The Naked Dog Box Subscription Review plus $10 Off!

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend! We had a blast enjoying the outdoors, and Maddie got tons of great exercise! Recently The Naked Dog Box reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in doing a review of their subscription. After looking up their website I was very impressed with all their great reviews and high quality ingredients, and Maddie never turns down a chance for more food.

The Naked Dog Box is an all natural, gluten free dog food subscription box that is delivered to the consumer’s door every two weeks with fresh, made in the USA dry dog food. Every shipment comes with a surprise treat every time, and the first shipment comes with a stainless steel food scoop.

The Naked Dog Box Subscription Review

What I like about their service is that it’s super easy to use and feels highly customized for your dog. You answer a series of questions about your dog such as size, amount of exercise, age, etc. and then the site recommends a dog food formula. For Maddie (46 lbs, moderate exercise, 4 years old), it recommended the Salmon and Chickpea dry food formula with 6 ounce portions. If your dog is smaller, they offer 4 ounce portions and if your dog is larger they have 8 ounce portions. For Maddie, the cost comes to $27.00/shipment which is 2 weeks worth of food. It sounds like it’s on the pricier side as far as dog food goes, but if you actually look at the cost of good quality dog food it’s very reasonable! Her current dog food (Orijen Original Grain-Free Dry) is $78.99 for a 25 lb bag (about 400 ounces). It lasts her about a month and a half. With this subscription, a month and a half would cost $81.00 plus she gets treats with each shipment!

They currently have a promo code out that saves you $10 off your first shipment. I think it’s a great deal to try the food out and see if your pet likes it. Plus you get the free stainless steel food scoop and a high quality treat too! Get $10 off your first shipment with promo code 10BUCKS!

IMG_1087

Okay, now onto the actual review! Maddie knew this box was for her as soon as we brought it inside, so she was “helping me” go through everything.

IMG_1088

Unluckily for her, there was a cute little craft on the back on the information card that I decided to make.

IMG_1089

It has cut-outs to make a paper bow that can be attached to the collar! How cute!

IMG_1090

Since she wasn’t willing to sit up for a collar picture, she ended up with the bow on her head. This is Maddie giving me her best “but why, mom?” look. She did earn some delicious treats for her troubles though!

IMG_1117

Sojos Peanut Butter & Jelly Flavor Dog Treats | $8.35
These treats took her mind off the bow completely! I was really surprised by how big of a box these are. I guess I was expecting a single chew or a small treat, but this is a full sized box. Very impressed with the value! I love the short ingredients list: oat flour, rolled oats, peanut butter, strawberries, eggs, canola oil. The treats are made here in the USA and are wheat free and corn free. Each treat is pretty small so they’re excellent for training or for putting into a puzzle. Maddie had a lot of fun with these in her Kong toy, since the bone shape of these treats makes them harder to fall out.

IMG_1093

6 ounce Stainless Steel Food Scoop | $2.00 (?)
Like I mentioned earlier, the first shipment comes with a stainless steel food scoop in the size recommended for your dog. While this is a free item, I definitely put value on getting a high quality item like this that can be used over and over again. I wish all dog food came with a properly sized scoop like this! It really takes the guesswork out of figuring out exactly how much to feed, and also the handle is long enough to keep your hands clean when you’re scooping.

IMG_1094

The Naked Dog Salmon and Chickpea Dry Food | $27.00
The food itself comes in a plain brown bag with a simple label on it. All the feeding instructions (super simple, thanks to the awesome scoop!) and list of ingredients come on a separate card.

IMG_1095

One of the big advantages to having your food delivered direct from the source is that you can reach out to customer service and get a real person at any time. I like that on the bottom of the card it provides you with a contact email: sandy@thenakeddogbox.com! Dog food is totally confusing (I remember when I first got Maddie and I spent so much time researching online about dog nutrition and how to read labels!) and I value having someone to answer any questions or concerns that may pop up.

IMG_1091

On the back of the card you can find the nutrition analysis. I’m happy to see that the website matched Maddie with the best formula choice! The Salmon and Chickpea recipe has the highest protein content with more omega fatty acids than the others. It’s exactly what our vet has always recommended for Maddie, because she has such a lean and muscular build. You probably can’t tell from the pictures, but this dog is basically 46 lbs of muscle!

IMG_1092

Here’s a sense of the size of the food compared to a penny. All the dog food from The Naked Dog is single protein, which is good for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs. All their food is made in the USA and grain-free, gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, and potato-free! Maddie really enjoyed eating this food, though she’s not a picky eater at all. She had no trouble at all transitioning to this food. Good appetite, great energy, no upset stomach or loose stools.

