What is SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
On average women add more than 200 chemicals to their skin daily, and more than 60% of these chemicals get absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Combine this with chemicals found in hair care and dental hygiene products, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and it’s no wonder why more people are searching for a natural solution.

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There are a lot of rumors out there about Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate. Is it really a carcinogen? What about an endocrine disruptor and skin irritant? What’s truth and what’s myth? We’ve put together this article to clear up the confusion about the debated chemical. There’s no need to spread lies…the truth is scary enough. To make it easy we’re going to refer to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and its even more evil twin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate from this point forward as SLS.

If you have the suspicion that washing your face is making your skin dry, or that shampooing is giving you an itchy scalp or making your eyes sting, or that cleaning your teeth is giving you mouth ulcers, sodium lauryl sulfate is the likely culprit. In studies, there are “significant correlations” (in the words of one) between SLS and contact dermatitis. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology says that it has “a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties”. The Journal adds that “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.

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10 Reasons to avoid SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

1. It is a known skin irritant. When cosmetic companies need to test the healing properties of a lotion, they need to irritate the skin first. What do they use to do this? SLS, of course. If you have dandruff, dermatitis, canker sores, or other irritated tissues or skin, it could be due to SLS.

2. It pollutes our groundwater. It is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals and has the potential for bioaccumulation (meaning it accumulates in the bodies of the fish.) It also is undetected in many municipal water filters, getting into the tap water that you drink.

3. It is actually a pesticide and herbicide. It is commonly used to kill plants and insects. Makers of SLS recently petitioned to have SLS listed as an approved pesticide for organic farming. The application was denied because of its polluting properties and environmental damage.

4. It emits toxic fumes when heated. Toxic Sodium Oxides and Sulfur Oxides are released when SLS is heated. Makes a hot shower with an SLS shampoo seem not quite as nice…

5. It has corrosive properties. According to the American College of Toxicity, this includes corrosion of the fats and protiens that make up skin and muscle. SLS can be found in garage floor cleanrs, engine degreasers, and car wash soaps.

6. Long-term permeation of the body’s tissues. A study from the University of Georgia Medicine showed that SLS had the power to permeate the eyes, brain, heart, and liver.

7. It’s an eye irritant. It was shown to cause cataracts in adults, and is proven to inhibit the proper formation of eyes in small children.

8. Nitrate and other solvent contamination. Toxic solvents, including carcinogenic nitrates are used in the manufacturing of SLS, traces of which can remain in the product.

9. Manufacturing process is highly polluting, emitting cancer-causing volatile organic compounds, sulfur compounds, and air particulates.

10. It helps other chemicals get into your body. SLS is a penetration enhancer, meaning that its molecules are so small they’re able to cross the membranes of your body’s cells. Once cells are compromised, they become more vulnerable to other toxic chemicals that may be with the SLS.

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Can SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate cause Cancer?

At this point in time there is no scientific evidence that links the use of SLS to Cancer.

Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are not known carcinogens, according to the American Cancer Society. However, some studies show the harsher sodium lauryl sulfate may cause mutations that could lead to cancer, notes Columbia University’s Health Services advice column “Go Ask Alice!” However, the evidence isn’t clear whether the small amounts used in shampoos and other personal products would be enough to cause cancer.

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Which products contain SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

SLS is a common ingredient in laundry detergents, dish soaps, shampoos and toothpaste. It can be found in products sold under popular brands like Tide, Pantene and Colgate. It is also in cleaners made by companies in the natural-products space, including Seventh Generation laundry detergent, Method dish soap and Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. SLS is also in the coatings of some drugs to help them dissolve after being swallowed.

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What do consumer products makers say about SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

“For many years, SLS was the star surfactant in skincare products, despite being a known irritant. … We’ve switched over to sodium coco sulfate, which is a gentler alternative always derived from coconut.” — The Honest Company

“We use SLS only at the levels needed to deliver on its intended purpose, delight consumers and be safe. It also has no known toxicity–not even when ingested.” — Tom’s of Maine

“Due to its concentrated chemistry, SLS has become the benchmark for irritation studies.” – EO Products

“SLS is a widely used surfactant in cleaning products, cosmetic, and personal care products. SLS’s uses in these products have been thoroughly evaluated and determined to be safe for consumers and the environment.” — Procter & Gamble

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Mental Health Monday ~ Misophonia

misophonia
Misophonia, literally “hatred of sound,” is a putative disorder of uncertain classification in which negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds. Source
Misophonia
There are certain sounds that I absolutely H.A.T.E. Chewing, sniffing, heavy breathing, snoring and repetitive sounds, foot tapping or banging sounds especially, can set off my irritation to a new new level in a split second.

misophonia
It’s really hard for my family, and I’ve had to leave the room to get away from whatever sound is getting to me.

