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11 ways to DIY your way through winter and turn up the heat

11 ways to DIY your way through winter and turn up the heat

Brrrrrrr! Welcome to freezy winter – the perfect excuse to snuggle up indoors, put on  your DIY pants  and conjure up some magic to keep you and your loved ones warm. Following on from last week’s nifty Daisolutions, this week we’ve been hunting for the best tips for winning at winter with a little DIY knowhow. Keep these 11 tips and tricks up your woolly sleeve to stay snuggly and keep your heating bills low.

#1 ~ Rug up in winter woolies and stay warm on the inside with delicious soups and drinks too 

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Image by @lequirkychaton 

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Winter craft DIY idea by @cherrie.diane.dodson 

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Deck yourself from head to toe in winter woollies – we’re talking beanie, scarf, gloves if it’s convenient, socks and snug house slippers. You can learn to knit your own with DAISO’s needle and yarn supplies, or grab an old jumper and some hot glue (see the links below), but if you’re not so handy then you’ll also find all your woollies pre-made in store! 

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Matcha cookies with white choc chips yum! available at your nearest Daiso. 

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Once you’ve rugged up, heat your belly with comforting liquid treats like hot chocolate, tea and wintry soups. DAISO has the cutest soup stirrers and ladles to colour your cooking with sunshiny vibes, and the mugs and soup bowls are just waiting to add rainbows to  your kitchen. Again, if making ain’t your thang, hit up the soup and noodle aisle for some super easy instant warming winter snacks. Miso miso miso!

LINKS WE LOVE!

How to finger knit an infinity scarf (YouTube)

Find out the WARMEST way to wear a scarf (YouTube)  (see video at 3.42 minutes)

Quick DIY beanie and legwarmers with hot glue (YouTube)

Turn woolly socks into fingerless gloves

Super wintry soups on Pinterest

18 tasty ways to make hot chocolate ~ YUMMO!

Mulled wine, anyone?!

#2 ~ Make your own rice bag warmer and sleep soundly all night 

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5 min hot packs: http://www.raegunramblings.com/2014/05/5-minute-hot-pack-tutorial.html#_a5y_p=2039488

There’s nothing nicer than slipping into warm PJs and getting into a warm cosy bed when it’s cold and raining outside. Aaaaaah! Just heat your warmer in the microwave for half a minute, wrap your PJs around it and place under your covers a few minutes before you head to bed. It’s so easy to make your own rice bag warmer that you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this sooner (and made heaps more for your friends!).

Check out Wellness Mama’s awesome tutorial with bonus alternatives and hand warmer tutorial.

TIP: Make mini ones to place in your shoes just before you put them on. Mmmm, warm toes!

#3 ~ Bake like the apocalypse is coming! Use that oven to heat your home 

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Get your baking essentials from Daiso 

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We are all for the convenience of microwaves, but your oven can be your best friend in winter. Baking will not only yield a scrumptious selection of amazing smelling comfort foods to keep you satisfied, but when you’ve finished baking and you leave your oven’s door open as it cools, you’ll be treated to a most delicious ambient heat. *Skip this tip if you have pets or young children in the house!*

LINKS WE LOVE!

Bakers Corner – wow!

Healthy baking at Taste.com.au – failsafe baking from Australians who know how!

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop vegan cupcakes recipes with videos! (yes, we’ve tried these fluffy, divine mouthfuls of yumminess  and we totally rate them!)

#4 ~ Keep out icy draughts with velcro, magnets and pool noodles

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Windows and doors are the worst culprits for letting all the cold in and all the heat out of your rooms. So how do you stop this temperature to and fro? Easy. Just get some velcro or magnetic tape to create a temporary seal between the edges of your curtains and your window frame (sides and bottom). If your curtains meet in the middle, you can create a seal along the edges here too. 

For under-door draught gaps, especially in older homes, pick up some pool noodles (or other tube foam), make a single cut along the length of the noodle and slide it to fit along the base of your door. Shut the door and keep that heat in! DAISO also stocks door draught stoppers.

#5 ~ Humidify the house to make the air warmer and go green 

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Image by @yantiranbitan 

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Did you know that dry winter air actually feels colder, dries out your skin and is bad for your sinuses? Increase the humidity in the air by placing well watered plants around the house. A herb garden in the kitchen, some flowering pots by the back door? Your house will look lush and inviting in no time, and you’ll breathe easier.

Or add a few dehumidifiers around the house to refresh every room!

 

TIP: If your glass surfaces start fogging up with condensation then your air is TOO wet, so you might have to give your green babies a day outside in the sun.

LINKS WE LOVE!

15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality

Indoor pot plant Pinspiration

Indoor gardening 101 from Planet Natural

Advanced info about indoor plants and humidity at Indoor Garden HQ

#6 ~ Reflect the heat rays back where they belong with aluminium foil

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Instead of letting the heat escape through nearby glass windows or by rising up the walls, line the wall behind your radiator or wall-mounted heater with aluminium foil and reflect the heat back into the centre of the room. Extra toasty!

#7 ~ Avoid chills – get those light summer frocks out of sight! Don’t even be tempted to take them for a spin! 

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If the sun pokes its head out even for a few hours during the midst of winter, we always seem tempted to strip down to our summer gear only to freeze all day and wish we were wrapped head-to-toe in a doona. NOT THIS WINTER! NOPE! This winter is all about getting those summer threads packed away and out of sight. Pick up some vacuum seal bags from DAISO and make sure you dress sensibly ALL winter! 

 

#8 ~ While we’re sewing … Make your own floor rugs with old sheets, t-shirts and fabric scraps

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Rag rugs are SO IN right now, and most designer stores charge an absolute fortune for them. To that, we say, “Nope!”. We are all about home decorating on a budget. You can pick up all your sewing supplies for $2.80 each at DAISO if you need to stock up (don’t forget your toothbrush! – see the tutorial below), and dig out old sheets and other scrappy fabric at home. This fantastic DIY project makes it so satisfying to curl up on your new rug at the end of a rainy crafternoon indoors!

