Monday, 23 March 2015

Soy Candle Workshop

This weekend saw me participating in a soy candle workshop.  A generous Christmas gift from Jessie from Rabidlittlehippy.  Can i tell you upfront that i didn't think that there would be much in this. Do you really need to do a workshop? Melt a little wax, couple of drop of oil  and pour it into a mould with a wick.  Easy Peasy!  How arrogant and ignorant was I?   I felt a little foolish but also very grateful for the detailed information that Kim from Little Green Workshops provided.  She covered all the safety and creative information with such a relaxed friendly manner.

Each workstation was provided with all the tools that we would need throughout the workshop.  It must take forever to set this all up.  We had detailed notes giving us quantities and measurements of wax and fragrances for easy reference as well as being provided with a detailed instruction booklet to take home.  We didn't even have to clean up in between our different candles.  No sooner had we finished with a jug we had melted the wax in than it was whisked away to the kitchen by Gavin to clean-up for the next round. EcoSoya wax is water soluble and easy to clean up.  They are certainly a well oiled machine when it comes to customer service these two.

Apart from our workstations, there were other tables with fragrances and colour chips that we could select to personalise each of our candles.  Here is a nifty trick used - in between smelling the essential blends of oil we were given a tea bag to sniff to clear our nasal passages.  It really worked. Another table was loaded with all the utensils and supplies you would need to start creating your own candles at home.  I bought a full kit with my birthday money so all my friends had better expect candles for Christmas this year.  I picked up a lovely Christmas fragrance of Blackcurrant and Plum, a fresh Wild Mint and Lime and a sumptuous Ralph Lauren Blue.

Each of us made a large fragranced coloured square candle and four tea lights.  We also made a plain candle inside a lovely mosaic mould which looks stunning when lit and a packet of fragranced melts that go into burners.  All of these supplies were included in the $72 cost and we got to take what we had made home at the end of the workshop.  Its amazing what you can learn and create in just a few hours.  I found the workshop very good value for money (even though i didn't pay for it).

I don't want to go into my usually huge post on the workshop.  I want all of you to book in and experience a few hours of creative fun yourself.  I did learn heaps.   If you are in another state then you can go on line to gather information and buy your supplies.   Gav accepts PayPal, EFT and Credit Card payments.

Little Green Workshops - Soy Candles

So here is just a few facts to wet your appetite:

Gav & Kim use EcoSoya Wax which after much research they have had to import from the US.  All soy wax in Australia comes from GMO crops.  Parafin from oil is cheap (and toxic) and is often added to some soy candle products to make it cheaper.  Many "Soy" candles found in $2 shops are more paraffin than soy. So either spend a lot of time researching where something comes from (don't trust the labels) or buy direct from Gav and Kim.

Wicks come in different thicknesses to allow for a wider spread of burning.  If a wick is too small you will end up with a small radius of burning and unburnt wax on the outside.  If you have a large mould, use a thick wick or several smaller wicks to cover the entire radius.  Wicks should be trimmed to no shorter than 6mm to avoid the wick being drowned in wax when it expands as it melts. Trims wicks when hard and cool.

Another reasons this happens is Candle Memory.  Ever noticed how you end up with a big whole in the middle?  I guess its because we are so rushed that we light a candle for a few hours and then blow it out.  In order for a candle to burn across the whole width (and if your wick is the right size) then you must allow it to burn long enough to melt the wax all the way across.  A candle will remember where it burnt to last time (this wax will be softer) and do it again.  See How to burn a candle properly

Did i just say above, "blow a candle out"? Not only can this be dangerous but it also can dry the wick out and it can snap.  I've had this problem myself.   You should always use a "Wick Dipper" to lower the wick into the melted wax (which will extinguish it immediately) but then lift it out straight with a nice coating of wax ready for lighting next time.

I bought one similar from Gav for just a few dollars.  Or, you could make a simple one yourself from wire.  
Essential oils have a low flashpoint and as such are usually blended with a carrier oil for candle making eg. grape-seed oil.   Still this blend must never be added when the melted wax is above 57 degrees.   It may (depending on the essential oil) ignite.   A candy thermometer in the melted wax will tell you when you can safely add the oil.  Stir for at least 2 minutes to thoroughly mix the oil through the wax.

