TripAdvisor Top 25 Landmarks to Visit in the World – Part 2

TripAdvisor Top 25 Landmarks to Visit in the World – Part 2

The 2016 Traveller’s choice awards have revealed the top 25 destinations to travel in the world! That’s a big call for some of the landmarks because there is so much out there to do and see – I am an avid traveller and so far my list of places to visit is not getting any shorter.
In my previous post for Part 1 I gave a breakdown of the top half of the 25 posts and and added my commentary about the destinations revealed. I broke it down into two parts because the original post ended up containing so much information that I wanted to share and write about these beautiful destinations.
In this post, I again will share with you some secrets of my travels to those spots I’ve been to and also once more, I am adding destinations to my  “TO VISIT” column.
This is Part 2, starting from destination/landmark number 12.

 

12. Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Istanbul, Turkey
To Visit

 

One of the most memorable locations in a James Bond film and certainly impressive. It is said that this structure changed the history of architecture. In 1953 this building became a museum, but prior to that, it served as an immensely important construction holding many holy relics and changing with wars, conquests and tribulations. Started as an Orthodox Church in 537 AD and when Constantinople was conquered, it became a Mosque from 1453.
Hagia-Sophia-Museum Turkey

 

13. Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium

To Visit

 A key tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This square is measured 68 by 110 metres. Historically started as a popular market, owned by a Duke, that could continue its trade in all weather. The Town Hall served as a temporary hospital during WW2. The Grand Place continued to serve as a market until 1959 and is still called the Great Market. The neighbouring streets carry the historic existence of the market with names reflecting the sellers; butter, cheese, herring etc.

 

Grand-Palace, Brussels
Image via Booking.com
 If you’ve seen images of this giant flower carpet – it happens every couple of years (in August) on this square. All flowers are begonias, creating intricate colourful patterns on the giant carpet stretching a full 24 by 77 metres, a total of 1,800 square metres. This tradition started in 1971 and due to extreme popularity with tourists, has been carried on to this day, attracting millions every time. 
belgium-brussels-grand-place-flower-carpet

14. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

visited

 Who can miss the Eiffel tower when in Paris? Constructed for the World’s Fair in 1889, the tower is now more iconic than ever. If you’re visiting, you will no doubt have the temptation to climb to the top of Tour Eiffel but the lines can be very long. I remember waiting upwards of 3 hours in a queue to go up the tower in an elevator. Once you’ve finished at the top observation deck, you will be lining up again to come down. Such the experience! I loved observing the tower from all angles of the city and at night it’s lit up by a sparkling light show. In winter, the bottom floor of the tower turns into an ice skating rink and if you wish, you can also dine at one of the restaurants located on numerous floors.

 

Paris Eiffel Tower
Evening in Paris
paris travel live shop travel blogger
The streets of Paris
15.  Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

visited

Who can forget the Hunchback of Notre Dame? The famous cathedral that’s downright spooky in some respects. In others, all romanticism and art. The scary gargoyles , were designed by sculptors and used their imagination and creativity to sculpt these  creatures. Their purpose is not only decorative, but they are used to help drain rain water off the roof to protect the walls from getting damaged. One of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, the Cathedral has been around since the 13th century.

cathedral_of_notre-dame_paris

16. Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing, China

To Visit

 

“The only construction visible from space.” or the myth, that’s now been broken, says. The wall is more than 2,300 years old and has been rebuilt and re-constructed in parts under different dynasties many times. Most times when we see tourist photos of the Great Wall, it is a section or two of the wall that’s been completely restored for the purpose of tourism. Currently there’s approximately 1/3 of the wall that’s been sited as ‘missing’ due to natural erosion, locals taking the bricks for home building and possibly other types of degradation which occur with age. If you’re interested in visiting there are many recommended parts of the wall to visit, most popular from Beijing. Depending on what type of expedition you’d like to do, all levels of fitness can be explored. More here.
The-Great-Wall-Of-China-
Image via http://www.unknownworld.co/

