Home Hints & Tips

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9 ways to unwrinkle your clothes without an iron

<p><strong>No iron? No problem.</strong></p> <p>We’ve all experienced that horrible feeling of dressing for an important engagement only to discover that the shirt we were planning to wear to that job interview, big meeting or dressy event is full of wrinkles. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, a shirt will not unwrinkle as you wear it. But there’s no reason to panic! We’re going to show you how to get wrinkles out of clothes without an iron.</p> <p>Some of these methods may surprise you, and some will come in especially handy when you’re travelling. So let’s get to it.</p> <p><strong>Unwrinkle clothes in the dryer</strong></p> <p><span>Curious how to get wrinkles out of clothes without spending your whole morning tending to each garment? Toss ’em in the dryer. First, check your garments’ labels for the laundry symbols to determine whether you can safely tumble dry them. If you can, spritz the items with water and toss them in with a damp item or two (like damp socks). You can even throw a couple of ice cubes into the dryer. When they melt, they give off steam that’ll help your garments ditch their wrinkles.</span></p> <p><strong>Use a hair dryer to get wrinkles out of clothes</strong></p> <p><span>Lay the wrinkled item on a flat surface and blast hot air with your hair dryer. Keep the dryer a few centimetres above the fabric. Like magic, the wrinkles will disappear before your eyes. You can spritz or flick a few drops of water on the item before blowing it dry to help soften it.</span></p> <p><strong>Steam away wrinkles in the shower</strong></p> <p><span>You know how to hand-wash clothes when you’re away from home. Now learn how to unwrinkle a shirt when you’re travelling. Hang the wrinkled item in the bathroom when you shower. Shut the door to create a sauna effect. It may take up to 20 minutes of hanging in the sauna-like atmosphere to completely remove the wrinkles.</span></p> <p><strong>Use a hair straightener to unwrinkle clothing</strong></p> <p><span>A flat hair iron works really well on stubborn wrinkles, especially for hard-to-iron areas like collars, cuffs and sleeves. Just make sure your device isn’t rusty, stained with hair products, or holding loose hairs. And be careful of the heat setting and the pressure you use. You don’t want to damage your clothing or burn yourself.</span></p> <p><strong>Release wrinkles with a damp towel</strong></p> <p><span>This is such a simple method, but it totally works. On a flat surface, place a damp towel over the wrinkled clothing. Use your hands to press down and smooth out deep creases. Hang the item to air dry.</span></p> <p><strong>Try spray vinegar</strong></p> <p><span>You can actually make your own DIY wrinkle-release spray using white vinegar. It’s cheap, gentle and chemical-free. Mist the wrinkled garment with a mix of one-part vinegar and three-parts water, then let it air dry. Vinegar in your washing machine is also a great way to deodorise and clean clothes.</span></p> <p><strong>Steam out wrinkles with a kettle</strong></p> <p><span>Did you know, you can get wrinkles out of clothes with nothing more than a teapot? Boil water in a kettle, then hold your garment about 30 centimetres away from the steam. Voilà! Wrinkles are gone.</span></p> <p><strong>Make an iron out of a saucepan</strong></p> <p><span>Boil some water in a metal saucepan. When it reaches a rolling boil, toss the water down the sink. You’re going to use the bottom of the saucepan as an iron to smooth out the wrinkles in your garment. Make sure the bottom of the pot is clean, though, and be careful because it’s going to be hot.</span></p> <p><strong>Tuck it under a mattress</strong></p> <p><span>Here’s how to get wrinkles out of clothes with nothing but your mattress. Lay your garment on a flat surface, smooth out the wrinkles, and then roll it up like a burrito. Slide your fabric burrito under the mattress and wait 15 to 30 minutes. Remove it and – surprise! – no more wrinkles.</span></p> <p><span><em>Written by Lois Alter Mark and Lauren Diamond. This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/9-ways-to-unwrinkle-your-clothes-without-an-iron" target="_blank">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></span></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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6 ways to give your living room a revamp

<p><span>With spring in the air, your living room could be looking a little lacklustre. Read on for our quick and simple makeover ideas on how to refresh the space without breaking the bank.</span></p> <p><strong>Fill the floor</strong></p> <p><span>A statement rug is one of the easiest ways to change up the look of a room with minimal effort. Whether you have hard or carpeted floors in your living room, a rug acts as another layer of tactility and can be used as a focal point to ground your overall scheme. </span></p> <p><span>If you’re nervous of going for a patterned design, opt for something subtle like a stripe or Berber-style zigzag that will add interest without overwhelming the room. High pile rugs are ideal for creating a sense of cosiness and adding a soft touch underfoot, and will instantly give your room a plush and luxurious finish. If you’re after something more hardwearing, on the other hand, a low pile rug may be a more practical option for everyday maintenance, particularly if your living space is a thoroughfare to other parts of the house.</span></p> <p><strong>Get picture perfect</strong></p> <p><span>Bored of looking at the same four walls? Switching your artwork is another speedy solution for making your living room feel brand new. Whether you simply rearrange their positions on the walls, or update the prints or photographs within the frames, this simple change can be done for next to nothing and in just a few hours. Take down all your existing wall décor, including art and mirrors, so you can view the room in a fresh light before deciding where to re-hang each piece. </span></p> <p><span>Swapping the position of a mirror above a fireplace with an existing painting from another part of the room, for example, can make a big difference and help you fall in love with the space all over again.</span></p> <p><strong>Do a quick fix</strong></p> <p><span>Investing in a new lounge isn’t always an option, so take the next best route and re-curate your cushion collection. Cushions can be one of the most affordable parts of a scheme to update, so switch out any dated designs and replace them, either wholly or with new covers. For a new look, change the colour palette and patterns, and tie these in with any other soft furnishings within the room, whether that be rugs, throws or window dressings, to make sure they complement the scheme.</span></p> <p><strong>Time to move</strong></p> <p><span>Similarly to rearranging your existing wall décor, changing the configuration of your living room layout is another simple way to refresh the look and feel of the space without splashing any cash. As a main focal point in many living spaces, the television often dictates the angling of certain furniture, so try switching this first as your starting point. Repositioning armchairs and lounges will change your viewpoint of the room when it’s in use, so consider these before moving onto smaller pieces like sideboards, side tables or shelving units which are easier to slot in later on. Even changing the position of accessories, such as lamps, clocks or ornaments, will help to change up the look.</span></p> <p><strong>Go green</strong></p> <p><span>If your living room is looking bare, adding house plants is a smart way to reintroduce some greenery. A large potted plant is a great way to fill a gap in any room and you’ll be amazed as how it can instantly freshen up the space. Smaller potted plants on shelves or a mantelpiece will also help a tired scheme feel lifted – just be sure to do your research before purchasing your plants, as they all have different requirements when it comes to daylight and positioning within a room. It’s also advised to check which plants are safe around animals, if you have pets in the household.</span></p> <p><strong>Shine a light</strong></p> <p>A great idea that you should go ahead with is fitting stylish wall lights designed to bring an ambient glow to any room. By fixing lights designed to be installed onto the wall you can completely transform the living room, creating a warming atmosphere.</p> <p>There is a reason the best hotels, restaurants and meeting places add attractive and eye- catching details like this to their rooms and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t do the same in your home. It does not matter if your living room is modern, traditional or completely unique to your quirkiness, there are thousands of lighting options available for you.</p> <p>It is a great idea to install wall lights that match your ceiling light. Homeowners look for pendant lights because they bring a grand feel and a soothing glow.</p> <p>Wall lights come in many shapes and sizes. You can choose the most suitable material for your living rooms current décor. The leading online retailers will have a variety of industrial, brass, chrome, vintage options that can really bring your living room to life!</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Cassie Pryce. This article first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/6-ways-to-give-your-living-room-a-revamp" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Shutterstock</span></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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The Block’s Scotty Cam weighs in on “identical bedrooms”

