Thursday, February 02, 2017

Bits and Pieces...

Hi you guys! Wow, I can't believe this post has been sitting in my draft section for over a week! I have been so busy! Good busy though. Meeting my girl friends for lunch and some Starbucks. Purchasing and ordering Bran's high school uniform! And lots more.  And also enjoying life. But yep...wowsa! I better post this post right here... before this stuff gets way too old and crusty. Haha. : )  Remember that night that we took Branden and the family for a celebration dinner for Bran for "getting into" high school? Well...this happened on the same night. Since we were at the Narita Aeon mall. For Italian dinner anyways. We stopped at ABC Mart to look for a pair of sneakers for Noah there. They didn't have anything we liked there this time. But we did find a nice pair we all liked at Sports Authority. So, Noah got this cool navy blue pair of Adidas.

Yep, Adidas box inside and yep...from the Sports Authority!

These are so cute. In Japan, at Japanese elementary schools. You can't wear flip flops. You can't wear Crocs. You can't wear boots. Like ankle boots or Uggs. You have to wear sneakers. In America you can wear any ol' shoe you'd like. But here...it has to be a sneaker. So Noah always has at least 2 pair of like... running sneakers, ykwim. And he uses these for school. 
Is this a lot of prescription grade cream for dry skin or what? As ya'll know, Noah has extremely dry skin in the winter time. Like superly dry. We have an amazing doctor right down the street from where we live. His clinic/doctors office is right in our housing community. He (the doc) and his wife is the nurse. They are elderly and they go to Hawaii once a year. They are very nice. And very helpful. It's about a 1-2 minute walk from our home..right down the pedestrian only paths/walkways. And we have gone there ever since we have lived in our town. He's known Noah since Noah was 7 or 8 months old. So he has literally watched our kids grow throughout the years. And he knows that Noah suffers dry skin. And so he always gives Noah tons of this cream. The ones in the pot are for Noah's face or severe dry parts and the other in the pink tube is also prescription strength and they both seem to help Noah tons and so he gives Noah a huge amount of these every start of Fall and every January. And when Noah is even riding his bike past their clinic he will go outside and ask Noah..."do you need anymore cream?" Or his wife/the nurse will ask Noah too if they see Noah riding his bike or playing tennis, our housing community's tennis courts are right near his office. : ) They are so kind to our family. Very kind! : ) And he's very generous with giving our family meds and ointments always. They're awesome. And we're so happy we have a fabulous doctor right down the street. Their house where they live is also in our housing community too. They love America and love visiting Hawaii yearly like I said and so they're always super nice to our family. When we first met them years ago they were thrilled to lean Bran was born in Hawaii. Aww, they're so cool. : )


They gave us more than 10 tubes which is why she opened the box and packed a few extra tubes in there. : )
Also Old Navy left Japan. There is now no more Old Navy for us in Japan. I'm lucky in that... I have family to mail and forward us a package. Or that we can go to the states and can buy directly there too. But...sorta sad they left Japan. : (  We did go to the final sale days. And nope...we didn't buy anything at all... they were wiped out/sold out of most everything. I'm glad I still got to go and check though at least. 



The day, I was in Tsukuba Japan looking at the final//closing sale of Old Navy. I also went to Costco Tsukuba. Why? Because I wanted to buy 1 thing. A small turkey. Just for sandwiches. Delicious amazing sandwiches. But yep...I'm so lucky and grateful for my Costco membership. I'd say about most...98% of my foreign friends here in Japan do have Costco memberships. That way they can get...things from "home." Tastes from home helps.  I do live in Japan. I love Japan. I love my Japanese husband. And with 14 years experience of living in Japan under my belt. I accept I am not Japanese. And I'm not ever going to be Japanese. And it's not the food I was raised with. And so I eat like an American. And yes I do eat Japanese food about 3-4 times a week. But...I never DENY who I am. I'm American. And I eat food from all countries. I go out and enjoy Indian or Italian. Or Mexican. And that's what Americans do really....we enjoy foods from all over. I can appreciate Japanese food yes. But...my tastebuds were formed with living in the US. And I'm not embarrassed or ashamed by it either. So yes...plenty of healthy roasted delicious turkey sandwiches were on our menu. Yum. : )
I have kids in the house and so I try to make dessert for the family twice a week. I made a batch of oatmeal cookies with raisins. These are so good. 