17. Acropolis, Athens, Greece

To Visit

 

 Another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perhaps one of the oldest on the global list. The Acropolis is an ancient Citadel located on an extremely rocky site at the top of the city of Athens. This area contains a lot of ruins of ancient buildings, with the most famous one being the Parthenon (pictured below). The Parthenon served as a sacred ground and provides a monument of Greece’s Golden Age.
Acropolis Athens Greece
Image via http://www.keytours.gr/

18. Corcovado – Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

To Visit

One of the most recognisable landmarks in the World and one of the 7 wonders, with the recent Olympic games 2016, anyone will recall this symbol of Rio De Janeiro. Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redentor is a gigantic statue (30 metres tall) of Jesus Christ by a French sculptor.  Mount Corcovado is located in central Rio De Janeiro and is called ‘hunchback’ mountain in Portugese. The submission to have Christ the Redeemer with arms wide open as a symbol of peace was approved in 1920. Now Christian believers can host weddings and baptisms at the chapel atop the Corcovado mountain.

Corcova Rio De Janeiro
Image via http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/

19. Big Ben, London, United Kingdom

To Visit

I remember drawing the Big Ben in art class when I was a kid. It’s a structure I studied in intricate details but have never ended up visiting London. I am sure if anyone is in London, then the Big Ben is kind of unmissable. Located at the North end of Palace Westminster and is now officially called Elizabeth Tower. The clock tower has become a symbol of the UK and is the most popular film location in London. Technically, Big Ben is the name given to the massive bell inside the clock tower, presumably named after Sir Benjamin Hall, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg).  The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the clock faces are illuminated.

Big Ben
Image via https://cdn.getyourguide.com

20. Chichen Itza, Chichen Itza, Mexico

To Visit

 

This is the largest of archeological cities of the pre-Colombian Mayan period, located in Mexico. It’s recommended to visit the site with 1-2 nights to spare and to rise early in the morning to experience the beauty of this city with sunrise and less tourists, similar to Macchu Picchu. Located about 125 km west of Cancun and is a rugged place full of massive pyramids, temples and columns. It is said that the Chichen Itza was the most powerful city in Yucatan.
Chichen Itza
Image via Grayline.com

21.Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), Bangkok, Thailand

To Visit

The temple is one of the largest in Bangkok and is famous for the giant reclining Buddha (46 metres long) that’s covered in gold leaf.  The Buddha’s feet alone are 5 metres long and are decorated in mother of pearl illustrations. Tourist sites say it is worth walking around the rest of the temple and seeing more golden statues, four chapels and the beautiful courtyard. Wat Pho was the first public university in Thailand and is now a centre for medicine and traditional massage. You can even get a relaxing foot or head and shoulder massage at the end of your visit and it is recommended to book ahead.

Buda-reclinado-Bangkok-Tailandia
Image via en.vietnamitsaenmadrid.com  

22. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

visited

This is officially the tallest building in the World. The Burj Khalifa lights up in beautiful lights at night and is located next to Dubai Mall. If you’re planning to visit, it’s best to purchase your tickets online as the queues to get tickets can be long and there is also a capped limit on the number of passes they issue per day. You don’t have to go up to the top of the tower to appreciate the height. Just try and crank your neck to see the tip of the building, you won’t believe how far you have to tilt your head back just to see where the tower ends.

Burj-Khalifa
Image via http://travelchannel.sndimg.com/

23. Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia

To Visit

This is what happens when you live in a certain place long enough, you don’t visit the touristy places around where you are. I have been to Canberra but never visited the War Memorial, which made the top 25 landmarks to visit this year. The Australian War Memorial was opened in 1941, and is now regarded as one of the most significant memorials in the world. There is an extensive military museum. Every year on April 25th it is Anzac Day in Australia and on this day we remember all Australians who served and died in war and on operational service. Dawn Service, National Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony take place on this day at the Australian War Memorial. 

