Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings from The Bride's Diary Team!



The Bride's Diary Team extends our very best wishes for the Festive Season to all our readers and clients. Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year celebration.

We have absolutely loved working on our website and publications throughout 2010. It has been great to keep in touch with our members through the bridal buzz message boards and to receive your fantastic feedback. Thank you for the many wonderful compliments we have received to our fabulous new editions of The Bride's Diary. We love it too!

We look forward to a wonderful 2011 filled with exciting new additions to our publications and online features!

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in The Bride's Diary.

Once again, have a wonderful festive season.

Warm regards,

The Bride's Diary Team

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute Gift Ideas at Kinokuniya Books



Christmas is almost here! If you haven't got your pressies sorted, the wonderful staff at Kinokuniya Books have recommended some 2010 highlights. 

The Gift Guide is also still available and is bursting with fantastic ideas from classics and art/design to cooking, children's books, inappropriate gifts, history, literature, books for booklovers, travel, film, manga, comics and more!

Can't decide what to get? Kinokuniya gift vouchers are the perfect solution as it gives your friends/family the freedom to choose their own present. Available in $10, $20 and $50 denominations.

Kinokuniya are open until 10pm tonight and tomorrow (Christmas Eve Day!) 9am - 7pm. There is also a complimentary gift wrapping service available. 

Literature Highlights: 

Helene - "So another year is nearly over and our reading piles grow larger by the day. Here are some more titles to add to your stack (or that of your friends' and family)":

Stories edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio is a great book for anyone needing to find a new author to read. This story collection features best original fiction from some of the most imaginative writers in the world, and showcases some of fiction's newer stars. Contributors include Joyce Carol Oates, Joanne Harris, Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Jodi Picoult, Peter Straub, Lawrence Block, Chuck Palahniuk, Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O Nan, Joe Hill and many more.

The Booker Prize winning Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Room by Emma Donoghue are all great reads and have proved popular with our staff and customers alike. Kino favourite Lian Hearn (of Across the Nightingale Floor fame) has a new novel set in Japan during the upheaval of the late 1800s and Toni Jordan brings us a screw-ball story of grifter and her con-artist family who may have met their match when they take on a millionaire philanthropist who is not what he seems in Fall Girl.

Cookbook Highlights: 


Erica - "We have had some wonderful cookbooks come through this year as the publishers have had to try to keep up with our customers' increasing interest cuisine and foodie culture. From Macrobiotics to Macarons, Slow cookers to Charcuterie we seem to have a book for everything and everyone. The standout for us (which we awarded the title of Kinokuniya Cookbook of the Year) is Degustation: A Chef's Life Through Menus by Alain Fabregues, a beautiful cookbook whose design is matched by the intricacy of the recipes within. Quay by Peter Gilmore (of Master Chef's Guava Snow Egg fame) and Bentley by Brent Savage (from the great restaurant in Surry Hills) are other favourites."

Visit www.kinokuniya.com

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nivea Sun Has You Covered This Summer



From daily surf sessions to family get-togethers in the park, no two summer days are the same. That’s why worldwide number one in sun protection[1] - Nivea Sun – has a complete range of sunscreen lotions and sprays for every summer sun care need. The extensive Nivea Sun range, now with a sleek packaging redesign, includes:

• New Nivea Sun Ultra Beach Protect SPF30+ - specially formulated UV filters and four hours water resistancy means it’s perfect for an active beach day where refection from sand and water can mean there is up to 25% stronger UV exposure. Rich moisturisers and vitamin E helps to alleviate that dry and tight feeling caused by heat and salt water. 
• New Nivea Sun Moisturising After Sun Lotion - replenishing ingredients vitamin E, aloe vera and avocado oil revive sun-stressed skin, leaving it soft and radiant. 
• Nivea Sun Children’s Coloured Sun Spray and Lotion SPF30+ - specifically for children’s skin, the formula sprays on green and rubs in clear. The Spray offers 2 hours water resistancy and the Lotion 4 hours. 
• Nivea Sun Caring Sun Spray SPF15 / SPF30+ - in a convenient pump spray bottle for easy application, the formula contains moisturising Vitamin E and two hours water resistancy. 
• Nivea Sun Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion SPF30+ (200ml and 400ml) –broad spectrum UVA and UVB filters reliably protect skin from sunburn and premature ageing. The non-sticky formula offers four hours water resistancy whilst Vitamin E protects skin from dehydration. 
• Nivea Sun Age Defence Moisturising Facial Sunscreen Lotion SPF30+ - developed for the delicate skin on the face, it contains high protection UVA/UVB filters to fight premature ageing and fine lines. This also has 4 hours water resistancy. 
• Nivea Lip Sun SPF30+ - not forgetting the delicate lips, nourishing shea butter and Vitamin E protect against moisture loss with up to four hours water resistancy. 
• Nivea Sun Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF30 and NIVEA SUN Light Feel Everyday Sun Lotion SPF30+ - the ultra-light and non-greasy formula is instantly absorbed into skin, whilst the broad spectrum UVA/UVB filters and SPF30 offer complete sun protection. NIVEA SUN Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF30 provides a smooth base for make-up too. 

From children’s sun care to incidental sun exposure and maximum protection, Nivea Sun has your sun care needs sorted this summer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Megan Park Home



Renowned for her artisan’s touch, Megan Park creates a collection that mixes the ancient traditions and craft of hand embroidery with the cuts, shapes and fabrics of today to create heirlooms of the future.


Australian-born Megan Park studied fashion design at RMIT, and upon leaving college began work as a textile designer in Melbourne. In 1993 she moved to London to begin designing textiles for a well-respected agency working for the likes of Givenchy, Dries van Noten and Kenzo.

In 1997, Megan launched her own label in London with an eponymous collection of evening bags and scarves, which has now grown to include womenswear and accessories collections, as well as Megan Park Girl (for girls aged 2-6,) and Megan Park Home (a soft furnishings home collection).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dogs have their day at Christmas too!



Humans aren’t the only ones indulging at Christmas, according to just released research by PawClub.com.au, 72 per cent1 of dog owners admit to feeding their dog under the table at the Christmas meal and 84 percent of dog owners revealed there is a gift under the tree for their pooch.

The study, conducted by Pfizer Animal Health website - PawClub.com.au, which surveyed over 300 dog owners across Australia, confirms that during the festive season, dogs are included in the usual Christmas traditions, particularly when it comes to gift-giving and the Christmas feast.

The saying ‘give the dog a bone’ takes a more literal meaning at Christmas time with dog owners
acknowledging that chew toys are gifts of choice for their canine companions. 47 per cent said they chose to give their dogs new toys or leads, whilst 37 per cent thought a little extra food as a Christmas treat was fine.

The Christmas meal might be the reason why 12 per cent of respondents noticed that their dogs had gained a few kilos over the Christmas period4. Another 25 per cent of dog owners said that they were surprised their dogs didn’t put on more weight considering the amount of food they eat.

Leading vet and media personality, Dr Ark says that whilst it’s okay to sneak the odd treat to your dog under the table, it’s important not to forget their basic needs, like regular walks and preventative care.

“Christmas is a really busy time of year so owners should make sure their dogs are exercised and fed
normally over the holiday period. In some instances, keeping the dog walk at the top of the list could help both owners and their dogs shed those extra Christmas kilos!”

Over half of the survey respondents kept a regular walking routine with their dogs over the holiday period with only 15 per cent admitting to walking their dog less during this time6. Dr Ark said that a credible website like PawClub.com.au is a great resource for general dog care information. “The ‘Places to go’ section in particular is a great way for dog owners to find pooch-friendly places to visit across Australia. That way, owners can find more ways to spend time with their dogs and keep those puppy kilos off with regular exercise.”

PawClub.com.au aims to fill the need for online dog care information by providing dog owners and potential dog owners with the resources and support they are searching for, bridging the gap between vets and the online space.

