10 Things To Do Now To Make Christmas Easier!

10 things to do now to make christmas easier

As soon as the Christmas magazines hit the stores, I know it is time to get myself organised. In years past, I would have already done all my shopping and would coast into the festive season with ease, BUT life has been chaotic and I am behind this year, but starting now I am getting on it.

I love Christmas, cause I love sparkly things and I get to play with them for a whole month and nobody thinks I am nuts. With a little bit of planning and action, get these jobs done in November and you will have more to time to enjoy the season rather than running around trying to get everything done.

christmas planning 2017

One – Make ALL the lists!

    If you don’t already have some to-do lists done, sit down today with a notebook and start making them. The easiest way to not forget any of the important things you need to remember, keep this list handy so you can keep adding to it as you remember things.
    Include lists for gifts, food, shopping, decorations, events, travel arrangements and cleaning. Carry a red pen with your notebook to tick of things when they have been completed, as that is such a satisfying things to do.

Two – Stocktake the PANTRY

    Don’t do what I did one year and try to start a Christmas bake-a-thon without caster sugar! Take a good look at each shelf on the pantry and make a list of everything that is running low, or you know you will need extra of and buy them now when you next grocery shop. Or put in an online order and have it all delivered. If you have a little spare space in a cupboard don’t even unpack it, just put it away until you actually need to start using it.

Three – Wrapping supplies!

    I always stock up on gift wrap and cards at the Boxing Day sales. If your stash is looking a bit bare, buy all that now. Why not add it to your online order and have it delivered at the same time. Make sure you include paper, gift bags, cards, tags, sticky tape and ribbon if you like to use it. Setting up a gift wrap station in a spare room makes things easy for quick access, but if you don’t have room, keep all the supplies in washing basket or cardboard box so that it is quick to grab and you don’t have to waste precious time collecting what you need when its time to wrap.

Four – Eat from the freezer!

    For the next two weeks make an effort to use up all the things you have stashed away in the freezer. Having space in your freezer is a must at Christmas time, so eat up things that are lurking in there so you can make space. When frozen nibbles, berries and other goodies go on sale you will be able to grab them knowing you have room for them. Its a great way to build a stash and save some dollars.

Five – Stock up on gift cards on sale!

    Keep your eye on your junk mail in the lead up to Christmas. Supermarkets will often offer discounts on gift cards in the lead up to the big day. Instead of spending hours looking for the perfect gift for those hard to buy for, a gift card can save your sanity and if you feel that gift cards a little impersonal you can always add a little gift as an extra.

Six – Pick a Theme!

    Whether it is a colour or symbol theme, picking one now can help you create a cohesive look for Christmas that will have others thinking you are totally awesome. Traditional, pastel or metallic are these easiest colours schemes to work with and using a tree, bell or star as your centering object if you want to pick one can make your shopping trips quicker. When you choose a new decoration or ten, candles, serviettes or any other festive items, if you stick to one style you can grab what you need without having to decide which ones you prefer. The end result is a home and table that all fits together beautifully.

Seven – What needs a wash?

    Christmas tablecloths can get a little musty from being hidden away in the linen cupboard for a whole year. Pull yours out now and check if they are clean and ready to use. If not, wash and iron them now, so they are ready to go. If you are having guests coming to stay with you, make sure sheets and towels are ready for the onslaught.

Eight – Find it fast!

    Every year I go through a pile of recipe books and magazines trying to decide what to make. When it came time to make a final list and grocery list sometimes I could not remember which book or magazine it was in. Now I make a list with the recipe, book or magazine it is in and the page number so that I can find it in a flash. Recipes from past magazines are now stored in a lever arch file in plastic sleeves and the ones I want to use are placed on the top so I have instant access.

Nine – Count the cutlery, and the plates, and the glasses!

    Miss WW is chief executive dish washer in this house and at her last birthday party afternoon tea, I discovered I had a whole TWO teaspoons to my name. Yep, 4 cutlery sets including my good one no longer included teaspoons. No idea where they have gone, but probably they ran away with all the single socks. Needless to say, more have now been purchased and if you are entertaining at your home, make sure you have enough of all the basic supplies required to eat a meal comfortably. If not add them to the shopping list asap!

Ten – Pencil in some ME time!

