Tuesday, 15 May 2018

New Japan Candy Box - Review and giveaway

Hello!  I've got some exciting news for you today, Japan Candy Box have recently turned three years old and to celebrate they have redesigned and updated their boxes of treats!  They have sent me one of the new boxes to review and are going to give away another box to one of you too!  Pop your details in the widget at the bottom of this post for your chance to win.  Okay, now let's see what's new and what is inside this month's box!

Fab new style box

The boxes have a fresh new design and the address label is now on the reverse side so it doesn't hide any of the logo or images, just in case you wanted to share a pic on Insta without hiding your personal details!  The biggest change is on the inside though!

New information booklet

The old boxes used to come with a postcard inside which listed the contents but didn't give you any information about the products.  Now you get a super-duper booklet that is jam packed with illustrations of each item along with their names, details about the flavours and some facts about them too.  

Useful info about the products

Each box now contains 10 Japanese candies and savoury snacks and has a wider variety of products than ever before. There will be more exclusive and limited edition treats like Japanese Kit Kats, seasonal Pocky and Hi-Chew sweets too!  A one off box costs $19.90 USD which is about £14.70 or 16.70 Euros and that includes worldwide shipping .  If you subscribe to six or twelve monthly boxes you will get them for a lower price and you can find all the information about that here.

Some of my yummy treats

My box has a Japanese exclusive dark chocolate Kit Kat, a bag of Meiji peach flavour gummy sweets, Koikeya BBQ corn snacks, Tomica Ramune candy and Tohato caramel corn snacks.

There was also a Popin' Cookin' Kuru Kuru Takoyaki DIY candy kit, a pot of Kabaya chocolate puddings, a box of Strawberry Pocky, a Yaokin Umaibo corn snack and a bag of Kasugai rose flavour candy.

DIY candy kit and more

Out of these my absolute favourites are the Meiji peach gummies, the Tohato caramel corn snacks and the Kasugai rose candy, they all taste so good!  My children also tried everything and their favourites are the strawberry Pocky, Kabaya chocolate puddings and they loved the peach gummies too.  My husband loves dark chocolate so he took the Kit Kat and gives it two thumbs up!

Taste testing!

We haven't had a go at making the DIY candy kit yet but we've always had a lot of fun when we have done them before so I'm sure we'll enjoy it!

On to the giveaway!  It's easy to enter, just fill in the sections below to be in with a chance of wining a box of treats sent directly to your door!  Or if you just can't wait you can treat yourself to a box here (but still enter, you might win another one!).

She's Eclectic Japan Candy Box Giveaway

Good luck everyone!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Artline Monday - Royal wedding celebrations

I couldn't do a series of wedding posts this month without mentioning the royal wedding!  I am super excited to watch the whole thing on TV this Saturday and see the dress, the ceremony, the outfits etc and have some kind of celebration at home with my girls.  This got me thinking about street parties people might be throwing or celebrations and get togethers that will be happening to mark the occasion.

Making plans for the royal wedding

If you are planning a street party then you probably have everything sorted by now but I have a few ideas for when it comes to adding some finishing touches to your tables or if you are just having a small gathering and want to make it extra special, after all it's not every day we get to celebrate a royal wedding!

Mini chalkboards and Artline pens

These mini chalkboards were only 49p for a pack of four and I thought they would make cute little keepsakes of the day.  Now I could have written on these with my Artline chalk markers but I wanted the messages to be permanent so I used my gold Supreme marker and Artline 999XF metallic pen instead.  

Chalkboard keepsakes

I think these boards will look so cute dotted around the table/s among the food and drinks and the guests can take them home as a memento of the day if they like.

Decorating the milk bottles with chalk markers

As well as the chalkboards I brought some sweet glass milk bottles for us to use and I have personalised them with a purple Artline chalk marker.  I wrote Harry and Meghan along with the date of the wedding on some and on others it just says Royal wedding.  Being a chalk marker this will wipe off with a damp cloth so if you wanted to decorate any of your glassware for the party you could wash it off afterwards.  Artline have glass markers you can use too which are also easy to remove once the event is over.

If you wanted to permanently decorate your glasses then you could use the Supreme markers and Artline 999XF pens I used on the chalkboards instead.

Artline Stix are great for colouring in & playing with

If you are having a lot of children around then you could also print off some free royal wedding colouring in pages for them to do while the adults watch the ceremony or are having a chat.  I found a few different ones online including this one from eParenting.  You could add these pages to the table/s along with a pot of pens to use, I recommend some Artline Stix because not only do they colour really well but they are also really fun to play with!  You can connect them together side by side or end to end and see who can make the biggest construction, they are just like building blocks you can colour with!

