What do a sandwich press and steak have in common?

Cooking the perfect steak it’s actually not as hard as you may think!

The perfect way to impress the Valentine’s Day make your man or woman that delicious steak!

It’s super easy life hack time!


So what does a sandwich press and steak have in common = the perfect steak!

This has to be the best life hack of 2017!

It cooks both sides perfectly and evenly plus hello health benefits – no oil!

So you may need to practise a bit my sandwich press takes

3 minutes rare

5 minutes medium rare

7 minutes well done

Till light goes green (8-9) minutes well done

Voila- perfect steak!

Thank you sandwich press!

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We’ve all got something to say but who’s listening?


Email Trends – how to make the most of email lists in 2017-2018?

What’s in an email? 

You may not realise it but the forecasted email trends for 2017 are directed at specialised individual email marketing content. That is getting down to the nitty gritty of it, knowing exactly who your email is going to and tailoring it to specifically suit that individual’s needs, wants and interests.

So knowing your customers on a much deeper level?

It may seem like a mammoth task, especially when you have over 200,000 individuals on your emailing list. Software companies are making the move to tailor email templates to help keep your email marketing and strategies on point and relational to your customers.

Personalization is an emerging trend not just in marketing but through the use of email as well. We all know that getting that email right means the world of difference, generating paying customers or turning them away with a quick click of the unsubscribe button. An email marketer’s worst nightmare.



Econsultancy asked email marketers, “What do you think the single biggest to change to email marketing will be, when looking ahead 5 years.” Data, content and personalisation were the most prominent themes. (http://www.emailmonday.com/the-future-of-email-marketing).

They’ve hit the nail on the head. The data and content themes play a vital role in the success and ultimately the personalisation email marketers are after.

Going beyond personalisation, that next step

Yes you can address your email to the person by name, but new techniques and software are going above and beyond that simple step to really capture their audience’s personalities.

Other steps go beyond the use of software and go right back to the first step of engagement. Ask the right questions, create personal profiles – this makes it easy to send the right emails to the right people. Let’s say for example you’ve got Sarah who loves cooking and then you’ve got Pete who is a total tech head, you wouldn’t send them both an email about this month’s top winter recipes would you? A personalised email would draw from customers interests and be tailored to fit what they are interested in.  Creating content and a message they can engage with.

It is extra work, but worth it in the long run. Building relationships that are two way are clearly the goal insight.

If you’re in the email marketing game then you should have heard of behavioural email marketing. This is a strategy that gives you a way to build up the personal profile of your client; even simple things like location, age and how many times they visit your website  what pages they click on to, are all ways of creating that personal profile for that uber exciting and engaging personalised email. (http://www.emailvendorselection.com/behavioral-email-marketing-4-examples-and-the-tools-you-need-to-change-your-business-forever/)

We’ve all got something to say, but who is listening (or reading)?

What is Bali like?

Bali, Bali, Bali Baby!

I feel like this is really just a diary entry, but hope it helps someone! Any questions just ask 🙂


That was my first impression. Stepping off the plane and into the non-air cond airport terminal. Wow was it warm. But then it would be after coming from a balmy 9 degrees in New Zealand (ha!)

We had no trouble at all entering, there was a line but we rolled on through rather fast. Walking through the arrival archway we were greeted by loads of Balinese people yelling and shouting, “taxi, miss you want taxi”, “taxi taxi”.

We were looking around for our guy from the hotel who we were meeting there to collect us and our 3 bags of luggage. In the commotion of it all we couldn’t see him so we started walking toward what we thought was the exit. Then to get bombarded by a group of guys dressed in blue, “where are you going?” “Where are you staying” “We take you, we take you”, “taxi taxi taxi”. WOW. We eventually had a lovely lovely guy who worked for the airport call our driver over the intercom and he appeared through the throngs of taxi drivers gathered around us!

So then we got on our way to the hotel. Now my hubby was sitting in the front and I could see him flinching every few minutes as scooters and cars sped straight at us, almost a head on! I just laughed – I thought this is great!

Adventure time!

