Custom Mug Bouquets

I really wanted to give a personalized gift to my mom and MIL for Mother’s Day.  I also love to get my daughter involved whenever I do anything crafty.

I’ve been seeing all over Pinterest and blogs about how to use sharpie pens on mugs to personalize them.  Then by baking them in the oven they become permanent.  So, I decided to give it a try.

We started with some plain white mugs that I already had and made sure to get them really clean and ready for the markers by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol.  Next I let my daughter get to work on the decorating.  We used oil based sharpie pens (because that’s what multiple sources suggested).  When there was a mistake, using an alcohol soaked q-tip took care of it.

Next we baked them in the oven for 250 degrees for 2 hours and let them cool completely.

To finish the project, we cut the stems and arranged the roses to fit nicely into the mug.  Being that this was our first attempt, I thought they came out really nice.  I can’t wait to try this diy again.

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It’s been a while

Hi everyone!  I haven’t posted in a little bit because so much has been going on. I quit my job 2 weeks ago and I’ve been so busy just trying to sit and figure out what’s next.  I quit because the company I was at for over 11 years wasn’t giving me what I needed as far as compensation or a fair working environment.  It’s been taking a toll on me mentally and emotionally for a while and recently I started to bring that stress home with me.  So yes, it was time to go.

I’m so excited to see where the road will take me.  I’m someone who is so interested in EVERYTHING that I have so many routes that I can go as far as a career.  But, that doesn’t help when I’m not sure what the heck it is I really want to do. I love office jobs (because I’m super organized and a fast worker) however I’m debating on going back to esthetics full-time.  Or, I could also go  back to a career in behavioral health.  I JUST DON’T KNOW!!!! So many possibilities, so you can see that I’m more excited than scared even though I am unemployed.

I’m submitting applications for anything that sounds interesting and hoping that whatever is meant to be will be. Until then, I hope to start posting and getting a little more serious about my blog.  Hopefully I’ll be getting more traffic and maybe even make a little bit of side money from it? We’ll just have to see!

Until then I’ve been enjoying my time at home with my baby girl.  I wish I was able to stay home with her until she enters preschool.

Rock n Fun Kapolei

Games, Burgers, Fries, Milkshakes and… A BAR!  There’s fun for everyone at the new Rock N Fun, located at Ka Makana Ali’i in Kapolei.  Last night we were invited to the soft opening of this new venue that combines Fun Factory and Johnny Rockets.  Here on the island, we associate E. K. Fernandez with all things fun.  They’ve provided family entertainment through their Carnivals and Fun Factory game rooms for what feels like forever (since I was a little girl). So we were so excited to learn that they’d be collaborating with one of my “must-eat” restaurants whenever we travel to California.

I’m not too sure about the actual Grand Opening, but I’m assuming that the date will be within the next couple of weeks.

The food was so good! Kahele and the kids are definitely Burgers & Fries lovers, so they filled up til satisfied.  My favorite burger at Johnny Rockets is the patty melt and a chunk of my afternoon was spent craving it!  When I took my first bite it was exactly what I’d been wanting.  Of course the shakes were awesome. I love how the adults are able to get their grub and drink on while the kids are in watching distance playing arcade games.  It really is the best of both worlds.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

My Thoughts

 I am in love with Liane Moriarty’s books. So far she hasn’t disappointed me and I can’t wait to read more from her. This book kept me in suspense. You know how when you’re hooked on a television series and the episode ends at the point where you’re going crazy knowing that it’ll be another week before you actually find out what happens next? Well that’s how Moriarty ended each chapter, but with this book it was perfect because you knew that as long as you kept reading you were going to get to that satisfied feeling in just a few pages. I loved it! The reader gets to experience the point of view from each character, which allows you see the story unfold around you, I felt very present throughout the book. It’s incredible how the simplicity and easy flow of Moriarty’s words can create these novels. Simple, uncomplicated reads that grip you and keep you entertained from beginning til the end. A MUST READ!

Things to do on the windward side of Oahu- Part 3

When you exit The Valley of the Temples you’ll turn left onto Kahekili Hwy which will merge onto Kamehameha Hwy.  This highway will literally take you all the way to the North Shore. Keep heading down the road for about 3.5 miles and you’ll see …

**Waiahole Poi Factory**

If you’re looking for some authentic yummy hawaiian food, stop your car and get some of the best on the island right here.

**Kualoa Beach**

Chinaman’s Hat is located 0.3 miles from the shore.  And the beach park is huge, making it a great place for camping or weekend BBQ’s with the whole family.

**Kualoa Ranch**

Right across the street you can visit Kualoa Ranch.  The ranch offers horseback riding and ATV riding through the most beautiful valleys.  You can take a Movie Tour and visit some of the sites of where movies like Jurassic Park, 50 first dates, Mighty Joe Young, Lost and if you’re lucky a filming in progress.  They even have a cafe to purchase lunch or a snack.

**Ka’a’awa Beach**

This is the beach that I grew up going to with my family.  We’d wake up before the sunrise, stop off at the store and buy all the foods and drinks we need for the entire day that we had planned for the beach.  We’d meet up with my dads family and have the best time from sunrise to sunset.

**Polynesia Cultural Center**

The PCC is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations to visit here on Oahu on the Windward Side.  Here you’ll be able to experience the different cultures of the Polynesian people.  They’ve built a park where within they’ve designated “villages” to represent Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti etc.  It can be an all day activity by doing all of this, or you can just attend the Luau and evening show called “Ha- breath of life”.  Even if this is a tourist attraction, me and my kids love to spend the day here.

Well, that’s it guys.  I hope you enjoyed these post on the Windward Side of Oahu. It’s very laid back in comparison to the other side of the island where you’ll find the hustle and bustle of life and I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else.

Furikake Salmon and Bacon Asparagus

This is one of my favorite meals and I’d say we have it at least once a month.  It takes just 20 minutes for the entire meal, which makes it great when you have a 1 1/2 year old wanting all of your attention.

Ingredients

Directions for Salmon

Preheat oven at 350.  Place your salmon on a baking dish adding a thin layer of mayo.  Sprinkle Furikake (as much or as little as you like).  Bake for 20 minutes or until the thickest layer easily flakes with a fork.  Garnish with some Kikkoman wasabi sauce (you can also use sour cream with wasabi as a substitution).

Directions for Bacon Asparagus

Chop asparagus and bacon into desired pieces.  Place into a non stick pan lightly greased with butter.  I like to cook them together because the bacon fat gives such great flavor. Cook for about 10 minutes or until bacon cooked through and asparagus tender.

That’s it!  You really can’t mess up this dish, it’s that simple.

China Dolls by Lisa See

Synopsis

In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco’s exclusive “Oriental” nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco’s Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?

My Thoughts

What a great book! I’ve read Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which I loved, so I knew that I’d move on to some of her other novels eventually. I’m so glad I read this book. It kind of reminded me of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, their writings are similar and both stories take you through years of friendship between women who are dealing the issues that most women of their time were forced to overcome being Asian. I highly recommend this book, I was hooked from the beginning til end.

Things to do on the Windward Side of Oahu- Part 2 Kaneohe

Hi guys!  It’s a beautiful Friday morning and in just about 4 hours It’ll be the weekend for me!!!!  I hope you all enjoyed Part 1 of these posts, I love where I live and am so excited to tell you of some of the beautiful places in my hometown of Kaneohe.  I truly believe that I live in the most beautiful town on this island.  We have the Ko’olau Mountain range on one side and then Kaneohe bay on the other.  I’m grateful (no matter how hard it is financially to live here), that I get to wake up every morning to the sun kissing the mountains. To really see the whole beauty of our little town head on up to the Pali Lookout.

***Pali Lookout***

Going up to the Pali Lookout will give you the best view of Kaneohe, and even further actually.  The gates open at 8am, and I recommend going at this time because the morning sun along with the low clouds will give you such a calming feeling.

***Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden***

We have a botanical garden, which is really a beautiful place if you have kids.  There are huge grassy areas to picnic and for the kids to run around, a pond where you’re able to fish and feed the ducks and some times you’ll even come across peacocks and pigs.  Another place that provides relaxation.

^^ My daughter and niece fishing^^

***The Stairway to Heaven***

I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never been to the top.  In high school and right out of high school I’ve tried to get up pretty far but never did.  I know tons of people that have done it and say that it’s the best feeling and that it is one of the most beautiful views they’ve ever seen.

Here’s the view from the bottom.  It goes allllll the way up!

***Kaneohe Sandbar***

The sandbar is a popular destination for locals.  It can get pretty crowded on holidays but even on a typical weekend you’ll find locals with their boats, hibachis and jetski’s out there having a great time. If you’re visiting you’ll have to find a way out there and when you do you’ll be in heaven.

Image source

***Valley of the Temples***

I love visiting this place.  A few loved ones are buried here so it’s nice to visit and leave flowers and then visit the temple.  Definitely another serene place that I recommend.

Image source for the above 5 photos

It’s been great sharing some of the beautiful places from my home town with you all.  I’m glad I did because sometime it’s easy to take for granted all of the beauty in the world.  You get so distracted by the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take a look around and breath and relax.  I’m very fortunate to have these places to run to if ever I need a nice break from all the chaos.

In part 3 I’ll be finishing up with the remaining cities on the windward side of Oahu.