//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

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//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!

//Swap box with…Eve//

So, as you’ll know I also did a swap box with Just A Blank Space which I talked about here but as well as that, I did one with the lovely Eve (appletaile) from A Twist In The Taile (actually I did five in total so expect to see more of these posts over the next week or so)!

The parcel arrived two weeks ago today but I’ve only just got round to writing the blog post up (I have no excuse – I’m just feeling very lazy at the moment). So, without further or do, here is what I received from Eve!

Firstly I opened the package up to find this awesome bag from The Wimbledon Shop. *Fun fact *: I have a collection of plastic bags from interesting places such as The Doctor Who Experience and Le Tour De France Shop. I’ve added this bag to the collection too!

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Inside the bag was a Wimbledon key ring (which I have already decided is going to be attached to my house key when I eventually find it). I’ve never watched Wimbledon (except from on TV) but it is definitely something I’d like to do in the future!

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Then there was also a Soapasaurus Butter Beer lip balm which is absolutely amazing and it’s smells so lovely and is, in my opinion, a genius idea because not only can you taste Butter Beer when you apply it, the scent is so powerful it makes you smell like Butter Beer too!! I love this so much and I’m so grateful for Eve to have sent this to me!

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Alongside the key ring and the lip balm, there was also a cute little pin badge that said ‘Blog Squad’ on it. I love it because it makes me think of the lovely Blog Squad themselves – a group of teen bloggers on Twitter who I am so grateful to have as friends. Shout out to the Blog Squad and to Eve for making this!! ❤

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Now I can’t remember if this was in the Wimbledon bag too or not but next there was a rubber from the Tate Modern in London which I went to ages ago (when I was like 8 or something) so can’t really remember it – which, of course, is a good reason to go back some time! I love any kind of stationary to be honest and, knowing me, this will probably join my collection of ‘ceremonial stationary’ which I use purely for display purposes in my bedroom as they are just too pretty to actually use.

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Next there was a map of the tube in London which is very helpful because I find over ground trains confusing enough as it is and last time I was in London I had no clue which line to get on and where to get off at. Also I haven’t quite mastered tube etiquette yet so this will probably be helpful with that too (well at least I can look like I know where I’m going instead of being a confused tourist).

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Then there was a pocket map of London that I can colour in and customize myself! I love maps and exploring new places very much and I also really love colouring so I’m going to really enjoy colouring this in and finding out more about London (it’s really bad – I barely know anything about my own capital city but I guess now is as good a time as any to learn)!

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Lastly, there was a copy of a July edition of TimeOut London magazine.

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Not knowing much about London itself, I wasn’t even aware that this magazine existed but now I’ve had time to read it through – I love it! There are some really interesting articles in their (particularly the below interview with Matt Smith) as well with just general news about London and ideas of things to do in the city. When I was reading this, I actually started to feel a bit like an actual Londoner, or at least someone who knew more about London other than the fact that it was the capital of Britain and was very huge.

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LOOK LOOK!!

There was also a rather interesting newspaper in the middle of the magazine The Unusual Times.

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It had many surprisingly useful articles in it (and some that were just very odd – like the unusual horoscopes – but were still a good read). I also found the Cucumber Facts feature to be particularly useful.

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I mean, I wouldn’t of known a cucumber was a portal into another dimension if it wasn’t for The Unusual Times!!

Eve also sent me a lovely little letter (which wasn’t too rambly at all). It was very cute and it was so surreal to be reading something that someone I’d only ever talked to online before had written!

Here’s a picture of everything in Eve’s swap box together:

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All that’s left to do is to thank Eve very much for everything she sent me – I love it all and I’m so grateful that they wanted to do a swap box with me because I have absolutely loved learning more about London and feeling more connected to my internet friends! 🙂 So thank you Eve!

Also don’t forget to check out Eve’s blog because they are awesome and their posts are so intriguing and are well worth a read!

//Swap box with…Just A Blank Space//

So a while ago I read Tea Lover Jess’ post about doing a make-up swap box with another blogger which inspired me to do my own version of a swap box, but with general stuff relating to our countries rather than just make-up. Fortunately, the amazing and lovely Just A Blank Space also thought it was a good idea so over the past few months we had been collecting stuff for each other, ready to post in August. Well, last week I received her swap box so I thought I’d show you all what she sent!

