Personal: The Importance on Thank You Notes

I always mean to write thank-you notes after birthdays, after Christmas, but it’s something I’ve never gotten round to. DOn’t get me wrong, I always make sure I thank the person, just never a specially written note.

 photo 2015-06-28 10.53.24_zpsvboomoix.jpgTaking the time to handwrite a letter, seal it in an envelope, buy a stamp and then take a trip to the postbox expresses so much more gratitude than sending an email or text ever could. It tells the recipient that they’ve not been forgotten and shows them just how important they are to you. Handwritten notes also have some permanence. Many of us decide to keep an old shoe box over the years and fill it will letters and notes from family, friends or colleagues. Years later people often read back through those letters and remember the fond memories that are attached to them. The same feelings are not evoked through emails or text messages, physical letters are enduring and much more memorable.

Pen Heaven have found some of the most uplifting thank you notes to inspire you to reach out to someone you care about and say thank you.

The most thoughtful thank you note goes to… Emma Watson

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson took time in between filming to thank fellow actor Steve Carell. She wrote him a beautiful handwritten note for supporting her cause #HeForShe. Emma also shared her admiration for the actor at different parts in his career. Her beautiful words and of course that beautiful handwriting were bound to make Carell smile. Carell wore #HeForShe cufflinks to the Oscars when he was nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Foxcatcher. Watson did a great job at expressing her gratitude and wins the title of most thoughtful thank you note from us.

The thank you note with the most character goes to… Honor Smith

9 year old Honor Smith wrote a charming letter to the Virgin boss, Richard Branson. Clearly overwhelmed by the letter Sir Richard shared it across his social networking sites and took the time out of his busy schedule to handwrite a thank you note back to her. Young Honor Smith has so much bravery for writing this honest and open letter. Honour thanked him for sharing a video on dyslexia and explained how his video has helped her overcome the issue. This letter was bound to make Sir Richard feel incredibly proud and what an incredible little girl Honor is to write this note, she truly deserves the award for thank you note with the most character.

The most emotional thank you note goes to… Bethanie

This touching letter was written by a lady named Bethanie and given to the pilots who took her home. In the heartfelt note, Bethanie showed compassion, gratitude and appreciation for a job that is often overlooked. The timing of this letter made it even more impactful as it was delivered shortly after the tragic Germanwings plane crash. The letter did as Bethanie wanted and ‘spread love’ as the grateful pilot took to Twitter to share the note which then went viral. This was bound to bring a tear to the eye of the pilot who received it and is worthy of the most emotional thank you note award.

The thank you note everyone wants to receive goes to… Beyonce

One of the most idolised women in the world, Beyonce wrote a moving thank you note to First Lady Michelle Obama. There is no doubt that Beyonce is one of the most powerful women in the world and to see that she has written a handwritten thank you note is humbling and shows just how grounded the queen of music really is. In the handwritten note Beyonce thanked Michelle for being a great role model for her and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. There is not one woman out there that wouldn’t want to receive that letter so the award for the thank you note everyone want to receive is definitely from Beyonce.

The most inspiring thank you note goes to… Barack Obama

Now we turn to the President of the United States, Barack Obama who in 2010 wrote a heartwarming letter directly to Life of Pi author Yann Martel. If this note doesn’t inspire creativity then we’re not sure what would. Not many people will have the privilege of receiving a handwritten letter from Barack Obama but Mr Martel is a very lucky man. In the beautiful note Obama described Life of Pi as an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling. There’s no denying that Obama is a busy man so it’s incredibly humbling to see that he took the time to write this beautiful note, it makes you want to step up and write or do something that impacts somebody as much as this book clearly has. That’s why the award for the most inspiring thank you note goes to Barack Obama.

After sharing Pen Heaven’s favourite thank you notes we turned to CEO David Cole and asked him how he feels when he receives a handwritten thank you note.

“Receiving a handwritten letter creates feelings of excitement. It’s not often we get them so it’s always a very pleasant surprise to see a handwritten envelope in between a pile of bills. There is something incredibly personal about a handwritten note, the gratitude that it expresses, the memories that it brings back and the appreciation you feel really does boost your mood.”

