Category: LIFESTYLE

This Heater Will Keep You Warm This Winter for the Lowest Cost

It’s winter in Far North Queensland. Some can handle the mercury dropping below 20 degrees, but if you’re like me – once it drops below 25… I’m freezing. We have had some cold nights and needed to whip out the trusty heater to combat the chill factor. In fact, data shows that households are using about 16 per cent more electricity overall during this pandemic than at the same time last year, due to working from home. But with using a heater comes the issue of the cost to run it. These costs can deter people from turning it on or even buying one in the first place.

One of our favourite Australian companies, Andatech, has decided to offer a solution to the problem of staying warm and cosy without the high cost.

Their Ionmax Ray Heater is almost half the cost of reverse cycle air conditioners. They’re also one third of the operating cost of space heaters!

Heaters that use Far Infrared thermal waves (like the Ray Heater) are very economical to run, but they’re also healthier. It does not circulate or produce hot or warm air, so it will not dry out the indoor air or reduce humidity and oxygen. It also won’t spread allergens, add anything to the air in general, or create static electricity.

How do they work? Let’s get into the science.

First let’s establish why Far Infrared Radiation waves are important for heating. In summer, windows let these waves from the sun enter our rooms. Floors, objects, walls, you name it, warm up and emit FIR waves that our body feels as heat. In winter there is less FIR radiation from the Sun, so the floors, walls, objects etc are colder and do not give off the same amount FIR radiation.

To put it in a different way: FIR radiation is what makes rooms feel much warmer in summer than they do in winter, even though the rooms could be the exact same temperature.

The key to this heater is that it emits FIR radiation, replacing the heat that is normally missed in winter. It heats objects, not the air, like other heaters do. The minute you turn on the Ionmax Ray Heater, you will feel the warmth. There’s no standing eagerly right next to the heater to feel warm, no waiting half an hour or more to be able to walk around the room and remain warm. And THAT’S why we recommend this heater.

Jaka Exstrada, product specialist at Andatech, puts it well when he says, “When working at a table or desk in one room or part of a room, it’s the people who need to keep warm, not the whole air mass.”

Other types of common heaters are not as cost effective because they heat up the space and not the people. More heat is required to do so, therefore more electricity is required, and this results in the higher costs to run them.

Some other features we love:

  • The heater is portable and has a handle so you can pick it up and put it right down wherever you want. Want it by the couch? Easy! Want to put it next to the crib so your little one can stay nice and cosy? No problem!
  • The design of the heater allows for it to move downwards 10 degrees and 30 degree upwards if you choose. It also has an auto swing of 70 degrees and a 60-degree manual rotation.
  • Parents don’t have to worry about the safety of this heater as it comes with an in-built child lock, overheat cut-off, tilt-off protection. Not to mention the 10 hour auto switch off, letting you go to sleep without needing to wake up and turn it off yourself.
  • The control panel lets you set a timer (one hour increments up to nine hours) and choose your desired level of heat with setting from 200W up to 1200W.

You can learn more about this awesome heater and even order it on the Andatech website. Here you can view a comparison between costs of running a standard heater versus the Ionmax Ray Heater per year.

Check out our blog on The Benefits of Air Purifiers here and why we love the Andatech ones (you can even get a discount code!).


About Andatech:

Andatech is a 100% Australian owned company that designs, supplies, supports and services safety and wellness products including high quality alcohol and drug testing equipment, and air quality products. The company has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, in workplaces, at hospitality venues (wall mounted) and as car interlock devices. Drug testing kits cover saliva and urine testing of 7 drug groups providing error-free results. Air quality products include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, humidifiers and aroma diffusers. Other safety products include dash cams and vehicle jump starter power banks. andatech.com.au and andatechdistribution.com.au

 

 

 

How Do Our Homes Impact Our Wellbeing and the Environment?

