Friday, January 31, 2014

Stuff from this week...

How have you been doing this week? Here, it's been a pretty good week. Let's see.... this Monday, January 27th, morning, I ran some errands after sending both Branden and Noah to school. One of the errands was go and get a pack of bread for the week from the bakery also to get a snack for the boys for when they get home, since they swim Monday's and Thursdays and need an after school snack. They shared the garlic bread, melon pan and curry pan wrapped in paper. Also my bakery gives the ends of the bread away for free to customers who want them. 3 in a bag at the front of this pic. We love the toasted ends (for free) with butter and cinnamon sugar. I never pass up a bag of ends of bread, one of my good friends who had a daughter in Noah's class in yochien is the one who told me about the free ends and she always got them, so I have always picked a pack too (the packs of ends at our bakery always has a few bags near the cash register 1 per customer : ). In Japan they call the ends of bread "ears" (pan no mimi) hahaha. The chicken sandwich was my lunch Monday. 

All white chicken. Breaded fried and a slightly sweet sauce. The Chicken tatsuta is so good here. : )

I made gyoza again, this Monday. This time, I made 60 and froze them. : ) This time, I used my food processor and it saved me doing the chopping took only a minute to get everything chopped by my food processor. I used mostly cabbage, but I also used, a bit of nira and garlic and a little salt and pepper. Very simple, but really good. Tastes like normal gyoza except meatless. 

And done, ready to be put in the freezer bag. 

Tuesday, January 28th, Noboru and I cruised it to Chiba New Town/Inzai. We hit Nitori first. I had wanted 6 baskets, had measurements already for the size I needed on a piece of paper and I had also wanted the cute colorful duvet cover for Noah's bed. I had pre-priced stuff online and knew it would be under 6,000 yen for everything. It was 5,500 yen ($55 US) so about what I thought. Yay, go me! : ) 

A Costco run. So we had lunch there. Noboru had a hot dog and a clam chowder. I had a slice of pizza and we shared the ice cream. Also, I like to take a pic of my cart versus sharing pics of stuff bought at home for right now, but I forgot while there. Sorry. 

Dinner rolls, and a rotisserie chicken for that night. Tuesday of this week. easy meal helper, so totally appreciated and cheap. 

Margarine for the month with butter. Provolone cheese for the leftover turkey sandwiches and great big hunk of cheese for anything...gratin potatoes, just anything. And tortillas. 

I had been thinking turkey for the past 2 weeks, so I already knew it was a purchase, I would be making. I picked the smallest turkey/cheapest turkey. With tax it was 1981 yen. Not a bad price at all. We can have a nice... but simple turkey dinner, stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and some dinner rolls and veggie. And just eat sandwiches or have turkey dinner for the couple days after that. So, $19-$20 not a bad deal, considering all the meals we'll get out of it. Haven't made it yet.

Nitori stuff. 6 baskets, 1 basket for remote controls and the duvet cover I was hoping they'd have this duvet cover, I first saw online at Nitori, love this duvet cover. : )

You know for 499 yen... for around $5 bucks if it keeps all my remotes in 1 spot and they are not spread out all over, then that will be 499 yen, well spent. : ) 

Have been using this since Tuesday and finally they are all in 1 spot. Bliss. : ) 

I bought 6 of these. I really was most happy with the size and color match and the price. Love the price. I don't want to spend a fortune, just to make sure the living room is tidy, if you know what I mean. 

What I had was on the left, cute but doesn't hold a lot. This one on the right holds a lot and fits the cubby's in the coffee table perfectly. A much better fit, the one on the right. I came home Tuesday and put the food from Costco away in the kitchen and got to work on the coffee table, baskets replaced, and wiping down each cubby, blah blah blah. 
It's a boy's sports jersey duvet cover, but what I loved most is that it is colorful and cheerful and happy. Mostly boys stuff is dark, navy or black or I don't know how to explain it. But, yeah I was happy to find something for a boy, but colorful at the same time. 

All different colors of sports jerseys.

Orange and just lots of nice colors. And the price, 1490 yen. That price was right up my alley. Around $15 US. 
Anyway, after going to my eye exam Thursday of this week. January 30th. I went to the JA (Japan agriculture) farmer's market and bought eggs. , then ran to the bakery, I go to the bakery like I said, twice a week. Then I went to my regular grocery store, since Thursday is cheap bread day. I bought choco chip breadsticks for Branden and Noah to have as a snack for after school but before swimming (Noah had 3, Branden 4...we still have a pack left). A snack while doing their homework. 2 bags of store brand Yakult type drink. Also, yogurt, since we go through yogurt at super speeds, bag of mikan and blueberry pies.  The boys always get off at 3pm on Thursdays and the boys catch the swim bus at 4:20pm. So they have time to come home, eat a snack, Noah is a 2nd grader so his homework is small, so he can get it done in less than 20 minutes. Meanwhile I am trying to get supper done. We had curry. Noah had 1 small serving before swim school, but had another serving when he got home. As you know swimming makes people super hungry. Branden has a ton of homework, since he's a 6th grader, so he gets about 75% of it done before dinner. Then eats. Goes to swim club. Comes back home from swimming starving.... so he ate another serving of curry as well. The boys showered after eating and coming back from swimming. Then Branden finishes his homework, about 30 minutes or less left. Noah watched TV while I put dishes in the dishwasher. And clean up the kitchen. Then Branden joins Noah and myself to watch TV. Then I will go up and shower too usually while they're watching TV relaxing.

The eggs from the farmers market.

