Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blogs to Make You Smile

I get down. A lot. But lately I've been trying to be more proactive about keeping my spirits up when I get in a rut. (Shout out to Ashley!) And when I feel like just letting myself wander the web aimlessly, I usually end up on certain blogs, and they give me the lift that I need.

So I thought I'd share them with you, in case you'd like to smile too. Here are most of them, in no particular order.

So Pupuka - my awesome cousin who blogs about Hawaii, family, and everything she finds beautiful
Be Bright and Jovial - a newlywed who is just too cute
Bakabreath - a high school teacher who's job is just too funny
Lanea's Blogspot - a beautiful young woman who takes life's lessons seriously
Making Things Happen - 4 awesome moms who make their lives truly amazing
Lani Wendt Young - a Samoan author who is not afraid to write her mind
Pick the Brain - articles to help lift your spirits in any situation

 I'm sure I've missed some sites, and I'm sorry. Most of these bloggers are people I know personally, and their blogs are basic, personal blogs. Some are personal blogs of people I've met online. But all of them I love and look to for a little pick-me-up in my day.

Which blogs do you like to read? Put them down in the comments so I can look at them too for inspiration. 

Homemade Trash Can

It's kinda funny that of all things I thought to get crafty on, I decided on a trash can.

But I have to tell you: in our little 1/1 apartment, we have exactly ONE trash can.
Yes, in our kitchen.
We've been meaning to buy more, but when we get to WalMart, we just don't feel like spending the money. So the trash that is created in each room goes straight to the kitchen, and the kitchen trash gets taken out every other day. It's a system that works for us.

But as easy as this system is, there's still something about bathroom trash that I feel just needs to stay in the bathroom until it's ready to go to the dumpster. And when browsing Pinterest the other day I saw multiple pins on upcycling cardboard boxes into cute home storage containers. So I saved a Kellog's Frosted Mini Wheats cereal box that we got from Costco just for this purpose.

Now the thing about the boxes on Pinterest that bothered me was that most DIYers covered the boxes in fabric. While the fabric made the boxes super duper cute, I thought fabric covering cardboard was a waste. Cardboard boxes, even sturdy ones, have a shelf life that doesn't last as long as fabric does, and when their time is up, even an impeccable fabric covering won't hide their impending fate. I guess there's no problem if the fabric is recycled or old and unused, or if the box will be used for storing light items that won't be used frequently, but for a trash can -- a trash can doesn't need flowers on it to hold trash.

So, without further ado, I give you...

dun-duhduh DUN!!

Please tell me you're cracking up, too!
Why the heck am I so proud of my trash can??

I covered the box with one paper grocery bag using glue (the cheap elementary school kind), and then I sealed the bottom with green duct tape -- or "100 mph tape," as my miltary genius Jobi specified its name is. I used the tape to seal the bottom because bathroom floors sometimes get wet, due to splashed water or shower moisture or whatever. Our bathroom is no exception, especially with the kind of damage Almonds and Blondie can inflict, so I took precautions.

The bottom of the box, double-layered
The 100mph tape was free (courtesy of the DoD). The paper bag was free (with grocery purchase). The cereal box was free (with cereal purchase). The glue was $1.00 from Wal-Mart, but I probably used about 2 cents worth.  So basically, I have a free trash can! 
It's kinda nice knowing that I got something that didn't cost me anything extra.

The trash can in place
Hmm, I guess I should start getting some trash bags that fit the can, huh?

I also saw somewhere online tutorials for no-sew duct tape/fabric bags. I'm soooo gonna hit that up soon!  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 24, 2012

In Case You Haven't Noticed

This blog just got a registered domain name.

No longer is it aluauha.blogspot.com...

Now... www.aluauha.com!

I feel so official!

But now that I've made this an "official blog," I have a lot of things to consider:
a lot of tweaking to the look of the blog
a lot of content to re-figure
a lot of bloggy things to learn
a lot of Google Apps stuff to get in order
what my true purpose of this blog will be from now on

and yes, it's giving me a headache.

But it's a good headache -- it's the kind of headache that's leading me closer to a solution.

