Humour aside, there are some gems in the well-illustrated book, which with its spoof 50s housewife theme is a bit tongue-in-cheek while being informative.
Humour aside, there are some gems in the well-illustrated book, which with its spoof 50s housewife theme is a bit tongue-in-cheek while being informative.

Durban - Now I’m not the kind of girl you’ll catch folding a fitted sheet to perfection, peeling loads of potatoes or trying to make a grocery bag out of a T-shirt, but Suzelle is a DIY diva after my own heart.

You have to admire a woman who knows how to make her own shampoo and banish just about any stain.

She writes in the foreword to her new Human & Rousseau published book SuzelleDIY, created by Julia Anastasopoulos and Ari Kruger with photographs by Adriaan Oosthuizen, that she’s been collecting ideas in her “flipfile” for ages.

She says in one intro of her “friend”, who is the archetypical modern housewife, “Me and Marianne found this great idea on Google: a little tent for your cat made out of a T-shirt! We made it for one of Marianne’s cats and now all the other cats in the neighbourhood want one too.”

Humour aside, there are some gems in the well-illustrated book, which with its spoof 50s housewife theme is a bit tongue-in-cheek while being informative. Here are my nine top tips, taken directly from the book:



You will need:

A vacuum cleaner

A clean nozzle from a sauce bottle (the sort you find on bottles of tomato sauce)

Duct tape


1. Place the bottle nozzle over the hose of the vacuum cleaner.

2. Secure it with tape.

3. Make sure your computer is switched off and unplugged.

4. Vacuum the keyboard, directing the nozzle between the keys. It’s so easy!


This little nozzle is also great for removing dust balls from your cellphone.



Maybe your best friend is very clumsy and tends to spill her koffie on your phone. Or maybe you were invited to a braai and your cellphone (and you) ended up in the pool by mistake. Here is a quick procedure to follow if your phone comes into contact with any liquid.

You will need:

Your brave, wet cellphone

A sealable plastic bag

A cup of uncooked rice

Desiccant sachets (those sachets of gel stuff, which have ‘do not eat’ printed on them, that sometimes come in a box of new takkies)


1. Remove the phone from the water and switch it off immediately.

2. Remove the battery, SIM card and all other removable parts of the phone, and lay them out on a paper towel to dry.

3. Dry the exterior of your phone with a towel, dabbing gently. Keep the phone still while you do this so that the liquid doesn’t penetrate deeper inside.

4. Now for the magic part: place the phone in the plastic bag filled with rice.

You can also throw in a few desiccant sachets if you have some.

5. Leave your phone in the rice for at least 48 hours, then put it back together and turn it on.

6. Your cellphone is saved!



Don’t you hate it when someone has forgotten to put the drinks in the fridge and the braai guests are arriving in five minutes? Don’t panic, I have a cool tip for you.

You will need:

A big bowl


Two heaped tablespoons of salt

Your room-temperature drinks


1. Fill the bowl with tap water and top up with ice.

2. Add the salt to the bowl and mix it in thoroughly.

3. Place the drinks in the bowl of icy water and, after a minute or so, give the mixture a stir.

4. Two minutes should be enough for ice-cold drinks. So easy!



I often reuse jars for storage, crafts and gifts but sometimes it can be really hard to get the residue from those labels and stickers off. A lovely fan of mine sent me this suggestion and I find it works like a dream.

You will need:


A lappie

A jar


1. Dip your lappie in some Brasso.

2. Apply a thin layer of Brasso to the sticker.

3. Rub until the paper layer comes off.

4. Apply some more Brasso to the glue and rub until it vanishes.

5. Give the jar a good wash in soapy water and there you have it – no more labels and glue residue on your jars.


Furniture polish also works well for this.



Don’t you hate it when you are tanning in the garden and you become so engrossed in your magazine that you lose all track of time? Before you know it, you are the colour of a lobster. Always be careful in the sun and wear sunscreen and a hat, but if you do get sunburnt, here are a few simple ways of treating it:

* Smother sunburnt areas with yoghurt, then rinse off in a cool shower and gently pat yourself dry.

* If you ended up with sunburnt eyelids, soak teabags in cold water and apply them to relieve the burn.

* Soak a lappie in a bowl containing some oats and cold water. Apply the damp cloth to your sunburnt areas every two to four hours.

* Take a cool bath to which you have added a cup of apple-cider vinegar.

* Alternatively, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda in the bath water.

* Pop your moisturiser in the freezer for half an hour and then apply it to the affected areas.



You can help your home – and the environment – by preparing your own home-made cleaning products.

Did you realise that you can clean just about anything with ingredients you probably already have in your

cupboard? Here is a tip for cleaning your bathroom in a very eco-friendly way.

You will need:

A grapefruit

Plenty of salt


1. Cut a grapefruit in half. You can eat one half if you like!

2. Sprinkle the other half of the grapefruit flesh with plenty of salt. Don’t be shy.

3. Wet the bath or shower and sprinkle some salt there too.

4. Scrub all the surfaces with your grapefruit cleaner! Citrus juice has real cleaning power.

5. Rinse off all of the excess pulp and salt when you are done. Your bathroom surfaces will now be shiny and germ-free, and smell as fresh as a daisy.


For easy “green cleaning”, I stock my cupboards with vinegar, salt, lemon juice, borax, my favourite essential oils and bicarbonate of soda.



Even though we all love to braai, we know that cleaning the braai grid afterwards can be a bit irritating. That’s why I have put together a few tricks to help you clean your braai in no time at all. With these techniques you will always be sure that your braai grid is clean before you use it.

Use lemons cut in half to scrub your braai grid. The acid from the lemons gets rid of stubborn dirt.

You can also use half an onion.

Attach a brush or scouring sponge to the end of your drill. Using a little dishwashing liquid and bicarbonate of soda, give your grill a once-over with this super-sponge technique.

A wadded-up ball of tinfoil held in the tongs is a very easy way to scour your grid before you braai.



These clever herb basting brushes will really add a bit of fun to your next braai. Not only do they add fragrance and flavour to your meat, but they also look very impressive, like fancy little witches’ brooms. When you have finished basting, throw the herbs in the fire – the herby smoke will add even more flavour to the meat.

You will need:

Fresh herbs (my favourites are parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme – like that song by Paul Simon and the other guy)

You will need:

Kitchen twine or string

A wooden spoon (those Vida sticks work very well too)


1. Gather your herbs together and cut the ends, so that they are all the same length. You can bunch several types together or make separate herb brushes – it’s up to you.

2. Using the twine, tie your bunch of herbs to the wooden spoon or stick.

There’s it! Your fancy but easy-to-make herb brush is ready to brush on the basting.


Place leftover herbs in a spray bottle with some white-wine vinegar or olive oil. Spritz your veggies or roast potatoes just before you take them out of the oven and it will boost crispiness and add a delicious flavour.




You will need:

1 punnet strawberries

1 cup full-cream Greek-style yoghurt

Honey to taste

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Food processor


1. Remove the stalks from the strawberries and freeze them the day before, so that they are frozen solid when you are ready to use them.

2. Pop all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy.

3. Serve immediately or transfer your mixture to a container with a lid and place in the freezer. Do not leave it in the freezer for too long though!


Experiment with other flavours and combinations.

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