Australian_War_Memorial
Image via australia.dfns.net

24. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

visited

I used to work at Sydney Opera House, although our office was located nearby, I still had frequent meetings and saw many shows at the Opera House itself. This structure continues to attract tourists from all over the world and its always interesting to just observe the unique structure from the outside. In all weather, the Opera House looks stunning and if you’re lucky enough to visit Sydney during winter, you’ll see the sails light up in a myriad of colours and media projections as a part of the annual VIVID festival. There are daily tours for the Sydney Opera House – you can explore the insights from all the resident companies, including Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and go behind the scenes to view the Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland theatre from the performers perspective.

Sydney Opera House
Image via https://www.homeaway.com.au

25. Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

visited

 

We visited Kyoto after spending a few days in Tokyo and it was quite a change of pace. Kyoto has more historic origins and there are many temples and shrines to visit to learn about Japanese culture. The Fushimi Inari- Taisha Shrine is probably the most famous, identified by the large orange Romon gate and the torii gate covered hiking trail, which starts with two dense, parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii (“thousands of torii gates”). The hike to the summit of the mountain takes 2-3 hours but you’re free to turn back any time you want.  Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers so you will see many statues of foxes in the shrine grounds. Many visit the Shrine to explore the mountain trails around the area, but when we visited, this was not something that we wanted to do.  It’s funny because I took a photo of the station called JR Inari Station, which is where you get off to go to the Shrine. Inari restaurants and Fox Udon are popular dishes at the nearby restaurants and have fried tofu (said to be foxes’ favourite food).

Fushimi-Inari-Shrine

Image via http://lukezeme.com/

Have you been to visit all of these landmarks? I certainly haven’t but just researching the places I haven’t been to gave me so many new ideas on where to travel next. I hope this article gave you some more information on these Global landmarks. Happy travels!

Go back to part 1 of the 25 Top Landmarks to visit in 2016 to see all 25 landmarks to visit.

 

 

 

 

6 Tips on Getting Ready for your Spring Wedding

6 Tips on Getting Ready for your Spring Wedding

You got engaged, perhaps had your engagement party and it’s now nearing to the end of winter and I am sure many brides-to-be are thinking, spring is the perfect time to get married. Those brides won’t be wrong as the most popular months to get married in Australia are in fact all of spring; September, October and November. The weather is balmy and the rainy season seems to have stayed away for long enough to enjoy the blue skies.

Engagement Ring Sydney

Even if you’re planning a wedding for next spring, which is still a year and a bit away (The average engagement time in Australia is 21 months by the way) you’re probably already considering a lot of details and it’s no less busy 12 months out than 3 months out, although it does get a bit more hectic.

Wedding Invitations Sydney Blogger

Here are some of the things you should start considering (from experience) at around a 12 month mark.

 

  1. Save the date  – you have to make sure your family and friends can attend the wedding so make sure to let your guests know as soon as you decide on the day so they can keep the date free. The most popular wedding day to get married in Oz is Saturday, so keep in mind that it will be the most expensive day to book venues, cars, DJs etc.  TIP: Ask around and see if your guests could possibly attend a wedding on a weekday, or a full weekend away in the country somewhere or perhaps a destination wedding? That way you won’t have to fork out for the most expensive day, as weddings are pricey enough without having to bid for the most popular day.

Koh Samui Wedding Sydney Blogger

  1. Set a budget – yes it sounds boring and tedious, but without a set budget and actually understanding what you can afford – no matter who is paying for the wedding expenses, the wedding costs can quickly blow out. Half of Aussie brides spend over $30,000 on their weddings and if you think about it, that’s a deposit on a property gone in 1 day. What’s scary is that most final wedding costs in the end are 53% higher than originally budgeted. You also want to go on a nice honeymoon, after all, with all the wedding prep and the long day that ensues, you two deserve a romantic getaway and you want to make sure you’ve got some budget for that – trust me, the honeymoon in a way is more important than a huge, expensive wedding. TIP: Track your finances using user friendly software like Xero and see where most of your spendings are. Assess your average spend and what you are willing to spend on a wedding and work from that sum. Of course there will be fluctuations and some potential surprise costs, but do your research and ask friends for recommendations on services like photography to potentially get good rates.

