How to banish your home of ‘boy smell’

How to banish your home of ‘boy smell’

Sweaty boy smell… need I say more?

Sorry you weren’t eating were you?

Seriously it is right up there with pongy feet in my top list of things that make me gag. Also on the list would be dog farts, kid farts, husband farts, ham and egg sandwich left in a schoolbag over the holidays smell, deep fryer oil, dog poo on a hot day and prawn juice spilt on the carpet in the car smell.
There’s just a peculiar way that boys’ rooms smell – all sweaty and gross during the warmer months especially. It’s a must to de-stink the house of boy smell. Or kid smell. Girls actually smell pretty bad too!!
Here are 10 ways to make your home smell fresh, as well as a DIY room deodoriser for you to try. Try as many of these as you need to annihilate the smell of… youth. 

1.  Fresh flowers

Who could ever tire of looking at and smelling fresh flowers around the house? Pick some from your own garden, visit your local florists or supermarket, or do a midnight raid on your neighbour’s garden with a pair of secateurs … jokes … kinda. Just get your hands on some sweet-smelling flowers and scatter them in jars or vases around your home and left their fragrance waft.
How to get rid of boy smell
Lovely smelling blooms:
  • Jonquils
  • Lavender
  • Hyacinth
  • Gardenia
  • Freesia
  • Jasmine
  • Rose
  • Peony
  • Sweet pea

2. Freshen sheets with essential oils

There are two ways I recommend adding essential oils to freshly washed sheets:
  • If you use a clothes dryer, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to an old face washer and throw it into the dryer with your sheets. The heat of the dryer will diffuse the scent and transfer it to your sheets.
  • If you line dry, fill a spray bottle with water and add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Give the bottle a good shake and spritz the damp sheets with your fragrant mix. You can also use this spray on your mattress.
You could also encourage your son to spray his bed with fragrant linen spray each morning to freshen between washes. After all, that boy smell starts accumulating the minute the fresh sheets are on the bed…

3. Candles

Light scented candles and breathe in the beautiful fragrance while you soak up the atmosphere. Some favourite Australian brands to try:

Try lighting scented candles to banish boy smell

4. Freshen him up

Buy your son his own set of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and foot deodorant. He might like a range that’s aimed at ‘men’. Yes, Lynx smells exactly like an over-zealous teenage boy, but this is infinitely better than a zero-care-factor teenage boy. Remind him about good hygiene and actually using soap when he has his 25 minute shower.

5. Use a fabric freshener spray

Freshen up the soft furnishings in your son’s room by spraying the crap out of them with a fabric deodoriser like Febreeze. Curtains, pillows, linen, cushions and carpets can become stale long before they are due to be washed, so a quick freshen up makes sense right? Right. 

Besides any one who has ever had a disaster when it comes to cleaning upholstery and curtains (like I have) will tell you that this is a far less painful way of freshening things up and you can use it safely on couches, curtains, rugs and cushions.

6. Sweet-smelling pillows

Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to a cotton wool ball and place it inside your son’s pillow.

7. Add indoor plants

Plants are natural deodorisers, so add one to your kid’s bedroom and let it go to work. Madonna lillies, palms and orchids are some of the best natural air purifiers.

Indoor plants in the bedroom can help banish boy smell

More useful hacks: 25 best household tips your Grandma wants you to know

8. Dab vanilla extract on light bulbs

Dab a little vanilla extract onto your light bulbs. When you turn your lights on the heat will warm up the vanilla and have your son’s smelling divine in no time at all. Be warned though, the side effects may see him scoffing a tray full of custard tarts like no man should. Vanilla is potent stuff.

9. Remove the source

Let it be known I am not suggesting you pack up your sons and shove them out the front door… although I’d be lying if I said the thought hasn’t crossed my mind. Anything to get rid of the boy smell, right? Jokes!

What I mean look for the source of the smell and peg it. Is your son shoving dirty undies and socks under the bed? Piling his laundry in a heap behind the door? Failing to use soap in the shower or deodorant each day, four times a day preferably?

Have ‘the chat’ about personal hygiene with him again and see what you can do to make him more mindful of where he, ah, shoves his stink. 

10. Make your own room deodoriser

Make your own natural deodoriser to place in your kids’ bedrooms.
Bicarb soda absorbs the odour and if you fragrance it with essentials oils it not only kills the bad smells, it replaces them with a heavenly one instead. Just follow the instructions below to make your own deodoriser.

You can leave a bowl of deodoriser on a shelf in your son’s room. Or sprinkle it on the carpet or mattress, leave for 10 minutes, then vacuum.

