Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Beautiful Madness: The Subscription Box For Book Lovers

Subscription boxes (ala Loot Crate) are quite The Thing in geeky circles lately, and I've had a couple of the more popular ones contact me about pitching them here on Epbot. Nothing's really grabbed me as something you guys would love, though, until a preview box for Beautiful Madness Book Case showed up in my P.O. Box last month.


Let me start by saying I'm not getting anything (beyond the actual preview box) for this review, nor am I getting any kind of commission for future sales. I just honestly think this is super cool.

So what do you get?

First, a hand-picked book by Julia, the creator of Beautiful Madness. She's a former bookstore manager who adores the written word, and who guarantees a good read every month.

Along with the book you get some snacks, a make-able drink like tea or hot cocoa, and - the coolest part to me - "2 or 3 items that complement the theme of the box."

So here's what came in my "Prologue" preview box:


- Serafina and the Black Cloak, a fantasy adventure about a girl who lives on the Biltmore Estate
- 3 different flavors of hot chocolate
- A pack of sea salt caramels
 

- This gorgeous copper necklace titled "Serafina"

Handmade by Mary Jae Designs just for this box - see how it matches the book's cover art?

- This 8X10 art print by Aimee Stewart:

"Treasure Hunt"

Plus a pretty Serafina pin, sticker, bookmark, and a brochure and postcard from Biltmore Estate.


 Here's the content list included with the box, showing the cost breakdown:


I absolutely love the idea of theming a subscription box to a book, and matching it with snacks, art, and wearables? GENIUS. I'll be very curious to see Julia's picks for the boxes going forward.

Speaking of which, the first official Beautiful Madness boxes ship on the 25th of this month, and the theme is "That Boy Is Poe, Son." (As in, Edgar Allen?) (OOOooooOOOoh.) One month will cost you $46.50, which I'll admit gave me a bit of sticker shock, but that includes shipping & handling - and just the postage on my box was nearly $10. Plus there are discounts if you sign up for a 3 month subscription or more, which helps bring the monthly cost down.

Head over to Beautiful Madness Book Case to learn more, and if you decide to subscribe, be sure to use the coupon code Julia e-mailed me: "SIMPLYMAD" will get $4 off for her first 200 subscribers.

And finally, I'm curious: how many of you get monthly subscription boxes? Which ones, and how do you like them? I've never taken the leap, myself, but I'd love to know what the good ones are!

*****

Aaaand now it's time to announce last month's art winners!

The winner of the Peppermint & Pop set of ACEOs is Amanda Helms
The winner of the Amalthea set is HilyBee
And my wild card winner is Lim!

Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!

Oh, and Renee of The Crown of Beauty, you won that Prince necklace last week, so please e-mail me, too!  (Facebook is really eating my posts lately, so if you guys are missing my updates, be sure to turn on the "see first" over there, or you can skip FB altogether and subscribe to Epbot via e-mail.)

75 comments:

  1. I get lootcrate occasionally (when the theme seems good) but my new favourite is Fandom of the Month Club, at https://fandomofthemonth.cratejoy.com/ - every month is a different fandom (April was Narnia, March was the Avengers) and it's all geeky jewelry! The girls who run it make the items themselves and for $13USD before shipping it is very reasonably priced! (Fellow CDNS - it comes to about $27Cdn after shipping and exchange)

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  2. My stationery-loving roommate gets Mr. Ghost's Monthly Parcel of Simple Yet Enviable Wonderments (often shortened to Mr. Ghost's Parcel) from Evil Supply Co. I assume most people have never heard of Evil Supply Co., but anyone who loves paper goods with cute skulls, ravens, witches, ghosts, and so forth should definitely look them up.

    (I'm just launching a tea and art subscription service, too.)

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    1. Your link is wonky, so here's a corrected one: Evil Supply Co

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    2. I get Mr. Ghost's monthly parcel myself and it's absolutely delightful. Each month has a different spooky theme, and as well as all the stationery goodies it comes with a newsletter from the fictional haunted town of Peyroux, where the company supposedly operates from. Subscriptions are really reasonably priced, too.

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  3. I get the Universal Yums (http://www.universalyums.com/) snack box, which is snacks and candy from a different country every month. It's a little hit or miss depending on the country--everything from France was amazing, the best thing from the Philippines was meh, but you get a lot for the money, and it's cool to see(eat) different things, especially since I'm too poor to actually travel.

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  4. Tangentially related question - did you enjoy Serafina? I've been contemplating buying it, but I have so little free time to read, I hesitate to buy an unknown entity, in case I don't like it. No one I know has read it. Let me know your thoughts, please!

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    1. This is Julia from Beautiful Madness Book Case. Serafina is wonderful! It is especially intriguing if you love and have visited Biltmore. The sequel will be released this summer, and I cannot wait to dig into it!!

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    2. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read it yet, Aurora - but it's next on my list!

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    3. OK. I'm sold. Downloading tonight! Thanks, Julia.

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    4. Admittedly, I haven't read it yet, but my 8yo daughter got it at her book fair yesterday and is almost done with it because she can't put it down. She LOVES it so far. She was very excitedly telling her cousins all about it last night with the promise that they can borrow it. She says it has just the right amount of suspense, scary but won't give her nightmares. Granted, she is 8 so your mileage may vary, lol. But she does have fantastic taste in books. She has also demanded that the next time we go to NC, we have to go to the Biltmore Estate so that she can see the 2 story library, lol!

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    5. The library there is by far my favorite room. I could spend an hour just looking at all the details!

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    6. I've been to Biltmore Estate 4 times and loved every time. I especially loved the Behind-the-Scenes guided tour where you can see rooms not on the regular self-guided tour. And little tip: if you arrive later in the day (after 2?), you can get a special stamp to come back the next day for no extra cost. My mom and I knew we wouldn't be up for touring the gardens (gorgeous) and the house in the same day. So we arrived mid-afternoon and did the gardens and came back at opening time the next morning to see the house. At Christmas time they have a decorated tree with different themes in every room.

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  5. And they ship internationally! Squeeeeeeee! This is the first sub-box I'm truly tempted to try out... must convince husband that 40 bucks a month really isn't all that much... Heh

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  6. You must try Fandom of the Month Club!! $16 a month (that includes shipping) and you get 4-5 fandom themed jewelry pieces!! I've loved everything I've gotten, even when the theme isn't something I'm particularly obsessed with. Mays theme is supposedly Sherlock, so I'm definitely extra excited!

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  7. I've gotten a few from The Cosmic Box (thecosmicbox.com) - handcrafted and organic soaps, lotions, etc along with teas, jewelry, crystals, anything to do with healing - the amount varies by month but everything I've gotten so far has been amazing. I also just began a subscription to Stitch Fix, which I'm sure most everyone has at least heard about. Not cheap, but for someone who has terrible clothing sense and basically buys the first thing she sees at TJ Maxx, it's a fantastic way to expand my wardrobe!

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  8. My fiancé got me a loot crate subscription. I like it but don't love it because some of the stuff are fandoms I'm not really into. I might get just the wearables crate when this runs out.

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  9. I just did an ECBoombox after Darla on bakingdom kept posting such cute pictures. I thought the last box was fun, it was fabled theme so I got unicorn and dragon nail wraps, gold glittery peter pan tattoos, mermaid themed stationary, unicorn soap, some candy bath bomb, and some glittery gold face stuff and a cool dark purple lip gloss. I've also did a solo box for the Mass Effect loot crate, because I love Mass Effect. Got some really awesome stuff in there, a sweatshirt, plushie, some shot glasses, cool socks, a backpack, few other things. I also do Graze, which sends you healthy snacks in the mail. They can be hit or miss, but you can mark down the ones you don't like so they won't send again. And I've done a couple Blue Apron, but I always very carefully select the boxes i get because I'm a picky eater. I'd never just let the subscription run. Did one stictch fix, and have another coming soon, those are fun. I realize it's sounding like I have a box problem. But I really hate shopping and I like getting packages in the mail.

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  10. For anyone with kids, I'd recommend Tinker Crate for young makers. The same company has doodle crate, which is crafty projects, but I haven't bought any of them. Really nifty stuff

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  11. I do Skoshbox (Japanese snacks) and on and off I will get a JapanCrate snack box, or their "Doki Doki" crate, which is cute toys and stuff from Japan. Occasionally I'll do a Lootcrate or something like that if I know a theme I like is coming up.

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  12. My daughter and I just finished reading Serafina. She got it at her school book fair and I read it to her at bedtime for a few weeks. It's quite good and my sister lives near Biltmore so now I'll have to take her for a visit. It's probably a little dark for some kids, but not too scary. If they can handle Harry Potter, they can handle Serafina.

