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: 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: 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.

Subscription Boxes

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!

Subscription Boxes

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.

Subscription Boxes

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).

Subscription Boxes

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!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: We Are the Resistance Illumicrate

The latest Illumicrate had a very scifi feel to it and the contents were as follows:

  • Seven Devils, just look at the gorgeous cover change!
  • A promotional bookmark for Sweet Black Waves.
  • Star Wars sunglasses (these were a bit meh, they feel like a filler item as they have nothing beyond a logo, and it’s not that amazing, plus I can’t use sunglasses).
  • A cute keyring, this will definitely be used soon.
  • Theme leaflet.
  • Another book planter, probably my favourite of the set.
  • A Bone Season notebook.
  • And some character cards.

To be fair, this definitely wasn’t their strongest box, and I wish it had been but it seems to be common that they’re not as strong for Scifi boxes than they are in fantasy boxes. There’s a lot of fun that could’ve been done here, so hopefully the scifi side gets stronger.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Ghibli Night In YumeTwins

I get YumeTwins on a one box at a time thing since I like their items lots but wasn’t using them as much so mostly only Ghibli themed boxes for me. This is their May/June box, but it was stuck in Japan for a while (they were super clear on like shipping updates and then when it was meant to arrived they chased and like the next day it was here, so good customer service). So, let’s see what was in this box:

  • A Totoro mini bag. This is SUPER cute and I am swooning over it.
  • The theme mini zine.
  • Ghibli postcard, there was a choice of different options (with YumtTwins boxes it’s always a mini roulette, so you have to be sure you’ll like most of the options offered because you don’t know which one you’ll get).
  • A Spirited Away file folder, which I have been using because it is plastified and so cool!
  • A bamboo toothbrush from My Neighbour Totoro.
  • And finally, stackable tupperware/bento boxes. I have two from a previous Ghibli box so I love stacking them and interchanging lids and boxes.

All in all, I am happy with the box, good things, and a good variety we can get, and yes, it was delayed but it did come and service was good. I shall await for another Ghibli box that tempts me or maybe some other fandom. If you like cute things and you are int Japanese fandoms, then this is a great box to get. They ship early, let you know the items and options, usually have a promotion option to get extra goodies, and if you stay subscribed you get points you can exchange for extra goodies.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Off the Map Tales by Mail

This is the second Tales by Mail box and I have to say I am still enjoying them a lot. As mentioned before, this is from the same people behind Book Box Club and it is all about the middle grade love. So let’s see what was included in this box:

  • The activity worksheets. Usually they encourage you to write a short review and include some other fun things to do. If you got the starter pack then it fits neatly to go after the previous pack of activities.
  • A woodmark with the theme art.
  • Several promotional pins for Pizzaz and one for the theme card.
  • A cute pencil
  • And the two main books, Wonderscape and Sky Pirates

Both books look very interesting and I am looking forward to reading them. I am also happy that there’s not a lot in the box to clutter, just activities and great reads.