Monday, 27 November 2017

Advent Calendars | M&S and Studio Souk | Giveaway

Usually the only Advent Calendars that appear in our house are the chocolate ones for the kids. The excitement each day as they opened yet another tiny bit of chocolate - even though it was just the same as the one from the day before. It got me thinking about how lovely it would be to have one to open myself every day so I did a bit of googling and settled on two very different options.
Starting with the perennial favourite... the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar.
These are sold out online now but there were loads of them in the Belfast store last week so it might be worth checking if you've a shop near you. The deal is that it costs £250 but it's only £35 if you buy items to a value of £35. So yes, there's an initial outlay of £70 but I've been told that in theory, you can return the item you bought with it for a full refund. Not sure if that's true - do enlighten me if you work with M&S.
Now I didn't buy this on a whim, I did my online research and the items are largely very useful and at an average cost of £1.40 a day, I figured it was a good way to try lots of beauty brands that I've never tried before. I know for example that there's an Emma Hardie cleanser in one of the boxes and I'm especially looking forward to it as I've been keen to try it for a long time. Beauty is so subjective and not everything is going to suit everyone so it's great to have a sample size to try before you buy. I've also been told that the box makes a great advent calendar for your kids the next year if you refill each box with your own bits and pieces (or chocolate!)
The extra big box for Christmas Day!

The second one I've bought was influenced somewhat by my work. It's been created by Studio Souk, a Belfast shop (online and on Anne Street, Belfast) that showcases all that is fabulous about local artists and crafters.
Siblings, Linzi and Dave, are the inspirational young people who run this shop and Linzi, a busy mum of 2 who has had an unbelievably challenging 2017, has worked particularly hard to get this 12-Days of Christmas Calendar off the ground. I know all this because behind one of the windows is a Field Day product and I helped Linzi with this. I was honestly blown away by how fast it turned around and as a brand, we are delighted to feature among such esteemed company.
12-Days of Christmas Calendar (purchased)
I have no idea which window is the Field Day one - I can't wait to see inside them all!
Just took a sneaky peek but they're all individually wrapped inside so I'm still no wiser!

As it's a 12 days of Christmas one, it strictly speaking should be opened in the 12 days after Christmas so it is actually perfect as a gift to give on Christmas Day. But I've checked with Linzi and she says I can open it earlier if I want : ) I think I'm going to open a window every other day on Instagram Stories - starting next week. I'm so very keen to support both Studio Souk and the local companies contained inside the calendar so I figured it's best I showcase it early so that if you want to buy one as a gift, you can before they sell out.
But now for the best bit - how would you like to share the fun of this 12 Days of Christmas Calendar with me? Linzi at Studio Souk has been kind enough to give me a calendar to give away here one the blog so to be in with a chance of winning it, simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter attachment below.
The giveaway is open worldwide and you don't have to be from Northern Ireland to enter. The winner will be drawn on Sunday 3rd December and I'll get the calendar posted out to you on Monday 4th!
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Disclaimer - I bought both advent calendars myself though Linzi at Studio Souk gifted me the second one to give away here. I've not been paid to write this post.
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48 comments

  1. I have bought the M&S advent calendar already and can't wait to start opening the boxes. The Studio Souk one looks like fun too!

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  2. I've returned my qualifying purchase and kept the M&S beauty box in the past.

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  3. Would love to win the studio Souk calendar. Already followed you both on instagram & now on fb as well.

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  4. I am currently in the middle of filling last year’s M&S one for my children to open this year..... lindor chocolates and Ferraro rocher - along with some pens, makeup, small toiletries etc - better than their usual.

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  5. Following A Life to Style and Studio Souk on Facebook!

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  6. I am a long term follower of both A Life to Style and Studio Soul. Love both advent calendars. The 12 days of Christmas calendar is such a wonderful way to promote the best of N. Ireland.

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  7. I'm looking forward to opening my M and S one on the 1st. Last year I cheated and opened several at once so I will exercise restraint this year...maybe...

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  8. Already a blog follower & now a studio souk one. Fab prize & definitely going to check out the M&S one

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  9. Really must look this shop up when I'm next in Belfast- hopefully before Christmas! Following both "A Life to Style" + "Studio Souk"

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  10. That is such a fab idea about using the M&S calendar for the kids next year. I bought myself the M&S one and still haven't got the girls their calendars yet, bad mother!!

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  11. M&S treating me horribly about the advent calendar I ordered and now say they can't get me one at all and I have to hunt through shops if I want one.
    If you return the items you are no longer entitled to the 'discount' and M&S within their rights to charge you the full £200odd pounds that they market the calendar as costing.

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  12. Studio Souk calendar looks fab! What a great way to promote local business. Happy to enter this competition 😀

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  13. The Studio Souk calendar looks amazing x

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  14. I'm really kicking myself for not getting on the M &s bandwagon earlier. It's out of stock in my local store. I'm noting to pay more attention next year.

    http://www.muttonstyle.com

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  15. Would love to win this - following A Life to Style and Studio Souk on Facebook. Great shop - try to pop in when I'm in Belfast and already have some xmas presents from there! Thanks, Zoe

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  16. I follow Life to Style and am now following Studio Souk FB page. Happy days.

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  17. The Studio Souk shop looks amazing! I'd love to win the calendar!

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  18. Love your blog and Instagram. The studio souk advent looks amazing!!

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  19. Fantastic that local suppliers can be represented this way. Great idea :)

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  20. Love the idea of the studio souk calender. On maternity leave so would be a splurge but maybe I'll be lucky enough to win!

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  21. How sweet of you to make it an international give-away. My mum once gifted me an amazing advent calender with perfume samples <3

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  22. wonderful! can confirm following both, thanks

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  23. Very nice! I am following both under Dee Johnson. Thanks!

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  24. Can't wait to start my marks calendar. Must pay a visit to studio souk on my next Belfast trip!

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  25. I love Studio Souk and also Avril’s great blog... she has been responsible for me buying many great products and clothes over the years!

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  26. Great prize, would love to win this

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  27. I’m following both 'A Life to Style' and 'Studio Souk' on Facebook!

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  28. The crane from the studio souk is calling to me! The M&S one I would totally give to my mum lol

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  29. The Studio Souk calendar is such a wonderful idea x

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  30. Love the idea of giving 12 days of Christmas calendar as a gift

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  31. This is an amazing idea loved seeing the first one on Insta Stories today.
    Btw I am following both A Life to Style & Studio Soul on facebook

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  32. What a lovely prize...fingers crossed.

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  33. Love the calender. Am following both on FB! Thanks x

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  34. Love the idea of advent calendars :)
    Entered and following 😉

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  35. Following both on Facebook. The Studio Souk calendar sounds fantastic!

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  36. Love your Instagram Avril and love the blog �� I also have visited studio souk and it’s amazing ������ I bought gifts to send overseas as it’s so quintessential Northern Ireland xx

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  37. I wanted to get the M&S one but left it too late. It looks really good value and I definitely need to get it next year. Last year I had a body shop calender and this year I have refilled it with bits and bobs and given it to my parents.
    The studio souk one is a lovely idea,I haven't come across any with local businesses before!

    Have followed both on Facebook.

    Also I should mention this comment might not match up with the email I used to enter. I entered with the name Amy H*** and amyh***@hotmail.co.uk.
    Thanks :)

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  38. Following A Life to Style and Studio Souk on Facebook!

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  39. Such a beautiful calendar and great to support a local business this weekend

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  40. Following both pages
    Sofiane F on raflecopter

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  41. Just entered again... forgot I already have hahahaha

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  42. Following both..fingers crossed!!

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  43. Following both..fingers crossed!!

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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