Category Archives: Product Reviews

iDye Poly: SUCCESS – Monday Made


“Qui onques rien n’enprist riens n’achieva”~French proverb {he who never undertook anything never achieved anything}

So, our Bugaboo pram has been doing hard work for about 6 years. We got it second-hand when our son was born. It was a beautiful, bright red when we first got it, but over time it has faded unevenly and severely, and then in a terrible oversight, it grew mould that left awful stains.

Despite these cosmetic defects, it is in perfect working condition. But, when it comes to babies, a stained, faded, but otherwise clean and working, pram somehow doesn’t seem appealing to that many people (including me).
I decided that I would have a go at dyeing it. I figured that no one would want to buy it with the mould stains on it so even it didn’t turn out well there would by no real loss.

The base fabric (the actual seat and basket) are 100% synthetic so I found a suitable dye- iDye Poly. Nowhere on the packet does it say you should use a machine to dye with this stuff, but I didn’t really have many options. I couldn’t find a pot big enough.

I did a bit of Google research and discovered the main problem people had with using it to machine dye was that the water was never hot enough. No problem there for me. My front loader has a 95 degree C cotton setting on it which I could never fathom a use for until today. I also checked, and my model Whirlpool has a heating element in it so it did indeed get up to that temperature.

My initial concerns were based around not being able to fit the seat into my machine, or that it would be too squished and not dye evenly. But in the end I suddenly started to be concerned about what would happen when I washed something at 95 degrees when the label very clearly stated it should be washed at 30 degrees. There were plastic and some metal toggs on it too.

In the end, I put the seat, the basket and a bright pink canopy (the canvas kind) that I had brought 2 years earlier in to the machine with 2 packets of dye and the colour intensity stuff that came with it. I went for one blue and one black. I had my doubts about anything EVER being dyed a really good black at home, so I thought maybe a navy blue might go well over faded red. It might end up a deep purple/blue/black/(hopefully not) brown.

Well, you know what?

It dyed the seat and the basket perfectly and uniformly navy blue! The stitching remained red. The canopy which had felt more plasticky (maybe because it was newer, or maybe made of a different polyester?) did not take the dye much at all. It had darkened a shade. the stitching took a couple more shades.

Overall, I’ll let the pictures decide for you.

I wish I had taken a photo of the horrible faded red just before I dyed it. Once upon a time if was the lovely vibrant, funky red. The photo with my 19 month old son is sort of the pram’s halfway mark. Then it  faded to a really sad tattered looking red…..

You’ll just have to trust me on that.

As for the state of my washing machine afterwards? Perfectly fine! i did an empty run with washing powder and straight after that I washed some white sheets without incident. Too easy.





Complete Shamozzle – Monday Made


“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right about face which turns us from failure to success.”~Dorthea Brande

Huge effing, frustrating shamozzle. That is pretty much a description of my week.

Diet wise, I need to hang my head in Thai satay sauce, McDonalds and ice-cream shame. Exercise wise, pretty much nothing. Not pretty much nothing, actually nothing since the run on Sunday week ago. I haven’t been on the scales to assess the damage.

So why the big falling down? Two words- head lice.

People who have had to deal with these little buggers before will just nod their heads in quiet understanding. Those who haven’t, please read on.

I had noticed my head was itchy, but that isn’t that strange, right? Lots of things can make your head itchy. I bet half of you are scratching your heads right now just reading the word ITCHY.

Then I noticed my kids scratching too. I had a quick look and could see nothing so I went and bought some shampoo for sensitive skin.

As I was brushing my daughters hair to braid that afternoon I saw one of the offending creatures for the first time. It was the exact colour of her hair and I saw it by chance. And then proceeded to lose my mind. They had caught it from Daycare, probably Luci who still naps was our patient zero, and then to me and Noah. Grrrrreat.

At the chemist I was advised to get a medicated lice treatment, KP24. It was hardcore toxic stuff that had loads of warnings about what to do if you get it in your eyes or ears. It did seem to stop the lice in their tracks.

A crucial part of head lice treating is getting rid of the eggs by using an insanely tight metal comb. The eggs are stuck to the hairs, near the scalp for maximum shit-stirring. The bugs can’t be killed until they hatch, so you really have to get those little eggs out. Most websites will tell you to use loads of conditioner to help the comb glide more smoothly through the hair. This did not work for us. The comb pulled the kid’s (and later my) hair out.

There was screaming and crying and the most pitiful begging to stop from my children (ahem…and again, later on me). The combing was not successful in any way. Two days later the itching was back on again as all the eggs started to hatch.

