[MailCall Monday] 31st July 2017

This week has been a bit of a mixture in terms of mail, some days there was lots of fun mail whilst others there wasn’t so much as a junkmail flyer popped through the door.

It started off well on Monday, when I came home from work to find my monthly Boxcitement subscription box waiting for me….

Boxcitement

As usual; the Boxcitement box is a wonderfully eclectic collection of stationery, jewellery, accessories; all curated around a central theme, which this month is DRAMA QUEEN

There is certainly plenty of drama, and more than enough special treats to leave me feeling royally spoiled.

It’s Fabulous, Dahlings!! But you’ll have to wait for my unboxing post to see just how fabulous.


BookMail

Lots of Bookmail this week…

 

SEEING RED is a harrowing semi-autobiographical novel written by Chilean author Lina Meruane and published by Atlantic Books.
It tells the tale of Lucina, a young  A Chilean writer, who; whilst living and working in New York; suffers a life-changing eye haemorrhage.

As she begins to adjust to a very different life of reliance on others, so too do those who love her find themselves learning to adjust to a very different woman.

 

Crime Thriller, KILL ME TWICE, written by Simon Booker and published by Bonnier Zaffre ; tells the tale of Anjelica, a victim of domestic abuse who finds herself imprisoned for murdering her husband. Forensic experts attest to finding his charred remains after an arson attack and so she turns to Morgan Vine, an investigative journalist for help to prove her innocence. 

The whole world knows Karl Savage is dead. It doesn’t matter that he was abusive. Or that Anjelica has a baby to care for. Or,  indeed, that she is petrified of fire.

Then he turns up outside Morgan’s window….

I’m intrigued to know more, but I must admit to hoping that in the end the only possible resolution is not for Anjelica & Morgan to kill him.

Rosie Fiore’s WHAT SHE LEFT , published by Allen & Unwin , is billed as Contemporary Fiction. 

When Sam Cooper’s wife Helen disappears, noone understands why. She has a charmed life; she’s beautiful, accomplished, organised; but she chooses to abandon her home & family. She hasn’t been abducted or murdered, she just walks away.

Tormented by all the questions of why, where, what? ; Sam finds he is losing his grip on work and family life; he sees Helen’s face everywhere and he’s losing control.

But then one day, it really is Helen’s face he sees…

I received ARCs of these novels, free of charge via ReadersFirst , and you will be able to read my review of each nearer their publication dates:

  • Seeing Red : 3rd August 2017.
  • Kill Me Twice : 24th August 2017.
  • What She Left : 17th August 2017.


Pen Mail (& a Panda) 🐼

I signed up to a notebook and pen swap recently, over on , and my swap partner mentioned she liked smooth writing pens with easy on the eye ink colours.

I’ve bought some of these pens from Tiger Pens before and personally find they write beautifully; they also look rather stylish, and the colour of the swirly tattoo print corresponds to the colour of the ink (except for the black ink one, which has a silver grey pattern). 

I thought they would be ideal for adding to my swap package, and I might have added to my own pen collection. I lose/lend pens at an alarming rate so tend to overstock!

I also noticed that there are refills available for these, so I think I’ll be adding a few sets to my next  order.

There was also a special offer where you could claim a free Panda squishy with orders over £15 from this particular range.

So, I got a Panda

Tiger Pens stock a huge variety of pens & pencils, everything from left handed fountain pens to everlasting metal pencils, and UK shipping is free on orders over £10.

Fabric Samples

I love when a company do samples right, and furniture and homewares purveyors loaf certainly do!

New sofa discussions have been ongoing for sometime but so far I have yet to see anything locally that has made me think “Yep, that’s the one!” 

I recently stumbled upon the loaf website, and as a few of their offerings caught my eye, I promptly requested some fabric swatches.

At the moment our sofas are dark chocolate brown leather and we’re swithering between sticking with leather or going for something fabric (in some misguided belief that as the kids are now grown, we no longer have to worry about jammy handprints; like it’s them that regularly knock glasses of red wine over…. actually, it’s the cat; but that’s another story!)

The sample mailer arrived quickly and I was intrigued by the dinky little box.

Then I opened it….

 Alongside the swatches I had requested, they had enclosed a witty little intro booklet, a blind measuring guide & templates, and a sachet of hot chocolate; to enjoy whilst perusing their offerings. 

Stamps

My attempts at used postage stamp collection and collation have somewhat fallen by the wayside but every now and then I receive an exchange bag returning home, or one of these Forever Stamp Exchange sheets. It’s essentially a chain letter (something I normally have no time for!) But they were handy to stick in envelopes I was sending to other collectors and in the beginning was a good way to ‘meet’ new people to exchange with.

