Flowers are nice, but these gifts are next level.
Flowers are nice, but these gifts are next level.
We might want to borrow a few of these.
They’re so good, you’ll want to keep these gifts for yourself.
Celebrate a housewarming party in style with some of the best (and non-cliché gifts) we could source from the internet. If you’re looking for something personalised and one-of-a-kind, online stores such as Etsy and Not From The High Street are always a good place for inspiration.
This funky ‘I could eat a horse’ spaghetti measure by Stefan Petur is one of the cutest kitchen gadgets we’ve ever seen. It provides you with an estimate of how much pasta is ideal for children, couples, or the entire family.
Purchase a set of personalised tea towels which will surely be used around the kitchen. Who ever said that dad jokes were a bad thing?
Snoop Dogg is good, but Michael Jackson is better! What do you think of these kitchen tea towels?
Keep all your books and magazines looking neat and tidy with the help of some stylish book ends. These are ideal for someone who cannot get enough of cute pugs!
Relax and get the party started with a bottle of wine for all your guests. Personalise the label with a little help from Etsy, or just write a cute letter which everyone is sure to love.
If all else fails, this cute gift is sure to be loved by everyone – even the kids! Plant your favourite herbs in these little pockets and watch them grow. They are ideal for apartments or smaller houses with no access to a garden.
Images via Listotic, Tumblr, Fenton and Fenton, Minette’s Maze, Etsy
Both employees and clients play a big part of your business success story, so occasional rewards to show your appreciation should be a priority. Celebrating the end of the financial year is the perfect opportunity to sit back and look at the hard work your staff have done, and also thank your clients for their work.
Most workplaces will organise some sort of EOFY party – whether it’s just for the staff or for the clients too. But regardless of what your workplace policy is, it’s nice to at least treat valued staff and clients with a small token of appreciation, a gift to say ‘thanks’. It makes your employees feel appreciated (and gets them continuing the good work too!), and it shows your clients mean a lot to your business. EOFY gifts don’t have to cost a fortune or be something huge, just a simple token of gratitude that fits into your business budget, values and the needs of your employees and clients. Here’s a few corporate gift ideas to get your started.
1. Corporate hampers
Corporate hampers are the best no-fail work gift. Suitable for employees, clients or the big BIG boss, they can be tailored to suit absolutely anybody. It can filled with edible treats, a few much-needed drinks after a busy start to the year or just something simple you know they will love. Gift hampers are perfect for both scenarios – knowing everything about the person and what they are into, to not really having a clue but needing a gift that’s nice anyway!
If you want to be really cleaver, you can choose a corporate gift hamper that incorporates their favourite hobbies – maybe they’re a sports enthusiast, a part-time baker or a garden lover. For clients, you can use hampers as a great marketing tool too, and implement some branded coffee mugs or office items they’ll be sure to use. Whatever you decide, there’s enough corporate hamper options out there to suit practically every budget and individual person.
2. Branded goodies
With the oodles of options of branded goodies you can create these days, it’s so easy to find a corporate gift that can wow both your employees and your clients. Last year, we gave our clients branded mini speakers that connect up to your phone or IPod and they were an absolute hit with clients using them on boat trips and family BBQs – all the staff were wanting some too. Branded gifts don’t have to just be a way to ‘sell’ your business, you can make them into some really cool and useful ideas that staff and clients will be using (and talking about!) for years to come.
You can be as creative as you want with branded goodies. Don’t just think inside the ‘office desk’ box, find something they can use with the whole family, at home or out indulging in the favourite hobbies. This way, it creates an element of fun for the gift too. Don’t go over the top with branding too, a simple logo and if relevant company slogan can go a long way.
3. Terrarium craze
There’s a terrarium craze that’s hit Perth (and all of Australia!) and it’s brightening up every office space, complementing home décor and just ‘hanging around’ in outdoor settings. Filled with your very own succulent garden, they are very easy to look after and are a great gift for any employee or client that loves a little lush green in their environment.
With a variety of different designs to choose from, you can purchase terrariums that are basic and beautiful, to stylish glass cubes that take on a very modern design. Terrariums don’t need much water or maintenance so they make for an easy excuse to transform dull office desks and can be filled with succulents, small flowers, ferns and decorations to suit every taste.
