Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shit Tradies Say plus Tradies National Health Month Giveaway


Safety is paramount, whether it be at work or at home.

My working life constantly revolves around saftey.  It's drum into my brain constantly.

I'm not complaining though, it's a great thing for any work place to undertake and to recommend enforcing also at home.

I own a pair of Steel Blue that have been the most comfiest and useful tool. They have a sturdy inner plastic strong thing (technical term) that protects anything heavy that might be dropped upon my toes.  I always use them in the garden.

That's right, I'm a real man.. Grrr!  Stuff the shovels, I dig holes with me shoes! hahaha

Yeah, sort of.  They have been ultra handy when I was landscaping with massive moss rocks. I'm always working at home with safety in mind.

I definitely understand the importance of safety. I also understand the importance of seeking help if accidents do occur.

Did you know that nearly one in five workplace injuries involves a Tradie? This makes the Tradies one of the most affected professions in Australia. They also don’t often seek appropriate medical attention, making injuries worse.

I've been approach by the folks at Tradies National Health Month that are aiming to change this, to make sure Tradies know how to be safe at work, how to reduce chances of injury and to get treatment if they do get injured.

Check out This video though by them. They managed to get Dave Hughes involved.

It's a cracker!


There's also a nifty little game that the kids might enjoy playing (or yourself!).

To help promote this important awareness raising initiative, the folks at Tradies Health Month are chucking in a prize pack giveaway. One lucky person will win a voucher for any pair of Steel Blue boots (valued at up to $400) and a Thermoskin voucher (to redeem either a Thermoskin Thermal Knee/Ankle Support or Elastic Back Stabiliser).

This is the biggest prize value I have given away at the blog I'm excited and you guys have been given such a treat!

As I was mentioning before, Steel Blue make some great boots and are worn by thousands of tradies across Australia. Thermoskin is well-known Australian producer of products that prevent, treat and rehabilitate sports injuries, arthritis and RSI.

Enter below for your chance to win, but don't forget to be safe whatever you are doing, but if you happen to get injured, seek help.  Good luck!

(note: giveaway is open to Australian mailing addresses only)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 1, 2014

Just Cuts Competition and Amusing Haircuts of the Past


I have been approached to tell you guys about a great competition running for a new campaign, and all you have to do is get a haircut!

So long as you get you haircut at a Just Cuts salon, then you can win a share of $5,000



But I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about some haircuts that should not exist.

Ladies, if your man friend has one of these haircuts, it's time to get your partner the incentive to change hair styles!  No better incentive than a share of a prize pool worth $5,000!

To the guys, seriously, if you have one of these haircuts, go take yourself to a Just Cuts as soon as possible! If not just for some self respect for yourself!

Here we go..

The Man Perm

Oh Tom Hanks, what did you do to yourself?

Why would you ever decide to run with the Man Perm?

Perms were for outrageous rock stars in the 80's and early 90's only. Unless you had a early movie role as a kitchen mop, then there was no need for the perm!

I can remember when I had my long hair a girl mentioned to me "You should get it permed! I think you'd look really nice", with the added wink wink.

I was tempted though.. Tempted to laugh at her!  But, she was a nice girl and I just said not for me.

Thank god I didn't do that though, otherwise I'd have a photo such as Tom Hanks to look back upon with utter cringe.

Men, if this is your current hair-do that you have done on purpose, I suggest an all over number 2 shave hahaha!


Epic Mullet

There is the Mullet and then there is this guy's haircut, the Epic Mullet.

Business at the front, party at the back.

This party at the back is no ordinary party though.  This is one of those parties that is thrown when you have your parents out of the house for a whole week.

One of those parties with hundreds of people at your house. People you've never met, swinging from chandeliers, roof diving into bushes at 3am.

This is the sort of party that even the cops can't stop.

No.  That is just too much partying.  It has to stop!

This sort of Epicness shall not be allowed! If this is you, get yourself your haircut. Remember that Just Cuts are encouraging you to get your haircut with their prize pool of $5,000.

Gawd, even the thin black tie is screaming party..  Nope! Must not encourage.. get a haircut Mullet owners.


The Bowl Cut

Oh. My. God. The Bowl Cut.

Nick Carter is here, proudly displaying the Bowl Cut, whilst blissfully unaware of his cringe worthiness.

If you are saying "No, not Nick Carter, he was my favourite".

That's right, he WAS your favourite.

The Backstreet Boys are long gone, as has the bowl cut.

The Bowl Cut should only be sported in the 90's.

Kids, if ever your mum or dad is cutting your hair and you see the bowl come out, rip it out of their hands before they can cut your hair around it!

The Bowl Cut is the scariest haircut of them all.

I once saw two kids and a mother walking down the street with the exact same Nick Carter haircut you can see here.

Yes!  The two boys and their mother! The exact same haircut!

I saw them when I was about 15. All they needed to do was glow their eyes in a Children of the Corn manner and I would have died in the street.

If you have a Bowl Cut (or even decide to use a bowl in the cutting of hair), stop being lazy!  Go to a salon!

Jeez.. hehehe

Anyway, what are your most funny haircuts from your childhood or recently? Would love to hear them.

Don't forget, check out the Just Cuts competition for your next haircut!

- tork

Monday, July 28, 2014

Plan Early: 5 Gifts For Your Old Man This Father’s Day


This is a guest post from The Basket Factory, suppliers of gifts for all people and occasions.


Dad & son
Just when you think there are no more designated days on the horizon, Father’s Day comes around. You then realise that you have wasted all your awesome gift ideas on celebrations that occurred earlier in the year, and are now at a loss for what your old man might want. Not to worry—there are more options than you’d think. Rather than focusing on specific items, the five headings below contain generalisations of potential gift ideas, as a way of giving the reader more leeway when making their final decision.

Gift Basket

A decent gift basket will never disappoint. Simply the idea of being handed a basket of various goods complete with cellophane wrapping and a sizable ribbon is an enchanting one. Though what specifically should a Father’s Day gift basket consist of? Well, according to The Basket Factory, it could be just about anything. Some baskets have a savoury theme of cheeses, nuts and beer, and others a dessert theme of expensive Merlot and quality chocolate brands.

Baked Goods

Anything done by your own hand demonstrates a degree of effort and care for whomever it may be for, which is why you can never go wrong with baking (even when you do go wrong). You could bake muffins, brownies, a celebratory cake; it doesn’t matter too much, so long as it consists of a lot of sugary ingredients—sweet foods tend to symbolise affection a bit more than homemade fries.

Nifty Gadgets

They may be pointless, but they’re undoubtedly cool and so much fun for a day to both own and brag about to friends and family (more than once). A nifty gadget is essentially any gadget that aims to impress—if only the person who owns it—for example, a navigator, a digital watch with multiple functions, a telescope (if only for presentation), an espresso machine, an iPod, a pair of headphones, and so on. Each of the gadgets mentioned have one thing in common: your dad would find them cool.

Necessary Gadgets

They may be boring, but they are essential to own, particularly if you’re raising a family and managing a household. If your mother is failing to encourage your father to spend more time helping in the kitchen, buy him a kitchen set, or some more BBQ tools, or if he’s more of a handy man, a new and improved toolbox. He might also appreciate some new shaving utensils, such as aftershave, an electric razor, or even some cologne.

Ironic Gifts

In the case of Father’s Day, a gift with a touch of irony (more or less) tends to be a novelty item that either makes reference to something of pop culture value, or satirises dad-humour in a way that makes you cringe even more than if your dad were saying it. For example: a fan boy t-shirt, a Female Body Inspector baseball cap, a mug that reads “Not All Heroes Wear Capes”, or even a poster featuring your dad’s most hated film. Any of these would be acceptable as an ironic gift, just as long as your dad understands the reference. Otherwise there’s no point.

