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Monday, December 7, 2009

I have been busy, but you can watch this while I get my groove back

First up: Jake Shimabukuro, Rambler and I went to High School with this guy. So proud of him.

Some Hawaiian Hula from the Merrie Monarch Festivals.....enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If you have a cat, you'll crack up at this......

Check this out......ha ha ha larious!


Home Made Note Cards, perfect for the holidays!

A project you and your kids can do!

Take the beautiful finger paintings from your kids and copy them and cut them to fit a note card. Here is my tutorial on a Tuesday tip jar that you can follow to make your own.
The tutorial is from Feb. for my daughters bday cards.

1.Pack of Blank Cards w/envelopes (50 pack for 5.00)

2.Wallet size prints from Costco: 13 cents each(4 on each page) (for 50qty)=$1.25
(added note about costco: you can upload your pics online to the warehouse and pic it up in the hour.....time saver!!!!I do this before every Costco trip.)and of course you can get this done at any photo print place like W-Mart, but I like Costco better, better service, cheaper, and better quality prints. can take those fingerpaintings and have them copied in color at your local printer for 29 cents a page cut those into smaller unique croppings.

3. Glue stick (50 cents for 1 stick) this is a regular craft glue stick the one I got said
"Really Sticky Glue Stick" and is Non-toxic

4. Scissors or Paper cutter(you should already have this) to cut the wallet pics for the front of each card=free or cost of scissors....but you really should have this in your home anyway. =)

Total time to cut, and stick the pictures to the cards: 30 minutes
(because I have a slide cutter, add probably another 30 minutes for scissors)

Total cost for 50 personal cards: $6.75!!!!!
I also spent an additional 2.95 on getting personal stickers with Violets picture on it to seal the envelope(I hate licking the backs....due to an episode of Seinfeld....).
The stickers are super cute and make a nice touch.

*There is additional time in making your special messages for the inside of the card:
* You can print on special paper, cut and paste to inside of card
*Write your own special messages on the inside(this is what I did)
*You can also glue little bows and confetti pieces if you want......(to be honest: its cute, but people who aren't prepared for it when they open the card, hate the clean up if you don't glue it down....I hate glitter myself, so I won't do that either.)

I went to a craft store called Pat Catans in Pittsburgh, but you can find these items in most craft stores. I also used these same blank cards to make my daughters Gifts from the Charity Blog for Cancer back in December using color printed copies of her artwork.

*I found that after I did this with the wallet print pictures that people peeled them from the cards and put them on their fridge, so it made some use after the event.

Ta Da!!!!! My first Tip...of my own
You may have a better faster cheaper Tip on Creating your own cards...share it in a tip jar and don't forget to let me know about it.

Thanks, and Your Welcome!

P.S. It really is pretty fast and cheap
I keep a bunch of the blank cards w/envelopes on hand all the time so when an unexpected or expected occassion comes up I can whip up a card without carting the kids off to the store to buy one!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Unfinished Project #1 Monkey, Tulips, and a Tree Branch

Monkey's and Tulips. I have been working on this project for at least a year. Most of that time was not devoted to the project but to the procrastination in me. I find that I have been much more motivated since I left my job. Yes, I left. No, they didn't fire me, or lay me off. That's all I will say. Either way, I have had a lot of opportunities to make the right decisions and finish some things I have been meaning to complete, but "did not have the time to do it". What I have learned from all this time is that, I had the time to do it all along, I just did not have the motivation. Procrastination keeps me from completing the really important things and now I have no excuse (except money.....haha, don't we all).

So now. With help from the Motivation Station as one of my inspirations. I am cleaning up my life, my house and my unfinished projects. I think I will have to note the unfinished projects in my life, share them with you, and learn along the way. Maybe on Tuesdays.......Cause today is Tuesday and I am posting today. =)....."probably once a week on a non specific day".....(says the procrastinator in me).

Unfinished project #1. The Tapestry of Monkey over Tulips.
To Heather and Sophie with Love!

The Tulips and the Tree:

I used Blanket stitching through out the piece and am considering going over it all again with a machine stitch to give it strength. Tell me what you think. I didn't use a pattern, just my imagination and some scissors. I had a lot of scrap material and decided to use it this way. I started with the tulips and then I wanted to add more. I had no idea what I would do with it or what I would add to it. After makin the tulips, I wanted more. I added the tree branch the circles for the leaves and than found a large empty space between the two. If I dedicated time, this probably would have only taken about 20 total hours.

