9 Smart Ways to Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a bit of a miracle substance. Sure, you can use it to bake, just as its name implies, but there are a lot more things you can do with baking soda! The big advantage is that it is a natural substance with the scientific name sodium bicarbonate –  a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃. Baking soda is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. And while those facts might be helpful in a trivia game, what is really helpful is knowing the many ways you can use baking soda around the house!

9 Smart Ways to Use Baking Soda

Skin Exfoliator: If you strive for clean, smooth, baby-like skin, make a nice exfoliating paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water. Gently massage it on your skin, getting as much coverage as you want. Once it’s all massaged on your skin, rinse it all off with some warm water and enjoy the smoothness.

Toilet Cleaner: I know, I know…none of us want to do it. Not a single person in the house wants to deal with THAT one dreaded job. But hey, you have baking soda on your side to make it easier! Dump roughly a single cup into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about an hour (catch up on your Hulu queue while you’re waiting). After that hour has passed, go back and flush the toilet. You’ll now have a clean and odorless toilet.

Homemade Clay: The artist in your family (maybe that’s you?) might find this project fun: Mix some baking soda in with 1 1/4 cups water and 1 cup of cornstarch. The result is something quite similar to store bought modeling clay. After using it, store it in an airtight tin to maximize its shelf life.

Car Surface Cleaner: Your car gets you from point A to Point B and then back to A again at the end of the day. Naturally, you want the best for your car so it can get you back to point B the next day. Keep your car’s paint job nice and shiny by making a baking soda paste and rubbing it all over your car’s dulling paint job. Let the paste sit for five to fifteen minutes and then rinse your car off. Voila! Now your Camaro looks as good as the day you bought it back in ’72.

Deicing Salts Substitute: Those of us who experience winter weather have had that moment: you walk in from the cold winter air, dust your jacket off, and start the boring, monotonous task of getting all the salt off your shoes. Would you believe that baking soda can also help you here? Substitute a fine dusting for all those salts you’re tossing onto your driveway and patio. Baking soda provides you with good traction and melts the ice just as well as salt. Plus, it won’t cause damage to your shoes or your floors.

Deodorant: Stick or spray? You don’t have to pick either with baking soda! Its magnificent quality of being able to make anything smell nice makes it a viable option when choosing deodorant in the morning. There are no fancy steps to applying it; just firmly pat the baking soda under your armpits and go about your day.

Tougher Laundry Detergent: You might have heard about using vinegar to brighten colors in your laundry before, but what can baking soda do? Half a cup mixed in with your detergent makes your detergent work much more effectively. Your clothes will be cleaner and your colors brighter. I would say you probably don’t want to mix the vinegar trick with the baking soda trick, though…your clothes probably wouldn’t live through it.

Deodorize Your Home: This is probably the most familiar use for baking soda (beyond baking, of course): It can deodorize just about anything. Put an open box in the back of your fridge to keep odors bearable, sprinkle some across the bottom of your trash can before you put a new bag in to keep the smells at bay, and leave a snowstorm of the stuff on your living room carpet before you go to work (just don’t forget to vacuum it all up when you get home!).

Personal Foot Bath: Chances are a personal sauna for your entire family to relax in is beyond your budget. Still, you can experience the soothing spa experience with baking soda in a nice foot bath. Simply fill a tub with warm water, then add and stir in at least tablespoons of baking soda.

I hope these tips have given you some new ideas on how to use our cheap but super effective friend to all, baking soda. What other ideas do you have?

Stick to Your Christmas Budget at DollarTree.com – Decorations and Supplies for $1

Christmas is coming soon, and I just can’t wait! (I know it’s not an original opinion, but Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday!) As you get ready for Christmas, know that you don’t have to bust your budget shopping for decorations, ornaments, treats, and/or party supplies.

DollarTree.com has a wide variety of $1 specials to make your Christmas absolutely delightful. There are several bonuses to buying online at DollarTree.com vs. shopping in the store:

1) No fighting the crowds – I hate crowds, especially around the holidays!
2) You’re buying in bulk, so you’re guaranteed to get as many as you need – no worrying about the store running out of stock
3) There are lots of ideas online for how to use Dollar Tree’s products to make your Christmas magical!

