10 things you can do to add a little happiness to your day


Spring has finally arrived and there’s no better way to celebrate a new season than ‘spring cleaning’ your life. Here are a few ways you can add some happiness to your life this week:

1. Learn something new – Enrol on a course or read a book in an area you want to learn more about.

2. Listen to music – Dig out an old CD you haven’t listened to for a while or update the playlist on your MP3 player.

3. Spend time with friends – Arrange a catch up or even a ‘phone date’ with a mate you haven’t spoken to for a while.

4. Get out in the garden – Spring is the perfect time to reassess your garden. Even if you don’t have a garden, grab some pots and bright summer annuals from your local nursery to add a splash of colour to your house.

5. Take up a new sport – Golf, Tai Chi, whatever! Playing an outdoor sport is a great way of taking advantage of the longer days and warmer weather (when it arrives).

6. Book your next holiday – There’s nothing like having some time off to look forward to, especially if it you are jetting off to an exotic location. Even if your workplace is busy, if you book your accommodation and flights far enough in advance it’s locked in then and you can’t back out. Your colleagues can also prepare and do a proper handover before you take off.

7. Go shopping – Few things beat a bit a retail therapy!

8. Rearrange your room/house – They say a change is better than a holiday. I guess it depends where you go on holiday…but rearranging a room offers the perfect opportunity to have a good clean out, which always feels good!

9. Just sit and think (preferably in the morning sunshine) – Something no one does very often these days…

10. Set some new fitness goals (and stick to them!) –It might just be running a bit further than usual, or increasing your weights. Either way, it feels great when you achieve small, realistic goals.

Top 10 Gifts under $25

Most people I know are on a budget at the moment – and it’s not because they’ve overspent by living beyond their means. No, many of my friends have a wedding to save for, have just bought a house, or started a family.

Whilst there are quite a few things you can cut back on when you are watching your pennies, buying gifts for certain occasions, such as birthdays for family and friends is often an expense you can’t overlook.

Avoid forking out too much money for gifts by setting a budget, sticking to it, and looking for gifts at certain price points. Mr Gift has a great selection of gifts under $25 that offer excellent quality at a great price. Here are our top 10 budget gift ideas to get your started:

1. Mapkins, London $9.95

Also available in New York and Paris designs.

2. Credit Card Night Light $9.95

3. Joseph Joseph Quicksnap Ice Tray $14.95


4. Small Hotties $15.95assorted designs available


5. Seed Tool $19.95

6. IQ Brain Train Game $19.95


7. Alcohol Breath Tester $24.95

8. Bamboo Fiber Travel Mug $24.95

9. Thumb Waterer $24.95

10. Everyman Jack Travel Kit $24.95

 Check out more gifts under $25 or gifts at various prices points to suit your budget.

Receive FREE DELIVERY on any gifts under $25 purchased before 5pm Tues 31 July 2012. Simply enter code FREE POST when you place your order.

What’s the best cake to make for a guy?

It’s always tricky working out the best way to give someone a good send off when they leave a job. Whilst gifts are great (and I promise I will dedicate another whole blog post – or ten to the best leaving gifts), cake is essential. The hardest bit is deciding what sort of cake to cook/purchase.

In the same way that buying gifts for men is a challenge, cooking the appropriate cake for a guy can also be a bit of a conundrum. Whilst women’s hearts melt for cute cupcakes and pink icing, this doesn’t always work for dudes.  

My last challenge was for a blokey bloke’s leaving do, so the Victorian Sponge just didn’t cut it. Given that he likes beer, port, cognac, and pretty much all other alcoholic drinks known to man, a Baileys Cheesecake struck me as the most appropriate option (after ruling out a Guinness Cheesecake).

The below cheesecake recipe derives from a favourite family recipe that originally started life as a lemon cheesecake. The beauty of this recipe is that you can pretty much adapt the 1/3 cup of Baileys to be 1/3 of a cup of anything you like (although I wouldn’t recommend Guinness) e.g. lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, or another liqueur of your preference. No baking is required and you can even make this one the day before for extra flavour – enjoy!

Base:

125g melted butter

250g pack of sweet biscuits – I love Arnott’s malted milk, but Arnott’s Ginger biccies are also delicious for a stronger flavour.