    Save your sanity and pencil in some time just for you. Book in to have your hair done, nails painted, a massage or anything that will give your some time to yourself. Hairdressers and beauticians will be busy as everyone wants to look their best so if you have a favourite book them now so that you don’t miss out. Your happiness will flow on to all those around you so make yourself a priority this year.

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Make this the year to coast through Christmas with ease and grace and leave the stressing last minutes rushing around to everyone else. Start today and spend 15 minutes getting those list done and the rest will flow.

How sorted are you for Christmas?

What is your favourite tip for getting it all done?

17 Things To Do In 2017 To Make It A Great Year!

How to make 2017 great

Hello 2017! What wonderful things will you bring?

The new year is now in its second week, how are those resolutions going?

If you made some the odds are pretty good that you have not stuck to them. If you have, YAY! You deserve a glass of bubbles tonight.

One of the best ways to start off a fresh new year and have it go pear shaped is to make plans and promises that require major changes to habits that you have been used to living with possibly for years now. If you have not stuck to your resolutions you already feel like a failure.

Change takes time unless you have willpower made of steel. I sure as hell don’t but I also do not want to keep living the same ‘stories’ that have dominated over the last few years.

2017 is a ‘1’ year which in numerology is the start of a new cycle, so it is the perfect year to start making the changes you want to see for your future. Small steps taken daily will help you form new habits and by the end of the year you will see some real changes.

Here are some things worth giving a try, they might be a good fit for you, or may help trigger ideas so that you can make your own list.

ONEA WORD

Choose a word to guide you through 2017 rather than a resolution. What is the one thing you really crave or the part of your life you would love to change the most? Choose a word that will constantly remind you of the direction you want to head towards. This year my one word is RELAX, as it is one of the hardest things for me to do, but I know it is something I truly need to master. I feel guilty when I made time to play with art supplies or read a few pages of a book as there is always so many things that need doing and being a single mumma means everything has to be done by me, there is no partner to help with the work load. I made this little reminder with some scrapbooking supplies and I see it every time I sit down t my desk.

one word 2017

TWO – CHANGE IT UP

Change can be scary. Our ego would be much happier if we just keep doing the same old things as it is comfortable there and feels safe. So often fear stops us from trying new things incase we fail, but trying new things is the only way to realise dreams. Sometimes just trying to decide on what steps to take can stop us from even starting. Try this little Feng Shui tip for inviting in change. Move 27 things around your home. Keeping everything in the same place allows stagnant energy to build up. At the change of every season move 27 things into different spots and allow fresh energy and ideas to flow.

THREE – CHUCK IT OUT

Decluttering is a buzz word right now and for good reason. You need to get rid of old things to make room for new things to come in to your life. Just start with one drawer and then move on to the next and throw out everything that you really don’t love. I have so many things that I hang on to because I ‘might’ need it, but late last year I started tossing and will keep going until every room in the house is done.

FOUR – DRINK IT

This coffee addicted mumma would rather sip on a skinny cino than a glass of water, but we all know that hydration is vital for good health. Keep some lemon and lime slices in a snap lock bag in the freezer and put a fresh slice of each in a big glass or water bottle and keep sipping the water during the day. I drink coffee because I love the taste and it does not have much effect in boosting my energy when I am running out of oomph. When I do need a pick-me-up, an extra big glass of water makes a huge difference.

FIVE – SNACK SMART

Whilst a total diet overhaul would be a very good way to knock off the weight and improve how we feel, it takes super strong willpower to see it through. One easier way to start moving in the right direction is to watch what you snack on. Yummy treats are calorie laden and can make a huge impact on total daily consumption. Choosing healthy snacks will add boosts of goodness to your diet and help ease the guilty feeling you often get from stuffing a few biscuits or a bar of chocolate down your throat. Here is some easy suggestions.

snacks for clean eating

Image credit

SIX – CREATE A LITTLE SOMETHING

If you have a hobby, awesome, just make sure you find time to do a little every day. If you don’t, get one! If you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body, an adult colouring book and pencils is the perfect way to start. Engaging the right side of the brain, will give the left side a break from all the plotting and planning that it loves to do. Its all about balance. The to-do list will still be there when you have finished spending a little time playing with colours but the world won’t fall into a big heap just because you took a little time for yourself.

SEVEN – 10 MINUTES A DAY

Big goals don’t get achieved in a day. Write down the biggest goal you would like to achieve this year. Does it scare you because you have no idea how on earth you can make it reality? Below that big goal, write down all the things that will have to happen to make it real. Then everyday pick one small thing you can do to get the ball rolling. Even if you just start off researching, spend 10 minutes a day learning what you need to do or get to move you towards your goal.

EIGHT – FRESH IS BEST

I don’t have a special someone to buy me flowers anymore, so I buy my own. Nothing lifts your spirit quicker than glancing at a fresh bunch of blooms. Bring them in from the garden if you are lucky enough to have them or buy a bunch each week or so. I always get great value blooms from the supermarket, and as I work there I know what has come in that day so always get the best. Just make sure you throw them out as soon as they start to wilt or they will have a negative effect on the energy in your home.

i love fresh flowers especially lillies

NINE – SAVE THE POINTS FOR THE SILLY SEASON

Woolworths have upgraded their rewards programme and you can now select to collect your points and have them released in time for that big Christmas shop. You just have to let them know via the website that you would like to choose that option. You can also do the same thing with Coles and have your Flybuys points credited to your card whenever you like. If you buy groceries you might as well get something in return, so swipe the card each time you go shopping.

TEN – GIFT CARD CLUB

If your bank does not offer a Christmas Club style account, you can make your own. Each month buy a gift card and hide them away at home. When its time to start Christmas shopping you can take the cards to use for purchases. This is a much easier way to deal with Christmas without putting your credit card through its paces and then having to deal with repayment pain in the new year.

ELEVEN – START SMALL

Investing in shares can be risky and volatile, but can also be a rewarding way to expand your net worth. It is possible to start the journey into the share market for literally pennies until your confidence grows and results are seen. I don’t have time to spend hours studying the market and making the choices to buy and sell. At the same time one of my goals was to find a way to invest in something that can grow over time.  Thanks to one of the Facebook groups I am in, everyone was raving about Acorns and I presumed it was an American only initiative. A quick app search lead me to discover the Australian version and I am starting small to test the water and see how it all works. A big oak tree starts as an acorn, so I am seeing how big this can grow.

TWELVE – BURN IT

We all have issues that take up valuable real estate in our brain. Stories that keep popping in and cause us to feel stressed or upset. One way that can help release the grip these memories hold is to right them down in vivid detail as though you were explaining the situation to a best friend. Just the exercise of writing it down can bring calm and clarity, but tear those pages off the pad and roll them into a cigar shape, take them outside and set them alight. As they are burning, ask that your issue release its hold on you and let the universe disperse the pressure. (Please make sure you have a safe vessel such as a BBQ or bucket of water to place them in once you have set them alight so you don’t burn yourself)

THIRTEEN – ONE GOOD THING

Gratitude is a powerfully positive magnet. When you are thankful for what you do have it draws more good your way. BUT we all have days where nothing seems to go right and it is very easy to stay wallowing in a negative state. Everyday this year, I am going to right down one thing that I am grateful for. Even when the going gets tough I can still be grateful that the day is over and tomorrow is a new one. At the end of the year it is going to be fun looking back over a whole year of good things.

FOURTEEN – GO OUTSIDE

No matter what the weather is like, make time to go outside, connect with the glory of nature and breathe in some fresh air. Direct exposure to sunlight (not for too long) is vital for Vitamin D production and serotonin levels, the hormone that helps us feel happy. It is so easy to stay locked up inside, especially when it is cold and this can directly influence how we feel very quickly.

two of my favourite things the beach and coffee

FIFTEEN – SCENTUAL

If you have never experienced the power of Pure Essential Oils, make this year the one that you change. At the most simple level all you need is an aromatherapy burner, a tea light candle, a little water to put in the dish and some citrus based Pure Essential Oils. Don’t buy the fragrance oils from the cheap shop as not a single plant goes into making those and they have zero ability to make a difference. Choose from Lemon, Orange, Neroli, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Tangerine or Mandarin. All of the citrus oils are not only anti-bacterial so great for killing off airborne bugs, but they are all powerful mood enhancers. They will make your home smell fresh and will help lift your spirits. Please ensure you place the burner high enough that little fingers cannot get close to the naked flame and only start with one or two drops to ensure no one in the household reacts to them.