Home is the place where we sleep, eat, relax, grow and play. In high-income countries we spend 70 per cent of our time at home. That number is even higher where unemployment rates are high. Obviously, any positive action we take such as saving energy or making our homes more meaningful will have a massive impact on our health and financials. On top of this it, it will address one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: climate change.

If you feel the need to improve on those directions, Smart Home Need can support you. They are a social Start up helping people to reconnect with their inner needs (ex. sleep, work from home, security, healthy environment). They do so to help you live a better life, focusing on well-being and sustainability, because they know how much homes can impact your health and the environment.

The impact of homes on health.

Most people, when asked about the things that they do to stay healthy, answer about nutrition and physical activity. This shows that few people are aware of the impact that a variety of factors of wellbeing have on our health. Even more so, they’re unaware of the role that our houses and housing environment plays on our overall physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Every person’s genetics and behaviour play an important role on their health and wellbeing. However, so do things such as the indoor air quality, the light, the noise, the moisture, the temperature, the amount of space and ability to move.

For example, high indoor temperatures can increase deaths to do with the heart (like cardiac arrest). The indoor air pollution can cause allergic or other reactions such as asthma. And on top of this, living in a dark home can worsen our health by 50 per cent. Worsening health is often translated into headaches, insomnia or depression.

These are just some examples of health issues that Meaningful Smart Home can help reduce or help you avoid. As a result, the costs for the global economy should decrease. Research affirms that the world lost 5.5 million lives in 2013. These deaths were due to diseases associated with outdoor and household air pollution.

The impact of homes on the environment.

The International Energy Agency states that the energy demand from buildings and building construction continues to rise. The buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for 36 per cent of global final energy consumption. They’re also responsible for nearly 40 per cent of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions!  

Increasing the use of daylight, preventing leaks, using proper home insulation and making better use of the energy are just some of the things you can do to decrease your environmental footprint.

Visit Smart Home Need and join one of our plans to change the way you approach life, starting from home. By subscribing to our plans, you will learn why human needs are important for your well-being and how to satisfy them through new habits and smart home technology. We will support you to take informed decisions and to live your life meaningfully.

 

Read more PakMag health blogs here. 

 

 

Life Hacks to Save Time and Your Sanity

Being a parent can be hard enough as it is without the added stress of keeping on top of daily tasks. The more there is to do, the more it can take away from quality time with the family. This quality time is one of the best parts of being a parent. And, we know how hard it is to remember things in the craziness of regular family life. To make things a little easier, we have put together some life hacks and time saving hacks. These can help you get everything done and still have time for fun.

For the Kitchen

  • Create a ‘menu plan’ so that shopping and organising your week is 100 times easier. Plan everything out on the day, or even start a couple of days before you go shopping. Doing this saves you the pain of having to come up with dinner ideas on the day. We have a handy Meal plan and shopping list downloadable available here.
  • Cook in bulk once a week for multiple meals throughout the week. You can also pre- chop things that you can (like carrots) to have them ready to grab and cook to reduce cooking preparation time each day. Another tip: cook extra so it can be an easy grab frozen meal, or lunch the next day.
  • Prepare a list of foods you can cook and from what country by downloading our “Travelling Taste Buds” template. This is a list of great recipes from around the World that you can try and have on hand. Having these recipes ready to go helps make planning meals easier and includes variety.
  • Make a DIY recipe book with your favourite recipes. Print them off and collate them in a clear folder or a binder, so you don’t have to look up each recipe every time. A lot of us have recipe books with bookmarks because we don’t use every recipe, so why not look up the same recipe and print it. Or, rip the pages of the recipes out that you want and put them together! You can find a template for creating your own family cookbook or a cookbook for your child on our website here. For kids, this is a great thing to take with them when they leave home. 
  • Try introducing the ‘‘I’m Hungry” Menu Ideas List’ that you can fill out and print. This helps kids make healthy food choices and reduces the amount of time spent discussing with them what they can/ can’t cook/ eat. Your child can select food from the list of snacks and lunch options to make healthy choices for themselves.
  • Pack simple sandwiches in advance and put them in the freezer, ready to go. Pop them in the lunch box and they are defrosted by lunch time (works for cakes and muffins too. 
  • Start shopping online. This is a great way to avoid forgetting things you need or impulse buying. When you go out grocery shopping, especially with kids, it is more rushed and stressful. Shopping online lets you take as much time as you need. Plus, you can get up however many times you want to double check the pantry.

