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I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling the effects of this global pandemic in all parts of life.

My long-term partner and I live together, which is definitely something that I’m grateful for while we’re in lockdown. We’re both homebodies and we rarely go out in the evening – I thought we’d be fine. But, this period has made me realise that our relationship relies more heavily on activities and adventures than either of us ever thought.

I’ve come up with some different date ideas that my partner and I can do while in lockdown so that we feel a little bit more like ourselves again. Lots of these can be done with family and other housemates too, so whoever you’re locked in with – spice it up!


1. Dance party

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you can – go all out. Dress up in your favourite dancing outfit, pull out the glitter, glow sticks and coloured lights, and move furniture out of the way.

Make the ideal playlist for you and dance the night away. If you’re not feeling great about your dancing, turn all the lights off and move however you want to!


2. Movie night

This is not your usual binge session.

Build the best pillow fort that you can for this one. Dig out your Christmas lights and string them up for the ultimate cosy movie session.

Wear your cosiest pyjamas. Make popcorn or grab your favourite movie snacks at your next visit to the shops and choose a movie that’s on your bucket list. Maybe it’s an old classic that you’ve never seen, or maybe a recent Oscar nominee – your pick!


3. Yoga class

It doesn’t matter if yoga is or isn’t your thing, just give an online class a go. Slow exercise with your partner can be super sexy, particularly if you take it in turns doing the poses.

This way, one of you can gently touch the other in the places they might need to adjust, or in places that just look enticing!


4. Spa

This one is all about placing all of your attention on your lover. Find some soothing spa music, light a few candles and make your bathroom and bedroom space completely Zen.

Start with a warm bath or shower to relax the body and give them an at-home facial with the skin-care products you already own. Afterwards, move to the bed for a massage. If you don’t have a specific massage oil on hand, you can use coconut oil, which might already be in your kitchen.

Take it super slow and keep checking in to make sure you’re getting all of their sweet spots.


5. Cafe breakfast

Okay, this is more a ‘date morning’ idea, but I think it’s worth it.

I don’t know if this is just me, but I have a whole shelf of recipe books and I’ve never made a breakfast recipe from any of them. Café breakfasts were something that my partner and I would do quite regularly on the weekends, pre-lockdown.

So now that all the cafes are closed, I thought it was about time to try out all the fancy looking breakfasts that are in the collection of cookbooks we own. It might take some prep the night before, but it’s so worth it!


6. Mystery box challenge

We’re big MasterChef Australia fans in my household.

The challenge: each of you picks five ingredients for each other, you also have access to pasta, rice, flour, eggs, milk, oil and salt and pepper.

You must use one of the five picked ingredients in your dish. Then, cook!


7. Draw each other

For this date idea, one of you is the nude model, and the other is the artist (when finished, switch). If you’re modelling, make sure you pick a comfortable pose – you’ll be in it for a while. And if you’re the artist, you don’t need to draw the whole body, you can pick a specific part and focus on that.

Play with the lighting in your space so that there’s shadows that you can add to your illustration. Invest all your focus on how their body looks in the light and shadows of the room, and admire away!


8. Comedy night

If you need a laugh, this one is perfect. Dress up for an actual date at a comedy night, pour yourselves your favourite beverage and stream a stand-up special that you’ve never seen before.

There are plenty to choose from on Netflix and other streaming platforms. Make sure you turn off your phone, just like you would in an actual venue!

This article was originally published on Lovehoney by Eleni.

Shop with Lovehoney through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and they will invest 14% (capped at $70) of your purchase back into your Raiz account. Reward amount valid as of 28/9/20. T&Cs Apply.

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Think healthy eating can’t get any easier? Well, it can with recurring orders with YouFoodz. This simple function allows you to have your fave meals on repeat, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the extra time saved. Here’s everything you need to know about the magic of recurring orders.

What are recurring orders and why should I set one up?

A recurring order is a selection of your fave meals, drinks and snacks that arrives on your doorstep at your desired frequency. The best thing? It’s totally flexible. You can amend, skip or stop your order anytime before the cut-off date (‘cos you know, we need time to whip it up).

Cool, huh? Not only will you save time, you’ll also save money. For your first four recurring orders, you’ll get 20% off. We like to call this: Set & Save!

How to set up a recurring order

Log into your account and select your faves as you normally would. Upon check out, you’ll notice a section where you can select the frequency of your order. Don’t forget to tick the box beneath so we have permission to complete your future orders.

Note: Sorry, you can’t set up a recurring order using Afterpay, Zip or Quick Checkout. Stay tuned for updates!

