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Spring has sprung for the Royal family!

<p><span>The royal family love many things, and spring is one of them.</span><br /><br /><span>Buckingham Palace took to Instagram to show off Her Majesty’s wonderful garden, and even took the time to share just how wonderful the Palace’s Rose Garden is during the spring.</span><br /><br /><span>"Sunrise over the lake in the Buckingham Palace Garden. Today marks the first official day of spring, as we all look towards brighter days ahead," the caption read.</span><br /><br /><span>"The garden at The Queen's London residence sees much change over the course of a year. Despite its urban location, the garden is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna."</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMou5gEnO1I/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMou5gEnO1I/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>"The thought of summer. Let's hope we can try and get back to normal. Whatever, that will be!!" one user wrote in the comments. .</span><br /><br /><span>The positive Instagram post follows after it was announced that the Queen's Official Birthday Parade would not go ahead as usual.</span><br /><br /><span>In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: "Following consultation with government and other relevant parties it has been agreed that The Queen's Official Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead this year in its traditional form in central London."</span><br /><br /><span>"Options for an alternative Parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, are being considered."</span><br /><br /><span>Trooping the Colour was supposed to happen on June 12 to mark the monarch's 95th birthday and would have taken place two days after Prince Philip's 100th birthday.</span><br /><br /><span>It was also announced that the annual Garter Service, which is usually held around June, would not take place this year either.</span></p>

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ALDI shopper finds weird handwritten message on linen

<p>An ALDI shopper has revealed the odd handwritten note on her son's bedspread that she picked up in a Special Buys sale.</p> <p>She shared the find on a popular Facebook page and discovered the message in thick black texta on the fabric – a large note that appeared to read "LEMON FISH".</p> <p>“Did anyone get the truck single bed spread?” said Hayley-Maree on the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1034012533313136" target="_blank">Aldi Mums</a><span> </span>Facebook page.</p> <p>“I just washed it and was hanging it out and it looks like it’s been written on.</p> <p>“It doesn’t have it anywhere else. Just wondering if anyone else got one and if it’s mark-free?”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839952/handwriting-1-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/308d91f0fe1a41ef90b249c80d6c68a7" /></p> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Others quickly pointed out it's likely that the marks were made in the production phase of the bedspread.</p> <p>“It’s been marked while being made by the looks of it,” said one.</p> <p>“Measurements or maybe end of fabric roll - definitely take in for refund.”</p> <p>Added another: “What you have is a doona that is made from the end of the roll of fabric and has been marked as such. Not ordinary ink, won’t come out.”</p> <p>While it's currently unclear if the mum went into ALDI for a refund on the item, it would be great to know just what "LEMON FISH" could possibly be a reference to!</p> </div>

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When to blow? Ben Fordham loses fans with radical stance

<p>One of the biggest neighbourhood debates is when to get out the power tools or lawnmower on a weekend.</p> <p>Ben Fordham weighed in on the topic on Wednesday morning after making a leaf blower admission on his 2GB Breakfast radio show.</p> <p>Despite loving his leaf blower, the power tool has cost him a few friends.</p> <p>"Look, I know it's not popular but that's just the way I feel. There are people that love leaf blowers, and there are people that hate leaf blowers, and I don't mind other people using them either," Ben said.</p> <p>"It's not like I just want to use my own and not let you use yours. Leaf blowers are fantastic. If that loses me a few friends, well, I'm sorry, it's just me."</p> <p>The topic of leaf blowers came up when a listener called up to talk about a "respectable" time to start the lawnmower on a Sunday morning.</p> <p>Darren called the open line to explain what he thought was a reasonable time, but it opened up a can of worms.</p> <p>"Mate, I think 8 o'clock is a respectable time, although it used to be 10 o'clock from memory, on a Sunday or public holiday, but that was an unwritten law," Darren said.</p> <p>"But my biggest gripe at the moment, I think, is the blower vacs."</p> <p>Darren explained he lives in a townhouse where there are eight in the block, and believes the blower vac is causing some tensions between neighbours.</p> <p>"Unfortunately you'll have one neighbour come out with a blower vac, do his area, another neighbour will be pee-d off because of the noise, come out and do his," Darren said.</p> <p>"My question is in today's world, with COVID and everything we have like that, if it's not strata, should it really be blower vacs? I might sound like a bit of a whinger, mate, but blower vacs at 8 am on a Sunday morning? Unfortunately, with lockdowns and things like what's been happening, you'll get neighbours — I'm in the situation where you'll get a bit of animosity."</p> <p>Darren said the age-old debate can cause conflict amongst neighbours if they find they're being woken up too early, and while he thinks 8 am is fine to start power tools, a bit of courtesy is needed.</p> <p>"I have confessed that I love a leaf blower. I don't use it early in the morning," Ben said.</p> <p>A man named Chris called up and his one question for Ben — and everyone else who uses one — was, "Where do you blow leaves?".</p> <p>Ben joked that he just blows them to his neighbours' yard, but clarified he just uses it on the path, blowing it back into the garden.</p> <p>There are official times where power tools, lawnmowers and leaf blowers can be used and it differs from state to state. Here are the times it's acceptable to use these items across the country:</p> <p><strong>New South Wales</strong></p> <ul> <li>8 am to 8 pm on Sundays and public holidays.</li> <li>7 am to 8 pm on any other day.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Victoria</strong></p> <ul> <li>7 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday.</li> <li>9 am to 8 pm on weekends and public holidays.</li> </ul> <p><strong>South Australia</strong></p> <ul> <li>8 am to 8 pm Monday to Saturday.</li> <li>9 am to 8 pm on Sunday.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Western Australia</strong></p> <ul> <li>7 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday.</li> <li>9 am to 7 pm Sunday and public holidays.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Queensland</strong></p> <ul> <li>7 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday.</li> <li>8 am to 7 pm Sunday or public holiday.</li> </ul> <p><strong>ACT</strong></p> <ul> <li>7 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday.</li> <li>8 am to 8 pm Sunday and public holidays.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Northern Territory</strong></p> <ul> <li>7 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday.</li> <li>9 am to 6 pm Sunday and public holidays.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Tasmania</strong></p> <ul> <li>7 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday.</li> <li>9 am to 8 pm on Saturday.</li> <li>10 am to 8 pm Sunday and public holidays.</li> </ul>

