Vintage Travel Guides Puzzle by Ravensburger Review

Last week I told you how I received a jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger to review at the start of the month and how much I enjoyed it. It’s not often I get something to review that is just for me, so imagine my delight when I was offered another Ravensburger puzzle to review, all for me! I received the Vintage Travel Guides Puzzle, and once it arrived I couldn’t wait to dive right in.

vintage travel guides puzzle

Ravensburger have been creating puzzles for over 100 years and I’m sure most households have at least one Ravensburger puzzle. Their jigsaw puzzles now come with softclicks technology which guarantees 100% interlocking mechanism for an optimal fit of individualy formed puzzle pieces. This results in an absolutely smooth puzzle once complete.

The Vintage Travel Guides puzzle is a brilliantly colourful puzzle which depicts bookshelves filled with vintage travel guides. It was created by American artist Aimee Stewart. Self-taught, she specialises in digital painting and photo manipulation.

The book shelf in this puzzle is filled with vintage travel guides, as the name suggests, and is wonderfully colourful with some postcards hidden behind the books with really inspiring travel quotes on them such as this by Saint Augustine:

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Just looking at the book covers in the vintage travel guides puzzle and the places they refer to fills you with wanderlust. It’s just as well we already have some holidays planned for this year. If we didn’t I would be taking inspiration from this!

The puzzle itself is made from strong premium grade cardboard with a linen finish print to minimise glare. It has 500 pieces, measures 49 x 36cm when complete and is aimed for those age 10+.

vintage travel guides puzzle

As before with the Garden Vistas puzzle I reviewed already, I started with the border and worked my way inwards. This time around the border was slightly more difficult to put together and certain areas seemed to take longer than others. However, unlike the Garden Vistas puzzle, I didn’t seem to concentrate in one corner and complete it before moving onto the next. It seemed easier to complete small sections across the entire puzzle before final pieces brought it together.

vintage travel guides puzzle vintage travel guides puzzle

It took me just over 4 hours to complete it in total, spread across two evenings, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing this Vintage Travel Guides puzzle. Dare I say it, I enjoyed it more than the Garden Vistas, but this was probably only due to the fact that the Garden Vistas puzzle was the first one I had completed in many, many years.

What I loved about the Vintage Travel Guides puzzle from Ravensburger:

  • Quality puzzle.
  • Extremely colourful and vibrant.
  • 500 pieces which is a good amount for a novice or someone looking to get back into doing puzzles.
  • The softclick technology that produces a smooth puzzle.
  • The puzzle does feel like a premium puzzle.
  • So easy to lose several hours over and is a great way to relax and unwind of an evening.
  • The finished book shelves invokes feelings of wanderlust looking at the different places from around the world.

What I didn’t like about the Vintage TRavel Guides puzzle from Ravensburger:

  • Nothing!

I really enjoyed completing this Vintage Travel Guides puzzle from Ravensburger. It wasn’t too difficult and I found this more enjoyable than my first one, particularly looking at all the names of places around the world and thinking how wonderful it would be to visit all of them. I found it an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a few hours in the evening to help me unwind after BattleKid had gone to bed. This time around he didn’t join me on the kitchen table but did gaze in wonder the morning after I had finished it. I even got another “good girl mama” for completing my puzzle.

vintage travel guides puzzle

So if you are looking for something to while away a few hours, why not check out the full range of puzzles available at Ravensburger. This particular one retails at £7.99 and is available from Amazon.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

*I received the Vintage Travel Guides Jigsaw Puzzle from Ravensburger for review. As Always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are wholly my own.

Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes Ravensburger Puzzle Review

It’s not often I get something to review that is just for me, so when Ravensburger, the puzzle giants, were looking for people to review one of their new adult puzzles, I jumped at the chance. I applied, was lucky enough to be picked and I eagerly awaited my puzzle. I was very happy to receive the Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes puzzle.garden vistas number two

As a young girl and early teenager I absolutely adored doing puzzles. I’d get a new one every Christmas and often for my birthday too and there was many a weekend afternoon I would commandeer the kitchen table to do my puzzles. My all-time favourite was a map of Ireland and I would do it over and over again.

Ravensburger are Europe’s leading manufacturer of puzzles, games and activity products and were founded in Germany in 1883. And I bet there are very few households that don’t have at least one Ravensburger puzzle. We have several kids ones including the Gruffalo, Thomas the Tank Engine and the Hungry Caterpillar.

I received the 500 piece premium puzzle Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes, which is a lovely summer garden scene. Ravensburger puzzles now come with softclicks technology which guarantees 100% interlocking mechanism for an optimal fit of individualy formed puzzle pieces. This results in an absolutely smooth puzzle once complete.

So how did I get on with putting the puzzle together? I really enjoyed it. I had forgotten how enjoyable I found puzzles and doing this one, the first I’d done in over 20 years, brought back a lot of happy memories. As usual I started by putting the border together. I’ve always done my puzzles this way and upon speaking to colleagues, it is how they do it themselves. Have you ever done puzzles a different way?

garden vistas number two

The evening after I had done the border, BattleKid joined me on the kitchen table with his puzzles and we both had fun doing our puzzles, although I think he got the easy job!

Once the border was done I started collecting the pieces I believed made up the lavender grass in the bottom left-hand corner and worked my way out from there. The top left hand corner came together quite quickly after that before I moved to the right-hand side of the puzzle. Overall it took me approximately 4 hours spread between two evenings after BattleKid’s bedtime and one evening after dinner to complete the puzzle and boy did I get a huge amount of satisfaction once it was complete.garden vistas number two

The morning after I had completed the Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes puzzle BattleKid remarked upon seeing it “oh good girl mammy, you finished your puzzle”. Yes, yes I did.

Puzzles are a great way to get some ‘me time’, are a brilliant way to relax and once you get caught up in piecing it together, it is easy to lose track of time, as I did the first evening when I looked at the clock thinking it was 9pm and found it was after 10pm!

 

What I loved about the Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes puzzle from Ravensburger:

  • Quality puzzle.
  • 500 pieces was a good amount to get me back into the swing of doing puzzles.
  • The softclick technology really DOES produce a smooth puzzle.
  • The puzzle does feel like a premium puzzle.
  • The scene was lovely and not overly difficult to put together.
  • So easy to lose several hours over.
  • A great way to relax and unwind of an evening.

What I didn’t like about the Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes puzzle from Ravensburger:

  • Nothing, except how easy it is to lose track of time and running out of evening when all I wanted to do was finish it!

I thoroughly enjoyed this Garden Vistas Number Two Summer Breezes puzzle from Ravensburger. It brought me back to my childhood and teenage years and was a lovely way to spend an evening away from the TV or pc. It’s a great way to unwind and relax and lose a few hours doing something enjoyable all to yourself. That said I had company one evening which was great.

garden vistas number two

So if you enjoyed, or still enjoy puzzles, and are looking for something to while away a few hours, why not check out the full range of adult puzzles available at Ravensburger.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

Christmas Gifts from Snapfish for Everyone

As you know I have worked with Snapfish before and was really pleased with the photo gifts I received, so when they got in touch to see if we’d like to create some Christmas-themed items I wasn’t going to say no. There are endless ideas for Christmas gifts from Snapfish and it was going to be a hard choice.Christmas gifts from Snapfish

Creating Christmas gifts from Snapfish is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Upload your photos to your account.
  2. Get creative in your ‘project’ arranging them until you are happy.
  3. Order your final project creation and wait for them to come through the door.

First on the agenda of my Christmas gifts from Snapfish was some personalised Christmas cards. I have never thought of personalised Christmas cards until this year and the timing of this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time as we were off to see Father Christmas at Bluestone and I knew it would be a great opportunity to get some Christmassy photos to use for this project.

Once we got back from our trip to Bluestone, I got to work creating two different types of personalised Christmas cards. I also created a Christmas tree decoration and a phone cover.Christmas gifts from Snapfish

Firstly, I upload some of our pictures from Bluestone and took my time deciding from the huge range of designs. Many come with a range of background colours and layouts to choose from and you can personalise many of them too.Christmas gifts from Snapfish Christmas gifts from Snapfish

The first design I chose was the Rustic Pine Snapshots design. This uses 3 photos and has 3 backgrounds and can be personalised. I really like this design but only ordered 3 of these as I was about to order a set of 20. These cards are individually priced at £1.99 each. The outside is glossy and the inside matt and they come with a white envelope.

Our card features 3 of our Bluestone photos and I chose the white background as it is quite classic and showcases our pictures really well. I’m really pleased with these and will be sending these home to family. These alone will make me think about personalised Christmas cards for everyone next year!