Now it’s time for you to send a thank you note to someone that truly deserves it.

*Sponsored post from Pen Heaven

Whilst I don’t often send thank you notes, I do like sending and receiving handwritten letters. Me and W used to write to each other at university and I loved receiving the letters – I’ve kept all of them too. Do you send handwritten notes?

Lifestyle: What’s on my Desk (Office Edition)

I love reading other student blogs about how they study, what stationery they use (I’m a stationery addict!) and I’ve been itching to update you all on my own. Thing is, I’m technically a student this year, but not really – out on my placement year I’m working in a fancy office, with massive desk and two (sometimes three) computer screens. Pretty sure what’s on my desk isn’t as exciting as most students, though I’ve tried to make it as ‘me’ as possible.

 photo f50ac2a4-1d99-42ab-954e-7b04ce7634e6_zpsb0gkadx4.jpg photo 2846c901-b355-49f1-8973-5798b328c73f_zps9rnmwass.jpgI’ve found a good stapler and hole punch an absolute must in the office. Anything printed has to be filed away immediately, and definitely not left unattended on your desk (confidentiality and all that)…and whilst the printer generally at least handles the stapling side (but not for my fancy Adobe software that took four months for IT to give me permission to have) hole-punching is definitely beyond its capabilities. I prefer to keep these items as small as possible, and I’ve found Leitz to offer some great ones. The hole-punch* might be small, but it can still go through at least 25 sheets. The stapler* is pretty damn strong, and it also comes with a 5-year guarantee…though I’m finding it pretty difficult to find Leitz branded staples!

As I’m on placement, I have a mountain of paperwork I need to keep up to date with from university. Monthly blogs, quarterly reviews, a report, plus gradings from my supervisor and the standard H&S rubbish. This all gets thrown into the Leitz magazine rack* – not only functional and sturdy, the lovely pink colour really brightens up my desk!

 photo 2014-09-24175026_zps64eef189.jpg photo 13bb4b5a-0572-4b23-93d0-fc022f362a89_zpsdefa7e5f.jpgRegular readers will know I can’t live without my Filofax, and this has become even more true for this year. Keeping track of meetings when I’m not in the office would be impossible without it, as I don’t have a laptop (reason: I requested not to have one as I’d never switch off). I also use it to keep note of what I’ve been doing, meal planning, calorie counting, and blog organisation. You could say my entire life is in there!

 photo 2de67eb9-89f8-4edb-a0ad-a4fd471cacff_zpsxuimufpd.jpgSome beauty treats also feature in my desk – my top drawer is actually dedicated to them! I couldn’t live without a decent handcream or lipbalm – air conditioning is a killer! My current handcream is from Yes Nurse*, and is one of the better ones I’ve used. Lightly and subtly fragranced (I loved one from Orla Kiely, but the smell made it impossible to take to work), quick to absorb and it comes with an adorable cover. It also raises funds for Breast Cancer Care, to which I donated on receiving this to review. I’m unfussy about lipbalms, and tend to switch between Bodyshop offerings, or Burts Bees. I’ll always have the lipstick I started the day wearing in my handbag too!

 photo 74f2d434-3c32-4551-90e0-047e3dec8a76_zpspedgkr5j.jpgPens are one of the banes of my life (along with my hair). Being left-handed everything seems to smudge. I get covered in ink and my work is illegible. For rough notes I’ve taken to using BIC biros*, as they are cheap, cheerful and come in pretty colours. I can’t use these for proper notes though, as they do smudge if I write properly. So I’m still resorting to my Pental Frixon erasable ones – and yep, they still cost a small fortune.

 photo 04f3618d-67f6-4753-aa1f-f9f6161a75d4_zpsmdmboahr.jpg photo 04765d23-91d3-402e-b297-a1bd49b12ede_zpsy26jda6s.jpgOther less exciting things – a stock of fruit (apples and oranges seem to last best at work), and some emergency biscuits and chocolates. The lovely mug W got me for Christmas. My Logitech mouse, it’s so much easier on my RSI strained hand. A stash of Yorkshire teabags (the company provide PG Tips…), and a pair of black ballet flats (so if it rains I can walk to work in wellies and change).