So hopefully when I'm done, you'll see a good, clean, fun site that everyone will enjoy. (And hopefully I'll get it all done before little Chip is born. *fingers crossed*)  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pictures and Art

I was going to post only about my trip to Makawao last Saturday with my cousin 'Ihilani, but as I was looking through pictures on my phone I noticed I had some others I didn't post but wanted to.  So instead, it'll be a "random" picture post.

By the way, isn't that wall art awesome?!?

The next pic is of 'Ihi in the doorway of some big stick nest hut.  I should've taken a photo of the sign attached to this artwork because now I've completely forgotten what it is called.  But it's still very cool.

 This big hut was at a place called The Hui. It's like a community center for art.  There was some kind of exhibit going on that day, which is one of the reasons why 'Ihi wanted to go up there in the first place.  She is very artistic and appreciates all things creative.  I appreciate art and artistry in all forms, but the visual art gene passed me up.  I mostly spent the afternoon hearing all the artists talk to my cousin, and I piped in every now and then when they remembered I was there. :-)

printing artwork via copper and acid erosion
 You can't tell as much from this photo, but Maui has a lot of nice, open roads to drive on.  Definitely much more serene than on 'Oahu.  Of course, as my cousin pointed out, living on an island with two mountains instead of just one makes for very confused drivers (at least it confuses the two of us.) 

This next pic was from when we went to Pa'ia for Flatbread pizza.  Only one of them is really asleep.

And of course I had to post one more pic of each.  In Blondie's pic, we're standing in the foyer of the movie theater.  Yes, this is the pre-Valentine's-Day-movie outing where she was disturbing the peace and I had to take her outside.  Almonds got a lei from her grandpa and the hibiscus from his front yard and felt like a pretty princess.  I couldn't NOT take a picture of her.

By the way, in my family, the term "pretty princess" is the equivalent of the term "fat cow."  My little sisters came up with it when my mom scolded them for calling each other names.  So everytime Almonds calls herself a pretty princess, I can't help but snicker under my breath.  I wonder what things these two sisters are going to come up with for their mother.

And finally, here is a picture of our street from the stairwell.  I love the look of an empty street right after it rains.

P.S. If you wanna take a look at some of 'Ihilani's art (digital art -- she's very good, and she is just getting started), go to her etsy page here.  You'll like them; I promise.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Surfacing for Valentine's Day

I know I've been absent on my blog for a while, but it's not because I had nothing to blog about.

It's because I had too much to blog about.
Seriously... I've lost count.

But I'm back to write about Valentine's Day.

This Valentine's Day I wanted to make it about my girls.  Since we've been trying to scrimp and save, and since my gestational diabetes is breathing down my neck, I was just going to keep it simple, informative, and at home.

Informative, you say?  What's so informative about Valentine's Day?
Answer there: Practically everything you introduce to a child is informative.  And since Almonds is 3 years old and still not in preschool, I figured it's up to me to educate her on the world around us.

I have been more excited thinking about celebrating today with the girls than with Jobi.  Not that Jobi is a horrible valentine or anything, but everything is more exciting through the eyes of a child.  Not much is exciting through the eyes of Jobi. :-P

We spent the morning cutting up hearts and sticking them on the walls.  Almonds already had her V-Day card for her dad ready, and Blondie and I just pulled an online Mickey Mouse one off Disney Junior . com to print and give him.  I made him Valentine's Day coupons with deals that were specifically geared toward him (the usual "free date night of your choice" is soooo not Jobi's style):

One Day of Uninterrupted Gaming
One Fried Chicken Dinner
One Hour of Gaming WITH Spouse

... things like those.

Don't ask me why Jobi is getting all the attention this Valentine's Day.  Lucky dog.  At least he took us to the movies yesterday and breakfast this morning.  (So much for scrimping and saving, eh?)  We saw "The Vow" starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.  (*sigh* Channing.  The hot white man that can dance.)  I had to leave the theater after a while, though, because Blondie wouldn't stop talking.  I don't know what the heck she was saying or who she was talking to, but she made some girls in front of us move farther away so they could watch the movie in peace.  And because Jobi worked puehu shift last night, he fell asleep during our Valentine's breakfast outing -- and stayed asleep in the car while I took the girls to the park.  Dang family of mine. 

