Top Five New Year’s Resolutions and How to Keep Them

2012 raced through and before you know it, it’s 2013! Before you begin the arduous task of remembering to write “2013″ in the date instead of 2012, there is the matter of New Year’s resolutions. This is an annual tradition that some are better at than others, but that’s not to say this year isn’t your year! Here are the top five most common resolutions courtesy of Time magazine, along with some handy tips on keeping them.

1.Lose weight and get fit. It’s at the top of the list for many after a silly season of delicious baking and baked ham. Gyms and fitness clubs know this, and take advantage by offering cheap deals. However often these annual memberships only get used for a month or so, which makes it a very expensive month at the gym.

How can I keep it? Get it out of the way! It should be your first activity of the day, and therefore you won’t be able to make any excuses after work such as being too tired, or having plans. Not only will you feel more energised for the rest of the day, studies indicate exercising right before sleeping can actually interfere with your sleeping patterns. Routine is also important. If you tell yourself these are the days you exercise and treat it as a given (and not an option), you are much more likely to keep to your new regime. Remember it takes about 66 days of regular exercise to form a habit.

2. Quit smoking. As more information emerges about the damage smoking does to our bodies, now is as good a time as any to quit the sticks. It takes a massive amount of willpower to overcome an addiction however, which is why only 15% of people who quit smoking are still cigarette-free six months later. It’s a surprising statistic, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be one of the 15%!

How can I keep it? Luckily New Zealand has a whole range of free and low-cost support services available. Call Quitline or visit their website to find out the different options. It’s also a good idea to rally a support group of friends and family around you to help you quit. Also try and keep busy, anything that takes your mind off smoking is a bonus!

3. Learn something new. This is a very broad resolution, and so easier to keep that some of the others. The most common thing that holds people back from achieving this is time. However you don’t have to practice for hours become a professional at it, as long as you’re moving forward, you’re winning! Even half an hour a week is a great start to learning a new skill.

How can I keep it? Choose something you’re truly interested in! Don’t learn French just because you feel you should know another language, and don’t learn chess if it bores you silly. Do you scroll through Pinterest for hours at a time, but all the craft ideas are too much to handle? Why not focus on one area, such as knitting or painting. Don’t try and do it all at once! Trying to find time? If you are learning a language, why not get an audio CD and listen to it in the car while on the way to work? Want to expand your cooking skills but the kids are a handful? Incorporate them into your cooking lesson. You never know, they might just end up doing the cooking for dinner.

4. Eat healthier. This often goes hand-in-hand with resolution number 1, getting fit and losing weight. Especially when Christmas has just been with many lunches and dinners, all bursting with a bounty of food, it can be hard to remind yourself you can’t eat like that all the time.

How can I keep it? While there are fad diets a dime-a-dozen out there, you should remember there are no quick fixes. You should be aiming to create a healthy diet that you can you can adhere to for the rest of your life, while not feeling like you are constantly ‘missing out’. Don’t think of eating healthy as a ‘diet’, as this will just give a negative slant to your new, healthy eating plan. Try to incorporate more vegetable and fruit into your diet slowly while cutting out some sugar and fat. It will eventually become a habit and you won’t even notice the change.

5. Get out of debt and save money. Some of us can go overboard with the holiday season, and spend money on gifts, food, decorations and holidays that we can’t really afford. Unfortunately this follows us straight into the new year, but the good news is you can do something about it.

How can I keep it? There is plenty of good financial advice out there. A good government-run website is Sorted which has handy tips, facts, and financial calculators that will put you on the right path. Want to save? Why not create an automatic payment for each pay check, that diverts a set amount of money into a savings account. If this happens on the same day, you won’t even notice the money going out!

Bonus: Here is a great article by LifeHacker on forming good habits. A must read when keeping your resolutions. Click here to read.

 

Top Ten Ideas for Christmas in the Office

Christmas is just around the corner, but not all of us get a long holiday! Many of us are still working throughout this time, but luckily there are the four statutory holidays we do get to relax on!

So how can you still get into the Christmas spirit while in the office? Check out this top ten list.

1. Get a Christmas office tree! Doesn’t have to be a real one, our office has a plastic one someone had spare at home, and get everyone to bring in a few ornaments from home to decorate. You don’t have to stick to traditional trees either, what about one made of books or paper? The possibilities are endless.

2. Decorate your desk. Why not try a little decorating around your own desk? Hang some tinsel, artfully place a few baubles around… It doesn’t take much for you to see these and be reminded that the holidays are right around the corner.

3. Christmas cookies! Today the Cookie Time cookie bucket sales person stopped by our office to see if we wanted to purchase any buckets of their mini cookies for charity (we did). A delicious way to help others.

