Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Why I Quit Facebook

According to many marketing experts I have essentially committed business suicide by leaving Facebook (FB), because FB is the fastest growing social network with the ability to reach millions and millions of people world wide.

That being said here is why I decided to leave:
1) They changed their algorithms so that businesses are less likely to appear in people's news feeds unless businesses pay for advertising.
2) When businesses pay for advertising it will most likely result in some extra page likes but most likely not customer conversions.  That is up to page owners to publish ongoing page content that results in conversions (which makes sense).
3) Mixing up posts and not just 'selling' to people is what people want to see (makes sense), yet even with mixing up posts with tips, funnies, facts, videos, product information etc. it was rare to get any engagement no matter how varied the posts were.  Comments were rare, post likes were rare, page reach varied anywhere from 25 to hundreds.  This is happening with many business pages on FB leaving many business owners feeling a tad dejected, unloved and unappreciated, and like they're talking to themselves.

These two posts were a couple of JOLI's most popular posts with amazing reach yet they didn't convert to new customers (and it takes time to put images like this together).  Sadly it's a lot of effort for little return.

quality & natural doesn't have to mean expensive
Animal testing, don' support it!
4) While I've been able to hang out with some AWESOME customers and people, most of my customer base is not on FB, or if they are they don't interact via FB.
5) Sometimes people would only make purchases while interaction / friendships were maintained on FB, unfriend someone and they'd stop purchasing.  This is not the customer base I'm looking for.  I want people who are looking for genuine natural products, who have found that in JOLI and want to maintain that healthy skin care choice (FB or no FB).
6) Before FB, before the internet, businesses were successful.  There is no reason why businesses can't still be successful by other means aside from social media.  I'm going to invest in other avenues and see what momentum I can gather from that.
7) From a personal perspective friendships were ignored because FB kept everyone up to date.  No one needed to make actual contact with actual get-togethers because they felt they were keeping in touch (via FB).  Since exiting FB genuine friends are getting back in touch and actually planning catch-ups. Yay!
Not to mention I've escape the shiny happy (fake) people on FB who only ever talk about how rainbows and sunshine their life is.  When things aren't going well, and friends aren't keeping in touch, fake perfect lives can be hard to stomach.  I don't have to worry about that anymore because I'm seeing real friends in real life and keeping it real ;o)

Customers are still messaging me via email (because they have direct access to me once they become customers) and I get to talk to them there, answer their queries and share information.  They can also read the latest news and find out about current specials via the monthly Indulgence (newsletter*).  Or leave comments on the website blog and this JOLI blogspot (where I share recipes, DIY, chemical information, reviews etc. A veritable wealth of information!!).

*Sign up for our newsletter and receive your FREE Essential Natural Beauty Guide ebook.

Look forward to seeing you around and hearing from you via other methods aside from FB x

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Independant JOLI Reviews

JOLI Natural Skin Care excellent quality at affordable prices
It is difficult when you stumble across a website with products / brands you've never tried before. You wonder if the products are any good, value for money, live up to their claims etc.

The last thing you want is to invest your hard earned money in a product only to try it out and find it doesn't do what it says it will. 

JOLI have been fortunate enough to have their products reviewed by independent reviewers and here is what they have to say:

 ~ All Her Pretty Little Things ~

As you can see from her review the results Sarah is getting and the naturalness of the products are genuine.   It's great to hear from someone about their experience with using JOLI Natural Skin Care.

~ Liv It, Do It ~

"They smell smell just beautiful and they make your skin feel amazing!"

~ Living Safe ~

Nicole is loving her eye cream and says she has become a little addicted to Fluffy Lime Eye Cream, and why wouldn't she... It is an amazing product :o)

~ Blanky4me ~

"The lip balm is incredible.  I got to choose my own combination - so I chose a Pink colour and Lolly Musk flavour - yum."
*   *   *

These are not a paid presentations.  JOLI gave the products knowing that anything could and would be said about them/us while also knowing that our products are highly beneficial and those who use JOLI love their goodies.

