Monday, 29 May 2017

Gifts for Coffee Lovers and Hot Chocolate Drinkers

Now that it is coming into the cooler weather our hot drinks hampers are starting to pick up the pace. They've generally been pretty popular but when winter hits they become rock stars and everyone wants a piece of them! We love it and we can definitely understand why they're so loved.

Most of us need a coffee first thing in the morning before we can properly start our day and then a lovely, rich chocolatey hot chocolate at midday really hits the spot. These three hampers were designed by coffee lovers and hot chocolate connoisseurs for coffee lovers and hot chocolate connoisseurs!

For the Hot Chocolate fiends we have:

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Hamper - $90 (although it's currently on special for just $80). There's milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate mixes plus marshmallows (seriously what's a hot chocolate without marshmallows??) and a fabulous hand crafted hot chocolate mug.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Hamper
Now for the coffee lovers we have two fabulous hampers:

Barista Coffee Hamper - $130. It comes with everything you need to make the perfect coffee. Coffee, obviously, a three cup coffee maker and two double walled coffee mugs also a box of honey wheat braids to enjoy with your cuppa.

Barista Coffee Hamper
Coffee and Cookies Hamper - $85. This hamper is the perfect gift for staff, favourite customers, your best friend, it makes a wonderful gift for dad or nan (or grandpa if he's the coffee drinker of the house). There's a box of delectable Ovenly cookies to help you enjoy your coffee even more, a coffee maker and two double walled coffee mugs so you can drink your coffee in style.

Coffee and Cookies Gift Hamper
These gifts are delivered free, right across Australia and come beautifully gift packed including a gift tag with your personal message on it. Our website is so easy to use even my dad can use it (and that's saying something, sorry dad but it's true!) and we'll keep you updated on the progress of your order from start to delivery. 

Cheers to a winter filled with coffee, chocolate, marshmallows and someone else doing the washing up.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hampers for groups and BIG events

A few years ago we were asked to provide hampers that would be suitable for a large group, where everyone could share and there would be something for everyone. Like a big party in a fabulous hamper. Instead of having individual little gifts they wanted to have one giant gift and be able to make a true celebration of it.

This is were we came up with a few of our large gift hampers - aimed at turning just another hamper into an event!

These hampers have everything! They've got the makings of a true special occasions, just add people. We've found they have been popular for businesses, a celebration for being part of a team, but also for larger family gatherings - especially family reunions and 'milestone' birthdays.

Our All You Can Eat Hamper is our grand daddy of hampers and is certainly a statement gift if ever there were one! It's $490 and suitable for 10-15 people with a truck load of gourmet sweet and savoury nibbles as well as wine, bubbly, beer and gin. It is so impressive, your staff will think you're the best boss ever!

For All To Share is another magical hamper and does exactly what the name says :-) It's $200 and suitable for a group of 5-8 people.

Four Seasons Luxury Hamper is a super impressive and extra 'fancy' hamper perfect for a very special occasion, maybe that milestone birthday or anniversary or a fabulous hens night in. It's $299 and suitable for 5-10 people.

Deluxe Boutique Beers and Snacks at $200 makes a sensational gift for the groom or new dad and helps fancy up a footy grand final like you would not believe :-)

Our Wine Appreciation Hamper has made many a Book Club get together worth reading a book for and as the night wears on who's going to remember which book it was you were meant to read anyway ;-) $170 turns your night into a monthly event or maybe a book club into a wine club as the hamper even comes with tasting sheets!

There are plenty more gift hampers to choose from that we just know your family, friends and staff will love. Whether it be a bucket load of beer or a box full of chocolates or even a picnic basket even winnie the pooh would love we just know we can help you with your BIG gifting needs :-)

Order 30 or more gifts and you'll get a 5% discount! You can order 30 of the same or 30 different gifts all going to different places or all to the same address. Gifts for groups, we've got you covered.

I better not forget our Just To Say gift - great for individual gifts for conferences, staff pressies or a family birthday party. Half kilo lolly and/or chocolate mix in a funky and fabulous gift pack - $18 each with a minimum order of just 20 includes gift tag and delivery to a single address.

When's your next BIG event?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

(Turkish) Delight in the Positive

Focusing on the 'not happening' has been doing my head in and, to be very honest, is not productive at all. I'm turning my focus on to 'what's happening', noticing the positive and blocking out (as best I can) the not so positive.