<p>After days of controversy on-air and online, <em>The Block</em> host Scott Cam has weighed in on contestants Luke and Jasmin’s “copycatted” bedroom.</p> <p>The TV host has determined the kids bedroom is “virtually identical” to the room they have been accused of ripping off.</p> <p>Cam couldn’t resist stirring the pot on Wednesday night’s episode, by making sure Luke and Jasmin’s competitors knew something was wrong, a day after judge Shaynna Blaze had visited the pair to confront the pair on-air.</p> <p>The WA couple received a perfect score of 30 for their kid’s bedroom and bathroom on Sunday’s episode.<br /><br />However eagle-eyed viewers found the winning room was incredibly similar to a kid’s bedroom at a popular Byron Bay Airbnb created by design company <em>The Designory.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838121/dailies-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/59a4ddcd1a374b32bea6088e5e0387c0" /><br />Blaze confronted the two in Tuesday’s episode, informing them that there was a difference between “inspiration” and “completely taking someone else’s idea”.<br /><br />“Hey, did Shaynna come and visit you guys yesterday?” Cam asked the South Australian couple Daniel and Jade during his visit one episode later.<br /><br />“Because you know, it’s not always good news when Shaynna comes visiting. That’s all I’m saying. Alright, let’s go,” he said.<br /><br />A couple of houses down with Jimmy and Tam, Cam couldn’t play coy any longer.<br /><br />“Did you hear about Shaynna popping in next door? What’s your thoughts?” he asked the pair, who were aware of the reason for Shaynna’s visit.<br /><br />Jimmy and Tam showed their reluctance on speaking ill of Luke and Jasmin.<br /><br />“Umm … in all honesty, we’re not that worried about it. We know that other people might have a few issues about it. Jas did show me the image, and it does have a … very similar influence,” said Tam.<br /><br />Tam said she and Jimmy had “made sure” to keep their designs original.</p> <p><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838122/dailies-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5793ad5db94b471796679c047fbc7780" /><br />“I don’t really look at too much inspiration. I don’t have Instagram, I don’t have Facebook – I don’t want other people’s designs in our house,” she said.<br /><br />Luke and Jasmin told news.com.au that they were “blindsided” by Shaynna Blaze's visit, labelling her “insincere” and a “smart-arse.”<br /><br />The couple have since deleted their Facebook page and restricted comments on their joint Instagram account after being met with a heap of criticism from viewers.<br /><br />2019’s couple Mitch and Mark reached out to Luke and Jasmin with a message of “support and positive wishes”.<br /><br />“Hope you guys are doing OK &amp; know from our experience it all goes away,” the pair wrote in a comment on Luke and Jasmin’s latest Instagram post.<br /><br />“It’s definitely come as a surprise just how nasty the online world can be. We’ve never had people dislike us. So this is all new,” Luke and Jas said.<br /><br />“We’ve deleted Facebook so we don’t see anything on there. Staying positive about our beautiful home and focusing on the rooms left and the auction.”</p>

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$1.80 Woolies hack that transforms shower “in minutes”

<p>A mum has cracked the ultimate cleaning code this week, discovering the perfect solution to a grimy shower that works in a matter of minutes.</p> <p>If you have black shower grout, the solution seems to be sitting in pantries and cleaning cupboards this entire time.</p> <p>Taking to Facebook to share the transformation, Paula showed off her shower and it instantly caught people’s attention.</p> <p>Living in Victoria, the lockdown didn’t stop Paula from having a squeaky clean shower and she seemed to have the magic product sitting at home.</p> <p>“I've cracked the code! And it only took minutes,” she wrote in a post that has since exploded on a cleaning Facebook page.</p> <p>“Here's a [photo] of dirty grout in a rental, that was years old. This took me only a few minutes and not a lot of effort – I couldn't believe my eyes!”</p> <p>Posting the before and after photos side by side, the first shot shows the shower with deep, black grout, and in the second, it was completely clean.</p> <p>“After trying every product, and every 'formula' under the sun, I decided to experiment with my own,” she revealed in the post.</p> <p>Paula mixed household bleach with bicarbonate soda, mixing it into a paste that got rid of the mould in seconds.</p> <p>She then applied the paste to the grout with a toothbrush.</p> <p>“In most places, I didn't even leave it,” she revealed. “Just a light brushing it was gone in an instant. Unbelievable.”</p> <p>Hundreds of people commented on the post, praising the nifty mum for the hack.</p> <p>“Looks great .. nice work,” one onlooker wrote. “I love bicarb it’s so versatile.”</p> <p>“Amazing, thanks for the tip,” another shared. “I tried it on my bathroom floor tiles tonight and it worked a treat.”</p> <p>“I also use this on the rubber area of the front loader washing machine, cleans up the mould beautifully,” another advised.</p> <p>Paula revealed that she had finally come across the trick after ‘decades’ of trying different methods.</p>

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DIY “man cave” tips for the perfect home escape

<p><em>Building a private space in your home where you can get away and relax is the perfect DIY project. Kennards Hire equipment specialist ‘Benny from The Block’ shares his tips to help get your man cave up and running.</em></p> <p>“Man cave” might conjure up a vision of Pirelli calendars and poker nights, and you’re partly right. But today’s man cave can be a music room, TV room, party room, or workshop. The important thing is that it's a private space where you can get away from the routines of domestic life.</p> <p>One person that knows the benefits of some quality ‘me time’ is <em>The Block’s</em> equipment specialist, Benny. Besides working all hours keeping contestants supplied with quality equipment, he’s also a busy dad to a 3-year-old. Building a private space in your home where you can get away and relax is the perfect DIY project, and Benny’s happy to share his tips to help get your man cave up and running.</p> <p><strong>Budget friendly</strong></p> <p>“Building a man cave from scratch is a big task but converting a garage to a man cave is a way to make the job budget-friendly, and well within the skillset of the average DIYer,” said Benny.</p> <p><strong>Back to basics</strong></p> <p>First you need to work out how big of a space you’re working with. Measure up, get some graph paper and work out how you might use it.</p> <p>Then decide all the fittings. How many power points and lights are needed? Will you need heating or cooling? Will your man cave have a sound system, bar fridge or computer? These are all important questions to ask yourself when getting started.</p> <p>“After deciding on your budget and how you will use the space, it's time to de-clutter and give the garage a good vacuum to create a blank canvas. An <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=ulyvlZG98NNcNzH7AG52u2087iAAWXJ5KXOcQLR76o6ECYvF0FfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.kennards.com.au%2fvacuum-cleaner-industrial.html%3ftrackParams%3d2467-1-4-99.33">industrial vacuum cleaner from Kennards Hire</a> makes this easy," said Benny.</p> <p><strong>Fixing the floor</strong></p> <p>A concrete slab is a ready-made and durable floor, which saves you money on putting down a new one. Benny suggests a <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=2H9Aub9kukGYFu4c09CES5tpNtzL7y9kw4XLI-eAThSECYvF0FfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.kennards.com.au%2fconcrete%2fsurface-preparation%2fconcrete-renovator1.html">concrete renovator</a> to remove paint, epoxies, resins, grout and adhesives, then take a high speed <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=PhhWYzygov2a4m7kJcpgOIffRKKXCkBdWFuUMvzJHTiECYvF0FfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.kennards.com.au%2fconcrete%2fsurface-preparation%2fburnisher-400mm.html">concrete burnisher</a> to buff the surface to a fine, smooth finish.</p> <p>The final step is to apply a high gloss epoxy floor coating such as <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=LFktHd_U2JUVVoRBck3geb1EK6hQgHa6JB4rrW14pMOECYvF0FfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.kennards.com.au%2ffloor-sealer-epimax-pro-333wb-xp-clr-20l.html%3ftrackParams%3d5670-1-1-100">Epimax Pro</a>, a water-based concrete sealant that’s easy for any DIYer to apply and clean up.<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Insulating for year-round use (and soundproofing!)</strong></p> <p>Next is temperature control. Is your garage insulated? Good insulation will make your man cave more comfortable, all year round, and helps reduce heating and cooling costs. Insulation will also reduce noise transfer to give you some peace and quiet.</p> <p><strong>Interior lining</strong></p> <p>If your garage is brick, you might want to line the interior walls to lighten up the space. Plasterboard is reasonably easy to install with two people, and it’s forgiving if you make mistakes. But it can also be a slow and messy job if you’re doing it by hand and hiring a <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=SnJeBJZCu8QJX0ANcktuLeAFpcRHrHt-pntseAO9B5aECYvF0FfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.kennards.com.au%2fsander-plasterboard-includes-vacuum.html%3ftrackParams%3d4130-1-1-94.15">plasterboard sander with vacuum</a> from Kennards Hire can reduce the time and mess.</p> <p><strong>Finishing touches</strong></p> <p>“Paint is a cheap and easy way to achieve the look you want for your man cave - whether you're going for a bright and airy studio or a bar after dark vibe. If you have a large area to cover or you just want to speed up the job, an <a href="https://email.directgroup.com.au/owa/redir.aspx?C=UOOoCIM86WWYC_i760FbW4YcKsk0o6Plv35kl6IIAPGECYvF0FfYCA..&amp;URL=https%3a%2f%2fwww.kennards.com.au%2fsprayer-airless-large.html%3ftrackParams%3d3382-1-3-99.37">airless sprayer</a> can speed things up,” said Benny.</p> <p>“Finish off by furnishing the space. A pool table, a bar, surround sound TV, bookshelves, a piano, a potter’s wheel … the only limit is your imagination and your budget.”</p>

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Block-busting DIY tips from The Block’s Benny and Dave

