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Sunday, 21 August 2016

DIY Natural Fire Lighters

natural fire lighter ingredients
These natural fire lighters work well because citrus peel and beeswax are flammable while smoldering enough to keep the flame going.

stuffed citrus peels
  • orange or lemon peel quarters or halves (any citrus fruit will do)
  • small dried twigs, leaves, bark - crumbled up into small bits
  • old newspapers / shredded paper - ripped into small bits
  • beeswax (about a quarter cup)
  • medium pot that can be scrubbed with steel wool
  • metal spoon
  • rubber gloves
  • tray
place in fire and set alight
  • melt 1/4 cup of beeswax in your pot over low heat
  • when wax is fully melted remove from heat and allow to cool to the touch (but not cool enough to go hard again)
  • add about 2 handfuls of crushed leaves / twigs / bark
  • add about 2 handfuls of ripped up paper
  • stir with a metal spoon to coat everything well (if you need to, melt more beeswax in a separate pot and add to the mix)
  • put your rubber gloves on and scoop out a handful of mixture and squash down into your citrus skins
  • set on a tray allow to cool and set
To use:
fire begins to grow
nicely smoldering hours later
Place a citrus peel, stuffed with beeswax and burnable materials, at the bottom of your fire.  Add kindling and wood then set your beeswax peel alight.  It will burn nicely helping to get your fire started naturally.

Clean up:

Working with beeswax is messy and it sets hard.  You'll find your pot and spoon need to be scrubbed clean, along with your rubber gloves.
You can either use an old pair of gloves or wash your gloves with detergent while wearing them, as though you're washing your hands as usual. 
Scrub your pot and spoon with steel wool and dish liquid.  

Love this recipe?  Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below :)

[recipe from my amazing cousin - thanks]

Monday, 8 August 2016

Healing A Chest Infection Naturally + DIY

You can feel a chest infection coming on.  It starts off with a little tickle in the throat and builds up to a rampant heaving cough that wracks your body.

That was me one Saturday afternoon about 3 weeks ago.  I noticed a small tickle in my throat and by the next day I was coughing to the point of vomiting.  As usual I didn't want to go to the doctors and be given medication, most likely antibiotics, because I know the human body has the capacity to heal itself.  Also, I strongly believe that allowing my body to heal itself from illness builds up it's natural immune system.

natural home remedies for chest infection
Usually when I have a cold, flue or tonsillitis I sleep it off for as many days as it takes, making sure to keep my body warm (within reason) because high temperatures kill off viruses.  I've noticed since dealing with illnesses this way I am getting sick less often (my last bout of tonsillitis was over 2 years ago - touch wood).  My last chest infection was over 10 years ago.

As soon as I felt that first tickle I got out the usual home remedy supplies: garlic, ginger, honey, peppermint tea, eucalyptus and peppermint oil, lemon; and did as much healing as I could each day.
  • A good dose of fresh garlic and ginger in my meals.
  • Eucalyptus and peppermint oil in a bowl of hot water, breathing in the steam with a towel over my head - a least once a day.
  • Eucalyptus and peppermint oil on a handkerchief that I breathed in regularly.
  • Rubbed eucalyptus and peppermint oil on my chest during the day and on the bottom of my feet before bed
  • Heat back on my chest almost all day (because cold makes it worse).
  • Rug up.  Keeping warm keeps the cough at bay. 
  • Peppermint tea with a teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon throughout the day (i'm not a fan of sweeteners and yet I went through an entire jar of honey in a matter of weeks).
  • Natural cough syrup made with ivy leaf extract - even though over the counter cough syrups are reported to be placebo I still took my syrup three times a day when the cough was at its worst. 
  • I did take the odd lozenge (3 times) but I have to confess they made the cough SO much worse!   After taking a lozenge my cough would be wracking to the point I'd almost wet my pants from coughing uncontrollably.
  • Sleep, lots of sleep, especially during the early stages.  Sleeping helps the body heal itself.
  • Sleep sitting up.  Laying down makes the cough worse.
  • Very little talking or laughing, both made the cough worse.
Three weeks later the cough is still lingering by way of a small tickle in the throat, yet it has been gradually dying since day one.  I can feel my body healing and getting better each day.

Natural cough mixture #1
Mix one tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of one lemon, one tablespoon of pure honey and one egg white (optional).  Take one teaspoon every two hours.

Natural cough mixture #2
Grate a piece of ginger and squeeze out the juice into a small bowl.  Mix one teaspoon of ginger juice with one teaspoon of honey.  Take that dose three times a day. 