  • people taking the time to interact on our facebook page, whether it's a like or a comment, it is so very much appreciated
  • our instagram posts that get liked even if we don't post very often
  • polite and respectful friends of the kids 
  • parents who help out no matter what
  • sister who pops in on her way to work for a cuppa
  • friends dealing with their own dramas taking the time to help others (I'm looking directly at you Michelle)
  • helpful phone service from my bank
  • books from the library, I'll never having nothing to read
  • family who check in every few weeks to catch up on gossip (or pass it on)
  • changing to a cheaper phone provider (and it was easy)
  • stocking up on tuna when the supermarket has a 'reduced for quick sale' sale
  • finding a turkish delight at the back of the crisper (where else would it be)
  • understanding suppliers who offer assistance
  • fiddling around with the website and not breaking it
  • new Doctor Who
  • enjoying my TV shows without ads thanks to my recorder
  • photo albums
  • wearing perfume even if I'm not leaving the house
  • new roofing and guttering finally being installed after coming down in the recent floods
  • my snuggly pj jumper from a couple of years back still going strong
  • my niece shouting me lunch at Betty's Burgers (the southern style chicken burger was amazing)
What's been happening in your neck of the woods that you might have missed or not thought much about but has helped you get through the week?

Who likes Doctor Who, NCIS, This Is Us and Madam Secretary? Me, me, me and me.

Monday, 15 May 2017

2003 - the year it began

2003 - planning, thinking, dreaming, working, researching

I've been working at the ATO for about 8 or 9 months now and quite enjoying it. Processing tax returns and the like isn't as boring as it sounds, well to me any way. I've always loved computer work and processing information, data entry, that sort of thing. It's nice to get myself organised at the start of the day and then head down bum up until I leave. Love being busy!

During this time I'd also been toying with the idea of starting up an online business and I was leaning towards some sort of gift business. To start I had an idea of an type of concierge style gift shop where by people would fill out an online form I had prepared on the likes and dislikes of the person they were wanting to get a gift for and then I would shop for a gift. It sounded good in theory but I just could get my head around the whole logistics of it so ended up scrapping that idea. I decided on doing a type of hamper business but trying to base it on confectionery. I had seen a gift on a website where it was just a box of lolly bananas and thought, ooh that could be something I could work with! (not that I like lolly bananas!).

I went to a Trade Fair in Sydney to see what that was all about and to try and find some suppliers. I was mainly after boxes and packaging stuff as well as possible 'add ons' to the lollies and chocolates. I had found a local confectionery wholesaler close to where I lived, handy, but being that I was still in the start up stages I didn't want to make a big investment and buy a truck load of lollies before I was semi confident I could make the business work.

After tinkering around with a website, coming up with a name*, and organising bank merchant facilities and business names, set ups etc I started listing the gifts I had come up with. This was a fairly long process, deciding on what to sell as I had written just about every type of lolly and chocolate down including biscuits and chips, anything classed as a 'treat' really. I did gradually whittle it down and decided to start with a variety of lollies and chocolates. Working out pricing was hard! I had to try and 'guesstimate' delivery costs as I wanted to have an all inclusive price, this was very much a work in progress and took my sometime to get this sorted out. I had quite a few gifts at the very beginning where I lost money as the delivery was way more than I had expected!

I was still working at the ATO while setting up my business and didn't plan on leaving until I thought my business was actually working and I could make a living from it ie it would pay my bills!


* Rainbow Designs had been registered by my sister for a business she was thinking of starting up but she changed her mind so I just took it over! At least it went with the rainbow colours of lollies. So there was no deep thinking that went into the name :-)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Savings to be had, by you!

Over the last 24 hours or so I have gone through the website and reduced the prices of many of our fabulous hampers. Not because I think they're over priced, far from it I barely break even, but because things are oh so quiet and I'm hoping that a good old sale might fire things up again.

Not all gifts have been reduced but I may add more to the special page during the day, depending on my mood :-)

I've have always prided myself on having well priced and great value gifts so find it quite a challenge to have a 'sale' and not cost myself money. There's no point selling something for less than it actually costs to make right?? Not great business sense.

Little Sweetie Gift Hamper - $45 (normally $50)

I've marked down a lot of the most popular gifts, so these included the cheaper range, but I've also marked down some of the more expensive hampers as well as ones that aren't so popular (which I can't figure out why) in the hopes that people will notice them and think 'wow, that would be perfect for....'

If you don't need to send a gift to anyone right at this moment you are more than welcome to order now for a future event. Just make a note when you're placing your order, we would be more than happy to mark it on our diary and send when needed. Also, if you think someone you know might like one (or more) or our hampers to send to their loved ones please let them know about us, cheers!

Just Lollies - $26 (normally $29)

The lolly and chocolate boxes have always been our most popular gifts so I've even reduced them. Our $29 gifts are currently $26 and our $48 lolly and chocolate boxes are currently $43 - I might only make a few cents on them but if it means someone gets to enjoy a box of lollies who may not have, then I'm one happy lady!

Chocoholics Hamper - $65 (normally $75)
Chocoholics Hamper is currently $65 (normally $75) and the divine Vivani Hamper is only $69 (normally $80). I'm sure you know someone who would love a chocolate delivery!

These specials are set to end on Sunday, 14 May (Mother's Day) but depending on how they go and how I'm feeling and if I haven't gone broke, I may just extend the sale. Maybe......

