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.

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Moon Hauls: Legends and Lore Owlcrate

I am slowly catching up with my backlog of book boxes and here is the Owlcrate for October with the theme of Legends and Lore, which I liked quite a bit. Starting from the bottom left and going clockwise, the contents were:

  • We Free the Stars sampler. Since they had We Hunt The Flame in a previous box this makes loads of sense and I am curious.
  • Legendborm, which I am quite excited to read as it looks interesting.
  • Theme card, as per usual, I like the style of it.
  • Solstasia Festival plant based soap, which I highly appreciate that they chose a plant based soap and that they included soap because I like having fancy soaps in book boxes, it means I don’t have to buy new ones.
  • This is probably my favourite understated item, a glass file in a case. For starters, my husband has stolen it as it has a case and it is discreet and super good as a nail file. So as much as it is a small item, its probably the one that will get the MOST use.
  • A pot holder cosy thing, I don’t know hot to describe it properly, but I like it as it is meant to go on the bottom of the pot/bowl/hot round item and also the print is awesome.
  • A celestial wind chime which I didn’t spread out as I was avoiding damaging it before I hang it (I still need to find a spot for it but I am on the hunt)
  • A tablet/phone stand. I like how easy they are to set up and then to put back flat so this is useful and will probably end up in the kitchen as “recipe on the phone” back up.
  • A free audiobook code for Raybearer, again, cool gift and fun.
  • The monthly pin.

So what did I think? I found I liked the contents of the box and ait had a lot to give, between items even my husband will use to kitchen and useful pieces and decorative things plus a great read, it just felt like bang for your buck in usefulness and decoration plus bookishness. I highly appreciate that it isn’t specific fandoms I don’t connect with and instead, they are just really nice items you can have around the house or use in your house comfortably.

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Moon Hauls: Life & Death Illumicrate

October was a busy month for book boxes it appears and Addie definitely had them scrambling for it. Illumicrate featured The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as their main book rather than making a special edition whcih I appreciate as a decision and really appreciate.If you are curious, you can find the Owlcrate special edition here. But what was in this box?

Lets unbox starting on the bottom right with the leaflet and going clockwise:

  • Theme leaflet, I do like the simplicity and style matching the book and items for most of their boxes.
  • Journey to the Afterlife room spray, those are really popular in book boxes nowadays and I just wish they were more like the ones that actually get rid of the bad smells because these are nice but not effective enough and fade generally quick.
  • Their version of The Invisble Life of Addie LaRue which I really like what they did with it, though my copy came wrong and I still need to chase a replacement.
  • A really cool pencil case I am utterly in love with due to artwork.
  • A cool acrylic picture thing, I really like the concpet but it isnt exactly the item for me, maybe if one could add their own pictures to the frame or something itd be better for me.
  • A double pin which I love for like collars or stuff o the sun and themoon I think? Really like the design.
  • Monthly pin for Addie and I like monthly pins so no complaints here from me.
  • Two wooden tarot cards which are gorgeous and surprisingly one of the few tarot and woodmark kind of objects I like.

Overall the box was cohesive nad nice and it had good and bad items. Most of the not so good were more due to personal choice and not that I didnt like the item, just I wouldnt use it much. But still good quality and Illumicrate keeps sending strong boxes.

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Moon Hauls: From Afar Book Box Club

This year has been challenging, but who says you can’t find other ways to travel? I do know it is hard and it is not the same, but having this box arrive and add some sunshine to my day does help. Starting from the bottom left corner and going clockwise:

  • Grown sampler, this looks like a tough but very good read and I am intrigued by it.
  • A South Korea mug which I love the artwork for and I have been using it a lot, it makes me smile.
  • A list of books to read that may give you adventures and travel feelings.
  • Once and Future Witches promotional items
  • A tea towel to match the main book. Tea towels are usually a great addition to book boxes and I end up using them a lot, plus this one is a generous size.
  • Exclsuive clubhouse invite, personalised.
  • The theme card, vibrant and showing off the world.
  • The Deep Blue Between, book of the month.
  • A Chai hot chocolate mix, which I havent tried because I have a few other hot chocolates open, but love the fact that we had a mug and a hot chocolate in it!
  • A room spray which smells very delicious and inviitng.

Overall the box makes me feel like I subscribed to one of those travel around the world in items boxes but with a bookish twist. Since I didn’t travel this year and a lot of plans got changed, it was nice to have a lot of colour and variety in it and just feel like maybe in the future things can happen again.

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Moon Hauls: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Owlcrate

Because I generally enjoy V. E. Schwabs books, I decided to buy Owlcrates special edition box. Sadly, I was not blown away by the book, but that is more on the book and contents than on the box and contents. So lets put aside the fact the book was underwhelming and go for the box contents which were not. Starting with the book since it is the main piece:

  • The exclusive edition of the book, it has a quote and design on the back of the book in rose gold. And the cover is subtle but nice.
  • The Darkness candle, meant to be about the gods that come after dark smells delicious!
  • A pin, since Owlcrate usually sends a pin and has a lot of gorgeous detail.
  • A wooden book holder, it is meant to help you hold your book one-handed and read through the page, and as much as they do their job I tend to read fast and it becomes more of a nuisance to move the holder around than to figure out a way without it. Still, this one is very beautiful and detailed.
  • A perpetual calendar, like a reminder of time passing for Addie, it is again in rose gold and I actually like the design a lot. My only dislike is that it is rose gold and that the quote disappears once you actually put the date up, so I would’ve preferred if it was at the back or something.
  • A gorgeous flask to keep your drink warm, which is very welcome since I had to throw out one that was too damaged recently, so this is perfect timing for this one. Subtle and gorgeous.
  • A three year journal, very very beautiful and felt like the right type of item to have in the box.

Overall I really liked the contents since they tie well with the book, which is nice to see. I am not keen on rose gold at all which puts me off a few items, it is like cheap gold, and even then I am not fond of gold so rose gold is a bit meh to me. The perpetual calendar was a cool idea as is the journal, and the items are all useful so it was nice to have the box come through and feel like it was well done. Still, it probably wasnt worth the shipping and potential custom charges for it, so I will know better next time a very special edition comes through to think very carefully about it before purchasing. If I was located in the US then it wouldn’t be such an issue.

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Moon Hauls: Once Upon A Story Book Box Club

Still behind on my unboxing posts, but will hopefully catch up soon on it. For today I am unboxing Book Box Club’s Once “Upon A Story” box, which does have a distinct fairytale vibe with all that was included. So what was inside? Starting from bottom left corner and going clockwise:

  • Personalised clubhouse invite, this is for a chat with the author which is pretty fun as you get to aks questions and interact with other people who get the box.
  • Fairytale Sparrow + Wolf designed cushion cover, which is super cute and big fairytale book vibes. It feels right for a kids room or a reading room for sure.
  • The main book, which has a middle grade feel to it but looks stunning here, D: A Tale of Two Worlds by Michel Faber.
  • A Weekly Book Planner all lovingly decorated with magical beings and lots of ways to record what you’ve read. I like the concept of these but I am terrible at the execution of it, somehow this blog and Goodreads are as good as it gets with my reading tracking and I don’t plan much what I read or set specific goals because then that takes the fun out of reading sadly.
  • No Place Like Home candle, I have generally no complaints abut candles since they’re usually nicely scented and I use them when I am working so all good.
  • Postcards to promote another book but also they are very dance and circus-like which I like a lot given I train aerial arts in my free time.
  • Theme card, which on the other side has the contents detailed and why alongside links to the makers.
  • A multiuse scarf with a fantasy story/fairytale vibe. I have to admit I haven’t used any of the ones they send but they are quite fun as a multiuse thing and I think if I put my head to it I would use them more, but I end up not doing much with my hair or neck, so this goes unused.
  • An Auryn pin, which is very stunning.

Overall the items look amazing together and outside of the fact I am not very good at making use of two of them I like them, they fit the theme and are generally useful rather than just clutter generating. I do wish I was more into making notes and organising things. I can still highly recommend their boxes as they bring me a lot of joy!

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Moon Hauls: A Glorious Haunting Owlcrate

For September, Owlcrate tends to send their “spooky” box through rather than October (makes sense given international shipping and that October is to come soon after shipping date), so here is their Glorious Haunting box, starting on the top right with the spoiler card and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, I love the artwork style they use for the art cards and this does look creepy and haunted.
  • A Sleepy Hollow lip balm which is pumpkin spice flavoured/scented.
  • “Death before DNF”, a very strong opinion, bookmark, which is a cool concept, I have used similar bookmarks but with thread or ribbon, so curious how it’ll work out if it is enamel/chain.
  • The monthly pin which matches the main book.
  • Three skull spoons, I already have two at home one in silver and one in black) because they’re pretty good fun dessert spoons and glorious as a fun prop for cakes and things like that.
  • Soft flannel blanket inspired by Poe’s Raven, and I can totally vouch it is super soft, the only downside is that it is white so it shows how dirty it is too soon, sadly, but still lovely cosy blanket.
  • Author letter, and the main book, Horrid, which I had had my eyes on for a while, so really looking forward to reading it.
  • Finally, a candle inspired by Hocus Pocus (here is where I admit I haven’t watched it and don’t really intend to do so anytime soon) but a candle is a candle and I like having nice smelling candles around, so no complaints there (as a reminder, candles need the wick trimmed and should be burnt only for a certain period of time and only to a certain minimum level, so worth checking what the label says here to avoid accidents).

Overall, the haunting vibes, and the spooky are nice, particularly because it isn’t just Halloween or some other holiday geared but more trying to capture the feeling of being haunted and some creepiness to it and I think it hit the right notes with the content to match the book included.

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Moon Hauls: Sinister Surroundings Illumicrate

Wow, I definitely have a backlog of unboxings to catch up on. I think part of the problem is I haven’t been taking pictures as often as I should and then with the blog changes, totally got that delay, but here we are, slowly catching up! So lets now see last month’s Illumicrate, which was all about sinister surroundings.

Reviewing the contents, starting from the book on the bottom left and going clockwise as I tend to go:

  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik. Apparently this book has caused a bit of issues, I am not too crazy about reading because I loved Temeraire but didn’t love anything after it, so I now read Naomi’s books wondering if they’ll hit that Temeraire high or not.
  • Death Conquers All pouch, I admit a while ago I used to complain we got a lot of pouches but nowadays I use them to store stationery or small items and they are so useful!
  • Monthly collectable pin, I like pins way better than the magnetic coin
  • A Caraval inspired cushion cover, which gives me mixed feelings because I’d never use this cushion cover and do not like Caraval, but the quality was very nice and I wish it was something I’d actually display in my home.
  • A tumbler with a straw and can’t remember the fandom. I kept it becuase my husband steals my tumblers and that kind of water bottles often enough but I dont use them much or at all.
  • Probably my favourite item from the box, a mug isnpired by Uprooted. I actually don’t care about the fandom but I do love the artwork on the mug and the autumn vibes it has are perfect
  • A Red Rising or something necklace, not particularly into neckalces or charms, so this one is nice but also not that amazing.
  • A cute bookmark.

Overall I wasn’t as impressed with this box but I also know that boxes that have mugs usually aren’t as good, but I do like the mugs so still probably worth it the ideal would be to be able to choose which items you get and which you don’t, but I get that it is hard to sort a box like that).

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Moon Hauls: Magic Menageries Tales by Mail

Unboxing spread of Tales by Mail "MAgic Menageries" box

A great little box not focused on young adults, or even adults but actually on Middle Grade reads is Tales by Mail by the same people behind Book Box Club). One of my favourite perks is that it is focused on the books and activities that don’t require more than imagination, some time and something to fill them in. They even have a siblings option just in case you have two little ones in the same household.

So enough raving about it and lets go straight into the contents! Starting on the far left bottom with the theme pages and going clockwise:

  • The set of pages to add to your folder with space for reviewing the books included alongside some activities. These fit nicely in the binder you can get from them I love adding them to their binder once the box arrives).
  • This time we also got a patch to show off were part of Tales by Mail, which I think is a really cute touch. You’d get this when you start your subscription as far as I understand).
  • A super cute magnet with the flying tiger from the theme card.
  • The pin to match the theme.
  • Temporary tattoos of fantastical creatures. I used to love temporary tattoos as a kid and these are so cute and fun!
  • A collection of promotional items for A Clock of Stars, this includes a postcard/print, a bookmark and a sampler, it does sound super exciting and I am intrigued.
  • Another promotional bookmark but for a different book.
  • Book 1, being The Creature Keeper by Damaris Young, this sounds so intriguing and magical.
  • Book 2, which is a more wonderful tale called the The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery.

I love middle grade and Tales by Mail basically makes my life better by giving me two fun middle grades matching a cute theme every other month and with some extra goodies plus some promotional items that make me curious for more books if I like the ones included usually I do, so I end up wanting more books. My pile of books that I want to read is growing exponentially!

If you have children or if you e njoy middle grade, I can highly recommend this box!

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Moon Hauls: Identity Crisis Illumicrate

Unboxing image of Identity crisis Illumicrate

Apparently I have a huge backlog of hauls to throw at you all, so why not start with an Identity Crisis box from Illumicrate? Starting on the theme card (bottom left) and going clockwise, we have the following items:

  • Theme leaflet, I have to say I love their simplicity. They match the book perfectly so it’s easy to remember which leaflet was which book and they are comprehensive on social links/websites, etc for artists and makers.
  • Mistborn art print. I have to say that at first sight I did NOT think Mistborn and I do love that series, but once I knew what it was of, I can appreciate the little details on each character.
  • The main book, the Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. I like the alternative universes and parallel universes theories so this is a very intriguing read for me and that had been on my radar for a while.
  • Hoop pin/badge holder inspired by Illuminae series and it is the first badge holder I absolutely LOVE. Honestly, I have plans for it, so many plans and love the hoop idea too. I need more of these.
  • Fable and Black pin, way better than the collectible magnetic coins.
  • Book tin, I have liked those as they look great on the shelves and also are storage so win win for me, this one is inspired by Percy Jackson series.
  • The Huntress, I can’t remember if it is perfume or aromatherapy but what I do remember is that the scent was perfection and I have used it a few times like a treat of scent.

Overall, a lovely box with useful items except for the print (not a fan of prints) but I was extremely pleased it was for Mistborn rather than an overdone fandom like many tend to do. Like the freshness of it all and that it matched the Sci-Fi theme of the book. Just a good box overall!