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Posts Tagged ‘beeswax candles’

 

 

 

 

 

I’m always excited when I get beautiful photography, great ideas or design inspiration to share… imagine then when I have all three?!  Think the kind of happiness a puppy has when its parents come home!

 

Clever Melbourne(ish) souls – Katie Marx, Phil @afloralfrenzy, amazing photographer Kara Roselund and furniture maker Greg Hatton recently hosted a Kinfolk dinner at Butterland.  [Small digression first - I challenge you to click on any of the links and not have an emotional response to the work they do.  Their posts on instagram often take my breath away.]

 

Anyway, so, the thing I loved most when I saw the photography was just HOW accessible these table decorations are.  I’ve actually already used the idea for a dinner party of my own (thanks Katie :-))!  All you need to do is grow nasturtiums (Joost planted some on my edible balcony a year ago and despite forgetting to water them they keep growing)!  Nasturtium leaves taste really peppery.  So, a few piles of salt and some jars with nasturtiums and you’ve got the seasoning sorted.

To create the look:
* Nasturtium seeds
* Jam Jar Tealights (Box with 2 Jars + 8 candles  OR Bulk Box of 60 Jars + candles)
* 15cm Solid Beeswax Pillar Candles (Individual OR discounted in a Bulk Box of 6)
* 20cm Solid Beeswax Pillar Candles (Individual OR discounted in a Bulk Box of 6)

Of course it also helps if you have a former butter factory.

I’ll break from tradition and shut up now!  Enjoy the photographs

 

Cate xx

 

 

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles
Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

Kinfolk dinner by Katie Marx, A Floral Frenzy, Greg Hatton, photographer Kara Rosenlund at Butterland with Queen B beeswax candles

 

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One of the wonderful things about having a Sunday/Monday as your weekend is that you don’t have to go to work on Monday’s.  It’s a great time to catch up on things when they’re quiet.

Today I’ve promised myself I’ll clear my inbox, which seems to be never-ending because I keep getting distracted :-).  One lovely distraction was a beautiful photograph sent to me by stylist, Meagan O’Donoghue from The Style Palette Co.  I’m always amazed by the talents of our customers.  You’re really quite an extraordinary bunch going about your lives choosing to make a difference.  It shouldn’t surprise me given what we do, but it does and it is a constant delight.

Anyway, Meagan took a gorgeous photograph of our Mini-Marilyn Bee Light holders with a couple of Bee Lights.  And the thing that struck me as I was deleting volumes of administrative emails was just how simple the candles and the holders are but how nature is so beautiful that you don’t need to fussy it up.

brass candleholder with pure beeswax taper dinner candles

Mini-Marilyn brass candle holders with Bee Lights

So in the spirit of making it a wonderful day, we’re doing a Monday offer today - 20% off Brass Mini-Marilyn candleholders and 20% off the Pack of 10 Bee Lights.  It’s spontaneous and open until midnight tonight only.

I can say hand on heart that our Bee Lights will blow your socks off when they’re lit.  They are the ultimate testament to the brilliance of nature (and why we are so thorough with our wick testing)!!  They burn for 3 or so hours each (that’s several nights of lighting them during dinner from every candle) and they don’t drip if they are out of a breeze.

And just in case you don’t think that I practice what I preach, here’s a view from where I’m sitting right now!!  I did consider replacing the 2 in the background with new candles but decided that it was better just to be completely authentic.  This is how I stay calm on a Monday in the face of 553 unread emails!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

Over and out.

Cate xx

light a candle to keep your brain calm and relaxed on a busy day

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness” Chinese Proverb

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For years when I’ve need a special gift, I’ve personalised a candle but I couldn’t work out a way of viably offering the service.  Well, I worked it out! Need a gift for that impossibly stylish friend that you’re always a little nervous to buy for? Looking for something to give in that situation where words are impossible (I particularly find this so when someone is grieving and words just seem completely superfluous but you want to show that you care)? Uninspired by the “off the shelf” options for that special occasion that you want a really memorable gift for? … allow us to personalise a candle for you. To start with we’re launching personalised candles with a range of beautiful quotes – with the quote on one side of the candle and a personal message from you to your friend on the other side – and with number candles that are perfect for special birthdays (because we’re always being asked for them)!  Imagine giving a gift of light personalised by a bona fide artistic person, armed with a paint brush, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.  No laser printing going on here folks, this is the real McCoy! Tell us your favourite quote (it doesn’t need to be one of these) in the comments field below.  We’ll hold a vote next week and if it’s voted #1 we’ll send you a candle with the winning quote on it. Each quote is one entry – multiple quotes, multiple entries!

