5 Simple Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

Image courtesy of Canva
Image courtesy of Canva

Stains. As parents, stains are part of every day. Even if you aren’t a parent, I can guarantee you’ve ruined a shirt here and there and buried it deep in your closet because you couldn’t figure out how to get a spot out! Our guest blogger from HireHouseCleaners Kensington, explains some of the best eco-friendly stain removers below. I bet you’ll find one that you didn’t even think of before!


 

You are probably well acquainted with all those unpleasant and stubborn stains that cannot be removed from surfaces at home. It is true that nowadays there are a lot of strong detergents that promise to remove all spots, no matter of their origin. In spite of their innumerable benefits, commercial stain removers are often more toxic than you can imagine.

Another alternative that has recently become very popular is to use eco stain removers. They are a cost-effective decision and are easily applied on a wide range of surfaces.

In case you have still not explored all the advantages of non-toxic stain removers, read below to find out some valuable tips!
You do not need to be an expert to remove nasty stains – as long as you are acquainted with the right instructions and with the best eco friendly stain removers, you’ll get rid of those stains in no time!

Do not feel panicked when you observe a stain on the surfaces- the most important thing is to treat it right away, because, if you wait for a longer time, you do not stand a very good chance to remove the stain.

Image courtesy of Flickr
Image courtesy of Flickr

Here are several effective eco stain removers:

Baking Soda

Baking soda has proven its efficiency for removing stains from almost every origin. It is especially suitable for cleaning biological stains like vomit and urine, and, baking soda effectively neutralizes the unpleasant odors. One effective recipe is to mix baking soda with water and to rub the stain with the paste that you have made. If it is a really nasty stain, you may need to alternate with vinegar.

White Vinegar
White vinegar always tends to be an excellent decision when it comes to eco-friendly stain removers. It is particularly suitable when you treat plant-based and dye-like stains as well as stains from coffee and tea. You can also apply it for stains caused by mildew and mold. It is inexpensive and it is also easily found in the nearest stores. The acetic acid in the vinegar makes it one of the best homemade stain removers.

Enzymes

You have probably not tried the amazing properties of enzymes but I assure you that they are great when it comes to breaking down substances like carbohydrates and proteins. This means that they can be ideally applied on a wide range of food stains. Of course, you may also search for laundry detergents with enzymes, but it is always better to spray the stain with a cleaner solution that contains enzymes such as ones from HireHouseCleaners Kensington.

Oxygen Bleach
What differs between oxygen bleach and the extra toxic chlorine bleach is that it consists of natural soda crystals and hydrogen peroxide. When it is mixed with water, the oxygen bleach releases and works perfectly for the removing of a wide range of stains. It is usually found in a dry powder-like form or crystals.

Rubbing Alcohol
This is another eco-friendly stain remover that is able to dissolve stains from ink and other similar substances. Instead of turning to commercial products, feel free to apply it and enjoy the incredible results. The ink stain will quickly disappear and your carpets and surfaces will become cleaner.

These are several eco-friendly stain removers that will help you to get rid of stains in an easy way. Instead of spending a lot of money on commercial cleaning products that are often harmful for your health, do not hesitate to try these natural cleaners. Stains on clothing, carpets, tablecloths, and more will easily disappear thanks to these magical stain removers.

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Fun Halloween Treats!

Tasty

Halloween-time is full of sugary sweets and not-so-healthy snacks! I have SUCH a sweet tooth, but, I am trying to limit my daughter’s sugar intake, even on holidays! Moderation is key, but, that rule is typically ignored during Halloween! Did you know that 4% of all candy eaten in the U.S. occurs on Halloween night, making the average trick-or-treater’s bag of candy equivalent to 4,800 calories and 3 cups of sugar!? Yikes. 

Thankfully, there are ways to still indulge with some healthier snacks AND minimal candy without going overboard. No one wants to deal with upset bellies, right!?

Check out these super cute and healthier Halloween treats from Chef Anthony Stewart!

