Saturday, November 14, 2015

Our quick trip to Guam this week! Thanksgiving shopping. Stocking up on some Fall and Winter essentials. Going to the movies to see Hotel Transylvania 2, some pumpkin pie flavored fro-yo and more...

I usually go to Guam once in Summer and once in Fall and I do try once in Spring. But the Summer and Fall are always a definite. Since September, I have been trying to decide if I should head to Guam at the end of October or early November. Before Bran was in JHS, it didn't really matter when we went. But with BrannyB in JHS now, I have his test schedule, I must check with first. Considering flight availability and Bran's school schedule. We decided the best way things would work out... would be for Bran to stay in Japan with Noboru. Why? Because there is a pretty big test that is coming in November (his actual test day, will be Thanksgiving @_@) Ha! However, everyday at school they go through... what the test will cover, go through their study syllabus and whatnot and basically Bran going to Guam would actually hurt him..study wise. Meaning he would miss a valuable day at school. Meanwhile, Noah's in elementary school and so he has total flexibility and could go with me. Also, we also (did I just say *also*, twice in 1 sentence ) picked 3 days that Noboru would not be working, so that Branden would never be alone at home. Granted he's a big JHS kid now. However he's still our child and yeah we worry. So everything lined up. Noboru was able to be with Branden and make him dinner, pack him a lunch for 2 days. Make sure his homework was done. Studied with Bran for the upcoming big test. And drove him to school both mornings and picked him up! What a great dad Noboru is! : ) That meant, Noah and I could go and know that.... Bran was well taken care of. Meanwhile it helped me/us by going...because I could finish up my Thanksgiving shopping. Start by getting some Christmas stocking stuffers. Some Fall and Winter foods, that we may need. So this was our, 1 big round up! To be able to get stuff for the boys lunches. It basically helped everyone... by us going! : ) So, Tuesday, Noboru was off but the boys were at school. We were only gone 2 days but only 1 full day really. I was already packed. I packed myself a small carry-on and Noah had his Mario backpack with some PJs and the next days clothes and a toothbrush. We caught the 9pm flight, Tuesday March 10th. We arrived after midnight so we arrived technically Wednesday very early morning October 11th. We arrived the 11th and left the 12th. My dad picked us up and we went straight to my dad's condo and went straight to bed. Noah and I were exhausted. : ) We woke up around 7am. Tired yes... but we knew this was our only day to shop and get things crossed off our list! We first went to McD's for a bacon egg and cheese biscuit... sandwich only (not combos). And we went to 2 Cost u less stores and 2 Payless grocery stores. And then brought everything back to my dad's condo. This is our cart pic, mid shop at the Micronesia Payless grocery store.  

Noah checking dates on everything that went into our cart! I have taught my kids well and they are so super helpful! And also chatting away with grandpa!

American seasonal flavors were all out... in full force! We do love us a good coffee creamer! Especially a delicious flavored one! Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Spice. My dad said it best..."Like having a slice of pumpkin pie, right in your coffee." So yum!

Variety...

If you offer it in pumpkin pie flavor, Americans will buy it! Guaranteed! We do love anything and everything pumpkin pie flavored, we do, we do! Pumpkin pie flavor stuff is Fall comfort food for Americans, without a doubt! And add the fact, we also love us our Pop Tarts. A total winning combination right here! Like having a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream every morning before school!  If you're American, you'll totally get it. If not, and you don't care for it, absolutely no worries, more for us!

Pumpkin Spice marshmallows. Again we do love pumpkin flavored anything!

Pumpkin Spice muffins of course, yes please! I'm American what can I say! : )

Gingerbread cake, omg, I made this last year too! So good. And such a flavor..that is just perfect for Fall!
Cost u less, we went to the both of them and then a quick stop in Kmart and we were done and ready for some lunch, some fro-yo and then time to catch our movie. 

Panda Express! We did not have Taco Bell this trip/time. I had noodles and 2 different types of chicken breast, one was sesame chicken and the other was the sweet and spicy. 

Noah had the kids meal, sweet and spicy chicken breast with a side of rice.
Noah was so helpful this trip and helped us by checking dates and putting things into the cart. We took him to Yogurtland, as his special treat for being such a great help. They of course had all the American seasonal favorite flavors, for this time of year! Bananas Foster anyone?! Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana.

And of course, obviously an American fro-yo shop would sell Pumpkin Pie flavored fro-yo... this time of year! Hahaha. : )  And of course, my dad had to have some, I had to have some and Noah had some too. See, I told ya! If you sell it in pumpkin pie flavor... Americans will surely buy it! Guilty! We had to buy it...hahaha. : ) 

I only had a little though. I had 1 strip of bananas foster underneath and the rest was pumpkin pie flavor. And I must say...this tasted dead on...exactly like pumpkin pie. 

My fro-yo next to Noah's drink from Panda Express, the yogurt place and Panda Express are smack dab right next to one another. : )  And icecream or fro-yo always makes people thirsty. So good thing that Noah had his drink with him. 

Noah enjoying his and grandpa in the back enjoying his too.
Noah picked pumpkin pie and mint chocolate. Clearly this kid has total American tastebuds. Couldn't possibly be prouder about it! And he topped it off with Reese's Pieces (we do love us our peanut butter too). : ) 

This crazy movie ticket went all wonky and went sideways. You can see though that it says Hotel 2. The date says 11/11/15. November 11th. We caught the 4:20pm show. If we would have caught the movie before 4pm it would have been $5 bucks for each of us, but we had the shopping as the priority and reason we flew to Guam in the first place and that had to get done and outta the way first and foremost. So, the movie wasn't the cheapest we could have gone to. But eh...we got our things all done and everything scratched off the list. 

Noah's movie choice was between The Martian or Hotel Transylvania 2. He picked this one. 
We had a large soda and a medium popcorn. And we let Noah pick out a movie treat while at the grocery store earlier. Noah picked a small pack of Whoppers. After the movie we all went to dinner. Vitales, our favorite Italian restaurant.  
I had the lasagna, my dad had the spaghetti and meatballs with meat sauce. 

Noah had the kids spaghetti and meat sauce. We each had an unsweetened tea, that they will refill as they pass your table often. All in all, it was a very necessary trip, I was able to finish the Thanksgiving shopping, plus get stuff we will need for Fall and Winter. And stuff for the boys lunches. So that was a huge help by us going. Noah missed only 2 days of school. He caught up already with whatever he missed. Noboru and Bran meanwhile had a great time together. While we were at Vitales, Noboru and Branden were at a yakiniku restaurant in Japan at the same time, stuffing themselves silly with the all you can eat in 120 minutes dinner they went to. @_@ Apparently they really feasted and stuffed themselves silly! Hahaha. And the next day we left. 
Noah and I caught the 12:30pm flight Thursday November 12th. We had a lovely flight. And this picture I snapped of Noah as we were about to land in Narita! Did Noah have fun? Absolutely, he got to miss 2 days of school. He got to spend about 24 hours with his grandpa. He had breakfast at McD's twice (just the bacon egg and cheese biscuits, because they are the bomb dot com). He had Panda Express for lunch and Vitales for supper and he even got to fit in a movie in there and have some fro-yo. He is a very good kid, a very behaved kid. I never have to worry how he will act. Because he's just a good helpful boy, he helped me out a ton while at all the stores. Gave me absolutely zero trouble at all. Noboru and Bran met us at the airport and picked us up! It was too late to cook dinner at home. So we went to Pizza Hut, it was 50% off... if you picked it up and we did that and went home. 

Dinner Thursday November 12th. Everyone took turns showering after we ate. And I meanwhile unpacked the suitcases. Friday the 13th, dundundun! I drove both the boys to school, packed their lunch before that of course. And put the groceries from Guam into the pantry. 
A special treat for Branden! Since he couldn't go to Guam with us. The bakery at Cost u less is now baking these cookies fresh in the store. Peanut Butter flavored anything is once again...a true favorite flavor for Americans. So, I picked this bag of freshly baked cookies for Bran. He ate them after his shower Thursday evening. Peanut butter cookies with Reese's Piece's.

Lunch stuff.

Lunch stuff for their packed lunches they take to school. 

What we brought back. November 2015.

Baking is essential, as an American mother, in the Fall and Winter time. I bake Christmas cookies every December. Plus we have a turkey to baste for Thanksgiving. A huge amount of mashed potatoes to make for Thanksgiving. Peanut butter cookies to bake and whatnot. I buy the cheapest store brand, but it's sweet cream and very delicious. Since almost every recipe in the universe... usually says add a pinch of salt. I usually will not... since I buy salted.. sweet cream butter (you can barely tell the salt has been added anyways). If I bought unsalted, I would feel compelled to add that dash... when the recipe calls for it. But, by my using the one, with the pinch of salt in there, when the recipe calls for it...I just don't need to add it. : ) 

3 pounds/packs of bacon. We love us... our bacon. But, I only have 3 packs, so I will have to use it, maybe one pack a month. 

