Favourites Unearthed

Favourites Uneathed Graphic

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I am snowed under with school work at the moment – it’s programming and reporting time again so I have been very busy and will be for the next few weeks. I wanted to bring you a Favourites Unearthed today that brings you some of my latest favourite bits and pieces from around the web. Perhaps you can share some of your own in the comments below.

Each week, Norlin from Baubles, Bubbles and Bags Style File brings you her loves, likes and loathes of the week. This week she’s talking about nourishing body oils for Winter, and also has a competition to win a very funky pair of Rollasole flats. They’re cool little shoes that can be rolled up and stashed in your bag in case you need some emergency comfortable shoes. You can see the post here – be sure to enter the competition!

We’re coming into Winter, and many of us find it extra hard to get motivated to go to the gym. My beloved DailyBurn shared a great article from their archives over Facebook on the weekend, featuring four scientifically proven ways to up your motivation. Make sure you get your active wear ready before you read this one so you’ll be ready to go.

I was recently sent some delicious Verival porridges to try from Spiral Foods. We’re big fans of porridge for breakfast, especially for Winter, so these have been very appreciated. Spiral Foods aim to create high quality foods, and are passionate about slowing climate change. They have a wonderful collection of recipes to suit any occasion that you can try here.

Last week I went to a professional learning day about using iPads in environmental education. It gave me lots of great ideas. One of the favourite things I discovered was a very cool app called Bookry. It’s not just for educators – it would be incredibly useful for parents or even bloggers. The program would be perfect for creating eBooks to sell on the iTunes book store. Definitely one way to diversify your website!

My final favourite thing is something I hope you will love too. I am a big fan of scented candles, and have been having a love affair with Yankee Candles (particularly the salted caramel scent). They are just delicious and good enough to eat! If you don’t have Yankee stockist near you, you can apply for a shop to become a stockist and be rewarded with two large candles. To find out more, check out Yankee’s Facebook page.

What are your favourite links, products or recipes this week? Let me know below!

Favourites Unearthed – Mother's Day Gifts

Today’s Favourites Unearthed features a range of Mother’s Day gifts. Whether your Mum is a reader, has a sweet tooth, or likes something sparkly, there are some ideas for you below.

Mothers Day Gifts

The Girl on the Train

I started The Girl on the Train this weekend and can barely put it down. I love a good psychological thriller, and this one definitely does not disappoint. The book has been incredibly popular, and my advice would be to read it before they make a movie! This teaser comes from Amazon – “Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.” You can buy it here.

Matt + Nat Nemesis bag from Oranges Oranges

I have been on the lookout for a new handbag, after the last two I bought broke. I don’t like to buy leather bags from an environmental standpoint, but I am getting tired of cheaper bags breaking easily. Recently, I was Googling vegan bags and found a brand called Matt + Nat from Canada. Not only are the bags and wallets made from non-animal materials, but the linings are made from recycled plastic bottles. They are also experimenting using a variety of other recycled materials. Their products are classic and come in a variety of styles, colours and shapes. I love the Nemesis, which comes in black and retails for $195. Brisbane store Oranges Oranges stocks a huge range of Matt + Nat products, along with yoga clothes and high quality jewellery. You can visit their store here.

Fitbit Charge HR

You know all about my love affair with Fitbit, and I recently wrote about my experience with the Charge HR here. If you are buying for a mum who enjoys fitness, consider choosing something from the Fitbit range. They have a wide variety of wearable tech and scales that will help you get the most out of your workouts. Fitbit are currently running a Mother’s Day promotion where you could win a Tory Burch for Fitbit hinged bracelet and a Fitbit Flex. You can enter here.

Sussan White Romance Spot PJs

Pyjamas and slippers are a traditional Mother’s Day gift, and you can pick up some gorgeous PJs at Sussan. Brushed satin back fabric is super snuggly and warm, which would be perfect for the upcoming Winter. Sussan have a huge range of pyjamas, lounge wear and robes to choose from. You can shop the White Romance Spot PJs here.

Swarovski Vittore Ring

My husband and kids know that they can venture into Swarovski and always find a gift for me, so much so that my kids call our local store ‘Mummy’s shop’! We were doing some window shopping on Sunday and I spotted the gorgeous Vittore ring in the window. It comes in three types of gold (rose, white and yellow). The ring would look beautiful on it’s own, or in a stack of three. It is a very fine piece, and would be at home in anyone’s jewellery collection.

