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Running my business – the tremendous highs and necessary lows

Running my business – the tremendous highs and necessary lows

A question I get asked a lot is: how did you do it – start your business, keep it running, make it successful?

Well, ain’t that the million-dollar question!

I’ve answered hundreds of questions individually, and it has been on my to-do list for a long time to put a blog post together (after all, I am a sharer!). But, I’m kinda glad I dragged my heels on that one because now there is a podcast episode for you to listen to!

The awesome team, Amanda and Kingsley, at Journey To Happiness reached out recently and asked me to be the first guest on their brand new podcast show, Heart Driven Hustle. Usually, I’m asked about toxins and natural DIY (and I love that!). But I won’t lie, it was highly refreshing and exciting to have the chance to discuss the business aspect of The Inspired Little Pot and my journey so far.

So, if you’re keen to learn about how I started (social media, websites, lounge room-workplace) and what happened along the way that influenced my decision making (consumer needs, gaps in the market, competition), then this is a must-listen!

I’d truly love to know what you think once you’ve had a listen. And I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have!

Enjoy x

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Wash your face with oil

Wash your face with oil

You’re sick of oily skin and breakouts. You’re tired of dry and flaking skin. You no longer want to use commercial products that strip your skin of its natural goodness, sending who-knows-what down the drains.

Well, if the oil cleansing method is not already on your radar, then read on because this, my friends, is a game-changer.

What is the oil cleansing method anyway?

In a nutshell, you wash your face with oil.

Yep, that’s right, wash your face with oil. It may seem unusual but stay with me. I personally have very oily skin (it’s not all bad news – I figure I’ll have less wrinkles as I get older🤞).

Since I started oil cleansing, my skin is clearer, smoother, more supple than ever! No longer am I using harsh ingredients on my precious skin, something I did a lot in my teen years.

Who remembers the stuff that would bleach your towels and pillowcases? I’m cringing even thinking about it; how is this stuff even allowed to be sold?

Many mainstream skin care products contain some very questionable ingredients. (Read more about the ingredients I think we should all be looking out for and avoiding if possible, here). These ingredients can strip our skin of nourishing oils, send the microbiome into chaos, damage the sensitive cells on, and beneath, the surface, and the list goes on.

We only get one face and we need to take good care of it.

How do you oil cleanse?

It’s soooo easy!

Just massage a small amount of oil into your face (a few minutes is ideal but I often settle for 60 seconds!). Then, run a washcloth under warm/hot water, wring it out and use it to gently wipe away excess oil. Repeat if needed, until your face doesn’t feel greasy.

It’s okay for some oil to remain – simply massage it all in. There is no need to tone or moisturise afterwards.

Which oil should you use?

Honestly, olive oil is the simplest, cheapest and best choice for most people, but combining it with avocado and castor oil is even better! You really could use any oil you have handy, don’t overthink it.

As for essential oils, totally not necessary but frankincense and lavender are divine for the skin.

How often should you do it?

You can use this method every evening, or just once a week, it’s really up to you. In the morning, following an oil cleanse the night before, I usually wash with just water, then moisturise (or apply this sunscreen).

If you want to alternate between oil cleansing and another natural face wash, you might like to try this face wash, toning afterwards with good old apple cider vinegar (diluted with water 50/50 if you like, but I don’t usually bother with watering it down these days), and then moisturise with something like this.

I’d love to hear from you if you’re already doing this, or plan to give it a whirl after reading this post!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Septic systems: your questions answered

Septic systems: your questions answered

I’ve been getting quite a few emails recently regarding septic systems, and whether natural DIY ingredients, like citric acid and bicarb, can be flushed into them.

As I don’t have one myself, I’m pretty green in that area so I had to do my research. I decided to have a chat with a local septic system installer who was so helpful and more than happy to share his knowledge with me. If you’re reading this and know something I don’t know, please leave a comment or email me and I’ll be more than happy to explore further.

What is a septic system?

Basically, it’s a personal waste treatment system. It consists of a tank under the ground that collects your household waste. It is typically used by people on properties that aren’t connected to ‘town’ waste treatment systems. A healthy septic system relies on bacteria to feed on, and decompose waste matter. If you’re after more info on septic tanks, check out this link from Australian Govt. Dept. of Health.

In order to maintain a healthy septic system, basically, all that should be flushed into them is human waste and toilet paper. That’s it. But let’s be real, who does that? At the bare minimum, I’m sure dishwashing liquid, washing powder and shampoo would be making its way into most domestic septic systems.

What is septic safe?

You can buy products that are ‘septic safe’ but are they ‘human safe’? I wish more people asked that question… Many ingredients in the ones I’ve seen raise my eyebrows, that’s for sure. If leading a natural life and removing toxins is a priority for you, you’re probably using recipes like my natural Washing Powder and Liquid, Dishwashing Tablets, and Toilet and Shower Cleaner, sending ingredients like citric acid, bicarb, washing soda, vinegar, borax and castile soap down the drain and into your septic system. Is that allowed?

