Christmas can’t come soon enough with gifts like these.
Christmas can’t come soon enough with gifts like these.
Did Santa bring you something you’re not that keen about? Don’t let your unwanted gifts pile up and create clutter in your home. Here are some ideas on what to do with them.
Refund or exchange
Most likely you will need a receipt to do that, but some shops will exchange your unopened gifts without a proof of purchase. Depending on your relationship with the giver, you may even be able to ask them for the receipt. This is especially easy to do when the gift is clothing or shoes. You can always say that the item is not a perfect fit and they didn’t have your size when you went to exchange it, so you grabbed something else.
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try putting your gift on eBay and see what kind of interest it gets. Keep in mind that everyone sells their unwanted presents just after Christmas, so unless it’s something that will go out of fashion, it pays to wait for a couple months, when you’ll have less competition.
Donate to charity
Take your unwanted gifts to your local charity shop and your gift will serve a good cause instead of gathering dust in your home. Most charity shops will happily take clothes, shoes, books, CDs. Only some will accept electrical goods, so check with them before you drop off the items.
Give to someone else
If it’s a downright horrible gift that you’d be embarrassed to offer to anyone else, then don’t do it. It can also be that it’s not a great gift for you, but it would be perfect for someone else you know. Just make sure you remember who gave it to you in the first place, so that it doesn’t make its way back to them.
With a bit of imagination most items can be turned into something else. Your unwanted gifts can provide hours of rainy day entertainment for crafty kids. You can use clothes to make party costumes, book pages to include in your scrapbooking projects and a mug to turn into a pen holder (after giving your kids free reign to re-decorate it).
Image by jill111 via pixabay.com
No one really has everything. Even the wealthiest of your friends will appreciate a token of your love and affection, however small. The most important thing to remember is that you’re buying presents for the recipient and not for yourself.
Show your personality with your present
If you want your gift to stand out, you don’t necessarily have to spend more dollars than anyone else. You could always go online and choose a gift from Glitter Gift Baskets and have a look at their range, or you can blow your whole Christmas budget on an extraordinary present and then spend the rest of the year wondering if you did the right thing.
Often buying Christmas gifts entails a fair amount of research. The Huffington Post suggests that a unique and extraordinary present is the new Michael Kors watch. This item is actually called the ‘Watch Hunger Stop’ watch, as the manufacturers will donate $25 of the purchase price to the United Nations Food Programme. If you’re looking for the innovative present for the person who has everything, then $25 for someone who has little is a great way of celebrating Christmas. The recipient of your gift should applaud your originality and generosity.
Glamorous presents for women
If you want to give to charity and treat your glamorous friends at the same time, then consider the MAC-Viva Glam lipstick. This item is achingly fashionable. Miley Cyrus is headlining the Viva Glam event in January 2015, and you’ll also be ensuring that you’re contributing to MAC Canada’s AIDS fund. Charity Christmas giving needn’t be worthy or dull, and there are a whole plethora of these type of gifts around this year. Remember that it’s not the size of your gift that matters, it’s whether you’ve given a present because you really like someone.
Ballooning is a great idea
If you’re looking for an unusual or distinctive present, don’t opt for designer labels. If you can afford it, why not invest in a balloon trip? Just ensure that the recipient doesn’t suffer from Vertigo. This is a present that can be enjoyed at any time, and it is unique. Remember, the person who has everything probably has their own private jet, but a balloon trip will allow them to take life at a gentler pace and really enjoy the scenery. The travel specialist website Where Canada has some wonderful ideas for a perfect balloon trip.
Art doesn’t always have to cost a fortune
If you’re buying a present for someone who loves art, you don’t have to buy a Giotto or a Modigliano to curry favour. First Nation artwork is definitely unique and your present will be well received as a result of its originality. Alternatively, you could always have a look at some city bric a brac shops and look for an unusual curio. Individuality is what counts with present giving, and not the amount that you spend on a gift.
I love Christmas – the decadent food and cocktails, the parties, the family get-togethers – oh and the amazing, limited-edition Christmas beauty gift sets on offer! These highly covetable beauty miniatures are great bang for your buck, make great travel kit must-haves and are the perfect gift for a loved one or yourself. All items are available at David Jones stores and via davidjones.com.au.
Little luxuries: Your giftee will be in seventh heaven with Chloé’s My Little Chloés, $120, a limited-edition collection of three 20ml eau de parfum miniature fragrances which each celebrate a different facet of the rose, the now iconic floral embodiment of the Chloé design house. Love it!