Legian Beach, Bali

We got to the hotel, greeted everyone, checked in and chucked the stuff in the hotel room. I ran straight down to the beach, it was midnight but that didn’t bother me – I had to go and check it out!img_7475

It was pitch black and I didn’t really see anything, the breaks in the waves but I could certainly hear it! First note to self – Bali’s beaches are LOUD! We were staying directly opposite Legian Beach so a quick hop and a skip and we were there in and amongst it!

Day one: The second my eyes opened at 4:45am I was out of bed dressed – no hair brush, no makeup. Time to go. Hubby wasn’t overly pleased. But I made us a cup of coffee and dragged him down to the beach to watch the sunrise (something I am yet to do at home). Loaded up with my phone and canon digital camera off we went.


As we are walking through the hotel this teeny tiny black bat came flying over our heads. I’m not a scared person and I knew there were bats around I just didn’t expect to see one so soon!

Next animal we saw was this super cute squirrel scampering along a powerline. I didn’t even know they had them! Bucket list tick- saw a squirrel (and infact we went and fed them peanuts after our sunrise morning mish).


The beach was not what I expected. It was dirty (I’m okay with that), it was super busy for 5.30 in the morning and the amount of roaming dogs was amazing. Loads of them all shapes and sizes running around in the sand playing, trailing along behind morning joggers. I wasn’t sure what they’d do – if they were aggressive or not but they don’t even give you a second look. Even if you whistle…

We got back to the hotel at 7am and had a buffet breakfast that was included with the hotel. It was pretty yum! My body hadn’t quite adjusted to the time difference so I wasn’t overly hungry.

Ubud and surrounds

Within the hour we had organised and booked a driver for the day with four others staying in the hotel. We were heading up into Ubud in the middle of the island. I was surprised at how long it took us to get there! The driver was a little bit uneasy because he kept telling us he was number 2 and his boss was number 1, so he needed to take us back to the hotel and his boss would take us.A little bit scam city ish.

Ubud was everything tropical you expect it to be. It wasn’t as quiet and cruisey as I thought, but it was still pretty cool! We did the coffee plantations (being an animal lover I didn’t do the luwak coffee, I sniffed it though – pungent). Then a temple, had lunch in some rice fields with sweeping views to the volcanoes – that was just gorgeous! Saw some out of it birds, went to the world heritage rice terraces, did the monkey forest and then headed home to the hotel at 7pm!


It was nuts for a first day! We spent all our money on bottled water!

Second day we went and stocked up at the local supermarket and strolled the shops! That would be my number one tip – get good walking shoes! Although my $2 kmart pair of jandals held up pretty well with all the walking we did in 7 days!


The bartering side of things took we a little while to get used to. I  was stubborn. Enough to get myself sworn at a few times. I just figured if I could get it cheaper at home I wouldn’t pay more there. No not going to pay $60 NZD for 3 kids tops!

We did rack up a few bargains but also found ourselves frequenting the fixed price shop over the road from the hotel too. I lost my voice by the third day because of the amount of talking we did, “Halo, how are you? Good and you? No thank you. No we are just walking. No we have sunglasses. No I dont wear a watch. No transport thank you. No Im not giving you my passport. No thank you, no thank you, no thank you!”

It was quite amazing! I’ve never talked that much in my life!IMG_7505.JPG

It was a really cool experience, I didn’t hate it and it didn’t completely knock my socks off either. The best thing was the cheapish food and drinks.


My only regret is not getting to Tanah Lot (the temple) earlier. We left at 3:50pm. It should have only taken us an hour but it took 2 and a half so we arrived at 6.30pm. I ran along the cliff top to try and catch the last snatches of sunlight but as I was running down the stairs to the beach access way, the lights in the temple went off. I was actually quite devastated. That had been one of my top two things to do in Bali.That was our second to last night in Bali, so I didn’t have another chance to go. From what I saw though it was BEAUTIFUL. And walking back to the taxi driver we passed through a little village that was quickly emptying as it got darker. We looked quickly in one shop and it was the cheapest stuff I’d seen anywhere around Seminyak, Kuta and Legian! There were sandals for $2.50 and $3.50! Wish I’d gone during the day and spent the entire day there – oh well always next time!

