So I missed my self-imposed deadline of the last day of the month due to all the crazy changes that have been happening in my life lately, plus the super short week… but now, one week later there are no more excuses!
Here is my latest list of 5 Favourite Finds for the month
1. Family friendly movies from Disney
With the colder weather I’ve been feeling quite excited about winter and spending a bit more time curling up in front of the TV with my kiddies and a warm blanket instead of sitting on my ace in front of my computer screen. It’s been a pretty good trade off to be honest. My kids and I have been loving the snuggle time. Family movie nights are a huge highlight in our home. We try to aim for once a week but it often ends up as once a fortnight. Lately we’ve watched a few goodies. Our faves are listed below…
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
This fun family friendly movie follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one.
Both my kids, aged 4 and 8, enjoyed this movie as well as the adults! We’ve been trying a few more “live action” movies over the animated ones we’ve always watched in the past and this was a great option.
Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6 is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi No-Ginger, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion—a robot named Baymax — and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.
My son loved this movie and I really liked how it encouraged kids to get interested in science. There were a few confusing and scary parts for my daughter so we had to do a bit of explaining which means I would recommend this movie for kids older than 6.
And let’s not forget the gorgeous visual feast that is Cinderella, currently on at the big screen…
The story of Cinderella follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”
Beautifully shot with a lovely message at it’s heart this is a great movie for a special mom and daughter date, although I would advise it is for kids older than 6 too.
2. Annie Sloan Book
Towards the end of last year I had the pleasure of meeting world renowned paint effects and colour expert, Annie Sloan. She was so inspiring and creative that I left the event ready to take on all those DIY and craft projects that I’ve been meaning to start for years… and I’m pleased to say I painted my very first Annie Sloan item a few weeks ago, but today I’m not here to share the results yet. Instead, I’m talking about one of my favourite new finds. Annie Sloan’s newest book which I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on… Room Recipes for Style and Colour.
Style and colour lie at the heart of what makes a good interior, but both can be stumbling blocks for the amateur decorator. In this beautifully presented book Annie explains how to achieve your chosen style by creating moodboards and analysing key factors – scale, focus, display and layout.
Featuring chapters on 9 popular interior styles: Boho Chic, Neoclassical, Vintage Floral, French Style, Swedish Style, Coastal Style, Classic Country, Modern Retro and Rough Luxe this book is an amazing tool to help you identify the key techniques you’ll need to recreate these styles in your own home
I loved learning more about colour theory (Why do some colours work so well together? Why can the same colour look dramatically different in different rooms?) and the visually appealing photos in the book teach you so much about how to combine your favourite styles, create areas of interest in your home and, of course, paint techniques for using her iconic paint.
One of the things I love about the book is that it appeals to a cross section of decorating and design styles and Annie discusses each design style in depth and gives detailed advice for achieving a similar look in one’s own home.
With 300 inspirational photographs, this beautiful coffee table hardback book is a huge inspiration featuring loads of practical advice and is a set to become my new interior style bible and inspire me to transform more items of furniture in my home using Annie’s chalk paints. The paints can be used to alter and decorate any surface in the home – walls, wood, furniture, accessories and even table lamps can be given a whole new look. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty!
3. Elizabeth Arden eyeshadows and eye brow pencils
I recently attended the most glamorous beauty launch for Elizabeth Arden. I loved the beautiful setting, makeup master class and delicious macaroons but the highlight was walking away with 2 of my future favourite finds!
You see I’ve been loving the look of gorgeous eye shadow for a while but none of the ones in my current collection seemed to be giving me the right results… until now. Thanks to these lovely little Beautiful Color Eye Shadows. I opted to try 3 colours: Seashell and Chocolate – perfect for creating a lovely natural smokey eye look for day with a little bit of shimmer from Spice in the evening!
The great colour payoff is great and the shadow actually stays where I put it for most of the day without creasing. And thanks to the expert guidance of the Elizabeth Arden makeup artist guru, Gina, I’m finally able to actually do eyeshadow makeup that I like! I now smooth the shimmery neutral Seashell shadow over my eyelids then contour the crease of the eye with the darker Chocolate shade to accentuate the look. You can also dab a sheer silver or pearly white shadow like Bone on the inner corners to open up the eye even more.
Another favourite find was this Beautiful Color Natural Eye Brow Pencil in Brownette from Elizabeth Arden.
I love how precise the fine tipped twist-up pencil is and how it transforms the look of my brows in a few quick steps.
To create amazing looking brows every day I first use the unique grooming brush located on one end of the pencil and brush all my eyebrow hairs up. Then I use the twist-up pencil end and draw ultra-fine little strokes to shape, fill-in and define my eyebrows.
How to create beautiful brows
For a natural look, start at the base and trace brows with short, upward strokes that mimic your actual hairs. To lift your brows and open the eye area, fill in the top of your natural arch with upward and outward strokes.
To get the best perspective and fill in brows evenly, take a selfie on your phone. A photo gives you a full perspective of the balance and symmetry of your brows, which is a more accurate view than looking in the mirror. Using this method, you can see exactly where the gaps are that need to be filled in.
Whether you’re filling in sparse, over-tweezed brows or creating a bold and dramatic arch, the Beautiful Color Natural Eye Brow Pencil shade range of 3 colours (Natural Beige, Brownette and Natural Black) is for you! This fab product has been developed to work seamlessly with all hair colours, and delivers long lasting, waterproof colour that won’t transfer or fade.
4. Earth Addict 100% cotton grey chunky knit jersey
Winter is whispering it’s arrival with more crisp mornings and chilly evenings… and although I prefer sunshine days I am quite happy to celebrate the arrival of winter dressing. So much more fun that summer dressing!
I love layering, boots and big chunky jerseys and my latest addition to my winter wardrobe is just that – a delicious chunky knit which I’m excited to live in this season!
You know that rare moment when you walk into a shop and spot a must-have item immediately? It doesn’t happen often for me, I tend to wander the aisles aimlessly for hours and leave with nothing due to severe overwhelm, so when it does I know I have to follow my gut and go with it.
This is exactly what happened when I walked into Earth Addict last week and spotted this divine 100% cotton charcoal chunky jersey. I fell in love. Within a few minutes it was mine. And I proceeded to wear it for the whole weekend and will probably do so again this weekend! It’s super soft and comfortable. I love that it’s cotton which means it’s breathable and not scratchy at all. A thick grey knit has been on my wishlist for ages and I’m so glad I found the perfect one. (p.s. It’s also available in navy!)
5. Verte Natural Deodorant
About a month back I discovered the holy grail. Yes, a natural deodorant that actually works…. A little pot of solid deodorant that I bought on recommendation from the sales person at the health shop in Constantia Village. And here I am a few weeks later still using it, which from past experience must mean that it is actually working. I’ve tried so many natural deodorant products that leave me smelling rather undesirable an hour in so although I still am a bit smelly by the end of a long day it’s really not half as bad as all the others I’ve tried!
For that reason alone this is one of my favourite finds. I’m still getting used to the kinda weird grainy consistency and having to rub in into my armpits but I’ll take it over aluminium-filled anti-perspirant. Not too keen to risk adding fake ingredients so close to my lymph nodes and breasts! This product contains shea butter, coconut oil, bicarb, corn flower and essential oils.
If you’re on the hunt for a natural deo that works then give this a bash, and if you think I’m being a bit too hippy for your liking I apologise! Not really – those hippies are onto some good idea when it comes to being as natural as possible with health and body products!!
There you have it. My 5 Favourite Finds for April… what were yours?? Please share in the comments below – for my benefit and that of my readers!
Disclosure: 1 – 1; 2 – 1; 3 – 1; 4 – 1; 5 – 0.
Images: Kathryn Rossiter (excl covers of movies, Annie Sloan book and Earth Addict jersey)