Thursday, 29 September 2016

Product review - Sukin Baby Range

Hello again my lovelies, I am back today with another product review. I have been contacted by several skincare companies in the past requesting reviews, however most of the time I have to sadly turn them down because we have to be careful with what products we put on Miss K because she has sensitive skin. So I am very happy today to finally be able to discuss with you the new range of baby skincare products that have just been released by Sukin.

Sukin is an Australian owned and operated skincare company that has been around since 2007. I know I've seen their products in pharmacies over the years, but given my beauty regime has usually consisted of washing my face when I shower, I've never really given their products much thought. Things are different now that I have Miss K, and because she gets dermatitis and naturally has very dry skin, I have become very picky with what soaps and lotions we have in our house. So when Sukin contacted me asking whether I would do a review for them, I hit the internet straight away to do a bit of research. Straight off the bat they appeared to tick all the boxes a person could ask for, their products are as chemical free as you can get, their products are packaged in recyclable PET plastic bottles, they support being carbon neutral, as well as being 100% vegan safe and cruelty free. It almost seems too good to be true, so I decided to try them for myself and see how we went.

The baby range comes in fragrance free or soft fragrance and there is a shampoo, a body wash and a lotion available. I was given a bottle of fragrance free body wash, a bottle of soft fragrance lotion and a bottle of baby shampoo. The fragrance in the lotion is very mild indeed, but I could definitely tell it came from rose hip oil, which is one of my favourite scents. The shampoo doesn't come in the fragrance free range, but it also has a very mild scent, even though it isn't advertised as such on the packaging. This time the perfume was very citrus, which gave it a freshness I loved.

Miss K was so excited for bath time when the package arrived, and nagged me for three hours before I finally gave in and popped her in the bath. I won't bore you with the details of our bathing routine, but needless to say it includes lots of splashing, and I always end up leaving our bathroom absolutely drenched. There is a good reason I never wear my glasses while bathing my child. The body wash had a nice lather to it, and it did indeed clean the inch thick layer of grime off my child as a cleaning product should. Even though it is fragrance free Miss K smelled clean when she came out of the tub, and it was all done without any unnecessary chemicals so I was happy.

Now I will be honest with you, I was sceptical about how the baby shampoo would hold up to Miss K's hair. She has very long, very thick hair and I have always assumed that baby shampoo was really only good for very short, fine baby fuzz. But I was pleasantly surprised with how well it did its job, and Miss K's hair had a beautiful shine and a lovely smell when she was finished, so colour me pleased. The shine lasted for days too, so it wasn't just a trick of the lights in our living room either.

And finally the baby lotion. Given Miss K has very dry skin naturally I struggle to find any kind of lotions that do anything to improve the hydration in Miss K's skin. But the lotion in the Sukin baby range was able to soften Miss K's skin slightly after the first use. I am sure that with continued use we will be able to see even more improvement down the road, I think with skincare as with most other things it's an ongoing effort that sees the best results. But even with how much softer her skin was after the first use I was very impressed.

Sukin's tag line is "Skincare that doesn't cost the earth", and I believe they truly mean this. From the fact that they have managed to gain certification that they are cruelty free and vegan friendly to the affordable price tag they place on their products Sukin are committed to their goal of affordable, safe products. The fact that they look like a luxury range without costing a small fortune is an added bonus.

So consider me a convert to the Sukin range, I will definitely be swapping my own products over to them now that I know how wonderful they are. If you are wanting to try these products out for yourself, you can check them out at their website now. And don't think because this product is Australian owned and operated that I'm only speaking to my Aussie readers right now, Sukin is available in more than 10 countries globally including in the US, so you can check for availability near you on their stockists page.

I received free products for the purpose of this review.  All opinions given here are my own and have in no way been influenced by Sukin Organics or anyone else.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

September Fly on The Wall

Welcome yet again to another instalment of my favourite post I do every single month. Yes, it is time yet again for Fly on the Wall. For any of you here who are new to this, what happens is every month a bunch of us bloggers join up and share some of the crazy stuff that you would see were you a fly on the wall at our house.

