Friday, October 19, 2018
Home Blog

8 Bathroom Trends for 2019

0
top 8 bathroom trends for 2019

If you’re planning to renovate your bathroom next year, you will no doubt be researching bathroom trends for 2019 to help with your selections.

Each year when I research and compile this post, I’m amazed at what trends have stuck around and what ones have reared their head. I also preach – trends come and go, so it’s important to incorporate what you LOVE because you will be the one using the bathroom everyday. When bathrooms are being renovated on average between 15 to 20 years, it’s important to make selections you can live with.

But if you do want your bathroom to make it’s mark, these are the top 8 bathroom trends for 2019 to look out for.

8 Bathroom Trends for 2019

8 bathroom trends for 2019

1. Bathrooms will become more compact

Bathrooms will be more compact in 2019 with living spaces decreasing in size. This will be embraced by combining the shower and bath. However, this won’t compromise on space (ie small bath!) or style. Double vanities will be disregarded for a singular basin with more vanity bench space.

2. Wet Rooms will be embraced even more

The Japanese inspired wet room style of bathroom will become even more prevalent in 2019 as renovators and builders opt for a more open look for their bathroom.

3. Round is IN

When choosing your fixtures, round is IN. From circular basins, tapware and the popular circle mirror, fixtures that are round in shape will become more common. Even the round free standing bath will be an admired piece in the main bathroom.

4. Natural Materials aren’t going anywhere

For a few years now, natural materials have been a key trend in bathroom interiors, and this won’t change in 2019. Marble is here to stay and will be used on walls and vanities. Timber will still be popular, but coloured marble with a strong vein will be a widespread choice.

5. Terrazzo makes a comeback

Whenever I think of Terrazzo, I think of a shopping centre floor… but it’s going to be a popular feature in bathrooms for 2019. It’s already been embraced in current bathroom revamps this year and is predicted to make it’s mark in bathrooms in 2019. Terrazzo is  easy to camouflage a highly trafficked room so it works well in the family bathroom. It is a polarizing material to incorporate so if you love it, go for it.

6. 3D Tiles & Textured Tile Patterns add substance

Tiles are becoming more textured to give a 3D look. Think mosaics, herringbone or hexagonal tiles as a feature. Tiles that have an unusual edge and contrast will be sought for niches or a feature wall.

7. Coloured Basins add a pop of interest and colour

White basins will be swapped with the coloured variety. It’s like the bathroom trends from the 70’s will make a complete revival in 2019. Dusty pink and all shades of blue and green will be embraced when choosing the vanity basin.

8. White and Brushed Metal Tapware leave Matte Black and Chrome behind

White taps will be embraced more as the tapware colour of choice for 2019 (I shudder at this as they are a pain in the butt to service later on). Brushed metals in brass, chrome and nickel will also be popular. Matte black and chrome will still remain classics.

Some of these bathroom trends are a revamp from last year. It will be interesting to see which trends will get embraced the most next year.

Which bathroom trends for 2019 would you most likely go for if you were renovating your bathroom?

If I Just Get Through This…

0
if I just get through this

It’s been 7 months since I started my new job and I’m quite amazed at how this year has unfolded for me. No week is the same. In fact, every week is different as my shifts could be at night, on the weekend or during the day. I’ve learned to embrace each week as it comes. There are some weeks where my shifts are great and work in well with family life, and then other weeks where my shifts are grouped together, finishing late at night. I tell myself ‘If I just get through this…’ I will be rewarded with a few days off to focus on other work or having a rest. I often struggle with the latter.

Take last week as an example. I did two shifts in one day which meant I worked from 9am to 10pm last Monday to help a colleague out who had Uni exams. She was also helping me as she could take one of my shifts during the week which would allow me to have 5 days off in a row.

Those 5 days gave me time to get posts ready for Christmas. Like this one for Be a Fun Mum. And spend time with Phoebe as she loves hanging out with me at home. We’ve only got another year of this left before she heads to Prep…

me and phoebe
Me and my Phoebe.

The thing is last week wasn’t an isolated week where I thought ‘If I just get through this…’

I had the same thoughts over the second week of the school holidays when I had bronchitis and thought I hadn’t accrued any sick leave. I pushed myself to work my shifts, coughing and sometimes removing my headpiece with tears rolling down my eyes as my coughing wouldn’t remove the tickle in my throat.

That same week I pushed myself to go to an all day kids’ event at church so that Phoebe wouldn’t miss out because she needed a parent to chaperone her. It was another week of ‘If I just get through this…’

The reward would be that I had survived. I had gotten through the busiest part of the week and could relax, with no expectations beyond those within my home.

So far, my rate of getting through things has been successful. It might have taken me 4 weeks to get over being sick, but I got through. It wasn’t until I had a meeting with my leader that I found out I had 3 days of accrued sick leave I could have used!

But that is what we do as mums. We push through. Sometimes we have no other choice but to keep on keeping on.

This week I’ve had the same thought go through my mind, ‘If I just get through this’, as it’s a week of events, plus late night shifts and a school meeting bang in the middle.

While I’m not wishing away the days, because I genuinely enjoy what I do, I still struggle with the juggle of raising a family, working a part time job and running a business. The organisation needed for me to work requires me to be super organised. And this in itself can be exhausting!

All I can do is take one day and one week at a time. I will get through this, whatever ‘this’ ends up becoming. I’ve proven it time and time again. I can cope through busy periods, so long as I know there is a period of rest or a worthwhile result in the end.

Do you ever have thoughts of ‘If I just get through this’? How do you manage busy weeks?

Three Ways to Update Your Home Using the Ryobi Pressure Washer

0
RYOBI Washer and Patio Cleaning kit

This post has been written in collaboration with RYOBI

Cleaning the outside of our house is not usually on the agenda of spring cleaning… until we notice how dirty the exterior of our home is. A pressure cleaner is the best way to remove the annual dirt and grime that settles on the outer surfaces of our home, to bring it back to new. In today’s post, I’m sharing three ways to update your home using a RYOBI Pressure Washer.

I was gifted the RYOBI 2400W 2500PSI Pressure Washer and Patio Cleaning Kit to review on my blog. It’s been on our wish list for a while as each spring, we’d have to borrow my dad’s. Having our own pressure cleaner means we can get onto our exterior cleaning jobs straight away, and this Pressure Washer from RYOBI made the enormous cleaning task, easy.

Bec with RYOBI Pressure Washer and Patio Cleaning Kit

We have a light Colourbond roof, so the dirt can be easily seen in the grooves if we don’t clean it. Our house also backs onto a road, which means our back outdoor entertaining area can get filthy with a fine film of dust. It can also get splashed with paint when crafting or drips from ice blocks the girls will eat outside. The RYOBI Pressure Washer was going to be put to hard to work to get these areas looking new again. Here are the three areas of our home that got an update from using our RYOBI Pressure Washer.

Outdoor Entertaining Area

Every time I’d look at our outdoor entertaining area, I would mentally list it as an area that needed to be cleaned. Our furniture was COVERED in black dust as was the entire floor area.

Aflresco floor before Ryobi Pressure washer
Alfresco Floor BEFORE

Jacob and I removed all the furniture so that we could start cleaning the tiles. The Patio Cleaning Kit is ideal for undercover areas, where there is a large, smooth surface area to clean. I started with the Patio Cleaning Head first to remove the dirt and then changed the head to the turbo nozzle to remove paint splotches and other marks that needed a good blast to get rid of.

Alfresco Floor AFTER
Alfresco Floor AFTER using RYOBI Pressure Washer and Patio Cleaning Kit

I also used the turbo nozzle to clean our concrete paved area. Here is a video of me using the turbo nozzle on the concrete sections of our paved area. The before and after results speak for themselves.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

The last two weekends we have been busy cleaning the outside of our home. Our back alfresco area was in need of a good pressure clean! I can’t tell you how good it looks and feels when walking outside and seeing it look like new! In this video I’m using @ryobianz 2400W 2500PSI Pressure Washer (available at Bunnings). I also got the Patio Cleaning Kit which makes cleaning your patio a dream! I will be sharing a post in the coming weeks reviewing this pressure washer. But I reckon you will like watching the grime coming away from our concreted paved area. The before and after photos look 👌🏼#sponsored #gifted #ryobipowertools #ryobianz #pressurecleaning #springcleaning #ryobitools #ryobioutdoors #womenontools #outdoordiy

A post shared by Rebecca Senyard (@theplumbette) on

Concrete area AFTER
Concrete area BEFORE
Concrete area AFTER
Concrete area AFTER

Roof

One of the main reasons I wanted a RYOBI Pressure Washer was to be able to clean our roof when needed.

Our near white Colourbond roof always shows the dust. It’s an annual job to pressure clean it, as rain alone does little to remove the dust.

Colourbond Roof BEFORE
Colourbond Roof BEFORE

The best thing about using the RYOBI Pressure Washer when cleaning your roof is the length of hose which enables you to reach further. The 8 meter hose can be unwound from the reel, which makes it easy to unwind when needed.

