Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Outdoor Living in Winter...

While the cold weather may not be enticing you to spend your down-time outdoors, the Azzuro Collection at Globe West may quickly change your mind!

The Azzuro Collection features clean, modern shapes and a subtle palette of charcoal, jet and taupe.The quick dry foam and Sunbrella fabric give you outdoor chic, without compromising on style and comfort.

If you're still not convinced about spending your winter nights outdoors, grab a throw rug and consider investing in an outdoor heater... There are a great range of outdoor heating solutions from Big W at the moment, which are both affordable, stylish and most importantly - warm!

Add some elegance and warmth to your patio with this Patio Square Fire Pit.

Create an inviting and warmth atmosphere with this Cast Iron Chimney.

This Patio Heater comes with black powder coated standard and has a 40,000 BTU heat capacity.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Throw Rugs for Winter Chills

Sydneysiders have shivered through the city's coldest June morning since 1983 after the temperature dropped to 4.7 degrees just before 7.00am this morning. With this in mind, we bring you our favourite throw rugs, perfect for cuddling up under to fight the winter chills in style...

ManzanitaThrow from Freedom

Ofelia Throw by Ikea

Mercer + Reid Supersoft Throw by Adairs

Caramel Delight Throw Rug from Handmadebyrowena on Etsy

Monday, June 28, 2010

Winter Steak Diane Pie!

A complete meal in delicious pastry, this steak diane pie recipe from Yahoo 7 Food is an irresistibly hearty winter meal. Serve with a side of your favourite roasted veggies.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins
Serves: 4
• 500g round steak, chopped
• 2 tblsps olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 4 bacon rashers, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 tblsps plain flour
• 1 cup beef stock
• 200g button mushrooms, halved
• 1/3 cup cooking cream
• 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tsp poppy seeds
• Steamed snow peas and broccolini, to serve

• Toss beef with half the oil.

• Heat a large stockpot over a high heat. Cook beef in two batches for about 5 minutes, or until browned. Remove.

• Reduce heat. Add remaining oil to same stockpot. Add onion, bacon and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly add stock while stirring. Bring to boil. Return beef to pot with mushrooms. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, or until beef is tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in cream and sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

• Meanwhile, make puff pastry lids. Using an 11cm round fluted cutter, cut out four rounds from pastry. Place on a greased oven tray. Pierce each round three times with a fork. Brush with yolk. Sprinkle with seeds.

• Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 8 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

• Place beef mixture in bowls and top with pastry lids. Serve with snow peas and broccolini.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pressing Flowers

Pressed flowers are like delicately preserved memories. If properly treated, they should retain their colour without turning brown. Pressing flowers is a great school holiday activity, the kids will love pressing flowers and there are endless things you can do with the flowers once they are pressed. The instructions for pressing flowers below are from Homelife.

What you will need:

• Flower press
• Cardboard
• Blotting paper
• Plain white paper
• Flowers for pressing - such as bougainvillea, pansy, lavender or roses


• Layer cardboard and blotting paper on the baseboard of a press.

• Follow with plain white paper, the flower, more white paper, more blotting paper and, lastly, cardboard (to press several flowers simultaneously, repeat the layers).

• Add the top board and tighten evenly.

• Change the blotting paper and tighten the plate every second day.

Tips: You can use newspaper as a substitute for blotting paper and an old telephone book for a flower press.

If you don't have a flower press, you may want to make your own, following these instructions from ehow:

What You Need:

• 2 pieces of scrap plywood or other thin wood
• 10 to 15 pieces of cardboard squares
• 20 to 26 pieces of watercolor or blotting paper
• 4 wing nuts with washers
• 4 4-inch screws
• Drill with bit to match


• Cut both pieces of wood to the desired size. Consider the size of plants you want to press in your flower press. 12 by 12 is a manageable size to work with.

• Drill four holes in each corner of the wood pieces. Use the same size bit as the screws you intend to use.

• Trim the cardboard down to size so that it will fit between the pieces of wood. The corners will need to be trimmed at an angle to make room for the screws to go through the wood pieces only.

• Repeat the same trimming process with the blotting paper.

• Alternate the layers of cardboard and blotting paper and stack between the wood pieces as follows: cardboard, 2 pieces of blotting paper and cardboard. Continue this pattern for as many layers as you like.

• Collect flowers to be pressed and place them between the two pieces of blotting paper and cardboard. Continue layering.

• Slide the screw up from the underside of the press and slide the washer and wing nut on the exposed screw. Tighten the wing nut onto the pieces of wood. (This tightening is the process that presses the flowers.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Woodroc Design

Is it a Trivett or table runner, dining centre piece or hotpot stand, wine accessory or serving tray, cheese board or tapas platter? Call it what you want, and use it however you wish – the  Woodroc Design Trivetts look stunning and are really versatile!

The current Woodroc Design Trivett blends ‘hard to find’, carefully selected elements, with the design reflecting the divine gift and romance of marriage. The convex curve represents man, whilst the concave curve – woman. The two are joined together, and have become one, as in marriage. They are bound together by love, which is represented through the convex profile which borders and flows around all sides the frame. Granite provides incredible hardness, second only to diamonds, and is surrounded by the hardwood frame which provides strength and support. The result is greater than the sum of the parts, a thing of great beauty and lasting benefit.

Phillip and Deborah, creators of Woodroc design, draw inspiration from the towering forests, dramatic coastal granite cliffs and spectacular beaches stretching from their home in Albany, through Denmark and Walpole, to Margaret River in the south of Western Australia. Woodroc Design is the expression of their desire to create and share with you absolutely unique items made from increasingly rare and beautiful elements – primarily hand chosen WA hardwood and selected granite.

Woodroc gifts are thoroughly designed to be both beautiful and practical in any home or professional office, for years to come.

The Woodroc Design Trivett has many practical uses, including:

• Dining Room – perfect for hot casserole dishes straight from the oven. Protects your dining table! Also perfect for placing of wine bottles or serving food directly on it.
• Kitchen – Use it for food preparation if you like.
• Lounge – Perfect for protecting your occasional table from hot coffee or tea pots.
• Alfresco – Great on your outdoor table on those special occasions.
• Board Room – Perfect for those coffee pots and cold drinks on the board table.
• Professional Waiting Room – A very classy & artistic object for your occasional table!
Visit Woodroc Design

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Government Solar Rebates

Government Solar Rebates are available of up to $13,000. Solar panels convert free energy from the sun into electricity to power your home. The green electricity you generate and don’t use is sold back to the grid, which is an effective way to combat the sky-rocketing electricity prices. Solar power is clean, adds value to your home, and once installed is free.

Yes Solar offers forward thinking and forward acting solutions that can help you watch your electricity meter go backwards. So what on earth are you waiting for? Get an online quote today and find out how many Solar Credits your family is eligible for!
• Get credited to clean up your carbon footprint
• Can reduce your electricity bills to zero
• Sell your electricity at a PREMIUM rate
• 25 year performance guarantee.
• Protect against rising electricity prices
• Increase the value of your home
• Save tonnes of greenhouse gasses
• Clean returns that rise with the sun!

Visit Yes Solar for more information

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Mountain Air Purifier by Russell Hobbs

    Don’t get sick this winter - reduce the viruses and bacteria that may cause colds and flu!

    The environment & healthy living is one of the most talked about subjects of today. For many of us, our homes are our refuge – the place we hide from the winter cold, pollution, traffic and noise. But do you know that the air inside can be up to 10 times more polluted that the air outside? When you consider how much time we spend indoors during winter and the colder months, you soon realise that it may contribute to health issues confronting us including asthma, allergies, colds and the flu.

    The problem is created by a combination of aspects in our environment, diet, attitude and lifestyle. Factors renowned with winter weather include; dust and allergens from ducted heating, vacuuming and dusting, limited natural air flow, increased moisture in the air, mould, pet dander, cold air temperatures and even smoke from fireplaces are all some of the main triggers of allergies, asthma and also the spread of colds and viruses. By eliminating airborne contaminants, we can breathe clean fresh air, instantly benefitting our health and well being.

    The Mountain Breeze Air Purifier with Puri-Tech reduces airborne contaminants including VOCs, Mould, Dust Mites, Pollen, Bacteria, Viruses, Smoke, Odour and Pet Dander. With a five stage system the Mountain Breeze Air Purifier gives a thorough cleaning process, not only trapping, but dramatically decreasing air borne pollutants, leaving you with clean, free air.

    Improving your indoor air quality is simple with Mountain Breeze. The unit is portable, it requires no installation or hard wiring so you can move it from room to room. With a quiet mode for night time use, 4 speed fan, remote control, LCD display and a programmable countdown timer this air purifier is easy to use and suitable for every home, night or day.

    Keep your family happy and healthy this winter, because the air you breathe matters...

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    The Glamorous Way to Go Green in a Day!

    Murchison-Hume have created a collection of housekeeping products designed to be ecologically-friendly, efficient and attractive, developed by style-savvy Stay-at-Home Mother (and ex-Fashion Editor) Max Kater.

    With products to clean the furniture, the bathroom, the floor, the counters, the glass, chrome and stainless steel- your home will be sparkling clean from top-to-bottom (and eco-friendly to boot).

    The vintage-inspired brown apothecary-style bottles would look right at home in any bathroom but Murchison-Hume knows that beauty isn’t just label-deep… it’s what’s inside of these bottles that really distinguishes them from your run-of-the-mill, chemical household cleaners.

    The world’s first range of premium organic housecleaning products, their uniqueness lies in Colloidal Technology which negates the need for chemical nasties, resulting in a collection of cleaners that are both effective and non-toxic.

    And what’s more- they smell good! Scented with Australian White Grapefruit, a refreshing and elegant perfume that is uniquely grapefruit (not lemony or orange)- it’s a long way from the hospital grade “citrus” aroma of many other cleaners.

    An affordable luxury for every style-savvy household, these products come beautifully presented in an elegant renewable-timber cleaning caddy and waterproof-lined Jute shopping-tote.

    They’ll look just as good sitting on your bench as they do cleaning it!

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    The Perfect Roast Chicken

    If you're thinking of hosting a winter dinner party or sunday lunch, then you can't go past a
    classic roast chicken. This easy how-to from Homelife will have you roasting perfect chickens from the get-go!

    This recipe can be customised to suit your own tastes. Stuff the chicken with different herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano or basil would all be good) or rub the skin with your favourite spices to create your own signature dish.
    What you will need

    • 2kg free-range or organic chicken
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 6 thyme sprigs
    • 4 marjoram sprigs
    • 4 sage sprigs
    • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, bruised
    • 20g butter, softened

    • Preheat oven to 200˚C. Rinse chicken cavity, leaving any internal fat intact. Using paper towels, pat chicken dry thoroughly. Season cavity generously with salt and pepper then stuff with ½ lemon, herb sprigs and garlic.

    • With chicken breast-side up, tuck wings under shoulders. Wrap a 1m-long piece of string around legs twice and tie underneath. Pull up along insides of legs, so string runs along underside of breast. Loop over wings and tie tightly at back.

    • Place chicken in a roasting pan. Brush with butter and juice from ½ lemon. Season to taste. Roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, basting with juices and turning every 20 minutes, or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced.

    Tips and tricks

    • Roasting a chicken will take approximately 20 minutes for every 500g of weight.
    • Many people believe a roast just isn’t complete without the vegies. To roast vegetables with your chicken, allow chicken to cook for 30-40 minutes then add vegetables to the pan. Try potatoes, baby carrots and shallots.

    Cook’s tip

    • Before carving, allow chicken to stand for 15-20 minutes – this gives the juices time to settle. 
    • Carve the breast meat in long thin slices, then remove the legs with the thighs and cut in half at the joint.

    Visit Homelife

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Umbrellas to make you Sing in the Rain!

    Make that rainy, gloomy day a whole lot brighter with Smiggle's new umbrella designs. 

    Featuring bold designs in pink, blue and black and housed in a hard case, these umbrellas will have you singing in the rain.

    Visit Smiggle

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Brighten Up Your Home With Playboy Cushions

    Adairs gives you an inexpensive way to brighten up your home with new cushions from the Playboy Mansion Collection.

    Simply scatter a few of these in any room to add a touch of glamour to your home.

    Choose from beautiful jewel tones, luxe black or pretty silver, finished with perfect pintucks, pleating, sparkling glass beads and diamantes.

    Available exclusively at Adairs, the Mansion Collection release coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Playboy Bunny and Playboy Club.

    Visit Adairs

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Household Organisers

    With the End of Financial Year approaching, you may be struggling to sift through piles of receipts and documents and wishing you had organised them throughout the year! Now is the perfect time to get organised for the next financial year, so we have sourced a great range of solutions to help you get on track!

    The File & Go Household Organiser from Kikki K is an all-year-round complete filing solution. Solve common problems of clutter and disorganisation in one easy to use box! Compact and easy, it can be completely adapted to suit your needs. Open the box to find a home for files relating to tax, insurance, super and wills.

    Keep your magazines and documents organised with these stylish and co-ordinated Magazine Files from Smiggle. They conveniently fold down flat when not in use for quick and easy storage. They available in a range of gorgeous colours to make organising fun!

    These Check Manilla Folders from Smiggle are a fun way to store your documents. The pack of 6 check printed cardboard manilla folders are able to be folded inside out to have all check or all blank design.

