Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pep Boys Auto Parts Replacements

     On December 29, my husband also took his car to Pep Boys to get some auto parts replaced. Toyota detected that the power steering return line hose was leaking by their inspection, so he was going to get the hose replaced as well. However, Pep Boys told him that the power steering hose wasn't leaking at all; in fact, the transmission oil cooler hose was leaking. I think Toyota might have miswritten the result of the inspection. :( Today, all replacements were done this evening.

The description of the replacements is...
Replace Valve Cover Gasket for $138.50
Tune-up Package for $103.38
Front Brakes Basic Plus for $252.51
Rear Brakes Basic Plus for $134.99
Fluid Leak Evaluation for $31.49
Remove & Replace Oil Coo for $105.93
Transmission Oil Cooler for $16.19

     The total replacements fee was $782.99 plus tax. In addition, Pep Boys offered their $60 rebate for getting Brake Service done. It will end up being $722.99 after the rebate. Considering that Toyota quoted $1,527.88 plus rotor price for all, Pep Boys did the entire job at great price. :)

    If you are planing on getting auto service done at Pep Boys, check their site first. They always offer many coupons. Auto service is always very expensive, so it will end up being huge discounts with a coupon. My husband saved $87.01 with using a 10% off coupon today.

Monday, December 30, 2013

All the Replacements Were Done

     Last Saturday, my husband and I took my car to Pep Boys for some auto parts replacements, and we picked up my car next day.

The description of the replacements is...
Rear Wiper Blades Installed for free (regularly $23.38)
Computerized Wheel Alignment for $71.99
Dayco Serpentine Belt for $34.18
Remove & Replace Power Steering Pump Drive Belt for $115.56
3 Step Pro Fuel Pkg (E.F.T) for $80.99
Brake Clean & Adjust for $26.99
Tune Up Package (Spark Plugs) for $93.75
 Pepguard Limited Extend for $26.61
Serp Belt for $29.06

      Toyota's estimate was $697.29, but we paid $479.13 to Pep Boys, so we saved $218.16. It still cost a lot for the replacements though. However, maintaining your own car periodically is crucial to prevent driving trouble. If your car suddenly breaks down, it will cost more money and waste of your precious time.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Body Shop Haul

     Today, my husband and I went to the Body Shop at Irvine Spectrum Center. I'm going to share with you what I got there.

      As I mentioned in my previous entry, what I wanted to buy there today was body butter. I thought they were having great deals for some body butter. This Cranberry Joy Body Butter was originally $20 but was on sale for $5! It came out 75% off. This body butter has sweet and fruity scents, which were great. :)

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Butter 6.7 OZ / 200ml

     I only have two the Body Shop body butter so far. Because I have dry skin, I apply lotion my entire body every day all year long. These will be an absolute life-saver for me.

Shea Body Butter & Cranberry Joy Body Butter

Shea Body Butter & Cranberry Joy Body Butter

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Costco Haul - Philips Sonicare AirFloss

     On December 22, my husband and I went to Costco to have my tires rotated. That's why we walked in Costco and unexpectedly found that Sonicare AirFloss was on sale there. We didn't know that they sell Sonicare AirFloss. We were going to buy two Airfloss at Target that day! We were lucky because Costco was obviously selling ones much cheaper. Target was selling one for $79.99 ($159.98 for two) , and Costco was selling two pack AirFloss with two extra nozzles and two tongue cleaners for $99.99 with a $20 instant saving!          
Philips Sonicare AirFloss

      I hadn't been interested in Sonicare Airfloss at all before or had never heard of it, but we decided to try it because his colleague who has been keeping his oral health in good nick for decades told him that using Sonicare AirFloss was the most effective way to keep his good oral health.
Philips Sonicare AirFloss
     However, Airfloss is not reasonable comparing to normal dental floss because its nozzle needs to be replaced every six months. In addition, I read some reviews that it's more likely to break in a few months or years. However, Sonicare is offering their two and half year warranty, so I don't have to be worried about it too much. :) Unlike Japan, dental treatment cost is way too expensive in the U.S., so I think that investing money for oral hygiene products ends up actually being saving a huge amount of medical fee.
Philips Sonicare AirFloss
      We use AirFloss with only mouthwash, so we began to run out of mouthwash more quickly than ever before. Many people have left reviews that normal dental floss is more effective than AirFloss, but it is perfect for people who don't like flossing, and their oral hygiene has really improved. We noticed that using AirFloss is more fun than using ordinary floss, so we began to use it once or twice a day even though I didn't use to like flossing before. (Unlike me, he never skipped flossing though.) By using it for a week now, my husband has told me that his gingival bleeding has stopped. Apparently, his gums are getting healthier and healthier by using it. We are looking forward to our next dental checkup.
Philips Sonicare AirFloss

Philips Sonicare AirFloss

Philips Sonicare AirFloss

Philips Sonicare AirFloss

     Sonicare shows the clinical studies which are "Removes 99% more plaque biofilm between teeth than brushing with manual toothbrush alone >" and "Gently and effectively helps improve interproximal gum health in just two weeks >."