Wedding Sydney Blogger Dress

  1. Dress shopping – brides, please don’t leave this to the last minute (and even 3 months out). As I’ve found out, a lot of the salons in Australia get their dresses shipped over (Europe or Asia) when you actually purchase the dress, and this shipping process can take 3-6 months, and sometimes longer. You also have to leave enough time to get alterations done – there will be multiple fittings and almost definitely changes. TIP: Go dress shopping by yourself, with your family and with your bridesmaids on separate occasions. Don’t get bowled over with other’s opinions or latest trends and get what is most flattering for your body shape. After you selected the type of dress (A line, princess, fishtail etc), see if it’s available online as the rates are much cheaper. You can always get alterations of the dress separately if it doesn’t quite fit, but make sure to leave plenty of time for shipping!

Wedding Dress Sydney

  1. Fitness regime – for you and your fiancee. Love it or hate it but love handles make it hard to pick find a flattering dress and boys, don’t just hide your belly under your tux. Getting into a good fitness routine together, will not only help you get fitter and slimmer but will also give you an activity to spend time together and not just doing wedding planning. After all, with a 12 month wedding planning regime, day in day out, any couple will experience frustrations. TIP: Use your fitness time to do something fun e.g. play tennis, go snorkelling, in other words, stay active but don’t burden yourself with the thought of ‘must lose weight’ or ‘must look good for wedding’. Enjoy your time together and make it a habit that takes you beyond just wedding preparations.

Alank Pinkus Shoes Aus Blogger

  1. Wedding dance – all of us have been to at least one wedding where the newlywed dance is a spin in a circe with awkward movements until the song is over (thank god its over!). I am sure you’re both dreading it but if you’re well prepared and have at least some kind of routine sorted, the impression you’ll make on the guests is phenomenal and you’ll both walk away feeling like you’ve been on Dancing with the Stars! Google your local dance school and you’ll be sure to find wedding dance choreography instructors. You’ll be working with professionals, they will pick out a routine that’s right for you and with music of your choice and soon enough, you’ll dazzle your friends and family with some pretty impressive moves on the dance floor! TIP: If you can, try and go for something more jazzy than the traditional waltz or tango and pick perhaps a Latin Dance routine such as bachata, bachatango or zouk (Youtube these dances, you’ll fall in love with them in no time!) you can even do something completely unorthodox and seal the day with a bit of “Thriller” moves by Michael Jackson!

Liveshoptravel Wedding Dance

  1. Looking your best – We all want to look our best on our special day. Of course it doesn’t have to be your wedding day, but that day is ranked pretty high on the happiness scale. There are certain things that can help us look and feel our best and the top examples of these services are:

- Hair: Having the right hair can make you feel like a true hollywood star. TIP: Do your research and go with the hairstyle that suits you and you feel comfortable with on the day. Don’t go with anything that is completely new without trying it out at a salon first.

- Tattoos: Many of us have tattoos we got in our younger years, thinking that it was the coolest thing in the world, but if you’ve got a spring wedding, chances are your dress will be sleeveless and showing off your shoulders and back. An old tattoo coupled with a gorgeous wedding dress for many brides is not the ideal look for the day. Tattoo regret can be caused by many things, and wanting to start a new chapter in life can definitely be one of them.

Luckily you now have tattoo removal services that use laser technology to help you get rid of unwanted tattoos. TIP: If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, it is recommended to start as early as possible and some tattoos take longer to remove than others. (At least 6 treatments are usually required to fully remove a tattoo, and sessions have to be spaced 8 weeks apart.)

The friendly tattoo removal specialists at Sydney Clinic Fade To Blank will be able to help you with any queries. If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, read this article on why Winter is the Perfect time to get your tattoos removed.

