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5 ways to manage your winter garden

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the weather might be frightful, giving your garden some care can help you prepare for spring and keep your garden in check over winter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether you want to start a new project, plant some seasonal flowers or simply keep up with general maintenance, here are five ways to tidy up your garden during the colder months.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Pruning</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to giving plants a trim during winter, there are a few that thrive from it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For roses, start at the top and cut back about a third of the plant to ensure you will get lots of lush blooms come spring.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deciduous trees also benefit from pruning, allowing sunlight into the centre of the tree to help them grow all over once the weather warms up again.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Plant future meals now</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Across New Zealand, early winter is the best time to plant members of the </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brassica</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> family, including cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli. You can also plant legumes such as peas and snow peas in winter.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQfjFb7BFd5/?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/CQfjFb7BFd5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Gardening Australia (@gardeningaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To grow your own asparagus, plant the crowns in winter, leave them for the first year and reap your tasty reward during the second season.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">No matter what you choose to grow, it’s important to improve the soil first with lots of organic matter before planting.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Add a dash of colour</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the cold, there are still colourful flowers that you can enjoy. Plants such as pansies, primulas, polyanthus, and violets will continue to flower through winter and into spring.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Start a project</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take advantage of the cooler weather to start a landscaping project or make some improvements to your garden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether you’re planning to build a new garden bed, pave the courtyard, or extend the deck, it can be much easier to complete without the heat of the midday sun.</span></p> <p><strong>5. General upkeep</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are plenty of things you can do to manage your garden and prevent it from becoming unruly or overgrown. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you decide to do some weeding, you can keep the pesky plants down with a fresh layer of mulch. The layer of mulch should be 5 centimetres deep at a maximum, and it should be kept away from the stems of plants. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To stay on top of lawn weeds, aerating your lawn with a garden fork will do the trick, especially as the soil is softer in winter.</span></p>

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A beautiful new rose for Phillip

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post-body-container"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Queen Elizabeth was overwhelmed when she was gifted a special present on what would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday.</p> <p>Her Majesty is a Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society and was gifted a specially-bred rose that has been named in memory of her late husband.</p> <p>The flower, called the Duke of Edinburgh Rose, was gifted to the Queen on Wednesday the 2nd, but photos have only been released on what would have been the Duke's birthday, the 10th of June.</p> <p>"Whilst being very poignant, it was also a delight to give Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Duke of Edinburgh Rose to mark what would have been HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's 100th birthday and to remember his remarkable life," President of the Royal Horticultural Society, Keith Weed said in a statement from Buckingham Palace.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CP6rNW3HiPR/?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/CP6rNW3HiPR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Harkness Roses (@harknessroses)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&gt;</p> <p>"The Duke's devotion to raising public awareness of the importance of conserving the natural world leaves a lasting legacy."</p> <p>The rose was bred by Harkness Roses and has a "deep-ink colour dappled with white lines" and are "perfect as vase flowers".</p> <p>For every rose sold, the company will donate $5 to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Living Legacy Fund.</p> <p>"We are thrilled to introduce this brand-new commemorative rose to remember the remarkable life of The Duke of Edinburgh," managing director Philip Harkness said.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/COh1HEsn1q5/?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/COh1HEsn1q5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Harkness Roses (@harknessroses)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"In buying this rose you will also be giving one million more young people the opportunity to do their DofE Award, so not only is this rose spectacular to look at, but you will also be raising funds for a very worthy cause."</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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The most bizarre dishwasher hack you’ll ever see

<p>Dishwashers are arguable one of the most useful appliances in the home, let alone the kitchen.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are cleaning prodigies who have some of the most useful tips and the most recent one to go viral has left users in a head spin.</p> <p>Aussie mum<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@carolina.mccauley/video/6968596608103533825?lang=en&amp;is_copy_url=1&amp;is_from_webapp=v1" target="_blank" title="Carolina Mccauley">Carolina Mccauley</a><span> </span>has shared her odd but crucial tip to get sparkling silverware – and it involves a ball of aluminium foil.</p> <p>She says all you need to do is a throw a ball of aluminium foil in with your cutlery before turning on the dishwasher.</p> <p>"This dishwasher hack will leave your silverware sparkling," she captioned the video on<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/the-block/tiktok" target="_blank" title="TikTok">TikTok</a>.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841619/aluminium-dishwasher-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7349503acbde497b8ea9187fb2fcded0" /></p> <p>If you roll some tin foil into a ball and place in the cutlery holder of your dishwasher, your forks, spoons, and knives will come out sparkling like new.</p> <p>It's definitely an odd tip, but the results show it does make a difference.</p> <p>The video has been watched over 123,000 times so far.</p> <p>"Why does my brain think it's not okay to put aluminium foil inside appliances because of the microwave," one TikToker wrote.</p> <p>Another said, "What the scientific magic is this?"</p> <p>The magic behind the foil has been revealed, with<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dashingmaids.com/aluminum-foil-cleaning-hacks/" target="_blank" title="">Dashing Maids</a><span> </span>writing that the chemical reaction from the foil and a dishwasher tablet is what gives cutlery its incredible shine.</p>