Absolutely flawless: This Laura Mercier Flawless Expressions For Eyes, Cheeks and Lips Set, $90, is a gorgeous must-have for the party season. You, or your giftee, can create subtle or smoky eyes and then add a splash of colour to cheeks and lips. It contains six eyeshadows, two cheek colours and three lippies. It’s exclusive to DJs.
Skin saver: Have you been partying harder than Charlie Sheen? Gift yourself this beauty: Jurlieque Herbal Recovery Essentials, $199. These potent botanicals and antioxidants help to smooth fine lines and even skin tone to deliver fresh, revitalised skin. There’s a serum, night crème and an eye cream. Nice!
Body rockers: A thoughtful and indulgent gift this holiday season, the Molton Brown Stocking Fillers Collection, $60, contains 12 exquisitely scented body washes. From Coco and Sandalwood to Pink Pepperpod, it’s a gorgeous and luxurious gift box set for the beauty junkie in your life.
Top-to-toe beauty: This Clarins Gorgeous Getaways Set – Face & Body Care Collection, $70, will pamper your giftee from head-to-toe. The limited-edition gift set features Clarins’ best-sellers in a lovely white travel pouch. Goodies include: Beauty Flash Balm, Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, Eye Contour Gel, HydraQuench Cream and Moisture-Rich Body Lotion. Great value, lady!
Pull an all-nighter: Planning to stay out all night, your dirty stop-out? A trio of party circuit eye-essentials. Napoleon Perdis’ All-Nighter Eye Collection, $55, allows you to turn up the heat with sultry lids that have after-hour appeal. The gift pack contains an eyeliner, mascara, make-up remover and travel-size make-up bag. Love!
Hands-on gift: I love, love, love this pretty gift set and its exquisite packaging: Crabtree & Evelyn Big Top Hand Therapy Musical Tin, $79. Give the gift of soft, smooth and supple hands with this much loved and ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy gift set in 12 favourite fragrances, beautifully presented in a large, decorative wind-up musical tin. Purrty!
Paint it black: Embrace the dark side with this stunning gift set: the Tom Ford Black Orchid Holiday Set, $162. A luxurious and sensual fragrance of rich, dark accords with a burning heart of black orchids and spice, Tom Ford’s Black Orchid is both modern and timeless. This beauty set contains a 50ml parfum and Hydrating Emulsion.
Looking for that perfect, last-minute Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy for person? Check out these fabulous and unusual gifts which won’t break the bank. What’s more, they’re so cool and quirky, they’re bound to please. Shop to it, Santa baby!
Beach bliss: The Coleman Beach Mat, $29.99, allows you to stretch your legs out over a durable molyester mat, making it more comfortable and earier to avoid messy sand or bug-infested grass. Featuring an adjustable A-frame back rest with mesh, this cool and quirky beach accessory will help you relax entirely this summer. Find it via www.colemanaustralia.com.au.
Raw deal: Jump on the raw food bandwagon and gift a loved one the Raw Blend Gift Pack, $69.95. The perfect Christmas gift for the health enthusiast or budding raw foodist, the pack includes the 8-in-1 Raw Slicer, the 1L Green Smoothie bottle, a Raw Blend enviro bag, a Raw Blend spatula for vitamix blenders and an “I love smoothie” bumper sticker. Shop it via www.rawblend.com.au.
Get cheeky: Does your giftee like unusual and quirky undies? Check out Aussie underwear brand Stonemen, which designs for both men and women, in brief, trunk and cheeky styles (pictured, and above). I’m loving the great prints and quality – there’s everything from city skylines and colourful sunsets, to wild horses and flying ducks. Men’s boxers, briefs and trunks are $44.99, while women’s briefs and cheeky undies are $39.99. Each illustration is digitally printed, creating a wrap-around image on premium cotton. Grab yours via www.stonemen.com and at leading boutiques.
Time to man up: Back by popular demand, the engraving service of Gentleman Jack bottles is a great, quirky and cool Christmas gift for that hard-to-please man in your life. A bespoke bottle of Gentleman Jack, engraved with your very own personalised message, will only be available until December 17. Gentleman Jack is born of the legendary Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 and charcoal-mellowed twice, a claim no other whiskey maker in the world can make. Visit Gentleman Jack Australia FB page: facebook.com/gentlemanjackaustralia. Gentleman Jack, 700ml, is $64.99.
