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Decorating hack: Have we been hanging Christmas lights the wrong way?

<p>It may be the most tedious part of decorating a Christmas tree, but stringing lights around the tree doesn’t have to be draining if done correctly.</p> <p>Most people are known to wrap the lights around the tree starting from the very top and working their way down to the bottom, but there may be a better way to string lights around a tree, and not only is it easier, it looks better too.</p> <p>Francesco Bilotto, a designer and home entertainment expert, has claimed for years that hanging Christmas lights vertically from the top to the bottom of the tree is a fool-proof method to get the most sparkling Christmas tree.</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.housebeautiful.com/entertaining/holidays-celebrations/news/a7580/hang-christmas-lights-vertically/" target="_blank">House Beautiful</a></em>, Bilotto says that by hanging the lights vertically instead of horizontally, each bulb will be in plain view rather than getting hidden amongst the branches.</p> <p>“This way every tip of your tree, from branch to branch, will twinkle with delight,” he said.</p> <p>He also advised those at home to take the end of the light without the plug and putting it on top of the tree.</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/S7OxAdrsy7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/S7OxAdrsy7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Finally got our tree and decorated it 🎄 #treeontree #golddeers #redsparklyballs #verticallights #besttree #redandgold</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/yarilovee/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> yarilovee</a> on Dec 6, 2012 at 10:36pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>As you hang the lights vertically, weave them in and out of tree until the excess is hanging off the bottom, then with the lights that are left over, move it across a few inches then work your way back up to the top.</p> <p>Once the process is repeated, it should result in a tree that is sparkling all over.</p> <p>“Another added bonus is when you dismantle your tree and take off the lights, it’ll be easier and less messy to remove strands from the exterior of the tree – rather than fighting a stubborn almost dried branch,” he said.</p> <div style="position: relative; padding-bottom: calc(56.25% + 50px); height: 0;"><iframe style="position: absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%;" src="https://www.today.com/offsite/should-you-be-hanging-your-christmas-tree-lights-vertically-579347011617" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>And to put the technique to test, host of US breakfast show<span> </span><em>Today</em>, Savannah Guthrie, tried it out on air in 2015.</p> <p>Clearly impressed, Guthrie said: “I’ll say this – it’s a lot easier. Usually you’re walking in circles.”</p> <p>Will you be trying out this Christmas lights hack on your tree this year? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Deck the halls! The extravagant Christmas trees and decorations inside Buckingham Palace

<p>Christmas is well and truly on its way if Buckingham Palace is anything to go by, as the royal residence has been decked out with extravagant Christmas trees complete with bespoke crown and carriage decorations.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 491px; height: 444px;" src="/media/7822298/capture.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6179a414ff6a4e818bf26d7ddf3d6d5a" /></p> <p>The Marble Hall at Buckingham Palace has been transformed into a festive wonderland as three fir trees have been erected and adorned with ornaments inspired by the Queen herself.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 492px; height: 442px;" src="/media/7822299/palace1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/81f14ced060d4d51bc413c50ef62c5f5" /></p> <p>The decorations include miniature versions of the coronation crown worn by the Queen in 1953 alongside other hanging ornaments with the word “Palace” embroidered on them.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 491px; height: 447px;" src="/media/7822300/palace2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0d6813ff465d47a9a73f752d90e21888" /></p> <p>And it doesn’t just stop there, the grand staircase has also been covered in garland complete with colourful baubles to bring about the holiday cheer.</p> <p>The decoration process was filmed and posted to the official Royal Family Twitter account, where they captioned it: “It’s officially Christmas at Buckingham Palace!”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 496px; height: 440px;" src="/media/7822301/palace3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b50220d495e742d58fb2976efece262d" /></p> <p>Glittering white lights have been wrapped around the three trees, and as mentioned in the video, many of the decorations are available to the public through the Royal Collection Trust’s online store.</p> <p>The “Palace” ornament can be purchased online through the Royal Collection Trust and costs NZ$27.40. Also available is a decoration with the word “Buckingham” across it.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">The Christmas Trees have arrived at Buckingham Palace!<br />🎥 Watch as the Marble Hall transforms for the festive season. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Christmas?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Christmas</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BuckinghamPalace?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BuckinghamPalace</a> <a href="https://t.co/bsdFvWbacN">pic.twitter.com/bsdFvWbacN</a></p> — The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1069895913164939265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 4, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>The central Christmas tree stands 15ft tall and all three were grown in Windsor and brought to the palace at the start of December.</p> <p>The Queen will be hosting her annual pre-Christmas lunch just before the royal family make their way to Sandringham for Christmas Day.</p> <p>The lunch, which happens every year, is held for extended royal family members and senior royals who are generally not invited at her Norfolk estate on December 25th.</p> <p>The Norfolk estate is usually decorated in holiday décor the day before Christmas, where the royal family light up their tree at Sandringham House. The tree is said to be 20ft tall and is cut from the estate.</p>

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The top signs that it’s time to call the exterminators this summer

