Favourites Unearthed

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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 – Teacher Edition

That time of year has come where ‘Back to School’ signs adorn the shops. Truth be told they’ve been hanging up since a few days after Christmas, but I have been ignoring them with my hand covering my eyes. If I can’t see them, they don’t exist, right? I’m intending to enjoy my last week and a half of holidays, but I also need to start planning going back to work. I watched You’ve Got Mail (again) a couple of weeks ago, and loved when they were talking about stationery – Tom Hanks’ character promises to send Meg Ryan’s a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils as Autumn always makes her feel like buying school supplies. He would certainly know the way to my heart! Today I’m sharing a few of my favourite teacher things that are staples in my classroom.

A great diary

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Since I started teaching I have experimented with a lot of different diaries. The first few were specialist ones made for primary teachers and then I used a couple from Kikki K. After getting frustrated with bits of paper everywhere, a separate diary and assessment record book, I decided to try something different for this year. Etsy and Teachers Pay Teachers are a gold mine when it comes to teacher organisation resources and I spent a couple of nights scouring both sites to try and find a diary that suited me. In the end I chose this editable planner from a Brisbane designer called All About the House. It comes with 295 pages that you can customise to suit you and your class. Be sure to check out her blog to see how she put her planner together. I’m looking forward to being ultra-organised this year!

I had planned to have the diary bound at an office shop when I discovered a few ‘systems’ that other teachers in the US are using. A special paper punch is used, and you then insert the paper onto some special rings. This means that you can take out and add pages as needed which is super handy.

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While there are several companies that have similar products, I ended up choosing the Levenger Circa. I bought a starter pack on Amazon that came with the rings, front and back covers, dividers and some note paper. You can find the travel punch I bought here. It can punch one or two pieces of paper at a time, but there are larger punches that can do a larger capacity if you need to.

Pens and textas

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I’m a self-confessed stationery nut and like a bower bird when it comes to brightly coloured writing implements. I bought these markers last year in the supermarket for about $15 and they’ve been great. There are loads of colours to choose from, and they’re very handy when I’m making posters and signs.

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These Kikki K felt tip pens are wonderful for marking work. I like using colours other than red, and this pack gives plenty of choice. They write really nicely, and don’t bleed through to the other side of the page too badly. I picked them up with my birthday voucher, but they retail for around $10.

Technology

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I’m a loyal Apple girl, but have felt wary about taking my iPad into school for student use. A couple of months ago I saw a cheap tablet at Coles and decided to take the plunge to the dark (Android) side. The Pendopad runs on a Google operating system and you can download apps from the Google Play store. I’m looking forward to using it more in class this year and being able to store all my syllabus documents on there. I picked up the superseded 8 inch version for $59, but the new 7 inch retails for $99. They are often on special, so keep your eye out if you’re looking for a tablet.

Last year I was lucky enough to win a bluetooth speaker through a blog competition, and it’s fantastic to use in the classroom. The sound quality and noise level is great, and I use it for music and meditation with my students. Some smart boards have an adapter for iPods, but if yours (like mine) isn’t one, a speaker like this is a great option.

Teach Starter

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Teach Starter is a resource subscription service. You pay a set fee for the year, and that allows you to access all of their pre-made resources, as well as creating your own. There are also lots of freebies that you can access if you don’t want try before you buy. They have a huge range of printable classroom decorations, name labels, worksheets and activities. If you’re quick, you can claim four free posters when you sign up now. I got mine last year and they were a great addition to my classroom. Signing up to their mailing list may also bring a freebie or two your way – I was sent a great sticker pack just before Christmas and I can’t wait to use them this year.

Rewards

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What teacher doesn’t love stamps and stickers? I found a great stamp pack on my last trip to Costco for $15. I love the Facebook ‘like’ stamp! They are all re-inkable so I will be able to use them for a long time to come. Aldi currently have stamps and stickers on special. There is a great range of stickers and they’re very good value at $2.99 for 12 sheets. I bought three packets last year and still have lots left over. Bargains like these deserve to be shared!

What are your teaching essentials? Where do you buy all your bits and pieces?

Favourites Unearthed

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and that you’re enjoying a relaxing break. I thought I would use my last post of 2014 to bring you some of my favourite things from the past few months.

Favourites Unearthed – December 2014

Jurlique Hydra-Gloss *

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Jurlique products always have a beautiful smell, and this lip gloss is no different. I have the ‘I’m Blushing’ colour, and it gives a soft, sheer tint. It is a little bit sticky, but settles a while after it is applied. The nutri-oils and Vitamin E leave your lips soft and plump. The gloss comes in two shades, and is available for $22 at all good pharmacies and department stores.