20/20 aired a show on Medical Mysteries that featured Misophonia and it really gives you a “fly on the wall” look at what its like to suffer from it.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Misophonia

There are no standard diagnostic criteria. Misophonia is distinguished from hyperacusis, which is not specific to a given sound and does not involve a similar strong reaction, and from phonophobia, which is a fear of a specific sound, but it may occur with either.

It is not clear whether people with misophonia usually have comorbid conditions, nor whether there is a genetic component.

There are no evidence-based treatments for the condition; health care providers generally try to help people cope with it by recognizing what the person is experiencing, and by working on coping strategies with the person. Some small studies have been published on the use of sound therapy similar to tinnitus retraining therapy and on cognitive behavioral therapy and particularly exposure therapy, to help people become less aware of the trigger sound.

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sadag
If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.

Alternatives to Chemical Rich Beauty Products

alternative-906136
I must confess that in my search for Paraben Free products and alternatives to chemical rich beauty products, I have found few products that are, in fact, Paraben Free. It’s been a disheartening process and I have had to look for alternative beauty products, or home remedies, and look at the more expensive makeup ranges to find what I am prepared to, not only, use on my own skin, but on my girls’ during dance festivals and competition times.

Below are a some of the home remedy recipes I have found online.

PLEASE NOTE: BEFORE USING ANY OF THESE HOME REMEDIES, PLEASE MAKE A PATCH TEST FIRST!

Face Masks

beauty products
The fact is that papaya pulp, mashed avocados, cucumbers, mangoes or bananas are fantastic skin cleansers. Fresh fruit contains enzymes which will remove dead skin cells, clear pores and resolve excess oil. Most recipes below are too complicated to become an every day solution, but you can still consider them as a mask or treatment every once in a while! Be careful though, not every skin type can deal with fruit acid. Make a patch test first!

Oily skin / Combination skin:
Cucumber juice works extremely well as a skin cleanser. Due to its cooling effect it helps to soothe and soften the skin. Apply some cucumber juice mixed with raw organic milk onto your face. Use a cotton pad!

Papaya fruit is a rich source of nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin C, B vitamins, enzymes and minerals. Papaya pulp also contains a variety of phytochemicals, including polyphenols: Massage your face very gently with a papaya slice or mix papaya pulp with raw organic honey or rose water and apply it as a face mask for 15-20 minutes.

Lemon juice is a natural exfoliant, skin brightener and anti-infective, whereas the starch from (sweet) potatoes will absorb excess oil: Boil some sweet (or white) potatoes, mash them, let them cool down and add a few drops of lemon into the mixture. Squeeze a real lemon! Do not use any ready-bought lemon juice gunk! Apply, leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse off with water.

Mix some lemon juice (from a real lemon) with raw organic (or manuka) honey and cinnamon. For some, it works extremely well to fade hyper-pigmentation marks. Leave on for half an hour, then rinse.

Bananas are rich in vitamin A, B and E and a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium. A fresh mashed banana facial can be great for your skin!
Mangoes can have a nice effect on your skin as well. Mangoes are rich in vitamin-A and rich in antioxidants. Use in the same way as papaya!

Dry skin:
Packed with healthy fats and phytonutrients, avocados and olives offer remarkable benefits for dry skin: Mix avocado pulp with olive oil to make a paste. Rinse off after 20 minutes.

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Cleanser

Honey and lemon together are a natural moisturizer and antiseptic, a perfect soothing and cleaning combination. The citric acid from the lemon kills acne-causing bacteria, and the enzymes in the citrus help clear away dead skin, according to howstuffworks.com. Honey is naturally antibacterial and full of antioxidants, which are shown to prevent acne and slow down your skin’s aging process. Honey is also great if you’re looking for a complexion boost!
beauty products
Honey and Lemon Face Cleanser
Combine 2 teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice.
Warm it between your fingers, then smooth a thin layer onto your face and neck.
Leave the mixture on until it’s dry, then rinse with warm water.

