Yay!! Purple shirted eye stabber!

Watching you....

Pyro!

One of my rewards from sponsoring the Cyanide & Happiness kickstarter :D The Purple Shirted Eye Stabber :D

He’s a pyro too….

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Assorted Shiraz

November 8, 2014 · 0 comments

Who wants to see the Shiraz I’ve been drinking? You? Yay!!!

Zilzie Shiraz

First up we have a 2012 Zilzie, picked up on a 2-for-1 deal at First Choice Liquor, normally $11/bottle. Very easy to drink, not too heavy table wine :)

Rooks lane shiraz

This Rook’s Lane 2013 was in a mix dozen of reds I got from WineMarket.com.au via a Groupon deal. It has a cool bird on the label! He looks mean. And tough. Like a shiraz drinker! :p

Crackerjack shiraz

Also from that box, the Crackerjack shiraz. This one also looks serious. A woody.

Malindi Vintners

Malindi Vitners from the Clare Valley. Pretty much can’t go wrong with the Clare Valley, though my go-to from that region is a dry Riesling :)

Eaglehawk Wolf Blass Shiraz

For years I was scared of drinking Wolf Blass. The story goes, I was on a lunch cruise on the Tuggerah Lakes with my boyfriend, and a bottle of Wolf Blass sparkling white was included. They mustn’t have washed out glasses properly, because the wine tasted soapy, and I couldn’t detatch that from the thought of Wolf Blass. But, I’ve moved on. And this Eaglahawk was delish!

CR01 Clean Skin from Dan Murphy's

And Ol’ faithful. The “Clean Skins” CR01 Shiraz from Dan Murphy’s / BWS. Not the DM04. The DM04 is cheaper, and you do notice the 50c difference on a $4.99 bottle :p

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Support small local stores

I’ve seen to above image going around again – calling for us to support our local artisans this Xmas. So I thought I’d put together a list of some awesome Aussie online stores to buy handmade wares from for your friends, family and for that Secret Santa giftee!

Soaps and lip balms, from Veronica Foale Essentials

Soap and lip balms from Veronica Foale essentials

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have seen some of my purchases from Veronica’s online store. Veronica lives in rural Tasmania, and has launched a range of handmade soaps, lipbalms and, now, bath salts!

Veronica uses a range of natural oils in her products, which leave your skin and lips oh so happy! I love the lip balms (who wouldn’t!!) and you will too. It’s all balm oil free, and some products use Tasmanian beeswax. She’s adding new products all the time, so follow the store’s Facebook page to be tempted!

Yay! Sample packs and lip balms from  :)

Being me, I LOVE anything citrussy, but she has a huge range of scents including coffee, There are also some lovely unscented soaps on offer for those with sensitive skin or noses, and vegan soaps. To me, they would be lovely, practical and thoughtful gifts for anyone, but in particular I think teachers would LOVE these over the usual mug and chocolates!

Candles and melts from Lily and Ginger Candles

Hand poured soy candle tins

Lily and Ginger Candles is a Hunter based family company run by Tiff and the other Treganzas. Have a delicious scent all through your house with these hand poured soy candles and melts. There’s delicious scents like Vanilla Cheesecake, Ginger Kisses and Lolly Shoppe, and they come in various sized tins and jars. Or, fill your house with the scents of Christmas?

Follow on facebook, or, if you’re in Newcastle, check out some of their range at Floral and Spot’s pop up stall at the Emporium on the old David Jones Building in the Hunter Street Mall.

Sweary and Ranty Tea Towels and Wall Hangings from PrettyFknEmbroidery

youaresofuckingloved

With such wisdom as “Don’t be a Dick” and Fuck the Dishes, Cate Bolt’s wall hangings and tea towels are perfect for your not so domestic housewives ;) Because, who doesn’t just think “I hate you the least” some days about their loved ones?

Home is whereever Im with you

Cate is traipsing around the NT at the moment, and also has some more gentle embroidered products at Cabo Pickles, with those sales supporting her Foundation 18 charity, which supports families in Indonesia to stay together as well as running an orphanage for those whose families couldn’t make it. I know, warm fuzzies when buying gifts? Perfect!

Hand mixed Glitter nail polish from Fox & Owl Polish

MMM cupcakes nail polsih

Fox and Owl mix their gorgeous polishes in Victoria, and has a gorgeous range of space and star polishes, and pretty pastels. Or, if you fancy yourself a bit of a mermaid, there’s some gorgeous colours for you! (Stalk the FB page here.)

