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.

November 22, 2014

5 Low Key Anniversary Ideas


This post is brought to you by Noosh Catering 


5 Low-Key Anniversary Ideas While celebrating anniversaries can be luxurious and exuberant, sometimes celebrating in a simple way can be a lot more intimate and memorable. So to help you out with some ideas, here are 5 low-key anniversary suggestions.

Eat in at Home with Customised Catering

The beauty of hiring a catering company for your anniversary is being able to order your favourite dishes in the comfort of your own home. You could choose to recreate the meal of your first date or anniversary or choose dishes that you both love. You could even select dishes that you both consider romantic or otherwise sentimental. You can also choose to eat wherever you want – it could be in the dining room, kitchen or even outdoors, in the garden or on the balcony. To get an idea of the different catering menu options available, check out the website of a professional catering company such as Noosh Catering, here .

Go out to Breakfast rather than Dinner

Yes, dinner is the more traditional option when it comes to anniversaries, but there is no reason that breakfast can’t be just as romantic. Cooked breakfasts, pancakes, waffles and French toast are very romantic, especially if you choose a more intimate or secluded café. An added benefit of going out to breakfast instead of dinner is the fact that breakfast is often a lot cheaper. Better yet, just because it is breakfast time, doesn’t mean you can’t crack open the bubbly.

Go on a Hike Together

Although exercise might not initially seem like a very romantic way to spend your anniversary, taking a hike with your partner can be relaxing and intimate. Many national parks and nature reserves have beautiful walking tracks, with spectacular views that offer perfect places to snap some photos. If you go on an early morning hike, it is unlikely that many other people will be around and at points, it may feel like you are the only ones there.

Go out on a Boat Ride

Many charter and cruise companies offer short boat rides around harbours, lakes and rivers. Most of these boat outings can be arranged for sunrises and sunsets, which are incredibly romantic and produce some great photo opportunities. Sometimes these boat rides offer packages with food and drinks included, but if they are too expensive, you can arrange to bring your own drinks and snacks.

Have a Picnic at a Favourite Spot

Nothing says romantic like a picnic. Picnics are a great way to get out of the house and spend time with your significant other without too much fuss or hassle. You can each choose to make a few different homemade dishes or if you are time poor, you can both pick up a few takeaways from a café or bakery. Make sure you remember to pack some cutlery, a few glasses and a bottle of your favourite bubbly!

Fussing over an expensive restaurant or organising an elaborate getaway can be stressful and difficult to orchestrate, so why not make your next anniversary low- key instead? What low-key anniversaries have you and your partner tried?

November 18, 2014

Lacy Mock Cable Washcloth


Debbie Bliss Cotton is one of my favourite things to knit with and loved the fact it was featured in the October Spring Yarn Club 

I made the Lacy Mock Cable Washcloth - which I loved the pattern so much I think I will convert it to a blanket pattern to do over the Christmas Break

Here are some progress pictures



Simple Summer Salad



Summer BBQs are around the corner and what does every BBQ need - a simple throw together salad that everyone will love

Ingredients 

200 grams Lettuce Mix
1 punnet of super sweet cherry tomatoes
1 x Lebanese Cucumber 
100 grams Danish Feta
1/4 Spanish Onion 

Method

1. Prewash all salad ingredients
2. Place Lettuce mix into a shallow salad bowl
3. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place over the lettuce mix
4. Finely slice cucumber and spanish onion over the lettuce mix
5. Dice Danish Feta and scatter over the top of your salad

Simple and Easy!


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