Friday, 22 May 2015

I'm no chef

I'm not really a fan of cooking, I like food and I like eating just not the cooking. I cook the same things pretty much week in week out which is fine be me. I can eat the same thing 3-4 days in a row, it doesn't bother me, the other people in the household - not so much. They like a different meal every day, thank you very much.

My mum's speciality when cooking a roast (I don't do roasts!) - yorkshire puddings! YUM!

My skills of cooking are stirfrys, slow cookers, beef stroganoff, pasta bolognese, curries (cheating by using a ready made jar or paste!) and I've also discovered pizza - from scratch people, from scratch!

Greek yoghurt and self raising flour (or any flour really) - mix together to form a soft dough. Roll out to a pizza shape, one that fits your oven tray - makes it easier! Spread with tomato paste or bbq sauce or pesto or whatever the heck sauce you like, add you favourite toppings and cheese and whack it in the oven for 15-20 minutes (I usually have my oven set at 180 degress, for everything I cook!). Delicious, even if I do say so myself!

Another thing I managed to make from scratch were some savoury muffins, I know I am an Australian Nigella! I just mixed in a bowl some self raising flour, eggs, milk, cheese, bacon, left over chicken, a dollop of mustard some salt and pepper. Mix until it's a thick consistency so it just blobs off the spoon into your muffin pan - put in the oven (180 degs) for about 30-40 minutes or until lovely and brown on top. Serve with butter or marg or plain - whatever takes your fancy.

Something else that's super easy is a slice of bread pushed into a muffin pan, crack an egg into bread, sprinkle with some bacon and bung in the oven (180 degs) for about 10 mins, depending on how well done you want your egg. Great breakfast/brunch for the family or group of people - easy peasy. I like easy peasy!
Eggs in bread cooked in the oven - easy & delicious

Quiche is another easy dish to make, so another go to when I'm stuck for something easy to make for dinner or a picnic lunch. Add some salad and you're done.

Cheese on toast or toasted sandwiches are another winner - even the kids can make these, which they quite often do when they don't likes what's for dinner!

If all else fails - go the frozen pizza. We prefer Dr Oetker - Ristorante

I also like making meals that don't make too much mess or use to many pots and pans - less washing up!

I'm a wizz at Indian Curries!

So dear Rainbow Designers, what are your go to meals? Are you a Jamie Oliver or more a Pataks and Maggi kinda cook?

This was one of my nan's 'go to' meals!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Z is for...Zero

Zero motivation to keep my business going. Nada, none, zip. It's going nowhere fast. Zippitydooda zippityaye my oh my what a craptastic day.

This is how I feel sometimes, not all the time but sometimes. It can really get you down and make you feel like you can't get any lower but then, bing, out pops an order and another one and before you know it, the motivation is back baby!

I've started the week guns ablazin' and full steam ahead and just got on with things. Writing blog posts for one and scheduling some facebooks posts for another. I've ordered some more stock and tidied my little store room. (how does it get so messy??)

I've got M&M's on my desk and a huge bottle of water, the house is clean and the pantry is stocked. I've got meals in the freezer and wine in the fridge. There's a shelf full of books to read and plenty of Dr Who DVD's to keep me occupied when the orders are slow. My meager savings account is slowly but surely growing and I'll be on my next cruise before I know it!

Carnival Spirit

So when the going gets you down just stand up, stretch those arms of yours and sing 'it's all about the base, bout the base, no treble' at the top of your lungs, take a swig of your water (or wine if it's after 5pm) and breath! You are amazing and don't you forget it!

Now go and eat some chocolate, pronto!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Y is for...Yum

Yum - this is a word I hear and use a lot, goes with the territory I suppose! Our gifts are full of yummy lollies, yummy chocolate, yummy fudge, yummy wines and even some yummy beer (not so much for me but we've sold enough to know there are a LOT of beer lovers around!).

My most favourite chocolate is Fry's Turkish Delight, Nestle Crunch and Mars M&M's - I can't choose just one (please don't judge me!). In our Cravings - Pick and Mix gift we have well over 40 types of confectionery to choose from and without a doubt M&M's are one of THE most popular chooses. I am not surprised. They are yummy! (although there are a few 'Smartie' fans that would disagree!). Milk chocolate freckles, jellbabies and redskins are other very popular choices. To be honest there aren't too many that aren't popular.

Over the years I've had a few failures in the lolly selection area (sugar free & dairy free to name a couple) but all in all, if it's a lolly and it's yummy people will buy them. (and eat them)


I've also tried a few other hamper style gifts using Cadbury and Nestle chocolate bars but for some reason, which still baffles me, they didn't prove to be too popular. Don't get me wrong we sold quite a few but not like I had hoped or expected so end in the end we had the yummy task of eating the leftover stock. Don't you feel bad for us ;-) This has to be one of the best perks of my business, eating the stock - I mean 'taste testing' and 'quality controlling' the stock - yum.