Candy Corn Fruit Cup
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups mango cubes

2 cups clementine segments

2 cups fat-free, plain Greek yogurt

Assemble ingredients in a dessert or drink glass with mango on the bottom, clementines next, and Greek yogurt on top

Top with zest of clementine

Pritikin Candy Corn Fruit Cup

 

Chocolate Jack O’Lantern
*I swapped out the Splenda sweetener for Stevia since I can’t tolerate Splenda- you can use whatever sweetener you choose!*

Ingredients:

1/4 cup water cold

1/2 cup cocoa powder unsweetened

1/4 cup *Stevia granulated

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

12 ounces tofu silken, extra-firm

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan, add water and warm over low heat, bringing to a low simmer.

Add cocoa powder to saucepan, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes a fudge-like consistency.

Remove from heat.

Add Stevia to fudge, mixing well. Add vanilla extract, mixing well.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add tofu and chocolate fudge mixture. Process until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Pritikin Pumpkin Chocolate Mouse

Halloween Kabobs

Simply skewer cantaloupe cubes and blackberries. These are SO easy for the kiddos to pick up and snack on!

(We’re not guaranteeing they’ll forget the sugary treats in their bags, but these colorful kabobs just may do the trick.)

Pritikin Halloween Kabobs

How do you limit your kiddos sugar intake on Halloween? Tell me your best tip! :)

 

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Are You Back to “Normal” Yet?

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I don’t focus too much on super serious posts. This is mainly because I like keeping my blog fun, happy, and light. However, as a mom, birth and postpartum is something I feel very strongly about and I feel like moms need more advocates for their births and postpartum healing.

Specifically? Postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. 

It’s a real thing and it affects more women than you think. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 to 20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. If you settled on an average of 15% of four million live births in the US annually, this would mean approximately 600,000 women get PPD each year in the United States alone.” I can guarantee that you personally know someone who suffers from some postpartum ‘thing’, and you probably don’t even realize it. The month of May is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness which also includes Maternal Depression/Mental Health. However, it doesn’t just happen in May and we need awareness ALL the time. There is a terrible stigma attached to mental health issues, which in turn, discourages an alarming number of mamas to seek help. “Only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional treatment.” 

Now, when I was pregnant, I never thought twice about PPD stories or statistics. And that’s the thing, you never think it will be YOU. But guess what? It very easily could be you and it is HARD. 

As a new mom, I already felt overwhelmed, but, I loved the time right after our daughter was born. Then, as 8/9 months postpartum approached, I just wasn’t feeling the same. I still loved being a mom and our daughter is literally the light of my life and my heart wants to burst with the amount of love I have for her (even when she’s being a grouch!), but, there were things that were changing. PPD, Anxiety, and Mood Disorders vary for every person they affect. Below, check out my Top 5 Most Frustrating Things About PPD.


 

 

The Top 5 Most Frustrating Things About PPD

1.) Anxiety– Anxiety attacks are SCARY, especially when they come out of nowhere and you’ve never dealt with them before. I always felt like an idiot for getting so “worked up” over things- things that others would find silly, pointless, no big deal. But, to me, those things sometimes overwhelmed me and I literally could not control it. My poor husband felt helpless, but, whenever an attack hit, he stayed calm and prayed. He told me that every time he began to pray, my anxiety attack would slow and I would calm down. I had NO idea about his praying until he mentioned it one day after an anxiety attack. So, for us, the power of prayer helped and it meant a lot to me that my husband did that.

2.) Feeling Like a Drama Queen– after my PPD and anxiety started setting in, it seemed like the silliest of things could push my emotions off the deep end. I’ve always been a sensitive person, but, this took the cake. I would get upset so fast, when before, the thing I was mad about wouldn’t have even phased me! I felt like everyone just saw me as over-dramatic and ridiculous because they just couldn’t understand. I always felt like I complain too much and that I’m a “Debbie Downer” who can’t just be happy and see the positive all the time. 

3.) Feeling Like a Failure– I know I am a great mom. My family knows I am a great mom. Even though I know this deep down, I still felt like a failure for so many reasons. I didn’t understand why I got upset over random things or why some days my patience was non-existent. I felt like a failure when I couldn’t get my daughter down for a nap or when she wouldn’t stop crying. Those things are SO common for moms, yet, I felt like I was the only one who had this “difficult” child. My sense of reality felt so skewed some days.

