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The Block judges' brutal feedback after labelling one room “disastrous”

<p>Contestants felt the pressure more so than usual on <em>The Block</em> this week as they had just four days to complete three rooms, alongside the added stress of a water leak drama.</p> <p>But Sara and Hayden, who garnered praise from the judges for their high scoring master bedroom reveal last week, seemed to have strayed the complete opposite direction as they went way back down the leaderboard, with a score of just 18.</p> <p>The judges were in agreement as they found more wrongs than rights in their hallway, laundry and powder reveal.</p> <p>While the NSW couple started the week confident, the situation slowly started getting out of hand as they were ordered to clean up their mess or face being shut down – Sara went ballistic – and unfortunately for the pair, they weren’t able to finish everything as they originally hoped, causing major ramifications.</p> <p><strong>Hayden and Sara – 18</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height:280.52550231839257px;" src="/media/7820967/sarahayden.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/13c80d4ff35347059f25ccac6fbfa74c" /></strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height:280.1857585139319px;" src="/media/7820966/sarahayden-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9e2e6aa30d6146aea221e6873d97b183" /></strong></p> <p>Despite Sara desperately hoping the judges would see past their “filthy” unfinished rooms, even going so far as to interrupt host Scott Cam during the judges' feedback session to defend their actions, the judges were not having any of it.</p> <p>The judges started off with praise as they complimented the couple on the nice soft glow and drama of the space in their hallway.</p> <p>“I love the step lights all the way down the hallway; I love the shape they make on the floor, it’s very beautiful and I love the light behind the art, it’s dramatic and classy,” Darren Palmer said.</p> <p>But that’s where the positives ended.</p> <p>“It’s dirty,” Shaynna Blaze said.</p> <p>“The floor is filthy, and it really lets it down – there’s no excuse for not cleaning your spaces in time for delivery,” Neale added.</p> <p>He was bewildered as he couldn’t seem to figure out how the couple got some things so right and other things so wrong.</p> <p>“When I look at the left-hand side of the hallway I think it’s lovely, the artworks give off this beautiful rich, warm glow, then I look at this shelf (pointing to the other side) and it’s a disaster.”</p> <p>“To me that looks like a garage sale,” Shaynna said, adding its among the worst styling she’s seen on <em>The Block</em>.</p> <p><strong>Kerrie and Spence – 29</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 500px; height:279.7527047913447px;" src="/media/7820962/kerrie-spence-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7c8de03bb28f49b5b5499ff59ecfed2a" /></strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820963/kerriespence2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/94f81a43cddb4c80b01858863cbedf45" /></strong></p> <p>Kerrie and Spence have done it again, as they topped the leaderboard for the second week running.</p> <p>Scoring just one point below a perfect score of 30, the pair didn’t gain the attention of the Buyers Jury as they felt uninspired by their apartment, but they did hit all the right buttons when it came to the judges.</p> <p>“There is nothing I like more than a hallway that looks like a gallery,” Neale said.</p> <p>All three judges applauded the pair on their choice of artwork. Neale loved the simplicity of the design statement – it was all about the art and the lighting for him and “that takes amazing confidence,” he said.</p> <p>The praise continued into the laundry with Darren asking: “Is this what laundries have become that they are this glamorous almost kitchen like finesse … it’s just beautiful.” Shaynna agreed with those sentiments as she seemed visibly proud of Kerrie, saying she had come a long way.</p> <p>“I don’t think I have yet seen them as good as this,” Neale said.</p> <p><strong>Courtney and Hans – 24</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820960/courneyhans1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7ccc2ad392b0469f80aa3309f25d4d31" /></strong></p> <p>With the largest hallway on <em>The Block</em>, Courtney and Hans won Neale over with the quirky art pieces, but Darren wasn’t 100 per cent sure about the cabinets, as he found it looked out of place with the furniture in the living room.</p> <p>“I think it’s got a glamorous eccentricity about it that really appears to me. It’s a bit kooky,” Neale said.</p> <p>Darren said the artworks could do with being closer together.</p> <p>For Shaynna the laundry was not on the luxury level of Kerrie and Spence’s – but said it wouldn’t lose them any buyers either.</p> <p>The powder room did grab their attention with Shaynna describing it as glamorous, particularly the vanity.</p> <p>The WA couple came second last, but they were still six points ahead of Sara and Hayden.</p> <p><strong>Norm and Jess – 25</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820965/norm-jess.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1b203089b5ed4342a9bfb7e8d4321d72" /></strong></p> <p>Starting off the week with a rough start, especially when their plasterers pulled out before finishing the job, the Queensland couple still managed to make a comeback, with Jess also managing to secure some great local artwork.</p> <p>Darren was impressed the moment he walked through the doors, stating “this marble is exquisite” and loved how the shelf tied in with the kitchen bench.</p> <p>Darren thought it’s a lesson in styling 101 – “don’t crowd it and let the marble speak for itself".</p> <p>They all loved the simple arrangement of the room and agreed that the hero was the ceiling with its heights and choice of pendants. They loved the offset skylights and how it sent light down the hall.</p> <p>They also loved the laundry, finding it beautiful and compact.</p> <p>“It’s obvious there was no luxury of space to work with and small space solutions should have been put into play there,” Shaynna said, referring to the powder room which she thought lacked good orientation with the toilet pointing directly at the people in the dining room.</p> <p>“Execution is terrible, it’s really bad,” Shaynna said.</p> <p><strong>Bianca and Carla – 27.5</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820964/last-one.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2a190c68a8f74c8eb81fd51f2c394061" /></strong></p> <p>Netballers Bianca and Carla had problem after problem with their rooms from waterproofing issues to tiling dramas. They even copped a $1000 fine because their electrician was painting when he shouldn’t have been. The girls redeemed themselves though, proving they’re still the styling queens.</p> <p>“Oh, that’s sexy,” Shaynna said as she walked into their hallway. “And so is that carpet runner,” Neale added.</p> <p>The judges were impressed by the choice of skylights and how the art lights were in the well. Shaynna also thought their signature cabinet by the front door was beautiful and consistent with the rest of the apartment.</p> <p>“It’s nicely styled too. It takes restraint and purpose to have good style,” Darren said.</p> <p>Looking at the art choices, Shaynna thought it made the apartment feel a bit more fun and quirkier.</p> <p>“The lounge and dining areas are very contemporary, very modern, I feel this hallway adds that sense of quirkiness the apartment didn’t have,” she said. “This is a stunning hallway, I love it.”</p> <p>But Shaynna was critical of one thing, and that was the execution of the paint.</p> <p>The judges went on to praise the laundry as they loved the tiles and timber laminate on the bench.</p> <p>“It ticks boxes of functionality and amenity, but they have done it with finesse,” Neale added.</p> <p>Which team's hallway, laundry and powder room reveal gets your vote? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

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Today show's battle of the budget stores: Which offers the best value for money?