4. Corporate wine basket
Considering EOFY is about celebrating a good start to the year, it would make sense to involve a little wine or beer in the gift. Corporate wine baskets are like a gift hamper – but with wine and tasty goodies that go well with it. There’s gourmet ones to choose from and like with regular hampers, can be found in a variety of different price ranges to suit every business budget. Wine hampers are perfect for the female employees in the office complete with cheese treats and roasted almonds. For the blokes, you can go for something a little more manly like a beer hamper with beef jerky treats or tasty numbers to complement their next grill up.
5. Subscription gifts
If you want your business to stay on your client’s mind all year round, then subscription gifts can be a great way to do so. Like with corporate gift hampers and branded goodies, they can be tailored to suit the individual tastes of everyone.
Use subscriptions to customise gifts based on what you already know about your clients or staff. Perhaps they are always coming into the office with a café style coffee, so help them out by giving them a yearly subscription of it. If your client is always talking about their pets or is an obvious animal lover, perhaps an online pet store like BarkBox would show your appreciation too. When it comes to subscription gifts, there’s heaps of ideas out there and some can even be set out for shorter periods of time too.
But, no matter what you give your clients and staff this year – it’s the thought that counts. Not only will they feel appreciated, but it’ll bring a smile to everyone’s face which is the perfect way to celebrate the end of a busy financial year.
By Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter who recommends the corporate gifts at Boxt.com.au for the perfect client or staff appreciation gift this end of financial year. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.
Do you remember when you were younger and present giving was so easy? You could pretty much impress your friends and family with anything – a Popsicle frame barely glued together with your favourite picture of you and your best friend or a creative bookmark covered in fun snaps of everyone. No matter what, it always pulled those heartstrings.
Now that you’re older though, birthday present giving requires a little more thought. And it definitely draws a challenge when you don’t even live in the same country. These days, everyone is everywhere and almost everyone is a juggling a long distance relationship of some sort – whether it’s a good friend, a sibling, a parent or your partner. So how do you find the perfect gift that conveys the right message but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Here’s a few creative ideas to spoil your best friend with their next birthday!
1. Book in a virtual date
No doubt if your best friend lives away you have Skyped a million times before. Setting up a special birthday virtual date though will make the day extra fun for her. Obviously different time zones need to be taken into consideration, and you may find yourself having to wake up at a terrible time to make it work – but hey, it’s their birthday!
Start by ‘booking’ the time in with your best friend via an email so it’s officially locked in. If there’s a close group of you, it can be a good idea to have everyone over and create a virtual date together. Set the scene by dressing up nice, eating dinner “together” with a glass of bubbles in your hand. For whatever reason if your best friend cannot Skype on the day, put together a video message and record it on a CD and post it in time for him/her to watch. You can also get your whole group of friends involved in this one too, if relevant.
2. The perfect delivery
Surprising your friend with a gift basket delivery on their special birthday will definitely bring a smile to her face – and you can tie it into your virtual birthday date as well to make it extra special. Hampers range in price, size and included goodies so it’s super easy to find one to impress your friend this year.
To find the perfect delivery, get a hamper that encourages your friend’s favourite hobbies or offers the perfect excuse to relax with. Some gift basket delivery sites also offer mini gift hampers which are fantastic for places with a higher delivery cost.
3. Get creative
Long distance relationships of any kind force you to get a little creative when it comes to present giving. And just because you’re not a kid any more that can get away with a Popsicle frame, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be creative and tug on those heartstrings.
For close friends and family that do live in a different state or country, keeping up to date with the latest photos and family stories is even a bigger priority. Sure, technology has made it much easier to do this with Facebook being a go-to-source for photos and catch ups but it’s just not the same.
Instead get those creative juices flowing by putting together a scrapbook or journal filled with memories your friend or family member will absolutely adore. Again, it’s a good one for all your friends to get involved in by including a message from them, pictures and anything memorable you might want to add. To really add a personal touch, top it off by doing the old fashioned pen to paper and write a note wishing them a huge happy birthday.
