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8 Green Christmas Home Decor Ideas

Posted on 7 December, 2017 at 21:30 Comments comments (0)

The holiday season is here again. Everyone’s busy shopping and decorating their houses with Christmas ornaments. For most of us, the bigger and more colorful decors, the merrier, right? But while it’s great to join in on the celebrations, it’s important that we should also be aware of how we spend and what we use to imbibe the holiday spirit.

Several researches have revealed that the holiday season is the most wasteful season of the year. But we can all do something to reduce waste during the holidays. Choosing green home décors can still make Christmas merry and bright! Here are some inspiring ideas worth trying:


1. Go for energy-efficient lighting

Christmas tree lights and other lighting displays definitely (and literally) make the season bright. For an environmentally-friendly option, choose LED lights and reduce the number of strings and size of the lighting display outside your house. Make sure to turn them off, too, at bedtime to save energy and money.

2. Choose handmade or homemade

Buying handmade or homemade Christmas home décor products from local artisans is a green act. Not only will you have unique décors, you’ll also save money if you support them.

3. Opt for durable ornaments

No matter your theme or motif, it’s best if you choose durable ornaments as you can use them for a longer period of time. Just make some tweaks and you’ll not only have new decors every year. You’ll also have bigger savings.

4. Recycle empty bottles and jars

Old bottles or jars make nice candle holders. Just wrap them with wrapping paper, put lace, tie a pretty ribbon, or add twines and pine cones and you’ll have attractive and eco-friendly dining table pieces or console décors.

5. Repurpose old greeting cards and boxes

If you have old greeting cards and gift boxes piling in your stock room, it’s time to take them out and turn them into something more useful this Christmas. Why not make a wreath made out of those cards or cut and design boxes that you can use as ornaments for your garland? Make this a fun and rewarding bonding activity for the whole family.

6. Decorate with fresh fruits and herbs

A home décor made from fresh fruits and herbs looks and smells amazing. Pick some plants, herbs, and flowers from your garden and arrange them into a wreath that you can hang on your front door. A garland adorned with orange slices and cinnamon dough is also an amazing idea.

7. Make a Christmas-themed bird feeder

Bird feeders are good for the environment. This holiday season, let the birds join the festivities! Hang sunflower seed bird feeders shaped as Christmas trees or stars on your window or lamp post.

8. Keep things simple

Less and simple is more and better, even during the holidays. Cluttered decorations are not attractive, so make sure you don’t overdo it. Your family, guests, and Mother Earth will thank you for keeping things simple and nice.

Enjoying the holiday celebrations while taking care of our environment is possible. Consider these green décor ideas and you’ll make your Christmas this year the most wonderful and eco-friendly time of the year.



6 Sustainable Products You Can DIY

Posted on 15 November, 2017 at 0:00 Comments comments (0)

DIY is fitting for sustainability and environmental awareness efforts. Since more people are becoming interested in going green, we are now increasingly conscious of how we can make our lifestyle more environment-friendly. Creating, modifying, repairing, and recycling things are some of the things we can do to shift to a sustainable lifestyle.

Doing DIY projects – no matter how small or big they are – is not just fun. It is also rewarding. Take a look these sustainable products that you can do on your own!


1  Skin care products

 

Minimize the toxins your skin absorbs by making your own skin care products. You can nourish your hand and body with a lotion that’s made from shea butter, essential oils, and aloe vera juice. Say goodbye to dry skin and stress by applying body butter made from coconut oil, shea butter, and magnesium to your skin.


2. Beauty items and treatments


Staying pretty while going green is easy! You can make a DIY lip gloss by combining coconut oil, a dab of your old lipstick, and beeswax. You also make your own alcohol-free hairspray using just water, sugar, and essential oils as ingredients.

 

3. Furniture and home decors


Are you looking to redesign your home the sustainable way? Upcycling or repurposing things is the way to go! You can turn empty milk cans into planters. Just paint and design them as you please. Why not make coasters out of wine bottle corks and old cds wrapped in printed fabrics or non-slip paper? If you have pieces of reclaimed wood, you can also turn them into a console, coffee table, or bench for that rustic home vibe.