4. Christmas music. While it may drive you batty if you have it going 24/7, it is fun for a little while. Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra sing great classics, or you can try something a little more modern like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas”, or the Love, Actually soundtrack.

5. Dress seasonally. They don’t call it the silly season for nothing, and if there is a time to get away with wearing reindeer antlers or a Santa hat to the office, it’s now. You could also wear a Christmas tie or Christmas jewellery. Anything red or green is also ‘in season’.

6. Food. I don’t know about your office, but mine has a major sweet tooth! Everyone is sure to love it if you bring in some Christmas goodies. Ginger snaps, sugar cookies, Christmas cake.. Yum. You can impress everyone with your cooking skills at the same time!

7. Secret Santa. Our office does this every year. Pile the names into a hat, everyone draws one out and buys a gift (usually silly) for under $10. You never know what you’re going to get and it’s bound to get everyone laughing at the reactions of the receivers!

8. Cookie exchange. Originally an American tradition, it could be fun to do here! Every bakes a dozen cookies, brings them on a plate, and then refills their own plate with a selection of other delicious cookies.

9. Volunteer. Corral the office and go out and help somebody! ‘Tis the season of giving, and there are plenty of people who could use a hand. It could be at your local SPCA, planting some trees in the park or helping out the kids at your kindy. Whatever you do, it will be appreciated.

10. Office Christmas party. This is a great way for everyone to get to know each other without the stress of work on their shoulders. Christmas can often mean an extra-busy workload as well, so it’s a great way to unwind. Just be careful to not become that person in the office everyone talks about afterward due to too much

10 tips for surviving the Christmas Holiday

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The whole month of December is just magic for everyone. As a kid, everyone remembers the one house that really went all out for Christmas and make the memories that last a lifetime. Christmas is a time for family and friends, it’s a time for reflection and celebration. And without doubt, it’s a time to immerse yourself in gifts, wonderful food and fabulous company. Christmas requires lots of planning and coordinating. And really, all that needs to happen before December, ideally November (any homemade gifts of course have to start way before that). No worry, ProductSaver will help you go through all these things with handy tips.

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Top 10 tips for surviving the Christmas holiday:

  1. Check what you have at home, do not repeat buying the same things that you already have. Especially for the Christmas dinner!
  2. Write a list. By writing down all the things needed to be done before Christmas, Christmas Eve and especially Christmas Day.
  3. Shop smart! Survey products & prices online before you make any purchase. Always keep in mind. find the right products with right prices.
  4. Buy your Christmas costumes, gifts or decorations online in order to save your valuable time and petrol. Nowadays, the internet is making your life easier by providing wide range of sources that you need. Turn on your desktop/ laptop and surf the internet, then buy what you want and get it delivered to your door before Christmas.
  5. Try an avoid the messy kitchen from last minute preparation. So pre-prepare Christmas meal before Christmas eve. For example, marinate the chicken or glaze the ham before Christmas eve and cook it later on Christmas.
  6. There’s no reason why everyone in the house shouldn’t help out. Decide in advance whose job it is to wrap presents or set the table. If everyone knows what their task is, there will be fewer arguments.
  7. Create a CD or iPod playlist with your favorite Christmas songs. Have it ready as background music for all the other fun stuff you’re going to do on Christmas.
  8. Get your kids to help you plan the family vacation. This takes the stress off parents, and ensures that the family can all enjoy themselves during the time away.
  9. Save your energy, learn how to deal with hassles. Concentrate on the things you can change rather than worrying about the things you can’t.
  10. Keep a pen and paper handy to record gifts for thank-you notes later!

The chances are that you will know at least one other person who is going to find Christmas stressful. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved! Who knows what tips others will having for surviving the holidays.

How does my order get processed?

Sometimes it can seem like magic- you order online and it shows up at your door.

But do you ever wonder about the process, start to finish? Have no fear with this handy tutotrial!

1) If you are a new customer, you will need to create an account with us. Fill out all the fields marked with * . Your account privacy is absolutely secure and protected. You will get a confirmation email through which you confirm your account (so spammers can’t set up accounts willy-nilly!).

2) After chose an item that you intend to buy, key in the quantity of the product and click “add”.

3) If you wish to continue shopping, you may go back to the homepage and browse our products again. If you don’t, click “your cart” to proceed the checkout.

4) Confirm the product you are buying and the quantity as well. Then go “next”.

5) Confirm the shipping address, then click “next” button.

6) Last confirmation of your information. Go “next” to the payment sheet.

7) Final step to proceed your payment, fill out your payment information and submit.

Note: It takes approximately 60 sec to proceed the payment. So remember not to refresh the page while the payment is processing.

