2 Amazing Uses For Baking Soda

After seeing a zillion pins touting the amazing results of a DIY Baking Soda face scrub, I finally gave it a try. Most people mix it with coconut oil which is good for dry skin, but I used olive oil which is what I use for a pre-cleanse because I know it won’t break me out. There’s something about the super fine grit that’s so reminiscent of a high-end scrub, effective but not scratchy or harsh. Its natural brightening abilities give an instant result so my skin looks really fresh and feels so soft. Mix it into either oil until you form a paste and scrub it for several minutes. I pre-mixed a batch and put it into an empty jar to leave in the shower replacing the expensive ones that probably don’t work as well anyway.

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THEN! I spotted another baking soda-related miracle DIY concoction but this one is for laundry stains. It’s seriously the ULTIMATE in getting pretty much anything out, even old stains- the kind you’d otherwise toss a shirt out for having. It took out some crazy stain Harper managed to get on her PJ’s months back even though I’d washed and dried them numerous times since. I mix Dawn (important to use Dawn specifically because of how it cuts food grease), peroxide, and baking soda together. there might be a formula for how much of each but I just throw it all in. I squirt on a generous amount and scrub it in and watch the stains literally disappear even before getting them into the washer. It’s crazy. THIS blog post details a full play by play if you’re into reading about that sorta thing. Throw out that Shout or whatever gross chemical-bomb you have now and just make a batch of this to store in your laundry room. You’ll love it.

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Other Household Uses For Baby Shampoos & Baby Powder

A big perk of being an Ambassador for Johnson’s Baby is that I’m fully stocked at all times with their products. Aside from the obvious uses, I’ve found they come in pretty handy for a few other things too. Check out what I’ve been doing with my stash and let me know if there are other uses I’m missing out on.

Head-To-Toe Wash: Brush Cleaner

I used this after I ran out of my usual brush cleanser and I was really impressed. It literally melts the makeup and dirt off of the brushes like magic. I’ve been using my other brush shampoo for so long I forgot how quickly they could be cleaned with minimal effort. I squirt a little in a cup then fill it with warm water to create some suds. Then I drop in all of the brushes and swirl them around to get all of the bristles saturated with soap. Then I swirl each one in the palm of my hand until they foam up just like you do with your hair, and I rinse them under running water until they feel clean. The lipstick and eyeliner brushes will need extra cleansing so just squirt a little of the wash into your palm and really work the soap in. It has saved me so much time and it’s way less expensive than specialty cleansers anyway.

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Baby Shampoo: Bubble solution

Harper is bubble obsessed. It’s part of our morning routine to go outside and blow bubbles after breakfast. The bottles are expensive though especially when we go through them so quickly, and it’s a hassle remembering to pick more up so I found this recipe on Pinterest that I use. It doesn’t have to be exact, I do roughly 4 parts shampoo to 1 part Karo syrup. You can see how much I used of each after just one refill of a bottle that was about 24oz (It’s a 7oz shampoo bottle and 16oz Karo BTW), which will last us about a month.

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Baby Powder: Too many uses to list

A quick search of ‘baby powder uses’ on Pinterest (click HERE) will yield all sorts of amazing tricks from dry shampoo to creating longer lashes (I need to try this!), it even removes sand from your skin at the beach. It also works to get rid of ants as well as keep pests out of your garden. It’s really usefull stuff.

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Another DIY: How to Ombré A Dresser

Those sleepless/uncomfortable nights during this pregnancy meant lots of time on Pinterest. Instead of just pinning away and collecting photos of projects I’ll never do, I actually did a few things that I never imagined possible.

I debated for a long time whether or not to paint these dressers from Ikea once we decided to use them in the nursery. Both nurseries have white cribs and dressers because I didn’t like any of the wood options and black seemed too harsh for a girl’s room. This meant two similar looking rooms and the oppertunity to go a little more creative to try and make each unique.  I love the ombré painted furniture that’s so popular right now, and that look just seemed perfect in this room since I went big on color whereas my first daughter’s room has splashes here and there. Why not I figured?! The very worst thing that could happen is I’d just paint it white again.

It’s so easy and fast. Here’s what I did.

These are the dressers we used from Ikea which were originally intended to be nightstands for our room but turned out to be way too big. Because one was already put together when we discovered how massive they looked, I decided to re-purpose them in the new nursery instead of taking them back to Ikea to fight for a store credit. Harper’s dresser is never enough storage it seems and we already have these mostly filled so I’m glad this is what we went with instead of one smaller dresser.

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Here they are before the paint, just plain ol dressers. I went to Guiry’s and paid a few bucks for 3 of each color in sample sizes (pictured on the dresser) which was just enough to cover the drawers with 2 coats. Not shown is the priming step where I used this primer that we also used to stain our nightstands.

