14 Tips On How To Organize Small Things In Your Kitchen

It’s unavoidable not to have lots of small stuff lying around in the kitchen. Here are some tips on how you can organize the clutter in your kitchen.

You may read the tips here or click on the link below to access the source:


1. Store on the Door


To make the most of your pantry’s space, utilize the inside of the door to store canned goods, spices, sodas and more. You won’t believe how much extra storage you’ll add when you take advantage of this often-forgotten area.

2. Sky is the Limit


When trying to find a place to fit all those pots and pans, don’t forget to look up. Install a hanging rack, and keep these kitchen essentials out of the way but within easy reach.

3.  Basket Case


Getting the kids ready for school and out the door is so much easier with an organized pantry full of grab-and-go snacks. Mix see-through, pull-out baskets of dinner sides, pasta and sauces, and save yourself some time and anxiety in the long run.

4.  Hanging Around


Are you running low on cabinet space? A slide-out coffee cup rack offers plenty of space for hanging your everyday mugs.

5.  Paper Trail


Paper towels are a kitchen staple, but they don’t have to take up precious counter space. Fit a sleek paper towel holder to the inside of your cabinet door to give your paper towels a new, hidden home.

6.  Stackable Solution


Double your cabinet space by adding under-the-shelf racks for plates, bowls or mugs. Not only will you be able to fit more dishes in the cabinet, but each dish will be easier to find.

7.  The Clear Choice


Stunning glass canisters lined along your shelf or in the pantry are aesthetically-pleasing storage containers that make it easy to know when you’re running low on your basic essentials.

8.  Your Search Is Over


Searching for the right lid for a pan can be a real time waster. Save time and stress by storing your lids in an upright pan rack that fits right into your drawer. Bonus? You’ll never have to hear the loud clanging of lids again!

 9.  Curtain Call


When organizing your kitchen, it’s easy to forget the dark area below the sink. Stop tossing in the miscellaneous cleaning supplies, and give them a space that’s all their own. By adding a small curtain rod below the sink, you will be able to hang your cleaning supply bottles while also opening up the bottom of the cabinet for other items.

10. Divide and Conquer


Drawer dividers are one of the simplest ways to keep your kitchen organized. Separate flatware, spices and knives easily with a divider that keeps everything in its place.

11.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Think outside the box, and save counter space (and money!) by mounting cool pie-filling cans to hold your cooking utensils.

12.  Take Out the Clutter


Don’t waste a whole drawer on take-out menus and coupons. By attaching a couple of plastic sleeves to the inside of a cabinet drawer, you will have all the space you need, while taking up hardly any room.

13.  Sugar and Spice


By keeping your spices stowed neatly in a drawer by the oven, they will always be on hand when and where you need them.

14. Clean Up Your Act


Why have a drawer if you can’t actually use it? Try adding hinges and a convenient tray to the false drawer beneath your sink for an extra place to hide cleaning essentials.


Cool ideas for small bathrooms

A spacious bathroom is always nice to have. Here are some terrific ideas to make your bathroom appear spacious….


You may read the article here or click on the link below to go to the source:


Appliance Science

The easiest way to make a small bathroom feel even smaller is by filling it with regular-sized appliances. Opt for smaller appliances for a room that feels just right.


Float On

To get a look that feels both light and delicate, try a floating basin and vanity. Extra space underneath is ideal for a vanity stool or extra storage baskets.


Classic Storage

Basin and pedestal sinks are great options for visually expanding your space, but a traditional sink with included storage is often essential. Keep a light-colored counter clutter free in order to keep a larger cabinet from overwhelming the small space.


Powder Room Pizazz

A small bath is a great place to experiment with bold colors, but be careful to find the right balance by not overdoing it with too many accessories.


Free Up Floor Space

Choose a pedestal sink to add more floor space. These sinks are perfect for small half baths and powder rooms where a desire for space prevails over storage requirements.


Climb the Walls

The key to getting the most out of your small bath is to embrace vertical space. Adding open shelving is a great way to improve storage, and a few baskets or decorative boxes are great for storing extra necessities.


