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 。^‿^。

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♡

General Update: Let’s try something new…

Super short post coming up, regular posting to resume shortly!

After finding that more and more of the blogs I’d love to follow aren’t on wordpress, I figured it was time to investigate a way of following everything in one place. I don’t want lots of separate accounts just to follow people after all (sorry). Enter Bloglovin!

I’ll be honest, I don’t fully know what I’m doing yet. But from what I have read the first step is claiming your own blog, and the first step in claiming your own blog is writing a post with this link in it, so here we are! I’ll be figuring this site out and hopefully following all the non-wordpress people I’ve wanted to follow soon 🙂

For now, if you’re on Bloglovin feel free to follow me at the link below and/or give me any tips on how to use the site ^_~

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

OyatsuBox- a summer of change (and why I’m still subscribed)

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It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded an OyatsuBox unboxing post. Part of that is that I’ve been busy with other things (I’ve been neglecting other posts as well after all). An arguably more important reason is that, well… I haven’t really wanted to.

I haven’t been 100% pleased with the service from OyatsuBox and it’s been months since a box really wowed me. Each month I’d take my unboxing photos and realise I was going to struggle to be positive about the contents of the box. It kept feeling like there was something missing, something not quite right, that there was to more to criticize than praise about that months box. There’s no fun in writing unboxing posts when month after month I’m looking at the box and realizing I just don’t feel excited about what’s inside it. I do not enjoy writing negative posts, but I’m not going to lie about something I’m not happy with either. So, I was stuck. I stopped writing posts. I’d been debating cancelling my subscription for quite some time, since it seemed foolish to stay subscribed to something I no longer enjoyed and even more foolish to write about it, but every month I’d find myself saying ‘one more month’ hoping that OyatsuBox would once again become the subscription box I had loved. To put it simply, they were my first, and even now I feel a sense of loyalty to them. Not only did I discover the world of subscription boxes through OyatsuBox, they’ve introduced me to loads of amazing snacks in the time I’ve been subscribed.

Why am I writing about this now? Well, OyatsuBox have made some big changes recently (which you can read about in detail here) and honestly, between reading about the changes and receiving my September box today, I’m feeling excited about the service again! I feel like I was right to keep waiting, that OyatsuBox are once again going to be delivering a service I can be proud to recommend and happy to write about each month. In case you don’t want to read the link above, or if you’re just interested in why I think these changes are going to make such a difference to me as a customer, here’s my view on the changes taking place;

Faster delivery

Delivery problems have been a real issue for  me (or should I say for OyatsuBox?) throughout this year, but obviously this isn’t always within their control as international shipping can be a pain in general. It’s okay, I may whine about late boxes and honestly it’s pretty frustrating when it happens month after month, but really I forgive them. It often can’t be helped. The good news is OyatsuBox are working to improve one of the things they can control; their dispatch time. From October onwards, Oyatsu will be pre-packing boxes at the start of each month so that they are ready to ship as soon as payment is received, which they hope will mean people will be receiving their boxes 1-2 weeks earlier than before. Sounds good to me!

New shipping boxes

Our September box arrived in one of the new red boxes (minus the graphics, but they’ll come soon!) and I’m super happy with the new slimline shape. As pretty as the older boxes were they were just too big, there was always some extra space at the top for items to rattle around. The new boxes are scaled down to hold the items in place more securely which will keep them safer in transit. As a UK customer I think that’s a great thing! They’re also cheaper to produce, with the savings going into providing more/better items in the box. Plus, they’re easier to store until your snacks are done as they’re a much better size/shape to fit in cupboards, drawers, dark corners, wherever you keep your snacks. I’ll be including photographs of the new box in my September unboxing post, so stay tuned!

No more leaflets

Well, there are still leaflets, but they are smaller and if the August and September ones are anything to go by, much prettier. OyatsuBox call them postcards and it’s easy to see why, the featured photographs are gorgeous and absolutely the type of thing I’d buy as a postcard from Japan. Despite the awesome photography OyatsuBox say these are cheaper to produce than the old leaflets and again, the savings will be going directly into the items budget. There’s plenty of information still printed on the new postcard leaflet, so don’t worry about not knowing what things are if you can’t read the Japanese packaging. In fact there will apparently be an online area with even more information on each snack, including nutritional information, ingredients, commercials and more which can be accessed via a password included in your box, so it would seem we’re going to learn even more about Japanese snacks than before. I haven’t investigated this yet but it sounds exciting! I haven’t seen any other subscription boxes supply this amount of information for each snack, so it’ll be really interesting to see how this goes.

New box types

This has to be the biggest change; instead of offering the three box sizes they had been offering (OyatsuBox Jr, OyatsuBox Original and OyatsuBox Premium), OyatsuBox are now offering three different box types; Dagashi OyatsuBox (info here) , Washoku OyatsuBox (info here) and OyatsuBox Premium (info here). People obviously like different things and apparently this was a problem when Oyatsu tried including different snacks like dagashi, ramen noodles, traditional cakes/biscuits, mochi or tea all in the one box, so having these separate boxes with dedicated themes sounds like a great solution and a clever way to keep more people happy. I’m sticking with Premium for now because it sounds very much like the old OyatsuBox I used to know and love, but I’d love to try Washoku OyatsuBox in the future as ramen, cakes, senbei, coffee and tea sound like, well, my cup of tea 。^‿^。

 

All in all the upcoming changes all seem very positive. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we all receive over the next few months, especially those who are subscribed to the new box types. I’m so curious to see what will be included!

I don’t like leaving things incomplete, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to do a full unboxing post for the last few boxes I’ve received. Instead, I’m just going to do a quick run down of what was included in the June, July and August editions. Click ‘read more’ below if you’re curious, if not thank you for reading this far. My September box definitely has me excited about OyatsuBox again, my unboxing post will be up in the near future and my regular unboxing schedule shall be resumed from here on in, so I hope to see you again! (^-^*)/

Continue reading OyatsuBox- a summer of change (and why I’m still subscribed)

All the Ame’s first Blogiversary!

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Today marks one year since my first post on All the Ame! The year has flown in, I can’t believe it. I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read my posts, with extra thanks to those who clicked follow, like or took the time to comment. Thanks guys, it’s all appreciated! ✿◠‿◠✿

I’m hoping to make regular posting more of a priority in the months to come, things have been hectic lately (hah, when aren’t they?) and to be honest I haven’t gotten as many posts published in the first year of blogging as I’d hoped to. I’ve got several unboxing posts and literally hundreds of snack reviews sitting in my drafts folder, so you could say I’m a bit behind haha! All in good time though, all in good time 🙂

Since my first post on this blog was to showcase my Birthday snack haul, I’m going to do the same this year. Seems like a fun tradition, no? Well, once again I was blessed with a couple of boxes packed full of goodies, including an amazingly adorable soda blue hamster plush from Amuse. So soft and cuddly! (人◕ω◕)

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There are a few super exciting things I’ve never tried before and a few old favourites in there, if all this can’t motivate me to get posting regularly again…well, what can? ^_~

Thank you again dear readers, see you around! ヾ(^∇^)

 

 

Unboxing: Pokemon Mythical Collection Mew (February 2016)

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Pokemon is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (and what a long, strange trip it’s been 😉 ). As part of the year long celebration, they have released a new expansion in the Pokemon TCG; Pokemon Generations. The boosters are not being sold in the usual way, instead they are being included in special monthly boxes as the Pokemon Mythical Collection and in the Red and Blue Collection, a series of four special boxes featuring Charizard EX, Venusaur EX, Blastoise EX and Pikachu EX.

Each box in the Mythical Pokemon collection contains a full art promo card of the Pokemon for that month, a metal pin of the Pokemon and two Generations booster packs (10 cards per pack).

This is the first box in the Mythical Pokemon collection, featuring Mew as our February Pokemon.

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I love the symbol for the 20th anniversary products, it’s adorable ^_^

Continue reading Unboxing: Pokemon Mythical Collection Mew (February 2016)

Happy Pokemon Day!

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Happy Pokemon Day everyone! Today marks 20 years since the original Japanese release of Pokemon Red and Green (which came to us Europeans as Pokemon Red and Blue in 1999).

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There are loads of things going on this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary, today we saw the release of Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow on the Nintendo E-store. I’m SO excited to be able to play through Pokemon Yellow again, it was the first Pokemon game I owned so for me this is going right back to where it all began. I can’t believe I’ve been into Pokemon games for 16 years. To think, my parents didn’t buy me Red or Blue because they thought they were a (pretty expensive) fad and I’d get bored of them. Proved that wrong, didn’t I! :p

Here’s to many more years of Pokemon! ^_^

PS-If you play the Pokemon TCG Online, remember to log in today to get your special card sleeves and Generations booster pack 🙂

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