Fly on the Wall
Today there are nine bloggers joining in the fun, so be sure to visit them all and keep the fun going.

Go Mama O                                           
Spatulas on Parade                                            
Never Ever Give Up Hope                        

Mum and I were watching telly one night
Mum: I think the person speaking is that woman, oh what's her name? Angela Mayo?
Me: Who?
Mum: No, wait, it's Maya Angelou.

Eliza goes to high school just across the road from our house, so sometimes she comes to visit us during her lunch time. One day she needed to escape a couple of mean girls so she came over and called her mum.
Sam: Are you having troubles with bitchy girls again?
Eliza: What? Itchy gills? I don't have itchy gills.

Kim: I was not paying attention this morning when I was getting ready for work, and I forgot to put my skirt on. It wasn't until I walked out the door that I noticed it was really cold. Then I looked down and realised I was standing in the front yard wearing just my work shirt and my stockings.
One day I went to pick Miss K up from kindergarten and the head teacher made us all wait before leaving so she could let us know the children witnessed one of their pet chickens eating a frog that day. She also informed us the children had stopped the teachers from interrupting the chicken's tasty meal. I was pretty sure Miss K wasn't too traumatised by this event since she insisted on playing the chicken chases the frog around our living room for the rest of the afternoon. 

The next week I found out from Miss K that the kindergarten's pet yabby Sam had passed away too. Upon checking the kindergarten's Facebook page I found pictures from the funeral they held that day.
Me: They had a funeral for a yabby at kindergarten today. I don't know how I feel about this. The kids even decorated his coffin.
Mum: I just want to know if they played rock lobster as they buried it.

Nat: I would love, just to mess with people, to spell my son's name George, but have it pronounced Henry. 
Me: I suppose it's better than naming your son cod-eye
Nat: It's not cod-eye, it's Codi.
Me: If you spell your son's name like that I will call him cod-eye and nothing else.

Kim: Erin how do you have your coffee?
Me: I like my coffee strong and sweet, just like me.
Kim: Ok If it's just like you I'll add a dash of autism to the water. 

Sam and Jason were discussing a local supermarket
Sam: I don't want to go back there. We bought our chompy up thing from there and it broke almost immediately.
Me: Chompy up thing? Are you talking about a mulcher?
Sam: Yeah. The chompy up thing. 

Miss K was lying on the couch one day making weird noises with her mouth.
Mum: Oh look, she's jukeboxing.
Me: I think the word you're looking for is beat boxing mum.

Kim: I lashed out this afternoon and bought a new jacket.
Me: You punched someone for a jacket?

Natalie got sent home from work with a sore back last week, but couldn't resist being a smarty pants when her boss was worried about her.
Boss: How are you going to drive home?
Natalie: holds her hands up like she is steering an invisible car. Like this.
Boss: If you are not careful I will pick you up and throw you back into the baby room.

Kim had a tiny fender bender a few weeks ago, there was no real damage to either car, so it was mentioned once and then I forgot about it entirely. I did however manage to scare the crap out of dad when he thought he'd let the cat out of the bag.
Dad: How bad is the damage to Kim's car
Me: I didn't know there was any damage to Kim's car. Did she have another accident?
Dad: No, I don't know what you're talking about. Weren't you leaving?
Me: Did someone side swipe her or did she run into them?
Dad: I think it was a combination of both.
Me: Oh wait, I remember now, it's ok, you've not told me anything I didn't already know.

Kim: Hey mum, what do you call it when you send smoke signals?
Mum: Um, sending smoke signals.

I had to do some shopping for mum, so I grabbed some money from her purse.
Me: Hey Miss K, I'm stealing granny's money. Don't tell her ok?
Miss K: Gran, mum is stealing your money.
Mum: What?!?
Miss K: (whispering) Don't tell.

Nat: Aargh, it's so bright...I'm just staring at my future.

