Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Have A Cold

This morning, I had joint and muscle pain and got a little lightheaded. I thought the pain came from my yesterday's work out, and lightheaded came from headache. I started doing my homework anyway. However, I was really tired, so I rested when I finished one of my assignments. I started feeling chill and have a high fever now. I hope I will recover soon.

I was going to write about my favorite song today because I typically update about songs twice a month and have only updated about it one time this month. Maybe, I will do it tomorrow, which is February.

   Today's Vocabulary
・ got lightheaded : 立ちくらみがする
     ex) I just got a little lightheaded. : ちょっと立ちくらみがしただけです。

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My True and False Experiences

Today, my writing teacher gave some assignments, and one of the assignments was to write your personal information in three sentences to introduce yourself.  One of them should be false, others should be true. I wrote three sentences about myself.

1) Before moving to the U.S., I had already traveled to the U.S. eleven times and had enjoyed a lot.
2) I have gotten on a plane over 70 times so far.
3) I got on a helicopter two times when I was in elementary school, and I was really excited!

1) is false. :P
I had never been to the U.S. before moving here. It was my first time to step into the U.S. Furthermore, it was also my first time to go to abroad alone. At the time, I couldn't speak English at all, so I was little scared.

2) is true. :)
I am not sure how many times I used a plane, but I only know it was 70 times more. After graduating from high school, I was living far away from my home town. Whenever I got long vacations, I used a plane to go home. My boyfriend, who is my husband now, also lived from far away for three years. I used a plane to meet him periodically. In addition, my husband and I like traveling. We have traveled a lot in Japan and nine different countries.

3) is true. :)
When I was in elementary school, my school provided opportunities to getting on a helicopter to see our town for students. I remember the sound of helicopter was very loud, and I was surprised that my town looked like a small toy from above. It was a special experience for me.

   Today's Vocabulary
・ step into : phrasal verb / ~に足を踏み入れる、~に立ち入る
・ from above : 上から、上方から、高所から、天から、当局から

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Diesel Haul

Today, my friend and I went to Desert Hills Premium Outlets, and I bought clothes at Diesel. I'm going to share with you what I got there.

This sky blue shirt was originally $120, but it was clearance sale for $9.99. It was about 91.7% off!
 I thought this blue shirt was perfect for coming spring and summer style. :)

This green stripe dress was originally $80, but it was clearance sale for $19.99.  It was about 75% off!
I had seen this dress when I went there last time in November. At that time, the price had been $39.99. I was glad to see it again at a more reasonable price. :)

I had never bought Diesel's clothing because their retail price is usually very expensive, so I hadn't been able to afford their clothing. However, I found some great clearance clothing today. I was glad to buy them with incredibly great deal. :)

      My entries related to Premium Outlets Hauls can be seen here.

     My entries related to my shopping can be seen here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cultural Differences

Today, I wrote about culture shock in my writing class. I wrote about my experience in Shanghai, and explained my episode to Korean and Filipino classmates.

When my husband and I traveled to Shanghai last month, I felt some cultural shock.
The first cultural shock was the way taxi drivers drive. After we got to the airport, we used a taxi. The taxi driver drove very fast and honked at other cars frequently. It was a raining night, and driver was looking through foggy window. We were wondering how he was able to drive so fast with very limited vision. We were little bit scared about his driving. The second cultural shock was people's argument. Our impression of people in Shanghai was very kind and nice. They were always generous, but sometimes we saw that people suddenly started fighting. They were definitely mad and yelling at each other on the streets. It seemed like nobody couldn't stop them. We saw such arguments three times during our three day travel. On the last day, we decided to use taxi again. The taxi driver was very nice to us and was a very humble gentleman. He couldn't speak English, but he tried to help our heavy baggage to load up the taxi. We thought we were lucky to have a generous taxi driver. While driving on highway, he honked often at other cars just like the previous taxi driver, but we didn't care because I though that was normal in Shanghai. As soon as he got a phone call from someone during the drive, he became really angry. He kept shouting out for a while and finally stopped the taxi on the side of the highway to continue the argument. We were no longer surprised. I assumed that for Chinese people, it is common to express their own opinion and hold their ground even if the other person doesn't understand and is really mad about that.

