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Reading all entries in category "Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home"

4 Second-Hand Stores Not to Miss in Melbourne

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on June 5, 2014, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

While they might be called a lot of different names – vintage stores, op shops, charity outlets and the like – second-hand shops are universally a great place to head for pre-loved wares at bargain prices. Melbourne is a city known for its excelling shopping and when it comes to opportunity stores the location definitely doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for funky pre-worn clothing, vintage designer goods, or a unique birthday gift for men or women, you’re sure to find what you’re after in Melbourne. Read on for four of the best op-shops and second-hand stores in the city to check out next time you’re visiting the area.

Via VintageMelbourne.com

Hunter Gatherer – Brotherhood of St. Lawrence

I’ve visited the Hunter Gatherer store based in Fitzroy a number of times and have always been able to walk away with some really cool pieces. Founded and operated by the Brotherhood of St. Lawrence (a not-for-profit aiming to prevent poverty in Australia), the city centre and Fitzroy stores are popular all year with customers who like to shop for vintage wares and support a good cause at the same time. Each piece sold in the two Brotherhood of St. Lawrence stores is carefully selected from the thousands and thousands of items that are donated to the organisation’s general op shops every year (they have at least 27 collection centres in Victoria). Lovers of accessories are also sure to be delighted with the range of up-cycled millinery pieces and handbags – created from vintage and pre-loved fabrics – which are sold in the stores. All profits from the boutiques are used to support the Brotherhood’s various programs and services, so travellers can feel good about any purchases they make.

Shag Via Broadsheet.com.au

Shag, situated on busy Brunswick Street in Fitzroy (plus other locations in the city), is a well-established second-hand clothing store that has been dressing both visitors to the area and the ladies of Melbourne with funky vintage threads for years now. The first shop opened in 1996, while the popular Fitzroy store – another one of my favourite Melbourne finds – opened in 2003 in the suburb famous for its eclectic feel and array of shops and restaurants. The store stocks a huge number of vintage pieces that have been sourced internationally as well as from within Australia. Each piece is carefully chosen in order to make sure it fits with the company’s strong style chops. Travellers looking for a great "souvenir” to take away from their Melbourne shopping spree are sure to find something in the range of apparel and accessories that they adore.

Via Broadsheet.com.au

RetroStar Vintage Clothing

The largest vintage store in Australia happens to be located in Melbourne. RetroStar Vintage Clothing is situated in the city’s CBD and first opened in 2002. Specialising in vintage apparel, shoes, bags and other accessories from the 1940s through to the 1980s, RetroStar offers up a cool range of items sourced from around the world. If you’re a music lover, you’ll no doubt want to spend hours in the shop’s "RockStar” division that’s dedicated to rock and band t’shirts, leather jackets, music and street-wear, and comic book-themed tees. This gallery stocks over 5000 tees, all specially selected and inspired by genres of music such as punk, heavy metal and hard rock.

Via MioTesoroVintage.comMio Tesoro

If your eyes light up at the sound of exclusive designer brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Balenciaga, Prada, Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Gucci, then you need to plan a visit to Mio Tesora. The shop’s name translates to "My Treasure” in Italian, and is THE place to visit for good quality vintage and second-hand goods. Mio Tesoro is particularly well-stocked with designer handbags, no doubt in part due to the owner’s lengthy background working at Louis Vuitton. The store opened in 2005 and provides customers with a carefully-edited range of rare, vintage pieces plus some items from current seasons.

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5 No-Excuse Changes You Can Make around the House this Year

Posted in 'CEO Kellie's thoughts and musings, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on June 2, 2014, 12:00 am

By CEO Kellie Byrnes

As World Environment Day (June 5 each year) gets closer, I thought it was a good idea to look at some of the easy ways that you can make small, yet sustainable, changes around the home. While a lot of people tend to think that living green takes a lot of effort and money, that’s actually not the case. Many eco-changes are quick and cost-effective to implement and after just a short while you won’t even notice that you’re making a change. Read on for five no-excuse changes that I recommend you implement in your family if you haven’t already.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Via Fundermental.blogspot.comI’m constantly amazed by how much paper and cardboard goes into landfill when it can be recycled instead. Although you might think that recycling takes too much time and energy, it really is a very easy habit to get used to and something that is fun to implement as a family. I encourage you to think twice about filling up your everyday green bin all the time, as a lot of the waste in the home is actually recyclable. Things like aluminium cans, glass and plastic bottles, and many shipping satchels and microwaveable containers can actually be recycled and will free up room in your other bin. If you’re not sure if something can be recycled in your home’s bin then contact your local council for confirmation. Don’t forget that you can also take a lot of other items to specialised recycling centres rather than adding them to landfill. The list includes products such as mobile phones, computers, motor oil, ink and toner cartridges, appliances, and batteries.

Wash in Cold Water

This is such an easy change to implement and will not only save energy and reduce your power bill, but also keep your clothes in better condition. I choose the cold water setting on my washing machine 99.9% of the time (occasionally I’ll have a load that’s really stained that I feel needs heat) and honestly don’t have issues with my items getting nice and clean – even from the red mud in my backyard that is so often inflicted onto my clothes from my two active, affectionate dogs! I’m not sure where the myth that the washing cycle needs to be above 30 degrees came from, but it really is not accurate. When you go to set up your next wash, remember that the majority of the energy used by the machine is spent on heating the water. Also, using cold water in the wash helps to prevent your clothes from shrinking, and won’t wear them out as quickly either.

Utilise Natural Cleaners Via Bathroomcleaningproducts.net

I never liked using toxic, strong-smelling cleaners in the home or office and often found that they made me feel light-headed and nauseas – which has to make you question what’s in them, right? I haven’t looked back since choosing to use a variety of natural cleaners instead, both in my home and at work. My favourite tools to have on hand are the very simple, and very cost-effective, ingredients vinegar, bi-carb soda and lemon juice. Even the most baked-on grease stains in the oven or on the stove top come off using a combination of bi-card soda vinegar, which just goes to show how powerful the natural choices are. There are also a lot of really great, eco-friendly cleaning sprays and detergents on the market now too. I’m a fan of brands like Eco Store, Earth Choice, Planet Ark’s Orange Power and Seventh Generation, but there are a number of other options available around the country too, so it’s really not difficult to find a more natural and earth-friendly alternative to use.

Install a Water-Saving Showerhead

While it is now mandatory in Australia for all new Via Sa.gov.aubuildings to have low-flow showerheads installed, many older houses and apartments could still do with an update. Happily, water-saving devices have come a long way over the years and you’ll find that many of them offer good water pressure these days. This means you can make a simple yet effective choice for the environment (and your budget, if you pay water bills at your property) while not having to sacrifice comfort. When it comes to water levels, it’s of course always a wise choice to never leave taps running when cleaning your teeth or rinsing dishes. You can also save water by only turning the dishwasher on when it’s full, rather than running them a cycle when you have hardly any dirty dishes collected.

Choose Reusable

Another really simple way to go green in your home or office is by choosing to purchase One Bottle reusable stainless steel BPA-free water bottles - green gifts for men, women and childrenreusable products rather than disposable ones. Rather than go through plastic water bottle after plastic water bottle, purchase one of the many funky stainless steel, glass or other BPA-free reusable water bottles on the market and BYO your own bottle wherever you go. (These water bottles not only look good, but also make a really practical gift idea for men, women or children at all times of year). It’s also a simple thing to make use of reusable bags at the supermarket or on other shopping expeditions. While I know that a lot of people find they buy bags and then forget to actually take them when they go to get groceries, getting into a simple routine will fix this issue in a heartbeat. Whenever I bring groceries home in my reusable bags I simply unpack all the items and then hang the bags on the front door handle, or sit them on the floor at the door straight away. This way, the next time I’m headed to my car I definitely won’t forget them, and don’t have to go to any extra effort to make a greener choice either.

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Go West and Choose Best: 4 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Perth Holiday

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on May 20, 2014, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

If you’re travelling to Perth, the "City of Light”, soon and want to ensure you have a fun, yet feel-good time while you’re there, look no further than our top tips to going green during your trip. While vacations are necessary to recharge the batteries and clear the head, they aren’t always the best thing for the environment – think of all those extra travel miles; the discarded rubbish left in popular areas by careless tourists; or the excessive waste in most hotels and restaurants. However, it is possible to lighten your holiday footprint while still enjoying all the well-earned R & R you’ve been looking forward to. Here’s how:

Via Greenhouseperth.com

Choose Eco Accommodation

Look for a hotel, B & B or caravan park that operates using sustainable practices. You can head to Eco Tourism Australia’s website to search for eco certified properties, or ask your favourite hotel chain what eco-friendly operations they have in place. Many accommodation providers these days will choose organic or natural toiletries; offer recycling bins in the rooms; and purchase locally grown or free-range produce for their restaurants. While staying in Perth you can also help reduce water consumption by choosing not to have your hotel room made up each day.

Eat Green

Via Greenhouseperth.comWhen it’s time for some culinary delights, why not choose a restaurant or cafe that specializes in serving up fresh, organic produce grown on-site or in the local area? One of the coolest, eco-friendly hot spots to open in Perth over the last couple of years is Greenhouse. With an "emphasis on tasty, honest food and drink, and some simple ideas for a considerate and non destructive lifestyle”, Greenhouse is a fascinating example of sustainable design at its best. With the restaurant frame and fit out made from recycled and natural materials, and a roof-top garden that produces all the fresh ingredients for both the kitchen and bar, you won’t find a better eco-friendly dining choice for your Perth holiday.

Shop Local and Organic

Via Perthcityfarm.org.au

Head to the Perth City Farm Markets (held every Saturday morning) where you can browse a wide range of organic, biodynamic, free-range, handmade and local produce, gifts and clothing. The markets host a large number of local growers and producers that are extremely passionate about ethical and sustainable goods, and organic/biodynamic products on offer include things like fresh dairy, meat, fruit and veg; free-range eggs; olive oil; unrefined honey; baby-care products; skincare; clothing and gifts. While taking in the inviting atmosphere and large range, travellers can also enjoy a meal from the on-site Perth City Farm Cafe (that’s open 7 days per week) or the markets’ live music.

Travel with a Conscience

When it comes to racking up travel miles on holiday, a trip to Perth can certainly have them adding up quickly. To help limit your environmental impact, consider carbon offsetting your flights. Virgin Airlines, for example, has a ‘Fly Carbon Neutral’ program. Their online booking system calculates the emissions from your flight, and allows you to quickly and easily pay a little extra to offset these.

Via Finessegreen.com

As well, while you’re away on your holiday in Perth you can choose to enjoy the city by walking or cycling to the sites you’re interested in, rather than taking taxis; or alternatively choose a car service company that operates using more sustainable practices. Finesse Green is Perth’s first – and only – eco-friendly chauffeured transport company. They run a fleet of hybrid vehicles (hybrids can produce 45% less emissions than standard vehicles); choose a waterless car detailing company and eco-friendly printing service; operate a ‘Plant a Tree’ program; and are also in the process of becoming carbon neutral company.

While we all know that vacations are good for the soul, why not make your next Perth holiday one that’s good for the heart as well?


If you like to live sustainably and are looking for some eco-friendly gifts for men, women, kids or babies, check out our range of green gift ideas here.

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20 Things You Never Knew You Could Compost

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on May 15, 2014, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

Recently, during International Compost Awareness Week, we looked at some of the reasons why it's a good idea to set up a compost bin at home. If you’ve been considering setting up a compost system but need another fact to push you over the edge, then here it is: food waste is the number one material sent to landfills. Need another? How about a statistic from the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States that shows when food is dumped it gets trapped by acres of garbage that in fact generates 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions?

Add to this that compost in your garden adds nutrients to the soil without Via Ycan.org.aupolluting it like chemical fertilisers; it improves soil structure to help protect the topsoil from erosion; it combats plant disease; and it helps soil to retain more rainwater, you’ll see that there are plenty of reasons to start a compost bin for your household waste.

However, you might be wondering if it’s only the standard fruit and veggie peels and grass clippings that can be utilised. Interestingly, there is a long list of household items that you can in fact add to a compost heap. Read on for 20 that you might not have expected to see make the list.

1. Coffee grounds and filters

2. Nut shells (although avoid those from walnuts, as these can be toxic to some plants)

3. Used paper napkins

4. Plain cooked rice or pasta

5. Wine corks

6. Used paper plates (provided that they don’t have a waxy coating)

7. Hair from your hairbrush or pets

8. Clothes dryer lint

9. Pencil shavings

10. Used matches

11. Tea bags and loose leaf tea

12. Latex condoms and balloons

13. Ashes from your fireplace, outdoor fire pit or BBQ (just make sure it is fully extinguished and cooled first!)

14. Beer, wine and other liquor

15. Pure soap scraps

In the future, don’t forget to take a second look at something that you would normally throw straight in the bin – it might be worth composting instead. You’ll be surprised by how often you can actually add items from around the home to your compost heap and decrease the amount of waste you send to landfill as a result.

Sources: www.Care2.com and www.GlobalHealingCenter.com


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5 Top Reasons to Compost

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Events and special occasions' on May 5, 2014, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

This week, May 5-11, is International Compost Awareness Week and to celebrate the great global initiative I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the many reasons to compost. It’s certainly a growing trend in both Australia and overseas, however many people probably don’t realise just how much impact a choice to compost can have. According to information on the Compost Week website, believe it or not around half of the rubbish that Australians place in their everyday garbage bin could actually be composted instead. If you’re considering starting a compost system in your household, read on for five top reasons not to wait.

Via Compostweek.com.au

Reduce landfill and emissions

One of the biggest positive impacts that composting can have on the environment is the reduction of landfill waste and incineration, which in turn reduces emissions as well. Indeed, for every tonne of food waste that is not sent to landfill, close to one tonne of CO2 emissions is saved. As waste lies in landfill sites it does not receive the oxygen that’s needed to facilitate the decaying process. As a result, this material sends over 3% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere through the production of methane gas, which has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, when landfill material is burned in garbage dumps the process also releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Reduce dependence on fossil fuels

When people use their own compost in their garden, rather than buying commercial fertilisers, they help to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Home compost heaps utilise a slower, natural method that ensures everything has been properly broken down. Commercial composting methods, on the other hand, oxidise organic matter at a high heat in order to speed up the process. This requires the use of oil-reliant machinery, increasing the use of fossil fuels.

Increase the quality of the soilVia Vitax.co.uk

There’s no doubt that natural compost is very beneficial for the land. All of the nourishing elements found in your home’s compost add rich organic matter to the soil, since compost created from a variety of materials found in the home harbours lots of vital micronutrients that soil and plants love. Compost helps to add more life forms to the soil as well, meaning that plants grow better as the soil they’re in becomes more aerated. Another benefit of compost is that it also helps to increase the amount of carbon that is retained in the soil, meaning less is let out into the atmosphere.

Save water

Using quality compost in your garden helps to save water too. When you add compost it increases the organic content of the soil and this in turn helps it to hold more water. Once you have nice healthy soil retaining more water, you won’t need to water it nearly as much – this is especially important during the hot summer months.

Save money

If the environmental benefits of composting don’t hit home then consider the fact that by composting you’ll save money too! By creating your own compost out of all of your family’s food and other household waste you will no longer have to spend money to buy fertilisers for your garden and pot plants. Some people also find that by composting they really notice the amount of food that doesn’t get eaten in the home (instead of throwing it in the bin you get to see it every day as it breaks down in your compost). This can have the added benefit of encouraging families to buy less food, to waste less and to be more creative in the use of ingredients – all of which saves money in the long run!

Want more info? Click here to read our article on the 20 things you didn't know you could compost.

Sources: www.Compostweek.com.auand www.GlobalHealingCenter.com

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4 Things to Consider when Choosing a Mother's Day Gift for your Mum

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women, Events and special occasions' on April 3, 2014, 12:00 am

What to consider when choosing a gift for Mum this Mother’s Day

By CEO Kellie Byrnes

Mother's Day card from www.someecards.comWhen it comes to shopping for gifts for Mum this Mother’s Day, you’re probably a bit stressed about choosing a present for your lovely Mother that will show her how much you truly care. Our Mums take care of us, are there for us through thick and thin, and tend to be our sounding boards through life. How do we go about finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift that says thank you for all of that? Well, we have a few tips for you to consider this Mother’s Day as you look for gift ideas to suit your very own motherly-cheering squad.

Rather than worrying about splashing out on an expensive Mother’s Day gift for your Mum, consider the following ideas:

Think about what your Mum loves most or loves to do

You don’t need to spend loads of cash to come up with a Mother’s Day gift idea that your Mum will love. Instead, stick to gifts that show her you notice her interests and passions. For example, think about buying her a unique gift in her favourite colour, style or industry. If she’s an avid reader, look out for gifts for bookworms. If she’s into her gardening or cooking, check out all those fab new gift ideas that suit chefs and green thumbs. Or if she’s into health and fitness, search for present ideas that will suit that theme. Opting for special gifts like these for Mother’s Day will show your Mum that you care, notice what she talks about and likes, and have put thought into the gift you purchased for her, whether it’s a convenient online gift or one from a local store near you.

Surprise her with something out of the ordinary

Mums often tend to be gifted with the same old gift ideas year after year, so why not think about surprising her with something different this year? You could consider throwing a surprise Mother’s Day party for your Mum, as a way of celebrating all that she does for you, or perhaps take her to lunch or dinner at a new restaurant that just opened, or a creative picnic spot. Perhaps you could take her on an adventure that is new and different to her, and something she won’t forget in a hurry.

Handmade gift idea for Mum on Mother's Day - Dogeared eco-friendly I love Mum necklaceOpt for a handmade gift

Making a gift from scratch can be a lovely way to show your Mum just how much you appreciate her. You could whip up one of her favourite foods, knit her a scarf for the coming chilly months, or write a poem that expresses just how special she is. Whatever you choose, just the fact that you put the time and effort into creating it for her will make it extra special for Mother’s Day.

