Friday, June 10, 2016

Bits and Pieces...

All of these pics are from the middle of May, so a bit delayed but that's alright. Better late than never. : )  June 1st, is the date when most schools in our part of Japan switch from winter to summer uniform. This date was the same when both my kids were in yochien. And it is the same at our local JHS/middle school. Our JHS has a specific to our school short sleeve uniform top with school emblem on them. I went mid May to pick up 2 for Bran. That way come June 1st he would have these. He also fits into the 2 from last year as well. I will be buying 1 or 2 more in a few weeks and that should be plenty.

Also, Noah is lucky in the fact that our school takes the 5th graders camping every June. Bran went and loved it and had such fun years ago! They had a bonfire! The kids and teachers cooked! This year the 5th grade class will all be making curry! Branden's year they all made wood fired homemade pizza. Branden had such a fun time and because of all his stories. Noah has been so excited to go! I made sure to buy Branden a brand new backpack for that when it was his year for his trip. I researched before buying Branny B's backack... I went and found the best backpack. I posted all about it all those years ago. I bought Branden a lime green Coleman backpack. It had all sorts of cool useful features and Bran used and loved his backpack for years. And I knew now.... that since Noah's camping trip was coming up, we would be buying him a brand new backpack for his upcoming trip too. I know the Coleman backpacks they sell in Japan are *really* good quality. And so I knew I would be purchasing the same brand for Noah. Just a new 2016 model. So, I went to 2 shops and saw a few in person. It gave me an idea but ultimately I felt Amazon.jp had the best price on these and the best colors and design selection for what I was looking for...for Noah. It was ordered and shipped here mid May. 

I picked navy blue for Noah. I picked a super preppy striped one. I noticed with Bran's being green it did show dirt here and there, granted he kept such great care of it. But I wanted one that wouldn't show dirt as easily. I also wanted something that would be cool and in style pattern wise. That would be fashionable in Japan and well as being cool when we go to the US for vacations or whatnot. And I think this would be cool no matter whatever country we go to. It's very preppy and cute. And Noah loves it, so I am happy! Branden also thought this was really cool.  

I also as you know... all May seem to be on a kitchen reorganizing kick. And I wanted a new way to hold my disposable plastic grocery bags, that we reuse for lots of things. And I found this on Amazon.jp too. It has a side for bigger bags and a side for smaller bags. 

I also picked up a refillable shampoo. And I picked up this book. It's a very famous book, in both the USA and in Japan. She's like an organizing guru and from Japan. I have heard of this book countless times. However...I resisted buying this book because I thought. Why do I need to buy a book about organizing my house? When I would say that I do a pretty decent job of doing it myself. However what tipped the scale for me was one morning... beginning of May I read some online news on Yahoo news and it quoted Jamie Lee Curtis and she was praising this book and how much this book helped her! I love Jamie Lee Curtis, I find her incredibly intelligent and smart and funny. And yes, I enjoyed her in those old Halloween Michael Myers movies and I enjoyed her in True Lies. I also liked her in Scream Queens. So, if she likes this book THAT much and she gives it the thumbs up. I thought, why not. I should get this and read it and see what all the fuss is about. So, I read it. And what did I think? I loved this book! I've gotten a bunch of new ideas and I will definitely be taking some of her advice. I really like this book. And when I have a little bit more free time, I think I will definitely try and give my house an other overhaul. I found this book very easy to read. She didn't write it in English (it was translated and translated very well, I might add) She wrote it in a very relatable way. She shared so many stories. How for many years she organized wrongly. And how she changed and came up with her method. Why she does things this way now. Why it works. Anyway..it a very good book. And I am so glad Jamie Lee Curtis recommended it. : )

Anyway back to the backpack real quick. I like how Amazon.jp sends a never worn...never tried on backpack. 

These are pics from Amazon.jp and which swayed me to purchase this. This size is perfect for Noah now and I imagine for all the way to finish the 9th grade probably. They do sell a size smaller one and a size bigger one. But this 25 size is perfect for elementary and middle school kids. If I were to repurchase Branden a Coleman in the future I'd buy him the bigger size. But this size 25 is perfect for Noah. : )

It has safety reflectors. I love the preppy navy with white stripes and bright red wording. It has a net spot for a 500ml plastic bottle drink on each side. 

It has a snap at the front to lock the backpack onto your body and padded straps and 1 safety reflector stripe on each strap.
It comes with a bag inside and it's perfect for carrying your inside shoes inside it. Or your underwear. Bran has carried his underwear inside this... when we went to Hawaii every summer since he's had this backpack. That way his privacy of his unmentionables stays inside the bag. This bag is so useful. 

Kids in Japan when they go on school trips are asked to take a sketch pad and pencil and eraser and this spot right inside the bag is very useful. Branden used this area a lot on his older green version and I am happy they kept the same feature on the new 2016 models.

Just a really pretty backpack. And the price was really affordable, it was under 5000 yen, under US$50. And most good quality bags now days do cost about that. In fact I saw some backpacks at Costco last week and their prices were about the same price however they didn't have nearly as many features as this Coleman backpack does. Those backpacks were shipped from America. They were cute but not nearly as useful as this backpack is. So getting Noah ready for his camping trip little by little. check and check. : ) 
Also mid May, Branden and Noah's 4th of July tees came from America for American Independence Day! They are always just US$5 and both boys each received a navy blue one and each received a red one. Bran wears a uniform to JHS but Noah wears regular clothes to school and he has been showing his American pride often by wearing these shirts to school. : ) Bran has been wearing his on the weekends. 

Also, a super patriotic Gap sweatshirt for Noah! I bought this in size 12. Even though Noah is as skinny as a toothpick. He's going to be 11, this July. And clothes in the US sell by size 10 and size 12 is the next size up. And though he's skinny. I think buying a size 10 would be out grown in a blink. So, I felt better ordering the size up, in size 12, that way he can get a nice long usage out of this. Whether we go to the movies and it's cool inside the movies, he can throw this on over himself and keep warm. Also, we are going to go to one of the Disney's soon. And though Japan is getting warmer. It might be a good idea to take this when we do go, just in case the nights cool down. 

I also picked a few thing for me too. 1 pair of jean shorts, 1 basic black tee and 1 pair of black shorts and 1 set of 3 comfy bras. 
These I have bought before and so this is a repurchase. but it just goes to show how much I like these. The black polka dot one is my fave. Anyway whether I am going for my morning walks outside or on my treadmill. Or just cuddling here at home for a relaxing weekend. These fit the bill for that type of stuff. 

Just a basic black tee. A cute necklace makes this pop. Pair with some shorts and some cute sandals or flip flops. 

I picked up the lighter color a month earlier. The sizing and fit for those were so great, that I picked this darker color of denim shorts too. I love these shorts, in fact I wore these yesterday. : ) 

Black shorts conservative length. I love these too. So, I have 2 denim bermuda shorts 1 lighter and 1 darker color and 1 tan pair of shorts and this black pair. 4 pair of shorts is plenty. Plus pairs from last year and stuff too. 
This picture on Amazon.jp made me decide to purchase this. I knew by seeing this. This was exactly what I had in mind. I bought a super strong magnetic hook from Daiso that holds up to 2kg and this is now hanging on my fridge now. Love this a whole bunch.

I also like that you don't have to fold the bags a specific way, you can simply just toss it in there and that's fine. 

And it just comes right out of the bottom. It's very cool and I think it was only like 1,100 yen. Like US $10 bucks basically.  Anyway that's enough for now. 

Anything new to add? I am back from the hair salon and my hair is done and it looks so good! My hair is pin straight and the color is so nice and it is right above my shoulders, a long bob or lob. I'm so happy with my hair. My hair is most definitely on point thanks to my amazing hair stylist, she is truly the best. I was there from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Holy crap was that a long time to be sitting there. But 2 iced coffees later, plus a massage and after flipping through a ton of magazines while there and chit chatting with my hair stylist. I am finally home and can't wait to start my weekend! Noah gets out at 3:45pm today. Bran rode his bike. We're having Buffalo style chicken wings baked in the oven. Cheesy baked potatoes, corn on the cob and salad. What's our plan for this weekend? Just relaxing and staying close to home. : ) No plan is the plan... for this weekend and boy is that music to my ears! A nice sleep in and a leisurely breakfast is also the plan. *Bliss* : ) Have an awesome weekend everyone! : )