Quick Chat: Why should we go Cherry Picking?

Ladies and Aphrodite Chasers,

Welcome to the wonderful world of hand-picked girly goodness, brought to you by the lovely brands at Cherry Pick Me, your one-stop, personal shop-style group-buying phenomenon launching tomorrow at www.cherrypickme.com.au. Want to know what it’s all about? Read on for some background info from the ladies behind it all, Kirsty & Sarah from Ciao Bella Travel.

What made you start up Cherry Pick Me? By way of background, we started www.ciaobellatravel.com.au   four years ago so we are very familiar with online stores and the challenges they face.  We also know how stuck for time a lot of girls are which means they often miss some of the amazing online stores out there.  We recently thought it would be a great idea to marry the new collective buying models in the market (think Cudo, Spreets, Jump On It etc) to the online store sphere as there are so many amazing online stores out there crying out to be discovered by a bigger audience and voila www.CherryPickMe.com.au  was born.
 
 
What are your plans for the site? We want to make the site a place where girls love to visit each morning when they arrive at work or when they start their day at home.  We want to bring an element of surprise to our members and incite a “can’t wait to see what the deal of the day is” feeling.  On top of our site being visually appealing we really want to bring out the personality behind the online stores we are working with.  There are some great, unique and successful stories behind these stores which we want to highlight to our members.  This is why we have created ‘the story behind the store’ section as well we our live Q&A service where stores can answer questions from our members. 
 
Why should Aphrodite Chasers sign up? To discover fantastic online stores and receive a great deal at the same time.  Cherry Pick Me will be bringing our members a delicious mix of sweet deals across a range of 30 categories including beauty, jewellery, shoes, fashion, homewares, eco, luxe, fair trade and more.   But our members won’t have to worry about inbox overload, rather they can choose to only receive deals on their fave things. 
We will also be bringing guest edits from our amazing Cherry Ambassadors (like me!) as well as running regular competitions.  
 
What can we expect from the site? Visual appeal combined with a community feel through our Cherry Ambassadors & live Q&A feature.  We also have plans for a “cherry on the side” section at a later date.  The site itself will have clean lines and be easy to navigate!

You heard the lady, this is the place to get a-chasing! So hop on it…

Sponsored Post: Aphrodite is…cherry picking the best in sweet, girly deals

The entire premise of The Aphrodite Chase is the hunt for all things beautiful and lovely. Things that would make life a little bit sweeter, whether they’re goods, services or experiences. Unfortunately, most of these come at some sort of price, and a quite literal price at that. Pretty things cost money. And a lot more money than they would have cost in my Nanna’s days (then again, my Nanna made her own things pretty…and saw pretty things in the eveyday, which is another story in and of itself).

The great exciting thing about the group buying method is that the price has become a heck of a lot lower. Which makes a whole lot of Aphrodite so much more easier to come by. If you’re like me though, you may have subscribed to a number of these sweet deals and not taken up any of them, because teeth whitening is not on your list of wants and paintball is not necessarily an experience you want to chase in the here and now.

Which is why Aphrodite’s clever little sponsor Cherry Pick Me is so fabulous. The site, which launches on Wednesday June 1st, has been developed by the fantastic ladies at Ciao Bella Travel and has taken the amazing group buying phenomenon and tailored it to Aphrodite Chasers right around Australia, so ladies like you and me can have the sweetest deals on style, beauty and girly buys and experiences at our finger tips. For a more acceptable price, and in a manner that is so simple and easy – delivered straight into our inboxes. What is even better is that we don’t have to get EVERY SINGLE DEAL clogging up our emails either – upon sign up, we just pick and choose what areas are of interest and what we want to grab at bargain prices, and go from there.

So if you want the sweetest picks of online deals, from Aussie designers and stores, with the ease and convenience of group buying, sign up today. The first few batches of cherry-picked deals come from Banter BannerAda and Darcy, Stem Organics, Love Conviction, Nearly Nude and more. It’s a fantastic way to expose yourself to – and support - smaller, growing brands. And of course, the expansion of your Aphrodite experience.

Stay tuned – this afternoon we’ll chat to Kirsty of Cherry Pick Me and Ciao Bella Travel to find out more about the reasons behind the launch and how we can benefit from it.

Aphrodite is…the perfect mobile companion

I’ve never had an iPhone. But before you gasp in horror, let me reassure you that I’ve never been without a variety of Apps, mobile email and social networking, synchronisation across a number of different platforms, and the feeling that I am part of the future. Complete with an amazing 5 megapixel camera (which, from memory, is actually superior to the one on an iphone, and thus perfect for a mobile blogger).