Mermaids exist polish

On top of these, I’d suggest braving your local crafty and artisan markets, buying some local jams and honeys, browsing the shelves of

Have you got any favourite Aussie stores I should add to this list?

Check out my other Xmas gift guides:
Awesome “Virtual” Charity Gifts

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Win a pair of glasses!

November 4, 2014 · 2 comments

(sorry for the glut of sponsored and giveaway posts, it’s duck season, and while I’d like to space them out more, I’m REALLY not orderanised to do that, and keep running into deadlines!! One day!)

Kitty headphones

Wanna win a pair of glasses from Firmoo? Head over to the comp on my Facebook page to enter!

Closes 11/11.

(How cool are these kitty headphones? Picked them up from typo with a voucher I won from Musings of the Misguided, an awesome BPD blogger!)

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Playing the goat cafe cups charlestown

How awesome are these cups at the newishly opened “Playing the Goat” in the Hilltop Plaza block (across the road from Centrelink) in Charlestown? :)

I got a delish cold coffee (espresso, milk and ice) the other morning and wished that the cup was for keeps!

The had some nice looking wraps and toasties, perfect for the explosion of case managers occupying the area for the NDIS…

Playing the Goat
12/338 Charlestown Rd
Charlestown NSW 2290
0413 564 459

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Menulog Website

So the dear people at Menulog flicked me a voucher so I could try out their online home delivery ordering system. I’ll show you how it works, and if you’re still with me at the end of the post you can enter to win a $50 Menulog food voucher!

So , the restaurants in the Newcastle area are slowly joining up to sites like Menulog, but if you enter your home suburb or postcode, it’s easy to see who you can order home delivery from online, and the extra places who you can order from online (and pay with CC, PayPal or cash when you get there) in the area.

Search for who delivers to your Suburb

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Select where you want to order from

(realise that you have two choices, and Thai sounds more appealing in the heat than Indian, so you select Nara Thai and Uncle Raja’s, where you worked all through Uni and hope the food is still as good as 10 years ago! This would also be the restaurants that left me car smelling of various curries, me stained with onion smell for a week after chopping bags and bags of onions, and turned a while car seat cover orange with butter chicken sauce… Nice food though, and certainly not the worst place to work through Uni, given the stories friends tell! Plus, sooooo much pad thai!)

menulog7

Step 3 – Browse the menu and start adding things to your order/cart

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The delivery fee (based on your original suburb search) is already included in the total

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There will be a pop-up that asks you when you would like your delivery to arrive

menulog4

I selected 7pm, however it arrived at 6.15pm… Not great if you were waiting for people to come home for dinner…Or in our case we weren’t that hungry yet!

You then click order – enter your full address, and click through to PayPal (or enter your CC details) to pay the bill!

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You get this neat little confirmation SMS (along with email) with the restaurant’s phone number to call direct if there are any issues

SMS confirmation

And look at the yummy food I got!

Nara Pad Thai
Pad Thai – yummy as ever

Nam Tok beef thai salad
(spicy!) Nam Tok Beef Salad – love the flavours in this

Thai salads
(think the Nam Tok needs a chili next to it too!)

Nara Thai fish cakes and Uncle Raja's onion bahjee
Thai Fish Cakes and Indian Onion Bahjee. Because I can. (They clearly had their oil up too hot…)

Win a $50 Menulog food voucher

Okay, so if you’d like to win the $50 Menulog voucher, tell me in the comments a story about where you worked when you were still in school or Uni. Does it still exist? Would you dare set foot in there again?

The winner will be determined by how awesome and funny/terrifying/breaking of all labour laws their comment is as judged by my co-eater Bruce. Entries close at Midnight Monday November 10th, 2014. The voucher expires one month after you win it and is valid for orders in Australia only.

Good Luck!!

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TOTE TRAYS!!!! at amart
zomg TOTE TRAYS for your home!

I got sent with some gift vouchers to the newly opened Super A-Mart in Warners Bay this week, to pick out a few things to perk up some place in the house… as soon as we walked in and saw the doona covers, we thought “that’s it!” and knew we could definitely brighten up the bedroom for Spring with a replacement for our washed out covers.

