Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Last Day of 2016

     This morning, my husband and I finally headed toward Arizona to go on a road trip. We cannot believe that this is our first time to travel in 2016. (In 2015, we traveled Hawaii in January and Seattle in May.) While we love traveling so much and we've traveled a lot since we started dating so many years ago, we haven't traveled for over a year because we tried to save up as much money as we could to purchase our first home this year. After purchasing our home, we became busier to renovate our old home. It's been too long since we traveled last time. We thought it's about time!
      After driving for 10 hours or so, we are finally in Tucson, Arizona now. I'll update my blog during our traveling. :) 



Friday, December 30, 2016

Review - Marutai Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen

     As I mentioned in my previous entry, my husband bought this Marutai Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen (マルタイ 鹿児島 黒豚とんこつラーメン) at Don Quijote in Tokyo last month. This contained two servings of instant ramen. Last week, he finally cooked it for our lunch. :)
Marutai Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen
      The yellow map on this package is Kyushu (九州), which is the most southwesterly of four main islands of Japan. The green area on the map is Kagoshima prefecture (鹿児島県), where is famous for Kagoshima pork, which is called Kagoshima kurobuta (かごしま黒豚) in Japan.
Marutai Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen

      He added egg, green onions, nori and shredded ginger pickles to the ramen.
Marutai Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen

      Our hometown is Fukuoka prefecture, where is one of the most famous places for tonkotsu ramen in Japan, so when it comes to tonkotsu ramen, we are pretty picky about it. Actually, we loved the Kagoshima ramen! :) It was pretty rich tonkotsu soup made from Kagoshima pork. As you can see the photo below, it had browned green onions (焦がしねぎ) which added savory flavor to it.   
Marutai Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen
        If you love a richer tonkotsu taste, I recommend you to try Marutai Kurume Tonkotsu Ramen (マルタイ 久留米 とんこつラーメン), but you might think Kurume one is too greasy. This Kagoshima ramen is savory and has rich (but not extremely) tonkotsu flavor.

     Marutai instant ramen always tastes authentic. If you are planning on visiting Japan, you should try their all 8 regions flavors, Kagoshima (鹿児島), Nagasaki (長崎), Kurume (久留米), Hakata (博多), Kumamoto (熊本) , Saga (佐賀), Miyazaki (宮崎) and Oita (大分). You can purchase their instant ramen at Don Quijote (Donki), which is one of the biggest Japanese discount chain stores in Japan. By the way, my favorite one for now is Marutai Nagasaki Agodashi Soy Sauce Ramen. :)  



      These are my entries related to Marutai Kyusyu Instant Ramen.

■All About Marutai Kyushu Local Ramen! Must-Try Japanese Instant Ramen

■Top 3 My Favorite Ramen From Marutai Kyushu Ramen Series

■Kumamoto Tonkotsu Ramen 

■Hakata Nagahama Tonkotsu Ramen

■Kurume Tonkotsu Ramen

■Kagoshima Kurobuta Tonkotsu Ramen

■Saga Gyu Shio Ramen

■Miyazaki Tori Shio Ramen

■Nagasaki Agodashi Soy Sauce Ramen

■Oita Torigara Soy Sauce Ramen



    My entries related to Japanese instant ramen can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japanese noodles can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.
 

    My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

    My entries related to Japan can be seen here.


    My entries related to cooking can be seen here.

    My entries related to my favorite recipes can be seen here.

    My entries related to foods my husband cooked can be seen here.


       These are also my entries you might like.

■Review - Marutai Nagasaki Agodashi Soy Sauce Ramen

■Marutai Kurume Tonkotsu Ramen - What My Husband Cooked This Weekend

■Don Quijote (Donki) Haul - What He Got in Japan

■Japanese Breads Haul - Convenience Stores in Japan

■Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo - Japan Haul (Oct 2016)

■Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan - Haul (2014) 

■What He Got at Haneda Airport, Tokyo International Airport - Japan Haul

■What He Got at Drugstore in Japan - Haul

■Japanese Drugstore Shopping List - 6 Best Japanese Products You Can Purchase at Drugstore in Japan!

■Myojo Chukazanmai, The Best Japanese Instant Noodles!

■Japanese Instant Noodle Haul

■Japanese Cup Noodle Haul

■Hiyashi Chuka, Japanese Summer Cold Noodles 

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

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets


Thursday, December 29, 2016

The 6 Best Things I Purchased in 2016

      I think that my husband and I purchased more products this year than previous years. It's because he had a chance to go to Japan twice this year, so I was able to get some Japanese products which I had never tried before and found some great products. We also purchased a small condominium which was pretty outdated and needed to renovate a lot. That's why we have purchased many products for home renovation since then.

