[MailCall Monday] 7th August 2017

Notebook & Pen Swap

I received my swap parcel for the Notebook and Pen Swap hosted by Jessica over at The Paper Trail Diary.

I was partnered with Emma, from A Cornish Geek and we were tasked with selecting notebooks & pens based on each others preferences, packaging them up, and mailing them off; before the deadline of August 7th.

Emma stated a preference for hardbacked A5 or greater notebooks, containing plain paper pages, hopefully in pastel colouring, and preferably featuring a literary or motivational quote. 

This seemed like it should be a super easy request to fulfill but for some reason I really struggled! I tried all the usual suspects: Paperchase, WH Smith, The Works, TK Maxx, Tiger, various online small businesses who stock stationery, both Asda & Tesco’s large stationery & back to school ranges, amongst others but had little success. Eventually I realized I was going to have to cheat a little, and I hope she didn’t mind! 

Anyway, enough about that! Let’s get on with admiring the goodies that Emma selected for me, shall we?

Inside a big bubble mailer I found a fabulous A4 bright pink notebook emblazoned with MAKE THINGS HAPPEN in gold foiling, isn’t it marvellous?

The cute ribbon markers are incredibly useful for splitting sections or marking places, don’t you think?

Interestingly, she had similar thoughts on pens as I did (remember the pens I mentioned here recently? Well, this is the swap they were for) and these colourful ballpoints will be very well used!
Lastly, can I just draw attention to the delightful notecard?

How did she know that Dolly is my Spirit Animal?? ūüėāūüėā
I look forward to using those pens for writing many important notes, on the things that I am going to make happen, in my swish new notebook. 

Book Swap

July was Book Swap month in Jocelyn from The Reading Residence ‘s #BringBackPaper campaign.

I was paired with Kathryn, AKA BookwormAndTheatreMouse , and the challenge was to select and send each other a preloved fiction book. The only clues we received was the other’s least favourite genre, so we knew what to avoid. Kathryn admitted to not being much of a SciFi fan, so I skipped the bookshelf full of distant planets and robot overlords, then chose a copy of a thriller I enjoyed reading a few months back. I packaged it up with some tea and chocolate, because what’s the point of settling down with a new book without making yourself comfortable? and sent it off.

Meanwhile, the lovely Kathryn was doing exactly the same; so I came home from work one evening to find an interesting looking bubble envelope, emblazoned with the #BringBackPaper hashtag, waiting for me.

 

I received a copy of INDIGO DONUT by Patrice Lawrence, I haven’t read it and the blurb sounds intriguing.

In Bailey’s opinion, Indigo didn’t look like she needed a hero. One by one, she looked Mona, Saskia, Betti and Kay in the eye. Then she gave them the finger, slow motion. Headphones on again, she sauntered off towards the science wing. He’ll. That was … She was …

Indigo lives with her foster mum, Keely. When she meets Bailey at sixth form, serious sparks fly, but Indigo has a secret that could ruin everything between them before it’s even begun.

Bailey‘s blown away by Indigo; she’s so different to other girls. But when Bailey becomes the target of a homeless man who knows more about Indigo’s past than is normal, he is forced to make an impossible choice.

I’m looking forward to reading this as I enjoyed Orangeboy, the first novel by Patrice Lawrence. (I think everyone else enjoyed it too, since it won a Waterstones Book Prize and was shortlisted for many others.)

Important Paperwork

Midweek, I received written details of the amendment to my terms and conditions of employment. Basically, it’s just confirmation of my start date, job title, new location & pay grade.

I pick up my swanky new uniform when I start next Monday.

Some EXTRA Beauty

Birchbox’s discount code for July entitled users to an extra mystery box. Mine wasn’t delivered alongside my July box, but their customer service team were on the ball and soon sorted it out; and the courier dropped it off just as I was heading to work on Friday.

The EXTRA box I received was actually June’s Daytripping Birchbag; a delightful pastel zippered pouch; inspired by Brighton Beach and it’s chalk-coloured beach huts, sorbet ice-creams and dreamy watercolour sunsets.

 

Inside my lovely Birchbag I found:

  • A full-size MEECH AND MIA Brow Liner, in shade #21 (RRP ¬£12.99)
  • A full-size 50ml tube of COWSHED Cow Pat moisturising hand cream (RRP ¬£18)
  • A 50g sachet of SCRUB LOVE Invigorating Coffee Body Scrub
  • A set of ECOTOOLS Enhancing Eye Brushes (RRP ¬£6.99)
  • And a dinky 2.5ml sample jar of BOBBI BROWN EXTRA Eye Repair Cream 

As I mentioned, I received this free of charge, but full price would have been £10 plus £2.95 p&p. Given that 3 items were full-size products worth a total of £27.98 AND it came in such a delightful & very useable bag, I think this one was a real bargain for anyone who received this June offering!

If you fancy trying Birchbox for yourself, you can save ¬£5 off your first box by signing up via my referral link (Birchbox also credit my account with a small amount to spend in their online store)

Even MORE Beauty : August Birchbox

Given that Saturday morning was the third time in a week that the same delivery guy was met at the door by a frightful vision of unmadeupness, he is probably wondering why I buy all these Beauty Boxes….

This time he was bringing my August Birchbox; the choose-your-preference item this month was a Spectrum brush, in one of two colourways; as usual I ticked the ‘Surprise Me!’ box, so I’m eager to see which colour of brush I received and what else is enclosed.

You can see my full unboxing of August’s themed Birchbox here.
So, that was the contents of my mailbox this week, what about yours?

Until next time,

Hugs, Crafty xx

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[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) ūüźľ

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 

      [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. ‚ô•

      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 ūüėā *

      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

      [MailCall Monday] 5 June 2017

      The May #Paperhaul

      Technically this should have been featured in last Week’s roundup but it ended up mistakenly going through a neighbour’s letterbox on Saturday and didn’t make it’s way home till Tuesday…

      The May Paperhaul theme was Flamingo Flavour, and featured lovely pink flamingoes, hibiscus flowers and lush green ferny palm fronds, all in tropical shades of coral pinks and deep forest greens.

      You can get a closer look at what was included by checking out my May Paperhaul review.

      Book-ish Mail

      The latest issue of oh comely magazine dropped through my letterbox.

      It’s always a lovely read, full of interesting articles are swoonworthy photos.

      And not a ‘which celeb is cheating on who with their neighbour’s dog’s pregnant husband’¬†story in sight!!

      A Timely Treat from Prestige Flowers

      Friday afternoon brought a rather exciting delivery, in the form of a large cardboard box from Prestige Flowers.

      I had recently been in contact with them regarding reviewing a bouquet from their birthday flowers range and somewhat coincidentally, delivery had been arranged for the weekend before my birthday!

      Of course, you’ll need to wait for my review post to find out exactly which bouquet I received!

       
      Was there anything interesting in your mailbox this week?

      As always, thanks for stopping by!

      Hugs,

      Crafty xx

      Paperhaul May Review: FLAMINGO FLAVOUR

      Our postie misdelivered my #Paperhaul to a neighbour, luckily she’s a nice one, so she kept it safe until we got home from our weekend away!

      I’m still loving the updated look of these! The white card envelopes look brighter and fresher than the previous brown cardboard boxes, and I appreciate the way the whole set is tied together by the large accent sticker on the outer packaging and the inserted business card echoing the month’s design.

      The May Paperhaul theme was Flamingo Flavour, and featured lovely pink flamingoes, hibiscus flowers and lush green ferny palm fronds, all in tropical shades of coral pinks and deep forest greens.

      Included in May’s superb stationery selection were:

      • A cute noteblock, with a colourful flamingo illustration down the side of the pages

      • 2 postcards, one featuring a cute illustration of a pair of flamingos and the other bearing a bold leafty print, incorporating a ‘hello‘ greeting.

      I think the matching reverse is a lovely additional touch to these postcards.

      • 3 mini flat cards, featuring prints co-ordinating to the set,  all with beautifully textured matching cream envelopes.

      And finally,

      • A jazzy A6 notebook, featuring dot grid pages and all over leafy printed cover.

      I think the noteblock with the lovely illustrated pages is my favourite item in the Flamingo Flavour collection, what’s yours‚Äč?

      Want Your Own?

      If you are interested in a Paperhaul Subscription, you can find out more here

      Subscriptions are ¬£10/month, with p&p extra (¬£2 UK, ¬£5 Europe, ¬£6 Rest of World). 

      Don’t forget, you can use code ” 25OFF ” to receive a 25% discount off your first Paperhaul box. 
      So, what do you think of the May collection, or Paperhaul in general? If you were familiar with the previous style, which do you prefer?

      Thanks for reading,

      Hugs,

      Crafty xx


      [MailCall Monday] 29 May 2017

      Last week was certainly busier on the mail front!

      Bookmail

      This week brought two ARCs from publishers Bonnier-Zaffre, via ReadersFirst. They actually arrived as I was packing for a weekend away, so the timing was perfect!

      The two books could not be more different!

      The Mayfly by James Hazel, with it’s murder and intrigue, is certainly more like my usual choice of reading material.

      Whilst The Farm Girl’s Dream by Eileen Ramsay seems rather different to the historical fiction I would normally select, I was intrigued by the fact it was set in and around my local area. I’ve picked up a little bit about both farming in Angus and the mills of Dundee during the Victorian era, so I’m eager to find out how accurate it is!

      Both are published on June 15th, so keep a lookout for my reviews nearer the time! 

      A Thank You Gift

      I must admit to being somewhat confused by this one, as although the envelope bore the sender’s franking, there was no covering note included.

      It was only afterwards that I had a vague recollection of completing a survey for museum services at one of the local universities.

      Dundee University Museum Services is run by a delightful chap by the name of Matthew; and as well as curating fantastic zoological & medical history museums; they organise a varied programme of exhibitions, talks and events throughout the year.

      A Cutie Fruity (May Boxcitement)

      I was surprised to receive this as it doesn’t seem like a whole month since I told you about the last one!

      Anyway, I’m just giving you a sneak peek as I’ll be posting a full unboxing later in the week

       In the meantime, if you want to find out more about Boxcitement you can check their website, or see my review of last month’s ‘Lost in the Woods’ box (where you’ll also find a code for 10% off your first box!)

      A Stationery Swap

      It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a swap, but when I noticed the lovely Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence was hosting one of her regular #BringBackPaper Stationery swaps, I had to join in. 

      She runs these very efficiently, you just email a note of interest and include your address, then she pairs you up with someone and emails you both the others address. You then have until the end of the month to send your partner a selection of stationery goodies, with a budget of ¬£5 (and yeah, of course I always manage to stick to that)  

      This time I was paired with someone named Stephanie, from London. I don’t think I’ve come across Steff before, but perhaps I’ll now get a comment saying “Hey! It’s MEEEE!! You know me as xxxx on yyyy

      When I saw the nicely tape decorated envelope, I knew what it was, as I recognised the return address on the sender’s label as being the one I had written on my parcel a few days before. 

      Inside the envelope, I found a decorated cellophane bag full of lovely papery bits.

      There was a good mix of stickers, paper, tape samples, postcards & embellishments.

      I loved having a good rummage, especially discovering what sort of treasures were in the stuffed envelopes.

      I just hope Steff enjoyed opening her goodies as much as I enjoyed opening mine! 
      So, that was the contents of my mailbox, did you receive any interesting mail last week?

      As always, thanks for stopping by!

      Hugs,

      Crafty, xxx

      HAPPY WORLD STATIONERY DAY [& Giveaway]

      As many of you probably know, this is National Stationery Week (also, yayyy! excuses to buy stationery!)

      Each day is dedicated to a different element of stationery, so why not play along with the Seven Days of Stationery?

       
       The theme this year is #WritingMatters, and there are lots of fun ways to encourage us all, adult and child alike to put pen to paper because #WritingMatters 

       There are lots of discounts, offers & giveaways throughout social media this week; and I’m trying to share as many as I can so make sure you follow me on Twitter!

      Speaking of giveaways….

        

      Have you entered mine yet? 

      Yes? Awesome! Good luck!!

      No? Why not? Quick go enter!!
      There are TWO prizes up for grabs, both goody bags stuffed full of stationery surprises. 


      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

      As always, thanks for stopping by; and Good Luck if you are entering the Giveaway.

      Hugs,

      Crafty xx