Bathroom cleaning tips

Even though I strive to use all natural products for my family, when it comes to cleaning the bathroom, I'm very pro-chemicals.

Maybe it's just me, but I always believe that the bathroom has the most sinister, nastiest and dangerous germs lurking in every corner. Incidentally, cleaning the bathroom, is my least favourite household chore (can you tell?) and so I've devised clever, efficient ways to clean it without compromising on cleanliness. Today, I'd like to share these tips with you. Read on if you're interested...
Clean shower/bathtub while you're in it - we have a combined shower/bath and I like to spray it down with a surface cleaner, then hop in a few minutes later to scrub it before I clean myself. It is quick and effective and I don't have to worry about getting my clothes wet. If pressed for time, I pick one wall/area per day, and move on to the area the next day.
Turn fan on and/or keep windows open - Steam = damp bathroom = perfect breeding ground for bacterial mould. Leaving the windows or door open will allow the steam to dissipate out of the bathroom, similarly, the exhaust fan on during a shower (and keep it running for about 15 minutes after) will help reduce moisture levels.

Wipe down condensation - A daily wipe down of damp walls and surfaces, including the taps and other fixtures in the bathroom will help prevent mould growth as well as remove soap scum and mineral buildup. I find using old towels to be most effective.

Close toilet lid when flushing - Everytime we flush with an open lid, bacteria gets sprayed into the air and could land anywhere in the bathroom from surfaces, towels and even our toothbrushes (Lovely.) So this is a no brainer; it's become second nature to close the lid after every use. Keeping it closed to keep prying little hands away from the toilet too.

Clean toilet brush - The toilet brush takes cares of the dirtiest mess in the bathroom, so it is important that it stays clean itself too. I usually give the brush a rinse under very hot water after each use and them let it drip dry before storing it in the holder.

Do you have any bathroom cleaning tips to share too?

Gardening, lately

The teeny ivy plant I bought two years ago as grown into the most beautiful vine. I love how it beautifully cascades down and its variegated leaves. I definitely have a newfound love for the ivy lately and have been using it to make wreaths and incorporating them in my styling (check out my Instagram account if you're interested to see).
Let's have a look at what else is happening on the gardening front, shall we?

The clivias have started flowering (first sign on Spring, perhaps?) Though this year, we won't be getting quite as many as a certain little boy keeps picking the buds when my back is turned...
In terms of edibles, come Spring time, we should be able to harvest our first batch of garden peas! So many flowers and fruits already, I'm rather pleased that they're grown so well despite the cold weather.
Another first for our garden is a romanesco broccoli! It's that strange, alien looking vegetable with pointy spikes that I've always wanted to try , but I've not been able to find at the shops. Earlier this year, I chanced upon two seedlings from a local community garden's open market day and brought them home. It was attacked by snails and bugs but somehow they managed to pull through and produce this flower. I can't wait to dig into this.

 Looks like we will also be expecting some homegrown limes...
 and kale, though why I grew them I don't know. No one in my family likes eating them. Lol.
The vegetable patch is in a stagnant stage at the moment. Nothing is really growing much or producing as is expected in this season. The little boy is growing a bit too quickly for my liking though.
 What is growing in your garden?

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

A couple of weekends ago on an unseasonally warm Winter's day, we ventured to Ku-ring-gai national park for a walk and a little look see.

First stop was Apple Tree Bay where we soaked in the river views and basked in the sun, watching the boats and looking out for fish in the water. Stu and I used to spend lots of time here in summer, launching the boat out for a day of fishing or a weekend on the water and we wanted to share this special spot with the little guy.
When the temptation of the water got too much for Little A (ie. when he wanted to jump in the water), we decided it was time to move on. We headed down the windy road to Bobbin Head where there was a massive fully enclosed playground with about five different slippery dips, multiple swing sets and loads of other equipment.
After Alexander had his fill of sliding, swinging and playing, we walked to the onsite cafe and got him a very special treat of vanilla milkshake to have on the way home. He was only halfway through it when he fell asleep in the car, after which it fell out of his hands and spilled all over the back seat. Oh well! At least he enjoyed half of it.

What have you been up to on the weekend?

Fab five: hair conditioners

I yearn for soft, smooth, manageable hair yet at the same time I subject mine to chemical treatments, straightening irons and coloring on a regular basis. It goes without saying that a good conditioner is absolutely crucial in order to restore health and shine to my tresses. These five have earned a well deserved spot in my shower caddy.
V05 give me moisture conditioner - In my opinion, V05 is synonymous with their hot oil treatment which I have been using since I was a teenager. But guess what? Their rinse off conditioner is pretty awesome too; lightweight but hydrating, it rinses off easily to softer, silkier hair.

Sebastian Hydre Conditioner - A real treat for distressed chemically treated hair, this conditioner is deeply nourishing and revitalizes dry frizzy hair after just one wash. It has a thick creamy consistency so just a little goes a long way.

evo the great hydrator -I was initially drawn to its quirky name and packaging and I'm happy to report it really does live up to its name. Not only does it soften hair and eliminates frizz, it also smells wonderful, making it an absolute joy to use.

Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Treatment - This super moisturising conditioner feels thick and luxurious and has a pleasant light scent. Hair looks and feels healthy without being weighed down or looking greasy. Great detangler too.

Hanz de Fuko Natural Conditioner - Formulated with pure natural plant extracts, this conditioner is the real treat for hair and scalp. My scalp is prone to irritation but this product actually soothes it and feels so refreshing. It really is the perfect way to end my shower. Hair feels well conditioned and silky soft.

In this moment

reading... China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan. I have been waiting for this sequel for what seems like the longest time, and literally screamed with joy when I saw it on the shelves.

excited about... The latest season of The Bachelor Australia (and our first ever Bachelorette!) returning to TV. When? Oh when?!! Channel Nine, just tell us the release dates already.

planning... playdates, playdates and more playdates. How did my baby end up with a better social life than me? 

watching... Heston's Feasts on SBS. Is this guy genius or what? Oh, what I would give to attend one of his famous feasts.

collecting... spoons. Something new that I've been looking out for at the op shops recently.

feeling... nostalgic. As Alexander's second birthday draws near, I find myself reminiscing more and more about his baby days. Cluck. Cluck.

seeing... a physiotherapist tomorrow. Carrying a 12kg wriggling load around has given me a sore back and neck that needs tending to.

grateful for... thick doonas, socks and Frankie my personal lap warmer.

cooking... sukiyaki beef in a hotpot tonight. It's a wonderful winter dish!

loving... all the beautiful camellias in full bloom in my garden; they've provided much needed winter colour and cheer.

What's happening at your neck of the woods in this moment?