A great way to make the most of our national day and pay your respects is to host an ANZAC Day dinner at home. After a long day filled with parades, services and two-up at the pub, your guests will love a laid back ANZAC themed meal.
When decorating your dining room and selecting the menu, consider the traditions and rituals of the day and incorporate some of these into your special event.
Start with serving a platter of all Australian produce. Show your Aussie loyalty with a few Australian flag toothpicks in a round of Tasmanian Brie. Serve Turkish bread with dips and of course, cold Aussie beer.
A traditional roast Lamb bursting with aromatic Rosemary would be an ideal main dish. Australian themed napkins. Perhaps a little French wine in honour of ANZAC troops at the Western Front.
Try chewy ANZAC biscuits that have been covered in ice-cream and topped with hot caramel sauce for an exceptional finish to the meal.
Incorporate the ritual of laying wreaths by placing small floral arrangements across the table. Or simply scatter a few red silk poppies along the table runner.
If you’re in possession of any war badges or photographs of relatives, you may like to put them on display on this important occasion.
Lastly, one minute’s silence to remember the soldiers who have fallen.
Tempted to buy new? Before you throw out or dispense with your existing furniture, take a good look at it. An old piece and a few tricks of the trade can work miracles on old items of furniture, turning them into highly desirable pieces.
Now there’s a buzzword for what you’ve probably been practicing for years – upcycling. Upcycling is a form of recycling, where old items are transformed into something useful and of increased value. Upcycling has come about as a response to rampant consumerism where the old is discarded in favour of the new.
Anyone can upcycle. Have a look around your place for an old picture frame and turn it into a wonderful piece for the living room or bathroom. You’ll save an extraordinary amount of money while the planet benefits.
As a staple of Italian cooking Rosemary has no equal but it also has varied uses for general health and well being.
The Chinese have used Rosemary as a brain tonic for thousands of years to aide headaches and nervous complaints. It contains Cineole has been found to enhance the ability of rats to navigate mazes. It has two important properties – it is an outstanding free radical scavenger and therefore has amazing antioxidant properties, and secondly has a remarkable stimulating effect on the skin and is often used to treat Dandruff.
Externally, rosemary helps to increase circulation and is very often used in hair care products and lotions as it stimulates the hair follicles to renewed activity and prevents premature baldness.
Rosemary grows best in a very sunny part of the garden and prefers a dry, well-drained soil.
The Siamese fighting fish, or Beta fish, are one of the most popular types of fish found in homes across the world. Not just because they are a great pet for children of all ages, they are a wonderful addition to your home. Their vibrant colours and active lifestyle make them ideal for the centre of a table, shelf or any place you wish to add beauty and life. They require only a small decorative vase for a home, are easy to care for and live for years. They are, in fact, extremely smart (for a fish) and enjoy toys, such as a ping pong ball floating on the surface that they can push around with their nose. Remember that your fish is a living, breathing creature that you have a responsibility to care for.
Loosely speaking Income Protection Insurance is a product offered by the insurance industry that is intended to pay a policy holder a percentage of their income in the event of being unable to work because of injury or illness. The virtue of have this type of insurance may seem obvious. Unfortunately, many of us do not understand or differentiate Income Protection Insurance and other insurance products.
Income Protection Insurance is sometimes known as Income Insurance or Disability Income Insurance. This should not be confused with salary continuance insurance that is offered through superannuation.
Income Protection differs markedly across different insurance companies and policies and comes with a raft of inclusions and exclusions. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Income Protection Insurance is the same as, or includes Mortgage Protection Insurance, Disability Insurance, Loss of Earnings Insurance or Personal Injury Insurance.
Likewise, don’t make the mistake of thinking that an IPI policy will provide 100% of what you normally bring home. Even the best policy will only pay between 50 % and 75 % of an individual’s pre-tax or gross salary. Coverage can be purchased to cover specific costs such as a mortgage or any basic costs.
The two most important things to remember about IPI is that the premiums you pay are tax deductible and the “Benefit Payments” (i.e. the amount you receive each month), is considered income. Therefore you will be paying income tax on every cent you receive.