Me: Miss K's dad has made all kinds of grand plans for Miss K's visit during the holidays. He's taking her to the zoo, and to that giant Ferris wheel.
Mum: Good grief, she'll be exhausted.
Me: Meanwhile, Miss K's requests for activities have been the park, the pool and the car wash.
Mum: That's my girl.
Me: If her dad just listened to her, he'd save himself a fortune on admission tickets.

Dad: How is Kimberley going now?
Me: She's doing ok.
Dad: And how are you coping living with her?
Me: I threw a shoe at her yesterday if that answers your question.
Dad: Why did you throw a shoe at her?
Me: Oh I said something that bugged her so she threw her shoe at me. So I waited until she came back and lobbed it at her as hard as I could. She ended the fight by throwing a banana at me. I wasn't going to waste a good banana on her.

Me: Why is Kim posting a picture of clothes racks and asking if you remember her game of hide and seek in them?
Mum: Oh when she was a kid she tried to hide in one and pulled it all down on top of herself instead.
Me: Of course she did.

Me: That's it, if I ever need to ride a bike during magpie season, I'm going to wear a huge afro over the top of it
Mum: Ok then.
Me: It's the helmet they hate, so if I cover it with a giant wig they'll leave me alone. Plus it's totally legal to wear a wig over your helmet.
Mum: In that case why just do it during magpie season? Do it for funsies.
Me: That's just what I'll do. All year round, afro helmet. 

Well that's all from me for this month, don't forget to keep the buzz going and visit the other bloggers participating today. 

Thursday, 8 September 2016

R U OK 2016 Kimberley's Story

Hello again my lovelies, I'm back for a not so fun, but super important discussion today. As some of you probably already know, today is R U OK day, the day where we shed a light on suicide prevention and remind people to look at the people around you and make sure you ask R U OK if you're worried about them.

I spoke about this day last year  and I took some time to share some of my own story with you guys. this year I'm doing something slightly different and I'm sharing someone else's story. (With their permission of course.) I mentioned back in the July Fly on the Wall that my baby sister Kimberley had come to stay with us for a little while. I didn't mention the specifics simply because a Fly on the Wall really isn't the place to discuss a story like this, but given the day I thought now would be a good time, and Kimberley agreed. Now there are still some specifics of this story that I am not 100% sure on, so there may be edits in the future, but I'll make a note of them if that does happen.

Kim has always been a special case as far as our family goes, because she always seemed to have the worst health. We always joked that she got all the defective genes given she was the last of 6 kids, but whatever the reason, she has spent her life dealing with a slew of physical and mental problems. She's always been a little bit OCD, a little bit of a germaphobe, and a little highly strung. On top of that she also has asthma, allergies and eczema. She really is the genetic dud of the family, but we love her anyway. We've all just accepted her personality quirks as being part of who she is, given how deeply ingrained mental issues are in our family it was inevitable she'd have something. As Kimberley got older however the issues got more serious. Kimberley became bulimic when she was a teenager. She also began drinking pretty heavily. My big sister Sam started suspecting that there was a serious problem when Kimberley was about 19, but confronting her was never going to be a good idea, so Sam tried the next best thing and asked Kimberley's high school boyfriend. He was more aware of the extent of the issues Kimberley was dealing with at the time, but being young and stupid he thought he could handle everything on his own and lied to us about there being anything worth worrying about. He then told Kimberley we were starting to suspect something so she became better at hiding her symptoms from us.

Fast forward another year or so, Kimberley had moved in with a new boyfriend by now, and was starting to struggle to hide her problems as well as she had in the past. We didn't realise it at the time, but it was because she was trapped in a super abusive relationship and the pressure of keeping up appearances coupled with her already pre-existing mental problems was becoming too much. Her boyfriend kept coming to us with scary stories like the time she tried to throw herself out of a moving car speeding down a freeway, or telling us she was constantly drinking to excess and acting impulsively in the most terrifying ways. He seemed genuinely concerned for her, and he appeared to want to help her, so we accepted his stories and tried to support them both, but nothing seemed to work. Kimberley ended up in and out of hospital during this time, her bulimia got so bad she ended up with a stomach ulcer, her drinking was completely out of control and her physical and mental health were declining rapidly. Eventually she got so sick she had to stop working and ended up living in bed. During this time I had hundreds of conversations with mum and with Sam, we were all worried out of our minds as to how to make Kimberley better, but there was nothing we could do because Kimberley didn't want to be helped. I hated having to tell them we had to sit back and wait but it was honestly all we could do until Kimberley was ready to admit that there was a problem and wanted out of her current situation.