Here are some of their Christmas supplies that are catching my eye:

Crafter’s Square Paintable Clear Plastic Christmas Balls, 4 in.: $1 each (great for crafting!)

Have a ball decorating your own ornaments! Clear plastic Christmas balls are ready to be filled or painted for a personal touch. Perfect for a family activity, or for the kids to do on their own. These treasured keepsakes can be kept for yourself or given away to friends and family! You can use them to make these fun and easy Hard Candy Ornaments!

Christmas House Solar-Powered LED Window Candles, 6.25 in.: $1 each

Enjoy the tranquility of window candles without creating a fire hazard and without running up the power bill! Solar-powered candles are the perfect accent for window sills during the holiday season… plus, there are no cords to trip over. Also ideal for weddings, and as craft projects to decorate wreaths or centerpieces.

Christmas House Battery-Operated Large 6-Bulb Christmas Light Necklaces: $1 each (aren’t these fun?!)

Trees and wreaths are not the only place to hang Christmas lights! These fun necklaces have 6 HUGE colorful plastic Christmas bulbs, while the back of the necklace contains a module that holds the small included batteries and an on/off switch. Turn the necklaces on, and the LED lights turn you in to a well lit Christmas decoration. They make great Christmas party favors or stocking stuffers.

DollarTree.com also has some interesting Christmas craft project ideas, like this Christmas Candy Cane Wreath or these Poinsettia and Apple Bouquets. What Christmas decorations and supplies do you stock up on at Dollar Tree?

Get Halloween Decorations and Supplies for $1!

Get Organized for Fall

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScotchLaminators #CollectiveBias

Are you looking to get organized during this busy time of year? Are you looking to have everything in place and ready before the fall festivities kick in? Do you have plans to get your meals prepped and planned before the holidays? Are you looking for a way to preserve your traditional recipes or create a budget for your seasonal shopping? If you need a little extra help getting your fall plans finished, check out this great deal at Walmart on the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator.

The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator is on rollback during the months of October to December for only $17.88! Laminators are typically priced at $19.97 so this is the time to buy!

I know how important it is to save money when you’re getting organized for the fall, so be sure to check out this great deal at Walmart!

Get Halloween Decorations and Supplies for $1 at DollarTree.com

September is here, which means Halloween is right around the corner! While you may be tempted to buy all. the. things. to get ready for Halloween, you don’t have to bust your budget shopping for decorations, craft supplies, candy, and/or party supplies.

DollarTree.com has a wide variety of $1 specials for a ghoulishly delightful Halloween. There are several bonuses to buying online at DollarTree.com vs. shopping in the store:

1) No fighting the crowds
2) You’re buying in bulk, so you’re guaranteed to get as many as you need – no worrying about the store running out of stock
3) There are lots of ideas online for how to use Dollar Tree’s products to make your Halloween extra spooktacular!

Here are some of their Halloween supplies that are catching my eye:

Plastic Skeleton Garlands, 60-in. Strands: $1 each

Frightening little skeletons dance across this garland — a spooky way to add some quirky fun to all your Halloween celebrations! Detailed plastic skeletons are attached to natural twine and are ready to be strung at parties, haunted houses, festivals, and more. Each strand holds 4 skeletons.

Create Your Own Paper Halloween Accessories Kits: $1 each (great for classroom parties!)

Create your own paper Halloween accessories! Fun DIY kits include all you need to create 4 unique monster eyemasks or tiaras including assorted paper cutouts, 4 colorful markers, and a sticker sheet. Great for Sunday school, art classes, camps, and weekend crafts at home. Ages 4+.

Halloween Character Trick-or-Treat Bags: $1 each

Kids can collect their sweet treats on Halloween in these adorable Halloween character bags! Non-woven bags measure 7.5×7.5×5.5-in. to hold plenty of treats, and have attached arms and legs to create to add a little extra fun to their trick-or-treat bags. Also great for resale in costume, gift, and novelty shops.

DollarTree.com also has some interesting Halloween craft project ideas, like these Witch’s Broom Treat Bags or this cute Cupcake Stand. What Halloween decorations and supplies have you found at Dollar Tree?

Get Halloween Decorations and Supplies for $1!

5 Tips For Young Married Couples To Replace All That Outdated Advice

Marriage advice for newlyweds is as old a tradition as marriage itself. Mothers of the bride, grandmas, uncles and friends have long been ready with time-worn pieces of advice to help the new bride and groom have a long and happy marriage.

