Family Featured General Home and Garden

Top ten favourite Australian-based Christmas gift hampers

With Christmas just around the corner, many of us are already racking our brains for the best Christmas gift ideas. For those who are time poor or distanced from others due to quarantine, there’s no better gift to give to your loved ones, clients or staff this year than a Christmas hamper full of delicious treats. 

The perfect surprise for anyone, and easily ordered online and sent through the mail, a good Christmas gift hamper will include a smorgasbord of mouthwatering goodies, from wine and chocolate to Christmas pudding and shortbread. Hampers also offer a range of options for different budgets.

Here is a roundup of our top ten favourite Australian-based Christmas gift hampers and delivery services for 2020.

1. Gourmet Basket – Season of Hope Christmas Hamper $179

Season of Hope Christmas Hamper
Season of Hope Christmas Hamper (Source:

Gourmet Basket has been delivering quality hampers for over 20 years, and offers a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not a happy hamper! You’re truly spoilt for choice with Gourmet Basket’s selection of Christmas gift hampers, from luxury options with fine wines to festive yet budget-friendly choices that don’t skimp on the goods.

The Season of Hope Christmas Hamper is overflowing with drool-worthy, premium brand chocolates and quintessential Christmas fare like rum balls, brandy toffee sauce, Christmas pudding and quince paste, along with a bottle of d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz from McLaren Vale. It’s all wrapped up with ribbon in a stylish gift box, delivered to your intended recipient’s doorstep. We love the value of this Christmas hamper for all the gourmet treats that you get. 

2. Macarthur Baskets – Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper $141

Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper
Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper (Source:

Macarthur Baskets has an excellent range of gift baskets to choose from. The Sweet Traditions Christmas Hamper is presented in a traditional wicker basket that can be reused long after the sweets have disappeared. 

It contains a selection of sweet and savoury treats, including a bottle of Hunter Valley Shiraz and a bottle of Hunter Valley Chardonnay, alone with brie cheese, Christmas toffees, chocolate covered macadamia nuts and a variety of cookies.

3. The Hamper Emporium – Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper $149

Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper
Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper (Source:

With high quality brands and hampers that are immaculately presented, The Hamper Emporium delivers in spades. For those that can’t resist bubbles, the Moët & Gourmet Nibbles Hamper fits the bill. Not only does it include a bottle of Moët, there’s also artisan Kangaroo Island crackers and olives, a variety of nuts, tapenade, quince paste, honey popcorn and cold pressed olive oil packed in to keep the festivities alive. 

This hamper is presented in a black gift box with a gold ribbon and The Hamper Emporium offers free standard delivery across Australia, with track and trace for your peace of mind. 

4. Life’s A Hamper – Happy Holidays with Premium Wines Hamper $179

Happy Holidays with Premium Wines Hamper
Happy Holidays with Premium Wines Hamper (Source:

These Sydney based hamper specialists carefully source their products to curate the perfect gift for your chosen recipient. The Happy Holidays hamper comes with two bottles of wine – a Wynn’s Coonawarra Shiraz and a Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc –  and a variety of both sweet and savoury nibbles. Inside the hamper, you’ll find Ritz mince tarts, gourmet fudge, candy canes, crackers, olives and honey macadamia nougat. 

5. Ripe Cheese – Christmas Cheese Gift Hamper $95

Christmas Cheese Gift Hamper
Christmas Cheese Gift Hamper (Source:

If you know a turophile (lover of cheese), then impress them with this cheesy gift box that showcases cheeses from all over Australia. Inside the box, you’ll find a Bay of Fires Cheddar from Tasmania, a Woombye Ash Brie from Queensland, the Berrys Creek Riverine Blue from Victoria and a semi-hard goat milk cheese called the Barossa La Dame from South Australia. There’s also the obligatory quince paste and a packet of Falwassers crackers to seal the deal. Delivery is for within Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

6. Byron Bay Gifts – Byron Christmas Beer Hamper $95

Byron Christmas Beer Hamper
Byron Christmas Beer Hamper (Source:

The Byron Bay Gifts hampers feature a range of products locally sourced as well as other gourmet bites from around the country. Most of their gift hampers are customisable, from the wines to the snacks, which means you can upgrade your wines or focus on picking the treats your special person will enjoy the most!

