Although many are enjoying spring and preparing for summer, there are a few homemaking tasks that can't be ignored. One important one - and pay attention - is the storing and care of your cashmere sweaters. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure your cashmere continues to look and feel good for years to come.
It’s a bit of a misnomer to dry clean your cashmere – in most cases, you are actually better to hand or (delicate) machine wash it yourself. Whenever possible, air out your cashmere instead of washing it. Always handwash or machine wash using cold (or lukewarm). You can machine wash on a delicate cycle (cold water), however, machine washing can be very harsh on the fabric’s delicate structure. Don’t wash cashmere in hot water. Not only will it shrink but it will become “matted” as the fibres shrink together.
Use a good cashmere wash/detergent – we like THE LAUNDRESS which is nontoxic, biodegradable, and allergen-free. It’s money well spent to ensure the longevity of your garment. Their detergents contain cedar iwhich should help keep away moths and bugs.
Turn your garment inside out before you wash it. This will allow surface fibres to rub together during the wash, thereby mending any loose ones.
Don’t hang your cashmere on a washing line to dry. It will stretch in length and distort irreversibly, while sunlight will also bleach the colour of your garment. Dry it flat by laying it on a towel.
Packing and Storing
Store your cashmere folded or rolled in a dry, cool and secure area like drawers. Lavender and cedar are natural moth and bug repellents, so pop a sachet alongside in your drawer.
When travelling, remember that the less number of folds you put in, the better, as this will lessen creasing and loss of shape.
Pilling is normal for a new cashmere; so don’t worry if some accumulate (often under the arms or where you carry your handbag). Using a cashmere brush, comb or a razor, very lightly run it along the affected areas and then just shake the garment.
Don’t over-wear your cashmere between washes as it will lose its shape. Equally, don’t over-wash your cashmere. Knitwear doesn’t need to be washed after every time you wear it.
Whether you are coming into autumn or preparing for spring, stylish yet COSY CASHMERE may be top of mind. These days, the variety of gorgeous knitwear is a far cry from bulky, oversized woollens in the past. Far from predictable, our cosy-chic edit of cashmere should satisfy your needs all year round. There is even something for our four-legged friends. The choices are endless.
Most are familiar with Bobbi Brown and her hugely successful namesake cosmetics company. However, since her departure from the brand entrepreneurial adventure have taken off again. With her husband, Steven Plofker, a real estate developer and lawyer, she recently refurbished and opened a boutique hotel THE GEORGE INN in Montclair, New Jersey, a suburban town 45 minutes north-west of New York. The timeless, masculine interiors are a nod to the personality each of the 32 rooms is named after. Curious to see more? Perhaps it is time to book a trip to take a look for yourself.
Image: The George Inn
Seafood, feta and fresh herbs create a unique take on the classic Paella. Add your favourite seafood to this one-pan dish – and this flavoursome GREEK STYLE PAELLA will quickly become a family favourite.
Image: Wheel & Barrow
Paella is a classic rice dish from Spain – originally from the Valencia region. Paella is named after the word “patella” which means “pan” and is typically made with:
- Rice – Bomba rice (arroz bomba) or arroz redondo, but if you can’t find those, try Arborio
- Saffron – This potent vibrant spice has been in Paellas since day one
- Smoked Paprika – To impart the smoky flavor one would get from cooking on a wood fire
- Protein – Traditionally, chicken, rabbit, and snails, but anything goes
- Liquid – Some kind of stock, in this case chicken stock
- Anything else you want! Beans are a popular ingredient
I have eaten some outstanding paellas in my time but I’d never tried to cook it myself. It seemed a little complicated and time-consuming. I was quickly corrected when I looked up a few recipes. You just need some basic ingredients – most of which you probably already have at home, or are easily accessible.
One day while out shopping, I came across a paella pan, which inspired me to put paella on the menu for dinner that night. I had a recipe in mind, but while I was in Wheel & Barrow buying a paella pan, I was handed a recipe card for Greek Style Paella. I loved this recipe from the get-go; all the classic paella ingredients with Spanish flavours, but it was seafood based with a touch of Greece. Perfect! Straight to the fish shop I went. The result was delicious – even the kids enjoyed it.
Here is my take on the Wheel & Barrow recipe for Greek Style Paella. I made a few amendments and note there is no saffron in this recipe – you can simply add them to the stock.