     My entries related Costco can be seen here.

Friday, December 27, 2013

CVS Haul - Almay Lip Balm

     I went to CVS to buy Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm this week. Almay cosmetics were on sale at CVS through December 24. CVS was offering a great deal that when you buy two Almay cosmetics; you can get a $5 Extrabucks Rewards for next purchase. These Almay lip balms were $5.99 each, so the total price was $11.98. I used a $5 off coupon with purchasing two Almay products, so I ended up paying $6.98 and got a $5 Extrabucks Rewards. It came out $1.98 for two lip balms. I thought it was a pretty great deal!
Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm
700 Cantaloupe Cream & 600 Blooming Balm
     I picked up the 700 Cantaloupe Cream and the 600 Blooming Balm. After coming back home, I tried them. These are really confusing me because these are lip balm but look like lip gloss. The texture is watery like lip gloss but is not too sticky. Almay lip balm moisturizes my lips but does not last very long. Even though the packages are very colorful, these lip balms are not as pigmented as I expected. These give only a light tint on your lips. I am impressed with the adorable package but am not satisfied with its pigmentation. I can't see the differences between these two colors on my lips.

     My entries related to beauty can be seen here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Body Shop Haul

     Last week, I found that the Body Shop was giving away a coupon, which was a $10 off with purchasing $20 more. Because I wanted to try their body butter some day, I didn't want to miss out on that deal. Therefore, I went to the Body Shop and bought some products there. I'm going to share with you what I got there.

     I checked their body butter section and smelled each scents. I finally chose this Shea Body Butter. It was originally $20 but was on sale for $12.
The Body Shop Shea Body Butter 6.75 OZ / 200ml

      I also bought this Absinthe Purifying Hand Gel. It was originally $2 but was on sale for $1.20.
The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Gel 2.0 FL OZ / 60ml

     I also wanted to buy some hand soap for my friends. I picked up these Absinthe Purifying Hand Washes. These were originally $10 each but were on sale for $6 each.
The Body Shop Absinthe Purifying Hand Wash 8.4FL OZ / 248ml

     The total sale price was $25.20, but I paid them for $15.20 plus tax with using a $10 coupon. I thought these were great deal. :)

     From today, they were selling selected $20 body butter for $5. It's another great deal! I'm not sure if I go back to the store again because I already bought one, but I think I should try other scents. Hmm...

Coconut Shimmer Body Butter

Limited Edition Papaya Body Butter

Passion Fruit Body Butter

     My entries related to beauty can be seen here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Newport Beach Christmas Lights

     Last Sunday, my husband and I went to Balbola Island to see Christmas lights. Because that day was on the day of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, so it was very crowded and hard to find parking space. We arrived early in Balbola Island at 3:30 p.m., but it took us 30 minutes or so until we parked there.

     There was the beautiful huge Christmas tree at Newport Beach Fire Station.

     After seeing many beach houses with luxury beautiful Christmas decorations, we got on a Balboa Island Ferry to go across the harbor. The ferry fare only cost a dollar each person.


     Many yachts and boats were decorated gorgeously and played Christmas music.

     At the Newport Beach Fire Station, the Christmas tree was lit up beautifully.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree


      Recently, I have been often listening to this song, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, which is one of the most famous Christmas songs in the world. According to Wikipedia, this song was first recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958 when she was 13. Many artists have covered this song since then.


Rockin' around the Christmas tree
At the Christmas party hop,
Mistletoe hung where you can see,
Every couple tries to stop,
Rockin' around the Christmas tree,
Let the Christmas spirit ring,
Later we'll have some pumpkin pie,
And we'll do some caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,
Voices singing, "Let's be jolly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly",
Rockin' around the Christmas tree,
Have a happy holiday,
Everyone dancin' merrily,
In the new old-fashioned way.