Add-On Storage

Are you missing a medicine cabinet and needing a place to store all of your bathroom amenities? Consider adding a cabinet above the toilet or on any free wall for the perfect accessory to contain and conceal.


Venture Outside

If you find that your powder room is simply too small to work with, consider utilizing the area directly outside the door. Add a bookshelf or armoire to store towels, extra toothpaste and whatever else you may find that you need.


Everything Right

For a small bath, this room has plenty of storage and exceptional lighting. Built-in shelves make a huge difference, as they are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Basin legs keep the room from looking too busy, while the natural light and white walls brighten the entire space.


Look Down

One of the most overlooked areas of the bathroom is understandably below the counter. But what’s stopping you from adding an extra shelf or two to store makeup, hair products or extra toilet tissue?


Suit Your Storage Needs

When choosing what type of cabinetry will work in your half bath, consider everything you will need to contain. Wash cloths, hand towels and extra guest supplies all find a home in this hardworking cupboard.


Clutter Control

Do you love knickknacks? Although they are fun and add personality to any space, too many baubles can overpower a small room. Corral your favorite accessories with a vanity tray for a sweet display that is under control.


Trick of the Eye

In this bathroom, the subway tile was installed vertically rather than horizontally. This small change draws the eye upward, making the ceiling appear higher.


Sleek Design

Glass shelves, a wall-mounted faucet and clean lines all come together in this small bath for a sleek look, maximizing storage while also minimizing unnecessary design distractions.


Quality Investment

One great aspect of small bathrooms is the fact that a smaller room requires fewer furnishings. For this reason, half baths and powder rooms are the perfect places to splurge on high-end pieces, like the copper vessel sink featured here.


Slide Aside

Pocket doors and barn doors are great options for small bathrooms, particularly those that open into a hallway or other narrow space. Paint the room a bright color for a fun, surprising look.


Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors are always a great way to add depth to a room, but a mirrored wall can actually double visual space.


Source and Photo Credit:buzzfeed.com

Awesome Small Room Ideas

“I don’t have enough room for it!” or “My room feels so cramped!” are common lines we are familiar with. There is always the need for extra room for stuff we have or want to have in our bedroom.

Sometimes all we need to do is use existing space wisely….

Here are some awesome small room ideas that just might inspire you and help you get that extra space you need…..

You may check out the article here or click on the link below to go to the source:


1. Red home office design.

2. Love the color and lots of storage.


3. Cozy or what?




4. Minimalist



5. Greener that green



6. Awesome room for twins!




7. Bachelor Home Office



8. Amazing Loft Room



9. So smart!



10. Refreshing!



11. Will you stay here for good?



12. Yellow theme






13. Orange loft room design



14. Amazing sibling room


15. Lovely





16. The Purple Room



17. Serenity room


18. Perfect for travelers!


19. Simple Girl’s Room



20. Totally amazing loft design!




21. Earth colors is the best!


22. Small Couples Room




23. Good for business partners!


24. Pink minimalist



25. I love the bunk bed design!


26. I love the closet!


27. Small reading nook


28. Cozy or what?


29. Love the small guest bed!


30. Cozy or what?


31. Another amazing room for start up partners


32. Perfect for boarding houses


33. Another design best for apartments for college students


34. Best Bachelor Room


35. Amazing Athlete’s Room Design Idea


36. Modern Bunk Bed Room


37. Is this heaven?


38. Bike Home

Bicycle-home Caravan


Orange Blossom Festival is happening on 13 & 14 September!

#OBF2014 is only 5 DAYS AWAY!

It’s that time of the year again when Castle Hill Main Street becomes the venue for an enchanted garden, food trucks and fun activities for the whole family!

Read more about all the activities on Saturday September 13 and Sunday September 14: http://www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/Orange-Blossom-Festival.html#.VAzcBBbYFKI

OBF 2014 Banner

In the event of extreme weather this event may be cancelled.  Please check back to this webpage for event and weather status updates.


