//Dear Blog Squad//

 

Dear Blog Squad,

It’s been a year since I first met you all. I can still remember the day when An Overthinking Teenager added me to the Twitter group. It was 23rd October 2015. I’d known of you for a while as I’d been following a lot of your blogs before hand and had heard you talking of the Blog Squad on Twitter, but never really quite understood what – or who – you were. 

Then one day,  An Overthinking Teenager wrote a tweet asking if anyone would like to join an ‘active group of teen bloggers’. At first, I was unsure as I was fairly new to blogging and meeting new people on the internet was a bit daunting, but looking back I am so very glad that I decided to give it a go and that you welcomed me to your group so kindly.

Since then it’s felt like I’ve been living in a dream – I still can’t believe how lovely and welcoming you all are. Although it’s only been a year, it feels like I have known you all forever and I can’t imagine my life any other way.

We’ve had our ups and downs and people have come and gone but one thing that’s never changed is the continual support that you have given to me and each other. Just knowing you are there and that you care helps to reassure me on the less happy of days and I can’t thank you enough for that.

There’s hardly been a day that a conversation hasn’t been flowing; whether it’s giving eachother advice, flailing about HP or sharing the best and most random moments of our lives with eachother, there’s nothing like a good ol’ chat with my favourite beans.

We’ve done so much over the past year, from having our own amazing logo designed by the lovely Angel to group video calls, to making our own musical from all of our typos – it’s been brilliant and I’m so glad to be a part of it all.

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Seeing you all grow up and develop into even more wonderful people and bloggers over the past year has been a beautiful experience – I can’t wait to make new memories and go on new adventures with you all in the many months and, hopefully, years to come.

Although I will change as my life turns down different paths, I know that the Blog Squad will always have a special place in my heart and that all these memories will stay with me forever. 

I just want to thank you all for giving me somewhere that I fit in and feel accepted for my differences. Before meeting you all, I felt like an odd jigsaw puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit anywhere. But now I’ve found my fellow odd puzzle pieces and we all fit together to make something ~magical~.

I love you all to the moon and back,

Em. 💞


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//Swap box with…Elly//

Last week I did my last swap box with Elly from A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts!! It was a bit sad to send off the last parcel but I’m glad I won’t have to visit the Post Office again for a while because 5 trips in a month is too many! I really enjoyed finding things to send to Elly, as I did with the other four, but it was definitely harder to find things to send to bloggers within the UK than it was to send them abroad – I actually had to go in the touristy shops in town and buy some souvenirs which was an odd experience. Anyway, this is what Elly sent me all the way from Yorkshire!

Firstly, she sent me a lovely little notebook with a kind-of map of the Yorkshire Dales on it. I loved this because a) I love maps b) I love exploring and c) the hiking sheep is really cool! I haven’t decided what I want to use the notebook for yet (I have so many notebooks I haven’t started yet because I don’t want to ruin them with my ramblings) but I did take it away with me to Wales last weekend with the intention of doodling/sketching some of the scenery but in the end I was so busy, I didn’t have a spare five minutes to draw (sad times I know).

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Attempt at an artsy macro photo but my camera wouldn’t focus *sigh*

Next there was a pen and a pencil from York Castle Museum inscribed with the phrase ‘the truth and nothing but the truth…’ which in case you didn’t know is part of the oath you have to say when giving evidence in court. I think these are really cool and I’ve put them with my ‘awesome stationary from awesome places’ collection (I always try to buy some stationary whenever I go somewhere new because ~memories~).

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Elly also sent me a pair of quote mark earrings which she bought on her trip to Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace). THESE ARE SO CUTE I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. They have also now become my ‘lucky earrings’ because I wore them to both the A Level and GCSE results days and both days went really well (you can read about my GCSE results day here). Elly also has a pair of these earrings which I think is really cool and ultimate #internetfriendshipgoals.

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Moving on to the edible part of the swap box, Elly sent me some delicious-looking chocolate with ‘chocolate beans’ a.k.a. Smarties in! It looks sooooo nice. I haven’t tried any yet because I had to wait until I’d taken the photos for this post but  now I’ve written this I can, and will, eat it! *Disappears for a couple of hours*. 