<p>Everyone has their own tolerance when it comes to insects and pests in the home. Some people consider one cockroach scurrying across the kitchen floor as nothing to be alarmed about, while others baulk at it.</p> <p>Pest controllers around the country are busiest at this time of year, bees are swarming and fleas are biting. But, the usual suspects are always ants, cockroaches and rodents.</p> <p>If a rodent is seen in the middle of the day or scratching noises are heard in the wall cavity, a pest controller needs to be called. This is a sign that there is more than one and setting a mouse trap is not going to fix the bigger problem. Another sign is bite marks in food.</p> <p>Dale Bahr, of <span><a href="http://www.reliancepestcontrolbrisbane.com.au/">Reliance Pest Control</a></span>, says: “They’ll wake in the morning and half a banana is gone because they (rats) have started living behind the fridge.” Rats can also create nests under the house, in the roof and even in the couch.</p> <p>Rodents in particular have enjoyed Sydney’s milder winter this year. “There’s a prolific problem with rodents right across Sydney at the moment,” says Lee Rennie, of <span><a href="https://www.shirepestcontrol.com.au/">Shire Pest Control</a></span>. “The warmer than usual ground meant that rodents continued to breed throughout those colder months.”</p> <p>Cockroaches also love the warmer environment under the fridge. If one small German cockroach is seen, call the pest controller straight away. “When [a homeowner sees] a German cockroach running around, they are probably only seeing about 1 per cent of the cockroaches that are actually there,” says Stephan Ware, of the <span><a href="https://www.aepma.com.au/">Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association</a></span> (AEPMA).</p> <p>The German cockroach can spread bacterial diseases, and, like any insect, leave moults and faeces where it lives. Ware suggests the place should be checked if there are signs of German cockroaches.</p> <p>Ants are another common problem, especially when they develop a permanent trail leading from the outside, such as a gap in the windowsill, to the pantry. They are difficult to get rid of at this stage, and a pest controller needs to be called. Ants get into cereals that aren’t sealed, causing the disposal of a lot of food. A more serious matter is white ants.</p> <p>An annual inspection is the only way to effectively deal with termites. The pest controller checks the frame under the house, in the roof, surrounding fences and other wood or trees nearby. On average, a termite inspection with a written report costs $310, a small price to pay for prevention and peace of mind. If there is rotting wood near the house or fingers go through the wall, call the pest controller straight away.</p> <p>Termites are native to Australia and are found throughout the Sydney basin.</p> <p>“Termites do a lot of damage in a short period of time,” says Ware. “They’re nature’s disposal unit.” Ware considers the termite a pest you should act on immediately. “If you cover it up and hope it will go away, it won’t.”</p> <p>In Sydney, the worst pest infestation Rennie has come across was termite infestation. “I’ve had to condemn a couple of properties and get people out of there because the house could collapse on them.”</p> <p>Pest control and hygiene go hand in hand. Removing food sources such as crumbs, pet food, dirty dishes and rubbish will make the house less inviting to pests. This should be combined with a regular pest inspection and treatment when needed.</p> <p>“The home is your most valuable asset,” says Ware. “With a regular treatment your quality of life improves; it’s as simple as that.”</p> <p><em>Written by Melissa Gerke. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/living/the-top-signs-that-its-time-to-call-the-exterminators-this-summer-784779/"><strong>Domain.com.au</strong>.</a></span> </em></p>

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How to be a good neighbour: Etiquette experts share their top tips