4. Tickets, vouchers and subscriptions
Just because you and your best friend live in a different city or country, it doesn’t mean you can’t source tickets or vouchers they can use. Purchase tickets for his or her favourite concert or event or hunt down a nice day spa near their location you can buy a voucher for online. Post it off in time for their special day complete with a card (go for a handmade card if you’re feeling creative) or a letter with a few of the latest snapshots they can enjoy.
For those friends that love a little quite time with a cup of tea and their favourite magazine, arrange a yearly subscription so they don’t have to worry about heading out to buy it herself. You can always pick a subscription based on her hobbies. For example; if she loves gardening, music or baking look for subscriptions she can pull ideas from all year round.
5. A personal message
You can take almost any gift and customise it with a personal message to give it a unique touch. This is a great idea for long distance friendships as it’ll serve as a constant reminder she’s on her loved ones’ minds. Consider purchasing a jewellery box or a nice ornament for her home you can have engraved with a super special birthday message on it.
Lockets are a beautiful way to keep loved ones close too and can be made even more personal with a nice photo of the two of you inside complete with an engraving on the back. Engraving tends to be a really cost effective way to give a gift a personal touch, just make sure the gift you choose is fine to be customised.
The phase “it’s the thought that counts” really reigns true when it comes to present giving and long distance relationships. Sometimes the smallest gifts can go the longest way. What gift will you send your long distance friend or family member this year?
By Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter, who recommends the birthday gift hampers at Boxt.com.au for the perfect long distance gift this year. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.
Treat your mum this Mother’s Day by making her feel her best with a pampering gift. We have compiled the perfect pamper list including body scrubs, teas and hair products, which is sure to make mum happy over the weekend.
Frank Body Mumma’s Bundle, $19.95
Who hasn’t seen a picture of the famous Frank Body scrub somewhere on Instagram before? This two-in-one gift is perfect for a mum and bub who need a little TLC after a stressful day. The pack includes one large body scrub for mum and a smaller scrub for the baby.
Joico Mother’s Day Hair Care Pack, $49.95
Spoil mum this weekend by gifting her with the ultimate hair care pack. It includes a nourishing Body Luxe Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner, K-Pak Intense Hydrator, Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, Flip Turn Volumising Finishing Spray and a cute carry-case.
Pukka Womankind Tea, $7.95
A delicious new fruit tea blend by Pukka called Womankind has been developed to nurture and maintain a woman’s health. Offering a delicate blend of organic cranberry, rose and sweet vanilla, this fruity cup will help keep mum calm, content and beautifully balanced.
Bellabox Beauty Box, $53.85
If you’re not quite sure what to get mum this Mother’s Day, a subscription box is another great way to find her something she’s bound to love. Simply sign her up as a giftee and she will receive three boxes across 3 months, featuring a variety of beauty products for her skin, hair type and personal preferences.
Puretopia Bath and Body Set, $14.95
Gift your mum the ultimate pamper pack by Puretopia featuring a Body Polish enriched with Acai berries, and a super-soft lotion to treat the skin.
Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Masks, $29.99
With winter just around the corner, now is the best time to treat the skin to a hydrating mask after a long day. Mum will love these sheet masks since they’re the perfect way to create a plump, moisturised complexion.
What are you getting your loved one this Mothers Day?
What a beauty! Spoil your mum this Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10, with these super-luxe, unique and hard-to-find brands from around the world via top, new beauty e-tailer, Lulu and Lipstick. With these varied and beautiful gift ideas, there’s bound to be something perfect here for even the fussiest mum. She’ll love you for it…
Finding a one-size-fits-all gift for men and women can feel a little daunting, especially if you’ve left it to the last minute. Why not invest a little more and gift them with a bespoke piece, which is personalised and practical? Our gifts are suitable for both men and women, plus they order directly to your door. Hooray for online shopping!
While you might think that this piece is directed towards men more than women, you’ve probably never had to struggle with a small handbag before. Sydney brand, The Daily Edited offers monogrammed clutches, notepads, and cardholders, which are fantastic if you’re looking for a personalised present.
The Daily Edited Black Leather Card Holder, $49.95
Made in Nolita, New York, are the intense and aromatic perfumes of Le Labo which are loved around the world. Before you add this little baby into your cart, you can customise the label with 24 characters or less. A message which is short an sweet is the best way to send this product to a loved one.
