{Mommy Monday} Outdoor Cleaning Superstar

{Mommy Monday} Outdoor Cleaning Superstar
Today I’ve got some more great tips from Jill
who recently wrote about the amazing cleaning power of Baking Soda.
He is kissing her because she is full of so many AWESOME tips! Photo Credit: Hibben Photography
This week she gives us tips on cleaning up the outdoors space—
Just in time for SUMMER!
Lawn chairs. The must have of any summer, right? Our outdoor furniture takes a beating in the spring storm season, sometimes developing a moldy looking film. I’ve found the best way to get rid of it is a solution of Borax and water. You’ll hear me tout the benefits of Borax on almost any problem, but I’m telling you, it’s great. Borax can be found in the laundry detergent aisle, generally near the powdered detergent. It’s an oldie but a goodie, but I will admit I haven’t used it for laundry yet. A church member suggested it to me at a previous congregation, and it hasn’t failed me yet. You can scrub a little with the wash rag dampened in the Borax solution and then rinse clean with the water hose.
Photo Credit: 20 MuleTeamLaundry

I usually purchase a window cleanser that hooks on to the water hose. To prepare the house for the summer barbecues, I use the window cleanser on all the windows. Then I rinse the bottle several times with fresh water. After that, I mix fresh Borax/water solution in the bottle and pop it back on the water hose. When you make the solution, you’ll want it to be more Borax than water, so maybe a 70/30 solution.

The bottle I got this summer offers a dial that you can select fresh water or cleanser solution, which is perfect! You can use this to clean the kid’s outdoor toys, swing set, vinyl siding, you name it! The swing set has a rubbery plastic tube covering the swing chains, and they are perpetually mildewed. We also get the moldy looking film on the north side of our home. We use the Borax sprayer to wash most of it off. For stubborn spots, you can wipe with a towel or use your household sponge mop for hard to reach areas of the siding.

My last “summer and Borax” tip is for spiders. After the spring storms have passed, spiders come from all over. We shake powder Borax around the foundation of our home, right up next to the house. We repurpose an empty parmesan cheese container just for this project. My daughter made a construction paper label for it, so we are sure not to think it’s a new container of cheese on spaghetti night. This is a great tip that I promise works; tips from older church ladies always work. Almost always.  We had those Daddy long legs things, the little spiders that look like a ball with whisper thin legs, when our daughter was little. The church member suggested this, and they were gone within the month.

(P.S. Check out 20 Mule Team Laundry‘s website for more Borax cleaning tips!)
Thank you Jill for more great tips!  She is certainly helping me prepare for life with the soon-to-be kiddo!
Do you have any outdoor cleaning tricks that you use? 

{Mommy Monday} The Mother of all Fix-it’s: Baking Soda

{Mommy Monday} The Mother of all Fix-it’s: Baking Soda
Today I am excited to have my first GUEST blogger
for my {Mommy Monday} series! 
While I LOVE dishing all about the pregnancy I really have been enjoying getting tips and tidbits from actual “mommies” out there. So, I’ve asked a few friends to step in and add in their own information about pregnancy, motherhood and the like.
Well, with no further ado…. please, let me introduce 
Jill with her “Mother” of all fix-its!
Image Source: Hibben Photography of Shawnee, OK
Hi there! My name is Jill, and I’ve been friends with Jenni for a long, long time – even helping with her first Well Crafted Parties! If you’ve ever thought those tissue paper flowers look hard to make, well, I will say she makes them look easy because we’ve practiced a lot! I am excited to accept a guest blogger invite for the Mommy Monday posts. I’m a mom of two. My daughter, Ella, is four and my son, Ethan, is 9 months old.
* Read ON for More about JILL’s family and her “Mother” of all Fix-It’s* 

 We have some fun parties, some of which you may see here. We had a surprise Barbie party for my daughter’s fourth birthday party, a fancy tea party to celebrate the end of the dance season, you name it! Ella is about to start Pre-Kindergarten, and it may break this momma’s heart. I’m not ready to welcome this change, but at least I have until August.

