Monday, 25 June 2018

10 Things You Can Do to Feel Fabulous!

Quite often we wait for some special event, party or outing to doll ourselves up and feel a little bit special.  I say; don't wait for that special event do it now, just because you want to and it makes you feel good.  Do it just for fun, when you're vacuuming, doing dishes, visiting a friend, going for coffee, reading a book...

1) Wear that lipstick. 

2) Put on those shoes.

3) Wear that favourite dress / outfit.

4) Put a flower in your hair.

5) Do that fancy hair-do.

6) Paint your nails.

7) Wear that nice bra and nickers.

8) Decorate yourself with a scarf, necklace, bangle, earrings...

9) Dance to your favourite song.

10) Cook that fabulous meal.


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

DIY Natural Hair Spray

This guest post is by Jodie Wakefield who lives in Perth with her husband, two children and dog and is passionate about creating a low-environmental-impact life.  

I stumbled into my passion for all things eco-friendly from an initial interest in improving the health of my children.  Having suffered with exhaustion, poor gut health and innumerable food intolerances myself, I was determined to steer my son in a different direction when he began displaying similar symptoms.  (Insert hours spent on webinars, reading books and blogs; too many naturopath appointments to count and a pantry newly stocked with organic, crazy-sounding ingredients.)  Despite absolute commitment, no improvements to health were enjoyed until I began eliminating environmental toxins from the home – the final piece of the puzzle.  From this, the whole family began to reap the rewards of better health, restorative sleep and reduced allergy symptoms.

And I have not looked back!  My house is now cleaned with tox-free products, the family enjoys a diet crammed with wholefoods, beauty routines have been simplified, and many, many hours saved with this lifestyle change.  

With new-found energy I am currently directing my attention toward environmental issues and tackling the ‘war on plastic’ with vigour.  You can follow me via facebook (https://www.facebook.com/greenbeyou) and my blog (https://greenbeyou.wordpress.com/) where I share information (successes and failures) and welcome collaboration for all things sustainable.

Looking for a DIY hairspray that is tox-free, easy to make, works like a charm, brushes out, saves money and time when compared to store-bought items and gives you an excuse to keep vodka handy?  Yes please!

Here is my DIY hairspray recipe which I have fine-tuned over several years of use:


INGREDIENTS & METHOD:

  • In a saucepan, bring to the boil 2 to 3 roughly chopped lemons in just enough water to cover them.  Optional: add sprigs of rosemary* for the essential oil benefits. 
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to minimum and simmer for 15mins. The water quantity will reduce significantly. 
  • Leave to cool in the pan.
  • Add 1tbs of vodka. (This helps reduce frizz and delays the natural urge for your hairspray to grow bacteria: see below for storage). 
  • Strain the liquid into spray bottles and store in the fridge.

STORAGE: Because the hairspray is made with real lemon juice, it is best kept in the fridge for freshness and will then last months.  You may wish to fill two small bottles and keep one in the freezer until you’ve used up the first bottle.
APPLICATION TIPS: The hairspray has a strong hold (more lemons = stronger hold) and will dampen hair on application.  Best results are achieved by blow-drying / straightening/ curling the hair after applying the hairspray and then a very light spritz once styled.

FINAL STEP: Be gorgeous!

*NOTE by JOLI: stinging nettle can also be added for it's health benefits on hair. Rosemary encourages hair growth and helps restore colour (plus it smells nice).  Nettle also helps with falling hair and dandruff.

DIY natural hair spray at work

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Many Faces of JOLI

I wanted to write this blog to show you that there is so much more to JOLI (aka me) than natural skin care.  While natural skin care is a big part of my world, living naturally in many other aspects is also important to me (and for my family).  Like all people I am multifaceted and have numerous talents, in fact I could say I'm a veritable Martha Stewart of the natural world. 


When I'm not making natural skin care I'm making hot chilli sauce.

When I'm not making hot chilli sauce I'm growing my own produce.

When I'm not growing my own produce I'm making home made snacks.

When I'm not making home made snacks I'm preserving foods.

When I'm not preserving foods I'm cooking wholesome meals for my family.

When I'm not cooking wholesome meals for my family I'm singing.

When I'm not singing I'm teaching my children to cook.

When I'm not teaching my children to cook I'm growing my own herbal teas.

When I'm not growing my own herbal teas I'm making a home for my birds.

When I'm not making a home for my birds I'm making art.

When I'm not making art I'm being a good mother.

When I'm not being a good mother I'm making DIY videos.

When I'm not making DIY videos I'm educating people about chemicals in skin care.

When I'm not educating people about chemicals I'm playing Queen of The Nile.

When I'm not playing Queen of The Nile I'm struggling.

When I'm not struggling I'm having a breakout.

When I'm not having a breakout I'm dancing.

When I'm not dancing I'm colouring in with my children.

When I'm not colouring in with my children I'm living naturally.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Bath Time, It's A Ritual


For many having a bath is a luxury.  Many don't have the time or the freedom (children) to indulge in a long hot soak in the tub.

