Unboxing: Nerd Poured Candle Crate – Magical Beasts

It’s been a couple of months since I last picked up an Nerd Poured Candle crate, they are incredibly diverse in their crate themes which is brilliant because whilst they won’t please everyone all the time it means that they will give everyone an equal opportunity. Their September crate was based on Dungeons and Dragons and the October crate inspired by Supernatural, but when they announced the November theme I knew this would be a crate for me!  Magical Beasts is the theme and is timed with the release of the new Fantastic Beasts movie (which I’m finally going to get to see tomorrow!) As usual for just £15 you get 3 candles, a themed bookmark and an enamel pin!  I just want to say at this stage that these jars last for AGES, seriously I burn them for a couple of hours a night and they just keep on going!

The candles! The first candle is “Jewellery Mole” inspired by our favourite grabby handed sparkle fiend, this candle is a first for me. I normally shy away from sweet smelling candles but this one seriously smells just like a freshly opened pack of chocolate biscuits – it’s amazing, I don’t even need to light it as it’s scent fills the room. The scents are (unsurprisingly) Biscuits, White Chocolate and Vanilla and the candle colour is a fab silvery grey Candle 2 I was super chuffed with as it’s “Thunderbird” this happens to also be my Ilvermorny House!  This scent is much more my usual thing with Coconut, Lime and Verbena, a wonderful fresh scent and a creamy coconut colour, I’m actually going to burn this one tonight I love it so much! The final Candle is “Magical Zoologist” after our favourite Hufflepuff, this is another fabulous scent collaboration of Bergamot, Lemon and the label says Cognoc which i’m thinking is a magical creation, it reminds me of how an old study might smell or more likely inside Newt’s suitcase, which is beautifully matched in with the almost brown leather colour of the candle.  This is an amazing candle selection this time and probably my favourite of the crates I’ve had so far 🙂

The other items have had equal attention to detail paid to them, The bookmark has wonderful animal paw prints and feathers with one of Jacob’s most famous lines “I don’t think I’m dreaming…I ain’t got the brains to make this up.” The enamel pin however, is something very special and I’m definitely going to be wearing it at the cinema tomorrow! Inspired by Newt’s case and one of my favourite lines from the first movie, the quote is “just a smidge” with little jewellery mole grabby hands coming round the side.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and it’s huge! it’s double backed and a rose gold finish makes it super shiny!

Next months box is The Christmas Grinch and are available to purchase via Geeky Clean, these boxes are seriously amazing value for money and you can save even more by using my code Postapoca10 to get 10% off all purchases including the crates – this is the last month that my code will be active so make sure to grab your goodies at a discount while you can!

Unboxing: Illumicate November Clever Ruse box

Today I got my Illumicrate Clever Ruse box and I have to say I’m kind of disappointed. It was their 3rd anniversary box and I was hoping for something a little more special than normal.  It’s all subjective though and I have seen people posting about how much they loved the box so It just goes to show you can’t please everyone – I just wish I had saved the money.

The main item this month was a Mulan inpired scarf, it’s got a gorgeous Asian design around a girl archer riding a horse – it bright and colourful and has a satin feel. The square design though would make it more appropriate as a wall hanging or IG backdrop, than a wearable though, but I suppose it all comes down to how you wear your scarves!  The next out of the box was a Caraval/Night Circus inspired banner – I think this would have most practical benefit as a pin flag.  It’s striped like a big top in gold and black, the bold design though would mean that smaller pins could get a bit lost, but it’s super sparkly and the fabric is good quality so would be great for patches too. One cute and really practical item this month was a drink cosy, thick enough to stop your hands burning and also enough to insulate your drink.  This featured a scene from All the Boys I have loved Before, which I know is a favourite of people who run Illumicrate, just not mine!