4. Accessories


Accessorising using sustainable materials is an excellent idea. Gather fabric scraps, beads, and thin chains that have long been stashed in your drawer and make a ruffled fabric necklace. You can also transform your old oversized denim jeans into a unique and funky tote bag.


5. Herbal medicine


Most people who choose to have a green lifestyle also opt to stay away from pharmaceutical drugs or medicines. Instead, they turn to herbal remedies to cure illnesses or for first aid treatments.


One great example for this would be a ginger honey syrup. This easy-to-make concoction can cure cough. You can also mix extra virgin oil or coconut oil with essential oils such as eucalyptus and lavender to make a good homemade decongestant vapour rub.


6. Fertilizer


Composting is one of the best examples of green living. Do you need a fertilizer for your plants? You can turn your food scraps and other decomposed organic matter into fertilizer! Now plant those seeds and enjoy the beauty of nature in your own backyard.


The products above are only a few examples proving that sustainability and DIY go hand in hand. Making different things while taking care of the environment is certainly possible. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start that green DIY project you have in mind!







5 Benefits of Using Sustainable Home Products

Posted on 7 November, 2017 at 23:50 Comments comments (0)


Living an eco-friendly lifestyle could be the one of the best and wisest decisions we can ever make these days. And opting to use sustainable home products is one great example of our conscious effort to take care of Mother Earth.

Contrary to what some people think, going green doesn’t really require a lot of time, effort, and money. Switching to environment-safe products for the house can be simple, fun, and easy! Here are the amazing benefits of using sustainable home products:


Healthier environment

Having a green home helps a lot in reducing the contamination of our natural resources. If we use sustainable home products, we don’t contribute to pollution. Our environment thus becomes cleaner and healthier.


Improve air quality

Eco-friendly home products improve the air quality inside the house. Using them to clean different places and things inside your home means you and your loved ones will be able to breathe in good-quality air that’s free from strong chemical odours.


Effective and safe to use

Unlike conventional cleaning products, sustainable or environmentally-friendly home cleaning products do not contain harmful chemicals and other toxins that are bad for our health. By using them, you lessen the risk of experiencing chemical burn to your eyes and skin. You or your loved ones are also less likely to develop asthma and other more serious health problems.


Do it yourself

Some simple home cleaning products can be made or formulated using common household items. Vinegar, olive oil, and baking soda are just some of the ingredients that you can use to clean the floors, couches, kitchen tiles, bathroom, and other areas and things in the house.


Less expensive for bigger savings

Since some cleaning ingredients can easily be found inside the house, you can cut your costs on cleaning products. You can now remove certain items from your grocery list especially if you can DIY them.


Going green at home is a simple act that can bring immense benefits. Whether you make and use your own eco-friendly home products or use the ones sold in stores, you are still doing your part in saving the environment. Sustainable living doesn’t require major changes. It can start with minor shifts in product use and even daily habits. Share with us what steps you will be taking today!








6 Stunning Wedding Themes

Posted on 13 October, 2017 at 5:05 Comments comments (0)



A wedding is a momentous social event. For the happy couple getting married, everything about this special occasion has to be on point – from the invitations to the gown, dresses, and suits to the music, flowers, souvenirs, and decors. Though it can be a bit challenging, planning and pulling off the “perfect” wedding can be easier and even more fun and exciting if you have a theme in mind.

No matter your personality and style, you can make your wedding stunning and more memorable! Here is a list of theme ideas that will impress you and your partner, as well as your beloved guests:


Classic Romance

You’ll never go wrong with a classic romance theme if you want a timeless wedding. White with silver and gold or pale pink accents are the best hues. Imagine dainty hung strands of white flowers at the reception venue, elegant chandeliers, beautiful white couches, huge ornate mirrors, and a 12-piece band playing jazz or love songs, and you’ll get that classic romantic vibe.


Vintage-Inspired

Old is definitely not “out” because vintage-inspired weddings are so “in” and hot. Choose from ivory, teal, rose, or soft gray for color palette. Lace dresses, dotted or plaid bowties, antique furniture and props, and mason jars or beautifully crafted soaps in lace packaging for souvenirs will definitely give you that vintage feel.


Garden/Forest

Be close to Mother Nature and celebrate with lots of fresh florals on a garden-themed wedding or trees, vines, and candles for a forest wedding. The key to making the wedding stunning is to work with the amazing, natural landscape and just add some interesting decors like barrels and lamps. Succulents and candles make nice giveaways for these wedding themes.


Romantic Beach

If you are beach lovers, experience the wedding of your dreams with a romantic seaside celebration. Choose crisp whites, blush, and gold or go all-out with vibrant colors like yellow, orange, or purple as you feel the sun, sand, and sea breeze. Serve cocktails and seafood favorites and let everyone dance and groove to some island rhythms.


Carnival

For a fun and whimsical celebration, why not try a carnival theme for your wedding? It’s a great chance to dress up. Think coupons or tickets for your invitation, tents, colourful balloons and flags, food carts, and lots of games and festive music! Everyone will certainly have an awesome time.


Movie/TV Show Mania

Your theme can even be inspired by your most favourite movie or television show. Whether you are avid fans of Harry Potter, Twilight, or Game of Thrones, the uniqueness of your wedding will make it stunning. If you can’t get married in a legit castle, just make the ceremonial and reception halls like the setting of the movie/show. Seal your invites with wax and give out wands or metal keychains or pendants as souvenirs.


These are just six stunning themes that will make your day more special. Choose what your heart desires and may your marriage be as beautiful as your wedding!



10 Pretty and Practical Wedding Favors

Posted on 6 October, 2017 at 0:25 Comments comments (0)


It’s your big day and you want to make it memorable for you and your guests. We give wedding favors to our family and friends to show our appreciation. These tiny wedding souvenirs can come in different sizes and packages.

Some are consumable like food while others are decorative. Bottom line, you want your guests to enjoy using it and remember you at the same time! To help you decide, here are 10 pretty and practical wedding favor ideas!


1. Soaps

Fragrant and beautiful, soaps are delightful wedding favors. They are easy to package because of its definite shapes. An aromatic giveaway is a feast for the senses!

2. Coasters

Coasters are practical wedding favors. You can design it according to your wedding’s theme. Scrabble coasters are chic giveaways! You can also go for printed cork boards or decoupage tiles.

3. Succulents

Succulents not only beautify your wedding but also your guests’ home. You can use it as beautiful centerpiece décor during your reception and announce that your guests can bring home the succulents!

4. Candles

Candles are also pretty wedding favors that come in different scents and colors. You can even choose the size and packaging of the candles you want to giveaway.

5. Mason jars

Let your guests bring home their drinking glass! Provide vintage mason jars during the reception. Have them personalized if you can. They will surely remember you in every sip!

6. Magnets

Whether big or small, magnets are useful wedding favors that will have a place in your guests’ home or office. Customize it with creative images or patterns to make it a decorative piece!

7. Totes

Tote bags are useful and practical giveaways. You can be sure that your guests will use it regularly. Plus, you can print creative images and words on it. It’s a blank canvas waiting to be designed!

8. Coffee or tea bags

Consumable wedding favors can be tricky. You wouldn’t want something that would spoil easily. Try going for coffee or tea bags! They will last for many cups and conversations.

9. Olive oil

Olive oil has so many uses your guests will be so thrilled to have them! This kitchen staple can be packaged in vintage, reusable glass bottles.

10. Homemade treats

Prepare a treats section where your guests can take home a variety of sweets, nuts, and other delicious munchies. Give them a pretty paper bag where they can place their loot!


These are just some of the many practical wedding favors you can give to your guests on your big day. Don’t stress yourself thinking of something grand to giveaway! After all, it’s the thought that counts. Always. 


Why is the chicken in the tree?

Posted on 16 November, 2015 at 16:35 Comments comments (0)

After came back from the Youth group, our 3 young men came inside the house and said " mum., dad, quick. , there's a fox on the street" ��

Apparently before they drove into the driveway, they saw a larger cat looking thing. , with triangle face, and extra bushy tail. , running on the street. So they came inside the house. , grabbed the touch (and their father) and went out to investigate.

