Monday, April 30, 2012

Bathroom Storage Guide

Create order from the chaos with a bathroom storage makeover. Messy benchtops, cluttered drawers and damp towels on the floor are not only unhygienic, but they do little to calm a tired mind. Georgia Madden from Homelife has given some handy tips to get you started. 

Depending on your bathroom’s size and layout, a practical storage layout might include built-in cupboards, floating shelves, a mobile trolley with shelves, and a medley of small storage including baskets and canisters. If space is at a premium, look to maximise all storage opportunities with recessed alcoves alongside the bath or shower, and clever additions such as wall hooks and rails.

Getting Started   

Clear the clutter – The first step to organised storage is a thorough declutter; clear drawers and shelves of cosmetics past their use-by date, throw out shampoos and soaps you no longer use, and find new homes for anything not strictly bathroom-related so that you can see exactly what you need to store.

Consider what you need to store – As the bathroom is a moist and steamy spot it’s not always the best place to store spare towels and linen, so consider moving these to a cupboard elsewhere. Bathroom necessities generally include towels, grooming products, spare toilet rolls and kids’ bath toys.   

Storing essential items – Soap, shampoo and everyday grooming products should be stored within arms’ reach of where you use them, such as a shelf beside the bath or shower or drawers beneath the sink. Items used less frequently can be stored on the upper and lower points of cupboards and shelves.   

Consider built-ins – Cupboards and shelves that are designed to fit your bathroom specifications generally make the best use of space as they can be designed to go from floor to ceiling and fit into awkward spots. A mixture of open and closed built-in storage allows you to keep unsightly things such as cleaning products hidden behind closed doors and the more attractive ones out on display.   

Keep tabs on belongings – In a shared bathroom make sure everyone knows what belongs to them by colour-coding toothbrushes and sewing different coloured tags on towels.   

Consider maintenance – Glass shelves are easy to keep clean and won’t visually clutter up the bathroom. Avoid over-filling shelves – plenty of light and space around display items will enhance the sense of space and calm in a bathroom.   

Don’t forget ventilation – Keep the bathroom fresh and hygienic by allowing moist air to escape through louvred windows or a ceiling or wall exhaust fan.

Top tips
• If you’re short on space, look around for hidden storage opportunities – consider installing tall cabinets beside the sink, hooks or rails on the back of the bathroom door, and a storage recess beneath a built-in bath or inside the bath hob.
• In a small bathroom look for furniture that double-duties, such as a sink with a cupboard beneath it, a vanity with built-in towel rail, or a storage stool.
• Keep storage furniture, such as vanities and shelves, off the floor by wall-mounting it to maximise the floor space in a tiny bathroom.
• Mobile storage, such as a trolley on castor with a couple of shelves, provides a handy spot for everyday essentials, and can be shifted away when not in use.
• A heated, wall-mounted towel rail is practical and stylish, plus it will dry towels quickly and cut back on laundry time.  
• Narrow alcoves alongside the bath or shower are a handy spot for shampoos and soap, and won’t clutter up your bathroom. 
• Woven baskets for bathroom paraphernalia will add texture and natural appeal to a plain bathroom.
If you’re tired of the family flinging damp towels onto the floor, invest in a sturdy lidded laundry box for dirty towels.  

Common Pitfalls

Wasted storage opportunities – Keep mess off the floor by seeking out hidden storage potential – consider an over-toilet storage rack, a corner cupboard for awkward corners, and a mirror fronted vanity cupboard with recessed shelves, all of which will boost your storage without sacrificing floor space.   

Oversized storage – Overly-deep shelves and cupboards are difficult to organise and waste precious floor space, which only makes a bathroom feel smaller than it really is. Measure the items you need to store, and consider taking storage higher and wider to maximize floor space. For a streamlined look, set cupboards and alcoves deep into the wall cavity. 
Boring storage – Add drama to your bathroom space by introducing unexpected storage pieces, such as a beautiful armoire, a painted vanity or an industrial-style shop fitting. Always ensure any wooden furniture is properly sealed to prevent water damage.   

Disorganised drawers – Create order inside drawers and cupboards with drawer inserts, pull-out shelves and corner carousels that bring items right out. 

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vera Wang Wedgwood Lace Collection

We just love Vera Wang's Lace Collection for Wedgwood. Inspired by the brightly hued corsages from renowned New York designer Vera Wang's bridal collection, the Lace Collection is characterised by understated elegance. This 5-Piece Place Setting includes everything needed for one guest's full dinner service; three beautiful fine china plates and a cup with Sauce; all decorated with modern floral and vine motifs in distinctive platinum. The result is beautiful dinnerware that brings elegance and grace to any dining table. 

