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Toreba: Review!

Ser una chica gamer no tiene por qué limitarse a videojuegos y juegos de mesa o cartas, como en mi caso que juego hasta jacks. Hace poco descubrí la plataforma Toreba, un app para Android y iOS (cuenta con versión desktop) que te permite jugar las conocidas Claw Machines, Claw Cranes, Grúas o máquinas atrapa premios en tiempo real ¡EN JAPÓN! Ah, tecnología, tanto bien y tanto mal nos haces.

Mal porque no es un pasatiempos barato y quizás no lo debería considerar un pasatiempos porque es como apostar en un casino… pero más kawaii y de manera anónima sin el peligro que te busque la mafia.

En Toreba, el dinero se traduce en TP Points. 5,000 TP points equivalen a $5, 10,000 TP son $10 y así nos vamos. Cada jugada te puede costar de 1,200 TP a 1,800 TP. Más vale tener algo de experiencia con estos juegos, ya que muy rara vez conseguirás los premios en una jugada. Al abrir tu cuenta y verificarla, se te acreditan 5 jugadas gratis, que puedes dividirlas en 2 de prueba y 3 intentos, o intentar de atrapar algo en 5 turnos. En ocasiones cuentan con campañas de Login, en las que te acreditan TPs solo por entrar en tu cuenta diariamente. También debo mencionar que hay veces en los que tienes que esperar tu turno y cruzar los dedos que alguien se aburra o se le acabe el crédito antes que a ti.

Yo tengo algo de experiencia con los claw machines: me ENCANTAN (por cierto, todos los vídeos en este post son míos).  Así de que sale mi ludópata interna, me brillan los ojos y me pican las manos. En Panamá casi no se ven, y al viajar mis compañeros de viaje no quieren perder tiempo esperándome a que le gane a la maquinita. O la clásica de que no tengo cambio para jugar.

Otro tema es que a muchas maquinitas locales las surten de premios bastante genéricos (tengo el ojo puesto en una que tiene uno interesante). No hace mucho fui a un arcade con Ed, y la ÚNICA maquina tenía el claw roto y emparchado con tape eléctrico. Obviamente no iba a agarrar ni polvo.

La mayoría de las personas piensan que el juego está rigged, que es imposible ganar. Cada vez que gano algo, hay una conmoción porque la gente se sorprender de que la máquina no solo traga dinero. El primer peluche que gané fué un Snoopy de una maquina en Taiwan en 2003, y desde entonces se que SÍ SE PUEDE. Hay trucos y técnicas, al igual que con otros arcades en los que aparento ser bastante buena.

Creo que mi especialidad es ganar gatos, y necesité fuerza de voluntad para no jugar por el gato negro.

Volviendo al tema de Toreba, diariamente y más de una vez al día incluyen nuevos premios. Siento que las cajas, por más pequeñas y livianas que sean, son mil veces más difíciles de ganar que los premios más grandes como muñecos de peluche. Ojo, la “garra” es distinta dependiendo del fabricante. En lo personal prefiero la tradicional de 4 brazos, pero en Japón tienen las de 1 o 2 brazos, el gancho, el perforador, el Takoyaki, etc… Específicamente, en Toreba me va mejor con la de 2 brazos, pero es definitivamente más difícil que jugarlo en persona aunque tengas acceso a dos perspectivas.

Una vez que ganas tu premio, te aparecerá un mensaje y debes reclamarlo antes de un periódo de expiración de 14 días. Los envíos son gratis cada 7 dias, así que lo recomendable es reclamar tu premio y hacer un solo cargamento antes que expiren. Ojo, el envío gratis tiene sus restricciones. Lean bien, no sean perezosos, ya que no me hago responsable si quedan en bancarrota.

Sé que además de Toreba, existe el Akiba Catcher . No tengo experiencia con este último. La interfaz me parece algo clunky. Sin embargo, es una alternativa que creo también ofrece envíos gratis.