     Anyway, I'm going to share the best products I purchased in 2016 with you.


1. Panasonic Nanocare Hair Dryer
Panasonic Nanocare Hair Dryer
      As I mentioned in my previous entry, 2 Best Japanese Hair Dryers, Panasonic Nanocare Hair Dryer has been very popular in Japan. I purchased this Panasonic Nanocare Hair Dryer EH-NA97-P from Amazon Japan in October this year, and I really really love it. :) I used to use a previous version of Panasonic hair dryer for many years before, and I loved it as well, but this one was actually beyond my expectation! Panasonic have been making more and more effective hair dryers year after year! I really impressed that their technology has been improving your beauty life. :)
Panasonic Nanocare Hair Dryer
     I really love this hair dryer has the Hot to Cold mode. First, I blow-dry my hair with "Turbo" and "Hot" mode. Then, when my hair my hair is 90% dry, I change the switches to "Set" and "Hot to Cold" mode. I notice that my hair texture is improving while I blow-dry my hair with the Hot to Cold mode. When my hair is 100% dry, I change the switch to "Scalp/Skin" mode and blow cold air at my hair and my face. While you are using this hair dryer, nano ion, which makes your hair smooth and beautiful, are being released from the vents. :)
Panasonic Nanocare Hair Dryer

     You can also check out my previous entries related to this hair dryer.
2 Best Japanese Hair Dryers

The Best Japanese Hair Dryer, Panasonic Nano Care Hair Dryer

Japan Haul - The Best Japanese Hair Dryer!





2. Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water
Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water
       I wanted to try this Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water because it has so many positive reviews on Amazon Japan and @cosme. When he was on business trip in Japan, he purchased it with refill for me at a drugstore. :)
Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water
      This hair water protects against damage from heat and UV. I apply it on my hair right before blow-drying my hair. This hair water truly makes my hair smooth and silky. This is the best hair care product I've ever used! When he went to Japan a month later, I also asked him to purchase this hair water for me again because I didn't want it to run out before he would go to Japan next year.
Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water

     You can check out my previous entries related to this hair water.
Review : Shiseido Tsubaki Damage Care Hair Water - It's the Best Japanese Hair Care Product!

What He Got at Drugstore in Japan - Haul 

10 Best Japanese Beauty Products on Amazon Japan, You Can Also Purchase Them at Drugstores in Japan 







3. Rohto OXY Deep Wash 
Rohto OXY Deep Wash
      I found this facial cleanser has so many positive reviews on Amazon Japan. This facial cleanser is for oily skin, and my skin is dry combination skin, but I couldn't resist trying this product because of its excellent reviews. Actually, I am really obsessed with this product now. It gives you extremely intense cool feeling, so you might want to use it during summer. :) It makes your skin really clean; yet, it's gentle to your skin. This is actually a men's facial cleansing product, but it's also popular for women in Japan. :) Obviously, this is the best Japanese facial cleansing product I've discovered this year!

     You can check out my previous entry related to this product.
10 Best Japanese Beauty Products on Amazon Japan, You Can Also Purchase Them at Drugstores in Japan







 4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
       Marie Kondo, who is  a Japanese organizing consultant and author, was selected as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine last year. I really wanted to read her books, and I ended up reading up two her books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy this year.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up & Spark Joy
       I was really impressed at her passion for tidying. Her book inspired me a lot, and I was glad that she had written this book to share her tips for tidying. As I read the book, I tried to tidy up my home by category according to her method. I was able to get rid of many clothing which I wouldn't wear anymore and things I wouldn't use. Because my husband and I moved to new home from our previous apartment, I am glad that we could finish tidying before moving into our home. :) 
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

      You can check out my previous entry related to these books.
I Got the Konmari Book, Spark Joy




5. Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad
      After I enjoyed reading Marie Kondo's books, I started reading this book, Rich Dad Poor Dad written by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I learned a lot about money from this book. According to Kiyosaki, your own house and car are not assets, and those are huge liability. I read this book four months before we purchased our home. Before reading the book, I had no idea which home we should purchase. If I hadn't read this book, we would definitely have chosen a different home. I am glad that I eventually found this book! This book was a life-changing book for me. :) I also read his another book, Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant

Books by Robert T. Kyosaki

     You can check out my previous entries related to these books.

Finished Reading the Book, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!