After 15 minutes. , unable to find the fox. , they walked back into the driveway, only to hear from above the head. , a chicken clack, clack sound. ��

They then used the touch towards to the tree, only to discover that our next door neighbors chicken (2 hens & 11 chicks) , all sat on a branch and huddling each other.

Now we know why those chicken kept going up to the tree


The Plus One - Ladies Night Out, Homebush

Posted on 17 August, 2015 at 20:20 Comments comments (0)

Thank You Bridgett!!:)

theplusones.com/sydney/2015/08/10/ladies-night-out-lno-homebush/

 


“A dash of champagne, a flourish of canapés, a handful of stores, a pinch of pampering and a whole heap of freebies.”

That’s the vision statement of the company behind the Ladies Night Out (LNO) pop-up events. LNO Australia offers women play-dates with pampering experiences. Held at the enchanting Waterview Bicentennial Park venue, LNO Homebush delivered a bit of everything in line with their motto.

 

My night began with a detox foot massage offered by the Arbonne Company. Kathy Webb, a consultant with Arbonne, flew over from Adelaide to do the event. She did not need to hard-sell her products after the massage. The softness of my skin bore testimony to the richness of Arbonne’s quality. I also met Martine Anne Redmann, national President of the Arbonne Brand here in Australia. She combined expert product knowledge with friendliness making me feel anything but just another potential customer target. Try them (www.arbonneinternational.com.au). You won’t go wrong.

 

As I milled around the room taking in the various products on offer, I felt like I was in some sort of indoor market. The mix of colours and smells transported me to the many markets I visited around the world. This one was uniquely targeted for women. My milling around took me to the handbag stall, DAK Sydney. Debbie Knudson, the owner is a former air hostess with fashionable panache. Her handbags adorned a triangle corner in the middle of the room. “I’ve always wanted to provide good fashionable bags at affordable prices,” she said. I was intrigued by her company name and found out the romantic history behind it. DAK is an abbreviation for Debbie’s husband name Dexter and her middle name, Angela. “K” is short form for Knudson. The couple decided to define the name in the end with the word ‘Sydney.” It’s the city in which they fell in love. “Fashion is something I’ve always wanted to be involved in,” Debbie told me. I noticed the number of brands on display – from Italian to Iranian and South American. I asked her how authenticates her brands. “My husband and I have been selling bags long enough to understand the technical aspects of what makes a good bag. Good bags have obvious attention to detail.” Obviously intrigued by this statuesque figure with so many personal bags it fills a room; I lingered around her a little longer. After all, it’s not just about buying a bag but about the conversation that flows around the product. That’s what women want; conversation, value for money and attentive pampering.

 

“I like to acquire pieces that transcend from one occasion to another. I want to help customers get something for all seasons. Bags should be classy and convenient. Women should be able to put their makeup and everything else in these bags but still feel stylish carrying it. Bags shouldn’t be limiting,” Debbie said when I asked her about how she chooses her products. “I want my customers to feel like I’ve bought a bag from DAK Sydney but they didn’t feel exploited.” Well, I didn’t get exploited by Debbie that night. I bought nothing from her but I did jump online afterwards to scout for the Iranian handbag I have my eye on. I have to agree with Debbie when she told me that women love buying handbags because they make statements about who they are with the type of bag they carry on their shoulder. “Women display their earning power, fashion savvy awareness and prestige all through a bag,” Debbie said. Ladies, jump online to DAK Sydney www.daksydney.com.au) and allow Debbie to help you make your own fashion statement with your new bag.

 

My next stop was at the pretty Soap de Villa stall where I smelled an array of different soaps. Rebecca, the owner of the company prides herself on the company being Australian owned. The company caters for weddings and special events. I was so impressed with her table that I bought some soap for myself. The wrapping is handmade and a standout feature aside from the product. If you’re getting married or need products for an event, pay them a visit. www.soapdevilla.com.au

 

LNO is indeed a unique Ladies night out pampering experience. The next time you see an advert for one of these experiences grab yourself a ticket. Let Australian businesses pamper you for three hours. They’ll even throw in a few free samples in their goodie bag just for you.

