I survived Pestaurant

Yesterday was Pestaurant Day in Mathallen here in Oslo. Pestaurant is an event where you can get free samples of foods made from insects — or what we here in the west have been conditioned to think of as pests.

Insects is one of the more obvious answers to the question of what a growing humanity will eat in the future, and the sooner we start treating insects as food rather than pests, the better. Pestaurant Day is a start.

So, what was served at the Pestaurant?

Locust falafel with tabasco and yoghurt
Locust falafel with tabasco and yoghurt

These are locust falafel with tabasco and yoghurt, and I had a hell of a time getting a picture of them. They kept disappearing before I could focus!

I thought they tasted pretty nice, but were way too spicy for my palate.

Ant chocolate
Ant chocolate

Very sweet white chocolate, with some nice crunchy bits in them. The crunchy bits were ants. Yup, those little black bits in the picture, that’s it.

Cricket cake
Cricket cake

Lovely chocolate cake with crickets. Very nice, but the whole cricket on top turned into a very dusty, dry powder when crunched.

Absolutely delicious chocolate & banana bread with mealworms. Would eat by the kilo.

I also asked for and got some mealworms separately. Just like the crickets, they turn into dusty powder when chewed. They’re much better as an ingredient.

Crickets fried in coriander and chili, topped with mango sauce. Tasted like spices and mango. I didn’t experience the dry texture with these; I think the sauce gave enough moisture to prevent the dryness.

Not all that special by itself, but I could see this working as part of a larger dish.

Honeyroasted locust
Honeyroasted locust

Of all the dishes, the honeyroasted locust with pistachio nuts was the easiest to get my hands on. I can’t imagine why. Tasty and crunchy, but all the flavours could’ve been a lot stronger.

In addition the prepared locust, I got one that was much earlier in the preparation process. Alone it didn’t really taste of anything, it was all crunch and no flavour — which seems to be a theme for the insects used in this tasting.


There was also a mealworm takoyaki being served, but that one disappeared before I could even make it to the table, and it wasn’t refilled during the time I was around. A great shame, as everyone kept saying how delicious it was.


My boyfriend couldn’t come along due to work, so I grabbed him a consolation prize on the way out: A delicious lollipop.

Lollipop

Nom nom.

No more Facebook

For a long time now, I’ve used Nutshellmail to stay on top of my social media. Rather than visiting a website fifty-seven times per hour only to find no interesting updates, I get an email a couple of times per day with just the new stuff. Instead of wasting hours on a website, I spend at most a few minutes. It’s an excellent solution.

However, Facebook doesn’t want excellent solutions. Nutshellmail explains (emphasis mine):

Upcoming Facebook Changes – April 30, 2015

Today, NutshellMail supports two types of Facebook connections: Profiles & Pages. (Your personal Facebook account is a Profile. Businesses, communities, and other non-personal entities on Facebook are Pages.)

Facebook Pages are not affected by the changes below — you’ll still see the latest posts, comments, and likes for your Page. No action is required.

Starting April 30, your personal Facebook Profile won’t be displayed as a connected account in NutshellMail email updates or in your NutshellMail account. Facebook has changed their policy and will stop providing this data to partners, so this affects all services that connect to Facebook, not just us! We wish they weren’t making this change, and we’re very sorry for the inconvenience.

Going forward, we’ll be improving the content we display from your Facebook Pages. For example, we recently added information about who views & interacts with your Page & posts.

Thanks for your understanding, and thanks for using NutshellMail!

Facebook wants me to waste hours on their website. Facebook wants me to consume updates through their algorithmically manipulated feed, and thus experience whatever manipulation they want to apply to me. Me getting updates efficiently and quickly through an external service doesn’t make me a good product, and so Facebook is shutting that avenue down in the hopes of forcing me back to their own site.

It’s not working.

Instead of becoming a good Facebook drone, I will simply stop checking it. I’ll miss all those updates. Because even under the best of circumstances, keeping up with Facebook manually is quite frankly boring. I can’t be bothered.

Friends who only communicate via Facebook: Sorry, I’ll only be occasionally updated on your doings from now on. I’ll be happy to meet you elsewhere, be it a different social medium or over a cup of coffee.

Companies who only advertise their products via Facebook: Sorry, you’ll be getting a lot less of my money from now on. Consider starting an email newsletter or something.

I’ll still be posting, or at least I will be until they decide to shut down whatever functions Buffer use.

