Vioflame Fireplaces

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

When was the last time you told a story around the fireplace? Maybe you are worried about all that smoke going up the chimney, hanging in the air for future generations to clean up. We are all concerned about the impact we will have on the future and the legacy we will leave for our children. Are we living in an ethical manner? Smoke and emissions are the stories on everyone’s lips. And what effect will the carbon tax have? Who is right, who is wrong.

It’s rare for a politician to be a climate scientist (Al Gore is one!), even rarer for us to believe self-serving and often contradictory press on what is in store for us for the future. That old saying, act local but think global, may sound trite on the surface only because we’ve heard it so often. However, in truth it may be what saves us.

Environmental concerns must be foremost in our minds. What fuel can I use that is not a fossil fuel? Fossil fuels are petroleum and natural gas based, they derive from ancient plant and animal material. We now know that enormous amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere during processing of this material into the various fuels we use – petrol, diesel, lpg and other fuel oils – where if it was left alone, the carbon would remain captured safely within the Earth.

In our homes we strive to make a special ambiance, to create that haven from the manic rush of day to day work and living pressures. Gazing into an open fire, enjoying family gatherings around that wonderful warming fireplace needn’t be put aside because of environmental and ethical concerns.

Ethanol is usually made from the distillation of molasses which is a by-product of sugar cane production. A number of third world tropical countries are turning to sugar cane as a natural resource in the production of ethanol. The demand for sugar has plummeted over the last few years and as the ethanol industry has developed, it has also allowed the economies of these countries to stabilise to benefit their people. 

Vioflame Ethanol Fireplaces may be the cleanest burning home heating on the market today. For every litre of our specially formulated VioFuel ethanol burned, over 900 millilitres are converted to water vapour. All the while, creating the cosiestwarmth throughout your home. Our fireplaces are very easy to  fill, use and take just a second to light with an ordinary barbecue lighter. No more matches, kindling or messy woodpiles that attract bugs, grubs and vermin. Just clean inviting instant warmth with no environmental concerns attached.

All our Fireplaces are available online at and best of all, delivery is free to any destination in Australia.

Buy VioFuel online here. Delivered right to your door.

Further information on ethanol here.


Barbecued Chicken Kebabs

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Barbecued Chicken Kebabs

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as an entree.

Summer living never tasted so good! These yummy kebabs cooked on  Black and Stone’s Electric Convection Barbecue have a great kick to them, a combination of the smokey paprika, sharp lemon and chilli.
Cook them indoors with our stylish electric barbecue on the kitchen bench, or outdoors on the patio for simple smart entertaining.

Absolutely delicious served with baked potatoes and some greens or just by themselves for an appetiser! Anyone will think you’d gone to some effort. Ahh… don’t you love the marinade? Do all the work beforehand and relax all the way to the dinner table!

You will need:


  • 450g chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 finely sliced shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper


Slice the chicken into long strips. Thread the chicken strips onto skewers. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (but preferably overnight). Preheat your Black and Stone barbecue. Grill the kebabs for approximately 16 minutes, turning once.

For an outstanding alternative, substitute the chicken with a dozen large green prawns (shelled but leaving tail intact) and serve with lemon wedges as a starter.

Download a printable version here.Acrobat PDF Icon

Categories: Home Appliances

Best Mashed Potato Ever!

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Creamiest Mashed Potato using the Multi Purpose Cooker 

Multi Purpose Cooker

There are many fine ways to make mashed potatoes. Here’s a smooth and creamy version that’s just right for serving with Lamb Shanks or Ossobuco.

Serves 6-8   Prep time: 8 minutes  Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 6 large potatoes, washed, peeled, chopped
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of thickened cream
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • Salt & coarse ground pepper


Peel and then slice the potatoes in half along the length, now slice the halves into smaller pieces about 10mm wide. (Large chunks greatly increase the cooking time).

Cooking Method

Place potato slices into the cooking pot; add enough cold water to generously cover the potatoes by at least 50mm. Add a little salt and stir the mixture gently.

Select the ‘Boil’ function on the Multi Purpose cooker

  1. Press the ‘Food Select’ button and set the temperature to 100°C
  2. Press the ‘Cook Time’ button and set the cooking time to 20 minutes.
  3. Press ‘Start’

Test the softness of the potato slices with a fork; adjust cooking time if necessary.

The potatoes should be soft enough to fork but without breaking apart. Note: Overcooking will result in a starchy, watery goo – which is not desirable.