Check out the tutorial at Rag Rug Cafe!

#9 ~ Try heating your home with tealight candles and terracotta pots

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Surely this is some kind of secret passed down and adapted from ancient times – our ancestors sure did know how to survive the chilly months! Pick up some terracotta pots with holes in the base, and tealight candles at DAISO and you’ll be able to make your small-space heater in no time. Perfect for home offices! See how to make a flower pot heater via Daily Mail's story. Warning: do not use plastic pots! 

#10 ~ Make your own warm insoles for your shoes and boots with insulating products

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Mini Picnic Mats 

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90cm x 180cm reflective mat 

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A wall of rainbow felt 

Toasty tootsies all winter long! Yes! If you haven’t already picked up a pair of insoles from DAISO’s huge range in store, why not have a try at making your own? You can use all kinds of things to line your shoes on the inside, including cardboard, yoga mats and cork sheeting. We also recommend using DAISO’s reflective silver mats, picnic mats, felt squares or insulating bags for your materials. EASY DIY!

See this Wiki-How tutorial for how to make them

#11 ~ Try some DIY tricks to get into a de-frosted car in the morning

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Park with your windscreen facing east. Easy! The rising sun will melt the frost away …  at least in theory!

If you’re worried about ice crystals forming on your windscreen wipers, place knee socks over the wipers at night and take them off again when you’re ready to drive. You can also keep a squeegee wiper in the car to remove any remaining frost (or scrape frost off with your credit card).

If you want to prevent frost on your windows from the beginning, you’ll need to make up a  3:1 vinegar:water mixture and use a spray bottle to apply the mix to your windows. Keep your spray bottle in the car.

You are now armed and ready to take on Old Man Winter like a summer-lovin’ pro. Get to it, you warm-blooded winter warrior. And, while you’re at it, we KNOW you have your own winter secrets to share!

Remember to take part in this month’s competition by sharing your winter secrets on xxxxxxxxxx and tagging them with #mydaisowintersecrets . You could win xxxxxx.

Now go forth and conquer those winter chills, Hot Stuff!

xo

Team DAISO

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Winter is coming. 10 toasty tips to get prepped.

It’s getting chilly, the wild weather is on its way, and spending the next three months wrapped in your blanket cocoon is looking like a great option. But if you have to emerge from bed and step out into the cold cold world of work, school, uni and everyday life, make sure you do it right. Get your winter game on and thaw out with these winning warmers …  

#1 ~ Keep your typing fingers frost free with touchpad gloves

Finally, you can use your phone or tablet device without getting frostbite! Normal gloves just don’t cut it when you need to urgently snapchat your bestie about what they’re missing out on RIGHT NOW. Don’t let the moment (or your phone) slip away. These touchpad gloves have screen-friendly soft-grip coated fingertips that mean your phone ninja skills will be just as good in winter as they are in summer. 

#2 ~ Heat yourself, not the house

Your secret cost-saving grace this winter, and also great to help heal sporting injuries! Tear yourself away from hugging the heater but stay super snuggly with pocket warmers and heat patches. With an average temperature above 50°C lasting 10+ hours, these self-contained heat packs will keep you snug even in the snow and are much more discreet than that hot water bottle you’ve been tempted to carry around. Just peel off the backing, stick the pack to the inside back of your winter coat and enjoy a cosy walk outdoors. Always follow instructions on the pack for optimum warmth and safety. Here’s how they work.

Not convinced? Check out what users have to say:

“Pocket warmer can really keep you super!”

“Warmth from a heat pack”

#3 ~ Keep winter sneezes at bay with cold-fighting tea 

Ginger tea has many health benefits however there are side effects and precautions to take. Read more here:http://www.newhealthguide.org/Ginger-Tea-Benefits.html 

Give yourself a hot pre-winter boost with antioxidant-packed tea. Green tea is especially good for you, and a squeeze of lemon will help flush out any toxins (perfect after a night on the town). We love the lemon squeeze-pourer that allows you to pour your fresh lemon juice into your tea instead of all over the kitchen bench, and its handy cap will allow you to keep your lemon fresh in the fridge longer.

Bonus tip: Stay hydrated with lukewarm water and a squeeze of lemon juice between teas.

And if the sniffles set in: Check out this epic tea recipe you can use to kick that cold to the curb. 

#4 ~ Don’t freeze your butt off this winter! Warm your tush! 

Cold seats and short skirts: you know the story. Colourful woolly short johns (just like long johns but mini) will keep you warm AND make sure your butt looks extra sassy in those Marilyn-Monroe-on-a-windy-street moments. Oh my!

#5 ~ Get your snuggle on with mini snuggle blankets

Take the edge off of winter chills, whether you’re at your desk, watching TV on the couch or cheering on the local footy players from the sidelines. Mini fleece snuggle blankets are 80cm x  60cm – small enough to squash into your bag and big enough to wrap around your knees to keep the chills away. Perfect for kids too. 

Bonus tip: Snuggle blankets are also just the right fit for pet beds, and your furry friend will love nuzzling into them.

#6 ~ Waterproof yourself with great value brollies from only $2.80

Step 1: Layer up your winter woollies.

Step 2: Wait for rain.

Step 3: Add a raincoat and umbrella to your look.

Step 4: Strut your stuff on the footpath like it’s the hottest runway this side of Paris. Own it!

#7 ~ Buy your boots half a size too big to make room for thick fuzzy socks

Keep your tootsies toasty all winter. Like newsreaders in Hawaiian shorts, there’s something cool, cute and rebellious about secretly wearing bed socks with your serious work clothes!   

