Wednesday 30th November

The biannual shopping festival #shopthecity returns! We thought the last one (last Nov) would be our last, as we planned to obtain paid employment, but that has yet to happen. Also missed the July-ish one as we were very sick, and spend days upon days reading, and not leaving the house. But we're back!

Over the years have evolved, as it started before the arrival of the Emporium, and now includes them, The Strand, and QV. The second biggest shopping festival in the city/Melbourne, right after VFNO which includes Myer/DJs.

Th completed hunt loot. Before we claimed the food offerings.

9.15 Scavenger Hunt. We were the closest to the prize but my partner ran in the opposite direction... so close yet so far. But then if we'd won it would have been a sign for sure that we should start going to the gym.

Misdirection instead of saying I honestly don't know. But that h word makes me think you're lying. Trust no one! My top tips would be to partner up, with a shopaholic, and locate where the info stand/bars are.

My partner this year predicted the hunt results would be pretty good this year to cope with the increasing competition from chadstone. I didn't think so, though the activities and pop ups were very good. The only thing missing was craft/cookie/styling deco workshops. In the past there have been cupcake workshops.

From the hunt notables were: free meal from Nandos (lunch), BOGOF from Mr burger, $5 parma from wood and chimney, and a free short stack from pancake parlour. The camera tag was just something I had on me.

The Clues - I got all but one, which was pretty good. 

We loved the typo customization stand, four letters embossed into a diary. No extra cost than the usual diary, but also 40% off!! We didn't get one as the paper is too thin for me. I like ink pens (that run when wet) but you can only use ballpoint, also no highlighting. They goes straight through. By 6pm they were sold out, but there were no regrets.

Now that I think of it perhaps I should have bought some as gifts... but then again diaries are hard to choose, who knows if the paper is right for him, and the right style... 

A couple days before the event Roll'd had vouchers on fb for a free rice paper roll and iced tea! Thanks. These rolls are $3 each and you'dd need about four to make a meal, also they're 50% noodles. Sauce portions are also quite small.

Bee Keeper Parade is all about being green, and so offered an exchange. Your plastic/cardboard shopping bags (gotta show those receipts) from today in exchange for a reusable bag made from old fish food bags in Vietnam. The quality is quite similar to the rice bags.

Thanks to the hunt we received a free meal from Nandos for lunch, going for something healthy-ish we went with a pita wrap. It was good though the ingredients didn't go well together. It was like the pita wrap, two pieces of chicken and then coleslaw with its own creamy mayo dressing.

Pancake parlour had a wheel, we were hoping to win the $25 voucher, though I'm happy with another short stack. Chances of winning anything was good, around 50%. There were cute little pancake samples too! Bunny sized Lucy enjoyed it.

There's a $400 skincare booth near the pet shop like this. Death glare or avoid eye contact. Ignore them. They're scam artists and will try to do anything to engage with you, like the people on street corners and at the station, trying to get your credit card for monthly donations to africa or some cause.

Over at the Emporium the Christmas Tree was unveiled. All the asian tourists in the city gathered there and it was almost as crowded as a peak hour train! Hence we avoided it, though there were balloons and headbands.

There was a balloon booth for photos, but they described it sooo wrong. Btw those balloons don't float. What I was expecting was a photo booth, a big one filled with helium balloons for selfies, gifs or something. 

Hanging Christmas tree inspiration! Hanging from a grid at various heights with a mirror on the bottom reflecting the baubles and light.

At the Strand if you spend over $100 you get a free candle. Though if you're considered an influencer you also get one, free. Goals, one day to be invited to the city events. 

There was suppose to be a one animal petting zoo, but Bambi rocked up late then left on time. Seriously?! So we didn't get to pat it. Because it was off schedule due to being late as. It would have been entertaining to see all the forced huge and flashes along with selfies. XD

From Knafeh, the Bearded Bakers, came these cheese tarts. They put on quite a show, singing and dancing, and kept at it for 6hrs! Degrees in performance and bakery required. :P 

A custard tart sprinkled with cheese, melted on top, sprinkled with pistachio and a dash of sugar syrup. It was delicious! It reminded us of that three milks cake we had at Los Amates last year (nothing like a poke cake btw), a slightly sweetened tart served hot. Delicious! While they're $8 each, and hence a try once food, jas asked for another. Though we secretly had two the day before, and only bought one to share. :P They're that good!

Note - The ones pictures were the free ones, about $6 in size. The one they actually sold was slightly bigger and $8 or $12 with coffee. For a picture of the bigger one, click here.

Around 5-6pm is when the party starts, there's free champagne, DJs start pumping it and the after work crowd appears. This is when the majority of purchases are made, 

Following social media, instagram in particular is crucial to keep up to date. Not all the offers are included in the guide, like free red velvet cupcakes from Cupcake Central! These are George's favourites.

Caramel & Ginger Gelato + Gingerbread Meringue + Passionfruit Caramel & Raspberry Jam

Christmas in a cup! Minus the eggnog. Thanks to the Strand, Messina was there all night dishing out these gelatos! The wait was around 30mins. For those who didn't want to wait there's also free ice cream on the other side!

It's times like these where we appreciate people like Hector giving free branded bottles of water. In all the excitement we failed to eat real food today.

The lines at the GAP was much quicker! I can't recall who did the ice cream cart, but I've seen them before at wedding expos. We had the coconut and lime! I loved it!

Over to MRP to use up those giftcards I've acquired over the years. With any purchase there's a gift with purchase! With GAP down the road (no purchase required) MRP wasn't as popular. Popstic's Mango looks like a pineapple! Those Sunny Life molds are quite popular. How was it? Delicious! And so fresh and much like a Weis bar but you could taste that the mangoes were local-ish and it was a small batch.

text I do love it when all the stuff you buy fits into one big bag! So what did we buy? A glass thing from Typo, along with e card and second glass hanging thing, they were less than $5 each! The lens wasn't great so we returned that. Initial keying pretties from Supre, and card holders from Lovisa.

Over at Lovisa's Outlet we got all these for $30! 3 for $10.

Did you go shopping during the shopping festival? A lot of the sale e.g. 30% off store-wide are still going, weeks after the event itself. Did you get a custom typo diary?

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