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Catherine Zeta-Jones shows off inside beautiful New York mansion

<p>Catherine Zeta-Jones and her family can definitely say they are one of the lucky families that get to relax and self-isolate during lockdown in their New York mansion.</p> <p>While she nor the rest of her family give many details away about their beautiful home, fans have been given a glimpse of the rooms, including their spectacularly regal black and white theme.</p> <p>Recently, Catherine shared a photograph of her husband Michael relaxing on their gorgeous cream sofa.</p> <p>The Darling Buds of May actress shared the picture on Instagram over the weekend, revealing that her puppy, Taylor, had taken over the sofa.</p> <p>The actress lives in a gorgeous Georgian mansion in Irvington, New York, which is not too far away from Manhattan.</p> <p>Her and Michael share their home with their two children, Dylan, 19, and Carys, 17.</p> <p>Their stunning property boasts magnificent views of the Hudson river and has a sprawling garden, complete with an impressive outdoor kitchen.</p> <p>The home also includes an indoor swimming pool, a library, a gym, and a games room, where Catherine has been spending a lot of time learning how to play pool during the lockdown.</p> <p>There are also ten bathrooms in the house, which are all themed differently, ranging from a gothic all-black design to a spa-like area complete with a roll-top bath.</p> <p>The family has an expansive property portfolio, including a spacious apartment overlooking Central Park on New York's Central Park West, as well as a large family home in Catherine's hometown of Swansea, Wales.</p> <p>While in quarantine, the family have been enjoying spending quality time together and fans have been able to indulge virtually with the family.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Catherine and Michael’s incredible mansion.</p>

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Great-grandparents sell multimillion-dollar penthouse to help COVID-19 research

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>An elderly couple in Queensland have decided to donate the proceeds of their multimillion dollar seaside penthouse in order to help researchers develop a vaccine for COVID-19.</p> <p>Keith and Glenda Drake, both in their 80s, decided to auction off their two-storey penthouse on the Sunshine Coast and want to assist in the search for a cure.</p> <p>The couple moved from the penthouse to an acreage property with their 57-year-old son Neville who requires round-the-clock care as he lives with quadriplegia cerebral palsy.</p> <p>Keith said that the penthouse was earning rental income but decided as long as they have enough income to look after their son’s needs, the money could be put to better use.</p> <p>"We have enough, we know what we need for Neville and his condition, and the rest of our family," he said to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-24/couple-donate-penthouse-proceeds-to-coronavirus-research/12177108?pfmredir=sm" target="_blank">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>"We won't live forever, we're in our 80s … so I said to Glenda, 'Let's do it' and she said, 'Yes!'.</p> <p>"I understood the significance of this pandemic, I realised how serious it was, and thought the laboratories must really be needing some money to do what they've got to do.</p> <p>"Without them coming up with a remedy we could be stuck with this thing for a long time."</p> <p>The couple had already donated $100,000 to the cause but felt the money “wouldn’t get them very far” and decided to add their proceeds from the penthouse to the donation.</p> <p>The funds will go towards expanding national trials, testing the effectiveness of two drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 and other medical research projects.</p> <p>"I couldn't do what they do [medical staff] and that to me is of greater significance than what we are doing," Mr Drake said.</p> <p>"Giving a material thing is not as valuable as the time and energy put in by these medical people.</p> <p>"Those people doing the work — carers, people fighting fires — those are the wonderful people who deserve accolades, not people like us who have just been lucky in business."</p> <p>The funds will go to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (HBWH) Foundation Coronavirus Action Fund, and chief executive Simone Garske said that the family are “incredibly generous”.</p> <p>"The funds from the sale of the property will allow research projects, such as clinical trials, to occur and be expanded when necessary, so we get answers faster," she said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Jason Hodges from Better Homes and Gardens is selling up – and his house is amazing

