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Dispensers vs Amenities

There has been a lot of hype in the media lately about the change of large hotel groups such as Mariott International and Holiday Inns to change to wall mounted dispensers in the bathrooms.

I came across this interesting article which is worth the read Click Here it’s an article written by Brian Cohen.  It explains the pros and cons of dispensers vs disposable packaged amenities.

I have been in the amenities industry for 20 years now and dispensers always seem to be a contentious issue.

Dispensers are only as good as the level of training given to the staff. They need to be refilled, cleaned and sterilised daily.  Just imagine: You shower, pump the liquids into your hand, then wash your bum. Then you pump liquids again to wash other body parts, is there cross-contamination? I would say so!  Do the hotels sterilise the dispensers after each person has been in the room? I would hazard a guess, not!

Each dispenser needs to be refilled, the bulk products are supplied in either 5 litre containers or 25 litre drums,  these are made from plastic.  These too will end up in landfills if not recycled.  1 x 5 litre drum is about 123 grams and the little 30ml bottles are less than 10 grams each,  so there are 166 serving of liquids in a 5 litre refill at 30ml per serving.   The saving is actually only 43 units per 5 litre,  however the cost implication is huge.

30 000 30ml bottles sent to the recycling yard = 1 tonne of material.  so we should recycle,  not put these little bottles into landfill.

The knock on effect will be huge and many jobs will be lost in the industry.

  • Amenities are manufactured around the world and create thousands of jobs,  from the blow moulding to the filling and distribution.
  • the small bottles are marketing tools for hotels,  they are taken home and put into bathroom cupboards where they are left unused for many years.  however the brand is always in the consumers face when the cupboard is opened.
  • small bottles are hygienic, easier to use,  and stock is easier to control.
  • Wall dispenser could be rendered useless if it falls off of the wall, is broken, or is simply not functional due to lack of proper maintenance
  • Dispensing product can be more difficult than necessary — such as pumping numerous times just to use enough product
  • Housekeeping staff must be called if wall dispenser was never refilled (this is normally discovered once you are already naked and in the shower, seriously inconvenient!)
  • Guests can potentially tamper with wall dispensers, depending on their designs
  • Potential contamination of germs with the number of people who use wall dispensers if they are not cleaned or disinfected properly
  • Guests can take small bottles or tubes of unused products with them, as they are convenient for traveling
  • As with other environmental measures, wall dispensers are touted to guests as environmentally friendly when really the main focus may be to save the hotel or resort property money.

Hotels should rather invest in a good recycling programme and donate the plastic bottles to manufacture furniture, bricks etc for poverty stricken areas thereby giving back to the communities.  Hotel rooms contain plastic water bottles, plastic bin bags and laundry bags, pens, glass cover,  even tea bags contain plastic, so why get rid of an incredible marketing opportunity?

Soap can be recycled and donated to schools to teach the importance of hand washing.


Linen Spray

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Bar Shampoo

Thinking about swapping your traditional hair cleanser for a good ol’ bar? Here are some expert views to find out what you need to know before making the switch.

What They Are

Essentially, bar shampoo is simply shampoo in bar form. As Brianne West, product formulator of Sorbet Cosmetics says, “A good solid shampoo should do what a good liquid does—leave you with body and shine, without either drying the hair out or adding too much buildup.”

The Pros

Aside from being easy to travel with and seemingly longer-lasting than liquid shampoo, bars are touted as being able to get your hair back to its original, shiny, voluminous state by clearing away residue left from the chemicals found in traditional hair cleansers. “Plus, since shampoo bars do not strip hair in the same way as detergent-based shampoos can, you will notice a difference in the way your wet hair feels after washing,” Jamyla Bennu, creator and Grand Mixtress of Oyin Handmade, says.

How? Because many shampoo bars don’t include some of the icky additives used in commercial shampoos, such as sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate. “Many educated consumers have become wary of the detergents found in commercial shampoos, finding them unnecessarily stripping of the natural moisture of the hair and scalp,” she says.

