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Friday, February 19, 2010

Wedding Favors

Earth n Love sent me the cutest sample bottles of their citrus body wash and cape chamomile body lotion as an idea for wedding favors.  I love the idea and the cute little bottles.  Thanks Earth n Love.

Some other eco friendly wedding favors that I just adore at the moment are the bird seed hearts or any shape you wish to make.

They are so easy to make and look gorgeous hanging from some dried branches in a vase on a table.  

To make these favors you will need
1. Heart cookie cutter
2. Wax Paper
3. Peanut Butter
4. Bird Seed
5. Refrigerator space
6. String
7. Recycled printed thank you card, printed both sides. (names on one side and thank you for sharing our special day, on the other side)
8. Ribbon
9. Frame for table
10. Card to fit frame with "Take one of these home for the birds to enjoy.  Thanks for coming.  Your Names"

Tear out a large sheet of wax paper and place it on a flat tray.  Put the cookie cutter onto the wax paper and fill halfway with bird seed.  Put a teaspoonful of peanut butter on top of the bird seed and press flat as far as possible.  Thread the card onto a piece of string and place both ends of the string into the peanut butter.  Fill the rest of the cookie cutter with bird seed and press flat.  Use a section of ribbon and tie at the base of the string where it meets the bird seed.  Remove the cookie cutter from the contents and start again.  Its that easy.  

Some other ideas are to give herbs or plants in a gorgeous silver bucket.  This is a gift that will last forever and provide some great herbs for your guests dinners.


Or you could have some mini topiaries like these.

I also found this on and think that they are fabulous.  Just to let you know that you can get bio degradeable compostable film packaging from Good for the Ground. Visit I have tried it out and they look fabulous and are ridiculously easy to make.

You can also hand make soap and use the bars as favors with your own labels.

Remember that all the suppliers that I recommend are going to great efforts to look after our environment. Hope you enjoyed these ideas and thanks for stopping by.  


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Organic Beauty Product Showcase.

Beauty and Health Showcase

This has been an incredibly interesting journey and I was blown away by the products that we received.  Unfortunately some companies replied after the deadline, but I will keep you posted as to when we will do a new set of testing.  Please email me at if you would like to take part in the testing of some of these products. 

  1. Soil Organic Skincare – All of the Soil products are Certified Organic by ECOCERT, France.  They also contain no petrochemicals, no parabens and are not tested on animals.  These products are available online, in good health shops, some pharmacies and Wellness Warehouse.  Soil Organic Skincare receives 5 eco hearts and if I could give a 6th I would because these products are incredible value for money. 

a)      Organic Beauty Balm R120
“A salon quality product, using organically certified ingredients.  100% natural and formulated to work effectively using essential oils and the science of aromatherapy.”

This product came beautifully packaged and with a free muslin cloth.  The instructions for exfoliating and cleansing were clearly set out and a promise of great looking skin with fewer wrinkles and a more nourished skin tone.  This is one of the best products that I have used in a long time.  It had a gorgeous smell and it truly delivers on its promise.  People have commented on the change in my skins appearance.  I simply love it – Daniella 27

b)      Toning Blended Oil – R80

“A cleansing blend with Fennel, Geranium and Rosemary to help reduce cellulite by detoxifying, toning and stimulating the skin, plus Juniper Berry, which helps get to work on lymphatic congestion.  Perfect as a massage oil, body moisturiser or bath oil.”

This product has quite a strong smell but your skin feels heavenly afterwards. – Daniella 27

c)       Geranium and Marula Organic Body Butter – R100

“The Marula tree is known to the Zulus as the marriage tree, since it is a symbol of fertility.”

The Geranium and Marula Organic Body Butter smells delicious and I found myself dipping into the gorgeous tub quite often a) for the smell and b) because of the way it left my skin – soft and nourished – Daniella 27

d)      Soy Wax Melts

“Pure Soy Wax Melts are healthier for you and the environment and so easy to use too!”

Very easy to use and smell wonderful. A gorgeous idea for your reception to use with your tea light candles. 

  1. Esse Organic Skincare and African Organics.

Esse Organic receives 5 eco hearts, their products are packaged beautifully, they are registered with Ecocert, all the products were received well and delivered on their promises, they are anti-ageing, fair trade and cruelty free.  This is a fantastic product range and comes highly recommended, though a little more expensive than most.

