Fairy Loot - Monthly Box Subscription - Young Adult Fantasy Books & Stuff {review}

Fairy Loot is a monthly book subscription box that provides a new usually hard back young adult novel along with 5-6 other book related items.

Recently I have been reading a lot more, I still do bake (new post coming soon!) and that lead me to start following more and more book bloggers and instagram accounts and by doing so I was introduced to the monthly subscription book box.

There are so many based in the states and the cost of shipping was half the cost of the box and out of my budget for such a thing. So, I started researching UK based ones. There are so many out there, some come with chocolate and tea or an old out of print book, but Fairy Loot caught my eye.

The boxes always seemed to be full of fun things and the themes were interesting. So, I took the plunge and bought the June box - Rebels in Ballgowns.

Which was a great box that came with a great book. I found the characters interesting and I will be curious to see how the develop in the following books. My only niggle about this book is the big cliff hanger. I don't like cliffhangers in books. Anyway, it's not enough reason to not give the book a read!

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

synopsis - In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other on an island prison where women must fight to survive.
Serina has spent her whole life preparing to become a Grace - selected to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining example of the perfect woman.
But her headstrong and rebellious younger sister has a dangerous secret, and one wrong move could cost both sisters everything.
Can Serina fight? And will Nomi win?

It also came with a beautiful masquerade mask necklace, a candle from Geeky Clean inspired by Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, a pillowcase designed by Miss Phi inspired by Stephanie Garber's Legendary, a book journal designed by FictionTea Designs with art work by Stella's Bookish Art, magnetic bookmarks featuring the characters from Shatter Me, and a cool iron on patch with a bookish quote and made by Ink and Wonder.

Then I twiddled my thumbs as debated to by the July box the theme The Power Within. This box had the same quality of products all book themed. However, it's the book I am really after and the extra stuff is exactly that extra.

This one came with a fun magic color changing mug designed by Little Inking Designs with a quote from Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. Again from Geeky Clean there was a room spray that smells like lavender and books! Then there was a tea towel that had a quote from And I Darken by Kiersten White, there was also a vinyl sticker that says "One Eldr" it comes from Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young and means "breath fire."  And last, but not least a pen that is a broomstick and has a Harry Potter quote.

Then most importantly the book! It has sprayed edges and is signed by the author! I haven't had a chance to read this one, but I am looking forward to it!

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

synopsis - In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield and bodies the instruments of war, Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch.
But when Mia's father announces an alliance with the royal family, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Determined to forge her own path forward, Mia plots a daring escape, but could never predict the greatest betrayal of all: her own body. Mia possesses the very magic she has sworn to destroy.
Now, as she untangles the secrets of her past, Mia must learn to trust her heart…even if it kills her.

Now the biggest debate is do I buy the next box? I mean it's Pirate themed!!

Overall I have enjoyed both of these boxes, and even if you haven't heard of some of the books they referenced it's a great way to get introduced to new authors and books!

For more pics of the Rebels in Ballgowns (June 2018 box) click here!

For more pics of The Power Within (July 2018 box) click here

Pssst -I made a video of the coloring changing mug for IGTV

For a unboxing video of the June box check out my youtube channel here

And if you want to get your very own box check out Fairy Loot here! - Price is £26 - £32.95 including tax and shipping

*All opinions are my own, I was not given any compensation for this review, both boxes were purchased by myself; please see my contact/policy page for more information.

The Body Shop - Reading, England

Growing up I had a huge thing for lip balms. In fact I had a whole caboodle full of them! So, when I think of The Body Shop the first thing that comes to mind is lip balms. 

After my visit to my local branch last week (for a blogger event) there is a lot more to think of when thinking of The Body Shop. 

Firstly of their campaign against animal testing. 

They still need help to reach their goal of 8 million signatures on their petition to ban Animal Testing.  You don't have to visit a branch to sign, you can do it online via their website

Secondly, although I will never not think of their lip balms, I now have a bigger range of products to consider when shopping there. 

Starting with their new body yogurts and face mists! I love a body butter, probably the second thing I think of after lip balms when thinking of The Body Shop, but I find them too buttery and thick for the summer. The body yogurts are smooth and go on so easily and smell delicious. Banana is the scent of the season (also limited edition), but it also comes in almond, mango, strawberry, rose, and moringa 'flavors'. 

The face mists come in varying scents and do slightly different things, but in this heat wave they are essential in helping keeping your face cool and collected. They would be good for anytime of the year really; especially if you work in an office where your co-workers are constantly messing with the thermostat, ahem, and one minute you are hot and the next cool.

Both of these products are worth checking out on your next visit to their store or online. There is also a new extended men's range and of course all the products in scents you've come to love are still available. The beloved body butters can now be personalised for yourself or as a great gift! 

Not only do The Body Shop provide some great products you can use them knowing they aren't tested on animals. 

I was particularly drawn to the satsuma scent and bought a few things for my hand bag! It was a fun night with fellow bloggers and friends, it's always nice to be invited somewhere you already love and admire. Also, on the night Wagamama's provided us with food! Full meals that were delicious along with some samples of their starters! 

*I was invited to visit my local branch of The Body Shop as a blogger for the #gobananas launch, I was not asked to write a review nor was I compensated financially, I was provided with a gift bag with a few products to try out. 

Visit The Body Shop - Reading 
The Oracle, Unit 24, Broad St, Reading RG1 2AG

(Wagamama's is also located in the Oracle on the Riverside!)

Summer Reading List (to-be-read list)

I love a good book.

I know this is a blog titled United Cakedom, but in my head in the world of United Cakedom would have a library that would rival the one Beast gives to Beauty in the movie.

It's been the hottest and longest summer England has seen in years. To be precise since the summer of 1976! So, I am a little late in writing a summer reading list, but again it's England and my kids haven't finished school yet. This Friday is their last day and then they will be free for 6 glorious weeks!

Now, I have been keeping track of the books I read to see how many I can read in a year. I am averaging about 5 a month so, I am going to list 6 books here that I plan to read between now and the beginning of September.

So, without further ado.....

Competence by Gail Carriger 

synopsis - Accidentally abandoned! All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail. When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life's most challenging questions: Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?

- I haven't actually bought this yet, but I will be picking it up this week and will probably devour it right away. I have loved every single book that Gail Carriger has written and that I have read. There are a few I haven't, but that will change I am sure over time!

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso 

synopsis - In the space of ten years, Sophia Amoruso has gone from high-school dropout to founder and Executive Chairman of Nasty Gal, one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.
Sophia's never been a typical executive, or a typical anything, and she's written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success.
Filled with brazen wake-up calls, cunning and frank observations, and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal's meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that success doesn't come from where you went to college or how popular you were in school. Success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.
Inspiring, motivating and empowering, #GIRLBOSS will give you the kick up the ass you need to reach your potential.

- I am cheating a little as I have already started this book and loving it. It's just a straight forward no bull shit book. I am drawn to it because I am always curious how people get started. I didn't know who she was until the show covering her life showed up on Netflix (yet to be watched, in the middle of Peaky Blinders atm).

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

synopsis - In uncharted Peru, the holy town of Bedlam stands at the edge of a mysterious forest. Deep within are cinchona trees, whose bark yields the only known treatment for malaria.
In 1859, across the Pacific, India is ravaged by the disease. In desperation, the India Office dispatches the injured expeditionary Merrick Tremayne to Bedlam, under orders to return with cinchona cuttings. But there he meets Raphael, an enigmatic priest who is the key to a secret which will prove more valuable than they could ever have imagined.

- When I first picked up this book I didn't even read what it was about, because it's by the same author as The Watchmaker on Filigree Street and I really enjoyed that book. So, I am hoping I haven't been foolish and bought this at full price for nothing!

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

synopsis - Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge. 
With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband's awkward cousin for company. 
But inside her new home lies a locked room...

- I love a good mystery novel and they are perfect for summer reading! This was an impulse buy. It was there and I was like that sounds interesting into my already full arms of books it went!

Happy Mum Happy Baby by Giovanna Fletcher 

synopsis - Being a mum is an incredible journey, a remarkable experience that changes how we look, how we feel, who we are. As mothers we are strong, protective, proud. We feel a love like no other.
But being a parent can be hard too. It challenges us physically, mentally, emotionally. There are the days where just managing to fit a shower in amidst the endless feeding, entertaining young children and surviving on a lack of sleep feels like an achievement. With so many people ready to offer 'advice' on the best way to parent, it can feel like you are getting it all wrong.
This is not a book about how to have the perfect family experience - Gi would be the first to admit she is winging it just as much as the rest of us - instead it is an honest, upbeat and incredibly personal account of her own experience of having a family. In Happy Mum, Happy Baby Giovanna shares her own journey through parenthood and in doing so, she looks at what it is to be a mother today, encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can really make for a happy baby.

- I no longer have baby babies. I have children now. So, I think I might be a bit ahead of this book in my life, but I admire her and her husband and after watching her Youtube series that followed up this book I was curious to what this was all about. I managed to snag the download on my kindle app for 99p. For that price why not check it out!

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

synopsis - My name is Peter Grant, and I used to be a probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth. Then one night I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead but still disturbingly voluble . . . and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.
And that, as they say, is where the story really starts.
There's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious, vengeful spirit that's taking ordinary Londoners and twisting them into something awful.
The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.

- I went to Oxford a few weeks back, just for a change of scenery and of course wondered into a book store. I mean I just sort of walked in. And the whole series of this was on display and I have been curious about them for awhile, but couldn't afford all of them at that moment in time so I thought I'd think about as I have a huge TBR stack sitting next to my bed! Then it popped up for 99p on my kindle and then the second one came up for 99p so I have this and the second to get started and see if I will need to download the rest!

Books on my to-be-read list: 
Loch of the Dead by Oscar de Muriel (mystery)
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (novel)
The Cows by Dawn O'Porter (novel)
Circe by Madeline Miller (YA)
Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan (novel)

Books I recommend: 
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (Sci-Fi/Mystery/Comedy)
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (YA)
All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher (novel)
Grace and Fury by Tracey Banghart (YA)
The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

I you want to see how I get on with these books and other books I am reading follow me on instagram where I share pretty much anything and everything! You can find me @unitedcakedom

*I do not own these images they come from either the authors own site or amazon and the synopsis are from the backs of the books.