We love chocolate as much as the next person here at Mersea Mudd Shack, but do you ever feel like you want to give something different? My daughter will often receive a number of Easter Eggs, and while the gesture is very much welcome, the amount of chocolate in the house is sometimes not so welcome! (For my sake of waistline as well as her health!)
This is why we've come up with a range of Easter Gifts that are a perfect chocolate-free and plastic-free alternative.
egg shaped beeswax candles
Our egg candles are made using local beeswax and a healthy splodge of coconut oil to help them burn more smoothly. They use a cotton braided wick and give off the mild soothing scent of honey when burnt. They should burn for around 5+ hours, long enough for your Easter lunch! We normally sell them individually, but we've added them as a set of 6 in an egg box especially for Easter!
Continuing the egg theme... we've also made egg shaped soaps! Using our usual blend of high quality natural ingredients, giving you a creamy and moisturising bar of soap. When hand washing is so important, maybe this little box of egg shaped delights is just what's needed. Available in Lavender or Orange (both fragranced with essential oils).
The last of our egg shaped goodies come in bath bomb form! The perfect gift for the little ones and a welcome break from the usual plastic wrapped Easter egg! Available individually, or again in an egg box in a range of fragrances! Add some fun to bath time this Easter!
Motherhood is the greatest thing, and the hardest thing
This quote seems particularly poignant at the moment with everything that is going on. As a mother myself, juggling home-schooling and working, and dealing with the daily 'mum-guilt' I can fully relate to this quote! I love my daughter with every inch of my being, but that doesn't mean that some days I just want to run and hide (possibly in a hot bath with a glass of gin!).
The mothers in our lives need some recognition for all that they do, relentlessly, for the good of their families. Whether it's your wife who is doing an amazing job of looking after your children, a friend who has a new-born and can't experience all the things that I took for granted when I had my daughter, your own mother who is unable to see their children and experience the joy of their grandchildren at the moment, or someone who is at home with young children without the support of other mums at baby groups and their extended families.
It seems like Mother's Day is even more important this year. We're either being kept apart from our mothers, or the mothers in our households are juggling home-schooling and working alongside all the usual stresses that come along with parenthood! (I am by no means belittling all those hard-working Dads out there, and we are grateful for all that you do - you'll get your chance to be told how awesome you are on Father's Day!)
To help you to send a gift to someone who you think may just need a little 'pick-me-up', I've come up with a list of some of our most popular gifts. Ones that I think would be particularly suitable to show that Mum in your life that they are thought of. That they are appreciated, and that they are loved.
The Crafty Mum Everyone seems to have turned to some form of crafting to get them through whatever number lockdown we've been on. A gift that gives them something to create, and also fills an hour or so of their day might just be the things you're after. This is why we developed our DIY kits, to help you through those long lockdown days!
Our beeswax wrap kit includes everything you need to make three 25cmx25cm reusable fabric food wraps. (We're big fans of beeswax wraps here - we even have a separate blog post dedicated to them!) They are an amazing plastic-free alternative to cling film, and they're pretty cute to boot!
If that's not for her, then how about a candle making kit? With the option of making 1x or 2x 3oz beeswax candles, they can fill their home with the sweet smell of beeswax, and the satisfaction that comes with something homemade.
The Eco Mum Whether your Mum is an eco warrior, or is keen to explore some more earth-friendly options, you're sure to find something on our website for her. We are all about being plastic-free and have a wide range of sustainably sourced and handmade items. So much so that you might end up with 'plastic-free blindness'! Which is why we came up with the idea of our Eco Starter Kit! It contains a few simple swaps you can make to get started on your eco-friendly journey. The kit includes: A beeswax wrap, 2x metal straws, 2x reusable face wipes, 1x soap bag, 1x bamboo soap dish, and one of our large bars of beautifully moisturising beeswax soap. (Items when sold separately - £17.50)
Me Time Mum Everyone needs a bit of 'me time' now and again - if you can't do it on Mother's Day then when can you?! Maybe it's a hot bath with a candle and a bath bomb, or maybe it's the relaxing scent of one of our beeswax melts filling your home, give them the gift of relaxation this year.
The Picky Mum If she is impossible to buy for, or really indecisive and can never make up her mind, our smaller sized gifts are perfect. Treat them as samples, or buy a few to make up a selection box of goodies! From 20g soaps, to small bath bombs and candles, all handmade using beautiful natural ingredients.
The Pampered Mum For the Mum who likes to look her best, and keep her skin beautifully moisturised. With all this hand-washing, sanitising and mask-wearing, our products are just the treat for that hard-working Mum. The soaps and moisturising bars will keep your hands soft and nourished, and the lip balm is a great defence against the rubbing of a face mask. All handmade here on Mersea Island, using natural ingredients.
Custom Orders We're always happy to personalise your order where we can, and love making up custom gift boxes. (You may have seen on social media that we have a new stamp - it's a struggle not to stamp everything it sight!). All packaged with care and attention, without a single drop of plastic in sight! Just add the items you'd like to your basket, add a gift box to one of them, and then pop a note on your order telling us to put them all in a box for you!
Ordering For Someone Outside Of Your Household I know we're not seeing as much of each other as we'd like at the moment. And if you can't do a doorstep delivery for your loved one this Mother's Day, don't panic. Just pop their address in for the shipping address and we'll post it straight to them. You can even add a message for them, which we will pop in the box for you, so they know where their gift has come from!
