Saturday 8 December 2018

A Gift And A Christmas Decoration All In One - NEXT Mini Stationery Set Bauble

After weeks and weeks of thinking that it's too early I guess we can't hide from it now, Christmas really is on its way. My main tree has been up since last Saturday and believe it or not there are already a few presents underneath it.

I love buying presents almost as much, if not more, than I enjoy receiving them, I don't know what it is but in some people you can almost see a return to that childhood excitement as they tear off the wrapping paper. I love making the people that I love happy, and gifts can do exactly that.

Now I know that a lot of bloggers spend hours and hours producing gift guides, but to be honest I've never been one of them, gifting is a really personal thing, and what is someones stocking filler might be someone else's main present, so although they are often written with the best of intentions and personally I do love reading them, they can be a bit of a minefield, So instead what I like to do is share a few items with you that I think would make a good gift either for someone special in your life or just for that person who you want to say a little thank you to this holiday season.

I've been really good this year, and I've just about finished my Christmas shopping already, I only need a few more little things and then I'm done. As stressful as shopping can be at this time of year I still try to have a little browse and make it enjoyable, I love seeing what's out there and what the present and buying trends are and something that I've noticed a lot this year is the concept of a gift in the form of a Christmas decoration.

Specialised and Christmas packaging is nothing new, and it's something that's been around for as long as I can remember and probably way longer than that, but over the last few years I've noticed a real trend in truly decorative packaging. Look on any high street and you'll see biscuits, sweets and chocolates, packaged in decorative tins that you can reuse and display around the home, Christmas crackers, filled with beauty products, chocolates and candles, and of course lots of things that you can hang on the Christmas tree from make up palettes with built in hanging loops from the like of Maybelline and Laura Geller, (more on some of these to come) to specially designed packaging from say Benefit, Molton Brown or Burts Bees that are filled with your favourite treats. Gifting and decorations are now in some senses one the same, and nowhere is that more evident than with the humble Christmas bauble.

The stores at the moment are full of either metal, solid card or plastic tree decorations containing everything from jewellery, to fudge and chocolates, to candles, alcohol miniatures, and of course beauty products with the likes of Lancome, boohoo, Nails Inc, Baylis & Harding, and L'Occitane, and more, all selling fabulous, decorative and in most cases reusable tree decorations containing all of your favourite products.

I love the idea of a bauble containing a gift, they are brilliant for table gifts, or as stocking fillers and in this age of cutting down on waste, the fact that the majority or them are reusable means that you can either refill them for next year or you can continue using them in years to come to decorate your Christmas tree. We've already bought some of the gorgeous L'Occitane tin star ones this year which contain mini hand creams, and I know for a fact that they'll be well received by their recipients. Seeing as this is predominantly a beauty and fashion blog you might think that's what I'm going to review here, but you'd be wrong, I'm going to talk about a bauble containing one of my other loves -stationery!

I love stationery! Buying stationery is as exciting to me as buying a new lipstick or a new top, I love the stuff, and even though I have more than enough for probably a full classroom, I still can't stop buying it. At the moment NEXT have a lot of stationery bits in, both from Paperchase and from their own brand, and a few months ago now I bought a stationery set, in a plastic case, for £10 containing all sorts of rose gold, copper toned, pencils, paper clips, washi tape and pastel coloured push pins, sticky notes and magnets. £10 sounds a lot but in my opinion it was well worth it and it looks beautiful . It's still available online and in store so if you're into stationery then I would definitely consider it,  but if you want something a little bit cheaper then one of my other recent buys, the NEXT Mini Stationery Set Bauble might be right up your street.

This cute bauble comes gift boxed and thanks to the clever design and the hanging loop poking through the box you can hang the whole thing on your tree. Open the box and you're greeted with a good sized clear plastic bauble, with a bright neon coral, orange ribbon hanging loop.

The two halves of the bauble snap easily apart and reseal so you can use it again. Inside the bauble there are 5 different stationery pieces in tonal pinks, corals, and coppery rose golds.

The bauble contains a coral, almost neon peach orange pad of heart shaped sticky notes, a rose gold / copper toned bulldog clip, and 3 rose gold / copper toned heart shaped paper clips, which match the ones in the other set perfectly.

The set also contains a copper / rose gold wrapped pencil eraser, and the cutest mini neon pink highlighter pen, and finally the most exciting thing for me a roll of fabulous silver glitter encrusted washi style sticky tape.

Lets not beat about the bush if you were to split it down item for item I don't think that this set which is priced at £4 probably represents the best value for money, but the products are nice, and decent quality, and I personally will use every single one of them, throw in the fact that the bauble itself is reusable (I intend to fill it with sweeties for Mummy Lou this year) then I don't think this is too bad a gift, either as a secret Santa, or a table gift, or as a stocking filler for the stationery lover in your life. Let me know in the comments and if you have any other stationery inspired stocking filler ideas I'd love to hear them x 

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