Tuesday, 18 July 2017

How To Delete Hotmail Account

Have you ever tried to delete your hotmail email account?  There are a number of posts out there outlining how you can do this.

Let me begin by saying the email address I want to delete has been inactive for YEARS!  Microsoft claim that inactive email accounts are automatically closed (after 200 days I believe it is).  However, when I logged onto the email account it still let me access the account so it isn't deleted at all.

To delete the account I tried following the blog post above and this is what happened. 

1) Firstly I get a message 'Call us overprotective...' (Ok I will!!!!), asking me to choose an email to send a security code to.
I click 'I can't verifying my account' and 'next'.


2) Another screen pops up prompting me to offer a mobile number they can phone or text a code to.  I don't want to give them my mobile number so I click on Account and I'm taken to a home page.

[They give the option, in a drop down menu, to choose another email address to have the code sent to.]

3) As per the steps in the blog post I click on Security.


 4) Then I click on More Security Options.


5) Whereby I'm asked to protect my account via Microsoft's annoyingly frustrating security code verification system, where they offer an (inactive) email address for the code to be sent to.  They also offer the option to give a mobile number instead of email address.

6) I choose 'I don't have any of these' because I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO GIVE Microsoft personal details such as a mobile phone or private email address, then click NEXT.

 I am then taken back to the same screen in step 2) Since you don't have access to your current security info...

And the process repeats itself.  As explained in a previous post... even when I try to do this via getting a security code off Microsoft it still doesn't work - I get the run around there too.  Hence here I am almost a year later after having already tried to access the account to delete it.... STILL TRYING TO DELETE THE ACCOUNT.

I'm not really sure what Microsoft's deal is but I wish they would just give customers the SIMPLE option to DELETE their accounts if they so choose to!!!!  How hard can that be for a company who specialises in coding and product design????

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Celebrity Endorsement Gone Well

Unlike Sarah, Tracey Spicer and Ben Price were two celebrities who received JOLI Natural Skin Care products with delight and courtesy.

Both expressed gratitude at having received their skin care products.

Tracey said: "I love it (Whipped Cream Moisturiser) - will be spreading the love on social media this week - thank you!!!"  Whereby Tracey promptly gave JOLI a 5 star rating on Facebook.
And also: "I absolutely love it! Very moisturising."

Ben was decidedly helpful in tracking a missing parcel *Australia Post lost.  It had been sent to Ben via express post so the products would reach his wife in time for her birthday.  Sadly and frustratingly the parcel was never received, which JOLI found out via sending a follow-up email.  While the parcel was never found, Ben put JOLI in contact with the the postman who delivered the parcel who was very helpful in figuring out what happened to the missing parcel.  A replacement parcel was sent.

Ben's lovely wife is now enjoying delightful Skin Serum and Moisturising Lip Balm and Ben has been quite gracious for receiving the products. 

*Australia Post delivered the overnight parcel, placed it on Ben's doorstep [not in the letter box or left a collect card because it doesn't fit in the letter box] and that was it.  The parcel was promptly stolen as it was in plain site of any passers-by on the street.  However, since the parcel had been marked as 'delivered' Australia Post took no responsibility for it going missing.
Their statement to JOLI was: once a parcel has been delivered Australia Post take no responsibility for it being stolen.  Australia Post no longer leave cards in letter boxes when a parcel doesn't fit inside the letter box.  Parcels are left in a safe place and will not be left it it is deemed there is no secure place for a parcel to be left.

Poor service from Australia Post.  I remember the days when all oversized letters/parcels meant collect cards were left in letter boxes so items could NOT be stolen.  Gone are the days of decent service I guess...  And Australia Post wonder why their profits are dwindling...

You can also read JOLI's post: The Lady Stripped Bare

And purchase Tracey's book: Good Girl Stripped Bare - by Tracey Spicer

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Hello All You Super Mums

< Keywords: hello all you super mums, glass impressions, joli natural skin care > Recently I decided to give myself a gift.  I purchased a special Acapulco Coffee Mug from Glass Impressions shop.
What I really like about this mug is it's thick and sturdy and hard to break (perfect for someone clumsy like me).
Glass Impressions etch the glass and offer a range of designs to choose from.
I, of course, chose Super Mum.... because who wouldn't :)

When I got my mug the first thing I did was make myself a special Super Mum drink (also known as Irish Coffee).

Brewed coffee (you can use instant)
45ml Tia Maria
A pinch of chilli powder
A pinch of chocolate powder (I used maca powder)
Whipped Cream

1) Brew some hot coffee and fill the glass 2/3 with coffee.
2) Add 45ml Tia Maria.
3) Gently dollop whipped cream on top until glass is full.
4) Sprinkle chilli and maca powder on top.
5) ENJOY!!!!