a personalised gift to say I love you, australian made, hand painted, beeswax candle

“At one glance I love you with a thousand hearts.”

cheer up gift, maori proverb, personalised candle gift

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”

Personalised candle, eleanor roosevelt quote, friendship gift

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.”

baptismal candle, christening candle, personalised baptismal candle, personalised naming day candle, personalised christening candle

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

personalised candles, personalised gift, inspirational quote, unique personal gift

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

inspirational quote, personalised gift candle, graduation gift candle

“Accept your path with its many twists and turns… the adventure is in the journey not the arrival.”

I'm sorry gift, how to say I'm sorry, personalised I'm sorry candle

“Real friends are those who when you’ve made a fool of yourself don’t feel that you’ve done a permanent job!”

personalised birthday gift, unique birthday present, inspirational quote

“It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years”

Personalised gift, friendship gift, personalised candle, unique gift

“Good friends are like stars… You don’t always see them but you know they’re there”

personalised candle, inspirational quote, happy flame beeswax candle,

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers “grow, grow”

personalised candle, bereavement gift, mourning, gift instead of flowers, gift for grieving

“A luminous light remains where a beautiful soul has passed.”

Personalised gift, gift to say I love you, anniversary present, personalised candle

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous”

personalised gift, wedding anniversary gift, wedding gift, australian made, hand made

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems to short”

For a special birthday, choose from our range of celebratory numbers – we’ll paint the numbers on one side of the candle and a personalised message from you on the other for a truly unforgettable gift.  You’ll be lighting up their life for years to come Personalised birthday candle, hand painted, unique memorable Australian made gift Personalised first birthday present, Australian made beeswax candle personalised birthday candle personalised birthday candle, australian made, hand painted, happy flame beeswax candles personalised birthday candle, australian made, northern light beeswax candles personalised birthday candle, beeswax birthday candles, bumble beeswax candle personalised birthday candle, queen b, bumble beeswax candle from northern light hand painted birthday candle with a personalised message and a light brighter than the northern light personalised birthday gift candle personalised gift for birthday, bee created light from Queen B beeswax candles     I include the photograph below to show you how the candles burn (i.e. down inside their hand-painted wrap leaving your personalised message intact).  Unfortunately friends don’t usually send me photographs of their candles burning :-)

unique, sustainable, Australian made corporate gifts hand made in Sydney

Personalised candle done for Joost

Looking forward to hearing your favourite quotes and lighting up the lives of your favourite people. Cate xx

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I chose this week’s love letter for two reasons.  Firstly because I love someone who goes and does their own research and then forms their own opinion and secondly because I happened to have another call from a concerned customer this week about this very issue and so the email was timely.

As I said in return, “I get so torn between “rising above it” (which a lot of people espouse and which makes a lot of sense to me) and then being so angry and incensed that people are being completely misled and the injustice of it all (to our business, our staff and our customers).  Whilst you seem to have read through it, I hear about and meet people regularly who are reading it on a superficial level (because they’re busy) and they’re buying it.”