This all thanks to the mobile alternative, the Android-run Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 that I’ve had for just over a year, and which has never disappointed me in terms of function or aesthetics. So I am thrilled that there’s a new version on the planet – the newer, cooler Sony Ericsson Xperia ARC, as well as the Telstra-exclusive NEO and the made-for-the-gaming-enthusiast PLAY.

I’m already a fan of the Xperia range, but in the name of Aphrodite research, I headed out to the launch of the three new mobiles to have a play with them, and suss out their Aphrodite factor. For those who want similar capabilities to an i-phone but in a mobile that’s further tailored to their uniqueness, check these out (the ARC & PLAY should be released within the month, while the NEO will be out in July):

  • ARC: This sleek and slim smart phone is only 8.7mm (at its thinnest), can access over 100,000 apps and utilises the best of Sony technology—previously reserved for cameras and BRAVIA TVs. Snap amazing photos and videos thanks to the award-winning Exmor R™ mobile sensor that’s designed specifically to capture in low light on the 8.1 megapixel camera. View them later on the wide and glossy 4.2 inch multi-touch screen. And walk in style with a well-designed, visually appealing, jam-packed phone that is the ultimate entertainment experience.

 

  • PLAY: Prefer to combine your phone with the closest thing you can get to a mobile console? Xperia PLAY allows you to experience a super powerful and classy smart phone, over 100,000 apps and the added bonus of a slide-out PlayStation certified game control that will have you topping your high-scores in no time in Guitar Hero, or any of the other 50 games it’s been launched with. I want to buy it for The Husband just so he’s distracted with something when I’m in Forever New.

 

  • NEO: Available exclusively on Telstra’s Next G network, NEO’s the one you need to shoot superb pictures in bright sunlight, low light conditions and fast moving HD video thanks to its in-built multimedia technologies. You can even connect it to a compatible HDMI TV to see your work on a big screen! It features a strikingly bright and sharp 3.7inch display that’s powered by Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA® Engine, and runs on the latest version of Google Android™ 2.3 (Gingerbread) providing access to more than 150,000 apps via Android Market™, including ‘Vignette’ for adding special effects to your images.

Seeing as I am already a happy Xperia customer, I am looking forward to making the ARC mine, sooner, rather than later. I love not having the same phone as the remainder of the population…and I love not having to cart my camera around EVERYWHERE I GO. I mean, there’s only so much you can fit in a clutch purse (this is coming from the girl who is carrying the equivalent of carry-on luggage in her amazing blue leather Hobo satchel).

So what do you think Chasers? Do any of these babies appeal to you? Can they compell you to part with your i-phones? What do you find appealing about smart phones in particular? They certainly don’t make me feel any smarter, in fact, they’re contributing to the decline of my brain cells. But I love ’em anywayz. Drop us a line and let us know…and we’d love some feedback if you buy them., at least, while we’re still contracted out to our phone companies anyway!

UPDATE/DISCLAIMER:

A few hours AFTER I blogged this, I got a call from the peeps at Sony Ericsson who wanted me to have a try of the ARC and see how it compares with my current model. So yesterday afternoon, I thankfully accepted a package with the phone and all its gadgets inside, and spent the evening having a play of it and getting used to it (it is fairly different from my current Sony model). It will be on loan to me for about three weeks, and once I have played with, sampled, tested and critiqued every aspect of its skinny technological existence (it’s totally fat on the inside, when you consider all the things it can do), I will document them for you in slightly more detail. So if you’re considering moving to the Sony Ericsson camp (go you – who wouldn’t want an immaculate portable camera or game console), you better stay tuned.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Part Two (Services)

Aphrodite Chasers, no doubt that some of you found your fabulous mums some amazing gifts among the suggestions featured in our (very crappy quality) video. But what if your ma is more of a tailored-services gal? What if she’s the type of woman who prefers a gift that’s a little more personal, that you can’t pick up from any shop, or that gives a little more to others than it gives to her. Here’s our pick our favourite service-based suggestions:

1. A hamper from Audrey & Marco: If mum’s a little bit of a foodie, why not organise a fantastic hamper for her from Audrey & Marco? The Deli Hamper people are offering free delivery for orders over $50 for the month of May, and allow you to build your own hamper to your mother’s liking. Choose from condiments, sauces and vinegars, spices, delicacies, treats and more from a number of countries and regions that specialise in foodie bits. Enable mum’s journey to culinary excellence and allow her to be the masterchef of her own kitchen – all hampers arrive wrapped in a pretty little bow, ready for her kitchen adventures. (Pictured: Connoisseur’s Hamper, $160).

2. Turn her into art…or a portrait to be precise: Most mother’s are all about the family photograph, or snaps of their children. But what better way to show them they’re the icons of the family than with a professional photograph that captures the essence of their beauty and self? Chat to Vanessa at Happiness Photography about snapping your mum and turning her into a masterpiece.

3. Buy her some time with Urban Concierge: Time is a scarce commodity, especially for mums whose kids still live at home, no matter how independent they are. But with Urban Concierge, mums can have a chance to reconnect with themselves thanks to the range of services offered to help them get their mundane tasks done.  Urban Concierge can arrange the perfect gift, organise a a special occasion, book a removalist or a tradesman, and more, in a discreet and professional manner.

4. Get her pampered…in the comfort of her own home: Introducing ‘The Travelling Peelsman’ – a dermal therapist who claims an outstanding history of providing quality, effective and satisfying PERSONALISED skincare treatments to a range of clientele, within their own home. Based in both Sydney and Melbourne, The Travelling Peelsman specialises in Chemical peeling and cosmeceutical skincare. Can’t say I’ve used him myself, but damn, I love the image/branding.

5. Send her on a weekend away: Show mum how much you love her this Mother’s Day, by surprising her with a gift voucher for a relaxing escape at her favourite hotel. She’ll be able to unwind with a getaway or staycation at Medina Apartment Hotels, Travelodge Hotels and Vibe Hotels, which are located throughout Australia and New Zealand. There’s sure to be a destination and hotel to suit every mum, no matter what she wants to do or experience (shop, eat, play, sleep). If you’d like her to pick, visit www.togahotels.com.au and arrange a gift voucher (valued from $50 – $500, available to purchase online). Alternatively, surprise her with a package at either the Medina or Vibe hotel, which includes late check out at noon, two bottles of wine, a box of Lindt chocolates with the overnight stay.

AND ONE MORE SERVICE-BASED GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING:

An estimated 1.3 billion people worldwide, 70 per cent of them women, live in absolute poverty on less than $1 a day. Events like Mother’s Day serve as timely reminders to consider the needs of women who need our help – Australia for UNHCR’s Safe Mother & Baby Appeal is calling on Australian mums to help rectify these conditions and help improve the lives of refugee women around the world.

As little as $26 can help save the lives of 10 mothers who are at risk of dying from complications at childbirth. Clean delivery kits will help to ensure the safe delivery of babies in some of the world’s poorest countries, where maternal and infant mortality is more than 100 times higher than in Australia.

Gift packages include:

  • $26 Clean Delivery Kits (10 kits containing an instruction sheet, soap, cotton baby wrap, plastic sheeting, a clean blade and string for the umbilical cord)
  • $53 Midwife Delivery Kit (Supplies drugs, sterile dressings and other renewables for midwives)
  • $100 Pregnant Women Packs (Provides nutritional supplements, baby blankets, baby clothes, and soap for 20 pregnant women).

 To purchase a Mother’s Day gift package visit www.worldsbiggestpackage.com or phone Australia for UNHCR on 1300 361 288. A printable gift card is provided for each donation, which is tax deductible.

Happy Gifting xx

Aphrodite’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Part One: Products

She’s the biggest Aphrodite in my life, and she might be in yours too. My mum is beauty and love personified, and even though she returns every gift I buy her and uses the money to buy me a better present, I still try my hardest every year to bring her something that she would love – especially something that’s going to pamper her in the way she deserves to be pampered for all her hard work and sacrifice for my father, my siblings and I.

I’ve used the occasion to make my first ever Aphrodite video, which I’ve also posted on the Wordsmith Lane ‘Chasing Aphrodite’ YouTube channel. It’s not the best quality, as I am still trying to figure out how all the technical stuff of compressing videos so they can actually be uploaded works, but it gives you a pretty good array of mother’s day present ideas that all come in at reasonable prices and that are all about mum (we got some submissions for TV remotes and such, and thought they were the kind of things that Homer Simpson might give his wife Marge, ie, not encompassing a whole lot of thought). So click on the link for the video below, but alternatively here’s the list of products (with prices and stockist info):

Aphrodite’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide Part One

1. Ryn & Cordie: The Food & Wine Matching Formula ($29.95). From www.rynandcordie.com.au. Fantastic cookbook which features soups, salads, casseroles and more. Matches each recipe with the ideal wine, making it super-easy for mum to create that perfect meal and wine combo to unwind with after a long day.

2. Burt’s Bees Radiance Bath & Body Pack ($24.95). See www.burtsbees.com.au for stockists (although Myer stocks most of the range). Featuring two goodies (Body Wash & Body Lotion) from the Radiance skin care line, which uses Royal Jelly, one of nature’s most nutritious substances, as well as over 130 other nutrients to enhance skin texture and smoothness, this bath and body pack also comes with an eco-bamboo loofah for some much needed relaxation time in the tub. 

3. ECOYA Limited Edition Pink Champagne scented ‘Love’ Candle ($39.95). Visit www.ecoya.com.au for stockists or call 1300 730 180. Team Aphrodite’s latest obsession, this candle’s scent carries, literally brightens up the atmosphere in the room and almost makes us believe we’re getting high on pink champagne. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly, and comes in a pink and black gift bag. This candle has Aphrodite all over it.

4. Remington Tribal Pro HairDryer & Straightner Pack ($63.95). From leading electrical retailers or call 1800 623 118. Everyday will be a good hair day if mum has the tools to keep herself looking slick and polished. Easily achievable with the 2200 watt hairdryer from the pros over at Remington. Not only does this baby boast a removal filter and six switch combinations, but it is electric purple and comes paired with a mini ceramic hair straightner that’s perfect for touch-ups, weekends away or the gym bag.

5. Pink Parisian Hot Water Bottle ($29.95). From Sussan. Speaks for itself we think.

6. Bailey’s Irish Cream in Limited Edition Hazelnut ($30.99 for 700 ml). From most Bottle Stores and Supermarket Liquor Outlets. The smooth silk taste of Bailey’s with a twist. Surprise mum by making dessert out of her favourite drink –  tune in tomorrow for a bread and butter pudding recipe with a Hazelnut overtone.

7. Witchery Joey Loafer ($139.95). From www.witchery.com.au or witchery stores. Loafers are the new ballet flats, and these babies have a super-cute bow to make them all the more exciting.

8. Bloom Organics Essentials Pack ($29.95). Visit www.bloom.com.au and check out the Bloom range at Myer & David Jones. One of our favourite Aussie cosmetic brands’ organic skincare line is worth our dollars, especially when these handy little packs can be combined with a bunch of other exciting girly things to make the ultimate mother’s day (self-made) hamper.

9. Kosmea Australia ‘Treat’ Pack ($39.95). Visit www.Kosmea.com or call (02) 4862 9999. This Australian brand on skin care sources rose-hip oil from the mountains of Africa, which means it’s putting the business into the hands of villagers who rely on the rosehip oil picking for their survival. We think it’s a lot more eco-friendly than other commercial brands and it helps that this little pack gives mum the opportunity to sample a few different items from the range.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of the Mother’s Day Gift Guide, which is all about gifting mum with service-based gifts. We check out a food hamper that you can get customised for mum from Audrey & Marco, brainstorm ideas on how you can create your own hamper by combining mum’s favourite health and beauty products with some chocolates, her favourite magazines and some other ‘pretties’ that she’ll love and use,  and take a look at some great mother’s day services on offer – including mobile beauty therapy, charitable donations in her name and more.

Why go a-chasing?

Do you want love, beauty, and all things glorious to be a part of your day to day existence? Well, so do I. In fact, as I sit here writing my introductory post, I am overwhelmed by the sheer and utter boredom that consumes me, even if I have a hundred things to do and many more things to think about.

I’m a dreamy kind of girl. I love luxury, gifts and all things pretty. I swoon for things that are appealingly packaged or presented. Sweet-scented candles, a pretty coin purse, pink nighties with the Eiffel Tower all over them, full skirts with delicate floral patterns. Steaming cups of tea served in china tea cups, brightly-coloured macarons, Chanel bags and silk scarves. The feeling you get when you’re about to go in for a pedicure, walk into a hotel room for the very first time, or discover something new and exciting.

This is the Aphrodite chase. The quest for the joy that stems from all that is beautiful and lovely in a world that has traded beautiful for sexy and love for lust. This chase takes me to restaurants and take-away food shops, to high-end department stores and weekend markets, to dustbags containing Chanel bags and closets filled with t-shirts and old leather sandals. It takes me to beauty spas and to Priceline, to Melbourne or to New York, to social-page-worthy product launches or mellow movie nights with my little sister.

The chase consumes my everyday because without it, life is just a job we do and not the blessing we are supposed to make the most of. And I’m going to make the most of it by finding as much Aphrodite as I possibly can, because if there are two things in the job worth appreciating, they are the beauty we see all around us, and the love that makes that beauty worth our while.

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