The Monkey:

I made a pattern that started from this picture of the monkey I drew. I did this by selecting a proportionate size to the amount of space left in my tapestry. I drew this image larger on a piece of thick brown paper I had in the house and made sure to make each part of the monkey very simple. Cut out each piece of the monkey in parts (tail, arms, hands, legs, feet, bottom half of head, top half of head, ears, body making sur to lable the top side and also noting ends like right arm, top side, this side attached to hand, or this side attached to body.) Than I pinned the paper parts to the tapestry to make sure it looked right. Once that was done, I pinned the parts to the fabrics that were going to be used for the final piece. Once all were cut, pin the cloth parts back onto the Tapestry and place all the paper pattern parts in a plastic ziploc, in case I wanna do this again.....But lets finish one project at a time, right Martha? =)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Violet and Hummus

You will need:

1. $4 mini food processor bought during black friday sales at Walmart in 2008.
2. bread that will be going bad any day now from "sitting too long on the shelf disease"
3. Toaster Oven for #2 Bread
4. A Daughter named Violet
5. Knife to cut toast
6. About 10-25 minutes (depending on distractions from small children)Recipe Like this one taken from here.
  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.

Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).

She Loves It!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Google lied to me.....

I have been visiting family in Boston. Really great time with little munchkins and their cousin B. Drive from Pittsburgh to Boston.....BTW, Google lied to me. They said the trip would only take 9hrs and 26 minutes. It actually took 13 hours. The hour of stops still left me with an extra 3 hours of trip time that Google lied to me about. Shame on you Google.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I wanted so badly to tell you all about this amazing moment I had a few weeks back. My life was touched by the action of others. I will start with a picture:

Her name is Sophia.

On September 24th, 2009 we received a knock on our side door. It was a friend of ours Dave. He said he had run into a couple of bike riders from NY and that he invited them to come to our house for a nice bonfire in the city. We have a great view and a cozy backyard with plenty of seating. So this became an impromptu gathering of friends to welcome two strangers. When they arrived it was just a nice sit down and chatting, then they told us the story of Sophia.

"Sophia has Spinal Muscular Atrophy"

What is this we asked?

In her case she has a form of SMA that is diagnosed to be terminal in the first 2 years of her life.

They are riding from NY to California to raise money for a clinical trial being done in California. As they ride for a cure for Sophia they are also sending off Ryan as he readies himself for the Marine Corp which he reports to in November.

I didn't know anything about this disease, I had never heard of it before this encounter.

The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. It is a relatively common "rare disorder": approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

SMA affects muscles throughout the body, although the proximal muscles (those closest to the trunk of one’s body - i.e. shoulders, hips, and back) are often most severely affected. Weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding and swallowing can be affected. Involvement of respiratory muscles (muscles involved in breathing and coughing) can lead to an increased tendency for pneumonia and other lung problems. Sensation and the ability to feel are not affected. Intellectual activity is normal and it is often observed that patients with SMA are unusually bright and sociable. Patients are generally grouped into one of four categories, based on certain key motor function milestones.

Sophias Story can be read here:

The journey of the two riders can be read here: or linked to through the main site above. I wanted to write this to ask to spread the word. Maybe someone can help them more than the few dollars I have to offer, Maybe I can spread the word to those who stop by here. Maybe by writing this someone will become inspired to say something to others that can make a difference and Maybe, just Maybe they can find a cure for Sophia.

Ryan and Dennis, May you find a grand adventure on your journey to California!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I finally have something to contribute to Wordless Wednesday!

Yes, that is MY hand! =)

Friday, October 16, 2009


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Giuseppe's Homemade Eggplant Parmesan

Decided to make this, and decided to follow this guys tutorial. =) I myself am lucky to have bought "C" a Mandolin for xmas one year....however, I decided to cut it up with a knife. I was always too intimidated by the awesome eggplant, as it doesn't resemble anything we ever made when I was a kid. It was extremely easy, and it was totally Yum. I would like you to enjoy the fantastic editing and music used in this video. =) No matter what the food it delicious!

Next I need to work on my cooking of the Butternut Squash. I hear you need to skin it, cube it and roast it. What is your suggestions for this dynamic gourd. I am used to seeing gourds dried out and made into some sort of musical instrument, like the "ipu":

Maybe you have a really great recipe also, let me know what it is.

I would show you the yummy result of my eggplant cooking, but we ate the evidence with friends before I remembered to document it. =) Haha, it really was yummy.

How do you like the new header? =)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rant: I have to get something off my chest....