“Hi Cate,

I just read your post on chlorine and then located and checked out the offending website to sate my curiosity.  What an “ode to an ego” it seemed, all the way through.  The person in question is quite good at sounding as though he knows what he is talking about, at a superficial level – by subtly misdirecting the reader.  Very calculated.  It seems disturbingly personal – and directed at you.
I also felt the fuss about candle painting was sour grapes –  he offers nothing as sophisticated as your decorative pillars.  It is far easier to put someone else down than come up to the mark.
Anyhow, bravo to you for standing your ground, whilst retaining your dignity and grace.  Mr obfuscation is showing poor form and I wouldn’t buy his candles on principle (as well as the fact that I love yours so why would i change). Anyway, as I said, he offers far less in every way.
Keep doing what you do so well,
J”
Having worked every day of the long weekend, I can assure you that I’m not doing Queen B because it gives me work/life balance.  Having not put prices up in 8 years, I can assure you that I’m not doing Queen B for money.  So why do it then?  Because I’m completely obsessed with bees.  I’m passionate about minimising chemicals in our homes.  I’m passionate about the environment.  I get to meet extraordinary people.  Because if I’m going to do something a gazillion hours a week then I want to do something where I feel as if I’m making a difference.  And most of all because I love making and sending out light.  If you think about for just a second, that really is an amazing thing to be able to do with your life.
Feeling blessed,
Cate xx

 

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Winter finally seems to have finally got her claws into Sydney, the cold and grey days brightened by the number of candles lit at the hive.  It’s a lucky fortune, I realise, that we get to light such magnificence daily and it’s a lucky fortune that I love to share.  As you may have noticed, I’ve also been pondering gratitude, generosity, gift giving, card writing and all those wonderful things recently because I have a lot of it in my life.

Putting all of it together, I decided that one of the keys to spreading the light, brightening up the short winter days was to do an uber special, Queen B’s Long Weekend Sale.  All offers are open until midnight on 10th June 2014.  And I’ve also been giving some thought as to how you can share the light without breaking the bank and came up with a few ideas on that front too.  So, here we go.

Firstly, the most popular candles in our range – our pure beeswax tealight candles.  We’ve got the following special offers:

Queen B beeswax candles don't bumble beeswax

Secondly, my favourite candles in our range – our Bee Light candles.  I often send these out as a random gifts of light packaged in a brown envelope (as you see below)… I’ve loaded them up with an option INCLUDING SHIPPING for an additional $3  (i.e. our usual $11 flat rate shipping for orders <$100, free for orders over $100 doesn’t apply).  So you can order away to your hearts content and we can ship directly to the lucky recipient.  Tick “this is a gift” when you’re checking out and tell us what to write on the card and we’ll do everything.  For the next 3 days we’re doing these at 10% off so we’ll pay the shipping cost for you.

Ensure a happy flame with your beeswax candles with these bee lights

And as a final addition to the plethora of queenie b’s day long weekend specials, I came up with a way of sharing pure beeswax tealight love at a lower cost.  Why not buy a bulk carton of tealight candles and put together your own smaller packs.  I’ve loaded up an option to purchase the sinamay bags we use with a swing tag for $2.00 each. Buy a bulk carton of tealights.  Grab a few bags.  Use some of the tealights for yourself and give some as gifts.

sustainable packaging with queen b beeswax candles for a happy flame

 

That’s all for now folks :-)

I hope you’re having a gorgeous long weekend and hope that we’ll be lighting up the long nights for you through winter.

Cate xx

 

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This year I was invited to be the head judge for the beeswax candles and beeswax classes at the Sydney Royal Show (aka The Easter Show and The National Honey Show).  I know people bang on about things being a privilege, but it really did feel like a privilege to be doing work on behalf of the Royal Agricultural Society.  The Easter Show is an incredible institution and if you ignore the rides and show bags, it is such an important educational activity.  I was just thrilled to be doing my bit.

Interestingly beeswax and beeswax candle entries have increased exponentially since Queen B started putting entries in about 8 years ago.  It’s wonderful to see.  Given our haul of ribbons each year, I think they figured they should use my skills as a judge and allow some other people to win.

The main purpose of this post is for all of our Steiner / Montessori / creative parents & other creative souls.  Did you know that in 2014 it only cost $8 to put an entry into the National Honey Show competition?  Perhaps my favourite class for schools / kids is the decorated candle class.  It is also relatively simple to roll a taper candle.  Entries usually open in January and close in February (i.e. it’s a busy time of year).  So, why not put in your diary for late January 2015 to go to the Sydney Royal website and why not put a candle into the competition?  You’ll be supporting the Royal Agricultural Society and having fun at the same time.  All entries are displayed.

