BRAND OF THE WEEK: KeepCup Reusable Coffee Cups

My first encounter with KeepCup was when a thoughtful workmate purchased one for me after raving about hers for weeks. I was sceptical at first – surely this was just another cup to wash up? But once I started using it I was hooked. The sealable lid is obviously a key advantage. I could walk to work with my morning coffee without worrying about any spillages, and being the world’s slowest coffee drinker, my coffee stayed hot for ages. I have had my trusty KeepCup for over a year now and faithfully use it every day. It still looks as great as the day I first received it, despite countless spins in the dishwasher and microwave. I also get a kick thinking about how many disposable coffee cups I have saved from landfill over the last year.

Did you know that most disposable coffee cups are actually not recyclable? The waterproof coating made from synthetic latex and wax or polyethylene found in many disposable cups limits the recycling process. Here are some other facts about disposable coffee cups that you might not know:




Annually, disposable coffee cups account for the following worldwide:
• 4.5 million tonnes of landfill
• 54 million felled trees
• 340 million gigajoules of energy (enough to power five million homes for a year)

With confronting facts like these, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of a reusable coffee cup like the KeepCup. KeepCups are designed with the environment, consumer and baristas in mind. The KeepCup is the first barista-standard reusable coffee cup and speciality coffee roasters, Campos Coffee say, “We strongly believe this is the Coffee Product of the Year. The first Barista Standard, Australian reusable cup for takeaways. Affordable and environmental – this year, we hope to sell 10,000 of these cups to cut down on an estimated 4.65 tonnes of landfill. We are receiving excellent feedback on all fronts.”

Here are the main reasons why you need a KeepCup:
1. They are non-toxic, manufactured from polypropylene #5 – the safest food grade plastic, which is BPA Free.
2. Say goodbye to leaking coffee cups – KeepCups have a sealable lid and plug for sipper hole
3. Lid on or off, the thoughtfully designed shape is a pleasure to drink from
4. They are lightweight and stackable
5. Easy care – they are dishwasher and microwave safe
6. Perfect for travelling – fits in car cup holders
7. Perfectly sized – designed to fit under the group heads of most espresso machines.

What is the KeepCup silicone band for?
Each KeepCup has a thermal silicone band with coffee preferences debossed on it. A permanent marker can be used to mark your coffee preference for your barista.

Tip: Use a gold or silver pen to mark darker coloured bands. 
Once you’ve tried a KeepCup you’ll never want to drink out of a disposable coffee cup again!






Take advantage of our introductory multi purchase offer: 2 KeepCups for $25 (or $14.95ea), in addition to our Brand of the Week Offer.

BUY NOW and receive FREE DELIVERY on any KeepCups purchased before
5pm Fri 1 June 2012. Simply enter code KEEPCUP when you place your order.


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.

BRAND OF THE WEEK: It’s About Time

A childhood fascination with watches has become a full-time career for jewellery designer Robin Frances. Fond childhood memories of her father bringing home interesting timepieces ignited Robin’s desire to collect watches. A curiosity about the mysterious interior of the inner mechanisms of her watches spurred Robin to remove the watch casings to investigate further. The collection of cogs, wheels and rubies dotted throughout the intricately crafted Swiss movements discovered within was like stumbling upon a Lost World. It was this discovery that motivated Robin to showcase the hidden inner beauty of her watches. 

The popularity of French cuffs inspired Robin to transform her timepieces into cufflinks, from which her brand, It’s About Time was born. The majority of watches used are vintage – from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The cufflinks are sold in pairs, so Robin has her work cut out for her trying to match the inner mechanisms of the vintage watches she sources. Sometimes pairs differ slightly (although it is often challenging to spot the difference two mechanisms). However, no two pairs are alike, which adds to the unique charm of these cufflinks, ensuring that they are really one-of-a-kind pieces.

Watchmaker inscriptions appear on most pieces and include renowned names such as: Benrus, Bulova, Gruen, Hamilton, Omega, Waltham and others.

Each set of cufflinks is impeccably presented in a lacquered wooden box and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity making them the ideal unique gift for someone that is difficult to buy for.

How are they made?
Each timepiece mechanism is set on a hinged sterling silver cufflink shank. 

Caring for your cufflinks:
To keep your cufflinks in tip-top condition, store them in their presentation box when they are not being worn to prevent dust from collecting in the fine mechanisms. Any dust that accumulates over time can be removed with a small, soft brush (such as a cosmetic brush or paint brush).

What other customers are saying:
“I love the Cufflinks and my Fiancé loved them as well. He has made several comments about cherishing them for a lifetime, as well as mentioning, it’s something he can pass down to the next generation, when that time comes.”

BUY NOW and receive FREE DELIVERY on any It’s About Time Cufflinks purchased before 5pm Fri 15 June 2012. Simply enter code TIME when you place your order.

BRAND OF THE WEEK: Karlsson Clocks

Everyone should own a stunning timepiece and beautiful clocks make excellent gifts as they combine style with function – a great idea for someone that is hard to buy for. You can never really have too many clocks, especially since they can be used in every room of a house.