I also made a tray of enchiladas. These are amazing. : )

About 2 weeks ago, no...about 3 weeks ago Noah and I made some Rice Krispie treats. Branden was studying for his high school entrance exam. So yep about 3 weeks ago. My kids love rice krispie treats so much and oddly...Noboru LOVES these too. : ) 

Yep we made a double batch. It's fun...when you have kids in the house. There's always laughter. And something fun going on. : )

Sunday dinner. A beautiful tender pot roast. Some mashed potatoes from scratch some brown gravy and green beans. Who doesn't look forward to a hearty delicious dinner like this. : ) I think my first 5 years when I first started living in Japan and was still a newb...pretty much. I tried to make Japanese for dinner every night. I tried to change and alter my taste buds and tongue that was set when I was a child. I was lucky in that I had senpai American women who had knowledge and more years in Japan than I did. And one told me..."you know... you don't have to change who you are... just because you live here...you can make Japanese food and also make American too" You decide for that day or week. What you feel like eating. And she said..."if he wanted a Japanese wife, he would have married one. He wanted and chose you...an American" And a light bulb went on. And I thanked her. Again she was here longer and way way way more experienced.... while I was just a newb. And I thought. She's exactly right. And so...ever since. I cook for our mood. If our family feels like eating Japanese for the week or Chinese like subuta or something we do. If we feel like an all American meatloaf. We make that too. 

Making my turkey rub. Black pepper, salt and other seasonings.

Rubbed it under the skin and on top of the skin and wrapped this sucker in tin foil really tightly. I baked this on a Sunday a few weeks back. So the kids could take turkey sammys all week for lunch. They took them just...Monday through Wednesday but wow...they loved them. I enjoyed the turkey sandwiches for my own lunch here at home too. : ) 

This came out so tender and so delicious. 

I sliced up all the white meat and all the dark meat. And that made making a sandwich super easy.

Making some sandwiches to pack up in their school lunch box. I also packed up mikan and macaroni salad too. 
Baked ziti happened too. Everything here bought in Japan. These rigatoni noodles are just 99 yen at Hanamasa. It's a delicious hearty baked Italian dish. 

My family really loves my baked Italian dishes a lot. I look forward to them too.
In Japan a lot of buzz has been all over this peel. The word peel sounds so harsh doesn't it? Like big huge pieces of your flesh just peel and flop right off. LOL. I see no peeling. It doesn't burn or tingle. It just gives you a clear complexion and is supposed to be wonderful for anti- aging too. This is available every place in Japan from Matsumoto Kiyoshi to Welcia. Drugstores.I wanted to try it, so I purchased a bottle. I must point out 2 things. It's pricey. Like $50 bucks, 5,000 yen pricey. However the bottle is enormous. Will last me a year....I imagine.

I have been on an eyebrow kick. And according to the the Japanese Cosme website I read. These 2 eyebrow mascaras are the top of the bunch for Japanese women. What do I think? I think they're good. However...I think the brown color is a match but the tone is wrong for me. Meaning. These run warm versus cool. Meaning lean towards reddish brown. Versus ashy brown. And I need ashy brown. So these are great. But...I will stick to my..Rimmel eyebrow mascara I buy in the US or my Anastasia Beverly Hills brow mascara in brunette because it is an ashy brown color. Yes the wand is bigger than I like/prefer... on the ABH one... but the color is a dead on match for me. 

The directions and the lady at the drugstore told me to soak a cotton round with this...and then use the cotton pad and wipe my face with it. However...I feel the cotton pad soaked up 99% of the product and considering the price 5,000 yen. I don't want my cotton round to soak up the product, so I pump...just 1 pump on my hand and pat all over my face. I get 100% of the product that way and 1 pump is plenty for my entire face. Since I am not using a cotton round...this 180ml bottle or however big it is... should last me 1 year at least. Do...I like this peel? I do like it. I am wondering though...if it is as good as the vitamin C thing I have been using though for years. I am still deciding. Because the vitamin C thing I am using... is holy grail status for me. So...I will let you know. If I would repurchase this or not. but yep...so far so good. 

We bought these bath powders when we were in the natural hot springs area in Hakone. Hakone is one of the best hot springs area we have ever been to in Japan. Though Japan does have amazing hot springs all over Japan in many regions. They are so famous for their amazing healing waters. And our hotel we stayed at... also has pure real hot springs water in their soaking tubs and rotenburo. In fact...I think every hotel on Hakone mountain has the luck of their establishments being able to use the hot springs water...their whole mountain is so plentiful with it. : ) We bought these bath powders while in Hakone in the scent green tea and wine. They smell amazing. : ) 

Has anyone seen these? When Noboru first saw these, the first thing he said was he was reminded of Krispy Kreme when he saw the packaging. And then when Branden came home from school he said...these remind him of Krispy Kreme. I wondered what is it that reminds them of Krispy Kreme? Maybe the green colors. These are filled *very* generously with custard by the way. Would we repurchase these again? Yep! Not as an everyday food of course, but as a treat? Sure! : ) 

Turkey sandwich and apples. Just a random lunch pic that I pack for the boys, Branden always takes 2 sandwiches and Noah always just brings 1. : )
What have I been watching on TV lately? Well keep in mind this stuff is from 3 weeks ago? Law and Order SVU is as good as always!



I like this guy, his character is fair and good.

I also LOVE the new show called Emerald City! It is based from the books and the movie from the Wizard of Oz. It is a fantastic show. I look forward to watching this every week. It's been on for about 6 weeks so far. It's hugely popular in America. And my friend in the UK told me by email a few days ago, she is getting this show starting this week! So...yeah if you get the chance to watch. Enjoy it. It's so good. For those in the US, this news is old news. If you are living in a country that gets this show delayed... then maybe don't read any further. As there could possibly be a spoiler. But...right in this picture... here are 2 best friends. The one on the left thought she was a boy, but she was really a girl. Someone was giving her medicine but it reality it...the medicine... was changing her from a girl to a boy. And on the right. That turns out to be the Tin Man. And I won't go into detail how that happens. 

These palace guards are looking for Dorothy. The wizard sent them to go and find whoever landed in Oz and kill whoever it is. And notice how in America...everything says...live Tweet. Now days every show is asking you to tweet along while you watch. : ) 

This is the Wizard and his helpers. Of course we all know the Wizard is just a scam artist from...the regular world and not a real wizard and not from Oz. Yes he's a bad guy. 

She right here... is very smart and helps the wizard. 

The witches...

I have also been loving the new show called The Mick. It's so funny.

See the little boys tongue is wrapped up? The older brother also pictured...told the younger brother while at Benihana to place his tongue on the big cooking area...table in the middle... where the chef cooks right in front of you and he did. @_@

The is the auntie on the show called The Mick.

I have been also loving the Blacklist too, as usual. This new season is amazeballs!


Elizabeth had to infiltrate an all girl group....

The Blacklist is getting so good. And so is Bones!
Back to Emerald City...this is from another week. This is Glinda the Good Witch played by... the amazing Joely Richardson. But honestly I don't think she's a good witch in this show at all. And that's Tip, the girl who thought she was a boy and is now fine being a girl. West and Glinda both wanted Tip. To train her. Tip picked West. They do just call her...simply just... West. Not like...The Wicked Witch of the West. I think all 3 witches are bad. And the first episode...Dorothy did kill one of the witches... East on accident. This show Emerald City is dark and weird and fun. And you do fall in love with the characters. And honestly at the end of each show...I can't wait for the next week to see what happens next! And that's the sign you are watching an excellent show! If you can barely wait for the next episode. : )  

This is Dorothy. Major spoiler paragraph coming right now. Read if you want, avoid if you want. She was a nurse. She was abandoned by her real mother and left as an infant on the door step of the folks who raised her...Aunt Em and uncle Henry. She does know who her birth mother is. And the night of the tornado, she went to her birth mothers trailer. A man was lying dead in her mom's trailer on the floor and her mom unconscious in the cellar. Dorothy tried to wake her and she did speak a bit. She told Dorothy to run away ASAP and said Dorothy was in some kind of danger. Just then, a cop appeared in a cop car and drew his weapon on Dorothy, then he was sucked away by the tornado. The tornado sucked him up and he did have his weapon on Dorothy though she did nothing wrong. Other than just arrive at her birth mothers house... first time ever and was just surprised by all this. Anyway the tornado came and she jumped in the police car for safety and the tornado whisked Dorothy inside the cop car away by the tornado and so the cop car crashed into East. And oddly East was not killed. East tried to murder Dorothy a day later. And East ended up shooting herself with the cops gun that Dorothy had with her and yes that's why Dorothy is wearing a cop jacket. And she got the jacket and the gun for safety in the cops trunk before she started her journey in Oz. Dorothy did semi-sorta trick East into shooting herself...but honestly East was going to kill her and would have... if given the chance.

Yep he became the Tin Man alright. With fake/mechanical heart too. He's very nice and very kind. The Tin Man has not seen Tip in a few episodes and Tip has not seen him either. They were such good friends. Tip actually thinks the Tin Man guy is dead. : (  

In short what have I been enjoying on TV? Bones, Law and Order SVU. The Mick. Emerald City. Just lots of good things. Oh and the Blacklist.: )
Beaches remake. In short...what a dud! 

Hillary Whitney in bed at the beach house. 

Idina Menzel is a good singer. She really is! But on the other hand. Nobody can compare to the divine Miss M. Nobody can belt out a tune better than Bette Midler. It's like somebody trying to remake a Whitney Houston song. You know what I mean. There are some singers in this world...that you just shouldn't try and top or remake their songs...ever! When Idina remade Wind Beneath my Wings. It was okay. But come on...nobody can top Bette's version. And no...it didn't hold a candle to Bette's original version. And the movie itself. Meh. They left out huge parts. They left out Bette Midlers mom. They left out...at the beginning when Bette Midler was auditioning against that girl that walked on her hands. Completely didn't happen in the remake. They left out Whiteney's aunt Vesta? Was that her name? Nope...the new version Hillary Whitney had a nanny and Bette didn't walk her back to the hotel and they didn't have icecream sundaes, all of that was erased and changed. @_@ They switched and changed so much. It just fell totally flat. It was hard to fall in love with the characters when... so much meat was taken out of the story. Remember when Bette was wearing a mouse costume singing telegrams? And met her future serious boyfriend? Didn't happen in this one at all either. She met her future guy at a Bar Mitzvah. I mean...they changed and altered it so much. Too much. It was like...not even Beaches anymore...or at least not the Beaches that everybody loves. And remember at the end after Hillary dies and they show Bette and the girl at the funeral and Wind Beneath my Wings is playing in the background and it's this major sad part of the movie right? Nope no funeral scene at all. Just so much was taken out. By the time the movie ended... I was like...what in the heck was that? On a scale from 1-5? It gets a 1.  

Hillary Whitney in bed. 

So..if you are wishing you could have caught this? Don't. You didn't miss much. This was a real stinker. : ( 
Lunch date with my husband happened. We still go on our once a week lunch dates. 

And Noah is still cooking and baking twice a month at his elementary school. This day they were making pizza. He was asked to bring some ham as one of the toppings they had. Some kids brought green peppers, onions. And all sorts of stuff. : )