<p>In an era when our heads are invariably in our phones and time is a precious commodity, our relationships with our neighbours perhaps aren’t the formative relationships they used to be.</p> <p>But friendship aside, there is a relationship to be had with the people who live around us by virtue of non-negotiable geography.</p> <p>So, if you’re always going to be around your neighbours, here are some sure-fire ways to making sure you’re being a good one, according to etiquette experts.</p> <p><strong>Don’t be a stranger</strong></p> <p>According to the director of the <u><a href="https://asoe.com.au/">Australian School of Etiquette</a></u>, Zarife Hardy, do the thing so many of us seem to be avoiding these days: introduce yourself.</p> <p>“Talk to them. Get to know them,” Hardy says, acknowledging not only is it the right thing to do, but it can also work in your favour eventually, too.</p> <p>“If you find yourself solo parenting at any stage, you will be less frustrated by fighting siblings if you know there is outside help available.”</p> <p><strong>Be a good sport</strong></p> <p>“Treat your neighbours as you would have them treat you,” Hardy says.</p> <p>“Your new blower awaits you in the garage, you’ve tidied your driveway, paths and garden to your heart’s content. While you’re at it, clear your neighbour’s footpath and nature strip. You have had a great vegetable season, share your harvest with your neighbour.”</p> <p>Etiquette expert at <span><a href="http://www.goodmanners.com.au/">The Good Manners Company</a></span>, Anna Musson, agrees.</p> <p>“If you live in a house, bring your neighbour’s bins in. It’s amazing how this 30-second gesture can foster great neighbourly relations.”</p> <p><strong>Personal space</strong></p> <p>Hardy says proper etiquette would be to call before visiting.</p> <p>More than that, she says it’s not appropriate for children or pets to roam free on other people’s property without express permission.</p> <p>“Make sure your children are familiar with these rules and make sure any pets don’t use their yard,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Keep the volume down</strong></p> <p>Musson says keeping the volume down would “be the number-one neighbourly complaint”.</p> <p>“Loud footsteps, using the lawn mower before 9am, talking loudly and pumping music [are bad manners],” she says.</p> <p>“If you are going to have a party, let your neighbours know ahead of time and let them know what time the party will be finishing so they’ll know when to expect some quiet time. If it’s possible you should always invite them.”</p> <p><strong>Be mindful of the balcony</strong></p> <p>“Love barbecuing on your balcony? Consider the stink of barbecued fish or worse, cigarette smoke,” Musson says.</p> <p>“Balconies are not the sacred outdoor space in apartments that they used to be. The best tip for managing your cigarettes or barbecue is to chat or knock on your neighbour’s door, ask if the smoke, music or barbecue bothers them and invite them in for a drink from time to time.”</p> <p><strong>It’s never good form to park on the grass</strong></p> <p>“Park on the street and preferably in front of your own house if you can manage it,” Musson says.</p> <p>“This is especially true for trailers and boats and – worst of all, old cars that you’re doing up.”</p> <p><em>Written by Zara McDonald. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/living/this-is-how-often-you-should-be-replacing-your-bed-linen-20180828-h14jrf-760518/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Domain.com.au.</strong></span></a></span> </em></p>

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This is how often you should be replacing your bed linen

<p>The ultimate bed is one you want to dive right in to. Beautifully dressed, lofty and full, it is accessorised thoughtfully with perfectly plump pillows, a soft throw and plush duvet. But knowing when to replace certain key elements is essential.</p> <p><strong>Mattress</strong></p> <p>A quality mattress should be chosen according to your age and perhaps body type. “Look for a mattress that promotes perfect posture and comfort, while reducing pressure on your entire body,” says Timothy Dutt from <u><a href="https://ultimatebeds.com.au/">Ultimate Beds</a></u>. “It should be constructed of natural materials and not include metals, latex or synthetic fabrics.”</p> <p>Contrary to popular belief, a premium mattress requires minimal maintenance, he says, and shouldn’t need to be flipped. “If it does, it is generally a sign that it will collapse, and the manufacturer is hoping to ensure it will collapse evenly,” says Dutt. “A quality mattress should also feature removable breathable covers and sit on a bed base with quality solid slats that provide adequate ventilation.”</p> <p>Because our bodies change as we get older, consider the support your mattress provides.</p> <p>“A general rule of thumb, is that a mattress should be changed every seven to 10 years. This is also for hygiene and health reasons,” says Dutt. “Look for signs it is failing, like lumps in the pillow top, dead spots in the springs, sleep impressions, waking up with aches and pains and not feeling rested.”</p> <p><strong>Pillows</strong></p> <p>When choosing your perfect pillow, being aware of your habitual sleep positions is imperative to make the right selection.</p> <p>“You might be a back, tummy or side-sleeper, or a bit of everything,” says Lauren Roe, Creative Director at <span><a href="https://www.ilovelinen.com.au/">I Love Linen</a></span>.</p> <p>“Different pillow styles are designed to support your head and neck based on how your body will be positioned at night. For example, if you prefer side-sleeping or you are a larger frame, a high-loft pillow might work best for you.”</p> <p>A pillow is only as comfortable as what is inside it. “Always ask about its inners,” she says. “If it’s microfibre, ensure it is soft, long-stapled and high quality, not cheap, rough polyfill. If the filling is natural fibres like feathers, ensure they are virgin. It means it is animal-friendly and a better quality filling.”</p> <p>Daily plumping is also essential for keeping your pillows in tip-top condition.</p> <p>“Every pillow has its own specific-care recommendations that should be closely followed,” she says. “Daily plumping is really effective for ensuring good air flow throughout and keeping fibres soft and supple.”</p> <p>Every 12 months check your pillows for signs of wear and tear. “You are spending so much time in close contact with your pillow, that for your own comfort and health it pays to replace them. If they feel flat or lumpy or show signs of holding too much dust, there could be dust mites trapped inside.”</p> <p><strong>Bed linen</strong></p> <p>“You know you have high-quality bed linen, when it’s still the set you want to dress your bed in years after you purchased it,” says Alex McCabe, designer at Australian bed linen company <span><a href="https://kipandco.com.au/">Kip and Co</a></span>.</p> <p>“When purchasing, look for fabrics that will really last. That means that they need to be good quality and can mix and match well. Always select for the season. I love the warmth and comfort of jersey and velvet, but during the warmer months I gravitate towards 100 per cent cotton or French linen.”</p> <p>This summer, beds are set to bloom with beautiful botanicals, she says. “Think timeless florals, creeping vines, stone and citrus-fruit pops,” says McCabe. “Our latest collection is called In Full Bloom. It’s inspired by colour-drenched Europe in the spring.”</p> <p>For long-lasting, dreamy bed linen, be sure to launder mindfully. “Bed linen doesn’t have a use-by date,” she says, “but it will last a long time if you follow the care instructions.”</p> <p>When the fabric begins to look worn out or threadbare, it’s time to be replaced. “For longevity, let each set of bed linen rest by rotating it regularly. Each season, add to your collection, but don’t throw out your old stuff. Changing it up means it lasts longer and is a great way to refresh the whole look and feel of your bedroom.”</p> <p><em>Written by Elizabeth Clarke. Republished with permission of <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/living/this-is-how-often-you-should-be-replacing-your-bed-linen-20180828-h14jrf-760518/">Domain.com.au.</a></strong></span></em></p>