Gentle, low-lather bar cleansers leave hair clean without feeling dry the way many detergent-based shampoos can. For some people, conditioner isn’t even needed after their hair adjusts in a couple washings with a bar.

The Cons

Chicago-based master stylist Jon-David says that because of the high concentration of cleanser in bar shampoos, they tend to have more a waxy consistency, which can build up in your hair.

“This happens because the soap—which is saponified oils and an alkali—reacts with water when you use it, and this forms soap scum,” says Kirsten Connor, formulator and creator at Flourish Body Care. To avoid this, many bar shampoo users rinse with apple cider vinegar to remove the coating and shine their hair.

Those with long, porous or curly hair especially may also experience tangles and frizz, along with that “coated” feeling, something Susonnah G. Barklow, editor at, knows all too well. “Personally, I find the act of rubbing a bar of soap on my head awkward,” she says. “And it almost always results in very tangled hair.”

How to Choose One

If you want to go for it, there are actually three broad categories of shampoo bars out there, according to hair and makeup pro Grace Mahoney, owner of Blushing Brides. The first are cold-processed shampoo bars (typically made by home crafters and natural products companies). They’re usually chock-full of natural oils, which help condition your hair, and are typically free of sodium lauryl sulfate. (These tend to be the ones that cause buildup, she says, and might require an apple cider vinegar rinse).

Then, there are glycerin-based shampoo bars, which tend to be more gentle and pH balanced, but they might not be as clarifying as other shampoos and won’t t lather as well. Finally, there are solid surfactant shampoo bars (think of the kind made by Lush), which lather the best and are more pH balanced but can be a bit too clarifying for some hair.

Really, it’s all about trial and error and, of course, avoiding products with bad-for-hair ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate. (Really, any sulfates should be avoided). Sodium hydroxide—an extremely strong alkali that is used to make soap along with oils and fats—is another one to look out for. “The reaction that takes place produces a mildly alkali product—soap with a pH of 8–9,” Bennu says. “Since hair varies between pH 4 and 5 and doesn’t have an acid mantle like skin, this pH difference leaves the cuticle sticking up, resulting in rough, dull hair, which over time can cause damage.”

To use, natural hair expert Amanda Starghill, of, suggests cutting the bar into smaller portions so it’s easier to apply directly to the scalp. Ahead are 15 top-rated options to get you started.

Written by Natsha Burton

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What goes into Sewing a Cloth Doll

Article from

Cloth doll making can be a little challenging.  That’s because doll patterns, or even cloth ornament patterns, have a narrow 1/4″ seam allowance. It’s tricky sewing around curves and angles without ruining the project. Take for example sewing feet. When I tried cutting doll legs and feet out before sewing, I messed a lot of doll parts. My machine’s foot would grip the fabric and it would slip out. Or I could keep my stitches straight and end up with two different looking feet.  But then I found a better way and boy does it make doll making a lot easier and more enjoyable! This tried and true tutorial has been updated with new resources and tips.


Instead of pinning down pattern pieces and cutting around them, you trace around the pieces with a washable fabric pen or pencil.  This gives you guidelines for your stitches, creating straight consistent lines and curves.

Let’s get started with our list of supplies.

  • Doll Pattern, printed out.
  • Muslin, washed and pressed, regular or tea stained (I usually buy the better quality from Brother sewing machine and it’s on sale often!)
  • Mark B Gone pencil or pen (I usually use a pencil because they last longer for me.)
  • Scissors (My favorite brand is Fiskars. Tip: keep a pair of scissors for fabric cutting only. That way they stay sharper for your sewing projects)
  • Straight Pins (I like those with a color top. Helps me find them quickly when I drop on on the floor. Believe me your feet and your family will thank you for it. 😉 )
  • Ruler if needed
  • Thread, like Coats & Clark Dual Duty. (Good quality thread is less likely break or create irregular stitches than cheap no-name threads)
  • Sewing Machine (you want your machine to be able to create evenly stitched, smooth stitches. I love my Brother sewing machine!)