Small but mighty: Perfume lovers will dig the Amouage His and Her Miniatures, six X 7.5ml, $299 each. Exuding sensuality and elegance, these Amouage Christmas gift packs each contain six best-selling men and women’s fragrances in unique miniature sets. Each bottle is the perfect miniature size, ideal for travelling, and the packs showcase cult, classic fragrances Lyric, Jubilation XXV, Reflection, Gold, Dia and Silver for both men and women. All Amouage fragrances are available in Australia at Libertine Parfumerie, via www.libertineparfumerie.com.au, as well as exclusively through selected David Jones and Harrolds department stores. Phone (02) 8002 4488 or visit www.agencedeparfum.com.au for more information.
Cup half-full: Coffee or tea lovers can get their daily fix via this stylish Eclipse Collection by Limoges, which comprises nine bright and pastel hues in a mix of gold and platinum trims. The sexy-cool collection even has a mix-and-match concept. Synonymous with French tradition, refined and always elegant, the heritage-listed Limoges Porcelain is a stylish and luxe Christmas gift. For exact pricing, visit www.francalia.com.au for more information.
Finding the perfect Christmas present can be challenging at the best of times – especially when it comes to your work colleagues. With the festive season approaching fast, most of us are almost in holiday mode and more than ready to switch off from the day to day grind of work.
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably left the corporate gift giving to last minute. Most companies have only just started the secret Santa name drawer, or perhaps you’re looking to buy a couple of gifts for various co-workers. Whoever it’s for corporate gift giving is tough and there’s a fine line between what’s professional, with a personal touch. We check out some Christmas gifts perfect for a work colleague or your boss that won’t fail this year!
1. Christmas hampers
It’s very hard to go wrong with food and booze and Christmas hampers offer enough variety to tempt any taste buds. As with any corporate Christmas gift though, there are a few guidelines that apply. Make sure the person you’re buying for doesn’t have any allergies – if you’re not sure ask them directly or choose a hamper that has interests in mind rather than just food and drinks. And of course, make sure there’s no issues surrounding them drinking alcohol.
If you want to stay away from food and booze, there are oodles of Christmas hampers that are still able to impress. Find something they like, for example cooking, tea/coffee, gardening or sports, and choose a hamper that reflects this. Alternatively, Christmas hampers specifically designed for the festive season can be ideal and come complete with tasty gingerbread men and all things seasonal.
2. Christmas gift cards
Easily one of the most common Christmas presents, gift cards are perfect way to help co-workers buy something special for themselves. It’s one of the easiest no-fail gifts – especially if you have no idea what they like. If you do know them fairly well, then specific gift cards like for a book or music store, favourite food place or popular clothes shop can definitely hit the spot.
If you don’t know what they are into, broader gift cards for large shopping centres with more selections are great. Try and delve into where your co-worker spends most of their money and buy a gift card for there. Alternatively, if you know they are a coffee lover at work, why not get them a gift card for a nearby coffee franchise?
3. Something useful
Buying a co-worker a useful gift doesn’t have to be boring, and you can add personal touches and quirkiness to it very easily. A personalised coffee mug for work is essential for every office worker or a scratch and scroll mouse pad that lets you jot down notes can be useful and fun.
Again, consider their personality and their likes to find something that they can enjoy and use at work or home. If they are a social media / mobile phone junkie, a phone dock complete with pen holders can be a great tool for their work desk.
4. Baked goodies
One of the best parts about Christmas is the smell of freshly carved turkey and homemade mince pies. It’s that time of year where we all break the rules a little to indulge in the tastiness that comes with the festive season. Consequently, finding the time to bake some goodies for a work colleague can show you’ve put some thought into the gift.
You don’t even have to be a Betty Crocker baking genius to pull this off – stick to something you know or find an easy Christmas goodie recipe online to try and test it out on your flat mates or friends first. Don’t forget to make sure that your co-worker isn’t allergic to anything or keep this Christmas gift idea for work colleagues you know better. There are not many people that will decline some freshly baked fruit mince pies!
5. Pimp up their pod
It’s not unusual for the work office to look and feel a little dull – especially if you’re in there day in and day out! Christmas can be the perfect opportunity to brighten up your co-workers pod with something you know they will appreciate.
