Monday, October 31, 2011

10 Things...

(I feel somewhat guilty about writing about the amazing weekend I had. One of my best friends, Mindy, had to rush one of her triplets to the hospital after performing infant CPR. Her daughter is scheduled to go to surgery tomorrow. If you do not follow her blog click HERE.)

Here are 10 Places I went this weekend:

I stopped at my two favorite places in Pella:




I ordered some dried beef and dried beef dip at Ulrichs. At Jaarsma's, I picked up some dutch letters. They now dip them in chocolate- its like they knew I was coming! Seriously, picking up treats like this for my hubby adds years to my marriage.

After our stop in Pella, we headed to see her:

On our way to see my grandma, my Uncle Don and Aunt Bonnie called. They had just closed on a new house, and we begged for a tour. My Aunt and Uncle have lived on the farm for nearly 40 years. The house they bought is on a golf course in town. Its absolutely beautiful, and I am so happy for them. It is so crazy to think that this is their new home because I have only known them to live on the farm. I could see the joy in their faces for the new home, and it was truly wonderful to see them so happy.

After we left Oskaloosa, we headed to Williamsburg. My mom needed to stop in that part of the state for business, so we decided to shop as well. I bought all of this for BGT and then some:

Actually, this doesn't include all the things I bought her. I know that seems overboard, and it was, but let me tell you how this only cost me $31.  First, I picked up a pink hooded sweat shirt with sweat pants, three piece pj set and bow shirt at Carters. My mom had a coupon for 25% off of $40. Her and I combined our orders (She was picking up things for BBA (baby boy aldridge). She picked up my part of the tab too for BGT. Then we headed to Gap. I had a 25% off of a $75 purchase. I picked up a winter coat thing, owl top, jeans and a pair of socks. My mom picked up the exact same items but in boy colors for BBA. I had a $35 store merchandise credit for my half of the tab. Then we headed to Children's Place. I had 25% off my purchase. They had on clearance summer items for $2.99 a piece. I picked up two dresses, five onsie top things (i really need to learn this baby lingo), a sweat shirt and a purple sweatsuit outfit. With my coupon it was only $31. Amazing!! For those of you concerned that I am unaware of my daughter's due date and why I have a turkey top- its not a Thanksgiving shirt. Its a short sleeved shirt that says "Spread Peace" on it. I tried to buy different sizes that will match the seasons. It was fun to pick up so much for such a great deal!

After I had done enough damage for the day, I headed home.

I had been eyeing the Nebraska Furniture Mart add all week because of my need want of some items. I called my mom at 10pm on Saturday and asked her if we would be nuts if we went to NFM on Sunday. She said we were nuts anyway so why not. I am SO GLAD I went. I did some serious damage- but I got some great things.

I had been trying to find this master bedroom set that I had seen previously. I was under the impression that they only had the bed and not the dresser. To my pleasant surprise, I found they carried the bed, dresser and night stands I had been wanting- and it was on sale. We purchased that. We also purchased a rocker for the baby's room and a baby mattress. I would post pics but most of my items aren't being delivered until December 2. Good thing because I have a mattress to purchase yet, get new carpet, and paint two bedrooms. I cant wait to post before and after pics (didn't I promise some of other rooms like last February?!).

In Omaha, we stopped at one of our favorite places to eat:

Have you ever eaten at Five Guys? Its fantastic!

I got home last night around 8pm. I could have probably used a nice calm weekend at home to catch up on some sleep. But I had a fantastic time, and I am so excited about my purchases!

And for those of you worried about whether I really went 10 places... let me count them for you: Ulrich's, Jaarsma's, Grandma's, Don and Bonnie's, Carter's, Gap, Children's Place, Home, NFM, and Five Guys.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Asian Heritage

Now that I'm Asian, I have really gotten in touch with Asian heritage. Actually, nothing Japanese.... just Chinese. That includes the Chinese Birth Chart and the Chinese Astrology.

Chinese Birth Chart:

Even though the Chart clearly states that its only for entertainment value- I believe its true. I had a little doubt when my sister reported to me her child's rapid heart rate and change in pregnancy symptoms as compared to her eldest child when the chart said my sister was having a boy. I generally relate the higher heart rate to girls as well as the fact her pregnancy was nothing like when she was pregnant with her first child, a boy. I was convinced it was a girl. I should have never doubted the birth chart because the results are now in, and it is a boy. Again, the link to the chart can be found HERE.

