Tangible Stationery: a review

Hi guys!

Today I’ll be reviewing a couple of notebooks from a lovely stationery company called Tangible Stationery. They create beautiful stationery for everyday use, with all sorts of different personalisation possibilities.

You may be wondering what stationery has to do with a nature/green lifestyle blog – well, I miss pen & paper. Everything I’ve written so far for this blog has been using a keyboard; I’ve never hand written any of it. Given that I spend all day at work staring at a computer screen, it is a little upsetting to find myself using my evenings and weekends to write my blog digitally.

I realised I don’t have to do that – I can go old school! So I’m using a couple of fancy new notebooks to review* for this blog and to re-inspire me to use pen and paper again. I miss the physical experience of writing; holding a pen between my hands, opening a notebook and thumbing through to where I last got to, pausing over ivory pages, pen in lips, thinking, planning, writing.

I’ve chosen two notebooks from Tangible Stationery, one from each of their main brands.

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Forbes Classic Notebook Lines F20-02

The essentials:

– 240 ivory pages
– Lined paper
– Loop for pen
– Elastic closure
– Ribbon marker
– Storage pocket
– A5 size

This notebook has a classic, traditional feel, with a hard cover and beautiful paper with subtle lines. It has a section in the top right hand corner to put the date on each page, which is a really cute detail and makes it ideal as a journal. A really awesome feature of this notebook is that it can be embossed – I requested the name of my blog, This Veggie Life, embossed on the cover, and I’m so pleased with how it came out! There are other options as well to have your chosen word or name or phrase on the cover in red, silver or gold foil.

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The Forbes notebook passes all the necessary stationery nerd tests: quality paper that doesn’t allow ghosting (nerd term for how the pen shows through on the next page); classy cover, all essential features; and, finally, a cute ‘how to find my owner if I’m lost’ section at the front.

I’m a sucker for a hard leather-effect cover and ribbon to keep my place – it even comes with a pen loop, so it’s easy to transport and use as an everyday notebook to scribble down your thoughts and observations.

It’s reminiscent of travel writing – I can just imagine sitting in a hotel lobby in the 1930’s in Constantinople, sipping coffee, smoking a cigarette, and writing my adventures in my travel journal. This is a notebook that has an enduring appeal.

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Matilda Myers Notebook MY20-05

The essentials:

– Rose gold foiling
– Original design by Matilda Myres
– 192 ivory pages
– Round elastic closure
– Lined paper

Again, this notebook has quality paper with subtle lines and no ghosting when writing; it has an elastic ribbon to hold it closed, a section on each page to write the page number, and a page for contact details at the front. This notebook has a very artistic feel and I think it would be great for writing stories or planning a creative project. Alternatively, it’s a great gift.

This notebook is all about the snazzy cover – I love the geometric shapes and the pastel blue colours, and I love how satisfying it is to touch the indented rose gold foiling. Honestly, it’s quite soothing.

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Now that I have two new beautiful notebooks for my collection, I feel I can write with a pen in my hands again, so I’m planning many more visits to coffee shops to brainstorm ideas for my blog and to use the free WiFi.

So enough of the screen headaches. Here’s to the authentic tangible experience of physical writing.

* I received the products to review as gifts from the company; my views are always my own.

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Cute Vegan Organic Skincare – Christmas Gift Set

Fair Squared are one of my favourite organic, natural skincare and beauty brands, and their products are all vegan and Fair Trade. They never test their products on animals – so they are right up my street. Fair Squared are one of those companies that have so many certifications that they can barely fit them all on the packaging; Vegan Society, Fair Trade, Peta, Natrue, and Fair Rubber.

They sent me this lovely Christmas gift set to try out.

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Fair Squared Christmas Gift Set *

4 cute mini skincare essentials, all certified vegan and Fair Trade, using natural ingredients. At £8.95 this is a really good idea as a Christmas gift set for a friend or family member who likes organic, natural, vegan, cruelty-free products, and a good introduction for someone looking to get to know an organic brand like this but doesn’t know where to start. I really love the simple packaging on these bottles.

  • Green Tea Body Lotion: containing the finest Fair Trade green tea from India. I love body lotions as I do get very dry skin, especially in winter. This bitesize bottle is perfect for handbags or leaving by the kitchen sink.
  • Vanilla Shower Gel: contains Fair Trade olive oil from Palestine. A cute sample of a classic in their range and convenient for taking to the gym for the post-workout shower.
  • Apricot Shampoo: contains Fair Trade apricot kernel oil from Pakistan. A lovely lather and a beautiful smell of apricots, which is not an ingredient I would immediately think to put on my hair, but the smell is so good that I would definitely use this again.
  • Olive Hand Soap: contains Fair Trade olive oil from Palestine. A really nice and supple soap, left my hands very soft.

 

You can buy more of Fair Squared’s range here.

 

* Denotes a gift I received. My opinions are nevertheless my own and I always give honest reviews.

Naipo Shoulder Massager (Review)

Naipo Shoulder Massager (Review)

I’m one of those people that suffers with back, neck shoulder and joint pain, and it has been ongoing for a few years now. I’ve tried it all: NSAIDs, painkillers, better desk ergonomics, heat packs, Pilates, and while all of this helps (particularly Pilates), none gives such immediate relief as a proper massage.

Being somewhat uncomfortable with the very idea of stripping off and having someone kneading my back with their bare, cold hands, I wanted something a little more private and less dependent on other people. So I was very excited to receive the Naipo massager in the post recently – thank you so much, Naipo, for sending me your massager to try out and review.

I don’t think I’ve talked about it before on this blog, but I suffer from Marfan Syndrome, which is a connective tissue disorder that can lead affected people to suffer with chronic joint problems, including dislocations, and cardiovascular problems, such as aortic dilatation (I had to have heart surgery for this 5 years ago, in my early 20s.) More recently this condition has caused me chronic back pain, as well as neck and shoulder pain, that I usually treat with anti-inflammatories and heat packs, and I’ve been working on building my strength and alignment through Pilates (which, by the way, has been a hugely beneficial experience.)

But I’ve always wanted to try massage and have never really felt I could justify the expense on a regular basis, so this little contraption by Naipo is an ideal solution for me as it’s a one-off cost for a product I can use as regularly as I like. I’m really keen to try this massager because the rotating nodes and the heat from the device is supposed to be really good at increasing the circulation in my connective tissues, which in theory will help them to recover more quickly when the pain from inflammation kicks in.

What is Shiatsu massage? A specialist style of Japanese massage that focuses on pressure points. It rotates and stretches the joints to release tension. Essentially, it uses the fingers to manipulate the affected joints or muscles into a more comfortable, relaxed position. While there’s no scientific evidence to suggest it can cure you of anything, but it is helpful in alleviating symptoms.

Benefits:

  • Relieves tired and aching joints and muscles.
  • Relaxes body through use of heat, massage, and taking a little time for self-care.
  • Can be used in conjunction with other methods of pain relief to improve chronic conditions.
  • Stress reliever.

The Naipo Shiatsu Kneading Massager: Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat

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Features:

  • The Naipo massager has 8 nodes that rotate to knead aching muscles.
  • Heat can be applied to intensify the effect and relax the muscles even more.
  • It’s quite light and portable and can be used in the home, office, or even the car (though not while driving, of course).
  • Ergonomic U-design with handles to manipulate the pressure applied by the rotating nodes.
  • Made from sturdy material that can easily be wiped clean after use.
  • Adaptable design – can be used on neck, shoulders, back, calves, thighs or abdomen.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • 3D rotating nodes move clockwise and anti-clockwise, switching automatically after a minute.
  • Timer set to 20 minutes to conserve power and built-in thermostat to avoid overheating.

I found the Naipo massager really easy and simple to use as all you have to do is position it where you want to use it and plug it in. It was slightly surprising that the nodes started rotating immediately at full pelt rather than gradually building up to full speed, but you can control this by pulling the handles to adjust the pressure applied to your muscles, which is a very useful feature. It really does feel like a pair of hands as you can feel the nodes getting right into the shoulder joints.

The heat gets to about 40 degrees so it’s a gentle temperature that won’t burn your skin. The package also comes with a dust guard cloth that you can put on over the nodes so you don’t get any friction from the mesh covering, though I didn’t notice that without the dust guard.

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After my initial use, I ended up using the Naipo massager every day after work and it has really helped. I often get a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders purely from sitting at a computer desk all day long, so on a weekday evening this product has become an essential part of my de-stress routine. It’s so easy to use and you can just stick on your shoulders while you’re watching telly.

I cannot recommend this massager enough; it has been so helpful and relaxing and I’m so impressed by the quality of this Naipo product. I’ve just found out they have also released a really cute limited edition Christmas version, which you can also buy on Amazon here.

 

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