Finished Reading the Book, Rich Dad's CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom




6. Our Home
Then
      This was the most expensive thing we've ever purchased in our life. As I mentioned in my previous entry, Our Home Renovations, we were looking for an outdated home to experience home renovation. Even though it costs a lot of money for home renovation, and we spend hours and hours, we think it's very important to experience those things while we are still young.
Now
       Even though we are updating our home on a budget plan, we've spent a lot of money for our home renovations this year. However, we are happy that our outdated home has been improving gradually. :) I am looking forward to seeing at how much our home improves next year.

    These are my entries related to home renovation.

Before and After Door Hardware - From Door Knob to Door Lever

How to Install New Outlet Cover Plate - Hubbell Taymac Revive Decorator Wall Plate Review

How to Install A Spring Door Stop

Before and After Kitchen Flooring - Easy and Affordable Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Flooring! 

Built-in Trash Cans - Before and After

Before & After Painting All Cabinets






     My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

     My entries related to shopping can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/shopping

     My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Japan%20Haul 

     My entries related to beauty can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/beauty

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Japan

     My entries related to home renovations can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/home%20renovations





Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Replaced Small Knobs on Bi-Fold Laundry Room Doors

     Last weekend, I installed two small knobs on the bi-fold closet doors.

      I forgot to take the before photo, but these were the ugly knobs used to be on the doors.


      I was first thinking about installing t-bar pulls because I really liked that my other cabinets has contemporary modern look with stainless steel t-bar pulls. However, I ended up choosing stain nickel round knobs which were very similar to old knobs because they were only $1.27 each at Lowe's.  :)
Brainerd Satin Nickel Round Cabinet Knob

       I should have replaced old ones to new ones sooner. :) 




     My entries related to home renovations can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/home%20renovations


    These are my entries you might like.

Before and After Door Hardware - From Door Knob to Door Lever

How to Install New Outlet Cover Plate - Hubbell Taymac Revive Decorator Wall Plate Review

How to Install A Spring Door Stop

Before and After Kitchen Flooring - Easy and Affordable Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Flooring! 

Built-in Trash Cans - Before and After

Before & After Painting All Cabinets


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Before and After Replacing Dimmer Switch And Light Switch

      I didn't like all outlets and switches in my home were originally almond color which looked very outdated. As I mentioned in my previous entry, How to Install New Outlet Cover Plate - Hubbell Taymac Revive Decorator Wall Plate Review, my husband and I have already replaced many of outlet cover plates in our home because it was very easy to replace them. However, we thought replacing dimmer switch and GFCI outlet was not that simple at all, and it requires understanding electrical wiring. Hiring an electrician costs a lot of money, so he decided to do it himself. I didn't do anything for it because it seemed too difficult for me. When it comes to electrical things, it makes me headache. :(   In contrast, he seems always enjoy himself when he figures out new things. I really respect him. :)

      This weekend, he replaced this old dimmer switch and light switch to new ones. I took this photo after removing four mounting screws, so it looked worse than original.

       This is the photo after installing the new ones. :)  I am glad that it look very new and works perfectly.  Thanks, my husband!




What He Bought for This Project
    In order to replace them, he bought these four items. In addition to these, you will also need a screw driver.


1. White Wall Plate Cover
Pass & Seymour TP262W Trade Master Wall Plate 2 Gang 2 Decorator, White



2. White Dimmer Switch 
Eaton SAL06P-W-K Skye AL Series 3-Way Single-Pole Sliding Dimmer Switch with Rapid Start Feature, White Finish



3. White Light Switch 
Pass & Seymour TM870WCC10 Decorator Switch, Single Pole


4. Electrical Tester
Southwire Woods Multimeter Analog



    I don't really know how he replaced the switches, but I will share how he did it as far as I know. (without wiring step)

    First, turn off the power to your switch at the breaker. Then, remove the mounting screws.


     Remove the old wall plate cover and old switches.

      Then, connect new switches. You need to understand electrical wiring for this step.

    Finally, install a new wall plate cover.



      I really like new switches. :)

     He will replace old GFCI outlets in our bathrooms next time. :)



     My entries related to home renovations can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/home%20renovations


    These are my entries you might like.

How to Install New Outlet Cover Plate - Hubbell Taymac Revive Decorator Wall Plate Review

Before and After Door Hardware - From Door Knob to Door Lever

How to Install A Spring Door Stop

Before and After Kitchen Flooring - Easy and Affordable Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Flooring! 

Built-in Trash Cans - Before and After

Before & After Painting All Cabinets

Monday, December 26, 2016

After Christmas Sales at starbucks

A Christmas Tree at Bella Terra Mall in Huntington Beach
      It's the day after Christmas today. My husband and I found that Starbucks were having after-Christmas sales at Starbucks branches.

