Monday, March 31, 2014

I Arrived in Japan

     I arrived at Fukuoka International Airport at 7 p.m. today. I took highway bus to go to the nearest bus station from my parents' home. My brother and my parents picked me up at 9:30 p.m. there. Then, I asked them if I could go to post office which opens around the clock. I sent 18 packages, which I sold on my auction, to my customers. I'll go to convenience stores to send rests tomorrow. I am freezing right now. It's pretty cold in Japan.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

At Honolulu Airport

     Today, I flew to Honolulu airport as a transit point on the way to Japan. My sister requested me to buy Starbucks You Are Here Collection mugs, which are only released in Hawaii, after sharing my mugs' pictures with her. I was finally able to purchase them for her. :) I also purchased Starbucks card of Hawaiian version for my new collections.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cherry Blossoms Are in Full Bloom in Japan

          Tomorrow morning, I'm going to fly to Japan finally. :) Therefore, I need to wake up 4 a.m. tomorrow. I don't think I can sleep tonight. Haha.  Few days ago, my mother-in-law sent these pictures, which she took in Japan, to me. She told me that the cherry blossoms, which is sakura in Japanese, are blooming beautifully then, so she wanted to share these amazing pictures with me. Probably, I can see sakura while I'm visiting in Japan. :)
Sakura in Japan

Sakura in Japan
     I hope I can see beautiful cherry blossoms and enjoy hanami in Japan. :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Stir-Fried Celery with Egg and Dried Shrimp

     This week, I cooked this stir-fried celery with egg and dried shrimp for dinner because my husband really likes it. I first cooked it four years ago by referring this recipe from Cookpad, which is Japanese cooking site. Before that, I hadn't like celery so much and didn't know how to cook it, but I became to develop a liking for celery so much by discovering this recipe. I've changed some amount of ingredients to adjust to my preference though. I'm going to share the recipe with you.

Stir-Fried Celery with Egg and Dried Shrimp

1 tablespoon of dried shrimp
 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
6 sticks of celery (Cut them into one and half inches)
 2 beaten eggs (Mix with 1 teaspoon of mirin)
1 teaspoon of Chinese soup stock
1 teaspoon of sake
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
a pinch of salt and pepper

 1. Heat a pan over high heat and stir-fry dried shrimp without oil.

 2. Add sesame oil into pan, and add celery, salt, and pepper. Then, stir-fry them until all celery are coated with the oil.

 2. Add mixed beaten egg onto pan and make scrambled egg.

 3. Add Chinese soup stock, sake, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar onto the pan. Mix them thoroughly.

 4. Enjoy!

Stir-Fried Celery with Egg and Dried Shrimp

      This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.

      This is my entries related to cooking.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Starbucks Haul - My New Tumbler, Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup

     My husband and I often go to Starbucks since we are Starbucks card and local mug collectors. We love coffee and brew coffee on our own with different equipments. I am thinking about sharing how to brew coffee on my blog and my Youtbue channel in the near future. My husband suggested me to purchase the Starbucks glass tumbler for me prior to making videos since we love Starbucks. I think a clear glass is perfect for my future videos because you can easily see beautiful coffee color through the clear glass. If the truth be told, he really liked it regardless of my future video because the glass tumbler is very unique and good looking.

      That's why we headed toward Starbucks to purchase the tumbler last night. We went to two different Starbucks branches. The first store didn't have it in stock. Then, we were finally able to find it at the next Starbucks. :) I'm going to share my new glass tumbler with you.
       According their homepage, it reads, "A glass version of our iconic Starbucks® Cold Cup. Enjoy favorite iced or blended beverages in this cup made of 50% post-consumer recycled glass. The acrylic lid features a silicone seal, and the reusable plastic straw stays attached to the lid. Intended for cold beverages only. Dishwasher safe. Do not microwave."
Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup, 16 fl oz
      This glass cup was made of recycled glass from Spain. This thick glass is pretty heavy, which I like.
Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup, 16 fl oz
      There are some lines on it. I thought it would be a huge benefit for me because I can measure the coffee while I am pouring it into the tumbler.
Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup, 16 fl oz
      One of my favorite things about this tumbler is that there is the Starbucks Siren Logo on it.
Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup, 16 fl oz

Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup, 16 fl oz
       When my husband suggested to me to purchase this tumbler, I didn't think I would buy it at first. This is not double walled unlike other Starbucks tumbler we own, but I really like this glass tumbler. This will be perfect tumbler drinking iced coffee at home. It will make my coffee time even more enjoyable. :)
Starbucks® Recycled Glass Cold Cup, 16 fl oz
     I can't wait making coffee video with my new Starbucks tumbler! :)

     UPDATE: I uploaded my coffee video using this tumbler. :)

     This is my entries related to Starbucks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Whale Watching Tour in Newport Beach

     Last Saturday, my husband and I went to Newport Beach for whale watching. We purchased the two tickets of the 2.5-Hour Davey's Locker Gray Whale Watching Tour from Livingsocial last month. Two tickets were originally $80 but were $22 with an additional $5 discount. I heard that the months of December thorough May were whale's peak migration season, so I was looking forward to this tour because I had had good experience from Dana Point whale watching tour last summer even though it hadn't been peak season.

