Review – ShopandBox

A couple of weeks ago, I realise the LL Bean totes has an collobration with Peanuts. It’s the limited edition tote which can only be purchased from the Snoopy Museum in Tokyo. Yes, it’s manufactured by LL Bean (!!!!).

It is extra exciting because I am a huge fan of both LL Bean and snoopy.  I have 3 of their totes (!!!) and I love them. Because 1) They are high quality  2) They are light weight 3) They are so sturdy and doesn’t seem to get spoiled ever. So being a fan of both Snoopy & LL Bean (!!!), I have to get this since it’s limited edition!

I had a slight mind block from this exciting news that I misunderstood that it has been released.

Anyway there wasn’t much news about it online so I didn’t have much information. But I realise that they have 3 sizes – Technically, they are Mini, Small & Medium. I originally thought they refers to the same as the ones from US (Small, Medium & Large). But after googling a bit, I finally realise that mini is a different size! It is somehow an “special” size selling only in the Japanese market. I love the small size as they still can carry umbrella (I don’t go anywhere without my umbrella). But I am not too sure about the mini size. So I decided not to purchase the mini size. I went for Small & Medium as they are my favourite size!

I posted up an request in Airfrov.   But there wasn’t any response. Excuse my anxiousness. But I really thought it was released and wanted someone to just promise he/she will buy for me. Anyway, I got impatient and went online to google about personal shopper etc. That’s how I found BoxandShop!

So you just create your order and they will allocate a boxer (shopper) for you. My boxer responded very quickly – he send me an message the very next day! 🙂 After we agreed on the price (He included things like taxes, transport and the entrance fees). I think it is pretty much reasonable as it is an limited edition item. Even though it was higher than I thought, but I decided to go ahead and pay invoice 1. After you paid, the boxer (shopper) will then go ahead and do the purchase for you.

Again, my mind is still blocked at that time, so I wanted to settle everything quickly. I was also distracted as I was outside. So I went ahead to pay for the invoice even though I thought it was pricey! After that, I realise we misunderstood each other. He thought that I wanted 2 of each size. So I send him an message to explain the error. Again, he responded so quickly and say he will process the refund for Invoice 2.

After purchasing the items, an invoice (Invoice 2) was send with the shipping quote and service fees. I recieved via DHL within 2 days!

IMG_4665Ahh well. It was most expensive than what I would have pay for if I uses Airfrov instead. Aifrov saves on international shipping as the traveller brings back the items for you. But overall, I still feel it is well-worth it. The service provided by the boxer are more dedicated. I did had an bad experience in Airfrov. The shopper didn’t purchase the items for me and didn’t bother to update. I send an complain to Airfrov and all they could do is to send a warning to the shopper. I felt that it is much more reliable when getting  limited edition items.


I have been using my totes for a few times and absolutely love it. I felt so lucky because I have no idea where else to get this if there wasn’t for service like ShopandBox.

Review – Tom Bihn Side Kick

I found out about this brand too late! I think its a super great company that make really good quality bags! So when I learned about this company, I was very anxious to own one. So I decided to purchase one of the smaller bag (an cross body known as Side Kick). This bag is similar to a Muji bag that I have purchased 3-4 years ago. As much as I love nice looking cross body aka “fashionable” cross body in fabulous vegan leather , I think nylon bags are much functional when you are travelling. They are lightweight, decent, low profile (especially when you are in an not-so-safe city) and always full of compartments that you can use. Functional is way important than being fashionable. My Muji bag has been an awesome side kick for a long time. But recently I noticed an unremovable white stain on the bag. Furthermore, the bag do not have compartments that I really need. Hence, I purchased this to replace my muji bags and other cheaper cross body bags that I owned.

I spend a couple of days deciding on the colours.  70% of my life I spend on buying black bags. But do I want another black bag again? I mean its going a bag that I would use for a very long time! So…I must make careful decision. I finally came to a decision while riding the train back. I decided to get a Black Halcyon (aka black checkered nylon). Checkered pattern was never my kind of thing. But I thought plain black is too boring! I am however craving for a purple bag (I kinda like darker shade purple secretly as it was the official colour switch for my previous company. Due to the influences, I have been getting things of that colour occasionally.) or burnt orange. Burnt orange look so cool and unique!

