Monday, July 25, 2016
So my little guy is almost 2. Eek! I have no idea how two years have just flown by in the blink of an eye, but at the same time I can barely remember life before he came along and I've certainly grown in so many ways these 2 years.
Anyway, I'm on the hunt for some birthday presents and have been searching for something a little less mass-produced and a little more sustainable, ethical, conscious, and I came across Uncommon Goods. It's an online marketplace connecting artists/crafters/makers and their unique creations with folk that are searching for that something special and uncommon. I love this idea but also really love the fact that Uncommon Goods is all about sustainability and minimising their environmental impact. They actually work with their artists to use sustainable or recycled materials where they can, including more environmentally friendly packaging, they print their catalogue on Forest Stewardship Council certified and recycled paper, and they donate $1 from every order to non-profit organisations through "Better to Give." You can read more about their mission here.
Here are a few of my top picks for Mr Two's upcoming birthday...
These come in Spanish or Mandarin. Master 2 can already count in Spanish but I'd love him to learn more words. He doesn't get to see his Abuela enough unfortunately.
Did somebody say "rodot?" We're "rodot"obsessed in our house. These blocks are made with sustainably harvested wood.
12 classics and comes with your little one's name embossed in gold foil on the front!
You can find more cool gifts for kids here or if you're looking for bubs aged 0-2 years like me, you'll find baby gifts here.
I found a bunch of things for my own wishlist too. (Hint hint hubby, hope you're reading!) A mini loom weaving kit, because I've always wanted to learn how to create my own cool wall hanging, a Kombucha home brew kit, and a chai tea kit. Ok, so I seem to be obsessed with their craft kits section haha! Who doesn't love a good kit? There are so many craft kits to choose from too, from whiskey infusion kits and coffee liqueur making kits to printable party kits with themes like Shakespearean Soiree, Computer Geek, and Slam Baseball. You'll find their range of craft kits here.
I'd love to know if you've found any beautiful, unique, sustainable gifts for your bubs. Share away.
Only one more week to take advantage of the 15% off discount on Hara chemical-free fibre cleaning products
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Recently I met up with Bindy Naus, owner of HaRa Australia, when I was up on the Sunny Coast. She showed us their wonderful fibre cleaning system and talked us through the benefits of fibre cleaning vs chemicals. With their products you don't require chemicals whatsoever! Just add water. In fact, you can say goodbye to bleach forever! We were pretty excited to jump on board their "green mission" and join forces through our company, Manuel Montt. We're passionate about reducing chemicals around the home and with HaRa we get that. It's better for us, our precious bub, and of course the environment.
HaRa Australia are kindly offering all Manuel Montt customers 15% off their entire website for the month of July so I thought I'd share the offer with you guys too. No code required, simply shop via this link for 15% off.
Here's an interview with owner and manager Bindy Naus about Ha-Ra and their green mission, how she came to start up Ha-Ra Australia and why she's passionate about reducing chemicals around the home. You can check out the interview they did with us and why we started up Manuel Montt over here.
Meet Bindy. Since 1993 Bindy and her husband Leon have given Australian’s the opportunity to access the incredible Ha-Ra® fibre products and spend less time cleaning whilst maintaining the cleanest environment possible without the use of chemicals.
Passionate about the benefits both for the individual user and the environment, Leon and Bindy dedicate their time to educating the greater community about cleaning and love showing people how to have a better than professional clean in half the time, so they can spend more of their time doing what they love.
1. How did you get your career start with Ha-Ra and what path have you taken since?
Our GREEN MISSION started 23 years ago. As a 40 year old Mum I was looking for a home based business with my husband. It was really important to me spending time with my children while being flexible with working hours. As an ex-nurse I saw the great opportunity becoming the importer of Ha-Ra® - the pioneer of micro-fibre cleaning - to educate people that there is no need for harsh chemicals to create a safe environment for the whole family.
Since then we have come a long way with a new website and innovative social media platforms. Our aim is to create flexible business opportunities for individuals while working in the environmental sector and promoting a healthy & chemical-free way of life. Especially for young Mums using Online platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram this could be an attractive opportunity while staying at home.
2. What is the biggest challenge you've faced along the way?
Educating people that there is no need for chemicals! If you have a clean and dry surface you don’t give bacteria and mould the chance to grow. For example: Just because a toilet smells citrus and lavender fresh doesn't mean it is clean!
3. What is your proudest career achievement?
I was 43 years old with two little babies when I invested our last $6000 on a credit card and started working as a Ha-Ra Agent. After 12 months we built the business and ended up becoming the sole importers in Australia with the largest turn over. It still amazes me to see what a human being can do when they want to give their best for the children. It was all about sinking or swimming. I believe I swam!
