Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Ultimate 2012 Gift Guide

My goodness me, it was a labour of love putting this post together!  I didn’t realise I knew so many fabulous people and their wares! If you like it, please share with others :)

Well it is coming to that time of year again where we are gifting our loved ones with festive presents. I really wanted to support brands and products I've had experience with first hand and those that have some social conscience or supporting business owners that do!

Finding the perfect gift for someone can be a difficult task. What I ask of you is not to give crappy presents! There are some fabulous things out there.

You could make something yourself or give them something thoughtful that will enhance their lives, entertain their faculties or brighten up their everyday.

Recycle, reuse or repurpose items and packaging. There is enough waste out there!

Without further ado, here are my top picks :)


Candles For Community

Sue has created a special Christmas fundraiser and is selling a beautiful range of 100% soy candles.  She is doing this as a fundraiser for Sunrise Children’s Villages. I helped to pour some of the wonderful candles – they smell divine and come is such a wonderful range.

The Sunset to Sunrise range has been created EXCLUSIVELY for Sunrise and Sue is donating 50% of profits from the sale of candles will be donated to Sunrise.


Sweet Pins

One of the most gorgeous women I know is the entrepreneurial woman behind Sweet Pins. Lidia is an Italian in Sydney. I’m looking forward to buying my wedding ‘things’ here!

Sweet Pins is the one-stop-shop for discerning ladies and gentlemen, glamorous brides, pin ups and burlesque queens looking for luxurious stockings and vintage inspired lingerie. At Sweet Pins you will find a fabulous selection of fashion tights and hold ups, seamed stockings as well as garter belts, girdles, suspender dresses and lingerie sets from exclusive brands like Kiss me Deadly, What Katie Did, Dottie's Delights, Gerbe Paris, Playful Promises and more.

Baby Teresa

I bought a gorgeous romper, hat and blanket set from this Tasmania based organic cotton range. They were gorgeous and came in lovely wrapping. What I love the most about Baby Teresa is that when you buy a product from their range they give another to a baby in need. Awesome huh?! Buy once – give twice!

Does someone you know have everything they need but you still want to give them a thoughtful gift? Make a microfinance loan on their behalf. Microfinance is a system of providing small loans to those (generally women) who wouldn’t be able to get finance using traditional methods. They then use these funds to create income generating businesses to help their families and their communities out of the cycle of poverty. You can choose who you want to give your loan to. The amazing thing is that these loans have a much higher repayment success rate than loans given by banks. 97%!


“Hot Coffee. Cool Earth.” Is their catch phrase. This Melbourne based business create awesome reusable coffee cups that stop you from putting all those one-use cardboard ones into landfills. You can even design your own. How cool earth is that?!

Goddess Guidebooks - Create Your Year


Create Your Year Workbook 
Goddess Circle

Leonie Dawson is a magic maker! She is a fabulous self-proclaimed ‘hippie’ turned creative business goddess that has a range of e-course and a uber supportive online community – The Goddess Circle. I’ve used her great products and they are truly useful, actionable and inspiring. Sign up to her newsletter too – its part of my authentic business mindfood regime.

The Burial


The Burial

I met Courtney when she was part of our 10thousandgirl Steering Committee. She is one fire-cracker of a writer with a heart of gold and is also a social entrepreneur support system with her previous work at the School of Social Entrepreneurs. The Burial is a majestic and poetic novel set in the outback and inspired by Australia's last bushranger, young woman Jessie Hickman. A very unusual narrator tells the story. Perfect holiday reading!


Rock the World Rehab: a 4-step "get red carpet ready" body+mind+heart+soul detox adventure

Nothing to do with drug rehab guys! Denise was one of the absolutely inspiring women I met at Kimberly Wilson’s Paris and Provence retreat this year. She is one amazing, sparkly person – lawyer, Phd, writer, furmama, wife and all round inspirer, her book, Rock The World Rehab, is a four step program to detox your body, heart, mind and soul.


Altars Game
This game for your iPhone is by The Man. It's awesome, it's fun. It's challenging and addictive! Check it Out!



I have been a long term Kimberly Wilson fan, falling in love with her doses of inspiration and musings on bringing tranquillity into your everyday. Her book Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play provides valuable tips and tools for embracing your many sides. Plus I love the way she writes – it’s a fun and enlightening read!

Half Beast

Sarah Gleeson is one talented gal! Graphic designer, illustrator and dog lover extraordinaire, she created Half-Beast to provide customised prints that is one half is your favourite animal and the other half is you. Fun, yes? YES! She is also the designer that helped me with the Life is Crafted templates :)

I couldn’t do this post without including my own lil’ ventures now could I?!


LifeTyped are made-to-order typographic prints that help you celebrate life’s moments or inspire you in the now. We do Birth Prints, Wedding & Engagement Prints, Pet Prints and Life Manifestos for you to frame on your wall, nursery or shelf.

Imagine your life’s moments captured in words, honoured as art!

Life is Crafted

The printable planner range is definitely more than just a boring scheduler! It is colourful, inspiring and has a really useful layout perfect for planning and organising what you need to do. Plus there is a big collection of life-enhancing lists and info-collection pages.

Life is crafted. Craft yours!


If  you are looking for a planner folder to put your diary inserts into check out the Filofaxes on the Philofaxy site! My favourite size is A5.