Gather your pattern and supplies. Read through your pattern before starting. Check the pattern to see if it includes the trace and sew method.  If your pattern says ‘cut the arms, legs, body’ then this tutorial will not work for that pattern — when in doubt or if the instructions don’t say, just email and ask the designer. In some cases a cut and sew pattern will work okay, but your finished doll will be larger than expected.


Lay out your fabric across a flat surface. I keep my muslin folded in half as it comes on the bolt. Slide your pattern page underneath and use a Mark B gone pen to trace the pieces out carefully. Position and move the pattern as needed so each traced piece has space between another. Also, I like to position all the pieces with the open ends going in the same direction.

Your lines should be straight and steady. A ruler can help on long straight parts like the legs and arms. Follow pattern instructions – you will need a body/head, 2 arms, and 2 legs. And, each piece needs two layers; that’s why you keep the fabric folded and traced on the top layer.


After all the pieces are traced, remove the pattern from between the layers. Pin the the layers together as shown below.  This is how I lay out my doll parts to be sewn.

Also, keeping all the openings facing the same way at the bottom, you will be able ‘jump’ sewing machine needle over to the leg, then to the next arm, etc. I don’t have to cut any threads along the way either. This saves time and thread.


When cloth doll making, always test your machine’s tension and stitch to make sure it’s ready to sew. Begin by sewing along the traced line of the outermost part of the doll parts. As you can see I started with the doll body. Begin at the bottom and guide your needle along the traced line. Slow down around the curves. I usually have my machine set to always stop with the needle down so if I have lift the presser foot to turn the fabric, my needle stays in place. For tight curves I slow my machine done a lot, one stitch at a time. It helps me to stay on the traced line as I guide the needle around the tight curve.

And remember: don’t sew completely around. You need to leave the designated areas unsewn. These opening allow you to turn the part right side out and stuff the doll.



Using sharp fabric scissors. cut around each sewn doll part, leaving about 1/4″ allowance between the stitches and fabric edges. You may want to cut a “v” out from the seam where ever you have a sharp curve. This helps your fabric from bunching up in the curve. Be sure not to cut into the stitches, though.


This is a cloth doll making technique is similar to the first one but in this one you use pattern templates. First thing is to print your pattern pieces onto card stock. Then cut those pieces out to make templates.

To keep your pattern organized, keep the parts in a ziploc bag with the instructions or pin all the pieces to the pattern and keep in a file or plastic see-thru notebook pocket.

I use a pencil for this type of tracing (you can use a tracing pencil or pen, too); also, I show a ruler because the pattern I am using requires ‘extension’ of the legs and body. It’s the best way for me to extend the lines out.

You continue the same steps as above, the difference is you’ll be tracing around the patterns instead of putting the pattern between the fabric layers. This is easier for darker fabrics that make seeing the pattern through the fabric difficult.


Note about Clothing: most of us who design with the ‘trace and sew’ method add in the extra seam allowance when we create the clothing for our doll samples. So we will ask you to ‘cut’ the pieces out for clothing.

Lastly, this method does very well when sewing ornaments, bowl fillers, and other small sized home decor accents. It makes it much easier to sew around the shapes and  you’re able to save on fabric because you can place them more closely together versus cutting and then sewing. It’s my preferred method of sewing dolls and home decor accents when it’s possible.

Tutorial submitted by Cindy of Homespun from The Heart. She has many nice patterns for sale on her website. I’ve enjoyed sewing with several of them! You can also find her on Etsy.   

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Botanique Skin Care

We have launched our stunning skin care range Botanique Spa,  the active ingredients are Khakibos and Lavender.  These wonderful essential oils do wonders for the skin and once you have used our natural plant based skin care range,  you will never use anything else.

