Good Food, Memories, and a Merry Christmas in Okinawa

IMG_20141225_085602830Scrolling through the blogs I follow, I noticed everyone has already posted their Christmas goodies from their loved ones and their overall experience. Well, here I am to join in on the sharing of my day. After all, sharing is caring and I would like to think this day is dedicated to sharing and showing gratitude towards your loved ones. Oh and let’s not forget about the good food, laughter and the ever growing closeness of family. This year for me was a bit different. I am on Okinawa and not surrounded by my kin in my grandfather’s small, yet cozy house in Georgia.  My parents are big on family, so this year for them was the year of adjustment. For the next three years they will be celebrating birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other major Holidays on the lovely island of Okinawa. Although they didn’t have the chance to spend this holiday with their extended family, Christmas did not skip a beat.

 When I was younger the 25th of December brought joy to my heart. Mostly because I knew I would be receiving mounds of new gifts and goodies from Santa Claus. This year fIMG_20141225_090951749or me was different. I had been separated from my family for 6 months. Like my parents I am also big on family. My Christmas gift to myself was to be with family and enjoy the time we do spend together. On the 15th of December Ireceived my gift. I was reunited with my family and there was nothing more I wanted. When Christmas day arrived it was greeted like any other day. I was awaken to a Christmas card under my door from my father and a customized goodie bag from my mother. I followed my 15-year-old sister, Akayla, downstairs towards the Christmas tree. Since she is the youngest I waited for her to begin opening presents. I grabbed my phone and began recording the gift unwrapping.

IMG_20141225_085942893 Then it was my turn. As I said before I received my ultimate Christmas wish earlier in the week. I unwrapped a square-shaped gift labeled “from Mom & Dad” and to my surprise it was a Ipad Air (thank you mom & dad *smiling from sea to shining sea*). I reacted to this gift like a 5-year-old learning about them going to Disney World. (Watch my reaction here) The next gift I unwrapped was from Akayla, this gift truly surprised me. I am big on organic oils, clays and soaps. By nature it was only right she blessed me with organic soaps from Petaluna.

Petaluna is an organic soap andIMG_20141225_112132958 oil place located in Depot Island, a hot spot in American Village. Next up were two over-wrapped gifts by my father. In the over-wrapped rectangular package was a box of Russell Stover chocolates (thanks for gracing me dad) and in the over-wrapped square shaped box was perfume designed by Halle Berry.

 Quite the story on the perfume from my dad, he bought my little sister some fragrance by Beyonce. My little sister opened her fragrance before I opened mine. Knowing my father I thought he purchased us the same fragrance. Not the case. This is how he explained it, “I bought you Halle Berry because she is older. And you are the oldest. I got her Beyonce, because she is younger than Halle. And your sister is younger”. His thought process is obviously genius.

 Moving onto the dinner my parents graced my belly with. Naturally it was only right to indulge and over eat on food that took a day and night to prep. That is exactly what I did. My mother made her infamous macaroni and cheese with sides of sweet honey ham, dressing made by my dad and cabbage (because they are from the south). For dessert we were blessed with my mom’s chocolate cake and delicious pecan pie. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving was three weeks earlier and my parents have discontinued making huge dinners for both holidays.

 Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. A special thanks to the troops stationed in places where they can not reach their families for the holidays.

 Follow my Twitter (@betruenicole) and my Instagram (@brieeee_nicolee) and my other Instagram dedicated to the delicious Okinawa food (@onlyherefornakedfood) for more insights on my adventures on Okinawa.

Reunited with Family and it Feels so Good.

As many of you IMG_20141218_070534336[1]may know I have not seen my family since the beginning of August. Now I am home and there is nothing less than cheer as I reunite with my mother and younger sister for the holidays.

IMG_20141218_090002825[1]When my parents came to pick me up from the airport I was greeted with the warm kisses and hugs that I had been waiting for. It was a late flight and I arrived on Okinawa at 10 p.m. I had been on three planes for the past 20 hours, I was beyond ready for a cushioned bed. With the help of jet lag I was up at 4 am the next day and taking  two mid-day naps. Now 6 days later, I believe I have a sleeping schedule down.

Right away my wpid-img_20141218_090018889.jpgmother began telling me about the new activities she would like to indulge in. This includes going ice skating on Monday. I lived in Michigan for 5 years of my life and have never been ice skating. With that being said I am interested in the outcome of this mini adventure.

Keep checking in on my adventures on Okinawa.

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Update: I’m almost home

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In Tokyo. One more flight. 3 more hours.

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Just Hold On, Brie Coming Home.

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On my way back home to the sweet island of Okinawa. Update you all in 20 hours.