4.) Feeling Damaged– This is a BIG one. I still struggle with this daily. Motherhood is tough, especially as a first-time mom. The majority of us struggle with something whether we admit it or not. With PPD/Anxiety, I felt like I did something wrong along the way. I didn’t feel like I was capable of doing things or that other people did those things better than I did. The biggest factor in this is when people say things like “oh, calm down, it’s no big deal”, “if you did this, or this, or this, you’d feel better”, or “stop being so sensitive”. I already felt like I wasn’t normal, and then, feeling like I was damaged because of how I felt made me feel even worse. I always felt like I needed to put on a happy face because people just wouldn’t truly understand how I felt. I felt like I needed to be “fixed” and I still feel this way some days.

5.) The Hit To Your Self-Esteem– motherhood is exhausting for EVERYONE at some point or another. You barely have time to shower, put on make-up, etc. I expected that part of my life to take a hit as a mom because I was no longer my priority- my daughter was! However, with PPD, the exhaustion is different. It’s mental, emotional, physical. You no longer have the desire to be your best, because, you don’t feel your best. At all. You feel like a failure because you can’t balance life as a mom, spouse, partner, friend, daughter, whatever. When your brain is going non-stop, when can you find time to do anything “extra”? You don’t feel good enough so why bother pampering yourself? 

These feelings are so common with moms struggling with PPD and other mood disorders. Finding support and resources makes a world of difference. If you aren’t ready to seek professional help like counseling, make sure you find support in other ways like online PPD groups and friends who are experiencing or have experienced the same things (I bet you have at least one!). You can also check out some of the resources below also. 

I think many people who are not familiar with PPD feel like it’s a quick fix and wonder why we aren’t “back to ‘normal’ yet.” Besides, what IS normal after you become a parent!?

Just remember, you’re not the only one and it does get better with time. Don’t expect a quick fix- it’s a work in progress, but, a beautiful one because you are a mother who sustained life inside for 9 months. You are a wonderful mother whether you believe it or not. You will get through this! 

Basic Information About PPD, Anxiety, & Other Postpartum Mood Disorders
Postpartum Progress

Postpartum Depression Statistics

The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

The 6 Stages of Postpartum Depression

Help & Tools

Six Things You Should Avoid If You Have PPD

6 Tools To Help You Feel Supported & Understood

New Mom Checklist for Maternal Health

Support, Events, & Health Resources

Climb Out of the Darkness 

Postpartum Depression Treatment Programs & Specialists

Postpartum Depression Support Groups in the U.S. & Canada

Have you struggled or are you struggling with PPD? What is the most frustrating thing for you?

 

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Must Have Apps for Preschool & Kindergarten + GIVEAWAY

Must Have Apps for

*GIVEAWAY! 5 lucky winners will win a 90- Day Subscription Pass to the PlayKids App! Click here to enter!*

Before we got pregnant, and, once we did get pregnant, I swore I would not let our kiddo play with unnecessary technology at a young age. Television? No way! Play on my iPhone? Not a chance! 

And then, reality set in. It started with a quick episode of Sid the Science Kid so I could get the dishes done without a million interruptions. Next, I downloaded a drawing app on the iPad and my iPhone so my daughter could scribble to her heart’s content! “75% of kids have access to a “smart” mobile device at home!”

Now, let’s be honest. Parenting is a much different game once you’re actually THE PARENT and you have a kiddo who needs you every minute of the day. You can say you won’t do “this” or “that” as much as you want, but, I can guarantee you will break that promise to yourself more than once. The best part? IT’S OKAY. Seriously. Yes, you should limit the screen time, but, your kiddo won’t be scarred for the rest of their life because they watched a few episodes of Bubble Guppies so you could keep your sanity :) You do what you have to do! 

So, when our daughter DOES watch television or play on our phones, it’s not just whatever she wants. We always choose the more educational shows that either teach skills, morals, lessons, or things like colors, etc. Also, screen time should NEVER replace good ole’ playin’ outside and getting fresh air!