   Today's Vocabulary
・ honk at : ~に向かってクラクションを鳴らす
・ humble : adjective / 〔人が〕謙虚な、腰が低い、謙遜する
     ex) Be humble. : 謙虚になりなさい。
・ load up : phrasal verb / 満載する、積み込む、うんと詰め込む
hold one's ground : 足を踏ん張る、一歩も引かない、自分の立場を守る[保持する]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finding Our New Apartment

My husband and I had been looking for a new apartment to move in next month. We finally found one today. My preferences for a new place was affordable rent fee, being much closer to my husband's workplace, ample fitness facility, private garage and built-in wash and dryer. We had seen some apartments so far, but I hadn't been fully satisfied for some reason. Most apartments' fitness facility we had seen was much smaller than the one at our current apartment. However, our new apartment we found today had a huge fitness facility with latest model equipments. I was very pleased about that. Furthermore, the apartment is brand new, and nobody lived in the room before. Even though the floor area is much smaller than we had hoped, but we can work on creating storage places. Another disadvantage of the apartment was that it isn't very close to my husband's workplace. Today, we timed how long it takes from the apartment to my husband's workplace. It took for 23 minutes, but we still don't know how long it's takes during rush hours. I felt little sorry for him, but my husband said it wouldn't matter.
After moving into the new apartment, we will need to buy some new furniture. :)

   Today's Vocabulary
・  ample : adjective / 〔場所が〕広々とした、ゆとりがたっぷりある
     ex) ample living room  広い居間[リビングルーム]
     ex) ample rest 十分な休息

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What's in My Carry-on Bag

When I flew to Shanghai and Japan, I took my Herve Chapelier bag as a carry-on bag. I don't remember when I bought this bag, but I guess I got it 13 years ago. Since then, I have been taking this bag whenever I traveled somewhere.
Photo from Herve Chapelier Home Page
Herve Chapelier 1027N  $100 (11970yen)

The bag looks very compact, but it is very roomy. You might be surprised how much you can put in the bag.  Furthermore, the size is just right to place under the seat in front of you on an airplane. The carry-on bag is very important to have a great flight in long haul traveling.

I'm going to share with you what is in my carry-on bag. :)

boarding pass
black pen (You possibly need to write immigration card and custom form)
iPad (as an electronic dictionary and DVD player)
books (ex. traveling book)
a pair of foldable slippers (You can take off your shoes and relax.)
lip balm (to protect your lips from excess dry airplane)
hand cream
hand sanitizer (You can sanitize your hands without water before having flight meal.)
eye drop
hand mirror
sanitary items
face mask (in order to moisturize your throat in excess dry airplane just in case)
grease-absorbing tissues
gum (to moisturize your mouth to protect from flu and bad breath)
cough drops (to protect from flu)
toothbrush (to refresh your mouth)
a bottle of water (buy right before boarding)

I spent 14 hours on the airplane to go to Shanghai from Los Angeles. Inside the airplane is always very dry and congested, so you can easily get infection. Thus, cough drops, gum, face mask, toothbrush and hand sanitizer are must have items for me. Most Americans don't use face mask, but it is very effective to moisturize your throat. I think it effects as similar as using humidifier. When I get irritation in my throat, I eat cough drops and wear a face mask. If you get sick during long flight, you might regret after that. In addition, lip balm and hand cream are also important for me because I want to keep my skin in good nick.

What do you take along with you?

Friday, January 25, 2013


Many Japanese visit shrines on New Year's Day. It is called Hatsumode.

On New Year's Day, my friends and I met for the first time in three years. We shared our old memories and caught up on recent news while eating at a restaurant. Then, my friends suggested to visit a shrine because of New Year's Day. I was excited to experience hatsumoude with my friends in ages! :)

 Many food stands were set up in front of the shrine.

This is Chozuya, which is the place to rinse your hands before praying.

People make wishes for the coming year.

Many people also draw sacred lots to learn their fortune for the new year.

