Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Matcha Moments Sakura Co

Subscription box: SakuraCo

Theme/Month: Matcha Moments, April 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 3 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Sakura Co subscription, you can do it on their website.

SakuraCo is a new box that focuses on Japanese tea, sweets and snacks from local makers for you to enjoy. And the idea is that you take a unique snack journey around Japan with the contents of the box.

A matcha focused box sounded awesome, so of course happy to have it and also, it is the second box so curious about how well it will keep on performing and making me feel for it. So let’s unbox, starting at the bottom right corner and going clockwise:

  • Strawberry and cream cake, it was absolutely delicious. Not too sweet, not too bland, just right.
  • Postcard, which I am enjoying as an extra treat, they are gorgeous and delicate.
  • Gold plum tea, which is very much a sweet and sour mix. Probably my least favourite item, surprisingly.
  • Match Kinsuba, delicious red bean jelly which was a nice surprise.
  • Match pudding, also nice but not much to write home about except it was like a gelatin pudding and nice.
  • YamechaMonaka, I find the whole something inside fragile wafer fascinating.
  • Plum Yokan, one of my favourites with a soft crumbly buttery feel and delicate plum flavour.
  • Matcha Mochi, which was super sticky and hard to eat but delicious nonetheless.
  • Matcha waffle, toasted slightly and absolutely perfect!
  • Matcha Senbei, these surprised me with a delicate wafer like but also biscuit quality.
  • Sakura Yunomi, a cup for your tea. to match the plate on the previous box.
  • Sakura Karinto, like fried dough bits and I don’t know why but utterly loved them, could eat bags and bags of them.
  • Sakura Sugar Cube, it mixes agar jelly and sugar foamy mousse and loved them. Very delicate
  • More monaka cuteness.
  • And finally a matcha roll, I expected them to be bigger but they were lovely, again, not too sweet, not bitter.

Overall really enjoyed the contents of the box and finding my way around the flavours a little better. Some real gems here that I would absolutely keep as staples if I could keep getting them, like the karinto, the waffle and the yokan. I had been worried it would be too boring just everything matcha, but I had still an explosion of flavours, textures and choices. Still very worth it for me.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: The City is Ours Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: The City is Ours, February 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

February had an interesting theme that reminds me of several books so I was intrigued by it. Lets see what was inside starting top left:

  • A triket dish for Gilded Wolves which I think is absolutely stunning!
  • A hard shell card holder, which honestly I didn’t like the design on it so it immediately went into the “not keeping” pile. I think if it had had a different desing I might have kept it but I generally use softer card holoders.
  • A Crescent City umbrella, I still have their Laini Taylor umbrella so I can say they are good ones but this one is red and a fandom I don’t follow so I passed it on to someone who likes it.
  • A gorgeous postcard from The Last Falconer for Edinburgh.
  • The monthly pin, which was stunning!
  • Another great item, a gorgeous skull wooden coaster which is being proudly displayed in my office because it has my vibes.
  • And finally the book, with pink sprayed edges, A Dark and Hollow Star.

Overall it had some strong items and some not so strong ones, I think the biggest issue is we keep having items from the top 5-10 main fandoms, and not as many from others so I end up not being that into the SJM things etc,, as useful as they may be. I probably would have kept the umbrella if it fit a little better with the colours I like and I didn’t have the other one still, they are good umbrellas.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Sisters of the Coven Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Sisters of the Coven, February 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 12 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Book Box Club subscription, you can do it on their website.

Book Box Club is a young adult subscription box, the unique thing is the Clubhouse where you can chat to the author a month (or so) after the box was shipped and ask questions and just chat around. It also includes several goodies and usually the choice of book is one that is unique and not in other book boxes so very few chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

A witchy little box, February looks interesting, so let’s unbox it, starting from the theme card on top right and going clockwise:

  • Theme card.
  • Unchosen sampler.
  • Scattered around you will find a small set of tarot cards illustrated for them, sadly there were only a few rather than a full deck because they are gorgeous!
  • Witches brew coffee, which I still need to sample after I finish the currently open bag of coffee.
  • A wooden spoon with a cute little cauldron engraved at the top. I love the fact that the decoration isn’t in the spoon part and more on the handle meaning it isn’t as hard to clean.
  • Lavender shortbread recipe, I had hopes that we would be getting cute theme related recipes per box like this one *hint, hint*
  • We Played with Fire by Catherin Barter, which I of course had preordered before I got the box and ended with a duplicate.
  • Magical “Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble” binder, which I thought was for the recipe collection *still hinting*
  • All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue, this was an early copy as the book release was pushed.
  • A cute pair of emerald heart earrings. They are stunning and have little swirls of gold in them.