How to amend your order

You can amend your order anytime by logging into your account and selecting ‘Recurring Order’ from the drop down menu. Here, you can view all details of your recurring order and make amendments like swapping, adding or removing menu items.

You’ll need to make amendments before your order cut-off date. We’ll also send you an email reminder before the cut-off date, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about! Once cut-off has passed, any changes you make will not be processed until the following order.

Top tip: Add hungry@youfoodz.com to your email safe list to avoid this important info ending up in your spam folder.

How to take a break

Maybe you’re going on holiday or just need to take a break – that’s not a problem! You can stop your recurring order anytime by logging into your account and selecting cancel. Easy!

This article was originally published on YouFoodz by Sheridan Murphy

Shop with YouFoodz through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and they will invest 4.2% of your purchase back into your Raiz account (2.1% if a coupon code is used). Reward amount valid as of 21/9/20. T&Cs Apply.

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TERMS & CONDITIONS
Schedule to Terms & Conditions of entry

Promotion name Switch your electricity and gas provider and save
Eligible States/Territories National
Promotion period Start: 17/09/2020 12:00 AM AEST

End: 16/10/2020 11:59 PM AEST

No entries will be accepted outside this time.

Website address raizrewards.com.au/blog/raiz-energy-terms/
Promoter Raiz Invest Australia Limited

ABN 26 604 402 815

Level 11, 2 Bulletin Place

Sydney, NSW, 2000

Eligible entrants Entry to the promotion is open to Australian residents in all eligible states/territories who fulfil the method of entry requirements. Entrants must be 18 years or over to enter the promotion.
Details of prizes The individual value of prizes awarded will be:

1 x $500
5 x $100

The Myer eGift vouchers prizes will be sent by email to each of the winners. The prize will be deemed invalid if the switch or connection is cancelled within the first 75 days.

Prizes must be accepted as awarded and no substitutions will be provided.

Total number of prizes  6
Total prize value Total prize pool (inc GST): $1,000
Method of entry To enter, an entrant must, during the promotional period: RAIZ ENERGY and switch their electricity /or gas provider offered through Econnex and powered by CIMET.

Electricity and Gas providers include the following:

Next Business Energy

Alinta Energy

1st Energy

Energy Australia

AGL

Powershop

Energy Locals

Sumo Power

Dodo Power and Gas

ActewAGL

Tango Energy

Origin Energy

Simple Energy

OVO Energy

RED Energy

Lumo Energy

Momentum Energy

Maximum number of entries Entrants may enter the promotion once only
Prize draw The random prize draw will occur on 20/10/2020.

Location of draw: RAIZ Invest Australia Limited

Level 11, 2 Bulletin Place

Sydney, NSW, 2000

Notification of winners Winners will be notified via email within 2 business days of the draw of the prize.
Public announcement of winners The winners will be published on the Raiz Rewards Facebook page and the Raiz Rewards blog – within 2 business days of the prize draw.
Unclaimed prize draw  Unclaimed prize winners will be notified via email no later than 16/12/2020.
Notification of unclaimed prize winners Unclaimed prize winners will be notified via Email no later than 16/12/2020.
Public announcement of winners from unclaimed prize draw  The winners of all unclaimed prizes will be published here: raizrewards.com.au/blog/raiz-energy-terms/ on 16/12/2020.
 Permit reference Authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPM/19/04925