    The Summer Colours Carry Files from Officeworks are easy to use with a range of A-Z, 1-31, Business, School and Home Office subject stickers included. The Carry Files are available in Grape, Lime, Blue and Fuschia.

    Save yourself the tax-time headache of frantically searching for receipts with the My Receipts Organiser from Kikki K. The My Receipts organiser ensures all receipts are kept in perfect order, not only for tax time, but also essential for proof of purchase. 

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Gilded Expression by Ann Pamintuan

    Cocoon Lounge

    Gilded Expression, the new furniture collection by artist Ann Pamintuan, is now available at Globe West. Made of hand welded metal wire these pieces of art will add drama and elegance to your home.

    Cocoon Loveseat

    Threesome Lounge

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Orson & Blake Cushions, Throws & Blankets

    Animal Print Cushion

    The range of cushions, throws and blankets from Orson & Blake will liven up interior spaces and layer surfaces with rich and exotic decorative textiles.

    Plush throws, blankets and distinctive pillows and cushions are great for embellishing sofas and beds. All of the
    Orson & Blake products feature unique designer interior accents that bring warmth and character to a room - and warmth is what we all need in the increasingly cool weather... Shown here are some of our favourites from Orson & Blake...

    Woollen Throw Handknitted Seagreen
    Cushion Suzani & Wooden Beaded Zig Zag

    Woollen throw w/knobbles

    Animal Print Cushion

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Lacework Inspires New Platinum China Collection by Villeroy & Boch

    A graceful, classic collection, Villeroy & Boch’s White Lace combines simple shapes with a high-quality platinum décor, reminiscent of the delicate lace and embroidery popular in the world of haute couture.

    Just as sumptuous clothing and the finest cloth have been adorned with lacework for centuries, this opulent bone china collection will make a precious family heirloom for the modern bride.

    White Lace is inspired by Villeroy & Boch’s classic Anmut style, injecting it with further elegance and modernity. Highly versatile, the cool silvery shimmer of White Lace can be effectively mixed and matched with crisp white or coloured tableware to create different moods and individual table settings. A White Lace Mosaic plate infuses further luxury and rich coloured napery makes an ideal accent.

    The collection consists of bread, salad and dinner plates plus platters, bowls, serving dishes, teapot, creamer, sugar pot and cups. Villeroy & Boch’s long-stemmed Arden Lane glassware perfectly complements the range and new sleek, stainless steel Arpeggio cutlery completes the look.

    Villeroy & Boch’s White Lace range is available from selected department stores and The House of Villeroy & Boch, Chatswood (NSW) and Glenside (SA). It can also be purchased online from Villeroy & Boch’s e-Shop:

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Warm Up Your Home With a Stunning Rug...

    The Winter weather is well and truly upon us now, and like us you may be looking for ways to warm up your home. These gorgeous rugs are a sure-fire way to add some much needed cosiness...

    This Kauri Natural rug by Paola Lenti is entirely hand woven and hand finished. The unique textile is created from a flexible tube knitted from multicoloured polyester yarns, which creates a warm and welcoming plisse effect. Available from de de ce.

    Cloth has created a series of eight rugs exclusively for Designer Rugs. The rug designs are each an organic representation of the signature style that is Cloth fabric. Each rug is hand-tufted in New Zealand Wool Rich blend with selected designs featuring pure silk and different pile heights to create subtle dimension to the designs. Shown above is Drawn From the Land, available at Designer Rugs.

    This hand-tufted rug  by Paola Lenti is made of semi-combed New Zealand pure new wool. The brilliance of the rug's field contrasts with the opacity of the designs, which are created with highly resistant pure new wool braids, tone on tone or in contrasting colours. The design consists of a continuous line, which creates a floral pattern on the rug's surface. Available from de de ce.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Create a Unique Living Space With Wall Stickers

    Rockett St George have sourced a new wonderful range of wall stickers directly from France - the French Wall stickers are where the trend for wall decals really took hold. They would make a wonderful feature in your home and Rockett St George offers this fantastic range in a variety of sizes to suit your interiors.

    Wall Stickers are a different type of wall decoration. By adding wall stickers to walls, ceilings, furniture, windows, mirrors etc. you instantly create a unique look and change the style and atmosphere in a room. The possibilities are endless and the only limit is your imagination.

    Wall Stickers are incredibly easy to use and as long as instructions are followed, can be removed from walls without damage to paintwork.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    Creatures of the Deep Inspire Globewest

    Introduce a new dimension of creativity to your home with the Paparazzi ornament and vase range from Globewest.

    Featuring exquisite handmade newspaper texture and design, these marine-inspired pieces by Paparazzi will be a show-stopping addition to your home.