Now that you have been either informed or reminded of the Father’s Day gift options, you can rest assured that virtually anything you buy will contain value in your old man’s life. And even if it doesn’t, you can rest assured that he will pretend that it does.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Gambling. My Story. There's Many Ways to Get Help Campaign.


This is an important article. If you have a gambling problem, please refer this link, There's Many Ways To Get Help.

I take a look at my bank account often. Generally these looks and an audible *sigh* go hand in hand.

I'm definitely not a person in dire straits though. There are worse bank accounts out there than mine, of this I am certain.

These days, I am debt free, but that doesn't mean things can't get better. For one thing, less shoes magically appearing under my wife's side of the bed. That would greatly help my bank account.

My dog deciding to get a job would also be fantastic. Perhaps she could star in her own TV series. It could be called "Things you shouldn't eat". Good idea or am I barking mad?

Gambling is a current daily problem for many
On a serious note though, the major annoyance in my life is Gambling ads.

Now, I'm not about to let you all know that I have a terrible gambling problem, far from it. I think I have enough will power to ignore the betting ads, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see some form of gambling advertising or the odds for some type of event.

I am sports mental. I read a fair bit of sports news and I also have the Fox Sports channel.

I estimate that I see at least five gambling ads a day. Hell, just when watching YouTube I am bombarded with a gambling ad at the start of almost every video.

WE ARE BEING BOMBARDED!!!

We can't even look at the sky to get away from a gambling ad!!

Yes, that's right. One gambling company decided to fly a giant Jesus hot air balloon in the sky in an arrogant stunt. I mean, seriously.

I admit I have a sports betting account. But this is where my concern lies. I'm a person who would only ever have a bet around the Melbourne Cup, just like many other people in Australia.

Now, with everyone owning smart phones and so many ads on the telly every single day, it’s so easy to get sucked in just like I did.

$5 on my beloved Adelaide Crows to win?! Yeah, I’ll take that bet because it is so easy for me to just pull out my phone and push a button.

It's super easy and so quick to gamble your money away with the flick of a finger.

What's also concerning is the big gambling sites that offer free money if you become a member. This is where I got caught. Free money for someone like me was enough for me to see what was going on.

So I signed up and didn't win a single thing.

What's more is that after the first few bets, a few more came along. I stopped when I was $100 out of pocket. That was enough for me.

I'd hate to think how much other people are down. My will power is good enough to quit at $100 down. Are other people as strong? Is the constant bombardment of advertising on the telly today too much? And is it causing more problems than there ever was?

Pull up a chair kiddies, it's story time

I can remember being about eight years old working with my Grandpa at the dog tracks. I'd help sell entry tickets and my Pop would train and race dogs.

I never saw him have a single bet. All I saw was him talking with his dog mates.

Mingling with his mates over a beer or two, laughing about how much better his dogs were than the others.

Sure, gambling was the main thing the dog track was about, but it was so much more than that.

It was about Aussie blokes having a good time out and about, not sitting in their lounge room watching sports channels and putting a bet on a lucky number.

Why can't gambling only exist in live venues? Why don't we just have that? Why not make it hard enough so people have to pull themselves out of their pyjamas and go to the local pub or footy oval to place a bet? I wish it wasn’t so easy for people to hand over their hard earned money to large overseas betting agencies.

We are never going to get rid of gambling. There is no point in trying to eradicate it completely and I don't want to do that.

But I would like to take gambling advertising off my screens, out of my newspapers, and away from my Fantasy AFL sites.

I don't care about the odds or how much money I could win betting on a draw in the World Cup.

All I want to do is crack open a tinnie with my mates and tell them how much better my team is than theirs.

So, to all the betting companies - get all the gambling bollocks out of my face and let me go about my own business without trying to sell me yours.

The constant gambling ads are being thrown too far down our throats on a daily basis. I want these agencies to get their dirty fingers out of our pockets and let us make our own choices.

What do you think about advertising and gambling? Keep them out of our homes and smartphones?

If you would like helping information with a gambling problem, visit this link today, There's Many Ways to Get Help.

And if you or someone you care about is experiencing problems with gambling, there are many ways to get help. For free, confidential support call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or visit gamblershelp.com.au to find the support that’s right for you.

- tork

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cost Cutting Tips For Car Owners


This is a guest post from the Motor Accident Legal Service, a one stop shop for people involved in accidents involving motor vehicles.


Buying a car is exciting and many people talk about the deal they got and the price they paid for weeks after the new automobile arrives in the driveway, but the real cost of a car is not the one-off purchase price; it’s the ongoing expenses. Here’s some helpful information on how to keep those costs down.

Tune It Up

A well maintained vehicle runs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one and this pays dividends in the long run. If you ensure your vehicle is serviced well and regularly, not only will it use less fuel keeping your petrol bills under control, but you’ll also reduce wear and tear on the rest of the vehicle. This means less replacement parts like new tyres or brake pads, less often. Make sure you remember to check your tyre pressure too; driving on tyres with low tyre pressure can make you use more fuel than you need to. On the subject of tyres, ensuring your car’s wheel alignment is straight also helps keep your car’s running costs down, not to mention the improvement such an adjustment will have on your car’s wear and tear – both engine and rubber bits will thank you.

Drive Cheaply

It’s true – there is a cheap way to drive your car, and an expensive way. The cheaper way is to drive your car smoothly, avoiding stop-starts and sudden halts. Driving in a jerky manner has been found to add as much as 30% to a car’s fuel bill. It also costs you less to drive your car more slowly. In fact, it’s estimated that for every 8 km/h you accelerate, your fuel consumption rises a corresponding 7%. It’s also important to slow down to avoid a car accident or injury. Even though there are helpful services such as Motor Accident Legal Service to help you out if you get in an accident - you should always try your best to avoid one.

Gas Caps

Almost 20% of cars have faulty or missing gas caps and while this presents a safety hazard every time you stop your car for fuel, it also harms your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. A new gas cap costs less than $20 on average and not only will you reduce your fuel costs, but you’ll cut down on the fumes released by your car as well, so it’s the green thing to do.

Go Easy on Your Brakes – And Clear out Your Boot

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop your car when you need to, but avoid actively riding the brake. Riding the brake pedal can add as much as 35% to your car’s fuel consumption. It also wears out your brake pads which add to the maintenance costs of your car. Clearing out your car boot is another way to cut the cost of running a car. For every 45 kilos carried around in your car boot, your vehicle loses 1-2% of its fuel efficiency, so clearing out the trunk every week or so makes good sense.

There are many ways to keep your car running costs down and while each small saving may seem very minor, these tips for car owners can make a big difference to the overall cost of owning a car.

Do you have a motoring cost cutting tip you’re particularly proud of? Share it in the comments box below.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

In the AFL, you'll get away with being racist and laughing at poofters.


RANT ALERT

Yes, I've had enough.  I've had words stirring in my melon for weeks/months now.

The AFL has been giving me the shits.

Tonight, Brian Taylor called Harry Taylor a poofter.

Now, I didn't see the incident BT was referring too, but I have heard his comments through the wonders of the internet.

Brian Taylor was referring to Harry Taylor's wave to the crowd, which I understand it to be similar to her Majesty the Queen's royal wave.

He has since apologised for saying "I am up here getting ready for the game and I’ve just seen that crap from Harry - he’s a big poofter".

