Catch’s Support For The Community

Here at Catch, our ongoing support for our community comes in many forms – from schools, to universities, social support and partnering with goodwill organizations, the Catch culture of kindness spans more than just our friends and colleagues. We have sponsored and donated substantial resources to our communities and most recently, Catch became a proud supporter of the annual AUBCC event. This event welcomes students from across the globe to participate in a business case competition – a true experience in personal and professional development for young minds. Our team is thrilled to support the Queensland University of Technology while they host the AUBCC in Brisbane, and wish the students the best of luck.

Inspired by Lauren, COTD Donates to the Starlight Children’s Foundation

We’re Contributing to the Magic, thanks to Lauren!

For 24 hours this Friday, Catch of the Day will be donating $1 from every order placed on the Catch of the Day website to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.  As a team, we are truly touched by Lauren’s story, and grateful to be a part of the magic of brightening the lives of sick kids.

Fairy Tales Do Come True!

When 9-year old Lauren was told she had been granted a Starlight Wish,  she decided she wanted to be a Princess at her very own Royal Ball.  The most important part of the whole wish though, was that Lauren wanted it to be shared with as many sick kids as possible.  Her selfless act of giving back and sharing her wish, inspired us, here at Catch of the Day, to also give back to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Lauren has spent her whole life in and out of hospital battling with 118 operations.  She was born with Tracheo Oesophageal Fistula and Oesophageal Atresia – a rare condition affecting the respiratory system, swallowing and digestion.

Fun Fights Fear – See Lauren’s Story Below

The Beginner’s Guide to Nail Art – Nailing Polka Dots

By Alina Sheinkman

So you want to venture out and try something new with your nails, that’s great, but where do you start? Selecting a design can be hard with all the variety available…and then what colours to use? Well that’s a whole new story for another time.

One place to start is the classic polka dot. I have sifted through the million designs available and compiled a list of polka dot inspiration for the nail art novice.

A couple of things to keep in mind when venturing into nail art territory:

  • Start with a feature nail on each hand (usually the ring finger)
  • Keep it simple
  • Practice makes perfect

But ultimately anything goes! They are your nails and you can be as creative as you like.

The tools

If you plan on honing your nail art skills, it’s a good idea to invest in some dotting tools. They are quite cheap and come in various sizes. However, for the nail art novice there are some simple DIY alternatives, not to mention the trusty bobby pin.

polka dot nail art dotting tools
DIY dotting tools. Source

Invest in a good quality base coat and top coat. You have slaved away creating your designs so you want them to last and look like a masterpiece as long as possible, right? Putting a clear top coat every couple of days helps your manicure last that little bit longer.

How to in 4 easy steps

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat and 2 coats of your chosen nail polish colour
  2. Choose a contrasting colour for your nail art design
  3. Dip the tip of your dotting tool into your nail polish colour and lightly place a dot on your nail. Repeat until desired pattern is complete.
  4. Once completely dry, gently add a layer of top coat making sure not to go over the same spot twice (it will smudge!)

Voila!

Big dots, little dots

After you’ve mastered the one feature nail and know the right quantity of nail polish to have on your bobby pin or dotting tool, you can venture into having a mix of big dots and little dots.

If you only have the one tool, experiment with different amounts of nail polish and having a lighter touch for smaller dots.

Otherwise, go back to the DIY tools and find one that will give you a nice size comparison.

Here are a few easy to achieve designs that are quite different but use the same simple technique.

Big and small polka dot nail art designs
A mix of big and small dots add a creative flair. Source: 1, 2, 3, 4.

French dots

The classic French manicure is so last season. Try painting a line of polka dots along the tip of your nails to create a funky new look. Your colour selection is endless.

Alternative French manicure with polka dot tips
A new take on the classic French. Source

Dots galore

You seem to be confident in your dotting technique now, so let’s expand on that. Creating consistently sized and spaced polka dots is a little more difficult, especially when using your non dominant hand. Take it slow and concentrate – no distractions here. The outcome is quite spottingly stunning.