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The parts of the home you’re forgetting to clean – according to a professional cleaner

<p>It’s the kind of advice you need, but don’t want, to hear:  What tiny nooks of the home are you forgetting to clean, and what are the subsequent hygiene issues associated with them?</p> <p>Of course, most floors get a mop and tables a wipe. But for every bench that demands a wash after dinner, there’s an equally-as-deserving shower curtain that has spent months, perhaps years, crunched in a corner and draped in festering human gunk.</p> <p>And therein lies the great inequality of all: not all parts of the home are made equal with regards to the ones we are willing to clean.</p> <p>In a recent <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/8qfm3u/professional_house_cleaners_of_reddit_what_do/">Reddit</a> thread that generated more than 7000 comments, professional cleaners shared the parts of the home most likely to be neglected when it comes to cleaning.</p> <p>According to the owner of professional cleaning service <a href="https://www.maidinmelbourne.com.au/">Maid in Melbourne</a>, Rita Dossis, the thread is “very accurate”.</p> <p>“Many of these things that you would assume people would be doing, they are not. Sometimes they look at the bigger picture and don’t notice the little things that need doing,” she says.</p> <p>We’ve summarised some of the most commonly ignored parts of the home, with Dossis telling us exactly what happens when they are left untouched for extended periods of time.</p> <p><strong>Mould in bathrooms, on walls and around windows</strong></p> <p>“There are spores that are not good for you,” Dossis says. “You need bleach to get rid of these and you should be keeping on top of it as they only multiply.”</p> <p>While it’s a simple tip, Dossis says not enough people are “opening [their] windows to get fresh air through the property” to avoid a build-up of mould.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning around door and cupboard handles and light switches </strong></p> <p>Considering how many hands are touching handles and light switches, it’s little surprise this one made the top of the list.</p> <p>“A simple quick wipe with a damp cloth [fixes] it up and is easier to maintain,” Dossis says.</p> <p><strong>Filters on your rangehood</strong></p> <p>When it comes to cleaning the filters on a rangehood, Dossis says they seem to fall in the old “out of sight, out of mind” bucket.</p> <p>“Put them through your dishwasher, they come out sparkling. If not [the] dishwasher, fill your sink with boiling hot water and detergent and then soak.”</p> <p><strong>Shower</strong></p> <p>A shower might clean you, but it certainly doesn’t clean itself, with Dossis noting it’s one of the most neglected parts of the home.</p> <p>“Clean this at least fortnightly, it keeps mould at bay and is much more pleasant to step into a clean shower. We had a client who thought his shower glass was opaque, after we cleaned it [spending over one hour on it] he called us to say he had not realised the glass was clear.”</p> <p><strong>Toothbrush holders</strong></p> <p>“Give it a good clean regularly, you don’t want to be putting your toothbrush into something that is breeding,” Dossis says.</p> <p>Shower curtains</p> <p>According to the professional cleaners of Reddit, shower curtains are one of the most neglected parts of the home when it comes to cleaning.</p> <p>“That’s the accumulation of body oils and fluids that has splashed off your body. You can disinfect and make a bathroom sparkle, however, the stench off the ripe curtain…,” the thread reads.</p> <p><strong>The dish drying rack</strong></p> <p>The dish drying rack, and particularly the bottom of it, is rarely considered in a major house clean.</p> <p>“Check the bottom of it,” Dossis suggests, saying, “soap scum and mould builds up”.</p> <p>“Replace your sponge regularly and wash your tea towels weekly,” she says. “Just because it does not look dirty doesn’t mean it’s not.”</p> <p><strong>Microwaves</strong></p> <p>Depending on how often you are using them, microwaves are also commonly forgotten when it comes to cleaning.</p> <p>Dossis says cleaning them takes only a handful of minutes.</p> <p>“Get a small bowl, put about one cup of water in it with maybe ½ cup white vinegar and then put on high for 4-5 minutes. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes, then open the door and wipe it out.</p> <p>“It’s quick, easy and gets rid of everything. If you use your microwave regularly just do this every few days. If you have put something in and it has splattered everywhere, clean it right then and there.”</p> <p><em>Written by Zara McDonald. Republished with permission of <span><strong><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/">Domain.com.au.</a></strong></span> </em></p>

