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  • How Magnesium Gel Can Help Your Entire Life...

    Have you ever had a muscle injury? What about chronic muscular-skeletal pain? Are you one of the 10% of people who suffer from restless legs? Maybe you have trouble sleeping and someone recommended you try taking magnesium tablets? They were on the right track! Going without sleep and living in discomfort is an incredibly hard thing. When we are in that state it affects everything we do and it can be so hard to find relief without medication (which there's nothing wrong with!). But when pain is chronic and/or you are trying to avoid pharmaceuticals due to pregnancy or personal choice, I have a little secret I want to share with you.... Say Hello to your new best friend: Topical Magnesium. Magnesium is one of 16 essential minerals that our bodies need, yet the majority of the population are deficient. Unfortunately, oral forms of Magnesium supplementation are often not well absorbed as much of it is destroyed in the digestive tract. Trans-dermal (applied on and absorbed through the skin) Magnesium Therapy is rapidly absorbed at a cellular level and is carried through the body to where it is needed. Read: fast, effective action! Magnesium is known to provide comfort for especially sore, achy muscles, restless leg syndrome, fatigue and cramping, to aiding in sleep or how I use it most gratefully - to ease painful menstrual cramps. Not to mention, it's actually really amazing for skin health, too! Whenever I feel achy or have strained a muscle, this is the first thing I reach for. It doesn't 'fix' the source of the pain, but what it does do is provides relief by taking the edge off and reducing the discomfort. As the magnesium absorbs it also travels to the injury, providing vital mineral assistance to muscle and tissue repair (so it helps things heal faster) Using Magnesium gel is as simple as taking a pea-sized amount and applying to skin, especially wherever you're experiencing pain, discomfort, aching in your body [*avoiding broken skin and delicate areas]. There is no upper limit of magnesium, so you can apply as often as you like. If you suffer from any of the above complaints, I invite you to incorporate this Therapy into your daily life as a self care practice to assist in relieving discomfort. I have handcrafted two formulas with my heart intuition to include Hibiscus Flower & Neroli, and Kawakawa & Nettle. All ingredients are certified vegan and cruelty free, with an option for completely plastic free packaging in respect for Pāpatūānuku. Both are available on this very website! (link below). Which one is right for you? Hibiscus is the gorgeous pink and very popular. It is great for sleep and relaxing restless legs with the inclusion of Lavender. Also the Neroli and Clary Sage are powerful when wanting relief from menstrual cramping. Clary Sage and Hibiscus however may have some aversions for use during pregnancy in which case I recommend the Kawakawa blend. Kawakawa is known for its analgesic properties and Nettle can be very effective on arthritic pain. Both contain the same strength of magnesium, so the choice is yours! Check out the Magnesium range HERE

  • Why are so many people are switching to natural deodorants?

    Hey You - Yes, You! Do you know what you’re putting on your armpits? Our skin is our biggest organ. With thousands of pores and receiving cells, it pays to make informed choices about the ingredients we are using on a daily basis. Do some research on ingredients (aluminium is often found in deodorants - eek!) and also on the effects on BPAs and plastic packaging on human hormone disruption… Once you know, you know, and can start looking at natural alternatives. Bonus points for products packaged without plastic too.. While natural lip balms and soaps are relatively easy finds, what about the harder stuff like moisturisers and even deodorants? This is a journey I’ve been on for the last 7 or so years - trying to find affordable, non-toxic, simple ingredients that are safe to use on myself and my family. The importance of this task was amplified when I was pregnant in 2021 and especially as a new mum I was hyper aware of ingredients that appeared on the back of bottle of perfumes, baby lotions, massage oil, even in baby wipes! I figured if I couldn’t pronounce it or understand how it was made, then it needed a second think. Over the years I have been making (and loving) more and more of my own cosmetic and body care products, carefully choosing simple, pared-back ingredients that nourish, not harm. Last year I finally released my own naturally nourishing range of handmade beauty products that ‘just work’, including natural deodorants for the whole family. Are you thinking about trying natural deodorants yourself? Here’s some of the things that took me years to learn, that you need to know:: So firstly, natural deodorants will not stop you sweating. This is a good thing! Sweating is a natural process the body undertakes for heat regulation and to eliminate toxins. Antiperspirants work by physically blocking your pores - it can take weeks or months for your body to detox from the ingredients involved (especially aluminium which I know many people can actually develop a sensitivity to including rashes and reactions). Similarly, Big Brand deodorants also contain a cocktail of ingredients that aren’t doing your armpits any favours, including alcohol and fragrances. So sweat is good, but odour? Not so much. We know that even ‘conventional’ perfumes can contain hormone disrupting toxins - especially for women’s breast health and mamas who are breastfeeding, snuggling and holding their precious babies, it is highly recommended to avoid these products. So where’s the solution? A good natural deodorant contains very effective bacteria & odour fighting ingredients without the harsh chemicals. The key ingredients are all about reducing and balancing (naturally occurring) bacteria and therefore any odour and often include things like coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate and essential oils. Whilst chemical deodorants and antiperspirants disrupt things, using a natural deodorant (or even no deo) allows your body microbiome and normal bacteria to re-stabilise: What a lot of people don’t realise is that your body goes through a little detox phase when you swap out antiperspirant for a natural option. If you’ve tried to go natural before but it ‘didn’t work’, it might simply be that you didn’t give it enough time. The truth is, your natural deodorant isn’t making you smell worse - the bacterial communities under your arms are changing. For some people it can actually take up to a month for your body to fully detox (don’t panic, for most people it’s less) but I promise it is totally worth it. TIPS for if you’re really struggling to switch, try: Take your deo with you to reapply during the day as your body adjusts Using an antibacterial soap (something with tea tree or honey in it will work great) Shower more often (or damp flannel/wet wipe) Dust under your arms with corn flour/starch to absorb excess moisture Some people find using a ‘detox’ clay mask underarms helps speed up the transition Deodorants are just the tip of the iceberg, but an impactful way to start. I’m here to help you make the changes and choices you want to make for you and your family - simply message with your questions or further advice on detoxing plastic from your family’s home. Made it this far? Whoop! Thanks for reading, hopefully you learned something new… If you like, you can get yourself a free sample tin of Natural deodorant with your next order using the code ‘NATDEO23’ (one-per-customer) Check out the Natural Deodorants & Handmade Beauty range here:

  • EVERYTHING you need to know about: BEESWAX WRAPS

    Beeswax wraps are the ultimate replacement for pesky Gladwrap (cling film) which is a single-use plastic nightmare (especially in Northland where access to soft-plastic recycling is extremely limited), therefore they can be one of the easiest first steps towards waste reduction in the home. They are easy to use and easy to care for, once you know how! In this post I will try to cover the many questions I get asked about beeswax wraps, as well as a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along my own journey. Wax wraps are simply clean cotton fabric that has been coated with food-grade wax to create a water resistant cloth that is malleable enough to wrap and cover around food. Only non-toxic, food-safe ingredients are used to make them, and they are naturally biodegradable/compostable at end of life (unlike cling film!). They can be re-used over and over and over again, making them far superior to single-use plastics. Let's get into it! What’s in them? The main ingredient is the food grade wax - beeswax is most popular as it is fairly easily accessible and contains anti-bacterial properties in the wax (bees are amazing!), or you can try candelilla wax for a vegan option. Because beeswax is solid at room temperature, this can mean that, especially in cooler weather, your wrap may be stiff and hard to mould around food, and also more prone to cracking & wear. To help combat this, a small amount of two other ingredients are often added - roisin and oil. Rosin - this is essentially hard sap from a tree (plant resin), pine rosin is commonly available and also safe to use around food. Oil - again must be food grade to be safe, so sunflower, olive and jojoba are popular choices. How to use? So many ways, essentially can be used to cover, protect and store almost any type of food (although raw meat and liquids are not recommended), simply place over the food/container and use the warmth of your hands to bend and mould until you get a nice seal with no gaps. The wrap should stick to itself as well as the item being wrapped so it doesn’t fall off. Below are some of my favourite ways of using wax wraps:: 10+ ways to use beeswax wraps (instead of cling film) Wrap opened cheese in a wrap and store in fridge to help stop it from drying out Wrap a handful of nuts or dried fruit (or even dog treats) and pop in a pocket while out on a walk Cover a plate or bowl of leftovers (mould around the edge of the bowl to seal) Cover bowl of bread dough as it’s rising Wrap around cut fruit eg half avocado, lemon, even watermelon! To stop browning and drying out Use on top of a jug of water (or better yet - sangria) when dining outdoors to stop bugs flying into your drinks Cover open cans of baby food or keep rusks fresh and clean ready to eat Seal open jar, cans and containers of food in the fridge such as dips, hummus, baked beans Keep bugs out of jars of fermented food (eg sourdough starter, kefir, sauerkraut) by covering while they’re out on the bench (will allow gases to escape so won’t burst your jar!) Replace Gladwrap and use to wrap sandwiches & wraps in your lunchbox Wrap around loaves of bread from the bakery (you can even freeze wax wraps, though they may need warming up to refresh them afterwards) Use to wrap up the stems of a bunch of flowers, keeps moisture in and looks even more beautiful than coloured plastic gift wrap You can even wrap non-food items! Try them around soaps and shampoo bars in your travel bag or to give as a gift How to clean? With care, your beeswax wraps can last for months without needing to be ‘re-freshed’ (more on that below) Depending on your level of soiling, cleaning can be as easy as: 1 Just brush off crumbs 2 Wipe with damp cloth 3 Use your fingernail to pick off food pieces before wiping with a soapy cloth 4 Submerge in COLD soapy water & scrub gently with your kitchen brush 5 When it’s time to bring out the Big Guns: Heaven forbid (but also don’t worry as it happens to the best of us.. More often than I’d care to admit) your used wrap has been forgotten at the bottom of a school bag, under the front seat of the car, or at the back of the fridge for some indeterminate amount of time and is now MOULDY. Firstly, don’t panic. If the contents of the wrap are indeed so horrific that you don’t even want to open it, then don’t feel too badly if you decide to chuck the whole thing in the compost bin (or bokashi, buried, or even fireplace). Both the food and the wrap are fully compostable and while not recommended for worm bins, if you have a well functioning compost bin it won’t be upset too much by this addition - that’s the beauty of using these