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Bunnings launches LEGO-style collectables perfect for the grandkids

<p><span>Bunnings have just announced their latest drop that is sure to give kids across Australia something to enjoy as the summer holidays come to an end.</span><br /><br /><span>The mega warehouse store has just released a range of five “building blocks” toys for fans to collect.</span><br /><br /><span>It is very similar to the Woolworths “Ooshie” campaign that took Australia by story, however the five Building Block collectibles have been designed to complete a Bunnings Black Warehouse.</span><br /><br /><span>For the 168-piece scales-down model of the store, it retails for $30. However pint-sized DIY experts can recreate with just a few assembly blocks.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839471/bunnings-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/97931a12d91c403a815ef0a5056017b9" /><br /><br /><span>"Each add-on will be a replica of features you can easily spot inside a Bunnings Warehouse so that customers can collect and build some of their favourite in-store features," a Bunnings spokesperson said.</span><br /><br /><span>A new mystery collectible items will be available with every Bunnings person from January 14 up until May.</span><br /><br /><span>The first add-on feature includes Bunnings truck, which has been described as a replica of "the quiet hero, always ensuring the shelves are fully stocked with more than 40,000 products for customers to choose from."</span><br /><br /><span>"This model truck always delivers and can be assembled using 117 durable building blocks. Wherever you live, this Bunnings Truck will transport you and your kids to a fun place, every single time you play with it."</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839472/bunnings.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f1911d73782340d6982b7a023026102e" /><br /><br /><span>Each item will cost $10, and is available storewide and online while stock lasts.</span><br /><br /><span>WA restrictions have limited availability for Bunnings Building Block add-ons. It will be available in Armadale, Broome and Bunbury stores and through Click and Deliver online in WA only.</span></p>

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Shopper issues urgent warning against cult Kmart item

<p>Kmart has a number of items that have quickly become cult favourites including their very popular air fryer.</p> <p>However one woman has taken to Facebook, encouraging people to think twice before using an air fryer on their kitchen bench.</p> <p>In a post shared in the Kmart Hacks &amp; Decor group she says the Kmart purchase allegedly left a crack on her stone bench top – a discovery which had resulted in her husband “quietly rocking in the corner”.</p> <p>“Just an FYI and warning!” she wrote, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/kmart-shoppers-urgent-warning-to-anyone-with-an-air-fryer-c-1894964" target="_blank">7news.com.au.</a></p> <p>“Bought the big air fryer and have been loving it … till I noticed a big crack in my bench top.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839345/kmart-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/13c7d42b49c444108a3694f7f9696895" /></p> <p>“I didn’t realise the heat the air fryer made underneath and has now cracked my stone bench top!”</p> <p>It is recommended that air fryer users should put a heat-resistant pad underneath the appliance while using it, but the woman did not know this nor did many others.</p> <p>“I had no idea this could happen,” one person wrote.</p> <p>A Kmart spokesperson said that the appliance came with an instructions manual and had a number of recommendations on how to operate the cult buy.</p> <p>“At Kmart, we’re committed to designing and creating great quality products for our customers; and we’re proud to offer families a wide range of cooking appliances,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839346/kmart-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a805d639b9574eeaba39e1f3e767eeee" /></p> <p>“Air Fryers are one of our most popular appliance categories; with a 5-star customer rating and dedicated fan page on Facebook with over 398,000 members.</p> <p>“When it comes to electrical appliances, we recommend customers familiarise themselves with the safety precautions outlined in our User Manuals.</p> <p>“This will ensure products are used correctly. Placing air fryers on dry, level, stable, and heat-resistant surfaces (away from overhead cabinets or presses, which may be damaged by steam) is recommended.”</p>

