This is a late post for the January 2011 issue of Steady, which came with 2 freebies, a Natural Beauty Basic tote and a Rilakkuma 2011 desk calendar.
I actually took these pictures earlier in January but in between day trips here and there, I didn't get around to this actual post until now. Sorry!
The Rilakkuma desk calendar is very cute! The frame is paper, and to change the calendar month you just reshuffle the postcard-like sheets tucked into the frame's envelope.
The back is a basic fold up with a hole in case you want to hang up the calendar instead of leaving it on the table.
The Natural Beauty Basic tote is a sizable 25(height) x 37(length) x 13.3(width) cm and is made of rather thick and stiff polyester that feels rough to the touch. I'm not complaining though because this tote is quite sturdy and can be used as a book bag!
As you can see, the handles have stitchings from top to bottom, which means it can handle a bit of weight. The inside seams are covered with PVC. The down side is that the tote is unlined and has no interior pockets. Also, the interior is coated and feels a bit plastic-y, though not in a good way.
I don't like it either that the stiff PVC covering of the interior seams made 4 very sharp corners at the mouth of the bag, and reaching into bag carelessly can result in a scratch on the more sensitive side of your forearm. The Paul & Joe Sister freebie bag from Steady September 2010 issue had the same problem.
But even with all the downers this tote has, I'm more or less satisfied with it. It is a freebie bag after all, and I can't expect it to be super well made like the few favorites that I have. On that note, I should write another post dedicated to my most favorite magazine and mook freebies of 2010 ^.^ Admittedly, I wasn't in Japan until late August and therefore missed out on about 2/3 of the years' magazines and undoubtedly many super nice freebies that just aren't obtainable anymore, not even from Amazon JP Marketplace. Still, I've got a few favorites I should share very soon, and I'm saying very soon because I have 2 more 2010 backissues I need to post ^.^
In this issue, Steady has a few pages summarizing 2010's fashion, food, beauty, and whatnot hit items, which I found interesting.
Among the hit food items was this "spicy oil" that was like a sautee spicy chili sauce (think Lao Gan Ma - 老干妈, only Japanese LOL!) that you supposedly can eat straight out of the jar with just steam rice. It's supposed to have a taste and not just spicy oil and I've been told it's so popular it's sold out everywhere. A friend visiting from the state recently had her Japanese family requested she bring this sauce as gifts for them ^.^ I didn't believe my friend of course, because, umm...have they tried Lao Gan Ma? It's on sale plentiful in Yokohama Chinatown and is just as good if not better! Either way, I guess my friend was not kidding me when she said it was sold out every where. Out of curiosity I looked for it in several grocery stores and every single one had an empty shelf slot where the stuff was stocked! Mean while, no one seems to touch any other spicy sauces on the adjacent slots...Funny funny!