Innisfree Peony Perfume Room Diffuser

Innisfree Peony Room Diffuser

Today I want to share with you a short post on this delightful room diffuser from Innisfree. I picked this up during their 50% sale last month (oh just in case you see read this post today Friday 11th December) Innisfree are currently having their 30% off monthly sale. Not quite as good as the half price sale, but still a sale giving you a few extra pennies in your pocket for Christmas shopping. 

Innisfree is one of my absolute favorite Korean Beauty Brands (you can see just how much I love them by looking at my Beauty page...I've got 'one or two' Innisfree reviews on there hehe). 

This review is of the Peony Perfumed Diffuser. When I was in store, I also really like the Fig (I think I might need to add that to my Christmas List!) which has a very fresh and clean smell.

When choosing a perfume diffuser, I was worried that about the fragrance being very over powering, but it's very subtle. It gives the room it's placed in a very soft fragrance that lingers, without leaving you feeling sick from the sweetness. Another great one I would recommend is the Lemon scented diffuser. It would make a good kitchen (or even bathroom) addition.

Here is the Korean blurb about this diffuser from the Innisfree website:

Innisfree Peony Room Perfume Diffuser

 The diffuser is sold separately from the reed stick, which comes in 3 different versions - the basic reed stick (this I the one I have), the twig , and the flower . The flower is very pretty but I'm not sure how well it work to diffuse. 

The perfumed diffuser costs 20,000 Won, and the reed stick's price depends on which version you buy. The basic reed stick is 2,000 Won for a pack of 10, the twig version is 4,000 Won, and the flower is 5,000 Won. 

And it doesn't hurt that the bottle is so beautiful to look at, as is the design of each and everything I've ever bought at Innisfree.

Do you own a room diffuser? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. 

New 2015 Calendars in Stock in my Stationery Store

I have some gorgeous new 2015 calendars in stock in my stationery store as of this morning. There are two desk standing calendars and one wall hanging calendar. All of them are unique and beautifully illustrated to help you get your planning for the new year done in style.

New in my Stationery Store

Last week I finalised the finishing touches on my brand spanking new stationery store, filling it with individual items (pens, pencils, washi tape, lace paper doilies, packaging bags & notebooks) as well as making it easier for you to find what you need. The ordering process is simple, and I am now able to accept payment by debit and credit card (through PayPal).

Prices for items are as follows:

Pencils: $2

Pens: $2.50

Notebooks: $3.50 - $6

Pretty Packages: $15 - $30

Washi Tape: $2 - $3

Lace Paper Doilies: $2.50

Happy shopping!

Pretty Packages in the mail

A few weeks a go I received a very lovely package in the mail from my friend and fellow South African blogger, Nadia. Everything was put together with such care, such love and all in all...such pretty-ness! These pretty little packages are taking the world by storm under the name 'snail mail' (just do a search on Pinterest or Instagram to see the amount of time people spend on creating pretty packages of stationery and letters to send to friends and pen pals across the seas). 

In essence snail mail is the term given to the physical mailing of letters, which is such a rare thing these days with people opting to instead send instant texts and emails instead of the slower (ie snail) postal service. But, nothing quite beats that feeling of receiving something special from the post man, and that is what Snail Mailing is all about. Nadia has written a wonderful post with more information on snail mailing and how to find pen-pals to exchange packages here to see more.

I have received some lovely packages in the past few here and here to see them. 

Do you enjoy snail mail? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below <3

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How to create your own homemade stationery {Guest Post}

Today's lovely post is from the very creative Yu Rong, who lives in Australia and has a delightful blog, xo-lovelee. I 'met' Yu Rong on Instagram. She posts the most beautiful photographs of stationery and letters, it's all just so pretty. Each of her photographs is lovingly styled and put together, and I spend hours pouring over every single detail. So I contacted her and asked if she would like to be on my blog, and share a little stationery love for all of you. Thank you for your wonderful words and pictures Yu's been lovely following your blog and Instagram and getting to know you <3

Hello hello! My name is Yu Rong, the girl behind xo-lovelee; a fellow blogger and lover of beautiful stationery that is stylish and functional. I adore love letters, pretty colours and washi tape. 

As an avid snail mailer and penpaller, I have seen the most creative way to send beautiful mail. I cherish all the letters that I have received but there is always a special place in my heart for handmade notepaper that have been put together by the amazing creative minds of the writer. There’s something gorgeous about holding something handmade that someone has put time and effort into. Today, I would like to bring to you a combination of all of the above with some handmade stationery paper that can be used for letters, cards and notepaper!


This isn't hard, I promise! It’s super easy and fun to make. All you need are the basics, paper in whatever size you would like, grid or blank, and one of my obsessions at the moment, many different kinds of washi tape!

This is one of my favourites – to make this look, select four to five washi tapes that coordinate with one another. 

The next step is to tear off different lengths of the coordinating washi tape and layer them across the top of the pages. Don’t be afraid to get messy, you can trim off the excess when you’re done!I had so much fun that I just had to make another set!

As you can see, using different washi tapes can give you a different outcome, so don’t be afraid to experiment. You never know what you can create!

Another one of my loves are stamps, the above stamp was purchased from Oh Hello Friend and it makes the most perfect start to a letter, don’t you agree?

I love buntings, so of course I had to create this! Using different washi tapes, cut triangles and stick it on the paper in a row. Mix and match colours, use different patterns of washi tape and whatever else that tickles your fancy! This is very versatile and you can use this for birthday or party invitations. Feel free to use skinny washi tapes as borders for around the paper in order to “dress it up” a bit. 

I've already told you that I love snail mail so an air mail themed paper is required. Using air mail themed washi, I lined the top and bottom border, layering it. 

Washi tapes come in a large variety of patterns, colours and different themes. This makes them very versatile for many different creative creations. I hope you had a good time looking through these and that it inspires you to create your very own handmade stationery!

Do say hello! You can find me at:

Instagram: @xoylee 


Nail Inspiration

You may not believe me when I tell you this, but I used to bite my nails...badly. Not just the kind of biting that trims your nails, I'm talking nasty nail biting, fingers that I was too embarrassed to let anyone see, and then I would also bite my cuticles. It was horrible. Then I started eating a lot more yogurt and the extra calcium intake gave my poor stumps a little extra strength and I stopped biting. My nails were stronger, they weren't as brittle and finally they stopped chipping and flaking and began to grow slowly. When they started growing they looked better, and I became less embarrassed to show them off and began painting them and taking better care of my hands. Thank you yogurt (luckily I married a dairy farmer so I can have long, strong nails for ever and ever!).

Here are some snaps of what I've been doing to my nails over the past few months. These are very simple nail polish ideas, and usually you only really need 2 colours to achieve the look. Glitter polish is a great addition to your collection as it can update a manicure in a matter of minutes and prolong the wear of your polish by covering up small chips. If you want to read more about growing your own beautiful, strong here.  Remember to always use a base coat to protect your nails before painting.

Do you have any other nail art ideas? I have yet to really dive into the world of nail art, I don't think I have enough patience to wait for a million layers of paint to dry, but maybe this weekend I can put a few hours aside to get creative.

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FREE SHIPPING in my store until the end of January!

A sample of some of the items that go into each pretty package...

A sample of some of the items that go into each pretty package...

To start the new year off with a bang, and to help you get organised and ready for all those dates and lists of things to do that come with the start of any new year, I am offering free shipping on packages until the end of January.

Each pretty package of boutique stationery is carefully put together by me...each item hand picked and unique. You won't know the exact items in your package, and that what makes it so special. You simply choose your colour palette, and I do the rest...ensuring what the post man brings you is a delightful surprise. Each packages contains at least: 

  • a lovely letter set
  • a  notebook
  • a weekly scheduler
  • a set of envelopes
  • a pen & pencil
  • two rolls of washi tape
  • as  well as a few other pretty surprises unique to each customer.

I am also sending out a gorgeous 2014 diary for the next 3 customers so get your orders in fast!

Each package is $30, with no hidden extra costs (unless paying by PayPal in which there is a $2 service fee) and is sent off to you once payment has been confirmed. You will receive your pretty package in 2 - 3 weeks depending on where in the world you are.

To order, simply choose your colour palette (blush, peach or mint) and fill in the order form by clicking here: ORDER

I will send you an invoice with my banking details. I will send off your package within 2 weeks of receiving payment

One of the diaries that will be going into the next 3 customer orders...

One of the diaries that will be going into the next 3 customer orders...

Happy Shopping!


CGS Pretty Stationery {Flash Sale}


Dear readers!

Today is the last day of my three day flash sale on pretty stationery in my store.

To place your order simply email me with your colour palette choice (mint, peach, or blush) and I will send you an invoice to make payment.

Each pretty package includes:

-a 2014 calendar

-roll of washi tape

-a notebook

-a pen or pencil

-lace paper doilies

All for $11 (excl. shipping of $4.50).

I am working on a $1 to R10 exchange rate for my South African customers, so in total the package, including shipping will be R155.

Hurry while stocks last <3

I look forward to creating your pretty package.


How to create beautiful collages in minutes

Creating collages used to be something I dreaded doing. It takes hours of painstaking research to find the exact photograph of a number of different items, source them properly and then to find them all with a white or even better yet, a transparent background is just horrid work. In the blogging world there are collages, and then there are collages. You know the ones I'm talking about, those beautiful, seamless compilations you find on the top fashion and beauty blogs, and then you get the first few I ever made. Chalk and cheese really.

Well I am going to let you in on my secret to creating beautiful collages like this one, using a free site called Polyvore...

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Creating collages using Polyvore

The above collage was created using the very easy to follow (and did I mention free) website Polyvore.

Polyvore works a little like Pinterest in that you are able to create your own online pinboard of images. There are a number of different categories, and from these you can make stunning and professional collages for your blog. Why not make your own gift guides for Christmas? Or how about creating your own wish list to help your friends and family in picking out the perfect gift for you? 

The site is designed to share clickable links to the prices of the items in your creations on the usual social media platforms, so you know the price and where the closest stockist is to you. But as I only want to use the image as a graphic, I simply screenshot the collage and go about inserting it that way.

Here are a few more collages I've created using Polyvore.

I'd love to see yours creations too. Simply upload them to my Facebook Page so I can have a look!

Good luck and happy creating!


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New in the Store!

I've been putting together my first few orders, and wanted to share with you a few new goodies which will be going into the pretty packages. I only stock one or two of each item, so you know what you purchase is truly unique.

The idea behind my store is that each and every package put together is exclusive and special, and never the same as the one before. You won't know exactly what you're going to get, and that's what makes it so much fun. We all love receiving parcels in the mail, and this time, although you may not be 100% certain of the contents, you know it will be full of pretty-ness. Simply choose your colour scheme; Mint, Peach or Blush (currently these are the 3 palettes, but I will be adding to these in the near future!).

Or better yet, get in contact with me to customize your own pretty package.

Happy shopping!


My shop is live!


And we are a go!

Welcome to me new website and most importantly, welcome to my new online store!

I hope you find the site easy to use. If you have any questions about anything, please drop me an email using the contact form above, or directly here.

As a little thank you, the first 5 customers to my store will each receive a beautiful 2014 Calendar in their package as a little extra gift. 

Currently I am only accepting payment via Electronic Transfer into a South African bank account, but soon will be offering payment through PayPal for your convenience.

Happy shopping everyone!

Have a lovely weekend!

{Snail Mail} Gratitude

Last month I took part in such a fun mail swop (the term being used to describe the recent revival of postal mail is snail mail) called The Snail Mail Collective. This particular snail mail package swop was organized by the lovely Melyssa of The Nectar Collective and Chelsea of Lost in Travels. The idea behind the Snail Mail Collective is this:

"It’s an easy, international package exchange. Aka, send a package, get a package. The goal is to provide an avenue to connect and get to know people from all over the world by exchanging packages and encouraging postcards each month. This is a great way to not only meet people around the world, but to also learn about new cultures and make new friends!" Melyssa

I signed up last month and was paired up with Rima who is from Indonesia but currently lives in California, USA. Rima runs the lovely blog Bulu by Rima which documents her and her man (she calls him PillowMan) adventures around  South East Asia. Rima is a Full-time Registered Nurse in Interventional Radiology/Emergency Medicine and a part-time Amateur Baker. She is just lovely! And we both LOVE stationery, so we were a match made in heaven (as you can see from all my wonderful goodies below).

Each month there is a theme that goes along with your package, and we have to try and keep the contents of our parcel under $5. Last months theme was gratitude. I am grateful for all the pretty things that I can find here in Korea, click here to see what I packaged up and sent to Rima!

This month will be the last month that the Snail Mail Collective will be run, there are still 2 days left to sign up so pop on over here if you still want to take part!

Thank you for everything Rima, I have loved getting to know you over the past month and I look forward to reading more about your adventures on your blog.


Happy Friday & Happy Thanksgiving!

Farmboy and I aren't American, and as such we don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day. But, we know it's a very special day for America, and it's always a good thing to give thanks for what you have and to be thankful of just how much you do have in life.

So, here is a little list of what I'm thankful for. I'd love to know what you are thankful for today, pop me a comment below <3

And I also had to share these beautiful photographs of a Thanksgiving table, found via The Glitter Guide.

I'm thankful for the following big (and small) things:

*our feather duvet for the very cold nights we have been having lately

*my hot water body (aka my hubby, Farmboy)

*that we are able to keep warm while the temperatures plummet, and many people around the world, especially at home in South Africa, barely have a pile of sticks to make a fire with during the winter times

*for each and every comment here on my blog

*for my family, ALL of them, from my step parents and step sisters, to my baby brother (who actually isn't a baby at all!) and to having all 8 sets of grandparents alive and well

*my sweet students who surprise with me little handwritten notes and chocolates when I least expect

*Whatsapp and Skype (and Facebook!) for being able to keep in touch with family and friends while we are here in Kimchi land

*for our jobs here in Korea. It's far to easy to get used to the stability, comfort and the disposable income that comes from ESL teaching in Korea. I am so grateful to have a job like this right now, when so many of our friends are back home in South Africa are either hating their jobs, or desperately trying to find one

Have a lovely weekend everyone.


An{other} update & a GIVEAWAY!


Dear readers,
Is inevitable that when starting your own business there will be many bumps and hiccups along the way. I have had lots of computer trouble lately (and not the small kind either, I'm talking the hundreds of dollars or thousands of rands kind of trouble) and I am still without my glorious machine.
And, I have run into a few issues with the South African postal service too.
BUT I am still determined to get my site and shop launched soon, so please do bear with me. I want it to be perfect :)

So, to say thank you for your patience, I am hosting a giveaway! Yippee!

But, this giveaway is going to a surprise of sorts, think of me as your Secret Santa (not so secret as you do know who I am, but secret as you don't know exactly what I am going to be giving).

I WILL tell that you that it will be filled with {pretty-ness} and could contain any of the below:

To enter  simply use the fabulously easy entering system below.
The winner will be drawn on the Friday 22nd November. This giveaway is open to international entries too!

CGS Online Stationery Store {An Update}


Dear readers,

I have mentioned on various social media platforms that I will soon be launching my new website, and my new stationery store. I have had a few hiccups along the way, the main one being the postal system in South Africa. I want to make sure that I have an absolute sure way of getting you your lovely goodies before I launch.

Please bear with me while I do my best to figure out all the nitty gritty logistics on this exciting new venture.

In the mean time, I am leaving you with some images to get you excited for what is to come soon.

P.S As a thank you for being so patient, I will soon be hosting a giveaway next week of some of these delightful goodies! So keep your eyes peeled!



October through Instagram

And so another month has come and gone. We are enjoying the beautiful Autumn colours and falling leaves here in South Korea (we don't get anything like the colours here back home in South Africa) and so have been going a little nuts over the reds and the yellow hues. But, it means winter is fast approaching, and apparently our little town of Buan gets a ton of snow. Brrrrr!

But, at least the snow makes pretty pictures (trying to look on the bright side here!) and it also means a new, big and fluffy feather duvet is a completely justified purchase, right??

Heres to a new month full of opportunity. Happy November everyone.




Photography Styling Challenge {Bedroom}


Today marks the second month of Redesigned by M's wonderful photography styling challenge. Each month we are given a new theme, and we have until the first Monday of the next month to post our photographs. The photographs must be unedited, and must have been taken since the start of the challenge in June this year. Click here to see my photographs from last months theme {Morning}.

Some of my thoughts behind my shoot:

These photographs are of my friend Cassandra's room here in South Korea. Here in Korea, as part of our contracts with our schools, we are provided with housing. Now housing is a pretty strong word for most of our accommodation. For the majority of us, we are given a single, one room apartment (one room meaning that that one room is your bedroom, kitchen, lounge, study and entertainment area). We eat in our 'rooms', we get ready in them, we relax in them, we sleep in them. Thank you to the lovely Cassandra for all her idea's, and for putting up with me climbing all over her pretty room.