It’s a wonder there’s any space left on my desk to work! What are your desktop essentials? 

Student Summer: A Filofax for University

My first Filofax is one of my most treasured possessions, and I’m rarely without it. It was a gift from my parents for my A-level results, and I was so, so, so sure it was the one I wanted. Sure it was expensive at the time (around £50) but it’s definitely been worth it. Its not fallen apart like past diaries, and I actually want to use it. Plus I’ve had offers/emails to buy at at ridiculously high prices (I’m not selling) as it turns out it’s actually quite a rare organiser. Anyway, I thought I’d do an update on the system I’ve got set up for now – it’s working really well for keeping me organised whilst on my placement, and also worked well during my second year. Here we go…

 photo 2014-09-24175026_zps64eef189.jpgI’ve finally found a pen that fits in the pen loop of my Malden! I was sent this Pink Gold Parker pen a few months ago from Pen Heaven (see here) and I keep it in my filofax all of the time. Means I will always have a pen with me, though I do wish it was black ink.

 photo 4bce8a46-d4a7-4f15-91af-c4b1efccba35_zpsefa76f54.jpgOnto the inserts, and I’ve finally found my perfect combination for keeping myself organised. I was going to take photos of the system in action, but I’ve gotten rid of last year’s inserts, and my placement involves some confidential details. So blank pages it is! I use the standard mid-year diary from Filofax – a week to view. Sandwiched between this is an undated ‘day’ planner for each week. This gives me enough space to add daily appointments/meetings/lectures, important things, deadlines, to-do’s and notes. For university, I’d generally put my lectures into the standard diary, and all other important things into the planner.

 photo 13bb4b5a-0572-4b23-93d0-fc022f362a89_zpsdefa7e5f.jpgTo keep track of deadlines, payment dates and boyfriend visits I like using a fold out year planner, though monthly planners are also useful. My pretty dividers are from an Ebay seller – I can’t remember the name off the top of my head, but I do have her business card at home so will add it in soon. I also have inserts tracking finances and address of networking contacts, but obviously it’s not appropriate to post pictures of those on my blog!

I’ve found going simple with my Filofax is the key – I was using an undated planner for each day, but found that required a lot of work keeping it completely up to date. This way is much simpler, and it’s easier to keep track of the whole week too. I may get mocked by my friends for having a Filofax, my bag may be slightly heavier, but I find a paper diary so much easier to handle than typing into my phone. Plus technology always breaks on me – hence why my blog has been offline with a down server for the last few days (sorry guys!). Paper is the way I’m going from now on!

 photo 2014-09-24175015_zps1b3bd22c.jpgOh, a little note about Student Summer…with the sad end of summer, and the great reaction to the series, I’ll be continuing with University themed posts every weekend. Unsure yet whether it will be Student Saturdays or just University, but either way they will be sticking with the blog past summer now! So…

How do you stay organiser?

Student Summer: What to Take to University #4

I really hope these posts have been useful to you! I know I’d have loved blog posts like this when I started university, but for some reason I only really started reading blogs well after starting this one. Strange I know! Today I’m going to witter on about stationery to take to university. So grab a pen and paper (aha!) and we’ll begin…

 photo 2014-09-11174233_zpse91a20d3.jpgPaper and pens. I have to say this is quite important to me. I’m a leftie so a decent pen is a must or I will smudge everything to an illegible smear. It’s happened before, even with biro. Pilot Frixion erasable pens are my weapons of choice, being able to rub out makes my lecture notes so much neater too. I’m also not a huge fan of colour until I revise, so I stick to black. But it’s up to you. I also like doing rough work in pencil, so I always have a handful of those on the go. As for paper I go for Ryman’s giant refill pads, bought on 3 for 2 with student discount they are the best value I’ve found, and the quality is high enough so you don’t get that dreadful scratchy sound when you writ.

Now, I’d just go with the organisational basics until you get started and learn what the module layout etc is going to be like. Pick up a single folder and some plastic wallets; buy more as you go. I have a system now (as an actuarial student) of one folder per module, with that upgraded to a lever-arch it the module is a thirty-credit one. My original plan of one lever arch per year is far from achievable; sometimes I fill a lever arch with a module!

 photo 2014-09-11174312_zpsbf6cbb15.jpgNext up is a diary. This is so, so, so important – you will absolutely have deadlines to write down. By all means use your phone if it works for you, but most people I know have to write it down physically. Me? I couldn’t live without my Filofax. I was bought a Pink Personal Malden for my A-Level results (over two years ago!) and I’m virtually never without it. Not only does it look pretty (and matches my satchel) it’s also so, so functional. I’ll be doing a post specifically on how I use it for university soon, if you like, but I do highly recommend a Filofax if you’re a stationery geek like me. With only the inserts to buy (or make) after the initial purchase you have a full customisable diary for a relatively decent price. Mine is always by my side or in my bag, it genuinely keeps my life on track!

Stapler, hole punch, ruler, rubber, pencil sharpener, scissors. Basics that are just handy to have around – you’ll probably need to secure coursework together at some point so a stapler is a must.

Now, a printer is something I’m unsure about. I had one in my first year, then sold it in the carpark whilst packing up as it was that one thing that didn’t quite fit. In my second year we shared one. I *think* I’ll pick up a cheap one for my final year as it’s just so much easier to have one. Printing on campus is extortionate in my opinion, and I can rarely bring myself to do it. I’ll admit though, most of my printing is saved up til I’m at home and then someone else foots the ink bill!

 photo 2014-05-09174211_zpsc2453d48.jpgBooks. No doubt you’ll have a long list of ‘recommended’ books that you ‘have’ to purchase at the ‘reasonable’ price of 10 billion pounds…sarcasm is a strong point here. I’d leave off ordering any until you get there and work out what’s in the library, and whether you actually need them. In terms of recommended books, I’ve only bought one in two years (and it was worth it), and borrowed one from the library. My tip is to google your module name and find other books on Amazon (quite often just older editions of what you need) – you’ll find similar books, and quite often you’ll get used copies for a fraction of the price. I bought loads and loads of books for second year this way, I paid around £40 for 10 books including delivery. Great for when I was recovering from my operation that summer as it gave me something to do! Even though the books can be quite old, they are normally fine though I’d avoid if you’re doing a degree with changing information..I was quite amused when one book came not with a CD, but a floppy disk…

 photo 2014-09-11174422_zps284c6e51.jpgIn terms of revision gear, I’d recommend buying it when you need it. But I use erasable highlighters, erasable colour pens (sensing a theme here?), post-it notes, record cards and lots and lots of paper.

What stationery do you use at university/college/school/work?

Blogger Link Up: Coping With University Timetables

I know when I first started university I really struggled with keeping up with my timetable each week – it changed! I generally had very few changes, but even those threw me and until I got myself organised I quite often found myself rubbing shoulders in a History lecture (for those that don’t know, I study Maths…). I wish I’d had this post by Loretta from The University Project to help organise me! I hope its helpful for you:

 photo photo29_zps48e7fbaa.jpgAt sixth form my timetable varied on a fortnightly basis as in I had a Week A and a Week B but when I got to University I thought that I would end up with a nice weekly timetable as some of my friends had. Boy was I wrong my timetable is different from one week to the next and some weeks I can have just 4 hours of lectures whereas the next I can have up to 30 hours. This made developing a routine very difficult and it was something that I really struggled with during my first year at University but I feel like I got the hang of it much better in my second year.

I don’t know if it is the same for all Universities but I generally have about 2-4 weeks to complete most of my assignments and generally I know when all of my midterm exams are at the start of the semester. I often find myself tempted to put off doing work until the next week but my timetable means that sometimes this is the best option if say the following week I have a low hour week and will have a good day or so to focus solidly on my work. However if the week of the deadline is a high hour week then putting off my assignments to this week generally leads to high stress levels and me not completing my work to the best of my ability.

So here are my tips that I have come up with for combatting the demands of a varying timetable:

  1. Have a diary. I am an avid believer in having some form of organiser to keep me on track and I am very rarely seen without my Filofax but you don’t necessarily have to have a paper based diary and I have a lot of friends at University who swear by Google Calendar as you can still colour code events as well as having the option to get reminders sent directly to your inbox or smartphone so you never accidentally miss a deadline.
  2. Get into a routine. This is perhaps the most painful thing to develop and it took me a good month to get into my routine but even on days when I don’t have 9am lectures, or any lectures at all I still set my alarm for 7.30am and try to get up and ready as though I did have an early lecture to go to so that I start working early on in the day.
  3. Make the most of your Library. This might just be me and my lack of self-control but I find that I am much more likely to focus and do my work if I make the effort to go to the library rather than staying in my room all day where the draw of my bed and Netflix is often too tempting! On my low hour weeks I often have at least one day which is completely free and I try to spend this in the Library so I can either get a head start on next week if it is heavy hour week or play catch up if I have had a few heavy hour weeks in a row!

Like I said it took me most of first year to get into a good routine and even now I still have days where I am completely unproductive and end up making more work for myself in the long run but I am relieved that I have at least figured out what I need to do to stay on track before I have started third year which is worth a whopping 2/3 of my degree!

Thanks Loretta for this great post! I know I’ll be putting some of the tips to great use! Remember to check out her blog here.

Do you have a varying timetable? How do you manage it?

 

Blogger Link-Up: Stationery for University

First of all I’d like to thank Chloe for allowing me to write a blog post for her amazing (& yummy blog – seriously the images always make me drool)..

My name is Sarah and I’m a 19 year old university student due to finish university in 2016! I blog over at EverydayConcepts about organisation, beauty, fashion and entertainment as well doing some giveaways so keep tuned!

Since I am really obsessed in love with anything related to organisation and stationery, I thought what could make a better post than where my passions lie?!

Before starting university, I went onto a massive stationery haul and purchased many things I didn’t even need. This caused me to waste a lot of money and just stare at the beautiful writing instruments and gorgeous notebooks I wouldn’t be needing. By the time second year started I sold nearly all of my items on ebay at discounted prices which was bad in terms of me losing money but good in terms of me allowing others to feed their passion and helping them get organised for cheaper!

However, I learnt my lesson. In year two, I stuck with a strict budget and only purchased items I needed:

 photo DiaryOrganiser_zps5969491d.jpg1) Diary/Organiser – This is a definite item all students should purchased. I’ve had a bit of a hassle finding out how to organise myself jumping from well known organisers to self-made diaries. Then, I popped into my local supermarket and found the diary of my dreams for only 70p!!! Advice: Always visit supermarkets first before hitting large stationery outlets.

 photo NotebookArchlever_zpsaf81c7ff.jpg2) Notebooks – I prefer good quality Oxford notebooks. I purchased two A4 ones to see if they lasted me a whole year and luckily they did! I LOVE the paper quality and how smoothly the pen writes on them!

 photo Writing_zpsf2cc1250.jpg3) Pens – Obviously a MUST (unless you use your IPad which I have seen many students use but I’d hate all my work to get lost in a dramatic technology fail!) I use Papermate inkjoys for note-making in my own time and frixion pens for rushy lectures and seminars because then at least I can rub wrong things out! I’ve not really used highlighters because I get carried away and highlight everything , so instead I use sticky notes which brings me onto my next point.

 photo StickyNotes_zps7b2415d1.jpg4) Sticky notes – These have saved me a lot of times. I am forever indebted to you sticky notes! During revision time, I use larger ones which I stick around my room. They are always popping out from my diary reminding me of deadlines and meetings. Finally, they always allow me to further cut down my notes into concise versions which are easier to remember – they are the reason for my success.

5) Arch Levers  – I have two arch levers – one with a copy of all my assignments and grades and another with all my notes. The one with my assignments and grades usually stays put until I print out everything however the one with notes sleeps under my bed! I update the notes throughout the year and collaborate notes from other modules together and develop them with further research. This helps greatly when it comes to revision.

