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  1. September 1st is World Letter Writing Day and to celebrate it the UK’s top stationary company called Viking Direct invited bloggers across Europe to step away from their computers and write a good old fashioned letter to each other.

    We were each sent the most beautiful box of stationary products which included a feather calligraphy pen, personalised paper, stamp kit and ink pad, pens and a wax stamp kit.

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    I was given the address for my blogger in Austria but other than that I knew nothing about her which was pretty exciting.  My blogger Ulli was due to write to me first and I was thrilled to see a letter arrive on the door mat which wasn’t a bill.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who rarely gets a hand written letter and it was lovely to read that like myself she also had a son and a daughter.  After reading her letter I had a look through her blog called Fit & Happy which is all about family life, healthy eating and exercising.  I can definitely recommend checking out her wonderful recipes which I’m eager to try.

    Now it was my turn to write and I honestly don’t think I’d picked up calligraphy pen since school and definitely hadn’t ever used one with a beautiful feather on before. 
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    When I got everything out of the box the kids were all over me like a rash and although I’ve always taught them to share I knew if I did it would be broken in seconds.  Luckily for me, Daddy was around and he did a great job of entertaining the kiddies while I sat down to write a nice letter to my new penpal.
    I practiced writing with the quill and ink on a scrap of paper first and then when I was ready I wrote on the beautifully printed personalised paper.  There was more than one nib to choose from but I stuck with just one and will have a go at the others on another occasion.
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    I was tempted to use the letter stamps everywhere but I didn’t want to go overboard so I wrote Dorsetmums on the letter and a greetings on the envelope.  My most favourite part was sealing the envelope with the wax seal stamp.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to do but I guessed I had to melt the wax over the spoon which sat on top of the candle and then when the spoon was full I poured it on the envelope and put the metal seal in it for a second to make it’s mark.  The only problem was that I got so excited and grabbed the envelope to run and show the family just for them to point out that the warm wax was running down ruining my perfect seal.  I was really annoyed with myself for not waiting for it to dry but it was a lesson learnt and now I know for next time.  I’ll definitely get it out again when it’s time to write all the Christmas cards, the family will think the Queen is getting in touch!
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    I’m really hoping my new penpal writes back and tells me more about Austria as I’ve only even been once on a school trip and remember it was a lovely Country.

    So why don’t you get a pen and paper out today and write a letter to a friend or family, I promise you’ll put a smile on their face and you never know, you might get one back.
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    Disclosure - Dorsetmums was gifted stationary supplies by Viking Direct to communicate
    with a penpal for World Letter Writing Day. 
  2. There are lots of great photographers in Dorset but Anna Klesse has her own unique style and is certainly very talented.  Anna is a professional photographer specializing in portrait, glamour, family and maternity shoots.  Her campaign ‘let me show you how beautiful you are’ is all about capturing your inner and outer beauty giving you an unforgettable image to treasure for ever.

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    Myself and my Mum were invited for a shoot at her studio in Poole and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be spoilt as much as we were.  Anna and Laura our hair and make up artist were incredibly friendly from the moment we met them and there was no time to lose as Laura started pampering me with pretty curls in my hair and make up ready for the camera.  She even managed to cover up a tattoo on my arm which I hate so I felt confident at every angle. 

    Anna made sure I couldn’t look in a mirror until I was ready with beautiful hair, make up and my chosen outfit on.  I was desperate to see what I looked like, especially as my Mum had commented a few times on my transformation.  Once I was ready Anna made me stand in front of a huge mirror and did a big reveal which stunned me when I saw what was looking back.  I know I don’t take care of myself, I’m always running around after others so it was a real shock to see what I could look like with professional help.

    Now came the bit that I was actually quite nervous about.  Posing does NOT come naturally to me.  I know I always appear confident to others but I am very self conscious and even though I knew I looked great I still found it hard in the beginning to relax and I really didn’t want to let Anna down and be a terrible model for her.

    By now my Mum was having her hair and make up done and Anna took the time to show me some pictures of poses and find positions I would feel comfortable with.  She was very good at complimenting me and by the time my Mum joined us I felt much more at ease and we both giggled together when we were clumsily trying to pose.

    The time flew by and I really did enjoy being child free for a few hours and not having to stop for a nappy change or deal with the constant demand for a snack.  I was already eager to see what we had looked like on camera but of course I needed to wait until all the editing was done.

    When we returned a couple of weeks later I was extremely excited to see the images and as I had the kids with me I hadn’t even noticed that the pictures on a wall were actually of us.  I had seen them out of the corner of my eye but I honestly thought for a moment that they were of someone else and was expecting to be shown ours on a computer.

    When Anna did kindly point them out to us I had to do a double take and instantly fell in love with one straight away.  For someone that’s normally got her hair all scruffy and jeans on I honestly thought I looked like a film star!

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    My Mum had her favourites too and we couldn’t believe just how amazing they all were.  I'd never really thought about it before but we don’t have any professional pictures of us together so we were both very happy to have such a beautiful image to keep.

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    I can’t recommend Anna Klesse enough if you are looking for a family shoot, glamour or professional photos for a portfolio.  She has plenty of packages available and a gallery of images which can be found on the Website.

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    Dorsetmums was invited for a photography session for the purpose of a review however all words and opinions are my own.