I'm no different to many in that regard.  When I do have a bath it has to be planned just right.  I.e. hubby must be home to mind the children or I wait until the children are in bed so I can enjoy my soak uninterrupted.

Baths maybe a luxury that I don't get to indulge in often, however, when I do get the chance to have a bath I make a point of making it a Beauty Queen ritual.  I use this time to fully indulge and relax and rejuvenate my mind and body.

I start with:

1) Stretch.  Yep, firstly I warm up my muscles in the hot water then I stretch any stiff body parts.  Moving in warm water helps the body be supple, without jarring joints and muscles.

2) Face. Then I clean my face while the water is still fresh and clean.

3) Hair.  I was my hair next, then soak for a bit letting the soaps, butters and oils I've added to the water do their thing (i.e. moisturise my skin).

4) Body.  I like to rub Luscious Body Butter or Massage Oil over my body so richly moisturise.

5) Feet.  Lastly I do my feet, soaking the heals, pumicing the hard parts of my feet, then moisturising.  Then I hop out because by now I'm grodied up the water... * wink


How to use Rose Bath Bomb or other:

1) Slowly lower the bath bomb into water in your hand.  Don't let go.  Watch it fizzing and releasing all the goodness within.

2) Move the bath bomb around water and watch it dispurse in the water.  If it has some colour to it there will be a nice trail of colour.

3) Drop the bath bomb in and enjoy.  That is: enjoy your soak in the bath while the oils/butters/clays etc. in the bath bomb work their magic on your skin and senses.


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

How My Depression Gets In The Way

On a date with hubby and too down to smile... :(
For the past several weeks I've been struggling to want to get out of bed, to face the world, to get the work done, to exist... to smile.

I had been feeling pretty good for a couple of months then all of a sudden, without notice, I came crashing down and haven't been able to shake this mood.

It's how I've always been and as much as I don't like being this way there isn't anything I can do to change who/how I am.  I can do as many positive things as I can to try and move through the feeling but I'll never be like those shiny happy people who manage to face the world day in day out.

It's one of the reason I work for myself, because it isn't acceptable (yet) for an employee to ring work and say, "I can't come in today because I'm struggling to get out of bed."  We can have migraines, colds, flu, death in the family etc. but we cannot call up and say, "I have depression... can't come in."

My depression gets in the way of friendships, work, my relationship, my children...

Friendships are affected because sometimes I just can't face people, can't face answering the phone, talking to people, seeing people.  For the most part I can fake it.  I can go out with friends and fake smile and try to laugh at their funny jokes and stories yet inside I'm dying a little from the struggle of having to 'act'.

Work (the home salon) is even harder because my energy affects those who are near me, especially one on one.  If I have weeks were I can barely function because I can't crack a smile... this energy will spill out of me and I find I don't get clients when I'm in these moods - surprise surprise!  Needless to say it doesn't surprise me my home salon is not thriving...  My moods swings can be too extreme for me to function.

It affects my children in that I won't go to their school for interviews or organise play dates if I'm in a mood.  And quite often I avoid people simply because they won't understand why I'm suddenly being antisocial and unable to interact with them or be pleasant.  Instead I shy away and avoid contact.

It affects my relationship because my partner probably thought he was getting someone 'normal' (what ever that looks like) only to find he has a woman who will mope around for days/weeks and struggle to get out of bed.  He has said he wishes I'd get a 'real' job... he thinks that would make me better/less sad/less time to think and be down.  If only it were that easy.  I remember working outside the house and how torturous it was for me and for those I worked with - when I would be all sad and moody and people would have to deal with my sad moods.

This is why I sell online!!!!  I can still be down from behind my computer screen and get the job done.  No one needs to see my sad face or feel my sad vibes or even know I have depression.  I can still reply to emails and questions and do online things without it affecting my lovely customers.  I might struggle to get out of bed but it's rare that I won't get an order done because I feel down, mostly because making products is a flow activity for me which can help with my moods.

Do you have depression?  How does it affect your life?  How do you deal with your mood swings when they happen?


Monday, 9 April 2018

My Garden Keeps Me Alive

If not for my garden I might go a little stir crazy.  Inside the house is tedious at times and even more so because I spend most of my there.  Sure I can paint or colour in, I can create or read a book.  Yet outside is so much more appealing, even on cloudy days (especially on cloudy days!)

random garden art: two old metal bars through wire fencing

It's nice to get out in the garden, check on how plants are doing, check out how they're growing and what they're producing, or check if they're dying and need more attention.  It might be new flours, new fruit, new leaves, new growth... exponential growth.

There is nothing clean lined or neat about my garden.  It's a jungle with interesting bits of undergrowth and hidden plants, spots of garden art and favourite sitting areas.  Mind you what I call garden art is random bits of stuff (maybe junk to some) that I kind of piece together to make something 'eye catching' - or just 'there', 'different'.  Nothing particularly 'arty' about them.

shady spot to sit under the olive tree
I don't have a lot of muscles... well technically I have the same as everyone else - though not quite as strong... but I do like to use them by rolling heavy pots about, digging, cutting wire, pruning, climbing up and down ladders.  Gardening is an active thing.