Chinese Astrology:

To access the information I am explaining, click HERE.

Most of you are familiar with the Chinese Astrology which has 12 distinct personalities associated with the animal of that year. The beginning of the 2012 Chinese New Year is January 23. If things go as planned- Tommy and I will be having a Dragon. (In fact, lots of people are having Dragons because last year I was spreading the news about how wonderful Dragon babies are supposed to be. There is still time people- make those Dragon babies!!!).  Anyway, I also recently learned (thanks to this website I found) that there are also "internal" personalities which dictate what motivates you (as opposed to the year which tell how you present yourself to others). Because our child is going to probably be born in February, she will present herself as a Dragon, but she will internally be motivated by the qualities of the Tiger. (Tommy's reaction when I informed him: "Oh, a Tiger, just like my dad, this is great!).  The website goes on to explain that even the hour you are born affects your personalty. This is why even though there are only 12 years, there are thousands of types of people. Anyway, since we don't know the hour our daughter will be born- I can only tell you she is a Dragon-Tiger. What I learned tonight is that I'm a Pig-Dragon and Tommy is a Rooster-Dragon. How ironic is it that Tommy and I are both internally motivated like Dragons and are now having a Dragon?! Wow- if I keep reading, I may almost have myself convinced of this Chinese Astrology!

How do you present yourself and what motivates you?!?!

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for....

- Its already Thursday!!! I have plans on going to see my grandma on Saturday with my mom. I'm excited to spend time with both her and my mom.

- My baby Nephew!! Well, he's not born yet; but he'll be here in March. My sister just found out today its a boy. I'm happy he is healthy!

- End of Quarter Bonus Pay! The funny thing about Tommy and my jobs are that we have the exact same payday. We also both get paid quarterly bonuses that get paid on the same day as well. So 4 days a year we feel rich less poor! Tomorrow is one of those days!

- Fantastic Fall Weather! I love that right now as I post this message I'm sitting in my beautifully finished basement with my fantastic husband while watching baseball shopping online and cuddled under a blanket. It almost makes me forget what a long October I have had.

- Kohls. We can always find something at Kohls we think we need. Today was no different. We ordered a something for Tommy and something for BGT (Baby Girl Takekawa). Now include a nice 30% off and free shipping, and we hardly had to tap into our bonus to pay that bill.

I hope you remember to be thankful for many things this week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Black Friday?!

Note from Author: I had a really bad shitty week. It was busy. It was stressful. It did not go the way I wanted. I hope next week is better. I could go on and on and on about how shitty it was, but I'm moving forward.

If you have read at least three of my blog posts, you know I love a deal. We are approaching my favorite time of year as it relates to bargain shopping. Tommy and I study ads very carefully this year. In November we usually make all our large purchases for the year. The Reason: Black Friday and all the "Pre Black Friday" ads that go with it. Its become sort of an art for us. We study different black friday ads. We read the websites that speculate about the different sales. And we keep up with the evolution of the Black Friday experience.

It used to be you could go get your deal at 4am at the store. Then it shifted to being able to order your product at midnight on Friday. Then it shifted to being able to order your product online on Thursday at midnight. Now even several weeks before your items go on sale for the same as or even better prices than Black Friday.

Our purchases over the year have included:

2008: a new 40 inch Sony TV from American TV that we got for $549 (regularly $899). Side note: we were not aware of the Black Friday evolution that year and ended up purchasing this product on my blackberry outside the store at 345am when we saw we were not going to get the product inside. It was geneous. We walked right in, did instore pick up, and got just the tv we wanted.

2009: Thanksgiving Morning before boarding a plan to Houston we purchased two computers online. One Sony laptop from Bestbuy for $399 (regularly $699) and one from Sam's Club for $399 (regularly $799). We got one for my parents and one for us. I think Tommy also got another one from Best Buy that year for his mom. As it turns out, our computer has been kind of a piece of junk- but my parents and Tommy's parents have LOVED there laptops! So I think it was just the particular machine we got. Or the way we treat it. This year Tommy's parents also got us a camcorder which they got a great deal on at Best Buy. I think it was around $300 off. I think they were hinting already that they were ready for grandkids!