Susanne from Austria found my details next on her sheet and so sent me the required 50 stamps(actually, she sent far more), and an updated copy of the sheet. Next to receive is Claudio in Italy, so I’ll dig out my stamp box and send some off this week.

Stationery Savings

I received a mailshot from Paperchase with a coupon for 20% off Back-To-School stationery. It seems rude not to….

I’ve already been instore recently for a sneak-peek and so far my favourite back to school ranges are:

  • FLY AWAY which is full of whimsical pastel unicorn & rainbow illustrations. 
  • BANANAS which is bright blue and yellow and features a fun graphic print.

and, of course,

  • The new HELLO KITTY collab!

      Beauty Box

      You can read my full July Birchbox review here ; but for now you can have a sneak peek!

      In the meantime, if you’d like to try a Birchbox for yourself, you can save £5 off your first box by using my referral link .

      The full link is: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/thecraftylass

      (Birchbox credit my account with a small amount to spend in their online store each time someone signs up using my link)


      So, all in all, it was a pretty busy week for my mailbox! What about yours?

      Till next time,

      Hugs, Crafty xxx 

      Advertisements

      BIRCHBOX July ’17: Summer Daze [Review] (& DISCOUNT)

      Birchbox is a beauty subscription service. Their monthly boxes give you the opportunity to sample lots of different cosmetic and skincare brands, whilst their online store allows you to purchase full-size versions of the products you love.

      Each box comes in sturdy outer packaging

      Inside which you will find your products and information sheet enclosed within further reusable packaging.

      On most occasions it is one of these nifty little cardboard boxes which are easily stacked to create a clever set of storage drawers; whilst other times it can be a zipped pouch / purse, a clutch, or even a drawstring bag.

      It’s always an exciting moment when you open the drawer and get your first peek of the contents!

      The July theme is Summer Daze, I adore the image used to illustrate this; the palm tree silhouettes against the graduated blue to pink definitely gives the impression of a balmy sunset in warmer climes.

      The Contents

      In the July box I discovered:

      • Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water (Skincare)
      • Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery (Haircare)
      •  Rituals Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel (Body care)
      • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (Nailcare) *this is a full-size product worth £9*
      • The Hero Project Glow Drops (Skincare)
      • Benefit Cosmetics Chachatint Lip & Cheek Stain (Cosmetics)


      Each month there is 1 product where you have the option to choose one of two variants, for the July box this was the Benefits Lip & Cheek Stain. Prior to despatch I had the opportunity to select 1 of 3 options:

      1. Chacha Tint : a mango/coral shade
      2. Gogo Tint : a pink hue
      3. Surprise Me! (It’s a lucky dip)

      I chose to go with the surprise option, because who doesn’t like surprises?

      August’s choose-your-own product is a full-size Spectrum Collections makeup brush in your preferred colourway. Again, I chose the surprise option.

      The Cost

      A Birchbox subscription is £10 per month plus UK p&p of £2.95.
      You can cancel or pause your subscription whenever you like.

      There are also opportunities to purchase a 6 months subscription which give you free p&p on your first box. £60 + (5 X £2.95) or a yearly subscription which gives you 12 X monthly boxes for £100 + (12 X £2.95) meaning 2 free boxes!

      What I Thought

      I have yet to extensively try all the products in this box, but so far I think it’s great value for money.

      The topcoat alone has an RRP of £9, and I would personally usually pay around £6 for a similar product. I would expect to pay around £4 for the shower gel; meaning the rest of the products were essentially FREE.

      • The lip & cheek tint is a pretty shade, applies easily and is very wearable.
      • The shower gel smells AMAZING, I know some people might find the combination of rosemary & eucalyptus unusual but personally I find it very fresh and invigorating.
      • After using the cleansing water; my skin felt soft, clean and refreshed.

      Rating & Recommendations

      Appearance: I love the stylish look of the packaging, and think the fact it is usefully reusable is a definite plus. 5/5

      Products: I received a pretty good variety in my box. Each month there are a number of core products that everyone receives, then an array of others from which you receive a selection to make up your 5 products. Accessories such as jewellery or beauty tools are sometimes included, I think if I had received one from that  group I would have rated 5/5, but for now it’s 4/5

      Value for Money: As previously mentioned, one item was full-size and worth £9, so from that point of view, this box was definitely value for money. The fact you also get to try smaller sizes of other products to see how you like them, rather than splashing out on the full-size only to discover that they don’t suit, is great. 5/5

      Benefits: The opportunity to try new products from established and newer names in the beauty industry. There are a number of additional benefits to being a Birchbox subscriber, but perhaps the most notable one is that you are entitled to at least 10% off full-size versions of the products you like.  5/5

                     TOTAL SCORE: 19 / 20



      If you want to try Birchbox for yourself, you can save £5 off your first box by signing up through my referral link .

      https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/thecraftylass

      (Birchbox also credit my account with a small amount to spend in their online store each time someone signs up via my link. Remember to share your own link after you have signed up!)


      HURRY! Bonus 2 for 1 deal! 

      Sign up for your July Box by midnight on Monday, and add code EXTRA at the checkout to claim an additional box contains 5 luxe beauty treats.

      Thanks for stopping by; see you again soon; and in the meantime, have you tried Birchbox, or another Beauty Subscription box? What are your recommendations?

      Hugs, Crafty xx

      A Belated Birthday Treat: Lunch at Don Michele’s, Dundee.

      It was my birthday a while back, and one of my gifts from Offspring#2 was a voucher for a 2-course lunch for two at one of the local Italian restaurants.

      Since we knew I’d be off today, we booked a table earlier in the week.

      It’s one of those places that we’ve been meaning to try for years but had just never got around to it. 

      A family-run restaurant, Don Michele‘s prides itself on it’s friendly & attentive service and authentic Italian cooking. It is warm and inviting, with an intimate cosy atmosphere.

      The friendly waiter showed us to our seats and asked if we would like any drinks, before returning with the menus.

      We perused the menu, the waiter giving us plenty time to choose our dishes. I must admit that’s a bit of a peeve of mine, I do hate when you feel rushed into ordering!

      I picked the Fungi Alfredo starter and the Risotto Al Pollo main; whilst my suave, sophisticated, handsome companion went for the main of Linguine Carbonara followed by the Vanilla Cheesecake.

      We then sat back and relaxed while sipping our diet cokes, and soaking up the ambience.

      It was, as my compadre pointed out, the most Italian-y looking Italian restaurant!

      The walls were adorned with portraits and photographic prints of the most Italian-y poking Italians, and there was a wallart plaque shaped like a Vespa which bore a tricolour paintjob; there was even a teatowel tacked to one wall that pictured a map of Italy, anoted with regional pastas (they should sell those….we want one!).

      The background music, which wasn’t too loud, was Italian; and, sitting next to the serving hatch to the kitchen, we could hear the chef’s talking to each other in Italian.

      When my starter arrived, it was jam-packed with mushrooms. 

       The thick creamy garlic-laced sauce was delicious and the warm chunk of accompanying ciabatta was just the right density.
      At this point, we realized that our vantage point by the kitchen afforded us the perfect spot for noseying at what other diners had ordered, thus aiding our menu selection next time. The Lasagne and Penne Salsiccia heading to a couple at a nearby table both looked appetising and hearty sized portions.

      We didn’t have long to wait before our mains made an appearance too.

      The rice in my risotto was perfectly cooked and the dish was well-flavoured.

      The linguine was however outstanding, the sauce was gorgeously thick and rich.

      I was offered the menu incase I wished to order dessert, I had a look (for future reference) but ultimately didn’t order as I was already pleasantly full.

      The cheesecake, when it arrived, was attractively presented and I did have a taste so can report it was as good as it looks!

      It was incredibly light and the vanilla drizzle put us in mind of that which accompanies a crème caramel.

      Now, as I mentioned, we had a voucher for the food so when it came to paying the bill we were only charged for two drinks each; but at £10.50 for two courses, we could both indulge in a similarly delicious lunch some other time for around £30. 

      We’ll definitely be returning. Soon.

      Ratings & Recommendations 

      Service: A warm welcome by staff was followed by friendly attentiveness throughout our visit. 5/5

      Menu: The menu offers a good selection of traditional Italian dishes. 5/5

      Food: Looks and tastes freshly prepared. Well presented and good-sized portions. 5/5

      Ambience: Cosy and welcoming. The Italian decor creates a warm feel which we enjoyed. The subdued lighting and background music enhanced the setting. 4/5

      Cleanliness: Spotless! Dining furniture & table linen impeccably clean; as were the cutlery, crockery & glassware. Toilets were well maintained. 5/5

      Value for Money: Our two courses for two would have cost £10.50 each, ordering from the Special Lunch Menu, plus 4 soft drinks @ £2.60 each = £31.40 which seems reasonable for what we had. 4.5/5

      Would we return? YES! Definitely.

      Would we recommend? YES! Definitely. I also think this would be the ideal venue for larger celebratory gatherings as well small informalrmal meals out such as we had today.

      TOTAL: 28.5 / 30


      Don Michele is situated on Perth Road, Dundee and is easily accessible from the city centre.

      Contact Details

      Address: 177 Perth Road, Dundee, DD2 1AS

      Phone: 01382 660600

      Opening Times: Lunch 12 – 2pm Daily 

                                  Dinner 5.30 – 9.30pm                                                (10.30pm Fri/Sat)

      Website: http://donmichele.co.uk/

      Facebook: @donmicheledundee

      Instagram: @don_michele_dundee
      I think we might have found our new favourite Italian restaurant, we just have to think of an excuse to take the rest of the family along soon. Have you finally made it to any great local restaurants you’ve been meaning to visit for a while but just hadn’t gotten around to? I always love when it turns out to be really good 😀

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Hugs, Crafty xx

      Celebrating at Shehzad

      I heard today that I had been successful at my recent interview for promotion (Yayyy me!!!) so my Other Half and Offspring#2 decided to take me out for celebratory eats.

      We are lucky to have quite a number of really fantastic Indian restaurants locally; but the Shehzad Tandoori & Balti Restaurant is one we use often if we are ordering takeaway online, or popping out for a quick bite.

      One of the reasons this is our go-to for impromptu mid-week dining out is their ridiculously inexpensive pre-theatre menu. Monday – Friday, dining between 4 – 8pm you can get 3 courses for £8.95!!!

      When it comes to starters, I am a creature of habit; and usually order the chatt patt, or the chicken pakora. Both are delicious but today I went for the chatt patt, as did Offspring #2.

      Two huge chicken wings, cooked in a flavoursome marinade, chargrilled, and served with a salad garnish.

      OH plumped for the chicken tikka, which was tender chunks of meat cooked in an amazing tikka marinade, looked almost as delicious as ours, and again was served with a salad garnish. The chilli sauce served alongside the starters is always tangy with a pleasantly rounded flavour.
      Main courses are usually a sharing affair when our household dine out, so we tend to order a selection of dishes.
      The menfolk both opted for the Lamb Punjabi Massala whilst I chose the Lamb Kadie.

      A kadie is a traditional Afghani dish made using fresh tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, garlic, spring onions & coriander. It is delicious and takes it’s name from the pot it is traditionally cooked in!

       

      The sharing aspect extends to accompaniments, so we ordered 2 portions of pilau rice and 1 portion of chapattis. This works well as it means we all get a variety!

      Now, before we discuss dessert, can I remind you that we are eating 3 courses for £8.95!?!? To be completely honest, the first time OH & I popped in to try this deal we weren’t expecting much. We knew the food was good quality and tasty as we ordered regularly but for £8.95 we expected small portions of food that maybe wasnt quite as great, and a limp defrosted slice of generic Sara-Lee -esque frozen cheesecake….

      THE CHEESECAKE!!! 😍😍😍

      The cheesecake alone is worth £8.95 on any restaurant menu.

      It’s homemade, the feather-light creamy topping is the most gorgeous texture, and the biscuit base is just the right crumbly buttery mix.

      It’s always a topic of conversation throughout dinner, wondering what flavour the cheesecake will be! We never ask until it’s time to order dessert, Offspring#2 says it ruins the surprise, and so it was only once we had finished off our delicious mains that we discovered tonight’s offering was Galaxy Cookie Dough Crumble.

      I have a confession to make. It was only when I was a third of my way through this heavenly concoction that I realized I had committed somewhat of a faux Pas.

      I started eating my cheesecake before I remembered to take a photo for you all…. Sorry!

      Ratings & Recommendations

      Service: As always, a warm welcome by staff was followed by friendly attentiveness throughout our visit.  5/5

      Menu: The menu offers a wide and varied selection of both traditional Indian abd some European dishes. Both the Pre-Theatre menu and the Tandoori Night menus offer a smaller selection for very competitive prices. 5/5

      Food: Looks and tastes freshly prepared. Meat dishes always contain a decent serving of tender chunks of meat. Well presented and, although the starter portions are smaller on the Pre-Theatre menu, the mains and desserts are good-sized portions. 5/5

      Ambience: Bright, light & airy; the decor is standard for a typical Indian restaurant looking to create a contemporary interior. Background music is always upbeat and not so loud as to be intrusive. 4/5

      Cleanliness: Spotless! Dining furniture & table linen impeccably clean; as were the cutlery, crockery & glassware. Toilets are well maintained. 5/5

      Value for Money: Whilst value for money on the special pre-theatre menu is epic, the standard a la carte menu is also reasonably priced . The bill for tonight’s 3 courses for 3 people plus a few soft drinks was around £35.   5/5

      Would we return? YES! Definitely. We do so regularly!

      Would we recommend? YES! Definitely. I also think this would be the ideal venue for larger celebratory gatherings as well as the small informal meals out we tend to have there.

      TOTAL: 29 / 30

      Shezhad Tandoori and Balti Restaurant is situated on Dura Street, Dundee and is easily accessible from the city centre. It is on a main bus route, and there is a free carpark nearby.

      Contact Details

      Address: 104 Dura Street, Dundee, DD4 6TE

      Phone: 01382 457502

      Opening Times: Sunday – Thursday 4 – 10 pm , Friday / Saturday 4 – 11 pm

      Facebook: Shezhad Tandoori & Balti Restaurant

      The cheesecakes are lovingly handmade by the very talented local lass, Zara, you should go have a drool over on her Instagram @_elegantcakes .


      Do you have a regular go-to local restaurant? What do you order when you’re there?

      Thanks for dining with us! 😁

      Hugs, Crafty xx

      [MailCall Monday] 24th July

      (Not so) Lame Mail

      If you follow me on Twitter, you might have been entertained by my recent shopping spree on the That Lame Company sale during a trip away. Travelling between the in-laws and my mum’s only takes around an hour but for a large proportion of that there is no phone reception and therefore (shock! horror!) NO mobile internet; so there I was, much to the amusement of all, frantically stuffing things into my basket in an attempt to finish my order before entering No-Man’s Land.

      Obviously, my order went through, as I came home from work on Wednesday to a lovely box of goodies.

      I love how Chloe always wraps your order up in tissue and seals it with a sticker. ♥

      I had actually been eyeing these A4 pads for a while, and wasn’t sure I could justify buying them when “Wouldn’t a notebook just do?” but having spent the past few weeks trying various permutations of double-page spreads, I decided to spoil myself. Best decision ever! These A4 pads will be great for keeping track of the What, Who & When; and then each individual one will have it’s own pages in the notebook (which I will then probably cross-reference to the pad or something….) 

      *True Story: when I typed notebook up there, predictive text suggested the next word would be a smiley face with heart eyes….wonder what THAT says about me 😂 *

      I’ve bought some of these cute snailmail cards previously, they are really cute and I thought I should replenish my stock.

      I’ve also purchased these recipe cards before, and knowing that Offspring#2 will need to feed himself when he heads off to University in September, I figured they would be useful for writing out instructions for some of his favourite dishes. 

      These prints were bought as gifts, but I think one may get misplaced. The one on the left is foiled and rather gorgeous.
      When I opened up my order, I found a few things I don’t remember ordering!? So, I can only assume I got carried away (a not insignificant probability!) or the lovely Chloe was adding a lil extra TLC.

      Thanks for the cute lil notes!

      Mag Mail

      I’ve been a subscriber to for quite a few years, and to be honest I’m a bit bored with it. It seems like it’s just a rehash of ideas they’ve featured before over the years.

      So, any suggestions for a new papercraft-type magazine?

      Beauty Mail

      I signed up to the Glamour Beauty Club recently and was excited to receive my first product for review; a nifty little tub of Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads from NIP+FAB on Thursday.

       

      Book Mail

      This week’s mail brought another ARC from Readers First. S.T.A.G.S. is a thriller written by M.A. Bennett and published by Hot Key Books.

      Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend. A twisting thriller for fans of John Green’s Looking for Alaska and The Hunger Games.

      Greer MacDonald joins the sixth form of exclusive boarding school St. Aidan the Great and is struggling to fit in until she receives a mysterious invitation, from the most popular boy in school, to a weekend of hunting at his family’s country estate.

      Once she arrives, she soon realized that the intended prey aren’t quite who she thought they were….

      As usual, I’ll be posting a review prior to publication date of 10th August 2017.

      Booze Mail 

      I’m a product tester/reviewer for Trnd and a current campaign I am participating in is for a new Coconut Jamaican Rum called KOKO KANU.

      My box of goodies arrived midweek and included a 750ml bottle, and some promo postcards featuring various cocktail recipes incorporating Koko Kanu. If you’d like me to mail you a recipe-postcard, let me know in the comments! And, of course, I’ll let you know what I think of it in a review shortly!

      My mailbox was certainly rather full last week, what about yours?

      Hugs, as always,

      Crafty xx

      Multigrain Shredded Wheat

      Thanks to Nestlé and Bzz Agent, we recently had the opportunity to try a couple of boxes of some of Nestlé’s new Multigrain Shredded Wheat variants.

      We received one 475g box each of both Rye & Quinoa, with a Hint of Honey and Barley & Spelt, (also with Honey).

      Now, I’ll be perfectly honest; I’m not a huge cereal eater. If I have breakfast, it tends to be toast-based; or fruit and/or yoghurt; but it seemed only right that I should make a concerted effort to eat cereal for a few days…

      What is the Product?

      Each box contains 475g of delicious, crispy wholegrain nuggets.

      Like all Nestlé Shredded Wheat products, they

      • contain wholegrains
      • are very low in salt
      • are low in saturated fat
      • and are high on taste!

      Each box contains around 11 servings, and each 40g serving contains approximately 210kcal; when served with 125ml of semi-skimmed milk.

       

      What We Thought

      In terms of taste, I think the Barley & Spelt combo has the edge, it just seems more flavourful. Both varieties are equally crunchy, and filling.

      I particularly enjoyed a bowl of the Barley & Spelt, when served with chopped banana and lashings of really cold milk.

      Offspring#2 scoffed most of both boxes; I think he may have liked them! Like myself, he also preferred the Barley & Spelt variety; although interestingly, whilst discussing the product via a Facebook post, my brother-in-law mentioned that he preferred the Rye And Quinoa ones!

      We have since purchased some more, and my son has also added them to his Things To Buy & Pack For University list.

      Disclosure

      I received samples of these products free of charge, in order to test them out, and share an unbiased & honest review. All opinions are my (and my family’s) own. 


      Have you tried either of these yummy cereals? If so, which is your preference? And if not, which do you think you’d enjoy?

      Until next time, 

      Hugs, Crafty xx

      [MailCall Monday] 10th July 2017

      A Package of Packaging

      Sometimes a plain grey mailing bag can hide wonderous things….

      I couldn’t resist these brightly coloured mailers in funky designs when I saw then recently.

      A Punch-y Parcel

      As the owner of a MAMBI Happy Planner, I have long coveted one of these punches to make my own inserts and dashboards etc.

      A price reduction (and the justification that it could pay for itself by me making and selling these for others*) finally convinced me to order one.
      *There are MANY crafty/ arty/ stationery/ techy/ makery/ gadgety supplies & instruments bought worldwide due to this very justification, I AM NOT ALONE!! 


      Spoiling Myself

      So, I’ve been working a lot during what is supposed to be my 6 weeks school holidays, but during my lunch break  a the other  a day I got an email offering me a deal from New Look that was too good to refuse. If I spent £50 or more on their website within a two-hour window that day, I would receive a £25 voucher. It seemed like a pretty good deal!

      I had been eyeing one particular skirt for a while (in fact, I had even tried it on in store), but didn’t really want to pay the £29.99 price tag. But now?? Hmmmm, it would give me something new to wear for dinner during our weekend away. So, I quickly followed the necessary steps to register for the deal and RESULT! The skirt was reduced to £20!! I added some tops and summery vests and placed my order.

      So, somewhat disappointingly, when it arrived and I tried The.Skirt.Of.My.Dreams on in something other than changing room lighting; I discovered the lining was entirely useless and you could see through it completely. So, it’s going back and I don’t get my £25 voucher. *sad face*
      Moral of the story: if you are going to buy this skirt, don’t!

      The lining also looks like it works on the online pictures. Grrr!

      BookMail

      I received the rather intriguingly titled Madame Bildungsroman’s Optimistic Worldview ; written by Nora Chassler and published by Valley Press; via a Goodreads giveaway.

      Watch out for my review!

      Some Sunflower Seeds

      We’re planning a household Battle Royale-esque Sunflower growing competition using these seeds we received from CHF Entertainment, who are running a Pip Ahoy! tallest Sunflower challenge in conjunction with Thompson & Morgan .

      They had 5000 packs of Sunflower Sadie Seeds to give away, so why not visit www.pipahoy.com to see if you can request a pack?

      You can also follow @PipAhoyUK on both Twitter & Instagram to see how everyones sunflowers are doing 🌻

      So, how has your mailbox been treating you?

      Hugs, 

      Crafty xx