I got Henna done on the last day down at the beach – cheeky fella tried to charge me $45 and I ended up only paying $5 which was all it was worth anyway and I probably overpaid then. I also noticed after it dried it was pretty black… black henna. Hmmm well I’ll let you know when I dye my hair next what happens! LOL.

One thing that was quite sad is how OVER touristy it is. There are Westerners and Europeans everywhere! So much so that when you barter they do it in our currency (or assume you are Australian) so – $10 for this or $20 for that.

The bar names were a hoot – crystal meth, get pissed etc etc. Kind of says something about the people who frequent them though.

The people were beautiful and so friendly. Except for the few who started swearing and packing a tanti because I wouldn’t pay what they wanted. I have never been addressed as “Madam”, “Darling”, “Miss” before!


Massages – are a must do! $3.50 for a foot and shoulder massage! Just be careful if you are a male – they seem to get offered “other” kinds of massages. The first massage place I walked into, I’d actually walked into the wrong one with my sister-in-law. I saw all these cats around and got all excited because they were the first I’d seen in Bali. Gave one a pat and then got ushered to a chair. We sat down and inhaled. Oh my god wrong thing to do – it HUMMED like cat pee. So bad I didn’t inhale deeply again until we go outside. We felt too rude to get up and leave after we’d sat down, and we were the only people in there.

The next massage shop over was amazing though I had this lovely lady Martini do my massage. It was nice to actually sit down and talk to some of the people, she had come over from the Philippines and brought her husband and 3 children with her.

I got the impression from some of the Balinese that they have quite short patience with some of the tourists. I could understand that completely too, I know in Perth parents send their 17-18 year olds over there for “Schoolies” an end of year party to celebrate your last year at high school. I can imagine the state they’d be in rolling around the streets.

Anyway Bali was nice and I remember thinking that I probably wouldn’t go back but try somewhere else in Asia like Jakarta or Thailand. But I know we only just scratched the surface and you need more than 7 days to really get to know a place. There was so much more I wanted to do!

Although I have a good list stacked up; got my makeup done in Balinese style (OMG), had a few close calls with trucks, cars and scooters (and a few dodgy shopkeepers), had my first ever massage, had my first ever Mojito (now my new fav drink), got to know my hubbys side of the family a whole lot more, first international holiday without the kids (and I am so glad we didn’t bring them), watched monkeys attack other tourists, pet an iguana, fell in love with a bat, jumped into the swimming pool fully clothed, wore frangipanis in my hair most days, did my first Hindu temple, drank cocktails all afternoon by the pool, got waited on, ate Nasi Goreng, dined under the volcanos, saw a squirrel and fed it peanuts, saw Balinese fire dancing, watched the sunset and almost sunrise. I accomplished a fair bit in my short amount of time and it really set the travel bug off again – big time! Where to next?!

And on a final note – I do NOT recommend jetstar. Of our four flights with them every single one was delayed or the flight time was changed. Zero stars from me.












Preparing for bali

Tap in “travel to bali” in google and you get a massive list of blog posts and travel websites that look enticing until you actually start reading them…. oh dear! I have clicked on about 20 and they don’t paint a picturesque scene.

I have travelled to South East Asia before so I am under no illusion about the cultural differences there. I know it will be dirty, I know there maybe a few sorry looking animals around,I know it will be hot Hot HOT and humid, I know there will be rubbish and I know there will be tourists… loads of them. Every blog or post mentioned that flaming book/movie which I will not mention here because I think it has been well over-used and I don’t believe you should base your impressions on movies – they are meant to look good.

No filters needed #papamoa #beach #sunset #papamoabeach #mountmaunganui #beachsunset #favplaces #newzealand

A post shared by M a d y (@thecreativecollaboration) on

I know it wont look like this

I know everyone says stay away from Kuta but we haven’t had much choice in our accommodation and we are staying in Legian one over from Kuta, I believe.

What I am wondering if anyone has any tips or anything on what to do and what not to do?

My husband is very sure he will get pickpocketed (I told him it’d be highly unlikely and in his defense we have been watching a whole lot of ‘Scam City’ lately!

I like to get off the beaten track in most places I visit but I do also like to do the touristy stuff here and there too. I’d mostly be interested in visiting somewhat humane-animal friendly parks (possibly delusional to find this here?)  and historical sites – without every second person there either.

So if anyone has any ideas, comments or places to go – I would LOVE and appreciate to hear about them!

Thank you in advance!!

And anyone interested in going to Bali I will post more about it when I actually get there in a little under 2 weeks time!

ps. I did not choose myself to visit the place.. family obligations!




An actual Beauty trick that works

How have I not heard of it before?!

You know when you do a really bad hair job, over toned too much purple or blue or grey, go for that beautiful light ashy blonde only to get what I heard someone refer to as “Hag Hair” (omg funniest thing ever!) Or just a general hair dye at home gone wrong!


>>When it was supposed to be this

Anyway heres a super simple, dirt cheap and no strong chemicals trick to get rid of a bad hair dye or “hag hair

Im always down for some good Beauty tips and remedies just in case! I had coloured my hair in preparation for going to Bali (yay countdown is on 11 days to go!) It was “ash blonde” no – hello hag hair and on that note I am over ash blonde forever.

Everyone says wash and wash and wash and then wash some more to fade it out. Ive even heard and read about using dishwashing liquid – hell no how harsh is that stuff!

So I was hunting around online for something to fix it quick smart…. *Drum Roll for Magic Recipe*

Hello Born2Blossom’s blog!



(3 lemons – squeeze juice, one small blob conditioner – yes it should be runny)

– mix, rub through hair loads of it, leave for an hour and any bad hair job or over tone is gone!

#I used gladwrap to wrap my hair so it didnt get all over the place

No lies -Seriously I was super skeptical about it all, Im one of those people who finds all these beauty things, tries it and it never works – while everyone else is like omg thank you it worked amazing, you saved my life etc etc etc

Plus it makes your hair super soft actually and it smells amazing if you like that natural fresh I just rolled in Lemon smell!

but it actually worked! whoop whoop put that one in the beauty case for later!

It will reverse your hair to pretty much to how it was before you coloured it – in my case exactly the way it was before!


Born2blossoms original post here

My claim to fame 2016

Okay so I’ve been doing the whole freelance self employed thing for a few months now and its been… busy, trying and tiring to say the least!

I do love it though and it has given me the opportunity to try my hand at so many things; photography, graphic design, content writing, editing a novel or two and whole myriad of other bits and pieces.

I feel very lucky to have had all these awesome opportunities this year. It’s taken a while to get there and have the confidence to do so, so this is my little thank you world moment.

I’ve always loved taking photos; my kids, family, the beach, scenery, my husky etc. So I nabbed a cheap as deal on a second hand canon slr, by no means top of the range or “flash” and got snapping away. But I’d just like to point out here that my strength is with a paper and pen, I didn’t consider myself a professional photographer or anything like that. As it turns out I can’t be that bad at snapping a photo or ten…


Anyway I found this neat opportunity to submit photos for a New Zealand based magazine. The theme for photos was “Gut Health”, I wasn’t going to submit anything but with a cup of tea or coffee in hand you can take on the world.

I came up with a neat idea, played around with a few setups and layouts and sent them off not really thinking my photos would be chosen. Well one of them was…

and not for content but the cover!

The Cover of a REAL LIFE Magazine.

I was ecstatic! Yay go me… and as it turns out I’m in the photo too – (yay for timer functions on cameras).

So that is my claim to fame! And you can buy from any good bookstores around NZ or online!

It’s been an awesome opportunity, confidence booster and getting the support from friends and family – by buying the magazine or ordering it into their workplaces!

So my words are to everyone thinking of doing freelancing in any industry; Stop thinking and just do it! Its a rewarding line of work and you get to fit in work around your schedule, you don’t have to answer to horrible bosses, co-worker drama or anything else. But in saying that being an employee for someone isn’t the worst thing either, it has plenty of pros. For me and where my family are at – its works for now! Not saying I’ll be doing it forever either, I do miss the socialisation but it can be done and I love it!