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Unboxing: January Inku Crate

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I’ve loved getting subscription boxes throughout 2020, I think it’s brought me an edge of excitement to an otherwise dull and stressful year. As I said in my Anime Limited unboxing, there’s something about a mystery package that’s really appealing to me – I think really just boils down to the element of surprise and chance. I bought a fair number of boxes in 2020, and whilst I have loved pretty much every one, there does come a time where I think, “But do I really need this item?” where they’re purely decorative. I obviously collect a lot of anime merchandise, but I think there’s something inherently different about buying a figure or plushie of a character you love, rather than one you just happen to get in a subscription box (looking at you, Donald Duck plushie).

From a young age, I’ve always really loved stationery. Even now I have drawers full of stationery and shelves full of unused notebooks. I promised myself in 2021 I’d get back into creating a bullet journal, something I have done in previous years and really enjoyed, and I also want to find penpals to write to. This all led me to plumping for a stationery themed subscription box. I knew they’d be full of practical items that I’d definitely use.

This is a very long winded way of saying my January subscription box was Inku Crate – a subscription box themed around Japanese stationery.

The box itself was really cute, I loved that it looked like a book and opened from the side like a book would, I thought that was a really nice touch. I know there are a good amount of items in the box, but due to the size of one of them they had to use a bigger box and it seems a little sparse as a result – to reiterate, I know it’s not, but it’s an initial feeling of “oh, kinda empty” as a visual thing when you first open.

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Onto the items! I got a couple of pens – first up is a sweets u-marker. It’s double-ended, and each end smells like a different sweet – mine is melon cream soda and it smells so good. The pen nibs are highlighters, which I use a lot of for journalling! The second pen is a fude colour marker of which I got a pink one (fitting!). I need to learn to do fancy writing, so hopefully this pen will give me an incentive!

 

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Next up I got these items which will be perfect for journalling. At first I could not figure out what the blue item was, but it’s glue in the shape of a detergent bottle. How cute is that?! When I was journalling at the weekend I said to myself that next time I went to a supermarket I needed to buy glue, so this has come at the right time! I love putting stickers on my journal pages and on penpal letters, so these stickers will be perfect!

 

 

IMG_8574Finally, I have the larger items. First up, a Hello Kitty notebook. Hello Kitty is dressed like a cow, because it’s the Year of the Ox! At first I was totally baffled by it, but when I realised, it all made sense! I also got a daruma doll sticky note set, which are always useful for putting little reminders on! There’s also the cutest little rubber (eraser!) set, which is fairy tale themed – mine are Alice in Wonderland, which is just perfect for me as I’m not really a traditional fairy tale kind of person. Last up is a clear file decorated with Japanese New Year iconography. I use these clear files all the time to store documents!

I’m so happy with my Inku Crate! I know I’ll definitely use these items all the time, so it feels like a really smart purchase over some of the items I was getting in other subscription boxes. I’ll still get the occasional box with normal kawaii goods in it, but I’m saving myself for when there’s a theme I really like the look of or content that I really like – most companies give a preview of what characters or properties will feature in the box. I think I’ll get the next Inku Crate to see how that goes, and I may keep it going as a rolling thing!

What was your favourite item in this box? I think mine is the detergent shaped glue, it’s so cute!

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December Purchases

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December is a month where my mother tells me, “Don’t buy anything for yourself! It’s Christmas!”, which I obviously don’t pay any attention to. Alongside the Anime Limited mystery box I bought, here’s what else I bought in December!

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Pompompurin is my favourite Sanrio character, and I really wanted to get a plushie of him because I didn’t have a full sized one. I bought the plushie on the right from YYKawaii to itch my scratch! I then wanted to get the Pom pocket straw as I’d seen it online. I’m making a conscientious effort to be more environmentally friendly, and usually I carry round metal straws with me (y’know, when I can go outside), but they’re quite bulky, so these rubber ones are a really great idea as they roll up really small to fit in the case which is much more convenient! The plushie on the left came in the set with the straw and the sewing kit, and I couldn’t resist it all! My Pompompurin collection is really coming along!

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If anyone knows me, they know I love Haikyuu!!, and know that Bokuto and Akaashi are two of my favourite characters (and favourite ship), so I have a lot of merchandise of them. This month was like a bumper crop of Bokuaka merchandise as a lot of my preorders came in. I got these adorable finger puppets of Bokuto and Akaashi in their school uniforms, and small plushies of them too! I also got this huge SNS strap which is really cool, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it’s still cool!

