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One last chance for grandma on the brink of deportation

<p>Mary Ellis, 74, who has lived in Australia for the last 40 years and is facing deportation, has made a last-ditch bid to stay Down Under. </p> <p>The grandmother recently appeared on <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/grandma-faces-deportation-after-40-years-in-australia" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Current Affair</em></a> and begged the Department of Home Affairs to let her stay in the country. </p> <p>At the time, she refuted the Home Affairs' claim that she had misrepresented her continuous residence in the country, after they alleged that she left Australia three times under an alias between 1983 and 1986, and that her late husband Martin Ellis was actually called Trevor Warren. </p> <p>The crucial qualification for an absorbed citizenship is that she would only be eligible if she was in Australia from April 2, 1984, and had not left the country since. </p> <p>The grandmother claimed that she arrived in Australia in December 1981, and hasn't left since, saying that she had also paid taxes in Australia, held a Medicare card, pension card and an Australian driver's licence.</p> <p>She was also nominated for the NSW Volunteer of the Year award last year, for her charitable acts.</p> <p>The<em> DailyMail</em> reports that there are no "compassionate grounds" on which the Immigration Minister could intervene in her bid to attain an absorbed citizenship. </p> <p>However, under the Migration Act, the minister could decide to intervene in Ellis' case if he thinks "it is in the public interest."</p> <p>Now, Ellis and her migration agent Schneider have requested in writing for the minister to intervene. </p> <p>Requests for Federal Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to intervene must address specific grounds in doing so, and state why her staying would be in the public interest. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ Nine</em></p>

Legal

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Bishop Christopher Saunders arrested at his home

<p>The former Bishop of Broome, Christopher Alan Saunders, has found himself at the centre of a dramatic arrest at his residence in Western Australia's north.</p> <p>Police from the WA Child Abuse squad descended upon his Piggott Way property late on Wednesday afternoon, taking the 72-year-old into custody.</p> <p>Authorities have confirmed that an individual is currently assisting them with what they describe as a "longstanding investigation", and have charged Saunders with 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault, two counts of sexual penetration without consent, and three counts of being a person in authority indecently dealing with a child.</p> <p>The alleged charges date back to 2008 across Broome, Kununurra, and Kalumburu.</p> <p>This arrest marks the culmination of five years of exhaustive police and internal church inquiries into disturbing allegations of sexual abuse levelled against Saunders by multiple men. These allegations initially surfaced in early 2020, sending shockwaves through the community. However, despite the gravity of the accusations, a prior investigation by WA Police concluded without any charges being brought against the former Bishop.</p> <p>Throughout the ordeal, Emeritus Bishop Saunders vehemently denied any wrongdoing, maintaining his innocence despite the mounting pressure and scrutiny.</p> <p>Recent developments, however, have thrust the case back into the spotlight. In the past few weeks, law enforcement authorities conducted raids on Saunders' property not once, but twice. The renewed vigour in the investigation appears to stem from a significant development: the emergence of a 200-page Vatican report, leaked late last year.</p> <p>This damning report, allegedly detailing instances of misconduct and abuse within the clergy, was promptly handed over to the WA Police. Its contents have reignited interest in Saunders' case, prompting a fresh wave of investigative efforts aimed at uncovering the truth behind the allegations.</p> <p>The swift and decisive action taken by law enforcement underscores the gravity with which authorities are treating allegations of abuse, particularly within the context of religious institutions. The arrest of a prominent figure such as Christopher Saunders sends a powerful message that no one, regardless of their position or influence, is above the law.</p> <p>For the victims who have bravely come forward with their stories, this arrest represents a step towards justice and closure, <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">even in the face of adversity and institutional resistance</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">. It serves as validation for their courage in speaking out against abuses that may have long been buried in secrecy and silence.</span></p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Legal

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Better Homes and Gardens star's dream rural property up for grabs

<p><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>star Charlie Albone and his wife interior designer Juliet Love, have listed their dream Ourimbah home. </p> <p>The 2.07ha property located on the Central Coast has been listed by McGrath Gosford agents Peter Morris and Nate Waters with a $3m to $3.2m price guidance.</p> <p>The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits deep behind a gated entry, which ensures privacy and is surrounded by plenty of greenery with its garden alcoves, a stunning wisteria-covered arbour, fruit trees, and a few garden beds for vegetables. </p> <p>There is also a feature dry-stone wall fire pit built by Scottish stonemason Callum Grey, that's perfect for winter and colder nights.</p> <p>The English cottage-style home  comes with a separate self-contained unit that includes a bedroom and kitchenette. </p> <p>The home is every animal lovers' dream with five paddocks that come with animal shelters, plumbed water troughs and a three-stall stable. </p> <p>For those hot summer days, whoever the new owners are can dip into the saltwater pool located on the property. </p> <p>The property is equipped with 100,000-litre tanks and has town water. </p> <p>Albone and his family bought the property in 2012 for $840,000 which means that if it was sold at the price guide then it's almost four times the original price they bought it at. </p> <p>The top acreage sale at Ourimbah currently sits at $3,725,000 for a 13.93ha Dog Trap Rd six-bedroom house, which sold in 2021.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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"We want Sam home": Distraught husband speaks out

<p>Samantha Murphy's distraught husband has issued a desperate plea to the community for knowledge about his wife's whereabouts, two weeks after she went missing. </p> <p>The 51-year-old mother from Ballarat took off for her daily run in the early hours of the morning of February 4th, and was never seen again. </p> <p>With Ms Murphy's disappearance now being labelled as "suspicious" by police investigators, Mick Murphy has shared an emotional message for the community to come forward with information about his wife.</p> <p>“We want Sam home please,” he told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/samantha-murphys-husband-mick-murphy-speaks-out-as-police-continue-to-investigate-joggers-disappearance-two-weeks-on-c-13642464" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>. </p> <p>Mr Murphy told the outlet his family are “doing the best we can under the circumstances”.</p> <p>He has made several pleas to the public for anyone to come forward if they had information about the mother-of-three’s disappearance. </p> <p>“People just don’t vanish into thin air. Someone’s got to know something,” he told reporters on Thursday.</p> <p>On Wednesday, police officially labelled Samantha's disappearance as "suspicious", as their investigation continues. </p> <p>“Call it unusual, call it suspicious. But it certainly is of significant concern to us,” Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said on Wednesday.</p> <p>He went on to say that there were still no new leads in the investigation, headed by the Missing Persons Squad.</p> <p>“It’s certainly unusual when we haven’t been able to locate any trace of her or any other evidence within that period of time,” he said.</p> <p>“It’s suspicious, whether that means there’s foul play involved or not, I don’t know, but obviously detectives are investigating a matter where a woman’s been missing for a significant period of time.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Lisa Wilkinson's fears over losing her home

<p>Lisa Wilkinson's fears over losing her multi-million dollar mansion to cover her legal fees have been detailed in a series of court documents. </p> <p>The former host of <em>The Project</em> entered into a bitter legal battle after being sued for defamation by Bruce Lehrmann, and decided to hire top defamation lawyer Sue Chrysanthou SC and her own legal team to fight the charges. </p> <p>In a series of emotional emails and documents tendered by the Federal Court, Wilkinson was allegedly "almost hysterical" and "sobbing" over the notion of losing her home in Cremorne to pay the hefty legal fees. </p> <p>In a briefing note prepared for Ten’s legal team, Network Ten CEO Beverley McGarvey detailed a “challenging” call she had with the network star on June 7th 2023.</p> <p>McGarvey had called to ask how Ms Wilkinson was going in the wake of Channel 7’s <em>Spotlight</em> program and the leaking of audio provided to police and lawyers but never tendered in court.</p> <p>“Lisa was very upset and emotional and it was a very challenging call,” MsMcGarvey wrote.</p> <p>“She was almost immediately upset and started talking about legal fees and how she would have to sell her house."</p> <p>“I would say her tone was almost hysterical.”</p> <p>McGarvey then did her best to ease Wilkinson's concerns, reminding her of her secure financial position. </p> <p>“She is being paid by us on full salary, and lives in a lavish multimillion dollar home with a pool and a tennis court and harbour views so I hope this is not a real risk,” she said.</p> <p>“She asked if we would pay for her fees and this came up over and over again in the conversation. I told her to talk with Nick, her manager."</p> <p>“But she had chosen her own legal team against our advice and chosen a team we objected to.</p> <p>“She said if I actually cared about her, I would make sure we pay their legal fees.”</p> <p>The documents were released by the Federal Court on Friday after Ms Wilkinson won her legal battle to force Network Ten to pay for her legal fees that are estimated to amount to up to $2 million.</p> <p>The exact amount Ten will pay has not yet been determined.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Legal

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Former home of Kylie Minogue and Michael Hutchence for sale

<p>The stunning Sydney apartment that Michael Hutchence and Kylie Minogue shared for two years has hit the market. </p> <p>The late INXS frontman and the Aussie pop princess lived in the Liverpool Street apartment from 1989 to 1991, with the building boasting a colourful history. </p> <p>The current owner and director of AusMed Innovations Gavin Holland, who owns the Longevity Lounge in Double Bay, believes the picturesque apartment overlooking Hyde Park and the harbour was the scene of some wild parties.</p> <p>“I know that back in those days there was a lot of socialising that went on, for want of a better word,” says Holland.</p> <p>“In this building, there’ve been suicides, murders, famous and infamous people — all sorts of stuff."</p> <p>Despite the past history of the building, the two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment boasts new finishings and stunning views of the city. </p> <p>“But what we’ve done recently is spend two-and-a-half million dollars on refurbishing the rooftop pool and jacuzzi, so that’s obviously an expense the new owners won’t need to fork out.”</p> <p>Hutchence is known to have lived in the apartment with Minogue on level 27, just two floors below the communal rooftop pool, for two years during their whirlwind romance.</p> <p>The apartment at <a href="https://www.realestate.com.au/property-apartment-nsw-sydney-144104704">2704/187 Liverpool Street, Sydney </a>has a $3.3 million guide, and will be auctioned at the end of February. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / realestate.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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AFP reveal what police dogs found in Erin Patterson's home

<p>The Police Commissioner has revealed what detective dogs found during an extensive search of Erin Patterson's house after her arrest. </p> <p>Patterson, the Gippsland woman at the centre of a mushroom lunch that resulted in the deaths of three people, was charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder late last year. </p> <p>AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw has shared that detective dogs uncovered a series of suspicious items, which were not found during the initial search of Patterson's home. </p> <p>"In November last year, the AFP provided its technology detector dogs to assist our hard-working colleagues at Victoria Police while executing a search warrant relating to individuals who had ingested death cap mushrooms," Kershaw told a Senate estimates hearing.</p> <p>"Technology Detector Dog Georgia found one USB, a micro secure digital card and a sim card."</p> <p>"Technology Detector Dog Alma found a mobile phone, five iPads, a trail camera, and a secure digital card and a smart watch."</p> <p>"These were not found during initial searches undertaken by officers."</p> <p>Patterson remains behind bars while police sift through the newly uncovered evidence, as she is expected to front court again on March 25th. </p> <p>The three murder charges and two of the attempted murder charges relate to a beef wellington lunch allegedly laced with death cap mushrooms that was cooked and served by Patterson at her home on July 29th 2023. </p> <p>The three other attempted murder charges relate to her husband Simon, 48, after he became sick following meals on three occasions between 2021 and 2022.</p> <p>Court documents revealed Patterson is accused of attempting to kill Simon on four occasions - between 16th and 17th November 2021, between 25th and 27th May 2022, on 6th September 2022 and at the mushroom lunch in July 2023. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine News / A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

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"Eventful walk home": Barnaby Joyce explains why he was found collapsed on footpath

<p>Barnaby Joyce, the Nationals frontbencher, has recently found himself at the centre of public attention after a video surfaced showing him lying on a footpath in Canberra, seemingly in an inebriated state.</p> <p>In a statement to Seven's <em>Sunrise</em> on Monday morning, Joyce attributed the incident to mixing alcohol with prescription medication.</p> <p>“It was a very eventful walk home, wasn’t it,” he said to host Nat Barr. "I’m on a prescription drug, and they say certain things may happen to you if you drink, and they were absolutely 100 per cent right. They did.”</p> <p>Barr then replied: “So you mixed alcohol with prescription medication, did you, and this is what happened?”</p> <p>“That’s exactly what I said, yep,” Joyce responded.</p> <p>In the video footage captured on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, initially obtained by <em>The Daily Mail</em>, <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Joyce can be seen lying on his back, mumbling into his phone, prompting concerns from passersby.</span></p> <p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged Joyce to provide a credible explanation. “People will certainly make their own judgements on that," Albanese told the ABC. "People will see that footage, they will look for an explanation that has some credibility and they’ll look for leadership from the leader of the Liberal Party and the leader of the National Party about this.”</p> <p>Treasurer Jim Chalmers expressed concern for Joyce's wellbeing, calling for an explanation while refraining from personal attacks.</p> <p>The incident has prompted discussions within political circles, with Nationals leader David Littleproud stating that Joyce would receive the necessary support. However, Joyce's decision to skip a party meeting where the incident was to be discussed indicates ongoing uncertainty surrounding the situation.</p> <p><em>Images: Sunrise / Seven</em></p>