Filling:

250g of cream cheese (leave out of the fridge for half an hour or so to soften)

400g can of sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup of Baileys (or another magic ingredient of your choice for flavour)

1 teaspoon of gelatine powder

1 tablespoon of water

What to do:

1.    Crush biscuits finely (by hand or in a food processor) and mix in melted butter

2.    Press biscuit mixture into a lightly greased dish ensuring that the base and sides are evenly covered. Refrigerate for 30 mins (or until firm) to set base.

Tip: You can use a flat-bottomed object such as a glass or jar to press mixture down firmly.

3.    Filling – Beat cream cheese with electric beaters until soft and smooth. Add condensed milk and Baileys. Continue beating the mixture until smooth.

Tip: If you are using lemon, lime or orange juice for a citrus-flavoured cheesecake, grate a little rind into the mixture for added flavour.

4.    Mix gelatine with water and then add to the cream cheese mixture, ensuring it is thoroughly combined.

5.    Pour the filling into the base and refrigerate until set – will take a couple of hours or can be left in fridge overnight.

Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, covered (if it lasts that long!).

Wishing you all the best in your new job, Christian!

If you love cooking, check out some of Mr Gift’s great cooking and kitchen and gift ideas

My Top Gift Tips – William S, Melbourne

Mr Gift loves hearing about the gift-buying experiences of our customers and friends. We are excited to share some of these unique stories and wise words with you, so keep an eye on our blog for more over the coming weeks…

1. The best gift I ever received was…a gold necklace I received for my 21st Birthday. It was given to me by my mum and I wear it every day.

2. The top gift on my wish list is…a Rolex watch.

3. The best gift I have ever given was…the handcrafted wooden jewellery box I bought my wife for her 30th birthday when we were on holiday in New Zealand.

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…my Dad, because he has expensive taste.

5. The best last-minute gift is…alcohol i.e. a bottle of wine.

6. My hot gift buying tip is…buy gadgets, because everyone loves them!

-William S, Melbourne

Top 10 tips for buying the best gifts

What’s the best present you ever received? Chances are it was a gift you received as a child – something you really wanted, something that you wrote on your Christmas list and hoped Santa would remember. Buying gifts for children (apart from the ones that have everything) is easy – they know what they want and they’re not afraid to let you know. Adults, on the other hand are much more complex. There are few people that will tell you what they really want, with men often being the worst culprits. So how do you become a ‘mind-reader’ to find the perfect gift that they’ll really love? Our top 10 tips for buying the best gifts will set you on the right track:

1.    Listen
Your gift recipient is your best source of information for gift inspiration, so listen up! What have they been up to lately? Have they moved house? Perhaps they have taken up a new hobby, such as golf, or started a new job. Recent changes in their life present numerous gift opportunities for items that would come in handy and help them adapt to a new situation. For example, if they have just bought a new car perhaps there are some accessories, such as car seat covers or floor mats that they might need. Likewise a new job could warrant some new cufflinks or a laptop case. Listening closely and taking note of the things that are important in their life shows you care – after all, this is the reason you are buying them a gift in the first place!
 
2.    Ask
Sources close to the person you are buying a gift for are like gold, especially if you haven’t seen them for a while. Your ‘sources’ will be able to give you the inside info on what your recipient is into, what they need or what they have asked for. People such as partners, parents, siblings, children and close friends are all useful gift inspiration sources and you could even chip in and purchase a gift together if you want to buy something really special.

 

3.    Take note
It may sound tedious, but keep a note of the gifts you buy people so you don’t accidently buy them the same gift again. This is something I’m guilty of, and I have also had the pleasure of receiving the same gifts two years in a row from the same person. Something you thought was a good gift idea last year may still sound like a good gift this year, so be careful!

 

4.    Don’t buy a gift for yourself
Believe it or not, not everyone likes the same things as you! As tempting as it is to buy that newly released book from your favourite author, question if your recipient would enjoy it as well.

 

5.    Be organised
A lack of organisation often results in panic-buying, which can be expensive and futile. If you need to buy a last-minute gift, go with something consumable such as a nice bottle of wine, a food hamper, spa voucher or movie tickets. Whilst these gifts are not as memorable (or personal), at least you won’t end up buying your poor recipient something hideous in haste that they will put in a cupboard and never use again. Be sure to add key birthdays to your calendar, or set a reminder in your phone so you have plenty of time to research, purchase and send gifts and cards.