By the way, she LOVES calculators so when she comes up to me and says “Calc? Calc?” in her sweet baby toddler voice…I open the calculator up and she balances our check book and budget. Just kidding ;) A mom can dream right?

Now that she is getting older and learning everything around her, we wanted to branch out and find some more educational apps appropriate for her age! Our top favorite- PlayKids. It’s educational shows, activities, books, and music all rolled into one. AMAZING.

So, which apps are the best for your little ones who want to know everything they can? Check them out below!

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1.) PlayKids* by Movile Internet Movel S.A.- FREE w/in-app purchases & subscriptions: Best for children ages 3 & up!

This is our favorite app. Our daughter LOVES it and I feel good about letting her use it. We use it as a positive “treat” throughout the day and at potty time. 

– Kid Safe & COPPA Certified 
– Education Shows & Videos
– Developmental Games & Puzzles
– Books, Nursery Rhymes, & Lullabies
– Language Learning

Kids will be able to play games that help develop important skills such as motor coordination, memory, language development, and school-age skills. This app is also always ad-free which is great as a parent- no worrying that your kiddo is seeing inappropriate ads or that they will end up downloading something they shouldn’t! The entire app is age-appropriate all the time. It also supports offline access–perfect for car rides or trips to grandma’s. You can download it free and they also have a full subscription so you can view EVERYTHING. This app is so easy to use and has customization for your kids.

We’ve been using it for a few weeks now and my 20 month old daughter’s understanding of so many things has improved dramatically. I think she’s a smarty pants anyways, but, this app definitely helps reinforce what we teach her. We also use the PlayKids app for potty time! Our daughter expressed interest in her potty early on so we always gently encouraged it. Lately, she goes “shi-shi” and “doo-doo” in the mornings right after she wakes up. Toddlers are not known for being patient or for staying put so I’ve been using the app to keep her occupied long enough to sit. She gets to listen to a few audiobooks or watch an episode of Daniel Tiger while she goes potty and I get a chance to do my morning face wash and other things! 

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2.) AlphaTots Alphabet by Spinlight Studio- $2.99 

The alphabet is one of the first things we teach our kids. This app uses action words to teach the letters of the alphabet. Not only are letters reinforced, language skills can become stronger as your kids learn more new words! This app has “26 fun preschool puzzles and mini-games that helps kids learn the alphabet!”
• An engaging alphabet sing-a-long song.
• An interactive alphabet that helps kids recite their ABCs.
• Upper- and lowercase versions of every letter.

3.) Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings by PBS Kids- $2.99

Little kids usually have big emotions and they don’t always know how to express them in the best way. When your kiddos are interacting with other kiddos and adults, it’s important that they can share how they’re feeling in a positive and constructive way. This Daniel Tiger app helps young kids learn about different emotions and how to handle them. With several games and activities, your kids will be “grr-ific” at expressing themselves! 

4.) Park Math by Duck Duck Moose- $1.99

Math is an extremely important subject growing up and it seems that it’s only gotten more difficult for our kiddos! This app focuses on numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, sorting and patterns by using several fun activities. Park Math was created for kids ages 2 through 7 so it’s extremely versatile! This app makes math fun to learn for kids!

5.) Word Wagon by Duck Duck Moose- $1.99

Spelling tests are introduced early on for kids in school! I clearly remember studying for spelling tests, and, when you’re a little kid, that can be kind of intimidating! Word Wagon focuses on letter names, sounds and spelling of 4 and 6 letter words. This is a great app for kids 2-7 as it focuses on easier words and then more difficult ones. A great tool for your kiddos while they’re in school!

 

Have you heard of any of these apps or used them before?
Tell me about your favorite educational app(s)! :)

 

PlayKids App Giveaway
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*I received a complimentary subscription to PlayKids in return for an honest review of the app. All opinions are my own and I received no other compensation. 

Rubbermaid Tupperware…My kryptonite. + GIVEAWAY!