Candy Japan, early February 2015

Candy Japan is a monthly subscription service that delivers every other week. As the name says, you get japanese candy. This is the shipment that was sent out in early february.

Puchi Pasuteru

Crunchy candy balls topped with chocolate in a number of random shapes. The candy balls are kind of dull, the chocolate is good, and the concept is excellent. All the fun of Rowntree’s Randoms but with chocolate. This pack contained ice cream cones, trains, pumpkins, ghosts, and space ships, among other shapes. I am so sold.

Limone Double Chocolate

Sugared lemon jelly covered in white and dark chocolate. The chocolate is very good, but I’m not a fan of citrus in other stuff, so I’ll pass on these.

Mini Boro

Tiny crunchy candies that turn into a horrible, dry powder when you eat it. Awful stuff. These should make suitable punishment the next time my gaming group is being bad.

Beauteque Head to Toe Milk Bag

Beauteque’s Head to Toe bags are themed single-purchase bags. They’re less mysterious than comparable bags/boxes, as you get to choose the variant for 2-3 products, and most of the products are pictured (but not described) when you purchase.

The theme for this bag is milk. All the products contain or are somehow related to milk.

The bag itself is black and white with a woven texture, and nearly fits all the products.

Head to Toe Milk Bag

Secret Key Milk Brightening Toner

Secret Key Milk Brightening Toner

The product card description of this toner is so buzzwordy it doesn’t even make sense. No, really: Ions are good for your skins “immunity”? Surprisingly enough, I don’t care. This product smells wonderful, feels wonderful, and just makes my skin feel good. This should come in handy six-packs for easy purchase.

Skinfood Wildberry Milk Cleansing Foam

Skinfood Wildberry Milk Cleansing Foam

This foaming cleanser feels quite luxurious. It’s so nice and relaxing to massage my face with this, but it does make my skin feel on the dry side afterwards. That’s a bad sign, but I will still use up this tube of delicious foamy goodness, I just won’t use it every day.

Secret Key Milk Hand Cream

Secret Key Milk Hand Cream

The milk used in this hand cream is donkey milk. Why not!

The product card claims this is a light weight hand cream. Personally I think this is one of the thickest and richest hand creams I’ve ever used. That said, it’s absorbed surprisingly quickly, and the greasy feeling after is minimal. One of the better creams I’ve used on winter dry hands.

Milk Wash Off Sponge

Milk Wash Off Sponge

I feel the milk link is tenuous here — what kind of “milk properties” can a sponge have? But there is an adorable cow on the packaging! Three cheers for adoracow!

There are two large sponges — each is nearly as big as my hand — in the pack. The feel on the skin is similar to a konjac sponge, but denser and softer. Very comfortable and relaxing. If the toner should come in a six-pack, these sponges should come in boxes of a dozen. And I’d order two.

3W Climic Milk Mask

3W Clinic Milk Mask

Oooh, a sheet mask. I like sheet masks. I do, however, have a literal boxful of sheet masks waiting to be used, and this will join the pile to be used some day.

Skinfood Shea Butter Milk Lip Care Balm

Skinfood Shea Butter Milk Lip Care Balm

This lip balm feels very similar to the hand cream. Rich, thick, and a serious solution to winter dry lips. I’ll happily keep this stashed in my handbag.

Skinfood Milk Creamy Nail Polish

Skinfood Milk Creamy Nail Polish

Such a cute little bottle with such a cute pastel colour. I’m a bit bored with nail polish at the moment, but this is top of my list to try for spring.

Verdict

Wow. I will use every product in this bag, and I love the bag it came in. I’m even likely to repurchase several of these products. Major hit for me.

Bag value

This bag cost $25 plus $8.95 in shipping. Beauteque sells the individual products for the stated retail values, so the stated prices don’t feel hilariously jacked up as those by some other box sellers do.

Pretty decent value for money here, all in all!

Product Stated Retail Value
Secret Key Milk Brightening Toner $19
Skinfood Wildberry Milk Cleansing Foam $12
Secret Key Milk Hand Cream $6.50
Milk Wash Off Sponge $10
3W Climic Milk Mask $3
Skinfood Shea Butter Milk Lip Care Balm $7
Skinfood Milk Creamy Nail Polish $8.50
Total bag value $66

Candy Japan, late november 2014

Candy Japan is a monthly subscription service that delivers every other week. As the name says, you get japanese candy. This is the shipment that was sent out in late november.