I am an avid reader of The New York Times. Mostly I try to inform myself on the world news from them and keep up on some politics. I am not the most informed person, but feel as though I am not a misinformed one. Today there was a topic of discussion regarding the loss being felt in families involved in IVF and other forms of Infertility treatment. First off, I must say that I will not voice my direct opinions here regarding Infertility, Reductions, Abortion, or other strongly viewed topics. It is not the place for that. What I do want to mention is that in reading the article a family was mentioned and along with the name of the family was the announcement that they have a blog. Through a form of infertility treatments this family found themselves with 6 formed fetuses. The doctors recommendation was to reduce the numbers of fetuses through selective reduction and allow a more probable full term for those selected to remain. Now again, I am not stating this to debate here any of the many debatable issues raised, I am sincere in that. The family lost 3 of their 6 children after preterm labor. Had the funeral for these children, and then found themselves on the NYT. They lost yet another child yesterday and so the debate began....sadly it began on the blog of the mothers announcement that she shared with her readers that little Ashlyn had lost her fight with Yeast Pneumonia.

Here is my angst. I feel so disgusted with people that find it is an appropriate place to make statements of "look what you've done" and "this is all your fault" and "Are you happy now" or "you just want to be on Reality TV". The Stansel family is grieving for their four young children and I find it appauling that this is the moment someone feels inclined to throw their grief in their faces. Of course ALL of the negative comments came anonymously with no allowable way of responding to them. This I feel makes for cowardice actions. If you can so proudly speak your views then why hide them from the public on who is saying them?

Why do people feel as though through anonymoty it is okay to voice inappropriate comments to anyone. What if this were your own family, your friends or yourself.

Regardless of my own views I stopped by to give the family my condollences as they grieve a great loss. There is no question that this family loved these children. They were not specimens to them with letter designations of Baby "A" "B" "C"....and so on. They had names, hearts, a family, a mother, father and siblings.

In Blog land, I think it would be nice to realize that there should still be respect for each other, each others views, and realize that this still falls under social protocol. You don't have to agree with those that you pass, but that doesn't mean "free for all" to tear them to the smallest pieces. Arguments can be made intelligently and with great respect for others. If you wouldn't say it directly to someone face to face, then don't say it at all.

Thats my Rant,
Sorry if I offended anyone, I just needed to get this off my chest.

Squeel! We have a winner!

I want to say thank you for the visitors this last week, also for those of you that have stopped by over the last year.....can you believe it, I correspond with some of you more than I do some family and friends. That reminds me, I have to call my grandma!

So here is the winner:

You may recognize her from my sidebar. I am so excited she is a winner! yippey!
A Duck in Her Pond is a fantastically unique blog that includes stories and happenings from the published writer Miranda Koerner. I stop by there to read such neverending stories as Twirl, The Old House on Elm Street, The Gift and The Coconut Queen. But that's not all! She writes of Waffles, Peanut Butter and Ribs...BBQ that is! She is worth the follow. So props to her win, and I humbly will send her the prize wondering if she will use it to warm her Bitty and Bear during the cold winter months after they have a long day of adventures. Congratulations Queen of the Pond, you deserve it!


My email address to give me the place to mail it is antibloggedy (at) gmail (dot) com I hear this is how you must put your contact email now as there are computer programs that seek out the email links on peoples pages and automatically use them to send spam (no, not the meat in the can!) and other non-interesting emails!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sudoku Puzzle for you today....Get your Brain Muscles a work out.

Before you play, If you wanna win the rice warming pad, go Here and post a comment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Giveaway A warming thought

I want to show my appreciation to my blog buddy readers and what better appreciation than the gift of warmth! Its a warming pad (homemade of course!).

Winner announced next week Monday 10/12/09. I will choose my winner randomly by scientific elimination (name on paper, placed in box, shaken around, kid pulls out name, winner announced) I am not fancy but it gets the job done. Promise to be fair.

Please Place your comment and say hello, that's all! Comments left on this post prior to Mondays drawing will be given an entry. One entry per blogger. =)

Heres the quick tutorial (by no means am I a pro):

(supplies I used) I used cotton Fabrics because they work best with mild heat.

8x4 approximate fabric cut of corduroy

9x5 approximate fabric cut of your choice patterned/plain fabric

Sewing Machine, Scissors, 1/2 cup-1 cup rice.

You can make this in any size, but as you make it bigger you will need more rice.

Step 1-3 Making the bag that holds the rice
Step One:
Make a fabric pocket to hold the rice. Take your corduroy or other cotton material, fold over and stitch close two of the three open sides. You should have one opening for the rice to be poured into.

Step Two:
With your pocket, fill the pocket with approx 1/2 cup to 1 cup rice so the pocket is filled less than half full. You don't want the bag to be filled all the way for several reasons.
A> You want the bag to lay flat and the rice should be able to extend throughout so it is comfortable and as flat as possible
B> Your bag will distribute a better heat source when it is not as full, providing you with more comfort and using less time in the microwave.