It took a day for them to ship and only one day to reach a forwarder I am using being in the next state. BUT the forwarder took super long to process the shipment to me. I shall not go into that. I waited for about 10 days plus to get the package.


So the first day it came, I couldn’t bring it with me for the next day as I need to carry library books! But I was determined to carry it asap. I have forgotten to bring back my notebook and planner from work on that day I decided to start using the bag. So I was a bit worried if my bag would fit them. At 5.20pm (I end work at 5.30pm officially!), I decided to start packing. Since my SK couldn’t fit in my lunch boxes, I have to carry a lunch tote. So I figure out I could squeeze in some stuffs if I couldn’t fit them in! At the same time, I try to arrange the pouches in order to make use of the awesome o-rings that they have.

Of course, they amazingly fit in! And there is more space for more things… Some compartments are still empty…


Here’s what I have in my beloved Side Kick:
A slim umbrella – I am most pleased about this. I cannot go anywhere without an umbrella. Most people mentioned about fitting in an bottle. But I have not read about umbrella. I probably put in an water bottle if I am traveling. But if I am commuting, umbrella is more important. 
Tissue – Again, I cannot go anywhere without a tissue pack or two.
Card access – Hufflepuff lanyard 🙂
Pouch for transport card, keys & coins – I modified this and was pleased that the key straps that I have purchased from Tom Bihn can be strapped into the zip of the pouch. I was so glad that I purchased an 8 inch strap as it make tapping of cards much easier!
Tom Bihn Ballistic organiser (mini) – I uses this as an wallet. It works so well as its much larger than most coin pouch. Notes can be easily slot in and out. I am thinking of getting another piece next time to carry my other necessities. And of course I strapped to the one of the o-ring with the default key strap given. It is again so useful as I do not have to search for my wallet again!!
Notebook – I uses an fauxdori currently. It is from Taobao, China. As much as I like Midori, I would never buy their traveller’s notebook being its made of real leather.  But I uses the authentic refills from Modori. 
2017 Planner from Moleskine
Pens – My all-time favourite Sarasa Clip Pen & a Snoopy pen from ASOS. And I absolutely love the Pen compartments!! 
Power bank
iPod Nano
iPhone 6S (Not pictured)

I really wanted to cover it with pins and badges for personalisation. But I read about not being covered by warranty etc. But I thought who cares! I would just get another to replace. But I realise a button may not fit in that well as the front compartment is quite bulky. But I decided to attach an keychain to personalise. Another alternative is probably to attach it onto the strap instead since the strap is detachable.

Obviously, I am super pleased with the bag! Although its much more expensive than my Muji bag (3 times!), but I know this bag would last for a long time!

1. There is so much compartments! I love compartments as they really helps in organisation!
2. O-rings. So much love for this function. It make life easier. I can easily tap my card & I can easily find my pouch.
3. Size. The size is amazing! It can fits in all the essential yet it is not crazy big. I anticipated using this for my next holiday trip.

What I do not quite like:
1. I wasn’t a fan of the strap originally. It is more thin than my Muji bag. It is less comfortable. But after 2-3 days, I gotten used to the strap.
2. There is not much padding. I put my planner (hardcover) at the back and it feels uncomfortable due to the lack of padding support. But its really not an big issue. Adding in padding probably make the bag more bulky. An alternative is to place something soft – e.g. a lightweight scarf as “padding” at the back.

Baggallini Avenue Tote Review

Late last year, I have changed job. And I started bringing my own lunch. Being me, I changes bag often and sometimes I just want to carry a huge tote to throw everything in!

3 weeks ago, I decided that to find a bag with organising compartments! I didn’t realise it for years that such bag are much useful. It is much more functional as compared to bags that look nice but do not have the compartments. Yes I am super obsessed with organising. An ex colleague used to comment that I have way too many pouches in my bags. Yes I love putting things into pouch because I simply cannot stand them all over the places. I usually have 2-4 pouches depending on what bag I uses. I also realise that there isn’t much choices in the market. Not much bag companies focus on this – making bags with compartments.

So after doing some research, I decided to purchase an Baggallini bag. There is a lot of good reviews on this bag (Avenue Tote) on eBags, Zappos and Amazon. I wanted to buy from Zappos as it is cheaper. But fortunately, I was unable to pay with my card. It was fortunate as I realise Amazon has it and was on sale! I purchased it at USD69.90 and now it is listed at USD98! And I get free shipping! Well I have to spend USD125. But it was worth it. I purchased some OST and Funko.

