Connect with me!

TwitterFacebookGoogle PlusLinkedInRSS FeedEmail Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tea For Tyrants - Product Review

I received a medium sized box in the mail and inside there were 2 small boxes.  Each box contained a 4 oz and a 2 oz container of a specific flavor.

They were packed with the straw/hay cushioning the metal tins and on top lay the black/white card with information and a QR code on back.  I wasn't sure 100% what to expect but when reading others reviews on Get Fresh, I thought I would receive a small sample of each tea vs 2 flavors.  I am a huge tea fanatic and would have loved to reviewed other flavors for this site as well as for my blog page.

The first box was Gyokuro Karigane

The leaves are a lovely green color and aromatic but not too strong. When brewed, this tea has a light sweetness to it.

The second box was Gyokuro Superior

The leaves in this tin were actually a little darker in color and has a pleasant aroma to it.  It also has a hint of sweetness to it but nothing sugary or overpowering.

It's definitely a new, interesting experience to combine tea drinking with music others pick for you to help enhance the mood.  I enjoyed only some of the songs as I found a few of the selected tracks to pull me out of my calm and instead, jostle my relaxed state of mind.

Researching their website, I checked on the pricing.  $14 for a 4oz and $8 for the 2oz.  Unless you have a lot of money to spend - I see Tea For Tyrants appealing to those looking for a unique gift for others or themselves vs for a more regular tea consumption.  The Japanese Green Tea Gift Set contains 5 - 2oz tins and various music selections for $25.

But don't let the price deter you from trying it.  Overall, it's a wonderful tea, packaged nicely and for anyone who is a tea-lover and music-lover or just loves things that "you just can't get anywhere", this would be a much appreciated gift for them.

The only real criticism I have is these teas are Japanese and the cards have Chinese script.  As someone who is half-Korean, I've learned from experience that most people like to "clump" Asians together.  I personally think it would be more appropriate to have artwork & writing/symbols to match the teas.  Perhaps even seek out some Asian Indie artists or tracks that could set the mood?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Soy Much Scents Giveaway

Do you love candles?  How about bling?  What about both?  Here's a chance to win both!

Prize: Your choice of ANY ONE available Candle Gems Candle or ONE bag of Melter Gems!!

Did you know this is the first candle "surprise/bling" company that's offering MEN's rings as a choice.. not just ladies rings?!

And best part - There is no catch

How to enter:

Go to and create an account by clicking "Join Now", then create your shopping cart.  You will become a consultant with NO hidden fees, NO kits to purchase, NO required duties. YOU now get to order at ANY time without going through me, at a CONSULTANT price! 35% OFF! And if you decide to pursue the business aspect side of it, then I am here to help you and so is our entire SoyL family!

BONUS entries:

1. Make ANY order between now and November 28th for 5 extra entries. ... It can be a candle, a tart, a soap, a room spray! ANY order placed will earn you 5 extra entries.

2. Share the Facebook post or this blog with your friends & family - if they post here or on the wall that you referred them & they also create an account under me, you'll receive 2 extra entries per person! 150 FREE 4X6 Prints

*Terms and Conditions:
  1. Offer applies to new customers only. 
  2. Automatic credit for 150 free 4"x6" Prints will be added to your account. Additional prints will be charged at regular print prices. 
  3. Offer excludes Photo Book Design Service, Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Dr. Seuss, and Sesame Street themed products. 
  4. Coupon expires at 11:59 p.m. PT on December 31, 2013, while supplies last. 
  5.  Only one coupon or promotion can be applied per order, and either one account credit or one promo code can be applied per item. Existing credits are honored first. 
  6. Offer applies to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick up.
  7. All taxes and shipping charges apply. 
  8.  Offer valid for one new customer only. Not valid for multiple accounts. Snapfish may, in its sole discretion, terminate your Membership (or any part thereof) or your use of the Service, and remove and discard any Content at any time, without notice, for any reason, including: (i) conduct that violates these Terms or other policies or guidelines set forth by Snapfish elsewhere within the Service, or (ii) conduct Snapfish believes is harmful to other Snapfish users, the business of Snapfish, or HP Affiliates, or (iii) failure to maintain Active Participation in the Service. Snapfish will not be liable to you or any third-party for any termination of your access to the Service. 
  9. Offer valid for U.S. customers only. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

RueLaLa Review - Part 1

I've decided to break this review into 2 parts since I'm still waiting on the second item to be delivered.

