The Ultimate Netflix Binge List

Melbourne, the time has come to stock up on snacks, pull out your warmest blankets and find that sweet spot on the couch. Winter is coming (okay, so it’s pretty much winter, but it sounded way cooler to throw in a GoT reference). If you don’t have a Netflix account as yet then now’s the time to invest. There’s an array of top quality TV shows to catch up on. So snuggle in and let us share our top 10 binge-worthy picks.

  1. Gotham (Drama, 1 Season)

This one’s for the Batman fans out there. Gotham is a little gem for those who want to geek out DC style. It focuses on Jim Gordon’s career pre-Batman and the chaos that led to and shaped the future of Batman and the villains he goes up against. Ben McKenzie has come a long way since The OC.

  1. Arrested Development (Comedy, 4 Seasons)

Arrested Development is one of those shows that you either strongly love or strongly hate. It’s definitely an acquired taste. The Bluth’s are just about the most dysfunctional TV-family you’ll come across. At the center of the chaos is Michael, the family’s most responsible (arguably the only responsible) family member. Michael attempts to hold himself and his family together even as everyone else falls apart.

  1. Master of None (Comedy/Drama, 1 Season)

Master of None is a poignant look at the everyday life of Dev Shah (Aziz Ansari) as he tries to navigate making it as an actor whilst also trying to understand his parents and heritage a little more. The series is a refreshing look at the life of a 30-something guy doing his best to make sense of his journey.

  1. Orphan Black (Drama, 3 Seasons)

Welcome to the Clone Club. Sarah Manning finds herself in the middle of one of the largest genetic experiments ever attempted. The further she tries to run from it, the more she seems to get caught up. If anything, watch the show for Tatiana Maslany’s performance. She plays the role of all the clones and sometimes even plays a clone playing a cone. Maslany’s clonesception is just one of the many brilliant aspects of the series.

  1. Narcos (Drama, 1 Season)

Narcos is based on the rise of ‘The King of Cocaine’, Pablo Escobar, as he amassed his billion-dollar fortune. Need we say more, really?

  1. Mad Men (Drama, 7 Seasons)

It’s the 1960s and the world is changing. Advertising is changing too. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is trying his best to stay on top while balancing his identities as a top advertising executive and a family man.

  1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Comedy, 2 Seasons)

Kimmy Schmidt has spent the last 15 years in a bunker as a prisoner. Armed with an 8th-grade education and a positive outlook, she’s ready to take on the world and make up for lost time. The show was co-created by Tina Fey, so it’s pretty darn hilarious.

  1. Sense 8 (Drama, 1 Season)

Sense 8 might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s pretty badass. It introduces us to a group of people from around the world who are connected mentally and emotionally. These ‘sensates’ are able to share each other’s knowledge and skills, which comes in handy as they navigate their own personal challenges and try to figure out how and why they’re connected. If it doesn’t sound awesome enough, the Wachowski siblings, who also wrote and directed the Matrix trilogy, created the series (it’s pretty trippy in a good way).

  1. Lost (Drama, 6 Seasons)

This one’s an oldie but it’s the brain child of J. J. Abrams so it’s worth the 120 episode binge (although you might want to space it out). The series begins with a plane crash and a mysterious island. Will the survivors escape? Why are some of them super creepy? You’ll have to watch to find out.

  1. Orange is the New Black (Drama/Comedy, 3 Seasons – the 4th Season will release on the 17th of June)

Based on the real-life memoir of Piper Kerman, OITNB explores the life of a group of female prisoners at the fictional Litchfield Penitentiary. Kerman (Chapman in the show) was convicted of money laundering during her days with an international drug cartel. With karma finally catching up to her, she’s thrown into the world of prison riots and survival of the fittest. Besides the brilliant writing, Jenji Kohan’s creation has won a list of awards for its moving look at the life of women behind bars.

Did we miss out on any of your favourites? Comment below and let us know which shows you deem binge-worthy!