Take ombre to the next level by laying out your spots with a gradient of colour. Let’s face it, all girls own many similar-but-slightly-different shades of nail polish, so why not use them all at once?

Full nail polka dot nail art and ombre nail art. Colour gradient.
Consistency is key to make these looks work. Source 6, 7.

You are not limited to just your finger nails, your toes could use a bit of fun polka dots too.

 Spottingly different

Now that you are an expert, here is a video tutorial for three designs that are surprisingly simple and yet achieve an expert look.

Want to see more nail art tutorials? Check out:

OPI Colour Wheel – How To Paint Rainbow Nails in Water!

Are there any nail art techniques you would like to see next? Let us know in the comments.

Fashion Lessons From The Best Dressed Dogs of Instagram

By Tina

Fashion has literally gone to the dogs. From the ridiculously photogenic Japanese Shiba Inu, Menswear Dog, to Nutello the Pug’s insanely stylish adventures, these barking bad-asses are marking their territory in the dynamic world of fashion.

If you thought Kanye or the Kardashians were hard ballers in the fashion game, you ain’t seen nothing yet. 

Menswear Dog

Menswear Dog

Meet the Menswear Dog, a 3-year old Shiba Inu living in the fashion capital, New York City, with a fanbase of 190k followers on Instagram. Admit it, you jelly? His interests include NEVER washing selvage denim, lurking around Soho for someone to notice his steez (style with ease), and sniffing up fine dames.

Shop the Menswear Dog Look:

Nautica Men's Dobby Bomber - Black Van Heusen Studio Small Checked Silk Tie - Red Ben Sherman Men’s Cotton Linen Driving Cap - Black

Montjiro

Montjiro, the Japanese Chihuahua.
Meet this feisty fashionista, who possesses a wardrobe full of the finest haute couture pieces, topped with a touch of urban street style and an attitude to kill (no, it’s not Rihanna) it’s Montjiro, the Japanese Chihuahua. With a wardrobe filled to the brim with high-end designer brands, he is the envy of most two-legged fashion fans. His popular Instagram account has garnered over 12k followers, so jump on, take a browse, and plan your outfit for the weekend.

Does your dog think he’s human too? Well treat him to a little luxury with a designer inspired pet bed! So cute! 

Trotter

Trotter the Frenchie

With a tremendous 210k followers on Instagram, we present to you, Trotter the Frenchie. Known for her extremely versatile sense of style, this diva can pull off any outfit, whether it’s the sophisticated Hamptons housewife look, or the 1920s The Godfather gangster outfit, this one’s got the works.

Shop the Trotter Look:

nude shoes Kardashian Jewellery Chain Necklace - Gold Tiffany & Co. Return to Tiffany Heart Necklace - Silver

Nutello the Pug

Nutello the pug sports

This Switzerland-based pooch is another versatile dresser. Nutello the Pug typically enjoys modelling fashion trends from around the world – from cultural attire, to streetwear, and even dips into the hipster fashion movement here and there. Oh, and he enjoys being a sportswear ambassador too – if you ever need any gym motivation, check out those pecs.

Even if you’re rocking swag today, chances are there’s an Insta-Dog doing it better! If you’re up to the style challenge to measure up to these fashion icons, grab some new fashion gear and get snapping!

Know of any other Insta-fashion dogs? Let us know in the comments!

How to Make Your Food Cookbook Worthy

By Alina Sheinkman

Every time I pick up a beautifully designed cookbook and flick through the food images, my mouth instantly waters at the thought of tasting this masterpiece on a plate. Doesn’t yours? With the increasing interest in cooking shows such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules,  I’ve been itching to try my newly developed chef skills (if you can call visual absorption a developed skill!). So here goes…

Step 1: deciding on a recipe

With a huge variety of cookbooks available for every taste and cuisine, the task of deciding on a recipe can seem overwhelming. Our suggestion is to start with the basics. Most of us have a few cookbooks gathering dust on a shelf, so start by picking one that looks good and brushing off the dust. Have a browse to see if anything tickles your fancy and gets those taste buds juicing. If you are looking for some new inspiration, here are some great cookbook titles to refresh your collection. We chose “Delicious. Simply The Best” as it has inspiring yet accessible recipes that are perfect for novice cooks as well as experienced foodies looking for new ideas.