For the Laundry

  • Have a basket for each family member when you take the washing off the line and sort it as you go. Saves double handling.
  • Fold clothes vertically so you can see every item in a draw.
  • Turn coat hangers one way, then when you wear it put the hanger back the other way. At the end of a few months get rid of the clothes that you aren’t wearing.
  • Fold your sheet sets into one of the pillow cases so they are all together, ready to grab and go when you need to change the beds.

For the Family

  • Double sheet your kid’s beds. If they wet the bed in the middle of the night, you have another mattress protector and sheet set underneath, ready to go.
  • Use an old fitted sheet when the kids are playing with LEGO. Put four boxes in the corners so the sheet faces up, and sit them in the middle. When they’ve finished, remove the boxes, scoop up the sheet holding the LEGO – and voila no more LEGO! (empty into a container or store in the sheet).
  • Visit our website here for a printable template of the My Daily Task Board, or as we like to call it in our house, ‘The Nag Board’. It’s a magnetic white board that you create your own magnets for with your family’s daily tasks. You can put everything on there that you usually ask (or nag) your family about day and night. Everything from “put your shoes on”, to “clean your teeth” and “feed your pets”. Simply create a magnet (chop up old magnets and relabel them with the tasks), then divvy your whiteboard into two columns: WHAT and DONE, then halve the board so it has morning and afternoon. The family member simply moves the task over to “done” when they have completed the board for the day. Then you only have to nag them to “do the board” and you can see at a glance who has done what, and less things get forgotten! Simply reset the board once they go to bed for the next day.

For You

  • Teach everyone in your house to write down (or tell you to write down) when you are running out of something. This means  you don’t spend time doing an audit of your house just to make a shopping list.
  • Have bags ready. Eg. nappy bags, repack when you get home so it’s always ready to go. Picnic sets, activity bags (like going to the beach). Always repack these as soon as possible so they are always ready to go with sunscreen, activities and more.

We will have more helpful Time Saving Life Hacks in the next edition of Pakmag. If you have a life hack that you’d like to share email editorial@pakmag.com.au and it could feature!

Ways to Protect and Recharge Your Personal Battery

Take a moment to check in with yourself right now. How are you feeling? There’s a good chance you haven’t stopped to think about how you are doing, whilst trying to take care of everyone else around you. Not feeling like ‘you’? Could your energy do with a little boost? There’s a lot of things going on right now that can quite easily drain your personal battery; stress, anxiety, juggling work, being a parent and keeping everyone else together, even when you feel yourself falling apart. It can be exhausting… So how can you do it all and still protect, conserve and recharge your own battery? Choosing who and what to give your energy to is a large part.

Try asking yourself these simple questions: What/who gives me energy? • What/who drains my energy?

It’s important to value the energy you have and not give it away to situations and people that are simply not worth it. Being aware of how you feel in certain situations and with certain people, and whether your battery is being drained or replenished, will help you start choosing people and activities that fill you up. With that in mind: be aware of “energy vampires” – like some situations, there are certain people who will literally suck the energy out of you to replenish their own stores, usually without them even knowing. You may have even done it yourself at times, and that’s okay.

You can turn those negative vibes around, starting with learning to recognise the signs when you feel it happening and taking action asap to neutralise the negativity. Remember: we all have low points, it’s not healthy to stay there. If you are having trouble shifting the low mood or energy, you can seek help from a medical professional, contact Lifeline – www.lifeline.org.au 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue www.beyondblue.org.au – 1300 22 463. 