Both ranges are accredited by Beauty Without Cruelty and the Vegan Society. Both ranges are accredited by Phytotrade Africa – this is a Fair Trade organisation that ensures that the rural communities that harvest the plants are fairly remunerated for their work. They also ensure that the plants are sustainably harvested. Esse is certified organic with Ecocert France. Ecocert audit us twice a year to ensure that we adhere to their standards. They also make sure that the factory is up to EU standards and does not generate unnecessary waste or use chemicals that are not allowed by organic certifiers. All ingredients are traceable back to the farmer.

Both ranges are classified as 100% natural by Ecocert standards.  

Esse uses a new peptide technology to preserve its products and African Organics uses sugar cane ethanol in much the same way as Dr Hauschka.”

a)      Esse Gel Cleanser – All Skin types  R99.59

“A foaming, tingling wash that deep cleanses without drying.  Peppermint and Spearmint oils refresh and improve micro-circulation to aid in the elimination of toxins.  African Aloe extracts exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and regulate immune function.”

The packaging on the Esse range is exquisite and the pump action of the cleanser ensures that just the right amount is dispensed for cleansing.  My skin felt clean and refreshed after use.  I wont be changing this product. – Sandra 31

b)      Esse Cocoa Exfoliator – All skin types – R169.62

“A delectable exfoliation experience for all skin types.  Fine cocoa particles gently polish and refine the skins surface.  Wild sourced African oils provide slip and nourishment.”

When I opened the bottle, holding the spoon in hand, I felt like I had opened a dessert.  It is a dark chocolate colour and smells delicious.  I loved using this scrub and am not sure if I can wait a week to reuse it. – Sandra 31

c)       Esse Cream Mask – Mature Skin types and Dehydrated skin – R279.00

“A mask to feed and nourish the most dehydrated skins.  Contains stable and available sources of Vitamins A, B, E and C which have been shown to improve skin structure, reduce pigmentation and aid cell regeneration.”

The mask has a very luxurious feel and was fabulous after using the exfoliator.  I felt like I had been to a salon.  My skin felt smooth and silky soft. – Sandra 31

d)      Esse Deep Moisturiser – Normal and Combination skin types R260.27

“Esse Deep will moisturise and maintain balance without leaving a greasy residue or dry areas.  Ylang ylangs balancing effect stabilises both oily and dry skin patches creating an even skin state.  Honeybush in included for its anti-aging, anti-oxidant and healing properties.”

True to its word, this moisturiser really delivers and yet does not feel greasy or heavy on your skin.  An essential part of your daily cleansing routine.  – Sandra 31

e)       Esse Eye and Lip Cream – All skin types, Fine eye lines. R189.73

“A treatment packed with actives.  Amongst them Hyaluronic Acid which hydrates and reduces sub clinical inflammation that leads to long term damage.”

The Eye and Lip cream came in an easy to use pump dispenser, ensuring just the right amount of cream. It was light and left my eyes feeling fresh.  It also did not burn my eyes or leave them feeling weepy –Sandra 31

  1. The Victorian Garden

The Victorian Garden is awarded 4 eco hearts.  Their products are fabulous and are organic and eco friendly, they deliver on their promises and are very reasonably priced.  Unfortunately they lose a heart purely on packaging. 

“Because our recipes are so old, we believe our products to be unique.  'The Victorian Garden Collection' is our original range of 19th century products which are made from recipes popular during the Victorian era (1800's). These include the use of dozens of traditional herbal, floral and fruit oils plus extracts from seeds, trees, grasses, the earth's minerals, the ocean and in certain products, the by products of the beehive  - beeswax, honey and propolis. Our second range is ‘The African Indigenous Collection' and here the products are made in the same way but combine many unusual indigenous African ingredients. Our third range is ‘The Royal Tudor Collection' which dates back to the 16th century; here we recreate exotic recipes created for the Tudor Queens of England during the 1500's.  These unique Tudor products combine ancient botanicals, herbs and floral waters popular during the 1500's.”

a)      Lavender and Chamomile Toning Freshner – R43.00 Sensitive skin

Felt cool and fresh on my face – Kerry 34

b)      English Lavender Foaming Face Gel and Cleanser – R53.00 All skin types

Smelt nice but I prefer a cream cleanser. – Kerry 34

c)       Carrot and Aloe Body Lotion – R63.00 All skin types

Cream lasted the entire day but was not crazy about the smell, especially since I use perfume and the two counteracted. – Kerry 34

d)      Apricot and Rose Face Mask – R59.00 Combination skin type

Skin felt nourished and refreshed after use. – Kerry 34

e)       Neroli and Lemon Day Moisturiser – R60 Normal skin type

Very nice but I have to get used to using organic products because I felt like I needed to use more than usual. – Kerry 34

f)     Rosemary and Lavender cleansing milk for dry skin – R45

Light and refreshing, leaves skin feeling clean and smells good.