News

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Bunnings' inspired makeover proves a smash hit with Bluey fans

<p>Bunnings' latest <em>Bluey</em> inspired makeover has proven to be a hit among fans, as they brought to life part of the cartoon-world. </p> <p>The hardware giant collaborated with the hit children's cartoon and rebranded six of its Australian stores and one New Zealand outlet with the moniker "Hammerbarn."</p> <p>This is an homage to a popular episode with the same name, where the cartoon heelers go to a hardware store that looks exactly like Bunnings. </p> <p>“We’re excited to be working with BBC Studios and Ludo Studio to bring Hammerbarn to life in stores across the country,” says Ryan Baker, chief customer officer of Bunnings.</p> <p>The rebranding goes beyond the exterior with special Hammerbarn merch, Bluey-branded trolleys, and Bluey-themed workshops, meet-and-greets and scavenger hunts every weekend.</p> <p>“Our team across Australia have had kids and parents referring to Bunnings as Hammerbarn ever since the episode aired, so making this a reality in our stores for customers is really special," Baker said. </p> <p>“We wanted the Hammerbarn experience to be accessible to as many ‘Bluey’ fans and customers as we could, so it’s great to have a Hammerbarn transformation in each state – even down to the kids’ trolleys that have been rebranded."</p> <p>Hammerbarns resemblance to Bunnings is no coincidence as the episode reportedly took inspiration from a real store in Keperra, Queensland.</p> <p>“The design of Hammerbarn draws inspiration from the Bunnings Keperra store in Brisbane, the home of Bluey, which adds an extra layer of significance," Ludo Studios, the creators of the series said. </p> <p>“We are thrilled to offer fans the opportunity to experience Hammerbarn for real life; it’s everything we’ve ever wanted!”</p> <p><em>Images: Perth Now</em></p> <p> </p>

Home & Garden

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"Please come home": Family's emotional plea to missing woman

<p>The devastated husband and father of missing Victorian woman Samantha Murphy have issued an emotional plea for the 51-year-old to come home. </p> <p>Samantha, a keen runner from Ballarat, set off for her daily run through the Canadian State Forest early Sunday morning and has not been seen since. </p> <p>Emergency services are continuing their search for the woman, as her husband Mick and daughter Jessica pleaded to the community for information. </p> <p>Speaking out on Thursday in an emotional press conference, Mick said "someone has got to know something."</p> <p>“People just don’t vanish into thin air. You know, whether it be any little thing that you might think is relevant, just call the police, let them know,” Mick said.</p> <p>“You know, it’ll give us a bit of peace of mind if we get some hope."</p> <p>Jess then spoke through tears, saying her “mum is a really strong woman and is far too determined to give up this fight”.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3EbznCPk_Z/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3EbznCPk_Z/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 9News Melbourne (@9newsmelbourne)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I know she’s out there somewhere, so if you could please continue to search for her to give us something to work with we would really appreciate it."</p> <p>“Mum, please come home soon I can’t wait to see you and give you the biggest hug and to tell you off for giving us so much stress. I love you.”</p> <p>Police also spoke for the first time about the search and urged the community to come forward with any information at all, as anything could be relevant.</p> <p>“We’re keeping an open mind and we’re hopeful,” Acting Inspector Lisa McDougall said.</p> <p>"We throwing resources at it in the hope we find Samantha and get answers for her family, who are obviously concerned."</p> <p>Amidst the high-profile case, Mick also asked people to be considerate as more information rolls in. </p> <p>“You can respect our privacy too. If we’ve got something we will come out and say it.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: 9News</em></p>

Caring

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Zimmerman founder sets new price record for Bondi home

<p>Simone Zimmerman has set a new home price record for Bondi, and she didn't even need to take out a mortgage. </p> <p>The fashion guru and founder of Zimmermann has splurged $30 million for her four-bedroom, three-bathroom home just moments away from the iconic Bondi Beach. </p> <p>“This ocean front executive residence is tucked away in a quiet street only moments to the iconic Bondi Beach and all it has to offer,”  the listing for the beachside home read. </p> <p>According to property records, the home - which is located just behind the popular Bondi to Bronte walk - last sold for $5.75m in June 2008.</p> <p>The fashion mogul is reported to have bypassed local real estate agents, purchasing the home directly from a local investor. </p> <p>No major changes have been made to the home since, but prior to Zimmerman's purchase it was being rented out at $4,400 per week. </p> <p>According to PropTrack the median house price for Bondi is around $3.75m, which went up by 4.7 per cent over the past year. </p> <p>The stunning home features 4 double bedrooms, all with large built-in wardrobes and a separate study perfect for the business-woman. </p> <p>It also has a gourmet kitchen with a stainless-steel benchtop and large open dining room. </p> <p>The lounge room opens onto a large deck with beautiful ocean views and plenty of natural lighting. </p> <p>This comes after the luxury womenswear label sold a majority stake in its company to private equity investors in August last year. </p> <p>Sisters Simone and Nicky Zimmerman are founders of the brand, which initially began as a stall in Sydney’s Paddington market, before the sisters opened their first local shop in Darlinghurst. </p> <p>It now operates across 58 global destinations in the USA, UK, Europe and China, with the sisters now having an estimated net worth of around $1bn each. </p> <p><em>Images: Realestate.com.au</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Simple, cheap remedies you’ll wish you knew sooner

