I think I’ve got most of the disgusting spammer and scraper ridiculousness taken care of. I understand that these low life individuals/bots make money doing this, but SERIOUSLY! There were a few questions about what plugins might have been causing the surge in spam for me and how scrapers get ahold of your content via feeds. There was only one plugin that I had recently installed that was followed by a literal SEA OF SPAM and not the tasty kind used in masubi. It was one of those “Pin It” rollover image plugins. I’m not sure if this was the cause or not, but I went ahead and got rid of it and I’m in search of a new one. In regards to the scrapers. If they want it, they’ll get their hands on it. Sad, but true. Just be sure to check your subscribers occasionally and delete the suspicious ones. I also recommend going the “approve messages” route so your comments aren’t flooded with spam if something were to go awry. I have mine set to instantly approve any individuals who have previously left an approved comment.
Lets hope I dont have to take about that subject ever again!
Anyways! I’ve missed you all so very much. It feels weird not writing about things I love and I’ve been feeling really sad about it. I’ve been doing projects and documenting them, so now I have a bunch of stuff to catch up on! First up is my non toxic moon sand tutorial.
Now that it’s warm out, we’ve been enjoying spending some time getting fresh air. We live in the city and space it tight. Outdoor items like water tables and kiddie pools have to be small enough to fit on our patio without cramping up space. I really wanted to get her a little sand box, but we had to go a smaller non-traditional route.
After a little research, I discovered most moon sand recipes call for baby oil or mineral oil and real sand. Umm….. yeah, that’s not going to work for us. First of all, I have no idea where to find that much sand in the city. Second, we try to avoid products containing talc or are petroleum based, especially when it comes to the kids. I won’t get preachy on you on why we don’t use certain products, but if you do make sand with mineral oil in it, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure your child doesn’t ingest any. It could mean a major case of the runs and that’s never a good time. We opted for a flour based “sand” in case of any accidental ingestion.
You don’t need to use as much flour as I did. I happened to have coupons, so I went a little crazy. For every bag of flour I used about a cup of oil. I’m a complete jerk and didn’t check the bag size of the flour. I believe it was the average sized one if that helps (5lb bag….?). I added a few drops of peppermint and lemon essential oils to keep the bugs away (more on that later). I also used a large underbed storage container with a lid so we could store it outdoors without ickiness crawling into it.
Photobombed by toddler toes
When working with the oil and flour mixture, you want to work in small sections. I found the best method was stirring it all together by hand and then taking small handfuls and rubbing my hands together to work in all the oil. The texture is difficult to explain, but you’ll see the beads of oil start to incorporate with the flour and the flour won’t be as fine anymore. This is a little tedious, but didn’t take very long to mix.
The non toxic moon sand is moldable like beach sand, but I do want to warn parents that since it’s made with oil, it will leave a residue. Best to use this outdoors in play clothes you don’t mind getting messy.
So why the essential oils? Well, the mosquitos in this area are a vicious breed. They make the ones back home in Florida seem like butterflies. Brutal! I prefer to avoid using products that contain chemicals on and around my children (does this make me sound like a hippie?), but I still want them to play outdoors without having to worry about them being covered with bug bites. There are quite a few essential oils that deter mosquitos and other insects. I own several that deter the annoying little creatures including tea tree, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus. After doing a little research, I discovered that a few of them are not safe for children under 3 and can cause some serious respiratory symptoms. I’m not a doctor, but do a little research on the subject and you’ll find a wealth of information on using essential oils as a mosquito repellant.
I chose to go the peppermint oil route with a few drops of lemon essential oil because I love the scent of citrus with peppermint.
I also want to warn the parents who have little wild things like myself to keep eyes on your kids at all times. I snapped a picture of V playing in the sandbox while her little brother took his morning nap close by and thought it was too cute not to post on Instagram. In those three minutes, my beloved daughter did this:
Consider yourself warned!
What activities are you doing with your little ones now that it’s nice and warm outside?