Sunday, 10 June 2018

Horrible Histories: Vaccinations

We've spent a few minutes transcribing the lyrics (maybe with some mondegreens!) from the Vaccinations song from the latest Horrible Histories series (series 7 I think).

Undoubtedly there are errors - please let me know of any suggestions as I have a seven year old who will be eternally grateful!

I Edward jenner and I was told
Maids who got pox once never had another episode
So I injected James Phipps with a strain
He didn't catch small pox he was as right as rain
I gave him inoculation
Depsite some protestation
Was the first vaccination
Lead to his rehabilitation
Imagine my elation at my medical creation
And so my vaccination lead to experimentation
By me, Louis Pasteur if you please
So if that worked surely you can vaccinate against all disease
So I injected cholera into a hen
Turns out I was right, it lived to lay eggs again
I gave him immunisation, it was a mate of inoculation
Bit like my vaccination but with a modification
Turns out it's application was a medical transformation
It was a combination of scientific dedication
Alexander Fleming I invented penicillin
Like all the best discoverires
Him and him and me saved the lives of many a man in history
End disease that's killing with
Vaccinations and penicillin
We gave you vaccination, penicillin and immunisation [repeat 3x]
We left a world that's cheerier
By dealing with bad bacteria

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Women in STEM? It starts with the parents

I posted this rant on Facebook and it's had a lot of love so I'm sharing here.

I may get around to updating/expanding it ... I may not.


If we want more women in STE(A)M then we need to start by educating their parents. If little girls aren't taken to science events, coding events (many of which are free) they'll fall behind their male peers. And it's pretty obvious that then they won't be interested ... after all, how much do you enjoying something when you're the person in the room with the least experience, prior knowledge or expertise?

Here's the rant:

One thing (of the many) that whoppies me up is people going on & on about women in STEM. I particularly enjoy the pontifications of men who make pronouncements along the lines of girls enjoying the design side of things. They are part of the problem (and need a strong talking to).
Last night I took my 7 year old son to a '3d design' class running at our local library. It costs $20 a child, and runs over 3 weeks - so the barriers to entry are pretty low (not non-existent, but low). Of the maybe 8 children who were there guess how many were girls.
That's right - NONE. Not one single girl.
This class is aimed at young children (ages 8+) so the driver in getting children there is the parents. If I'd asked my son if he wanted to go he would have said 'no' (default answer to everything) but I know he likes technology (yet to see a child who doesn't) so I carted him along.
And those 8 boys who were there last night now have an edge. When they use a design program at school or do 3d printing or whatever - the girls in the class will hear the boys shouting about how they've done this before and know all about it. At the next session run by a library or council, the boys will be making all the noise about how they've done this before and that they know this and that.
And the girls are behind the 8-ball. Partly because they're probably not shouting. Partly because it's intimidating being around people who have already done whatever it is you're doing.
It doesn't matter if you don't know how to turn on a computer and it doesn't matter what your daughter wants to do when she grows up. When they're little, it's your responsibility to take your child (of either gender) to experience as many things as possible, from as diverse a range of fields as possible.
'Fixing' the lack of women in STEM doesn't come down to creating programs - it comes down to educating parents that they have to get their daughters involved from an early age. Because if all the boys are programming by the time they're ten, then the girls are going to struggle to catch up.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Float Mode - at Mode Fitness

date of visit: Friday 13 April 2018


I've been talking about doing a float since pretty much forever. When I lived in Leeds (so, given I moved back to Australia almost 10 years ago ... you get the idea) a float business opened up in the city centre and I never quite got around to going. I was a bit apprehensive ... after all, you're on your back, in water, in the dark ... that's just a little bit intimidating if you think about it for too long.

Anyway, before Christmas a group buying deal came up for a float at Float Mode in the city. I managed to buy it and book it! Of course, despite having the voucher for months, I managed to use it about a week before it expired. This is particularly inexcusable because Float Mode has online booking (HALLELUJAH!) meaning you don't have to find time to phone, have a chat to someone and have your calendar in front of you all at once ....

It turned out my timing was impeccable because I'd had (by my standards - I'm lucky as my life is generally pretty chilled out) something of a challenging week. Even though I really questioned whether or not I could afford the time, I think it ended up being a good way of spending some time.

Even though you spend an hour in the tank, you do have to budget about 1.5 hours. As a newbie, I received a very detailed introduction to floating (seriously, these guys have thought of EVERYTHING in the intro) - what to do, what to expect - even down to how much of a gap to leave on the bathroom door! As I was a bit apprehensive, this was great because by the time we'd gone through everything I was totally calm about what was to come. I didn't feel like there were going to be any surprises.

After my 'induction', I was left alone. Everyone has to shower prior to hopping in the tank so I enjoyed a waterfall shower (you are advised to take it a bit cooler than usual, so that the water in the tank doesn't feel cold) and then put my ear plugs in (not essential, but recommended), picked up my little facewasher (in case you need to rub your face ... you don't want that super salty water in your eyes!) and hopped in. 

