Hello!

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll have read about my pen pal initiative that I wished to set up; in collaboration with Abbie from Abbie Chic, we swapped boxes. (Click here to see my post.)  The idea is to choose a theme, set a budget, and then send it off to the person in question… and you may exchange letters after! (Click here to see what I sent Abbie.)  I teamed up with Emily from Thoroughly Modern Emily (visit her blog by clicking here) ; she’s a blogger with an uber cool sense of vintage style. Here is what she sent me, all the way from Chicago, United States!
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I think I need to work on my presentation of blogger boxes.. this is what was in Emily’s parcel. I will admit to feeling a little bit bad, as I had bundled everything in in her parcel; I had been in a dash, a rush. Look how pretty this paper is!
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This was the card; I love cityscapes like this! I’d love to go back to the States…and Emily is really funny; her card made me smile.
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We had decided on a dual theme; stationery and beauty. As a female, I’m not the most feminine; I don’t ‘get’ make up, but I was delighted to receive this Eyebrow kit. Very easy to use…
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Emily also sent me this eyeliner pen; I just had to try it out, there and then. The pen is thin enough to slip in your bag, and has a slightly springy cap. I love it, as I had been in need of one for a while.
Lastly…
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Just how cute are these tiny noteletts ?!? (I think that’s how you spell it…) Emily noted how these reminded her of corresponding with a relative. These now are a permanent fixture in my handbag.
Thank you to Emily Hallock for sending me these!
Untitled design* These swaps were inspired by a post over on Abbey Louisa’s blog; you can see that post here.

If you regularly read this blog, you’ll probably know that I love to write; this has been running since 2012, but this year was the year that I decided to post daily. Anyway, you’re probably wondering; “why two posts today?” I would like to tell you about my Blogger Pen Pal Initiative.
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One of the things I love most is putting pen to paper; behind a screen, I think we can loose touch a bit, in the sense that it is so easy to forget that there is a human behind the screen. For a little while now, I’ve been trying to set up a pen pal switch; largely with letters. I also saw this post (click here to view) on Abbey Louisa’s blog. When partaking in a blogger Twitter chat, I got talking to Abbie from Abbie Chic; we emailed the next week, and promptly set about swapping boxes. (The prefix of ‘blogger’ in ‘Blogger boxes’ was because we’re both bloggers.) We had a budget of five pounds or less, and the theme of ‘Candy’. Here’s what came in my box!
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It was Saturday morning that I received this; and it was in a lovely dotty bag! (Because what’s not to love about Sugar arriving in the post?!) As you can see, the theme chosen was followed to the letter. I loved the way that this parcel was laid out; I felt really bad, as I had been in a dash-and hadn’t thought about the wrapping for mine, purely bundling it up in an envelope at the post office!
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Left to right:

  1. Chuppa Chups pizza slices.
  2. A galaxy bar.
  3. Darkside skittles. (Perfect snack whilst blogging!)
  4. Milky Way.
  5. Jelly beans.
  6. Haribo Golden Bears.

What a privilege!
As you may have also seen, there was also a letter; the paper was really pretty. (Abbie’s handwriting is sooo neat!) The idea of this whole launch was to put pen to paper-because there’s just something so pleasing about getting another missive through the door. I’ve found that it really can brighten some people’s days.
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I shall definitely be writing back!
To view Abbie’s really cool blog, click here.  If you would be interested in a letter, just tweet me. Lastly; go and check out my Twitter giveaway (it launched today) in collaboration with Nicole from A Beautiful Chaos!
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A friend sparked the idea for this post; she was bored, and messaging me, asking all sorts of questions. Here are fifty things to do if you’re bored!

  1. Read a book. Any book. 
  2. Go for a walk.
  3. Dream about a holiday you wish to take.
  4. Plan to make it a reality.
  5. Reorganise your bedroom.
  6. Colour code your planner.
  7. Colour code your wardrobe.
  8. Even colour code your shoes!
  9. Have a blog post brainstorm.
  10. Learn a craft.
  11. Use that craft.
  12. Rip out any articles you wish to keep from your magazines, and file them away in a folder. Can be about anything.
  13. Sign up to be a volunteer.
  14. Do not go on a shopping splurge.
  15. Plan a day out.
  16. Plan a picnic.
  17. Challenge yourself to learn all fifty states of America.
  18. Learn to recite a poem, the longer the better.
  19. Dance crazily to old songs.
  20. Sing!
  21. Dance!
  22. Even practice your Jazz hands 😁
  23. Plan a party.
  24. Netflix and a tub of icecream? Yes please!
  25. Paint your nails.
  26. Paint your toenails.
  27. Run around the block, or your garden.
  28. Offer to walk your neighbours dog.
  29. Binge watch TV.
  30. Start a new project.
  31. Go wild with stickers in your planner!
  32. Try a new beauty splurge.
  33. Spend all your time on Facebook.
  34. Visit a library.
  35. Borrow a book from that library.
  36. Contemplate all of life’s tricky questions.
  37. Learn some new slang.
  38. Hashtag everything you say.
  39. Play a board game.
  40. Hold a board game marathon.
  41. Write all your birthday cards.
  42. Write all of your Christmas cards.
  43. Go through your clothes, and donate those that don’t fit to a charity shop. Donations are always needed.
  44. Practice yoga.
  45. Tweet! Compulsively.
  46. Read the news.
  47. Debate the news.
  48. Write yourself a future letter.
  49. Find a pen pal.
  50. Bake.

What do you do when bored?
Lydia
XO

Sounds ambitious, right?
Looking back at all the blog posts I’ve written this year, I haven’t explained-yet-As to why I wanted to attempt the three hundred and sixty five day challenge. (Basically: post daily, and tweet your posts.) It’s about time I explained why I’m writing this, right?
This is a teeny tiny blog, something that’s fully my corner of the internet. It’s the project that I’ve developed ever since setting it up five years ago. But I would Love to expand this website. It’s too quiet-with double digits as the average viewing figures. I would love to expand it.
If you’re an aspiring journalist like am, you’ll probably have noticed that the industry seems to be shrinking; print is in decline, newspapers have to meet budgets, and there’s more competition than ever before. (Wow, way too many axioms!) I’m still sitting my A levels, and will be training in the field; meanwhile, I wish to add more to my online portfolio. 365 days to post and publish! It may be a lot, but I would like to build it up for a possible future career. And I also wish to write for myself. 
But the thing I like about Blogging?  The community. Although I have made a few mistakes-never tag a blogger on Twitter, for instance!-it has never been malicious or nasty. (Trolling is, by contrast.) For this year I want to build my platform; I would love more guestbloggers. (After all, it gets boring to hear my own writerly voice all the time!) These guest posters are some blogging community members that I admire most-And I am so grateful that they write for me. 
Finally, it’s a form of discipline; I’ll be up late some nights, scheduling posts months in advance. Gotta to keep to a deadline! It has also made me more aware of keep different spaces for posts, following up guest posters, and keeping to the deadline. But you’ll also need a backup plan, just in case. Surely these are all skills that a journalist may need? I may be a student, but I can still write for myself.
What do you think-would you ever attempt the 365 day challenge?
Lydia
XO

Because who would not want to do this?! Continuing with the ’50 things’ series, here’s the latest addition.

  1. Suggest a film night-with them choosing the film, and possibly, the theme to go with it. (Horror, anyone?)
  2. And that includes stuffing yourselves. (The occasional indulgence is alright, surely?) 
  3. Take them for a surprise day out, wherever they like-they could have even have mentioned it before. You also don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even any at all. 
  4. Visit them-suprise drop in visit.
  5. Write them a grattitude note, and hide it in their possessions. 
  6. Plan and execute some sort of gesture that will appeal. Can be comical, serious, sentimental, etc.
  7. Plan a Netflix night in with them.
  8. Go for a walk together.
  9. And a dog is optional.
  10. Spend time just talking to them, seeing how they feel. 
  11. Make something for them, with them in mind. (Rainbow scarf anyone?!)
  12. Play Truth or Dare like we’re young again. Ha ha!
  13. Make a scrapbook for them.
  14. Dress up for yourselves, and take lots of photos…
  15. Facebooking them is optional.
  16. Play a physical game of exercise. And competitively. Football anyone?
  17. Board games. Tournament. What could go wrong?
  18. Play a prank.
  19. Visit your nearest libray.
  20. Binge on a boxset.
  21. Or two. 
  22. Or three.
  23. Spend some time on snapchat, transforming yourselves by filters. The sillier, the better.
  24. Play Exploding Kittens.
  25. Better still, order the Extension pack.
  26. Listen to your favorite song on repeat.
  27. Put on music. Loudly. Dance.
  28. Reminisce about the past.
  29. Create a wall collage.
  30. Start a blog.
  31. Read. To each other, alternating, etc.
  32. Cull your magazine collection.
  33. Do a puzzle.
  34. Do a Skype call with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  35. Guest post on each other’s blog.
  36. Spend a day baking.
  37. Try learning how to crochet.
  38. Bake the other a surprise cake.
  39. Make a meme complimation. 
  40. Ben and Jerrys. 
  41. Haagen Daz.
  42. Need I say any more? 
  43. Read a magazine from cover to cover, and making a note of all the pretty things.
  44. Write a list of what you’re grateful for.
  45. Write a fantasy list-of what you wish to own, do, etc.
  46. Interview each other. Not as weird as it sounds.
  47. Paint each other’s nails.
  48. Compile a ‘feel good’ Playlist.
  49. And one themed as ‘nostalgia’.
  50. Comment on this post!

Lydia
XO