Contact Glass Iimpression: enquiries.glassimpressions@gmail.com

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Celebrity Endorsement Gone Wrong

Some time ago JOLI approached Sarah Wilson (of I Quit Sugar fame) because she seemed like a like-minded individual with the same interests in ethics and chemical free skin care and so forth.

Upon speaking with her PA to enquire about whether Sarah would be interested in trying some JOLI products, emailing back and forth to determine if JOLI were inline with Sarah's ethics, then determining which products Sarah would like to try etc.  JOLI sent Sarah 100ml Light Moisturiser, 100ml Enliven Facial & Body Scrub, Moisturising Lip Balm and sample pots of Soothing Salve and Rich Cream Moisturiser (a value of around $80 plus postage and packaging).

As you can imagine JOLI were quit excited to be having a celebrity (of sorts) try our products and were, of course, hoping she would LOVE them so much she would write a wonderful review about our ethical and environmentally friendly chemical free natural skin care.  One of the most natural brands on the market.

Imagine our surprise and horror when not only does Sarah not thank us for the products and doesn't even have the courtesy to let us know the products are received, let alone let us know that's she's using or enjoying them... but instead writes an awful article [titled: this makes me angry] making it sound as though our sending her products was unsolicited and wasteful, and that we're an unethical company wasting the earths and Sarah's resources.

It was slightly shattering and... well... just a little bit rude.  

Sarah states that every item received either requires a polite thank you note or detailed email saying it doesn't sit well with her ethics.  Sarah didn't send a polite thank you note or detailed email nor did her PA.  JOLI heard nothing until we read her article and saw the products we'd sent featured in a picture.  The only real waste of resources in sending these products to Sarah was the time and effort I personally put in to gifting this to her (put together by hand by me - no junior PR staffer here).  In hind site I wish I hadn't put the products in a reusable box with a reusable pretty ribbon although it might have made no difference to Sarah, if the products were packaged our usual way with recycled bubble wrap and recyclable packaging.

After the article aired I contact her PA to ask if Sarah had been expecting the JOLI Natural Skin Care because she'd included them in her 'guff' and was told yes Sarah has said yes to receiving them... yet still no thank you for taking the time to send them or whether they're being used/enjoyed.

Image from Sarah Wilson .com

JOLI's Response [which was deleted from Sarah's blog]:

I have to say I find this rant a touch on the humorous side.  Not all is as it appears with the guff you were sent.  As one of the senders of guff featured in your picture above I would like to say that I did contact you to ask if you wanted to receive my guff.  After some understandable scrutiny on your part I was kindly given permission to send guff to you.
I take great care in my packaging choices and am an avid believer in reusing and recycling. A lot of my packing is reused and recycled packing, i.e. been sent to me which I then reuse such as bubble wrap.  Or recyclable.  Nothing is wasted.  What isn’t recycled is Australian made, which supports small local businesses, our economy and cuts down on overseas shipping and extended carbon emissions related to that.
Any paper work scent with the items is important information about the contents, otherwise you’re running blind.  There are no toxic chemicals in said items, and no sugary snacks.
Postage may be a vast drain on the countries resources (employed postmen might disagree), all that sorting and traveling and carbon emissions, yet, as one good person pointed out to me – the postmen are going that way already.  Giving them extra mail doesn’t negate that fact.
Aeroplanes (on which you fly) are the biggest environmental polluters there are.  Of course your carbon footprint is offset by your commendable bike riding and healthy lifestyle.  The point being, many of us have our own carbon offset.
Regardless of all that, I truly hope you are thoroughly enjoying the guff I sent you, which is perfectly inline with what you stand for.  Natural and good for the environment.

To this day Sarah never sent us a reply or thank you note regrading the products she was gifted.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Don't Ingest Essential Oils

As an essential oils skin care retailer I often get asked which essential oil brand(s) I use in JOLI's products.  People often ask if I'm using one of those companies that boast 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils... supposedly the best of the best.

don't ingest essential oils

Here is what I have to say about that:

1) There is NO such thing as therapeutic or aromatherapy grade essential oils. Don't just take my word for it, look it up. There are no such agencies testing the grade of essential oils and deeming them to be more pure or more therapeutic than others. The only people claiming there is such a thing are those selling products based on those claims.

2) Those making those claims have NOT, and nor do they have the resources to, test ALL other brands to ensure those other brands are not as pure as their brand(s) claim to be.  Again there is no registry or agency whereby all essential oil companies report the purity or grade of their essential oils.

3) Those companies selling these 100% pure therapy grade essential oils often suggest ingestion of essential oils is SAFE. This sends out alarm bells!!!!
The potency of essential oils is such that it could have serious ramifications if ingested. For example 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to approximately 20-30 cups of peppermint tea. Would you drink the strength of 20-30 cups of peppermint tea in one sitting?

