Thursday, June 21, 2018

ZenPop Japanese Stationary Subscription Box June 2018

I've been wanting to try a Japanese subscription box for the longest time.  There are so many!!  Kawaii type boxes full of plushes.  Japanese food items.  All sorts.  Then I found ZenPop, who do have food and beauty boxes, but they also have a stationary box! I love Japanese stationary.  With this box the items are small and very usable, not taking up space.  You can never have too many pens.  And I love stickers and notepads.

ZenPop Japanese Stationary Pack has 10 or more stationary items per box.  You can make a one time purchase, or select a subscription plan of 3 or 6 months.  One box per month and those who get a subscription receive a bonus item.  A single box is $29.50, 3 months is $28x3 = $84, and 6 months is $27.50x6 = $165.  Shipping is free (boxes come from Osaka Japan so this is a great deal) and plans don't automatically renew (which is fantastic).

When you get a plan the boxes ship by the 10th of each month.  Mine shipped out on June 4th and took just over two weeks to arrive.

In the Stationary Pack you can expect pens and pencils, washi tape, cute stickers, paper products, and accessories.   Brands included can be Sanrio, Tombow, ZEBRA, mt masking tape, Platinum, Kuretake, uni-ball, PILOT, and KOKUYO.

Each box has a theme.  The June box is Arigatai: "You've probably heard the Japanese word 'arigatou' which means 'thank you'.  Arigatai is an adjective that means grateful.  In this pack we found some items that you can use to express gratitude to those you care about.  Give a gift in a cute bag.  Write a letter.  Make a wish for someone.  Offer them an origami crane to let them know you care.  We are grateful to you!"

I love the theme and this is a fun box.

Under each item is a quoted description that comes from the information paper included in each box.

Bunny Paper Pack

"Have fun giving gifts with this cute paper pack from AIUEO!  Fold the ears together and tie it with the fastener to make a funny bunny bag!  This paper pack should fit many things inside.  What are you gonna put in the bag? 1 of 3 colors."

These little bunny paper bags are cute.  There's a video on the ZenPop Facebook page that shows how to fold the ears, which is very helpful.  Really cute, and goes nicely with the "Thank You" theme.  I think I'm going to have to give the nieces and nephew a cute little bag of candy.

Arigatou Washi Tape

"As many of you may know already, Thank you is ありがとう(Arigatou) in Japanese.  This washi tape has both ありがとうand Thank You on it."

I don't really use washi tape, so I've been looking up uses.  I think I'm going to do a strip of tape on the postcards I send through Postcrossing, placed in between the address and message.  That would be cute.  I like this colorful tape that says both Thank You and Arigatou in hiragana.

Rink - Watercolor Washi Tape

"Rink makes beautiful colored washi tapes with watercolor textures.  Use this one to make art, decorate you scrapbook, or brighten gift wrapping!"

There are eight different colors I could have received, and I got yellow.  The color is soft, and I like the watercolor affect.  This will look nice on the postcards I send.

A sample of what the tape looks like, placed on a notepad I got from the Dublin Disney Store.

Zebra Just Fit Highlighter

"Useful highlighter from ZEBRA called Just Fit.  ZEBRA uses a soft material for the tip of Just Fit, so it will blend very easily.  Therefore, you can draw beautiful lines without any concerns."

I don't know how many colors were sent, but I like the soft orange.  The two tips are a nice size, and I like the thin vs thick option.

Uni Jet Stream Color Gel Pen

"Very first Stream color ink pen in ZenPop stationary pack!  Jet Stream pens have an extremely light and smooth feel of writing regardless of how fast or strong you write.  Moreover, it has excellent drying properties of the drawn lines for less smudges."

This pen writes really nice.  So glad I got purple.  This will be fun to use in my planner.

Petta to Marker Glue

"'Petta to' is one of the mimetic word in Japanese we use when we paste something.  This is a marker type glue, which you can put on just like writing with a marker pen.  The color of the glue is blue, but it will become transparent when it dries!  Let the glue dry for a tacky finish and make your own sticky notes!  There are two ways to use this marker glue.  Put glue on and wait till it dries : tacky glue.  Put glue on and stick before it dries : strong glue."