The second design I chose was the Christmas Foliage design. This card has 3 layouts to choose from as well as 3 background colours and can be personalised. You also have a choice of glossy or matt finishes on your cards. These cards come as a set of 20 and cost as little as 40p each, which is great value for money. Our card features the same 3 photos as used in the Rustic Pine snapshots design and this time I chose a red background.Christmas gifts from Snapfish Christmas gifts from Snapfish

Although they do say “Flat” on the Snapfish website I was still surprised to find they are indeed flat. They don’t fold and are more like a postcard than a traditional card. However, that said the design on the back was lovely and these would be ideal for friends and relations but maybe not quite close family. The only thing I didn’t like about these was the matt finish I chose as the photos seemed a bit faded. In hindsight I should have gone for a glossy finish but I know for next year. All in all they are a lovely Christmas cards, particularly for friends and not-so-close family. These cards also come with a white envelope and both types of cards I ordered come as 7 x 5” in size.

The next of my Christmas gifts from Snapfish I wanted to order was the Round Acrylic Ornament as a Christmas decoration. I wanted this to include in BattleKid’s Christmas Eve Box as I always get him a new Christmas decoration for his box. This was so easy to make and you can chose from a whole range of embellishments for it too. I went for a Seasonal Winter one saying “Let it Snow” although I was dubious about how obvious it would be on the real thing as it appeared quite faint on the project picture online.Christmas gifts from Snapfish

You can have different backgrounds, different designs and can use a photo or not. I used one of BattleKid from after our visit to the Kingdom of the Elves as it was the perfect photo to use for a Christmas decoration. Your ornament comes ‘glossy’ on the right side and matt on the reverse and measures 2.95” x 2.95” and includes a cord for hanging. These would make a perfect gift for grandparents.

Overall I am very pleased with the ornament and the picture turned out well on it, although as I suspected the “Let it Snow” looks quite faint in the picture. This may simply be due to the background colours in the picture I chose but I would have liked the option to change the writing colour or to at least bold it. So bear this in mind if you are adding writing to your acrylic ornament. The round acrylic ornament costs just £8.99, great value for money as a small gift or stocking filler.

Last but not least I made a phone cover for my Galaxy S6. I’d been thinking about making a personalised one for a while and decided to bite the bullet. The options for personalised phone covers are endless on Snapfish. You can create your own from a huge range of background colours and embellishments or you can simply use your own photos as I did. I uploaded a recent picture of BattleKid and left it at that. Simple but effective.Christmas gifts from Snapfish

The cover itself is made from hard plastic and feels quite sturdy. Not flimsy at all. The quality of the picture on the back is excellent and I am over the moon with my new phone cover. The cover goes on without any hassle, fits my phone perfectly and is lightweight too. I am very happy to know I’ve got a lovely picture of BattleKid to perk me up at any time of the day by simply turning over my phone. And with the cover only costing £12.99 you can afford to update your phone case with a new photo every few months if you want to!

My Christmas cards were first to arrive and did so 3 days after placing the order which was really fast. Next to arrive was the phone case and acrylic ornament which arrived a day before the estimated arrival date. At each stage of ordering and dispatch Snapfish send you email updates which are great. No wondering when your order will arrive. And should there be any hassle with your order, their online help team are quick to answer. Great communication lines.

What I love about Christmas gifts from Snapfish:

  • Easy to create.
  • Great value-for-money.
  • Endless ideas for all the family.
  • Cards and gifts of high quality.
  • Many options for personalising your cards and gifts.
  • Christmas cards arrived within 3 days.
  • Great communication from Snapfish regarding dispatch of orders.

What I don’t like about Christmas gifts from Snapfish:

  • Nothing!

So if you are stuck for ideas why not consider creating some Christmas gifts from Snapfish. From personalised Christmas cards to acrylic ornaments to 2017 photo calendars, they have something for everyone.

If you are worried about getting a good picture for those all-important Christmas gifts from Snapfish, they have a great list of hints and tips for shooting the perfect Christmas Family Photo which are included below.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

*We received a voucher towards our gifts from Snapfish for the purpose of this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions of the products.

8 Creative Tips to Shoot the Perfect Christmas Family Photo

1) Get an extra pair of hands. Rounding up the troops for a family shoot is tricky enough without the added stress of positioning the camera, setting the timer and then sprinting back into position. Grab a friend or neighbour to play director, you can always return the favour to spread some Christmas cheer!

2) Lighting, crucial to any photoshoot, it’s the trickiest of elements to get right. Natural light is your best friend, so if you’re indoor, set up near a window to take full advantage of the winter sunshine.

3) Look the part! Matching accessories will add a touch of festive fun and help take your shots to the next level; think Santa hats, woolly reindeer jumpers, or even matching Christmas mugs! Product: Colourful Mugs, only £8.99, Snapfish.co.uk

4) Prop it up. Christmas is all about fun, so why not jazz things up with a few Christmassy props? Your family photoshoot doesn’t need to rely on the house being transformed into Santa’s Grotto or a Winter Wonderland – a few tinsel touches or the odd sprig of mistletoe will do the trick.

5) Pets complete your family! So whilst your puppy may be hell bent on getting his teeth around the fairy lights, including them in will be well worth the hassle when you see the finished result. (See Tip 6 for how to do this!)

6) Rewards (also known as bribery!) are the easiest way to keep pets and children interested! Guarantee their full attention throughout the photo shoot by keeping a suitable stash of treats to hand. (But keep them in separate bags… Health and Safety!) Product: Photo Cushions, from £19.99, Snapfish.co.uk

7) Tell a Story. Snapping people when they least expect it often results in the best photographs. So tell a funny joke or encourage them to, and be ready to capture candid, relaxed moments instead of saying ‘cheese’ and hoping for a few stiff grins.

8) Keep it fun! Your family shoot doesn’t have to be a solemn occasion. Get everyone involved in the planning process and encourage them to contribute their ideas to make for a happy, relaxed atmosphere and a truly memorable shot.

Busy B To Do Diary Stripe 2017 – Review

Busy B To Do DiaryI was recently given the opportunity to review one of the new 2017 diaries from Busy B. As you all know I am a big fan of Busy B stationery and accessories so when I was offered the chance to review the Busy B To Do Diary in the Stripe design, I jumped at it.

As I’ve mentioned before I stumbled across Busy B by accident. I read a review by another blogger and went to investigate myself, flicking through their website and gorgeous Instagram account. I immediately fell in love and promptly ordered myself a diary to check out.

Since that fateful day I have ordered other diaries from Busy B for work to help me keep track of projects and deadlines, and for home to keep track of weekends away and days out with friends. They have become invaluable for me, and if you’re a pen and paper kinda gal like me, you’ll appreciate why I prefer physical diaries over the electronic type.

The diary I was kindly sent for review was the Busy B To Do Diary, in Stripe, for 2017. It is a great little diary which is approximately A6 size. It has a cool and funky stripe design and is the perfect size for popping into my handbag.Busy B To Do Diary

There is a full yearly calendar at the front, followed by monthly calendars, before your weekly planner commences. Every three months there is a handy pocket for storing bits and bobs like receipts or appointment cards and at the back are some very useful perforated lists, a great idea for jotting down your shopping list or, if you are like me, all important holiday packing lists!

As always, and as I’ve come to expect from Busy B, the Busy B To Do Diary is well made and full of pages with gorgeous designs. There is a handy pen loop to ensure both stay together, for what is a diary without a pen. The diary is kept closed by an elastic closure and it is the perfect compliment to my blogging notebook too!Busy B To Do Diary

The monthly calendars at the front are useful for jotting down important birthdays and holidays while each weekly view is well thought out with your weekly planner on one page with the other side left for notes. I’ve already started filling in important dates for next year!Busy B To Do Diary Busy B To Do Diary

What I love about the Busy B To Do Diary – Stripe 2017:

  • A really cool, funky little diary.
  • Great size at approximately A6, for popping into your handbag.
  • Useful yearly and monthly calendars alongside your weekly planner pages.
  • Weekly planner pages are complimented by a notes page.
  • Handy pocket every three months for storing bits and bobs in.
  • Helpful perforated lists at the back for shopping lists, holiday packing lists etc.
  • Well priced at £8.99.
  • Lovely design and great colour combination.
  • Pen loop for keeping pen and diary together.
  • Held closed by an elastic closure.
  • Well designed and put together.

What I don’t like about the Busy B To Do diary – Stripe 2017:

  • Absolutely nothing!

