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Blogger Spotlight | Keep Calm, Get Organised

From decluttering, home organising, cleaning tips and more Michelle may be your next go to blog read. You can see this original article here.

lazy cleaning ideas

Most people don’t love cleaning. We all have days when we just can’t be bothered and cleaning is low on the list of priorities. If you’re feeling over it but the house is a mess, these lazy cleaning tips will help you keep on top of things.

Set a Timer

Instead of spending 10 minutes procrastinating and dreading the task, set a short timer and clean at full ball until it goes off.

Some quick cleaning tasks suitable for a 5-15 minutes cleaning spree could include:

  • Wiping down the bathroom
  • Stacking the dishwasher
  • Making the beds
  • Collecting dirty laundry
  • Putting a load of washing on
  • Vacuuming the living area

Make it a Game For The Kids

If you’ve got young kids then you know how much mess they make. On the plus side, most also seem to think cleaning is fun.

My boys think cleaning the windows and vacuuming is awesome. I personally don’t share their enthusiasm but if they want to clean then hey, go right ahead.

Use Disposable Wipes

“Flushable” wipes aren’t really flushable but disposable cleaning wipes are still a great way to do a quick speed clean. Just make sure to throw them in the bin when you are finished. I especially like them for speed cleaning the bathroom each night.

Clean the Shower While You’re Showering

Kill two birds with one stone and give the shower a once over while you’re already in there. Before you get in, give it a quick spray with some bathroom cleaner (I prefer non toxic alternatives so you don’t gas yourself while you shower) and grab a scrubbing brush. Give it a scrub and wipe over the tiles. Wipe down the glass and once you’ve turned the water off polish it up with a glass cloth.

Go for Set and Forget Cleaners

If cleaning in the shower isn’t your thing, buy spray and forget cleaners designed to spray on after a shower and rise off the next day. Genius!

Focus on High Traffic Areas

If you’ve only got the time (or motivation) for a short cleaning stint, focus on high traffic areas. Clear and tidy the main living areas and the entrance to your home. Give the entry a quick vacuum and remove any clutter. Walking into a tidy entry area makes your home feel neater and more under control so try and prioritise these areas.

Put Things in Baskets

If the chaos is overwhelming you, grab all the clutter and mess and dump it in a few washing baskets. Once the room is clear you can work through the baskets and put things away. By removing the clutter into a confined area you can clean without the mess. Not only is it faster, it also makes it seem less overwhelming.

Make Use of the Dryer

If you’re struggling to keep on top of all the washing and drying, make use of the dryer. No it isn’t the most economical or environmentally friendly option but it’s better than letting the washing completely overwhelm you.

You can also check out my laundry routine here.

Buy a Stick Vacuum

Possibly the best cleaning item I own is my Dyson stick vacuum. It is honestly the most useful appliance ever. It’s so easy to just grab it and quickly vacuum up little messes or run it quickly over high traffic areas. If you don’t have time for a full vacuum, give the main areas a quick once over with a stick vacuum each day and you’ll keep the majority of mess under control.

Hire a Cleaner!

If all else fails, pay someone else to do it!

Seriously though, if you can make room in your budget, hiring a cleaner is pretty much the best thing ever.

Lacking focus at work ? Here are 3 power foods to help you focus.

The ripe old saying still sticks – You are what you eat. Not visually of course. Although I have a friend who ate so many carrots her skin in her hands turned a little orange. Actually a lot Orange – enough for her students to ask her if she had a run in with her tanning lotion. True story. She still eats Carrots.

Enough about Carrots – lets learn about the top 3 Focus foods for your work day. I chose 3 to share with you. I don’t want to put it all out on the table and leave myself naked. Three is enough – don’t be greedy.. My knowledge comes from working in Healthcare and studying nutrition. Just a little background info before you wonder who am I to share this with you. 

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Lately I have been honing in on Blueberries and their goodness for your brain. According to Dr Spencer from Surrey University Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants (anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and tannins – to name a few) and they work by stimulating the flow of oxygen and blood to your brain. More oxygen and blood to your brain means increased focus and memory. Blueberries are packed with all the goods to enhance your focus.

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Don’t listen to your frowning work colleagues or Dr when they tell you Chocolate is bad for you. Well they are a little bit right, but mostly wrong. Harvard University released a study showing that after drinking 2 cups of Hot Chocolate a day for 30 days people were shown to score higher on their memory tests. It works by again, increasing blood flow to your brain. Researchers noted that memory and thinking skills and brain blood flow are linked because of a concept called “neurovascular coupling.” I don’t know a-lot about that – but I do know that I will be coupling my blueberries and chocolate one spoonful at a time.

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I know what your thinking – mmmm those seeds look so delicious, how do I get me some of those. It’s easy really – any supermarket has them in the health food section. Why do you want them you say ? They are packed full of magnesium, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre which ultimately aids Mental clarity. A good way to add them to your diet is by sprinkling them on-top of your breakfast. Avocado, eggs and flaxseeds – yes please !

So there you have it – go get focused with my top Three. Your boss won’t know who you are by the time you get back to the office.

Blogger Spotlight | Accidental Greenie

Tracey Bailey writes passionately about how we can work towards making less of a footprint in this plastic world. You can see this original blog post here.

Story by Biome’s Online Manager:  Some of the Biome team recently attended a screening of the documentary BAG IT, which was promoted by Queensland Conservation and TAKE 3.

We learned how garbage and litter flows from our waterways out to sea and the harm it causes to water birds and sea life as well as our fragile ocean eco systems.

Turtles, who apparently eat everything, are attracted to floating plastic bags because they look like jelly fish.  While, all over the Pacific, albatross chicks are fed junk by their parents who mistake pieces of plastic for food and bring them back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year thousands of baby birds die from starvation, toxicity, and choking.  Carcases of these birds are found decaying with bits of plastic sitting in their stomach cavities still perfectly in tact.

TAKE 3 is “A Clean Beach Initiative” where you are encouraged to take at least 3 pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere. You may not have put the rubbish there but you have the ability to take it away and make a difference. If we participate in this simple act and pass on this message we can help stop the damage our litter is causing to our fragile oceans and waterways.

There is no “away”

The documentary BAG IT is a light hearted look at the effect our addiction to single use packaging has in the world. We saw that although we think we are doing the “right thing” by recycling, most plastics are in fact not recyclable and get filtered into landfill.  Further, a huge amount of our “unwashed” plastics are being shipped to China and India to be processed in deplorable conditons.  Container ships are full when they come here carrying fast moving consumer goods, but they are empty on the return leg.  This makes it an inexpensive prospect to ship our garbage around the world to be processed by cheap labour, starting with sorting the heaps of stinking waste.

The better solution is clearly to avoid plastics in the first place, or to re-use plastics many times before they are sent to “recycling”.

Things you can do

  • TAKE 3 – pick up other people’s rubbish. We can greatly reduce the amount of marine debris in our oceans by preventing it from getting there in the first place.
  • Reduce & re-use – use your reusable shopping bags and Onya Weigh grocery bags instead of plastic bags.
  • Take your own container to the grocery store and shop from the Deli for meats and cheeses, or take them to the take-away from where you buy lunch and Friday night Thai. You can use stainless steel lunchboxes orglass containers that are BPA free.
  • Sign a petition to support the introduction of acontainer deposit system in Australia which will significantly increase the recycling rates of glass, plastic and aluminium drink containers.
  • Small plastic caps are not recyclable for many reasons, so although it’s hard to believe, the responsible consumers are the ones who throw their plastic caps and lids into the rubbish instead of the recycling bin!  For this reason, try not to buy things with small plastic lids or get creative with them instead of throwing them away.
  • Watch the BAG IT documentary.  Find our where it is screening in Australia hosted by Tim Silverwood or visit the official BAG IT movie site.