Providing there are no restrictions to having unrelated work items on your desk, an easy-to-look after small potted plant can be ideal. Not only does it add some colour to your office space, but research says potted plants at the workstation can help in reducing stress, boosting productivity and improving the flow of air around you too. Make sure you chose something that doesn’t make too much of a mess and that will survive with little water and no direct sunlight. This article provides some good ideas for office-friendly plants.
Christmas is hot on our heels and it’s a mad dash until the end of the year. On top of end-of-year craziness there is the added pressure of finding the perfect gift for our nearest and dearest to celebrate the festive season.
The question on everyone’s lips at this time of year is what do you buy the person that has everything?
Surprise them with a bedroom makeover
Why not get creative this year and surprise and delight your kids or loved ones with a bedroom makeover? Freshen up their bedroom for summer with a bright new colour scheme. Take it one step further and arrange for them to be out while you rearrange their room, giving maximum impact once they return home! This doesn’t need to cost a fortune either, and can be as simple as the addition of a few colourful pillows or a new bedspread. You might even find your new calling in interior decoration with the help of stores like Sheridan and Laura Ashley.
Travel experiences in the new year for the family
Get ahead of the 2015 crowds and excite your family on Christmas Day with a family holiday! If the whole family is a bit of a stretch for the budget, Flight Centre at Uni Hill has a range of up-to-date deals that have great getaway options for singles, couples and families. Take advantage of stores close by such as Strandbags for luggage and Kathmandu for jackets if you’re brave enough to tackle a northern European winter.
Kick-start a loved ones 2015 goals for fitness and health
After all the indulgences of Christmas parties and New Year celebrations, the beginning of a new year is a great chance to re-evaluate our health and fitness. It can sometimes be a daunting task to know where to begin, which makes the gift of brand new gym gear the perfect incentive to get moving. Snap up some new kicks from the Nike Factory Store or the latest running gear from Asics.
Delight the family with new games
The school holidays offer a fantastic opportunity for the family to spend more quality time together and what better way to enjoy each other’s company than with some healthy competition in the form of games! Great for problem solving and strategic thinking too. Try EB Games for a range of interactive and digital games to challenge and excite all ages, from the novice to addicted gamers.
This Christmas gift ideas article is courtesy of retailers at Uni Hill Factory Outlets in Melbourne. For more information visit www.uhfo.com.au or follow on Facebook.com/UniHillFO and Instagram @UniHillFO.
Do you remember the episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler give each other homemade gifts for their anniversary? While it sounds romantic and thoughtful, unless you have a knack for craft or carpentry, you will most likely end up producing a sock puppet or a mixed tape. SHESAID has some DIY Christmas gift ideas that are cute, fun and simple enough for the artistically challenged.
Body scrub is easy to make in bulk, and would be a miracle for those buying for a large number of women this Christmas. Try this coffee and coconut body scrub recipe and package in a cute mason jar. Get crafty with cute labels or stickers to decorate the jars.
World map/dream planner
For the friend who loves to travel, buy them a large map of the world and some small pins or stickers in two colors, and tell them to mark where they’ve been and where they wish to go. It’s not exactly handmade (unless you want to draw the map yourself!) but we bet your pal will enjoy reliving their worldly adventures and looking forward to their future travel plans. Added bonus: the map doubles as a cool conversation starter and wall hanging.
If you’re more cook than craftswoman, put your skills to use and offer everyone a piece of your homemade pie – or in this case, pudding! Gift wrap individual portions for cute and tasty Christmas party favors, or give a whole one to that special someone. Invest in some calico or muslin cloth to package your treats and fasten with a cute ribbon.
When only the best will do, gift the gift of good taste, opulence and luxury this Christmas with these highly desirable goodies in this top-end festive gift guide. And if any of my loved ones are reading this: I’d like one in every colour, please. All items are available at David Jones stores and via davidjones.com.au. Shop to it!
Wander lust: Travelling has never looked so glam thanks to the American Tourister Prismo 75cm Spinner, $319. Made from polycarbonate, which is both strong and lightweight, the Prismo Spinner features ample internal compartments, 360 degree spinner wheels, a 3.4kg capacity and a fully lined interior. And while it comes in an array of colours, why wouldn’t you choose pink? This baby is exclusive to David Jones.
Wired for sound: Engineered to make music sound better, these Bose SoundTrue around-ear headphones, $229, deliver deep, clear sound. They’re said to be lightweight and comfortable, yet heavy-duty. Want! Featuring a softly padded headband and carrying case, they make a great Christmas gift for the music lover in the family.