Also, at our local elementary school, kids must always have and carry, tissue and a handkerchief. Yep both. The tissue pack is usually around 99 yen to 120 yen a pack. I bought this pack for 120yen at my local drugstore. It's a Garigari popsicle tissue pack. 

120 yen is not bad for a pack with 6 tissue packs inside.

Without getting into too much detail. I am the fuku kaicho (vice president) for the kids club (kodomo kai) for 2014, this year. Umm, what's up with this is, basically whoever lives in our housing community and has a child in the local elementary school, you are in the kids club. And, you are expected to be a representative for 1 year while your child is in elementary school. No matter if you have 1 child or 10 children, you only need to be a rep once. I could not be a rep last year, meaning hold an official job like president, VP or secretary type a job, since our house was the fukukaicho for the entire housing community of all ages. That is why I could not rep last year. Anyway, my 2 good friends who both have sons Branden's age, their youngest and last kids are 5th graders this year and in April will be 6th graders so they had no choice but to rep this year and so they asked me, if I'd like to rep with them. They asked me in December. I thought about it and said yes. I mean if I absolutely have to hold office/hold a position anyway and I really can't get out of it. Then I might as well rep with my 2 really good friends then. So yeah, that's the long and short of it right now.  Last Saturday or Sunday, I forget the day, sorry. But, I walked down to the community center near the tennis courts. The meeting of all elementary school mothers were there, who live here. And so the old reps asked who would want to rep this year? We 3 held up our hands and said we'd love to run together. So our good friend is kaicho (president) and Jinbei Boy's mom and I are both  (joint) co- fuku kaicho's (VP's) lol. Rin-kun's mom 2 houses away is like secretary and another good friend is treasurer (her daughter was on the swim team with Branden 2 years ago and is in 7th grade now, but she also has a little sister who will be a 6th grader in April.) It will be a super busy year, but it will also be fun heading the kids club this year with good friends. Plus I get my rep job outta the way and when Noah is a 6th grader, I will not have to be a rep, I can just be a support member of the kids club.

My eyes. When I was in high school, during one of my eye exams, the eye doctor, told me my eyes were like borderline..if I need glasses or don't need glasses. It was my choice to buy them or not. I did buy them, but I rarely wore them. I just don't like glasses on me personally, I love glasses on Branden and on other people, I think they look beautiful and adorable. But, I just always felt, I am not a glasses type person. I have been fine all these years. Never felt a strain or a need to wear them. However, this January....especially these past 2 weeks, my eyes are just feeling tired when I read a lot or drive a lot. My eyes have just been feeling tired, sometimes blurry. I have been rubbing my eyes a lot, but they are not allergies. Anyway I went to the eye doctor yesterday. No allergy eyes for me, my eyes are fine. However, he said....I really need to wear glasses now! @.@ So, after being told...it's not longer a choice. It's a must! Okay, I agree, and yes I promise to wear them. I also have a slight astigmatism, which explains my eye strain and me rubbing my eyes because I feel sometimes words can look blurry. It's common in people who wear glasses, so no worries and glasses correct that. So anyway, after spending an eternity getting a good and thorough eye check up. And a "make sure you wear your glasses!!!" speech from them. : ) I then spent 1 full hour trying on glasses with Noboru (he came to help me find a good pair and he was also worried and went with me to the doctor, good guy, good guy.) Glasses are on your face every day and it better be a pair I love and a pair I want to wear. Noboru asked me, what kind a glasses do you want? "well not old fashioned ones and I also don't want metal ones. Sorta brown plastic frames, new type style, you know what I mean...sorta like the kind Charlotte from Sex and the City sometimes wears, the brown plastic frame ones???" He really is my husband because he knew exactly what I was talking about. : )  You guys know I have similar coloring... brown long hair and eyes though I think I am paler : (. I even got on Noboru's Nexus 7 at the eye glass shop after leaving the eye doctor. And we googled pics of "Charlotte from SITC with glasses pic" lol. Anyway from start to finish it took 1 full hour, I walked the whole shop, twice. Picked 8 pairs and tried them on...narrowed it down to 3. Put the others back. Then widdled it down to 2. And then to *the* pair. Am I happy about having to wear glasses? No, not at all, wish I didn't need them (but also too afraid of lasik, lol). But the bright side is, I know, that I actually need them now and so I will be sure to wear them for sure. Also another bright side is, I took a really long time finding a pair I'd absolutely love and I do....I absolutely love this pair. My hair was long and down at the eye glass shop, I also put my hair into a pony tail for less than a minute, while there while wearing the glasses....Noboru was like..."honey what are you doing? I'm usually really conservative and don't do things like that. So it took him by surprise. I said, sorry baby but if these are going to be the ones.... I need to know they're going to look good with hair down, hair up (while cooking) or in Summer time, and they did, lol. : ) Also it was the daytime and the eye glass shop was dead and I was the only one in there, so....plus I had to make sure (glasses aren't cheap and I don't want to buy the wrong pair, I had to be 100% certain, plus the older gentleman working there didn't mind at all, I mentioned to him "sorry I hope you don't mind but I have to be sure" he said, that is totally fine, my wife is the same way. : )  I now have to wait a full week to get them. I can pick them up next Thursday (Feb 6th) after 1pm.

Our town elementary school marathon is this Sunday. It's for both elementary schools. You have a choice to run or not. Branden isn't going to run. But he is going to be there with Noboru and I to support Noah in running.

Tonight, is Friday and we 4 are going to go and look for new sneakers for the boys. But we will eat dinner here at home real quick before we leave. Anyway have a great weekend everyone. : )