Recently, my husband, Jerry won a gift card to from their big gift card giveaway, "Rue La La More is More Sweepstakes" from October 2013. Without any hassle, the $75 credit was added to his account. Naturally, as any good husband would do, he allowed me to go shopping!

I browsed through their many products they had available for at least five days before coming to the decision to order some unique items that typically we would never purchase on our own... Not because they didn't seem like good items to order but because I wanted to order something outside of the realm of "normal". Usually, I'm very practical about what I use gift cards for. But with the holidays coming up, I decided to be a little adventurous. I purchased 2 perishables - food items - for our upcoming Christmas Party.  The first, "One 10-pc box Christmas Cookie Set" and the second, "Robinson's Prime Reserve Chicken Tenders".

  • Please note: This is a Final Sale item. There are no returns.
  • One 10-piece box Christmas sugar cookie
  • Best if consumed within two months
  • Cookies are baked fresh to order and hand decorated by our very own creative team. All goods are kosher
  • Contains egg, wheat, gluten
  • Made in the USA
  • Contents of set:
  • Ten sugar cookies: each measures 3in in diameter

Wow! Original price was $40!?! Those better be some damn good cookies! I already feel awkward ordering 10 cookies for $26!  Well, then again, anyone who knows me well.. knows that I do not play around when it comes to Christmas, parties and gift giving!

  • Please note: This is a Final Sale item. There are no returns.
  • Goods will incur a $10 surcharge for shipping
  • Fifty up to sixty chicken tenders
  • Hand-cut for optimal quality
  • Each chicken tender is deliciously flavorful with natural juices
  • Approximately 50-60 tenders per bag
  • Optimally two to three months in freezer, but can last up to six months
  • Made in the USA

Okay! Now we're talking! 50-60 tenders per bag!  That's plenty of delicious protein for guests to chow down upon!

I placed the order on November 11th and we received a confirmation that the items would be delivered on or before November 26th. Imagine my surprise when we received a second email on November 13th indicating the items have been shipped!  Wooo, that's fast!  Two days later, I have a box of cookies at my door.

The box was very large and taped shut all around. Definitely no way any creepy crawly critters are going to make their way inside during shipment, that's for sure!  I did become a little nervous when I noticed immediately the giant sticker next to the shipping label.

Well darn.. if the sticker itself is damaged, I'm scared to see the cookies!

I carefully cut away the tape and revealed a ton of packing peanuts.  This made me feel a lot better, thinking my cookies would be safe!  Little did I know, I was mislead!

Under the packing peanuts was a pretty white box with a green and red ribbon tied into a bow.  I removed the bow so I could inspect the gourmet cookies.  To my disappointment, I noticed immediately that there were broken cookies.  :(

Even though the white box was cushioned well, there was NO protection with the cookies themselves.  All of them were individually wrapped but nothing was packed in with them to keep them from moving around and breaking against each other or the sides of the box.  I've seen cosmetics and teas shipped with more careful thought than this.

Here are the photos of the cookies - both broken and non-broken.

Gorgeous House

Broken cupcake and candy

The second candy was also broken :(

These 2 packages contain 2 cookies each. None are broken but while the left package has a red and green cookie inside - the right package has two green cookies inside.

Pretty cookie lollipops

Aaahh a non-broken cupcake!

Unfortunately, there's a no return policy on this order - probably because it's a food item.  I don't agree with this policy since I've made food purchases online before and when it's been a bad order, I was able to exchange with no hassles.  I suppose the upside is, I now have an excuse to taste the cookies so I know what my friends will be getting.  I do wish the company Custom Cookies, Inc. that ordered from would take better care of their packaging of such delicacies.

3 out of 10 cookies being broken is not a good number.  So, buyers - beware - if you intend to purchase items like from Custom Cookies, Inc or through Rue La La, as potential gifts, you might want to open the box first and take out the broken cookies... or just order something else.

**Keep an eye open for part 2 when the other package arrives!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

SONY's PS4 Pre-Launch Review - The $400 Paperweight

The anticipation of the PS4 has been squelched by the folks at SONY themselves.