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  13. I just subscribed to ipsy back in March. I love make-up, but rarely wear it because I have to wake up very early for work, so I just consider the $10 a month my "make-up budget" as the sample sizes they send tend to last me at least that long. I can't have my nails . I'm hoping to subscribe to more boxes when my husband *hopefully* gets his new job and we'll have more disposable income. This box looks fabulous and right up my alley, but I can't afford that price point just now.

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    1. I feel exactly the same about ipsy - I rarely uses makeup so the samples are plenty and got me to add some more adventurous color to my palette. And I didn't have to go shopping to do it! (Huge bonus there)But it is taking me so long to get through the makeup, and I didn't get that much in the way of skincare. So I recently switched to Birchbox and my first box did have more in the way of staples and skincare, so I think I'll like it better. I may log into ipsy and restart now and again when I feel I need to infuse some color.

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    2. I used to subscribe to ipsy but I found I wasn't getting much makeup that was new or daring or fun to try, even though I pushed my preferences to that. Instead I decided to just save up for stuff I'll use.

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    3. I subscribed to ipsy for about 6 months - just long enough to try out some new products without getting a lot of repeats. I also don't wear a lot of makeup, but I did find my new favorite sunscreen through them! I'll count that as a win. :)

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  14. Why didn't I hear about this a week ago, *before* my birthday??? <>

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  15. Not particularly geeky, but I'm splitting a yearlong ipsy subscription with a good friend who was just as curious as me about it - she and I are interested in almost exactly opposite stuff (I love the more adventurous makeup and nail stuff while she digs basic staples and skin/hair care); we've both already gotten waaaaay more than our money's worth plus I've gotten to try a few things I was curious about but would NEVER pay for unproven (like a good makeup primer) - $55 very well spent!

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    1. I got ipsy for several months, but I got too much stuff of the "adventurous makeup stuff". Though I usually did like one or two items from my box, splitting the subscription is a terrific idea!

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  16. Ooh, that looks so tempting! Sadly I don't have that kind of cash lying around. So I don't have a subscription to anything(our dog has a Barkbox subscription though! lol). However, I am most tempted by book related ones such as BookedBox and Landfall Freight.

    I actually just bought a single box of Landfall Freight(they had leftover November 2015 boxes at a slight discount), and thought it was pretty neat, though I haven't yet read everything in it. I just got it yesterday and I don't have a lot of time to sit and read with a 7-month old. Anyway, Landfall Freight is graphic novel/comic centric, with an eye for female creators and diversity in charaters, which is pretty awesome. It's only month-to-month, no long-term options, and it's 29.99/month plus shipping. But you get a graphic novel in each box, plus a single issue comic and/or zines, or sometimes a second graphic novel apparently, plus random artsy goodies, and a caramel apple lollipop.

    I haven't tried BookedBox but it seems really tempting too, as it's supposed to be pretty personalized, especially if you attach your GoodReads account so they can get an idea for your likes and dislikes. Also they have three tiers you can choose from, with different prices for each tier: just the one hand-picked book every month; a book plus a literary/art magazine and some goodies; or TWO books per month plus other goodies. BookedBox does have 3 or 6 month sub options, though the savings from that are minimal.

    The saddest part is that, being in Canada, the prices always end up higher than advertised due to the conversion. Sigh.

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  17. I bounce between nerd block and loot crate at the moment. I’m currently on a very strict budget so can’t get them every month but if a particular theme sounds interesting, I’ll sign up.

    That said, I am currently signed up to receive Loot Crates Firefly box which comes out every two months. The second is due to ship soon and I am ridiculously excited.

    I adore all of these mystery boxes but being in Australia, I have to be very careful about which ones I get because not only to I have to factor exchange rates in, and the boxes inevitably end up being quite expensive, but also postage which is not cheap AT ALL.

    It’s quite annoying actually as there are so many I want but the cost for someone internationally is not always the great deal it is for those in the country of origin.

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  18. I don't subscribe to any boxes but they sure look like fun. But life is better with a plot is my new mantra. Thanks to everyone for the awesome ideas!

