Two years and counting!

Second anniversary--

Two years ago today I took the plunge and created All the Ame. Five days later I plucked up the courage to hit publish on my first post, filled with all the awkwardness you’d expect from a first time, slightly clueless blogger. The post didn’t even have a title…(-‸ლ)

Did I know where I was going with the blog? No, not at all. I didn’t even think I was going to keep the ‘All the Ame’ title. I’d been writing product reviews for various companies for just over a year and all I knew was that I wanted to start writing some more light hearted and fun reviews in between my other work. The writing equivalent of a palate cleanser, if you will. Quite simply, I wanted to be able to have my own little space online to create and share content about whatever made me happy. I’m not really sure how I landed on Japanese candy and snacks, they were something I’d had an interest in for many years and they’ve always brought happiness but they weren’t something I was buying regularly at the time. Of course I’m the opposite these days as I buy entirely too many snacks (no regrets), but at the time it was a bit of a leap in the dark.

In any case, I’ve really enjoyed my time writing on this blog. I knew from the get go I was going to be considered ‘niche’ and didn’t expect a massive following, so to have gained so many lovely followers is amazing. I really do appreciate each and every one of you, thank you for giving me someone to keep writing for and indeed for providing me with awesome reading material through your own blogs 。^‿^。

I also didn’t expect to have the opportunity to work with so many great companies through this blog, it’s been wonderful discovering new things through you all. I hope the fact that others have been willing to collaborate with me means I really have improved in terms of the quality of the content I’m putting out there. I try to think so as I’ve tried damn hard, but it’s hard to know and really, self confidence has never been my strong point. Still, I’ll keep trying and maybe some day I’ll be good enough to live up to my own expectations!

Since I’m still under pressure in other areas of my life I can’t honestly say I have any solid blogging plans for the year ahead. It’s been an exhausting year and I feel it would be best to get back on an even keel in all respects before I push myself to do more on here. I’ll be continuing my monthly unboxing posts because, well, I enjoy them! Why else keep doing them, right? I’m aiming to start posting more individual item reviews again and I’m considering posting more off topic posts because as much as I love candy there are SO many other things I’d love to write about, assuming of course I can find more time to write. I’m making more of an effort with social media (check out my instagram for more frequent posting than here) and with interacting in general both on and offline, not an easy task for someone with long standing social anxiety but I’m getting there. I guess that’s why instagram is my current favourite, it’s much easier to communicate through photographs and emoticons than text! I don’t think I’ll ever get away from the snack reviews or subscription box unboxings at this stage and I daresay they’ll be the focus of this blog for the foreseeable future, but I would like to branch out just a little more on here. I’ll see how it goes, and I hope you guys will stick around to find out 。^‿^。

Unboxing & Review: OyatsuBox May 2017

OyatsuBox Unboxing & Review May 2017

When I started typing this post up (last week, last month? A while ago!) I was going to tell you all that I was slowly catching up on my unboxings, that I was about done with my May boxes and, shock, even looked set to be publishing my June posts IN JUNE.

(Who was I kidding, expect them in July. Maybe.)

Then my partner threw a spanner (or should I say spaniel) in the works by bringing home this absolute cutie:

Fudge

Now on the plus side, we’ve got a dog! On the minus (in terms of blogging, because this isn’t really a minus), my time has very much been taken up with said dog so all the catch up progress I had made is pretty much redundant. Plus my photography space is currently out of action from the last minute dog proofing around the house (as in, take everything and pile it in the spare room) so my as of yet un-photographed July boxes are going to have to wait until that is sorted. Shouldn’t take long though ^_^

There’s also the more amusing issue of my dog’s cardboard box fascination, every time I open a box she jumps right in (crushing anything left inside) and makes herself a little bed:

Doggo Unboxing- wm.jpg

Doggo unboxings anyone? ^_~

Once the dog settles in and I get my work space sorted out I’ll push to get on top of posting again, until then I hope you guys don’t mind slightly behind unboxings!

Now, on to the actual unboxing. Today I’ll be talking about the May OyatsuBox, which has a Japanese Festival theme 。^‿^。

OyatsuBox May 2017

OyatsuBox have changed up their leaflets again, we’re back to the larger tri-fold format. I’m sad that people didn’t seem to enjoy the postcard format as much, I guess maybe for some it was too much of a hassle to go to the dedicated link to get the detailed snack information? I don’t know, I really enjoyed them anyway. They make wonderful wall decorations! The new leaflets have more information and still feature awesome photos, they are like a cross between the original leaflet and the photographic postcards so hopefully this version can please everyone 。^‿^。

Now, lets see what’s inside~

Continue reading Unboxing & Review: OyatsuBox May 2017

Time to say goodbye…

To old content that is!

I don’t know how many of you use/have used Photobucket or are aware of the recent changes to the T&Cs, basically Photobucket no longer allow third party hosting unless you chose to upgrade to their most expensive plan (a tidy $399.99 a year). My email of doom rolled in around 6am this morning and lo, many of my images are now broken…

PB fail

Now, I could tell you all about how ridiculous I find this and how I honestly can’t fathom how they though it was a good idea to do this to the people who already bought paid plans (because screw free users, right okay I get it) but honestly, I’d already moved away from Photobucket because of how absolutely awful and frustrating the site was to use so this isn’t affecting my current blogging, just my older posts. Why did I move away? Months of upload errors, zero resolution from customer service, glitches glitches and more glitches, a constant stream of ads that freeze your PC or give you a lovely little virus…yeah, I gave up on Photobucket a long time ago. I didn’t see the point moaning about it at the time, but the fact is I considered a paid plan a long time ago and decided against it based on how awful the service was to use. I’m not going to pay you now to save my old crap.

And there’s the real point to this post; my old content is just no good. It’s not worth saving and it’s certainly not worth paying for. I don’t like how critical a tone I used (even when I liked what I was talking about!), I don’t like the poor quality images, perhaps most importantly I don’t think those posts are of any use to anyone. They don’t represent the quality of work I try to produce now, after almost 2 years of learning how to create content I’m happy with, and honestly when I see people have been clicking on those posts I worry ‘do they think that’s the best I can do?’.

I’ve been wondering whether to delete these old posts or not for some time now since some people say you should delete old content while others say you shouldn’t, or that you should rework it. Photobucket changing their T&Cs is a catalyst for me and, rather than spend months trying to rework old posts about snacks and subscription boxes long since forgotten, I think it is time that I say good bye to my early forays into blogging. Some I will rework, most will disappear.

It’s going to take some time for me to clear out/rework the old broken posts so please bear with me if you come across something that should not be. I wasn’t exactly planning to celebrate 2 years of blogging by purging old content, but I guess it needs to happen. I’m grateful that it’s only my old stuff that has been affected, it could have been a lot worse. Onwards and upwards!

I hope the changes at Photobucket haven’t caused too much trouble for any of you. I’ll be waving goodbye to my account over there since really, what use is it anymore? You will get no ransom from me old friend. To my fellow Photobucket (ex) users, I wish you all the patience in fixing what is now broken (ノ﹏ヽ)ノ♡

Unboxing & Review: TokyoTreat April 2017 (2nd Anniversary Edition)

TokyoTreat Unboxing & Review April 2017

I know it’s late now, but happy second anniversary TokyoTreat! ☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

There have been some big changes to the TokyoTreat service, first up is a brand new box design! The shape is totally different and the box is much sturdier, you can pick it up with one hand now rather than two which makes it MUCH easier to handle. I’m sure my Post Man appreciates this change!

Here are a couple of comparison photos to let you see how the old box and new box look side by side:

Box comparison 1
Box comparison 2

The graphics have had a total make over too; the inside, back and sides of the box feature cute stylized snacks and drinks:
TT new box

Visually and practically speaking I am very pleased with the new design. It may not look it but the new box is bigger on the inside, which leads to the next change; each box size will now feature more snacks for the same price! How awesome is that? The premium box will now contain 18 snacks, including one traditional wagashi snack and a 5 piece dagashi bag.

What’s a dagashi bag you say? Glad you asked! Each month we will receive a mystery bag containing 5 dagashi snacks. This is the dagashi bag from the April box:

Dagashi Bag

And here are the snacks unwrapped:

Dagashi Bag Open

I’m not going to go into lots of detail on the dagashi bag this month because I’m already worried this post is going to be huge after talking about the changes ^^;

This month the dagashi bag included a bag of yakisoba sauce flavoured corn puffs (delicious), a large chocolate coated corn puff (good), a pizza flavoured umaibo (gross in a delicious way as most umaibo are), a pack of pudding flavoured mochi (utterly amazing, tasted just like custard pudding but with a jelly filled soft mochi texture) and a pack of rice crackers with a sachet of strange sauce that is much better for drawing faces with than it is for eating, but that tastes fine in small quantities (if anyone can tell me what that sauce is I’d love to know!). All in all a great variety, I was impressed that there was nothing as noticeably cheap or poor quality as I expected. I think I’ve been too critical of dagashi in the past! Or maybe I just had some bad examples? Anyway, the dagashi bags are a really fun addition (especially since the price didn’t go up to include them!).

Other changes involve faster shipping when you sign up as TokyoTreat now ship everyday, great news for new subscribers, and general improvements to the website and customer portal.

Phew! What a lot of change! All very exciting, it’s great to see services getting bigger and better over time. I’m particularly excited for the wagashi snacks, can’t wait to see what traditional snacks TokyoTreat can find for us 。^‿^。

Now, please do read on for the actual unboxing ^_~

Continue reading Unboxing & Review: TokyoTreat April 2017 (2nd Anniversary Edition)

Unboxing & Review: OyatsuBox April 2017

OyatsuBox April 2017 Unboxing + Review

Oh my, it’s been a long time since I posted an OyatsuBox unboxing! I’ve still been subscribed and have really enjoyed all the boxes so far this year. Oyatsu seem to have been super busy behind the scenes as they now have both a UK store and a special Okinawa store (both very exciting!) as well as a new, bigger warehouse which I believe they are moving to this week. I’m so happy to see Oyatsu Cafe expanding! o(≧▽≦)o

My May box arrived last week but I figured it’s not too late to do a quick unboxing for the April box first. I’ve skipped too many great boxes this year, I don’t want to skip any more 。゚・ (>﹏<) ・゚。

OyatsuBox April 2017

Let’s see what is inside the April edition~

Continue reading Unboxing & Review: OyatsuBox April 2017

Unboxing & Review: Zenpop Ramen + Sweets Mix Pack

Zenpop Ramen + Sweets Mix Pack

Those who read my last post about Zenpop (here if you missed it) may remember I mentioned buying a second pack before I even finished reviewing my first one, I was so impressed. Well, here it is! This is the debut Ramen + Sweets Mix Pack, released February 2017. You can view details of the current mix pack here and all other Zenpop packs here.

Honestly I like the look of all the packs Zenpop offer, but for me this one stood out for its incredible value; for $24.50 you receive 2-3 noodle bowls, 6-8 snacks and free international shipping. Considering how much it costs to import these ramen noodle pots or subscribe to dedicated noodle subscription boxes I think this pack is a great way to go if (like me) you’re on a budget and want to try both interesting noodles and interesting snacks. After all, why choose one when you can get both? 。^‿^。

The theme for this debut pack is Salty + Sweet, which is one of my absolute favourite flavour combinations when snacking. Don’t forget that the beauty of Zenpop’s boxes lies in the fact that you don’t have to commit to a monthly subscription, you are able to dip in and out and buy only the boxes that interest you. The item description tells you some of the items included and gives teasers for the rest so you can figure out most of the items before you buy, which is both useful and exciting to me. No mystery means no let downs after all, plus you get the hype from knowing what goodies are on the way rather than wondering if you’ll like the items you’ve just paid for. I couldn’t wait for this box to arrive knowing it had matcha potato chips in it o(>ω<)o

Zenpop Ramen + Sweets Mix Pack Unboxing + Review

Let’s have a look at what was included in the debut pack~

Continue reading Unboxing & Review: Zenpop Ramen + Sweets Mix Pack

Unboxing & Review: TokyoTreat March 2017 (Sakura & Matcha)

TokyoTreat Unboxking & Review

I can’t believe it’s almost May and I haven’t done a TokyoTreat unboxing since December, I’m so behind! つ´Д`)つ

It’s been a bad few months in our household, so much so I just haven’t had the time or energy necessary to sit down and write a blog post.  I’ve still been subscribed to TokyoTreat and OyatsuBox (great boxes so far this year) and actually had a couple of other boxes I wanted to write about, sadly time has flown by and I just don’t see the point writing about boxes from months ago. The bad times have to pass sometime though, hopefully things will be looking up and I can get back into unboxing/reviewing regularly from now on.

So, on to the March TokyoTreat box!

The theme for March is Sakura & Matcha. I loved the last matcha themed box TokyoTreat did so naturally I was very excited when I saw the theme reveal. This is actually the last box we’ll be receiving in this style as TokyoTreat have made some pretty exciting changes to both the box itself and the contents. Bye bye big square boxes! I’ll be talking about those changes in my next TokyoTreat post, since my April box has already arrived and it’s the first of the new boxes.

TokyoTreat Sakura & Matcha

Read on to see what matcha/sakura treats TokyoTreat picked for us this month:

Continue reading Unboxing & Review: TokyoTreat March 2017 (Sakura & Matcha)