Tagetes (Khakibos)

The benefits of Khakibos,  through regular use of the skin care, flare ups will reduce and break out will heal quicker.  the essential oil is known to have the following benefits.


  • Analgesic
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antidepressant
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Diuretic
  • Expectorant
  • Relaxant
  • Tonic
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Black Friday

Why Is It Called Black Friday? History and Origins of the Shopping Day

Black Friday, the day where stores say they are slashing their prices for a limited time and consumers camp out in front of them to wait for these sales, is such a uniquely American event that it has begun cutting into Thanksgiving – the first American holiday.

The day after Thanksgiving being a day dedicated to holiday shopping has become more commonplace and less of a local news story, and it remains one of the busiest shopping days for stores across the country. These retailers have also been taking advantage of online sales both to maximize profits and prevent riots. Now hundreds of millions of Americans partake in some form of Black Friday.

But where did we get the terminology for it? The word Black before a day has historically been used to discuss disasters on Wall Street a la Black Thursday, Black Monday and Black Tuesday referring to the stock market crashes of 1929 and 1987. How did Black Friday become associated with profits and not crashes?

Black Friday Origins: Where Did the Name Come From?

Whereas Black Thursday, Monday and Tuesday were named for the dark economic outlook they brought with them, Black Friday is named such for positive reasons. Accountants use “black” to reflect profit in companies, and “red” for loss. Thus, going from a loss to a profit is referred to as being “out of the red” and “in the black.”

With the money that the day so consistently brought, retailers began referring to it as Black Friday due to its profitable nature. It was helping many companies end the year in the black, or at least closer to the black.

Black Friday as we know it has been advertised every year since sometime in the 1980s. But it has been around longer than that.

Black Friday History

The earliest iteration of a similar sort of “Black Friday” phrase is from the early 1950s. This was not used in a positive sense; instead it was how Philadelphia police referred to the massive crowds the day after Thanksgiving that would appear for shopping and tourism, often in advance of the Army-Navy college football game which was often hosted in Philly.

It was also, early on, used briefly to describe the day after Thanksgiving in terms of employees calling in sick at work so they could have a four-day weekend.

The idea of the day after Thanksgiving being a massive day for holiday shopping has never been lost on retailers. Through the early 1900s, retailers actually deeply resented that Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday in November, feeling as though the holiday sales started too late in the season to ultimately help their yearly profits get into the black. The Retail Dry Goods Association pleaded their case with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s about its effect on sales.

Roosevelt was receptive to their request, and in 1939 moved Thanksgiving back to the Thursday before the last one of November, in that year’s case the Nov. 23 instead of the Nov. 30. This new Thanksgiving tradition was met with some derision at first, with some snidely referring to it as “Franksgiving.” But in 1941, Congress and Roosevelt made it federal law that Thanksgiving Daywould be the fourth Thursday in November.

By the 1960s, Philadelphia’s “Black Friday” name had made it into print, but brought a negative connotation due to the stock market association and the hostile crowds of consumers. There was a brief push to turn it into “Big Friday” but it never quite took. Black Friday, meanwhile, stuck and began growing.

It was in the 1980s that retailers began using Black Friday in “get-in-the-black” terms, allowing themselves to lean into a phrase that had become established on a day already known as being great for sales. Why mess with a good thing?

The 1990s and 2000s, with toy crazes like Tickle Me Elmo, are when Black Friday began to take shape the way we see it today, and the way local news still covers it: people dressed for the bitter cold waiting in long lines, fighting to get into the store and get their gifts in time.

The at-times thousands of people at a single store fighting for toys and other goods have mostly been used for viral video fodder, but there have been times these crowds have turned deadly. Most notably, in 2008 the large crowd of over 2,000 at a Walmart (WMT – Get Report) in Valley Stream, N.Y., trampled an employee to death.

Other more recent changes to Black Friday traditions, such as online sales or businesses opening doors Thursday night instead of early Friday, were meant to maximize profits. But these are also things that have likely helped quell impatient, rioting hordes of consumers who stayed up all night to get a new television.

