Archive for the ‘Homemakers Tips’ Category
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.
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
The bathroom can be cold, and uninviting in Winter. Try these easy ways to make your bathroom look and feel warm and cosy, and transform a cold and draughty space into a comfy and welcoming part of the home.
Fresh green plants make any room feel warm and cosy – choose ones that love humidity. Candles and lots of them bring a feeling of warmth. Shout yourself some new towels in orangey reds, warm greens, shades of mocha and chocolate. Display them in a woven hamper for just rolled and arranged in a pyramid shape on a shelf. Even if windows are designed with privacy glass, try using heavier window treatments. The addition of timber blinds creates an earthy, warm feel. Bare walls make a room echo, but a room decorated with wall art adds warmth, comfort, and style. Select one piece only, in warm rich tones. Try adding more mirrors as they reflect the light around the room making it look and feel naturally warm.
Before you put the pool to bed for the winter here’s a few tips:
Give tiles and surrounds a good clean to reduce algae forming, particularly if you intend to cover the water over winter. Thoroughly clean all equipment as scum or scaling will be harder to remove if left over winter. Before you let your pool go dormant, give it a higher dose of chlorine than you would if you were still using it every day, but you’ll still need to check the pH, chlorine, and alkaline levels from time to time. Make sure the pool cover is in good order. Keeping out leaves and other debris will greatly decrease the amount of work needed and will also help to stop water evaporation.