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Shop Small: The ultimate gift guide for New Zealand ladies



I’m really excited about this gift guide.


One of my most favourite things in the world is connecting with creatives and small business owners online (and in person.)


Nothing spells bravery, determination and creativity like a person deciding to set up their own business to sell whatever it is that they love to create.


Which is why I love celebrating these incredible people by cheering them on in their work. Recently, I’ve seen this cartoon (by @adriaadamsco) pop up quite a lot and I think it’s such a lovely idea.


Running a small business is HARD work and those who do need all the support they can get.



So that’s what this gift guide is all about. Giving you some ideas for Christmas presents and supporting some beautiful New Zealand business women.


The best part is that when you purchase from one of these small businesses, you know that the person who sends out your order will be beaming from ear to ear. That’s the real Christmas spirit!


The ultimate gift guide for New Zealand ladies:




Indigo & Iris



This company is just awesome. Their slogan is, ‘a beauty brand that gives a damn.’ And they truly mean it!


They currently produce mascara which is vegan and cruelty-free and they donate 50% of their profits to charity.


I’ve been using this mascara for a couple of weeks now and I’m a huge fan. I’ve always found mascara to be quite clumpy and I get frustrated by the fact it always leaves streaks under my eyes by the end of the day. However, levitate mascara isn’t clumpy and stays put on my eyelashes. It’s amazing.


Indigo & Iris currently have free shipping running all the way up until Christmas so it’s the perfect time to try it for yourself and get one for a friend too.

Website, Instagram, Facebook





Flowers On The Coffee Table



Maya sells such cute and quirky artwork. I’ve been following her for a while on Instagram and I love the positivity and joy she shares through her posts. If you aren’t following her already, you definitely should!

Maya creates her art by commission so get in touch if you like what you see. Check out her Christmas cards below, aren’t they just lovely?




Dusk To Dawn



Jemma’s artwork is so simple, yet so emotive. I have been eyeing up a couple of pieces for some time now because we have got several blank walls that really need filling.


I caught a snippet of Jemma explaining the reason behind her artwork on Instagram stories and it made me love her even more. Jemma loves to incorporate images of nude women and flowers into her artwork because she believes both are beautiful and natural and deserve to be celebrated. I am so here for that.

Website, Instagram, Facebook




Willow Collective



Layering delicate gold necklaces is on trend at the moment so these Willow Collective pieces would be perfect for any lady in your life.


All the jewellery is designed right here in New Zealand and is stocked in over 25 boutiques across the country. Take a look and see if there is one near you.

Website, Instagram, Facebook




Bohome And Roam



If you are a fan of boho style, this is a brand you need to know about. They carry a range of products including jewellery, accessories and homeware.


What I really love about this business is that the pieces are sourced from all around the world but everything has  an ethical and sustainable focus. It’s lovely to know that the person who made your jewellery has been treated well and paid fairly for their hard work.

Website, Instagram, Facebook



Ashley Co.



There is no shortage of people selling clay earrings (it’s this years version of soy candles I think) but these are so unique I had to include them on my list.


Ashley Co earrings look so professionally made and the designs are bold and beautiful. I am definitely going to be getting myself a pair (you know how Christmas shopping goes…one present for you, one present for me…)

Website, Instagram



Lunar Blue Designs



Okay I know this is yet another clay earring brand but oh my gosh how cool are these? I’ve never seen such intricate and creative designs before. I’m so tempted to add these to my cart as well.


A girl can never have too many pairs of earrings right?

Website, Instagram, Facebook





Ness Watson Pottery



I’m such a sucker for pottery. We found a bunch of cups in the garage at home and I had to have them. They’ve just been sitting in my cupboard unused but they are so pretty, every time I open my cupboard they make me smile.


I love these cups Ness has made and what makes them super fun gifts is that she can customise them with whatever name you would like. Then whoever you gift it to will feel special every time they drink their morning coffee!

Website, Instagram



Fox And Ivy



Emma creates the most gorgeous home fragrances. You must take a look at her Instagram because it’s another one you need to follow.


I was introduced to the concept of ‘room spray’ a few years ago and I’m a convert. At first I thought it was weird to spray fragrance around your house, in my head that was more for the bathroom because that’s where the bad smells tend to be.