Le Labo Rose 31, $198
If you know someone who has a particular liking for watercolour prints or handmade artwork, then this will make a fantastic present. There is an endless amount of sellers on Etsy which offer custom artwork at a very affordable price, and you can either print them out yourself, or have them sent straight to your door.
Typographic Print, $14.78 via Type Couture
Who wouldn’t love their own personalised wine label, or is this just us?! A cute way to commemorate an anniversary, congratulate the parents of a newborn, or simply as a gift for a wine connoisseur.
Wine labels, $25.52 via Studio B Labels
Create your own bespoke necklace, ring or even a classic bracelet and adorn it with charms which represent your personality. You can shop Pandora in-store, or even create something quick and easy online.
Pandora Silver Bracelet, $89
Image via The Daily Edited
Buying the perfect gift at the best of times is hard work. It doesn’t matter how close you are to that person, how long they have been in your life or how many important factors about them you remember – it’s not always an easy mission. So what about when you need to buy for someone that doesn’t fall into that category?
Perhaps it’s your new boyfriend’s mum who you really like but hardly know, a work college or a friend of friend you’re expected to buy for; and you have absolutely no idea where to start. It’s almost as bad as buying for someone who just doesn’t know what they want, or has absolutely everything!
You want to find a gift that doesn’t scream excessively special or expensive, but you definitely don’t want to go tacky or boring either. It’s a headache of a task trying to find the perfect balance, the perfect message and the perfect price tag. Not to worry though, we’ve come up with some awesome ideas for you here.
1. Green gifts
Giving flowers is by no means something new, so it definitely pays to put a spin on things. Whilst a stunning bouquet of flowers are nice to receive (and a relatively easy gift to give for many), it can be seen a little cliché to give a prearranged bunch. Instead, think outside the box and go for something that’s in season – poppies, lilies, tulips – and buy a big, generous bunch for maximum impact.
Other ‘green’ gifts can be a good way to think outside the box too. As beautiful as flowers can be, they don’t last forever. This is where glass terrariums can make the perfect gift. Terrariums are a great way to bring that lush green feel into an indoor space and create a fun way to give a plant type gift that last nearly forever too. There’s a variety of different styles that range in sizes and price, from hanging glass terrariums to DIY ones that sit perfectly on your desk or shelf.
2. Delicious treats
It’s near impossible to go wrong with tasty treats because, let’s face it, almost everyone likes to splurge out at times! Depending on how much you know about the person (what treats they like and don’t like), you can opt for a flash box of chocolates wrapped elegantly with a beautiful ribbon. If you’re giving something simple like a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine, hunt down one that’s more unique and remember that packaging does matter.
Delicious food and drink hampers are a fantastic idea for when you don’t have much of an idea about what they person likes. Because they offer so much variety, you can pick one where’s there’s bound to be a few items in there they’ll love. From chocolate goodies, to fruit and cheese treats and beer and bubbles galore it’s super easy to choose one they can enjoy – and it’s all wrapped up for you too!
3. Something useful
Now I’m talking about a pair of socks or another daggy tie, I’m talking something they can use for hobbies they enjoy and useful gifts that are quirky and meaningful. Whilst this gift idea can require a little more thought and getting to know the person – it can show you have put thought into it without going too overboard.
For example, if you know the person loves cooking or gardening – why not get them a fun hamper with goodies to represent this? If the person enjoys writing or has a home office they’re always using, a personalised stationary kit or a quirky flash drive can definitely be a crowd pleaser.
Useful gifts don’t always have to be an actual product too. If you know they love music or sport, why not purchase some tickets to the next small concert or game they can go too? Giving the gift of an experience is not only valuable, but something very memorable too.
4. Pamper packs
These days, most of us lead pretty hectic lives and it can be near impossible to force yourself just to stop and relax. Pamper packs make one of the best gift ideas for almost anyone in your life because it allows them to do just that – stop, and relax. For many, the art of pampering is much easier when someone else purchases it for you too.
You don’t have to splurge all out to make this gift work. Depending on who the person is and their relationship to you, a gift card to the local day spa can be great or a simple pamper pack of some goodies and feel-good products they can use at home. Whilst this gift is probably more female related, there’s so many great ideas you can use for men too who enjoy a bit of RnR time.
