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Buzzy Banana Face Mask

Buzzy Banana Face Mask

Is your child keen to host a pamper party? Are you trying to use safer products on your children? Perhaps saving money is the focus? This is a delightfully fun face mask recipe that ticks all of those boxes!

I bet you have all of the ingredients right now in your pantry and fridge too! 

Why these ingredients?

Well…

Firstly, why not? Children’s skin needs very little help to look supple and youthful and amazing! So this mask is as fun and innocent as they get!

Banana is rich in potassium, vitamins B & C and magnesium; this delicious yellow fruit is packed full of goodness for your skin and can help soothe irritation; Yoghurt is full of good bacteria, B vitamins and protein; and Honey is antibacterial and can help speed up healing.

BUZZY BANANA FACE MASK

Makes: enough for single use Prep time: 5-10 min. (for kids)

Ingredients  

A fat slice of fresh banana

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp plain yoghurt

Method

Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and mash/mix until it is smooth and combined.

To Use

Using your fingers, spread the mixture all over your face (be sure to avoid your eyes). Relax while you leave it on for 10-15 minutes, before rinsing well with water.

Recipe Notes

If your mask is too runny, add a little extra honey.

And, if you have any left over, call it dessert!

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.

 

Stretchy Spotty Sticky Goop

Stretchy Spotty Sticky Goop

Are you ready for an exclusive recipe from Make & Play, my new recipe book for KIDS? 🤩

This Goop recipe is a huge winner with my kids, so I’m confident it’ll be a winner with yours too!

Before we dive into this recipe, I’d love to give you a little snippet of information on some of the common ingredients found in many store-bought, and homemade, recipes for slime (keeping in mind that it’s not always easy to find ingredients listings on the store-bought stuff). I have no doubt that many parents (and carers) simply have no idea what impact these products might be having on people and planet.

I am a realist, I can appreciate that you may very well consider regular/commercial slime as an exception in your quest for a more natural life, and if so, that’s perfectly ok! So long as you know what you are buying and using, and you are making that informed choice, with both eyes wide open.

Common mainstream slime ingredients

Fragrance 

Ahh fragrance, the synthetic stuff, my arch-nemesis! Urgh, I hate the stuff. I feel headachey and nauseous just thinking about it. I’ve written about fragrance many times before, but in a nutshell, it is not something you want little noses sniffing. Irritation, allergic reactions, asthma – they’re just a few issues.

We only look for a ‘nice smell’ if we are taught to seek it out; we’re conditioned to value artificial scent. The subtle aroma that essential oils provide us, is enough, in my opinion.

Colours 

More often than not, artificial colours are petroleum-derived. Although potential harm is usually associated with consumption, some can cause skin irritation and some are known to be carcinogenic.

PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue 

You’ll find that bottles of PVA glue state they are ‘non-toxic’. I just don’t know about that… It stinks and makes my eyes water, so it’s something I prefer to avoid having my children’s skin making contact with for hours on end. According to ewg.org, there are contamination concerns with polyvinyl acetate, one of the main ingredients in PVA glue, such as heavy metals and arsenic. Some glues are also believed to be toxic to aquatics.

Glitter

Micro-plastics, do I need to say more? Ok, I will. Micro-plastics are a serious problem, and glitter has got to be the most unnecessary variety! That stuff gets into everything! Once it washes down drains, it slips through all the barriers designed to catch undesirable waste, and makes its way into the oceans, and inevitably, marine animals. Best avoided, if you want my opinion.

Some of you might be shocked to read some of this information, while others will nod in agreement.

Either way, I hope you’re motivated and excited to share in a special experience with the littlies in your life, and ready to make your very own natural GOOP!

Get ready for some fun with this recipe!

STRETCHY STICKY SPOTTY GOOP

Makes: 130 g | 4.6 oz Prep time: 30+ min. (for kids)

Ingredients  

60 g | 2.1 oz water (see recipe notes)

10 g | 0.4 oz chia seeds

Colourant (as much as you like; must be liquid)

5 drops essential oils (optional)

1/2 tsp olive oil

60 g | 2.1 oz arrowroot flour

Method

1. Weigh the water and chia seeds into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

2. Add the colouring and essential oils (if you’re using them) and whisk well.

3. Let it rest for 30 minutes (the mixture will become thick and gloopy).

4. Measure in the olive oil and whisk again.

5. Now weigh in the arrowroot flour and stir until it feels too thick to use a spoon.

6. Knead the mixture with your hands until it is really smooth and stretchy, then transfer your goop into a container (with a lid).