-Teeth: Teeth whitening is a popular service for any occasion and is ranked very high on wedding preparations list. I recently blogged about tips on keeping your teeth white here but if you’re after a no fault service call up your dentist and ask if they provide in chair treatments. I used whitening gel with custom trays – not only did I find that it took a long time to whiten teeth, but it was also a very painful experience. In chair treatments are almost instant, work with sensitive teeth and get your teeth 4-6 shades whiter.

Wedding Rings Australian BloggerYes there are many more things to consider before getting married, such as choosing the right venue, picking a photographer, deciding on the music, flowers, cake… the list can be forever expanding. However, I listed the things I thought about when getting married and that I thought took a bit of prep time, rather than a decision in booking or purchasing. Looking our best can take a bit longer but in the end its all worth it because it’s not about the one day, it’s about the memories and a start to a happy and hopefully long life together with your partner.

Spring Wedding Koh Samui Sydney Blogger

Most importantly, enjoy every moment of the day as it goes by so very quickly!

Good luck with your wedding preparations!

 

 

 

Statistics from Easy Weddings Annual Survey of Weddings in Australia (2015)

Photos: Julia Kim Murphy personal wedding photos (2012)

 

Delhi By the Way – Sydney Restaurant Review

Delhi By the Way – Sydney Restaurant Review

Delhi by the Way is a relatively new Indian restaurant in Sydney’s Pott’s Point.
When I looked up the address, 42 Kellett st, I remembered that it is in this restaurant 7 years ago my husband and I met for the very first time.

It was a memorable experience for us then to visit the new restaurant which now exists at the same address, in the same building. The same charm and warmth that was present nearly a decade ago.

Dehli By the way sydneyPopular Kellet st location in Potts Point

The staff were lovely and we were seated on the ground floor. The venue also has quite a large upstairs area so can handle a few people.

When it comes to discovering menus, it’s good to go with a tasting platter style. We opted in for a banquet and it became a bit of a feast for us.

Dehli By The Way Restaurant Sydney

A true feast at Dehli By the Way

Before attending Delhi by the Way for dinner, I read a few online reviews and many people recommend the onion fritters (Onion Bhaji) and so we started with that dish (not included in the banquet) and the Chicken Tikka Masala (which wasn’t very spicy by the way, I am a fan of milder food options) + vegetarian samosas. All the entrée dishes were very generous in serving and delicious.

VegSamosa

Beautiful vegetarian samosas

I didn’t expect that we would have so much food but as the menu suggests, a banquet really does warrant what it promises.

In combination with the mains comprising of the butter chicken (Murg Makhani) and Saag Paneer (Creamy Spinach and Indian Cheese dish) + naan bread, we had a lot of food and ended up taking some away. I couldn’t let the thought of this kind of food going to waste.

As the restaurant has a full bar, you have an extensive choice of drinks on the menu and that part of the venue remains unchanged as I remember it 7 years ago.

The restaurant manager offered some desserts to us and recommended that we had the Mango and Raisin Kulfi and the Honey and Pistachio Kulfi/ ice creams.(Delhi Ki Sardi) Both really flavoursome and sweet in their own way. The ice cream was actually a perfect way to finish off a big meal, even though I really had to switch on my dessert stomach at that point.

HoneyPistachioKulfi

Honey and Pistachio Kulfi

Staff were professional and friendly throughout the night, however the service was a little slow and the dinner took approx. 2 hours. (This was a Wednesday night). If you’re not in a hurry, and we were simply enjoying ourselves, the atmosphere is ambient, the staff polite and pleasant and the food homely, hearty and in generous servings. Promise you will not go home hungry! The wait staff also did apologise for the service taking a bit too long so we thought that maybe it was a certain night or the kitchen was particularly busy that night.

Overall my verdict is very positive. The food is delicious and atmosphere ambient. This venue would suit someone going out for a family meal and perfect for date night.

