Paung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival at Inle Lake, Myanmar

Celebrating Paung Daw Oo at Inle Lake Overview: Myanmar is a stunning country to visit. The people are wonderful, the destinations amazing (and still relatively untouched by mass tourism) and they love a celebration – such as Paung Daw Oo. This post comes from Tanya and Andy on their work and travel blog, Can Travel, Will Travel. They were recently in Myanmar …

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Author: Matt

Fall Fashion Has Never Been This Cozy

This year has shifted more than a little about the way we live, maybe for keeps. One of the changes we’re happiest about: cozy-casual daytime clothing is where it’s at from now on. (Pants? Those sounds vaguely familiar…)

As we head into the holiday season, we’re thinking about things that bring others (okay, and maybe also ourselves) that extra hit of comfort when we could really use it most. That is to say, these would all make for welcome gifts. And if there was ever was a year to get all that holiday shopping handled early and online, safe to say this would be it.

All dressed down with nowhere to go? Good, then you’re doing it right. See what we’re working with this fall-winter…

All About UGG

Shoes? Who needs them anymore? For at home and around town, all anyone really wants to be wearing is functionally fuzzy, warm and wonderful shearling UGGs. And while there will forever be a place in our hearts and in our homes for archetypal slippers like Tasman and the iconic, go-everywhere, waterproof Classic Mini Boot, we’re also really feeling the hottest trend of the season, the cool as can be Fluff Yeah slides.

Get Your Jog On

Until further notice, coordinating jogger sets are the new jeans and a T-shirt. These all-day chill outfits are, well, not for jogging. Rather, they make you look and feel pulled-together, even though you’re still as comfy as if you were wearing your pajamas. Fresh prints like modern plaid and leopard (pretty much a neutral as far as we’re concerned) are what to wear now and once we can hop on airplanes again.

Va-Va-Va Velour

Velvet and velour are key to surviving in style when the mercury dips. Touchable sets from fashion favorites like Kate Spade New York and Donna Karan come in collect-them-all prints and jewel-toned solids you’ll want to build a new day-to-night wardrobe around.

Leggings You’ll Love

No big surprise here; leggings have long been our elastic-waisted holiday helpers. What is fresh and surprising, though, is all the leggings popping up around the sleepwear department. (Just in: Cuddl Duds.) A slimmer silhouette these bottoms can work a double as loungewear for running a quick errand.

Fit To Be Tied

Luscious bathrobes are the top layer we all wear to fend off chills, so may as well choose one that looks fiercely fabulous even when you’re not leaving the house. Pick the fabric that feels like your own personal version of a heavenly cloud, be it thick chenille robes from Kate Spade New York, stretchy-plush robes from N Natori or hooded fleece robes from P.J. Salvage. They’re so spectacularly soft and fluffy, they’re like the socially sanctioned, wearable stuffed animals of adulthood.

Put-Together Pajamas

Let’s be honest, more than a few of us are still working from home in our jammies. The line between lounge and sleep has never been blurrier and, as it always does, fashion has caught on, so what used to be considered an air of I-give-up at best can now look completely pulled together. To ensure sartorial success, turn to the tastemakers of the pajama space, like PJ Harlow, Bedhead, Honeydew Intimates and PJ Salvage.

The post Fall Fashion Has Never Been This Cozy appeared first on Bare it All.

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Author: Brooke Glassberg

Swaziland: Everything you need to know before you visit

What you need to know before you visit Swaziland  Submitted by: Anna    From: I’m 8 Hours Ahead   Read more: Click here for full post  Overview: Swaziland is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, between South Africa & Mozambique. It has incredible landscapes, showcases the typical african bush view and has different parks for a safari. It’s a rural country with little tourism so …

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Author: Matt

Don’t Blame Amazon for Tossing Returns in the Garbage

I recently read an article on the CBC website (“Hidden cameras and secret trackers reveal where Amazon return end up”) about what Amazon does with some returned products when people return them in new condition. Apparently many of these products end up in landfills. The article notes that this waste caused France, for example, to pass a new French anti-waste law forcing e-retailors like Amazon to “recycle or donate all returned or unused merchandise”.

Destroying new merchandise is a horrible waste, but we shouldn’t put all the blame on Amazon, there is more than enough of that blame that we can assess against ourselves. Americans have long had a love affair with returning items. How many of us have done the following:

  • Purchased clothing for a special event and then returned the item the next day for a full refund?
  • Purchased multiple colors of an item to determine which color we liked best and then returned the rest?
  • Ordered multiple sizes of an item to determine the best fit and then returned the rest?
  • Purchased something because it was on sale only to later return it because you really couldn’t use it?

We are more likely to indulge in the above non-efficient behavior when there is no cost to us. Businesses offer free returns to gain a strategic advantage over their competition and to provide exceptional service to their customers. In many cases Amazon and other vendors will not only allow free returns but they will also provide you with a shipping label so you don’t incur any upfront shipping costs to return the item. You re-box the item, attach the return mailing label, and drop if off. Easy-peasy!

Yahoo Finance states that “It’s not uncommon for online retailers to see 30% of all products people ordered online returned, as compared to 8.89% in brick-and-mortar stores. Clothing return rates can be close to 40%”.

Sometimes these returned goods are resold by the vendor as “used” or sold to liquidators who resell the items at a discount. But, in many cases, the returned produces are thrown away. Often it is more cost-effective for a vendor to trash a new product rather than have it returned to their facility as the return cost exceeds the vendor’s profit margin on the product. Has anyone ever received the wrong product and were told by the vendor to keep the product and they would mail the correct product? This happens because in some cases it’s not worth it to the vendor to pay for the cost to have the wrong product shipped back.

When I sell my personal books online I have a free return policy because most book wholesalers won’t accept books unless there is a free return policy. But, I specify that the returned book be trashed so I don’t have to pay the return shipment costs which are higher than the cost to produce my book!

The product waste incurred when good products are trashed has a big economic impact which can be larger than the production cost of that item. The shipping and labor costs of these returns are significant and steals person-hours away from “value-added” work.

We are a return society. Americans enjoy their freedom and that freedom extends to returning items with little concern for the economic impact.

We have seen the enemy and it is us!