 

– Bridgett

Bridgett Leslie is the 2014 Winner of the British-Australian Literary Award. Visit her at https://twitter.com/bridgettleslie


Best Memory with Mum

Posted on 7 May, 2015 at 21:25 Comments comments (0)

We recently held a competition with Australian Made & Owned logo and the question was - "What is your best memory with Mum?"  We received more than 800 entries and here are some of those lovly entries that will sure melt your heat!

"Flour,butter ,sugar ,more

Cooking a boiled fruit cake for Christmas each year

Is the magical memory with my Mum

That I really adore!

Teaching me to swim.

The moment I rang her to say 'it's a girl' when her first grandchild was born. And her reaction was utter joy and tears.

Baking Gingerbread Men with Mum and standing guard at the oven in case one ran away!

Chance of a lifetime... I was able to take Mum to England (at 82 years of age!) Watching her visit those London icons was unforgettable!

One of the funniest memories I have of my mum was trying to evict a stray and very angry cat from our house!

The day I took her to a high tea for mothers day and she cried with joy

When I burned my hand on the kerosene heater, she let me have cheese on toast in the lounge, a luxury in those days!

Having my mum with me when I gave birth to my first child as my husband couldn't be with me.

My best memory with my mum is having her with me on my wedding day to share and make happy memories with.

Laughing continuously whilst watching Benny Hill Show and then wiping each others tears from the laughter.

HAving coffee and cake and my mum just listening to me

Sitting talking into the evening.

"My best memory with my Mum was our wonderful shopping trips to town where

we laughed and had fun just like two best friends!"

Nothing specific.. just an overwhelming sense of love.

Mum bought me a dolly after scolding me badly one morning. She must have felt terrible and it still tears me up 37 years later.

When I am away on a long trip and think of her waiting for me to come safely home

Looking after my family for months and months after I had my stroke.

Living in a small country town where mum was my best friend and mentor and gave me inspiration to do better

My father passed away six months ago due to a blood cancer.The way mom cared him till his last breath was the best memory.

Friday afternoon at the hairdressers with her and my Gran and then afternoon tea at the cafe next door!

Sitting at her dresser with her while she was getting ready to go out ... all the potions and lotions and bling... my favourite thing

My mum being my rock for me when i had severe depression.

My Mum was such a kind and loving person and being around her made you feel special.

My first day of kindergarten and asking her not forget to pick me up. She said she will be there waiting to see my smile.

Travelling up the coast for a day and half on a bus. We laughed and talked to loudly.

Taking me out of school early to go and see Rocky Horror at the theatre.

Getting ready for dancing as a 5 year old, she always made me feel so special and like a princess.I was the best ever dancer

Me at 6 and Mum at 34 singing into our hair brushes to ABBA. I thought I was Frida and Mum was Agneta.

well it was the day the goat broke loose....mums washing was destroyed...well he didn't actually break loose..but mums the word shhhh

Making us all have family photo whenever we all together, she was right, as the years pass these photos are priceless

She lives in the UK, so every time we see her is the most special time.

My gorgeous brother gave Mum and I a holiday in Hong Kong. Was bliss to catch up especially in such a beautiful city

Cuddling up with Mum on the couch on a cold winter’s day, while watching The Sooty Show as a kid.

Her massaging me at night after a long day of dance practice.

She always smelt fresh, with a slight smell of scent.

Baking scones in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon in time for The Waltons!

Countless shopping trips trying to find the very best bargain, and normally leaving the store with exactly the same dress.

Going shopping for clothes for my mum, and finding bargains that she otherwise would not have bought for herself.

Good times with my Mum and Grandmother making daisy chains and flower baskets from our garden. Lasting Memories.

It was at the local pool teaching me to swim. I thought she looked beautiful in her red one piece costume!

My mother carring for me after I was shot my a gun at the age of seven..

Her cuddles when I was feeling sad

The day we went to Coffs Harbor together and spent two special weeks together just me and my mother.

All my memories with my mum are special as she is no longer with us,but she was always a great joker miss her heaps.

Travelling to my mum's village in Europe, experiencing all the memories she had as a child and reliving all her favourite childhood moments.

She's a flapper. Whenever she get's excited see waves her arms around. She didn't know she did it until we caught it on camera!

The relief i saw on her face when i started to recover from aneroxia nervosa . She helped me through

Sitting up on Friday nights watching spooky movies.

