Mother’s Day Gift Ideas + GIVEAWAY

Antique locket pic from LimonBijoux Etsy. Click on photo for link.

Antique locket pic from LimonBijoux Etsy. Great mother’s day gift for under $30. Click on photo for link.

NOTE: Because of the overwhelming response to the giveaway, Millers has agreed to add another $50 voucher to the competition. There will be TWO winners for this giveaway. Yay!

Easter’s done and dusted and now it’s time to get ready for Mother’s Day. Presents don’t have to be super expensive. Mother’s Day isn’t about materialism, after all. It’s about showing our mums how special they are.

So here are some inexpensive ideas for Mother’s Day presents. You’d probably spend around $15 to $30 for these ideas.

Do all her chores and make the meals all day – Simple right? Mum might enjoy that breakfast in bed but it’s hard to ignore the mess in the kitchen. Mums tend to be like that, believe me. So help make sure she doesn’t have to think about chores or making meals that day.

Flowers and chocolates – You can never go wrong with beautiful flowers and some yummy sweets.

Vouchers galore – Vouchers are good but make sure you consider several things before you get them. When’s the expiration date? How far is it from your place? Will your mum have an easy time getting there? Get vouchers for something she really wants to do like mani/pedi, facial, hair cut, CD, and so on.

Clothes and accessories – Clothes and accessories for $30? It is possible. Australian fashion brand Millers has a good range of clothes, shoes, bags, scarves and more for under $30. Check out their website.

millers

Books – If mum is an ebook reader, it’s good to get an ecard or voucher for her favourite online bookstore, such as Kobo, Kindle, or iBook. If mum loves the hard cover, why not take the extra time and go to a second hand book, find a nice hardbound copy of her favourite book? She’ll appreciate the extra effort.

Creative cutes – Is your mum into creative little things? There are heaps to choose from on eBay and Etsy that won’t cost as much, such as this camera lens travel mug for $15.

lens mug

And now for the giveaway. One lucky reader will win any of the collection from the Miller’s product range worth $50, either for yourself or for your mother. All you have to do is answer this:

Why is your mum amazing? It’s hard to put a word limit on this so just don’t go over three paragraphs. Or at least try not to.

 

Australian residents only. Competition closes end of business day 27th April AEST.

Reviews galore = Lots of eating

I eat these things and ruin my diet just so I can tell you my honest opinions about the products. The things I do for you, readers *dramatic sigh*.

Slendier pasta and noodles

slendier

You’ve probably passed them by at health isles in the supermarket. Ever wonder what they’re like? They’re low calorie and low carbs with high fibre and low GI – it’s something you would want from a meal with pasta isn’t it? Unfortunately, it doesn’t replace pasta. They are delicious but for us (hubby and me) the food suited more of the Thai recipes or noodle recipes than pasta recipes. It didn’t ‘taste’ right having it with a Bolognese sauce. I would use it again but I would change the recipe to suit Asian dishes.

Blessed & Lucky Nut Spread

Nut+Spread

This range was popular in my household. It was also a hit with guests during our Earth Hour (aka Eat Hour) party. They have no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, which is always a good thing. Our Canadian friend loved the Maple Bliss Nut Spread. Hubby loved the Honey Spread. I love both the honey and maple. But we didn’t’ really ‘get’ the Cinnamon Spice Nut Spread. It still tasted good but we preferred the honey and maple ones more. They were popular the next day too — on pancakes. I always bought sweet peanut butter from the Filipino shop because I didn’t like the non-sweet ones that hubby likes. Now, however, I have an alternative. Two at that too!

RITZ New Flavours

ritz range

I try not to have Ritz in the house too often because, according to hubby, it’s the croissant of crackers. In reality though, I don’t buy it often because I usually end up finishing a pack without knowing it. Still, why pass up a chance to review the new flavours? How are they? As one friend describes it, the new flavours are “evil”. “If evil has a taste and a name, it’s ‘Tasty Cheddar Cheese Flavour Ritz Snakz.” Needless to say he finished the whole pack in one sitting. Aside from the Cheddar cheese, there’s sour cream & onion (yum), smoky bacon (double yum), the in-a-biskit range of chicken, dixie drumstick, and pizza (all evil). Yes, the range tastes great but, like everything else, eat it in moderation because you might finish the whole pack without knowing it.

Nothing Days

freedom

Sometimes there are moments when I miss the hospital. I don’t miss the abdominal pains or the incessant diarhea. What I do miss is the nothingness. For three days, I did nothing but do my best to get better. My days started with breakfast shows and ended with more TV. I had naps for several hours. I played HayDay on my iPhone. I read on my ereader. I was served food and morning and afternoon tea. There was nothing for me to do but …. nothing. My time was mine and I was responsible for only me.

This is not just about having the endless tasks of a mother and wife. It is also that I could not work. Deadlines didn’t bother me. I had an excuse not to work because I was in the hospital. I’ve been on a deadline my entire work life. It was liberating to not have to do anything.

I think this sense of nostalgia for my hospital days is also an aftermath of the cruise ship trip. I was with friends. We had no responsibilities. I was just hanging out with great people and being carefree. We all felt free. Having two “alone time” moments so close together highlighted the fact that I have so much to do all the time. Endless things to do. I missed those days. Those nothing days.

This isn’t about not loving the family I have now and the life I’m living now. But I do want to have days when there is nothing that needs to be done. No exercise to do. No dogs to walk. No people to feed. No house to clean. No work to do. No chores to get done.

I sometimes just want nothing days.

Tips to Save on Groceries

australia money

A sponsored but informational post

Everyone wants to save money, especially on groceries these days. So here are some tips that I’ve learned over the years after several really high grocery bills. Hope it helps you too.

Find cheaper shops

I found a local butcher and chicken shop that has specials each week, much cheaper than the meats being sold in groceries. You can get a kilo of chicken pieces for $2.49 and two kilos of pork for $10! The specials vary each week so I buy whatever is on special for that week. I frequent those shops and buy my meats in bulk.

Buy homebrand

I used to snob home brands. I was one of those people. But we had a pretty massive wake up call and now I go home brand as much as I can. It is definitely more economical and I don’t see that much of a difference compared to the branded ones.

Use dockets

I’ve never tried using dockets in the past. Recently though, I’ve discovered that dockets are not only available from the back of grocery receipts. Sites like Shop A Docket is accessible online and on your mobile. You can enter your postcode to see the discounts in your local area, ranging from fitness to food to services and more. A very easy way to save.

Check out saving tips online

Bloggers are a great resource on saving ideas, especially parent bloggers. Join clubs like The Cheapskates for various tips on how to save even more. They’ve been running the $300 a month grocery challenge. It is possible!

Buy cheap and in bulk

It is worth visiting a cheaper grocery store. So what if it’s a different “brand”? If it works the same and tastes the same and it’s cheaper, then it’s good enough for me. I buy in bulk now too, saves petrol driving to the shops over and over again.

What are your saving tips?

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