 

6.    Set a budget
A budget will give you some parameters that will help you narrow down your options and hopefully save you time. If you want to buy something really special, consider buying a joint gift with close friends and family. Whilst joint gifts can help take the pressure off decision making, they can also become complicated if you can’t all agree.

 

7.    Buy special or unique items that people wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves
Whilst I’m a huge fan of practical gifts, the best gifts are often the ones that we can never justify buying for ourselves, such as a nice watch, a beautiful pen, expensive wine glasses, or an experience on our Bucket List. We often ‘made do’ with what we have and it’s not until we use this new, unique gift the we think “wow, how did I ever live without this!”. Check out Mr Gift for quality gifts and fresh gift ideas.
 
Other gift tips:

 

8.    Don’t forget to remove all price tags before wrapping your gift
 

 

9.    Spend time looking for an appropriate card and wrapping paper
A great gift is made even better when you pay attention to these small but important details.

 

10.  Send it in time!
Yes, it may be the thought that counts, but the best gift in the world still seems like an after-thought when it arrives a week late.

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Top 10 Gifts Mum will love this Mother’s Day

When was the last time you called or visited your mum? If you’re now feeling a bit guilty, check out our top 10 Mother’s Day gift ideas and spoil your mum this Mother’s Day, Sunday 13 May.

Whilst Mr Gift specialises in great gift ideas for guys, we also have a lots of unisex gifts that mum will love too.
What’s the best way to choose a gift for your mum? The first rule of gift buying is to really think about the person you are buying a gift for. Consider what they enjoy doing and what their interests are. Although this might sound obvious, it’s important to listen to them – they may have developed a new interest or started a new hobby, such as cooking, gardening, reading etc. Always try to buy gifts that complement their passions – old and new.
We have also categorised our top gifts into areas that your mum might be interested in, such as homewares and gifts for the kitchen and garden, so hopefully this will give you a few ideas. Check out our website for additional gift ideas in other categories or shop by price point.
Gifts for the home:
1.    Mapkins, Paris $8.95– Take mum to Paris (even if you can’t afford the airfare) with these gorgeous paper napkins decorated with maps of Paris, New York and London.
2.    Joseph Joseph Quicksnap Ice Tray $14.95 – Make mum’s life easier with Joseph Joseph’s clever Quicksnap Ice Tray. Unlike traditional ice trays, removing ice cubes from this tray has never been easier.  
 
3.    Fred Half Pint Glass Carton Jug $19.95 – Mum will love this quirky little jug – it’s also a great conversation piece when friends drop in for a cuppa.
4.    Record Coasters, set of 4 $24.95 or 2 sets for $40 – You can never have too many coasters – especially when they look this good! They’re essential for protecting your coffee and dining table surfaces from dreaded water marks. Also check out the matching Record Placemats.
Gifts for Mums who love to cook:
5.    Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Plus Chopping Board $17.95 – This is the ultimate chopping board for quick and easy meal preparation.  
6.    Cubic Timer $49.95 – This fun timer is a kitchen essential with settings of 3, 10, 30 or 60 mins, so you’ll never have over-cooked eggs or a burnt muffins again!
7.    Joseph Joseph No-Spill Salt and Pepper Mill $69.95 – The quickest and easiest way to season your meals with no mess or fuss.
8.    Joseph Joseph Elevate Carousel Gift Set $79.95 – No kitchen is complete without this bright, fun (and practical) utensil set.
Gifts for Green-thumb mums:
9.    Thumb Waterer $24.95 – The gentlest way to water small seedlings and delicate plants.
10.  Eggling, Wild Strawberry $24.95 – A unique, fun way to grow plants indoors – perfect for your kitchen or windowsill. Also available in basil and mint.
SPECIAL OFFER: Receive FREE delivery and a FREE Credit Card Night Light with all Mother’s Day orders over $50 purchased before Sunday 13 May. Simply enter code MUM when you place your order.

