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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Did Kylie Do More Harm Than Good

"Kylie Minogue's seal of approval sends sales of age-old skin lotion rocketing" ~ quote dailymail.co.uk

A few years ago now our beloved Kylie Minogue confessed that she had given up botox and was now dedicated to using Pond's cold cream.  Her announcement sent sales of the product through the roof with many other women hoping to hold onto their youth by using the same product and hoping for the same results.  

According to research the original Pond's Cold Cream formulation had a mere 7 ingredients in it: 
Water, beeswax, mineral oil, ceresin, sodium borate, carbomer and fragrance.

Pond's is manufactured by Unilever who test on animals and have a high hazard ingredients rating (according to the EWG).  I can't help but wonder if Miss Minogue knew she was advocating animal testing firstly by using the product and secondly by making an announcement that caused a multitude of other women to buy the product?

According to one blogger who was trying to get to the bottom of Pond's reformulation of their product (supposedly to save on manufacturing costs and increase their profits): Pond's reformulated the product by adding toxic ingredients like that preservative DMDM Hydantion.  

In her blog writers have left various comments about the reformulation.

One such post states:

"If you check the ingredients, they've added a bunch of chemicals and preservatives.

New ingredients are: mineral oil, water, ceresin, beeswax, triethanolamine, behenic acid, fragrance, ceteth 20, cetyl alcohol, carbomer, DMDM hydantion, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, methylparaben.

A study found 'An increase in the use of DMDM hydantion in cosmetic products will also inevitably increase the risk of cosmetic dermatitis in consumers allergic to formaldehyde.'

'Iodopropynly butylcarbamate is used as a preservative in cosmetic formulations; it is acutely toxic by inhalation and should not be used in products that can be aerosolized or inhaled.'"

Triethanolamine (TEA): synthetic emulsifier, highly toxic, found to be contaminated with nitrosamines which are potent carcinogens, harmful if swallowed, irritant corrosive and serious eye damage, avoid skin and eye contact...

Parabens: display estrogenic activity, can have endocrine-disrupting action, possible link to breast cancer and reproductive effects in boys.

Was Kylie Minogue using the old formulation (less harmful yet made with mineral oil that clogs pores and stops skin from breathing)?  Did she stop using Pond's after the (toxic) reformulation?  Do animal testing and toxic ingredients concern her?  Do they concern you?

#idoitnaturally with JOLI's Rich Cream Moisturiser cold cream

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Ethical Ways To Shop

Recently I asked the question "What Are Ethical Ways to Shop?" on our JOLI page and got some great feedback and ideas.

Packing

While glass is great because it is recyclable, as are metals, it can be less economic and cost more to transport because of the weight.  Plastics are light and cost effective to transport yet can be hazardous to manufacture and also contain BPA that can leach into products.  Aluminium packing is often lined with plastic and contains BPA and how this affects recycling is anyone's guess.
Going into a shop and bringing your own packaging is ideal though not always possible, yet, when possible supplying your own packaging is a very economical ways to shop.

Material

Natural fibers are better in that they allow skin to breathe and are often more fire retardant than man made material.  Certain fibers are better than others though, for example cotton takes a greater amount of water to produce than does bamboo.

Opp Shops

Buying second hand is a good thing to do for a number of reasons.  Firstly and primarily it STOPS us using up the earths resources and polluting it further - they way we do when we purchase something brand new.  Also we get to support the charities that sell second hand items and most of these charities support people with limited financial means.  Reusing also stops a large number of items going in to landfill (rubbish dumps produce a huge amount of methane as they decompose and methane is the number one cause of global warming).

Locally / Hand Made

Supporting local / hand made businesses is good for our economy.  It keeps our money in our country and we can put that money back in to infrastructure and more locally produced items and resources.   Plus it produces jobs.  More than that, though, it is good to know where your product came from and be able to ask the manufacturer directly about the ethics behind the items they produce.

Environmentally Friendly

This relates to things such as how much water it takes to produce a product, how big or small is the carbon foot print, were toxic dyes and other substances used to product the item?  Choosing organic and natural where possible is a great start to being environmentally friendly.