2010: A few weeks before Black Friday we picked up our front loading Samsung Washer and Dryer from Sears. This bad boy combination we got 50% off of both the washer and dryer. It was like 2 for 1. I haven't seen a deal on these nice of machines for quite a while. Luckily for my hubby's research skills we didn't miss out on that purchase!

Here I have only noted our major purchases. Of course we still go shop on the Friday morning with all the crazies. We do not find as good of deals as we used to, but its a good time to pick up dvds, headphones, clothes, and different fun items.

For 2011, we have BIG plans. We have lots of things that we need to buy. Tommy and I are going to have to research hard over the next week to narrow our purchases. I'm going to have to prepare myself for the large amount of money we will be spending in November. We have been wanting these items over the last year, and some items we have really held off a long time to get. Here is our list so far:

1. Camera
2. Computer
3. Snowblower

I usually like to limit it to one "big" purchase a year, but this year we need to get at least these three items above (which I consider all "big" items). Also, we are bound to probably pick up items for Baby T. This is going to be a new adventure for us as we travel into this unknown territory. Hopefully some of these baby stores run good sales because some of this baby stuff is expensive! Any tips?

Also, did I mention that Tommy and I finally purchased our baby furniture?! Of course we bought it from Nebraska Furniture Mart. It probably will not be delivered until December or January. But before it comes we still have to order new carpet for our upstairs! We also picked up the bedding and decor from pottery barn kids. Once the nursery starts coming together then I will post some pics!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Isn't it Ironic?

Today while I was at work I was starving for lunch. I looked at the clock and noticed it was 1130. I decided to keep working until 1pm to "avoid" the lunch rush. At 1, I finally left to get lunch and it was like people couldn't move fast enough. I decided to get some soup at Panera. I was third in line and there were three cashiers. In the time it took the people in front of me to order with their separate cashiers I had ordered, picked up my food and walked out the door. Seriously, Panera's menu hasn't changed much in years. These people had to have known that eventually they would need to pay for their meal which should prompt them to start opening their wallets while ordering (multi-task much?!). I thought- my God, what do these people do that they have so much time on their hands? Then I went to McDonalds to get an iced tea. Forget the drive- thru, there were no less than 10 cars in line. I opted to go inside. There was nobody in front of me. All I ordered was an iced tea, but of course they had to fill it up behind the counter rather than giving me a glass. This resulted in me waiting another five minutes for the "drink filler" person could fulfill my order while the "order taker" person stood in front of the cash register patiently waiting for his next customer! I kept telling myself to slow down. I needed to enjoy the few minutes I was away from the office- but these people were driving me nuts!!

Now Compare:

Tommy and I have not purchased our baby furniture yet. We have something in mind which we will probably order, but we just want to love it a little more than we do. I asked last night if we ordered that furniture when it would be delivered. The salesman told me end of February!! I told him the baby would be here by then and I would need it sooner than that. He told me I should have ordered it a month ago?! What?!

Tommy and I have not found a daycare provider yet. My neighbor who happens to own a daycare in Johnston reminded me at the neighborhood party (about 4 weeks ago) that the wait list for newborns at her center was end of March! What?! How do these people even know their pregnant and have signed up for daycare?! 

It seems like I need to find a happy medium for procrastinating on some things while rushing through others. 

How do you find your balance?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Wow! Its been weeks since I have blogged about a Thankful Thursday. Here is what I am Thankful for this Thursday:

Pottery Barn Kids Friends and Family Sale. The sale runs this weekend. I am, of course, picking up some bedding for Baby Girl Takekawa. I couldn't justify buying it but now knowing I'll get it 20% off- sold!

Jimmy Johns. I have been craving Jimmy Johns so much since my pregnancy. I am enjoying a No. 5 right now as I blog.

Awesome Weather. I am loving every minute of this awesome weather. Especially waking up to the cool fall breeze in the morning while snuggled under the blankets.

Tommy. Work has been really busy right now, and Tommy has been really awesome about getting stuff done around the house that I usually do. Last night I came home to the dishes having been washed and four loads of laundry folded! I was thankful I didn't have to step over the clothes while making my way into the bedroom.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby Girl Takekawa

I am going through a phase right now where nothing gives me more joy than to talk about anything to do with my daughter. This varies from talking about how I want to decorate her room, to how much I can feel her move, to how I hope she doesn't want to be a dancer... You name it, I will talk your ear off about it.