Delhi by the Way

Address: 42 Kellett St, Potts Point
Contact: (02) 9368 0123
Website: http://www.delhibytheway.com.au/
Opening Hours:
Saturday 5–11pm
Sunday 5–11pm
Monday Closed
Tuesday 5–11pm
Wednesday 5–11pm
Thursday 5–11pm
Friday 5–11pm

 

*Article by Julia Kim Murphy (Founder of LIVESHOPTRAVEL.com)
LIVESHOPTRAVEL were invited to dine with Dehli By the Way for an honest review.

 

 

6 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Looking White

6 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Looking White

There is no better accessory than a smile and if you’re wondering on the best way to keep your teeth dazzling white, below are my recommended tips on maintaining a healthy, bright white smile.

1. Watch what you eat and drink

Try to keep staining foods and drinks such as coffees, teas and red wine to a minimum. All the darker liquids that you drink will stain your teeth as over time the top layer of your teeth the enamel will absorb the colour. Beetroot, berries, balsamic vinegar, soya sauce,amongst others can cause staining to your enamel. The solution, keep the hard staining foods and drinks to a minimum. Too much coffee and too many glasses of red wine are not great for you anyway, so keep to a reasonable daily dose. We still want to enjoy life so regular rinsing and brushing after consuming these are a great way of keeping the stains at bay!

Smoking is definitely something that’s not great for your health in general, and just another reason to quit – keeping that white smile bright!

TIP: Drink your coffee at cooler temperatures. Apparently the hotter your coffee, the higher the chance of staining due to little fractions in your teeth that are formed by hot drinks – these then attract staining components.

2. Brush, Floss, Rinse

Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day, not forgetting to also floss. Flossing really helps prevent stains and keep your teeth whiter so if you get into a habit of flossing and brushing after drinking coffee, you may just see positive results.If you don’t have a toothbrush on hand give your mouth a good rinse with warm water. There are many mouthwash alternatives now on the market with whitening properties. Finding a toothpaste which has whitening benefits may also help in combination with brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and using a good mouth wash.

3. Try alternative methods

There are so many other methods of whitening teeth out there if you're into trying alternative new things: Coconut oil, salt, baking soda, you name it. Remember these items will not dramatically whiten your teeth but can help get rid of built up stains from beverages and food. There are many pros and cons on using yet another social media elevated beauty method, but I will leave it up to you to judge. Personally have not tried any of the things listed except for baking soda. Baking soda is already an active ingredient in many whitening toothpastes, so it's something that has proven to work. (or at least not cause harm).

4. Whitening strips

Whitening strips were always dominant in the US while the market in Australia hadn’t really seen these properly until a few years back. Now brands like Oral B and Colgate have all sorts of weird and wonderful whitening products, including strips. I used Crest whitening strips when I returned from my Canada trip and found them ok, but I never got into the habit of using them regularly, which is what you need to do to get the claimed results. They cannot provide exact all over coverage and therefore not all teeth are whitened evenly.

5. Bi-annual dental check ups

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and no better way to do that than go in for a dental check up at least every 6 months. I am going to be honest and say that I probably miss the bi- annual check up on a regular basis and make it a more annual frequency instead. That I am getting better at, promise! When I am in the dentist’s chair, I opt in for a full check up and a clean.

There is nothing like a professional dental clean with an extra dose of fluoride to keep your teeth squeaky clean and with an added bonus of shine. Most importantly, your dentist will be able to see if you need any dental work or if you're in need of any treatment, which like any medical issue is best treated early. Having regular examinations and cleaning appointments make sure you dont have big dental problems and contributes to you having overall great health.

6. Professional teeth whitening

The quickest and most foolproof method is always going to be professional teeth whitening at the dentist. Only a dentist can get your teeth their whitest. I’ve tried take home treatment with trays before and that can be quite costly but worth the investment if you’ve got a big life occasion such as a wedding or a big birthday or just want to look your best. The down side of the professional take home kits are you must use them daily for 14 days or more to get a noticeable result.