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She also sent me some strawberry (or is it raspberry? My mind has gone blank. I’m guessing strawberry because raspberry would be blue) bonbons which are some of her favourite sweets apparently! I’ve never tried this flavour of bonbons before so I can’t wait to see what they taste like.

THIS IS SO BRILLIANT I CAN’T. Siriously though, look at how awesome this Harry Potter ‘Always’ sign with the Deathly Hallows symbol is!!!! And it’s in my favourite colours, I just love it so much! Thank you Elly! I have a little fandom corner in my bedroom and this fits in perfectly (you can never have too much Harry Potter stuff, am I right?).

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Lastly was a little card that Elly painted when she was younger of typical Yorkshire scenery. I think it’s really pretty and reminds me so much of the view from my grandparents house in Yorkshire. (Also Elly’s handwriting is just handwriting goals. It’s sooo nice).

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Here’s a picture of everything she sent me altogether (well almost everything – I forgot to take the Harry Potter sign off of my wall so it’s not in the photo).

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I’d like to thank Elly so much for everything she sent me because it is all so lovely! I’d also like to thank Just A Blank Space, Rebecca, Eve and Michelle again who I also exchanged swap boxes with over the summer. It has been a really great experience and I’m so glad I have such amazing blogger friends who were willing to take part!

I think swap boxes are something I’d want to do again at some point in the future but perhaps when I have a job because I kind of accidentally ended up spending around £40 on everything (including postage) of the money my grandparents gave me for the summer holidays. Oops. But I’m pleased I spent my summer money on doing this because I think giving gifts to people is such a lovely thing to do and I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot more about my blogging friends and their respective countries and counties through doing the swap boxes and I’ll cherish everything they sent me forever. So thank you again guys! ❤


You can read about my other box swaps here:

Just A Blank Space

Rebecca

Eve

Michelle

//Swap box with…Michelle//

A few weeks back, I did another swap box, this time with Michelle from The Writing Hufflepuff. I sent her some British things, which you can see in her weekly and monthly wrap-up for July here, and she very kindly sent me some things from The Netherlands!

The Netherlands was a country I didn’t really know much about before starting blogging. It was only when I started to use Twitter for my blog and became friends with Michelle, that I started to learn more and more about the country. Now The Netherlands is definitely a place I want to visit (not just because I have a higher chance of bumping into Douwe Bob there and there are lots of cheese shops) because it looks like such a beautiful country and I’d love to learn more about it’s culture and history.

So, first things first, lets all take a moment to admire how cute Michelle made the packaging. I was surprised that the stickers made it here intact but thankfully they did and it was a nice surprise once my mum had rescued the package from the postwoman got it stuck in the letterbox!

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Okay so the photo is a bit blurred but you can still admire the cuteness!! (Also the orange blob was my attempt at trying to cover up my address)

When I opened the package, I was greeted by a mass of Dutch toilet paper which Michelle had use to protect all the items and keep them in place. Being the sentimental person that I am, I just had to keep a little bit of the toilet paper as a memento!

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I wish I’d taken a picture of all the toilet paper when I first opened it because it literally looked like I’d just unwrapped a mummy 😂😂

Anyway, I think the first things that I took out of the envelope where the food items (I suppose because they were heaviest they sort of fell out first – either that or I just naturally gravitate towards food which wouldn’t surprise me).

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The packet on the left – ‘gemengde peren’ – translates as mixed pears (I kind of guessed the pear bit form the picture, also ‘peren’ looks a bit like ‘pear’). In the middle is a pack of mini stroop wafels or syrup wafels in English. Me and my family tried these the other day – we heated them up and had some vanilla ice cream with them and they were absolutely delicious. I’ve just googled it and apparently you can buy stroop wafels in Tescos (not sure about other British supermarkets) so I’ll definitely be getting more of them soon! Then on the right are some ‘roomboterwafels’ which translates to butter waffles. I opened this packet when I first got the parcel so I’ve nearly finished them now but I can safely say they are very nice (and look like mini Tardis’/LEGO bricks). I haven’t tried the gemengde peren yet but I’ll let you know how they taste when I do!

Next there was a cute paper bag with a little Miffy magnet inside! I used to watch Miffy as a child and I’d forgotten all about it until Michelle sent me this so I’m so glad she reminded me about the little rabbit I used to love.

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Also the paper in the shape of Van Gough’s bed is so cool!