g)    Rose and Chamomile toning freshener lotion for dry skin – R43

Love it, spray it on a lot. Refreshing and love the smell, cool and skin feels moist.

h)    Apricot and Walnut exfoliating facial scrub for all skin types – R53

Nice creamy texture with sufficient scrub action, but didn’t like the smell.

i)     Lavender and Honey cream facial mask for dry/mature/dehydrated skin – R59

Found it dried quite quickly yet once rinsed off skin felt soft and supple.

j)     Double Rose and Chamomile day moisturiser for dry skin – R60

Lovely moisturiser but didn’t do much for my skin, not enough moisture for my skin.

k)      Carrot and Elderflower firming eye gel – R46

Love it, it feels cool and I definitely noticed a difference with the puffiness subsiding under my eyes. – Cathy 38

Usually used eye cream but enjoyed using the gel for a change – Brenda 40

l)     Calendula & Lemon lib balm with geranium – R16

Great when first applied, but lips become dry quite quickly.

m)   English Lavender exfoliating body scrub for all skin types – no price available

Good scrub, lovely scent and makes skin feel moist and supple.

n)    English Lavender hydrating body butter for dry/scaly/eczema skin – R85

Smells nice, consistency a bit thick, otherwise great.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity of trying out this range, it has been a most enjoyable experience. – Cathy 38 f) to n)

o) Jasmine and Chamomile Cleansing Milk – R45

Sweet fragrance and skin felt clean without feeling greasy or dry. – Brenda 40

p) Pink Clay and Geranium Mask – R57

Felt completely rejuvenated. – Brenda 40
q) The Victorian Garden: African Indigenous Range - Cape Aloe & Propolis Day Moisturiser with Vanilla – R60.00

I love this product - it makes your skin feel clean and fresh. The smell reminds me of being on the beach. – Wendy 32

r) The Victorian Garden: African Indigenous Range - Mango & Vanilla Hydrating Body Butter. –R85.00

Wow, it smells fantastic and really feels like it has done the job of hydrating your skin. It leaves what almost feels like a protective layer on the skin, which adds to the hydrating effect. – Wendy 32

s) The Victorian Garden: African Indigenous Range - Mango & Vanilla Exfoliating Body Scrub. – R74.00

Again, the product smells fantastic and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean. Combined with the body butter you feel truly indulgent. – Wendy 32

t) The Victorian Garden: African Indigenous Range - Sweet Thorn & Wild Rosemary Foaming Face Gel Cleanser.  – R53.00

This product feels great when you wash your face, leaving you with a stunning smell and clean. It does not dry out the skin and combined with the Cape Aloe & Propolis Day moisturiser leaves your face feeling well looked after and fresh. – Wendy 32

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Laibach Vineyards Lodge

I received a visual delight when I caught a glimpse of the Laibach Vineyards Lodge .  I immediately asked for more information so that I could share it with the rest of you.  This is truly a gorgeous place and has a good eco status.  This wine farm continues to run their business with eco friendly principles and ethics.  

Their Lodge uses these same principles and even includes a wormery for vegetable leftovers.  They carry the three R’s including but not limited to recycling, reusing and reducing.  Solar power is used to heat water in the rooms.  

The Lodge is surrounded by organic vineyards on a working farm and offers five spacious, comfortable self catering apartments within walking distance of the winery.  Enjoy scenic vineyard walks, laze at the pool or taste their award-winning wines. 

This is a beautiful and romantic honeymoon destination and I hope you fall in love with it as much as I did.

Contact details:   

Laibach Vineyards (PTY) LTD
P O BOX 7109, R44, Stellenbosch 7600
tel : +27 (0) 21 8844511
fax : +27 (0) 21 8844848
email :
website :


Monday, February 8, 2010

Pre wedding, taking care of your skin and yourself is very important.  Start a good exercise routine, even if you are just going for a brisk walk, every day.  Drink plenty of water and eat loads of organic fruit and vegetables.  An organic raw food diet can help you shed those unwanted kilograms, shows in your skin tone and also helps you stay full of energy and vitality.  A good beauty routine is crucial to keep your skin glowing and toxin free.  There is only one alternative and that is organic. 