There you have it.  An invitation to book into a few hours of fun with some friends or just go yourself.  Kim is such a darling you want to take her home with you.  Now if she would just supply her famous Cornish Pasties for lunch i would be over there every Sunday.  Gav could add some home-made ginger beer into the mix.

On leaving the Melton South Community Centre i noted across the cricket oval a pathway up a small hill. Wearing my FitBit i took a photo and phoned a friend to ask if she thought i could do it (remember my crazy feet).  She told me to go for it and since i was wearing a brace on my worst ankle I took off at a pace.  It was easy and wasn't i surprised when on reaching the top (great 360 view) to receive a few little buzzes on my wrist letting me know that i had reached my first 5,000 steps for the day.  Being elevated i also recorded 5 flights of stairs and all before lunch time.  I think I'm going to have to reassess my daily targets to 10,000. Slowly, Slowly.......

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Happy Birthday to Me

I wasn't going to do a post today.  It seemed a bit self congratulatory to be posting on your birthday but i think i might have too.  I have been inundated with blessing and good wishes from so many people in all kinds of ways from everywhere.  Can i let you all know that i feel very special today thanks to all your messages on Facebook, through comments on this blog, by SMS on my mobile, in handwritten beautiful cards, phone calls and in person.  I feeling very well loved today.

This still give me a thrill!
My birthday celebrations started yesterday when not one, not two but three people called a day early.  Mum actually got all the way through singing Happy Birthday before i um gently let her know she was a little early. No matter, she called again this morning just after 6am and did it all again.  Lucky Me.

Oh, can i point you to the opening picture - how beautiful is this 3D card.  It is so well made.  The pink is a cutout to the inside and the little plate of cakes is raised and its all textured.  Such a lovely card Veronica.  It came with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and a gift card and the birthday wishes of my work family. They always spoil me.

Today is also my anniversary of working with them as i started on my birthday in 2007. Makes it easy to remember.  I've reached 8 years continuity of service today which means i am now entitled to 7 weeks Long Service Leave.   Yeah!!!   I cant actually take it (unless agreed) for another two years but its there, fuelling my dreams of a future holiday, somewhere.  I don't know who i am kidding, i get itchy if I'm away for over a week and start calling in.  I miss the action and the people.

Later in the day i was given another arrangement from Janusz (Prod Man) and his wife, Karolina.  I'm leaving this one at work today, so i can enjoy it all tomorrow before bringing it home for the weekend.  The fragrance from both arrangements is beautiful.

This evening after work the three of us went to the Plaza and Tom shouted me dinner with his left over birthday money.  My tummies not up for solids today so (as its my birthday) i had ice cream (lemon cheesecake and mango) and coffee.  It doesn't get better than that.

Its a special treat night.  Mum's a cheap date.  Argh..... Carbs!
He also took me to the book section of Big W and told me to choose.

I believe this is a great movie and a highly recommended book.  
I'm looking forward to Tom having a job as i think he might be quite generous when he has his own money.

After my shameful dinner confession above, can I tell you that my husband bought me a FitBit Charge for my birthday.  Several of my friends have one and they are all linked and keeping track together and so i can now join the club.  With the help of a generous gift from Mum, today Amart Sports allowed me to swap it for the recently released Charge HR that also measures heart rate and improved features over the Charge.

Features of FITBIT Charge HR
  • Continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate
  • Displays daily stats, time of day and Caller ID
  • Records run stats, routes, splits and workouts
  • Monitors sleep and wakes you with a silent alarm
  • Rechargeable battery lasts 5+ days
  • Includes tracker, charging cable and wireless sync dongle
With my wonky ankles and feet  I am never going to be in Ella's league, who last weekend did 30,000 steps in one day, but i can certainly work on keeping my heart rate up during exercise periods.   One of the desired features is sleep monitoring.  I don't sleep well and i imagine that many nights i am getting well under 5 hrs and mostly broken.  The Fitbit will actually chart (via my phone or tablet) my sleep patterns - how long it takes to get to sleep, and the duration of sleep between awakenings. This is an area i really need to improve and knowing what's actually going on might help.  I'd love to be one of these people who sleep through the night and wake up slowly but after only a couple of hours I'm bouncing and ready to go like an Energiser Bunny. I'm on watch all the time! Do all mothers feel this way?  I thought I'd grow out of this. He's 18 for goodness sake.  I do crash though.  Usually about 3pm.

