Barbecue Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of the Great Australian BBQ
Australians are a pretty relaxed bunch. We like our sunshine and our no-hassle way of life but there are a few things we hold sacred. The great Australian barbeque is one of those sacred past times. For many Australians, attending a backyard barbie is second nature but some it can be a new or daunting experience either hosting or attending.
So we’ve put together some tips to ensure that your BBQ is a success:
- Seating: Ensure that there is enough comfortable seating for everyone attending, indoors and out. Make the seating conducive to conversations amongst your guests.
- Food: Count up your RSVPs to ensure you have enough food and drink for everyone attending. Most people cook hamburgers and hotdogs at cookouts, so be sure to have a vegetarian option for any guests that are not meat-eaters.
- Drink: Provide plenty of water and juice. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, are popular, so be careful about offering too much. Ensure that any guests that have overindulged have safe rides home.
- BBQ: Make sure the grill plate is clean well before guests arrive. Also make sure you have enough fuel (propane or charcoal) to cook all of the food you plan to barbeque.
- Utensils: Refrain from using any rusty or dirty barbeque utensils. Also, to keep food safe, use two sets of utensils and platters, one for raw and the other for cooked foods. Make sure not to mix them up!
- Timing: Arrive early only if your host is aware and you plan on helping to set up and prep food. Arriving a bit after the scheduled time is perfectly fine. Also, avoid overstaying your welcome late in the evening, unless you plan on helping to clean up.
- What to bring: Even if host says to bring nothing, bring something. Side dishes are great idea. Be sure to bring enough of your dish to feed everyone. Also, if you bring it, leave it. It’s cumbersome for you and the host to gather up your half-eaten container and half-full bottle of wine at the end of your visit.
- What to wear: Casual, tasteful outfits are appropriate. If it is a work-related cookout, then go with business casual.
- BBQ: Avoid touching or taking over the grill unless the host asks for help.
- Drink: It’s easy to get dehydrated on warm days. Drink plenty of fluids, and be careful with alcoholic beverages. These will dehydrate you further and can be even more potent when you’re sitting in the sun. Avoid embarrassing yourself or your host by overindulging.
- Clean up: Even if your host declines, it’s a customary kindness to offer help in cleaning up here and there throughout your stay.
We love our children. And we are especially charmed by the art they create. So sweet! But children can be fairly prolific artists and if you try and keep everything they make at school and at home, you will need to rent a separate storage unit just to keep it all. Have you ever asked your Mother for that box of your old art projects from school? Exactly.
So, you need a system. We’ve moved countries at least 3 times and each time, we have to edit down some of the precious artwork that the boys have done. But I hate to lose those memories and all of that special work they were once so proud of, so instead of keeping it all, I archive it.
1. Photos: After your child’s work has taken Pride of Place on the fridge, mantelpiece or bedroom dresser for a suitable amount of time, it's ready to be "archived". If it’s especially special, then, by all means, keep it in a clear Perspex display box (or better yet, give it to grandma)! But if that painted clay turtle is destined to live forever in a box in the attic, just shoot it instead! Take a great photo of it and keep a photo file with the name of the author, title of the piece and the date it was made. My boys get a real kick out of “naming” their works. They are endlessly pleased to see their long forgotten projects on my computer. So professional
2. Start a special Art Archive Box for those few pieces that you really can’t bear to part with. Try and limit it to one box per child, and once each box reaches capacity, it’s a one in, one out policy. Let them choose what to keep, but be firm and make sure you photograph and archive the outs!3. Exhibit: If all else fails and you are still overrun with various art projects, you can always hold an exhibition gallery night! They can “sell” their art to family and friends and display the rest. IKEA shelving was practically made for this purpose. After a year or so, you’ll be surprised how little they care for it once they need room for their laptops and skateboards.
When done with all of this a quick once over the house with the essential 6 set will bring your sanctuary back to beautiful from a crazy creative studio…
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many people, but a large number of Australians don't celebrate it. If you're without plans this year, here's how to make the most of your day off.
The Obvious Stuff
Fast Food, Chinese restaurants and Cinemas traditionally stay open on Christmas day for those of us who have nowhere else to go. While this guide will include ways to find other activities, you shouldn't necessarily rule out these classic non-Christmas activities. They're staples of the un-holiday for good reason.
Finding a Chinese restaurant that's open on Christmas doesn't take much work. A few phone calls (or, in many cases, one) should find you some good options. If you're in a larger city with a large cluster of Chinese restaurants, look in that area as well. Don't forget to make a reservation even if it's just dinner for you or a small party. Popular restaurants sometimes receive so much business on Christmas day that they can't accommodate everyone.
For your entertainment, movies are the traditional choice. Several come out on Christmas day because cinemas attract both people who celebrate Christmas and those that don't. Since you can buy movie tickets online, it's easy to ensure you have a seat in advance. Just hit up your nearest Cinema app (i.e. Village/Event) or buy directly from your local theatre of choice in advance. Because cinemas tend to be very busy on Christmas, you'll want to show up earlier than usual -- at least 30 minutes -- if you don't have the option to select your seat in advance.