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Next up is the first of my figures I’ve bought that have cost me a significant amount – Kyo from Fruits Basket. Kyo is my favourite character in Fruits Basket, so I couldn’t resist getting this figure. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, and it’s definitely a lot darker than this photo would suggest and not quite so bright!

 

 

 

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I also got another cool figure this month – Akechi from Persona 5, in his Crow outfit. This makes my second Akechi figure, which is kind of wild as Ryuji is definitely my character and I don’t have any figures of him. Something to rectify in the future maybe! I also got these Persona 5 playing cards – I have a small collection of playing cards, so it’s cool to add these into the mix too!

 

 

IMG_8539My final set of anime merch this month was this Ouran High School Host Club mirror and pass case. Both are such amazing quality and feature my favourite host, Mori! The mirror is a really decent size – small enough to keep in a handbag, but big enough to be a good sized mirror. When I can eventually leave the house again, I’ll use the pass case for travel tickets and stuff like that! I really love the art on both of these items, and the photo definitely doesn’t do them justice.

 

IMG_8540I can’t seem to make it through a month without buying a game, so this month’s addition to my ever growing collection was Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game in a really long time, but I’ve heard a lot of really good things about the latest installments to the franchise, so I thought I’d delve back in. I’m looking forward to some quality time with my PS5 too! I feel like I haven’t got much mileage out of it lately!

 

IMG_8542Finally, as ever, we round off with some manga. Not a lot this month, just the latest published volumes Haikyuu!! and given. I’m getting very close to having a full Haikyuu!! collection, which is kind of exciting but also sad. At least I’ll have the anime to keep me going for a while!

 

 

So, that was December’s purchases! Thinking ahead to 2021, how do you feel about my monthly purchases post? Do you like to read them? I like to make them, so I will probably continue, but just wondered what the opinion was!

 

 

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Unboxing: Anime Limited Mystery Box

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As you’re probably aware if you’ve read my unboxing posts before, I love receiving a package where I have no idea what’s in it. It makes no sense, why would I spend often a lot of money to risk getting something I don’t know I’m going to like, or something I might already own? I don’t know, but I still like it!

This week I decided to treat myself in the Anime Limited 12 Days of Christmas sale, and get the blu-ray mystery box, because I just can’t stop buying myself things even in December when I should really refrain.

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The box was £44.99, and came with the five blu-ray shown above. I thought it was a pretty good deal, and as with mystery boxes, it’s more about the anticipation for me. Anything I didn’t want, I figured I could sell on and make some money back.

IMG_8436Let’s get it out of the way – first up in the mystery box was King’s Game. This is the only one of the five that I’ve actually seen (technically I haven’t watched Roar of Awakening, but I have watched season 2 of Attack on Titan). I actually started it when it was airing, and stopped watching because I didn’t like it much. I then got fed up of it being incomplete on my AniList, so I finished it off earlier this year for Anime August. I still didn’t like it much (I gave it a 5/10 when I rated it), but against my judgements I will keep the bluray as I might give it a second chance later down the line – perhaps the disjointed way I watched it didn’t help with my overall dislike of the show.

IMG_8438Next up, as mentioned above, was Attack on Titan: Roar of Awakening. For those who don’t know, this is a recap movie retelling the ‘Clash of the Titans’ story arc in season 2. I’ve seen season 2 of Attack on Titan, albeit a long time ago when it aired, and I don’t have any of the other seasons or recap movies in my collection. If there’s anything I hate, it’s an incomplete collection, so I kind of feel obliged to fill in the rest of the collection if I end up selling Roar of Awakening on.

I was pleased to see Welcome to the Ballroom: Part 1 in the mystery box. It’s been on my list for so long, and recommended to me by so many people, so I’m glad to have a push to watch it. Not that I actually ever watch the things I own, they just look nice on my shelf… maybe I’ll make it one of my challenges for 2021 to actually watch all my physical anime. I didn’t check the retail price of everything in the box, but I did for this as I wanted to check that it was in two parts and I wasn’t being dumb, and I noticed that the first part was selling for around £41.99, so the box had basically paid for itself in this one item.

Delving in further, the next bluray in the box was Kokkoku. I’d never heard of this before, but having looked up a synopsis it seems quite interesting, and the sort of supernatural show I’d normally watch, so I’m looking forward to giving that a try!

The final bluray I received was Silver Spoon season 1. I very nearly put this on my Amazon wishlist when I was making my Christmas list, but for whatever reason I didn’t. I must have known I’d end up owning it before Christmas hit! I was obviously interested in this before I got it, so I’m glad to own it!