Domestic goddess: You don’t have to be a MasterChef contestant to covet this gorgeous KitchenAid Platinum Collection Stand Mixer in candy apple red, $849. It features a metallic finish, glass bowl and power beater for quick, complete mixing. And this mixer also allows for the attachment of numerous accessories which can turn it into a pasta machine, meat grinder, ice-cream machine and more. Winning! I desperately want this for my kitchen.
Silver bullet: Your man about town will likely love these snazzy silver Propellor Shape Cufflinks, $109.95 by Simon Carter London. They’re from the designer’s Silver Jubilee range, to mark his 25th anniversary, and have a nice vintage feel. Inspired by one of Carter’s original pewter designs, now reissued in rhodium plate and onyx, they’re perfect for anyone who’s crazy about old planes.
Make-up must-have: I’m definitely adding this one to my wish list: the divine, new Yves Saint Laurent Palette Multi Colour, $150. This all-in-one holiday palette will fit perfectly in your evening clutch. What’s more, it’s wrapped in a chic leopard print case and contains all the glamorous, luxurious party eyeshadows, blush and lip colours a gal-on-the-go could ever want. Love!
Master builder: Lego enthusiasts will get a kick out of this Lego Creator Pet Shop, $269.99, which will see them build a pad for pampered pets in this three-story shop. Part of the Lego Modular Buildings series, this highly detailed, building and townhouse with full internal and external detailing is the perfect gift for Lego lovers, both young and old. Exclusive to David Jones, it includes mini-figures with accessories.
Over the next few days and weeks, many thousands of families across this mighty nation are getting ready to fill their pantries, fridges, freezers and receive those Christmas gifts that they have been paying for all year. Painstakingly selected about 12 months ago, 26 or 52 payments later, here it comes. There might be some cool toys for the kids, a bar set for dad, some grog for the old uncle or even a five-star holiday for the family.
You might have guessed that I’m talking about Chrisco, Hamper King, Castle Hampers and others that cash in on Christmas via payment plan industry. These have been around for years and now the variety has stretched way beyond the humble tin of baked beans in a Chrissy hamper.
Now, I’ve looked into these before and seen many friends and family members empty their energy-sucking fridges and freezers to accommodate the goods they’ve purchased. Not only have they paid decent sums of money for this stuff all year, but then they pay overpriced energy companies for food storage all the way through summer and beyond. What, the air-con isn’t going to add to the price; you need to store excess food as well! Bad luck if the power goes out or someone mistakenly turns off the freezer. Now, I’ve seen that happen too. OMG what a waste!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been handed catalogues and marvelled each year at the ever-increasing range. Gee, that quad bike looks amazing, the kids would love that Metallica pool table and OMG I’d love that new computer. Now, that stuff I understand why people would be tempted. But tempted is all I’ve ever been.
My main deterrent has always been the price. I fail to understand why intelligent women and some men, for that matter, still go through these companies to load up at Christmas time. If I were to head down to the local shops or jump online and have it delivered, I’d be paying around 25% less than what people are paying these companies. That’s $25 for every $100, people!
I’m not the greatest mathematician, but I can certainly see when I’m being ripped off so significantly! So why is this still popular? Why are many struggling families doing this each year? Doesn’t anyone have a smartphone, table, laptop or PC where they can shop on-line and get a Christmas delivery to save a bit of cash? Personally, I’d rather pocket that extra cash. Don’t people do this because Christmas can be so difficult to afford?
Not necessarily. Sheer convenience is all that I can put it down to. I totally understand that it’s much easier to break down Christmas spending into a weekly or fortnightly payment, but there are much better ways to do it.
For example: There are some smaller supermarket chains which you can deposit funds into specifically for Christmas shopping. They offer the same thing and don’t charge you any extra; 100% of the money you pay each week or fortnight is given back to you to spend in-store. They provide a voucher and you don’t need to spend it in one big hit either. You can shop when you like and won’t end up paying extra for food storage.
Then there’s banks or saving institutions. Why not hunt around for a low-fee, high-interest account where you can get a small portion of your pay slipped in there each payday and withdraw the lot at Christmas and shop where the specials are? You can do the Christmas crawl to the shops or shop on-line. It doesn’t matter, because it’s your money to spend anyway you like.
