Bloggers' Thrifty Gift Swap!

File this post under "I'm a very bad, lame, lazy procrastinator blogger lately" please! Because I have been meaning to do it for awhile and just...summer, am I right?

ANYhoodle, earlier this summer (um...way back in June I believe! Seriously where has the summer gone?!) the lovely and amazing Janet of Someone Somewhere organized a Bloggers' thrifty gift swap. She has been doing these for a few years now, I believe, and I was excited, if slightly nervous, to participate. The idea is bloggers give a few descriptors of things they like, and another, randomly assigned blogger assembles a parcel of gifts - with the caveat being you not spend too much money (I forget if there is a cap, mine came to under £15 including shipping).

So you have to get a bit creative. Your giftee is not the same person you are receiving a gift from, it's kind of like a Secret Santa. My only hesitation with participating is that many bloggers are crafty and creative and take the opportunity to make/design lovely things...and I was pretty up front with Janet that my crafting ability belongs nowhere near anything labelled a present!

So yes, I was told of my recipient, Louisa of Duck in a Dress, and her hobbies and likes and after a few false starts I got a little bit creative (in my own way) with coming up with affordable things she might hopefully enjoy. She did say she really liked everything so that was a relief! Here is what I sent: her likes included funfairs, baking, the seaside, theater and comedy:

Ok this is me showing off my mad wrappng skills ;-) The parcel fit nicelty in a spare shoebox

Can I just say that this was an experience in learning about frugality for me, because I found the dvd, cd, and book in a charity shop. I really thought I would struggle to stay on budget but this gift swap taught me you really can buy thoughtful presents on a small budget if you put your mind to it!

For "seaside" I went for a beachy Yankee Candle sampler and a candyfloss mask from Primark was the best I could do for "fun fair", also I though it looked fun! The Jelly Bean lip balm was an "um this is random but cute!" sort of thing!

The cupcake cases strangely would have been the most expensive item, as they were from a posh cooking shop, but they were on offer, and a pretty limited edition V&A print to boot, so I thought that was neat! The candy was the only tricky part as my recipient couldn't have dairy...I have never actually tried Edinburgh Rock but it still seems popular, it was the last one on the shelf anyway! Postage was surprisingly cheap, I think because the size of the parcel was small, which amazed me because I have spent much more on postage for lighter but bulkier packages.

What I received....I won't lie, I love parcels, so when this turned up I was a tiny bit excited! (so excited I just tore in and didn't photograph beforehand! ;-0)

My gift swap giver was Lucy of Books And Brooches, who I had never chatted to before but we follow each other on Twitter (she mentioned she operated a stealth spying campaign which I found hilarious as I did the same!). I was very touched by the attention to detail she paid to my blog and social media ramblings. For instance, she made me this adorable cross stitch with a slogan from Twin Peaks - which I just love, it now has pride of place in my kitchen!

I also received this modern take on Pride and Prejudice, Eligible, which I am loving!

Lucy saw my sad half risen hockey puck scones on Instagram and VERY thoughtfully sent me her own Mum's scone recipe! Again, so lovely, I can't wait to try it!

There were Sainsbury's Belgian chocolates which I had never tried before, they were delicious, I even shared a few with David because I am nice like that!

This cute seashell brooch will definitely be coming with me to Florida! (please excuse my gross cuticles!)

Also included was a very pretty Burt's Bee's lip crayon, a fun pen and notepad, some cute clip pins, and some homemade paper bunting, There were just so many lovely things in my parcel, I was very touched and never expected it to be so thoughtful and generous. Thanks again, Lucy, you are a blogger gift swap star! And many thanks to Janet for organizing this swap, especially impressive as it was in the midst of planning her recent wedding!

So yes, I would definitely participate in another bloggers' swap, particularly a thrifty themed one, as it keeps things on an even keel - how about you, have you ever done a bloggers' gift swap?

p.s. I forgot to mention the Oreo Thins! Lucy must have seen me mention wanting to try them - they are very moreish/instantly disappeared! #notmyfault ;-0


  1. haha! such a fun ideas :)

  2. What a fun idea! I'm just terrible coming up with gifts for people I don't know, but this seems like it has enough creative leeway to kind of get it right if not interesting :) and who doesn't like getting surprise packages in the mail???

    1. Yeah it forced me to get creative, having the budget actually helped in a strange way. The surprise package in the mail is always fun, I would definitely recommend it!

  3. I have never done this but it seems like a great idea! I love the items you received and it seems like quite a nice package you sent. :)

    1. It was fun, you should do one in America! :-)

  4. I am so, so pleased that you enjoyed the swap! I'll be running another one before Christmas so do join again. I'm a bad blogger who completely forgot to take pictures of what I sent AND what I received, oops.

    1. I did thanks! Well you were just slightly busy so I think you are off the hook ;-)