LOOK AT THAT PLANTER!!!For real. Look at it. How effing cute! And if any of the other organically-designed home beads from Down That Little Lane seller andyANDmolly designs strike your fancy, then do please pop over to enter the giveaway here. (but do hurry, it ends in TWO DAYS).
andyANDmolly jewellery is made in gorgeous rural Victoria, and is known for understated bohemian glamour. Such pretty purses, scarves and bracelets (the turquoise nugget one, oh mah GAWD) at such reasonable prices make it a wonderful place to go for that something special. And if you’ve not acquainted yourself with Down That Little Lane yet – get thee moving! I waxed poetic about Tess and her internet baby here a little while ago, and am always in awe of how hard-working and professional she and her team are. I’ve just joined their little Blogging Family and I couldn’t be prouder. I can’t wait to share more of their things with you, and you might even see me pop up in their newsletter every now and then.
Enough waffling. Go enter!
*Disclaimer: As part of the Down That Little Lane band of bloggers, I’ll be sharing this kind of love from time to time. It is not a paid affiliation. Party on!
Coffee lovers usually fall somewhere on the spectrum of coffee types – from a steaming mug of instant, to a top-of-the shelf cat-poo $15-dollars-a-cup brew. Me? Well I’m nowhere near the top of the chain, but I do appreciate a good, strong, full-flavoured cup of joe from time to time (while also hanging out with the instant drinkers. I’m sorry! It’s a nostalgia thing).
I remember a friend’s parents spent a small fortune one year to buy themselves an espresso machine for their home. I marvelled at its shiny prettiness, before thinking it was never going to be something I could afford for myself. I did buy my caffeine-craving husband an espresso machine for his birthday several years ago, and that poor thing has been hammered daily (often several times a day) until it now groans in protest when we so much as even look at it sideways.
Everywhere I look, people have moved into the future with the pod-type coffee machines – no mess, perfect portions every time, freshness sealed right in those little capsules, etc. I wasn’t really into them – too much packaging, and the pods were only available online. That’s hardly convenient. What if you’re in a severe coffee emergency? You couldn’t just run to the shop and grab a bag.
Well, times have changed. The coffee machines of the future are here, and they want to be in your kitchen. Pods are here and they’re in you’re supermarket. Woolworths have stepped into the coffee game with the Caffitaly Coffee System and a range of coffee capsules to go with it. They have everything from decaf to Colombian Espresso, and there are also Lavazza and Gloria Jeans brand capsules available. I still think there’ s too much packaging for the individual pods though, and I look forward to there being a recycling program similar to other brands of coffee capsules.
If you’re into making cafe-quality coffee at home without the hassle and the high cost, well you’ve come to the right place. I like to make a coffee in a reusable cup before I head out, and the times I do buy a coffee out and about, I’ve been known to wince at the price! You might want to buy a Caffitaly to make your own coffee in your own home, or pop it in a Christmas stocking for a coffee-loving loved one (they are currently half-price at $49 – bargain). You might also want to enter our competition to win one of two machines for yourself!
I found the machine super-simple to use, and that there were a variety of coffee strengths and flavours available at Woolies. I was of course skeptical of the Woolworths-brand coffee, but it held its own. Nice and strong with a good flavour.
I also saw that Twinings had tea pods for the machine, and you’d better believe I tested that with my stringent tea tests. If you’re meant to brew tea for three minutes, how does it compare coming through a 30-second coffee pod machine?
Not bad, actually. Not as hot as I’d like, but the flavour was certainly strong enough. Not bad at all.
Now to the fun part for you guys: two winners will each receive a Caffitaly Coffee System worth $99.
For entry, you must leave a comment telling me your earliest coffee memory. I remember at seven years old when my nana was making me a cup of tea, I asked for a coffee (I wanted to be like my mum). My nana very cheekily told me that coffee kills little kids and I could only have tea. I’m not sure when I was brave enough to put her theory to the test, but I was an established coffee drinker by the time my little brother was born when I was 10. Sure it had about 25 teaspoons of sugar in it, but it was delicious nonetheless!
Two winners will be chosen on Saturday, December 28 at noon, on the basis of their comment. They will be notified by email and named on this post. Australian residents only, please.
I’m always so inspired by people who have a passion and turn that into a way to make a living. It’s so easy to think “oh one day I’d like to”, but never actually do anything about it. Too much work, too risky… we all make a ton of excuses.