5. A taste of home
People are always on the move lately and whether they are just passing through, or over your way for good, a taste of home can be a wonderful idea. Depending on how much time you have to get the gift, you can have a small package sent over from their local coffee or chocolate shop to indulge in or find a nice picture that they can put up in their home.
Just because you don’t someone that well, it doesn’t mean to say gift ideas will be boring or unthoughtful. By thinking outside the box and paying attention to the little details, finding the perfect gift that conveys the right message can be much easier than you think.
By Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter who recommends the food and gift hampers at Boxt.com.au for the perfect gift for someone you don’t know well. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.
Personalised wedding presents are one of the most sentimental ways to gift your spouse for the big day.
Rather than shelling out hundreds of dollars for the same mass-produced item, why not get a little creative and personalise an existing product? There are hundreds of sellers on Etsy who are available to provide these types of services, and they also ship around the world!
Something every woman loves in her life is a good pair of heels. Why not take her wedding heels and have something personal scribed on the sole? This could be the form of a removable sticker, or something a little more permanent like getting it engraved.
Nothing beats a unique piece of jewellery, are we right? You could achieve ultimate brownie points by customised a standard silver bracelet with the latitude and longitude of your wedding location. You can have almost anything engraved by an Etsy seller, which is totally handmade!
Create your own wine label which will commemorate your wedding day, and taste super-sweet! You could also hand this out to guests as a gift to your wedding, which will have the date and occasion of your wedding.
Make your very own ideas into a reality by collaborating with a personalised artist on Etsy. This could be anything from a picture which represents the happy couple, the date you were hitched, or even a fun little quote.
Images via Jimmy Choo, Not On The High Street, Etsy
From ice festivals and romantic concerts to luxurious hotel packages, New York City’s five boroughs are the ideal place to discover and cherish romance this Valentine’s Day.
Share a special Valentine’s Day experience in New York City next month. Whether visitors have already found or are hoping to meet their one true love, New York City’s five boroughs offer a range of fun and romantic experiences this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the five boroughs include:
Carnegie Hall: In a special program of classics from musical theater and the Great American Songbook, Jessye Norman and Mark Markham will mesmerise audiences on February 14 at 8pm with a recital of songs by master music makers including Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Cole Porter. For more information and to buy tickets, go to carnegiehall.org
Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, visitors can celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fourth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with live DJs. Purchase tickets at centralparknyc.org.
NYC Chocolatiers: Between French-style truffles in Manhattan, Austrian treats in Queens and a feast of raw chocolates in Brooklyn, the City is experiencing a chocolate boom. For a comprehensive list of local chocolatiers, visit nycgo.com.
Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc. will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 14, kicking off at 10am. The race will take place at Hudson River Park‘s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.
New York Transit Museum: This February, the New York Transit Museum will welcome all the could-be lovers on our transit system to the Fifth Annual Missed Connections Party, inspired by Craigslist’s Missed Connections classifieds. This sexy, fun and subterranean event will kick off at 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 11, at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights. To purchase tickets go to blackbaudhosting.com.
On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry meets Sally in When Harry Met Sally. For more information, go to onlocationtours.com.
Romeo + Juliet at Lincoln Center: Next month, the New York City Ballet performs Romeo + Juliet at Lincoln Center. Shakespeare’s immortal tale of tragic love translates into a powerfully moving full-length ballet, with a famed climax that never fails to affect audiences. Performances will take place February 13–22, with tickets available at nycballet.com.
St. George Theatre: In Staten Island’s St. George, visitors can celebrate with A Valentine’s Day Cabaret: Love Songs, Showtunes and Standards, presented by Staten Island’s Shakespeare Theatre. Tickets are available at stgeorgetheatre.com.
The Rejection Show Valentine’s Day Heartbreak Haven: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue hosts the cult-favorite comedy series, The Rejection Show, which will regale the audience with an evening of its best breakup, heartbreak and love-related performances. Purchase tickets at littlefieldnyc.com.
Valentine’s Day at the New York Botanical Garden: In this Valentine’s Day workshop at the Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden, kids can sample Mayan-inspired hot chocolate and other chocolates from around the world, while learning about living cacao and vanilla plants. Each ticket also includes an All-Garden Pass for a participant and one adult to enjoy access to all of the Botanical Garden’s offerings. Tickets can be purchased here: nybg.org.