IMG_1097

Maddie had a great time helping with the review of this subscription! The one thing I would add is that I wish the first shipment came with instructions on how to transition your dog from their existing food to a new recipe. We have always done it gradually over a course of a week just to make sure it’s not a very sudden change to her diet, which can cause her to have an upset stomach. We mix the new food in with her old food slowly over time, adding more of the new food each day. It has always worked well for us and Maddie never has any problems switching foods this way!

IMG_8409

No review of a dog box is complete without silly pictures of Maddie, so I just had to add these in.

IMG_8410

Overall it was a great subscription service to discover! I think the value is definitely there, and if you’re even remotely interested, the $10 off promo code is a must-try! Use code 10BUCKS for your first shipment. They also have a satisfaction guarantee, so if your dog doesn’t love the food they’ll refund the cost of your box. The cancellation process is really easy as well–you can pause or edit your subscription online at any time. So basically it’s risk free and you get super high quality dog food at a reasonable price. What’s not to love about that? Let me know if you are a current subscriber or are planning to subscribe! I would love to hear your thoughts!

POPSUGAR Must Have May 2017 Box Review

Back on track with May boxes! I’m always amazed by how much I look forward to getting my POPSUGAR box each month. I have been subscribed for 3 years now and it’s still one of my favorite subscriptions. They consistently deliver amazing value and the curation is always thoughtful and on trend. I have discovered so many new brands and products that I love!

POPSUGAR Must Have is a subscription service that sends a variety of items for women that are curated by the POPSUGAR editors. Items typically include food, beauty, home, among other miscellaneous things. Each month is $39.99/month, but you can use the code REFER5 to get $5 off your first month.

POPSUGAR Must Have May 2017 Box Review

Samantha Faye Inspirational Cuff | $60.00
First up is a silver cuff that is exclusively designed for POPSUGAR. It comes in a little velvet pouch that is great for gifting. While this is the highest value item in the box, it’s actually my least favorite item. The phrasing “Be good, Do good, Feel good” isn’t for me and I prefer gold jewelry. But luckily I have a friend who would really enjoy this and I can pass it along to her.

IMG_1044

It fits very well on me and is comfortable to wear. The quality looks excellent and the cuff feels sturdy. I wish we had received one of Samantha Faye’s regular designs instead of this exclusive one, since I think her actual line of inspirational cuffs is more my style. They usually have just a single phrase like “courage” or “believe”, which I prefer more.

IMG_1046

I think this a very versatile piece. It would be excellent for layering with other bracelets but is also simple and chic and can be worn alone. I know my friend will be really excited to receive this! I love that even when something doesn’t suit my style, everything I get from this box is easily giftable.

IMG_1047

Lipstick Queen Mornin’ Sunshine | $25.00
I was really confused when I first opened this lipstick because the yellow color was so surprising! But after reading more about it and trying it on, I love it. The yellow color transforms into a sheer coral once you apply it and it’s super flattering. It reminds me of Dior Addict LipGlow (one of my holy grail items!) because of the way the color morphs to match your skin tone and how moisturizing it is. I am so thrilled with discovering this product and this brand as a whole.

IMG_1048

Tocca Montauk Candle | $20.00
Whenever I see Tocca in a box I get really excited. I love their scents so much! I wish I had purchased a second box so I can have two of these candles. The salt air cucumber scent is so fresh and light–it’s perfect for summer. It reminds me of enjoying delicious cocktails on the beach! Even though this is just a 3 ounce candle, it has a burn time of about 30 hours.

IMG_1050

Swing Design Essex Frame | $13.00
I was very surprised to see the low retail value of this frame! I expected it to be more expensive since it looks really elegant with the sleek silver edge and thick white mat. It’s versatile enough to go with any home decor. I have a lot of pictures that I never remember to purchase frames for, so this is perfect! And at such a low price point I will probably be purchasing more of them so I can have a set. Another great find!

IMG_1053

The frame also comes in a box so it’s ready to be gifted.

IMG_1051

Southern Culture Strawberry Muffin Mix | $8.00
Always happy to see baking mixes! I love to bake but I’m also rather lazy, so a nice baking mix like this is the best of both worlds. This mix requires whole milk and 2 eggs. I haven’t found an occasion to bake these yet, but from the reviews it sounds like you might need to add extra sugar or fresh strawberries to help bring out the strawberry flavor. I’m reserving judgement for now since I haven’t baked it myself, but I do hope they turn out okay!