While these are not so much gift ideas, they are GREAT ideas that you can either get gifts through or keep in mind for yourself and others in the future.


Are you or someone you know getting hitched? Here’s a great Honeymoon registry! I’ve started setting my own up. It is thoughtful and easy to navigate!


So many pets are bought as thoughtless Christmas gifts and abandoned as soon as people realise what a responsibility it actually is (BOO on them). For those who make an educated decision about having a pet, consider getting one that really needs a home, rather than paying with an arm and a leg through pet shops which can source through unreputable means.

We got Zander from Companions For Life based in Portland, NSW. Two Sydney organisations rescuing dogs in need are Monica’s Rescue and J & J Rescue. If you’re looking for a cat or kitten check out the Cat Protection Society who have a no-kill policy.  . Google for an equivalent near you.

Ever tried a new hobby, fell in love, bought everything you needed and then never used the equipment again? Or splurged on a drill and only used it for 12 minutes (which I have now learned is the average time a drill is used in a year). Why not rent what you need from your local community instead of buying things you might not get a lot of use out of? Fabulous co-founders Lisa and Duncan are some of the biggest voices around collaborative consumption in Australia.

A fabulous online market place for awesome products. The ‘sugar-on-the-top’ benefit? If you buy an item through their system, 10% of what you spend is given towards a microfinance loan! Winners all round :)

Teenage years can be tough (gosh, sometimes even when you’re older times can be tough too!). My friend Marina Passalaris runs courses for teen girls to help them navigate their inner and outer world. She works magic and the impact it has on the young ladies is transformational giving them tools and skills to handle a lot of what is around them.

You probably all have heard about 10thousandgirl from me! I've been deeply involved for a long time, but have taken a small step back in recent months to focus on my projects. Here, we’re all about making finance fun for young women around Australia and inspiring a global ripple effect. Events are on year round!

Please note that three of these are affiliate links – most of them aren't!  Most of you who know me, know that I give a lot to help make good things happen so I really hope you don’t mind!

December 2012 Dreams/November Review

Summer Christmas!

I feel as if this month has gone past in a blur of productivity and yummy refreshments. Luckily December is a great month to stop and review the past year and start looking forward to the next. My December Dreams are mainly made up of these activities :)


  1. 2012 Year in review session
  2. New Year's goals and resolutions
  3. Revamp routines
  4. Plan projects and commitments for 2013
  5. Develop product range for Life is Crafted
  6. Develop product range for LifeTyped
  7. Maintain Family Christmas tradition - interviews
  8. Celebrate NYE with ones I love
  9. Finally go to the hairdresser!
  10. Other long overdue pampering - massage & beautician
  11. Attend Hungarian Christmas party with The Man
  12. Host informal LifeTyped launch party and catch up drinks
  13. Attend 10thousandgirl Link Up Event
  14. Write a gift guide and share goodies with friends and network
  15. Attend local Christmas street party and connect with neighbours
  16. Check out the Finders Keepers market
  17. Wave a temporary farewell to biz partner as she jets off to New Zealand
  18. Organise computer - clean up desktop and files
  19. Esty and Andable myself up
  20. Find awesome basic advice from an accountant for legal set up
  21. Tax prep

  1. Launch Life is Crafted - printable planner refills that are more than just an appointment recorder - Done! So excited to finally see the tangible outcome of one of my dreams!
  2. Launch another biz of which I have a wonderful Co-founder :) - Done! is live! Gorgeous prints around celebrating life!
  3. Do more videos for my Life is Crafted YouTube channel - feel free to subscribe! - Done! I'm so chuffed to have over 100 subscribers now - I've got some great videos in the works too :)
  4. Organise Perth christmas trip (mostly Zander related organisation - we'll have a flying puppy!) - Done! We just need to get a crate now...
  5. Spend quality time with the Daddy-O - It has been challenging with so many business things going on, but we've managed to have wonderful dinners together most nights and we went out for a lovely lunch yesterday!
  6. Write my non-fiction version of NaNoWriMo - Not done! I mean really. What was I thinking?! Launching two businesses and writing a book?! This has been postponed!!
  7. Help out at Bookclub Fundraiser join us if you can! - Done! What an eye-opening evening. I laughed and I cried and I got inspired to help. If you've not already heard of Geraldine Cox and her Sunrise Children's Villages in Cambodia, I strongly suggest you do. One way of supporting is buying candles
  8. Attend lovely friends' baby shower - Done! Some great ideas and activities!
  9. Jazz in the Park, dinners with friends, Bday celebrations and nothing more! - Done! I really tried to keep focussed on what I had to do in the short-term. I worked hard and had a few outings - but nothing too over the top!
  10. Remember tear myself away from the computer to exercise because it is good for me - Hmmm, so so. I did start yoga back up for a few days, but I really need to get back into the swing of things now that the urgent launch dates are over
  11. Maintain date nights with The Man - Hmmm, not so great at doing this. Luckily The Man is uber understanding and supportive!
  12. Breathe, be grateful and enjoy the busy-ness! Remember the big picture. -  Done! I'm not saying it was easy and I didn't get stressed, but most of the time I remembered to try and enjoy the journey - It helped when others noticed I was very stressed and pointed it out and reminded me to breathe :)
What's one of the things you're planning for December Savvies?

Make it as you wish,

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