Grape candy floss

In this bag we found a sheet of pink candy floss. Hidden in the sheet was purple fizz rocks/powder. I wanted to take a picture of the contents because candy floss in a bag looked so odd, but the sour fizz against the sweet floss just tasted so good we ate it all before pictures could happen. I need someone to send me regular supplies of just this.

Wine gums

I think the wine gums in this were supposed to look like the cute creatures pictured on the bag, but the gums were so tiny you can’t really tell any detail. Taste was generically fruity. Not very exciting, but the bag disappeared within a couple of hours.

Rose chews

Chewy sweets with a hard shell. I didn’t notice any significant rosy scent while devouring the whole bag like a sugar-starved hermit.

Candy Japan, early november 2014

Candy Japan is a monthly subscription service that delivers every other week. As the name says, you get japanese candy. This is the shipment that was sent out in early november.

Dry chocolate balls filled with a sweet, green filling. So delicious cute boy and I nearly snorted the bag between us.

Based on the pictures on the bag, we though these single-wrapped sheets were bubblegum. They are not. They are wine gum sheets that taste of rubbery sadness.

Sweet biscuit sticks with a coating, that’s pocky, right? I guess that makes this Poképocky. I’m not entirely sure what the coating is on these, but it tastes kind of yoghurty.

I think pocky is kind of dry and dull, and would never buy it myself by choice. It’s okay when presented to me like this, though. At least the bag emptied somehow…

Candy Japan, late october 2014

There are so many interesting subscription boxes out there — or in other words, my Lip Factory money quickly found somewhere else to go: Candy Japan. It’s a very simple service: Every other week, you get an envelope with japanese candy. Works for me!

The package don’t have names, numbers or any kind of identifiers, so I have to refer to them by their shipment period. My first envelope is from the late october shipment. There’s no product card or any kind of description included, so I have no extra info on any of the products.

This bag contains banana-flavoured foam monkeys, and a cardboard display you can assemble. I think it’s a game you can play with the monkeys? The kids in the instructions certainly look like they’re having fun.

These candies are a bit drier and firmer than foam candies I’m used to. Cute boy and I finished off the entire bag before I finished writing this review, so there were clearly no major complaints.

Individually wrapped, fruit-flavoured hard candies. There’s a pretty flower on each candy’s wrapping.

I can get similar candies in a dozen varieties from any shop around here. Like other candies of this type, they taste mostly of sugar and only vaguely fruity. Not a major hit, but they’ll keep forever, so they can stay in the back of a drawer and be re-discovered when someone’s desperately searching for a sugar fix.

Memebox Superbox #59 Halloween Special

There are just so many places you can take a Halloween kit, so I wasted no time in ordering the Memebox Superbox #59 Halloween Special. What kind of amazing things could hide inside? Let’s have a look.

The description makes some big promises for coming in Memebox’ smallest box. It’s so small one of the products doesn’t actually fit inside the box, it was sticking out from under the lid when I pulled the box from the envelope.

The first thing I notice when opening this box is a strong smell of mold. The box and everything in it smells moldy, and the products appear covered in dust and small hairs. I don’t trust that this smell is intentional, so I’ll skip the swatches for this one.

Rêvecen Face Control Foundation

Receven Face Control Foundation

White face paint, a staple of many costume looks.

Rêvecen Cake Eye Liner

Revecen Cake Eye Liner

Black cake eye liner. Apply dry as eye shadow, or mix with water for liner.

Rêvecen Supra Lining Color

Revecen Supra Lining Color

Purple face and body paint. Claims to be eye and lip safe.

Rêvecen Eye Lash

Revecen Eye Lash

One set of false lashes with some slight spikiness in them. I have gotten far spookier false lashes in other, non-costume boxes.

Rêvecen Liquid Lipstick

Revecen Liquid Lipstick

Liquid lipstick in the colour of blood. Use as lipstick or paint blood stains in appropriate places.

Elizavecca Lip Tattoo

Elizavecca Lip Tattoo

A temporary tattoo for applying to your lips.

I’ve seen some amazing designs done as lip tattoos, but this is just a solid colour. I’ve been told repeatedly that lip tattoos are difficult to apply, even more difficult to apply well, and very uncomfortable to wear for more than few minutes. I can’t imagine why you’d choose this over just plain lipstick, especially when there’s a lipstick in nearly the same colour in this box.