That is when I really started to panic. What the hell was I going to do?!

Of course, I Googled a combination of words related to my woeful situation and eventually came up with Peek-a-Pooh Head Lice Removal. A salon you could go to and get someone to sort out the problem for you. So worth it.

Not only did she successfully comb our heads in a very thorough manner, there was absolutely no discomfort and she used an all natural product which you can buy at an Indian Grocery store quite cheaply.

The wonder product, Neem Oil, is like a natural bug repellant. And is also lethal to head lice (hi-five!). The best part is that the secret to combing is oil. OIL, PEOPLE!!

So I guess if you couldn’t find Neem oil, you could use another product for the bug killing section of your treatment and then just put olive oil in your hair to comb it.

So, to be safe you need to treat your hair again in 3 days (which we just did this morning) and comb out any leftover bugs and eggs (got 2 newly hatched little buggers) before they have time to reproduce. I will do it again in another three days just to make sure.

But you don’t just need to treat heads, and that is the real mind blowing, meltdown inducing element to nits. The little shits like to hang out on clothes, toys, in beds and whatever else your head touches for UP TO 48 HOURS. Bastards.

To combat accidental re-infestation (don’t you just love that term) you need to wash stuff with HOT water. Or, I found out from the salon that you can put things in the dryer on high for 30min and it will also kill them.

I hope I never ever ever have to deal with nits in my home again, but if I do I can tell you that I will be going straight for the Neem Oil.

We now have a collection of other products in our home now.

Banlice- my husband got this at a chemist on the way home from work when he got an itchy head. Turned out that he just had nervous itching from thinking about head lice as I didn’t comb a single egg or bug from his very short hair.

KP24- Definitely lethal to bugs…possibly lethal to people too!

Quit Nits-A natural product that I bought on the day I had a meltdown as the box said “no combing needed”. I haven’t used it yet. It also comes with a daily spray for warding off head lice. That stuff smells like Aesop products. Yum.

KO Mites n Lice- This is a product I got from the salon, it has water soluble Neem oil in it so that you can drench your head in the stuff and kill any lice, or you can lightly spray your head every time you are going out (kids going to childcare, etc) to ward off head lice.

Neem Oil- wonder product of the year!!

Beyond Snapshots


“Be inspired to see the beauty around you, everyday.”~Beyond Snapshots

For my 30th birthday I got the amazing gift of a DSLR camera. Certainly, this thoughtful gift from my husband was also a gift for himself, but I don’t care. It has turned out to be SO AMAZINGLY FUN. I would never have gotten up the courage to go out and buy one of those things because I didn’t really have a clue how to use them…..until now.

In my previous post about moving to Japan , I talked about my first couple of  point and shoot cameras. I did love them. And after a while I could get some pretty nifty pics out of them. But there is a limit to what you can do when your camera is set to Auto.

Have you ever looked on Facebook and thought “wow, they take such awesome photos….they must have a shit-hot camera”? They probably don’t, they probably just know how to use the camera they have.

I tried reading online forums about how to use my Nikon better. But they were boring. And confusing. And often didn’t have pretty pictures clearly illustrating the points trying to be made. They often used words that went right over my head.

Enter: Beyond Snapshots, a photography book written by Rachel Devine and Peta Mazey. This book is aimed at helping people like me who have a camera that you can adjust the settings on but aren’t really confident in the how.

This books covers all aspects of trying to get excellent images to look a little bit special. And after reading it, I can also say that even if you don’t have a DSLR, even if you are just taking photos on your mobile phone, this book is still awesome!

Some things covered:

  • The technical settings on your camera, how to best adjust them and why you would adjust them (I never really understood the point of ISO until now!!)
  • Getting inspired, how to compose a nice shot and setting up a home studio.
  • Talking about the Pros & Cons of different photo editing software, some easy ways to use them to make you photos a little bit WOW (you CAN make a good shot an AMAZING shot)
  • How to shoot different subjects (couples, singles, marking the passage of time, children, family, pets) and milestones (weddings, babies, etc)
  • Do’s and Don’ts for traveling with your camera (whether it be down to the park or overseas)

I just loved this book. It gave me so many great ideas. Not just the technical stuff explained easy, but also some great, often simple, ideas for photographing everyday stuff and making it a bit special.

I thought this book was good value, too. I got mine at a  little bookshop in Melbourne for  $40, but I have also seen it on Book Depository and Amazon for nearly half that price (no wonder all the bookshops are going out of business….please go to a bookshop!).

If you live in Australia, you can see Rachel talk about the book on The Circle this Friday (June 8th)!