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  20. Sorry about the removed comment, but I accidentally hit "enter" too soon. I wanted to say that I currently get Loot Crate, plus the Level Up (Female Wearables option) and the Loot Crate Firefly Edition. I usually wind up with at least an item or two in the regular Loot Crate that do nothing for me. Usually it's because I don't follow the fandoms (I'm not a gamer or into anime) The wearables have been a bit more consistently good. Even the Legend of Zelda merch was cute, even if I've never played the game. (I know, I'll turn in my geek card now) They have only sent out one Firefly box so far, but I was thrilled with everything in it!

    I wish I could afford to add another box to my list, but it's not in the cards right now. This box sounds great, and I may recommend it to some friends who are big readers.

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  21. I've only tried two subscriptions, both with mixed results. First of all Stitchfix. As a girl who hates to shop (sometimes purely because I find it difficult to leave the house and deal with people and anxiety and changing rooms), this was a lot of fun. I actually received some pieces I would never have given a second look in a store that I fell in love with. My only caveat is that most of the pieces cost way more than anything I would normally spend on clothes despite choosing the cheapest options. However, you can choose how often they ship to you and return up to every single item if nothing suits you at no cost (minus the $20 "styling fee", which did honestly have me keeping the cheapest option just so as not to waste the money on nothing occasionally as it goes toward the cost of the items in your box). I am currently not a subscriber because money is super tight right now, but if I ever get back to a place where I feel like I have a spending cushion, I would probably go back to ordering it every couple of months or so to keep my wardrobe fresh. The second subscription I tried was Try the World. I was sucked in to the idea of trying foods from all over the world because I love travel and food and immersing myself in another culture. However, my experience is that I wouldn't waste your money on this when you can just save to go travel instead. The idea is great, but it is hard to do something like this with high quality perishables, so I do appreciate some of the more fantastic items I've received. As for other subscriptions, I've seen some of the nerdier ones that would seem up my alley but have not bothered as I like to choose my own unique items as they suit my specific taste/needs. Even though this book subscription does sound fascinating (reads that I might not have found on my own? ALWAYS!), I probably still would not do it unless they offered an option where you could just receive a book, perhaps even electronically, and then later purchase from a stock of other goodies if you feel so inclined.

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  22. My daughter got a subscription to Smuggler's Bounty for Christmas, and she is loving it. She is a huge Star Wars nerd (with a related pic that I have to send you) and our whole family loves Funko Pop vinyls. Half the fun is just seeing what's inside, but she's had a great time with it.

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  23. I get Birchbox on and off, which is monthly beauty supplies samples. It was a lot of fun each month and really great quality and assortment of samples.

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  24. I get Birchbox on and off, which is monthly beauty supplies samples. It was a lot of fun each month and really great quality and assortment of samples.

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  25. I've been getting Artsnacks for a couple years. It's fun trying new art supplies that I normally wouldn't buy for myself. Artsnacks.co

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  26. I'm going to second Tinkercrate! My 8 year old loves to "tinker" and this gives him just enough direction to get started and then he uses his imagination to put the rest together!

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  27. I get Jamberry StyleBox, and at $25 it's probably at the high end of what I'd feel comfortable paying for a subscription box. And, to be honest, I never even did my nails until I tried some Jamberry samples - not even for my wedding! I just buffed them! But the Jamberry wraps are fun and easy and are a fun way for my to express myself with minimal effort.

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  28. Back in the early '70s when I was in elementary school I had a subscription to "The World Explorer's Club". Each month you got a small box that focused on a different country. It had a floppy 45rpm record with sounds from the country (Music, street sounds, etc) and some narration to tell you what you were listening to, a coin or low denomination bill, a booklet with facts about the country and suggestions for activities, and something from the country you could play with. For Japan I got a small ink block and a brush pen and the booklet explained how to use chopsticks. They went out of business less than six months after my parents got me the subscription. :( If someone were to revive this idea I'd seriously consider subscribing even though it was for kids.

    I currently get a Graze box but I get just the oat bars. They have these really delicious ones that they call Flapjacks that are apparently a British thing that I've never seen anywhere else here in America.

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    1. I also get a Graze box and the Flapjacks are great. Athough, I like variety which is why I prefer these snacks over a large bag of anything. I have modified summer hours at work which means I work 10 hour days Monday through Thursday and then get a half day on Friday. I usually make myself a cup of tea around 4pm on those long days and then dive into my Graze box.

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    2. Ranuel, check out Little Passports. I haven't done it due to budget, but I would love to get them for my boys. They have a US and World edition.