With this in mind, I contacted a number of organic and fair trade beauty and skin care manufacturers, locally.  On Saturday, I invited a group of very excited women to my home.  They had their pick of the most fabulous products from Esse, Soil and The Victorian Garden.  I have given them the week to “play” with their new products and asked them to rate the products for you. 

However, it was not long before I had phone calls from these women, declaring their undying love for the products they selected.  I have to say that I am not surprised, because nothing beats organic skin care and results are visible, almost immediately, especially from Esse, Soil and The Victorian Garden.  Please look at my green vendors list for contact details on Esse, Soil and The Victorian Garden.  Also, remember to come back next week for the eco hearts on each of the beauty products tested. You may also click on the names and link through to their individual sites.  

Unfortunately some of the suppliers did not make the deadline but are definitely worth a mention: Pure Beginnings and Imbali.  If you have anything to add on one of these suppliers please email to

To purchase these products  and other similar products online please go to  This is a fabulous website and has a vast range of eco friendly, organic and natural local products, from skin care to books and literature.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Waverley Hills

Waverley Hills has been awarded 5 eco hearts.

Waverley Hills Organic Wines
Tel: 023 231 0002/3

There have been two organic wine farms that have really stood out for me, and Waverley Hills is one of them. They not only produce some amazing organic wines but they also produce olives, olive oil and tapenade. Waverley Hills also has a restaurant and wedding venue and will host your wedding with all the eco style you are looking for in a vineyard wedding.

Some venue facts:

  • Power saving light bulbs (outside)
  • Indigenous garden
  • Organic farming
  • Organic food in the restaurant (where possible)
  • All the glass, plastic and paper used in the restaurant are recycled again
  • You can have your wedding ceremony and wedding in one place at Waverley Hills to reduce driving.
  • The wood used in the venue was obtained from the floor of an old “melkstal”
  • We are going to have accommodation on the farm also, and thereby reduce driving once again.
  • The water we use in the cellar is purified without the addition of Chlorine
  • Many of the herbs used in the restaurant come from our own herb garden
  • The cellar has an indigenous nursery
  • Only organic wine will be served.
  • We are a Champion of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative.
  • Alien invasive trees and plants are being removed indigenous vegetation is protected and where necessary, rehabilitated.
You will be spoilt for choice with their very reasonably priced organic range of red wines.  Waverley Hills will be participating in the wine tasting and I hope to be able to send you some great feed back on their wines.  Some other exciting news from Waverley Hills is that their new Semillon Chardonnay is being labelled and you will find it on shelves soon.  Please use the contact details listed above to purchase in bulk from Waverley Hills.  

Organic Vineyards

P O BOX 7109, R44, STELLENBOSCH 7600
TEL : +27 (0) 21 8844511
FAX : +27 (0) 21 8844848
Website :

Deep dark color with a lovely refreshing red tint.  Sexy and sleek with oodles of pure black fruit.  Good dollops of spice well, supported with some lovely soft supple tannins.  An explosion of fruit, on a medium bodied palate with good complexity and length. Drinking already nicely now, but with good building components to improve the next 4 – 5 years.
Michelangelo International Wine Awards 2009 – Gold Medal

Laibach Vineyards currently have one organic wine, the Ladybird Red, which is featured above however they also have a white blend, called White Ladybird, it consists of mostly Chardonnay (already certified organic grapes) and then a little bit of Viognier and Chenin Blanc not yet organic.  The White Ladybird will only be organic from vintage 2010.
We will be having a wine tasting on the 12 February and will keep you posted in terms of eco hearts for this brand.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc

La Motte
Tel:  +27 (0) 21 876 3119
Fax:  +27 (0) 21 876 3446

La Motte produces one organically grown wine namely Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine is from the Walker Bay region and not from Franschhoek.  The La Motte farm in Franschhoek has been certified as Organically Grown, a few weeks ago.

The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc is a part of the ultra premium range which is a tribute to South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) famous for his mastership in portraying the unadorned beauty of the South African landscape and its architecture.  Each new release in the range reflects a different piece of the Pierneef art on the label.  

This is a perfect wine with salads, sea food, sea food pasta and spicy foods such as Thai dishes.