When I was growing up, my mum had a pretty box filled with an assortment of beautiful greeting cards she had collected for any occasion: birthdays, thank you, sympathy, blank – you name, she had it! She would always keep her eye out for new cards to add to her ‘stash’ so it never depleted, even as she gave them away. Whilst she didn’t necessarily pick specific cards for specific recipients, she had a wide enough selection to find the perfect card for anyone. And because she had selected ones she really loved, they were all gorgeous.
As an adult, I am now also an avid card collector. I not only love collecting to cards to give to others, but also to display as collections in frames. They are an affordable way to decorate your home with work from artists you love. It is also fun trying to find the perfect frame to display them in. Here are some other reasons why you need greeting cards in your life:
1. A greeting card will brighten anyone's day 2. There's a greeting card for any occasion - birthday, engagement, wedding, anniversary, birth of a baby, farewell, get well, death, to say thank you...or just to say you care. 3. There's a greeting card to suit anyone. If you can’t find one with the right message, get a blank one and write your own! There is plenty of greeting card message inspiration online, such as these ideas from Creatively Belle. 4. You can write as much or as little as you like, or even find a card with the perfect message. If you can't say it in person, say if with a greeting card! 5. You don't need an occasion to give a greeting card 6. You can keep a stash of greeting cards tucked away so you’re prepared for any occasion 7. If you are giving a gift voucher or cash as a gift, inserting it into a greeting card with apersonal message removes the risk of it being an impersonal gift. 8. When you buy a greeting card you potentially support not one, but four Australian businesses: the Artist, the publisher, the printer, and the retailer. Whilst the role of the "middle man" is often questioned, the reality is that many artists are happy to outsource the publishing and printing of their work as it means they can focus on what's important: creating art.
2. Drifting Through Time by John Downton $5.95 John has captured the tranquillity of being surrounded by water in this exquisite work, Drifting Through Time. The subject matter is simple, but executed so effortlessly that you can imagine hearing the lap of the water against the boat as you drift along.
4. Proteas in Red Vase by Peggy Shaw $5.95 Proteas have become very popular in floral arrangements in recent years, due to the broad range of colours and forms available. Peggy Shaw has been inspired by their beautiful shape and colour in this work, 'Proteas in Red Vase' - a marvellous showcase of Australian native flora. The perfect card for any flower or gardening enthusiast.
5. Afternoon Reflections by Helen Cottle $5.95 One of our most popular Helen Cottle cards, Afternoon Reflections has a serene quality, that is thoughtful and reflective (as the name suggests). We love the predominantly black and charcoal background, which contrasts beautifully with the rich red accents.
7. Rhapsody in Red by Helen Cottle $4.95 Helen Cottle's vibrant poppy card is the perfect accompaniment to birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, thank you gifts and more. Also a timely card for ANZAC Day.
9. The Mobile Rose Garden by Geoff Hocking $5.95 We love Geoff Hocking's quirky characters. This particular work draws the viewer in - wondering where this couple are off to with their flock...and why the rose garden is mobile? There is never a dull moment in Geoff's works, and often something new and different to observe with each glance.
10. First Light, Autumn Morning by Lyn Cooke $5.95 The soft red and pink tones in Lyn Cooke's work, First Light, Autumn Morning (Australian Scarlet Robins), contrast beautifully with the dark background. Lyn Cooke really is a master at capturing birds - a notoriously difficult subject due to the level of detail. The perfect card for bird/wildlife enthusiasts and friends and family overseas.
Buying gift for others can be tough. So we threw the question out to our Facebook friends:
"What was the last gift you bought, and who was it for?"
The response was overwhelming - everyone has such great ideas for all the people in their lives. We've broken the ideas down by recipient, so hopefully this will give you some inspiration the next time you're looking for a gift for any of these people!
Gifts for partners - Necklace - Dinner out - Chocolates - Tim Tams - Game of Thrones jigsaw puzzle
- Clothes - Personalised Oreo biscuit tins (filled with Oreos 👌🏻) for my husband and my son - Flowers - X and O shaped cookies - Gold Class cinema tickets - "A new grater for hubby for Valentines!! I broke the old one and he whines all the time about it! I saw this flash one with bowl underneath and just had to get it for him!"
Gifts for parents - Perfume Gifts for sisters - Perfume, underwear, shampoo & conditioner, a loofah & bucket of Peanut M&Ms Gifts for Grandparents - Bunnings voucher - Everlasting Rose Gifts for other relatives - Gift voucher Gifts for friends - Luxury skincare
Gifts for kids - Pram with a dolly for granddaughter - Books - Jumpsuit (for newborn baby) - Elsa Barbie Doll - Pretty dress for teenage granddaughter - Little toys/hairbands/pens for my children's brave charts - Beanie Kids for teenage son - Phone for teenage son - Remote control Monster Truck Gifts for adult kids - "A Wonder Woman blanket for adult sons birthday. When he received it he wrapped it around himself in 35 degree heat and said he was wrapping Wonder Woman around himself."