When cooking is finished, drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the butter, olive oil, cream and milk, and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth creamy texture. Place the mash into a fine sieve and hold it over the cooking pot; continue to beat the mixture through the sieve. Stir over low heat for a few minutes until heated through.


Season with a little salt and pepper.

Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley

Categories: Home Appliances

Get ready for Summer!

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Unfriending the flab just got so much easier with  BodyMedia FIT.

BodyMedia FIT armband is your best fitness buddy ever. He is about 4cm x 4cm and clips into a stylish armband to keep track of your steps and lifestyle each day. No more hit and miss programming a dinky pedometer – this little guy has a built in accelerometer that constantly gathers information, measuring the distinct patterns created by walking and/or running and logging all your information in your own personal tracking device.

When you purchase your BodyMedia FIT you’ll also get a subscription to your own personalised online Activity Manager where you can instantly see your progress and chart your calorie intake. It is really so easy, no more taking notes and working out recipes, the program does all that for you, gram for gram and slice for slice! We have some special prices at the moment too – buy online and take advantage here now!

BodyMedia FIT is not just another gimmicky gadget, it’s a weight loss, fitness and lifestyle management system all in one. We were very impressed with our latest trial and our newest user can now hardly bear to take it off.

‘The key is to achieving your fitness goal is leave it on all the time even while sleeping! I don’t even notice I’m wearing it,’ our customer said. ‘Just connect it to your computer, once a day whenever you have time and all the information loads directly into the program. You then enter your food for the day and it gives you an instant status update.’

The BodyMedia FIT armband contains special sensors that measure the electrical conductivity in your body and registers not only how many steps you take during each day but also, how much sleep you are getting and the quality of that sleep! In all it takes 5 different views of your life to give you complete control over fitness, sleep and calorie burn rate.

Just like Santa, it knows when you are sleeping, it know when you’re awake! The latest studies have found that sleep deprivation and even poor quality sleep can contribute to major health problems and can even prevent you from losing weight! You might be doing the right thing watching calories and eating healthy but lack of good sleeping habits may be thwarting all your good efforts.

The BodyMedia FIT armband is very comfortable to wear and after a short while you don’t notice it’s there. Leave it on all night to measure your sleep efficiency and you might be surprised at the result! Share your results with us, we’d love to hear from you.

BodyMedia FIT  is endorsed by noted nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan, Physiotherapist Anna Louise Bouviea, trainer to the stars Lee Campbell and many other health professionals.

Find clinical study results here. Find our website here for more information.  Or buy online here at That’s Living.

Join us now on Facebook and Twitter for updates, special online pricing and seasonal information then click through to our website to purchase.

Gather round!

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

One of our online shoppers (find season specials here) lit their new fireplace for the first time this week and they are very happy with their purchase. They decided on the large stainless steel model (the VFC2000C) – that’s the medium curved design. Their house is quite traditional so at first our customer wondered if it would fit the décor but we are very pleased to find that they absolutely love it! This is how it looks on our website and in our brochure.

We’ve asked them to send us in a photo and as soon as we receive it we’ll post it right here in our blog.  Meanwhile here’s one of our own 

This model is also available in white but our customer chose the stainless steel finish as they thought it would pick up the rich tones of their dark timber furniture and Persian carpets and they were absolutely right. Even though the stainless steel is not really reflective, from a design point of view its brushed finish picks up the character of its surrounds. It would look equally attractive in any modern setting.

Our customer uses it as a freestanding fireplace so it can be moved around or even put away depending on the season. It can also be very easily wall-mounted and we have a variation on this model that can be built in!

Its convection heating properties are substantial. For the technically minded, this fireplace was positioned at one end of a large room of approximately 20 metres by 5 metres (our customer calls it their ‘Great Room’) and within about 20 minutes the entire room was evenly warm and cosy.

The dancing golden flame and gentle fragrance of our specially formulated VioFuel adds to the ambience of any home.

Find our great end of season clearance sale at

Join us now on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for specials, tips and how-to’s.

VioFlame – Ethanol Fireplaces, Firetable and Decorative Fires

VioFlame and Ezy Flame series Ethanol fireplaces allow you to experience the look and feel of a real fireplace, in virtually any room, without the mess,

VioFlame Fireplaces

inconvenience or high cost associated with other traditional forms of fireplaces.
VioFlame ethanol fireplaces are both visually exciting and functional, instantly transforming a room into a beautiful, warm and inviting living space.