His apology is "In the pre-game show I said something that I regret, and I sincerely apologise in regard to Harry Taylor and anyone, and particularly Harry and any of his friends, that were offended by my remark. I apologise for that and I sincerely regret any harm that I have caused."

Now, I'm not going to get stuck into Brian Taylor's comments, even though what he said is something that is totally intolerable for a broadcaster or anyone to be saying, with poofter being a slang and derogatory word for homosexual.

I'm getting my two cents in before something happens such as a ban from the media or the sacking of Brian Taylor in his role.

If Brian Taylor gets given the arse then there are obvious double standards within the media and the AFL. Sure, by referring to being gay is the equivalent of being a loser is not acceptable, but the past history of acceptance of other outrageous comments is my issue.

Bring in Eddie McGuire's comments for has racist outburst referring Aboriginal Adam Goodes to a monkey on national radio.

Eddie McGuire, President of Collingwood Football club, radio host, TV Host, AFL commentator etc. A blatant, racist remark that was immediately shunned by his on-air peers and everyone else reading the newspapers.

What was McGuire's punishment? The AFL had ordered McGuire to mediation with Goodes and to take tolerance classes, with a fine of up to $20,000.

Eddie still does all his media commitments.  He is still the President of the Collingwood football club. He is still the face I see hosting the footy on Foxtel. I don't think he even was temporarily banned from any of his appointments at the time of his racsit slur.  In fact, he was on TV more to cover his backside for his idiocy.

Unbelievable isn't it.

My point is, if Brian Taylor loses his job, the media and AFL has double standards.

Sack them both!!  Sack Brian Taylor, sack Eddie McGuire.

While I'm there, let's point our finger at the other broadcasters for laughing at BT's comments.

Pfft... they'll all get away with it.

But I hate how just because Eddie McGuire has a big grip in the AFL, being a President and also being a charitable person for indigenous groups as well as charities, that his outrageously insensitive remarks didn't take it's toll one little bit.  That Eddie McGuire kept all his sponsorships, kept all his high profile roles.

It did take it's toll though. It affected any Aborigine that heard it, this I can assure you.

Makes me so mad that even though he was completely embarrassed, he's gotten away with it.

So, if Brian Taylor loses his job for his homosexual comments, even temporarily, everyone is going to be rejoicing in the streets. Yes, he is totally the most annoying broadcaster and his comments are completely wrong and stupid, but bring harsher penalties to McGuire, the owner of the forgotten racist slur that the AFL has swept under the rugs.

I'm not even touching the AFL umpire Razor Ray using the 'retarded' word in game.

I'd rant and rave more, but I'd just be here, typing away too long.

I do apologise though for giving more breath to previous racism, hence why I was sitting on this post for a while. For that I am sorry, but know I am thankful for the wonderful Aboriginal culture and stories that I will one day teach to my own child.

Anyway, that's enough from me.  Love to hear from you guys.

- tork

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Giveaway & Energy Saving Tips for this year's Soccer World Cup


I'm definitely a little bit of a sports nut. You'd be troubled to find a sport that I don't really like or that I haven't played.

Soccer is a big one in my house.  I'm more about the local A-League these days, but when the World Cup is on, everything goes on hold.

1:30am starts aren't unusual for my mornings with the World Cup on.  I've perfected celebrating in quiet so I don't wake wife and child whenever a goal is scored.  My ninja leaping across the couches is so silent and skilful that Mr Miyagi would be proud.

When my team is scored against however, it includes swearwords that would make Eminem shake his head with shame.

But enough about me, I'm here to give stuff away!!

The folks at Origin Energy are giving away 3 x Sunbeam heated throw rugs!  Not only that, they are kindly passing on energy saving tips for this year's World Cup fans that are spending sleep-deprived, late nights glued to the TV trying to stay warm and awake.

For the World Cup fans watching at least two games per night, it's estimated 128 additional hours of TV viewing plus extra heating, use of kettles, coffee machines and mobile devices. This doesn’t have to result in an own goal with your energy bills though.

Here are a list of energy saving tips.

Stay warm

How god damned cold has it been? It may be warm in Brazil, but it is getting colder in Australia.

Origin's tips:

  • Rug up in your football jumper, a scarf and slippers
  • Heat yourself before you heat the room. An electric throw rug will only cost you around $6 to use through the duration of the Cup.
  • If you must use a heater, don’t go for the portable electric kind, they chew through energy. It will cost you nearly double to heat a room with an electric heater (around $67) than it would with a gas heater (around $37) for the duration of the Cup.
  • A close game is a good game, so if watching the game with friends or family, sit close to them! Body heat is a cheap and easy way to keep yourself and the room warm!
  • Keep the heat in. Shut any curtains and blinds, and close off the room you’re in.

My tips:

  • Burn anything Orange.  Those god damned Netherlands beat Aussies in Game 2 and burning things orange not only makes you warmer but happier.
  • Take a shot of alcohol every time a shot on goal is missed.  You'll be nice and warm in no time. My preferred morning alcohol is scotch.

Set the mood


Origin's tips:

If the light from the TV doesn’t provide enough mood lighting for you, use compact fluorescent or LED globes in floor or table lamps. They use much less energy than standard 50 Watt halogen down lights, which could cost you up to $30 if kept on during the matches. By comparison a compact fluorescent lamp will only set you back around $6 during the same period.

My tips:

Turn down the volume on the TV and instead play Barry Manilow classics. Nothing lights up the room like the voice of an angel that is Barry.

See the big picture


Origin's tips:

If you’re in the market for a new TV, or weighing up whose house to watch the game at, the latest in LED technology is the way to go. Plasmas cost more than double to run than the same sized LED version, and LCD’s aren’t much better, being only slightly cheaper than today’s Plasmas.

My tips:

Turn your TV off altogether and find a neighbour that is watching the game loud enough for you to hide in the bushes to hear the game.

Staying awake


Origin's tips:

  • When making warm drinks, remember to only fill the kettle with the water you intend to use each time. Heating more water than you need is wasteful.
  • Alternatively, boil the kettle once and fill a thermos - it not only saves your own energy from having to get up every half an hour...but saves on your energy bills too.

My tips:

  • Occasionally do a cart-wheel in your lounge room.  It is a known fact that exercise is a great stimulant to stay awake and cart-wheels are making a comeback.

For more energy efficient tips during the World Cup instead of my silly ones, you can send a tweet using #AskAnne on Twitter or visit Origin Energy.


So now it is giveaway time!  As I said briefly, Origin is kindly giving away to three lucky people a Sunbeam heated throw rug (retail $75).

For your chance to win, simply enter in the comments below your most creative World Cup energy saving tip. Enter your comment below with as little or as many words as you like.

I will be picking the best three.  Give away ends Midnight 29th of June.

Enter as many times as you like, but you can only win once and you must be an Australian resident.

Good luck and may you enjoy the rest of the World Cup with a smaller energy bill!

- tork

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Top 5 Defensive Driving Techniques to avoid a Car Accident


My wife once hit three cars at once whilst parking her car.  I once nudged the rear-end of a stationary bus, brakes squealing hard. Everyone has one of these stories, albeit perhaps not as Mr Magoo like involving stationary vehicles, but it's a bit of a worry hey? Hehehe!

I saw a car accident today, happened right in front of my eyes.  Wasn't just a fender bender either, it was a full blown, right up the arse, up on two wheels, power pole smacking smash-up!

Quite a scary crash!

Everyone involved walked away from their cars fine though.  A little shaken up, but fine.  Their cars were pretty wrecked though, so they were lucky it wasn't worse.