Because the tank is loaded with 350kg of salt, I'd been given very careful instructions about getting in - apparently if you don't lie back gently, supported by your hands, your legs can bob up quite quickly! Once in, it was time to close the tank, familiarise myself and finally turn the light out.

You get about 10 minutes of music, which fades out and then you spend the rest of the time in silence. I was quite surprised that I didn't fall asleep. It's a very weird sensation - because it kind of is like going to bed (warm and dark) but you're not tired (well, for me it was the middle of the day) and you're flat on your back.

Although I did find the experience very relaxing (and as someone with permanently tight muscles, that's a good thing!) I also found it really valuable as some switch off time. Like most people, I am always on a device of some sort and always have my mind ticking over what needs to be done, what I should be doing, what I could be doing and so on. Obviously, shut up in a tank of water I couldn't do anything (including procrastinate!) so it was a really fabulous opportunity to empty my mind. I didn't get bored but I also didn't stress over the things I wasn't doing and didn't create to-do lists for when I got out. I got a bit fidgety towards the end, but as you're fully supported in the water, you can have a bit of a wriggle. I imagine it's a lot like yoga nidra - the more often you do it, the 'better' (for want of a superior word) you get at it.

When the time is up, the music comes back on, a voice tells you your float is over and it's time to hop out. I'd been told to be careful getting out - just in case your muscles are all REALLY relaxed! Then into the shower to wash off all the salt and you get dressed and you're done!

The only thing I hadn't thought of was that it might have been a good idea to bring a comb to comb out my long hair after the shower!

Would I recommend this? Absolutely! Float Mode's prices seem consistent with other float businesses in Adelaide so if you work in the CBD or head in there often, it's a good choice. I had no problem parking on the street.

26 Elizabeth Street
Adelaide SA 5000
0432 433 306

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Monday, 22 January 2018

Two Cleansers: L'Oreal and RosehipPlus

2018-01-18_12-56-22 I have (or rather had) a stack of empties and I suspect my other half had no idea how many of the containers taking over the cupboards and drawers were actually empty. Otherwise I'd have been in a lot more trouble than the usual grumbling about how many products I have! :D 

So let's get started working through these empties.

Today - two cleansers.

1. L'Oreal Revitalift Milky Cleansing Foam (purchased on sale from Priceline quite a while ago now). Revitalift is L'Oreal's anti-ageing range, designed for 40+ year old skin. I've commented elsewhere that I often find cheaper cleansers drying, but the fact that the tube shouts 'glycerin' comforted me (LHA - beta-lipohydroxy acid - is supposedly fab for treating acne ... which doesn't really make sense for a product aimed at 40+ year olds ... although it looks like it works by removing dead skin cells so maybe that's the idea here - sloughs away the wrinkles! ;) ).

It's a white cream which foams up a little when you add water. It left my skin feeling clean, but slightly tight ... and after some consistent use it was drying. I ended up barely using it and then binning the (probably reasonably substantial) remainder.

Would I buy it again? Possibly a moot point as it no longer appears on either the Priceline site or the L'Oreal Australia site - but no.

2. RosehipPlus Daily Cream Cleanser. At one point I won a fair few RosehipPlus products (thanks to both RosehipPlus and The Beauty Collection AND A Bella Adventure). I've loved them all and because I've ended up with a few duplicates I've been able to share the love with some friends, who've loved them too.

The daily cream cleanser is beautiful - pearly, lightly foaming and completely non-drying (on my skin, at least!). My skin always felt clean but really soft and hydrated. It has a lovely subtle rose scent and my only complaint was that over time this did fade and eventually turn into the sort of scent that unscented products sometimes have (does that make sense?!). I used most of it but did bin the last little bit - it was getting hard to get out and I didn't like the smell.

It's first ingredient is (organic) aloe juice, followed by cetyl alcohol, chamomile extract and coconut oil. Don't be freaked out by the 'cetyl alcohol' - it's not 'alcohol' like ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is. It's actually a fatty alcohol which is used to thicken, to aid with foaming and to prevent emulsions (like aloe juice and coconut oil) from separating.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely. A bargain at $16.95 (even more so if you spot it on sale!). A bonus is that the company is Sydney-based, family owned and operated AND the products are made in Australia. You can buy online and the RosehipPlus website also has an excellent stockist locator (there are tons in metro SA).

So there you go - two very different cleaners - one of which demonstrates you don't need to spend a lot of money on a great product!

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Moisturiser/Foundation Combos that Work

Or perhaps, more importantly - some that don't.

I struggle with remembering the combinations of moisturiser/foundation that work for me. Sometimes, I'll wash my face, moisturise, leave it a few minutes to sink in and then apply foundation and discover the foundation goes all dotty (that's the only way I can think to describe it!) on my face, of the moisturiser and foundation start balling up together and looking like they're peeling away. Other times (and this is how I know it's not all me!) everything just looks good.

Where I've reviewed a product, the product is linked to the review. Updated as I go, most recent first.