Tomorrow night, after dinner, my Fitbit girlfriends are coming over to check out Tom's new treadmill and to help set mine up so we are "on the same page".   I'm mindful of this possibly being another expensive "gizmo" that sits in the drawer but I'm hopeful that it will, with the help of my friends, motivate me to keep up with the exercise.  I struggled to think of something that i needed and then came up with something that i wanted.  

Anyway, its been a lovely day and i just wanted to say thank you to everyone.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Catch Up Post

I ask you, what kind of friend comes back from holidays and hands you this and says "i saw this and thought of you".  Is it a compliment?  In truth, this bathing beauty looks much better in a bikini than i would and so i can only take it as such.  Still, I'm not so sure......    Each day i was sent texts and photos showing how beautiful her accommodation was, the wonderful meals she didn't cook or clean up after and the lovely ocean views out her window.  That week was a particularly gruelling one for me and so i wasn't feeling so enamoured of her daily reminders that she was on holidays, and i was not!

This morning saw my weekend visitors (Angela and Sam from home) and I meeting up with my two besties (one could be heading for Ex - see above) at the Victorian State Rose Garden for a morning walk.  We had planned to make our way around the rose gardens and then into the extensive grounds including the lake at the Werribee Park Mansion.  The connecting gate was closed as there was a Multicultural Event on today. It would have been fab to attend but we had already made plans to go into the Queen Victoria Markets in the city (here).  So many things to do and so little time.

Both my besties have FitBits and are focusing each day on getting those steps up.  Ella, as of today, has lost 20kgs, and we are so proud of her success.  A few months ago she couldn't move with pain and yesterday she did 30,000 steps.  Go Ella!!!   My birthday is Thursday and i know that I've been given one, so watch out, the challenge is on.  I bought a brace for my ankle this morning so i can walk without my ankle falling out of its socket.

Ella glanced at one of the grassy slopes in the gardens and said "Look, its a Teletubby hill" and promptly started making her way up.  A few months ago, she wouldn't have dreamed of being able to do so.

There they are, Tinky Winky and Dipsy (with her walking stick).  I'm going to be in so much trouble.

Last weekend saw Tom and I taking off on a weekend drive home to NSW.   He needs to clock up some more driving hours on his Learners and so it was a good opportunity to go home and pick up one of his gifts from his Aunty Glenda - a treadmill (very generous).  I was planning to take the work Hilux but when Daniel heard that was my intent he lamented about how uncomfortable it was going to be (not the most comfortable vehicle especially unloaded) and so he offered his own newly purchased XR6 ute.

Can you imagine the look on Tom's face when i turned up with this and put his L plates on it.  He was in 7th Heaven and feeling really grown up and cool.  Its such a long drive (5 hrs) but it was very comfortable.

Being a long weekend in Victoria, we battled to get out of town with the traffic but once on the open road Tom revelled in the 110km/hr speed limit and his newly found skill of driving with the steering wheel using almost solely cruise control.  It was an uneventful trip (one we have done many times) until we reached the open plains on the other side of Jerilderie and had to deal with kangaroos jumping around in the darkness and the frustration of being limited to 90km/hr in NSW while all the trucks coming up very fast behind us were doing 110km blinding him with their lights. Still this is what its like to drive in the open country and so its all a part of his learning experience.   He handled it very well.

On Saturday we ventured over to Griffith (the food bowl of NSW) to visit my brother Geoff and his lovely Filipino wife, Gwen.  All week she had been telling me she couldn't cook, and yet i knew that i was in for a treat.  What a banquet.  I should have reminded her that there were only five of us eating?

I must, absolutely must introduce you to Hamonada.   It is divine.   Its made using a shoulder of pork, marinaded in pineapple juice and lemonade with soy, peppercorns, brown sugar and bay leaf.  It is then cooked in a pot until cooked and the liquid reduced to a thick syrup.  It was so tender and sweet.

There are many variations on this traditional Filipino holiday recipe and so i suggest you start Googling.

Will you just look at this cheeky girls hair!  It looks like a Pantene ad.  So long, strong, and glossy with health. Hi Gwen!

Such a beautiful home
That rather strange looking veggie below is a Bitter Melon or Ampalaya.

Ampalaya is a highly nutritious vegetable that is very low in sugar and fat, but high in fiber. It contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C, E and K as well as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and also antioxidants BUT it is bitter and an acquired taste.  Gwen tells me it is yummy served with egg. 

Bitter melon is best known for anti-diabetes effects. It contains a chemical known as insulin-like peptide that is similar in shape and function to animal-produced insulin. Other chemicals, including vicine, in bitter melon may also have blood-sugar lowering effects.  

Of course Mum was in attendance and dressed to kill.  My sister Sam has taken on the role of stylist and bought this for Mum for Christmas.  Not bad for an 85 year old.  

Tom and i drove home on the Sunday.  Two days away from home seems to be Tom's limit.  Routine, routine, routine is the Aspie's mantra.  

Since home, I've been trying this week to keep up with the cucumber glut I'm currently experiencing.  

I"ve eaten, gifted and preserved and still they come.  I'm sure i complained to someone last season "I cant grow cucumbers".   Gods playing a little joke on me.  

The tomatoes are nearing the end of their season but I'm still getting bowls of them every few days.  I'm taking them to work and putting little "Help Yourself" signs on the kitchen table.  They are usually gone by the end of the day and snacks for the guys in the factory. 

Time for my visitors to return from having seen "Dirty Dancing" as the Princess Theatre so I'd better go clean the kitchen.  

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne

It's great when visitors come to town because you get to go to places on your own door step that you wouldn't otherwise.  The Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne is one such place.  Thousands of local and international tourists visit each week (often by the bus load) and i guess if you are someone who dwells in the inner city suburbs you might make it your weekly shopping destination.  Many do.  How awesome would that be?  By the time we have driven in and paid for parking the savings would certainly deteriorate and so for us it is a tourist destination, one that certainly delivers.  

I dropped our much younger visiting relatives off to wander the variety stalls full of clothes, handbags, jewellery and and and.........  all spread out over two city blocks.  This historic markets have been apart of the Melbourne landscape since 1878 and it doesn't come much older that that in Melbourne.    

Today the markets were transformed into a Turkish Pazar Festival with traditional and modern Turkish music and speciality stalls of regional foods.  Yummo, it all looked so good and many were in traditional dress.  We are so lucky to have such a multicultural city whereby on any given weekend you can find a festival from almost anywhere in the world. Given that i  am not into shopping, i wandered the organic fruit & veg stalls admiring the veggies and the stall holders displaying their home-made relishes and sauces (well done - a dream come true I'm sure) and then into the main building where there are stalls present that have operated for decades and by many generations of the same families.   I'm going to let my pictures do the talking. Food, doesn't get better or fresher than this.

You can visit the QVM website here and keep track of the myriad of activities taking place throughout the year.  Upcoming events include the Night Markets, Sticky Fingers (stick food), Brocante Marche (French Vintage Market), or you can join in one of the many cooking days where you can be guided by some of Melbourne's best chefs.

After wandering around looking at all the wonderful food and soaking up the atmosphere, i found myself a strong long black coffee with some Italian Crostoli and a quiet corner to read a book.   I enjoyed myself and vowed to come back more often and very hungry.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Noelle's Funnies - Still making me laugh

To commemorate her 79th birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan 's Radio City Music Hall for a benefit. One of the musical numbers she performed was 'My Favorite Things' from the legendary movie 'Sound Of Music' .

Here are the lyrics she used:

 Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillac's and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin', Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim,

Then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad.

(Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores. Please share Ms. Andrews' clever wit and humor with others who would appreciate it.)

