Relationship Advice

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Top five tips on Christmas gifts for your loved ones

Christmas is fast approaching so here are our top five tips on  buying Christmas gifts for your loved ones.Christmas Gifts


According to, retail spending using electronic cards was $18 billion in the December 2018 quarter, up $616 million (3.5 percent) from the December 2017 quarter.

Credit card spending peaked in December which may indicate consumers are using these cards to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones.  The down side of using your credit card to purchase gifts to give at Christmas is that you will have to spend January paying it off.

Avoid using your credit card to purchase Christmas gifts this December by using our top five tips below:

  1. Wants verses needs.  Think about the person you are shopping for and identify their needs as opposed to their wants.  They may have spoken about what they are wanting for Christmas, instead focus on what they actually need.  We all have wants however our needs are far more important so should be the focus of your purchase first and foremost.
  2. On selling.  Are the items you are planning to buy for your loved ones likely to end up on Trade Me on Boxing Day?  Think carefully about the gift and whether it is something that they will actually use.  Sometimes we can have the best intentions when buying gifts for our loved ones however if they don’t need or like it then chances are it will end up on a re-sell site the next day..
  3. Give back.  As our awareness increases and we become conscious consumers, have you thought about buying a gift that also gives back?  I love the idea of buying something that not only benefits the recipient but also gives back to those in need.  Make your money go further this Christmas and support one of the many organisations in NZ that offer a buy one, donate/give one concept so that more people can receive the help they so desperately need. Instead of buying your loved ones a gift that they will put up on Trade Me on Boxing Day, get them something that gives back to the community at the same time.  Here is a list of some of the many places you can give back to this Christmas:
    Sanitary Products


  4. Keep it simple.  Set a budget early on for how much you are going to spend on each item.  Sometimes the more expensive the gift the less impressive it really is.  Often the cheapest gifts have the most impact.  Secret Santa’s are a great way of keeping costs down and giving a gift that the recipient will use as a lot of thought has gone into the gift.  You can use a Secret Santa online organiser to keep it simple and add so much fun to the experience.
  5. Shop local.  Keep your $$$ in NZ by supporting small local businesses who depend on your spending to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Buy NZ made wherever possible so that these small businesses are able to continue to do what they do best, helping others.

Overall, have fun with your shopping and remember, the most memorable gifts are those that had some thought put into it as it came from your heart.  We wish you all happy holidays and make the most of your magical memories with your loved ones this season and best of all take care of each other.

Save your relationship in 30 minutes a day!

Save your relationship in 30 minutes a day!

Even if you think you do not need to save your relationship you never know what is around the corner.  By doing this for 30 minutes each day, you will effectively be ensuring your relationship lasts a lifetime.

I am not oblivious to the fact that there are many other factors that effect longevity in relationships but by implementing this into your daily routine will inject a deeper understanding of each other.

What does your routine look like between 5-6pm?  Does one partner arrive home from work around this time?  Do both of you arrive home around this time?  Does one or both of you work from home and this is the time where you stop working and re-engage into the daily routine?

No matter what dynamics occurs in your family this method applies to everyone.

Russell and I have worked hard to ensure our relationship is our number one priority.  This means that our relationship is valued more importantly than anything else in our lives.  Several years ago we established a daily debrief into our daily weekday routine (Russell works Monday to Friday but you can apply this to any day of the week).

This means that for 30 minutes each day after Russell arrives home from work we sit down together and debrief each other about our day.  Basically we get 15 minutes each to talk about how our day was, if there were any eventful moments and whether there was anything that impacted negatively or positively on us.

This time together brings us closer and allows us to understand how each other is feeling and whether the other needs more emotional support or feedback after a really difficult day.  Being able to share the days events with each other is vital for healthy communication in any relationship.

Having set an open and honest space to allow for sharing personal moments can build trust, energy, closeness and support which strengthens your relationship.

It has been during these debriefs where I have learnt about moments that have impacted Russell in an emotional way and by allowing him to be able to share these moments with me gives him the opportunity to offload the stress and seek validation and support when needed.

We are very good at keeping things to ourselves and answering with “Fine” when asked “How are you?”  Sometimes we are not fine and we need that opportunity to offload to someone we trust.

If you have children make sure they are aware that this time is important to you both and that they are not to interrupt you unless it is an emergency.  I realise that they may be too young to understand this however there are things you can do to prevent interruptions while you chat.

I would love to hear your stories on how implementing this into your daily routine managed to save your relationship.  Feel free to add your comments below or send me an email.

Natasha xox

Valentines Day Statistics

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I wanted to know what gifts were popular choices for people to give their sweethearts and came across some interesting statistics.  These statistics were complied in 2012 across the US and surprisingly the most popular gift choices have remained the most Romantic gifts for the past several decades.

NZ Woman’s Weekly Article

In case you missed reading about us in the media in a recent edition of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, here is the article. Special thanks go to Aroha Awarau from NZWW for allowing us to tell our story, to Bernadette Peters for photographing us and to Christiana Cleland for doing Natasha’s makeup. We hope you enjoy reading it […]