Unboxing the April/May/June We Read Box

This week we received happy and sad post when the April/May/June We Read Box arrived – Happy because it was another amazing box but sad because it is the last, this is a real shame as they were consistently great boxes, full of amazing activites and above all awesome books! The current climate is impacting everybody hard but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still experience the box as past boxes and items are available in their shop! If you want to see a live unboxing it is currently pinned to my story highlights on Instagram. As always the items in the box were themed around this quarters featured book, The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski.

This book cover is beautifully colourful and Biba was immediately taken in by it, finding lots of different things to spot. The book came with a signed bookplate too. The book has been likened to the Train to Impossible Places which Biba loved!

Pack your suitcase for a magical adventure! Perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The Train to Impossible Places.
At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime: join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds.
But, unknown to Flick, the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Buildings and even streets are mysteriously disappearing. Once Flick realizes what’s happening she must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, seeking a way to fix Five Lights before it collapses into nothingness — and takes our world with it.

As I mentioned earlier the box items are themed to the book and this final box really knocked it out of the park. We absolutely adored the pin by Felfira Moon Designs, its just beautiful and picks out so many parts from the cover, the pin is double backed with locking pin backs too. The luggage tag is sturdy and we love the quote on it- Biba will certainly be using it when we get to on adventures again. To help us travel whilst staying home, we have our own literary passport with some book destinations to travel to and to make notes in – there are even spaces to pick your own adventures!

Sadly because of the pandemic the larger item in this box wasn’t able to be made, but that’s not to say that all is lost. The lovely people at We Read Box have added instructions for us to make it ourselves! The item is a “bookcase,” a suitcase shaped booksleeve to keep the book safe out and about. Included in the box was a ribbon style bookmark to be added into the case with mini spyglass charm. There is also a helpful instructional video on the website. These instructions can be found in the booklet which as always is full of fun ideas and a crossword!

This was a wonderful box and a perfect send off, Biba loved all the items as always and can’t wait to start reading the book! If you want to purchase this box or just the Pin or Luggage tag, they are available alongside of other past items and boxes in We Read’s Etsy store.

We are so grateful for all our time as reps and ambassadors, we’ve loved every second – good luck in the future Kirsty and Stacey ❤

Unboxing the Spooky Skillz We Read Box!

At the end of last year Biba was selected to become a brand ambassador for We Read Box for the first half of 2020! These UK boxes are for readers aged 8-12 (and beyond if you love MG fiction!) and have a great combination of themed crafts and activities to go along with the book, they have moved to quarterly boxes so this is the Jan/Feb/March box. You can find unboxings for the September box here and the November box here as well as live unboxings pinned to my story highlights on instagram if you have it.

The Book

This months theme is Spooky Skillz!! Unusually I’m got to go in a start straight away with the book this time and the featured book is Demelza and the Spectre Detectors by Holly Rivers and published through Chicken House and it sounds just like the kind of book that Biba will love! A bit sciency, a bit spooky and an exciting mystery adventure.

Demelza loves science – she loves it so much that she stays up late to work on her inventions. But she soon discovers she’s also inherited a distinctly unscientific skill: Spectre Detecting.

Like her grandmother, she can summon the ghosts of the dead. When Grandma Maeve is kidnapped, Demelza and her pasty-faced best friend, Percy must leap into action to solve the deadly mystery…

This box came with not only a signed book plate, but in fact three so that there will be ones for future books in the trilogy too, which is such a great idea and a lovely touch.

Box items

The box items this month were absolutely amazing and we especially love the Spectre Kit with its Alice in Wonder Land style “open me” envelope. Inside is Nightglow Fimo, a spectre shape and some googly eyes, Biba is just itching to make this but I’m trying to get her to hold off until half term next week! As usual there was a themed bookmark although this one is quite a bit different! Shaped like a teapot but made out of circuit board this is a totally stand out item and really striking – also Biba’s favourite colour is purple so the ribbon went down well too, this bookmark came from A Quarter Past Eight and we’ll definitely be checking out more of their items on etsy. The next items was a Scratch Mask – these scratch items are a firm favourite in this house, we love them and the colourful rainbow underneath the surface, the ones in the box are from Baker Ross. Next we had a lovely little pocket mirror from Midnight Bookmarks with the quote “under the moonlight it glimmered like a strange alien creature” this is such a cute addition and one that will be going straight into Biba’s favourite bag!