#8 ~ Embrace soup season and share the love

A big batch of wintry soup is just the thing to make you feel hugged on the inside, but when you’re trying to slurp your way through it all over a week, your tastebuds will probably feel a little bored, right? Solution? Start a soup club at uni or work, where a group of you all make different soups, freeze them in batches and do a swap. DAISO has all the colourful soup paraphernalia you need to get the club started, right down to the office-friendly heat-keeper mugs for sipping your soup between filing and spreadsheets.

Bonus tip: If you’re in a rush and making soup for one, a cup of instant miso soup will warm you up fast and is packed with health benefits. 

#9 ~ Make like a squirrel and stock up on emergency hibernation food

That moment when you get home after a long day, you find the cupboard bare and you know you have to brave the cold outside to get to the supermarket before it shuts. Noooo! Stock up now on emergency supplies and your future self will thank your current self (or is that past self?) for your excellent planning. DAISO has noodles, soups (including miso), dried goods like mushrooms for bulking up your meals, and snacks to get you through the deep dark winter. Here are just a few of the things available.

Need quick Japanese recipe ideas? Hello gyoza, sushi and other delicious treats!!

Have you seen DAISO’s dumpling maker in action

#10 ~ Maintain your glow from top to toe with weekly pampering

Who doesn’t love luxurious pampering to look and feel amazing?! While winter layers help us forget about the finer details (yeti legs!), cold winter winds and indoor heating really dry out our skin … and then spring is suddenly on the doorstep wanting us to look our best moisturised selves for the racing season! Ugh! Get the jump on it all with some weekly winter maintenance. We put together a few tips for you during the spring racing carnival that you can revisit. And remember that charcoal does wonders

There’s no way we’re going to let winter rain on your parade! What are your Daiso winter secrets? Share them with us by hashtagging your social media pics with #MyDaisoWinterSecret . You can also post pics directly to us using @daisoaustraliaofficial .

Here’s to a cosy winter ahead!

xo

Team DAISO

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10 ways to spoil Mum this Mother’s Day (without emptying your wallet)

Your mum gave you the gift of life, helped you tie your shoelaces and used her superhuman powers to see you through your awkward teenage years, and now you’re giving her a cookbook in return? STOP! Step away from the bookshelf and ask yourself, “How can I make Mother’s Day something really special for the woman who raised me?”.

Read More

The 4 most exciting words you’ll read today: Easter egg dessert dumplings!

Easter. Japan. Chocolate. Dumplings. WE LOVE THEM! So, in a stroke of genius at DAISO HQ, we put them all together to bring you a foodie marriage made in heaven: EASTER EGG DESSERT DUMPLINGS!

Taking Easter to a whole new level with Easter egg dessert dumplings!

If these dumplings aren’t the pinnacle of Japanese inspired Easter indulgence then we don’t know what is. These Japanese dumplings, or “gyozas” (pronounced GHEE-OH-ZAS), are super easy, fast and fun to make, and they will literally melt in your mouth. A few words of warning though: they are delightfully addictive, and eating too many may turn you into a gyoza, so remember to share them with friends and family over Easter.

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED …

–light cooking oil (vegetable, sunflower and coconut are all good)

–water

–gyoza dumpling wrappers

–fruit of your choice (we tried strawberries and bananas)

–Easter eggs (we used Hilliers Easter eggs available at DAISO).

The kitchenware we used is also available at DAISO for only $2.80 a piece. The dumpling/gyoza press is an absolute must-have for this cooking project, and it will make your gyoza sculpting so much quicker and easier than doing it by hand!

Clockwise from top left: oil absorption paper, frying pan (not available in DAISO), bowl and spoon (may need multiple small bowls for ingredients), gyoza dumpling press, mini fruit and vegetable slicer with container.

Watch the dumpling process unfold or skip below the video for full instructions:

We garnished our Easter egg gyozas with fresh banana slices, DAISO banana chips in brown sugar, DAISO salted caramel Mallow Moment (NEW!) and sprinkled them with DAISO’s caramel cinnamon sugar (yes, we went all out on the sugary treats!). Plate, chopsticks, and scarf used as table runner are all available at DAISO.

HERE’S HOW TO PREPARE YOUR GYOZAS …

Step 1 ~ Prepare enough filling to fill however many gyozas you want to make - aim for about 4 slices of fruit and a mini Easter egg per gyoza (if you try to fit in more the gyoza wrapper might split). We used DAISO’s handy slicer with container to make sure our fruit was cut into super thin slices and could be stored easily.

Step 2 ~ Lay gyoza wrapper on the dumpling press and, using your fingertips, lightly press it down in the middle so that you have a dip in which to place your filling.

Step 3 ~ Place your filling in the centre of the gyoza skin. We used 4 or 5 thin slices of strawberry or banana and a mini Easter egg.

Step 4 ~ Dip your finger in the water and then run your finger around the edge of the gyoza wrapper. This will help the wrapper stick together so your filling doesn’t fall out.

Step 5 ~ Pull the handles of the gyoza press together firmly. Then pull them apart, remove your gyoza and set it aside.

Step 6 ~ If you prefer your gyozas to stand with their fanned edges up, stand them up this way on a flat surface and press them gently to create a base.

Step 7 ~ Repeat steps 2 to 7 until you have sculpted all your gyozas.

NOW TO GET COOKING! …

Cooking is a little trickier and you’ll need to really keep your eye on your gyozas to make sure they don’t burn on the high heat.

Step 1 ~ Make sure you have a plate ready for your cooked gyozas. We placed DAISO’s oil absorption papers on our plates to make sure our dumplings didn’t go soggy. Keep your jug of water nearby too.

Step 2 ~ Heat light cooking oil, like vegetable or coconut oil, in a frying pan over high heat until it begins to form tiny bubbles.

Step 3 ~ Place your dumplings in the pan until their bases are golden brown. If you’d like all sides of your dumplings golden and crispy, use kitchen tongs to turn them.