Baggallini focus on bags for traveling. My main focus is for commuting rather than traveling as I don’t like carrying a lot of stuffs when traveling. But who knows? Maybe one day, I will take this on a trip.

On the first look it wasn’t impressive. It look cheap. But after examining the material, I felt that it seems to be of good quality. The bag is  made of nylon and made in China. But the quality is different from those usual nylon bags that I have seen from China. This is far better quality. Those cheaper nylon are usually very shiny looking. But this bag seems to be in between canvas and those lower quality nylon bag. I felt that it could last much longer than those bags. But my main concern is how waterproof this bag is. I guess I will find out when I uses this when it is raining.

Of course the main focus of the bag is the compartments! The video on Zappos shows the different compartments and it was the deciding factor for me. I felt that the compartments would be useful as I can now organise my things into the bag instead of putting them in pouches! As a result, I may cut down on pouches. Yay minimalism! I don’t carry laptop or tablet. But the compartment meant for laptop/tablet can be used to put planner, notebooks etc. When I buy bags with compartments, I always ensure that there is one for pens. Because being me, I cannot go anywhere without a pen! So I am looking forward to using the pen compartment.

So, on the first look, this bag seems really functional and useful with the different compartments. The materials aren’t something very impressive. But it looks like good quality and seems lasting. So this bag will replaces a couple of big tote that I have to be the daily work tote. I am going to start using and will eventually “remove” the rest from my life =)

Review: 博客來 (Taiwan)

I used to buy my Chinese books from books 博客來. It is cheaper than getting from the retail shop but it wasn’t exactly that cheap either as they uses DHL for shipping. So I always have to buy a few books in order to save on shipping. I kinda stop because I don’t read so much Chinese books nowadays.

I always like books 博客來 as they are very efficient and fuss free  – ship fast, never get my orders wrong and wide choices of (chinese) books. Sometimes I just browse and find some books to buy  because the website is so easy to use . I can read both traditional and simplified chinese text so  I am fine to buy the books there. Some people can only read simplified text which is the text that China and most APAC countries including Singapore are using. So this may not suit them. I particularly enjoy the translated version of Japanese triller/crime books. Being NOT a Japanese, I can’t read the Japanese version obviously. So my best alternative is the Chinese translated version. It is also where I got my favourite Minimalism book =)

So a couple days ago, I saw on a television programme that the orders can now be picked up from 7-11! So I decided to give it a try again! As an avid online shopper, I always find picking parcels from 7-11 very fascinating. Over the years of shopping  on taiwanese websites, I always wonder about the feeling of picking up your parcels from 7-11. I know Ninja Van do send delivery to Guardian. In fact, I have picked up a couple of times from Guardian. BUT its not the same thing. 7-11 is like the originator of this concept. At least it is in taiwan. They have this thing for years.

Feeling very excited, I went online and try to login to my inactive account. Luckily I still remembered the password. Within 20 minutes, I have checked out 2 books. I was super happy because it wasn’t that expensive to check out just two books. I feel that it was originally much more expensive when they have the old shopping method – via DHL.

As expected, my order was shipped the next day! It took only 3 days to fly over and it was at the locker at the 7-11 outlet I have selected! Since it was a Saturday, I couldn’t pick it up. So I delayed till Monday to pick it up after work. They only gave you 3 days so time is really tight. If you have any traveling plans, then its safer not to place any orders.

So I stepped into 7-11 and asked the store assistant about it. She say at the back. I thought she meant at the back. You know outside the store. So I went out and walked one round. I took out my phone and realise the address stated the 7-11 address so where is the thing? I went in again but there was 2-3 people in the queue. And I realise there is something at the back. Funny that the store assistant didn’t stop me when I leave the store. But anyway, I went there and key in the pin to get the parcel.  Well, I would say the feeling is similar to going to a locker from SingPost. It doesn’t seem that exciting as expected. haha. But definitely it is much convenience as delivery to house may not be the most ideal method for some people. Nobody would be at home on weekdays!

The concept they wanted to promote is that you can get your books any day as 7-11 is operated 24 hours. Overall, I enjoyed the experience. It didn’t give me the “real feel” of picking up at 7-11 as it is an locker that you used to self-service.  But it is fuss-free and efficient!