You certainly won’t be limited to what’s in a few catalogues, that’s for sure! You can even pay off holidays and cruises these days, so why on earth are people still doing this? My only advice is, that before you order next years goods, check out the supermarket prices on-line and look into other options. You might still want to pay for the convenience, but with on-line shopping and other options, you can still have that, without the hefty price tag.
Anyway, hopefully I’ve given you something to think about while you’re gearing up for a great Christmas!
Image source: http://automediya.ru/wa-data/public/blog/img/Christmas-Delivery-Dates.jpg
Get your inner and outer glow on this holiday season with these beautiful Christmas skincare gifts. Treat yourself, or your loved ones, to some much-needed, luxury pampering! This handy Christmas gift guide is everything. Shop to it, Santa baby!
Handy help: Keep hands and cuticles hydrated this summer with the philosophy hands of hope ornament (30ml), $14. This trial-size intense hand cream makes for a perfect mini-gift for a rele, friend or even yourself. Even better, you can hang from your tree this Christmas. Find philosophy’s Christmas gift sets at selected David Jones stores, davidjones.com.au, mecca maxima and adorebeauty.com.au. Phone 1800 812 663.
Love and lemons: Get your glow on this festive season with the Simplicite Lemon Night Creme, $53.50. Simplicité, a luxurious natural and organic skin care range developed from pure plant extracts, swears by this hydrating night moisturiser formulated for all skin types. It’s said to brighten and clear the complexion and improve the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. Find it at Lulu and Lipstick via www.luluandlipstick.com.
Face off: The philosophy hope favourites holiday gift set, $60, will give that special someone the gift of a beautiful complexion. This gorgeous Christmas gift pack contains some of philosophy’s famed, best-selling skin care: hope in a jar high-performance moisturizer (60ml), hope in a jar night intense retexturizing moisturizer (15ml) and eye hope (7ml). Find philosophy’s Christmas gift sets at selected David Jones stores, davidjones.com.au, mecca maxima and adorebeauty.com.au. Phone 1800 812 663.
All the buzz: UK skin sensation Beetox has been hailed as the natural alternative to Botox, so give this baby a whirl: Beetox Manuka Honey and Bee Venom Facemask, $110. A luxurious and unique formula containing bee venom and Manuka honey, it rejuvenates the skin; boosts the renewal of damaged skin cells; and stimulates the facial muscles. It’s all about creating lifting, tightening and firming effects. What’s more, no bees were harmed in the ingredients sourcing. Find it at Lulu and Lipstick via www.luluandlipstick.com.
You glow, girl: Is this the best holiday care package? philosophy glowing days ahead, $99, has got to come very close. It features purity made simple3-in1 cleanser (240ml); the microdelivery exfoliating wash (240ml); microdelivery peel in-home Vitamin C/ peptide crystals (30ml) with activating gel (30ml); hope in a jar high-performance moisturiser (30ml) and hope in a jar night intense retexturizing moisturizer (30ml). Find philosophy’s Christmas gift sets at selected David Jones stores, davidjones.com.au, mecca maxima and adorebeauty.com.au. Phone 1800 812 663.
Green queen: I’m a big fan of the eco-friendly, natural and non-toxic Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, $86.25. Having recently tried this for the first time, I can see why it’s a huge favourite of A-list stylist extraordinaire Rachel Zoe, whose famous tagline “MAJ” is now on the Tata Harper labelling. It’s luxurious, gentle and anti-aging – winning! It also acts a 4-in-1 product to thoroughly cleanse and improve skin glow while purifying, minimizing the appearance of pores and helping to protect the skin’s natural hydration balance. Find it at Lulu and Lipstick via www.luluandlipstick.com.
Don’t give your gardener yet another plant! We’ve done the homework for you, hunted through cyberspace and come up with 5 top picks for your gardening guru. They are guaranteed to suit any budget and are highly recommended by people who genuinely love gardening!
Tubtrugs and colanders
Most gardeners have ditched their old buckets for Tubtrugs. They are so versatile, tough and convenient that there really are hundreds of uses for them around the home and garden. If you are looking for a highly versatile gift that fits most budgets, this is it. They come in heaps of colors and sizes.
Luckily, someone has used their noggin and come up with a way to make it even better by adding a colander. It’s basically a giant strainer. It’s great if you want to wash freshly picked produce, garden tools, pots, whatever!