When I heard my friend Lani Williams was creating amazing handcrafted jewellery from her Melbourne home, I was so excited for her. When I saw it was all elegant but also edgy (to this day I am obsessed with the Wu-Tang Ring), I was excited for ME. and everyone who wants Australian-made, locally-sourced items made into fun and funky jewellery.
It takes guts to takes something you love and make it a business, and Lani has plenty of that. (Quite literally – she’s about to have a baby in the next few months!) So I asked her a few questions, and she very generously offered some of her treats for a giveaway. What a legend.
What started as a little tradition of collecting jewellery from her travels soon turned into a hobby and then a passion. Lani met a couple in India who lived in Tibet and handmade sterling silver jewellery in the tourist off-season, then sold it when they all came to visit. “They were just so humble and happy, and lived a life they were so happy about, that it inspired me to quit the job I hated and start doing something I love,” she said. And so she did.
On her return to Australia, she took some courses, taught herself, and developed her style. But there’s always something a bit special that makes us get out of our comfort zone and make a proper go of the thing that we love. When I asked how she pushed past the doubt to make her dream a reality, she said: “my dad has always said to me ‘if you think about something long enough, you will find a reason to talk yourself out of it’. I think about this every time I start to question what I’m doing, push it behind me, and persevere”. Wise words, dad! sometimes the best decisions are bold ones you haven’t over-thought.
Creating her jewellery by supporting Australian businesses is also one of Lani’s main priorities. She sources her materials sustainably and locally wherever possible, and most of her supplies come from small businesses that are family-run and who have been in the industry for generations. “I don’t see the point in sending our money offshore when we are more than able to keep it all in-house within Australia,” she said. “I think there’s something beautiful about making something from start to finish with local materials, especially when it is specifically for someone that is going to cherish it for a lifetime.”
With the amount of Windfall Jewellery output, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a multi-person operation. In reality, it’s just Lani putting long hours in her Melbourne studio, doing everything from making the bespoke pieces to selling them, fielding enquiries, packing, shipping, keeping accounts and answering questions like these! It’s a one-woman army (occasionally with the help of her husband, the equally-talented husband, Matt).
With everything from anchor rings to fang necklaces and custom designs, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to name a favourite. Especially if you were the person making them, and can make whatever you want! But Lani’s favourite piece is the wedding ring she made for her husband, which was created from melting down the yellow gold of a ring of her mother’s, a yellow gold band of her father’s, and set with a diamond given to her by her sister. “I really like melting down old pieces that I have accumulated from family over time, and reworking them into new, modern pieces I would actually wear,” she said.
The next step for Windfall will be creating a line of engagment rings (swoon), which Lani is super-excited about (and makes me want to get married again) – “big, sparkly, girly wedding rings with a bit of Windfall style”, she said. SO up my alley!
And how does she fit it all in? “It’s really hard when you work for yourself to find the perfect balance,” she said. “It’s also hard when you love what you do and the work doesn’t stop so you just keep going. My husband has a cool roster, 2days on 2days off an they are long 13 hour days. So if he is working so am I. When he is off then so am I. Which gives us this perfect balance of work and life ad gives us heaps of time together. I also travel as much as I can to recharge the soul. So when I work I work my butt off but then I take a lot of holidays to balance it out.”
So if you’re interested in collecting a couple of crazy, sustainably-sourced, handmade pieces made in a Melbourne studio to a hip hop and reggae playlist, then simply leave a comment telling us which of Lani’s pieces (found here) you totally love, and why. We will choose a winner based on their answers next Tuesday, December 10 at noon AEDT. One lucky winner will receive a Full of Love ring ($79.95) a Baby WF crescent moon ring (69.95), and an Under The Skies Above necklace (84.95), all in sterling silver.
Competition has ended. congrats to Mary and Roslyn!Hi there! Do I have a goodie for you today or what!
I’ve been using this gorgeous natural and organic hydrating creme from Cosima Skincare for almost a month now, and it is utterly divine. So smooth, rich and creamy (without being greasy, SUCH a bonus) and leaves my skin soft and nourished. The lovely Angela has insisted I give a pot to TWO lucky readers so they too can have luxurious skin. Just because we think you’re awesome.
Rich in coconut water, coconut lipids and a fermented algae extract, this is 50ml of anti-ageing goodness in a little glass jar. It has the same ingredients as a very popular anti-ageing and replenishing skin cream, but retails at much less than the wallet-melting $440 a pop. If you’d like to win one for yourself, please leave a comment below telling me what your secret naughty skin behaviour is. Don’t protect your skin from the sun? Forget to drink enough water? Fail at taking your makeup off before bed? (eep, just realised I do all of these things!)
Entries close next Tuesday July 16 at 5pm AEST. One entry per person (Australian residents only). This is a game of skill, not chance. The sky is blue. I like you.
Winners will be notified by email, so make sure you’re contactable. Good luck! Your face needs you
I will take any moment to relax when I get it. I often create little pockets of time to escape for a bit before the reality of a filthy floor and third load of washing to be hung out hits me again. When the baby is napping and Abby is out, or quietly playing, I will grab a cup and something to read and zone out for a few minutes.
As I bake a different goodie every week, depending on my mood, I have a little something to indulge in when I’m sitting down to relax. Sometimes it’s healthy, sometimes it’s a bit of a treat, but it’s always delicious.
Recently I had a morning meeting with the organic farmer who grows my fruit and veg, and I made a lovely orange cake with oranges from my delivery that week. Later on that afternoon, I found myself with half an hour spare and I dived straight for that cake, put a callout on Facebook for some blog posts to read, and settled back with a cup of vanilla-infused Moccona coffee. I’m very partial to vanilla, and Moccona is great at giving me a little boost in the afternoon without wiring me til midnight (caffeine and I are NOT FRIENDS).
I’m actually very keen to try all three flavours (vanilla, hazelnut and caramel) and I think the caramel one would be divine in a caramel-frosted coffee scroll… oh man. I like that it is a ‘hint’ of flavor, not a sugary overload. It just adds that extra level in a subtle way and the vanilla was perfect alongside the orange cake. Hell, vanilla is perfect alongside anything, but I’m biased.
If you’re into afternoon (or anytime!) mini-breaks to indulge, then you might like a something from the flavor-infused Moccona range. Orange cake optional! I have five packs to give away (each pack contains a Vanilla, Hazelnut and Caramel flavor), and one grand prize of a Amazon Gift Card for $500. Six lucky coffee-loving readers are going to be very happy!
Please leave a comment (30 words or less) telling me what you’d have with your favourite flavor. Did the orange cake sway you? Perhaps an apple tart, or coconut muffin? Something else you love to make?
Abby is a tad small for bike riding at this juncture in her career, but you can bet the second she gets some wheels, this is going on the front. No white-plastic-with-sad-little-fake-daisy business here!
The lovely Joyce at Tot Hot or Not just happens to have a SUPER-COOL online bicycle clothing and accessories store called Cycle Style, and she asked if my readers might like one of these. I hesitated about one-eighth of a second before I said yes! You DO want one, don’t you?!
Of course you do. They’re hand crafted from natural materials. They’re cute. It can be carried just like a regular basket for collecting serious kid things. If you don’t win one, they’re only $39 to buy. They will make you happpeeeeeeee.
All you have to do is leave a comment telling us about the first time you rode your bike without training wheels. Do you remember? I do! I have a very clear memory of getting on my Strawberry Shortcake bike, riding down the driveway and being SO excited. I looked up to show off to my parents, only to find neither of them watching. Mum was in the kitchen and dad was in his workshop. Story of my life!
Anyhow, the tale we like the most wins. It can be funny, it can be sweet, it can be a limerick, it can be a pictorial. Whatever you like. Whatever we like.
Competition closes next Friday, July 6 at 5pm. Australian residents only, please (sorry). Please make sure your entry allows you to be contacted somehow. Any questions, please ask!
I make a hell of a lot of my kid’s food from scratch. I like to know she’s not eating a bunch of unnecessary preservatives and especially added sugar. Why create a sweet tooth if I can help it? Plus… I like cooking. Duh.
That being said, I always have a sachet of baby food in with her day care lunch as an optional extra. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated and is very portable. I throw them in my handbag, send along with her on trips with her dad and grandma, and woe betide me if we’re shopping at the supermarket and we pass the row of sachets without giving her one on the spot… she loves them.
The lovely folk at Ella’s Kitchen recently contacted me and asked if I’d tried their products. And while I’m no stranger to baby food sachets, we really hadn’t tried their brand before. To be honest, I was a little wigged about it being imported, as I have been trying to buy things with less food miles when I can. However, I liked their created-by-a-dad thing, I liked their 100% organic thing, I liked their suitable-for-vegetarians thing. No added salt, sugar or water, no additives, thickeners, artificial nasties… apparently just fruit. or veg. or fruit and veg.