Mums fabulous cooking -she could out cook those MasterChef contestants any day -teaching me the importance and benefits of eating fresh seasonal produce.

Mum flying interstate to visit me with my first baby on day 2 in hospital, all completely a surprise, just walked in the hospital room.

Blackberry picking in the Adelaide Hills when we were kids. Mum would make the best cold hamburgers and Grandma would make her special apple slice.

definately hollidays....

Showing her, her first born grandchild, and knowing I had given her the most special gift ever.

A helicopter released white ping pong balls with some holding prizes. We picked up ping pong balls with joy. Mum and I won a prize.

Mum giving me flowers after my first ballet concert when I was 5 years old.

my best memory with mum is having one of my favour meals cooked for me and while enjoying it sharing memories of days gone by

Making scones together on rainy days and having tea made with tea leaves brewed in the blue and white striped teapot

Hard to pick just one, but hands down taking me in and caring for me after my mental breakdown at 24.

Seeing Mum at my oldest sister's wedding, with years of experience and wisdom carved on her face, but still resplendent with pretty youth and vigour.

Definitely her support during uni, making me cups of tea whike I was studying was super cute

Our son arranged to have my mum picked up in a limousine and be chauffeured to his wedding. She was surprised and excited.

Baking together for Christmas. Even more fun once she has been into the brandied fruit.

she always made time when you needed her

Trying on skinny jeans in a small cubicle and getting stuck in them and not being able to get them back off.

Every chance to have a cuppa together is a best memory

Everything ... even in extreme sadness my Mum brings joy to me and makes me feel safe and loved and that everything will work out.

As an adult, being able to tell her she was my hero after raising me as a single mother on a very low income.

Mum made my wedding dress for me and she was so proud to see my daughter, with a few adjustments, wore it at her wedding.

Every moment!!!

I helped Mum make scones. Surely you need more than that tiny pinch of salt! Mum ate two scones without saying a word. That's love...

Mum has been gone for 25 years now, but I still remember our best day together, going to see the musical Cats.

Taking photos together!

When my mum accidentally ate a bug off the end of a slurpee straw and thought it was a new flavour they were trying.

She looked after us and made us nice new clothes

Laying in bed on a Sunday morning cuddling up and having lots of laughs :)

Skiing on the river on Sundays during summer <3

Is when she rings me to go for coffee which isnt very often but i do cherish that time with her."

What is your best memory with Mum?

 


 


Macquarie Uni Open Day

Posted on 8 January, 2015 at 4:15 Comments comments (0)

 

This is the second time we came as stall holder in Macquarie University. First time it did not work out so well, mainly due to the the fact that teachers were on strike on the same day of the market. So when we received an email regarding to the Open Day, we thought - “well, at least there is no strike!!”

 

I have heard about Macquarie University and known few people that went to this fine institution. Macquarie University has been known for top quality graduates – especially in the area of Business and Commence. In fact, we even had am International Marketing Plan made for our business, after approached by students who were studied on International Marketing course at Macquarie University. And let me tell you, it was impressive!!

 

I never been to university so I found the whole “Open Day” experience quite fascinating. Sure, I always joke about tagging along with my son, when he is ready to go to uni. I told him that I also want to start my own so call “society” and actually have a name for it - “Tag Along Mum Society”. And all my son could do was shook his head in disbelief. So between selling our soap to staffs, parents and students, I also went to couple of “Mini Lecture”.

 

One of the lectures I went was about criminology. For a big fan of TV programs such as “Castle” or “CSI”, this was my chance to get that little taste of what is like. As I sat on the chair, waiting for the lecturer to start, I could imaging myself, becoming a criminal profiler, after I graduate. But my dream of saving the world was broken, when the lecturer started with a comment “ this course is not about CSI.!!!” Right at that moment, I could hear sound of glass shattered, in my head. (Nooooooooooooooooo..............).

 

The upside was that we did get to know with some interesting business. One of them is “Harvest Hub”. “Harvest Hub” not only provide quality local produces, but the concept also encourage the community to connect and know each other. To find out more about “Harvest Hub”, please see our "Green Living" section.

 


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