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How should your cutlery drawer be arranged? Huge debate sparks online

<p><span>A New Zealander has unwittingly set off a furious debate about how one should arrange their cutlery drawer, in a post on social media platform </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/newzealand/comments/9of3ee/how_does_nz_arrange_the_cutlery_drawer/" target="_blank">Reddit</a><span>. Should it be a left-right configuration of fork, knife, spoon? Or knife, fork, spoon? And which direction do you place the head of the cutlery?</span></p> <p>The post was headlined: “How does NZ arrange the cutlery drawer?”</p> <p>“How is the cutlery drawer arranged in your kitchen?” they wrote.</p> <p>“My whole life I’ve gone with the (L-R) fork, knife, spoon configuration (teaspoons below) but have stayed places where knives are on the far left.”</p> <p>“What’s the setup at your place?”</p> <p>As it turns out, people are very passionate when it comes to their cutlery configuration of choice, with hundreds giving their opinion. Some became quite angry about the issue voicing some very cutting commentary. “I actually get so irate over this,” said one Reddit user.</p> <p>One person spoke of a familiar cutlery situation many of us will be familiar with – both order and chaos.</p> <p>“Large knives, knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons at the bottom,” they said of their ordered drawer. “And then other two drawers a mess of utensils until you have a clean out every three years, because you just can’t find the f***ing quarter cup.”</p> <p>Another user agreed, saying, “This is the standard my household follows.”</p> <p>And one person praised the owner of the cutlery drawer as a <span>“cultured individual with a fine taste in cutlery organisation”.</span></p> <p>But the debate was far from over. The utensil talk became even more controversial with the issue of which direction you should place the head of your knives, spoons and forks. Should it be towards the drawer handle or to the back of the drawer?</p> <p>“What sort of animal would arrange the handles towards the back of the drawer?” wrote one person.</p> <p>But as another Reddit user pointed out, “If all the handles are at the front then all forks, knives and spoons look the same.”</p> <p>However, another commenter admitted their cutlery drawer was “pure chaos”.</p> <p>“I just throw them all in the drawer together, no organisation, pure chaos,” they wrote. When someone branded the disrupter a “monster” they replied, “Survival of the fittest.”</p> <p>How do you arrange your cutlery drawer? Let us know in the comments section below</p>

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

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

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

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

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Laundry tips to live by

<p>Your laundry should be as minimal, clean and organised as possible. Yes, I know it’s a drag of a room and no one wants to be in there for long, but there are ways to make the laundry a more hospitable space. Fill large glass jars with bulk items like buttons, threads, pegs and twine and put them on display for a stylish touch. It’s so easy to recreate this look and add a little style to an otherwise drab space.</p> <p><strong>LAUNDRY TIPS TO LIVE BY:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Keep your laundry as minimal as possible, with no fuss and no mess.</li> <li>Use a collection of baskets to separate colours, dry-cleanable items, ironing etc.</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="500" height="750" src="/media/7820235/image__500x750.jpg" alt="Image_ (66)"/></p> <ul> <li>Keep a basket for items that need to be darned and next time you are sitting in front of the TV, mend those holes.</li> <li>Store spare buttons in a jar so they are always close at hand.</li> <li>Keep a piggy bank for loose change that falls out of pockets.</li> <li>Use a small laundry bag to store all those stray socks whose partners will eventually turn up.</li> <li>Have washing labels on display so you can see how to care for each item at a glance.</li> <li>Always fold your jumpers away – never hang them on coat hangers.</li> <li>Keep whites white by soaking your clothes for 10 minutes in a bucket of hot water with two sliced lemons.</li> <li>Always clean stains immediately.</li> <li>Try and clean your clothes with natural cleaners, like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and lemon.</li> <li>Always handwash your delicates.</li> <li>If buying detergent, make sure you buy the right one for the right fabric to ensure your clothes’ longevity.</li> <li>When handwashing your knits, never wring them out as they will lose their shape. Instead, roll them up in a towel to squeeze the excess water out.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Homemade linen water recipe</strong></p> <p>Making your own linen water is an easy way to bring your favourite scent into the bedroom. I love to use lemon and rose oil.</p> <p><strong>What you’ll need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>30 drops (approx. ½ teaspoon) essential oil of your choice</li> <li>90ml (3 fl oz) vodka</li> <li>375ml (12½ fl oz/1½ cups) distilled water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Makes:</strong> Approx 500ml (17 fl oz/2 cups)</p> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Mix the essential oil and vodka in a glass.</li> <li>Add the distilled water and funnel the liquid into a spray bottle.</li> <li>Shake the spray bottle before each use and keep it in a cool, dry place for up to six months.</li> </ol> <p><strong>This is an edited extract from <em>Chyka Home</em> byChyka Keebaughpublished by Hardie Grant Books NZ$44.99 and is available in stores nationally.</strong></p> <p><strong>Photographer © Lisa Atkinson, Armelle Habib</strong></p> <p><strong><img width="131" height="176" src="/media/7820237/image__131x176.jpg" alt="Image_ (68)" style="float: right;"/></strong></p>

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Savvy woman saves thousands of dollars with this genius laundry trick

<p>If there was a list of the worst chores one can do, laundry would most likely be right at the top.</p> <p>But one savvy woman has revealed how she plans to save “a lot of money and time in the next 20 years.”</p> <p>Posting on Facebook, Jen explained that when her washing machine broke down, she decided to invest in a commercial quality machine instead of another regular washer.</p> <p>According to Jen, the machine will save her hours and thousands of dollars in the future, and she hasn’t regretted her decision in the slightest.</p> <p>“[it was] a big investment but hopefully worthwhile for larger families,” Jen posted on the budgeting Facebook group, saying that the Speed Queen machine is great for those who have “a lot of washing to do.”</p> <p>“I found my machine that was three years old decided to sh*t itself,” she posted. “I burn through machines quickly!”</p> <p>After going through regular machines that Jen claims she would “overload and overuse” and pay thousands of dollars for, she decided on purchasing a Speed Queen commercial washer.</p> <p>While it costs a cool $5785 for the machine and an extra $870 for installation, Jen could not be happier, as they are said to last around 25 years when used in a home environment.</p> <p>“I was extremely lucky enough to have my husband’s insurer help pay for my new washer and dryer (the difference in cost for domestic v industrial), BUT I have saved two days of washing in the one day that would usually take me three,” Jen said.</p> <p>Speaking of the machine, she said it’s “fabulous.”</p> <p>“Does a quick 8kg (max load is 10kg) wash in 26 minutes to the max intensive wash at one hour!” said Jen.</p> <p>She then went on to say that the dryer is “also super efficient”, and despite the fact that it’s industrial and will consume a lot of power, she has solar so is hoping it will be “less expensive.”</p> <p>“I looked at just getting an extra large 20kg top loader, but the basic wash programmes for clothing still took 1.5 to two hours,” she said.</p> <p>“With this 8kg, I can get 24 kilograms done in three hours maximum! Far less electricity long term.</p> <p>“For us, with the last twelve years, and over $6000 on machines, if it lasts for 15 I’ll be happy.”</p> <p>Would you be willing to drop the cash on an industrial washer? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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How to declutter your home in 15 minutes flat

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

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

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

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7 ways to revamp your living room without spending a fortune

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

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Top tips for keeping your pantry in order

<p>There is something about opening the pantry when it’s just been cleaned and organised that fills you with a sense of calm. Having a well organised, totally functional pantry is a must-have in this busy day and age. All it takes is an hour of your time, some matching containers and a little pantry inspiration.</p> <p>I am a firm believer that if you can see everything, you won’t waste it. Shallow= shelving will stop you from stockpiling cans; simple, clear containers will tell you when you are running low on items, and baskets are handy for odd-shaped packets that are a little tricky to decanter. I like to keep everything together – my herbs, spices and baking items, such as flour and sugars, all lined up neatly, a section for tea, and so on. Doing this makes it much easier to find what I am looking for in a hurry.</p> <p><strong>Learn to love labels</strong></p> <p>I can’t be the only one who’s confused plain (all-purpose) flour with self-raising flour, or icing (confectioners’) sugar with cornflour. Poor labelling can cause some real issues in the kitchen, so there’s no excuse not to label your jars, especially when there are so many free templates on the internet to get you started.</p> <p><strong>Creative labelling</strong></p> <ul> <li>Hang a simple piece of brown card from the lid and neatly write the contents in thick black marker.</li> <li>Paint a square on the outside of your jars with blackboard paint and label them with chalk.</li> <li>Write directly on the jar with a marker in neat, cursive writing.</li> <li>Match your labels to your kitchen colour scheme to ensure continuity.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Tips for a neat pantry</strong></p> <ul> <li>When buying containers for your pantry, stick to the same size, style and look. Consistency with your containers will create an inviting sense of order.</li> <li>Label, label, label!</li> <li>Group similar items, especially oils and condiments, together so that you can see everything at once.</li> <li>Never store more than two layers deep. If you can’t see it, you won’t use it.</li> <li>Invest in good lighting for a walk-in pantry. Searching in the dark is no fun.</li> <li>Tidy weekly to avoid your pantry getting disorganised.</li> <li>Having a collection of baskets on the floor of a walk in pantry is a neat and tidy way to store big packets and odd-shaped containers.</li> <li>A plastic-sleeved folder will solve your recipe mess. Simply slip cut-outs into a plastic sleeve and file away. Do the same with takeaway menus.</li> </ul> <p><em><img width="208" height="280" src="/media/7819914/chyka-home-cvr_208x280.jpg" alt="Chyka Home CVR" style="float: right;"/>This is an edited extract from </em>Chyka Home<em> by Chyka Keebaugh published by Hardie Grant Books NZ$44.99 and is available in stores nationally. </em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Lisa Atkinson and Armelle Habib</em></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p>

