Category Archives: Life Enhancing

Rise, Rise Oh Sleeper

Rise, Rise Oh Sleeper
Rise, Rise Oh Sleeper

On the 10th of April my Country South Africa, marched against injustice by the President of our Country. While walking the twins through the streets in my Neighbourhood there was a sense of unity going around that day. All the colours of skins smiled and greeted each other with pride as we stood up together against our corrupt government.

It wasn’t always like that day. In fact South Africa as a country has come a long way in a short while and we still have a long way to right all the wrongs in the best possible way.

We as a country endured many hardships in between our love for our beautiful mountains, big five animals and sunny summers.

 

As a white person in South Africa, despite having many dear friends of color and despite always standing up against racism, I hardly ever try to speak up publicly against our corrupt government because somehow I feel that whatever we say, it will be seen as racist because we are speaking up against a black dominating government. Read the rest of this entry

In The Gap Clothing

In The Gap Clothing
In The Gap Clothing

I got this awesome shirt from In The Gap Clothing for my son and I love it! Local is surely lekker and to top that, this is a growing family business to watch!

Wearing Christian clothing is not everyone’s cup of tea but for some people it can be a great opportunity to share their faith and answer questions around the clothing they wear. It can be a whole ministry field on your way to work or at the shops. I think its awesome!

About In the Gap:

“Well,  it all started with a dream. When my husband awoke one morning with several designs still in his mind, he realized that the dream of printing Christian t-shirts was from God. More than a year later (in God’s perfect time) the opportunity came to start our Christian Clothing Company and countless details fell into place within a matter of weeks. We were amazed at our King, knowing that this step and the timing was from Him.

In the Gap Clothing is situated in Mossel Bay, South Africa, and we seek to design and distribute quality Christian clothing aimed at promoting Kingdom life.”

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They have some pretty cool pillow cases, wall stickers and shirts & hoodies so hop over and have a look!

Follow their BLOG for insightful posts on relevant Christianity topics or browse around their ONLINE SHOP for awesome Faith clothing. Also follow their FACEBOOK page.

 

 

Why I love The Lorax so Much!

Why I love The Lorax so Much!
Why I love The Lorax so Much!

There is so much to learn from most of the Dr. Seuss books, but The Lorax… Oh the Lorax!

The Lorax has affected us in more than one way, but the most stunning and beautiful thing is how my children, at only 3 years old, are focused on protecting the environment. My son especially, mentions the Lorax almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day…

He says things like:

When he plays with water, “Do I have to turn off the water now? We have to save water for the Humming-fish.”

When his dad chopped down a non-indigenous tree in the yard he went on for weeks, “Is the Lorax sad when we chop down trees? Some trees are not like Truffula trees, they damage the environment, its OK to chop down bad trees.”

When there was soot in the air from a large fire, “The air is polluted, the Swomee-Swans are going to fly away.”

How stunning is that!

For a three year old to have an understanding of the environment like that, all you need is Dr. Seuss!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

South Africans can buy it from Takealot, American friends, have a look at Amazon.

The Lorax book cover


 

To download the quote, click on the image below.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” - Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

 

Cuddle Fairy

God’s not Mad at You

God’s not Mad at You
God’s not Mad at You

Sometimes I feel like finding reasons to be mad at God. As if God made bad things happen to me or punished me for my wrong doing. The well intended words of others who think God must be punishing us for something we did when something bad happens sticks in your head like a broken record when you forget…

Yes sometimes we forget all about Jesus… Read the rest of this entry

Don’t kill spiders!

Don’t kill spiders!
Don’t kill spiders!

My love for spiders started one day when I went bug hunting with my kids. In one day we found two baboon spiders and a very small gecko by just looking… Amazing how nature comes alive when you actually look.

It was the most amazing thing to inspect the small male and female baboon spiders (Harpactira sp. ‘Robertson’) and since my father did the same for me as a child, of course I just had to catch the third one we saw in the house to look at it closely and release back into the garden. It made me think of how my grandma used to kill every spider in sight with Doom…

Why do people kill spiders? They are a valuable part of the eco system and they are quite effective in eradicating insects. We’ll I’m sure most people mainly kill them because they are afraid that they can be dangerous and possibly deadly.

Well I found this exert from How stuff works – Home & Garden

“Most spiders don’t harm humans. In fact, they help us.

Dr. Linda S. Rayor, Assistant Professor of Entomology, Cornell University

Spiders are beneficial inhabitants of any garden, ecosystem, or home because of their important contributions to biological control of pest insects. Spiders are considered to be the most important terrestrial predators, eating tons of pest insects or other small arthropods every year. Spiders are generalist predators that are willing to eat almost any insect they can catch. They are abundant and found in most habitats. They only need to be left alone!