Step 4 ~ Once they’re all browned, pour over ¼ cup of water. The pan will sizzle and spit like crazy so be careful! Once the water evaporates your gyozas are ready.

Step 5 ~ Remove your gyozas from the pan and rest them on oil absorption paper for a minute.

Step 6 ~ Serve your gyozas on cute plates and garnish them with fruit, cinnamon sugar, nuts or chocolates of your choice.

You know the greatest thing about gyozas? You can put ANYTHING you like in them! Helloooo, world of sweet, delicious possibility! We also tried banana and nutella gyozas. Just like the strawberry-Easter-egg and banana-Easter-egg combos, these took us to our happy place.

We skipped the dipping sauce, but heat up a little Nutella in a dipping bowl and you’ll be in a chocolate gyoza dipping bliss daze in no time! Sweet gyozas are also amazing served with a scoop of your favourite ice cream.

More sweet filling suggestions for you to try:

~Sweet potato and crushed pecan (a maple syrup dipping sauce is dreamy with these!)

~Chilli spiced Nutella

~Easter egg and marshmallow (try a salted caramel sauce with this)

~Stewed apple and cinnamon (sprinkled with extra cinnamon sugar)

~Apple and blueberry (with hot peanut butter sauce)

~Fruit-mince (for Christmas) (these are wonderful with ice cream and brandy sauce)

~Chocolate and Walnut Gyoza (with Strawberry Balsamic Dipping Sauce)

There are so many possibilities!

We hope you have loads of fun trying out your own sweet gyoza experiments with our awesome gyoza press. Remember to Instagram or Facebook your mouthwatering successes with #daiso.

Good luck with your gyoza-ing!

xo

Team DAISO

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9 housemates who drive you crazy. 11 DAISOlutions to keep you sane.

There are many kinds of housemates. The first is you: the perfect housemate (you know it!). Then there are others.

Whether your housies are family, friends or too-good-to-be-true randoms you’ve plucked off of an internet site, they probably all have some habits that’ll make you KERAZY! Nobody’s perfect, right (except for you)? So instead of hiding in your room posting out calls for help on Facebook, or staging a really awkward whole house intervention, why not prep your home with some gadgets to help everyone be as fantastic and considerate as you are.

We love solving your problems with awesome $2.80 solutions, so here are our Daisolutions to help out the housemates who just can’t seem to get it right.

#1 ~ The open bag bandit

When you go to find the soy sauce in the back of the cupboard and knock over a 2kg bag of rice your housie hasn’t bothered to re-seal …

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This battery-operated bag sealer works by pinching and melting the plastic to create a seal. It brings so much satisfaction to sealing a bag that they’ll want to use it EVERY SINGLE TIME they open something. They’ll even start opening things for fun, but that’s ok because they’re going to re-seal that baby right back up.

But what about the bags of coffee beans and your fancy muesli that cost a day’s pay and came in an artisan paper bag made by a spiritual guru? No sweat. Pegs work too. Check out these cute Mickey Mouse pegs and colourful bag clips – so bright and cheery, no paper bag will look complete without them.

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TIP: The date flower bag clip allows you to record when you opened the bag so you can make sure things haven’t been open for too long. 

#2 ~ The stove slopper

When you have to clean the oven *again* because your housie has let the pasta water boil over and your stovetop looks more like a gunky swamp of goop …

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Simmer down! We’re sure they didn’t do it deliberately. Pop this boil-over preventer (also called a pot-watcher) in the bottom of your pot of water, milk or soup before you start heating and it’ll stop your liquids boiling over. Wisegeek tells you how it works.

Tell everyone in the house how to use it, and leave it by the stove for easy access and a visual reminder. 


#3 ~ The garlic handler

When your housemate cooks an amazing meal packed with garlic and then touches the remote, the door handles, the tap handles and the icecream scoop with garlic hands …

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Image via Instagram @Daiso_Goodidea

We love garlic, and we love housemates who cook with garlic, but only when they don’t make everything else in the house smell like garlic too. We’ll forgive them for the garlic breath, but keep one of these by the sink for them to wash the garlic smell off their hands. All they need to do is wash their hands with the soap (no detergent soap needed) under running water for 30 seconds and the garlic smell will be gone. Find out how it works at Huffpost.

TIP: Stainless steel soap also removes strong odours like onion, durian and fish.

#4 ~ The cheeky clothes borrower

When you discover deodorant stains in your favourite jacket, and you know they’re not yours (you use that invisible stuff) …

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Sure, you might’ve made an agreement in the early days that they could borrow your stuff whenever they liked – those were the days. But you draw the line at deodorant stains (and body odour is a big NO!). If they’re not going to dry-clean your clothes after borrowing them, take a preventative measure and stick some underarm sweat absorbers in. They’re just like the ones in this demonstration video but are $2.80.

#5 ~ The wishy washer

When your housemate has been really nice and done all your washing for you … with the towels … and your woollens are covered in lint balls …

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Ok, points for kindness and consideration even if they’re no domestic god or goddess. But what to do about the lint that’s making your clothes look old and shabby? This battery-operated lint remover will do the trick, and as you see those aggravating little balls of fuzz disappear, you’ll feel a satisfied calm wash over you. Thank your housemate and let them know how to use the lint remover for their clothes too.

#6 ~ The clothesline hog

(While we’re on the topic of washing) … When your housie decides to take up the whole washing line with their smalls …

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Seriously, do they really need ALL that room just for their undies? Who even has that many pairs?! Give yourself some line space by encouraging your housie to use one of these handy delicates dryers. It’ll take up one peg’s worth of space on the clothesline and can be brought in quickly and easily if it rains. 