Spend time with your Mum on Mother’s Day

It’s a fact: one of the Mother’s Day gifts that Mums love best is simply time spent with their children.With a busy life, weeks can easily go by without seeing or chatting to our Mums, so it’s important to remember that Mums just want a little time when it comes to Mother’s Day gift ideas. Sometimes a hug and a kiss can be the best present for your Mum ever, and even if you don’t live nearby, you can still ring her on Mother’s Day and spend the time catching up on what has been happening in her life.

Choosing a gift for your mother each Mother’s Day can be quite stressful and challenging, however just remember the best gifts aren’t necessarily the most expensive or extravagant. Opt for a thoughtful gift that you have put time into choosing and your Mum is sure to tell just how much you care.

 

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5 Ways to Encourage Your Child's Imagination

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on April 1, 2014, 12:00 am

By CEO Kellie Byrnes

Creativity is an under-valued and often maligned skill. It can help not just in our careers, but in our relationships and hobbies. It’s a key skill to use throughout life as we grow and develop mentally, emotionally and socially. Famous artist and life-long creative Pablo Picasso has been quoted as saying "Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”. It certainly seems to be the case that as we grow from children to adults we lose touch of our creative side. All that imagination just seems to disappear. Whether it’s our schooling, the challenges of the "real” world as an adult, or a belief that we must concentrate on other pursuits, the fact is that most people don’t tend to end up being as creative as they were as kids.

If, as a parent, you lament your own loss of imagination, or alternatively are particularly grateful that you held on to yours, you most likely want to help your child to retain theirlovely sense of self-expression, imagination, spontaneity and self-reliance. Luckily, there are a variety of techniques you can utilise to help strengthen their creative skills. Read on for five top tips you can implement today.

Encourage curiosity, independent thinking, exploration and diverse ideas

Rather than feeling the need to always provide your children with answers (especially if you’re not sure what to tell them!) it can be a good idea to encourage them to seek the information for themselves. Teach them how to source relevant info or to think things through so that they have the chance to come up with answers for themselves, rather than simply asking adults for the right response. Similarly, you can encourage their exploration of ideas and the world around them by regularly giving them positive feedback on their creative expression. For example, note that "the way you used those colours on your Compendium And Then Story Starters - ideal gifts for kids to encourage their creativitypicture is really interesting” or "I love the fun shapes you created from those blocks”. 

You can also encourage a child’s curiosity and independent thinking by asking questions that have different answers or playing imaginative word games. Getting your child to come up with different ways that a space ship could be built, alternative endings to stories, or a list of different words that have the sound "oo” in them, for example, leads to a freedom in response. Compendium’s beautifully-designed eco-friendly gift for kids called "And Then... Story Starters” is made up of 20 imaginative story beginnings for children to add their own endings to.

Facilitate play, don’t restrict it

Again, while you can give children props and tools and inspiration in order to foster their creativity, and sit with them on the floor or at the table to watch them play, you need to be careful not to lead the activities. Instead, let your children enjoy taking control by coming up with play ideas or ways of making things so that they learn to trust their own instincts and not be stifled by set conditions. When it comes time to plan activities for after school, on weekends or on holidays, give your kids the chance to suggest places to go and fun ways of learning while there. Outings to places such as art galleries, museums, theatre productions and musical events can be a great way to encourage a child’s imagination.

Makedo Freeplay kits - great gifts for kids; eco-friendly children's toys that encourage imagination

Encourage free expression

Try not to stifle and numb a child’s creativity by buying them too many manufactured toys with specific uses. Instead, invest in kid’s toys and activities that help to stretch a child’s imagination and strengthen their resourcefulness. Construction toys like the Makedo Freeplay Kits are not only eco-friendly gifts for children, but they also encourage kids to be creative and design any things or creatures that their brains can come up with, while utilising everyday items from around the home at the same time. Other birthday or Christmas gift ideas for children include the useful My Writing and My Artwork books from eco-friendly company Compendium. The books encourage young artists and authors to express their creativity in a free-flowing way that is sure to help foster their imagination and confidence.

Avoid perfectionism or a focus on results

Be careful of taking of your child’s project because you want to do it better or faster – instead, ensure that you respect the learning process that takes place in the child’s brain (and body) while they work. The process is always more important than results, and both your actions and words need to reaffirm this. Avoid shaming or embarrassing your children when they experiment or make a mistake, and instead offer support. You can encourage them to try something else if they’re not happy with their results, or to simply practice the Eco gifts for kids - Compendium My Writing and My Artworktechnique so that they get better at it. At every chance you get, praise the child’s effort rather than an innate ability. This helps to boost a child’s confidence – the most important element of daring to have a go, and maximising creative potential as a result.

Introduce creative role models

It also helps to introduce your kids to a number of creative role models. While you are there, of course, to showcase your own ideas and experience, there are also lots of other creative people sure to be in your life or your child’s life that they can be inspired by too. Think about your friends and family members, the parents of your children’s friends, their music or drama teachers... the list goes on. Who do you know that loves to express their creativity through music, art, writing, fashion, theatre, craft, home design or woodworking, for example? Let your child spend lots of fun hours with these people and they’re sure to find themselves being taught, inspired and guided in ways not otherwise available.


 

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5 Tips for Stress-Free Christmas Deliveries: Get Gifts to your Door on Time!

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Back to Work and Corporate Gifts, Gifts for Women' on October 28, 2013, 12:00 am

By CEO Kellie Byrnes

Unique Christmas gifts - Kate Grenier Designs fridge magnets made from recycled bottle tops. Green gifts ideas for men and women.

- If you’re buying Christmas gifts for a loved one and want to keep the name of the online gift shop you’re buying from a secret, then be careful about using an email address that you share with your partner, parents, children or friends. Instead, use a work address or other email that they’re not going to be checking.

- Similarly, those you live with might not take the time to read the address label when a parcel arrives in the mail. To ensure loved ones don’t accidentally open their unique gifts early, warn them that something is in the post, or else consider having the online store gift wrap your purchases before they’re sent, so that even if the parcel is opened accidentally, no secrets will be spilled!

Christmas gift wrapping for gifts sent to and around Australia and overseas

- Many online shops in Australia ship an invoice on the outside of the packaging when they send gifts to their customers. Before purchasing presents for friends or family from a gift store check to see if they send receipts when the gifts are delivered in Australia or overseas, and if so, ask for one to be omitted and purely sent via email instead. At Kindred Gifts, we never send invoices with parcels to ensure that gift recipients never accidentally see details they shouldn’t. Instead, you’ll receive your invoice by email where no prying eyes need ever see it.

- Since many people are at work all day during the week or can’t stay at home to wait for gift deliveries, it’s a good idea to have your online gift options sent to your workplace instead. If this isn’t an option then consider having Christmas gifts delivered to family members or close friends instead.

Photo from bestof2sisters.com

- If you need to send gifts to hotels or hospitals in Australia then make sure you have all the relevant information on hand when ordering Christmas gifts online. You might have friends or family members who are travelling over the holidays and need to have Christmas presents delivered to their hotel. If so, ensure that you check what name the booking is under – hotel staff can reject parcels if they are in a name that doesn’t come up on their system, so make sure you have the right details before you buy a Christmas gift online and have it delivered. Similarly, if someone you are buying a present for is in hospital at the time, then get all the info you can on their room number and location. Don’t forget to double check how long they’re likely to be in hospital, as you don’t want your beautiful design gift arriving after they have left.

 

 

 

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Top 9 Reasons To Choose Organic Cotton Products for Yourself and Your Family

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on May 1, 2013, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

1)    Organic cotton is grown from natural cotton seed that has not been genetically altered in any way. This fact ensures an environmentally friendly crop that does not have the potential to produce genetic variants that may harm animals or other plants. Totally chemical-free organic cotton instead relies on nature for the best nutrients.
Fluf Organic Cotton Lunch Bags - Eco Friendly Gifts
2)    Organic cotton adheres to a more natural process, as organic farmers rely on crop rotation to replenish and maintain soil fertility. Eco friendly cotton enhances the natural cycles that exist between plants, animals, and water, and organic farmers use only mechanical cultivation and botanical or biological means to control pests and weeds, rather than nasty chemicals.

3)    Organic cotton is chemical-free, which means that growers do not use phosphate fertilizers or non-organic pesticides. Much of the world’s pollution in rivers, lakes, and other waterways comes from non-organic farming. Pesticides and phosphate fertilizers make their way into the water, then into fish, then to animals, and eventually to people who eat the polluted fish. By choosing organic products you’re helping to combat this huge issue.

Dandelion Organic Cotton Toddler Doll (Brunette) - Organic Gift Ideas4)    Organic cotton won’t irritate your skin, and is especially suitable for use in baby clothes and toys, as newborn babies have the most delicate skin. Most non-organic cotton retains some of the chemicals used to grow the cotton, and these chemicals can irritate many people's skin, as well as enter the body by being absorbed through the skin. Alternatively, the strict testing of organic cotton ensures the absence of contaminants like nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals. As a result, organic cotton has no chemical irritants on it or in it, which means both you and your family can breathe easier – literally and figuratively!

5)    Organic cotton conserves biodiversity. All life has a function, yet pesticides that kill plant pests also eliminate a player in the great game of life. No one knows yet what damage can be caused by eliminating a crop pest. Environmentally grown organic cotton deters pests by alternative planting methods and the use of cotton pest predator insects to prevent damage to the cotton crop.

6)    Scarily, it’s estimated that under 10% of the chemicals applied to sStoc Organic Cotton 'Butterfly Effect' T-Shirt - Eco Gifts For Mentandard cotton crops actually accomplish their task, with the rest of the toxins being absorbed into the plant, air, soil, water and eventually, our bodies. As the chemicals are sprayed from the air, these highly toxic substances can drift into surrounding neighbourhoods, poison farm workers and wildlife, contaminate air, ground and surface water and cause major eco-system imbalances. Organic cotton production instead uses eco-friendly processing that does not compromise the health of workers or the environment, plus helps reduce water and electric use, and toxic runoff. Organic farming makes use of more environmentally friendly options such as non-chlorine bleach, silicon-free softeners and low impact, azo-free dyes.

7)    Over time, insects gradually become resistant to the pesticides sprayed on cotton crops, meaning that ever-increasing amounts of chemicals are needed to be applied in order to be effective. The result? Massive ecological disasters and crop failures. The hazardous pesticides used by traditionKeep Calm Gallery by The Lepolas - Beauty Eye Chart Organic Cotton Tea Towel - Sustainable Gift Ideasal cotton farmers also pose an increasing danger to wildlife. Sadly, a 1993 EPA study estimated that 1-2 million birds are killed in the USA alone each year by carbofuran, just one of the insecticides used on cotton. This shows one of the many tragic effects that the production of chemically sprayed crops has on the world’s wildlife. Organically grown cotton products are the much better choice for the entire planet’s health and wellbeing.

8)    The chemicals used in spraying traditional cotton crops are incredibly difficult to remove from the soil, and take a long time to break down. In the USA, for example, two particular chemicals (Toxaphene and DDT) were banned in the 1970s, yet they still persist in cotton fields today. Organic cotton, on the other hand, helps keep soil chemical free and nutrient rich. Organic cotton is wonderfully sustainable - the methods of growinMaptote Organic Cotton Baby Onsies - Eco Friendly Organic Baby Giftsg organic cotton have proven to produce an environmentally friendly product that can be perpetuated year after year using the same non-toxic natural seeds that the cotton plants produce.

9)    Organic cotton is still real, natural cotton. Organic products therefore still have all the weaving, dyeing, and long term durability of any other cotton, and in fact, have been shown to actually be stronger than traditional cotton, as their fibres have not been damaged by harsh chemicals.

As you can see, organic cotton is a fabulous choice, and one that we like to promote through our range of organic gift ideas. The beneficial qualities of organic cotton make for environmentally friendly, organic gifts that are not only durable but sustainable and healthy. Organic products are the perfect choice for both the giftee and the Earth. Perhaps the best thing about an organic cotton gift is you know you are doing something good for the planet, keeping your friends and family free from chemical waste, and giving one of the oldest most durable natural fabrics that can be had today.

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Eco Tip of the Week - Shop Locally

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on April 24, 2013, 12:00 am

Shop locally

Source: ligonierliving.blogspot.com

Support small businesses and shop for all your organic products and eco friendly gifts closer to home at family owned, local suppliers. While not only does food from big supermarket chains travel huge distances to the store and promote unsustainable farming (since price rather than environmental standards is the driving factor for big box stores), it also uses excess packaging, contributes to the urbanisation of green spaces, and adds to pollution through the use of cars and further driving times. Make a contribution to your community and the planet by shopping locally and by foot/bicycle if you can.

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Eco Tip of the Week - Socially Responsible Investing

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on April 17, 2013, 12:00 am

Invest in Socially Responsible companies

When investing, why not make the choice to invest your money with companies who look at the environmental and social impact of where your money goes, as well as the financial future earnings? It is now easy to make ethical investments by choosing one of the many funds and packages out there that concentrate on this specific area of investment. (In Australia, Australian Ethical is one such choice). Ethical investment supports projects that encourage social integration and job creation; ecology and renewable energy; fair trade; and organic farming. With many of these sectors offering high growth, investing responsibly can reap fantastic financial returns that means the choice feels good on both your wallet and your heart.

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Top 10 Tips for an Eco Friendly Wedding

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design, Events and special occasions' on March 29, 2013, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

Getting married, or helping someone who is? With a few simple ideas you can go ensure you go green on the wedding day and feel great about doing it!  There are plenty of things you can do to be eco friendly on that special day but still have the wedding of your dreams. Here are our top 10 ten wedding planning ideas to get your green groove on:

1. Print green - Look for a stationery supplier who will print your invitations on recycled or sustainably sourced papers, or if you're choosing to create your own invites, then look for eco friendly papers when making your selection. Two of the most common certification logos to look out for are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) papers, both programs which ensure stock comes from responsibly managed forests.

Photo from ApartmentTherapy.com Potted plants as wedding favour gift ideas - eco tips for weddings2. Consider your flower options - An eco friendly flower option is to use native flowers as centre pieces to reduce carbon emissions from imported flowers. Another alternative is to use potted plants around the reception and ceremony venues that can later be planted by yourself or guests - a beautiful keepsake from the special day.

3. Go organic and local - Choose a function centre or caterer who uses free range, local and organic produce – not only will your guests be impressed but you will be helping the planet at the same time.

4. Clean green - Look for a specialist eco friendly Dry Cleaner. When dry cleaning your wedding dress after the wedding avoid harsh chemicals like perchloroethylene (perc), normally used in dry cleaning. Ask for earth friendly dry cleaning such as "wet cleaning” or "solvent free" cleaning.

5. Chemical-free beauty - Brides and bridesmaids, you can avoid chemicals and still keep your locks looking luscious by including plenty of eggs in your diet. When it comes to healthy hair, it doesn’t matter whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or over easy. However they’re served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find. They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients that help to keep hair shiny and strong.

6. Fresh skin - Get glowing skin naturally by leaving out the harsh chemicals and choose a pre-wedding day skincare routine that uses natural and organic products. Keep your skin glowing with the beautiful, all natural and charitable skin care range from LI’TYALI'TYA Travel PackDon’t forget your bridesmaids or Mums either – these products also make great bridesmaid gifts and Mother-of-the-Bride gifts that are practical yet lovely. For mens’ gifts, think about the all organic, Australian made Purestuf Travel Gift Pack for men. Handmade and all natural, this handy travel pack features airline friendly sized products and is a great gift idea for the Groom or his Groomsmen.

7. Dress ups - Ask your local bridal boutique for an eco friendly wedding dress made of more natural and chemical free materials (like organic cotton, bamboo or hemp), or consider using a consignment dress that has been gently used before.  This can also save you anywhere up to 60% off the normal retail price of a dress, and might mean that you’re able to buy your dream dress that would be outside the budget if purchased new. Lightly used bridesmaid dresses also help your bridal party cut back on their costs, something they’re sure to love Photo from WeddingDresses5.blogspot.com - emailed RSVP responses - an eco wedding tip you for!

8. Save a Tree - While emailed invitations might be an etiquette no-no, emailed RSVP responses from your guests are not only convenient, but also an eco friendly alternative to paper – and it’s just as easy to hang on to all those lovely emails from friends and family as it is to keep the paper ones.

9. Stay Small - The fewer guests you have, the less resources in every area of wedding planning you will use. You’ll consume less, and create less garbage. Having a small guest list will also give you more choice of venues, which is always a nice thing. Why not have your small wedding at a designated green star hotel, or have a restaurant reception at a restaurant that specialises in using organic produce?

10. Green your wedding gifts - Choose gifts for the bride and groom that not only look great or have great function, but also give back to the world. Pick eco friendly, handmade, fairtrade or charitable gifts from reputable retailers who specialise in these options; and choose quality items that will stand the test of time (not products that will go out of fashion quickly or which are made from cheap, mass produced materials with inferior quality).
For more unique wedding gifts online, shop today by checking out our unique range of wedding gift ideas suitable for all tastes.

Bold & Noble World Type Map Print - Eco Friendly Wedding GiftsIzola Shower Venice Shower Curtain - Eco Friendly Wedding Gift IdeasOliveria Peace With Earth Ceramic Olive Oil Decanter - Wedding Gift IdeasHandpresso Espresso Maker Travel Kit - Portable Coffee Machine - Unique Wedding Gift Ideas

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Celebrate World Water Day - March 22nd 2013 - with these Top 5 Water Saving Tips

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Back to Work and Corporate Gifts, Gifts for Women, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design, Events and special occasions' on March 22, 2013, 12:00 am
By CEO Kellie Byrnes

World Water Day, held annually on March 22nd, is a great way to focus attention on the Image via UNWater.org - World Water Day 2013 - use stainless steel water bottles to support this important dayimportance of freshwater around the world, and for advocating the sustainable management of these precious resources. First started in 1993, each year World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water throughout the world.