They’ve also helped make Black Friday sales a multibillion-dollar endeavor by themselves. Adobe Analytics estimated that Black Friday sales for retailers were approximately $7.9 billion in 2017. There are more methods than ever for Black Friday shopping, and American consumers have been all too eager to take advantage.

Are There Other “Black Fridays”?

Contrary to a rumor that was started on the internet several years ago, the term Black Friday does not originate from the days of slavery. This baseless myth, which claimed that slave traders would sell their slaves at a discount on the day after Thanksgiving, has been thoroughly debunked.

There is, however, a Black Friday that originates from the 1800s. Like Black Thursday, Monday and Tuesday, this one actually does involve finance. One of the first Wall Street panics, two speculators named Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market by buying large amounts of bullion to drive up the price and leverage their relationship to President Grant’s brother-in-law to get him to limit its availability. Grant, upon realizing what was happening, instead ordered the U.S. Treasury to sell more gold. On Friday, Sept. 14, 1869, the gold market collapsed and the entire market fell dramatically as a result. This was disastrous for many investors, and thus this became known as another sort of Black Friday.

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6 Best Essential Oils To Tighten Skin + How to Use It – magichealthytips July 8, 2018

As we age, loose and saggy skin becomes a reality not many people can escape from. It’s a big problem for millions of women around the world, and it’s not brought on exclusively by aging. Loose and saggy skin can also occur after childbirth or in cases of rapid weight loss.

Aging is a natural process that can’t be stopped. However, nature has provided us with all the tools and “weapons” we need to fight natural processes such as aging. Most of these tools come in the form of essential oils which have a plethora of uses. Just like they can help with various health problems, some essential oils can also tighten up your skin and prevent the sagginess caused by aging.

The best thing we can do in cases of loose skin is to firm it up. Skin tightening is actually the best form of anti-aging treatment which will prevent enlarged pores as well. This will allow you to keep your skin in shape and look fresher. Skin tightening with the help of essential oils works much better than using those chemical-laden store-bought skin products which can do a lot of damage to the fragile skin on your face and hands.

Fortunately, there are many essential oils which can help firm up your skin and make it healthier than ever before.

6 Best Essential Oils To Tighten Skin

1. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is one of the most beneficial oils for our skin and overall health. It has been used against a variety of skin problems for centuries, including skin discoloration, age spots, and sunspots as well. The oil will refresh your skin and firm it up, protecting it from blemishes, wrinkles, and enlarged pores as well. Furthermore, the oil has antibacterial properties as well, so it will prevent the overgrowth of bacteria on your skin.

According to studies, frankincense oil can also help in cases of scars and wounds as well as dry skin. To use it, mix 5-6 drops of the oil with the same amount of a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, olive oil), then rub it on your skin. The mixture can be used on any body part but test it on a smaller patch of skin first to prevent allergic reactions.

2. Neroli Oil

Although pretty rare and difficult to find, neroli oil is definitely one of the best oils for your skin. It contains a chemical known as citral which can regenerate your skin cells and tighten your skin. It will also help your skin grow new cells which will replace the old ones, effectively promoting new skin growth.

The oil will also improve your skin’s elasticity which makes it a great anti-aging oil. It’s often used in anti-aging masks and creams and will keep it fresh and healthy at all times. Neroli oil is especially great for people with sensitive skin. To use it, rub 3-4 drops on the affected area overnight, giving your skin enough time to absorb the oil and benefit from it.

3. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is arguably the best oil for loose skin. It can accelerate the healing of cuts and wounds and help the skin recover from burns. Lavender oil will instantly regenerate your skin thanks to its antioxidant content. The oil contains antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione and has antibacterial properties which can keep bacteria off your skin.

Before using it, always dilute the lavender oil with a bit of coconut oil, then rub it nicely on the affected area.