Spiders are voracious hunters and will reduce the amount of pests in your garden. However, spiders will also go after bees and other favorable insects. Spiders aren’t aggressive like mantises, so importing the arachnids to your garden isn’t going to quash an aphid outbreak. However, their very presence will reduce garden pests. (And no chemicals!)

Like the good Doc says, all you have to do is leave them alone.”

 

The Spider Club of Southern Africa has a great free printable booklet that will enlighten you on how many actual deadly spiders we have in South Africa. Download the booklet HERE  and next time you see a scary looking creature…. know that he’s most probably harmless and more afraid of you than you are of him.

Just leave him alone and you should be fine and if you absolutely have to, rather transfer him to the garden by catch and release with a glass and a piece of cardboard, You’ll come to notice its actually not that scary!

Inspirational Quotes #2 + Wallpaper!

Inspirational Quotes #2 + Wallpaper!
Inspirational Quotes #2 + Wallpaper!

After a week away from my family, I recently had a great family holiday. My husband had to work here and there but the kids and I had unlimited fun. We had so much fun that we wanted to buy the apartment we stayed in, but thankfully we thought twice…

I think re reason we wanted to buy it was because we felt so much at home… we felt so much at home because the kids were there… I had the conclusion that Read the rest of this entry

Inspirational Quotes #1

Inspirational Quotes #1
Inspirational Quotes #1

Ive been wanting to share my thoughts like this in a quote for a long time and every now and then I get this twitter invite from @GrowingUpKTot and I make promises and I try but then I get busy… so I finally got this together  so here we go!

Each week Cuddle Fairy Has a Quotes Linky so when you see this logo please give her Read the rest of this entry

The Angels Amongst Us

The Angels Amongst Us
The Angels Amongst Us

 

I live in a small town with dusty roads where cows and sheep walk- and children run in the streets. Every now and again, there’s also a Sewage truck in the streets, but I hardly ever see them at my house. They come, they suck out all the nasties from our septic tank and viola, our toilets can flush again! Yeah you city- and big town folk probably take that for granted.

Not us.

We don’t have modern sewage pipe systems where you flush your toilet and everything magically disappears into the Read the rest of this entry

Calm Parents, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham: 10 of my favorite quotes

Calm Parents, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham: 10 of my favorite quotes
Calm Parents, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham: 10 of my favorite quotes

 

I’m currently reading Calm Parents, happy kids by Dr. Laura Markham and thought I’d share ten of my favorite quotes from the book.

  1. “The most important Parenting skill: Manage yourself”

I believe a happy Mother creates a happy home. When all is good with the Mother, most of the time all is good with the family. When your cup is empty and you have not been looking after yourself, your energy becomes low and so does the ability to harness your emotions. Look after yourself and show them how to manage yourself. When you are falling apart, how are your kids supposed to stay afloat?

  2. “What kids need that no one tells you: a safe place to express feelings while you listen”

Sometimes its hard to REALLY listen when your toddler throws himself on the floor for the millionth time. What he really wants is for you to stop and listen to him. Hear him out… hear that he needs YOU! Dr Markham says children can only manage behavior when they learn to manage the emotions that drives that behavior. Sometimes kids needs a safe place to allow those emotions to flow free, where they won’t get in trouble for feeling what they don’t even know they are feeling.

  3. “What your child wishes you understood: Shes just a kid, trying as hard as she can. Expect age appropriate behaviour, not perfection, and keep your priorities straight.”

Sometimes I find myself all of a sudden stop myself midst scolding my 2 year olds and think, “Wait a bit… they are only 2 years old!!” When kids are linguistically advanced and talk like a three year old even though they are only 2 years old you tend to think that they should be able to listen and obey you like a three year old. Well, they’re not! 

They are a year behind a three year old which means the three year old has had a whole year more of emotional “coaching” and a whole year more of getting to understand this strange thing called life.

If you are an imperfect being, how can you expect them to be perfect? If you make mistakes all the time and loose battles with yourself daily, wether its about chocolate, swearing or smoking, how can you expect your toddler to sit down every time you ask her to?