In the recent "Taco Bell Play The Future" PS4 promotion, we were one of the lucky winners.  Our PS4 arrived to us 11/13/13 around 10:30am.  How wonderful... or so we thought.  After 30 minutes on our own, reading the instruction manual and triple checking connections, we discovered the PS4 didn't seem to want to work.  There was no picture, no sound.  Jerry, my patient husband, decided to call tech support.  After an hour and a half of rebooting, reconnecting, trying safe mode, etc.. nothing worked.  We gave our name, phone number and address.  We never got a "ticket" or reference number.  Instead, we were advised to take the PS4 to a local GameStop and try to see if it was our television.

We drove to GameStop and tried it there.  I was quite nervous at having something so valuable that's not even officially released yet in my car and having to carry inside.  So, with no other option we went ahead and tried.  No luck.  The GameStop employees even used a couple of different HDMI cables.  Their TV was unable to get a picture or sound as well.  Back home we went and called tech support again.

We started out explaining to the new tech support rep, the first phone call and what we'd tried already and how we ventured out with our pre-release PS4 to GameStop for help.  We had to give our name, address and phone number again since there was apparently NO reference of our previous call.  The second tech support representative had us go through the entire process again.  After another 40 minutes, we ended the call with a semi-resolution: They would send out a FEDEX box for us to return the PS4 for repairs/servicing.  He quoted it could take 3-4 days to receive this empty box and once mailed back to them and received, it could take another 5-10 days for us to get the PS4 back.  Not happy but at least it's something, right?

A couple of hours later, our phone rings and a manager from SONY, named "D.G." calls to tell us a FEDEX box will be sent to us, overnight.  He verified our address, name, email address and phone number and gave us an order number to reference.  He indicated that we should receive an email as well with the details and that we would receive a replacement PS4 vs a repaired PS4.  We ended the call in better spirits and a glimmer of hope.

This morning, we woke to check the email inbox and discovered there was no email from SONY as promised.  Jerry decided to call them, yet again, and find out what exactly was going on.  The rep, Sharon, pulled up our information and found no trace of our history of calls.  Instead, she found Jerry's old P.O. Box address that was associated with his PS3.  You would think, after 3 phone calls, one of them being an incoming call from a manager who verified all of our details - that this information would have been updated.  He gave her the order number and she proceeded to enlist the aid of a supervisor to assist her in finding out "where our request is".  Minutes later, she returned and said she found us in their system.  Cause for the errors: "We're updating our computer systems to prepare for the launch of the PS4" Umm.. ok, sure.  We've now been informed our overnight box should be here by tomorrow.  She also said she would send us a new email to verify all of the details and it would be in our inbox within an hour.  So, we wait again.  Two hours later and still no email.

Throughout all of these phone calls - we were told over and over that no one else has had any problems with the pre-release of the PS4.  We were also asked with each phone call, "Would you like to purchase the extended warranty?" ... To which, I answered the same each time, "How about we work on getting a working PS4 first before we talk about an extended warranty please?"

This is not the case as we've discovered through researching online.

* "IGN reports having the same problem, but the problem did not begin until updating the PS4 to the necessary 1.50 system update. IGN used different HDMI cables, inputs, a different TV, inserting a disc, connecting to the internet, and resetting the console. None of this fixed the problem, and a Sony PlayStation representative visited and replaced IGN's broken PS4.

Kotaku also had problems with a pre-release PS4. The first retail unit provided to Kotaku had a faulty HDMI jack that they could not fully plug an HDMI cable into, making the PS4 unable to send a signal to the TV. After trying different cables and monitors with no success, it was apparent the problem was with the PS4. Kotaku reports the other four units they have tested work fine."

At this point in time, I fear that when we return the PS4 we may never receive a replacement... that, or the lucky person who now owns Jerry's old P.O. Box will get a nice surprise instead!

I love my PS3.  I would love the chance at using a PS4 - but I'm worried now that will never happen if the folks at SONY can't get their stuff together!

Thank you President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, for ensuring us that the broken PS4's are all "just isolated incidents".  I can tell already by seeing the numbers increasing - this will not be as "isolated" as you might think.

*