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Mum touts Bunnings product as miracle shower cleaner

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Not everyone is a fan of cleaning, but almost everyone is a fan of hacks that make those tedious chores a lot easier.</p> <p>Enter Aussie mum Tracey who has found her latest miracle find after "trying everything else" to remove stubborn soap scum from her shower.</p> <p>“Finally found the game-changer for shower glass," she shared on a Facebook group.</p> <p>“Easy to rub in and wash off. Found in Bunnings cleaning aisle. Have tried everything else before finding this."</p> <p>Her miracle product is Rain-X Shower door extreme cleaner, which can be found at your local Bunnings.</p> <p>“This unique product, specially formulated for use on glass shower doors, is ideal for removing soap scum, dirt, hard water build-up, calcium, lime stains and rust stains," the product description reads on the website.</p> <p>Other fans of the<span> </span><em>Mums Who Clean</em><span> </span>Facebook group loved the hack.</p> <p>“I’m an end of lease cleaner and this is what we use. I’ve cleaned some really bad showers. Like to the point the glass couldn’t been seen through. And I’ve used Rainx to clean it”</p> <p>Added another: “well worth the $20, game changer!”</p> <p>Said a third: “That is awesome stuff. My client that also has a house in America brought some back years ago you could only get it from the US at the time. So glad they have finally got in here.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Kmart urgently recalls popular Christmas item

<p>Kmart has recalled a popular Christmas decoration after biosecurity fears mean it could pose a risk to native flora and fauna in Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>The major retailer has pulled its Half Wicker Wreath with Berries from online stores as well as in-store after the biosecurity risk.</p> <p>The product has foliage and berries and has been available in Kmart from September 26th to December 7th and there are fears that there are unwanted organisms in the wreath.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839175/kmar-theor.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e7029968cb8547439810fd601af43e04" /></p> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Shoppers have been told to return it to stores "immediately" for a full refund.</p> <p>“The treatment given to this product has been determined to have been ineffective and it may contain unwanted organisms that could affect plants native to the country,” the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.recalls.govt.nz/recalls/32cm-half-wicker-wreath-with-berries/" target="_blank">Product Recalls<span> </span></a>website said.</p> <p>“The product could potentially pose a risk to native flora.</p> <p>“Customers should cease using their product immediately and return the product to any Kmart store for a full refund.”</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span></em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/christmas/kmart-recalls-popular-15-christmas-item-amid-biosecurity-risk/news-story/1d72e0f971c2677d3f224254089f01d6" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"></div> </div> </div>

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Give yourself some power: Why you should upgrade your recliners and sofas