Here are a few of my photographs from the judging and the show…

National Honey Show judge at Sydney Royal Show

National Honey Show beeswax candle entries at Sydney Royal Show

Sydney Royal Show burning rolled pillar candles

National Honey Show decorated beeswax candles

National Honey Show solid beeswax pillar candles over 3cm

Sydney Royal Showcase of National Honey Show beeswax candle entries

Championship beeswax and beeswax candle winners at Sydney Royal Show

National Honey show winners for solid beeswax pillar candles

Championship beeswax candle winner at Sydney Royal Show

Winners are Grinners at the National Honey Show

 

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There are some things in life whose worth is greater than the sum of its parts.  For me it’s enamel teapots.

When I started pouring beeswax candles about a decade ago (O.M.G!… yes, punctuation intentional) I went down to a camping supplies store to buy my first enamel teapot.  In those days Queen B was just me, pouring & rolling candles in a garage with a concrete floor.

beeswax candlemaking, enamel teapot, beeswax tealight candle, from the northern light beeswax tealight

The early days… me, an enamel teapot and molten beeswax – my happy place!

 

I digress here slightly because I wandered down memory lane and thought it worth sharing said garage and said concrete floor!

bleaching beeswax by the northern light at Queen Bee's original hive

The original Queen B hive on North Head at Manly with buckets of beeswax bleaching in the sun

 

beeswax candlemaking at Queen B's original hive

Early days… built tough – beeswax candles made to last! not for the weak knee’d.

Of course we, and our enamel teapots, now work in much plusher surroundings – OH&S now demands softer floors for our enamel teapots which is a happy coincidence for care of candlemaker’s ankles and knees.

Long term employees are the holy grail of small business and I am extraordinarily grateful to recognise that our current teapots have been in service for over 6 years.  And just to put that in perspective, that’s two teapots, worth around $30 each pouring well in excess of 700,000 candles.  I bow down in admiration.  There are few things you could buy these days that would last the test of time and extreme usage.

Your candlemaking supplies for pouring beeswax candles should include an enamel teapot

I’m an enamel teapot… short and stout… here is my handle, here is my spout – for pouring beautiful beeswax candles

 

Over the years, we’ve made sure that special enamel teapots deserve special enamel teapot holders…

Making beeswax candles by the northern light of the sun with blocks of pure organic beeswax for candles

Issy – enamel teapot lover #2

 

enamel teapot for pouring beeswax candles - first on your candle making supplies list

Kylie – enamel teapot lover #3

 

enamel teapots are an essential tool for beeswax candlemaking

Annoyingly, Tilly and his birthday celebrations got in the way of what would have been a great photo of enamel teapots… Enamel teapot lover #4

 

We’ve even had neighbours who have wanted to get in on the enamel teapot loving action (dress standards apply)…

enamel teapot, candlemaking supplies, beeswax candles

Trent – enamel teapot lover extraordinaire

 

Over the same years we’ve always bought extra when we were ordering and offered them for sale with our candlemaking supplies.  We ran out of the plain one’s (the same as what we use) several years ago and were unable to source more, but recently we happened upon another batch.  So, with no further ado, I present to you, the ultimate candle making (and tea making… and camping) accessory…. enamel teapots.

enamel teapots for beeswax candlemaking so you don't bumble beeswax candles

Enamel teapots – available in pastel yellow, blue and green

… now available in pastel yellow, pastel blue and pastel green… made tough and built to last (if you keep from falling onto concrete… or tile… or any hard surface for that matter).

Over and out.

CB xx

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I’ve had a rule at Queen B for the past decade which is that having access to someone’s inbox is a privilege and if I don’t have anything befitting that privilege to say, then I stay quiet.  It seems to breach every currently practiced law of marketing, but then again I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum… Funny, I just caught myself out…  I was about to say “I don’t like to follow rules” but if you saw the list of rules that I live my life by you’d laugh.  Let’s just say that my rules are a bit different to normal business rules!

So, why the blog post then?  Two reasons… firstly, the volume of emails and calls from you guys checking in to see whether I was OK has been escalating! (heartening to know you care).  Secondly, we’ve been doing a big clean up from last year and “Second’s World” at the hive is full and needs emptying.  And that means there are some bargains to be had.