Step Three:
Stitch your sides closed. I make sure to do a double stitch (meaning I used the reverse setting on my sewing machine and go back over my first line of stitching). There might be a sewing technical term for this, but I don't know it the way pro's know it, I guess.

Step 4-5 Making the "pillow case":
*NOTE: The pillow case is there to provide a washable cover.*

Step Four:
Take your 9x5 cotton Fabric (use your favorite pattern or plain color for design). You will stitch on all four sides to create a hem.

Step Five: Fold over the two sides to where they meet and have a slight overlap and stitch this on both sides so you create a case that has an opening for your heat pad.

You are done! All you have to do now is put your rice bag and place it in your pillow case!

For a mild moist heat, place this in the microwave for approximately 1 minute. DO NOT GET WET!!! The Moist heat is natural. Be careful, due to different microwaves you may need to increase this time or decrease this time. Please be careful not to make the bag to hot, because when you put it on your skin it could be too hot! (you know all that It's common sense stuff) is more: Don't place this on young children...Use COMMON SENSE! Make sure it is not TOO HOT! let cool down if you think it is too hot, before use.

For me, the bag creates a perfectly nice warm heat that feels great on my muscles after a tense day with the kids.

Another Use:
AT ROOM TEMPERATURE/DO NOT HEAT You can use to make a weighted eye and forehead mask that creates that small amount of pressure. For this you would need to play around with the size of the pocket and the amount of rice. If you have basic sewing skills, then you should be able to do this in no time!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Changes- Be back soon

I have always been a level headed and healthy minded person. I believe some of my strongest traits are empathy and loyalty. I have had to make some changes in my life this past week in order for me to stay or become healthy minded again. The decisions I am making will effect those two traits. I am breaking my loyalty and ignoring my empathy in order to make a change. That does not sit well with me. So......I will take a small break while I figure things out and hope you will visit me again soon....probably a couple weeks. I will still be reading some blogs out there, but need my focus to be on my choices and my decisions moving forward as I clear my head and my life.

Love and Aloha,

I will have to host a contest when I return to lighten up the mood around here.........something perfect for winter!!!!! I already know what it is. Tell me your favorite colors and I will take a look at these to make my prize (homemade of course). Keep up with Rambler at My Rambling Thoughts (thats my big sis).

Visit back in 2 weeks. That means October 6th -ish =)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Kai

Dear Kai,
I remember the day I found out about you. How I was smiling and scared. I knew it would be okay. I remember going to the doctor and hearing your heart beats in the little scanner and saying "is that my baby" bringing myself and the doctor to tears. I remember thinking you were gonna be a boy until I had a dream you were a girl.....that came true. I remember the day you first "really" kicked me in the tummy and turned my sides all over. I remember the day you were born and changed my life forever. I remember the days of your firsts seconds and thirds. I remember the day you became a big sister. I am so very proud of you and how big you are getting. Never lose that spirit and smile. I love you more than words can describe and our bond is forever.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sisters and Phones

I have to say that my sister(Rambler from My Rambling Thoughts) and I are very much a like, and very much different. We want the same things, but I like it one way and she likes it another way.....Sisters.

This is Rambler and I. I am a Blackberry Storm and She is an I Phone.

P.S. I just got my phone yesterday after 2 weeks, no phone. I wonder how many text messages I missed?


Monday, September 14, 2009

Turning 3....again

I know, I am not actually turning 3 again, however I am living vicariously through my daughter this week. Here are the things I am doing this week as I try to live up to "fun times" on Saturday.
1. Cake-gotta have cake. I am trying to be simple, as I have to make the kids happy, but really, they just want the sugar. So lets give it to small sizes. I have to get a small cupcake pan to make the tiny cupcakes.....with a sweet pretty hawaiian topping. I got a recipe idea online for a topper made from marshmallows cut into five slices. These slices resemble petals of a flower and when fanned out, look just like a plumeria! Beautiful. I am also going to practice piping this week.....we will see!

2. Food-what do they want? well they are gonna get some tasty lasagna, bite size pizza's on bagels, there will be meat and veggie skewers......veggies......I am a little crazy with food, so there will probably be way more than we need.

3. Fun- I am planning a kiddie race and obsticle course, painting fun, and play time. Swimming in the pool if weather permits.

4. Gifts.....I am trying to get the word out for my friends to save their money and get only things Kai can use, and fun simple non plastic large toys she can play with....but really clothes, books, personal homemade art, non-plastic toys, are the theme.