#7 ~ The mid-tube squeezer

When you find the toothpaste squeezed from the middle of the tube … again … 

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Image via: http://www.weekendnotes.com/amazing-items-daiso/

And the tube of condensed milk?! Noooo! You might have to pick up a few of these if you have a serial mid-tube squeezer on your hands. Clip this tube roller to the end of the tube and turn the winder to squeeze out the toothpaste. No promises on this one, but your housie might enjoy this little gadget more than squeezing from the middle, and, if not, at least it will help you get to the very last drop of minty (or sugary) freshness.

#8 ~ The in-shower shedder

When you have to call the plumber again because the bottom of the shower is filling up like a bath …

 

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Long-haired housemates are often the prime suspects. Instead of launching into awkward conversations about hair loss, just protect your drains with some drain catchers. Remember to encourage everyone to clean them after they’ve had a shower or bath, and enjoy a plumber-free house-sharing experience.

TIP: Use a drain catcher in the kitchen to stop food remnants from catching in the drain and causing unpleasant odours. 

#9 ~ The canoodler

When you feel like an intruder  walking into your loungeroom because your housemate is always in there canoodling on the couch with their boyfriend or girlfriend …

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Watch video of iPhone Trumpet Speaker in action

Keep one of these on hand for those times when you want to clear the room and have a good laugh. Cue up some cheesy saxaphone music on your phone, place your phone in the speaker and hit play.

TIP: If you don’t have a sound system to play your music, this will also help you drown out the giggles coming from the other rooms.


When your housemate’s annoying habits give you a reason to pick up really cool things that’ll make your life easier, living with them doesn’t seem so bad afterall. 
And if you’ve discovered you’re a stove slopper, shower shedder, mid-tube squeezer, garlic handler then maybe you could do with some of these gadgets just for you. We hope they give you that extra little bit of domestic bliss you deserve.

Good luck!

xo

Team DAISO

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Instagram: @DaisoAustraliaOfficial

Discover charcoal It’s the new black in skincare

It’s true. Charcoal is a game changer in the beauty world, and for good reason: it works wonders.

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Photo credit via Instagram: @pumpkinsister_id

No, not the stuff you find in your BBQ or in your old art supplies – wrong kind of charcoal, all kinds of bad! – we’re talking about ACTIVATED charcoal.

Japanese women have been using it for centuries in their beauty routines, and the beauty industry is onto it. Don’t worry, DAISO is too, which means you can get all the perks of the luxury brands but for a fraction of the price. Each product is just AU$2.80, so if you buy all the charcoal products listed in this blog post, that’s your skin and hair taken care of for only AU$16.80! Helloooooooo saving for that holiday in the Bahamas!

Heads up! Here’s what you’ll find at DAISO.

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Why change to charcoal?

Aside from providing minutes of entertainment when you look in the mirror with your face covered in black goop (chim-chiminy-chim-chiminy … ), activated charcoal is said to have real beauty benefits.

When you use it on your face it:

  • draws out the impurities that get into your skin each day – bacteria, poisons, harmful chemicals, dirt and microscopic particles
  • unclogs your pores
  • makes your skin look and feel fresher
  • helps combat pimples and blackheads.

Skin won’t dramatically change after a single use, but you’ll notice improvements after a week or two.

When you use it on your hair it:

  • draws out pollutants and grease
  • leaves hair deep-cleaned and soft.

Customers swear by it, like it’s the holy grail of skincare and haircare. Read the proof in these honest-to-goodness reviews from around the world:

What is activated charcoal? Is it safe?

Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been heated in a way to make itsuper porous, meaning it has so many tiny holes that it can hold 1000 times its own mass (like an intensely absorbent sponge or filter, but on a microscopic scale).

It has extreme absorbtion ability. No, that’s not a typo. Absorbtionchemically attracts and sticks other substances to the charcoal’s surface, rather than drawing them in to become part of it (absorption).

Because charcoal isn’t something that can be absorbed by the body, it’s safe. In fact, pure activated charcoal is commonly used in medicine, and some monkeys eat charcoal to help their digestive systems.

So, how do you use charcoal products?

Just like you would your usual ones. Each of DAISO’s products have instructions on the pack, but here are a few pointers for you to incorporate DAISO’s charcoal range into your beauty routine.

Remember to always test products on a small patch of skin first to make sure you’re not allergic to ingredients.

  1. Cleansing cream

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Remove makeup and daily impurities. There’s no need for water – just apply and wipe off. It’ll leave a slightly sticky residue that you’ll need to wash off with cleansing foam.

2. Cleansing foam

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Squeeze a little onto your hand and use a foaming net to create a lather (see a handy tutorial by midsummer3v3 on how to use DAISO’s foaming nets). Massage the lather into your skin, rinse off, and pat your face dry with a soft cloth.

Moisturise if necessary with your favourite moisturiser. 

TIP: You can use this to cleanse your hands too. Over time, it’ll make them look and feel more youthful. 

3. Sumi blotting paper

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Keep these beauty saviours in your bag for on-the-go oil control throughout your day. Blot whenever you’re feeling like your face needs more of a matte finish. 

4. Natural pack peel-off face mask (once a week)

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This one is trickier, depending on your skin type. If you’ve ever used a pore strip across your nose, you’re familiar with the feeling of a super sticky strip pulling out not only your blackheads and whiteheads but also a layer of peach fuzz hairs from your skin! This mask is just like that but on your whole face, so, sensitive petals, beware, and only use in oily areas where you really need a deep clean! 

To use it, apply in a thick layer (avoiding delicate eye areas, eyebrows, hairline, and lips), dry for 15 minutes and then peel off. 

Look at all the dead skin and tiny hairs and blackheads and whiteheads – horribly satisfying isn’t it?!

Moisturise if necessary with your favourite moisturiser. 

5. Pore care packs (once a week)

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Like the peel-off mask, these will pull out blackheads and whiteheads (and tiny peach fuzz hairs!) from your nose. Just wet the strip, apply it to your nose, press down, dry for a few minutes and peel off.

Satisfying! 

