9   127
16   127
13   98
9   102
6   95
7   111
8   97
11   108

In October, I’m starting my very last module with The Open University. I’ve been studying with them for many years now, completing my Health Science degree and now finishing my Post Grad Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry. Admittedly, I’m more excited about new stationery than the course itself, so when Ryman contacted me asking if I would like to review their Back To Uni Essentials, I was like wow, yes please!

Ryman sent me the blue pastel stationery bundle to review which included a Lever Arch File, A4 Notebook, A5 Notebook, Stapler & Holepunch. Everything else you see in this post is Ryman stationery I already own (stationery addict here). Click here to see the full pastel range at Ryman.

The quickest way to jazz up any plain notebook is to add stickers! Here I have used Bright Owls, Cupcakes, and Woodland stickers. These sticker packs are only 99p and can really transform your stationery. Check out the other stickers Ryman have in stock and add some cuteness to your covers.

Studying science is fun when you have a purple pastel notebook covered with cupcakes and gingerbreads!

My study notes are more like an art book, I can only learn if everything is bright and colourful. 

In my opinion, my stationery life has got significantly better since the introduction of pastel highlighters.

Grab yourself a pack of 4 or pack of 8 of pretty pastel Stabilio highlighters.

You could argue that these fun-sized milk and juice cartons are not a back to uni essential but hear me out. These are the cutest novelty erasers you can put in your pencil case. I picked these up in store and can’t find them online but do not worry, you can still get coffee cups, drinks cans and colorful cactus.

Why would I need fun-sized milk and juice cartoon novelty erasers? Well for these pastel pencils of course!

And where I am going to put these pastel pencils and novelty rubbers? In this Strawberry Milk Pencil Case! How ridiculously cute is this. If the strawberry milk flavour isn’t for you, there is always the Llama Drama Energy Drink With Added Fizz and Unicorn Milk With Added Magic.

Live demo (these pencils didn’t actually fit in here but you get the idea).

You know beauty bloggers have a favourite lipstick, well I have a favourite pen. The Pilot G-2 O7 has been my inky friend for many many years now. I have so many of these in pencil cases, bags, notebooks, just lying around the house. I’ve yet to find a better one. Do you have a favourite pen? (or is it just me, ha ha).

I’m pretty lucky that I don’t have anymore exams! Yay! I did have 6 exams during my degree and still have my hundreds and hundreds of revision cards as study souvenirs. For each exam, I used index cards to test myself and these Pack of 100 Assorted Coloured Pastel Record Cards are perfect for the job.

You can either get small (5″ x 3″) or big (8″ x 5″) depending on how much you want to cram onto your card.

Whatever size you prefer, the more colourful the better! 

I love Matilda Myres stationery so I’m super happy that it is available at Ryman! You can choose the Matilda Myres Butterfly Diary in either pink or blue and it’s the perfect size to pop into your handbag. As this starts in 2019 I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do about Oct, Nov & Dec so I hope my memory is good.

The cute mini stapler and hole-punch in pastel blue and washi tape (non-essential but necessary).

Revision tip: scan your index cards into the computer and save in a Word doc. You can then e-mail the document to yourself and have a copy of all your revision cards on your phone. It’s perfect if you are out and about with a spare 5 minutes and want to quickly test yourself.

If you got to the end, well done and thank you. I can honestly write about stationery for hours! Have you got your study supplies ready for university yet? Why not check out the Ryman Back To Uni and Pretty Pastel range to grab yourself a bargain. Good luck to all those starting their courses soon! Let me know what your favourite essential back to uni item is in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

*This is a sponsored post which means I received a product/payment in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. 

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A couple of weeks ago a very happy parcel arrived through my letterbox. I’ve been looking forward to blogging about it for ages now and this has been the first opportunity to put it online. The very happy parcel was from The YAY Makers, a monthly subscription box for lovers of colourful, fun, happy, handmade mail. As with most things, I discovered The YAY Makers on Instagram and when I saw their boxes I knew I just had to place an order.

The YAY Makers is ran by Kate and her husband Stuart who have had six years experience working on a craft and vintage market in Aberdeen meeting fantastically talented people. They now bring the market to you by showcasing colourful exciting products from creative indie makers and designers from all around the world in their monthly subscription boxes.

This box is their July box and if you love it as much as I do you can order a one-off box here

You know it’s going to be an exciting package when the box looks as pretty as this (YAY for washi tape!).

Inside the box: Rainbow Life Pin by Nikki Miles, Follow your Dreams Postcard by Poppekins, Polaroid patch by Hand over your fairy cakesBean & Boy Soap and Be Happy Tote Bag by The YAY Makers.

As a self-confessed pin addict (see: this postthis post, this onethis one, oh and this one), this limited edition Rainbow Life enamel pin was the star of the show for me. It is designed by the talented illustrator, Nikki Miles. You may have seen Nikki’s creations already as they have been stocked in Paperchase stores throughout the UK via Whale and Bird. Nikki also won the 2018 Mollie Makes Handmade Award. This is such a bright and happy addition to my ever growing pin collection.

Check out Nikki on social media to keep up to date with the colourful creativity: Twitter / Instagram 

Follow Your Dreams postcard by Poppekins. The creator behind this fun and fabulous postcard is Carla van der Meer who designs vibrant prints and family portraits as well as custom made birth announcements, party invites, portraits or just about anything! I’m absolutely loving the rainbow theme in this box, everything is so bright and colourful and this Follow Your Dreams postcard fits in perfectly.

Add a splash of colour to your social media by following Poppekins on Twitter / Instagram

I love discovering awesome creators and small businesses. This natural handmade soap is by Bean & Boy. Stacey & Graeme started making their own natural soap alternatives when their daughter developed a mild form of eczema that was made worse by commercially-produced soaps. Bean and Boy is affectionately named using the family nicknames for their children.

