Lit-Cube is $34.95 per month. It's a literary subscription box that used to be one of my staples. However, after getting the one-month gift subscriptions for the past several months due to spoilers, I just bit the bullet and decided to resubscribe. After having cancelled several of the other boxes, it just made sense to go back to a tried and true box that I really enjoyed. As of next month, this one will be a staple again.
March's theme was Beauty and the Beast, and I got this one as a one-off gift box purchase because one of the spoilers was that the box would include one of the book associated scented candles. I've been quite curious about these things ever since I heard about them, but I didn't want to pay the $18 price tag to see if I really liked them. Since the value of this box generally well exceeds its cost, I figured I would get to try one of the candles with this one.
So - $34.95 a month (includes shipping)
Innerds - 3-5 items, sometimes more
Themed box, typically revolving around books, though she's trying something new next month.
On to the box!
Let me first say that the boxes have never been this damaged before. It's a damaged in transit thing, and this normally doesn't happen.
What happened was one of the items inside shifted in transit, which caused a bulge in the box, which the sorting machines wouldn't have taken too kindly to. Nothing was damaged, the box did it's job, and everything was present. That's all I really care about. If you're one of those people who has to have a pretty box, again, this hasn't ever happened in the ~year that I've been getting this box off and on.
The insert card gives you the theme - "Who could ever learn to love a beast?" - Obviously, it's capitalizing on the new live action movie that came out in theaters yesterday. I'm okay with this. They've done a Beauty and the Beast theme before, but I skipped the last one. In spite of this theme having been done by this company before, everything's new - no items reused.
On the back of the card you see the prices for the different items, which we will come back to as we get to them. There's five items in this box - the normal amount.
I couldn't get a good picture of the whole mug at once, so you get to pretend like you're rotating the cup looking between the (upper and lower) images. The quote is "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere" - and let me tell you, that's enough to get the song stuck in your head. I'm not sure about the $19.99 estimated price, but it's definitely better quality than the $10 mugs you get in the store, and I will use this for hot cocoa as soon as it is no longer shorts weather - so tomorrow maybe? =P
Seriously though - I cleaned out old coffee mugs to make room for this one. I really like it.
Next in the box was a chocolate covered Oreo by Piece of Cake - you should be able to see the email address if you want to contact them to get these things, or you can go to www.pieceofcakela.com
to check out their stuff.
Those roses are hand painted on the chocolate. Kid you not. While they don't have these listed for sale on their site - $2.99 - when you consider the hand painted roses - is reasonable. I wouldn't pay that for a single cookie, but according to their site they sell individual chocolate chip cookies for $5 a pop. I guess cookie making really pays! I don't know if this was good or not, sadly. The little one ate the whole thing and would not share at all. I guess that means it was good, come to think of it, because if she doesn't like something that much, she will happily share her food with you. The roses though - those pretty roses? - HUGE mess. Came right off on her hands, her face, her shirt. Washed out quick and easy though, no staining!
Next up was a Beauty and the Beast "Be Our Guest" lip balm from Etsy store If Lip Balms Could Talk
. The insert card says that this is a $2.99 value - which when you factor in shipping is about right. The maker sells them at 10 for $20 bucks in her Etsy store. This is better than Chapstick brand. I'd pay that much for it, and I don't say that about a lot of stuff. The scent is "sweet lemon pie" which, I will be honest, took some getting used to. I'm not a lemon person. Lemon is the scent of cleaning bookshelves though, and when I thought about it that way, it really worked with the box and with the theme. The smell has also grown on me. I've been using it pretty much constantly these past two days.
And then we have the book. It's a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast called Bellamy & the Brute by Alicia Michaels. The retail value is given at $10.99. Amazon has it listed for $6.20 paperback or $4.99 on Kindle. The MSRP is $10.99. The book released this month, on the 13th, so you're getting it fresh off the presses.
Summary from Amazon:
"When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she's reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill - including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin's eldest son, Tate. The former football star and golden boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness-one that causes deformity and turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she's told that if she takes the job, she must promise to never, ever visit the third floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth hidden there...."
I haven't read it yet, but as always, I will let you know. There's going to be a live chat with the author on the Lit-Cube FB site at the end of the month, if that's your thing.
A bookmark signed by the author was also included as a bonus.
And the back of the bookmark, with a slightly different summary from that on Amazon.
And we come to the reason that I got the one off box. The candle from In the Wick of Time
. This scent is called "Belle's Books" and you do have a little bit of the book smell, but it's mostly roses. It's a very powerful scent - lighting it for thirty minutes had the smell dissipated across four rooms - half of the bottom floor of the house. It's not a powerful smell or an overwhelming smell though, which is nice. It is quick burning. Last night I had it going for two hours and it's about a fourth of the way gone. It's quite nice how the different smells have worked together to create the right feel for the box - roses, books, lemons...it just works. It's a four ounce candle, half the size of their normal candles. The insert says $10.99 value.
This was before I started burning it like a crazy madwoman. The store is still on break on Etsy as a result of these orders for the box (about 2,000 people subscribed every month, not to mention the one-off boxes etc.), but I would definitely give another one a try. When I first heard about the company, they had the Shire, and I don't know if they still do (hiatus), but that's the one I want to try next! The site says they are currently taking pre-orders for the following scents: Stars Hollow, Jack the Pumpkin King, Second Star to the Right, and Rhysand, but you can't even preorder while the site is on hiatus, and some of the reviews indicate these are already part of rotation, so that may be old news. Other scents listed are Waystone Inn, Restore the Heart, Nightingale, and 221B. I can't see the full offerings while the site is down, but those should give you a bit of an idea. They sell candles in 8oz sizes only, for $16.50 a piece, not including shipping. They are estimated to burn for about 60 hours for the 8oz size, so my 4 oz candle should burn for about 30.
All in all, I am quite pleased with this box. There's not a thing in here that I won't use. Going off of the values on Amazon and the store owner's sites, you've got a value of $39.43, which is more than the cost of the box, and going off of the value on the card it's $47.91. While these are things that I would not buy for myself. - I'd go, man that's neat, I shouldn't, and not get it, the subscription box is a nice treat. It's a fun grab bag, and I quite liked it. Whether you use the card value or the store owner's value (before shipping), either way you're getting a discount. This one was more fun than I expected it to be. A nice new take on fun items associated with the Beauty and the Beast theme.