Valentine’s Day Lunch Cruise Aboard Spirit’s New York Cruise: This Valentine’s Day, couples and families can enjoy an all-new lunch buffet by Food Network’s Chopped champion and celebrity chef Eric Levine, along with a backdrop of some of New York City’s most famous sights. For more information, go to entertainmentcruises.com.
Wave Hill: This Valentine’s Day, Wave Hill in the Bronx is offering a special cookie-decorating event. Use sanding sugars, cookie icing and a variety of sprinkles to design your own cookies. Fill a box with your creations to show that certain someone how much you love them. More information: wavehill.org.
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.
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
Choosing a wedding gift can often entail a gruelling task of trial and error – especially if the bride and groom don’t have a registry list!
To avoid being too mainstream, it’s best to steer clear of any traditional appliance (we’re talking toasters, coffee machines, etc), but make your gift stand-out by choosing just some of our favourites instead.
Who doesn’t love a bit of bubbly every now and then? A basket of fresh red, white, and dessert wines is the perfect gift for a budding wine connoisseur, with personalised notes on each bottle.
There are tonnes of sellers on Etsy who create personalised gifts for every occasion, so why not get creative and collaborate on a personalised piece of art for the bride and groom. Their names intertwined with the wedding date is something that can cherish forever!
Something fun and useful could be a set of personalised wedding coasters in memento of their big day. Or, you could just have something cute such as ‘Mr and Mrs’ on there instead – they are sure to prove useful when guests come to visit.
Images via Rural Life Story, Amazing Holiday Recipes, Groomsshop
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
CAREgifts represent parts of CARE Australia’s aid programs that help women, girls and their communities to overcome poverty. Donations from the sale of each CAREgift provide support to the sector the gift is associated with – health, education, livelihoods or leadership.
CAREgifts are the perfect gift for family, friends and colleagues for Christmas, birthdays and special occasions like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. They range in price from $13 for a chicken to $2,500 for a village water system.
CAREgifts can work to improve the lives of women and girls in a number of ways:
By helping send a girl to school. Girls are less likely to go to school than their brothers. However, an educated woman is more likely to have healthy babies and send them to school, breaking the cycle of poverty.
By providing access to savings and credit so that women can start a small business and improve the lives of their families. In most parts of the world, men find it easier to get credit than women.
By providing clean water close to home so women and girls don’t have to spend hours every day walking to collect water and can instead go to school or earn an income.
By providing chickens and goats, which can provide families with nutritious eggs and milk to eat, drink and sell.
While the typical Aussie dad is probably not expecting to receive a stay at a health and wellness retreat this Father’s Day, according to Brigid Walsh, general manager of Golden Door Health Retreat and Spa Elysia, giving the men in our lives time out from their busy lives and the tools required to achieve optimal health and wellness, could be the most important gift of all.
“The archetypical Aussie bloke is considered to be strong, independent and resilient, but when it comes to their health, more often than not they only seek help when something goes wrong. The most astounding part is that only 27 per cent of men seek professional help when in despair, which suggests many men are struggling to live a balanced, healthy and fulfilling life that is also sustainable.”
With more alarming statistics supporting men as being in some of the highest “at risk” categories in our country, The Golden Door Australia’s renowned men’s wellness expert David Ball agrees:
“Recent ABS statistics suggest that 70.3 per cent of men are overweight or obese. Not only does this substantially increase their risk of chronic disease but it also negatively impacts on their quality of life and increase their risk of early death.”
Additionally, according to beyondblue, one in eight men will have depression and one in fivemen will experience anxiety at some stage in their lives. As we know, depression is a high risk factor for suicide and men make up 80 per cent of the ‘at risk’ group.
It may be that Australian men’s general reluctance to care for their health properly stems from societies view about what it means to be masculine underpinned by an Australian culture that endorses men to be tough, sporty and independent with a “she’ll be right mate” attitude and “never say die” approach.
“The emphasis on what it means to be a male can often conflict with health maintaining behaviours such as seeking advice about health and wellbeing, utilising health services and taking a break for ‘me-time’ when it is required.
