Monday, 27 October 2014

D Is For Dark Chocolate

The health benefits of dark chocolate have long been lauded - of course we love chocolate in all shapes and forms but if something so delicious is also supposed to be so healthy then we are totally on board.

Dark Chocolate May Lower The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

The compounds in chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, seems to be protective against the oxidation of LDL. In a study of approximately 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to decrease the risk of cardiovascular death by 50% over a 15 year period. And in a 9 year study of more than 31,000 in Sweden, those who ate a couple of servings of dark chocolate every week reduced their risk of heart failure by as much as a third.

Dark Chocolate Is Full Of Antioxidants

Dark chocolate is full of wonderful antioxidants including flavanols, polyphenols and catchins. One recent study revealed that both cocoa and chocolate consisted of more polyphenols and flavanols over fruits they trialled such as blueberries and acai berries.

Dark Chocolate May Reduce Blood Pressure and Boost Insulin Sensitivity

Researchers recently fed 15 healthy people either 3 ounces of dark chocolate or white chocolate, which contains no flavanol or phytochemicals, for a period of 15 days. This Italian study discovered that insulin resistance was significantly reduced in those who ate the dark chocolate - great news for diabetics.

Dark Chocolate Seemingly Creates Happy Children

Women who ate chocolate on a daily basis while pregnant reported they were able to handle stress easier than women who had no chocolate at all.  Also a Finnish study found that babies of mums who did eat chocolate were overall much happier and smiled more.

Dark Chocolate May Help People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In a recent study in England, 1.5 ounces of 85% dark chocolate was given to a number of adults who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. They were fed dark chocolate every day for a period of eight weeks. In the study, the individuals reported feeling less tired after consuming the dark chocolate.

Note that these studies are just a handful of those undertaken by the scientific communities and there are many more other health benefits reported by eating dark chocolate. I must confess I am seriously liking the sound of these chocolate health studies, I wonder how I can find myself on the receiving end of one of these!

Monday, 20 October 2014

C Is For Christmas

C is for...I was torn.  C could stand for chocolate, or Christmas, or even corporate gifts. But Christmas won out - really is there a Christmas that doesn't actually contain chocolate? Not in this house!

I love to give gifts - so this season suits me down to the ground. That is one of the reasons I started Rainbow Designs in the first place. Seeing someone smile really makes my day!

Did you know we have only have 9 Mondays until Christmas (not including today)? Does that thought send shivers down your spine? The last day to place orders is actually 22 December 2014 so in reality that only gives you about two months to decide and order.
Panic mode! Not if you are organised. I truly think the key to having a great Christmas is to be organised and get the shopping done and dusted so you aren't worrying the week or even the day before.

I love Christmas. It is a time to relax and unwind because once I send out the last Christmas order I shut up shop and take some time out for me. Selfish, yes but extremely necessary.  

It's a time to watch those Christmas reruns and dine on Turkey and other festive trimmings.  The beer and wine flows freely and so does the love that accompanies the holiday season.

I love shopping for Christmas stock to add to the store because each year I try to find gifts which outdo the year before. Two of my favourites this year are the Reindeer Sweet Tooth Gift and the Yay Christmas Gift - both featuring 900g of mixed yummy chocolates and lollies. And for the ultimate in ultimate we offer a Four Seasons Luxury Hamper which includes champagne, wine, olives, chocolate, coffee and other goodies to tempt those taste buds.

Tis the season to be jolly - fa la la la la la la la la - but only if you are organised otherwise Mr Scrooge may inadvertently pop in for a visit. But we are pretty sure even our gifts would put a smile on his face too!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

B Is For Birthdays

It's your {insert relationship:  father, mother, best friend, sister, aunt, etc}'s birthday and you are looking for a delicious, affordable and quirky gift to celebrate their getting older - well you have come to the right place.  We have plenty to choose from with hampers and treats for all ages.  We just love birthdays and are always looking for fun ideas to share with our loved ones.

Here are some fun birthday facts we recently discovered.

*The well known Happy Birthday song actually originated in 1893 - Mildred Hall came up with the tune while Mildred's sister Patty thought up the words.  The original title of the son was Good Morning To All until it grew in popularity and became the song we know today.

*Landmark birthday messages have been sent out by the queen since 1917.  In 1917, 24 birthday messages were posted to celebrate 100th birthdays and in 2011, an amazing 917 celebratory cards were delivered honouring 105th birthdays and above.

*Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday Mr President is the most famous birthday song rendition ever.

*August is the most popular birthday month accounting for about 9% of the birthdays all over the world.

*According to Chinese tradition, they count age disregarding the zero.  A newborn baby is one, a 12 month old child is two, etc.

*A golden birthday is when your age of date of birth share the same number.

See; told you we love birthdays - it happens to be our most favourite topic to talk about, second to chocolate of course.

And if you need a birthday song to go with your gift, then have a quick look at this site.  It features (at last count) 19,019 names to choose from and all for free.  You might want to bookmark this one for me later!

Happy birthday to me...

"All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
- Charles M. Schulz

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Is For Advertising

As any business owner knows, whether online or off, advertising is necessary to showcase your brand and get yourself noticed.  And for the team at Rainbow Designs, it is a major challenge; you need to identify opportunities for advertising which will garner successful results.  Pay too much and there may be no return on your investment, pay too little and your advertising campaign may fail to get noticed at all.  It is definitely a fine balance.

Our blog of course is one way to get noticed and we have developed Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter pages to connect with our online fans.

Knowing who your customers are can also help pinpoint your options.  As most of our shoppers are female, then a spot on Femail works in our favour.

The ability to leave online reviews makes shopping easier for people and is another positive form of advertising.  We have review pages set up on WOMO, Product Review and Google+.  It is also important to register on sites such as TrueLocal in order that people become familiar with your business and it gives you another website where customers can leave feedback.

We have a monthly newsletter which we send out at the beginning of the month which features our gorgeous gifts and other tidbits.  Repetition is a great way for people to see and recognise your brand and it keeps it at the forefront of your customers' minds.  Not too much, mind you, as you want to avoid what is known as consumer fatigue where they tune out or ignore you altogether.

Over the last 10 years we have learnt a lot about advertising but we are no expert by any stretch of the imagination.  We would love to hear any tips you can provide.

If you have a business, what do you find works for you in terms of advertising?