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Professional cleaner reveals her MAJOR shower cleaning tip

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post-body-container"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A cleaner has shared her major secret tip to get her showers sparkling clean.</p> <p>Under the TikTok account<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@thebigcleanco?lang=en" target="_blank">The Big Clean Co</a>,</em> a Melbourne woman has showed her method of using dishwashing liquid to get shower tiles, shower screen and metal shower handles absolutely spotless.</p> <p>“This shower gets cleaned weekly, if it was a deep clean, we’d brush these bits,” she wrote.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841502/shower-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c9283a99d87146219aaecb6e7984a19c" /></p> <p>After wiping all of the shower surfaces down, she then showed how she rinsed the shower before drying it with a towel.</p> <p>“When we use dishwashing liquid, we don’t even need a glass cleaner,” she said.</p> <p>The clip has been viewed by more than two million people and left viewers excited to try the new cleaning hack out on their own showers.</p> <p>“This is so impressive,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“I love the tip! Thank you,” wrote another.</p> <p>A third said: “Going to clean my shower right now! Looks brilliant!”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"></div> </div> </div>

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Young tradie’s “embarrassing” blunder

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Melbourne tradie learned he had arrived for a job at the wrong house, after he had just finished ripping up the unknown owner’s backyard pavers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The tradesman arrived at the Cranbourne West home, in Melbourne’s southeast, before his boss on Monday, May 18 and got straight to work.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But little did he know, there was another house with the exact same number just three doors down the road.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He shared his “embarrassing” error on </span><a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@dafishaaa"><span style="font-weight: 400;">TikTok</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> the following day, writing: “When you go to prep a pour and end up going to the wrong house.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What a way to start the day,” he says in the clip that has since been watched over 165,000 times.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I get a text to say the address is 37, I word up the client that we’ll come in with the excavator, waited for Tyler, pulled up the pavers, only to find out, there’s a 37 all the way down there too,” he said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve just gone to a complete stranger’s house, got them to open up the shed, pulled out their pavers, waited for my boss, just to find out it’s the wrong house.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His boss also made a video recording the blunder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Get a load of this,” he says in the clip before panning across to the house where the work had been done.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m running late, so he comes in and starts moving things and ripping up pavers, but what he didn’t know was that’s actually the wrong house,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And he started ripping up someone else’s pavers, ready for a job that’s not going to happen at their house.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He doesn’t know what to do. So now we have to put back the pavers and apologise to whoever it is.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The mix-up happened as both homes had planned renovations that morning and were both numbered 37 but had different street names, so the owners had let him in assuming he was their builder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The owners were extremely understanding, with the tradie saying “they always seem to get parcels that belong to the actual 37”.</span></p>

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Man reveals why he hasn’t taken his bins out in three years

<p>One Australian man has revealed he has not put his rubbish out for collection in more than three years.</p> <p>Gary Moran, from South Australia says his bins have not been put out because he makes calculated choices about the items he purchases.</p> <p>Mr Moran, from Gawler admitted he avoids most items at the supermarket.</p> <p>"I grow some veggies myself and do some shopping at bulk stores and farmer markets, but I'm also careful at the supermarket as to make sure that anything that I do purchase, that the packaging is recyclable," Mr Moran said to <em>Yahoo News Australia.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7840943/rubbish.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ac54d60472c540f48e24978682f06ead" /></p> <p>He also said he recycles his soft plastic through REDcycle, making it a much simpler to reduce his overall waste.</p> <p>"It's been an ongoing thing that I've built on," he said.</p> <p>Mr Moran says he cut down his general waste drastically when he began crunching all of his aluminium foil into a large ball and combing smaller bits of metal and plastic into individual containers.</p> <p>He says he didn’t feel like he had to sacrifice anything to become more environmentally friendly.</p> <p>"I can't say that I really sacrificed anything, it's just about making a more intelligent choice about what you buy. I don't feel like I miss out on anything," he said.</p> <p>Mr Moran encourages those hoping to get into the minimal-waste lifestyle to make small changes to their daily habits.</p> <p>"When you want to start on a similar journey, you can make a small station at home where you can separate your things at the source," he said.</p> <p>"It's so easy when there's something in your hand that needs to be put somewhere, and it's no harder than throwing it in the bin."</p> <p>He also warned consumers to think about where their rubbish ends up going when they are done with it and to be wary of what they purchase.</p> <p><em>Image: Yahoo</em></p>