SIXTEEN – NEW

Let this year be one of discovery. Try new food, a different restaurant, a different brand or cocktail. Find a new fragrance, new shade of lippie or try out a different hair colour. Visit a new destination, fly with a different airline or play tourist in your local hood.  Join a group, take a class or have a go at a sport you have never tried before. The list of possibilities is endless, just give it a go.

SEVENTEEN – HUG THEM TODAY

Every day is a blessing, let the ones you love know how you feel, as tomorrow is not guaranteed. Share the kisses around, send a text or make that call. Enjoy every moment that you can. Love is truly the highest power we can attain and the most powerful healer of past hurt. xxx

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What wonderful things do you want to experience this year?

Sharing for Lovin’ Life at Write Of The Middle.com

Handy Photos You Should Take With Your Phone!

clever photo ideas for your phone

I am often grateful that Miss WW talked me into getting my iPhone with the bigger storage as I have so many photo’s. All my social media and blog pictures are taken with my phone as I am toooooo lazy to use my real camera, and remember to buy lithium batteries so that it works, and then plug it in to download them….you get the picture!

As we rarely go anywhere without our phones these days, unless we forget them, you can use your phone as a valuable reminder list without having to write a thing down, just take a photo!

Try adding some of these ideas to your photo stream instead of relying on your memory.

RECIPIES – Snap a pic of the recipe you want to try and you will have the ingredients list with you when you are shopping. Also handy if you are visiting a friend or are at the library and you just want a copy of a recipe.

WINE – If you taste a wine that you really like, take a pic of the label so you can buy some for yourself.

PRINTER CARTRIDGES – Keep a pic of your printer cartridges numeric code so you always buy the right ones.

CRAFT SUPPLIES – I have this thing for pink paint, and always seem to want to buy more. I now keep pictures of my tubes of craft paint so that I don’t buy another duplicate…or 10. This would work with beads, ribbon, wool, stickers, embroidery threads, needles, anything that you have multiple types of and could easily double up on unnecessarily.

PET ID – If your pet ever goes missing, having it’s ID details on hand could be useful.

SPICES – Snap the spice rack so you know what you actually have on hand.

MEDICATION – Pictures of your medication and required doses could be life saving to have easy access to.

MAKE UP – Handy to know what you have at home before buying a new colour.

GIFTS – When you buy gifts and hide them away and then forget you have them….yeah I have done that plenty of times.

The following could definitely come in handy but it would be advisable not to simply save them to your photo stream. Consider getting a secure app such as Locker to keep these from eyes that should not see them.

PASSPORT / DRIVERS LICENCE /CREDIT CARDS

JEWELLERY – In the event of theft or loss it can be hard proving ownership, especially if the pieces were gifts and you don’t have the receipt.

APPLIANCES – Take a photo of the serial number of all major appliances.

COLLECTIONS – If you collect stamps, models, swap cards…anything, keep a record of what you have.

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I have had plenty of ‘if only I could remember’ moments and so now I take photo’s or screen shots to help me.

What other things could be handy to add to this list?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

How To Read All The Latest Magazines For Free!

save money on magazines

I love magazines!

Sitting down with a freshly made coffee and flipping through the glossy pages is one of my favourite ways to relax.

Unfortunately this can be a very expensive habit, and lots of trees are needed to print the pretty pages.

I currently have a pile of magazines that I am going through, clipping out recipes to try, plus images and quotes/words that I use for making vision boards. When I have finished with them they all go in the recycle bin and very little is actually kept.

I first discovered online magazines a while back when I won a 12 month subscription to ‘O’ Magazine (Oprah’s mag). I have since renewed my subscription twice over, but not anymore.

Thanks to my local library.

I have been an avid library user for decades, as I always borrow a book if possible before I buy it to make sure it is a worthy investment.

My library does have racks full of magazines, but it is very rare that I manage to score a relatively recent copy.

Unless I decide to learn a new craft or something like that, I really have no interest in magazines that are a year or two old.

When I visited the e-magazine section online of my local library, I discovered 150 titles to pick from!

The latest editions of all my favourites magazines are mine to read with a single click.

Best of all I can have access to as many editions as I like, with no return dates and no overdue or lost book fees (yes we have had that happen and found it 6 months later under the front seat of the car).

You will need a good internet connection with plenty of GB’s available to make use of this as most magazines are image heavy and can be quite a few megabytes each or you could end up paying more than the cover price in excess download charges.

