Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And yes, that IS a shinkansen pillow!

David and I went on an exploring date a few days ago~ It was nice. David had a half day last Friday, so we met each other in Sendai and went out for the afternoon. Usually when we go to Sendai, we have a plan or we just stick to the arcade. However, on Friday we didn't really have a plan, so we walked around the downtown area instead. It was nice~ We didn't really go anywhere, but it was nice just to be out and about.
Having done some exploring, we found a small cafe so I could grab a late lunch. David had eaten on the train into Sendai, but I hadn't, and I was starving. We passed Caffe Veloce while we were out and popped in for a bite/ I got the mixed sandwiches and an iced milk tea.
So, we wandered into the arcade on our way back to the station and made a pit stop into the Game Station. They had some really cute things this time! I took a few pictures of the prizes I liked best~ (And yes, that IS a shinkansen pillow!) I usually have really bad luck with UFO catchers, but I actually won something! A Powerpuff Girls x Vocaloid collab keychain! Woo!
We stopped by McDonalds in our local mall on our way home and when we took a seat I noticed that someone got creative with their garbage!
So, I really wanted to get a Disney Mobile phone. Sadly, that didn't happen thanks to our visas only being 1 year currently. But, not to worry~ They store was having a sale on their accessories, so I picked out a new phone strap. The letter A decorated to be like Minnie. The girl who was helping us was actually the same person who helped me get my phone setup. She's really sweet and her English is quite good. She was asking if we liked Disney and she and I got talking about Tokyo Disney~ After buying my charm, she also gave me a cute hair tie as a gift!
On Friday night I stayed up late chatting with a friend and had to take the garbage out at about 3am. (Our apartment doesn't like people putting garbage out until the early morning.) I opened the door and looked out and a sea of white met me eyes. It was snowing. BIG TIME. Like, blizzard like, white out conditions. It was crazy! It had come totally out of left field, too! I tried to take a few photos, but as ever, this was the best I could get. I could have taken a video, but David was sleeping.
So, on the 18th, we went grocery shopping and I found them: ENGLISH MUFFINS! How did I never notice these before!? I was so freaking excited to find them, let me tell you~ And the tasted just like... well, just like English muffins! I was sooo happy! I ate them for breakfast for a couple days. I also picked up this seasonal milk tea~ It's special for sakura season. It was really nice! Sweet and light!
And for dinner last night I made stir fry. But, we did some proper investigating in the produce area and came across a mixed bag of cabbage, bean sprouts, mushrooms and carrots. Perfect! I grabbed some chicken and a red pepper and we were set! Dinner cost about 400yen and we had leftovers~ Awesome!
And sadly, for those who were paying attention, I've had to put my running on hold. The weather has been waaay too sporadic for running. Icy one day, snowy the next. The ground isn't safe to run on, so I have to literally cool my heels and wait. Sigh. But, as soon as it all melts, I'll be out there pounding the pavement again!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

So, needless to say, I bought them.

So, Valentine's has come and gone. Ours was pretty quiet, as David was working, but we had a nice evening at least~ I made chocolate for David and it turned out really well this year! I tried a couple different things. I made molded chocolate, melted some and poured it into premade cookie cups and tried a recipe for nama choco. And I made sure to wrap it up all prettylike, too. The molded chocolate turned out nice! I made Mickey heads. Heehee~ The nama choco was just a simple recipe I found online. Melting chocolate and mixing it with a little fresh cream to give it a smooth taste and texture. And I sprinkled hot chocolate on top just for looks. The cookie cups were premade, so that made that easy. David liked the cookie cupped chocolate best~
In Japan it's more common for girls to give chocolate or gifts in Valentine's and boys give back on March 14th (White Day). As such, I wasn't expecting anything, but David bought me some chocolate, too! Sweet~!
We bought bentos for dinner a few nights ago on a whim. We don't usually get bentos because they tend to be expensive, but we bought them when they were on sale, so score! David got curry and I picked up a chicken tartar box. Basically, chicken strips covered in tartar sauce and some rice. It was really tasty! Usually bento chicken is kinda questionable, but they used really nice pieces for this.
I met David in Sendai on Friday afternoon. We decided to meet at Starbucks, so I got there about an hour early to just relax with a drink and my kobo. I got my chai latte and a sakura macaron. Yummmm~ And after a little while, they came out and offered some samples around. Currently, Starbucks is doing a sakura themed line. They had Sakura White Hot Chocolate for the sample. It's really nice! Not too super sweet and a good tastes for the season.
Oh yeah, I got a phone. Finally~~ That's it up there with the cute Pikachu phone charm.

