Saturday, 29 April 2017

7 Favourite Gifts We've Given Mum

Now obviously we would always give our mum one of our hampers or maybe even a mix of a few of our hampers but if we picked just one of our gifts that she would love it would have to be:

1. Wine and Treats Gift Hamper - although we would switch out the bottle of red for another bottle of white as mum doesn't drink red wine but everything else in this hampers is totally her! It's even better when we're with her and get to (hug her) help her eat the yummy goodies!

Wine and Treats Gift Hamper
2. Along with an 'actual' gift, something she can open on Mother's Day, how about taking your mum out somewhere or, if you can't be with her, make a booking for her and dad (or a friend) at a local restaurant and include the details in the gift tag or mother's day card you send her. There are a couple of favourites for mum that we've been to over the years plus the local bowls club has a great all you can eat buffet which is great value. This also means everyone's stuffed themselves silly so no dinner is needed, well maybe just cheese on toast :-)

Book your mum a cruise - she'll LOVE it!
3. A real splurge gift could be a cruise! Our mum loves cruising, as do we, so we are always looking for a bargain. We generally look on OzCruising. There are many short cruises, 2-4 days, which could be just perfect for your mum. Cruising is such a great choice for a relaxing holiday as you can choose how active (or not) you want to be BUT the BEST thing is NO COOKING or CLEANING or MAKING BEDS, did I mention NO COOKING, it's breakfast, lunch and dinner out ever day! You could either try and find a cruise that is on over Mother's Day or just one that you can afford and you know your mum will be able to go on. This could be a whole family gift and holiday or could just be for you and your mum or your mum and dad. Pick who you think she'd love to cruise with. If it's a friend, contact them and see if they'd love to go on a cruise and if they'd be able to pay for themselves. I bet they'd love it!

4. If you're a bit tight on cash but still want your mum to know how special she is to you send her a card with a gorgeous photo of you and her or a hilarious, funny photo of you and your siblings. Maybe a photo from a holiday or day out that you and your kids took - mum's always love photos of their grandkids! There are plenty of places online to order photos or even a photobook or just visit Officeworks, Kmart or often your local chemist will have photo machines. You could even just print them out on your own printer at home, this is what we did last year and mum absolutely loved the photos!

5. Groupon is another great place to look for something fun and different for your mum. You can either buy an actual gift or organise a 'fun' activity. My mum gets a bit nervous now when I ever mention the words 'fun activity' as the last 'fun' activity I planned with her wasn't a great success, although we can laugh about it now :-) I won't go into details just to say mum hates heights and I booked a bridge climb! Number one daughter right there!

6. A phone call is always a winner and now with facetime no matter where you and your mum are you can spend some of her special day together. Maybe don't call her first thing in the morning, unless of course she's an early riser, let her get her 'face' on first :-) I've saw an ad on TV just recently for Ovo mobile, plans from just $10/month - another gift idea for your mum (or dad) maybe? Then she has no reason to not be available when you need her!

Medium Sweet Tooth Gift
7. Our mum doesn't have a huge sweet tooth (I know right, how is that even a thing?!) but she does still enjoy a red frog or a chocolate freckle every now and then. I regularly send her a medium sweet tooth box, making sure her favourites are front and centre, and always give her one on Mother's Day. She then hides it aways so dad can't get to it. He says he's not a sweet tooth either (I know, I think I must be adopted) but whenever there is a box of chocolates around dad's never too far away!

Whatever you choose to give your mum this Mother's Day don't stress about the 'dollar' value, it's all about making memories and celebrating her being your mum. Facetime her while you're both eating a box of chocolates, send her a text with a funny photo of her, plan a surprise trip away, whatever you do your mum will love it almost as much as she loves you. You are her favourite after all ;-)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Games, Roadtrips and Moving

Sometimes it is all fun and games. Just after Easter my family and I headed up to Noosa for a couple of days. It was a bit of a break from the every day as well as a visit to the cemetery to see Grandpa and organise our Grandma's plaque. It was hard to have a reflective moment at the cemetery as where Grandpa's plaque is there are also about a gazillion mozzies. We all had to jump around while paying our respects, taking photos and getting measurements for Grandma's plaque. Sombre is wasn't and I'm sure Grandpa would have found it quite amusing!

Learning on our Noosa Roadtrip

We popped into a cheapy shop to see what games they had and found a few crackers. They were mini traditional games, we ended up with Monopoly, Cluedo and Mastermind as well as a pretty groovy Hangman. Cluedo ended up being a BIG hit, hangman was a close second, my sister and I liked Mastermind but you had to use your brain too much for the kids and Monopoly is well, Monopoly, it takes forever whether it's in mini format or not. My sister lasted one circuit of the board before she was bored! Cluedo is a game I had back in the day and it's always been a great board game, especially now the kids are older and understand the concept of it although I think it was still a little tricky for master 10. So if you're ever in the Reject Shop look for these little games, they were $3 each and well worth it. We're planning on getting a couple more as there's Game of Life and Yahtzee, two more games we've enjoyed in the 'big' format.

The kids couldn't wait long enough for me to take a photo - Nutella Pizza

One night we had dinner at the resort we were staying at, woodfired pizzas! For dessert the kids wanted to try a Nutella Pizza - now as you know I am a big sweet tooth but ever this seemed a bit over the top for me. It's not something I would ever order again but the kids loved it! It was VERY sweet but was helped a lot when we added a scoop of chocolate choc chip icecream we had back in our room. Yes, we'd gone to the supermarket to stock up on the essentials!

Three days away was well needed and I *tried* not to think about work at all and give myself a complete break from Rainbow Designs. It's been such a hard slog for such a long time that I was in desperate need of a time out from it. I'm back into again and have, again, been working behind the scenes as well as blogging and FBing. Orders are low and so far there hasn't been any Mother's Day orders come in. Traditionally I have found that it is generally only a week or so before Mother's Day that they really start to come in so I'm hoping that again that is the case. My bills haven't stopped coming in so I can't afford my orders to stop coming in!

Sweet and Savoury Hamper - $95 including delivery and gift card

Our distribution warehouse has recently moved from Hawthorn in Victoria to the Gold Coast in Queensland - no disruptions were had and I don't expect anything to change with the possibility of some new hampers and a few updates to a couple of our current hampers. So far everything is as fabulous as it always has been so I'm really hoping for a boost in sales. These bills won't pay themselves unfortunately! Talking about bills I'm looking at changing over my mobile from Amaysim to Ovo and possibly cancel my Telstra internet and also go with Ovo. Has anyone had any experience with Ovo? I think they're only fairly new. (I did notice they were on the HSV cars at Phillip Is on the weekend) They run on the Optus network, same as Amaysim.

Back to it, with a cuppa in hand and a sneaky Easter egg I hid at the back of the freezer, ssshhhh don't tell anyone.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Some more small things to Celebrate

So how have you gone celebrating the small things? I hope you've given yourself plenty of pats on the back, you deserve them. No matter how small or insignificant you make think your 'achievements' have been for the week they are still worth celebrating.

Lizards (water dragons) love my front porch and flyscreen door!
My small thing celebrations over the passed week or so include:

  • washed, dried and put away my flannelette sheets ready for the cooler weather (it's almost here) I always like to give them a freshen up wash after they've been sitting there since last winter
  • vacuumed the house including the lounge and behind the doors :-) (and you know how much I love vacuuming, not)
  • cooked up a batch of bolognese mince for the freezer
  • emptied out the spare room of packing boxes (they've only made it as far as the carport but it's a start)
  • written a few more blog posts and did some more seoing (still haven't seen any positive results yet but I will be patient)
  • washed my hair more than once in a week!
  • took my book back to the library (on the last day it was due back) and got some more books
  • went to IGA and bought a few groceries and even scored some bargain Easter eggs (10 redtulip eggs for $1.88, winning!)
  • updated the website to reflect the warehouse move and amended delivery times (our warehouse is now on the Gold Coast!)
  • removed all Easter gifts from the website and updated dates ready for next year (I'm so organised!) FYI: Good Friday next year is March 30.
  • posted about Mother's Day - it's only 3 weeks away
  • researched mobile phone and internet plans (I think I'm going to switch over to - anyone had any experience with them?)
  • swept the front porch while keeping a close eye out for lizards (they seem to like my porch and flyscreen door for some reason)
  • organised an Easter egg hunt for the kids (including a clue hidden in a bowl of jelly which they had to use only their mouth to get to!)
  • visited our Grandpa's grave (and almost got eaten alive by mozzies!)

