Month: October 2015

Living Simply, Repurpose & Upcycle

10 Alternative Ways to Wrap Presents


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As a child, half the fun of receiving a present was the unwrapping, the anticipation of what was inside. Sometimes I’d careful peel back each piece of sticky tape not to damage the paper and other times, I’d rip it off to see what was inside as soon as possible.

Move forward 20 years and I remember watching the leftover Christmas wrapping paper and gift cards get shoved into two green garbage bags and put in the bin. What a waste! It was time to draw a line in the sand and make a change. The following Christmas I’d sewn 20 fabric bags from the size of a paperback book to one that would hold  a dozen bottles of wine. Then I made gift cards with a greeting, names of the recipient and laminated them. Initially, they weren’t well received but within five years, everyone had made their own bags / cards and by the end of Christmas we’d return the bags to the owners and there was minimal wastage. The tradition continues today.

Now you can make your own bags which is easy if you have a sewing machine but you can also spruce up gifts in other ways. Here are some creative wrapping ideas.

Socks

Yep socks, preferably something a little fun and funky. These are ideal for wrapping bottles of wine. Slip the wine into one sock and then tie the other around the neck of the bottle. Looks great and practical.

Shirt pockets

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Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Warrandyte Market


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Situated along the banks of the Yarra River surrounded by gum trees is the quaint Warrandyte Market that oozes what a community market is all about – fresh home-grown produce, hand-made wares and food stalls that set your taste buds alight with everything from gozleme to poffertjes.

This outdoor market has been operating for over 20 years and has a loyal following from the locals and stall holders (one stall holder has been coming for 17 years). Like many markets, it has its own flavour and style that is unique to this community who live and work along the river.

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Living Simply, Repurpose & Upcycle

Clutter-free Christmas Gift Ideas


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The heading for the post is a little misleading because these ideas aren’t just for Christmas but can be used for any occasion or celebration.

Let me paint a picture for you. It’s December 21, a Monday and only a few days to organise your last minute shopping. You’ve seen the shopping centres, you can’t get a car park. The lines at the register are long. The kids are asking for ‘this & that’. You haven’t had lunch. Your arms are straining from all the bags. And that little voice in your head says ‘I was going to stick to a budget this year’.

Sound familiar?

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Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Camberwell Market


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If you’re looking for a collection of eclectic items from vintage clothing to handmade soaps or are a collector of objects that are hard to find, then the Camberwell Market is for you.

Located in the car park at the rear of Burke Road and Riversdale Roads in Camberwell this outdoor market is one of the best trash and treasure style markets you’ll find. Started by Balwyn Rotary in 1976 this market still rocks along every Sunday and never fails to disappoint with a variety of weird and wonderful stalls.

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Explore & Inspire, Myanmar (Burma) travel info

Myanmar (Burma) – power supply and plugs


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Despite my research, thinking I was well prepared, I took to Myanmar (Burma) one adaptor. Unfortunately, it was only useful in certain hotels. It did work at Changai Airport (Singapore). However, it wouldn’t work in my hotel in Yangon. I needed a two prong as well as my three prong. Fortunately, my roomie was well equipped and I was able to tap into her USB charger as my iPhone 6+ was my sole camera.

The power sockets in Myanmar (Burma) are two or three prong. A British 3 prong adaptor worked fine as did a two pin but they are either one or the other, so bring both.

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Explore & Inspire, Myanmar (Burma) travel info

Myanmar (Burma) – toilets


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Some people like to know prior to visiting a country whether they’ll have to do some quad training so they can use squat toilets easier when they arrive. Only kidding, but it’s good to know what sort of toilets are available so you can be prepared.Toilet signs

Throughout Myanmar (Burma) I found a mixture of western toilets and squat toilets and in villages sometimes a pit.

I have to say that every toilet I used was clean, with toilet paper and facilities to wash your hands with soap outside (except in the villages).

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