Then there was a pair of clogs on a key ring. I think this key ring wins the prize of being the most Dutch key ring ever as it includes clogs, windmills and Delftware. (My friend who is going on a scout camp to The Netherlands next year is determined to bring back clogs and Delftware with her so I expect this isn’t the last I’ll be seeing of it)!

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Michelle also sent me a klein Nederlands woordenboek (little Dutch dictionary) which I think is such a lovely idea, especially as Dutch is a lovely language which I’d like to add to the the list of languages I want to learn.

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Again I love the usage of stickers in the dictionary and the inclusion of very important phrases such as ‘Ik ben een grote fan (I am a big fan)’ which I will need when I meet Douwe (not that that’s likely but I can dream!) and ‘ Ik hou van Herman (I love Herman)’ who I’ll talk more about later.

Next there was an envelope which was also very cute (EVERYTHING IS CUTE OKAY DON’T JUDGE ME).

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Inside was a lovely letter, a cute (again, I really need to find a good synonym for cute) little cat ‘poëzieplaatje’, a picture of some Dutch houses and a completely awesome Em + Herman wearing traditional Dutch clothing bookmark. (If you’re wondering who Herman is, you should probably read this).20160808_131601.jpg

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To finsih I’d like to thank Michelle so much for sending me all of this because I really love it all so much and I know I keep saying this but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing these swap boxes and I’ll cherish all of these things forever. ❤


You can read about my other swap boxes with Just A Blank Space, Eve, and Rebecca too!

And don’t forget to check out Michelle’s awesome blog. 🙂

//Swap box with…Rebecca//

A few weeks ago me and Rebecca from Monthly Marker did a swap box where we sent each other stuff from our respective counties (as we both live in the UK). I really should have written this post up a long time ago but I’ve been very lazy  busy hence why I’ve only just got round to taking the photos for this so I could actually write it. Anyway, here is what Rebecca very kindly sent me in her Yorkshire-themed box!

First of all here’s the actual box itself:

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I love the little message on the inside of the lid – ‘hello 🙂 take a peek inside’.

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The first thing I opened was this cute little envelope which had a card inside it, detailing the origins of all of the other items in the box (and a very awesome unicorn).

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Then there was a lovely drinks mat with a squirrel on it (because you are most likely to see red squirrels in the Yorkshire Dales) and an awesome squirrel key ring! I’ve always liked squirrels, ever since I went to Brownsea Island when I was young and saw a red squirrel for the first time. I’ve never seen a red squirrel since so I’ll have to go up to the Yorkshire Dales sometime to try and spot one! I did, however, see a lot of grey squirrels in the main park in town the other day. I mean, there were literally loads of them – they kept popping out of bushes and trees near the back of the park and me and my sister counted about 9 squirrels within about a meter radius of us! It was just a liiittle bit creepy though as they kept following us around the park…

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Anyway, next there was a Chocolate Covered Kendal Mint Cake. I’ve heard of Kendal Minrt Cake before – my grandparents live up in Yorkshire and my grandpa is a keen walker (I’m pretty sure he doesn’t walk anywhere without a Kendal Mint Cake) – but I’ve never actually tried it! I’m waiting for the perfect moment to eat it – I’m thinking I might take it on holiday to Pembrokeshire (South Wales) in a few weeks so I can enjoy eating after exploring the coastline there.

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Then there was a packet of Rhubarb and Custard sweets which I absolutely LOVE. I never get fed up of them – they are one of my favourite type of sweets ever. Although I do love sweets, I hardly ever actually buy them – only for special occasions – so I haven’t had rhubarb and custard sweets in ageeeeees and I can’t wait to tuck into them!

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Lastly, but certainly not least, was a little glass sheep which is really, REALLY cute and I couldn’t help but name it Kendal! I introduced Kendal to another, slighter larger, sheep that was previously sat on my keyboard stand (the sheep is magnetic) but since becoming god friends with Kendal, the sheep couldn’t bare to be apart from eachother so they are now sat on my shelf together!

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And finally a picture of the entire contents of the box together. 🙂

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I really love everything Rebecca sent me and I’m so grateful that she wanted to do a swap box with me! So I’d like to thank her a lot for sending me all this awesome stuff! ❤


I also did swap boxes with Just A Blank Space and Eve!