Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bits and pieces...

I better get this post up today. : ) One good thing about me is, I have so many stories to share and tell. So much to talk to you all about. Mostly my day to day type stuff. But I'll absolutely never....not ever run out of anything to say here. : )  So in an effort to hurry these next 2 posts along. I will try and get this one up today. : )  These next couple pics are of stuff Noboru brought back from Atlanta, Georgia. I am sure most of ya'll saw it, the week he actually bought it. But this way, if I just gather it all in one fell swoop and post. We can consider the Atlanta 1 month chapter closed. : )  He brought back 2 packs of brownies. I had asked him to bring back a box of brownies because I knew I would be using up our last box for White Day brownies for the girls from Bran and Noah. Ru was kind enough to bring me back 2 boxes instead of 1. So, very nice. : )  Again not 100's, but 2 packs is plenty. : )

Cinnamon Bun Oreos. A pack for each of the kids and I. They're gone. But we haven't opened the Filled Cupcake ones yet. So we still have those. : ) Anyway back to the Cinnamon bun Oreos. Honestly? Probably THE very best Oreo, I have ever had in my life. They were THAT good. The cookie was cinnamon flavored and the cream inside was cinnamon bun flavored, I could even taste a bit of cream cheese frosting type of flavor going on. It was seriously delicious. I hope they're still selling that flavor this summer when we go to the USA for summer. Branden also told me, "this is the best Oreo flavor I've ever had" I couldn't agree more. : ) They're so good.

Pop Tarts. Because, Americans clearly live here. : ) 

Miracle Whip. Because.... sandwiches and because it's so good.

Easter goodies. I also brought back a few misc Easter treats from Guam also, but that's going to be in another post. : )

10 packs...was so happy he brought back the big box of this.

Tic Tacs for the kids.

I've read 1 magazine front to back twice, but the other 3, I am saving for when the kids go back to school and I pick them up in the afternoon. Gives me something fun to read, while I'm doing the afternoon pick up. : )

10 packs of pot roast. Because nice leisurely Sunday dinners happen. : ) 

Yes to Coconuts melting makeup cleanser (haven't tried this yet, but I can't wait), the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boost face wash, I use in the morning when I am washing my face, with a hot wash cloth. This doesn't dry out my skin and it smells so good. I knew it had a scent and because I am really weird with scents. Meaning I don't like 80% of scented products. Either too strong, too perfumy etc. So, I was worried...however  I actually like the smell of this one, so go figure. : ) Haven't used the face cloths yet but I will. : ) 

Birthday goodies. 3 foundations. Plus it's March so Noboru received my Sephora birthday gifts from Fresh. : ) A mini Soy Face wash and a mini cream. I am loving all 3 of these foundations. The color matches on these 3 is perfect, thanks to my skin twin that actually spent her time finding the right/perfect color. That way, I didn't have to do any work at all. I appreciate that a ton, she's a genius, she rocks. I've only used the Nars Sheer glow twice so far, but every time I use it I am so shocked by what a dead on...color match Fiji is for my skin. It's light and it's yellow. It's my perfect shade. And the Make Up For Ever Ulta HD, I took to Guam with me and used the whole trip I was there. Again a perfect color match. And the Face and Body really is super light and the color match is so right. The only thing I would say is, the Nars and Ultra HD, I use just 1 and a half pumps to do my entire face, I dot 1 dot on my cheeks, 1 dot on my forehead, nose etc. And rub in. It's enough and it's fine putting dots all over my face. However the Face and Body one, is very liquidy like everyone says on YouTube but it is seriously almost water like however....it dries down as soon as you put a dot on your face, so...you can't just... dot all over your face like a regular foundation. It would be dried like paint if you did that. So dot once rub in 100% then dot another place and rub in 100% and so on. So that tiny thing I learned. But other then that. It looks so natural. And it isn't drying or doesn't show flakes (I don't have flakes because I use a wash cloth daily and also exfoliate regularly anyways, but ykwim). I have dry skin and it doesn't make me look dry. It actually is geared for dry skin. But just watch your application if any of you... should ever try the MUFE Face and Body. You can't just put it on like....any other foundation. After it sinks into your skin for like a minute or two, it doesn't even look like your wearing makeup at all. Very natural. Anyway, I am enjoying all 3 of these right now. I also have 2 other new foundations pictured below, one is a powder foundation but I'll be using it more like a setting powder maybe, we'll see and the CC Cream. : ) 

I have yet to try the It Cosmetics products yet. I will, just haven't had the chance yet. Haven't tried the new NYX primer either or the brow products yet. However I have used the NYX intense butter gloss in Tres Leches and I like how natural it looks, very MLBB in color. 