6. Sumi shampoo (once a week)

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Because this shampoo is so rich in sweet-smelling detoxifying loveliness, it’s more like a hair treatment or conditioner, so you only need to use it once a week as a special treat for your hair. 

Lather in, rinse thoroughly and dry. 

Gaze upon your shiny, rejuvenated hair and book a night on the town.

Who would’ve thought that something as black as charcoal could actually get your skin and hair so amazingly clean and detoxed?! Not us, but we’ve tried it and it works!

We’re excited to hear your success stories and see your results with DAISO’s charcoal range, so remember to share them with us on our Facebook page or on your favourite social media with #mydaiso.

xo

Team DAISO

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Instagram: @DaisoAustraliaOfficial

Melamine sponges 101: What are they and how do you use them?


These melamine sponges aren’t quite as cute as others you’ve seen at DAISO, but they have cleaning superpowers to champion those scuff marks on your floorboards and marks on your shoe rubber that no other sponge can conquer – AND there’s no need to use harsh synthetic chemical cleaners! All you need is good old-fashioned tap water.  

They’re everything you want in a cleaning product – cheap, easy to use (forget the elbow grease), gentle on your surfaces and eco-friendly.

Warning: Once you start using them, you may want to clean everything!

What are they exactly?

Melamine sponges are made of melamine foam, which is made up of formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. For non-scientists, this means that while the sponges feel like normal sponges, they actually work like super-super-fine sandpaper, getting into tiny grooves of the object you’re cleaning.

Are these the “magic erasers” that cleaning experts talk about?

Yes! Sort of. Just a different brand.

But while you can pick them up in supermarkets for AU$4.40 for a pack of 8 mini-blocks, at DAISO you’ll pay just AU$2.80 for so many more!

What can you clean?

So many things! The sponges are gentle enough to use on glass ceramic, stainless steel, aluminium, ceramic, melamine (Formica), tiles, wood, chrome and fiberglass.

Here are just a few ideas, but you can clean just about any hard surface.*

  • walls, doors, skirting boards and floorboards – remove crayon, marker and scuff marks
  • ceilings and cornices – remove mould and smoke stains
  • light shades and fittings - remove cooking grease buildup on your kitchen lights
  • whitegoods and appliances –remove dirty fingerprints, grease and food splashes, and gunk inside your microwave, dishwasher, oven and refrigerator
  • pots and pans with a metal surface – remove food buildup and burn marks

  • cups and mugs – remove coffee and tea stains

  • jars - remove sticky residue from labels
  • grills and stovetops – remove food and grease buildup
  • kitchen benchtops – remove tea and coffee rings, food splashes and grease
  • kitchen bins - remove marks, food splashes and grime (wipe over afterwards with an antibacterial agent like white vinegar)
  • bathroom surfaces – remove hair dye, stains, dirt, soap scum, mould and lime buildup around taps and between tiles, and in the bath and shower. Wipe over with an antibacterial like white vinegar to prevent mould.

  • Vinyl furniture - remove dust and dirt
  • wooden furniture – remove water rings and other stains (test a spot first and rub very gently in the direction of the wood grain)
  • toilets – remove toilet rings by letting a mini-cube sit in the toilet overnight, and wipe away stains from under the toilet seat
  • sportswear – remove grass stains, dirt and scuff marks from hard plastic and rubber surfaces (great for shin guards)
  • shoes and sneakers - remove grass stains, dirt and scuff marks, even on patent leather (test a small area first)

  • car interiors and rims – dashboards and vinyl seats (but not the outside of your car - except car door indents)
  • car door handle indents – remove fingernail marks - see a YouTube demonstration
  • shed and garden tools - remove dirt and grease
  • metal and other surfaces - remove rust
  • cement – remove green algae from bird baths, steps and ponds
  • camping gear - remove mildew and mould from tents, vinyl canopies, awnings, fiberglass items, etc.
  • computers - remove grime from your mouse and keyboard (unplug first and then make sure the sponge if fully wrung out to avoid water damage) (also test a small area first and clean lightly)
  • photocopiers and printers – remove inky fingerprints and grime from buttons
  • power outlets and light switches – remove dirty fingerprints and grime (use dry sponge or with minimal water).

*For surfaces that are easily scratched, these sponges can leave a dullness to the surface. Test the eraser on a small, unnoticeable, part of the surface you need to clean before you clean the rest.

How do you use a melamine sponge?

  1. Put away your cleaning products - there’s no need to use any.
  2. Wet the sponge with water.
  3. Wring it out.
  4. Rub it gently over surfaces to clean away dirt and grime.

*~Ta-da! Clean!~*

The sponge will gradually wear down over time like a pencil eraser (or you can cut sponges to size for single use).

A pack of these is a fantastic investment for only AU$2.80 !

DAISO sells them in various shapes and sizes, including packs of

  • 30 mini-blocks
  • 16 standard blocks
  • Lengths to cut to your own size.

Where can you find them?

Head straight to DAISO’s cleaning aisle to see the range.

Find your nearest DAISO

Need more motivation?

Check out more before and after shots using melamine sponges.

We hope these magic wonders are as life-changing for you as they have been for our other happy customers who use them. May your house always sparkle!

Happy cleaning!

xo

Team DAISO

We’d love to see your before and after photos using DAISO melamine sponges, so please share them with us on our Facebook page, or on your favourite social media with #mydaiso.

Join the DAISO tribe:

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Instagram: @DaisoAustraliaOfficial

Top tips to set your Christmas table with all the trimmings

The big Christmas feast is less than two weeks away and, no matter what you’re cooking up, we want to make sure your Christmas table spread is the merriest, shiniest, sparkliest and most fun on the family record. All you need is a little planning, a small budget and a quick trip to DAISO. 

Here are our top tips to set your table with all the festive trimmings.

#1  MAKE A START WITH THE BASICS

Gather up all your dinnerware, see what you have most of and decide on a theme. 

