xmas

CHRISTMASSING!!!!!

December 4, 2014 · 9 comments

Bells!

EXCUSE THE ALL CAPS, but it’s a very exciting time here!

tree

I’ve out up my tree, wanna see?

purple tree

Giant microbes….

mas fae

Faeries

tree

Old and new decorations

FSM

The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

secret santa

Secret santa gifties

peppa pig advent calendar

My VERY OWN Peppa Pig advent calendar.

Ez and Li Elves

Ez and Li Elves

Diet coke xmas

And the gift of caffeine.

Bring on Xmas!

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There’s so many family activities being put on by Lake Macquarie council and the local business chambers! Check some of them out!

One Big Night

The Lake Macquarie International Children’s Games opening ceremony will kick off at 5pm Sunday 7 December in Speers Point Park, followed by the Newcastle Permanent Carols by Candlelight from 8pm, as they combine for one big night of entertainment. Fireworks will be at 9:30pm.

This is a free event. If you get there early to secure a spot, you will also be able to enjoy free amusement rides for the kids from 3pm. Council is running shuttle buses from Warners Bay because there is so little parking in the park area.

Link for more information on the carols and Children’s Games.

Local Carols

There are also local carols at parks around the Lake as well as local primary schools. Some of the larger ones will be at Toronto, Swansea, Valentine and Morriset. Look for notices at your local shops!

Wangi markets

Night Markets

Markets are all the rage, and there will be night markets at Speers Point Park on Tuesday Dec 9 (See and share the FB event) and twilight markets at Wangi on Friday Dec 5.
At the Speers Point markets there will be Indigenous food tasting from 3-5pm followed by local stallholders and entertainment at 5pm.
On Friday Wangi’s main street will close for the markets and there will be craft activities for the kids (and kids at heart!)

Crafternoon

Speaking of Craft, Lake Macquarie Art Gallery in Booragul will be holding Crafternoons on Dec 13 and 20 for kids over 8. Bookings essential (ph 4965 8260)

christmas at the library

There are six fun activities for children this festive season at Lake Mac libraries. From Jingle Bells storytimes for young children to designing your own Christmas shirt! Check out this link. Bookings essential!

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xmas nail

christmas xmas nail polish art

So here we have a Butter red glitter, a Ulta3 in black plum and a Boe from Big w in green glitter.

Which ends up like this:

christmas nails

mas nails

Shiney!!!

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xmaspots

As much as I love a good hamper with wine and nuts and all the trimmings, there’s only so much you can take as far as eduble goodies go at Christmas. In between the food, the wine, and the food, pacing is hard and those hampers might just get pushed to one side, forgotten about until the decadence and hedonism is over.

Hedonism Bot

Two awesome bunches of flowers for my birthday!

The flowers at the top of the page are really gorgeous with their reuseable buckets , and would look great on the dining table or on your hallway table as your guests walk in. One of my previous (legengary) mas cocktail parties saw me filling buckets like this with all the chockie coins and santas I could load up on at the nearby Aldi.

Xmas Cocktail Party

But we know how cocktail parties end, right? Clearly, with us all admiring the decorations after a few too many…. and cozying down with Santa or Mrs Claus….

Xmas Cocktail Party

Or you might have one of those tricky “too close to the Baby Jesus’s” birthday people, who don’t always get separate bday and xmas gifties.

happy flowers

Maybe a Bright Bunch of Happy arriving on THEIR special day? Or perhaps a week or two after Christmas, you can sent a lovely Thankyou bouquet to your mother/auntie/sister/niece/brother who hosted you all on Xmas day and did all the prep as a labour of love, if only to see the youngest members of the family tear open gifts from Santa, interspersed with gorging on the ample chips, candy and xmas lolly mix provided on the table.

NewcastleXmas2010 115

Fresh Flowers can deliver to Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide, but not yet Newcastle or other cool areas like the gong and CBR. I will keep my eye on that!

Have you given flowers before at Xmas? Or do you prefer the “keeper” gifts?

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xmas cupcakes

So, I had a lovely day heading to Sydney for the Kids Business Bloggers Brunch, catching up with old bloggy friends, meeting new ones, hearing lovely talks, particularly from Angela Priestly from Women’s Agenda and a gorgeous woman from The Nappy Collective, eating delicious food and talking about washing detergent and potty training.

But then, it was also awesome to come back home, get out out that awful heat, and browse my emails, drink some wine, and come down from the consumerism. And see one from The International Women’s Development Agency promoting their “Gifts of Change range of “e gifts” for Xmas 2014.

Like the other virtual charity gifts I’ve talked about, you can support a charity by giving a lovely “gift” to a friend… like a day of basic counselling training to support women who experience domestic violence in Papua New Guinea. Or helping people get qualified representation in court.

You could also defy all the nay sayers of femisnism, and wear it proudly, with a This is what a feminist looks like shirt, available in men’s, women’s and children’s sizing.

this is what a feminist looks like tshirt

More Xmas Gift Guides
Virtual Charity Gifts
Australian online handmade gifts

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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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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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Christmas is Coming!

October 21, 2014 · 6 comments

I know! It’s starting to creep all around me!

From checking out Aldi’s Chrissy Range in the catelogue, with my niece exclaiming “MINE!!!!” every few items….

Blue christmas lights from aldiball lights
Ez wands the “du!” (blue) and the “gall” (ball) lights.

To being dragged out to the shed and being nagged to get the Xmas tree up!

christmas tree

To emails about elves on shelves, and participating in online gift exchanges, to thinking about buying cards, and having PR pitches about shopping for Xmas.

To just liking Xmas and wanting to get the pretties out myself!!!

64 days to go :p

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Easy peasy reindeer bikkies

December 10, 2012 · 1 comment

Arrowroot bikkies
Icing from a tin
Jaffas
Tiny teddies
and Choc Chips.

Win!

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Yay! FSMas/Xmas/Christmas wishlist time!!!!

Below I’m listing a bunch of things that I’d actually like for Xmas. Yes, you aren’t on there. That’s okay though?

Nekomimi

Animatronic, or not, I need more Nekomimi in my life. Purple, or two toned would be cool.

Hello Kitty Things

Yeah, anything Hello Kitty will do :) It will maketh me smile.

Amazon Gift Card / Kindle Books

So, I have a Kindle, but am yet to buy any books for it. Care to help a girl out with a Gift Card or something from my wishlist?

Subscription to Women’s Fitness Mag

I’m needing all the motivation I can get right now to eat healthy and keep moving. And flicking through these glossy magazines has always helped me remember to stay on track! I know there are better deals than you can get online including a two subscriptions for the price of one in the current issue! (might have to get that for me and my sister?)

ANYTHING from Smiggle

Seriously, people, anything. Preferably in Purple or pink. Have you seen their bon bon kits? I WANT THE ADVENT CALENDAR. *breathe*

Notebooks from Typo

Typo

I go through a lot of notebooks from Typo. Scribbling away at my thoughts. Ideas. Moods. Insanity. Everything. They’re cheap and cheerful, and one can never have too many! A5 is always better.

A necklace a month from ShanaLogic.com

I would love to resubscribe to the Shana Logic necklace a month club where, each month, a new cute necklace arrives. Or a gift certificate because, since I cancelled my credit card, I’ve missed getting my shanalogic packages :(

Gift Vouchers (or Cash)

So I can buy clothes! And shoes! Generic ones that can be used anywhere are always best :p

….

I’m sure that’s not ALL I want for Xmas, but it’s a start!

How is your wishlist coming?

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