How to Avoid Getting Pregnant as a Married Couple

How to Avoid Getting Pregnant as a Married Couple

Not every couple wants to raise kids right away. Some couples desire to wallow in their married life first before parenting. While there are those couples who simply don’t want children at all. This is something others may look down upon. But who cares? The important thing is that the couple is on the same page. By the couple, I mean me and my husband.

We have been under the same roof for almost 5 years now and I’m proud to say that we have been childfree from the get-go. We intend to keep it that way. How do we do that? It’s actually not as difficult as you might think. Since it’s our decision to not reproduce, we do it with full commitment and cooperation. It’s really important to be open and honest with each other. These are the methods that worked or have been working for us. 

Oral Contraceptives

I was on the pill around 4 years ago but I had to discontinue maybe after a year because birth control pills are not available over-the-counter here in Japan. That time, my husband had to buy them online but I was really doubtful about the brand’s authenticity. Also I was experiencing a few minor side effects. But even if I religiously took the pills, we were still both careful during sexual intercourse. This leads us to the next method.

Pull Out Method

Also known as withdrawal method. It’s exactly what it sounds like: your partner has to pull his penis out of your vagina before he ejaculates. My husband does this all the time unless it’s our “safe day”, which means I am not ovulating so it’s safe for him to cum inside me. This method should be done correctly every single time. Ejaculation must be done away from your vagina. I give my whole trust to my husband in this method. He just knows what to do. If you can’t trust your partner with this one, don’t do this! You can still do this but be sure you are days away from your ovulation period.

Condom

We don’t use this now as much as we did before.  When we do use this, my husband still does the pull out method. Or we only use this when I am not fertile. So when there’s a slip up, we’re still safe.

Abstinence from Sex

This is the best method I should say. We just don’t have sex all the time and most especially when my body is telling me that I’m ovulating. After the pill, my menstruation has been regular and I have a period tracking app that’s very useful for me. When the app notifies me of my ovulation period and alerts me that there’s a high chance of getting pregnant, I relay the message to my husband. So we abstain from sex until we are in the clear. And we’re totally okay with it because sex isn’t everything in marriage. Sexual intercourse isn’t the only way to build intimacy. I’d be lying if I said we didn’t get sexually aroused from time to time. Of course, humans as we are, we do get this feeling but we have other ways to release that tension. Safe and clean, take note of that.

As a conclusion, women have the most vital role so you have to pay close attention to your body. Educate yourself with facts. You must know when you are fertile or not because that’s what it’s all about. It’s your responsibility to be aware of it especially if you don’t want an unplanned pregnancy. Then communicate well with your husband. It takes discipline to make this possible. At first it was a little scary but I’ve learned a lot. We have learned a lot over the years. Doing this has taught us to be more attentive to each other. Others might think it’s a boring sex life, but their opinions don’t matter to me. We are content with our life and that’s what matters most.

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Guide to Buying Flour in Japan

Guide to Buying Flour in Japan

I’ve developed a lively interest in baking lately. I never thought I could do such intensely satisfying activity. If I shoot from the hip, I’m a bit of a lazybones but when it comes to baking, I turn into somebody else. Quite the opposite, I guess. When I’m in the kitchen, I become someone who I never thought I could be given my past experiences of cooking burnt fried eggs or hotdogs. One can learn new skills if willingness is there and that’s as sure as eggs is eggs. Now let’s talk about flour!

When I first tried buying flour at a Japanese supermarket, I almost took the unsuitable one. The images printed on the packaging are pretty similar but these flour are actually intended to be used for specific purposes. The prices and quality vary from shop to shop.

If you’re new to the baking world, here’s a quick guide for your stress-free Japanese flour shopping:

All-purpose flour – plain flour/ weak or soft texture / for general purpose
Depending on the recipe, you can use this for making okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake), fried dishes, some sweets, or noodles.

japanese all purpose flour

Cake flour – very fine texture/ good for cakes, cupcakes, scones, biscuits, and muffins

japanese cake flour

Bread flour – made of hard wheat/ strong structure/ best for bread baking

japanese bread flour

Wheat Flour (elastic flour) – similar to all-purpose flour but smoother and more spreadable
Best for cookies and meunière dishes.

japanese wheat flour

These are just few of the commonly used flour in Japan. There are actually a lot more. It gets a bit confusing sometimes. Not to mention the different brands. If you can’t read Japanese yet, just try to memorize the characters that you see on the packaging. Or you can screenshot these pictures so you can compare with the other brands that are available at your nearest supermarket.

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I tried Maangchi’s Jjapaguri with Steak Recipe!

I tried Maangchi’s Jjapaguri with Steak Recipe!

Also known as ramdon which is a made-up name from the Oscar-winning Korean film, Parasite. I haven’t watched it yet but I’m definitely going to watch it once it shows at the nearest cinema. Foreign movies mostly come late here in Japan.

This instant noodle dish took the internet by storm when the movie became a big hit after being released in May last year. The foodie in me just couldn’t stop wanting to try it. The first time I tried it following a channel on YouTube that I don’t want to name, it just didn’t taste right for me.

So for the second time, I decided to try Maangchi’s recipe. If you’re into watching cooking videos, you must have bumped into her YouTube channel many a time. She’s renowned for delivering cooking videos centered around Korean cuisine.

It’s super easy to do. You just have to get your hands on the 2 popular Korean instant noodles, Jjapagetti (짜파게티, labelled as Chapagetti in English) and Neoguri (너구리). The beef is added to upgrade the dish. There’s a story behind it in the movie which I really want to witness myself.

If you’re in Japan, you can get these noodles at some Korean shops located in Shin-Okubo in Shinjuku. Another option is Amazon Japan. The brand is Nongshim. A good one, I should say.

Maangchi’s recipe gave me the flavor I wanted. I was able to taste the distinct flavors of each noodle. The combination wasn’t overpowered by the steak. For the dish not to turn dry, she recommends to add a cup of the strained hot noodle water which I particularly imitated. It absolutely worked. In the movie, they used top-quality Korean hanwoo beef which I couldn’t get at our local supermarket. I just substituted it with some Australian beef. By adding a little butter, the beef tasted rich and yummy. I am well aware that it isn’t a healthy dish but I really enjoyed it! It’s something I’d like to have every once in a while.

What do you think about this dish? Have you tried it?

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