Monday 6 January 2020

A Double Header - Happy New Year And Unboxing Papergang - Box No.46 - December 2019 Edition - Groovy Kawaii*

I guess I should start this post by saying Happy New Year eek - I had only intended to take a few days off over Christmas but unfortunately bar a quick collaborative post, life got in the way again. I spent some quality time with my family, and I got sick! I'm still not feeling quite right, but at I'm definitely feeling a little bit more human than what I was this time last week.

As you know I'm not big on making new years resolutions, instead I have more flexible aims and goals, and one my major ones for 2020 is to be a little bit kinder to myself and to not beat myself for things that I can't control.

Last year in particular I seemed to start almost every blog post with some form of apology, I started so many posts on a downer and that's something that I definitely don't want to continue in 2020. The plain and simple fact is posting regularly is sometimes hard for me at the moment, I'm having more bad days than good days, and I don't think putting loads of pressure on myself helps anyone. I'd rather churn out one decent, well researched, well written blog posts, than 3 or 4 half arsed ones, so I'm going to stop apologising about the lateness of certain posts and instead I'm going to focus on both keeping up, and even improving the standards of the content that I am posting.

That said, January is pretty much going to be a catch up month, and hopefully I'm going to try and get up everything that I wanted to post in December, with a few extra posts thrown in for good measure, so there are some super late unboxings, including the Glossybox Advent Calendar and some long overdue review posts.

So welcome to 2020 on LouLouLand, and I'm going to start off the year with a couple of unboxing, and first up I'm unboxing the December edition of the Ohh Deer, Papergang, stationery subscription box.

December's box saw the introduction of a new style of packaging, the separate, cut out sleeve, and brown cardboard box design, has now been replaced, with a singular patterned box with a tear open strip. This new style of box is apparently safer, more secure, and it will cut Papergang's cardboard usage in half. I personally loved the old style box design but this option certainly seems better for the environment, and Charlie seems to approve, even though he is a little bit too big for the box!

The box itself was pale pink in colour, and it featured all sorts of cute and fun Kawaii style designs including fruit, items of clothing, stationary, plants and much more.

Tear the box open the bulk of the contents were wrapped in a sheet of bright pink tissue paper, but there were a few escapees that didn't quite fit.

As per usual the box contained a little information booklet talking about the box contents and telling us a little bit about the box designer.

The designer in this case is one of Ohh Deer / Papergang's in house designers, Amy Lesko. This will be Amy's last box, so the booklet talks about her decision to go freelance, and about her career, her inspirations and her influences.

Wiro Notebook

Okay, Papergang officially described this as a notebook, but let's be honest, it really isn't, it's another planner / organiser.

Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous one, it's spiral bound, hard backed, and it comes in a fabulous pink colourway, with the words "Go with the flow" and loads of cute kawaii style illustrations on the front, but open it up and it's clearly a planner.

Printed on FSC paper, it features a double page design with sections for Goals, To Do, Timetable, Notes, Up Next and Doodles.

The quality is amazing, and the illustrations are super cute but at the end of the day, it's another planner / organiser / to do list. Since I subscribed to Papergang last Spring, I can remember a couple boxes that haven't contained any form or organiser or planner. Yes I will probably use it but I really didn't need it, I would definitely have preferred a proper diary or even a plain notebook instead. There are lots of organisers and planners on Ohh Deer but I can't see anything similar for a price comparison.

Sticker Set - 4 x Sheets Stickers

I've said it before but I do love stickers and I was pleased to see another set of stickers in December's box. This is a pack of four identical sheets. There are lots of stickers on each sheet and again they feature the same kawaii style of illustrations featuring everything from sunglasses, and rainbows, to cherries, plants, and stars, as well as words and phrases. They coordinate perfectly with the planner so you could definitely use them together, or you could stick them pretty much anywhere else you fancy. 

Stickers always make me happy so these were a welcome addition to the box. This particular set is exclusive to this particular box but Ohh Deer sell similar size packs for around £4.95.

Sticky Notes

I definitely think there is something about adhesive, and me - I love stickers and I love sticky notes. I already own loads of them but they are just useful. This pad is particularly cute, containing 85, lilac and purple sheets it's shaped like a flower / sun and features a smiley, kawaii style face. It's useful and super cute, so what's not to love. There is nothing similar on Ohh Deer but different sticky note pads retail at around £2.95.
Universal Calendar Card 

Next up the ever present universal calendar card, and this was a particularly nice one. In various shades of pink, it has a slightly blurry print style, and it features several cute illustrations, as well as white spaces for the month and date, and a it also features a space to write one of your goals for 2020.

4 x Gel Pens

The eagle eyed readers amongst may have already spotted the next final two items in the box because they weren't wrapped up. First a set of 4 fine liner, gel pens. Each subscriber received an orange pen with the words "harness today" printed on it, a black pen with a rainbow design, a purple pen with the words "doing things" printed on the barrel, and a red pen which features a strawberry print.

As you can see from the pictures below, the pens are really nice writers, the ink dried quickly without any smudging or smearing. Whilst there are quite a few different pens on Ohh Deer, they don't have anything similar in their inventory.

Candy Kittens Tropical Mango Gourmet Sweets - 24g

The final item in the box is also something that never made it in to the tissue paper, and it's an unusual one for Papergang, because it something that you can eat. Created by Made In Chelsea alumni Jamie Laing, Candy Kittens is a gourmet sweet brand, that produces a range of yummy jellies and sweets that are predominantly vegan and gluten free, and that contain real fruit juice.

I've tried quite a few flavours from Candy Kittens, and these mango jellies and without a doubt my favourite. They are really fruity, and you can really taste the zingy mango. They really tasty and I will definitely by tracking down another bag. This particular sized bag is only available in a mixed multi pack, but a 108g treat bag retails anywhere between £1.50 - £2 from various retailers including Ocado, Morrisons, and of course directly from Candy Kittens.

So what did I think about this box? Well positives first - I love the design and the illustrations, and a lot of the positive quotes statements, and reinforcements. The box quality as per usual is superb, every item is well printed, and well made and the products inside are well worth the price of the box however again there is the issue of repetition. Since I subscribed to Papergang way back in May I've received numerous planners, organisers and to do lists. The format hasn't always been the same but the purpose nearly always has.

As much as I love the designs and the whole concept and design, I wouldn't go out and buy as many to do lists, and planners as I've received in the last 8 months, plain notebooks and pads, yes but certainly not something with only 1 or 2 uses so I've  therefore made the decision that January's Papergang box will be my last. It's not to say that I won't buy the occasional box again in the future, but at the moment with the repetitive nature of the boxes I just can't justify continuing my subscription :( I'd love to know your thoughts on this box and the whole idea of repetition in subscription boxes? Is it really inevitable or is it just lazy and ill thought out? Let me know and if you fancy trying Papergang for yourself then use my link to find out more x 

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