Recently I’ve tried the brand new Philips Zoom Quick Pro Whitening, which takes 30 minutes and whitens teeth up to 4 shades whiter the first time. A repeat treatment (recommended within a few days) can whiten teeth up to 6 shades.

If you’re interested try Pitt Street Dental Centre  one of the leading and most experienced dental practices in Sydney.

Additionally to get the ‘Wow’ Factor and 8-15 shades whiter teeth in 90 minutes try the World’s most requested professional in-chair whitening system, Philips Zoom White Speed. The results are instant, fast , safe and very dramatic. Look years younger instantly. These two professional systems work on everyone provided you have your own natural teeth. NB: Teeth whitening products cannot change the colour of porcelain crowns or veneers.

If you’re located anywhere else, ask your local dentist about options for quick whitening solutions.

TIP: If you have sensitive teeth, tell your dentist and they will find a more tailored solution. My teeth are generally very sensitive but I didn’t feel any discomfort with the new Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening treatment.

OFFER:

Pitt Street Dental Centre are giving my readers a special offer – Call and mention this article to get the Philips Zoom White Speed at $595 including a free dental check up and dental show bag with some great sample products to try!

or

Philips Zoom Quick Pro Booster Treatment at a special price of $220 – Call and mention this article. (“LIVESHOPTRAVEL BLOG”)

Philips Zoom whitening

 

MediTrainean – a Cool Spot to Dine in Crows Nest

MediTrainean – a Cool Spot to Dine in Crows Nest

Looking for a cool new spot to catch up with a few friends, either for lunch or a Friday nights tapas style dinner over a few glasses of vino?
The recently opened Mediterranian style kitchen “MediTrainean” just might be the spot for you. The restaurant is both licensed and BYO and operates from Tuesday to Saturday until 10pm.

 

MediTrainean Crows Nest
Crows Nest Location – MediTrainean Restaurant

 

We dined at MediTrainean on a Friday night. The tables on the left hand side of the, you guessed it, moving train with entree dishes and dips, accomodate 4-5 people and the other side is a bar that gives you easy access to the gliding plates.
For a late Friday night dinner the place was bustling, full of young professionals, mostly in groups, with their own bottles of wine, ready to share a small feast and chat away into the night.
The interior is very casual and hip. The bar is covered in kitchen tiles and bar stools are wooden and rustic looking. The place reminds you of a friendly kitchen with a busy vibe where you can enjoy a quick meal.
The way the dining experience works is you start with entrees and dips from the conveyor belt and order main dishes from the grill and also drinks with the wait staff. Dessert can also be picked up from the train at the end of the meal.

 

Meditrainean Crows Nest Menu
The spread from the train and grill menu

 

The cuisine is mediterranean inspired, the dips have favourites such as hummus and yoghurt with mint.
Slices of flat bread are also circulating on the train for you to pick up and enjoy with the dips.
We get seated and grab some bread, dips and a fattoushe and also a Pearl Cous Cous salad from the train. A waitress comes around and we order some arancini,  lamb skewers, the chicken with lemon, parsley and garlic sauce plus some drinks.
The arancini and the lamb came out first, 2x porcini mushroom and rice balls and 2x lamb mince skewers – well marinated, and grilled. I liked the grilled chicken – the smell of garlic was divine but perhaps due to the busy time, the 2nd meal came out a bit cold.
At the end we decided to seal off the dinner with a serving of baklava.

 

Meditrainean Sydney Food
Food options available at MediTrainean

 

Other items on the conveyor belt which looked interesting – vine leaves, muscles and of course the cheesecake dessert.
This restaurant is by no means gourmet, but if you are an area local, I am sure it will become a regular, cozy catch up spot for you and your friends on weeknights and even lunches for a quick bite and good company.
For menu information and booking options go to the MediTrainean website.