Colourbond roof after
Colourbond Roof AFTER

Indoor Rug

Our indoor rug has gone through a bit in the last year since we’ve owned it. It only cost me $69, so I’ve never been too worried about how long it will last, but I have noticed there have been marks on the rug which I’d wanted to remove so it would look less worn.

Rug BEFORE coating with texta and makeup?
Rug BEFORE coated with texta and makeup?
IKEA RUG Before
IKEA Rug BEFORE

I saw a tip on Facebook of someone using a pressure cleaner to clean their rug. So I thought I’d give it a try on our rug and it’s come up beautifully! If you do decide to pressure clean your rug, make sure you do it on a warm sunny day, and first thing in the morning so the rug has time to dry.

Rug after
Rug AFTER

Thoughts About the RYOBI Pressure Washer

The RYOBI Pressure Washer is easy to use. I found the pressure to be brilliant and changing between the nozzle and Patio Cleaning Head was simple. I love that it can be wheeled to wherever you need it to go. You can add detergent for a deeper clean, but I was happy with using water. The RYOBI Pressure Washer is $299 from Bunnings and the Patio Cleaner Kit, also available at Bunnings, is sold separately for $39.99.

front door cleaning

Since acquiring our RYOBI Pressure Washer, we have been cleaning the front of our house, the driveway, gutters and eaves. It’s definitely made our home look newer and fresher for summer entertaining. I’m grateful that this time next year, I won’t have to ring my dad to borrow his pressure washer. Our RYOBI Pressure Washer will be waiting, ready to be used again.

What outdoor jobs are on your spring cleaning list? Do you have areas that could do with an update with the RYOBI Pressure Washer?

Disclosure: I was gifted a RYOBI Pressure Washer and Patio Cleaning Kit for the purpose of this review. This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy. All opinions are my own.

8 Tips to Help Keep Your Home Well

0
rid your house of cold and flu

Whenever there is a change in season, you can be guaranteed a cold will come with it. And when one person brings a cold home, it’s only fair everyone in the home catches it because sharing is caring, right? Can you tell I’m being sarcastic? Colds SUCK. They really do. And despite my diligence with some of my prevention practices, I have had two bad colds this year. So I’m well acquainted with these cleaning tips to help keep your home well.

I have recently gotten over having a bad cold which developed into bronchitis and conjunctivitis which then turned back into a cold and I am now officially breathing through my nose and not coughing like crazy after two doses of antibiotics.

Whenever a cold is brought home by one of the kids or my husband, there are a few key things I do to try and prevent the spread. Sometimes its unavoidable.

If you’ve been cooped up with a cold at home, here are some tips to assist getting your home healthy again. I’m no doctor and PLEASE see a doctor if you can’t shake your cold or you start to feel worse.  These tips aren’t remedies and they won’t rid your house of cold, but they can help delay the spread of germs from one family member to another.

8 tips to keep your home well

 

Diffuse Essential Oils

These are my arsenal oils when someone brings a cold home. I love to diffuse essential oils in all the rooms and in my car.

essential oils for colds and flu

On Guard and Easy Air are placed straight into the diffuser. (I usually place 3 drops of each in the diffuser with water)

1 drop of Digestzen with Fractioned Coconut Oil is placed on belly buttons 3 times a day when green snot appears.

1 drop of Lemon, 1 drop of Frankincense mixed with fractioned coconut oil and applied to the throat and chest can assist with coughing. My mum gave me a roll on blend of Manuka oil (not pictured) and this with Easy Air on my feet gave me atleast 2 hours of respite while talking on the phones at night for work.

1 drop of Lime and 1 drop of Easy Air with fractioned coconut oil can be applied to the bridge of nose to help relieve a blocked nose.

All of these oils can be diffused at different times, depending on the needs of your family. If everyone is coughing, add Easy Air, Lemon and Frankincense to the diffuser.

If everyone has a blocked nose, diffuse Easy Air and Lime together.

If only one person has brought a cold home, diffuse On Guard which is known as the protective blend.

Open the Windows

If it’s not rainy or too cold outside, open the windows. The fresh air inside the home removes any airborne viruses lurking in the air. It flushes out stale air or stuffiness, which is not ideal when cooped inside the house with infected family members.

Change Pillow Cases and Air Out Pillows

Our pillows can accumulate over time with snot, saliva, dust, skin cells and makeup plus other nasties like dust mites. When colds hit the home, it’s ideal to change the pillow cases more regularly and air out the pillows. Check the date on your pillow and see if it’s time to replace it.

air out pillows

Also, give any European pillows an airing out. I usually use these to prop myself up at night so I can breathe easier when I have a cold. Any pillows that are used during the night when you have a cold should have the cases changed regularly and aired out too.

new pillows on bed

Clean Handles and Taps– Anything Hands Touch

When people blow their noses or sneeze into their hands, guess where their germs land? On anything that person touches. So think about the things in your house that are touched frequently with your hands. Think taps, door handles, light switches, knobs on chests of drawers – even the toilet brush handle! These should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly to prevent the spread of the cold in the house.

Replenish Soap in Dispenser and Hand Towel

Regular hand washing is a must when someone has a cold, so ensure there is soap in the soap dispenser and a fresh hand towel for drying hands.

Clean Your Toothbrush or Replace Your Toothbrush

After a cold, I usually replace the toothbrushes. After reading online about being more environmentally friendly, it’s encouraged to clean your toothbrush instead of throwing it away. I’m not going to judge what you do here, but just remember to do something with your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold. If you’d like a natural cleaner, add 2 tablespoons of water, and 4 drops of On Guard Essential oil in a glass. Let your toothbrush sit in this overnight and it will be ready to use again the next day.

Clean Your Basin Drains

This tip is gross, but it’s an important one which can benefit your family immensely.  When I had bronchitis, I was coughing up a lot of mucus, and often I would spit it out down our basin with some water. Consider cleaning your basin drains after someone has had a cold. Some bicarb soda, vinegar and a citrus essential oil can remove any bad odours and possible bacteria than can be breathed in when you’re brushing your teeth.

clean basin waste

Clean Your Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Filter

Anything that assists in the circulation of air in your home, should be cleaned and even sprayed with anti- bacterial spray. Ducted heaters and air conditioners circulate old air inside the home, so if someone comes home with a cold, their germs can be spread throughout the home through the ducts. It’s more common for people to catch a cold from touching items that have been touched by the infected. But it can’t hurt to clean the filter. It will make your system run more efficiently too.

When you’re feeling poorly with a cold, a full house clean won’t be an option. Rest is really important. If you do a few of the above, you can hopefully stop the cold being spread from one family member to the other.

What do you do to keep your home well? Got any tips  that may help prevent the spread of a cold between family members?

How to Style a Bathroom Stool

0
how to style a bathroom stool

If you have a new bathroom to style – or an older bathroom that needs a little something to give it an instant update, you can’t go past the bathroom stool. There are a variety to choose from and a number of ways you can style a bathroom stool.

how to style a bathroom stool

I don’t have a bathroom stool – well actually I do, but I wouldn’t class it in the variety of what I’m sharing about today.

I have a green IKEA Mammut plastic stool that is used multiple times a day for little people to reach the vanity basin to wash their hands and brush their teeth. It gets hidden under our floating vanity so it doesn’t jut in the way of traffic.

But just because I don’t have a modern looking stool, doesn’t mean I don’t wish for one. If you’re styling a bathroom in a house for sale or you’ve renovated and need to give the bathroom an earthy, yet modern look, the bathroom stool will be the perfect piece to add next to your freestanding bath.

A timber stool seems to be the most popular and it tends to be the most versatile as it can suit a range of different bathroom styles.

Their prices range from $29 to $300 for a unique bespoke piece.

My research online has found these stools to be quite popular. I’m not sure if watching The Block resurrects the sales of these pieces.

Nevertheless, here are some I’ve found available online.

how to style a bathroom stools

  1. Apex Stool in white from Pillow Talk $29-$39
  2. Mahi Tri Leg Stool from House of Home $169
  3. Alice Stool in Peppermint from The Block Shop $79
  4. Arzu Stool from Zanui $147.95
  5. Savannah Stool from Temple and Webster $69.95
  6. Natural Elm and Black Benson Stool (available December 18) $79.00
  7. Firenze Stool from Pillow Talk $109.95
  8. Nashua Stool from Zanui $94.95

How to Style a Bathroom Stool

There are so many ways you can style a bathroom stool. The most common way is grouping a selection of products to create a vignette.

The stool could have one stand-alone product – like a plant.

 

Some stools are styled with nothing on them. It depends how busy the bathroom is already.

The most common pieces I’ve seen styled on a bathroom stool are a candle, block of soap, bristle brush and rolled hand towel.

bathroom stool
Courtney and Hans styling of their bathroom stool from The Block Shop

You can place whatever items you own on the stool. Choose items that differ in height to make it visually appealing. Odd numbers work well, but I’ve also seen two pieces work beautifully together.

 

The bathroom stool is a practical piece as it can work as another surface to place products on like your towel and soap as you soak into the bath. I know that’s how I’d use my bathroom stool.

Do you have a bathroom stool? Which bathroom stool would suit your bathroom?