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4 cleaning myths you shouldn't follow

<p><span>These cleaning tricks have been passed down through families but it turns out they could be doing more harm than good to your household. Here are four myths you shouldn’t follow.</span></p> <p><strong>Myth #1: Use hairspray to zap curtain static</strong></p> <p><span>Hairspray can keep flyways at bay but people have also said it will stop the static on drapes. However, Director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute warns that it is sticky and will leave your fabric feeling tacky.</span></p> <p><strong>Myth #2: Wipe down windows with newspaper</strong></p> <p><span>Many people swear by this cleaning trick as it is an easy way to use up your recycling, but it is not without consequences. Carolyn explains the ink could smear and stain your windowsill. Unlike microfiber cloths which are designed to collect grease and dirt, paper also won’t absorb soil on your windows.</span></p> <p><strong>Myth #3: Store linens with wax paper</strong></p> <p><span>It's a common myth to create a wax paper barrier between </span>sheets, pillowcases<a href="https://shop.oversixty.com.au/collections/sheets/product-type_pillowcases?utm_source=Over60&amp;utm_medium=in-article-link-pillowcases&amp;utm_campaign=Over60Shop&amp;utm_content=pillowcases" target="_blank"></a><span> and other fabrics to prevent colour from transferring. However, it is possible for the wax to melt onto linens, especially if they are exposed to high temperatures. Instead, use sheets of acid-free tissue paper.</span></p> <p><strong>Myth #4: Use salt to prevent colour fading</strong></p> <p><span>The Cleaning Lab has tested to see if this old cleaning trick works and it does not. Carolyn explains if your fabric colour runs, the item probably wasn’t finished properly.</span></p> <p> </p>

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10 more uses for Sunlight soap from the Over60 community

<p>Sunlight soap was the world’s first packaged and branded laundry soap, being introduced by the Lever Brothers in 1884. Since then, it has continued to impress customers with its quality and many uses. We shared with you <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/lifestyle/home-garden/2016/01/uses-for-sunlight-soap/" target="_blank">surprising uses for Sunlight soap</a></strong></span> and now, the Over60 community have shared 10 more ingenious uses for Sunlight soap.</p> <p><strong>1. Laundry</strong></p> <p>“I remember my Grandmother using this for laundry, cleaning and used it for the bath and washing dishes. Soap went into basket, locked it shut then as the water ran over it make suds… sunlight soap is amazing.” – Susan Lyzwa</p> <p><strong>2. Shampoo</strong></p> <p>“I always used it to wash hair when we were young... it was remarkable how soft it left our hair too… no conditioner in those days.” – Marlee Marley</p> <p><strong>3. Remove stains</strong></p> <p>“Fancy expensive stain removers are not necessary. Cold water and Sunlight soap rubbed on any stains or marks, before placing item in the washing machine will do the trick.” – Fran Doyle</p> <p><strong>4. Discipline naughty children</strong></p> <p>“I remember having my mouth washed out with it for saying ‘bloody’. That was 55 years ago, and I never said it again in front of my Mum. I can still taste it!!” – Carolyn Korlaki</p> <p><strong>5. Remove splinters</strong></p> <p>“As a child I had a lot of splinters. My nan mixed grated Sunlight soap and sugar to form a paste, place it on my finger then bandage it... later you would feel it drawing the splinter out, no tears.” – Lois Boon</p> <p><strong>6. Clean pets</strong></p> <p>“Old vet told me to use it on my dog years ago when he had some sort of mite rash on his skin. It fixed it.” – Ellie Tarver </p> <p><strong>7. Treat grazes</strong></p> <p>“Very effective for those who get nasty grazes whilst playing various sports. Only 'treat' with Sunlight soap and it will clear up very quickly!” – Robyn Hern </p> <p><strong>8. Stop cramps</strong></p> <p>“Stops the cramps when you put it between the sheets, old wives’ tale but it works for me.” – Penny Button </p> <p>“Put a cake of Sunlight soap under your pillow. Helps with pain, funny but true. Try it.” – Rhonda McWilliam</p> <p><strong>9. Treat boils</strong></p> <p>“Sunlight soap, little water and white sugar makes a paste. It fixes sores, boils and draws out splinters.” – Patti Cloake</p> <p><strong>10. Firelighter</strong></p> <p>“Nanna used to cut chunks of it to put into the wood fired copper.” – Maureen Snelson</p> <p>What are your favourite uses for Sunlight soap? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Prince Charles opens up his home to the public in rare TV appearance