Illumicrate have also been working a lot recently with Fable and Black, running their pin club together, which is why I was surprised that the item from them this month was a necklace.  Inspired by the Throne of Glass Series and the stag of Terrasan.  I know that they were planning this before Bloombury announced their pre-order pin incentive for Kingdom of Ash and it looks like they changed it from a pin to a necklace, I would have loved it if it had remained a pin! Final bookish item was a woodmark inspired by Warcross by Marie Lu, it has the quote “every locked door has a key” its a really lovely rainbow design – Warcoss is one of those books that I keep thinking about getting, I’m just thinking of the wonderful IG pics I could do with this 🙂

The Book!  Well we got 2 books this month, the first is a gorgeous hardback edition of Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean, it has sprayed edges and it came with a signed book plate. I love that I have another Asian inspired book to read, as I love the culture and it’s so lovely to have books in a different setting.  I also think that this is only published in the UK via Illumicrate. We also got a copy of Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce, which is an older book and the first of a series – I think this is because Illumicrate weren’t able to get an arc for this month.  Even so I’m really pleased to have got 2 books.

Blurb for Empress of All Seasons

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy. 
Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.
Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

Blurb for Wild Magic

Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.

So that was this November’s Illumicrate, the Scarf was probably my favourite of the items but sadly the rest of it fell short for me.  I do feel that sometimes that their quarterly boxes suffer a little from all the time they spend curating their special edition boxes, but as I said at the start – plenty of people have loved this box, so it’s likely that it just wasn’t cup of tea this time round.

Unboxing: Fairyloot November Battles and Galaxies box

Woop Woop got to love the feeling of being in the first batch of Fairyloot to dispatch! This month I was especially happy as November is their sci-fi themed Battles and Galaxies box. From the moment they announced a sci-fi theme featuring a Lunar Chronicles inspired item, I knew this would be a box that I would love.  It was a brave decision by fairyloot to step away from high fantasy and I know it wasn’t a hugely popular decision with some but it was absolutely perfect for me!  Also please forgive how dark the pics have come out, I wanted to get my unboxing posted but the light is terrible! 

The first item I came to was a Galaxy bath bomb by Little Heart Gifts, it’s smells lovely with a starburst scent and the swirly pink, blue and green galaxy design is gorgeous! Next is an item by Fairyloot, which is character and galaxy designed passport cover, the silver design stands out wonderfully on the black cover and whilst I am currently without a passport I can’t wait to use this when I want to pretend that i’m still in the EU after Brexit and imagine that it’s a burgundy not blue passport underneath…. Just in time for Christmas though is the next item which is a wonderful wooden tree ornament with one of best paraphrased Shakespeare quotes “it is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves” The simple wooden decoration designed by Catarina’s Book Designs is just perfect for our tree when it goes up next weekend!

The Lunar Chronicles inspired item came in a lovely little box just to keep the suspense up a little longer, a set of 4 coasters designed by Miss Phi was inside, I love coasters (I never use the pretty one’s but looking around my living room I realise I have loads for decoration!) and there is one for each of the books, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter and apparently they make a lovely design when lined up together – I say apparently because of all the items to have an error in the box it had to be the one I was looking forward to the most!  I have 2 Winters and no Cress, I got onto Fairyloot about it and their customer service got back to me in less than an hour to say that I would be getting a replacement, i’m absolutely gutted though that it will take up to 3 weeks to arrive. It wouldn’t be a Fairyloot box without one random item that you never knew you needed until you had it and Galaxy themed straws which was another By Fairyloot design.  Thankfully these metallic straws are reusable and both have quotes of “Shine Bright” and “Reach for the Stars” The nice touch about this set is that the pouch come with a special wire brush cleaner the right size for them – the middle aged parent side of me approves greatly of this! We got a cute Iron on patch with the box based on the Red Rising series, I have book one on my kindle and I can’t wait to get to it as it’s on my December tbr! The quote is “I am the reaper and death is my shadow” and the design is by KDP Letters, I’m sure it will all become clear when I read it next month!  The final item this month is a tote bag inspired by The Illuminae Files, this is a series which has been high on my list of books to buy for a while, I may treat myself for my birthday soon! The quote is “Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness” which just makes me want to read the book even more! It’s designed by my favourite Evie Bookish, the fabric feels like it might be a little waterproof too which will be a bonus!

Onto the book, and it was pretty much the worst kept secret that this months book is Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.  I’ve yet to read a book by him but I gather he’s pretty popular! Getting this book wasn’t without issue, Fairyloot had a bit of a minefield when it came to getting this book both for Europe and the US and there was a bit of a trade off, the UK got sprayed edges and the US got a signed bookplate.  Whilst I would always prefer a signature in this instance I’m willing to let that go because in my view the UK cover is far superior to the US one.  This Fairyloot exclusive version comes with yellow sprayed edges and it’s a huge book too! Here’s the blurb:

Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what’s left of the human race.Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s – a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa’s chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made tSohat a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, making Spensa’s world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .

So that was this month’s fantastic box!  I’m feeling like fairyloot have really be listening to their subscribers and the standard of the boxes over the last couple of months has been outstanding, next months theme is Dragons, but i’m sorry to tell you all that it’s sold out already!

Ooh I almost missed this – we got a link to a free download to an ebook! The book is Atlas Fallen by Jessica Pierce; i’m off to download my copy!

 

Unboxing: Owlcrate Jr October Mail Call box

Today was Little Miss Playground’s birthday and we treated her to an Owlcrate Jr box.  This wasn’t something we decided to do lightly following the August box. Owlcrate had warned that it was a bit of a scary one, but despite the assurances the featured book absolutely petrified her and left her pretty upset.  With that in mind wee took the decision to look in Book Box Sherlocks to get an idea on the book.  We then spent time with her talking about it and as a family we felt it was a book much more appropriate to her age (she is at the lower end of Owlcrate Jr’s bracket) and decided to try again.  Thankfully the book guess was correct.  Whilst we wont be able to feedback on the book just yet, the rest of the items in the box left her very happy!

Lets start with our favourite items in the box. For Little Miss Playground it was a Goronyan and Sekanako sticker set from Mind Wave Inc, they are designed to look like stamps and are so cute!  My favourite item was an enamel pin from Four Season’s Fox, the design is Hedwig carrying owl post 🙂 I’ve had items from Four Seasons Fox before, they are always fabulous! A new type of item for us was an all in one stationary set from Boy Girl Party, this is a letter and envelope all in one, so cool and and saves on throwing away an envelope!  The “Snail Mail” design was so great too.  How would you send mail without being able to write it?  A quill style pen was also included from Kikkerland, this is amazing at the way the tip is made makes it look like an actual nib from a distance. To carry your coins for stamps there was a cute little coin purse with a design by Taylor n Price.

The featured book this month was The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell, it came with a letter from the author and also a signed bookplate. It sounds really fun and under the dust jacket was a cute frog embossed on the cover! There was also a wooden train whistle that came from the publisher – I almost forgot to mention!

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space.
But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery―to the evil Lady Crepuscula.
Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice―with the fate of the entire Union at stake.

This was the perfect box for her birthday and a new feature (for us anyway) was a booklet from Owlcrate Jr, this had interviews with the author and the artist behind an item, it also had a wordsearch which is always a big hit for us. They are also offering a photo challenge this month and Little Miss Playground is going to be staging the photos for this, in fact the set up of the cover image for this post was done by her! There was also a little request by Owlcrate Jr, which i’ll have to make sure gets completed 😉

Thank you Owlcrate Jr, for a great box this month!

Unboxing: Fairyloot October Beautiful Deceptions box

Yay!  This month I was one of the first Fairyloot’s to ship which has meant that I have been able to avoid spoilers and have been able to keep using social media without fear.  I’m doubly happy about this as this month’s Fairyloot was pretty outstanding in my view!  The theme this month was Beautiful Deceptions, and there was a good combination of established fandoms and firm favourites, it also contained the corrected misprint item from the August box.

The first item was an Aelin themed candle from the always awesome Nerd Poured Candles, this was perfectly timed with the release of Kingdom of Ash and the day before I got my box I read the exact description of this candle scent (Lemon Verbana and Fire) and thought it would make a great fragrance, I’ll certainly be burning it tonight when i’m reading! A deck of cards was included this month, they were themed on The Cruel Prince, they look great but as I’m one of the few people on the planet that didn’t love this book, I’ll be passing them onto someone who did. Red Queen socks featured too, it’s a series that I’ve not yet read but desperately want to (I just can’t add any more to my Tbr shelf at the moment) They are amazing quality and the image is really awesome. I don’t normally mention the promotional items that come in the box, but there was one bit of promo that in all honesty, I would have been happy to have had as a main box item!  A set of 3 Grishaverse badges featuring the Orders of the Corporalki, Etheralki and Materealaki, fabulous!

My most favourite item this month totally made the box for me!  A Six of Crows inspired beanie hat with the tag line “No Mourners, No Funerals” is just epic, the temperature dropped here today so looks like I won’t have to wait too long to start wearing it.  There was a beautiful key chain included this month which is inspired by The Winners Curse – it’s not a book I’d heard of but the design is utterly gorgeous and is perfect for any one bookish with it’s wonderful quote of “Isn’t that what stories do, make real things fake and fake things real”. There were a couple of items this month that haven’t been featured for a while, the socks was one and the other was a tea. It’s peppermint and green tea (which is one of my fav’s) and themed on this months featured book, the tea is from The Tea Leaf Company and it’s going to be brewed pretty sharpish. (im going to have get my unboxing pic done soon before I’ve used everything!

This months book is Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, it’s one of many recent books with an Asian focus, which personally I love and I can’t wait to read this and other books that are out soon along a similar theme. This exclusive Fairyloot edition has an exclusive cover, pink sprayed edges and it’s also signed by the author, it’s a gorgeous edition. Here’s the blurb!

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.
But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

I’m so happy to have got Fairyloot this month, I have been wavering over the last couple of months but with this and a sci-fi themed Battles and Galaxies box next month I’m glad to have my subscription, it’s also always a bonus to be in the first batch to dispatch which has made the box even more special.  Thanks Fairyloot!

Unboxing: Fairyloot Starcrossed Swoon’s September box

I was last in the dispatch queue for Fariyloot again this month, spoilers happened, I really wish they would run a faster dispatch method. However, I there was so much crammed into this months box that thankfully there was still plenty of stuff that came as a surprise. Also crammed into this box was a replacement tea towel which was a misprint from the July box – yay!  This was also the month where Fairyloot provided some of the more random items I have ever seen in a subscription box, got you intrigued?  Carry on reading!

Firstly, my new enamel pin obsession was satisfied by a gorgeous Love Rune pin, based on Shadowhunters.  Now i’ve started to enjoy this series more I have a real appreciation for these items, its one of 3 designs by Fiction tea in this box and its super spangly, I love it! Also by fiction tea were the 2 aforementioned random items – Prythian Court shoelaces. Yes, you heard that right! The design reminds me more of planets but I’ll definitely be adding them to my chucks. Final item by then were Angelic Fire Candle matches – these were extra long but honestly I would have preferred smaller matches and more in the box, it only came with 10 – I get through a lot of candles!  Obligatory candle this month comes via blog favourite Nerd Poured Candles – it’s based on Twilight, which has never really been for me, but the candle is lush and Mr Playground says it smells like Strawberry milkshake when burning.  One item which I’m not sure on, because it didn’t feature on the spoiler card, is I think a kind of moisturising bar, it’s heart shaped and in a Mal and Alina (Grisha Trilogy) tin, I’ve used it as a hand cream and I think it kind of works as that!  It’s by Little Heart Gifts and smells lovely!

The feature item this month was an Apron based on Strange the Dreamer and it was by Literary Life Co.  Is it wrong to say that I would have loved this design on a different item?  The quote is gorgeous, but sadly nothing will replace my beloved Wizard of Oz apron, because of the shape I can’t re-purpose it either – I may be able to be creative with it though with IG Pics!  There was a lovely constellation notebook based on The Star Touched Queen designed by Read At Midnight – I love that this is a blank page notebook for once, perfect for doodles and drawings. We also got a set of 5, yes 5 amazing prints of fandom couples, some known to me, some not – but all are beautiful as Taratjah designs always are.  My favourites are Rhysand and Feyre (Obvs) and also Lazlo and Sarai, perfect for when Muse of Nightmares comes out next week!

The book this month was Mirage by Somaiya Daud, it has gorgeous purple sprayed edges and is actually signed rather than a bookplate.  It sounds amazing, I love a book with a bit of sci-fi – check out the blurb!

