With Christmas rapidly approaching, it’s about now where I start looking for little stocking stuffers! I’m not big on social media for myself but thanks to using it for HLST, I have had the opportunity to get to know, meet and form some amazing friendships with the most amazing people. Having run a small business up until last year, I’m all for showing the love to the locals. These are a few of my favourite NZ shops run by amazing people where you can grab some awesome gifts and stocking stuffers for yourself or someone else this Christmas.
I aint gonna lie. I’m playing favourites a little with this first one but I can’t not! Not only is she my soul sister who’s had my back in the toughest of times (and vice versa) but she is also the most amazing aunty to Miss I who adores the shit out of her. She also just so happens to keep us in stock of Ruby Blue hair ties and headbands. If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know that we are HUGE fans of Ruby Blue (you only have to see our house to know this- they’re everywhere!) and have been for the last two years.
Our love for Ruby Blue is not just because we love the lady behind them but because they keep our buns, ponies and pigtails looking pretty without leaving kinks or getting caught in our hair. They even keep our wrists looking super fly (I fail at sounding cool.) AND if you’ve run out of twisty ties to keep your chippies fresh or your peas from spilling out in the freezer… these work just well- better living everyone.
The babe behind Rubes hand makes ALL hair ties and they’re made right here in NZ. She has an amazing range of designs and colours which you can mix and match or design your own tin. Noir for the office and Times Square (neon) or Roar (my personal favourite) for the weekend, she’s got you covered for every situation. Don’t just take my word for it! Miss I is a huge fan of Maggie as well as the Rose and White Gold sets. I’m starting to think that implementing a weekly Rubes schedule is a great idea so we get equal share!
After something a bit more specific or need custom sets made for an event? Flick her an email and she just might able to sort ya out. Ruby Blue has stockists around the country so if you’re like me and are tad impatient when it comes to waiting for parcels to arrive, check out her stockists page to see where you can pop in and grab some.
Heart From Hazel
I was introduced to the stunning lady behind Heart from Hazel through Ruby Blue. Not only does this talented babe crochet the most beautiful creations but she’s a great friend, amazing person to bounce ideas off and pretty awesome in the candle making department!
From couch and cot candy to scarves in the winter and even the odd pair of crocheted boots- there is nothing this lady can’t whip up with a hook and some yarn. Me and Miss I are rather happy owners of her infinity scarves which kept us toasty through winter and her candles dotted around the place. She surprised us a few weeks back with one of her new soy & vegan leather candles and even when it’s not lit- it smells amazing! Her candles have made a comeback for Christmas and come in 4 gorgeous scents which will make any candle lover happy.
If you’ve got a crafty person in your life, why not grab a loom and some of her yarn to craft up a DIY wall hanging or your very own couch candy! I feel like this is something that I can do as it involved knitting with my arms as opposed to tiny hooks!
I’ve got my eye on some couch candy.. now to convince the hubby that pink will go well in the lounge.
Fancy seeing lamb spam, delicious food and watching her creations come to life? Find her on Snapchat- @whathazelsaid
Pepper & Me
Over the last few months, I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Cherie from Pepper & Me! Cherie was kind enough to send us a wee parcel full of goodies when she launched P&M and we haven’t looked back since! Our Pepper and Me spice pastes are used in pretty much every meal we cook. The grinds get added to our eggs, avo, asparagus etc and the rub and pastes, well- they turn any kind of meat into something special! Although the spice pastes and grinds are designed to help aid and support lactation, I can promise you- they can be used by anyone and everyone. N hasn’t started leaking through his shirts yet and it’s been a couple of months!
If your bloke is anything like mine, the sheer mention of a product that has the word lactation in it has them running for the door. Cherie has just launched a couple of new products for the manly man or men in your life! They can rub and grind till they’re hearts content which benefits you as the end result is incredibly delicious food! She currently has a “man bag” gift set on the website which makes for an awesome gift for the guy who loves to BBQ over summer. Cherie even has a few gift basket options for the soon to be/new mum as well so everyone is covered!
This lady is pretty bloody clever and if you are ever in need inspo, she has an amazing page of Recipes on her website to help you use your Pepper and Me jars. As I mentioned above, we use our Pepper & Me stuff on anything and everything but me and my tummy can personally recommend her Tandoori Wedges and Mexican Pulled Pork as a great starting point with your new acquired P&M goodies!
Want to see her cooking in action as well as the ever so adorable Pepper? You can find her on snapchat- @pepperandmenz
With summer here, it’s important to make sure that both you and the kiddos have slipped, slopped, slapped and wrapped! With the suns rays being pretty harsh in NZ, it’s always great to get the kids into a routine of applying sunblock and wearing their hat. Aside from protecting Miss I’s skin from the rays, the things we love most about FunScreen Sunscreen is that it is SPF50+, is water resistant for up to 4 hours, has no hidden nasties and is hypoallergenic! Miss I usually breaks out in a sunblock rash over summer but so far- no red spots have appeared on her skin! The cute designs are an added bonus and for once, I’m not fighting the kid to get sunscreen on her. In fact, most days she has already unscrewed the top and is waiting for me to help her get all lathered up!
I’ve been getting to know the lady from BooHoo Box over the last month and she’s bloody lovely!
She creates awesome Boohoo Boxes (first aid kits) which have little kids in mind! You seriously need to pop over and have a look at these.. an ouch pouch and monster spray for the wee ones… I want one for myself! On her website, you’ll find awesome skin care products (there is even something for the blokes!) as well as stuff to make feeding time easier, recipes AND pretty things! I picked up this gorgeous wee necklace a month or so ago and I have my eye on the matching kids one for Miss I!
Having not had a baby for a while, I was starting to get slightly envious of everyone that could shop at Global Baby! I was pretty stoked to find that Global Baby had broadened their range of toddler/preschool stuff! HELLO new online shopping addiction! I now have a giant list of things that I want! I was incredibly lucky to nab a YumBox from them a few weeks ago as well as some Haakaa silicon wraps (life changing!!) for my baking bowls and the See, Play, Do activity book for Miss I. If you need a gift for an expectant mum, a bubby or a toddler/preschooler, The ladies at Global baby has you covered with their amazing range! You can even grab FunScreen Sunscreen from here as well.
Romp, Stomp, Dance
It’s times like these I wish I was 3 again! I was put onto Romp, Stomp Dance by a lovely lady (thanks Kimberly!) who knows I have a princess/fairy obsessed 3 year old and now I’m wanting a fairy set in every colour.. for her of course! Miss I absolutely adores her Romp, Stomp, Dance fairy outfit as well as the music DVD that came with it. The Romp, Stomp, Dance fairy sets make the perfect gift for the little fairy in your life.
These are just a handful of the things we love from our fav local businesses but if you’ve got some loves too, share them below so we can have a peek! If you get a chance, be sure to pop over and follow these lovelies on social media to see behind the scenes and new products!