We all know that we live on a wet planet, and that without that water we would not be able to survive. While the vast majority of our water is in the oceans, only 2.5% of the planet's total supply is actually fresh water. A low number, and sadly, in many places around the world, many industries  are pumping a nasty cocktail of toxic chemicals into our water as well. China, for instance, is one country that highlights some scary water facts:

- At least 40% of China’s surface water is considered polluted
- A staggering 20% of the groundwater used as drinking water in China’s urban areas is contaminated, sometimes with carcinogenic hazardous chemicals.
- In China alone, 320 million people are without access to clean drinking water.

As well, thorough Greenpeace investigations have revealed that the majority of clothing items from big fashion brands like GAP and Calvin Klein that were tested contained hazardous chemicals. Some of these chemicals break down to form hormone-disrupting and even cancer-causing chemicals when released into waterways around the world - not good! The better news is that some big brands - examples include Zara, Victoria’s Secret, Benetton and Valentino - have agreed to detox their products and production processes by 2020. Definitely a start in the right direction.

This World Water Day, remember how important the world's scarce freshwater reserves are,Image via Blogs.Worldbank.org - Celebrate World Water Day 2013 - fresh water is a precious resource! and do your bit to help conserve water. Here are a few quick and simple tips to help you on your way:

- Eat less meat. Did you know that switching from a meat-centered weekly menu to a diet rich in vegetables and grains could save 2,500 liters of water a day?!
- Fix leaking taps, because for each leaking tap in your house, 90 litres of water can be wasted each week.
- Put the plug in the sink when you're running water to wash your hands, clean your teeth or to shave. Believe it or not, 6 litres of water can be wasted every minute when you leave the tap running.
- Make sure you have a dual-flush toilet system, as 8000 litres per year can be wasted through older style toilets.
- Reuse your greywater by collecting it in a bucket, or have a complete collection and reuse system installed in your house. Water that has only been used to rinse clothes or in the shower can easily and effectively be used through the garden and other areas afterwards instead of going straight down the drain.

You might also like to help the environment (and your health) by ensuring you regularly carry a water bottle with you, rather than needing to buy the toxic ridden plastic alternatives in the shops. Here are a few super stylish water bottles you can buy online.
One Bottle Umbrella water bottle - BPA free and stainless water bottle
Have fun shopping for gifts online for yourself or friends and family with the cute range of stainless steel water One Bottle water bottles. Designed in Australia, and BPA-free, these stylish accessories will help you to remember always to carry your water bottle with you. The One Bottle water bottle range features cute designs for adults and kids alike. If you're looking for practical yet fun gifts for kids, you can go past the sweet Fawn 500ml water bottle in candy pink; or the cool 500ml T-Rex water bottle in bright green. Adults love the vibrant blue Hot Air Balloon and mint green Umbrella designs to dress up their desk as well. Available in 500ml or 750ml water bottle sizes.
One Bottle stainless steel water bottle - Fawn. Cute deer themed water bottle for kids                    One bottle TRex water bottle - stainless steel and BPA free water bottle - dinosaur design great gift for kids                       Stainless steel water bottle - One Bottle Hot Air Balloon water bottle, a great gift idea for women or Christmas gift idea 

Another favourite brand of ours is the amazingly stylish and clever 321 Water Bottle pack. 321 Water Bottle pack - designer gifts for staff and clients
The 321 Water Bottle is a fabulous example of designer gifts that are not only designed in Australia, but also made here (very hard to find!). The seriously clever plunger and filter design means that you can always have clean, filtered water with you at all times. This super stylish and BPA-free water bottle design not only looks great, but is better for the planet, and absolutely better for your health as well, meaning no more nasty toxins can enter your body from the water you drink. A great water bottle for travelling, and a beautiful designer gift idea for women and men of all ages, the 321 Water Bottle pack is the perfect choice.
321 Water Bottle pack - stylish designer gifts for women and unique gifts for men

Image sources: Top image via www.UNWater.org and second image via www.Blogs.Worldbank.org

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Guest Blog Post - Teaching Thursday

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on September 27, 2012, 12:00 am
Guest Blog Post from Jean Sheehan Medical Intuitive

This week Jean discusses how you see your life...

Teaching Thursday:

Many think the eyes are about what we see but metaphysically they are about what we listen to, and avoidance. There is a chakra on them which is about expectations. So for those with eye sight problems - what are you listening to? What expectations do you have your self or others? For those that can see close up - what can you not see as your future which you can design and create yourself? For those that can see far way - what have you got right now that is worth gold?


Jean Sheehan is the Principal and Director of Millennium Education. As a leader in her field of self development and internationally recognised Medical Intuitive, Metaphysical Teacher and Life Skills Coach, Jean facilitates extraordinary transformational change by teaching individuals to see their own potentiality. As a Nurse for 15 years, Jean knew there was an innate wisdom within each person.
Sharing her personal journey of how she healed her own cancer and created a life from rags to riches, Jean is sought after as a motivational speaker who educates, coaches and mentors schools, childcare centres, corporations and the health cares systems to all possibilities.
She is inspirational and captivates her audiences connecting souls to their purpose and assisting them to release limiting beliefs & patterns to experience an absolute empowered & fulfilled life. An expert in Children’s emotional care, Jean successfully guides parents and children to a sense of fulfillment and purpose.



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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on September 26, 2012, 12:00 pm
Closet air freshner tips - eco tipsKeep your closet smelling fresh by hanging up a small cloth pouch or teabags filled with chopped up rosemary, dried cloves and thyme. Dried lemon peels will also do the trick.


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on September 19, 2012, 12:00 am
cleaning hair brushes and combs - eco tipsAre your hair brushes matted in hair and full of unwanted dust mites? They can be cleaned in a baking soda solution; saving you money, and a bathroom full of old hair brushes.

 


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on September 12, 2012, 12:00 pm
Disinfecting chopping boards - cutting boards cleaned with vinegar - eco tipsChopping boards can be disinfected using vinegar on a dampened cloth. You can also soak it in vinegar to get the ‘hard to reach’ places such as the deep grooves you find.


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on September 5, 2012, 12:00 am
eco tip - how to clean your mirrorYou can remove oily finger prints, hair spray, water streaks and more from your bathroom mirror by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to 1.2 litres of water in a spray bottle. Use a linen rag dampened with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, and wipe down the mirror. This is a great, natural cleaning method that's also super cost effective.



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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on August 29, 2012, 12:00 am
If you oreco tip - how to get rid of headlice your children are struggling with head lice, rinse your hair with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts of water. Then simply brush through the hair with a lice comb - cheap, easy and no nasty chemicals used!



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Guest Blog Post - Teaching Thursday

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on August 23, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

Guest blog post from Jean Sheehan, Medical Intuitive

This week Jean discusses the link between blood and life force...

Teaching Thursday:

Metaphysically, the Father, Son,and Holy Ghost refers to your journey and process of life. The Father is the authority, which is you writing your own story and perception. The Son is the child within you that will believe anything you say,as it must be true since you are the SELF. The Ghost is lookiFathers Footstepsng back at your past and seeing that what we have, will do, or are doing,is not an illusion or scary, but actually a lesson,as you are a soul having a human experience. 

AsI have written for the Millennium Modality, "The human body is a blueprint for your most dominant thoughts. It is a print out of the internal vibration. Our bodies hold on to our experiences, thoughts and belief systems. The body is a reflection of our truth and shows our unconscious secrets. You are the author of your life. Your biography becomes your biology in your body.” This last line is the key point ... what do you keep 'writing'? And once you are conscious & aware (through the organ of the heart) then you have the opportunity to change it and your outcome. The commitment is always to SELF (represented through the thyroid), and being your own best friend. Would you treat your loved ones the way you treat you??!!


Jean Sheehan is the Principal and Director of Millennium Education. As a leader in her field of self development and internationally recognised Medical Intuitive, Metaphysical Teacher and Life Skills Coach, Jean facilitates extraordinary transformational change by teaching individuals to see their own potentiality. As a Nurse for 15 years, Jean knew there was an innate wisdom within each person. Jean Sheehan

Sharing her personal journey of how she healed her own cancer and created a life from rags to riches, Jean is sought after as a motivational speaker who educates, coaches and mentors schools, childcare centres, corporations and the health cares systems to all possibilities.

She is inspirational and captivates her audiences connecting souls to their purpose and assisting them to release limiting beliefs & patterns to experience an absolute empowered & fulfilled life. An expert in Children’s emotional care, Jean successfully guides parents and children to a sense of fulfillment and purpose. 


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on August 22, 2012, 12:00 am
eco tip - how to get stains out of your carpet







As we all know, stains in the carpet are a big nuisance! You can get them out by adding one cup of baking soda to four cups of water, then put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray onto the stain. (Note though: it is important that you use a blotting procedure rather than a rubbing action as this might set the stain deeper, or may damage the fabric).



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Guest Blog Post - Teaching Thursday

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on August 16, 2012, 12:00 pm

Guest blog post from Jean Sheehan, Medical Intuitive

This week Jean discusses teenagers.

When children transition during teenage years, their body consciousness changes. The pituitary linked with the anja chakra perceives life as 'unfair', the thymus glad (all about responsibility) reacts in the"victimand lungs (grief, reaction, response) share the grief. This can come across as children being ungrateful, miserable, 'its not fair' and over reacting to the slightest of things.  This is all linked the Millennium Grid of Evolution (Taught in Module II Medical) For more information, head to: http://www.absoluteempowerment.com/the-merkaba.php



Jean Sheehan is the Principal and Director of Millennium Education. As a leader in her field of self development and internationally recognised Medical Intuitive, Metaphysical Teacher and Life Skills Coach, Jean facilitates extraordinary transformational change by teaching individuals to see their own potentiality. As a Nurse for 15 years, Jean knew there was an innate wisdom within each person.
Sharing her personal journey of how she healed her own cancer and created a life from rags to riches, Jean is sought after as a motivational speaker who educates, coaches and mentors schools, childcare centres, corporations and the health cares systems to all possibilities.
She is inspirational and captivates her audiences connecting souls to their purpose and assisting them to release limiting beliefs & patterns to experience an absolute empowered & fulfilled life. An expert in Children’s emotional care, Jean successfully guides parents and children to a sense of fulfillment and purpose.


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on August 15, 2012, 12:00 am
If you don’t eco tip - salt on dirty dishes have time to wash the dishes right away, sprinkle salt over the top of your dishes to avoid the food sticking to them. You will find they're much easier to wash afterwards too!



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Guest Blog Post - Healthier Food Choices Made Easy

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on August 10, 2012, 12:00 pm
Guest Blog Post - Annaliisa Kapp, Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach

Annaliisa guides us through making healthier food choices for a happier, more enriched life....

Taking the leap towards a healthier lifestyle does not mean that you have to give up your favorite goodies. It just means that you have to choose wiser, more nutrient dense options that nourish your body, instead of harming it. When we begin to restrict ourselves, we automatically start to feel like we are missing s
omething, like we are limiting ourselves. To actually sustain a healthy lifestyle, we need to first understand what true healthy food is and begin to make subtle substitutions in our daily lives. It’s all about adding in the good stuff that increases our energy levels, our mood and our health. By removing some processed junk that adds zero value to our health, we can begin to move towards optimum health.

So what are truly healthy foods? To begin with, they are whole foods. They come from the earth and are not chemical concoction made in the lab by "food technicians”. They are also organic foods and come from primarily a plant based source.

Here are 3 steps you can follow to begin to make healthier foods choices:

- Read the label. Not just the nutritional values, but the actual ingredient list. Are there items on the list that you have never heard of? Can you pronounce them? How long is the list? If you can understand it, without having a degree in bio engineering, then it’s a good start! A great example is bread, which is a staple in most homes. Check out the scary list of ingredients!! Then check out the list of a smaller scale local company, there are usually just 5-6 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce!

- Choose more plant based foods. Study after study has shown the health benefits of a diet that consists of primarily plant based foods. I’m not saying you have to become a vegetarian/vegan to be healthy, but choosing to eat more easily digestible plant based proteins, healthy fats and antioxidant filled fruits and vegetables is bound to do your body some good! Choosing more plant based proteins if also easier on the budget and the environment. Try a new bean variety, lentils or check out tempeh! Be aware of overly processed vegan options, they are just another form of junk food. Watch out for gimmicky marketing on packaged vegan foods, they often contain GMO soy, fillers, additives and sugar.

- Choose local and organic as much as possible. When you buy local and organic, you are choosing foods that have higher nutritional value due to the mineral rich soil. Your food is also free of dangerous pesticides, herbicides and non GMO. The food has travelled less, which means it has retained more vitamins and nutrients. It is also healthier for the farmers, the economy and the earth!

To start you off right, try this antioxidant rich, fibre full, and plant based protein packed creamy chocolaty goodness!! It will keep you buzzing without the crash!! Next time you’re cravi
ng that caffeine and sugar filled mocha that takes a toll on your adrenal function and packs on unhealthy weight, try this one instead:

Raw Chocolate Maca Mocha

1 cup vanilla cashew milk (or vanilla almond milk)
2 Tbsp raw ca
cao powder
1 Tbsp hemp
seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp mesquite powder
1 tsp raw honey
1 frozen banana
4 ice cubes


Want to receive Annaliisa's free "Guide to the Most Vibrant and Healthy You"? Sign up to her newsletter today. Here's the link.


Annaliisa Kapp is a holistic nutritionist and the woman behind Annaliisa’s Organic Kitchen, a wellness company that inspires people to take control of their own health. Annaliisa advocates for nutritious and delicious whole foods and their super healing powers. Her nutrition practice and health coaching focuses on therapeutic foods, digestive wellness and the food and mood connection. You can find many delicious recipes on her blog and her facebook fan page!






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Guest Blog Post - Teaching Thursday

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on August 9, 2012, 12:00 am
Guest blog post from Jean Sheehan, Medical Intuitive

This week Jean discusses the link between blood and life force...

Teaching Thursday:

Blood is your life force or prana. When we create DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and blood clots, it means the life force with in us is 'clogged and blocked'. People with this condition can be put on warfrin - a blood thinner. They are instructed not to eat green food such as spinach as it will thin the blood, the danger being that the body cannot create clots and therefore stopping bleeding is problematic. Interesting as green is the colour of learning and heart .... metaphysically the open heart is about learning new ways, and a divine life force. It is true abundance .... absolute love.  End result: they are not open to new ways and are in the illusion of fear and head space instead.
Source - Squidoo.com

Jean Sheehan is the Principal and Director of Millennium Education. As a leader in her field of self development and internationally recognised Medical Intuitive, Metaphysical Teacher and Life Skills Coach, Jean facilitates extraordinary transformational change by teaching individuals to see their own potentiality. As a Nurse for 15 years, Jean knew there was an innate wisdom within each person.
Sharing her personal journey of how she healed her own cancer and created a life from rags to riches, Jean is sought after as a motivational speaker who educates, coaches and mentors schools, childcare centres, corporations and the health cares systems to all possibilities.
She is inspirational and captivates her audiences connecting souls to their purpose and assisting them to release limiting beliefs & patterns to experience an absolute empowered & fulfilled life. An expert in Children’s emotional care, Jean successfully guides parents and children to a sense of fulfillment and purpose.



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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on August 8, 2012, 12:00 am
Tee tree oil is seco tips - tee tree oil keeps rodents awayuper efficient for keeping rodents away. Wipe cupboard doors, bins, and rodent entries with tee tree oil, and you will notice the difference!



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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on August 1, 2012, 12:00 am
If the tiles in your bathroom are starting to fill up with grout, dip a toothbrush in full strength vinegar and gently scrub into the grout.

Eco friendly tips - how to get rid of grout in your bathroom


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Guest Blog Post - What You Appreciate, Appreciates

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on July 26, 2012, 12:00 pm
It's Time to Spend a Little Time Appreciating.
Guest Blog Post by Jean Sheehan, Medical Intuitive.

Consider this ... what you appreciate, appreciates. Have you appreciated you recently? If you did appreciate yourself more, can you see how you would grow in value and how others would see and treat you as more valuable as a result?

While we are the same energy and life force as money, we do not tend to value our selves and react to those that do not value us.

The same goes for appreciating others - when you appreciate what they do, you pass forward love and value.

Don't forget to appreciate yourself and others Image source: www.studentbranding.com

Each morning I ask myself "How can I create value for my husband, sons and clients?" When I know I have created value for them I feel valued, as we are all one. (And by the way when I do this money flows!).

Jean Sheehan is the Principal and Director of Millennium Education. As a leader in her field of self development and internationally recognised Medical Intuitive, Metaphysical Teacher and Life Skills Coach, Jean facilitates extraordinary transformational change by teaching individuals to see their own potentiality. As a Nurse for 15 years, Jean knew there was an innate wisdom within each person.

Sharing her personal journey of how she healed her own cancer and created a life from rags to riches, Jean is sought after as a motivational speaker who educates, coaches and mentors schools, childcare centres, corporations and the health cares systems to all possibilities.

She is inspirational and captivates her audiences connecting souls to their purpose and assisting them to release limiting beliefs & patterns to experience an absolute empowered & fulfilled life. An expert in Children’s emotional care, Jean successfully guides parents and children to a sense of fulfillment and purpose.


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on July 25, 2012, 12:00 am
Does your refrigerator have smelly odors? Eliminate them by soaking a cotton wool ball in vanilla essence and leave it in your fridge.