T2

T2 has some stunning teaware, and the Moroccan Tealeidoscope collection definitely caught my eye. The bright colours and eye catching patterns would compliment anyone’s kitchen. I love their iced tea jugs – just perfect for Spring and Summer. If you do venture in store, make sure you try the Apple Crumble (served as ice tea) and Banana Bake (served hot) flavours – they are delicious.

Naked Truth Addict Chocolate

Naked Truth Addict chocolate has just hit Coles supermarket shelves and it is delicious. So far we have tried the salted caramel small bar, fig, toasted almond and coconut block, and the jam doughnut bar and have enjoyed each one. They also have a range of lollies if your mum, like mine, can’t have chocolate. The kids loved the fruity jelly babies and salted caramel and banana milk bottles. The products are made in Australia – it’s always nice to support an emerging, local brand.

So, there we have seven lovely things I would be more than happy to receive on Mother’s Day (hint, hint kids!). My favourite thing now that my eldest is at school is waiting to see what he chooses at the Mother’s Day stall, but the best presents are the kisses, cuddles and home made cards.

Do you have any other Mother’s Day ideas to add? What will you be giving or hoping to receive? 

Weight Watchers Magazine Photo Shoot

As a kid, I became a magazine addict. Every month I would hang out for the latest TV Hits or Smash Hits magazine, and later did the same with Dolly, Girlfriend and Chick. As a young adult it was all about Cosmo and Cleo, then came home decorating, wedding and baby magazines. I love reading the stories and poring over the pictures. Despite the hundreds of dollars I have spent on magazines over the years, I never entertained the thought that I would be in one.

When I started the Weight Watchers program I loved picking up their mag, and reading about people who had lost similar amounts of weight to my goal. I knew they had real people who had reached their goal weight in the magazine, but had no idea how the journalists found them. In 2013 I entered the Healthy Life Awards, and although I didn’t win, I did receive a phone call from the magazine in mid-2014 asking if I would like to take part in a photo shoot. The post about that is over here. In late October last year, I received another call from the magazine asking if I would like to do another photo shoot, this time with an interview as well. I had such a great experience the first time I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

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The shoot was going to take place at a private house on the north shore of Sydney. I was up bright and early on what turned out to be one of the warmest days of Summer. The magazine had ordered a driver for me, so I was able to travel in air conditioned comfort from the station which I was incredibly grateful for!

I arrived at the most beautiful house – I would have moved in on the spot – at the same time as the team. They transformed the dining and living rooms into a mobile studio. There were six or seven of us having our photos taken this time, and all the girls were lovely. We chatted away while waiting to have our hair and make up done. I felt a lot more at ease this time around as I knew what to expect. After getting glammed up (I definitely requested false eyelashes again this time round!) I was able to choose two outfits. The request was to have one casual and one a little dressier. There were lots of lovely clothes to choose from – many different from what I would usually there but I was there to have fun and was definitely open to trying new things. The stylist was fantastic, suggesting colour combinations and pieces that would go together. She was incredibly patient while I tried and re-tried clothes until we settled on two perfect outfits.

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The natural light in the home was gorgeous, and they decided to take my photos on the front porch. The first was the casual outfit, with blue jeans, a singlet top and blazer. I felt really comfortable in this outfit as it is similar to something I would choose to wear. The stylist made the clothes fit as if they had been tailored to me – tricks of the trade included a multitude of pins and bulldog clips! I had to stand in a few different poses with and without the jacket, and do lots of fake laughing to get a nice big grin in the photo. It felt so unnatural at first, but once you do one fake laugh and everyone else cracks up, you will get the giggles. One of the things I loved best about both the shoots I did was being told how to pose. While you might feel silly initially, practice in front of the mirror. Adjusting your chin (pushing your neck out and chin down) makes a big difference, and holding your arms and legs in different ways will alter the way your body looks. The second outfit was a gorgeous patterned pencil skirt and top. I was glad I was sitting down, because those shoes were so high I could barely walk!

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In addition to the photos, we also had to do an interview each. The journalist asked questions, and it was designed to be like an informal chat. I felt quite self conscious, but the editors worked miracles and I don’t actually mind watching the video. You can see it through the iPad edition of the magazine, or through the Viewa app in the print version.

WW Magazine Collage

The magazine coming out snuck up on me – I was expecting it to be this week. It wasn’t until a friend on Instagram mentioned that she had read it that I knew it was out. I downloaded the iPad version so I could see the pictures, and then went to purchase a hard copy the next day.

I had an absolute ball doing my photo shoot and interview again this time around. Thank you to Weight Watchers magazine and the team of miracle workers (photographers, make up artists, hair dressers and stylists).

Are you a magazine addict too? Have you ever been in a magazine? Which one would you be in if you could?