First things first, this is the box it came in! I really loved it and it was so creative because she made it the colours of the German flag (plus I absolutely love Just A Blank Space’s hand lettering anyway so I was delighted when I saw the front of the box)!

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The box was wrapped in this cute wrapping paper!

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The first thing I saw when  I opened the box up was the German flag. I managed to find a spare stick for the flag pole and it’s now displayed proudly next to my Somerset and Scottish flag (even though I’m not Scottish lol).

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Then there were two little postcards which are really cute and I read these first before I delved any further into the box.

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Didn’t realise this was blurred…oops.

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Can I just say I love how neat Just A Blank Space’s handwriting its!?!?! I love these little postcards so much that I’ve attached them to the bunting around the edge of my bedroom. (They’re are being held up by wooden owl pegs in case you were wondering).

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Now I can’t remember the exact order I took everything out of the box in as it was over a week ago now but I’ll go through each item one by one anyway.

Kinder Country chocolate bar – I’ve always loved Kinder but I’ve never tried this flavour so I can’t wait to try it! I haven’t eaten it yet as I’m waiting for a special occasion – perhaps when I get my exam results in August if all goes well!

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Three little paper clips in the shape of an owl, a hand and a foot. As Just A Blank Space said in her postcards, each object represents a different part of her and I’ve been trying to work these three out for a while. The owl, I thought, could either mean that her favourite animal is an owl (which is possible I guess) or that she is very wise which I KNOW is true because anyone can tell that from reading her blog! I thought the hand might represent writing because I know she loves to write but it also looks as though it is waving, suggesting that she is a friendly person which she definitely is. With the foot, I was thinking this could represent swimming because I know she is a swimming coach so she must like swimming, right? I also thought it represent walking because she’s just hiked The Alps OR it could represent the idea that life is a journey. (Sorry if I sound like a stalker knowing so much about you! I promise I’m not, I’m just trying to be a bit ~philosophical~ here)! But anyway, these are really cute and creative and I really like them!

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Next was some German fan paint which I think is SO COOL and if I ever go to see Germany take part in a sporting event of any kind, I’ll DEFINITELY wear it!! I haven’t used it yet but perhaps I’ll support Germany in the Rio 2016 Olympics so I can try out the paint!

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Then there were some sunglasses in the colours of the German flag. I took these on holiday to Devon with me last week (this is where I took the photo) and they were very useful! I think I WILL put on the fan paint, wear these sunglasses and wave the German flag whilst watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics. Germany has always been one of my favourite countries after all!

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Some American money – a dollar and a quarter dollar – which most of been from her exchange year in America. It was quite exciting to see actual American money because I’ve never been to America myself. Thank you very much for sending this to me!

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On the subject of money, she also sent me a euro! I love the way euros look – they are so much more interesting than pound coins. Plus I didn’t manage to bring any euros back from Berlin last year so I’m glad I now have one to remind me of my holidays in Europe.

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Next was this little card where I can write my ‘Top 5 Favourite Moments’. I haven’t thought of a moment worthy enough to write on here yet, but I think I’ll have to write doing swap boxes on there at some point because it has been one of the best experiences of my life.

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Just A Blank Space also sent me a piece of coral and lava rock that she collected in Hawaii. I find it fascinating how these were once thousands of miles away from here and I love thinking about all the people who have touched or stepped on or seen the coral and the rock before it got to me. It may sound weird but it’s almost as if the dips and the lumps and bumps of them are each pieces of their individual ‘stories’ of how they came to be the way they are today.

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Then there was a little cardboard typewriter that I think is so pretty because of how colourful it is. I’ve always wanted to type on a typewriter and love vintage things, it just makes me think about the journey that writing has been on to end up here, today, with me writing on a blog that can be viewed by people all around the world.

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There was also a page from a German book, a little sticker saying ‘life is an adventure’ which is very me and I love it, a silver heart and a map of Europe. I loved all of these little things and decided to frame them to make a collage of sorts. One day I’m determined to learn German enough to be able to read the book page!

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Here is one last picture of everything all together.

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I’d just like to thank Just A Blank Space so much for her generosity, creativity and thoughtfulness. I really enjoyed receiving the swap box and finding out more about you through it. I’ll cherish all of these items forever.

I loved finding things to send in my swap box to Just A Blank Space too and I’m glad you liked everything! You can see what I sent Just A Blank Space here.