⭐🧑‍🍳 For general information on using a thermal appliance (or microwave), click here.

My choice of essential oils

Some essential oils are better suited than others, for use with children. Essential oils that are typically regarded as safe, when diluted properly, include bergamot, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, rose, spearmint, tangerine & tea tree (note that this is not a complete list of ‘kid-safe’ oils). Read here for more information on essential oils.

To Use

Play with this goop with clean hands, on a clean surface, and be prepared for messy, sticky fun!

Recipe Notes

Water should be distilled, purified or pre-boiled and cooled to extend shelf life.

This goop will only last a day or two.

Store in airtight containers between uses.

The goop will become less sticky (and less stretchy) as the hours roll on. Wet your hands to get it back to its maximum stickiness!

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.

 

Eggshell Candles

Eggshell Candles

With Easter fast approaching, and the majority of the world locked inside their homes (thanks a lot COVID-19, you can bugger off now), I thought this little DIY candle recipe and craft idea might come in handy for those of you looking to stay occupied (and get off Netflix)!

These Eggshell Candles are so easy to make! They’re fun and eco-friendly, and aside from beeswax pellets, you probably have everything you need to make them, in your pantry right now. The concept is not new, I’ve seen it floating around in magazines and websites for years, but I finally decided to give them a try and document it for you.

EGGSHELL CANDLES

Makes: 3 Prep time: < 10 min. (assuming eggshells have been pre-dried)

Ingredients 

3 eggs (feel free to double or triple this recipe)

50 g | 1.8 oz beeswax pellets

15 g | 0.5 oz olive oil

3 cotton wicks (tealight size is best)

Method

1. Crack eggs carefully so that the top 1/4 breaks off. This takes practice and patience!

2. Wash eggs and remove remaining membrane. Dry thoroughly.

3. Place eggshells in an egg carton, for support.

4. Place cotton wick in the centre of an eggshell. (Ensure wick is long enough for your eggshells. To help wick stay vertical, pinch between two wooden skewers or chopsticks, securing ends with tape or rubber bands, then rest on eggshell so wick is centred).

5. Add beeswax and olive oil to a glass bowl and heat until completely melted.  (Double boiler method – place bowl on a pot of gently simmering water and stir frequently; Microwave method – heat in short bursts on low, stopping and stirring frequently). Remove from heat.

6. Carefully but quickly pour mixture into jar, making sure not to displace wick.

7. Allow to set and trim wick down to 1 cm | 0.4 in from wax.

To Use

Light wick and enjoy. Never leave candles burning unattended. Eggshells are wobbly and unless you secure them safely, they could be a fire hazard. Popping them in a glass bowl of water, as I have done, is a good idea. I don’t recommend lighting them while they are in cardboard cartons due to the fire risk they pose.

Recipe Notes

Make a habit of washing, drying and keeping any eggshells that you incidentally use at home. Or crack, and scramble, on the go, if you’re not that organised!

You can colour your eggs but I love them au naturel! If you want to dye them, simply pop eggs shells in a glass of warm water with a splash of vinegar and some food dye (sadly the natural dyes don’t really work) for 10-20 minutes. The longer you leave them the more intense the colour will be.

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.

 

Simple Beeswax Candles

Simple Beeswax Candles

Did you know that the vast majority of mainstream candles are mostly made from petroleum-based paraffin? Studies show that when burned, these candles release unwanted chemical pollutants into the air including benzene and toluene, which have been shown to cause damage to the brain, lungs and central nervous system.

The synthetic fragrances often used in these candles are chemical minefields (remember companies don’t need to tell you what ingredients make up their fragrances, which may include phthalates – classified as ‘suspected human carcinogens’ and notorious gender-benders) and may contribute to asthma and allergies. And then there are the wicks. Lighting lead core wicks may result in indoor air concentrations of lead higher than the recommended threshold.

So here is a crazy-simple candle recipe for Beeswax Candles. If you want to burn candles for ambience, this recipe is for you!! While beeswax pellets omit a very gentle, gorgeous honey aroma, in order to get a more potent scent, I recommend running an essential oil diffuser at the same time.

Beeswax Candles

Makes: enough for 1 candle Prep time: < 10 min.

Ingredients 

20-50g beeswax pellets (depending on the size of your tea light)

1 cotton wick (organic if possible)

1 tea light holder

Method

1. Place cotton wick into tea light holder.

2. Sprinkle beeswax gently into tea light holder until only approximately 1 centimetre of the wick is visible.

To Use

Light the wick and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The size of the wick will determine the burning time.