  4. “The most useful mantra: Don’t take it personally”

Yawza, this one is one of the most difficult ones for me. I take everything personally. Everything! Dr Laura encourages to avoid power struggles by cultivating a sense of humour. I have been trying this more and more and I must say, making jokes has saved many a battle with my kids. Whenever I want my kids to do something these days I just pretend to bite their bum…

Let me explain… they absolutely LOVE dinosaurs and they love it when I chase them so when, for instance, they don’t want to get out of the bath and its starting to get a whining-crying-business, I just hold my hand like a puppet dinosaur and say, “Oh dear, you’ll have to come out or the dinosaur is going to bite your BUTT!” and when I say “bite your butt” I grab a chunk of bum and squeeze softly and they break out in laughter and get their buts out of the bath!

  5. “All misbehaviour comes from basic needs that aren’t met.”

I have experienced, from observing kids in the past, that “naughty” kids usually are in need. They need love or attention of an example of a healthy relationship between parents for instance. Sometimes its just an immediate need, like you cant expect your child to sit still in a trolley for two hours at the grocery store when they are hungry. They don’t neccessarily know they are hungry or realise they are thirsty but act out because they feel something is not feeling good.

Make sure they get enough sleep, are fed, have enough free play time, cuddle them, talk to them and make them feel safe. Dr Markham believes children want to be successful and when they don’t, they have a relationship problem, not a behaviour problem!

  6. “Because no matter how bad your child’s behaviour, it’s a cry for help. Sometimes the behaviour requires a firm limit, but it never requires us to be mean.”

I have been mean so many times, only for me to realise later that there really was something in her shoe or he really did want to pee AGAIN. Sometimes I have just not been taking care of myself so my threshold would be VERY low and then I’d expect too much of them.

Theres never an excuse for bad behaviour and discipline is very important to me but its NEVER ok to fight their behaviour by being mean. By doing that we teach them how to handle things by being mean, just causing more bad behaviour on their side.

  7. “The best parenting expert? Your child.”

This is my favorite quote! We learn from our children from the day we are born. When we observe them and meet their constant needs, we learn from them. They are basically giving it to us, we just have to learn to listen without having to hear!

  8. “One generation full of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world. – Charles Raison”

Theres a saying that goes. “All you need is love and a place to call home.” In Afrikaans the saying is more true because it translates to “All you need is love and a little water.”  Children that are neglected and never touched have found to be very far behind developmentally. This shows how important love and physical touch is for human beings, we can not function without it.

Song of Solomon 8:7 says, “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” How powerful love is!!

  9. “Parenting is not about what our child does, but about how we respond.”

Much too often I find myself thinking a behavior my child portrayed, shows what kind of parent I am. I have responded in a bad way so, so many times… My only comfort is in God and the fact that He has grace for me and therefore my child will also have grace for me, through Him! My mistakes can not be undone and I am making them as I go, but God is guiding me every step of the way and will never fail to show me the way. I know Its going to be OK because thankfully God has made kids adaptable and He has given us the strength and courage to change.

Dr Laura says “you’ll have to manage your own triggers and emotions to effectively coach and connect with your child” man is it difficult to manage my triggers when the kids find all of them within a 5 minute frame. I have issues, I know that by now, and much too often they come out in situations where I am trying to coach my children. They learn to regulate their emotions and behaviour by watching us do it. We have to be OK for them to be OK. That’s a scary thought!

  10. “Our children need to know that we take joy in them or they don’t see themselves as worth loving. In fact, your ability to enjoy your child may be the most important factor in his development.”

Life can distract us so much from whats happening right under our noses. How sad is that when theres children happening right under our noses! Was it not important for us to know our parents took joy in us, or very sad when we knew they didn’t? Isn’t it important for us to know our spouse takes joy in us, or sad for us when we know they don’t?

Our children are not as emotionally developed as we are. Imagine how badly affected they are when they don’t experience us having joy in them. They are our worlds, let’s make them know they are!

Guest Post: “Caffeine and Fairydust”, on Animal testing!

Guest Post: “Caffeine and Fairydust”, on Animal testing!
Guest Post: “Caffeine and Fairydust”, on Animal testing!

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I recently came across this awesome Blogger Mama called Maz thats not only a Fashion Designer but also loves cooking, reading and traveling, writing about parenting, beauty, pregnancy, health and her favorite products AND she has some pretty awesome tattoos!  What got my attention about her was that not only is she absolutely BEAUTIFUL on the outside, but she also has a real, pure heart and wrote this wonderful conclusive article on animal testing. I was so excited to find another blogging South African Mom that also tries to stay away from household chemicals and also publicly disapproves of animal testing.

I’ve touched on this subject before and have been wanting to write more about it but when I saw her article I just had to ask her permission to have it as a guest post on “Mother in the Making… Naturally” because it is so rich in extensive research and says it all just as it is!