Check out your local library online and see if they offer the same, which you would think they should, and while you are at it, grab an ebook or 20 as there are plenty of those available too. This could be the perfect way to learn something new or just make it easier to head to the local coffee shop with your ipad or laptop instead of a pile of magazines.

Now to decide what I want to download first…….so many choices!

Are you a magazine addict too?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess.com

Pretty ways to decorate eggs for Easter!

When I want some inspiration for the holidays I cant resist scrolling through my Pinterest feed.

Over the last few weeks, so many lovely Easter eggs have caught my eye.

These eggs are easy to make and will look lovely in the centre of your table.

Even the most craft challenged could whip these up in a flash.

TIFFANY INSPIRED EGGS

Tiffany blue and gold eggs would make a very classy addition to the Easter table.

decorate eggs for easter

Directions can be found here.

KEEP IT NATURAL

If you like to keep glitter and sparkle out of your decorating theme, these would be the perfect choice.

Whilst it may not be spring in our part of the world, it is still warm enough to feel like it.

keep it natural this easter

Instructions can be found here.

ALL THAT GLITTERS

If it involves glitter, I am in.

Glitter and glue instantly transform the humble egg into something rather wow!

glittery easter eggs

How to can be found here.

PRETTY PRINTS

Serviettes are great way to add pretty prints to your eggs.

As the paper is so thin, it is easy to glue down and bend to mold the shape of the egg.

decorate for easter

Hints for these eggs and 79 other ways to decorate them can be found here.

MINIMALIST MAGIC

The modern home does not have to avoid Easter decorating.

It is not all about pastels.

Get out the sharpie and go for it.

minimalist modern easter eggs

Details can be found here.

WORKING WITH WASHI

Washi tape is the best crafting invention since sticky tape.

Available in every craft store and cheap shop, the colours and designs are huge.

If you can wield a small pair of scissors, then these will be a cinch.

washi tape easter egg decorating

If you want instructions get them here.

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For more Easter ideas you can pop over to my Pinterest board.

Do you decorate for Easter?

What is your favourite Easter treat?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.

Fabulous Things To Freeze For Christmas Day!

With summer having seemed to have come early this year, there is a very good chance that we will have a hot Christmas.

Freezing things in advance can save preparation time closer to the big day and some of these fabulous ideas not only look great but do a practical job at the same time.

First things first though…..you need to have some room in your freezer before you start.

If you are a bit short on space right now, try feeding the family from the freezer for the next week or so to give you some spare room.

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This ice bucket would not only make a beautiful centerpiece for your table it would keep the bubbles nice and chilled!

Christmas ice bucket

Instructions for making this gorgeous ice bucket can be found here.

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Frozen cocktails and mocktails can be made in advance and will be ready for sipping when you are.

cool down this christmas with frozen drinks

I have lots of yummy recipes on my Pinterest board CHEERS!

Quick and Easy Kids Punch – My favourite go-to recipe that I have used at umpteen kids parties when I have lot’s of children around, especially at Christmas is to freeze a 1lt carton of Golden Circle Tropical Punch overnight. A few hours before you need it, put it into the fridge so it starts defrosting, put the juice into a large jug or bowl and add a 2 litre bottle of lemonade. Pour it in over the back of a spoon so you don’t lose the bubbles and give it a gentle stir.

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Serve fresh seafood on a slab of ice by filling a deep dish baking pan with water and freezing for at least 24 hours.

fresh seafood for christmas

Image Credit

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These gorgeous little puddings are one thing I make every year, and usually I do them in September or October and pop them in the freezer.

When I need a plate to take to a party I take enough to fill a pretty plate and by the time I get to my destination they are defrosted.

Mini christmas puddings

You can get the recipe here.

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Keep the kids happy for ages with frozen fruit cups.

freeze fruit for a healthy snack

Image Credit

Simply freeze a selection of fruit with some no added sugar juice or coconut water.

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How about a special treat for your furry family members.

Help your dog stay cool this holidays

Image Credit

Freezing doggy treats in an ice block will help them cool off as they hunt for their reward.

I hope these clever freezer hacks give you some ‘cool’ ideas for the festive season!

What is your favourite way to cool down at Christmas?

Christmas Fragrances For Your Home

Many years ago I was gifted a Crabtree & Evelyn pack that contained their Noel fragrance oil.

Every year on December 1 when I put up the Christmas tree, the oil goes in a burner and fills the house with the most delightful fragrance.

Thankfully last year I stocked up and bought a new bottle as well as their other festive scent, because the oils are no longer available for sale according to their website.

You can get Noel in candles, a diffuser and a room spray, thankfully.

fragrance your home for christmas

A couple of days ago, one of my besties and I had a rare working week day off and we headed to Chermisde to shop and have morning tea.

We went into the Body Shop as my friend wanted to get some new skincare.

Whilst she was trying lotions I was checking out their Christmas range which included 3 fragrance oils. There was plum, apple and cranberry options.

Unfortunately I did not like any of them. They all smelt a little bit ‘fake’ to me.

Walked out with a sad face!

What I did discover was a new Perfect Potion pop up style shop.

I love their products, as they are created with true essential oils and this aromatherapy addict simply loves the real stuff.

Christmas scent for your home.

They have a Noel blend too and it is awesome.

A delicious blend of sweet orange, bay, pine, lime, clove and nutmeg…..winning!

I always like to use my oils in a burner as they help the oils diffuse around the whole house. You can just pop a few drops on a cotton wool ball and place in a small bowl for a more subtle scent.

If you struggle to get that festive feeling happening, fill your home with Christmas fragrance, it works a treat.

Do you scent your home at Christmas time?

What is favourite fragrance?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

5 Things to Consider Before Moving Personal Items to Storage

Storage is a great solution if you need some extra space in your life, if you’re between homes or if you’re downsizing. There’s often a lot involved in the entire process, so it’s important to be prepared before you start packing. Here are 5 things you should consider before moving your belongings into storage. This post is brought to you by Fort Knox.

1. Should you store it?

One of the trickiest decisions to make when moving personal items into storage is whether or not they should, in fact, be stored at all. Will you need these belongings daily, or don’t you have any plans to use them? Perhaps you’re keeping certain belongings for their sentimental value? Asking these tough questions will help you understand whether or not you should be storing items away. If you feel you need a nudge in the right direction, complete the following infographic created by the storage specialists at Fort Knox.

fort_knox_infographic_fix_600

2. Choose the right space

Depending on what you’re storing away, you’ll need to do a little research to make sure you’re choosing a unit that’s the right size. A registered boat, for example, will require a much larger unit than a few pieces of furniture. Even then, certain goods like kayaks, large cabinets or boxes for archiving will need tailored space. Make sure you’re spending the right amount of money for the goods you need stored.

3. Storage security

Ensure peace of mind with secure storage. This means the storage area should be under 24-hour video surveillance and have security guards and alarms. You certainly don’t want anything to happen to your family heirlooms and favourite toys that you simply do not want to part with yet.

4. Keep fragile items protected

If you’re storing china that has been passed down through the family, it’s imperative you pack it correctly to avoid smashes and cracks. Even sturdier items require special care; there’s nothing worse than storing away a table for a little while, only to discover a large scratch once you take it out again. Make sure you understand the best processes to take to look after your goods and to avoid breakage and cosmetic damage during transport and storage. Bubble wrap, carton boxes, tissue paper and other packing goods can help prevent any damage. Tape, stickers and boxes marked ‘Fragile’ are also extremely helpful in identifying what needs particular care. As you are packing make sure every box is given a number and every item contained in each box is written down in a notebook. This will make it much easier to find a single item if you need to access it quickly at a later date.

5. Invest in help

Bribe family members and friends with pizza and drinks so they can help you move your personal items into storage. The whole process is often a big task, and one that requires a few helpful hands. This is especially true if you’re going through a big change, like moving homes. If you can rally up some extremely kind buddies, it would be even better to have them help you wrap and pack items as well. This means they’ll understand what’s fragile and how they can best to store everything in your unit. To help cut costs, ask someone you know who has a van or a trailer if you could borrow it for the move.

If you can consider these few points before moving your items into storage, the whole process will become easier and more cost effective. Get ready for an organised life with storage!

Do you use storage away from your home?

The 5 Point Checklist for Buying the Perfect Mattress

mattress buyers checklist

 

 

A mattress should last you up to eight years and it can be a big investment, so it’s important you know what you’re looking for before you even set foot in a store. Here is a five point checklist to get the mattress that’s right for you. This post is brought to you by Super Amart.

