Friday, September 30, 2011

Wreath switch, time to welcome the Fall.

October 1st, means time for the Fall wreath switch. I packed the hydrangea wreath away. And pulled out the one for Fall. With scarecrows and squash and leaves. It definitely will make everyone coming to our home, smile and think of Fall.

This past week, was really awesome. Not a single meeting. It was just a regular week. And this weekend, is going super. Nothing is planned. No school function or anywhere to be. It's just simply...a weekend. Boy did we need this. : )

Noah's undokai is not until October 16th.

Umm, what else... we are leaving to Hakone before Noah has his undokai. So the trip will have already been taken by the time Noah has his undokai. Also, regarding Noah's undokai, we decided not to invite Mitsuko this year. Not because of a mean reason. But, she's busy running her restaurants. She is coming to Noah's Christmas recital in December. She's been a star in the fact she's come every other time we've asked My dad has also come every time we asked. But, we decided, it is Noah's last undokai and let's just keep it us...our family of 4. So anyway that's that. Also my dad will be here in November for Thanksgiving.

The Disney to enjoy the Halloween atmosphere, date has been set. We're looking forward to that too.

Now this coming week for me looks a bit crazy. I work Oct 4th. And I also work Oct 21st (so towards the end of the month). So twice this month. Not bad. However...this coming week, October 6th? It looks insanely busy for me. In fact just thinking about that day sort of makes me wonder how I will juggle all the things I have going on that day. Hmm. October 6th I have, a shaon kai meeting...I also have Noah's rehearsal for undokai. Yep. @_@ We run through the ENTIRE thing! And I also have Branden's observation day same day! Let me say one more time...this all happens on the same day! @_@ Oh yeah and the yochien ladies would also like to do lunch that very same day. At my favorite Indian restaurant which normally I'd say, yes sure. I'd love to, see you there. But....when do I have time to have lunch. As it is, I'll be running from my town to the small city and back and forth. Branden has mentioned to me..."mommy I'd like for you to come see, this class or if you can't make it, can you make it to such and such class." @_@ I don't know how I will be at 2 places at once. Hopefully the things won't overlap time wise. I'm going to have to give deep thought about October 6th and email a few yochien ladies get a few things a bit more clear. Reread Branden's class schedule. And hope October 6th works out for me. So, for this weekend, I am just relaxing resting up. I may have to pass up the lunch with my fellow yochien ladies. But as long as I am there for both son's and they see me there. And I attend and participate in the shaon kai meeting and help out at the undokai "run through." Then I will feel I didn't let anyone down that day. : ) The lunch...I'll just have to say..I am very very sorry, I can't make it and leave it like that. Hope they all understand, I think they will. And then rush to the elementary school fast as lightning. Throwing my name badge on my neck and grabbing for my slippers as I run through the elementary genkan area.

I am also going to be in the Makuhari area this coming week and quite possibly Costco. We'll see how much time, I have but I think yeah...I will definitely be at Costco Makuhari sometime this coming week. I have so many things penciled in my calendar this week. It looks crazy, but Noboru's schedule even looks worse then mine. Poor guy. : ) He told me last night, the whole month of October looks crazy for us. I said, yes, I know. : ) Oh well, we have the Hakone trip to look forward to. That will help get us through the tough busy days. : )

We also will be getting the 4 glowing/illuminated jack o lantern heads that take the place of the 4 hanging flower baskets sometime this week, whenever we both can get the time and sit down and get them hung. Ahh this week looks busy, social and fun, but indeed busy, but the following week looks awesome!

The Duchess: With,Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. It's been on satellite 3 times within the past 7 days or so. And I've watched it all 3 times. I saw it on dvd, once when it first came out years ago. And you know I really liked the movie. So, when it's played this past week, I've really enjoyed watching it again and again. I feel so much for Georgiana. : ( Anyway no real point to that paragraph, except for I am really fond of the movie.