Terms & Conditions of entry

  1. Information on how to enter and prize details form part of these terms & conditions (Terms of entry). The Terms must be read in conjunction with the Schedule. The Schedule defines the terminology used in these Terms of entry. Where there is any inconsistency between these Terms and the Schedule, the Schedule prevails. Participation in this Promotion is deemed acceptance of these Terms of entry.
  2. Entry is open only to legal residents of the Eligible States/Territories who satisfy the Method of entry. Directors, officers, management, employees, suppliers (including prize suppliers) and contractors (and the immediate families of directors, officers, management, employees, suppliers and contractors) of the Promoter and its related bodies corporate, and of the agencies and companies associated with this Promotion, including the competition permit providers TPAL (Trade Promotions and Lotteries Pty Ltd) are ineligible to enter. Immediate family means any of the following: spouse, ex-spouse, child or step-child (whether natural or by adoption), parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister or first cousin.
  3. The Promotion will be conducted during the Promotion period.
  4. The Prizes are specified in the Details of prizes section of the Schedule.
  5. The total prize pool is specified in the Total prize value section of the Schedule.
  6. Any prize is valued in Australian dollars unless expressly stated to the contrary.
  7. All vouchers are valid until the expiry date stated on the voucher or by the provider of the voucher.
  8. Neither the Promoter nor the voucher provider is liable for any voucher that has been stolen, forged, lost, damaged or tampered with in any way.
  9. Entrants are advised that tax implications may arise from their prize winnings and they should seek independent financial advice before acceptance of their prize(s). The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any tax implications that may arise from accepting a prize. Entrants are responsible for all expenses that they incur in entering the competition and they will not be reimbursed regardless of whether or not they win the competition.
  10. The entrants must follow the Method of entry during the Promotion period to enter the Promotion. Failure to do so will result in an invalid entry. The Promoter will not advise an Entrant if their entry is deemed invalid.
  11. The time of entry will be deemed to be the time the entry is received by the Promoter.
  12. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any late, lost, delayed, incomplete, incorrectly submitted, corrupted, illegible or misdirected entries, claims or correspondence whether due to omission, error, alteration, tampering, deletion, theft, destruction, disruption to any communication network or medium, or otherwise including those entries not received by the Promoter for any reason.  The Promoter is not liable for any consequences of user error including (without limitation) costs incurred. No correspondence will be entered into.
  13. The prize(s) will be awarded to the valid entrant(s) drawn randomly in accordance with the Prize draw details. The Promoter may draw additional reserve entries (and record them in order). In the event of an invalid entry or an ineligible entrant, or if the entrant is ineligible to accept the prize, the prize will be awarded to the first reserve entry drawn. If the prize can’t be awarded to the entrant drawn, the promoter will then continue this process until the prize is awarded.
  14. The winner does not need to be present at the draw unless expressly stated to the contrary.
  15. The winners will be notified in accordance with the Notification of winners and Notification of unclaimed prize winners (if applicable) sections of the Schedule. Notification to winners will be deemed to have occurred on the later of the time the winner receives actual notification from the Promoter or two business days thereafter. The notification will include details about how the prize(s) can be claimed.
  16. The Promoter takes no responsibility where it is unable to contact prize winners who have not provided correct or complete contact details. If an entrant’s contact details change during the promotional period, it is the entrant’s responsibility to notify the Promoter. A request to modify any entry information should be directed to Promoter.
  17. It is a condition of accepting any prize that the winner must comply with all the conditions of use of the prize and the prize supplier’s requirements. Each prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if a winner is unable to use the prize as stated.
  18. The winner’s name will be published in accordance with the Public announcement of winners section of the Schedule (if applicable).
  19. If the prizes have not been claimed by the Unclaimed prize draw time and date and subject to any written directions from a State lottery agency, the Promoter may conduct an Unclaimed prize draw in accordance with the Unclaimed prize draw section of the Schedule (if applicable).  In the event the Unclaimed prize draw takes place, the Promoter will attempt to contact the winner(s) of the Unclaimed prize draw in accordance with the Notification of unclaimed prize draw section of the Schedule, and if applicable, the name and State/Territory of residency of any winner(s) of the Unclaimed prize draw will be published in accordance with the section of the Schedule entitled Public announcement of winners from unclaimed prize draw. If a prize is no longer available the promoter may substitute with a prize of higher or equal value “subject to any written directions from a regulatory authority”.  The promoter is not allowed to deduct any administrative costs associated with the provision of the prize.
  20. To the greatest extent permitted by law, the Promoter excludes all warranties, representations or guarantees (Warranties) regarding the Promotion and any prizes, including any Warranties which may have been made in the course of advertising or promoting the Promotion. The conduct of the Promotion or the supply of prizes may involve third parties, and the Promoter makes no Warranties and disclaims all liability in connection with any such third parties, their acts or omissions. By entering the Promotion, an entrant releases and indemnifies the Promoter and its related bodies corporate (including the officers, employees and agents of each) from and against all actions, penalties, liabilities, claims or demands the entrant may have against the Promoter or that the Promoter may incur for any loss or damage which is or may be suffered or sustained as a direct or indirect result of an entrant entering or participating in the Promotion or winning or failing to win a prize, or using or permitting any other person to use the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law or which would cause any part of this clause to be void or unenforceable.
  21. If despite the foregoing clause, the Promoter incurs a liability to an entrant under any law which implies a Warranty into these Terms of entry which cannot legally be excluded, the Promoter’s liability in respect of the Promotion is limited, in the Promoter’s discretion, to either resupplying such goods or services as form part of the Promotion or paying the cost of resupplying those goods or services.
  22. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no circumstances will an entrant or the Promoter have any liability to the other for any loss or damage suffered which is indirect or consequential in nature, including without limitation any loss of profit, loss of reputation, loss of goodwill, or loss of business opportunity.
  23. The Promoter and its associated agencies and companies will not be liable for any damage in transit to or delay in transit of prizes.
  24. The Promoter may in its absolute discretion not accept a particular entry, may disqualify an entry, or cancel the entire Promotion at any time without giving reasons and without liability to any entrants. Without limiting this the Promoter reserves the right to verify the validity of entries, prize claims and entrants and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry or prize claim that is misleading or not in accordance with these Terms of entry or who manipulates or tampers with the entry process. In the event that a winner breaches these Terms of entry, the winner will forfeit the prize in whole and no substitute will be offered. Verification is at the discretion of the Promoter, whose decision is final. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
  25. Prizes, or any unused portion of a prize, are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash, subject to any written directions from a regulatory authority. Where a prize is unavailable for any reason, the Promoter may substitute the prize for another item of equal or higher value. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any variation in prize value (including between advertising of the Promotion and receipt of the prize).
  26. In the case of the intervention of any outside act, agent or event which prevents or significantly hinders the Promoter’s ability (or that of a third party involved with the Promotion) to proceed with the Promotion on the dates and in the manner described in these Terms of entry, including but not limited to vandalism, natural disasters, acts of God, civil unrest, strike, war, act of terrorism, the Promoter’s obligations in respect of the Promotion will be suspended for the duration of the event and, in addition, the Promoter may in its absolute discretion cancel the promotion and recommence it from the start on the same conditions, subject to the approval of the relevant authorities.
  27. All entries become the property of the Promoter. As a condition of entering into this Promotion, entrants agree to assign all their rights in and to their entry and any related content to the Promoter, including any copyright or other intellectual property rights in the entry and related content. Without limiting this, the Promoter may use entry content for any and all purposes including commercial purposes. You warrant that entry content is original, lawful and not misleading and that the Promoter’s use of such content will not infringe the rights of any third parties. The Promoter has no obligation to credit you as the author of any content submitted and may otherwise do any acts or omissions which would otherwise constitute an infringement of any moral rights you may have as an author of the content.
  28. Entrants consent to the Promoter using the personal information provided in connection with this promotion for the purposes of facilitating the conduct of the promotion and awarding any prizes, including to third parties involved in the promotion and any relevant authorities. In addition to any use that may be outlined in the Promoter’s Privacy Policy, the Promoter including third parties may, for an indefinite period, unless otherwise advised, use the private information for promotional, marketing, publicity, research and profiling purposes, including sending electronic messages or telephoning the entrant.
  29. The collection and disclosure of personal information provided in connection with this promotion will be handled in accordance with the Promoter’s Privacy statement which adheres to the Privacy Act 1988 (cth) and Australian Privacy Principles.
  30. The Promotion and these Terms of entry will be governed by the law of the State or Territory in which the Promoter ordinarily resides. Entrants accept the non-exclusive jurisdiction of courts and tribunals of that State or Territory in connection with disputes concerning the Promotion.
  31. Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram may be used to advertise or promote the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, entrants agree that the Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram; and to release Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram from all liability in relation to this Promotion. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Promotion should be directed to the Promoter and not Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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If your home is now your primary place of business, there are now certain expenses you can claim as part of your occupation.