En fin, si este es un tema de interés, déjenme sus comentarios de qué tipo de juegos les gustan, si quieren que pruebe el Akiba Catcher, o si quisieran ver más de Toreba, quizás un live stream una vez descifre cómo hacerlo, y me sacrifico. Mientras tanto, pueden ver más vídeos de mis jugadas ganadoras en mi canal de Youtube. Intentaré ganar un par de cosas más para felizmente esperar mis premios en la comodidad de mi hogar, al otro lado del mundo.


Dreaming big

I left my job months ago because I was basically being set up for failure by a psychopath boss and it’s one of the reasons I decided to halt the blog. I had simply taken time for myself and felt no inspiration for content, or didn’t want to post something that would come and haunt me later on. It’s been a rollercoaster and haven’t precisely been supported by many on my new endeavours. Not many people have contacted me and offered a helping hand… or just a casual hello, which is sad and made me feel betrayed in some way – but it’s also been eye-opening on how HORRIBLE and CORRUPT job politics are, how friends/work aquaintances can dispose you once you got nothing to offer them and how being friends with an insider is apparently the only way to score a job because experience and a pretty robust resume are overlooked. (I’m still available for hire, what you see is what you get so hit me up!)

Now, on to the unicorns, sparkles, magic and brighter things!

Amongst those who did and continue believing in me are the Make a Wish Foundation. Months ago I made a blog post about their annual Wish Day and how magical that experience was.

Back in May I was contacted by them to go as an Interpreter for a family on a trip. Never been an interpreter, though I’ve done certified translating work for clients. Anyway, back on the subject – I had to decline the offer, one of my close friends was getting married and I wanted to be there for her. I knew it was the right decision. Everyone I told this to said I was the biggest fool of all.

Well, I kept this under wraps for a few months now, but today another dream is coming true. I was contacted for a second time, and since I have been freelancing I accepted the offer. Today I’m hopping on a plane to Florida, on my way to Walt Disney World as an Interpreter for a really sweet boy named Joseph and his family.

I feel very excited and fortunate to be able to experience something like this. It’s not any trip, I’m becoming part of someone else’s dream – who is also fulfilling my very own dream. Joseph went through some dark times with his family after his diagnosis. He is a fighter and while I’ve only spent brief moments with him, I admire his strenght and how joyful he is. Also, we’re taking the MAAgic Flight, to make things even more exciting.

When I left my job one of the first things I wanted to do was buy a ticket to Disney, but it would’ve been a financially irresponsible thing for me to do. I suppose the power of wishing is real. It’s ironic how a few weeks ago Disney shattered my dreams after an interview gone wrong (yup, read that correctly!) and somehow I’m still going to what I agree holds the title as the happiest place on earth.



Yesterday I finally received this ~bundle of joy~ and off the bat knew I had to show it off. This is my second Pusheen Box – a seasonal subscription box based on “that Facebook sticker cat” exclusive goodies. The one I received is sold out, but you can subscribe for the summer edition! (I wasn’t paid to advertise this box, in any shape or form, I’m just a humble, very enthusiastic fan and cat lady).

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Priced at $43.95 + $6 Shipping to the US per box, they claim its worth +$100 in stuff, plus you can’t really get most of them anywhere else. The one I will describe below is sold out, ordered it months ago…they actually have an automatic billing system after you purchase your first box.  I believe next box is scheduled for July so if you’re interested, I suggest you subscribe to their newsletter so you don’t miss out.


So, let’s proceed to the box. You can scroll the pictures as you please in the gallery above. First of all, it’s probably the best designed subscription box I’ve ever received, given they transformed the whole packaging into a squared Pusheen. From the face, to the tail and paws on the bottom of the box. Two for you, Pusheen box coco!

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The contents: it was packed. Each box comes with an information card. It consisted in an exclusive Baker Pusheen vinyl figure(around 4 inches tall), a Pusheen cookie cutter, an apron, an umbrella, 3 pairs of socks, 3 sticker sheets, a pin set, a key cap and my favorite: a Pusheen mini planter! I’m in love with the planter and headed out to get a tiny succulent right away (bedazzled with tiny golden rocks, in case you hadn’t noticed, I love golden odds and bits).  Loved the previous box (winter edition) but I feel this one suits me better.

Veredict: absolutely worth every penny. If you’re a fan of Pusheen, go for it. If you’re a regular cat lady like myself, go for it. It’s a lot of kawaii for $50 every few months and the best part is they’re things you can actually use and not only exhibit. It offers a good balance between decorative and useful stuff. Meow.



My parents were part of the The Lions Club and wanted me to follow their footsteps, but I never did. I saw how they helped gather stuff for people in need, but oddly, I didn’t feel identified with the cause, maybe because I felt these organizations only benefited the rich and were more of a social status label, for the most part.

I think it was a couple of years ago when a friend contacted me for a volunteer job. At the time, I didn’t have much time off to go on activities, so I offered my graphic design skills. Then I got to know a little bit more about the Make a Wish Foundation.

You may wonder… what’s that?

Founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980, when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities.

After the start of Make-A-Wish in the United States, interest in granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions quickly spread to other nations. In 1993, Make-A-Wish International was officially formed to serve the five countries outside the U.S. – and now helps to serve children outside the United States in nearly 50 countries on five continents through its 39 affiliates. Make-A-Wish America grants the wishes of children in the United States through its 61 chapters. With the help of generous donors and over 32,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish has collectively granted approximately more than 350,000 wishes worldwide since 1980. (source)

Late last year I even granted a wish, along with my coworkers. We held a bake sale and sold ice cream sandwiches to fund it. Little by little we gathered the money and it felt so good. Something as simple as a new bike can make a kid’s day, or his entire year. If you have the chance, resources, skills or just want to bring a smile to a kid, and yourself, do it.

So, two weekends ago I had the honor to volunteer again, this time it was not design related (yay!), so I got up early on a Sunday morning (I know, the horror) and drove my way into the venue for Wish Day.

April 29th is World Wish Day®, the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish® in 1980 and a worldwide day of gratitude to thank our donors, volunteers, medical professionals, sponsors, wish kids and families.


Wish Day was basically a party/fun fair for the kids, their healthier siblings and their parents. I was in charge of the “Duck Pond” and gave away prizes for the children. I may and may have not cheated a bit and helped them out so everyone got something…and maybe I did give away extra prizes to some kids… but It was a day for them go to all out. There was all kinds of games and things to do. I couldn’t even take many pictures, those kids kept me busy. Not surprised though, they had free popcorn, cotton candy, raspao'(Panamanian shaved ice), popsicles, burgers, hot dogs… and a freaking CANDY BAR. There was a candy bar, okay?! Even I walked out with my Jolly Rancher stash. My precious.

Most importantly, the children had fun and once more, taught everyone in the room how appreciative we should all be of the little things in life, like fishing a rubber duck off a kiddie pool and it being the biggest achievement ever. Those little people have probably been through hell and they are still fighting through it all with a smile.

If you’re interested in taking part as a volunteer for Make a Wish, you can contact them directly by clicking here or through me. There are many ways to do it and it doesn’t take much, but gives you back a whole lot.



It’s been very hard for me to approach this subject because while it has been an important part of my life, it’s been painful at times. Long distance relationships. I became an internet user at the tender age of 12 or so. Maybe even earlier than that. From there, I met so many people and some of those friendships went beyond screens and borders. And those close to me somehow always moved elsewhere. Even I did for a while.

70cb02d6dbd011e2813a22000a1fb833_7Now, this post was intended to shine a light on how my cards have been dealt and how coincidentally, I’ve had to deal with all kinds of long distance relationships for as long as I’ve known it was possible. Most of my friends I met online while living in separate parts of the world, others I met in person and life made us part ways, I had a previous LDR before meeting Ed (to whom I almost didn’t give a chance given the circumstances), two of my siblings live overseas ever since i was a kid…

People came and went. Met people who lead me to meet more people and build relationships. There was this girl who i befriended, who introduced me to someone else who turned out to be a good riddance, but who would eventually lead me to my friend Annie… We remained friends, traveled together and through her I met more people that I now consider family.

This person, a former friend, who used to criticize me behind my back saying I was someone who was unable to form “real” relationships. What’s real if the lines have been blurred for decades now?  It crushed me because I knew it wasn’t an impossible task, but it was partially right. I have a mild form of Social Anxiety and it’s hard for me to open up to new people quite as easily as most folks – but was this correlated to the fact I ALWAYS ended up separated from the ones I loved? Who knows. It is what it is.