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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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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>

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2021 Quality Service Awards NZ winners announced

<p>Reader’s Digest has released the names of the New Zealand businesses that achieved customer service excellence during an extraordinarily challenging year.</p> <p>In releasing the Quality Service Award results, Reader’s Digest acknowledges it has been a time of “extreme difficulty” for customer service given lockdowns and other Covid-19 challenges. Yet the owners and staff of businesses listed as award winners rallied and their success is arguably more commendable than ever, says Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief Louise Waterson.</p> <p>Mrs Waterson adds that while the pandemic may have shifted the standard markers of business success, customer service has remained core among those success markers.</p> <p>“During the peak of the pandemic, the award-winning businesses remained savvy, clever and calm in their approach to customers, so much so that the importance of kindness and understanding once again became paramount.”</p> <p>The Reader’s Digest survey revealed that about two thirds of New Zealanders (68 percent) say they are more money conscious now since the start of the pandemic. And 68 percent of New Zealand consumers acknowledge they now put more thought into their choice of products and services than they did pre-Covid.</p> <p>Reader’s Digest commissioned independent market research company Catalyst to survey New Zealanders’ opinions of a range of service providers.</p> <p>A total of 1,500 New Zealanders of a mixed demographic were asked to rate their experience of service provided by businesses / organisations.</p> <p>Running since 2015, the survey identifies the most satisfied customers across 40 different categories, from pet insurance to pizzas and from Supermarkets to Superannuation. The prestigious Quality Service Award recognises companies that truly understand consumers’ needs.</p> <p>The winners’ line-up includes businesses that have repeatedly featured on the podium, as well as first time Gold winners such as Electric Kiwi (Gas &amp; Electricity Provider) and Hello Fresh (Meal Plan Delivery Service).</p> <p>The full list of New Zealand Quality Service Award winners for 2021 can be seen <span><a href="https://qualityserviceawards.co.nz/">here</a></span>.</p>

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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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Angry neighbour rants over chalk drawings

<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> <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> <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>

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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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“Incredibly rare” find leaves historians awestruck

<p>Speaking to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-20/rococo-wallpaper-uncovered-in-historic-tasmanian-house/12567422" target="_blank">ABC</a>, historians have been left dumbfounded after finding a beautifully preserved and rare type of rococo wallpaper, along with a child’s drawing, hidden behind a cupboard in a Tasmanian property for more than 150 years.</p> <p>The owners of Jordan House in the southern Tasmanian town of Broadmarsh recently uncovered the section of wallpaper and a sketch of a coastal town while renovating.</p> <p>The rococo wallpaper has been called "incredibly rare" and Southern Midlands Council Heritage Projects Officer Alan Townsend said the find was significant.</p> <p>“Rococo wallpaper was big in the 18th century,” he told the ABC. “It’s full of shapes like scrolls and seashell, really over the top and curvaceous</p> <p>“This find is amazing because it's incredibly high quality.”</p> <p>After estimating the wallpaper’s installation in around 1850, soon after the time of the building’s construction Mr Townsend said, “We know the reason the paper has survived is because sometime in the 1870s, a set of matching built-in cupboards were put in, and they covered up the wallpaper.</p> <p>“Sometime later, someone has come along and done what everyone did, which is steam everything off the walls.”</p> <p>Mr Townsend put the odds of finding that particular wallpaper in Tasmania at “astronomical” – before adding that it was the child’s drawing discovered beneath the wallpaper that made the find all the more special.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837471/wallpaper2.jpg" alt="IMAGE / Natalie Geard" data-udi="umb://media/49da371b359e4f5497ed541894291a4a" /></p> <p>“It just puts you into the outer stratosphere in terms of likelihood It looks to me like a child's drawing of a wall harbour, which are of course common on the coast of England.</p> <p>“I've never seen anything like this in Tasmania before.”</p> <p>The owner of the property, Ben Geard, is currently looking at options for preserving and showcasing the rare find.</p> <p>IMAGES: Natalie Geard</p>

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The McDonald’s cleaning hack you NEED to try

