Monday, February 29, 2016

His first week and my first week. What we both did. Walmart (Pop Tarts, etc) Target (Easter goodies), Sephora and Ulta. Plus a few interesting stories here and there for good measure...

We are now officially on week #2. How did we all do for week 1, last week? We all did pretty good. Let's catch up real quick. I wash Bran and also Noah's bedding weekly at home, in our washer and dryer at home. However, our bedding for our bed, is too big to fit. A few years ago, different comforter, I tried and my washer actually tore a small hole in our comforter. So ever since then, better to be safe than sorry. I just take our bedding for our bed, to the 1 and only laundry mat in town. It's always dead on non rainy days and full as heck of rainy days. So, I just go on non rainy days to wash our bedding. Bye bedding! Get nice and clean! I meanwhile went and sat in my car and read online news while they washed. 

Then I threw them in the dryer. Popped in 2 one hundred yen coins and went back to my car and sat some more. When the time was up, I ran inside the building, and brought the clean and fresh hot blankets into the trunk of my car and went home and made the bed. Yep, that's one of the things I did last week. I do keep super busy around here and get things done!
Once a month in winter. And once every 2 weeks in Summer, I will disinfect our trash cans. The spray bottle is bleach. It's spray bleach for like 98 yen. Super cheap and I love bleach, it kills so many bad things. On trash day after the kiddos dumped the trash. And after I drove them to school. I came home and I first bleached the daylights out of my trash cans. Then I... Mr. Cleaned the daylights out of my trash cans. Then I wiped the lids with those Kirkland antibacterial wipes. And put the 3 cans, on the back patio to dry. Since it's winter time around here. Almost spring yes... but it still feels wintry. It took ages for my trash cans to dry. But after a whole day sitting outside they were finally dry. And I brought them into the house. All nice and clean. 

Take THAT trash cans! Hahaha. : ) My neighbors already know...I am always doing something. Wiping the windows. Bleaching my trash cans. They can surely hear my vacuum. Or see me, zipping here and there. : ) So, these are some of the things I did last week. 

I also baked a homemade lasagna, last week. We had salad and garlic bread. This was so filling, we had this for 2 nights. The kids loved it! Me too. : ) 

A pic of the turkey sammys. Fresh roasted turkey sandwiches, with bakery bread and lettuce, tomato and provolone or swiss. So good! 

Noah mentioned, "mama, I'm almost going to need new pencils" I told him, not to worry, I would go and get him some, while he is at school. and sure enough, the next day, during my errands, I ran into the local drugstore and picked Noah 5 pencils. Qoo is a popular orange drink here. Koala's March (love these chocolate filled cookies). Those 5 or 10 yen snacks. And another pencil is of... like a chicken ramen type thing and a Gari Gari-kun corn potage pencil. : ) I name sticker-ed every pencil and a thin piece of tape around each name sticker. That way Noah's pencils, stay Noah's pencils and no mix ups happen.

I also baked the boys some homemade chocolate chip pecan cookies. They loved these! : ) 
Noah and I gather all the trash from various little trash cans, in the bathrooms, living room etc. I also, gather any trash from the fridge anything needing to be trashed and Bran runs it out. Every Tuesday and Friday. Branden is such a good helpful boy. Noah is such a good helpful boy too. Bran is wearing his school uniform minus the blazer in this pic 
The new school year starts in April. And so this weekend, I went and bought the boys each a new pencil case. It's interesting that, they both picked the same exact one. Even though there were many different sports brands, character brands, etc etc. They both seemed to zero in on the same exact pencil case, at the exact same time. Neither of them copied the other...they both just literally grabbed for the same pencil case at the same exact time. How interesting. No worries though because there were plenty. So, they both picked the same one. I went and paid. And on the way home, I picked up some McD's for the boys for lunch. We eat at home every single day. Not because we have to, but we just do. Bran asked...and Noah chimed in and said...yes please. So, I said why not. 

Two very cute pencil cases. So, as you can see, my week was pretty basic and normal. Monday -Thursday, I cleaned house like a crazy person. Cooked, cleaned, did laundry. Took the boys to and from school. Friday was my movie date with friends. It was supposed to be 3 of us. But one of my friends daughter had a fever. And I totally "get that" If your kid is sick. It's a no-go, for sure. No questions asked. We're all mama's, so we totally understand. So, us 2 went to see the Martian and then we went and had lunch afterwards. I was really happy to have an afternoon to catch up with my good friend. I missed my other friend. But, hey...a sick kid is priority #1, end of story. : ) And I get that and hope her daughter is back to feeling better. : ) So that was my last week in a nutshell. Now here's Noboru's week in a nutshell below...
They went and had Thai. That blue plate (fish shape) is amazing, a gorgeous dish! There seems to be every seafood known to man on this plate. So, I know this is my husbands meal! He's an extreme seafood lover to the 100th power. As for me, I hate seafood. No fish. No squid or anything. No dashi. However, I do like lobster and shrimp, go figure. Yes, I'm weird, I know. : )


Chili's Spring menu 2016...

