A Real Bento Box (Not Made By Me)

Day 180/181/182:

I read this book about water crystal formations a while back where when water was exposed to different words, positive and negative, the crystals formed could be beautiful or really hideous. I made a collage of my favorite crystals with their words written on them with Photoshop. It seems that I have been using this program a lot lately, which is good since it is a great photo editing program.

a traditional dinner Japanese bento box

Hmm so this is what a bento is supposed to look like?

I’m thinking of the dinner at the Japanese restaurant. I invited J-kun to it, but sadly he’s working so he’s not able to go. I’m bummed but it probably would have been awkward to invite him along. I always request for us to sit in one of the tatami rooms where its become obvious that my family is getting too big to sit under the low tables. I can barely fit underneath *pats stomach and thighs* but I was able to squeeze under. I laugh because my mom and dad just squeeze in together on one side but with all the food they ordered it looks like we needed a bigger table.

My parents are complaining about the sukiyaki hot pot they ordered. Either my dad doesn’t pull the meat out soon enough or he keeps adding too much that my mom can’t eat it all. I ordered the bento box and Jenny did something similar. Its funny since the boxes are huge but the portions are tiny. I giggle now because every time I made my signature bento for J-kun, I stuffed it with a decent amount of food. I bet I could cram most of this food in one tier along. 😛

The food is pretty good, but my parents argue a little too much which kinda ruins the atmosphere. The restaurant is pretty old so no one really uses the tatami rooms anymore and the waitresses don’t dress in kimonos since they are older now. I think this will be the last time I request to eat at this place.

We head over to check out the new Ferris wheel and try to take some pictures. Its really cloudy so we’re not having much luck. My dad takes some pictures, but his stance holding his phone, sticking his tongue out is amusing and my sister and my faces are just goofy by the time he snaps the picture. Oh well. 🙂


Thank You For Everything

Day 177/178/179:

Yesterday, my sister and I were looking through old pictures of us back when we were young and the world felt like it was so simple. She and I were pretty much inseparable, but we’ve learned to branch out. We did have fun giggling at the Brave movie which even though it was aimed towards kids it really hit a sweet spot with us. Our mom said she’s glad that we’re so close.

I’ve been working on a thank you card for a friend who got me through a hard time in a life. Without her help and advice, I probably would have never considered myself being able to ever get out of that confused state I was in.  I spent a couple of hours in Photoshop trying out my techniques I had learned in my class to create something that culminated all the moments we had and all the things we did to cheer me up and help me cope. The first bento box I made as a suggestion by her, the coffee and cupcakes we shared as a holiday treat, the looking to the future papers of my dreams for the next couple of years…..I was surprised I was able to fit so much pictures within a small area.

I gave her the card today and she smiled and told me it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever given her. I gave her a hug and she told me she was going to send me something that reminded her of me. I’m going to make sure I keep up with the tips she gave me and always try to think of the positives. Its amazing how far I’ve come and there’s only the future to look towards.

Thank you for everything!


Summer Festival & Birthday Cake

Day 175/176:

My design buddy, my sister and I head down early to a summer festival. Its cloudy with some ominous dark clouds, so we bring an umbrella hoping it won’t rain. When we arrive there is a performance of traditional drum playing which is loud and powerful. We’re towards the back of the seating area, but we can feel the drums pounding on our chest. We’re looking around at the food booths and decide to get some food later. Heading in through the local Asian grocery store we look around at all the food and specials. A lady is sampling BBQ pork with some hot mustard. We stay clear of the mustard, but take a toothpick with some juicy pork. My sister points out there were some sales outside the store so after we walk around we head back out to reexamine the food available.

I see a Hawaiian booth and start getting hungry when I smell the chicken and pulled pork. Unfortunately the ominous dark clouds prove to be rain clouds and the festival has turned into a rain festival. The water is coming down so much, you’re drenched if you don’t have an umbrella. Jenny and I head over to the food stand and I pay for a sampler plate as she holds the umbrella. My design buddy is waiting under the cover. We bring back a big plate of food and decide it would be easier to sit somewhere undercover instead of standing at the entrance of the store.

a birthday cake inspired by a video game

Animal Crossing fans, doesn’t this cake almost look like the one the characters get for their birthdays? 😀

The seats are soaked despite being undercover, but we laugh it off. A performance of traditional Hawaiian dancers is managing to still smile despite the rain. The crowd cheers them on while we quickly shove bits of hot pork, chicken and rice. The food is delicious, but the weather is unforgiving. We decide to call it a day and head home. I don’t think the rain stopped until later that night, after the festival was complete.

My sister insisted on making me a birthday cake so I told her I wanted a recreation of the Animal Crossing cake we see when we play on the Wii. A white (or maybe pink) cake with four green candles and six plump strawberries with a little placeholder that says “Happy Birthday” we assume. Either way, my sister manages to recreate the cake almost flawlessly. Its a dark chocolate cake with buttercreme frosting and each of us gets a strawberry which is nice.

Swimming in a Bowl of Salad

Day 173/174:

I’m finished with my work for school, but I headed down to see if I could straighten out what we were doing for orientations during the break. Even on my “break” I still was thinking about school. The dates for the orientation were moved back since the summer break was two weeks instead of the usual one week break since the 4th of July lands in the middle of the week. After smoothing out the plans my dad and I headed up to my gram’s house.

My gram is trying to recreate her lawn since there was this grass disease that just made it look horrible and brown in certain areas. She’s laid out some seeds and now there’s so much grass my dad literally has to mow it every five days or so since its getting so tall. It looks really nice though. My gram is happy since I haven’t been up to visit in a while and since my birthday is the next day she feels special being able to celebrate a pre-birthday with me.

chicken on a crisp salad

Warm chicken on a crisp Cesar salad!

We head to a seafood place (personally I’m not a seafood fan) so I order my usual chicken Cesar salad which is delicious. This place warms up the chicken so it melts in my mouth. I devour my whole salad before my dad and gram finish their sandwich and shrimp salad they split. My gram insists that I order some dessert and we tell the waitress that its my birthday. Later she brings out a huge ice cream sundae with a sparkling candle in a martini glass. I’m under 21, but I find it amusing as I’m taking so many pictures in the dimly lit dining room that my gram almost blows out my candle for me. I can see her eying my sundae and I ask for another spoon so she can have some.

After taking a couple of bites I am stuffed, wondering why I ordered such a monster of a dessert. Eventually my gram and dad help me finish it and we about roll to the car afterwards.

Today, which is officially my birthday, I head to the local pool up by my old high school. School is out for them since yesterday so the parking lot isn’t too packed. I wore some slip on shoes that rub into my feet since its starting to rain. By the time I’m ready to jump in the pool I have some nasty popped blisters on the insides of my feet. It stings a little as I begin swimming, but I only swim for about 35 laps or so. I’m out of shape and the pool is pretty crowded. I call my mom back and ask for a ride home. I really don’t want to wear my shoes on my blistered feet.

I’m hoping tomorrow is better since we’re going to a summer festival, my sister, my friend and I.

My Last Finals (Finally Completing 1 Year of College)

Day 170/171/172:

My birthday is coming up this week and I’m pretty excited. I’m not going to do anything to big, just spending the day with my close family and going to a local Japanese restaurant. My mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I’ve got my eye on this adorable little bento box.  The bento box resembles a little doll in a maid dress with brown hair and brown eyes, plus her name is Mari (almost like my name ♥).

I’m a little nervous though since the last time I looked at the price of ordering the bento box it raised up a couple dollars so now its starting price is over $20. Plus the bento box isn’t that big, but its bigger than the bento box I currently use. I’m finding it awkward to use J-kun’s bento box, even though I can fit so much food into it.

Yesterday I was watching some E3 with my sister. If you do not know what E3 is then you must not be a big gamer. My sister and I are not huge gamers, but we love to see what Nintendo is unveiling at their annual conference. More information about the WiiU makes us think that maybe we would want to get the new console. Only problem is what we would do with our other console, the plain Wii. We’ve had it for almost 4 years and it still works pretty great. An occasional flash of blue lights if the Wii wants us to play, but overall its a sturdy console.

Today I completed the rest of my finals. I submitted my professional writing paper yesterday. Today I’m working on my final exam for my online design class. I’m a little nervous, not because I haven’t taken an online final before, but I’m hoping my 7 weeks of learning Photoshop pays off.

I’ve finally completed my first year of college! I can’t believe a year has gone by so fast. I’m technically a sophomore level with all my credits, but I’m going to enjoy my two week summer break before I start up my summer term.

Yummy Mochi

Day 168/169:

We’re heading to a local Asian grocery store where my mom always loves picking up foreign items hoping that I might be able to translate even a slight bit of the writing. Of course most of the time she’ll pick up something that is not in Japanese, or when it is my limited skills only help me translate a couple parts. We usually rely on the labels of the prices to know what we’re really looking at. My mom and sister are hungry so they grab a couple packs of mochi (rice with red bean paste usually inside) since my sister and I have both eaten mochi at our food festivals back in middle school.

We notice a sign that says “Summer Festival” next weekend and I snap a quick picture with my phone. I’ve never been to one of the festivals, so it will be fun to come see how it is. My sister is bummed since we can’t find a specific fruit hard candy that we had bought about a year ago. She kinda throws a fit since my mom won’t stop looking when my sister realizes its hopeless. I grab some Ramune and we head out.


Father’s Day was pretty uneventful. My dad sat around the house watching golf and I stayed home (since I was finishing up work for class). My mom and sister came home late with groceries that my dad jokes saying we ordered a pizza. My sister does not find this amusing and almost stops making dinner when my dad insists that he was just joking. We eat some of the mochi we bought the day before and the face my dad makes as he takes his first bite into the mochi is priceless. A mix of a curious to a disgusted face when the soft pounded rice turns into the unfamiliar taste of red bean paste. We are laughing so hard that my dad in a mad dash out of the room leaves the rest of the mochi on the table.

Friendly Competition

Day 166/167:

I’m looking at the board writing some things down during the meeting. Its just Amanda and I in an empty classroom discussing Ambassador stuff. Amanda has gotten an internship so she will be soon passing her duties to me while she is gone. The boys are not at the meeting, but Marsil eventually pops his head in and asks if today we were actually having a meeting. We laugh because Marsil tricks J-kun into heading down to the meeting promising him of free food (which there is none).

I already have written quite a bit on the white board and I fill the boys in on what we’ve covered so far. Someone needs to help out with orientation on this day or pick up the food and prizes this day. J-kun announces that I have written his name on the board twice, something that I was not aware of. Great. An awkward moment where I erase one of the “J-kuns” I wrote up on the board where he continues to comment on the order of the names.

“Why am I after Marsil?” he asks as if it really matters the order of the names.
“At least you’re before Marissa,” Marsil mentions which brings a smile to J-kun’s face.
“At least I’m not last.” he says as if coming anything other than last is best.

I’m caught off guard for the rest of the meeting. Did I write his name twice anywhere else? I try not to stare too much at him since I haven’t seen him really at all since we went back to being friends. He tells me later that I must always be on his mind. The idea makes me blush which makes me relieved that he sends this message as a text and not something he says to my face.


The next night we (J-kun and I) are playing Tetris Battle trying to see who is the best at this game. Obviously, J-kun is highly competitive and hates losing and his quick reactions to the incoming bombs keep him the winner for all the games. I slowly lose rank and soon his level is much higher than mine after a couple of games. He logs off since he needs to get ready for work. I tell myself that I am going to have to practice my game and show him that I can win at Tetris as well.

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