We got lunch in the station and just wandered about that afternoon. It was nice to have a lazy date~ It was raining, so we didn't walk around much outside. We stuck to the shopping arcade and a few other shops. We stopped in at a hobby/toy store so David could pick up a stand for his new Gundam model and while we were there the fire alarm went off! I had no idea what the alarm was for, so one of the employees came over and explained that there was a fire downstairs and we had to vacate the building. Turns out, there was no fire. Someone pulled the alarm by accident. Hahaha. The didn't kick us out entirely, we all huddled in the entryway so as to avoid the rain outside. It was kinda random~ But, David got his stand and I actually found a set of Vocaloid music boxes! David and I tried really hard to win them in Sega World and had no luck, but we found the set for about 3,000yen. So, needless to say, I bought them. They're really pretty~ The music that they play is really nice.
And wanna know what else was awesome? When we got home, we had mail waiting for us! Mum's Christmas package finally got here. Wooo! There was a package of eggnog mix, some candy canes and some money in cards from mum and papa. There was also a calendar of Canadian places that David's been showing his students. I was beginning to think it'd never get here! I can't wait to crack the eggnog mix open, though~ I'm hoping that if I mix it with a chai latte, I can make myself a cheggnogg latte! Cheggnog lattes are my favourite seasonal drink from Starbucks~ And they don't have eggnog in Japan. Oh well. We'll see how that turns out.
So, yesterday while David was working, I went out to Aeon Mall just to do some window shopping and maybe grab a drink from the Bux. Maaan, was it ever BUSY! There was a line out the door at Starbucks and the sitting area was chocablock full, so scratch that idea! I went into a few shops and did some window shopping. I met one of our neighbours, too, actually! A girl named Chihiro, who works in one of the stores I like. I was attempting to chat with one of her coworkers and then she came over and asked if we lived in the LeoPalace apartments near the gas station and Max Value and then introduced herself and told me she lives on the first floor. She was really sweet and I told her to come see me if she wants to practise her English at all~ So, after looking around, I went to the grocery store and just bought a coffee from there. I tried a Cocoa Latte, which was practically just chocolate milk. It was tasty, though. I just wish there was some coffee in it. Lol.

And I keep meaning to take a photo of this, but there are ducks that live in the river by Aeon Mall. Ducks and cranes, actually. There's a whole flock of them and they're really cute! They have been there all winter, just chilling in the river. I keep meaning to take a picture of them all, but usually I'm too cold to stop. I stopped yesterday, though!
And as for today, we went out for dinner. We really like this Italian place in Aeon Mall, so we went there and got the dinner for 2 set. Pizza, pasta, salad and a drink for each for about 2,500yen. I was investigating the menu and I noticed that whoever made the English menu must've had my sense of humour.
And then before we left, I popped up to the Bux and got my drink. I also indulged and bought myself a tumbler. I've missed having one and this season's selection is quite pretty. Lots of sakura themed things. I bought a tall sized tumbler and ordered a sakura white hot chocolate and got my drink for free. Awesome!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Didn't win anything, but I found 悪ノ娘 (Daughter of Evil) music boxes!

Oh man~ Friend Keira is returning to Japan tomorrow for 3 months! She's going to be studying Japanese in a school in Nagoya. I'm super excited. Nagoya is a lot closer than British Columbia. We've got plans to go on a few small trips while she's here. I've missed her~ She was my best friend at British Hills.
So, I bought some Pocky recently. I like to try the different flavours that come out every once in a while. There are the normal flavours like chocolate and strawberry, but they also introduce random flavours and seasonal flavours, too. I saw this one and thought I'd give it a bash. Matcha Chocolate Pocky. Yum yum~ I looove matcha. David wasn't so keeon, but that's cool. More for me!
We also bought a treat from the bakery in Aeon recently. They had their baked goods on sale, so we thought why not? I bought a doughnut. It's cute, eh?
The sakura flavoured drinks and treats are starting to make their appearance, too. I picked up some Sakura&Peach tea recently and it was quite tasty! The after tastes was interesting, but not in a bad way. I'll probably buy a bunch before the season ends. It'll probably only be available for a couple months.
David and I went on a little date a few days ago. We wanted to check out The Mall in Nagamachi. The Mall has 2 parts and it's pretty nifty! Lots of cool stores and even a Disney Store! We spent the afternoon wandering about in there and we checked out the Xebio Sports store too, since we were in the area. Nagamachi is the last stop on the Airport Access line before going into Sendai, so it was easy to get to. It's a cute little city! We're gonna go back on one of David's days off and explore. We also grabbed dinner while we were out from a cute Italian place. I meant to take a photo, but I forgot. I got the tomato and mozzarella cream pasta and David got the mushroom pizza. I also got an iced peach tea, which was really nice!
Once we were back in Natori, we decided to pop over to Sega World. Didn't win anything, but I found 悪ノ娘 (Daughter of Evil) music boxes! 悪ノ娘 is a Vocaloid song that's sung by Kagamine Rin and Len. (The twins.) I was reall hoping to win one for me and Angel, but no dice. Oh well. maybe next time~ They had one for The Lunacy of Duke Venomania, as well. That's the purple dude.
After our crushing defeat at the UFO catchers we popped over to Max Value to grab a few groceries. I've been meaning to give Japanese puddings a try for ages and I found one on sale, so I picked it up. The taste was ok, but the textures was really off putting. Kinda powdery almost. I wasn't a fan. But, then again, I DID buy the 77yen product. I'm sure the more expensive ones will be better, so I won't give up on them entirely, yet.
I went into Sendai on Saturday to meet up with my friend Hope. We met at Starbucks and just chilled and chatted. It was nice. Hope doesn't live in Sendai~ She lives in Fukushima, so she only comes in about once a month. I got a chai latte and a ham sammich for lunch while we were out. Yum~
I also snapped a photo of David yesterday. He had the most magnificent bed head I've ever seen.
And now, for my running report~
So, as stated in my last post, I am getting back into running. I set the 1st of February as my Start Day. And, I've been doing much better than I anticipated. On the 1st, I went out for a run just to see where I was at endurance wise and failed miserably. I have a problem with pacing myself~ I always run too fast. And when you're running along and listening to Katy Perry, it doesn't help. So, basically I ran to fast and got winded rather easily. I couldn't even run a full KM. So, I tried to start the couch to 5k that night and it was waaaaaay too easy. Like, way, way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too easy. So, I changed my strategy. On the 3rd when I went out, I loaded up my iPod with Vinyl Cafe stories. And that seems to be the trick! Music constantly changes beats and I unconsciously match them when I run. However, Stuart McLean is just talking, so I run at my own pace! I've gotten up to running about 2 miles continuously! Woo! My goal for this upcoming week is to continue to get comfortable with 2miles and then run 3 or 4 miles on the weekend. I'll let y'all know how I do~

