Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Stuff from California

We went to California all the way back in February, as you know. Now it's April. I think for me, after we got back from California. With it being the end of the school year. I was a little delayed with getting the posts up from the actual California trip. Finally, finally finally got them up minus the usual "what we brought back post". Then the end of the school year got things a little more busy around here. We longed for Spring break. Ehhh I can get that final post up on Spring break I thought. Famous last words. @_@ Then the unthinkable happened, the earthquake and tsunami, the nuclear problem at the Fukushima power plant. And besides having power outages. Plus having the absolute scare of our lives. I think the "what we brought back" post became like the least important thing on our minds. Honestly. We had bigger fish to fry...meaning more important issues like our family of 4 being split up for a while. Etc etc. Also I think, I felt respect wise I would purposely not put it on for a certain length of time. Not saying I'd never put it up. Because well...I can't just have my blog frozen in time either.... that wouldn't really be fair either. And now it's nearing 2 month's later. Since we were in California to begin with. And nearly 3 and a half weeks since the earthquake and tsunami. Still, biding my time and trying to figure out when I should finally get it posted. And then I slowly start seeing other Japan bloggers posting about happy things again and that made me smile, it was needed, and I could definitely use a smile. And I started to think hmm. Perhaps I should start to think about some positive things and write about those. Catch this blog up entirely. Especially considering since I had this post waiting since Feb! Honestly it was quite a long while to wait. And I am glad I did wait. But now feel it's time to start blogging normally again. And since this post has been in pause since Feb, sounds like a good start. So, read this if you want. So anyway....trying really hard to get myself back into the groove once again and into the swing of things.
Underwear for Noah. Back in February while we were in Los Angeles, we went to Target. Target is my favorite American store, they sell everything there. And for so cheap plus the stuff they do sell is so cute. I swear if we lived in the US, 90% of the boys things would come from there. But we don't live in the US, so we just do the best we can and stock up once a year or so when we can. Cartoon character ones on the left and cool guy types on the right.
They had the cutest undies, loved the orange colors for the boys.
We picked up a pack of the orange striped undies for B too. And also another pack of different colored ones too and a pack of inside tee shirts Branden needs for school.
Branden got a good assortment. Noah did too. And they were all at such a price that we felt happy we saved. So it helped our family buying there.
These socks were $5 for a pack. So Branden got 2 packs and Noah only got 1 pack. Because Branden actually wears these socks to school and when he's not in school. Where as Noah actually wears uniform socks to school so he doesn't need as many as Branden does.
Noboru usually wears boxers. But he decided while he was at Target and he saw the cheap pack of undie types the boys got, he got himself a big value pack too and a value pack of socks.
Hmm, with everyone in the family getting new underwear it was only natural for me to think hmm. Perhaps I should get some new ones as well. So, I got some low cut ones and some bikini ones. And that cheap white bra I told you about way back in February.
If I were to buy comfy house shorts in Japan. Believe me, I bought some last year for a 2 pack for like $2500. $25 US or with the exchange maybe around $26.50 or somewhere around there. So, honestly yes, it really does save our family budget...plus we were there anyway. And since I'll need comfy house shorts anyway. To get them there. And at $7.99 each it did save us money.
A savings is a savings. I got 1 pair in large and 1 pair in medium. I'm now wishing I would have got 2 mediums versus 1 of each. Oh well. 1 baggy pair is not so bad I guess.
I'm not into French stuff at all. But I saw this shirt though and liked the picture. And the beading on her beret. I've been wearing this 2 ways so far. One way is with skin tight capri jeans, the ballet flats with the black rose on the toe and a black blazer. And I've also worn this with a jean jacket and black leggings and those same ballet flats with the big black roses on the toe area. Looks cute either way. I actually wore this on my flight to Guam. The flight attendant commented on my outfit...liking it when we entered the airplane. And I thanked her. Anyway feeling like a dork now so moving on.....
These packs of snacks are just $1 per pack. $1 Reese's peanut butter cups, licorice, Milk duds etc. And we often have family movie night so a little mixed bowl of these are great for family movie night.
Again Target makes the cutest things. They sold these cool popcorn plastic containers. They will help us feel really into movie night. These will be perfect for that. One for each of us.
A huge container of Goldfish for $6 bucks. And 1 small container of them, the boys munched back on the flight. And 2 boxes of cinnabon type breakfast bars. The box was right they do taste amazing warm.
Miracle whip for sandwiches. And whipped cream frosting so light and another extra bottle of pumpkin pie spice. It was our 1 big chance to get it so we did.
Anyone remember Chocodiles growing up? Anyone? They were sold everywhere in the US growing up. Then disappeared. Online if you ever look, there is almost a cult following and everyone says they are available in California and one other state I forget. I checked and sure enough they are. So, just for old times sake, I bought these. Boy did the flavor take me back! My tastebuds perked up and everything.
I am pretty sure I have a 6 month supply of feminine products now. I always worry..what if I run out. I know I'd survive surely....and they do sell them here. Just like the ones from home is all.
2 packs of tortillas. Perfect for wraps. And pasta roni and quick oats, Safeway brand (store brand) for apple crisp.
Liquid stuff in ziplock bags.
Cleanser plus makeup remover these smell great.
I like the scrub too.
Again back in February. While we were at Target. These were new and on sale. We figured with the exchange rate and the yen being so strong. It would be a great time to get some things for Spring/Summer.
2 toners. The white one for the hot humid Summer. And the blue one for now.
The DS game for Branden. And the Transformers Bumble Bee for Noah.
I had been wanting to go to Sally Beauty Supply for quite some time. They don't have one in Guam, or Hawaii. And so since we haven't been to the mainland in years, while we were there I went to one.
I had been wanting a yellowbird for some time now. A professional hair dryer. And the bada bing gel was for Branden.
At Target, we got this big Easter platter and a white salad plate for me to put my dinners on. For my portions.
$4.99 for that huge Easter platter. Again not sure what something like that would cost me in Japan. Or if something like that would even be available. But, with us being at Target and with it being the price it was back in Feb, we bought it.
The kids plates and bowls we have at home are so old. We got them at the Daiso when Branden was a young babe so they are super used. With the prices at Target it was the right thing for us to get these cute monkey plates and yumm bowls. Also I ended up with a few extra plates missing and not in this pic but it's down below. The Yum bowls are pictured here.
Sixteen candles $5 at Target. And Paranormal 2, Noboru and I enjoyed one night first week of March. And the Easter card the boys picked out at Target for grandpa, we thought it was so funny. Little did we know we would hand give this to him after the quake. : ( And the dvd player Noboru got me for my birthday. For my b-day the following month.
Letters for my scrapbooking. Now I have many pretty letters for both Branden and Noah's scrapbooks.
Geeze how much was this scarf again? I forget it happened so long ago. I bought this on Olvera street. It's a nice soft fleecy material. And the orange in this I loved. And I'll be sure to wear it.