You should NOT take essential oils internally unless advised by a qualified and registered aromatherapy practitioner. Those selling essential oils on behalf of companies who make these claims are NOT qualified and registered aromatherapy practitioners, and are merely repeating what they've learned from the companies who oils they're selling. WITHOUT qualification!!!!

4) Add to the above point: if these companies really are selling the purest of essential oils that means ingestion of said oils could be even more hazardous than diluted, lesser quality essential oils. Danger! Danger!

5) Quite often these brands are far more expense than any other oils on the market, due to the (false) claims they make. It is not a viable option for any business to purchase the most expensive oils (up to 5x the cost of other brands) on the market, especially when there are reputable companies selling excellent quality essential oils at a more affordable cost.

The moral of the story:

Beware of purchasing from any company that tells you their essentials oils are the purest on the market, are therapeutic grade, indigestible and cost more than other brands.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Bad Service - Personal Trainers

Becoming a personal trainer has become a big thing in recent years. Many people have realised there is a need to help people get fit and healthy due to our growing obesity epidemic and our sedentary lifestyles. Mind you I'm not sure personal trainers have had any real impact on obesity rates regardless of the fact that more and more people are becoming personal trainers.

I've dealt with a few personal trainers / fitness coaches / instructors and I have to say they all have one thing in common. A lack of knowledge about the effects on the human body as we age.

Majority of trainers are young fit healthy people fresh out of an institute or quick online program. Very few are trained for 4 years in skeletal and muscular systems, and have little idea of what to expect when they're older, overweight, after having children, or sedentary jobs for many many years. They take their own fitness and strength for granted and assume those they're training have the same capacity for fitness as they do. Wrong!

Personal trainers often lack duty of care in that they do not ask if people have prior injuries or ailments that need to be catered to. They do not teach clients to engage cores or pelvic floor or make sure both sides of the body are switched on. They do not have clients fill out forms or give information relating to bad joints, slipped disc, migraines, for example. The only time forms are filled in is to sign away the liability of the trainer if something happens to the client, even when asking the client to do something they're not comfortable doing. And if anyone is left injured, in pain or suffering from heat exhaustion, too bad.

One PT I was training with had me do a 5km jog. I went from I don't run at all or even walk for long periods of time to jogging 5km. One kilometer took me 10mins and by 2.5km I was suffering heat exhaustion, all red in the face and unable to cool down. The trainer wasn't concerned, prompted me to keep going, saying I'd get better the more I tried. I finished, had a shower and collapsed in bed for the remainder of the day. I was completely put off jogging and running. Having spoken to a professional marathon runner I just happened to meet while holidaying in Tasmania, he advised someone who does not jog should NOT be made to do a 5km run/jog. It needs to be a gradual introduction.

Another PT I dealt with wanted me to run, saying she'd have me running in no time, regardless of the fact that I specifically said I've no desire to jog or run. I did jog Cliff Young style and ended up with shin splints for the first time in my life! This made me angry especially considering I expressed I have no desire to run or jog in the first place.

One instructor I wanted me to reach up to a high apparatus and strain to climb up. Apparently it was going to be good for building up my strength. I could do it, that wasn't the issue. The issue was the effect it was having on my ageing, many children later, been sedentary for years, body. I wasn't there to conquer my fear of heights. I wasn't there to be so far off the ground I couldn't move and feel safe at the same time. At my age if I fall I'm not getting up and dusting myself off. I'm far more likely to break and not recover.

Sadly that is exactly what happened after dealing with these personal trainers. I broke. Now I'm left with aching elbows that will take a long time to heal and I'm unable to do the simplest things like ride a bike because using the hand brake hurts. All those push-ups and burpies and elbow hangs and who knows what else has left me damaged and those trainers don't understand or care about the damage they've caused. Regardless of the fact that I had talked to them about not wanting to do certain exercises it didn't matter to them. All wonderful and inspiring people, yet with little understanding of what effects their training has on an older body.

For some, chasing the goal of 'young and fit' is important and they want to maintain a level of fitness for as long as they can (I know, I was once that person). However as we age our bodies don't really want to be pushed that hard and more gentle yet strengthening exercises are needed.>

These days exercising has become more about doing something I enjoy and ageing gracefully instead of killing myself to be something I'll never be again... young, fit and in my 20's.

Have you had any experience with personal trainers? Would love to hear from you.

Note: written Oct 2016 / Published May 2017

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Starting A Vegetable Garden: Olives

Even though my vegetable garden is a fairly new project my olive tree has been growing for near on 13 years and began fruiting after 10 years.

Each year around this time the children and I go out and collect as many olives as we can for pickling.  We have so much fun climbing the tree, climbing on the roof and cubby house.   Like little monkeys, gathering olives in buckets, hats and pockets.

Olives ready for pickling ~ JOLI NSC
We picked them when they're green or else the birds will get to them first and we'll have none for ourselves.  We also leave many olives in the top branches for the birds to enjoy.

