To Gift Voucher or Not???

Thoughts on Gift Vouchers?

I am sure I am not the only person that has a few expired Gift Vouchers sitting in one of their drawers at home.
When you receive a Gift Voucher it is always with great excitement and pleasure and I cannot quite figure out why I, and a great percentage of the population fail to redeem them within the validity period.
When I started up my company, Happetite Food I decided that our Gift vouchers wouldn’t have an expiry date on them. I believe if someone has spent the time and money choosing a gift voucher for you then you should have plenty of time to decide when to use it.
Last year I was gifted a voucher for a facial to a beauty salon. My birthday happened to fall two weeks after my third son was born so there was no way I was getting to the beauty salon in those first few months with a newborn baby. When I did manage to get around to checking out the voucher and calling them up to book it I realised it had a 6 month validity and was out of date, needless to say I was extremely disappointed to hear this and I am sure the person who gave it to me would have actually liked me to enjoy what they had gifted.
Formerly it was up to the business to set a validity date on their Gift Vouchers, but since the start of 2018 the legislation has changed. Now a Gift voucher has a minimum of 2 years validity and some even have a buffer period that you can still redeem them for a month or so after the expiry date.
I was so happy to hear this as I think it is only fair for the consumer to be given a greater amount of time to redeem this gift that has been paid for but not yet redeemed.
I can also see this from the point of view of a small business owner having too many outstanding gift vouchers can cause problems with balancing the books and stock but this can be seen as an opportunity to check in with your customers and encourage them to use their vouchers before they expire. I know as a customer that this level of customer service would really impress me and I would spread the word about what a great company they were.
Unfortunately I missed out on the facial early this year but with the new legislation in place from March 2018, myself and a great deal many other consumers will now be given a much longer period of time to enjoy our gift vouchers and maybe even get a little bit of “me time”.

If you have any questions about Gift Vouchers, the legislation about them or a Happetite Gift Voucher please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Monique @ Happetite Food Gifts


Timing is important


When a friend or family member is going through a challenging time you just want to reach out and help. This is one of the reasons why I set up the business, Happetite Food.

In these times when life is really challenging it can be difficult to know how to help and the best timing. Let’s take one of my own personal experiences as an example. When I lost my grandfather it was a very sad time for family. He was an amazing man and although he lived to the ripe old age of 94 his passing was a huge loss to our family, friends and community.

On the day of my grandfather’s passing and for the couple of days afterwards my grandmother received dozens of bunches of flowers, wreaths and bouquets. We just didn’t have enough vases for them all and although my grandmother and mother were very grateful to all who sent these gifts and kind gestures one of the most practical items that was sent to the house was a platter of food.

At the time my family bonded together to arrange funeral details, grieve and share stories of what a wonderful man he was. The platter that was delivered was perfect to share with the many family members and visitors that came to visit on those first few days. The timing of this gift of food was perfect.

What really surprised me was that a few weeks after the funeral when the flowers started to die and the visitors reduced the reality really set in. My grandmother was on her own and the grieving stage had only just begun.
I often get asked when is a good time to send people a food gift? Whether the occasion is a new baby, illness or bereavement I often suggest that the best timing is a few weeks after as this is often the hardest time for the recipient and moment when a home cooked meal is most needed.

My grandfather’s passing and a couple of other times in my life are the reason I started my business, Happetite Food. It was really hard to watch my grandmother go through this and as much as all our family chipped in and cooked her some meals, I know this is not possible for everyone and also quite hard to do when you are managing work and family.

The reality is, a gift of a home cooked meal is always a lovely gesture and something that nurtures and soothes someone in need. Next time you are sending a package maybe consider the timing of the delivery to ensure they know someone is thinking of them even after the flowers have died and visitors have gone.

For more information about Happetite Food Gifts please visit: Sending Feel-Good Food Gifts to the people you care about



In our fast paced world with access to so much information at our fingertips it is surprising the levels of loneliness, depression and anxiety that our society faces.

Who would have thought that when we receive almost 100 emails per day, spend up to 2 hours on social media and 8-10 hours a day on a computer we are more lonely than ever before.
In an article I read recently we receive one hand written letter every 2 months in comparison to 100 emails per day. The time, energy and thought that goes into each of these hand written letters is something that is lost. The speed of texting a friend is quicker than picking up the phone and calling but are we actually really communicating with those around us or just scratching the surface.

I know personally that when I spend too much time on social media I find myself feeling a little down about other people’s holidays, beautiful families, renovated houses and picture perfect lives. Although when I have a catch up with my close friends in person (a rare event as we all have a bundle of children and busy working lives) it is an honest, open catch up with lots of laughs, sometimes a few tears and makes me feel invigorated and supported.

Part of the reason I set up my business, Happetite Food was because I myself had experienced how a thoughtful act such as sending a card, making some food or sharing a cup of tea can help with someone struggling with loneliness.

With such busy lives we quite often miss the signs of those around us who are lonely. Don’t be fooled by the number of facebook friends they have, how amazing their life looks from the outside or how much they say they are busy. Most people would be absolutely blown away by the simple act popping in for a cup of tea and bringing a sweet treat to share (homemade or store bought it doesn’t matter) and a catch up.

So my goal in April is to take notice of the people around me, ask questions that scratch the surface about how they really are and just do one kind deed a week to make someone’s day a little brighter. You just never know the impact that your act can have on someone else’s life.