On a final note, don’t splurge on stationery and stick to what you really need, unless of course you use your IPad (or other technology). It’s best to always see what sort of modules your degree entails – if it’s more chemistry/maths based, go overboard with the notebooks and pens! If it’s more hands on, only buy the essentials. As for me, I’m on intercalation for the following academic year, so it will be great to see what I discover however I won’t be able to indulge in stationery much! Also, for the 1st anniversary of my blog (29th July) I will be doing a HUGE stationery giveaway and fundraising for a charity so stay tuned!

Sarah 🙂

Massive thanks to Sarah for writing this post – I know I find organisation really important for university! I’ll definitely be entering her giveaway, and although I don’t want you to ruin my chances keep an eye on her blog here.

What’s your must-have bits of stationery?

University: Revision Tips

 photo 2014-05-09174242_zps78c4f233.jpgProbably a little bit late in the year for this, as I’m guessing most students will be coming up to their exams (and some lucky people will have finished theirs!) but I thought I’d tell you all how I study best…I’m currently revising like a mad woman for my second year exams, so this post is rather apt!

 photo 2014-05-09174306_zpsdfc56335.jpgI will spread out my work around me, either on the floor, or on a large table (I used to have an L-shaped desk at home which was perfect, but sadly that went when my room was redecorated). I’ll work on a module at a time (usually spending a whole day on it) so I’ll have any related text-books or university material (for my Actuarial exams we are given notes from the Profession’s study support – they are amazingly useful, so make the most of any resources you have provided) out, along with my notes, print outs of questions, and enough stationery to stock WHSmiths…

 photo 2014-05-09174211_zpsc2453d48.jpgA little note on textbooks – my thrifty self likes to try and avoid buying books (or stick to related ones for 1p on Amazon) but I bought a recommended book for the first time this year and its definitely helped. If you’re struggling with a module I’d recommend it! My top top is to make notes on post-it notes rather than in the book, then you can sell it on for more at the end of the year (I got £75 Amazon credit for my A-level and first year books a few months ago!).

Revision photo 2014-05-09174200_zpse9b3f7a5.jpgI try to keep complete neat notes throughout the year, then can spend my revision time doing exercise sheets and past exams – for maths students there is nothing better that practice! When doing questions I try to stick to a left-hand ‘column’ on the page so I can write notes down the side, including a model answer when I get things wrong. If the question involves a theorem or definition I’ll also write it in a different colour to try and reinforce the point. I’ll always try to write out questions too, as then I have a clearer idea of why I’m doing what I’m doing…

 photo 2014-05-09174218_zpsa5e264ed.jpgOne of my biggest problems is staying organised, so I use my Filofax to help me with that. I also find that I quite often head out to the library without a pencil case (sooo annoying…I had to pay £4 for a pen on campus once…), so I’d been on the lookout for a thin one to keep in the tiny pen loop in my Filofax. I was kindly sent this stunning Pink Gold Parker Pen* (£59.00, Pen Heaven) a few weeks ago, and I adore it. Its the perfect colour, and nicely weighted (not heavy, but not light like your basic biro either!), and writes amazingly smoothly. There’s no chance of this being left behind, I love it! I don’t use it for everyday notes as I love erasable ink far too much, but for just about everything else I’m using it. I’m really looking forward to using it at work next year – its so professional looking, but still feminine. Can’t you tell I’m in love with this pen?! Revision is sending me mad…

So, my top tips for revision?

  • Stay organised throughout the year, so its not a mad rush at the end to work out what you should have learnt!
  • Have a clear plan of what you want to do each day, but make sure it is achievable. Nothing worse than feeling bad because you couldn’t do the 20 past papers you wanted too…
  • Take regular breaks, and eat healthily, snacking as you go (remember to keep an eye out for the Healthy Snack post as part of my Blogger Link Up!)
  • Turn off distractions. I turn my wifi/data off on my phone (it also means I don’t need to remember to charge it every night), and have deleted social media apps from my tablet as I still use it for solutions.
  • Don’t feel bad about saying no. You need to revise, and going out shopping/partying/etc won’t help that – be proud that you are trying to do your best, and don’t be pressured into giving up your time.
  • Don’t do all-nighters. It’ll muck up your sleeping pattern, and your exams aren’t at night!