<p>Fans were devastated when Jason Hodges was<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/i-just-didn-t-see-it-coming-jason-hodges-on-why-his-better-homes-axing-was-a-mistake" target="_blank">axed from</a><span> </span><em>Better Homes and Gardens</em><span> </span>after sixteen years on the show. The man himself confirmed that he just “didn’t see it coming”, he is focusing on the future and plans on taking it easy.</p> <p>Hodgie is now selling his amazing North Ryde property that is heritage listed with a price guide of $1.9 million.</p> <p>The well-loved four-bedroom home has undergone an amazing transformation which is believed to be a labour of love for Hodgie and his partner, Lisa, a horticulturalist.</p> <p>The home is set amongst beautiful landscaped gardens with hedging, lawns, retaining walls, stepping stones and topiary trees. There’s a plunge pool behind a glass fence, water features, hardwood decking, a fixed barbecue and a pizza oven tucked away in the corner of the jaw-dropping garden.</p> <p>“Everyone who has inspected the house has stood on the driveway looking back at the house and commented on how stunning it is,” said agent John McManus.</p> <p>“It just feels like something you would expect to find in the Southern Highlands. When you arrive at the property, it is like you are visiting family in the country.”</p> <p>That comment is especially fitting as Hodgie himself has planned on taking things a lot easier since his departure from the show.</p> <p>“I need to change my lifestyle. The hustle and bustle of Sydney - the tolls, the parking, the units going up…” he trails off.</p> <p>“Berry is heaven, it’s green and lush with rolling hills and the people are even better than the landscape. The sense of community is amazing,” he adds.</p> <p>Hodges has won medals at the Chelsea Flower show and Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show for his work.</p> <p>The couple have two children and have retained many period features inside the home, including exposed brick work, pressed tin ceilings, timber flooring and working fireplaces.</p> <p>The couple renovated the house in 2014, but a new kitchen was added last year.</p> <p>One of Mr McManus’ favourite areas is the main bathroom with freestanding tub, an open shower and a decorative original fireplace.</p> <p>“It is just stunning, to me, he has really thought about keeping the character of the home but also creating something special,” he said.</p> <p>“You could be sitting in the bath on a Friday afternoon with a glass of champagne and the candles going, it is just delightful.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the stunning home and garden.</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/former-better-homes-and-gardens-landscaper-jason-hodges-to-sell-his-north-ryde-home/" target="_blank">realestate.com.au</a></em></p>

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Guy Sebastian gives rare look into “special” monochromatic mansion

<p><span>Australian pop star Guy Sebastian and his wife Jules have given fans a rare insight into their ultra-modern monochromatic home during the strict quarantine measures. </span><br /><br /><span>As the pair continue to self-isolate with their two children during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have taken to social media to share pictures of their unbelievable $3.1 million Maroubra mansion. </span><br /><br /><span>The property was once described as a “fortress” by angry neighbours and features a tennis court, lush grand piano and a nine-metre high spiral staircase. </span><br /><br /><span>Guy and Jules chose a simple monochrome palette for their interior design, and features concrete walls and black and white features throughout.</span><br /><br /><span>Jules also recently took to social media to give an update on her life, and in that time shared what her bathroom (that she shares with Guy) looks like. </span><br /><br /><span>The mother-of-two revealed in another clip that she had managed to finish renovating her children's bedrooms before coronavirus was declared a pandemic. </span><br /><br /><span>The Sebastians share two children, Hudson James, eight, and Archer Jones, five.</span><br /><br /><span>Guy purchased the home in 2013, and then spent two-and-a-half years renovating it. He finally moved in with his family in June 2019.</span><br /><br /><span>Disgruntled neighbours have made complaints in the past about the loud development, with many describing the home as a “fortress” because of its monolithic facade. </span><br /><br /><span>In December, Guy defended the extensive renovation, telling KIIS FM: “It’s a long build, but it's a pretty special house. It's not normal. It's not a cookie-cutter house. It's cool.”</span></p>

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Royal residence! Rare look into Prince Charles’ and Duchess Camilla’s Clarence House

<p><em>Google Arts &amp; Culture</em> have teamed up with the royal family to give onlookers a virtual tour of Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s highly publicised, but rarely seen Clarence House in London.</p> <p>Royal life is often tightly guarded and kept between the select few. However, it has never been easier to see what it is like to live as a royal.</p> <p>The virtual tour of Prince Charles’ Clarence House only lets onlookers see into the ground floor of the house, but even that is enough to showcase just how family-oriented this royal family is.</p> <p>Littered among the walls and every sitting place is portraits of the Windsor family – from the Prince of Wales’ grandmother to his youngest son, Prince Harry.</p> <p>It is a stunning property that the Queen herself is privileged enough to say she once called home – and judging by the grandeur styling and opulent decor, it is no wonder how the royal would have fit right in.</p> <p>Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have called the Clarence House their own since 2003 and was originally built for the Duke of Clarence who would go on to become King William IV in 1827.</p> <p>He and the Queen were not the only utmost senior royals to call the abode their own, as the Queen Mother once graced the halls of the four-story property between the years 1953 to 2002.</p> <p>For a short time, Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh lived in the home after they were married in 1947.</p> <p>The most mystifying feature of the entire property is the lavish, stunning gardens which is what guests will first see when they enter upon the grounds of Clarence House.</p> <p>Prince Charles designed the gardens himself in 2005 in a bid to honour his grandmother, who he shared a very close relationship with while she was alive.</p> <p>The entrance hall of the home has its own unique and unbelievable features as portraits of great royalty line the walls along with treasured relics.</p> <p>Another intimate touch royal onlookers are given a rare insight to is the family photos on display in the Morning Room, where Prince Charles is said to entertain guests from all walks of life.</p> <p>The gorgeous and unique residence who is called home by Prince Charles and his wife has remained a treasure to the royal family for generations and will continue to do so even when he moves on to become King and is passed on to another royal family member.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Prince Charles’ Clarence House.</p>