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Makeup Remover

Using almost any type of cleanser will inevitably strip the skin of its natural oils, causing one of two things: The skin will either become very dry and will have to be treated with topical moisturizer, or it will start over-producing oils, making your skin extra oily. A lot of the products on the market today pride themselves on being “oil-free,” but this can actually harm your skin and lead to premature aging. Oils in the skin is what keeps it youthful-looking, supple, and vibrant.
beauty products
Natural Oil Cleanser
If you use natural oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, you will be able to cleanse your skin without over-drying it. It’s also great at removing basically all types of makeup, from the darkest mascara to the most pigmented lipstick.

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Moisturizer

Beauty Products
Olive Oil
Olive oil can be used to achieve a smooth complexion and maintain skin elasticity. It contains antioxidants, such as vitamin A and E, which repair cells that have been damaged by environmental hazards. Rubbing olive oil on your skin every night will help protect your skin and keep moisture locked under the surface. You can also create an exfoliant by mixing it with sea salt and rubbing it over your face to remove dead skin cells.

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Toner

This simple concoction can help improve your overall complexion by balancing and restoring your skin’s natural pH. Our skin is naturally acidic but when our levels are in balance our skin will live at the perfect level between oily and dry. When you pH levels are out of balance, that is when you break out, when your pores get clogged, you are too oily or too dry, your skin can be itchy or irritated, and the list goes on and on.

ACV has a pH of 3 and when diluted, the acidity from the toner helps bring your skin’s pH back to its normal levels. By restoring your skin’s balance, this apple cider vinegar toner helps your skin function optimally, warding off bacteria and shedding dead skin cells at the proper rate so your pores do not get clogged and your skin remains healthy.

Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner
Pour 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar into a glass jar, bottle or container.
Add 2 parts distilled or filtered water.
Shake the bottle to combine the mixture.
Apply the toner to your freshly cleansed skin using a cotton ball or pad, avoiding the eye area.
Apply your usual, daily moisturizer after the apple cider vinegar toner has dried.
Shake well before each use. Store in a cool, dry, dark place (No need to refrigerate).

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Body Lotion

beauty products
Ingredients:
4 oz oil
Many different oils are possible. Olive, grapeseed, sesame.
You must make sure to use organic oil, or else you will absorb the pesticides in the oil through your skin.
(This applies to store bought lotions as well).

2 oz lanolin
One of the ingredients in some lip balms, lanolin has a deep moisturizing effect on skin and hair.
It seals the skin to prevent moisture from escaping and even absorbs moisture from the air.
It helps rejuvenate dry skin and relieves the pain of skin cracking.
2 oz aloe vera gel
Use this in place of water.
Although aloe is 99 percent water, aloe gel also contains substances known as glycoproteins and polysaccharides.
Glycoproteins speed the healing process by stopping pain and inflammation, while polysaccharides stimulate skin growth and repair.
These substances may also stimulate the immune system.
Essential Oil
You can add any that you want, but be certain first that it will not irritate the skin. For example, lemon grass oil will irritate, but lemon oil is fine.
You may want to add a particular oil for its medicinal value.
You will absorb it right through your skin.
Popular oils are vanilla, lavender, rose, and lemon.

Optional ingredients:
Bees’ wax
is used to harden the lotion for hands and face. Not needed for body lotion.
But you need to warm and soften it before blending it in – a bit more complicated.
Distilled water:
A few teaspoons makes it thinner and more lotion-y, but so does adding more aloe vera.
Use aloe instead.
Blending:
Use a blender.
Mix the oil and lanolin, then slowly add the aloe as you blend.
Don’t go wild with the blending.
Just bring it to a nice even texture, fully blended.
Essential oils can be added anytime, and you can be liberal with them, since they loose their scent over time.
Storing:
Pour into a glass food jar with a tight fitting lid, a mason jar, or similiar.
Color of the jar is not important.
Make sure to scrape down the sides of the blender to get the lotion that sticks there.

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If you have a recipe you’d like to share with me and my readers, please feel free to contact me on by clicking on the email icon on the top right hand side of the screen.

Mental Health Monday ~ Depression

depression
As a person who suffers from depression, I’m still surprised at the lack of information and knowledge the public has. There is so much misinformation relayed between people. My hope is, that with this post, and those that follow, the correct information will be made public.
depression

What is Depression?

