Friday, April 03, 2015

March 2015 Guam trip...

Monday, March 30th, Branden, Noah and I flew to Guam. We took the early morning flight that left Japan at 8am and we arrived 3 hours later in Guam. Noboru would be flying to Guam later that night and arriving around 11pm, same day March 30th. This was my meal in first class on the way to Guam. Chicken breast with a white sauce. Potato wedges, snap peas. Dinner roll and garlic bread, waldorf salad and a pastry filled with layers of custard. Branden picked the same meal as I did and Noah picked the spicy beef stir fry with fried rice, but he had the same side dishes we had. My dad was waiting. And off we went to his condo to switch into summer clothes. 

Since it was 3 hours later, and the boys were hungry and knowing we'd be busy with shopping. We went and fed them lunch after changing all our clothes. I was personally only half hungry, so I picked a childs meal, at Panda Express. Spicy chicken breast with noodles.

Branden picked KFC, 3 chicken strips and a side of mashed potatoes.

Noah picked the same type of meal, Branden did.

The Easter train was up and running. We went to 2 Cost u less stores, went back and dropped off the things at my dad's condo. And called it a day. Next stop, the movies.

Bran, Noah, my dad and I went to a late afternoon, early evening movie. We went and saw Insurgent. The 2nd movie after Divergent. This movie was excellent! Totally glad we got the chance to go to the movies. We got to munch a bucket of popcorn and have 2 large sodas with ice. We saw 2 movies while in Guam. Insurgent was one we would 100% see. However we were deciding to see the cartoon Home which the 2 main characters are voiced by Rhianna and the actor who plays Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons or see the movie  Chappie. The boys and Noboru wanted to see Chappie. So Chappie it was then. : ) The next day.

After seeing the movie Insurgent, it was around dinner time, however we weren't really starving, just mildly hungry. Meaning meh...we could eat. So we went to Taco Bell. Grabbed something cheap and semi light. I had the meatless nachos and a bean and cheese burrito.

Noah had two crunchy tacos. 

Bran had 3 crunchy taco surpremes. ( meaning with sour cream)

Yep, Monday March 30th, Insurgent. 

Tuesday, March 31st, Chappie.

Movie tickets.
Anyway so Noboru arrived, late March 30th and we all went to bed. Tuesday we all woke up. Skipped breakfast and went right to town with the grocery shopping. As you all know. I was fuku kaicho last year. My free time was...well I had no free time. So us zipping to Guam visiting my dad and getting the opportunity to get a suitcase or two of essential things, to take back to Japan. Just rarely happened all last year. However, like all things, I knew it wouldn't last. It wouldn't be forever. And if I could just stay strong and make it. Finish up my VP duties. My life would eventually go back to normal. So, it did. And I actually had the handover meeting March 29th, but I'll blog about that, another day. For now just know...I was badly out of absolutely everything at my house in Japan. American food-wise, I was the equivalent of Mother Hubbard with nothing in her cupboard. Hahaha. So, this trip, we brought 5 empty luggage and 1 huge cooler, so 6 check ins total. I was now trying to restock what was so out of stock, for ages. And get my cupboards and pantry back to normal. My normal. Here is my cart mid shop at Payless Grocery store. I spy, pumpkin pie coffee creamers, Irish cream coffee creamers. Miracle Whip. Cake mixes, Kraft thousand island dressing. etc.

My American kids, in an American grocery store, helping fill up mommy's cart with American creamer. : )

I know, I could officially move into a Panda Express. Their food is just too good! I had the same thing except a normal adults size. Because we skipped breakfast and it was 10:45am and this was to cover breakfast and lunch. And with many other shops to cruise to, we needed to fill up.  

Burger King kids meal for Noah.

For $1.99, we picked this.

Next year, I might change up the boys Easter baskets. I could have done it this year, HOWEVER, since I was *so* out of absolutely everything. I didn't think it was a good idea this year. I loved the sock monkey one for Noah though and they had a cool Yoda (Star Wars) one, that would be perfect for B. Oh well, there's always next year. 

So many Cadbury eggs and cream Cadbury eggs, I dislike these. Sorry, I do know many many people do love them. But, I didn't pick any of these.