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IKEA launches new homewares range for February 2020

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">IKEA is offering a range of practical and stylish homewares, including a range of baskets, armchairs, a hanging organiser and much more.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The latest product drop in February is focusing on a mindful lifestyle while bringing nature into the home through greenery. Natural colour palettes with fresh hues are contrasted sharply with accented colours.</span></p> <p><strong>TJILLEVIPS basket range</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is a range of sustainable handmade baskets that are woven from six different types of plant fibres, which include bamboo, rattan, seagrass, banana fibre, poplar and jute.</span></p> <p><strong>BINGSTA armchair ($199)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are low and high back versions of this chair on offer and are two colours available. The colours are subdued and elegant grey or a dark shade of yellow. </span></p> <p><strong>KORNSJÖ cabinet with mirror ($299)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are plenty of storage options for bags, shoes and belongings that are unsightly. It comes in a nice dark shade of grey.</span></p> <p><strong>BORSTAD hanging organiser for accessories ($16.99)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This hanging organiser boasts plenty of storage if there’s not a lot of space left in your cupboards.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photo credits: </span><a href="https://www.bhg.com.au/ikea-borstad-homewares-range-february-2020"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Better Homes and Gardens</span></a></em></p>

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House of horrors: Dr. Phil's Beverly Hills mansion hits the market

<p>If there has ever been a house to cause such a wave of disbelief and shock, it is the Beverly Hills mansion of Dr. Phil McGraw which just hit the market for AUD $8.3 million.</p> <p>The star of the Dr. Phil Show has put his house up for sale and it quickly went viral for its quirky, and quite frankly strange, features.</p> <p>From the bejewelled bear and rabbit figurines beneath a wall of guns, to a purple egg chair draping from the ceiling directly across from a massive piece of artwork that reads “f*ck” on it, this home has every eccentric momentum that you could squeeze into a five bedroom, six bathroom house.</p> <p>The images of inside the uniquely designed mansion quickly spread quickly once a Los<em> Angeles Times</em> writer tweeted a collection of interior shots of the house in question.</p> <p>The interesting décor choices and eccentric, out-of-the-box quirks got the attention of over 26,000 people who liked the post.</p> <p>Records show Dr. Phil purchased the home in 2007 however it appears the TV star has never actually lived there.</p> <p>The insane décor choices seem to be the choice of his son, Jordan, who currently calls the place home.</p> <p>He went on to clarify the wall of guns is actually “an anti-gun art installation”.</p> <p>The mansion features five bedrooms and six bathrooms, and the master suite has a private balcony. In true Californian style, there also includes also a dining gazebo, outdoor fireplace, swimming pool, and jacuzzi.</p> <p>On top of that there is a dedicated billiards room and wine cellar. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the inside of the home up close.</p>

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6 things you never knew you could put in the washing machine

<p>Bring it on.</p> <p><strong>1. Stuffed animals</strong></p> <p>Place each stuffed animal in its own mesh laundry bag and set your machine to wash and rinse. Use cold water (warm or hot water could melt the toy’s glue) and half the regular amount of detergent. Run the animals through a second rinse cycle to remove all the soap, and allow them to air dry. Fluff fur as needed.</p> <p><strong>2. Sneakers</strong></p> <p>Remove the laces from canvas or nylon sneakers and slip them into a cotton pillowcase where they won’t get tangled. Take out any inner soles or padding from the sneakers and toss the shoes and pillowcase into your washer (if you’re concerned about the shoes causing a racket, throw in a few towels as well). Add the regular amount of detergent, plus a dash of vinegar to deodorise. Set your machine on a cold-wash delicate cycle. Allow the shoes and shoelaces to air dry.</p> <p><strong>3. Pillows</strong></p> <p>Wash pillows two at a time in a warm-water gentle cycle. To ensure you’re washing out all the soap, add an extra cold-water rinse and spin, advises Good Housekeeping. To fluff things up, dry the pillows on low heat, along with a few rubber dryer balls.</p> <p><strong>4. Backpacks and lunch boxes</strong></p> <p>Open all of your backpack’s pockets and check for any items that might be hidden. If there are large pieces of crumbs or debris, use your vacuum cleaner’s crevice attachment to do a thorough pre-cleaning. Put your backpack into a laundry bag or pillowcase and wash it on a gentle cycle in cold water with a small amount of gentle detergent. Allow to air dry.</p> <p><strong>5. Bath mats and small rugs</strong></p> <p>Take the mat outside and shake it to remove any loose dirt, and then load the rug into the washing machine with a few bath towels to balance the load. Set the machine on a cold-wash delicate cycle, and add half the regular amount of detergent. Allow the mat to air dry (never put a rubber-backed mat into the dryer).</p> <div id="page12" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/16-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-washing-machine"><strong>6. Pet beds</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/16-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-washing-machine"> <p>Foam pet beds can be cleaned whenever you see fit. Remove the bed’s outside cover and place it in the washing machine with cold water and regular detergent. To clean the foam piece, fill your bathtub halfway with warm water. Add a scoop of laundry detergent and sink the bed into the soapy water. Empty the soap water from the tub and refill with clean water. Rinse the foam out and place it in the sun to air dry. Replace the foam cover and zip it up.</p> <div id="page16" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p><em>Source:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/washing-machine-suprising-items/" target="_blank">RD.com</a></em></p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/16-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-washing-machine"><em>Written by Juliana LaBianca. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/16-things-you-never-knew-you-could-put-in-the-washing-machine">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Bruce Willis finally sells mega-mansion for $11 million

