57. Monthly Favourites | February

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Real Techniques Buffing Brush
If i could only recommend one make-up brush, it would be this one. Before this i could never get my foundation to apply nicely with a brush, i always resorted to sponges or with my fingers, but this brush makes the application just flawless. Its a really nice, soft brush and i seriously just love it.

MUA Intense Glosses (Sealed With a Kiss, Stolen Kisses)
I'm a bit iffy when it comes to lipgloss, i can't stand it when they feel all sticky and just eurgh, but these are just perfect. These are so cheap and are so nice to wear, the colour pay off is great and i just love these, I've been wearing them all month.

NYC Smooth Mineral Loose Finishing Powder in Natural Veil
I'm not a big fan of loose powder normally but i added this to project 10 pan and I'm really liking using it, you'll only need a small amount and it sets my foundation really well and gives a really nice finish to the skin.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
I love this palette and I've been loving the eye look I've been wearing using the shades (a post maybe?) its amazing quality, a really gorgeous selection of shades and i love the size of it. Its so handy and easy to carry with you on the go.

MUA Matte Perfect Foundation in Fair
I will be doing a post on this foundation soon, I'm still in the process of testing this out but so far I'm liking it. For such a cheap foundation it's pretty decent, i don't normally go for matte base products but I've been liking having a more matte finish lately.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
This is such an unusual skincare product, the powder lathers under the water into a really nice and gentle exfoliator and i feel since using this my skin has improved, it's so soft and I've had less blemishes lately since I've incorporated it into my routine and I'm really enjoying using it.

So that's my favourites for February, what products have you been loving this month?
Natalie xx

53. Review | Urban Decay Naked Basics

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L-R Venus | Foxy | Walk of Shame | Naked 2 | Faint | Crave

I'm sure you are sick of the sight of the Urban Decay's Naked Basic Palette reviews but i just had to throw my two cents in and share my opinion on it too. This palette was a bit of an impulse buy, it was on my wishlist but i didn't really plan on buying it just yet but then i saw it on buyapowa for £14.50 and the next thing i knew it was on it's way to me in the mail. 

This is such a fantastic little palette and i can understand why their is such a hype surrounding it. It's filled with six nude shades, which are all matte. Similar to all Urban Decay eyeshadows, these are really good quality and are well pigmented. Despite their only being 6 eyeshadows, there is a good variety of nude shades so you can come up with a good combination of eye looks, from neutral to sultry - something for everyone.

I really like the packaging of this as well, it's really sturdy and a handy compact size (almost half the size of the regular naked palette) so it's ideal for travelling and the sturdy packaging means it won't get ruined or damaged either. The mirror inside the palette is also a really big, handy size too. I think I'm going to take this palette with me when i go to Rome because it's the ideal size and i won't need to take loads of other eyeshadows with me because this has a decent variety of nude shades too.

This palette normally retails for about £20.00; which i think is such a great price, especially for the quality of the eyeshadows. You can buy this at Debenhams, House of Fraser and possibly Boots (don't quote me on that last one though) Buyapowa have featured this as a co-buy quite a few times so keep checking on their if you are after getting it for a little bit cheaper.

Despite it being an impulse buy, I'm happy i did it because it really is a brilliant addition to Urban Decays Naked Range.
Have you tried the Naked Basics?
Natalie xx

52. My Winter Skincare Saviours

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As Winter is very slowly coming to an end, i thought id share with you some of the items that i have really enjoyed using and have really looked after my skin throughout the very cold months.

Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser
 I love using this its a very gently creamy cleanser, that leaves the face feeling really refreshed and gives the skin a thorough deep cleanse. It's filled with good and natural ingredients and it smells really good too.

Good Things Face The Day Moisturiser
This is a really light and hydrating moisturising and i really enjoy using this on my face. It absorbs into the skin easily and it doesn't feel heavy or icky on the skin, and it smells great too! Similar to the cleanser its made with good, natural ingredients.

Natural High Night Cream
Natural High is a brand exclusive to Superdrug, i believe they changed the packaging now or the brands name. I wanted a night cream to give my face that extra moisture and hydration, i like to stick to light moisturisers during the day and heavier creams on a night. This is a thick cream and it does take a little time to absorb into the skin but i love how soft and hydrated it leaves my skin feeling. It has an interesting scent, i didn't like it too much at first but the more Ive used it the more Ive grown to like it - i don't quite know how to describe it though.

Good Things Stop That Spot Gel
This isn't really a winter essential but its something that I've been using a lot lately, I'm quite lucky and don't have many problems with my skin, i only get the occasional blemish. Lately however, I've been having extra visitors on my chin - cheeky buggars, but this gel has been a god-send. I apply it on a night after my night cream over the affected area and leave it to dry. Come the morning, i find the redness is significantly reduced - it doesn't remove the spots completely but it definitely eases them and speeds the process along.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
When im not using my cleanser i like to use this; the water helps the powder lather up really nice and when you apply it to the face you can still feel bits of the powder which i find exfoliates the skin a little. It feels really nice on the face, and leaves the face feeling smoother and looking brighter. This is different to any other product i use and i actually enjoy how you use this!

Raspberry Balmi
Since getting this at Christmas, I've been obsessed with using this. I usually suffer from chapped and dry lips throughout the winter months but after using this it's kept my lips really hydrated and i just love applying it.

V05 Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil
Since ombre-ing my hair I've been using this a lot on the ends of my hair; both after washing my hair and anytime in between when it feels a little dry. I feel that this is doing wonders for my hair, unfortunately it doesn't get rid of the split ends (i hate the hairdressers and put off going for as long as possible) but i do feel like it leaves my hair feeling soft and a little more healthier.

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel
This is my favourite shower gel to use, i just adore it. It smells incredible - like most Soap and Glory products do. It's a really creamy shower gel and lathers really well. I just love this stuff and i can't rate it high enough.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter
This is really rich and moisturising and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft,  moisturised and hydrated, being a butter means its quite a thick cream but i find that's what makes it more moisturising. Again, this smells incredible and it leaves a really nice scent on the skin.

and that's most of the products that have been taking care of my skin this winter!
What's been your skincare saviour this winter?
Natalie xx

51. Review | Faux Fringe

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If you saw my recent Ebay Haul post, you'll know that i purchased a faux fringe. The main purpose for ordering this was that i wanted to see how id look with a full fringe and so id also have the option to wear one if i decide against getting one cut in! I got mine in the shade Dark Brown as that was the one i felt would suit me best. The seller i have link only offers three shade but if you search 'faux fringe' on ebay you will find a large seletion of them come up. The shade i got does suit my hair pretty well, it is a touch darker than my hair but i do think it's possible to get away with it.

This is pretty decent quality, it's a synthetic fiber so i wouldnt recommend using any hot hair appliances on it as it probably won't end well. As you can see from the image above this just attaches with the clips, it's very easy to clip on and it does feel very secure on my hair. The only negative thing i have to say is that it's very noticeable on the top of the head where its attached but this could be easily hidden with a hair band or even a hat.

I paid £1.28 for mine, and free shipping which is ridiculous cheap. As its from Hong Kong you do need to be patient for it to arrive as it does take a couple of weeks but considering how cheap it is i think thats only a small price to pay.

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So what do you think do i suit a full fringe? Im undecided, i really like how it looks when i clip my hair up and have bits at the front pulled down next to the fringe, and i do like how it looks when my hair is down but im very wary of hairdressers and i'm too scared they won't do it how i picture it in my head.

Do i get a fringe or not?
What do you think of the faux fringe?
Natalie xx

49. Review | MUA Palette in Dusk Til Dawn

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Top Row
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Bottom Row

Lately; my collection of palettes has grown a fair bit so i do have a couple of reviews coming up of them all in the next few weeks, in a bid to test them out properly i'm switching them up in my make-up routine. This past week i've been using MUA Eyeshadow palette in Dusk Til Dawn.

This eyeshadow palette contains shimmery eyeshadows, so if you're not a fan of shimmer this palette isnt for you. I really like this palette the range of shades in this palette is really great and versatile - there are a selection neutral shades that are perfect for daytime wear, and also dark brown shades to make a sultry smokey eye for an evening look or if colour is more your thing then there are a selection of brighter shades too, so you can create quite a lot of make up looks from this palette and there would be something to suit everyone.
Like most of the MUA eyeshadows these are great quality and the pigmentation is really good, even better with a primer underneath. My favourite shade is the third one on the top row it's a really pretty brown-pink shade - thats probably a terrible way to explain it but i've been loving wearing this all over the lid with one of the darker browns in the crease to define the eye. They are fairly long lasting, but i did notice that after about 7 hours they had started to crease - with primer, but thats the majority of the day for me so i can deal with that.
The only negative thing i have to say about this palette is that i wish the eyeshadows had names because i like that with palettes but that isnt really an issue with the palette more just me being picky.
I really like this palette; its great quality and has a really good selection of eyeshadow shades. It retails for £4 which is an absolute bargain and MUA often have offers on their products too. You can buy these on the MUA website, or in Superdrug.

Have you tried this palette?
Natalie xx

47. Review | The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter

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I had one of those joy cards for Body Shop (is that what they're called) that you sometimes get in magazines where you either get £3, £15 or £100 to spend in store, typically mines was only worth £3 but i decided to have a browse around the store and see what i could snatch up with it. I didn't plan to spend much and was looking for something that was pretty cheap that i could take advantage of the £3 off because last time i had one it went to waste.

Whilst browsing some of the hair products i noticed this Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter, it's targeted more for dry and damaged hair and is a Luxuriously rich and intensive deep-conditioning treatment for soft, glossy and tangle-free hair, It doesn't have silicones, parabens or colourants so it's really good for you and you can use it weekly or often as you feel its needed.

I was very tempted to buy it but i didn't really fancy adding the £5 (it retails for £8) however, a few assistants noticed me eyeing this up and were circling like vultures each taking turns to try and persuade me to buy it, informing me of how brilliant it is and how soft and healthy it would make my hair. Vultures is a little harsh, they were actually really friendly and obviously good at their job because i left with the shop with the hair butter.

It instructs to apply this after shampooing the hair but i don't actually use it this way, i apply it onto my dry hair before washing and leave it for a good 20 minutes like a hair masque focusing mostly on the ends of my hair and Ive found using it this way leaves me hair feeling really soft and healthy. I will hold my hands up and say I've not actually tried it the way it instructs you to do so whether it works differently i can't say but i like using it the way i do and i like the results that gives. I'm still not sure what i think of the scent of this hair butter, i don't hate it or think its horrible but its not a really pleasant smell either.

I have since discovered you can buy a smaller version of this 50ml for £3, they didn't have that in the store or at least i never saw it so i got the 200ml for £8, i still think that's a little steep but i am enjoying using this on my hair!

You can buy this from The body Shop or online here.
Have you tried it?
Natalie xx

45. Review | MUA Intense Colour Lip Liners

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L-R: Softly Lined | Pink Me Up | Red Drama | Brooding Plum
Lip liners were something i very rarely reached for and i just didn't see them as a needed item in my collection, i don't really know what it was that suddenly changed my mind but one day i decided i wanted to try them out. Until buying these four, i only own one other and that was Barry M Lip Liner in II3 Red and i really liked using it, i found my red lip stayed in place more and it prevented the lipstick for bleeding out.
So, i decided i wanted to try some more shades of lip liner and when MUA had their 50% off promotion i picked up all four of their lip liners for 50p each. The shades are Pink Me Up, Softly Lined, Brooding Plum and Red Drama - the colour pay off is really good, they are really pigmented, the lines are really creamy and apply nice to the lip there is no tugging, it's a really smooth application. The packaging is identical to the eyeliners in the range with a sharpener built into the lid - i really don't like these lids id rather just use my sharpener but i guess they are handy for when you're on the go.
I'm really impressed with these lip liners and id definitely recommend looking into these if you are after a lip liner, i can't compare these to high end lip liners as I've never tried any but for £1 i think the quality of these are fantastic.
They retail for £1 and are available at MUA or in Superdrug.

What's your favourite lip liner, have you tried these?
Also, Happy Valentines Day <3
Natalie xx

44. Ebay Haul

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For some reason whenever i do hauls the photos never look good, i try to arrange them good but they just come out crappy! I tried my best with this, i literally took hundreds of photos and this was the best i got so I'm sorry but I'm losing natural light and i really don't feel like playing around with this stuff anymore.

I bought most of this stuff the first week in January but because a lot of it is from China and Hong Kong it's taken a while for a lot of it to arrive, I'm still waiting on one item but I'm getting impatient waiting for it because i really want to try everything so i decided to do this haul without it and ill do an individual post on it when it arrives!

Korean Cute Little Fox Bag Backpack (£11.51, Free P+P)
I bought this for when i go to Rome to wear to the airport and maybe for walking round just because it'll be easier for me to carry stuff and its a nice size, its not too big or small and its the right size for carry-on luggage. I really wanted a backpack and something cute too and this fills all that criteria!

Vintage Gothic Rock Cross Chains  Bracelet (£0.99, Free P+P)
I thought this was a really nice bracelet, and Ive been quite into wearing my bracelets lately and for 99p i just couldn't pass this up.

Manshiu Long Lasting Eyelash Extension Volume Curling Mascara (£3.45, Free P+P)
I'm developing quite a collection of mascaras, despite me regularly getting rid of the out of dates ones. I didn't really need to buy this mascara but the packaging sold me instantly, its so cute and unusual to any mascara I've seen here in the UK.

Missha The Style Under Eye Brightener in Light Biege (£3.45, Free P+P)
I'm not sure what made me decided to buy this as i have a tonne of concealers that i need to use up before adding anymore to the collection. I'm intrigued to see if this covers my bags and really does brighten underneath my eyes.

Synthetic Fringe Hair Extension in Dark Brown (£1.26, Free P+P)
I'm toying with the idea of maybe getting a full fringe put back in so i decided to buy a faux to see how it would look and also if i decide against it I've got the option of adding a fringe into my hair.

Facial Hair Spring Remover Epistick Epilator (£0.99, Free P+P) 
I saw bubzbeauty feature this in one of her videos ages ago and its something that's always intrigued me, so i decided to finally pick one up and try it.

Etude Drawing Eye Brow Pencil in Black-Brown (£2.36, Free P+P)
I've always used powder to fill in my brows so i decided to pick up this pencil and see how it differs and which i prefer.

& some samples
These were kindly sent alone with a couple of the beauty items i bought.

All the sellers are linked in the photo caption if you're interested in any of these items, except for the backpack which wasn't on buy it now but I'm sure if you search it you'll find it or one similar on there. I will be doing individual reviews on the majority of items featured in this haul - if there is a specific one you'd like to see then please leave me a comment letting me know!

Have you picked up any bargains on Ebay recently?
Natalie xx

42. Review | Sleek Au Naturel Palette

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L-R: Nougat | Nubuck | Cappuccino | Honeycomb | Toast | Taupe
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L-R: Conker | Moss | Bark | Mineral Earth | Regal | Noir
My sister actually got this in her December Glossy box and i was a little jealous and pined over it for a while, so i was really happy when i saw she had wrapped it up and given it me for Christmas! Before i get into this review i just want to apologise for the blatant fingermarks in the photos of the palette, i had taken pictures of them before id swatched but they didn't turn out well so i had to retake them but by this point i had already swatched so yeah.

I'm a big fan of Sleek Palettes and like all other this was no exception, the pigmentation is brilliant except the first two shades which didn't come out as well as the others do, but you can still work with them and build them up and with a primer they'll be even stronger. These are great quality eyeshadows and great staple basic items to add to their collection, the nude tones in this are gorgeous and are perfect and really versatile to wear both day and night time.

These palettes retail for £7.99, which is a bit annoying because they used to only be £6.49 and i believe they were even cheaper than that at one point. Saying that though they are still a decent price for a palette and their are many other versions available if this one isn't quite to your taste. They are  available online or in Superdrug.

What's your favourite Sleek Palette?
Natalie xx

41. Review | Real Techniques Core Colletion

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I treated myself to the Real Techniques Core Collection at the beginning of January and how i managed without these gems in my life before is a mystery to me. I'm sure you've already read a million and one reviews on the Real Techniques brushes but i thought I'd throw my view out there as well!

Buffing Brush
This is my favourite brush out of the entire set. Before this, i found it quite difficult to apply my foundation with a brush no matter what brush i used it always made me look like i was caked in foundation, that was until this little gem came along. This brush is SO soft and it feels really nice to use on the face, it blends in the foundation so nice and I'm just in love with it. If i could recommend only one brush it would be this one!

Detailer Brush
This is the only one i haven't actually used yet because i don't really have a purpose for it yet but it does feel really soft so i can only imagine that its as nice as the others.

Pointed Foundation Brush
As i use the buffing brush for my foundation, i use this foundation brush to blend in my concealer. It's really soft and it blends out my concealer really nicely. I'm not the biggest fan of the pointed bit on this brush, i sometimes find it a little scratchy when I'm blending out the concealer - it's still okay to use and i do still really like using this brush so it doesn't put me off too much.

Contour Brush
I really like contouring, its still something I'm learning and getting to grips with because I'm quite pale i get quite scared with bronzer and i fear ending up with a muddy looking face so I'm still trying to find the right way to make contouring work for me. My last contour brush is the perfect shape for contouring but its quite scratchy on the skin so i didn't like to use it too much. This brush, however, is still the perfect contour shape but it is so nice and soft and i just love it. I'm enjoying contouring even more with this brush.

I can not recommend these brushes enough! This particular set retails for £21.99 and is available from Boots, at first i thought the price was quite steep but you are getting 4 brushes for that price and a lot of their individual brushes are usually around the £10 mark so it's quite a bargain when you think about it.

Have you tried the Real Techniques brushes, whats your favourite?
Natalie xx

40. Review | MUA Intense Glosses in Sealed with a Kiss & Stolen Kisses

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Stolen Kisses | Sealed with a Kiss
I bought these quite recently when MUA had their large offer on, normally i like to wait a while before i do a review but I've worn these a lot since i got them, so i feel i can offer a good opinion on them. Firstly before i get into this review, i just want to say im sorry for the top photos - i thought they were much clearer and much better quality that what they've turned out but they've got a blue tone on them which is making them look quite blurry, so i apologise for that but onto the review.

The shades i got were Sealed with a Kiss and Stolen Kisses, i tend to wear lipsticks more than lipgloss because there are very few glosses that i actually like - i despise lipgloss that makes my lips all sticky, i just think its horrible and i hate how it feels on the lips. So i took a risk when adding these to the basket but i can quite happily say that my risk paid off, because i bloody love these lip glosses.

These are quite thick glosses but they don't feel thick on your lip. I'd say they are quite creamy and the colour pay off is fantastic, they do wear off the lips after about 3-4 hours but i like to reapply my lip products throughout the day anyway so that doesn't bother me too much. I think these are fantastic quality for £2 and i definitely want to try more of their shades.

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Sealed with a Kiss
This is a gorgeous nude-pink colour, i don't think this photo has picked up on the colour enough to do it justice. I love wearing this during the day, it adds a nice natural sweep of colour to the lips and it would also be really wearable for a night out with a really bold eye look.

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Stolen Kisses
Call me vain but i actually quite like this photo of myself - mostly because you can see my eye colour properly, i have two completely different coloured eyes (1 blue, 1 green) but normally photos don't pick it up and just make them one colour so i really like how it stands out on this one. It's also a complete coincidence that I'm wearing the same jumper in both photos, its super warm and Ive been wearing it loads lately - anyways, back to the review - this is gorgeous red shade, it's not an overly (is that a word?) bold red, so i find I'm able to wear this during the day without feeling too on show.

I'm a little bit in love with these lipglosses, and at £2 each they are an absolute steal. I definitely want to try the other shades available in the range because I'm really impressed with these two and id definitely recommend them to people who love their glosses or to people who like me are very wary of them.

