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San-X Japan Sumikko Gurashi Review

Posted on January 15, 2018 by

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi are my favourite kawaii characters and I love seeing all the new products. I wasn’t able to find the limited edition Tokage (real) plush before it sold out so finally I gave in and worked out how to order from the San-X Japan shop. They don’t ship internationally so I used Tenso, a forwarding service. I’ll have a post about how to set that up later this week but let’s see what I bought.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Firstly, look how adorable the parcel was! Japan is all about the packaging and it’s quite usual for shops to notice what you’re ordering and give you a special themed bag. I bet if I’d ordered Rilakkuma products, it would have been a Rilakkuma design.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Shirokuma mini Christmas plush

I have quite a few festive plushies so always happy to add another. Shirokuma is my favourite of the main sumikkos – look at his little anxious paws! He looks super cute in a Christmas tree outfit complete with pom poms and sparkly stars. I really want a hat like that.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Apple House plush

Since Tokage was sold out, I wasn’t going to miss my chance at the apple house. It’s a bit floppy and won’t really hold its shape but once you squeeze in a Sumikko it looks great. Obake is living in here now, no doubt keeping it clean and tidy.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sofa plush

This may be the silliest plush I own but I love it so much. It is literally a plush sofa, perfectly sized for the mini Sumikko plushies to sit on, and complete with Tapioca pillow. The cutest touch is the tiny dust bunny underneath so Hokori looks very happy to be allowed on top of the sofa too.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Yamanote Line drawstring bag and keyring

Everyone who visits Tokyo comes to love the Yamanote Line! This reliable train service runs in a circle around all the major shopping and sightseeing areas so you find yourself looking for the green line all the time. Most of the Sumikko Gurashi collaboration was sold out but I managed to grab a bag for myself and keyring for Nicolette. The minikkos looking out the back window is the cutest thing.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Washi Tape

And I couldn’t resist this set of 3 washi tapes (I gave one to Nicolette) as it was so cheap. The designs are really cute and it’s good quality tape. I’m even managing to use them, to decorate my journal.

I’m so glad I finally made an order and got my hands on all the limited edition items. The only problem is that now I know how easy it is, I’ll be tempted all the time. Check back soon for how to order from all Japan-only online shops with Tenso.

Easter Crafts, Things To Make

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

Posted on January 12, 2018 by

If you’re a crafty person with Christmas money still burning a hole in your pocket (I am a part of this club), you may be looking for a new craft kit or two to try; if you are, DelilahIris on Etsy has a wonderful selection of sewing patterns and kits to choose from! Her designs give off a pastel spring vibe that might be refreshing for anyone already sick of the cold weather (I am a part of this club as well).

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

The pastel bunnies sewing kit would be perfect for now or closer to Easter. It comes with everything you need to create all 4 bunnies pictured, and seems to be beginner-friendly. It’s pretty much Easter year-round in my mind, so this one’s a favorite for me.

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

Looking for a project that’s a bit larger? The unicorn sewing kit is an adorable option for any unicorn fans out there.

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

The shop also offers inexpensive printable patterns, which is helpful if you would like to use your own supplies, or are on a budget. The bunny doll pattern is another favorite for me…I very much have bunnies on the brain right now!

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

For the unicorn fan again, her baby unicorn pattern is so cute I could squeal (and make an entire army of them!)

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

She also offers more unusual animal options for her patterns, like this woodland snail that is actually very cute. I love the idea of using colorful print fabric for the shell.

Check out the rest of the selection on Etsy for more cute sewing patterns and kits, and let us know in the comments which ones are your favorites!

Fashion & Beauty

Cute Character Tees

Posted on January 11, 2018 by

Tee shirts are a fashion staple for most including myself. These are my picks for cute character tees to keep your top half covered in cool.

Cute Character Tees - Hello Kitty x tokidoki

Hello Kitty meets tokidoki in this candy mashup. I love the peekaboo kitty cloud detail on the back.

Cute Character Tees - Pusheen

You can spend every day with Pusheen with this cute days of the week shirt at Hey Chickadee!

If you are like me you can never have too many shirts with cats on them! This one is from Threadless.

Creepy and cute = my kind of tee. This skull heart design is perfected by a kawaii fave of mine, Em & Sprout.

Cute Character Tees Totoro

This tee at Box Lunch is a sporty take on cute featuring Totoro in a garden theme.

Do you have a favorite tee? If so what is it?

Kawaii Reviews, Subscription Boxes, Things To Eat

Japanfunbox Subscription Box Review

Posted on January 10, 2018 by

It’s been a while since we reviewed a subscription box from Japanfunbox. Last time, Nicolette reviewed a mini box and now we’re getting a look at the family box.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box review

This is one of the biggest boxes we’ve ever reviewed containing 38 items! With a wide range of both sweet and savoury snacks inside, it makes for a great sharing box. There’s so much inside that even with two of us, we weren’t able to try everything, but we’ll show you everything that was inside and our highlights. I’ll update on Instagram if we discover anything else fun.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Kit Kats