Please follow her blog at https://caffeineandfairydust.wordpress.com and also like her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/caffeineandfairydust?fref=ts. Herewith the much anticipated article… enjoy!


 

ANIMAL TESTING – DOES THE COST TO THE ANIMAL JUSTIFY THE RESEARCH? MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.

The next time you are applying your make-up or washing your baby’s hair, take a moment to consider whether or not you can do so with a clear conscience. I have never understood the need for companies to test on animals, and I never will. I think it takes a very evil kind of person to subject these little creatures to the kind of pain and torture they endure. I know that we are all busy, and change is not always easy, but are you comfortable with the fact that the animals being used in these tests suffer and ultimately die, all in order to ensure that we can improve our appearances? Are humans morally more important than all animals? Is there a sliding scale with humans at the top and the simplest animals at the bottom? Or are humans and animals morally equal?

“Right now, millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories across the country. They languish in pain, ache with loneliness, and long to roam free and use their minds. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them.” – PETA

I have done extensive research over the past couple of weeks in order to provide everyone reading this article with the correct information, and to compile a list of companies that do and companies that do not test on animals. My list focuses on beauty brands, baby and kids brands and household products.

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What animal testing involves:

Toxicity tests to estimate the safety of products and chemicals were developed in the early 20th century. These include experiments that subjectively measure the irritation of chemicals in the eyes or on the skin of rabbits for example, and determine toxicity by the dosage of a chemical that kills half of the animals forced to consume, breathe or be injected with said chemical. These primitive testing methods, including the infamous Draize and LD50 tests, are, regrettably, still in use today.

The animals in the labs obviously go through unspeakable things and are subjected to excruciating pain. Every year more animals than you could imagine are tested on for cosmetic purposes. They are blinded, burned, mutilated and killed so we can wear a shade of lipstick or colour our hair. Inhumane and mindless cruelty taking place for the sake of ‘science’. I am not going to post pictures here of the things that these poor animals are subjected to, but if you are interested in this Google it. I dare you.

As animal lovers, it is our responsibility to steer clear of all products tested on animals… South Africa is slowly starting to come to the party in terms of cruelty free products. Even if the tests are not painful there are many factors other than the experiment itself that can have an effect, including conditions during breeding, transport, housing, handling and restraint.

Animal testing may take place in various stages of the manufacturing process, whether on the finished product or on the individual ingredients involved. This makes it very difficult to compile a 100% accurate list of brands as some products may not be tested on animals, but the ingredients might.

Animal Testing is used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything from medication and household products to cosmetics.

 Why I Believe It Should Stop:

The cost to the animals does not justify the research, vanity is not worth innocent lives.

I am not a scientist, but surely animal testing has become redundant in this day and age? There are many other methods of testing available to cosmetic companies, methods that are actually more accurate than animal testing. As of March 2013, the EU banned animal testing completely  – why can we not follow in their footsteps?

What are the alternatives?

It seems the logical choice to move away from animal testing, not only because of the damage being done to animals, but because we can’t always be sure that the test results produced are even valid. Humans are so genetically dissimilar to the animals used in testing that it makes the process almost pointless.

Options to consider instead of testing on animals include computer modelling, avoiding ingredients that have not been proved safe, and using human volunteers or clinical trials. Science has greatly advanced since the development of the animal tests that are still in use today. Cell culture, molecular and computation methods (in silico methods) are now well-developed scientific tools. In vitro methods based on human cells and tissues are now being developed and evaluated for assessing toxicity. Toxicity testing, however, has not had the urgency and support of government funding programs that disease-based research has enjoyed. The best tests for human toxicity would be conducted using humans, which apparently is unethical.

What YOU Can Do To Make Make A Difference:

  1. Stop buying from companies that test on animals. If you do not support or fund them hey will have no choice but to change their methods or shut down
  1. Raise your children to be aware of Animal Cruelty Free products, teach them to respect all animals – big or small.
  1. Other avenues are being explored, but in the meantime, PLEASE print out this petition sheet, and have it filled. The SA government does not accept on-line petitions. You can post your completed sheet to: BWCSA, P.O Box 1156, Milnerton, 7435
  1. You can also donate to these organizations to aid in the fight against animal cruelty:
  • Leaping Bunny
  • Beauty Without Cruelty

 GOOD: Companies That Do Not Test On Animals:

I have compiled a list of some of my favourite companies/products that are not tested on animals and broke them up into Beauty, Baby/Kids and Household. For the link to the full list, as well as where I got my information from, please see the end of the article. Many of these companies have only recently been certified with Beauty Without Cruelty and other organizations, so you won’t always see the bunny on the packaging.