Overall, a pretty good haul in the mystery box I think! I’m pleased with what I got anyway, and I’m glad I took the plunge and bought it. What do you think about the mystery box contents?

 

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November Purchases

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You’ll recall that I didn’t actually buy anything of note in October, so there was no Purchases post. I paid off my PS5 in October, so there wasn’t a lot of money spare! My haul for November seems somewhat more modest than previous months, but I’ve done the bulk of my Christmas shopping so there hasn’t been a lot of cash to splash on myself! I did buy some cool things though, so here they are!

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First up, as I’ve mentioned previously, I was lucky enough to get a PS5! I bought Spider-Man: Miles Morales with it at launch, and then later bought a new Dualsense controller (I missed always having a fully charged controller!), and Sackboy: A Big Adventure. I really like the PS5 so far, it feels very different to the PS4 which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but is taking some getting used to! Also in the games genre, I bought Piofiore on Switch, which is an otome game. I bought it digitally so no photo as I couldn’t get a decent one of my Switch without glare! It’s set in Italy and features the mafia, so it was really hard for me to pass up as I knew all the boys would be totally my type. I’ve only played one route so far (and got the bad end), but I was totally right on that front!

My preorder of the Nendoroid of Hanako-kun from Toilet Bound Hanako-kun came in! I really loved this anime, it was so good and Hanako-kun was my favourite character from it (and went straight on the cosplans list!). I’m really happy to have him in Nendoroid form, he’s just so cute!

IMG_8426Speaking of preorders, my copy of Ride Your Wave also arrived. I first saw Ride Your Wave when it was showed at Scotland Loves Anime last year, and it was my favourite film of the whole festival. I’m so excited to watch it over and over again, it’s definitely up there in my favourite anime movies list.

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Finally, to round off my November purchases, some manga! Only a couple of volumes this month; the latest volume of Wokatoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku, and also My Broken Mariko, which I bought because a lot of people were hyping it up online! I’ve yet to read either, typically, but I’m hoping to do so soon and have a review of My Broken Mariko up!

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Unboxing: Kinda Kawaii

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I haven’t bought a subscription box for a while, partly because I haven’t seen one with a theme I like, and partly because a lot of my usual companies I buy with are now charging a mandatory £10 extra shipping for tracked shipping, which seems a little unfair to me as I was pretty happy with waiting it out for the standard shipping and I never had an issue. I get why they’ve put it on there, but I think it should at least be optional.

Regardless, last month I felt like getting a box, and after a lot of searching for a UK supplier, I found Kinda Kawaii. I opted for a single box, just to test the waters and bought via Etsy, so it was really simple.

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My first impression was that the box was really cute! The box itself is pastel coloured (just my vibe!), and on opening there was a strong visual impact with the box packaged really cutely and bursting with goodies! A great start!

 

 

 

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Obviously the first thing I saw when I opened the box was this bunny plushie! I don’t think it’s a specific character (feel free to correct me!), but it’s so cute! It’s so soft, and the pastel purple is one of my favourite colours, so I’m really happy with this item!

 

 

 

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Next up was this Pokémon mug! It hasn’t photographed particularly well, and it is a lot more muted and pastel in real life, which is totally my aesthetic. It’s a really cute mug, but much like tupperware, I own far too many mugs and I’m being threatened that if I get any more they’ll be binned! Still, a cute mug for my last one!

 

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I also received these Sumikko Gurashi socks! They’re packaged really nicely, so I didn’t know what they were at first, but when I unboxed them and folded them out, they’re a really cute pair of socks! I especially love them because they’re a bit thicker, so they’re warm and stop any rubbing shoes!

 

 

 

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I’m a sucker for stationery, so luckily for me I got these two pieces in my box. Firstly, a colour changing pen which is really nice to write with (I don’t know the characters though!), and secondly, some Gudetama sticky notes. Both are coming in very handy in keeping me nice and organised.

 

 

IMG_8259 Last but not least, I got these Sumikko Gurashi chopsticks – I’m also amassing quite the chopstick collection! Luckily I’m not too bad with a pair, so now I just need to learn some Japanese recipes to put them to use!

 

 

 

 

The Kinda Kawaii box was beautifully presented, with a lot of high end items. I spent more than I usually would on a subscription box, but with the price of boxes going up it made more sense to support a local business and get quicker shipping time. I’m really glad I chose to get a Kinda Kawaii box, and would definitely do so again in the future!