Hibben Photography

Ethan is currently farming his second tooth. He doesn’t crawl, but scoots. With both legs out, hands in front of him…yup… you have the right visual. Just like a dog scooting on the carpet! He belly flops down and slides backward like a lizard if he’s scooted too far from his lovie, Mikey the Monkey. I look forward to his walking milestone, but I’m glad we haven’t hit it yet. He keeps me moving! They give me lots of giggles and great stories. 

Hibben Photography

We live in our hometown, about two houses down from your favorite blogger’s childhood home. I can see the spot of that infamous luau from my front porch, and it makes me smile every time. I married my high school sweetheart; we celebrate six years of marriage and 11 ½ years together this June.

Hibben Photography
I have an Associates Degree in Small Business Management, and work in insurance. I’m a firm believer in living for the 5-9, not the 9-5. I like my job, but my kids are a lot more fun! We have a family dog, Buddy or Bud-Bud, depending on what he’s into. He’s an Australian Terrier mix/pound puppy. Mostly, he’ll just love you to death. And my son just wants to pull his fur.
We try to be the best family we can be – make it fun, make it educational, but most of all, make sure they feel loved. It always warms my heart to read an article online about fun things to do as a family, and recognize some of the suggestions as things we already do. My house is currently covered in card board tablet paper strips, with the pre-primer Dolch sight words. It may look messy, but it’s definitely a learning environment.
The biggest challenge for me is dinner time. I’m a type two diabetic, my daughter and husband prefer to live on pizza and chicken nuggets, and my baby will eat anything and everything within his reach. We’re working hard on adding in new flavors and veggies, so hopefully I’ll find a few fun ways to work some in. And if they work, I’ll be sure to pass them on.
~Jill’s Fix-It Tip~

In my not-so-many-years of parenting, I’ve come across some fun party ideas, some fun random mommy ideas, and LOTS of tips. Hopefully you find my contributions something to look forward to, a perfect solution to the most random of questions. Feel free to contact Jenni with questions for me – if it makes a mess, I’ve cleaned it!

So, for my first cleaning tip for this series – repurpose baking soda.
Check out Arm&Hammer’s website for tips, tricks and COUPONS!

Just because you didn’t buy it in the cleanser aisle doesn’t mean it won’t do a fantastic job. Baking soda is a favorite cleanser at my house. Not necessarily for the environmental factor, but because it’s cheap, works great, and if the baby gets into it, he’ll just foam a little 😉 Some of my favorite uses are listed below.

Baking soda – average cost $0.50 per box
Not just for cookies, Baking soda is an amazing abrasive cleanser. Have one of those obnoxious deep fryers? (Remember those chicken nuggets I mentioned before? They have to have fries!) Use a paste of baking soda and water on a towel or old tooth brush. A little time, a little scrubbing, and it will look like new. This is especially great if you have a stainless steel fryer, because it’s not abrasive enough to damage the exterior.
Have a bed wetting accident, but no time to wash the comforter? Did it get into the mattress? This tip usually takes the whole box. I take the comforter and spread it on the dining room table before leaving for work. Shake baking soda on the wet spot. While you’re gone, the baking soda will draw the moisture out of the blanket. Shake some over the wet spot on the mattress for the same result. Then when we get home, my daughter likes to vacuum up the baking soda with the hand vac. It amuses her while I’m cooking dinner, cleans the mess, and she still gets to have a fresh smelling blanket at bedtime. Taadaa! Super Mom! If there’s a stain on the mattress, mix a little baking soda and water to a consistency a little thinner than a paste. Use a brush to rub it over the stain, let it dry and vacuum up the remainder. The stain vanished for me, and even worked on a stain that had been in the mattress for a long time.
Smelly sneakers? Shake a little into your shoes and let sit overnight. I can never remember to pick up the commercial sneaker refresher stuff, and then kick myself once I get home from the store. This works great in ballet slippers too.
Don’t forget my grandma’s trick to make a paste of baking soda and water, then use to brush your teeth. She swears it’s a great whitener. I prefer not to foam at the mouth on purpose, so I’ve never tried this one myself.
Thanks for checking out my guest post. I look forward to getting to know you, and finding great tips together!
Well, back to another Manic Monday!
Thank you to Jill for her great tips and for introducing us to her beautiful family!
What do you use baking soda for in your home? 
Any cleaning tips you’d like to know about?
Please leave a comment for Jill and let her know!
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