<<You can see JOLI's full product range here>> give or take few items (the video is a few years old)

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Chemical Toxins in Our Skin Care

don't buy into animal testing and chemical filled products
Propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates (pronounced thy-lates), sodium lauryl (SLS) or laureth (SLES) sulphates… These names do no easily roll off the tongue; however they do roll of the ingredients list on the back of our skin care, makeup and bath products (as well as our cleaning products).

These synthetic scientist made chemicals are cheap and have excellent stabilising properties.  Which means when added to skin care, beauty and cleaning products they have the power to keep the products preserved for a great length of time.  Majority of these chemicals came into play around the 1940’s, left over from the war.  Once it was discovered what these chemicals could do they were added to mainstream products and used to stabilise and revolutionise the cosmetic and beauty industry.  Now products such as soap, cold creams and lipsticks could be shipped out world wide, in hot or cold weather, and still be in ‘good’ condition upon arrival.

Before the use of these chemicals skin care was rustic and pure, it was made in relatively small batches in a ‘supply on demand’, ‘made to order’ fashion.  It was not made in exponentially vast quantities in a ‘consume more’ fashion and shipped world wide, sitting on supermarket shelves for long periods of time, as it is done today. 

Aside from how the use of these and many many other chemicals, have revolutionised the cosmetic industry, their use has a number of down sides. 

1. Numerous chemicals have hormone disrupting properties causing young girls who are exposed to the chemicals to reach puberty at a younger age.  Hormones found in hair care products have strong hormone disrupting symptoms and have been found to cause young girls to develop breast buds… that disappear when they cease use of the product.  Some chemicals cause immune deficiencies.

2. Studies of blood in adults and teens as well as blood of newborn baby’s shows that these chemicals are building up in our systems.  Newborn babies are being found to have parabens and other fetal-developmental toxins in their blood streams, before they have ever been near any skin care product. 

3. Cancerous tissues has been tested and found to contain parabens.  It is not yet know if the parabens cause the cancer or if they are merely drawn to the cancerous tissue, however it does show parabens are definitely building up in our systems.  Keep in mind, these chemicals are hazardous and are designed to kill (bacteria and so forth).

4. One of the more sadder parts to this chemical warfare… the thousands of animals that have been tested on over the years so that scientists can try to determine at what ‘safe’ levels these chemicals can be added to our skin care, beauty and cleaning products (cleaning products have higher levels of the chemicals). 

5. People who clean a LOT and do not use gloves are developing dangerous levels of toxins in their bodies.  More and more of the population are suffering from over-exposure to the constant chemical bombardment in our daily lives. It is no wonder that eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis are all on the rise. 

All this seems a bit ‘doom and gloom’, but rest assured there are organisations and companies working towards cleaning up our skin care, beauty and cleaning products.  One such organisation, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (www.safecosmetics.org) has set up a database where companies are ask to sign a pledge to eliminate the use of chemicals in their products.  There ARE safe alternatives to synthetic preservatives!  Companies on the database have their products listed with safety/hazard ratings so consumers can make informed choices about their skin care and it notes whether companies Do or Do Not conduct animal testing.  

This is the driving force behind the company Joli Natual Skin Care (www.jolinatural.com.au). To get ‘back to basics’ when it comes to skin care, and being dedicated to making fresh ‘supply on demand’, ‘made to order’ quality skin care.  A company which does NOT test on animals and is dedicated to not using ingredients that require animals testing.  Joli Natural was started by a mother of three boys, all of whom have had severe skin reactions when using mainstream products (in particular the products handed out in the gift bags given out by hospitals during pregnancy for use when baby is born).  Upon learning about chemicals in skin care Joli Natural set about creating natural skin care for body, beauty, bath and baby that is safe, gentle and effective. 

For further reading and for more information on chemicals in skin care the book Not Just a Pretty Face gives reference to action being taken and the types of things the public can do, such as contacting companies who use these chemicals and demanding they STOP!  As well as moving away from companies who continue to use chemicals in their products and move towards companies who are dedicated to supplying chemical free skin care.