<p>Action star Bruce Willis has finally found a buyer for his Westchester County mansion. The home sold for $US 7.66 million ($AUD 11 million) according to<em> <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/bruce-willis-sells-bedford-corners-estate-for-7-66-million-11577208804" target="_blank">The Wall Street Journal.</a></em></p> <p>The home has been on the market for the year but has finally managed to be sold for 41 per cent less than the original asking price.</p> <p>The film star and his wife initially listed the home for $US 12.95 million ($AUD 18.7 million) but were unable to find anyone interested at this price. The couple kept reducing the price over the year until they settled on $USD 7.6 million and reduced the acreage of the original offer.</p> <p>The country house, built in 2009, offers panoramic views of the Croton Reservoir and beyond. It’s located just a 40-minute drive from midtown Manhattan and is a gated estate.</p> <p>The house features a 9,000 square foot main house with five bedrooms, a playroom, a media room and a spacious wine cellar.</p> <p>The estate itself also features formal landscaping, a vegetable garden, a saltwater pool, a pool house and a tennis court.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the luxury residence.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/bruce-willis-finally-sells-his-new-york-country-estate-for-7-66m/" target="_blank">realtor.com</a></em></p>

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They paid WHAT? 5 most expensive celeb houses of 2019

<p>Celebrities live a life of luxury, so it makes sense that these luxuries would also extend to the places they call home. Here are the 5 most expensive real estate transactions done by celebrities for 2019.</p> <p><strong>5. Tommy Hilfiger</strong></p> <p>The 68-year-old fashion designer and founder of Tommy Hilfiger finally sold his Plaza Hotel penthouse after a shocking 11 years on the market. The home is 6,050 square feet and has just four bedrooms. There is a formal dining room that features mirrored walls and the penthouse features a grand salon with 10-foot high ceilings, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/watch-tommy-and-dee-hilfiger-give-a-tour-of-their-stunning-plaza-hotel-apartment" target="_blank">Architectural Digest</a></em>.</p> <p>The penthouse sold for a shocking $USD 33.25 million ($AUD 48.4 million).</p> <p><strong>4. Mark Zuckerberg</strong></p> <p>The founder of Facebook kept the details of this sale very private as he purchased a home in Lake Tahoe for $USD 37 million ($AUD 54.19 million).</p> <p>The Brushwood Estate features a 5,322 square foot main house with six bedrooms as well as a separate guesthouse and a private dock, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://variety.com/2019/dirt/news/mark-zuckerberg-lake-tahoe-houses-1203209603/" target="_blank">Variety</a></em>.</p> <p>The home was built in 1964 and also features rolling lawns as well as a lakeview jacuzzi.</p> <p>The home adds to the smaller property he purchased earlier for $USD 22 million ($AUD 32.02 million) and now has a compound of up to 10 acres with 600 feet of uninterrupted lake views.</p> <p><strong>3. Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo</strong></p> <p>The power couple were ready to say goodbye to their mansion in Beverly Hills, but it wouldn’t be an easy one as their mansion is a three-story Tudor-style home.</p> <p>The sprawling 10,376 foot mansion features five bedrooms, twelve bathrooms and features crown moulding in many of the common living areas on the first floor.</p> <p>The master suite of the mansion includes a lofted ceiling, a private terrace and an en suite bathroom that has a luxurious free-standing tub, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ellen-degeneres-buys-adam-levines-beverly-hills-mansion" target="_blank">Architectural Digest</a>.</em></p> <p>The home sold to another power couple Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia Di Rossi for $USD 45 million ($AUD 65.83 million).</p> <p><strong>2. Sting</strong></p> <p>The iconic musician bought a luxurious 5,807 square feet penthouse which has three bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. Although it’s not as large as some of the other mansions, it appears that stars are paying for the location as it’s on Billionaire’s Row at 220 Central Park South, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/sting-drops-nearly-96-million-on-penthouse-in-recordbreaking-new-york-building/" target="_blank">realestate.com.au.</a></p> <p>With few details being made public about the actual apartment, there are little to no photos of this listing that he bought for a shocking USD $66 million ($AUD 96 million)</p> <p><strong>1. Jeff Bezos</strong></p> <p>Last but not least, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos purchased a trio of Manhattan apartments for a combined whopping $USD 80 million ($AUD 116.52 million).</p> <p>The sizeable buy included a three-story five-bedroom penthouse apartment as well as the other two units he purchased which overlook Madison Square Park.</p> <p>The combined space of all three units create a massive 17,000 square foot, 12-bedroom estate.</p> <p>The penthouse alone has nearly 6,000 square feet of terraces and has four exposures facing the Madison Square Park. The penthouse also includes a private elevator, a grand ballroom and a library with a marble and glass fireplace, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-buys-manhattan-penthouse-apartment-80-million-2019-6?r=US&amp;IR=T" target="_blank">Business Insider</a></em>.</p> <p><em>Photo credits:</em></p> <p><em>Tommy Hilfiger’s penthouse:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/17/photos-tommy-hilfigers-nyc-penthouse-sold-for-millions.html" target="_blank">CNBC</a><span> </span>&amp; Sothesby’s International Realty | Travis Mark</em></p> <p><em>Mark Zuckerberg’s Lake Tahoe mansion:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://variety.com/2019/dirt/news/mark-zuckerberg-lake-tahoe-houses-1203209603/" target="_blank">Variety</a><span> </span>&amp; Oliver Luxury Real Estate</em></p> <p><em>Adam Levine’s Tudor-style mansion:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ellen-degeneres-buys-adam-levines-beverly-hills-mansion" target="_blank">Architectural Digest</a><span> </span>&amp; Simon Berlyn / Berlyn Photography 2019</em></p> <p><em>Jeff Bezos’ trio of Manhattan apartments:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://visualhouse.co/work/212-fifth-avenue/" target="_blank">Visual House</a>­  <span> </span><span> </span></em></p>