Hacks to Help You Survive the Rainy Season

One of the struggles of living in Melbourne is that the weather can change at any time. In fact, whilst writing this blog post, it rained, the sun came out and then clouds appeared all within the hour. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying your best to look sharp for work. Wet weather can ruin your outfit and your day. At Jarvis, we understand your frustrations and we’ve complied a list of hacks to help you survive the rain blues.

Newspapers are handy

One of the worst feelings in the world is a soggy shoe. Especially if you’re wearing socks. They’re cold and can become smelly when you take them off. One way to make sure your shoes dry faster is to ball up newspapers and insert them in your wet shoes and then wrap the shoes in newspaper (you can use a rubber band to secure them). You will have to change the newspaper after a few hours but it’ll dry up your shoes without damaging them.

Back it up

Carry back up items like cardigans or sweaters in your bag just incase it starts pouring down. You can always throw these over your clothes.

Carry plastic bags

Aside from soggy shoes, dealing with wet items like umbrellas are one of the biggest annoyances during the rainy season. Put them in a plastic bag before you store them away. It’ll save you having to deal with your storage space getting wet too.

Invest in a good umbrella

Instead of looking through the bargain bin for umbrellas, make an investment for quality and endurance. It’ll end up saving you cash in the long run.

Rice it

Rice is great at absorbing moisture. If you find yourself a little clumsier in the rain, don’t fret. Put items like phones in a plastic bag of rice. It should do the trick within 24 hours.

How do you survive the wet weather? Add to our hacks by commenting below.

The Laundry Cheat Sheet

In today’s technologically advanced world, doing laundry is just about one of the easiest chores. Or so it seems. It turns out that there are simple reasons why your socks are fading or your towels seem to get starchier with every wash. Here’s our laundry cheat sheet to help you with everything from unshrinking clothes to optimising the fluffiness of your towels.

Revive your towels

Towel care towelis unlikely to appear on most people’s list of priorities. However, it’s an item we use every day and having to constantly replace towels can become pricey. It turns out that getting your towels back to the state they were when you first bought them is as easy as washing them with vinegar and baking soda. Check out the instructions here.

Foil it for fluffiness

Drier sheets have long been the favourite for helping get towels and sheets to prime fluffiness. However, most drier sheets are sold scented and can cause clothes to irritate the skin for those with allergies. Foil does just as good of a job without all the itchiness.

Inside Out

Do you have a favourite pair of jeans that are losing their lustre? Fret no more. Just wash them inside out to keep them from fading further.

 Hack your hanging

Check out this neat video by Lifehacker to optimise your hanging technique.

 
Baby Shampoo is unshrinkable!

Turns out that baby shampoo is a saviour to clothes suffering from a bit of shrinkage. Check out the tutorial here.

Your machine needs cleaning too

The ultimate key to great laundry? Making sure your washing machine is well taken care of. Use this guide by CleanMama to clean your machine naturally.

Have more hacks to add to our list? Comment below and let us know how you take care of laundry.

Tips to help you become more Productive

As the adage goes, “work smarter, not harder.” We have to agree. Life should be about the moments that happen outside of work hours. One way to ensure this is to make sure that you keep work at WORK and that you get to have downtime once your workday hours are up. Productivity is an important part of sticking to plan so we’ve compiled a list to help you get more out of your time.

  1. Give yourself a head start

Plan for the day ahead the night before. Choose everything from your wardrobe to your meals. Conscious thought leaves less time for distraction and allows you to spend more time on what matters.

  1. Prioritise and time your to-do list

Prioritise the most urgent tasks and work your way through your list throughout the day. Timing your tasks also helps you identify how much time you might need for the same task in the future and allows you to measure your efficiency as you gain more experience.