IMG_1049

Nicely Noted Card Collection | $17.50
When I first saw the cards I was so excited! I adore letterpress everything and had been eyeing Nicely Noted for a while now. I was really excited to get 3 beautiful letterpress cards, but I was disappointed to discover that these are not actual letterpress cards. It seems really pointless to include cards that are not what a subscriber would actually receive. These are just your typical printed cards, sort of like something you could buy in a boxed set at Target.

IMG_1054

I also really dislike the Nicely Noted logo on the backs of the cards. I always prefer it when subscription box items do not include a logo of the actual subscription that they came from, since it feels like advertisement and it seems tacky to me. In this case, I love buying card from independent small studios and it feels weird to have a Nicely Noted logo slapped on the back.

IMG_1055

Overall it was a great box for me! The value comes to $143.49 which is fantastic, and pretty standard for POPSUGAR boxes. I loved the frame, candle, and lipstick! They are some of my favorite subscription box items this year! If the cards had been actual letterpress cards, this would have been a complete home run for me.

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Happy New Year! First round of boxes of 2017 have been rolling in so now I get to play catch-up again with my review. I’m happy to say that I’ve resubscribed to POPSUGAR for yet another year. I think this is going to be my fourth year of being a subscriber!

POPSUGAR Must Have is a subscription service that sends a variety of items for women that are curated by the POPSUGAR editors. Items typically include food, beauty, home, among other miscellaneous things. Each month is $39.99/month, but you can use the code REFER5 to get $5 off your first month.

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Love the blue and yellow color scheme of this box! I’m always impressed when they manage to get the colors coordinated in addition to curating around a theme.

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

The themes for this box were: new, fresh, detox, motivation, healthy, and revitalize. Perfect way to start the new year! Like so many others, I have an exercise resolution for this year and I was hoping for some new fitness goodies to get me excited.

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel Multi Acid Resurfacing Peel | $85.00
It’s been so long since we’ve seen a Goldfaden MD product from POPSUGAR! The last time I received a scrub that I absolutely loved, so I was hoping this would work well for my skin. This is a peel that only takes 1-3 minutes and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and exfoliated. The main ingredient in this peel is lactic acid, which happens to be one of those things that my skin reacts well to. For the record, I now have dry to combination skin with hormonal acne. Within the past year my skin type has changed from normal/combination to dry/combination and I’ve picked up this super annoying hormonal acne. Lactic acid and retinol are two things that have been working well for me!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Manduka eQua Mat Towel in Playa | $38.00
Yay, a yoga accessory! This is kind of an embarrassing confession, but I tend to sweat a lot when I work out. Gross, I know. Compared to a lot of other people, I’m just a sweatier person when I’m active. It’s usually not a huge deal or anything (not even close to being enough of a problem to be a medical issue), but I am always sure to bring a quick-drying towel to any workout. So a yoga mat towel is wonderful for me! One of the girls in my pilates class uses one and I’ve always wanted to get one as well. She’s able to just lean over and wipe her forehead with a corner and it provides a super non-slip surface to stand and work out on. Can’t wait to try this out!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel | $18.00
Love hair wraps. I didn’t open this one because I love my black one from Rachel Zoe Box of Style so much and don’t plan to replace it. I’m going to give this one to my mom, since she loved the concept of a hair wrap so much when she saw mine. I do like that this one comes with a reusable travel pouch! I might steal the pouch back from her after I give her the hair towel…

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

May Designs Desk Calendar & Notecard | $25.00
I knew to expect some sort of calendar/planner item in this box, and I’m glad that it’s a really cute desk calendar. Each month has a different pattern and it’s printed on really lovely thick paper. And since the calendar portion is quite small, you can cut the left side off afterwards and use the pretty pattern as a notecard.

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

It comes with a clear acrylic stand which can be reused for holding pictures or other paper goods in the future. I like how versatile this calendar is!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Sourcebooks Inc Instant Happy Notes | $8.99
These are the only items in this box that I have absolutely no use for. I think the idea is cute and these would have been awesome when I was in school or living with roommates, but I just can’t imagine what I would use them for now. Each sticky note has a positive saying or funny note on it, but they simply aren’t practical and seem too childish for a professional setting.

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

My coworkers would be so confused if they saw these around the office!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Dean & Deluca Peppermint Loose Leaf Tea | $10.75
Getting Dean & Deluca items are always a treat! Even though I have a large collection of tea already, I don’t have very much peppermint tea. It’s not my favorite, but I like the idea of having this lovely tin on hand for guests or for when I’m in the mood for something different. I also really like that the food item for this month’s box is something healthy and clean like tea! As much as I love getting cookies and chocolates and chips, this seems like an optimistic way to start the year!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Glade No 3 Coconut and Beach Woods Candle | $4.99
This is a sponsored item, so it’s included as an extra for the box. I was surprised to see Glade produce such a nice candle, since  I usually see their products as cheap and lower quality candles. I didn’t even know they had this line of soy candles! The coconut beach scent is lovely without being overwhelming. I would definitely be interested in purchasing more from this collection in the future!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Wow, a great box to start the year! The retail value comes to $190.73, which is amazing! That’s over 4 times the cost of the box. As usual when it comes to value, POPSUGAR can’t be beat. Almost everything in the box will be used or gifted. The only dud was the sticky notes, but since it’s such a low value item I’m not upset at all. Next month is historically a great month for POPSUGAR. I’ve loved all their February boxes in the past, so I am beyond excited.

And now without further ado, here’s a spoiler for the February Must Have box!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

Each box will contain this TribeAlive Foldover Clutch – Atitlán Brocade, which retails for $98.00. How gorgeous, right?! The detail is stunning and I think the pattern is simply beautiful. I can already picture this with a ton of different outfits!

POPSUGAR Must Have January 2017 Box Review plus February Spoiler!

What do you think? Are you as excited for the February box as I am?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Last month I had the pleasure of reviewing a Premium snack box from Tokyo Treat, and I can honestly say it was the most fun I’ve ever had reviewing a box. I mean, is it even possible to not have fun while eating Japanese snacks and candy? When Tokyo Treat was kind enough to offer me another box for review this month, I could not have been more excited!

Tokyo Treat is a monthly food subscription service that sends you snacks and candies directly from Japan. They have three different subscription options: Small ($14.99/month), Regular ($24.99/month), and Premium ($34.99/month). The Small comes with 5-7 candies/snacks, Regular gets everything in the Small plus 3-5 more items including a DIY kit, and the Premium gets everything in the Small and Regular, plus 4-6 more items, a DIY kit, a beverage, and a special item. These prices include shipping, and I’m pretty sure they offer free worldwide shipping–good news for all my non-US friends!! I’ll be reviewing the February Premium box today.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I know I already raved about their adorable new packaging and illustrations in my last review, but it warrants another mention. Seriously, how fun are these?? The box is very sturdy as well. Both boxes that I’ve received looked a little travel-worn upon arrival, but the snacks inside were pristine. Oddly enough, this month I had to actually go to my local post office to pick up this package. Last month they just left it at my doorstep. I’m not sure why there was a difference, but either way I didn’t have to pay any customs fees of any kind.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Each month they include a little booklet about the contents of your box and also some mini articles about Japanese culture. The booklet is meant to be read the traditional Asian way, with the pages opening on the left side and flipping left to right.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

It lists everything in your box along with a brief description. I highly recommend keeping this page, since it will give you more information about your snacks and also the pictures are helpful if you’re trying to track down the same item in your grocery store.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Since all Regular and Premium boxes come with at least one DIY kit each month, Tokyo Treat always includes a page of brief instructions with illustrations. The DIY kits themselves only come with Japanese instructions, so I appreciate the translations!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I really like that each booklet contains interesting tidbits about Japanese culture. This month there was a page about the Sapporo Snow Festival, a “Kawaii Monster Cafe” in Harajuku, and chopsticks. If you’re interested in learning about Japan, these are nice little articles that you can learn more about on your own time. I like to read them while munching on my snacks 🙂

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Okay, can we take a moment to appreciate how amazing this all looks?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Kiki and Lala Strawberry Crunch 
I actually recognize these characters! I used to see them at the Sanrio store back when I lived in California. This packaging makes me feel so nostalgic for my childhood.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

It looks and tastes similar to a Rice Krispie’s Treat, except not nearly as sticky and more dense and crunchy. It was also less sweet, though most Asian snacks tend to be less sweet than American snacks in general. I grew up eating cakes and pastries from Chinatown, and my first bite of American chocolate cake was a serious culture shock moment!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Pocky Strawberry Filled Heart Sticks 
I’ve had lots and lots of different kinds of Pocky over the years, but this is the first time I have seen heart shaped ones! It’s so festive and perfect for Valentine’s Day! Even though I’m obviously reviewing this in March, subscribers received their box in February. Strawberry Pocky has always been my favorite, so this was a slam dunk. It has little flecks of real strawberry mixed in, which was a nice surprise. I wish I could find more of this version in local stores.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Grain Gummy Jelly Beans 
These look just like your regular jelly bean, but have a slightly harder shell and gummier inside. The flavors are also different: apple, grape, muscat, orange, and peach. I’ve always wished for muscat flavor to be adopted here in the US. I mean, we have Moscato wine and it’s delicious and amazing! Why not a candy flavor as well?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Collis Strange Gum 
This contained 6 sticks of gum, two of each flavor (lemon, strawberry, and green apple). As you chew, the flavors all turn into a grape flavor. As with most chewing gum, the flavor didn’t last long at all but they were delicious while they did. I’ve also noticed that Asian gum tends to be very soft–perfect for blowing bubbles!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Nagewa Mentai Mayo Flavor
Okay, I was like way too excited to see this in my box. These potato rings are the same as the Habanero ones we got in last month’s box, just in a different flavor. And those Habanero Rings were so addictive! I couldn’t tell what flavor this was by the illustration, but the handy booklet informed me that it’s marinated roe with mayonnaise. Sounds odd, right? But I figure I eat roe and Japanese mayonnaise all the time in my sushi, this might just taste like a sushi flavored chip or something.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

And I was totally wrong. These don’t actually taste like anything to me, except slightly salty potato rings. My boyfriend agreed with me and described them as “Original Pringles flavor but so much better”. It has a really great crunch to it, doesn’t taste or feel greasy at all, and you get a rich potato flavor from each ring. They are just so darn good! I took the empty bag to several Asian grocery stores in the area to try and track down some more, but had no luck. Some people on Ebay are selling bags directly from Japan, but with shipping it comes out to about $6.00 for one bag.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Princess’s Lost Treasure Pastry Snack 
Cute packaging! Based on the picture, these are meant to be eaten with coffee or tea. Since the pastry was so buttery and soft, it crumbled apart in the mail. But this one small item was literally the only one that suffered any damage whatsoever. All my other snacks are in perfect condition.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Despite being a bit broken up, it still tasted delicious! It has a strawberry flavored jam on the inside, and the crust has a flaky butter cookie taste and texture. This pastry and everything I reviewed before this is included in the Small box ($14.99/month).

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

String Candy Grape and Muscat 
This is the DIY kit that all Regular box subscribers received. It’s a more simple DIY activity than most kits, since the candy is already pre-made. It’s more of a play-with-your-food sort of activity versus creating your own candy.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

The pink candy strings are grape flavor and the yellow strings are muscat flavor. You can make whatever shapes and patterns you want, or just eat them one by one.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I braided mine and I think it turned out kind of pretty! The texture of these candy strings feels like bubble gum, except it’s actually candy that you can eat. I was pretty pleased with all the muscat flavored items we got this month!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Fujiya Peko Poco Chocolate Lollipops
I’ve seen these around the grocery store before! They are milk chocolate lollipops in the shape of a classic character’s face. Usually I only see the girl, but since this is a Valentine’s Day box I thought it was cute that they included one with the boy and the girl.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I’m always impressed with the amount of detail that goes on these lollipops. They’re pretty pricey for what they are at my store ($2.99 for 2 lollipops) so I’ve never actually purchased them for myself before. I’m glad I finally got to try one!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Lotte Koume Soft Candy 
Another familiar item! I’ve seen these at the store as well, also selling for $2.99. These are soft chews that have the texture of Starbursts. The flavor for this one is umeboshi, or pickled plum. I personally really love the flavor of pickled plum, but I know it’s an acquired taste. These chews are sweet, a little bit sour, and almost have a hint of savory to them. I realize that probably sounds kind of gross but they’re actually quite good. If you get a chance, I would recommend trying it!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Dontaco’s Chili Tacos Flavored Chip
I found it kind of funny that I live in Texas and a box from Japan is sending me taco flavored chips! I was very curious about what the Japanese consider to be “taco flavored”. I was expecting it to be something very different compared to what we have here.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Surprisingly, it tastes just like taco seasoning. The chips look and feel just like a Doritos chip, so I guess because I’m so used to Doritos having a cheese taste that’s what I was expecting on these as well. But there’s no cheese flavor at all, just taco seasoning. Surprisingly tasty! These chips and everything I reviewed before this is included in the Regular box ($24.99/month).

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Sweet Red Bean Soup 
Red bean soup always reminds me of home, because my parents used to make it for me as a dessert. It’s traditionally served hot, which might be a little disconcerting to the American palette. Since I grew up with this stuff, I found it to be a nice little treat. If anyone out there is hesitant about the idea of a sweet bean soup, I would highly recommend trying red bean ice cream first! It gives you the flavor in a form that you’re already comfortable with. If you like the taste, then move on to the soup.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Kracie’s Mr. Fun Bakery 
I love DIY kits and wish we had more of them readily available here. Some of them are surprisingly challenging and require a good amount of dexterity (like this one!), but would also be fun for kids.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

This kit has two colored powders that you mix with water to make a sort of thick icing. It also comes with 2 ice cream cones, several wafers, and 1 tart base. You put the icing into the included piping bag and decorate your desserts as you wish. As a finishing touch, add sprinkles!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

The packaging even has patterns for you to cut out that can serve as wrappers for your ice cream! This part requires pretty precise cutting skills, so I decided to skip it. Too advanced for me!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Ta-da! My finished ice cream cone. The icing part tastes like vanilla and the cone is an actual cake cone taste and texture. What do you think of my creation?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

LOOK Two Types of Strawberry Chocolate
Strawberry and chocolate is such a classic combination, so I knew this was going to be a hit. The packaging is quite luxe on this chocolate. The middle opens up as a flap and each piece of chocolate is pre cut. I’m always really impressed with the amount of care that goes into the presentation in Japanese candy!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I managed to stop eating these long enough to grab a good picture of the center. The chocolate is filled with two types of strawberry filling: one that is creamy and one that has a jelly/jam texture. The end result? Amazingly good chocolates. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for them when I go shopping!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Good Luck Fortune Chopsticks
This is the “Special Item” that each Premium subscriber receives. Each pair of chopsticks comes with a fortune that is revealed inside the sleeve. Mine was “average good luck”, but I’ll take that over bad luck! I was excited about getting chopsticks, since I use them all the time and can always use a new pair. Also these are pretty cute! The quality is also pretty good, and I can see them getting lots of use in the near future.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

If you can’t tell, I totally love Tokyo Treat boxes! I had so much fun trying everything and found the curation to be perfect. I think the love theme for Valentine’s Day was cute and thoughtful, and the balance of sweet and savory snacks meant there was something for everyone. I enjoyed every single item and would totally buy a duplicate box if I could!

I did not include any retail values, since it’s quite difficult to calculate due to the fact that many of these items simply aren’t sold in the US. Some of the products that are available in stores near me are quite pricey, and I think Tokyo Treat does give you a good deal. I’ll reiterate what I said in my last review, because I think it’s still relevant: I know there are various other Japanese snack subscriptions out there, but I think this is the only one that has their headquarters in Japan. Their office is located in Tokyo and Ayumi (the founder) personally sources the snacks.

For me, that holds value in itself because I know that these are authentic snacks that I could not have discovered otherwise. Many of the snacks they send out are limited edition or seasonal. It’s great to know that the products are fresh and not overstock!

I find myself wishing more than ever that there was a way to purchase more snacks! I would love the chance to buy more of my favorites, and I’m sure others feel the same way. Tokyo Treat recently redesigned their website to be more user-friendly, so it seems that they are really striving hard to better serve their customers. I hope in the future we’ll be able to order previously featured snacks directly through Tokyo Treat!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Whenever my friends travel and ask what I would like as a souvenir, I always ask for snacks. I think food is one of the best ways to experience a different culture, and I’m totally guilty of being a hopeless snacker (my numerous failed diets can attest to this…), so it’s always the perfect gift for me. I love getting to try new flavor profiles! And let me tell you: nobody does snacks like Japan. They’re always so unique in taste, packaged beautifully, and super fun to eat. So when Tokyo Treat reached out and asked if I wanted to review a box, I was completely over the moon! I had some difficulty containing my excitement.

Tokyo Treat is a monthly food subscription service that sends you snacks and candies directly from Japan. They have three different subscription options: Small ($14.99/month), Regular ($24.99/month), and Premium ($34.99/month). The Small comes with 5-7 candies/snacks, Regular gets everything in the Small plus 3-5 more items including a DIY kit, and the Premium gets everything in the Small and Regular, plus 4-6 more items, a DIY kit, a beverage, and a special item. These prices include shipping, and I’m pretty sure they offer free worldwide shipping–good news for all my non-US friends!! I’ll be reviewing the Premium box today.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

How fun is it to receive international mail? It was so exciting for me to come home and see this bright orange box with a foreign customs form sitting on at my front door. I almost never get packages from abroad so this was a neat experience! Good to know: there were no customs fees.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

The team at Tokyo Treat recently redesigned the packaging, complete with amazing illustrations. I absolutely love it! It’s gorgeous and fun and really on-brand for them. It totally screams “Japan” to me!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Each box comes with a little booklet detailing all the snacks and some fun facts about the theme. Staying true to Japan, the booklet reads “backwards” from the perspective of a Westerner. The pages open up on the left side and you flip left to right.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Since all the packaging on the snacks are in Japanese, it’s really helpful to get a description of each item. It’s also a good booklet to keep around for reference, since you can then try to find some of the snacks you liked at a local Asian grocery store or online. I was able to locate three of these snacks locally–albeit for a pretty ridiculous price point. More on that later.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

The booklet also includes some illustrated directions for the DIY kits, which proved to be pretty useful. I love that there are some pages dedicated to learning more about Japanese culture. This month there was a page about Yo-Kai Watch, a popular monster franchise that has its own video games, movies, toys, etc. There were also pages about Oshogatsu (New Year) and some famous places to visit in Japan.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

 

First look! Almost died of excitement at this box of adorable goodies. Everything was packed very well. My box arrived damaged but all the contents looked perfect.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Fuku Fuku Tai Chocolate 
Sea bream is a traditional fish to cook for the New Year celebrations in Japan, so this bream-shaped chocolate snack is a play on that. Love the festive red and gold packaging! It definitely reminded me of Lunar New Year celebrations with my family.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Look how cute it is! The wafer shell is pretty fragile, so I’m really impressed it arrived without any damage whatsoever.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

The inside is aerated chocolate, which I love. It’s light and melts in your mouth and isn’t too sweet. The crispy wafer and chocolate combination is dangerously delicious. I’m dying to find more of these! If anyone knows where I can get them online, please let me know!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Pokemon Wafers
These wafers are similar to the Fuku Fuku Tai Chocolate: they’re both crispy wafers filled with chocolate. This one is Pokemon themed and comes with a collectible sticker.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

I definitely preferred the aerated chocolate over this dense chocolate filling, but you really can’t go wrong with any form of chocolate. As expected, this was also quite tasty and went great with coffee!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Pokemon Ramune 5 Pack 
I’m pleased that they were able to send 5 different flavors of this candy: pineapple, cola, ramune, melon, and grape. I had a lot of fun trying all of them. The texture is similar to Smarties, but less crumbly and more smooth. The flavors were all fantastic. I couldn’t even pick a favorite! I was able to find these at a local Asian grocery store in a non-Pokemon themed packaging. Definitely a candy that I’ll be purchasing in the near future.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Yokai-Watch Character Soft Serve Caramel Corn 
Okay, how precious is this design? Almost too cute to open. The flavor is described as being vanilla soft serve ice cream, but I didn’t get much vanilla taste. It is more of a creamy sweet milk flavor. Imagine the taste of sweetened condensed milk, but not as rich.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Even though it’s called “caramel corn”, the texture is nothing like popcorn. The texture is more similar to those puffy cheetos. It’s very light and crispy and kind of melts in your mouth. I found these to be oddly tasty (as in I kept saying “I don’t know if I like this” but couldn’t stop eating them), but overall a little too sweet for me.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Tyrant Habanero Who Came Back!
I was pretty nervous eyeing this bag. Anything with a huge evil grinning pepper on it tends to make me wonder if I should even attempt to eat it, but eventually my curiosity (and snacking urges) got the better of me and I went for it.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

I’m happy to report that I got through the entire bag! Maybe all those years of eating hot cheetos have desensitized me a little. It was definitely spicy, but nothing too extreme. The texture was phenomenal. Super crunchy with the perfect amount of flavor. I was really sad when I got to the bottom of the bag because these are so addictive. I’ve been searching for them in stores around me with no luck.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Neru Neru Nerune Soda Flavor DIY Kit 
I love Japanese candy kits! They’re so much fun to make and usually the results are pretty tasty as well. This one has apparently been a favorite in Japan for a long time.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

I somehow forgot to get a picture of the final product (possibly too busy eating it?), but it turned out successfully. The blue powder mixed with water becomes a puffy kind of texture and tastes like ramune. I then covered it with the little bits of hard candy.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Pocky “Melt In Your Mouth” Winter Limited Edition
Pocky was one of my favorite childhood treats, so I definitely have a soft spot for it. I know they release a lot of limited edition items throughout the year that are difficult to find in the US, so I’m very happy to get this. The Pocky is dipped in a creamy chocolate mix with cocoa powder and truly does melt in your mouth! The chocolate flavor is so rich and indulgent, I can see why this is a winter limited edition.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Pokemon Pineapple Chewing Candy
At first I thought this was a pack of gum, since the packaging looks just like chewing gum. It’s actually a very chewy (and I mean VERY chewy–my jaw kind of hurt afterwards!) pineapple candy that comes in strips. Each strip is wrapped in a Pokemon quiz and temporary tattoo. The pineapple flavor is excellent, the texture is just too hard for me though!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Pokemon Sticker Matching Chewing Gum
I would say that this is definitely more of a paper product than a candy product, since the gum is a very tiny piece and plays a fairly insignificant role. The main attraction is a Pokemon puzzle and card, which I assume can be collected. The cola gum was a nice little bonus. Great flavor, very soft and easy to chew texture. It’s too bad there was only one piece!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Yokai-Watch Fortune Seal Namaste Curry
Another crispy savory snack that is completely addictive! If you’ve ever had Asian ramen packets before, you probably know what this tastes like. I personally can’t get enough of ramen (secret addiction!) so this was perfect. I also adore the hexagon packaging. How come we never see snacks packaged like this in the US? It’s a very common shape in Asia!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Amazake: High Quality Sweet Sake
Definitely an acquired taste. It’s a fermented rice beverage that has a goopy texture, and a 1% alcohol content. Personally I kind of liked it, but that’s most likely because I had a lot of fermented rice growing up in an Asian household and knew what to expect. My boyfriend wasn’t thrilled with this. He really couldn’t get past the odd texture. He said it didn’t even feel like a beverage, but more like a mushy porridge. This beverage is supposed to be served warm, which I think would be even more off putting for your average American.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Oekaki Kyanland Candy
Yay, another DIY kit!

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

The main candy base is a soft white ramune flavored putty. It feels almost like playdough and is very easy to work with. You can take a small piece and push it into the mold to create the shape you want to color.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

The “paint” came in three main colors and the palette gives you a lot of space to mix different combinations.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Ta da! Finished product. I had a lot of fun painting the candy and think this would have been a fun kit to try with kids. I had enough materials to make approximately 5 pieces of candy. The candy itself was delicious. It was a soft and chewy ramune flavor, and the paint didn’t have much taste so it wasn’t overly sweet.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Chocolate Ball “Chocoball” Peanut Candy
These are whole peanuts covered in chocolate, and my boyfriend loved them. He is already insisting that we buy more! Good new for him: I managed to find these locally. Bad news: they’re really expensive. I wish imported goodies weren’t so pricey from the Asian grocery stores.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Pokemon Moncolle 12 Species Assortment
This is the “special item” for all Premium boxes. I think their theme this month of Pokemon was a cute choice and probably quite popular with their customer base. I mean, who doesn’t like Pokemon? It brings back a lot of childhood memories for me. I was definitely obsessed with them in elementary school. I’m giving this to one of my friends who collects little Pokemon figurines, and I’m sure she’ll love it.

Tokyo Treat January 2016 Premium Box Review

Whew, that was a lot of stuff! Overall I must say this is the most fun I’ve had with a subscription box in a very long time. All the items were unique and interesting and definitely authentically Japanese. It’s hard to place a retail value on these, since most of them can’t even be found in the US.

But I will say that for the few snacks I did find in local stores, they were pricey. I’m actually kind of amazed Tokyo Treat can send out all these items in a box with shipping for only $35! Just for reference, the three snacks that I did find: the Pikachu 5 Pack Candies were $3.99, the Chocoballs were $2.99, and the pineapple chews were $2.99. Just those three added together comes to almost $10.00, and they were some of the smaller snacks in this box. In my opinion, Tokyo Treat is a really great deal.

I know there are various other Japanese snack subscriptions out there, but I think this is the only one that has their headquarters in Japan. Their office is located in Tokyo and Ayumi (the founder) personally sources the snacks. I am thoroughly impressed with the range of products that I received, and think the curation was spot on. I loved the theme of Pokemon and New Year! The mix of sweet candies with savory snacks and DIY kits plus a beverage really made for a well rounded box.

 

The only thing I wish they would implement: a way to purchase more snacks directly from them! I would love for the chance to buy more of my favorites that I can’t find anywhere else. Otherwise, I think they have a near perfect product. I think I’ll be gifting a subscription to my boyfriend for his birthday coming up! And shhh I don’t think he reads this blog, so let’s keep it a surprise 🙂