10 Pieces of Swag I Loved from Subscription Boxes

Posted July 30, 2019 by Amber in Memes / 12 Comments


I do a lot of unboxing on this blog and I talk about the items I do and don’t like.  I know this is nothing like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt, but I’ve been wanting to deviate for a while and make a little space on my blog for this post, because I enjoy calling out some of the great creators in the community!

There are a lot of items I’ve used here and there, and a lot of things that have been fun.  I love all the candles, honestly – I’m always excited when a candle or a pin shows up in a box!  The Lunar Queen candle by Flick the Wick was actually one here… and then I realized I’d already burned it and didn’t have any pictures, so A+ me.

These are in no particular order, and this is not an exhaustive “best of” list.  In fact, there are some items I love that aren’t on here because I didn’t have an easy photo of them (like OwlCrate’s gold antler bracelet).  But I hope you guys enjoy some of my favorites and let me know if you loved these as well!


Deathless Fleece Blanket

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
January 2019 Alchemy and Ink Quarterly Box

I haven’t even read this book, but I instantly loved the blanket.  This is the first blanket I’d ever received in a subscription box, and it came perfectly timed in the throes of a freezing January.  I loved it, my cats loved it… honestly, everyone was really happy with this item.  It’s super cozy and even though it’s now July, this blanket sits on my reading chair and I curl up with it every time I’m upstairs reading.  It definitely makes one of my top three blankets of all time.


Wolf & Sparrow Book Sleeve

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Grishaverse Special Edition Illumicrate (2017)

This was my first ever book sleeve, and it’s still my favorite.  Sure, I’ve got three different ones from Book Beau and they’re great.  I really like having book sleeves in all different sizes because goodness knows, this one isn’t going to fit Priory of the Orange Tree.  But it’s a good, cushy book sleeve.  And, honestly, it’s the only one that’s actually saved one of my books?  I mean other than the normal wear and tear, my water bottle once spilled in my bag and this glorious sleeve absorbed it and The Price Guide to the Occult was rescued.  It’s a good book sleeve. 🙂


Poe-lka Dot Socks

August 2017 OwlCrate

Okay, I admit it.

Puns crack me up.  I will chuckle at every terrible dad joke.  I am the WORST.  But I love these socks.  These were my first subscription box socks, and in the last couple years, I have learned to appreciate the fact that my subscription boxes keep providing me with interesting socks for a rainy day.  I love it, I really do.

But these socks are the best socks.  I love Edgar Allan Poe and they’re in greyscale so they go with everything and there’s a pun involved.  Really, I don’t think there’s any room for improvement here – these socks are perfect.


The Grand Tour Mug Rug

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
March 2019 Illumicrate

While I understand that mug rugs are pretty commonplace in book boxes, this was the first one I’d ever received, and it’s just … adorable?  I’m absolutely crazy about the art, and I’ve actually come to really appreciate the size of this as well.  This mug rug sits on the desk in my home office / library and I use it every time I sit down at that desk.  I’m a perpetual tea drinker, and this is great to have.

Also the artwork, guys!  I really, really like this artwork.


Ooly Fountain Pen

August 2017 OwlCrate

This is the second item from this particular OwlCrate box that lands on this list, and that’s because the Something Wicked This Way Comes OwlCrate box is my all-time favorite box.  The book was really good, the items were really good… this box was just a major win for me.

love this fountain pen.  It’s light and easy to write with. I actually got another one of these in a later Scribbler box, and then after losing one and breaking the other, I bought a purple one.  These Ooly fountain pens are now my favorite thing ever, and it’s all thanks to OwlCrate!


“To The Stars Who Listen…” Sleep Mask

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
May 2019 OwlCrate

While a sleep mask wasn’t something I used before getting this in my OwlCrate, it came at the right time for me.  I have a really difficult time sleeping in daylight hours, and after we moved, my entire sleep schedule changed.  I was having trouble falling asleep (the usual – new place, new noises and lights) and I was waking up so early.  This little sleep mask helped me get adjusted, and it’s awesome for naps.  PARTICULARLY when I have a bad headache – I can’t handle light at all when my head hurts, and this is just, awesome.  Honestly, I don’t even care that I haven’t read A Court of Mist and Fury when it comes to this item – it’s plush and comfortable and works as advertised.

Photo by Cafe Manon.