If you had to pick just one of our YUMMY gifts which one would it be??? Would you go for the all chocolate one or maybe the Tasmanian Fudge Hamper or possibly you're more a savoury person and would pick the Maggie Beer Hamper or you love a bit of everything and would go the whole hog with our absolutely magnificent All You Can Eat Hamper? Decisions, decisions but at least they're yummy decisions!

Fabulous Tasmanian Fudge Hamper

Sunday, 3 May 2015

A week away - Mother's Day!

Sunday, a day of rest and relaxation (for most!) and NEXT Sunday (May 10) is a day of celebration for mother's across Australia because it's Mother's Day - hooray!

Breakfast in bed is a must! Tea and toast or maybe bacon and eggs, cereal more your mum's things? How about pancakes with lashings of butter, maple syrup and scrambled eggs and some freshly squeezed orange juice (or just from the bottle). Include a hand made card and then top it off with a (wait for it) 'perfect for your mum' gift hamper from Rainbow Designs!

We've got quite a few for you to choose from and we're confident you'll find just what your mum loves. Is it tea and cake for her well deserved morning sit down or maybe it's a box of all her favourite chocolates for when she's watching her favourite shows (Rex in Rome and White Collar!) or possibly her favourite tipple - wine, bubbly or maybe she's a rebel and loves her scotch! What ever you mum's favourite, just for her she deserves it, thing in the whole world is - we're here to help.

Place your order and include a heartfelt message for the gift tag, which we'll neatly hand write for you, and then sit back and wait for the 'oh my goodness, you are the best son/daughter a mother could ever have!'. You've only got a week left so you need to get your order in now.

Here are a few hamper ideas to help you:

This sweet gift hamper is just $50 and is made for the mum with a sweet tooth. It's filled only with sugary goodies, perfect to say 'you are super sweet mum'.

Little Sweetie Gift Hamper

or we have the Cravings - Pick Your Mix gift. So you get to pick your mum's favourite mix of lollies and/or chocolates. Now who's the favourite child?? This yummy gifts is just $40.

Cravings - Pick Your Mum's Mix
I'm tossing up between the Afternoon Tea Hamper and the Executive Gift Hamper for my mum. They both include some wine (or bubbly) and a raft of delectable goodies to satisfy any hardworking mum. Maybe I'll just have to get her both??

Executive Gift Hamper

What are you planning for your mum?

Friday, 1 May 2015

X is for...Xerox

Xerox - a copy, a duplicator

Glad I found a word starting with X that I could use, I was starting to think I'd have to share some of the families x-rays!

I've been copying and copied in business since I began. I didn't invent gift boxes or hampers and never professed to have what I did was get ideas from other businesses and went with it. I lent towards the sweeter side of gifts as I am a very unapologetic CHOCOHOLIC! I had seen on a website relating more to travel than gifts, selling a gift box of lolly bananas and snakes and that's where the spark of an idea started. I 'copied' their idea and turned it into Rainbow Designs :-)

For the first few years all of my gifts were made and sent by me and all were someway lolly or chocolate based. I did try a few alternate gifts which bombed. haha. So they didn't last long! Then after being in business for about 2-3 years I approached a couple of gift hamper business with the proposal of 'drop shipping' their hampers, or some of the hampers. I didn't want to copy their hampers I wanted to use their hampers as I knew they knew what they were doing and didn't think I could improve them anyway. After a few hiccups and misadventures I am now working with one (fantastic) gift hamper business who produce amazing hampers of which my customer have become to order regularly and love. They do differ from my sweet tooth theme I originally started out with but, for the most part, they all have some sort of relationship to confectionery, sweetness, chocolate or lollies.

Nuts About Sweets - $60 delivered

Copying outright with no regard or thought the the originator of an idea or product is just plain wrong and rude! It takes a LOT of time, money and guts to produce something only for it to been stolen and copied by someone else. It's also very heartbreaking when it happens and can be quite damaging to, not only your business but you confidence! If you like someone's business, idea, product, name etc DON'T steal it or copy it, contact them and see if there is maybe a way of working with them or incorporating it into your business. I have found it so rewarding and beneficial working with another hamper company than 'xeroxing' their ideas. For me it was a logical way to expand my products without having to outlay a truck load of money or need a huge storage space plus it stopped any temptations! (something of which my M&M's know only too well!)

The success I have had with working with my drop ship hamper business has been leading me down the path of just focusing on my Hampers and only having my 'sweet tooth' inspired gifts available during Christmas and Easter. This will leave me time to pursue other ideas and job opportunities without having to sell or close Rainbow Designs. Who knows? But it's definitely something worth thinking about.

Don't Xerox.
Collaborate, Innovate,  Inspire, Enjoy, Share.