But you can’t claim everything. In this article we discuss what you can claim, what you can’t, and how to do so.

Running expenses

Where part of your home is being used for genuine work-related activities, you’re able to claim this expense as a running cost for tax purposes.

There are three ways you can calculate your running expenses, based on records and level of information you have on hand.

1. Shortcut method (only available from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020)

This is the simplest method of calculating your running expenses. You can claim a rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional business expenses incurred during your time working from home. This covers things like electricity and internet costs, tech consumables, cleaning, and decline in value of office equipment.

However, this must strictly cover full work duties — not the occasional email check or phone call.

Also, if you choose this method you’re unable to claim a further deduction for any business expenses already covered. So, for example, you can’t also claim your internet bill on top of this method.

In order to claim in this method, you must keep a record of the hours you work from home as a result of COVID-19. It can be your timesheet, or a diary note.

When entering this in your tax return enter it as ‘COVID hourly rate’.

2. Fixed rate method

Under this method, you can claim:

– A rate of 52 cents per work hour to cover things like electricity, heating or cooling, and the decline in value of your home office furniture.

– The work-related portion of the actual costs of your internet and phone expenses, computer and tech consumables, stationery, etc.

– The work-related portion of the decline in value of your main business device, whether it’s a laptop, home computer, or similar.

As per the Shortcut method, to claim the Fixed rate method you must keep records of the hours you’ve worked at home during this time. This can be either a timesheet, diary note, or a diary for a representative four-week period to demonstrate your typical working pattern.