<p>Whether you’re returning home after a long day of work, or you’re sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labour in retirement – you want to be as comfortable as possible, right?</p> <p>If you’re sitting on a couch that you’ve had for 20 years and you find yourself sinking into the spot you’ve been claiming as yours over that time, you might be in need of an upgrade. Or perhaps the sofa you bought last year just doesn’t seem to sit right in your living area anymore. Whatever the case, upgrading your current lounge to a <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/">new recliner or sofa</a> will not only enhance your comfort, it’ll change the aesthetics of your home.</p> <p>Here’s our tips on why you should upgrade, and what to consider:</p> <p><strong>A mood enhancer</strong></p> <p>If your old lounges and sofas are starting to look a little drab, it can really impact your mood when you’re trying to relax. It’s difficult to lie back and watch Netflix when in the back of your mind, all you can think about is how uncomfortable you feel. By upgrading to a new recliner or sofa, you will enhance your viewing pleasure, and you’ll feel much better for it. At the end of the day, your personal style and comfort are reflections of how you feel on the inside, and that upgrade might just hit the mark in feeling your best.</p> <p><strong>Change is as good as a holiday</strong></p> <p>You might have heard the saying that “a change is as good as a holiday”. So, when you can’t hit the airways and take off overseas, or you’re counting down the days when you can skip over the border to visit your family, making your home brighter and fresher can make a huge difference to the aesthetics of your home. Think bright colours, if life is feeling a little bit gloomy, or choose a design that’s sleek, elegant and sophisticated to match the person inside you want others to see shine through.</p> <p><strong>Choosing the right upgrade – Power, Traditional, Contemporary and more!</strong></p> <p>When upgrading your sofa, you want to make sure you’re getting something that is not only going to be the epitome of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/comfort-guides-au" target="_blank">comfort</a>, but also one that’s going to go the distance. Although you’ll find there are plenty of options on the market, a <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/recliners/power">power recliner</a> is by far one of the most popular, allowing you to have full control over your seating position with the simple push of a button. Conventional style recliners, on the other hand, have a lever that you can pull, and it pulls the leg rest up, allowing you to lie back and relax. Either option is going to enhance your ultimate relaxation preferences.</p> <p>Traditional recliners, such as the <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/eden-rocker-recliner">Eden</a> and <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/serenity-rocker-recliner">Serenity</a> Rocker with La-Z-Boy, are guaranteed to suit any home design. They’re built to last, comfortable and affordable. Step things up a notch with the stylish Scandinavian-inspired designs, such as the <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/recliners/rolf-nordic-recliner">Rolf Nordic</a> or <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/recliners/asta-nordic-recliner">Asta Nordic</a>; or opt for something more contemporary to maximise your home’s space and aesthetics, with the <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/anika-onyx-rocker-recliner">Anika Onyx</a> or <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/duor-colorado-power-recliner">Duo<strong>® </strong>Colorado</a>. Or even a power option such as the <a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/sofas-modulars/taylor-2-seater-twin-power-recliner">Taylor Twin 2 Seater Power Recliner</a>. If you want to upgrade even further, upgrade to leather from fabric, or customise any of your favourites with dozens of colours and textures, arms and bases for free. Bring out your internal designer, and give yourself some power, by making the choice that’s right for you and your personal style.</p> <p><strong>The best option</strong></p> <p>There’s no single best option – it really depends on your own comfort and style preferences. Power recliners come with various positions and settings, and the value in comfort and support you get is worth the extra upgrade. Both are easy to maintain provided they are looked after, and the fabric chosen is one that’s easy to clean. Regardless of which type of recliner or sofa you buy, if you choose one from a reputable brand like La-Z-Boy with generous warranties, you’ll have it for many years to come. </p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em><a href="https://www.la-z-boy.com.au/"><em>La-Z-Boy</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Bunnings $2 Christmas hack goes viral

<p><span>Nifty shoppers have taken to social media to show how one clothing item from Bunnings can be used for a cheap and easy holiday hack.</span><br /><br /><span>Those with patience and the willingness to try can make a glowing snowflake using a 12-pack of Hager’s for $2 or a “heavy duty” 15-pack for $8.80.</span><br /><br /><span>“My coat hanger snowflake. Took a while and lots of cable ties but got there in the end,” one woman posted in the Facebook group Bunnings Mums.</span><br /><br /><span>Another woman revealed she spent $8 for 20 coat hangers and $2.50 for a 100-pack of cable ties to make her very own glowing snowflake.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839136/woman-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fe292adbf2004ead9c51846c47dd5a2f" /><br /><br /><span>“Jungle bell battery lights $8. I used 2 packs. Kinda want more on it haha,” she wrote, adding that for her first go she is pretty happy with it.</span><br /><br /><span>Another shopper posted in the group Bunnings Mums, Inspiration, Hacks, Tips And Tricks, and left other members stunned by her “awesome” job.</span><br /><br /><span>“These are so beautiful,” one person wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“That is so clever!!” another added.</span><br /><br /><span>A third wrote: “Wow these look awesome.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7839137/woman-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/21bedf47074e44a7a8c4ddb84dbe5df5" /><br /><br /><span>The woman revealed that to make the glowing snowflake, she used small cable ties and 16 hangers.</span><br /><br /><span>To make it glow, she used Kmart solar powered LED lights which cost $5.</span><br /><br /><span>It comes as little to no surprise that people are choosing to make their own decorations for the Christmas season.</span><br /><br /><span>Independent research carried out by Antenna Insights on behalf of Bunnings showed that almost half of Aussies – 49 per cent – will make their own 2020 decorations.</span></p>

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“Deliberate acts of kindness”: How COVID has changed customer service expectations