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Brownie Caramel Cheesecake

A truly decadent, rich cheesecake to satisfy the sweet tooth of any guest. You'll need a 20cm x 28cm tart pan with removable base. Alternatively, use a slice pan. Allow an extra 3 hours to chill the cheesecake.
Ingredients (serves 8)
150g unsalted butter, chopped
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
120g (3/4 cup) Brazil nuts, roasted, roughly chopped
Chocolate pearls, to serve (optional, see Notes)  

Chocolate cheesecake filling
200g Green & Black’s Maya Gold Dark Chocolate, chopped (see Notes)
250g full-fat cream cheese, softened
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
250g mascarpone  

75g unsalted butter, chopped
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
100ml thickened cream  

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease tart pan and line base with baking paper. For slice pan, line the base and short sides with a doubled sheet of baking paper, extending 4cm beyond rim.
2. To make brownie base, place butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir until melted and combined. Stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt, then remove from heat. Whisk in sugar until combined, then add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until just combined. Whisk in flour until just combined. Spoon into pan, level and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool brownie in the pan on a wire rack.
3. Increase oven to 180C. Meanwhile, to make filling, place chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (make sure bowl doesn’t touch the water) and stir until melted. Cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on low speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Beat in chocolate until combined, then mascarpone. Spoon filling over brownie layer. Tap pan gently on a work surface, then level; it will reach flush with the top of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 150C and bake for a further 10 minutes or until edges are set and centre moves only slightly when pan is shaken. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled.
4. To make caramel, place butter and sugar in a heavy-based pan and stir continuously over medium heat for 8 minutes or until a dark caramel (it will look oily, but it will come together once you add cream). Stirring continuously, add cream (be careful as it will spit), then remove from the heat and cool.
5. Transfer cake to a platter. Spoon over caramel, then scatter with Brazil nuts and chocolate pearls, if using.   

• Valrhona chocolate pearls are tiny biscuit balls coated in dark chocolate. From selected delis. Substitute grated dark chocolate. 
• Green and Black's Maya Gold dark chocolate, from selected supermarkets, is infused with orange and spices. Substitute dark chocolate (50% cocoa solids) with 1 tsp mandarin zest and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

Visit Taste

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Fressure Foods Avocado Spread

Forget standing for hours at the supermarket searching for that perfectly ripe avocado – with new Fressure Foods All Natural Avocado Spread, you can enjoy all the goodness of fresh, perfectly ripened avocados without the hassle! 

It is the ultimate convenience food that’s good for you too! Delicious on toast, as a healthy alternative to your regular spread, or served in salads, wraps or as a base for homemade dips – whatever you use it for, you can feel great knowing that you’re getting the pure goodness, nutrition and vitamins of one of nature’s tastiest superfoods. 

Fressure Foods All Natural Avocado Spread contains the goodness of two fresh avocados – and with no additives or preservatives, it’s 100 per cent pure. Gluten free and super-convenient in two 100g easy peel trays – one now, one for later – Fressure Foods All Natural Avocado Spread keeps fresh in the fridge, so it’s ready when you are! 

With no chemicals or artificial preservatives, Fressure Foods All Natural Avocado Spread is sure to become a staple in your fridge – incredibly convenient and with a long shelf life, it doesn’t get better than this! 

Fressure Foods All Natural Avocado Spread is available from Coles Supermarkets nationwide RRP $3.99. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's The Secret to Achieving That Perfect Slumber?

AURA sheets are the secret to achieving the ultimate in sleeping comfort, woven in 410 thread count for everyday luxury, and using long staple cotton to create a stronger, softer and smoother fabric which is easy to care for and will maintain its luxurious sheen. Available in 11 dreamy colours.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easy Easter Centrepieces and Table Settings

These beautiful Easter-inspired centrepieces and table settings from Better Homes & Gardens are perfect for any get-together with friends and family. Mix-and-match these creative ideas for your Easter table or use them as inspiration to create your own display.

Place a clear drinking glass or thin vase in the center of a large-mouth jar or canister, and stack eggs between the glass and the jar. Fill the glass with water. Arrange flowers of your choice to match in with the colours of the eggs.

For this fun Easter place setting you will need an egg, Easter candy and artificial grass. Put everything on a bright coloured plate and pair with a napkin. Use a complementing coloured gingham tablecloth to complete the look.

Give your Easter table a pop of colour with this table runner centrepiece. Place white flowers in small footed dishes, and then add decorated eggs and festive candy to the arrangements. To finish the look, hot-glue faux butterflies to branches placed around the dishes.

Mark everyone's place at the table with a hard-boiled egg sporting a painted monogram. Place the egg with a sprig of flowers on top of a coloured napkin to achieve this pretty, sophisticated look.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Enjoy Easter With Darrell Lea

Enjoy this Easter at Darrell Lea with their fantastic range of chocolate Easter eggs and delights. Hop into your nearest Darrell Lea store for egg-cellent Easter treats. Choose from a variety of unique hand rolled Easter eggs, Darrell Lea's famous Soft Fluffy Nougat Egg, the delicious half egg filled with Rocklea Road, Honeycomb or Turkish Delight or Darrell Lea have a range of Easter chocolate gifts like gift hampers to suit your size and budget.