Depression is a real illness that impacts the brain. Anyone suffering from depression will tell you, it’s not imaginary or “all in your head.” Depression is more than just feeling “down.” It is a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry. Research tells us that other factors contribute to the onset of depression, including genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstances. Any of these factors alone or in combination can precipitate changes in brain chemistry that lead to depression’s many symptoms.

Depressiontoolkit.org

What are the symptoms of depression?

* Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
* Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
* Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
* Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
* Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
* Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
* Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
* Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
* Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
* Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Help Guide

What causes Depression?

Depression isn’t a simple condition with a known cause. Some people are more susceptible to depressive episodes while others are not. It’s important to discuss symptoms with your doctor. There are several possible causes of depression.

Genetic
Depression may be an inherited condition. You may have a higher likelihood of experiencing a depressive disorder at some point in your life if you have a family member with depression. The exact gene involved in this is unknown.

Biochemical
Some people have noticeable changes in their brains with depression. Even though this potential cause isn’t understood, it does suggest that depression starts with the functioning of the brain. Similarly, some psychiatrists look at brain chemistry with cases of depression.

Neurotransmitters in the brain — specifically serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine — affect feelings of happiness and pleasure and may be out of balance in people with depression. Antidepressants work to balance these neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin. Why these neurotransmitters get out of balance and exactly what role they play in depressive states isn’t fully understood.

Hormonal
Changes in hormone production or functioning could also lead to the onset of depressive states. Any changes in hormone states — including menopause, childbirth, thyroid problems, or other disorders — could cause depression.

With postpartum depression, mothers develop symptoms of depression after the birth of their child. While it’s perfectly normal to be emotional because of the changing hormones, postpartum depression is a serious condition.

Seasonal
As the daylight hours get shorter in the winter, many people develop feelings of lethargy, tiredness, and a loss of interest in everyday tasks. Called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, this condition usually goes away once the days get longer. Your doctor may prescribe medication and/or a light box to help treat SAD.

Situational
Any time of trauma, big change, or struggle in life can trigger a case of depression. Losing a loved one, being fired, having financial troubles, or undergoing a serious change can have a big impact on people.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a form of depression that occurs after a serious situation in life. PTSD is often diagnosed in soldiers returning from war. It can also occur as a result of:

Childhood Trauma
seeing something life-changing and scary
being abused or assaulted
a serious car or other accident
being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition

HealthLine

sadag
If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.

What’s the deal with Parabens?

Parabens
As a mom of girls, and someone who occasionally wears makeup, I have started doing research into what is put into the products we buy. I have heard many, many negative things about Parabens and, because it seems to be something that people are generally unaware of, I decided to share what I have learned.
Parabens
Have you ever wondered how make up is made and what chemicals we are happily applying to our bodies? As a dance mom, I have realised that most of the products I had been using on Fifi’s face, was, in fact, toxic. Imagine my horror! Below I answer a few frequently asked questions I have been faced with since we made the decision to go paraben free.
Parabens

What exactly are Parabens?

Parabens have been widely used in products to prevent bacteria growth since the 1950s. “About 85 percent of cosmetics have them,” says Arthur Rich, Ph.D., a cosmetic chemist in Chestnut Ridge, New York. “They’re inexpensive and effective.” New York City dermatologist Fran E. Cook-Bolden explains, “Parabens have a long history of safe use, and that’s why they’re commonplace. New preservatives have less of a proven track record.” In fact, typically, more than one form of the ingredient is used in a product. The most common are butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Over the last few years, however, in response to customer concerns, many brands have started to manufacture (and label) paraben-free products, including lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more.

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What effect do Parabens have on the human body?

Parabens
A new study has found that chemicals called parabens can spur the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells. And they appear to be able to do this even in tiny amounts.

Parabens are used in many food and personal care products. They have a chemical structure that’s similar to estrogen, which means they can mimic the effects of that hormone in the body. But they seem do this weakly, and on the scale of chemical threats, researchers thought parabens were pretty low on the list of things to worry about.

New research suggests, though, that they may be more harmful than previously thought.

For the study, scientists grew breast cancer cells in a lab. They treated the cancer cells with low doses of parabens along with heregulin, a growth-promoting substance that’s normally found in breast tissue. The two chemicals are known to have a more powerful effect when combined.