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    3. I live in Cincinnati and we have an amazing international grocer (Jungle Jim's, world's largest grocery store) about 5 minutes from my house, and I just picked up Flapjacks from there because they looked like a good road trip food. So good! Got both Just Oats and The Works; they are both great, but The Works definitely wins.

      And that explorer package sounds so fun! I would've loved that as a kid. I don't do any subscription boxes, but I did get two Loot Crates this year (because I NEEDED the X-Files one, though it was ultimately disappointing) and I just got the Quest one (Labyrinth and Harry Potter, hellooo) but haven't gotten to use any if it yet.

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  29. Nonono, as in Edgar ALLAN. :) So sorry, but this is my biggest pet peeve in grammar history, spelling the name correctly of the author that introduced me to a world of horror and wonder when I did my fifth grade research paper on him.....about 100 years ago. :) To atone for my grammar policing, I want to say that your bloggings have opened me up to scads of new things: art, books, things to buy, all things nerdsome! I appreciate learning about things that I never would have known on my own. I am hooked on your suggestions, Jen. Thank you! :)

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  30. I received Ipsy makeup subscription boxes for a while, which was fun. Naturally, when LootCrate came around, I jumped on that and have since flipped between LootCrate, GeekFuel, and NerdBlock. At the moment, I'm only subscribed to LootCrate, I feel that it gives the most usable fun products for the price. Plus, I've gotten SO MANY gifts for nerd friends from the boxes!

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  31. I'm not currently subscribed to anything but Netflix, but last year for my birthday a family member got me a double subscription to the Knitting Boutique's luxury yarn and fiber club. I knit, crochet, and spin, and this club sent a skein of yarn or a braid of spinning fiber (both, for my double subscription) in an unusual luxury blend - like alpaca and silk or angora and merino.

    I'm considering joining one of the Space Cadet yarn clubs, if I can think of something to do with all those colors!

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  32. I've done a couple of subscription boxes for my kids, with mixed results. First, LootCrate. It's wonderful, always. The kids love it, I love it...we did throw down over the Sonic Spork (I won). My 14 year-old son begged for it for his upcoming birthday.
    Second, Gamer Girl monthly. My 18 year-old loved it. Geeky girl jewelry every month, with a bonus item. For $13/month, you can't beat it.
    Comic Con Box. It was great, but $30/month plus shipping guaranteed it's not one we will not be repeating often. It had some fantastic items, like an Empire Records T-Shirt (A side: "I am your father". B side:"Nooo!!"), and definitely hit the value point, but we have other places to spend money.
    Comic Bento. We purchased this for my 16 year-old daughter, a comic and graphic novel freak. Unfortunately, although it promised DC in every box, in the 3 months we received it, there was no DC. Lots of Marvel, but she hates Marvel. Also, the final box contained 3 books with very sexually explicit material, which we didn't feel was appropriate for her. (We replaced it with Crisis on Infinite Earths. so she was happy.)
    Fanipack. Terrible. Absolutely Terrible. Not worth the money at all. We got 3 identical items that well, we still don't know what they are.

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  33. I LOVE my monthly Uppercase Box! It's a new (printed within the last month) YA hardcover with a signed bookplate (though 3/4 of this year's books were SIGNED) and a couple of bookish items. It's $23/mo + shipping I think, but you can get the book-only for a few dollars less. I've gotten 6 books so far and they have all been at least 4 star reads for me. Many different genres, too.

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    1. I second Uppercase, I bought a 3-month subscription for my teenage daughter, and she loved it so much, she wanted more. They also come with book-related items, some of them were cute socks, a beautiful scarf, another was stick-on nails. It's well worth it.

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  34. We do the Try The World food subscription, which curates a new box monthly, by Country. Last month it was Portugal. We have tried some really unusual foods and some amazing ones. The only complaint is that you cannot scale it for food allergies or gluten. So, with my dairy and shellfish issues, I have to be really careful. But it is fun, and in our rural area, it is some welcome culture.

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  35. I don't have a lot of money so my _ of the months are cheap. FootCardigan.com sends awesome socks, and CardamonandCloves.com sends a spice sampler. The first is US and costs me about $15 CAD, the second is local (Canadian only) and cost $60 CAD for a year. I love the idea of a fantasy book a month...

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    1. Socks???? I had no idea socks were available like that. I LOVE socks! I actually love shoes, but socks are so much more affordable. I'm going to check it out. Thanks!!