The order then gets sent to us and we process it through our accounting system which produces your receipt. It then travels down to our warehouse, where it is carefully packed and set aside waiting for the courier.

A dispatch email will automatically send to our customer with all the details when the items are scanned by courier upon pick-up. Customer will be able to track and trace where their parcel is from start to finish. Delivery times are approximately 2 working days for Auckland, 2-3 working days for North Island, and 3-4 working days for South Island.

Check back as we share more about the behind-the-scenes here at ProductSaver!

DIY Candle Tutorial

Making personalized candles using the tissue paper method is a very popular method and easy to do. Below are the guidelines to personalize your candle for home decoration or gift etc. Be creative!

Transferring Ink to Candles

Ingredients:

  • Tissue paper
  • printer paper
  • wax paper
  • markers
  • tape
  • heat gun or hairdryer (hairdryer is recommended, so you do not have to buy a heat gun)

First, you tape a piece of tissue paper, about the size of the candle, to a piece of copy paper.  Markers will bleed through the tissue paper pretty easily so you will need something to protect your table, and it was easier for the you/kids to draw on the tissue paper when taped to the “paper”.

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Then cut out a piece of wax paper bigger than your candle.  You need it to go all the way around and give you some extra to hold on to for the next step.  Smooth it out nicely, and pull it tight over the tissue paper.

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The following step is use your heat gun or hair dryer, turn it on and use a back and forth motion over the design, about 30 to 40 seconds.  Be careful when you are doing this step because it will get pretty hot on your fingers, you just keep moving it and actually turned the hair dryer off for a second or two to cool down then back again.

After that time, gently pull away the wax paper and your design should be transferred to the candle, the tissue paper pretty much disappears.

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Tadaa, a simple DIY craft is done.

Transfer a photo onto the candle

Now you can decorate the candle further if you wish. Cut out tissue paper to fit on a sheet of printer paper, smoothed it out and put a little tape on all sides to hold it in place. Then you feed it into the printer.

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Follow the rest of the directions for the transfer.

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See on the left side how the wax paper is a little wrinkled so pull it tighter before you started the hair dryer.

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And you are done!

Retrieved from http://familycorner.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/handmade-christmas.html

Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween parties make a great alternative to trick-or treating. For an incredible, well-put together Halloween party, it’s best to make arrangements well in advance. Here’s some party planning tips for a terrifyingly good time.

Send out Invitations

Get your party invitations out 2-3 weeks before the party. To avoid any confusion, clearly state instructions about themes, costumes, and when the party ends.

Have Adult Supervision

For children, adult supervision is necessary for safety reasons as well as preventing any property damage. Adults can help with the party and enforce rules, while the guests have fun.

Have a Camera Ready

Take pictures and arrange them in a photo album to show your guests after the party. Another idea is to have someone take Polaroid pictures of each guest as they arrive. Give everyone their picture as they leave your party in remembrance of the occasion.

Have a Backup Plan

If you’re planning your party outdoors, be prepared for inclement weather. Have other arrangements ready at a moments notice.

Decoration

Spookify the place, hang shredded black garbage bags in entrance ways and old torn sheets in windows to make your party room look decrepit and abandoned. Shredded black garbage bags make great tablecloths too — just roll everything up in the bags after the party and toss in the garbage. In addition, cover the party food table with a black or orange tablecloth and a selection of scary items such as plastic bugs, rats, and skulls.

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Supply Food and Candy

And plenty of it. What’s a party without goodies? Try dressing up your food to look like gross things such as eyeballs, body parts, etc. Make the punch look like blood.

Hand out Party Favors

Don’t let the kids leave empty handed. Hand out gifts to game contest winners and make up some party favor bags with Halloween candy.

Games

it is a great way to break the ice, especially when all of your guests don’t know each other! Ideas include costume contest, pumpkin decorating contest, play musical Caps (similar to musical chairs, but guest pass around hats) and more.

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Retrieved from http://www.halloween-website.com/party.htm

How to cut and dice: tips and techniques for fruit and vege preparation

How many times had you cut your finger accidently when you are preparing your meal? We hope you are able to use your knife carefully in the kitchen. Therefore, tips & techniques in this entry will help you to avoid those accidents. From how to peel a head of garlic in 10 seconds to how to cut a grapefruit, from the best way to dice an onion to the super easy way to peel ginger, these tips and techniques will change the way you work with produce. Let the learning begin!

Bonus tip: Ceramic blades does not oxidise food and it will not rust. No more brown lettuce!

1) How to dice an Avocado

  • Halve the avocado as you normally would, by cutting around the perimeter, lengthwise.
  • With the cut side UP (this is less stable but more effective at getting through the skin without mashing the avocado), cut into slices.
  • Peel the strip of skin off of each slice.
  • Cut each slice into chunks.