<p>An Aussie mum has revealed her simple hack for vacuuming tricky areas using an unlikely item from McDonald’s. </p> <p>Taking to Facebook, Queensland mum Kythaya showed how she uses the lid and straw of a Macca’s drinking cup to suck up dust and insects.</p> <p>The trick works by holding the lid of the plastic cup against the end of the vacuum hose and threading the straw inside the hole.</p> <p><img style="width: 364.2384105960265px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837377/screen-shot-2020-08-14-at-21919-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7f6e437dbdc34176899b8d15d19124d3" /></p> <p>When turning no the vacuum hold the lid and straw and move the hose around to suck up dirt and debris from hard-to-reach places.</p> <p>“Check this out, ladies,” she wrote on the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/mumswhoclean/" target="_blank">Mums Who Clean</a> page.</p> <p>“The flies that were stuck in the window sills are gone. There is probably an actual connection for this, but this works too.</p> <p>“Just don’t let the straw go!”</p> <p>The easy trick has gone viral, with thousands responding to Kythaya’s post.</p> <p>“Keep your Macca’s rubbish! Can’t wait to try this,” said one.</p> <p>Added another: “So going to try this! With five kids and Macca’s across the road we have way too many lids and straws.”</p> <p>Said a third: “I did this on my sliding doors and it was amazing. You are a genius.”</p>

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Why would you bother with a kettle?

<p>Kmart’s brand new $79 Instant Hot Water Dispenser hit shelves and online shops this week, to a clamour of rave reviews from early adopters of the magical speedy boiler.</p> <p>The machine claims to be able to boil a very respectable two litres of water in just three to five seconds – which is far, far quicker than anything else in your kitchen can promise.</p> <p>As a result, the positive reviews have been absolutely pouring in:</p> <p>“Goodbye kettle and the waiting,” one happy customer raved.</p> <p>“Jumped on the instant hot water dispenser bandwagon!” another shopper declared, “I’m loving it.”</p> <p>“Mine is on its way,” wrote another shopper who was a little slower on the uptake – but not by much.</p> <p>With three pour capacity options to choose from – 300, 200 or 150mL – and handy variable temperature settings of 98, 75 and 25 degrees, it’s been declared an instant bargain at just $79, with comparable high-end versions like the Westinghouse’s 2.7L dispenser selling for as much as $189.</p> <p>“I’m always amazed at the things Kmart comes up with. Take my money!” wrote another excited prospective customer – perhaps inadvertently borrowing from a recent KFC TV ad campaign.</p> <p>“It’s definitely hotter than the coffee machines,” chimed in another reviewer. “Highest temp on the machine is 95 and lowest 25.”</p> <p>“I'm so in love with my new Instant Hot Water Dispenser. Love that you can change the temperature to suit... Perfect for my green tea,” another happy customer shared.</p>

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Tradie’s heartwarming note to little boy goes viral

<p>A tradie's note to a young boy who helped out with work on a family home has captivated over 250,000 people on social media.</p> <p>Taking to Twitter to share the touching gesture, British woman Steph Kemp took a photo of the builder’s printed “pay packet” letter for her six-year-old son.</p> <p>Blown away by his “kind” gesture, she revealed she had her patio renovated her son Harry loved helping the builder out.</p> <p>“So it made his day to receive this. What an example of kindness,” she said alongside a snap of the note.</p> <p>The completed responsibilities of the “smashing little guy” includes passing bricks, passing “little pavers”, mixing cement and loading stone.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">We have just had our patio done and my 6yo has loved going out and helping the builder, so it made his day to receive this. What an example of kindness 😊 <a href="https://t.co/Wq39TU4uwL">pic.twitter.com/Wq39TU4uwL</a></p> — Steph Kemp (@steph_heathcote) <a href="https://twitter.com/steph_heathcote/status/1287688369905033217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>It also appears the little boy went above and beyond during his short stint as a tradie, “taking pictures of black birds and spiders”.</p> <p>He was rewarded a grand total of £10 ($A18) for all of his hard work, “minus tax and national insurance”, of course.</p> <p>The tweet has attracted more than 250,000 likes and been shared more than 22,000 times.</p> <p>“This is lovely – what a kind man! Keeping him in mind for future projects – the builder, not your son!” one person replied.</p> <p>“This is so special, thoughtful and empowering, I am sure that your son as he gets older will reflect on that act of respectful kindness,” wrote another.</p> <p>But, in usual internet fashion, not all replies saw the adorable side to the innocent note.</p> <p>“Yeah show him from a young age that all his hard work will be rewarded very minimally and show him he will not be adequately trained for the job,” one user responded. “This is actually bullying of a young child and it’s horrific.”</p> <p>And another: “As a builder I’d like to add the other side. Construction sites are dangerous places and I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve had to have stern words with customers that insist on letting their little darlings run around freely after already being asked nicely to stop them.”</p> <p>While others had a lighthearted reaction.</p> <p>“Love it but he shouldn’t be getting tax and national insurance deductions based on his age and income,” one person joked.</p>