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    2. We got a Foot Cardigan subscription for Christmas this past year - it was super fun getting adorable socks in the mail each month! Definitely recommend!

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    3. I <3 Foot Cardigan so much. Plus living in Dallas I like that they are from here as well. I get so excited when I get a shipping notification from them. Plus they're really great quality socks.

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  36. I do Birchbox, which I love, even if I don't use everything. I used to subscribe to Barkbox before my beloved Jack Russell terrier passed away in March. That one was always fun. Chester was so smart he would recognize the logo when I got through the door and just go wild, zooming around the house for a few minutes until I could open the box and give him his goodies.

    And the people there were really good too. I'd signed up for a year, but cancelled it when Chester was clearly too sick to recover (even though we had hopes). The staff member I chatted with was very kind and a few weeks later, we even received a get well card in the mail for Chester. All around, a good subscription for your pup if you have one!

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  37. Oh wow. This one is definitely the most tempting.

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  38. This looks so amazing, but they don't ship internationally. Aww! I caved and got a Loot Crate subscription a few months ago, and I'm loving it so far. Last month's box had an awesome Labyrinth tee, and the "level up" wearable was a Princess Bride shirt, on which I spilled tomato sauce about two minutes after I put it on... This is why I wear black all the time. But I love the boxes, and I'm really looking forward to the special Aliens themed crate that's coming up. I also tried a Pandabox, which had Korean cosmetics. Really cool stuff, if you like cat ears on your lipstick and sheet masks with weird ingredients like bee venom or red wine.

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  39. Someone bought me a spicery subscription for my birthday - and all the meals have been great and really tasty. They aren't quick to cook but they are a special meal in, and take the hassle out of deciding what to cook (and you can choose your own box on the website if you want so it doesn't have to be a surprise if you're fussy). The first box we had was Sri Lankan, and had an amazing coconut side sauce thing for the beef and then love cake, which may well be my new favourite cake! It's not too expensive - £20 for 3 months.

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  40. Once I convinced myself that I probably won't have pitchfork-laden or torch-bearing paper-elitists at my door (you don't have my address, right?) I have to ask if there are any e-reader deals out there? I love books, but I read my Kindle for a few hours in bed at night & have to use the backlight ....so my husband won't come home with his own pitchfork after work the next day. I love the idea of an e-book subscription, so if any of you know of any, or have the capabilities to come up with this, please let me know. I'd even be down with a subscription that sends a book AND a link. And now I'm going to go and make some hot chocolate.

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    1. If you have Amazon Prime, you get a free book every month from their Kindle First program. Then, they have the Kindle Unlimited deal where there is even MORE (it's like Netflix but for Kindle).... I don't know of any "e-book a month" clubs, let me know if you find anything else!

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  41. Oh! So many great monthly subscriptions, guys! I am definitely going to check several of these out. The only monthly I have currently is the Ellery Queen mystery magazine.

    -Just Andrea

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  42. I get the fanmail box - which is full of just fun fandom-y things (jewelry, bags, shirt, prints, etc.) its always really fun because you don't know what you're getting and every month is themed

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  43. I did Lootcrate for over a year, and while I loved it I was getting to the point of not even unpacking some boxes because I just didn't have anywhere for the stuff to go. I was giving stuff away left and right, and then realized I was spending money every month to make myself an obligatory gift giver to often confused or unappreciative recipients. I miss the rush of mystery gifts every month, but just couldn't justify it. Of course, now I've written this, and am going to think about it obsessively for awhile.. then CASUALLY go to the website.. then hover over the subscribe button for several minutes... then leave the tab open forever until my wife drags me away with the same voice and composure of someone trying to talk a toddler into surrendering a loaded weapon.

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  44. I love Espionage Cosmetic's BoomBox! Theirs is bimonthly with a theme (something geeky and wonderful). I think the price is around $30, but definitely worth it. There is always makeup and nail wraps plus extras like bath fizzies, jewelry, tea, artwork. Definitely check it out. :)

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  45. I am going to try this for a month; the price is a little high, but I have some mad money saved up and this has caught my attention in the best way. Here's hoping the next box is as nice as this one!