Boy smell can be hard to eliminate, but with these strategies, your home should soon be smelling much better!

Um, do girls actually smell as much as boys?

Feature image by Annie Spratt ; candle by Alexandra Fuller; all other images by Sonia Stackhouse

Ridiculously easy baked Sunday breakfast

Ridiculously easy baked Sunday breakfast

A while back, my family challenged ourselves to go a whole week of eating a cooked breakfast every. single. day. Our Sunday breakfast recipe was my favourite, mostly because it was as easy to make as pouring a bowl of cereal.

Are you a big breakfast eater? Making breakfast a priority instead of a possible after-thought was new for me. 

We found that eating a good breakfast made us feel more energetic. We woke up with an appetite and actually enjoyed making something fresh to fill it with. Eating a full breakfast filled me up for the morning, so I could focus on my work without my stomach growling at me. I think it really helped improve my digestion, too.

If you’re keen to get something more interesting happening in the mornings, start with this Sunday breakfast option. It’s a healthy version of a full English, and it’s an absolutely delicious way to kick off a Sunday.  Once you’ve tried this and seen how easy it is, I reckon you’ll soon be making a cooked breakfast more than once a week.

This is nice for breakfast too: Pineapple and strawberry breakfast loaf


Sunday breakfast with baked tomatoes, egg pies, beans and mushrooms

Sunday breakfast - an easy oven-baked makeover that takes no time at allMakes 4 serves
Takes 10 mins
Bakes 15 mins

•  1 sheet puff pastry
•  A little melted butter
•  4 free-range eggs
•  4 vine-ripened tomatoes
•  1 can baked beans
•  About 200gm button mushrooms, chopped
•  Olive oil
•  A knob of butter
•  1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 200ºC and lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin.

Cut the puff pastry into quarters. Line four holes with squares of puff pastry. Lightly brush some melted butter over the pastry and crack an egg into each.

Fill the remaining holes with tomatoes and baked beans, then pop the whole tray into the oven to bake for 15 mins.

While that’s cooking, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil and butter, with the garlic. Cook until soft and slightly crispy on the outside.

Too easy Sunday breakfast - bake it in the oven

Fruit and yoghurt cones after school snack

Fruit and yoghurt cones after school snack

The first thing my boys do when they walk in the door is create a school bag minefield in the middle of the hallway. Then they head straight into the kitchen, open the fridge door and stare in there like they have never see food before. It’s time to play after school snack roulette.

Fruits Salad Ice cream Cones - a great after school snack“I’m starving”

“I’m sooooo hungry”

“We have no food”

Insert 10,000 variations of the above and that is pretty much as close to a “hello Mum, was your day?” that I am going to get until they hoover down said after school snack.

It does not matter how much I have packed in their lunch box for them during the day, when they get home they are starving. Like chew the handle on a hockey stick kind of hungry.

And so my priority is to feed them, BEFORE they go and get all hangry on me and turn into feral animals scavenging for food.

As much as I once had this homely image of me welcoming the kids at the door and then serving them up a freshly baked scones whilst we chat about their day, the reality is – who has time for that every day? Besides, I suck at making scones.

Add an after school activity into the mix and the pressure is on to impress with something they actually want to eat. Fruit is my go to option for feeding the troops their after school snack. Quick, easy, healthy and affordable.

Making fruit fun is the goal here people and if you manage to sneak a few veggies in there without them noticing then bonus points for a sneaky win. Here is my go-to quick and easy way to make a healthy after school snack, with little to no effort required.

Another good one: Yoghurt and mixed berry oat cups


Fruit and yoghurt cones

Fruits Salad Ice cream Cones for an after school snack

Makes 4
Takes moments

• 4 flat-bottom ice cream cones
• Fruit cut into small pieces
• Vanilla yoghurt

Fill the cones with the fruit salad and drizzle over the yoghurt. Done!

What’s the go-to after school snack at your place?

Fruity yoghurt cups - a perfect after-school snack

These pizza quesadillas are genius

These pizza quesadillas are genius

This is exactly the time of year that I’d rather be doing anything other than cooking dinner. Which is why this pizza quesadillas recipe is so sneaky-genius.

Despite it being the busiest time of year, those pesky kids of ours kids just keep on insisting we feed them dinner. Every. single. day.

What to do, what to do, huh?

Pizza quesadillas are about making dinner quick, fun and easy enough for kids to want to make it for themselves, and feed the grown ups too. Woohoo, cue the victory dance, because this is one heck of an awesome recipe.