But my absolute top tip…?

 photo 2014-05-14162350_zps075d47b7.jpgDon’t give yourself repetitive strain injury (in the wrist of your writing hand) the week before your seven exams start! I’ve managed to either over-do writing (not sure how, as I definitely used to write more when I did essay-subjects for A-Levels) or damage my wrist some other way, and am now struggling to write comfortable for more than 20 minutes at a time. Lets just say I’m a little worried about a three-hour stretch… However, stock up on painkillers and tea (hey, a girl needs restoration fluid!) and invest in a wrist support. Take vitamins regularly before the exam period to keep your immune system running, and generally just take care of yourself – I’ll be sure to the next time I have exams!

Good luck to all readers who have exams, and (if you have time) – how do you revise?

Giveaway: 150 Followers

 photo Cakes_zps07155248.jpg

A few days ago I got a rather welcome email – I’d finally hit 150 followers on Bloglovin’. This was shortly followed by hitting a rather larger milestone in terms on email subscribers (which then disappeared when I moved my hosting, though I am assured WordPress are in the process of moving this over!), so I thought I’d treat my readers to a little giveaway.

Its not a huge giveaway unfortunately, as I am restricted on budget, but it does contain some products that I absolutely love, and things that I would genuinely want for myself. The ‘prizes’ are:

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This includes some majorly cute ‘list books’ which I think would be perfect for shopping lists, jotting down blog ideas, or to-do lists for all those important student deadlines. There’s some matching giant paperclips (I just liked them, and they would be great for organisation!), then continuing the shopping theme a shopper key-ring with a coin for the trolley. I always find these useful as then it means I can store my pounds securely in a piggy bank rather than risk spending them! On the beauty side there’s a thin nail file, which I find great for slipping into plastic wallets for work/uni in case of breakages.

Finally there’s some great bits from my favourite budget brand MUA – a power pout in a gorgeous nude shade, that has a hint of coral about it. I love these lip products, and this colour is definitely my favourite! Finally there’s two eyeshadows. I find these pans aren’t too chalky (there’s only a bit of glitter fallout) and stay on surprisingly well.

Oh, and there’s also a lip-balm from the Bodyshop (I completely forgot to photograph it with the rest of the stuff!) and a few other little bits and pieces if I can get hold of them!

I’m sorry this probably isn’t as great as some giveaways (trust me, I’d like to be able to afford high-end products for me, let alone to giveaway!) but I really wanted to thank my readers. All you need to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking forward to reading the comment everyone – and thank-you for letting me reach all of these milestones. I never dreamt when I started blogging that anyone would read my posts, and now being included in round-ups and even nominated for awards is just so amazing – I’m totally grateful to you all!

Weekend Wishlist (#1)

This isn’t going to be a regular series (you all know from my Fortnightly Finds that I can’t keep that up!) but I thought it would be nice to do. I like to map how my tastes change over time, but I also like to keep a note of things I really like just in case I win the lottery. So here goes with my first wishlist!

PicMonkey Collage

I’ve become a massive fan of Revlon’s lip products by reading various blogs, and I want their new stains/balms in pretty much all colours. I’m trying to resist the temptation but one has already accidentally made its way home with me! I’m going to have to resist though as I had some large and unexpected expenditure to deal with this week – so no pennies left for treats!

As you know from this post a few weeks ago, I love Massaman curry. I’m craving it again, but I can’t afford the paste, fish sauce and tamarind that I know it needs…I’m going to start picking up ingredients gradually over the next few weeks to spread out the cost!

It’s getting very cold at night, and rather than turn the heating up (and raise the bills!) I’ve been relying on blankets to keep cosy. I love this one from Muji (which happens to be one of my favourite shops at the moment!).

Valentine’s is coming up, and everything seems to be turning red/pink and heart-covered. I’m normally not a fan of this, but I’ve taken a shine to this notebook from Paperchase. I really am a stationary lover, though already have far too many notebooks!

Since receiving Naked 3 for Christmas I’ve been on the lookout for a good eye-primer to really enhance the shadows. The Artdeco one is something I really want to try at some point.