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  46. I love the Fortune Cookie Soap Box, which is $19.99 once every 3 months, so it's not crazy expensive. You get a pre-release of the new seasonal stuff, and they give you a $10 credit on your next purchase of any full-size item. I also do a Graze box ($11.99/box), but i usually "pause" my subscriptions so they only come once every 6 weeks. I currently have a stack of Graze boxes on my desk at work because I didn't slow them down from the beginning. I really do love them though because I'm allergic to milk and soy, and I get a nice selection of snacks that I don't have to worry about.

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  47. Books are food for the the BUT MOONSTRUCK CHOCOLATES RULE THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!
    They are based in Portland, OR and the Mayan Truffles are heaven on earth...
    Try their products just once and you will be addicted. You are one Uber lucky lady to get this box!

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  48. I subscribe to BookCase Club. You get to pick a genre, and then every month they send you two books and a hand-written note, and sometimes some extra goodies. Like for October, I got two monster-esque fantasy novels and a handful of candy. Its pretty awesome, but my work schedule means I had to pause my subscription 'less I become surrounded by books I haven't time to read. Unfortunately I have received some books that are paced so slowly I haven't finished them in favor of easier reads. I suspect if I didn't have such an active lifestyle I would have been more able to sit down with them.

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  49. I love subscription boxes! Right now I get three; ipsy because I love getting the fun make-up samples (and anything that isn't quite right for me I donate to my local women's shelter); Julep for mostly nail polish, though now they are expanding into make-up and skin care products and I love most of them even more than the nail polish; and Treatsie, that sends me candy every month from small manufacturers all over the country.

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  50. I have an awful addiction to subscription boxes. I've been getting Nerd Block almost since it started, it's been hit or miss as I don't always like the main franchise that's in it. I had Nerd Block Jr. Girls for a few months but got rid of it once Horror Block started. Horror Block was VERY hit or miss and they missed on many months in a row so I got rid of it for Sci-Fi Block. I think I've liked all but the two very Star Wars blocks from that so it'll stay for quite a bit I think.
    I also get Loot Crate every now and again. I'm glad they have themes because if I feel the theme is something I'm not into then I can stop it. Sadly none of the past many month's themes sound good to me. I want to try Anime Crate but so far the main shows for the boxes have been ones I don't watch.

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  51. Thanks for introducing us to this service. I'm completely gobsmacked by the contents and want everything (!) in it. I've written to Julia to see if I can buy this box before subscribing (although I'm sure I will). Lovely idea with so many possibilities for expansion. I also appreciated the introduction to Aimee Stewart: her work is outstanding and there are so many things to choose from on her website. It's shoppin' time!

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  52. I love subscription boxes! With me studying and only the hubby working we don't have a lot of cash to splurge, but whenever I have some money for myself I buy a box (and then cancel the subscription straight away). The first thing I plan on doing once I graduate and get a nursing job is to get a box and KEEP the subscription, ha!
    I'm a big fan of Japanese kawaii culture and Japanese candies, and so far I have received the Kawaii Box which I loved. It came with a keyring, some Japanese candy, stationery, hair clips, cute little highlighters, a few little plushies and some little bits and pieces. Just the joy of opening a mystery box is awesome! At the moment I am waiting for my TokyoTreat box (Japanese candies, drinks, savoury snacks) to arrive, I subscribed for the June box and even though it's still May I apparently qualified for early shipping, so that's neat. I live in Australia so it'll probably take a couple of weeks to get here. Fingers crossed none of the candy melts! I also have my eye on the kawaii box that TokyoTreat is now launching, called YumeTwins. They say it's kawaii with a dark twist, hmmmmm sounds interesting! Because it will be their first YumeTwins box there's a 40% discount which I just know I won't be able to resist, hehe.
    Hopefully I will be able to give one of those nerdy boxes a go one day. Just need to make sure they ship to Australia for not too ridiculous a price.

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  53. We (actually my husband) had a subscription to the Bespoke Post Box of Awesome for about a year. It is designed with men in mind, although I make good use of most of the things we got too. One month it was a wine decanter with accessories, a $100 gift certificate to wine.com, and... snacks of some sort? Another month it was a linen beach blanket, some high-end sunscreen, and a pack of cards. That sort of thing. The SRP value of the boxes ranges from about $75 to $200, and they cost $55 each or $45/month if you join. bespokepost.com

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  54. My husband has a subscription to a Monster Mask of the Month club...not sure if that's the official name or not. Each month (or so) he receives a Halloween monster mask shipped to the house. He's really into Halloween and haunted houses!

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