Eco friendly tips - how to get rid of fridge odors


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Choosing Amazing Anniversary Gifts is a Click Away

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women, Events and special occasions' on July 19, 2012, 12:00 am

If you are looking for a romantic and absolutely perfect gift for an anniversary, Dogeared Pearls of Love necklace - the perfect anniversary gift idea for womenshopping online is probably going to be your best bet. Though there are plenty of great gifts in shops around town, the entire world will open up for you when you choose to shop online for great anniversary gifts. The benefits of shopping online for gifts in Australia will quickly become apparent as you start your shopping. Here are a few great tips to choose amazing anniversary gifts online:

One of the best tips that you should keep in mind is to ask others' opinions. Though you may think that you know exactly what your partner wants as a wedding anniversary gift, many times this strategy falls short. For example, if you are shopping for anniversary gifts for women, you may want to consider asking another woman who knows her well, like a friend, sister or co-worker, what they think of the anniversary gift that you have chosen or thinking of purchasing. You should be Bold & Noble Love Print - perfect anniversary romantic anniversary gift for womenable to get a great gift for your wife when you have a little help from someone else in the process. (Kindred Gifts can help, with a beautiful and romantic gift such as the Dogeared 'Pearls of Love' Necklace, as above). 

Another great tip for shopping online for the perfect gift for an anniversary is to compare prices. Since you are online, it is very easy to look at other sites to find out if you can find cheaper prices. Make sure, however, when you are doing this, to take shipping into account. A lot of online shops will ship for free, Australia wide, but may have slightly higher prices. In this case, you want to look at the value of the price you are paying.

You will certainly want to make sure that you are focused on your partner’s needs and wants when getting Handpresso Wild Hybrid Espresso Maker - anniversary gifts - portable coffee machinea great anniversary gift. (Cute Bold & Noble Love Print for him and her, Left). See if you can pick up cues on things they may want. Ask their family, friends, co-workers or even your own children to find out if they have any ideas on what Mum or Dad may want as an anniversary gift this year. (A great anniversary gift for a couple would have to be the Handpresso Wild Hybrid Espresso Maker, right. Its portable, easy, and they'll love it).

 

Finally, make sure there is a return policy just in case the recipient doesn’t like the gift. Shopping for anniversary gifts for men and women can really be quite simple if you keep these things in mind.




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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on July 18, 2012, 12:00 am

Tooth brush holders can be caked in toothpaste drippings and grime - get rid of the mess by moistening a cloth in white distilled vinegar and wipe or scrub clean. This method will also clean your towel rack!

Eco friendly tips - clean bathroom sink naturally


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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on July 11, 2012, 12:00 am

Clean burnt saucepans by sprinkling some Bi-carb soda on the burnt area and leave to
stand (length of time will vary according to how bad the stain is!).

Eco friendly tip - how to clean a dirty saucepan naturally



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Guest Blog Post - Five Simple Green Changes Your Family Can Make RIGHT NOW

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women' on July 9, 2012, 12:00 am

This guest blog post comes from the lovely Meagan at the This Whole Family blog. Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies - sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on Fairtrade chocolate.

Megan kindly put together some great - and simple - green changes that you can make today to live a more eco-friendly  life:

Five Simple Green Changes Your Family Can Make RIGHT NOW

Over the past few years my family has slowly been taking steps to lead a more sustainable, conscious and compassionate life. It certainly feels like an uphill battle sometimes living in this uber capitalistic and industrial world. We are still a far cry from being a green or eco family, for example, we use recycled toilet paper not reusable wipes; we use biodegradable garbage bags instead of none; we own a car and most we definitely use too much bath water! But we won’t give up. We’ll keep stumbling along and making little changes here and there because we know that every little green choice we make makes a big difference over time.

Here are a few simple changes that you can make too, that can make all the difference:
1.    Ditch plastic water bottles and bring your own.

This is the easiest and most simple way to cut down on waste, energy and save money. Keep your reusable bottle (like the One Bottle stainless steel water bottles) at the door with your keys and wallet so that you never leave home without it.

1.    Get your take-away coffee in a reusable cup.


A paper cup every day adds up to a lot of waste between a few family members. Hookturn makes some cute cups and even has a small reusable cup for all those babyccinos your little ones consume.

1.    Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!

Don’t throw out that old container filled with mouldy yoghurt in the back of the fridge just because you can’t be bothered to clean it out - recycle it instead! Reuse scraps of paper until they can’t be written on anymore and then recycle every last shred.  Reuse glass jars as tupperware and storage containers. Use old t-shirts as cleaning rags. Use old fleece jumpers to sew new soft toys from... once you get this creative vibe going the list is endless!

1.    Eat a completely sustainable dinner 4 times a week.

Make sure your ingredients are any combination of the following:
- in season   
- locally grown
- locally gamed, if not vegetarian
- homemade from scratch
- package-free (for example your own stock instead of bouillon cubes)
- organic; preservative and chemical-free

(See the fabulous Melbourne created Sustainable Table cookbook for more ideas)

1.    Walk, cycle and take public transport whenever possible.

Save on petrol, get some fresh air and exercise and/or excite the kids with a day trip on the train! Think about how often you use your car and try to find some days in your weekly routine where you can switch it for something more eco. Check out the bus and train routes near your home, work and children’s schools. Are there some errands you can run taking an extra 5 minutes to walk or bike?
 
I think it’s important for families to know you don’t have to be perfectly eco-friendly in every aspect of your life to have a positive (or at least neutral) impact on the world.  What’s important is that we become conscious of our consumer habits and we make changes one at a time at a rate that is manageable and sustainable for each one of us and our families.


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Environmentally Friendly Gift Ideas for Kids and Adults

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Back to Work and Corporate Gifts, Gifts for Women' on July 3, 2012, 12:00 am
If you are like many of us, it is probably important for you to buy gifts that are going to not only be practical, but that will be environmentally friendly as well. Even if the recipient of the gift isn’t as enviro-aware as you may be, this could be a great opportunity to show them that many items in the world are green, practical and by using these items, they are doing something great for the environment. Here are some excellent environmentally friendly gift ideas:

Environmentally Friendly Gift Ideas for Kids

When it comes to kids, buying environmentally friendly gifts can be quite easy. There is a Makedo - environmentally friendly gift ideas for kidswonderful range of toys, activities and other things kids need that they will also love. Dolls and plush toys are always popular with kids and there are many available that are made of organic cotton, bamboo or hemp, as well as recycled materials. Activity books, toys, and craft sets made of or using recycled paper make great kids gift ideas and also teach children to be more environmentally aware (the Makedo range is a faThe Original Metal Box (OMB) Night Night Light - great eco friendly gift ideas for kidsbulous example).

Some lovely online baby gifts are also easily available, including sweet organic cotton Onesies or natural skincare that contains no nasty chemicals to hurt babies' skin. Solar powered Nightlights (as seen to the left) made of recycled metals, are also wonderful environmentally friendly gift ideas for kids or babies, and can be the perfect choice when looking for newborn baby gifts; Christening gifts or naming day gifts; or baby shower gift ideas.

Green Gift Ideas for MenAlchemy Goods Wallet - great eco friendly gift ideas for men

For the man in your life, shopping for green gifts doesn’t have to be difficult at all. There are loads of wonderful gift ideas out there for men who want to make the extra effort to be friendly to our planet. A wallet is always a wonderful idea for men when you need to buy a gift and there are plenty of wallets on the market that are recycled from other materials including bicycle inner tubes. These coHookturn coffee cups - reusabel coffee cups - great eco friendly gift ideas for men ol wallets for men made by Alchemy Goods are one such example.

Another idea for an environmentally friendly gift for a man is a reusable coffee cup. Australian’s throw away tonnes of paper and plastic coffee cups each year. Take a stand against it with this great gift idea that makes a wonderful birthday gift, anniversary gift, or Secret Santa gift idea. Australian designed BYO Cups from Hookturn Industries are a great example of eco friendly, BPA-free, reusable coffee cups.

Earth Focused Gift Ideas for Women

Dogeared Karma Necklace - great eco friendly gift ideas for womenAs with the men and children, there are also lots of fantastic gift ideas for women that are focused on being earth friendly. Jewellery is always a hit with most women and there is no reason why you can't find gorgeous jewellery for women that is made of recycled or earth friendly materials. Delight her with a beauiful Valentine's Day gift or Christmas gift that she will treasure always, such as the always popular Karma necklace from celeb-favourite brand Dogeared. Offering one of the largest ranges of Dogeared jewellery online in Australia, Kindred Gifts is a proud supporter of this great example of design led, eco friendly jewellery manufacturing. 

Fleabags Original Flea Pebble - great eco friendly gift ideas for womenWomen also love their bags, so a handbag made of organic, sustainable, or recycled fibres will likely be the perfect gift for the environmentally cautious woman. We, and celebs such as Anne Hathaway and Brooke Shields, love the great range of handmade bags from New York based Fleabags. Their totes, like this Original Flea in Pebble, make a lovely birthday present idea or Christmas gift.

Looking for more online gifts in Australia or gifts online that can be sent internationally? Check out our range of unique Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women, Baby Gifts, and Gifts for Kids today.




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Unique Corporate Gift Ideas for Staff and Clients

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Back to Work and Corporate Gifts' on June 19, 2012, 12:00 am
Choosing great corporate gifts is never a fun job. It can actually be pretty difficult to find great gifts for a corporate setting because you want to make sure you are choosing something that is practical, but you also need to make sure that you are choosing a gift that will get you noticed, especially if you are giving these gifts to clients. Corporate gift ideas can be hard to come by, but here are a few great one that you can make your own:

Magnets

Fridge magnets are pretty well known in the corporate gift circuit, so you want to make sure you are getting something unique if you really want to get noticed. Kate Grenier Office magnets - gift ideas for staff, clients and co-workersDesigner magnets, such as the huge range of themes from Kate Grenier Designs, really stand out, and can be a great choice when it comes to these types of gifts. Kate Grenier Designs Fridge Magnets are available in more than 75 different themes, making them a great gift for staff as you can customize the gift to suit your team member's tastes. Are they a bookworm, a runner, a chocoholic or a whiz in the kitchen? We've got something to suit every taste!

If you're looking for a great bulk corporate gift idea to give to customers or use a conference gifts, talk to us today about having some specially designed magnets made specifically for your company. Your company’s magnets - made from recycled bottle tops with your own images, logos or phrases no less - will definitely stand out when placed side by side with competitors' boring offerings. 

Lunch BagsFluf Lunch Bags - Great Gift Ideas for staff and clients

Reusable organic cotton lunch bags can also make great corporate gifts. These bags will definitely come in handy at the office and since they are reusable, buying these bags will really help the environment, something that all of us should be doing anyway. Giving your clients reusable cotton lunch bags like the great range range from Fluf, will help them to think of you every time they eat lunch, which may be the perfect time to contact your company when they need a product or service from you!

Skin Care Items

Another great idea for the unique gift in a corporate setting is some type of natural skin care item. These itemLi'Tya Travel Pack - Great gift ideas for staff and clientss, like lotion, scrubs and travel packs, can really make an impression, especially if you have a client or employee who travels a lot. You can get these packs for both men and women (brands include Li'tya, left, and Purestuf), and they all contain high quality skin care products appropriate for specific genders.

As you can see, these are just a few great ideas for gifts that you can buy online. Finding the best corporate gifts in Australia doesn’t have to be difficult and can even turn into a fun experience if you allow it to!




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Eco Tip of the Week

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on June 6, 2012, 12:00 am
Eco Tip of the Week

Instead of using chemical laden sprays, use household vinegar to wipe down chopping up
boards that have smells or food colour on them.


Cleaning the chopping board
Cleaning a cutting up board


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Top 10 Tips for Going Green Easily this World Environment Day!

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women, Events and special occasions' on June 5, 2012, 12:00 am

World Environment Day

World Environment Day!

This event, taking place on the 5th of June 2012, is an annual event that brings awareness to the environment and what we can do as a community to improve human well-being and social equity, while reducing our environmental impact on the earth :) Here's a link for more information about the day and ways to get involved. 


Top 10 Tips for going green this environment day

1. Hang your clothes on the line to avoid using the dryer.

2. Use a reusable water bottle rather than regularly buying disposable plastic bottles that add to landfill. A great example of clever reusable bottle design is the 321 water bottle. This bottle is BPA free, created from recyclable materials and is designed and made in Australia. 

3. Save power by making sure appliances are turned off at the wall when not being used.

4. Reuse tote bags for shopping, instead of using nasty plastic bags that end up in landfill, aren't degradable, and often end up in waterways harming wildlife. Fluf Little One Handbags made from organic cotton, are a perfect step to helping the environment. 

5. Set air-con units to 25ºC to help reduce the energy cost of cooling our homes. Or you could open the window to let the breeze in. =]

6. Take public transport, walk or ride a bike to work or school. Organize with employers to work from home on some occasions too to save the commute. 

7. Choose stationery or other paper items made from recycled paper rather then using virgin pulp. For example, take a look at our range of environmentally safe Notebooks.

8. Use natural cleaning products in your home or office has a beneficial effect on the environment. Great natural options include bicarb soda, vinegar and lemon juice. This is a great way to keep our planet healthy. 

9. Choose organic locally produced meat, fruit and vegetables. This supports the producers that don't use chemicals on their goods. It also means less transporting miles if products aren't being shipped into the country and transported around Australia.

10. Have one meat free meal per week as animal farming is one of the highest emission producing areas. When shopping at the supermarket try looking for healthy and tasty vegetarian foods. If you're stuck for ideas try the lovely Australian vegetarian cookbook Martha Goes Green.

Following these simple tips will not only save you money but the planet as well! Do your part for our environment, this Environment Day. :)



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Top 10 Tips for Plane Travel with Babies and Kids: A Guest Post from Babyology

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on March 28, 2012, 12:00 am

Babyology is Australia’s premier lifestyle website keeping hip parents and their bubs up to date with the world of baby-related design. From building a dream nursery to checking out the newest designer babywear, our readers rely on Babyology to keep them up to date and in touch. Many of our readers are enthusiastic and seasoned travellers and we’ve learned a thing of two over the years about how to travel with babies and young children so we’d love to share our top ten tips with Kindred Gifts!

1. Check the airline’s regulations regarding children and travel. Will your baby have a bassinet or will your child have a seat to himself? Worth checking for those long-haul flights!

2. Take photocopies of birth certificates and a change of clothing for both you and baby in case of an accident.

Travelling with baby

3. When it comes to booking your flights and if you are flying a long distance with another adult, consider booking seats apart from one another. This allows one adult to rest whilst the other entertains (or wrangles!) the children.

4. Allow plenty of time for check-in and when you are checking in, always ask if the flight is full. Some assistants will block out the seat next to you in a less full flight or offer you the option of seating you next to a vacant seat. This is particularly good if travelling with a toddler without their own seat. Some airlines also offer the loan of a stroller for getting to and from gates with a baby or active toddler.

5. Many people do not know that car seats can be used on planes for children. Be aware that only certain types of seats are suitable and that most airlines require a car seat to be pre-approved for use as a child seat at least twenty-four hours before departure (generally, approval of car seats cannot be obtained on departure at the airport).

Top 10 tips for plane travel

6. For toddlers and young children, pack an activity kit including crayons, snacks, a small Etch-a-Sketch, stickers, a roll of sticky tape, cars and other small toys. Balloons are great for waiting at the airport! Also, air-conditioning on a plane is incredibly dehydrating – no need to make it uncomfortable for kids as well. A standard saline nose spray for kids, available at chemists, will do the trick.

7. Bottle feeding baby? The attendants heat bottles using hot water so it takes a god five minutes for them to complete. Try to time baby’s feeds outside of peak meal times.

8. If baby needs a nappy change, don’t do it on the seat. Aircraft toilets are fitted with change tables and you should feel free to ask a flight attendant to get the table set up for you. Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as packing too many wipes. Also handy is a wet face washer in a snap-lock bag.

9. The compact book Around the World in 80 Ways is packed with fun activities for little travellers. Most of the activities don’t require anything but imagination – we like the game ‘In-flight Magazine Treasure Hunt’ – devise a super-long list of items for the kids to hunt down in those glossy in-flight magazines and it can have them going for hours.

10. The old saying "expect the worst, get the best” is a good way to approach flights with children. We received this advice to parents from a flight attendant who has clocked up thousands of flights with crying babies and children – "You’ll never see these people again and they’ll get over it”. Don’t waste your energy getting upset by rude people.

Bon voyage!

Travel with kids



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Guest Blogger Meagan Genovese gives us the facts on Hemp and Bamboo Fabrics

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design, Events and special occasions' on March 23, 2012, 12:00 am

We asked our Guest Blogger Meagan Genovese from This Whole Family to share with us some facts on Hemp and Bamboo Fabrics.

Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies- sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on Fairtrade chocolate.



Hemp and Bamboo fabrics are all the rage nowadays and for good reason! From stylish clothing to luxury bed linen to funky table cloths and napkins, hemp and bamboo fabrics offer both luxury and sustainability.

Both hemp and bamboo grow, mature and are ready for harvesting faster than cotton which means they require fewer natural resources to produce each crop. Both hemp and bamboo require less water than cotton does and do not require pesticides or fertilisers, so, they are durable and more resistant to disease and insects. Hemp and bamboo are also highly adaptable and can grow in diverse climates and conditions making them highly sustainable fabric choices that can be grown and produced locally.


Hemp clothing is not only better for the environment, it is also durable, comfortable and contrary to popular belief- soft. Hemp is twice as strong as cotton and holds its shape well, preventing hemp garments from stretching over time. When hemp is turned into fiber it becomes very porous, which makes hemp clothing beautifully breathable and cool in warm weather. On the other hand, when air is trapped inside the fibers, it is warmed by the body, making hemp garments naturally warm in cooler weather. Hemp fabrics soften with wear and actually become more beautiful and lustrous with washing.

You can also enjoy the luxury of silky soft bamboo products while feeling good about the ethicality of your fashion choices. Bamboo grows at super speeds (up to 1-4 feet a day!) and is therefore harvested quickly and does not require intensive watering, chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This makes bamboo products naturally more sustainable than other fabrics and fibers. Bamboo also prevents (and treats) soil erosion. The roots of the bamboo plant branch out from the stalk securing soil from erosion and preventing silt from overtaking rivers and streams. Bamboo fabric is soft, naturally breathable and repels UV rays making it highly suitable for hot and humid climates. Wedding Gifts - Manor12 Pillow Case

You can find a range of hemp and bamboo products at Kindred Gifts. The gorgeous Fleabags designer handbags; and Manor12’s pillow covers, and even tea towels and napkins, are all made from a beautiful and durable hemp and cotton blend.