Grandpa's plaque (almost 11 years since he passed away, how is that possible?!)

That's about it I think, nothing earth shattering again but at least I accomplished a few things over the last week or so. With business being a tad quiet it can sometimes get on top of me and I could quite easily just pull the covers over my head and block out the world but I know that certainly isn't going get me more orders! So with a determination that I don't always feel I will keep doing what I'm doing, researching and investing more time in helping boost my business and of course eat chocolate

How have you been going over the last few weeks? Kicking goals or just a few behinds ;-) We've got this!

It's been 3 years since my wonderful nan passed away and I miss her every day :-( I love you nan.

Nan always LOVED having her photo taken! I think she would approve of me putting this online (even though she probably wouldn't know what 'online' meant ;-) )

Monday, 24 April 2017

Gourmet Cooking Hampers

We can't deny it, we love food especially if someone else cooks it! Ha ha. How about you? Do you love food? Do you love cooking? Do you know someone who adores cooking and spending their day in the kitchen whipping up gourmet delights for friends and family? (We'd love an invite to the next shindig! ;-) )

Italian Pasta Hamper - $135 delivered with gift card

This is where we can help when it comes time to send them a gift, we have quite a few delightful and delicious hampers that have been inspired for master home cooks. Our gourmet cooking hamper range has been put together to help inspire and maybe even reignite their passion for cooking. Each hamper comes with yummy gourmet ingredients and quality chef inspired cooking implements and serving dishes to help create a fun and festive party or a quiet and romantic dinner.

Tantalising Tapas - $125 delivered with gift card

Italian, Spanish and Moroccan with a bit of everyday gourmet in the form of popcorn and homemade icecream. The days of boring dinners and the same old same old will come to an end when these hampers arrive at their door. With the popularity of cooking shows we've found these wonderful gourmet cooking hampers have increased in popularity with people even order a kit for themselves. This always brings an extra big smile to our face when we see people spoiling themselves and their families - nothing brings families together more than food (oh and of course chocolate!)

Popcorn Hamper - $160 delivered with gift card

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Mother's Day is on its way!

There's only 3 weeks until it's Mother's Day here in Australia so it's time to get your orders in, no pressure! Always allow time for the couriers to do their thing and remember that no deliveries are made on the weekend.

Gourmet Picnic - $125 delivered with gift card

Sunday May 14 is Mother's Day (the second Sunday in May) and is often a day spent at the park with a yummy picnic or in a special restaurant with the bubbles flowing. It's also the day you maybe lucky enough to get breakfast in bed!

Coffee and Cookies - $85 delivered with gift card

We've got lots of wonderful gifts to help you spoil your mum with, especially if you can't be with her. If she's a bit of a sweet tooth you could send her a yummy lolly box for just $29 or maybe she's a bit of a whizz in the kitchen and loves trying something new, our Maggie Beer, Simon Johnson or Perfect Spanish Paella hampers will make her day. If she's a bit of a bubbles type of gal how about our Something Very Special hamper or our Afternoon Tea gift - a real favourite and will show her how much you appreciate and love her.

Sweet Tooth gifts from $29 delivered with gift card

However you choose to celebrate your mum or special person on Mother's Day make sure it's done with love and smiles. A hug can go a long way but, like many of us, when we can't be there in person a lovely gift hamper with a thoughtful message attached will make their day and give them that warm fuzzy feeling just like a big squishy hug does.

Afternoon Tea - $100 delivered with gift card

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Celebrating the Small things

It's easy to get in a bit of a funk when things just don't seem to be going as we had thought or hoped so I have decided I am going to Celebrate the Small things and you should too!

No dust here!
  • Yesterday I got all the sheets washed and dried and put away
  • On Sunday I got the grocery shopping done and bought the kids Easter eggs (and maybe one for myself and my sister)
  • I put the bin out on Monday night
  • I returned my library books on Saturday
  • This morning I washed all the towels and hung them out (they will get put away when they are dry!!)
  • I've written out the clues for our Easter egg hunt 
  • My bills are up to date, until the next lot come in!
  • I renewed my drivers licence early, it wasn't due until 19/4
  • Blog posts have been written on a fairly regular basis
  • I vacuumed behind, under and around the furniture (and I hate vacuuming)
  • Last night I cleaned out the fridge while cooking dinner
  • I washed my hair and (almost) styled it
  • I've done some more seoing on the website (still waiting to see the results from my seoing efforts of a month or so ago!)
  • Donated some clothes and stuff for the flood appeal
  • Helped my niece with her resume
  • Had a few Easter orders come in over the weekend, better than none
That's about it but, like with the orders, better than nothing. I'm trying to just focus on the good and positive and try and turn the bad and negative around or at least not over think them! Mum and dad are coming up for Easter so it will be great to catch up with them. The Easter bunny arrives on Sunday, on Tuesday the family and I are going away for a couple of days (we're going to lay a plaque for my grandma, next to my grandpa and then enjoy some time together) and then, who knows?? The possibilities, potential and persistence are endless.

Start celebrating the small things, it doesn't matter how small (just look at my list, I'm celebrating putting a garbage bin out!) these things matter, they are part of our everyday but we should feel proud and worthwhile and useful. Small things can lead to big things!

Carpe Diem - Seize the Day, no matter how small
Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and small thing celebrateror.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

One step foward three steps back - seo you're killing me

It seems the more I try to improve Rainbow Designs search engine (google) ranking the worse our ranking gets. How and why does this happen?? It is so frustrating and disheartening. When ever I make any changes or write new blurbs I always do it with my customers in mind but also try and ensure it is what the search engines, mainly google, want because if I don't get indexed and listed in google I won't be found and my customers won't read the new blurbs. It's so hard.

About a month or so ago I did a huge amount of housekeeping on the website both behind the scenes and in front where people actually see and read and then hopefully buy. I changed some of the gift hampers names or slightly amended tweaked them so they read easier and I hoped would be found easier. I also fixed all of the gift descriptions and details so they are all uniformed and read the same hoping that it will make it easier for people to read, understand and purchase from us. I changed the font for the gifts to something super neat and clean (well I think so) and made sure they were all the same. The descriptions were all broken down into areas to make it easier to see what is in each hamper, what is included and how it benefits the customer. I am hoping this is making it clearer for everyone to make their purchasing of gifts less stressful and to make sure they know what they are buying and when it will be sent and delivered.

I changed or amended a lot of the <header> details as well as the behind the scenes <descriptions> - these are the descriptions that the search engines are meant to read and then index and will eventually show in their listings. One of the major side effects or downfalls has been that a couple of the categories that use to rank ok (around page 3 or 4) now are nowhere to be seen, bugger! I have my fingers crossed it's just a reindexing thing and they will jump back up to, again fingers crossed, end up on the first few pages. Most people only look on the first couple of pages when doing a search so that's where I need to be.

My wish and dream is that Rainbow Designs will be one the first page for Gift Hampers and similar key words/sentences including the addition of celebrations such as birthday, Easter, Christmas etc but want I really want is that whenever anyone is searching for a gift for them to buy online and have it delivered in Australia Rainbow Designs will be in amongst it all and at least be there for them to have a look and decide if what we have is what they want. At the moment they're not even given the chance to see what we have to offer as we're on no mans land in our rankings. Please mr google if you would be so kind as to lift our rankings in your wonderful search engine we would be ever so grateful.

Patience is something I know you need whenever you make changes to your website and want to improve your listings, sometimes it can take 3-4 months, but I don't think Rainbow Designs will be around for much longer if these changes don't happen soon. I know I have a great business and gorgeous gift hampers I just don't know how to let everyone else know?

Do you? Any tips and hints you'd like to pass on?

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and seo failure (it would seem atm)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

It's all about the lollies, lollies, lollies

It's not about the money, money, money (well, it is but mainly it's about the lollies). It's no surprise that we all have a bit of a sweet tooth here at Rainbow Designs, some more so than others, so it definitely isn't a surprise that our lolly gifts are amongst our favourites (especially when there's some 'quality controlling' involved!).

A lot of our gifts have some type of lolly component in them but these gifts have only the lolly component - all of the sweet stuff none of the savoury stuff or even the chocolate stuff (gasp!).

Big Lolly Box - $48 Now this gift has been around as long as Rainbow Designs has, 13 years! I know right, it's a teenager. Filled with attitude and sweetest you just can't resist.

Just Jellybabies - $29 This is a relatively new gift but we did have something very similar a few years back and were prompted into bringing it back by a few of our Jellybaby loving customers!

Just Lollies - $29 Previously known as Lots of Lollies, we changed the name as we were often getting customer enquiries for a gift that had 'just lollies' in it so thought this might help them find exactly what they were looking for!

Little Sweetie - $50 A very popular lolly hamper we must say and I totally understand why. It's a great price, looks fabulous and has many sweet little goodies to keep that sugar fiend friend happy, happy, happy. The lollies in this hamper do get swapped around from time to time depending on what our supplier has sent us and what we think fits the 'little sweetie' theme - always a winner and makes a super sweet birthday gift as well as a special little thank you present.

Sugar Coat It - $29 Now I have to admit I added this little gift to our range as my favourite type of lolly (at the moment anyway, this can change monthly!) is the jube. Soft or hard, they're just so deliciously comforting and a lovely little pick me up throughout the day. I know they keep me trucking along when things are getting a bit frantic.

So there you have our range of Lolly Gifts but don't forget we have a whole other range of Lolly and Chocolate gifts as well as elegant and super special Hampers with the inclusion of divine lollies to tempt even the fussiest of sweet tooths!

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs Boss(y) lady and jube lover from way back

Monday, 10 April 2017

Easter Egg Hunt (or anytime hunt really!)

My nephew (10) has asked for an Easter egg hunt this year, which is always fun (unless of course I make the clues to hard and they can't do them so give up and asked for the answer!), and I've been given the task of putting it together. I thought I'd share some of the clues that I'm planning on using and some ideas also, which I may or may not use. Not sure what the weather is going to be like on Sunday I am going to base it mainly inside but with, maybe, a few outside. I'm not so worried about the kids going outside in the rain it's me having to go outside in the rain and place all the clues and eggs!

I was hoping to finish it with a pinata but the only pinatas I've come across have been way too big and I don't want to have to spend a fortune on filling it! So I think at this stage it will just end with a basket/box/bowl of Easter goodies unless anyone has any easy ideas on how to do a diy pinata??

Some of the clues I have so far include:

  • Let the fun begin, grab your sister and your brother and go hug your mother
  • Hickory dickory dock the mouse ran up the ....... [clock]
  • Santa Clause is coming to town, wait, what?? Did he drop in for a sneaky visit? [fireplace]
  • Who sat on the wall and had a great fall? [humpty - egg cups]
  • The clue will just have their house number (hoping they'll go to the letterbox!)
  • For the next clue, think number 1's and number 2's :-) [toilet - ewwww]
  • What goes up when the rain comes down [umbrella]
  • Looking for the final prize, go to where you can look into your eyes [mirror]
plus I'm thinking of doing a few find a words (just use word or publisher - maybe 10-15 letters by 10-15. I just put in a few words ie their names and a few randoms and then one that is the actual clue), photo cut into pieces that they'll need to put together (like a jigsaw), text someone for the next clue (Can I get a clue from you?), use an insta #, word scrambles (with this one I thought of the place the next clue was going to be and then used the letters of that world for each of the scrambled words). ie If your next hiding spot is say in the 'bath' you would have 4 scramble words, one starting with b, one with a, one with t and one with h. Easy peasy but hopefully not too easy peasy for the kids!. Another one is 'matching lists' so you have two list of words that match ie list one has puppy, list 2 has dog, list 1 has easter, list 2 has egg and so on. Jumble them up so they are not next to each other and have one extra word that doesn't have a matching word - this will be the clue. I hope that makes sense?!

I don't want to get too elaborate or have too many clues but a nice mix of hints, riddles and puzzles to make it fun with a few Easter eggs thrown in for good measure!

There are so many ideas online just google 'easter egg hunt' or 'scavenger hunt' and you'll have enough ideas to get you through Easter, birthdays and Christmas! is a good resource, not just easter egg hunts but fun kids activities that you can personalise.

Have fun and be safe over Easter and, of course, eat lots of chocolate!

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady and 'fun' activities co ordinator

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Potential, Possibilities and Persistence

The three P's I chant each morning as I start up my computer. The potential for so many orders to have come in over night, the possibilities of customer and corporate enquiries and the persistence I need to get me through the day.

Within a few minutes of my computer starting up and the internet connecting the first two P's are revealed and, unfortunately, more often than not they are wiped off and added to tomorrows three P's list. The third P, persistence, is always hanging on even if only by a finger nail (which have been chewed almost to the bone) and thus the day begins.

It's a bit like groundhog day lately, same thing day in day out even if I do try a few different or new things to help kickstart my business again. Round and round I go where I'll stop nobody knows. I'm getting a bit dizzy to be honest and just want to get off!

Just around the corner from my house - I was very lucky indeed!
But persist I will, for now any way. I was spared from the floods last week so I am taking it as a good sign, sign for exactly what I'm not sure but I'll take it.

With Easter almost upon us you would think the orders would be flying in, sadly no. I haven't given up all hope. I know how fabulous our Easter gifts are I just need to get everyone else to see that too - I am trying don't you worry about that!

Just looking at this brings a smile to my face and maybe a little drool!
Take care,

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) lady

Monday, 3 April 2017

Are you secure?

Rainbow Designs and I have survived the awful floods but so many others are still dealing with it. So much destruction and mess, a big clean up is currently underway. Everyone is banding together which is so wonderful to see.

During all this my security certificate on the website expired and didn't update it's self so left Rainbow Designs as 'insecure'. This is an automatic thing each year but the way it gets done had changed from last year so by the time I realised it was already coming up as 'danger, this website is insecure'! Even though technically my website itself doesn't need to be secure as we don't 'catch' any of the payment information, like credit cards etc, these are all done on the banks website which is secure. I just like to have it on my website as more of an extra assurance to my customers so it doesn't help when it expires and brings up a big old warning! Anyway, it's all fixed now and we are super secure again :-) Sorry if anyone went on over the weekend and got a bit spooked - it's all better now.

Due to this slight hiccup(!) very few orders came in over the weekend, boo. I am hoping now that everything is as it should be the Easter orders in particular will pick up. I've got a few bills starting to pile up so really need a bit of cash to pay them :-) Living on beans and rice is getting a bit boring.

It's still spins me out that my business has been running for 13 years, wow. I'm just hoping 13 isn't unlucky and this is as far as it gets!

School holidays are about to start here, some have already started, which the kids are looking forward to. Although at the moment the schools are still closed so they've got a bit of a preholiday holiday. A few of the schools got flooded and some are just wanting to check everything is safe, especially the electricals, before reopening plus there are many people that are trying to get their homes and lives back in order.

We're planning an Easter egg hunt as requested by one of the kids so I've been given the task of coming up with some 'fun and not too hard' clues - I love doing this sort of thing! I'll have to get my thinking cap out. I was also thinking of maybe having a pinata? Never had one of these before, thought it might be a fun way to end the hunt. Just have to work out where to put it so it isn't found too earlier plus I need to find a smallish pinata somewhere and then fill it with Easter eggs! Fun!

I hope you all stayed safe and dry over these last few days and have plenty of help and support if you were caught up in it. Take it one day at a time and try not to get to overwhelmed. It's a daunting task but you will get through it. Please ask for help don't think you need to do it alone. There are a lot of people around for help and support. I've noticed there are many Facebook pages (this is the Murwillumbah one) going up with offers of support and information on what is happening in the area, maybe check there for your area if you are able.

Thanks everyone for your continued support of Rainbow Designs and if you do need any Easter gifts sending out now is the time to order (we are secure, he he) - remember to allow extra time for deliveries to rural and country areas as well as areas that have been affected by the floods. These areas may not have a delivery service for awhile so may just be delivered to the local post office or collection centres.

Jacqui ~ Rainbow Designs boss(y) and Easter egg hunt organiser for 2017