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Robin' me

hmm, it appears some delightful person, I shall call them robin, has decided that my life is just too easy and 'blessed' at the moment and they want some if. To be precise robin has been using my credit card to have fun. What's up with that robin? I don't even use my credit card to have fun, pay bills yes but have fun, not so much.

What a complete !@#$ you are robin and while we're at it robin, I hope the tickets you bought put you directly behind a pole next to a very drunk person who throws up, all over the new clothes you've just acquired, right as the concert starts and the kid you've left at home in their new cot has a nappy explosion the likes of which have never been seen before (just as you arrive home and your baby sitter leaves!). Enjoy your ill gotten gains robin as I'm onto you and so is my bank, hell has no furry like a woman who needs to pay a bill only to find her account is empty because of some twat called robin.

Thank you to my bank who have been straight onto it, Westpac you are awesome, robin you're still a !@#$.

[note: the name I used is made up but is exactly what they have done to me, ie robbing me.]

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Books, Couscous and a pain in the Neck

A varied title if ever there were one! If you've read our Facebook page you'll have read that my neck has been giving me some grief. It started on Saturday morning and, slowly, as the day went on got more painful. I've tried deep heat (did not an iota of help), heat pack (great while it was on, except I almost burnt myself as it was HOT, but the soothing ends when the heat goes away), hot shower (no relief), pushing my fingers into the top of my spine (this does help while I'm doing that but immediately after stopping I can hardly hold my head up), trying not to move my head (not great as then when I do move my head my body is so stiff and tight that I tense up and the pain's even worse). It seems that the pain is more prominent when I move my head up and down as opposed to side to side, so I'm limiting that movement but it's not getting any better. It seems to ease off over night but as the day goes on it gets more painful. I'm hoping it will disappear soon as it's giving me a headache, like a clamp is being tightened around my head. Not fun at all. Anyway, we go on don't we. What else is there to do but get up, shut up and work these gift hampers aren't going to sell themselves (don't I know it!!)

Coffee and Cookies - $85 includes delivery and gift card

I've been to the library again, I told you life as a small business owner was exciting! I've always loved libraries, generally so peaceful and, obviously, full of books and I love books! I got 4 novels to read 3 from authors I hadn't heard of before (which, to be honest, most of the books are written by authors I haven't heard of before or if I have I've forgotten. I am terrible in remembering names of books let along who wrote them!). My plan was to just grab books that had an interesting title. I generally don't read the back as I have found that this can sometimes give away too much information and (for me) can spoil the book as I have a basic knowledge of what is going to happen. I do a skim read and that's it. Sometimes I'll select a book if there is a blurb from an author I read before (and liked) but generally it comes down to title, theme and authors I like already.

So the first book I got was 'Gypsy by Lesley Pearse' I have a few of her books at home already knew I must like her writing (not that I could tell the names of any of her books or what her style is). T

he second book is a 'dog' book 'The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson'. I haven't read any of her books or come across them before so didn't know what to expect. I'm a bit hesitant to read novels based on animals as quite often they can be sad (animals don't live forever you know!) but this one (I've already read it) wasn't too sad, just enough sadness I would say, it was an easy read, quite enjoyable, heartwarming (aren't all animal stories?!) and ends basically as you would imagine but still not too predictable. Lets face it, most books are predictable some more than others or more 'really, you couldn't have changed it up a bit?!'. A good book for travelling.

Next up is 'Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting' another new author for me and another enjoyable read plus it's set in Australia, in and around Sydney (didn't realise this when I borrowed it as I hadn't read the back). Spoiler: I cried (but I am a bit of a sook). I really enjoyed this book even though, as per usual, it was a bit predictable and a bit too easy but still a lovely read and had me wanting to know how everyone ended up.

The name and cover made me borrow it! Literary scholar I am not.
Last one is 'The Otherside of The Season by Jenn J McLeod' I'm about half way through and liking it. It's based around the Coffs Coast area which is pretty cool, I had no idea it was even an Australia book let alone set near where I live. Enjoying so far. [edited to add: finished this book and really, really loved it. Fabulous writing, loved the setting and the descriptions of the areas, even shed a tear or two, not your typical, predictable book. I'm going to see if the library has any more of McLeod's books, hope so!]

Just before I popper over to the supermarket to get a few essentials I was watching a cooking show and he whipped up some couscous to go with the fish he was cooking. So I bought some. For whatever reason I haven't ever 'cooked' couscous, no idea why when it is so easy (my kind of cooking). I had it with buttered chicken and beans, sort of a mashed potato substitute and a great alternative to rice. I eat a lot of rice. Surprisingly, to me anyway, it was easy and I managed not to stuff it up. Boil the water pour over the couscous, stir, cover the bowl, let it sit for a few minutes, fluff up with your fork and plonk onto your plate. Easy and a great accompaniment to my curry. It's cheap too, I bought the homebrand for $1 which will make at least 10 meals (possibly more) so I can add that into the mix of cheap food I eat :-)

Couscous - just add boiling water, so easy and quick!
Jacqui ~ I own a gift shop on the internet