But if you have guests coming over, it’s so nice to quickly make your house smell like freshly baked cookies or clean laundry. So do yourself a favour and get some of Emma’s room fragrances and candles.

Website, Instagram,



Honeylove Candle Co



I was given a honeylove candle for my birthday last year and it is simply delicious. The scent I have is salted caramel popcorn which is absolutely as heavenly as it sounds.


My biggest fear with buying candles is that they won’t really smell like anything. Sometimes they promise so much and then really disappoint. I promise that Honeylove candles won’t do that to you! They make an entire room (and house if it’s as small as mine) smell fantastic.


Honeylove also sells beautiful earrings and soy melts.


Website, Instagram,



Be Chunky 



Be Chunky sell gorgeous, stainless steel water bottles. Once you try a stainless steel water bottle, you will never go back to plastic. They keep your water cold for ages and you don’t get any of that yucky plastic taste.


These water bottles are environmentally friendly (hooray for re-useables!) and are designed by emerging artists which I think is awesome.

Website, Instagram,





Wild Crate



Gift-boxes always go down a treat. Wild Crate has a great selection of different boxes so you can find the perfect one for whoever it is you are shopping for.


What I also love about these boxes is that all the goodies are consumable which means you won’t have more things cluttering up your house.

Website, Instagram, Facebook



Happy Gram



Happy Gram is an online gift store that sends little presents to the people you love. You can choose what is inside and the message they receive. What a fun way to show someone you care about them!


I’m thinking that this could be perfect for Secret Santa at your work or among friends.

Website, Instagram, Facebook



I Used To Be



It’s almost summer in NZ so this gift is perfect. ‘I used to be’ re-purpose pool toys into water resistant accessories. They make bags and purses to keep things dry at the pool or beach.


I love that they are using materials that cannot be recycled to create something beautiful and really useful. So clever!

Website, Instagram,



Flora Grow 



Flora Grow make little gardening kits. These are perfect for people who find gardening on a large scale a little too daunting. I think everyone needs a little herb selection on their windowsill and these kits are ideal for that.


I think kids would really love to join in with growing these mini gardens too!

Instagram, Facebook


A few thoughts on a simple Christmas…


I hope that this gift guide has given you some Christmas present ideas. I haven’t started shopping yet but I feel confident that I can get it done well before the madness begins!


I have been thinking a lot about what a simple Christmas would look like for me. Honestly, the pressure to find the perfect present and spend hundreds of dollars and accumulate more and more STUFF makes me feel overwhelmed.


Unfortunately, as a society we have made Christmas about all the wrong things. But it is hard when you are celebrating with friends and family to keep your own values without offending or upsetting them.


There was one point when I wanted to throw in the towel and say NO gifts at all but here is my compromise. Giving small, lovely presents that come from NZ-based businesses.


At the end of the day, it’s not about how much money you spend or how many things you buy, it’s about showing and sharing love. 

10 easy changes to create a simple, sustainable kitchen


My kitchen is my happy place. I spend hours pottering around in there, stirring pots on the stove, sweeping crumbs off the floor, waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea. 


Although my kitchen is tiny and the cupboards are so tall that I need a step stool to reach the top shelves, I love it. 


I’ve been doing quite a bit of house hunting with my mum (she’s buying, not me) and in every house we’ve seen, the kitchen is the thing that sells the house for me. 


I can live with a small bedroom. I can live without a bath tub or an en suite. I can live without a garage. But I cannot live without a decent kitchen.


Therefore, of all the areas in my home, it is the kitchen that I have tried to ensure is as simple and sustainable as possible. 


It is still a work in progress but I thought I would share some of the ways I have simplified my kitchen with you. 


10 easy changes to create a simple, sustainable kitchen:


Buy things in bulk 


For some reason, I really hate having multiples of things. I think it has something to do with the fact that growing up, my mother loved to stock up our pantry whenever things went on sale. Having more than I need has always made me feel stressed. 


However, I am a fan of buying things in bulk to save on money and unnecessary packaging. So a good compromise for me is visiting a bulk food store or buying the largest quantity of something I can.