Gifts for Women - Fleabags original flea bag


Baby gifts - Dandelion Bamboo Zoo Plush Giraffe






The adorable range of Dandelion plush animals is made from viscose bamboo as well as the very cute Hank and JoJo Retro tube socks, plus a trendy range of iPhone and iPod covers, earphones and dock from Vers Audio.Baby Gifts - Hank and JoJo Retro Tube SocksGifts for Men - Vers Audio Slimline iPhone 4/4S case





These hemp and bamboo based products are the perfect excuse to splurge on a new bag, shirt or some living room decor. When you buy hemp or bamboo textiles you're not only beautifying yourself and your environment, you’re also making an eco-friendly and sustainable choice for the greater environment too.



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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 8

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Back to Work and Corporate Gifts, Gifts for Women' on February 16, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  

Can’t decide?

Kindred Gift’s "Buy Once, Give Twice” philosophy means that their gift cards aren’t just contributing to some corporate fat-cat’s private island fund.  Instead, they’ve adopted a whole new way of doing business and buying from them means that you’re being eco friendly, buying handmade goodness or contributing to fair trade initiatives and charitable causes.

On top of that, Kindred Gifts also donate 2% of their revenue to charities, so if you can’t decide on one thing in their fantastic range then why not buy a pretty little gift card and let the person you’re buying for decide?

Kindred Cards gift vouchers



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Valentine's Day Sweet Treats For Your Loved One

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Recipes, Events and special occasions' on February 11, 2012, 12:00 am
Want to treat your sweet heart with a delightful desert?  Here's a couple of recipe ideas from two of our favourite Australian cookbooks, Martha Goes Green and The Sustainable Table.

Martha Goes Green - Easy Vanilla Cupcakes
Martha Goes Green - Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

 Valentines Day Treats - Chocolate Cupcakes

 

The Sustainable Table - Raw Chocolate and Banana Tarts

 

Sustainble Table - Chocolate and Banana Tarts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 8-10 small, 6 medium or 4 large tarts

Seasons:

summer, autumn, spring

"Food is unparalleled in its nutritional quality in its raw and natural state." Angela Gioffre

Ingredients

Base

2 tbsp agave syrup

1 cup almonds, soaked in 1 cup of water for around 5 hrs

1/3 cup cashew cream

¼ cup cashews

¼ cup water

1/3 tsp vanilla essence/syrup

agave, to taste (optional)

ground cinnamon, to taste (optional)

Filling

3 tbsp cashew cream, see above

1 banana

1 tsp raw cacao powder

1 strawberry

Topping

strawberries, sliced

chocolate mint herb or mint leaves

METHOD

Base

1. Blend agave syrup and almonds, then press into flan tins of your desired size.

Cashew Cream

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

2. If you would like it a little sweeter add agave, or spices such as cinnamon.

3. Use, or store in the fridge until ready to use.

The cream keeps for about one week.

Filling

1. Blend cashew cream, banana, cacao powder and strawberry.

2. Spoon into flan tins.

3. Top with strawberries and a leaf of the chocolate mint or regular mint.

4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours and enjoy.

 

 

 



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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 7

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on February 9, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  Fun In The Sack Egg and Spoon Race - Gifts for Kids

Battling the computer games..

Are you fighting the battle to seduce your kids away from technology and out into the bright sunshine of summer? Why not try introducing them to some old school favourites like the traditional Egg & Spoon Race? Fun In The Sack Egg and Spoon Race kit gives you everything you need without running the risk of broken eggs all over the back yard.



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Living a Sustainable Life - Ideas to consider, things to try - Part 4

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on February 8, 2012, 12:00 am
Living a sustainable life – ideas to consider, things to try.

What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability means meeting your current needs, instead of your current wants.

Sustainability is being conscious of not having a negative impact on the needs of future generations.

Sustainability requires us all to make more environmentally-conscious choices about the way we live. It might not be plausible for most of us to have a completely sustainable home or office or method of transportation, but sustainability is all about taking small steps towards improvement...

Make your holiday sustainable

Sustainable holidaysSustainable holidays mean less stress - look at the things that cause you to stress. Why is it stressful? Is it necessary? Can you cut back on the distance that you travel so that you don’t need to cope with jet lag or time delays? Can you catch public transport (train holidays can be fantastic!) so that you don’t have to worry about finding your way or driving in unfamiliar areas?

Sustainable holidays mean less waste: look for things that create wasted resources. What are the alternatives?

Sustainable holidays mean relaxing: you may not be able to make sweeping changes in one season. Set yourself one holiday goal and do what you can. It is a holiday after all!


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Guest Blog Post: The Benefits of Choosing Soy Candles

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness, Gifts for Women, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on February 8, 2012, 12:00 am
This Whole Family Blog
This guest blog post comes from the lovely Meagan at the This Whole Family blog. Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies- sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on Fairtrade chocolate.Pompadour Candles
Meagan says:

We love using candles to create mood in our home. We light a candle each night before saying our grace at dinner; we light one or two naturally scented candles throughout the house during the day when we’re hanging out at home; we light a candle when we’re quietly drawing and we also light a candle at storytime to create a sense of stillness, wonder and reflection. We have been long-time fans of beeswax candles, but when we are in the mood for a new scent and a bit more luxury our choice is soy candles.

Pompadour Soy Candles - eco friendly gifts for women Using soy candles instead of conventional paraffin based ones is better for you and the environment- a win-win situation. Here’s why:

* Soy wax is non-toxic and burns cleaner than paraffin, while paraffin based candles emit a petroleum exhaust leaving smokey residue on walls, ceilings, furniture and even in your lungs.

* Soy candles burn longer, slower and cooler compared to conventional candles.

* As long as the soybeans are grown sustainably, they are a renewable resource, unlike paraffin which is derived from petroleum.

* Soywax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil and is therefore naturally biodegradable.

Kindred Gifts sells a beautiful range of candles called Pompadour Soy Candles that are scented with natural essential oils and fine fragrances of frangipani and willow bark blended with jasmine, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, pettigrain, ylang ylang and mimosa. Unlike many conventional candlesPompadour handmade Soy Candles - Australian made gifts for women these are free from paraffin, palm oil, animal by-products and chemicals.

From the Kindred Gifts website: "The range draws inspiration from the legend of Madame de Pompadour - a woman who personified learning, wit and style, who embraced luxury, aesthetics and indulgence to please her soul in the same way that art, literature and music did”. This sentence alone makes me want to light a candle and get in touch with my creative side!




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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 6

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on February 2, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  

Remember, remember...

Actual by Josh Jakus - Corky Man Notice Board - Gifts for MenAnywhere past year 12, writing notes to yourself on the back of your hand becomes less and less acceptable. After all, a client of yours doesn’t need to know that you need nappies and tomatoes when you’re on your way home tonight.

So why not pin up your ‘notes to self’ instead, and introduce the Actual by Josh Jakus ‘Dusty Man’ Corkboard to your home or office? He’s cute, functional and makes it much easier than trying to decipher the notes on the back of your hand after a day of wash and wear!



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Living a Sustainable Life - Ideas to consider, things to try - Part 3

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on February 1, 2012, 12:00 am
What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability means meeting your current needs, instead of your current wants.

Sustainability is being conscious of not having a negative impact on the needs of future generations.

Sustainability requires us all to make more environmentally-conscious choices about the way we live. It might not be plausible for most of us to have a completely sustainable home or office or method of transportation, but sustainability is all about taking small steps towards improvement...

Make your office sustainable

Recycle in the Workplace
Being sustainable at work can be hard – it is all about getting your colleagues, peers and bosses on board too...How about suggesting a competition so that the staff member who implements the most successful reduce, reuse or recycle ideas wins a prize? Ask people to consider how you might all reuse materials in the workplace, persuade your boss to invest in some recycling bins or convince everyone to print double sided. Every little step is one that counts.


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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 5

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 26, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  

Man Up! Vers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or Walnut - Gifts for Men

Buying for your typical twenty-something is not easy: he manscapes, straightens his hair and cares for the environment and has a solid knowledge about what makes a good Pinot Noir.

 It’s his birthday, and you’re flummoxed as to what to get him. How about Vers Audio 1E Earphones? Stylish, suave and much far superior to their plastic counterparts, they’re designed to be noise cancelling, which is perfect for when you want to ramble about your latest shoe purchase: he can just plug in and drift off....




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Living a Sustainable Life - Ideas to consider, things to try - Part 2

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on January 25, 2012, 12:00 am
What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability means meeting your current needs, instead of your current wants.

Sustainability is being conscious of not having a negative impact on the needs of future generations.

Sustainability requires us all to make more environmentally-conscious choices about the way we live. It might not be plausible for most of us to have a completely sustainable home or office or method of transportation, but sustainability is all about taking small steps towards improvement...

Make your car/transport sustainableSustainable transport options

It is a simple proposition - walk more and drive less - which isn’t always easy to implement. But if you swap just one car journey (say that Saturday afternoon dash to the supermarket) for a walk or a bike ride instead, imagine how much fitter you’d feel and you could be comfortable in the knowledge that a little less fossil fuel was used that day, so a little more environment was cherished...



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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 4

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 19, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  

Buying for your "kooky” best friend:
Bold and Noble Type Map British Isles Print - Gifts for men
Everyone has that friend, who is a little different from the norm; who isn’t going to appreciate a gift card or a cook book for their birthday.  Ours is a Cartographer (she is map crazy!) So for her the Bold and Noble Type Map British Isles Print was a perfect combination of hobby and homely reminder. Now it takes pride of place amongst all the other standard maps!  








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Living a Sustainable Life - Ideas to consider, things to try - Part 1

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Sustainable fashion, architecture and design' on January 18, 2012, 12:00 am
What does sustainability mean?

Sustainability means meeting your current needs, instead of your current wants.

Sustainability is being conscious of not having a negative impact on the needs of future generations.

Sustainability requires us all to make more environmentally-conscious choices about the way we live. It might not be plausible for most of us to have a completely sustainable home or office or method of transportation, but sustainability is all about taking small steps towards improvement...

Make your home sustainablePower meter energy consumption

Ever wondered how much power you’re using at home? Why those electricity bills just keep on getting bigger and bigger every year? Why not invest in a Power Meter as the first step to making your home sustainable? Plug any appliance into it and it will calculate how much energy your home appliances are using. It a great way to learn about energy consumption and to reduce your families carbon footprint.



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Packing Essentials for your Summer Holidays

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 13, 2012, 12:00 am
Packing Essentials for your Summer HolidaysKindred Gifts

Whether you’re taking a much needed vacation, visiting friends and family overseas, planning a business trip or you’re a regular globe trotter, here’s a packing list featuring some amazing products found exclusively at Kindred Gifts that will help to make your trip more enjoyable, relaxed, organized and personalized.

The most crucial item for any traveller is their carry-on bag. No matter what happens to the rest of your luggage, you can rest assured knowing that you have the essentials and basics in your carry-on so that when you arrive at your destination you are feeling fresh, organized and prepared for anything.
Fleabags Original Fleabags - Pebble - Gifts for Women


The gorgeous Fleabags range of bags are stylish and very roomy. Their vegetable tanned leather handles sit comfortably and conveniently over your shoulder. The versatility and space Fleabags provide make them the perfect carry-on bag, nappy bag, beach bag or a simply stylish handbag.





When packing your carry-on make sure to include the following:


Toiletries :-Same Sky Wrap Bracelet - Purple Rain (Short) - Gifts for Women
A small comb or brush with hair ties or elastics- the Same Sky Wrap Bracelets are not only colourful and stylish bracelets or necklaces, but can also be used as beautiful hairties.



Lip balm, make-up, a small mirror and moisturizer- Purestuf Natural Skincare Men's Travel Pack Purestuf Natural Skincare Men's Travel PackPurestuf Natural Skincare Men's Travel PackWatch video Purestuf Natural Skincare Men's Travel Pack - Gifts for menPurestuf Skincare ‘s luxury Travel Packs come complete with face and eye cream, face scrub, lip balm, and soap and a shaver and shave cream for men . Choose from travel sized products tailored to men or women perfect for the travelling business man or woman. Purestuf Natural Skincare Women's Travel Pack Purestuf Natural Skincare Women's Travel PackPurestuf Natural Skincare Women's Travel PackPurestuf Natural Skincare Women's Travel PackWatch video Purestuf Natural Skincare Women's Travel Pack - Gifts for Women





Deodorant
Toothbrush, toothpaste
Paracetamol, motion sickness tablets, vitamins and medicines

Dogeared 100 Good Wishes Beaded Gold Dipped Necklace - Gifts for Women
Other :
-
Jewelry, sunglasses and other valuables
Dogeared 100 Good Wishes necklace and the Make a Wish necklace as good pieces that go with every outfit and are good options for stylish travel.





Resource Revival Bottle Opener Key Chain - Blue - Gifts for men

Keys- the Resource Revival key chains in either blue, red, orange and silver are made from recycled bike parts and double as handy bottle openers so you can enjoy a cold drink, wherever you are.





Vers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or Walnut Vers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or WalnutVers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or WalnutVers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or WalnutVers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or WalnutWatch video Vers Audio 1E Earphones with Handsfree Function - Bamboo or Walnut - Gifts for Men
Earplugs and earphones - Vers Audio earphones - handcrafted from eco friendly bamboo and natural walnut, these earphones have a beautiful warm, clear sound and look great too.

Alchemy Goods Eastlake Laptop Bag - Grass Alchemy Goods Eastlake Laptop Bag - GrassAlchemy Goods Eastlake Laptop Bag - GrassAlchemy Goods Eastlake Laptop Bag - GrassWatch video See more video of this product Alchemy Goods Eastlake Laptop Bag - Grass - Gifts for Men
Laptop and carry-cases - Alchemy Goods laptop covers and Vers Audio iPad cases
Camera
Chewing gum or mints


321 Reusable Water Bottle Pack - Eco friendly gift


Reusable Water Bottle- the 321 Water Bottle is not only sleek looking, it has a built-in carbon filtration system ensuring your  water is fresh, clean and pure even on the go.

Inflatable travel pillow
Lexon Travel Clock - Gifts for Men

A Travel Clock- the Lexon Safe Travel Clock simple and stylish, stores away easily and uses both solar energy and AAA batteries to ensure you sleep easy knowing it will do it’s job for you.




A spare set of clothing, rolled up to minimize wrinkles and a relief knowing you have them when your flight and/or luggage is delayed

Nappy Bag :- Little Pumpkin Organics Sleepy Baby Balm - Baby Gifts
Nappies
Wipes, creams Little Pumpkin Organics range - They’re handmade in Australia from all natural ingredients and are perfect for newborn and babies soft, delicate skin.
Bottles, baby food, bibs and spoon
Depending on the length of flight up to to 3 changes of clothes per child
Fluf Organic Cotton Snack Packs, Set of 2 - Apples & Oranges - Gifts for Kids

Healthy snacks and sandwiches- Fluf carries a range of organic cotton snack packs and lunch bags that are perfect for the plane and day trips
Fluf Organic Cotton Lunch Bag - I Heart You! - Gifts for Kids
Don’t forget to pack a few other essentials that suit your particular travelling needs upon arrival:Yoga Paws Original Mini Travel Yoga Mats

Yoga junkies will love Yoga Paws- the yoga mat you can wear. Pack minimally. With sweat absorbent lining these 'paws' (gloves for your feet and hands) replace the need for a yoga mat and prevent slipping when your hands and feet get sweaty.



Handpresso Wild Domepod Portable Espresso Maker for Ground Coffee - Black - Gifts for Men
Coffee Addicts will never have to experience a withdrawal if they pack their Handpresso Espresso Maker: a truly portable espresso machine that uses no electricity. The Handpresso Outdoor Travel Set includes everything you need to take your espresso on the road - the machine, cups and napkins.
Handpresso Wild Outdoor Espresso Maker Travel Set for E.S.E Pods - Black - Gifts for Men

Alternatively, for those who are happier exploring local cafes, don’t forget to pack a reusable coffee cup, like the Hookturn BYO Cup so you can look stylish, enjoy a coffee on the go and feel good about reducing paper waste.
HookTurn - BYO Reusable Coffee Cup - Red Cup/Black Lid HookTurn - BYO Reusable Coffee Cup - Corporate Gift Idea
Fluf Little One Reversible Handbag - Landscape - Gifts for Women
For those who are planning a beach holiday, the Fluf Little One Reversible Handbags and Dogeared’s ‘Life’s a Beach’ tote bag are both great beach bags that have lots of room for towels, sunglasses, suncream, drinks, a good book and anything else you might need to enjoy a day in the sun.





Actual by Josh Jakus (FUZ) - Um Tote Handbag Actual by Josh Jakus (FUZ) - Um Tote HandbagActual by Josh Jakus (FUZ) - Um Tote HandbagActual by Josh Jakus (FUZ) - Um Tote HandbagActual by Josh Jakus (FUZ) - Um Tote HandbagWatch video Actual by Josh Jakus (FUZ) - Um Tote Handbag - Gifts for Women

For a day of shopping or a night out on the town, the simple yet funky Fuz Um Tote Handbag can unzip completely to lay flat, which makes it most convenient for travelling.





Finally, make sure to label all of your bags with Dynomighty Luggage Tags made from a super strong microfibre called Tyvek. The two unique design styles Airmail and Fragile will help make your bags stand out and protect them from mistaken identity.
Dynomighty Luggage Tags - Airmail - Gift Ideas       Dynomighty Luggage Tags - Fragile - Gift Ideas

Kindred Gifts offers a huge range of quality products that enable you to travel in style and comfort, while minimizing your eco footprint. There are so many wonderful gifts to choose from, perfect for avid travellers, businessmen and women, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and anyone in between.