Bed and bedspread at amart

I did think that this “Princess” set and “Princess” wooden cutout would be PERFECT for me. But, alas, two problems – it only comes in single (perfect for my niece with her pink obsession – the other day she scored a pink electronic guitar toy from Lifeline for $3, and she was Rockin it), and I was looking for something for a “grown up room”. *sigh* One day I’ll have a spare room which I can decorate in all the girly, Hello Kitty glory I can find.

Princess wooden decor at amart

Bed and bedspread at amart - Eiffel tower

Bruce liked this Eiffel tower quilt cover… because it has a car on it. A Citroën 2CV, I’m told. We were also VERY close to buying a new computer desk chair, there was this office chair that would have suited all his gaming needs for $99.95, but he decided to stick with his current (red) chair…. If the one on show was red, I’m sure it would have been bundled into the back of my car straight away!

New mattress protector from amart

What we DID end up spending that office chair money on was a new mattress protector as our old one (a quilted style) had become washed out and lumpy and rather uncomfortable. And it was definitely a need to freshen up ahead of sweaty summer nights. Waterproof backing and machine washable were our two main criteria when we were browsing their range in store. This one, the brand is Orthokinetic same as the brand of mattresses Amart stocks, seemed a but of a splurge, but it looked like it was easy to care for, and didn’t have the potential to go all lumpy like our old one.

Bed and bedspread at amart

And then it was onto choosing some pretties. I liked the look of the silver and black quilt over set above, but the material wasn’t that nice to touch, and I’m a fussy little princess when it comes to bed! We also eyed off some microfibre sheets, but the purple was only in Double *sadface*

CUSHIONS! at amart

Cushions were another option, but I know I’d just end up throwing them on the floor and not using them.

New quilt cover set from amart

And so, we ended up finding two quilt cover sets, both reduced in price to take home to Spring-ify the room.

IMG_20141028_174157890

First was this lovely, leafy and calm doona cover. I liked the embroidered spots, and the reverse faded teal. Amart had some Euro sized covers also to go with the set, but not having the big pillows, we shied away from adding them in.

New Quilt cover set from Amart

We also got this Logan & Mason black set. While not as Spring, it certainly changes the feel of the room to more serious and grown up.

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And yes, that is my flying unicorn :p Resting soundly on his new pillowcase.

Uni!

Do you have different doona covers in spring and summer? I put the black one on the heavy “winter” doona, so that may be where it stays!

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This post is brought to you for breast cancer awareness month by the Breast Cancer society

Breast Cancer Society logo

Breast cancer affects millions of women worldwide. This life-threatening disease is one of the most feared diagnoses someone can get. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop this form of cancer at some point in life. The good news is that you can prevent cancer by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or giving up processed foods. Although you won’t eliminate the risk altogether, you can lower your odds of developing breast cancer.

Stay Informed

The first thing you need to do is to learn about this disease and its symptoms. Join local organizations that fight breast cancer, read the news, and stay informed. The more you know about cancer, the easier it is to prevent it. According to the latest Breast Cancer Society reviews, there are several programs focused on education, awareness and prevention. You can join them online or contact your physician for more information.

Avoid Processed Food

Loaded with trans fats, artificial flavors, GMOs, and chemicals, processed food increases the risk of breast cancer. If you care about your health, eat whole, natural foods. Your diet should be based on fruit and vegetables, fish, lean meat, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. Choose products that are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential fatty acids. Antioxidants reduce free radical damage and enhance your body’s natural ability to fight cancer. Limit or eliminate processed food from your diet to stay fit and healthy.

Stay Active

Studies have found that regular exercise helps prevent breast cancer. Women who work out at least two and a half hours a week have 18 percent less risk of breast cancer than those with a sedentary lifestyle. Make exercise part of your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day. If you’re too busy to go to the gym, exercise at home. Climb the stairs as often as you can, go jogging in the morning, and stay active throughout the day.

Get Enough Iodine in Your Diet

Iodine plays a key role in the synthesis of hormones. This essential trace mineral should be a staple in your diet. Its deficiency can lead to hormonal imbalances, tumors, and thyroid problems.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol and breast cancer are strongly related. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk. If you can’t give up alcoholic drinks, limit to one glass a day.

(I know these are all tricky, but I guess we just have to try our best to get the right balance!!!)

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MOney shot - Greek Lamb Burger $18
Eggplant, zucchini, lamb and minted feta stack

I was skeptical of the ability to surprise someone with a large group dinner (30 people) for their birthday. Especially when her husband, parents and brother were already at the restaurant when I arrived, but it worked, and Brown Dog did ok at being able to service our large group – a couple of forgotten drinks, and a little scattered at which burgers came out when, but they got the orders RIGHT, and everyone seemed happy with their food!

