For The Love of Snail Mail

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Like a lot of people, I spend a LOT of my time communicating in the online world. Whether I’m writing here, contributing content elsewhere, chatting on social media, replying to emails…well, the list goes on! I don’t think it’s so much a ‘blogger’ thing – it’s just the way a lot of us tend to live now.

It sure is a huge amount of digital interaction, but on the flip side, I also get a massive kick out of sending and receiving post. It might not be as quick (actually, it DEFINITELY isn’t!), but there is still something really special about a letter or parcel landing on my doormat. Today, I want to revel in my love of snail mail a little bit!

Even when I was a kid, I used to get very excited if I had any kind of mail. At that time though, chances were that my post was coming from one of the following two sources:
1. My granny, who without fail would post me a birthday or Christmas card (even though we saw each other all the time and she could have just as easily given me it in person!), or
2. The horse that I had adopted (adopting animals was pretty huge when I was eight. You could either have a dolphin or a horse, from what I remember). I was clearly so giddy from receiving the mail to wonder how the horse managed to type said letters.

Now, I may be older but the novelty of snail mail still lingers. A few of my friends live quite far away, so we only get to see each other once or twice a year. As sucky as that is, we’ve turned it into a positive through keeping in touch by post! Not only does it give me the opportunity to actually USE some of the cute stationary that I have a habit of accumulating hoarding, but I genuinely love the ritual of writing a letter or putting together a wee care package.

It feels genuine and personal, which is why I enjoy it so much.

When I first started hanging out with my friend Xandra, she sent me a ‘real life friend request’ card, which really made my day when it popped through the letterbox. Super cute!

So, it’s probably not too much of a surprise that I am a huge fan of subscription boxes. which are having a real moment right now. Here’s why I think they are the bee’s knees: they combine the awesome charm of traditional mail with the excitement of either discovering new creatives, or supporting your favourite brands. All that with the added fun of having a parcel of surprises delivered to your door!

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The first company that really got my attention with their subscription box was Lucky Dip Club. Run by the supercool Leona, this box is perfect for anyone that loves jewellery, stationary and the odd crafty kit (think budgie bunting and mini hamburger mascots). The fact that Lucky Dip Club comes from the girl who brought us Lady Luck Rules OK (one of my big favourites from my uni days!), should tell you just how kitsch and kickass the designs are.

This year, Lucky Dip Club has teamed up with more indie designers, which helps to spread the love and introduce new makers. Their recent LDC x Folksy box was a celebration of Folksy’s talented alumni, and boxes sold out in minutes.

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My addiction to beautiful hair candy is well-documented, so when I signed up to The Glitterati – a subscription service by my favourites, Crown and Glory – I just knew that I wouldn’t be disappointed! I love their themed boxes, which always get it just right. The last two were tropical tiki and kitsch Americana themed, and I adored everything inside! With massive bang for your buck, one-off designs and exclusive preview pieces, it’s like being part of the best-accessorised girl gang in town.

If you fancy signing up to The Glitterati yourself, mention that I sent you and we’ll both bag a Crown and Glory gift voucher. Pretty sweet, right?

This brings me to a new box on the block, that I am excited to tell you guys about. The Badger Box has been created by the guys at The Clever Badger, an online boutique run by an amazing couple that have a passion for design. This subscription box promises a curated selection of unisex products that are practical as well as pretty!

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You can expect homewares, stationary, food, gifts, art and more. As well as being hand-picked from independent artists, The Badger Box’s contents are all specially commissioned, which means you won’t find ’em anywhere else.

I tried out The Badger Box’s June edition and I wanted to share what was inside, and what you can expect from this one! With a strong summertime vibe, this box was titled It’s Getting Hot Out There. The first thing I noticed was all of the little custom stickers that decorated the box, and the cute packaging inside too. A handy, well-designed newsletter let me know what the four items were and a bit about the brands behind them.

A silk-screened card by Stormy Knight adorned with a cheeky seagull was the first thing I pulled out, followed by a grenade-shaped seed pack by Scottish company Kabloom. I spied something bright yellow and fuzzy, and best of all, shaped like the sun! It was a felt coaster by indie brand Pygmy Cloud, and I can’t wait to pop it on my bedside table – after all, who doesn’t like waking up and seeing the sunshine?!

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Finally, a kawaii illustration by London-based artist Tim Easley completed the contents. This was probably my favourite part of the box, ‘Ice Scream’ was a fun and uber-colourful print depicting some summertime treats.

What I really liked about this box was the variety inside – ideal for being introduced to new (or just new-to-you!) brands.

If you’re after fashion or beauty subscriptions, The Badger Box is probably not the one for you. But, if you love quirky, well-made gifts and finding out more about new designers then it’s certainly worth checking out! Their next themed box is called Great Adventures, which sounds like something I can TOTALLY get on board with. You can find out more about The Clever Badger, and The Badger Box over here.

All of these companies have the option to buy a one-off box, which makes for some pretty amazing snail mail whether you’re treating yourself or sending a surprise to one of your posse!

I think it’s important to keep the fun ritual of snail mail alive, and letting someone know how awesome they are the old-fashioned way. As much as I love being online, I think there’s plenty of room for doing both, don’t you? After all, if that horse can write a letter (ahem!), so can the rest of us!

What are your thoughts on snail mail? Do you hoard cute stationery too?

Sealed with a kiss,

Signature

Note: I was sent the June edition of The Badger Box to share my thoughts with you guys. As always, all of my opinions are honest!

The Valentines Edition

Valentines Day 3With red velvet cupcakes, paper hearts and romantic slogans as far as the eye can see, one thing’s for sure – Valentines Day is just around the corner! Whether you take it super seriously, or think it’s a load of old hooey you won’t find any judgement here. I tend to revel in anything that has a silly or kitsch side, and I’m sure you’ll agree that Valentines Day has that in bucketloads!

Some of you might remember when I posted about Valentines Day last year, and I am still firmly of the opinion that the best way to enjoy the day is to simply not take it seriously and enjoy it as a bit of harmless froth!

There are lots of ways you could choose to mark February 14th – a day of romance with your grand amour, a Galentines extravaganza with your besties – or even a date with yourself. The important thing to remember is that there isn’t something that you SHOULD be doing, it’s all about what feels right to you.

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Love – and all its strange, beautiful quirks – is something we should celebrate every day, don’t you think?

There’s nothing more pure or generous than expressing how much you care for someone, which is why I think putting yourself under pressure to find THE PERFECT VALENTINES GIFT is a little overrated. Your relationship isn’t measured on this one day of the year, after all! Get off the pressure cooker, remember why you’re crazy about that person and I bet you’ll think of something awesome.

I love a present as much as the next gal, but I’m head-over-heels with the idea of just spending the day together too. I’ve shared a few of my favourite city date ideas over here!

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So this weekend, you’re likely to find me wearing as many tacky heart-themed items as I can pile on, watching some of my favourite on-screen couples (like Clarence and Alabama from True Romance, or Julia and Robbie from The Wedding Singer) and having a jolly good time with my favourite off-screen dude.

What are your plans this Valentine’s Day? And who are your favourite on-screen couple?

With candy hearts and smitten eyes,

Miss West End Girl x

 

My not-so-secret admirers at Argento sent me the adorable necklace I’m wearing in these pictures as a sweet Valentines Day treat! They’re all about sharing the love too, so if you fancy picking one up for yourself (or your crush!) I can hook you up with a discount: use the code LOVE20 at the online checkout for 20% off the Argento store (excludes Pandora and Nomination items). 

 

An Ode to Cupcakes with Thomas Sabo

Cupcakes 5Did you know that last week was National Cupcake Week? Yup, seven whole days of celebrating everything about the humble cupcake. Of course, it doesn’t take much to get me excited about these tasty treats – I DO have a pretty sweet tooth, and my cupcake tattoo is one of my most-loved. My favourite flavour is Red Velvet – it’s a classic that never goes out of style. 

You may also remember that I already have a bit of a thing for sweet-shaped accessories. So, cute cake themed jewellery is so far up my street, it’s practically parked in my driveway! When I first slipped on this cupcake charm bracelet by Thomas Sabo at Joshua James Jewellery, I couldn’t stop cooing at the little silver cake dangling from the turquoise beads! Adorable.

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I immediately started to think about buttercream frosting, sprinkles and colourful paper cases – I decided that this little beauty needed an equally sugary-sweet outfit to compliment it, starting with this peppermint coat…

The eye-catching colour of the bracelet meant that I could wear it on its own as a stand-alone piece, although I will also try stacking it with some other jewellery next time to create my own pick-and-mix look!

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Looking to switch it up? The silver charms are detachable, and Thomas Sabo have oodles of others to choose from, with everything you could ever want to adorn your wrist – lobsters, pretzels and palm trees are a few of my other favourites.

Of course, all this talk of cupcakes meant that I couldn’t resist grabbing a real one one to nibble on while I showed off my new arm candy! Ahem.

I will be celebrating my love of cupcakes and food-themed fashion whenever I wear this bracelet – and you can check out the rest of the Thomas Sabo charm collection here!

If you fancy treating yourself (or just getting a jump start on Christmas shopping!), use code WESTEND10 for 10% off Thomas Sabo, along with other exciting collections at Joshua James Jewellery. It’s valid on everything with the exception of Pandora and Nomination for the next 3 weeks!

Would you rock some cake-shaped jewels? What is YOUR favourite flavour of cupcake?

With cake batter and extra sprinkles,

Miss West End Girl x

 

With thanks to the lovely people at Joshua James Jewellery