Disclosure: There are affiliate links on this post. Should you choose to purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

I Pulled the Plug on Term 3 Early and Escaped to the Sunshine Coast

0
pulled the plug on Term 3 Sunshine Coast Getaway

Last Wednesday when I picked Esther and Maggie up from school, I surprised them by saying their schooling term had finished earl. I had pulled the plug on Term 3, two days out because we NEEDED a break. A shift swap and an unlikely roster schedule where I had 4 free days in a row made it the perfect time for our 2 night Sunshine Coast Getaway.

I don’t know about you, but every September I feel an urge to go away for a holiday.

Usually during the year we would have a weekend or two away and at least one week booked at a coastal location in September or October.

But this year has been unusual because I got a job and I have been doing a lot of weekend shifts. Plus we’re heading to Disneyland at the end of the year and money spent on a weekend away was consciously decided to be put towards our overseas trip.

Thankfully, unexpected finances came our way from my work, which meant booking a small getaway was doable.

No matter I was blocked up with a cold and had a persistent cough. If we didn’t do it now, there would be no other time until our overseas holiday.

It was meant to be because I booked the last two bedroom apartment at Oaks Oasis Resort Caloundra. I had heard good things about this hotel and it didn’t disappoint. The waterpark was fantastic for the girls. No need to be in the pool with them as the water is shallow enough for Phoebe (4) to swim in. Plus the slides made it heaps of fun and made bedtime a breeze with 3 exhausted girls eager for bed.

oaks oasis resort Caloundra

oaks oasis resort slides

We visited some attractions while away too. Before we checked into our hotel, we went strawberry picking at McMartins Strawberry Farm at Bli Bli. After the recent strawberry scandal it became a must do for the school holidays. We all enjoyed picking strawberries, despite it being a hot day. Our strawberry sundaes were delicious and our pickings meant we would have strawberries for days… well at least for a few days the way my girls eat them!

strawberry picking at McMartins Strawberry Farm

strawberry picking

strawberry sundae at McMartins Strawberry Farm

On Friday, we headed to the beach. It was breezy! I have no idea where we ended up, but it was near the rock pools and the tide was out which made it ideal for looking around the rocks and collecting shells and seaweed to make sandcastles. I often forget how much my girls love being on the beach. The conditions weren’t ideal for swimming, but that didn’t matter. They wanted to create a city in the sand.

caloundra beach

Caloundra Rock Pools

Caloundra beach

sand angels caloundra beach

Bec and Jacob at Caloundra

After a few hours on the beach, we headed to The Ginger Factory. I love this place on the Sunshine Coast. I have memories of my parents bringing me here when I was little.

The Ginger Factory Sunshine Coast

Jacob and I had done the tour a few years ago when Esther and Maggie were quite young. I booked the train tour and overboard boat ride which the kids thoroughly enjoyed (book your tickets online to get 10% off – a family ticket includes 2 adults and 3 children which is not usual for a family pass). We had a lovely lunch and spent a small fortune on ginger beer, soft toys (Beanie Boos are our nemesis) and crystalised ginger treats.

decorate a gingerbread man at The Ginger Factory

There are a few things you can do at The Ginger Factory. We timed our visit so we could eat lunch. The girls loved decorating their own gingerbread man, which cost $5.95 per child.

After our Ginger Factory visit we headed across the road to the Nutworks Factory and bought some triple coated chocolate macadamia nuts. I also bought macadamia paste which is amazing on toast.

Nutworks Factory

On Saturday, the girls spent most of the morning swimming in the water park while I checked us out. We planned to head to Montville but we had a minor health scare which meant we needed to head to a doctor as soon as we could. The local doctor in Caloundra was booked out and advised us to go to hospital which was not how I envisioned ending our getaway. I was able to get a doctor’s appointment at home, so we decided to take the girls to The Big Pineapple for lunch on the way home.

Big Pineapple

What a disappointment that was. The Big Pineapple is still there and we took an obligatory picture. But it was nothing like its heyday from when my parents took me as a little girl. It was THE place for a parfait or ice cream sundae back then. There was the buffet restaurant downstairs and the nut ride and boat ride and a train. (The train is still there but it had already left to take passengers to the animal park down the hill.)

We walked around the abandoned main building and I described to the girls what used to be there. I remember the marketplace where you could buy all kinds of touristy things imaginable, and the opal shop where you could buy jewellery. It was never my style, but it was great for window shopping as a kid.

The building is empty and in need of being demolished or renovated.

I had hoped we could have lunch there before our drive home, but it was slim pickings for what was available. So we settled for Peter’s ice creams from the little kiosk out the front that sold a selection of souvenirs. There wasn’t even a public toilet available for tours. The lone staff toilet was the only toilet available for visitor’s use.

I do hope they redevelop the area. It’s almost like walking into a ghost town, beyond The Big Pineapple itself.

As we piled into the car to go home, we passed a lot of traffic coming towards the coast for the school holidays. It was good to have a weekend away and I was glad to have booked it last minute, but it felt good to get home too.

Have you ever booked a last minute getaway? Ever taken the kids out of school just because? What do you remember about The Big Pineapple?

Note: Thanks Bron from Mumlyfe for letting me steal your term to title my blog post. 😉

How to Drink Filtered Tap Water Without Changing Your Plumbing

0
Drink Filtered Tap Water Without Changing Your Plumbing

Sponsored Post

If there is one element of my health that I consistently maintain, it is drinking filtered tap water. And I don’t mean it’s been filtered through a coffee machine! I’m talking plain water. I actually love drinking water and it’s always my drink of choice when at home.

I’m fussy when it comes to drinking water. I don’t like drinking tap water at all. I’ve never liked the taste and I don’t like the smell. Even though I know the water is safe to drink and has gone through a treatment process, the presence of heavy metals, chlorine and limescale, which changes the taste and smell of tap water, puts me off. Having lived on filtered water for most of my adult life, I can taste the difference between tap water and filtered water instantaneously. The tap water often has a metallic taste that isn’t always nice to swallow.

I understand why many people don’t drink enough water because the smell and taste from these impurities can be off-putting.

But not everyone can afford a filtered water tap. Or even a fridge that dispenses filtered water either. Often the kitchen configuration won’t allow a water point for the fridge to dispense water, and if it does it can be a big investment to do so.

Bottled water is also not a sustainable solution and it adds expense to the grocery bill.

So what can you use to remove the heavy metals and impurities in your tap water without changing your plumbing?

The BRITA Marella Jug and BRITA MAXTRA+ Limescale Filter makes it possible for EVERYONE to drink the best filtered water possible, with no need to change the water configuration at your sink.

BRITA filtered tap water

How does BRITA Marella Jug and MAXTRA + Limescale Filter Work?

BRITA water filters are engineered in Germany and they have been designed to filter water, worldwide, no matter the conditions. BRITA’s unique jug filtration technology for both the MAXTRA+ and MAXTRA+ Limescale filters powerfully transforms tap water, reducing contaminants such as heavy metals (lead and copper), chemicals (chlorine) and other unwanted minerals and sediments.

The new Limescale filter is the first of its kind in Australia, removing 50% more limescale than the standard MAXTRA+ filters. The cartridge filters tap water in the jug and stores it, ready to be drawn from at any time.

Why Should EVERYONE Have BRITA Water Filter?

Filtered water is good for our health. I find it strange that we will spend money on the best wine or beverage to go with our evening meal, but not invest in getting the best water into our bodies which is a daily requirement for hydration. BRITA makes filtered water an affordable option for everyone.

BRITA filters and jugs don’t require any power to run, so if you lose power, you can still access filtered water by filling the jug.

It’s also ideal to take away for holidays as we always go through A LOT of bottled water. BRITA will not only help us save money, but will reduce our ecological footprint.

Setting Up Your BRITA Water Filter and Jug

Setting up your BRITA water filter in the Marella Jug is easy.

When you get your jug, remove it from the packaging and give the jug and insert a thorough wash with water and detergent.

Drink Filtered Tap Water Without Changing Your Plumbing

Before you insert the filter cartridge, get a bowl of water and immerse the cartridge into the bowl of water to remove air bubbles. Keep it down for at least 1 minute to remove all the air bubbles.

remove bubbles from BRITA filter

Remove the cartridge from the bowl of water and insert it into the jug. Make sure it’s pushed in all the way down.

Brita Filter into jug

Filter and discard the first two litres of water through your jug. (discard the water on pot plants or in a diffuser)

Your jug is then ready to be used.

BRITA Marella Jug

The Taste Test

Once the water in my Marella Jug had been chilled, it was time to give it a taste test.

BRITA Filtered Water

The verdict is… it tastes clean and fresh. I couldn’t taste or smell the tap water, even though that was what was used to fill my jug.

If you want to nourish your family with the best water quality available, invest in a BRITA Marella Jug and MAXTRA + Limescale Filters. The water filters will last up to 150L or 4 weeks. You can head to the BRITA site so you’re prepared for summer and all year round.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader of The Plumbette has a chance to win a BRITA prize pack to the value of $133.

BRITA Prize pack

The Prize includes:
• 1x Marella jug (blue) – RRP$34
• a 2 pack MAXTRA+ filter – RRP$28
• a 2 pack MAXTRA+ Limescale filter – RRP$31
• 1x active bottle Blue – RRP$18
• 1x vital bottle Purple $22

In order to be in the running for the prize, please leave a comment (30 words or less) on this post or on Facebook telling me why you need the BRITA water filters in your life? The most interesting answer will win the prize pack.

Entries open Monday 24th September 6am Brisbane time and close Friday 12th October 6pm Brisbane time.

Entries are for residents in Australia only.

Disclosure: I was gifted a BRITA Marella Jug and BRITA MAXTRA+ Limescale Filter for the purpose of this post. This post has been written in accordance with my Disclosure Policy.

I Got a Better Deal on my Gas and Electricity Bills With Electricity Monster

0
I Got a Better Deal on my Gas and Electricity Bills with Electricity Monster

This post has been written in collaboration with Electricity Monster

When it comes to gas and electricity bills, I’m usually a pay and file away type of gal. I had assumed I was getting the best deal because I’m loyal and I pay my bills on time.

But I recently found out I WASN’T getting the best deal for my gas and electricity bills –  despite having done the research a few years ago and assuming the combined account discounts I had received then, would follow through to now.

I usually do a quick peruse of my electricity bill because we are always in credit due to our solar. The only time I give it a thorough look through is if the solar hasn’t been as good that quarter. It’s often a reminder to get the solar panels cleaned to ensure they draw in at their best capacity.

However my gas bills have been steadily increasing each quarter. I know there are only two companies we can use when it comes to gas, and a few years ago I had chosen the best deal at the time.

Our recent bill prompted me to check to see if we could do better on our gas. After looking through our bill, I could see no discounts for having both accounts with our current provider and we got a measly $0.88 for paying by direct debit each quarter.

I didn’t know if there were more companies available to choose from for our gas, so I headed to Electricity Monster, an electricity rates comparison site. Their site allows you to enter your details (including street address) to find a better deal on electricity and gas. Their free service is available to anyone wanting to get a better price for their gas and electricity bills.

Saving with Electricity Monster

I entered my details on Electricity Monster and it took a while for the search to bring up any results. Eventually I was directed to give them a call and quote my reference number.

electricity monster comparison site

As soon as I rang through, the consultant asked me if I was Rebecca because one of his colleagues had been trying to call me. He must have tried to call me the same time I rang through.

Due to our high solar tariff with our current provider, the consultant advised the best way to get a better deal on our gas was to ring our supplier and check we were getting all the discounts applicable. He told me to look through my bill and find if any discounts had been applied. I couldn’t find any. He advised I was entitled to at least the combined account discount and was helpful to advise what to say to get the said discounts available to me.

So I rang my provider and I was told I was definitely eligible for a discount, but it would only last for 12 months – hence why the original discount I got years ago had dropped off.

The moral to the story is don’t assume you’re getting the best deal on your electricity and gas and secondly head to Electricity Monster to find out what the best deals are to your property. I was really impressed with how quick my enquiry was handled and the free advice I got, which I’ve worked out will allow me to keep $400 per annum in my pocket, rather than in my provider’s.

My situation was unique due to our high solar feed in tariff, but I was very grateful the Electricity Monster consultant gave me the advice he did, despite there being no sale for him. That’s genuine service worth sharing about. If you need to check you’re getting the best deal for your gas and electricity bills, head to Electricity Monster.

How often do you check your electricity and gas bills? Have you noticed an increase in gas bills over the last year?

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.

A Week of Inconvenience Turned Out Better Than Expected

0
week of inconvenience

Have you ever had a week of inconvenience which turned out better than expected? This is exactly how I would describe my week.

The inconveniences started when I received 10 emails from Telstra and 4 text messages (all from different mobile numbers) advising me I would be without the internet for approximately 3 days. I was grateful Telstra wanted to advise me of their scheduled maintenance, because I do work from home. But by the 5th email and 3rd text message I wanted to reply I KNOW, thank you for spamming me.

Initially I groaned and thought what crappy timing as it was to be on one of my child-free work days for uploading blogs and social media. But then I realised the dates would work with my other job as I didn’t have any shifts booked those two days (and working internet is a must!).

Unfortunately, my internet was turned off a day BEFORE I had been told it would be (All those Telstra notices lied to me LOL) which of course coincided with my late work shift on Monday night. So off I had to race (thankfully against the traffic) to the office to complete my 5 to 10pm shift.

I’m grateful that when I can’t work from home, there is a back-up plan; however I’m not a fan working out late at night out of home – especially on a school night.

Despite having to go into work, I got to meet another colleague from another team. She had tech issues too. She waited for me to finish for the night so we could walk to our cars together. She needed my arm to walk down the dark hallway and to the lift due to her partial disability. I got to hear her incredible story, and then she got me to jump into her car to see how her car was fitted so she could drive.

The inconvenience of no internet allowed me to have a lovely exchange with another colleague, and another face to put a name to when I work and communicate on Skype. Inconvenience turned to blessing as I could help someone at the office, but also be encouraged by their story.

The next day, our internet was still turned off, so I started decluttering the kitchen. I emptied the cupboards stuffed with platters that had never been used. I put a few things on Facebook Marketplace and made a few dollars which was unexpected.

I also created a donation box with a number of crockery items that I had double or triple ups of. In particular, I had a lot of bowls and casserole dishes. Each of them were from my grandma as every time she would bring over her potato salad for a family get-together (her signature dish), she’d leave the bowl with me and say she didn’t want it back.

Little did I know that mum has had to take Grandma to various stores to buy a new bowl every time she makes her potato salad because she can’t remember what she’s done with them all. Mystery solved! Haha. I’m glad I can return them to Grandma. I bet I will end up with the same collection this time next year and have to deliver them back to her again.

Having the internet off was a pain in the butt. I didn’t realise how much we have come to rely on it. Esther couldn’t do her homework, emails couldn’t be returned and special tv (NETFLIX) couldn’t be turned on. But it allowed me to focus on all the jobs that didn’t require the internet so I got a lot of writing done (no temptations to online shopping or interruptions from emails and social media), decluttered, cleaned, read books and rested when I could.

I’m now a bit behind with my blog work and have no idea how I will fit in what I need to before school holidays start, with back to back shifts and possibly extra hours due to a typhoon. But I always seem to get it done. Don’t we all seem to get stuff done when the pressure is on?

So the lesson for this week is inconveniences can lead to unexpected acquaintances, solved mysteries and blessings. I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to open our platter cupboard and know I don’t need to be inspector gadget to catch any toppling platters.

How has your week been? Ever had a week of inconvenience turn out better than expected? Do you get antsy when the internet is down in your area?

Trendy Freestanding Towel Racks For Your Bathroom

0
Trendy Freestanding Towel Racks For Your Bathroom

If you have a spare wall and need extra places to hang towels in the bathroom, why not add one of these freestanding towel racks to the room? There are various types available that come in chrome, stainless steel, bamboo or timber.

Not having enough towel racks in the bathroom can be annoying and sometimes the wall racks don’t allow enough air flow if the towels are layered over each other when draped over the arm.

I find a freestanding towel rack ideal as it can separate the towels, allowing them to dry quicker. It also avoids penetrations in the wall. Depending on the style of freestanding towel rack you choose, it can be used as an accessory in the bathroom.

My personal preference is for the wider style towel racks so the towel doesn’t need to be bunched or folder on the rail. But I do love the look of the ladder and the IKEA chair if space is limited in the bathroom.

 

I’ve found freestanding towel racks to suit all budgets and styles. Let me know which one takes your fancy in the comments.

Milli Edge Freestanding Double Towel Holder Chrome $259.99

freestanding towel racks

Goldair Free Standing Heated Towel Rail $119.00

heated towel rail

Milli Axon MK2 Freestanding Towel Rail Chrome $469.99

Milli Axon Freestanding Towel rack

Nova Star 3 Square Bars Towel Rack $64.95

Temple and webster freestanding towel rail

Sette Double Towel Stand $99.99

sette double towel stand

IKEA Ragrund Towel Rack Chair $49

towel chair ikea

Kmart Decorative Bamboo Ladder $25

Kmart Bamboo

Pillow Talk Vittata Black Freestanding Towel Rack $69.95

Pillow Talk Towel Rack

Kmart 4 Towel Rack $19

Kmart Towel Rack

What do you think of freestanding towel racks? Are they something that you’d have in your bathroom?

Disclosure: There are affiliate links on this post. Should you choose to purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Glass Free Shower Design Ideas

0
glass free shower open shower design

Last year, it was predicted the Japanese style wet room would become a popular bathroom design. The style certainly opens up the bathroom and can work in a small space. With my recent research for bathroom trends, I’ve seen a number of glass free showers become embraced. They are also known as open showers, however, I have seen glass being used as a panel. The bathrooms I’m sharing today are open showers, with no use of glass to frame it (apart from an adjacent window).

glass free shower design ideas

Glass free showers are a way to avoid cleaning glass in the bathroom. Over time, as we all know from experience, the glass can become cloudy due to watermarks, limescale and age (You can read how I cleaned my shower glass with EkoWorx and CLR).

I’ve seen glass free showers embraced in showers that have been created as a nook in the bathroom or in a long, corridor bathroom. Big bathrooms are also embracing the glass free shower, as the space prevents water spraying every surface of the bathroom (I think this comes down to the individual using the shower though!). The drainage needs to be considered for these open showers. A channel grate is ideal for adequate drainage.

Also a rain shower head is incorporated, as the water is directed down as opposed to all around from a hand-held shower.

I think a glass free shower design comes down to personal preference and the space you have allocated for your bathroom. I like the sectioning and protection glass can bring to a shower, but I can also see the benefit of not having to clean the glass.

Here are some open showers that are glass free. There are some clever design ideas that may inspire your next bathroom renovation if you choose to go for a glass free shower.

Glass Free Open Showers – Ideas and Inspiration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you consider having a glass free shower?

I Ticked Something Off My Bucket List: Articles Published in Handyman Magazine September 2018 Issue

0
Handyman Magazine 2018

A couple of months ago, I was approached by the editor of Handyman Magazine to write two feature articles for the September 2018 issue. The features were to be all about bathroom renovations.

handyman magazine bathroom renovating

I was so excited to be asked… and then I got nervous because I’d never written for a magazine before. I’d been interviewed for articles before, but never had I been the one to write an article. I said yes before I told myself I couldn’t write it and went head first into getting the first article written. Before I knew it another article was given to me with the same deadline and I eagerly went ahead and wrote what I knew with help from businesses that do bathroom renovations on a regular basis. It was a joy to converse, collate and submit imagery from industry experts.

Handyman Magazine 2018

My experience certainly helped write the articles, but there were amazing insights and conversations with those working in the industry which allowed me to submit the articles.

Handyman Magazine 2018

The magazine went on sale on the 23rd August and I went to Bunnings TWICE to get some copies. I was told I was too early.

Thankfully my local newsagent had two copies available for purchase yesterday (third time lucky!). Bunnings will have the September issue available for sale this week.

Special thanks has to be given to

Indigo Jungle Interior Styling who designed the feature image.

Smith & Sons

Divine Renovations

Fusion-Loc

Sophie Laundy Interiors

House of Home

And Zoe and the team at Handyman Magazine who gave me this opportunity and edited my work. Thank you.

The girls were super excited to see my words in the magazine. Jacob has taken a copy to work.

Reading Handyman Magazine September Issue 2018

If you want to read my articles and my DIY on how to apply silicone, the September issue of Handyman Magazine is on sale now and is available at selected newsagents and all Bunnings stores.  A subscription might make a lovely Father’s Day gift too.

The Plumbette Handyman Magazine September 2018

I’m grinning ear to ear at having ticked something I’ve always wanted to do off my bucket list. And I can now finally announce what I’ve had to keep tight lipped until the magazine was available. I hope you enjoy the issue and it helps with your bathroom renovation planning.

Do you read Handyman Magazine? What’s something you’ve said yes to that got you out of your comfort zone?

Getting Rid of Mildew on Bathroom Walls

0
Getting Rid of Mildew on Bathroom Walls

If you have noticed grey, white or dark specks on the plasterboard or ceiling in your bathroom, you may have mildew. Mildew on bathroom walls is common as the dampness and lack of air flow prompts it’s growth. I noticed we recently had a mild growth of mildew on the walls above our shower, and I’m going to share with you how I cleaned it off and what I used to hopefully prevent another outbreak on the walls.

getting rid of mould

When we bought our house ten years ago, it was a display home. So while it was fitted with a great range of features, there were some things like an exhaust fan in the bathroom that hadn’t been installed.

As soon as we moved in, we got our electrician in to install an exhaust fan in the ensuite, but it wasn’t installed above our shower – it was installed in the middle of our ensuite (was the best place to install at the time).

As a result, the steam rises from our double shower and it can cause the plasterboard above the tiles to get damp.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed dark specks above the shower and I knew I had to get onto cleaning it straight away.

mildew on shower walls

The difference between mould and mildew

If you have mildew in the bathroom, usually it is characterized by a grey white colour which can turn dark if left and not cleaned. It’s a fungi that sits on the surface of a damp area like the plasterboard, tiles or even glass in a bathroom.

mildew on bathroom walls

Mould is usually black and fuzzy and it is much harder to get rid of. Usually it grows in grout, silicone and plasterboard. Sometimes the only way to get rid of mould is to remove the surface it has grown in or get a cleaning specialist in to control and clean the outbreak. While there are natural remedies that can kill the mould spores, it won’t always take away the black spots.

Thankfully, in my case it was just mildew above my shower and I was keen to get rid of the unsightly view.

Getting Rid of Mildew on Bathroom Walls

All I used was EkoWorx – or Koh as it’s now known and I added 2 drops of Clove oil for extra measure to prevent another growth. Clove oil is great for killing the mildew spores. I left the spray on for 30 seconds and it only took one wipe to remove the mildew and the  wall looks good as new. I used paper towel to clean the spores away first, and then my green cleaning cloth with more clove oil to prevent another outbreak.

get rid of mildew in the bathroom

mildew on bathroom walls gone

As soon as you see any mildew in the bathroom, it’s important to clean it straight way so it doesn’t cause minor health issues like sinus. Mildew is a type of mould, so you don’t want it to become a bigger problem in the bathroom by leaving it grow.

While cleaning the mildew is important, it’s crucial to identify what has caused the mildew in the first place.

The best ways to prevent mildew in the bathroom:

    • Open the window when having a shower to let steam out
    • Always use an exhaust fan when showering to extract steam
    • Wipe down walls with a towel to remove condensation
    • Check for roof leaks or possible water leaks in the bathroom and get them fixed asap
    • As soon as you see a mildew outbreak, clean it immediately and identify the cause – i.e. is the wall damp from a leak behind the wall or from moisture/condensation from what happens outside the walls? Generally, there will be a water stain or mark from water leaking inside the walls.

Have you ever had mildew on your bathroom walls? What did you do to get rid of it?

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father’s Day

0
Wookie Cookie Gingerbread Fathers Day

If you’re looking for a fun baking gift idea, you must bakes these Wookie Cookie Gingerbread for Father’s Day.

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread Fathers Day

I cannot claim the creative genius for this – however, I did change the icing dots to silver cachous or as Phoebe likes to call them ‘silver pearls’. We also had to give some Wookie’s red mouths… which looks like they are wearing lipstick.

My design is definitely not Pinterest worthy – but they have been baked and decorated with love. My husband loves Star Wars so these cookies will be right up his alley.

When it comes to asking my dad what he would like for Father’s Day, I usually get the same response each year: ‘Nothing, I just want to see you and the kids’. A quick call to mum usually ends in a gift of a replacement pair of slippers, shorts or jocks.

This year, I will be baking these Wookie Cookie Gingerbread for Father’s Day. I know it will be a gift that will be appreciated and it’s something the kids can get involved in creating too.

Essentially, you will need a gingerbread cookie cutter and a fork to indent the gingerbread cookies. Any gingerbread recipe will do but I’ve shared my recipe that I use every time I bake gingerbread.

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father's Day

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread Ingredients

  • 125gm softened butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 2.5 cups of self raising flour

When I shared my gingerbread holly recipe last Christmas, I had a lot of questions on where to purchase a gingerbread cookie cutter.

Try your kitchen crockery stores like Robins Kitchen and Matchbox. Here are some that I’ve found that are available online in various packs. There is the cookie boy, gingerbread stamp set (you can just remove the stamp), a single gingerbread cutter and a set of cookie cutters with the gingerbread cutter included.

Once the gingerbread are cut and placed on the tray, use a fork to score and indent each cookie to make it look like fur.

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father's Day

After they have been baked and have cooled, you can decorate your Wookie’s with one line of cachous or two to make it look like the bandolier Chewie wears in Star Wars.

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father's Day

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father's Day

To give away as gifts, I recycle any trays from my fruit and vegetable purchases. These make great trays to give baked goods away in.

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father's Day

Even if your dad is not a Star Wars fan, they will love these gingerbread for Father’s Day.

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father's Day

Yields 24 cookies

Wookie Cookie Gingerbread For Father’s Day

30 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125gm softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 2.5 cups of self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • Black icing pen
  • White icing pen
  • Silver cachous

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 190 degree Celsius
  2. Use electric beaters to cream the butter and sugar together
  3. Add golden syrup, flour and ginger to create a smooth dough
  4. Roll the dough into 4mm thickness and use a gingerbread cookie cutter to cut out shapes
  5. Place these on a baking tray lined with baking paper
  6. Use a fork to score and indent each cookie for the fur
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown
  8. Once cooled, add black icing for eyes and white icing for mouth
  9. Use the black icing to create the diagonal bullet belt and add cachous
  10. Allow to set and place in gift boxes.
7.8.1.2
26
https://www.theplumbette.com.au/tradies-lunchbox/wookie-cookie-gingerbread-for-fathers-day/

What have you got planned for Father’s Day? Do you bake gifts for your dad on Father’s Day too?

Disclosure: There are affiliate links on this post. Should you choose to purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

amara awards

If you enjoyed this post and others, I’d love for you to vote for my blog in the Amara Interior Blog Awards. The Plumbette has been nominated as the Best Interior Lifestyle Blog. You can vote here. Thank you so much for your support.

A Lesson About Jumping to The Wrong Conclusions

0
A Lesson About Jumping to The Wrong Conclusions

Yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment that brought relief to the question of ‘what if?’ in my mind.

Around a month ago, I decided to get a health check with blood tests to see if I was lacking in anything because I had been so tired. I had a feeling I was going to be told yet again that I had to change my lifestyle, but wanted to get things checked anyway to be sure.

The blood results came back and my white blood cell count was just over what it should have been.

I immediately thought the worst, although my doctor reassured me the reading could have been because I was fighting a virus. Esther and Maggie had had the chicken pox consecutively the previous month, so who knows whether my body was fighting that or something else. To be safe, I got another blood test, but was asked to wait a few weeks.

When I hear anything to do with white blood cells it’s not hard to think the worst. I jump to the wrong conclusions. I asked my doctor if I could get another ultrasound on my breasts despite being given the all clear two years ago.

jumping to the wrong conclusions

I wanted to be sure everything was checked. What if things had developed in the last two years? Maybe that was the reason for the higher than usual white blood cell count?

I had the ultrasound last week and a lot of time was spent taking images of my right breast. This concerned me and I had to settle my mind.

Thankfully, my appointment yesterday confirmed everything was ok. My white blood cell count had gone down (so I obviously was fighting a virus!) and the nodules in my right breast were the same size as last time.

When I got into the car, I rang Jacob, relieved about the results, but I also chided myself for jumping to the wrong conclusions.

The mind can run away with itself with ‘what ifs?’ can’t it? It’s a battle to control the mind at times. It can go off on a tangent and create scenarios that will possibly never be. I know it’s important to trust God through whatever circumstance we come face to face with. Clearly it’s a lesson I’m still learning.

Jumping to the wrong conclusions didn’t help me. It was unnecessary to worry until I had all the facts. And nothing could have been done until the test results came in. Why do I worry about things I don’t have control over?!

The same can be said when we judge others and jump to the wrong conclusion about their behavior. There is often a reason or another story that we don’t see. Whenever I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion with someone and I’ve talked to them about it, usually I’ve been the one in the wrong and I’ve had to apologise. Sometimes what we see is not a true picture of what is really going on. And this verse in The Message explains just that.

don't jump to the wrong conclusion

Wherever you find yourself this week, take a lesson from my experience and don’t jump to the wrong conclusions until you have all the facts. And if anything is bothering you health wise, get it checked out before your mind starts telling you morbid things that are incorrect.

Always live with hope and the belief that every day is going to be a good day (a reminder for me too!). Expect the best outcomes in all situations.

Do you jump to the wrong conclusions? How do you calm your mind when you get unexpected news?

All-In-One Filtered Sink Mixer Taps – What You Need to Know

0
all in one filtered sink mixer tap header

All in one filtered sink mixer taps are becoming a more sought after tap as it reduces the need for two taps at the sink.

Known as a 3 way filtered tap or filtered sink mixer, there aren’t a lot of tap manufacturers that offer this style of tap. There is a limited choice for design and colour, with most options offering chrome.

 

The all in one filtered sink mixer has three water inlets – hot, cold and filtered water. They combine filtered water and unfiltered water in the one mixer. The mixers will have dual chambers on the inside so there is no cross contamination between the tap water and filtered water.

I was recently asked by a friend who wanted to have this style of mixer installed, if I knew of any other tap finishes. I had never heard of the mixer she wanted to have installed, but I have included it as part of this post because it does have watermark approval and offers a stainless look if chrome is not your preferred finish.

These mixers are a great option to reduce multiple holes through the benchtop or sink mount, and are ideal for one sink applications.

I haven’t personally installed this type of tap because it’s fairly new in design and many opt to have a filtered water solution through their fridge. I personally have the old Zip Hydrotap option which has worked fine for me. I don’t mind having two taps at the sink.

When purchasing an all in one filtered mixer tap, check what connections are included. Usually the water filters will be an additional cost.

If you are looking for some all in one filtered mixers, Melissa from Mill Park Reece has suggested Phoenix Tapware for quality. Here is a list of the all in one filtered mixers to consider:

Phoenix Vivid Filtered Sink Mixer

all in one filtered sink mixer tap

 

Phoenix Pristine 2 in 1 Filtered Sink Mixer

All-In-One Filtered Sink Mixer Taps

 

Oliveri Essentials Round Gooseneck 3 Way Mixer

All-In-One Filtered Sink Mixer Taps

 

Oliveri Essentials Square Gooseneck 3 Way Mixer

All-In-One Filtered Sink Mixer Taps

 

K-5A Modern Gooseneck Stainless Steel 3 Way Mixer

All-In-One Filtered Sink Mixer Taps

 

Puretec Tripla BL2 TAP ONLY 3 Way Kitchen Sink Mixer Filter Matt Black

All-In-One Filtered Sink Mixer Taps

If you’re after an all in one boiling, chill water mixer, Zip is the way to go, although they are a big investment. Zip offer a range of finishes with their taps and you have the added benefit of never having to boil a kettle to make yourself a cuppa.

If budget is an issue, an all in one filtered sink mixer tap will be the most cost effective solution. Always buy from a reputable plumbing company so that filters and spare parts can be sought if needed. A licensed plumber should install your mixer. Most of the mixers have a 6 year plus warranty and this can be voided if a plumber isn’t used to install the tap.

Have you got an all in one filtered sink mixer tap? Or do you prefer having two taps at the kitchen sink?

Empowering Women to Use Power Tools: What Have You Been Told You Can’t Do?

0
Empowering Women to Use Power Tools: What Have You Been Told You Can't Do?

Blogging events are very few and far between these days. And the events I do get invited to, I have to decline simply because of work and family commitments.

But one event that I had been waiting to arrive in Brisbane was the Kids Business Bloggers Brunch.

I’ve been invited to these events in Sydney and Melbourne, but wouldn’t attend due to kids and the cost of getting there. When it finally arrived in Brisbane, and I saw the key speaker would be Kerryn Carter from Tool School (also brand ambassador for Ryobi), I RSVP’d before I organised someone to look after Phoebe!

Kerryn Carter
Kerryn Carter from Tool School and Ryobi Ambassador – This was the cubby house the bloggers helped build to donate to a single mum through Share The Dignity

You can read an overview of the event on this post I wrote for Be a Fun Mum. But I wanted to talk about tools. Specifically women getting on the tools and having a crack at making something, because this was a theme that was tackled head on at the event.

There has been an underlying message in our society that tools are ‘men’s toys’. Whether it’s through advertising, old ideals, social norms and having the trade industry generally dominated by men, women aren’t being taught basic skills on how to use power tools. The reality is, it’s sometimes seen as unusual to see a woman on the tools. While the wheels are slowly turning with more and more women embracing a trade, we still have a long way to go before women are accepted as equal on the construction site. Praise be for the companies and sites that do embrace women.

Anyway, I digress. I know there are women (you may be one of them) who have been curious about…

How to use a power drill?

What’s the correct way to sand?

bec sanding

How do I turn a lawn mower on and mow a lawn?

How do I change a battery to my battery powered drill?

What drill bit will suit this or that job?

How can I patch a hole in the wall?

How do I paint a wall?

There are many women who have had an underlying desire to renovate.

To build furniture from scratch.

To upcycle an old piece of furniture and give it new life!

All these desires require skills and a bit of know-how using tools.

I was lucky to learn a lot of these skills through my trade. But gosh, when I started I was so scared when I held a battery drill. I may have even creamed my jeans the first time I used a hammer drill. But over time, that anxiety lessened as I became familiar with using the tools.

The thing is, curiosity is often quenched with fear of what if I stuff this up? and what if I’m not doing it right?

Being curious is a good thing when it comes to using tools. It’s something we should investigate further. But often women are deterred directly or indirectly that they can’t do certain things, and using tools is one of them. I noticed the hesitations from some of my blogging friends when it came to signing up for the Ryobi workshop (I’ve experienced the same myself!), where we could make a cheese board.

ryobi workshop
Ryobi Workshop with a view of Brisbane City in the background at Victoria Park
ryobi tools
Tools ready to go
ryobi workshop
Me and Bronwyn from Four to Adore at the Ryobi workshop

Ryobi are passionate about getting women on the tools. And I love that women like Kerryn Carter have made it their calling to teach kids and women how to use tools to change the status quo. TAFE can be quite daunting to learn new tool skills – especially when you’re the only female in the workshop. A teacher with no bias, but a passion to teach people what they need to know, is important when it comes to teaching tool skills.

The Plumbette and tool school
Bec with Kerryn Carter from Tool School

Heading to the Kids Business Bloggers Brunch awakened a confidence in me after making the cheese board. Clicking the batteries into place for each of the Ryobi tools felt good. I knew what I was doing. And that confidence was only acquired after being taught how to use the tools before, and repeating the skills over and over again in my trade.

The Plumbette Subtle Mummy
Zoe from The Subtle Mummy is a Fine Arts Teacher and has taught woodworking/tool skills to students

Whatever your curiosity, I encourage you to discover ways to develop it. Whether it’s getting someone to show you how to use a power drill or booking yourself into a class to do woodwork. YouTube can show you various tutorials on how to use tools, but sometimes having someone show you in person is better. There are various ‘shed’s’ that have been developed as local initiatives to get men and women using tools. Do a Google search to see what is available in your area.

If you are looking to do a workshop, here are some that I know:

Two Sheds Workshop

Woodwork for Women

Tool School

TradeUP Australia 

Bunnings

SALT – these workshops travel to schools, offering girls a chance to use tools.

If you know someone who can teach you how to use a certain tool, ask them. And then tackle your project and give it a go.

ryobi cheese board
With my finished cheese board

There is nothing more fulfilling than producing something you’ve created yourself.

diy cheeseboard
My cheese board put to great use

What have you been told you can’t do? What tools would you love to know how to use? What project have you outsourced because you lacked the confidence to try it yourself?

Property Styling on a Budget: Which Rooms Should be Home Staged by a Stylist?

0
Property Styling on a Budget

This post has been written in collaboration with Grace & Co Property Styling

If you’re planning to sell your property, you will no doubt be looking for ways to make your home stand out from the rest in your suburb. The responsibility of ensuring your property appeals to a potential buyer relies on how you style the property. To ensure your house looks amazing for the listing photos and open home inspections, property styling will be a fundamental step. Homes that undergo property styling will spend less time on the market and reap higher offers, compared to homes that are simply presented ‘as is’.

What is property styling?

Property styling, also known as home staging, is simply entrusting a stylist (who has interior design qualifications) to come into your home to furnish and finish it so there is less of you and more of what a buyer will want. Property Styling will ensure your house looks amazing by carefully curating the interior to make a lasting impression on the potential buyer. The property stylist will restyle your home, to prompt an emotional response from a buyer as soon as they walk through the door.

before property styling
before
after property styling
After

Property styling is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A homeowner can stage their home themselves but often they are governed by what they like. Property stylists have an eye for detail and they know how to present a room that will appeal to a broader range of viewers. Of course, this expertise will come at a cost and not everyone can afford a property stylist, so how you can you get your property styled on a budget? Here are some tips from Melanie Grace, owner of Grace and Co Property Styling, on which rooms you can DIY and which rooms you should leave in the hands of a stylist.

Property styling on a budget: Who should do what?

A property stylist can completely overhaul your home and in doing so can help you get a better sales price by up to 12.5%.

If you have limited funds, but still want your home to by styled, a partial style can be done by a property stylist. This is a great option if you are still living in your home and have existing furniture that can be worked into the interior.

The property stylist will do a consultation on the rooms that need to be styled or receive some attention. They will make a note of the existing furniture and décor that can be used and then hire other pieces to style the gaps.

You, as the seller, will need to do the prep work which will include

• Cleaning carpets/floors
• Patching holes in walls/ceiling
• Painting walls and ceiling
• Dusting and cleaning window furnishings
• Ensuring lights work and replace bulbs where needed
• Cleaning windows

The three main rooms to get property styled

For a partial property styling package, the three main rooms that should be handled by a stylist is the lounge, dining and master bedroom.

before a lounge room gets property styling
Before
after lounge property styling
After

These rooms are where a potential buyer will imagine themselves living and relaxing in. It’s these rooms that need to evoke an emotional response from the buyer, and a property stylist knows how to style these rooms to do just that.

dining before
Before
dining after
After

Rooms the homeowner can style

The bathroom, kitchen, laundry and powder rooms are rooms that don’t necessarily require a property stylist. A lot of the work can be done by the homeowner in these rooms as they don’t require furniture.

The most important job in these rooms is to ensure they are clean. Here is a list that can be applied to all the wet rooms in your home:

• Clear clutter off benches. A bowl of fruit or a Thermomix are fine to leave on the bench in the kitchen as they can add colour and character
• Clean and/or paint cabinet doors
• Remove magnets and notices off the fridge
• Clean windows
• Replace silicone in areas where it’s gone mouldy or has discoloured
• Clean grout
• Clean splashbacks

The bathroom, kitchen and laundry should look clutter-free. Don’t over-style them.

Rose petals in the bathtub will not evoke an emotional response from someone walking through your home. Instead, add a scented candle, a plant, vase of flowers and fluffy towels. Create a vignette, which is a cluster of décor pieces that add interest to the space.

 

Property styling is a successful method in getting more eyes on your home which can lead to more walk throughs and potentially, a higher offer. It’s a valuable step in the home selling process.

It is possible to get your property styled on a limited budget. A consultation with a property stylist can give you the information you need to get your home looking its best. Your property stylist can also give you a list of areas to refine that you may not have previously considered.

If you are looking for an experienced property stylist contact Grace and Co Property Styling. The photos speak for themselves on the transformation they can make to your property.

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy

Have you ever considered using a property stylist to style your home for sale?

The Best Websites To Peruse For Renovation Inspiration

0
renovation inspiration

When you purchase a house in need of renovating, it can be hard to decipher what you like and if it will suit your property. Renovation inspiration can come in many forms from perusing interior magazines, to walking through display homes to my most favourite and preferred way – scanning online websites and bookmarking ideas I love.

There are a variety of places online that I go to to get renovation inspiration for an article pitch or a post I want covered on the blog. I had a question last week about my recommendations on the best websites to go for renovation inspiration. Pinterest wasn’t cutting it, and to be honest, Pinterest doesn’t cut it for me most weeks either. Here are my recommendations to assist you as you compile your ideas for your renovation.

best websites for renovation inspiration

Houzz

Houzz is my FAVOURITE resource for home renovation inspiration, and not just because I write there. I was researching images from this online site long before I wrote articles.

houzz renovation inspiration

There are a few reasons why I love Houzz.

Firstly, you can search for images of homes within Australia. If you are after a Hamptons kitchen or a modern black and white bathroom, you can search for these terms and filter for Australia only. Secondly, the builders, architects and designers who share their images will often share what materials they used for the new build or renovation. If they haven’t, there is the ability to ask them directly.There are links to their website and contact details, which means you can even collate a list of companies to engage with for your renovation.

 

You can also create a private ideas book where you can bookmark all your inspiration in the one file. Houzz is my first online resource I turn to for renovation inspiration.

Google Images

Google is my next go to. I type in what type of renovation I’m after, and when I press search, a list of website posts will come up. I click on the images tab and this makes scrolling images so easy. This search will allow you to get instantaneous image inspiration.

renovation inspiration for contemporary bathroom

Secondly, it gives you the ability to click on the image and be redirected to the site where the image was shared. Now this may not always happen on Google images because there is an unfortunate case of copyright issues with images being re shared and not credited to their original source.

To avoid being sent to a spammy website, I hover my mouse over the image to see what website it will redirect me to. If it goes to an interiors magazine, blog or even to Houzz, I know it’s safe to click through to get more information.

Online Magazines and Blogs

I can get a lot of inspiration from online magazines and blogs. Especially for current interior trends that won’t date. My go-to online website to visit is Homes to Love which is a curation of articles and images from popular interior magazines including Belle, Real Living, House and Garden, Inside Out, Country Style and Home Life.

homes to love inspiration

Adore Magazine is also another favourite with their home tours section. I also love blogs like The Interiors Addict, Style Curator, TLC Interiors Blog and Katrina Chambers Life and Design. Renovating for Profit by Cherie Barber is great for cosmetic renovation ideas. Also Three Birds Renovations is the ‘neutral’ renovator for white and bright interiors. These are only a few that I periodically read because I enjoy their before and after’s and their writing style. They are also image driven blogs, and this is important for your research.

reno addict inspiration renovation

Instagram

If you have an Instagram account, you can search hashtags for your desired renovation ideas. The more niche your design, the better results you will get with Instagram. A word of warning though when using Instagram for renovation inspiration: it’s become a platform of re-sharing images from other designers , so it can be hard to find the original source if they haven’t been credited correctly. It’s still a great place to peruse images though. Sometimes hashtags have been used incorrectly and I don’t always get the desired outcome to my search, but it can still be another online resource to use.

Pinterest

Pinterest can be great and you can find a lot of great renovation inspiration there, however, it’s my last resort when looking for ideas. The reason for this is I find a lot of pins (images) are from America, and are not always suitable for Australian homes. The second reason is many of the images are not linked to their original source or credited to the original designer, so you are unable to find out what materials were used or any information relating to the image.

renovation inspiration online

It’s definitely an online resource to keep in mind though as it gives you the ability to store your ideas (pin) in the one place while you research.

The internet makes researching for renovation inspiration much easier than ever. There are boundless sites that can give you even more ideas, but generally, these are my go-to sites.

Where do you go for renovation inspiration? What other online resources have you used for renovation ideas?

Expect The Best And Give Your Best To Others

0
expect the best

I remember when I was in my early 20’s, my dad said something along the lines of ‘Bec, you will eventually need to do less because you will be too tired to fit all the things in your life.’ I remember scoffing to him in my head. I’m young and not old like you. I will be fine! Ha!