The olives are washed to remove any bird droppings and pickled in a collection of jars.

~ Marinated pickled olive recipe ~

Pickling ingredients:
1.5kg fresh olives
1/4 cup sea salt
4 cups water
1 cup olive oil (approx)

Marinade ingredients - suggested only, you can choose and omit ingredients:
Olives in jars ~ JOLI NSC
2 cups olive oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 large cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
4 dried whole red chillies
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon peppercorns
6 thick slices lemon
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Stage One ~ rinsing to remove bitterness ~
1) Using a sharp knife slit the olives down the sides in two or three places through to the stone.
2) Place the olives in containers and cover with water. Weigh the olives down so they remain submerged.  Change the water every day for 5 days (use the water on your garden).  You will notice the olives begin to change in flavour and go from unpalatable to almost edible.  You can do this stage longer if you feel the olives need it.
3) Discard water and rinse olives.

Stage Two ~ pickling ~
1) Place the salt and 4 cups of water in a saucepan and stir until salt dissolves.  Place olives in jars and pour the brine over them, covering them.  Pour enough olive oil over the top to cover the surface of the olives.
2) Seal tightly with lids and store in a cool, dark place for 8-12 weeks.  The longer the better to help decrease the bitterness of the olives and allow them to soften.

Stage Three ~ marinade ~
1) Combine 2 cups olive oil with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup dry white wine in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat and add the other marinade ingredients - adding and omitting ingredients to your taste.  Stand for 30 minutes.
2) Add a lemon slice to each jar.  Add olives and arrange garlic, bay leaves etc. attractively in the jars.
3) Cover with marinade and seal.  Store in a cool dark place for up to 6-12 months or longer.  Leave for at least 2 weeks before opening.  Refrigerate after opening.

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Beware Ordering Items From China

When I'm not in flow making your skin care products I'm off playing little miss detective.  Perhaps I was a detective in a past life (if there is such a thing?)

While looking at ladies fashion trying to figure out what style of clothes I like I stumbled across an Australian women's fashion online website.  At first I was in awe of the pictures because the dresses are so well made and feminine.  I started to browse, making a mental note of dresses I liked; looking at the instructions, sizing charts, about us, contact us and terms and conditions.  Supposedly order processing takes 3-5 days and then up to 12 working days to post (max 3 weeks).

While they don't outright say it they elude to being based in Australia yet have no business contact details aside from an email address (which didn't strike me as odd since it's not unusual for online websites to only have email contacts).  I looked up their business name and found they have an ABN and a street address in Sydney yet the business has been listed by a Chinese name (person or company).   They had another business in 2015 under a different name that no longer exists - what happened to it?   Couldn't find any information on it.

I sent them an email enquiry about site info and received an email back that did not originate from Sydney, they copied and pasted a standard response from their website and didn't answer my question.

It was time to look for reviews and sure enough I found some on their Facebook page, 99% of which is negative.  Mostly regarding the long postage times over 1-2 months, low quality clothing not looking like the pictures and incorrect sizing. All comments are replied to with courtesy responses.  Tracking of orders is done via an overseas (China) courier company.

This lead me to wonder even more about the company.  How could they claim to be based in Australia while selling low quality items they ship in from China?  This is false advertising and the very least.

My detective work took me here, there and everywhere and I ended up finding out about dodgy (scam) companies that set up websites in China using photos they've stolen from other websites and selling second rate items.  Items made in sweat shop factories where employees are asked to replicate items pictured on the websites.  Judging by the quality of the work often reported, the employees don't seem very skilled and quite often have no idea how to replicate the product well.  From there I looked around for other sites scamming the Australian public and was horrified to find that there are many and when the companies are confronted about their dubious existence they close their websites down, change business names and open new websites.  I was further horrified to find reporting these companies isn't very easy leaving me, and no doubt others, unsure as to how to actually do it.

Customers who report dodgy products to the companies have emails ignored, phone numbers don't work, items are often lost in transit, arrive second rate and have to be returned in order to receive a refund, which often isn't given.  There is no way to chase the company down, reporting them is tricky and often futile, returning items is costly, so many just cut their losses and China gets it's money from ripping off other countries with fake items: clothing, jewellery, electronics etc. These companies have infiltrated not just Australia and the US, but France, the UK, Thailand, India... just about every corner of the globe!

Now this isn't to say ALL companies from China are illegitimate fake scammers; numerous people have purchased knockoff items they're happy with, but BEWARE and do your homework.  If unsure ask for more information because somewhere out there someone knows.  One thing to look out for is photos that also appear on other websites (you can do a reverse image search), this is a sure sign the photos are fake, and fake photos mean fake companies!  Also not having standard photo styles, such as consistent background colour, product placement etc.

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