You know that feeling when you stumble on a new product or service or show? And you want to tell people about it, because sharing is caring, and the people should know if it is good or bad or will change your life. Welcome to finds of the month, a monthly series where we share all the random little things we discovered and are enjoying.
#1 Roller Blockout Blinds/ Buy My Blinds Online
Reviewed by Feige
As you may have picked up from our various mentions (especially from our latest DIY cupboard makeover), we have been redoing our office for a little over a year. One of the unfinished areas was blinds. When we stripped the old space, we ripped out a pelmet and outdated curtains and the window space has stayed bare ever since.
During the course of the year we changed our minds various times as to the type of fabric we wanted for a blind and did bucketloads of research and quote collecting. We then came across Buy my blinds online who offered the most cost-effective solutions and the process seemed quick and easy. Buy my blinds online is the genius online offshoot of Galaxy blinds. After a lot of hmm and hawing we finally pulled the trigger and decided to try them out and we couldn’t be happier. Here’s why:
- Ordering was super easy. It’s an online store, you select your blind/curtain type, click the fabric you want, type in your dimensions and other options (like where you’ll be hanging them, which side you want your controls to sit etc.), a price populates, you add to cart and check out.
- They give instructions on their website on how to measure and when we called to ask questions before ordering, they were professional and very helpful.
- Their communication is spectacular. They emailed and called soon after the order to confirm payment was received and the order was going into manufacturing. They also were clear on expected timelines.
- The blind arrived on the date communicated and the next day I had a follow up call to make sure everything was alright.
- The blind came with printed instructions on installation and all the brackets and screws you’d need.
- Installation was easy and quick.
They don’t have the hugest range of fabric and color options on their site but if you’re after neutrals there are plenty of those. They are also the best priced option we found.
Get it here (From R511 – our 1.2m x 2m blind cost us R2191)
#2 Earth Sap Range of Natural Home Cleaning and Cosmetic Products
Earth Sap is a local brand that has been producing non-toxic, natural home cleaning and cosmetic products. You may remember our search for the best eco-friendly kitchen spray in which Earth Sap’s one came out in front. All Earthsap products are naturally derived using pure plant oils and other natural ingredients and are also biodegradable making them better for both you and the planet. Their products range from cleaning to personal care and they sent us a box of some of their products to test out. Below are the ones we liked and would recommend.
Earthsap Laundry Powder – made from natural ingredients including natural earth mineral salts & 100% natural oils. It has a pleasant smell (minty in its powder form) and cleans clothing well. It works both as a machine washing powder and a hand washing powder. As it doesn’t contain any chemicals, it’s especially good for those with allergies or skin sensitivities.
Get it here (R195 for 2.2kg)
Earthsap All Purpose Cleaner Cream Scrub – this is a natural alternative to Handy Andy and works the same (if not better). I’ve used it as an all-purpose cleaner and it’s great at removing marks from surfaces. It also removes mould and mildew. The lemon and orange essential oils give it a wonderful fresh citrus scent.
Get it here (R55 for 750ml)
Earthsap Citrus Valencia Air Freshner – this is a 100% natural room spray with a fresh herbal fragrance. It contains no petrochemicals, artificial dyes/ preservatives, or synthetic fragrances. I like the small bottle it comes in and the citrus scent is subtle, not overpowering.
Get it here (R57.95 for 150ml)
Earthsap East India Islands Mens Shampoo, Conditioner and body wash – I’m grouping these together as they’re under the same label and all have the same scent – an earthy natural scent that’s very yoga to me. I’m not sure why they’re specifically labelled ‘men’ as they don’t have that masculine scent men’s cosmetics usually do, it’s more of a unisex scent. Either way, as a female I used them all and really liked them. Both the shampoo and body wash had an impressive lather not often found in natural products, but I did have to use more than when using non-natural products. The shampoo and conditioner worked very well in my hair and I was told I smelt nice hours later, always a plus. Feige also noted less hair fall when using this shampoo.
Earthsap East India Islands liquid soap – I’ve been using this as a hand soap. It has the same earthy herbal scent that the rest of their East India Islands range has and it reminds of a yoga studio – in a pleasant way. It’s gentle on your hands (a plus when you’re washing your hands constantly), doesn’t dry them out and smells good.
Get it here (R117.95 for 250ml)
#3 Safeway Sports Massager
I’ll credit this purchase to a tweet by Leigh van den Berg, in which she shared that this helped alleviate a chronic shoulder knot and sold me. It a sports massager than comes with three different heads (I like the prickly one which minds me of an acupressure mat) and a dial that allows you to choose level of vibration (as someone who always goes for the sports massage and never the gentle kind, I dial it straight up). It has a vibrating feel which does feel a bit odd but also really nice when you put pressure on knots or sore muscles. It’s the poor man’s Theragun or Hypervolt and while not magic, does help with sore muscles and neck tension, but with bigger issues it’ll take a few days of daily use. I had an uncomfortably tight hamstring and found that using this massager on my hamstring for a few minutes followed by some Wintergreen warm up gel before a run, helped loosen the muscles and ease tension, making my run better. I also did a few minutes on my hamstring and it took about 3 days for the pain to be completely gone. Feige says it took out a knot in a persistently aggravated spot on her upper back in just one use.
Get it here (R299)
#4 Gardening in the Shade in South Africa by Allan Haschik
Written by gardening expert Allan Haschik, Gardening in the Shade is a guidebook for how to deal with a garden with a shade problem. It’s incredibly detailed and educational and filled with images to help. He explains the challenges of shade, types of shade, what plants thrive in the shade, how to maintain and care for a garden that is overwhelmingly shady and tips for waterwise gardening and landscaping.
It’s a book I picked out because I have a shady garden problem, not just pockets of shade but a garden that could be described as a forest. In fact, years ago when I had it in my head to plant a vegetable garden and enlisted the help of my gardener; each Sunday we’d spend in my little patch he’d tell me about the shade problem in the garden. A problem, I blame my unsuccessful attempt at growing vegetables. Long story short, fixing the garden is a project I’d like to eventually tackle and this book is a great first step in understanding what I’m dealing with and how to go about planting and caring for a shady garden in a South Africa climate. I much prefer starting with a book that is specific for location than spending hours searching through You Tube videos.
Get it here (R160)
#5 Soft Touch Embellished Duvet Cover Set
When my very old duvet cover ripped after a wash I was on the lookout for a replacement. I wanted something simple, neutral and that didn’t cost a ton of money. In my search I discovered that cheaper bedding had fabric that felt rough. You may not want to dish out fortunes for fancy fabric but it doesn’t mean you want to sleep with bedding modelled after the feel of straw either.
Luckily I discovered the Soft Touch embellished sets at Mr Price Home. I really love the feel of the fabric which is luxe compared with their cheapest polycotton sets and really comfortable to sleep with. They also have great neutral options in the soft touch so when you click the link below just search soft touch to see all the options.
Get it here (From 299.99 depending on bed size)
#6 Trojan Speed Skipping Rope
The current workout program we’ve been doing in the NTC app has skipping rope reps in almost every workout. We somehow managed to misplace our skipping rope so initially had to resort to air skipping. Then at Makro, one day (also to be known forever as the best Makro experience I have ever had) I happened upon this delightfully light skipping rope that was under R30! Can you even comprehend such a low price in today’s times?
It’s very simple and doesn’t have a fancy height adjuster but the cord pulls easily through the handle (see photo above), I’ve been able to knot each end to the height I require and it works perfectly. You really cannot lose with this.
Get it here (R29.80)