Monday, 31 March 2014

Home Made Reed Diffusers

Untitled For Christmas we were given a reed diffuser. We're not normally the kind of household that has lots of smelly things dotted around the place but I figured that as we had been given it, we might as well make use of it and see what we thought.

Perhaps somewhat unceremoniously we used it in the toilet but it did a great job of covering up any untoward aromas and, as it was positioned near the window, it meant that the scent wafted out into the hall too.

However, it really only lasted a month at best and when I investigated things a bit further I realised I could spend a ridiculous amount of money on keeping a fresh scent in the loo. The specimen in question had cost around $20 but you can spend well upwards of that on all manner of fancy diffusers.

Andy suggested I make a replacement myself. Now I'm not exactly Little Miss Crafty but a quick google suggested that this was pretty simple and even I can manage to fill a bottle.

There are a couple of approaches you can take - I used sweet almond oil as the base simply due to its availability but lots of people use dipropylene glycol (in theory, you may be able to buy this from a chemist). As sweet almond oil isn't as volatile as the glycol you need to add a little alcohol (I used vodka - it's alcoholic and neutral in scent) to carry the scent, and then you need the scent itself. A while back I won some lavender essential oil so that was what I went for.

To fill my 35mL container I used:

  • 3.5 mL vodka
  • 24.5 mL carrier oil (sweet almond)
  • 7 mL essential oil (lavender)
Give it all a little shake together and add the diffuser sticks.  Reed is best but if you have bamboo skewers, simply use these cut to size.  You want roughly double the height of your container - conveniently for me, I could just cut our skewers in half!

If you are so inclined you can reverse the diffuser sticks after an hour or so but I haven't bothered.  The lavender scent is quite subtle, which I like, but you may find yourself wanting to up the quantity of essential oil, especially if you are blending scents.

To 'rebrand' the container, I simply used some white ribbon left over from gift wrapping at some point.  Pinterest has hundreds of ideas for more complicated decorations!

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Mandilla Reserve, Flagstaff Hill

Untitled Mandilla Reserve takes up a large space between Daveys and Manning Roads, right on the border between Flagstaff Hill and Aberfoyle Park.  The playground part is quite small, and is more easily accessible from Manning Road, rather than Daveys Road.

Although not fenced, the playground is set well back from both roads and backs on to residential fencing so while you need to be switched on, you don't need to hover.

There is one bench seat, and the playground equipment includes 2 spring riders, a very good see-saw, a slippery dip set into a frame with a cargo net, 2 swings (one a baby swing) AND a flying fox.  Aside from the flying fox the play equipment is really aimed at younger children.

The play equipment is all set over soft fall bark chips and is well shaded.


There is also a very large grassed area and the reserve is also home to a Bush for Life woodland restoration of Grey Box.  This provides quite a large area to explore for children who are a bit older and are responsible enough to respect the ecological importance of the restoration (for example, staying on cleared paths).

There are shops nearby:  both Manning and Daveys Road are home to local shops and the Aberfoyle Hub shopping areas are a very short drive away.

The reserve has no toilets or BBQ facilities.  One thing which is a pain is that it does not have dedicated parking and on street parking is a little tricky.  Both Manning and Daveys Roads have quite a lot of 'no standing' areas.  I parked on Edina Street - it's a little bit of a walk but it did mean a park on a quiet street i the shade.

The toddler declared that he loved the playground and was never, ever going to leave.  So a thumbs up (with a few caveats).

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