It did have me thinking though, what would have happen if it was me driving and my son was in the car with me? We're so fragile as humans and all it takes is one person to not concentrate behind a powerful machine to smack you up the backside and squash you flat.

It was a timely reminder today that you never know when a crash might happen.

We all forget to be more wary.  We've got to be putting our mobile phones out of site when driving, staying within the speed limit and keeping our cars serviced for issues.

Some people need to look at themselves too.  Is it really worth it, to be supe-ing up their car for extra oomph in a vehicle also used to transport children!

I've seen this people do this. It's just not worth it.

Even if you think you are a good driver, this infographic is worth the few minutes it takes to read it. It might just save you from having an accident one day.

The folks at Sinnamon Lawyers have written these tips.  They can help you out if you ever do have a car accident (knock on wood that you don't need it).

Have a read, soak the defensive driving tips in and remember to be careful out there on our roads.

So take care out there on the roads.  Enjoy your journeys and reach your destination safely.

- tork

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Is solar power for you?


This is a guest post from Australian Solar Quotes, a one stop solar information source to learn the basics about solar panel technology and solar energy.


It's safe to say that with electricity costs hitting the roof, seemingly with no end in sight, there's been a question on our minds: Is solar power right for me? There’s so much attention on renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint, and it may seem like everyone's doing it, but in actual fact, it's not always the right solution. There are a number of factors you need to take into account in order to figure out if solar power is right for you.

Is there enough sun in your area?

Every state is different, and each area within a state is different! The amount of sunlight obviously differs between areas. Even in QLD, the Sunshine State, there are areas that believe it or not, don't have as much sun as other parts. However, it’s aptly named the Sunshine State because it really does get more sun on average than other states. NSW was pretty pitiful in terms of how much sun they got over the last two years - they had more overcast days than sunny ones. Therefore, residents of NSW may be poor candidates for solar energy. Certain areas of VIC may also not be quite suited to solar power. Other states like WA and SA have sunlight stats that are more evenly spread, so they’re moderately good candidates for solar power. Enough said.

Does your state offer you an incentive?

Depending on which state you live in, there may be some incentives for you to switch to solar. The Australian Government for a time did provide a rebate of up $8,000 for installation of solar panels on homes. This has since been replaced by another program, The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (STCs). Basically, if you purchase an eligible solar power or solar hot water system, you’re entitled to a number of STCs (credits) depending on the size of your system and where you’re located. Each city has different STCs – for example, if you’re in Brisbane, you’ll get 31, if you’re in Melbourne 26.6 and so forth. These credits can be put towards the cost of the system, meaning you have a reduced up-front cost! You can find more info on the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator website.

Are you already practicing energy-efficient living?

It’s no secret that going solar is expensive. In order to truly benefit from a renewable energy system, you should already be trying to reduce your consumption. A clever way to remember to save is L.A.W – Lights, Appliances and Waste. A lot of these measures should be carried out already, but many of us still don’t – not because we’re being silly, but sometimes, it just doesn’t occur to us! The more you save on energy, the smaller the system you’ll have to install, which means lower upfront costs!

You should already have switched either partially or wholly to CFL bulbs. They only use 20 per cent of electricity that their incandescent cousins do. Heavy-duty appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers should be run when they’re full. When you purchase big appliances, it’s worth forking out the extra dollars for those with more energy-efficient stars (if you can afford to, that is). And by now, your whole family wastes less by becoming accustomed to turning off lights and appliances when they’re not in use.

Sustainable living is an investment. It’s an investment for yourselves and the environment as a whole. As long as you’ve researched and asked all the questions under the sun (no pun intended) that you can think of, only you will know if it’s right for you! For more advice, visit www.australiansolarquotes.com.au.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Five tips for unwinding after a big day


This is a guest post from Chiropedic, an Australian-owned mattress factory specialising in factory direct mattresses at cheap prices.


It’s been a long day at the office, or with the kids and their friends at the local theme park. You’ve finally made it home and all you want to do is to chill out and let the stress of the day fade away. These five simple tips will help you unwind and prepare for a great night’s sleep.

A comfortable bed

Let’s start with the basics. To unwind, you need a good night’s sleep. And for a good night’s sleep, you need a great bed. The most important part of a bed is a mattress that is comfortable and suits your individual needs. There are a variety of mattresses on the market, each boasting various attributes for different body types and conditions. A good option is to look for a chiropedic mattress for your bed frame. Once you’ve found it, spend a little extra cash on some fine cotton sheets. The higher the thread count, the better the sleep! Now that the bed is sorted out, here are a few other things you can do at the end of the day to ease into a restful night.

Soothing music does the trick

Music calms the savage beast, or for that matter relaxes the tired and stressed worker. Classical or ballad-type music can have a calming effect on the most stressed person. So once you are home, turn on the music and let its calming attributes flow over you. Just make sure your choice of CD isn’t too stimulating, such as rock, punk or pop music. You might enjoy them while driving the car, but they won’t have the soothing effect you need at this quiet time of the day.

Smell the roses and relax

We’ve all at one time or another been told to ‘stop and smell the roses’. This is as much about the positive effect of a sweet and pleasant smell on your senses and mood as it is about urging people to slow down. The aroma of coffee from a restaurant is likely to stimulate hunger in passers-by; and real estate agents often encourage house sellers to bake bread to generate an inviting smell before prospective buyers make an inspection. So too can the perfume generated by rose, vanilla or other scented beeswax candles create a relaxing atmosphere for your end-of-day chill-out session.

Soak and sooth

‘I’m going to soak that day right out of my skin’. Okay, that’s not exactly how the 1950s musical number goes, but it’s what we’re trying to achieve here. It’s time to make the most of your music and aromatic scent and climb into a warm bubble bath. Any brand or quality of bubble bath will do, just as long as it fluffs right up, surrounds you with soft suds and lets you slip under the water for an hour of doing, well, nothing.

A bit of mindless entertainment

Once you’ve taken a bath and filtered fine aromas through your house but before you’re ready for bed, it’s time for some mindless entertainment. Select your favourite movie from the DVD collection or choose a nice TV show to watch. This is a great way to simply let the mind relax. Don’t choose anything too action-packed or a show that takes a great deal of concentration. The idea here is to relax, not get the heartbeat racing or to prep for an upcoming chemistry exam.

So there you have it. Next time you have a big day and need wind down, follow these simple steps for a pleasant and relaxing evening.



Monday, May 19, 2014

Tork goes NSFW with We-Vibe 4 Sex Toy Review


Howdy folks!

I've been excited to be a little bit different today with a review for partners.

So, I'm going to be blunt.  This is a Sex Toy review!

Taboo?  It's 2014 here people!  Nothing is taboo any more now, is it?  Sex is giggled at on a daily basis.  Between friends the other night, the wife and I laughed about all our bedroom relationships at a restaurant dinner table! Something forbidden decades ago.

Maybe it was just because at the dinner table we've all been friends for many years.  Well, I consider my readers good friends, so let's hold back the inhibitions and talk about sex baby!

Today I'm reviewing the We-Vibe 4, a naughty little device specifically and strategically designed to produce pleasure for both him and her during sex.

Now, here's the review!

We-Vibe 4 - Couples Vibrator


Let's get down to business. *giggle*

To get the tech specs out the way, the device isn't a whoppingly big, scary monster that you might be thinking it is.

I consider it to be a pocket rocket that, by the way, is remotely controlled. Bit naughty, having the bloke in full control.

It's also USB chargeable. Who would have thought, that when the computer was invented that it would be used to power such a device!