Natural cough drops:
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 drops of eucalyptus oil

Mix ingredients together and warm over low heat.  Pour mixture into a buttered tray, leave to cool, then break into small pieces and store in the refrigerator.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Why Go Green? JOLI Natural Skin Care Guest Blog

JOLI Natural Skin Care
Q1: Tell us a little about your business.

JOLI Natural Skin Care have their own unique brand of skin care products that can be tailor made to suit individual needs.  JOLI sell genuine natural skin care as apposed to companies who claim to be natural and organic yet aren't.  

JOLI wanted to offer the public a skin care range that truly does not contain hazardous, nasty ingredients, many of which are the cause of skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, skin irritation, rashes etc. 

JOLI have been making genuine natural skin care since 2005 with tried and true natural skin care formulations, and are Australian Made and Australian Owned.  JOLI are also approved by Choose Cruelty Free and are part of the Safe Cosmetics campaign (which means they're animal and human friendly).

Skin irritation / rash
Q2: When did you decide you wanted to go green?

After my second child was born I noticed a pattern; that my children were unable to use mainstream skin care products without developing rashes and skin irritations.  I, myself, was also suffering from overexposure to chemicals in my skin care and makeup.  Upon investigating this I found that many products on the market contain certain ingredients known to cause allergies and skin irritation, plus a wide range of other side effects

This was around 2003 to 2005 when my research into the way corporations use chemicals and toxic ingredients began.  I started looking into greener options, primarily for my family, and this grew into wanting to go bigger and larger and help many more people aside from my beautiful children and other family members and friends.  

Q3: What prompted you to make the move to go green?

The move to go green was almost accidental.  After researching skin care ingredients and realising they can be carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting and cause young girls to bud and bring on puberty I realised there is something drastically wrong with modern day skin care companies / corporations - who are more concerned about making millions than the care and wellbeing of the population, animals and our earth.  

JOLI with her beautiful baby boys
From there I learned these chemical additions also affect our food, our water, our clothing, our cleaning products, our farm animals, the earth etc. and I knew I had to do something very special (I had a calling you could say) to help save our earth and people from these harmful ingredients.  By creating a product range that does not contain nasty and hazardous ingredients JOLI reduce the amount of chemicals people (who use our products) come into contact with on a daily bases. 

Q4: What difficulties have you found with going green?

Family support, primarily my husband.  Whilst he is very supportive of my endeavors to save the world he just isn't as passionate about it as I am.   From time to time he will still come home with some awful chemical filled product that he is convinced does a better job than green brands (i.e. washing powders, liquid soaps).  Educating him has been one of my biggest challenges because hubby is yet to realise my expertise on the subject.  

Also sharing my 'green' message with the public (especially when it comes to natural skin care vs mainstream products) has also been difficult.  Many consumers love their chemical filled products purchased conveniently from shopping centers and don't want to hear the truth about how damaging those products are to them and the environment.  Though the good news is awareness is growing :) 

Q5: Is there one area you’re still yet to go green?

Packaging!  I have found plastic packaging almost impossible to get away from entirely.  For example we can't purchase a loaf of bread that isn't wrapped in plastic (that flimsy, non recyclable plastic).  Although I have made major reductions over the years by using fregie sacks at the supermarket, purchasing fresh foods instead of packaged or frozen foods, making our own produce at home when we can, I still find (non recyclable) plastic a hard one to avoid. 

Luckily our council offers a great recycling program so much of what we use gets turned into reusable products. 

Q6: Can you list some of the benefits / positive effects going green has had on your life?

JOLI Natural Skin Care products
Family health would be top of the list plus the savings - never having to go down the cleaning or beauty isles in the supermarket.  What we save on money there we are able to put towards organic food choices.  My children's skin, with their lack of skin irritations and rashes, plus the bonus of having great skin and looking younger because natural is so good for our skin.  Gotta love that! 

Q7: What suggestions would you make to those wanting to go green but not knowing where to start?

Going green is a process.  There are so many areas to go green: skin care, makeup, cleaning products, food, clothing, packaging, menstruation, toys, electronics (not consuming or purchasing things you don't need to survive).  Start small and take one step at a time.  You can try to do it all in one hit, however, I find it's easier to tackle one area at a time.  For example start with skin care (or what you feel is most important to you) then move onto cleaning products, then food etc. 

Consult experts and read and follow green, earth friendly, natural blogs.  A vast many people are making moves to go green and have infinite knowledge to share.  