Wendy's. 

You know your husband is Japanese...when. Fill in the blank. Hahaha. You know your husband is Japanese, when he goes to Joe's Crab Shack and he whips out, some crab sauce and ponzu, he literally brought it from Japan, so he could eat his all you can eat crab, "Japanese style." Was he even a dot embarrassed? Absolutely not! Hahaha. : ) 

Yep forget dipping it into melted butter and sprinkling with salt and pepper, you know...the way Americans would do. He's team ponzu and crab sauce all the way! Hahaha. Oh and I think the waitresses write their name down on all tables so they know who is looking after which table. 

He also brought some disposable chopsticks. Because he swears the American way of cracking your crab takes way too much time. However he says...doing it the Japanese way....shoving your chopstick through the shell pushes the meat out in 1 fell swoop. Again, was he even the slightest bit embarrassed? Again, nope...not by a long shot! : ) Are you dying of laughter? I hope so. When he told me, I laughed so hard too! : ) Oh and...they first bring everyone a pound and a half of crab and each time you ask, they bring you a half pound more. He said, he and his friends/coworkers ate...5lbs worth easy, each of them! @_@ Hahaha. 

Panda Express. 

Caesar salad, his favorite salad in the world. Noboru loves caesar salads. Followed by ribs. 

Burp. Is he having himself a blast over there or what? Hahaha. : ) 
So, he said one day for lunch he was really missing Japanese food. Really badly. And so he went to a food court and had picked up some sushi. And then...an older white gentleman, late 50's maybe early 60's. With his daughter, Noboru said the daughter was 30-ish and with her husband. So 3 of them eating at another table but right across from Noboru's table. Noboru was eating alone that particular day. Anyway, the older gentleman was staring at Noboru's sushi. And then he shook his head side to side, like no....and like...yuck! And Noboru said, he knew what that older man thought. He knew that older man thought it was gross. Noboru knew that. And...the 30-ish daughter turned around and said..."forgive my father. I love sushi but my father and my husband hate it." Noboru chuckled and said. That's okay. : ) Noboru called me that night on... Line (Line is sorta like Skype but better). And he said. "That man thought my sushi was gross honey!" Hahaha. Noboru thought it was funny and wasn't offended at all. I just chimed in and said. That there are some very adventurous Americans who like eating Japanese foods. However though...there are also Americans who just have very American tastebuds (like me) and they can't really help it. But, I did add..he shouldn't have gave...Noboru's sushi...a stink face though. That was a tad rude. But...yeah interesting, thing to have happen, that would NEVER happen in Honolulu by the way. 

Noboru's lunch, Arby's. Beef and cheddar sandwich. Jalapeno poppers, mozzarella cheese sticks and curly fries. Clearly he's not on a diet. Hahaha. He said it was too much food though and he threw half his jalapeno poppers and mozzarella cheese sticks and half his curly fries in the trash. @_@ Geeze Louise. He is clearly indulging in anything and every food items, his little heart desires. Hahaha. : ) Again though...good for him. : ) And yes, I do have his permission to use his pictures, I asked him and he said...not a problem, he doesn't mind. He did ask me though to not give his location, until after he is gone and I have honored that. 
Color/shade 140=Y305 (the Y means yellow toned), shade 20 and the color/shade Fiji.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD. It used to be just regular HD, but this was reformulated last year and now it's Ultra HD. Make Up For Ever Face and Body, in the shade 20. And Nars Sheer Glow in the color Fiji. I'm Mac NC20-25. In the studio fix powder foundation, I'm in the shade NC25.

What a wonderful husband. He snapped this pic while at Sephora last week. These 3 foundations will be part of my birthday gift from Noboru. 

Pop Tart section inside Walmart. 

Brownie and cake aisle. Baking aisle.

Between Line and Skype and emails. He tells me each week. If you need anything from Walmart. Target. Tell me by Tuesday for example. Because like in this picture he had planned to go and buy water for his hotel room. And so he said, if you need something tell me by such and such day. He bought, 32 Chocolate Chip cookie dough Pop Tarts for the kids. Chocolate Fudge Pop Tarts but, Walmart brand ones, these have really high reviews on Walmart online. Pop-Secret Homestyle popcorn, pack of 10. And 2 boxes of brownies. 