I do not recommend adding essential oils to the beeswax mainly because you won’t notice the smell and will, therefore, waste your precious oils.

Don’t leave candles burning unattended.

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.

 

Reusable Beeswax Covers

Reusable Beeswax Covers

I just love beeswax covers. What a great alternative to disposable, land-filling, single-use cling film! I bought one set which lasted me over 12 months (so you really do get value for money) however, I wouldn’t be The Inspired Little Pot if I didn’t try to ‘DIY’ and write up a recipe now, would I?

I have seen recipes for beeswax covers/wraps that require pine resin and jojoba oil. If you feel like giving these go, go for it. But they do get a little fiddly and while my version isn’t quite as sticky, it still works well.

They makes the perfect ‘green’ kitchen companion and also make a gorgeous gift to give! So, here it is in all its simple, cost-effective and empowering glory.

Note: Make sure you read the ENTIRE recipe before starting, as well as the notes. I have done the hard yards (you should see how much beeswax I had to get off my ironing board, iron and floor!!) so if you prepare yourself properly, you should have 100% success the first time!

Reusable Beeswax Covers

Makes: enough for 1 wrap Prep time: < 10 min.

Ingredients

A tight-weave fabric of choice

2 tbsp beeswax (approx.)

Extra equipment required…

Pinking shears

Baking paper – 2 large pieces (I use these sheets)

Iron

Method

1. Measure fabric and cut using pinking shears – this minimises fraying of edges.

2. Lay down a large sheet of baking paper and place fabric on top. Add beeswax to the centre of the fabric.

3. Place a second sheet of baking paper on top, and iron (on low setting) with gentle pressure, pushing melted wax towards the outer edges.

4. Continue until all of the fabric has been saturated with beeswax.

5. If required, lift baking paper and sprinkle on more beeswax, and continue ironing.

6. Before removing the baking paper, it is important to make sure the entire piece of fabric is evenly coated with beeswax and still hot. Quickly lift the top piece of baking paper off, then grab two corners of fabric and remove from the bottom sheet of baking paper.

7. Hold up the coated fabric for 5-10 seconds, or until dry.

To Use

Wrap gifts and secure with ribbon or twine. For food use, warm wrap between hands and mould over bowls of leftover food, sandwiches or cut fruit. Avoid using with raw meat, fish and chicken products. Wash in warm, soapy water and hang until completely dry, then store flat, rolled or gently folded, in a cool, dry place.

Recipe Notes

Make sure your baking paper is larger than your fabric square. The amount of beeswax in this recipe should cover fabric approximately 30 x 30 cm | 12″ x 12″ in size.

These covers are not watertight or airtight. They are perfect for covering leftovers or pieces of cut fruit and veg.

DO NOT cover raw meat.

Properly cared for, these wraps will last 6-12 months. When the beeswax looks like it is starting to flake, it is time to make some more, or for an even more sustainable option, repeat the process above and bring them back to life!

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.

 

Puffy Paint

Puffy Paint

This recipe for puff paint is an adaptation of something I used to do with my Early Childhood Studies students, back in my teaching heyday! It is fun, non-toxic and is easily made with common pantry ingredients.

This activity is a fun way to fill some time on the school holidays; my kids are occupied for at least 45 minutes being creative and crafty!

You’ll also find this in my new recipe book,  Make & Play.

PUFFY PAINT

Makes: 420 g | 14.8 oz Prep time: 10-15 min. (for kids)

Ingredients  

150 g | 5.3 oz water (see recipe notes)

150 g | 5.3 oz fine salt

80 g | 2.8 oz self-raising flour

40 g | 1.4 oz arrowroot flour

Colourant (as much as you like; can be liquid or powder, but liquid is best)

Method

1. Weigh the water, salt, self-raising flour and arrowroot flour into a medium mixing bowl.

2. Mix really well, until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps left.

3. Divide the mixture evenly between 5 squeeze-style containers and add a different colouring to each one, then shake well (or use a paddle-pop stick to jiggle and stir).

⭐🧑‍🍳 For general information on using a thermal appliance (or microwave), click here.

To Use

Squeeze different patterns onto paper, and then you have 3 choices:

  • Pop your paper in the microwave for 5-10 seconds (for the best puffy result).
  • Place your paper in the oven (200 ˚C) for 5 min (don’t take your eyes off it!).
  • Let your paint air dry.
Recipe Notes

Water should be distilled, purified or pre-boiled and cooled to extend shelf life.

This paint should last for a few weeks.

Over time, if the mixture thickens in the bottle, just add a little splash of water and shake well.

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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