White is always a fresh option for a warm Aussie Christmas, with red and green close contenders, and gold and silver highlights to add that magic shine. But other colour schemes work nicely too. Classic blue and white mix-and-match will give your table a touch of elegance, while a rainbow of dishes will give it some summer fun.

Bored with your tableware and want something new? DAISO has ceramic and plastic dinnerware to suit every Christmas table. Here are just a few of the many options:

Need drinkware? DAISO has heaps to choose from, from picnic cups and coloured drinking glasses to glasses for alcoholic drinks. We are loving this adorable Christmassy hot chocolate mug and the stemless wine glass.

Tip: Remember your table-setting etiquette! Visit the Homelife site for a simple rundown on how to set your dinnerware in the right place.

#2  BRING ON THE BLING AND TURN CHRISTMAS UP A NOTCH

A Christmas feast isn’t a Christmas feast without the finishing festive touches.

If you’re not sure where to start with creating your centrepiece and placing your table decorations, go by the simple rule of styling your table to match the kind of feast you’re having. 

For the traditional turkey feast, stick with the traditional touches, like a few candles on saucers surrounded with simple Christmas decorations, some Christmas ribbons, and sprinklings of gold, silver, red or green glitter here and there on the table (stick to your colour theme). Or you could surround your candles with a wreath.

Tip: A summer Christmas doesn’t have to stop you from adding candlelight. Keep the heat down, and make your table kid-friendly with LED candles.

Tip: If you are using candles, stay away from the scented ones – these can distract from all the wonderfully delicious smells of your food. 

Tip: Always keep centrepieces below eye level so that they don’t disrupt conversation across the table, or the passing of dishes. 

For an outdoor Aussie barbecue, how about a cluster of miniature Christmas trees for the centre of your table?

Or mason jars with candles inside? Use washi tape or ribbon to make your jars something special.

How to make DIY Mason Jar candles —> 

Tip: Make outdoor table decorations heavy so that they don’t blow away if it gets windy.

How about some candy-cane and lolly jars so your guests have something to nibble on while they’re waiting for their meals?

Tip: Ceramic ornaments make good weights for holding down paper plates and serviettes before the food is served at the outdoor feast. See more on our Pinterest page.

#3  GET FANCY WITH PLACEHOLDERS

Add a classy touch to the dining table with placeholders for guests. Miniature spiral glitter trees are a sweet addition, or you could mark each guest’s place with a different Christmas decoration. Guests can take them home to put away for next year’s decorating.


Tip: If you want to personalise your placeholders with guests’ names, it’s easy to create name cards to sit in front. DAISO has a huge range of craft supplies you can get creative with, like markers, washi tape, coloured card, glitter glue, and hole punches. You might even venture down the cosmetics aisle for some super sparkly nailpolish to dot onto your cards (this is great for dotting on the outside of candle jars too!).


#4  REMEMBER CHRISTMAS IS FOR KIDS TOO! 

It can be so boring for kids to have to sit around waiting for food and listening to adults talk about boring adult life, so make sure the kids have a setup that’s just for them. Make sure their spot at the table is covered with craft paper, pencils, textas and stickers. They will also love being able to take home these placeholders that double as toys. What kid doesn’t love snowglobes and light-up ornaments?!

Tip: Some items may be a choking hazard for young children, so always read item labels to make sure they’re safe, and always ensure children are supervised by a responsible adult.

Tip: For very young children, consider using a Christmas stocking with an age-appropriate toy inside as their placeholder.

You could even give them some fun festive headwear to put on. They’re more fun than the boring paper Christmas crowns in your bonbons and they’ll be a hit with the adults too!


See more fun headwear, clips and hats

Tip: Kids can have fun getting into character with these and making up a Christmas play to perform.


#5  MAKE YOUR FEAST MEMORABLE WITH GIFTS FOR GUESTS

As an alternative or addition to your decorative placeholders, a small gift for each of your guests is a nice touch that will show them how much you appreciate them coming along. If you want to keep your table uncluttered, just hang these on the backs of guest’s chairs. DAISO has so many small gift options to suit each and every one of your guests, and has a great range of Christmas stockings and gift bags to make gift wrapping a breeze.

For more wrapping ideas, including special Japanese cloth wrapping, visit our wrapping inspiration board on Pinterest.

Now that you’ve had a sneak peek of all the glittery, fun table trimmings you can get at DAISO, you might also like to check out our Christmas feast table inspiration board on Pinterest.

As always, we’d love to see your amazing DAISO inspired Christmas feast goodies, so remember to take a snapshot of your haul (or your Christmas feast table), upload it to your favourite social media account and tag it with #daisoxmas.

Happy decorating!





Give gifts the WOW factor! It’s all in the presentation.

We already know how awesome and creative Japanese culture is, and in the art of giving gifts it’s no exception. So, gather up all your unwrapped gifts, settle in for this week’s dose of Japanese inspiration and get ready to become the wrapping wonder of your family and office Christmases. 

Wrapping gifts is a huge deal in Japanese culture – the way a gift is wrapped is as important as the gift itself, and conveys all kinds of symbolic meanings through colour and style.  Whether you’re going all-out on a Japanese theme or just adding accents to your traditional wrapping, here’s what you need to know to give your gifts the Japanese touch.

Choosing materials

Furoshiki, washi?! Japanese wrapping goes above and beyond the simple paper wrap and bow we’re used to seeing in Australia. Instead, gifts are elegantly wrapped in furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) or washi paper (a special handmade paper), and might be strung together or decorated with cord or ribbonwashi tape, or even origami

The furoshiki offers up the most sustainable way to wrap gifts, since the cloth can be re-used by your gift recipient as a table decoration, wall hanging or even a tea towel.