After reading your fortune, you can tie it up. Which means you can tie a connection with god.

At the shrine, there were some fortune goods to live happier for the coming year.

These are lucky charms.

Each year reflects the character of a different Chinese zodiac signs. This year's sign is a snake, so there were some snake objects.

This is Komainu, which is stature of a lion like creature at entrance of shrine.

After visiting the first shrine, we went to another shrine because we still had time. :)

 We could also see many food stands all the way down to the shrine. These looks very fun, these foods are usually quite expensive though.

Can you see it? There is a huge white statue on the photo.

In order to go to the main hall, you need to walk up the stairs.

This is the main hall, and people were praying in front of the entrance.

These are novelty for luck.

Some people waive incense onto their body to cleanse themselves, to be more intelligent, to have babies.  
 There were many joss sticks.

Even though Hatsumoude is an annual event for Japanese, it is not for a religious purpose. On New Year's day, people visit shrines to pray for happiness and for a healthy year.

   Today's Vocabulary
・ in ages : 長い間、長期間、久しぶりに
     ex) Yesterday was the first time I have been to the movies in ages. : 昨日、久しぶりに映画を見に行った。
     ex) I haven't seen you in ages. : なんて久しぶりなんでしょう。/ずいぶん長いことお会いしてませんね。
・ food stands : 屋台
・ coming year : 来年、新しい年
・ draw sacred lots : おみくじを引く
・ all the way down to : ずっと向こうの~まで
・ novelty : noun / novelty
・ incense : noun / 香、香料、香の煙、芳香
・ joss stick : 線香

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Haul - Japanese sweets and snacks

When my husband and I traveled to Japan, we bought a lot of Japanese sweets and snacks. Believe it or not, I don't eat sweets and snacks everyday. We bought a lot, but we will eat these little by little. :)

These have been our favorite since we were little. I'm going to share with you what we got in Japan.

These snacks are Baby Star Ramen  by Oyatsu Company. These look like instant ramen, but these do not need to be cooked. I really love these! I bought these at 89yen a pack at discount store.
Baby Star Ramen 89yen  each  (85g per pack)

This snack is Sayaendou by Calbee. This is made with peas. I bought this for 89yen at discount store as well.
In the U.S., I have also seen ones with different name, Calbee Snack Salad Snapea Chips, at Trader Joe's before. I don't know whether or not the taste between Japanese one and American one are exactly same. These probably taste different because for example Nissin Cup Noodles taste completely different. I like Japanese one, but American one tastes terrible. :P  
Sayaendou 89yen (83g)

This candy is Milky by Fujiya. Milky has been selling since 1951 in Japan. This soft candy has been around for forever, and everybody loves it.
Milky 100yen (120g)

 This candy is Sumiyaki Coffee Candy by Irie-seika. Many coffee candies are made by different companies in Japan. This candy was 100yen at discount store.
Sumiyaki Coffee Candy 100yen (80g)

These candies are Nama Okinawa Kuroame by Matsuya-seika. My father-in-law bought these for us at drug store. I think these were selling at 100 to 150yen for each.
Nama Okinawa Kuroame (130g per pack)

These are Jagarico by Calbee. These are stick snacks and made with potatoes and cheese. These are snacks which I like the most from Japan. I bought these at 100yen for each at discount store.
Jagarico 100yen (58g)

These are my favorite chocolate, Ghana Milk Chocolate by Lotte. Japanese chocolate is not expensive, but the taste is better for me. I bought these for 89yen each at supermarket.
Ghana Milk Chocolate 89yen  (55g per pack)

These are chocolate biscuits, Alfort by Bourbon. I bought these for 89yen each at supermarket.
Alfort 89yen (63g per pack)

These are Tirol Choco by Tirolchoco Comapany. My husband bought these for 100yen at Daiso, 100yen store.
Tirol Choco 100yen per pack (9 pieces per pack)

There are nine different pieces of chocolate in this package.

I think this dark brown one is original. When I was little, it was 10yen each.

