Author Archives: Thomas

Lets Decorate for Easter

Let’s Decorate for Easter

Easter is one of the most joyful holidays, right next to Christmas, to celebrate with your family. The kids love to get their hands dirty, and help mum decorate the eggs, and not only them but the entire house. The best part is that it is sunny and warm outside, so you can always indulge in outdoor games, and organize the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. If you are looking for some inspiration, don’t hesitate to try some of my suggestions bellow… Without keeping you waiting any more, I have just one thing to say:

Let’s decorate for Easter!

Let’s decorate for Easter
Let’s decorate for Easter


Start with the Front Door

If you are keen on giving your home a thorough holiday makeover, you will need a good starting point. Since you will have all sorts of Easter decorations in- and outdoors, beginning with the front door seems like a reasonable place to start. Read more..

What can you do to jazz up your front door? Well, many things, but what I really love is the idea of an Easter wreath. Just like with Christmas, it is always a sign of holiday spirit, and the sky is the limit when it comes to the materials you could use, the shape you could choose, and even the size. Moreover, the children will have a kick helping you assemble the unit.

Need some fabulous ideas for DIY Easter wreath? Here are my favourite picks:

Easter Centrepieces for the Table

OK, I will have to admit it is IMPOSSIBLE to cover all the possible Easter decorations one can come up with – for that, my dear reader, you will have to use your imagination! Nevertheless, I believe that table centrepieces are essential, not only for decorating for the family lunch on Eater Sunday, but also throughout the entire weekend. The kids, for once, will enjoy seeing them for as long as possible.

Let’s decorate for Easter
Let’s decorate for Easter

Easter Decorations with Vases

Vases could come in very handy when it comes to creating a beautiful centrepiece. You can hang cuttings of Easter bunnies or eggs on some branches. A rather traditional Easter decoration that is very popular in some European cultures. You can also incorporate a vase, or several vases, as a part of a bigger assembly.

Easter Decorations with Bowls, Baskets ans Stands

Bowls, baskets, and egg stands are an Eater must-have. However, no one said that you have to be all dull about them. Even if you buy an egg stand from the nearest store, you can jazz it up with flowers, ribbons, cuttings, glitter, and anything else you have at hand at home, or anything your little one can suggest.

Green Elements for Easter Decorations

Using lent, grass, tulips, leaves and other greenery, s a tradition at most European cultures, where Easter also marks the end of the winter and the beginning of the summer, so why not let the breeze of other cultures in your home, and add some pizzaz to your table centrepieces. However, using natural elements in your Easter decorations is rather tricky, and you will have to conduct a thorough post-Easter cleaning once the holiday is over, warn cleaners Forest Hill.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed my suggestions for Easter decorations. If you have any ideas that you would like to share, I will be more than happy to see them in the comments section. Additionally, I know that the kids can get really ecstatic about the Easter celebrations, so you should consider signing them up for some of the hottest Eater events in Melbourne.

Lets Clean Up Together

Welcome & Let’s Clean Up Together

The etymology of the verb “clean up” speaks for itself. As the verb has several meanings, so will our new blog strive to show you various perspectives to cleaning your home, and even changing your life. We are here to help you through difficult time, to laugh with you when you are happy, and help you resolve domestic emergencies.

Carpet Cleaning
Carpet Cleaning

Whenever you need help, deciding whether suede is in or out this season, whether you should redecorate the entire house, or simply change the upholstery in the living room, when you have a stain that you don’t know how to clean, we will provide a solution. Join our family of devoted writers and stunned readers, and you will find friend to support you in times of need. Visit for more information about how to clean together. 

Romantic Yet Inexpensive Gifts

Romantic Yet Inexpensive Gifts

It is that time of the year when love is in the air, and you have the most wonderful girlfriend, wife in the whole world. Everyone is busy shopping for Christmas, and that is just the beginning as right after that comes New Year, than St. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, your anniversary, her birthday and etc. – frankly, the special days for both of you will start snowballing very soon. A simple, but nonetheless vital question pops up in your mind – what to do when you are on a tight budget?