The We-Vibe has vibration levels of many different speeds and pulses, oh and it is also waterproof.

This little bugger has everything going for it! But it's all about doing what you feel comfortable in the bedroom and these sorts of products can be either embarrassing to buy or awkward to ask your partner to use. But you shouldn't be ashamed, especially when no one really has to know about them now, do they?

Without being a massive expert on the sex toy industry, I would say the best sellers are the ones that work to titillate both the men and the women, which this one is specifically built to do.

Without getting into the nitty gritty details of how it works, let me show you this video that best shows the results of getting it on with the We-Vibe.



Let's just say, guys/girls.. don't be shy and visit their site to find out for yourself!  Even if you aren't in a relationship, they work solo as well.

Visit the folks at We-Vibe at their Facebook or Instagram pages and spice things to level "Double Vibration" in the bedroom.

Jokes aside, you seriously won't regret it! Paying for quality products like these gives you top notch results, if you know what I mean.

*high five*

- tork

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saviour Glass Screen Guardian Phone Protector Review


Mums and Dad! Here is a wicked product that might just be a must have if you have kids that always steal your mobile phones.

The Saviour Glass Screen Guardian.

This product is currently selling at Big W and is a fantastic way to protect your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

From my experience, the iPhones are an easily scratched/smashed phone.  I've lost count with the number of times we have replaced my wife's phone a with scratched or cracked screen.  Always dropping it, our son whacking it, putting it in the washing machine (yes, she actually did this once). So having an iPhone, in my opinion, a screen protector is a must have.

The Screen Guardian doesn't protect against washing machine idiocy, but it sure does protect scratches!

The guard isn't plastic.  It is described on the box as "9H anti-shatter and anti-scratch". Now, whether this is true or not is something above my knowledge, with a quick Google I found that 9H is also known as tempered glass.

Whatever it is, it is a layer that you can place on top of your phone that fits perfectly and protects your mobile from handbag or pocket scratches, as well as those sneaky phone stealing kids (just like my three year old).

Here is a quick demo on the Saviour Glass Screen Guardian and how to install it.


When I saw this video above, I was pretty amazed at how it actually works!  Taking the item out of the box, I thought, "ohh, is that all it is?".
Putting the screen protector on my wife's phone though, it's kind of like the guard isn't even there.
Kind of like my wife's brain wasn't there when she put her mobile phone on the back of our car, drove out the driveway, heard a bang and yelled 'OH NO! MY PHONE!".  Then, she drove forward over the phone and cracked it more.  Yes, she did this.
Or the time she left her phone on a seat and someone sat on it, cracking the screen.  Yep, that happened too.
I can be a little less worried about replacing my wife's phone now with the Screen Protector installed, the product looks really good. Please note however, driving a car over your phone will still smash it even using this item! HAHA!
So give the protector a try.  With little tackers these days using them, your phone is something you definitely want to protect.
Current Saviour Glass Screen Guardian range:

  • Apple iPhone 4S
  • Apple iPhone 5/5c/5s
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3


- tork

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Tips to Maximise Space in Your Home


This is a guest post from Additions, specialist patio and deck builders in Brisbane.


Even if your home is small, there are ways to maximise and capitalise on the space available. Sometimes, creative, and insightful thinking, as well as the expert guidance of a specialist builder such as www.additions.com.au, will reveal effective ways to use the space in your home.

Think vertically

When we want to increase space in our homes, most of us think horizontally. This means, we look for features and pieces that are positioned on the floor.

A clever and effective way to maximise space and create more storage is to think vertically by using features like custom-built units, and floating shelves. With these features in place, the eye is drawn upwards while space is simultaneously saved.

Create and use multi-purpose spaces

There are many ways to use a space for a range of purposes. Many experts know that built in features (such as benches) rather than free-standing furniture enables greater flexibility and versatility in the way that a space is used. For example, a built-in bench may double as a day bed offering much needed and appreciated additional storage space.

Avoid walls and dividers

To maximise space in your home and create a sense of spaciousness, try to avoid walls and other dividers. The main drawback of walls and other features that divide up a space is that they can obscure light and impose visual limitations.

Instead, try to define the particular areas within a space with rugs, furniture and lighting. To do this effectively, choose pieces that sit above the floor so that the surface beneath the furniture can be seen.

Use décor and other art to make the room seem bigger than it is

To make a space seem larger than it actually is, there are some clever tricks to use. Drapery that hangs from floor to ceiling not only creates length through vertical lines but also gives the impression that the ceilings are higher than they are in reality.

The use of artwork and rugs that are oversized can deliver a sense of a space being bigger than it truly is. Large pieces serve as a focal point and will distract and draw attention away from the closeness of the walls of a room.

Because they reflect light within a room, mirrors provide a wonderful way to add depth and make a room brighter. When a mirror is positioned thoughtfully and in a clever way, an illusion can be created of the room extending further than it really does.

Consult a building professional

While there is a range of strategies that can be used to make a space seem bigger, a specialist, experienced and skilled builder is best positioned to provide expert guidance on effective ways to use and create space in your home. Professionals can provide you with examples of work they have previously done, and offer ways of maximising space that you may never have considered.

Many people crave more space in their homes and, with expert guidance and the use of some clever strategies, it is possible to maximise space and create a sense of spaciousness.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Australia's Bill Paying Habits


Some interesting info on Australia's Bill Paying Habits care of Fox Symes.

What are the bills like in your house?  Who pays them?  I honestly would have no idea how bills would get paid in my house if I wasn't around to do them. My wife would have no idea!

These infographics are really interesting sometimes! Check it out:




Monday, May 5, 2014

3 Most Memorable Wildlife Encounters on the Gold Coast for Your Kids


This is a guest post from Theme Parks, your one-stop site for your Theme Park needs.


Australia’s unique birds and animals are splendidly showcased on the Gold Coast. Indeed, once you have had your fill of adrenaline at the Gold Coast theme parks, head off for a fix of nature’s extraordinarily wildlife. It’s great for kids to see these iconic creatures.

Children love these parks. See the stunning lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or the inspirational work at David Fleay Wildlife Park, or perhaps the cuddly koalas and farm animals at Paradise Country Aussie Farm Tour. The choice of wildlife is yours.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Formerly called Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was founded in 1947. It is somewhat of a rite of passage for Australian families, and is captured in faded family photo albums the country over: the feeding of the lorikeets. Or rather, the photos capture faces filled with delight or tension, nearly hidden by hordes of bright-green lorikeets with their distinctive red, yellow and blue feathered highlights.

Founder Alex Griffiths began feeding the area’s wild lorikeets to stop them from eating his prized flowers. Originally a beekeeper and flower grower, his colourful feeding rituals drew curious locals, then developed into a tourist attraction, which grew alongside the Gold Coast’s burgeoning tourism industry.

Today, the park is a world leader in preserving Australia’s natural heritage. It has more than 1,000 birds and animals in natural habitat, as well as commando training, safaris and survival trips. To date, millions of visitors have passed through its gates.

David Fleay Wildlife Park

A must-see experience for kids is David Fleay Wildlife Park, founded back in 1952. David Fleay was a remarkable man: after leading an expedition in the early 1930s looking for thylacines (Tasmanian Tigers) in Tasmania and photographing and filming the last thylacine in the Hobart Zoo in 1933, he went on to successfully breed platypus in captivity. Yes, this is the only wildlife park on the Gold Coast with a platypus.
Nowadays the park is run by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, with a focus on breeding programs and threatened species. It has three distinct wildlife habitats: wetland, rainforest and open eucalypt forest.
Explore the park on your own – there’s plenty of space for kids to run off some energy – or join one of the daily presentations on wildlife. There is a range of environmental educational programs for schools. Visitors can see eagles, brolgas and cassowary, crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos, snakes, gliders and butterflies.