Q8: Any other advice / comments regarding going green you’d like to share?

The face behind JOLI
Don't think going green is not important and can be put off.  The truth is 'our earth depends on you making good, green, eco friendly choices'!  You can be one of the masses, burying your head in the sand and pretending that purchase you made has no ill effect on the earth or other people... but you'd be wrong in your thinking.  Start now and spread the word.  GREEN is the new black ;)

Author BIO

Jodi is the lady behind JOLI and when she's not busy working on skin care products or pampering people in her salon she is joyfully tending to her garden and veggie patch, teaching and educating her children on sustainable ways of living. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Bad Service - Masseuse

Massages, we all love a good, enjoyable, relaxing massage!  The more enjoyable the better right?

Over the past few years I've been indulging in massages because as I get older I find my body is becoming more stiff and sore.  What better way to unwind than someone working away tension from the body. I've tried a few masseuses: some were very good but too chatty and spent the time talking and talking while I wanted to have peace and quiet; others were outright painful, leaving me feeling more sore and stiff than when I'd first arrived.

One lady seemed promising.  She had advertised her business in a women's networking group and I'd been on the lookout for a new masseuse.  Phoning her I found she charged $90 for a one hour massage which is fairly pricey.  She also did not have a claim number so I could not claim the massage as part of my health care.  Still, I decided to give her a try.

Upon meeting her one of the first things she said to me was a statement about how my husband and I must have a lot of conflict because men like a feminine woman and I'm not feminine enough.  This left me feeling incredulous thinking "Wow, you're going to lead a conversation with an assumption and an insult".  I said nothing about her remark, neither confirming nor denying any potential relationship conflict because I wasn't there for that.  Instead I talked to her about my requirements, a gentle relaxing massage, making sure to point out I wanted no pain.  I got a painful massage.  One of those digging into the knots and working them through thoroughly and painfully to the point where other body parts start to get pins and needles.  Randomly I thought maybe it just feels painful because I've got so many knots and tension.

When the massage was over the lady spent over an hour (I wish I was kidding) talking to me about her husband's new charity work in an attempt to get me interested in supporting his work.  It was like some maddening Seinfeld episode where I'm there trying to cut the conversation short, trying to get a word in that I need to leave, and simply being talked over, and me wondering how I got into this situation, how is this happening and how come she can't see I don't wan to be hearing this?  It was so unprofessional!

She sent me a follow up email during the week (using the title to her email "Awesome *insert her name*" which truthfully made me cringe, feeling like it should be about the customer, not her and her debatable awesomeness) asking me how I was feeling.  At least that is good customer relations.  Again I reiterated wanting a more gentle relaxing massage. 

Call me a sucker for punishment but I continued receiving treatments... briefly...

In between my next visit she found out I run the network meeting group she had joined (where she advertised her services) and realised I manufacture and sell my own skin care brand, requesting that I bring some samples and information at my next session.

The next time I saw her she told me she is also a medium and mindset coach and asked me if I'd had any miscarriages because she was sensing a lot of female spirits around me.  Again I was speechless thinking how inappropriate that statement is.  As a mother of boys how awful would it be to know that any miscarriages I might have had were potentially girls.  Again I neither confirmed nor denied the statement, thinking to myself "This lady really needs to learn some tact and she also needs to learn to read body language".  Again the massage was painful and I lay there deep breathing, thinking "I've had children, I can do this".   She remarked how strong I am compared to her male customers who complain about her rough massages.  At the end of the massage while we were going through product samples she talked to me about what physical activities I enjoy doing, I said dancing, and she said I should go out dancing with her.  The look on my face must have been interesting because she told me she realises I don't trust her yet.  Um, more like we're not friends and I'm there to receive massage treatments, not medium readings, not mindset coaching, not support your partner's business, just massages!

After my third painful massage I reiterated that I wanted a gentle non-painful massages and she said she had been feeling I'd be better suited to that and didn't know why I'd requested a hard massage in the first place.  Groan.  For a mindset coach she isn't all that good at listening to people.  How can you truly help people if you don't listen to them, both verbally and via body language?  After my third (painful) massage we talked about her skin care requirements and what product she'd like to purchase.  On that occasion I paid $100 and she didn't have change, saying she'd give me the $10 next time.