The packaging on this is too big to fit in the box. One of the “wings” was poking out.

Lalanc Real Tattoo

Lalanc Real Tattoo

Temporary tattoos that claim to look like the real deal.

Verdict

If it wasn’t already obvious: This box is a massive fail.

The contents are just scary makeup basics, with no guidelines for how to make a look with them. The product card promises this box is “loaded with fun and crafty makeup ideas”, so it definitely sounds like some simple face charts or similar were meant to be included, but there’s just nothing here.

Memebox could have done so much with this box, and just … didn’t. I’m very disappointed, and that’s before taking the moldy smell into account.

Box value

This box cost $23 plus $6.99 in shipping. Because of the smell I’m unlikely to use, trade, or even gift any of the products. In other words, this was a complete waste.

Product Stated retail value
Rêvecen Face Control Foundation $22
Rêvecen Cake Eye Liner $8
Rêvecen Supra Lining Color $30
Rêvecen Eye Lash $6
Rêvecen Liquid Lipstick $16
Elizavecca Lip Tattoo $14
Lalanc Real Tattoo $5
Total box value $101
Since writing this review, Memebox has changed significantly. They no longer publish frequent & interesting boxes, and they no longer ship outside of the US.

Lip Factory September 2014

Lip Factory’s September box announces Autumn Arrives, with a product card in delicious autumn colours. It seems obvious that the contents will match the card, with perhaps a lovely orange eyeshadow and a deep orange or berry lipstick?

Lip Factory September 2014 product card

Hahaha, such optimism. This is a Lip Factory box we’re talking about, after all.

Ofra Lip Gloss

Ofra Lip Gloss

It’s a lip gloss. The product card promises an “ultra sheer” finish. The mere existence of this product is a waste of ingredients. Next.

JCat Beauty Jar Eyeliner

JCat Beauty Jar Eyeliner

I certainly don’t mind seeing a gel eyeliner, but the packaging makes me wary. I’ve only seen this particular jar on really cheap eyeliners that dry out ridiculously fast. It’s tiny, narrow, and it’s a long way down to the product. The included brush is only useful for applying goth amounts of liner.

JCat Beauty Jar Eyeliner swatch

The product is just a little bit too thick and dry to make for easy application. While it’s not hard to make this eyeliner seriously black, it’s difficult to get a smooth line. It dries very quickly.

I did a test application on my eyes. The line ended up very thick even when applied carefully, and I could very much feel the liner on my lids once it had dried. It had some light transfer after just half an hour, although my lids were unprepped. With some primer and powder this will probably perform okay, as long as you like thick eyeliner.

Angle eyeliner

Angle eyeliner

An unbranded angled brush. It’s small and reasonably sharp, and the bristles are comfortably soft. The product card does not mention what kind of hairs are used for this brush, but going by the look and feel I assume it’s synthetic.

Girlactik Pout Shine

Girlaktic Pout Shine

Another lip gloss. The packaging is cute. The product has separated and cracked inside the packaging. Next.

ModelCo Eye Shadow Trio

ModelCo Eye Shadow Trio

Well, this looks nice! The colours may not be exciting, but it’s a good combination for a very wearable everyday look. The size is handy, and the courtesy mirror in the lid isn’t too small to be usable. I like the window in the lid, too. Shame about the useless foam applicator, but everyone provides those.

ModelCo Eye Shadow Trio swatch

Unfortunately the pigmentation is nothing to write home about. The swatch shows the absolute most I could get out of these shadows; I jammed the foam applicator so hard into each shadow I’m surprised they didn’t crack. There’s also significant fallout from the matte middle shadow.

The shadows are a little more forgiving with a proper brush, and all in all this is a pretty good palette for someone who is worried about being heavy-handed. I’ll find a use for this on mornings where my makeup has to be foolproof.

Verdict

I’m not impressed with this box. There’s nothing remotely autumny in this box, and all the products feel really cheap. I wouldn’t be willing to pay the stated retail value of any of these products.

I wonder why I’m still subscribing to this. Oh wait, I’m not. Because of this box I’ve finally cancelled my subscription.

Box value

This box cost $22 plus $10 in shipping.

Product Stated retail value
Ofra Lip Gloss $12.95
JCat Beauty Jar Eyeliner $5.99
Angle eyeliner $9.50
Girlactik Pout Shine $19.00
ModelCo Eye Shadow Trio $26.00
Total box value $73.44