“Further, the culture in which we live which gives us the major framing of our lives as men is derived from the sport we play, the friends we have, the school we go to, to the work choices available to us. We are often seen as the pillars of strength our families can constantly rely upon and in support of this notion, it can seem at times like there is little time left to focus on ourselves as often as we could or should.”
David Ball’s unique men’s wellness retreat is held regularly at The Golden Door Health Rereat & Spa Elysia and focuses on giving men the tools needed to achieve a life balance and become effective leaders of themselves, their work and their families.
Located just two and a half hours north of Sydney in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa, Elysia offers a range of world-class health and wellness programs, led by renowned professionals and developed to motivate change and inspire lasting results. Featuring luxury one, two and three bedroom villas with packages inclusive of a range of informative health and wellness seminars, an extensive program of group fitness activities and relaxation classes, holistic and alternative therapy options, indulgent spa treatments, variety of premier leisure facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, tennis court, wellness centre with meditation and yoga studio plus all inclusive nutritious gourmet cuisine. For more information go to http://www.goldendoor.com.au
Ever been to a house-warming party and picked up an extra bottle of wine, bunch of flowers or pot plant on the way? Why not spend the same $10 on something a bit more thoughtful, useful and unique. Here’s a quick list of useful gift ideas for each area of the home, which you might consider giving your host instead.
Why not team up some liquid hand soap, wrapped in a nice hand towel? Choose a neutral colour like white, which goes with everything. How about a non slip mat, toilet brush or perhaps a bath or shower rack? These types of things can get grimy and something new will be welcomed. Head to a warehouse type outlet and pick up something quirky, which will look more expensive than it actually is.
There are also some really different sink plugs available now. Old ones will probably need replacing, so choose something unique which will suit their personality.
Bedrooms are pretty personal areas, so supplying items like a stack of decent coat hangers can be ideal. These come in some terrific colours and materials, so you can choose something other than regular plastic varieties if you want to give something a bit unique.
What about removable hangers for over the door on it the wardrobe? These are excellent to have in rental properties because they don’t damage anything and they can be carted around. There are plenty of different types under $10.
The kitchen is a place where there are literally hundreds of unique and quirky items under $10. Coloured utensils, tea towels, oven mits, non slip mats, heat protectors, towel holders, sink plugs, dish or sink racks, and cleaning brushes or cloths are amongst the selection.
Alternately, you could chose to give your host items which every home needs; like dish washing liquid or tablets, bicarb soda, paper towels, plastic or aluminium wrap, storage or garbage bags. These items are all incredibly useful and will be appreciated by any person who has recently moved.
Laundries and the things stored in them, are often filled with items people have needed to use when moving house. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with supplying a new broom, mop, buckets, basket, pegs, storage container for washing powder or tablets and cleaning or dusting cloths. People have different preferences with cleaning products, so avoid purchasing these types of items.
There are heaps of items which can be useful for anyone to use outdoors. For example; plastic outdoor chairs can be purchased for under $10 and you can team up with other guests to supply a set. Then there are items like mossie coils which come in handy, along with tap or hose connectors, outdoor brooms, garden snips or other small hand tools.
Torches, batteries, string, octopus straps, removable wall hooks, power extension cords, electrical leads, double adaptors or these types of items come in really handy. They will be greatly appreciated when the host needs to use them, but you might get a weird look when you hand them over.
Most of these things can be purchased from a supermarket, so why not pick up an extra item or two while you’re doing your shopping. Instead of wrapping items and wasting money on paper; put them in a bucket and add a bow.
By Kim Chartres
Buying a gift for a newborn child isn’t always as simple as you think. The most common gifts include onesies, rattles, stuffed toys and bedding all of which the impending parents-to-be have already taken care of themselves. But exactly what else is there? Below are some not-so-common gift ideas which won’t be re-gifted or left sitting at the back of the closet.
HALO Sleepsack Swaddle, $28.95
Made from 100% cotton, these innovative gifts are available in a variety of colours and styles which will suit your baby regardless of their age. The SleepSack Swaddle aims to replace blankets, and is designed to keep your baby tucked in and comfortable throughout their naps without fear of preventing the startle reflex.