If you’re putting a twist on tradition, you can decorate your wrapping with buttons, pom-poms, washi tape or any other cute bits and bobs from DAISO’s craft aisle. In fact, anything small that can be glued onto or tied onto your gift with lots of colourful ribbon can make a cute addition – kawaii bento eraser trio, anyone?

TIP: For paper with a busy pattern, use simple extras like a small ribbon or a band of plain washi tape. For plain coloured paper, don’t be afraid to be bold with the extras! 

TIP: Need a cool paper band to go around your gift? Cut a long strip of wrapping paper that complements the main one you’re using, fold the long edges in a little to create smooth edges, and then use a decorative hole punch to punch out shapes along the centre – this star hole punch could set the theme for all your gifts. Wrap the paper around your gift and tape the ends together to hold it in place.

Choosing colours

If you’re sticking with the traditional red, white and green, here’s what these colours symbolise: 

  • Red – positive feelings about life, energy and vitality

  • White – purity and cleanliness

  • Green – fertility, eternal life, youthfulness and freshness. 

  • Red and white together are a symbol of joy, celebration and happiness.

Taking a step away from tradition? 

  • Pink – happiness and positivity. 

  • Orange – happiness and love.

  • Yellow – courage, beauty and cheerfulness.

  • Blue – purity and cleanliness

  • Purple – wealth and nobility

  • Black – doom and gloom, and death. Stay away from this one!

Choosing shapes

Have fun with wrapping by creating different shapes like pleats (see how), asymmetrical wraps (see how) or get FANcy (see how). If you don’t want to use cloth or washi paper, you can still create all these gorgeous shapes so easily with standard Christmas papers. 

Choosing techniques

There are two main techniques to Japanese wrapping – tsutsumi and origata

Tsutsumi is a way of wrapping that conceals the gift completely (more like the Western approach to gift wrapping), while origata gives a clue about the gift inside and has a whole lot of rules attached (read a brief introduction to origata).  

Each technique is easy to achieve, whether you’re using cloth, washi paper or traditional Christmas wrapping paper. 

Need a speedier, cheatier way to give gifts a little WOW?

There is no shame in accepting that you’re a fumble-fingers when it comes to wrapping, folding and tying ribbons. Fear not, friend – DAISO has the cute, quirky quickfix Christmas wrappings you need to make sure your gifts still look fantastic and your gift recipients feel loved. 

With seriously cute Christmas gift bags and  gorgeous gift boxes in a bunch of sizes, wide ribbons you can tie in a giant bow around any gift, Christmas themed sticky tape and even Santa boots, DAISO really does have everything you need to give your gifts that extra little bit of WOW!

You can check out DAISO’s Christmas wrap inspiration on Pinterest.

Proud of your wrapping efforts? You should be.

Show others how it’s done by sharing your DAISO wrapping ideas on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter using #MyDaiso #DaisoGiftIdeas, #daisocraft #daisocool.

5 hot tips to survive the office Christmas party

Party season is officially open!

Workers in Japan are gearing up for their yearly bonenkai – literally “forget the year party” – and Australian workplaces are abuzz with talk about the office Christmas party, which for most of us is also a “forget the year party”! But forgetting the year and looking forward to a new one has some fine print attached that nobody ever seems to notice until it’s too late:

What happens at the office party NEVER stays at the office party!

You know we’re all about problem-solving at DAISO, so here are our hot tips for making the most of the office Christmas party (or bonenkai if you prefer) without any sideways glances coming at you on Monday.

#1 ~ Keep a hand free for no-grease greetings

Drink or canapé in your left hand, right hand free for shaking hands. You there with the big hands, one canapé at a time! And, you, Tiny Hands, you need to stand near a table so you can put your food and drink down and alternate between munching and sipping. 

#2 ~ Beware the free-flowing festive spirits

Nobody wants to be remembered as the office lush who fell asleep in the corner (or worse!). Eat before you start drinking anything cheeky, know your limits and be sure to space out your alcoholic drinks with water or soft drink. 

If you’re organising the office party and need a generous supply of nibbles for your colleagues, stop by the DAISO snack aisle for some sweet and savoury treats.

#3 ~ Dance like everyone is watching

Your colleagues (and their trusty smartphones), will forever remember your awkward wonky donkey dancing, so keep the twerking and the popping and locking out of the work zone (remember what we learnt from Seinfeld’s Elaine?!).  

#4 ~ Get dressed for success

Look sharp! Think about your work party as an extension of work. Dress up your professionalism with Christmas colours and keep the clubwear for your holidays. If your work is having a fancy dress party, don’t be too cool for school and arrive in your everyday gear – get into the festive spirit and dress up like your job depends on it! 

Need last-minute fancy dress accessories?

#5 ~ Make the most of Secret Santa

Don’t let Secret Santa gift giving strike fear into you! A little thought really does go a long way, so ask around about your colleague’s interests before you shop. If they’re a complete stranger, find something for them that they can use in the office. Steer clear of joke gifts that might offend (unless that’s the theme!) and don’t be afraid to go a little over the set gift amount if you need to. 

For the quirkiest, awesomest gifts that’ll meet your budget, make your colleague smile and make you a Secret Santa star, check out our Pinterest board of Secret Santa inspiration.

Happy holiday time! We wish you and your colleagues a cracking office party!


 


 

With 3,500 stores worldwide Daiso is a retail powerhouse and a household name throughout much of Asia. Daiso Industries (Australia) is the official subsidiary of the Japanese owned brand and has opened 16 stores across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland with many more due to open over the coming year. Daiso’s Australian Head Office is located in Melbourne.  

Why work for Daiso?

We’re different. From our unique product range to our one low price to our huge focus on customer experience, we're shaking things up in the  value variety market and we want our future leaders to be part of the change.

We’re growing. Daiso’s rapid growth plans mean that for the right people there will be opportunities for advancement within our leadership team.

We value our employees. At Daiso we pride ourselves on our positive team culture where employees input is valued.  Daiso is committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees. 


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