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As a mom, I have a whole new appreciation for tupperware. As a kid, I always knew my mom loved hers, but, I didn’t “get” it…until now. I hoard tupperware like nobody’s business and I am not ashamed. I have tupperware of all sizes- little enough for my husband to take dips to work for lunch and big enough to store enough watermelon to feed an army (aka my toddler). I have specific tupperware for freezing and specific tupperware for things like spaghetti- I can’t have ALL my tupperware stained red, no way. I even have a special tupperware container to store homemade diaper pail fresheners…it is permanently peppermint scented. 

Lately, with our Renovation going on and my broken ankle, we’ve been doing big, family-style style dinners with my parents, Gramma, me, my husband, and our daughter. That makes 6 of us with a sometimes ravenous toddler (depending on her mood for the day). My mom’s been the main cook since I was in a non-weight bearing cast for 4+ weeks. She makes a bunch of food with plenty for leftovers! And what else would I want to store those leftovers in besides my amazing Rubbermaid tupperware!? Nothing. I love it more than my scarce alone time…okay, maybe not THAT much ;)

I was more than excited when I got to try out some of Rubbermaid’s best tupperware- their large Party Platter and their Easy Find Lids 24-piece Set. Be still my heart! This is one of my ongoing mom dreams come true…more awesome tupperware to add to my collection! I received the platter and set a few days ago and I am in love with them!

Plus, one lucky person will win their OWN set of (1) Party Platter and (1) 24-Piece Set of Easy Find Lids! Woo hoo! Good way to start the football season off when you have tons of snacks and leftovers from your game day parties!

Enter below!

Let’s start with the specifics…


 

Party Platter

  • Large outer container with a secure lid to hold chips, veggies, and other snacks
  • Removable Twist & Seal™ dip container nests snuggly into the base
  • Leak-proof Twist & Seal™ lid secures the dip and prevents spills
  • Divided platter base keeps different foods and snacks separated
  • Outer lid snaps onto platter base for a tight seal and secure transporation
  • All components are BPA-free
  • Microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe
  • Available in ONE SIZE- outer container is 2.3 L/9.6 cups; dip container is 473 mL/2.0 cups
  • Available at Kroger, Publix, Meijer, and select online retailers
  • MSRP $8.99

Easy Find Lids

  • Lids snap together and to container bases so you can always find the right lid
  • Graduated sized containers nest for compact storage
  • One lid fits multiple bases
  • Square shape for optimal space utilization
  • Microwave / Freezer / Dishwasher Safe
  • Thick, durable container walls for everyday use
  • Bases and Lids are BPA FREE
  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Sets range from $8.99-$25.99 MSRP
  • Individual containers range from $2.50-$8.99 MSRP
  • Available at Walmart, Target, various grocery stores (Kroger, Publix, Fred Meyers, and select others), & Club Stores (Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s)

 

Now, I love pretty much every piece of tupperware, but, these Easy Find Lids are my favorite. The pieces are solid and sturdy without being too bulky. These pieces ALWAYS stay organized inside my lazy susan (and yes, I have an entire lazy susan dedicated to tupperware…no judging!). Everything “snaps” together so there’s no loose pieces sliding around and no crazy organization needed. Another bonus- multiple lids fit multiple containers! I also love that the lids and containers are BPA-free. That’s important to me when I’m using the containers to store food in that my family will be eating!

With football season here, the weekends are full of get-togethers and parties. The new Party Platter from Rubbermaid is the perfect thing to tote your snacks and dips in. You have 4 larger spots for veggies, chips, crackers, fruit, whatever you want! Then, you can store whatever dip you want in the included center tupperware without it leaking all over the snacks! Super easy and no weird nooks and crannies to clean. That’s great when you’re worried about more important things like just getting the dishes done quick so you can spend time with your friends and family and watch the game! Check out some of our favorite snack and dip combos for get-togethers here! :)

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Enter the giveaway below and share with your friends and family! :)

Good Luck!

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Rubbermaid Party Platter & Easy Find Lids Set Giveaway!

*DisclaimerCrunchy on the Weekend does not get monetary compensation to review all products. On occasion, companies will send me a product for review on my blog. I personally decide which products to review and feature on my blog- these are products or services I would use myself and for my family. Receiving products does not influence my final review at all. I will not we be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and you are dissatisfied with it. I state my opinions on the products and do not claim any guarantees for you as the reader.*