Archive | March, 2012

Snack Review: IKEA Cinnamon Buns

15 Mar

I love cinnamon buns, but they are not very popular here in Hong Kong and I haven’t found a bakery that sells really tasty ones, so I haven’t had them for quite a long time. Two days ago, I was at IKEA looking for a bed light and some storage boxes, didn’t find what I want, but instead I found these frozen cinnamon buns at their food section. They look pretty delicious, so I decided to give it a try.

IKEA Cinnamon bun

IKEA Frozen Cinnamon Buns (HKD$29.9)

There are 6 mini cinnamon buns in a pack, and sold at HKD$29.9. They are not really expensive, and seem to be a convenient choice, as it only takes 15 minutes and you will have “freshly-baked” cinnamon buns at home.

Ready-to-eat cinnamon bun

Ready-to-eat Cinnamon Bun

The overall texture is okay, the outer part gets a bit crunchy while the inner part remains soft. They are not bad, but definitely not even close to the ones I had in Canada, and the cream cheese icing is missing!

There are 2 things I don’t like about these frozen cinnamon buns:

  1. When you buy them at IKEA, make sure you get a pack that is not thawed. I already chose a pack that isn’t thawed, but when I arrived home (less than 30 minutes after I left IKEA), they have become a bit soft (even during winter), and started to stick to each other, which makes it difficult to separate them apart when I take them out of the freezer and want to bake them.
  2. It gets a bit messy when taking them out of the package, as the sugar topping falls out and sticks everywhere.

My conclusion: I wish we had Cinnabon in Hong Kong!

Review: Seven Seas Worldwide Shipping

11 Mar

I guess many people would need to send a lot of things back home after studying a few years overseas, so I thought this might help some of you. This is my first time sending things back home after a year studying in Australia; I have never used these services before, but because the luggage allowance from Australia to Hong Kong is not enough, I had to do so. I wish the airline companies could upgrade the luggage allowance and permit 2 luggages, up to 40kg! Or maybe they should all have student tickets or special offer for students!

After some research, I decided to choose Seven Seas Worldwide, mainly because I have seen some good reviews about them and they have a Hong Kong office, though there were some bad reviews too. Anyway, I called their office in Australia to ask a few questions and to clarify things before I made an order. The man on the phone was pretty nice, although at some point, he sounded as if he wasn’t too sure. Luckily he gave me all the answers I want, and immediately after the phone call, I made a booking online. Please note that there is a 3% surcharge if you pay by credit card.

After paying the deposit, you will receive an email with your login details and password. That afternoon, I also received an e-mail and a text message telling me around what time they are coming to give me the free empty boxes.

They said they were going to come between 10:15am to 11:15am, and they were really on time, which gave me a good impression. The guy called me exactly at 10:15am and asked me to go downstairs to catch him. He was kind enough to bring the boxes to my room too. The big plastic bag came with 2 large cartons and 1 standard cartons, a clear file with all the documents that I have to fill in and sign, a marker, bubble wrap, and a roll of tape. One thing to note, if you have a lot of fragile items to send out, be sure to check with the staff if you can have extra bubble wraps, because they don’t give you a lot.

The big plastic bag with the boxes and everything else in it

The documents, the marker, the tape, the bubble wrap

Immediately after they sent me the empty boxes, I went online to choose the collection date. I was actually in a rush, because I am going to leave that Friday, and the Thursday before is a public holiday, so I want to make sure the boxes are picked up before Wednesday. I originally chose the next day (Tuesday) as my collection date; however they said the date wasn’t available, so I had to choose Wednesday instead. During this process, you just need to confirm your address again, and confirm the number of boxes to be collected.

I was planning to send 1 large carton only, but I also ordered a standard carton just in case I don’t have that much stuff to send out. They automatically gave me a spare large carton too. In the end, just as I expected, I only need 1 large carton, so I returned the empty boxes back to them in their original state, which they promised they would not charge you extra fee.

In order to send out your items, you have to fill in the inventory form, insurance form, payment options form. You also need to provide a copy of your passport and maybe a copy of your visa, depending on your destination. There is a total of 23 pages, but I didn’t find much difficulties filling in the forms, apart from the insurance part, which was a bit complicated.

The day before the collection, the company sent me an email and a text message again, informing me what time they are coming to pick up my box, and that they are going to call me to check the documents later that evening. At around 5:20pm, a staff from the company called to double check everything and go through the documents with me. The lady was very patient and explained things clearly, because I was a bit confused about the insurance form.

The packed large carton

On the pick-up day, the company told me they were coming between 11:15am to 12:15pm; the same guy who delivered my boxes called me at 12:15pm, which I still count that as in time, especially because it was a rainy day. In the documents, they said that customers have to have their parcels ready on the ground floor of our building, but I think they actually can help you carry the boxes, which was what the guy did. At this point, you just need to sign two documents, and you will receive a collection receipt too. One extra credit, Chris, the guy who picked up my boxes, was very nice and friendly.

To my surprise, they issued the invoice to me at midnight after the collection, and of course they sent me an email and a text message as usual. I chose to pay online, so I just need to log into my account and pay the remaining balance. At this point, I’m impressed with their service so far, and I’m happy that I settled everything before I leave Sydney, so now I just need to wait for the box to be shipped back to Hong Kong.