<p><strong>Pull nails out gently</strong></p> <p>If you’re planning to pull a nail out of wood but worry that the hammerhead will hurt the grain, protect the wood before using the hammer. How? Slip a plastic spatula under the head of the hammer before you start the job.</p> <p><strong>Replace the oil in baking </strong></p> <p>Fat makes baked goods moist and tender. It’s also incredibly kilojoule-dense, and if you’re cutting kilojoules, it’s an easy place to start. But say you don’t like your cakes and muffins dry and tough? Then applesauce is the answer. Replace up to 2/3 of the oil called for in a cake or muffin recipe with applesauce, and you’ll add moisture and flavour while ditching the fat.</p> <p><strong>Sweeten the house </strong></p> <p>People who are allergic to air fresheners and sprays can still enjoy the benefits of a sweet-smelling house. Wet a cotton ball with vanilla and dab it very lightly on the outside of a regular light bulb (not a halogen bulb) in your lamps. When you turn on the lamp, the bulb heats up and a faint but alluring scent of vanilla drifts out.</p> <p><strong>Soften beans </strong></p> <p>Afraid those dry beans have been on the shelf too long? Help soften them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water. Add a fresh pinch to the cooking water, too, and you can significantly reduce the aftereffects of bean consumption.</p> <p><strong>Neutralise mouth ulcers</strong></p> <p>Place an antacid tablet directly on the ulcer, giving it time to dissolve, or simply chew one. The medicine will stop the acids and enzymes in your mouth from attacking the tissue in the sore, and more importantly, it will stop the pain. (Be sure to check the product’s label for correct dosage instructions.)</p> <p><strong>Rip it off the right way </strong></p> <p>Pulling an adhesive bandage off your child’s skin can be tough on both of you. Make it easier by rubbing the bandage with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil. Rub until you can easily pull the bandage off. This trick works well for adults with sensitive skin, too.</p> <p><strong>Clean your carpet overnight </strong></p> <p>Whether your carpet smells dank and musty because of a pet, a smoker, or a season of rain, take the odour out with baby powder. Using a flour sifter, spread the powder generously over the carpet. Let it sit overnight – a few hours will suffice, but overnight is better – and vacuum up the powder and the smells in the morning.</p> <p><strong>Hold a nail</strong></p> <p>Stop hitting your fingers every time you hammer a nail in place. Use the teeth of an ordinary comb to hold the nail while you hammer.</p> <p><strong>Get rid of fishy odours</strong></p> <p>Been chopping something pungent? The smell of garlic or fish can linger on your fingers long after the food is gone. Avoid that by scrubbing your wet hands with baking soda, just as if it were soap, then rinse in warm water. Your hands will smell sweet – and feel softer, too.</p> <p><strong>Remove splinters</strong></p> <p>Make a paste of Epsom salt and water and apply it to the area harbouring a splinter. The paste will pull the splinter to the surface of the skin in about 10 minutes. It will pull insect stingers out of your skin, too.</p> <p><strong>Skip the shaving cream </strong></p> <p>Use hair conditioner for a smooth, clean shave – on your legs, under your arms, and (for men) even on your face. The conditioner will pamper your skin as well as your hair! You can also use hair conditioner as a soothing agent for legs irritated by shaving.</p> <p><strong>Preserve your bouquet </strong></p> <p>Spray the undersides of your cut flowers – leaves and petals – with hair spray to prolong their life. Be sure to stand about 30 cm away when you spray them for best results.</p> <p><strong>Numb your eyebrows </strong></p> <p>Make plucking your eyebrows much less painful by putting an ice pack on them until they’re uncomfortably cold. At that point your skin will be numb enough to begin plucking. You won’t even feel the tug!</p> <p><strong>Train a dog </strong></p> <p>Most dogs hate the sound of dried beans rattling in a can. Use that to your advantage when training a dog by putting a handful of beans in the bottom of an empty aluminium soda can. Seal the top with a strip of tape. When your dog misbehaves, shake the can a couple of times.</p> <p><strong>Refresh tired feet </strong></p> <p>Take this tip from marathon runners, who know that a ten-minute soak in a sugarless mouthwash will take your tootsies from tired to terrific. Alcohol invigorates and mint will make them smell sweet again.</p> <p><strong>Remove crayon from walls </strong></p> <p>If you find crayon markings on your wall, don’t get mad – get shaving cream. Spray the shaving cream directly onto the offending artwork, and scrub it off with a toothbrush or scrub brush.</p> <p><strong>Make a close-fitting hot pad</strong></p> <p>Soothe aching muscles with a custom-made hot pad. Fill a long sock, such as a tube or athletic sock, with dried beans, and tie the top tightly closed with ribbon or string. Heat in a microwave on high for 30 seconds. Place it right on your painful spot. You can drape it around a stiff neck or wrap it around a sore wrist, and it will mould to you, providing faster relief.</p> <p><strong>Keep cookies fresh </strong></p> <p>Homemade chocolate chip cookies can go from tasting deliciously soft and cakey to feeling hard and crunchy in a matter of days. To keep your freshly baked cookies tasting freshly baked, put a couple of slices of bread into the tin or jar where you store the cookies, laying the bread right on top of the cookies. The bread will keep that just-out-of-the-oven flavour and texture intact for up to a week.</p> <p><strong>Wax your windows </strong></p> <p>Do your double-hung windows have a bumpy ride every time you open or close them? If your windows don’t slide up and down with ease, let a candle help them. Clean the insides of the window frame where the sashes travel, then rub the same area with a candle. The windows will have a much smoother journey.</p> <p><strong>Make your garage floor sparkle </strong></p> <p>If you find a puddle of oil on your concrete garage floor, pour paint thinner over it, and then cover the area with kitty litter. (Make sure that the garage is well ventilated by keeping the garage door open, and don’t let anyone smoke or strike matches anywhere near the affected area – and keep the cats away.) The kitty litter will absorb the oil. Just sweep up the mess and you’re done.</p> <p><strong>Clean smudges off suede </strong></p> <p>Suede jackets, shoes and handbags look great, but they’re prone to picking up dirty marks. Clean fresh smudges off quickly and easily before they set into stains by rubbing the suede gently with a piece of fresh white bread. Use a small, circular motion. You may need a second piece of bread to get the spot clean.</p> <p><strong>Keep down items from clumping </strong></p> <p>Throw one or two tennis balls into the dryer the next time you dry down-filled items like pillows, comforters and jackets. They’ll ditch the flat look they get from the washing machine and puff up again with pride.</p> <p><strong>Repel mosquitos </strong></p> <p>You may love the mild apple-like flavour of chamomile tea but mosquitoes absolutely hate it. Brew a very strong batch of chamomile tea and keep it in a spray bottle in the fridge. Before you relax in the back yard or run through the tall grass, spray exposed skin liberally. It’s fragrant, potent and totally safe for children.</p> <p><strong>Fill a stripped screw-hole </strong></p> <p>If the screw keeps turning and turning in a piece of wood, push a bit of foil loosely in the hole and try again. It will grab tight.</p> <p><strong>Freshen a fridge </strong></p> <p>If something soured in your fridge or the freezer failed, clean it out, then fill a wide, shallow bowl with fresh coffee grounds and leave it in the fridge or freezer overnight. The strong scent of coffee will permeate the space, eradicating any hint of what went wrong.</p> <p><strong>Banish burned-on food </strong></p> <p>Liquid fabric softener is your best friend when it comes time to scrub pots and pans soiled by your worst enemy, baked-on grime. Soak the offending vessel in water and a squirt of fabric softener. Let it sit for an hour. Wash and rinse it all away.</p> <p><strong>Feed your plants </strong></p> <p>Used coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, so it’s a shame to throw them away each day. Coffee is especially good for acid-loving plants, like camellias, evergreens, rhododendrons, azaleas and rose bushes, so be sure they don’t miss out on the occasional cup of coffee – grounds, that is.</p> <p><strong>Oil squeaky hinges </strong></p> <p>Spray a little oil-based furniture polish on a squeaky door hinge, then open and shut the door several times to work the lubricant into the hinge. The furniture polish is a lot cleaner than the oil you’d usually use for a noisy hinge, and it works just as well to silence the squeak.</p> <p><strong>Untangle a shoelace </strong></p> <p>Junior got a knot in his sneaker and pulled and pulled until it became an impenetrable mass. Sprinkle the knot generously with cornflour, and then work the knot again. The laces will start to slip and slide, and you’ll be able to get the kinks out.</p> <p><strong>Breathe better with a paper bag </strong></p> <p>Got a case of the hiccups? Stop them before you start to hurt. Breathe in and out of a paper bag for a few minutes. You’ll create a build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs, which helps relax your diaphragm – whose involuntary tightening causes the hiccups in the first place. This trick works if you’re hyperventilating, too.</p> <p><strong>Give the jar a hand </strong></p> <p>No more banging a jar on the floor to loosen a tight lid. No more running it under hot water. And no more fancy tools designed to do the trick – that somehow don’t work. Just put on a pair of rubber gloves, and open the jar with ease. (Psst – sandpaper also works wonders!)</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/1-solutions-youll-wish-you-knew-sooner?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Home & Garden

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Home and Away star’s heartfelt health confession

<p>Jordi Gordon marked her 39th birthday this week with a heartfelt Instagram post reflecting on her own health struggles. </p> <p>The former <em>Home and Away</em> star publicly admitted to over 200,000 followers that she has been struggling with substance abuse for a majority of her life.</p> <p>"I have battled substance abuse for the most part of my life, stepping into recovery at 24 but never being able to stay stopped," she captioned the video. </p> <p>"On April 7th 2022 I got sober and have stayed sober ever since, completely changing my life in ways I didn't think were possible," she continued. </p> <p>She then went on to thank her own personal heroes including her parents for the valuable life lessons they have taught her and her friends and family. </p> <p>She also thanked her ex-husband, former NRL star Braith Anasta, for giving her the gift of their "loving" and "fierce" nine-year-old daughter Aleeia. </p> <p>"I always wanted a big family, and I got one with my daughter Aleeia. She is unlike any human I have ever known, so loving, fierce, patient, wise, and curious," Gordon wrote.</p> <p>"I love being her teacher and student... Thank you Braith for the wonderful gift of a lifetime."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2yjw1-vvCm/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2yjw1-vvCm/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jodi Gordon (@jodigordon)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Gordon had completed a 30-day recovery program for alcohol addiction at a clinic in Sydney in 2022.</p> <p>She also revealed that she is currently pursuing a career in mental health, with a Bachelor in Counselling and Communication Skills as she hopes to stigma and discrimination.</p> <p>"I love this tough journey in a new field, working incredibly hard, working my way up fiercely, curiously, wonder and purpose every single day," she wrote.</p> <p>"The future looks so bright walking this path to become a counsellor and staying sober to share my journey. Here's to that good fight in reducing discrimination and stigma that we all know is there."</p> <p>She concluded the post by thanking everyone who has been with her through her darkest days. </p> <p>"If you have been on this wild ride with me, thank you for seeing my colour when sometimes I have only displayed grey," she wrote. </p> <p>"Thank you for loving me and supporting me in your owns ways. I have felt it."</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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“Don’t be alarmed”: Better Homes and Gardens star makes shock announcement

<p dir="ltr"><em>Better Homes and Gardens</em> star Karen Martini has announced she will be “stepping back” from her role on the program. </p> <p dir="ltr">After almost two decades on the show, the 52-year-old admitted she has “so much on my plate” this year as she balances a range of different projects. </p> <p dir="ltr">The chef and restaurateur will be taking a break from the show to focus on work, while also making more time for her teenage daughters, Stella, 17, and Amber, 15.</p> <p dir="ltr">She told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/entertainment/tv/better-homes-and-garden-star-karen-martini-makes-shock-announcement-stepping-back-c-13310981">7News</a></em>, “With my two new restaurants— Johnny’s Green Room already open and Saint George set to launch soon — as well as so many other projects on the go, 2024 is shaping up to be my busiest year ever.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“My daughters are in their last teenage years too — it’s quite daunting as Stella is in year 12 and also on her Ls.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“With so much on my plate, I’ve made the decision to step back from <em>Better Homes and Gardens</em> (BHAG) this year while I focus on some of my other exciting projects.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“So don’t be alarmed if I’m not in your living room every Friday night.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Karen will continue to make the occasional guest appearance on the show, but will not feature in every episode. </p> <p dir="ltr">After the news of Karen’s departure was announced on the <em>Better Homes &amp; Gardens</em> Instagram account, longtime viewers shared their messages of support to the chef in her next ventures. </p> <p dir="ltr">One person wrote, “Been watching since you joined in 2007 and I’ve loved watching you in the kitchen. All the best.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The 52-year-old also shared her excitement over the newest addition to the <em>Better Homes</em> line-up: chef and <em>MKR</em> judge Colin Fassnidge.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m so excited that my mate Colin Fassnidge is entering the <em>Better Homes</em> kitchen,” she went on.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think his cheeky flavour is sure to spice up the show and I can’t wait to see him on air when we are back on Friday, February 2.”</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 14pt;"><em>Image credits: Instagram</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f58c99fe-7fff-4b7e-1eb4-bc9024fbdc3d"></span></p>

TV

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7 ways you’re shortening the lifespan of your refrigerator

<p><strong>How you may be shortening the lifespan of a refrigerator</strong></p> <p>Refrigerators are a necessity in the home, but they cost a pretty penny. They can range in price from $700 to thousands of dollars, depending on which refrigerator brand you buy and which bells and whistles you want. Since it takes a good chunk of change to pay for this appliance, it makes sense to take great care of it so it lasts as long as possible. The typical lifespan of a refrigerator is 10 to 15 years, but it could last up to 20 years if you take superb care of it.</p> <p>Knowing how you may be shortening the life of your fridge helps you nip bad habits in the bud and make those well-spent dollars go the extra mile. That’s why we’ve rounded up the ways you may be knocking valuable time off your fridge’s life – read on and take note! Then, brush up on the signs your refrigerator is about to die and what your refrigerator temperature should be – both important things to know for fridge upkeep.</p> <p><strong>You’re not cleaning the internal mechanics</strong></p> <p>“If the defrost drain is clogged with debris, or frozen, the water dripping off the coils will overflow the drain trough and drip into the bottom of your refrigerator,” experts at the Repair Clinic told Reader’s Digest. Not only can this overwork your fridge, leading to a shorter lifespan, but it potentially causes your fridge/freezer to leak water all over your kitchen floor.</p> <p>Leaking water is a sign you should get any appliance looked at – it’s also a symptom of some of the ways you’re shortening the life of your washer and dryer.</p> <p><strong>You’re not cleaning the fridge itself</strong></p> <p>Additionally, debris, foodstuff, sticky spills and more common food mishaps that stay on the gasket of the refrigerator’s door too long can tear or break the seal of your refrigerator door. That can cause a leak, allowing cold air to escape. This makes learning how to clean your refrigerator properly all the more important (psst – these are the best fridge cleaners that’ll get the job done).</p> <p>To keep your fridge in tip-top shape as long as possible, wipe down the door edges often. And while you’re wiping down your fridge, see if you’ve organised your refrigerator the right way to keep ingredients fresh and avoid food poisoning.</p> <p><strong>You’re not cleaning the coils</strong></p> <p>More than 70 per cent of service calls for your fridge can be eliminated by cleaning your coils once a year – so experts recommend upping that to twice a year if you have furry pets (like an adorable but extra-fluffy pup).</p> <p>Debris on the coils can stop your fridge from properly dissipating heat, which means your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to. That makes your fridge use more energy and shortens its lifespan.</p> <p><strong>It's too full </strong></p> <p>We’ve all played a few games of Tetris with our refrigerator after we get home with the groceries, but be careful when stocking up and storing. While this isn’t a huge problem with newer models, some older models have fan blades that are less protected. You may even be able to see the fan blades in your freezer or fridge.</p> <p>Cramming your food into the fridge and freezer to the point of applying undue pressure on this small part can affect its shape and fit among related parts of your fridge, risking a break. Ineffective fridges are overworked fridges, which will eventually lead to a refrigerator that doesn’t work. To avoid overfilling your fridge, do a deep clean of the contents of your fridge every once in a while and eliminate clutter.</p> <p><strong>You’re not changing the water filter often enough</strong></p> <p>If you have the type of fridge that makes ice – with the dispenser either within the freezer or on your door – the water filter is key to keeping this part of your refrigerator in great condition. An old, broken or dislodged water filter can create all kinds of problems for your fridge. At best, your ice dispenser breaks. At worst, your fridge overworks itself to an early death and you’re stuck footing the bill for a new one.</p> <p>Luckily, CNET reports that you likely can detect this problem early, as your ice cubes will start coming out smaller, oddly shaped or not at all. Keep this in mind next time you’re filling up your water bottle.</p> <p><strong>Your freezer temperature is too high</strong></p> <p>“Ideally, the temperature should be set -18 degrees Celsius,” said experts at Repair Clinic. The wrong freezer temperature can affect the longevity of your ice maker, as well as the safety of the food you’ll be eating.</p> <p>A temperature higher than -9 degrees Celsius can also cause the defrost thermostat to stop working, which, in turn, overworks your refrigerator and shortens its life.</p> <p><strong>You ignore weird noises or constant running</strong></p> <p>If you notice that your fridge is always running, or is running louder than usual, do something about it right away. Some fixes are easy enough that you can do them yourself, or they’re inexpensive for a professional, but even if that’s not the case, allowing a fridge to work itself harder than it is intended to is a good way to put an early expiration date on it. Depending on the age of your fridge, you may want to decide not to fix it and invest in a new, more energy- and cost-efficient option.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/7-ways-youre-shortening-the-lifespan-of-your-refrigerator" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p> <div class="slide-image" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; font-style: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </div>

Home & Garden

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10 dumb hiding spots burglars always find

