Freedom Japanese Market: April 2017 + Special Offer

Today I’ve got a really fun post I’ve been saving.  The wonderful folks from Freedom Japanese Market sent me their April snack box to review.  It’s got all sorts of fun and unique treats straight from Japan.  Plus if you mention Subscription Therapy, in your order notes, you can receive a free bonus candy in your first box!

Freedom Japanese Market sends you a monthly box of treats shipped fresh from Japan.  Most of the items are sold exclusively in Japan and boxes contain some limited edition snacks and candies that are only in Japanese stores for a month or two.  About a pound of candy and snacks are packed into each box and an itemized list with pictures is included in each box.

This adorable box was left out by my mailbox which my neighbors thankfully picked up before any of the local wildlife could get to it.

Inside we have a colorful snack guide plus an adorable origami sword.  Because these snacks aren’t available in the US, I’m not going to be pricing them out.

Now to the snacks!

Ume Paper
Description:
“Pickled plum in paper thin form – sweet and sour!”
Verdict:  Where’s the sweet?
Death people, this tasted like death.  Like if a Stephen King book turned into a fruit roll-up.

Mix Fruit Mochi
Description:
“Mini apple and pineapple flavored piece of sweet mocha (rice cakes).”
Verdict: Adorable!
I haven’t had a chance to try these yet, but they look adorable and apple and pineapple sound great.

Premium Umaibo
Description:
“Mozzarella and camembert cheese flavored puffed corn.”
Verdict:
  A cheese doodle on steroids
Imagine a cheese doodle made with stronger cheese.  Like almost but not quite stinky cheese.  Not bad, but nothing I’d go searching for.

Shimi Choco Corn
Description:
“Cute star-shaped crispy corn puffs coated in strawberry chocolate.”
Verdict:
  The strawberry is a lie.
I was so excited for these because no one loves artificial strawberry flavor like I do, but there was this strange sort of texture after eating these.  I can’t really explain it but it was so unpleasant and the strawberry taste was just odd. These were disappointing.

UFO Ramune
Description:
“Ramune flavored hard candy in four flavors: yogurt, peach, apple, and cider.”
Verdict:
  Sounds interesting
I didn’t get to try these but “yogurt” flavored hard candy sounds intriguing.  It can be either horrific or amazing, there really isn’t an in-between.

Nagewa
Description: “Beef consommé flavored ring shaped potato crisps are fun to play with and eat!”
Verdict:  Hamburger Magic
I had no idea what Beef consommé tastes like, but apparently it tastes like a hamburger.  Like a hamburger with ketchup and pickles on it and everything.  These little potato straws were like you took a hamburger happy meal and magically shoved it into an itty bitty crisp.  This was my favorite item in the box.

Teriyaki Umaibo
Description: “Teriyaki burger flavored tube of puffed corn.”
Verdict:  Beefy cheese doodle
Another ginormous cheese doodle.  I’m not sure I would have guessed this was “burger” if I wasn’t told.  The taste was savory but without being immediately identifiable (if that makes sense).

Caplico Mini
Description: “Strawberry flavored aerated chocolate shaped like a mini ice cream cone!”
Verdict:  Wafer-y goodness
This strawberry treat made up for the other one.  It was like a wafer cookie with lots of extra filling.

Pizza Umaibo
Description: “Pizza flavored tube of puffed corn”
Verdict:  MOAR GIANT CHEESEDOODLES!
This cheese doodle had that sort of sharp pizza flavor.  Not bad, but not something I’d look to eat again.

Umaka!
Description: “Ramen chips flavored like champon, a Nagasaki noodle dish made of seafood and veggies.”
Verdict:  Mostly non-distinct
I try all these treats without reading the card first, because I figure that will give me the most honest impression.  I was worried this one would have fish in it based solely on the angry face and the little prawn.  I’d eat one chip and it would be a pretty bland then I’d try another and it would have a faint taste of fish.  They were interesting but didn’t live up to the exclamation point in the name.

Kabuki Cracker
Description: “These delicious rice crackers are stamped with famous kabuki emblems.”
Verdict:  Crunchy and bland
I passed these over to my boyfriend and his verdict was that they were crunchy and pretty bland which is kind of a theme with a lot of the rice based Japanese snacks.

Un-Choco
Description: “Mini grape flavored chocolate balls in cute animal packaging!”
Verdict:  Look at that face!!
I didn’t even try these but I love them. Look at that cute little face.  I don’t know if it’s a koala bear or some kind of alien hybrid animal, but I love it.  Packaging wins me over every time.

Caramel Corn
Description: “A seasonal exclusive!  Sweet rare cheesecake flavored curls of puffed corn.”
Verdict:  Lightly sweet
These corn puffs were very delicately sweetened and I thought they were a nice treat.  They almost reminded me of a lighter version of the honey flavored Chex Mix.

BONUS!
Chewing Straw Candy
Description: “Straw-shaped grape flavored gummy candy.”
Verdict:  Not quite for me
Normally gummies win me over, but I’m not a huge fan of sweet and sour gummies and these had that cloying sweet and bitingly sour thing going on.  But someone who enjoys those types of gummies would probably love this.


OVERALL

Verdict:
Hit!
Now, this box normally costs $24.99, which seems fair to me for a box shipped from Japan with this many treats. I think this would make a fun gift for a teen or even someone away at college.  Even if the treats aren’t quite suited to our Western palates, they are a lot of fun to try out.  I always enjoy learning about different foods and cultures, even if at the end of the day they aren’t something I fall in love with.  The packaging on this sub is adorable and I thought there was a good variety of sweet/salty/sour.  The one improvement I could see with this box is that we received three Umaibos, but maybe instead we could have gotten  one or two and a different type of snack.

I think this is a really fun sub and if you love Japanese snacks or fun unique food items, you may want to give it a try.

Have you ever tried snacks from other countries?
If so, what did you think of them?

THE BACKSTORY
Freedom Japanese Market sends you a box of treats shipped fresh from Japan.  Most of the items are sold exclusively in Japan and contain some limited edition snacks and candies that are only in Japanese stores for a month or two.  About a pound of candy and snacks are packed into each box and an itemized list with pictures is included in each box, so you don’t have to read Japanese.

Club members can buy additional boxes and send them (to other addresses) as gifts or gift subscriptions.

Plans:
Puchi Pack – $14.99 per month:
(For a small taste of Japan)
★ 5 to 8 full size and sample snacks
★ 1 handmade origami
★ English content list with pictures
Original Pack – $24.99 per month:
(The perfect box of treats from the land of the rising sun)
★ 12 to 16 full size and sample snacks
★ 1 handmade origami
★ English content list with pictures
★ Includes DIY Candy Kit
Family Pack – $45.99 per month: (Snacks for the whole family)
★ 24 to 32 full size and sample snacks
★ 1 handmade origami
★ English content list with pictures
★ Includes DIY Candy Kit
★ Double the snacks without double the price

Discounts: You can create a 1, 3, 6 and 12 month renewable plan (longer plans have larger discounts) that will fit your needs.
Special Offers: If you mention Subscription Therapy, in your order notes, you can receive a free bonus candy in your first box!

Shipping:
Free Shipping Worldwide
You can cancel at any time without fees or penalties.

Top 15 Sub Box Items of 2015

So it’s time for me to pick my favorite 15 items from all of my 2015 Sub boxes. This was epically hard and I swear I started with twice as many awesome items that I had to painfully work through. There were so many great things that just couldn’t make the cut. I’ve broken down the list for you by month.

JANUARY
BorealisBorealis Swatch
Orbital Eyeshadow – Borealis:
(Retail $18.00/Maven Price: $14.40)
from Julep Maven: January 2015 – The Chrysalis Collection – Modern Beauty
Possibly my most favorite eyeshadow ever. It’s a smoky eye for dummies and the peacock shimmer on it is amazing.

Cream
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
(Suggested Retail: $30.00)
from the Popsugar: January 2015
This product does exactly what it says it will and is unscented. It’s great for both men and women as well as folks with sensitive skin. Since I tried this I’ve recommended it to tons of my friends.

FEBRUARY
Cutting Board
ACME Party Box Company
Bamboo Heart Cutting Board & Cheese Knife
(Suggested Retail: $32.00)
from Popsugar: February 2015
This set was so adorable and I regularly pull out this cutting board to slice fruit.

MARCH
Rings Necklace
Three Gold Rings Necklace
from Amanda Deer Jewelry
(Retail: $32.00)
from Fair Ivy: March 2015
I found myself reaching for this necklace all the time. It’s so simple, lovely and great for layering. I got lots of compliments on it.

APRIL
Brush
Multipurpose Pro Tools Oval Brush by Harry Josh
:
(Estimated Retail: $40.00)
from the Nina Garcia Quarterly (#NGQ05): April 2015
The saving grace of my last Nina Garcia box. This is a great brush and I love the mint shade. It sits out on my bedroom dresser.

CupSpoon Close
Handmade Mug & Spoon from White Peach Pottery (Retail: $32.00+)
from Fair Ivy: April 2015
I adore handmade ceramics and this mug and spoon set is so lovely. It sits out on display on my kitchen shelves.

Bracelet Bracelet on Wrist
Miansai Modern Screw Cuff:
(Estimated Retail: $200.00)
from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style: April 2015
This is my favorite item of all for 2015. It’s classic and somehow edgy and conservative at the same time. It’s great quality and I really want the exact same one in a rose gold finish.

MAY
Bracelet On Wrist
Silver Chalcedony Bracelet from Simply Lovely Handmade
(Retail: $???)
from Fair Ivy: May 2015
I love the delicateness of this bracelet and how well it layers with other pieces I have. The pink stone is also right on trend for 2016.

JULY
Oribe
Oribe Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray (Full Size: $39.00)
from Birchbox: July 2015
Oribe products are always amazing and since I wear my hair wavy, this was a great product for me.

Mineral Peel
O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Face Peel
(Retail: $44.00)
From Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Summer 2015
I was concerned about spraying a peel directly into my face, but this didn’t irritate my skin at all and (I know this sounds gross) it really peeled off all the dead skin. I tried this with my best friend and she was amazed. Seriously, my favorite peel ever.

SEPTEMBER
Watch Case Watch Watch Close
Cluse La Bohéme Rose Gold Watch with dual straps:
(Estimated Retail: $132.00)
from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Fall 2015
I don’t own many watches and this one is so lovely and classic. The rose gold on this is epic and the changeable straps make it so versatile. I know I’ll have and use this piece forever.

Gummy Bears
Albanese 12 Flavor Gummy Bears 7.5 oz
(Estimated Retail: $2.19)
from the Treat Chest Candy Club: August 2015 Box
Yes, gummy bears are on this list. Because they are the best damn gummy bears in the world. They were so good I ordered my boyfriend and I a giant 1 lb bag of them.

OCTOBER
Pillowcase
Savvy Sleepers Luxury Satin Pillowcase
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
from Popsugar: October 2015 & a New Limited Edition Holiday Box!
This pillowcase was so soft and comfy, that I used the coupon code in the box to buy some more for my bed.

DECEMBER

Jewelry Box 2 Jewelry Box Open
Swing Design Nova Blue Mist Jewelry Box (Suggested Retail: $36.00)
from the Popsugar: December 2015 & A Promotion Fail
I am a sucker for Mint and this box was perfectly sized to hold all kinds of goodies. I have two of them and they live on each end table on the sides of my bed.

Hairpin 1Hairpin Close
Lelet NY Swarovski Crystal Hair Pin
(Retail: $98.00)
from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Winter 2015
This is gorgeous and has an heirloom feel to it. So beautiful.

It was fun to look back and see which items I ended up falling in love with and which ones I adored from the start. Overall, my favorite subscription box for the year was the Rachel Zoe Box of Style. I received so many amazing things from that subscription and if I could only choose one to keep, it would be Rachel’s, hands down.

So that’s what we got in 2015, but what do I want to see in 2016?

FOR BEAUTY
Watercolor Eyeshadows: Enough with the neutral palettes, we have a ton of them. How about some pastels? I’d love to see some fun watercolor shades in blues, greens and pinks. Give us something that we might not already have in our makeup bag.

Practical Luxury: Full sizes of Fancy Shampoo, Conditioner, Bodywash—even deodorant. We get tons of masks and styling items, but I’d love to try out the pricier every day products. If I fall in love with one, I’d probably splurge on it regularly.

Unique Polish Finishes: We get a lot of cremé, glitter and shimmer polishes but there are a lot of other finishes out there. How about more holographics, jellies and duochromes this year?

Tools: I want to see more styling tools. I’d fall over to get a Mason Pearson brush or comb, a fabulous curling wand, or a great Blush brush.

FOR ACCESSORIES
Rose Gold:
We saw rose gold jewelry pop up in a lot of 2015 boxes, but it’s still on trend and most women don’t have a ton of it in their jewelry collection. Send us more please.

Moonstone: I love moonstone and it shines with both Pantone colors of the year (baby pink and blue). It’s gorgeous and mystical and I’d love to see it pop up in some jewelry.

FOR FOOD
Seasonings:
I’d love to see more seasoning and spice blends (particularly salt free ones). Oils are great too—basically less snacks and more cooking items.

FOR LIFESTYLE
Bagged Lunches: Those of us who bring our lunch to work or school are always on the lookout for new boxes, bags or other gadgets that make it easier and more fun to pack a lunch. Cool Bento boxes, insulated containers and thermos are all welcome.

High End Cleaners: Cleaning isn’t glamourous but it’s a fact of life and I’d love to see high end cleaners in boxes. Eco-friendly countertop cleaners, fancy scrub brushes or specialty laundry detergents would all be some great practical additions.

So what’s your wish list for sub box items in 2016?

Clean Bar Box: June 2015 & Promo Code!

So today’s box is going to leave us clean and smelling sweet. The lovely peeps at the Clean Bar Box graciously sent me one of their natural soap samplers for review.

Clean Bar Box is a subscription that delivers “soap with earth-friendly ingredients free from preservatives, animal products, petroleum products, parabens, and laurly sulfate; all packed up in eco-friendly recyclable packaging made without glues or chemicals.”

They feature natural soaps in seasonal scents and subscribers have options for box size and frequency of delivery. Use the code 5OFF for $5.00 off a subscription. For details on pricing, jump down to “THE BACKSTORY”.
Open Box 1 Open Box 2
I received the June Clean Bar Box in the half bar sampler size which costs $14.99 monthly (discounts are available for prepaying months).

Inside our box is a handy sheet describing the scents and some adorably packaged bars.  Also included with each bar is a list of ingredients.
Insert

Summer Citrus
Summer Citrus
(Full Size Retail: $6.99)
Description: “This soap is everything good about summer. Start your morning with a soap that smells like a tall glass of cold lemonade, fresh ripe oranges and a thick slice of key lime pie all in one!”
Verdict: Hit!
Citrus scents are my favorite, especially in shower products so this one is a win for me.

Blueberry
Blueberry Scrub
(Full Size Retail: $6.99)
Description: “June is right in the middle of Blueberry season, and there’s nothing like snacking on some fresh blueberries under the warm summer sun. This blueberry scrub bar also contains sea salt and oatmeal for a deep scrub in the shower! This soap matches perfectly with the sweet and tart summer citrus bar.”
Verdict: Hit!
I adore scrub bars because they are an easy way to exfoliate in the shower. I’m also really fond of fruit scented shower products so this one was another great addition.

Cucumber Melon
Cucumber Melon
(Full Size Retail: $6.99)
Description: “Cool as a cucumber is a saying for a reason. Stay cool in June with our refreshing cucumber melon soap packed with the smell of THE summer fruit. Its beautiful white and dark green swirls also look great in any bathroom display or by the sink.”
Verdict: Hit!
Cucumber is always a fresh clean scent and is one of my favorites when the temperatures start to rise. Another great pick.


Cotton Blossom
Cotton Blossom (Full Size Retail: $6.99)
Description: “Cotton blossom is a classic scent of soap that most people will I nstnatly recognize. It has a strong and instantly invigorating scent that smells like fresh linens! Use it in the shower to wake you up smelling great or use it to freshen up a room.”
Verdict: Miss
Unfortunately this one was is a big miss for me. It’s just way too strong. It kind of reminded me of the scent of Irish Spring (which always  gives me headaches). I’m going to have to pass this along to someone who prefers a stronger soap and who’s bathroom I won’t be going to regularly.

OVERALL
Clean Bar Box
Verdict:
Hit!
I really enjoy trying natural and handmade products and I loved the scents on all but one of these soaps. The packaging on them was quite lovely, making the sampler nice for gifting.  Changing your soap scents seasonally is a fun idea and one that I plan to adopt asap. Clean Bar Box offers several different sizes of boxes, but I like this monthly half size box because you can sample all the seasonal scents and then order your favorites in a regular size from their store. I received this box for free, but the regular cost is $14.99 (which includes shipping). That’s a touch high but these are all natural, handmade specialty soaps so I think the cost is justified and I’d be fine in paying that amount for this box. You can also lower the cost by prepaying several months in advance.

So do you change up your soap and toiletry scents by season?

THE BACKSTORY
Clean Bar Box is a monthly and bi-monthly soap subscription box that delivers artisan handmade soaps carefully selected to match the scents of the season right to your door. Every monthly or bi-monthly box includes 4 different tantalizing scents.”
Costs:
Discounts are offered for prepaying and Shipping is Free!

Monthly Half Bar Sampler Box: $14.99 per month
Monthly Large Box: $19.99 per month
Every Other Month Large Box: $19.99 per month

Coupon Code: Use 5OFF for $5.00 off subscriptions

Purchase More of your favorite soaps in the Clean Box Shop.

Top 14 of 2014: My Fave Sub Box Items

At the end of each year, I take a look back at all my sub boxes and pick out my favorite items and favorite subscription box. I took a couple weeks to go over my past reviews and on this lovely January 14th, I’ll give you my top 14 Favorite Sub box items of 2014:

JANUARY 2014

Rings 2 Rings
Wrap Arrow Ring
& Athena Wrap Around Ring by Katie Dean Jewelry (Fancy Retail: $45.00 & $55.00)
from the Original Fancy Box – January 2014
I loved these rings and wore them constantly – both together and mixed up with my other rings.

Cable
Crosslink Cable
(Fancy Retail: $18.00)
from the Original Fancy Box – January 2014
This little cable totally helped reinvent my commuter bag. Instead of hauling a different charger for my iphone,ipod and old Kindle, this one cable covered everything.

FEBRUARY 2014

Pottery
Tillandsia planter
from White Peach Pottery (Retail: $18.00)
from the Fair Ivy Duet Box – February 2014
I loved the little air plant and its cute planter. And shockingly it is still alive!

MARCH 2014

I had to include some Julep polishes and in March I fell in love with these two from The Riveria Collection.

Soraphine Swatch
Soraphine:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description: Classic sheer white crème

Tania Swatch
Tania:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description: Multdimensional mermaid teal glitter

from the Julep Maven Box – March 2014

Earrings
23k Gold leaf Inlay Sterling Silver earrings
from Virginia Wynne Jewelry (Retail: $27.00)
from the Fair Ivy Duet – March 2014
I wore these earrings so much that I managed to lose one somewhere in my house. They are adorable and go with anything. I may end up breaking down and ordering another pair

 

 

Palette
Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Compact
(Retail: $48.00)
from Nina Garcia Quarterly – March 2014
Laura Mercier is one of my favorite cosmetics line and this kit is perfect for giving you a sunkissed look.

APRIL

Palette#2
Too Faced Natural Eyes
(Retail: $36.00)
from Popsugar Must Have – April 2014
This was a great neutral palette and I used it all the time.

JULY

Mascara
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat
(Retail: $21.00)
from Birchbox LE Modern Mermaid Box – July 2014
This amazing topcoat turns any mascara waterproof. I was so impressed I immediately went to Birchbox and ordered a full size.

Salt Spray
Captain Blankenship Mermaid Mane Sea Salt Spray
(Retail: $24.00)
from Birchbox LE Modern Mermaid Box – July 2014
I have a bunch of sea salt sprays from boxes but this one was by far my favorite and I will definitely buy it again.

 AUGUST

Cream #2
Kang Skin Rejuvenating Cream 50 mL
(Memebox Retail: $72.00)
from Memebox: Superbox #34 Dermocosmetics 2 – August 2014
As you know I’m obsessed with snail creams so I loved this one from Memebox and I use it regularly.

 

SEPTEMBER

Lip Crayon Lip Swatches
Plush Pout Lip Crayon
in Cardinal Red: (Retail $16.00/Maven Price: $20.00)
from Julep Maven Box – September 2014
I loved the color and staying power of Julep’s lip crayons.

Scarf
Tilo Scarves
Modal Gradation Scarf in Raisin
(Suggested Retail: $125)
from Popsugar Must Have – September 2014
I actually got a ton of awesome scarves in my 2014 sub boxes, but this one was my favorite. (I am a sucker for ombre fabrics).

DECEMBER

Bowl
Canvas Dauville Platinum Bowl
(Suggested Retail: $29.00)
from Popsugar Must Have – September 2014
I know it’s just a little bowl but this little guy is so pretty sitting on top of my dresser.

 

FAVORITE SUB BOX OF 2014
It was tough to pick a favorite box since most boxes had awesome months and some not so great months too.  Looking over the year, it seems that I’m going with my Popsugar Must Have sub as my fave. It consistently delivers items that I love and even when something isn’t quite my taste it will usually make a great gift. It is one of my pricier subs but that’s expected when it includes higher quality, full size items.

What subs did you subscribe to in 2014 and what were your favorite items?