The cost of the premiums and the payment amount you would receive comes with all sorts of variables including, but not limited to, the following:
- A Waiting Period. With most policies you have to be ill or injured sometimes for long periods of time, before you start to receive a cent. So in the case that you are only off work for a few weeks you will not receive any payment benefit. To get cover starting immediately you are ill or injured is prohibitively expensive.
- The Benefit Period. Regardless of how long you have been paying premiums the period of time that you will receive a monthly payment under the terms of the policy is very limited. You are not automatically covered until you are recovered and back at work.
- Occupation. Tradespeople traditionally work outside and often do more manual work. As such, you will attract higher premiums than someone who works in an office environment.
- Your Age. Premiums increase and benefits decrease as you get older. The more likely you are to need it, the more it will cost you.
There are some good Income Protection products, best advice is to ask other Tradespeople what their experience has been.
There are literally hundreds of products available. You will need to do some research to see which offer the best value and security. Make sure you read the insurer’s product disclosure document (PDS) carefully before making a decision.
Summer means outside time. Outdoor lighting should not only serve the functional purpose of safety and visibility, but also focus attention to the architectural and natural details of the space.
A few things to consider: Overhead lighting is important for visibility of steps, paths and walking surfaces. Glare is reduced along paths by using fittings with hoods. Improve security by using a motion detector to illuminate dark corners or areas near entrances.
Create outdoor rooms by placing accent lights at boarders between the patio and the lawn that glaze across each space. This will provide enough comfort for people to understand where things are. Lights in a tree create something akin to a chandelier hung in the middle of a room. It’s often an afterthought but being able to enjoy your home’s landscaping and outdoor areas from the inside creates a cohesive feel both inside and out. To do that, layer in a variety of lights – spotlights on trees, lights dotted along pathways, accent lights on unique landscape features.
In Roman times, city gardens were as small as today’s townhouses but gardeners still managed to harvest good crops of fruit. Espalier is the horticultural and ancient agricultural practice of controlling woody plant growth, for the production of fruit, by pruning and tying branches to a frame so that they grow into a flat plane. Planted against a wall, frequently in formal patterns, the plant receives the extra benefit of more reflected sunlight and retained heat from the wall overnight. A very sunny spot is best.
There are many choices of plants to “espalier” including fruiting ornamental plants or just a decorative evergreen tree. Today, espaliered trees, ornamental and fruit producing, are grown not only against walls, but free-standing on wires to create beautiful privacy screens. Pears, orange and lemon trees are popular. Seek your local nursery’s advice before choosing trees to make the most of the practice of Espalier.
If it’s time to move house but not very far, we can think that short moves are easy. We can convince ourselves we can do multiple trips, bringing belongings over one bit at the time and break the loads into more manageable pieces. The fact is, it is not easier – it’s harder. When moving across the country, you are forced to load everything at once. You can’t leave anything behind. When you move locally, it is easy to delude yourself into thinking that it won’t be very labour intensive to move everything in several smaller loads. Then something strange happens… Your car shrinks, and the number of trips increase exponentially. Finally you are so worn out, you swear you will never move again or if you do, it will be somewhere far, far away or in a pine box.
For the sake of your sanity, your family and your friendships, hire professional removalists. It’s money well spent.
Find a local removalist quickly and easily: www.findatradiefast.com.au
Friday 20 July is National Carpenters Day! Last year more than 10,000 carpenters and apprentices attended nearly 200 BBQs across the country to celebrate the contribution that carpenters make to our environment, business and community.
“What a great way to end a week – turning up to a free Friday BBQ with a few mates, have some fun, win some prizes on the day and enter the draw for the major prize!” To find a BBQ near you (or register to host one yourself!) check out the webpage www.carpentersday.com.au.
There’s a big one in Fed Square, Melbourne 6:30-10:30 on Friday 20 July. You can RSVP on the above link… free brekkie, lots of fun competitions and great prizes!