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Jacinda Ardern shows off thrifty item in dining room tour

<p><span>Sometimes, we seem to think we know everything about public figures, but it turns out until yesterday, we didn’t know Jacinda Ardern was a serious thrifter.</span></p> <p><span>During a Facebook Live video yesterday, the Prime Minister of New Zealand started off the live stream but giving a tour of her dining room, which she said was “pretty stock standard, really” despite living at Premier House, the PM’s official residence.</span></p> <p><span>“It’s just a table with some of the features that usually you find in a family home – chalkboard,” Ardern said, gesturing to a chalkboard behind her that had some scrawlings from (we assume) her two-year-old daughter Neve.</span></p> <p><span>However, Ardern showed off an “unusual” feature in her dining room, as she revealed her chairs lived a life before she got her hands on them. </span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 330.173775671406px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836759/screen-shot-2020-07-01-at-110755-am.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/35e256186ae44ac59de43d2be0d97c1e" /></span></p> <p><span>“Probably the one unusual piece of furniture that is here, I’ll share this with you,” she explained, gesturing to the red leather chairs.</span></p> <p><span>“These are the old Cabinet chairs from back in the day.</span></p> <p><span>“We of course make sure that nothing goes to waste so they’ve been recycled and they’re now our dining room chairs.”</span></p> <p><span>She was quick to admit the chairs weren’t the most comfortable, which is most likely why she added a cushion.</span></p> <p><span>“Not always the most comfortable,” she said, “which perhaps back in the day may have kept Cabinet meetings short.”</span></p> <p><span>Ardern appeared on Facebook to discuss the latest coronavirus developments for New Zealand. </span></p> <p><span>Like Australia, New Zealand was successful at flattening the curve of coronavirus cases early on but has faced challenges as restrictions lifted.</span></p> <p><span>While she had previously declared New Zealand coronavirus-free, a recent spate of cases thanks to travellers has seen her under increased pressure to keep the country’s borders closed.</span></p> <p><span>Speaking to reporters, Arden said opening New Zealand’s borders was “dangerous” and shouldn’t be considered until coronavirus cases drop around the world.</span></p> <p><span>“Any suggestion of borders opening at this point, frankly, is dangerous and I don’t think we should put New Zealand in that position,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>However Ms Ardern was open to the idea of travel between New Zealand and COVID-19-free Australian states, but it would be a matter for Australia when it opened its borders to international travel.</span></p> <p><span>“Ultimately, it’s up to Australia to decide whether or not they’ll go for a whole country approach or a state-by-state approach,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>“Obviously, where there is community outbreak, that is a no-go for New Zealand.</span></p> <p><span>“Where they have border controls in place and where they’ve had no community transmissions for sustained periods of time … that may be a different scenario.”</span></p>

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“Something hatched!" Mum’s disturbing backyard discovery

<p><span>A woman’s terrifying discovery in her yard has left a number of social media users baffled.</span></p> <p><span>The woman, believed to be from Australia, posted a video of a small black mound sitting on top of dirt to a Facebook group last week, as she asked members to help her figure out what it is.</span></p> <p><span>“Has anyone seen these before? Just appeared today in a few spots around the yard. It has been raining here overnight,” she said. </span></p> <p><span>In the footage, the woman touched the mound, causing what appears to be thousands of tiny alive bugs to move.</span></p> <p><span>They seem to go right back to where they were as she pulls her fingers back.</span></p> <p><span>Horrified users on Facebook jokingly told the mum to burn her house down or move away from the “alien eggs”.</span></p> <p><span>“I have never seen anything like that before!” one woman said.</span></p> <p><span>“It looks like kinetic sand,” another wrote. </span></p> <p><span>“Something hatched!” a third chimed in. </span></p> <p><span>But one person revealed that the bugs appear to be springtails, otherwise known as Anurida Maritima.</span></p> <p><span>“Springtails for sure! We have the same thing happen to us and know they come every year. Hate it lol,” someone responded to her. </span></p> <p><span>Springtails are a common occurrence in gardens, but they’re still relatively unknown due to their small size, according to the agricultural school of Texas A&amp;M University.</span></p> <p><span>“Springtails are common insects that live in leaf litter, compost piles and lawn soils, recycling dead plant material into nutrients to fertilise your lawn,” according to the school.</span></p> <p><span>“Only about a millimetre long, springtails are rarely seen, but given the right environmental conditions, they can multiply to become a nuisance.”</span></p> <p><span>They are not harmful and do not bite people, pets, spread disease or damage homes. </span></p>

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