All of Your Spring Cleaning with Just ONE Chemical-Free Product – TRUE or FALSE?

Spring Cleaning Edition – TRUE or FALSE?

Untitled

If I told you that you could complete a laundry list of Spring Cleaning tasks using just one product, you probably wouldn’t believe me. I am a bit skeptical myself, but I am going to put it to the test for you! I am talking about baking soda. There have been some strong claims that it does an unlimited amount of tasks effectively. Lets break some of them down and try it.

It is said that dumping just 1 cup of baking soda into your load of laundry will make your detergent work extra hard for you. This seems like it would work by using the odor eliminating factor or the baking soda, along with the  abrasive paste it creates when wet. I would think the abrasiveness would fade away being that it is mixed with a much larger ratio of water. What else can it do? Let’s put them to the test,

Clean Wax and Dirt off of your Veggies and Fruit

Use a little baking soda and water as a safe abrasive to remove excess dirt and wax from fresh fruit and veggies.

  • TEST: I tried to use the most waxy fruits and veggies could think of, an apple and a cucumber. Normally I’d use some dish soap and a scrubbing sponge and get to work in making sure there’s no more dirt, wax or soap left on them, but this is a safer alternative that’s even quicker. 

11185771_10206479384043911_1013638241_n

  • VERDICT: It’s TRUE! You don’t even need to use a scrubber and can literally just use your hands to swoosh it around and rinse.

Drain Cleaner, Clear that Grime –

This is a simple drain cleaning technique that takes a bit of upkeep. But does it pay off? To use baking soda as a drain cleaner, run the hot water a bit, and then sprinkle a little baking soda down the drain regularly to keep them fresh and clear of blockages.

  • TEST: I really cannot claim this to be true OR false just yet. I’ll have to try it a few times, or maybe when my kitchen sink gets that smell after dirty dishes. I tested it in my bathroom sink, but it didn’t make a difference since it didn’t smell or get clogged to begin with.

Untitled2 Untitled3

  • VERDICT: I’d say this would be a good ritual and may be true to keep a smelly drain from recurring or clogging. but I won’t know for sure until I keep up with it.

Make your Vinyl Shower Curtain as Good as New –

This claims you can simply add some baking soda to a damp sponge and wipe down your vinyl shower curtain and hand to dry, This seems too simple. Especially is there is mold or mildew build up on it.

  • TEST:  I followed the directions by using a damp sponge and sprinkling the baking soda on the spots of the vinyl shower curtain. I scrubbed just a small area of the shower curtain, and then rinsed it off. You can definitely see the difference!

11124400_10206479110957084_1361621076_n11198554_10206479110837081_19075413_n

  • VERDICT: This absolutely does work and it is TRUE it will remove the mold and mildew from the vinyl shower curtain. Personally, It is more effort then it is worth for me and I rather just spend the $5 to get a brand new one then scrubbing down the entire thing.

So Clean You’ll be Floored 

Just mop your tile floor with a 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water. To remove any scuff marks, just add some baking soda to a damp sponge and buff out the streaks. Make sure to rinse the sponge after each use.

  • TEST:I added hot water to a bucket and dumped in a 1/2 cup of baking soda as called for. My mop was a little old and musty after dipped into the hot water, and even though the baking soda masked most of the smell, I wanted it to actually smell clean after I spent time mopping, so I added a couple drops of tea tree oil to the bucket.

  11198849_10206479110477072_922641013_n 11198682_10206479110517073_858520707_n

  • VERDICT: It is TRUE! It worked to clean my floor, but the one thing I didn’t like was that it left a haze over it, and did not have that nice glow I like. It was shiny while wet of course, but after it dried I had to go over it with mop & glow. The good news is, I used the swiffer mop to put the mop & glow on, and when looking at the pad after, there was minimal dirt on it, so the floor was really clean after one application of the water/baking soda and safe for my son and dog.

Before 11198801_10206479110317068_1304896583_n After 11127918_10206479111597100_437984986_n

Carpet-Deodorizing Magic 

You can freshen carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them before vacuuming; Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes, then vacuum it up and breath in the freshness.

  • TEST: We all have some sort of element in our homes that make our carpet not as fresh as we’d like. Mine is my dog. Although I love him, even he’d admit, he smells like a dog. I used it on the area that he lays the most, and literally just sprinkled a little bit around the area before vacuuming.

11180092_10206479384203915_1063412090_n

  • VERDICT: It’s TRUE and it’s fast. It definitely made that section of the rug smell more fresh then others. This is something I’ll probably get into the habit of doing. I used to use the carpet fresh deodorizers before having children and a dog, but now I don’t feel they’re safe for my kids or dog who frequently crawl around on the floor and drop food and eat it. This is much safer.

Snuggle up to Fresh Linens 

Give your linens the natural, fresh linen scent by 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle to help remove any odors.

  • TEST: I don’t have a washer and dryer in my home, so this one is more difficult to do for me quickly without going to the laundromat. I figured, to really put it to the test, why not try a nasty, dirty, soaked sponge that smelled of mildew? So that’s what I did. 

11180111_10206479111117088_877738558_n

  • VERDICT: It is TRUE! Layering on the baking soda onto the smelly sponge immediately took away the foul moldy smell. I was so amazed and in disbelief I actually put it closer to my nose to see. And it smelled fresh. I would imagine this would also be the case with linen as it claims, and also if poured into a smelly shoe.

My personal favorite –

I also tried it on my refrigerator because the back of the Arm & Hammer bottle stated you can use it to clean appliances. Mine is a black gloss, not stainless steel so you may have another outcome. My 2 year old gets finger prints and food all over the bottom half of the refrigerator where he can reach as you can see in photo #1. I put a little baking soda on a damp sponge and cleaned that side of the fridge. I was horrified after I thought it was “clean” and it dried and had a white haze all over (picture #2) and I quickly grabbed a paper towel and started to “buff” it off. To my surprise, that’s exactly what it did! It buffed the black gloss back to a nice shine and was completely clean! This was by far my favorite use and I feel it had the biggest effect. It did take a little elbow grease to buff it out, but it’s worth it to not have any water marks after cleaning it.

11198431_10206479111077087_746033669_n 11198485_10206479111157089_1347045184_n11180195_10206479111317093_68100559_n

Do you have any other tried and true baking soda cleaning tips? Please let us all know by leaving a comment below!

If you want to try it for yourself, click here for some free Arm & Hammer coupons;

http://www.armandhammer.com/Resources/SavingsCenter.aspx?CampaignId=Get+More+In+The+Savings+Center/#BakingSodaSpring2015

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day – April 25th FREE Admission

As you all probably know, I am a big connoisseur of children’s health and fitness and I do some partnership’s with the YMCA’s of the NYC boroughs. There is an upcoming event that I think everyone with young children should try and look into. Its the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day. It’s a national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being and, it’s FREE! Check out the details below!

50763649862091be27_6wm6bnckr

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Join us for Healthy Kids Day, a FREE community event with healthy and fun activities for the whole family.

Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow. But for some kids, exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind ends with the school year. In fact, research shows that kids are prone to gain more weight and fall behind in studies. Healthy Kids Day® is our national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids.

YMCA Summer Camp

Meet our staff and learn about the exciting adventures your child will have at camp this summer. Register for YMCA camp at Healthy Kids Day and save 10% with our early bird discount.

WHAT:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, April 25, New York City’s YMCA’s will hold free community events to inspire more kids and families to keep their minds and bodies active.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® is a national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being.

All activities are free and vary by location. YMCA’s across the five boroughs will features games, clown and balloon animals, a special dance class with Miss New York, scavenger hunts, face painting, a bounce house, a sushi making demo, a smoothie station, healthy snack making, and much more

Schedules for each location are available at

http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/pages/healthy-kids-day/

YMCA experts will be available to speak with media about the importance of keeping kids’ bodies and minds active when out of school.

WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10 – 3pm – Times vary by location
 

WHERE:

All New York City’s YMCA Locations

Why I Let My 7 Year Old Buy Our Family’s Food

11178621_10206414653025676_1632440866_nmoney

I like to pat myself on the back for the fact that I have raised some pretty amazing boys this far. For instance, my stepfather took my 7 year old to Toys R’ Us just before his birthday party to pick out a gift. Whatever gift he wanted to get within the allotted amount of money. He strolled up and down the aisles of his favorite toys and picked out 1 item that was only a small fraction of the money he could spend. What did he do next? He saw an Angry Birds video game and knowing his brother loves Angry Birds, he said “I am going to use the rest of my money to get this game, I think my little brother would love it!”. Yes, he spent 2/3 of his money on his 2 year old brother.

With that being said, you probably have a good understanding of the personality of my boy. He’s very loving, giving, and caring. He wants to do right by others and constantly looks to make others happy, especially his family and friends. He received some money and gift cards at his birthday party and said he wanted to save it for something he really wants instead of splurging at the toy store. So when we went to the Burger King drive through a couple nights later to get family some quick dinner, he said  “Mom, can I buy the food for you guys?”. Initially I said “What?!, No, I don’t want you using your money to buy our food, I buy the dinner”. But when he said “Mom, I really want to use my money so you don’t have to use yours” I just melted and said “OK, I’ll let you buy it if you really want to, thank you”. I made sure he understood that his $50 would now turn to $30.50 after spending the $19.50 to buy our food and that he wouldn’t get that money back, but he said he understood and that is what he wanted to do with his money. He said he had the toys he wanted, and that he would save the rest for something else he wanted in the future.

Of course I let him “buy” our food, and his money really stayed put, well it did come out of his spending money, but it went into his savings. If figured I want to start him off right. And that he was right. He should be able to do what he wants with his money as long as he’s making the right choices. And boy was he making the right choices all on his own. Spending his only money on his family, I couldn’t ask for more. From then on, any time he said “Mom, do I have enough money to get this, I want to buy it” I let him buy it with his own money. He is learning and preparing for the future. I want him to always be the kind person that he is today and do for others as much as he can. Me always doing for him, and not allowing him to have that type of gratitude because I do it because I want to, not because I have to, is not what I want. I am proud that he made this decision for me. My 7 year old will continue to buy his own food, or his families food as much as he wants until his money is gone (into his savings of course) and then if he wants to buy us more, he’ll need to pick up some paid chores.

food

I know I’ll make wrong decisions in life, and I know I’ll make parenting mistakes, but this is something I know I did right. And I am proud of my boys and the people they’re growing to be. Both of them.

Chuggington LIVE at the Beacon Theatre NYC – Giveaway

If you have a toddler at home that is anything like mine, odds are they love trains! That’s why I am super excited to have partnered with the MSG & Beacon Theatre to bring you this Giveaway!

Chuggington Live! The Great Rescue Adventure

02 Chuggington Live Cast

Makes It’s New York City Premiere Engagement At The Beacon Theatre on

May 16 and 17, 2015

ENTER BELOW for 4 Free passes to the May 16th 5pm LIVE Show!

> > > > ENTER NOW < < < <

My Readers also Get Special Discounted 25% off Tickets by using code “MayChugg”. Make sure to get your tickets now before they run out!

The North American premiere tour of CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure, produced by Life Like Touring and Ludorum, rolls into New York City’s Beacon Theatre on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 2015.
The live-action, musical children’s show, based on the popular TV series, gives young fans and their families the opportunity to experience the train-tastic adventures of the Chugginton trainees, Wilson, Brewster and Koko.
This brand-new production features impressive trains with working features and movements that bring the Chuggington TV series characters to life on stage. A fun, two act musical, this live show is presented before a giant LED video wall featuring animated locations and background action sequences from the popular TV series.
In CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure the trainees are eager to impress their mentors by mastering new roles that test their courage, speed, and determination. When Koko finds herself in trouble at Rocky Ridge Mine, it’s up to her friends to help her. Do the trainees have what it takes to put their newly learned skills into practice to save Koko?
First launched on Disney Junior in 2010, Chuggington now airs in more than 178 countries and is translated into 36 different languages. In the United States, the TV show is seen 22 times per week across Disney Junior and Disney channels, with an estimated 2 million viewers every week.
CHUGGINGTON LIVE!
 3chugs chugging

My son will not stop talking about seeing “Koko” now that I’ve told him we’ll be going. It is perfect timing too because it is a week before his 3rd birthday!

The Great Rescue Adventure will be at The Beacon Theatre at the following dates and times:
Saturday, May 16, 2015 with shows at 11:00AM, 2:00PM and 5:00PM

Sunday,May 17, 2015 with shows at 11:00AM and 2:00PM

Tickets are on sale now and will be available through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone (1-866-858-0008) and all Ticketmaster Outlets. Tickets are available in person at MSG, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre Box Offices

For the latest announcements, socialize at: http://www.twitter.com/BeaconTheatre, http://www.facebook.com/BeaconTheatre, http://www.instagram.com/BeaconTheatre
Or visit the event page at: http://www.beacontheatre.com/events/2015/may/chuggington-live.html

Spring Break Vlog & DriveShop 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander SE – The 411 Mommas

Check out the Video of our visit to Michigan for Spring Break via the 411 Mommas;

My family and I took a vacation to Michigan to visit family this past week. I was lucky enough to hook up with DriveSTI via the 411 Mommas while there and get to test out the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander for the week. Last time I reviewed the 2015 Outlander Sport, so I was excited to try the standard edition because it had 3rd row seating.11133812_10206294538422886_6840765496378079147_n

The 3rd row seating was probably my favorite feature of this vehicle for this trip. It enabled all of us to travel together in one car rather then taking multiple and following each other. And we sure traveled & shopped a lot!

While I had the vehicle, we visited the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum which was really cool! I have a giveaway going on for 4 passes to this museum if you’re local to Michigan or plan to visit before the year is up (they expire Dec 2015).. Just check out the post below this one.

We also went shopping at the 12 Oaks Mall and made some pit stops along the way. I don’t know what it is, but I love going to malls in other states. There’s something just a little bit different seeing the state pride attire at each.

We took a family 6-person trip to Target and boy did we shop. We left with over 6 bags of stuff filled with toys, clothes, and groceries and guess what? Yep, we were able to fit it ALL in the trunk with one of the 3rd row seats pushed down as well as a stroller AND my sister in-law in the far back seat. It made it easy that she was able to hop out of the back of the trunk being that I had a car seat and booster seat and myself in the middle row. I didn’t have to worry about folding the seat down to let her out.

The push to start was another plus, but you already know I fell in love with that feature from my last review for DriveSTI. When you’re a big shopped like me, it’s easy to open the car or trunk with a quick tap instead of fiddling with your keys or in my case, trying to find them in your purse while holding bags and a 2 year old.

This standard model (I had the Cosmic Blue color if you’re wondering) didn’t come with a GPS built it. I thought that was odd being that it is 2015 and all vehicles should come equipped standard with GPS, but I guess it’s still an “upgrade”. It did still feature a 6.1″ touch screen panel to maneuver the audio features and also had the controls built into the steering wheel which I loved.

The temperature in Michigan was still in the upper 50’s, so we needed to use the heated seats quite a bit. I have to say, I miss these the most! It was rainy majority of the time – April showers, so we didn’t get to enjoy the sunroof, which was a bit small in my opinion anyway,

The gas mileage on this was amazing for how big it was, 26 MPG combined, but it’s a 4 cylinder, so the pick up when you press the gas shows it.To me though, gas mileage is a big deal and I rather have the car move just a bit slower then fill it up everyday.

All in all, we enjoyed having this addition to our vacation and it allowed us more time with our family instead of driving to our destinations in different vehicles.

IMG_2632 IMG_2633 IMG_2634

  • I received this vehicle for review purposes but all views and opinions are 100% my own.

Hands on Museum – Ann Arbor (Family 4 Pack Giveaway!)

ANN ARBOR HANDS ON MUSEUM #AAHOM

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, specializes in interactive exhibits with the goal of helping both children and adults discover the scientist within them by promoting science literacy through experimentation, exploration, and education.

11092737_1377892942539614_1696652316_n

Be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY of 4 passes to the Museum at the bottom of this post!

During Spring Break, my family and I drove to Michigan to visit family. During this visit, we took a trip to the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan which was about a 30 minute car ride from where we were staying. It was so adorable and much more then I expected for what they charge for entry –

$12 for Adults and Children
$5 after 5pm on Thursdays only
Free for Babies 0-23 months

If you become a member, its always FREE admission for unlimited visits. Suggested parking is in the Ann St. Parking Garage at the end of the street for easy walking distance.

The Museum consists of 4 floors packed with exhibits for all ages. When you first walk in, there is a section to put your coats and you have the option to rent a locker as well if you didn’t want to carry some of your items. If you have a younger child, you can bring your stroller inside the museum as well. Coat check is free.

There is a “Museum Store” also in the front entrance where you can shop any time during your visit. It includes some really cool items that you’ll see around the exhibits.

The first floor was really packed with fun stuff. We checked out the foam block section first because my 2 year old loves building blocks. These foam blocks are all over the floor in a large section that multiple children can play with at once without being on top of each other. It also features one of my sons other favorites. An ambulance that kids can sit in the front seat of, or even climb into the back where the action happens. There is a water section with water tables, an all about you section where kids can explore their bodies which my 7 year old loved, plus many other exhibits on the 1st floor.

11137033_1377892979206277_1976925515_n11139474_1377892975872944_1852440881_n

The 2nd floor was really cool. It has some over sized bubble makers that you can actually stand in and wrap a bubble around yourself! How cool is that?! There are some cool machines and simulations on how the internet works, as well as a train table with trains on a slot that teaches kids puzzle skills to get the train all together. My 2 year old was into the train table the most and didn’t want to leave this floor. My 7 year old enjoyed the Michigan Nature section that featured some really cool large rocks. There is also a Lyons country store where kids can pretend to work in the store and see the “old style” set-up including a vintage cash register.

11119510_1377892945872947_1988994231_n11103536_1377892772539631_912652672_n

Also on the 2nd floor is the “Preschool Play” area which I suggest you visit last if you have small children because there is a ton to do and interact with and they will not want to leave it (tantrum alert!). Your child has to be under 5 years old to enter, so it is very safe for even the smallest toddler, but if you have an older child, they can enter too as a “Sibling Helper” and get a badge to wear saying it which is really cute. There is a large maze that you put balls into and see them go through it. It reminds me of a mouse trap game. There is a play house, a preschool are equipped with books, cubbies, and hanging sections to hang your stuff like a real preschool would have. Additionally, there is a large water section for them to play with tub type toys. There is even a section for crawling babies who can’t quite enjoy the other sections yet. It is gated off with small, soft play toys and only infants can enter.

20150407_14173820150407_141757

The 3rd floor was lights and fiber optics. These were really cool to see how lighting effects the way you see things and how energy runs through us. You can play stringless laser harp of create a shadow show on the wall.

20150407_140005 20150407_135938

The 4th and final floor was the Media floor. There is a large room that kids can dance and play in and see themselves on the big screen. This is a light show effect, and although they cannot see themselves, they see their outlines in bright lights and sequences. The next room on this floor was really cool and we were in there for a while. It has a green screen and you can choose from multiple scenarios and see yourself on TV in that scene. Some of the scenes are A Weather Man, a highway where you can play “Frogger”, and a Spiders Web (Ewwwww creepy!). I have to say, I enjoyed this exhibit a lot.

20150407_140327IMG_2304

We had a lot of fun and spent quite a few hours exploring this museum. Hopefully you have a chance to check it out soon. To get a jump start, enter my GIVEAWAY of a family 4 pack of passes now!

>>>> ENTER GIVEAWAY NOW <<<<

Contest ends 4/21/2015 – Passes valid until December 2015

They host birthday parties and even offer museum rental for other occasions! Check out some more by clicking below;

https://www.aahom.org

Museum Hours:
Monday: 10 – 5
Tuesday: 9 – 5
Wednesday: 10 – 5
Thursday: 10 – 8
Friday: 10 – 5
Saturday: 10 – 5
Sunday: Noon – 5

220 E. Ann St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

FOURTH ANNUAL BROOKLYN BABY & FAMILY EXPO APRIL 19th 2015

BabyExpoLogoText

I am super excited for this years Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo! If you haven’t heard of it, I suggest you look into it ASAP!

They will have tons of awesome prizes, interactive demonstrations, advice from Brooklyn parenting experts, kid-friendly entertainment, and access to community resources that make raising kids in NYC a whole lot easier. Oh, and FREE childcare and food and drink!

unnamedJoin us for A Child Grows in Brooklyn’s 4th Annual Brooklyn Baby & Family Expo, taking place April 19, 2015 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights! Doors will open to media and VIP ticket holders at 10:30 a.m. (open to all other ticket holders at 11:00 a.m.) and will close at 3:30 p.m. Seminars, Demos, Music and Entertainment line-up will be announced in the coming weeks. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you’re the first to hear all the amazing details!

Brooklyn’s premier family event is returning April 19, 2015 for new, expectant and seasoned parents of children up to age 8. Bring the whole family to enjoy the day! Enjoy FREE snacks & beverages, FREE childcare and family concerts! Seminars throughout the day!

Connect with Parents • Sample Products • Attend Seminars • Bring Your Family • Win Prizes

Learn about best parenting resources, sleep, baby and child gear, greening your home, schools, how to hire a nanny, daycares, caring for yourself, children’s health and more. Get fabulous raffle prizes (strollers, car seats, carriers, high chairs, scooters, school supplies, toys, games, and more!)

I'm Going! (1)

Are you going?!I am going to extend a special 15% discount to my readersl. You can use this code: bloggerfriends when purchasing tickets.

For information and tickets visit:

BUY TICKETS

http://achildgrows.com/expo/
https://www.facebook.com/BrooklynBabyExpo
https://twitter.com/achildgrows
https://www.facebook.com/achildgrowsinbrooklyn

Sharing is caring! Use hash tag  #BklynBabyFamilyExpo and tweet @achildgrows to share the fun!