Do you have any hints, tips or ideas for the wedding celebrations to share with us?  Leave me a comment below, I love to read them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wedding Wednesday with Artline - Invitation calligraphy

Have you selected your wedding invitations yet?  Are you planning on writing them all yourself?  If you answered yes then you are in the right place!  Last week I shared some ideas about wedding planning and I thought for today's post we could talk about using calligraphy to write and address your invitations.

Wedding invitation and calligraphy pens

It doesn't matter if you haven't tried any kind of calligraphy or hand lettering before, all you need is a pencil, a calligraphy pen, a notebook and some spare time to practice your letters.

If you look online there are hundreds of calligraphy lettering styles to choose from, find one you like that shows the complete alphabet and use this image to copy each letter.  You will also need to find a style of numbers you like for when you address the invitations.  If you aren't confident with a calligraphy pen to begin with then practice with a pencil until you are used to writing the letters in your chosen font and then move onto the pen.  

Practicing and trying out different pens

When you are using the calligraphy pen remember you want to press slightly harder on the down stroke of each letter and lighter on the up stroke.  This gives you the basic calligraphy look for your lettering and then you can work on the flourishes and embellishments.  

If you find yourself struggling with a calligraphy pen then you could cheat and use a pen or marker instead.  You just need to make each down stroke line a little thicker.  In the image above I have used a silver metallic marker then a calligraphy pen and a bronze metallic marker in the large notebook.  When I was using the markers I just went back over the down strokes once I had finished writing each set of letters to make them look wider and like they were done with a calligraphy nib.  

Muscle memory will make you want to write each letter in your normal handwriting to begin with so the more you practice writing in the new style the easier it will get.  It might be worth carrying a calligraphy pen and pocket size notebook around with you so if you find yourself with a spare five minutes during the day you could get them out and fill that time with lettering.  Little practice sessions soon add up and you will find yourself becoming more confident and start to write the letters naturally when you pick up your pen! 

Retraining muscle memory

If you decide to go with a calligraphy pen then Artline have lots of different colours to choose from so you can match them to your colour theme or you can go with a traditional black calligraphy pen on your invitations.  If you are looking for something a bit different then I love the metallic and rustic sepia shades but there are also pastel colour calligraphy pens available if they are more your style.

Addressing envelopes

Once you are happy with your lettering then it is time to get started on the invitations!  It is a good idea to do them in small batches so your hand does not get tired and you are less likely to make mistakes if you only do a few at a time and then take a break. 

Here are my top tips

  • Practice as often as you can
  • Go slowly and take your time
  • Write the invites in small batches 
  • Try writing any complicated words in pencil first on a scrap piece of paper before you move onto pen on the invitation or envelope

If you want a few more hints and tips check out my previous lettering post here and if you do have a go at using calligraphy on your invitations please let me know how you get on!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

National Stationery Week - a week in pictures

So National Stationery Week is over again for another year!  Did you have fun, I know I did!  I thought today would be a good time to do a round up of all the days we celebrated together. 

My stationery themed jewellery for the week

In honour of the seven days of stationery I wore my stationery themed jewellery with pride.  The name badge necklace is from Finest Imaginary in collaboration with Onr Shop and my pastel pencils pin is from Ip Dip Design on Etsy.  I love them both and received lots of compliments while wearing them!

Box of supplies from the NatSatWeek team

I was sent a huge box of stationery supplies by the NatStatWeek team and sponsors, it was filled with items which matched the themes for each day of the week.  I used these products to take photos based on the themes and shared them on InstagramFacebook and Twitter daily as well as my post for World Stationery Day. 

Monday - #makeanote

Monday's Make A Note day was sponsored by Nu:notebook and I was given this gorgeous pink Spectrum notebook.  I was out and about that day so I took it with me and snapped this pic in the park.

SNT Thank you cards

Say Nice Things surprised me with this lovely set of Thank You cards, they come in packs of four and are perfect for sharing your gratitude with someone.  I can't pick a favourite but I love the little foil accents on each one!