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September Purchases

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I’m on a bit of a manga trip lately, which is evident from this post. The idea was that I wanted to read a bunch of newer stuff to practice writing manga reviews. I’ve done one so far, and I did enjoy writing it, but have hit a stumbling block with writing, but I’m hoping to have more stuff up soon. I think this month was a fairly light month as I was very aware that the PS5 comes out in November so I need to be saving some money.

IMG_8164My first lot of manga was me continuing existing collections. I bought all three copies I had left to get of That Wolf-Boy Is Mine, but only two arrived in September. Typical. I also bought volume 40 of Haikyuu!!, which is kind of bittersweet because it means that there are only 5 volumes left, boo! I also bought the next volume of My Dress Up Darling because I really enjoyed the first volume (review to come!).

 

IMG_8165As is customary, I also bought a lot of BL this month. In fact, I might have got carried away. My problem with having incomplete collections once again reared its ugly head and I felt compelled to buy all the volumes of Don’t Be Cruel that I didn’t already have, as well as The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese and The Carp On The Chopping Block Jumps Twice (collection complete), and the new volume of given. 

 

IMG_8162I bought a couple of blu-ray this month to add to the collection too. Firstly, Weathering With You, which I got to see at Scotland Loves Anime last year and I already know that I love, and secondly Bartender, that I’ve never seen before, but the concept seemed interesting and the special edition looked really cool.

 

 

IMG_8163Finally for this month, I bought some games! I was recommended Nelke and The Legendary Alchemist as I wanted something that was like a world building simulation. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m excited to! I also bought 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, which I also haven’t started, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it!

 

That’s all for this month, I’m SO excited for October’s post because it’ll have Trails of Cold Steel IV in! Hooray!

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August Purchases

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If you remember my last purchases post, you’ll recall that I had anticipated a heavy August Purchases post to get through my imposed 2 week lockdown prior to my Nan’s operation. Putting this post together, I’m surprised that there isn’t more, and I feel like I was reasonably restrained… ish.

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As usual, I bought a few manga. Adding to my Haikyuu!! and Full Metal Alchemist collections once again, and starting two new collections. I’ve not read Spy x Family yet, but I’ve heard really good things about it online, so I’m looking forward to starting that. I also bought My Dress Up Darling, which I have read and it was…. kind of a surprise. I bought it because it seemed like a cute story about cosplay, and it kind of is, but when I say it came wrapped in plastic, I think that probably tells manga readers all they need to know! Nevertheless, I did enjoy the first volume and I’ll continue to buy it to see where the story goes! I’m going to write up a proper review about it soon (someone please hold me to that).

 

IMG_9260Of course, I wouldn’t get through a month without buying some BL so I got a little haul this month. I bought all volumes of Escape Journey, which I promptly realised I actually have already read. I did really enjoy it though, and I have a feeling I couldn’t find the last couple of chapters anywhere at the time I read it so I’m glad to own it so I can finish it properly! I also bought the latest published volume of given, so I can continue to stay up to date with that collection!

 

IMG_0634I bought two games this month. The first was Fire Emblem Fates Birthright. For some reason I’ve been picking up old Fire Emblem games when I see them, and someone on Instagram was selling this one for pretty cheap, so I got it. Realistically, I know the chances of me playing it are pretty slim – my PS4, Vita and Switch backlogs are bad enough, without me adding the 3DS into the mix! I also bought Nexomon Extinction, which as a premise is very similar to Pokémon in that you catch and train Nexomon to win battles. I haven’t played that much of it, maybe 3 hours or so, but what I have played I have enjoyed and I hope to get back to it properly soon!

 

IMG_3348To round off the August Purchases, a modest blu-ray haul. I got Kiss Him Not Me, which I’ve never seen before, and also added to my Studio Ghibli collection by buying Laputa: Castle In The Sky. 

 

 

 

So, that was what I bought in August! Pretty pared back for me, I’m sure you’ll all agree!

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Unboxing: July YumeTwins

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And so, as predicted, my July YumeTwins box arrived in record time. Typical! At least this means it’s safe to order new subscription boxes, something I’d been putting off doing whilst the post was so unreliable!

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The theme of July’s box was ‘Work kawaii, play kawaii’! I did feel like the items in this box didn’t really fit the theme, and it did seem like just a bunch of random items put together. One of the items, the ‘mystery plushie’, just felt like it was in there to get rid of stock.

As you can see from the photo, the ‘mystery plushie’ was very prevalant in my box – Donald Duck staring at me as soon as I opened it.

 

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I’m not the biggest Disney fan, I would have much rather had a Sanrio plushie, so immediately I was feeling a bit miffed. This is potentially one item I’ll be selling as I don’t really see a space for it in my plushie collection, but we’ll see. It might grow on me.