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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift part 3

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 12, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  

The Letter:Isak Apple Econotes Notecard Set - Green Gifts

When was the last time you wrote a letter? No, not an email.  Or a customer-feedback survey or a Facebook post.  A real letter. Our bet is that you can’t remember!

Well Isak are looking to revive this great art form with their Isak Apple EcoNotes Notecard Set. These quirky and beautiful handmade cards are just big enough for you to tell someone about your day without boring the pants of them with an encyclopaedic essay!





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Simple Steps to Help the Environment – 4 tips that ANYONE can implement! - Part 4

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 11, 2012, 12:00 am
Little steps go a long way in helping the environment. Here at Kindred Gifts we have done a little research and have put together the following steps we can instigate at home in an effort to be a little greener on a daily basis, without too much time or hassle...

Brushing your teeth without running water...an oldy but a goody!

Brush your teeth environmentally friendly
You've heard this one before, but so many people still leave the tap running when they’re brushing their teeth – wasting gallons of water each day! Just by turning the tap off while you brush those pearly whites, you will be reducing your water bill and saving on the wastage – another double bonus!


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Activities for the School Holidays

Posted in 'Baby Gifts and Gifts for Kids, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 11, 2012, 12:00 am

Make this year’s school holidays memorable whether you’re enjoying nature in the great outdoors, exploring your city or cozying up for a rainy day at home.

The School Holiday Directory is the perfect place to start your search for activities, facilities and events that are happening in your city and neighbourhood. Simply visit the site, choose the type of activity you’d like to experience and enter in your state. This is your A-Z guide of what’s on and where throughout the country. Another wonderful online resource is Kidspot- here you can search for local events and a huge range of interesting and fun activities you can enjoy at home and out and about.

Some other fun school holiday activity ideas include:

* Visiting your local zoo, aquarium or animal sanctuary to learn about and see wild animals and their natural habitats.

* Playing beach family volleyball; heading to the tennis courts; to the beach for a surf or hitting some local biketrails. Compendium Keepsake Journal - My Writing - Gifts for Kids

* Painting, drawing, modelling and crafting are always a huge hit with children of all ages. Make your own playdough, get out the kid’s easels, make a sock puppet or for the more serious art lovers head to the park and challenge them to write short nature poems or to sketch their surroundings in the Compendium ‘My Writing’ or ‘My Artwork’ journals.


Fun In The Sack 4-In-1 Game Pack - Gifts for Kids

* Enjoy a day outdoors by taking a road trip, going to the beach or driving to the closest state park. All you need to pack is a simple picnic lunch and for some good old fashioned fun, anything from the popular Fun in the Sack range like the Egg and Spoon Race, Ring Toss or Three-Legged-Race. The 4-In-1 Sack Pack includes all three games plus sacks for sack races. What fun!



On rainy days head to the local library to read some books or to the museum to gaze in Makedo Find And Make Robot - a design and craft kit for kids - Gifts for Kidswonder at dinosaur bones. If you’re enjoying a leisurely day at home and would like a bit of time to yourself the Makedo Make Your Own Kits keep older children entertained for hours and inspire imagination and creativity. Choose from making your own dollhouse, robot, car, cup critters, flowers, playhouse or make your own invention.
Makedo Find And Make Dollhouse - a design and craft kit for kids Makedo Find And Make Dollhouse - a design and craft kit for kidsMakedo Find And Make Dollhouse - a design and craft kit for kidsMakedo Find And Make Dollhouse - a design and craft kit for kidsWatch video See more video of this product Makedo Find And Make Dollhouse - Gifts for Kids

Alternatively the Tiger Tribe Boxsets are a unique gift for younger children that encourageTiger Tribe Wooden Portable Play Boxset - Beach Villa - Gifts for Kids creativity and also give you a little peace and quiet. Choose from the Beach Villa; Airport, Car, Train and Dollhouse Boxsets to suit your 3-6 year-olds unique preferences. Each is portable, practical, stylish and and guaranteed to occupy your little one with hours of quiet fun and imaginative play.

Echidna Kidz Dreamtime Memory Cards - Gifts for Kids


Echidna Kidz Memory Cards keep little minds focused, hands busy and improve concentration. They come in beautiful Australian themes: Dreamtime, Birds and Australian Mammals. A perfect family game to bring out this Australia Day. 


The Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - Nature The Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - NatureThe Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - NatureThe Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - NatureThe Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - NatureThe Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - NatureWatch video The Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - Nature - Gifts for Kids


Family game nights are back in style, lots of fun, educational and a great alternative to turning on the TV, especially when bedtimes are a bit later than usual. BrainBox games by the Green Board Game Company are fast and fun memory games that don’t require any pens, pencils, paper, a playing board or even a table! Play them around the dinner table, lounging in the backyard or in The Green Board Game Company Brain Box Memory Recall Game - The World - Gifts for Kidsthe car to pass the time on roadtrips. They come in a huge variety of themes, including, The World, Nature, Australia, World History, Maths for older children and ABCs and My First Brainbox for children as young as 4. 




Enjoy the school holidays this year! There are tons of activities, events and games to choose from ensuring that the words "I’m bored!” will never again be heard from your children’s mouths.




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Go Green in 2012 : EcoMilf's Meagan Genovese Shares How to Remember your Re-usable Eco Accessories Every Day

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 10, 2012, 12:00 am
We asked wonderful EcoMILF founder and blogger Meagan Genovese to share her wisdom on remembering how you can use your re-usable Eco Accessories everyday.

ecoMILF - Mother Into Living Fair - Meagan Genovese
Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies- sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on Fairtrade chocolate.



Perhaps you’ve had great green intentions in the past. You’ve resolved to remember your Green shopping bags - eco friendlygreen bags when you go to the shops and your water bottle when you’re heading out the door. But sometimes life throws you a surprise farmer’s market, a spontaneous trip to the beach, or a coffee you just weren’t planning. Follow these little tips and you’ll never be without your beloved eco accessories.

Green Bags
Everyone has big bulky green bags purchased from the supermarket. Store a bunch of these in the back of your car and keep them there. Don’t have an alternative spot for them in your house, so that when they’re unloaded they must be put back into the boot.

Baggu Bags - Gifts for Women
Keep 2-3 small bags that fold, zip or scrunch up into themselves neatly tucked away in your purse or handbag, the nappy bag and the bottom of the pram. That way, if you’re inspired to do a last minute shop you’ll have a few reusable bags on hand whether on foot or on the road and you won’t have to feel guilty at the check-out. Baggu Bags fold up into their own little pouch and come in two beautifully striking colours.



Re-usable coffee cups

Again, I have a couple of these available in case I forget one somewhere. Keep one at Hookturn BYO reusable coffee cups - Corporate Giftshome, cleaned and close to the front door by the keys so you can grab it when you walk out the door. Alternatively, keep one on your desk at work if you buy your coffee mid-morning. If you want to be really prepared, keep a third in the car for an unplanned emergency caffeine fix. The key here is never to stash it away in your kitchen cupboards. When it’s clean, put it back at it’s station ready to be picked up and used again. Don't have a reusable coffee cup yet? Try Hookturn BYO Reusable Coffee Cups. They're made from BPA-free silicone and come in all sorts of funky colours.

Re-usable Water Bottle
321 Water - Reusable Water Bottle - Eco-friendly giftsFor me, leaving the house without a water bottle can feel like leaving without an essential item of clothing on! We have a small collection of stainless steel bottles of varying sizes in our home, which ensures there’s always one kicking around to fill up and throw in my handbag or nappy bag. If you have a small cupboard, mantle or cabinet somewhere near the front door, consider storing your clean reusable water bottles in here for convenience. I’m drooling over the gorgeous 321 Water Bottle with a built-in carbon filter so that you can stay healthy and hydrated no matter where you are.

When I am running out the door I usually do a mental check and visual sweep before shutting the door that goes something like this: lights out, stove and oven off, hats, sunscreen, nappies, wipes, water, snacks, bag, wallet, phone, keys! Get into the habit of checking your eco-accessories off the list in your head before you leave the house.

Other Eco-Accessories to store in your handbag, backpack, office desk and/or car :-
There are many other instances where reusable containers and accessories can be used instead of disposable plastic or paper. If you’re motivated to make a few more changes add these to your handbag when you head out the door:
- reusable produce bags
- a fork, spoon and knife
- cloth napkins (see Manor12 napkins)
- vintage hankies
-reusable or recycled take-away containers
- reusable snack packs and sandwich wraps (see the Fluf range for very cute snack packs and lunch bags)
- cloth nappies
- cloth wipes
- glass or stainless steel straws
- stainless steel malt cup for smoothies and/or shakes

You don’t have to be an eco-saint to make a difference. Choose one or two reusable items you intend to use over the next year and make a concerted effort to have them available when you need them. It will only take a few weeks for the effort to transform into habit and soon bringing and using your reusable eco accessories will become second nature.




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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 2

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women' on January 5, 2012, 12:00 am
Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.  

The "I’m sorry" gift :

Dogeared Pearls of Friendship Necklace - Gifts for womenEver had a stupid argument with your best friend? Or called your mum something that you have regretted for weeks afterwards?

Moments like this are the perfect opportunity to give a little I’m sorry gift that lets them know you really do mean it when you apologise. But that's no reason for sorry gifts to be sombre – what about something that makes them smile like the Dogeared Pearls of Friendship Sterling Silver Reminder Necklace?







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Simple Steps to Help the Environment – 4 tips that ANYONE can implement! - Part 3

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 4, 2012, 12:00 am
Little steps go a long way in helping the environment. Here at Kindred Gifts we have done a little research and have put together the following steps we can instigate at home in an effort to be a little greener on a daily basis, without too much time or hassle...

Cruise Control – good for you and the environment

Cruise Control Save the Environment
Next time you go out in the car, put those extra buttons you paid for to work! When using cruise control your vehicle can get 15% better mileage, on average, than when you’re driving it. Considering today's fuel prices, this is a benefit to your wallet as well as to the environment!



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Gift Giving - Choosing the right gift - part 1

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women' on December 29, 2011, 12:00 am

Gift Giving
We all have our own reasons for giving gifts but regardless of the occasion, the intention is the same: that small smile as the wrapping comes away and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone feel that little bit special.

Now, with www.kindredgifts.com.au that gift can bring smiles all round, as you shop from a range of gifts which are all helping to support the environment, and the people and animals in it.

Effort:Handpresso Wild Outdoor Espresso Maker Travel Set - Gifts for men

Finding a gift for someone which reflects what they mean to you far outshines how expensive (or inexpensive !) it was: in this coffee crazy era, the Handpresso Wild Outdoor Espresso Maker Travel Set is perfect for those caffeine crazy buddies we have who live in tiny city apartments and don’t have the space for a regular sized coffee machine.





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Simple Steps to Help the Environment – 4 tips that ANYONE can implement! - Part 2

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on December 28, 2011, 12:00 am
Little steps go a long way in helping the environment. Here at Kindred Gifts we have done a little research and have put together the following steps we can instigate at home in an effort to be a little greener on a daily basis, without too much time or hassle...

Stop paper bank statementsReduce Greehouse Gas

By stopping paper statements from banks or building societies you’re doing two things – protecting yourself from all the fraudsters and thieves that root around people’s rubbish trying to steal their identity AND saving millions of trees every year, preventing billions of tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being produced in the manufacturing process, AND cutting down on your household’s solid waste – brilliant!




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Getting organised for the New Year ahead!

Posted in 'Gifts for Men, Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Gifts for Women' on December 26, 2011, 12:00 am
Have you thought about the New Year yet? And getting organised in your business and life for the year ahead? A little organisation now can cause a lot less stress as we step into 2012!

All it takes is some planning and thinking ahead of the things (products, apps and tips) to help you avoid stressful times by being a bit more "on top of things” from the start!

We live in such a technological age. These days it seems everyone has a smartphone! So let’s look at a few apps to help you be a bit more organised in the New Year.

Evernote

Evernote app
How many of us have To-Do lists? Sometimes we just scribble things on a piece of paper as we think of them and hope we can find that piece of paper later when we want to remember what we wanted to do. Sound confusing.

Evernote is a great app that allows you to leave yourself notes in three ways -  Text, Picture, or Audio to remind you where, how and what you decided was worth remembering. Yes, it’s really an extension of your brain on your phone for everything that happens in your life! AND the bonus is you can have it synch to your computer as well!! And now with icloud, you can synch it up to the cloud as well!



Dropbox


Dropbox is so simple and so efficient as a business organisational tool or a personal tool. Dropbox appIt’s a free service that allows you to upload documents, photos and videos anywhere.  After you install dropbox, any file you save to dropbox , even if you’re out and about with your laptop, ipad or smartphone,  is automatically synched to all your other devices that you install dropbox on - AND you can give access to other people to view your files. So easy to share with your friends, family and business colleagues.

It’s as simple as signing up, and being given a "virtual box” to drop everything into for easy storage and sharing.  This way you will always have your "stuff” with you and be super organised with files, photos and documents.

BillMinder for iPhone

Billminder for iPhoneThis app is a favourite by the Apple staff.

This great app means you never have to pay another late fee.

Imagine all your bills in one manageable place so you’ll be able to see at a glance which bills are due for payment. You can also track your other expenses, synch between your different devices, see charts and reports, and of course be reminded when your bills are due!

Gift Plan

Are you the person who forgets birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions year afterGift Plan app year?  Then Gift Plan is the perfect app for you. 

Gift plan features chronological filtering of upcoming special occasions so you can never forget again! Import birthday lists from your contacts and facebook contacts, upload the person’s photo, colour coded occasion types, shopping list with support for prices, all in a calendar view and with notifications leading up to the occasions and another reminder on the day.

Now, wouldn’t that be nice? No more forgotten special occasions, PLUS with Gift Plan you can list people’s tastes, gift ideas and sizes for future reference!

Some Kindred Gifts' suggestions to help you be more organised in 2012

2012 OTi organiser

OTi Organiser - Gifts for WomenThe "On to It” (OTi) Organiser is a  stylish and practical organiser to help you better manage your busy life, streamline your day-to-day activities and have more control in your life. It’s a fresh and sophisticated way to de-clutter your life and plan your day.

It’s a total all-in-one organiser with a diary, to do list, shopping pad and much more and fits comfortably into your handbag. 

Available in three delicious and stylish colours, we love the OTi organiser as it makes life easier, looks good, is kind to the environment AND part of the proceeds go to charity... really, does anymore need to be said? 


2012 People & Planet diary and calendar
People & Planet Diary - Eco friendly gifts

This unique diary and calendar feature beautiful and extraordinary images of people and places around the world, selected from over 4,000 entries across 84 countries.  The images are all accompanied by a unique short story about one of the planet’s social or environmental challenges.

People & Planet Calendar - Eco friendly giftsThe diary and calendars are printed on a mix of recycled and plantation paper. The calendar includes 12 striking and inspiring large-sized images of people and places around the world and each facing page covers one month, from January to December 2012.

We love that the The People & Planet Diary and Calendar are published by a partnership of 49 not-for-profit, Australian social justice and environment organisations, and raise funds for the work of these organisations in promoting a just, sustainable world.

2012 Bold & Noble wall calendars
Bold & Noble 2012 Wall Calendars - Geometric or Doodle patterns
Perfect for your work space, home office or living room, these eye catching wall calendars make a unique statement of their own. Available in Sheer Slate or Duck Egg Blue colour options, this wall calendar adds a touch of style and design.
These Bold & Noble wall calendars make a very impressive, stylish and thoughtful gift.

Thabto "Buckle Up” key holder

Thabto Buckle Up Key Holder - Gifts for MenDoesn’t it always happen? Someone in the household loses their keys and the morning rush is compounded by the frantic search for those important keys. That can be somewhat frustrating to say the least, and not a fun way to start the morning!

Well now, with the Thabto "Buckle Up” key holder, they can be safely "buckled up”, which means no more running round in the morning looking for them!

Made from reconditioned and discontinued car seat belt buckles, this wonderfully perfect green gift idea is a must for anyone who always finds themselves misplacing their keys.
It’s as easy as mounting to a wall for instant easy location of your keys!

We love it because it’s fun, it means old and discontinued products don’t end up as landfill, and it’s so creative and innovative.  




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Simple Steps to Help the Environment – 4 tips that ANYONE can implement! - Part 1

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on December 21, 2011, 10:39 am
Little steps go a long way in helping the environment. Here at Kindred Gifts we have done a little research and have put together the following steps we can instigate at home in an effort to be a little greener on a daily basis, without too much time or hassle...

Christmas doesn’t have to mean mass waste!

Eco friendly green gift wrapping
Being creative with your wrapping doesn’t just mean reusing gift bags, bows and event paper, why not tailor the wrapping to reflect the receiver? Old maps for a keen walker; coloured cloth for your "crafty-friend”; or a celebrity magazine page for your Kim Kardashian obsessed sister? Get the kids involved by giving them paper bags and glitter, glue, stamps or markers to go wild with.




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The Sustainable Table: EcoMilf's Meagan Genovese Shares A Healthy, Mouth Watering Breakfast Recipe

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on December 18, 2011, 8:57 pm
We asked wonderful EcoMILF founder and blogger Meagan Genovese to share her wisdom on running a green household, and will be featuring a series of blogs with her handy tips and ideas over the next few months. 

Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies- sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on Fairtrade chocolate.The Sustainable Table cookbook - recipes from Victorian sustainable producers and chefs

Today Meagan shares a mouth watering brunch recipe:
The Sustainable Table is a collection of recipes and stories from 
notable chefs, farmers, producers, winemakers, gardeners and everyday people who are reducing their impact on the environment by altering their food choices. These inspiring people eat seasonally, shop locally, buy organic, reduce food waste, purchase ethically and make backyards and public spaces productive. This book was gifted to me by a dear friend and remains one of my favourite when looking for simple yet satisfying home cooked meal ideas.

With two kids under 3 at home, full-time, a quiet moment to myself is A healthy breakfast recipe from The Sustainable Tablehard to find. But that is just what I had when I cooked this simple, elegant and sustainable brunch for 
myself before sitting down at the computer to get a bit of work done. I think this would also be a classy breakfast to serve to house guests over the holidays.

From The Sustainable Table
Asparagus with Boiled Egg and Toasted Crumbles (adapted for one)
by contributor Annie Smithers' Bistrot. Kyneton

***
Ingredients
asparagus
egg
breadcrumbs
chevril, chives, parsley
ghee or butter
sea salt










Directions

Trim ends of asparagus
Heat butter in a pan and toss breadcrumbs in in until golden
Mix herbs into breadcrumbs and set aside
Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil and a smaller saucepan for the eggs
Cook asparagus until al dente (3-5 minutes)
Soft boil the eggs for 2-4 minutes

Serve on a warm plate

***
You can buy The Sustainable Table from Kindred Gifts- the perfect gift for conscious consumers, foodies and those who enjoy a delicious, simple and sustainable home-cooked meal.

  





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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 8

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on December 10, 2011, 9:28 am

Can’t decide what to buy?

Kindred Gift’s "Buy Once, Give Twice” philosophy means that their gift cards aren’t just contributing to some corporate fat-cat’s private island fund.  Instead, they’ve adopted a whole new way of doing business and buying from them means that you’re being eco friendly, buying handmade goodness or contributing to fair trade initiatives and charitable causes. Kindred Gift Cards

On top of that, Kindred Gifts also donate 2% of their revenue to charities, so if you can’t decide on one thing in their fantastic range then why not buy a pretty little gift card and let the person you’re buying for decide?




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Guest Blog Post - Catherine McCord Gives Us 4 Summer Recipes for a Cool Summer Down Under

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on November 29, 2011, 7:00 pm
Guest Blog Post - 4 Summer Recipes For a Cool Summer Down Under
Catherine McCord from Weelicious.com shares 4 Summer Recipes for Families
Catherine McCord is a Mum and model who now channels her biggest passion - cooking easy, healthy food - into a popular website for parents, www.weelicious.com. Since it launched in October 2007, Catherine’s website, Weelicious.com, has been changing the family kitchen dynamic – parents are being more conscious of what they feed their families and by involving kids at an early age, Weelicious is getting youngsters excited about eating nutritional food.  Catherine posts a new recipe or tip daily as well as how-to cooking videos every Friday. She doesn't promote "tricking" kids into eating healthy food, so no sneaking pureed veggies into the usual kid-fare like mac and cheese. Her philosophy is to be honest, while including and engaging kids in the kitchen.

Catherine generously provided us with 4 fantastic (yet healthy) recipes that everyone will love.

Catherine says:


1) My inspirations for weelicious recipes come from a lot of different places. For some, they’re simply based on a food I see at our farmers’ market, for others it can be a dish I love from a restaurant or a food memory I had as a kid that I now find myself craving (and possibly want to make a bit healthier). In the case of this Summer Fruit Gazpacho, my muses were the mint growing wild in our garden and all of the naturally sweet fruits sitting on our kitchen counter that I was afraid would spoil. Traditional gazpacho is a cold soup made with tomatoes and other vegetables. This version is completely different, but I wanted to call it a gazpacho because I love the idea of a cold soup during these hot summer months and truthfully…I just dig the word "gazpacho”!
Summer Fruit Gazpacho recipe - healthy eating for kids and the whole family

Summer Fruit Gazpacho (Serves 4)
6 Cups Cantaloupe, peeled & seeded, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp Fresh Mint, chiffonade
1 Cup Strawberries, stemmed & quartered
1 Peach, seeded & diced
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Yogurt
1 Tbsp Honey

1. Place cantaloupe chunks into a food processor and puree.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the mint, strawberries, peach, and blueberries.
3. In a separate small bowl, combine the yogurt and honey.
4. Evenly divide the cantaloupe puree into small bowls, top with mixed fruit and add a dollop of the honey yogurt sauce on top.
5. Serve.
* If you want to make this dish vegan, replace the yogurt and honey with soy yogurt and agave

2) Many nights, I serve sliced cucumbers and cubes of avocado as individual side dishes at dinner, so I thought, why not mix them together, add a few fresh herbs and turn them into a bright salsa! It’s a cool, refreshing side dish that you can also serve alongside chips or even on top of fish or chicken on those warm nights when you want something nutritious and light but that also takes little time or effort to prepare.
Cucumber Avocado Salsa - healthy summer recipe from Weelicious.com

Cucumber Avocado Salsa (serves 4)
1 Large Cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 Avocados, peeled, pitted, & cubed
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

1. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and combine.
2. Serve.

3) With all the fun things my kids have going on during the summer, the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. So, on Sundays I grill a few pieces of chicken and several ears of corn to keep in the fridge and turn into different meals over the next few days. Since my kids love chicken and corn and quesadillas, this unbelievably delicious and simple to prepare dish couldn’t make them any happier. With just a few additional ingredients to make it even more of a complete meal, this is a great recipe to keep in your file when you want to make the most out of the leftovers in your fridge!
Grilled chicken and corn quesadilla recipe - easy, healthy, quick recipe for the family

Grilled Chicken & Corn Quesadilla (Serves 6)
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Lb Chicken Breast, boneless & skinless
2 Ears Fresh Corn
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Green Onions, sliced
1 1/2 Cups Jack Cheese, grated
6 Flour Tortillas

1. Preheat grill.
2. Season chicken breasts with 1 tsp of salt, brush grill with oil and grill corn and chicken breasts for a total of 8 minutes until juicy and cooked through.
3. Allow chicken and corn to cool, then remove the kernels from the corn and dice the chicken into small cubes.
4. Place the chicken and corn into a bowl along with the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
5. Lower the heat on your grill and place a 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture onto one side of the tortilla and fold over.
6. Grill the stuffed tortilla for 2 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn the tortilla.
7. Continue to make the remaining quesadillas.
8. Slice into triangles and serve.

4) Especially when it gets hot, I like to take really ripe fruit and make popsicles. Between the luscious strawberries and succulent peaches available at this time of year, you probably only need a dash of honey to brighten the flavor of these pops. Why spend a bunch of money on packaged icy poles made with artificial coloring and all sorts of additives when you and your kids can make these super easy, truly all-natural, refreshing pops that are the perfect treat on a warm summer’s day!
Peach and strawberry icy poles - healthy desserts and treats for kids and the whole family

Peach & Strawberry Popsicles (Makes 6 Popsicles)
2 Ripe Peaches, pitted
1 Cup Strawberries, stems removed
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Cup Milk (any variety works)
1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree.
2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 3 hours.
3. Serve.


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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 7

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 26, 2011, 11:35 am

Battling the computer games..Fun in the Sack 'Egg & Spoon Race' - great gift for kids

Are you fighting the battle to seduce your kids away from technology and out into the bright sunshine of summer? Why not try introducing them to some old school favourites like the traditional Egg & Spoon Race?

The Fun In The Sack Egg and Spoon Race kit gives you everything you need without running the risk of broken eggs all over the back yard. It keeps the kids outside in the fresh air, moving, having fun, and staying away from nasty, chemical laden plastic toys at the same time! 

 


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Guest Blog Post - Kati Williams from One Bottle Talks the Benefits of Reusable Water Bottles

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 26, 2011, 11:13 am
Kati Williams from One Bottle Talks the Benefits of Reusable Water Bottles
One Bottle water bottle founders Rory and Kati
Thousands of plastic water bottles are wasted daily which is why we like to offer alternative, stylish, reusable water bottles. We proudly added a great Australian brand to our range recently. One Bottle, designed on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland by Kati Williams and Rory Morgan, offers fun, colourful designs that are sure to draw attention. We asked co-founder Kati to share some background on their business and the benefits of using reusable stainless steel water bottles.

Kati:

We started our stainless steel water bottle business in early 2010 and I, subconsciously, became a huge advocate for all sorts of reusable products.

I was always somewhat aware of sustainability issues. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community that was very pro-organic and eco conscientious, which made being ecologically responsible seem like a no brainer to me. Believe it or not, at my high school it was actually cool to have a reusable, BPA-free water bottle.

In August of 2010, we began selling our stainless steel bottles and believe me - my serious research was about to pay off. It marked the beginning of me being questioned why stainless steel? Why reusable?
So, why should people choose reusable water bottles over plastic ones?

One Bottle stainless steel, reusable water bottlesWell, there are lots of reasons. In Australia, we are fortunate enough to have widespread (and free) access to clean drinking water. The mark up on single-use bottled water is huge; sometimes people end up spending $20 a week on water without even realising it. Plastic water bottles are not designed to be re-used and over time the plastic breaks down and starts to leach into the water.
Stainless steel is great because it doesn’t hold onto bacteria and is very durable. It’s also easy to clean and doesn’t rust —making it ideal for a water bottle.One Bottle 'Umbrella' stainless steel, reusable water bottle

We’ve also designed our bottles so they are fresh and (hopefully) exciting. We often have people buy our bottles purely because of the designs, or because they feel like they are spending way too much money on water all the time. I think sometimes they don’t even notice they are taking a small step in living more sustainably.


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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 6

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 20, 2011, 10:53 am

Ever dragged a surly child around the supermarket?Kids learning to shop sustainably

It’s difficult to motivate kids to enjoy the weekly food shop, but the "sustainability challenge” is sure to boost their interest.  Each child gets a list of the items you need at home and it’s their challenge is to find the most environmentally friendly products.  It could be the "greenest” washing up liquid or the loo roll with the highest recycled paper content.  Getting them involved and making the trip more entertaining for them will teach them and save you the chore of doing it all yourself!




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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 6

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 10, 2011, 6:37 pm

Remember, remember...Dusty Boy & Dusty Girl chalkboards by Actual - Josh Jakus

Anywhere past year 12, writing notes to yourself on the back of your hand becomes less and less acceptable. After all, a client of yours doesn’t need to know that you need nappies and tomatoes when you’re on your way home tonight.

So why not invest in the Fuz by Josh Jakus - Dusty Woman Chalkboard, $39.95? It’s cute, functional and much easier than trying to decipher the notes on the back of your hand after a day of wash and wear!



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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 5

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 4, 2011, 5:31 pm

Man Up!

Buying for your typical twentysomething is not easy: he manscapes, Vers Audio 1E Earphones - Bamboo & Walnut; perfect gifts for menstraightens his hair and cares for the environment and has a solid knowledge about what makes a good Pinot Noir.

 It’s his birthday, and you’re flummoxed as to what to get him. How about Vers Audio 1E Earphones?  Stylish, suave and much far superior to their plastic counterparts, they’re designed to be noise cancelling, which is perfect for when you want to ramble about your latest shoe purchase: he can just plug in and drift off....


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Guest Blog: EcoMilf's Meagan Genovese Shares Eco Friendly Tips For Packing a Waste-Free Lunch

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 2, 2011, 2:03 pm

We asked wonderful EcoMILF founder and blogger Meagan Genovese to share her wisdom onwww.ecoMILF.comrunning a green household, and will be featuring a series of blogs with her handy tips and ideas over the next few months.

Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies- sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on fairtrade chocolate. 

Today Meagan shares: Tips for Packing a Waste-Free Lunch

 

Thankfully, "waste-free lunch days” are becoming more and more prevalent in schools and workplaces, although at first the task can seem a bit daunting. But, with a bit of planning and the right tools and ingredients, packing a waste free lunch can become a part of your daily rhythm. 

Here are some tips to get your started:

 

SandwichesMeagan from EcoMilf - sliced vegies and handmade sandwiches - tips for a waste-free lunch

Sandwich wraps can be made easily with just a few supplies. If you’re brave enough, try this tutorial. Otherwise you can always purchase them to be used over and over again. If you’re worried your sandwich might get soggy and you think your child will be up for making their own, pack the sliced tomato and any dressings in a little container for them to put together at lunchtime. 

 

Left-overs

Left-over soups and stews can be reheated in the morning and put into a thermos with a lid that also acts as a bowl. If you’re doing this for a small child make sure the soup isn’t too hot when you put it in. A thermos can hold heat very well and the soup will come out steaming even hours later. Don’t forget to pack a spoon!

 Meagan from EcoMilf

Salads

Pasta salads, green salads, quinoa salads and alike can be put in a container with loads of veggies, cubed cheese or chopped egg. Store the dressing on the side. We love re-using mini vegemite containers for dressings and sauces because they don’t leak.

 

DrinksOne Bottle Reusable Water Bottles - gifts for kids; gifts for women and men

Our stainless steel water bottles go with us everywhere. Kindred Gifts carries gorgeous styles by One Bottle to choose from. If you want to pack some tea or a warm broth on a cold day warm it up in the morning and pour it into a thermos to enjoy later.

 

Snacks

A lot of waste in lunches can come from pre-packaged snacks. These are easy to imitate and much more healthy when you are selecting the ingredients yourself:

 

Whole bananas, apples, pears and mandarins make for excellent finger food. For a special treat cut some fruit up and put it in a container with a bit of orange or apple juice for homemade fruit salad.

 

Sliced veggies, pita and crackers all go nicely with homemade hummus, cream cheese or baba ganoush. Use a small vegemite jar or a small BPA-free plastic container to store dips in. 

Fluf Organic Cotton Snack Packs - eco friendly gifts for kids 

Hard boiled eggs are a regular packed snack in our household: full of protein, delicious and completely waste-free. You can choose to remove the shell at home or out and about. Just depending on who it is who will be doing the peeling. 

 

Cheese blocks can be cut into cubes or sticks and kept in a small container. 

 

You can make your own ‘snack bag’ or buy fun ready-made options, like these Fluf organic cotton Snack Packs (above) to put cookies, squares, biscuits, popcorn, sultanas, or dried fruit in. 

 

Napkins and Cutlery

Manor12 hemp & organic cotton napkins - handmade and eco friendly gifts for women

 

Cloth napkins made from natural materials like organic cotton, hemp or bamboo fabrics are readily available online or in stores, or if you’re feeling creative you can make your own napkins and placemats easily.

 

 

A Lunchbag

Finally, no waste-free lunch would be complete without a lunchbag to carry it in.

Fluf Organic Cotton Lunch Bags - gifts for kids; gifts for men and women

The Fluf Organic Cotton Lunchbags are adorable and come in a huge range of designs to suit a variety of ages and personalities. 

Packing a waste-free lunch can be stress free and enjoyable. Cutting out packaging often means cutting out the preservatives, flavourings and colourings that come with it. Homemade food will always be more delicious and nutritious. And above all else, waste-free lunches make for a healthier, happier planet.


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Leftover Halloween pumpkins? No problem - make muffins!

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 1, 2011, 11:31 am

Pumpkin and Feta Savoury MuffinsMartha Goes Green - a vegetarian cookbook

Looking for a way to use up all that leftover Halloween pumpkin? How about making some healthy, vegetarian Pumpkin and Feta Savoury Muffins, as seen in fabulous handmade Australian cookbook, Martha Goes Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook?

The recipe makes 12, and contains simple ingredients that are easily found at your local shops or markets.


Martha Goes Green: Pumpkin & Feta Savoury Muffins



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Top Tips for a Green Halloween

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 30, 2011, 12:00 am

Top 5 Ways to Green Up Your Halloween

Once a Celtic celebration of the harvest and a new season, Halloween is now a lot less spiritual and a whole lot more commercial - these days it's an industry worth more than six billion dollars a year! With that kind of consumption comes a hefty carbon footprint and an environmental impact that lasts long after you've see the last of those fun-size Snickers bars.

Luckily, there are plenty of simple and cost effective ways to go greener this Halloween, without causing tantrums from the kids. To help you on your way we've compiled our list of the top 5 tips to have a more eco friendly Halloween this year, and teach the kids a thing or two while you're at it.

1. Make your own costumes for the kids out of bits and pieces you have lying around at home.

Make your own Halloween costume - eco friendly tips

With a little planning and creativity, even the least handy DIYers can put together a costume with items they have at home. Let's face it, with kids around, there are always extra odds and ends that you could make use of. Empty boxes and egg cartons; the kids' crayons and textas; old fabric remnants; pipecleaners... Be creative and avoid buying cheap plastic masks and other costume accessories because they cannot be recycled. You'll not only save money, but teach the kids a valuable lesson at the same time.

Not very crafty? What about getting together with a group of creative friends and putting your heads together to see what costume ideas you can create? Throw in a glass of wine and some tasty snacks, and we think you have a fun night (or day) ahead!

2. Green Your Treats

When the neighbourhood kids come knocking on your door for their candy stash, make sure you have more wholesome treats to offer. Try to avoid lollies full of sugar, flavours and preservative, and choose organic or natural treats when you can. Also, look for brands that donate part of their profits to environmental causes or use Fair Trade-sourced cocoa and other ingredients. Do your best to avoid individually wrapped candies, and consider making your own organic fudge, brownies or cupcakes  etc.

If you want the kids to skip the sweets altogether, try handing out small wooden toys, handmade barrettes & clips, or soy crayons. The other parents in the neighbourhood will love you for not adding to their child's sugar rollercoaster on the night too!

3. Decorate from nature - not plastic  

Eco friendly Halloween tipsSpend some qualiy time with the kids on the weekend hunting around the garden or park for fallen leaves and feathers and other natural items you can use use for decoration, rather than the standard chemical laden plastic banners and signs that just end up in landfill.

Have fun choosing a pumpkin from a Farmer's Market or organic grocer, and let them express their creativity in helping you design the perfect Jack-o-Lantern.

4. Choose a kid-friendly bag or backpack to lug around the loot

Fluf Organic Cotton Robot Backpack - eco friendly gift for kidsWhen it comes to hauling all those treasures home, reusable hemp, bamboo, organic cotton or natural canvas bags easily win over standard toxic-laden plastic for both safety and environmental reasons. Choose kid- friendly sized backpacks or totes rather than large shopping bags (less room for a truckload of lollies that way!).