Earlier this year, I read an article about Tesco’s trialing refilling stations in their supermarkets and I hope that went well because I would love that to become a widespread thing!


These are my favourite easy changes to make so that you can create a simple, sustainable kitchen. #ecofriendly #sustainability #simpleliving


Start meal planning 


If you are a long-time reader then you have definitely heard me mention this before, I love meal planning. 


It will honestly simplify your life and kitchen so much. 


You will always have what you need, when you need it and you won’t have excess food withering in your fridge or getting lost at the back of your pantry. 


I must confess, I’m not always the best at sticking to what my meal plan says but I like that if I’m feeling lazy, at least I don’t have to think about what to cook for dinner.



Take reusable shopping bags


From the 1st of July this year, New Zealand brought in a ban on plastic bags which meant retailers no longer provided shopping bags and this, in turn, has made reusable shopping bags mainstream. 


I am delighted to see other people adopting such a simple change to help reduce plastic waste.


I keep a bunch of bags in my car and one that folds up tightly in my purse so that I always have something to carry my shopping in.



Store your food correctly 


There are some life lessons that I really wish they had taught us in school and how to store your food properly is one of them. 


There is nothing worse than opening the crisper drawer at the bottom of the fridge to discover a vegetable slurry has formed without you realising it. 


The fix is simple however, just learn how to store your fruits and vegetables correctly. For example, I recently learned that celery lasts much longer if you keep the stalks standing in a glass jar like you would with fresh flowers. 


To learn the best way to store your favourite fruits and vegetables, I found this great post which explains it all perfectly.  




Try composting  


For my birthday last year, my mum got me this gorgeous compost bin. The fact that I was over-joyed by this gift probably says a lot about me. 


Truly, my compost bin is one of my favourite possessions. We used an old ice cream tub for a long time but it was far too small and was always overflowing. I love my new bin because it’s 5L and stainless steel so it won’t get all rusty from the wet food scraps. 


As far as the actual composting is concerned, all I do is throw it in a heap in the backyard. Then I add sticks, newspaper and dead leaves, and I try to turn it every week or so. That’s it!


Start recycling your soft plastic  


I have always been the stickler for recycling in my family. I have been known to take things out of the bin, wash them and then recycle them. I hate waste and if I can avoid it, then I will. 


I know that recycling isn’t the answer to our waste problem but it is a start.


Something you might not know you can recycle is the soft plastic that foods such as pasta and bread come in. 


In my city you can’t add this type of plastic to the kerbside recycling bin but there are collection points at several supermarkets where you can drop it off.



Do a freezer stock take 


It doesn’t matter how small your freezer is, it will always manage to accumulate an insane amount of stuff. 


Things tend to get lost in the depths of your freezer so it pays to do a little stock take every now and then. 


I keep a list stuck to the outside with everything that’s in there. It’s not a perfect system but at least it means I take a good look inside my freezer every month or so. 



Use loose leaf teas 


It is official, I have become a tea snob! I bought a strainer and a box of loose leaf tea and I’m never looking back. I had no idea it tasted so much better. 


But besides that, I always felt frustrated having to dump my used teabags in the bin because they contain plastic so can’t be composted like my coffee grounds. 


Before you rush out and buy a tea strainer, can I recommend you get one like you see in the picture, not one of those ball and chain type ones? This strainer is so easy to use and remove the used leaves from.


I’ve tried those other cute, animal-shaped strainers and while they may look fun, they are the biggest pain to clean out. Simple is best.




Shop at a fruit/veggie store or farmers market 


I love going to the fruit and veggie store because it is often much cheaper and I can throw everything in a basket without needing to use plastic bags.


It feels good to support a small business too.


I’ve learned to go to the supermarket first however, because they tend to have specials on a particular fruit or vegetable each week.




Try natural cleaning products


I’m a little iffy on using the word ‘natural’ to describe any product. What I mean by natural cleaning products is using items you already have that work wonders for cleaning.


I found some brilliant ideas in the book: Forgotten ways for modern days. Our grandparents had some really great ways of using egg shells, lemon juice and baking soda to clean their homes ‘naturally.’


Do you have any tips for creating a simple, sustainable kitchen?