2) How to peel Ginger

  • Begin by cutting off the amount of ginger you need and then trimming it of any small nubs so that you have a relatively uniform piece to work with.
  • Then, hold the ginger in one hand and use the tip of your spoon to scrape off the peel.
  • You’ll find it comes off very easily and that you get a smoother, more uniform end result than when you use a knife or vegetable peeler.

You can also store ginger in the fridge and freezer after it’s peeled, so you don’t have to waste a bit of this rejuvenating root.

3) How to cut a Grapefruit in segments

  • Cut the grapefruit in half, top to bottom (not around the center).
  • Lay one half flat on the cutting board and whittle away the skin, leaving as much fruit as you can behind.
  • Take off all of the thick peel and slice off the top cap of peel. If there are thick ropes of pith still left on the grapefruit, peel these away.
  • Slice carefully into one segment of the grapefruit, as close to a membrane as possible, and make a slit to loosen the segment of fruit.
  • Make a slit on the other side, as close to the membrane as possible, and loosen the fruit completely.
  • Lift out the segment of fruit.

A good knife skills will help you remove a lot of peel without losing too much fruit.

4) How to cut Cauliflower

  • Start by cutting the head of cauliflower in half and then into quarters through the core.
  • See how there’s a central stem in the middle? All the florets are attached to this core by their own little stems. Separating them is a simple matter of running your knife between the florets and the stem to cut it out.
  • Once you’ve removed the stem, the cauliflower will naturally fall apart into large florets.
  • You can break these large florets down into smaller, bite-sized florets with your knife. Use the tip of your knife like a wedge to cut away the smaller florets growing off the sides. The big ones can just be cut into quarters. You can also use your fingers to snap apart the florets.
  • And that’s all there is to it! A cauliflower of this size breaks down into 3-4 cups worth of florets, which is plenty for most side dishes serving 4 people.

The stems are edible, though very fibrous. If you want to cook them, start steaming or roasting them a little ahead of time to give them a jumpstart on cooking before you add the florets.

Retrieved from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-peel-cut-core-and-seed–174347

How well do you like the tips and tutorials provided by ProductSaver? We’d like to hear from you! If you have any suggestions for more tips, feel free to contact or leave us a comment.

Top 5 Things To Do With Your Kids

We are getting busier and busier – they don’t call it ‘the rat race’ for nothing. It can be hard to have a work/life balance, and many families can make it work and still find time to spend time with the ones closest to you. How ever many minutes you can spare, be assured that it’s worth it! Focus on turning those minutes into memorable moments, instead of worrying about how many minutes you can spend with your children each day. Parents often compensate for having such a small quantity of time by scheduling “quality time.” Here are some ideas to get you going.

1) Play like your favourite sports star and contest the kids in a little friendly competition. Basketball, soccer or rugby with your kids is good for the heart in more ways than one!

2) Who remembers the hours on the trampoline, perfecting your flips or the frowned-upon double-bouncing? Trampolines provide you and your children with endless fun, all while offering exercise and valuable outdoor time with very little maintenance.

3) Making bread with loved ones is memorable and delicious! Bake from scratch or with an easy all-in-one breadmaker. Spend time while teaching those life skills that will serve them well when they’re older.

4) It’s a hot day but the beach is not convenient? Splash around without the sand and get a classic plastic or inflatable pool for your backyard. Problem solved.

Blue Swim Centre Pool £14.98 @ John Lewis

5) Do you love to entertain and have a BBQ with family? Make the most of your outdoor area with a BBQ and sit outside right until late evening, making the most of the balmy weather.

So slow down and make some time to spend with your kids. Create some fun memories that you won’t forget!

Top 10 Kids’s Party Cake/Decoration ideas

You need to plan and celebrate your child’s birthday – but where do you start?

Here are ProductSaver’s top ideas for party cakes and decorations, to start those ideas flowing. Decorating for a birthday party can be simple, even with an elaborate theme. Some of these tips may be helpful to pull off the big day.

1. Fabulous recipe for Microwave play dough, no more stirring stiff dough, just mix, microwave and let it cool. Each child gets to take home a cute little package of play dough – complete with labels made with the same Rainbow design as the invitations.

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2. Give your horse-mad daughter a birthday surprise with this deliciously pretty My Little Pony birthday cake.

My Little Pony birthday cake

3. Kid Halloween Party Ideas

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4. Cute color combo for girls party.

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5. Kids’ rainbow treats. Kids love colour of all shapes and sizes!

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6. Kit Kat birthday cake

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7. Bunny decoration

8. Boys party cake

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9. LEGO cake

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10. Cowboy parties are a great theme for an outdoor party.

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So there you have it, we hope we provided some inspiration!