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Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Best Of The 2019 Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show – The Design Files | Australia's most popular design blog.

The Southern Hemisphere’s largest garden and floral event got underway this morning at Melbourne’s sprawling Carlton Gardens and historic Royal Exhibition Building.

We were lucky to take a stroll through The 2019 Melbourne International Flower And Garden Show on our way to the office, and are thrilled to share some highlights – including the full list of awe-inspiring award winners!

Heronswood House and Garden Celebrates A Milestone

What a legacy Clive and Penny Blazey have nurtured!

As founders of Diggers Club, Australia’s largest gardening club, they have helped preserve an astounding abundance of rare plants and heirloom seeds over the past 40 years.

In the leadup to a very special Heronswood Harvest Festival next weekend, the pioneers reflect on the ‘fascinating pursuit’ that is gardening.

Barley Breakfast Bowl – The Design Files | Australia's most popular design blog.

Another tasty one-bowl meal idea today, this time inspired by everyone’s favourite meal – BREAKFAST.

This dish uses barley as it’s grain base. Admittedly, not the quickest ingredient to prepare (allow 40 minutes unless pre-cooked) but I LOVE it’s nutty texture. You could substitute rice or quinoa, or any other grain if you prefer.

To this we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite breakfast flavours – smoked salmon, avocado and sautéed mushrooms. Eggs with ‘the lot’ never looked so wholesome!

Check International Travel Off Your Bucket List

TravelCheck International Travel Off Your Bucket List

Check International Travel Off Your Bucket List - 13864

Check International Travel Off Your Bucket List

International travel tops the bucket lists of many aspiring travelers. However, two-thirds of Americans aren’t ready for international travel because only 36 percent hold a valid U.S. passport, according to the U.S. Department of State, which is required for travel outside of the United States.

While there are exotic destinations such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and even Puerto Rico   (the country that’s become more popular due to the hit song Despacito) that do not require a U.S. passport, Americans applied for about 17 million passports in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. It’s predicted that applications will hit 21 million in 2017.

“This summer is the perfect time to head out of town,” said Josh Belkin, Hotels.com vice president and general manager. “European destinations are particularly popular right now and with declining airfares, increased international flight options and great hotel deals, it’s an obvious time to venture abroad. 

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One of the main hang-ups in applying for a passport can be cost. However, with a qualifying international accommodation booking, Hotels.com is aiding Americans by offering free passports. The online lodging expert also offers these simple passport tips to ensure you’re ready to pack your bags for the trip of a lifetime:

  • Be informed. Get to know the application process. In addition to the application form itself, you’ll also need proof of citizenship, identification and a 2-by-2-inch photo prior to applying at your local acceptance facility, such as a post office, library or government office. You can find additional details on the U.S. Department of State website.
  • Keep time on your side. The routine application process can take 6-8 weeks, so plan ahead to avoid paying extra fees for expediting your application, which still takes 2-3 weeks.
  • Know the photo requirement. Many people are unaware that you can’t wear glasses – prescription or otherwise – in your passport picture. You must also have a neutral facial expression or natural smile and cannot wear headphones, a hat or any other type of head covering.
  • Choose a card or book. While passport cards cost less than half the price of traditional passport books, they are only valid for land and sea ports of entry between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean, and cannot be used for air travel outside of the United States. You’ll need the full passport book for international air travel, which also offers the land and sea benefits of the card.
  • Get a free passport. With the Hotels.com passport coupon you can save $110, which covers the cost of renewing your passport, when you book by Aug. 31 for travel through March 31, 2018. To learn more, visit hotels.com/passport17.

With a passport in hand, you’ll be prepared to discover some of the most popular international destinations like London, Paris, Toronto, Tokyo and Rome, and check an enjoyable travel spot off your bucket list.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman holding up passport)

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