Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Spelt Flour Pancakes with Toffeed Apple and Fresh Bananas


[Part of the Winter Comforts blog]

Ingredients

1 cup wholemeal spelt flour (plain)
1 cup milk (any type - I like to use coconut milk)
1 egg
1 apple
1 banana
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lemon

Directions

1) Mix flour, milk and egg together in a medium bowl to make a smooth batter. Add a dash more milk if batter is too thick.

2) Peel and core apple, dice into approx 1cm pieces.

3) Add a dollop of butter to a fry pan over medium heat.  Add apple pieces and stir now and then until apples are golden and soft, lightly stewing apple.

4) When the apples are soft, add the brown sugar around the edge of the apple pieces and leave on medium heat to let the sugar melt and turn into toffee.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the apples and sugar (this stops the toffee becoming hard and burning).

5) Remove toffeed apples from heat and pore into a bowl.

6) Add a dollop of butter to fry pan with a dash of oil (to stop butter from burning).  Scoop pancake mix into pan and cook in batches.  Repeat until all the batter is used up. 
The good thing about spelt flour is it can take heat and takes a while to cook each side so you don't have to worry about being side tracked while cooking (which is usually what happens in my world).

7) To serve place pancakes on plate(s).  Dollop toffeed apples onto stack.  Peel and slice banana and sprinkle over pancakes.

Makes about 15 medium sized pancakes.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Create & Win YOUR own Gift Pack ~ Competition


JOLI Customers, it's PARTY Time!!

We're celebrating 5 years of online retail :-)


PRIZE
 - WIN your very own specially created Gift Pack*
- 3 x $15 vouchers for the runners up

How to Enter:
1) Have a look through our current catalog to see which products you'd love to have in your very own Gift Pack. {Make sure you check out our current Gift Packs to see whats already available.}

2) SUBMIT your Gift Pack idea(s) to JOLI.

3) You can submit up to 3 gift pack ideas.

NOTE: you also have the chance to have YOUR winning Gift Pack listed on the JOLI website.

Conditions:
1) Open to JOLI Customers only. If you wish to enter this competition you can become a customer HERE.

2) *Gift Packs must be a maximum of $80.

3) Submissions start Friday 1st August until Friday 15th August.  Plenty of time to research and get your pack ideas together. Feel free to ask me questions (you've got my email).

4) Gift Pack ideas will be posted on the bottom of this blog as they come in and guests are invited to vote on which pack they like the most on this blog (leaving their initials).  Just write the word VOTE on the pack you like best.

4) Voting starts Saturday 16th August, until Friday 22nd August.

5) Entrants will be asked to encourage votes from the public, family or friends for their Gift Pack to win!

6) Winner announced (first name onlyFriday 22nd August 6pm here and on Facebook (and via email to the winner and runners up).

Some Gift Pack Ideas to get you thinking:
Gift Pack of all three Moisturising Lip Balm colours
Design you own Bath Time gift pack
Design your own For Him gift pack
Gift Pack for little boys or girls
Soothing Pack
Bub Travel Pack

Subscribe to JOLI's e-news Indulgence

AND THE WINNER IS BEC WITH HER FANTASTIC FACE GIFT BOX!!!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chocolate Cherry Marshmallow pizza recipe

What you will need:

Pita bread
Chocolate spread
A handful of marshmallows
A handful of fresh cherries
Paste the chocolate spread onto pita bread.  I used Lovingearth Raw Organic Coconut Chocolate Butter (because it's better for our health than hazelnut spread).
Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over chocolate base.
Cut the cherries in halves, remove and discard seeds and stems. Sprinkle cherries evenly over base.  You don't need too many.
Bake in 160 degree oven for around 10-15mins, until marshmallows have spread out and cherries are releasing their yummy juices.
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes because the marshmallow will be too hot and sticky to eat straight away.  Slice up and serve.







[Part of the Winter Comforts blog]


Winter Comfort Food

These school holidays were a bit dull.  The weather was cold, windy, rainy and miserable most days.  On the rare occasion it was sunny we got out into the yard for some gardening and play time, even if it was only for 30 mins or a couple of hours.

We visited friends a couple of times.  Children played outside when the weather was reasonable.  Even on a cold rainy day my boys had a great time outside playing with a friend's chickens and puppy dog, climbing and exploring the garden. 

A lot of my time was spent dozing on the couch (I was so tired) and listening to children playing.  We had some movie days.  I had some pampering moments like hot baths and foot spas just to be cozy and warm. Mostly we had cooking days.  Lots of comfort food days and fattening ourselves up for the colder weather.

Over the school holidays we cooked, sometimes me by myself, sometimes the children cooking, sometimes all of us cooking a treat together.