Paradise Country Aussie Farm

A fabulous farm experience for the family: see sheep being sheared, cows being milked and, while you’re at it, organise a photogaph of yourself cuddling a koala. This is the ultimate farm fantasy for kids, adults, corporate groups or international tourists.

At the stockman and sheepdog show, watch these amazingly clever dogs herd sheep and see how to show a boomerang, milk a cow and crap a whip. Or take in the traditional Australian sheep shearing show, or catch the stock horse arena, where the actions of skilled horsemen will impress with whip-cracking and riding demonstrations.

From farm animals, to perhaps a glimpse of a platypus and the feeding of the fabled lorikeets, checking out wildlife provides a great family day. And don’t forget – it’s the photos you take with these iconic birds and animals that will stay in the kids’ memories forever.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Canvas Printers Online Review


Looking for a gift for a special someone?

Maybe just something to spruce up your house?

Well, I've got a pretty idea on what you could get. Canvas Prints!

I've bought a few of these over the past few years and this time I thought I'd give Canvas Printers Online a look at.

I am a collector of paintings.  I love artwork.  I've been a little obsessed with British artist, Banksy.

He's the dude that does amazing street graffiti art (or he could be a she because no one has ever seen him, err... or her).

Now, because I can't put a Banksy on the wall in my house, as much as I'd like too, I found a digital photo of one of his works.  Here it is below:

Love it
It's wicked. So I made it into a Canvas Print.

Well, I didn't make it myself.  Like I said, Canvas Printers Online is where I headed to get the job done.

The process is pretty simple at their website.  You can pick and choose from their own designs, or you can upload your own photo like I did.  There is also the option to upload from Facebook or Instagram, which is something I haven't seen yet on other canvas sites.

Once the photo is uploaded, you can choose canvas size and layout the image with ease.  It can get a bit tricky to make your image fit exactly to the boundary of the print though.  I just made certain that I couldn't see any white lines on the canvas creation page.

You can add image effects, zoom in close or zoom out, rotate and flip images, all the stuff that you would expect to be able to do.

What is really cool though is the online help service.  I tested it out with a few questions and an actual real person typed back to me.  This is a really cool function of Canvas Printers Online, really cool.  This is what you want with any persons having any sort of questions, where face to face contact is not available online. Really impressed by their online help.

So, I created my canvas, created my account and waited by the mailbox.

To my surprise, the canvas did not take very long to reach my doorstep!  I think it was only a couple of weeks!

I was worried about the time frame because I knew that the canvas is created in China.  Whenever something is created overseas, I do get a bit nervous (like most people would) but China is a trusted country, right?

Yep, there's no reason to worry! The canvas arrived on my doorstep without an issue.  Really well packaged with bubble wrap and cardboard covered edging to prevent any dings and dents.

And here is the end result of my 50 x 40cm Banksy print!  Looks just like the digital image, doesn't it?

Not too bad!

The Positives

The Canvas Printers Online website is easy to use, from account creation, to canvas creation and payment.

The online help is fantastic.  Really good to having a real person to chat with. Couldn't stress how good this is enough!

The price. The Banksy print I received costs $100 less than where I have purchased canvases previously.  Madness!

The Negatives

Canvases are made in China.  Even though the item came to my doorstep in perfect condition, the canvas does feel a bit cheap.  But, they ARE CHEAP! So this isn't a negative for me.  If you are after a better quality, pay another $100 bucks for slightly better canvas print. But I don't see a big jump in quality with other canvases that I have, just a big jump in price!


To summarize, I'm happy to give these guys the tick of approval.  It's bang for buck and delivery is better than normal, even for overseas.

If you are thinking about grabbing your next Canvas print online, give these guys a go like I did.  I'm definitely considering these guys for my next purchase!

Leave your comments below. Are you into Canvas Prints? Do you enjoy showing off your "super cool epic fantastic photo skills" just like I do?

Love you hear from you!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Top Five Australian Motorsport Events Of 2014


This is a guest post from Pure Performance Motorsport, one of the leading manufacturers of connecting rods for high performance engines.


Aussies love their motorsports and as a country, we’ve produced some of the world’s finest racers as well as technologies. For example, companies such as Pure Performance Motorsport in Victoria, have become world famous for their forged pistons, along with H & I beam connecting rods. If you want to see these drivers and home-grown technologies at their best, get along to any one of the top five Australian Motorsport Events in 2014, including:

1. Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

March - Melbourne, Victoria Each March, Melbourne draws visitors from all over the world to host the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit. The four day event kicks off the Formula 1 season and will get your blood pumping as you watch the world's fastest drivers and cars fly by almost 300km/hour. Renowned for providing breathtaking trackside action as well as fantastic off-track exhibitions and demonstrations, this is one of Australia’s top three motorsport races.

2. V8 Supercars

March, April, May, June, November, December – various locations Drawing crowds of up to 250,000, the V8 Supercars is a touring car race with events in all states. Based on the two most popular passenger cars in Australia; the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon, the V8 Supercars do battle in Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Launceston, the Gold Coast, Bathurst and Phillip Island, Victoria. Each race offers a family-friendly, festival atmosphere. The series finale is held over three days at Sydney’s Olympic Park, a challenging, champion-designed course that puts the world’s best to the test.

3. Australasian Safari

September - Regional Western Australia Covering more than 4,000km of some of the country’s toughest terrain, the Australasian Safari runs for seven days and stretches from Perth to Kalgoorlie. Set in Western Australia’s outback, this endurance race pushes even the most gutsy 4WDs, motorbikes and quad bikes to their limits. A great feature of this event is that spectators get the opportunity to follow parts of the course on your very own motorbike or 4WD!

4. Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

October: Phillip Island, Victoria As one of Australia’s top three motorsport events, the MotoGP is an unforgettable experience. Bike enthusiasts from all walks of life converge on Phillip Island to enjoy this world-class racing event and the nation’s key bike race event of the year. The Island’s circuit is one of the most unique and exciting racing tracks in the world, offering stunning panoramic ocean views and superb spectator viewing across the whole course.

5. V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000

October: Bathurst, NSW This punishing 1,000 km endurance track race held at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama is the jewel of the Australian motorsports industry. For over 50 years, the world’s best have battled to take out the prestigious ‘King of the Mountain’ title. As one of Australia’s most renowned sporting events, you’ll be joining motorsport sport fans from around the world for a huge programme of awesome entertainment, both on and off the track.

Love motorsports? Planning your next holidays? Make sure you get yourself to one of Australia’s premier motorsport events this year and live, breath, eat motor racing!



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Schick Hydro 5 Groomer Review and Giveaway


Hey folks!  I have the great privilege to talk about Schick's new razor on the market, the Schick Hydro 5 4-in-1 Groomer. Plus, the folks at Schick are allowing me to give some away as well!

Here's just a quick product placement if you'd like to watch..


Holy Schick that's some good product placement!

So, before I get to the giveaway, let me tell you what I think about it.

I am very hesitant to use disposable razors.  I have issues with rashes or possibly allergic reactions.  I have just rarely used them.  I normally stick to the electric bad boy razors.

Well, this razor is definitely a bad boy razor.  There are some really cool positives about the Hyrdo 5 Groomer, but unfortunately some drawbacks.

The device battery powered and can be used as either a close shave or a beard groomer, but let's start with what I love about it.