Becoming a Pawclub.com.au member is free of charge and by doing so dog owners will receive tailored
newsletters including treatment reminders and access to veterinary advice. As part of PawClub’s focus on happy, healthy dogs.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Give the Gift of Charity this Christmas



Christmas is very nearly upon us, and if you are still struggling to buy Christmas gifts for hard-to-buy-for family and friends The Bride's Diary has the answer... the gift of charity!

There are some really great organisations around who are in desperate need of support to help people and animals around the world. You can help with providing simple things - like buying a goat for a village, breakfast for kids who might otherwise go without or you could even adopt an animal or sponsor a child - all on behalf of a family member or friend.


Oxfam: You choose the charity "gift" you would like to give, and are sent a card with a message detailing the help that was provided to give to your family member or friend - and your donation goes to those who need it most!




WWF Christmas Animal Adoptions: Adopt endangered species such as tigers, pandas, orangutans or turtles. You receive a cuddly toy and adoption certificate, and your donation helps to restore the animals habitat, strengthen numbers in the wild and combat poachers. 


Plan Sponsor a Child: You can sponsor a child from $1.50 a day - which helps community members, particularly children, determine their path to a sustainable community – funding projects crucial to health, education, housing, livelihood opportunities and water supplies.


For more charity gift ideas visit www.charitygifts.com.au

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Growing your own vegetables


Nothing beats garden-fresh vegetables. Any sunny spot, even a pot, can produce a few favourites.

Where to plant. Your site must get full sun all day, so choose a spot clear of trees. An area of 4m x 4m is a good size for beginners.

What sort of soil?. Fertile, free-draining soil is essential. To improve your soil, dig over your vegie patch, breaking up any clods, and work in plenty of well-rotted manure and compost and one handful of complete plant food per square metre. The dug-over soil should end up dark, fine and crumbly. Leave it undisturbed for a week or two before planting your crop.

Problem soils. Clay: If your soil is sticky, heavy clay, don't bother digging. Build a 25cm-high retaining wall around the site and fill it with good-quality soil.
Sandy: If your soil is very sandy, it will drain well but you'll need to add lots of organic matter to give it fertility and some body. A raised bed will help ensure good drainage. Rake over to level it, then water the area deeply.

What to plant. Select varieties you like to eat. Remember, vegetables planted at the same time mature at the same time, so it's a good idea to plant small batches two or three weeks apart. Choose varieties that are right for the season.

Seeds: They're reasonably cheap and it's easy to plant a few seeds now and save the rest for later. Sow according to the directions on the pack. Never let the soil dry out while the seeds are germinating (which may take two weeks) and, when seedlings appear, thin them so the spacing between each is even.Seedlings:

Bought seedlings are already several weeks old, so they're ready to eat sooner and can be spaced correctly at the outset. But they have to be planted all at once and you may not want so many ready to eat at the same time.

Single or wide rows? Vegetables are usually grown in rows. Single rows are the traditional choice but some garden experts are now recommending three to five rows closely spaced to form one wide row. This increases the yield per square metre.

Source: Gardening: A Commonsense Guide'' (Murdoch Books) via Better Homes and Gardens 


Knowing your zone will help you find what will grow most successfully in your garden. Detailed information on Australian climate zones can be found at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website .

Australia - arid. This zone crosses Australia from coastal Western Australia to the Great Dividing Range in the East. It includes all the desert area, Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs and dry inland areas of Queensland.

Australia - cool/mountain. Mild or warm summer. Cold winter with frosts. Includes high areas of the New South Wales Northern Tablelands (Armidale,Guyra,Glen Innes), Southern Tablelands, Canberra/ACT, and most of Tasmania.

Australia - sub-tropical. Warm humid summer (average January maximum temperature < 30 degrees C). Mild dry winter. Includes the eastern seaboard from Brisbane south through Coffs Harbour to Sydney. Coastal WA from approx Geraldton to Canarvon

Australia - temperate. Warm summer (average January maximum < 30 degrees C), cool winter. Includes inland Queensland, New South Wales tablelands and coastal region south of Sydney, and much of southern coastal Australia from Melbourne, Adelaide through to Perth.

Australia - tropical. Hot humid summer (average January maximum temperature > 30 degrees C). Warm winter. Extends across the north of Australia from Canarvon through Port Hedland, Broome, Darwin, Cairns, and south to Rockhampton.

Visit Gardenate to make it easier to keep your kitchen garden growing and producing. Each month the home page lists what you can plant now in your climate zone, and what to prepare for next month.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Husk Teas - a Relaxing Christmas Gift Idea



Husk Teas are the perfect Christmas gift - a relaxing and enjoyable gift that keeps on giving! Combine with one of the beautiful teapots available from Husk for the ultimate gift....


Revive - Reawaken the senses with this beautifully sweet and subtle invigorator. a harmonic blend of lemon scented tea tree and hawthorn berries.

Harmony - This heart warming spicy blend brings a fresh perspective. Aperfectly balanced recipe of cinnamon, cloves, lychee berries, cardamom, ginger, lemon balm and purple marshmallow flowers.

Digest - A perfect conclusion to any meal. This soft and exotic blend leaves you with a deliciously tangy after taste. Made from nature's sweetest licorice, peppermint and chamomile.

Dream - An aromatic cup of reverie blended from nature's choicest organic agents of slumber. A luscious merger of the finest lavender, chamomile and hawthorn berries.

Black - 100% Australian grown. Perfect growing conditions have resulted in a full bodied natural flavour.

Green Lapacho - Green tea is renowned for it's healing powers. Combined with the mineral content of lapacho, it is more than just a delicious tea.

Lemon Myrtle - 100% Australian grown. The leaf of this magnificent rain forest tree has been blended with premium quality Australian grown black tea.
Visit Husk

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thoughtful Christmas Gift Ideas...







The You & Me Memory Book is a  special gift designed to capture your relationship, from one friend or loved one to another - a beautiful and thoughtful christmas gift idea! Stop for a moment and consider life with that special someone. How have they changed you? What memories have you shared? And what does your future hold? Take the time to write detailed descriptions of your relationship for a special friend or loved one with phrases such as The First Time We Met, A Fun Moment Was When, I Admire You Because...


This gorgeous Cloth Photo Box is the perfect way to keep photo's safe, organised and always a pleasure to flick through. The Cloth Photo Box will also keep certificates, journals and other keepsakes safe and sound. A great christmas gift idea for someone who you share special memories with - get them started by placing a few of your favourite photos in the box for them!


Wear your stationery love with pride this season. This gorgeous Pencil & Ruler Pendant adds the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. This is a great gift for a loved one that you may not see very often - include a stationery set and start a tradition of writing letters the old fashioned way!

Available from Kikki.K

Note: For delivery by Christmas order online by 13th December with standard post or 19th December with express post.

Thursday, December 9, 2010



An elegant combination of pewter and ceramic, Match pewter dinnerware, available at Husk, harmonises with both traditional and modern settings. Handmade by artisans in northern Italy, the Convivio dinnerware collection from Match is the perfect gift for family members and loved ones. Or, why not get a dinner set for yourself as your Christmas dinnerware - stunning and festive!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vintage Photo Walls



The Graphic Art Gallery is turning 30, and to celebrate their anniversary they will be releasing giant Photo Walls from the 80s.

Photo Walls are an easy way to DIY your home. Hung like Wallpaper, the photo walls are an eye-catching feature that anyone can do!.

Photo walls are making a retro comeback, from their height of popularity in the 80s when they featured on shows such as Simon Townsend's Wonder Wall.

You can turn a whole wall into a window view of a forest, a sunset or turn the kids' room into Disneyland. Get the feel of sitting in between the trees or laying on the beach in your lounge room.

As part of the Anniversary special release, Graphic Art Gallery have reduced the prices: 
• 388 x 274 cm now $ 140
• 388 x 137 cm now $ 100
• Doors now $ 40

Available as long as stocks last.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Provincial Christmas Gifts at French & Country



If you are still searching high and low for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, you should consider a trip to the beautiful Southern Highlands. French & Country is one of the many beautiful and unique stores you will discover - and one of The Bride's Diary teams' favourites! 


A provincial hideaway in the NSW Southern Highlands, French & Country is filled with everything for the home, garden and special occasions. Items are sourced both locally and across Europe, usually timeworn and rustic in patina, and carefully selected to enhance everyday living. Whether it is an antique armoire, Belgian bedlinen or candles from the oldest candle company in France, you will find something for you to enjoy.


 

Visit www.frenchandcountry.com.au for opening hours

Monday, December 6, 2010

Unique Furniture for Christmas Entertaining




Jaws will drop when you see furniture and jewellery designer Ann Pamintuan’s Gilded Expression collection at Globe West. Whether you are looking for a unique gift, or furniture to liven up an entertaining space, these pieces fit the bill!



A sheath of of fine metal strands, interwoven in twists and turns, create show-stopping furniture pieces.


These unique decorative pieces are available for both indoor and outdoor.




Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Giving with Tiffany



Tiffany & Co. celebrates the holidays with the perfect gifts for everyone from loved ones to clients and colleagues. Wrapped in the Tiffany Blue Box®, each iconic creation honors an important relationship and reflects a tradition of excellence over 170 years in the making.

Tiffany’s legacy as master of american silver design shines in a range of handcrafted creations that acknowledge good taste and a preference for gifts of great utility. A T-clip ballpoint pen and an oval tag key ring engraved with Return to Tiffany™ are everyday essentials to keep close at hand. A gleaming silver frame showcases a favorite photograph, and an Atlas® alarm clock combines style and function with streamlined roman numerals and brushed and polished brass.

The legendary quality that is synonymous with Tiffany & Co. is now elegantly expressed in the new Tiffany Leather Collection, created by Tiffany design directors Richard Lambertson and John Truex. Their mastery of the craft has produced a collection of timeless simplicity, with all the luxury of the Tiffany experience. Accessories include an ID card case, classic billfold, stitch hipster wallet in grain leather, inlay billfold in calf and alligator, and a flat card case in calf and alligator.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Plumm Outdoors: Designer, Durable, Versatile



Plumm Wine Glasses, a new Australian player on the wine drinking scene, has just announced the arrival of the most stylish and surprising range of glasses for the summer – the Plumm Outdoors range.

In keeping with their ethos of simplicity and function, Plumm Outdoors features a range of shapes and sizes perfect for entertaining over the long summer ahead. Choose from WhiteA for crisp, fresh white wines; RedA for full bodied red wine; Sparkling for anything with bubbles; a versatile all-purpose glass named Red or White and White + and Red+ - modern stemless glasses for wine, mixed drinks, cocktails – anything!

And the big news is that these stylish glasses are unbreakable! Made from durable polycarbonate, this range is dishwasher safe and ideal for drinks by the pool; a float on a boat; perfect for a picnic; beautiful on the beach and comfortable at home relaxing with friends.


This range from Plumm is a triumph of edgy Australian design coupled with style, function and versatility. The Plumm Outdoors’ style credentials were firmly established when innovative Melbourne artist and designer, Jean Pierre Biasol, selected the Plumm Outdoor Sparkling glass to create a stunning chandelier, the centerpiece of the Lavazza Milan Chic marquee, at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington. Made from over 400 Sparkling flutes, the chandelier was a show stopper! Admired by celebrity guests and racegoers alike, the amazing Plumm chandelier was the focal point of the chicest marquee of the season!

Visit www.plumm.com

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Gift Guide: Stationery and Special Extras

The Bride's Diary team loves Christmas! Stationery and little extras add a special touch and help to enrich  your loved ones lives throughout the year. Here are a few of The Bride's Diary team's picks for this Christmas...


The Foodies Gift Pack from Kikki.K is the perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook. It includes the 'My Recipes Organiser', 'Magnetic Shopping List', 'Gel Pen', 'Another Delicious Recipe' inserts and 'Recipes I Love' inserts all in a stylish gift box.


Snowflake Shaped Winter Wine Bottle Stopper by Weddingstar is a great little extra for wine lovers.

The Var Addresses & Birthdays Book by Kikki.K is a stylish gift as well as a convenient way to store important addresses and birthdays all in the one place.


The Sketch Artist Gift Set from Typo contains 1 set of charcoal pencils, 1 buffalo sketchbook and 1 pencil case.



This Leather Travel Document Wallet by Kikki.K is an ideal gift for anyone who wants to travel in style.


The Miniature Winter Snow Globe by Weddingstar is a great stocking-filler for the young and young-at-heart!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sip sophisticated Cointreau-inspired cocktails this summer

With the party season fast approaching, The Bride's Diary team are getting into the festive spirit with some delicious Cointreau inspired cocktails!

As the iconic French spirit, Cointreau has been representing style and glamour since 1849 and is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails. So whether you’re dancing the night away at a stylish Christmas party or lounging by the pool bar with friends, a Cointreau cocktail is the perfect accessory to ensure a sophisticated summer.


Cointreau Blush
This delicious refreshing long drink is the must have refreshment this summer. Designed uniquely for the discerning Australian woman, the Cointreau Blush is a citrus-inspired blend consisting of 30ml Cointreau, a squeeze of fresh lime, pink grapefruit juice to taste with a dash of soda, served over ice in a chilled long glass and topped with a wedge of fresh lime – a delicious, citrus beverage to enjoy this summer.


Cosmopolitan
Celebrate summer with the most stylish of cocktails - the Cosmopolitan. This iconic cocktail is the perfect drink to sip at any Christmas party this year. Pour 40ml vodka,20ml Cointreau, 20ml cranberry juice and 10ml lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.


Margarita
Dance the night away with this delicious, zesty cocktail. With its distinctive flavour, the Margarita is full of character. To make the perfect Margarita simply add 20ml Cointreau, 40ml tequila and 10ml lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake up and then strain into a salt rimmed Margarita-style glass and serve.

Visit www.cointreau.com for more great cocktail ideas!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Give the Gift of Sophistication and Simplicity this Christmas: Plumm Wine Glasses



Looking for that perfect gift that embodies modern design with classic functionality? Australian-designed, European-made Plumm glassware is the answer this Christmas.

New on the market, Plumm glassware is a stylish gift that any wine drinker is sure to appreciate; its range, simplicity and elegant design is the essence of Plumm’s relaxed attitude to enjoying wine: pleasurable, functional and stylish. Developed in consultation with leading wine industry figures in Australia and around the world, Plumm’s concept and message is simple: five glasses are all you need.

Five distinctive glass shapes across four different ranges cater for sparkling wine and Champagne; crisp, fresh whites; medium bodied and oaked whites; medium to light bodied reds and full bodied reds. 


For the sophisticated drinker, Plumm’s Handmade Vintage range is the ideal accoutrement; its' fine crystal is the perfect foil for that special Christmas drop. 


The Plumm Vintage range is super stylish yet accessible and provides outstanding value while delivering superior quality. 


Plumm also offers a range of stemless glasses that are just the thing for alfresco dining, their versatility lending them to a range of uses – cocktails, wine, sparkling water or a fruity Christmas dessert. 


 The Plumm Outdoors range is a revelation and just what the modern Australian entertainer has been waiting for. The five Plumm shapes are offered in an unbreakable polycarbonate material; ideal for by the pool, at the beach, sailing or around the barbeque at home.

Dana Morris, Plumm Designer says, “The five distinct shapes of the glasses are designed to enhance the wine drinking experience. I consider these glasses a reflection of simplicity and balance. The five glass sizes and shapes determine how much air can enter the glass, open up the aromas and allow them to lift.”

The Plumm glasses are:

• Reda: Designed for full bodied red wine
• Redb: Designed for medium to light bodied red wine
• Whitea: Designed for crisp fresh white wine
• Whiteb: Designed for medium bodied and oaked white wine
• Sparkling: Designed for sparkling wine and champagne