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Us – watching a movie together while apart.

Growing up I figured I’ve worked hard to make long distance relationships work, with friends, family, my boyfriend…Luckily I no longer have to with the latter, but these things have been rewarding. Sometimes I do wish some of them would text me more often, but I get everyone gets caught up with their lives at some point.

I am happy to have survived the distance with him. The planets lined up and sacrifices were made. I feel i finally ~broke the curse~ and came out with funny stories to tell. I want to say LDRs are 50% about location, 50% about perception. I never felt Ed was 16 hours away from me and that kept me going.

My life as a meme. I didn’t choose the LDR life, the LDR life chose me.




My parents never bought me video games, mostly because I never asked for them. I remember getting board games I never used and focused myself into arts and crafts and my ever-growing Polly Pocket collection.  I played on occasion, with my neighbor and her Game Cube, I discovered Smash Bros. and the one game dear to my heart no matter the console: Mario Kart. Later in life I bought a Wii, it was my first -mine all mine- console, and later came a pink DS Lite with some girly, effortless titles. Of course as it’s expected of me, I blinged it with cheap crystal stickers and am proud to say I still have it. I remember my brother was into Atari when he was younger and later played PC games and Xbox. I found my niche to be Nintendo.

When I met Ed he rekindled that dormant love for video games. I also met a new array of games I ignored before, Magic The Gathering is among those. And Zelda,  the true love of his life. I had played it before but never thought it would become such a big part of our life together. Never had I thought I would go in so deep into gaming. He presented me with a set of MTG cards on our very first date and I made it my task to learn how to play it while he was away (we dated long distance for months) so I went to a gaming shop on a weekly basis to learn how to play… and also made new friends along the way. It was hard, but sharing something like this with your partner is much more fun in the long run.

Given that I accepted the deal, you know, dating him, I also committed myself to participate in things he enjoyed. I support his gaming nights where instead of hanging out with me he goes and plays against other experienced/veteran players, I’ve even hung out entire days doing nothing at a shop while he plays in tournaments because I know I can offer some support between rounds. I’m often known as the girlfriend who brings him food(a.k.a. nerd fuel). It’s funny how I was a regular and now I just come around in a supporting role. On weekends we gather with friends and do role-playing, which I still find a bit confusing and overwhelming but I’m sticking to it, it is fun after all!

He supports what I do too, and my own gaming habits. I’m a HUGE Animal Crossing fan (and I’m gonna make a separate post about that later on), and while I don’t have as much available time to play as I did before, he has been the one buying me amiibos, going to meet ups to trade cards with me and making sure my collection is up to date… Still need to fully display them all but that’s happening rather soon… We also have a soft spot for board games, including those like Monopoly that I once received as a Christmas present from relatives but had no one to play them with.

I’m not the indicated to give relationship advice, but being open to new experiences and sharing the love for games has made our relationship much stronger than it was. It’s teamwork, I suppose. He will always be Player 1 for me, though I’m sure he would rather be my Player 2.



coffee caramel waffles from our lunch/dinner date


Today we joined our friends Sophie and her husband for something between lunch and dinner. What would a 4:00 p.m. meal be called? Lunner? Dinch? Anyway, i felt the hours went by too fast. I had planned dedicating some time to blogging (or figuring out what to blog!) and work my way around design and the current theme situation.

I still have many, many doubts regarding language, content, images and target audience. I suppose  I just answered my language question. English just reaches a broader audience, imo. I want original content, and that means no stock photos for posts! Unless of course, there is an intention behind it and i feel the need to link my favorite tumblr finds. It will happen, people!

I also plan to make movie/series reviews on here. Some may not know, but I’m a huge cinephile and my better half is a scriptwriter. Of course we own and have seen an obscene amount of films and tasted pretty much every popcorn flavor under the sun. And that brings me to my next point: food. fewdz. We are foodies, and while i may or may not review things, expect pictures, a couple of recipes and tales of food adventures.

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