I handed one to Abby to try. She ripped it out of my hand and started sucking for dear life.
Her eyes started to water and go red and we laughed at her and told her to breathe!
She ignored us and kept at it. The pack was gone in about three and a half seconds.
She handed the empty sachet back to me, panting and looking around for more. I’m gonna say that’s a success.
Have you tried their products? Well… your kids, anyway. I’ve only tried it when it’s accidentally spilled on my hands in Abby’s excitement to get it to her mouth and half-squeezes it on the way. Tastes good to me! Anyway, do you want to? Ella’s Kitchen are giving away three prize packs here on Veggie Mama, consisting of:
♥ 10 stage 1 meals (2 of each variety) ♥ 8 smoothies ♥ 2 baby brekkie
(look, basically it’s their whole range except the chicken and fish ones) ♥ AND the coolest thing ever… a lunchbox made from upcycled Ella’s Kitchen packets!
The range is now available in Coles, but all you have to do to enter is tell me a funny story about your kid eating. We will choose three winners on the basis of who makes us laugh the most, and ship your goods off asap – so you HAVE to have an email or way of contacting you in the comment.
Total prize pool is valued at $152.52 and the giveaway closes on Tuesday, June 12 at 5pm. Winners will be notified via email. Only open to Australian residents, sorry
For more information on the Ella’s Kitchen story, how much they love researching foods kids love to eat and their efforts to establish lifelong good eating habits, go here.
Disclaimer: I was posted an Ella’s Kitchen smoothie for Abby to try. It was The Red One and as you can see, she liked it. I charged my usual administration fee for running the giveaway. Abby couldn’t care less about my admin fee so she wasn’t influenced, and if you think it influences my opinion, you are a twit. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask: mamavegetable (at) gmail.com, I’m more than happy to help.
Do you want to buy your mum something else and win this for yourself?
Once upon a time a brand new little organic tea company tweeted me and asked if I’d like to try their tea. Just randomly, no strings. They probably didn’t even know I was a blogger. They sent me three packs of tea to try and just said “I hope you like it!” and left it at that.
Oh my god. I did.
I liked their tea a LOT.
Over time they’ve sent me other bits and pieces, and when they found out I was pregnant, sent me a huge batch of their Ginger Snap tea to help combat my morning sickness. Again, for no other reason than they are the super-kindest and most thoughtful gals in the tea business.
Ladies and jellyspoons, meet The Rabbit Hole Tea. Corinne and Amara went to the World Tea Expo in Vegas in 2010 and came back inspired. They made their own organic tea in the most phenomenal flavours, and made it available online. Their mission? “To serve you tastebud tingling tea. No teabags, no chemicals, no disrespecting farmers or the environment. Just natural, organic and fairly traded leaf.”
I love them so bad.
I love them so bad I knew you guys would too, so I asked them pretty please would they like to maybe, perhaps, please, package up something for my lovely readers as a gift, and they did!
Their tea is insane. Flavours like White Peony, Lavender Cream, Berry Bomb, Lemon Aid, Licorice Allsort and Toffee Apple (zomg toffee apple) are available alongside regular types of tea and so many others.
They have been awesome enough to not only provide a huge batch of their brand new Grey Goddess tea released in time for Mother’s Day, but also a Bodum Travel Tea Press (which is like a tea plunger in a travel cup! I’m obsessed with mine) and SIX MONTHS OF FREE HAND-CRAFTED ORGANIC TEA SENT DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR. A new one every month.
Not even kidding. Not even jealous…
All’s you gotta do is leave a comment below describing your first tea memory. Mine is my nana making me tea and telling me I couldn’t have coffee because I was a little kid and it would kill me. I thought I was so cool having a cup of tea, dressed in one of nana’s old aprons, swinging my leg just like she did and watching Wheel of Fortune. And getting annoyed when she knew all the answers all the damn time.
I’ll get the Rabbit Hole gals to choose their favourite, then I will post off your little goody bag just in time for Mother’s Day.
Competition will close Friday, May 4 at 9am. I will email the winner so please make sure you’re contactable! Open to Australian residents only. Judged on creativity and whatever else the girls say. It’s not a game of chance, so make sure you actually answer the question!