Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pura D'or Organic Argan Oil Shampoo - Review

A couple of months ago I was sent a bottle of Pura d'or Hair Loss Prevention Premium Organic Shampoo to review. This is a premium product containing Argan Oil which has recently risen in popularity in hair care, and as I am in the process of discovering different hair products for a grey haired old lady I was more than happy to give it a try.

I was disappointed when it first arrived that I had been sent the shampoo only. I usually use a shampoo and conditioner pair. I was uncertain at first  as to whether I should use it alone or with another conditioner, but I decided to try it out by itself and see how I went. It's not like I have really long hair that's gong to get tangled now is it! Also, I have been reading stories of people using coconut oil as a conditioner and had been saying I would give it a try, so I finally got around to that too. I used the shampoo every day and the coconut oil conditioner just once a week. This turned out to be a perfect combination. My hair didn't seem overly dry after just the shampoo, but with the coconut oil conditioner it felt amazing. It makes you wonder why we even use conditioner in the first place.

The main claim of this particular shampoo is that it reduces hair loss. Now I lose a lot of hair. It's not quite so noticeable since it has been shorter, but my shed hair has always been everywhere, blocking plug holes and vacuum cleaners, and this has definitely been worse following my pregnancies. I did think that perhaps it was better when using this shampoo, so to put it to the test I have been using a different one this week to see if it made any difference, and it definitely has. In fact I was reminded that I needed to write this review by the hairs that have fallen onto my keyboard during the last couple of days when I haven't been using it! So, it seems it does what is says on the tin.

It is quite a pricey product, but it says on the bottle that the 16floz is approximately 3 months supply and I would say that this is a good estimate. I have used it every day for a month and I have not quite used a third of the bottle yet. That said I have short hair and so only need one squirt from the dispenser, but many people don't wash their hair every day either. So, if you take how long it lasts into account when you consider the price it is probably no more expensive than your average supermarket brands, and I'd definitely choose this paraben and sodium laureth sulphate free organic shampoo over most of those!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Essential Oils for Pregnancy Birth and Babies

Recently I decided to continue my self study on the use of essential oils. This is something that I started almost thirty years ago, but have not had so  much time for in recent years. I have always really enjoyed aromatherapy, and, as I have mentioned before, have a very keen interest in studying natural medicine. Although I am happy to accept that there are some things since hasn't found an explanation for, at the end of the day, I am a scientist, and evidence reassures me. In the future I plan to write some posts about the use of the essential oils and any research that may have been carried out on their properties which can validate claims. Meanwhile, I thought to get us started, that many of you might be interested in my notes from a webinar I attended recently on the use of doTERRA Essential Oils for pregnancy birth and babies. 

The session was hosted by Heidi and Allen Lafferty who provided the above information and I felt it was very much worth sharing. Please remember that this does not replace the advice from your doctor. 

General oils for taking care of mum in Pregnancy and motherhood 


Citrus oils lift mood - also great for cranky kids

Wild Orange lifts mood and calms any anxiety a child may have as well helping them focus

Lemon is for stamina

Elevation - helps for depression and low mood

Peppermint - inhale to energise, esp if haven’t had enough sleep



Rub on bottoms of feet

Peppermint use with caution if breastfeeding as can decrease breastmilk - however if needed you can use it and can use fennel to increase BM production

All oils can be used topically, Internally, Aromatically

Some need to be diluted with carrier oil - recommends fractionated coconut oil

can also use olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed, sunflower - but must be pure organic etc

1 drop essential  1/4 tsp oil when using on babies

Blood Pressure - Pregnancy Induced Hypertension

Ylang Ylang
Lemon Grass

Can use all topically

Lemon grass should not be taken internally unless in capsule


Serenity blend
Roman Camomile

Stretch Marks



Elevation blend
Lemon / grapefruit
Aroma touch blend

lemon can be taken in water as a regular drink

lemon, lavender and ginger can be ingested - not the others


Contractions -
Preterm labour - lavender
Hemoraging - Helichrysm

Post Pregnancy

Breast soreness  - lavender
Ceasraean Scars - Immortel, lavender, frankincense
Increase milk production - Fennel
Mastitis - Melaleuca
Perineum support - helichrysum, lavender
Tone uterus


baby eczema -frankinsense and melaleuca

Lavender - Image from hypnofacials.com
You can find out more about joining doTERRA here and feel free to connect me if you require further information

Recommended book - Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies  by Stephanie Fritz (NB this book was recommended by the presenters not me. I personally am not sure about this author yet. Although she says that you can email her with any questions, so far she has failed to respond to all of my questions about the research evidence behind her recommendations and there are not many references to research in the book :(  )

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year - The Great Race Book Review

Seeing as I have been reviewing books for a few years it is very exciting to now be able to write about books that I am selling myself through Barefoot Books. And seeing as today is Chinese New Year, I couldn't think of a better place to start that by telling you all about The Great Race - The story of the Chinese Zodiac.

The Great Race - Chinese New Year Barefoot Children's book review

This is a picture book with a target audience of 4- 9 years olds, though it can be read to and enjoyed by younger children. The story tells a tale of how the different animals came to represent the different years in the Chinese calendar. "I'll hold a race!" The Jade emperor cried, "The first year of our new calendar shall be named after the winner"

The Great Race - Chinese New Year Barefoot Children's book review

As with many of the Barefoot Books, this is more than just a story. The end notes include further information on the Chinese Calendar, some Important Days in the Calendar and the characteristics of the animals and the years that they represent.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Year New Work New Me!