<p><strong>Under the mattress</strong></p> <p>Burglars will make a beeline to the room with the most valuables. “The good stop is always going to be in the master bedroom,” says Chris McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM, president of <a href="http://www.crimedoctor.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">McGoey Security Consulting.</a></p> <p>“That’s where you have your clothes, your jewellery, your extra cash, your prescriptions – anything of value.” Hiding things under the mattress is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so a thief will likely check there for hidden treasures, he says.</p> <p><strong>Bedroom closet</strong></p> <p>A thief might rummage through your entire closet – pockets and all – looking for cash or other valuables. If you do decide to store valuables in your closet, leave them in a box purposely mislabelled with a boring name (think: “uni textbooks 1980” or “baby clothes”) to keep sticky fingers out, suggests McGoey.</p> <p><strong>Dresser drawers</strong></p> <p>While burglars are in your bedroom, a jewellery box on top of the dresser is a hot commodity. Even if you don’t store your jewellery in plain sight, a thief will probably hunt around in dresser drawers for a shoebox or other unique box that could be filled with watches, jewels, and other valuables, says Robert Siciliano, CSP, security analyst with <a href="https://www.hotspotshield.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hotspot Shield</a>.</p> <p>Instead of putting your high-value belongings in an obvious box, ball them up in a sock, he suggests. Pick a pair with a bright pattern that will stand out to you but won’t look fishy to a crook.</p> <p><strong>Portable safe</strong></p> <p>You probably want to keep your precious items locked away, but it won’t do much good if the safe isn’t attached to the floor or a wall. “If it’s closed and locked, it implies there are things of value in there,” says McGoey. “If it’s small and portable, they’ll take the whole thing.” On the other hand, burglars are generally trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. They won’t bother using a stethoscope to crack the combination, so a heavy safe they can’t lift is your best bet, he says.</p> <p><strong>Medicine cabinet</strong></p> <p>Robbers want to make quick cash off your belongings, so they’ll be sure to browse your medicine cabinet for prescription pills they can sell. The pills might not be a concern because you can get a refill easily, but be careful what you store nearby.</p> <p>“You want to avoid putting anything of significant value around medication of any kind,” says Siciliano. For instance, using an old pill container as a hiding spot for jewels could actually make them a target.</p> <p><strong>Freezer</strong></p> <p>If you’ve thought of the freezer as a sneaky hiding spot, chances are a robber has, too. A burglar won’t rummage through your entire stack of frozen peas and fish sticks, but if you leave your treasures in something out-of-place, such as a sock, the thief will be onto you.</p> <p>“If you’re going to put something in the freezer, you want to put it in with something that looks legit, like wrapping it in a bag that used to have blueberries in it,” says Siciliano. Use the same rule of thumb if hiding anything in a pantry. Just give a loved one a heads up so that if anything happens, your valuables won’t be trashed with the rest of your food.</p> <p><strong>Office drawers</strong></p> <p>Think twice before stashing important papers like birth certificates or passports in your office drawers. “People want to be convenient. They have a file labelled,” says McGoey. Unfortunately, that also means you’re leading burglars straight to everything they need to steal your identity. Use a locked drawer to keep sensitive data safe, recommends Siciliano.</p> <p><strong>Vase</strong></p> <p>An empty vase could act as a hiding place for valuables, but swindlers are onto your tricks. They’ll likely tip the vase over or even break it, hoping to find goods inside. “Have something additional in it, like flowers, that would obscure somebody looking in it,” he says. They’ll also be less likely to empty your vase if it means dropping flowers all over the floor.</p> <p><strong>Liquor cabinet</strong></p> <p>A liquor cabinet might not seem like an obvious spot for thieves to hunt for valuables, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. “It’s a target for kids looking for [alcohol],” says Siciliano. You might not be devastated if your whiskey goes missing, but you don’t want to lose an heirloom along with it.</p> <p><strong>Suitcase</strong></p> <p>Your luggage might seem like a waste of valuable storage space when you’re not travelling, but don’t keep anything irreplaceable inside. “Suitcases are common things people use as a safe even though it’s not a safe,” says McGoey. Criminals will open a suitcase up if they find one in your closet, he says.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/10-hiding-spots-burglars-always-look-first" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Home & Garden

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Better Homes and Gardens unveils new celebrity chef

<p>Last November, <em>Better Homes and Gardens </em><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/better-homes-and-gardens-star-announces-exit-after-20-years" target="_blank" rel="noopener">farewelled</a> chef "Fast" Ed Halmagyi, after 20 years on the show. </p> <p>Fans have since been left wondering who will replace him, but the wait is now over. </p> <p>Celebrated chef and <em>My Kitchen Rules</em> judge Colin Fassnidge is set to join the cast  from Friday, 2 February 2024. </p> <p>The Irish TV personality will share his much-loved family recipes as the show celebrates it's 30th anniversary.</p> <p>“Working on Better Homes and Gardens really feels like coming home,” he told<em> 7Life</em>. </p> <p>“I’ve been friends with Johanna Griggs ever since I started at Channel 7, and the rest of the cast and I get on like a house on fire.</p> <p>“I can’t wait to get out on the road and travel around this beautiful country, cooking with some of the best and freshest produce in the world.”</p> <p>He also added that he is a bit intimidated as he has big shoes to fill in after Fast Ed's departure. </p> <p>“It’s a little bit scary, but it’s a good challenge and a lot of fun as well,” he said.</p> <p>Fassnidge also shared what he is planning to bring to the table in the coming year. </p> <p>“This show means a lot of things to a lot of people. I’m going to bring a bit of Irish spice to the table!</p> <p>“I want to do fun, affordable cooking — I’m a chef, but I’ve also got kids as well, so I know how hard it is to put food on the table in this day and age with the cost of living and interest rate rises.</p> <p>“I want to show people how they can use cheaper cuts of meat, how to save time, how to feed the family on a budget, but still make delicious meals.”</p> <p><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>executive producer Russell Palmer said he was excited to welcome the <em>MKR</em> star to the team, saying it marked the beginning of a new chapter for the show. </p> <p>“He’s a talented and well-respected chef and brings his own charm and innovation, which is sure to inspire our audience,”  he said. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

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How often should you wash your sheets and towels?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rietie-venter-100529">Rietie Venter</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>Everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to how often towels and <a href="https://7news.com.au/video/lifestyle/cleaning/dr-karl-on-how-often-you-should-wash-our-sheets-bc-6320410318112">bed sheets should be washed</a>. While many people might wonder whether days or weeks is best, in one survey from the United Kingdom, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-61259074">almost half of single men</a> reported not washing their sheets for up to four months at a time.</p> <p>It’s fairly clear that four months is too long to leave it, but what is the ideal frequency?</p> <p>Bed linen and towels are quite different and so should be washed at different intervals. While every week or two will generally suffice for sheets, towels are best washed every few days.</p> <p>Anyway, who doesn’t love the feeling of a fresh set of sheets or the smell of a newly laundered towel?</p> <h2>Why you should wash towels more often</h2> <p>When you dry yourself, you deposit thousands of <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02362/full">skin cells</a> and millions of <a href="https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(23)00402-9/fulltext">microbes</a> onto the towel. And because you use your towel to dry yourself after a shower or bath, your towel is regularly damp.</p> <p>You also deposit a hefty amount of dead skin, microbes, sweat and oils <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-bed-probably-isnt-as-clean-as-you-think-a-microbiologist-explains-163513">onto your sheets</a> every night. But unless you’re a prolific night sweater, your bedding doesn’t get wet after a night’s sleep.</p> <p>Towels are also made of a thicker material than sheets and therefore tend to stay damp for longer.</p> <p>So what is it about the dampness that causes a problem? Wet towels are a breeding ground for bacteria and moulds. <a href="https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/public-community-housing/public-housing-tenants/looking-after-your-home/safety/mould">Moulds</a> especially love <a href="https://www.asthmaandlung.org.uk/living-with/indoor-air-pollution/allergies">damp environments</a>. Although mould won’t necessarily be visible (you would need significant growth to be able to see it) this can lead to an unpleasant smell.</p> <p>As well as odours, <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/infections/can-clothes-and-towels-spread-germs/">exposure to these microbes</a> in your towels and sheets can cause <a href="https://aafa.org/allergies/types-of-allergies/insect-allergy/dust-mite-allergy/">asthma</a>, allergic skin irritations, or other <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/11/4/04-1094_article">skin infections</a>.</p> <h2>So what’s the ideal frequency?</h2> <p>For bedding, it really depends on factors such as whether you have a bath or shower just before going to bed, or if you fall into bed after a long, sweaty day and have your shower in the morning. You will need to wash your sheets more regularly in the latter case. As a rule of thumb, once a week or every two weeks should be fine.</p> <p>Towels should ideally be washed more regularly – perhaps every few days – while your facecloth should be cleaned after every use. Because it gets completely wet, it will be wet for a longer time, and retain more skin cells and microbes.</p> <p>Wash your towels at a high temperature (for example, 65°C) as that will <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34465009/">kill many microbes</a>. If you are conscious of saving energy, you can use a lower temperature and add a cup of vinegar to the wash. The vinegar will kill microbes and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231443/">prevent bad smells</a> from developing.</p> <p>Clean your washing machine regularly and dry the fold in the rubber after every wash, as this is another place microbes like to grow.</p> <h2>Smelly towels</h2> <p>What if you regularly wash your towels, but they still smell bad? One of the reasons for this pong could be that you’ve left them in the washing machine too long after the wash. Especially if it was a warm wash cycle, the time they’re warm and damp will allow microbes to happily grow. Under <a href="https://textbookofbacteriology.net/growth_3.html">lab conditions</a> the number of these bacteria can double every 30 minutes.</p> <p>It’s important to hang your towel out to dry after use and not to leave towels in the washing machine after the cycle has finished. If possible, hang your towels and bedding out in the sun. That will dry them quickly and thoroughly and will foster that lovely fresh, clean cotton smell. Using a dryer is a good alternative if the weather is bad, but outdoors in the sun is always better if possible.</p> <p>Also, even if your towel is going to be washed, don’t throw a wet towel into the laundry basket, as the damp, dirty towel will be an ideal place for microbes to breed. By the time you get to doing your washing, the towel and the other laundry around it may have acquired a bad smell. And it can be difficult to get your towels smelling fresh again.</p> <h2>What about ‘self-cleaning’ sheets and towels?</h2> <p>Some companies sell “quick-dry” towels or “self-cleaning” towels and bedding. Quick-dry towels are made from synthetic materials that are weaved in a way to allow them to dry quickly. This would help prevent the growth of microbes and the bad smells that develop when towels are damp for long periods of time.</p> <p>But the notion of self-cleaning products is more complicated. Most of these products contain <a href="https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/chem-2016-0005/html">nanosilver</a> or copper, antibacterial metals that kill micro-organisms. The antibacterial compounds will stop the growth of bacteria and can be useful to limit smells and reduce the frequency with which you need to clean your sheets and towels.</p> <p>However, they’re not going to remove dirt like oils, skin flakes and sweat. So as much as I would love the idea of sheets and towels that clean themselves, that’s not exactly what happens.</p> <p>Also, excessive use of antimicrobials <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6636436/pdf/idr-12-1985.pdf">such as nanosilver</a> can lead to <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2021.652863/full">microbes becoming resistant</a> to them.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/216083/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rietie-venter-100529"><em>Rietie Venter</em></a><em>, Associate professor, Clinical and Health Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-often-should-you-wash-your-sheets-and-towels-216083">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Aussies lament the end of ancient "Beers for Garbos" tradition

<p>Here in Australia, where rubbish collectors are celebrated annually with a frosty brew (or six), a cherished tradition is facing its untimely demise.</p> <p>Yes, you guessed it right – the legendary "Beers for Garbos" tradition, where grateful locals adorn their wheelie bins with a six-pack of beer as a token of appreciation, is disappearing faster than a cold beer on a scorching summer day.</p> <p>For generations, Aussies have upheld this festive practice, a heartwarming exchange between citizens and their garbage collectors during the most wonderful time of the year. But alas, the tides are turning, and it seems the days of beer-topped bins are numbered.</p> <p>The alarm was sounded when a concerned citizen took to the virtual streets of Reddit to lament the decline of this time-honoured tradition. "I've been doing this for 20 years, only the last two years they don't seem interested. Is this a tradition we are losing?" cried out the desperate Redditor, faced with the heartbreaking prospect of having their VB left unwanted and <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">unclaimed</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">.</span></p> <p>Speculations ran wild in the digital realm, with theories ranging from light-fingered neighbours to the outrageous notion that beer might not be as popular as it once was. However, Veolia, the giant among waste management companies in Australia, quickly extinguished the fiery speculations.</p> <p>Veolia's chief operating officer of environment, Tony Roderick, delivered the crushing blow, confirming that the "Beers for Garbos" tradition had taken its last bow. The culprit? Health and safety concerns, the perennial party poopers of workplace festivities. Roderick explained, "Packages of beer become missiles in the cabin of the truck under emergency braking."</p> <p>Picture this: a garbage truck hurtling down the suburban streets, emergency brakes screeching, and inside, a symphony of exploding beer bottles. It's a hazardous scenario that even the most seasoned garbage collector might find hard to navigate. Moreover, Veolia has a company-wide dry workplace policy, dashing hopes of a beer-fuelled trash pickup.</p> <p>But fear not, for Roderick is not entirely Ebenezer Scrooge. He encourages alternative forms of gift-giving. "Should people want to leave a small gift for their local driver, it is possible to leave it at the local depot where the driver can collect it at the end of the shift."</p> <p>So, instead of a six-pack perched on the bin, envision a quaint scene of a garbage collector picking up a thoughtful gift basket at the depot – the stuff of modern Aussie holiday magic.</p> <p>As we bid adieu to the "Beers for Garbos" era, let's raise a glass in fond remembrance. May your wheelie bins be forever adorned with the spirit of giving, even if the contents are now strictly non-alcoholic. Cheers to a new era of sober, yet equally heartfelt, expressions of gratitude for our unsung garbage heroes!</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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