Enamel Pin

We Read Box always feature an enamel pin, however this box, like so many other companies, has had delays with items produced in China because of the health concerns. This is 100% right because peoples health should always come first. At the moment there is no firm date for when production will start again, but exclusively I am able to share with you the design that will be being made, this is through Felfira Moon Designs. Again we are huge fans of her pins and Biba got quite a few from Santa in her stocking at Chirstmas!

Activity Book

This box’s activity book is brimming with ideas and activities, including a recipe which we’ll be making in half term next week and is amazing as it’s something her little brother can be involved in too. Biba also has her first ever review published in the booklet which was for The Clockwork Crow, one of the two books featured in the November Natural Magic box. I’m really proud of her for this and I hope that when you read it you enjoy it too!

This is another exceptional box from We Read Box and as I’ve mentioned in the post, absolutely perfect for school holidays! All their boxes have similar crafts and activities and you can buy past boxes in their online shop as well as individual items too. They are amazing value for money at just £27 posted within the UK and would be the perfect reward for young readers who have had a great term at school or as a pick me up for children (or indeed adults) who need a little boost ❤

Unboxing the Geeky Clean Christmas Collection

With only 7 weeks until the big C word arrives, whether we want to admit it or not, it’s nearly time for those who celebrate the season to start thinking of something special for those closest to us! Geeky Clean have some truly amazing gifts in this collection and with packaging options to really ramp up the festivities, there really is something for everyone in my humble opinion. So, whats in the collection?

Do you Smell Carrots: Chocolate and Peppermint scented bath bomb – £4.50

This super cute snowman bathbomb is hand decorated to high standard, we especially love the shine on the scarf and hat. The chocolate and peppermint is perfectly balanced and reminds me of chocolate matchmakers (can you even still buy those?) which is always something I associate with the festive season!


Rudolph’s Nose: Cinnamon and Orange sugar scrub – £5.50

As red as the little guys nose and with a generous sprinkling of golden bio glitter this sugar scrub also smells as amazing as it looks! The cinnamon and orange fragrance is really warming and not too spicy. I adore Geeky Clean scrubs they are full to bursting with exfoliating sugar and I can’t wait to use this one!



Christmas Cold: Peppermint and Eucalyptus soy wax candle – £8

Such a pretty candle, white with a gorgeous splash of blue the fragrances are blended subtly too so this candle is not overpowering with a gorgeous scent, the peppermint and eucalyptus balance out perfectly, Biba is a huge fan of the kawaii cheeks on the marshmallow label!

Sweater Weather: Chocolate Orange soy wax candle – £8

This candle is amazing, the moment we opened it the fragrance was amazing, the generous sprinkling of gold bio glitter really gives it the Christmas feel too, its a warm fragrance and not sickly sweet, Biba wont let this one go!

Candy Cane D20: Peppermint scented SLS free soap – £5

This soap is great value for money, it’s huge! The quality is fantastic, the dice numbers are clearly made out and the edges are sharp. The peppermint scent is wonderful as well as the blended candy cane colouring and it has the added surprise of a D20 dice hidden inside too!



The Grinches Gift: Yuzu scented bath bomb – £5

This bath bomb is shaped like the perfect gift! Their Christmas present bath bomb last year was one of my favourite products ever so I’m really looking forward to using this! The yuzu fragrance is so fresh and fruity, if you’ve ever used the Moon Prism Power soap you’re going to love this bath bomb. Subtly decorated and with delicate bio glitter sparkles this huge bath bomb would make the Grinch love Christmas!


Christmas Hangover Remedy: Menthol Shower Steamers – £4

These potent shower steamers come in a pack of 3 and are absolutely perfect for clearing any post Christmas fuzzy heads! The menthol is totally refreshing and also great for helping with any of those pesky Christmas colds going about! These steamers gently fizz and disperse at the bottom of the shower releasing all the vapour goodness!


Critmas Tree: Orange and Ylang SLS free soap – £4

This tree shaped soap was a firm favourite in our house last year, back with a new fragrance and the familiar D20 dice inside, this one will be perfect for any Critical Role fan or indeed, any Christmas Tree fan! These are great value and the soap lasts for ages and will see you well past the festive season.