5. Adult fun- We will be in hang out mode, kids can play we can eat chat and drink some drinks (I will probably be on kid duty so none for me till around 9pm when kids go down!

I am starting to craft again, so watch out Etsy, I may actually start you up!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

MIY....Make it Yourself!

I was looking for a craft site that would tell me how to make the stacking rings for a little baby made fully out of cloth and ribbon scraps. I found one...sort of and had to elaborate on the center of the ring. I ended up with just one ring and stopped because it is not how I wanted it to come out. I kept perusing the pages of google and stopped at so many blogs that were helpful but none that showed me My Project Idea.....oh, well....I will have to do it myself.

Some good news though!

I found Make it and Love it. a craft blog that provides you with "sew" many ideas you will be busy with crafts for ever! I can't wait to get started on some of her fab suggestions using her descriptions. I don't know how she finds the time, and her models are on my pic above to see some of my favorites (small summary) of her ENTIRE archive of blog posts. I spent about 1 hour scrolling through......become an expert gifter or buy something from her.....either way BUY HOMEMADE!


Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th

It is one of those moments that we can all remember where we exactly were when we got the call to turn on the television, radio, or just got a call.

I remember the fear and concern I felt that day and the horror that something so tragic was actually occurring.

My heart goes out to all those that lost that day.

We all lost.

Much aloha,


Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hair Cut

Chas has finally cut his hair.

He looks really handsome.

I love the new cut.

I love The Chas!



You look good, baby!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

What to do in Honolulu, Hawaii? Food

There is a song that makes me smile called Honolulu City Lights by Keola Beamer. It represents a moment for me when I am flying away from "home" and watching the lights as my plane takes off for the "main land". I now live in Pittsburgh, PA and whenever possible love to fly in or out in the middle of the night so I can see this type of beautiful.

Get a pair of Slippahs as by the time you leave you will get a sign like this as a souvenir:

I was speaking to a friend of mine from Canada and he is not the first person to say to me: "I am going to Hawaii, will you tell me some places to go?" I thought about it and decided I would post a Cheers to his luckiness to go to my hometown,....a little jealousy also. =) "Cheers"

If you are in Waikiki and are staying in Waikiki....Walk around, don't drive. Everything is walking distance....some further than others, but its not a horrible walk. If you are leaving Waikiki than it might be a little further than you expected. Take a hotel shuttle, drive or even the bus system. It was rated number 1 in the bad can you be if you are on an island? Called "The Bus". (click for link to their website) Decide what you want out of your might not need a car at all. Write down your musts and your goals for the trip and you can call your hotel and usually they are pretty helpful with giving you tips.....also check out the as they are the visitors bureau site and can have links to things I don't mention.

(my top 10)
By the way, you should go on a diet before and after the trip. During your trip....wear some elastic. =)

1. Dukes in Waikiki/or Hula Grill Waikiki
Best Pupus

Dukes is downstairs and has a more laid back "slippahs" atmosphere and Hula Grill is directly upstairs from them, with a little more of a dressed up atmosphere, I believe they would not turn you away though, if you had on the slippahs. If you are in Waikiki anyway, then by all means this is where you will have a good time, enjoy good food, and walk back to where you wanna go, or take a cab (parking is expensive).

My Menu Picks:
Dukes:CHINESE STYLE BEEF SHORT RIBS in a Ginger braised with fresh pineapple relish 18.95....You're on Vacation so you're gonna spend a little money on a dinner, might as well be this one. =) Okay, so maybe this isn't a pupu, but go ahead and share it and don't get anything'll be okay with that.

Hula Grill: SCALLOP AND LOBSTER POT STICKERS w/ a Guava Plum Sauce 10.50
"I would pay 10.50 for just the guava plum sauce!" I don't care for lobster, but this is the best representation of lobster I have ever had....don't share it! =)

2. Top Sushi Pick: Genki Sushi
This is my favorite for someplace local, laid back and reasonably priced. I always went to the one on Kapahulu Ave (even though it was a fight for parking.)....But it is worth it. This location is an old bank so you will see little left overs from its earlier business, like the bank vault doors.
When you go you will be given a table and along the side of the table there is a conveyer belt. The conveyer has your favorite "fast food sushi" already made up. Pick up your plates and stack them on the table when done. Each color plate has a price associated with it, so when done you might have 10 plates at 1.10 per plate, but you are totally satisfied. Don't worry you will have a picture menu to match what you want to eat, and if you don't see it, ask and they will get it for you. It is good sushi, so don't worry about getting sick! My favorite is pretty simple: the tuna sushi (rice, nori and tuna like in a tuna salad sandwich)believe me, it is yum!