We’ve all heard the term ’good vibes only’ – but there’s more to that than a catchy phrase.

How do you know if someone has a negative energy or not? Think of a person you love being around. Now think of how you feel when you are with them. Are you light? Happy? Energetic? Those positive people can help recharge you. Sharing positive energy multiplies the energy, so, nothing is lost in the exchange. Negative people and situations do the opposite; they drain you.

When you are ‘vibing’ either on your own, with someone or a situation- it simply means your energy frequencies are matching and synching up and when they do, they can get even larger- increasing the energy. Hence why some people energise you. If you aren’t ‘vibing’, your vibrations, or frequencies are out of sync and the vibrations get cancelled out. Just like the principle of sound cancellation where sound waves are one-half of a wavelength out of sync. This means they cancel each other out and there would be no sound.

We’ve all been there, in a ‘no vibe zone.’ And that is the place you need to avoid the most. Surround yourself with people you ‘vibe with.’

Being aware of how you feel in certain situations and with certain people, tapping into those feelings (tuning into yourself) and noticing your battery being drained or replenished will help you start choosing people and activities that fill you up. This does mean you’ll need to make some tough decisions and cut the toxic from your life. But remember, by removing things and people that don’t serve you, and by that, I mean they don’t play a positive role or provide value to your life, you make room for things that will.

Think of your life as a cup and you only have so much room, and if you fill it with the negative stuff – that’s what your life will be.

Time to Recharge

If you are feeling flat – the good news is: your battery is rechargeable, you just need to invest in things to ‘charge you back up,’ like:

  • Steering clear of those “energy vampires” and don’t fall into the trap yourself. 
  • Setting healthy boundaries. Remember: your needs are just as important as everyone else’s. Know your limitations and draw a line beyond which you can’t extend yourself to keep the draining influence of other people’s demands at a distance. Reclaim your time and protect your energy like a mama bear would her cub. 
  • Listenening to yourself. Look for the signs when your energy may be under attack and take action. What’s going on in your mind, what’s your self-talk like? What are the attitudes of those around you? Are they getting negative? Turn it around: visualise your happy place. Know your stress triggers and find ways to avoid them. Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  • Neutralising the negativity. Create a ‘Mood Movers’ toolbox of things that help turn around your negative energy (you will identify these over time). You could try visualising the negative energy being washed away when bathing or showering or going for a nature walk.
  • Practice self-care – whether that be going for a walk, taking a bath, doing something you love. Find out how with our great blog on what self-care is and how you can practice it.  
  • Making your home a sanctuary. Fill it with colours, textures and scents you love. Have spaces dedicated to things you love doing eg. art, music, meditation, yoga etc. You can go to these places when needed to centre yourself and recharge.
  • Cleaning your physical and mental spaces.
  • Not spending energy on things you can’t control. Release yourself from that responsibility.
  • Surrounding yourself with good vibes, with good people, places and doing things that feel good! Don’t feel guilty for feeling good – that should be your ‘normal’.

Further Reading and Resources

You can find a whole range of free helpful goodies on our website, including:
My Gratitude Guide – print off this resource, write a list of all the things you are grateful for and place it on your mirror to be reminded of all the good in your life. My Mood Movers – another great printable resource to write all the things in your toolbox that can turn your negative energy around.

Both of these great resources have been inspired by My Vision Book – a great tool (which includes these activities and more) for creating the life you want. Head to www.myvisionbook.com.au for more information.

Breaking Habits and Building Your Ideal Life

Achievement isn’t about luck, it’s about lots of small considered actions. Your decisions shape your destiny. Every day we make thousands of decisions, many of which are subconscious. These will either take you to the life you desire or one that you detest.

It’s the little decisions that shape our lives. These are decisions such as what you eat, how you spend your time, what you spend your money on and many more. These determine the life you end up with. Here are a few ways small, daily decisions can add up to be something amazing. 

