Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Nespresso machine

To round out Birthday Month, how about a peek at a very special pressie?!

The Man (whose birthday is 6 days after mine) and I received a coffee machine from his family for our birthdays. Hooray!

My father-in-law was chatting to me quizzing me about coffee makers a few weeks ago. In hindsight clearly doing a bit of sneaky research however I was completely oblivious and thought he was asking for advice to upgrade their machine. How clueless am I?

Regardless, I still managed to convey that in the (to my knowledge, hypothetical) situation of us getting a coffee machine it would need to be a very compact piece to fit in our kitchen. A great hulking appliance was not going to work in our little nook!

I also wanted one that uses pods because coffee grinds can get messy (I used to work in an office that had a regular espresso machine and my coffee was cold by the time I had cleaned up). The bonus of pods is that you can have multiple flavours on hand and they’ll always be kept fresh.

Nespresso machine

My clever in-laws chose the Nespresso U D50 with separate milk frother. Look how slim the profile is – it fits perfectly in our tea/coffee station and the milk frother stores easily in the cupboard below.

We had been thinking of getting a coffee machine one day – perhaps as a 30th present request next year – but we were very surprised by the generous gift.

Working at home it really is a lovely treat every morning to have a proper coffee instead of the regular instant.


Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed celebrating Birthday Month with me! I still can’t believe I’ve been blogging for three years. My longest full-time job was three years and I was hating it by the end and I still love blogging so that’s a good sign!

What did you think of this month’s Book Nook Things I Love by Megan Morton? Share your thoughts over on the review if you’ve read it!

June’s theme is going to be bedrooms, so if you have any questions about closet decluttering/organisation, jewellery/accessory storage, bed linens, bedroom decorating or similar please don’t hesitate to get in touch!


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gift card wrapping ideas
Gift card wrapping idea by So Shelli

I love choosing gifts for loved ones. But it can be tricky if your recipient:

  • struggles with clutter
  • has expressed desire to unclutter
  • lives far away from you
  • lives in a small space
  • is in a temporary living situation (eg dorm)
  • is moving soon or moves frequently
  • says they don’t need/want presents
  • is a person who ‘has everything’

I’ve had to buy for people in all of these situations (and am in a couple of them myself) so I thought I’d do a roundup of some no-clutter gift ideas to follow up from yesterday’s worst clutter gifts post.


Who wouldn’t want to be gifted a special night out?

  • Concerts
  • Movies
  • Theatre
  • Art exhibitions


Experiences make wonderful and memorable gifts. Great for kids who have more than enough toys!

  • Zoo trip
  • Golf session
  • Travel voucher
  • Wine tasting


A great option but you’ll have to be sure it’s something the recipient is interested in and that they have time for it.


Services can be some of the best uncluttered gifts. Choose from me-time treats or time-saving practical options, depending on what your recipient would appreciate most.

  • Hairdressing
  • Manicure / pedicure
  • Massage
  • House cleaning
  • Car washing


A homemade voucher is an especially good gift for new parents or if you are on a tight budget. I provided some meals to my friend after the birth of her first baby last year and she’s still talking about it as one of the most appreciated gifts.

  • Homemade meal
  • Babysitting
  • House cleaning
  • Car washing
  • Preparing taxes
  • House painting
  • Gardening


An oldie but a goodie. Make sure they’re nicer than your normal plonk or biccies they would buy for themselves.

  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • Chocolates / sweets
  • Chutneys / jams / sauces

Digital media

Books, music and movies used to be some of the worst clutter offenders. Not anymore!

Charitable donation

A particularly good option if your recipient is known for their social conscience, is a bit older and ‘has everything’ or is experiencing a bereavement (as an alternative to flowers). The ones where you can sign up for a particular thing are good – a pair of slippers wouldn’t have meant much to my auntie but she was chuffed knowing that someone had been given the gift of sight in her name. Select a charity that resonates with the interests of your loved one. Here are a few:

Gift cards / cash

Obviously they could end up buying something ‘cluttery’ with it but the choice is theirs.

Tangible gifts

If you’re like me and prefer giving tangible gifts, there are still ways to keep it uncluttered.