<div class="postIntro"><strong>Reader’s Digest has released the names of the Australian businesses that achieved customer service excellence during an extraordinarily challenging year – while witnessing a “fundamental shift in values”.</strong></div> <p>Taking care of customers has been a monumental task in 2020, and our very best organisations have just been recognised with the naming of the 7th annual Quality Service Awards. These organisations have tapped into an important new level of empathy, with a crucial human touch during the crisis. But the survey to find the winners has also revealed that our own expectations, as customers, have shifted as a response to the challenges of the pandemic.</p> <p>We now put more thought into our choice of products and services, and most of us (67%) are more money conscious since the start of the pandemic.</p> <p>The 2021 Quality Service Awards is an independent survey, conducted by a leading research company, with the awards commissioned by and appearing exclusively in Australian <em>Reader’s Digest</em>. The survey identifies the most satisfied customers across 40 different categories, from Hardware to Holidays and from Supermarkets to Superannuation.</p> <p>“It’s fair to say that something remarkable happened in customer service this year,” notes Australian Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Louise Waterson.</p> <p>“As the full impact and potential dangers of the pandemic became apparent, we saw a fundamental shift in values, with economic considerations taking a back seat to moral responsibility.</p> <p>“At the top, the profit for shareholders was no longer seen as the chief responsibility of doing business. The shift put the community, and individuals, as equally important stakeholders and, as a result, corporations and business turned their focus to see what they could do to share the burden of keeping people safe.”</p> <p>Leading research agency Catalyst Research was commissioned to survey a representative sample of 2,500 Australians, using five key criteria for the survey – including personalisation, understanding, simplicity, satisfaction, and consistency.</p> <p>Two thirds of Australians (67%) say they are more money conscious now since the start of the pandemic, with 63% of Australian consumers acknowledging that they put more thought now into their choice of products and services during the COVID pandemic. A further 58% of Australian consumers would consider the quality of the product and service during the pandemic and they (51%) are more likely to purchase the product or service if it has won an award.</p> <p>Almost half of the Australians surveyed are doing more online shopping now, especially for younger people. The reasons people gave for doing more online shopping include: lockdown, convenience, safety, avoiding crowds.</p> <p>Food, groceries, clothes and shoes are the most common products that people have increased buying online.</p> <p>Men and younger people are more likely to have increased their online shopping across all categories. And 8 in 10 Australians are concerned about the quality of the products or service they purchased online, while three quarters are concerned about fraud.</p> <p>The full list of Australian Quality Service Award winners for 2021 can be seen <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.qualityserviceawards.com.au/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>

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Coles sells $90 dupe of $700 KitchenAid stand mixer

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Today, Coles is launching one of their biggest Best Buys promotions to date and featuring a wildly popular design dupe.</p> <p>The supermarket has also advised shoppers on how to get an extra 15 per cent off due to a sneaky Black Friday "hack".</p> <p>Coles is launching a 5L $89.99 stand mixer that bears a striking resemblance to the popular KitchenAid mixers, which retail between $699 and $899.</p> <p>The Thomson mixer being sold at coles comes in black and red, features 5-speed settings with pulse function, a stainless steel bowl, a transparent bowl cover with refill opening and an automatic stop when the head is lifted.</p> <p>Coles General Manager for Health and Home, Jonathan Torr, shared a discount "hack" for savvy shoppers to take advantage of during the Black Friday sales.</p> <p>"For an extra special offer, we're giving customers 15 per cent off a range of gift cards – this is our biggest gift card offer yet and a true hack for shoppers who want to save even more at over 90 major retailers across the country," he revealed.</p> <p>"If you're already saving 50 per cent at one retailer, you can save an extra 15 per cent by using the gift card you buy at Coles from today."</p> <p>Coles shoppers are able to get the discounted gift cards between now and December 1st.</p> <p>Torr described today's Best Buys Bonanza sale as "the biggest and best sale we've ever had".</p> <p>"We've taken inspiration from leading kitchen and sporting brands from across the globe and sourced similar products for fraction of the price for our customers," he said of the designer dupes on offer.</p> <p>"We've worked hard to ensure that the products we're offering are not only the best value on the market but are also fantastic quality. "</p> <p>"We're excited to expand Best Buys to more stores and have an exclusive range available only on Coles Online too, which means our amazing deals will be available to even more customers all around Australia," Torr said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Surprised mum discovers "weird" creature in home

<p>An Aussie mum was left very confused after spotting a bizarre "creature" in her home.</p> <p>She posted on the popular Facebook page Mums Who Clean, asking for help identifying the creature.</p> <p>“Does anyone know what this weird-looking creature is please?” she wrote on the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/mumswhoclean" target="_blank">Mums Who Clean</a><span> </span>page.</p> <p>Many thought it was a stingray.</p> <p>“Not gonna lie, I thought it was a mini stingray at first glance!” said one.</p> <p>Added another: “Go home stingray, you’re drunk!”</p> <p>Luckily, a pest controller on the page provided info as to what it is.</p> <p>“Pest controller here!” said one.</p> <p>“It looks weird, I’ll admit! But it’s nothing concerning, simply the dropped tail from a broad-tailed gecko (Phyllurus platurus).</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838939/gecko-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3bde4f6931ac4e8788ced0b2e895b2f1" /></p> <p>“They throw the tail off to act as a decoy when threatened.”</p> <p>Many were surprised after learning the truth.</p> <p>“Well you learn something new every day,” said one. “I’m Australian, and in 45 years I have never seen a gecko that looks like that and thank God, because I would literally **** my pants!”</p> <p>Wrote another: “I would be more worried that the tail has been dropped, because where the hell is the gecko?</p> <p>“Just move houses, it’s safest that way!”</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span></em><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/baffled-aussie-mum-asks-internet-for-help-after-discovering-weird-creature-in-home-c-1648095" target="_blank"><em>7news</em></a></p>

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Outraged community rallies against council over garden

<p>Outraged residents in a regional Victorian street are fighting against council who want to rip up a beloved community garden.</p> <p>The garden was started by retired builder John Doyle, who told <a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/furious-aussie-residents-rally-against-local-council-over-now-iconic-community-garden/1ef71f3e-a53e-49c2-a6fd-8bf51d3b0795" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink"><em>A Current Affair</em></a> that the "oasis" takes his mind off his failing health.</p> <p>"It's just kept me going with some purpose in life," Mr Doyle said.</p> <p>Just three and a half years ago, Doyle was given three months to live after being diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder which was initially diagnosed as cancer.</p> <p>He also suffers from ringing in his ears, but manages to volunteer his time to charity work multiple times a week.</p> <p>"It was all an attempt to reconnect the community," he said. </p> <p>"I really attribute the garden to my longevity up to this point."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838735/man-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/06b6560f7a994ac9bdfa0c496b2c7677" /></p> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>However, the City of Greater Bendigo has demanded that the garden be ripped up as it encroached on the nature strip.</p> <p>Neighbours who spoke to <em>A Current Affair</em> expressed their outrage with the council and said they would be sad to see it go.</p> <p>Doyle also lives on the end of a dead-end street and his side of the road does not have a footpath, which means that the garden does not obstruct pedestrian traffic.</p> <p>He said he has never received any negative comments about his yard, which include art installations and a herb garden.</p> <p>"Sometimes I have three or four cars lined up (with) people taking photos of it," he said.</p> <p>"As far as I know everyone loves it."</p> <p>A single anonymous complaint from a resident, however, has brought the council's attention to the garden, who now simply want it gone.</p> <p>The council has also sent letters to other residents asking them if they want anything "unsightly" removed from the street.</p> <p>Mr Doyle's neighbour, single mother Bec Christie, said she believed council was trying to "bait" residents into "saying that his place is like an eyesore".</p> <p>"He makes his famous plum sauce and my kid's Krabby Patties (hamburgers) will not be the same without his famous plum sauce," Ms Christie said.</p> <p>"My kids will actually be devastated."</p> <p>Other residents said that their children regularly played in the garden, but the council has strongly rejected claims that it had told Doyle that it would rip up the garden itself if he refused to do so.</p> <p>"At no point has the City of Greater Bendigo instructed Mr Doyle that it would be removing items from his property or public land adjacent to his property (nature strip), or that it would charge Mr Doyle for cleaning up on his behalf," a statement said. </p> <p>"At no point has warning or enforcement action been taken by the City.</p> <p>"Written warning by the City would need to occur prior to any enforcement action being taken.</p> <p>"No written warning has been issued to date."</p> </div>

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Community outrage as four-lane road built metres from front doors

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Peter Coles loved the quiet lifestyle of the Willowdale development in Sydney's south-west that he paid $805,000 for his home in 2018.</p> <p>"We thought there'd be plenty of room for parking, plenty of room for safety, if children got out of the house and onto the road, they'd be a fair way from the traffic," he told <em>A Current Affair.</em></p> <p>His house and his neighbours houses were built 15 metres from Denham Court Road, but things are changing as two lanes are becoming four.</p> <p>Constant traffic is going past 2.5 metres of their front yards and just 4 metres from their front doors.</p> <p>"We knew they were going to do the road up but this is horrific, really we had no idea of it," resident Robert Jackson said.</p> <p>Developer Stockland did a letter drop in 2019 saying that the road would be expanded, but residents claim that no specific details were given about the road. </p> <p>Mr Coles said "now we look out and, within two-and-a-half metres, we've got cars and trucks, all sorts of vehicles, moving past at 70 kilometres an hour."</p> <p>Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils CEO Charles Casuscelli said that the road is a safety issue.</p> <p>"Sometimes councils and state government agencies need people to thump desks and look them in the eyes and say, 'if you were living here, what would you want?'," Mr Casuscelli said.</p> <p>'I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want more tar, concrete, or bricks or steel or timber," he said.</p> <p>"What they need is natural environments that are pleasant to live in and actually work for their families."</p> <p>A statement given to <a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/real-estate-nightmare-aussie-residents-fed-up-with-roadworks-on-doorstep/bc7728b9-9adf-4053-95ec-b49956a78df6" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink"><em>Nine</em></a> from a Campbelltown City Council said that the road design was approved with requirements of the RMS.</p> <p>"The development application, including the road design, was approved in accordance with the requirements of the RMS, the developer's obligations under the Special Infrastructure Contribution and the requirements of other State Government agencies," the statement reads.</p> <p>"Stockland engaged with residents directly and ensured ongoing communication at each stage of the project. All registered plans for the lots on Denham Court Road, Passiflora Avenue and Plumegrass Avenue highlights road widening from the existing road at the time to the boundary of the lots.</p> <p>"Parking has never been available along Denham Court Road. The plans for construction include a designated bike lane on the side of the road, so while cars are currently driving close to the finished kerb and gutter, once the other side of the road is complete, a bike lane will be painted on the road and cars will be further away from the boundary of these homes."</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Angry neighbour rants over chalk drawings

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A Melbourne resident tried to spread joy to her community by drawing on footpaths in chalk, but has since been labelled a "pretentious pr**k" by one of her neighbours.</p> <p>Fiona Cracknell set up Cracknell Chalk Drawings to showcase her chalk designs on Facebook.</p> <p>“I started drawing for my beautiful 3 year old daughter, had no idea it would impact my local neighbourhood while in lockdown this much,” Ms Cracknell wrote on the page.</p> <p>However, another resident took issue with the drawings and has since complained to council.</p> <p>“Someone has complained to the Council about my chalk drawing. Calling me a pretentious p**ck and that I am graffitiing,” Ms Cracknell wrote on the Facebook page on Thursday.</p> <p>“First of all I was doing to bringing joy to the community [sic], not cause drama and second, the Coucil loves it. For the first time in ages I have brought positive news to Gladstone Park.</p> <p>“I cannot believe this! I am really upset and angry. All I wanted was to make people smile at a time they needed it the most.”</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&amp;href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F9NewsMelbourne%2Fvideos%2F266144354828037%2F&amp;show_text=false&amp;width=560" width="560" height="314" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p>The letter was sent in anonymously and called the artwork "destructive graffiti".</p> <p>“I’ve copied the letter to the pretentious p**cks at that house in the hope they will see this letter as a warning and cease their crap,” the letter says.</p> <p>“They may also get it into their skulls that graffiti of council land is illegal. Placing the lives of locals at risk because of their desire to.”</p> <p>However, the council won't be doing anything, according to a statement from <em>7News.</em></p> <p>“Chalk messages and drawings on streets have been developed by children and adults alike during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing hope and joy to Victorians during this difficult time,” the statement to Seven News said.</p> <p>“Council will not issue any fines for these drawings or ask for them to be removed.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Scott Cam addresses The Block replacement rumours

<p>Scott Cam is loved by those who watch The Block, however rumours have started to circulate that the tradesman was saying farewell to the show and being replaced by Jamie Durie.</p> <p>But on Sunday, the 57-year-old debunked those rumours completely.</p> <p>“I have been at Channel 9 for 21 years on a permanent basis and I have got a few good years left in some contracts, so I reckon I’m staying put,” he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=HSWEB_WRE170_a&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.heraldsun.com.au%2Fentertainment%2Ffiona-byrne%2Fthe-block-host-scott-cam-opens-up-about-his-future-on-the-hit-show%2Fnews-story%2Fa6a31ed254c465cedd9614c72c112016&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;nk=7de07afb1603cf556589fcc05e903c2d-1602992518" target="_blank">The Herald Sun</a>.</p> <p>Executive producer Julian Cress said that Scott, who took on the hosting role of The Block in 2010, was “an integral organ that without him there simply wouldn’t be a show”.</p> <p>“As long as Dave [Barbour, The Block creator], Justin and I are making The Block Scotty will be the host,” he said.</p> <p>Jamie Durie formerly hosted the show from 2003-2004, however it is unlikely he’ll return as he currently hosts rival show House Rules.</p> <p>In other news, The Block has announced that they will film their 2021 season in Melbourne's Hampton.</p> <p>At the Nine Upfronts, a spokesperson said, “The Block will return in 2021 for an astonishing 17th season.</p> <p>“While we can’t say too much just yet, we can confirm that next year’s series will take place in the ultimate family-friendly setting of a picturesque suburban cul de sac.”</p> <p><em>The Block room reveals will air at 7 pm on Channel 9.</em></p>