Winnie The Pooh Starry Night Universal Change Pad, $29.99
This foam change pad is a great gift for parents since it fits into a variety of change tables. Easy to wash and equipped with a vinyl cover you can throw into the washing machine, it is a cheap and cheerful gift which is practical and will be used every single day.
Childcare 4 in 1 Travel Cot, $159.99
Perfect to use for a newborn from the moment they’re back home from the hospital, the easy to assemble cot is convenient to use if you’re constantly on the go or choose to have the baby by your side. Featuring a bassinet changer, wheels for easy movement and pockets for storage, it is a great gift if you’re looking to splurge.
Philips AVENT Microwave Steriliser, $55.99
Holds up to four bottles and provides easy sterilisation for up to 24 hours. Compact enough to pop into a bag if you’re travelling, and comes with a lid for easy storage.
Choose gifts which can be used immediately after coming home from the hospital, and communicate with parents to find gifts which are suitable to buy for newborns. Bibs, bottles and face washers are also fantastic gifts which make the transition for parents with newborns much easier to deal with.
Image via Blog Cdn
By Felicia Sapountzis
Have you ever noticed how your best friend always seems to get you that perfect birthday present – something she probably spent months scheming – or that your Dad shows his love with expensive gadgets? Etsy, the world’s handmade marketplace and one-stop-shop for all of life’s gifting occasions, studied Australians’ gift giving habits and uncovered four gifting personalities: The Big Spender, The Thrifty Giver, The Planner, and The Surpriser.
The Big Spender: People who like to buy expensive gifts for family and friends. They are more likely to be male, 25-34 years old. While Big Spenders like splashing out on gifts, they don’t expect costly gifts in return. Bonus! Big Spenders like to dig deep into their pockets and are more likely to splash out on presents the recipient wouldn’t normally buy themselves and which show fine craftsmanship, like jewellery, wood or leather goods, and artwork.
The Thrifty Giver: The most popular gifting personality (41%), Thrifty Givers feel it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to give a great gift. They are likely to plan ahead and spend time thinking about the recipient’s personality, hobbies and interests.
The Planner: The second most popular gifting personality (37%), these gifters put the most time and effort into finding just the right gifts. Planners give themselves lots of shopping time, with more than a quarter (27%) buying gifts at least a month in advance. Planners are thoughtful buyers, who keep their ear to the ground in the lead up to the occasion. They’re more likely to favour gifts that are practical, or something the recipient has mentioned in passing or specifically asked for.
The Surpriser: This group of gift givers like to surprise friends and family with gifts ‘just because’. Nearly a quarter of Surprisers also agree that ‘just because’ gifts are a big factor for thoughtfulness (23%). Spontaneous by nature, Surprisers will favour gifts from the heart over practical ones. They’re likely to purchase gifts related to the recipient’s hobby, interests or a shared passion – probably while shopping for themselves!
If you have a tech-savvy mum, give her the gift of the latest in digital technology this Mother’s Day. From cameras, e-readers and mobile phones, the list of possibilities is endless for a mother on the cutting edge of the digital world. Here are a few of our suggestions that will help make your mum the most savvy in her e-reader book club.
All products available from David Jones
A stationey kit in Honduras
Simply choose your gifts from the World Vision Smiles web site and World Vision will send them to the world’s poorest people. World Vision will also send you a special Card for every gift purchased, featuring a photo of your gift, to give to your loved one, friend or colleague.
School children in Honduras lack basic supplies like paper and pencils. Stationery kits containing notebooks, pencils, erasers and sharpeners will help them learn and provide hours of fun!
A schoool uniform in Chad
In Chad, many children don’t go to school because they don’t have a uniform. This gift of a new uniform will build their confidence and encourage them to attend school. Imagine the proud smiles your gift will bring when they wear their uniform each day! Fresh milk for a family – A cow for a family in Kenya $359
For a family in Kenya, a cow is a valuable investment for the future. It provides milk to drink and sell at the market. Your gift will enable a family to provide for themselves for years to come – and give them a big reason to smile!
World Vision Smiles has a range of gifts available to help you really get into the spirit of giving these holidays. And while none of these gift ideas require huge thought or energy on your part,
A cow for a family in Kenya
World Vision Australia is part of an international partnership dedicated to improving the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty. World Vision stands for freedom, justice, peace and opportunity for everyone in the World.