It took 2 years for that to happen. None of us know really what Kimberley's ex was doing to her that whole time, as she still isn't ready to discuss the abuse with us, but we know it was bad. When Kimberley finally came to us she had been the victim of a physically and emotionally abusive man for over two years. The damage that man had managed to do to her over the course of that time was just mind boggling. He broke my baby sister utterly and completely into a million tiny pieces, and we now had the job of putting her back together. As the days rolled by Kimberley slowly started telling us tiny pieces of the story, we heard of the day she'd had enough of her life and tried to overdose on pain killers but ended up just sleeping for 24 hours straight. We heard of the day she decided she'd walk in front of a train, only to be stopped by a concerned stranger who noticed her pacing across a level crossing and stopped her. Luckily that day there were no trains for some reason, but I still thank the stars someone spoke to her. That tiny act of concern snapped her out of whatever was going on in her head and it wasn't long after that that she finally found the strength to leave.

We spent weeks helping Kimberley heal. When she first came home to us she felt completely and totally alone. She was unable to see the support network she had sitting around her at all times simply because life had become so hopeless for her she was blind to any signs of hope. Even our dad was right there by her side the whole time, and he's never been able to cope with hugely emotional situations. (A cynical person might say that was just evidence Kimberley was his favourite, but we're not cynical are we?) We seemed to be getting through to her, she was back at work, she was back to visiting friends, she looked like she was slowly coming back to us when her ex found a new girl. Kimberley crashed and burned and we took giant steps backwards in our progress. Then a friend died in an accident while on holiday and Kimberley started saying she didn't want to live anymore. And she kept saying it over and over. Mum was out of her mind with worry, my other sister Natalie was out of her mind with worry, Sam was out of her mind with worry, and I was stuck listening to everyone worry and stress and not know what to do.

I ended up reaching out to Kimberley, desperate to try to keep everything together. I wrote her a letter telling her all kinds of lovely and encouraging things about her, but also telling her suicide wasn't the answer. I was completely honest and possibly a little harsh with her and some of it was hard to read, but I was desperate. Being kind and gentle wasn't working so I figured being brutally honest couldn't hurt. I know she's read the letter, but we've never spoken about it. But it was the last time she's mentioned wanting to die. And shortly after that she turned a corner.

Now Kimberley has been home for three months and we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. She's not completely cured, not yet anyway. She still has bulimia, she still has a whole heap of physical issues which are going to take years to heal, and she is still dealing with her trauma, as she is going to for a long time to come. As of writing this we have just come through a low period with lots of crying and conversations about horrible topics, but it's different now. She knows that there is hope and she knows that there is love all around her, even on the days when her brain betrays her and makes everything seem dark again. I don't know that the worst of it is over yet, but as long as we keep reaching out to her when things get difficult, I know we'll get through this, just as we have done before.

And that is why I say it is so important to reach out to the people around you. I hear too many times the stories of families of suicide victims who say they wish they'd had a chance to help their loved ones, if only they'd known that something was wrong, if only they'd spoken up about how they were feeling. If you suspect that someone you know is not doing ok, then speak up. Let them know you see them, let them know you care about them, and let them know that help is available.

If you or someone you know are struggling with thoughts of suicide or depression, please know that there is help available for you, There are thousands of resources at your fingertips on your computer, tablet, phone or refrigerator that you are reading this on right now. Don't give up, because if my mutant of a baby sister can survive going to hell and back, then so can you.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...