These chocolate are Goen-ga-aruyo by Tirol Choco Comapany. My husband bought these for 100yen for two at Daiso as well.
Goen-ga-aruyo 100yen for two rolls
 Goen-ga-aruyo means that there is 5yen, and it also means that there is a chance to have happiness, and the back of the package tells your fortune.

This is designed like Japanese 5yen. When I was little, I could buy it for only 5yen each.

These snacks are Umaibou by Yaokin. There are many different flavors of Umaibou. When I was little, I couldn't clearly recognize each flavor. However, when I ate ones this year, I was surprised with the flavors. Some tastes were very similar to the real flavor, such as Gyutan, Sarami and so on. Umai means good taste, and bou means stick in Japanese.   
Umaibou 100yen for ten

Each Umaibou is only 10yen. My husband bought 10 for 100yen at Daiso.

I bought these at my sister's workplace. :)  These are only available at Kurobou-seika, which is making brown sugar sweets and snacks in Fukuoka, Japan. You can not buy these at any other store.

 This is Karintou Endomame, which is a snack made with brown sugar and peas. I really love it! I bought 6 packs for 1100yen.
Karintou Endomame 1100yen for 6 packs

This is Fukudaikoku, which is cake made with brown sugar. This is my favorite sweets too. My husband bought it for 220yen each.
Fukudaikoku 220yen

I am very familiar with all of them. :)

     This is my entries related to Japanese sweets and snacks haul.

     My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

     This is also my entry you might like.
Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The First Day of This Spring Semester

   Today was the first day of this spring semester at my college. I checked my college site last night, and I found that they suggested to arrive at least half hour in advance during the first week of the semester because finding parking and your classroom might take time. Thus, I left my home earlier than usual and arrived at my college 40 minutes prior to class. I was able to find the parking space in the farthest parking lot. There were still some parking spaces there. I was glad that I hadn't have to waste my time finding a parking space. It's because it had taken me 20 minutes to find it at the first week of last semester. Then, because I had a spare time, I was able to go to library to read some ESL books.
   When my class started, some students were asking the teacher to register the class. He told us that class was limited to only 25 students, but it seemed like there were 40 students in that class, so most waiting students couldn't be added.
   I was expected that the first day of the class would finish early, but the class finished on time. In addition, I had an writing assignment already. :P My winter vacation was over, so I need to work hard for my study in order to keep up with my class. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My New Year's Resolution

My New Year's resolutions are passing NCLEX and finishing an upper advanced writing class.

I'm still going through the procedure to apply for NCLEX. Last Saturday, I got a letter from Board of Registered Nursing, it read that they request me to submit some additional documentations for an evaluation of my application. I asked my nursing school in Japan to send a copy of my diploma with English translation. I know that evaluation for NCLEX of foreigners who were educated for nursing in their own countries takes many months. I hope my application will be accepted in this year, and I hope I will pass the exam. I studied for NCLEX on my own for eight months in 2012. However, I haven't studied about that since September 2012. :P It's because I had numerous assignments which needed a great deal of attention in my previous class in last semester, so I didn't have time to study for NCLEX. That's why I think I forgot what I have studied for NCLEX. :P I need to start it over again. I need to make a habit to study for nursing everyday.

In addition, I'm going to take an upper advanced writing class in spring semester. This is the last writing class at the ESL level. In order to keep us with the class, I need to improve reading skill as well because writing and reading skills are interconnected. I don't usually read books regardless of the language. Thus, I need to get used to reading books, and learned more vocabularies and expressions from books. This year, I will read one article everyday.

I am still learning many things. I want to build my store of knowledge in this year, and I want to go to work by using my knowledge next year.

   Today's Vocabulary
・ need a great deal of attention : 大変な労力を要する
・ make a habit : 習慣をつける
・ build one's store of knowledge : 知識をつける


Monday, January 21, 2013

Mindy Gledhill - Whole Wide World

I am familiar with this song, Whole Wide World by Mindy Gledhill, since I often listen to this song on Michelle Phan's Youtube videos. Michelle Phan has been using many Mindy Gledhill's songs on many of her Youtube videos. I have found a liking for Mindy Gledhill's songs because her voice is kind and warm. It makes an impression of pure and innocence.