Everyone loves trying all the weird and wonderful Japanese Kit Kats and we got 7 different flavours. Most exciting was the Kit Kat Luxury Every Day (top) – a single finger covered in dark chocolate with almond and cranberry on top. We also really liked the Wasabi (not spicy at all), Hojicha/roasted tea (a really interesting flavour) and Caramel Pudding (especially the packaging – bottom right). We’re not usually fans of red bean paste but that one was quite nice too. There was also green tea and strawberry cheesecake, that we’ve reviewed before.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Classic Brands

If you’ve visited Japan, or subscribed to a candy box, you’re sure to have tried one or more of these. They’re pretty easy to find but so good I’m always happy to see them. This box included mini packs of Koala’s March, Kinoko No Yama (mushroom-shaped biscuits), Takenoko No Sato (bamboo shoot-shaped biscuits) and Tabekko Doubutsu (animal biscuits). There was also a large size Black Thunder bar – a mix of chocolate, cookies and rice puffs.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Biscuits

It’s rare to get a full size pack of biscuits and the Bourbon Blanchul mini biscuits looked really pretty. They were sandwiched with a tangy lemon white chocolate. There were also a couple of packs of Glico Bisco chocolate biscuits, which were fine but nothing special.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Dagashi

These are cheap candy treats aimed at children, where the packaging is just as fun as what’s inside. There were standard items like bubble gum and popping candy, plus Banana Man, a marshmallow with banana chocolate coating.

Our favourite was the Uranaikko Gum with sticks designed to look like the fortunes you get at Japanese temples. The packaging is really clever so you can shake the box for a fortune just like in real life. Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out what our fortunes meant, – the Google Translate app almost got there but couldn’t quite make sense of it.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Novelties

These are pretty much guaranteed to get everyone laughing. There’s just something very funny about eating jelly out of a tiny pouch. Nicolette really enjoyed the Purun to Konnaku jellies which had a consistency like a soft gummy that was fun to eat. The Suppai spray is a strawberry flavoured liquid that you spray on to your tongue and is a little bit too crazy.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Traditional Snacks

As well as candy, the Japanfunbox included lots of savoury snacks. Most intriguing was Moeyo! Tougarashi – fried chili slices! These were really spicy and we didn’t enjoy them much, but they could make a good bar snack for chili fans. The rest are all rice crackers with different shapes and flavours. We especially enjoyed the plain Bourbon Petit plain rice crackers with cute bear packaging.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Mochi

One of the prettiest items, this pack of Mochi was packaged like a gift. Each piece is dusted with kinako – roasted soybean flour that has a nutty flavour. I’m not a fan of mochi but Nicolette thought it was quite nice but messy to eat.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Savoury Foods

The box also included some meal kits but I haven’t had a chance to try any yet.  The Anpanman Retort Curry is a pouch of readymade curry that you heat in boiling water. There’s also two types of instant Miso Soup. I did try the world’s tiniest piece of cheese! which tasted a bit flavourless and artificial, but I am spoiled by living in a country with many interesting cheeses.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

The box also includes an information sheet, but to be honest, this was more confusing than helpful. The items aren’t organised in any way so you spend a lot of time looking for things, plus they show all the flavours/variations that could be in your box. It also assumes you already know a lot about Japanese food – things like kinako or how to heat a retort pouch are not explained. I would like to see the items arranged in categories and with more information on the flavours and ingredients.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

Overall, this was a really fun box to unpack with lots of new and interesting things to try. It’s recommended for 4+ people to share and I would agree with that if you subscribe for monthly boxes. Most items are individual sized so you may have a few fights over the most popular items, but they’re all easily shareable. It would be perfect for a family or group of friends, especially if you make it extra fun by rating each item or choosing at random.

japanfunbox japanese candy subscription box

The Japanfunbox Family box costs $49.99 for 20-35 items with free tracked shipping worldwide. Smaller boxes are also available: the Mini box at $14.99 (5-10 items) and Original box at $32.99 (15-25 items) with free standard shipping. All boxes are limited in quantity so subscribe now to receive February’s box.

(Box was provided by Japanfunbox for review but all words and photographs are my own.)

Crazy or Cute?, Let's Go Shopping!

Cute & Whimsical Plushies

Posted on January 9, 2018 by

Lately it seems to be a bit of a trend to turn animals or objects that aren’t cute at first sight into plushies. And somehow that works perfectly, as the following whimsical plushies will demonstrate.

whimsical plushies - kawaii tardigrade water bear

The odd microscopic Water Bear/Tardigrade creature has been immortalised into a giant plush by Smoko.

whimsical plushies kawaii microbes

At Giant Microbes you can also find plush organisms and cells, a million times their actual size. Their XL Heart plush comes with plasma and blood cells minis!

whimsical plushies sea creatures

The “Munyu Mamu” series at Hamee Strapya World features several tiny plush creatures. How about a Squid, Wooper Looper or Stag Beetle to cuddle with?

whimsical plushies kawaii cats wearing hats

These cat plush from Tokyo Otaku Mode are patiently putting up with being made to wear silly hats. All of them have funny expressions from amused to peeved – which one would you pick?

whimsical plushies kawaii happy gudetama

Gudetama is the lazy, somewhat depressed, egg from Sanrio. But at ARTBOX you can actually find a (not so typical) smiling Gudetama plush!