4. Why are you so passionate about helping families reduce their chemical exposure and what are your top tips for this?
I read 20 years ago that household chemicals would eventually make society infertile. My question now, why do we have so much IVF? It is time to educate society on using no chemical pollutants. I believe this is my bit to give to the earth. I love to keep myself busy and active while running our blog online with funny videos and green cleaning tips plus my own Instagram account. (@bindynaus)
5. Favourite thing about living on Australia’s Sunshine Coast?
We are really grateful living in such a clean pristine environment with clean water ways and less car and industrial pollutants. It is definitely an advantage to promote a healthy & sustainable way of life in a holiday destination like Noosa. That's why we are also proud members of the Noosa Eco Check program providing Hotels, Caravan Parks and Resorts with chemical-free cleaning solutions.
6. Who inspires you?
My Husband and children and of course this fantastic chemical-free cleaning system. I would like to let Australia know that Ha-Ra® is the system with the highest quality in the world. I am confident to say: If you have a look alike you should compare it with the quality of Ha-Ra®. All products are manufactured in Germany with a 100% Guarantee.
7. What’s you favourite Manuel Montt design?
Our favourite is the Palm Trees Shirt. It covers exactly what we enjoy up here on the Sunshine Coast. Palm trees, sandy toes, messy hair and a swim all day. We are looking forward to a Manuel Montt & Ha-Ra® Signature Shirt in the future - Get on your bike and make a difference!
You can learn more about reducing chemicals in your home over here. If you join the newsletter list you'll immediately receive a FREE chemical-free eBook. Plus take advantage of the 15% discount for the month of July!!
Check out the interview HaRa did with me over here....
Friday, July 8, 2016
We've been on a few fun family trips since I had my little guy so I thought I'd share them with you. Recently we decided to book a long weekend away in Orange, NSW, for my parents' 60th birthdays along with my sister and her fiancé. I've passed through Orange before but never stayed and explored so this was a first for me. I'd heard about the great food and wine so I was pretty excited!
Orange is roughly a 3 hour drive west of Sydney. We found a gorgeous little cottage to stay in via Stayz. It was right near the main shops and cafes, so perfect for a stroll with the pram each day. Here were our highlights from our long weekend....
We'd heard great things about the food here and it did not disappoint. I was nervous about eating somewhere so nice with the bub, who was just shy of 18 months and pretty much never sits still. Thankfully we avoided a meltdown when hubby came to the rescue and took him for a walk in the pram while the rest of us ordered and returned with a sleeping babe - phew! We got to actually enjoy our meal haha! I ordered the signature twice baked Heidi Gruyere cheese soufflé to start. It was gluten free so I immediately jumped on it. I don't normally get to enjoy a soufflé and it was divine. For main I had the slow cooked Hereford red beef brisket which was cooked to perfection. For dessert I couldn't go past the cherry, turkish delight, pistachio & honeycomb parfait. I think the photos speak for themselves, wow! The service was wonderful and the food and wine were spectacular.
Great cafe serving up scrumptious breakfast and good coffee (Bills Beans).
Now this place is a must! It was quite busy so we didn't get to actually eat a meal here but we sure shopped up a storm in their specialty grocery store. Oh we were in foodie heaven. We stocked up on Pepe Saya's cultured butter, The Agrestic Grocer's Housemade Blueberry & Vanilla Jam (to die for), blocks of Spencer Cocoa single origin chocolate, quince paste, Ancient Grains Kamut bread, and more. We then enjoyed some blues outside in the sunshine before heading back to our cottage to enjoy our goodies.
I wanted to move in to this store. Every piece of furniture was gorgeous, every candle, every wall hanging, every space styled to perfection and just dreamy.
A gorgeous clothing store filled with all the favourites like Sass & Bide, Life With Bird, Talulah, J Brand, Viktoria + Woods, Tigerlily, and much much more. Just next door to The White Place. Both are on Byng Street.
Drink / Wineries
One of our absolute favourite wineries that we visited was Bloodwood. I went home with a few bottles from here. As you can see above, my Dad happily kept my little guy busy so we could sample the lovely wines. Bloodwood is owned by Stephen & Rhonda Doyle and it's actually their home so you need to book an appointment if you're going to head there. That way they can actually be there to greet you.
De Salis was another of our absolute favourite wineries and had the most gorgeous view. We had a lovely long wine tasting here in the sunshine overlooking their gorgeous vineyard. The apples above were actually at a nearby orchard to De Salis and I just had to stop and take a quick snap. Next time we'll have to go apple picking!
(Photo via Washington & Co facebook)
We couldn't help but stop in for a quick evening drink at Washington & Co Whiskey Saloon. We'd passed it a few times on the main drag and it looked so warm and inviting. Mum & Dad were happy to watch our wild thing for a bit while hubby and I went with my sister and her fiancé for a quick drink... or two. The guys were really welcoming there and turns out they'd seen us earlier that day at The Agrestic Grocer. They gave us a few tips on places to eat at although the next day was a public holiday and unfortunately for us none of them were open. Next time!
We loved strolling through the very large Cook Park with its huge trees dating back to the 1800s, duck ponds, rotundas, and even a pretty glasshouse. We were there in Autumn so the colours were spectacular.
Have you been you to Orange? Any tips for our next visit?
Next up, our 2 trips to Queensland's Sunny Coast.