2014 Orange Blossom Festival Pop Up Park – Come into our Garden…there will be flowers, secret gateways and you may even see a white rabbit or two.

This year The Hills Shire Council will once again turn Old Northern Road, Castle Hill into a Pop Up Park-Garden for the Orange Blossom Festival.



Saturday 13 September  – Enchanted Garden

9am onwards – Rock Climbing Wall, Face Painting, Balloon Artist, Pop Up Library, Yard Games, Acoustic Entertainment and roving entertainment

                           Come and relax on the grass, grab a coffee, try your hand at giant Checkers & Jenga. How do you look in the mirrors?

Saturday also brings you the first heat of The Silver Saddle Competition in preparation for the Sydney Country Music Festival in early November.

Make sure that you come and check out the great local country music talent who are competing for a chance to appear at the country music festival.




Food Trucks and Luminous Entertainment

6pm – 9pm – It’s a feast when the Sydney Food Trucks roll into town – enjoy gourmet food, ‘luminous’ roving and acoustic entertainment.

                  Join:  Cantina Movil, Tsuru, The Veggie Patch, Bite Size Delights, Eat Art Truck, Street Sliders and Urban Pasta for a feast of fantastic foods.

This is a night not to be missed!

Cantina Movil Truck Eat Art Truck

Tsuru Sydney Food Truck Urban Pasta

Urban Pasta Truck Luke O'Shea

                 Special guest artist: Australian Country Music Singer Luke O’Shea will be performing.

                  Something very big (times 3) will be ‘hopping’ into the festival – with the VIVID art installation “Intrude”

Sunday 14 September

Market Time

10am – 3pm – Enjoy browsing through The Designer Markets, (Sunday only) relax in the park and enjoy the acoustic entertainment..

                   There will be activities for the kids and plenty of great stalls to browse through on your way to get a coffee and then sit relax in the spring sunshine.


 For further details please see the flyer below.

  OBF 2014 Flyer (1.22MB)

Please note: there will be road closures in place from Saturday 13 September from 3am until 7pm Sunday 14 September.

Old Northern Road will be closed to through traffic between Showground Road and Crane Road, Castle Hill. Diversions will be in place.


For details on other events held in September, please visit The Hills Shire Council’s Events Calendar

  or download the OBF 2014 Calendar (9.96MB)

For any  information about Orange Blossom Festival 2014, contact

Council’s Civic Events Team on +61 2 9843 0532 or email: events@thehills.nsw.gov.au


Sydney’s Cow and Moon named world’s best gelato makers

Phoebe Tilelli

You may read the article here or click on the link below to go to the source.


World's best gelato ... Cow and the Moon in Enmore.

Punters may line up around the block for a taste of Gelato Messina, but another Australian gelateria has been hailed for producing the world’s best.

Sydney’s Cow and the Moon trumped ice-cream artisans from all over the world on Sunday to take out the Gelato World Tour title in Rimini, Italy.

The family-run gelato and coffee bar, based in Enmore in Sydney’s inner-west, won for their mouth-watering almond affogato flavour, a re-creation of the classic affogato.

Cow and Moon gelato Enmore Sydney

Gelato at the Cow and Moon

It combines caramelised almonds sourced from Italy with single origin coffee on a Madagascan vanilla base.

Owners Wendy and John Crowl held a special night at their gelato bar for regular patrons to help decide which blend of coffee to use.

When asked about his winning combination, John explained: “it’s about trying to understand the flavour, working on the salt, sweet and sour. You have to marry the flavours so that they blend well together.”

John and Sam Cowl with their winning affogato flavoured gelato.

John and Sam Cowl with their winning gelato. Photo: Twitter/@GelatoWorldTour

After placing second in the Oceania category last year, Cow and the Moon went on to beat 23 other finalists from around the world in a combination of technical judging and public votes. Two other Australian teams competed, Gelato Messina and Frangipani Gelato.

Second and third places went to two Italian teams. Francesco Mastroianni of Il Cantagalli was ranked No. 2 and Alessandro Lancierini of Gelateria Fiore, No. 3.