Unfortunately, marriage advice has yet to catch up with modern marriages. Couples these days have busy careers, smartphones, Netflix and Uber. They’re not necessarily interested in how to sew the perfect ruffle on a valance or the best way to broil a pot roast.

Modern grooms aren’t all about bringing home the bacon, and modern wives aren’t all about serving a hot meal on the table at the end of every day.

We’re not saying don’t embrace traditional home activities if that’s your thing. But if it’s not, where do you go for advice? What are young modern couples to do?

5 Tips For Young Married Couples To Replace All That Outdated Advice

5 Tips For Young Married Couples To Replace All That Outdated Advice

Why not start off with our 5 tips for young married couples to replace all that outdated advice? And it starts, as you can imagine, with that most ubiquitous of modern gadgets: The smartphone.

  1. Don’t Make Your Partner A Smartphone Widow

You might be wondering what the latest iPhone has to do with your marriage. The answer is, a surprising amount. Here’s what young newlyweds need to know about smartphones.

You’re not married to it. it’s so easy to grab your phone to check emails, book some concert tickets, or check out the latest Snapchat from your sister. But, too much phone time could leave your spouse feeling left out in the cold. Make an agreement with each other to switch off when you’re sharing a meal, or go out on a date night.

Phones are convenient and it’s hard to imagine the world without them now. Just be careful about when and how you use it – no amount of time spent on the phone is a substitute for the time spent with your new spouse.

  1. Self Improvement Matters

Traditional marriage advice is focused on what you could do for your partner, and what each of you should be doing to strengthen your marriage.

There’s nothing wrong with that – strengthening your marriage all together is important – but don’t forget the importance of self improvement, too.

If you want to have a long lasting, happy marriage, you need to pay attention to the two key ingredients in it: You and your partner. And, as you cannot do self improvement on behalf of your other half, the only thing you can work on is, yourself.

If you know jealousy is an issue for you, work on that. If anger management is your bugbear, take some time out and learn how to express yourself in healthier ways.

The more you grow and change as a person, the more capacity you’ll have to approach your marriage with humility, maturity and grace, and both of you will benefit from it.

  1. It’s OK To Disagree

Traditional marriage advice tells us to talk everything out, and never let the sun go down on your anger.

Now, we’re not saying don’t talk things out – open and clear communication is vital in any marriage. However, it’s also ok to have things that you don’t talk about. If there’s a topic that you know will lead to an argument, it’s ok to avoid it.

Of course there are some caveats here: If it’s an issue that needs to be resolved in order for you to both be happy and fulfilled, then you absolutely must resolve it. But if it’s something you could let go of with no harm to either of you, let it go. You don’t have to agree on everything.

  1. Marriage Isn’t A Perfect Balance

In an ideal world, marriage would be a perfect balance. After you both get home from work, you’d cook and they’d wash the dishes. You’d get the kids bathed and they’d put them to bed.

It’s a lovely idea, but in reality it often doesn’t work out that way.

Your marriage needs to be balanced overall. It’s important that both of you feel supported and that the other is making an equal contribution to your life together. But equitable division of chores and responsibilities is an unrealistic target and striving for it will leave you both stressed.

Sometimes, you’re going to have to pick up the slack around the house because they’re exhausted from work. Other times they’ll have to do a lot more of the childcare because you’ve had a health scare.

Aim for an overall balance, but leave plenty of room for give and take on the day to day stuff.

  1. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Netflix

Netflix, and similar streaming services, have become as much a part of life as Smartphones. And, like Smartphones, they have their place in a marriage too.

Choosing a favorite show and watching it together is a wonderful modern way to share an interest and bond over it. If you’ve got something you’re watching together, value that. Make a commitment not to watch without the other – it will inspire you to make the time to sit down together and enjoy your show.

If Netflix isn’t your thing, that’s ok too. Just be sure you pick something you both like and carve out the time to spend together enjoying it. Remember to switch your phone off, too.

Modern marriage looks very different on the outside from traditional relationships. The heart is still the same – loyalty, love, commitment and building a future together – but don’t be afraid to embrace new ways of doing things and modern marriage advice.

Author Bio:-Rachel Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.