Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Hope you all had a wonderful day! It was just hubby, the kids and I this year, so it was very quiet. The kids had a ball! We ended up having a vegetarian Christmas lunch because the chicken we got refused to cook properly, and I didn't fancy chancing food poisoning. This year was our first Christmas altogether as Hubby and I were in England last year. Wish we could've had Christmas there again this year...where I live, it just doesn't feel Christmassy at all...especially not after you've experienced an English white Christmas! Hope you're not all nursing sore heads today!! :D

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The "No 'Poo Challenge." isn't what it sounds like ;)

My husband and I are always looking for ways to be greener, and lessen the toxins we and our children are exposed to. We eat organic where we can and try to use products with as few chemicals as possible.
I'd read about the "No 'Poo Challenge" a few months ago and thought I'd give it a go.

What exactly IS the "No 'Poo Challenge" I hear you ask?  It has nothing to do with the toilet, in case you're wondering!

Going "No 'Poo" is basically cutting shampoo and conditioner out of your life.  It's not as gross as some of you may think.

Modern shampoo as it is known today was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first synthetic (non-soap) shampoo.  Before this, people would wash their hair maybe a couple of times a month with soap, or just water.

Brilliantine was introduced at the turn of the century, when well-known perfumer Ed Pinaud presented a product he called brilliantine at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. His product was intended to soften men's hair, including beards and moustaches. Conditioner as it is known today came much later, and gained popularity in the 70's and 80's with ads featuring celebrities like Farrah Fawcett.

Farrah Fawcett in a Wella Balsam ad for conditioner in the 1970's.
The problem with modern-day shampoos and conditioners are a.) The concoction of hazardous chemicals that are used in them and b.) the vicious cycle they set up for your hair.

Shampoos contain, amongst other things, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphates) and SLES (sodium laureth sulphates). These act as a foaming agent. We are taught from a young age that you need a really good lather for things to be clean. This isn't so! I can't pronounce half of the chemicals that are used in haircare products. I believe that if you can't eat it, it's probably not the best to be putting on your skin or hair either. Most shampoos recommend not getting the product in your eyes because of the harmful effects! I don't want to be putting that on my childrens delicate skin and hair, or my own! Your body absorbs these chemicals and they can have a range of ill-effects.  Some of these chemicals cause hormone disruption and even cancer...nasty stuff!

The other problem is that shampoo strips your hair and scalp of it's natural oils. This, in turn, causes your scalp to overcompensate, producing more oil and making your hair greasy, and attracting more dirt. You then have to wash your hair more frequently. See the pattern? (Brilliant bit of marketing, eh?)
 It also causes problems like dandruff and itchy, flaky scalp. It doesn't need to be this way!

So, what have I been using on my hair?

Good old bi-carb and apple cider vinegar! It's that simple! You use the bicarb solution as your shampoo and the vinegar as your conditioner.  I have taken two small water bottles and labelled them to make it easier. At the moment I am using one tablespoon of bicarb per cup (250mL) of filtered water. DON'T use hot water when mixing it up. I put this solution in one bottle.  In the other I put 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (Bragg's Organic is the best, I think) per cup of water.

To wash my hair I pour the bicarb solution in my roots a bit at a time and make sure I massage it in well, then rinse. If you're addicted to wanting a good lather in your hair, this will feel odd. My hair is quite thick, so I do it twice. Your hair will probably feel dry and you may think it isn't getting clean. Don't worry, it is! The beauty of bicarb is that it cleans away dirt and grease without stripping the oils from your hair! Anyone who uses bicarb and vinegar for household cleaning will know how fantastic it is :)

Now, for the apple cider vinegar rinse. Don't worry about the smell-it dissipates very quickly! You won't be walking around smelling like a pickle, I can assure you! If you would like your hair to smell nicer, you could add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. I've added a little bit of coconut oil (the smelly one, not the one you eat!), but you could add lavender or a citus-y oil if you wish. It is up to you whether you pour the vinegar solution on your roots or only through the ends of your hair. It does restore the pH balance to your scalp, but if your hair is oily, you may wish to skip your roots and just do the ends.

What works for me may not work for you!  You may wish to use more or less bicarb depending on how dry or oily your hair is. If your hair is quite oily, you may like to use more, or wash your hair twice. Conversely, if your hair is quite dry you may wish to use less bicarb.  If your hair is really dry, you may like to give your hair an olive oil or coconut-oil mask once a week.

Don't expect miracles straight away. This is a detox process of sorts.  Your hair will be trying to rid itself of the silicones, the SLS and other chemicals that have built up in the hair and scalp over years of use. For the first couple of weeks, your hair may be quite oily. Don't worry-this is normal.  Your hair has been use to overproducing oil for years of overcompensating for oils being stripped regularly.  This will slow down. For some it may only take two weeks, for others it may be up to a month. Keep at it. This is my 3rd week and my hair is feeling much better. It still feels a bit greasy but keep in mind we have had over 30 C deg days this week and its been humid, sweaty gross weather lol! My hair always had a tendency to be a bit frizzy and flyaway at times but now it is quite curly and much healthier looking! I let it air-dry for the most part unless my hair is wet before bed. You be the judge!

Please leave me your comment or questions-I'd love to hear from you!  :)

Til next time!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vintage Beauty Tips

 Do you ever have those days
when you're a bit...

...And you'd rather be like...

Yesterday was one of those days for me.  So I consulted some of the wonderful beauty hints and tips I've collected over the years to see if there was anything there that might just pep a gal up a bit!
Perhaps try some of these, from the early 1900's!

                                                               HONEY SOAP

Just the things for sore, chafed and cracked hands in winter.  Shred one pound (approx 500g) of pure soap into an old saucepan with just enough water to prevent burning, add a quarter of a pound of honey (approx 250g), one ounce of glycerine (approx 30g), 2 tablespoons of fine oatmeal and a few drops of perfume.  Stir until soap is dissolved, and boil for 3 minutes.  Pour into wet moulds (old tobacco tins are just the thing!). Store until hard.

The white of an egg has many uses. Rub blistered heels with it and feel it remove the soreness.  Prevent further trouble by rubbing the heels nightly with methylated spirits; this tends to harden the skin against blistering.


For tender feet, mix equal parts of methylated spirits and olive oil and rub well into the feet at least twice a week at bedtime.  Helps the nails as well.


One teaspoon of sugar mixed with a small quantity of olive oil and rubbed well into the hands will remove stains and soften nicely.


To promote the growth of hair take equal quantities of olive3 oil and spirit of rosemary, and a few drops of oil of nutmeg.  Mix the ingredients together.  Rub at the roots of the hair every night with a little of this liniment and the growth will very soon noticeably increase.  When illness is the cause of the loss of hair, brandy should be applied three times a week and cold cream on alternate nights.


If you suffer from dandruff, gather a good handful of leaves from the lemon tree, cover with water and boil the mixture for half an hour.  Strain and bottle.  When it is cool, run the liquid into the scalp.  Even the most stubborn dandruff will respond to this.  It's a natural remedy.


Salt will clean teeth just as effectively as a high-priced toothpaste, and also prevents gumboils and heals ulcers of the mouth.


A cupful of vinegar added to a bath after strenuous exercise will be found to be very refreshing; it takes away all stiffness.


Every housewife knows the value of soaking the feet in Epsom salts.  It is especially good for smoothing fingertips roughened by housework, and also improves the texture of the skin.


If hair has begun to turn grey, it my be darkened to its original colour by the use of sage leaves.  Simmer a handful of sage leaves in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water for approx 20 minutes. Strain the mixture. When cold, brush it daily into the hair until the greyness disappears.


To make a refreshing bath tonic-gather a handful of pine needles and boil in a pint of water for 20 minutes.  Strain the liquid and add it to the bath.


A good face pack for early wrinkles is egg white.  After cooking with eggs, smooth the residue left in the shells all over face and throat.  Quickly you will begin to feel the skin begin to tighten.  Give yourself a little rest while the pack does its work.  Later, rinse off with warm water and apply a little vanishing cream.

Let me know what you think of these!  I'd love to read your comments on what else you'd like to see on my blog!

Til next time,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vintage Tips of the day Part.2

Ok, so I was asked if in my little collection were any hints and tips on stain removal and clothing storage.

Here are a few tidbits I found:

Storing Clothing:
 -Make sure cotton is thoroughly dry after washing to prevent the danger of mildew in storage.
-Wrap white cottons and linen in blue tissue to stop yellowing, and store clothing where strong light    will not fade it.
-Rinse synthetic fabrics in cool water to prevent wrinkles
-Allow permanently pleated fabrics to drip dry into shape before folding them for storage
-Silk should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place. Strong light can yellow silk or fade the dye.
-Store suedes and leather in a cool, ventilated area, never in plastic bags.

Crease-free storage:
 Fold freshly ironed shirts and t-shirts by placing the garment face-down.  In the case of a shirt, do up the buttons.  Lift one sleeve and place at a right angle across the shoulder, then lay the sleeve in alignment with the outside seam.  Repeat with other sleeve. Fold up the tail of the shirt, then fold again from the middle so that the shirt butts up with the yoke. In the case of t-shirts, line up the bottom of the T with the shoulder seam. Turn over and store face up. Garments folded in this way travel well, too.

Correct Hanging:
 Cull the wire hangers from your closet and replace them with a selection of quality hangers for specific garments; padded hangers for jackets, knits and delicate shirts and dresses, wooden hinged hangers with felt lining for hanging suit pants and trousers, wooden tailors' hangers for coats and heavy garments, spring-clip hangers for summer pants and skirts.  Do not hang garments by their belt loops.  Centre garments on the hanger, do up the buttons and zippers, and when hanging them in the closet, try to keep garments separate from each other so that the air can circulate.

Cleaning collars:
Apply hair shampoo directly to the dirty mark around collars, then launder in the usual way.

Woolens care:
When drying knitwear, slip an old stocking through the arms and peg this to the line to avoid marking the garment.

Yellowed clothing:
Restore yellowed clothing by adding a teaspoon of turpentine to the water.
For clothes that cannot be bleached, cream of tartar helps restore whiteness. Add 1-2 teaspoons to 4 litres of hot water and soak overnight.

Scorch marks:
Light scorches respond to a paste of borax and glycerine. Cover the mark completely and let the paste dry for 12 hours before brushing off. Wash gently and rinse well.
On some fabrics the juice of a freshly cut onion will remove scorch marks. Rub the mark with the onion and keep moist with onion juice for a few hours in sunlight. Rinse well.

Grass Stains:
 Rub stains with methylated spirits or glycerine. Leave for 1 hour, then wash as usual.  Treat old stains by saturating with glycerine. Wash out well.

 New flannelette sheets can be defluffed by washing first with a little salt and vinegar added to the washing machine.

Hem Marks:
 To remove old hem marks, make a solution of 1 cup of hot water, 1/2 teaspoon of Borax and 1 teaspoon vinegar.  Wet a cloth in this solution, wring it out and press with a hot iron on the wrong side of the garment. Brush when dry and the marks should have gone.

Hope these were helpful!! Next time I'll bring you some vintage beauty hints and tricks :)

If there's anything you'd like to know, please leave me a comment! Hello to my two newest followers too :D


Friday, November 16, 2012

Vintage tips of the day Pt.1

I have a nice little collection of vintage style home-help books...I collect them. I simply cannot walk past one if I see it for sale. Thus, I thought I'd make a new segment of Vintage Tips, to share some of these practical domestic gems with you all :)

#1 To protect stored linens and clothing...

Add a small piece of felt or cloth sprinkled with lavender oil to the final rinse when laundering items to be stored.  Not only will the laundry have a delicate fragrance but the lavender odour helps repel insects such as silverfish and moths.

#2  To deodorise your home...

Deodorise refrigerators, wardrobes and bathrooms with a dish or open box of bicarbonate of soda.  Saturate a cotton ball with vanilla and place inside the refrigerator or car.  Place dishes of white vinegar in the kitchen to help destroy odours.

#3 Nifty pincushion...

Use a bar of soap as a pincushion. The soap lubricates the pins so they are easier to insert.

#4 Clever clothes pegs...

Clip a peg onto each end of a hanger to stop sleeveless items from slipping off.

#5 Sealing wooden spoons...

Soak overnight in apple cider vinegar to seal wood before initial use.

Any tips you'd like to see on here? Leave me a comment! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gayware, Art Deco and other wonderful things...

A few months ago I acquired some lovely Art Deco and vintage pieces from my great uncle who passed away. Some of them belonged to my great grandmother. I've had them sitting in my garage for a little bit until I knew where I was going to put them. They were in dire need of cleaning after sitting in a smoky house for years.

First up, was this set of Gayware canisters. I squeed when I saw these in the back of the kitchen cupboard!! I'm really lucky that apart from a crack in the lid of the flour canister, and the fact that they were pretty grubby, they scrubbed up beautifully. I'm so pleased that they all have their letters intact on the fronts, as sadly if you do manage to come across any these days, quite a lot of them have letters missing or partially cracked off.

                                                           Don't they look fantastic?!
Next is this cute little clock. I wasn't sure if it even worked, but after giving it a good polish it started ticking again...and then the alarm went off before and scared the bejesus out of my husband. Oops! Sorry honey ;)
 I also got these beautiful art deco cups and saucers. I'm not sure if they're uranium glass or depression glass? How do you tell the difference? Either way, I love them:)

How awesome is this old Astor "Quality Five" radio?  It too was pretty dirty and sitting in the corner of the kitchen. I wasn't sure if the casing would be stained or if would clean up ok, but it's come up as good as new! It still works but unfortunately the tuner is broken so it doesn't actually play anything :(  I wonder if I could get it fixed?

 This beautiful hand mirror belonged to my great grandmother. It was still sitting on her dressing table in her room which looked like it had remained virtually untouched since she died in 1987.  I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the mirror is made from an unusual peach coloured glass. Apparently great-nanna didn't like looking in it because the colour made her feel ill!

 I have more things to show from that day, but I might leave it for another post.

I will, however, show you some things I've picked up over the past couple of months:

THIS>  omg, I have always wanted an Art Deco mirror shaped exactly like this! I picked it up, along with another scalloped rectangular mirror for $15 each!!

I picked this little beauty up from a garage sale last weekend. Art Deco pink depression glass dish and lidded trinket bowl. It didn't have a price on it, and I was expecting the worst when the lady said, "Well, this one's quite old, so..." until she finished with, " it's $5."  Ha!

 And last but not least this absolutely adorable 1930's teapot and sugar bowl set. If it had cheeks I would bloody pinch them!  I got these from a Geelong-based store called "Ittso Retro" you can check out their fb page here :)
 Lastly, I finally got my blog to co-operate  -my sidebar kept appearing down the bottom instead of where it was supposed to be, but it's all fixed now! For some reason though, old posts of mine are springing up as new That'll do for now :D

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Look what I've got!

This beautiful book arrived from my lovely in-laws in the UK the other day. Absolutely gorgeous!!   On another note, does anyone know how I can get my info bar that's supposed to be here --> back there, and not at the very bottom of my blog? It's doing my head in! :(

Monday, November 5, 2012

H-h-hello? Anybody out there?

I'm dipping my toe back in the blogging's been awhile! Like, a couple of years!


An awful lot has happened in that time, so let's cut a long story short: separated, moved house, divorced, fell in love, moved house again, remarried...and here I am today, renewed and the happiest I have ever been. I've grown a lot and learned a lot, and am grateful for (mostly) all of it :D

I don't know how often I'll be back blogging, so I'm making no promises. I do plan on blogging about things that are interesting to me, which include but are not limited to: vintage fashion (of course), perhaps some outfit posts, my family and my little shop, Candi's Closet.

This post is short and sweet, but I'll leave you with a couple of photos of our wedding day. It was only a month ago! We eloped, at home, and had an Art Deco theme. My dress was a replica of the green dress Keira Knightley wears in Atonement:) You may have noticed, if you used to follow my blog-the kiddies have grown up SO much!

For now,