Friday, March 30, 2012

March Photo A Day

Back in February I kept seeing Jessica post fun photos on Instagram with the hash tag #febphotoaday. That's how I discovered Chantelle's blog where she host a photo challenge each month.  I quickly jumped on the bandwagon and had a blast playing along in March!

Here are my photos from March!


 I'm excited to continue participating in April.  You should join us!  Here is the list for April

If you use Instagram, you can find me at BleuDressNJapan!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cookbook WINNER

Last week I finally got around to hosting a cookbook giveaway that I'd been planning for months.  Thanks to all 10 of you entered!  I used to choose a winner

The 6th comment was left by Sarah.


Friday, March 23, 2012


Today I had to say "see you again some day" to my dear friend Melissa

No matter how many times this happens, it never get easier!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A bunch of randomness {+ a GIVEAWAY!}

I'm having one of those moments where I wondering if it's possible to add one more thing to my plate!  Here's a recap of a few of the things that have been going on.

Remember about 16 months ago when I posted about missing my friends from FLW?  No, well you can read that post here.  I'm bringing this up again because I do still miss those friends but I won't have to miss them all for much longer!  One of our favorite couples in the whole world, Dave and Rachel,
is PCS'ING TO CAMP ZAMA!!!!!!!!  We could not be more excited about this!  I have no idea how I'm going to survive the next 4-5 months until they arrive!  We'll only have about 6-8 months together here but I'm sure we'll make the best of it!


Our spouses association here on base had a basket auction to raise funds for scholarships that will be given to Seniors of Zama American High School.  It was a 1920's theme and I had fun dressing up and we raised a TON of money!


Speaking of fundraisers,  I organized my 1st ever fundraiser as our unit's FRG leader.  I've never been in charge of anything like this before so I was a tad stressed out but I has some great help.  I'm sure things wouldn't have gone so smoothly without the awesome ladies who helped me!
 We had a line to purchase our chili and we sold out 11 Crock-pots in just over an hour
We raised over $700 and I'm so grateful to everyone for generously supporting our FRG.  Hopefully this will be enough for us to put on an awesome climbing trip to Mt Fuji this summer!


We found out that one of Jason's brothers is postponing his wedding.  This is bittersweet for me.  I'm bummed because we had already purchased Jason's $1800 ticket.  We'll be able to use it for another trip but we're going to be out a pretty hefty change fee.  I'm happy because I won't have to be away from home for 50+ days, I'll be here when my friends arrive and I'll be here for the big summer festival, Bon Odori.


I broke my wedding ring ={
 Thank God I noticed the broken prong before the diamond fell out!  I'm wearing the ring my mom wore when she was married to my father until I can get mine fixed.


I watched my Camp Zama BFF teach her last lesson to the wonderful Sagamihara Friendship ladies.  This is also bittersweet for me.  I'm so sad that she is leaving but I'm glad I'll get to see the ladies every week instead of just once a month.  Although, this means I have to plan more lessons which is what I should be doing right now instead of blogging.


Finally, I have to share my new favorite dessert with you.  The recipe comes from a cookbook I purchased a few months ago called "Dinner with Warriors".  It's a collection of recipes from soldiers who were wounded or KIA during the war on terror.  

I made this Oreo Delight that was submitted by the wife of Tom Echols who was killed December 4th, 2006 at the very young age of 21.
This dessert was so good and easy that I have made it 3 times in the last 10 days.  I totally understand why it was a favorite of Tom's.  It's my new go to dessert for put lucks!

I purchased 2 of these cookbooks with the intent of giving one away and I'm finally getting around to that!

If you'd like to win a copy of this cookbook all you have to do is leave a comment on this post saying so.  This giveaway will end at midnight EST on 25March12.  I will announce a winner the next day.  Good Luck!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fertility Festival {LOTS of photos!!!!}

Before I begin, I must advise that if this post had a rating, it would most likely be rated R.  If you have children around or are easily offended, I recommend you stop reading now.
Ok, here we go!  Sometime last year while searching for festivals in Japan I stumbled upon the Honen Matsuri festival held at the Tagata Shrine in Komaki , just north of Nagoya, and decided it was something I had to experience for myself.  The festival is held on the 15th of March each year.  I had signed up to go on a tour with my friend last spring but it was cancelled due to the earthquake.  This year, I finally got to go.  I went with the expectation that it was going to be like a bachelorette party with 100,000 people and got basically just that {with the unexpected addition of tons of perverse OLD men}.  The festival is held to ensure a plentiful harvest each year.  Not only is agricultural fertility celebrated but also human fertility.

There was some traditional Japanese entertainment

Including a samurai demonstration

and food {okonomiyaki, YUM!}

and beautiful plum blossoms in bloom all around the area.

Then there were PENISES!  Penises EVERYWHERE!

Penis good luck charms,
 penis...I don't know what these things were,
and penis suckers!

 {this woman's face absolutely cracks me up}
Of course we had to have penis bananas!  We wanted a photo so we stopped to take one and about 30 Japanese people decided they wanted a photo of the gaijins {foreigners}.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is on some very inappropriate Japanese website right now!
hours later we saw Japanese girls taking the same photo

After our snack, we headed over to where they had the portable shrine out on display before the parade and found this scene.
A mob of mostly older Japanese men were huddled around the shrine taking photos of anyone and everyone who was posing next to the shrine.  Not only were they taking photos but these 70 year old men {or around that age} were yelling some things in ENGLISH that I never would have guessed they would say out loud.  "Touch big dick", "kiss it", "pistol", "hug big dick", "smooth cock" are just a few of the ones I can remember right now.  We found it mostly comical because the Japanese are traditionally a pretty reserved and quiet society.

It was seriously like the paparazzi!
 This man was by far the most vocal of them all and of course he was wearing an Ohio State jacket.  Turns out he used to work in Ohio and that is where he apparently picked up all his dirty English words!
 After all of that nonsense we decided it was time to grab some lunch before the parade.  I LOVE Japanese festival food and I liked the way they had this set up.  They had a huge parking lot where they set out a ton of milk crates and we sat on those and used one as a table.
Part of the crew eating lunch.

After lunch it was finally parade time!

This man was sprinkling salt on the ground to purify the path.
 This is Sarutahiko-no-okami {a Japanese deity}

 They were followed by the rest of the parade

 Along the route, there were women passing out snacks.
Dried kelp and squid,
 and sake!
{yes, they were passing out free cups of sake and you could take more than one!}
 They were filling the cups from a giant barrel that was part of the procession.

 Next came the main attraction

 Once the portable shrine made it back to the Tagata Shrine,

it was time for the celebration ceremony which consisted of mochi throwing.

We weren't prepared for how competitive it was going to be.  Many people had baseball mitts and bags with them to catch and carry the mochi!

That part of the festival was a bit intense and some people compared it to a mosh pit {having been in many real mosh pits, this didn't actually compare, but like I said, we weren't prepared for the intensity that we witnessed}.

Finally, we boarded our bus for a 6.5 hour ride home.  It was an incredibly long day and I won't ever do this again but I'm glad I can say I had this experience!