If you cant tell, Noelle loves telling old age jokes.  I guess its how she deals with it because she keeps telling me "Dont Get Old".  Her body might be giving in but her mind is a sharp as a needle.   Take a look at her other jokes under the relevant tab.  

Thanks For Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

De-Cluttering Workshop

My shameful secret is that i am a hoarder of paper.  Bills, statements, receipts, policies, assessments, you name it, they are all in about 3 large plastic tubs and all over the house in little piles.  I'm not even sure how far back some of it goes back and it scares me to think about it. Several years, at least.

Well,  i am whiter than white and large (but don't forget adorable).
I'm accountant and at work when a piece of paper hits my desk, its dealt with and filed immediately.  Since i work on several companies, any inter-company transactions are processed in their respective systems first before being filed, probably in both. I never do one side without the other (saves reconciliation).  Folders are colour coded. I'm surrounded by book cases full of blue, red and lime folders.  Previous years are archived and boxed.  If you asked me to find the hard copy of an invoice 5 years ago, i could within moments.  Its not hard, its habit and I've worked this way for (Oh Lordy) 34 years.  I de-clutter my mobile phone, deleting messages and recent calls everyday.  Before i started this post, i cleaned my email inbox.  Sorting all the emails into their respective folders or deleting them.  I defrag my computer regularly to reshuffle the files on my hard drive and open up space.  Someone hand me the halo polish, quick!

So WHAT THE ! happens when it comes to this paper pile?  It grows every week.  We (and by that i mean me, in our household) have never filed anything by the looks of it.  Oh, Ive tried. I have little filing cabinets with hanging files and labels.   I've sorted through my mountain of paper several times and then run out of time to complete and so had to store it and, well you know the story.  I'm a busy girl.

Do you think my Bestie is trying to send me a message by inviting me to a de-cluttering workshop?  I think she must because she has the tidiest house and very little to de-clutter at all.  I'm thinking that my accompanying her was a ruse to get me to address my issues.  Clever girl and I'm sure one day when my clutter is gone i may forgive her and be just be a little bit grateful.

So, did i learn anything?

Yes, i guess i did but first a bit of info on the workshop.  It was run, for free, by our wonderful Wyndham City Council as part of their Green Living Series.  They are going to have to start paying me soon.

You'll remember that i recently did a post on a visit to an Off Grid House in Little River.  If not, check it out here. It was only one of many workshops on offer.  They are very popular and book out quickly. Its great that so many local residents are interested in living more sustainably and supporting the councils green initiatives.

Tanya Lewis, the creator of EcoOrganiser was our presenter.

Do you know that you can hire Tanya or one of her team to come and help with the de-clutter?   Tempting.  
I highly recommend visiting her website and looking under her resources tab for her blog which includes Home Organising Tips & Tricks.  I like her style.  She calls a spade a spade.   No one is going to do anything about a problem if they are patted on the head and given a "there there dear".

The presentation was based around the 10R's.

The 10R’s© Eco Organising Solution

“Because life is too short to be looking for STUFF”

1. Rethink
    Do I need it, do I want it?
    How will it make me feel if its not here?
    Is there an equivalent with less packaging?
    How can I reuse the packaging?
    Do I have similar already?  Once you have de-cluttered you will know what you have.

So simple - bull dog clips on side of desk.  Dont forget to use bread labels (you know those little plastic doobies) for labelling the cords.  

2. Responsible
    Is it in good condition, is it saleable?
   Where will it go if no one buys it?

3. Refuse
    Say no thank you to free things.  Use a "No Junk Mail" sign on your mail box. Say no to samples.  

Say NO NO NO to a bathroom cupboard full of products and packaging that you will not use.  Don't be a victim of marketing!
4. Re purpose
    Rethink clutter, re-purpose before buying new

These shoe organisers are great for all sorts of things and take up no space on the inside of a door.
  Children's toys,  underwear sets, that dreaded "i don't know where to put it" stuff.   Also great on inside of pantry for packets of spices, soups, gravies etc.  

5. Re organise
    Fit within our current footprint.  Can an old set of drawers be used inside cupboard or turned into shelves.