Now the task of deciding on a recipe. Here is a quick checklist you can use:

Do I feel like…

  1. Savoury or sweet?
  2. What cuisine?
  3. A quick meal or extravagant affair?

Skip to the right section and pick the recipe with the best pictures. Easy as pie! (yumm…pie) But not for today. We are salivating at the “Herb-rubbed lamb cutlets with pea & feta salad”.

Step 2: gathering ingredients

This is the easiest part of the whole process. You are given a list, so go shopping! Make sure to select the freshest ingredients with bright colours.

Gather the brightest and freshest ingredients
Make sure you choose the best ingredients available – bright, fresh colours are important.

A handy tip – it’s best not to enter a supermarket on an empty stomach as inevitably you will end up with a whole trolley of products that were not originally on your shopping list.

When you get back to your kitchen, organise yourself by laying out all the ingredients in their correct quantities, so you don’t have to keep going back and forth to the ingredients list. You can just focus on the method and prepare that beautiful dish!

Step 3: cooking time!

The fun part as I like to call it. This is where you can get your hands dirty and delve into the depths of the recipe. But remember – hygiene first.

Feel free to experiment with the flavours and add or remove certain (not critical) ingredients depending on your taste. We opted to eliminate the chilli in our dish, but doesn’t it look beautiful?

Step 4: how to plate your food like a pro

The secret to making your food cookbook worthy is all about the presentation. Decide on a plating style to impress your dinner guests or impress yourself. Our favourites are “rustic” and “modern contemporary”.

Rustic

  • Wooden tones
  • Pops of colour
  • The messier the better
  • Homely look
  • No fancy fillers
  • Raw ingredients make the art.
 Modern Contemporary

  • White oversized plates
  • Beige colours
  • No clutter
  • Decorative flowers as garnish
  • Lots of white space
  • Usually contain a drizzle or swirl of sauce.
How to choose a plate
Choose a plate to suit your style.

Once you have a style in mind, you can choose a plate that will make your dish pop! Look at your plate as a canvas and use your food to create art.

Regardless of your style, there are some universal guidelines to follow:

  1. Arranging in odd numbers always looks better than even numbers. Always.
  2. Play to all the senses, a feast is not only for your stomach but for your eyes too!
  3. Don’t garnish for the sake of it, the flavours should complement each other.
  4. Keep it simple – less is more.
  5. Add height, build your dish in layers or look for ways to stand food up.
  6. Don’t rush. Take it slow and drizzle or sprinkle carefully.
  7. Use contrasting colours.

Step 5: photography

All works of art must be chronicled as they are likely never to be repeated again. Or at least they’ll never be the same again so each attempt must have a pretty snap. Our resident photographers have given us a few suggestions. It’s important to think about the lighting, shadow is good if placed at the right angle. Make the dish your focal point, a little artistic mess in the background will add some colour and life to your photos.

IMG_0040 (2)
Bon Appetit!

Want to see the recipe come to life? Watch the video!

Check out these awesome cookbooks for some more mouth watering recipes!

How to Successfully Skimp on Wedding Gifts…

By Ollie

Weddings can be a pain can’t they? Sure, we wish no harm towards the happy couple. And we’re all for the free booze and food – occasionally the speeches are great too. But you often forget that in return for the opportunity to attend someone else’s special day, you’re required to pay up to $100 on a wedding gift – which can be a bit of a downer.

Today we’re outlining some tactics for reducing the cost of such an occasion and we’re even sub-categorising it so you can see where you fall in the overall cheapness spectrum.

Discreet Tightness

Clearance sales:

If you want to disguise how much you’ve spent on a gift one of the best tactics is to go for high-ticket items that have been severely reduced. A key example might be a top-brand set of pans that clearly show ‘RRP $189’ on the packaging – but you’ve actually picked them up at a steal for $79 from a clearance sale – you might even be able to gift that from two people – score!