You probably all know that I’m a fan of Filofaxes – whilst I love mine I think this Osterley would be the perfect compliment to it. Having said that, the new release Filofaxes should be published around now, so I’m looking forward to seeing what will be available to buy this year.

Finally, I really fell in love with this shirt dress in Dorothy Perkins today. I love shirt dresses as they tend to fit me perfectly, and I love the pattern and colours of this. So pretty!

Have you fallen in love with anything recently?

Review: Stationery Haul from Elba & Oxford Campus Notebooks

Over my summer break I was contacted by two lovely ladies who offered me a range of stationery items from Elba and Oxford. I obviously squealed with excitement, and waited patiently for the postman to arrive…which he duly did with a very large box. Here’s what was inside…

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As you can see, I have a lovely big haul there! I’m a stationery lover, but what really appeals to me about these brands is the functionality of their goods. Much as I do enjoy looking at it, I’m not one for really pretty stationary. For one I’d be too scared to use it, and quite often it is out of budget. If that is your thing though, I recommend you try out Wilkinson’s, as they always seem to have a great range.

Here’s what the lovely ladies sent me:

 

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A Campus Notebook from Oxford. As a lot of stationery-lovers will know, this is a brand well known for its thick and good quality paper. I personally have never used it – I HAVE to use narrow ruled and so I will be gifting this to my lovely housemate and blogger Libby (check out her blog here, and the amazing amount of make-up I get to borrow!). I also have an issue with spiral bound notebooks being left handed – it’s refill pads all the way for me!

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There was a couple of these in the box (one in a lovely sunny yellow, the other a vibrant red). They are nice and sturdy document holders, secure but still extremely lightweight.

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As all sides of anything inside is protected, these are slightly better than the cheap ones you can buy on the highstreet, and so I would definitely recommend these.

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Next up is one of my favourite products, or at least the one I needed immediately. This is again a pretty generic product, but with an Elba twist. Here is is the usual plastic folder with plastic pocket inserts, but the addition of an elastic closure just keeps it looking neat and professional. This will be used to hold my CV, exam certificates, and all other things I may need for an interview.

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Very similar to a previous product, this blue folder actually takes the form of a box, closed by elastic. I would definitely not recommend this for carrying around stationery, but for storing things in the home I find it useful – it currently housing my spare plastic wallets perfectly!

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Then there was a couple of again pretty generic items with a twist. First up is the black ringbinder (above, the blue one on top is from WHSmiths). As you can see, it is a good deal wider than regular ring-binders, and so it easily accommodates the extra wide dividers I love so much. A word of warning; if you wish to use dividers with plastic pockets you will need extra wide ones, or to make your own as I did last year. Comment if you want a tutorial in this!

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Next up is a lever-arch folder. Again pretty generic (not extra-wide this time!) but with a twist; the side is curved, making it easier to grab off your shelves. An interesting innovation, perhaps not something I would pay extra for (unlike the extra width), but it does seem to make things easier. Again, I will be donating this to one of my housemates for their use, as it upsets my folder colour scheme…more about that in another post!

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Next up is a prettier folder; this has become my everyday to-uni folder. I’m a little disappointed it isn’t extra wide, but it is still a little wider than regular binders. This is nice and strong, very sturdy rings (beats WHSmiths by a mile!), and the two sets of rings close independently of each other, which does take some getting used to.

 

Now, a little word about the promotions these companies are currently running (exciting stuff hey);

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First up there is the free cinema ticket, with two qualifying purchases. All you do is peel back the sticker to reveal the code, plug into a website and off you go (after a bit of waiting obviously). As the cost of two products will be less than a cinema ticket, it really will save you money!

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Finally there is the Oxford Big Project. Unfortunately entries have now closed, but you can still view and then vote (from the 15.10.13) here.

 

And that is my little review of my lovely stationery haul. Thank you so much to Elba and Oxford for sending me your items – I highly recommend these companies as the products really are of a fantastic quality, and with little twists are actually a lot more functional than items which are readily available. Check them out on Amazon!

 

If you liked this post, check out my post previously on student organisation. Any stationery loving readers out there? What brands do you recommend?