Overall, fitting the theme well and I loved how the items complimented each other, plus the vibes to go make some recipes, enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe have an afternoon meeting with your coven were great. Really good box honestly!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Lotus Merkababox

Subscription box: Merkababox

Theme/Month: Lotus, February 2021

Ownership: Bought January and February. If you are interested in purchasing a subscription, you can do it on their website.

Merkababox titles itself as a holistic mystic box and comes with a selection of items to help nourish your mind, body and spirit. I was quite intrigued by the contents of previous boxes, particularly the Forager’s one, and thought to give it a go.

So lets see what was inside it, going clockwise and starting top right:

  • Lotus theme card. On the back it has a ritual to follow using all the items and not in the picture there is a smaller part that includes all the ingredients, value of each item and a few more details and how to if you need which I appreciate a LOT.
  • A rhodonite.
  • Chill out Fragrance Oil, which has lotus and hyacinth that is meant to help you calm and feel nurtured.
  • Another item from Pulvers Apothecary, this time a Love Elixir which is meant to be a bit of happiness and heart in it.
  • Love Spells book.
  • Damask Rose Hydrolat, which is a herbal distillate for your skin that is meant to be soothing and toning.
  • And finally a brass heart tea infuser from Sass and Belle.

I liked the box this time but it was once again not a 100% my thing. It is more of a “the box contents do not fit what I want and need right now” rather than that the box is bad or not worth it, which is quite hard to review. However I do think it is worth it if it fits for you.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: From Olympus With Love Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: From Olympus With Love, January 2021

Ownership: Last box of my subscription. If you are interested in purchasing an Owlcrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Owlcrate was my first ever subscription box way back in 2015, and usually features young adult books in a variety of genres alongside a few bookish items. Sadly due to import fees and shipping, I have had to cancel my subscription and won’t be getting any further boxes.

However, I am happy to have had this as my last box, and I’ll start with the bottom right going clockwise:

  • A letterboard, which obviously I decided to use by setting the theme there. I did feel a bit sad that the frame had no decorations or anything, felt like a missed opportunity.
  • It also came with a cute pouch to hold all the letters and symbols of the letterboard.
  • A tapestry that is a lunar calendar featuring Artemis and Athena.
  • A pin banner, I like that they are usually decorated and thick fabric so they just dont tear.
  • A wooden bookmark, which looks like somoenes been biting it, and has two different sides.
  • Nectar of the Gods tea, which is peppermint tea and sadly nothng more interesting.
  • Theme card
  • And the book, Lore. I’ve heard mixed reviews on it so I am curious, however not high expectations since I am not huge on greek mythology based books.

Overall I enjoy this box, it had some confusing items like the bookmark but I enjoyed a lot the letterboard since I have been wanting one for a while, just sad it didnt have a design on the eadge, but still a good item and the lunar tapestry/calendar is also cool.

As mentioned above, it was a nice last box and the only reason to cancel was mostly that shipping charges went up a lot due to political climate and being in the UK and all that, so not their fault.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Discover Sakura SakuraCo

Subscription box: SakuraCo

Theme/Month: Discover Sakura, March 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 3 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Sakura Co subscription, you can do it on their website.

SakuraCo is a new box that focuses on Japanese tea, sweets and snacks from local makers for you to enjoy. And the idea is that you take a unique snack journey around Japan with the contents of the box.

It felt suitable to post about their Sakura box, which is the first one so far, on the Spring Equinox since it has an amazing spring feel to it. As I write this, I have slowly been making my way through the snacks and enjoying them way too much.