Safety in numbers:

The greater the number of people that go in for a gift, the harder it is to track how much each individual spent. So maybe get a group of friends together – just be sure to collect the money in advance from all of them (this is key by the way), then simply buy something accordingly. And remember to save money at the end for a card…

Multi-item gifts:

The more gifts you give in one hit – the harder it is to work out what your grand total of spending was. Maybe a three-pronged attack of a personalised photoframe, voucher and some nice tableware could only set you back about $80, and if you split the costs between a couple this works out even better. So consider the multi-pack gift – more is often less here (from your a financial point of view anyway).

Re-gifting:

An oldie but a goodie. Sure, you might not have appreciated the hand-knitted rug with your great aunt’s face printed on it – but maybe a couple who have never met her, and are trying to desperately reduce the clutter in their home would appreciate it more? Guys?! … OK, it’s unlikely – so use your common sense on what an acceptable re-gifting present is.

Creative approach:

Sure they may hate this. But if you’re known by your friends as a fairly creative person, they were probably expecting you to rock up with some homemade item that they may or may not want. It’s what a lot of creative types do and this is one of your advantages in life so why not gift them with a photo collage, painted rock or set of clothesline pegs that are dressed up as little people. It’s all good (for you anyway).

Absolute Tightness

Money tree alibi:

We say it’s their fault if they set up a money tree and don’t include envelopes so that people can rightfully state what they’ve contributed towards the couple. So why not make a donation to the tree in the vicinity of $20? You’re still contributing, right? …Right guys? (And yes, we’re starting to feel a little bit like that main guy from House of Cards by exploring this line of tactics, and yes, we’re starting to feel totes awkes about it). We will say though that for your own peace of mind you should donate roughly according to how well you know the couple.

Wedding card signing:

Stumbled upon the wedding gift cart with all the gifts and some unsealed cards included? Well this is your moment to shine! If you’re going to go down this fairly rogue path, we recommend including yourself on a card of people that are more or less in the same group as you. Should they get a signed card from their great Aunt & Uncle that has your smudged, illegible message that happens to be written in a different colour ink – this does not fare well for anyone. So be careful out there, special agent tightness.

Group gift organisation:

Similar to the ‘Safety in Numbers’ idea above – except this time you let the group absorb your costs completely by asking for money up front, then buying accordingly. You even get front-and-centre positioning with your written message in the card. If you’re extremely low on funds this is a winner and you can even justify it by telling yourself you played the project manager role that no one else was prepared to do, so you’re just taking your salary.

Common Challenges

“We would prefer money gifts and not material possessions”

This is starting to be a common request of couples on their wedding day and we feel that they themselves realise how cheeky this request is, which is why it’s often said in a cryptic poem or something similar on the invitations. But don’t be disheartened. Money is too impersonal – that’s your belief and that’s why you got them a severely discounted gift of bedsheets or kitchenware which they may or may not need and which may or may not just add to the clutter of their rapidly dissolving homes… It’s your God-given right, dammit!

“Here are the details to our gift registry”

Ok, the race is on here. We recommend getting in not immediately as it’ll be obvious how much you’ve spent. But don’t get in too late either so that all the small-ticket items are taken. It’ll give you more satisfaction to pay for something outright, such as a $50 kettle – rather than contributing to 13.7566% of a fridge. And you might even find two small-ticket items such as a placemat set, pack of drinking tumblers, towels ect that will still keep you under budget – and two gifts are better than one, right?

“Here are our bank details for you to send through funds for our big day”

Are they serious? Well we’re not going to justify this one with a response. Just don’t do it – or if you are, transfer slightly less than what you would have been comfortable spending on a present outright. We feel this is the best way to handle such a request – otherwise any of the tactics outlined in ‘Absolute Tightness’ will suffice.

So there you have it. Of course, if you’d like to go with the whole cost-effective homeware gift, we can certainly help you out in that department. And sorry if this blog post is perceived as being too anti-wedding in its approach. We’re all in favour of people celebrating their big day but we also want to see your dollar go further – call it an occupational hazard of ours.

Good luck out there!