When the two chemicals were combined, the dose of parabens needed to stimulate growth was 100 times lower. That suggests parabens may be exerting effects at levels people are being exposed to in real life, according to study author Ruthann Rudel, who co-directs the research program for the non-profit Silent Spring Institute.

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Why shouldn’t we be using products that contain Parabens?

The problem with non-natural ingredients: it’s really hard to test its safety in the long term. Until you have put it in products, and people have actually used it long-term. And that is what is happening now with the parabens. Gradually, awareness is growing that parabens might not be the perfect solution in our quest for preservatives. Parabens have estrogenic properties: which means they act as fake female hormones in the body. This can disrupt hormone balance in both women and men which can be very harmful to our health and make us prone to certain cancers. The effect is very small, though it is measurable.

Public opinion is that if science hasn’t been able to identify any adverse effects, it is therefore safe. Wonderfully illustrated by this quote from Wikipedia: “While even small amounts of parabens introduced in vitro stimulate breast cancer cell proliferation, there is no evidence that application of consumer products containing parabens cause cancer.” Flawed logic, in our opinion. ‘There is no evidence A leads to B’ is not the same as ‘there is evidence A does not lead to B’.

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Keep an eye out for my next article featuring alternatives to using chemical rich beauty products.

Mental Health Monday ~ My Mental Health Story

1 my story
Welcome to the first post in the new series called, “Mental Health Monday”. Today I’d like to share my mental health story.

I was diagnosed with depression when I was in Grade 12 and 17 years old. I hadn’t eaten properly in 2 years (my parents had gotten divorced when I was 15), slept way to much, had become withdrawn and had suicidal thoughts, among other symptoms. My father was concerned, and rightly so.

Thankfully our family doctor had known us for many many years and knew something psychological was up. After speaking with me and asking, what I thought, simple questions, I was diagnosed with depression and put on the medication, Fluoxitine. I am still on this medication today, though the dosage has been changed since then.

Just after high school, I moved to a little town in the Free State called Bethlehem, to be closer to my mother and brothers. I had stopped taking my medication after moving out of my father’s home and as a result, I had a major relapse. There I started seeing my first psychologist after I started experiencing panic attacks and she really helped me with some things I had been struggling with.

I had been on and off my medication during the years before The Hubby and I got together, mainly because I didn’t have the finances to buy them. During this time, my life felt like it was out of control and I struggled to pull myself together. Being a single mom having to send my child to live with my mother in a different town didn’t help at all.

My life has changed for the better over the last 11 years since The Hubby and I got together. Life is not perfect, but because I have the support of this amazing man, I can honestly say that I am doing so much better managing the depression and it no longer rules my life as much as it used to.

Don’t get me wrong, its a daily struggle to live with it.

I have to make a conscious effort to remember to take my medication. Missing one day can throw me off for a week and it takes a toll on my family. It really isn’t fair for them if I forget.

I have heard so many times that I “need to get over” or “just deal with” my depression. That my medication is an unnecessary step. I can say, under no uncertain terms, that I simply cannot function when I’m not on my medication. The Hubby can attest to that as well.
sadag
If you, or someone you know, suffers from depression, or any other mental health issues, and needs help, please contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group. SADAG is Africa’s largest mental health support and advocacy group. On this website you will find comprehensive mental health information and resources to help you, a family member or loved one.

Should you wish to share your story, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the green email icon on the top right side of the blog.

Review: Absolutely Awesome South Africa

Absolutely Awesome South Africa
I won this book by Derryn Campbell called “Absolutely Awesome South Africa” in one of the lucky draws at the recent SA Mom Blogs Jozi Meet Ups.

Absolutely Awesome South Africa is an entertaining compilation on South Africa which is packed full of fun, facts and trivia. This completely new coffee table book is packed with completely new content and design on every page and is full of South African humour, history and interesting facts. The vibrant and colourful pages of Absolutely Awesome South Africa captures the heart and the soul of this magnificent country.

The contents if this book covers a variety of subjects like “Having a Laugh”, “Public Holidays”, “Sporting Nation”, “Everyday Living”, “In the Past”, “Wonders of Nature”, “Facts and Figures”, “World Heritage Sites” and “Culture”.

My favourite page in the book is the “Chappies” page. It brought back so many great memories of my childhood and being unhappy when the paper was ripped during the unwrapping.
Absolutely Awesome South Africa
In going through and reading this book, I was startled when I realised how much I didn’t know about my country, my home, my neighbours’ cultures.