Knowing this, it may come as a surprise to you how little Tommy and I have bought for her. Some it has to do with not knowing exactly what we need; it seems like we have so much time yet (really only 16 more weeks!); and the cost of some items is alarming!

Besides the Jeggings that I posted about a few weeks ago, here are the other things we have picked up for her:

I knew Tommy would LOVE these:

Maybe the front of this outfit isn't that cute, but I die for the strawberry on the butt!

Check out this blanket I picked up for her. I am seriously contemplating decorating in an owl theme. I am sure I will look back at that decision in a year or two ask ask WTF? But for now, I think I even have Tommy convinced that this is the way to go.

Speaking of owls, wouldn't this look fabulous on her wall?

Random Acts of Kindness....

Remember a few weeks ago when the person in the drive thru randomly bought my coffee. That gesture had impacted by day in such a positive way that I have been making an effort to do spread random acts of kindness.

Here are some of my random acts of kindness:

1. Mailed some Halloween peeps to one of my girlfriends who I know loves peeps. She should get them in the mail tomorrow. I know when she gets them she will text me some exaggerated way how the peeps saved her day- and I cant wait to hear it! (Note: A client randomly brought me some Halloween M&Ms the other day that are white chocolate. They are so amazing. As soon as I find them at the store I plan on buying 10 packs of them and delivering 9 8 of them to my friends so they can enjoy!)

2. Letting people merge in front of me on the interstate or slowing down and allowing them into my lane even when they should have planned accordingly 15 seconds earlier.

3. I have stopped minimized fake shooting myself in the head behind a person's back when they say something really stupid to me.

4. I bought some of the secretaries lunch last week in appreciation for all their hard work. Double bonus since it was Jimmy Johns!

5. I skipped my favorite recordings on the DVR so Tommy's would record.

6. When a client brought me candy at work, I shared everything with the rest of the office.

Now I'm struggling with whether or not to actually post this blog because I feel like if this is what I consider to be random acts of kindness then I must be a real bitty. Most of these things I received a benefit from myself (peeps to a friend will lead to a funny and enjoyable conversation with my girlfriend; allowing people to merge is to secure my own safety and the safety of my baby; fake shooting myself in the head habit probably should have stopped at age 15; the secretaries really deserved much more than a $5 Jimmy Johns lunch; My TV shows repeat several times while Tommy's are only on one time; I haven't had much of a sweet tooth in my pregnancy (except KitKats), I took out the white chocolate m&ms, and probably wouldn't have eaten the rest of the candy anyway).

 Have you done anything thoughtful this week?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10 Things...

Here are Five Things I love this week and Five Things I hate this week (The bad news is I could not find 10 things I loved for this week. The good news is I could not find 10 things I hated this week- ok, I could, I just didnt have enough time! LOL!).

Five Things I love this week:

1. My pregnancy cravings for Kit Kats.
2. My weekend plans to go to my parent's lake house and do some shopping in Minneapolis.
3. The awesome weather!!
4. Dancing with the Stars!
5. My awesome co-workers!

Five Things I hate this week:

1. My pregnancy cravings for Kit Kats.
2. My pool is being closed for the winter tomorrow. :-(
3. My super busy schedule (no time to blog, chat with friends or cuddle with hubby!)
4. The disappointing new seasons of what used to be my favorite shows (think Real Housewives, Grey's, Amazing Race...)
5. My Not-So-Awesome co-workers.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I love when I find something new that I really like. As a consumer, I often have high expectations. (Or maybe I have high expectations anyway). Regardless, it takes a lot to impress me. I have been feeling some anxiety about the little amount of time I feel like I have to get everything done. I worry about how I will get things done once the baby is here. I sometimes consider hiring somebody to help with things around the house, but I have a hard time justifying paying somebody to do something I am perfectly capable of.

Yesterday Tommy and I stopped at TJ Maxx. As I was waiting in line to return something I noticed a product called "E Cloth for Windows" being sold. I was immediately interested because washing my windows is something I have only done once because its something that easily gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Also, recently I had heard my cousins talking about a Norwex window cleaning cloth. I wondered if this e-cloth was the less trendy version of the Norwex cloth. For $7.99 it was a risk I was willing to take. (This is not only a risk of losing $8 but also the risk of my husband being right about me wasting money because he was not initially impressed with my purchase).

Today I used my e-cloth. I have no idea if it is like the Norwex cloth, but my windows look fabulous. It also took me less than three minutes to wash my sliding back door windows. Also, it was really easy clean up with no paper towels. I also did not have to inhale the nasty spray for cleaning. I HIGHLY recommend this product. In fact,Tommy was so impressed with the product he wants to go back to TJ and buy the other two cloths they were selling- the bathroom e cloth and the appliance e cloth.

Now I just need to find easier solutions for mopping, vacuuming and mowing the lawn. And then I'll be set for baby!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Perfect Saturday

Surprisingly, few things that happened today are things I envision when thinking of a perfect Saturday. Maybe not having an expectation for the day made the day seem better. None the less, it was a great Saturday. Here is what my day looked like:

I woke up snuggled under the covers with the cool fall breeze filling the room. It was 7am. I little bit earlier than I like to wake up on a Saturday, but I was ready to get up.

As Tommy showered and got ready for work I thought about how I wanted to spend the day. Earlier in the week a client had brought muffins to my office from My Favorite Muffin bakery. I couldn't help think about that delicious muffin I had earlier in the week. As I googled the bakery I found it was in West Des Moines and also served breakfast sandwiches- my husband's favorite. I suggested we go eat breakfast there before he went to work as we had more than enough time since we had gotten up early. I saw my the look in my husband's eyes looking at me as if I were the world's greatest wife for the suggestion.

Tommy ordered the southern breakfast sandwich and I ordered 4 muffins to go. (Note: Tommy's sandwich was average but that was not going to ruin the moment because he was so happy to try something new). I ate one of my muffins (Cherry Cheesecake) for breakfast. It was FANTASTIC.

Tommy went to work and I returned back home. I decided I better head into work to get caught up on some things. On my way to work I finally got in touch with Mindy who I hadnt seen in a few weeks. She was at home with one of the baby triplets so I invited myself over to her house to see her and baby Teagan. I also still had my muffins with me so I gave her one. I almost felt like it was May Day in October and I was delivering muffins instead of baskets.

After visiting with Mindy I made it into the office around 1015. I got a lot of work done (not enough but a lot) and left the office around 3pm. I decided to wash my car on the way home and there was no line at the car wash! Tommy and I got home within minutes of each other. I had started cleaning the house and Tommy decided to help me out. I got a lot of things cleaned up that had been bothering me for a few days months. I love how much more work gets done when two people are doing it.

While cleaning I had gathered up some items that I needed to return. Tommy offered to go run errands with me to return those items. I love it when I run errands and come home with more money then I left with. Also, I made a stop at Baby Gap and picked up some maternity jeans and a few shirts. I had a 30% off coupon in my email making my shopping experience that much more enjoyable! (Note: I love the maternity clothes I have found at Gap. I'd like to find another place to shop but whenever I shop online for clothes they same either too expensive or not my style at all).

Lastly, Tommy and I knew what we wanted for dinner. We wanted Huhot. There were a few problems, however. We refuse to pay $12.99 per dinner unless it is a special occasion. Also, neither of us were really dressed appropriately to sit down for a decent dinner. We decided to pull out a trick we have done once before. Huhot to go. Unfortunately, tonight it was my turn to be the sacrificial lamb. See, when you order Huhot to go they allow you to fill two bowls per one order. They also give you the salad and rice to go. Two bowls is more than enough for my husband and I together. Therefore, by ordering to go we are essentially eating for half the price. The only problem is the embarrassment you suffer when you go into Huhot by yourself and get all that food to go. Last time we ordered Huhot to go it lead to a big argument as to who was going to go make a fool by being the one to go in and order. I knew Tommy expected me to go this time, and I didnt want to argue with him disappoint him. (Note: I would have felt a little more confident going in and getting all that food had I wore my wedding ring. At least then when the staff saw me getting all that food they could at least know that somebody loved me).

Tommy and I enjoyed our Huhot. And now as I finish up this blog Tommy almost has the laundry folded, and I'm feeling my daughter move around quite a bit in my stomach. (So far this is my favorite part of pregnancy the only thing I like about pregnancy).

Tommy had one of the muffins as a snack this afternoon. I'm excited that I get to enjoy the last one tomorrow morning for breakfast. I hope that will help make tomorrow A Perfect Sunday.