You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,
Voices singing, "Let's be jolly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly",
Rockin' around the Christmas tree,
Have a happy holiday,
Everyone dancin' merrily,
In the new old-fashioned way.

     Today's Vocabularies

 carol (verb) : to sing Christmas songs

 jolly (adjective) : joyous, happy

 deck (verb) : 飾る

 hall (noun) : 玄関

 holly (noun) : ヒイラギ

 merrily (adverb) : 〔態度が〕楽しく、陽気{ようき}に、愉快{ゆかい}

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hollister Haul

     Last week, I ordered some clothing for myself from Hollister because they were offering free shipping on any purchase. I'm going to share with you what I got there.

     This navy blue tee was originally $24.50 but was on sale for $8.58. I liked that its front was shorter and the back was longer. It has beautiful lace trims at sleeves.

1,000 Steps Beach Tee

     This navy blue long sleeve tee was originally $24.95 but was on sale for $7.49. I liked the fact that their long sleeve tees are always super long. When I was in Japan, it was hard for me to find one which was perfect for my sleeve length. It's because my arms are longer than the typical Asian standard. When I purchased winter clothing in Japan, I always needed to check its length first. In contrast, my Japanese friend who is shorter than me told me that sleeves in the U.S. is always too long for her.
Arch Bay V Neck T-Shirt

     This sky blue tee was originally $17.95 but was on sale for $6.28. There is Orange County logo print on it. Hollister sometimes makes clothing with symbolizing Southern California beach names or city names, but I have never seen Orange County logo with Hollister clothing, so I thought I should buy it. :)
Seagrove T-Shirt

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Free Tire Rotation at a Costco Wholesale Tire Center

     My husband and I went to Costco to get my tires rotated this morning. Because I bought my tires at Costco on November 2010, they have been providing my tire rotation for free since then. We are really satisfied with their Lifetime Maintenance Services, which include inflation pressure checks, tire balancing, tire rotations, as well as flat repairs.
     We arrived at the Costco Wholesale Tire Center at 10:15 a.m., and it was not crowded. All I needed to do for my tire rotation was telling them my Costco number and my car model, and they nicely accepted my request as usual. My husband asked the technician if they open next Sunday because he also wanted to get his tires rotated next week. The staff told us that they open as usual except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day and that it's usually slow the day before and after Christmas, so that's why today was not crowded at all. During tire rotations, we shopped at Costco and grabbed quick lunch at their food court. I was surprised that many tables were unusually empty at 11:30 a.m. while it was crowded inside the store as usual. It was the last Sunday before Christmas Day, so I assumed that the reason why the food court was not crowded was that many people were busy due to preparing Christmas party or something like that.
     They finished rotating my tires at 12:30, and we picked up my car. Next week, we will take our cars to an auto repair shop to get some auto parts replaced.

     My entries related Costco can be seen here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oil Change and 21 Point Inspection

     Today, my husband and I took our cars to Toyota for oil change and 21 point inspection. It cost $42.62 for each car. It's been 20 months since we got a car inspection there, so it's about time. Besides, I'm going to drive long distance for commuting from next month, so I wanted to get my car inspected later this year. 

     As the results of the inspection, his car become apparent that something needs to be replaced before too long. Toyota quoted...
rotors for (?),
front brake for $479.88,
brake fluid exchange for $149,
clean and adjust for $57,
power steering hose for $369,
spark plugs for $169,
valve cover gasket for $235, and
cabin air filter for $69.
     The total estimated price of Toyota was $1,527.88 plus rotor price. He took his car to another car repair shop and asked for quotation. They quoted $685 plus a power steering hose price. He already made an appointment for getting the job done next week.

     Toyota also recommended me to get something replaced for my car. They quoted...
rear wiper Insert for $5.77,
drive belt for $212.97,
alignment for $109.55,
E.F.T service for $135,
clean and adjust (shoes) for $55, and
spark plugs for $179.
     The total estimated price of Toyota is $697.29. It will cost a lot of money, so I took my car to another auto repair shop and asked for the quotation. They quoted $478.36. I haven't decided where to take my car yet, but I will finish getting all replacement done this year.

     I'll take my car to Costco for tire rotation tomorrow morning. Because I've bought my tires at Costco, they provides the lifetime services which include inflation pressure checks, tire balancing, tire rotations, as well as flat repairs for free. Which means that alignment fee, which Toyota quoted $109.55, will be free. (Update: Costco does not do wheel alignment!)