Written by Jodi, founder of Joli Natural Skin Care for Natural Parenting.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Poachers & Wanna Be Entrepreneurs

Businesses all over the world get copied, ideas stolen and poached and it's even worse for niche businesses who offer something specialised and limited.  From KFC to Coke there are always going to be those who try to steal golden recipes and use them for their own gain.

In all the years JOLI have been operating we've had three people contact us wanting to know the exact ingredients of our products.  Even though it states on our website that we do not share this information readily (only our lucky customers know exactly what's in the products they've purchased).

One enquiry came from a lady who works with and sells essential oils.  Another came from a lady who ran a small gift shop in a quaint county town.  In each circumstance none of those queries resulted in them doing business with us even though they can see from JOLI's ingredients list that our skin care is one of the most natural brands on the market.

The most recent enquiry was interesting.   It came soon after we were approached by a one time customer wanting us to sell our base products to them in bulk for them to repackage and sell as their ownThis particular customer was always starting new business ventures and kept in contact with JOLI wanting us to support their endeavors (even though they only placed one small order with us years and years ago).  Sometimes we gave support, other times we didn't.

It just so happened that this customer made her queries over the weekend when JOLI are not open for business.  By the time we logged on, on Monday morning, she was irate, telling us not to worry about selling to her in bulk, she'd found someone else to supply her with base products.

Within days of this contact another (questionable) lady contacted us wanting to know the full ingredients for a handful of our most popular products.  She was told that information wasn't given out but this didn't stop her from contacting us again and again.  She was quick to reply to all emails after asking for more information.  Various bits of basic information were given while secret ingredients and product adaptions were omitted.  The reason information was given was purely out of curiosity to see what would happen.  Would she then place an order when the naturalness of JOLI products had been proven?  Or was she asking for other dubious reasons?

As soon as she had the information she required she stopped replying to follow up emails asking if she required any more assistance.  No surprise there.

When the second lady (Molly Staey [sic]) made her query I assumed it was related to the customer, Donna, wanting to place bulk orders.  Perhaps the supplier whom she'd found was now contacting us wanting to know our ingredients to see how her own base products stacked up?  Perhaps it was Donna pretending to be someone else because she really hadn't found anyone with base products comparable to JOLI's?

[Upon some slight investigation thereafter it was found that Molley Stacey looked remarkably the same as Donna (FB profiles).  Curious... ?!]

So this makes me wonder... why make the enquiry with no follow through?  Did she have her own agenda?  Maybe plan to try and replicate JOLI's awesome products?  Who knows?  She can give it her best shot, however with only base formulations given with key adaptions missing from the formulations, the attempt will never be as good as the real deal.

I can understand other people's desire to try and poach because JOLI are one of the few companies who make their own products from scratch without additional toxic preservatives.  We do not purchase bulk ready-made skin care to repackage and sell as our own.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not what we do; and also we've not found any base products that are as natural as we want.  JOLI purchased exclusive rights to their product formulations from a manufacturer with 50 years experience in the natural skin care industry.  There are literately hundreds of formulations for us to drawn from (on file) yet we currently only use a dozen or so of those formulations ~ which have been adapted and altered to suit our customer's needs and desires.

Even if someone tried to poach our base formulations they don't have our product adaptions, quantities, essential oil blends, technical skill set etc.  Not only that getting the company started was intensive with years of training, in depth learning about essential oils, blends and medicinal properties, correct cooking temperatures and amalgamations, safety regulations, liability insurance (a compulsory part of any retail business - which Donna admitted she wasn't going to get), labels, design and so forth.

The fact that we have our own private formulations, that no-one else has access to, without the use of additional toxic preservatives, plus product adaptions to suit individual needs - sets JOLI apart from the others.   No matter who tries to poach and pinch our awesome formulations they'll never rival what JOLI have created in the 10 plus years we've been in the industry.

JOLI, Rich Cream Moisturiser

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Nail Art Tutorial no.1

Purple varnish with while mandala dots.