Yummy winter comforts like:
Cauliflower, ham and vegetable soup
Eton Mess (first time I've ever made it)
Apple Sable
Honey Bread
Ham and pea risotto
Home made pizza, including a dessert pizza Chocolate Cherry Marshmallow pizza
Banana Cake
Spelt flour pancakes with toffeed apple and fresh bananas

What were your school holidays like?  Did you do lots of cooking?  Activities?  Parks?  Holiday in the sun? Or maybe you or the children were sick during the holidays?

[I'll be posting some pictures and recipes of some of the comfort foods we made on this blog so stay posted]

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Perioral Dermatitis part 2

treating perioral dermatitis naturally
After a week of trying natural remedies let me tell you what I tried and the results I found. [read part1 here]

For three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) I tried an application of three different creams - none of which are natural: Clearasil, cold sore cream and antibacterial cream.

The reasons I tried Clearasil is because benzyl peroxide is meant to be useful for treating PD.

The reason I tried an anti-bacterial cream is because I read that often PD can result from not cleaning your skin regularly (or using harsh cleansers).  PD can also occur after an acne/pimple breakout.  Both suggest to me an element of bacteria as a potential cause.

The reason I tried an anti-fungal cream is because I read that PD can often result from an overgrowth of candida in the body which is fungal.

I applied each cream in different areas so I could note each result.  The acne cream was put on the outer part of my nose (to the right of the top pic), the anti-bacterial was applied to the Philtrum, and the cold sore cream the area in between the two.

The results of each:
1 - The acne cream seemed to help the rash not spread but didn't make the rash go away.
2 - The cold sore cream did very little, if anything the skin felt more irritated and itchy.
3 - New blisters appeared on the area where the anti-bacterial cream was applied.

All up the skin was irritated and itchy and started to look more angry and was spreading into the nostril. I'd say non of those creams were beneficial for treating perioral dermatitis.  After 3 days I stopped applying the creams altogether.  Stopping the creams left me with extremely itchy red skin, in fact I'm pretty sure the rash was looking worse.
Late at night out of sheer irritation I went outside and cut a piece of aloe Vera leaf and applied natural aloe to the area.  The relief was practically instant, although it left my skin dry and flaky.

I'd been taking evening primrose oil since Saturday morning and wasn't really sure it was doing much since the creams seemed to exacerbate the rash.  On the fourth day I ditched the dreams and began the natural remedies.

The results of the natural remedies: 
1 - I stopped drinking caffeine since the rash can be stress related, my caffeine intake would have been increasing my stress levels.  Left me with a vague foggy brain and a dull head ache for days however I think this made a big difference.
2 - Evening primrose tablets - two per day.  I really have no idea what or if the tablets are doing anything because it's hard to measure an internal result.  All I know is evening primrose is good for soothing PMS symptoms, is natural and good for the skin.
3 - Washing my face regularly with a sulfate free cleanser [Facial & Body Wash].  I found the skin really cooled down and the rash eased after I cleansed my face.  As mentioned above since bacteria plays a part in the condition regular cleansing helps keep the skin clean and fresh.  Also perioral dermatitis can often appear after a bout of acne or a bad break out and regular cleansing helps keep those nasty break outs at bay.
4 - Moisturising with a natural moisturiser [Rich Cream Moisturiser] free of harsh chemicals and additives. I used this moisturiser for a cold cream application as well and found it soothed the skin and the rash for the rest of the night.
5 - Aloe Vera gel fresh from my garden applied to the area helped stop the itch and keep it at bay for a good while.  It also seemed to help heal the rash.  It did leave the skin dry and peeling yet I found I could remove the dry flaky skin and the rash was still looking better.
6 - After a couple of days I stopped applying the aloe vera and used Sothing Salve instead, mainly because I have it on hand and it's easier to apply.  Also didn't leave my skin flaky, while soothing the itch fast.  I applied the salve whenever the rash is itchy for some instant relief.
7 - Natural mineral makeup to hide the rash, with the added zinc being beneficial in helping treat the rash.  It's important to clean your brushes regularly to remove bacteria and make sure the rash doesn't spread.  NOTE: It is important to have as many makeup FREE days as you can and if you wear makeup wash it off at the end of each day.
8 - Not touching my face.  Again it's a bacteria thing touching grotty fingers to face as well as spreading the bacteria across my face.

All up, a week later I'm finding the rash is starting to simmer down.  I have no new blisters and the bumps from the previous blisters have pretty much gone away.  Now I'm left with a dull pink/red rash and I'm hoping through keeping this treatment up the rash will be gone within another week.  Fingers crossed.

The trouble with this rash is it gives a false sense of security.  It's often said that just when sufferers think they've got the rash under control... BAM... it suddenly flairs up again.
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Struggling to rid yourself of the rash?  Try the above tips and see if it makes a difference for you and let us know how you go.
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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Perioral Dermatitis (PD / POD)

I have written about this condition before in my article Overexposure ~ a skin reaction that occurs when your body cannot deal with the constant chemical influx anymore, when it has reached a point of 'critical mass' and you begin to see skin reactions as a result: contact dermatitis aka overexposure.