Pizza quesadillas - such an easy dinner

My kids love pizza, and so I guess these quesadillas are a bit of a cheats version of pizza, and better yet – you cook them in the sandwich toaster rather than the oven.

There is honestly no real method behind the madness when it comes to these Quesadillas, because as is often the way with pizzas -the more crazy the mix of toppings, the better it often tastes.

I find if we offer the kids bowls of brightly coloured fresh vegetables and toppings, they are happy to go to town with filling their wraps with choices that we parents can feel pretty smug about.

This recipe is ridiculously easy too: Quick ham and cheese scrolls

Pizza quesadillas

Pizza quesadillas - get the kids making dinner

Makes 4 pizzas
Takes 10 minutes

•  8 tortillas or wraps
•  Tomato paste or pizza / pasta sauce or BBQ sauce or pesto (whatever you have)
•  Whatever you like on your pizza, like:

•  onion
•  capsicum
•  olives
•  mushrooms
•  cherry tomatoes
•  baby spinach
•  rocket
•  ham
•  cooked chicken
•  cooked sausage
•  salami
•  smoked salmon

•  Grated mozzarella or tasty cheese (or a combo of both)

Put one tortilla on the sandwich press, swirl on some sauce, add your pizza toppings and top with cheese. Put another tortilla on top. Press in the sandwich press for about 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and tortilla crisps up nicely.

Pizza quesadillas are also delicious for breakfast, snacks and in the lunchbox (yes, they are still yummy cold!).

Yum, yum: what would be your favourite topping on pizza quesadillas?


Pizza quesadillas - the easy dinner the kids can make #pizza #quesadilla #pizzaquesadilla #dinner #recipe #familydinner #kidfriendly

Go anywhere breakfast bars for busy times

Go anywhere breakfast bars for busy times

Breakfast bars for families on the go

These nutritious breakfast bars are made for busy times, and these are busy times indeed. Everyone is T+E (tired and emotional – remember when that was a thing, along with D+Ms?). My kids would rather have 15 extra minutes in bed than get up and make a proper breakfast, and I’m inclined to let them. That’s when a yummy, nutritious breakfast bar comes into its own.

My kids grab one of these on their way out the door. This is after we have the ‘you still need to clean your teeth even though you haven’t had breakfast yet’ talk. I’m not sure it works, either, but who doesn’t brush their teeth in the mornings?

Breakfast bars are endlessly versatile

You can change up this breakfast bars recipe to suit your tastes and your pantry. I’ve offered a few suggestions below, but I say go for it. Pack the nutrition in, with plenty of protein from nuts and seeds, and it will keep everyone go, go, going all morning.

Note that this one is not for those on a nut-free regime. Although, feel free to leave out all nuts and peanut butter and just throw in an extra cup of oats and some coconut oil to substitute.

Try this zippy brekkie too: Yoghurt and berry oat cups


Go anywhere breakfast bars

Breakfast bars - great for on the go

Makes 16 bars
Takes 15 mins
Bakes 20 mins

• 1 ½  cup rolled oats
• 1 cup almonds or ¾ cup ground almonds
• 1 tbs ground flaxseed (optional – add an extra few almonds if omitting)
• 1 tbs ground maca (optional – add an extra few almonds if omitting)
• ½ cup sunflower seeds
• pinch of cinnamon
• pinch of nutmeg
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• ¼ cup peanut butter
• 1 cup pitted dates
• ¼ cup boiling water
• 1 egg

Line a tin with baking paper and preheat oven to 170°C.

Toast the oats in a heavy-based frypan until golden, then put them into a large mixing bowl.

Process the whole almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, then add to the mixing bowl, OR add your ground almonds to the mixing bowl. Combine oats and almonds then add the flaxseed, maca, pepitas, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Heat the maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan on medium heat until fully melted. Add the mix to the dry ingredients then put the saucepan back on the heat and immediately add the dates and pour over the boiling water.

Boil the dates for a minute or two, then pour into the food processor and whizz until pureed. Add the puree to the mixing bowl and stir through. Once the mix is cool, crack in your egg and thoroughly combine all ingredients.

Press the mixture into the baking tin, pressing down firmly with a large metal spoon. At this stage you can sprinkle the top with extra sunflower seeds if you like (Note: I love the extra crunch, but my kids reject the breakfast bars if I do this 🙄).

Bake for 20 minutes until golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Cut into bars and then cool completely on a wire rack.

These bars will keep for a few days in an airtight container on the kitchen bench or wrap in baking paper and freeze. Serve with a glass of milk and some cut up fruit for quick, easy mornings.

Would breakfast bars like these come in handy at your place too?


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