Natural Face Paints for Halloween

Natural Face Paints - free of parabens, lead, artificial colors and all the other junk

When Halloween rolls around every year, stores are filled with cheap paint to decorate our children’s faces. Without thinking, we smother their precious skin with paint filled with lead, parabens and artificial colors.

Unfortunately the FDA does not regulate  face paints so it’s no surprise that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 10 face paints and found all 10 contained lead and several other heavy metals.

Fortunately, we can recommend many natural face paints and a quick recipe to make your own!

Earth Paint has both a Mini Face Painting Kit  or their All Natural Face Painting Kit. This clay and mineral based face paint is made with over 70% organic ingredients. It’s free of nano particles, heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and animal products such as carmine.

This Natural Face Paint Set from Glob comes with 5 colors and a bamboo applicator. It contains no titanium dioxide, synthetic dyes, parabens, talc or petro-chemicals.

I really like these Face Pencils from Nova Naturals. They are primarily made of palm oil and are lead-free and paraben-free in a wood casing.

Luna Organics has fun makeup kits designed specifically for Animals, Fairies, Super Stars, Ballerinas and Pop Stars. They are made with minerals and free of parabens and artificial dyes.

I think face paint in the form of a tube is the easiest form of application so I love the Pretendi Naturali Face Paint Sticks from Luna Star Naturals. They are free of parabens, dyes and petrochemicals and are made in the USA.

This DIY natural face paint recipe sounds like it works but you’ll need to buy this natural food coloring to make it.




31 Days: A Halloween Party on the Cheap {Day 11}

Welcome to 31 Days:The No Spend Month. If you are joining for the first time, you may want to start on Day 1.

We are hosting a Halloween party for the neighborhood families and a few close friends on October 31. It also happens to be my husband’s birthday. We’ve opened our house from 5-7pm for chili, chowder and soups + homemade bread and cornbread.

To keep the costs within our No Spend Month budget, here’s a few ideas I’m using:


Using my Eating from the Pantry method, I’ve found we have lots of food on hand that can be put into soups, chowders and chili.  We have cornmeal and flour, along with the other necessary ingredients for homemade cornbread.  I also will be making several loaves of homemade bread.

I have guacamole, salsa and bean dip, all I need to pick up are chips.  We’ll be serving hot spiced cider, wine and beer – already stocked in the pantry.  I will pick up a few ingredients to make a Halloween punch.


I always keep a few boxes of cake mix for last minute cupcakes and I’ll be making frosting to top these adorable candy corn cupcakes.  Last year, I roasted and pureed several pumpkins and I still have one jar of puree left for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

I scored 8 bags of Halloween candy for free using coupons, including a bag of candy corn for the cupcakes.  We live in a neighborhood very popular for trick-or-treating so I need to have 500 pieces of candy to hand out. After the few bags I’ll have left over from the party, I’ve started purchasing other good deals I find.  I’m looking for Daily Deals and coupons to keep that expense down.


I have one box of Halloween and Thanksgiving decor to decorate with each year. I’ve already packed the mantel with pumpkins and candles. I’m taking a walk through the park to pick up fall leaves tomorrow. I’ll dry them to display, like this.  I’ll also be using some of the free printables here and here.

I went to the Dollar Store and spent $4 to pick up the following:

  • plates and napkins
  • balloons
  • orange and black striped containers to hold food

In total, the party will cost me about $10 more than I would have spent not having it and it’s coming from the $300 grocery budget this month. It’s a great, inexpensive way to host our neighbors and friends for a fun night and have a small celebration for my husband’s birthday.

What do you do on Halloween? Any other ideas to throw a party on the cheap?



Curbing Your Trash During the Holidays

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, America’s trash rises by 25% – here are some ideas to make sure you are not a contributor!

1.  BYOB – bring your own bags when Christmas shopping.  Envirosax makes fantastic, stylish bags with plenty of room for your goods.  Decline a bag for every purchase you make and try to stuff it into a bag you are already carrying.

2.  Purchasing gifts –  most of your trash comes from the gift packaging so choose gifts with little to no packaging like gift cards, charity donations or memberships to the zoo, museum, or library. These are great gifts that last long beyond the holiday.

3. Wrapping gifts – wrap gifts in something the recipient can use again like canvas bags, a piece of fabric or cloth napkin with a pretty bow, or a decorative bag or box (reused from previous holidays!).  Kids are always creating art projects at school, use them for wrapping – grandparents will particularly love this!  For large gifts, just tie a bow around it. Ecorations also makes reusable fabric gift wraps and bags.  I love their personalized Santa sacks for kid’s presents!

4. Shipping gifts– if you are shipping gifts, have them sent directly from the store to the recipient.  No use in shipping first to yourself and then shipping again.  Also, reuse Styrofoam packing peanuts, air filled bags or plastic grocery bags to cushion the contents. 

5. Christmas cards and invitations – don’t feel obligated to send a Christmas card if you dread doing it every year.  Most of them end up in the recycle bin anyway.  Families do enjoy getting an update on their friends so try sending an email newsletter, a link to your family blog or an online card.  It’s free, saves you a lot of time and reduces your paper use.    For the Christmas cards you do get, donate them to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children once the holiday is over.  The organization recycles used cards ( for any occasion ) into new cards and sells them, benefiting the abused, abandoned and neglected children at the ranch.  Hosting a holiday party? Use a free online invitation program, like Evite, for customized online invitations.

6. Holiday parties– if you or your company have a holiday party, there is bound to be leftover food.  Call a local agency that will pick up the food and deliver to people who really need it or package it up and have your guests take it home.  Compost fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds.   During the party, use reusable dishes, utensils and cloth napkins – you can rent them from a party rental company if you need more than you own. 

7.  Opening gifts– when opening gifts, make sure to have 3 bags on hand – one for recyclable packaging and wrapping, one for ribbons and bags that can be reused and one for true trash.  Remember that a lot of things are recyclable, even if it can’t be taken curbside.  It may be an extra trip, but you can take Styrofoam and hard plastic packaging to local facilities to be recycled.  Check Earth911 for a local location.


Pumpkin Recycling


So you’ve been to the pumpkin patch and have all these pumpkins sitting around.   How can you use ALL of the pumpkin instead of tossing it in the garbage when Halloween is over?   Pumpkins are a vegetable and a great source of vitamins.   It’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.  1 cup of raw pumpkin has 171% of your Vitamin A needs for the day.  It’s also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E.



Separate the seeds out from the stringy and gooey pumpkin insides.  Throw them in a strainer and rinse them off.  Spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, spray them with olive oil, add salt and bake for 45 minutes on 300 degrees. Other options include sprinkling seasoning salt or garlic salt for more flavor.


Martha Stewart has an interesting twist on pumpkin seeds, make a Pumpkin Seed Brittle.



You can save the seeds, store them and use them in the spring.  Dry the seeds for 7 days and then wrap them in newspaper or magazine pages until spring.


Don’t throw your pulp in the garbage and do not put it down the drain.  According to Mr. Rooter, pumpkin pulp hardens in the drain and clogs it.

Compost or if you have chickens, you can feed the pulp to them.


There are TONS of recipes for using fresh pumpkin to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, breads, whatever suits your fancy.  Different kinds (and sizes) of pumpkins are good for different types of food so you make sure you get the right kind of pumpkin if you plan to bake with it.  Typically, smaller pumpkins are for baking.  You can bake, boil or microwave the pumpkin to get it ready to use in your recipes.


If you have anything left over from your pumpkin or you carved your pumpkin and left it outside for decoration, the whole thing can be composted, just make sure to cut it into small chunks.  If you don’t have a compost bin, cut it into chunks and bury it in your garden.  Great nutrients for your soil.

Make sure you enter our Green Goodies Giveaway – over $50 worth of green goods for your home and baby!


Homemade Halloween Costumes

Image Courtesy

Image Courtesy

Today you can’t go anywhere without seeing an all-in-one Halloween costume for all ages ( and at all price ranges ).  I can’t recall EVER buying a new Halloween costume when I was a kid.  In fact, most of the pieces in my dress-up box ( yes, I still have one! ) have come from Goodwill or a garage sale collected over many years.  

If you can’t fathom paying $40 for a costume (worn 1x ) or just want to keep the clutter out of your house – get your creative juices flowing and make one.  How easy would it be to pull together a ghost, pirate or princess costume – all from stuff you probably have hiding in the closets in your house.

For lots of ideas, check out these sites:

100 Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas submitted by readers of The Daily Green

Homemade Costumes Gallery by

1Halloween.Net Costume Gallery

Unique Halloween Costumes from Disney Family

Another way to avoid buying a new costume – borrow one!  This year, I lent out 2 of my daughter’s costumes from previous holidays and I’ll be borrowing one from a friend.  With a trip to Goodwill for one additional piece for my husband, our family will be ready for Halloween for a couple dollars!