One of my favorite people I watch on YouTube, EmilyNoel83. Uses the Equate brand of daily face cloths to wash her face. They're the kind you add water and they're like disposable wash cloths. She swears by these. And the reviews for these was really high. So, I wanted to try a box. Miracle Whip for sandwiches, since the kids take a packed lunch daily. Again not tons, but it will be nice for us to get these goodies when he gets back. : )

And then last Wednesday, Noboru emailed me and said, he was going to go to Target with his friend/coworker on Friday and if we needed anything to email pics of what was needed before Friday. Easter is coming up. And those Strawberry Shortcake M&M's are a Target exclusive. Boy oh boy are Branny McB and Noah going to enjoy when Easter rolls around. : ) And yes we have only 2 boys and yet you are seeing 3 Reester Bunnies. That 3rd one is for me. : )

Noah messaged daddy (Noboru) and asked..."can you bring me back some Tic Tacs." Why Tic Tacs? You sure got me. But, one morning Noah woke up and this picture was sent to me and said...please show this to Noah. Needless to say, he is thrilled. : ) 

I double cleanse, my face. I have for eons. A mild first cleanser to get rid of my makeup. And a 2nd cleanse to wash my face. I first started with cleansing oils and this past year, I switched to cleansing balms. I was happily surprised when I heard that... Yes To Coconut came out with a melting cleanser. It says on the tube, melts away makeup. Usually, I use Korean brand cleansing balms or Japanese brand cleaning oils. I'm currently using Clean It Zero by Banila Co. And Shu Uemura brightening cleansing oil in the purplish/lavender bottle, (that smells so good) The chance to try an American make up remover/oil based cleanser. Sure, I'm willing to give it a shot. EmilyNoel reviewed it on YouTube and loved this as a first cleanser. Hot and Flashy has already mentioned this too. This is an Ulta exclusive. Meaning you can't buy this at Target, even though Yes to Carrots and Coconuts etc are available there. You can't buy this anywhere but Ulta. And given Noboru is in the mainland USA. And he was going to be right in the same shopping complex as Ulta anyways. I think he said it took him a grand total of 5-7 minutes to get the items and check out and leave. The other 2 things are brow mascaras. Both in medium brown. Ulta brand and Rimmel. So again...nice knowing these are sitting with Noboru and waiting to go back to Japan with him. : ) I'm most excited to try out the Ulta exclusive coconut melting cleanser. And I'm a brow mascara type a girl and I am excited to try these 2, because I have never tried either of these before.

Anyway, that's enough for now. We are now starting week 2. The kids are at school. And I cubed up my beef stew meat and skillet fried it at 10am this morning. And had it boiling away on the stove since 10:30am, this morning. It's fall apart tender right now and as soon as I post this, I will run in the kitchen and chop up the onion, add the mushrooms, potatoes etc. And also make the rice and set the timer for the rice. It will be a nice hearty and healthy beef stew tonight for the kids and I. Noboru is doing good over there. And we're doing good over here. How's the weather for us here? It's cold today, windy and the sky is a very light gray, almost white. It was raining this morning. But it isn't anymore. Bran wanted to ride his bike this morning. I didn't want him to because being a mom, I worry about him riding in the rain. But, he wants to ride with his bunch of friends on Mondays, so I let him. Noah got a ride. Noah gets out of school at 3:45pm today. And Bran gets off at 3pm today. Alrighty ya'll, I better get! I have some veggies to chop chop. : ) 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday...

Today's Throwback Thursday comes from February 2013. I decided to take the the kids to Guam for a weekend getaway. We're so lucky to be able to do stuff like this, with our flight benefits. We stayed at my dad's condo and on this morning we went to breakfast at Denny's. I had the banana pecan pancakes, bacon and scrambled egg meal. And a hot coffee, that morning. I really like letting the boys have weekend getaways like this. Where they can just unwind, see their grandpa (my dad) and just have a lovely weekend before flying back to Japan. We're lucky it's a short 3 hour flight from Japan. 

February in America also means the lovely Girl Scouts are out in full force selling those yummy cookies! *Bliss* Every time I see them, I buy some because #1 it's for a good cause. And #2 those cookies are delicious! : ) 

We went and saw a comedy...a zombie movie. It was so funny and perfect for my 2 kiddos! We had popcorn and movies snacks and drinks. Again, I just want the kids to have fun. Visit with my dad. Create some new memories. And have a great time. : )

Lunch after the movie. Hi Noah! : )

Dinner! And the next morning we would be leaving. 