3. Actual cost method

This is the most accurate, yet most time consuming method. Under this method, you must be able to provide evidence of any expenses incurred.

This includes:

– Recording the actual number of hours worked during this time.

– Determining the amount of electricity you use for your particular home office set up, for the hours you worked from home.

– Keeping all receipts for work-related expenses, including assets, consumables, cleaning, and any repairs required.

Where you don’t have a dedicated working area, electricity expenses can be calculated by multiplying the individual unit rate by the hours you worked from home.

If any of your expenses are covered by your employer, such as phone or internet bills, these can’t be claimed as a tax deduction.

Occupation expenses

These expenses cover the costs of occupying your property, both when you rent or you own your own home. This includes:

– Rent paid

– Mortgage interest

– Land taxes

– Property insurance

– Council rates.

While you aren’t typically able to claim occupation expenses on tax, there are two exceptions where you’re able to do so:

– Your home workspace is only usable for work purposes, and not domestic use. For example, this could be a machinery shed, or a dentist’s surgery.

– Your employer hasn’t provided an alternative working location, and you’re required to dedicate part of your home as an office to continue your work.

In these circumstances you can claim occupancy expenses for the portion of your home dedicated to work.

It follows this formula:

(Total occupancy expenses) x (percentage of floor area your home office uses) x (percentage of the year you worked from home)

Example

John works from home for just over 10 weeks, and his employer hasn’t provided an alternative office space. He lives in a 2 x 1 apartment, and has now dedicated his spare room as his home office.

His spare room occupies roughly 15% of his floor area. He has spent approximately 20% of his year working from home.

Therefore, John can calculate his occupancy expenses as such:

(John’s total expenses) x (15%) x (20%)

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) implications

It’s important to note that if you primarily work from home, you’re partially working from home, or you use your property as a place of business, there may be CGT implications when it comes time to sell your property.

If you’re in a working situation where you’re able to claim occupancy or working from home expenses, then this means the property itself is being used to produce an income. If you use part or all of your property to produce an income, then you aren’t able to claim the CGT Main Residence Exemption for the part of your home that you use for work.

This then means that if you come to sell your home you will be required to pay CGT on the portion which you’ve used for your work.

Be sure to contact us to determine whether or not you’re able to claim occupancy expenses on your tax return.

Phone and internet expenses

Almost everyone needs phone and internet access to complete at least part of their job these days. The good news is that you’re able to claim these as tax deductions.

In order to claim any expenses, you need to keep detailed records of all your phone calls and internet usage for a four-week period. This timeframe is then used as a representative period for your entire year.

There are two ways you can claim phone and internet when working from home.

Limited documents

If you only have limited documentation you can claim up to a $50 threshold, which is made up of:

– 75c for every work phone call made on your mobile

– 25c for every work phone call made on your landline

– 10c for every work text message sent from your mobile

Actual expense method

Under the actual expense method you must determine the percentage of work phone calls made, and the amount of internet data used, during your representative four-week period. This can then be multiplied against your phone and internet expenses to determine how much you spent for work purposes.

The important of good record keeping

In order to be able to make any tax deductions on expenses incurred when working from home it’s crucial that you keep accurate records.

This includes:

– Itemised tax receipts for any expenses incurred

– Itemised log of phone call and internet accounts

– Diary entries detailing a representative four-week period of home office use

Some situations require multiple sets of records.

Extraordinary situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic can alter your existing working from home arrangements. In these circumstances, you’re required to keep your usual working from home records, plus a log of the hours worked related to these extraordinary circumstances.

The final word

When working from home there are three golden rules that apply to making tax deductions.

1. You must have spent the money yourself, and it hasn’t been reimbursed by your employer.

2. Your claim must be directly related to earning your working income.

3. You can produce a record that substantiates your claim.

However, these rules only apply to the expenses that you’re able to claim when working from home. Therefore, it’s critical to have the right support when determining what you can and can’t claim at the end of this financial year.

This article originally appeared on Nixer by John Liston.

Sign up to Nixer through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and once you use their service you will receive $5 invested back into your Raiz account, as well as a $10 discount for their service.

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Are you the future of fashion? Wanna design for PrettyLittleThing? Now you could! PrettyLittleThing are looking for any wannabe designers to become part of fashion’s future. You’ll be tasked to create a capsule collection of 5-10 designs which we’ll actually retail on site. We’re passionate about giving people a platform to showcase their creativity and encouraging the next generation of young creatives to use their voice through design. Think you’ve got what it takes? Apply now. The future of fashion is in your hands.

Are you the future of fashion?

