Monday, 21 September 2015

GIVEAWAY • WIN WITH QTIQUE!

When I was contacted by Katrina, the mastermind behind Qtique Studios, I was pleasantly surprised when she suggested doing some sort of collaboration with me and my blog. I love, love, love Qtique mugs. If you follow me on Instagram you'll see near-on daily photographs containing a cup of tea or coffee usually housed by a design by Qtique. And of course, I've raved about the Jolly Muggsie design in a post on here in the past as well.

So seeing as so many of you commented about what is now known as "the cutest, most adorable mug in the world" I figured you would be interested in taking part in a little giveaway for a chance to win a Qtique mug of your very own!

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of the giveaway, I would just like to enlighten you a little bit about Qtique Studios if you're new to the scene. They are a family run business who work closely with potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and these potteries specialise in the manufacturing of high quality ceramic goods using traditional handmade techniques. Their premium mugs are hand-cast in the finest English Creamware and their artwork is produced using ceramic silk screen printing. All designs are created in their studios in London and the Cotswolds. 

The mugs themselves are fantastic quality. Qtique are committed to making products that are original, durable, practical and long-lasting, and there's a design to suit absolutely everyone! The company currently offers three sets of designs printed onto both sides of their classic English Creamware ceramics: Alphabetty, Muggsie, and Pattern. So far, my personal collection has one of each - The K mug, the Jolly Muggsie, and the Chevron patterned mug*. Clearly I love them all! Such simple and pretty designs yet they're the perfect size. And you don't just have to use them for hot drinks... They can house toothbrushes, makeup brushes, pens, a potted plant, and there are many other possibilities too.

To view the entire collection and pick your favourite, click here.

If you're interested in owning a Qtique mug of your choice, here's how you can win!

There are a couple of mandatory entries for this giveaway as it is a collaboration. You must be following this blog on Bloglovin', and you must also leave a comment on this blog post to tell us which mug you would like to receive should you be the lucky winner. You must also be following both The Last Souvenir and Qtique Studios on Instagram - apologies if you don't have an IG account, but I'm pretty sure there are more people that have one then not nowadays! You may gain extra opportunities to win by liking Qtique Studios on Facebook, sharing this giveaway on Twitter (you can do this more than once!), and following our Twitter accounts.

The giveaway will end midnight (GMT) on Monday 26th October 2015, and is open worldwide. I will announce the winner both on here and on Twitter.

Good luck everyone!
*PR Sample
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Sunday, 6 September 2015

SHINING STAR


Hello all, I thought I would share with you a quick (kind of) outfit post, bringing my fashion blogging to a grand total of...two. I clearly hate taking full-length photographs of my body so a fashion post is rather rare! I dip in and out pretty frequently when it comes to style. If I like something I'll buy it, wear it to death, complain I don't have anything to wear and go on another splurge, thus completing the vicious cycle. 

I've followed Julie Sariñana on Instagram for the longest time. You may know her by her username sincerelyjules or as that crazy-stylish lady who keeps popping up on your Pinterest feeds and fashion boards. I seriously love her style (and her seemingly perfect globetrotting lifestyle) and have been lusting after several items in her online shop for too long. So, armed with my trusty credit card and no self-control, I popped a couple of bits into my basket and bit the bullet on those horrid shipping costs from America.

I fell in love with this simple classic white t-shirt with the gorgeously written "étoile brillante" print. On her website it translates as "shining star" but I've also seen it translated as "bright star" in a few other places - whatever its literal meaning it's rather cute and I couldn't resist it. I'm a sucker for slogan tees. I love how wearable they are, and how they serve as a good base to any outfit.

It's worth a mention that as well as the t-shirt, I also bought the off-duty sweatshirt, which I've been wearing pretty much my entire weekends off. It's a little bit short (so if you're tall be prepared to get cropped) but it's so comfortable, stylish, and makes me feel weirdly American? I think it might be the classic lettering!

I've been loving this really cute black bomber jacket from ASOS too. I think I must wear it with practically every outfit I put together at the moment, but it's great at this time of year because it's not too thick. I know that I can just throw it on to walk the dog and it'll look good while keeping the September chills at bay. I would say it's like a hoodie without the hood. The cotton material is so comfortable (and practical to wash) and the pockets are really handy, especially if I'm lazy on my lower half and just wearing black leggings - yes, I'm one of those girls, don't judge.

