Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

My name is Alice and I write letters.
Almost two years ago Gemma and I decided to send each other a card, and from that moment on my love for letter writing began.
65 letters, 47 cards and 19 post cards later...
This has become one of my very favourite past times and hobbies.
I am lucky to have found so many lovely pen pals along the way. I feel sad that it took me all this time to realise, but I know that however far technology takes us into the future, letter writing will always be significant and serve a purpose in my life.
The beauty of letter writing is that, however deep or dark your thoughts, or equally bright and cheery, there is always someone to listen to what you have to say. Words can’t heal us, or stop our minds worrying, but they can soothe and uplift us on the darkest of days. A problem shared is a problem halved, and sometimes just sealing that envelope and popping it through the post box lets free all those racing emotions.
In letter writing consistency is not dates or deadlines, the real advantage is that there is no set structure. You can always pick up exactly where you left off, if life gets busy its okay to take a break.
Of course there’s the fun part too, sending or receiving a birthday card from your pen pal is always that litte bit special, as it only comes around once a year. A postcard from a holiday or another country is always exciting. I made it my mission to send as many postcards as possible from my trip to Paris in March.
I knew right from the off I wanted to make it special because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would have loved receiving a token of french nostalgia. I posted the cards moments after I had got engaged, right from the bottom of the Eiffel tower, which marks a very special moment in my life.
Stamps have a nostalgic nature to them, postmarks and dates serve as a great reminder of times, seasons and years.
Penpalling is not going to set you back a lot of money, of course to begin letter writing you need the essential kit: a pen, paper and envelopes but it’s pretty much free reign from there on. I’ve received a whole host of amazing papers and envelopes, although it’s truly the words that count, a nicely presented letter is always a bonus. Be as imaginative as you like, sometimes the smallest of details are the most sincere.
Postage can be first or second class, sometimes the mystery of when your letter will arrive adds to the thrill. I always buy my stamps in books of 6 or 12, so it doesn’t mean queuing at the post office for just one stamp. Buying in bulk can often mean you have some set aside for a rainy day too.
Stamps make great presents too, my Mr once bought me a Smilers stamp sheet customised with 20 first class stamps and a photograph of Jasper as a birthday gift. This was one of the most thoughtful and useful gifts I’ve ever received.
Maybe one day I’ll look back on this time in my life, and relish the fact I made some truly amazing pals, and hopefully still be in touch with.
Butterflies courtesy of Jem.
It doesn’t take an extraordinary person to be a great pen pal, all you really need is commitment and promise and with that you might just brighten up someone’s life.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Boots Gift Guide 2012

It’s that time of year again where I go mad for the Boots Christmas gift guide and bookmark all my favourite picks of the season…
I have had this obsession for some time now; I’m pretty much a Boots Christmas gift addict. See Here, Here, Here, Here and Here.
I must admit this year, I’m not obsessing over as many brands as usual, I’ve grown away from the coveted Soap and Glory sets and luxurious perfume gift sets, as lovely as they are, for me it’s all about one brand...Joules.
Without sounding like a Joules junkie, I’ve got to admit that I’m pretty smitten with their whole Christmas range at Boots, and when I say whole range, I mean the ladies, mens (yes mens), home and children’s. Deary me!
My favourite picks are the Wonderful Weekend Bag and Sensational Breakfast Set, and I know I am a grown up and all, but I can’t help but fall for the Winnie Washbag. Like literally I went to Boots the other day just to see this in the actual shop and it’s everything I could ever wish for, and they even have a Robot version for boys! This is firmly on my Christmas wish list.
Hello Kitty Liberty have returned with another collection, but only a few pieces seem to have captured me, which is a shame. I must admit I’m feeling a little sad that this is the first year without a Celia Birtwell range – which has always been one of my very favourites.
My mind might change come the Boxing Day sale (read: will), I sure do know how to pick a bargain up on sale day, but for now my heart sincerely belongs to Joules.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Tale of Friendship

A little while ago I took a trip to the little village of Marple to see one of my oldest and best friends. We met when we were sixteen, whilst at college we studied textiles together for two years and bonded in our spare time over boys, fashion and Dawson’s Creek -how na├»ve we once were!
Despite living miles apart, our friendship has always stayed alive and I truly believe that real friendship never leaves you. We’ve seen each other through the best and the worst. Spending time with someone who knows what means the most to you in the whole world makes you believe not only in yourself, but in your dreams too. Sometimes you meet someone who you know is always going to be in your life. The girl who is going to be by your side on your wedding day.
I love you G and always will.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Treasure Seeker

Yesterday I made a trip to my local TK Maxx because they had planned a grand re-opening after some changes to the store recently. I had pencilled this day into my diary as I knew they were giving away some free gift cards to the first 200 customers.
I’ve always loved searching high and low in TK Maxx for the best bargains, so this was too good a chance to miss out on. I stood in a little queue amongst some more savvy shoppers (a little like a jumble sale) but it resulted in me receiving a £10 gift card for free to spend on whatever I may wish. I decided to raid the upstairs, the home section will always win me over and I headed towards the stationery, whilst there I spotted a set of drawers in the corner of my eye and instantly knew it was a Joules print. To say I have been shopping in TK Maxx for over seven years I have never ever seen anything of Joules before, which is why it was quite a pleasant surprise.
These drawers were priced at £9.99 and my gift card was for £10, which made me think it must have been meant to be right from the start. I’ve always had a soft spot for Joules, especially after visiting some of their gorgeous stores in Cornwall this summer; I’m such a lover of their beautiful floral prints.
I always feel a little burst of excitement when shopping in TK Maxx because you never know what you are going to find, and that is predominantly why I love shopping there. These drawers are the perfect addition to my nearly finished craft room and I’m sure will find a lovely home on my desk.

Friday, 5 October 2012

For All The Cat Lovers

I’m such a sucker for a freebie and when it comes to my feline friend it sure is almost certain I will fall head over heels. When I saw the advert on TV for this free Whiskas bowl I had presumed it would be a send away token offer- where you often pay more in P&P costs, which then defeats the object of it being free.
When I was at Morrisons this morning and saw a promotional stand, I just couldn’t quite believe my luck. The ceramic bowl I had wished after, was there ready to take, if you buy two packs of certain varieties of Whiskas pouches or tins (which are on offer at £3.00 currently) you get the bowl absolutely free.
I was sold right from the start, the bowl not only is ceramic but also shaped so your cats not going to bump his/her whiskas. One thing is for sure Jasper is one spoilt kitty cat.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Push and Shove

Last week a new CD dropped through my letterbox, of course it was the long awaited return of No Doubt, a band I have devoted so much love to. You may or may not know that Gwen Stefani is my favourite person in the whole entire world, and has been for the past ten years. I just know it will always remain that way, she’s my ultimate idol. ♥
When I purchased my first No Doubt record a decade ago I was oblivious to realise how one chance purchase would soon become a lifelong obsession. Push and Shove is such a fresh and welcome addition to an impressive back catalogue. With a warm and familiar sound, I’m totally hooked and can’t stop reminiscing. It almost feels like I’m fifteen again.
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