Fair Wage


In Australia we have a minimum wage so a fair wage tends not to enter our minds.  Yet there are some places in our country where fair wages are not adhered to (I've heard of factories for example who refuse to pass on wage increases to their workers).  Some places sell Aboriginal art and other works for hefty prices and pay the artist very little in royalties.  Some companies use overseas resources and people and don't pay fair wages or prices.  Again this is where shopping locally helps because we get to ask them questions about their practices.  
You have to think about the price here: if an item can be sold for a really cheap price how much did the company pay the workers to produce that item?  Cheap usually equals 'not ok', not just because it could break easily or be made with dodgy parts but also because the earth and people suffer to make that product only for it to be sold at low cost.  
Think about this: if an item cost more to purchase we'll purchase less which means we'll use up less of the earth's resources.

Purchase One Item At a Time

This is important for many reasons.  As consumers we tend to love spending money and have no problem with buying up big (i.e. Boxing Day SALES) yet the reality is huge amounts of resources are used up in order to produce ALL these products.  The more we buy the more we use of the earths resources.  We live in a time of plenty and think that having STUFF is a really good thing when the reality is 'less is more'.  It is better to have a few quality items that are ethical in production than a tonne of low cost items that reap havoc on our planet. 

Consider Your Ethics

What ethics are you looking for in a product?  Does the company you're purchasing from have the same ethics as you?  For example are you all about Animal Friendly and does the company you're purchasing from support this value?


Research Research Research


Don't be afraid to ask questions.  If you want to know about fair wages, animal testing or BPA free contact those companies you're thinking of purchasing from and get your answers.  Most companies are more than happy to tell the truth about their products, especially if they're ethical.  If you find a company that is reluctant to answer your questions they generally have something to hide.

What ideas do you have about shopping ethically?



Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Why I Grow Weeds

A weed by nowadays definition is any plant that is invasive and unwanted, however, weeds have always served a purpose (hence why Mother Nature created them) and getting rid of them can sometimes have detrimental effects on the environment.

Weeds grow quickly, are hardy and offer certain advantages such as being fabulous ground covers, perfect for stopping soil erosion.

weeds used as ground cover
The flowers weeds produce often attract predatory insects which in turn eat pesty insects and this can save your fruits and vegetables from getting eaten by insects before you get a chance to enjoy them.   In other words 'weeds' and other flowering plants, such as marigolds, yarrow and Queen Ann's Lace, are natures pest control.

Some plants we consider weeds have medicinal properties such as:
Fennel (not the bulb type) = promotes milk flow, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant.
Plantain = anti-catarrhal, antispasmodic.
plantain & stinging nettle
Chickweed = astringent, antirheumatic.
Dandelion = diuretic, liver tonic.
Stinging nettle = astringent, circulatory stimulant, promotes milk flow.

Weeds are also a great way to get children involved in gardening because they're so easy to grow. Children will take more interest in gardening if they're able to grow things successfully and what better way to start than with weeds - which are hard to kill.  I remember as a little girl loving those little pink peak flowers and wanting to grow lots of them.

Some weeds are also in place here to stop our little dog from doing his do-dos in unwanted places ;)

This is why I grow weeds in my garden (not in the garden beds but along side them).

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Bad Service - Microsoft Hotmail

This one really boils my blood and I know there are many who can relate!

Microsoft security code entry
Some years ago Microsoft Hotmail decided to change how users access multiple email accounts.  For those with multiple accounts, who could jump from one account to the next using the one login and password, Microsoft decided they would change that policy "for security reasons".  Instead users had to logout of each email account and re-login to their other email accounts.

How this makes multiple email accounts more 'secure' is anyone's guess and just aggravated Microsoft users.

Add to that: Micrsoft Hotmail since decided to add extra security to your Hotmail accounts by requesting (and making it almost impossible to avoid giving) your mobile number or email address (this was introduced around 2 years ago).  They do this by requiring you get an access code from them which can only be sent to either your mobile phone or another email address.  There are ways to access your account without this verification code.

However I decided I would delete my account instead, because I don't want to give them my mobile number or another email account (too bad if a person only had the one Hotmail/email account) only to find deleting an account, in itself, is near impossible due to Microsoft and their stupid security code system.