I've never seen a product like this before!

It's a glue marker pen.

I pumped it a couple times, so a lot came out.  Be careful.  The glue comes out blue but dried clear.  The dried glue is tacky, which means you can write a note, place glue to dry, and temporarily place it on anything.  You can turn any piece of paper into a memo note.

 Negai Ema Sticky Notes

"Ema is a votive picture tablet which we offer to a shrine or temple when we pray for something, or after the wish we made came true.  In Japan, people used to dedicate living horses in the 17th century!  After that, people began to just draw a picture of a horse on a tablet, and this is the start of Ema.  Write a wish or messages to make your wish come true!"

These sticky notes are so cute!  I loved visiting shrines and temples in Tokyo, and I remember seeing wooden picture tablets hung in rows.  It was a neat experience.  Now I have a little Japan here at home and can write down my wishes.  This will be a nice visualization goal tool.

Present Mini Cards

"This mini message card looks like a present box!  Or you could also put a photo on the card.  Everyone who receives one of these present cards from you will feel very excited when they open it!"

I love this.  I'm in a birthday card exchange group, so I'll use these in a couple b-day cards I plan to send.  The note cards do fall easily out of the paper present.  So tip!  Use the marker glue pin, glue the back of the removable card, let it dry, and it will be sticky enough to remain in place, but can be removed and replaced to read the note.

One Piece Lock Notebook

"One Piece is one of the most famous Japanese manga, illustrated by Eiichiro Oda.  It has been serialized since 1997, and it became the best-selling mango in 2017.  This notebook has a key to lock it up, so now you have a safe place to write your secret Hatsune Miku fan fiction."

I'm aware of One Piece, but I've never read the manga nor seen the anime.  Regardless, this is a nice notebook.  It locks!  And the heart shaped locks are so small.  Thankfully this notebook comes with two keys.  Unlike some notebooks with locks in which you can use without really locking, it's hard to close this notebook without it locking.  Make sure you don't lose those keys.  Hmmm, now what to write in it?

Summer Stickers

"Summer is almost here!!  Summer in Japan is known to be humid and hot, and it is totally true.  However, there are many fun things in the summer, such as summer festivals and fireworks.  Decorate your schedule book or bullet journals with these fancy stickers and feel the summer heat coming!"

Fun Summery stickers to use in my planner.  Or I might have to use these in my travel journal.  These are cute.

"Chiyogami is Japanese traditional paper which [is] made of Washi, Japanese paper.  The biggest difference between Chiyogami and Origami is that Chiyogami has many patterns and designs on it.  Traditionally, it is used for paper crafting and decoration crafted products."

This Chiyogami paper pack has nice bold patterns. I've never really gotten into origami, but with this it will be fun to try a few patterns.  Maybe I'll finally learn how to fold a crane.  There's got to be a few good YouTube videos, right?

Mini Letter Set (1 of 2 designs)

"'Kiguru Me' express a Japanese word 'Kigurumi' which means animal suit.  This time, a polar bear is wearing a panda suit!  Make someone smile with a handwritten letter."

So cute!!!  I send postcards and birthday cards to strangers, but I really want to start sending snail mail letters to friends.  Snail mail will always be cool.  In a sea of PM's, texts, and emails, receiving a letter in the mail is extra special.

A polar bear pretending to be a panda. :0)

Bonus Item!!

3 or 6 month subscribers get a bonus item.

Summiko Gurashi Stamp

"Summiko Gurashi Stamp from San-X.  You will get one out of 18 characters.  What shy character did you get in your pack?"

Cute little onigiri stamp.

I love this box.  Cute practical items, some I can gift, some I can use myself.  I can't wait to see next months theme.  I have a feeling it's going to be character based.  The ZenPop Facebook page had a character competition and Gudetama, aka lazy egg, will be in the July box.  2nd place character Pom Pom Purin along with some other characters will also be in the July boxes.  If you want to get the July box you have 8 days to subscribe.  I think the onetime purchase receives the current box, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Good and Bad of Having a Pet

I used to post or talk about Olaf, the cat my family adopted when he was a kitten, quite often.  In the last year or so, quite possibly two years (time goes by so fast), Olaf has been with Steven and Ty.  At first Olaf had a hard time adjusting.  There's a good reason Olaf went to live with them, but it was hard for us as well. 