This soap smells gorgeous, it is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Bean & Boy’s special recipes have been carefully formulated to ensure that each bar lathers well, cleans brilliantly, and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean. Check out all the different soaps here.

Check out Bean & Boy on Twitter / Instagram

Pastel Polaroid Patch by Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes (HOYFC). Firstly, I absolutely love the shop name Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes don’t you? Sally McAdam has designed acrylic jewellery, enamel pins, patches, accessories and stationery since 2006 and now has stockists all over the world. Secondly, HOYFC has an awesome range of enamel pins, I may or may not have just brought myself a little pin-sized treat. This pastel patch is easy to iron and I think it would be a cool addition on my Be Happy tote bag.

Follow HOYFC on social media to keep up to date with all the cuteness: Twitter / Instagram

As well as all these fabulous treats, I even received a handwritten thank you from Kate also offering me a 10% discount code, yay! I really loved this month’s box and enjoyed discovering more awesome creators. If you love the July box as much as I do, you can order your own here. You can order an August box (which I am very tempted to do right now) or even go one step further and sign up for a 3-month or 6-month subscription plan.

Share your boxes on Instagram tagging #YAYmakersmail and the best pic will win a YAY prize!

Which item is your favourite? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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I always love discovering new and unique small businesses whilst I am scrolling through Instagram. And a couple of weeks ago I did just that. I came across Emily Harte Designs and immediately liked pretty much every picture in her feed. Emily and I got chatting and it was so nice to learn more about her story and her designs. The special thing about Emily’s cards is that they are all limited edition, almost every card is unique, so the ones you see in this post are one of a kind.

Emily and I have teamed up to give both Twitter and Instagram followers a chance to win their very own bundle of awesome limited edition cards (see details at the end of the post). But first, I wanted to share the cool designs I received in my very own specially hand-picked collection.

Check out Emily on Instagram and Etsy. 

Emily sent me 8 awesome cards. What I love most about these designs is the mix of bold statements and pretty colours. They really caught my eye on Instagram and they are just as fabulous in real life.

Emily says: My products are inspired by my everyday life and my 2 kitties, Jasmine & Ruby. My aim is to provide high quality, beautifully made, quirky designs to add some fun to your home – or a friends!

Every effort is taken to minimise the impact to the environment and all my packaging is recyclable and reusable. I also try to be as plastic free as possible – which means I have sourced bio-degradable and recycled materials. In the studio I only ever use water based inks, and I source my paper locally.

This yay card is extra special as it is the only one ever printed in black and gold. It’s gorgeous! 

Currently in Emily’s Etsy Shop there is a range of different designs from quotes, statements, thank yous and birthdays. As well as classic quotes from Roald Dahl, John Lennon and C.S Lewis, Beyonce and Emma Watson also make an appearance!

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. A nice little card to tell someone you are thinking of them.

I especially love the Treat Yo Self! card. It makes a cool alternative to a birthday card if you are including a voucher or money. It’s simple and straight to the point, I like it.

Love this Robin Williams quote – it’s definitely getting framed to go on my wall.

Motivational quotes are my favourite. I think You Go Girl, Anything Can Happen If You Let It & Girls Should Never Be Afraid To Be Smart are all perfect cards to send to those who have recently passed their GCSEs/A-levels. They are much more fun than the standard “congratulations” don’t ya think?

Thank you so much Emily for sending me this fantastic bundle! Why not check out Emily Harte Designs on Instagram and Etsy? Also, if you live in London, Emily will be at Herne Hill Market every Sunday so pop along and see what lovely designs you can get your hands on (tell her Bexa says hello).

For a chance to win 5 limited edition cards (which you can choose yourself) all you have to do is:

1. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @HELLOBEXA

2. RT MY PINNED TWEET

3. EXTRA ENTRY: FOLLOW EMILY & BEXA ON INSTAGRAM & LIKE GIVEAWAY POST

That’s it! I will pick the winner at random on Friday 31st August 2018 at 6pm. Good luck to everyone who takes part!

Which designs are your favourite? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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In the photo: Travel photography by Dan McLeod

Do you remember how you picked that perfect holiday destination in the old days before Instagram arrived on our screens? Long gone is the anticipation that came with carrying home a ton of travel brochures back from the shops, then dreamily flicking through the pages looking at the white sandy beaches and sparkling swimming pools, deciding where to fly away to next. Choosing a holiday these days is all but just a click away and where we go can be strongly influenced by what we are seeing everyday on social media. 

Are you guilty of choosing a travel destination purely based on how photogenic it is? If so, you are definitely not alone. A recent survey conducted by Schofields Insurance found that two fifths (40%) of millennial’s admitted that how pretty a destination will look on Instagram is a major deciding factor in where they go. This option came out on top way above the likes of cost/availability of alcohol (24%), personal development (23%), experiencing local cuisine (9%) and opportunities for sightseeing (4%).

I can well believe that though, as I’ve often admired the beautiful beaches of Bali and gazed longingly at the bright lights of New York and just wanted to pack my bags and jump on the next plane. As I can only dream about my next getaway, I thought I would share with you my top 5 instagrammable travel destinations. Let me know your top 5, I’m forever looking for new holiday inspiration.

(Image source: tasteinhotels – The Royal Pita Maha Resort & Spa, Ubud)

(Image source: greece – Mýkonos, Kikladhes, Greece)

(Image source: what_i_saw_in_nyc – 42 Street, Times Square, New York)

(Image source: bepartofsomethinggreat – Aurora aka The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

(Image source: beautiful__travel – Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives)

Have you chosen a holiday based on a pretty picture? What are your top 5 Instagrammable travel destinations? Feel free to share them with me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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