<p>Over the years, Big W, Kmart and Target have made a name for themselves in the market of budget-friendly home décor, with customers making it their go-to stores when looking to revamp their living spaces.</p> <p>That means shoppers can spruce up their homes for summer without the hefty price tag.</p> <p>Recently, the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9now.com.au/today" target="_blank">Today</a></em> show put these stores to the test, making over a room in three ways using a selection of homeware items from each.</p> <p>The result was beautiful, summer-ready bedrooms with the least expensive costing a mere $243 in total.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820845/kmart.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3a30c3a5f08640a4ac0da20f11365f45" /></p> <p>Starting with Kmart, <em>Today</em> show reporter Jo Abi demonstrated how pink bed linen, cushions – which included the store’s most popular knot pillow ($8), and a grey knitted throw made for a chic and affordable bed setting.</p> <p>“When you go to Kmart, you can pretty much get everything you’re after,” said Jo.</p> <p>To add pops of colour, elements of greenery were added to the setting using a $10 palm print. To add a further sense of comfort, Jo then included a jute rug which made for a “beachy air.”</p> <p>Other items included a bedside table, a lamp and a shelving unit.</p> <p>The total cost of the Kmart bedroom came to $288.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820844/big-w.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5ded7bdfcacb4ce0bda626a2364263e0" /></p> <p>Next on the line was transforming a bedroom using home décor items from Big W.</p> <p>Jo picked out a reversible quilt cover that featured a bright green leaf pattern, and she went on to explain that the set could be used on its own or mixed for a fresher approach.</p> <p>At the end of the bed was a low table standing on top of a rug. And to finish off the look, Jo added Scandi-inspired side tables and gold-coloured lamps for a trendier vibe.</p> <p>“Once again at Big W you can go from nothing to this beautiful decorative set for your bedroom,” Jo said.</p> <p>She also went on to mention that this was the most affordable out of the three, as it cost $243.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:278.02359882005896px;" src="/media/7820846/target.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7613c52ba42049b6807590bc936dabba" /></p> <p>And lastly, Jo styled the third bedroom with items from budget department store Target.</p> <p>“Target has done a lot of work on their ranges and they have these beautiful features for your bedroom,” said Jo.</p> <p>Out of the range, Jo chose a white embossed bedding offset with touches of pink, including fluffy pillows, priced at $20 each, printed cushions and a rose-hued throw.</p> <p>The added tasselled rug in shades of grey added an element of luxury as did the matching ottoman.</p> <p>For decoration, Jo added side tables, a reading lamp and vases.</p> <p>The price for the Target makeover was the priciest, as the total came to a little over $570.</p> <p>Jo’s advice was to shop around, and to not limit yourself to one store.</p> <p>“I recently moved homes, and I didn’t get everything from one place. I went to lots of different places and built it from there,” she said.</p> <p>Which bedroom makeover do you like the best – and what is your favourite discount store to shop at? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

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Laundry tips to live by

<p>Your laundry should be as minimal, clean and organised as possible. Yes, I know it’s a drag of a room and no one wants to be in there for long, but there are ways to make the laundry a more hospitable space. Fill large glass jars with bulk items like buttons, threads, pegs and twine and put them on display for a stylish touch. It’s so easy to recreate this look and add a little style to an otherwise drab space.</p> <p><strong>LAUNDRY TIPS TO LIVE BY: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Keep your laundry as minimal as possible, with no fuss and no mess.</li> <li>Use a collection of baskets to separate colours, dry-cleanable items, ironing etc.</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 333.33333333333337px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7820812/ch_autumn_laundry_020-c-lisa-atkinson.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f7f5ae71afd148d185aa8fb9d2dd6fbd" /></p> <ul> <li>Keep a basket for items that need to be darned and next time you are sitting in front of the TV, mend those holes.</li> <li>Store spare buttons in a jar so they are always close at hand.</li> <li>Keep a piggy bank for loose change that falls out of pockets.</li> <li>Use a small laundry bag to store all those stray socks whose partners will eventually turn up.</li> <li>Have washing labels on display so you can see how to care for each item at a glance.</li> <li>Always fold your jumpers away – never hang them on coat hangers.</li> <li>Keep whites white by soaking your clothes for 10 minutes in a bucket of hot water with two sliced lemons.</li> <li>Always clean stains immediately.</li> <li>Try and clean your clothes with natural cleaners, like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and lemon.</li> <li>Always handwash your delicates.</li> <li>If buying detergent, make sure you buy the right one for the right fabric to ensure your clothes’ longevity.</li> <li>When handwashing your knits, never wring them out as they will lose their shape. Instead, roll them up in a towel to squeeze the excess water out.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Homemade linen water recipe</strong></p> <p>Making your own linen water is an easy way to bring your favourite scent into the bedroom. I love to use lemon and rose oil.</p> <p><strong>What you’ll need: </strong></p> <ul> <li>30 drops (approx. ½ teaspoon) essential oil of your choice</li> <li>90ml (3 fl oz) vodka</li> <li>375ml (12½ fl oz/1½ cups) distilled water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Makes: </strong>Approx 500ml (17 fl oz/2 cups)</p> <p><strong>Method: </strong></p> <ol> <li>Mix the essential oil and vodka in a glass.</li> <li>Add the distilled water and funnel the liquid into a spray bottle.</li> <li>Shake the spray bottle before each use and keep it in a cool, dry place for up to six months.</li> </ol> <p><strong>This is an edited extract from <em>Chyka Home </em>by</strong> <strong>Chyka Keebaugh</strong> <strong>published by Hardie Grant Books $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.</strong></p> <p><strong>Photographer © </strong><strong>Lisa Atkinson, Armelle Habib</strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 200px !important; height: 300px !important;" src="/media/7820814/chyka-home-cvr.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/306c969042bf48d795683e77bc59780a" /></strong></p>

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Savvy woman saves thousands of dollars with this genius laundry trick

<p>If there was a list of the worst chores one can do, laundry would most likely be right at the top.</p> <p>But one savvy woman has revealed how she plans to save “a lot of money and time in the next 20 years.”</p> <p>Posting on Facebook, Jen explained that when her washing machine broke down, she decided to invest in a commercial quality machine instead of another regular washer.</p> <p>According to Jen, the machine will save her hours and thousands of dollars in the future, and she hasn’t regretted her decision in the slightest.</p> <p>“[it was] a big investment but hopefully worthwhile for larger families,” Jen posted on the budgeting Facebook group, saying that the Speed Queen machine is great for those who have “a lot of washing to do.”</p> <p>“I found my machine that was three years old decided to sh*t itself,” she posted. “I burn through machines quickly!”</p> <p>After going through regular machines that Jen claims she would “overload and overuse” and pay thousands of dollars for, she decided on purchasing a Speed Queen commercial washer.</p> <p>While it costs a cool $5295 for the machine and an extra $800 for installation, Jen could not be happier, as they are said to last around 25 years when used in a home environment.</p> <p>“I was extremely lucky enough to have my husband’s insurer help pay for my new washer and dryer (the difference in cost for domestic v industrial), BUT I have saved two days of washing in the one day that would usually take me three,” Jen said.</p> <p>Speaking of the machine, she said it’s “fabulous.”</p> <p>“Does a quick 8kg (max load is 10kg) wash in 26 minutes to the max intensive wash at one hour!” said Jen.</p> <p>She then went on to say that the dryer is “also super efficient”, and despite the fact that it’s industrial and will consume a lot of power, she has solar so is hoping it will be “less expensive.”</p> <p>“I looked at just getting an extra large 20kg top loader, but the basic wash programmes for clothing still took 1.5 to two hours,” she said.</p> <p>“With this 8kg, I can get 24 kilograms done in three hours maximum! Far less electricity long term.</p> <p>“For us, with the last twelve years, and over $6000 on machines, if it lasts for 15 I’ll be happy.”</p> <p>Would you be willing to drop the cash on an industrial washer? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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The sticker you don't want to find on your recycling bin