The Positives

It looks like a bit of a monster! Yeah looks really cool.  Thought I might try lop a few branches off a tree out the back after I finish testing it.

The blade part is a close shave.  Closer than you'd get with the electric razors, that's for sure.  I was sitting there poking at my face because I'm not used to a close, close shave.  I've always been more of a stubble man (especially with my skin easily irritable) and with the razor, along with the Schick Hydro Sensitive Shave Gel, I'm not sure if I will be a stubble faced person for a while.  Pretty cool.  Whenever I need a close shave, this razor is the one for me.  Really top notch quality.

The groomer part of the razor might actually be a first in the disposable razor scene.  Don't quote me on that, but I haven't seen a beard groomer and blade razor combined into one razor on the supermarket shelves.  Schick basically has made a disposable razor something that you can just replace the batteries on instead of chucking out. Sure, you'd need to replace the razor blades, but Schick sell the replacement blades for the razor when you run out.

The price is great.  If you want the cheapest groomer on the market, it would set you back about $50.  The Hydro 5 Groomer is RRP $21.99, which is half the price, and less!

The Negatives

I personally would not use the razor as a groomer, which kind of negates the coolness of a combined blade/grooming razor.  The device is wicked for the businessman that travels from hotel bed to hotel bed, without the need ever for a plugged in cord.  Those people I would recommend the razor for, just because of the ease of use. That's not me though, luckily. Would hate hotel bed hopping! The battery powered groomer just doesn't have as much OOMPH as an electric one.  I compared it to my crappy, cheap as chips, plug into the wall groomer and it just doesn't work as powerfully.

The other negative is being battery powered requires either the constant purchasing of new batteries or charging of rechargeable ones.  The razor doesn't come with a recharge option unfortunately.


I take pictures on the floor.. yep.
Don't let my review sway you though, why not try the razor out for yourself because I have 3 x Schick Hydro packs to give away!!!

Three lucky winners will receive in the pack one of the Schick Hydro 5 razors, the Hydro Sensitive Shave Gel and four Easyglide Blade replacement cartridges. Just like the ones you see in the uber photograph skills picture to the right.

If you would like more information, please visit Schick's product page. Otherwise, enter the giveaway below.

Good luck!!

(sorry, give away is for Australian residents only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Sunday, April 20, 2014

Men’s guide to beating a receding hairline


This is a guest post from BioTHIK, Hollywood's best-kept secret and their answer to thicker, fuller looking hair.


Thin hair and a receding hairline is one of the most common complaints about men’s aging. It can be a real hit to your confidence and increase stress in an already stressful world. Even young men often feel as though they are losing the battle against genetics in keeping their locks thick and lush. Don’t despair, there are things you can do to manage the problem! Here are some tips to help you keep your remaining hair and improve your hair’s appearance.

Choose a Flattering Hairstyle

A well-chosen hairstyle can do wonders for reducing the emphasis on a receding hairline. Shorter hairstyles tend to be the most flattering, and allow you to keep a more natural look than toupees or the shudder-inducing comb over. There are a number of styles that work well, such as the Jason Statham buzz cut, Short Caesar cut à la George Clooney, the Mad Men/Roger Sterling cut with a side part, and even clean shaven (think the ever-suave Patrick Stewart). Keep in mind that whatever you choose, confidence is the best ally in making you look good. Sean Connery rocks a huge bald spot with a ring of hair around the sides and he is still universally acknowledged as one of the sexiest men alive.

Switch The Focus

Stylish facial hair can detract attention from thinning hair or a receding hairline in men and balance the face. Don’t go crazy – remember: less is more. Subtle and neat facial hair creates a polished and confident look that will make you stand out from your clean-shaven fellows, and bring the focus back onto your face.

Resist Temptation

One of the most common problems men have when they notice their hairline receding is resisting the temptation to over wash. While its important to keep your remaining hair healthy, too frequent shampooing can actually damage your healthy hair and lead to further loss. Washing should occur once per day at maximum! Make sure you are conditioning as normal, but again, only once a day!

Another temptation to avoid is too much product. Overdoing styling products such as gels and waxes can cling too much hair together and make the thinning even more visible by exposing the scalp. While you may want to keep some flair, take it easier on styling products.

Add Volume

Volumising sprays or dry shampoos can be a good option if you’re looking to bulk up thinning hair, but for the hairline in particular, you may need something more heavy duty. Developments in men’s hair care have brought some new exciting products to light. For example, you can now find a powder product that mimics your natural hair’s look, colour, and texture. The powder is made from keratin (just like your natural hair), cut into incredibly thin fibers that attach to your existing hair through static cling. Your hair’s volume can increase dramatically and those see- through patches in your hairline can be cleverly disguised and plumped. Because the strands are so thin, you get good natural looking coverage and avoid the artificial look of toupees. Check out BioTHIK for more information.

What are your tips for beating a receding hairline? Let us know what’s worked for you in the comments!



Friday, April 11, 2014

Renovating Tips for New Home Owners


This is a guest post from Turner Freeman, a law firm providing care, support and outstanding results to clients for over 60 years.


Turning the key in the lock, you try to quell your frothing excitement. The realisation that you have your very own home is finally sinking in and as you wander through the deliciously empty rooms, visions of future experiences overwhelm you. Dinner and drinks with friends, birthday parties, lazy Sunday mornings and cooking sessions that would make Jamie Oliver jealous; your new life and new home await you. Yet as you look around, noting the wall colours, fading façade of the kitchen and the er, unique carpet, you acknowledge that there are a few tweaks that need to be made. Before you rush headlong into your renovation project, read the tips below for ideas on how to make the process that much easier.

Planning

The first stage of any project is the planning process. Clearly define what you want to achieve, the timeframes for these goals and how much you want to spend. A budget will act as a guide, letting you know whether your spending is on track or out of control, while a timeline can assist in seeing the bigger picture. Taking the time to really think about the actual renovations will also help you avoid headaches or regrets down the line.

Work with All your Spaces

A common mistake that many aspiring renovators make is to focus solely on the house, instead of the entire property. During your planning phase, take into account your garden and backyard and determine whether any landscaping works are required. Outdoor space can be a very precious commodity, so ensure that you are making the most of what you have.

Don’t Overcapitalise

What is overcapitalisation? In the renovation world, this refers to a situation where the cost of renovations exceeds the actual added value to the property or item. Avoid this trap by spending your money wisely. Kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas are major features of any house, so invest in them by using high-quality materials and functional designs. On the other hand, overly expensive and garish décor can turn off prospective future owners and decrease the property’s value.

Use Professionals when Necessary

Inundated with grandiose ideas and innovations, it is incredibly easy to be overly optimistic when it comes to DIY projects. After all, how hard could it be? The reality is that DIY projects can go very wrong, becoming expensive and stressful. Unless you are qualified, it is best to call in the experts for any electrical work, plumbing, major structural changes and demolition.

Consider Asbestos

When was your house built? If it was constructed before 1990, the likelihood that it contains asbestos is quite high. Asbestos is a toxic substance that was commonly used in building materials until its harmful effects were established; since then there have been numerous medical cases that have resulted in legal action. Asbestos can be found in areas of your house such as wall sheeting, metal pipes, roofs, concrete and under floors. If you suspect that you have asbestos and are determined to continue with your renovation work, hire the services of a licensed asbestos removalist. For legal matters, contact a law practice such as Turner Freeman to confirm all the options available to you.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Have you recently completed some renovations? Leave a comment below to share your advice and/or personal experiences.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Stress-Free Bathroom Renovations: 5 Types of Contractors to Have on Speed Dial


This is a guest post from Clearly Glass, designers that thrive on the challenge of maximum use of naked glass for minimum visual impact.