Tanya brought in a fitted sheet and showed us how to fold it flat and pop the set into the matching pillowcase.  This keeps the linen cupboard organised and neat.
6. Repair
    Can it be repaired?  Buy quality that can be repaired rather than cheap throw away items.

7. Reduce
    Clutter and waste.  Buy less packaging and refillable items so nothing extra comes in.  

Cut up plumbing pipe - genius!
8. Reuse
    Before landfill.  Glass jars are fab storage solutions both in the home and the garage.
    Share magazines with friends or drop off at medical centre or aged care facility.

Reused packaging

9. Recycle
    At home.  Tanya provided us with some great links to find how and where to recycle.  See Below

10. Reward
     Yourself, your home and your planet

Its important to note that Tanya's business is based around Eco Organising.  This means creating more time and space within the home in an environmentally friendly way.  Landfill should be your last option. We could all spend a fortune, and have, on plastic tubs and cute storage containers in matching patterns and colours. Tanya teaches us to focus on storing items inside things we already have. Eg. pots within pots.  We shouldn't have to spend more or bring more stuff into our homes when what we are trying to so is de-clutter.

There was a sample of an Ewaste collection box on the table and guess who got to take it home.  OH, i just broke a rule.  I brought home a sample!!!  Lets just hope that a lot more things leave in side this box.  Its sitting here in the office beside me, empty - so i guess its become more clutter!
What is Clutter?
Anything that is no longer relevant or useful TO YOU!
Anything that brings you down - like my paper piles.
The term "clutter" means different things to different people.  
If something is important to you and your life would be less without it then it is NOT clutter to you. Sentimental things that enrich our lives are NOT clutter.   If you want to keep them then don't hide them away in boxes, bring them out so you can see them.  Perhaps rotate items, keeping them all in the one box marked as such.

Emotional factor - questions to ask yourself when deciding what is clutter.
What practical value does it provide?
If I got rid of it what would I miss about it?
If it was taken away from me, would I try to recreate it?
Does it invigorate my life now or deplete me?
What’s worth more-this object or the opportunity to achieve my vision?

How to maintain the harmony

How to get past “I’d love to but I don’t have the time”

• Focus on three priorities a day
• Put a cap on the favours you do each week
• Put a limit on the time you spend on everyday things
• Get the important tasks done
• Remove something from your to do list
• Know when good is good enough
• Focus on the important stuff
These are Tanya's suggestions for successful de-cluttering:

Ask yourself
  1. What area/space do I want to transform?
  2. What will my space or life look like without clutter?
  3. What will I use this new space for?
  4. What will I do in my de cluttered life?
  5. What was my OMG!!!! moment that made the decision to change easy?
  6. How will I spend a de-cluttered day?
  7. How will I maintain this beautiful new space?
  8. When will I start?
  9. When will I finish?
  10. How will I reward myself?
Top Tips
  • Only organise one space at a time!!!
  • Take before and after photos
  • Acknowledge and reward your efforts
  • Learn how to say "no thank you"
  • Use the D word- Delegate.
  • Believe in yourself.
So where do I start?  Obviously for me the thing that bothers me the most is this paperwork.  Its a big job and before i start I'll need to set myself some rules.  Am i keeping hard copies of bank statements?  Can i scan anything and create electronic copies?  I have a shredder so at the very least the paper can become garden mulch.  Which pile am i going to tackle first as i cant do it all in one go?  

Do you have more suggestions.  

Tanya's Resources

There was a recycling station in the foyer of the community centre in Point Cook where the workshop was located.
Clothes         Wear for Success
Furniture       Habitat for Humanity
Fridges and Whitegoods for Refurbishment  Phoenix  (best of all, free pickup)
Gumtree  I had a glut of cliveas in my fernery so i gave them away by putting a FREE ad on Gumtree  - they got free plants and i had them removed with no effort on my part within a week.  
Clothes Swap  SwapStyle
Old Computers  Computerbank   Must tell Rob about this one.

If you have a favourite charity you donate too then pop a link in the comments section.

Thanks For Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz.