile pictures change in support of the and was shocked by the across-the-board support—even many of my conservative friends agreed with a couple’s right to marry, regardless of their sexuality. It was amazing to see such a united front.

I’ve never really taken a stance, and I must say I’m ashamed of that. Honestly, I felt like it didn’t really affect me in any way until yesterday, when the topic was all over the internet and social media. I had to take notice and think about it.

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My brother is gay. My older brother who was my hero growing up; he protected me, loved me and more than anything put up with me. He loved me unconditionally—the way a sibling should. When I look at my two little girls I think of my own childhood and my own relationships with my siblings and how they molded me, made me a better person and shaped in some way everything I believe in. I love them in a way I can never love anyone else and I thank God every day that Rory and Molly will have that with each other. My older brother has a life partner, Seth – someone he’s settled down with, bought a house with, and, as they live in California, registered as a domestic partner with, hyphenated last names and all. They both came out to visit in January and they showered my girls with love, affection and attention. Rory speaks often of how much she loves and misses them. That struck me yesterday—what am I teaching her if I don’t stand up for her uncle, whom I love? What does that say to her about the love of a sibling? That it’s only love if it’s convenient or easy or what I believe is right? That’s not love. That’s not what I want to teach her—I want her to love Molly wholeheartedly—I want them to protect each other and sacrifice for each other and care for each other regardless.

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Perhaps I’ll see some backlash from “friends” for this. Perhaps some will call into question my faith in God, but at the end of the day I believe that the God I love blessed me with a brother that I would lay down my life for (and he’d do for me) and it doesn’t matter what I think or don’t think about homosexuality, because judgment was not why I was placed on this earth. I am here to love him freely and deeply and to teach my children to do the same. Scripture teaches to seek justice – not just for my brother, but for everyone, and that’s what I plan on doing. I hope many of you will join us because it won’t be easy—nothing worth fighting for ever is (think suffrage movement, abolitionist, and civil rights movements). This is our moment, our fight and our chance to show our children what we stand for and whom we’ll stand for.