Did you miss our deadline to order for Valentines? Or are you home-schooling and need something fun to do with the kids to entertain them? (Surely it counts as science right?!) Or maybe you're bored and home on lockdown and need something to do for an hour or so?! Then this simple recipe to make bath bombs might just be the solution you need!
You can experiment with colours, fragrances and shapes. This recipe is easy to adapt to whatever you have in the cupboards!
Ingredients: 100g Bicarbonate of Soda 50g Citric Acid (available from Wilko, Holland & Barrett or online) 25g Cornflour 25g Epsom Salts (optional) 2 tbsp oil (sunflower, olive oil, melted coconut oil...) Water 1/4tsp essential oil or fragrance oil (available from Holland & Barrett or online) A few drops of liquid colouring (either cosmetic or food colouring) Edible cake sprinkles, Dried flowers or orange peel to decorate (optional)
You will also need: Mixing Bowls Whisk Sieve Plastic or Metal Moulds
Pretty much anything can be used as a mould for your bath bombs! From yogurt pots, to plastic packaging from toys, Easter egg packaging, silicone ice cube trays, silicone cup cake cases or even plastic biscuit cutters placed on a tray.
What to do
1. Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl, and whisk until mixed together. 2. Pour the oil, colour and fragrance into a separate bowl and mix together as well as you can. 3. VERY slowly add the oil mixture to the dry ingredients bowl, whisking as you go. 4. When they are mixed, add a few drops of water and whisk again. Whenever you add wet ingredients to the dry it will fizz, so make sure you keep whisking! The mixture should clump together in your hands when you press it together - be careful not to get it too wet! 5. If you're adding any decorations, drop them into the bottom of your mould. Pack your mixture tightly on top, pressing down and smoothing out the top. 6. Leave your bath bomb in it's mould for a few hours to dry and harden. Then carefully remove it - it's now ready to drop in the bath!
Top Tips - If your using a two sided mould, you need to overfill your mould before pushing the two sides together. This will help the sides to stick, although this can be tricky to get the hang of! - Make sure you use either cosmetic colouring, or LIQUID food colouring. The gel colouring will clump and not spread as well. - Make sure you leave them to dry in a warm dry place. Humidity is not a bath bombs friend - they can be fickle little creatures! - If you have more than one colour, why not make your bath bombs in layers?! - Use your bath bombs within 6 months of making - as if they won't be used by then?! - If you're giving them as a gift, it's a good idea to leave them for a few days to fully harden. Otherwise you'll have bath dust! - You can colour your Epsom salts separately using your food colouring, and then layer them at the bottom to create a sparkly geode type effect! - We add buttermilk powder to our bath bombs for extra foam. - Steer clear of glitter - not only does it make a mess of your bath, but some can also be toxic when added to hot bath water.
Here's The Science-y Bit!
If you are home-schooling, and want to add a bit of science into the mix, here's how bath bombs work.
Bath bombs fizz because of a reaction between the water in your bath and the combination of bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. The bubbles are made of carbon dioxide gas, and this is an acid-base reaction. The cornflour helps to slow down the reaction between these ingredients, making your bath bomb last longer.
For a complete science experiment, why not see if they behave differently in hot water and cold water? Do they fizz for longer? Do they dissolve quicker? Or maybe you could try adding more or less of some of the ingredients to see if this changed the reaction?
Of course, if this all seems too much of a fuss, you can always buy them from us! ;-)
Valentines Day Is Just Around The Corner - Are you ready?
With our soaps taking at least a month to cure, we're always working ahead of ourselves, (It's the 1st February and we're already working on egg-shaped goodies for Easter!) but have you bought your gift for your loved one yet?
With us all spending more time apart, Valentines Day seems an amazing excuse to send our loved ones a gift. It's usually a day devoted to our other-halves, who most of us are living with, but this year I vote we spread the love a little further!
All our products are ideal for showing someone you care and that you're thinking of them. But we thought we'd round up our top 5 to help make choosing between them all a little easier.
5 - DIY Kits
With many of our loved ones being on furlough, or having self-isolate, one of our eco-friendly DIY kits is the perfect gift for them to kill an hour or so! You can chose between a kit for making your own beeswax wraps, or a kit to make your own beeswax candles. Both kits come with full instructions, are eco-friendly and handmade with love. Discover the wonders of beeswax!
We're all being encouraged to wash our hands regularly at the moment. So why not do it in style with our handmade natural soaps?! Because giving a bar of soap in times like these just makes sense! Our 2 favourites for Valentines are the 'Bee My Valentine Beeswax Soap Bar' and our 'Pink Rose' bar. Both are coloured with French Pink Clay and scented with English Rose fragrance, giving a light floral aroma. The perfect companion for your bunch of roses.
This gift set features the 'Bee My Valentine Beeswax Soap' as mentioned above, alongside some other beeswax goodies! Packaged in an eco-friendly gift box, you also get a 5oz Beeswax candle, handmade using local beeswax and a bag of beeswax melts, available in a variety of fragrances. And at just £20, it won't break the bank! We've also listed some of our smaller gift sets below, to give you some other ideas.
Don't worry! We haven't forgotten about the men in your life! We have a lovely range of handmade and sustainably sourced razors, shaving brushes, shaving soaps and beard balms. Available separately, or packaged together! Time to tame that lockdown beard!
And coming in at number one, the biggest of all our gift sets! This plastic free handmade gift set contains: 8oz beeswax candle, 100g beeswax melts (available in a range of fragrances), beeswax lip balm, 'Bee My Valentine' soap bar and a bamboo soap dish to keep it on. We've also listed a similar gift set below, which has a bath bomb in it.