<p>For the seventh consecutive year, Kennards Hire is again the official hire company supplier of Channel Nine’s longest-running reality TV series, <em>The Block</em>. </p> <p>Now in its 16th season, five teams are busily transforming five family homes from five decades in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Brighton.</p> <p>As returning equipment hire sponsor, Kennards Hire introduced the five highly competitive couples to their new Kennards Hire man-on-the-ground, Ben McTaggart – affectionately known as “Benny from The Block”. And now, along with landscape specialist Dave Franklin, we can reveal the pair’s favourite backyard and frontyard DIY tips:</p> <ol> <li><strong> Timber deck restoration reminders</strong></li> </ol> <p>“When getting started on your restoration you need to first clean down the deck and assess any damage. Make sure all the nails are punched firmly down before firing up the <span><a href="https://www.kennards.com.au/floor-sander.html">floor</a></span> sander to even out any chips or marks in the timber. Depending on how much work is needed, an <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kennards.com.au/sander-orbital.html?trackParams=2441-1-1-100.00" target="_blank">orbital</a></span> sander is another useful option. Then it’s time to grab your preferred oil or stain and seal everything in to get your deck looking good as new.”</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong> Outdoor ambience </strong></li> </ol> <p>“A sunken area with a fire pit, some cushion seating, candles and a hanging chair are great, simple ways to set the mood in an outdoor space. But the key to creating the perfect ambience in a backyard of any size is outdoor lighting, establishing a beautiful atmosphere that you can enjoy well into the night.”</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong> Home pool excavating </strong></li> </ol> <p>“Pool excavating isn’t just for professionals, and with the right equipment is a fun job for DIYers looking to tackle a larger project. Before getting started you will need a permit, however once sorted use a <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kennards.com.au/turf-cutter.html?trackParams=96474-1-1-100.00" target="_blank">turf cutter</a></span> to take up the turf and mark out the area of the pool. Make sure you check for any electrical or gas lines, before hopping on the <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kennards.com.au/excavator-mini-1-8t1.html?trackParams=75-1-29-100" target="_blank">excavator</a></span> or bob cat to get digging.”</p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong> Equipment needed for a retaining wall</strong></li> </ol> <p>“To understand what you’re dealing with and the right equipment needed, first work out whether it’s going to be a sleeper or masonry wall. You will then need a <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkJiAkSPCVU&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">laser level</a></span> to establish the height, plus an excavator and <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kennards.com.au/plate-compactor-60kg.html?trackParams=676-2-5-100" target="_blank">compacting plate</a></span>. But every job is different and it’s best you consult a Kennards Hire team member who can give you the right advice for the job.”</p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong> Finishing touches</strong></li> </ol> <p>“If you have any old pots laying about the backyard, you can wash them up and breath in new life with a fresh coat of paint. Finish off by spreading mulch around the garden and planting some natives. It’s a simple way to revitalise your outdoor space.”</p>

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Mum’s miracle hack for restoring ruined chopping boards

<p>An online Melbourne mum and avid Tik Tok user by the name of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@mama_mila_/video/6862601561869241606" target="_blank">Mama Mila</a> has wowed fans with her amazing hack to bring scratched wooden chopping boards back to life – and it’s so easy you can get it done in just minutes.</p> <p>“This hack is so quick and it's completely chemical-free,” writes Mila. “Just cut a lemon in half and rub the entire board with the juice. Once you've rubbed the board with lemon juice, sprinkle coarse sea salt and rub that in with a cloth.”</p> <p>Leave it for a few moments, and then rinse the board and leave it to dry.</p> <p>“Finally, rub it with mineral oil as this prevents it from absorbing moisture and cracking over time.”  </p> <p><strong>METHOD</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut a lemon in half and rub the lemon juice into your wooden chopping board.</li> <li>Sprinkle coarse sea salt and rub it in with a microfibre cloth.</li> <li>Leave for a few moments, then rinse the board and leave it to dry.</li> <li>Rub is with a mineral oil to prevent it from absorbing moisture and cracking over time.</li> </ol> <p>Thousands who viewed the quick and easy hack were blown away by just how simple and effective it is, writing “OMG” and “this is fantastic”.</p> <p>“I need this,” another wrote, “my board just cracked.”</p> <p>Others said they would definitely try it for themselves.</p> <p><strong>IMAGES:</strong> Tik Tok / <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@mama_mila_/video/6862601561869241606" target="_blank">Mama Mila</a></p>

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DIY gorgeous hanging decoration for less than $50

<p>An enterprising Aussie woman has shared how she made a gorgeous wall decoration for under $50 using supplies from Bunnings and Spotlight.</p> <p>When she discovered that designs similar to the one she wanted to make retailed for upwards of $180, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDF8HloA2dk/">Keira Rumble</a>, owner of Krumbled Foods, decided to make have a go at making and hanging the decorations herself.</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/CDF8HloA2dk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/CDF8HloA2dk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">So turns out I’ve become a DIY’er in 2020 and I’m not mad about it 🤣💁🏼‍♀️ After I built this bedhead, I decided that I needed something to hang above it. I kept on seeing similar wall hangings going for a cool $180+ each. These hangings cost me $9-11 each, they were so easy to make (check out my story highlights under DIY) and I did them while kicking back and watching Schitts Creek on Netflix. Better yet, all you need is 3 things, raffia + little 3m hooks both found at @bunnings and craft rings. Paid Partnership @bunnings #DIYJULY #diy #pinterest #raffiadiy #homedecor #homediydecor</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/krumble/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Keira Rumble</a> (@krumble) on Jul 25, 2020 at 10:01pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She made a trio of circular wall hangings using only three materials that cost a total of $47.40 and shared the DIY process with her 404,000 Instagram followers.</p> <p>Rumble used Grunt Craft Raffia Rope, Command Medium Clear Adhesive Wall Hooks from Bunnings and bought three craft rings from Spotlight. </p> <p>Not only did she save money by making the decoration herself, she also enjoyed the creative design process.</p> <p>But while the craft project was simple to make, Keira said the method was repetitive and time consuming complete.</p> <p>'This makes it an easy project to multitask and do while watching television (I created mine whilst watching Schitts Creek on Netflix) or alternatively it's a great way to relax and unwind after a long day,' she wrote on Instagram.</p> <p><em><strong>How to make a wall decoration like Rumble’s:</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Materials:</strong></p> <p>4 x <a href="https://www.bunnings.com.au/grunt-100m-craft-raffia-rope_p4310756">Grunt 100m Craft Raffia Rope </a></p> <p>2 x <a href="https://www.bunnings.com.au/command-medium-clear-adhesive-wall-hooks-2-pack_p3950277">Command Medium Clear Adhesive Wall Hooks </a></p> <p>3 x craft rings from Spotlight</p> <p><strong> </strong><strong>Method: </strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1: </strong>Research to get your DIY inspiration on Pinterest and Bunnings.com.au</p> <p><strong>Step 2: </strong>Start by measuring out your desired length for the raffia and cut into equal lengths. For a more organic look, each length of raffia doesn't need to be exact</p> <p>Note to create a three-ring wall hanging like this, you'll need approximately four packets of 100m raffia rope</p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> Fold a piece of raffia in half and thread it through itself to attach to the ring. Continue repeating this until you've filled your ring. Remember to regularly bunch pieces of raffia you've threaded together tightly to create overlap - this will ensure your wall hanging is full and has enough volume</p> <p><strong>Step 4:</strong> To complete your wall hanging, trim the ends of the raffia (if required) to create a more even circular shape and hang on your chosen wall with a hook! </p> <p>She then stuck the adhesive wall hooks to the wall and placed the gorgeous decorations above her bed.</p> <p>The social media post swiftly received more than 12,000 'likes' from Keira's followers who were more than impressed with the result and some were inspired to make the design themselves. </p> <p><em>Images: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDF8HloA2dk/">Keira Rumble</a> / Instagram</em></p>

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Woman rescues $3000 couch using a $3 ALDI find

<p>A woman has revealed how she made an incredible “$2549 saving” using a $3 product from ALDI.</p> <p>Alex Oates, from Melbourne, purchased an expensive second-hand couch online for $450, but when she went to pick it up she discovered it was in a “much worse state than the pictures showed”.</p> <p>Originally costing $2999 from Freedom Furniture, Alex was adamant that she could return it back to its original condition.</p> <p>“I probably searched Facebook Marketplace for two months until I found the couch I wanted,” the 30-year-old mum told news.com.au.</p> <p>“But when I picked it up it had heaps of stains that you couldn’t see in the photos. There were spot stains, pen scribbles and rub marks from their dog. It looked terrible.”</p> <p><img style="width: 382.53968253968253px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837301/screen-shot-2020-08-11-at-121757-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c9c62c6797d14681b84d09fc6533f5c2" /></p> <p>Luckily for Alex, she previously invested in a Bissel machine - a popular upholstery cleaner - and decided to use Di San, a $3 stain remover from ALDI, to deep clean the couch.</p> <p>“I couldn’t guarantee it was going to work but it was worth a shot for a couple of hours of my time and a $2500 saving off buying it brand new,” she said.</p> <p>“I sprayed the spot stains with the Di San and let them sit while I removed the cushion covers and sprayed them before running them through the washing machine,” she explained.</p> <p>“I then got the Bissell machine and put the Di San solution into the tank and filled with water and cleaned the couch.”</p> <p>After two hours of hard work, Alex managed to remove all the stains except one, which was located at the bottom of the couch. </p> <p>“We are 100% happy with the results, hubby was very weary about it when I first said we would go second-hand but he’s now very happy with the couch.”</p> <p>The post quickly gained people’s attention, with many praising Alex for restoring the piece of furniture rather than buying it brand new. </p> <p>“OMG I love hearing stuff like this. Well done. You give me hope as I’m currently looking for a new couch myself and probably the same budget as well,” one woman wrote.</p> <p>“Looks fabulous … great score,” another said.</p> <p>“You did a great job, well done,” some added.</p>

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Eagle-eyed shopper reveals secret meaning behind code on ALDI packaging

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>An eagle-eyed ALDI shopper has found a little known fact on the back of several supermarket goods.</p> <p>She shared the findings on the popular Facebook group ALDI Mums and pointed out an easy-to-miss code on the back of ALDI's seafood products that provides information about which country and region the fish originated from. </p> <p>Australian products are required to have location details on the packs, but the extra known detail allows customers to source even more information.</p> <p>All you have to do is flip your ALDI seafood item over and locate a number and use the digits to look up the information.</p> <p>“I know seafood gets a bad call out,” the shopper posted to the group.</p> <p>“I just wanted to share something with you all that I learnt and hopefully it will solve all the ‘do you know where your fish comes from’ dramas.”</p> <p>She went on to explain that each box has a “code” for the fish area/catchment area it is caught.</p> <p>“You can then look it up to know which areas your fish has come from and what practices they use.”</p> <p>The shopper shared an image of her seafood buy, sharing the code "FAO 81", which reveals the catchment covers a significant part of the Southwest Pacific.</p> <p>“Hope this helps everyone in the future,” she wrote.</p> <p>Many of the Facebook members thanked the woman for sharing her handy tip.</p> <p>“That’s great info! Thanks for sharing,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“This is so helpful, thank you,” said another.</p> <p>“Very useful information thanks for sharing,” a third commented, while a woman added, “Very interesting. I looked it up on Google. Great how it shows the world areas.”</p> <p>The original poster explained that she understands that the German supermarket chain is making "great progress to be sustainable, responsible and accountable".</p> <p>“Personally, I don’t buy non-Australian and was pleasantly surprised to see this info.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Tip of the lid: savvy Kmart fan shares thrifty $7 hack

<p><span>If you have saucepan lids lying around your kitchen and nowhere to store them, then keep reading.</span></p> <p><span>It turns out file racks aren’t just for sorting all the documents in your home office – they’re quite handy in the kitchen too.</span></p> <p><span>One savvy homeowner has shared her hack for storing saucepan lids using an inexpensive file rack from Kmart.</span></p> <p><span>“For anyone else who’s short on storage in their kitchen (this is underneath an island bench) we’ve used this metal file rack to store our saucepan lids,” Rosie Francis shared on Facebook.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img style="width: 368.9700130378096px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836762/screen-shot-2020-07-01-at-11414-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/70aa82d32702457abff5d4362c2fae8d" /></span></p> <p><span>She then shared a photo showing her lids neatly organised according to size.</span></p> <p><span>It didn’t take long for other Kmart fans to reveal how they make use of the file rack, helping them organise everything from trays to chopping boards.</span></p> <p><span>“I have my baking trays and slice tins in one,” said one user.</span></p> <p><span>“I use them for baking trays and chopping boards,” another added.</span></p> <p><span>“Great idea. I hate my lids pile in the cupboard,” said another.</span></p> <p><span>And what’s even better, is that it only costs $7.</span></p>

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Woman’s amazingly helpful discovery during home renovation

<p>A Queensland woman has made an unexpected discovery on the wall of her home during a renovation.</p> <p>The woman was peeling off the wallpaper in her room when she found a scrawled note dating back to over 22 years ago, which detailed a tip from the previous owner.</p> <p>“If you ever need to wallpaper this room again, it will take 8 rolls of wallpaper,” the note read.</p> <p>“I bought just six rolls at $17 per roll [on December 5, 1997] and didn’t have enough. It really pissed me off.”</p> <p>The message was signed off by Jon on December 21, 1997.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836514/wallpaper2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/af4b27211df04024a6ee9d214c362dd7" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Source: Facebook/ Bunnings Mums Australia</em></p> <p>The woman shared a snap of the finding on the Bunnings Mums Facebook page with the caption: “Only a DIY mum would be this helpful.”</p> <p>People flocked to comment the post, praising the former owner as “thoughtful” and “brilliant”.</p> <p>“Thanks for the tip Jon. I hope you’ve finally gotten over it. I’m sure it’s a story that’s still told,” one wrote.</p> <p>“There needs to be more people like Jon in the world,” another commented.</p> <p>One asked whether the advice would be suitable to the conditions today: “But what if wallpaper now comes in different standard widths or lengths?”</p>

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“Works awesome!”: New cleaning hack will get rid of tough shower stains

<p>A new shower cleaning hack has gone viral, much to the delight of people who clean around the world.</p> <p>The new trick sees people using a magic sponge with a dishwasher tablet inside the sponge which helps remove tough stains.</p> <p>One mum shared her impressive results with the popular Facebook group<span> </span><em>Mums Who Clean</em>.</p> <p>“My husband is a mechanic, so our shower cops a lot from all his hand washes to get the grease off,” Lauren said.</p> <p>“I tried the magic sponge and dishwasher tablet. Five minutes and not much effort!”</p> <p>She revealed her technique, explaining that she lets the magic sponge get very wet before removing part of the sponge and inserting the dishwasher tablet into the sponge.</p> <p>Lauren explained that she removed the “power ball” part of the dishwasher tablet.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836176/body-shower.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c465a27f9a174cbaa03c3359a3a28a69" /></p> <p>Other group members excitedly revealed that they had tried the hack with exciting results.</p> <p>“I did the same thing tonight! Amazing results here too!” said one.</p> <p>Added another: “Works awesome! Did mine today with the same trick, it’s never been this clean before!”</p> <p>Wrote a third: “I gave it a go and worked a dream. Didn’t even have to scrub hard.”</p> <p>Said one more: “I used this as well on shower I had scrubbed with everything. Worked like a charm.”</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/mumswhoclean/" target="_blank">Facebook / Mums Who Clean</a></em></p>

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The science is in: Gardening is good for you

<p>“That’s all very well put,” says Candide, in the final line of Voltaire’s novel of the same name, “but we must go and work our garden.”</p> <p>I studied this text at high school before I became a gardener and professional horticulturist. We were taught that Candide’s gardening imperative was metaphorical not literal; a command for finding an authentic vocation, not a call to take up trowels and secateurs.</p> <p>In fact, Voltaire himself really believed that active gardening was a great way to stay sane, healthy and free from stress. That was 300 years ago.</p> <p>As it turns out, the science suggests he was right.</p> <p><strong>The science of therapeutic horticulture</strong></p> <p>Gardens and landscapes have long been designed as sanctuaries and retreats from the stresses of life – from great urban green spaces such as Central Park in New York to the humblest suburban backyard. But beyond the passive enjoyment of a garden or of being in nature more generally, researchers have also studied the role of actively caring for plants as a therapeutic and educational tool.</p> <p>“Therapeutic horticulture” and “horticultural therapy” have become recognised treatments for stress and depression, which have served as a healing aid in settings ranging from prisons and mental health treatment facilities to schools and hospitals.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and school</strong></p> <p>Studies of school gardening programs – which usually centre on growing food – show that students who have worked on designing, creating and maintaining gardens develop more positive attitudes about health, nutrition and the <a href="http://www.kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/HPP_2011_MMR_Sample1.pdf">consumption</a> of <a href="http://search.proquest.com/openview/61a8bb123ec000d6a6348aeb950645fa/1?pq-origsite=gscholar">vegetables</a>.</p> <p>They also <a href="http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/15/3/439.short">score better</a> on science <a href="http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/syllabi/435/Articles/Klemmer.pdf">achievement</a>, have better attitudes about school, and improve their <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15330150701318828">interpersonal skills</a> and <a href="https://food-hub.org/files/resources/Blair_The%20Child%20in%20the%20Garden_J.%20Environ%20Educ_2009.pdf">classroom behaviour</a>.</p> <p>Research on students confirms that gardening leads to higher levels of self-esteem and responsibility. Research suggests that incorporating gardening into a <a href="http://kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/Thechildinthegarden.pdf">school setting</a> can boost group cohesiveness.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and mental health</strong></p> <p>Tailored gardening programs have been shown to increase quality of life for people with <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v16n01_02">chronic mental illnesses</a>, including <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v16n01_02">anxiety and depression</a>.</p> <p>Another study on the use of therapeutic horticulture for patients with clinical depression sought to understand why gardening programs were effective in lessening patient experience of depression. They found that structured gardening activities gave patients existential purpose. Put simply, it <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01612840.2010.528168">gave their lives meaning</a>.</p> <p>In jails and corrective programs, horticultural therapy programs have been used to give inmates positive, purposeful activities that lessen aggression and hostility during and after incarceration.</p> <p>In one detailed study from a San Francisco program, involvement in therapeutic horticulture was particularly effective in <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J076v26n03_10">improving psychosocial functioning</a> across prison populations (although the benefits were not necessarily sustained after release.)</p> <p>Gardening has been shown to help improve the lives of <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jacqueline_Atkinson/publication/265575473_AN_EVALUATION_OF_THE_GARDENING_LEAVE_PROJECT_FOR_EX-MILITARY_PERSONNEL_WITH_PTSD_AND_OTHER_COMBAT_RELATED_MENTAL_HEALTH_PROBLEMS/links/55094b960cf26ff55f852b50.pdf">military veterans</a> and <a href="http://www.joe.org/joe/2007june/iw5p.shtml">homeless people</a>. Various therapeutic horticulture <a href="https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/2930">programs</a> have been used to help people with learning difficulties, asylum seekers, refugees and victims of torture.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and older people</strong></p> <p>As populations in the West age, hands-on gardening programs have been used for older people in nursing homes and related facilities.</p> <p>A systematic review of 22 studies of gardening programs for older adults found that gardening was a powerful <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924788.2013.784942">health-promoting activity</a> across diverse populations.</p> <p>One <a href="http://journals.lww.com/jcrjournal/Abstract/2005/09000/Effects_of_Horticultural_Therapy_on_Mood_and_Heart.8.aspx">study</a> sought to understand if patients recovering from heart attack might benefit from a horticultural therapy program. It concluded:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>[Our] findings indicate that horticultural therapy improves mood state, suggesting that it may be a useful tool in reducing stress. Therefore, to the extent that stress contributes to coronary heart disease, these findings support the role of horticultural therapy as an effective component of cardiac rehabilitation.</em></p> </blockquote> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yvir4sm2G7Q"></iframe></div> <p>While the literature on the positive effects of gardening, reflecting both qualitative and quantitative studies, is large, most of these studies are from overseas.</p> <p>Investment in horticultural therapy programs in Australia is piecemeal. That said, there are some standout success stories such as the <a href="https://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/">Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation</a> and the work of nurse <a href="https://www.anmfvic.asn.au/membership/member-profiles/steven-wells">Steven Wells at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre</a> and beyond.</p> <p>Finally, without professionally trained horticulturists none of these programs – in Australia or internationally – can take place.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/65251/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chris-williams-300083">Chris Williams</a>, Lecturer in urban horticulture, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-science-is-in-gardening-is-good-for-you-65251">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Online plant delivery announced for Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Making your way out to a garden centre can be difficult to stock up on plants and gardening supplies, but a new online plant delivery service is set to change that.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/theplantpeople_au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Plant People</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are a Brisbane-based nursery that take care of everything from seeding, growing and potting low-maintenance indoor plants that are ideal for those who want some greenery in their home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The company delivers throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory so no matter where you are, the plants can be delivered to your door. </span></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/B6Pq3ZJjWdu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/B6Pq3ZJjWdu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Introducing the space where we keep our collection of plants. We think other people might call it a living room. Unsure. A green haven from @kvitka_v_byte_ #theplantpeople</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/theplantpeople_au/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Plant People</a> (@theplantpeople_au) on Dec 18, 2019 at 11:00pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The company deliver ready-to-display plants to your door, such as succulents, ferns, Swiss cheese plants, elephant ears and many of the other varieties of indoor plants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They are a family-owned business who have been raising plants for over ten years and offer a guide for those who are new to owning plants, including what to do if your plant looks wilted on delivery.</span></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/B5UbEL2grut/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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="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/B5UbEL2grut/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Plant People (@theplantpeople_au)</a> on Nov 25, 2019 at 10:47pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote>