Mindy Gledhill / Whole Wide World


I’m gonna walk a hundred miles,
I’m gonna whistle all the while,
If that’s what it takes to make me smile,
I’m gonna walk a hundred miles.

I’m gonna rend right up this hill,
Summer sky or winter chill,
If I gotta take a break I will,
But I wanna rend right up this hill.

I wanna hold the whole wide world
Right here in my open hands,
And maybe I’m just a little girl,
A little girl with great big plans.

I’m gonna go and take a chance,
I’m gonna learn to ballet dance,
Learn a little something about romance,
I’m gonna go and take a chance.

I’m gonna live a crazy dream,
Impossible as it may seem,
Doesn’t matter what the future brings,
I’m gonna live a crazy dream.

I wanna hold the whole wide world,
Right here in my open hands,
And maybe I’m just a little girl,
A little girl with great big plans.

I wanna hold the whole wide world,
Right here in my open hands,
And maybe I’m just a little girl,
A little girl with great big plans.

You tell me, don’t try it,
I’m warning you that I won’t buy it. 

All the failure is fleeting,
I trust it always has its meaning.

I wanna hold the whole wide world,
Right here in my open hands,
And maybe I’m just a little girl,
A little girl with great big plans.

I wanna hold the whole wide world,
Right here in my open hands,
And maybe I’m just a little girl,
A little girl with great big plans.

   Today's Vocabulary
make an impression of ~を印象付ける結果を生む
・ rend : verb / 引き裂く、ずたずたに引きちぎる、つんざく
・ right up : すぐに
     ex) Yes, I understand. Somebody will be right up. : 分かりました。すぐ行かせます。◆【場面】人材の派遣を依頼された時など。
     ex) Your food is coming right up. : 今お食事をお持ちします。
・ the whole wide world : 世界中
・ I'm warning you. : 言っておきますが。

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Drugstore in Japan Haul

When I traveled to Japan, I bought some products at drug stores. I'm going to share with you what I got there.

I bought Shiseido Perfect Whip, which is a facial cleansing product, for 298 yen on sale. As I mentioned in my previous entry, I used to use the product and love it so much. :) 
Shiseido Perfect Whip

I bought some Kose Softymo Cleansing Oil. As I also mentioned in previous my entry, these are ones I wanted to buy in Japan because these sell usually four to five times more expensive on Amazon than ones at drug stores in Japan.
The 230ml bottle of Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil was 398 yen, and the 200ml refill pack was 298 yen on sale. While most cleansing oil needs to avoid using with wet hands, this allows to use either wet hands and dry hands. Even though I can use it with wet hands, I think that using it with dry hands gets the best result. On the package, it reads that this product was nominated as the number one oil cleansing product sold in the market.
Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil
 This refill pack of Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil was 298 yen as well. This needs to be used with only dry hands, but I love it.
Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil

This refill pack of Kose Softymo White Cleansing Oil was also 298 yen. This also needs to be used with only dry hands.
Kose Softymo White Cleansing Oil

I bought a microwavable neck pillow for 798yen on sale. This makes  your neck warm, so you can use it when you want to relax and release shoulder stiffness

This contains a microwavable gel pack and its cover.

There is its instruction on back of the package. First, you can put it in a microwave oven. The length of the heating time depends on your microwave. I heated it for 90 seconds.

Then, insert your heated gel pack into the cover, and wrap it around your neck.

I love shopping at drug stores in Japan because there are diverse products at pretty reasonable price.

These are my entries you might like.

Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets

My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Daiso

The Best Japanese Sunscreen Products

The Best Japanese Shampoo & Conditioner

     My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.

   Today's Vocabulary
・ microwavable : adjective / 電子レンジに使える
・ shoulder stiffness : 肩凝り
wrap ~ around : ~で…を包む、…に~を巻く

     ex) wrap cuff around someone's arm  : 血圧計カフ[バンド]を(人)の腕に巻き付ける
     ex) wrap tourniquet around someone's arm  : 止血帯を(人)の腕に巻く