Step 1: paint purple varnish onto nails over clear base coat

Step 2: using a wooden skewer dip end into white acrylic paint then press onto nail to form a large central dot

Step 3: using pointy end of skewer dip end into white acrylic paint and form four small dots around central dot

Step 4: add for more dots in between previous dots

Step 5: add four dots N, S, E & W of pattern

Step 6: create two dots in between each N, S, E & W

By now you should have a nice circular pattern of white dots

Step 7: place four more dots N, S, E & W of pattern

Step 8: allow to dry before painting over with clear top coat

(You can choose different colours - colours shown for demo purposes)

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Monday, 7 August 2017

Blanky4me Review: we love our blankys!

It started off with one blanky, a large family blanky from Blanky4me.com...  A lovely large red blanky with cheetah print on the underside.  So warm, soft and cuddly.  We'd huddle under the blanky and watch some telly together or read or talk.  Mostly I hogged the blanky because it's so comfortable and big and cozy.

Which then lead to more blankys!!!!

Another read and yellow blanky for one son and a blue and yellow blanky for the other... and we couldn't leave our fluffy white dog out.  He got a dark chocolate blanky with cheetah print underside (that's him - the white furry thing - at the bottom of the photo).


What I love about the blankys is they're well made and don't come apart at the seems, and my boys can be pretty rough with their stuff, plus they can be washed easily.  Not to mention they're personalised blankys and you get to choose your colours (top and bottom), font and text colour.  They make a great gift that will last a long time and can be cherished.

We've had our blankys for a while now and still love them as much as they day we got them.  Mine (the family blanky) pretty much follows me from room to room... as do my boy's blankys (we might be slightly obsessed with our blankys)... and they're still in excellent condition.

If you or your children are blanky lovers, or you've got friends who are or someone with a newborn baby on the way... pop on over to Blanky4me for your personalised blankys.

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 (and Dads)

< 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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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

One Chicken, Six Meals

While this article isn’t for our vegan friends it is about helping those who wish to reduce their meat intake. More people are becoming aware that the way we produce and consume meat has a largely ill effect on the earth and our bodies; the vast quantities we consume, the suffering of animals and the environmental impact of raising animals for meat.

So if you’re moving towards eating less meat this article should help.  Also chickens have less environmental impact on our earth than other animals (see diagram).

Using one whole free range chicken this is what I did to make one bird feed our family (of four) for six days.

Remove the two breasts/chest area and place in a freezer container. No need for impressive knife skills, just do the best you can. Remove the wings, drumsticks and thighs (I like to separate the thighs from the drumsticks because there are more pieces to go around). Two batches of chicken ready for freezing and using later on in the week. 

Place the remaining body of the chicken in a large pot, stuff and onion into the cavity, and cover with water. Add some flavours if you like such as peppercorns, cloves, garlic and bay leaves and add salt to taste. Cook on a very low heat for at least three hours. 

When the chicken stock is done allow to cool before removing the body of the chicken and strain the liquid into glass bottles. This makes several (recycled) wine bottles of homemade chicken stock which you can freeze and use at your leisure.

Meal one: remove the bits of chicken from the bones that have been slowly cooked in the chicken stock and use in homemade backed beans. Tinned beans (strained) cooked in a 800g of crushed tomatoes with sautéed onion and the chicken pieces. 

Meal two: slow cooked chicken Italian style. Wings, drumsticks and thighs slow cooked in 800g of crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs and some home grown olives. Served with brown rice (or mashed potato if you prefer).

Meal three: use one bottle of chicken stock in a vegetable risotto. 

Meal four: the chicken breasts were cut into bite sized pieces and used in a yummy homemade butter chicken sauce, served on a bed of brown rice. 

Meal five: after eating the Italian style chicken (meal two) there was a fair amount of very flavoursome tomato sauce left over. This sauce can be poured over cooked pasta as a rich flavoured Napoli sauce. 

Meal six: using another bottle of chicken stock cook some macaroni and a large tin of beans, with added Italian herbs and make a delicious and hearty Minestrone.

These dishes are just an idea of how the whole chicken can be used in many different, economical ways and it takes me back to a time when families were frugal with food and used every bit to make food go a long way.
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Thursday, 2 March 2017

How Far Can $120 Worth Of Food Go

Monday morning was grocery shopping morning. With a view to NOT enter the supermarkets all produce was purchased from the local businesses. We're really lucky where we live because our green grocers has a huge variety of produce including accompaniments like sauces, spices, noodles...