3. Top Local Style Plate Lunch (two picks)
Irifune: Totally slamming Garlic Ahi(Tuna fish) Fried Rice! But you can only get it at lunch time (at least that is the way I remember it) Give them a call and tell them you want to know when they are making it. Sorry, no website.....yes it is totally local. Get it to-go and take it to the beach or beach park down the road (Kapiolani Park)....If my friend Pete is still cooking there, tell him I said "howzit!"

(808) 737-1141
563 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

L&L Drive in (pull up, go inside, pick your item at the counter, pay and sit or go)....I know I know, this is so popular if you are anywhere in California they are popping up as Hawaiians migrated and HAD to take it with them. These are all over the island so you won't have too much trouble getting to one. I would suggest the one at Ala Moana Shopping Center if you are doing a day of shopping, if you are in Waikiki, there is one there too on the main beach front.

I ALWAYS order the Chicken Katsu Mini plate (not so mini) Scoop Rice, Scoop Mac Salad, and lots of Katsu style chix deep fried......and don't forget the secret recipe Katsu Sauce! this is under $5.00 and the tasty yum yum yummiest straight to your waistline type food....I did say to where elastic, right?

4. Best Shave Ice: (Two Picks)
Matsuyamas Shave Ice, Haleiwa

If you take a drive to the North Shore, than you might as well head over to Haleiwa (pronounced: Hah-Lei-Eve-Ah) because you are already there. The Shave Ice is light and melts to the touch, topped with your favorite flavors......I need a shave Ice machine! You will head here if you are looking for some surf watch. These are big waves people so unless you are a pro, check with your nearest lifeguard on whether you are clear to get in, you will see the "Don't go beyond this point" "Dangerous Waves" all over the beaches here. Its nice to sun bathe and check out some hotties (girls and guys). Check with the local papers to find out if there is a surf competition going on while you are in town. You may want to see it, or avoid the crazy parking situations. (I think its worth it to go)

Island Snow, Kailua Seriously, You have to get Shave Ice. If you don't make it to the North Shore, than you gotta go to the Windward side. Island Snow is the best place to get it over this way. My family all lives in Kailua and it is my favorite place to go. Relaxing, Welcoming, Beautiful. Go to Kailua Beach (boat ramp or Lanikai-Mokulua Isles).

5. Best Breakfast spots: all second to Moms cooking of course! One for the Tourists and one for traveling to my favorite neck of the woods:

In Kailua: Boots and Kimo's

...My favorite and the reason to go: Macadamia Nut Pancakes....not just any mac nut pancake, the vanilla cream butter topping and mac nut chunks throughout are to die for. This place is small so be willing to wait cause its a local favorite and worth it.

Waikiki or "Waiks" as we like to call it:

Wailana Coffee House

(24 hour-better than most)
Address: 1860 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815 808.955.1764
Close enough to Waiks between Waiks and Ala Moana Shopping Center. I used to live a couple blocks from here. Super good at any hour. For my friend, you can walk here from where you are staying.

6. Best Burgers:
Teddy's Bigger Burgers Kapahulu (Waikiki)

Check out the website. These are definitely bigger and better then the norm. Tastier too......get the sauce!

7. Best Bakery:

Leonard's Bakery
933 Kapahulu Ave., 737-5591

This Bakery is a family MUST. You have to get the tasty donuts called "Malasada's". This place is so good, it even made it on the Food Network for top ten Donuts in the U.S. Yup Top Ten. And it wasn't the bottom of that list either. Hawaii, Represent!

8. Best Desserts:
Don't get this mixed up with Leonard's and the Malasada's...Malasada's aren't counted as desserts in my book....its a staple. If you want to celebrate with a nice flavorful Island style cake, get it from them.

Liliha Bakery
515 N. Kuakini St., 531-1651

The famous Coco Puffs (yum) or the Guava Chiffon(favorite) or the Chocolate Haupia Chiffon(other favorite) get my drift. go to this place. I don't care if you are visiting, you can take it to your conference or meeting to share with a couple of friends.......seriously, you'll get a promotion! (Will, I mean YOU!)....or eat between the two of you and slice it up and give the rest to the Front Desk Staff at your Hotel....they will appreciate it, really....tourists don't usually do that and it is a customary thing us Hawaiians often do for each other.

9. Best Alcoholic Beverage with a smile
.....Now...this depends. Are you looking for a late night party scene or a quaint sit down talk to each other setting?

Packed-young crowd
Kelley O'Neills
(packed with people-college crowd)
311 Lewers St
Honolulu, HI 96815-2344
(808) 926-1777
I decided not to link to their website as it wasn't the best type of organized

I have a few stories NOT to tell you about Kelley's but mostly, its a lot of fun if you are going later like after 11pm. Before than, its laid back and chill(not many people) after that Whoa! you better not give stink eye to the door person and be patient for your favorite beer. If you think this is cool, look across the street at Moose's Bar, and they are pretty packed also. Sometimes, you can't get in. As for me, I am into Kelley's over Moose's, but that was my crowd.

Chill with beach side:
The Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian (The Pink Hotel)

. Although it may seem uptight at first, in the hours around sunset this is a local favorite to go to. You can't take your drinks off property (but remember you are in the US and there are still liquor laws in Hawaii)

Overall, drinks are drinks. You can get a good drink with a good atmosphere just walking around and finding something close to where you are staying. walk along Waikiki beach and you will see about 20 beach bars that catch your eye.

10. If you checked out all of the above and you are still looking for number 10, then you are probably going to need another dress size before you go home, or go on the poor diet from spending all your money in Hawaii.

Best Manapua (A.K.A: Pork filled steam buns or baked):
Char Hung Sut-
this link is to another blog called ONO Kind description of the place....
64 N. Pauahi St., 808-538-3335 Downtown area.

Call ahead and order for pick up early....I mean early, they usually sell out by 6-7 am of the favorites. Be prepared, if you call, they speak quick and "Diner-Like" you better figure out what you want. ask around if you don't know. not typical restaurant or bakery like setting. This place is a whole in the wall "Warehouse" type place. You walk in and think you are in the wrong place. Go to the counter (be aggressive-but don't cut in line) and tell them you want 6 steam manapua's and 10 pork hash, this will feed you and your tag a longs as well as those new friends you met at the hotel. Look at the wall for the full menu, but if you want what I get....order the Manapua & pork hash and ditch out. Filled with Sweet Red Pork. It is delicious! reminds me of a sweat shop.(Chinese food) By the way, if you have befriended people at the hotel you might be able to get them to freeze the left over food, this is often brought over the water to California by my family to those craving the tasty treat.....might be too far for trip to Pittsburgh...sorry!

Hope you liked my food picks....I miss it!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Phone Blues

bah bah da da dum

I got the phone blues

bah bah da da dum

Its broken in three ways

bah bah da da hum

It won't let me receive calls, see incoming calls from my friends or search my current list

bah bah da da dum

OHHHHH, I got the phone blues!

I know it's time, the darn thing is ancient.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dream Big and Magical things will happen to you....

I just love this commercial. This commercial should be the metaphor for all of our lives.


I'm washing dishes right now......and random stuff

Did you all know they have those new gadgets called "Dish Washers". And by gadget, I am referring to a machine, not a human being...a.k.a. "Antibloggedy". Actually, It has been 3 years since I have had one on in my home! OUch! The much needed handy dandy scrubbing cleaning unit is my most "precious". it's MINE! Don't touch it, unless you want to fill it with MY dirty dishes and go ahead and press "sanitize" while you are at it.

Love it.

We decided not to take the white plastic cover off the front steel finish until we are closer to the end of renovations (so....I'm thinking 2-3 years?!.....not kidding)


Other News:
Kai is holding a good long term memory. She just brought up a "fall in the pool" incident from May when we were in California. Also, when the California Cow contest/auditions commercials come on she asks when we are going to California....and she says California correctly! I think she loved hangin with her cousin's: Lil Rambler and Cousin N. I think she also loved hangin with Nana and Papa.

Violet pulls off her diaper and walks over to the potty chair and sits down. She hasn't gone into IT yet as there was some confusion between the potty chair and the green ikea kids chair that was in the living room. Thank goodness for wipe-able surfaces!

I tried to assist in installing a deadbolt on our front door.......the thing is a hollow door! anyway, I went to the construction junction after destroying part of the stupid door to find another one that was more secure.....(by the way, if I wanted one hollow like mine, it costs $5.00 there). I was frozen with indecision and ended up without anything. I am going back tomorrow for the $55.00 Metal Door that will keep out the honest people. By the way, "Construction Junction" is Pittsburgh’s only non-profit building material reuse retailer. They take old materials when people are deconstructing homes, businesses and churches and sell what they can to the public, keeping a ton of building materials from the landfills. Super Awesome if you are in Pittsburgh or the nearby area, they have a cool concept to model after. The stuff there is unique and hard to find. Check out the webpage, its worth it:

That's all for my weekend tales.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a New Post

I haven't had much to say the past week. With the "changes" I am attempting to make I have had nothing in my mind except for the current affairs.