(Click on the company’s name to be directed to their website.)

  • Beauty

Harmless House – Online store selling cruelty free brands! Very convenient.

Rain Africa –An amazing South African brand with a wide variety of artisan soaps, luxury bath products, hand & body lotion, body butter, body polish, hand salves, heel balms, body scrubs, insect balms, lip balms, sleep balm, sun burn salve, shampoo and conditioners, hair masks, body and massage oils, foot scrubs, foot soaks, facial moisturizers, belly balm and essential oils.

Hey Gorgeous – Amazing and unique South African range of body polishers, moisture drenching creams, serums, moisturizers, soothing balms and skin masks.

Woolworths Private Label – Bath and body, skincare and stunning cosmetics range.

Beauty Factory – this company is Vegan friendly and offers an extensive range of bath and body products, as well as cosmetics, fragrances and skincare for men and women. They also offer a great price range.

Pure Beginnings – An amazing South African range of organic and ecologically friendly deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and insect repellant.

Oh Lief Body Range – A gorgeous South African range consisting of body wax, hand wax, heel balm, lip balm, body lotion, hand wash, hand lotion, body wash and body oil.

Innoxa – Amazing variety of cosmetics, skincare, fragrances, tissue oils and toiletries. They also have a great price range

Charlotte Rhys – Luxury bath products and body care. They also stock a very unique men’s range.

Miöja – beautifully packaged range of repair creams, cleansers, body creams, renewal oils, face masks and lip treatments.

Vanda – A lovely range with a wide variety of skincare products, toiletries, body care, cosmetics, fragrances and health products for both men and women

Oh So Heavenly – Exclusive to Clicks. This is a great budget friendly brand with a lovely range of body washes, body lotions, body butters, body scrubs, fragrances, facial skin care, foam baths, foot care, hand lotions and washes, soap and talc powders.

Esse – Organic Skincare range.

Catrice Cosmetics – This is great budget cosmetics brand that is available at Dischem.

LA Girl – Great budget cosmetics range available at Dischem.

NYX Cosmetics – cosmetics range available at Clicks.

Essence Cosmetics – The range features great budget products, available at Clicks and Dischem. Cosmetics, skin care, nail polish and fragrances.

Inglot – Stunning range of cosmetics available at Edgars.

Like Silk – An affordable, basic skincare range which has always had a strong association to Beauty without Cruelty.

African Organics – Shampoos and conditioners, hair treatment oils, hand lotions, clay wash, body wash and shower gels.

The Victorian Garden – Bath and body, skincare, hair care and fragrances.

Earthsap – Shampoos and conditioners, hand wash, face wash and toner, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, insect repellant, shaving cream, aftershave balm, foot powder, body scrubs and body lotions for men and women.

Eucerin – (all Beiersdorf products are completely cruelty free) Eczema relief body cream and instant therapy relief, skin calming itch relief lotion, body wash, hand cream, foot cream, skin care, lip balm, shampoo and conditioner.

Hannon – amazing hair care range as well as cosmetics and skin care.

Lee Stafford – Professional haircare available at Clicks.

Ju mè – body washes, body lotions and healing balms.

Satiskin – This comprehensive range consists of a bubble bath, hand wash, hand crèmes and a shower gel range.

Good Stuff – A wide variety of skin care, body care, hair care and natural hair dyes.

Fleur de Vie – Skin care, an extensive range of cosmetics, body products as well as beauty tools

Aloe Ferox – Anti-aging skin care, body lotion, Aloe gel, aftershave gel, facial wash, tissue oil, shampoo and body wash

  • Baby and Kids

Harmless House – Online store selling cruelty free brands! Very convenient..

Bennetts Baby Products – Bum cremè, baby wipes, aqueous cream, aqueous bath drops, saline nose drops, soap, sunblock, nipple cream and mosquito repellant.

Rain Baby – body and hair wash, bum balm, aqueous cream, Cornstarch Talc, baby lotion, insect balm, soap

Pure Beginnings Organic Baby Range – Bum cream, baby lotion, baby wash and shampoo, baby wipes, toothpaste, aqueous cream, teething gel, insect repellant and gift sets.

Pure Beginnings Organic Kids Range – Bubble bath, toothpaste, body wash, hand wash and insect repellant.

Soul Naturals – baby massage oil and baby bum balm.

Oh Lief – A gorgeous South African range consisting of baby wax, insect balm, aqueous cream and baby shampoo.

