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{FREEBIE} Toilet Fizzies …

25 Mar

I’ve been having fun experimenting with natural cleaning options and, because I have a 10 year old son, wanted something that would work for those ‘in-between days’ for the toilet bowl. I discovered toilet fizzies and let me tell you, not only are they fun for your children to drop into the loo, they are also a great option for freshening it up on those days you don’t have time to do a full scrub.


Here’s the recipe I used: Continue reading


Candle Safety

14 Mar Candles burn please enjoy them safely.

As a chandler I have candles burning all the time in my home … and I mean all the time! I am constantly testing wick sizes, new fragrances and new containers BUT I NEVER leave them burning in a room where there is no-one to keep a check on them. If that means I have to test an enormous candle in my small home office then so be it. My home, family and pets are worth too much for me to risk losing them to one moment of inattention.

I wasn’t always like this though. Yes, in the past I have left candles burning unattended, sometimes overnight! When I think back now I realise just how lucky I was on those occasions.

I suspect that one of the reasons I have been so lucky is that even in my foolish days I was always careful about where my candles stood. They were always on protective plates, always away from windows and window dressings, always clear of draughts and usually in the centre of tables or on mantelpieces with no decoration above.

Unfortunately it seems though that no matter how often we candle makers stress the safety aspects of burning candles there will always be those who don’t follow our advice. My candles have warning safety labels on the bottom and they all come with a mini card (usually stuck to the lid) with advice on how to enjoy the candle safely. Yet still I read about homes burning down due to candles being left unattended or too close to highly flammable materials.

So here are 6 simple tips on avoiding burning your house down. I’ve even included some answers for those who want to know why they should do as is suggested. 6 simple tips to help you enjoy your candle safely. And if you can’t be bothered with following all of them then at least take notice of TIP 6. Continue reading

{LIFESTYLE} A Jar Full of Sunshine for 2014 (aka happiness jar)

31 Dec

During the final week of 2013 whilst I was reviewing my year for both business and personal life, and preparing for planning for 2014, I came across this fantastic idea. Simply put, it consists of a jar into which you place notes about the things that have been good as you go through the year. Then at the end of the year you open up the jar and read through the notes.

It’s so easy to forget all the good things that happen as you move on through each day of your life and this is a great tool to help you remember and put a smile on your face. I envisage using the jar throughout the year on those days when I’m feeling a bit down or when my business is not moving along as I think I want it to. I think it is a great way to help refocus on the things that matter.

This year I took some time out to ‘really’ think about how the year had gone for my little business Just Jane. I thought about the things that had gone wrong, but also about the things that went well. I took some time to go back through my e-mails and Facebook pages and read through the messages and comments there. I looked back at my photos and blog posts (there weren’t many of them!) and took a few moments to view them as a stranger might. It was an enlightening experience and really helped to give some clarity to my plans for 2014.

But back to the jar of sunshine! As part of my strategy for the new year I decided to create my own ‘Jar Full of Sunshine’ where I will place notes about all the great things that happen throughout 2014 … I’m really excited about the prospect of reading them all through on December 31st 🙂

Here it is all empty and ready for the first note …

A jar to fill with happy notes.

Fill a jar with happy notes throughout the year!

I found this jar (and several others) a couple of years ago in my local Salvation Army store. Since then it has been a candle several times – and has always drawn positive remarks! – but it now has a suspicious looking hairline crack near the top and I’m afraid that the heat from a candle flame may cause it to crack completely. This is a great opportunity to keep it in my life and give it another happy purpose.

Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you everything you wish for!

Jane xx

How do You Handle Competition in Your Small Biz?

20 Nov

This is a subject that has been running around in my head for a few months now. I’ve been working with a few little businesses who have been dogged by various competition based issues and it’s always interesting to see how differently people handle these things.

I have always been very pro-competition. It is something I have embraced throughout my business life. Some of you may find this crazy, but some of my ‘competitors’ have actually become good friends. I have been a mentor to small business owners who are running businesses that will operate in ‘competition’ with me … yes, I really have!

Over the last couple of months there has been what appears to be a national shortage of candle making supplies in Australia. It has been a very frustrating time for many of us as we approach one of the busiest periods of the year. I am fortunate enough to belong to a great Facebook group of candle and soap makers and it has been a joy to see them help each other out with information during this difficult time. I have also been able to directly help some of my more local ‘competitors’ when they have run out of supplies that they need urgently and I have excess of those supplies. I’m sure that now many of my readers will be shaking their heads and denouncing me as a complete nutter: ‘Why on earth would she want to give her competitors supplies?’ Continue reading

The Triple Scented Debate – Soy Candles

22 Sep

Triple Scented - is your chandler comparing apples and oranges

I am a regular stalker and contributor on several candle groups on Facebook – it’s something you kind of fall into when you make candles … it’s sometimes something I wish I had never found, but that’s another post altogether! Anyway, there are a number of topics that come up over and over, and the question of the term ‘triple scented’ is one of them.

Frequently you will find these words used as a marketing pull. It is aimed at making the reader believe the candle they are buying must be superior or more luxurious than other candles. It makes you feel that your candle has been made with no expense spared. And that’s fair enough, but what does it really mean? Actually, it means nothing much at all! Let me share a little bit of candle history with you … Continue reading