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10 things in your house that a professional organiser would throw out

<p>An expert organiser shares her list of the top 26 things she’d throw out without a second thought.</p> <p><strong>1. Flimsy kitchen utensils</strong></p> <p>The wine opener that never works well enough is just one of the tosses you can make from your utensil drawer. Professional organisers would also ditch the slotted spoons and pancake turners that bend under the weight of food. And add the garlic press that is too delicate to mince a clove of garlic to the toss pile.</p> <p><strong>2. Reference material</strong></p> <p>You’ll rarely find a space-hogging phone book in a professional organiser’s home. They also let go of encyclopaedia sets and textbooks; consider donating those. And unless you need the thesaurus and dictionary for playing Scrabble, pass those on, too.</p> <p><strong>3. Expired things</strong></p> <p>While frozen, fresh and canned foods come to mind, these are not the only things in your home that expire. Once they reach their best by date, it’s recommended to throw out medications, vitamins and supplements.</p> <p><strong>4. Storage solutions</strong></p> <p>Professional organisers love storage solutions but not every container works well. If the bin, basket or box didn’t solve your problem, then throw it out; otherwise, it just adds to your clutter. Consider passing along storage containers to a teacher who might need them.</p> <p><strong>5. Outdated technology</strong></p> <p>The VCR and boom box have been replaced with more up-to-date technology, so get rid of the old stuff. Recycle floppy disks and ancient laptops, obsolete phones, VHS tapes and more through an e-waste program.</p> <p><strong>6. Parts for discarded items</strong></p> <p>Toss the accessories and instruction booklets that go with things you no longer own, like the tiny bag with a spare button for the blouse you donated and the owner’s manual for the television you had ten years ago.</p> <p><strong>7. Secret stash</strong></p> <p>Even professional organisers keep odd things like those plastic clips from bags of bread or rinsed out glass jars. The key is to know when you are saving too many, and they are becoming clutter. For example, if you’ve kept every rubber band from every fresh produce purchase, then it is time to throw some away.</p> <p><strong>8. Awards and trophies</strong></p> <p>Just because it has your name engraved on it does not mean you have to keep it forever. Professional organisers preserve the memory by taking a photo of the accolade, then they donate the trophies, plaques, or awards of excellence through sports medal recycling programs.</p> <p><strong>9. Fad clutter</strong></p> <p>You could not resist that 2 a.m. infomercial and now you’re the owner of the latest craze in kitchen appliances, workshop tools, or some other must-have item that you never use. Professional organisers remind you that keeping the item won’t bring back the money you spent; so it’s best to pass it along to an organisation or friend that will accept it.</p> <p><strong>10. Clothes hangers</strong></p> <p>You’ll rarely find empty hangers taking up space in a professional organiser’s closet. Clear the clutter by returning the wire ones to the dry cleaners. Then let go of the other unused hangers like the ones with weak clips and the small hangers that don’t slide on the closet bar.</p> <p><em>Written by Handyman. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.handyman.net.au/26-things-your-house-professional-organiser-would-throw-out"><em>Handyman</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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​Disgraced ex-Masterchef judge George Calombaris puts home on the market

