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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 Marketing Tips for First Time Business Owners

This is a guest post from Market Smartly, specialising in smart marketing techniques for small businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand

Plenty of you lovely parents these days are starting your own business is an exciting and often daunting time. You may have your product or service ready and your office space organised but have you planned your marketing? Marketing is one of the most important factors in running a successful business. Here are five tips to help first time business owners.

Tip 1: Forget Traditional Marketing

Marketing has changed dramatically over recent years. Traditional approaches are expensive and in many cases they are no longer effective. You need to catch up with what works today. With the advent of social networking it is possible for small business owners to advertise their products and services to a massive audience for very little money. Whereas newspaper and magazine advertisements might have been the way to go 20 years ago, a strong social media presence will be much more impactful in today’s social media savvy marketplace.

You really need to do some research and find out what is working right now. The marketing space is changing quickly so check out the latest information to stay on top of the wave. Market Smartly can point you in the right direction to discover and exploit the latest trends in marketing.

Tip 2: It’s All about Content

Content Marketing is all about creating relevant, useful content to inform your marketplace. Good content in the form of blogs, articles and websites is used to market your business. In a nutshell, you need to create a website that is jam packed with free information that is of value to your prospective clients, while also offering potential clients the opportunity to buy your goods or services. The information you create should be closely linked to your product/service offering.

The content must be of high quality if it is going to work for you. Publishing automated or poorly written content will only make you look bad. Google has become better and better at separating the wheat from the chaff and will rank your website accordingly.

Tip 3: Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and targeted forms of marketing for your small business. Firstly, you will need to build up an email database. Ask customers and contacts for their email address and ask them if they would like to receive information from you from time to time on special offers and news. Another good way to build your list is to add a subscriber form to your website. Make sure your communications are filled with interesting news or offers and you will soon grow your database.

Tip 4: A Good Website

Your website allows your business to be found 24 hours a day. Make sure it is informative and easy to navigate. Your website should clearly describe what you do, what services or products you offer. A good website should help to generate highly qualified leads for your business.

Tip 5: Do Your Research

Research your competitors thoroughly. You need to have a really solid understanding of what they offer and what they are charging for that offering. Find out what your competitors are up to and beat it with better prices, better products or better service.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Infographic - Australia's Alarming Credit Card Debt

Credit cards are one of my greatest hates.  I only had one for overseas emergencies whilst on holiday. It's unfortunate that people using them can only just get themselves into extra debt. Check out this infographic from Fox Symes that has some interesting information about Australia's alarming credit card debts.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tips to Improve your Relationship with your Child

This is a guest post from It's In The Stars, where you can find over 50 intriguing astrology products and services, ideal to give as gifts or to treat yourself.

The years you spend with your children are limited and precious. Birthday parties, family vacations and sporting events all pass by, until suddenly you are confronted with the fact that your child is no longer a child. Don’t be plagued by regrets or fall into the pitfall of thinking, It’s In The Stars . It’s never too late to build the foundation for a strong, healthy relationship with your child or improve the connection you currently share. Below you will find six tips to get you started, so read on.

1. Spend Time with Them

Allow the bonding process to naturally occur by spending quality time with your child. Part of this process is getting to know your child. They are not mini versions of you; they have their own likes, dislikes, talents and weaknesses. By engaging in activities such as storytelling, arts and crafts, board games, and sport, you will see different sides to your child and be able to understand them better.

2. Be Affectionate

The parent-child relationship is based on the principle of unconditional love. You may know this, but does your child? Show them love by displaying affection regularly and remember that there are many ways to do so. A hug, clap on the back, playful messing of the hair and smiles can all make your child feel treasured, while the gift of time is more worthwhile than expensive toys.

3. Celebrate

Think of the relationships you have with close friends. Do you appreciate their support and encouragement? Mimic this by being a positive, nurturing friend to your child. When they succeed, celebrate their efforts and build their self-esteem, inspiring them to believe that they can achieve anything. There may come a day when your opinion doesn’t count for much, so act now.

4. Validate Their Feelings

The mistake that a lot of parents make is discounting their child’s feelings, regarding them as silly and juvenile. Stop doing this and understand that children are capable of having deeply-felt emotions and thoughts. They also deserve to be listened to; instead of brushing off any concerns or fears, respond with empathy and respect.

