{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!
Jill
 
~*~
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!

Branding

Most of the 30 people who read this blog (THANK YOU!) know that I started blogging over at A Well Crafted Party. I love writing about parties and DIY events. But, after having the kiddo I really wanted to write about more. I started incorporating “Mommy Monday” into A Well Crafted Party. But, after a while I realized that I had more to say than just once a week, it wasn’t always party or mommy related, and I was losing some party fans with the change in content.

Yes, I could have just changed the nature of the blog and made it about both parties and babies. It didn’t feel right though and certainly didn’t fit with the name. So, I created this site.

I love this site. I created the banner, buttons, and all and I am thrilled with how it all turned out. Writing on this blog makes me super happy. But, I don’t want to give up my other blog. I still really enjoy everything that it is about.

After the Portland Bloggers meet-ups became a regular event and we really wanted to start growing the community I decided it was time to have a site for that as well. Thus, Portland Bloggers the website was created and I had yet another URL in my name.

I seem to be doing okay with all of these sites. They take a lot of time to keep up. I am getting into a groove with that though. Eventually it will become easier. The hard thing was deciding what blog to promote when I as out at networking events. My business cards was a mess with three different urls, Facebook pages, and then my twitter and Instagram.

So, over the weekend I worked on branding myself a little better. I finished the touches on my website and designed and printed new cards. Now when I go to networking events I can steer people to one site that explains ALL of my side projects and introduce them to my freelance services.

my new business cards

I decided to go ahead and add the Portland Bloggers site to the back of my cards since I often am attending networking events in Portland, Oregon. But, the front of the card says my name, my title, my website (www.jennibost.com) and my Twitter handle. So much cleaner!

My new site really shows how much I am interested in and all the different freelance items I offer. Speaking of… I just added business card design and web element design to my Etsy store. So, if your blog is wanting of a make over then contact me and we can get it looking fabulous!

This doesn’t change things for any of my current blog readers. You can follow along however you’ve been following. Maybe eventually I can create a combined feed on my site that allows for people who just want to read all three of my blogs (hi mom!) to do it in one place. But, I think the branding will benefit my freelance work and networking attempts.

How did you brand yourself and your blog? 

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Person

Today is my favorite person’s birthday. 
Isn’t he the MOST adorable person… EVER! Granted, I’m biased.
My hubby, Brian, is 29 today!
Now, every year we have our anniversary celebration the week before his birthday celebration and things can get a bit hairy in the planning department. Well, this year add on top of it the Beer Before Baby party and his very first Father’s Day… well, his birthday celebration took a step down from our usual fan fare and instead we had a fun time at the Timber’s Game this weekend, drinks with friends and then a delivery of yummy cupcakes today at work. It was still a fabulous time and I hope he is really enjoying his day… even if he at work today! 

Well, in honor of his big day I’ve decided to skip {Mommy Monday} today and instead post a couple {Real Party} 
posts about his past birthday parties.
(Including the pics to THIS party that I’ve never posted!)
Check out the blog later today for two real party birthday posts for the man in my life.
Happy Birthday babe!!
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