Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Maya Anderson lives in a 1970s fixer-upper with her husband, their toddler, their labrador cross border collie Nala and a host of garden wildlife. Maya has detailed her Mother’s Day plans below.

It sounds ridiculous but the past two years I’ve thought, “What shall I do for my mum this Mother’s Day?” but completely overlooked the fact that now I am a mum too! “Oh yes! I get to be pampered on Mother’s Day too now!” I was so surprised the first time I got a present (from my husband, disguised as a gift from our almost-one-year-old at the time) I think that was my favourite Mother’s Day moment. This year, I fully expect a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers, a foot massage and a nice breakfast.

My mum is a big tea and coffee drinker (I get this from her) so one of the Argento Flora kettles would be a perfect gift for her. I love all the colours in the range but the Peppermint Green and Agave Blue are my favourites.

If you want to really spoil your mum this Mother’s Day I think there’s no cooler gift than a coffee machine so she can enjoy a coffee at home every day. We recently splurged on a top-of-the-line coffee machine and I can tell you it was well worth every cent.

To view our extensive range of coffee machines, click here. For more tips, visit Maya’s blog house-nerd.com or Instagram @housenerd.

1. For the tech enthusiast mum

The PrimaDonna Elite Experience is the perfect gift to ensure your mum always has barista-quality coffee in the comfort of the home. The machine can prepare endless cafe beverage recipes so you can personalise everything from that morning strong coffee to the afternoon pick-me-up and taking time-out over the weekend. The touch screen and coffee making app allows you to make your own customised coffee from the comfort of your bed – does it get any better?

2. For the retro mum

The Argento Flora range is inspired by flowers and plants and is an elegant addition to the kitchen, adding a beautiful pop of colour.

3. For the stylish mum

The Distinta Flair range is the perfect addition to the kitchen and features a kettle, 2-slice and 4-slice toaster. The smooth, matte-textured metallic range is available in a Prestige Blue, Finesse Silver, Allure Green & Glamour Red to suit a variety of kitchens and tastes.

4. For the wellness mum

Our range of dehumidifiers are good for the family and your furry friends! Dehumidifiers are an important element in looking after the health of your family as they help to collect excess moisture from the air producing a healthy and comfortable home environment. It’s a win for everyone.

5. The mum who doesn’t stop

The MultiCuisine is your new best friend in the kitchen. It is capable of cooking meals for the whole family and can assist with a range of dinner options such as pizzas, risotto, stew or even cake for the sweet tooth family members.

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Style in the Home with Maya Anderson

Maya Anderson was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia; has written about homes, renovations, architecture and interior design as part of her job as a journalist and has grown a passion for houses of all different styles. But the ones she’s always been the most drawn to are the ones that have a warmth to them, an inviting feel – no matter what year they were built or on what kind of budget. Maya blogs about the ongoing renovations to her own home, The Crap Shack (her words). When she and her husband bought it, it had barely been touched since the 1970s and was a classic style of brown and pink rose-patterned ensuite, orange glass and pungent shagpile carpet included.

“I love having things in my kitchen that are as gorgeous as they are practical. I love having 'Master Chef' nights at home where my friends come over to cook a meal together, as we sit they often comment on how nice our things are – our bowls, cutlery, cookware etc. When it comes to cooking, I've always thought why would you not invest in beautiful, high-quality things that really give you pleasure to use them? For me, appliances fall into this category.

Choosing appliances that match your kitchen, rather than detract from it, is a great way to get a really stylish look. For example, we used black as an accent in our kitchen, with a matte black tap, black handleware, subway tiles with black grout and a big black freestanding range. So a great way to keep that look cohesive is to add a silver kettle or toaster like one from the Distinta Flair range. That said, introducing colour in the form of appliances is such a fun way to style a kitchen as well! Colour adds personality and warmth and can draw the attention to special nooks or features – I really think so many homes would benefit from a little pop of colour.”

To view our most recent colour range, visit the Distinta Flair range here. For more styling tips, visit Maya’s blog www.house-nerd.com or Instagram @housenerd.

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Mother’s Day moments

Our stylish friends and mums @anna.mac and @coastalhamptonstyle share their favourite Mother’s Day memories, gifts and all, and how they plan on spending the special day this year. 

Anna Mac, stylist and kids clothing designer, has two young boys and plans on spending this Mother’s Day with her family and with a coffee, of course.

‘My favourite Mother’s Day gifts are just the home made ones, cards and gifts that the boys have picked out themselves. My extended family have started a tradition where we get together for a Yum Cha in the city. As long as we get to spend the day together I am happy.’

Italian born interior lover Susanna Tolo has an Instagram account dedicated to beautiful homes which are the envy of many of her followers. Susanna takes a walk down memory lane with a Mother’s Day she will never forget.

‘The funniest memory I have of Mother’s Day is when my then 6 year old daughter came downstairs with a small box and gave it to me without saying a word. 
I opened it up and it was her tooth! She had lost her first tooth! She then gave me a toothless smile and said “Happy Mother’s Day!”

For more of Anna Mac’s stylish tips and tricks head to @anna.mac on Instagram or annamac.com.au for more inspiration.

For more of Susanna Tolo’s beautiful interior imagery, visit @coastalhamptonstyle.

For ideas on finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift, click here.