- 500g rice (I use Arborio)
- 6 loukanika sausages (Greek sausages), cut into large chunks (you can substitute this with Chorizo)
- 500g mussels
- 1 large squid, cleaned & sliced
- 12 green prawns, butterflied
- 5 fillets garfish, cut in half
- 2 red capsicum, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 chillies, sliced
- 1 tspn smoked paprika
- 1/2 tspn saffron
- 3 tspn tomato paste
- 5 bay leaves
- 1.5-2 liter chicken stock (I use vegetable stock)
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, lightly roasted
- 100mL ouzo (optional)
- 80g feta, crumbled (optional)
- parsley, to garnish
- dill, to garnish
- chives, to garnish
- fresh oregano, to garnish
- lemon wedges, to garnish
- Cook the rice in stock for about 10 minutes until almost cooked through, then set aside
- Add olive oil to a paella pan, and gently fry the sausages until golden, remove & set aside
- Fry the capsicum, onion, chilli & garlic until softened
- Add the bay leaves, smoked paprika, tomato paste & season with salt & pepper
- Add ouzo (optional)
- Add the rice & stir together
- Add enough stock to cook the orzo through and wet the mix
- Add the prawns, mussels, squid, garfish & cover with foil then cook for about 10 minutes
- Sprinkle over the peas, cover & allow to rest for about 15 minutes
- Garnish with crumbled feta, roasted cherry tomatoes, chopped dill, parsley & lemon wedges
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 35-40 minutes
From starting the day with a beautifully curated wardrobe to stepping into a clutter-free environment, putting your space in order affects all aspects of your life and can be totally transformational. With over 15 years as a stylist and creative director, Jacqueline Nelson from BLANCHE ROSE brings the professional eye and a fresh perspective to lifestyle curation for work, home, and play.
"Make room for what you love and space for what you need."
Jacqueline Nelson is a Kiwi who has called Sydney home since 2000. With a keen eye for elegance and a head for practicality, she brings a down to earth, playful clarity that creates an immediate bond with each client. She ensures it’s a collaborative process, one that’s effortless and fun. Jacqueline’s approach brings equal measures of ‘good for you’ honesty as it does indulge the individual’s personality in the finishing touches to a wardrobe, home refresh or special event.
If her name sounds familiar, it’s because Jacqueline was instrumental in the growth of her iconic family brand – HouseHold Linens – for over 15 years. Through designing and creating linen ranges, styling shoots, her role as Creative Director spanned Director of Merchandising and Styling flagship stores, to offering bespoke consultations at client homes to make sure they got ‘the look’ right. Discretion and a genuine love of creating calm from the chaos have helped Jacqueline establish trusted personal bonds with her many high profile clients.
Here she shares her top tips on decluttering.
Know what you want to achieve
- Make decluttering positive
- Focus on what you love, makes you happy and what you are gaining by decluttering rather than obsessing and stressing about what you are losing
- Be grateful for, care for and treasure the things you are keeping, that you love and that bring you joy
- Changing your thinking on the decluttering experience will help you maintain momentum and get this job done in one go
- To begin, begin!
Declutter and tidy by category (ie clothes, books, linen, kitchen items, papers, photos etc.)
- Start with the things that you find easy to discard
- Generally, clothes or books are the easiest categories
- Leave the sentimental things till last as these are the ones that are the hardest to sort through and get rid of (e.g. photos and papers)
- Keep a photo if you know there are sentimental things that you need to get rid of but hesitant to
Pull everything out of the cupboard, draws or and stack it up on the floor/bed
- Look around the whole house for the one category and bring this category into one spot. Make sure you check the laundry and hot water cupboard so that you don’t miss anything
- Once everything is pulled out into a pile wipe down walls, shelves, ceilings etc to make the space you are going to put things back into beautiful and clean
Go through the pile touching each piece asking yourself does this make me happy
- Keep only the things that you love and make you happy
- Discard anything that you do not love or make you happy
- Things that no longer serve you should be discarded
- Don’t hold onto things for sentimental reasons if you do not love it or use it anymore then it is time for it to go
Sort the throwing pile into rubbish, sell or donate
- If things have holes in them or cannot be reused they should be thrown
- The clothes or other items that are brand new that no longer serve you may be able to be sold, so look for a store that sell these on your behalf or sell directly online
- Donate to charity the clothes, books etc. that others may find useful
When putting things back, store so that they are visible
- Take pride in your beautiful clothes and linen by folding them neatly
- When hanging clothes hang from left to right to longest/heaviest to shortest/smallest. This draws your eye up to the right
- Colour co-ordinate items i.e. keep the same coloured items together
- As you place items on a shelf put the lightest at the front and darkest at the back. Or smallest at the front and largest at the back. This draws your eye to the back
Clothes need room to breathe so leave space between
- All the same size and colour coat hangers make the wardrobe look tidy and organised
- Leave space between clothes so that they have air to breathe and are easily accessible
- With jumpers/cardigans pop a moth protector in with all your woollens
Once you have everything in order
- Celebrate your achievement
- Now that you can see what you have and what you need you will only purchase what you need
Having less clutter around you will be amazed how much lighter and brighter you will feel. You’ll now know what you have and be able to buy things you need and love. The beauty of decluttering and tidying is that it simply makes you feel good and energises you!