In the meantime, she came along to one of the network meetings I run to collect her product and meet other women in business.  She had told me she would bring the $10 she owed but when she arrived she only had enough money for the product she purchased - so I had to wait longer to receive my change (even though she had my bank details and could have deposited the money).  I know it's only $10 but it's the principle of the thing.  While at the network meeting she spent a great deal of our time talking about herself and her partner's business and other guests were feeling quite frustrated because she didn't pause for breathe or stop to listen to what other's had to say.  We all tried to get her to take a pause, to interrupt her, to have her listen to others... but it seemed she was not overly interested in sitting back, quietly listening to what others had to say or share.  In her mind it was (or is) all about her.

She sent follow up corresponded thanking me for inviting her to the network meeting and placing an order for additional products and we bantered back and forth via email.  Until I sent an email saying I would not be able to make my next appointment for personal reasons.  I sent her details for her order saying she could pay the $10 she owed me via that order.  She did not respond.

A day before my next appointment was due she sent a text saying she looked forward to seeing me and I reiterated that, as explained in my email, I couldn't make my appointment.  She asked if would like to reschedule and I said I needed to hold off (by now I was starting to feel she's not the right masseuse for me).  No response.  A few weeks later I sent her a message asking if she still wanted to go ahead with her order and reminding her she still owed me $10.  Days later I received a random email saying she was unable to access her emails and would I like to schedule another massage.  Nothing about the order she placed (not that I minded by this stage) and nothing about the $10 she owed.  Of course I'm wondering how she is emailing me from her email account if she cannot access emails?

I never responded, I never returned to her for a massage and I was never paid my $10 change. 

Again another well meaning business woman who is skilled in her profession, and no doubt a friendly, passionate person, yet not quite able to relate to customers - and not quite dedicated to one specific area e.g. is she a masseuse, a medium, a mindset coach or promoter of her husband's work?  In this case where she is having face to face conversations and interactions it is not good enough to not listen to what the customer is saying or requesting or look for signs (facial expressions, body language etc.) and see the customer is uncomfortable with her monopolising the situation and making it all about herself instead of the customer.  It could have just been me though I did wonder if other customers of hers had had similar experiences and reservations.

Have you had situations where you've felt the person serving you is thinking mostly about themselves and not you? Are you the type of person to be forward and speak up or do you (like so many of us) simply not return? 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Starting a Vegetable Garden: Pumkins

home grown pumpkins
creamy pumpkin risotto
At the time of writing my first blog about starting a home vegetable garden I had planted some pumpkin seeds not really expecting they'd do much. I've had so little luck when it comes to growing food (not that I'd previously put in any big effort) that I didn't have confidence in those seeds growing.

To my surprise pumpkin plants sprouted up and soon pumpkins were beginning to grow. At the time of harvest (in June before the cold weather really hits) the plant had supplied 10 healthy pumpkins.

roast pumpkin
As you can see by the picture the pumpkins we've grown have slight differences, some are squat and round, others are elongated and difference colours. They are JAP pumpkins and the seeds came from a lady who gave me a pumpkin she had grown herself.

One pumpkin accidentally got cut off early in the grown stage and that one was used for roasting, risotto and soup, while the seeds were dried out to snack on.

drying out pumpkin seeds
Another pumpkin was used to make pumpkin pie, the first time I'd ever made pumpkin pie, and it was delicious.

The next stage is preparing the remaining pumpkins for storage. Research suggests sitting the pumpkins on a sunny windowsill or other place where the sun hits and leaving them there for two weeks to harden their skins. Rotating once at the end of the first week.

Asian style pumpkin soup
Then they go into storage in a cool ventilated place out of the sun (I'm still yet to figure out where that will be). Put on a wrack that allows airflow around the pumpkins, not touching so they don't rot. Apparently the skins can be rubbed in oil for more protection.

It's all very exciting to have some home grown pumpkins and to be able to feed the family a number of dishes with food we've grown ourselves.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Bad Service - Winery / Restaurant

The settling was acres of vines set among a backdrop of gum trees and rolling hills.  The cafe restaurant was a quaint little setup of small tables and chairs under an alfresco patio, with a decent size dinning table inside by a cozy fire.  The owners were a lively easy going couple, full of quirks and fascinating, well traveled, stories.  The food was sublime!  The lady was a master chef.  The price was $25 per head which included entree, main and desert from a set menu.  Alcohol was on top of that which, of course, is standard. 

A picturesque scene and what would have, or could have, been a genuinely pleasurable experience...
except for the service.