Here’s a list of what we’ve got going (on a first come, first served basis):

bargain beeswax candles with slight blemishes

A brief glimpse into the delights awaiting homes in Seconds World

You know what else I’ve realised in writing this post?… I’ve actually missed it.  You know how when a loved one has been away for a while and you’re a little anxious about their return?  Will it be the same?  Will they still like me?  (does my bottom look big in this?!)

Sure, I promise (again) to only write when I feel I have something interesting and/or edifying and/or relevant to say BUT in truth I think I was just having a bit of trouble getting back on this horse.  Now that I’m here, I’m wondering what I’ve been fussing over.  It’s great to be back.  May 2014 be happy, healthy, fun, filled with laughter and may it be filled with the beautiful light that nature provided for us in the guise of beeswax candles.

(Belated) happy new year loved ones.

Cate xx

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Some people think I’m quite tough.  Anyone who has seen me with my niece will know I’m a complete walkover.  Pathetic.  Weak willed. Putty.  Wrapped around a 6 year old finger.  Thankfully the extent of her manipulations at this stage only involves decanting honey (she gets to control the lever, put on the lids… oh, and clean up the drips!), tasting honey, rolling beeswax candles and watching the River Cottage series or Monty Don’s My Dream Farm!  Knowing I’m not a fan of TV she suggests that we put on an “educational DVD”.  As I say, putty (and, hopefully, a farmer in the making)!

Today she announced that she’d like to roll christmas trees and write instructions for other kids “so that they can be as lucky as I am, Kookie”!  I kid you not.  While I rolled our big pillars, she rolled Christmas trees.  If you’ve followed my blog, you know I’m not known for brevity, but in this case I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  For the record, wording and spelling are her own!  [Spelling corrections suggested by putty auntie].

eeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Step by step instructions to roll your own Beeswax Christmas Tree candles

Beeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Insert the wick

Beeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Roll towards yourself

Beeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Watch the bottom to make sure it is level

DIY Beeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Ensure the bottom is neatly finished (if you look closely you’ll see me wrapped around that little finger)

Beeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Hand written instructions – 6 year old style

Beeswax Christmas Tree candle rolling instructions for 6 year olds

Every artist needs a break just to think

Being an auntie is surely one of the greatest privileges that life has to offer.

Cate xx

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A few months ago I was contacted by Kirsten McCulloch of Sustainable Suburbia fame to see if I would be willing to contribute to a book she was writing about reducing and eliminating the toxins we take in.  That was a complete no brainer.  I said yes!

Well, Kirsten’s dream has come true and Less Toxic Living: How to Reduce Your Everyday Exposure to Toxic Chemicals – An Introduction For Families goes on sale today.  In an extraordinary act of generosity, the eBook is completely free.  Printed copies are also for sale at US$12.99.  There is bonus content available for anyone who buys the book or downloads the free version prior to Tuesday, 3rd December 2013.  Please use the code QUEENB for the special bonuses.  Yes, free and bonuses.  Who’s your mamma?!

Less Toxic Living, Sustainable Suburbia, eliminate chemicals

Yep… co-author! Going to have tickets on myself soon!

As I planned this blog post, I asked Kirsten with two questions.  Following are her responses:

1. We all lead busy lives, if you had to prioritise 10 things that someone can do for maximum impact to reduce everyday exposure to toxic chemicals, what would they be?

1. Avoid the most pesticide laden food.

Get to know the “dirty dozen” and “clean fifteen” and the Australian version released by the Friends of the Earth last year (though it’s not based on as much research as the US version, but useful as a guide). For the worst offenders, grow your own or buy organic.

2. Remember that your skin is your largest organ and think about what you are putting on it.

Anything you wear daily, or that you use over a large area (like body lotion or sunscreen) those are your first cosmetics to consider. There are lots of safer brands (check out www.safecosmeticsaustralia.com.au for some options), or if you really want to know what you are putting on your skin, you can make your own. If you want to try that, the book contains a few easy products to start you off.