Little, simple things that I find fascinating. For instance, Did you know that almost all of South Africa’s major cities have nicknames and that South Africa’s nickname is Mzanzi? I didn’t and here I thought was an informed citizen!?

Did you know that there are various archaeological treasures (other than the Cradle of Humankind) around the country and a rich trade route to the south of ancient Africa? These are things I have heard of, but never really thought about. This book briefly covers so much information on our beautiful country that has peeked my fascination of early history in SA. What an amazing source of inspiration in learning more about the country I love.

There is simply too much amazing information in this book to cover every aspect, so do yourself a favour and seek it out! I can’t wait to go through it with my children and give them a glimps of the ABSOLUTELY AWESOME SOUTH AFRICA we live in!

This entry was posted in Reviews.

SA Mom Blogs #Jozimeetup

The A.W.E.S.O.M.E ladies from SA Mom Blogs, Heather from One Step at a Time and Laura from Harassed Mom fame, hosted a mom bloggers meet up on Saturday.

We had two wonderful speakers, both Mom bloggers, who gave us some very valuable information. Sharon from Blessed Barrenness spoke about blogging ethics and Shan from You, Baby and I gave us some very useful and handy tips on how to utilize Facebook to promote our blogs. I walked away from this day with a ton of information of things I had never considered and I’m grateful that these ladies were willing to share their expertise in these areas with us.

Salomé from Yellow Lab took new headshots of all of those who attended the meet up. I am not photogenic AT ALL and she made me look beautiful. I am on tender hooks waiting for my photo to arrive. How exciting!

Lets NOT forget the goody bags! We received 3, yes THREE, amazing goody bags stuffed full of amazing products. I was floored by the amount of awesome goodies we received.

A HUGE shout out goes out to the following brands for making all these great goodies possible:
Tangled Tree for the wine
Snowflake for the Cupcake Kit and Scone Mix
Jacobs Kronung for the coffee
for the Coconut Water
Oreo for the #letwonderout Oreo Goody Bag (keep an eye out on Monsters Ed for the post regarding all the Oreo Goodness)
Oh Voila for the Leather Jewelry
Little Interiors for the Little Me Sleepy Eyes wall decor
Aramex Global Shopper for the Vouchers
Glamore Cosmetics for the Lipstick and Night Cream (a special thanks to Wenchy for introducing us all to this range of cosmetics)
Dettol for the Hand Wash
Batiste for the Dry Shampoo
Enjoy for the Hand Cream and Shimmer Lotion
Dr Beckmann for the Colour and Dirt Collector
Gumtree for the Stationery
Cherubs for the Nappy Sacks and Wet Wipes
Always On Wifi and Uber for the Vouchers
sa mom blogssa mom blogssa mom blogssa mom blogssa mom blogssa mom blogssa mom blogs

I won this fantastic book by Derryn Campbell called “Absolutely Awesome South Africa” in one of the lucky draws.
sa mom blogs

There were also prizes from Baby Sense, Kelloggs and Bell Jars.

We finished off the day with a quick introduction to the Smile Foundation by their Operations Executive Director, Moira Gerszt.
smile-foundation-logo

The Smile Foundation is a South African NGO that assists children with any type of facial abnormality, to receive free corrective Plastic and Reconstructive surgery within South Africa.
We help children who suffer from treatable facial deformities such as Cleft Lip and Palate, burn victims, Moebius syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions.

The meet up was held at The Open, in The Main Change building, in the heart of the Moboneng Precinct.

©propertuity

©propertuity

With its beginnings in art, Maboneng has evolved into a collaborative hub of culture, business and lifestyle that entices curiosity, encourages exploration and promotes a sense of urban togetherness. Maboneng is a destination on the eastern side of the city’s business district offering retail stores, entertainment venues and restaurants mixed with residential, office and industrial spaces that appeal to a wide variety of people and businesses.

If you are a South African Mommy Blogger and you are interested in joining us in the future, please register your blog over at South African Mom Blogs. This is a wonderful group of ladies who are there to help each other in any way possible and hold a wealth of blogging knowledge.

sa mom blogs

Much love….