Wedges wtih bacon, cheese and sour cream
Wedges with cheese, bacon and sour cream… full on!

For starters, my table ordered some wedges, and haloumi bites. The wedges were VERY cheesy and creamy, so went a long way. The haloumi was GREAT – soft and not too rubbery!

Haloumi Bites
Haloumi bites with spicey tomato salsa

I ordered the “Get the Greek” burger, which was a great lamb pattie, with veges and feta. I couldn’t taste the mint that was meant to be there, but it tasted great – unfortunately the second half of my burger had the bun go a little soggy on the bottom… not a trouble since I was so full from the meat and the chips that came with each burger!

Get the Greek Lamb Burger
Get the Greek lamb burger – $!8 with chips

Chippies!
Awesome chippies with each burger!

Chinese spiced duck salad
Chinese spiced warm duck salad

Tilse's Apple Truck Cider
Washed down with a delicious Apple Truck cider from Tilse’s in Scone!

Brown Dog
2/450 The Esplanade
Warners Bay,
New South Wales 2282
(02) 4948 1115

Skeptical in a party hat

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Chicken charity gift card

I’ve started my Xmas gift buying (you know, the stuff that strikes me as awesome on Etsy and I manage to buy ahead of time), and also just general browsing of the charity sites for ideas that are also awesome and ethical…. and I’ve stumbled across a few things this morning that I need to bookmark for future use!

UNICEF charity gifts

First up, I was REALLY excited to see that UNICEF have VACCINATIONS as a charity gift. You can pay for 200 polio vaccines for $40, or 200 measles vaccines for $71.

polioA girl receives a polio vaccine during the Measles-Rubella Vaccination Campaign at the Kandapara brothel in Tangail on 1 February 2014.  Dhaka, Saturday, 25 January 2014: For the first time Bangladesh today launched its largest ever Measles-Rubella (MR) campaign aiming to reach 52 million children aged nine months to under 15 years to protect them against these infectious diseases. Organized by the Government of Bangladesh, this campaign is one of the biggest public health mobilization efforts in the country, engaging thousands of vaccinators and volunteers. The campaign will cover more than 170,000 schools and 150,000 immunization centers over a three week period (ending 13 February 2014) with a special attention on children living on the streets and other high-risk populations.Plans are underway to vaccinate children living on the streets and other high-risk populations in urban areas who may not attend school or go to community vaccination sites. In the urban areas, teams have been assigned to cover railway stations, bus stations, river and sea terminals, parks and even footpaths. Special teams have also been mobilized to cover hard-to-reach areas such as haor (surrounded by water) and char (small islands) areas, large market places, rice mills, brick fields, brothels and places where working mothers live with their children. Routine measles vaccination coverage has reached 86 per cent  of children aged under one year in Bangladesh. This means that around one million children under one year remain susceptible to measles each year as they are left out or unable to develop immunity. Although in 2012, Bangladesh introduced measles second dose vaccine for children aged 15 months, older children still remained susceptible to the disease. These children need a second chance for survival. If a woman is infected with rubella, particularly before conception and during the first three months of pregnancy, there is 90 per cent chance of her passing the infection on to he

They also have Therapeutic food, clean water and educational gifts.

Care Australia Charity goftsCARE Australia is also in on the charity gifts, with bee hives and musical instruments for classrooms as well as Condoms and sex education! CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting global poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring about lasting change to their communities. They are a non-religious charity (as are UNICEF, Oxfam and Amnesty), which is a plus in my books!

Charity gift card - emergency toilet

Oxfam Unwrapped is one of the older “virtual goat” options, which I’ve happily bought from in the past. With ecards and “IRL” gift cards to give and send your friends. Some cool gifts are emergency toilets, wells and clean water, and manure. Sweet!

And lastly this one isn’t virtual, but I know people who need powerbanks, so why not an Amnesty one?

Amnesty Internation Mobile power bank
Amnesty International Portable phone charger, $29.95.

Of course, gifts aren’t just for Christmas…. I mean who wouldn’t want to receive 360 tablets of anti-malarial drugs as a “Thank you for being awesome” gift?

Check out my other Xmas gift guides:
Australian online handmade gifts 1

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