Valentine's Day Daring Box Review

31 May 2015

I was approached quite some time ago to review a rather personal type of subscription box, back in February - just in time for Valentine's Day. Daring Box is described as "The French erotic couple box" and is sent on a bi-monthly basis to customers who wish to infuse a little more passion and excitement into their bedrooms. This little black box came with a black drawstring dustbag with five items inside which included a candle, a couple's lollipop, an erotic challenges coupon book, silk handcuffs and a red satin gift bow bandeau/halter. It also came with cards with a run down on all the products, tips and also a music playlist.

Firstly, I noticed the item that was weighing down the box the most was actually an amber candle by Maison Close. This itself retails for £19 and I can see why. It comes in a black and gold Art Deco themed box and jar and smells like no other candle I have scented. The wick is perfect and it burns very easily and evenly. As this is a massage candle, the front of the jar is tipped so you can poor out the wax for massaging.

Next we have a set of black satin handcuffs with velvet embossing. These came in a very similar looking box, easily mistaken for a pack of cards. With instructions on the side, these are a great little addition to the box. They are long black satin pieces of fabric with black velvet text embossing and have "button-holes" at the tip so you can thread one end through the other. These may seem like nothing but the ends have been very carefully over-locked on a sewing machine, a sign of good needlework. These retail for about £8.

Some lovely little extras included an Erotic Challenges coupon book which is printed in several different languages and a couple's lollipop. The largest item in the box seemed to be a rolled up piece of fabric by Happy Lola. When I opened this up however, it turned out to be a red satin bow bandeau/halterneck. The first thing you notice about this is the quality. It's almost as weighty as the candle. The fabric is not cheap and thin, but opaque and what I can only assume to have a high thread gauge. The bow only comes in one size but is adjustable by the ribbon tails. If you pull on these, the bandeau bow gets tighter. The halterneck can either be worn, removed or tucked in. The bow retails for £16. 

I'm hugely impressed by this box and it's by far one of the highest quality boxes I have ever received, with the Happy Lola bow and Maison Close candle being my favourite items. I calculated this box to be worth about £50 which isn't bad for a box that is £39. I also love the fact that this comes every two months, because for the contents, it would take around 2 months to try the items anyway. This makes the box roughly £19.50 a month and even cheaper if you subscribe for the year. 

Daring Box is an exciting concept that bring couples closer together. Something I think is hugely essential, if not vital in relationships. In a world that fixates heavily on body image, I think it's important that an individual learns to accept and love their own body, and love other's in return.

Undead | Zbox and 2.8 Hours Later Review

10 May 2015

Now, I am no geek - but I sure do love a good zombie (mind the paradox). Whether it's The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later or just toying with the idea and perhaps possibility of the undead. I was approached in February to review the Undead Zbox themed around zombies but waited until I had completed 2.8 Hours Later before I wrote a review on them both. 

Zbox is a subscription box by Zavvi (yes, they're back in business) themed around all things geeky. Past boxes include: Marvel, Cosmic, Retro etc.. (No doubt there will be a Star Wars one out when the new film is released later this year). A typical monthly Zbox includes several items based around that month's theme, February was the Undead box which was themed around a zombie apocalypse.

As I was in Mexico for the best part of February, I didn't get to try this box out until March which worked out well as my boyfriend had just began a 5 week intense training course and needed a bit of a pick-me-up, so I surprised him with a zombie themed weekend which included trying the Zbox out, a zombie documentary courtesy of Zbox, a night in watching Crazies, attempting a Secret Lab escape room (think 28 Days Later) and zombie-related snacks.

In addition to the box, I had baked some brain cupcakes, sprayed green edible spray onto popcorn to mimic what Pinterest tells me is "zombie snot", pickled a human head (actually printed paper suspended in green-coloured water inside a jar), coloured lemonade green and stuck red triangles of pepper on pizza strips to fake zombie fingers.

Unlike a lot of subscription boxes, the magazine/product list was actually not a bore to read. It included a run down of the items inside and also had recipes for zombie cocktails. We ended up making the only non-alcoholic cocktail into an alcoholic one (typical) and blended a bunch of berries with vodka and lemon juice which created the look and consistency of actual blood, not that actual blood contains remnants of pomegranate seeds. If they do, I would consult a doctor immediately, or tap your back with a spoon and hope all the seeds come out.
The box itself was a treat; containing a total of eight items - the box had a wide variety of tidbits. From socks to vinyls to candy. First, I came across some green zombie socks which fit my boyfriend perfectly and two Walking Dead Mini Mates figures. I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead and have watched it since it was first aired so this ticked all the boxes for me. You get two figures out of seven collectable, I received Amy and a stabbed zombie. I would have loved Michonne as she's my favourite Walking Dead character but beggers can't be choosers! 

Next, I found two discs; one being a green coloured vinyl of John Carpenter's The Fog which I have yet to watch and a DVD documentary of the history of zombies. While zombies may be in our eyes, fictional - there have been "accounts" of the undead in past history books although I'm sure these accounts were probably made by the delirious and massively diseased. I'd say that you need to watch this with a sceptical mind as a lot of it is documented by American zombie fanatics who desperately want to believe the apocalypse will soon be with us. Although with David Cameron puppeteering us for another 5 years, I don't think they're far from the truth! While I have never seen The Fog, this vinyl will take pride of place in my ever growing collection of extremely random vinyls that I own but will never play until I find a fully working antique His Masters Voice gramophone.

Also included in the box was a graphic t-shirt with an amazing zombie print illustrated by Dan Mumford. Very soft and of excellent quality, I was very much expecting this to be C grade but it exceeded my expectations greatly. Some added extras included a Brain Licker which is a flavoured tongue roller. Coloured blue, I could only describe this as concentrated squash. It really quenched my thirst and was really handy when I wanted a sugar fix at home, as I would probably look unusual and not to mention inappropriate if I did this at work. In addition to this was a vinyl sticker and a set of badges. 

What I really loved was that the box itself had been printed with the theme in mind so you know that the brainsssssss behind Zbox really go that extra mile for you. It's comforting to know that people aren't just shoving goodies into a standard box on a monthly basis in hope that its desirability meets if not, exceeds overall value. A very impressive box and probably one of the best that I have ever tried.

Tickets for 2.8 Hours Later were bought for my as a birthday present and I couldn't have been more over the moon. I had been wanting to go ever since I had heard about it, a colleague of mine shared with me his and his wife's experience and it only made me more eager to go. At £48 each, these tickets weren't cheap and I had high expectations that were luckily met. 

The idea is that you use a map to make your way through several points within the game. The story changes yearly and this year's game was called Ruin, although I don't quite know why it was because the story was about getting a vial from a lab that possibly had an embryo in it. Anyway, I digress...I loved how this game took part right in the centre of Manchester and literally right outside my door. As I drove to pick up my friend, I could already see zombies outside my apartment - it only made me more hysterical than I already was, bearing in mind I had just listened to Screamo music to get me in the mood. 

The story began by the prison and you are given a coordinate and a road you must go via. Said road is filled with a mass of the undead. At first, you try to conjure up a tactic - but the sinking realisation is that there is none. There is a mass of zombies in front of you and you just have to run through them. I found that swearing really helped; like really. I have never ran so much in my life and by 'life' I mean since I did the last 100 meters in the 1500 meter race in school, except this time I had no Lucozade tablets. Zombies would vary from being chained to a post that you needed to use, to amputee zombies, to giant zombies who apparently used to be a basketball player as I discovered at the zombie disco at the end. You get to go in groups and as my group only consisted of two girls, we joined forces and met some lovely people. Although you would assume eight people could work out how to read a map; nope. When you get tagged by a zombie (as in the game tag where they touch you), you are marked with a UV pen that doesn't necessarily work. It is only when you go into a UV tent at the end where you find out if you've been infected.

The game ends with a tent for the infected where you enter to get your makeup done like a zombie. If you haven't been infected, be warned - you may feel left out! After this, you have the opportunity to have your photo taken and to buy merchandise, which is then very nicely punctuated with a zombie disco party. All in all, an absolute fabulous night and something different to try out with friends. It's great for team building and fantastic exercise. 

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