Witchery Triangle Halter Top

Triangle Halter Top

My Aunty bought me this gorgeous top for Christmas. The dress in the same pattern had been included in a printed maxi dress post I did a while ago, so she knew I would love it. It’s a gorgeous top in a drapey fabric that is very flattering on, and could be worn with jeans, black pants or even shorts like the photo above. I love the halter neck design, and the fact that it is held together with a gold chain in a necklace style. There is limited stock of this top available online, and it’s currently on sale. I’m planning to wear it at our New Years Eve party, and I’m sure it will be the first of many outings.

The Adorn Collective

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My friend Stacey, and her talented friend/business partner have launched a funky and affordable jewellery line called The Adorn Collective. The range features necklaces, bracelets and rings and is designed to add a point of difference to your outfit without hurting your hip pocket. I was sent two gorgeous pieces – the Kari (above) and the Iona (below). They’ve both become favourites in my jewellery collection, and I have been wearing them a lot. I have my eye on a couple of other necklaces that I think I will need to purchase sometime soon (I have my eye on the Isla)!

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Kerastase Discipline*

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 My hair hates the humidity, to the point where I would not straighten it when I knew it would be humid or raining. It’s thick, stubborn and frizzes easily. When I was contacted to ask if I wanted to trial these Kerastase Discipline products I couldn’t say yes quickly enough and I LOVE them! They are designed to remove frizz from your hair while still allowing movement and shine. My hair is still not perfect (it’s thick – it’s never going to be completely flat!), but it is so much better than it was. I have been using the shampoo and conditioner when I wash my hair every second or third day, and if I am going to heat style it I also add the taming milk. If you are looking for new hair products, and have hair that is prone to frizzing, definitely try Kerastase Discipline. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Swarovski Bolt Earrings

Swarovski Earrings

These are a new addition to my favourite things list. My husband bought them as a surprise for Christmas and I love them. In the past I have only worn white gold or silver, but recently I have been playing with rose gold. It is nice mixing it up a bit, and as the tone of gold seems to be having a bit of a ‘moment’ there are lots of options to choose from. When I opened the present my son said ‘Look Mummy! It’s a box from your jewellery shop!’. Glad to know one of the small members of my family knows what I like!

What are your favourite things at the moment? What did you get for Christmas? Any plans for New Years Eve?

Favourites Unearthed

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I have recently been saving up some bits and pieces to tell you about. Some things you might have seen posted on Instagram, others I’ve been waiting to share with you. Hopefully you tell me about some of your new favourite things in return!

Natio Tinted Lip Balm

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It’s been no secret how much I love Natio cosmetics. They are made from natural ingredients, cruelty free and budget friendly. I picked up these in our local pharmacy one day for $5 each. There are about eight colours to choose from, and they add a hint of colour. I’m not a big lipstick or lipgloss wearer, so these are a perfect middle ground, especially for day time. The shea butter and aloe will leave your lips soft, which is great towards the end of Winter when they might be dry and sore.

Lady Jayne Tangl-eze Brush *

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This is the perfect go-to handbag brush. It’s egg like shape means that it is easy to hold and fits snuggly in your hard. It glides easily through the hair, and even my toddler will let me brush her hair with it (and you know what a fuss they can kick up!). If you’re tired of the little travel flip brushes that always end up collapsing on you, try one of these babies. You don’t regret it!

Unlock Your Style by Nikki Parkinson

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Nikki’s blog Styling You is one of the first style blogs that I read. It gave me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone a little, and add more colour and accessories to my outfits. Since I started blogging I have been lucky enough to be able to call Nikki and the other lovely ladies on the cover my friends and mentors. Unlock Your Style encourages you to look at your wardrobe and work out what really suits you. This is the book I needed a year ago when I started my own blog! It’s available at all good book stores.

EmerginC Skin Care*

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EmerginC skin care is a skin care brand that uses active natural ingredients where possible, including a great dose of vitamin C. The brand is well known world wide, and can be found in more than 700 spas and speciality stores. I was sent the Protocell Eye and Protocell Combat Cream, with apple stem cells, to try. The creams are designed to combat fine lines and wrinkles. I have been using the creams as a night cream and they feel lovely on my skin. The Combat Cream is nice and thick, and perfect for night time. I don’t think I have been using the creams long enough to give a definitive answer on whether the wrinkles around my eyes have lessened, but I do know that my skin feels soft and hydrated, and that has to be a good thing!