<p>Disgraced celebrity chef George Calombaris has put his beach house in the Mornington Peninsula on the market for a whopping $900,000 to $950,00.</p> <p>The four-bedroom residence that also features a well-equipped kitchen and outdoor entertaining area is ideal for any wannabe chefs who think they’ve got the same skills as Calombaris.</p> <p>The home is just one of many that the former TV chef and his wife Natalie Tricarico have bought in recent years.</p> <p>The couple also purchased two other homes in Arthurs Seat and Toorak, Melbourne. In 2013. The homes went for $580,000 and 2.2 million respectively, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.domain.com.au/news/celebrity-chef-george-calombaris-beach-house-listed-for-sale-with-900000-to-950000-price-guide-918509/?utm_campaign=strap-masthead&amp;utm_source=smh&amp;utm_medium=link&amp;utm_content=pos5&amp;ref=pos1" target="_blank">Domain</a>.</em></p> <p>Calombaris made headlines this year after the hospitality group that he founded MAdE Establishment was ordered to backpay staff 7.83 million in unpaid wages and superannuation to a shocking 515 current and former employees.</p> <p>The staff were not paid at the correct classification, worked hours that were not adequately compensated by annualised salaries and were affected by the incorrect application of an award.</p> <p>The home is being marketed as an executive holiday residence or a family home.</p> <p>Set over two levels, the home offers open plan formal and informal living.</p> <p>There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a walk-through dressing room and en suite in the master bedroom.</p> <p>The kitchen comes with a butler’s pantry, a large island store bench and a 900mm oven. The outside dining room is home to a pizza oven and a barbeque.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.barryplant.com.au/for-sale/140-dromana-parade-safety-beach-vic-3936-82188/" target="_blank">BarryPlant.com.au</a> </em></p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the stunning home on Safety Beach.</p>

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How to increase the curb appeal of your home in a weekend

<p>Whether your goal is to add value to your home to sell, or you’re just looking to get your home entertainment-ready for summer, there are three DIY projects you can complete in a weekend that will greatly increase the curb appeal of your home.</p> <p><strong>1. Repaint concrete exteriors</strong></p> <p>Painting an unsightly or worn concrete pathway, landing or wall is one of the most dramatic (and easy) home improvements you can make. With a little prep and some specialty concrete paint you can avoid the pricey task of having to replace the concrete and have it looking like new again.</p> <p><strong>Remember</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>PREPARATION IS KEY.</strong> Remove any lose concrete with a scraper, wire brush or sandpaper then scrub the surface clean with a strong detergent and stiff bristle broom and hose off with clean water. This will stop your paint from lifting and ensure long lasting results. Don’t skip this step! 
</li> <li><strong>ROUGHT IT UP.</strong> In order for your surface to really grip the paint, you need to make sure the surface is rough (it should feel like 180 grit sandpaper). If the surface is smooth, prep with White Knight Ultra Pave Concrete Etcher. If your surface is already fairly rough you can skip this step. 
</li> <li><strong>TIME TO PAINT.</strong> Using a roller and tray, first start on the large areas. Using White Knight Ultra Pave Quick Dry, start by painting the far corner and then work backwards so you don’t paint yourself into a corner. If you didn’t use a concrete etcher, I recommend thinning the first coat of paint with 20% water to help with adhesion. Your concrete area will be touch-dry in 30 minutes and ready to be recoated in two hours.</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Paint the front door</strong></p> <p>Painting your front door and even your shutters is another easy way to improve the exterior of your home and help to leave a lasting impression.</p> <p><strong>Remember</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT.</strong> Select a hardwearing concrete paint such as Ultra Pave which is designed to withstand Australia’s harsh climate. 
</li> <li><strong>DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.</strong> Remember, paint isn’t permanent so have fun with it. Try a strong contrast colour for maximum visual impact. Think red against a white frame and brick wall, bright yellow against navy, or deep blue on white. 
</li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Landscape</strong></p> <p>Last but certainly not least, a little bit of landscaping can do wonders to improve the curb appeal of your home.</p> <p><strong>Remember</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>ADD SOME COLOUR </strong>A vibrant flower bed can lift the feel of any home.</li> </ul> <p><em>This is a guest post by Dale Vine, former Block contestant and </em><a href="http://www.whiteknightpaints.com.au/"><em>White Knight </em></a><em>Ambassador. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.handyman.net.au/how-increase-curb-appeal-your-home-weekend"><em>Handyman</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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10 absolutely brilliant uses for old socks

<p>Here are ten absolutely brilliant uses for old socks.</p> <p><strong>1. Prevent floor scratches</strong></p> <p>When moving furniture at home, put socks on the feet of your chair or table legs to prevent scratching the floors.</p> <p><strong>2. Dust high places</strong></p> <p>To dust extra-tall (e.g., on ceilings) or extra-narrow (under appliances or radiators) spots, fasten a sock to the end of a yardstick or a broom, dampen, and clean (chenille socks are especially good at picking up dust).</p> <p><strong>3. Clean houseplants</strong></p> <p>Put your hand in a sock, dampen it, and use it as a mitt to clean houseplants of dust and other debris.</p> <p><strong>4. Soften laundry</strong></p> <p>To soften laundry without using fabric softener or dryer balls, take a couple of socks, put a tennis ball inside each, knot them, and throw into the dryer before running your next load of laundry.</p> <p><strong>5. Sleep mask</strong></p> <p>Fashion a sleep mask with an old sock, some flat backing fabric, and an elastic band.</p> <p><strong>6. Sticky jar cover</strong></p> <p>Keep your cupboard and refrigerator clean by deploying single socks to cover the bottoms of bottles or jars containing messy, sticky, drippy stuff like syrup, honey, molasses, and barbecue sauce.</p> <p><strong>7. Pan handle cover</strong></p> <p>Stash socks in the kitchen where they’re surprisingly useful. For starters, when cooking on the stove, slip one over the handle of your saucepan or frying pan; this will not only shield your hand from the heat but also prevent the handle from getting sticky.</p> <p><strong>8. Wrist rest</strong></p> <p>For an ergonomic wrist rest for your computer, take a sock, stuff it with filling, and sew it closed. Whether it resembles a ferret, cat, another mammal, or no animal at all is up to you and your preferences and skill.</p> <p><strong>9. Get rid of cramps</strong></p> <p>Combat aches and cramps with a DIY heating pad. Just fill a clean, dry sock (use one that’s all or mostly cotton or wool, with no embellishments) with white or brown rice (not the instant or quick-cooking kind), dried beans, flaxseed or barley. Either knot the sock or sew it shut with cotton thread, and microwave it for one minute. If it’s not hot enough, up the time in 15-second increments.</p> <p><strong>10. Stop the fog</strong></p> <p>Fill socks with silica kitty litter (which is extremely absorbent), and keep them on rear and/or front window ledge to stop windshields from fogging up.</p> <p><em>Source: <a href="https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/uses-for-old-socks/">RD.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Written by Daryl Chen. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/65-absolutely-brilliant-uses-for-old-socks"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

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4 things you're doing to your home that real estate agents wouldn't

<p>Every day, real estate agents come upon cringe-worthy things homeowners have done to their homes. Leopard-print fabric wallpaper in the bedroom – yep. DIY electrical repairs – shockingly true. Sure, it’s your castle, and you can decorate or DIY to your heart’s content, as well as skip certain projects you just don’t think are important. But there are some smart reasons why real estate agents wouldn’t do the following things to their own homes.</p> <p><strong>1. Ignoring kerb appeal</strong></p> <p>You worked for months on the interior of your home, and now that it’s Instagram-worthy, you’re too tired and uninspired to care about the shabby lawn and cracked walkway. Shake off the sawdust and swap out your tool belt for some gardening tools. “It pays to hire a professional to get some advice to ‘stage’ your yard, too,” says real estate broker Kelly Parks. “A bonus is that while you live there, you will also love it.”</p> <p><strong>2. Planting trees too close to the house</strong></p> <p>Leafy trees, flowering bushes and colourful perennials instantly add a welcoming and homey touch to that all-important kerb appeal, but if you plant trees too close to the house, you might regret it down the road. Trees with long root systems can uproot the ground and your budget, and large limbs can fall on the roof or damage siding. “Roots over time can damage underground plumbing, foundation and driveways,” explains realtor Maya Madison. “It may look nice at first, but when you go to sell it in a few years, those roots will cause very expensive damage.”</p> <p><strong>3. Over-customising</strong></p> <p>A house is transformed into a home-sweet-home when you add personal touches, but if you’re thinking about selling your house down the road, you might want to rethink going all-in with your favourite motif. Broker Melanie Everett loves animal prints, but she’s not going to wallpaper her house with it. “I opted to buy some beautiful pillows instead,” she says. “Plus, I can take these with me to my next home, and I don’t have to worry about overwhelming a potential buyer.”</p> <p><strong>4. Hiring non-licenced contractors</strong></p> <p>It’s probably not a big deal to DIY a loose floorboard or hire your cousin to install a ceiling fan, but when it comes to the major housing components like plumbing and electrical, you should hire licensed, bonded contractors and possibly get permits. “This is very important because real estate agents know the value of being able to say that a licensed contractor or expert did the work,” says Parks. “This gives a potential buyer peace of mind, knowing that things are right, and the same is true when they go to sell the house later.”</p> <p><em>Source: </em><a href="https://www.rd.com/home/things-real-estate-agents-wouldnt-do/"><em>RD.com</em></a></p> <p><em>Written by Lisa Marie Conklin. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/diy-tips/13-things-youre-doing-to-your-home-that-real-estate-agents-wouldnt">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p>