     On the day of the tour, we parked in Balboa Island and crossed the harbor by Balboa Island Ferry because we knew that it's very hard to find a parking space around the tour company facility. The tour started at 3:30, but we arrived at 2:15 p.m. there. We first went to the the tour reception counter and paid additional $7 for fuel surcharge.

     I was expecting that it would be really cold during the tour, so I brought a down jacket and a wool scarf to keep me warm even though it was beautiful sunny day. My husband refused my suggestion at first, but he ended up being glad to bring an additional outerwear because it was seriously cold on the boat with heavy chilly wind, so those were very handy during tour. Some people were wearing light clothing, and they were freezing on the boat. I think that heavy outerwear is essential during cruising.

     Unlike previous whale watching tour in Dana Point, we were not able to see any whale or dolphin for the first one hour. We just enjoyed cruising with seeing beautiful beach and coast houses.

     After an hour, a group of dolphins swam toward our ferry. I was really excited seeing them.

     Then, we were finally able to see some whales pretty close to the beach and pier for the final hour. I was surprised that it was definitely viewable from the pier, which we sometimes go to.

     I uploaded my whale watching video, so you can see how close to the beach whales were swimming.

      However, we saw only few whales from far distance. I thought the previous whale watching was much more enjoyable. :P
      When our ferry got back to the dock, I saw these unique birds. Because I love all animal, I was very interested in them and looked it up on my bird guide book which I bought last year at Balboa Island. I was not able to find one in my book, but I think these were egret in Juvenile.

     I uploaded the whale watching tour on my Youtube channel. This is the short highlight video which my husband was able to record.

     This video is Dana Point Whale watching video we went to last summer.

       My entries related to wild animals can be seen here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Cook Fried Green Bok Choy with Eggs

     Yesterday, I cooked this fried green bok choy with eggs for dinner. This is kind of Japanese Chinese fusion food. Since I first cooked it by referring this receipe on Japanese cooking site, Cookpad, it has been one of my favorite menus. I'm going to share the recipe with you.

Fried Green Bok Choy with Eggs


2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
4 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 lb of green bok choy
2 tablespoons of sake
1 teaspoon of Chinese soup stock
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of potato starch (Mix starch with 1 tablespoon of water)

1. Mix beaten eggs, sugar, and salt. Then, heat oil into a pan over high heat, and fry mixed beaten eggs. Then, move the eggs onto a dish.

2. Put green bok choys onto pan, and add sake. Cover the lid, and cook for 5 minutes or so.

3. Add Chinese soup stock and oyster sauce. Mix them thoroughly. Then, add cooked egg. Finally, add starch and water into pan, and stir them thoroughly.

4. Enjoy!
Fried Green Bok Choy with Eggs
        I uploaded my YouTube video, How to Cook Fried Green Bok Choy with Eggs.

       This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.

      This is my entries related to cooking.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Vivitar Spider Tripod

     Last week, my husband bought this Vivitar Spider Tripod for me on his way home because I often take photos and videos to upload my blog and my Youtube channel. It was originally about $13 but was about $6 at clearance at the stationary store due to going-out-of-business sales.
Vivitar Spider Tripod

Vivitar Spider Tripod
       These legs are bendable so that you can easily adjust them according to any photo angles.
Vivitar Spider Tripod

     I think this tripod is for more compact camera, but I took pictures with my big camera, Canon Power Shot SX50 HS. This camera is 1 lb and 5 oz weight, so it's pretty heavy. I cannot say it's very stable with using this tripod, but after adjusting the legs, it worked reasonably well.


      I am planing on recording videos with using this tripod in the near future.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Toys for My Niece and Nephews

     I have a six-year-old niece, a four-year-old nephew, and a 16-month-old nephew in Japan. When I meet my sister, who is their mother, I will be able to meet my niece and nephews for the first time in a long time. That's why I bought some toys for them last week. I'm going to share what I got for them with you.

      I bought this Barbie doll for my niece. She is going to enter elementary school in April. Considering her age and her development stage, I think she will become a liking for playing with a doll more and more from now on.

     I bought these Hot Wheels toys for my nephews.
Hot Wheels Car

      This Hot Wheels City Loop & Launch box also includes a green Hot Wheel Car, so they can play with orange and green Hot Wheel cars.
Hot Wheels City Loop & Launch 

Hot Wheels City Loop & Launch 

     I hope they will like these. I can't wait seeing how big they grew up. :)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Coach Factory Haul

     I'm going to Japan and see my sister end of this month. That's why my sister and her husband asked me to get Coach bags because Coach products in Japan are more than two times expensive than U.S. I ordered two bags for them last week and received the package yesterday. :) I'm going to share what I got for them with you.

     My sister requested me to purchase this bright purple leather handbag, which is Peyton Jordan Double Zip Carryall in Leather. This was originally $428 but was on sale for $181.30. She told me that this bag would be perfect for spring, and she would like to wear beige Coach Signature scarf, which I had given her before, with it.

Peyton Jordan Double Zip Carryall in Leather

Peyton Jordan Double Zip Carryall in Leather

     My brother-in-law chose this Heritage Signature Foldover Tote. This was originally $398 but was on sale for $211.40. He really likes Coach products more than my sister does.
Heritage Signature Foldover Tote

Heritage Signature Foldover Tote

      These were $392.70 plus tax in total and ended up being $339.29 with a 20% discount. These came out about 60% off! I hope they will like these.

     Here is my entries related to Coach.