Size

The size and height of your mattress are two important factors in your purchase. You may be looking to pick up a new mattress for your current base or seeking a different size to suit your needs. So consider what’s likely to occur in your life in the near future, and don’t forget to measure up. Mattresses come in a variety of sizes including some with extra length.

Standard sizes are:

• Single (92cm x 188cm)
• Long single (98cm x 204cm)
• King single (107cm x 204cm)
• Double (138cm x 188cm)
• Queen (153cm x 204cm)
• King (183cm x 204cm)
• Extra king (204cm x 204cm)

They also come in different heights and this should be factored in if you have mobility issues getting in and out of bed.

Soft or firm

How you sleep and personal preference determine the level of softness or firmness required. A general rule of thumb is to test the mattress in-store for about 20 minutes to determine what’s right for you, and bring an observer. The key is to lie on your side and ensure your spine remains in a neutral position without curvature and without pressure on your joints.

Retailers like Super Amart, who have furniture stores on the Gold Coast, in capital cities and throughout regional areas, have a huge selection of beds on display, allowing you to try before you buy.

Slat, ensemble or adjustable

The type of bed base you have can impact your mattress selection. An adjustable bed may require one or two specific mattresses, with foam lending itself to the adjustable task. Meanwhile, for slat beds you may need a slightly softer mattress than required for an ensemble.

Allergies

If you are prone to allergies then consider this when looking at mattresses. Some are made from allergen resistant foam which can help reduce allergies and asthma.

Partner

And of course, don’t forget your partner. You should mattress shop with your bed companion to decipher whether your preference suits theirs. If you have very different views of what constitutes comfortable, there are mattresses that offer different softness on each side.

Modern technology also means you should not feel the movement of your partner rolling in bed, but if they are likely to wake, you could go for pocketed coil mattresses with memory foam.

Selecting a mattress is one of those purchases that takes a little time and investigation. Most importantly, it requires actual testing. Be sure to really try before you buy without being embarrassed. Remember salespeople expect you to test mattresses. They should be more than happy to assist you in the search, and don’t be afraid to hunt down the item that’s perfect for you.

What has your experience been like in the past, when it comes to buying a new mattress?

Were you happy with the outcome or did you have to exchange it?

Is it time you bought a new mattress?

Great BBQ Cleaning Tips

Get your BBQ ready for spring

 

The joy of getting outside and cooking on your barbeque is a pastime enjoyed by many, especially in the warmer months. What doesn’t fall into the same spectrum of happiness, though, is cleaning and maintaining this popular cooker. If you’re someone who tends to postpone the inevitable barbeque bath time, why not take a look at some of the great cleaning tips below for some inspiration. Discover just how simple this mundane task can actually be. These great tips are brought to you by Barbeques Galore.

Tool Time

The first great tip for cleaning your barbeque is to make sure you have the right stuff – you can’t clean anything properly without the right equipment. Stainless steel wool scrubs, cloths and commercial grade cleaners are all products you should have on hand. The type of grill you have will determine the type of equipment you’ll need. If you’re unsure of where to start when looking for the right cleaning equipment for your barbeque, seeking the advice of a specialist retailer such as Barbeques Galore is usually your best bet.

Keep It Toasty

Your barbeque can build up with grime and food very quickly, so it’s important to get those chunky bits off as soon as possible. A great way to do this is to keep the grill warm while you clean it. Heat the barbeque up again after it’s been used, then let it cool off. When it’s just warm, start scrubbing away. The heat that you’ve put back through will have helped to loosen up everything that’s stuck, making cleaning a much lighter task.

Deep Clean

Cleaning regularly after every use is one thing, but giving your barbeque a deep clean every month or so will help to keep it in the best cooking shape possible. Rather than a simple scrub or wipe down after cooking, a deep clean involves removing the grills or bars and soaking then scrubbing them in warm soapy water. You can also try a high-pressure cleaner for those areas of the barbeque that are a little harder to reach.

Oil It Up

When it comes to looking after your barbeque, it’s not just about the cleaning but also about the techniques you implement in order to maintain its health and longevity. One great way to do this is by applying oil to the grill or grates. Vegetable oil is usually the best choice and you can either brush or spray this on. By doing this after a regular clean, you will help to stop rust from forming on your barbeque.