I love the whole design of the Busy B To Do Diary for 2017. I love the cool, funky Stripe design and am thrilled to have my 2017 diary sorted with thanks to Busy B.

Busy B have a great new range of diaries and calendars for 2017 on their website and I cannot recommend their products enough! So if you are looking for your diary for next year, be it for work or personal life, then look no further than Busy B.

Cath x

*I was kindly sent the Busy B To Do Diary – Stripe 2017 for the purpose of this review. All opinions of the product expressed here are honest and wholly my own.

 

Boxcitement – A subscription box with a difference

I am a sucker for a subscription box and I was intrigued when I was followed on Instagram by Boxcitement. I’d never heard of them before and clicked their website link in their bio to find out more. What I came across was a subscription box with a difference.

Boxcitement is a monthly subscription box which is letterbox-friendly, handy so you never miss a box, even if you are out. The reason it differs from other subscription boxes I’ve had is it is a monthly treat of stationery, gifts, crafts and jewellery. It is something a little different, which is what made it stand out for me. At the time of signing up I had been thinking about possibly doing some flat-lay photography for Instagram, so I thought the contents of the Boxcitement boxes could come in handy as background items. However, that never came about but I’m still loving my monthly treats through the letterbox.boxcitement

Each month there is a specific theme from Wanderlust to Midsummer Nights to May Fayre. The contents are carefully tailored to each theme and are often things you wouldn’t normally see on the high street or might not ever think to pick up. No month disappoints me and I get excited each time I arrive home to that thin brown box.

Previous Boxcitement boxes are often still available to buy, the contents of which you can view online, and as I had missed the first two boxes I back-ordered them. Occasionally there are also one-off boxes to purchase at a slightly discounted price to normal monthly boxes.

To give you an example of contents, the July box which was themed Wanderlust contained the following:

  • A handy clear cosmetic pouch.
  • A useful keyring mirror.
  • Two greetings cards.
  • Handcrafted earrings.
  • Tin of travel mints.
  • Double sided craft paper.
  • A ‘Make Your Memories Last’ kit – including stickers, pages and charms to make your own personal adventure journal.
  • Laser engraved luggage tag.
  • Surprise: lavender soap.

As you can see the contents of the July box were all based around travel.

Wanderlust – the love of adventure whether it’s around the corner or around the world.

boxcitement

boxcitement

boxcitement

boxcitement

boxcitement

Boxcitement boxes are packed really nicely inside with branded paper encasing the contents, all held together with a branded sticker. The guys behind Boxcitement have their branding down to a tee. And I love it! And you’ll often find themed confetti inside your box as a clue to what the theme is for that month. We’ve had sequins, large colourful confetti circles and map pieces as the clue confetti, to name but a few.boxcitement

There is always a great variety of things inside each box and I’ve found the stationery cards to be of good quality and have really come in handy when I’ve forgotten to buy a card in the shops. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t to date made any of the craft items included in the boxes but they look easy to put together and finished product pictures on Instagram look great.boxcitement

What I love about Boxcitement boxes:

  • Letterbox friendly, never miss a box due to not being in.
  • Variety of contents is great.
  • Not your usual type of subscription box.
  • Different from the regular beauty boxes I’ve subscribed to.
  • Easy subscription plans (details below).
  • Free postage to the UK, although they do ship worldwide.
  • Packaging and branding inside is great.
  • Previous or one-off special boxes available to buy on the website.
  • Would make a great gift for a friend.
  • Something for everyone inside each box.

What I don’t like about Boxcitement boxes:

  • Nothing!

Boxcitement boxes are a lovely little treat all for me every month. I’ve love seeing that slim box waiting for me when I get home and cannot wait to dive in and see what’s inside. If you are after a subscription box with a differences, then I’d highly recommend Boxcitement boxes for you.

Are you a sucker for a subscription box like me? If so, let me know your favourite one!

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

Subscription details:
  • 1 Monthly plan is £18/month.
  • 3 monthly is £17/month.
  • 6 monthly plan is £16/month.
  • 12 monthly plan is £15/month.

If you wish to purchase one as a gift you can buy at the same price as above without subscribing. You can cancel a monthly plan at any time. However, fixed term subscriptions cannot be cancelled mid-term.

And here’s a little vlog revealing the July “Wanderlust” box.