I've seen the IT Cosmetics on QVC. Have also seen the commercials for it weekly too. Love that this powder foundation has Hyaluronic Acid and Niacin. Plus Collagen. I'll keep you updated. 

Like a foundation plus an anti-aging serum together. This sounds so interesting and I'm so glad I have it here in Japan and I can try it out. So these basically were my birthday presents, meaning the makeup from Noboru. : )

Both in the color/shade light.


Noboru is always wanting to teach Branden and also Noah "boy things" granted not saying girls can't change a tire, I'm not saying that at all. But you know what I mean, I hope. Noboru was telling me after he got back from Atlanta. It's Spring we should take the snow tires off the "mini" mini van. And put on the normal regular tires. I agreed. And he said, I am going to teach Branden how to do it, that way when he's older, if he should ever get a flat, or if his girlfriend or wife should ever need a tire changed. He'll know how to do it and not have to rely on AAA or something. And again, I agree the boys should know how to do stuff like this and I am so glad that Noboru wants to teach the kids stuff like this. So, he took and changed 1 tire... explaining every step and why. And also what NOT to do too. And then he had Branden change the other 3 tires. He double checked Bran's work while it was happening. And then the 3 of them, Noah too. The 3 of them went for a spin around our housing community. Just to make sure everything was A-okay. And it was. And Branden was super proud. : ) I was super proud too. Noboru was so proud he took a video of Branden changing the tires, lol.  Noboru says Noah is too little still, but he did have Noah be outside and hear everything too, so he heard the whole dos and don'ts that he was giving Bran. And so when Noah is Bran's age...he will already have a pretty good idea already. : )  

Random pic from the grocery store. Hand soap refill far left. Face wash for Bran second to left. He's really liking this one. Some sunscreen. And 1 refill of the shampoo we're using. 

They spruced up the bottle. Ariel and Flounder. And this bottle is giant. Well giant for a Japanese sunscreen. Most bottles of sunscreen average 30grams. This is 100 grams. It's a biggie. : ) But sun protection is important and the price was right. It was like 750 yen or so at Trial (a store here)

My favorite is Anessa by Shiseido, but this looked similar to the Shiseido bottle I use. Both are in gold squeeze bottles. So we'll see, how I like it. : ) 

This post is almost finished. : ) On my birthday, when I came down the stairs at 5:20am, this card was sitting on my computer keyboard. I didn't know he had this. I was pleasantly surprised. 

I read the card! Loved the card! Describes us perfectly! Basically, he's so glad, I'm his co-pilot, so to speak. He's so glad I'm riding right next to him.  That we're sorta in this together, for the long haul! But at the heart of it and I am sorry if it sounds cheesy, but we're best friends. At the core of all the romance we're truly.... the very VERY best of friends. And it's just so nice to know that after seeing this card...he feels exactly the same way. : ) 
So like Bonnie and Clyde. Minus the outlaw stuff. : ) Like Jack and Rose from Titanic. Just like in the Notebook, "if you're a bird, I'm a bird." Like Paul and Linda McCartney, they had the truest and most magical love I know. Didn't he once say something like, "every long song I write is for her" ...Awww. Weren't we all a bit devastated when she died years ago. Poor Paul. : (  Like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. Barack and Michelle Obama. The list could go on. But, every once in a while you see that 1 magical couple that is just so deeply in love... that just fits...and I mean REALLY fits. That 1 magical couple that all the other couples long to be. And I am so glad to be married to my perfect match. That one who truly "gets" me and I truly "get" him. 
Like Jay-Z and Beyonce. And again, like I said, the list does go on. But yeah if you're lucky to be in a marriage like that, your truly blessed. : )  Not everyone is lucky enough to be married to their soul mate. I'm so glad to be married to mine. : )
The day of my birthday, Noboru didn't have work that day. After sending the boys to school with a nice packed lunch. Noboru and I got dressed and we went to McD's for breakfast. We sat and enjoyed some breakfast, some nice hot coffee. And talked and talked. He had just got back 2 days before from Atlanta and we had so much to talk about still. We went and ran some errands after breakfast, like grocery store run and whatnot. And the plan was, as soon as the kids got out of school we would be going out to dinner at Jolly Pasta for my birthday dinner. So that's what we did. Dinner there is so good! The 4 of us enjoyed a very nice birthday dinner together. We had a drink bar. It was very nice. 

After a nice leisurely dinner at Jolly Pasta, we drove the 45 minutes back home and it was birthday cake time! Ice cream cake birthday time! : ) 

There's a nice cake on the bottom and you get to pick 2 flavors of handmade icecream. I picked maple walnut as my bottom layer of ice cream and banana as my top layer. I love that I shut the camera off at this point. And they all gathered around and sang me "happy birthday" so super loudly and nicely. I was cracking up. They clapped all loud and even I clapped...not sure why I clapped, probably just in the moment. : ) But it was really nice...super special and spent with my favorite people. : ) I love no stress, low key, chill birthdays like this. Where we can actually all just enjoy our selves. : )

Anything to add right now? Umm, the kids are on Spring break/end of the Japanese school year break. Until April 6th. Anything else to add? We're having our first backyard BBQ for 2016, tomorrow/Saturday. Can't wait! I bought some super sweet seedless rose colored grapes, not like green grapes or like deep dark purple grapes. You know what I mean? Like a rosy type color. The green and rosy ones were on sale, I tried 1 of each and the rosy ones were so super sweet I bought a nice sized amount and we've been munching on them all day today. I bought them at Besia/Cainz. We even have plenty to munch on after supper tonight. What's for dinner tonight? A tandoori chicken and broccoli dish with a side of rice. Yesterday/last night we had cutlet, salad, veggies and rice. Alrighty, that's enough for now, have a nice weekend everyone. : ) 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday...

Easter morning, March 2008! Noah was like 2 and a half years old and Bran was 6 and a half. 

Noah just put a jelly bean in his mouth.Yum. : )

I always asked them..."okay show me...show me how many eggs you found!" And they would hold them up and show me! : ) And I would go..."wow you found so many eggs!" : ) Awww. : ) Alright, enough Easter for now. : ) But this was from Easter Sunday way back then. Celebrating Easter is just something...we have always done in our house, here in Japan. The Easter dinner we had from that year/2008 and when we colored the eggs, I showed on a TBT a few weeks ago. : ) 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter 2016...

I hope everyone had a nice Easter! Ate plenty of Easter chocolates, colored many eggs. Hid and found many eggs. If you go to mass, hope you enjoyed that. As for where we live, we don't live in a big city or city at all... for that matter... we live in a true rural town. There is zip for churches in my town. However there is 1 Catholic church in the small city nearest us, where my kids used to go to school. However they have no English mass. I went and tried mass once in Japanese there and I felt really stressed out. I knew and said the prayers in English while everyone said them in Japanese. I just felt really lost...and considering church should be a place of comfort...I just felt really out of my element having it be all in Japanese. My nearest English mass would be in Tokyo which...would be a 4 hour round trip from my house. So no thanks. I'm happy that we have American TV here at my house and I can catch a nice Catholic mass in the comfort of my own home, any time I want. So, that's how we roll here at our house. : )  So, I got to enjoy my English mass at home. It was a lovely holiday spent with family and loved ones! We had a nice quiet little Easter here at home. We had gotten back from Guam, just the day before, on Saturday. So we were back from our trip. A fully restocked pantry. And we were all in good cheer over here! A couple day delay. I am sorry. But, with the boys being on Spring break, I am just relaxing and enjoying hanging with my family here at home, therefore haven't been online too much. I do however have 2 big posts to post. Soon-ish, though I'm not in any rush either. Plus the TBT. Easter Sunday, the boys woke to a full Easter basket each. 

We usually color our Easter eggs on Saturday/the day before. However since we were flying in an airplane the day before.... to get back home to Japan. And then unpacked at home and hopped into Olive and drove to Costco to pick up 2 rotisserie chickens. 1 for Easter dinner. Therefore, this year we didn't color our eggs until Easter Sunday. No worries, the boys always look forward to coloring the eggs.

They kept trading colors between the both of them. And Bran was waiting for his eggs to get darker and brighter. His eggs were soaking. : ) And 3 waiting to go and take a dip. : )

Egg-cellent job Noah!


Decoration time.


They both were making spring symbols. And both were making a ladybug. Noah had a chocolate lady bug (pictured) near the crayons that he was using as his model. : )
Branden's really artistic and his came our egg-cellent. Meanwhile Noah's was a great effort. Branden said, "Noah yours looks like... half ladybug half turtle" "Yours has turtle legs" Noah cracked up laughing (pictured here) he doesn't take it personally. I was thinking half lady bug/ half stag beetle? But again an A for effort. And it's all in fun, it's not like we're giving out awards or anything here. : )  By the way this picture just reminded me but seriously though...Noah has the whitest and most straightest teeth!!! He has amazing teeth! Really gorgeous teeth!Straight no gaps. White. Shaped right. Never had a cavity, neither boy has ever had a cavity. Anyways....moving along...

Noah listening to his brother when I snapped this picture.


Branden and Noah's Easter Eggs 2016! : )
Easter dinner. The whole gangs back together again! You can clearly see the 3 of them are clearly cracking up in this picture. We were cracking up, hard ya'll. If you could be a fly on our wall. All the funny and hilarious conversations, you would hear. Again because we just got back the day before. I didn't make... like this whole elaborate meal. Because time just didn't allow for it. However we had a rotisserie chicken, which I did throw in the oven for 45 minutes to reheat and recrisp the skin. It looks darker in this picture but it was tender, juicy and amazing. We had homemade mashed potatoes. Gravy. Broccoli and a big salad from Costco bought the day before. What did I do with the other rotisserie chicken? I made homemade taquitos, the night after. So Monday night and boy.... were they good. I took pics too. : )  Back to Easter dinner, I thought Easter dinner 2016 was a success and not too shabby, considering we just got back the day before. : )

Now all eyes were on Noah, he was speaking and his dad is smiling, so is Bran. we just had a pretty nice dinner, great conversation as always and a nice but simple Easter meal. : )

My plate from Easter dinner 2016! I hope you all had an amazing Easter as well. Oh and by the way, we hid the eggs throughout the downstairs, 3 times this year. Before we turned the eggs into egg salad! Noboru and I hid the eggs in such hard places, that there were 2 eggs the kids could not find. We had to show them, where the 2 missing eggs were hiding.  : ) 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Throwback Thursday...

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone! Today's TBT is going to be a cool mix of pics from March 2010. Here is Noah being a typical silly kindy kid, while fishing with his daddy and his brother. This pic was taken in our town. It's the area where the elementary school kids run their "marathon" at every year. 

It's very important for Noah and his brother to spend time with their dad. Boys need to have that male role model growing up, it's so important! Their bonding guy time. Noboru loves fishing, so he takes the kids fishing with him often when it's Noboru's fishing season.

Same day, we had a backyard family BBQ. That's one thing that's great about having your own backyard in rural Japan. The freedom to have a BBQ or freedom to play and run and jump and swing in the privacy of your own backyard any old time you'd like. Just...whatever... you know what I mean, it's so nice. : ) 

We've never let any rain stop us! And boy does a fresh charcoal BBQ smell amazing. 


Eat up kiddos! : ) And tell me all your funny fishing stories. : )

Just a nice simple little family BBQ. 
Another day! In March 2010! Noah had mastered riding his bicycle without training wheels while still in yochien/kindergarten! We let him practice until Summer with Branden's old bike. And after he worked out all the kinks. And had no more spills or drops. We bought Noah a brand new bicycle. But we waited until Summer...because we knew he would be crashing a few times before he got it down 100%. Which was super smart. : )  
Big smiles, Noah loved not having those loud training wheels anymore. : )

Again more fishing for Noboru and sons! : ) This time they went fishing in the small city nearest us. 

The boys getting that "dad and son quality time" : ) I just sat on a nice big fluffy blanket on the grass and observed and I also brought along a tabloid/ magazine. And let Noboru do his own thing with the boys. They fished. They put worms on hooks. They caught fish. Chatted with fellow fisherman, mainly grandpa types near Noboru and the boys. : ) And basically had a great day. : )

Another day captured in March 2010. The boys playing with an Anpanman ball. In our backyard. Just goofing around basically being silly boys. Getting all their kid excess energy out...while outside. : ) 
And another day captured in March 2010. A visit from grandpa. My dad and a smiling Branden.

Noah and grandpa running around like maniacs. And basically having a blast during grandpas visit. The kids absolutely adore my dad. : )

Final pic from today's TBT, my dad walking Noah into our Roman Catholic yochien. The kindergarten Noah and also Bran went to/attended.  And that's basically it really...just a misc, picture collage from March 2010! : )

Update from now: We are packed and ready for Guam already. The kids get out of school today at 11am and go on Spring break from 11am today (for us Americans) and end of the school year (for us in Japan) I call it both ways because I am flexible like that...just depending who I am speaking with. I can't say when we are leaving detail-wise and when we are coming back specifically, just for privacy, ykwim. Not that anyone really cares... but still...it's better to be safe than sorry, if you know what I mean. But we are leaving soon-ish, let's put it that way. And I'll be more specific after we're back and stuff. Bran and Noah are pretty excited. We're going to go to 1 movie while there, we have it narrowed down to Batman VS Superman or Zootopia. We have seen previews to both and they both look like fantastic movies. I think the boys are leaning more towards Batman VS Superman for now. I'll let them decide. : ) I think for us, for our little family of 4... to be able to get away for a few days and just unwind and sorta celebrate being back together again. It's going to be really nice. My dad is ready to see us and hang out with us and we are too. Anything else to add? I had my birthday this week. It was really *really* awesome. Just very laid back and chill. We 4 went out to dinner to celebrate, we had an amazing ice cream birthday cake from Nagano, at home afterwards. Just a nice little quiet family birthday. I love quiet low key birthdays like this. My favorite type of birthday. : )