thoughts on giving by HEY BUBBLES

09.08.09

Anna lives in Brisbane, Australia, and has some seriously good taste. But even better is that she knows how to live (and how to create and how to shop!) If you pay her a visit at Hey Bubbles, you will be spoiled with stories and photos of leisurely road trips, yummy food, quiet moments with her little girl and all the sweet things she sews for her. I love that she and her friends have craft night the first Tuesday of the month with a little dinner first. She is full of lovely ideas and insight, so I’ll let her get on with it. Thanks, Anna!

Meet Anna
Hy, my name is Anna and I live in Brisbane, Australia with my husband, our 14 month old daughter, Matilda, and our little dog. I grew up here but for almost 10 years I lived in Melbourne with my husband and we moved back up here about two years ago. Melbourne is an amazing place to live however I was missing my family in Brissie and my lovely mum and I decided we would open a cafe together… so I quit my job, my husband found a new job and we made the move. I started my blog almost as soon as we had decided to start this adventure to keep family and friends in Melbourne and around the world up to date and to have a record of this exciting time in our lives.

I also love to bake, sew and take photographs so my blog has become a mixture of all these things. I love to bake pretty food and it puts a smile on my face when someone enjoys something you have made for them. Creating something handmade for someone is similar, I love to give something I have made myself and know that the person receiving it thinks it’s special.

Not long after opening our cafe I found out I was expecting so my days are now filled with looking after my little girl, some baking for our cafe and working there when I can.

These simple things would make a perfect day for me – family and friends, my little girl, baking and making something, such fun!

And now that we’re acquainted

A GIFT THAT MADE YOU HAPPY: While I love giving and receiving presents and they all make me happy, I have to say that whenever I get a gift from my husband that is not something I’ve told him to buy or even bought myself, that makes me very happy (it doesn’t happen that often though!) He’s not really a very well organised person, plus I look after all of our household finances so he doesn’t get the opportunity to surprise me very often, but it has happened, and when he does, he does it well.

One present in particular he gave me that makes me happy still is a giant book of Hans Christen Andersen fairy tales. He gave it to me the first Christmas after we were married and he chose it for a few reasons – we both love beautiful books, he loves the old Hans Christen Andersen movie (with Danny Kaye), and he hoped that one day we could read it to our children, something we will be able to do soon!  Matilda is still a little young for these stories so the book is currently on display in our upstairs hallway with our family photos.

interview2

THE PERFECT GIFT: I don’t know that I’ve ever given the perfect gift but I do love giving gifts that include something I’ve bought with something handmade. A gift is special when you can find something that the recipient is interested in, but I think it’s even more special if you can find something to give which involves a common interest of yours and theirs.

Sometimes I think an experience can be the perfect gift. For example I threw my mum a big birthday brunch party for all of our family and her friends on her fiftieth birthday; or my husband took me away for the weekend a couple of years ago for my birthday to a surprise destination. Another year my brothers and sisters and I all gave my mum some money to restore an old dining suite that she had wanted to fix up for awhile.

A FAVORITE PLACE TO GIFT SHOP: I shop all over the place for gifts, but I often find the gift beforehand on the internet, and more and more I am shopping online for presents. There are so many options on the internet, I find you can often get a more unique or personalised gift this way. I especially love buying art prints for people online from sites like etsy or through blogs, I have a couple on my list for Christmas presents already including some of these:
from Sugarloop,
Sharon Montrose
,
Sub-Studio, and
Belle & Boo

I buy lots of my baby presents from Australian online baby stores including Baby’s Got Style and The Hip Infant. It’s also a lot easier than subjecting Matilda to hours of mindless wandering around a shopping centre, although we don’t mind doing that every now and then too.

A PLACE TO SHOP FOR YOU:
I actually think I’m a really easy person to buy a gift for – anything for the home or kitchen or a good cookbook and I’m a happy girl.
In Melbourne you could never go wrong with The Essential Ingredient or The Works, Bed bath n’ Table.
In Brisbane it would have to be the Black Pearl Epicure.
You’d also be safe with stationery from Kikki K, homewares from Domayne or anything from The Lark.
And I’ve never been there but next time I’m in Sydney I plan on heading straight for the new Donna Hay general store and I’m fairly certain I will love everything in it.  See, too easy!

A FAVORITE GO-TO GIFT: For little children I love giving books, there are so many beautiful books available and I don’t think you can ever have too many. If I’m organized I like making a library bag to go with it. I also find for little girls a library bag filled with colouring in books, stickers and pencils is something that will always get used.

My other stand-by gift I pull out when I just can’t think of anything else that would be better is a magazine subscription. It’s not very exciting but there’s a magazine out there to suit everyone’s interests and it is fun to get them in the mail every month, my favourites are Donna Hay and Real Living.

KIND GIFTS FOR YOUR DAUGHTER: We have very generous friends and family so Matilda has been given so many lovely things it is hard to single any out.

I think she may have one of the best stocked wardrobes possible and a lot of those outfits were given to us. My aunty gave her a lovely matinee set that was knitted by my great-grandmother and another family friend gave her a beautifully crocheted set so these are things we will put away and look forward to taking out and showing her when she’s older. Her wardrobe includes a few special pieces of jewellery we received when she was born and on her baptism and I like having these special things for her to keep and wear later on.

Matilda has been given some great books which I love and it’s been fun to watch her develop a love for them too. We often find her at her bookshelf pulling books down and sitting reading to herself. I don’t think you can go wrong with books as presents for children.

Being a winter baby she was given some lovely blankets when she was born one of which was knitted by my grandma so that is very special to us.

Finally we were also given lots of practical items like cot sheets a high chair and a stroller and with all the costs of buying baby things for the first time, we really appreciated these practical gifts too.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie September 8, 2009 at 8:25 pm

A library bag is such a good idea! I would have loved one of those when I was a little girl. My mom took me and my siblings to the library weekly…and we always walked out with stacks of books.

Such wonderful memories…

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Amy's Stocking Stuffers September 9, 2009 at 7:01 am

What a lovely blog! I have a gift-giving blog also, although mine focuses on stocking stuffers (which I imagine is obvious from the name!). I too love Etsy, and Sharon Montrose is one of my favorites! I have her blog fed into my Google reader so I don’t miss a single picture.

Years and years (and years!) ago I spent a university semester in Australia, but I’m sad to say I did not get to Melbourne or much of Queensland. The year I was there was when Qantas had that big airline strike on, so it was almost impossible to fly anywhere. I did take a bus from Sydney to Alice Springs, and later a bus from Sydney to Perth. I definitely learned firsthand how very big Australia is.

I still read a fair number of Australia authors, and I hope to get back for a trip sometime in the next few years.

Thanks again for your lovely blog!

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