Such a Flake: Fruit Medley bath bomb – £5

This is such a gorgeous bomb (please forgive the damage in the photo, I was careless taking it our of the wrapper) the blue is so shimmery and the the white on top really stands out. I love the fruit medley fragrance which is actually really delicate for this substantially sized but beautifully shaped bomb.



Console Christmas: Winter Warmer SLS free controller shaped soaps – £4

What could be better for the gamer in your life or even the gamer in yourself! These cute little soaps are highly detailed and bring back all the retro gaming memories, I can’t believe you get 3 soaps for the price and they look so cute in the bag. The winter warmer fragrance is so good, I can’t stop smelling them and they would make perfect stocking fillers!


If you wanted to save yourself a few pounds you can by the collection as a whole set for £50 (just select the whole collection purchase option) and if you wanted to give the collection as a gift you can also get it packaged in a wonderful Christmas Eve presentation box for £58.

If you want to give a geeky gift but on a smaller scale you can also grab one of their Christmas Cracker mystery bath bomb gift sets, these are just £10 and are so cute in the packaging! If you wanted to choose your own gift bombs then you can get the lovely Reindeer gift bag for £3 which in addition, you can mix and match 3 bath bombs from the store to go inside! Remember to save 10% on all your orders by using my code Paperbacksandpinot10 at checkout and by following the link here

*All the below photos are credited to Geeky Clean, all others are my own.

So what are you waiting for! All Geeky Clean products are 100% vegan and cruelty free, their soaps are SLS free and they are a totally plastic free company, all their “plastic” is in fact plant based and biodegradable alternatives! Support a small business run by wonderful people this Christmas for cute and geeky gifts your friends and family will love!

Unboxing the Natural Magic November We Read Box

Biba and I were super excited this week as we got a huge early surprise of the November We Read Box! The theme is Natural Magic and as Biba is a huge fan of fantasy books this box is perfect. In a bit of a twist this month the “box” actually came in a biodegradable bag, this is because one of the items came in a box itself and in an effort to reduce waste, that was used to hold the items! This was a fantastic move and shows that We Read Box are a wonderfully ethical company, committed to reducing waste which is so important to all of us but especially this next generation. So lets start with the boxed item! There was a code in the September activity booklet which gave the answer to what this item would be, which is a jigsaw puzzle! I’ve never had a puzzle in a box before and the beautiful design you can see in the photo was by Elvenwick Candles The puzzle is great quality and Biba found it quite a challenge!

The smaller items this month were another fabulous enamel pin by Nutmeg and Arlo the fox design is lovely and again came with a locking pin back which is a must for children like Biba, who spend a lot of time jumping and running about, she’s been wearing it since we unboxed and I don’t have to worry about tears, because it won’t fall off.  There was a really cute zip pull designed by We Read Box themselves, the golden acorn on the end ties in with the story of the featured books, as does the double sided bookmark designed by Midnight Bookmarks. We were spoiled with 2 books this month and each side of the bookmark reflects each book with a great quote on too.

The activity booklet this month has a ton of fun stuff, with a list of activities which link in with book as well as a link to an exclusive video given by the author of the books. A wordsearch which Biba loves as they are her favourite kind of puzzles and also a link to the video guide for the final small item in the box, a kit to create a Christmas tree ornament! Biba was also so happy to have her butterfly design from the September box featured too.

As mentioned we had 2 amazing books this month, the November book is the The Velvet Fox by Catherine Fisher but as it’s the second in a series we got book one The Clockwork Crow too! Both books are hand signed and sound amazing, the activity books explains them as a tale of a Victorian Orphan who finds herself pitted against the fae. I’ve added the goodreads links in the titles if you wanted to know more!

Biba’s thoughts: I really like all the bright colours and all the details on the items like the pin and the acorn zip pull. My favourite item would be the puzzle because it was really fun to try and figure out. I like that we got 2 books in the same series they look really good!

The November box is available to purchase through the We Read Box website and there are also a few September boxes available still too! These are really amazing value boxes which are absolutely packed with items all for £27 posted within the UK. These would make amazing school holiday activity boxes and also great Christmas gifts for young readers. We would love to see We Read Box Succeed into the new year, so please help to support this great small business bringing this concept to the UK’s children in such an affordable way.