Well, according to Septics and Soakwells WA, yes, it’s ok. Natural, biodegradable ingredients are best because they won’t destroy the bacteria in your soakwell, but that doesn’t mean you should go and pour a bucket of vinegar down the toilet. Normal (light/average usage) amounts should be fine; it’s all about balance.

Call and ask!

If you’re still worried, call your installer and ask a few questions. It’s worth it! Have them test your system to assess its health (preferably before and after you make the switch to natural products – that’s the best way to find out for sure). I once had a lovely member of the TILP Facebook community tell me that her septic servicemen congratulated her on the health of her system – and guess what? She only ever uses my recipes. Yahoo!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Your essential guide to doing the laundry, the natural way

Your essential guide to doing the laundry, the natural way

We all want to be able to throw our dirty laundry into the washing machine, set it to go and have everything come out clean, fresh and stain-free, am I right?

Here’s the thing…

Marketing has conditioned us over the years to believe that whiter whites, bright colours, stain-free kids’ uniforms, fragrant and fluffy towels can be achieved simply – set and forget. It’s an unrealistic expectation. The tactics and ingredients that these companies are using are not cool (more about this below).  

We’ve become lazy busy. For many people, investing extra time and effort into a task, like the laundry, is an unnecessary nuisance. This attitude needs to change.

What do you need to know about mainstream cleaning product manufacturers?

They’re not required to tell you what they put inside their products, even if you ask.

Manufacturers of cosmetics and skin care must, by law, tell you what is inside their products. This is great because it allows you to make an informed decision, helping you avoid any potential irritants and undesirable ingredients, like palm oil, for example.

Cleaning products, because they’re not designed to be used on the body, hide behind this law. My issue here is that many cleaning products are actually making contact with our skin, sometimes for an extended period of time: window spray often settles on the skin, and our hands are often submerged for quite a while in water with dishwashing liquid. So shouldn’t we know what’s inside?

Heads up – a way around this, is to ask for the Safety Data Sheet – this will include a full assessment of the product.

Marketing is anyone’s game. Companies look for pain points.

No time? That’s ok, we have a washing powder, stain remover and fabric softener in one!

Irritated skin? That’s ok, we have a sensitive, fragrance-free range for you!

Cleaning costing you a bomb? That’s ok, we have 20kg bulk buy specials!

Sick of dull whites? That’s ok, we have a specially formulated product that will take care of that!

But I ask you, have you considered what, exactly, they’re using to formulate their products? Are you aware of the impact these ingredients, and their manufacturing process, are having on you and the environment (examples coming up)? And, have you actually looked into the natural claims and earthy looking packaging? Is it actually natural? Chances are it’s not.

Testing is minimal, if it’s done at all.

Companies aren’t required to test their products before they’re put on the shelf. So adverse reactions may only be discovered after the fact. Yes, individual chemicals need to be registered, but A and B may equal C, and C might be a harmful by-product, an ignored side effect. Are you ok with that?

Recently, I enquired into Coles’ home-brand Laundry Booster.

Here is the product I had questions about, in particular, what made up the remaining 720g, and why there might be bones inside. 😳  **update, Sept 2020: Coles have written back to say that this is a misprint on their labels. Hmmm.

Here are the screenshots of the emails I sent and received.

It ended with me making a phone call, and I was sent the SDS. If you want a copy, simply ask them for one. The key points I discovered were these:

▪️  Ingredients: sodium percarbonate (30-35%), alkaline salts (20-40%), sodium chloride (20-40%), surfactant <10%), enzymes (<1%), ingredients determined not to be hazardous (<1%).

▪️  Causes severe burns and eye damage.

▪️  The material can produce chemical burns following direct contact with the skin.

▪️  Should only be used outdoors or in a well-ventilated area (is your laundry an open-air one?).

▪️  Should not be discharged into sewer or waterways (do you catch and treat your greywater?)

Ready for a complete guide on getting the laundry done without the nasties?

I’m here to tell you, that if you’re keen to make the switch to laundry products that don’t harm you or the environment, then it can be done.

Before we go any further, can I remind you that you will need to adjust your expectations a little? 

Clothes will come out your machine smelling like, well clothes, not Japanese cherry blossoms! And, sometimes you will need to soak a few items, and practice a little patience. But you know what, it’s worth it!!

Washing Detergent

Find my simple recipe here. It is basically all I have used for over 5 years, and it’s rare that I need to rewash anything. I also have a liquid version here.  Soapberries are another alternative; read all about them here.

Troubleshooting Tips:
White soapy residue being left behind on clothes – you might be using too much washing powder, reduce the amount and try again. Your washing machine might also need a clean – do so by pulling apart the bits that come apart, and give them a thorough clean with hot water, some bicarb & salt or this Cleaning Paste and some 💪. Then run the machine on a hot cycle with a cup of borax, sodium percarbonate or citric acid, with white vinegar in the softener dispenser.