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Many Aussie plants and animals adapt to fires but the fires are changing

<p>Australia is a land that has known fire. Our diverse plant and animal species have become accustomed to life with fire, and in fact some require it to procreate.</p> <p>But in recent decades the pattern of fires – also known as the fire regime – is changing. Individual fires are increasingly hotter, more frequent, happening earlier in the season and covering larger areas with a uniform intensity. And these changes to the fire regime are occurring too fast for our native flora and fauna to adapt and survive.</p> <p><strong>Our fire-adapted plants are suffering</strong></p> <p>Many of Australia’s iconic eucalypts are “shade intolerant” species that adapted to exist within a relatively harsh fire regime. These species thrive just after a major fire has cleared away the overstory and prepared an ash bed for their seeds to germinate.</p> <p>Some of our most majestic trees, like the alpine ash, can only regenerate from seed. Those seeds germinate only on bare earth, where the leaf litter and shrubs have been burnt away.</p> <p>But if fire is so frequent the trees haven’t matured enough to produce seed, or so intense it destroys the seeds present in the canopy and the ground, then even these fire-adapted species can <a href="http://www.lifeatlarge.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/650007/Reshaping-alpine-landscapes-summary.pdf">fail</a>.</p> <p>The current fires are re-burning some forests that were burnt only a decade ago. Those regenerating trees are too young to survive, but also too young to have started developing seed.</p> <p>With the disappearance of these tree species, other plants will fill the gap. Acacias (wattles) are potential successors as they mature much earlier than alpine ash. Our tall, majestic forests could easily turn into shrubby bushland with more frequent fires.</p> <p>Even within a burnt area, there are usually some unburnt patches, which are highly valuable for many <a href="https://theconversation.com/burnoff-policies-could-be-damaging-habitats-for-100-years-30240">types of plants and animals</a>. These patches include gullies and depressions, but sometimes are just lucky coincidences of the terrain and weather. The patches act as reserves of “seed trees” to provide regeneration opportunities.</p> <p>Recent fires, burning in hotter and drier conditions, are tending to be severe over large areas with fewer unburnt patches. Without these patches, there are no trees in the fire zone to spread seeds for regeneration.</p> <p>Eucalypt seed is small and without wings or other mechanisms to help the wind disperse it. Birds don’t generally disperse these seeds either. Eucalypt seed thus only falls within 100 - 200 metres of the parent tree. It may take many decades for trees to recolonise a large burnt area.</p> <p>That means wind-blown or bird-dispersed seeds from other species may fully colonise the burnt area well before the Eucalypts. Unfortunately many of these windblown seeds will be <a href="http://hotspotsfireproject.org.au/download-secure.php?access=Public&amp;file=fire-weeds-and-native-vegetation-of-nsw.pdf&amp;type=">weed</a> species, such as African Love Grass, which may then cover the bare earth and exclude successful Eucalypt regeneration while potentially making fires even <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-invasive-weeds-can-make-wildfires-hotter-and-more-frequent-89281">hotter and more frequent</a>.</p> <p><strong>Animals have fewer places to hide</strong></p> <p>Young animals are significantly more vulnerable to disturbances such as fire than mature individuals. So the best time to give birth is a season when fire is rare.</p> <p>Spring in the southern zones of Australia has, in the past, been wetter and largely free from highly destructive fires. Both flora and fauna species thus time their reproduction for this period. But as fire seasons lengthen and begin earlier in the year, vulnerable nestlings and babies die where they shelter or starve as the fires burn the fruits and seeds they eat.</p> <p>Australian fauna have developed <a href="https://theconversation.com/animal-response-to-a-bushfire-is-astounding-these-are-the-tricks-they-use-to-survive-129327">behaviours that help them survive</a> fire, including moving towards gullies and depressions, climbing higher, or occupying hollows and burrows (even if not their own) when they sense fire.</p> <p>But even these behaviours will fail if those refuges are uncharacteristically burning under hotter and drier conditions. Rainforest, marshes and the banks of watercourses were once safe refuges against fire, but we have seen these all <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/24/world-heritage-queensland-rainforest-burned-for-10-days-and-almost-no-one-noticed">burn in recent fires</a>.</p> <p><strong>What can be done?</strong></p> <p>All aspects of fire regimes in Australia are clearly changing as a result of our heating and drying climate. But humans can have a deliberate effect, and have done so in the past.</p> <p><a href="https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1469-8137.1998.00289.x">Indigenous burning</a> created a patchwork of burnt areas and impacted on the magnitude and frequency of fires over the landscape. These regular burns kept the understory under control, while the moderate intensity and patchiness allowed larger trees to survive.</p> <p>There have been repeated calls of late to <a href="https://theconversation.com/our-land-is-burning-and-western-science-does-not-have-all-the-answers-100331">reintroduce Indigenous burning</a> practices in Australia. But this would be difficult over vast areas. It requires knowledgeable individuals to regularly walk through each forest to understand the forest dynamics at a very fine scale.</p> <p>More importantly, our landscapes are now filled with dry fuel, and shrubs that act as “ladders” - quickly sending any fire into tree canopies to cause very destructive crown fires. Given these high fuel conditions along with their potentially dangerous distribution, there may be relatively few safe areas to reintroduce Indigenous burning.</p> <p>The changed fire conditions still require active management of forests, with trained professionals on the ground. Refuges could be developed throughout forests to provide places where animals can shelter and from which trees can recolonise. Such refuges could be reintroduced by reducing forest biomass (or fuel) using small fires where feasible or by <a href="https://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/national/nbmp">mechanical means</a>.</p> <p>Biomass collected by machines could be used to produce biochar or other useful products. Biochar could even be used to <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-016-0372-z">improve the soil</a> damaged by the fires and excess ash.</p> <p>Midstory species could be cut down to prevent the development of fire ladders to tree crowns. Even the overstory could be <a href="http://theconversation.com/forest-thinning-is-controversial-but-it-shouldnt-be-ruled-out-for-managing-bushfires-130124">thinned</a> to minimise the potential for crown fires. Seed could also be collected from thinned trees to provide an off-site bank as ecological insurance.</p> <p>Such active management will not be cheap. But using machinery rather than fire could control biomass quantity and distribution in a much more precise way: leaving some biomass on the ground as habitat for insects and reptiles, and removing other patches to create safer refuges from the fires that will continue to come.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/129754/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cris-brack-98407">Cris Brack</a>, Associate Professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/many-of-our-plants-and-animals-have-adapted-to-fires-but-now-the-fires-are-changing-129754">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why you should clean with herbs

<div class="page-header clearfix"> <div class="tg-container"> <div class="detailPageHeader"> <div class="postIntro">Homemade herbal cleaning products are mostly composed of just one main substance – the cleaning agent – which means that you're not paying for bulking additives, artificial colours or perfumes. You can choose the type and strength of the scent you want; fresh herbs or essential oils almost invariably leave a delightfully fresh, clean smell.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div class="share-buttons"> <div class="addthis_inline_share_toolbox" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/why-clean-with-herbs" data-title="Why clean with herbs? | Reader's Digest Australia" data-description="Homemade herbal cleaning products are mostly composed of just one main substance – the cleaning agent – which means that you're not paying for bulking additives, artificial colours or perfumes. You can choose the type and strength of the scent you want; fresh herbs or essential oils almost invariably leave a delightfully fresh, clean smell."> <div id="atstbx" class="at-resp-share-element at-style-responsive addthis-smartlayers addthis-animated at4-show" aria-labelledby="at-029fd6d1-4439-4dc9-8fe6-9e3c12bc7441"> <div class="Maincontent"> <p>There is also gathering evidence that links the use of chemical cleaners such as bleach with the development of asthma in both children and adults. Some chemicals can set off allergic reactions or contact dermatitis in sensitive people. And one 2010 US study discovered that women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant had a higher incidence of birth defects in their children.</p> <p>So, whether you’re already committed to a greener way of cleaning or you just want to save money and simplify your life a little, herbal cleaning makes a lot of sense.</p> <p>Try these two recipes to clean your surfaces and floors, the easy way, with the power of herbs.</p> <h4>All-purpose herb vinegar spray</h4> <p>This all-purpose, environmentally friendly, non-toxic spray is great to have on hand for wiping, cleaning and deodorising almost every surface (except marble). If you don’t have any fresh herbs, add drops of essential oil instead.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul class="no-bullet"> <li>fresh or dried herbs (you can also use herbal tea bags)</li> <li>distilled white vinegar</li> </ul> <p><strong>Preparation</strong></p> <ol> <li>Roughly chop 1 to 2 large handfuls of fresh or dried herbs (such as lemon verbena, peppermint, rosemary, lemon balm or lavender), or place 5 to 10 tea bags in the bottom of a wide-mouthed glass jar.</li> <li>Add vinegar to fill the jar. Replace the lid, leave for a few days to infuse, then strain out the herbs. (If you are using tea bags, you can gently warm the vinegar before pouring to ensure maximum diffusion.)</li> <li>Decant into a plastic spray bottle. This spray is perfectly safe and very effective to use at full-strength, but it can also be diluted half-and-half with water for lighter jobs.</li> </ol> <h4>Eucalyptus floor wash</h4> <p>With its powerful natural antiseptic, disinfectant and cleaning properties, eucalyptus oil can be put to work in every room of the house. This simple solution can be used on both timber and lino floors. When washing a timber floor, remember not to saturate it. Your mop should be damp, not dripping wet, and the floor should be well-swept or vacuumed before mopping.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul class="no-bullet"> <li>1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil</li> <li>2 tablespoons methylated spirits</li> <li>5 litres hot water (about half a bucket)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Preparation</strong></p> <ol> <li>Combine all the ingredients in a bucket.</li> <li>Wring out a mop in the solution and use it to damp mop the floor. Leave to dry; you don’t need to rinse.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Reader's Digest. </em><em>This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/why-clean-with-herbs"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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