Cronulla’s Diana Kontoprias from Frangipani Gelato received a special award for her twist on the pavlova. Her gelato interpretation featured a meringue-flavoured base, passionfruit puree and meringue pieces folded throughout.

Donato Toce and Simone Panetta represented Gelato Messina, which has stores in both Sydney and Melbourne, with their flavour Cremino. A salted caramel gelato with house made gianduia fudge, fresh meringue and crushed amaretti biscuits folded throughout. It won them first place in the Oceania round.

Held by SIGEP and Carpigiani Gelato University, the Gelato World Tour Oceania round was hosted in Melbourne in October. The top three artisans were chosen out of 16 Australian and New Zealand competitors to travel to the finals in Italy. There the competitors faced scrutiny from the technical jury, a media jury, plus public tastings.

With AAP


7 Reasons We Buy More Stuff Than We Need

Do you find yourself buying stuff you don’t really need? Here are some reasons why that is probably the case….

You can read the article here or click on the link below to go to the full site:



The amount of stuff we own these days is staggering.

The average American home size has grown from 1,000 square feet to almost 2,500 square feet. Personal storage generates more than $24 billion in revenue each year. Reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago. All while carrying, on average, nearly $15,950 in credit-card debt.

These numbers should cause us to start asking some difficult questions of ourselves. For example, “Why do we buy more stuff than we need?”

I mean, when you really stop to think about it, this becomes a fascinating question. What thinking would compel somebody to spend money on things they didn’t actually need in the first place?

If we could successfully answer this question, we could more easily free our lives and our resources for more important pursuits.

But this question can be difficult. It forces us to admit weakness in our lives. Consider some of the lies we have believed:

7 Reasons We Buy More Stuff Than We Need

1. We think it will make us secure. Our logic goes like this: if owning some material possessions brings us security (a roof, clothing, reliable transportation), owning excess will surely result in even more security. But after meeting our most basic needs, the actual security derived from physical possessions is much less stable than we believe. They all perish, spoil, or fade. And they can disappear faster than we realize.

2. We think it will make us happy. Nobody would ever admit they search for happiness in material possessions—we all just live like we do. We buy bigger houses, faster cars, cooler technology, and trendier fashion hoping we will become happier because of it. Unfortunately, the actual happiness derived from excess physical possessions is fleeting at best.

3. We are more susceptible to advertising than we believe. On average, we see 5,000 advertisements every day. Every advertisement carries the same message: your life will be better if you buy what we are selling. We begin to hear this messaging so many times and from so many angles, we begin to subtly believe it. This is not a complete condemnation of the marketing industry. This is simply a call to realize their messaging affects us more than we realize.

4. We are hoping to impress other people. In a wealthy society, envy quickly becomes a driving force for economic activity. Once all of our basic needs have been met, consumption must become about something more than needs. It becomes an opportunity to display our wealth, our importance, and our financial success with the world.

5. We are jealous of people who own more. Comparison seems to be a natural state of our humanity. We notice what other people are buying, wearing, and driving. Our society encourages these comparisons. And all too often, we buy stuff we don’t need just because people in our friendship circles have done the same. A culture fixated on praising excess will always misdefine true success.

6. We are trying to compensate for our deficiencies. We mistakenly look for confidence in the clothes that we wear or the car that we drive. We seek to recover from loss, loneliness, or heartache by purchasing unnecessary items. We seek fulfillment in material things. And we try to impress other people with the things that we own rather than the people that we are. But these pursuits will never fully satisfy our deficiencies. Most of the time, they just keep us from ever even addressing them.

7. We are more selfish than we like to admit. It can be difficult to admit that the human spirit is hardwired toward selfishness and greed, but history appears to make a strong case for us. We seek to grow the size of our personal kingdom by accumulating more and more things. This has been accomplished throughout history by force, coercion, dishonesty, and warfare. Unfortunately, selfishness continues to surface in our world and our lives even today.

Excess material possessions do not enrich our lives. In fact, buying things we don’t need keeps us from experiencing some wonderful, life-giving benefits. We would be wise to realize the cause and become vigilant in overcoming it.