Beauty Factory Kids – Foam baths, hair and body wash, body lotion, and body cream. I find their prices very affordable and this company is Vegan friendly as well.

Oh So Heavenly for Baby – Exclusive to Clicks. This is a great budget friendly brand that currently has two ranges for baby – Original Baby and Sweet Dreams. These ranges contain shampoo, bath wash, bubble bath, massage and bath oil, aqueous cream, body lotion, skin freshener and one of my favourites – bedtime room mist.

Oh So Heavenly for Kids – Exclusive to Clicks. This is a great budget friendly brand that hosts the Pretty Princess Range for kids. The range consists out of mild bubble bath and wand (yes… a fairy wand!), body wash, shimmer lotion, shampoo and conditioner and hair detangling spray.

Eucerin – (all Beiersdorf products are completely cruelty free) Baby Eczema relief therapy cream, Eczema relief body wash and healing ointment.

Aloe Ferox – baby oil, baby shampoo, Aloe gel, baby balm and baby bottom cream.

The Victorian Garden Baby Range – Foaming baby bath oil, cleansing cream, body wash, shampoo, baby massage oil, body lotion, baby powder and nappy cream.

  • Household

Harmless House – Online store selling cruelty free brands! Very convenient.

Rain Africa – Home fragrances

Woolworths Earth Friendly – household cleaning products

Pick ‘n Pay Green Range – household cleaners

Better Earth – Laundry gel and fabric conditioner, bathroom and toilet cleaner, automatic dishwasher gel, air freshener, cleaning spray, floor cleaner, wooden floor cleane and dishwashing liquid.

Earthsap – A great budget friendly range. Kitchen cleaner, drain maintenance cleaner, window and surface cleaner, household sanitizer, bathroom cleaner, upholstery cleaner, air freshener, all purpose cleaner, dishwasher gel, machine and hand wash laundry powder, machine and hand wash laundry liquid, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid and toilet bowl cleaner.

The Victorian Garden – Home fragrances and linen sprays

Ju mè – room sprays and candles

BAD: Companies that DO test on animals:

Some of these companies refuse to reveal their animal testing policies. These companies should not be considered cruelty-free until they make a clear statement on animal testing. Many of these companies are blatantly lying to their customers through their sales reps and websites regarding their animal testing policies – skin and eye irritation tests must be conducted on animals in order for cosmetic products to be sold in China, which are paid for by manufacturers.

Revlon – They have been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China—and they did not inform PETA or consumers that their policies had changed.

Elizabeth Arden

Puig Fragrance House – Includes designer fragrances such as Prada, Valentino, Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne, Antonio Banderas and Shakira.

Bobbi Brown – On Bobbi Brown’s website list of FAQs, the very first question is “does your company test on animals?” The answer? A firm “no”. “Bobbi Brown is committed to the elimination of animal testing.” Except that this is followed by: “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” In other words, in order for them to continue marketing their cosmetics line in China, they have to test on animals.

Avon – their reps and websites will tell you otherwise, but after extensive investigating by PETA it has come to light that Avon has been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China—and they did not inform PETA or consumers that their policies had changed.

Colgate-Palmolive – Colgate, Sta-soft, Palmolive and Speed Stick.

M.A.C cosmetics – They have been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China—and they did not inform PETA or consumers that their policies had changed.

Coty – Adidas, Calvin Klein Fragrances, Chloè Fragrances, Beyonce Fragrances, Celine Dion Fragrances, David Beckham Fragrances, Enrique Eglesias Fragrances, ESPRIT Fragrances, Guess Fragrances, Halle Berry Fragrances, Jennifer Lopez Fragrances, Jil Sander Fragrances, Kate Moss Fragrances, Katy Perry Fragrances, Lady Gaga Fragrances, Madonna Fragrances, Roberto Cavalli Fragrances, Vera Wang Fragrances, Balenciaga Fragrances, Marc Jacobs Fragrances, Playboy Fragrances, Rimmel, Sally Hansen and OPI.

Estee Lauder – They have been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China—and they did not inform PETA or consumers that their policies had changed.

Glaxo SmithKline – which makes Aquafresh, Sensodyne, ENO, Zovirax, NiQuitin, Abreva, Scotts and Horlicks.

Johnson & Johnson – Listerine, Acuvue, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, RoC, Johnson & Johnson Baby range (no more tears, really?) and Band-Aid.

L’Oreal

Procter & Gamble – Dolce & Gabbana Fragrances, Dunhill Fragrances, Escada Fragrances, Hugo Boss Fragrances, Lacoste Fragrances, Gilette, Braun, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essence, Wella, Pantene, Olay, Nice ‘n Easy, Always, Oral B, Vicks, Tampax, Duracell and Pampers.