This was hiding in another suitcase.
This is a nice cleanser too.
A very small handful of things from Old Navy.
Black flip flops with diamonds. Fake of course but cute anyway with the rhinestones. And denim shorts and khaki shorts for the Summer. I came back with only these 2 summer shorts and the Target house comfy shorts for the house or lounging around.
2 for $10.

Branden got 2 of these, yellow and navy. And Noah got the yellow.
Branden also got this shirt. Again not hundreds but back in February we thought, if we had the chance to get a few things for Spring/Summer and it saved money more power to us.
I go to a lot of parent meetings at the schools. I often find myself carrying scissors for the "bell mark" cut at the yochien. Or crafting for the Summer festival. And these bags are going to be useful for carrying things like that.
And the price was right.
The MAC at the Nordies that morning.
It's a medium coverage. Skin still shows through. But it's longwear. I wondered if it was really longwear or not. On my usual days I either wear no makeup or studio fix. And it disappears after a good 6 hours. Anyway, I wore this the day I left Guam. And it lasted and looked like new from the early morning in Guam all the way until the late evening in Japan. It looked like I just applied it that night. I think I'll save this for when we have parents meetings or entrance ceremony type days or graduation type days.
Also at Nordies that morning, Kiehl's face lotion. Then we went upstairs and had lunch.
At Sephora....
I have been interested in the daily face peel. Also the word peel sorta freaks me out. It didn't peel anything off for me. It was really gentle and I have very sensitive skin. But it gave me really really clear skin. I mean like freakishly clean skin.
No nose blackheads, nothing. A little too much for my budget to use regularly but it was nice to try the trial pack of 10 at least. ; ) Tinted brow gel.
A really good match for my brows.
Yep, I'm a brunette. : )
Nars Dolce Vita.
Nars lip creamy thick pencil and a Sephora brand thick creamy lip pencil. Goes on as smooth as a lipstick.
Eyebrow scissors.
Peach butter and apple butter from Knotss Berry Farm. I made sure they packaged them in enough paper and then wrapped them in my towel going back to Japan.
My dad enjoyed his. We're enjoying ours too.
The cookies were omiyage. And the apple crisp topping in the apple bag we bought to try at home.
Apple crisp topping mix.
Noboru liked his friends Garmin navigation system, he borrowed us. He wanted one himself. He bought this at Costco in California.
After unloading that stuff and emptying out some more suitcases. Another table full.
Again hindsights 20/20. How on earth would we know what would happen on 3/11. Way back in Febuary. There was absolutely no way of knowing. All I can say is....Noboru bought this cereal on sale and he loves this. But after the quake and cereal all but disappeared from the shelves we would be happy we had this. Again though....we had no idea at the time when he bought this.
I was thinking about Halloween and how the boys and I could make caramel apples. How they don't sell this stuff in Guam and if I had any hope to buy this now would be the time. So, we bought it in February.
Will last until 2012, so it will definitely last until this coming Oct. Again this is clearly a sign...we really had no idea what would happen the following month at all.
Pudding for Noah's lunches. And the graham crackers for the kids.
Rice a roni, the family size, stove top and ravioli. Again when we bought the ravioli, we thought fun frivilous lunch for the boys. Never in our wildest nightmares would we think...for when the power cuts out and all the meat goes bad in the freezer and the food shortages start. Again talk about being taken off guard.
Here we were thinking...fun buffalo wings for Spring and some ranch to dip the wings in. Some Safeway brand pasta sauce for cheap...possible lasagna cheat.

Safeway brand popcorn, the other missing whipped cream frosting and 2 creamers for coffee.
Irish cream and Italian sweet cream.

Again we could not predict the future. We were thinking happy thoughts of the upcoming lovely Spring. And bought this house freshner that smells of a lovely spring day.
For my weekly eyebrow plucking. A 3x mirror will help.
While Noboru was at Costco deciding on his car navigation thing, I walked the clothes area and found this swimming robe/cover up for Noah. I bought the size bigger. Wish they had the same in Branden's size but no such luck.
A very happy robe for Summer.
I have been wishing for a flat iron for quite a long time. Have researched them for a while. The CHI are in a price range from the low end $100-to a high end Chi would be around $180. So really expensive. : ( I wanted the GVP. One was half off on clearance. We got that as a back up. And the other one is a limited edition in purple. 3 total, these should last forever. Again we just don't have the opportuniy to be on the mainland very often. And if we only bought 1 and it broke I'd be kicking myself. After much debate with the hubby. We concluded that even getting these 3, it still was cheaper then buying the name brand CHI one. So, we felt happy. All 3 of these were around $80 for all 3. So we saved 100 bucks by not buying the CHI. Nothing against the Chi at all. I'm just happy with the choice we made.
Heat protectant.
Big bottles of shampoo. Knock off shampoos of the Matrix and Aveda.

A very big travel bag perfect for carrying on the airplane.
The price was fair, a steal given the exchange rate. Yay for a strong yen and the zipper top means I feel more comfortable knowing my stuff is safe.
The bright pink lining ws also a nice touch.
I liked this preppy little bag. It's actually a good size and great for the warmer weather.

Two monkey plates for Noah. And 2 monkey plates for Branden. And 1 yum plate each. Plus they each got a yum bowl. And I got a pack of pony tail holders. 2 Spiderman and villians of Spiderman cups. And 1 small box of Advil/ibuprofin for myself. Now we can throw out the old kids plates in the dish cabinet. $1 for the Spider man cups. Again so cheap.
They had polo tops in the boys section for $6.99 each.
We figured 3 for Branden would be a good little jump start for getting him ready for Spring/Summer.
And a great deal for a pair of shorts for Branden too.
1 pair for Branden, just a start.
Size 6/7. We thought the same for Noah too.
Again didn't want to buy 100 for the kids. But 3 each was a good little head start for the warmer weather. Little did we foresee the boys would be using them in March in Guam. @_@ Sigh.
And poor Noah, he's so skinny. The size 6 tops fit. But the size 6 shorts were enormous on him. He's a very normal and healthy height..... but his thinness is definitely something we always know. So we had him try both sizes on in the fitting room. Yep size 5 it was. : (

And even still, it was cinched inside so small.
Mario tee for playing around the housing community for Branden for the warmer upcoming weather.
Again we rarely get to go to the mainland, and the deals plus knowing they'd need Summer stuff soon anyway...we got a few things while we were there.
Diary Of a Wimpy Kid. I remember when I blogged when Branden got that book as one of his Christmas presents a few years back along with the Giving Tree. Anyway he loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid and has read that book twice already and owns the dvd. So when he saw this shirt....he wanted it. And given the price, we said yes.
Noah loves Phineas and Ferb. And wanted this shirt just for lazy days at home for the Summer time. Again little did we even think Noah would be wearing this in Guam in March. Little did we know. : (
And again there's Bumble Bee from the Transformers again. Noah is gaga for Bumble Bee. And so he got this for lazy days at home for the Summer. Anyway that's what we brought back way back in February. The Guam post is behind this one on the next page.