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.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Love is a Battlefield Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: Love is a Battlefield, December 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. 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 receiving it starting with February’s box.

But since we still have this box and another, let’s make the most out of it and explore the contents of Love is a Battlefield which is an intense title to go for, did the contents match it? Starting at the top left and going clockwise:

  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, which seems to be a popular book to be in book boxes and I should read it at some point soon.
  • Owlcrate theme card.
  • Legwarmers, I think I squealed a little when I realised what they were as legwarmers help with pain management in winter keeping my legs happier than if I didn’t wear them.
  • You can’t really see well but it is a puzzle based on Ember in the Ashes series. I’ve enjoyed their puzzles before, especially now that they come in cute boxes rather than pouches and prints you easily loose.
  • This one is hard to see but it is a “winter” themed mini rolling pin for decorating pastries. My success rate with this kind of rolling pin has been negative so as much as I think this is really cute, I am not keeping this item and passing it on to someone with more patience and baking pretty success.
  • A wooden Christmas ornament, which due to the box arriving after Christmas didn’t actually make it into the tree, but hopefully this year it will.
  • The monthly collectible pin.
  • And finally a wintery peppermint hand cream, which is nice to get hand cream in winter months and this is pretty mild in scent in a good way as in you can smell peppermint but it is not overbearing.

Overall it was a very wintery box but I have to say it didn’t feel like a box that fit the theme, I did not get “wow, loving is hard, or a battlefield or a minefield or anything like that” basically I didn’t even get much of the love vibe except for the puzzle, which is confusing because as a whole I liked the box but as a theme, it kinda doesn’t do it well.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Secret Societies Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Secret Societies, November 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 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 unqiue and not in other book boxes so very little chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

For some reason I got my monthly boxes mixed up and didn’t show off the November one! Who knows why? Still, nevermind let’s see what the contents were starting at the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card
  • The main book, The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch. I have liked previous books by Amy so was excited to read it, I have read it now and well, review to come.
  • A Starless Sea sticker of bees and books, it is very cute.
  • A book sleeve, which to be fair I have used more as lunch bags and stuff, but they are really good and strong.
  • A cute little Unashamedly Bookish notebook for all those secret society meeting notes 😉
  • Clubhouse invite
  • Chocolate orange key, you’ll definitely lose this key in your stomach!
  • And a patch, which I can’t remember what it was about, you can totally see I am not big on patches, right?

Overall, once again the box puts a lot of effort into fitting the theme, getting a variety of fandoms included and a balanced mix of cute items and useful items. I do like the ideas they have behind choosing each item and the book was an interesting read, so all good.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: A Legacy to Protect Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: A Legacy to Protect, December 2020

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.

Decembers theme was anything but festive but it was still a box packed full of goodies I do admit to feeling nostalgic about the boxes that used to be actually crammed full with items and had way more items than we tend to get nowadays). But let’s unbox it and see starting on the top left and going clockwise:

  • The Cousins by Karen McManus, so far I have enjoyed her books a lot and this one has black sprayed edges, excited to read.
  • The monthly collectable pin inspired by The Ravens.
  • No Peak Clan photo magnets, the idea is interesting the problem is that I don’t see a huge appeal to have these around on my fridge.
  • A Daevabad inspired mug which is super exciting to see as I don’t have a lot of items form this fandom and I like it.
  • Yip Yip nail file, my husband needed one so this was perfect timing and he’s a happy man.
  • Destiny is a myth notepad inspired by Poppy War and I like the feel of it.
  • The Ravens with pink sprayed edges, another exciting read!
  • And finally a print album. I like the idea behind this as I sometimes don’t know what to do with prints but I was confused by it initially and also it’ll depend on having a standard size for all the prints preferably or not too big ones.

Overall I liked the box, it felt a tiny bit disjointed in the contents and not as theme focused as others have been and I was less excited by the items but I have learned that boxes with mugs usually aren’t that exciting otherwise and to be fair this had two books and a mug which is like double nice bonus. Those are my favourite things from it!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Growing Wild Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: Growing Wild, November 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. 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 feautures young adult books in a variety of genres alongside a few bookish items.

I have to admit that given Brexit, I had to cancel my subscription with reluctance as it has made it a lot more expensive and it was already quite high cost due to shipping if I was in the US itd be fine). However, I’ll be getting two more boxes before my subscription runs out.

Meanwhile let’s see what was inside, starting on the top left and going clockwise:

  • Promotional print.
  • A flower press kit, this is an unusual but pleasant surprise to find in a book box and one of the reasons why I enjoy their boxes so much, they find quirky items that fit with the book and theme and include them.
  • Middle Earth plants postcards
  • A dandelion seed in glass necklace. I have a similar one from another book box from way back when and I love it, I think it is quite cute.
  • Stickers! They are really cute botanical ones and I am super happy.
  • Theme spoiler card
  • Enamel pin, they send one monthly and it is inspired by the main book in the box.
  • The yearly reading planner, I like they send it in November as it gives time for the box to arrive around the world so you can start it right in January. I am not huge on reading planners or any kind of planner but I still think it is cool, just sad it wasn’t exactly botanical themed.
  • A gorgeous edition of Among the Beasts and Briars which I’m hyped to read and have been for ages since I read about it.

Overall a well themed and thoughtful box with a good variety of items. My only not so keen part was that the planner felt out of the theme and everything but I do understand it is the usual month it is included in so wish it had been more in topic, but otherwise I liked it quite a bit and can’t wait to use the flower press at some point.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Illumicrate Editions

Subscription box: Illumicrate Editions

Theme/Month: Special Edition for Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Ownership: Preordered the special edition box when it was available in the presale. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

I enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone a long time ago and the whole trilogy was fun to read so when they announced a special edition box I decided to buy it and also the rest of the trilogy. But what was in the box? Starting on the bottom right and going clockwise:

  • A gorgeous booksleeve with a scene on one side and a quote on the other.
  • A gold foiled print with all the characters of the series.
  • A wishbone enamel pin (I am unsure about this trend of two part/chained enamel pins, why?)
  • The hardcover edition with blue sprayed edges, special reversible jacket (another thing I genuinely do not understand the hype for, I am not going to flip the cover around to see the reversible one, plus it’ll just damage it if I keep flipping one way or the other and it’s not like you can see the full picture if you have the book facing anyway unless you had it on a rotating platform) and signed.
  • A gorgeous book tin (also it is huge, you can almost fit the book inside it, I haven’t tried, an experiment for another time) with a “stained glass” feel to the artwork which is cool.
  • A soul thurible replica from the book, which is cool but sadly for me it is a dust catcher and nothing more? (I do like the idea of making a replica, it is cool but it just sits there, I can’t do much with it and I don’t think it is safe to burn incense in it anyway…)
  • My favourite item which was the mug, the artwork is stunning!
  • Angel and Demon bookends. I get the concept behind them the cool idea but they feel a bit flimsy (not due to material more on the design being so cut out and delicate, makes them easy to catch on things and not as durable as one would wish). 100% to the concpet, not so keen on final product.

Sadly, I was kinda expecting more and didn’t really click with the box as much as I have clicked with previous ones, which is sad because the items where awesome, just not for me. I am not one to go crazy about prints (I am bad at seeing the characters unless I am making fanart myself, and I struggle to remember names so it is a bit like “cool art but means very little to me unless I make a massive effort to remember everything”), however the book is cool and I like it is a tin, unsure about the size of it but otherwise really cool and I am always happy for a good mug.

My takeaway is that I need to be more conscious of the special editions I chose as in the end the items may not be my cup of tea and I have to make sure it is worth it for me. If I displayed prints and decorative items on my shelves I probably would’ve totally loved this box.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Miracles at Midnight Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Miracles at Midnight, December 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 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 unqiue and not in other book boxes so very little chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

I like the December boxes because they usually have a treat feel to them and this is not the exception, starting on the top left and going clockwise, lets go through the contents:

  • A sampler of eight awesome reads, there is a link to them and also just a bit of info on them. I like this one as it gives me an idea of new reads and when to expect them.
  • Theme card.
  • Personalised clubhouse invite, which I think is a lovely detail!
  • Cute star pin
  • Night circus inspired ornament which went straight to the Christmas tree.
  • Bibbidi bobbidi boo soap
  • Mystery proof, I like that you get a random one out of a choice if a few so you never know which one you will get and then asking others which oen they got!
  • A cute calendar full of quotes for 2021
  • Reading socks! I love socks in book boxes.
  • The main book, Paris in Starlight by Robert Dinsdale, the author of Toymakers which was interesting so quite intrigued by it.

Overall, I enjoyed the box, it had a festive quality to it and it was full of midnight and miracle vibes so I felt it matched well the theme. I totally recommend it as it has the bonus of the clubhouse, and it was through them I found a lot of friends.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Spellbinding Stories Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Spellbinding Stories, November 2020

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.

Today we can go through the November box, which was all about spellbinding stories and how they capture you. It even had a surprise book! So let’s see the contents starting on the top right with the theme card:

  • A book sleeve for the Great Library of Zosma which is officially licensed.
  • The monthly pin which is quite cute.
  • A Forgotten Fables and Folklore ceramic book pot, I like these but haven’t been collecting them as I don’t have a specific sue and as cute as they are I decided to pass them on, however, I did enjoy the look of this one and it was a gift to a friend who can complete her collection/
  • A reusable face mask with a herblore print. I was very pleased to see this in the box as it is a way to provide a fabric mask for everyone and it fits the whole set up and theme, so it felt right to have it there.
  • The Once and Future Witches, which I reviewed a few months back when it came out as I had had a proof copy for it (and I knew I’d end up with more copies of it via preordering and also book boxes like this one).
  • Letters in Bottle ornament (it doesn’t show great on the picture because it is shiny but it is utterly gorgeous on the Christmas tree, my only sadness is that the writing is still illegible and it just looks like an hourglass).
  • Starless Sea bookplate set, they’re golden, shiny and gorgeous!
  • Legendborn which is a highly anticipated read (I still need to get to it, I’ve been a slow reader recently, life just got a bit too much and I didn’t read as much as I normally would), so I am happy to have it and looking forward to reading it.

Overall I liked the contents, it felt like a solid box with useful and decorative items being equally distributed rather than just things I wouldn’t keep or dust gatherers. And the book is a great choice, powerful, witchy and intense, and fits well with the rest of the items.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Whimsical Worlds Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Whimsical Worlds for December 2020

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.

Today I am showing you what the Whimsical Worlds box had inside and what I think about the contents, starting from the theme card/activity pages in the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Whimsical Worlds activity pages, as per usual there’s space for a short review of each book and a few other activities.
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs which claims to be the story that inspired the Hobbit so I am curious to find out more about it and also it is setting me for high expectations…
  • “A bookworm lives here” sticker, I have a soft spot for awesome stickers so this is a great item.
  • Small & Wild tea, it came with two bags and I was extra excited to see one is called Snoozy Fox! They’re both delicious and kid-friendly.
  • A Christmas wooden ornament, which promptly went on my tree.
  • Three promotional bookmarks for other middle-grade books.
  • The House at the Edge of Magic, this one has a different vibe, more like a Narnia feel to it and I am intrigued by it.

This book brought me great joy between the foxy tea, the Christmas ornament and just the interesting reads that came inside. So far, I can highly recommend the box for anyone with children, teachers or those like me that enjoy reading middle-grade books even if there are no children around to share them with.

I also really like that it packs two books and non clutter items in it. The tea was promptly brewed and enjoyed, the ornament went on the tree, the sticker will be put on a surface soon and the books read and enjoyed. No complaints there at all. And a lot to say for packing a punch in the contents.