Nonetheless, we are spending time with each other and showing each other how much we care.  Today has become more of a family day than a "lover day" -- but I am more than happy about that.  And here's why: Family Time is easy to come by in our home... Quality Family Time, however, is another story.  With today's ever-accelerating technology at the fingertips of every family member, it's becoming more and more difficult to even remember how to function as a family unit, let alone find the activities and routines that fall under that category.  We are no exception to this new wave of family; Jobi lives for his PS3 and computer games, I camp on my smartphone, and our girls live off of their TV shows and my Kindle Fire books.  So to take a holiday like this and turn it into a Family Day has done more for us than just checked off another holiday to celebrate -- it's made us a family again.  A family that plays together.  That makes messes together.  That eats and sleeps and works together.  I thought our family was doing fine before -- now we are even better.  And it's all thanks to Valentine's Day.

Go figure.

So I hope everyone else had a great Valentine's Day.  If you're not with your loved one (or any loved one), make your kids your valentines.  Or make yourself your valentine.  One of my fave V-Days in my single, sexy, and free days was when I gave myself a makeover (well, a new haircut and painted nails), rented a movie ("The Princess Bride" -- classic) and ate homemade brownie sundaes.  Mmmmmm, brownies.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The One Day That Made the Others Go Away

I haven't posted lately because not much has happened, except things that I wanna just vent about.
But I don't want to vent.  I can vent for days, and then I end up still feeling crappy about everything, but with nothing to show for it but an ugly face.  So in attempt to not vent, this is pretty much what has been going on with us lately:

Jobi and I are at odds with our finances.  Big surprise there, since we're at odds with pretty much everything.  Especially the computer and video games.  But I'm not gonna go there right now.

This week began (and ended) Attempt #3 at potty-training Almonds.  She loves sitting on the potty, just not when she has to. *sigh*

The GD (gestational diabetes) has been making me sick.  That plus massive back and pelvic pain equals a dirty house.  Hate.

Blondie had a fever earlier this week.  It only lasted a couple of days, but she still whines like she's sick and begs to be held every 15 minutes.  I swear this girl is gonna be trouble.

But today was different.  Today was a very refreshing change of pace.

Today Jobi took me to Pa'ia.

For those who know Oahu, Pa'ia is just like Haleiwa: small town, old town, crowded with tourists and hippie/surfers, and full of eateries that everyone raves about.  One such place I keep hearing is an organic pizza restaurant called The Flatbread Company.  I don't know why I wanted to go there since I'm not a big fan of flatbread pizza, but I brought it up with Jobi anyway, about a month ago.  Since he was off tonight, we went to try it out (along with his baby brother -- he's 21).

It wasn't the pizza that made it a great day; it was everything else around the pizza.  The open road drive up North Shore.  The incessant teasing and laughing of brothers at each other.  The Taylor Swift "Fearless" album in the van. (It's Jobi's ....... long story.)  The two other sets of hands to take the girls.  And, even more than their pizza, the brownie sundae (which I only took 2 bites of *sniff*).  It was a nice drive, with nice company, and nice music, and nice food.  And it was just what I needed to end this really frustrating week.

So thank you, Pa'ia, for settling my nerves.  And thank you, Flatbread, for a lovely time.

Oh, if you wanna know how much to expect to spend at Flatbread, this is the basic rundown of our meal:

3 16" pizzas
2 homemade juices
2 organic chocolate milks
1 Maui Brewing Co. root beer
1 brownie sundae

Our verdict:
A great touristy place.  I personally love that Flatbread supports local farming: every ingredient is locally grown or made.  Our favorite pizza has to be the one with pineapples and kalua pig (I forgot the names of the pizzas already).  If you have room in your belly (and wallet), get the brownie sundae, somewhere in the $7.00 area.  You won't be disappointed.  We enjoyed it, but we don't think we'll go back.  We felt like splurging today and trying as much as we could, and it was worth it, but just for today.  From now on, we'll probably just stick with Costco.  We are too poor to do otherwise. ;-)