Tuesday - #penandpencil

Tuesday was Pen And Pencil day, sponsored by Staedtler.  I used a couple of their pigment liners for this shot along with my copy of Stationery Matters

Wednesday - #stationerytheworldover

For World Stationery Day I made a paper clip out of felt shaped like the Earth and then surrounded it with lots of stationery goodies!  I have made myself lots of plushie paper clips over the years, all based on this tutorial by the lovely Mrs Brimbles if you are interested in making your own.  #stationerytheworldover was sponsored by the Stationery Show London, I really wish I could have visited this year but the dates just didn't work out *pouts*, maybe next year!

My personalised paper clip

During the week I received this amazing paper clip from Handcrafted by Sheree, she also sent me the die cut of my blog logo that I used in my photo for World Stationery Day.  Aren't they cute?

Thursday - #workhappy

Thursday's Work Happy day was sponsored by Mustard who have the perfect range of products for brightening up your desks!  I love the doggy page markers and rainbow sticky notes so much but the T-Rex highlighter is my favourite, it's just too cool!

T-Rex highlighter in use

I use highlighters a lot in my bullet journal so I tested this one out on Work Happy Day and wrote over the top of it with my Artline calligraphy pen as if it was going to be the header/title for a section in my notebook.  It writes very nicely and is comfortable to use.

Friday - #aplaceforeverything

I think this year was the first time Santoro have been involved with NatStatWeek, they sponsored A Place for Everything day.  I used some of their cute products for this photo but now my eldest daughter has claimed the A4 folder for her art work and my youngest has her eye on the pencil case and Clipboard planner!  Ah the joys of raising stationery addicts!

Saturday - #getcrafty

Saturday was Get Crafty day and Crafters Companion sponsored this one.  They sent me a set of dual tipped Spectrum Noir metallic markers in precious metals and these pens are brilliant for working on coloured cards and paper.  The inks really stand out against darker backgrounds and are very nice to work with. 

Sunday - #signaturesunday

Signature Sunday was sponsored by Cross so I used the super swish Bailey ballpoint pen they sent me to write a quick blog post.  Click on the photo to enlarge it if you want to take a peek.  The Bailey pen also came with it's own leather case so I will be able to pop it in my bag and not have to worry about scratching the black lacquer or chrome areas.

Personalising my notebook

The end of National Stationery Week made me feel sad so I cheered myself up by personalising my new notebook using a couple of the Spectrum Noir markersNow every time I use it I will remember what a great time I had during NatstatWeek and look forward to NSW19!

How did you celebrate this special week?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Artline Monday - Wedding planning ideas

Tomorrow is the start of May and you know what that means, wedding season will soon be on us!  With this in mind I thought I would share some ideas about wedding planning today and I have come up with a twelve month checklist of things you need to do before the big day.

Wedding planning with Artline

So you have found the perfect partner and decided on a date, what do you need to do now?  Plan, plan, plan! You can buy yourself a fancy wedding planner or organiser or you can grab a notebook and get to work.  As long as you make plenty of notes and lists so you don't forget anything important, everything should go swimmingly.   

Wedding checklist

I made this wedding checklist using an Artline Stix brush pen, a Supreme metallic marker and an Artline 200 fineliner so it would look a little special.  

Twelve months before

  • Work out your budget
  • Book venue and officiant 
  • Plan your guest list
  • Choose wedding party
  • Dress shop

Nine months before

  • Book vendors
  • Honeymoon ideas
  • Book wedding cars
  • Gather your guests addresses
  • Buy wedding outfits
  • Make or buy invitataions

Six months before

  • Finalise details with vendors
  • Save the dates
  • Wedding cake
  • Buy rings

Four months before

  • Hair and make up - find stylist
  • Menu
  • Finalise guest list
  • Book honeymoon
  • Vows
  • Wedding favours

Two months and counting

Two months before

  • Buy accessories 
  • Send out invitations
  • Photo ideas for photographer
  • Give notice of your marriage
  • Sort out ID and paperwork needed

One month before

  • Call anyone who hasn't RSVP'd
  • Seating plan
  • Song list for reception
  • Finale dress fitting
  • Make final vendor payments
  • Hen and stag party ideas

Two weeks before

  • Hen and stag parties
  • Collect wedding outfits
  • Start honeymoon packing

One week before

  • Finalise seating plan
  • Beauty appointments
  • Make arrangements for after the reception - who will collect wedding gifts etc

Two days before

  • Finish honeymoon packing
  • Get nails done
  • Sort out everything you need for the big day

One day before

  • Call all vendors to confirm everything
  • Try to relax!