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, sixteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation and receiving a sign that one day, she, too, will have adventures, and travel beyond her isolated moon.But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects. She is kidnapped by the government and taken in secret to the royal palace. There, she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double to appear in public, ready to die in her place.As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty – and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear, and she soon realises that one wrong move could lead to her death…

Fairyloot this month was a box that grew on me, I think the random items threw me but when I took a moment to consider how much stuff there was and how actually most of it was really useful this month it’s probably one of the better boxes I’ve had in a while, thank you Fairyloot for a fab box!

 

 

Owlcrate Jr Unboxing: August Storytellers Toolkit box

This month, a reward for getting outstanding marks in her school work, Little Miss Playground (LMP) received her first ever Owlcrate Jr box! The theme was Storytellers Toolkit and the book was said to be a bit of a scary one. Now LMP is still 7 years old and Owlcrate Jr is for 8-12 year olds.  She’ll be 8 soon, but I was worried about the scary content as she can be sensitive to these things.  Before buying the box I reached out to Owlcrate to speak with them about this and they were amazing at discussing things with me. Their customer service staff had read the book which really helped with the decision to go ahead as they advised that because LMP is a fan of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books it was on a par with them. The book is for up to age 12 so it will be a tandem read for us as her reading stamina isn’t quite there yet – but that makes it all the more fun (and allows me to skip over any bits that I think she may not like when it’s my turn to read)

But onto the box.  I think it’s safe to say that her face was priceless when it arrived!  The box itself is beautiful and is tagged “may contain magic” The first item LMP found were the Eeboo Create a Story Cards, these were an announced item and are great fun, the them was fairytale and they were played with pretty much straight away – they are fantastic for prompting their own storytelling and because of the quantity of cards it’s unlikely that the same selection of cards would come up.  LMP says  – I like playing with my brother doing this because it is very funny when we saw some of the characters.  The next item was the 2nd announced item which was a large size zipper pouch by Owlcrate, a lot of thought clearly went into this as it is big enough to fit all the writing items from this months box into. LMP says:  I like the fact that it’s really big and there is lots of room inside it and I like the detail on the front and on the back.  A set of pencils was next out of the box by Jubilee Design Studio they each have a beginning of a story to them “once upon a time,” “a long long time ago” and “it was a dark and stormy night” LMP says: I like that they all say different things on them and my favourite one is the black one as it says a long long time ago and it reminds me of Star Wars.  Other items include a note book, an eraser and a badge.  LMP says, then I got my notebook and it’s got a lot of pages in which is very useful to write in, my moose bumps rubber I like because it looks like a real book and it smells nice and the Typewriter badge I like because it has a typewriter on it and has paper in the background and I think that this typewriter in from A series of unfortunate events because sunny uses it (we’ve just finished the Austere Academy)

The book this month is Nightbooks by J.A White, the blurb is: A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending–and a way out of this twisted place.  LMP says: The book I got was called nightbooks and my favourite bit about the front cover is that it has lots of books and the picture is shaped in a key hole shape, I liked that it was hardback and I got a signature from the author.

Having found all the items in the box we had a little chat…

Me: What did you think of the box, was it all you were hoping it would be?

LMP: I love it!  It’s so much better than I imagined!

Me: What was your favourite item?

LMP: The Book!  I love the cover as it feels shiny on the black part and then different on the keyhole

I think it’s safe to say we have one happy little girl in the bunker, she’s looks longingly at my boxes when they arrive and I’m so happy she got to experience the feeling of discovering each new item.  Her happy face was utterly priceless as she took out each item.  I would love to get them for her more often, but even with a 15% discount code it was still £34 including shipping.  But it’s her birthday in November so never say never 🙂

 

Unboxing: NPC Crate August Dreaming of Ghibli box

Oh my heart is so very very happy, the August Dreaming of Ghibli box is just fabulous! This is the second box out for monthly NPC Crate, each box offers 3 themed candles, an enamel pin and bookmark, all their packaging is ethical and biodegradable too!  Their For the Love of Books box was out last month and I managed to pick up one of their YALC themed candles at the event last month as well as one of their logo pins.  There are still a few of their YALC bumper crates available on their website (which contains all 3 Love of Books Candles and pin alongside of the YALC candle and Logo pin) It’s amazing value at £20.

But onto this months box.  Sadly it got a little spoiled by a pic on Instagram (why can’t people do spoiler warnings when it’s within days of shipping?) but it was only one candle thankfully. The first item is their bookmark which also serves as a spoiler card, this was super cute as it featured the Soot Sprites from My Neighbour Totoro there is a whole bunch of the little guys here and brought such a smile to my face!  The Enamel pin was something very special though.  My favourite Ghibli is Howl’s Moving Castle and Calcifer, the falling star caught by Howl, is my favourite non human character so to have him as an enamel pin made me properly squeal with delight!  I shied away from doing a filmed unboxing this time round but for mine and Little Miss Playgrounds reactions to things I wish we had filmed it.  He is a lovely little guy and I can’t wait to get him up on my NPC Crate pin display.

The candles this month fragrance wise all had a either a fresh fruity or citrus scent, which are my favourites! Howl’s Castle is Yuzu, Mandarin and Grapefruit, the grapefruit really comes through (although I have to admit I have no idea what Yuzu smells like lol) It’s a lovely marbled pink effect and is Little Miss Playground’s favourite (I wish I had caught her on camera when she first opened the lid!) Next is Totoro’s Forest with a mixture of Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Pine to symbolise a Bamboo Scent – the pine is a merest hint with the sandalwood really coming through and has the same marbled effect but this time with a forest green.  The last candle is based on Spirited Away with Yubaba’s Bath House and is Lotus Blossom and Orange, you would think that the orange would be the overwhelming scent, but the lotus blossom really does come through on top – this whole set is a real testament to great fragrance mixing. The thing I love most about these candles is the attention to detail.  Each candle has a lovely little nod to the film they are from, Howl’s has a little Calcifer, Totoro’s has a little Totoro and Yubabab’s has Chichiyaku – it really brings the whole set together beautifully.

Such a gorgeous little box and all for £15! Next month’s Theme is Roll for Initiative and is based on Dungeons and Dragons – I think there may be some still available in their shop if you’re quick!

Unboxing: Illumicrate August Oh So Criminal box

A couple of months ago, I didn’t think I would be able to meet the cost of this box and I sadly had to cancel my subscription.  However when the theme was revealed with a particularly heavy hint at the book that would be included I took a decision – I had the hinted book on pre-order from Waterstones so I tentatively cancelled my order to use that money towards the box and hope beyond hope that the book was what everyone thought it would be!

So in light of that I’ll start with the book which I am very relieved to say was Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas.  I had to do a trade off with this, the Waterstones copy was the same gorgeous hardback edition but with a signed bookplate, the Illumicrate one has sprayed edges but not signed.  I’m kind of sad that I don’t have the signature but the edges are just beautiful.  The hardback edition also has a cute cat motif on the spine under the dust jacket – I love it!!

Back to the unboxing though.  Illumicrate have changed up their boxes which you can see from the cover image are now yellow and also bigger – thankfully they still don’t feel the need to pad their boxes with half a forest of paper swirls. There were no less than 8 exclusive items this quarter.  The first was a “Villains Are My Bag” tote from KDP Letters It’s really thick quality fabric and the straps are really sturdy looking, the quote is in their trademark style and it’s wonderful! The “Sirius Snacks” Coaster is probably one of my favourite items, the art is from Katie Abey and has an Azkaban Sirius Black and Buckbeak, it’s super cute. Next up was a Nail file (in case your villainous ways need to you escape from prison) It’s probably one of the more random items I have had in a box before based on Darkdawn, it’s from a series I want to read eventually.  For all it’s randomness, it is again a really quality item from Hey Atlas Creative. Who doesn’t love a lanyard!  I love them to take to cons, I put my pins or badges I collect during the day on them, this Six of Crows design by Fable and Black will give me all the squad goals feels too!

The cutest item is a comic book inspired Protagonist/Antagonist necklace by Down the Rabbit Hole perfect for those days when you can’t decide whether you want to save the world or take over the world! No book box would be complete without a candle and I was excited that this one featured a candle by Elven Wick Candles – I have been looking into getting their Legendary candle and I’m happy to say that on the basis of this “Perfect Heist” candle, I’ll likely be getting more from them. The scent is really subtle but it looks so pretty and sparkly, the attention to the design on the label is fab too, like a heist map! The scent is Lime, Sweet Melon, Water Lily and Must and this thing is full to the brim! The “The Easiest Lies to tell are the one’s we want to be true” mirror is based on a Holly Black quote – I’m not really a Holly Black fan I have to say, but the design of the quote by Reverie and Ink is lovely and will be amazing to use in bookstagram posts.  The final main item is a Gotham Sirens Print featuring Catwoman (natch), Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.  Little Miss Playground is a huge fan of the DC Superhero Girls and Harley Quinn so this will be winging it’s way off to her room soon no doubt (I expect she’ll snatch the mirror too given half a chance!)

There were some other promo bits in there too which is to be expected.  All in all I was amazed at just how much stuff was in the box this quarter, everything is amazing quality and all really useful stuff (yes I class bookstagram worthy items as useful lol) I’m so glad I managed to get the funds together to get this box and I’m excited to see what the next quarter brings!

 

Fairyloot Uboxing: July “The Power Within” box

Fairyloot arrived a little earlier than expected this month, even without being in first dispatch it still arrived in excellent time which I expect is because the team wanted to get everything out before YALC this weekend. As far as their box swag goes, for me it was a little on the underwhelming side but I think that is mainly down to the fact that for the most part I didn’t know most of the fandoms featured.  The book this month however, is beyond amazing so I can kind of forgive the other stuff.

The first item, continues with their ongoing relationship with Geeky Clean (and why not – they are lovely people) and is a Room Spray based on the book Snow Like Ashes.  The theme is Theron’s Study, it’s scent is lavender and old books and I think it will be an acquired taste as it has quite a masculine musk scent underneath the lavender  I actually quite like it and have been spraying it around a fair bit, I can’t quite put my finger on what it reminds me of though??? Next is a vinyl sticker by Reverie and Ink based on the book The Sky in the Deep – the phrase is Ond Eldr, but it sadly means nothing to me, which is a shame as I was after a new sticker for my laptop. A fairyloot designed quidditch pen was also features, shaped like a broomstick with the quote “don’t catch the quaffle if you see the snitch” – it’s a quirky item which I’m sure will find it’s way to Little Miss Playground eventually.

Randomly this months box included a tea towel! This is from KDP Letters and features a quote from the book “And I Darken” but I can’t tell you what it is because it was a whole batch misprint item.  The quote is mirrored and fairyloot are in the process of having them reprinted and sent out but it could take a couple of months.  It’s actually quite handy, we needed a new tea towel in the bunker and as it’s a misprint, I won’t feel bad using it! A lovely print by Diana Dworak was also included which features the character Zelie from Children of Blood and Bone – I’m quite taken with this as I’m currently reading that very book!  It’s beautiful and really captures the essence of the character.

The main swag item in this months box was a magic mug by Little Inkling Designs, again it’s a wonderful item but it’s based on the book Falling Kingdoms which I don’t know either! I can totally appreciate that it would be an amazing item for someone who is a fan and the mug underneath its beautifully done with lovely little stars around the quote.  Maybe it will be an incentive to read the story (I really need to get to the library to order some of these books that I don’t necessarily want to buy)

Finally, the book! This months featured book is Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton.  It is an absolutely stunning edition.  Whilst there is no hidden image under the dust jacket the spine work is just gorgeous. The book has sprayed edges in red and is actually signed by the author (not a bookplate.) As a formatter this book gives me #goals, its simplicity is wonderful, I can’t wait to start reading this!!

I think fairyloot of late have been getting a bit of a hard time for always featuring the same fandom’s, it’s fair enough, those fandoms have a huge fanbase and are always likely to go down well with the majority of subscribers.  It seems with this box they have really focused on the smaller series or stand alone’s.  Whilst I can still really appreciate the work that has gone into the items, many of them just weren’t for me this month.  But the book looks epic and is such a special edition that it kind of makes up for that entirely.  For the other bits there is always the B/T/S group if I dare tread there again!

The August theme is Mutinous Pirates, so I really should get reading “To Kill and Kingdom” and the rest of the Grisha Trilogy!!