 

 

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My next item was a Splatoon x Sanrio cup. I’m not a fan of Splatoon, having never played, but obviously I do like Sanrio. I’m not sure where My Melody rates in my Sanrio league chart, obviously I would have preferred a Pom Pom Purin one, but this isn’t so bad really. I like pink at least!

 

 

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So far, not particularly work or play themed. Up next was an Animal Crossing sticker. It’s really cute, and I do like Animal Crossing but I don’t have anywhere to put the sticker. I’m giving the sticker to a friend who I know will appreciate it a lot more than I will!

 

 

I also got the above, which, though very cute, I have no idea how it fits with the work/play theme. It’s billed as a ‘pocket surprise towel’. I think the character is Tokage from Sumikko Gurashi (feel free to correct me in the comments!), which I don’t feel strongly about either way, but it is pretty cute so I’m not too bummed out about it (though, again, Pom Pom Purin was an option, so sucks to be me I guess).IMG_7354

 

Finally, this Gudetama mousemat. Probably the only thing in the box that fits the theme. It’s pretty practical too, as now I’m working from home I do use a plug-in mouse for my work laptop, so I’ll definitely get use out of it. Again, the options were Gudetama or My Melody, and out of the two I definitely would have preferred My Melody, which is pretty typical of my items in this box.

 

What did you think of the items in this box? Do you think they fit the theme?

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July Purchases

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True to my word in my last purchases post, I think I did pretty well in July! I see a lot of memes at the moment equating online shopping to the only bit of happiness available during lockdown, and whilst it is funny, it’s also true.

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My first category of purchases this month is games. I did go a little heavy on the games this month, I will say that. Catherine and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest I picked up preowned for a pretty decent price each, so I couldn’t really say no. Langrisser 1 & 2 was a really spontaneous purchase as I’ve never heard of the series before, or considered it in any way, but it was on sale and I thought, why not? I also bought AI The Somnium Files after it having been on my wishlist for many months. I’ve only heard good things about it!

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Next up, blu-rays. Or should I say, blu-ray? That’s right, this month I only bought one! That’s practically unheard of! I added to my Studio Ghibli collection and bought Tales from Earthsea.  

 

 

 

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And finally, what would a month be without buying some manga? I think this month I’ve actually only bought BL (no surprise there). I finished my collection of Ten Count (finally), and bought the new given volume, but I also bought Replay and Blue Flag, which I haven’t read yet but I’m excited to get stuck into!

 

 

That wraps up July! I think I’m going to try and have another pared back month in August, but we’ll see! I have to go on full lockdown, not even leaving the house for supermarket shopping, as my nan is having an operation, so little deliveries might be the only thing that gets me through!

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Unboxing: June YumeTwins

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Who could have predicted this? Apart from everyone, I mean. A mere week after my May YumeTwins box arrived, up rocks my June box. Subscription boxes are like London busses, or something. Anyway, terrible jokes aside, it’s a relief to be back up to date with my subscription boxes after the shipping nightmare. I do still have a July box to come, but I’m not expecting that for another couple of weeks or so. I may be pleasantly surprised on that estimate, but we’ll see! The theme for the June box was ‘Ghibli Night In’.

IMG_5747I mentioned in the last Unboxing post that food and drink items tend to be a recurring theme in subscription boxes, and the June box was no exception. I think the more subscription boxes and the more tupperware and bento boxes I acquire and sneak into the kitchen cupboards, the greater the risk of my mother killing me becomes. I’m hoping these Jiji tupperware boxes get a free pass for being so cute!

My next items, above, were both My Neighbour Totoro themed. The bag looks extremely out of proportion here next to the toothbrush, but I can assure you it isn’t the world’s smallest bag! It’s actually a pretty decent size, easily big enough for phone, keys, purse with room to spare. It’s definitely not an all the time bag, but I think for just nipping out, it’s fine! My lack of forward planning is clearly evident here as the Totoro toothbrush blends in with the colour of my coffee table perfectly, whoops! I’ll be using my new bamboo toothbrush to take on trips with me, so I don’t have to take my electric toothbrush and charger, a huge space saver!

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I seemed to have very good luck with my selection of items, as I got this Howl’s Moving Castle postcard print, which I am extremely happy about as it’s my favourite Ghibli movie!

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Lastly, I got this A4 clear folder with a scene from Kiki’s Delivery Service. I’m trying to make an effort to keep all of my important documents together, so this will definitely come in handy for that!

 

 

That was everything for the June box! What was your favourite from the items I got?