4. Grapeseed Oil

This oil contains powerful compounds which promote the regeneration of skin cells and keep the skin elastic. Grapeseed oil contains several astringent compounds which can tighten up your skin and prevent it from becoming saggy and loose. It’s often a part of commercial anti-aging products used against stretch marks and similar skin problems.

Using grapeseed oil on your skin will boost the blood flow in that area, which means more nutrients delivered to the skin, improving its quality and appearance. To use grapeseed oil on your skin, put 3-4 drops of it on your palms, rub them together, then use it on the area of skin that needs treatment. It’s best to use it just before going to bed and leave it to work overnight.

5. Pomegranate Oil

Pomegranate oil has long been used as a treatment for many skin problems including skin cancer. The oil has incredible healing properties and is a favorite of many alternative health medicine practitioners.

Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and bioflavonoids (also responsible for its color) that can improve blood circulation and fight free radicals. Due to this, the juice and oil from this unique fruit are considered anti-aging remedies which can help in the case of saggy skin. Additionally, you can also use the oil as sunblock.

To apply the oil, simply rub a few drops of it on your skin and massage the area. Make sure the area is clean before application and use the oil before going to bed for best results.

6. Almond Oil

Almond oil is a popular ingredient in the cosmetic industry. It’s quite often a part of anti-aging creams and lotions and it’s all thanks to its great vitamin E content. This nutrient will hydrate your skin properly, while the antioxidants it contains stop the aging of your skin and improve its elasticity.

Here are a few simple recipes that can help with stretch marks and wrinkles:

Stretch Mark Remedy


2 oz. rosehip oil
9 drops lavender oil
9 drops neroli oil

Just mix the oils well, then massage the affected area gently. Repeat the process twice per day for best results.

Healing Serum


3 teaspoon jojoba oil
3 teaspoons rosehip oil
3 teaspoons vitamin E oil
3 drops lemon oil
3 drops myrrh oil
4 drops lavender oil
5 drops neroli oil


It’s simple – mix all the essential oils, then transfer the blend in a dark-colored glass bottle. Now, mix the vitamin E, rosehip, and jojoba oil in another container, then combine both mixtures and shake well. Leave the mix overnight, then use it on the affected area 2-3 times per day for best results.

Anti-Aging Blend


2 drops sandalwood oil
2 drops frankincense oil
2 drops lavender oil
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 drops geranium oil
3 drops helichrysum oil


Mix the oils in a dark colored bottle, then add the avocado oil (or another carrier oil of your choice). Shake the container before using the blend, then massage it on the affected area nicely.

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Charlie Love Studio

The most incredible dolls are available in store now. We will be stocking both the bunnies and unicorns.

“At the intersection where your gifts, talents and abilities meet a human need, there-in you will discover your purpose”, ARISTOTLE.

So love this quote, its so true – swipe left to see the most beautiful faces. These mothers are working hard in the township of Diepsloot to empower themselves, support their families and be relevant in their communities. Training has been completed and these talented women will be helping make up my blank dolls and some basic wardrobe items. I will still be quiet involved with attire, make up of the dolls, embroidery and bringing it all together. So happy and humbled to be a part of this journey. This quote feels so true right now. To all you beautiful souls who have been supporting Charlie Loves, thank you thank you thank you…

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The High Street Beard Oil

We will be stocking the popular Cape Town mens brand The High Street Beard Oil,  we will be carrying the full range of products in our store and online.  Be sure to add these to your shopping cart.  they make great gifts for guys.


A Little Bit Of Africa

Undoubtedly the most unique beard care range in the world. Handcrafted with the finest African Baobab oil, Marula oil, Kalahari melon seed oil, Mafura butter and Gum arabic.

No Oily Beards!

Our lightweight, rapid absorbing oils keep your beard hair conditioned and your skin moisturized and hydrated. Say goodbye to bearddruff, itchiness and dry coarse bristles.

Smell Amazing

All our products are fragranced with a unique combination of essential oils and perfumery aromas, which when combined deliver longer lasting complex aromas that wear like a good cologne.