Awww, I remember when Bran loved Ben 10. Hahaha. How cute. I always want the kids to sit together. But, Bran insisted. He said, "mom, please let me take your seat because I want to pretend I am traveling alone?" Keep in mind he was an arm length away from me and keep in mind the flight attendant just heard that and gave me a smile, she must be a mom because you can tell she totally "got that". @_@ But you know...kids. So, I said okay then... you can take my seat and I'll take yours. : ) All the flight attendants knew we 3 were together and duh...we all have the same last name too. But...kid logic, what can I say. : ) In his mind for the 3 hours he was..."mysterious traveling alone/solo Branden" Wink wink. : )  

Please little one stay little...for a little while longer. And don't tell me you too...want to be a mysterious...traveling all by yourself kiddo too now! @_@ : ) Lucky for me, he didn't and he still doesn't. He likes being right by my side even now. Bran too for the most part. : ) 

Noah cutting his meal and watching a movie. Boy that tart looks so good. : )

Hello travelling all by yourself unknown person. Wink wink. : ) Cough cough...I sure am keeping my eyes on you Branden. He ate his lunch and watched a movie. Kids at that age want to try to start spreading their wings. But that's when I keep a closer eye. Even now, even still. : ) 
Then he flattened out his seat to a bed and he slept the rest of the way back home to Japan. 

I sure do love you kid! : )

He sleeps. Noah slept the rest of the way back home to Japan too. And as for me, I watched the movie, kept guard/watch over both the boys. And that's it really. : ) 

I only brought 1 suitcase. And I didn't bring back tons and tons of stuff. I just brought back a handful of useful things.  You know, like 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. 1 tube of toothpaste. 1 lone cake mix. A big box of cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch). And my wreath for our front door. Anyone remember the name I gave her? Aretha. Get it? A-wreath-ah. So Aretha. LOL! Aretha is hanging on my door right this second as I type this. Hahaha. 

Some mac and cheese. Some Italian of course. Frozen ravioli and a frozen lasagna. That's it really. But yep, that was our TBT from 2013. : ) As soon as Noboru gets back from his training. I will start to think when I can get myself to Guam again. Because I am planing on it.

Update on us now? Noboru is doing good. Tonight they are at Joe's Crab Shack. Or another restaurant like that. He said Wednesday nights are... all you can eat crab. That's Thursday morning for us in Japan. Japanese people *love* crab. Noboru especially totally loves it. And Noboru brought from Japan, a bottle of crab sauce and a bottle of ponzu. He told me this morning Japan time/evening for him. He is going to eat so much crab tonight, that he will make that restaurant cry after they leave. Hahaha. @_@ Seriously. : ) All 5 Japanese guys are there and they are all ready to get their... eat on! Or get their crab on! Let's put it that way.  Poor poor restaurant! They're at the restaurant right now in fact. Hahaha. : )

As for the kids. The boys are doing really good. Noah helped me make dinner last night (the chili). Branden helps Noah with his homework every night and reads and stamps Noah's renrakucho every night. He's such a fantastic big brother and both kids are both helping out so much. Like I always tell them. We are a team around here. Family helps family. And family sticks up for family. And they know that. And so we definitely have each other backs around here. This Saturday will mark 1 week down, 3 weeks to go. : )

What else, I have my movie/lunch date tomorrow. We will go and see the Martian tomorrow... the morning movie. I am looking forward to that. I made a big pot of beans (pinto) yesterday. And I also made pork green chili yesterday too, the pork was done in the day time. That chili is so hot you guys. it's like pure fireballs. It will take us days to finish that chili. Because it is so hot. Flavorful yes, but hot as lava. LOL. We will have bean burritos, breakfast burritos. Chili cheese fries with it. We will be eating chili for tonight (leftovers) and quite possibly tomorrow night too. Depends on how fast we can eat it. It's actually not a bad thing though. Because that just means meals are going to be super easy, since everything is basically done. The main things are done 100%, meal preparation wise. So meals for a while are going to be super easy and really good.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The V-day gifts the boys received this year. Branden’s Eiken pre-1 interview done and dusted. Noah’s cooking class at school. Meanwhile an update on how he’s doing over there. Pics of his hotel. Plus some Cinnamon Bun Oreos and Filled Cupcake Oreos...

Hi you guys! As you know, so much has happened since the last time I posted. I have a bit of time right now, so I can hopefully catch up with you all real quick, right now.  Last week was Noboru's last week here, before he left. And so, I had taken these V-day pics last week, but didn't have time to post them. It's good to post them so we can keep them as a memory, for both Bran and Noah. Bran, received this Valentine's gift on Monday Feb 15th at school. It was from someone really special to him. His girl, you all saw how gorgeous she was on undokai last year. : ) So he was pretty happy about getting one from her. : ) He said it was delicious. The girl can clearly cook. Right on. : )

Noah also received 2 Valentine's gifts this year, from 2 cutie pie... little girls. 

One was from Lily-chan. And the other was from Ami-chan. 