Looking to upgrade your home for your own personal satisfaction or to increase its market value before selling? Either way, a bathroom renovation is an ideal way to achieve that goal. However, they aren’t minor undertakings – they require planning, as well as help from the right people. A successful bathroom renovation relies on having reliable people at every step of the journey. Below we look at five contractors that you should find and save into your phone before getting started with your bathroom makeover.

Plumber

If any of the main fixtures (e.g. toilet, bathtub, shower, or vanity) are being repositioned, there’s an extremely high chance that the plumbing will need to be rearranged to match the new layout of your bathroom. This really isn’t something you should attempt to take care of yourself (DIY plumbing efforts can lead to disaster!) so make sure to put a quality plumber on speed dial to help with this.

Glass Repairer

A large shower is a centrepiece of contemporary bathroom design. And why not – they look great and provide more comfortable showers! So if you’re upgrading to a more modern feel for your bathroom, you’ll probably be giving your shower some extra breathing space… and this is the perfect time to modernise the shower’s look as well, with a stylish glass shower screen. Make sure to have a contractor who specialises in glasswork (e.g. Clearly Glass) on speed dial for this part of the project.

Electrician

Particularly if your vanity is making a move to a different part of the bathroom, your power points will most likely need to be shifted. Having a dependable electrician saved in your contacts makes it easy and stress-free to get help with having power coming from the perfect places to let you comfortably use appliances like electric shavers, hairdryers, hair straighteners, and phone chargers.

Carpenter

Most bathroom facelifts include some foundation… by which we mean the ground has some work done. If you’re replacing outdated tiles with fresh modern ones, you should have an efficient and affordable carpenter on standby to take care of this task. A carpenter is also extremely useful to have on call if you’re moving, refitting, or replacing cabinets in your bathroom or the vanity.

Yourself!

We’re only half kidding. For your bathroom renovation to be a success and to reflect your dreams of what it should look like, it’s important to be as involved as possible throughout the process, even if tradies are doing all of the actual work. Staying across everything that happens (though without getting in anyone’s way, or course) is the only way to catch any mistakes that your contractors might make. Remember: only you can see exactly your vision of your perfect bathroom. The workers can only perform their tasks based on what you’ve told them, and there’s never a guarantee that what they hear is the same as what you’re imagining. With your ideas and the expertise of each of the above contractors, a stress-free and successful bathroom renovation is entirely achievable.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Home security tips for the holidays


This is a guest post from Stylewise Security and Glass, specialising in providing Security and Glass services in all areas of south east Queensland since 1990.


Burglars are always on the prowl looking for an easy target to steal from, especially during the holidays when most people are away. There's no point in making things easy for them, so if you don't already have a security system installed by a reliable company like Stylewise Security, here are a few tips for ensuring your home is secure while you're away on that much-deserved holiday.

1. Don't divulge your plans to the people you’re not close to

You may think it's safe to call your Facebook friends, 'friends', but do you really know them that well? You never know whose prying eyes will see this information and take advantage, or a friend might innocently mention it in conversation to a third party. Yes, it's tempting to share stories of your fun- filled adventures, but leave that till after you've come back. Anyway, it gives you something to do to beat those post-holiday blues.

2. Make it look like there's someone at home

Set your lights on a timer to turn on and off at the times you normally would do this. It’s simple, but it does the trick! If you have a flair for the dramatic (and have a lot of time on your hands), think Home Alone, that movie where the kid rigs up a system of cardboard cut outs, string, music and flashing lights to keep those two goons from breaking in. Plenty of additional lighting outside is also a great deterrent. There are a lot of lighting options available, both electric and solar, so you’re spoilt for choice. No thief wants a spotlight on them while they commit a B and E.

3. Check, check, check

It seems so obvious, but do make sure doors and windows are locked. It's easy to miss when you're in a mad rush to get to catch a flight, so you need to check and double-check. Have all members of the household go through the house. One person may miss a window that’s not quite shut, another will not. If you have a way to secure your pet door, even better, so a pint-sized thief can't get in. Block your chimney too, if you have one. Who knows the lengths a thief will go to, to get inside a house!

4. Get a friend to house-sit or check in on your home regularly

You may have a friend or relative who would love the opportunity to have some quiet time to themselves. Alternatively, a neighbour could collect your mail and pick up those pesky publications that are left on your driveway or doorstep. A pile of those are a sure indication that no one's home.

5. Put your subscriptions on hold

If number 4 isn't an option because you've suddenly realised that there's no one you truly trust, you can always get your deliverer to put your subscriptions on hold.

6. Keep your garden maintained

If you're going away for a longer period of time, it may be wise to hire someone to keep your lawn up to scratch. A lawn that looks like a jungle is a giveaway that the home is empty.

With these simple tips, you know you can relax and breathe easy while you're on that vacation you so deserve. Keeping your home safe is just a matter of common sense, and never allowing yourself to become complacent!


Monday, March 31, 2014

4 Simple Food Storage Rules


This is a guest post from Trusted Pest Management, a modern, technically advanced pest control and termite treatment business that has been established since 2000


I want you to think about your weekly grocery shop; how much food do you end up throwing away at the end of the week? Studies show that out of every five bags of consumables at least one of them ends up in the bin with an average of over $1,000 worth of food being disposed yearly. When you think of that on a world scale, you’d need a considerable amount of landfill to cater to wasted fruit, vegetables, frozen meals, and drink bottles. By making your food last longer, you will help avoid wastage, spend less time in the dreaded supermarket, and slash your grocery budget. Not sure where to start? Follow these handy tips.

Storing in Your Fridge – the Right Way

It’s not what you put in it, it’s how you store. That’s the method you should live by when deciding what provisions should go in your fridge. Believe it or not, your fridge might say five degrees Celsius, but different compartments are running at various temperatures. So where is the best place to put all the food groups? The top shelf generally runs at the warmest temperature and is best reserved for pre-prepared foods including yoghurt, cheese and sauces. The middle shelf is more ideal for cooked meat and leftovers which should be packed in air-tight containers. If there is space on this shelf, store your milk here instead of the usual door rack to help it avoid the warm air when the door is being opened. Naturally, the crisper should hold your fruit and vegetables and the door racks are more suitable for condiments like jam, mayonnaise and juice as they are better at handling the warm air.

Control the Temperature

Your refrigerator temperature gauge isn’t always spot on when giving an accurate reading. Over time your inbuilt thermometer can go on a slight fritz and give you a reading a few degrees higher than what it actually is. If you’re finding that you’re food just isn’t lasting, it can pay to get the thermometer looked at or simple buy one from your local hardware store. A little money on something as simple as a thermometer can save you a lot of money and wastage in the long run.

Use Separate Storage for Those with Allergies

If you have someone in your household who suffers from allergies or celiac disease, it’s imperative that you store food separately and use different sets of utensils for serving and cooking – unless you are following the same diet. This is really important for avoiding cross-contamination and being forced into throwing the contaminated food in the bin.

Never Leave Food To Defrost at Room Temperature

It’s tempting to want to leave a whole chicken out all day to allow it to defrost quickly, however leaving it at room temperature makes it prone to bacteria, rodents, and bugs. Unless you already plan on calling on Trusted Pest Management for your bug problem, thaw your meat out in the fridge.
It may take longer to defrost, but at least it’s safer.

Do you have any food storage tips? Leave them in the comments below.