5. Choose your candles carefully

The soft flickering of candles and jack-o-lanterns certainly give Halloween its spooky feel, but the paraffin in wax candles releases Pompadour eco friendly, handmade in Australia, soy candlestoxic chemicals like toluene and benzene through smoke and soot. Not to mention that the palm oil used in most traditional candles is causing massive deforestation  in many areas around the world (80% of the world's palm oil production is in Indonesia and Malaysia, where irreplaceable rainforests that are home to wildlife such as the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Borneo Orangutans, Asian Elephant and the Clouded Leopard are being destroyed).

Clean up your home and keep your lungs healthy with organic soy or beeswax candles, which last longer and don't have the same environmental costs.


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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 5

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 28, 2011, 11:09 pm

Green is a CommunityTeaching kids to garden - home grown vegies

Help make the community green by volunteering time at a community garden where your children can learn how others grow fruits and vegetables. Learning to cook the food you grow together will provide an ideal opportunity to encourage your kids to think green. You can teach them all about nutritional health, where our food comes from, and the importance of eating together as a family.


 



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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 4

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 27, 2011, 10:06 pm

Buying for your "kooky” best friend....

Everyone has that friend, who is a little different from the norm; who isn’t going to appreciate a gift card or a cookbook for their birthday.  Ours is a Cartographer (she is map crazy!) so for her the Bold and Noble Type Map British Isles Print was a perfect combination of hobby and homely reminder. Now it takes pride of place amongst all the other standard maps! 

Do you have a friend with a passion or hobby that you can buy for? Look for a gift that speaks to their interests, or that says something about who they are and what they value, and you know you'll be getting them something that really shows you care.

 




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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 4

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 21, 2011, 2:48 pm

Turn off that computer!

Childhood should mean playtime, and the most important thing you can do to teach your children about the environment from an early age is easy – just give them plenty of opportunities to play outside and switch off their computers or whichever electrical device they are currently absorbed in. Why not bond on a family bike ride out in the woods or on the seafront? Collect rocks or spot birds or sit in the shallows of the local lake and watch the fish – after all, isn’t it the simplest memories that you have with your parents that you treasure the most now you’re all grown up?

Another great idea for birthday parties or school holidays is to take the games outside. Instead of the usual fare like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, why not try getting the kids out in the fresh air and sunshine playing fun retro games like Fun In The Sack's Egg and Spoon Race or Ring Toss games? The kids will love it, and you'll love that there is a lot less mess to clean up!

  Fun In The Sack Ring Toss - eco friendly gift for kids


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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 3

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 20, 2011, 7:49 pm

The LetterIsak Happy Little Things Notecard pack - eco friendly gifts for women

When was the last time you wrote a letter? No, not an email.  Or a customer-feedback survey or a Facebook post.  A real letter. Our bet is that you can’t remember!

Well Isak are looking to revive this great art form with their Isak Happy Little Things Quicknotes Notecard Pack. These quirky and beautiful handmade cards are just big enough for you to tell someone about your day without boring the pants of them with an encyclopaedic essay!

 



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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 3

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 16, 2011, 7:25 pm

Sustainable Produce for Zero Food Miles – growing fresh veggies at home

Growing your own vegetable garden provides a great outdoor activity for your whole family and there really is nothing like the taste of home grown vegetables! Not only that, but working together on your own vegetable patch will provide your children with a chance to exercise regularly and help them to avoid the pale "all I do is sit on my computer” look that so many youngsters are suffering from these days. Add to that the fresh flavours and chemical-free benefits of home grown vegies, and you'll never want to go back to store bought produce again!

Looking for some great new recipes to use for cooking all those fresh veg? You could take a look at two of our favourite sustainable cookbooks - Martha Goes Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook, and The Sustainable Table, both produced sustainably and locally here in Australia.

Martha Goes Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook - eco friendly gift idea

     The Sustainable Table cookbook - an eco friendly gift






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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 2

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 15, 2011, 9:46 am

The "I’m sorry gift”Dogeared Pearls of Friendship - Gifts for Women

Ever had a stupid argument with your best friend? Or called your mum something that you have regretted for weeks afterwards? 

Moments like this are the perfect opportunity to give a little I’m sorry gift that lets them know you really do mean it when you apologise. But that's no reason for sorry gifts to be sombre – what about something that makes them smile like the Dogeared Pearls of Friendship Sterling Silver Reminder Necklace?





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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 7

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 8, 2011, 12:00 am

Your choices will be your kids’ choices...

If living green is important to you, then you can rest assured that your children will pick up the habit. You are, without doubt, the most influential person in their life, and chances are they will want to do what you do. The earlier you can get your children interested in sustainability then longer they will hold the lessons with them...why not get them a worm farm to help them learn? 

http://ian.umces.edu/imagelibrary/displayimage-1080.html




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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 2

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on October 7, 2011, 7:04 pm

Sustainability at Home - Part 2:

Just like love, sustainability starts at home...

Sharing ecological tasks with your kids will help them Teaching kids to recycleto understand the impact they are having on the environment, as well as bringing you all together as a family.

Look at all of the rubbish that your family throw away each day. Did you know that on average more than 400 kilograms of waste is produced by each Australian household every year? Scary, huh?

So why not build a multi-coloured recycle station in your back yard to make recycling more fun for the family? Or develop a competition between family members which rewards the use of the recycle bin? Think about ways that you can encourage the whole family to reuse and recycle all those things around the home which can quickly add up to a whole lot of landfill.

Another terrific way to encourage the kids to recycle, while also encouraging Makedo kit for 3their creativity AND keeping them busy on those rainy days, is the fantastic Makedo craft kits for kids. Starting from just $14.95, Makedo kits are about sustainability, imagination, creativity, community and play - but most of all fun! Using the materials around them, kids enjoy the open ended possibilities as their playful creativity is set free.

The Makedo founders believe that by eMakedo craft kits - upcycle, reduce, reuse, recyclencouraging people to use their imagination and see the creative possibilities in the things around them, we not only reveal a boundless source of creative play but plant the seed for a new way of seeing and thinking about this world we share. They want people to see and inject new value into things that might otherwise be regarded as waste. Their aim is to encourage people to use their imagination and see the creative possibilities in the reuse of everyday materials around them. Through this process we can begin to redefine what’s considered waste.


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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 1

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on September 30, 2011, 9:47 pm

You know the song...

 

” I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way”   

 

But how often do we really put the words in to practice? BYO Cups in new pastel colours

 

Living sustainably doesn’t have to mean huge, expensive changes –the smallest lifestyle change can make a difference and with thousands of resources available on the internet, we can all learn about the benefits of a veggie patch in your back garden or why investing in a reusable travel mug is better than using paper cups for your coffee each morning.

 

To help make it nice and simple, and ban the brain overload, we decided to put together our top 8 tips for living sustainably to help you on your way. We'll be posting one tip a week, starting with...

 

 

Tip 1:

 

Move more (or as Nike like to say, 'Just Do It'!)

 

Sustainable lifestyle changes can mean something simple – like utilising public transport. Did you know that 81% of Australians never use public transport? By minimising your car use and taking public transport, riding a bike, or walking to the shops you’re not only improving your impact on the environment but benefitting Alchemy Goods Messenger Bike Bagyour own health as well.  Don't forget the little ones either - kids love to be active and will happily jump on their bike to ride to school or meet up with their mates to walk together.

 

Do you know someone who loves their bike and regularly cycles to work, home or school? You can reward their good work (or your own) with a fabulous upcycled messenger bag or haversack from eco friendly innovators Alchemy Goods.

 

Made from recycled bicycle inner tubes Alchemy Goods Haversack Bagand car seat belts, all these bags are one-of-a-kind, practical, yet sustainably stylish beauties for keeping all those goodies in one place and safe and sound on the commute to work or school.

 

With reflective panels and plenty of storage pockets, these bags are a great option any time you're looking online for gifts for men or teenage guys. An easy choice for Christmas gifts or when you're looking for really unique birthday gifts for men, these bags are sure to make a lasting impression, and show just how thoughtful you can be!

 

Stay tuned next week for our next tip, and change your life for the better!



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20 Easy Uses For Bi-Carb Soda - the cheap and cheerful way to clean a home naturally.

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on September 1, 2011, 8:15 pm

20 Easy Uses For Bi-Carb Soda - the cheap and cheerful way to clean a home naturally.
Used by households around the world Bicarb sodafor generations, bicarbonate (or bi-carb) soda is natural, easy on the earth, and definitely easy on the pocket. An affordable cleaning solution for any home or work environment, bi-carb soda is a must have pantry staple. Throw out all those nasty, chemical laden, and expensive cleaners, and buy a big box of bi-carb for your house instead. You'll not only help the environment, but also your whole family's health, and save money at the same time!

Here are our top 20 uses for bi-carb in the home or office:

1. Unblock your kitchen sink by pouring 1 tbsp of bi-carb plus 3 tbsp of vinegar down the drain. Allwo to fizz and then pour boiling water (a full jug's worth) down the drain.

2. Pop a small container of bi-carb into the fridge to absorb strong odours.

3. Use bi-carb to remove tarnish from your silverware by applying a paste of bi-carb and water with a damp cloth and then rubbing clean.

4. Sprinkle bi-carb onto a damp cloth and then wipe over the inside of cups and mugs to remove tea or coffee stains.

5. Soften your skin by adding 1/2 cup of bi-carb to your bath.

6. Use bi-carb to clean multiple surfaces around the house. Add it to a damp cloth to remove stains from bench tops, soap scum from showers, baked on grease from ovens, and rust from sinks.

7. Soak greasy, food-caked pot and pans overnight in warm water and 2 tbsp bi-carb soda.

8. Sprinkle inside shoes to deodorise.

9. Add bi-carb to kitty litter to absorb odours.

10. Soak food and drink containers, or porous surfaces such as chopping boards, in a mixture of bicarb soda and water to remove strong food odours.

11. Sprinkle bicarb soda over the carpet to deodorise carpets. Leave for a few hours and vacuum as usual. (You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the bi-carb before sprinkling it over carpets for a fresh smell).

12. Use baking soda to relieve the itch and sting from mosquito or ant bites, or bee stings, by simply applying a paste of bi-carb soda and warm water to the affected area of skin.

13. Remove liquid stains from carpet by pouring a liberal amount of bicarb on the fresh stain and leaving to dry, before vaccuming off.

14. Add bi-carb to your wash to soften and whiten clothes. To whiten clothes add 2 teaspoons to half a bucket of cold water, soak the clothes for 30 minutes and then wash them as normal. Freshen up your laundry by adding half a cup of bi-carb to the rinse cycle of your laundry which will give your sheets and towels a nice freshness.



15. Mix three parts bicarb soda to one part water for a gentle facial scrub that won't strip oils from the skin. (You can also create an exfoliating facial scrub by adding three parts ground oatmeal to the mix).

15. Use bi-carb as a pre-soaker for soiled nappies; or to help get rid of stubborn mould, grease or oil stains. Simply dissolve 45 grams of the soda in a bucket of warm water, let the clothes soak for half an hour, then wash in hot soapy water and dry in the sun.

16. Remove the smell of baby spit or stale milk from your shirt or jacket by wiping it with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.

17. Help your children to alleviate the itchiness of chicken pox by soaking them in a bath that is filled with slightly cool water and a cup of baking soda.

18. Create your own homemade skin acne treatment by mixing a little bit of both baking soda and water to form a paste. After washing your face first, apply this natural acne cleanser as a mask to your entire face, taking care to avoid getting it in your eyes. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

19. Clean the dirt and insecticides off your store bought fruits and vegetables by washing them in a sink full of water mixed with ¼ cup of bicarb soda.

20. Use a paste made from bicarbonate of soda and water to clean walls and wallpaper of crayon and other dirty marks.





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Top Tips for an Eco Friendly Easter

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on April 19, 2011, 9:06 pm

Want to have an environmentally friendly Easter this year? Follow our tips to green up your Easter and have a guilt-free holiday!

- Buy fairtrade or organic chocolates so that you know the treats weren't made from ingredients that exploited workers or contain chemicals and toxins. Buy ethical store-made options or make your own eggs and treats using good quality, organic and fairtrade cooking chocolate.

- Want to have fun creating pretty dyed egg creations without the toxicity? Firstly, make sure you buy organic or at least free range eggs so you know the chickens that laid them were kept in cruelty free conditions. Next, use natural dyes from vegetables instead of the usual chemical laden synthetic dyes. Not only will the colours will look great, but you can also teach the kids (or yourself!) a mini science experiment as you discover what colours come from which ingredients. Suggested vegetables to use for the dyes include carrots peels (yellow colour); spinach (green); beetroot (pink); purple grape juice (soft purple); and red onion skins (red).

- Instead of a traditional Easter egg hunt which results in lots of little pieces of foiled paper floating through the yard and house, how about creating a treasure hunt style of game whereby a series of clues leads the children to one eco friendly gift option at the end? Not only will they likely consume less chocolate (always a good thing!) but they'll also have fun solving the clues and learning as they go.

- Instead of buying a traditional Easter card, why not have the kids make one themselves - it will be all the more special and eco friendly to boot. Other greener options include sending an E-card (electronic version, easily accessible online on multiple sites for free these days) or at least purchase a store bought card that is printed on recycled stock and using soy based inks (look for eco friendly logos on the back of the card).

- Hosting a dinner party or lunch time Easter feast? Create a sustainable table and you'll be well on your way to a more environmentally friendly holiday. Start by buying local, organic and free range produce and meat from farmers' markets, organic butchers or organic food stores. If you can, serve a vegetarian dinner or at least have some of the dishes meat free. Carry reusable shopping bags with you so that you forgo the need to use plastic bags; and set the table with organic napkins and table runners or tablecloths, eco friendly napkin holders and simple table decorations like soy candles, flowers picked straight from the garden, or naturally dyed hard boiled Easter eggs sitting in a cute holder.

- Give an Easter gift that is not only eco friendly, handmade, fairtrade or charitable, but also long lasting. While most people like the idea of chocolate at Easter, many will find themselves inundated with the sweet treats and really appreciate a special gift that they can use long after Easter has passed. Some fantastic Easter gift options include an organic lunch bag (like this 'Chirp' version from Fluf); some funky yet practical fridge magnets (like these Kate Grenier Designs 'Chocolate' magnets made from recycled bottle tops); a fantastic outdoor game for kids like the Fun In The Sack 'Egg & Spoon Race'; or a beautiful Noah's Ark inspired print (like this 'Ark' version from Bold & Noble). 

 

        




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Sweets for your sweet this Valentine's Day

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on February 13, 2011, 6:47 pm

Sweets for your sweet, and sugar for your honey...how to tempt their tastebuds this Valentine's Day

 

This recipe has kindly been supplied by Mrs Byrnes, CEO Kellie's mum.

(This recipe was used to make coconut ice which was placed in bowls on the tables at Kellie's wedding. Trust us - it's very tasty!).

 

Coconut Ice

Ingredients:

500g icing mixture, sifted

250g desiccated coconut

2 egg whites, slightly whipped with a pinch of salt

l teaspoon vanilla

125g copha, melted, warm not hot

Pink food colouring

 

Method:

Combine icing sugar and coconut and then add in egg whites

Mix in the melted copha

Divide into two bowls

Colour one mixture with food colouring

Press the white half into paper lined, 20cm square cake tin

Top with pink coloured mixture and press evenly

Sprinkle with extra coconut if you like

Refrigerate well before removing from tin and cutting into squares

 

Enjoy this sweet sugar fix with your loved one at anytime! Also perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Yum!

 
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Super special recipes for Australia Day! Yummo!

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on January 21, 2011, 5:35 pm

This is more than an ethical gift store, we do more than just sell gifts online! We want Kindred Gifts to be a place where you can also come and learn something, have a browse around, interact with like minded others and feel part of something that makes you feel good. With this in mind, we have persuaded our mums to unlock the vault and part with some family legacies! It took a bit of coercing but Mum's will do anything for their kids won't they, even when they have long left the nest.  So, here you go, here are some special recipes, sourced directly from our Mums. Best pavlova and best anzac biscuits ever! (Yes, we're biased, but we think you will agree).

Let us know if you like them. We will pass your comments on to our Mums. Do you have another great Australia Day recipe? Maybe a Lamington recipe? Let us know, we'd love to hear from you.
 

A recipe from Mrs Byrnes - CEO Kellie's mum!

 
Easy Peasy Pavlova
 

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

1 1/4 cups castor sugar

1 teaspoon cornflour

3 tablespoons boiling water

1 teaspoon vinegar

½ teaspoon vanilla
 

Method:

Heat oven to l90 degrees C.

Mix cornflour with sugar. Put all ingredients into mix-master bowl and mix for about l5 minutes until thick. Pile mixture in a 20cm circle (approx.) on very lightly greased foil set on a baking tray. 

Put in oven and turn down to 110 degrees C.

Leave for one hour.

If not cooked hard, turn oven to 95 deg C for a further l5 minutes.

Cool in oven.

Fill as desired with whipped cream, strawberries, passionfruit etc.

 
Kel says: I always leave a bit of room for this Pavlova at Christmas lunch. It wouldn't be Christmas without it! 
 
 
 
A recipe from Mrs Bennett - Chief of Operations Pete's mum!
 
 
Anzac Bikkies

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup coconut

1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons boiling water

½ cup melted butter (4oz)

1 tablespoon golden syrup

 

Method:

Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.

Next, melt butter and golden syrup together.

Mix bi-carb and boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup. This will fizz very quickly. Add dry ingredients quickly while it's fizzing.

Place separate tablespoons of mixture on to greased baking tray.

Bake in slow conventional oven at 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit (120–150 degrees C) for 10 to 15 minutes.
 
Check after 12 minutes that they are not burnt on the bottom.
 
 
Pete says: These are the business! They were a favourite with my friends as I was growing up. I was always partial to spreading some lemon icing on them or making an ice cream sandwich. Yum! 





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