5. Compromise and Co-operate

Relationships are two-way streets. Being a parent does not mean you get to play the role of dictator. Treat your child as you would a difficult colleague; analyse the situation and figure out how you can compromise and co-operate to reach a mutually beneficial result. Being a parent does mean exercising wisdom, control and maturity.

6. Reverse Roles

Sometimes, getting through to your child can seem impossible. Take a deep breath, step back and place yourself in their shoes. Why are they being difficult? What is their motivation or stressor? Humans behave in a reactive way; by understanding why your child is acting the way they are, you will be able to formulate an effective solution to the problem.

What do you think makes a successful parent-child relationship? Do you have any tips or techniques? Share your stories and advice by commenting in the box below.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Beginners Guide To Phablets

This is a guest post from Myport, an industry leader in managed wireless systems for over 7 years.

Our kids love playing with out smart phones or tablets. We all knew that some day the smartphone and tablet were going to procreate, however I don’t think we ever saw this amalgamation being coined as the ‘phablet’. Originating around 2011, renowned technology manufacturers in 2014 are stepping up their game in order to reproduce the best looking, best functioning phablet. Arguably, the phablet made its mark in the market with Samsung’s Galaxy Note, a 5.5-inch smartphone and tablet with its own stylus named as the S-Pen for slicker operation. If this type of mobile technology intrigues you and you’re looking to purchasing your very own phablet, keep reading on as you may find the answer you’re looking for!

1. Advantages and Disadvantages

The clear benefit of purchasing a phablet is that their large screen makes it ideal for travellers and media-crazed customers to catch up on their favourite films, TV programs, and YouTube clips. With the assistance of wireless Internet services such as Myport, phablets become the most convenient device for heavy media users, business people and creative professionals as its more convenient to store and share information. The disadvantages on the other hand, is that you literally don’t have another hand to enjoy a cup of coffee or stroke a needy, furry pet due to its size. Other than this inconvenience, investing money aside is definitely worthwhile if you’re constantly consumed by media, are actively online or downloading the latest apps.

2. Practicality and Price

Although it may seem awkward for the user and passers-by to witness someone making or answering calls on a large device, the phablet becomes a practical device, as you don’t need extra space for a phone or a tablet. How many times have you thought you lost your phone, but it’s sneakily just hiding under the other small contents of your car or bag? With the phablet, you don’t have to worry about this issue because it is highly visible. The phablet is also a practical device for university students and business professionals with the amount of organisation and productivity apps you can download and use. In terms of price, it’s a clever decision to invest in a phablet instead of being tied to a smart phone contract and having to pay for other devices. You only have to care about having to recharge one device as opposed to two or three.

2. Recommended phablets

A sleek phablet to recommend is the super-sized 5.7-inch screen lightweight Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Other features include an excellent 13-megapixel camera and the popular S-Pen stylus, perfect for apps and generating documents. If you’re looking for a phablet exuding in fabulousness, the HTC One Max is ticking all the right boxes. With a mammoth 5.9-inch screen, microSD card expansion and the best resonating sound using BoomSound, this phablet is suited for music and media lovers. You also shouldn’t be afraid to show it off in public as the fingerprint scanner technology manages security, making it the ultimate best friend for the daily commute to work or university. Last but definitely not the least is the Nokia Lumia 1520. Under the Microsoft-Nokia partnership, the 6-inch phablet offers 1080p full HD display and a 20-megapixel- camera ideal for users requiring the best features. If that doesn’t guarantee a purchase, the phablet also has built-in Microsoft Office functionality making it a valuable long-time investment.
All in all, the phablet is a unique and fabulous smartphone and tablet device. With the development of new phablets being released this 2014, it is recommended for university students, business people and other media-crazed customers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Five Ways To Entertain Children At Parties

This is a guest post from Modern Party, a South Australian owned company which prides itself on being your one stop party shop.

They say that goldfish have a thirty second attention span, many parents would say that their children are the same. Children certainly can be somewhat of a different species with their unmatched curiosity and constant hunger to be entertained. Nothing is more exciting for any child then getting together with their little friends for a party, the last thing you want if you are throwing the party is for all the little people to run wild because there is nothing for them to do. Avoid that disastrous scenario with these five ways to entertain children at parties.


