Mar 9, 2018

Leaving No Woman Behind In 2018. Black Box Thoughts.

I'm ashamed to say that I was one of those women who completely forgot about it being International Women's Day on Thursday.

I wore black (activewear) instead of purple as I did such things as drop my car off at the in carpark carwash to get cleaned while I went to the gym, did the groceries and stopped by Sephora.  Even the rosiest of rose tinted glasses can't make any of that a contribution to the cause of women around the world.  Actually, I take that back.  The rose tinted glasses of more than one marketing department would have given my morning a glimmer of #IWD.  Was your email inbox like mine and flooded with promotional circulars for Store X/Y/Z encouraging you to buy more for womankind after opening with a seemingly heartfelt message from executive about 'leaving no woman behind'?  I commend the relatively few etailers who sent emails without tacking on a sales promotion to their message.

Looked at in the most flattering light, I suppose I was living my life and doing what I had to do on my own, in complete freedom and safety.  Things that have been fought for hard  and (mostly) 'givens' for women in Australia in 2018.  

The concern for me that even in this great country of ours, women around us are still getting left behind.  We ride next to them on the train, line up with them for the check outs at Woolies perhaps we even talk with them at school or daycare pick up.  As I've gotten older, wiser and a little cynical about the ways of the world, I've come to realise that wealth and the appearance of a seemingly perfect life are no guarantees that a woman is empowered.  That gender equality and raising all women up are issues I still need to address on my own doorstep as well as in countries far away.

Which got me thinking about what I can personally do to further the UN's theme this year of 'Leave No Woman Behind'.  The two areas I can make an impact are through my work and through my ever growing circle of mum friends.  The ways I can act for change and progress in both worlds are actually mostly very similar.  To not pass judgement, to practice more empathy than sympathy and to reach that hand out to help and pull up rather than to use it to shut the door quickly behind me.

A place I'd like to be and a tea I can sip right now.  A moment of down time in my office this week...

And from those words of introspection, I'm changing the pace to thoughts of the weekend and self indulgence.  This is a Friday post after all, 

My Black Box arrived this week and because people were curious about the concept, I thought I'd chat a bit about it here.

Black Box is an in home marketing business that enables anyone to be a product tester in the comfort of their own home.  It's free to join and if you are selected to be part of a campaign, the coveted black box of goodies is delivered to your door.

Part of the registration process involves filling out a detailed (but not too detailed) survey detailing some demographics and consumption habits of your household. The products you then receive should hopefully reflect what you would normally buy for yourself and your family.

In my case, pretty wine. Black Box, you know me too well.  This is actually a can of Crafter's Union Hawke's Bay, New Zealand Rose and boy am I looking forward to cracking it open and drinking it straight from the tin tonight.  Without a straw because classy is key.  The Nescafe cappuccino sachets are going to work with me.  

First things first, all the drinks went into the fridge to chill.  In addition to the Rose, I received a bottle of cider (we'll see how that goes) and some Appletiser.

There were also several sachets of a new Nivea body lotion.  I'm not a huge fan of Nivea products but it was nice to be able to try something new from them just in case things had changed.  They hadn't but I was able to comment about all of this on the online survey that you need to complete within 3 weeks of receiving your box.  The only comment I have about the survey is that you can't start and stop the form.  It would be good to be able to save and return to it as you try each sample in the box.  The survey isn't onerous, 4-5 click answer questions and a comment or two for each product.

Tip Top's Sandwich Thins are having a moment.  They're very popular on social media at the moment because of their being featured in many marketing campaigns.  I'm a joiner and yes, I do have a fear of #FOMO so here are my thoughts.

TipTop's Sandwich Thins as featured in a recent long day at work dinner..

They're okay.  They have many pluses on paper - pre cut, low kilojoule, versatile and keep well but they just don't have the same comforting, filling taste of toasted 'normal' bread for me.

However, Master SSG loves them.  Especially the 'healthy grainy bits'.  The thins are perfectly sized to house the slice of cheddar that features in his favourite breakfast - toast with vegemite and cheese.

A sandwich made with Thins slices perfectly into fingers and there isn't as much of a crust issue as there is with conventional bread.

Other products of note include these Colour and Dirt Collector sheets.  They're available at Woolworths and I'm definitely going to purchase these.  You place a single sheet in the back of your machine before adding your laundry and detergent as usual.  The sheets pick up dirt and stray colour from clothing.  I'm convinced the school uniforms this wash are looking a bit more prisitine than previously...

I'll be curious to see how these Fairy dishwasher tablets go.  I'm a long term Finish girl so it's going to take a lot to persuade me to change brands.

Are you on the in home marketing bandwagon too?

What can you do to make sure no woman gets left behind?


  1. I didn't do anything special for IWD but I was very aware of the privilege I had that day as I went to work. So many things we take for granted. You're right too, even the small things can make a difference in the lives of those around us and I hope to always be a positive force that way :)

    Thanks for sharing the black box too! It looks awesome, you got a really nice range of products to try!

  2. Yes I was disappointed to be asked to spend money to celebrate International Womens Day. Definite side eye from me to those retailers, and if I remember correctly those are the ones who asked me to celebrate Black Friday in much the same way, which two things, that has a very different bushfire related meaning in our country and secondly retailers STOP trying to make American retail things happen in our country pretty please?

    I'm not going to buy something to celebrate bushfires and Black Friday was arguably the worst bushfire disaster to happen in this country ever, and when you search for Black Friday now on google you mostly get sales related junk. From Wikipedia -

    The Black Friday bushfires of 13 January 1939, in Victoria, Australia, were among the worst natural bushfires (wildfires) in the world. Almost 20,000 km² (4,942,000 acres, 2,000,000 ha) of land was burned, 71 people died, several towns were entirely destroyed and the Royal Commission that resulted from it led to major changes in forest management. Over 1,300 homes and 69 sawmills were burned, and 3,700 buildings were destroyed. It was calculated that three-quarters of the State of Victoria was directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. The Royal Commission noted that "it appeared the whole State was alight on Friday, 13 January 1939"

    Yes, that seems to be a great reason to get out my wallet and shop up a storm, the deaths of 71 people. What a brilliant idea, NOT!

    Whoops, I went off on a rant. I might have to post this on my own blog. :)

    I wanted to say two other things. Those sandwich thins are the bomb and so much better for one than bread, but they are also low in sodium which makes them perfect for The Other Half and he loves them. :)

    I am a Fairy girl and I will remain a Fairy girl for life now, those tablets are incredible. Even my dishwasher itself seemed cleaner when we first started using them. We tried the Cascade version from Costco which are very similar and I believe made by the same folks, they come in a great container which we keep using for the Fairy now we have run out of Cascade.

    I signed up for Black Box, the old pinchme which sent out samples seems to have vanished now, they claim to be "on a break" at their website. It had been stagnant for a while. We will see if I get anything! ;)

  3. You have an Excellent motto or anthem for all school mum: “to not pass judgment...” Den xxx

  4. Yes! I received the 20% off promo email from Oroton to ‘celebrate IWD’ and I thought it was so...gross. Tacky.

  5. Only thing I did on IWD was work and grocery shop. Not a lot of retailers here did any sells because of it, but I'm not the type of shopper that has to have the latest seasonal wear as soon as it hits the rails. I wait till it goes on sell. My mom always told me that if you don't have the cash on hand or not enough in the bank to cover it, then you can wait till it goes on sell or it wasn't meant for you to begin with. So I have always kept that in mind when shopping and kept my credit in good standing.


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