Fabric Softener

It couldn’t be easier than just using white vinegar and few drops of essential oils of choice. While the frangrance doesn’t really last on clothing, you will definitely smell when the rinse cycle starts! If you want to get fancy, I have a recipe using both salt and vinegar as a fabric softener here.

Stain Treatment

In my experience, stains need appropriate first aid treatment in order to be successfully removed! So, if you spill anything on your favourite white t-shirt, get it into a bucket of water (not hot, as this can set stains), asap! You can even add a tablespoon of washing soda or borax to help stop the stain from setting in between the fibres.

Occasionally you will need a little extra oomph, and I have a few stain-busting options here.

I also have a stain solution which is a great way to generally brighten clothes, treat sweat marks on pillowcases and bedding, and remove build-up on the armpit area of clothing (especially handy if you’re DIY-ing natural deodorant!). Find the recipe here.

Drying laundry

SUNLIGHT!!!! Don’t underestimate the power of the sun – it kills bacteria, treats stains, brightens clothing and, it won’t cost you a cent to use! Grab yourself some metal pegs too, they are the best! Check out That Red House – if you use the code “Krissy” you’ll get a 5% discount. A quick search online should provide you with a few other options too.

If for whatever reason you’re using a clothes dryer, you might like to drop a few essential oils on a cotton pad or old sock, and get your laundry smelling divine. Again, the smell doesn’t linger for long on the clothes, but it really is lovely and a much healthier alternative to artificially fragranced dryer pads.

Deep clean option

I find this method particularly useful for, ahhh, manky dishcloths! You will not be disappointed to see the icky brown water left behind when you use this method on your clean dishcloths – strangely satisfying! Check it out here.

The rest of your laundry room

Clean surfaces with this handy cleaning spray, and mop the floors with hot water and some vinegar or a dash of liquid castile soap. More recipes and solutions in my book, Naturally Inspired.

So there we have it, your laundry sorted, naturally! If you’re a little shocked or outraged by the fact that cleaning companies aren’t required to disclose their ingredients lists, please consider signing my petition. I aim to make some noise and get these laws changed.

And if you’re after suggestions on suppliers for ingredients, check this info out.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Unrealistic expectations are nobody’s friend

Unrealistic expectations are nobody’s friend

Ahhh, expectations – the biggest block I see when it comes to natural DIY outcomes and performance.
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Something we need to remember is that we’ve become conditioned (did somebody say clever marketing?) to expect products to behave in a certain way. Sadly, this is often at the expense of our health as a population, and the health of the planet.
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Bubbles to clean? Not necessary.

Fragrant washing powder? Not necessary.

Blue toothpaste? Not necessary.

Plastic beads to exfoliate? Not necessary.
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See where I’m going?
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Imagine if we never showed children that bubble baths, glittery skincare, perfumed teddies, etc., existed? They’d never know any different. Imagine, just imagine! 🙌🌱
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I used to be that person that thought she needed perfume, aerosol deodorant, 5 different cleaning sprays… It took time to realise the need for change, to action it, and finally to accept it in all of its natural glory.
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So, give that DIY dishwasher powder, body lotion, cleaning spray another go, forget what you know, adjust your expectations, use fresh eyes and see if you can learn to love it, too 🙏

I have plenty of free recipes here, and a beautiful and inspiring recipe book here.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Where does one start with DIY (and why)?

Where does one start with DIY (and why)?

I was privileged to be considered someone worthy of a spot at the launch of ekko.world’s new The Eco Channel.

Ekko.world is a game-changing platform that makes it easy for people to make better choices for people and planet. Whether your focus is on toxin-free living, sustainability, cruelty-free, or all of them, they have you covered.

Jennifer Nielsen, the brains behind the platform, is a force to reckon with, her passion almost tangible. She is making some serious waves and has some brilliant eco-conscious suggestions – just check out her website and see for yourself! It is the most empowering feeling to learn that a simple little swap can have gigantic positive benefits.

When I was invited to present a one-hour session, during the online launch of The Eco Channel, I jumped at the chance. Any opportunity to spread my message further is something I rarely turn down! I decided to aim my session at beginners and help them to open their eyes, increase their awareness, educate them on the simplicity of natural DIY, and the desperate need for it.

So, if you are a newbie to this space, I highly recommend having a listen. (I often watch podcasts and clips while I’m prepping for dinner or cleaning up – love a 2-for-1 deal, haha!) And, if you’re a seasoned DIY pro, I’m positive you’ll learn something new, pick up a few tips, and enjoy hearing what I have to say. Or you could forward the link to a friend – I’m sure they’ll thank you for it!

While you’re on the channel, be sure to check out some of the other amazing speakers. It’s goosebump stuff!

If I was to leave you with one take-home point, it would be this:

Every little step you take in the right direction is progress, no matter how fast or slow you go.

Be kind to yourself, be forgiving, do what you can do, when you can do it. I assure you, every little bit matters, you and your impact matters.

Watch now 👇

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

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