Nothing blows the little mind of a child more than a magic show, you will even get the parents mesmerised. Thanks to the internet, you can jump on sites such as and check out some of the live entertainment they have available. This will certainly be one of the highlights of the party and they try to wrap their little minds around the performance.


Children are all about engagement. Along with providing entertainment for them, they always want to get their hands dirty. Consider setting up a huge sand pit to play in; if you would prefer them not to get sand everywhere, you could have a scavenger hunt set up around your home, be creative and think of some of your favourite childhood party games. You could even have a mini cooking contest to bring out the chef in them.


Have a theme for your child’s party. If your kid is an avid Spiderman fan, you may want to have all the kids dress up as their favourite superhero. If she loves the little mermaid, it looks like you will be having quite a few mermaids swimming about your party. Be sure to have a photographer for your event to make sure the memories are captured so you have some good material to embarrass your children on their wedding day! Photo booths are always great fun and very reasonable priced to hire from party companies.

Slumber Party/Camp Out

Nothing is more exciting as a child than the prospect of spending the night away from home. Bring out the little adventurer in them by having a campout with marshmallows under the stars. Or, pull together a collection of your child’s favourite movies for a slumber party with their best friends. Make sure you have enough popcorn and pizza to fill their stomachs for the all-nighter.

Dessert bar

Every single child has a sweet tooth the size of a dinosaur, and every single child deserves to have a sugar overload every once in a while. Grab a chocolate fountain, some strawberries and rice crispies to get them so excited they will be doing backflips. An ice cream machine is another great idea with all their favourite toppings set out for them to make their own sundaes.

So for you next Oompa Loompa gathering, be sure to include some of these great ideas to keep your children form chewing off their fingernails from boredom. The only problem you will have is that they will never want to leave!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Easy Ways to Save Petrol and Money

This is a guest post from Hi Tech Diesel, with over 20 years combined experience in the diesel fuel injection industry

The most glaringly obvious answer is to suggest you sell the car and walk, but that isn’t appropriate, is it? Instead, keep your car but consider public transport as a means to get to work and home, or look for opportunities to car pool with your neighbours. And a walk is good for you, so if you don’t have far to go why not give it a try?

Cars cost money. It’s as simple as that. They cost a little or a lot to purchase, the price of petrol is rising every day, the cost of arts can often be prohibitive (depending on the make), and maintenance is also a money trap. So what measures can you take to reduce those costs?
Listed below is a series of suggestions you can consider:

  • Whether you’re driving in city traffic or on the motorway, try to maintain as steady a speed as possible. The more you accelerate and then decelerate, the more petrol you consume. On the highways, use Cruise Control if you have it to maintain steady acceleration.
  • If you drive a manual, use the gears sensibly so you avoid revving the engine, which wastes fuel. Learn to climb up the gears and down as fluidly as possible and with fewer revs.
  • When you drive an automatic, check the speed limit and then watch your speed gauge. As soon as your vehicle nears the speed limit you can back off on the accelerator because the automatic gearbox drives the gears for you.
  • Try to avoid peak hour traffic. Adjusting your departure time by as little as 15 minutes can take 30 minutes off your total travelling time. If you get caught in severe congestion avoid leaving the car idling for long periods of time. Turn the engine off.
  • Use your air conditioning only when necessary. Air conditioning is very energy inefficient. On long trips, use the ventilation system when travelling over 50kph. Leaving the windows down creates enormous aerodynamic drag.
  • Plan ahead every day so you’re not using your car unnecessarily. For example, you know you have to pick the kids up from school but you also have to get some fresh fruit; combine the two trips to save time, money and petrol.
  • Avoid lugging around unnecessary gear in the car, particularly if it’s heavy. When snow season is over, it’s okay to remove the skis from the roof. Same goes for a luggage rack or roof racks. They cause drag and reduce efficiency.
  • Don’t speed. Not only can it put a huge dent in your wallet if you get caught, it also increases wind resistance which affects vehicle performance.
  • First and foremost, choose an efficient vehicle from the get go. Investigate smart cars and gas options, or click here for more information on diesel vehicles.