<p>The Prince of Wales is to make a star appearance on UK’s Gardeners’ World, asking green thumbs to “do their bit” to save native trees.</p> <p>A fierce advocate of the natural world, Prince Charles will invite the public into his gardens at Highgrove and discuss his love of gardening, which started when he was a boy, according to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/03/prince-charles-make-star-turn-gardeners-world-asking-viewers/">The Telegraph</a>.</strong></em></span></p> <p>The future King of England will implore gardeners to get their plants from reputable places, take measures to protect their own garden, and not bring back specimens from their holidays abroad – to prevent the spread of pests and disease.</p> <p>The Prince will be interviewed at Highgrove by presenter Adam Frost for a special episode focusing on trees.</p> <p><img width="424" height="266" src="https://imageresizer.static9.net.au/n0BeYOhQyns3AGQvyvuFG-7V4WA=/396x0/http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2F_%2Fmedia%2F2018%2F07%2F05%2F08%2F24%2Fcharles2.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>It is believed Charles was inspired to help tackle the issue after visiting border force officials at Heathrow Airport earlier this year, where he learned more about how experts are preventing plant-borne diseases being brought into the country.</p> <p>For nearly 40 years, Prince Charles has worked to transform the gardens at Highgrove, revamping overgrown and neglected land.</p> <p>On the TV special, he will talk through the steps he is taking within the Duchy of Cornwall, which covers 53,000 hectares of land across 23 British counties, to avoid the spread of plant diseases and pests.</p> <p>The prince will also share personal experiences of managing diseases on his own estate, including Dutch Elm Disease and Ash Dieback.</p> <p><img width="421" height="260" src="/media/7819610/capture_421x260.jpg" alt="Capture (12)" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>He's previously spoken about his passion to save the trees, saying: "I have always been mortified by the loss of mature elm trees from almost every part of the countryside I knew and loved as a child, so I had high hopes for an American variety that appeared to be resistant to the disease.</p> <p>"I planted an avenue of them at Highgrove and then watched, miserably, as many of them succumbed just like the native variety.</p> <p>"The wider problem is that a great many more pests and diseases are now seriously threatening the health of all our native trees, yet public awareness of this situation seems to be frighteningly low."</p> <p> </p>

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9 cost-effective ways to warm your home this winter

<p>Sick of hearing about the same old heating methods<a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/heating" target="_blank"></a> that never quite do the job? Try these nine unconventional heating hacks. </p> <p><strong>1. Preheat your pyjamas </strong></p> <p>While you shower, put your pyjamas in the dryer to ensure that you have toasty warm clothing to change into as soon as you leave the warmth of the bathroom. For a slightly more affordable version, wrap your PJs in a hot water bottle or heat bag, not only will it heat your clothes but it will make your bed toasty warm too, just be sure to remove the hot water bottle from your bed before you settle down to sleep for the night. </p> <p><strong>2. Join the fan club</strong></p> <p>It might seem counter-productive but turning a fan on at the lowest setting will help circulate heat throughout the room. Don't knock it until you try it!</p> <p><strong>3. Hottie in the car </strong></p> <p>Dreading your chilly morning commute to work? Make your early start a little easier to stomach by putting hand warmers into your pockets or heat up a hot water bottle with warm water or a heat bag and put it on your lap as you drive. </p> <p><strong>4. Utilise bubble wrap</strong></p> <p>For those whose home insulation isn't up to scratch, a budget-friendly trick is to use bubble wrap to insulate your windows from the inside. To create the DIY double glazing, simply get some bubble wrap and use a product like blue-tac to hold it in place on your windows.</p> <p><strong>5. Make use of your curtains</strong></p> <p>Keep your house warmer for longer by making use of your curtains and the limited winter sun. To do this, open all of your curtains on a sunny morning and allow the house to soak up as much heat as possible during the day. As night falls, let your curtains act as an additional piece of insulation by closing them at dusk and trapping heat inside the house.</p> <p><strong>6. Cuddle your pet</strong></p> <p>When in doubt, a great way to stay warm on a cold night is by sharing body heat. While snuggling up with your partner might make you a little bit warmer, cuddling a furry pet will heat you up a lot faster. The key to success with this hack is to cuddle up with the fluffiest animal possible, so try and find a friend with a Ragdoll cat or a St Bernard.</p> <p>7. Go camping… indoors</p> <p><strong>Just because it's winter does</strong>n't mean you can't go camping... well, as long as it's in the living room. For a warm night's sleep, fill up a tent with pillows and blankets, make sure it's all zipped up and settle down for the night. The enclosed space will heat up by trapping the air and using your body warmth to make the space nice and cosy.</p> <p><strong>8. Redecorate</strong></p> <p>Positioning your favourite seat in front of the heater might feel great when you're sitting in it, but when you put furniture too close to a heating source you're actually stopping the hot air from circulating throughout the rest of the room. Fix this problem by repositioning your furniture and allowing the hot air to fill the whole room, rather than just absorbing it all up in one spot.</p> <p><strong>9. Get in the kitchen</strong></p> <p>There's nothing like a good soup or a roast to make you feel better on a cold winter’s night. Cooking is an easy way to warm up the air in your home, while also providing you with something warm to eat at the same time. </p> <p>What is your best tip for keeping your home warm in winter? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

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