I have had perioral dermatitis a number of times in my life, when I was 21, 26 and 31.  When I got perioral dermatitis again at 31 I realised the ingredients in the skin care products and makeup I was using were causing or exacerbating the problem.  That was when I began investigating chemicals in products and began creating my own skin care range to use on myself, my children, family and friends.  Since making the change to all natural products my skin has been better than ever.

Yet... now many years later the perioral dermatitis has come back!

Looking up the causes of PD they say things like steroid creams, fluoride in toothpaste, SLES/SLS, mineral/petroleum products, heavy creams and ointments, sunscreens, chemicals/additives in skin care and hormones all play a part (though for the most part there is no known cause or cure for PD). Mainly women get perioral dermatitis which further suggests that our hormones (as appose to men's) play a part in the condition.  Apparently PD will more likely appear during winter and doesn't like hot water.

It's been a long time since I actively used any of those types of products so that can't be what is causing my current outbreak.  Although at the time the rash came back I had been using a moisturiser (for 2 weeks) a friend gave me to sample containing cetearyl alcohol, triethanolamine, diazolidinyl, urea, methyl and propyl parabens.  I stopped using that cream as soon as the rash appeared yet that didn't make it go away.  As for hormones... well... looking back it just so happens that each time I got perioral dermatitis major stressful events occurred in my life, which would equal a rise in cortisol levels (a steroid hormone) and each time I was drinking more coffee than usual.

At 21 I was looking after my first child pretty much by myself with little help or relief.  My stress levels were through the roof, so much so I was on the brink of a mental breakdown.  At 26 I'd moved to a small outback country town and was very isolated, lonely and stressed.  At 31 I was pregnant and hormonal and having stressful relationship issues on top of that.  Recently a traumatic event occurred which caused my world as I know it to come crashing down and I've been so stressed... low-and-behold the rash came back with in weeks of that happening.  [Incidentally I did stop taking care of my skin during this time since I was in too low a mood to care and suffered a break out as a result].  I have also considered weather caffeine is part of the problem since I've been drinking more lately and I drank a huge amount, 12 cups of coffee a day, when I first got the rash at 21.  Which makes sense because caffeine also increase stress levels within the body.

When I last had the rash I was prescribed a triamcinolone cream.  Applying that cream on this rash made it worse and so it would since it's a corticosteroid cream (as are Advantan, DermAid and Celestone M) and steroid creams must NOT be used on perioral dermatitis.  When I stopped using the cream the rash became worse as it states will happen - supposedly it gets worse before it gets better.  Ironically applying Clearasil previously also made the rash worse even though benzyl peroxide is the active ingredient and is meant to work well on perioral dermatitis: along with metronidazole, erythromycin, tacrolimus, clindamycin, pimecrolimus, sodium sulfacetamide. 

Some natural remedies that (supposedly*) help decrease PD symptoms are apple cider vinegar - diluted and applied to the area and drinking a shot each day, vitamin E oil applied to area, tea tree oil diluated and applied to area, evening primrose tablets, zinc (natural - without chemicals) topical and tablets, regularly cleansing the skin with a SLES/SLS free cleanser.  Some even say bicarb soda and anti-fungal creams help.  *I say supposedly because I've not tried or proven any of them myself.  I can see how evening primrose would help since it reduces stress and is good for relieving PMS symptoms (PD can occur or flare up during or prior to menstruation).  Most mineral makeup powders (the good brands) use zinc powder.  I found using a mineral makeup cream (not the loose powder) made the rash worse.  I just started using Rich Cream Moisturiser which soothes and reduces the symptoms and is natural and toxin free.  I'll use it for a couple more days and see if it keeps the rash soothed.

perioral dermatitis
At the moment the rash is just a few small red lumps near my nose that are itchy and red.  However if left untreated it has the potential to spread all around my mouth and nose and even inside my nose.  I may eventually have to bite the bullet and see a doctor to have the correct cream prescribed (maybe even antibiotics - though I hope not because I don't like taking them).  In the mean time (since I'm not a fan of visiting doctors) I will try some natural remedies and see what happens.

What I will try:
~ Regularly cleansing with a SLES/SLS free Facial & Body Wash with moderately hot water.
Rich Cream Moisturiser to reduce dry skin naturally.
~ Evening primrose oil tablets to aid with dry skin and help reduce stress symptoms.
~ Zinc in my natural makeup because zinc is meant to help and I NEED to apply makeup to hide the angry red rash.
~ Clearasil: I'm going to try applying this to a specific area to see if the benzyl peroxide helps reduce the rash.  I'll  also try an application of anti fungal cream and a cold-sore cream, in specific areas and note the results. 
~ Reduce my caffeine intake (hopefully to zero).

I'll have to try/test these remedies for a number of days/weeks and note the results before knowing if any of these things are working.  I will keep you posted on the findings.
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Have you had encounters with perioral dermatitis?  Did you have success with any natural remedies? Tell us your story :-)

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