It's been a while since I have written on the blog - not for lack of things to say I can assure, but it has been a crazy busy time... followed by a week of the flu. We are just starting to re-enter the world.

Although I have had lots of different posts in my head, I am actually just going to do one big one to catch up as that seems a little less overwhelming than the other option.

As you know I quit my work with PP at the end of last year. well, almost, he hasn't replaced me yet so  I am still doing some bits for him, but I am not spending anywhere near as much time on his business as I was. I am just doing the things that are absolutely necessary, and none of the bits I used to for free. This gave me lots more time to myself, for almost a week, and then I managed to find other stuff to do.

Firstly I need to get my BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm classes up and running again. A combination of factors, (moving house, the venue I was teaching from being taken over by new owners a few times, and then spending every day with my Nana) meant that I haven't really done much with that for a while. The plan is to run classes from my home once we move, that way I won't lose money on the venue if I have a small class or need to cancel, and I won't lose clients when the venue has a change of management/plan/use as has happened for the last 6 months. I also really liked facilitating courses in my home - its a much nicer atmosphere (I got that in feedback too - not just my own opinion about how nice my house is!). The only downer being that I have to have it clean and tidy which can be stressful sometimes when you have a toddler, but its good to have a reason to keep it nice. Anyway, we are still waiting to move, so I can't do much in the way of classes yet, so my work in that area has really been about getting things up to date and getting my CPD sorted for this year, A) to get me back into and B) as I can't do anything from my house until we move (more on that later).

Also, I am not really sure what the direction of these two companies is going to take, so I need to be a bit prepared for anything. I don't want  to invest all my time in them as it could end up that it's not going to be viable long term. But I like them and I want to build on what I have, so with that in mind,  for BabyCalm I signed up for a short course on Essential Oils for Pregnancy Birth and Babies and did the AromaTouch Training. I chose this because I have long been interested in Aromatherapy, in fact I used to sell the oils a long time ago, and as I mentioned before I started studying natural medicine in Australia and would love to continue. So this seemed like a good way to get back into BabyCalm and start a new/rekindle an old branch of interest. With regard to doing something seriously with Natural Medicine interests, I first have to find a course that suits me - i.e thats grounded in real science and research not just someone's ideas. Aromatherapy is quite a good place to start in terms of having evidence. Anyway, I really enjoyed both the training events and have since given three free Aromatouch treatments to complete my training. I find it almost as nice to give the treatments as to receive them and hope to keep that at a regular part of my life too, though unfortunately I am not able to charge for the treatment as I don't have a formal aromatherapy qualification. I am continuing my studies of aromatherapy in an informal way for now, mostly by reading and using them for our family wellbeing.

For ToddlerCalm I decided that I would be interested to do something on play or forest schooling. On doing some research in this I found a great course on storytelling and story play that is being held close to where my sister lives, so she could look after BB for me while I did so I signed up for that. A few days later, three different people that I know mentioned the idea of me becoming a Barefoot Books Ambassador.  I have thought about doing this for a while, mostly just because we love the books, however I have always found myself saying that now is not the right time. Three people saying that perhaps I should give it a try, along with the fact that there was a  promotion on in January that made it cheaper to get started, and of course the need to develop a new income strand were enough to convince me. I figured that in the very worst case scenario, we would just have a some extra books from a book company we really love at wholesale prices... and so I signed up.

It has been a bit of a whirl wind, but I have to say that so far I am blown away by what an amazingly exciting and supportive business it is. The training and guidance that are sent out and provided through webinars is really great, and makes it really clear what you have to do and how you can do it so that you can make your business successful. You can essentially do as little or as much as you like, some people are making more than they did on their previous full time job, others are doing the minimum, which is selling about £50 worth of books a month on average - almost a personal account by the time you add in the birthday presents you can get through it. I am hoping to add a couple of hundred pounds a month to our bank balance out of it, so nothing too crazy, but enough to make it worth while. I am also doing a few fundraisers and things too, and kids activities so it feels worthwhile and I am enjoying everything about it so far. I also really like the little challenges that they set to increase your sales, this motivates me. What I am loving most is the fact that all the work that I am doing is building MY business, which is much better that when I was trying to build someone else's (particularly as he didn't seem to care so much about it as me!)

So work wise, I am pretty set up for a while I think.

With regard to the house, we have no progress as yet. The people we are buying from can't find anywhere to move to. The real estate agent is on my back saying that I'll lose my buyer if they don't find somewhere soon, but it's not really in my hands. I have had a look around to see if there are other places I would consider, and there are, but I am sticking with this one for now. Hopefully they will find somewhere soon. I am just trying not worry about it too much, if it happens it happens, if it doesn't there will be other houses and other buyers and our house is quite fine in the mean time.

I had one of my most challenging mum weeks last week. BB had been a little off colour for a few days, but not so bad. Then on on the Wednesday I got a call from nursery to say that he was really unwell and had a high temperature. I went to collect and bought him home. He slept for a while and then proceeded to vomit in pretty much every corner of the house. It turned out to be the flu, which I then caught. I was at my worst in Sunday just as he was starting to feel better and go stir crazy having been stuck in the house for days. I was hard. Very hard. I was not the best Mum I can be that's for sure. On Monday he went out to nursery and I stayed home to rest up. That was great - gave us both a break from each other and gave me a chance to catch up on some sleep and start to get better myself. We both still have bad coughs, but are on the whole OK again now.

Finally, spring really seems to be springing here over the last couple of days. I am so excited about this. Dark dreary winter days really don't do it for me, and a little hint of spring is very energising!