 
 
 

*Article by Julia Kim Murphy (Founder of LIVESHOPTRAVEL.com)
LIVESHOPTRAVEL were invited to dine with MediTrainean for an honest review.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Kobo 7 Day Reading Challenge – Reading Books is All the Rage this Winter!

The Kobo 7 Day Reading Challenge – Reading Books is All the Rage this Winter!

It’s the middle of winter. The Sydney weather is not anything to complain about but we are having a fair share of rainy and gloomy days. All I want to do day in and day out is stay home, curl up with a favourite cup of tea or hot chocolate and read a good book.

I can’t remember the last time I visited a library, there hasn’t been much time in my schedule to do that lately, so I’ve been reading books electronically. It’s super convenient and most eReaders store up to 3,000 books on one easily portable device.

Today I want to talk about the Kobo eReader which I am using as a part of a 7 day reading challenge.

Mine was sent to me as a part of a blogger reading challenge this winter and I wanted to give it a review in this post.

The model I have is Kobo Auro H2O. Why did I choose the H2O version? As you may have guessed it’s a waterproof design.

Kobo Aura H2O Reading Challenge

When I heard of this model it was the first time I ever heard of a waterproof eReader.

How many times did you wish you could take your iPad to the edge of the pool or a warm bath and not worry about damaging the screen?

I think for me that’s a feature that I can’t go past. I am sure this eReader will accompany me to many beach/pool locations in the future. For now however, I have already tried my Kobo in the bathtub. Some light reading on a Sunday afternoon, in a bath full of bubbles. Super relaxing!

When I do take my Kobo on holidays, I can read it by the pool, in direct sunlight and the screen is still like ink on paper, with no glare or eyestrain.

Kobo aura H2O blogger review

A recent news report said that so many kids and adults are now suffering from early on sight of eye problems due to continuous screen exposure. If you are guilty of excessive screen use(I know I stare at some kind of a device, mostly my mobile, for more hours than I spend awake), consider giving your eyes or your kids’ eyes a break and reading on the Kobo. You can also read web articles on the device, again helping your eyes relax while reading.

As with any reader app, the Kobo app lets you continue reading on mobile or tablet for free. That’s also very useful because there are a lot of things I do on my mobile phone, including reading books and articles.

Beginning of the Challenge:
The book I am currently reading on the Kobo is Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”.

Kobo Aura eReader Book

It’s so interesting that I can’t put it down. Elizabeth Gilbert, if you haven’t heard of her, wrote the infamous book “Eat, Pray, Love” which was then made into a motion picture starring Julia Roberts as the main character. This book is about the power of creativity and how it all happens. Elizabeth believes that a creative idea comes to you when you least expect it and it then hangs around waiting for an acceptance. If the idea is ignored long enough it seems to move onto someone else. I think that is exactly how creativity works as to this day no one has been able to explain in scientific terms, what actually happens in our brains when we get creative.

Kobo eReader Back

End of the Challenge:

It’s been a week and I’ve carried my Kobo with me everywhere, it’s so neat that it fits in my handbag and as it’s waterproof I am not scared to take it with me anywhere. It can happily perch on a cafe table, dining table, couch and accompany me when I take baths.
My eyes usually quickly get tired when reading on a bright screen device like a mobile or iPad, but the Kobo screen has a very gentle backlight and so I don’t get the glare or the same eye strain when reading on this eReader.

Kobo Aura Blogger Review

I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on the Kobo and a lot of people are really getting into this eReader and have a lot of positive things to say. I like having the Kobo in my handbag for company, because instead of staring at my phone every day or when I have a few minutes of downtime, I pull out my eReader and get through another chapter of a really good book.

If you have a Kobo and haven’t signed up to the store yet or just want to read through the Kobo app on your device,

I have a special offer available to my readers, giving each new person who signs up a $5 credit to use in the Kobo e-store.
CLICK HERE for your $5 credit on Kobo.

Oh and if you’re a creative person, you must check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”, it’s a great read!