Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

Mums share genius $29 Kmart creation

<p>Mothers around the country have taken to the internet to share photos of the different ways they styled their affordable Kmart bar cart.</p> <p>The trolley, which cost a mere $29 from the discount department store, appears to be plain when first opened, but the savvy mums got creative and styled it in different ways.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl7NV4MH32m/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl7NV4MH32m/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Kmart I love you 🍬 . . . . . #kmartaustralia #kmartaddict #drinkstrolley #lollytrolley #kmarttrolley #kmartlollyjars #candybar #allensredskins #naturalsconfectionary #mandms #newhomewares #homestyling #kmartaus #kmartmumsaustralia</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/magicalmumma/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> 💫✨magical~mumma✨💫👨🏻‍🎓👩🏻‍🎓👦🏻👶🏻</a> (@magicalmumma) on Jul 31, 2018 at 10:49pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>One woman uses the affordable cart to hold her wine bottles as she decorated the trolley with a cocktail shaker and an artificial plant.</p> <p>The woman who shared the creation was looking for advice on how to spruce up the cart further, and while social media users loved what she had done, they happily offered her suggestions and constructive criticism.</p> <p>“Looks perfect. Maybe it’s the colour you’re not happy with. I’ve seen some that have been coloured white or gold that look amazing,” one woman said.</p> <p>“I love it, maybe add something sparkly or some colour,” said another.</p> <p>The post then inspired other women to share their creations as one after the other shared photos of their bar cart creations, giving people plenty of style inspiration.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm1nUeDnwj7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm1nUeDnwj7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Loving this hack by @hatingkatie on the @kmartaus Drinks Trolley!!! Thanks for tagging me lovely! #kmartaus #kmartaustralia #kmartnz #kmartinspiredliving #kmartbargains #kmarthome #kmartnewfinds #kmartlovers #kmartstyling #kmartstyle #newtokmart #newfind #homedecor #decor #decorating #interiordesign #interiorstyle</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kmart_new_finds/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Kmart New Finds</a> (@kmart_new_finds) on Aug 23, 2018 at 3:12pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>One person used art-deco pink glasses and a bamboo tree to spice up the cheap trolley.</p> <p>She also placed the alcohol bottles onto a mirrored tray, which not only organised the cart but gave it a modern twist.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BkuP3gkHUty/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BkuP3gkHUty/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">New Find Alert 🚨 this drinks trolley has been picked up by @astylecollector in New Zealand for $35! Guessing it will be $29 in Australia when it hits our shelves. Thanks for the tag hun. #kmartaus #kmartaustralia #kmartnz #kmartinspiredliving #kmartbargains #kmarthome #kmartnewfinds #kmartlovers #kmartstyling #kmartstyle #newtokmart #newfind #homedecor #decor #decorating #interiordesign #interiorstyle</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kmart_new_finds/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Kmart New Finds</a> (@kmart_new_finds) on Jul 2, 2018 at 1:30am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>There was also a reoccurring theme of including an ice bucket or decorative pineapple pieces. One woman used fairy lights to give the whole trolley a whimsical feel. </p>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

The brilliant dryer hack that will put an end to ironing clothes forever

<p>Ironing is high up on the list of most dreaded chores, but if you’re feeling lazy and need crease-free clothes in a snap, then you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a trick that does exactly that.</p> <p>And the best part? It’s free.</p> <p>After putting your clothes in the dryer, place two or three ice cubes along with them and then raise the setting to the highest heat for a few minutes. Apparently, the hack should make your clothes look like they’ve been freshly steamed.</p> <p>And it works, as multiple people have tested out the trick and shared their results online.</p> <p>You may be trying to figure out the correlation between ice cubes and smooth clothes, and it’s simply because once the ice is melted, the heat from the dryer transforms the water into steam.</p> <p>So, not only are you getting dry, clean clothes, but now they’ve been pressed for you once they come out.</p> <p>However, there are some things to consider. It is advised by those who have tested the hack to not overfill the dryer if adding ice cubes, so a few shirts and trousers should be enough for one load.</p> <p>Once the trick gained traction online, many others came out with their own secrets to avoid ironing, such as hanging your clothes as soon as they’re out of the dryer.</p> <p>And also using a hairdryer as a steamer. Others say running a damp towel over dry clothes can help with crinkling.</p> <p>Or you might take to your kitchen cabinets, as experts believe that vinegar is the secret to soft linen, towels and bedding.</p> <p>“Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. Works better, and no, it doesn’t smell,” said one social media user after a woman asked for advice on how to keep her towels feeling brand new.</p> <p>Do you have any hacks to avoid ironing that you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