“I’m Going On An Adventure” Tote

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
2018 April FairyLoot

I don’t actually have a picture of this one, because I didn’t do an unboxing of this Fairyloot! *gasp* So please head over to Cafe Manon who not only has a glorious photo, but a full unboxing.

In all seriousness, this tote travels with me everywhere.  It’s been to Disney and Jamaica and it would have gone to Europe if it had come about six months earlier.  The quote just makes it feel so appropriate for a travel bag!  I’m always separating things into totes so I can compartmentalize my suitcase – this one usually holds my backup battery and DSLR.  Important adventuring items!  It will be coming along to the Bahamas in November, and journeying to the Baltic Sea next spring.  This tote is one of my travel essentials.


“Don’t Let the Muggles Get You Down” Blanket

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
June 2019 Flick the Wick

A blanket in June probably seems like a bold move, but these gorgeous book quote blankets are going to win my heart every single time.  While I really like the Deathless blanket I mentioned earlier, I actually love this one.  The quote is something I really like to see every once and a while, like a Harry Potter version of nolite te bastardes carborundorum.  Plus this was designed by Stella Bookish Art, whose illustrations I adore.  It’s a beautiful, brightly colored blanket and I use it all the time because for some reason, my home office is always cold and I need ALL the blankets.

Also, heh, I know this unboxing hasn’t dropped yet?  It’s coming!  It’s been moved around a couple times because of post overload. 🙂


Moon & Stars Necklace

Winter 2017 Illumicrate

This necklace isn’t high quality, amazing necklace fare.  It’s definitely the kind where the plating will someday fade away and I’ll have to toss it because it’s turning my neck green. BUT.  I really like the simplicity of the pendant and I have surprisingly gotten a few compliments on it when I’ve worn it to work.  And y’all – I work in a financial firm just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Boston.  People there are classy.  I feel like for that alone, this necklace deserves a little love.  It’d definitely buy a higher-quality version of this pendant.


Typewriter Earbuds

August 2018 Scribbler

Okay, okay, I get it.  They’re just standard, run-of-the-mill earbuds.  But let me tell you why I like them.

I like them because in April 2018, I went to Europe and on that 10 hour or whatever flight home, I realized that I’ve gone entirely bluetooth with my earbuds and I have NO wired ones that I could plug into the screen and watch TV.  My lovely husband let me borrow his to watch The Greatest Showman, but it was still a problem.  I was going to have to buy some before the next plane trip.

Enter Scribbler, saving the day!  This little pack of earbuds lives in my travel bag and has now been with me for two different vacations and I love them.  They may be a silly thing, but I can always use another pair of earbuds!


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was actually a freebie, lol.  So I guess I wasn’t actually cheating.

This is what happens when I put in drafts three month in advance.

High fives for everyone!


What have been your favorite subscription box items?  It’s such a cool feeling when one of the swag items knocks me away – especially because I often waffle back and forth about whether subscription boxes are worth it at all… tell me about your favorite swag items in the comments!

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12 responses to “10 Pieces of Swag I Loved from Subscription Boxes

  1. Great topic for this week! I love subscription boxes and though I only get Owlcrate, I like Fairyloot as well. I feel like both are done so nicely that even when you don’t need an item, you’ll like it.

    • Amber

      Thanks! I agree – OwlCrate and Faiyloot usually hit it out of the park! I think as a whole, boxes are getting better about putting thought into their products and there’s a lot fewer prints. 🙂

  2. I LOVE your twist on the prompt this week. As someone who’s purchased a few sub boxes herself, I love seeing what items knock it out of the park for other book lovers. A lot of these were before my blogging day, but what cool ideas. I’m in love with that Grishaverse booksleeve and HP blanket! Such a cool post!!

    Feel free to check out my TTT post here: https://nerdnarrationblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/top-ten-tuesday-most-anticipated-reads-for-the-second-half-of-2019/

    • Amber

      Thank you! There are a few from my first couple boxes here – honestly for me it all depends on the box and the theme. Even these days – sometimes it’s awesome, or sometimes a box is a total miss for me. But I feel like all the established boxes are working better to come up with unique, useful, and beautiful items. 🙂

  3. lol I love that you thought you were cheating but actually weren’t. Great take on it! And I totally agree re: the Illumicrate Moon & Stars necklace. Also your blog is just, insanely pretty?? In every way?? Like holy god.

    My TT is here!