November 27, 2014

A Little Different - Fun Meals to Cook for an afternoon Barbeque

This post is brought to you by Barbeques Galore

The barbie arvo is a favourite staple of the Australian lifestyle, a tradition as entrenched as backyard footy and leaving dad in peace during the Boxing Day Test Match. But, as with many enduring customs, the occasional tweaks and additions are required to keep the afternoon barbeque fresh and exciting. As delicious and satisfying as the standard BBQ dishes are, it’s a delightful change to sometimes try out something a bit unusual, something a little bit left of centre. Read below some fun ideas that could be right up your alley for your next outdoor feast. By the way, both these different recipes and the classics are at their best when produced on a top-of-the-line barbeque; if you’re not yet equipped, you’d best get to browsing at a specialist retailer like!

Killer Kale

Kale is, without a doubt, one of the most talked-about vegetables of today. And for good reason – this leafy green is stocked full with beneficial antioxidants and healthy vitamins. If you’re already on the kale bandwagon, here’s some great news: this stuff grills beautifully. Who says delicious food can’t be good for you? If you haven’t experienced the wonder that is kale yet, a BBQ’d batch with your favourite herbs and spices is the best introduction you could ask for.

Neat Nachos

No longer do you need to drive to the nearest Mexican restaurant when the craving for nachos strikes; simply turn on the BBQ and grill your own fiesta! The added smokiness will add a unique flavour that will blend perfectly with your extra ingredients of choice – jalapenos, shredded cheese, tomato, pepper, red onions… it’s entirely up to you! This idea will always go down well, but would be particularly suitable for house parties and family gatherings (who doesn’t love nachos?).

Fantastic Fruit

Fruit is something we all love to eat fresh, true. But some fruits take on a whole new exciting flavour when grilled for three minutes or so! Once you’ve tasted these cooked items, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought to try it sooner. Some fruity pieces that are great grilled include bananas, peaches, pineapple, and avocado. Combine all four, grill with olive oil or lime juice, and prepare for an unexpectedly delicious dessert!

Outstanding Oysters

Grilled oysters are a culinary luxury that deserves to be tried at least once. If you’re already a fan of this delicacy or just enjoy seafood in general, there’s a high chance that oysters off the barbie will send your tastebuds to heaven. If you’re worried about under or overcooking them, there’s a handy hint to know when they’re ready: when the first one opens up, that’s usually the sign to take them all off the grill. Needless to say, butter and lemon juice go perfectly with these divine little treats.
The Aussie BBQ certainly isn’t limited to sausages and steaks; hopefully the above suggestions have cooked up a creative storm in your mind or at least inspired you to come up with your own original, unusual barbequed meal!

November 26, 2014

Packing a suitcase for an island holiday

This post is sponsored by Luggage Direct

Right now I would love to be packing for an island holiday, where I could relax by a pool or the ocean and forget about all the small things waiting for me.

With Christmas holidays coming thick and fast packing a suitcase for your island holiday doesn't have to be overwhelming. I have put together a small  list of items to pack to ensure your holiday is refreshing and uplifting.

Island Travel Essentials

Packing for an Island Holiday

1. Lightweight Luggage - Essential for any holiday. Lightweight luggage allows you to pack a little extra when weight issues apply to your travel booking. 

Lightweight luggage also comes in Hard or Soft Shell - I recommend hard shell to ensure that all your items are protected and  for durability of your luggage.

2. Clothes - Clothes will be minimal during the day on your island adventure. A few statement bikinis with sarongs or kaftans are the perfect accessory for an island adventure.

For the evening some nice summer dresses or kaftans can be dressed up for the Long Island nights you will endure.

3. Sunglasses - A statement for every outfit; you wouldn't want to get stuck on your adventure without a pair.

4. Reading Material - A perfect opportunity to relax with your favourite magazines or the novel that you have not had a chance to read all year.

5. Sun Safe Accessories - If your anything like me you are prone to being burnt you need extra sun safe accessories. A wide brimmed hat and a good moisturiser and sunscreen. 

What are your essentials to pack for a island holiday?

November 25, 2014

30 Days until Christmas 2014

With 30 days to go Christmas in is full swing!

What to expect over the next 30 days!

- Christmas Challenge with Sweet Little Pretties
- 12 Days of Christmas Baking and Creating 
- Little Kris Kringle Swap 

and so much more!!!

November 24, 2014

Eco Friendly gifts to give this Christmas

This post is brought to you by Biome

Eco-Friendly Gifts to Give This Christmas Sustainable living is the way of the future as more people become aware of the drastic effects humans can have on their environments. From home design principles to electric cars, the options are endless now if you’re looking to live a more ‘green’ lifestyle. In addition to these, purchasing eco-friendly gifts is now on the rise this festive season, so check out some of the below ideas to give you some sustainable inspiration.