Cancer Council calls for review into world’s most popular weed killer

<p>Cancer Council Australia is calling for an independent review into the world’s most popular weed killer following reports that it has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.</p> <p>Weed and grass killer Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world and is very popular with farmers and gardeners in Australia.</p> <p>However, the controversial key ingredient in Roundup, the chemical glyphosate, has not been formally reviewed in Australia in more than two decades.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:340.292895309717px;" src="/media/7821182/image_.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0d69c5e316c84784863b06ee4a773e18" /></p> <p>In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) deemed glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, reported the <em style="font-weight: inherit;"><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-08/cancer-council-calls-for-review-amid-roundup-cancer-concerns/10337806"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>ABC</strong></span></a>.</em></p> <p>"We are concerned that this issue's not being taken seriously enough in Australia, particularly by the agricultural industry," Cancer Council Australia CEO Dr Sanchia Aranda said.</p> <p>"The IARC report is independent and does suggest that there is absolutely a reason for concern."</p> <p>The chemical, which was first introduced by Monsanto four decades ago, allows farmers to spray glyphosate to kill weeds before planting their next crop rather than ploughing or tilting fields.</p> <p>Roundup was advertised to farmers and home gardeners as being both safe and effective.</p> <p>Scott Partridge, the vice-president of Bayer, the company which recently bought Monsanto, said: "It is the safest herbicide that's ever been developed.”</p> <p>However, in August Californian man Dewayne Lee John was awarded $US289 million after claiming the weed killer was a key factor in causing his terminal cancer and that the company failed to warn him of the health risk.</p> <p>The trial uncovered company documents, known as the Monsanto Papers, which revealed the business attempting to ghost-write articles in support of the chemical, trying to undermine the IARC finding and internal concerns over the safety of their product.</p> <p>One uncovered email from 2003 revealed that Monsanto’s lead toxicologist warned that the company could not say that Roundup is not a carcinogen because they hadn’t done the necessary tests.</p> <p>Brent Wisner, a lawyer on the legal team that won the case, said: “"For the last 20 or 30 years, Monsanto has engaged in a systematic and deliberate campaign to attack any science that says their product is not safe and to attack any scientist that has the courage to say something.”</p> <p>Wisner added, "They have a corporate culture that has zero interest in safety. It has only an interest in maintaining the ability of them to sell this product."</p> <p>But Monsanto claims the documents used in court were “cherry-picked” and is challenging the jury verdict.</p> <p>Now in America, more than 9000 people are suing the company, claiming that the Roundup products led to their cancer.</p> <p>Australia’s regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), has not reviewed glyphosate since 1995.</p> <p>Concerns have also been raised about the regulator’s impartiality as it is primarily funded by the chemical companies it regulates.</p> <p>"Governments have an obligation to fund these kinds of agencies with public money so that transparency and independence can be assured," Dr Aranda said.</p> <p>Do you use Roundup weed killers? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

Can you spot the two-metre snake hiding in this sewing room?

<p style="text-align: left;">Your sewing room isn’t exactly the first place you’d expect to find a snake. But with plenty of nooks and crannies in this one, it would be the perfect place for a snake to rest its scales.</p> <p>A woman got a huge surprise yesterday when she found the two-metre coastal carpet python, calling reptile wrangling company Snake Catchers Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan &amp; Gold Coast to her Sherwood home, southwest of Brisbane</p> <p>In a post on the company’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/www.snakecatchers.com.au/" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page, the business said the snake “had made itself quite comfortable here in a sewing room of a Sherwood home. If it weren't for the few displaced items, the homeowner wouldn't have noticed it.”</p> <p>A photo of the room, with the snake hiding, was posted on Facebook by the company which started a game of what we’re calling “Where’s Snakey?”</p> <p><img style="width: 243.137px; height: 500px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821151/hiding-snake-full.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4359988693f94a9bbee2df1c92ec4038" /></p> <p> </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwww.snakecatchers.com.au%2Fposts%2F885394811649133%3Fcomment_id%3D885567401631874&amp;include_parent=false" width="560" height="153" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwww.snakecatchers.com.au%2Fposts%2F885394811649133%3Fcomment_id%3D885524158302865&amp;include_parent=false" width="560" height="133" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwww.snakecatchers.com.au%2Fposts%2F885394811649133%3Fcomment_id%3D885760814945866&amp;include_parent=false" width="560" height="133" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>As the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6237721/Homeowner-Queensland-gets-shock-finds-snake-cluttered-sewing-room.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em> reports, snake catcher Jasmine Zeleny said that coastal carpet pythons can grow to a length of up to three metres and were often caught in Brisbane.</p> <p>“They’re a non-venomous species, and they do very well in an urban environment,” she said.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821152/snake-reveal.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1da829d9459e4aa8b5a4efc806a50eb0" /></p> <p>How long did it take you to spot the snake? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

Prince Charles and Camilla's extreme laundry ritual leaves royal fans baffled

<div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>For most people, ironing is a dreaded chore that, if possible, would be avoided at all costs. But no one has it as hard as the staff members who work for the royal family.</p> <p>While the British royals are known to live the high life, it has recently been revealed that a single bed sheet for members of the family must be ironed for at least one hour as there cannot be a single crease visible and people are baffled at the revelation.</p> <p><em>Queen of the World</em> – the new documentary that shows an exclusive preview into the lives of the royal family – featured one segment that showed just how much effort was needed when Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, stayed in Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.</p> <p>To ensure the couple have a comfortable experience, their bed linen must be crease free and immaculate.</p> <p>“There are special sheets that are used for members of the royal family and they’re kept aside and brought out on only those special occasions when they’re here,” said Christine MacIntyre, the master of the household.</p> <p>“It takes over an hour to iron one sheet … After a long day of travelling there’s nothing better than getting into a bed that doesn’t feel like a hotel bed,” she says.</p> <p>“And that’s what you’re trying to do, is to make it feel like they’re in their own bedroom and they are.”</p> <p>And it isn’t the responsibility of one person to iron out each crease, as there are two people working together to ensure the sheet is smooth.</p> <p>After the segment aired, viewers took to social media to air their opinions on the protocol.</p> <p>“Over an hour to iron a bed sheet?! Bet the Royals wouldn’t even notice if it didn’t happen. #QueenoftheWorld,” one viewer wrote.</p> <p>“Stick [it] in the tumble dryer. It’ll be fine,” another said.</p> <p>Do you think ironing one sheet for an hour is excessive? Let us know in the comments below.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

New recycling rules in force – do you know what each label means?

<p>Thanks to a new label launched by the government yesterday, shoppers will now find it easier to sort out their recycling.</p> <p>The Australasian Recycling Label clearly states what parts of the packaging are to be recycled and what needs to be disposed of in landfill.</p> <p>For a long time, people have dealing with confusion around what they are able to recycle, as many times the packaging features many different components.</p> <p>For example, the photo below is a label you may find on a box of chocolates.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7821028/imagev1b75d838bfa346ae366f045adb675f0cb-v9ro60hra01szvjn0r2_t460.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3d73ffa5ae1d4db186209dcaddd2b724" /></p> <p>The image clearly states that the box is recyclable as it is made out of cardboard and the tray which consists of plastic may be recyclable depending on the council you belong to, and then the wrap is not recyclable so should be disposed of in the rubbish bin.</p> <p>When coming across the label and the instruction to “check locally”, you can visit <a rel="noopener" href="https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/" target="_blank">RecyclingNearYou.com.au</a> to check your council’s policy.</p> <p>Over 50 Australian businesses have joined the program including Australia Post, Blackmores, Nestle, Officeworks, Unilever and Woolworths.</p> <p>The label hopes to meet Australia’s 2025 targets to ensure 100 per cent of all packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable.</p> <p>The aim of the target is to have 70 per cent of Australia's plastic packaging recycled by the year 2025, and to make sure that any new packaging being introduced contains an average of 30 per cent recycled material.</p> <p>Environment Minister Melissa Price launched the label at the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s Towards 2025 event in Melbourne yesterday.</p> <p>Ms Price said it would remove confusion surrounding recycling and reduce waste.</p> <p>“[It] provides people with easy to understand recycling information when they need it most, in those few seconds when they are deciding what bin the packaging goes in,” she said.</p> <p>After China introduced tough new standards that meant most waste from Australia would no longer be accepted, Australia’s recycling industry has been thrown into a crisis.</p> <p>Australia produces a massive amount of waste a year, with the number being at 64 million tonnes a year. 35 million tones is then recycled and four million tonnes is sent overseas to be disposed of. Out of that number, 1.3 million tonnes is exported to China.</p> <p>In order to reach the 2025 recycling goals, waste sorting and recovery will need upgrades and extra support for recycling markets will be needed.</p> <p>Australia’s National Waste Policy is currently under review and will be looking at the entire supply chain process from creation through to use, collection, recovery and recycling of packaging waste.</p>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

"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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

"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>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

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>

Home & Garden