1) Having two small children we made our booking for 5:30-6pm.  Entree was served after 7pm because the lady does the cooking all by herself and even tough we were the only customers that night it took her ages to prepare our meals.  During our wait the children became bored and restless and because there was a small dog inside the restaurant, the children were under the table, over the seats, here, there and everywhere playing with the dog.  The owners kept coming up to our table to tell my children to sit down and stop touching the furniture with their greasy fingers which made me feel like a bad parent, even though I consider myself a decent parent. The theme for the night was traditional Mexican and the meals were to die for.  So much flavour and large servings.  The owners got annoyed with us when we couldn't finish our meals (because we were wasting food).  When it was time pay our bill and leave the owners (mostly the woman) kept commenting on how our children had put greasy finger prints over the furniture, mirror, door nobs.  It wasn't a pleasant experience feeling as though my children were obnoxious and I wasn't keeping them in line.  At the same time I was wondering what they'd expected?  Children touch things, it's part of running a family friendly restaurant.  All up they did not give the impression of being child friendly and I found it ironic that they didn't mind the dog inside, which I thought was gross while we were eating, yet treated my children like filthy beasts. 

Since I saw this lady outside of her restaurant, helped her work on her website and considered her a friend, the next time I saw her she talked about having us back for dinner at her restaurant.  When she noticed I was reluctant she asked me if she gave the impression she didn't like my children.  I was honest and told her that is exactly the impression I got.  She said she thinks my children are lovely and we're welcome back anytime.

2) Some months later I was working on her website and the lady talked about how two families were coming to her restaurant and she thought we'd like to join them.  Thinking I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and give it another go, we arrived around 6:30 (not wanting to be too early like last time) and were told we wouldn't fit at the table inside and we'd have to sit outside - alfresco style.  That did irritate me a little because her primary reason for asking us to attend was to join the other families.  This time service was even more slow since the lady had extra mouths to cook for and worked alone.  At 7 one of the other mothers asked when dinner would be ready because she had small children who needed to be fed.  When told dinner would take a while she asked for boiling water to make 2 minute noodles for her children.  We sat outside by ourselves and as it got darker spiders came out of their hidey-holes and hung in corners above us.  I complained to hubby because the spiders were giving me the creeps and he complained to the man, who played host (while the wife cooked).  He said they don't eat much and that was that.  Entrees were served around 8pm.  They were small and my children didn't like or eat theirs.  The children were tired and restless and it wasn't fun sitting alone outside with the spiders, while the other families sat inside mingling and laughing and having fun.  At this stage I was voicing my annoyance to hubby saying I just want to get up and leave.  We ended up needing to put our youngest to bed because he was tired, so he was put to sleep in our car while we waited and waited for dinner.  Dinner was not served until after 8:30, dessert considerably later.  By then nothing was going to make me enjoy the night, even when the lady only charged us $12.50 per head for our boys because one didn't get to eat dinner.  I was in a foul mood when we left. 

Note: Coffee from the outside coffee machine was also extra though the owners didn't advise customers of this when telling them to help themselves to coffee, and just surprised them with a bill at the end of dinner.  I'd heard customers complaining about the extra unknown charges. 

3) Well over half a year later hubby came home one evening after having drinks with the winery owner  telling me they'd talked him in to us going over there for dinner again.  I was ropeable and wanted him to cancel, however, he couldn't bring himself to tell them no.  We found ourselves dinning there for a third time!  This time we dined outside with another family* with two children the same age as ours and it turned out to be more fun than usual because the children had friends to play with and we had a couple to talk to while waiting to be served.  Except at one point the man who ran the restaurant began yelling at my son, accusing him of going near some mushrooms at the base of a tree and breaking them.  He did lots of telling children off even when parents were taking care of the issue themselves - though I suppose it's to be expected of a childless couple who have no idea what it is to parent children.  Dinner, while tardy as usual, went as well as can be expected, except dessert - lamingtons made by another lady - were awful, dry and unappetising.  None of us finished them, my boys only taking a bite before deciding they didn't like them.  When the bill came we found that it was now $25 per head for entree and main only.  Those four dry tasteless lamingtons were $7.50each extra even when we hadn't liked or finished them!  This had never been disclosed to us prior to being offered dessert and whilst we commented on this they made no move to not charge us and we didn't bother to argue.  I made hubby promise to NEVER take us back there to eat again. 