THE BRIEF

Submit 5-10 designs in a PDF. Sketches need to have a clear front and back view of each style.

Key things to note: these should be commercial designs as they will be sold on site and seasonally relevant for a February launch.

The rest is up to you.

ENTER HERE.

THE DATES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

8th September – Competition opens

27th September – Competition closes

30th September – Winner notified

30th October – Designs finalised and sent to production

MEET THE PANEL

Panel 1

All competition entries will be judged by the senior product and creative team at PLT as well as guest judges Zack & Jamie.

ENTER HERE.

T&Cs HERE.

This article was originally published on PrettyLittleThing.

Shop with PrettyLittleThing through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and they will invest 3.5% of your purchase back into your Raiz account. (Reward amount as of 11/9/20) T&Cs Apply.

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When you think of hot springs and hot pools, your first thought may lead you to the bubbling onsens in Japan, the famed Blue Lagoons in Iceland or perhaps the Onsen Hot Pools in New Zealand, but have you ever wondered if there were any right here close to Sydney and its surrounds?
We’ve done some digging and have found these beautiful undiscovered spots you could check out on your next winter weekend escape! They are located a little further from Sydney so you may want to make a trip out of it. Here are five hot springs in Sydney you need to visit- arranged from the shortest driving distance to the furthest:

1. Blue Mountains Sparadise

We’re about to tell you something most Sydneysiders probably don’t know about – that you can actually find a slice of Japan and get a taste of Onsen relaxation right here in Sydney!
Blue Mountains Sparadise is a Japanese-inspired bathhouse, where there are options for indoor and also outdoor hot pools, plus you can always treat yourself with additional services like massages, facials, or warm up with delicious Japanese curry at the teahouse. You can also complete the experience with overnight accommodation here!
They also offer a private buro ( 風呂, pronounced [booro]) meaning bathtub, or home bath if you’d prefer a private space to yourself.
  • Distance from Sydney – 140km | 2.5 hour drive
  • Opening hours – Friday 2pm-9pm, Saturday 12pm-9pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
  • Prices – from $80pp

2. Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool

Here’s another we bet most have not heard of – Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool is a public pool located at Kosciuszko National Park filled with water from a natural hot spring, and remains at a beautiful 27 degrees all year around.
You’ll need to do a short walk from the car park to get there and it is usually secluded and quiet.  In winter, it’s magical to float in the warmth and watch steam rise from the water’s surface, as snow blankets the ground around you.
  • Distance from Sydney – 475km | 5 hour drive (we’d recommend popping by here if you happen to be around Canberra)
  • Opening hours – now open 9am to 5pm daily
  • Prices – free

3. Burren Junction Artesian Hot Springs

If you really want to get off the beaten track and looking for something in a bit more of a rural setting, you should check out Burren Junction Artesian Hot Springs – located right by Kamilaroi Highway on a sealed road.
The baths are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and popular amongst locals as the artesian water flows from the bore maintains a constant temperature of 41.5 degrees and has a great rep for relieving aching muscles. If you want to make a trip out of it – campgrounds are also on site with poolside showers, bbq facilities and filtered water.
  • Distance from Sydney – 613km | 7 hour drive
  • Opening hours – open 24 hours
  • Prices – free

4. Moree Artesian Baths

This hot spring in Moree is perfect for the entire family- the kids can enjoy the waterpark, while you chill out at the Artisan Soak and Sauna Retreat. There’s plenty here to check out – from fitness classes, commercial gym facilities and even an Olympic pool!
  • Distance from Sydney – 632km | 7.5 hour drive
  • Opening hours –
    • Monday – Friday: 6am-8pm
    • Saturday & Sunday: 7am-7pm
  • Prices – $9 per adult; $28.50 per family

5. Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Baths

You may know Lightning Ridge as the Black Opal capital of the world, but did you know that there’s also a hot spring you can visit in the area?
The water from Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Baths comes from the Great Artesian Basin and is approximately two million years old!
  • Distance from Sydney – 716km | 8.5 hour drive
  • Opening hours -24 hours a day
  • Prices – free

This article was originally published on Klook by Viv Tan Wei Wen.

Shop with Klook for the first time through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and they will invest 3.5% for Tours, Sightseeing, Activities, Food & Dining, Transport & Travel Essentials, Attractions & Shows or 1.4% for Special Activities.T&Cs Apply. (Reward amount valid as of 8/9/20.

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Sleep is an important tool for improving performance and returning the body to its best possible state. However, these days, modern distractions like smart phones, tablets, social media and Netflix can so easily infiltrate our evenings, hindering our bodies ability to sleep.

