My Favourite Things – November 2015

Click on the image to see who else is participating this month
Click on the image to see who else is participating this month

It’s time for the November edition of “My Favourite Things”. A linkup hosted by Raisa and Eirene where you post about something you enjoyed in the previous month.

This month I’m going to be showcasing some instagrammers that I recently started following and really love. For some reason in the past 2 months or so I’ve found some really interesting accounts and hope you like them too.

Tanaka Tatsuya does some amazing miniature photography and adds a new photo each day. I particularly love this set because The Matrix one in the middle which I’m pretty sure he called The Matrix. His miniatures are made from common every day objects that he turns into something else. One day there was a blue stapler that he made look like a whale! It was pretty cute.

Alexmdc is an awesome illustrator that does wacky little series of pictures (among other things). I’m really enjoying his current one (pictured above left and right) called #IconsUnmasked which, as you can see above has a ‘famous icon’ who has taken off their mask to reveal they’re actually someone else. I had to giggle a little at The Count being what is behind the mask of Edward.

Mari Johnson recently embarked on a solo travel to Asia (I think she will be going to other continents too but for now she’s travelling around Asia) and vlogs her travels on her YouTube channel. She has been visiting some amazingly beautiful places (I especially like the little igloo style hotel in the above left photo) and has given me wanderlust like I’ve never felt before. And I don’t even own a passport! She has a lovely personality and tends to try and go to less touristy places and I just really enjoy watching her videos and seeing new photos on instagram.

Violent_Crumble (or Shane Thoms) is an urban explorer, mostly of abandoned (or disused space in his words) buildings and areas. Most of the time that I’ve been following him he has been based in Japan and has found some amazing, and haunting, places which make you wonder what life used to be like in those places. I love seeing the history of places and how, in most cases, the environment has taken over again.

univsersetoday

And finally, UniverseToday who feature peoples Astrophotography photos. I really enjoy seeing what people take photos of and in a lot of cases they tell you how they took it and what equipment they used. A lot of the time people get annoyed with the light pollution that ended up in their photos but I enjoy how it enhances or changes them. It’s also interesting to read about what you’re actually seeing in the photo and, in some instances, just how very far away those things are.

Hopefully you’ve found something new that you think you might enjoy too and if not, there’s alway my Instagram! Which is nothing like any of these accounts and mostly includes food and sunsets.

Sarah

My Favourite Things – October 2015

Click on the image to join or see who else is participating
Click on the image to join or see who else is participating

It’s time for the October edition of “My Favourite Things”. A linkup hosted by Raisa and Eirene where you post about something you enjoyed in the previous month.

This month I won’t be talking about things, plural but rather just thing, singular. The one thing that really sort of took over my life in October. A game called Life is Strange.

Life is Strange Title
Life is Strange Title

Life is Strange is an episodic game focusing on Max, a girl who has moved back to her home town (Arcadia Bay) to go to Blackwell Academy because of it’s awesome photography teacher, Mark Jefferson. Apparently he was a big deal back in the 90’s and now he’s teaching at a college and inspiring people like Max.

Storm in Arcadia Bay
Storm in Arcadia Bay

One day in class (this is where we meet Max) she is appears to be having a nightmare of a massive storm that will wipe out Arcadia Bay. When she ‘wakes up’ she is certain she wasn’t asleep but doesn’t know what happened… until that is, we (and she) find out she can rewind time and needs to do something to save the town!

Max's Journal
Max’s Journal

It’s sort of awesome being able to ‘change your mind’ in a game without having to re-load your save or start over. Each decision you make in Life is Strange causes a ripple (or butterfly) effect and alters the relationships you have with certain characters throughout the game. Max makes you second guess about every decision you make but if you think one outcome might be better than another you can always rewind and choose a different option. Or if you need to get on someone’s good side you can get all the information you need out of them, rewind time and make them think you knew everything about them all along.. Yes, Max can be a bit manipulative with this new found power.

Chloe
Chloe

You’re not going through this all alone though because you happen to bump into your old best friend Chloe who is super excited about all the mischief she should get up to with Max’s rewind powers, oh and.. you know, saving the world and all that!

Life is Strange runs through 5 episodes and has some pretty major cliffhangers at the end of each… luckily all 5 episodes are now out so you don’t have to wait to see what happens. I really enjoyed playing this game and have spent hours talking to a friend about all our theories of what might happen and how our games differed – it is pretty awesome being able to play the same game as someone but have it not be quite the same.

An Art?
An Art?

There are also some collectibles throughout the game, Max being the massive photography geek that she is doesn’t use smart phones like the rest of us, but an old polaroid camera and takes photos the old fashioned way throughout the game. The collectibles are all optional photos of scenes that you go through in the game. If you happen to miss any, there is a Collectible mode you can run through too which I’ve utilised.. a lot.

And then, there is the soundtrack. I really love the soundtrack (8:47 on the above video is probably my favourite) and find the songs stuck in my head a lot which makes me want to go home and play the game some more, or start a new save file and make different decisions!

Obviously, you can see I loved this game it will probably remain one of my favourite favourites of the month.

Sarah

My Favourite Things – September 2015

My Favourite Things
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It’s time for the September edition of “My Favourite Things”. A linkup hosted by Raisa and Eirene where you post about something you enjoyed in the previous month.

This month I’m posting about the skin and hair products I use and have been working pretty well for me that last few months.

Protane Shampoo, Conditioner and Argan Oil
Protane Shampoo, Conditioner and Argan Oil

When I first thought about doing this post I didn’t expect that I’d be using a Shampoo and Conditioner that I bought from Aldi but here we are. I’m currently using Aldi’s Protane Naturals brand of Shampoo, Conditioner and Argan Oil. The products are sulfate free and kind to my hair. Although Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is in many shampoos and considered safe to use on your scalp I found it mads mine quite itchy, although I never noticed it until I started using a sulfate free how much nicer my scalp felt. Granted, there are some all natural shampoos that go so far in the other direction that your hair never feels clean. I have wasted many dollars on products like that.

I only recently started using an Argan oil product for my hair. I’ve been so scared in the past to put an oil on my hair after I washed it but now I’m used to it and it really makes a difference. My hair is so shiny, soft and easy to deal with. The good thing about using Aldi brand products is that they’re cheap!  These 3 cost me around $15 all together. The only let down is that the Argan Oil is considered a sale product and they don’t sell it all the time.

Previous to using this brand I was using Seven Wonders Moroccan set which was great, although the conditioner took some getting used to (it had the consistency of body lotion) however to buy the shampoo, conditioner and argan oil treatment is quite expensive and I noticed, one day while wasting time in the shower, that while the product is owned by an Australian company it is made in China and I feel like they are probably exploiting cheap labour and making a hefty profit off consumers so I chose not to buy it again.

Skincare products
Skincare products

asap daily cleanser and exfoliating scrub

I first received these as a sample size from Adore Beauty and thought I’d give them a try and was amazed with the results. They are gentle but work really well for my skin. I only use them a few times a week in the shower and they are good for that but obviously you could try them daily. The cleanser is nice and soft and creamy and has a slight scent of vanilla while the scrub has tiny exfoliating particles that don’t scratch the face and aren’t so abrasive that they give you that tight, dry feeling. It has a slight smell of eucalyptus.

After trying to save every last drop from the samples I bought a set of the full size and have used it ever since.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo: Corrective and Unclogging Care

I was having mega skin issues, pimples everywhere! So I went in search of a product that could help me out. I’m not even sure how I stumbled on the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (what a name!) but it is awesome. Initially, I was putting it all over my face but it quickly got to work and I didn’t need it quite so much anymore. I usually use it for individual spots now and it is quite good at reducing their size and taking out redness until they’re gone completely. It can be a bit drying though which is why I try and limit my usage.

Lush Skin Drink Facial Moisturiser

I don’t buy a lot of Lush products but earlier in the year I had a skin emergency, I had tried an Alpha-Q product that claimed to be moisturising and well, it wasn’t. The end result was sore, peeling skin that felt burnt. I wasn’t sure how to quickly fix it but I knew that the team at Lush would be helpful and they’d have something that could ease the pain and sort my skin out fast. I told them of my predicament and they suggested the Skin Drink moisturiser which is quite thick and has really softened my skin. I’m on the look out for something a bit lighter now that it is coming into Summer here but this really saved me when I needed it – if you have any suggestions of a good summer moisturiser let me know. Lush’s Skin Shangri La moisturiser is also excellent but I couldn’t justify spending $55 on a small tub at the time.

And that is it! I don’t wear any product in my hair or any makeup. These are basically the only products that touch my hair and face.

 

Sarah

My Favourite Things – August 2015

My Favourite Things
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It’s time for the August edition of “My Favourite Things”. A linkup which is usually hosted by Raisa and Eirene but this month is being hosted by Tara!

I don’t have a theme for this month other than maybe ‘August Birthday Month’ but I probably won’t stick with that.

Although, that being said, it was my birthday! I got a bunch of cool stuff and went out to dinner and ate a whole chicken’s worth of Fried Korean Chicken. Yum! I also had about 5 different types of cake over the course of a week.

On the same day I had a chat/interview about potentially moving into a new role at work and getting my contract renewed and they said yes! I started transitioning into a new role on the 1st of September and hope I do well there. It’s nice to finally feel appreciated from management… this basically never happens for me in the workplace.

My Beautiful Colouring Book
My Beautiful Colouring Book

I finally decided to buy an adults colouring book in August and it came on the 31st! There are some lovely pages and it’s quite compact and easy to carry around. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pencils the day I bought it so couldn’t start my colouring in August. More about that in September I’m sure!

Maxwell and WIlliams White Basics Diamond Dinner Set
Maxwell and WIlliams White Basics Diamond Dinner Set

At the end of the month, one of my dinner plates cracked while in the microwave. I didn’t even realise it was possible but apparently it is caused by a small crack in the plate being filled with water and that water expanding, causing it to crack properly.

I really like the plates and was pretty sad to have one of them ruined by 90 seconds in the microwave. I decided to contact the company and see if they were able to send me out a replacement so I’d have a full set again. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to because the set I bought was discontinued so… they offered me a full new set of my choosing from their website! I decided on the above Square Diamond Set that retails for $160… I was so surprised! I never thought that would have been the response. They didn’t even ask me for proof of purchase or photos of the broken plate to prove I hadn’t just dropped it. Pretty amazing service.

That’s about all I have for August, in between there were trips to Cherry Beans Caffe, Goodberrys, cartons of Ben and Jerry’s to eat and episodes of Gravity Falls and Rick And Morty to enjoy!

Sarah

My Favourite Things – July 2015

My Favourite Things
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It’s time for the July edition of “My Favourite Things”. A linkup hosted by Raisa and Eirene. This month I’m going to be discussing TV! Specifically, new(ish) TV that happened in July.

Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls finally came back in July. If you’re a fan you’ll know that the second season has been going for more than 12 months now. Disney is reeaaallllyyy dragging it out and it is very frustrating to get to see 3 episodes at a time, 3 weeks apart. Especially for a show as full of mystery and intrigue as this.

Duck-Tective!
Duck-Tective!

Gravity Falls is an animated show that follows the story of one summer in the life of twins Mabel and Dipper. It’s no ordinary summer though, because this year they’re going to Gravity Falls to stay with their great uncle (grunkle) Stan and they learn about all the mysterious happenings that go on in Gravity Falls. The show has lots of hidden things and there are cryptograms and lots of cool stuff.

Plus it has the coolest theme music of any show. Basically, go watch it.

Rick and Morty

Another animated show of awesome. This one, though, you should not sit down and watch with any kids.. ever. While it is animated it is definitely not kid safe which makes it all the better. Rick and Morty is about the adventures that a mad scientist (Rick) and his grandson (Morty) go on. Rick has a spaceship and they go on dangerous missions to different planets and dimensions, usually so Rick can go steal something of some value and get into trouble doing it. Fortunately, Rick is smarter than anyone you know and can usually get out of it.

#RickAndMorty100years

 Penny Dreadful

And just in case you thought I was all about animated shows with crude jokes, here’s something completely different.

Penny Dreadful is a beautifully shot (I love when TV is as pretty as movies) Victorian horror series. It brings together many supernatural characters such as vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein’s monster while looking amazing doing it. The cast, which includes Josh Hartnett – who is surprisingly good – are excellent and Eva Green seems to be willing to try anything the writers will throw at her.

A word of warning though, the show is rated R (18+)  and has LOTS of nudity and sex, violence and horror. If you’re ok with that I’d definitely recommend watching it though. It’s pretty awesome.

Needless to say, it was an exciting month of TV for me and now I’m left a little empty with finishing up season 2 of Penny Dreadful.

Sarah