     They were offering buy one get one free for any holiday coffee beans. At the store, there were only several bags of Christmas Blend Espresso Roast left. A 1 lb bag of the coffee beans was originally $14.95 each, but they were only $14.95 for two bags! I think it was a pretty good deal. :)
Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast 2016 Whole Bean Coffee


     Then, we found that many holiday goods were 50% off. I ended up purchasing this set of four Starbucks Christmas ornaments. It was originally $19.95 but was only $9.98 for four ornaments. :) 
Starbucks Logo Ornament Set

      Each ornament has the different Starbucks siren logo. If you are a big fan of Starbucks, you might know that this is the first Starbucks logo. Now, you can still find this brown siren logo at the original Starbucks in Seattle.
1971

      This Starbucks logo was used from 1987 through 1992. I heard that this Starbucks logo is still used at a few Starbucks branches in Seattle and San Francisco.
1987

      You might be familiar with this Starbucks siren logo. Many Starbucks branches have been still using this logo since 1992.   
1992

       We all know that this is the latest Starbucks logo! :)
2011
     I can't wait hanging these adorable ornaments on my Christmas tree next year. :)


     These are my entries you might like.

■Starbucks Los Angeles Double Wall Traveler (2016)

■Starbucks California Double Wall Traveler (2016)

■Starbucks 2016 Anniversary Collection

■Starbucks 2015 Anniversary Collection

■Starbucks Hawaii - Traveling the Big Island, Hawaii - Day 2-2/6

■What They Sell at Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room - Traveling Seattle, Day 2 - 5/9

■The Original Starbucks - Traveling Seattle, Day 1-6/7 


        This is my YouTube channel.
Ringo's Coffee Channel

       My entries related to coffee can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/coffee


        My Starbucks entries can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks

       This is my entries related to my Starbucks collections.
 http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20mugs


       My entries related to Starbucks Japan can be seen here.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/Starbucks%20Japan 


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market - What My Husband Ate in Japan

     As I mentioned in my previous entry, my husband was on his business trip in Tokyo, Japan in October this year. When he has a chance to go to Tokyo, he always stay at a hotel which is located very close to Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market in order to have high quality seafood there when he has a little free time. In October, he stayed at the hotel only one night, but he was able to go to Tsukiji Fish Market twice during his busy business trip. :)

     He took a subway from Shiodome Station (汐留駅) to Tsukijishijo Station (築地市場駅).


 



      He bought this dried firefly squids for me, and I loved that. :) You can check out my previous entries, Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo - Japan Haul and Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Style Breakfast - What My Husband Cooked.


      This time, he decided go to Marukita Nigouten (まるきた2号店), a seafood bowl restaurant.

     There were many kinds of seafood bowls he could choose from.



      He finally chose this Omakase don (おまかせ丼), 11 kinds seafood over vinegared rice. 




     The delicious aosa miso soup was free. :)


     This seafood bowl was 2500 yen and had high quality fresh ingredients, which were sea urchin, salmon roes, squid, sea eel, herring roes, salmon, tuna, yellow tail, scallop, fatty tuna, shrimp, egg, oba leaf and sliced ginger pickles.


        There was the huge fresh tuna head over a plenty of crushed ice in front of a restaurant on the streets. (He doesn't remember the name of the restaurant.) A tuna head is used as fish broth for delicious soup, which is called ara jiru (あら汁). 



      At Harenohi Syokudou (ハレの日食堂), there were many fresh sea urchins selling for 600yen each.

     The friendly staff opened and cut it for ready to eat.

     He had two kinds of sea urchins there. They were very fresh!




     He also had this grilled scallop with sea urchin on top. It was 1000yen.

      He had so many delicious seafoods at one visit!  He must have enjoyed a lot there during his business trip. :)



     This is the video which he recorded at Tsukiji Fish Market in 2014.




  My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

  My entries related to Japan Haul can be seen here.
 
  My entries related to Japan can be seen here.

  My entries related to foods my husband cooked can be seen here.


       These are also my entries you might like.
■Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Style Breakfast - What My Husband Cooked

■Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo - Japan Haul (Nov 2016)

■Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan - Haul (2014) 

■What He Got at Haneda Airport, Tokyo International Airport - Japan Haul

■What He Got at Drugstore in Japan - Haul

■Japanese Drugstore Shopping List - 6 Best Japanese Products You Can Purchase at Drugstore in Japan!

■Myojo Chukazanmai, The Best Japanese Instant Noodles!

■Japanese Instant Noodle Haul

■Japanese Cup Noodle Haul

■Hiyashi Chuka, Japanese Summer Cold Noodles 

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

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Snacks

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets