Travel inspired gifts PLUS GIVEAWAY!

Time to Take a Map Necklace

If you’re familiar with this blog then you will know that I am a big fan of quirky jewellery and anything travel-related. Combine the two and you get Comuse Travels – an online store run by California-based husband and wife duo Neel and Dawn Bulchandani.

Neel and Dawn love travel and they love inspiring others to travel too, working together they “champion the dreams of others in tangible ways via advocating travel, adventure, discovery, wonder, whimsy and the imminently hopeful reality that every person can be a positive change agent for their environment and the world.” – which I absolutely love!

After browsing Comuse Travels’ website, I pretty much realised my entire Christmas wish list (hey I’m a sucker for anything map print!) so when they offered me one of their Time to Take a Map Necklaces to review I jumped at the chance!

comuse travels world map necklace

A little touch that I adored is that each order comes with a poem written by the creators of Comuse themselves who, as well as being passionate travellers, are also keen poets. In fact, every item on comusetravels.com has a poem as part of its description.

gold world map necklace

I wore this necklace to work the other day and it did receive quite a few compliments – I work with a bunch of travel loving ladies, mostly in their 20s and 30s, who are also total magpies when it comes to pretty things. It makes a subtle statement and although gold is not normally my colour, it looks fabulous against a simple black outfit!

So, if you fancy putting some travel on then keep reading as together with Comuse I have not one, but TWO of these Time to Take a Map Necklaces to give away. All you have to do is follow Quirky Little Planet and Comuse Travels on twitter and then retweet the competition tweet!

Competition closes at midday BST on Sunday 20th September 2015.

Not only that, I am offering my readers 15% off all Comuse Travels orders until 31st December 2015. Just simply use the unique promo code: QuirkyLittlePlanet

Good luck and happy travels!

time to take a map necklace

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Comuse Travels but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Terms & Conditions: 
1. The prize consists of a ‘Time to Take a Map’ necklace and there will be two winners, receiving one necklace each. 2. The prize is non transferable, non refundable and there is no cash alternative. 3. Entries must be made via following Quirky Little Planet and Comuse Travels on twitter and retweeting the competition tweet. 4. The competition closes Midday British Summer Time on Sunday 20th September 2015. 5. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason. 6. These Terms and Conditions are correct at time of being published but may be subject to change without notice. 7. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Hyper Japan 2015

This Saturday I attended the Hyper Japan Festival at The o2 in London, an exhibition dedicated to all things Japanese. Naturally, being a bit of a Japanophile myself, I was eager to attend.

We opted for the Saturday morning slot (9am – 3pm) which was perfect as it wasn’t too busy when we arrived just before 9am but getting quite hectic by the time we left (around 2pm).

I will admit I spent longer choosing my outfit for the day than I have spent picking out some wedding outfits! Although I didn’t go full on cosplay, I wore some accessories I bought in Tokyo (cat tights, robot earrings, Alice in Wonderland bag) and threw on a light summer kimono over the top of a black skirt and pink top. I also pinned all my hair up and slicked on the red lippy and winged eyeliner… I guess I looked somewhere between a wannabe geisha crossed with a 90s girl band member.

However, I was happy to see that there were plenty of cosplayers walking around inside the o2 and I even asked a few of them if I could take their photographs, all of them happy to oblige. It’s funny because I saw more Harajuku-inspired outfits here in London than I did in actual Harajuku while I was there!

Hyper Japan cosplayers

The festival was quite disjointed within the o2 as it wasn’t in the arena itself, but dotted around outside, where the restaurants are. We headed to the main section first where there were many stalls selling food and gifts. We posed for a picture with Domokun and were given some free Snapea rice sticks from the Yushoi stall – they were pretty good!

Hyper Japan London

I personally found that alot of the stalls were quite expensive, which I guess is understandable as they are selling Japanese imports but when I paid around £5 for a box of KitKats in Japan (expensive enough!) I wasn’t prepared to pay £17 for the privilege here. There were many etsy stalls selling cute crafts and jewellery but many of these were UK based and appealed to the Japanese kawaii lovers rather than being authentic Japanese themselves.

I did end up buying a necklace though. Anyone who knows me knows that-

  1. I love quirky jewellery
    and
  2. I love animals

It seems to me that I have a bit of a thing for baby pandas at the moment and treated myself to this super kawaii necklace from Little Moose.

kawaii-panda-necklace

We were in need of some refreshment so headed up to the Maid Cafe where we had Dorayaki (basically like two pancakes with a filling in the middle). I opted for strawberry and the maid drew a little face on my Dorayaki in chocolate sauce – much like the real Maid Cafes of Akihabara but much much less expensive!

After our yummy pancakes we watched a performance on the stage below. Although I’m a Japan fan I’m not really familiar with any J-Pop acts so I have no idea who the group were but the crowd seemed to love them.

Next we headed into the Hyper Game and Anime Park – a section full of people playing video games and shopping for anime. I know very little about anime and the queues to play the various Nintendo games were too long for my patience so I just stopped by to have my photo taken with Pikachu before moving back to the main section for some lunch.

Hyper Japan 2015

I was surprised at the lack of seating and lack of sushi in the food section, but between us we had vegetable noodles, okonomiyaki, tempura prawns and gyoza. And later on we bought some ice cream from one of the stalls – I chose yuzu flavour (Japanese citrus) sorbet. Yum!

Hyper Japan was a good experience but I definitely didn’t need any longer there, I would have also liked to have seen a few more interactive stalls and freebies but if you need a kawaii culture fix then this is the place to come. Next time though, I think I would like to go cosplay for the full Japantastic experience!

Travel and Treasure

So I’ve been a little quiet on the blog for the past week or so but things have still been ticking away in the background. I’ve contributed to a guest post about beauty on the road over at Heels In My Backpack – so go check it out (after you’ve read this post of course!).

And I’ve been gaining some inspiration from the world around me, so please feel free to follow me on twitter and pinterest – let me know you found me through my blog and I will follow you back!

In my last post I mentioned this gorgeous necklace I bought while on honeymoon in the Maldives. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a little while knows I love a good souvenir, so I thought I would showcase a few of my travel gems.

This necklace, being a honeymoon memento means alot to me, so I try not to wear it too often because I’m scared of breaking it or losing it, but when I do wear it, it does attract a lot of attention.

quirky-necklace-from-the-maldives

Although there isn’t a particularly fascinating story behind it, other than I happened upon it while in the island gift shop, I thought I would share it as it’s so unique and reminds me of that special time.

jewellery-from-the-maldives

I’m normally one for quirky costume jewellery rather than expensive jewellery that I will probably break, and while I don’t stroll down the street jingling like Mr T, I am a typical female when it comes to jewellery shops – stood agaze at all the sparkly pretty things around me. I’m like it in shops at home and I was like it in the souks of Marrakech.

It sounds completely cliché to refer to the souks as ‘Aladdin’s cave’ but that is pretty much what they were! A labyrinth of small stores packed to the brim with tea sets, jewellery, pashminas, spices, leather, shoes… so much colour and chaos it is easy to become distracted. I ended up buying 3 bracelets in Marrakech.

moroccan-bangles

The multi-coloured one came from a fixed price store at the entrance of the souks, but for around £5 GBP who could argue! The pink one was a hasty purchase to use up some dirham, but what makes it interesting is the hand symbol on it is the Hand of Fatima –  which is said to bring protection and good fortune.

moroccan-jewellery

My favourite of the three bracelets is the silver one. This is one I haggled for in true Moroccan style. Although I don’t think I’m ever taken very seriously as a customer, with the help of hubby (who is from the school of ‘don’t ask, don’t get’) managed to get a decent price for it that both I and the seller were happy with.

We didn’t stop at bangles, we took home a tagine and a couple of pashminas too (some were gifts)! All in all I had fun in the souks and urge all you jetsetting magpies to not miss them when in Marrakech!