There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be discovered in pursuing more. (tweet that)

Australian regulators watch as soaring mortgages drive up prices

July 28, 2014

You may read the article here or click on the link below to go the full site.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/australian-regulators-watch-as-soaring-mortgages-drive-up-prices-20140728-zxiln.html#ixzz38pYv61HL

Household debt is at a 25-year high, but regulators say risky loans haven't increased significantly.

Household debt is at a 25-year high, but regulators say risky loans haven’t increased significantly.

Central banks from Scandinavia to the UK to New Zealand are sounding the alarm about soaring mortgage debt and trying to curb risky lending. Here in Australia, where borrowing is surging, regulators are just watching.

Australian household debt is at a 25-year high, according to statistics bureau figures, and a government inquiry this month found housing to be a significant source of risk to the financial system. The average mortgage is at least four times household income in almost 80 per cent of the country, research by Digital Finance Analytics shows.

While the UK, Denmark and New Zealand introduce measures including loan limits, caps on interest-only mortgages and repayment tests, the Reserve Bank and the country’s banking regulator are holding their fire, saying risky loans haven’t increased significantly. The central bank also has said the price gains so far are spurring needed construction, easing housing shortages in some areas.

Household debt is at a 25-year high, but regulators say risky loans haven't increased significantly.
Household debt is at a 25-year high, but regulators say risky loans haven’t increased significantly. Photo: Virginia Star

“If we think there is a need for higher construction, which we do, an environment of declining prices is probably not conducive to that outcome,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a speech in Hobart earlier this month. “Some pick-up in housing prices as a result of lower interest rates was to be expected.”


Overvalued Housing 

Australia has the third-most overvalued housing market on a price-to-income basis, after Belgium and Canada, according to the International Monetary Fund. The average home price in the nation’s eight major cities rose 16 per cent as of June 30 from a May 2012 trough, the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index showed.

In Sydney, where price growth has been strongest, home values soared 15 per cent over the past 12 months. That compares with a 5.4 per cent increase in New York City in April from a year earlier and a 26 per cent jump in London prices in June quarter from a year ago.

“There’s definitely room for caps on lending,” said Martin North, principal at researcher Digital Finance Analytics. “Global house price indices are all showing Australia is close to the top, and the RBA has been too myopic in adjusting to what’s been going on in the housing market.”

Residential Construction

Our regulators are hesitant to impose nation-wide rules as only some markets have seen strong price growth, said Kieran Davies, chief economist at Barclays in Sydney.

Home values in cities including Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra rose less than 3 per cent over the year to June 30, and house prices in areas outside the major cities gained less than 4 per cent in the 12 months to May, according to RP Data.

The central bank has reduced its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 2.5 per cent to aid a recovery in non-mining industries, including residential construction, as the resources boom slows.

The interest rate cuts and subsequent home price gains have helped building approvals climb 14 per cent in May from a year earlier, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Necessary Evil

“The RBA’s probably got at the back of its mind that we’re only in the early stages of the adjustment in the mining sector,” Davies said. “Mining investment still has a long way to fall, and also the job losses to flow from that. So to some extent, the house price growth is a necessary evil.”

The central bank in its quarterly monetary policy update called declining resources investment a “significant headwind,” for the economy.

As prices climb, the value of new mortgages also rose 16 per cent in May from a year ago, and overall housing credit increased 6 per cent in the quarter ended March 31 from 12 months earlier, statistics bureau data show. The average new home loan grew 6.7 per cent to $433,960 in June from a year ago, according to broker Australian Finance Group, which processes about $4 billion in home loans every month.

The increase in new mortgages, while significant, doesn’t appear “imprudent,” Stevens said in his speech in Hobart. With total credit growth only slightly above the increase in incomes, “it’s hard to mount the soap box to complain about that pace,” he said.

Low Rates

Spurring the rise in loans are the lowest mortgage rates in almost five years, after the RBA cut the cash rate by 2.25 percentage points since late 2011. The average rate on variable mortgages, which about 85 per cent of Australians borrowers are on, is 5.95 per cent, the lowest since September 2009.

