I managed to spend my birthday voucher this year on a pack of three A5 essential notebooks from Kikki.K; a Swedish designed stationery shop. They not only have notebooks and journals, but also sell some gorgeous gifts and homewares. Now, back to the review. These essential notebooks usually come in an array of colours and designs depending on the season and what Kikki.K desire as fashionable at the time. Each notebook in a pack are unique, following the same colour scheme with different layouts. The three that I purchased include a mix of pink, black and yellow – but I wasn’t too worried about the looks, rather the quality of the paper and how many pages it contained. Was it worth the $14.95? Yes, I think so.

Kikki.K A5 Essential Notebooks

These notebooks have a slim design and are A5, which make them quite easy to transport. Their outer cover is glossed and soft, whereas the 52 lined pages are of high quality. The pages are thick, perhaps around 90gsm without being too accurate, which means you can write with any pen or pencil you desire including the glorious fountain pen and the ink will not be seen on the reverse page. Each page is ruled in black with only a small Kikki.K logo at the bottom which I find attractive. This lets you write freely without any on-page distractions. The notebooks have an elastic closure, making it an easy task to write front and back.

writing sample

The only downside I can think of is the actual amount of pages offered. I usually prefer to use notebooks with at least 100 pages so that I don’t run out. However, Kikki.K has cheekily included three notebooks in the pack, so technically you’re buying 156 pages in total.

Overall, I believe the quality of these essential notebooks are of a high standard. If you need something small, light and attractive just to throw in your bag for notes, then these will work nicely for you. You can pick yours up here, or head in-store.

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Hey everyone, just thought I’d give you a little introduction on myself as you haven’t really seen any reviews for a while. I’m Jade, one of Andrew’s younger sisters and have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Writing. While I’ve always adored stationery, I’ve never really thought about reviewing it. Since Andrew has been pretty busy with work and personal life, I’ve decided to step up and try out writing my own reviews. Enjoy.

Lamy Al-star fountain pen in black/purple

Wolfgang Fabian did a good job designing the Lamy Al-star fountain pen. Being a new addition to the fountain pen-loving people, I decided to go with this one. The light-weight aluminium body is a plus, making the pen easy to hold and handle when writing. With the ink cartridge installed however, it feels like a real sophisticated pen with that little extra weight – not just an el-cheapo plastic one. I went with the black/purple – being two of my favourite colours – and also chose a fine nib as I’ve always been the one to enjoy a thin line.

The pen I purchased came with a free blue ink cartridge and a free converter. I’ve used bottled ink before and don’t mind it when writing at home, but the ability to be able to take my pen with me to University is a plus. I installed the blue ink cartridge and it works like a charm. Getting used to writing with a fountain pen brought back memories of learning cursive in high school. With such a cool pen, I didn’t wish to really use it any other way. I must admit, the fine nib did seem a little more towards the medium side, but I haven’t yet tested out any others to actually confirm that.

Lamy Al-star fountain pen test

The Lamy Al-star fountain pen is also fully customisable. By that, I mean you can choose the colour of the pen’s body, to either use ink cartridges or bottled ink and also the nib size. They even have a nib for the left-handed. On the plus side, I’m a lefty and can still use their other nibs without any problems. The metal clip on the pen comes in handy, especially when I need to transport it from place to place. The pen also has an ink level window so you can tell if you’re getting close to needing a refill.


All in all, an awesome pen which quickly became my favourite so far. There’s plenty more fountain pens to explore.

If you wish to check out what other pens Lamy offers, or to get your own Al-star fountain pen, head to their website here.

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Monsieur Notebooks is a fairly new brand of high-quality notebooks which have hit Australia, Germany and Turkey recently. I was contacted by Tom and Ed the guys behind the brand who offered to send me a review sample which I should be getting any time soon. The notebooks themselves are a Moleskine-esq rival, with the main feature being real, vegetable-tanned leather. They come in all the standard sizes, but offer a few more combinations of paper than others in the field. Check out the range on their site over here. I have seen them in my local Dymocks book shop in Brisbane!

Now as I haven’t got my review samples just yet, I wanted to bring your attention to their crowd-sourcing campaign on Indiegogo.

They are looking to expand the brand into other markets, like America and Canada, and need some help with meeting demands. This is where you can grab some notebooks on the cheap! Head over to their campaign page┬áto have a look at the different levels of pledging, and see if it tickles your fancy! Personally, I am looking at getting one or two with the laser etching for that personal touch, at only $10 more it’s a steal.


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