4) About 2 years later, we had that same family* over to our house for nibbles and drinks and they got the idea that ordering some pizzas from the couple who ran the winery / restaurant would be a good idea.  I was skeptical and wanted no part of it.  They decided we would ask for takeaway pizza so we wouldn't have to dine there.  That afternoon we visited the husband and wife team and asked if they could do takeaway pizzas that we'd pick up at a designated time.  They were hesitant, wanting us to dine there instead but we were insistent, so they said they would make us six pizzas for $15each.  The husband offered us beer (the men) and wine (the women).  When the men were done with their beers he offered them one more each.  I made a point of asking him what the charge was (knowing they're renown for adding additional charges) and he said the drinks are on the house as it's news years eve.  My friend and I decided to also purchase a bottle of wine and the man told us we can pay for the bottle of wine when we collect the pizzas.  Later that night the men came home with the pizzas telling us the lady handed them over saying "I'm not doing that again, too much work and not worth it", plus the bill which I noticed was a lot more than it should have been.  We had been charged for the six drinks we'd been offered that afternoon!  I phoned the lady to complain about the bill, telling her her husband had said the drinks were on the house.  She said she knew nothing about that and when she'd asked him how many drinks we'd had he just told her "Six" so she billed us.  She wouldn't fetch the husband to have it clarified.  I forced my husband and my friend's husband to go back there and have words with them to which they did and reluctantly we were credited for the drinks.  At the same time the man offered for us to come over for news years celebrations, BYO drinks, nibbles supplied.  We declined.

It should be said they are a delightful couple and not malicious in anyway.  Their estate is lovely, quiet and peaceful and they also offer B&B accommodation.  All up it's a beautiful place with sublime food and hospitality.  They are trying to run a successful business and often the lady talked with me about how to achieve that.  On several occasions I'd advised that she have price lists on tables for coffee, beer, wine and spirits.  Let people know upfront the cost of things so they can make informed choices about what they wish to indulge in because receiving a bill with extra charges can really put customers off.  That type of negative experience can mean customers won't return.

As you can see by my experiences it was several little things, tardy service, telling off children, dog inside, spiders, awful desserts and additional charges without notice, that ruined these otherwise promising nights out.

What negative experience have you had that have put you off returning to a business?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

What's In That Product?

Nivea Visage Young Freshen Up Toner

Aqua (Water), PEG-8, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Caster Oil, Panthenol, Aluminum, Chlorohydrate, Maris Sal (Sea Salt), Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Benzoate, Frctose, Glycine, Inositol, Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Urea, Methylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Alpha-Iso-methyl Ionone, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salictate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Parfum (fragrance).
What's in that product?

Garnier BB Cream

Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua / Water, Propanediol, Alcohol Denatured, Clycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG 14/14 Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Magnesium, Sulfate, Talc, Phenoxyethanol, Caffeine, Aluminum Hydroxide, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Tetrapepetide 7, [+/- May Contain CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride], (F.I.L. B5406 1/1).

I looked up what those numbers mean and according to EWG / SkinDeep Database they refer to inorganic colourants. From EWG (Environmental Working Group)

About CI 77491: This is an iron-based inorganic colorant, composed primarily of ferric oxide.
Other HIGH concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulationOther LOW concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Dimethicone, Leuconostoc/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf/Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Cucumi Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Eta-Carotene, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Triethylhexanoin, Carrageenana, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexl Nicotinate, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Trideceth-10, Behenyl Alcohol, Cocamide MIPA, Glyceryl Oleate, Calcium Citrate, Hexlene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sea Salt, Sodium Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

Burt's Bees Lip Gloss

Ingredients: ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, oleic/linoleic/linolenic polyglycerides, cera alba (beeswax, cire d'abeille), aroma (flavor)*, silica, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, jojoba esters, ammonium glycyrrhizate, tocopherol, glycine soja (soybean) oil. +/-: CI 77163 (bismuth oxychloride), CI 77861 (tin oxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (iron oxides), CI 77019 (mica), CI 75470 (carmine), CI 77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 77947 (zinc oxide). *natural flavor/arĂ´me naturel

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Give Someone A Herbal Bouquet

One of my favourite, and very simple, things to give to someone is a bouquet of home grown herbs.

JOLI Natural Skin Care - herbal bouquet
Pictured is: rosemary, sage, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, curry leaves, wild fennel and spearmint. Add an aloe Vera leaf - to be kept in the fridge and cut up when needed.

Wrap in some recycled paper and any old piece of ribbon or string and there you have a lovely useful edible bouquet to give to a friend.

P.S. if you don't have your own herbs at home consider purchasing herbs from your local fruit and vege shop to give instead of flowers.

P.P.S. the best way to store herbs (if you're going to dry them out) is in paper bags.  Make sure they're clean and dry first.