Monique @ Happetite food


Eating Seasonally

Eating seasonally is a great in theory but something that has become less common as we shop in larger supermarkets and have everything available at all times of year.
My young boys were surprised when I explained the concept of seasonal eating to them recently. They had assumed that you could buy all types of food at any time of year. That is when I knew it was time that we shopped less at supermarkets and frequented the local markets a little more so that we ate more seasonal produce and they understood the concept of seasonal food.

Eating seasonally

There are so many benefits to eating seasonally;
-Food is cheaper when purchased in season
– Food in season is at its peak and tastes better
– Your menu changes with the seasons
– You are exposed to a greater variety of food
– You appreciate the change in seasons and beautiful produce that we have access to

So as we move into the colder months, our meals get a little heavier, we eat more root vegetables and enjoy slower cooked meals. I have read that this is part of our body needing to slow down a little over these cooler months and enjoy the comfort of soups, casseroles and stews. All comforting meals that assist with a little bit of nurturing.
Follow us on social media to tap into some of the amazing seasonal produce and recipes we are trialling at home and at work.

Let us know some of your own favourite recipes and post some images to show how they turned out.

See you at the market soon.
Monique @ Happetite Food


Exercise after pregnancy

Carly Simpson from Buggy Bootcamp shares some wisdom about exercise after having a baby.

What NOT to do when returning to exercise after your baby!

New mothers are complicated creatures.

We have not only exerted a mammoth amount of energy in reaching the finishing line of growing a human person, we have also birthed that baby, nurtured them, fed them, clothed them, and stayed awake for countless hours with them; worrying about them, loving them desperately, and breathing in the amazing little person we’ve created. But there is so much more to the new mum than their newborn.

Mums in general worry about so much – about how the world perceives them, about whether or not they are doing a good job, about returning to work and a whole myriad of other problems that seem to keep many of us up at night. And herein lies the problem. Most new mums don’t see themselves as the amazing, nurturing queens of motherhood that they are, instead choosing to put pressure on themselves in other ways to achieve more, to be more, to accomplish the impossible. It is not uncommon for new mums to belittle their own bodies, to curse the new shape and form they have, and to therefore jump back onto the exercise wagon without consideration for their overall health and wellbeing.

When our bodies are still recovering from the incredible job of growing and birthing a human, it is so, so important to remember to take extra care of our post-natal selves. Many Mums feel pressure to have their bodies return to pre-baby weight instantly (we don’t care what you look like at Buggy Bootcamp, it took 9 months to grow that baby, give yourself a break!) or are frustrated with the inability to exercise like they did before.

Some of us are just too exhausted to even know where to begin.

Before jumping in with a new exercise routine, read our top ‘DON’Ts’ to remember when returning to exercise after you’ve had your baby – make sure you protect yourself and your body from unnecessary harm, now and further down the track.

Buggy Bootcamp’s top DONT’s for returning to exercise:

Don’t ~ Start too soon. While it can be tempting to start at the first opportunity, you should wait for AT LEAST 6 weeks after your baby is born and only then on the advice of your GP or ideally a post-natal Physiotherapist. If you’ve had a C-section, give yourself a good 10-12-week rest period to allow for your scar tissue to heal and body to strengthen naturally.
Don’t ~ Do crunches/sit ups/twists. These abdominal exercises can exacerbate any abdominal separation (which occurs in approximately 90% of pregnancies) and set your healing progress back a few steps. Roll to the side and use your arms to get out of bed rather than sitting straight up and avoid heavy rotations (like the type of movement necessary with those annoying bad supermarket trolleys).
What NOT to do when returning to exercise after your baby!

Don’t ~ Add high impact exercise until your body (and especially your pelvic floor) is ready. Pushing your body too soon can lead to incontinence issues now or in later life, something that many Mums ignore because it ‘feels’ ok now. Hormones in the body can still make joints weak too, leaving you more prone to injury than pre-pregnancy. Listening to your professional health care providers, your trainer and your body is of paramount importance like never before!
Don’t ~ Hold your breath or lift weights that are too heavy. These can both put extra, unwanted pressure on your pelvic floor and your joints (see above!). If you want to lift weights for toning, start light and do extra repetitions, and slowly build up the weight as your trainer suggests and as your body allows.
Don’t ~ Do single leg exercises (running, steps ups, lunges) if suffering from any pelvic girdle pain. If this is the case, make sure you book an appointment with your Physiotherapist to check your pelvic alignment, and to give you the all clear before you start hopping around.
Don’t ~ Expect exercise to feel the same as it did before your pregnancy, or put too much pressure on yourself to bounce back to pre-baby fitness straight away. Be kind to yourself, you achieved an awful lot to get to where you are today and you deserve a great big pat on the back. With time, persistence and commitment, you’ll be enjoying the endorphin rush you’ve missed and your body will be strong, healthy and happy. All the rest will follow.
Wellness after you’ve become a mum, has so many facets – physical, mental and emotional. Try to remember to look after yourself by eating healthy, whole foods, which encourage healing and muscle repair. Treat yourself to a time-out as often as you can, whether it be for a walk, a bath or a nap. Ask for help if you need it, listen to your body, and remember to praise yourself for the phenomenal feat you have just achieved. You are amazing. x

CategoryMum and Bub Workout, Mum Fitness, Pre/Post-Natal Health

For more information and for a safe way to get back into exercise check out: