OwlCrate – October 2016 Review

My first OwlCrate arrived this week! I was so excited to find it sitting sweetly on my front porch two days ago.

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OwlCrate is a YA monthly book subscription box that sends newly published YA novels and assorted goodies tied in to each month’s theme. Past themes include Diversity, Steampunk, and Dystopia. The October 2016 theme was ONCE UPON A DREAM, and it was certainly filled with dreamy, wonderful things!

Do not read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled as to the contents in October’s box!

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The first thing you see when you open the box is this cute postcard that gives you a hint as to which fairy tales will be referenced this month. The once upon a time theme comes to life with items that reference Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz.

There are so many wonderful items in this box, so I have absolutely no remorse whatsoever over splurging on a subscription box! The folks behind Owlcrate did an excellent job of curating quality items that fit in well with the monthly theme.

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Here’s what this box contained:

  • The first thing I picked up was an adorable beanie from Whosits & Whatsits, inspired by the Lost Boys of Neverland! I have a small head, so it is a tiny bit too big, but not so much that I won’t wear it. The Neverland beanie is super, super cute, and would make the perfect accessory for the daily walks to and from M’s school. Added bonus: every time I look at it, the Lost Boys song by Ruth B pops into my head. I am a lost boy from Neverland, usually hanging out with Peter Pan….
  • A gorgeous bracelet by The Geeky Cauldron, exclusive to Owlcrate! Inspired by Sleeping Beauty, it has a small spinning wheel charm, and a pendant that says Once Upon A Dream.
  • Wizard of Oz passport notebook from The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. There are lots of cute details, including a passport photo page on the front inside cover, and a little footnote in the back, “Click your heels together to go home. Only valid when wearing ruby slippers.” How adorable is that? It’s the perfect size to jot down book recommendations – or a grocery list – when you are out and about.
  • A fabric button bookmark from My Heart My Tribe. Different fabrics and styles were sent out, unfortunately I received a pastel pink that is probably my least-favorite color, ever. Oh, well, you can’t win them all! I can never have too many bookmarks, so it will still be used!
  • Fun odds and ends: A button inspired by this month’s theme – it shows the spinning wheel from the postcard – and a bookmark advertising The New World Series by Jennifer WIlson.

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  • Finally, but most importantly, is the book included in this month’s box! Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter came with a signed bookplate, note from the author, and temporary tattoo. An urban-fantasy take on the Russian folk tale “Vassilissa the Beautiful”, it sounds like a very interesting read!

Vassa in The Night by Sarah Porter

Published by Tor Teen

Genre: YA fantasy

Release date: September 20, 2016

Book Blurb:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair… 

Next month’s OwlCrate…has a Wonderland theme! I am biting my nails in excitement, as it happens to coincide with the release of Heartless by Marissa Meyer!! I don’t know if that is the book or not, but whatever book is included is going to have an EXCLUSIVE Limited Edition cover!! Oh, please, please be Heartless!!

If you would like to give OwlCrate a try, please use my Referral link here!

Have you ever tried OwlCrate, or another book subscription service? What did you think? Have you read Vassa in the Night?

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You’ve Got Mail #2

You’ve got mail is a regular post about the fun things that came in the mail recently.

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Pop N’Drop Penguins game – When we went to Back to School night, M’s teacher had board games on her classroom wish list. M chose this one to donate to the classroom, since it is one of her favorites at home. Pop N’Drop Penguins is very similar to Trouble, but with penguins and icy bridges to cross. The penguin play pieces are quite adorable.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – a birthday gift for my hubby, but I’m sure we will both be reading it!

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – I read a library copy when All the Missing Girls was first released, but decided to buy a copy for myself. It is an excellent book!

Cat Food – One of our cats has chronic cystitis, and it took ages to find the right food that helped ease her symptoms. We save a ton of money by buying it in larger amounts online. I love the Soulistic variety packs. It’s like soup for cats. Isabel loves it, and it helps her get the liquids she needs.

Beanie Boo – This is Kacey, an adorable pink koala plush. She was a small back-to-school gift for M. I was never a beanie baby collector as a kid, but my child seems to have been bitten by the Beanie Boo bug!

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I think she knows her food is inside of this box!

You’ve Got Mail #1

I love getting mail. I also love Amazon Prime. What I don’t love is going to a mall. Nope. No way. We’re too busy doing other fun stuff! That, and… I really don’t like crowded places.

So…a lot of our shopping happens from the comfort of our home office. Or cuddled on my bed with an iPad. Ahh…the luxury of technology.

Which is why I am going to try a regular blog post I am calling “You’ve Got Mail”. And yes, in case you were wondering, I was a teen in the 90s, and I certainly loved Meg Ryan’s lovable romcom movies.

This week was a fun week for mail. The photo quality isn’t the best, I promise I will do better next time!

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A Dozen A Day: Book Two – This book was recommended by M’s piano teacher, and I quickly saw why. The technical exercises are both fun and challenged, and a perfect way to warm-up before a piano session. M dived right in as soon as it came in the mail.

Yumbox – I was a loyal fan of the Ziploc, leakproof 3-compartment containers that were discontinued in 2014 (I still sob over this fact…why take away something that works so perfectly!). The Yumbox has been recommended by other parents at M’s school, and I love the sleek design and easy latch. Back-to-school time means back-to-school orders! Hopefully, this lunchbox will work out well this year.

Lokai bracelets – Infused with elements sourced from the highest and lowest points on earth, these bracelets are from an online company that makes signature bracelets (like the ones in the picture), giving back 10% of the proceeds to profits such as Charity: Water, Make A Wish Foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute, Alzheimer’s association, and more. The white bead is filled with water from Mt. Everest, reminding you to stay humble when you are on the top. The black bead has a drop of mud from the Dead Sea, reminding you to stay hopeful when you have hit a low point.

Black-ish, Season 1: We don’t have cable, but we do frequently use Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming. This show has come highly recommended by a few friends, and I have been wanting to watch it for a while, but sadly the streaming options were quite limited. I found Season 1 for a great price on Amazon, so I opted for the DVD instead of the digital copy. I can’t wait to start watching it.