Fixed rates are also on their way down. The Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac last week cut their five-year fixed rates to 4.99 per cent, a record low for CBA, the least in 20 years for NAB, and a five-year low for Westpac. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. reduced its five-year fixed rate by 30 basis points to 5.49 per cent.

Rising Debt

Stevens this month urged investors in Sydney to be cautious, after loans to buy rental properties in New South Wales surged 30 per cent to a record $5.2 billion in May from a year ago, doubling from February 2013, according to statistics bureau data. He also warned that loans to investors covering more than 80 per cent of a property’s value have been climbing.

Australians owed almost 1.8 times their 2013 pretax disposable incomes, higher than Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, the statistics bureau said in a report last month. Household debt was equivalent to $79,000 per person at the end of 2013, and has risen at almost double the pace of assets over the past 25 years, it said.

Government Inquiry

Since 1997, when Australia held its last major financial system inquiry, household debt has almost doubled as a proportion of income, with more than 90 per cent of that due to housing, the government inquiry found. Mortgages account for two-thirds of banks’ loan books, from 47 per cent in 1997, it said.

“A large enough disruption to the housing market could have significant implications for household balance sheets, financial stability, economic growth, and the speed of recovery in household spending and broader economic activity following a shock,” the inquiry’s report said.

New Zealand’s central bank last year required loans for more than 80 per cent of a property’s value to account for less than 10 per cent of a bank’s new lending. In response, home sales fell 11 per cent between October and March.

Global Measures

The Bank of England last month proposed capping mortgages of 4.5 times a borrower’s income at no more than 15 per cent of a lender’s new home loans, and required banks to reject those who fail a new repayment test. Governor Mark Carney in May called surging home prices the No. 1 risk to the economy, and Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe this month warned low borrowing costs hide the real extent of Britons’ mortgage burden.

Denmark’s central bank is pushing to require interest-only loans to be no more than 60 per cent of a property’s value, from 80 per cent. In Sweden, lenders are in talks to require borrowers to cut mortgage debt to less than 70 per cent of home values, and have capped borrowing at five times household income.

‘More Stretched’

Across Australia, the average mortgage is at least four times pretax annual income in more than 2200 postal codes out of a total 2800, according to Digital Finance Analytics. Loan- to-income ratios are spread between 2.5 times and 8 times, compared with 0 and 6 times in the UK, the data show.

“So the loan-to-income ratio in Australia is more stretched than in the UK,” DFA’s North said.

The RBA, in response to an e-mailed request for comment, referred to speeches and papers by Head of Financial Stability Luci Ellis.

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, which oversees banks, in May issued draft guidelines urging lenders to conduct mortgage book stress tests, ensure brokers’ compensation doesn’t encourage risky lending and ascertain borrowers can repay loans, especially when rates rise.

“APRA is seeing increasing evidence of lending with higher risk characteristics and it does not want this trend to continue,” the regulator’s former chairman, John Laker, said in a statement then.

Requests to large lenders’ boards for explanations on how they’re monitoring risk have already led to more prudent standards, APRA Chairman Wayne Byres told a parliamentary hearing on July 18. Andrew McCutcheon, a spokesman for APRA, declined to comment further.

Shifting Stance

While regulators haven’t yet introduced firm lending controls, their resistance to such measures has softened. The RBA’s Ellis in October 2012 said she didn’t see a need for “elaborate” rules, and “a culture of cooperation, dialog and mutual respect” is more important than formal arrangements. In contrast, Stevens said after his speech in Hobart that the RBA is “quite happy” for limits on lending and capital requirements on banks to be imposed where they make sense.

The RBA and APRA have acknowledged potential benefits of loan limits “but at this stage they don’t believe that this type of policy action is necessary,” said David Ellis, a Sydney-based analyst at Morningstar Inc. “If the housing market was out of control and if loan growth, particularly investor credit, grew exponentially then it’d be introduced.”