How to keep your kitchen cabinets well cleaned and organized

How to keep your kitchen cabinets well cleaned and organized

Keeping your kitchen cabinets well cleaned and organized is important to know where your cutlery, cookery and other stuff are stored. This way you will spend less time to look for things and won’t get frustrated. Keeping sanitized and systematized cabinetry will make your kitchen look good. If the items tumble out when you open your cabinets, it’s time to rearrange them. Take a look at the ideas presented here to keep your kitchen cabinets functional and hygienic.

© Pixabay

© Pixabay

Before starting to organize your cabinets clean them inside and outside thoroughly. Remove everything you find in them and put plates, glasses, cups and other stuff on the kitchen table. Use soapy water and a cloth to wipe down shelves, cabinet doors and every cranny of your kitchen cabinets. You can use whatever cleaning supplies you have chosen according to the material of your cabinetry. Wipe clean dried splashes, crumbs and dust. Cleaning your cabinets inside and out will protect them from gathering bugs and bacteria.

If you prefer self-made cleaning products use a solution of white vinegar and a little water. To add a scrubbing agent to this cleaning product use baking soda. Be careful when cleaning cabinets that are made of unpainted wood as they can get easily scratched and damaged are advisign you from BestCleanersLondon Earls Court.

Get rid of items which you don’t need. Paper plates, non-functioning appliances and other kitchen stuff which no longer serve you or you never use you can purge without regrets. Some of them you can recycle, undamaged items you can donate or sell. Take the clutter out of your kitchen cabinets and think if there are things you need but don’t have. Purchase such now before starting to tidy your cabinets.

Find suitable linings to cover the cabinets’ floors and keep them protected from odours and getting dirty. There are paper, rubber, vinyl and cork linings of various textures and colours, sold in markets. Some of them have adhesive backings to be kept on place. Measure your cabinets, cut to size the linings you have chosen and put them on your cabinets’ floors to keep them fresh and clean.

Keep the things you use most frequently at easy to access areas and get rid of the items you don’t need and use by donating, giving away, selling or recycling them. Rarely used items store at the back of your kitchen cabinets. Before organizing the kitchenware think of the cabinets as open ones or having glass doors. If everything is visible the interior of this furniture should be tidy, attractive and clean.

If you have a lot of vertical space, use open cabinets without doors or with glass such to display your most beautiful sets of kitchenware. If you prefer open cabinets remove some of the doors and paint the interior of the cabinetry.

©Better Homes & Gardens

©Better Homes & Gardens

Cabinets under the sink can be a challenge for arranging due to having plumbing pipes and pull-out hoses. Use acrylic or wire shelving to store some of your cleaning supplies, towels and sponges there. Put a bin to gather the kitchen garbage. Mount a metal organizer on the internal side of the cabinet’s doors and hooks to attach hangers for grocery bags.

Organize the items you have by type: sets of glasses, plates and cups on one place, spices on the other, cutlery somewhere else, etc. Make your cabinets tidy and easy for orientation. Keep the things you use most often at hand in easily accessible cabinets. Open cabinets are suitable for this purpose. Buy racks, organizers and removable shelves to install in your larger cabinets and optimize your space.

Keeping your kitchen and its cabinets clean and well organized will save you space and time.

Written and submitted by: Kiera Tomlinson from Best Cleaners London Earls Court.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day!

2005
A little under 11 years ago, The Hubby and I started dating and have been married for almost 7 years. What an amazing, and sometimes hair raising, roller coaster ride it has been!
2006
In preparation for this post, I realised that The Hubby and I have had very few photographs taken together in recent years. That’s rather sad, considering we have countless photos of the children.
2007
That is going to change as of today! Ok, more realistically, from now on. We will be having photos take together more often.
2008
Hubs and I met in Primary school. His brother and I have known each other since we were 6 years old. I only really started noticing him (secretly) in highschool, when he was in Matric (Grade 12). Little did I know that we’d be together 8 years later!
2009
There have been good and bad, happy and sad times. But we have pulled through, working on our marriage to make it work. Come what may!
2010
Parenting has really brought us together. Putting up a united front in front of our children has been something we have always strived to be. We may not always agree on the same thing, but compromise (something I am NOT very good at doing) has been something we have both had to work towards.
2011
I cannot imagine my life without him. He, and this may sound a little cliché, completes me. Having him in my life has made me work on being a better person and in return, a better parent to our children.
2016
Thank you, Babe, for putting up with my stubbornness and, sometimes downright, irrationality. You are truely one in a million and I’m glad I found you. I love you more than I could ever express.