Gaynor and Biba x

Unboxing the September “You are Enough” We Read Box

Earlier in the year Biba and I found out about a Kickstarter campaign for a new UK based middle grade book box which is for ages 8-12. There was nothing like it available in the UK at the time (we previously had Owlcrate Jr shipped from the US at great cost) so we jumped at the chance and pledged support. Whilst the kickstarter campaign didn’t reach it’s goal, its creators were committed to producing this box for September and November at least and when a call for reps was put out on Instagram, Biba was desperate to apply! We were so happy when she got selected and even happier when we saw the amazing contents of the box! If you wanted to see our live unboxing it’s currently pinned to my story highlights on Instagram.

The book this month is The Boy with the Butterfly Mind by Victoria Williamson. It’s a contemporary story set in Scotland that explores blended families, ADHD, and self acceptance. The box edition is a gorgeous hardback, with beautiful decorative end papers and a bookplate signed by the author! Its a beautiful book, vibrantly orange and with a stunning butterfly theme, it’s really eye catching. To match in with the book there was a ribbon bookmark from Literary Galaxy and features charms at each end inspired by the two main characters in the book. It’s such a pretty bookmark and the first ribbon bookmark that Biba has ever had. There is also the enamel pin – we are huge pin collectors – which is amazing and designed by Nutmeg and Arlo with the wonderful motto of “you are more than enough” it features a locking pin back too, which is genius as we’re always worried about losing our pins when we wear them out and about. We’re looking forward to seeing the exclusive video from the author introducing the book, this is a totally unique idea and brilliant that there is this extra dimension to the box.

There are some really practical items this month too and they are perfect for back to school! A fantastic pair of quote pencils from Night Navy with a unique take on an old saying “practice makes progress” and the motto which we all should live by “it’s OK to be different” these are pre-sharpened and ready to go! Which is handy because there is a fabulous notebook (or doodle pad as Biba likes to call it) for her to “capture her thoughts” in. We love the image on the front of this book which was designed by the We Read Box creators themselves, it’s 3D element is stunning! Additional items this month were a Jelly wrist band with a fantastic orange and black marble effect with the phrase “Phoenix Rising” to remind us that we can get back up and start again and a twist and lock block fidget toy. These are used by children with ADHD and again fits in totally with the book this month, Biba loves this and couldn’t put it down during our unboxing!

The commitment to the theme this month is brilliant, all the items are useful and we loved how the items linked in with the book in different ways. As a parent of a child just starting to have insecurities about herself, I found the messages and motto’s contained inspiring and the pin will be worn frequently and will be a reminder to her and her friends that they don’t need to feel insecure. Whilst Biba loved all the items (even down to the sparkly organza bag the bookmark came in) her favourites were the book, the bookmark and the pin because she is such a fan of butterflies

Biba’s review: I love the idea of the butterflies as they are very colourful and they made the whole box look very bright. I really enjoyed the box and I liked all of it, there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like. I’m excited to see the author video and the book sounds like it is full of very big ideas.

We Read Box are committed to making their products and packaging as eco friendly as possible, the boxes are from recycled card with paper packing and the books themselves are not plastic wrapped. They work with local businesses where possible to limit the carbon footprint of the boxes. If you love the look of this box you can still get the September box on the We Read Box website (while stocks last) at wereadbox.co.uk and also pre-order the November box (see below.) Boxes are just £27 including postage (yes, really!) within the UK!

The November theme is “Natural Magic” and contains not one, but two books! There will be a double sided bookmark, an exclusive enamel pin, an activity book and a large item designed by Elvenwick Candles (although it’s not a candle!) we’re so excited about the theme and based on this box, it’s definitely going to be worth the wait!

Thank you so much to Kirsty and Stacey for gifting this box to Biba, all opinions on the box and items are our own and have not been influenced by receiving the box for free.

Unboxing the Geeky Clean Halloween Collection!

As many of you know I am incredibly lucky to be part of the Geeky Clean affiliate team and up until now mine and Biba’s unboxings have been on Instagram but I wanted to share the love with you guys too! Geeky Clean are a small business focusing on Self Care whilst being 100% ethical. All their products are vegan, cruelty free and plastic free (even their packing materials!) their “plastic” is in fact plant based and totally biodegradable. If that isn’t enough to make you want to check them out then carry on reading to see everything in their latest collection!

“Hey Georgie” Bath Bomb – Candy Floss scented £4

Totally creepy and totally amazing, this Pennywise inspired bathbomb is one not to miss for any horror and halloween fan. They are beautifully hand decorated and the candy floss scent isn’t overpoweringly sweet but still a nice touch on the trick or treat theme.

“Candy Skull” Bath Bomb – Autumn Leaves scented £4.50

This is one weighty bathbomb! I love the colour combination of the blue and neon pink, again they are hand decorated and finished to a high standard. The autumn leaves fragrance is made up from ylang ylang, sandalwood and patchouli and honestly has totally captured the fragrance of kicking up a big pile of leaves!

“Flaming Murder” Bath Bomb – Hot Chocolate Scented £4.50

Another huge bathbomb and the epitome of indulgence! The red and orange marbling effect is gorgeous with a ton of gold bio sparkles and topped off with a wonderful chocolate fragrance, this is probably going to be the first one in the bath!

“Brain Slug” Sugar Scrub Soap and Soap Bar – Spiced Candy Apple £5.50

Nothing short of genius, this is an amazing combination and great value too. A good dose of pale green sugar scrubs (which are always full of exfoliating sugar) topped with a wonderfully quirky pink brain mini soap. Both scented with the same spiced apple fragrance, this has to be one of my most favourite designs ever!

“Bubbly Blob” Shower Jelly Soap – Snow Fae Scented £3.50

We’re recent converts to shower jellies, these Geeky Clean versions come in a handy tin so when you’ve finished your shower it fits neatly back inside again! Mega wobbly and sprinkled with silver bio glitter, the fragrance reminds me of a bag of jelly sweets and is a wonderful teal colour, Biba loves this and I don’t think it will be mine for long!

“Wake Up Spooky” Shower Steamers – Blood Orange Scented £4.50

These shower steamers are super citrusy, Biba says they smell like lemon drizzle cake! but the orange totally comes through for me. These come in a pack of 3 and are again hand painted with a unique design like blood spatter, or an ink blot test for those budding serieal killers among us. These are a good chunky size so will last for those long and languid showers too!

“Spooks and Soaps” Soap – Spiced Cider scented £4

These cute and quirky little soaps come in a pack of 2, ours had a green autumn leaf and an orange pumpkin but the packs look to be random as their website shows a witch design too! These soaps are a perfect travel size and also great if you don’t want the larger sized soap tins. The fragrance is subtle and the soaps have a soft and moisturising feel – did you know that all Geeky Clean soaps are SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) free? Well, now you do!

“Pumpkin Spice of Life” Candle – Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla and Cinnamon scented £8

No Geeky clean collection would be complete without a signature candle! All Geeky Clean candles are hand poured and made with soy wax. The colour of the candle is 100% spot on and the fragrance is beyond amazing – I’ve had the tin open all day and even without burning my house smells like pumpkin pie! These candle tins always burn evenly and last for ages.

So there you have it! Another amazing collection from Geeky Clean full of great ideas and imaginative takes on the theme as usual. I hope that you will want to try out some of their fab products and you can also save an additional 10% by using my code Paperbacksandpinot10 at checkout! You can also pay a visit to my instagram and checkout my story highlights to see a live unboxing of the range too, where to be honest you’ll get a better look at the colours as no matter where I went inside or out today I just couldn’t get the right light for photos!



Unboxing the May Fairyloot: Unlikely Romances Box

Today, I’m unboxing the May Unlikely Romances box from Fairyloot! But it’s June you say? Well the boxes this month were delayed because of publishing rights for the book, plus we had a bank holiday in the UK, and finally it was my turn to be at the end of the dispatch queue. I got my box yesterday, helpfully left out in the open by Hermes….. Before the box arrived I have to say I was apprehensive, the box was said to feature items inspired by the Cruel Prince and the Shatter Me series, which if you’ve followed me for while will know that they are my two least favourite series! I needn’t have worried though and actually feel that this was my favourite box in a while! Why’s that? Well it wasn’t filled with paper items and only one item wasn’t really for me, so yay!

I had only been thinking to myself the other day that I missed having candles in Fairyloot, I think it’s been 3-4 boxes since the last one so I was very happy to have had one in this box and it’s a Starfall candle by Little heart gifts inspired by the ACOTAR series – happy days! Fragranced with fresh lillies and bamboo, it’s quite a nice fragrance, however, it is very subtle, but the proof will be in the burning. The Shatter Me item was in fact a travel mug created by KDP Letters, with an amazing quote “I spent my life folded between the pages of books” This is also made of bamboo and feels very light and sturdy with a matching sleeve to keep my hands from burning! Has anyone tried taking one of these into a coffee shop, will they use them? I missed the last mug they featured, so I’m super happy with it! The Cruel Prince item was also a surprise, a crown shaped keychain by Fairyloot, which actually is wholly cumbersome in its intended form, but I’m taking off the key ring to leave me with a fabulous crown instagram prop – happy days again! Fairyloot designed a cute little mint tin too, which I know I will take everywhere, although I don’t know what Mr Paperbacks will think of it – although he’s probably known for a while that I’m mentally cheating on him with fictional characters. The only item from this photo that I wasn’t keen on were the magnetic bookmarks, I’ve not even heard of the Dawn and Flame but I’m sure I can pass them on to someone who has, It’s a cute set though and actually a manageable size as the magnetic bookmarks in boxes of late have been pretty huge!

Pouches have been featuring a lot in boxes recently but I absolutely love this one from Literary Lifestyle Company as the quote is fantastic. Although I have not read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, I adore strange the dreamer and this quote has the same lyrical tone “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love, it didn’t end well” the pouch is a good size and good quality with lining (much better than the recent booksleeves) it’s perfect for keeping my make up in 🙂 There was a cute little Magnus and Alec sticker along with a little notepad inspired by Girls of Paper and Fire. I’m returning to the 1950’s now when I say that I always like to see a tea towel in a box you can never have enough, so even though it has faces on it that are going to get mucky, I liked that there was a tea towel in this box. Based on the Selection series, which again i’ve not read, this is very useful yet I hate how conditioned I have become as a woman that items for domestic chores have me happy, whilst my husband was like “meh”

This month was also the concluding month for the Six of Crows inspired tarot cards, unsurprisingly given prior months this month featured Kaz and Inej – I always find it weird when I see interpretations of Kaz Brekker, they always reflect how young he actually is, whereas I always read characters closer to my own “ahem” advancing age lol. This months books looks fab too, The Beholder by Anna Bright wasn’t one that was on my radar at all, but a matching game where potential suitors are inspired by mythical creatures has really got my intrigue going, more so than most of the fairyloot books this year – the dusky pink sprayed edges are simply droolworthy and I can see this elbowing out most of the other patiently waiting books on my shelf!

All in all, I adored this months box and truly felt like I got more than value for my money – bravo Fairyloot!

Unboxing: Fairyloot March Favourites box

I approached this months Fairyloot with trepidation as it was their fabled anniversary box. Looking back to last years box I feel I may have over reacted with my anger as it was actually a good box, including one of my favourite reads of 2018 but it just didn’t live up to the hype surrounding it – I expected something more, which I’m happy to say I got this year! As is customary the anniversary box is a lovely shade of purple rather than the usual black.

The first and probably most beautiful item I have ever had in a book box was a gorgeous bookshelf scarf showcasing a number of amazing YA reads. I’ve already worn it loads, but trying to get my favourite book spine on display is tricky! Now here is the thing with the scarf, for the eagle eyed amongst you there are some spelling errors. Fairyloot’s initial response was that it should be treated like the work of art it is, an interpretation by the artist. However they soon backtracked and announced they would be replacing the scarf. Now here’s the thing, Fairyloot have very sensibly offered the option to opt out of a replacement, which I have done. I love the scarf as it is and honestly I would rather they didn’t spend the next few boxes clawing back the cost of replacements with substandard items as they have really upped their content in recent months. Also as a wearable we had a pair of Alice in Wonderland inspired bookish socks – I LOVE bookish socks and the quality is much improved from when they started the other year, given that they are one size they fit my child sized feet perfectly although not always good with my cankles lol

Also included was a lovely metal bookmark inspired by Strange the Dreamer with one of my favourite quotes, and so I don’t miss out on keeping those quotes flagged in future we also got page tabs. I know they featured these not so long ago but I didn’t get that box so I’m happy to have them now! There were prints in the box too, the Warcross inspired one looks amazing, the other 2 I’m not part of the fandom so let me know if you want them! It looks like Fairyloot are also making an enamel pin for each of their boxes now which makes my heart very happy, this months was understandably their logo. Before I get to the books, there was a new fandom for the tarot cards this month with Six of Crows – I’m super happy about this and also that the first we get is Wylan and Jesper ❤ I can’t wait to see who gets featured next month, I have a feeling it will be Nina and Matthias though.

There were 2 amazing books featured in this anniversary box the first was Viper by Bex Hogan, by chance I actually got to read this as an e arc through Netgalley a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely loved it, so to get it in paperback, signed and with an exclusive cover was fantastic and I am so happy to have it – also if you’re quick you can also submit your Fairyloot receipt to register for the pre-order incentive (confirmed by Team BKMRK today to me on twitter.) The second and main book was To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, correctly guessed by book box sherlocks. I’m intrigued by this as it’s not a book I would have bought myself, I’m not in love with the title – but high stakes maze has a Maze Runner feel about it so we’ll see! It’s again signed with sprayed edges – for that satisfying sound when you turn the pages fresh for the first time.

I really enjoyed this box and relieved that they are taking a break from candles still, I do wish they would be more environmentally friendly though with their packaging in future – so much individual plastic wrapping for each item is pretty unnecessary especially when you times it by the thousands that they probably ship to. Fairyloot please take note if you’re reading this! Next months boxed is themed Dark Magic so I’m hoping for plenty of witchy goodness to come!

Unboxing: Fairyloot Unbreakable Bonds January box

The theme for this months Fairyloot is Unbreakable Bonds and I was fortunate to be in the first dispatch round this time. Whilst I have eliminated most of the those who spoil from my social media some still slip through so I’m pleased that I didn’t have to worry this time. I’m pleased to say that Fairyloot are continuing to put out boxes of a high standard and full of items I’m going to use!

The main item this month was a cushion cover inspired by the Raven Cycle series, it was a unique idea with the cover with one side an image and the other side a quote! It’s a really lovely idea and it worked perfectly, I really hope that they continue to design covers like this in future. Whilst it’s a not a fandom that I’m into I can certainly appreciate the effort and quality, I’m also happy to say that mine is on it’s way to someone who will make great use of it in my place! Yay – there’s a Geeky Clean candle in the box this month too, I adore Geeky Clean products and this Infernal Devices inspired candle features Will and Jem from the series, the tea and sweet sage scent has a real apothecary feel and it’s not going to be too long before it’s lit!

What better way to warm up on a cold January evening than a lovely salted caramel hot chocolate from the Tea Leaf Co. Little Miss Playground and I cracked this open the day I got the box and it’s absolutely yummy! It’s inspired by the characters Lia and Pauline from the Remnant Chronicles. Whilst I’m not vegan myself I was a little concerned to see that whilst saying suitable for vegans on the tin, it then said may contain traces of milk, so if you’re vegan and you have this box just be mindful. Another definite need for a cold day is lip balm and this box featured one from Book and Nook. I loved book and nook candles when they made them so I knew this was going to be a quality item, a quirky combination of mint and violet which is pretty tingly on the lips! This is from another series that I’m yet to read which is Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, they are on my never ending wish list though as I love the covers!

One item which isn’t featured in a picture from me this month is the Ink and Wonder woodmark inspired by Lord of the Rings. Whilst those who follow me know how much I love Ink and Wonder, the gorgeous Emily from @emilysbookcorner is a much bigger fan of the books than I am and I knew it would get a much better home with her, unfortunately I sent it before taking an individual pick **facepalm** But I did keep hold of the Six of Crows Inspired hairband from Fairyloot favourite, fiction tea designs, I love the pattern and the headscarf style design is spot on.  The ACOTAR trading cards this month are Feyre and Azriel and I’m totally gutted, because as you’ll see at the end of this post, I’m skipping the February box and I realised too late that I will miss out on the final cards which I’m pretty certain will be Morrigan and Rhysand – sob 😦

The all important book this month is Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye, this absolutely gorgeous hardback edition has lilac sprayed edges and is signed by the author too. I have to admit this book wasn’t on my radar but I can’t wait to start reading! Here’s the blurb:

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.
As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

As I mentioned before, there wont be an unboxing for February next month, the theme is Beast and Beauty and the whole box is inspired by the fairytale. Whilst I like the story I don’t love it and I think that a box would be a waste of money for me, I’ll save my pennies to put towards the Finale special edition box which is likely to be £££! 

Bookish Ramblings: Unboxing the December Dragons Fairyloot

I’ve been so caught up with Christmas and new year that I just realised that I hadn’t yet posted my unboxing for the December Fairyloot! It arrived on Christmas eve, but no I didn’t wait until Christmas day to open it as Little Miss Playground was home from school and if I didn’t open it, she would have! Keeping it simple, the theme last month was Dragons!

The first item out of the box was a gorgeous dragon necklace by Fairyloot – this necklace is stunning and the wings apparently glow in the dark! I’ve yet to try it out as it’s so gloomy that I’ve not had a chance to give it a charge, but it’s a really decent size with gorgeous detailing. December was also the start of their exclusive tarot cards featuring the characters from ACOTAR, this month we got Cassian and Amren – these cards are huge and will look great as a completed set. There was an art print included this month, it’s double sided with Manon and Abraxos from Throne of Glass on one side and Toothless from How to Train your Dragon on the other – I’ve gone with Manon for the pic as I love her and Abraxos is one of my favourite bookish creatures (as an aside I got a Thestral in my Harry Potter funko advent calendar, which 100% will be used as Abraxos in a bookstagram soon.) The final item in this first pic is a pin flag, I’ve had a few of these now but the lovely Author M.A. Phipps said about using it for iron on patches, which I think is a great idea (I just have to buy an iron first….)

Last month I got doubly excited as we got 2 books! I’ll get to the featured book in a bit, but the second book was an Arc! I love getting physical copies of Arcs, I’ve been blessed to get so many in a digital format, but having a physical one just feels a little bit extra special. The Arc provided is The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson which isn’t due for release until July, I’ll have to make sure to squeeze it in before then. It’s also time for another of their twice yearly reading journal, I started off with such good intentions with the last one but it kind of faded, I really need to make better use of journals this year as I see so many that just look amazing when filled out.  I also need to get some flags so I can mark quotes that I like – as I never remember to mark them at the time. This fairyloot journal has some really gorgeous artwork by Blanca Montiel at the start of each month as well. Before I get on to the book and my favourite item from the box, there was sadly an item missing from the December box (it will be sent out with the January boxes) and it does prove that things do indeed come in three’s.  This will make the 3rd time in 2018 that they’ve had to send out items late and whilst this was a packing mishap rather than a misprint issue, it’s still a real disappointment. Hopefully though there have been enough learning points that 2019’s boxes will all be perfect! So next month I’ll also be featuring a Mother of Dragons themed magnetic bookmark set, which sounds amazing!

My favourite item by an absolute mile in December was a booksleeve by Sweet Sequels, it’s probably the best book sleeve I have ever seen and features wonderful original art of the dragon escape from Gringott’s from Harry Potter.  It’s a full sized booksleeve too which means even a hefty hardback will fit in there.  I now have one for my bag and one to keep my at home reads in (alas it arrived to late to save my copy of Ruin and Rising from getting, well, ruined.) The book in December was Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst and I do love a good heist! I’m already about 1/3 way through and it’s quite different as I wasn’t expecting low fantasy, but it’s pretty enjoyable so far.

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.
Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.
With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.
Despite the mishap with the missing item, I again really liked this box – it seems in terms of content Fairyloot and I are on the same wavelength which really wasn’t the case earlier in the year. You can’t please everyone all the time, but I’m glad that I repeatedly feel like I am getting value for money with these boxes at the moment. January’s theme is Unbreakable bonds, which I’m pretty intrigued about I have to admit!
Did you get a fairyloot or other book box in December, let me know what your favourite item was!