Friday, February 1, 2013

Real chocolate milk doesn't seem to exist in Japan.

So, as previously stated, January has been a pretty quiet month for us. Nothing fancy going on. As such, I haven't had much to blog about. Sorry~ February will be better. :D

Well, I made lasagna a few nights ago. No, we still don't have an over, but we DO have a TOASTER OVEN! So, I made it in there. The lasagna actually came as a kit~ I thought I was just buying a heavy and expensive box of noodles, but there we are. There was enough to make 2, so it was prefect. They reeeeally need to put more of the bolognese sauce in the package, though. I almost ran out. In any case, it was pretty tasty! And it's the first time I've had lasagna in god knows how long, so I was really happy. Yum yum~ Gonna have to make that again.
Aside from the lasagna excitement, I've been drinking a lot of conbini cafe lattes as of late, as well. It's fun trying the different types out. I had another of the cute Rilakkuma ones, as well as one that tasted like chocolate milk. REAL chocolate milk! Real chocolate milk doesn't seem to exist in Japan. At least, I've never found it. But oh well. I don't drink much of it, anyway, so it's not THAT big of a deal. And I found a coffee that was litterally called Adult Cafe Latte. It tasted pretty good. Guess that must mean I'm officially an adult. So glad that the coffee could confirm that for me~
One of David's coworkers moved away recently, and she gave us some cookies as a farewell present. I thought it was sweet of her~ They're like shortbread, but strawberry and jasmine flavoured. It sounds weird, but they were really tasty. David wasn't a fan, but it's cool. It just meant there were more for me. ;D
Oh! And I experimented recently with my cooking and I've discovered that I really like making eggs without the yolks. That's right~ I've been converted to the egg whites only train. At least for now. I made egg white scrambled eggs recently, with tomatoes and pepper mixed in, and man was it ever tasty. I had that again for breakfast this morning~~~
And here comes the geek mobile~ I bought some Pokemon ramen recently. It was a Christmas pack, but they had so many that they're on sale now. I was waiting for them to go on sale, so woo! Score! It came with a cute little coaster, too. The noodles weren't bad. They were just the right portion for me and they had cute Pikachu kamaboko in it. Yum yum~
So, one of my new years resolutions was to get my ass in gear and get back into running. With my cold from hell persisting for most of the month, I pushed that goal to the side until I got healthy. And now I am, for the most part, so I started running today. And maaaaan~ Am I ever out of shape. That and I forgot how to keep myself paced properly. So, I managed to run almost a kilometer and then I had to walk. But, considering I ran 1k in less than 7minutes, I guess it's a start. I tried to take up the Zombies, RUN! couch to 5k program after that initial run, but it's waaay too easy. So, I may just have to do my own thing. But, I'm hoping to be able to run 3k by the end of the month. I'll keep you posted~ I figure if I run 3 times a week and try to pay attention to how fast I'm running and police myself, it's a doable goal. I want to be able to run a half marathon distance by the end of the year. I'm sure I can do it if I keep with it. It is a bit lonely, though. I don't have a running buddy~ I miss running with you, mum! :(