VioFlame fireplaces are ideal for creating real warmth, mood and ambiance. These beautiful fireplaces are lovely to look at and enjoy while you absorb the warmth and feeling of comfort that extends to every corner of the room. Offering true versatility, VioFlame fireplaces are ideal for apartments, homes, offices, guest rooms, outdoor rooms, entertainment areas and balconies.

Take a look at the range at: VioFlame at Black and Stone

Categories: Home Heating

Gas Safety Gauge – The All-In-One Gas Safety Device

Gas Safety Gauge is the handy, low cost, all in one gas safety device that shows Gas Cylinder Level at a glance, Detects Leaks and, Automatically Shuts Off The Gas in the event of a major leak. Gas Safety Gauge can be quickly fitted to most gas cylinders.

Gas Safety Gauge Products

Gas Safety Gauge Product Range

Gas Safety Gauge is available to fit most gas cylinders.

  • Automatic 100% Safety Shut Off in the event of a major leak
  • Gas Level Gauge – Gas Safety Gauge tells you when you’re low on gas.
  • Gas Leak Test – A simple checking process helps you find small or slow leaks – before they become a serious  problem
  • Child Safety – Prevent accidental release of gas from the cylinder, a handy feature if you have small children around.
  • Easy to install – without the use of special tools.

Find out more about Gas Safety Gauge
and how it works at: Gas Safety Gauge at Black and Stone

See how to use Gas Safety Gauge at:  Gas Safety Gauge – How To Use

Categories: Consumer Gas Safety

BodyMedia FIT Technology Appears on CH9’s BIG – Extreme Makeover

BodyMedia FIT Product Image

BodyMedia FIT wearable body monitor system

The BodyMedia FIT Technology is once again featuring on prime time TV with Channel Nine’s BIG Extreme Makeover.   Staff at Black and Stone worked extensively with the production crew during the shooting to ensure that the participants were provided with real time accurate feedback on the energy burn, physical activity, sedentary time, steps and sleep. The BodyMedia FIT was introduced about half way through the process to determine what they were doing while they were not being directly watched by the medical staff.  The results were astounding.

The first Participant to be featured on the show was Mick Spaulding………  When we first encountered Mick he was 175cm tall and weighed 231.8 kg.  This gives him a BMI of 75.69 and puts him in the morbidly obese category – meaning that his weight condition is immediately life threatening. His BodyMedia FIT files showed a number of surprising facts. The first thing that we noticed was that Mick had a tendency to take the armband off a lot.  These are very comfortable units to wear but Mick was just not being very cooperative.  He was concerned about what we might find out – and he should be.  We discovered that unless Lee was with him, pushing him and providing personal attention Mick was doing nothing, absolutely nothing.  In fact, he was burning more calories when he was asleep than when he was awake, which is not uncommon and brings us to the next startling finding.

When we looked at Mick’s sleep we was getting an average of about 3 hours sleep per night. He was in bed and lying down for 7 to 8 hours each night but only actually sleeping for about 30% of his time.  Even more concerning than this is that Mick was telling us that he sleeps well but felt tired most of the time.  A quick look at his sleep chart gave and the picture starts to become clearer; his sleep was very fragmented!  The BodyMedia FIT armband will detect sleep at as soon as the user goes past the very early sleep stages but if the user spends a lot of time in the early stages (which will not be beneficial) the armband will return a result of being awake, which is accurate, but the subject will have no memory of this period.  Both the fragmentation and the large amount of time spend in non-beneficial, early stage sleep was strongly suggestive of sleep apnea. In this case, as soon as Mick was achieving stage 2 sleep (for just enough time for the Armband to register) his airways would relax and obstruct his breathing.  He would then go for some time without breathing until his oxygen levels reach the danger zone and he would come out of stage 2 sleep back into early stage (stage 1) sleep.  Mick was rarely (if ever) getting to Stage 3 or REM sleep.

Mick’s sleep problem may have contributed significantly to his state of mind and his motivation. It is hard to follow a strict exercise regimen and follow a strict diet if you are sleep deprived both due to a lack of drive and altered hormone levels that increase appetite.  After his confirmed diagnosis at The Woolcock Institute and treatment with CPAP Mick’s

Energy levels improved, his attitude improved and he started working towards his future goals with a new determination.

For Mick, the Armband was a life saver.