Inexpensive Gifts
Inexpensive Gifts

Keep in mind that it is the thought that counts, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on a present. Actually, with these romantic, yet inexpensive, gifts for her, you can become the man of the hour not only to her but to all her female friends and acquaintances.

Take a look at some exciting suggestions that will cost you no more than a few bucks:

1. Ace of Hearts

Just a warning before I begin: This is an extremely romantic present meant to show your girl how much you appreciate and love her, however, if any of the guys so much as get a whiff of what you have done, you are about to get seriously teased! Go to the nearest dollar store, and get a deck of cards – the plainer the better. You will also need some key chain rings (you will find them in any hardware store), a hole plunger (if you don’t have one at home, sneak out the one from your office), and some markers, paper, glue, and in case you are particularly romantic some photos of you and her.

Use the paper plunger to make 2 identical holes at the end of each card. Take the markers, and write something you love about your girlfriend/ wife at the back of each card. At the last one write something sweet, or romantic, or even a short poem – something that will make her drop everything and kiss you like the world depends on it.

2. Home town getaway

Every girl dreams of being taken away on a romantic trip somewhere far away from home. However, your budget can hardly sustain such a luxury but don’t despair there is a romantic, yet inexpensive, solution that will make you her hero. All you need to do is look up the interesting sights in your home town. You will be amazed at how many places you can visit, and at the entertaining activities you can share with her.

The new term of home town getaway is staycation, and it won’t cost much. At the same time your girlfriend/ wife will be thrilled at the idea of leaving her home, and relaxing with her loved one, even if only for a couple of days. Nothing makes a woman happier than leaving her weekend chores like cooking and deep cleaning Brighton behind to spend some quality time with her partner.

If you have mountains why not take her to a local hut, and spend the weekend hiking. You can even surprise her with a bouquet of wild flowers as opposed to the usual bunch from the near-by grocery store.

Inexpensive Gifts
Inexpensive Gifts

3. Scrabble with Love

Warning! This idea is extra geeky! Take out your old Scrabble and get all the letters that spell your names, if you don’t have enough, ask friends and family to help with the cause. Next, you will need a picture frame. Glue the wooden pieces together to the cardboard of the frame. On the off chance that your names don’t share at least one letter, you can use an adjoining word like “LOVE”, “ETERNITY”, “ALWAYS” and so on.

Once you have the centrepiece, you can use your imagination to decorate the rest of the cardboard with dried flowers, paper clippings, satin ribbons (although it might be too much), pictures of you and her together, or anything else you find appropriate. When you are all set, put the frame on, and wrap it up. In case the wooden Scrabble pieces are too thick for the holders to close, use some tape or glue to fix the cardboard on its place.

At Home With all Senses

At Home… With All Senses

Home sign

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We all know that home is NOT just a place where you go to have a good night’s sleep, it is… how can I put it… a HOME. I am sure you have heard, read, blogged, tweeted or liked on Facebook various explanation of what makes it so special. Still, I would like to share my point of view as a semi-professional (or in other words self-proclaimed) expert on domestic matters.

So what does at home with all senses mean? It is pretty simple, actually, its all the tangible and intangible little details that make your space a reflection of your personality, your very own, very private, piece of the whole wide world.

We all have five senses, and when evaluating a property, visiting a friend or even coming home from work, we use them all, and not just the vision, to decide whether we feel good, whether we like it, and whether it feels welcoming or intimidating. Seems like a lot depends on the little details, right? Here is how to give a jump start to your senses:


Well, cleanliness can is a visual state, too, but here I am talking about the feeling that a clean home has wrapped around itself. De-cluttering a little bit every day, dusting, doing the dishes is all part of a ritual that sends a message to your brain that you are home. Have you ever been to a friend’s house, which is very classy with just the right accessories, yet something makes it look kind of shabby… That’s right, it is the thin, but impossible-to-miss, layer of dust on the TV and the picture frames.