Just so many Easter goods and candy and chocolate at the grocery stores, Kmart, just everywhere. We finished all of our shopping. We had 1 last pit stop to make though... at the DFS. However we had a movie to enjoy first. Chappie. And dinner to eat after the movie, so DFS was our last thing to complete, Tuesday March 31st.

Movie theater on a weekday when Spring break was over for the kids in Guam, but in effect for my kids. So, that meant the movies were dead, both days we went! Which was awesome! : )

This day, the early evening we saw Chappie, we bought 2 large nachos with cheese and jalepenos. We all munched on those nachos. Good thing we picked 2 large size nachos. : ) Chappie was such a fantastic movie, we all loved it.

After the movie Chappie, we went and had dinner. We went to Wendy's for dinner. I had the Assiago chicken sandwich and a cheese potato. You all know we don't eat like this on a regular daily basis in our regular life. Where we live in rural Japan. We don't have many fast foods nearby. None in our actual town. But a few in the small city nearest us. We have a home cooked meal 98%-99% of the month. We drink sodas with dinner at our home, probably twice a week, none during the day. But for the most part we drink sugar free/calorie free jasmine tea. Just because it's healthier. We eat tons of yogurt, lots of fruit and veggies. And I firmly believe in the 75/25% way of living. Meaning, as long as you eat 75% healthy and good stuff, it's okay to eat 25%  not overly healthy stuff. And of course as long as you're healthy and not overweight, and get plenty of exercise. And our family isn't overweight. I know we're all different, and we all have different ways to live. But, I do firmly believe in the 75/25%. I don't want to walk around life, prohibiting myself from things. You ever hear from folks who are all super uptight and rigid and say things like...I have never stepped inside a fast food restaurant. And I'm so proud, blah blah blah. And you have to wonder..get a grip, get over yourself! I always have to roll my eyes. and that's only because that's usually the person who needs to lose 30 freakin' pounds. LOL. Seriously ever notice it's the one who's grossly overweight going on and on about how unheatlhy fast food is and acting all high and mighty. And you're wondering..well how'd YOU get so fat then? I wonder stuff like that all the time. Because, I am personally a very healthy weight. I just had a major physical in Japan. I have great cholesterol, my weight is fine by Japanese standards. And hello, they're sticklers regarding weight. My kids are as fast as can be, winning and coming in 3rd place out of 42 kids! Top with swimming. So, yeah...I'll stick with the 75/25%, I'll stick with the way I do things. And again to each their own. And am I urging others to do things my way, no I'm not doing that either. I can only speak for my own family. Just like you shouldn't speak for me or my family. But yeah, I do step foot in a Mc D's (In Japan maybe once a month, as a rare treat). I don't eat whole grain type wheat pasta, I eat regular pasta. I like neon orange Kraft macaroni and cheese. And so on. So yep, to each their own. But, as long as my family is as fit and fiddles and have the medals to prove it. I'll stick with the way we are doing things. And no...if we are on vacation, I don't mind eating out at fast food, not at all, we're most certainly not too fancy for fast food, in fact it's more a treat for us. When we go back home in a couple days we go back to eating homecooked meals again. And we're fine. Granted if we ate like this year round, every day it would be super hella weird, but come on. We don't often get to Guam or America. And while there...we are going to enjoy our time there, short 2-3 days there. 

Annie kids meal for Noah at Wendy's. With his chocolate milk. We went to DFS after Wendy's. I hit the Benefit makeup counter, Shu Uemura counter and Kiehl's. I only needed 1 thing from each counter and took under 10 minutes. So we were in and out before you know it. : ) We went home, we all took turns showering, good thing my dad has 2 showers/tubs/bathrooms.  We all went to sleep. And April 1st we woke up. We went to MickeyD's for breakfast, we each just got 1 breakfast sandwich each. Bacon egg and cheese biscuit. Yumm. 

Guam now has a huge Forever 21 store. I had only 5 minutes to look around, so perhaps next time, I'll spend more time in there. Yes, I know they're also in Japan, but pretty far from where I live. Guam is also getting an IHOP (International House of Pancakes) Right on! Guam is growing!

The boys had been wanting to eat some fro-yo at Yogurtland. So that was the last thing we did while on Guam. Our flight was for later that day. Leaving at 4pm, but we went to the airport at 1:45pm. 

Peanut butter fro-yo.

The boys enjoying their frozen yogurt.