A lack of sleep can cause a wide array of issues, yet many are not aware of how far-reaching these can be. A poor mood, inhibited decision-making, low energy and memory problems can all be the result of a lack of sleep. Additionally, recovery from training can be slowed, and studies have shown that injury rates may increase by up to 60% for those averaging just five hours of shut eye, compared to those who manage nine hours.

So, what makes sleep good? And how do we prepare our bodies for sleep?

Great sleep takes skill, and it’s a skill that takes time to develop. One can’t simply walk into the bedroom after scrolling emails or Instagram and expect to have the best sleep of your life. You need to build a routine, stick to it and continue to work on it.

This skill is based on key factors like how organised you are leading up to bedtime, your body temperature and your hormone levels. Let’s have a look at each of these in more detail.

ORGANISING YOUR NIGHT-TIME ROUTINE:

To dial down the stress in preparation for sleep, try to organise yourself as much as possible before bed. To do this, it helps to work backwards. Think about the time that you need to get up in the morning, and then calculate the time you need to get to bed to fit in 7 – 9 hours of sleep.

From here, build in an evening routine. Aim to switch off any electronic devices, such as the TV, at least 30 minutes before bed. If you have difficulty getting to sleep, also try to avoid foods and drinks high in caffeine and sugar, such as chocolate, coffee and black tea. Pick up a book, practice a meditation or write out a to-do list for the next day.

It can also help to prepare anything you might need in the morning – perhaps this is your gym clothes, your work bag, or maybe you like to put your coffee mug out ahead of that 6am caffeine fix. During this time, try not to watch the clock too much. If you know your bedtime is approximately 30 minutes away, there’s no need to check the time every five minutes. Take it slow and try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

At first, these steps may feel trivial. But as time goes on, you will realise you feel more at ease. Just like any new habit, it will take some trial and error to get it right. Slowly, your body will adjust, and all of these activities will cue sleep.

BODY TEMPERATURE:

Having a hot shower before bed can raise the core body temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 of a degree. This heat causes the body to switch to cooling mode and begin the processing of balancing its temperature.

Make sure you wear lightweight and breathable clothing to bed and ensure your room as at a comfortable temperature for you. Generally, this is between 18 – 21 degrees Celsius.

HORMONE LEVEL OPTIMISATION:

Melatonin is the key factor in the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm which is our ‘body clock’ so to speak. It is also responsible for blood pressure regulation.

The hormone Melatonin is secreted when we enter a dark room and go to sleep. It is the key active hormone that allows the body to rest and is secreted from the pineal gland and spread around the body via the bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluid – a liquid around your brain and spinal cord. Soon, the spread of melatonin reaches your vital organs and causes the brain to reduce its normal function.

The number one cause of a delay to the melatonin release is the blue light found in smartphones and electronic devices. A 2015 study (Analysis of circadian properties and healthy levels of blue light from smartphones at night, Oh, et al.) found that melatonin levels decreased by 7.3% – 11.4% when in a dark room and even higher when in a light room. This has a lasting effect on the time it takes to get to sleep. The national Sleep Foundation stated that this delayed secretion in melatonin delays REM sleep and also reduces REM sleep overall.

While a lack of sleep during the night can encourage many to nap the next day, if you are a light sleeper, napping will counter the body clock and restart our body’s processes. Napping may work for those who have no trouble sleeping, however if this is something you struggle with, it’s best to limit your naps and avoid upsetting your natural body clock. Additionally, try to stick to the same bedtime and wakeup every day of the week. By not letting yourself sleep in on a Sunday, you will soon wake up bright-eyed and early on a Monday, ready to tackle the week.

By taking all of these factors into account, you will fast become a master of your sleep routine. In turn, you will experience immense boosts to your mood, energy levels and decision-making abilities. So, when the sun does down tonight, think – is this Netflix show you are watching something that you would wake up early for? If the answer is no, go to sleep.

If you are not willing to wake up for it, why would you stay awake for it?

This article was originally published on 2XU.

Shop with 2XU through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and they will invest 3.5% of your purchase back into your Raiz account. T&Cs Apply.

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Here’s a friendly reminder that Father’s Day is on this Sunday the 6th of September. In case you’ve left it too late, we’ve put together some last minute gift ideas to celebrate all the father figures out there. A nice gesture can go a long way and you don’t have to break the bank in the process. Remember to shop through Raiz Rewards to earn a percentage of your purchase invested back into your Raiz account.

BWS – 1.75% reward (or up to 7% until 2/9/20)
For the dad that doesn’t mind a bevvy, stock him up on some of his favourite booze.
Get your drinks delivered ASAP with store to door within 1 hour or Click & Collect available.

Shaver Shop – 3.5% reward
Play it safe with something you’ll know he’ll love and use from the Shaver Shop. They also a Father’s Day sale on now, save up to 85% and get free shipping on orders over $50 until 6/9/20.

Dessert Boxes  – 7% reward
Dessert Boxes is waging a war on boring gifts to provide Dads with a fun, new alternative to gift giving!
Kayo Sports – $10 reward
Give him the gift of sport! Sign him up to a Kayo subscription to stream NBA, AFL, NRL and A-League live and on demand.
Ancestry – $10 reward
A present that he will never forget, give dad the gift of discovery! Surprise him with a DNA testing kit to discover his ethnic mix.
RedBalloon – 3.5% reward
From skydiving, car racing and beer tasting, there’s something for every dad at RedBalloon. Save up to 40% off experiences during the RedBalloon Father’s Day Sale, ends 6/9/20.
New Balance – 3.5% reward in-store and online
Keep dad fresh in NB and also shop up to 25% Off Selected Styles – New Balance Father’s Day Sale ends 6/9/20.
The Card Network – 4% reward
Get dad a gift card to pick out his own gift with the choice from the freshest brands & latest looks. Brands include Nike, Surfstitch, Diesel, Aquila and more!
Shop through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and earn a percentage of your purchase or dollar amount invested back into your Raiz account. T&Cs Apply. (Reward amount valid as of 1/9/20.)
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Whether you have a few spare minutes over your morning coffee, or are waiting in line at the supermarket, you can now make the most of your spare time and be rewarded for sharing your opinions via the Pureprofile Surveys feature in Raiz Rewards. You can participate in surveys without ever leaving the Raiz app. 

How does it work?

It’s simple, you can participate in quick, easy to navigate surveys directly in your Raiz account. For every survey you complete, you will be rewarded with real money, which will be deposited and invested into your Raiz portfolio. There are plenty of opportunities on offer – to date we’ve offered up more than 1,500 surveys to Raiz members.

Who can do it?

You can! All Raiz members can now opt into this exciting offering. Simply select the ‘Surveys’ button option in the Raiz Rewards menu. More than 30,000 Raiz members have already discovered the joy of Pureprofile surveys!

Benefits 

We are excited to provide you with different opportunities to increase your investments. This is a great way to grow your funds by building your own personal profile, and sharing your opinions on the things that matter most to you. 

In addition to the features you already love, you now have the opportunity to easily and automatically invest the money you earn from completing surveys. Did you know that we’ve already paid out more than $100,000 in rewards to Raiz members just like you?

Safety 

Pureprofile’s Privacy Policy ensures that we will never provide your responses or profile information to businesses in a way that would allow you to be personally identified (unless you provide us express permission to do so).

Find the Surveys tile in the Raiz Rewards section of the app and start earning today!

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Face masks have become an everyday part of what many people are dubbing the ‘new normal’. Required in shops, enclosed public places, and even just you’re just grabbing a coffee to-go; now you always need one of these babies close at hand. But just because this new, (literal) must-have accessory is protective, doesn’t mean it can’t look seriously cute too. Over at Nasty Gal, we’ve created a collection of out-fit complimenting, statement-making, and reusable face masks; so you can keep your face covered, all whilst offsetting your outfit (dreamy, huh?) And hey, since you’re here already, stick around and take a look at the best picks from our face mask bunch; so you can bag your new BFM, without the hassle of searching.

Fashion Forward

Let’s Face It Handkerchief Face Mask

Something a little fancier than your regular face mask or covering, and teams perfectly with your favourite midi dress for adding extra layers of cool.

Stand-Out Basics

All Mouth Fashion Face Mark

Simple, but gets the job done— and available in monochromatic and tonal hues.

Very On Brand

Nothing But a Nasty Gal Fashion Face Mask

It’s time to mouth off with one of our v versatile branded face masks; great for spicing up a tee and jeans combo (and letting people know where you shop too).

‘90s Nostalgia Incoming

Yes, this is a diamante face covering, and yes, we are here for it. Channel icon Paris Hilton, circa the early 2000s and get ready to jewel the world.

Diamante Fashion Face Mask

Trending RN

Tie-dye is very much on everyone’s radar RN, so we’ve brought you the retro design you love, in cute, reusable mask form. Soft and groovy— what more could you want, huh?

Talk to Me Tie Dye Fashion Face Mask

Shop with Nasty Gal through Raiz Rewards in the Raiz app and they will invest 5.6% of your purchase back into your Raiz account. Reward T&Cs Apply. (Reward amount valid as of 24/8/20.)