These lipglosses retail for £2 and are available online or in Superdrug.
Whats you're favourite lipgloss?
Natalie xx

39. How to | Get a Pen Pal

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Everytime I've posted a pen pal haul, Ive always received such a great response and I'm usually left many comments saying how much people would love to have a pen pal but have no idea where to look or where to begin, so i thought id do a post showing you how. Now firstly, i just want to say that there are many different ways to get pen pals and their are many websites dedicated to pen pals as well. However, in this post I'm just going to cover the method in which i used to gain my pen pals and some tips for once you've gotten one!

I actually used tumblr to get my pen pals and their are two ways in which you can do it.

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Firstly, browse tags similar to these 'pen pal' and 'pen pals' will prove most popular but you will notice that there will be a lot of posts under these tags of people seeking pen pals. They are almost like adverts of people who like you are wanting a pen pal, sometimes the post will include a bit of information about the person, things like their age, where they are from and some of their interests. If you come across someone who you'd like to be pen pals with message them, ask if they are still interested in being pen pals (sometimes people may only want one, others may want more), if they're still interested, find out who wants to write the first letter and then swap addresses.

OR

Another way to do it, is to write your own post and tag it with one of the above tags and wait for someone to message you, and then decide on who is sending the first letter and then swap addresses.


Both ways are successful, so do which ever one is more comfortable for you and enjoy you're new pen friendship :)

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A Couple of Tips

- I would not advise posting your address on tumblr for everyone to see, although I'm sure none of you would do that anyways - always make sure it's in the ask box so it's private or if you're still not quite comfortable swapping it on that, swap emails and exchange addresses that way.

- Don't get a pen pal if you're not serious; it does requires some dedication and its not fair on the person you're writing too, if you're not gonna take it serious.

- Avoid being late with your reply; sometimes it happens, ill hold my hands up and say sometimes life can get in the way and a reply can be put off a little bit, its okay occasionally but don't make it a constant thing.

- Your letters don't have to be full on packages, only one of my pen pals and i exchange quite large packages the rest of them i stick to normal letter sizes. So don't feel you have to send a massive package to them, either way start small.

- It's important to remember that you do have to pay postage, so depending on where you're pen pal may be from depends on how much it may be.

- I use tumblr to inform my pen pals when I've sent their letters/packages and when Ive received theirs and they do the same. That way we can make sure we're both receiving them okay.

- If you don't want to write anymore, just tell them. You are under no obligation to be their pen pal so you don't have to keep writing if you don't want to, but do the polite thing and let them know.

Writing the First Letter

I've been lucky and only had to do this once and it's not an easy thing to do so i thought I'd include some tips and talking points if you are the one sending the first letter!

- Keep it simple, this is the first impression you're going to be making so don't over do it or you might scare them aware.

- Give basic information about yourself and your life; things like your family, school/uni/job, interests, dislikes, hobbies etc...

- Ask Questions - ultimately, its like having a long ongoing conversation so ask many questions, also its a good way to get to know each other and to give each other something to write about.

Things to Include in Letters

Along with letters, it is nice to receive other things from your pen pal - like i mentioned earlier you don't have to send big packages - but here's some ideas of things you could send:

- Photos
- Stickers
- CD Mixes
- Sweets
- Bracelets
- Postcards
- Badges
- Stationary
- Drawings/Doodles
- Keyrings
- Cards

Send things that might not be available to them but are to you - patriotic things or different types of sweets etc...

Do make sure to check if certain things may not allowed, if you have a pen pal from a completely different country chances are your letter will have to go through customs and sometimes they don't think twice about taking things out. It's happened a couple of times to things I've sent to mine, it's really annoying and its unfair to who ever it is received that package, so just be wary of what you're sending.

& that about covers it, the only other things i will say is enjoy it. I love having pen pals and I'm so glad that i took the plunge to get one (i now have 3/4) i love the letters/packages i receive and getting to try different sweets from different countries and learning about their lives, and i have a lot of fun putting packages and letters together.

I hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions either leave me a comment, tweet me (@youralmostalice) or feel free to drop me an email (youralmostalice@gmail.com)
& please, let me know if you decide to get a pen pal too!

Natalie xx