Review – Hot Topic

Shopping from Hot Topic is less straight forward than most websites. I know about Hot Topic for years but never try to buy anything. I used to think they are quite expensive. But they seems to be running promotions more often. So I was having a bit of extra money, so I decided to try to buy something. I want that Ron’s Sweater Funko anyway! It seems to be much more expensive everywhere else!

I was having problem checking out my cart. I tried both payment method – Credit Card and Paypal. The customer service wasn’t helpful. Firstly, they told me to talk to bank. Obviously, the problem doesn’t come from the bank. I was able to shop at US sites (Amazon, Etsy etc) often. And I never have a problem. I was so frustrated that I accidentally got my Paypal account locked out.

Paypal. I have to talk about them. I have been a customer since 2000. I set up back then due to the ease to transact on eBays/now defunct Yahoo auction. But gone were the days that I shop anything from eBay.  I now uses it to pay for my newspaper suscription. Their customer support gave me 20bucks  Wow. I mean I never recieve free money from any customer support before! LL Ban’s customer service gave me a giftcard but it’s not quite the same as actual money isn’t it. The money was used to offset a thinkgeek order. Super happy!

And last week, I finally managed to place my orders. So I found the problem. It’s obviously an technical issue.

First attempt was placed using an US address (for shipping) and billing address is indicated as my own.

Second attempt was placed using my own address (for shipping) and billing address is the same. And it went through!

Same card was used. So obviously they have blocked it to ensure that it go through unless it’s the same address. This is abit silly if you asked me. Some people might want to send stuffs to their office. I used to do that often. However, I am not sure if the same restriction applies when you are using different US addresses. So I wrote back to the customer service and tell them to fix this. But they never get back to me. The last email was they would let the relevant people know (The tech people maybe..).

The reason why I placed order and ship it directly is that they were running promotion – 50% off international shipping. The shipping cost (after 50%) is much affordable but still it’s not comparable to the saving I would get from using a forwarder!

It was shipped using DHL but it isn’t as fast aTs the regular DHL. It took 12 days to arrive as it stopover at Germany (!!) before flying over. Nobody was at home as usual but I got a little note to collect from Popstation. Popstation is my favourite way of collecting parcel as it would be available there immediately. And it is always somewhere nearby! So, I ran off to collect the parcel when I saw the note!

Overall, the shipping is efficient although it isn’t fast. The shipping cost is only worth it if there is promotion.

They enclosed hot cash for to entice me to spend again at their website. I might if I could get to send my stuffs to the forwarder. 

Review – Zazzle

After reviewing various options, I decided to get my Hufflepuff Crest Tee on Zazzle!

1) It’s official and licensed 🙂
2) They were having sale – so it’s either 30% or 40% off!
3) The price (after discount) is pretty decent for that kind of product.
4) They ship to alot of places internationally. Shipping is however not free. It cost usd18.99 to ship a shirt, budget tote & a mug for me.
5) You get to pick your base colour – I decided to go with black but I might get a white or maroon next?
6) They are printed on AA tees. I have AA tees at home. They are super comfortable and well-worth the price!
7) You can get other products like bags, mug etc too. And there is so much design to choose.

Production is super fast. It took only 1-2 working days. Then it was shipped! It takes about 11 days to arrive!

The shirt is good. It is like everything I thought!

However I’m disappointed with the tote. I’m not expecting a really good tote. But this tote is really like what it’s named. It’s really budget looking and thin. Even the handle look like it will break off if you carry too much. As comparison, the totes from society6 is much better. Sure it’s much more expensive but at least it’s well worth the price. For usd7.35, this budget tote isn’t really that worth it.

[Updated] After using the tote on a casual friday, I am happy to say it didn’t break! i carried my usual stuffs (wallet, cards, power bank, pouch, umbrella + planner) and it works fine. However, do note my stuffs are light! It is probably good for light stuffs only!

Lootcrate Harry Potter sock

I purchased this when I saw someone selling this on the local platform. I don’t wear long sock for the obvious reason (all summer!). But it look cool if I ever get to wear it. Plus it’s kinda exclusive in a way. I never see any leftover HP items on sale in loot vault. So I guess they are really popular lol

The quality is so-so as it’s polyester not 100% cotton like how I like my sock to be.  Probably it won’t help much in keep warm.

I need a holiday to wear this!!