Saturday, 14 May 2016

My 23rd Birthday Haul & Illumicrate Unboxing (Box 3)!

As you all know (possibly) it was my Birthday on the 13th May. As I received my Illumicrate box the very next day I thought I would talk about both in one post! So let's start with my birthday bits:


To start, I received quite a bit of money from various relatives (Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents) as well as from my parents! One of my Aunts did buy me a gorgeous Cath Kidston Travel Bag, complete with clear bottles and an extra, smaller bag. I've always loved Cath Kidston's brand so I'm excited to get to use this when going on holiday!

Tash & Meg, the two girls that Mat and I rent with bought me some awesome presents! Firstly, of course chocolate is a huge part of my life so I was happy to see some of that thrown into the mix! They also went down the obvious reading and writing route with a green, fluffy pen and a Little Black Classic: 'O Frabjous Day' by Lewis Caroll! I think my favourite thing to receive from them had to be the Blogger's Journal! I've been needing something like this for a while and I finally have one to use for the rest of the year!

My sister and her boyfriend also spoilt me rotten this year and I'm so grateful! Chocolate and another fluffy pen (this time red with a London Bus on top) were just a couple of the great gifts I received, all wrapped in Wrapping Paper decorated with the London Tube map! They also got me two Game Of Thrones notepads, a gorgeous pink dress (which I somehow forgot to photograph...) a National Book Token and (my favourite) a book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales!

Mat, my beloved boyfriend, spent an extortionate amount of money nabbing me tickets for a show that I've wanted to see since it was announced for the West End: Aladdin! I've seen and adored 'The Lion King' so as soon as I heard of this one, I had to go and see it at some point. I'm so excited! This was accompanied by the 'Agents Of SHIELD' season 2 Blu-Ray and a huge box of Ferrero Rocher. Yum!




Now comes the moment that you've probably all been waiting for! Box 3 of my Illumicrate subscription arrived the day after my birthday (I see it as a belated Birthday present...that I bought for me...) and I can't wait to tell you guys about some of the things inside! I've gone on about Illumicrate so much but for those that didn't know, it's a really good value for money UK based YA subscription box, and the contents found inside thus far have been varied and suit all kinds of readers.



The box remained the same and I sincerely love this packaging. Normally Daphne splits the items into two layers inside, with the box in the bottom so as not to spoil the surprise. She didn't do that this time which was a little disappointing (I love the anticipation of revealing the book) but this was really only a minor niggle. The packing note is always found on top so if you don't wish to spoil the surprise I would recommend not reading it until you come to checking over the contents later!

So what was inside? The items were a lot smaller than usual which is probably why they were all put together in one layer. Good things come in small packages though, so let's find out:

THE BOOK: 'When We Collided' by Emery Lord. (Paperback). This one came as a bit of shock. I always feel slightly nervous about the book (I worry that I'll already have it or it's not for me) but I did like this choice despite not being my usual type of read. It's a Contemporary YA which covers the subject of Mental Health, and I enjoy reading books that cover topics such as that so I have a good feeling about it! This gorgeous book also came with:

- A signed bookplate
- Postcards




TBR List Notepad: This is such an awesome idea and I really loved this freebie! One of my favourite things about Illumicrate is Daphne's dedication to supporting Indie Businesses! Etsy is a real favourite internet shop of mine to browse and thanks to Illumicrate, I get some really fun goodies from small businesses! This will certainly help me keep track of my TBR pile! If you're interested, the shop that supplied this is Goodnight Boutique, and it sells some really cool things! Check it out!


Book Club Mug: I have mugs-a-plenty already in my cupboards here, but what's one more? It's a bookish one too (my first bookish mug) and while I'm not actually a member of a Book Club, it's a neat idea! The material is plastic so it's pretty durable rather than fragile which will certainly be useful for me if I want to drink outside! Head over to The Art Of Escapism for more!

Ex Libris Stamp: I've never really been into Stamps, but I have to say that I adore this one! If your book collection is constantly being loaned out to others then this gorgeous little fox sleeping on top of a book pile could mark it as yours! Similarly you could use it for gifts, cards and tags (which I think could be really useful in the future)! Definitely a great inclusion. From what I can tell, a lot of people got different stamp designs, so I am so lucky that mine was a Fox (my all time favourite animal!) and I'm enjoying seeing the other cool designs found in people's boxes. There are so many others to choose from too, at the Little Stamp Store!

Readers Gonna Read Pin: This brooch is adorable. I love it so much! It's probably one of my favourite of the little extras! It's design sort of makes me think of Harry Potter and I thought that the packaging it came with was a really nice touch. I have had a real browse through Literary Emporium, the store this brooch came from and have a list of things I want about a mile long! I would definitely recommend having a look at their stuff.

Bookworm Clips: This is such a cute idea. So simple, yet cleverly made and the design is adorable. I really enjoy bookmarks of all shapes and sizes, so this one was so nice to receive. There are an absolute ton of designs at My Bookish Mark mostly with an animal-related theme so if you enjoy bookmark collecting, this might be a cute place to visit!


And here is all of the box contents in one, neat picture! As you can see, there are a few extras that Daphne included that I haven't mentioned yet:

  • An excerpt from Laini Taylor's 'Stranger The Dreamer'. I couldn't believe it when I saw this! I'm a huge fan of Taylor's previous series, 'A Daughter Of Smoke & Bone' so am really looking forward to reading her next release. Daphne must have pulled out all the stops for this one, I feel incredibly lucky!
  • A Cinnamon Muffins recipe card in honour of 'The Square Root Of Summer'. Another really cool freebie, mostly because I like collecting recipes. In the last box, Daphne included a Lemonade recipe so I'm glad that the tradition is being continued!
  • Badges in honour of the 'Ladybirds' series. Daphne's added extras tend to be a lot of fun, and we all know I do like my badges. These ones were no exception and I'm really intrigued to read these books at some point!
  • A postcard advertising the 'Mystery & Mayhem' collection. As far as short stories go, this is one collection I really want to get my hands on. There are some great authors contributing, and the cove is gorgeous! The postcard was a really nice little extra to remind me how much I wanted it!

What a great collection of items! I really love all of them ad am already looking forward to the next Illumicrate box in three months time! Hopefully the wait won't be too agonising...