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Here are the colors I used. For the ombré look you just take any 3 colors in a row from a color swatch which will give you that progressive look. It’s that easy.

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I thought at first it was going to look too dark, but I love it. The darkest color is what’s used in the room for the curtains and accessories, so that’s what I matched to. More photos of the nursery to come (I’m thisclose to being done!!)

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I got the crystal pulls from Hobby Lobby which were $4 each and 50% off (I needed 12.) I didn’t want to add any more color so I think it worked out perfect.

How to Make Glitter Pumpkins

Seeing all of the pretty fall decorations on Pinterest inspired me to make glitter pumpkins for my fall mantle I put together every year at this time. It turned out to be so easy and I love the touch of sparkle they add to an otherwise dull palette. Here’s how I did it.

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All you need is craft glue, a brush, ultra fine glitter, and ‘funkins’ which is what the plastic kind is actually called. I found it all at Hobby Lobby.

Use the brush to spread the glue on the pumpkin then sprinkle on a good amount of glitter to really coat it. Do it over a paper towel so when you’re done with each one you can fold the paper towel and dump the excess glitter back into the jar. The final step I didn’t show was painting the tip of the pumpkin stem black. Not a must but I had the paint sitting around and thought it would add some pop.

It took no time at all and wasn’t the mess I thought it would be.

There are so many ways to display them, but I wanted them on or in something to contain any glitter fall-out. I put two of them on pine cones in large vases and the others on top of a baking dish I turned upside down. I like the varying heights in the display so it’s perfect.

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Be brave and try a little DIY for holiday decor. It’s not as hard as you’d think.

IKEA Rast Hack for a 2 Toned Contemporary Looking Nightstand

I knew when we started designing our bedroom that I didn’t want any matching furniture. I wanted a contemporary look with personal touches even if that meant we’d have to do some work ourselves. After combing through my fave app Houzz I saw a nightstand that I loved. A few days later on Pinterest I discovered the world of ‘Rast hacks’ (Google it!) and here we are. Check out our journey in making unfinished furniture into something really special and cool for our bedroom.

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This was my inspiration, an overpriced nightstand I saw on Houzz.

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And here’s the $35 Rast dresser (I don’t know why they call it that, it’s barely large enough to be called a nightstand) from IKEA.

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What we used. I read that BIN was the best primer for the job so it’s what I got. The middle can is a white Benjamin Moore Paint, and Danish Oil stain. The small can on top is the polyurethane that you use over the stain to seal it- not a step you want to skip.

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Mike put it all together before first  which you don’t have to do but we didn’t want to knick anything up after working so hard on it.

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Take the drawers out and face the fronts up so you can easily paint them.

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I used tape so I wouldn’t get primer and paint all over the inside. Don’t worry about painting in there, you’ll never notice it’s unfinished.

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All primed! The drawer fronts were the easy part, just one coat of primer and 2 of the white paint. I used a roller instead of a brush so I wouldn’t get brush streaks, but I ended up with small bubbles that made the surface look textured so I used a light grit sandpaper to smooth it out before the second coat and then I rolled slowly. Ask someone when you buy the paint what brush or roller would work best so you don’t get streaks or bubbles.

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Here’s Mike applying the first coat of the Danish Oil. He ended up using several more coats and then a different stain in a process that ended up taking a few weeks because we couldn’t get them as dark as we wanted.

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After a little Googling and a lot of help from the paint department at Home Depot, Mike bought a third stain. We ran the risk of the stain not penetrating because of over saturating so he sanded them down first before adding a Minwax stain that would end up being just perfect. We were thankful it worked and they dried in just a few days. The nightstand on the left is what we had after trying the two stains and on the right is the final color. It looks black but it’s not, it’s a rich chestnut that matches our dresser perfectly.

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Here it is! I haven’t finished accessorizing them yet (I’m focusing on the nursery.)

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The ring pulls were from Horton Brasses, they’re the 1 7/8 size with a satin nickel finish. Yes, pricey but you won’t find something that looks this nice at Lowe’s or Home Depot (believe me I tried!)

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Another look In our room.

A few takeaways:

These Rast nightstands are much shorter and more narrow than what we’ve had in the past. Measure what you already have in your room, then measure these to see how they size up. I didn’t mind the smaller size because they force me to de-clutter.

Because they’re so small, they aren’t terribly sturdy. Consider what you’ll be putting in them and if you have small children who climb all over things. Again, we haven’t had any problems but it’s something to think about.

If you aren’t getting the right color right away, go buy another stain because layering doesn’t increase the richness of the color by much.

Try the stain on just a small area instead of the whole thing. Doing that would’ve saved us a lot of time.

I’m so glad we took a chance with this project since we aren’t DIY people. They turned out perfect and gave us the confidence to do another project for the nursery that I’m so excited to share with you soon.