Eyelash Curlers

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A pair of eye lash curlers used to be a beauty bag staple of mine, but somewhere along the way between kids and work and the business of life they slipped by the wayside. When I had my makeup done a few weeks ago, the makeup artist used a pair in conjunction with lots of mascara and some false eyelashes. I loved the result, and reignited my love of the curlers. Teamed with a good dose of mascara, you will have stand out lashes every time. I picked up my pair in Coles for about $7, and you can find them in most supermarkets or pharmacies.

Rimmel London Colour Rush Lip and Nail Collection by Rita Ora*

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Rita Ora’s new collection for Rimmel London is perfect for Spring. The colours are fresh and bright. I love the lip crayons – they are easy to apply and last for a long time. The top colour featured in the picture is perfect for night time or a date night, and the bottom one is well suited to work. The nail polishes are quick drying, which is perfect for a manicure on the run, or when the kids are around. The range is available in all good pharmacies, and some supermarkets.

Please note: Items marked with a * were given to me to review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you have a favourite find that you’ve unearthed recently? Please share what it is below!

Favourites Unearthed

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It’s been a while between Favourites Unearthed posts. They are a way for me to share new things I have discovered or favourite products, and ask about your favourites in return. This month features a mixture of bits and bobs – hopefully you see something that will become a favourite for you, too!

Pure Fiji Perfecting Lotion*

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I was sent a sample size of this Pure Fiji Perfecting Lotion a few weeks ago. I have been using their Facial Solutions range for the past few months, and it’s no secret that I love it. This lotion is really something else! It is so smooth, and my dry skin soaks it up. It’s perfect for use from your mid-20’s, and promotes skin cell renewal. I noticed that my skin looked smoother, and despite being unwell lately, it’s fooling people and looking quite radiant. There will definitely be a purchase of a full size bottle in my future!

Kikki K Aland Shoulder Bag

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My work bag’s zipper broke this week. It may have been because it is report writing time and it was stuffed to the brim with assessments, but it broke all the same. If this isn’t an excuse for legitimate bag shopping, I don’t know what is! I have been coveting this bag for a long time, but I think at the moment it is still in the ‘dream’ category. Perhaps it could feature on my Christmas list (cough, cough Mr Style Unearthed). This bag would certainly be big enough for a laptop, iPad and a notepad or two. It looks buttery soft, and I love the beautiful tan colour. It’s definitely fresh for Summer!

Country Style Magazine

Country Style Magazine

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This is a beautiful little piece of escapism. I have been reading this magazine for a while, and love the inspiration in it’s pages. The details are well thought out, and the pictures are just gorgeous to look at. Our home is still a major style work-in-progress. I have lots of plans in my head, and these magazines have been a big inspiration. Perfect if you want to treat yourself to a little bit of ‘me’ time.

Sister In Style

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Sister In Style is a website set up by super Mum Fiona, to help women accessorise and feel great. In addition to selling stylish necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets for every occasion, Sister In Style has a handy style guide for accessorising with necklaces. By following the easy instructions (with pictures!) you will be able to match your outfits and necklaces, and leave the house looking great every day. By signing up to receive the cheat sheet, you will also become a VIP Sister In Style and qualify for a special discount. Happy shopping!

What are your current favourite things? Any new products I need to know about?

* This product was sent to me for editorial consideration

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It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my current favourite things with you. There is a bit of a theme today – beauty and exercise. Health for the inside and outside, if you will. The weather here in Sydney is going to warm up next week (I hope so, because the past few days have been freezing!) and I am very much looking forward to making the most of the sunshine. Warmer weather also means planning a Spring and Summer wardrobe – lots of inspiration to come to this page in the next few weeks! Without further ado, here are a few of my favourite things, unearthed.

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

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Not only does this guy have a seriously cool name, he is an inspiration. At almost 40 years of age he struggled to climb the stairs to his bedroom, afraid he was going to have a heart attack. Overweight and unhealthy, he decided to make a change. He transitioned to a vegetarian diet, which later became a plant-based vegan diet, and began training for triathlons and marathons. Dissatisfied with his performance in these events he set himself the goal to compete in Hawaii’s invitation-only Ultraman event (10km open ocean swim, 421km cross country bike ride, and an 84km double marathon run, completed over three days). Now, at 45, he is one of the fittest men in the world. My friend leant me Finding Ultra this week for Mr Style Unearthed to read, but I got to it first and haven’t put it down. It is interesting and very inspirational. You can change your life, and you can put your health first. Don’t be afraid if you’re over 40 – it’s not too late. Rather than just pushing one form of exercise, he enjoys a holistic health regime, using yoga and meditation as part of his regular routine. He also produces podcasts, which I will now be listening in to. You can visit Rich Roll’s website here.