Time moves on.  Time heals loss.  Time allows reflection.

As much as I love Olaf, he's a sweet cat, I quickly realized how nice it was not having to worry about him.

I'm on the fence with whether I like having a pet in my life or not.

Usually the debate is if someone prefers cats or dogs.  Personality of a cat person or a dog person!  Introversion vs Extroversion.  Hyper vs don't give a darn.  The need to be noticed vs the need to go hide.

When it comes to Cats vs Dogs I do edge out as a cat person.  (Insert: I do like dogs). Yes, I'm an introvert.  I love how cats need a little love, a little cuddle, and then go off to do their thing.  They like their space; I like mine.

With that said, I've met cats I don't like.  They can be bratty, mean, arrogant, vengeful, spawn of the devil, etc.  Olaf isn't any of these things.  He's forgiving and loving.  Once my Mom and I forgot to feed him.  When we finally put food in his bowl he didn't eat immediately, instead walking around my Mom's legs as if to say "thank you".  He displays this patient/loving manner in many respects.  It's really nice when a pet comes to love you, especially in moments of loneliness.  I'm no stranger to lonely feelings.  Olaf always seemed to know when I needed him.  Once I was sick and fell asleep on the couch.  He snuggled up to me and put his paw on my hand.

(Okay, I'm officially having Olaf withdraws).

Last month Steven and Ty went on a cruise, so we cat sat.  Olaf's litter was put in the laundry room along with his food and water.  Then all the bad stuff came to mind.  Ants in the food.  Vomit on the carpet.  Olaf hiding and not coming out when called.  We've been going through renovations since January and a couple rooms are full of stuff, boxes and nick-knacks everywhere.  Olaf escaped into this cluttered room and hid.  For six plus hours we couldn't find him!  We looked everywhere!  Tried everything!  (Well, except opening a can of tuna, dang it).  Finally my Mom found him under a table and it took the both of us to get him out.

Then there was this one time he wanted me to put treats in his dish.  I misunderstood and gave him more food.  He looked at me like I was an idiot and left, going up the stairs, and then turning his back to me, looking over his shoulder to gauge my reaction.  I stood at the foot of the stairs, hands on hips, and declared causally, "I'm okay with this," and then sat on the couch.  He immediately rushed down to cuddle.  I totally won the battle.

For me the pluses of having a pet are as follows: Snuggles and cuddles, unconditional love, a little someone to take care of, being amused at all the silly things they do, happy and sad moments, etc.  There's a lot of reasons.

The negatives of pets: Pet attitudes, vomit, poop, pee, not able to go on trips without finding a sitter, limited freedom, sneaking into rooms and hiding, hair everywhere, etc.

I can see why people love having pets; I can see why people love not having pets.

Though I miss Olaf, and I honestly don't know if I'll get a pet again, who knows, for now I'm going to enjoy not having to worry about an animal, and visit Olaf when I visit with Steven and Ty.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

FabFitFun Summer 2018 Subscription Box Review

This is my favorite FabFitFun box yet!!

A regular box is $50, coming four times a year, each box representing a Season.  I splurged on a year subscription, $180, so each box I receive comes out to be $45.  (Which means this review is not bought or sponsored.)  When you get a year subscription you can choose which items you want.  For instance, if there's mug options, you choose which mug you want and so forth.

Paying upfront and getting this option makes it all worth it.

Plus, being a member (which you can also be if you're getting box to box) you have access to exclusive exercise videos, cooking videos, meditation, and other cool stuff.  Also, with each box there are add-ons you can get at a discount in addition with the box, and they all ship together, items such as makeup, skincare, spongelles, jewelry, face masks, bags, etc.  Add-ons are addicting and awesome, and one of the reasons I got back into fabfitfun was because I can get Spongelles at a discount.

The Summer 2018 box!!

The first three items I'm reviewing came in everyone's box.


"Guess what?  You're one of the first to get your hands on FOREO's newest revolutionary device.  It is powered by Bluetooth technology and advanced skin sensors to create a totally personalized profile, which is sent straight to the newly launched FOREO LUNA app."

I love this FOREO face cleaner, but I'm not using all the features the description claims.  I've read online that the app isn't working right, and I don't want to drain the battery getting it to connect.  There are two sensors on the back that's suppose to analyze your skins age and needs, but kinks are still being worked out.

I love the fact that the FOREO is battery powered, as I don't have to charge it.  I just push the power button on the back and it vibrates, ready to use with a dab of liquid soap.  It runs for 3 minutes unless you hold the power button, which turns it off.

I've used the FOREO all week, and I love it.  I can't use Clarisonic as it makes my nose hurt.  (It really does, super painful, no idea why.) But the FOREO doesn't hurt my nose, and I love the way my skin feels.  Huge win!

Pier 1 Imports Marble Ring Dish

"Use this dish as a perfect catch-all for rings, keys, or loose change.  Its timeless marble design and golden trim will glam up any part of your home."

This is a cute little dish.  I already have a little bowl for my rings, so I'm going to use this under lit candles.

COOLA Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea Moisturizer

"This SPF 50 sunscreen doubles as a moisturizer.  Its 80-minutes water resistant formula is made with 70% organic ingredients so you can splash, swim, and soak up the sun, worry-free."

I haven't tried this yet, but it has really good reviews, and I need to use sunscreen more.  I hate wearing sunscreen, only depending on the SPF in my foundation.  Usually I just wear a hat or avoid the sun like a vampire. :P  Yeah, need to change that.

The first choice item.

Tarte Tarteist PRO to go palette A Sex Kitten Liquid Liner

"This palette features four long-wearing eye-shadows, two iridescent lusters, and a waterproof liquid liner so you can create a variety of summer beauty looks."

I choose the travel palette over the contour palette.  I'm really simple when it comes to makeup!  And I have no interest learning how to contour.  The travel palette is cute and I like the colors.  The liquid eyeliner has a cat head.

2nd choice item.

 Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

"Get glowing skin with this exfoliating cleanser!  Its gentle formula effectively removes dead skin cells to reveal a smooth, even complexion."

I choose the Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator over the wallet, though I did pay $10 to get the resistance band.  FabFitFun TV has fitness videos featuring the band, and I need to strength train more.

The Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator has a super fine grain in it, almost feels minute, but you can really feel it working.  It's something you really don't want to do more than a few times a week.  But I like the way my skin felt afterwords, nice and soft.

ELEMIS Papaya Enzyme Peel

"This rinse-off cream is made with exfoliating papaya, nourishing milk protein, and moisturizing vitamin E that work together to leave your skin soft, revitalized, and radiant."

I choose the Enzyme Peel over the hair spray.  Once again, I'm super simple when it comes to my hair.  I do color it, but I don't do anything with heat (hair dryers, curling/flattening irons, etc).

I just tried the face peel for the first time, and I love it!  It smells so good, like papaya, and it goes on like a gel cream.  You wear it for 10-15 minutes, and it goes on clear.  It doesn't look like you're wearing anything.  And when you wash it off it's smooth.

Yumi Kim Makeup Train Case

"This train case is large enough to store your favorite beauty products and features two separate compartments with zipper closures so you can keep things organized."

I love this travel train case!  You could either get the train case or get a towel, and there were two styles for both. I like the navy blue with a hint of piping color.  The inside is nice, too.  Love the pattern and departments.  The bottom is big enough for my palettes and makeup.  And I love the fact that the top has a place for brushes.  My brushes are a mess.  Really nice item.

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel

"Made with an invigorating blend of essential oils, this best-selling muscle gel instantly cools aches and soothes tired muscles over time."

You could get a ring, Hawaiian Black Lava Body Caviar, or this Aromatherapy Muscle Gel.  I got the muscle gel, and it's so nice.  It smells so nice, and is really cooling.  I've used it a couple times now and really like it.

What a win for a box!  I do love being an annual subscriber, because I was able to pick out all the stuff I wanted between the choice items, which made me love the box even more.  Box to box members get to choose some items as well, but they don't have as many options as the annual members.  Also, if you're on top of it, before favorite items "sale out", you can add additional items for $10, so it is possible to get every item available in every option.