3. Open the window

Unless you live in a really polluted area, open your doors and windows. For more Australians, the build-up of toxic chemicals in your house, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, is much higher than that outdoors. You can also grow houseplants to help reduce VOCS.

4. Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter.

Again, the typical build-up of toxic chemicals in the dust, including brominated fire retardants from your mattress, couch and carpet, is fairly scary.

5. Take off your shoes

Along those same lines, take of your outdoor shoes when you enter your home. You’ll be amazed how much less dust comes in.

6. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products.

Start with one: whichever cleaning product you use the most, switch it out for something non-toxic. An all-purpose spray cleaner is really easy to make, for instance. Almost everything in the house can be cleaned with baking soda, washing soda, vinegar and soap, and again there are some easy recipes in the book to start you off.

But again, if you don’t want to make your own, there are some commercial brands that are quite good. I would choose one product and find out what the typical nasties in that one are (I cover this for a selection of products in the book, but The Chemical Maze is great for this – it even has an app now, which I have on my phone), then check your chosen “safe” brand and make sure those ingredients aren’t in it.

7. Stop eating processed “foods”

Look, I am not a purist and I don’t pretend to do everything “right” even close to all the time. The occasional processed food isn’t going to kill you. But make it occasional, not part of your daily diet. If you eat a lot of processed food right now, then choose one meal a day to cut it out.

8. Choose plastics with the recycling symbols #4 & #5.

Avoid phthalates and BPA leaching into your food and skin by avoiding those plastics. There is more detail about this in the book. Some other plastics can be okay, but those are the safest.

9. Get rid of synthetic fragrances.

That means in cleaning products, air fresheners, candles and cosmetics. Fragrances are considered “proprietary knowledge” and therefore the individual chemical components don’t need to be listed. But there are thousands of chemicals that can be included, and when the US National Institute of
Occupational Health and Safety evaluated 2983 fragrance chemicals they found that 884 were toxic.

10. Switch out your candles!

Of course, if you use a lot of candles, you must stop using paraffin-based, scented or coloured candles now! Go with 100% pure beeswax for a healthier glow!

I’m not sure why candle come in 10th given every home has them and most people use them, but that’s beside the point (and I may be just a smidgen biased in thinking that this is a BIG issue and we need to be having the conversation loud and fast given the explosion in toxic, scented, paraffin and soy sludge candles that are being sold).

and, the next most obvious question:

2. What is your background and what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve been on a journey to reduce the toxins in my life, and my family’s, for a while now. Part of how that started was when I was trying to get pregnant and had been told I might miscarry a few times. I figured whatever I could do to decrease that risk would be good, and I started to really focus on what I was putting in my body.

Then having kids of course you start to think about more than just what you are putting in your body. What are they being exposed to through their toys, the water, the air they’re breathing?

Added to that, a little over 12 months ago, my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I suddenly had another motivation to take this journey a step further. She’s three week’s younger than me, and we’d both recently turned forty, and joked about how it’s all downhill from here. When my sister, and then step-father, were both diagnosed with bowel cancer a matter of months later, it was time to take action.

Did you know that 75% of the chemicals in everyday use in Australia have never been tested for human or environmental toxicity? Well, of course you do if you have read my book! And it’s just astounding to realise how many of the products on our supermarket shelves contain known and suspected carcinogens. They may be in small doses, but when they are all added together, and combined with other chemicals, how small is the dose then? And how do those chemicals interact in our bodies? The answer is, we just don’t know.

I was prompted to write this book partly by how overwhelming I found it when I started doing some solid research. I wanted to provide a way for people to start making changes without needing to feel overwhelmed. That’s why I called it Less Toxic Living, not non-toxic. There’s no such thing as non-toxic living in Australia today. But there are plenty of ways to reduce our exposure to nasty chemicals, and some of them are quite simple.

And at the same time, there’s a mass of information out there, in in-depth books, blogs and magazines. So I wanted to bring some of that together to give people some easy ways to change their lives, and some resources for where to go if they want to get more in-depth.”

 

I hope you  find the book interesting reading… certainly food for thought.

Cheers

Cate xx

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