Fruit and vegetables came to $70. Break down: sweat potato, 5 garlic bulbs, handful of fresh ginger, 6 mandarins, bag of apples, bunch of bananas, 500g strawberries, grapes, 6 figs, 4 large carrots, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, free range eggs, trio of dips, a bag of walnuts to snack on and tomato passata.

Meat from local butcher, consisting of a handful of chicken necks for the dog, a handful of small chicken pieces and 3 chicken breasts, came to $18 (the necks and pieces are cheap).

Local bakery, three wholemeal loaves of breach came to $5.

Italian delicatessen, 3 bags of pasta, mozzarella, large bag of parmesan and large bag of Italian cookies (for school snacks), came to $25.

Monday dinssert = (Dinssert - a word coined by JOLI meaning having dessert for dinner)
Rhubarb and apple crumble.  Rhubard and apple supplied by a friend who grows their own produce. Crumble made from ingredients already in the pantry (what I refer to as staples*).

Tuesday dinner =
Pasta neapolitana. One bag of rigatoni pasta topped with a tomato sauce I made the previous Sunday lunch (before shopping) and parmesan cheese.

Wednesday dinner =
Minestrone made with the handful of chicken pieces, onion, garlic, 4 potatos (from last weeks shopping), one carrot, rehydrated chick peas* and a quarter bag of riccioli pasta.

Thursday dinner =
Stir fry vegetables with rice.  Broccoli, snow peas, garlic and ginger, with an egg, coriander and oyster sauce*.

During this time a banana cake was made with old bananas and staples. I did a quick shop on Thursday to get milk and butter because I forgot to get these on Monday.

Friday dinner =
Cauliflower and chicken soup, with one whole cauliflower, one chicken breast fillet, garlic, onion, stock and a cup of dried lentils*.

Saturday dinner =
Left over minestrone.

Sunday dinner =
Bread and trio of dips.  The bread was warmed in an oven after being lightly tossed with olive oil then served with a trio of dips.

We made a carrot cake on Sunday with two of the carrots and a cup of the wall nuts, eggs and staples.

This is to feed a family of three and by Sunday we have 4 bananas, two apples, half a bunch of grapes, garlic, ginger, cucumber and sweet potato, two chicken fillets, two loaves of bread (we must have had at least another half a loaf prior to shopping) and the accompaniments such as cheese, milk etc.

Monday dinner =
Chicken breast baked in tomato sauce with onion, garlic and mozzarella cheese, served with sweet potato mash.

Tuesday dinner =
Cucumber salad with feta cheese and home grown olives.  The last bag of pasta with parmesan cheese (with bolognese sauce made with mince from the freezer) plus home-made garlic bread with half a French stick (from the freezer).

Wednesday dinner =
Left over cauliflower soup with buttered bread.

Breakfast is cereal* and milk, lunch is a sandwhichs, buscuits, fruit and water, afternoon snack is fruit or cookies, sometimes yogurt if we have it or cake if we've made some.

*Staples = from the pantry / freezer - items usually in stock.

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Spontaneous Breakout

Spontaneous breakouts are when your skin has been looking good for a while, blemish free, scars have healed, no new pimples... then suddenly you're in the midst of a full blown breakout again!

When this happens think back over the last week or two before your breakout occurred.  What did you do differently then that maybe affecting your skin now?  Did you eat lots of fatty and sugary foods? Did you begin to drink alcohol when you hadn't been drinking for a while?  Did you increase your dairy intake?  Did you begin using a different product, perhaps one that uses petroleum / mineral oil as a base?

To give you an example, using myself as the casualty.  For the past three weeks I've been suffering through a breakout along my T-zone - forehead, nose and chin.  Starting off with one pimple here, one pimple there and becoming a T-zone riddled with red dots that even make up failed to hide. [insert major sad face] :-(

Before then my skin had been looking great for months and I was feeling really good about myself.

Anyone who suffers breakouts knows that wonderful feeling you get when your skin is looking awesome!!!!

What happened?  What changed?  Well it turns out that prior to my breakout we went on a 10 day family holiday.  While on holiday I was drinking wine with hubby almost nightly (I usually don't drink often), I was also having cheese platters and iced coffees (an increase in dairy), plus I was using a mineral oil based sunscreen which clogged my pores.  During this time I was NOT cleansing regularly or properly.  In fact I didn't bring my Facial Wash at all.

I was also reading more and I'm not very good at having idle hands.  When idle some people chew their nails, some people smoke, some people eat, some people pull at their hair.  I rub my face.  Touching your face with your fingers is probably one of the most detrimental things to do when it comes to pimples/acne.  Your fingers and hands have lots of bacteria and when you touch your face you're effectively infecting your blemishes.  You also spread the bacteria from blemish to blemish which is why it's important to clean your face correctly and not touch your face.  Wearing gloves can help.

Within a week of returning the first blemish appeared on my forehead and by the end of the week I had numerous angry red blemishes.  The toxins and impurities I was putting into my body were now coming out on my skin while the sunscreen had blocked my pores.  A bad combination!  Still I did not start routinely cleansing and looking after my skin until the end of the second week because I was being lazy and not taking care of myself.

It was time to set myself a challenge.  To clean my skin routinely for 7 nights in a row and improve and heal my skin, getting it back to looking blemish free again.  This consisted of drinking plenty of water daily to flush out toxins and impurities.  Cleansing, exfoliating and toning followed by an application of Skin Serum every night.  The Skin Serum helps with skin regeneration and healing while the cleansing steps clean away the bacteria.

Six days in and my skin is looking so much better.  No new pimples to report, the old pimples are dead or dying, the flaking skin around the edges of the dead pimples has lessened, there is still some slight scarring / skin pigmentation where the pimples were, however, I can now cover these successfully with mineral makeup.

** Take the 7 day challenge TODAY using JOLI's Blemish Skin Pack - I recommend you choose Serum instead of Light Moisturiser - and share your successes with us!!!! **

Sunday, 5 February 2017

I Don't Have A Green Thumb

If gardening doesn't call to you, sing to you, leave you feeling content and happy... then chances are it's not your thing and therefore you don't or won't have a green thumb.

Gardening is much like parenting (some are good at it and some are not).  If you don't water and feed and nurture your plants they'll die of neglect.  Of if you over indulge your plants and give them too much water they'll drown in your love.  If you pay your garden or plants attention often and interact with them regularly they will thrive.

However, here is some good news for all you brown thumbs: in a forest no one is watering, feeding and nurturing those plants and yet forests flourish.


Forests have their own self care methods that keep them thriving even in the most harshest of conditions.  Take Australian bush for example, usually growing in hot and arid conditions with little rain fall.

I view gardening much the same way.  I plant shrubs and trees that require relatively small amounts of attention.  In fact I usually plant my plants and leave them to see which ones grown well all by themselves.  If they die they weren't meant to be there and I try something else.  Then I grow the smaller more needy plants around them in conditions that suit their needs.

For example the ferns are planted along the south side of the house, along the wall of the house to give them plenty of shade and a moist ground.  The succulents are planted along the north of the house because they need zero attention.  Along the east of the house are the vegetable gardens because they need lots of sun to grow plenty of produce.  I move plants around too if they look like they're suffering and in need of more sun or more shade.  As for the plants that are in full sun for most of the time but not necessarily sun loving, the larger trees give them shade and protection.

Just like a forest it is rare for any green matter leave my property.  It is all used in biodynamic ways.

Branches and leaves from pruned trees are placed around the base of the tree to give back and feed the plant from which they came.  Weeds are tossed into garden beds because they absorbed nutrients from the ground that I want to keep and give back to my plants.  A large raised garden planter serves as a compost bin in which food scraps and excess garden waste is tossed including egg shells which feed my garden calcium.  Any excess plant matter I cannot fit into the compost bin (because the matter is too large or the bin is full) I burn and then use as potash on garden beds - such as potatoes, peas, beans and lettuce which love potash.

These are just a few tips and tricks of the 'trade' and I'm happy to share.  If you have any questions let me know.