The best way to avoid too many hours of scrubbing is to keep your barbeque clean in the first place by regularly giving it a once over, including a decent wipe down after every use. Also, keep it covered whenever you’re not cooking up a storm – this will make cleaning time using some of the above tips even easier, as you are also shielding it from the elements.

What have been some of your biggest barbeque cleaning disasters? Any tips or experiences to share with your fellow BBQers? Please leave a comment

10 Life Hacks For Clear Nail Polish

clever uses for clear nail polish

Nail polish abounds in this household. My nails are painted 24/7.

One thing I do buy all the time is a new bottle of top coat. As I use it every week, it tends to get a bit thick and gluggy and one thing I can’t stand is nails that are not super smooth and glossy.

Instead of throwing out those partially used bottles of clear polish, there are plenty of ways you can put them to good use.

Here are my top 10…

1 – SAVING STOCKINGS AND TIGHTS – A little dab of top coat applied to the first signs of a snag or pull can help stop that annoying ladder and at least get the rest of the day out of your stockings.

2 – SAVE YOUR FLY SCREENS – Stop holes from getting bigger buy sealing the hole well with clear polish.

3 – SAVE YOUR SPARKLES – Fashion jewellery is fun to wear but the quality of construction is often lacking and once your bling looses a stone you might as well toss them. Before you wear them, apply a good coat of polish, it will help keep them shiny and also lock them in place. (I learnt this one from the lady that sold me my blinged up mini floating charm locket).

4 – NO MORE GREEN SKIN – If your skin reacts with the metals used to make costume jewellery, apply polish inside rings etc. to create a barrier that will stop the acid in your skin leaving horrible marks.

5 – WART REMOVAL – Unsightly warts can be killed off by applying clear polish. When the wart is starved of oxygen it will die. Apply each day after your show until the wart is gone.

6 – WASHI TAPE NAILS – A really quick way to get funky finger nails is to use washi tape. Available in a never ending collection of colours and patterns, simply apply small pieces to your nails, trim off the excess and then seal with top coat. (This will not work with washi tape made from vinyl, you will need to use the thin paper style).

7 – RECHARGE YOUR SOLAR LIGHTS – Solar panels go dull after a while and loose their ability to absorb sunlight effectively, apply a coat of polish to the panel and your lights will be bright again.

8 – METAL AEROSOLS – Cans of air freshener, especially those that are left in bathrooms can leave nasty rust marks that are really tough to remove. Apply a coat of polish around the base of the can and this will stop those marks appearing.

9 – THREAD IT – Before you try to thread a needle, dip the cotton into the nail polish to create a nice strong point that makes threading so much easier.

10 – SHOE LACES – Dip the ends of new shoe laces in polish to help stop them fraying. This also works for cords or rope of any kind and if you are crafting with fishing line, dab a little on the knot to stop it from coming undone.

Have you ever used clear nail polish to save the day?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

How To Remove Stubborn Carpet Stains With An Iron!

Carpet stain removal with an iron

If there is one thing I hate, it is stains on carpets!

They catch my eye every time I walk in the room.

The other day I was fluffing around in my brand new slippers and I remember stepping on something sticky in the kitchen and didn’t think much more about it, until the next morning when I noticed some rather horrid marks on the carpet in the lounge room. As I am the only one that usually sits in that spot, I knew it was my footsies that made the mess.

yucky carpet stains

I grabbed my spray bottle of carpet shampoo and all I managed to achieve was making the patches bigger, not impressed.

So I jumped on to Pinterest where I remembered saving some carpet cleaning pins in my Clever Idea’s board.

One of the pins had a natural ‘recipe’ with water, vinegar, dish washing liquid and an iron.

I tried that but it really didn’t make a difference.

So I got my carpet shampoo spray out again, gave the marks a good squirt, wet an old hand towel and plugged in the iron.

With the iron set on high temperature and the steam release open, I placed the wet towel over the stains and ironed them for just a few seconds each.

cleaner carpets with an iron

This after just one attempt. I will give it a few days and will do it again.

It was so easy and really made a huge difference. The white hand towel that I used is so far from white now as the dirt transferred onto it.

I am soooooo happy with the results, that I am going to get the extension cord out and take my iron around the house getting rid of spots that are so evident on a carpet that is so light and a single colour.

Have you got any other great spot removing tips for carpets?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess.com

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