 

You know how handmade soap gets all goopey on a soap dish? It’s because the soap sits in water and makes your lovely soap disappear faster. You can make this little soap dish with plastic lids that would usually be thrown away, to keep your soap dry by allowing excess water to drain away faster.

Here’s another cool way to reuse your plastic drink bottles and lids. Vertical herb gardens are great for small spaces like balconies.

3 realistic goals for your 2017 resolution.

It’s a funny thing when you think about it. The whole year goes by and it’s not until the end of it that we think we should look back and review. Review everything we did and didn’t do throughout the year. Maybe we should do it more often, every week or every 6 months. Funny or not, it’s a good excuse to think about why you didn’t quite achieve your goals.

Let’s look at 3 realistic and achievable goals for your health in 2017. I chose 3 because it’s a good number. It’s not too many goals that you get overwhelmed trying to achieve and it’s just enough so you don’t get bored.

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QUIT SUGAR

It sounds hard but trust me, it’s not. When I say quit sugar I don’t mean entirely and forever. The initial stage to success is to reduce your sugar intake and learn about what’s in your food. I had no idea how much sugar was in a lot of the ‘healthy’ food I was consuming. Fructose is the bad stuff. The only organ that can process fructose is the Liver. If not processed and burnt as energy it turns directly into fat. It’s highly addictive and always has you wanting more. You can see more about recent scientific studies re sugar and it’s harm on the body here.

When you remove sugar from your diet you will be surprised. Surprised about how delicious ‘normal’ foods taste. Vegetables are sweet, they really are ! The idea of quitting sugar is to reset your body by eliminating it and allowing yourself to then indicate how much you need – which you will learn is not a lot at all. I still enjoy fruit, but my low fructose fruits like berries. If you need a little guidance Sarah Wilson has a very achievable 8 week program to launch your sugar free life.

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BECOME A YOGI

Not a hard-core yogi but a relaxed and slightly dedicated yogi. Remember, We are focusing on setting achievable goals so don’t go over bored. If you incidentally become a hard-core yogi – awesome. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter because that’s not what we were aiming for.

Why yoga ? It’s been around a long time, like your grandma, and has exceptional health benefits. It’s an ancient Indian philosophy that dates back thousands of year ago (so maybe a little older than your gran!).

Researchers have discovered that the regular practice of yoga may produce many health benefits, including increased fitness and normalisation of blood pressure – Better Health, VIC. – Better Health VIC

Cardiovascular system (heart and arteries) – asanas are isometric, which means they rely on holding muscle tension for a short period of time. This improves cardiovascular fitness and circulation. Studies show that regular yoga practice may help normalise blood pressure.

Digestive system – improved blood circulation and the massaging effect of surrounding muscles speeds up a sluggish digestion.

Musculoskeletal – joints are moved through their full range of motion, which encourages mobility and eases pressure. The gentle stretching releases muscle and joint tension, and stiffness, and also increases flexibility. Maintaining many of the asanas encourages strength and endurance. Weight-bearing asanas may help prevent osteoporosis, and may also help people already diagnosed with osteoporosis (if practiced with care under the supervision of a qualified yoga teacher). Long-term benefits include reduced back pain and improved posture.

Nervous system – improved blood circulation, easing of muscle tension and the act of focusing the mind on the breath all combine to soothe the nervous system. Long-term benefits include reduced stress, anxiety and fatigue, better concentration and energy levels, and increased feelings of calm and wellbeing.

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BOOK A FITNESS RETREAT

It’s been on your mind for a while now, I can tell. So 2017 is the year to take the leap. A fitness treat is perfect for anyone. If you need to kickstart your fitness regime, reboot your old one or take a week to mix fitness and relaxation – it’s for you.

I wrote a blog about why a Fitness Retreat is a definite 2017 goal. Read about it here