Reckitts Benckiser – Nurofen, Clearasil, Dettol, Strepsils, BANG, Vanish, Durex, Scholl, Gaviscon, Mortein, Woolite, Veet, Harpic, Calgon, Finish, Lysol, Mucinex and Airwick.

Unilever – OLA, Sunlight, Dove, Knorr, Robertson, Vaseline, Pond’s, Handy Andy, Sunsilk, Lipton, Shield, Sunsilk, Lux, OMO, Motions, Tressemè, Organics, Rama, Skip, Domestos, Joko Tea, Radox, Dawn, Rajah, Fissan, Comfort, AXE, Stork, Lifebuoy, Knorrox, Brut, Surf, Glen Tea, Vim, Pepsodent, Flora, Impulse and Closeup.

Maybeline

REDKEN (L’Oreal) 

Garnier

Neutrogena

The Body Shop – There has been some confusion regarding The Body Shop, and whether they test on animals. The Body Shop has always been very vocal in their anti-testing stance, and many consumers continue to buy their products due to the perceived animal friendliness of the brand. However, it was acquired by L’Oreal in 2006.

L’Oreal is notorious for its extensive animal testing over the years, and outcry followed. Many protesters demanded a boycott of The Body Shop, not because it was testing, but because any money spent on its products is going to a parent company that does test.

More information:

Leaping Bunny Program

Paul Mitchell, Badger Balm and Dermalogica products, while not tested by BWC, have been approved by the Leaping Bunny Programwhich means that they adhere to international cruelty-free standards. However, they may contain ingredients that are required by law to be tested on animals after a specified cut-off date and are therefore not approved by BWC.

About Beauty Without Cruelty / Beauty Without Cruelty SA
Beauty Without Cruelty is an animal rights organization with a primary objective to educate and inform the public about the exploitation, abuse and suffering of animals and to offer humane non-animal alternatives to replace cruel and harmful lifestyle choices. Through peaceful and lawful means, we expose and oppose all cruelty to animals and will lobby national, provincial and local government in this regard.
Beauty Without Cruelty’s action plan:
Beauty Without Cruelty runs a progressive educational program, aimed at informing people about the suffering of animals and has initiated a number of campaigns, which focus on exposing animal abuse, specifically in the areas of vivisection/cosmetic testing, the exploitation of wildlife and in factory farming. Methods used to draw the public’s attention to these issues also include legal intervention, protests, lobbying central, regional and local government and other peaceful means.


For a full list of products – worldwide – that ARE and ARE NOT tested on animals, take a look at PETA’s website / click here. A more South African focused list of companies not testing on animals can be found on BWCSA’s (Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa) website / click here.


It may not always be easy to find products that haven’t been tested on animals, but only you can decide if you’re comfortable with sacrificing an animal’s wellbeing for your own beauty. The important thing is to make an informed decision. If you want to find out about a company or have any questions, contact me or comment here and I’ll find out what their testing status is.

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*Please note, this post is NOT sponsored by anyone – If any of the products listed are not Cruelty Free and have been listed in error, please contact me and we will remove them or motivate my reasoning* Information obtained from PETA, Beauty Without Cruelty, Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa, Leaping Bunny Program, Vida Compassion, Nuffield Bioethics, http://www.navs.org/

Pilates for Recovering After Childbirth

Pilates for Recovering After Childbirth
Pilates for Recovering After Childbirth

Some of us put too much effort in getting back that pre-pregnancy body and some of us don’t put enough effort into it… so how much is too much? I spoke to my guest Corrie van der Colff from Extreme Gymnasium, McGregor, South Africa to get the lowdown on what, where and how when it comes to tightening “that-what-once-was-tight” and was pleasantly surprised with my findings!

 

corrieprofile

Corrie van der Coff, Xtreme Pilates

 

“Looking back in History, women spent quite a bit of time recovering in bed… not because they were tired, but to allow the pelvis to settle back into position and the ligaments to start shortening in by natural processes!”

Now thats something lost in modern society… we tend to jump right back in to lift off where we touched down before the birth of our babies and consequently carry the burden of complications due to an unstable pelvis (like back, knee, joint and foot problems etc) for years to come. Corrie says its even normal to mourn for what has been lost from carrying a baby for 9 months and therefore Post Natal Depression can even be a natural process of healing… The natural processes of life has become obliviously left behind and women end up with emotional consequences like Major Depressive Disorders, Stress, Fatigue and Auto-Immune diseases. Its just natural to rest and accept that your body will take time to heal. Imagine what primitive women would have done… I can imagine them lying down with baby most of the time, breastfeeding till baby dozes off, holding baby in their arms when they are awake to see their charming gaze and breastfeeding once again until they and baby are both once again in their happy place. I did this a few times in those first few weeks after the twins were born and I must say I did not do this enough… it was absolutely magical and I won’t trade those memories for all the millions in the world!

“Instead of trying to take the depression away, make sure that you have enough support around you to work through that proccess.”

I dream of the world there once was, where Grannies knitted in the sitting room while the Mothers baked in the kitchen and Children ran around the house, getting the same level of discipline from their Aunts and Grannies as they did from their Parents.  Support is a major lack in modern society. I’m not saying we did something wrong… life happens and we are not primitive human beings anymore we have obligations and sadly money (or rather the lack of) has taken us further away from each other but I strongly believe this is a cause of many emotional problems Mothers are faced with today. Many daughters don’t honor their parents anymore and their parents don’t honor them, causing more friction than comfort when opportunity for support comes along. Evidently many new mothers prefer to be alone those first days instead of allowing their mothers or mother-in-law’s to offer support. It really is sad… this problem’s fix is an article for another day, but the bottom line is you have to have some kind of support, even if it’s a friend or a family member you can really feel safe and comfortable with being yourself.

“You actually have to re-learn to move from scratch”

None the less there comes a time when we have rested and started moving around and are now ready to start exercising… what do we do now? When you are pregnant and just before childbirth your tummy muscles separates to make space for the bulge and your pelvis opens up to allow the baby to drop into the birth canal… this as a major stress on your body and Corrie says after childbirth we actually need to re-learn to move from scratch.  The Pilates way helps us to move in a way that integrates all the systems in the human body. Pilates is elegant and free-moving, giving muscles an opportunity to train against your own body-weight which allows the muscles to tighten in good time. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good cardio or body building workout but first we need everything to get back into place. Your muscles have a stretch/tension capacity that decelerates when the body is not in optimal alignment so you need to stay away from jerky movements in the early days of recovery.

But wait theres more…

Ive heard many ladies complain of urinary incontinence and the best news is that Pilates naturally restores the firing pattern of your muscles to restore optimal function of the pelvic floor.  Now ain’t that a daisy! After a while, by exercising the rectus abdominis (the six pack… yes its there, its just in hiding), the transverse abdominis (belt around the waist) will be fired and that naturally fires the pelvic floor which means it will start working and no more leaks… no more tears!

Now Corrie is not your average Pilates instructor. He has had many people from all over the world come to him for rehab… I bet you didn’t know there’s a more ‘natural’ way of doing Pilates and also a commercialised way of doing it.  Some people believe old man Pilates himself did not know so much about the human body so they changed a bit of the original program to “correct” it. Corrie, however, and quite some of the original Pilates “elders” as they call them, has researched and studied Joseph Pilates’ available material for years and has very specific reasons for following and supporting his theories. For more info, contact Corrie through http://www.xtremepilates.co.za. The bottom line is that Pilates can not be done in group classes from the start so when looking out for a Pilates studio, make sure you are offered individual classes from the start as theres no way these classes can be done in a group if you are not already comfortable with the exercises and aware of what your muscles should be doing.

The great thing about Pilates is that it creates muscle memory so that you never have to think how to pick something up or how to climb down the stairs in order to prevent injury. This is key to staying young!

If you do Pilates, not only will you restore all the normal functions your body should be doing, you invest in your old age but more importantly, you work through your physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Body, Mind, Spirit. We are humans as a whole and the one can not function without the other… the body compensations we had even before pregnancy did not exist for no reason. You did not necessarily tear a ligament because you made a bad step… your ligaments are supposed to be strong enough to support that bad step. Now why was the ligaments not strong enough? The metaphysical is a field I just love to explore and I am always amazed to find direct connections between the metaphysical and the physical injury I sustained.

Thinking of life holistically is not necessarily strange or different. Medical research proves and psychology textbooks teaches that the spiritual, emotional and physical are connected so why do we tend to dismiss this theory? Recovering as a whole human being is key to getting fully healed and will save so much time.

Now thats a whole lot to process… Let me break it down for you:

  1. Rest
  2. Secure your support system
  3. Work through the emotional loss your body had to go through
  4. Re-learn to move by doing non-strenuous exercise like Pilates
  5. Have fun with your little bundle of joy!

 

Pilates cover pic

Intermediate mat work program and power sessions. Order from Xtreme Gymnasium.