So yeah, a really quick half-an-outfit-post for you today! I really recommend checking out the Sincerely Jules Shop as it offers some really lovely stuff that I've found to be great quality and just what I'm looking for in the moment. I have so many bits on my future wish list so come payday I may have to have another little splurge. I'll just have to apologise to my credit card in advance this time!
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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A LITTLE LIFE UPDATE

September is here! I know everyone seems to say "oh god, where is the time going?" but after a crazy busy summer season I'm so glad that everything is finally slowing down. Living in a popular seaside village means that we have to share our summer (village shops, parks, pubs, car parks and beaches) with thousands of families throughout the summer holidays and it comes to a point where you just can't wait for everyone to go home and get back to work and school. This is partly why blogging has been on the back burner for me. So where the hell have I been?

WORKING FULL-TIME
I've been a full-time stooge since the beginning of July and it's kept me insanely busy (and super tired). For those of you who don't know, I work as head baker so my shifts are 5.30-2.30, Tuesday-Saturday. It's a really demanding and stressful job in the summer months but now that the tourists have all gone home I'm hoping I can calm down a little and enjoy the job more! It's been really hard to switch off when I get home from work, because I'm constantly thinking about what I need to do for the next day. I'm also about to start training another baker so that could be quite fun. We'll see how good of a teacher I am! I do really like the job itself but I definitely like payday even better. 

CLEARING UP MY SKIN
Since I've been getting up at stupid o'clock for a 5:30am start 5 days a week, I don't have the time to be applying concealer and foundation anymore. It's been unintentional but my skin has been loving it. I rarely have blemishes, my skin is way less red and congested, and weirdly feels a lot softer and smoother. I haven't switched up my skincare routine in any way - although perhaps the introduction of a night cream wouldn't go amiss - it's literally come down to my being lazy in the early mornings and favouring sleep over beauty.

NURSING AND FIXING MY TEETH
I've been suffering with wisdom tooth pain on-and-off for about two years now. It comes and goes sporadically. I could be absolutely fine for six months and then be reaching for doses of ibuprofen every four hours for a solid week and half. It's so annoying, especially when you can't eat or sleep properly because of the cutting and shifting. My jaw always feels on fire when the pain strikes, but then I feel fine again for months! I really don't want to have them extracted - the sheer thought terrifies me. Also, it seems ever since I boasted not having any problems with my teeth in my whitening post that it's really come back to bite me (pun not intended). I've been having a lot of tooth sensitivity recently and it turns out that after a 4-month-late dentist trip I needed a filling. A filling, which by the way, I could feel being drilled despite the anaesthetic he pumped into my gums - ugh, horrid experience...

APPRECIATING DAYS OFF
Yes, as anyone who works full-time will know, days off are pretty precious. I used to only work two days a week so I've basically switched around my routine to a complete 180. I love my days off. I still have to work Saturdays but I'm really glad that I get two days off together - Sunday and Monday - so it's pretty much a delayed weekend. Plus, yesterday was my first Bank Holiday Monday off in over two years! Appreciating days off can go two ways. You either cram in as much as you can to keep yourself busy, or you choose the ultimate lazy duvet day. The latter is usually my typical Sunday routine. I consider 8am a lie-in now so I can just laze about in my pyjamas, make a lovely breakfast, catch up on shows, and essentially switch off from the daily grind. It's definitely my favourite day of the week!

SAVING AND PLANNING FOR CALIFORNIA
One of my oldest high school friends complained about needing a holiday so I chimed in and suggested we embarked on the American road trip we've always talked about. In the end we decided to just take on California next May and I'm so crazy excited, you have no idea! I currently have about £500 a month going into my savings for this dream holiday so by May I should be okay. We're planning on flying to LAX, staying in Anaheim for a little stint at Disneyland (ahhhh!), then hot-footing it down to Venice where we're going to base ourselves for day trips to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, LA, Hollywood etc. We have yet to seriously start planning; an attempt at the weekend was scarpered by bank holiday hustle and rubbish Starbucks Wi-Fi, but we did buy a guidebook and talk about all the junk food we want to try there - progress! If anyone has ever been to California on holiday I would love to hear your experiences and recommendations on anything!

So yes, that's where I've been. I know last month I addressed the whole "sorry for being a bad blogger" and this is a bit of an extended apology. I'm really going to try this month to get back on my blogging game, promise!
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