Couleur Caramel Natural Makeup*

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I first discovered Couleur Caramel Natural Makeup on Twitter. When I did some research I discovered that they are cruelty free, 100% natural, made from fair trade sourced ingredients, and delivered in packaging made from recyclable materials. They were kind enough to send me some cosmetics to trial for a post I am currently writing for another blog, but I wanted to feature them here as well. I have been using the dark circle concealer daily, and I love it. It applies smoothly with my finger tips and blends well under my BB cream or foundation. I am looking forward to using the bronzer more coming in to Summer to give me a healthy glow without sun damage. The lipstick applies well, and has a nice shine to it.  I absolutely love the fact that this makeup does not harm animals or people. The packaging is gorgeous, and feels fantastic to touch. I think I will be placing an order soon. You can browse the range here.

Women’s Fitness Magazine

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I mentioned fitness and wellness magazines in my recent post about getting back into exercise, and Women’s Fitness is my personal favourite. At $5.95 it is very affordable, and has a range of Australian health and fitness experts who provide tips and hints. The recipes featured each month are great, and there are often vegetarian options, which I love. I am looking forward to trying the apple and cinnamon breakfast cookies from this month’s issue. The include lots of information about health and fitness studies, and the latest exercises to try. It is available at all good newsagents and supermarkets.

Pure Fiji Serum*

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This little gem has been a recent addition to my skin routine. Serums are the new anti-aging product on the block, and designed to moisturise your skin for 24 hours after application. Ngi grass is the magic ingredient in Pure Fiji’s offering, moisturising and reducing wrinkles and fine lines.  Like many of Pure Fiji’s products, the serum contains their anti-oxident blend of natural plant oils (including Dilo, coconut and macadamia oils). I have been using a small pea sized amount under my day creme, and it has allowed my normally dry skin to stay moisturised during the harsh Winter. It is lighter than the day creme, and is easily applied. Many mainstream brands offer serums, and you can pick them up in the supermarket or pharmacy. If you would like to try Pure Fiji’s beautiful version, visit their website here.

Lola

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This little face has also been unearthing happiness around here lately. We have quite a decent backyard which she loves running around in, but she has started developing a little – shall we call it – middle aged spread recently (curse of the garbage guts Beagle). As a result, wee have been walking her a lot more. She gets so excited when we all put on our shoes and get her harness. New smells during a walk are heaven for a dog who is lead by her nose! She will be seven in a couple of weeks, and is a far cry from the tiny puppy we picked up all those years ago. She has started getting a little grey, but she’s growing old fairly gracefully. She is great with the children, and they love her to bits. I am definitely a dog person, and we love having her around.

What has been making you happy lately? Do you have any inspirational books I should read? Are you a dog person?

* These products were gifted to me for editorial consideration.

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How has your weekend been? We started with lots of plans, but they came to a halt last night with two sick kids. Temperatures, rashes and a bout of conjunctivitis to boot, right in time for the start of the school holidays! We’ll bunker down tomorrow on the last expected day of rainy Sydney weather – I am looking forward to some sunshine later in the week, and getting my washing dry.

I have discovered a few new bits and pieces during the past couple of weeks I thought I would share with you.

L’Oreal Preference Hair Colour

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The day after I used this colour I put a picture up on Instagram with the caption ‘It’s a big call but I think this may be the best at-home hair colour I have ever used’. It was incredibly easy to apply – there were no drips in my bathroom. The colour comes with a little tube of oil to add, which makes your hair extra shiny. The conditioner bottle has enough for six weekly treatments, and left my hair incredibly soft. So far, the colour is standing up well and my greys and perfectly disguised. I am dubious as to whether it will last eight weeks in my hair, as I normally have to re-colour it after about four, but I will let you know how it goes. An added bonus was that it also smelt quite good – I wasn’t left with the chemical smell in my hair for the days until I washed it again. At only $13 (on special) it was a definitely winner.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

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I have fallen in love with this little baby since getting it two weeks ago. I have always been a PC girl, but have gradually transitioning to all things Apple with my iPad and iPhone. Using a PC at work, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have a different system at home, but I am so glad to have switched. I love the Mac. Being able to bluetooth my photos from my iPhone straight to the computer is so handy, and the fact that all my contacts are backed up makes me very happy. I feel like I have only touched the surface of what my new toy can do, and I am definitely looking forward to playing with it more during the holidays.

Natio Rich Colour Creme Gloss

Natio Lip Gloss

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I stumbled across this lovely lip colour in the Natio stand at my local pharmacy. My chemist has a great loyalty scheme, and every few months I find a $10 voucher in my mail box. Instead of keeping it for medicines or other boring bits and pieces I decided to treat myself to a little present.