I had picked coconut, banana pudding and a strip of peanut butter. With some granola and shredded coconut on top.

Family! My dad enjoying his and licking his spoon.

Noboru and I enjoying our own, too. : )

Airport food is so ridiculously priced. $8.95 for 1 sandwich or burger combo, per person. No thanks. And they also sold pizza slices for $2.50 each. However that would have been 10 bucks and we only would get 1 slice. Meanwhile they sold medium sized pizzas for $12.99, it was just the better deal at Guam international airport. Pepperoni and mushroom pizza.

Everyone got 2 slices each, so it was the best value for our family. We boarded the plane. And off we went. Back to Japan. 

After the 3 hour flight, and clearing customs, immigration and collecting our car etc. We took the mini minivan btw because we needed the luggage space. Anyway after all that, Noboru said he was hungry, the kids chimed in and said they were hungry. So we went and got some dinner before heading home from the airport. We went to Coco Ichiban curry. 

And then we went home. 
Inside the big cooler. 3 packs of corn tortillas (for enchiladas), huge amounts of frozen mac and cheese and 2 huge bags of frozen stuffed ravioli.

So many mac and cheese.

43 total.

I have the largest fridge available in Japan. It's bigger than the American GE, side by side one with ice maker. Because I was going to buy that, but when we checked the dimensions, this Japanese huge one was actually bigger, plus it had an ice maker too. So, one freezer section stuffed with mac and cheese in this pic. 

Case of White Castle sliders. And a party size of lasagna. 

Best size for obento for when the kids need obento. 

2nd drawer in the freezer, holding the large party size lasagna, mac and cheese and all the White Castles. 

This drawer also holds a lot.

About 4 and a half-5 pounds of ricotta stuffed ravioli. 

3rd drawer holding bacon from the last trip, the 2 big packs of frozen ravioli and more mac and cheese. I not only packed and fit everything in the freezer sections, but I also have 1 way bigger freezer drawer holding a weeks worth of meat. Beef, pork and and a ton of chicken breast. This fridge and freezer has never let me down. : )

Stuff we brought back. Boy did we need it. 
10 packs of chocolate cookie dough Pop Tarts.

I most certainly do not mind generics or store brands, if it saves me money and means I can buy actually more groceries in the long run. Malt o Meal's version of...Cinnamon Toast Crunch and their version of Honey Bunches of Oats with almonds. 2 and a half pounds each, so huge amounts and for super cheap. 

4 pumpkin pie coffee creamers, the expiration is mid 2016. So, 2 of these, I will hide away for Fall. Two, I will use. And I also have Irish cream creamer too, 3 of those.

I just opened the last Girl Scout one from Honolulu last week. 

3 yellow cake mixes and 3 chocolate frostings and 1 small Crisco for rubbing on the cake pan.

Yep, as if, the 43 mac and cheese were not enough, we also brought back 2 Velveeta shells and cheese and 5 Kraft mac and cheese.

Chicken cup of noodle, I love this and it's not available here.

Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies. If you're American, you were probably raised getting one of these in your lunch box too. I sure know, I was. : )  


Safely into the pantry.

The baking or dessert, cookie shelf.

Breakfast shelf. Pop Tarts, Mrs. Butterworth's, pancake mix, peanut butter. Generic Nutella from Cainz (this is horrible btw, will never buy this again) and coffee sticks.
Love these, I skillet fry some chicken breast, add some frozen broccoli right at the end and yumm. An easy dinner.

Miracle Whip for sammys and parmesan cheese for pasta and pizza and stuff.

Mexican food stuff. Beans, enchilada sauce, jalepenos and salsa for taco night.

Again, I grew up with Chef Boyardee, but being a mom, I prefer buy generic. If I can buy a store brand for a dollar and a name brand for $2.25 US. I'll buy every generic the store has. Which I did. However, I needed to buy a few extras and my dad and Noboru urged me to save time and might be smarter to just buy the 3 extra I needed in name brand. So, I bought 3 name brand ones. Also processed meats, cooked meats in cans are allowed. And believe me, Noboru has called the Japan folks at Narita airport at least 5 times in all the years we have lived here. He has even stopped at their office since he works for an airline and asked them a few things before his shift. We always fill out the proper paper work. And now realize what is allowed and what is not. Raw ground beef would not be allowed obviously. 

