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Loving my Locks

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 9 tags: blue hair, Dreadlocks, lifestyle, self love

The last time I shared updates regarding my choice to style my hair into locks was back in April having had them crocheted by the very talented Rosielocksa loctician’ based in Bristol in February. This was the last picture I shared with you…

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These were my locks after having been freshly dyed and crocheted. How cute were they! Well, that was 6 months ago now and they have since began to mature beautifully. The bottom ones thickened and tightened very quickly, probably because they saw the most friction being closest to my neck. The top ones took a little longer and some are still finding their feet as my hair used to be layered, so the top ones were much thinner.

For my birthday, I decided I really wanted to add some length (as of July they were reaching my shoulders and at that annoying ‘in-between’ stage where they weren’t quite short and weren’t quite long), so went back to Rosielocks and asked her if she would make me some real hair extensions. I provided the hair (dyed blue of course) and she set to work. Here is my hair before I went back for my extensions and a little bit of (much needed) maintenance…

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As you can see the locks had started to tighten and produce some nice loops and kinks due to the hair shrinking up (excuse the roots!). The whole process of adding in the extensions took about 4 hours, which flew by as Rosielocks is a lovely host and we had some good chats and played with her cats while plodding along. The locks weren’t noticeably heavier straight away, but added such wonderful volume to the whole style I was very happy. I waited about a week before I actually dyed my whole head again to give them a chance to settle down and here is the final result…

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One of the first things I did as soon as I had the length was start playing around with different styles. I haven’t had long hair since I was 21, so it was so nice to be able to play with it again (with the added bonus of finally having my dream hairstyle). I think one of the best things about long locks for me personally, is the fact you don’t need any accessories or hair ties to play around with them, you can pretty much just knot them into place (an added bonus when you need to quickly get your hair out of your face when you are drawing!)

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The gorgeous beads you can see in some of these photos are from The Dread Bead Shop on Etsy and the lovely lady who runs it is probably the best for customer service that you are going to find. Her beads are all polymer clay and highly detailed. The clay is nice and light so it doesn’t weight locks down and the holes are generous so you can always find a bead that will suit your hair. Here are a couple of closer shots of the beads themselves. I love how they compliment the colour of my hair…

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The gorgeous purple bead on the far left in the above photo was actually a birthday gift from my good friend Lisa (AStarFellOnHer) and by far one of my favourite beads. It was the first bead that anyone had ever got me as a gift and I love it.

The wonderful thing about this new hairstyle is that it has already given me so much more confidence in myself. I love having blue hair and have now had it for six years, but growing up I always wanted long blue hair. When my hair was straight I would always get to the shoulder length stage and end up chopping it all off through frustration but now, thanks to these extensions, I have gone straight into my dream length. I have finally got the hair that I have always wanted and I couldn’t be happier about it.


Your Story Is Not Over


Since the #ColourMeMindful series of adult colouring books from Orion Publishing was released two weeks ago, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people sharing their mental health stories with me either via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or even email. I have always been very open about my own personal issues with mental health, but I never even considered that I would end up drawing a book which would touch so many people who are going through or have gone through the same problems that I have faced.

In light of this I will be starting a series of blog posts about mental health; either my personal experiences and the tools I use to cope; or raising awareness of causes that are close to my heart and that I have a connection with. But, to start off small, I would like to share a small doodle I did over the weekend in light of an article I have recently written about colouring in as art therapy and a long chat I had with a good friend who is going through some difficult times.

I have uploaded this in a high resolution so it is free for you to download and print if you would like to colour it yourself. Simply click the image and it will take you to a higher resolution image which you can right click to ‘save as’ on your computer. I would love to see your colours if you choose to fill it in, so please feel free to share with me on Instagram (@anastasiacatris) or Twitter (@acatris)


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Kawaii Club – Anime x Lifestyle Crossover!


Another month has gone by and it is time to review my July Ookii Parcel from Kawaii Club Ookii Box, a Keep It Secret UK Subscription service. As you might have noticed on my Twitter, things have been a little crazy lately what with the launch of my first three colouring books for adults published through Orion, so it has taken me a little while to get around to reviewing last month’s parcel. In fact – you now only have one more week until the August parcels are sent out, so sign up if you would like to grab one of these awesome Kawaii Club boxes this month.

As always, in the interest of honesty I will say that I am the Social Media & Support Manager over at Keep It Secret so I am sent these for an honest review as part of working for the company. All opinions of the items are my own though and I mostly just love showing you guys the super secret surprises that we ship off every month.

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The theme of this month’s Ookii Parcel was ‘Anime x Lifestyle Crossover’ and this was definitely a must have for anyone looking for some cute and kawaii fashion essentials. Personally I found this to be the weakest parcel for me so far, just simply because I don’t wear jewelry (so the earrings and choker were sadly wasted on me) and I have locks (so the hair clips are a little too tight and have teeth which would sadly damage them – I do wear hair clips some times, but tend to look for looser fitting friendlier ones). That being said, it is still a lovely selection of items and my loss is your gain as I will be giving away the hair clips, choker and earrings to one lucky commenter! (Keep reading for more info!)

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One pair of ‘Harajuku’ knee high socks – I am a HUGE knee high sock fan! I go to a lot of festivals and just love wearing knee high socks under my wellies. These would also look adorable with a Lolita skirt or if you were going for a fairy kei pastel goth look. The material is lovely and sturdy and stretchy meaning the sizing is quite flexible.

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One pair of cherry hair clips – I do wish I could wear these as they are very cute and good enough to eat. The clips are plastic but nice and strong so would do as a cute accessory, or practical hair clip to pull back a nice amount of hair. Perfect if you want to look sugar and spice with a cherry on top (literally).

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One No Face (Spirited Away) brooch clip – This is my favourite item in this month’s box, a gorgeous little Spirited Away brooch. I love this film and everything Studio Ghibli, so this is a lovely addition to my growing collection of pins and badges.

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One pink love heart faux leather choker necklace – As I said earlier, sadly I don’t actually wear jewelry (and on the very rare occasion that I do, it tends to be wood, plastic or leather and always without metal – I know – a metal head without the metal – weird) but this is a lovely little choker again adding to the pastel goth look of the socks. There is also something kind of Sailor Moon about the style…

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One pair of silhouette Sailor Moon Dangle Earrings – …Speaking of Sailor Moon. These dangle earrings are perfect for any Sailor Moon fan, but also have a lovely design to them which works well even if you don’t watch the series as it’s quite a nice little art nouveau style figure – I mean, they don’t have to know it’s , right?


Well, I promised you goodies and that is what I shall give you. If you would like a chance to win the Sailor Moon Dangle Earrings, pink love heart faux leather choker necklace and pair of cherry hair clips, courtesy of the awesome guys at Keep It Secret, all you have to do is visit their website and tell me one of your favourite items in their store and why in the comments below!

I will draw a random winner on Monday 10th August (any comments after 9am on that day will not be counted). Comments will count at the time you posted them, not the time they are moderated so don’t worry about missing out.

So, get visiting Keep It Secret and keep it kawaii!


Colour Me Mindful Launch Day


Well, the day is finally here! Colour Me mindful Birds, Tropical and Underwater are now available to buy in stores across the United Kingdom. To celebrate this ‘Book Birthday’ I am running a Launch Event over on Facebook which includes fun things such as giveaways, behind the scenes images and auctions; but mostly it is just a place for us to gather and meet each other and, of course, share your beautiful colouring in!

One of the biggest events of the day that I am running is an eBay auction for an original page from Colour Me Mindful: Birds. This is one of my favourite pages from the book and it features a highly detailed owl. All proceeds from this auction – that’s 100% of the money – will be going to the Mind Charity, a charity and cause very close to my heart that offers support for those living with mental health problems.

So please, if you can take the time to visit the auction or simply Tweet it/Facebook it/blog about it, that would be wonderful. You can find the link here. The auction will be running for the next three days so there is plenty of time to take part.

Also, due to the HUGE popularity of my previous Rafflecopter Giveaway, I will be running a similar giveaway today. The difference is – EVERYONE who takes part will get a FREE digital download of an EXCLUSIVE colouring page! This colouring page is not featured in ANY of the Colour Me Mindful books but is based on the theme of Enchanted Creatures‘ which will be released in October. So just by entering the very simple giveaway below, you will be sent a FREE COLOURING PAGE!

Happy Book Birthday everyone! And happy colouring!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birthday Book Promotion Weekend


As some of you may know, it is my birthday on the 17th July and, to celebrate, I am giving YOU presents! From the 16th – 19th July Cirque Du Mort will be available for FREE on your Amazon Kindle! If you would like to add this to your Facebook schedule, why not join the Facebook Event here.

This FREE GIVEAWAY is running alongside my book promotion weekend, where I am basically asking all of my awesome friends, family and everyone in between to help me promote the Cirque Du Mort to a wider audience. I am also running a BLOG COMPETITION too! This competition includes very simple terms such as following my Facebook group, or tweeting a message and of course – downloading the book. You can find the competition at the bottom of this post.


But I don’t have an Amazon Kindle? 

Not a problem! You can download an Amazon Kindle Ap for FREE for most phones and mobile devices using your phone’s ap store. You can also download the ap for your computer, making it easy to read Kindle titles on your PC. If you don’t have an ap (or don’t want one) but still want to support the Cirque Du Mort, then you can still ‘purchase’ the free book over the weekend and not download it. This will make your review a ‘Verified Purchase’ and more respectable on the Amazon site.


How can I help promote the book?

There are many ways you can help me promote the Cirque Du Mort, either over this weekend or any time!

  • Download the Amazon Kindle Book of Cirque Du Mort
  • Leave a review for the Amazon Kindle Book of Cirque Du Mort
  • Tweet about Cirque Du Mort using the hash tag #CirqueDuMort
  • Instagram photos of your copies of the Cirque Du Mort or you reading it #CirqueDuMort
  • Review the Cirque Du Mort on Goodreads
  • Share the Facebook event with your friends list (either by inviting them or sharing it as a status)
  • Invite your friends to ‘like’ the Cirque Du Mort Facebook Page
  • Don’t want FREE things? Then why not BUY a physical copy of the book from Etsy or Amazon?
  • Write a blog post about Cirque Du Mort. Reviews, previews or just general opinions are always welcome!
  • Most importantly – TELL YOUR FRIENDS! This is just a great event to help promote indie art and authors and the more people who know about the book, the more people will want to see a second volume!

Blog Competition

And, if you still needed an excuse to help out by doing some of those wonderful things, then check out this Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I am giving away a Cirque Du Mort Goodie Bag to one lucky book promoter! The goodie bag contains a signed copy of the Cirque Du Mort as well as art prints, postcards, stickers, bookmarks and pin badges (some previously only available to Kickstarter backers!) All you have to do is follow the directions below and every bit of promotion you help with from tweeting to liking, will count as an entry into the raffle! Those who download the book, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads can count as up to 15 entries!

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So get entering and good luck! And, of course – THANK YOU for all of your amazing support!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Colour Me Mindful Competition


COLOUR ME MINDFUL COMPETITION


I have recently received the complimentary ‘author’ (I love how it says I am an author in the introduction…) copies of my Colour Me Mindful books from Orion Publishing. They are absolutely beautiful! The team did an absolutely amazing job editing them and I love the travel-size-for-your-convenience dimensions of the books themselves, which are ideal for sticking in your hand luggage for a Summer Holiday, or keeping in your bag for when you fancy a cheeky doodle on the go.

I have really enjoyed following all the buzz that Orion are creating for the launch of these books in the UK on the 30th July (not long now!) and seeing all of the book bloggers and reviewers trying their hands at colouring them (you can see some samples here). And speaking of BUZZ (see what I did there), Colour Me Mindful: Underwater was even mentioned on Buzzfeed’s ’17 Colouring Books That Every Grown-Up Needs’, how amazing is that!

There is still chance for you to pre-order your copies from Amazon.co.uk and it seems that the hype has even extended to the next series of three books out in October!

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Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies isn’t even finished yet and already it is generating enough pre-orders and clicks on Amazon that it is a #1 New Release! Before it’s even released! No pressure or anything! This is testament to the art department at Orion’s excellent job at creating a beautiful cover out of my artwork and I cannot thank them enough. Not to mention my editor Anna Valentine who commissioned me to work on the projects in the first place.

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But, enough about the future books, let’s be mindful of the present and live in the now. The first three books haven’t even been released yet!

So here is your chance to get your hands on a copy of each: Colour Me Mindful: BirdsColour Me Mindful: Tropical and Colour Me Mindful: Underwater; each signed by myself; and an ORIGINAL PAGE from one of the books – and you get to choose which book!


HOW TO ENTER

The competition is hosted by Rafflecopter and as such is a Raffle! In order to enter the raffle, you simply have to follow the instructions in the box below. You can login using either Facebook or your email address and there are a number of different ways to enter.

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The two mandatory fields are that you have to sign up to my Blog (scroll to the bottom of this page and you will find the form in the footer) and visit my author page on Amazon. Doing both of these things will give you 10 entries into the raffle! You will also unlock a number of other ways to get more entries into the raffle – all of them pretty simple things like tweeting or visiting a Facebook page.

So get entering! The competition runs until the 24th July and the winner will be announced via Twitter and Facebook (as well as on this blog). This means that you will get your copies of the book before it comes out in the UK (post allowing). Some international entrants will be in with the chance to win these books months before they come out in your country!

Thank you so much for entering and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kawaii Time! Anime Special


In June I received my second ever Kawaii Club Ookii Box, a Keep It Secret UK Subscription service. I have now been working with Keep It Secret for a little over two months and am enjoying every second. As I am their new Social Media Manager I should probably take this moment to share with you the AWESOME Kawaii Picnic SALE going on over at KeepItSecret.co.uk  where all Lifestyle items are up  to 25% OFF. Perfect for your Kawaii Kitchens!

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Anyway, enough shameless advertising, let’s get back to what you all came here to see… CUTE THINGS! 


The theme of this June’s Ookii Parcel was ‘Anime Special’ and on that point it most definitely delivered! the Oookii customers also had the added extras of some ULTRA RARE figurines which is always exciting. If you want to take part in next month’s subscription, simply click here  to be directed to their website.

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The first thing that struck me about this month’s box was that there were much larger gifts than last months, including a few very substantial plushies!

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Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z and Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac… plus a surprise Summer Gift of Totoro! You can’t get much more anime than that.

We will start with the ULTRA RARE Chibi Style Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac anime figurine. This surprise box could have been a number of different characters…

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… and here is the one that I got!

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This Dragon Ball Z Kai figurine is very classic with it’s own little stand.

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Moving on to Sailor Moon we have this super cute Sailor Moon plushie doll.

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And large Luna Cat plush doll…

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…And finally Artemis white cat plush key chain.

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And, ironically my favourite little addition to this box (as it is also the smallest), this gorgeous little Totoro figurine which was a Summer Surprise gift! What did you get in yours?


Overall I LOVED this month’s box. The gifts for June were a lot more substantial than normal with some lovely rare pieces as well as larger plushies. Considering that a monthly subscription box from Kawaii Club only costs £19.99 and the Luna Cat Plush alone would probably go for about £10 in the shops, this is a brilliant investment. Having the mix of different animes is always a plus too.

I missed getting Pocky this month I will admit, but as Keep It Secret UK are currently adding a whole bunch of new flavours to their store, I can understand that they’re not giving away stock quite yet. Maybe next month. Speaking of next month – what would you like to see? Any theories as to the next theme? 

Personally I can’t wait for the guys to do a stationery month! With all of their beautiful new stationery stock including stickers, washi tape and cutesie erasers, it would be really fun to see a small selestion of those in the next box.


True Colours


True Colours


This week saw the release of the Colour Me Mindful series of Adult Colouring Books by Orion Publishing, as review samples to Book Bloggers, Art Book Bloggers and generally awesome people on social media. Consequently I woke up to an awesome amount of tweets, Intsagram tags and mentions on July 6th with a lot of very excited colouring-in aficionados showing me their post and some of them even sharing what they had already done.

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I haven’t actually seen the books myself yet, but from the response they seem to be getting from Twitter and Instagram, I am really happy with how they have come out. I am actually pretty excited to colour them myself when I receive my comp copies! Everyone seems to be having so much fun it would be a shame not to join in! (Plus, I REALLY wanted to colour them as I was working on them!)

It is a little bit surreal seeing so many people colouring in my work – and they haven’t even been released yet! (FYI they are still available for pre-order on Amazon and are due for release in the UK on July 30th and in the USA on August 25th – note that America refers to the series as ‘COLOR Me Mindful’) But the whole experience so far has been amazing fun and it is always interesting to see what colours people choose – especially from my perspective as I obviously had my own colours and patterns in mind as I was drawing them.

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I have managed to collect a couple of different pages together thanks to the lovely folk on the #ColourMeMindful Hashtag on Twitter and I really can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with! Each of these images are reproduced with the kind permission of the lovely people mentioned in the tweets below their pics. The header image of the physical books are also from @MamaMummyMum – Thank you all so much!

If you have links to your blog/Instagram/Twitter and would like to share your coloured pages from the Colour Me Mindful series, please comment below. I would love to see them and share them around. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts on the book on their Amazon Pages and Goodreads

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Cirque Du Mort – Now On Your Kindle!


After a lot of programming, editing and learning how to create an e-book, Cirque Du Mort is now available to download on your Kindle! If you don’t have a Kindle you can download the Kindle Reading Ap, available on most mobile devices (I downloaded mine via the Play Store on my Samsung) or even on your PC (LINK HERE) so there is no excuse.

While I personally prefer the physical copy (which you can buy via ETSY and will be available to buy direct from Amazon very soon), with your Kindle you are free to zoom into the images and see all the little details of their costumes and character.

Within only a few hours of going live on Amazon, Cirque Du Mort had already reached #1 BEST SELLER on the YA Short Horror Stories chart! Which is amazing! And, thanks to the help of some wonderful Kickstarter backers, friends, family and a couple of kind reviewers from Goodreads, it has managed to stay in the Top Ten since (EDIT: Hit #1 again on the 30th June).

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Every review, purchase and download of the book helps propel it up the main Kindle chart and the further up the chart it goes, the more likely it is to be seen by a wider audience. If you would like to leave a review of the book but are a little foggy as to how, I’ve made a helpful guide below.


How to write a Kindle review

The link to the Amazon Page can be found HERE


I will also be running a Birthday Book Promotion Weekend from the 16th-19th July, where the Kindle book will be FREE to download, so, if you can’t afford it right now, fret not! Simply wait for that weekend and you can grab yourself a free copy. You can find more information on the weekend or set it as an event on your Facebook (so you can get reminders) by joining THIS EVENT on Facebook.

Instead of birthday wishes this year I would love for you to download my book and leave a review, or even just tweet/instagram/blog/vlog/facebook/email about it and tell your friends and family. Every share of the book and positive review, download or purchase helps not only speed it up the ranks of Amazon, but cements it firmly as a popular and well regarded book on one of the biggest book dealership websites available. And that is a pretty amazing birthday present!

Thank you all for having a read of this post and checking out the Cirque Du Mort, I really hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget, even if you haven’t bought the book via Amazon (i.e. if you are a Kickstarter Backer, bought it at a convention or on Etsy, or received a review copy on Goodreads) you can still leave a review on Amazon. The event for the free book promotion can be found here and the Amazon link is here. Let’s get this circus on the road!


My First Ookii Parcel Review – May Box


I have tried out a couple subscription parcels over the years. When I was working in an office ‘Graze‘ was a gods’ send as it allowed me to eat healthy snacks instead of the lovely food readily available in a central London office (SO many temptations!). Last year I tried out both ‘Loot Crate‘ and ‘My Geek Box‘ which were both amazing and VERY dangerous to my bank account and now I am trying out my first ever kawaii themed box – the ‘Ookii box’ by Kawaii Club, a Keep It Secret UK Subscription service.

I was actually lucky enough to get a job with Keep It Secret last month as their new Social Media Manager, so I think that in light of that I should definitely share my Oookii parcel opening with you guys! (And you should, y’know, share it with everyone…) So, here is my box opening of my first ever Ookii Parcel, or as I like to call it – the Squishiest parcel in the world!

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Can you feel the cute yet?

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Obligatory shot of Keep It Secret UK’s social media sites. You can also find them here! (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube)

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Starting with the edibles, we have Milk flavoured Pocky. Milk is a good choice! And this is also available on their website for a really good price (it’s on SALE now)

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I actually already have a Mickey Mouse TSUMTSUM so I was pretty happy to get this little cute Tigger. He is adorable!

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A VERY squishy ice cream cone, just in time for the Summer.

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I actually had no idea where I recognized this guy from then realized he was from an animation my partner shared with me. He’s just so worried!

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One of the less squishy additions to this box, a lovely little Sanrio addition in the form of a Keroppi pin badge.

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I will admit this was a little bit difficult to open, but once I did it was a happy surprise to see that this squishy Oreo cookie was in fact a compact mirror.

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This little phone charm is very cute, but it is also a little bit sticky so I probably won’t be adding it to my phone any time soon because of pocket lint.

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What could this possibly be…?

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Well you three are just adorable!

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Overall I am really happy with my first ever Ookii parcel and really looking forward to seeing what the theme will be next month (or in only a couple of days according to the website – 4 days till processing apparently – how exciting). Keep It Secret have recently announced some new Pocky flavours including cookies and cream (which sound delicious!), so here is hoping we get to try some of those soon! They have also recently added some beautiful stationery including Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, Pandas and Mindwave, so I am really hoping to get some of those in the future.

Did you get an Ookii parcel last month? What did you think of it? And what are you hoping for in the next package?