15   84
21   117
18   128
17   120
11   107
20   118
8   93
15   109

Last month, I saw a really sweet collab with Lisa from Lisa’s Notebook and Jordanne from Life Of A Glasgow Girl. They sent each other a box of thoughtful self-care treats with the theme ‘Me Time For Mums’. After reading their posts, I had the inspiration for an idea: I could do something similar but with stationery goodies! And, I had the perfect blogging friend in mind, the lovely Lauren from Bournemouth Girl.

Lauren & I share the same love of all things stationery and I’ve always wanted to collab together so this was the perfect opportunity. If you love bullet journalling, self-care tips, pretty stationery and fun days out like I do, then check out Lauren’s blog and Twitter. If you want colourful notebooks, washi tape, pens, doughnuts, cats and other nice things on your feed, I encourage you to check out Lauren’s Instagram too!

For our stationery box swap, we agreed to a budget of £20. Cool story: Lauren’s sister hand delivered me my box as she was visiting my local area one Sunday (thanks Holly!). I’m so excited to share with you my awesome box of goodies! Make sure you head over to Lauren’s blog to see what’s in her box too!

How gorgeously is everything wrapped up: Pink paper, hearts and unicorn chocolate all in a cute basket.

Wow! It was like Christmas had come early when I opened up all my beautifully wrapped gifts. There were colourful pens, pastel highlighters, stickers, pretty blank cards, colouring books and pencils, adorable paperclips, delicious unicorn chocolates, a cute notebook and a really sweet card!  What an awesome bundle, thanks so much Lauren!

Pastel highlighters: everything was so thoughtfully chosen and was perfect for me.

I love this. It’s pretty and motivational and you can never have too many notebooks, right?!

Yay, washi tape! I have a small (big) washi tape obsession and these fun and colourful designs are perfect for my collection. This is such an adorable set with cute frogs, donuts, hearts, flowers and pandas.

I love how everything is so bright, fun and colourful. This really is a box of happiness!

I never knew paperclips could be so much fun. These are the prettiest paperclips I’ve ever seen!

Lauren very kindly included two colouring books. Colouring in is one of my most favourite ways to chill, I can’t wait to get creative with these. Also, how awesome are those girl power stickers! 

Whenever I see sharp colouring pencils, I just want to colour things…

I knew it wouldn’t be long before I opened the colouring books.

I got carried away colouring in pretty pastel rainbows.

And I’ve already added washi tape and stickers to my notebook.

This is such a fantastic bundle of stationery goodies, I am so happy with everything! Thank you so much to Lauren for this thoughtful and awesome stationery box swap. This was such a fun collab to do and it felt like I had Christmas early in September. What is your favourite item in the box? I’m off now to do some more colouring and eat tasty unicorn chocolates…

Make sure you head over to Lauren’s blog to see what stationery goodies I’ve included in her box too!

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In the photo: Build Your Own Treatbox

Self-help and personal development books are my favourite kinda books. I first saw Happier Thinking by Lana Grace Riva on Melanie’s blog (Frasers Fun House) and after leaving a comment, Lana herself got in touch offering to send me a copy of the book to review too. Yes please!

Happier Thinking is a book which contains a collection of tips and suggestions to help retrain your brain and see more of the good. Lana has suffered with bouts of depression in the past and is now sharing the things which worked after years of mindfulness, therapy and educating herself on mental health. It’s a short read (50 pages long) and I actually finished it in an hour or so as it is definitely a book that I couldn’t put down. There are 12 chapters which are easy to read, offering a range of inspirational ideas on how to lift your mood and think happier.

It’s packed with simple and helpful advice on things to do when faced with everyday challenges (big and small). My favourite chapter is ‘Turn negatives into positives’ where Lana gives typically negative situations and encourages you to see the hidden positives in each one. This part reminded me of the time when my boiler broke and I had to shower everyday at my local gym. A normally frustrating and annoying situation made me realise I was fortunate enough to have a gym membership, access to leisure facilities so close to home and in that week I got in more exercise than I normally would have. Win.

The book includes alternative ways of thinking when it comes to unexpected changed plans, comparing ourselves to others and making assumptions. I know I sometimes get caught up overthinking about the worst case scenario or worrying what people think of me. Lana reminds us that our thoughts are not reality, and is it really worth dedicating your energy to worrying over something that may not happen?

