Monday, January 30, 2012

Hawaii Minibook Day 4

A more relaxed day just wandering the island ... we did a little eating, a little shopping, a little sightseeing. Our attempt to see Iolani Palace was interrupted by lots of activists. As Senate was in session, there were many people of Hawaiian descent displaying their message of Sovereignty and taking back the lands. It was quite a sight to see as there were hula dancers, ancient Hawaiian chants and what we think is members of Hawaiian royalty dressed in the ancient ways.

After our picnic at Iolani Palace, we walked around Ward Center and found the Honolulu Cookie Company. Sampling of these local flavored shortbread cookies was a treat. My favorite was the coffee one. We also found Marukai and had ourselves a mochi ice cream treat. Prices at Marukai in the islands was a bit higher than what we are used to seeing at the Marukai in the mainland.

A nice snack or light lunch is always Kozo Sushi. They sell fresh sushi rolls all day long to go. It's wrapped in a unique way so the nori stays crispy until you are ready to eat it. Kaila was excited to take part in this cool ritual of eating a sushi roll!

The story of the day was typical of a casual Hawaiian day. Taking our time just hanging out and "running errands" without the rush of actually crossing things off our to do list. Just browsing and enjoying ourselves. We also got to catch up with old friends for dinner at Auntie's house.

Lots of time hanging out at the beach means the girls get to play in the sand and the water without tiring. Mom instead does tire out and lays down in the shade just relaxing and maybe playing with her iphone. :)

We also hit Aloha Tower Marketplace. It used to be quite busy and a popular hangout but nowadays seems really quiet. Lots of shops closed down, the restaurants just had a few people for lunch. This was on the ways we felt the changes here in the islands from the slower economy. Even though people are overall happy, they are definitely working harder and feeling the changes of less tourism, less jobs and more expensive everything else.

Our favorite thing to do while here is always the eating. Every morning, dad asks, What you like eat today? We try all the local favorites. Mitsuken, Helena's, Bob's Drive In, Rainbows Drive In, Zippy's, Leonards, Yummy's and the best roast pork at the food court in Pearl City Daiea (not even called that anymore). It's so much fun sharing it with the girls and they being foodies also love this part of our trip!

Day 4 is pau! We have so much more to do and we are so grateful to have this special time here with family, friends and each other. Best vacation ever ?!?!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hawaii Minibook Day 3

Back in 2006, we found this neighborhood in Aina Haina named Kainani. This time around we had to go back and retake a picture of her standing in front of it. Six years later, the plants are a little overgrown and you can barely see the entire name. But she still says, Mom if we ever move back to Hawaii can we live in my neighborhood? Hmmm ...

Our third day on the islands was again spent with the cousins. Being a Monday holiday, there was no school and work. Yay! Off to Ko Olina we went to check out the new Disney Aulani Resort and to take advantage of the nicely landscaped man-made beaches. It really was very Disney and reminded me a bit of Florida. Here we also found Kainani's American Girl Doll's neighborhood ... Kai Lani!

The kids had so much fun playing in the sun! We all got a little bit more tan ... even baby!

My pretty girls in a picturesque background. How come every time I take out the camera Lena poses like a model ... notice the hands on hips? But I am very grateful they even let me take so many pictures of them ... there goes mom again with her camera ... haha.

And a fun iPhone pic that was doctored up with the Red Stamp app. Loving this free app!

No day is complete without the local grinds. Journaling the many places we eat is a must!

Capturing the story of the day ...

The cousins are so happy together and I am so excited for this opportunity to capture these memories of them ... we all know that they really do grow up way too fast. Last time we saw them was 2 years ago in California and there was no Kaimalie.

Each with their own personality ... especially Kainui. It took him awhile to warm up to us.

Spending time with their grandpa was also a treat. Good times being spoiled for sure!

Hanging out at home, the grandkids altogether. A great ending to quality time with the family!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hawaii Minibook Day 2

Lots of days at the beach ... mom, do we go in the water every time? Sure, honey! Mom, it's not cold or grey or dark like at home. Loving our time here in the islands for sure ... fun in the sun!

The famous Duke Kahanamoku statue at Waikiki Beach. Since we are staying right here, might as well hit that beach first. Kaila caught her first of many waves and is now in love with surfing. Mom tried to catch a few and lost stamina ... boy, not the same when you are out of shape and many years older ... I just couldn't paddle hard enough on a couple to actually catch the wave ... shucks! In the end, only caught a couple and ended up with many sore muscles instead. Ha!

Fun title page ... part of our vacation time is spent in our hotel doing homework.

Kainani is researching Japanese American culture versus American Indian culture. Go venn diagram.

Having fun building any kine stuff with da cousins.

Our first morning on the islands, we took a walk on the beach when no one was there. Way cool!

Story of the day today was mostly about island foods and hanging out at the beach!

View from our hotel is pretty cool. Lots of tall buildings in Waikiki ... it's hotel central ... what do we expect?!? But at least we got ocean view, mountain view and Diamond head view!

Some of the foods we are sampling already ... kim chee chige from our favorite late night haunt Sorabol, manupua from Chun Wah Kam, more plate lunch and poke!

Mom, take a picture of this ... the kids know that my favorite thing to take pictures of is food!

Day 2 pau ... we are just beginning our adventures here on da islands!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hawaii Minibook Day 1

Before we left on our trip, I stole some time in the scrapbook room to put together a travel mini book. It's mostly a Making Memories travel kit that I saved for my Europe pictures but still haven't gotten around to scrapbooking much of yet ... over a year later. So this time I'm going to try to get the stories told as they happen so I can actually remember them.

It's an 8x8 mini album of papers glued together, tabs punched and mini stickers to tell the dates. In between each date I also added a smaller sheet with a ripped note paper for the story of the day. All bound with rings in case there are other pieces of memorabilia I might want to add along the way. The front and back is acrylic to hold its shape in the suitcase. And I only brought along a one gallon ziploc of embellishments ... a sampling of ribbon, buttons, stickers, letters and twine. Ready, set, scrap!

Day One was the trip from San Diego airport to Honolulu. The girls don't remember the last couple of times they had been on a plane so it was quite an adventure.

Lena called dibs for the window seat. She took the picture of our view from the plane as we landed in Hawaii. She and I sat together during the 5 plus hour ride and entertained ourselves with another feet shot. Haha. She says to me ... mom, this is how you make an airplane. The thumb and pinky are the wings and the hand is the plane. We flying mom! So cute!

Keeping a piece of Hawaiian Airlines in the lunchbox and the swivel stick.

The journaling/story of the day was mostly about the trip itself. Upon arrival, however, they were pretty excited to see their cousins and sample our first dose of local food ... poke variety of all types!

And the shots of us on the plane. 5 hours went by pretty fast with breakfast, snack, a Dolphin Tales movie, a little DS and a little homework. Day One complete!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Take Twelve January - Taking Inventory

I am pretty excited to have easily accomplished my first digital scrapbook page ... thanks to the Take Twelve challenge. Yay! Winning the inspiration kit and templates resulted in one day with my camera and a double page layout done! The bonus is that most of these pics came straight out of the camera looking like this ... at night indoors no less. I am excited to be playing with the settings on the DSLR again and focusing on my love of photography. Aperture, got it. White balance, got it. Exposure with no flash, got it too.

In January, the theme was taking inventory of our lives and the things in it. I captured 12 different parts of our everyday life here in this layout. Life at home, with the kids, commuting, and vacation! This is our January 2012!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm a Winner & I'm Taking Twelve!

Some of my Facebook friends may have noticed that I am not really doing Project 365 this year. After 2 full years, I think it's time for a fresh approach. I'm going to do Project Life and Take Twelve instead. And what perfect timing . . . since I was recently a winner of the Take Twelve Inspiration Kit at the Capture Your365 blog!

Along the lines of my one little word being ENOUGH, I think I'd rather just take enough pictures to get memories told . . . once a month on the 12th I will take 12 pictures and scrapbook that! There's a whole community of people doing this at the Ella Publishing blog. And the kit will have inspiration ideas, prompts of what to take pictures of and a digital template to scrap the end result. Yay!

I'll most likely take other pics with my iphone throughout each week as well and use the Project Life method for that. Haven't bought a kit or anything . . . just using my scrap stash, an 8 1/2 x 11 inch binder and baseball card sheet protectors for now. There's just so many people jumping on the Project Life bandwagon this year that it's a little overwhelming and it took me a while to decide where to start. So . . . I'm going to remember to just keep to ENOUGH to get a few tidbits of life's daily stories told . . . that's all.

Be back soon to show my Take Twelve and Project Life January progress. Are you partaking in any of these scrapbooking or photo challenges this year?

PS. You know what's so funny too? My lucky number since high school has been 17 and wouldn't you know it, that was my number this time and I won!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One Little Word 2012

This time of year is perfect for making goals and new years resolutions. Usually I pick my One Little Word to focus on rather than making resolutions. The idea came a few years back from Ali Edwards. In 2008 my word was Simplicity. That year I pared down my belongings, my commitments and my life. In 2009 my word was Mindful. Learned to slow down, live more in the moment and eat more purposefully. Last year my word was Less.. Did less, cared less and wanted or needed less to live a more meaningful life. The impact has been pretty evident to me as I now reflect ... my life is right where I want it to be. Far from perfect but oh so perfect for me!

That leads to my word for 2012 ... ENOUGH. As I look at the hats I wear or the roles I play, I see the emphasis on this word being totally appropriate for this year. I AM ENOUGH!

1. Mom: I want to be sure I spend enough quality time with my girls. Not just together but separately one on one. I want them to get enough attention from me and feel special in their own right as I love them each on their own.
2. Wife and Daughter: I want to keep asking myself ... am I showing my love and support enough to my family? Sometimes the ones we love the most are the ones we either take for granted or are the most mean and impatient to.
3. Professional: Am I doing enough to add value to my team? I read a quote not too long ago that it is more meaningful to make your absence felt than to boast about your presence. Love the work I do, just want to be sure it's making a difference.
4. Scrapbooker: Getting the memories recorded is enough. Don't worry too much about the quality of the photo, the supplies being used or the process itself. Too many unfinished projects equals no real stories being told.
5. Individual: I am enough! Care less about what others think of me. Know that my intentions are there to live the life I was given the best I know how. Do not compare, do not want, just be and that is enough.

I'm sure as the year progresses, more layers of this word will come out as I go about making the most of this life we were given. I am grateful for the imperfect and genuine reality of life itself ... it is enough.

Do you choose a word for the year? Or make new years resolutions?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Currents : New Year

I'm still finishing up a few more posts of holiday events to post online for my December Daily photo book. But since it's almost a week into the new year, I'm ready for a clean start and a pulse check . . .
on to a post of currents . . .

time: 4pm
location: desk
weather: sunny, 75? wouldn't know been indoors all day
listening: traffic and cars outside the office window
eating: just finished a salad, going for 2 a day
drinking: water, going for 2 a day here too
wearing: jeggings, white Justice sequined tank, long black cardigan, black boots (jeggings and black boots seems to be the uniform lately . . . extremely comfy and sorta stylish at the same time)
feeling: pretty good, ready for the weekend
wanting: some time to scrapbook and decide on Project 366 . . . to be or not to be this year?
needing: to declutter, cleaning always brings clarity and I'm a bit lazy about the new year right now
thinking: I'm so lucky . . . quality family time right around the corner in da islands!
enjoying: wish I could say a glass of wine but it's not 5 o'clock yet :)
wondering: can I fit a family's 10 day wardrobe in a suitcase and 2 carry on's?

currents idea from here

Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Tradition: Christmas Eve

Holiday picture with their grandmas. So blessed to have both in their lives watching them grow up.

The girls with Grandma Marvie and Papa Nick.

Big family portrait with both sets of grandparents. Holidays are all about family!

After a nice big Christmas Eve dinner, we decided to go Christmas caroling. We have never done this before and since we have many days of our advent calendar activities to catch up on, the girls voted for this. It was cold ... but we were determined to spread holiday cheer. Our neighbors and their family from Texas were there to join us in the fun.

Ringing the door bell and waiting to see if anyone's home before we started our singing ... Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Frosty the Snowman were probably our favorites. A couple of others we tried but didn't know so well ... that proved a bit disastrous.

But when the kids are small ... even Ashley joined in ... most people were tolerant and enjoyed our attempts at caroling.

Once it got too cold to bear any longer, we headed inside to make our reindeer food. Mixing some glitter ensure that our lawn would sparkle in the night so Santa's reindeers would find our house.

Oats are biodegradable right? Grass likes it too right? You know ... just in case the reindeer didn't end up eating all of the food. Hehe.

Lena had the most fun sprinkling the reindeer food on the lawn in the front yard ... she ran around laughing and sprinkling and having the best time.

Kaila tosses the last of her bowl into the night. Welcome Santa and his reindeers, we are ready for you!

But then Nani was grumpy because she couldn't find her shoes and she was tired. This girl is sleepy and when it's time to go to bed, she doesn't enjoy doing anything else. She threw her whole bowl at once into the yard and quickly ran back into the house. Good night Nani!

One last step before the girls got ready for bed ... Kaila wrote a note to Santa and we put out the milk and cookies. Our house definitely believes!

Then the house was quiet and still as we settled down all nestled in our warm beds. To all a good night!