  • To replace something else if you think they would appreciate it (eg a new lamp to replace a broken one, bonus points if it’s a versatile item that can replace more than one thing)
  • Something they need and would buy anyway, such as clothes (consider making it better quality than they would buy for themselves so it still feels special)
  • Something that will help get them organised (eg labels, scanner, calendar)
  • Chip in with others to purchase one more substantial or better quality item (give the newlyweds one kick-arse coffee machine instead of 20 platters)
  • Flowers!

So, what do you think? Anything you’d add to the list?

What are your favourite uncluttered gifts to give and receive?

P.S. Happy birthday to The Man!! The last year of our twenties and I’m sure it’ll be a good one. xxoo

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cake pop dual dipper

So it’s Birthday Month here on Atypical Type A so there’s a lot of talk about beautiful gifts. But what about bad gifts? Specifically, gifts that are merely clutter disguised with a pretty bow.

Some might be perfectly fine gifts but are completely impractical for the recipient due to size or lifestyle. The Man and I actually received a bain marie as a wedding present from a well-meaning relative, the box touting that it was suitable for conference catering. CONFERENCES! There are two of us. In a unit. With limited kitchen storage. And no dishwasher. Any more than six guests and we are ordering pizza.

Others are ridiculously specific unitaskers that simply take up cupboard space to be used once or twice (if that). Take this Cake Pop Dipper (dual, no less!) I spotted on Unclutter for example: I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t just use a microwave, double-boiler even just a bowl over a simmering saucepan, which is how I melt chocolate. Of course, you will also need the Cake Pop Maker itself (regular or deluxe flip-over version, your choice), and possibly a Cake Pop MultiFunction (!!) Decorating Station, just in case you can’t work out how to turn on your oven or put sprinkles in a bowl.

(Sorry, rant over.)

So, generally clutteriffic gifts will fall under one of these categories:

  • Something big (does your apartment-dwelling brother have room for a four-burner barbecue?)
  • Something they won’t use frequently (sure a paint sprayer might be handy but I would simply borrow my parents’ if we needed it)
  • Something that’s not to their taste (how often have you kept something out of guilt?)
  • Something they don’t have anywhere to store (cupcake towers might be cute but I literally would not have anywhere to store one)
  • Something that doesn’t suit their lifestyle (don’t give your friend with a full-time job and three little kids a slow-food cookbook with four-hour recipes)
  • Something that has only one use (unitaskers such as popcorn/muffin/hotdog makers where existing kitchen basics would suffice)

Of course, your sister might really want that ice-cream maker/leaf blower/vase which is great, go ahead! But always keep in mind the home, needs and lifestyle of your loved one before buying a gift.

Tomorrow we’ll be talking about the best uncluttered gifts. Til then, give yourself a laugh by browsing the archives of Unclutterer’s Unitasker Wednesday.

Share in the comments your stories about gifts-turned-clutter.

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It’s been a good while since I’ve done any baking, so I definitely had fun with this one!

Go to Polka Dot Bride to check out the full tutorial for the cake toppers, as well as my fave recipe for hummingbird cake with cream cheese icing. Nom nom.

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Rapunzel game image

I recently created this fun ‘Pin the braid on Rapunzel’ game graphic for Janice‘s daughter’s Tangled-themed birthday party.

Here it is for you to use free for your own little princess. Just download the backdrop and braid and print them out out nice and big at your local copy shop. If you don’t have a big corkboard or similar, just use Blu-Tack instead of pins.

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I apologise for the title. I really do. Hearing people say ‘totes’ is like nails on a blackboard for me.

In this case, however, I am taking about actual totes.

Camera totes to be precise.

Jo Totes camera bag

(Apologies for the horrid grainy photos – I obviously had to dust off the ol’ point and shoot to take these photos.)

I’m not sure if I’ve even told you this but The Man and I are heading off overseas for five weeks this summer (HOORAY!).

I love travel photography, but I’m a bit of a princess and find all the paraphenalia frankly a bit annoying. I have a second lens but I never use it because I hate lugging it around, so I take the compact camera bag instead of the bigger one with room for the extra lens (then I’ll be taking a snap and go ‘Ugh, I wish I had my telephoto with me’). I also find it inconvenient to carry around a camera bag as well as a backpack or handbag.

Plus – you know me – I’m all about the functional but there’s no reason why it can’t look good too!