In my early 20’s, I was newly married and working full time business hours including hours at night, finishing my apprenticeship and studying personal styling. Two nights a week I’d be out. One night doing musical practice and another night catching up with friends at a bible study group. Weekends were filled with catching up with more friends, or celebrating milestones of engagement parties, weddings, 18th’s, 21st’s, 30th’s and baby showers. On the rare quiet weekend, I’d fill it with an impromptu double date with friends going out for dinner or seeing a movie.

pre-kids
Fresh Faced at 25 – Pre-kids

More than a decade later, life is very different.

I’m still married, but now have three children. Life is a juggle of organising where three children go while I manage a part-time job and a business, which are necessary to keep the mortgage paid and food on the table. My musical days are over as are week nights out unless absolutely necessary. Nights out with friends have to be booked a couple of months in advance. Jacob and I attend a connect group with families, which happens on weekends once a month. Sometimes we have to cancel if we need rest or I have to work.

post kids
Post kids – at 34 a few extra kgs, wrinkles, heavier eye lids and disheveled hair

Our Saturdays are filled with 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 year old birthday parties. Our quiet weekends are no longer an invitation to busy ourselves with others because it’s time to recoup.

Impromptu get-togethers with friends are met with ‘sorry, can we reschedule, I’m too tired,’ and feelings of relief when plans are canned because it’s a moment of unexpected quiet to watch a movie or go to bed early to catch up on sleep.

Juggling work, household demands, kids, marriage, finances, spiritual life (which is the undercurrent for life) and everything else that life demands from us, is exhausting.

But as I sat in church this morning, worshiping God singing

“It’s your breath, in our lungs
So we pour out our praise, we pour out our praise
It’s your breath, in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to you only,” I became overwhelmed with the breath in my lungs, grateful for the full life God has blessed me with. Answered prayers came tumbling to my mind. I love how worship changes my perspective and my heart. It brings energy to a tired soul.

Life has certainly changed over the last decade. And while my 20-year-old self scoffed at my dad, I’m nearly mid-thirties and I get it. I so get it. And dad, you are right. I can’t do everything and rest is so important.

At the same time I’m thankful for this full life and the ups and downs that have so far made my 2018.

When 2018 started, I had beautiful friends and family say to me this year would be a good year for me.

I believed it with my whole heart. (Like I do EVERY year)

But then it felt like everything was falling apart in January because a job I had lined up fell through, and work I did, didn’t get paid (and still hasn’t been fully paid!). Sponsored work I did was being paid late (over 60 days!) and asking for payment for work I had previously done for free, and could no longer afford to do for free, fell on deaf ears. I felt like I was a little mouse on a spinning wheel getting nowhere. I felt stuck and started to question whether what I had poured into this blog and my online writing career had been worth it? Was it ever going to get better? Maybe this was never meant to be a job and just a hobby. A hobby to help people? Maybe it was time to find a ‘real’ job.

Around February this year when everything felt like it was going to crap, God was positioning the right people around me to change my life.

It felt daunting because it was something I would never have considered doing, but it could lead to places I’d never get to on my own. It was going to fit in with my criteria of being a present mum. For me, this was important.

As you know, I had my interview and got my job and have been in my job for 5 months.

I have been stretched with this job. I am out of my comfort zone with every shift.

I actually start every shift with butterflies in my stomach, and pray that God would help me help the people who are directed to my line.

Not long after I started my new job (possibly a couple of months), writing work I could have only dreamed about, came through. It was as if stepping out in faith into the unknown with this new job, also brought other opportunities and blessings in my writing work.

And I believe they’ve come through simply from being persistent, doing my best with every job opportunity that’s come my way, trying something new and never ceasing in prayer about the direction of my life. (Special thank you to my village who have never stopped praying)

I’ve come to the conclusion that my life direction is to simply help people.

It’s really what this blog has been built on.

It’s why I started my apprenticeship.

It’s why I pitch and write the articles I do to other publications

It’s why I do my current part-time job.

Helping people is my currency. I think it’s everyone’s currency. I think the lining of our heart will always question how can I help? How can I use my gifts and skills to help others?

The question we should ask ourselves is how can I help someone else with where I have been planted? How can I position myself to help myself and others better? There comes a point where this helping requires monetary payment to ensure the helping continues of course, but the reflection of the past 6 months has confirmed this thought.

While the job is going well, my life is far from perfect. I was speaking with a friend this week that we can’t have all our balls aligned perfectly. There is always a ball or two that needs attention, and when that ball is aligned to where it needs to be, another ball drops.

But I want to encourage you, wherever you are at in your 2018, the last half of the year can look different to the first half.

Today’s sermon at church was about that. The simple message was if we are to finish the last of 2018 well, it has to be focused on loving God and loving people. It’s crucial to understand the right sequence of this because you cannot love people, without loving God first. People are hard to love. Easy to love if they’re friendly, have good intentions and are lovable, but hard if they are nasty, bitter and are out to diss you any chance they get. Love is a choice. It’s about having the best intentions for others no matter who they are. It’s something I continually work on.

I’m keen to finish the second half of 2018 well. As I write this, my writing work has slightly stalled at the moment, but I’m not fearful. In fact, it positions me in an exciting place to see what God will bring to me next. And I know that the same can happen for you. I believe it.

Expect the best and give your best to others. Learn to rest when needed. Don’t overfill your plate.

I get a lot of encouragement from Proverbs 11 in The Message. I love verse 25 and it’s the verse I’m going to be holding on to as I finish the second part of this year.

expect the best and blessed verse

How has the first half of 2018 been for you? Do you expect the best when it comes to your day/month/year? What can you do to change your perspective so you’re aligned to finish 2018 well?

A Pamper Salon Experience For Children

0

If you’re looking for experiences for a kids’ party or just because, Little Miss Pretty Pamper Parties may be the right indulgence for your princess or prince. It’s a pamper salon experience for children.

I usually have a small party for the girls for their Birthday each year, but this year I decided to do something different and book an experience for Phoebe and her sisters instead.

I didn’t want something that went all day, but would be enough fun for the girls to enjoy and make a lasting memory for Phoebe’s Birthday.

Unfortunately, Esther couldn’t come as she had chicken pox. She was able to spend some time with her dad, while I took the younger two to the experience.

The Little Miss Pretty Pamper Salon is located in Springfield. The salon is gorgeously decorated. The perfect parlor for a princess (or prince) to get pampered.

pamper salon experience for children

little miss pretty pamper parties

little miss pretty pamper salon

little miss pretty pamper salon

I booked the Delxue Package, where the girls got to wear a robe and have a manicure, pedicure, hair and age appropriate make-up done and a red fizzy drink to sip while getting their treatments.

pedicure time

Sure I could have organised a home pamper session, but this was for the Birthday girl. I love going to a salon, and I knew the girls would too.

drinking red fizz

phoebe's hair done

You can also do a mummy and daughter or grandma pamper session too, which I will need to book for Esther in the future.

pamper salon for children

children's pamper salon

Numbers are limited if you choose to have a party there, so it’s an ideal party for close friends or family members only.

sisters kiss

bonding experience

If you want to check out the packages available, head here.

But I definitely recommend it as a mummy and daughter date idea or for a Birthday celebration.

Have your kids ever attended a pamper salon experience for children? Would this be something your kids would enjoy?

How to Clean a Smelly Sink Drain Naturally

0
How to Clean a Smelly Sink Drain Naturally

If you’ve wanted to know how to clean a smelly sink drain naturally, this post is for you.

The sink trap connected to the grated waste, can accumulate with sludge caused from congealed food particles and liquids. Rinsing plates, washing up and having food particles float in the sink and down the drain, are the main causes of the smell emitted from the sink.

Sinks with a garbage disposal can emit the worst smells. Despite the sink trap sealing off the main sewer gases, if food or sludge settles at the bottom of the trap, the sink will emit a smell every time you turn your tap on.

I noticed our sink drain had started to smell and it’s not something I can put up with for long. Thankfully I had all the natural ingredients at home to give the sink drain a natural clean, which would also remove the smell.

how to clean a smelly sink drain naturally

How to clean a smelly sink drain naturally

Ingredients

1/4 cup of bi carb soda

1 cup of white vinegar

1-4 drops of Lime and Lemon Essential Oil

smelly sink drain ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a Pyrex jug and place this in the microwave for 2 minutes (or until it’s boiling)

2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of bi carb soda down the drain.

bicarb soda down drain

3. Add 1-4 drops of your favourite essential oil. I used doTERRA Lime and Lemon.

lime and lemon essential oil

clean smelly sink drains naturally

4. Pour the vinegar down the drain. It will bubble and froth. Leave in the sink for 10-15 minutes.

clean smelly sink drain

5. Fill your sink with water (using the plug), and release when half full for a flush out off the trap.

Hints & Tricks

I did this a couple of weeks ago and the sink drain smell hasn’t come back.

Do the full amount for each drain, so if you have a double bowl sink, do the same process twice (don’t halve the recipe).

After you’ve microwaved the vinegar, you will be able to use a cloth to clean out your microwave. The vinegar and steam seem to assist getting food particles and odours out of your microwave too.

This process can also clean the grate and plugs if they are looking dull.

Have you ever had to clean a smelly sink drain? What has worked for you?