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Genius mum’s inspired Christmas tree goes viral

<p>A Sydney mum has left thousands of Facebook users in awe over her “outstandingly genius” Christmas tree.</p> <p>While most people choose to use fancy ornaments and tinsel to decorate their trees, Marissa Velarde came up with a unique idea - she used 200 family photos, which immediately caught the attention of social media users.</p> <p>The mother-of-two said she didn’t know just how popular her tree would be after it racked up 5000 likes and hundreds of comments on Facebook.</p> <p>“I was so surprised. Oh my gosh. I just didn’t think people would react that way,” Ms Velarde told news.com.au.</p> <p><img style="width: 321.04557640750676px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838248/screen-shot-2020-10-13-at-33106-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/67979c5f77c54c2bbebb2fd724d1c04d" /></p> <p>The process took five days to complete as she looked through family albums to pick out images to cut up and hang on to her tree.</p> <p>After hand-picking 200 images she then saved it to a hard-drive and printed it off at her local Kmart.</p> <p>“I had 6 X 4 photos printed in Kmart, then I cut them to the size I wanted,” Ms Velarde said.</p> <p>“I also bought gold and light brown cardboard paper, cut them both up a bit bigger than the picture, and stuck them on top of each other.</p> <p>“I glued gold ribbon between the photo and cardboard paper.”</p> <p>The 50-year-old said the main reason she decided to hang up photos on her tree was due to a recent health scare.</p> <p>She also has not been able to visit her extended family in the Philippines due to coronavirus restrictions.</p> <p>“A lot has happened health wise for me since last year. I had a stroke and have had a few operations since then where they had to insert a defibrillator into the left side of my chest,” Ms Velarde told news.com.au</p> <p>After suffering from a stroke last August, doctors came to discover that Ms Velarde had Cardiomyopathy, a hereditary disease of the heart muscle.</p> <p>“So they put in the defibrillator to jolt me if my heart stops,” she said.</p> <p>Ms Velarde said if it wasn’t for the stroke, she wouldn’t have known she had a weak and enlarged heart.</p> <p>“I wouldn’t have known I had a heart issue because I never felt anything, I actually didn’t realise I was having a stroke,” she said.</p> <p>“I have been in and out of hospital and I thought, oh my gosh, with COVID we can’t even go anywhere and visit our family overseas which we do every year at Christmas.</p> <p>“So I thought maybe I could do this (photo Christmas tree) and have them ‘here’ with us,”</p> <p>Since posting the photo of her tree, Ms Velarde has received hundreds of comments praising her for the idea. </p>

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Bunnings’ bizarre $129 Christmas item

<p>People were appalled and others were thrilled when Bunnings announced they had a $129 inflatable Axe Throwing Santa available for Christmas decorations.</p> <p>The item had left some shoppers confused, saying it was "peculiar" on Facebook.</p> <p>“It’s really cool, the target deflates after being ‘axed’ and pops back up again. There’s a few new ones in this year,” one shopper wrote about the product on Facebook.</p> <p>“Hahahaha love it,” added another.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838084/bunnings-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a83d406adedc433685198bf8dbf93847" /></p> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The garden addition was 1.8m and came with one reindeer pinned to a rotating bullseye along with 18 LED lights that illuminate your garden.</p> <p>However, Bunnings has since pulled the item from stores saying it was "inappropriate".</p> <p>“While we’re always looking for unique Christmas items we decided this product wasn’t appropriate and we’ve withdrawn it from sale,” Bunnings director of merchandise Phil Bishop told news.com.au</p> <p><em>Photo credits: </em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/outdoors/bunnings-sells-unique-christmas-decoration-of-santa-with-an-axe/news-story/b649bf4ed62a347c40c874134e3c7e4c" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink">news.com.au</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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