Jo Totes camera bag

Enter Jo Totes.

I had been coveting this baby for awhile now so I was very excited to unwrap it on my birthday recently (thanks to my parents and in-laws).

I looove how I can fit my camera and spare lens(es) all safe and sound between the padded dividers and there’s still room for my wallet/sunnies/cardi/whatever. There’s even a secret pocket at the back for my iPad as well as pockets at the front for the usual out-and-about essentials. I also like how it doesn’t scream ‘I AM A TOURIST AND I AM CARRYING LOTS OF VALUABLE EQUIPMENT’.

OK now I just sound like an ad I know, but seriously Betsy is going to be my new best travel buddy. The Man also gave me an iPad camera connector so I will be able to upload photos on the go.

Now I’m all set for blogging anywhere in the world!

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Aqua and gold birthday cake
The Cilantropist

Yup, as of today I can officially no longer call myself mid-twenties.

Normally I love any excuse for a party, but this year I really didn’t feel like it. Not because getting older bothers me, but everything has been so go-go-go lately that I am really looking forward to celebrating in a more relaxing way. I might treat myself to an early minute today and fit in some me-time before going out for Indian with the family tonight.

Have a super weekend, lovelies!

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Around here it’s definitely been perfect weather for curling up on the couch in front of the fire doing some knitting.

Not that I have a fire. Or knit.

But if you’ve been whipping up a storm of crafty gifts, you’ll love these tags:

Amy is the Party free handmade tags

Amy is the Party

A Fanciful Twist free handmade tags

A Fanciful Twist

Sew Mama Sew free handmade tags

Sew Mama Sew

What crafty gifts have you been making lately?

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Atypical Type A birthday month feature

Well, here we are at the end of Birthday Month at Atypical Type A. I hope you’ve enjoyed the party!

If you’ve missed it, here are some highlights:

The Man and I hosted a cocktail party based on this mood board I created

…and I designed a glam hen’s party in the same style.

I shared some Tips & Tricks on hosting a party in a small space and remembering birthdays.

I attempted a Lego cake and some cake bunting.

It’s all about wrapping paper, with recyling ideas, a product roundup and creative wrapping inspiration.

I discovered so many cute free printable gift tags I had to make it into not one but two posts.

I launched a new collection, which includes stunning foiled invitations for your next party.

– – – – – – –

As I celebrated my birthday and the first anniversary of my business and blog this month, I reflected on the past year. The last 12 months have been without a doubt the most incredible of my life. I quit my stable job, started a business, started this blog, got married, went overseas… phew!

There were moments where it was difficult and scary… actually it’s still difficult and scary, but it’s ultimately outweighed by the happiness that comes from doing what I love. I wouldn’t be able to do this, though, if it weren’t for all the people who’ve helped me over the last year. The bloggers and magazines who have been kind enough to write about my projects and my work; my family, friends and especially my husband Ryan for the overwhelming amount of support and encouragement they offered; but most of all YOU.

Thank you so much for reading, for supporting my business and for your comments – you make my day!

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Let’s wrap up (no pun intended) birthday month here at Atypical Type A with part 2 of the free printable gift tag roundup. (Here’s part 1 if you missed it.)

Printable gift tag - Pilgrim pinwheel
Draw Pilgrim

Printable gift tag - Creature Comforts green appleCreature Comforts

Printable gift tag - Eat Drink Chic French 1 Printable gift tag - Eat Drink Chic French 2
Eat Drink Chic

Printable gift tag - Good Gravy 1Printable gift tag - Good Gravy 2Good Gravy

Printable gift tag - Vale Design summer beeVale Design via Papercrave

Printable gift tag - Daily Suze manila doilyDaily Suze

Printable gift tag - Little Paper DogPrintable gift tag - Little Paper Dog 1
Little Paper Dog

Printable gift tag - Pom pom printables Printable gift tag - Love Obsess Inspire
Domestifluff | Carte Blanche Invitations via Love Obsess Inspire

Printable gift tag - Creature Comforts bow
Creature Comforts for Simply Modern Mom

Akimbo birthday sale

Check out examples of my work or drop me a line to enquire or place your order.


Today is the LAST DAY of my birthday sale so if you need wedding stationery, get on it now!

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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