Gifts for work colleagues - Necklace Gifts for Fur Babies - New bed Gifts for yourself (who doesn't need one of these?!) - Roses - New phone - Google Home Want more gift tips like this? Subscribe to our newsletter here...
Can’t give up some bad habits? Do you love a sneaky soft drink or do you get the tub of ice-cream out for just two (six) scoops? Well, what if you could still enjoy them? You just have to be a little inventive and make some small changes.
Have you ever tried frozen banana in the blender? Well, it is a game changer, tastes exactly like ice-cream! You’re going to learn to make some simple changes that will have you eating healthy in no time.
1. Totally Tasty Pudding Chocolate pudding is great for when you want something decadent and sweet for dessert. Usually, this milk-based chocolate treat can get you into some calorie trouble.
Try cutting out some of the calories by using an avocado base instead of cream. Yes, that’s right, you can make your pudding with avocados. You want to blend some cacao powder, non-dairy milk, avocado, and sweetener in your heavy-duty blender. Let the mixture chill in your fridge for a few hours. The result is creamy chocolate which is also really good for you.
Try using an avocado base (instead of cream) for your choc pudding
2. Make Your Own Chocolate Bars If you find you a get a hankering for chocolate, try making it yourself. There is a huge difference between cocoa and cacao, so just by making the conscious decision to understand what is in your food, will significantly improve your health.
Cacao powder is packed with nutrients and tastes just as yummy as cocoa. We love making our own truffles, it only takes a few simple ingredients such as coconut oil, cacao powder and sea salt.
3. Can’t Give Up Mac and Cheese? Processed pasta is not a good thing to eat on a regular basis. Get rid of boxed mac and cheese and make some at home. You can make a velvety cheese-based sauce with added butternut squash. This sweet taste on mac and cheese is sure to be satisfying.
Take it a step further and replace your high carb noodles with a plant-based pasta made out of chickpeas or legumes. The texture may be a little grainier than regular pasta but it tastes almost the same.
4. Get Your Snacks in Order! Processed snacks might be convenient but you need to think outside the wrapper! With a little planning and prep, you can have all the snacks you need. Looking for something sweet? Create little packs of dates, almonds and coconut shavings. Like your savoury snacks try making your own bacon jerky or sundried tomato, feta & green onion muffins. 5. Sweet Dreams Are Made of Cheese Whether it is salty, creamy, stinky or sharp we all have our favourite cheese. A pastime we couldn’t dream of giving up! Have you ever made a cake and thought twice about having a third piece when you remember the two cups of sugar in it as well as the stick of butter! Well what if you could make your own cheese, then you will know how milk, cream and salt your consuming! Start off with something easy like ricotta, all need is some milk, salt and a cheese bag (can’t find one, just make you own). You will be eating a delicious combination like blueberries and ricotta on sourdough or spinach and ricotta ravioli in no time!
Make your own delicious cheese
6. Homemade Muesli Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start it off the right way.
Instead of kicking off the day with a bowl full of commercial cereal, which is sure to be filled with processed sugars and other preservatives, try having a bowl of homemade muesli as a healthy alternative!
Treat your body and taste buds the right way, by adding in your favourite fruits into your healthy homemade bowl of muesli!
Make your own muesli to reduce processed sugar
7. Use Steam Instead Cooking veggies and fish by steaming them is a super healthy alternative. You retain all of their natural yummy flavours, whilst cooking them to perfection. By steaming your food, you’re adding no extra calories to your meal, making your favourite (usually unhealthy) meals, much healthier. You can top fish with flavourings like lemon and chilli and use the steam to infuse the flavours into your food.
8. DIY Pizza You have two good options when it comes to pizza. You can make a pizza bread crust with cauliflower, but if is the classic pizza dough is that you crave? Then why not make it from scratch and just switch out what's on top of the pizza?
So how do you get started? Have your homemade pizza dough ready - spread it out on a baking pan that has been properly floured - brush the pizza dough with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on your veggies as well as a moderate amount of your favourite cheese. (If you're feeling a little fancy, feel free to mix some black pepper, garlic powder and some of your favourite spices in with your veggies beforehand!)
9. Healthy Fried Rice, That Still Tastes like Rice Rice can be good in moderation, however, if you find that when you cook it there is enough for the whole village (and you managed it eat it all) it might be time to find an alternative.
All you need to do is roughly chop your cauliflower and throw in a food processor for a minute. You will find that the texture is very similar to rice. Use this ‘faux’ rice can be used in any dish where you would have normally used white rice and it tastes just the same. One of our favourites is cauliflower fried rice, the family didn’t even blink an eyelid when I served this one up! Educating yourself is crucial when it comes to eating well. Rather than denying yourself or overindulging just a few tweaks here and there won’t have you missing out on anything. Turn these ideas and behaviours into habits to ensure you lead the healthiest lifestyle possible (while still enjoying it)!
Brittnay Sharman has a BA in Health Science and her passion lies in creating a healthy lifestyle for her family.