According to Mark’s Carpet Cleaning Melbourne, to create a feeling of cleanliness, you need to be vigilant about cleaning a little bit every day. Furthermore, there is nothing that makes you feel at home better than puttering at home barefoot… and not having a layer of grime stick to your feet. To me, it’s the ultimate achievement!


Nothing says at home with all senses like the smell of your home. Do you remember when you used to visit your granny, and her home always smelled like freshly baked cookies, and ever since when you enter a bakery (I know you wouldn’t even think to start baking on your own), memories of the happy childhood days start swirling through your brain.

Nowadays, we rarely bake, and cook but companies like Glade, are glad to compensate for the lack of cookie scent with various scents from ocean breeze through lavender to pine trees. Even now your home probably already has its own, unique smell, and, hopefully, it isn’t that of your pet! Make sure you do everything within your power to make it smell nicely, and it will not only feel better to be at home, but your brain will start recognising it as “HOME” the minute you walk through the door.

How to scent your home? You have unlimited options, starting with scented candles, air fresheners (thanks to the state-of-the-art technologies they can even look like small accessories), fragrance sticks, fancy cleaning products, something you have actually cooked or just plain old fresh air from outside. The choice is all yours, just remember – you need to be At Home… With All Senses.

This might sound a bit strange but for those of you who live in high-traffic areas, it might be the most disturbing part of being at home. If you like pace and quiet, you would benefit from sound-proofing your home. Some of you, probably, can’t the stillness of the silence, and need to have music running all the time. Decide what makes you happy, and make sure you have the right music on when you enter your home.

What are your little secrets to feeling best at your home?

Chores You Can Do While Speaking on the Phone

Chores You Can Do While Speaking on the Phone

Woman talking on the phone

Have you ever wondered how many hours you spend on the phone? In our age of smart phones and Facebook, and other devices, it is easy to loose track of how long you spend communicating with people all around the world. If you can’t sit still for long, or you simply like multitasking, you should consider crossing of some of the household chores while you are on the phone.

Some of the most annoying tasks on your To Do list will pass by unnoticed when you are having your daily gossip chit-chat with your best friend, update your mother on how the things are going, proclaim your love to your sweetheart, and etc.

If you like using a land-line that can easily fit between your year and your shoulder, you won’t have any problems going around the house with it, as long as your neck doesn’t start hurting. In case you prefer more hi-tech approach, and can’t live without your smart phone, you should consider using a handsfee, especially for the chores that require both of your hands to be free.

Without further ado, here are some of the chores that the pros at Fantastic Cleaning Fitzroy North have approved for doing while speaking on the phone:

1. Dry mopping: Vacuum cleaning, no matter how quiet your device might be, is out of the question while you are talking with someone. However, no one said anything about dry mopping or sweeping the floor. Cloth rags or even a swifter-type mop will help you get rid of the dust bunnies that always find their way to the edges of electronics.

2. Make the bed: What better way to start the day than with a nicely made bed. However, most of us secretly resent that task, as, to be honest, at the end of the day you are getting back in it. Nevertheless, the process will go very smoothly while you are distracted by speaking on the phone while pulling the duvet and fluffing the pillows.

3. Fold the laundry: Repeating mechanical movements while talking with someone on the phone is the ultimate solution to your restlessness, and to reducing the tremendous pile of clothes to manageable proportions.

4. Clean the bathroom: Aside from the final flush, you can have everything in the bathroom scrubbed, disinfected, and organised while speaking on the phone with your mother or another relative. Just a hint, though, if I were you, I wouldn’t let them in on my little cleaning secret.

5. Rearrange your closet: If both of your hands are free, it is the prefect time to get round to rearranging your closet, even colour-coding the items in it. Take a look at this closet organisation assessment to try, and figure out how to improve your overall scheme.

Working From Home Living Your Life

Working From Home & Living Your Life

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When working from home, it is easy to go into work mode 24/7 – your home turns into a rather upgraded office as you can sleep in a comfortable bed, instead of on the couch. If you find that your dwelling is starting to loose its appeal as a place you go to rest, and leave the work-related problems at the door, it is high time to set some ground rules about working from home and living your life:

1. Say “NO” to working from the couch or yet worse, from the bed

The most important thing when working from home is to manage to separate your work area from the rest of the house. While the couch and the bed should be considered a leisure area, it might be tempting to stretch from sitting on the chair the whole day. However, we all know how things are going to end, or better to say how you will not be able to get anything right on time.

2. Say “NO” to eating while working and vice-versa


You should cook for yourself, and enjoy your meals, instead of simply devouring everything you can find in your refrigerator. Not only will you not feel satisfied with the second scenario, but you are most likely to gain weight, too, so say “no” to eating while working.

3. Say “Yes” to schedules

When working from home it is easy to loose track of time, get buried in work, and forget to just take a break. However, it is important to set at least some flexible ground rules for having down time, lunch break and etc. If you feel the need schedule some free time to sit and stare with a blank expression for 15 minutes, basically use give your mind a break – you would if you were at the office, instead of at home.

4. Say “NO” to the chaos

Don’t let your office chaos (read documents all over the place, and office materials that threaten to take over your dwelling) transfer into your personal life just because you work from home. If don’t want to live as a hoarder, you should find time to clean up your mess. If you don’t want to combine the physical exercise and the cleaning, you should consider hiring Fantastic Cleaning Fitzroy North.

5. Say “Yes” to exercising

This is very important, if you value both your health and your body. If all you do at home is sit in front of the computer, how long will it take for you to fall out of shape? Make sure your body gets enough exercise – do yoga, go for a walk in the park during your “lunch break”, if you have a pet take it out, simply find some sort of activity that gives you pleasure, and explore it at least twice a week.

Sweetheart Gifts Dos and Don’ts

Sweetheart Gifts: Dos and Don’ts

Sweet treats

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Whether you are shopping forChristmas, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or an anniversary, you are bound to face the problem of coming up with a great sweetheart gift. However, what never seizes to amaze me is how some people, no matter how devoted they are to their partner, can’t seem to grasp the concept of sweetheart gifts – the dos and don’ts.

It is true that gift giving has become somewhat of an art, if not a science, and a gift can even make or break the outline of your entire relationship. Considering all of this, you need to be very careful when, how and what you decide to give to your dear one when a holiday arrives. If you are at a loss of what is proper, and what not, when it is time to make the purchase, here are some basic dos and don’ts you would want to take into account, unless you are 100% sure your present is NEVER going to upset your lover:

1. Don’t Shop Last-minute

Leaving the purchase of the gift for the last possible moment is one of the worst possible scenarios. There is a very high chance you won’t be able to come up with something “good”, the designated present will require more than one day to be shipped, have it engraved, custom-made and etc. Give yourself at least a week to look for something nice that will make your sweetheart happy.

2. Don’t Buy Anything That Can Be Connected with Weight Loss

Nothing can upset your partner more than a present that has even a distant connection to weight loss – fitness membership (ohh NO), exercise equipment, training gear, the latest diet book, appointment with a dietitian, low-fat food plan and so on are amongst the worst “brilliant” ideas you could ever come up with. While we are at it, sinkers also belong to the unacceptable pile, unless your dear one has specifically indicated that he/ she wants a pair. Extend the ban of the weight loss gifts to animal-themed pyjamas, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and, yes, underwear.

3. Don’t Shop for Yourself

The art of giving a gift dictates that you get your sweetheart something that will make him/ her happy, not you. If you are a basketball fan, and you want to go to the game of the season, don’t get the expensive front-row tickets, and give them to your partner, who, by the way, has no interest in sports, and will be bored to death at the game. The same applies to sexy lingerie, clothing that you would like your dear one to wear, even though it is not really his/ her style.

4. Don’t Go All Practical With the Present

Getting a new pan might be a long-due necessity, but it is not what your sweetheart would want to receive from you. According to professionals at Cleaning Kensington, getting your dear one a new set of pots and pans, or a vacuum cleaner is one of the greatest mistakes you could make. Just think about it, would you like to receive a mixer for your anniversary – one would expect something more personal, and romantic, right?