For the ale addict in your life, you can’t go past the Byron Christmas Beer Hamper. This box lets you taste your way through the Stone & Wood range of ales and lagers brewed in Byron Bay and is complemented by Brookfarm roasted macadamia nuts, sweet and salty peanuts, Teriyaki munchies, Puffcorn and candy canes… because, Christmas! 

7. Hampers with Bite – Burgundy Vegan Selection $80

Burgundy Vegan Selection
Burgundy Vegan Selection (Source:

Vegans shouldn’t miss out on all the Christmas cheer! Hampers with Bite ensure there’s something for everyone and have incorporated a variety of vegan hampers in their range. 

The Burgundy Vegan Selection is filled with vegan chocolate chip cookies, fennel and lemon black olives, chocolates, tea and more, which can all be washed down with a bottle of vegan wine.  

8. Bockers & Pony – Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper $129

Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper
Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper (Source:

Bockers & Pony are well known for their fine hampers that come with a touch of luxury. Perfect as corporate gifts, they offer a level of sophistication with their sleek black boxes and red ribbons. 

The Jingle Bells Christmas Hamper is intended for the sweet tooth and won’t disappoint. From white chocolate honeycomb thins and chocolate dipped oranges to gingerbread babies and razzle dazzles, the decadence is on order this Christmas. 

9. Edible blooms – Christmas Star Bouquet Deluxe $139

Edible blooms - Christmas Star Bouquet Deluxe

Who needs flowers when you can have edible blooms? A unique yuletide surprise, the Christmas Star Bouquet Deluxe is a pretty posy made up of 60 Belgian milk chocolate stars – enough for everyone to enjoy! Wrapped stylishly in Christmas colours, they include a personalised gift card. With Edible Blooms you also have the choice to “boost your bloom” with a bottle of bubbly, a plush toy or more chocolates. 

10. Snowgoose – Cheese & Hentley Farm Riesling Heaven from $169

Cheese & Hentley Farm Riesling Heaven
Image from:

Snowgoose sends fresh hampers of cherries, mangoes, cheeses and antipasto. This is a great idea for those who wish to send a corporate gift that can be appreciated by the whole team, but it’s also great for families. Nothing says Christmas like a platter brimming with cherries.

The Cheese & Hentley Farm Riesling Heaven hamper is packed with artisan goodies. With an array of plump and juicy seasonal fruits accompanied by a bottle of Eden Valley Riesling from Hentley Farm, and a selection of buttery cheeses and biscuits, this is fine living for the refined palate. 

Business and Marketing Technology

Can Data Integration Enhance Your Business Efficiency?

In a world where analytics is fuelled by more data than ever before, it is often easy to lose track.  Data silos can make life very difficult for businesses to move forward. Piling up a variety of systems and data sources in differing formats and refreshes may seem unavoidable.

When it comes to business efficiency, poor data accessibility can be a common pain. However, effective data integration promises to help businesses to keep running smoothly and advancing further.

What is Data Integration?

Before we consider how better data integration can help businesses run from day to day, we need to look at what integration of data actually means.  Part of data management, data integration is about combining data from disparate sources whether internal or external data to transform into meaningful and valuable information.  Put simply, data integration produces a single, unified view of a company’s data that a business intelligence application can access to provide actionable insights based on the entirety of the organisation’s data assets, no matter the original source or format. 

Extract, Transform & Load (ETL) forms part of this process.  As the name implies, ETL works by extracting data from its host environment, transforming it into some standardised format, and then loading it into a destination system like a data mart or data warehouse for use by applications running on that system.  

Given that business analytics can cover hundreds of different variables, it can be challenging to balance everything at once.  Therefore, business efficiency takes an immediate hit. When you could spend time acting on analytics and results, you may be wasting resources pulling the data together.

Who Can Help with Data Integration?

There are a variety of different platforms designed to source and combine data from different avenues so data can be used to understand business performance.  The problem today is that businesses need access to information in real-time, which has implications for the IT teams in making data available and accessible to do this. Integration can not only help to improve business efficiency but can also help to fine-tune customer experiences.

Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant Report for Data Integration tools give a good indication of where to start to select an appropriate data integration platform.  Two platforms that Inside Info works with extensively, Microsoft and Qlik, were both cited as Challengers in this space. While Microsoft’s Data Platform is also recognised by Gartner as a Leader in data management and business analytics on the whole.

A well-designed data integration solution, such as Microsoft’s SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) or Microsoft Azure’s Data Factory in the cloud are good examples of a modern data integration platform. They can automate data integration and allow the creation of blended datasets without manual coding or tuning.  This provides connectivity between a wide variety of data sources. In fact, Azure Data Factory integrations data silos with a service built for all data integration needs and skill levels.  ETL and ELT processes can be constructed code-free within an intuitive visual environment, or there’s also the ability to write your own code.  

Benefits and Business Efficiency

It will likely already be obvious how data integration can benefit business efficiency.  However, to fully understand how it affects productivity and delivery long-term, we need to drill a little deeper.

Data silos can significantly impact customers.  If current data is not available on hand to help with urgent customer queries, you risk disappointment and worst still their business.  Historically, data integration has often been performed in an ad hoc manner, usually manually. This can be a time consuming, difficult and error-prone.  Inconsistencies in formatting, spelling mistakes, duplicates or naming conventions, often inhibit the reliability of data and the integration process. 

By integrating old, previously inaccessible data with newer information, we can better predict future events.  Businesses can struggle to make firm predictions as older data is unavailable. Integrating older information, with real-time access, allows firms to make quicker decisions.  These decisions are firmer, more confident, and more accurate, too.

The Future of Data Management

Data integration needs to be proactive to seize business moments.  Demand for data should be processed and the scale of events must match the speed at which the business operates. Many businesses fail to use analytics properly, or even make fatal errors, as a result of data siloing.  As a result, it is evident that consolidating and streamlining information is going to save time, effort and even revenue.

More information on data integration, key trends and the leading vendors are available in the full Gartner 2019 Data Integration Magic Quadrant report, which you can download here.  

Family Featured Law

Why Is It Important to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you get involved in an accident and suffer injury, the first and most crucial step is to seek medical attention. As you begin to recover, many other things may way you down. Your productivity may go down, your medical bills may pile up, and you may lose a lot of time in the hospital. 

In case you suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may be compelled to follow up for compensation that’s proportionate to the damage you suffered. The process is never that smooth. You may have to go from one office to another, spend a lot of your time in the court corridors, and do a lot of thinking to bring forth a strong case. 

Unfortunately, the defendant is usually very busy looking for ways to bring down your case so as not to pay for the compensation. More often than not, their attorney or their representatives would give you a call to ask questions to gather evidence relating to the events leading to your injury. If you don’t guard your tongue and stand your ground, you may end up saying things that the opponent can use against you in a court of law.

It’s such realities that would make you consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. 

The following reasons you may want to consider hiring a lawyer for your injury case.

Protect Your Legal Rights

As soon as you file a case in a court of law, things might get messy if you don’t have a deep legal backing. If you take things in your hands, you may end up conceding your rights unknowingly. With the services of a personal injury lawyer Sunshine Coast, however, your rights will be protected. An experienced lawyer should make every effort to get to the root of the situation and provide the necessary advice. The lawyer will come up with a legal strategy that works perfectly for your unique needs.

Proof of Damage and Fault

Even if an accident has occurred and everyone knows about it, the interest of the court is nothing but evidence. However, gathering evidence might be a tall order, particularly if you’re attending to other things. Either way, you’ll have to convince the court that you didn’t suffer damage because of your mistake. When things get complicated, a lawyer becomes your go-to person. An experienced family lawyer, with personal injury background, is the right person to argue your case. The attorney-at-law will gather all the necessary evidence to demonstrate the level of damage you’ve sustained. By hiring a lawyer, it becomes the lawyer’s responsibility to ascertain whether the injury occurred because of the defendant’s fault and whether it’s that very fault that brought about your injury.

Lawyers Have Robust Resource Base

Narrating an incident is quite simple. However, proving that in a court of law is another thing altogether. The court needs admissible evidence. You’ll need to investigate the defendant and establish facts relating to ownership, liability, and insurance. Such information comes in handy in proving a personal injury and responsibility. That’s an uphill task if you don’t have a lawyer. Working with a decorated attorney, however, makes the whole investigative process effortless. Most law firms already have a network of investigators to gather evidence that proves your injury and the defendant’s responsibility. A lawyer also has the leeway to demand to be provided with specific information relating to the case.

Focus on Your Recovery

When a lawyer handling your case, you get the peace of mind to focus on your recovery. Your lawyer will notify you from time to time regarding the status of your case and how you can settle everything out of court. If you suffered a physical injury that rendered you unable to work well, your attorney will negotiate for you and give you a progress report regularly.

Saving on Time and Resources

Hiring a personal injury attorney costs money. It’s worth it, though. First, your attorney will help you save time by conducting many things, including investigation, court appearances, and negotiations as you focus on other things. Second, when the defendant realises that you have hired an experienced personal injury attorney, they’re likely to agree to an out of court settlement that’s friendly to you. In most cases, an out of court settlement will save you a lot of time among other resources.

When you think about it, hiring a personal injury attorney represent you in court makes sense. Once a case goes to court, things are likely to escalate, and you may need a lawyer to stand in court on your behalf.


Why You Need a Solar Panel

Solar Panels are gaining popularity across the country with over 2 million homes now using solar energy.

Thanks to photovoltaic (PV) cells, solar panels can turn sunlight directly into electricity.

Several questions may arise when it comes to solar. The most common one, “Why do i need a solar panel?” There are several answers to this question. Below you will be able to find a number of reasons to get a solar panel and start harnessing the Sun’s energy.

Protect Your Environment

Every conventional method used in power generation either creates harmful emissions or modifies the environment in other ways. Solar power generation doesn’t produce a single molecule harmful to the environment.

Installing a solar panel on your roof is the first step towards a sustainable future. Experts often refer to solar technology as emission-free technology, no greenhouse gas emissions are released into the environment. Which is just another reason why solar is a sought after. 

Contribute to Grid Stability

Power blackouts and brownouts are common, especially when many people simultaneously use power in their homes. With a solar panel, you will turn your home into a small power plant. Even with the same power-spending habits, you will contribute to grid stability.

Your solar cells will produce a considerable portion of the power you regularly spend each month. You won’t cause any strain to the grid you are connected to even if you turn on some of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home.

Installing a Solar Panel Is an Investment

There are specific improvements in your home that can help you reduce some of your bills. Installing a solar panel is one of them. It will reduce your electricity bills significantly. Solar technology adopters say that installing a solar panel is a long-term investment and money well spent.

Should you install a solar panel, you will start saving money from your energy bill every month and it will  increase the value of your home.

It’s a Free Source of Energy

The Sun emits so much energy that we could never use it all. It will remain one of the few free sources of energy, and no one will be able to monopolise it at any point in the future.

By installing a solar panel, you will tap into a renewable and free source of energy.

Help Create Jobs and Promote Economic Growth

Installing a solar panel will also help your country’s economy. If you decide to install a solar panel, you will contribute to creating the need for companies that specialize in solar tech. You will help create more jobs for workers and promote economic growth in your region, and the country overall.

You will also help expand the solar panel installation market and contribute to its sustainability.

These are the most compelling reasons for installing a solar panel. A solar panel is an incredible investment which will end up saving you money in the long run and at the same time you will be using a  clean source of renewable energy

General Home and Garden

Difference between Strata and Community Title

If you’re looking to purchase property in Australia, you may have come across the terms “strata title” and “community title.” They both describe the type of property that you will be acquiring, but community titles are generally attached to much larger lots.
While they are quite similar concepts, there are a few key differences between the two terms that you should understand. In this post, we’ll cover the main differentiators between strata and community titles.

What is strata title?

A strata scheme is one which dictates how ownership is divided among owners in multi-unit complexes, such as apartment buildings, retail centres and other similar properties. With strata, each lot owner holds a title for their individual unit and shares responsibility for building facilities, including car parks and elevators.
In both strata and community title, lot owners come together to form a committee, called an owner’s corporation or body corporate. This group makes decisions regarding important community issues, such as maintenance and insurance. With strata, the committee can choose to hire a strata manager who will take care of all logistics related to the financial and administrative aspects of the scheme.

What is community title?

Similarly, a community scheme also defines how property is split, but it generally refers to a larger area, such as a neighbourhood or estate. In these cases, shared spaces such as roadways and community playgrounds. Community titles cover more prominent geographic locations so that multiple strata titles may be included in a single community title.
In New South Wales, when you enter a land lease community, you own your home but rent the land from the community operator. To learn more about these communities, check out this guide from the Department of Fair Trading.

How are they similar?

Both types of title have owners’ corporations who meet regularly to discuss pertinent matters within their community. Individual members are responsible for paying levies to the owner’s corporation, who will then oversee the smooth operation of the overall property.
The owner’s corporations will also determine a set of rules that each owner must abide by to remain part of the strata or community scheme. Some of these rules include noise levels and external maintenance.

How do they differ?

Strata refers to the distribution of units within a complex, whereas community title regulates plots of land, which can incorporate multiple buildings, retail shops and industrial sites. Also, community title owners share the use of infrastructure (such as streets) with one another.
Additionally, strata title owners are required to take out an insurance policy that covers their entire complex, the cost of which is split among lot owners. On the other hand, community title holders are responsible for their own insurance, while their owner’s corporation will manage insurance for shared facilities.
While both strata and community title were created for similar purposes, their key differences are essential to understand. Regardless of which scheme you purchase, both are intended to protect the collective interests of their residents and solve any issues that may arise.


Strata Management Made Easy

If you’re part of an owner’s corporation, you have many choices when it comes to strata management services. As such, when you’re evaluating strata managers, you should have a set list of criteria that a strata company should fulfil.
Importantly, a reputable strata company should have an extensive service offering, deep experience, a strong commitment to customer service and a roster of happy customers. As you look to hire your next strata manager, look at these must-have qualities for an easy strata management experience.

Comprehensive service offering

The main goal of a strata manager is to make complicated property matters simple. Therefore, when choosing a strata management company, it’s important to make sure that they can handle all potential issues that may arise.
Look for a strata manager that offers:

  • Financial management, including preparing annual income and expenditure statements, levy statements, debtor control and cash management reports
  • Administrative management, including working with insurance providers, setting up meetings for the owners corporation and preparing minutes
  • Supplier management, including working with maintenance teams and other third-party vendors


Breadth of experience

Strata management encompasses a long list of wide-ranging duties and requires strata managers to work with a variety of stakeholders, including lot owners and government agencies. There’s a lot to manage, so it’s critical to work with a strata management company that has extensive industry experience with all kinds of owners corporations.

Commitment to good service

Unfortunately, emergencies can happen at any time. The top-tier strata services companies recognise this and are committed to resolving their customers’ urgent and non-urgent inquiries as quickly as possible.
You never know when you could get stuck in a lift or have a pipe burst, so you should opt for a strata manager that offers after-hours emergency service. They’ll be able to quickly dispatch a certified tradesperson to your property and fix the situation at a minimal interruption to your day.

Customer testimonials

Choosing a strata management company is a big decision that will impact all of the lot owners within your complex. Before you commit to working with a particular firm, it’s in your best interest to do your research and learn how they’ve worked with other owners corporations.
Look for testimonials on the company’s website and keep an eye out for clients whose property is similar to yours. This way, you’ll be able to see if the company has had success with complexes like yours in the past. If you’d like to get more details, you can always ask the company to set you up on a quick reference call with one of their current or former clients.
If you’re ready to start working with a professional strata management company, make sure your provider has all of the qualities listed here. Your strata manager will be an advocate for the collective interests of all lot owners and the selection of one shouldn’t be overlooked. Strata managers frequently manage the same properties for years, so it’s advisable to hire someone who is able to build strong working relationships.

Featured Food

Some of the More Meatier Pizza Toppings to Try

In spite of spring being around the corner, we still seek comfort in form of fireplaces, blankets, couches and, of course, food. The cooler temperatures and fewer daylight hours paired with more days spent indoors certainly have an effect on what we are hungry for. Hearty dishes such as pasta casseroles, feta stuffed meatballs and bowls packed with slow-cooked stews are usually what we are craving after we made it through another cold and rainy week.
If you have just gotten home and are looking to feast on some quick and tasty comfort food to get you through this cold and damp season, odds are you are reaching for your mobile phone and give your favourite pizza delivery service a call – and you are probably not feeling guilty about it. Pizza is perhaps one of the most iconic comfort foods in cold times and there are a few topping combinations, which are so everlasting good they should be on every menu. Read on to find out about the best meaty pizza toppings before you place your order at your favourite pizza store.

Spicy Lamb

This lamb pizza with baby spinach and fresh zesty lemon is a homage to Lahmacun, the Middle Eastern flatbread. This crust features homemade pizza sauce, delicious spicy lamb, Spanish onions, jalapenos and is topped with Greek yoghurt to take away some of the spice and a pleasant surprise of different texture.

Bubba Deluxe

For somebody who can’t live without seafood until the BBQ comes out, this is the perfect blend of flavours for you. Topped with hot salami, tiger prawns, smoked ham, creamy feta cheese and Kalamata olives and fresh herbs and lemon for a Mediterranean twist, this pie is sure to warm your belly and your heart.

Meat Deluxe

As the name implies, this pizza is generously topped with a blend of several delicious types of meat. The pizza comes with a BBQ base, featuring smoked ham, hot salami, spiced beef and last but not least cracking bacon strips. This pizza surely is a must try for meat lovers.


For some authentic Mexican flavour other than your hearty bowl of Chilli con Carne, try this delicious pizza topping combination of smoked ham, hot salami, red capsicum, Kalamata olives, jalapenos and if you like some extra spice ask for chilli flakes.


Meatlovers is probably the hero of iconic meaty pizzas as the super savoury crust holds many different kinds of meat. Loaded with ham, hot salami, bacon and deliciously spiced beef all served on a BBQ base, this pizza out-tops itself.

Porco Pazzo

There are no veggies on this pizza but we take a meat lover won’t mind when he takes his first bite of this gourmet crust featuring tender, slow-roasted Porchetta, crispy strips of bacon and zesty Soppressata salami layered on homemade tomato sauce.

The All-Star

The all-star is the perfect choice for a night in with your mates! This heavenly pie is topped with tender grilled chicken breast, crispy strips of bacon and spicy capsicum layered atop the classic tomato sauce.

Meat Supreme

When it comes to meaty toppings, this pizza really has it all. Piled on a classic mozzarella base, this crust features succulent zesty hot salami, crunchy bacon strips, flavourful minced beef finished off with spicy Italian sausage.
If you happen to read this post on your way home from work remember, a piping hot slice of pizza can not only warm the belly but the hands while you are waiting for the bus or train. Thus, find the nearest pizza joint and order a slice of cheesy gooey heaven to comfort your heart and soul.
Read Also:
Go Gourmet with These Pizza Toppings
Delicious Dessert Pizzas to Try in Your Pizza Oven


Go Gourmet with These Pizza Toppings

What exactly does ‘gourmet’ mean? Online definitions associate the term with refined palates and cultured tastes, the type of person that might eat tiny portions at an expensive fancy restaurant and enjoy it. These descriptors don’t really seem congruent with the average pizza, but then again, neither does healthy eating. And yet, here we are with our wholemeal bases and spinach toppings, so I suppose when it comes to food, we all surprise ourselves.
Either way, gourmet pizzas are increasingly finding their way onto fast food menus, and their continued popularity means they must be hitting a lot of patrons’ sweet spots. So what exactly makes these pizzas ‘gourmet’, and aside from changing their shapes and eating them with knives and forks (like the Italians do), how can we recreate this gourmet effect at home?

Seasoned mayonnaise

In Belgium and some other parts of Europe, French fries are served with mayonnaise instead of ketchup, tomato sauce, or barbeque sauce. Still, mayonnaise on pizza isn’t an instinctive choice. In a sandwich maybe, or a hotdog (which some argue is still a sandwich). So this clearly falls into the gourmet bracket. Of course flavoured mayo takes it another step higher. Popular variants include pesto mayonnaise with its garlic, basil, lemon, and Worcestershire mix; and peri-peri mayonnaise with that mild kick of spice.

Greek yoghurt

Yoghurt, sour cream, and butter milk are commonly consumed with Indian dishes, because the cool down the effect of hot chillies and extreme spices. They make a good neutraliser, and can also moisten an overly dry dish. These foods are often served in a glass, or offered in a bowl as a side sauce or dip. However, applying the yoghurt directly onto the pizza is definitely a gourmet touch. And sometimes, the yoghurt is a substitute for cheese. Greek yoghurt differs from regular yoghurt in that it’s thicker and heavier.


All types of pork bits are used in pizza, from standard pork mince to cylindrical slices of salami, poloni, bacon, ham, and pepperoni. However, chorizo dives deeper. This sausage is made of pork cured, smoked, fermented, and wrapped in natural intestines for that organic touch. It’s generally eaten raw, though technically, 10 to 20 minutes in a pizza oven counts as cooking. Chorizo has a deep reddish colour, often attained by adding red peppers (capsicum) to the smoking mix.

Feta cheese

Most pizzas are baked using mozzarella or cheddar, but the gourmet variety might go for cream cheese, ricotta, or feta. Feta cheese is crumbly and grainy, and is usually served in blocks rather than slices. It’s white in colour, curdled in brine, and consists of a mixture of goat and sheep milk. When it’s not gracing a gourmet pizza, feta cheese can be tasty in an omelette or sandwich, especially with a sprinkling of oregano. EU regulations insist that only traditional Greek feta can be labelled as such. Similar variants from other parts of the world can only be generically branded as ‘white cheese’, not feta.

Marinated tiger prawns

The name alone suggests gourmet, because shellfish like lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and prawns are considered fine dining. They’re not something you’d ordinarily expect to find on pizza. And then, these are not just prawns. They’re tiger prawns (they have striped bodies of black and yellow or red and white, hence their name). Before cooking, they are marinated for at least two hours in a rich mix of garlic, ginger, ground pepper, coriander, honey, nutmeg, habanero, and red wine vinegar. If that doesn’t elevate your pizza to gourmet status!


Avocado restaurants are becoming quite popular now that the fruit has suddenly hit the limelight. It’s considered healthy because it contains ‘the good kind of fat’ and avocado oil is being adopted by naturalistas everywhere. In the past, avocado was largely consumed in the form of guacamole, but it’s now popping up in all sorts of places, including deep fried, toasted, smoothied, and yes, even on pizza. It’s usually the last topping, added after the pizza is already out of the oven, to prevent it from getting too mushy and unpalatable. In this sense, it’s less of a cooked ingredient and more of a gourmet garnish.

Regional vegetables

Spanish onions are red or yellow, unlike the white onions we usually cook with. They have papery skin and a milder flavour than ‘traditional onions’, and aren’t as sharp or moist as spring onions. On the other hand, Kalamata olives are larger than ordinary olives, and range in colour from deep purple to black or brown. They have a unique almond shape and meat-like texture. They are always picked by hand, and they can only be named Kalamata olives if they are certified to originate from that region in Greece. Otherwise, they’ll be marked Kalamon olives even if they’re the same colour, flavours, shape, and variety.

Home and Garden

What’s the Type of Your Lounge Leather

Popular leather types and why we love them

Leather comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms.
Do you know what leather is anyway?
Leather is basically the byproduct of tanning animal raw hide to make it more durable and pliable.  Cowhide is the most common, but leathermakers all over use different types of mammals and reptiles.
Upholstery is a common use for leather, because even outside of leather lounges and seating, the seatbacks of cloth furniture are often leather too.
In furniture picking, decision making can simply become overwhelming as you have to consider material selection, style, “if it’s a fit or not”, and a host of other factors.  While the process can be intimidating, choosing leather can narrow things down a great bit; however, there are several types of leather to consider.
Choosing the type of leather will boil down to a few things like usage or desire of the appearance, even budget.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular leather types available on the market today.

black leather sofa
black leather sofa – source:

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather in most expert’s opinion is the finest of all the leather types.  It is also the strongest and most durable due to its composition.  Full grain leather is composed of vertical fibers that not only make it the most resilient.  The fibres also prevent this type of leather from being punctured, cracked, or peeled.
These qualities make full grain also the most expensive, as the hides used undergo precious tanning and processing to make the fine leather.  Full grain leather is difficult for manufacturers to buy and work with from a processing perspective which increases costs that they have to pass on to consumers.
Another unique quality about full grain is how the hide will feature markings that could potentially depict an animal’s life.  You will sometimes see scars or bites or even wrinkles.
Choose full grain leather when you are looking for the leather to last a life time.

Top Grain

One of our other favourite leather types would be a nice top grain construction.  Top grain is the second “top” layer, because of the removal of the outermost hide.  The removal of this hide allows for a more workable, thinner leather thus allowing for less processing and cheaper manufacturing costs.
While other leathers feature imperfections and nicks from the animal’s life, top grain is smooth and sleek.  The rough top layer is sanded away giving the material an even texture and uniform appearance.
This smooth layer comes with a price as removing the strong outer hide reduces the strength of the leather, making it easier to puncture and tear over the time.
Top grain is finished with a coat that will protect against stains of the like but this coat diminishes the breathability of the material.
Top grain leather, especially in seating furniture, is extremely popular due to its appearance and comfort.

leather lounge
leather lounge – Source:



Nubuck is a form of top grain as it has not been processed completely but has still been brushed so the leather fibers create a soft smooth velvety surface.  Nubuck is similar to suede but much stronger and thicker, and even more expensive.
True to its name, nubuck originated from elk and has strong properties because it is made from the outermost layer, just sanded over.  Because nubuck is made of the outermost layer, timilar to full grain, one can see the blemishes and imperfections of the hide.
It is quite common to stain and dye nubuck which makes it a popular furniture choice due to the range of colors you can have.

Business and Marketing Featured

The Key to Data-Driven Digital Transformation: Qlik’s 3rd Generation BI Approach

The business intelligence (BI) and analytics landscape has and is continuing to evolve rapidly in Australia. We’re now heading into what’s termed as 3rd Generation BI to help businesses better harness the potential within their data for a competitive edge.  Qlik is at the forefront of this new approach that revolves around a crucial principle, the democratisation of analytics. Here we’ll explore how BI has evolved and what makes Qlik’s 3rd Generation BI platform and approach unique.
Data has always held tremendous value, but for decades, most of that value has remained inaccessible due to technical limits and complexities. The centralised approach of the 1st generation of BI, known as ‘The Ask/Wait/Answer Cycle’, was based on a centralised approach to BI, usually too reliant on a few people within IT that possessed the necessary technical skills, often overworked and under-resourced, and therefore slowed down and diluted the full potential of value from analytics.
With the 2nd-generation of BI, a user-friendly, more decentralised approach to data emerged and eliminated technical complexities and enabled users to freely explore and discover connections within their data. This data discovery approach to BI emphasised data visualisation, self-serve analysis and transformed how users engage with data. But as the technology gained the capacity to analyse more types of data, the need to develop a secure and governed structure to deliver accurate data and reliable analysis also grew.
What has remained steady throughout an era of rapid technological development is Qlik’s pioneering and innovating ethos. The decentralised approach of 2nd generation BI has been the stepping stone to the development of a new wave of BI- the 3rd generation.
3 waves of BI pic
Nonetheless, data literacy has persistently remained an obstacle as insight without action cannot lead to value. As of 2017-2018, only 24% of business users considered themselves to be data-literate in a study conducted by Qlik.
The need for data literacy is crucial, Gartner talk about this in their latest 2019 Analytics & Business Intelligence Magic Quadrant Report, as data is the currency of the digital economy. The ability to extrapolate intelligence and anticipate customer needs to fully capitalise on discoveries requires available data to be accessible and actionable throughout the entirety of an organisation, in turn transforming how a business operates.
The 3rd Generation approach to BI is about bridging this data literacy gap, still enabling users to freely explore data to garner insights in the way they need to but with structure and data governance in place. This is about democratising analytics.  Qlik is one of the BI platforms pioneering this innovative BI approach.
Key to Data Driven Digital Transformation

What makes Qlik’s 3rd generation BI approach truly unique?

The answer lies in the interaction of three innovative technologies as the foundation of Qlik’s 3rd generation BI approach, which also encourages more widespread adoption of analytics across the organisation.  

The three-pronged approach underlying Qlik’s 3rd-Generation BI Platform:

1. The Democratisation of Data

All data and any combination of data is accessible to all users through governed, analysis-ready, enterprise-wide information catalogues. Qlik’s approach enables the creation of an enterprise-wide data schema that fully integrates all your data, from any source, regardless of how big it is or where it’s stored.

2. Associative Indexing Engine – Augmented Intelligence = AI2

Qlik combines the power of machine learning with human intuition, highlighting new insights and accelerating discoveries for users to explore whilst also increasing data literacy and trust. This combination of Associative Index with Augmented Intelligence (AI2) simplifies advanced analytics, eliminates bottlenecks, and elevates data literacy and insights.
Like the unique Associative Indexing technology, Augmented Intelligence combines human interactions with machine identified patterns. The Associative Technology maps associations among all the data, preparing it for analysis and creating meta-data and indexes that represent the data.

3. Embedded Analytics from the Edge to the C-Suite

Qlik’s open and extensible platform allows analytics to be deployed or embedded in a range of environments from enterprise servers to public cloud infrastructure to edge devices and IoT applications. This means analytics enters the streams of daily business processes from edge devices all the way to your core applications within the business.

Why 3rd Generation?

Combined, Qlik’s approach helps businesses extract the most value possible from data for competitive advantage, making it easier to prompt and discover insights and trends within the data, regardless of the level of technical skill of the user. Qlik has managed to strip out the complexity, technical limits, resource bottlenecks and skills gaps that have previously kept analytics out of the hands of business users. A radically different approach that will help achieve data-driven digital transformation and competitive advantage for businesses.  
To find out more, read the full report in this whitepaper, 3rd-Generation BI: Unlocking All the Possibility in Your Data, to discover Qlik’s innovative approach to BI.