All my cans go at the bottom of my pantry. The Mexican items went in together first. 

Bush's baked beans with a few year expiration date, in case of a BBQ, I'd be set. A-1. Shoyu, mirin, that type a thing. 

Always keep at least 6 cans of fruit in the pantry. You never know when an earthquake will strike. Big jug of popcorn. 

Ravioli went next.
America, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, gee this Quaker Oats had quite the number of expiration dates on this one box, lol. But, since extra food was going, in, I had to crush this box. 

The real expiration date says November. But, as I don't want to see anything *living* in my oats. Weevels or whatever. To be safe than sorry, I have to make sure to trash mine a month before. So, I made sure to write October, that way it'll be safe. Again, just peace of mind for me. And I am sure I'll trash mine last week of September/first week of October, knowing (worry wart) me.

Breakfast row, and another row of misc. 

Pasta sauce.

Living in Japan, you never know when we might need a paper bag with handles. Bags resting on top of the burner we use for nabe.

Hi pasta sauce, hi ravioli. Hi stuff hiding on the bottom of the pantry.

The big size. From Cost u less. Like 2 bucks per container. 

For chicken parmesan and meatballs. 

I literally ran out of garlic salt in January. And was close to running out of taco seasoning. I know they sell some taco seasoning at Costco in Japan, but I prefer this brand. 

Spring and Summer means we eat lighter, eat tons more salads now that lettuce will be in season and cheap, versus out of season and expensive in winter. So, some extra balsamic vinaigrette and some Thousand Island. we still have 3/4 of a balsamic at home and a half bottle of the Kraft Thousand island at home, but this way we won't run out. Peace of mind. 

Huge bag of Brach's peppermints.

Huge bag of them.

Rice, salad dressings a plenty (ranch for dipping chicken wings), BBQ sauce, etc.

Did, anyone grow up snacking on these. I did. It makes me so happy seeing my boys eat these.

When, I was growing up, my cousins and I, always got 1 big chocolate bunny wrapped in foil. This year, I picked up these. Branden and Noah will each get, 1 Snickers and 1 Reese's foil bunny! Yumm! 

Of course Americans are just crazy for peanut butter. No wonder they sold peanut butter fro-yo, hahaha.  So, we had to pick up a bag of these for Easter too. 

I think these Ferrero eggs are the bomb dot com! : )

Gold wrapped, creamy hazelnut filling. 1 package of these are for me. 

Branden and Noah's Easter goodies. Easter Kit kats. Easter egg shaped Tootsie Pops. Starburst jelly beans (tropical flavor) Andes mints in Easter colors bottom left. Easter Skittles and Starburst and below the Snickers bunny's is a cool combo bag of Reese's miniatures, Hershey's miniature variety pack and Easter kisses. And gum tape. They're all set for Easter let's just put it this way. : )

Easter egg coloring kit.

Bottom of the pantry all packed and this is only half the other side is packed to the gills too.
Pledge, for dusting. 

Feminine products. Tampons and 4 douche. I think we're all adults here. I smell fantastic and I like to take care of myself. Island Splash, lol. : )

4 tubes of toothpaste. 2 normal size Colgate ones and 2 freakishly gigantic Costco sized ones, but bought at Cost u less. 

Green apple Head and Shoulders, for Noboru, he's been having flakes since February, poor guy.

Sleek stuff. 

Cold meds for Noboru or I, if we should ever be sick. And kids ibuprofen for Noah. Bran uses adults Advil now. 

I love the way the Suave Moroccan shampoo stuff smells. And when I saw they sell a body lotion, I had to get it. 

Body lotion.

Deodorant for Noboru.

Deodorant for Bran. 

I always use Anti-perspirant (stops you from having wet underarms or embarrassing circle wet marks on your shirt) and deodorant (for smell/scent), I make sure Bran uses both too. I know some say it could be bad for you. But...having walked around in Japanese summer. I prefer use antiperspirant and deodorant. Also, I had 1 favorite women's Secret deodorant scent. It is no longer carried in Guam. Not for the past year. And I have been having a hard time finding a scent I like. Again knowing how humid and hot a Japanese summer is. I prefer not smell of anything sweet. Sweat mixed with raspberry or cotton candy or something equally sweet type a deodorant. I just want a clean smelling deodorant. No sugary scents. No sweet scents. Just want a clean....unisex CK-1 type clean scent. I thought I found the scent last October, but when you are active it turns to a sweet sugary scent. Again I have been struggling finding a clean scent. Until I decided to try a men's scent. I didn't want...grandpa or old guy smoking a pipe scent either. I just wanted...something a modern guy would use. Something clean and unisex smelling. 