5. Do Preserve the Receipts

When buying clothing, shoes or even a piece of jewellery, you ought to keep the receipts. There is always the slight possibility that your sweetheart might not like what you have bought or you have gotten the wrong size, so try to be prepared, and don’t get upset, if he/ she doesn’t like the present. You would also do yourself a favour by removing the price tag – no one likes to know that their gift was purchased at the retail sale on 50% off.

6. Do Write a Card

Sometimes, even if your gift isn’t the poster child for originality, a well-written personal message on a beautiful card will make it special. Furthermore, you only have to buy one a couple of times a year, so it is not that big of a nuisance to make him/ her feel special with a nice dedication.

7. Do Wrap the Gift

Buying a gift bag is always easier (and cheaper) than having the present wrapped, or, even better, do it yourself. A gift presented in a beautiful package is better regarded than one in a bag, so make the effort to take the extra step.

Gardening with Dogs Part II

Gardening with Dogs – Part II

Black labrador

Having covered how to prevent as best as possible your dogs from running recklessly through the entire garden in Gardening with Dogs – Part I, now we are going to continue solving the rest of the 5 most common problems related to maintaining a beautiful garden while taking care of pets that run in it.

How to prevent dogs from chewing on plants and garden accessories?

Animals need to chew on plants from time to time, and generally you can do very little to prevent it from happening. However, if you have shrubs that are known to be poisonous to dogs like rhododendrons or camellias, you need to make everything within your powers to limit the access to them. The best way to do it is to add some sort of a barrier – wire works best for me.

However, it is not an eye-pleaser, so unless you want to end up with a landscape that resembles a war zone, you might want to reconsider those plants or re-think your garden design. Luckily, companies like Fantastic Gardeners Melbourne have excellent landscape architects to aid you with the pet-friendly design.

Schnauzer dog

For newly emerging or planted plants, you might use plant support. The instincts of your dog, at least in most cases, will kick in, and warn it that it is something to not to be run over. Nevertheless, your devices need to be sturdy enough to withstand the full mass of your dog should a clash with it be unavoidable. In my experience, metal plant supports work best as the plastic ones just aren’t strong enough.

How to deal with yellow spots and faeces when gardening with dogs?

Surely, cleaning up after your dog has a special place in your “most-annoying-chores” list. The best tactic is to start training your puppy as soon as possible to relieve itself at only one spot in the garden, so that you wouldn’t have to go around cleaning everywhere. Even with older dogs, it is still possible to teach them “good garden manners” but it will take more time.

If your puppy is rather stubborn, you could try the “caught-on-the-spot” tactic. Most dogs tend to remember the shame of being scolded while they are “doing it”, and would avoid similar situations in the future. Nevertheless, most dogs are creatures of habit, and will usually find an out-of-the-way place in the garden that they will stick to – naturally with the exception of pups.

Don’t forget cleaning after your pet is one of the most important, though not so pleasant, chores you will have to face when gardening with pets running nearby.

In the third, and last part of the article, I will help you solve the mystery of the holes that keep appearing in your garden, as well as how to prevent your pet form drinking, and taking a bath in your garden water features.

Gardening with Dogs Part I

Gardening with Dogs – Part I

Cute dog

It is a well-known fact that Aussies love dogs – according to the latest statistics there are about 3.4 million dogs in the country. The breeds vary from terriers, retrievers, poodles, spanniols, collies and pugs to rottweilers and German shepherds, and naturally, various crosses. While the love for man’s best friend has no limits, devoted gardeners tend to find gardening with dogs in the house rather challenging.

Before you start imagining the worst scenarios about what your precious garden will look like once you get a dog, allow me to sum up the top 5 problems, so that you can have a clear idea of what your are getting yourself into – besides the cares you need to provide.

The top 5 issues regarding gardening with dogs in mind:

1. Running through the garden (and knocking your pots, destroying garden accessories, making undesired “paths” and etc.)
2. Chewing on your plants and garden accessories
3. Cleaning after the dogs have relieved themselves
4. Digging holes
5. Using decorative water features to bathe in or drink from

How to reduce the damages from dogs running recklessly through the garden?