Getting ready for Fall, part 2

With the start of the first grade this coming April strongly on our minds. We picked these up for Noah. He's a 20cm right now. And knowing how his feet grow, we picked these in 20.5cm and they should be perfect for when April rolls around. We've put these in the shoe closet.
A smaller order from Gap/ON got here. Every week a 30% coupon will show on their site and only be on there for a day or a two. That's when I will place my order.
These plain rugby stripe long sleeves are great for both Branden and Noah. I ordered red/navy for both of the boys. And bright blue/white stripe. But Noah's red one came in a different shipment.
Will be perfect once it starts to grow colder, these are Branden's.
Size 10-12. Perfect for a soon to be 10 year old Branden. October 26th is his birthday. : )
This will be perfect for Noah.
Size 6-7
I picked this up for myself, a fleece vest. Perfect for when it starts to get a bit chilly and I don't want to wear my winter puff vest or my winter coat.
This was the mother of all packages. So huge that it actually bulged. @_@
I see the words, Gap everywhere on this table.
2 for Noah. These were on sale and then the day I used it, I used my 30% off coupon, they were such a steal, Nishimatsuya type price. I really got a great deal.
And 1 sweatshirt for Noah and the 1 red/navy striped that was missing in the first package.
And same for Branden. I always try my best to get the same. Unless there isn't one in one of their sizes. But I do try my best to be fair with what they get.
As the picture says, size L. These were for me, and they were "slim fit" and the reviews on Gap said, to order a size up, which is why I did order a size up. And they were right, it fits like a standard US medium would. So, I loved it, and glad I sized up with these.
Navy with white words and creamy off white with navy words.
Size medium sweatpants for me for the upcoming chilly weather. I really liked the wording on the side of the leg. Will be wearing these with black long sleeve Nissen tee and new NB black sneakers to run the boys to school in when it cools down. And maybe even my fleece vest once it really starts to get even colder.
Also, went back to Nishimatsuya with both Branden and Noah in tow last week. I needed them to try on some sweatpants. For the upcoming colder weather.
They only had 1 pair in Branden's size. They had a black pair but I really don't like to dress my children in black, sorry just personal preference. Plus he has 2 pair from last year in size large 10-12 that are perfect still. So 3 pair is enough for Branden. And these 2 for Noah, with cute white stripes on the sides. Were perfect for Noah. I've since washed them and dried them and they now sit in each of the boys closets in their bedrooms. Waiting for a cool/chilly day. Slowly but surely I am getting both Branden and Noah Fall/Winter ready. And Branden has that new coat I ordered him in January that was on sale, and it's perfect and bright kelly green and bright blue. It's so cool. And Noah's winter coat has just been ordered from Gap a few days ago, he got a brilliant bright yellow one that's been shipped to my dad's in Guam as we speak. It looks like this.
What else? Oh yes, this past Monday, Branden had no school. Because he went to school for undokai on that Saturday, was it 2 Saturday's ago? And last Monday was a holiday anyway. So this Monday, he was also off because of the undokai like I said. After he and I dropped off Noah at school. We came home and we went through his closet. Yep, a boring way for him to spend a day off, I know. : ) Sorry. But it had to be done. We went through his t-shirt drawer, every size medium size 8's had to be thrown into a big plastic box. Every sweatshirt, and even a bright yellow winter Gap coat size 8 that looks quite similar to the one above, will be waiting for Noah for future use. Gap winter hats, 3 of them tossed into the box for Noah for the future. Just all of it, boxed and saved and now waiting in the attic. That was 2 hours of boredom for Branden, but we listened to music while we worked. And he never complained, when we finished. I took him to Mc D's for lunch. He had lunch around 11:30am. Around 12:30pm some boys in the neighborhood came by and he played outside until we had to go and get Noah in the afternoon. I meanwhile tidied the upstairs and scrubbed the toilets. And did laundry. So Branden's closet, done. My closet 90% done. And Noah's closet will be for this upcoming week or may possibly be started tomorrow/Sunday depending how in the mood I am for tackling that job. Once Noah's closet is done, I will switch back to mine. I'd like to go through my nylon/hose drawer and also go through my bags. Just see what's what. Anyway...still getting ready for Fall, same as every year. : )