Healthy Eating

According to researchers at Cornell University, everyone makes roughly 226 decisions each day on food alone. If you went to the gym every day, you wouldn’t notice a difference on day one. You wouldn’t notice a difference after a week. You would probably start to notice a difference after two weeks. But it’s likely no one else would, and maybe others would notice after a month.

Same goes if you ate a chocolate cookie every day. Maybe you started out at 60 kilos, but you’d likely put on a couple of kilos if you ate one every day. Do that for a few years and it will be quite a few more. Small committed changes with our health can make a massive impact, but like the Pantene ad tells us, “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen”. Think about small improvements you can make to your health that can have a massive impact over time.

Smart Spending

Every dollar you spend today is costing you nearly $5 in 20 years, and just over $10 in 30 years. How? Well, if you had a dollar and invested it at 8%, in 20 years it would be valued at $4.66.

Think about that five dollar a day coffee habit you have. This could add up to $1825 a year, which if invested and compounded at 8% would give you $92,021.83 in 20 years. So, now when you buy something for $5, remember it’s a value of $25 in 20 years. It may just make you reconsider that unnecessary purchase.

Learn, Learn, Learn

It’s your choice whether you invest in learning for 30 minutes a day. You COULD invest in watching TV for thirty minutes a day (or more) instead. That investment of 30 minutes a day adds up to 182 hours of learning something new. It’s the same with our kids. If they practice their time tables or musical instrument every day, there is no doubt they will improve. If we read to our child every night for 15 minutes, that will add up to nearly 100 hours of teaching them how to read in one year.

Do you want to master a skill? One researcher said it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. That translates to about nine years (five days a week, spending four hours a day). They say it can take six months to develop a new skill. 20 hours to learn a skill “to perform well enough for your own purposes” such as playing guitar. So, think about your time, and how much you invest in learning. You could be playing guitar for the family or on stage in no time, or still watching old episodes of Friends that you’ve seen before. The decision is yours.

That’s the power of small decisions. If you aren’t careful, one sneaky bad habit can take you miles off course. Don’t sleep walk through your choices. You’ve learned every habit you have, so you can unlearn them too. Good luck.

www.breejames.com 

My Vision Book

Family Farmhouse

Farmhouse-styled homes always have one thing in common: a feeling of warmth and welcome. Or, they evoke nostalgia for some quiet, simple life that you either lived before or wish you had. In this modern day of using interior design to make your home as minimalistic and sleek as you can, the farmhouse style manages to keep those minimalistic aspects while still holding the look of a well-loved, full home.

The Basics

Wooden furnishing, kitchenware and more has always been simple yet elegant in its own way. It feels comfortable and easy, and should be used along with touches of wooden décor to create the more personalised, crafty feel. The farmhouse style is about practicality, and how things can actually be used instead of never touched – so you can ditch the fine china!

Simplicity and Balance are Key

Try incorporating this look into the home along with some more neutral aspects, otherwise you may begin to lose the comfier elements of the design. A mix of light and dark colours as a colour scheme is important for allowing the home to stay open and bright, as heavier and darker furniture can make even big spaces seem smaller. Oversized, thick rugs and blankets are a key element to the warming, inviting feeling of the house. Who doesn’t love wrapping themselves up in a comfy blanket on the couch every now and then?

Artwork and Design

When you try placing colourful, abstract art pieces amongst this, the style can often become too confusing. Try sticking to paintings and photos of plants or scenery. Earth tones throughout the house are a must as they build on top of the overall woodsy and informal look
really well.

Aspects of Outdoors

Add to the look of the hand-built-family-farmhouse by using gentle plant life as décor. When thinking of a true farmhouse, we don’t just think of the house but also the location. A bit of greenery can serve of as a reminder of this and can bring the interior design to life.

Freedom’s Tip: These days farmhouse styles tend to imitate the simpler, old fashioned homes, while still looking modern and beautifully upkept. Antique furnishing and decorations are perfect for sticking to the true farmhouse roots; try placing items like antique vases, lamps and mirrors around as decoration for that final touch.