"To close your Hotmail email account, visit account.microsoft.com and login with the Hotmail account you want to delete. Click the Security & privacy tab, and then click the More security settings link. Scroll down and click Close my account, then follow the prompts to delete your Hotmail account."

Microsoft account 30 day lock-out

Here's what happened.

1) When I click on 'more security settings' I'm told I cannot access that page without a security code so, in desperation, I decided to get a disposable phone number, give that to Microsoft in order to get a 4-digit code text to me.

2) When I entered this code I received a message saying I'm locked out of my Microsoft account for 30 days.

3) Thirty days later I try and gain access to my Microsoft Hotmail account using my previous 4-digit code only to be prompted for a 7-digit code.  Where this 7-digit code is meant to come from I've no idea, so I say I don't have the code and am prompted to give them my mobile number so they can send me another code.

4) I'm given another 4-digit code which I enter only to be told I'm in another 30 day lock-out of my account!!!!!!

This is an absolute joke and from a business perspective I can't understand firstly how Microsoft are allowed to get away with this type of extortion and secondly how they're still offering Hotmail.  Surely vast numbers of people have either closed or stopped using their Hotmail accounts.  Complaints about this code system flood the internet and yet Microsoft do nothing and refuse to undo this new security setup.

I can't believe how hard they're made it for users to access their accounts.

Have you experienced this Microsoft lock-out and ridiculous security code system?

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Do you lie about your age?

For years my middle son though I was 28. Years ago he tried to guess my age and when he guessed 26 and I just said "Oh yes!" (fib fib) not wanting to tell him the truth because admitting my age out loud was too scary.   Some years later he was talking to me about my birthday saying I must at least be 30 by now. Lol.  Again I just smiled and agreed ;)

They say age is just a number and we certainly do put a lot of emphasis on being young and beautiful even though that is more a spot in time and genetic luck than the accomplishment we treat it as - as Carie Fisher so eloquently stated. 

That being said many of us do take a lot of pride in taking care of our skin, body and mental well being and love being told we look younger than we are.  It's a nice feeling when people are surprised to find we're older than they thought we were.  It's also fun for those who are able to get away with saying they're younger because it's believable (may as well enjoy it while it lasts).

It is important for many to age well and not let ourselves go and many people are afraid of ageing because ageing is seen as a bad thing for a woman to do even though: 
1) it is inevitable and 
2) it is perfectly acceptable for men to age.  
Take Carie Fisher and Harrison Ford for example, he's aged and that's ok, while Carie aging is a big fat No No!

How about you?  Do you lie about your age?  Are you comfortable with ageing?  What scares you about ageing and what do you look forward to?


Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Bad Service - Reiki Practioner

reiki
ˈreɪki/
noun
  1. a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.


This article is not so much about bad customer service and more about how certain things business owners do inadvertently sabotage their success. 

When I first heard about a lady in my area who was a reiki masseuse I didn't really know what that meant or entailed.  I knew reiki was about hovering hands above a patient and trying to heal them via energy passed from the healer to the patient, yet was unsure what the massage component would be like. 

At the time I was pregnant and having difficulties walking due to bubs pressing on nerves in my hip.  I hobbled into the reiki massage session and lay down on the table and when the lady began, she hovered her hands above my belly and I felt the baby move away from the area that had been causing me grief.  The massage continued and I walked out of their with ease, feeling very relaxed and content.  Prior to going I did worry that having the massage while pregnant might not be good for the baby and yet it was a really pleasant and relaxing experience. The practitioner was good.

She worked from home and had a massage table set up in her study.  It was a beautiful and peaceful setup with water running, soft music playing, she even used her Tibetan singing bowl which was so beautiful and powerful (the first time I'd ever heard one played before).  There was also a small chime hanging in the room which she randomly pumped into each time I had a session with her which I loved because I love the sound of chimes.  The practitioner told me she never bumps into the chimes with anyone else, must be something I need to hear.  

