A Crafty Afternoon With Paperchase!

SPRING '16 PREVIEW AND SOME CHRISTMAS CRAFT AND STYLING

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE stationery?! Hmmm, Yes I think I might have! So imagine my excitement when an email popped into my inbox inviting me to a bloggers event run by Paperchase, with the chance to craft some Christmas treats AND have a sneak peek at the upcoming Spring Summer 2016 ranges. Yep, sign me up, I'm in!

Paperchase SS16 Preview Wedding Pinwheels

The afternoon took place at the Paperchase Flagship Store on Tottenham Court Road. If you've never visited this particular branch, and have a passion for the Paperchase brand, then you really should make a note to swing by. It's huge, covering three floors full of stationery, gifty goodness. You can lose yourself for hours amongst the delights on offer, every line and every item can be lapped up for your sheer paper supply delight!

Paperchase Tottenham Court Road Store

We began our afternoon with a look at the upcoming Spring and Summer 2016 ranges. The design sourcing manager and one of Paperchase's in-house designers talked us through everything from Valentines Day to Easter and all of the other beautiful ranges in between. Telling us of the inspiration behind each collection and how they take each idea through to fruition.

Although some of the product designs are outsourced many are created in-house and the starting point of an idea can be as simple as an i-Phone photograph of some fruit and veg on a stall outside of Goodge Street Station. From this simple beginning, a main design is created, a range is envisioned and the process sparks to life. Slogans are thought up, products and how they will integrate with the design and be part of the range are decided and suddenly the Paperchase signature quirky style is brought forth from that one single moment of inspiration.

I've always engaged with the brand for its unique and constantly evolving style. I know many friends who also love to browse the aisles of a Paperchase store even if they aren't in the market for stationery! There's just so much to love and admire.

Paperchase SS16 Preview Get Organised Collection

There are some really beautiful selections to look forward to in 2016. One of my absolute favourites was the copper and black, marquetry wood styled 'Get Organised' offering. Beautiful to do lists, notepads, desk accessories and much, much more, make up this smart and chic design that will certainly be welcome on my desk in the very near future.

I also fell in love with the wedding stationery, especially the gorgeous geometric designs below. Just a pity I won't be needing it - unless I can convince my other half to have another wedding just for the excuse to add a little of this loveliness to my collection!

Paperchase SS16 Preview Wedding Stationery
Paperchase SS16 Preview Wedding Stationery

Easter sees some funky and fun florals coming our way whilst the Mothers Day collections include a beautiful, darker but vibrant, floral pattern that I think all mothers will love. That's another reason that Paperchase is always a favourite place of mine to turn to for cards, gifts and paper inspiration. They always come up with something more unique than your usual pink hearts at valentines and flowers for all other occasions, whilst still providing something thoughtful and on target for the event in hand.

Paperchase SS16 Preview Easter Collection
Paperchase SS16 Preview Mothers Day Madame Romantica

Another favourite of mine had to be the gorgeous turquoise and animal print 'Serengeti'. There are some really lovely, as well as very fun pieces to choose from in this selection including an absolute must grab zebra stapler. 

Plus for the first time I believe, Paperchase has created a gym inspired set, designed to motivate you to hit the treadmill in style. With some really fun and tongue in cheek slogans, you can expect backpacks, water bottles and wash bags galore. Everything you need by your desk to ensure that you get in a bit of movement in the very best of style.

Paperchase SS16 Preview Serengeti Collection
Paperchase SS16 Preview Get Fit Collection

After delighting at all that is new to look forward to next year, we went back to the current season and it was time to get down to some serious Christmas crafting and styling for the holidays up ahead of us. So we took ourselves over to the dedicated area to make a start on the creative activities. 

Paperchase Blogger Event 2015

Task one involved a supermarket sweep style effort with us bloggers making our merry way down to the Christmas section, armed with a generous £25 gift voucher and a need for speed, gathering together the best decorations we could find to forthwith design and decorate our colourful mini Christmas trees. I say colourful but I had in fact opted for the black tree and was looking to vamp it up, Vegas style, with a little gold and silver bling and the one piece that I absolutely couldn't resist, Elvis The Bulldog! 

The Paperchase Christmas range this year offers all sorts of bright and sparkly delights, from offbeat bright pink flamingoes, giant orange carrots and bulldog tree decorations to the more traditional reindeers, snowmen and Christmas sparkle. There's also a beautiful mint green collection which would make a subtle but stand out difference to the usual reds, golds and rich greens that we might usually see. 

Following a successful tree decorating frenzy we moved on to making beautiful pinwheels with the very lovely Laura, Freelance Designer and owner of Things By Laura. Aside from being a pinwheel making extraordinaire, Laura designs for weddings, events and retail displays with a passion for paper craft. Her designs are all totally beautiful and completely bespoke. You should definitely check out her portfolio if you're a lover of all things creative, especially if you're planning an upcoming wedding. Inspiration galore and so very original and inviting.

Paperchase Blogger Event Pinwheel Making
Paperchase Christmas Range 2015
Paperchase Christmas Tree Styling

And thus our creative afternoon came to a close and we made our way out into the blustery winter weather clutching our beautiful newly decorated trees all ready in time for the upcoming festivities. 

Thank you to Paperchase and to Laura for an inspiring day and the chance to meet likeminded bloggers and creatives. I'm certainly looking forward to adding some of that beautiful SS16 goodness to my ever burgeoning stationery collection when it hits the shelves next year. I hope you've enjoyed having a little pre-release peek with me here on the blog today and that all this prettiness helps to get you through this mid-week hump in style!

Louise

 

Don't miss the What Now 'Unwind This Christmas' GIVEAWAY! Enter to win a gorgeous box of goodies to help you relax this holiday season. Click on the picture to find out more.

 

Desktop Beauty: Haunting Halloween Makeup Picks

Now Halloween fans please don't be annoyed but this particular seasonal celebration isn't really one that I get all that excited about. That said, if you're heading straight off to a Halloween party this coming Friday following a day in the office, or simply want to pick up some makeup 'trick or treats' to enhance this spooky weekend and the coming winter season, then I'm sharing my top picks for adding some chic 'all hallows eve' sparkle to your most ghoulish of outfits!

Sally Hansen Red Zin

One of the best ways to immediately vamp up your look is to add a definite and strong colour to your nails. Now dark colours can be a real pain to paint and who has time for that when you've had a hectic week at work and need to run out of the door?

That's why I recommend picking up this fabulous blood red polish, the Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Polish Red Zin.

Oh how I love this colour. It's vibrant and so very easy to apply, even if you haven't got a lot of time to spare. You can actually get away with one coat in this if you really need to move it. You'll still get a lovely bright red result. Or if you have the time then build it up to a heavier, richer red with a few coats and be sure to unleash the inner vamp in you!

Charlotte Tilbury Bond Girl

Next up a subtle and sultry lipstick that oozes glamour. The Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bond Girl.

Now there are of course much darker, deeper and more frightening Halloween lip colours out there but I wanted to include this one for anyone who's not necessarily wanting to wear a deep dark colour but is after something that will still make their finished look feel sharp and polished.

Layer this up to increase its depth and fall in love with the muted plummy colour and matte finish. Plus with the release of the new Bond movie this week, it seems only right to include this pick in here for more than just Halloween related reasons.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadowstick Blackmail

When it comes to smudging out the eyes into a much heavier and smokier look then I really love to reach for these chunky shadow sticks from Rimmel. This one is the Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in Blackmail and it's exactly what you need for that dark and dangerous Halloween finish.

If you're literally going to be rushing out of the office door without any time to re-do your makeup for the evening then you can add this to your daytime look, smudge it in, work it around and create a deeper and fuller finish for the night ahead of you. A true smoky eye staple in my book.

Finally, for that special finishing touch add one of these simple but effective glitter costume masks from Asos and you're good to go from office to party in just a few simple steps.

Have a great Halloween everyone!

Louise

 


On My Desk From Summer To Autumn

So we're just over halfway through the month of September and fast approaching the official start date of the Autumn season, the 22nd according to the Met Office! With this in mind I thought today I'd share a small selection of Autumn inspired favourites that have recently been gracing my desk. 

On My Desk Summer To Autumn

First on my list is a beauty of a time keeper, the Olivia Burton Big Dial Watch in grey and gold. 

I have a silver Citizen watch that I adore, a birthday present from about 6 years ago and a watch I treasure. The only thing that I don't like is that if I wear gold or more costume type jewellery then the silver watch just doesn't look right at all (bit of a stickler for co-ordination). So on the hunt I went for something simple, smart and gold in style that would look better when wearing certain accessories.

I personally really love the Olivia Burton watches because they look really smart so they're perfect for the office with your best workwear outfit, yet they also transition to the evening and out of work occasions really well too. Plus as watches go they are pretty affordable compared to similar styles on the market. This one was £80 and for such a smart item that I intend to wear a lot and hope will last me a while, I think this is a pretty reasonable price.

Olivia Burton Big Dial Watch

Second on my desk today is a daily facial serum that I've really been loving for perking up slightly lacklustre September skin. The Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate.*

I actually received this as a Klout perk and was pleasantly surprised to be sent a full sized sample to try. Just quickly, for anyone not familiar with Klout, this is a website and mobile app that scores your online social influence. Your 'Klout Score' is a value given to you between 1 and 100 that determines the presence you have online amongst your peers and within the area of expertise that you're most active in. Basically social media analytics that can come in very useful as a blogger for your media kit and for demonstrating reach and influences. You can sign up easily via your Twitter account and then add all of your other respective social media channels to help determine your score. Now I wasn't asked to write this as part of the perk, but it seemed worthwhile explaining it for anyone wondering what on earth I'm going on about! Very simple to use, give it a go if you're intrigued.

Anyway back to the serum. I think I've mentioned here before that I don't usually go too wild for facial oils. The consistency can really annoy my skin and cause breakouts. I've used the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate before and it's been ok but I can't say I really noticed any significant benefit to my skin. However I have to admit that I really love this day serum and have been applying it regularly every morning. 

The very lightweight formula soaks in incredibly quickly allowing you to apply your makeup almost immediately. Leaving the skin looking much brighter and giving you a little bit more of a revived glow. Especially useful as we head into the slightly greyer months here in the UK!

At £36 for 30ml it's not the cheapest of products but with serums you really need such a tiny amount that I think it will last you a very long time. I've been using mine daily for nearly two months now and as you can tell from the picture I've barely even scratched the surface.

Kiehls Daily Reviving Concentrate

Now to an exciting new palette gracing my makeup drawer and that's the truly fabulous Maybelline The Nudes Palette.

A little while ago I wrote a post called Quick Smart Office Beauty Tips and in it talked about finding that one, reliable palette of eye shadow colours that you know will work for you, for any kind of look, every single time. Well this palette can go firmly into that very category and all for an incredibly reasonable price of £9.99. So much more affordable than many of the other, higher end, options out there.

This selection has it all. From matte to shimmer, nude to full on black, you have everything you need for the ideal daytime look as well as to take you through to the evening. The colour pay off and pigment in each shade is top drawer! This is a little beauty that will be gracing my makeup bag for a long time to come. Ideal for anyone after that one pick that they can get everything from. Love it.

Maybelline The Nudes Pallette

Last but not least, a delicious little snack from the Itsu grocery and that's the Itsu Mango Mungo.*

I've really enjoyed snacking on this whilst working at my desk over the last few weeks. Sweet like candy but a little healthier with no added sugar. This delicate dried delight is proving to be the ideal afternoon pick me up and I think I'll be re-purchasing this over and over again. 

If you have an Itsu near you and have a bit of a sweet tooth that you need to tame, then you might want to give this treat a try. Trust me, I think you'll love it!

Itsu Dried Mango

So there's my selection of Summer to Autumn desktop favourites.

What would yours be? Any new and exciting picks gracing your desk this month?

Let me know your thoughts and thank you for reading. I hope you've found some Autumnal inspiration to perk up your own office space this month!

Louise

 

This post contains some PR samples. These have been marked with an *

 


Desktop Treats: Bonny Confectionery Gourmet Marshmallows

I feel today it's time to introduce you to something a little sweet and tasty. Treats to tickle the tastebuds and get you through this Wednesday hump day with thoughts of mallow loveliness and a knowing smile on your face. Something to treat yourself, or your work colleagues with (if you're feeling generous!) as you sit typing away at your desk, a way to add a little sparkle to your favourite desktop afternoon tipple! Plus stay tuned because if all of this sweet loveliness really tickles your fancy then you'll have the opportunity to win a selection box all of your very own.

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Dipper Belgian Chocolate

When I was asked by the lovely duo at Bonny Confectionery if I'd like to review a selection of their tasty products, the sweet fiend within me just couldn't say no. However it wasn't just my cheeky sweet tooth that was keen to review these beauties. I was equally intrigued by the tale behind the Bonny brand. Two mothers, friends who made the decision to go on their own entrepreneurial adventure and turn their childhood memories and a burning passion into a business.

Having met in their local village whilst out walking their dogs (that's also where I meet all of the best people too!) Jackie and Cordie found that they had a mutual passion for making handmade, tasty sweets. After a little time running different ideas around, they hit upon the idea of making gourmet flavoured marshmallows, specifically designed to sweeten up your hot drinks in the most delightful and gooey of ways. Taking the humble marshmallow and elevating it to something just a little more special. With a range of flavours, from the perfectly traditional to the uniquely different and unusual, Bonny Confectionery was born and has been growing ever since.

I love the fact that these delightful, squidgy delicacies are not only a treat for the tastebuds and the perfect way to pep up a slightly less than shiny afternoon, but are also made with fine, locally sourced and natural ingredients. Hand-made with minimum processing, these lovely munchies are a little less cheeky than usual and a slightly less naughty way to enjoy a decadent mallow moment!

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Dipper Belgian Chocolate

I had the lucky pleasure of sampling two of the Marshmallow Melt Dippers, a Belgian Chocolate* and a Blood Orange and Chocolate* version.

These mallow dippers are a most indulgent and delicous way to make your cup of coffee or hot chocolate all gooey and delightful! On a handy, sturdy dipping stick you can happily stir away and watch your marshmallow of choice dissolve into a sticky pool of happiness right before your eyes. The handy packaging makes them easy to pop into your work bag if you wish to whip one into the office to brighten up your day.

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Dipper Blood Orange And Chocolate

If you're looking for even more marshmallow-ness then you may want to reach for one of the lovely Mallow Melt Bags.

These come in a choice of five flavours, including an unusual sounding Natural Lemon which Bonny Mallows suggest you try serving with crepes and vanilla ice cream for a lovely summer pudding. Certainly sounds delicious and intriguing.

However I sampled the delectable Spearmint and Chocolate* option and I think these stood out as one of my absolute favourites. I'm a bit of a sucker for mint and chocolate, which maybe isn't to everyones taste, but these little beauties really didn't disappoint on the flavour front. Big, buoyant and bouncy mallows that pack a real minty punch. Pop one of these into your drink, or just enjoy on their own, and you'll be very happy indeed.

Mallow warning though - don't eat these to excess whilst you're sat in front of the Great British Bake Off. You may find yourself feeling a little worse for wear if you do - not that I would ever do such a thing!

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Melts Spearmint And Chocolate
Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Melts Spearmint And Chocolate

Last up, the cute little Raspberry and Vanilla Mallow Munch Bar*. These bars are slightly smaller little cubes of sweetness but they still pack a punch. These and the dippers were my favourite for actually putting into my hot chocolate - with the larger mallow melts from the melt bag usually heading straight into my mouth instead!

Bonny Marshmallows Mallowmunch Bar Raspberry And Vanilla

Seriously lovely treats and such a pleasure to review! Plus the fact that they are made with natural ingredients means you can enjoy them without the same guilt as you might encounter when grabbing that cheeky chocolate bar from the office vending machine.

These would make the perfect gift for a friend or colleague with a bit of a sweet tooth. Colourful, delicious and very reasonably priced, a selection box of gourmet bonny goodies is bound to please even the most difficult of colleagues to buy for. Certainly a unique and different gift option that's sure to get the rest of the office crowding around with foodie fever!

Want to know my drink of choice for sampling these tasty treats? Then you might find inspiration in this previous post here.

 

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN: Happily you don't just have to take my word for it when it comes to these delights. The lovely ladies at Bonny Confectionery have kindly offered up a selection box of goodies, such as I got to sample, for one lucky reader to enjoy. So if you'd like to give these tempting treats a try for yourself make sure you enter using the form below.

Entries close next Wednesday 26th August at midnight after which time one lucky winner will be contacted via Twitter and their box of yumminess sent out for them to try. So go on just tickle those tastebuds why don't you!

Please Note: 

This competition is open to UK based entrants only on this occassion.

The selection box will be similar to that reviewed here on the blog although items may vary subject to availability.