The Not-So-Obvious Stuff
Several attractions remain open on Christmas day, especially in larger cities. As always, call ahead before making plans. Here are your options:
• Pretend to Be a Tourist: Tourist attractions tend to stay open on Christmas, especially in larger cities. This includes places like Luna Park and Taronga Zoo. Find out what's local to your area -- chances are they may have special Christmas hours. Of course, many tourist attractions don't have to remain open for you to enjoy them. If you go check out a monument or historical landmark, they're around on Christmas and cost you nothing.
• Visit a Park or Beach: Take advantage of the warm weather and go chill out in a park or go for a swim.
• Use Christmas as a Catch-Up Day: Is everyone out of town? Have you been neglecting chores, work, your hobbies, or even working on a few DIY projects? While getting things done may not be anyone's first choice on their day off, Christmas or otherwise, you can spend at least part of your day knocking a few things off your to-do list and the rest of the time relaxing. That way you'll get a break and still feel accomplished.
• Spend Time with Friends and Family at Home: Just because you don't celebrate Christmas itself doesn't mean you can't spend the day with family and/or friends. Play games, watch a movie, cook together or talk. You don't have to go out to have fun, so don't rule out staying in with people you care about.
These are just a handful of options. We couldn't possibly list them all here, but call a few places to find out if they're open. You might be surprised.
1. Make a list of the places you want to go.
2. Call nearby locations to confirm they'll be open
3. Make reservations at any restaurant(s) you plan to visit.
4. Put together a basic timeline of the day, accounting for travel time, so you don't lose any reservations, miss a movie or arrive after the store closes.
If you follow those steps you'll be ready to enjoy a very special non-Christmas, whether you're going solo or enjoying the day with others.
5 easy hacks to clean up the messy aftermath of your spooky Halloween party!
Halloween is the perfect occasion to throw a party, isn’t it? If you are planning a party at your place this Halloween, your biggest concern right now must be the “aftermath cleanup”. Never fear we’ve compiled a few tips that will help you with after-party clean up.
1. Delicious but messy & sticky lollies and chocolates
Everyone loves Halloween treats – particularly the ones shaped to disgust and amuse you at the same time (slimy worm candies, pumpkin faced cookies, Frankenstein marshmallows etc.), but unfortunately the sticky residue they leave on bowls can be extremely hard to remove and clean. To clean your bowls or containers from the melted candy, safely and effectively simply use our Heirloom Dish-washing Liquid, consider it your cleaning enforcer for washing up. In case of a gum residue, use an ice cube to harden the remains and then scrape it off!
2. Hand making creepy (but slightly cute) Jack-o-lanterns
What’s a Halloween without a Jack-o-Lantern? If you decide to make your own pumpkin jack-o-lantern, then head’s up : It’s going to be messy. Very messy – unless you follow our tip ! just lay down some newspapers under the pumpkin for easy cleanup. Reading this tip a little too late? No worries, counter intelligence All-Surface Spray to the rescue… if you left some pumpkin hoop on the bench a little too long and it has an orange tinge to it, let the counter intelligence sit on the stain for a few minutes before wiping.
3. Party’s over. Everyone go home…
It’s always a good idea to get rid of any of the confetti and glitter type mess first, a house with after-party remains is never a good sight, plus confetti, streamers etc can stain hardwood or carpet if left for too long. Begin with vacuuming all the glitter you can see, and in-case you come across some stubborn stains or marks that just won’t come off your carpet or floor, take take to them with either our Garment Groom stain and spot remover (for carpets) or Effortless Floor cleaner for quick, easy and targeted action!
4. Removing those nightmare stains
All those colorful witches brews and concoctions can have deadly consequences on your house fabrics and clothes, so be-aware ! However, if by some bad luck ( which most of us succumb to) the drink you made spills onto any of your fabric or clothing items, leave all the Halloween games and treats and tend to the stain immediately, the quicker you remove the stain, the higher the chances of the stain disappearing altogether. Enter again Garment Groom Stain and spot remover or if that spill has hit the furniture attack it with our Everyday furniture cleaner. Quick action is good action in our book!
Whatever you do, DO NOT rub the stain – ONLY blot at it.
5. If only licking the chocolate stains could get rid of them
We saved this point for last, because, well, no one likes getting rid of chocolate (unless your fabric is the one that chooses to eat it). Begin by dry scraping the excess chocolate, without grinding the stain deeper into the fabric, then depending on the fabric, you can apply either Garment Groom or Everyday Furniture Cleaner, unless that is your fabric is suede in which case you should try the Spray Valet suede cleaner. Of course if it’s your leather couch that has eaten the chocolate that a quick once over with our bag butler leather cleaner and conditioner will have it looking like new again in no time.
If these tips seem a little too overwhelming to follow through, despair not, our products are made to be as safe and easy to use possible, you might even end up enjoying cleaning, maybe? If you are experienced with undoing Halloween messes then feel free to drop us a comment on how you deal with the horrors of a Halloween aftermath at our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MurchisonHumeAUS/
Don’t forget our 48 Hour Halloween SALE starts at 7am 30th October and ends 7am 1st November.
Have a spooky and mess-free Halloween everyone.