Why face cleaning is more important now

During Coronavirus times our face gets dirtier. I never really thought about that until I had a 14-day break from social media. Before COVID19 I never really washed or cleansed my face. 

But now that we’re forced to wear masks, I now wash my face every day. Underneath the mask that we wear to go out of the house, we sweat. When we sweat on our face it can produce acne. Acne for most is uncomfortable.

I have used the facial scrubs that I got for free at Melbourne Central during their treasure hunts and my skin is quite fine. One of them smells like bergamot which relaxes you.

You can buy various cleansers online, depending on what your skin type is. Sephora is a good place to start. They have a range of skincare. In Melbourne, we are under stage 4 restrictions which means that no skin or beauty place can open with the exception of Priceline (which is in fact a pharmacy)!

The supermarkets only have a very limited range of these cleansers and they might do more harm to your skin especially if you have really sensitive skin.

If you really want to be thrifty, you could use up all the ones that you have in the house first provided that it is usable

How to use a cleanser to clean your face

You need to have clean hands to do the job. 

First, get a facewasher and wet it. Then wipe it on your face to wet it. Then apply a tiny squirt of cleanser on your hand. Gently with your clean fingertip massage it around your face. Be careful not to put any in your eye. Then rinse it off.

And then put some moisturiser on your face



Melatonin is an essential hormone to regulate sleep and maintain the sleep-wake cycle. Your body makes this hormone. Sometimes we don’t get enough of this hormone for various reasons. So we have to get it in a supplement form. There two ways to get in: One is via a doctor’s prescription and the other is at a supplement store. We know that the supplement store ones are unregulated. This means that you may not get your money’s worth.

If you take too much melatonin supplement your body will depend on it more and more and there may be other side effects. The supplement is meant to be taken when you need to just like ibuprofen

What are some ways to increase melatonin?

  • Get enough vitamin D from sunlight and food
  • Stressless. In this day and age, we tend to stress more. Now with the Coronavirus going on its harder for most people to relax
  • Make sure that you keep regular hours of sleep each day. Sometimes that can be hard if you are a shift worker.
  • Don’t have too much caffeine, especially late in the day. If you are caffeine-addicted, its best to try and cut back if you can. You can try our 30-day challenge if you like.
  • Don’t try and do work on your laptop or your smartphone in the hour before bed. You could try and watch a little bit of TV to help you unwind.
  • If you do decide to take supplements do talk to your health professional first about taking them. They do make you drowsy so it is best to talk about the right dosage. Most professionals now offer telehealth service.

making kimchi

Kimchi is good for gut health and making kimchi is easy to do. All you need is cabbage, chilli, salt. Cut the cabbage into pieces and then salt them. Perserve them over night.

Video by Maangchi

You can add kimchi to anything such as noodles and rice dishes to spice up that dish. If you don’t like spicy food that much you can turn down the spice a bit.

K for Katherine cross stitch

Doing cross stitch during lockdown is a great idea for those that are bored. Ebay has them if you want something to do

This was the best picture I could find of this

All the thread and patterns are included in there. You don’t have to do the border or the background if you don’t want to. 

This cross stitch has a lot of detail to it and the first time around I made so many mistakes. But it was all good when it was finished. It took me a while to finish it and I finished it just in time for a birthday. It was from Stewart Merrett’s cross stitch. Stewart Merrett is an awesome artist and he did all the alphabet patterns.

Doing this activity is good for lockdown when you have nothing else to do. 

How not to have skin breakouts whilst wearing a mask

There are people that have skin breakouts whilst wearing a mask. In Melbourne we have to wear masks unless there is an exceptional one not to be wearing one. A skin breakout is not one of those.

People have been fined for not wearing a mask.

If you have a skin problem (ie a rash or acne) whilst wearing a mask, I would say these things to help alleviate the problem:

Have a good diet full of vegetables, grains etc. Make sure that you are getting enough fiber

Drink lots of water. Lots of water helps to hydrate your skin.

Wear a fabric mask if you can. Fabric is a lot easier to breathe in. Those paper ones can easily dry your skin out. You can also wear a scarf or a buff as a face mask. But some fabric masks might be made out of harsh materials and some people cannot wear wool. So find what works for you. Most people can wear a cotton mask.

What soap or laundry detergent you wash your mask in matters. If you use a soap or detergent that is harsh on your skin, then you’ll have some skin problems. I love OMO laundry detergent as its not harsh on sensitive skin. I also have this soap at home that is good for sensitive skin.

Take care of your skin. Make sure that you are wearing plenty of moisturiser

How to dispose of masks properly

Ever since the mask law was mandated here in Melbourne, people are just dumping them all over the place in the park and elsewhere. They are meant to be single-use masks but they should be disposed of properly.

Why is it bad and illegal to dump them all over the ground like this?

It is bad for both the environment and humans for the mask to be dumped like that. A human could step on it and come into contact with it and then there is 50% chance of them getting the virus. Moreover particles from the mask goes into the air making it likely for people to catch the virus.