Buffalo chicken strips. Maybe one night... while Noboru is at work, I can pop the kids and I, a baked potato in the oven. We can have a salad, a cheese and butter baked potato and maybe some of these baked on a baking sheet in the oven. Just again...will make cooking dinner one night, a total breeze. So truly appreciated. 

Cheese ravioli. For either baked ravioli or regular normal ravioli. These will come in handy. I will use 1 pack in December and 1 pack in January maybe. : ) 

Swiss cheese. I will also be buying Provolone here in Japan at Costco. Just gearing up for those after Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches. I'm clearly one of those crazy... plan ahead types! But hey...with living in a foreign country....you get really good... at buying things when you get, your 1 big chance. : )

Packing a lunch happens Monday through Friday. So this helps! And Oscar Meyer, is as... American, as apple pie. You see the Oscar Meyer logo and you know that's... American lunch meat right there! Ha! Am, I right or what, though. : )  

Because sometimes...pizza happens. : ) 

Generic store brand cinnamon rolls. Hey it saves money, no worries. Two packs of those. And Crescent rolls for Thanksgiving. However 1 pack exploded during the journey from Guam to Japan, so no worries... that just means that... that pack... will be baked this evening for when we have our....baked chicken parmesan and pasta later tonight : )  

Cereal, cereal who's got the cereal! Wonka reference, not sure if any of you caught that. Yes, I am a nerd! : ) Reese's Puffs chocolate and peanut butter cereal, the huge double pack, Cost u Less sized pack... and Banana Nut Cheerios cereal and the new Jif peanut butter cereal. Told ya, we got a thing for peanut butter in the states, we love it! : )  

Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast bars. 1 pack for Bran, 1 pack for Noah, 1 pack for myself. 
Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts. Bran has 2 boxes, Noah has 2 boxes and I have 2 boxes. So everyone got 24 Pop Tarts each. So basically Monday through Fridays are hella crazy... busy... around here. Breakfasts need to be quick and fast. You can have cereal (Reese's cereal, Jif peanut butter cereal, Banana nut cereal. or a Cinnamon Toast Crunch bar or a Pumpkin Pie Pop Tart and yogurt always goes with. I want the kids to have a yogurt every morning for calcium. They always have a glass of milk in the mornings too. Again for calcium. They do take a nice packed lunch to school every day. With fruit and whatnot. And have a nice dinner every night. But Monday through Fridays breakfasts have to be quick. We have a nice ham and egg and potato and toast breakfast every weekend. And sometimes pancakes or french toast. But school days... breakfasts must be super fast. And Noboru, he eats onigiri and miso soup Monday through Fridays for breakfast. Just easy and fast and comfort food for him, it makes him happy, so why not. : ) 

10 pounds of pinto beans. Again, perfect chance to stock up again. I think, I have about 18 pounds of beans at the house now. Perfect for chili concarne, chili beans and all sorts of stuff. 

Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer. 

Ginger bread cake and pumpkin muffins or cake definitely happening. 

Chili and cornbread. They go hand in hand. I now have a new huge bottle of chili seasoning. So, I am all set now for Fall and winter. 

Stove Top. These are the double packs. We only use 1 of these double boxes... for Thanksgiving. The other boxes will be used for a chicken stuffing bake, during winter. I have tried sage stuffing by Stove Top. I have tried their turkey one. But, I just prefer the chicken one. It tastes, best to me. 

Salad dressings. This Italian dressing in my most favorite. The cheese and garlic in there, is so good. 

I use these for the Alfredo chicken skillet dinners. And for our family, it takes 3 to stuff all of us. So, we can enjoy this 3 times now. : ) 

More Thanksgiving stuff. 2 extra pumpkin pies happening now. I now have, 4 of these pie fillings for 4 pies now in the pantry. Cranberry sauce and olives. The evaporated milk is for the pies.

1 can of enchilada sauce. I now have 2 cans in the pantry total. Again not 100's, but 2 definitely helps. And some cans of jalapeno.

Garlic spread... this makes the best tasting garlic bread. Italian style bread crumbs for chicken parmesan. Pasta sauce. And a huge bottle of parmesan cheese, which got slighted banged up during the flight, but no worries, Once air goes into the plastic bottle, it will puff right back to normal again. : ) 

Mac and cheese, perfect for obento lunch packing or a weekend lunch for the boys and Miracle Whip is just a necessity for a sandwich. 

We will not be running out of buffalo wings... all Fall and Winter long now...good thing we went to Guam, when we had our chance. 

A pot roast and some mashed potatoes and brown gravy, will be in our Fall dinner future sometime...maybe November, maybe December, who knows. : )

Rice Krispy treats will be happening this Fall and Winter. And you don't really need name brand for that. I bought store brand... but the big bag 2 pounds worth. And 2 bags of regular marshmallows and 1 bag of pumpkin spice marshmallows. I wasn't going to get the pumpkin marshmallows. But, my dad talked me into them. He said..."can't you imagine how good pumpkin flavored rice krispy treats would be." Clearly my dad's American! And I was like...you think? And he was like...Yeah!!! Imagine that, he said. So, there we were in the store. I finally agreed and said..."you're right...we can eat pumpkin flavored anything...so why not! We will no doubt like these, as well." My dad was like...totally! So, I was like..."alright pumpkin flavored marshmallows... get in my cart!" : ) 

The Suave Professionals shampoo with macadamia nut oil and whatnot sulfate free and stuff. Great for color treated hair. Which yes mine is. And it's for dry hair, my hair isn't dry, but in winter...it seems everything gets drier face, legs, maybe hair, so this was a great buy. Also picked up the Pantene Smooth and sleek shampoo conditioner... that way, I know the hair will be on fleek all Fall and winter now. And Noah uses green apple Head and Shoulders. Noah has very baby fine western people hair. And in winter Noah's skin gets so dry all over his body, he actually gets special creams for his face and arms and chest and body. Like eczema or something. His scalp also gets super dry in winter and it flakes. Flakes look bad. So, a few years ago, I started buying dandruff shampoo in Japan for Noah and it worked okay, not perfect. Takes care of 95% of the problem. And the smell is...meh. Not love, nor hate just, meh. So, a few years back after being disatisfied with the Japanese dandruff shampoos, I looked on the American Head and Shoulders website online and checked out the scents. I think this one smells amazing! He uses the shampoo only... not the shampoo conditioner 2 in 1 combos... that leaves a funky greasy film. He just uses the shampoo only one and he loves it and it stopped his flaky scalp 100%. Noah has 1 bottle in the shower and it's about 85% full now. And he is the only one... in the house that uses it. However...knowing this was our big chance, I had to get another bottle for Noah. Picked up the super big size of this.

Noah's head smells exactly like...those scented Strawberry Shortcake dolls that were super popular in the 80's. Whenever I smell Noah's hair at night, the second he comes down the stairs with his hair all damp, we can all smell his fantastic hair...Those delicious Strawberry Shortcake dolls pop into my mind. His hair smells divine! 

Deodorant. Bran's on the right, mine on the left. And no it doesn't smell like Old Spice, even though it is. It smells clean and fresh and modern and it doesn't smell manly... smells more unisex. 

Kitchen odor neutralizing hand soap. With turkey needing to be cleaned and handling lots of foods this month. This will come in handy. 

Toothpaste. 

Sammich containers. : )

Disposable turkey pans.
Chocolate fudge pudding.

Measuring spoons. I have some, but my numbers are rubbing off. And these were under 2 bucks. So a great deal. 

Peppermint candy made with real peppermint oil. Perfect to freshen your breath or if you have a tummy ache. Peppermint is perfect for both. 

6 pounds of peanut butter. We can make peanut butter cookies. Peanut butter icecream. Homemade and add our own peanut butter cups. Like how we made our own icecream this summer. And we can even make peanut butter rice krispy treats. Yumm! Many uses of peanut butter. My Costco in Japan... only sells the crunchy now. So, buying this when I had the chance, was great!

Huge bag of Reese's peanut butter cups. And Reese's chocolate peanut butter snacksters.

Peanut butter chocolate with graham dippers.

3 pounds of gummi bears for the boys and 1 and a half pounds of sour gummi worms. 

Noah had a pack of these, while in Guam, so to be fair, I made sure to bring Bran back a pack too.

Again keeping with the whole...American seasonal flavors...Gingerbread Twix.

And a small start on both Bran and Noah's Christmas stockings this year! Christmas colored gumballs. Reese's trees, Gingerbread Twix, M&M candy canes and a Santa chocolate bar. 
Russel Stover.

I saw the commercial for these. Hershey's is selling these for a limited time. They are almost twice the size of a regular kiss. But, I wanted these for myself, as a little treat. I will save these for Christmas and enjoy these then.  Considering the 3 pounds of gummi bears and the pound and a half of sour gummi's and the treats for their stockings, I don't feel bad about picking 4 kiss chocolates for myself. : ) Anyway that's Noah and my... quick trip to Guam in a nut shell. : )