End-of-hose flow controller
There are so many different attachments for hoses, but anyone who uses one will love you for this little beauty. It provides users the control of the tap, but it’s conveniently located right where you need to use it, at the end of the hose. Once it’s attached, users turn the tap on and never need to touch it again. For under $10, this is possibly the best gardening gift you will ever buy. It saves time, energy, water, money and the possibility of getting soaked when changing nozzles.
As land becomes more precious, gardens are growing up instead of out. That’s why these are becoming a massive trend world wide. Even people without a green thumb are able to manage a vertical garden with a few favorite herbs for their kitchen.
They are excellent for small spaces, like inner city apartments to large country farms. They require minimal care for maximum effect and labor output, plus there are varieties for all budgets; starting at under $10 and going up to the thousands.
Good gardening gloves
Boring right? Now, being a gardener I can tell you that not all gloves are created equal. There isn’t a gardener alive who wouldn’t love a pair of decent sweat-free, second skin gardening gloves. You know, the type which you can actually feel what you’re doing, pick up a drink while you’re working and can be thrown in the wash after a hard day’s work.
Yeah, I know it’s asking a lot out of a pair of humble gloves, but there are some great ones out there. They aren’t going to break the bank, so you can either wrap them up alone or team them up with some other ideas.
Growing fruit and veggies is back in gardening trends in a big way, so these little things are a must have for anyone who grows strawberries. Instead of the birds hoeing into their nurtured fruit, these rocks deter them by changing their behavior.
When the strawberry rocks are placed around the plants as they grow, the birds peck at them thinking they are nice and ripe. They aren’t of course. They are hard rocks. Birds will try pecking a few more times and then give up, knowing that if they peck at them they will hurt their beaks. By the time the real strawberries are ripe, they won’t bother touching them. Violá! Cute, mini strawberry protectors.
Now, they can be a bit tricky to buy. They aren’t usually available at major garden retailers, so check on-line. Alternately, what a great gift idea for the kids to make for the grandparents. It’s cheap, easy and will keep them entertained for ages!
Images via presenciapr.com, pinterest.com,1001gardens.org, gardeners.com and telegraph.co.uk
What does a new mum want? Sleep, time for herself and something that makes her feel wonderful (or at least human). Give the new mum in your life the extra attention she deserves with one of these special gifts.
A Christmas hamper plus a home cooked meal
This season Maggie Beer has put together the perfect hampers that include her unique sauces, stocks, jellies, jams and so much more. Turn up with one of these hampers and a recipe from Maggie Beer’s website, offer to cook a meal and the new mum in your life will love you forever. If someone offered to do it for me, I’d almost consider having another baby just so that I can enjoy the experience. You can find your nearest distributor on Maggie Beer’s website. $25-$160.
A nappy bag that looks stylish
Any mum would love a bag that can fit everything, yet, it doesn’t look like a typical nappy bag. Look no further than the new Storksak + Bugaboo leather or nylon bag. It combines functionality with a clean and sophisticated design, and it can easily double as a casual tote. Available from selected retailers. Leather $499, nylon $319.
Something that’ll make the house look brighter
3 Sprout offer super cute storage solutions for families with young children. You can get adorable bath storage, wall organisers, storage bins, toy chests… Even doing laundry can put a smile on a new mum’s face, if her laundry basket looks like this. 3 Sprout storage solutions start from $34.95, available at www.coolkidz.net.au.
I gave up on wearing jewellery when I had my first baby, because he was constantly pulling and chewing on everything I’d try to put on. Back then I didn’t know that I could get jewellery designed with bubs in mind, but now I do! MummaBubba Jewellery offers a range of colourful, fashionable and, most importantly, baby-safe accessories that mums and bubs love. Buy online at mummabubbajewellery.com.au. Necklaces $15-$34.95; bangles $7-$14.95.
Home cleaning services
When I had a baby, for a very short period of time I had someone coming to clean our place. Instead of worrying about housework, I got to go out for a walk with my baby, then come home and the place was sparkling clean. To this day it remains a very fond memory of mine and I can’t imagine a new mum not loving it. Have a look for a cleaning company near you or ask your friends for recommendations.
Featured image courtesy of MummaBubba Jewellery
Do you have friends or family members that are always on the go? Globetrotters often forgo luxuries for themselves so that they can afford to travel. Now is the time to spoil them and give them something that will make their next trip even more memorable.