It is bad for the environment because many birds, wildlife and sea animals think that its food and then they choke on it and they starve to death. Our wildlife is almost in extinction and this is one way to increase that risk.

There should be really hefty fines for people that do that sort of thing, higher than the littering fine.

How to dispose of them?

In the park, there are many bins. Around the bin area, many councils offer dog poo bags. You can use these dog poo bags to put your mask in and then you need to tie it tightly so that germs do not escape. And then you dump it in the bins provided.

Otherwise when you are at the supermarket you should take more plastic bags at the produce section and remember to take them with you everywhere you go. It’s the same as before.

If you are at home follow all of the above and dump your mask into the general waste bin.

If you can’t be bothered to throw it out each time, then why not invest in a fabric mask. It is much better in terms of comfort and then you just need to wash it each time. You can machine wash them with your clothes

Breakfast ideas from the Woolworths box

We have gone back to isolation times which means that people are poor. So we wanted to talk about the Basics box and give you some ideas for breakfast with it.

plate with tasty breakfast placed on edge of white table
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Woolworths’ Basic Box Ingredients




Toilet paper

Soap (or other hygiene products)


Long-life milk (or a dairy substitute)

Fruit juice

Weet-Bix, oats (or breakfast cereal)

Crackers (or similar)

Spread (jam, Vegemite, honey or peanut butter)

Lunch and dinner

Pasta (or rice, lentils, noodles, quinoa, couscous)

Pasta sauce (or similar)

Canned tuna (or other canned meat)

Canned items – soup, vegetables and fruit

Baked beans (or similar)

Tortilla bread (or similar)



Biscuits (or chocolate wafers, sweet snacks)

Muesli bars (or dried fruits)

Listed above are the contents of the box. It is $80 but Woolworths get no part of the profit. And the delivery is included

Some ideas for breakfast

  • Breakfast crepes
  • Baked beans on toast
  • Oatmeal with milk and dried fruits (or canned fruits)
  • Toast with jam and tea
  • Plain pancakes with just jam
  • Weetbix and milk
  • Waffles

Periods don’t stop for pandemics

Last week was Menstrual Health day and I got the idea from Bethan Taylor-Swaine who talked about this day on her Facebook page.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Here in Australia some of the vulnerable and poor people don’t have access to period products and at the Kensington and Ascot Vale little Free Pantry people have been getting these products. In March Share the Dignity does these drives. The price of period products has been going up. Per year they would cost between $400-$700 altogether. Factor in food and rent and bills and some people would not be able to afford them. Last March people went crazy stockpiling pads and tampons and left none for the poor.

Periods don’t stop for those that are poor. Those that are poor risk staining their underwear and outer clothes. This in turn embarasses them and people think of them as dirty.

Poor people also don’t have access to clean water. Poor people also don’t have access to health services in the world right now.

Actions needed right now:

  • Donations would be appreciated everywhere. If you can, put some pads in a little free pantry somewhere.
  • Ongoing interventions to tackle period stigma. We need more free access to health services. Hopefully during this crisis the Government would spend more money on the homeless and this can be a part of the money that they spend on women’s health.
  • More access to clean water and washing facilities all over the world. In third world countries people don’t have access to clean water. Hence they always smell.

Chinese hotpot

The Chinese love their hotpot and everywhere around the world there are some restrictions about going out due to the Coronavirus so I thought I’d talk about it here.

Image courtesy of r/food on Reddit

You can easily make this yourself with you and a few friends. All you need is a few ingredients such as some meats, tofu, Chinese vegetables, fishballs, beefballs, seafood, rice vermicelli, noodles and rice. Outside in the Chinese restaurants it costs $30-$40 per person. But you can get all this at the markets for about $40 for four people.

This dish would go down well during Winter. Right now it is nearly Winter in Melbourne. During lockdown if you live with four people you can bond well over a Chinese hotpot cooked at the table. You would need a huge pot and electric stove, four bowls of rice, wooden chopsticks for cooking the food, small bowls of soy sauce, chopsticks and a small plate to put food on.

This recipe is by Yunzhu Hu and we use this recipe instead there is no spicy soup base as the flatmates don’t like a lot of spice.

You can have a lot of fun doing this dish and bonding together as a group at home.

Homemade sticky rice

The Chinese Zongzi is the one that I mean. You have this at the Chinese Yum Cha. But now that the restaurants are closed due to Coronavirus, you can make it at home

This is a great winter dish. Here it takes a few hours to make and doesn’t cost much. You can make many of these to eat for when you come home late from work. You can freeze some of the pouches. It takes about half an hour to cook on the stove but you can relax whilst its cooking.

Here you’ll need the dried lotus leaves, rice, and other goods that you can get from your local Asian grocery store (note: they are classed as an essential good here in Australia and are open).

Here is a recipe from Happy Wok. This is the one that I use.