Healthy Living

Gifts for the home are a great choice for Christmas, as it gives people the opportunity to show off new pieces leading into the New Year. For eco-friendly gifts for the home, an online retailer such as Biome has some great products, including bees wax candles and wooden frames. Textile products made from organic cotton are another great choice, as are stools and clocks. With the current demand for sustainable gifts on the rise, you won’t find it difficult to track down these popular products.

Entertainment Fun

Every home celebrates at some point with either Christmas, birthdays, or just because they can. Eco-friendly gifts that cater to this are a fun idea, as entertainment is on everyone’s mind during the festive season. Catering products made from palm leaf or bamboo are beautiful to look at and light to use. Platters and cheese boards in sustainable wood products are another great option. Also consider buying party decorations made from materials such as recycled glass, paper or hemp. Gifts such as lanterns or Christmas tree hangings are unique and will get to be shown off on those special occasions.

Handmade Specialities

You can’t get more eco-friendly than the handmade gift. By choosing to make a gift yourself, you have full control over the products and materials that are going into it. And the sky is the limit in terms of your creativity. Some easy handy-craft ideas include using coloured recycled paper to produce 2D designs that can then be framed. Another fun idea is using old jars to store herbs, jams, or to bake muffins in.

Adventure and Travel

Summer is the time of year to get outdoors, and because of the holiday season, many people take the opportunity to get away. Because of this, choosing an eco-friendly gift to match the lifestyle of the frequent traveller or adventurer is a fun alternative. Gadgets such as solar powered torches or radios are a great idea for campers, as are coolers and wine buckets made from sustainable materials. For the real adventure lover, water purifying drink bottles are great, as they provide healthy drinking water after a long day out.
Sustainability is all about long-lasting products and creating a healthy future. By purchasing eco-friendly gifts this Christmas, you are actively promoting the need to limit your impact on the environment, as well as informing others of its importance at the same time.

Other than eco-friendly shopping, what are some other ways you feel you could reduce your impact on the environment? Discuss your answers below.

November 23, 2014

Fun and Affordable Secret Santa Gifts for under $20.00

This post is brought to you by Warner Bros

Secret Santa sounds like such a great idea. Firstly everyone picks a name out of a hat, then they give a present to that person. The problem starts when you get the person in the office you know nothing about. Or a family member you met briefly two Christmases ago. Fear not – this year you can be a super Secret Santa with a few helpful suggestions.

For Anyone and Everyone: DVDs

It’s hard to go past a DVD as your first choice for a Secret Santa gift. A few casual conversations with your gift recipient can help you select the right title for them. Duck over to Warner Bros. online and boom – done! Pick up a great movie like The Green Mile, a TV series such as Fresh Prince of Bel- Air or a season of Friends. Instant entertainment such as a DVD is a great gift for those hard-to-buy-for men as well.

For the Sweet Tooth: A Box of Chocolates

Don’t mess with the classics – a box of chocolates brightens the day of anyone with a sweet tooth. You can personalise the idea by creating your own “Secret Santa Mix” - simply combine a few treats they enjoy. Or try baking your own cookies (if you have a few skills in the kitchen) to give as your present. Just don’t skimp on the gift and pocket the change. NOBODY likes the taste of cheap chocolate.

For the Foodie: A New, Experimental Cookbook

If your Secret Santa always has the most interesting lunch in the office, there is a good chance they are a foodie. A cookbook is the perfect gift! Pick a theme – cultural dishes, sweets, baking, quick and simple meals… the options are endless. Don’t know where to start? Pick something by a household name, such as Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Maggie Beer or Pete Evans.

For the Charitable: a Donation

Every office has one. The person that regularly takes part in fundraisers to donate to charity, or regularly contributes to a cause. There are so many options for the person who lives to give. Consider buying something handmade from an Oxfam shop, or make a donation to their favourite charity. You can even buy a bale of hay to feed animals through charities like the Animal Preservation Society, or a sweet plush toy to give them. If you get a certificate of donation, perhaps wrap it up with a candy cane for a little Christmas touch.

For the Social Butterfly: Nice Glassware

Someone that loves throwing dinner parties should have a conversation piece and nice glassware is a wonderful place to start. From whiskey glasses to port sippers and infusion jars to hurricane glasses, there are endless possibilities. Sure, your budget might not stretch to crystal – but a coloured champagne flute or silver cocktail shaker can be just as impressive. You may even score yourself an invite to their next social event.
Secret Santa (or Kris Kringle, if you prefer) is meant to be fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to give the perfect gift. Stick to your budget and remember, it’s all about sharing the Christmas spirit.
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