<p>If you’re a serial rubbish offender then you may want to watch out, as council officials have started a new initiative cracking down on lazy recyclers with a simple sticker on their wheelie bins under a new WA government waste program.</p> <p>The stickers, which consist of yellow, green or red hands pointing downwards, may be issued to those who fail to sort out their rubbish in the right bins.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7820702/4b5e81dfc9866ac51b562d8c98b53125.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e5fe2c660f0a4af1ac3090519c8c1057" /></p> <p>Having launched on Thursday, the Face Your Waste website wants to educate and encourage the community to sort their waste into landfill, recycling and green waste bins.</p> <p>According to the WA government, “approximately 25 per cent of the contents of a household’s general waste bin is actually recyclable material".</p> <p>The initiative is part of a $20 million waste program that was started by the Western Australian government to divert more waste from landfill.</p> <p>From now on, councils will be auditing residents’ bins by checking the contents of their rubbish, recyclables and compost bins.</p> <p>If residents fail to comply, then council officials will slap the stickers on their bins.</p> <p>The stickers are meant to inform and educate people on how to correctly sort out their rubbish, which is why they will link to further information on the councils’ websites.</p> <p>The average household creates 1,454 kilograms of waste per year, with approximately 100 kilograms of plastic packaging, according to the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://faceyourwaste.com/" target="_blank">Face Your Waste</a></em> website.</p> <p>What do you think of the initiative? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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"You'll get them everywhere": Snake catcher's grim warning of Aussie plague this summer

<p>A snake catcher has issued a warning for residents across the country to be aware of their surroundings as the weather gets warmer, as there is a high chance reptiles will emerge to get some sunlight after a long mating season throughout the cold winter.</p> <p>Tony Harrison, a snake catcher from Queensland’s Gold Coast, said that September was the month when reptiles are out searching for a companion to mate with.</p> <p>According to Mr Harrison, snakes emerge from bushlands on warm days and are most prevalent during summer.</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6125895/Prepare-snakes-season-dont-stupid-catchers-say.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail Australia</a></em>, Mr Harrison said: “You’ll get them everywhere.”</p> <p>He added, “When temperatures drop below 23C, you don’t see a lot of them, they slow right down.</p> <p>“They’re not gone, they’re just not as obvious as they usually are but as soon as weather warms up they’re a lot more active, which is what’s happening right now.”</p> <p>Andrew Melrose of Shire Snake Catchers Engadine in NSW said that the peak time for snakes and reptiles is spring, as that is the season when they breed.</p> <p>Christmas time is also an active period as they look for food, and then in April when they prepare for the colder months.</p> <p>“We do get a bit dry towards July – August – toward spring, after this bit of rain as temperatures start to warm up and they start to think about breeding and mating,” said Mr Melrose.</p> <p>Earlier in the year, a Queensland resident, Aaron Bryant was fatally killed by a snake bite after he tried to remove a baby eastern brown snake from his home.</p> <p>Mr Harrison recommends taking a photo and sending it to a snake catcher for identification before attempting to remove the reptile yourself, as many people often misidentify snakes.</p> <p>“For your average person, it’s hard to tell which one's which,” he said.</p> <p>“If you see a snake don’t go and stir them up, take a photo from a distance.</p> <p>“It’s human nature to go and stir a snake up, what will happen is the snake will defend itself, and that snake could put you in hospital.</p> <p>“A lot of people make mistakes and end up in hospital.”</p> <p>According to data from the Department of Health, Townsville Hospital emergency department has seen 103 patients who suffered from snake bites in the past financial year alone.</p> <p>But despite the large number, Mr Melrose said that a bite was usually a snake’s “last resort".</p> <p>He said that when a snake is in unknown territories such as your home or workplaces, they are not there to bite you as that plan of attack is strictly for defence purposes.</p> <p>“The best advice I give to anyone to avoid a bite if you do see it ... the best thing is just leave it alone – call the experts and don’t try to catch or killing it because the snakes will usually (not be interested in) you.”</p>

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The Block judge’s harsh verdict over ‘worst’ room reveal

<p>As <em>The Block</em> contestants showed off their hard work in last night's bedroom reveal, one duo copped harsh criticism from one of the judges.</p> <p>Courtney and Hans, contestants from Western Australia, faced their fair share of battles when transforming their master bedroom – with plastering and styling issues delaying them so much they were unable to finish painting the room.</p> <p>Their room caused the most controversy among the judges, with Neale disagreeing with Shaynna and Darren’s admiration of the décor.</p> <p>“I’m just not feeling it,” Neale said to his fellow judges.</p> <p>“There’s nothing in here that’s going to make me want to buy it. Yes, it’s grand and majestic but it feels like an exercise in wasted space.”</p> <p>Neale then slammed the artwork Courtney spent two days deciding to buy, despite feedback that she shouldn’t.</p> <p>“I mean, what do we do with these chairs, look at possibly the worst piece of art I’ve ever seen on <em>The Block</em>. I know I’m sounding very over the top, but I feel so strongly that the choice of art dictates the emotions you feel when you walk into the room.”</p> <p>The judge then rattled off elements he would expect to see in a multimillion-dollar apartment.</p> <p>“Show me a couch, an ottoman, an amazing rug, floor-to-ceiling mirrors.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.2018489984592px;" src="/media/7820581/courtneyandhans.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/19d22cb94cda4f67a85c64b099e6bb1e" /></p> <p>However, after seeing Hans and Courtney’s walk-in wardrobe, the judge was able to admire one aspect of their work.</p> <p>“This is one of the most impressive walk-in wardrobes I’ve seen on <em>The Block</em>,” he said.</p> <p>The duo received a score of 22 for their master bedroom.</p> <p><strong>Sara and Hayden – 26.5</strong></p> <p>For Sydney couple, Sara and Hayden, they found their bounce back while working on their master bedroom after threatening to walk off the show last week.</p> <p>After Sara’s breakdown over coming last three weeks in a row, the team finally managed to show off their styling skills – receiving the highest score for their master bedroom.</p> <p>The team opted for a navy feature wall, a regal bedhead and an impressive walk-in-wardrobe.</p> <p>“I love that they’ve got the ottoman at the foot of the bed that matches the bedhead, I think that’s really elegant,” Darren said.</p> <p>Shaynna praised the couple for heading to her advice and showing restraint with their texture combinations.</p> <p>"The restraint they've shown is great," Blaze said.</p> <p>“They wanted all these different textures and they were clashing. They were going to have venetian plaster, a textured wallpaper and lots of velvet, so they have really pulled back.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.2018489984592px;" src="/media/7820582/haydenandsara.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b30e73bfdbf040bd808969b34e10f98c" /></p> <p><strong>Kerrie and Spence – 24</strong></p> <p>Kerrie and Spence managed to place second for the master bedroom reveal, despite their spacious room being described as “forgettable”.</p> <p>Although the judges complimented the colour scheme, they criticised the team’s styling arrangement.</p> <p>“They’re hospital lights with a hospital glow and it feels clinical,” Shaynna said about the hanging lights over the bed.</p> <p>“It’s a forgettable bedroom from a buyer’s perspective.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.2018489984592px;" src="/media/7820583/kerrieandspence.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1aa219f6ef374926bae9cc83783c119c" /></p> <p><strong>Norm and Jess – 22.5</strong></p> <p>The QLD duo received criticism from Neale for making their gold themed bed and TV look similar to a “gold class cinema”.</p> <p>“If there was ever a room crying out for less is more, it’s this one,” Neale said. </p> <p>“I can see where they are trying to go. I actually think the colour palette is really clever and beautifully done, but wow, what an overload.”</p> <p>Shaynna agreed that the decorating was overwhelming in such a tiny room.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 280.7153965785381px;" src="/media/7820584/normandjess.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2d10786680ef4ce288f9ba7ec722ad34" /></p> <p><strong>Bianca and Carla – 22.5</strong></p> <p>The team from Victoria struggled with the tiles on their feature wall and not having a visible air conditioner vent this week.</p> <p>“There’s a part of me that looks at that bed and thinks it’s got some of the most beautiful styling I’ve ever seen on this show. But I don’t think these girls are thinking how we actually live,” Neale said. “It’s style over substance. This doesn’t function.”</p> <p>Shaynna found the room overtly masculine.</p> <p>“I feel this is so heavily masculine with the dark drapes, the dark walls, the charcoal. There’s little in here that will appeal to a female buyer.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:283.2550860719875px;" src="/media/7820587/biancaandcarla.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7731c68645594bf1b8fbb65fc6b8a031" /></p> <p>Which room do you rate the most? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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The Kmart hack that earns one thrifty mum $5,000 a month

<p>A thrifty Aussie mum has turned her love for decorating cheap Kmart and Ikea furniture into a business that earns her $5,000 a month.</p> <p>Gold Coast mum Kylie Hughes is the creator of StyIkea, a business she launched last year.</p> <p>Kylie designs and sells peel-and-stick decals which transform ordinary budget furniture from her favourite stores into on-trend and stylish pieces, using her decorative foil panels.</p> <p>Kylie first had the money-saving idea when she started renovating her own home but quickly discovered her styling options were limited if she wanted to stick to her tight budget.</p> <p>Rather than ignore her desire to add some touches of luxury into her home, Kylie started sketching her ideas and then turned them into models, with the assistance of her husband.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BlHy55xnux-/?utm_source=ig_embed" data-instgrm-version="9"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> <div style="background: url(data:image/png; base64,ivborw0kggoaaaansuheugaaacwaaaascamaaaapwqozaaaabgdbtueaalgpc/xhbqaaaafzukdcak7ohokaaaamuexurczmzpf399fx1+bm5mzy9amaaadisurbvdjlvzxbesmgces5/p8/t9furvcrmu73jwlzosgsiizurcjo/ad+eqjjb4hv8bft+idpqocx1wjosbfhh2xssxeiyn3uli/6mnree07uiwjev8ueowds88ly97kqytlijkktuybbruayvh5wohixmpi5we58ek028czwyuqdlkpg1bkb4nnm+veanfhqn1k4+gpt6ugqcvu2h2ovuif/gwufyy8owepdyzsa3avcqpvovvzzz2vtnn2wu8qzvjddeto90gsy9mvlqtgysy231mxry6i2ggqjrty0l8fxcxfcbbhwrsyyaaaaaelftksuqmcc); display: block; height: 44px; margin: 0 auto -44px; position: relative; top: -22px; width: 44px;"></div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BlHy55xnux-/?utm_source=ig_embed" target="_blank">A post shared by Stylkea (@stylkea)</a> on Jul 11, 2018 at 11:37pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I asked my husband to design panels on the computer and added legs and handles to a piece of furniture I had… and my friends said I should be doing this for a living,” she told the <em><a href="https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/business/furniture-hack-for-kmart-and-ikea-furniture-earning-this-woman-thousands/news-story/4a6ebd92575cfa9991055f89a11be2bb"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Gold Coast Bulletin</span></strong></a>.</em></p> <p>It is a clever hack that not only improved the décor of her own home but has also saved thousands of other Aussies who were looking to achieve a similar look on a budget.</p> <p>“At other (stores) you can buy these delightful beside tables for $1,200,” she said.</p> <p>“Or you can get a very simple look like the Malm bedside table from Ikea which is about $69 and use our Greek-style panels. You have a similar look for $100, so that’s a saving of $1,100.”</p> <p>Her business has resonated with so many renovators who are also on a budget, that she has been nominated for an award celebrating her entrepreneurial efforts.</p> <p>Although it is a success now, Kylie spent three years balancing her full-time job and her duties as mum while attempting to create the business.</p> <p>“I was working at night and on the weekends and I built the website by myself as well, so I was teaching myself e-commerce,” she said.</p> <p>“Time was one of the biggest obstacles. It took me 18 months from deciding to give it a go to opening up the sales.”</p> <p>StyIkea sells panels that range from $9.95 to $34.95 in a wide variety of materials that do not require any special tools to apply.</p> <p>Kylie also sells a white foam option that can be modified with spray or acrylic paint, as well as gold and silver options.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BiB1e_YBuNi/?utm_source=ig_embed" data-instgrm-version="9"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> <div style="background: url(data:image/png; base64,ivborw0kggoaaaansuheugaaacwaaaascamaaaapwqozaaaabgdbtueaalgpc/xhbqaaaafzukdcak7ohokaaaamuexurczmzpf399fx1+bm5mzy9amaaadisurbvdjlvzxbesmgces5/p8/t9furvcrmu73jwlzosgsiizurcjo/ad+eqjjb4hv8bft+idpqocx1wjosbfhh2xssxeiyn3uli/6mnree07uiwjev8ueowds88ly97kqytlijkktuybbruayvh5wohixmpi5we58ek028czwyuqdlkpg1bkb4nnm+veanfhqn1k4+gpt6ugqcvu2h2ovuif/gwufyy8owepdyzsa3avcqpvovvzzz2vtnn2wu8qzvjddeto90gsy9mvlqtgysy231mxry6i2ggqjrty0l8fxcxfcbbhwrsyyaaaaaelftksuqmcc); display: block; height: 44px; margin: 0 auto -44px; position: relative; top: -22px; width: 44px;"></div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BiB1e_YBuNi/?utm_source=ig_embed" target="_blank">A post shared by Stylkea (@stylkea)</a> on Apr 26, 2018 at 2:30am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“They're versatile, so they match a wide range of different decor styles,” she said.</p> <p>“It comes down to your imagination and how you want to use them.</p> <p>“Some are glam and luxury and others lend themselves beautifully to a nursery or child's bedroom.”</p> <p>Have you ever re-styled a piece of furniture? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below.</p>