Happier Thinking is an handy companion to have when you need a quick boost of positivity. It isn’t swamped with scientific facts and statistics, instead it’s written in a clear, relatable and easy to understand way. Since reading this book, I have been putting the theory into practice: this morning I felt myself getting anxious about the amount of things on my to-do list. Once I put it into perspective and reasoned with myself, what is the worst thing that can happen? I’ll just carry it over to tomorrow. I stopped feeling so overwhelmed and just got on with the first thing.

Have you been able see a positive in a negative situation? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your stories! Why not order yourself a copy of Happier Thinking by Lana Grace Riva

*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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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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In the photo: Notebook & confetti from BlogBox / Postcards from Heleen Van Den Thillart

Something I don’t often mention on the blog, but something I am hugely passionate about is living a healthy lifestyle. Quick story: At 23, I went on a weight loss mission and completely changed my lifestyle from boozing, partying and 2am steak and cheese Subways into yoga, vegetarianism, fitness and healthy eating. In the process I lost 4 stone and developed an interest in health and the science behind weight loss.

Fast-forward a few more years, I completed a Health Science degree with The Open University whilst running another blog that shared my fitness journey and weight loss tips in the hopes to inspire and encourage others. Even though my blog now is more washi tape than weight loss, living a healthy lifestyle is still very important to me and something which I continue to work on daily.

Here are five suggestions which I do regularly to live a healthier lifestyle:

Eat More Plant-Based Foods

When I cut out meat from my diet, I found I was naturally eating more plant-based foods. I found there are plenty of tasty alternatives, my favourites include tofu stir fry, sweet potato fries (insert heart eyes emoji), mushroom burgers, butternut squash roast dinner, veggie sushi, and falafel + salad wraps. Eating plant-based has so many benefits from improving skin and digestion, increasing energy, lowing blood pressure & cholesterol and aiding in weight loss.

I was contacted recently by a company called HealthLabs.com who offer online lab testing to check for a whole range of disorders and deficiencies. HealthLabs.com are the first ever service to offer tests tailored towards vegans and those considering the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Being a vegetarian, I feel that eating a plant-based diet has greatly improved my health and I’m often considering whether I should go vegan. If you are the same, there are simple laboratory tests you can do to check for a range of meat and dairy allergies in their Should I Be Vegan? test. To receive 25% off all vegan tests use the code: BEXA25.

Yoga

Yoga, or more specifically Yoga With Adriene on YouTube, has quickly become a way of life for me. I try to do a daily video if time allows, if not, I’ll fit in a short 10 minute meditation practice. Yoga brings so many benefits both physically and mentally: it tones and strengthens the body whilst calms and quiets the mind. In November, I am going on my very first yoga retreat with the lovely Jenny from Jenny in Neverland which I am super excited about. I’m meeting a blogging friend AND we are doing yoga together, how awesome is that! Click to read: 10 Amazing Benefits Of Yoga.

Get Moving

Get moving but make sure it’s doing something you enjoy. Can you put exercise and enjoy in the same sentence? Personally, I think there is an exercise out there for everyone so keep trying new things until you find what works for you. My current favourite activities are walking, swimming and badminton. I’ve also tried gym and fitness classes, but at the moment, as it is hot, I’m preferring being outside or in the pool. Does anyone else change their exercise routine depending on the weather?

Stay Hydrated

You have probably heard this one a thousand times but it does work. If I make an effort to drink more water throughout the day, I have more energy and I feel more alert. On a biology level, water is good for pretty much everything: the skin, digestive system, cardiovascular system, kidneys, joints and cartilage whilst helping minerals and nutrients get to where they need to go. Our systems do not function well without proper hydration, so drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy.

Remember To Relax 

Last but no means least, taking time out to chill is so important for a healthy lifestyle. Stress can cause all sorts of problems to the body so finding ways to wind down and relax is good for you. My favourite things to do are: having a bath and watching YouTube, reading a book, colouring (why not get yourself a Wellbeing Journal), watching a film, having lunch with my family or just simply having a nap. Click to read: 30 Simple Self-Care Ideas To Improve Your Mental Health. What are you favourite ways to relax?

I hope you have enjoyed my five suggestions to live a healthier lifestyle. What do you do to stay healthy? 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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