Top Wedding Anniversary gift ideas

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the right gift to buy for wedding anniversaries. Part of this confusion may be related to conflicting gift ideas from the UK and the US. We’ve tried to make things easy for you with our definitive list of anniversary gifts, along with some great gift suggestions:

1st anniversary: Paper (US) or Cotton (UK)

These paper Mapkins (napkins) are bound to get a smile at your next social gathering. Available maps include London, Paris and New York. $8.95 for a pack of 20.

2nd anniversary – Cotton (US) or Paper (UK)

These gorgeous little paper gift tags $1.50ea are a fun and (environmentally friendly) way to label your gifts. Made from recycled paper, they are embedded with Oregano or Thyme seeds. They’re the gift that keeps giving!  

3rd anniversary – Leather (US and UK)

Select a gift crafted in leather from our extensive range of leather products, including wallets, bags, laptop cases, iPad cases and pencil cases from brands including Helen Kaminski, Alan Myerson, Labrador and Boheme.

4th anniversary – Linen and silk (US) or fruit and flowers (UK)

Helen Kaminski’s Phoenix linen/cotton fedora hat $149.95 is a versatile accessory that will suit most men.  

5th anniversary – Wood (US and UK)

e+m have a great range of contemporary pens, pencils and letter openers that have been carefully crafted in a variety of woods such as olive and black oak. Prices start from $59.95.

Alternatively, enjoy some log-tossing fun with cool Finnish game, Klop for $64.95.

Gardeners will love the little wooden seed tool $19.95 that is designed to sow seeds quickly and evenly.

6th anniversary – Iron (US) or sugar (UK)

7th anniversary – Copper (US) or wool (US and UK)

8th anniversary – Bronze (US) or salt (UK)

9th anniversary – Pottery (US) or copper (UK)

The Thumb Waterer $24.95  is a terracotta vessel designed to gently water plants. The simple design is easy to use – simply submerge the waterer in a bucket of water to fill and place your thumb over the hole in the top. When you are ready to use, remove your thumb from the hole to gently release the water over your plants.

10th anniversary – Tin or aluminium (US and UK)

11th anniversary – Steel (US and UK)

BBQ anywhere, anytime with the Portable BBQ in galvanised steel, $49.95 – awesome for picnics, camping and the beach.

12th anniversary – Silk (US) or fine linen (UK)

13th anniversary – Lace (US and UK)

14th anniversary – Ivory

These days, genuine ivory is a controversial material due to its uncertain provenance, but if we’re talking about colour, Alan Myerson’s Trilby and Panama Fedora hats in ivory at $115 each are great gift options.

15th anniversary – Crystal (US and UK)

Ok, ok, so technically these items don’t contain crystal, but they’re still really cool glassware pieces that make awesome gifts. Check out our Grey Goose glasses $29.95 for a pair
Fred Thirsty Hopped Up Beer Glass $14.95
Fred Half Pint Glass Jug $19.95

20th anniversary – China (US and UK)

This is where the anniversaries start getting good – see, it’s worth sticking at it in the long run! Silver, gold, platinum, diamond, emerald and ruby are where it’s at. Whilst we don’t have a huge variety of gifts made from diamonds (yet), we have added a few options that meet the criteria for colour, so hopefully this might give you some other (cheaper) ideas:

25th anniversary – Silver (US and UK)

Micro Gem Headphones $39.95
Card Speaker in silver $89.95
Cigar Gift Set $29.95

30th anniversary – Pearl (US and UK)

35th anniversary – Jade (US) or coral (US and UK)

40th anniversary – Ruby (US and UK)

Bloccon Red Jug $19.95
Alife Design Biz Card Holder $34.95
Alan Myerson Red Slouch Wallet $155
Arwey Lau Notebook $34.95

45th anniversary – Sapphire (US and UK)

Fred Ice Attacks Ice Tray $12.95

Air Chair in navy $349.95

50th anniversary – Golden (US and UK)

Fred Have an Ice Day Ice Tray $9.95

55th anniversary – Emerald (US and UK)

LED Watch in emerald green $99

60th anniversary – Diamond (US and UK)

70th anniversary – Platinum (US and UK)

75th anniversary – Diamond and gold (US and UK)

80th anniversary – Oak

So now you have no more excuses for forgetting which anniversaries are which, and hopefully we’ve given you a bit of inspiration along the way. As we add more gift ideas to the site we will continue to update this blog post with more ideas, so check back from time to time for more anniversary gift ideas.