RELATED: Beauty Essentials For Travellers
Beauty travel pack
Don’t you hate it when your skin starts feeling dry and flaky after a long flight? The traveller in your life probably hates it, too. To ensure well hydrated skin before, during, and after a long flight, RACINNE offers a travel-size skin care pack, which includes products from their hydrating range: Hydra Perfection Gentle Cleansing Foam, Essentialift Supplement Serum, Gentle Refining Scrub Mask and a cosmetic bag. Buy from RACINNE online. $39
Stylish travel clothing
You don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe with you to achieve a stylish look on the go. Jane Ramsey has created a travel collection that’s high on style and low on effort. Her silk cargo pans and lyocell soft-touch tops can be transformed from day to night wear with just a change of shoes and some accessories. All items in the Jane Ramsey Travel Collection are lightweight, comfortable, versatile and made entirely from natural fibers. Buy at www.janeramsay.com. The Luxury T’s retail between $69 and $149 and the Camilla Silk cargo pants are $289.
Does your traveller like to read? An ebook reader is a perfect solution for those who’d love to be able to carry their library with them. I’ve had a few ebook readers over the years and Kindle is by far my favourite – easy to use and gentle on the eyes. Buy from Dick Smith or Officeworks. From $99, depending on the model.
Portable phone charger
When you use your phone for work and entertainment while you’re on the go, the battery quickly runs out and there aren’t always convenient charging stations nearby. Make life easier for the traveller you know by giving them a Smarter Charger. Available online at smartercharger.com.au. $39.99.
You enjoy yourself so much more when you get there, if you manage to get some sleep on your long flight, . Give the traveller in your life some inflight comfort with the Safe Skies travel pillow, which offers 6 sleeping positions and can be rolled up to the size of a Coke can. Check the Safe Skies website for a retailer near you. $29.95.
Let’s face it: nothing feels better than giving a gift that helps others at Christmas, so we’ve rounded up the best Christmas charity gifts. Whether you’re looking for a gift for the person that has everything, or a life-changing stock-stuffer for the whole family, consider one of these worthwhile causes, from guide dogs to sending an underprivileged girl to school.
Guide Dogs Victoria Bow Project
Purchasing a gift card from The Bow Project helps fund a range of vital, life-changing projects by Guide Dogs Victoria, from providing food for a Guide Dog in training for one week ($18), paying for a Guide Dog’s vet check-up ($55) or going all out and enabling a 10-week old Guide Dog litter to attend their very first puppy training class ($1,050).
Purchase your Bow Project gift here.
CARE have an entire Santa sack of gift ideas that can change people’s lives starting at only $10, from training a village health volunteer to sending a girl to school. Wouldn’t it be great to give your kids a gift that helps others and show them the true spirit of Christmas?
Browse all CARE Gifts here.
Global Goods Partners
Not just an amazing source for charity gifts, but your new go-to destination for fashion, accessories, homewares and year-round gifts. Global Goods Partners is a non-profit organisation that sells handmade, fair trade products in order to improve the economic status of women in marginalised communities around the world. How stunning is this decorative woven vase made by women in Swaziland – hmm, may keep this one for myself!
Buy online at Global Goods Partners.
Hands Across the Water
Every year between 700,000 and 4 million children are trafficked around the world, with Thailand being one of the prime locations for child trafficking. Hands Across The Water is an Australian charity that is helping to change the fate of these young Thai girls by providing them with a stable home, education, healthcare and food. You can sponsor a child, which is a life-changing gift for both the child and you, or purchase a Hands Across the Kitchen cookbook, with 81 delicious childhood recipes from top chefs.
Visit the Hands Across the Water Online Shop.
What are your favourite charities/causes? Share them in the comments!
Hitting the shops to do your Christmas shopping this week? Stockland’s Ben Allen shares his top tips for a stress-free Christmas shopping experience.
1. Make lists
Plan your gift and food shopping by making lists and include the store details you need to purchase them from. This will help plan which stores you need to visit and avoid multiple trips to the shopping centre.
2. Plan a budget
Have a budget in mind and keep a record of your purchases to try and minimise unconscious over-spending.
3. Shop sooner rather than later
To avoid the last-minute rush, make your first trip sooner rather than later.
4. …or hit the shops at night
If shopping earlier is unavoidable, take advantage of the extended trading hours in the last week before Christmas.
5. It’s not a bloodsport!
Rest and refuel during your shopping trips. A coffee or lunch break will help clear your mind and rest your legs.
Check with your local butcher or supermarket whether you need to order your turkey or ham by a certain date.
Are you an early Christmas shopper or do you leave it to the last minute?