So let’s see what was inside the box, which was packed to the rim and came in a bubble wrap packaging to protect the contents and box. Starting on the leaflet on the bottom and going counterclockwise:

  • A detailed “snack guide”, it is created in Japan so you read it right to left. It comes with an introduction, the area it focuses on, Niigata for this month, and a detailed description of each snack alongside allergens, makers and if it is suitable for vegetarians. I found this extremely helpful, as I could recognise some of the snacks but not all of them and this made it easy.
  • Sakura blossoms postcard from the curators.
  • Mini Sakura Senbei, which are soy sauce flavoured despite the pink colours.
  • Two Strawberry Castella cakes which are a perfect combination of sweet and tart and not too much. The sponge was to die for, honestly, perfectly springy and delicious.
  • Strawberry Dorayaki, I am particularly fond of dorayaki and this was delicious.
  • Sakura Madeleine, which looks absolutely delicious and perfectly moist.
  • Uji Matcha Castella, another sponge with one of the highest grades of matcha and red beans.
  • A peach sandwich.
  • Okayama White Peach Castella, more spongey goodness, I am converted to castella cakes.
  • Red Bean Taiyaki, exclusively made for this box.
  • Two sakura monaka, which are pink wafer enveloping red bean paste with a sakura scent.
  • In the pink box, Yoshino Kuzumochi which is an elegant mochi in syrup.
  • Two sweet sakura tea with blossoms in them.
  • A sakura strawberry crepe roll
  • Another monaka but this time with mochi in the little folded blossom square.
  • Sakura Konpeito, probably the item that gave me the most glee as I thought of the soot sprites from Spirited Away and felt like one of them.
  • A Sakura shrimp senbei
  • And below a sakurasen cracker which is a slightly savoury cracker.
  • Finally, as part of the collection and focus on Japanese afternoon tea, a sakura blossoms plate.

As you can see it was rich in content and as far as Ive enjoyed the treats, it has been well worth it. The box arrived surprisingly quickly and was a massive cheer up so as long as they keep this stunning quality, I am going to be hooked on it because it is so good.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Historical Heroes Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Historical Heroes for February 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Tales by Mail subscription, you can do it on their website.

Tales by Mail is a bi-monthly middle grade book box that comes with two books, some activity pages you can collect, or copy or use in various ways, a pin and one or two items.

This is the first box of the year and it had some fun surprises in it! Starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • Amari and the Night Brothers bookmark.
  • Darwins Dragons which I’ve been looking forward to since last year.
  • The month’s activity pages with space for reviews and some fun challenges.
  • The Queen’s Fool, which sounds intriguing.
  • A print with a quote and a signed bookplate for The Last Bear
  • The collectible pin.
  • A weekly planning notepad which I think is adorable.
  • A bookmark for The Queen’s Fool.

I was so excited to see a book I had wanted in the box and overall thought it had two very interesting reads alongside the bonus of that planning notepad which made me smile. It makes me happy to get the box and feel like I have great reads coming.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: At the Masquerade Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: At the Masquerade, January 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 12 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Book Box Club subscription, you can do it on their website.

Book Box Club is a young adult subscription box, the unique thing is the Clubhouse where you can chat to the author a month (or so) after the box was shipped and ask questions and just chat around. It also includes several goodies and usually the choice of book is one that is unique and not in other book boxes so very little chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

Ok, were finally catching up with this years boxes, and this was a good one, so let’s see what was inside, starting at the top left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, I like that it shows the name of the theme and the month it is from so it helps my brain remember which month it was.
  • Mask of Mirrors, which sounds amazing and I am looking forward to reading it with some buddies!
  • Some advert for the Penguin Book Club.
  • Sumptuous Supplies list, which is becoming a shopping list soon once I finish up the last few pages of my current one. Love getting this perfect shopping list pads.
  • A mini tote/lunch bag which is super cute and a wonderful size.
  • Slightly hidden under the book is a nucao, which is vegan chocolate bar. It was slightly more bitter than I expected it to be, so it wasn’t bad but wasn’t amazing either.
  • A metal bookmark inspired by Nevernight.
  • Extra surprise cute face mask. I am glad the boxes are sending fabric masks that are cute and fun to wear.
  • And finally a candle which is all gold and glittery and wonderful .

Overall, I enjoyed the contents a lot, they felt sumptuous and like you were going to a masquerade. A face mask is an interesting spin to a masquerade attendance but why not? Quite good and February is meant to be awesome, so looking forward to it!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Aquarius Merkababox

Subscription box: Merkababox

Theme/Month: Aquarius, January 2021

Ownership: Bought January and February. If you are interested in purchasing a subscription, you can do it on their website.

Merkababox titles itself as a holistic mystic box and comes with a selection of items to help nourish your mind, body and spirit. I was quite intrigued by the contents of previous boxes, particularly the Forager’s one, and thought to give it a go.

So lets see what was inside it, going clockwise and starting top left:

  • Goal Digger powder is meant to enhance creativity, mental focus and stamina so you can focus on your tasks and goals. I haven’t yet added it to a drink but it does sound like an interest add to beverages or maybe food.
  • Theme card, which on the back explains why the theme, alongside what you can do as a ritual with all the items and some suggestions and positive paragraphs.
  • Myrrh incense sticks, which is probably the one item I wasn’t really convinced by since I don’t burn incense sticks but I liked the intent of them and the fact that the items basically were meant to include the three gifts the Magi brought during Epiphany 6th of January.
  • A tektite is meant to enhance and provide knowledge and expansion. the card that comes int he box provides a lot more detail about how tektite comes to be in the natural world and the energies it is meant to be touching. I am not really a crystals and stones person but I did like the tektite even if I won’t use it the suggested way.
  • The main item, a 24 carat Gold Oil with frankincense and myrrh, as I said a node to the Magi and their gifts. And the oil has a lovely scent, looks amazing and feels pretty good. It came with a comprehensive sheet of details and uses, so I highly appreciated the number of details and information provided.
  • And finally, a Fibonacci Altar piece or Wall Hanging, which is my favourite item in the box. It is made of wood and even more stunning than the picture shows.

Overall, I liked the contents of the box, but I think the theme wasn’t exactly for me, however I actually liked the contents and felt they were good value for money. The card shows the cost of each item and then they come with ingredients and long explanations on them so you’re not caught without knowing exactly what everything is. I highly appreciate this and if I was way more into holistic and mystic items, I would totally subscribe fully for it.

The one big failure I found was that they don’t announce the month’s theme before the payment for the month comes out which did not sit right with me and is why I cancelled the subscription part. I will only buy the ones I want and find the theme right for me. But I do recommend it as a good box if you’re looking for something of this style coming from the UK.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Rebellious Royals Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Rebellious Royals, January 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

January’s theme starts the year with a bang and a great featured read for sure, but lets consider each item in the box, starting with the main featured book and going clockwise:

  • Winter’s Orbit which is super exciting read and I am thrilled about this!
  • You should see me in a crown Fuzzy socks, who doesn’t love soft fuzzy socks?
  • Theme card/leaflet.
  • Monthly pin
  • A collection of very pretty artwork of Sarah J. Maas bookmarks. If I was into the fandom, I’d be so into them but alas I ended up gifting them to a friend who actually likes the fandom.
  • A bag of mint tea, which I haven’t tried yet but I think is just pure peppermint tea.
  • A super awesome puzzle in a box for Folk of the Air Series that looks like a book and I utterly love it!
  • This last one was a shadow box, which I have to say I have opinions on. First, I like that it is kinda building your own but it took ages and a lot of effort as the wood was “cheap” and not done so well the actual shadows are awesome, it was just the interlocking parts that wouldn’t fit well and took a lot of pushing and prodding and wondering if it would break before it was built… Also not sure I would put a tealight inside if I put the lid on top as I was worried it’d smoke or you know just leave a heat mark that would wear it down. Maybe it’s just the size of this particular one, but I was not fully convinced by the item as a whole. As I said, the actual “shadows” are awesome, it is how the shadows happen and how to build it I struggled. However, huge kudos for adding a different kind of item, I loved the concept of it for sure!

As per my opinion above, I like it included new items, that puzzle box is stunning, and fuzzy socks are great too alongside the shadow box, but some of the execution could be better, however I can’t wait to see what new ideas come through and what comes in February’s box.