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How to declutter your home in 15 minutes flat

<p>While most of us would love to live in a mess-free home, it’s hard to find enough time to dedicate to decluttering the entire house. A better way might be to break the big job into small 15-minute-or-less decluttering tasks like the ones below.</p> <p><strong>Kitchen</strong></p> <p>Use bins and baskets to organise similar items. Label them so the system is clear to everyone. If you’re living in with other people, buy a pantry bin for each member of the home. This will not only keep the space looking neat and tidy but will also reduce the risk of people “mistaking” your food for their own.</p> <p><strong>Home office</strong></p> <p>Make your home office user-friendly by reorganising the space in a way that makes sense to you and your family. For example, store homework equipment in an area where your children can easily access them and things that are used less can be kept up high.</p> <p>Julie Stuart, founder of online craft store and blog Clever Poppy<span style="text-decoration: underline;">,</span><span> </span>adopted this approach when she moved her home office into her open plan living and dining room.</p> <p>“All of my stationery is stored in a basket on my desk. For those things you don’t need on a day to day basis, store them out of sight in a cupboard or wardrobe.”</p> <p>Keep track of your mail and other paperwork that clogs up your desk by stacking it into three categories: bills, personal mail (e.g. wedding invitations) and then one for everything else. If you’re feeling particularly motivated, take the time to pay your bills now or just keep the piles stored neatly in a tray on your desk so it’s easier to tackle later on.</p> <p><strong>Living room</strong></p> <p>Keep on top of clutter throughout the week by identifying the biggest clutter culprit in the living room (e.g. kid’s toys, mail). Dedicate a few minutes every day, or every couple of days if you’re particularly time pressed, to dealing with that.</p> <p><strong>Bathroom</strong></p> <p>Pull all of your toiletries from the cabinet shelves and throw out anything that’s expired or unnecessary (do you really need four lipsticks in the same shade?) Follow this by giving the shelves a quick wipe-down and replace all of the remaining products, putting the items you use the most in easily accessible spots.</p> <p><strong>Bedroom</strong></p> <p>Take some time on a Sunday evening to pick out the clothes you plan on wearing for the rest of the week and hang them at the front of your wardrobe. This will minimise stress in the mornings and will stop you from tearing your closet apart (and making even more of a mess) to find a pair of piece of clothing.</p> <p>Another way to ease the morning rush is to organise your clothing by grouping like with like (e.g. all business shirts together) and adding garment tags to keep them together.</p> <p><strong>Linen closet</strong></p> <p>A simple way to quickly get you linen closet in order – and to stop sheet sets getting lost in the pile – is by tucking a complete sheet set inside one of its pillowcases. If you have a little extra time, stack the sets according to size (single, queen, king).</p> <p><em>Written by Natalia Didovich. Republished with permission of<span> </span><a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a></em></p>

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Mum’s warning after disgusting discovery in kid’s lunchbox

<p>A Kiwi mum is warning consumers to check for hidden mould in lunch boxes.</p> <p>While cleaning her children's bento-style boxes, Bay of Plenty woman Grace Bollen pried open the lids, pulling apart layers of plastic that had been glued together, and found mould coating the surfaces. </p> <p>"I first discovered wee black bits coming out of the yellow lunch box so decided to investigate," she told <em>Stuff</em>. "I was absolutely horrified. I was actually in tears at the thought my son was taking a mouldy lunch box to school."</p> <p>She published pictures in a Facebook post that has since been shared 1,400 times. She also contacted the suppliers of the lunch boxes.</p> <p>"When I showed the kids they were stunned, upset because they love their lunch boxes, but they understood how gross they were."</p> <p>Bollen said she washed the lunch boxes by hand each night and left them open to dry completely before morning. </p> <p>One of the lunch boxes had been in use for about a year, and the other for nine months.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgrace.bollen%2Fposts%2F10158288750294852&amp;width=500" width="500" height="770" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p> </p> <p>Since posting her warning, Bollen said she had received more than 20 messages from people who had also found hidden mould in their lunch boxes.</p> <p>"I'm not checking all of them as my inbox and Facebook notifications are going crazy."</p> <p>The owners of Lunch Box Inc, which sold one of the affected lunch boxes, told <em>Stuff</em> they were looking into the problem.</p> <p>"At this stage, we do not know the number of lunch boxes that may have been affected as we are still investigating the matter," said Nicky Skinner.</p> <p>"Upon being notified of this situation, we immediately contacted our manufacturer and are awaiting their response."</p> <p>Stuck on You, the Australian company which sold Bollen's second mouldy lunch box, released a statement.</p> <p>"The wellbeing of children is paramount to all of us here at Stuck On You and we are committed to the highest levels of compliance and safety. And we take our customer feedback very seriously."</p> <p>The company suggested that their bento boxes should be hand-washed in hot, soapy water as soon as possible after use. </p> <p>"Do not attempt to separate the silicon seal from the outer box," they said. "We highly recommend that even once dry you should keep the parts separate and store them in a well-ventilated area until ready to use again." </p> <p>Bollen's post was shared on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/happymumhappychild">Happy Mum Happy Child</a> Facebook page, where it attracted a lot of comment. </p> <p>"I personally have never encountered mouldy lunch boxes like this – but this could just be because of the type of lunch box my kids have," said Maria Foy of Happy Mum Happy Child.</p> <p>"Although I've reviewed a lot of lunch boxes, most of the parts are removable (or sealed well enough) so that mould isn't an issue. The only thing I've ever come across is drink bottles that get mouldy, but that's not a new one."</p> <p>Foy suggested that unless people owned a lunch box that had been identified as problematic, they should leave them intact.</p> <p>"I would also hesitate to try and remove the existing seal because as soon as you do you ruin the lunch box."</p> <p>If you want to check your lunch boxes without pulling apart the layers that have ben glued together, hold the lids up to the light. You should be able to see dark patches of mould if they are there.</p> <p><em>Written by Eleanor Black. Republished with permission of <strong><u><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/106517559/mums-warning-check-lunch-boxes-for-hidden-mould">Stuff.co.nz.</a></u></strong> </em></p>

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The “silent killer” household appliance that ended a grandmother’s life

<p>A Melbourne woman who passed away in June 2017 due to being exposed to carbon monoxide from her open-flue heater has sparked debate about whether gas heaters should be phased out.</p> <p>Sonia Sofianopoulos died in her Greensborough apartment due to a Vulcan Heritage heater leaking gas. Ms Sofianopoulos passed out on the floor of her bathroom and was discovered by her daughter and son-in-law the next day.</p> <p>The gas is considered to be a silent killer as it has no odour, taste or colour and those who are exposed to the poison can experience symptoms such as a headache, weakness, nausea and dizziness.</p> <p>Jacqui Hawkins who is the Victorian coroner believes that open-flue heaters should be phased out, after the investigation into Ms Sofianopoulos’s death proved just how dangerous this household item can be.</p> <p>Coroner Hawkins discovered that Ms Sofianopoulos’s heater was leaking carbon monoxide and the exhaust fan was turned on. The situation was worsened when it was revealed that the dwelling was sealed, and the poison was unable to evaporate, as open-flue heaters should always be used in places with proper ventilation.</p> <p>The apartment did undergo carbon monoxide testing two years prior from plumbing contractors that are hired by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).</p> <p>It was discovered that DHHS was servicing heaters every five years instead of the recommended two by Energy Safe Victoria.</p> <p>Ms Sofianopoulos's daughters – Eleni and Stella had to wait three months before finding out the cause of their mother’s death.</p> <p>Emergency services had originally told them that she had died from a heart attack. While the tragic passing of their mother has taken a toll on the two women, Eleni says she is happy with the coroner’s investigation.</p> <p>“I think that certain things could have been done but that’s all now in hindsight so hopefully looking forward things will change and obviously we’ll never anything like this again,” she told the <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-22/open-flue-gas-heaters-should-be-phased-out-coroner-finds/10151006"><em>ABC</em></a>.</p> <p>“Overall we were happy with the recommendations the coroner made today.</p> <p>“We’re just hoping that these changes become mandatory and part of legislation.”</p>

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"There's no snake in that photo": Snake catcher's photo baffles internet

<p>Social media users have been left scratching their heads after a snake catcher asked them to spot a snake that had disguised itself in someone’s kitchen. </p> <p>The Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 were called to a home in Ninderry, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast earlier this week to remove the reptile. </p> <p>“Time for another game of spot the snake. This cheeky customer was removed from a home in Ninderry today!” snake catcher Lockie Gilding wrote on their Facebook page. </p> <p>Many were left baffled as to where the snake was hidden in the photo. <br />Can you spot it? </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" src="/media/7820374/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/204be042d623430a8fee2709924c1571" /></p> <p>“There's no snake in that photo,” commented one confused user. </p> <p>“The newest edition of Where's Wally,” joked another. “I can never find the snake.”</p> <p>The photo shows two brown stools pushed close together with a few magazines on top. </p> <p>It turns out the snake had curled itself around the leg of the right-hand stool. </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" src="/media/7820375/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d3f5e2bb399b4ee5951d0517893ac897" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Lockie revealed that the reptile was a brown tree snake that was less than a year old. Despite brown tree snakes being mildly venomous, they are not considered to be dangerous as their fangs are at the back of the mouth so only a very large snake could inject venom into a human.</p> <p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSunshineCoastSnakeCatchers%2Fposts%2F2086076414977476&amp;width=500" width="500" height="776" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“Even though it's small I'd leave it well alone - some of those small snakes are as toxic as those bigger ones,” one user commented on the photo. </p> <p>Did you spot the snake? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Thrifty mums share $19 Kmart hack for transforming laundries

<p>Thrifty mums have shared their genius Kmart hacks for transforming their laundries into stylish, organised spaces.</p> <p>One popular tip, posted to a Facebook group, involves turning a $19 drink dispensing station into a clever way to store and dispense fabric softener and laundry liquid.</p> <p><img id="i-7885303e7667ee51" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="blkBorder img-share b-loaded" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/20/02/4F399B8C00000578-6076965-Clever_mums_have_revealed_how_this_19_drinks_dispenser_pictured_-a-5_1534727662912.jpg" alt="Clever mums have revealed how this $19 drinks dispenser (pictured) from Kmart can be transformed into a chic and stylish laundry liquids station" width="634" height="683" /></p> <p>The hack was so well-received that several mums shared photos of how they’ve used the dispensing station in their laundries.</p> <p><img id="i-efbe7f25673da0e7" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="blkBorder img-share b-loaded" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/20/02/4F39995B00000578-6076965-The_drinks_dispenser_along_with_a_jar_and_a_black_placemat_makes-a-6_1534727662965.jpg" alt="The drinks dispenser along with a jar and a black placemat makes for a stylish nook " width="634" height="724" /></p> <p><img id="i-22bd2c2eec77cee4" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="blkBorder img-share b-loaded" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/20/00/4F39996800000578-6076965-image-a-104_1534722934483.jpg" alt="Melynda revealed how a quote board added to her corner made for an interesting touch " width="634" height="845" /></p> <p><img id="i-c86153dd09d89cfb" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="blkBorder img-share b-loaded" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/20/00/4F39996300000578-6076965-image-m-106_1534723034735.jpg" alt="This laundry uses both the drinks dispenser and quote board, however, a grey caddy helps to store extra products  " width="634" height="448" /></p> <p>Another mum also revealed how she used a $10 Big W ladder and $6 Kmart felt baskets to create extra storage in her laundry room.</p> <p>Queensland mother-of-six, Joelle Skinner, shared ton her blog: 'Phase two of laundry room organisation, a place for all of the kids' shoes! I thought and thought on this one, whether to use shelves or drawers or even purpose built shoe storage. But finally came up with this, which fits perfectly in this little space!”</p> <p>“I found this bamboo ladder at Big W for $10 and these felt baskets for $6 each at Kmart, I added an extra dowel on top and voila, it's like they were made for each other!” she added.</p> <p><img id="i-17267e801984bac7" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="blkBorder img-share b-loaded" src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/04/26/03/4B8F1BE700000578-5657957-Posting_on_her_page_Jedi_Mum_Tricks_Mrs_Skinner_recently_shared_-a-132_1524709348165.jpg" alt="Posting on her page, Jedi Mum Tricks, Mrs Skinner recently shared a number of ways she's simplified the process - the latest 'hack' involving $6 felt baskets from Kmart and a $10 ladder from Big W" width="634" height="845" /></p>

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7 ways to revamp your living room without spending a fortune

<p>If your living room feels dull and lifeless it's time for a new look. Using a balanced combination of light, colour and texture, you can transform a tired space into a room you don’t want to leave. And the best part? It doesn't have to cost you a fortune.</p> <p><strong>1. A floor rug</strong></p> <p><span>A floor rug can bring visual warmth and ties in the elements of a room creating a succinct space. In open plan areas it can also help ‘zone’ the living room and segregate it from the dining room. Note: Make sure you consider the size of the rug. A rug too big or too small can change the dynamics of a room. You can find a reasonably priced rug discounted through some wholesalers.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Couch pillows and a throw</strong></p> <p><span>Pillows and throws are a great way to revitalise a room. Simply changing the materials and colours of them can transition your room from summer to winter in a matter of minutes. Bold colours, pastels and thin materials can be great for summer, yet thick materials, heavy textures and muted tones are perfect for winter. Note: Mix and match colours of the same season. </span></p> <p><strong>3. Framed prints</strong></p> <p><span>Framed prints can form interest in a room, create a talking point with visitors and set the style of your living room. You can find some fantastic pieces from secondhand stores. Just remember that you want to match the ‘style’ of the room with the print, not necessarily the colours.</span></p> <p><strong>4. A vase and flowers</strong></p> <p><span>It is surprising how flowers can liven up a room. They bring a pop of colour and a sweet scent that cannot be artificially mimicked. Try keeping the vase a neutral colour or using a large recycled jar, and chose flowers that last, such as natives, kale flowers or greenery fillers.</span></p> <p><strong>5. A coffee table</strong></p> <p><span>Consider the shape and size of the coffee table to suit the layout of your sofa’s. You may find you need to compromise on the size of the table to fit the space. Think about the finish of the table. A timber table top may not always look good with timber floors.</span></p> <p><strong>6. A lick of paint</strong></p> <p><span>Paint is an easy way to transform a room and you can do yourself. Try a feature wall to give new backdrop to framed prints or paint the entire room for a complete overhaul. If you are confident with your decorating skills, try your hand at stenciling. Tip: Make sure you use a complementary hue if you are creating a feature wall.</span></p> <p><strong>7. A side table</strong></p> <p><span>It’s a useful piece of furniture to have. You can move it to suit the room layout and it can be used to sit a lamp, an indoor plant or just your cup of coffee! Like the coffee table, you may want to think hard about the shape and size of the table, and try not to match it with the coffee table. </span></p> <p><em>Written by <a href="http://www.ellevidovichcopywriter.com.au"><strong><u>Elle Vidovich.</u></strong> </a></em></p>

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“Best $8 I’ve spent”: Mum shares Kmart cleaning hack

<p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">A mother has shared a clever hack for picking up small toys using a $8 product from Kmart.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Ange Dobbin explained that she had trouble picking up her son’s small Lego pieces around the house.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">“Went and bought a pooper scooper today and it's the best $8 I have spent for picking up my son's Lego,” she explained on the Kmart Mums Australia Facebook page.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: center; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><img style="width: 500px; height:313.8801261829653px;" src="/media/7820214/0.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/76831a47fb5b480fb3bb231db429633f" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">“BEST KMART HACK EVER! So doing that this week!” one mum commented under the post.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">“I use mine for NERF bullets too,” added another.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">More than 1,000 people have since ‘liked’ the post, suggesting that it is a common problem in households.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Some mothers also shared the clever ways they thought to pick up the tiny building blocks left lying around the house.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">“Vacuum cleaner with a stocking over the end,” one said.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">One mum suggested buying a cheap ‘kids play mat’ from eBay, with many of them being sold online for less than $20.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The mum said that once her children finish playing with the Lego, she folds the mat up into a small bag and places it in the corner for the next time they play with it.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Other mum’s said they used a bed sheet rather than ordering a specific play mat.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">What is your best cleaning hack? Let us know in the comments below.  </span></p>

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Viewers speak out over new villain of The Block

<p>We’re not even a week into The Block and a villain has already emerged.</p> <p>Last night, controversial contestant Sara demanded cash from fellow teams and accused foreman Dan Reilly of intimidatory tactics.</p> <p>The drama began when Sara found out her husband Hayden had agreed to pay another team’s tradie fees for the day without telling her. Hayden said he’d pay fellow contestant Spence’s $700 “hold up” fee as he was unable to put on his tradies for several hours because of work being done on Sara and Hayden’s apartment.</p> <p>But Sara was furious when she found out and marched upstairs to tell another team, Bianca and Carla, that she’ll be passing the full $700 bill on to them. As Sara and Hayden were late getting started because they were waiting for Bianca and Carla, as Sara sees it, the ladies should be paying the bill.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7820130/the-block.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/00d2a6869ca64951b8d14b326bd6b73a" /></p> <p>After a stand-off with neither side willing to budge, <em>The Block</em>’s foreman, Dan Reilly, enters to find out what the conflict is about.</p> <p>Dan reminds Sara that he’d told her earlier to talk to Bianca and Carla to find some way they could repay her for the delay they caused, suggesting she should ask them to do her and Hayden’s “lagging”, or water pipe insulation.</p> <p>But Sara has a very different memory of what happened.</p> <p>“Dan, you came to me, and you started yelling in my face. You did. Yeah, you did,” she tells Dan.</p> <p>“I didn’t. It takes a lot for me to yell,” he replies. “I said, ‘I think you should go upstairs and ask the girls to do your lagging’. Can we go the replay? I don’t think I was yelling.”</p> <p>Cut to the replay and sure enough, a calm Dan advises Sara about what he thinks she should do.</p> <p>“If you think I was coming across yelling, I apologise … but I wasn’t yelling,” he says.</p> <p>“OK fine, it wasn’t yelling,” Sara retorts. “But it was in a very assertive tone, that made me feel intimidated. That’s NOT ON. Because I don’t know ANYTHING about building.”</p> <p>Viewers were left less than impressed by Sara’s antics.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Sara claiming she was intimidated by Dan? Girl, ALL THE WAY bye <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9TheBlock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9TheBlock</a></p> — james (@artjameso) <a href="https://twitter.com/artjameso/status/1026935542079008769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">One problem Sara... you’re on camera... we can see Dan didn’t yell at you. You’re no wallflower, stop playing like you are <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9TheBlock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9TheBlock</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/liarliar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#liarliar</a></p> — HausofBec (@BecRants) <a href="https://twitter.com/BecRants/status/1026801838119473152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Sara- the queen of melodrama. First dan is yelling at her, then when he says he heard yelling, she says she wasn’t screaming. Then she claims to the one person who understands going on the block without any background that they don’t get it. Right....<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9TheBlock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9TheBlock</a></p> — Janelle Berner (@missnellebelle) <a href="https://twitter.com/missnellebelle/status/1026797809092055041?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Wow That Sara is a piece of work. Guuuuurl You can't lie, manipulate or bully while TV cameras are around. Hopefully she gets served a nice plate of accountability soon. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9TheBlock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9TheBlock</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thegatwick?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#thegatwick</a></p> — Taylee (@arcolicastant) <a href="https://twitter.com/arcolicastant/status/1026779567934005248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">So Sara claims that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ForemanDan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ForemanDan</a> spoke harshly to her because she doesn't understand building. THEN WHY ARE YOU ON THE SHOW? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9theblock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9theblock</a></p> — Caffeine Kiddo (@CaffeineKiddo) <a href="https://twitter.com/CaffeineKiddo/status/1026778762401087489?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 7, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>So after all that, who paid the $700? Drawn the fight, Spence tells them all the stop arguing as he’ll pay the money rather than cause a conflict between teams so early in the competition.</p> <p> </p>

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Inside Judge Judy’s new $12 million mansion

<p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Judge Judy has bought a new home with her husband Jerry for $AU12.15 million in Newport, Rhode Island.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The 9,719-square-foot property has six bedrooms, six full bathrooms, two partial bathrooms, a pool and an elevator.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Most of the rooms in the impressive mansion have panoramic ocean views and there are many other modern amenities, such as a geothermal heating and cooling system and heated floors.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The home was previously owned by Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance Hamilton, who nicknamed the property ‘The Bird House’ because of her love for birds.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">According to a news release, Judy Sheindlin told Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty that she and her husband are “looking forward to falling in love with Newport”.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The home is located at one of the highest points in Newport, so Judge Judy will be secluded away from prying eyes.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Take a look inside the $12 million mansion by scrolling through the gallery above.</span></p>

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Top tips for keeping your pantry in order

<p>There is something about opening the pantry when it’s just been cleaned and organised that fills you with a sense of calm. Having a well organised, totally functional pantry is a must-have in this busy day and age. All it takes is an hour of your time, some matching containers and a little pantry inspiration.</p> <p>I am a firm believer that if you can see everything, you won’t waste it. Shallow= shelving will stop you from stockpiling cans; simple, clear containers will tell you when you are running low on items, and baskets are handy for odd-shaped packets that are a little tricky to decanter. I like to keep everything together – my herbs, spices and baking items, such as flour and sugars, all lined up neatly, a section for tea, and so on. Doing this makes it much easier to find what I am looking for in a hurry.</p> <p><strong>Learn to love labels</strong></p> <p>I can’t be the only one who’s confused plain (all-purpose) flour with self-raising flour, or icing (confectioners’) sugar with cornflour. Poor labelling can cause some real issues in the kitchen, so there’s no excuse not to label your jars, especially when there are so many free templates on the internet to get you started.</p> <p><strong>Creative labelling</strong></p> <ul> <li>Hang a simple piece of brown card from the lid and neatly write the contents in thick black marker.</li> <li>Paint a square on the outside of your jars with blackboard paint and label them with chalk.</li> <li>Write directly on the jar with a marker in neat, cursive writing.</li> <li>Match your labels to your kitchen colour scheme to ensure continuity.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Tips for a neat pantry</strong></p> <ul> <li>When buying containers for your pantry, stick to the same size, style and look. Consistency with your containers will create an inviting sense of order.</li> <li>Label, label, label!</li> <li>Group similar items, especially oils and condiments, together so that you can see everything at once.</li> <li>Never store more than two layers deep. If you can’t see it, you won’t use it.</li> <li>Invest in good lighting for a walk-in pantry. Searching in the dark is no fun.</li> <li>Tidy weekly to avoid your pantry getting disorganised.</li> <li>Having a collection of baskets on the floor of a walk in pantry is a neat and tidy way to store big packets and odd-shaped containers.</li> <li>A plastic-sleeved folder will solve your recipe mess. Simply slip cut-outs into a plastic sleeve and file away. Do the same with takeaway menus.</li> </ul> <p><em>This is an edited extract from </em>Chyka Home<em> by Chyka Keebaugh published by Hardie Grant Books NZ$44.99 and is available in stores nationally. </em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Lisa Atkinson and Armelle Habib</em></p> <p><em><img style="width: 249px; height: 375px; float: right;" src="/media/7820051/chyka-home-cvr.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/396ccbcca1724fe5acec948b99d97c13" /></em></p>

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Can you spot the snake in this overcrowded shed?

<p>A snake catcher has left the internet stumped after asking his followers to spot a python hiding inside an overcrowded shed.</p> <p>The reptile, which was believed to be two to two-and-a-half metres long, picked a clever hiding spot after slithering inside a shed at Coolum last week.</p> <p>Max Jackson shared a 180 degree image of the shed on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SunshineCoastSnakeCatchers/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7</strong></span></a> page, asking viewers to spot the python.</p> <p>Can you spot it?</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSunshineCoastSnakeCatchers%2Fposts%2F2048817575370027&amp;width=500" width="500" height="696" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“Don’t think I could find anything in that shed,” one Facebook user commented.</p> <p>Some people thought there was a snake hiding along the roof, but they were mistaken.</p> <p>However, many people were able to spot the python tucked away near a couple of black boxes, on the far left of the picture.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6aae76d0c24e4c69a912132a53f307da" /><img style="width: 500px; height:375px;" src="/media/7819917/2.jpg?width=500&amp;height=375" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6aae76d0c24e4c69a912132a53f307da" /></p> <p>“Bit ‘boxed’ in their lil fella,” one person joked.</p> <p>“Got him! I’m never walking in my shed again” said another person. </p> <p>Max explained that the reptile was first discovered when a child went to get a toy from the shed.</p> <p>“Their kid had gone into the shed to go and get the toy and realised the toy was basically sitting on top of the python,” Max said.</p> <p>Max explained that pythons like to move to sheds and roof spaces in the winter to keep warm.</p> <p>“It’s a nice warm way to spend the day especially in winter,” he said.</p> <p>“They do tend to come with rodents as a free bonus too.”</p>

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'It's a joke': Ban on backyard barbecue smoke dubbed un-Australian

<p>One state in Australia is receiving backlash after drafting laws that aims to reduce the smoke created by backyard barbecues.</p> <p>The Tasmanian Government has released draft smoke laws that include limiting the number of landholders allowed to burn vegetation and toughening standards around wood-heater emissions.</p> <p>The Tasmanian BBQ Society has spoken out against the changes, which have been labelled as ‘un-Australian’, in fear it will make it easier to fine people if their barbecues produce too much smoke.</p> <p>"When you're talking about the amounts of smoke that some of these permit and controlled burns give off, in comparison to what is an Australian way of life — the barbecue — it's a joke," president Rowan Peterson told the <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-19/barbecue-smoke-ban-dubbed-un-australian/10012644"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>ABC</strong></span></a>.</p> <p>The draft regulations state that barbeque smoke is unlawful it is:</p> <p><em>(a) visible for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more; and</em></p> <p><em>(b) during that continuous 10-minute period is visible for a continuous period of 30 seconds — (i) in the case of a heating appliance or fireplace in a building, or part of a building at a distance of 10 metres or more from the point on the building, or part of the building, where the smoke is emitted; or (ii) in the case of a heating appliance or outdoor heating or cooking appliance or fireplace that is not in a building, or part of a building — at a distance of 10 metres or more from the point where the smoke is emitted.</em></p> <p>Mr Peterson believes that these laws could be maliciously used in spats between neighbours.</p> <p>"If you have a nasty neighbour and/or a grumpy person that lives in your street, in my opinion it's just a tenuous argument that they can use to cause more issues," he said.</p> <p>While much of the Draft Smoke Act is rewording of the rules introduced in 2007, the consequences have ramped up.</p> <p>Under the new changes, barbecuing Tassies could be fined two penalty units if their fire breaks smoke rules. Magistrates will also be able to impose fines of up to $1,600 as a maximum penalty in courts.</p> <p>"There's so many forms of barbecue that relate to so many cultures in Australia," Mr Peterson said.</p> <p>"Not only does it affect your backyard bloke doing chops and snags, it'll affect anyone potentially who wants to cook outdoors."</p> <p>Fellow member of the Tasmanian BBQ Society, Rowan Armitage, said authorities should be "tackling the big end of town".</p> <p>"How much damage does 500 barbecues on a Sunday afternoon do compared to the huge forestry burn-offs?" he asked.</p> <p>On social media, many residents criticised the changes.</p> <p>"Bugger off fun police, a smoking BBQ keeps the mozzies away," Brendon Nowak said.</p> <p>"They can fine me all they like I'll be still having a nice smoking BBQ unless it's a total fire ban," added Quinton Turner.</p> <p>What are your thoughts on the smoke laws? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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