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After I paid, I didn’t receive any news from the company. I logged in my account, and saw the transit status, it only showed an estimated arrival date and says that my shipment will be delivered to my destination approximately 2 weeks following the vessel arrival date. The information for vessel name, number and departure port didn’t show up; and when I pressed Global Tracking, it only showed the contact details for the China office, instead of telling me where my shipment is at the moment. I was slightly disappointed, because I used DHL’s shipping service once before and I was able to know where exactly my parcel went, which port they have arrived and when they left for another port.

Approximately 3 weeks after I paid, the company finally sent me an e-mail with all the shipping details, including the ship name, the container name and the estimated arrival date, so I was a bit relieved, knowing that at least my carton is still somewhere on its way to home.

2 days after the estimated arrival date, a man from the company called and told me that the parcel has arrived in Hong Kong and they will deliver it to me the next day. It arrived earlier than I thought, which was a good news, because there were a lot of things that I need inside the carton.

Carton arrived safely

Carton arrived safely back home

On the day, the delivery man called me to check if I was at home and he arrived 50 minutes earlier than expected time. I did not need to pay any extra fee, but just sign a document to confirm that I got the carton. The carton was not delivered by Seven Seas Worldwide but by Pedder Logistics Godown Ltd. It came back in its original status; I don’t think they opened it at all and everything inside was still in place.

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Overall, I’m very satisfied with the service. I paid a total of AUD$209.50 (with total loss insurance) and it took approximately 6 weeks by sea from Sydney to Hong Kong.

Review: March 2012 Glamabox

9 Mar

Since Glossybox stopped providing service, I decided to subscribe to Glamabox. My first Glamabox arrived on 7th March, however, I was not at home when the parcel came, so I had to go to the post office myself to pick it up the next day. It’s a safe method to make sure every customer receives their beauty box, however when compared to Glossybox’s delivery method, using the Hong Kong Registered Post is not that convenient for customers like me, who is not  always at home but has no other choice than sending the beauty box to home.

The Glamabox comes in a black cardboard box, and the beauty box itself is black with some pink patterns. Everything inside was packed and kept nicely. Well, to be honest, though they don’t really matter a lot to me, I think the February Glossybox’s packaging is prettier and the presentation is better than the Glamabox one.

Glamabox Black Delivery Box

Black Cardboard Box

Pink Glamabox

Pink Glamabox

Inside Glamabox

Nicely packed box with the card and product description

As expected, it comes with a card and a list of product description. This month, there are 6 products and some coupons. I think only the lipstick is a full-size product, others are just sample products. The vouchers and coupons aren’t very attractive to me, I might go and get the sample pack from Nature’s and Lierac Paris only if I have time.

March Products inside Glamabox

[From left to right]
Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners 60-second Hand Recovery Cream
Clinique Different Lipstick (A Different Grape)
Lierac Paris Exclusive Intense Nuit Wrinkle-filing Night Cream
Lierac Paris Exclusive Ultra Jour Wrinkle-filing Day Cream
Nature’s Moisturizing Toner with Green Tea and Orange Water

This Glamabox comes with some familiar brands and new brands that I have never tried or heard of. I do have a few products from Clinique, including foundation, eye shadow and pressed powder; their products are usually of good quality and good value. I also have Crabtree & Evelyn’s handcream, but I don’t really like the texture and the lavender scent, so hopefully I would like this hand recovery cream. I have seen Organix’s products before in the States, but not sure if I have really seen their products in Hong Kong before, so I’m looking forward to trying their shampoo, which seems to smell pretty nice. As for the remaining two brands, I have never heard of them before. Lierac Paris seems to be a high-end brand, whereas Nature’s seems to be a bit more affordable and I’m quite interested in the toner they included in this month’s Glamabox.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the March Glamabox and will continue to subscribe for now.

For more details about Glamabox, please visit  http://www.glamabox.com/hk/tc/

P.S. Product reviews will be up after I have tried them.

  • Clinique Different Lipstick (A Different Grape):
    When I first saw the word “Grape”, I was a bit skeptical about it, especially when it seems to be a pretty dark berry colour in the tube. However, on the lip, this berry red colour is very pretty and wearable, especially great for night look. It doesn’t make my lip looks flaky, and it feels smooth on my lip. I think the biggest problem is the packaging, I understand the green colour is in consistent with Clinique’s brand colour, but it is really not attractive at all.There’s one thing I don’t really understand too,  the whole “Different Lipstick” line is not available on Hong Kong’s website, but you can find them on Clinique’s US website, so why are they giving us these samples to try when we can’t buy them in Hong Kong?  Or are they going to launch these products in HK soon?
    Clinique A Different Grape
    Clinique A Different Grape in the tube
    Swatch: Clinique A Different Grape
    Swatch: Clinique A Different Grape
  • Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners 60-second Hand Recovery Cream:
    When I pour out the product, it’s more like a liquid, but once I start rubbing the product onto my hands, it’s actually pretty thick with some chunky bits. My hands feel softer and hydrating after using it. The product itself is good, but I’m not sure if I would actually buy the full-size product.The first reason is because I didn’t really like the scent, I prefer something sweet and tasty when it comes to hand or body scrub. The second reason is because I like my St. Ives Body Polish very much, which can do the same exfoliating effect on my hands, and most importantly, St. Ives’ products are much cheaper. Although the body polish is now discontinued and I would need to find something to replace it after I finish using my existing one, I don’t really see a big reason to spend HKD$275 on a hand scrub.