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Cool coffee options for hot summer days

Summer’s here and it seems that every hipster coffee shop is offering the latest cold coffee trends – the newest being cold drip or cold brew. You might be wondering whether you should give it a try, so this guide will shed some light on cold drip and some of the other refreshing chilled coffee options available.

First up, what is cold drip coffee? Well, the first thing to point out is that cold drip and cold brew coffee are not quite the same thing. Cold drip is made in a brew tower – those complex-looking glass things you’ve seen in some of the more serious coffee shops. Cold water drips slowly onto a bed of coffee where it slowly passes through the coffee and into a filter; and finally into a jug. The whole process takes up to 12 hours.

Cold brew coffee doesn’t require such a complicated contraption – it’s essentially just ground coffee steeped with cold water and then filtered. The process takes anywhere from four hours to a few days.

Whether you’re sampling a cold drip or a cold brew coffee, it will be served cold, usually without milk and often over ice cubes. But if you’re thinking it’s just the same as an iced black coffee, you’d be wrong. Cold drip or cold brew coffee tastes completely different to traditional, hot-brewed coffee. It’s subtle yet flavoursome, refreshing, smooth and light. The huge difference in flavour is down to the gentle, slow infusion process which produces less acid and, as a result, less bitterness.

It’s up to you whether you add a splash of milk to your cold drip, but sipping it black allows you to savour and appreciate the complex flavours of the coffee beans. Cold drip may also pack a bigger caffeine punch, since it is brewed with a higher ratio of coffee beans to water than conventional coffee.

So, if you haven’t yet sampled a cold drip or brew coffee, the warmer summer months represent the perfect time to give it a go. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed. But what about the more familiar chilled coffee varieties? How do they compare?

Perhaps the first thing to note is that most chilled coffees are made with hot brewed coffee such as espresso, which is then cooled. This makes for a slightly more bitter taste; and as a result, chilled coffees are often served with milk, falling somewhere between a drink and a dessert (and what’s not to like about that?).

In Spain, it’s common to have an espresso poured over ice, with or without milk – and sometimes with a hefty dollop of condensed milk. Another much-loved variety around the world is the frappe, which consists of a milky coffee blended with crushed ice and ice cream or flavoured syrup. And of course, at the dessert end of the spectrum, there is the affogato, which consists of a shot of espresso poured over ice cream.

The good news is, there’s a wealth of options when it comes to ice-cold coffee. Sample what your local coffee shops have to offer, or try making your own at home. To make your own cold brew coffee, try this recipe from Jamie Oliver, which can be made using your De’Longhi Dedica grinder to get the perfect grind – not too fine and not too coarse. Or, if you prefer something sweeter and creamier, try this comprehensive list of iced coffee recipes from caramel frappe to iced coffee popsicles.

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Can coffee make you more productive at work?

It’s hard to imagine a working day without coffee. We arrive at our desks clutching the first coffee of the day; we head for a pick-me-up coffee during the post-lunch slump; and how would we catch up on the office gossip, if not over coffee?

But is coffee really helping us to be more productive at work, or are we giving it more credit than it’s due? We delved into the science to find out.

As most people know, coffee has a mildly stimulating effect on the central nervous system, due to its caffeine content. That’s why we reach for a cup to perk us up when tired. According to science, this can be an effective strategy in the workplace. Studies have shown that normal doses of caffeine lead to faster responses and fewer errors on cognitive tasks¹, together with improved ability to multi-task².

In light of this, it’s easy to see how coffee could make us more productive workers. But is coffee making us any happier at work?

A study by psychologists at Ruhr University in Germany showed how caffeine may affect mood. It found that caffeine improves the speed at which we recognise words – but not just any words. The effect only existed with words that had a positive meaning. In fact, the speed of processing for negative words was somewhat slower than normal. Could this be proof that coffee actually helps you to look on the bright side? If so, providing coffee for the office grouch could be a winning strategy for a harmonious workplace!

Clearly, there’s evidence that coffee can boost performance and positivity in the workplace. But does that mean we should all drink as much coffee as possible? Well, actually, no.

In another study, scientists found that regular small doses of caffeine were best for maintaining cognitive performance even when subjects were sleepy. The optimal amount was equivalent to one coffee per hour. For health, the maximum amount of caffeine recommended is equivalent to about four cups of coffee per day. So, smaller coffees at more regular intervals could be the best approach to staying alert and on top of your task list.

What’s the best time to drink your coffee? Surprisingly, it’s probably not early in the morning. This is because your body naturally produces more cortisol at this time, to help you wake up. Consuming caffeine when cortisol levels are high makes the caffeine less effective. So, the best strategy is to drink your coffee at the times of day when your body is not producing as much cortisol – from 10am to 12 noon; and from 2pm to 4.30pm. Watch this great explainer video to learn more.

So what’s the wash up? Well, having a strong coffee strategy probably isn’t going to turn you into Elon Musk – but it does seem that getting smart about when you have your coffee and how much of it you drink, could have an impact on your performance and wellbeing at work.

¹Lieberman HR, Wurtman RJ, Emde GG, Roberts C, Coviella IL (1987) The effects of low doses of caffeine on human performance and mood. Psychopharmacology 92: 308–312.

²Tieges Z, Ridderinkhof KR, Snel J, Kok A (2004)

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