On that note, here are my submissions for the theme {bedroom}:


{South Korea} Pretty Packaging

Everything here in Korea is packaged beautifully. Skin care products, stationery, hair care products, nail care...even the milk! I am going to have to devote a whole blog post to the stationery here (I have done a few before, click here for drool worthy letter sets, notepads and stickers!).  


Snail Mail and my new PenPal from Malaysia

There are so many wonderful people to meet on Instagram (come say hello to me too @roxypearce). While perusing for pretty bits of stationery, I stumbled across the lovely @win_naa who is from Malaysia.

I instantly started following her feed and every day I am able to get my stationery fix from her lovely images. 

We have since become pen pals, and the images below are from my very first pen pal snail mail package from her. I can't wait to put together all the pretty pieces I have for her (I am after all in stationery heaven here in South Korea) pop on over to my Facebook page if you don't believe me. Everything she sent me was so thoughtfully put together, including a whole bunch of interesting facts about Malaysia.

There is something very special about receiving something in the post, isn't there?

Thank you so much for the wonderful package Win Naa, I so look forward to the many letters we will be sending across the seas to each other.



The FaceShop - Arsainte EcoTherapy {review}


This is my second review of products from The Face Shop (you can read my review on the Chia Seed collection here) and the reason...I just love all of the products I've used so far from this brand of skin care  here in South Korea. 

With all my reviews I aim to be as honest as possible with the products I review. I have not been sponsored in anyway, and the views here are entirely my own.

Most skin care lines here in Korea consist of the following types of products:







This may all seem a little excessive, but Koreans (and I think I can generalise to most Asian people) have the most incredible skin. All the ladies at my school look at least 10 years younger than their actual age. They must be doing something right, and I think their skincare (and the fact that they spend NO time in the sun baking like us Westerners do) has a lot to do with it.


 is your first line of cleansing the skin to remove all traces of makeup and impurities


 is to get rid of oil & dirt left after cleaning, to moisturise & to neutralise the ph balance of the skin


 is a light, concentrated treatment to correct skin problems. It is easily absorbed and penetrates deep into your skin. Some beauty experts advise waiting 5-10 minutes AFTER applying your essence before you apply any other moisturizer. Essence or serums are essentially clear, thick, liquid moisturizing products. Some companies tend to label their products as serums, while others label them as essences. Serums tends be slightly more concentrated than essence.


 is a much lighter, daytime moisturiser 


 is a much more rich product, usually used if your skin is very dry or in need or more moisture


Arsainte Ecotherapy Multi-Care Cleansing Foam

I've only used this cleanser a few times as I am trying to finish up the vast array of other cleansers I seem to have amassed in my short time here in Korea (I just can't be helped when it comes to products!). But it seems to do a good job of cleaning my skin without stripping it and leaving it feeling dry and leathery. The product description says that it can be used as a mask too, when left on the skin for 5 minutes. I'm looking forward to trying that out in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes on my Facebook Page

Arsainte Ecotheraphy Extreme Moisture Tonic with essential

"An essence toner that needs to be shaken before usage to mix the aroma essential oil and golden palm oil, uses bamboo extracts instead of water"

I love the fact that I have to shake this toner to combine all of the essential oils and bamboo extract before using it as I can actually see the different levels of moiuture that will be absorbed into my skin. The fragrance  is light, fresh and very exotic, leaving my skin feeling renewed and glowing after each application. 

Being an 'essence' toner it is a multi-beneficial product, combing essence and toner in one, allowing me to save a little time on my beauty regime (ok, not a lot of time but still, those few extra seconds do count!). It prepares my skin for my moisturiser and aids in retaining moisture.

I then follow with my Olay eye cream (which I have been using and loving for the past 2 years) and finally my Chia Seed Lotion. I had been using the Chia Seed Watery Lotion and although I liked using it, I have used this toner the last time I was in Korea and wanted to try it again. Both the Chia Seed and this Arsainte toner are wonderful products, but I do feel that the Arsainte is more moisturising as it contains essential oils, and so its perfect for me here in Korea as we are heading into winter when my skin is always more dry.


With winter approaching, I am on the lookout for a new moisturiser/serum. If you have any recommendations, please pop me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you.