  1. Learn to communicate effectively

Whilst email seems to be the efficient way to communicate with colleagues, it might not necessarily be the most effective. Think about the type of language you use and what you’re trying to achieve. It’s important to think about your audience and their communication style. Colleagues new to the workplace might require more direction than someone with years of experience.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

De-clutter your workspace or get rid of items that might cause your mind to wander. It’s also important to manage time spent on social media and let colleagues know if you’re unable to meet or chat with them if you’re working to a deadline.

  1. Eat Well

Try to avoid big lunches, which leave you sleepy and sluggish. Try smaller lunches with high-protein high-fibre snacks throughout the day. Avoid sugary snacks and try to keep caffeine levels as low as possible. The inevitable sugar and caffeine crashes can leave you feeling like zombie.

  1. Shut it down

Make sure you schedule a good amount of downtime (click here to read our previous blog on the importance of sleep). Lack of downtime can become a major hindrance to creativity and productivity.

Have more to add? Comment below and let us know your tips for being more productive.

Sleep is Important too

Sleep. It’s become almost elusive to some of us. 8 hours of downtime? Are you serious? FOMO, people! FOMO!

However, in our haze of thinking up new startup ideas and trying to binge whole seasons of TV shows whilst also having to live productive lives and get some exercise in, we’ve forgotten that we’re ultimately human (for now at least). And unlike our smartphones, we can’t just plug ourselves into a wall socket and recharge in a couple of hours. We need to give our bodies (including our brain) a decent amount of downtime to recover from our busy lives.

Media mogul Arianna Huffington recently got the debate on sleep back on people’s minds with her new book, The Sleep Revolution. In it, she talks about the incident that started her campaign. She describes falling down from exhaustion and then having to visit the ER, all the while still thinking about her emails and the media appearance she had committed to.

The average adult needs around 7-9 hours of sleep per night for healthy functioning. Harvard Medical School also links lack of sleep to greater risks of disease and health problems as well as poor judgement – including reduced efficiency and productivity, errors and accidents.

So what’s keeping us from sleep? The major enemy for many is probably in your hand right now. In fact, a study by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan found that some participants reacted to the internet being taken away from them similarly to alcoholics or gamblers. Website SheKnows also points to stress and lack of commitment to sleep schedules as reasons why we’re not getting enough zzz.

The Better Health Channel, an initiative by the Victorian State Government has a list of suggestions to improve your sleeping habits, including creating a better sleep environment by leaving technology like phones and laptops out of the bedroom.

Have more to add to their list? Comment below and let us know how you’ve managed to get in enough hours.

Easy Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

Winter is coming. If the current chill is anything to go by, we’re in for a cold one, my fellow Melbournians. Grab the doonas, pull out the electric blankets from the cupboard and brace yourself until September, when it starts warming up again. However, if you don’t have the luxury of being able to go into hibernation until Spring, check out our suggestions on how to keep your home insulated from the cold.

Curtains are key

Thermal curtains might not be all the rage but they’re pretty great at keeping the cold away. Up to 40% of heat escapes through windows. That’s a lot of valuable heat! If you’re worried that you won’t find any that will match your décor, you can even make them yourself.

Embrace sunlight

winter-1265034_1280Avoiding the outdoors in winter unless necessary can make us feel somewhat vampireish, so any exposure to sunlight is good exposure. Keep curtains open during the day to let any sunlight in but close them as soon as it starts getting dark to maximise the amount of heat retained.

Invest in carpets

carpet-100103_1280There’s no denying that floorboards are pretty and much easier to clean than carpets. However, up to 10% of heat can be lost through floorboards if they’re not insulated. During colder months, cover them up to keep your home warm.

 

Put people (and animals) first
Winter is always a great time to snuggle up. Keep extra throw around your lounge room and invest in some extra cuddly PJs and trackies to wear around the house.

Have any helpful suggestions of your own? Comment below and let us know!

Home Hacks : 5 fast tips to make your home more inviting

If you’re like us, you probably love having friends and family over to your home. Besides inciting them with food and drinks, here are some helpful tips to get them visiting. (Warning: Use tips at your own risk. Visitors may not want to leave.)

1. The Entrance needs to be fabulous

We’ve all been there, awkwardly standing at someone’s front door or in their entrance hallway, trying our best to make small talk. Cut some of that tension by diverting your guest’s attention. Whether it be a welcome mat, some greenery or fun lighting, it will put your guests at ease by having something to focus on.

2. Clean it up

There’s nothing more unappealing than visiting someone and having to hide your horror at the state (or smells) of their home. Neaten up before you have company over and use ‘warm scents’ (like cinnamon or vanilla) to make your home feel more inviting. Try K-mart for your scent needs.

3. Accessorise

Without breaking the bank, use simple accessories like pillows, tablecloths and throw-overs to make your lounge and living room spaces more cozy.

4. Create Focal Points

Pot PlantsAs much as we’d all like to deck out our homes, it can be rather impractical  (and costly) to fill each space with something to see. Instead, use colours, pot plants and lighting to create focal spots in your home. Bonus: it will help to distract from the wine you spilt on your carpet because having guests over is stressful and you just wanted one drink to calm your nerves and the universe is unfair.

5. Make it personal!

TeaThere’s something special about visiting someone’s  home. One of the most special things is seeing photos of their loves ones or other personal items. It’s a conversation starter and helps you get to know someone’s journey. In our opinion, it’s the best of a home.

 

Have any tips to share? Comment below and let us know!

Also, don’t forget to check out our Instagram – @jarvisaustralia.

Work Hacks : 5 fast tips to get your workspace more organised

Most people spend around 45 hours at work per a week, if not more. It can get frustrating (not to mention dull) to stare at the same four walls or sides of a cubicle day in and day out. And whilst you may not have the same amount of space or freedom to play with your work environment as you would at home, there are still a number of ways to get your workspace more organised and lively.

1. The secret is in the scent

Scent can be a great trigger in uplifting your mood when your workload gets a bit much or the week seems to drag on. In fact, the Takasago Corporation in Japan found that 54% of typists were less likely to make mistakes when exposed to the scent of lemon, 33% were less likely when exposed to the scent of jasmine and 22% were less likely when exposed to lavender. Sounds like it’s time to bring out those essential oils. Luckily, most 200ml bottles will only set you back around $3-4 and you can add them to items like tissues or handkerchiefs.

2. Necessities are key

To de-clutter your desk space and or office, employ a minimalist mindset. Question what’s absolutely necessary and either chuck out (donating to workmates might be a better option though) or keep the rest in a drawer.

3. It’s all about strategy

Whilst it might make you smile to have pictures of loves ones right in front of you or your favourite desk toys just a reach away, they could be a source of major distraction. If you find yourself day-dreaming once too often, it might be a good idea to create a space for personalised items that are either behind or on the side of your desk rather than right in-front of it. Remember – out of sight, out of mind. Well, until your breaks at least.

4. Keep it clean!

A study by Psychological Science found that employees with cleaner desks tended to be more productive and more likely to do what was asked of them. However, some amounts of mess at the beginning of projects did help employees come up BINDERCLIPSwith better ideas. At the conclusion of projects though, steering away from the chaos helped the same employees finish their projects in more orderly way.
Using everyday office items, it’s easy to keep on top of the cleaning process. The back of sticky notes can be used to clean in-between keyboards and binder clips can be used to de-clutter cables. Check out this awesome video by ILoveTech on the resourcefulness of binder clips.

5. Lists are an asset

A mini whiteboard might be a good investment if you’re someone who enjoys crossing completed tasks off a list or you’re better at thinking visually. You can grab one here at Kmart for $4. Write up new lists everyday and wipe them off as you complete them. BONUS: You can also use the whiteboards to write up inspirational sayings or map out your day or week.

 

 

Alternatively, you could just invest in one of these.

Our personal guide to Melbourne’s best Happy Hour(s) on a budget

We converge underneath the clock at Melbourne Central Station, lazily people watching as the remaining members of our circle make their way past the throng of commuters. While most people are heading in the opposite direction, we’re preparing for a few hours of catch-up time before heading home to our respective suburbs. Living in Melbourne, or rather drinking and dining in Melbourne, we’ve come to realise that the hours between 4pm – 8pm somehow open up a gateway to the city’s possibility – without the exorbitant prices.

First stop – ABC. Asian Beer Cafe. Located on Level 3 of Melbourne Central, the trendy, upbeat bar offers one of the cheapest happy hours in the city. 2 for 1 cocktails, ranging between $10-$15 and selected jugs for $8 every Monday to Friday between 4pm-8pm. The decor is transportive and after a few drinks it’s easy to think you’ve finally booked that holiday to Bali.

Once we’ve had our share of drinks, we usually end up making our way to Naked for Satan for $1 Pintxos between 4pm-8pm or $2 at all other times. For those of you who are about to Google ‘Pintxos’, it’s basically a fancy name for finger food. The combinations they manage to come up with are delicious and entirely worth the trek to Fitzroy. The drinks are slightly pricier (they start at $6 for your basic beers and ciders) but are worth it for the Pintxos.

ClearGlassDepending on the mood, we might saunter back to the CBD and catch a tram down to St.Kilda. If you you’re willing to put in the effort to get there, Big Mouth offers you incredibly cheap rewards. Between 4pm-7pm Monday to Thursday or 4pm-10pm on Friday’s, the eclectic St.Kilda bar in the heart of Acland Street offers up $6 cocktails, $4 schooners, $10 jugs and $5 basics.

Help us grow our list by commenting below with your personal favourites.

Tips and tricks to get your home smelling great

As the weather gets colder in Melbourne, we start turning our attention indoors. In contrast to a white christmas in countries like the USA, our warm and toasty nights around the fireplace happen much earlier.  One way to recreate the feelings of calmness and joy that come with the holiday season (without summoning Santa) is something as simple as appealing to our olfactory system. Below are some easy ways to get your home smelling great.

Keep it natural

Lifestyle and Home guru, Jillee, advocates for turning to nature for fresh scents. She suggests using everyday items like lemons to clean around bins and other odour sensitive areas. Not only are lemons a natural sanitiserLemons but their citrus scent will help neutralise common odours found in homes. She also recommends bringing nature indoors with potted plants and flowers. Potted plants are natural air purifiers and a great way to add a touch of green to your life without having to brace Melbourne’s chills. Visit her website here for more great tips.

It’s all in the carpets

One of the best things about having carpeted areas during the cold season is being able to walk on them barefoot without feeling like you’re about to get frostbite on your feet. However, carpets are odour absorbent and are often the spicereason for strange smells. Amanda Thomas, from QuickandDirtyTips.com, has a range of recipes to get your carpet clean and smelling great. Our personal favourite is number 3. It reminds us of cinnamon donuts. You can check out here recipes here.

Best of the internet

Fight bad fridge smells with oats – Yep! Oats are a great odour absorbent. Stick a small bowl in your fridge over night and let them do their magic. Just remember to toss them out afterwards though. Odour flavoured oats do not sound appealing!

A personal spa experience – We might actually try this one ourselves! Grab a bunch of dried eucalyptus (2-3 sprigs at a time) and tie them to areas near your shower where they won’t get wet. As steam fills your bathroom, the humidity will activate the oils in the eucalyptus, creating the ambience of a spa and filling your bathroom with their delightful scent.

Hide and seek cotton balls  This idea is great if you don’t have small children or pets. Otherwise, it’s disaster waiting to happen. Take some cotton balls and add a few drops of essential oils to them then strategically place them around your home. In-between couches, under drawers and inside cupboards are great hiding spaces.

Have any of these worked for you or do you have awesome ideas of your own? Comment below and let us know!