I found it. I love this. I asked Branden. He's pickier than I am and he this is for you! Noboru also smelled it and liked it. It smells light and clean. So, I picked up 3 of these. 

And 1 of these. 

I will be putting these to the test. And see which one I decide that I love. So, I will be testing 1 soon. And if I do not like them, back to the drawing board. 

Two of my favorite people on YouTube (EmilyNoel83 and HotandFlashy) and whose blogs I read, also love and use these 2 Olay red skin care products. Katie Holmes also is the spokesperson for the Olay Regenerist line. I have been wanting these 2 fragrance free Olay in red products since December! However, I have not been able to get to Guam until now. I have been waiting to get my hands on these forever. And I finally have them. 

Just really happy to finally be able to try these. They also come in scented, but I prefer fragrance free.

Also, I ran out of my Kiehl's UFM (ultra facial moisturizer) and so I wanted to try this. Hotandflashy says to buy a moisturizer with a specific ingredient. I'll blog about it in another post later. But this had it, so I purchased this. Again, I am really weird with fragrances, most fragrances I can not tolerate. Unless they are light (face washes, I need to smell first and even that's rinse off, so lotion which stays on the face, I need fragrance free). So, for my face lotions etc, I need fragrance free. 

These 3 products I had written on a piece of paper and tracked them down in Kmart. The red ones are between $25-30 US and the far right one in the cream and black bottle was $21 US. 

I have been wanting to try a facial oil for the past year. Was thinking about trying the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery, but this is new and the price was right up my alley. So, I am starting off with this one. 

Hotandflashy rec's  Vitamin C, to use on your face. This lady is 53, 54 years old, much much... way older than I. But she looks fantastic. And she says she wishes she started with better skincare when she hit 30. And so, whatever she has researched and thinks, is fine by me. I trust her. 

She uses a 15% Vitamin C, I am going to start slow and this 10.5% is enough for me. : ) 

You may remember, I got some money for my birthday. I used the 10,000 yen for 5 hair colorings and even have the stamp card. Anyway I had $100 US and so I purchased this Shu Uemura cleansing oil, the whitening one. Any discolorations or spots will be erased. I have been wanting to try this. : )

I also love Benefit's Porefessional. It is a great makeup base and it covers every pore. And they had this 3 pack it was a DFS super value. And I am so glad I have this. 

My things purchased with my birthday money. Thanks dad. : ) 

The lady also gave me a sample/travel size. Which will come in handy. 
These things right here, I am really happy to have brought back from Guam. 

The crew that flies to Guam, knows my husband super well. So, since he was on the airplane, they brought the boys so many snacks and extra things. We even said, thanks but this is too much. But they kept insisting...take more. Please, please. 

The Old Navy order. Was at my dad's condo waiting for my arrival. So, I could bring all the stuff back. I tell ya, our suitcases were bursting. : )

I absolutely adore this tee-shirt. The sentence, the color of the bicycle. I just love this. 

Red paisley and floral. And behind that is a navy blue with floral. 

A basic simple sweatshirt. I love it.

Black floral slip on sneakers. Navy blue slip-ons, flip flops that look wood but are rubber with black straps and then basic black flip flops and a basic brown pair. 

Cute jammies/pjs for Noah with matching plaid shorts.

Swimsuit for Noah. Navy hibiscus trunks and an Epic rashguard, literally. lol.

I am forever wearing stripe tees. 2 exact same (twin) black and white short sleeve stripe tee-shirts. And 1 long sleeve striped navy blue and white. Preppy and my style. 

More tops. 

Black cardi.

Gray cardi. Anyway that was the long and short of our trip. The bright side is, we stocked up the pantry and fridge and freezer. I have a huge chunk of my Spring/Summer clothes now. And I am relaxed having gone to 2 movies during Spring break. Got to unwind on vacation. Visit with my dad. And now we are just relaxing until school starts back next week for both Bran and Noah.