 Serene Lip Colour

The colour I chose was Serene, which I picked as much for the name as I did the colour. While the above is the sample colour from the Natio website, it is a little more pink in real life. It’s a gorgeous colour which matches my natural lip colour. It is very glossy, but not drying at all. It lasted very well, and I only had to reapply it once or twice during the day. At $15.95 they’re very affordable, and like all other Natio products they are not tested on animals. Which colour shall I try next?

Kikki K Ballpoint Pens

Kikki K Pen

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I am a massive stationery nerd. One of the highlights of my first full time job was being in charge of ordering the stationery (and making sure I always spell it correctly after the first email I sent out requested everyone’s ‘stationary’ orders). Kikki K is one of my happy places. The staff of my local store know me now, and I could spend many a happy hour browsing in there. Their ballpoint pens are my favourites – they write smoothly and feel so comfortable in my hand. They also come in a wide range of cute designs, and they’re only $4.95 – what more could a stationery nerd want? I’m looking forward to next weekend when I will be attending my first Kikki K workshop. I will let you know all about it next Monday. If you’re very quick, Kikki K has 25% off store wide until midnight tonight (Sunday 30 June).

What did you get up to this weekend? What are your current favourite things?

Favourites Unearthed

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These are a few of my favourite things… (Image Source)

It has been a busy week in the Style Unearthed house – children, work, house work, blogging (and the change over to my new site – there are a few new grey hairs!), family events. There has also been room for some fun, in the form of a dinner and movie date with Mr Style Unearthed last night. This brings me to my first favourite.

The Great Gatsby

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I love, love, loved this movie. I have always been a big fan of Baz Luhrmann’s movies. Strictly Ballroom is the first ‘grown up’ movie I saw as a child and fell in love with the movement, the music and the colour. Having never read The Great Gatsby, I didn’t have any idea what to expect. I have had the book on my iPad and also a hard copy sitting on the book shelf but hadn’t made time to read them. In some ways, I’m glad I went into the cinema with no expectations. I loved everything about this movie – everything just worked so well together. Catherine Martin’s costumes were beautiful, the Tiffany and Co jewellery was absolutely stunning, and the modern music in a 1920’s style was very clever. We saw the movie in 3D and that was an experience in itself. Other than Monsters’ Inc, I hadn’t seen a 3D movie. This did not disappoint, and I think I may just be a convert. If only they would make more stylish glasses!

Harpers Bazaar Scarf

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Who doesn’t love a good gift with purchase? This month’s Harper’s Bazaar comes with a choice of two scarves from Australian designers Ginger and Smart. It was difficult deciding between the blue hued beauty above, or the black and white patterned option. I can understand why people were heading to the shops to buy a second copy! It has been a long time since I read Harper’s, so I’m looking forward to dipping into the pages over the weekend.

Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

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I spied this shampoo and conditioner in Aldi’s catalogue a few months ago. I assumed it may be a regular product, but couldn’t find any when I went to look. Luckily, it came into stock a few weeks ago and I picked up a couple of bottles. At $4.99 per bottle, it was a steal compared to other similar products! I hadn’t used Moroccan oil before, but had heard very good reviews. I like the shampoo and conditioner – it seems to control fly away hairs, and makes it smooth. I certainly don’t look like the woman in the picture above, but I’m happy with the results.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

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This is an oldie, but a goodie. Maybelline New York’s Nigel Stanislaus sang the praises of mascara in my interview with him. It makes your eyes appear wider, and can also be used to create interesting looks with super long lashes. It’s no wonder that this is one of the best I have tried. I first started using this mascara as a teenager, and have experimented with other brands but always seem to come back to Maybelline. Certain brands upset my eyes, but I’ve always found this one great. It has good coverage, and the brand has a wide variety of colours and effects. It’s widely available in supermarkets and chemists, at a great price point.

Diet Coke

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This little baby has been responsible for keeping me awake for the majority of the week! I don’t drink tea or coffee, so other than lots of water, this is my drink of choice. I have been burning the candle at both ends, and when coupled with a teething baby with an ear infection, it makes for a tired Sarah. Thanks to Diet Coke for making my favourite treat readily available!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, whether you have a long one like me, or just regular sized. I also apologise to Julie Andrews for defacing the above picture – it gave my husband a good laugh!

What are your current favourite things? Do you have brands or products that you swear by?

* Favourites Unearthed is a fortnightly series in which I show case some of my favourite fashion, beauty, health and home products. If you would like your product to be considered for editorial, please email me on styleunearthed@gmail.com