Her downfall was: she did not have regular days or times she saw people so I couldn't, for example, see her every second Tuesday at 5pm.  Her availability times and days varied so much she was often hard to pin down. Also getting a hold of her was hard and would often taken days to get in touch with her.  She also moved her massage area from the library (because she didn't like mixing her favourite place in her house with business) to her bedroom upstairs which felt like an invasion of her privacy, and also so open that I felt exposed when undressing to hop onto the table.  The room simply didn't have the same warmth or peacefulness as the library.

The last time I saw her was after I'd had a car accident.  I'd bruised and injured my joints in the collision and wanted some urgent healing because I was struggling to walk.  It took her two days to get back to me and then another two or so days before she could fit me in to her busy schedule (she had another job outside of her reiki). By the time I saw her it was almost a week after my accident and my body was already healing itself - my bruises were now a yellow green.  To add to frustration she advised me after treatment that the price had gone up $10.  This was not a big issue except that, as expected, I didn't bring enough money with me and she didn't advise me prior to the session. 

In the end I found it too difficult to see her and she gave off a subtle vibe of not really being committed to being a reiki practitioner.  There was no steadiness to her service or her way of being in relation to being a reiki practitioner.  It was all wishy washy and higgledy piggledy, and she would talk about how difficult it was to get customers and how she couldn't leave her full time job until such time as the practice was bringing in more clientele.  She would also talk about the universe and how it must be telling her the time isn't right.  A pity because she was very good at what she did and could have been successful if only she'd decided to commit fully.  

If only she had set days and set hours she worked on her reiki patients.  If only she had a committed room / space to perform her massages.  If only she was easier to get a hold of and response times were quick.  If only she had a newsletter or pamphlet of some sort to advise customers of her availability and prices / increases.  If only she'd stopped putting her potential in the hands of the universe and believed in herself more.  

Have you experienced or known someone who is not quite committed to the success of their business? Leave a comment sharing your experience with us.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Healing The Body Naturally

Lately I've written a number of posts about aches, pains and ailments (yes I've been having a good old Aussie winge).

Around the time I wrote the post Aches, Pains and Migraines it dawned on me that doctors and other medical professionals don't really have an invested interest in whether I'm well or not.  None ever do a follow up phone call or anything to see how I'm going, to see if I'm better or well.  After I've paid them my money (in some cases $220 for a measly 10 minutes worth of their time) they forget all about me.  There seems to be little duty of care among our health professionals these days.

I've always know the body can heal itself.  My dad taught me that as a teenager when he used to show me how he would meditate to cure his headaches.  I've used the technique of 'body healing itself' on illnesses (such as cold and flu) yet never really put my energy towards healing my body of its physical ailments.

So I began a journey of self healing.

masculine and feminine sides of the body (for both male and female)
Most of what ails me is occurring on the right side of my body.  [The masculine side: this is same for everybody, both male and female, regardless of which hand you write with.]  Therefore I predicted the masculine side of my body is really suffering.  Perhaps from burn out, mental exhaustion and physical fatigue due to the amount of conflict I've had in my life over the past number of years.  That conflict has since come to a close and the right hand side of my body "sighed" and collapsed in exhaustion.  It needed a break!

This may sound foolish to some, however, I began using the left side of my body more but not just picking up the kettle with my left hand instead of my right (because my tennis elbow was worse on the right), but also by having a conversation in my head between my right and left whenever I did things.

My left would say "Let me help you with that."
My right would say "Thank you."

I began treating my body as though the left and right have been separate all this time and have just now decided to come together, work together, and support each other.  Most likely my masculine / feminine sides have been apart, certainly working independently from each side, because I have relied on different sides to do certain tasks.  Now I'm getting into the habit of having my body work together.  For example: when I stand I engage both the left and right thigh muscles and glutes to get me up, whereas before I predominately relied on my left leg to do the lifting (because the right side aches).

What I'm finding is, in addition to the essential oil rubs I'm using as well as flower remedies, this joining of sides and having right and left work together is having an amazing effect on my body.  The weaker side is slowly becoming stronger.  The dominant side is getting a break and muscles are recovering from exhaustion. I ache less which is, of course, the main result I'm after.  I'm on the journey to wellness and it feels inspiring :)