Noah was so happy to receive these from 2 of his really good friends. Very nice girls! This means, I will have to make sure now that my boys return the favor for White Day March 14th. 

Yep as the bag says, it was for Noah. Aww. : ) I wish, I would have had time to get these up last week, on the blog. But, the fact I could post last week at all. Is amazing. Because it was crazy busy here last week. Now that he's gone though, things around here are quiet. And not much needs to be done. Because we did so much prep work beforehand. But yep, I did think, it was very important to at very least...put the Valentine's gifts they received on here. That way when they're grown, they can come back here and have a look. And remember and hopefully smile. : ) 
Our elementary school, is really special in that they want kids to learn so many skills. So many things. In America when I was growing up, we didn't have Home EC (home economics class) until junior high/middle school. However at our specific elementary school, they cook in cooking class twice a month and once a month they sew! They have not had the chance to buy a sewing kit. I think that comes this upcoming year. If I remember right, from back when Bran started sewing. But cooking at our elementary school starts early. And Noah has been using Bran's old sewing kit for now. They have their own little cooking groups. You can see the pizza sauce we bought for Noah. On this particular day his class broke up... into their own groups in the schools big cooking room and they all made pizza toast. A week ahead, your child will bring home a note, saying which item your child needs to bring. Noah raised his hand for the pizza sauce. Someone brought cheese, someone brought veggies. Someone brought bread. And the teacher brings a lot of stuff too. And in this class, they all cut and slice veggies. A few times a go, they made pancakes. All the kids needed to crack eggs and whisk the eggs. My kids have always cooked with me at home, so they know how to do that stuff already. But, I *love* that our school has and offers cool cooking classes like this! In the summer, the kids in class will often go and catch crawfish for an hour during school with the teacher. I blogged about that 2 years ago? Although they go every year. Everyone was supposed to think outside the box and make their own fishing pole. They didn't want a store bought fishing pole. Our school definitely wants kids to learn...and think for themselves...and have fun. Each cooking class, you need to bring an apron and a bandana to cover their head/hair since they're handling food. Branden still cooks at his JHS too. And Noah enjoys cooking at our elementary school. : ) So last week, Noah and his class made pizza toast. : )

We went back to Costco last week once more. Hamburger buns for homemade hamburger night. Potatoes. Ham for sammys. Ricotta for lasagna (made that last night) and an extra trio of pasta sauce and an extra pack of mozzarella. Dinner rolls. 

That's all pasta sauce. And yes, we eat a lot of Italian around here. : ) 

Lots of frozen veggies. Loaded up the freezer with lots of frozen veggies. The margarine, we use for toast in the mornings. or buttering some veggies or a baked potato. If we make an omelet or eggs we use a little margarine in the pan. And fellow Americans, these 3, are still tinier then 1 Country Crock in the U.S. And 2 small lean blocks of beef, this is for beef stew.  We can have beef stew sometime. That beef is beautiful and no fat. And the fries on the right are for cheeseburger night. Again, I had written this list and went right down. Do I need this? Do, I need that? What do I need? 

These came from Joyful Honda in Inzai and the beef up above came from Besia in Inzai. But these came from Joyful in Inzai. On the left is a humongous pork loin for pork green chili night. That is going to be great, when I make that. Nice knowing we have this in the freezer. And the 2 things on the right are 2 really good sized blocks of beef for a roast beef, I am planning to make. 

You can sort of see, a pot roast will be happening, and remember those potatoes from Costco up above? Some mashed potatoes with some gravy and a very tender pot roast. I can't wait. I will cook both roasts together since I imagine, they'll shrink up some with cooking. And I bought 2 to make sure, I have plenty. Since the boys have hearty appetites. The beef is also in the freezer. You should see my freezer. I have mozzarella cheese sticks, unopened still. Frozen pizzas. We did eat 2 of those for lunch on Sunday though, so we have 6 of those left. We have a ton of frozen veggies in there and a ton of pork and beef in there. 

Remember those tortilla chips, we bought the week before. I also purchased some seasoned beans in the can, pictured here. See, the sour cream. I am planning to make some killer nachos sometime. Hope these beans are good. Not sure when we'll have them. A big hand soap. You can refill it 4 times. So should last the month for downstairs. Might run out... for the one upstairs though, which is fine, I can zip and get one if we need some extra hand soap. 

18 rolls of toilet paper. this is my favorite toilet paper in Japan. I like the toilet paper at Costco, but it is so outrageously expensive. You can buy this half cheaper. The Costco TP is just a tad too over priced for me. I can't justify buying it. And I won't. So, I buy this. I forgot to buy Kleenex at Costco. OMG! I went 2 weeks in a row and still forgot. At that point, I just bought this at Joyful Honda in Inzai. The Kleenex tissue at Costco is a great buy/deal, but not the TP. 

The Valentine's Vitamin C serum, my sweetie purchased for me, arrived last week. And again, just too much going on last week...to even care or have the time to post about it. Now I have some time, so I will. I was very happy to receive 4 free samples (4 creams and the Klairs is a mask). Receiving 1, I assumed. But to receive 4 free samples. I was really impressed by that. I will be repurchasing from here because of that. They have earned a new customer. Thank you Wishtrend for being generous with the samples. 

I am not being dramatic when I tell you from my heart. This product right here. Transformed my skin. It seriously transformed my skin. People who are really into skincare know about the benefits of Vitamin C and how good it is for your face. And folks not really into skincare, won't know and won't care and that's okay. But, I figure I have to look at this face and so I might as well take the *best* care of it as I possibly can. And so, I do. American people who are in the know about skincare know and love Vitamin C products. Hot and Flashy's YouTube. She is always talking about the benefits of her 1 Vitamin C product she uses daily. And believe me, her skin is gorgeous. It's flawless and she's mid 50's and doesn't look a day over 40. She is stunning. In Korea too, they also know the importance of Vitamin C too. They have a lot of good products with Vitamin C. And I think there is a really good one in Japan too. The western brand ones are very pricey. Like almost $100 pricey or around $75, which is still outrageous. That's just too out of my price range for 1 serum, don't get me wrong..I could buy it, but I just wouldn't feel comfortable doing so, when this is the exact same thing, if not better and $14 US. The ones at the Body Shop for example don't contain enough Vitamin C to see actual results (sorry to say that, but yep). But this one pictured here is as high grade as the almost $100 dollar western brand one. And I think it's better. For people into Asian beauty, this is like a cult favorite. And for good reason. Last year with everyone strongly recommending Vitamin C. If you are into pre anti aging skincare at all. Or have any skin issues. Even young skin with zits could use this. Everyone says to keep this in your fridge, so it lasts longer. Vitamin C in high concentrations gets old if it is exposed to the sun or air hits it too much. Which is why it is in a dark bottle too. I wasn't sure if this was an overly hyped product last year or if it truly worked. Ykwim. I tried it. And my skin was generally okay, I mean a few ruddy patches here or there nothing too bad. Then it went to...absolutely no ruddiness at all. Smooth all even toned skin. My skin actually looks younger. I also have very dehydrated skin, very dry skin especially in winter and this has never made my skin feel any drier. Before I used this product...sometimes my skin would look good, sometimes it would look uneven in texture. Now since using this... my skin always looks smooth, texture is on point. Zero ruddiness. No fine lines. My MIL if you remember said...I am not aging at all over New year's. And it's not me...it's this Vitamin C serum. I just repurchased this. And to go out and actually buy a 2nd one...means I really like this. And I do. I love this. My skin is on fleek and it's totally because of this. 

Also, they have the newest products. Manufactured January 19th of this year and will last until next year. Best $14 dollars, ever spent. Again, I am not suggesting any of you to use this. Because frankly what you use on your skin or don't... doesn't really affect me in anyway...same as what I use wouldn't or shouldn't affect you either. I'm just saying...and stating I use this, I love this. It totally transformed my skin. My skin is flawless because of this and I could not say that before using this. Because sometimes the skin looked okay and sometimes not, but since using this... it always looks amazeballs. So, I use it. I love this and my husband thinks I'm reverse aging because of this. LOL. Good stuff Maynard. : )
Noboru flew out Saturday. I roasted that turkey Saturday too, for the kids and I. The kids and I have been enjoying turkey sandwiches ever since. Sunday was Bran's last part of the Eiken pre-1. The interview. The speaking part of it. OMG, you guys! I have to tell you guys this. I better write it before I forget. So, we were first in line. Not because I am super cool. But because I was super worried that I wouldn't get a parking. And with Noboru gone, it was all me. #1/first thing would you believe, 2 of the places to park were closed! Can you believe it? My heart sunk. The 3rd spot, had 2 ladies guarding the entrance of the parking spot. It's a public parking area, but they're soccer mom's and asked me.."are you here for soccer?" I knew the other 2 spots were closed. This was my *only* place to park. However, I am not going to lie. I'm just not. So, I answered honestly, "no, I'm not, we're here for the Eiken" Not sure if my foreign-ness was surprising or what. However...hello...it was a public parking area. They didn't own it. Not sure why they were all getting greedy about the parking there in the first place, but they let me in. They were doing this to all cars, not just us. However..I'm just saying..I didn't need that sort of added stress from those 2 ladies that morning. And thank goodness we went early. Again...because Narita City is so very city-ish...compared to where we live... in a tiny town of under 5000 people with parking to spare. So...yeah. Those ladies had my heart feeling all "doki doki" that morning. I was gonna park there no matter what though. And given I am the only protector of my boys... while Noboru is away. I was most certainly parking there, whether they liked it or not. And I did nose in my car before I rolled the window down. And given I know that place is public parking...meaning open for the general public. I rolled right in. Maybe I looked so determined (I was). Maybe I look so seriously serious (I was). But I knew I had *every* right to park there and a cop would most certainly agree, I most certainly didn't mind going that route if they wanted to go that route. But yep, they let me in. Though since my car nose... was already in they couldn't exactly close the gate on me anyway. So anyway. It was like 2 Billy Goat Gruffs guarding the parking area. @_@ Oh and fwiw, that parking area was dead and tons of spaces to go around when we came out. So not sure why we had those 2 over zealous ladies.. with clearly too much free time on their hands that Sunday morning... anyways.  But I am the type of person...If I am wrong, I will be the *first* to always admit, I'm wrong, I'm sorry. But if I am not wrong, I will not back down either though. And I knew I had a right to park there. So good for them to let me in because I was going to park there... whether they liked it or not. You can't hog all the parking spots just because your soccer group likes to play there, fair is fair...share ladies..would it kill you to share? And again... as long as it's a public parking (and we researched this fact last year when Bran first took the Eiken), sorry but anyone can park there. Case closed, end of story, get a grip. Whatever. Moving on. So, I parked the mini minivan in the parking spot. We walked to 7-11 and I bought the kids some of those Mister Donut clones. 3 old fashion half dipped in chocolate, 2 for Bran and 1 for Noah. I also bought them a drink each. I didn't buy myself anything. I think I was just so nervous about parking. I worked myself up to near hysteria the night before about the lack of parking.  And so seeing those 2 billy goat gruff ladies that morning, was enough to just push me right over the edge. Good thing they let me in, or I would have snapped big time! Plus, I had been awake since 5:20am Sunday morning. We left our house at 7am and were there at 8am-ish. Dealt with the 2 billy goat gruff ladies and then we walked to 7-11. I just wanted to get this interview over with and go home. I had zero appetite. It was cold and gray and that was Sunday. We walked to the high school and we stood first in line. Again because I was worried about parking. Once we had a parking though and I had bought the kids something to eat and we went in line, I was fine and relaxed. But yep a bundle of nerves beforehand. There were a ton of people...likes 400 plus, in the line. The line was so long behind us, way down and even out of the school grounds. This is the important part to tell you. Don't faint when I tell you. So we got into the Pre 1 line. And the lady announced. There are 200 or so taking the interview for the Eiken 3 and 200 and so many people taking the Pre 2. For the Eiken pre-1... only 14 passed..so only 14 will be taking the pre-1 interview today. You should have seen our shocked faces. @_@ Yes only 14. And yes if you recall it was about 110 people who took the written part of the Eiken pre 1. But out of all those people only 14 passed! Can you believe it? Only 14 people passed out of the 100 plus line... we were standing in 3 weeks ago. I told ya! Not many people pass the actual Eiken pre-1. A high school or college aged Japanese girl stood in line behind us. She smiled very big and brightly at me and I smiled equally right back at her. She was quite cute. Branden was so shocked. He kept saying....I can't believe only 14 people passed. And no, that foreign friend he made...obviously he didn't pass. Bran said he was not there among the 14. : (  Noah and I meanwhile went to the holding area for parents.

Remember you need to show a photo ID, so we use Bran's passport because it has his pic on it, it's official and blahblahblah. And Noah and I then put on the stickers that say we are the parent of a kid taking the Eiken. 

This room ended up 100% full of parents. As in not 1 seat to spare. Branden came out quickly. Well duh, since he was first in line. : ) First thing he said to me was... after I asked him, "how was it?" he said..."I nailed it, it was so easy" I mean he fluently speaks English, so I wasn't worried. But, yeah...I was glad he took it, glad he felt it was pretty easy and went well. I was now happy and eager to just go home. We walked to the parking area. Those 2 ladies were not at the parking area anymore. Noboru did message me, while I was at the school in Narita but I told him, I couldn't talk. But, we could talk as soon as I went home, switched cars and ran to the bakery first (needed more bread for the turkey sammiches) : )

I did go home. We did switch to my car. And we did run to the bakery for 2 loaves of bread. When I got home, Noboru had Line messaged me a whole bunch of pics. He showed a lot from the airport, but the airport is a dead giveaway, where he is. So, I can't share those. I'm sorry. But these are his room and where he will be staying and sleeping for the next 30 days. This is his room. 

His living room. L shaped couch. Couch blanket in the little table there with ribbon on it. A very nice living room. 

His bedroom room. Sleeping area. Very nice.

His sink area. And bathroom area back there. 

43 inch flat screen TV, he also has a fridge for his drinks. 

When I was at the bakery in Japan buying bread, my phone was going off, he was Lining me, this picture. They were at Target buying sodas, water, snacks for their own selves. 

As I was paying at the bakery, He messaged me this picture. You see, I have this friend in the US and she blogs all the good snacks in the US. And so she was like 2 weeks ago, saying these are new and maybe limited edition and at Target. Knowing Noboru was going to be in the US for a month. I showed Noboru the pic and I asked him. Can you bring me back a pack of these? And I also asked for a few other limited edition flavors. But yep, he's such a sweet guy because he found them and picked up 3 packs of these. This is Noboru's pic. He said he picked up... 1 pack for BrannyB and 1 pack for Noah and 1 pack for me. : ) Aww. 

He also picked me up the limited edition Hostess cupcake Oreos. This is his pic, he took before he put them in his red Target cart. He asked the kids if they wanted one of these but they're still thinking about it. : ) They have lots of time to think on it though... because their daddy will be there for a full month. : ) They have brownie batter and red velvet all sorts of good ones. 

What did they eat their first night? Red Lobster. Noboru ordered this seafood sampler. Those garlic biscuits and a cesar salad. 

His friend ordered this. Steak and lobster. Wowsa wowsa! Hahaha. did I mention that night, I had a turkey sandwich for dinner. hahaha. It's okay...I'm good...I'm good. And good for him...getting to eat whatever his little heart desires all month. 

He did run Sunday to Sephora for me. But they didn't have the 2 things I was looking for. But no worries, he will be there a good long time...this time. So, if a new Oreo comes out...or a new face product should come out. It's just nice knowing, I can get it, if I wanted. So, do I miss my husband? Duh absolutely. But he has to do this so. He has to be there. But there are also pluses. Meaning he can eat whatever he wants..try all sorts of food and restaurants. Plus...sure he can bring a few things back for us too. Not tons...but it helps. So yeah. It's not all doom and gloom. : ) When life gives you lemons...make lemonade, as they say. We could both be sad for 30 days... but honestly that won't solve a darn thing. Or we can both be happy...he can try all sorts of good yummy nummy foods. And hey...if I should want to try some new Oreos...so be it. We're just going to see the positives. And I think that's the right way to handle this next month. We can do it! : )

Oh and what did they eat last night? Chili's. Hahaha. He is having fun over there. : )  Oh and..there is 1 set there.. already who will be leaving in 2 weeks. And 1 lone guy there without a partner and he will be there and he leaves at the end of this week. So for now, there are 5 of them, in the same hotel. 1 leaves at the end of this week. And then for the next 2 weeks it will be 4 of them and after 2 weeks it will be just Noboru and his person that was sent with him. So those 5 are who are going to Chili's etc. : )  And out of those 5 guys, 3 of them are the "Hawaii guys" the ones who lived in Hawaii before being sent to Japan, Noboru being one of those guys. : ) So they're all good friends.

So how are things? Pretty awesome here. My hardest thing, I had to do. My most stressful thing, I had to do was take Bran to the Eiken in Narita City. The parking, or lack of, to be specific. And on the grand scale of things...in all reality, it wasn't like major hard to do anyways. But yes I'm glad that's over with. And I did it. So now, I have nothing major to do or nothing really stressful or anything coming up. I have a house stocked with plenty of good things to eat and make. I have 2 vehicles here. One,  100% electric, which is my car plus the gas mini minivan. Full to the top of gas. I did go to the hair salon last Friday, my hair is on fleek, you guys. Cut is perfect, my thermal straightening is on point and my color is freshly done. We basically did everything we needed to do, before he left.  Boys have fresh haircuts. I will just be holding down the fort here, so to speak. I will still zip to the grocery store here locally once a week or bakery twice a week. But other than that, I just drop the kids at school every morning and swing around and pick them up every afternoon. Clean the house like a mad woman, every day. Treadmill myself every day, 4-5 days a week. And make supper every night and pack their lunch every morning for school. It's a piece of cake really. Plus I have my movie/lunch date this Friday. That I am really looking forward to. They're such amazing awesome ladies/friends of mine. They're so fun and funny that I always walk away...feeling.."wow I had such a great time with them today" so can't wait to see them this Friday. : ) Noboru Line messages me often every day and emails me once a day. He has also phoned me every day, and we just talk for about 20 minutes. The kids email and message their dad daily too. That's about it really. : )  Other than that, the kids and I have been enjoying some really good TV shows on here at home and relaxing and enjoying some family time. : ) Alrighty, that's enough for now. : )