The number one problem with dogs in the garden is the amount of havoc they tend to wreck once they are unsupervised in the garden. Even worse, it increases when your neighbours also have furry friends in theirs, or a squirrel has decided to pay you a visit. While there is nothing you can do about wild animals (pests), there are a few options you can resort to when you want to separate your pet from that of your neighbour.

A privacy fence is the most reliable way to prevent the dogs from “playing” together. However, if that is not an option for you, planting shrubs and ground covers along the line of your property will usually do the trick – provided that they are high and thick enough, so that your dog can neither peak, nor jump over (or squeeze through) them. The good news is that both options won’t “inflict any damage” on your landscape.

Having reduced the “distractions”, you also need to protect your precious plants from getting run-over. In order to do so, you can add rock borders or create trenched gardens. When a dog isn’t distracted by eventual playmates, it is less likely to cross the borders you have created, and venture through your plantations, believe experts at gardening Melbourne.

However, dogs have little respect for gardening rules, and won’t always follow the natural paths you have in place to ensure your movement through the garden. If your dog has its mind set on using a short-cut that goes directly through your planting area, no matter how you try to fight it, you are most likely going to end up with a canine highway. The tactic, I find most useful in such cases, is to plant some robust plants that will hide the path from human eyes, so you can at least have the illusion of a perfect garden with a dog playing in it.

What’s next?

In the second part of the article I will continue revealing some of the neat tricks to successful gardening with dogs in mind, so stay tuned.

Gardening with Dogs Part III

Gardening with Dogs – Part III

Puppy in the garden

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I know you have been anticipating the last part of Gardening with dogs as you can’t wait to see my suggestions on how to stop your four-legged friend from digging holes all over your garden, as well as putting an end on the games in your garden water features. So without further ado, here is the last part of the solutions foe the top 5 gardening issues related to having dogs:

How to put a stop to the hole-digging in your garden?

If you have dogs, it is inevitable to face the problem with hole-digging. The nature of your four-legged friend demands from it to do it. As usual, the older your dog gets the less fascinated it is with the process. However, when you have a puppy or an over-active dog, you will feel quite challenged to maintain your garden while finding a new hole every day. For some reason, there never seems to be enough dirt to cover it – one of Murphy’s laws, I guess.

Once again, the best way to deal with the unwanted activity is not to allow your furry friend outside unsupervised. The second most effective method is catching it on the spot, and scolding it. Nevertheless, in some cases you will be forced to accept the inevitable – you WILL have holes in your garden, and all you can do is make peace with it, and give your best to cover them up.

One way to cope with the emerging holes is to cover them up with wire, rocks or trellis. It is a short term solution that will only send a pro-active mud looking for easier pickings. Still, it will stop the hole from growing, and you can fill it once again. Luckily, over the years your pet will grow out of that habit or at least do it less frequently, so you need to go through the first few years. Afterwards, the dog will probably pick a secluded spot to do it, and you can easily mask the place with some cascading plants, so no one but you will know it is even there.

How to stop your dog from playing in and drinking from the water features?

Gardening with dogs is tricky on many levels but mostly when you need to protect expensive garden accessories like a fish pond or a fountain. Especially here in Australia, there is no way you can add a water feature, and not have your four-legged pal take a bath or a sip from it once the heat wave hits your area.

Experts from Cleaning at Northcote suggest simply adding a separate pool for the dogs in an out-of-the-way, somewhat secluded area. A small hard plastic pool should do the trick, provided that you keep the water in it clean and fresh, your pet will prefer it to the fish- and plant-inhabited pond or a steam. Furthermore, it is easy-to-clean and remove, in case you want your garden to look more presentable for guests.

No matter how challenging gardening with dogs might be, it is always rewarding to have a pet accompany you when you work outdoors, or simply play with your furry friend. Even better, in my opinion, the daily provocation of coping with your dog’s new mischiefs that keeps things interesting and your innovative thinking going.