Now, not every wedding will take 12 months to plan so you can adjust this list to fit your own time scale, leave out any of the steps that don't apply to you and add in any extras that are specific to your event, this list is just a starting point for you to work with.  I hope you find it helpful!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Planner Friday - April

Hello!  Not only is it National Stationery Week it is also Planner Friday today so hop over to the Trendy Twine blog to read my latest post...

Wow, Planner Friday came around again so quickly!  I feel like the months are speeding by and it will be summer before we know it.  Though that's not a bad thing, I can't wait for some sunshine! 

For today's post I wanted to show you how I use my Annie's Paper Boutique stamps to help keep me organised and add a little fun to my planner pages too.  

I knew when I started planning my week that I was going to be busier than usual so I added plenty of check boxes for my daily to dos using a stamp from the Check It Off set and then added my reminders and lists with stamps from the At Home and School Days sets.  I reinforced the holes in my pages with colourful Trendy Page Dots, paired them with some bright and cheery washi tape and added one of my favourite coffee planner clips.

Talking of coffee I knew I was going to need a lot of caffeine see me through the week so I made it the theme for my pages!   There is a special set of  APB stamps for my fellow coffee addicts, aptly called Need Coffee and they are the perfect size for planner pages as they are quite small so you will still have have plenty of space left to make your notes around them.  I also used a larger coffee stamp from the Perfect Pairs set in my Sunday section as I have less to do that day and had more space for decoration.  The last thing I did was to colour in the stamps with fineliners and pencil crayons and then I was ready to face the week!

You can read the rest of my post here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

World Stationery Day - #stationerytheworldover

It's World Stationery Day!  It is my favourite day of National Stationery Week because stationery fans all over the world can come together and share their love of all things pen, pencil and paper!  If you want to join in the fun today search for the tags #stationerytheworldover and #natstatweek on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and you will find lots of post and competitions and maybe even some new friends!

World Stationery Day

One of the main aims of National Stationery Week is to encourage people to pick up their pens and get writing, a note, a letter, a card or even just scribble a few reminders and reignite their passion for the written word.   

For me the ritual of selecting a pen and opening my planner or notebook seems to spark something inside me that helps me organise my thoughts quickly or feel creative.  Staring at a blank screen or electronic calendar has never had the same effect.

Find your perfect pen

If you want to rediscover your passion for pens why not treat yourself to a couple of new ones, after all National Stationery Week is the perfect excuse for splurging!  There are so many different kinds to choose from now, I love brush pens for calligraphy, fine liners for hand lettering and fountain pens for writing.  

How about you?  

Monday, 23 April 2018

National Stationery Week - #makeanote Notebook Love's Inky thinkings notebook review and giveaway *Now closed*

Hello!  Happy National Stationery Week!  Today's theme is make a note so it's the perfect time for me to review this gorgeous notebook from Notebook Love and offer you the chance to win one for yourself as well!

First of all let me tell you a little bit about Notebook Love, it is family run business by husband and wife team Kate and Consol and they are nuts about notebooks!  They have been designing and making their own fabulous notebooks, journals and jotters since 2016 and I am a big fan.

Inky thinkings

Kate sent me this super pretty pink and purple Inky thinkings notebook to try out and it is an updated version of their highly popular inky blue notebook.  The cover is made from thick textured card and has a contrasting pink elastic closure.  The inside of the cover is the same shade of pink as the closure instead of plain white or cream which is a nice touch and pulls the whole look together and hey, in my opinion, you can never have too much pink!

Cream pages with light grey rule

There are 192 pages inside made from Forest Stewardship Council approved paper and they are a nice creamy colour.  The rule is quite wide and a light shade of grey so if you felt like doodling or sketching in this book they wouldn't interfere too much.  I prefer lighter lines in my notebooks as it makes them much more versatile and I think it just looks nicer than a darker rule.  The paper itself is a little toothy, in a good way, and feels great to write on.


So do you like what you see?  Would you like to win one for yourself?  Of course you would!  And.... if pink is not your colour (gasp!) then the winner will have the option to choose the stunning blue Inky thinkings notebook instead!

How to enter:

Leave me a comment below telling me which Inky notebook you would like to win, pink or blue.  That's it, nice and easy!  I will number the comments and use random.org to select a winner.

The rules:

  • One entry per person
  • Open to UK residents only
  • Giveaway ends 12pm on Monday 30th April 2018, comments after this time will not be entered
  • The winner will be announced on this post on the 1st May 2018
  • The winner will have to contact me within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected
  • There is only one prize and no cash alternative
  • People under 18 must have parental permission to enter this competition

Good luck!