Getting ready for Fall part 1

I know I rarely talk about working out anymore. But I haven't stopped at all. Not in the least. Since January 2011, I have been going full steam and I haven't wanted to quit. I am always very cautious to say things until I know for sure but I really feel it was a life change. You can see my "fitness minutes" for August. I was 6th place in one of the groups I belong to. And 6th place isn't bad. And consider I worked out in 1 month...1,845 minutes. Honestly, I am VERY proud of myself. Considering I am also a busy mommy of 2. And take care of the household needs, do shopping and the boys extra curriculars to boot! And still find the extra time to work out and stay in shape and fit. I am very proud of myself. The month of September I only had about 1500 minutes to be honest. I wish I could have worked out more September, but I have been just busy with the yochien groups/committees I belong to, insanely busy plus still 1500 fitness minutes for September isn't bad at all either really. Anyway enough about that. But yeah...I'm really working hard. I do 300 stomach crunches for example, Tues..Thurs and Saturday. So 900 stomach crunches every week. Not counting the 5 days a week of either treadmill or Zumba, just getting some sort of cardio in there, plus my workouts focusing on my core so the stomach crunches. I transitioned from a Gap/ON large to a Gap/ON medium. Moving on....
Anyway the Fall and Winter gathering like I always do has begun. 1 vest for Noah, 1 lunch bag for the boys to share. 1 long sleeve black and white top for myself. 2 pair of trouser/wide leg jeans. Everyone's calling them trouser jeans this season. And something else pictured but I forget.
Another package got here, these were my 2 sweatshirts. And I even have 1 other Gap/ON package on it's way to me as I speak, errr type.
Gap, used to make super cute ladies Gap logo sweatshirts. I wore them in uni. Then they took them away. Didn't carry them for years. The guys sweatshirts never went away and they sell them every single year, lucky for Noboru but out of luck for me. I sort of gave up on the Gap logo hoodie for us ladies. Boy was I pleasantly surprised to see they started selling them this season. And given all the reviews they've gotten online....positive ones. I'm not the only one who's missed them. They said they run small and to order up a size. The reviews were right. They do run small. I bought a large versus a medium because of the fact all the reviews said they ran small. So glad I listened to them. It is a more feminine fitted type fit, so that's why it is cut a bit on the small size. But I love it. I ordered 1 in this navy blue color with purple writing.
And I also ordered the full zip fitted hoodie in navy. I bought these both and used a 30% off coupon.
Here, they are. I can't wait for Fall/Winter now. I feel fitter this year, leaner this year and happy to have my trusty Gap sweatshirts back.
Wide leg jeans are making a comeback. Thank goodness, have been sorta tired of the skinny jeans from last season. I got these ones with the squiggly lines on the back pockets.
And these are trouser jeans. They even have a button back pocket. I really love these.
Yep, they got here too. And the wide cuffs/legs.
Also picked up 2 pair of wide leg jeans from Nissen as well. You can see the wide cuff legs on these as well. They're really flattering.
Japanese size wise. I am an L. I usually try not to give out too much information, because it's just TMI. But just this once. Also, if you're wondering why an American M and an L Japanese size, well if you live in Japan, you already know the answer....it's because the cuts and sizing are totally smaller here. So consider a Japanese L is a lot tinier and smaller cut then a L in America. So a medium in the US and an L in Japan. Which I don't really mind being, though I'd like to be a bit more fit, so I keep exercising and I also now really enjoy exercising and I like the health benefits and looks to my body. Sometimes if it runs small or if I really want it and if it's not available in a size L...I can get an LL and shrink it in the dryer. When I flipped through the Nissen catalog and also the Smileland, because L's can shop on either catalog, lol. Now that's depressing or lucky however you look at it...twice the selection you know. : ) Anyway back to the pic of the leggings, I really liked these but the size said size LL-3L (bigger then the size I need). And there were no pants like these in the regular Nissen catalog, they had tights /nylons like this but not leggings/ type pants. No way can I wear a 3L no way, no how, I'd be swimming in it. LL is even seriously pushing it. But the reviews on Nissen in Japanese said these ran so small! That they had zero stretch and they all returned them. Great for me since I worried they'd be too big. So, I bought them, tried them on, too big for me but they were right no stretch at all which would be great for me, I liked them, I washed them and dried them and they shrunk to a perfect size for me. So, now they are perfect. They are now about a size Japanese size L. : ) I will wear these with jean mini skirts, and ballet shoes or Ugg type boots or low top converse. And a turtle neck or cute sweater or something.
Also bought 4 new basic long sleeve tops. Nissen Smileland had them in size L (lucky for me they had my size) and no, I really don't care which catalog it comes from, if it's cute, and it fits, so be it...990 yen for regular neck and 1290 yen for V neck. I bought 2 black ones, 1 regular/U neck and 1 black v neck....1 white regular neck and 1 pink v neck. I like the material. I think the weight is good quality, but the white is a little too thin for my liking but I'll be wearing it under my Gap sweatshirts so it's fine and I'll keep it. The weight thickness on the pink and black ones were better then the white long sleeve. I was glad I picked up a few basics like these long sleeve T's. Perfect for the turning cooler weather and the price I really loved.
1 piece denim dress size L, so cute with crazy Japanese leggings and a basic top and cardi. Very very cute. I love Nissen!
The long sleeve T from Old Navy, out of the package that was in the pic up above. I love this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Endless.com (part of Amazon.com) Shoes that ship to Japan

Now that I'm teaching English at 2 hoikuen's and need to wear inside shoes, which can be anything...Nike, Adidas doesn't matter as long as it isn't used for outside. Anyway, I washed my black low top converse and had been using those as my "inside shoes" to wear inside the schools I work at. However with working and making my own income. Not only did I pay for my own hair straightening a month ago and trim at the salon. I also decided it was time to buy myself a good pair of sneakers. So, I looked at the Narita mall while we were looking for Branden's sneakers for undokai. And was sort of saddened to see that they carry no woman's shoe larger then a 25cm. Well I am a 25cm according to Nissen and other online websites for when I buy shoes. My flower ballet shoes are 25cm. I was surprised when I tried a 25cm at the Sports Authority and it seemed like a 23cm sized shoe. Noboru mentioned...you should have gotten some in Hawaii or Guam. Hmm, hind site being 20/20, right? Hmm. Anyway I do order from Amazon.com once every 3 months or so, so not too often. But enough to get the weekly mailers and to have current dvd's at home here. Anyway surprise surprise, I get an email saying...women's shoes..Endless.com, part of Amazon. I made a mental note and after the boys went to bed, I looked online, fully expecting to find shoes not my style...or out of my price range. I found a pair of New Balance navy pair for $40 US. And I found a black pair of New Balance, but these were special ones because they were/are the Heidi Klum version. They were $70 or so, I forget their exact price now. But around there. I considered, my yen paycheck. And the fact I couldn't get them here in my size in Japan. And given the free shipping and given I already had a Amazon account I wouldn't have to sign up all over from scratch! Those parts I LOVED too! With the high yen exchange rate, I think I paid, ichimanyen/$100 US. 10,000 yen. So only 2 hours of me chasing around the kiddies at the hoikuen to pay for them, and I do love these shoes, both pair, so a great purchase in my opinion.
So, I ordered around 11pm at night, went to bed. And when I woke up the next morning...sitting in my email box said...first pair already has been shipped @_@ Expedited shipping! Which was free. Wow, how fast I thought. So, I did my day and when I got home around 2-3pm that day, another email saying..the Black colored Heidi Klum pair had already been shipped as well. Wow, lightning speed, I thought.
UPS express! Kuroneko is who delivered it to my house. Within 4 days I had both of my shoes here at my house!
Normal New balance box on the right. And Super model Heidi Klum's pair on the left. Hence the HK NB on the side of the box. And she is an avid runner in real life, I often see many pictures of her running in the tabloids. I figure a runner would know what she's looking for in a running shoe. And plus since she's a model or was. And is in the fashion world, she would know the importance of a fashionable running shoe. So, I felt I could get best of both worlds with her shoes fashionable and a great running shoe. And wow, they are so comfortable.

Size 9 US.
The Heidi Klum pair is a throw back to the old school style. And I loved them! Which is why I ordered them.
Very 80's back of the shoe, so cute.
Says right on the shoe..HK NB. I'm sure a few brand loving folks in Japan will know what these are. Anyway, I was happy with my purchase and I worked for them....so more power to me! : )

And just a regular navy pair with cute green NB on them. I will wear my navy Gap sweatshirts with this pair of navy NB this Fall/Winter. And my black T's and stuff with my Heidi Klum pair.
Because I want my purchase to last, I went to a sneaker/shoe shop in the small city Noah gos to yochien in and bought some water proof for the suede areas on my sneakers. Sprayed them and let them dry 24 hours like the bottle says. I haven't worn them yet..not even to undokai.
All in all, I was really happy with my sneaker purchase from Endless.com. If you have tiny feet this post won't really be of any use to you, because you can get shoes and sneakeres here in Japan, but for anyone who has a size 9 shoe/foot and is looking for another option, well at least know there is one more option. : ) And they do ship to us here in Japan and they ship quick! Anyway very pleased with my purchase and hopefully someday someone will be looking for sneakers and if they come across this post, it will have been worth it for me to write it. : )