With brands like Karlsson, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a gorgeous clock. Karlsson is a Dutch brand that is renowned for “good quality, stunning graphics, aesthetic shapes and innovative design”. Karlsson’s design philosophy is brought to life by the confluence of the Karlsson design team with national and international designers.

Karlsson’s collection is updated twice a year and consists of three key collections: The “Timeless Collection”, the “Time of your Life Collection” and the “KarLSson Works Collection”. As the names suggests, the Timeless Collection consists of pieces that have a “timeless” quality to them. They are not influenced by trends and feature classic styles designed with longevity in mind. The “Time of your Life Collection” features contemporary pieces that are designed to make a statement in your home or office. Unique technical features and original design is the key focus of the “KarLSson Works Collection”.

We love the high-quality craftsmanship and effortless design of Karlsson’s products, which would be an appreciated gift and a treasured addition to any home.

 
BUY NOW and receive FREE DELIVERY on any Karlsson products purchased before
5pm Fri 8 June 2012. Simply enter code KARLSSON when you place your order.

What’s on: Sunshine Coast Ladies Oaks Day

My first horse racing experience was at Royal Ascot in the UK a few years ago. I was a women’s accessories product developer at the time, and one of our biggest suppliers was a millenary manufacturer. Since hats and horse racing go hand-in-hand, our supplier had booked a corporate tent and my team were their guests for the day. It was a magical experience – a fully catered lunch and snacks throughout the day, as well as an endless flow of champagne – every girl’s dream!


Image source: www.sctc.com.au

When we returned to Melbourne and booked tickets for the Melbourne Cup, I hoped my second racing experience would be just as good as my first. I am pleased to say that the Melbourne races didn’t disappoint. In fact, the level of enthusiasm and effort that women demonstrated to look the part for Fashions on the Field was impressive. There is an infectious passion and spirit behind Aussie horseracing that is present at every race meet – from the Melbourne Cup to every country racecourse in between.

The Sunshine Coast Daily’s Ladies Oaks Day is no exception. If you know someone who loves the horses or getting dressed up for the races, why not treat them to a fun day out at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club to celebrate Ladies Oaks Day tomorrow.

As well as live racing, there will be a live band, Fashions on the Field and a big screen TV on the course (so you won’t miss any of the action).
Tickets are only $20 for adults (with $2 from every adult ticket donated to the Hear and Say Centre).

Tickets can be purchased:
1. Online
2. At the oncourse office prior to the event (during business hours)
3. On the day

Gates open at 10am and there will also be FREE buses to and from the track from Noosa, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Kawana.

Keep an eye out for Mr Gift – we are one of the proud prize sponsors and are excited to be part of this fantastic event.

For more info, visit the Sunshine Coast Turf Club website.

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

BRAND OF THE WEEK: BottleHood

I have always associated Corona with lazy summer holidays, or Sunday afternoons relaxing in the sun with great company. However, thanks to the guys at BottleHood, I now associate Corona and Corona bottles with something else – recycling – or more specifically, ‘repurposing’.

Based in San Diego, California, BottleHoodare at the forefront of recycling glass from beer, wine, soda and liquor bottles and repurposing them into glasses, jewellery, light fixtures, vases and more. Glass is sourced from local homes, restaurants, bars, breweries and community events and cleverly reprocessed by a skilled team of artisans. In addition to Corona bottles, BottleHood also transforms other beer bottles, spirit bottles such as Grey Gooseand Belvedere, and colourful wine bottles into an assortment of must-have glasses.

Considering that it takes more than 4000 years for glass to decompose in landfill, it’s a scary prospect that around 7 million tonnes of glass bottles are thrown away in the US alone every year. Even when glass is recycled, transport and energy costs are still incurred in getting bottles to a recycling facility and then remanufacturing them. Repurposing glass is a simpler process, requiring fewer resources than recycling. BottleHood also aims to source their bottles locally, cutting down on transportation costs.

Why we love BottleHood:

It’s rare to find a brand with such a cool story behind it. Since their inception in 2009, BottleHood has been on a mission to protect the environment by reducing the amount of glass that reaches landfill, whilst creating jobs and stimulating economy in the local community. It’s refreshing to find an exciting range of products that have purpose and have been created with passion. Mr Gift is proud to exclusively retail a selection of BottleHood’s glassware here in Australia. We have just received our latest delivery with some exciting new styles (including the iconic Corona glasses), so take advantage of our special offer this week:

BUY NOW and receive a FREE Joseph Joseph Quicksnap Ice Tray (worth $14.95) with any BottleHood products purchased before 5pm Fri 25 May 2012.

BRAND OF THE WEEK: Boheme

Boheme adhere to a simple philosophy: to provide unique hand-crafted products that will add colour and energy to your life”.

 Utilising the highest quality materials they can source, such as leather, Boheme’s unique products are designed to reflect the character of the materials they use and complement a variety of lifestyles.
Mr Gift is a proud stockist of Boheme’s premium leather range, which consists of duffle and overnight bags, satchels, notebooks and sketchbooks. If you are looking for a timeless quality gift that will be treasured for years to come, Boheme’s products should be top of your list.
BUY NOW and receive FREE DELIVERY on any Boheme products purchased before 5pm Fri 18 May 2012. Simply enter code BOHEME when you place your order.

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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