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How to give yourself a DIY pedicure at home

<p>Save both time and money by learning how to do your own pedicure at home. Taking extra special care of your feet will mean you can walk comfortably and with an extra spring in your step.</p> <p><strong>Feet first</strong><br />Our feet have been working hard for us for many years now and require regular servicing to keep them in good working order. Attend to your feet every two or three weeks.</p> <p>1. Use a corn plane on calluses and corns. Take care with the first few sweeps when the blade is new and very sharp. Feet must be dry and skin ‘crispy’. Use a new blade every time you perform this procedure.</p> <p>2. Corn and callus plasters are useful if the corn plane is difficult to use. Follow the instructions and repeat the process for stubborn corns and calluses.</p> <p>3. If your feet are aching or sore or tired, soak in hot water and a foot soak lotion for twenty or thirty minutes.</p> <p>4. Always take care each day to wash and dry thoroughly between your toes to prevent inflammation.</p> <p>5. Try arch supports or custom-made orthotics if you have flat feet.</p> <p>6. Visit the podiatrist if you have difficulty managing your feet yourself.</p> <p>7. The foot milk solution (available from pharmacies), which causes dry skin and callus to peel off, is effective and worth using.</p> <p><strong>Top tip:</strong> Try to arrange for your pharmacy to order 20 or 30 packets of corn plane blades for you to stockpile as they are not always easy to find.</p> <p><strong>Step-by-step home pedicure</strong></p> <p>1. Soak your feet in warm soapy water for about twenty minutes, topping up with extra hot water from a nearby jug. Bliss!</p> <p>2. Adjust a chair under your strong lamp to shine on your toes whilst performing the pedicure.</p> <p>3. Dry your feet quickly and whilst the nails are softened, trim and cut away any dry and dead skin, especially around the little toes. Expose all the little toenail. You may need a bandaid on your little toes for 24 hours or so.</p> <p>4. File down any thick toenails with a nail file, or take off a layer of thick toenail with your callus cutter. Be careful.</p> <p>5. Take off sharp, pointed edges of nails with scissors and pull off thick side cuticles with tweezers.</p> <p>6. Clean all around your nails with an orange stick.</p> <p>7. Apply a base coat of clear nail polish, then two coats of colour, counting to 60 between coats. Freeze-dry with baby oil. If you go over the edge onto your skin don’t worry, it will wear off quickly.</p> <p><strong>Top tip:</strong> Time your pedicure for evening so that you don’t have to put on shoes before the nail polish has cured. It is not necessary to paint your toenails during winter, but do have a pedicure either at home or in a salon every two or three weeks to keep your feet and nails in good shape.</p> <p><em>Written by Margaret Woodberry. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/how-to-give-yourself-a-pedicure-at-home.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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5 ways to outsmart a burglar

<p>From burglars’ mouths to your ears: Here are the vulnerabilities they look for when they’re deciding whether to rob you blind.</p> <p><strong>1. Keep a car parked in your driveway</strong></p> <p>The investigative team at the Portland 24-hour news station KGW conducted an anonymous survey of 86 inmates incarcerated for burglary in a state prison, and almost all of the burglars surveyed said they’d think twice if they saw a car in a driveway.</p> <p><strong>2. Keep your doors and windows locked</strong></p> <p>Yes, this seems obvious. Yet a lot of people actually forget to lock their doors and windows. Most burglars KGW surveyed said they tended to “break in” simply by walking through an unlocked door or climbing through an unlocked window.</p> <p><strong>3. Consider making your door kick-proof</strong></p> <p>Some of the burglars surveyed by KGW said they’d be willing to kick in a locked door. It’s actually not difficult to kick in a door.</p> <p><strong>4. Don’t ignore a knock on the door</strong></p> <p>Every burglar surveyed by KGW reports knocking on the front door before breaking into a home; if someone answers the door, the burglar makes up an excuse and moves on. You don’t have to open the door for the person, but definitely let the person know you’re home – you just might thwart a burglary.</p> <p><strong>5. Prune those shrubs</strong></p> <p>Burglars value their privacy while they’re breaking and entering. Theoretically, if every house on a particular block seemed empty, a burglar would still choose to target the house that offers the most privacy. To deter would-be burglars, keep the shrubs around your house well-trimmed.</p> <p><em>Written by Lauren Cahn. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/im-a-burglar-heres-how-to-outsmart-me"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p>

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