I did get a chance to go to a beautiful wedding in West Virginia. We stayed at Oglebay Country Club and boy is that place "F.A.N.C.Y."! Nice Hotel Room, surrounded by beautiful Country Club views, all I was missing was someone to fan me with a big banana leaf poolside.

Here is a picture of almost 3 year old Kai walking into the middle of the dance off in the Sikh Wedding about inclusive, our friends had a top floor reception that was on the fourth floor of an old Brew House, on the first floor, with an open center view from above they had a magician for the 20+ children, and they had a Kids food section, kids this, kids that.....can you say make us all feel at home?!! The kids had a blast, everyone loved the children and we felt like we could let our guard down.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Military Funeral

Sgt. Ryan H. Lane of Castle Shannon, PA.
Laid to Rest at National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville PA
Services at Bethany Presbyterian Church, Bridgeville PA

I have never attended a Military Funeral. This one, in particular was Incredible and Unique, I mean that respectfully. It was fitting to someone who sacrificed for so many. He left behind his wife Valerie, his 3 brothers, his Parents and Grandmother Ruth as well as a church full of family and friends. Ryan was the son of a former Police Chief, Harold Lane. In this connection to the Police Department and the Marines there was great respect and honor everywhere. As I drove off the freeway exit, toward the church, I could see the American Flags and the Lights of the Police vehicles. I approached the church Parking Lot and there was a police officer stationed to stop traffic. Anyone there to attend the funeral had right of way. The traffic was stopped to let any of us pass through with out halt. I have to say that I was moved to tears by every bit of it: The Police Officers that stood there to pay respect to their former Police Chiefs son. The Patriot Guards whom stood guard for our fallen soldier, that stood tall for hours in the hot sun in their leather gear holding their flags tall, who kept the media at bay, who held back the protesters, who saluted and gave honor to a fine young man. The Soloist that sang Danny Boy, The Priest that gave comfort. His Brother who spoke for his lost brother. His Aunt that gave Eulogy. His Marine Brother who shared with us who he was to them as a Soldier, a Sergeant, a Brother, and a Friend. The people who came to show support, Standing on the roadside in the route of the 200+ car procession from the Church to the cemetery, A woman standing solo with a hand written sign with the words "Thank you" or the one who stood with a flag with her hand over her heart saluting the procession that took 40 minutes to pass the 3.3 miles. Through and the daycare center that had their kids stand with their flags waving at us passing by. The many districts that sent a representing Police Car to escort the Soldier to the Cemetery. The Marines that stood tall for long periods of time, unmoving, in full Marine Uniform, did so with so much pride and honor to themselves and to Sgt. Lane, their brother. Bridgeville shut down the town for the time it took us to go from the Church to the Cemetery, their fire department had 2 Firetrucks with their ladders to full extension and an American Flag at the center linking the two trucks this was at the Church and their was another 2 at the cemetery for the procession of cars to pass under on the path to his resting place.

There was a full Military Salute, The Shooting of the Guns, The Fly Over, and his Casket Pulled by white horses through the Cemetery to his resting place at the top of the hill.....his final goodbye with the Man playing the bagpipes walking off into the distance, his sirens fading off, till silence. I was touched and have so much more pride in our Military Men and Women, their families that stand vigil waiting for them to come home.
I only took these four images, nothing with the flagged draped casket, or of the mourning family, I only wanted to remember the things that were done in his honor.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hair Cuts by a 2 year old....

Yes, thats right, a hair cut BY a 2 year old.

Kai found a pair of kids safety scissors in the living room...I don't know exactly where.

She came up to me a handed me a curl from her head.

The end.

We had a little talk.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Life with a Sunflower

Every morning I stop and take notice of my sunflowers we planted in our front garden. They have grown to be around 11 feet tall and the flowers have bloomed to be a foot in diameter. They are so tall and the stalks so thick that I cannot get close enough to touch their bloom. I see the bees that orbit them and the lady bugs that shade themselves by them. I often lift their leaves to look at the life under them. Our Tomato Plants are shaded just enough by them to keep from drying out in the hot sun, but benefit from the "green house" effect they produce. I take a moment to pick the cherry tomatoes with the two kids, our harvest is often a handful each, some red, some yellow. We pull back the gigantic Sunflower leaves that hide our harvest and throw the split tomatoes back to the soil so they can produce healthier soil. I water the Sunflower and realize the daily routine with a smile. I feel like one of those bees that are doing their own harvesting of the pollen in the Sunflower, enjoying The Life with a Sunflower.