natural wraps. If you do want to rescue your wrap (because Murphy’s Law is that it will happen to your one of your favourite patterns), you can follow these steps below: Dispose of the offending food Wipe with a damp soapy cloth Submerge in COLD soapy water & scrub gently with your kitchen brush Inspect your wrap now and see how bad the damage is - was it surface mould or has it penetrated under the wax to the fabric? If it has got through to the fabric or is still stubborn at this point you’ll need to pick off as much of the mouldy wax as possible and do a ‘re-fresh’ of the wrap to heat-kill the mould (details below). How to ‘re-fresh’ (ie what to do when they get old and cake-y looking!) This can be done just with an oven tray if you don’t need to add wax. Whether or not you need extra wax depends on how worn your wrap is - if it’s just a little dusty, or lightly cracked, try without adding wax. If your wrap is cracked and peeling, very soft or you’ve just done mould removal, you’ll need a bit of extra wax, around 1-2tsp depending on size of wrap. You can source wax from your local beekeeper, honey shop, or grab one of our DIY refresh bars so you can make new wraps at the same time! Oven method: I find this to be the easiest method to both make and re-fresh wraps by far, but you will need a couple pieces of equipment: Oven tray with flat bottom and sides (doesn’t have to be deep but it does make it a LOT easier if your wrap fits on the bottom, if not you can always fold it to fit) Grater to grate the wax Brush to spread wax (I use a dedicated natural bristle chip brush which you should be able to find at a hardware store) Tongs to handle the hot wrap Warm the oven up to 100℃ or it’s lowest setting (beeswax has a melting point of 65℃, and a low smoke point so I don’t recommend going any hotter) Lay your wrap in the bottom of your oven tray, as flat as possible. If you have to you can fold your wrap to fit (less folds, the better) Use the grater to grate a sprinkling of wax evenly over the wrap (but if you’ve had to fold, be sure to add extra to any areas that are more than one-layer thick) Place the tray in the oven, close the door and wait and watch! The wax will melt quickly, so the wrap only needs to be in for a minute or so - don't walk away! Once melted, take the tray out of the oven and quickly use your brush to spread the melted wax evenly across the wrap (sometimes it leaks out to the sides, scoop it back towards the middle of the wrap if you can) If you’ve been quick and the wax has not yet started to solidify (becomes matte/opaque) you can now use your tongs to lift the wrap off the tray. CAUTION - THE WRAP WILL STILL BE HOT! If the wax has started to solidify (or if you lift it and it appears uneven), pop the tray back in the oven for another 30 seconds or so before attempting to lift your wrap off the tray, being careful of any drips of wax. Hold the wrap in the air for 10-30 seconds (often depends on room temperature) for the wrap to cool back down from ‘hot’ to ‘warm’ before setting it down on a clean non-porous surface (draped over a clothes horses a great option). TA-DAAA!! One cooled, your wrap will be like-new! TIP: If you can, use equipment that does NOT contain any plastic parts - (eg, wooden/natural bristle brush, metal grater) that way you can simply re-heat those items in the oven after your waxing session to clean the wax off again. Method - place all equipment on the tray used and pop back in oven until wax is melted off. Use a small amount of paper (eg newspaper, toilet tissue, old mushroom bag) or old rag to wipe the equipment including the tray and absorb any wax residue while it’s still warm and liquid. If you don’t need to add extra wax or don’t have an oven I have also had success using a hairdryer on hot and also the dashboard of my car in summer to re-fresh wraps! You can get creative, you just need even, not-too-hot heat. How to store? Always make sure your wraps are clean and dry before putting them away. Otherwise it’s your choice, you can have them rolled up in a jar on the kitchen bench for a colourful display, or kept handy in a kitchen drawer or in the pantry. As long as they are kept out of direct sunlight, and ideally away from heat, they’ll be just fine. TIP - rolling your wraps to store is better than folding them to avoid cracks which create weak points in the wax Have I missed anything? Whew, that’s a lot of info! It has taken me years of trial and error to learn the best ways with wax wraps, hopefully you’ve learnt something new, and if I’ve missed anything that you’d like to know please tell me about it in the comments below!

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