Also - please note that this is not about individual products being good or bad - it's about how they work together on MY skin. Some products I LOVE (for example, Clarins Beauty Flash) but if they don't work together they'll still get filed under 'bad'!

Jan 2018


L'Oreal Revitalift (day) + Revlon ColorStay
L'Oreal Revitalift (day) + Nivea Express Hydration Primer + Revlon ColorStay
Clarins Beauty Flash + Revlon ColorStay


Olive Skincare Day + Revlon ColorStay
BontanicES Face Crème + Revlon ColorStay
Kosmea Replenishing Moisure Cream + Revlon ColorStay
Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery + Revlon ColorStay

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Monday, 1 May 2017

Natralus Paw Paw Skin Therapy

2017-05-01_04-20-28 Last year I was lucky enough to win a stack of Natralus Paw Paw products from Leah at Temporary Princess. I received three sizes of the Natralus daily skin therapy product. I immediately gave (the smallest) one to a friend of mine who was about to head off on holiday. She loved it so much that it was all used up by the time she got back. So as I hadn't touched the product yet, I gave her the large tube, leaving me with the medium size (75g).

We've been using this for a while on various bits of dry skin on Master 6 but I haven't had any occasion to use it on myself. Until last week when I came down with a cold. After 2 days in bed, one of which was spent blowing my nose non-stop, I needed some serious moisture and hydration to clear up the very flaky red nose I'd acquired!

A great opportunity to give this paw paw cream a try! It's very subtly scented (shea butter) - I love this because it means it doesn't smell horrible (my usual complaint about 'unscented' products) but it doesn't cause you to sneeze when you slather it all over your nose (or make you smell like cake batter - my complaint about products with shea butter).

My nose was rather red and sore and the first application really really really stung. Ouch! But I toughened up and made it through the stinging. The second application a few hours later stung a lot less and by day 2 it didn't sting at all. More importantly, it worked really quickly.

The redness subsided after the first application and subsequent applications worked quickly to soften up all the dry skin that was furiously shedding off my nose.

I was really lucky because the ferocious nose-blowing part of my cold only lasted a couple of days. I started with the Natralus after the blowing had stopped, so it had to repair, rather than repair and protect. If you are still blowing your nose - expect it to sting!

What's in it? The first two ingredients are aloe vera and paw paw, followed by glycerin and soybean oil. The first ingredient I didn't readily recognise was octyl palmitate, which is a derivative of palm oil and is used to adjust products' consistency (it's organic, so it's used instead of various silicones).

The product is free-from petroleum-derived ingredients, parabens, silicons, mineral oil-derived products and artificial fragrance and colour.

Better yet - the product is Australian owned and made! In fact, Natralus is based in Mt Barker in beautiful South Australia!

Packaging has changed since my product - you can see the new look here.

The products are widely available - a list of stockists is on the site and South Australians are (unsurprisingly) well served. You can expect to pay around $10 for the 75g tube.

Would I buy this product again? You bet!

And, of course I am joining Ingrid's Monday Madness Makeup link on Fabulous and Fun Life!

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

TRANSFORMULAS Miracle Daily Glycol Cleanser

2017-04-25_08-18-07 I picked up this Transformulas cleanser at Priceline when on sale. It was one of those brain fade moments. I had ZERO need of a cleanser but only realised that after I'd got it home, unwrapped it and had a go using it.

This product shows how much of a sucker I am for clever wording. Miracle? Yes please! Glycol? Sounds like it includes glycolic acid and will smooth out my skin.

Woot all round.

And then I used it. It's really pretty - pale blue, pearlescent and you need only the tiniest amount (seriously, it lasts FOREVER) - it foams up really easily. It's not heavily scented which makes me happy.

But wow - my skin was feeling a little tight, a little dry after using it. So that's when I read the ingredients. Maybe one day I'll read ingredients lists before purchase ... still waiting for that to happen though.

Obviously the first ingredient is water and next ... sodium laureth sulphate. For crying out loud - it's a detergent and surfactant (so that's why it foams up so nicely) and it's a cheap one at that! It's basically like soap. For sure, it cleans but I know from past experience with very cheap cleansers, it has the potential to dry out my skin like nobody's business.

Next up on the ingredients list is sodium cocoamphoacetate - more surfactant, foam-boosting goodness (ahem) here but derived from coconut oil and recognised as gentler.

Fortunately for me, glycerin is fourth and I know how well my skin gets along with it. This meant that I was actually able to use this cleanser once a day and not have it knacker my skin. Every now and then I'd get a small patch of dry skin but nothing serious.

This isn't a cheap cleanser - normal price is $35 for 100mL. It does last for a long time so you do get good bang for buck, and, as it's stocked by Priceline, you will be able to pick it up on sale (as I write it's discounted by 30%).

As always - your mileage may well vary. My skin seems to be quite sensitive to drying out and Barbe over at Fashionista in Suburbia tried out a range of Transformulas products and really liked this cleanser.

Would I buy it again? No, but I would consider other products in the range.

I'm adding this post to Ingrid's Monday Madness Makeup Link.

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