There is also the produce which the whole family enjoys: pumpkins, olives, herbs, lemons.  It's all very exciting to go out and find things are thriving or ready to enjoy.  Being able to grown and eat things from the garden makes it just a little bit more special, more personal, more enjoyable.  Plus the neighbours grown different things and sometimes we get to trade.

always something to see or find
Things I never / rarely have to do: weeding [link], lawn moving, pulling out, killing off.  The garden was well prepped to combat weeds long term.  There is NO lawn to mow; it's all bark and stones and plants and paths.  It's rare that something requires removing or changing spots.  It's rare that something takes over and requires kulling.

If you're a garden lover what is it about your garden and being outside that appeals to you?


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

How to look after your wooden chopping board

Looking after your wooden chopping board is pretty much the same as looking after your face and body.

When washing your face you apply a cleanser, then a toner that kills off bacteria and hydrates the skin, then you apply a moisturiser.

The same applies with your chopping board.

First you want to clean your chopping board with water and a natural cloth, which acts much like an exfoliating scrub does for your skin - smoothing and refreshing the surface of your board.

Follow with some natural vinegar (making sure it's the real deal i.e. fermented and not a fake vinegar substitute).  This is the antibacterial aspect of the cleanse.  Leave to dry before doing the next step.

Lastly drizzle some olive or coconut oil over your board, not too much, and massage all over the board with your hands (moisturising your hands as well).  Leave to sit for a couple of hours or over night before using.  This allows the oils to penetrate the wood.

When done your dried out dull board will look renewed and refreshed.

clean wooden chopping board with water and eco cloth

tools of the trade: natural vinegar and olive oil

after vinegar application leave to dry

after olive oil application leave to soak in overnight


Monday, 5 March 2018

Leading Brand Claiming To Be Pure & Natural

Using the words 'pure & natural' on their Body Lotion, joining the 'pure, natural, organic' wagon because they know this is what more and more consumers are looking for.

How natural is it really?

The ingredients:
aqua, glycerin, alcohol denatured, cetearyl alcohol (3rd & 4th on the ingredients listing which means there's a lot of alcohol - though yes technically alcohol is natural), isopropyl palmitate, glyceryl stearate citrate, octyldodecanol, argania spinosa kernel oil, glyceryl glucoside, sodium carbomer, methylisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol, linalool, limonene, citronellol, benzyl alcohol, butylphenyl methylpropional, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol, parfum.

Can you read all that? It's hard to know what's in the product with all those technical names and there are a number of ingredients in there that I personally choose to AVOID.

So let's investigate.
  1. isopropyl palmitate = it's a type of stearic palmitic acid with alcohol
  2. glyceryl stearate citrate = is a citric acid
  3. octyldodecanol = a long chain fatty alcohol
  4. argania spinosa kernel oil = argan oil
  5. sodium carbomer = sodium salt of carbomer
  6. methylisothiazolinone = preservative [hazard rating 5 out of 10 - irritation]
  7. phenoxyethanol = prservative
  8. linalool = is a terpene (a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants, especially conifers and citrus trees) [hazard rating 6 out of 10 - irritation]
  9. limonene = limonene is a scent ingredient and solvent naturally occurring in the rind of citrus fruit
  10. citronellol = a natural occurring scent derived from plants
  11. benzyl alcohol = a naturally occurring and synthetic ingredient used as solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy.
  12. butylphenyl methylpropional (also called lilial) = is a synthetic scent ingredient; associated with allergies and contact dermatitis [hazard rating 7 out of 10]
  13. alpha-isomethyl ionone = a group of naturally occurring and synthetically produced scent chemicals
  14. geraniol = a naturally occurring scent oil found in plants [hazard rating 7 out of 10]
  15. parfum = fragrance [high hazard rating]
The product is 'pure & natural' because it contains NO parabens, silicones, colorants or mineral oils. It's a good start.  The brand is owned by a European country and in Europe many of the chemicals we use are banned there.

As to whether they test on animals, for all appearances they do not, however, they do state: "we cannot guarantee that ingredients we purchase have not been tested for or by someone else."

Regarding selling their products in China which requires testing they state: "The answer to this problem is to convince the Chinese authorities that animal testing for cosmetic products is unnecessary. AND: According to our (website) statement concerning animal testing we do not or make anyone else do animal tests for us and we are the great promoter of alternative test methods wherever possible."
[from Surprisingly Vegan]

Compare the above product to JOLI's
Light Moisturiser face & body lotion:

The Ingredients:
aqua, almond oil, chamomile,citrus seed extract,cypress,emulsifying wax, natural preservative, pro vitamin B5, rosehip oil, vitamin E.

Can you read that? Yes! It's nice and simple isn't it. This is what I choose for my 'pure & natural' moisturiser.  What do you choose?