29 January 2013

Valentine's Day Free Printable

 Love is starting to fill the air. It's that time of year where people start to get struck with cupid's arrow. Hearts are everywhere, from DIY pinterest ideas to mega store chains. Everyone is planning that special day for their special person-- buying roses, chocolates, candles, jewelry, dinner reservations...the list goes on.

So, in carrying on with the Valentine's Day tradition, I've decided to make a few printables to spruce up your home. These can also be used year-round-- the "LOVE" print is in my daughter's room, and looks really cute!

These print out to be 8x10.

Just Click the Download Here at the bottom of each printable:


28 January 2013

Polynesian Culture

We had an entire day dedicated to Polynesian Cultural Center. It was nothing like I imagined. In my head I thought cheesy touristy rides, gimmicks, and games— like a Hawaiian Bush Gardens of sorts. I was wrong. Everything was natural and authentic. There were activities, shows, and crafts that were all centered around the Polynesian culture. We learned so much about how each tribe grew and thrived, and formed into what they are today. It was a total blast!

We left there educated and enlightened about the Tahitian villages, Samoan cooking, Fiji hip-shaking, and Hawaiian storytelling through dance.

Here are a few photos:

where we had our Hawaiian Feast

 island beauty pageant
island beauty pageant

making fish out of palm leaves

hula lessons

Happy Monday!

24 January 2013

Catamaran, Baby!

What’s better than a double rainbow? Sailing on a catamaran!

Sunday morning, we awoke early to get an early start on our day. We had reservations to board a catamaran out of Waikiki—which, in my opinion, is the best reason to roll out of bed. I wasn’t sure how the kids would take to being out in the ocean, but they loved every moment. Zipping over waves and crashing down with a huge bang, sent Krysta and William into fits of laughter as the water drenched them from head to toe. Their happiness was contagious.

I loved being out on the ocean, with the wind in my hair and sun on my face. It gave me a feeling of pure weightless freedom. So surreal.

The views were breathtaking. Seeing Honolulu from a new perspective-- the panoramic view of Honolulu’s cityscape, with lush mountains in the background and the sparkling aqua ocean below our feet was heaven. Plus, seeing two sea turtles pop up alongside the boat wasn’t too shabby.

It was a memorable day; one that I would love to relive.

 William singing into a seashell. He has music in his bones.

21 January 2013

Staying Organized {FREE PRINTABLES}

The dreary wintery days of January have proven to be bright and inspiring. I've been staying active and getting a lot of work accomplished-- commissions, projects, forming my ideas into a reality. Projects and daunting tasks that I've been putting off for months, have now been brought into action. I love the feeling of living with purpose, to intentionally plan out my days with the mission of bettering my life and those around me. My mantra: MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I'm a sucker for making lists. So, to help keep my head straight, I've made a couple of charts that I want to share with my awesome readers, free for download. Thank you for your interest in my family and our journey through this crazy military life.

Daily Tracker:

Project Tracker:



17 January 2013

DIY Picture Frame {Project Pretty}

Krysta said to me, "Mom, I'm ready for a bigger girl's room. Not a teenager room, but something a little bigger than what I have now."

I was shocked because Krysta NEVER wants change. In fact, I still have a few of her toddler toys and dresses that she insists on keeping, but yet she never plays with anymore. Since she wants a "somewhat kinda sorta, but not really a teenager room", I'm letting her take the reigns as far as picking out the colors and fabric.

Her colors: gold, silver, white, turquoise, and fuchsia. It sounds a little bizarre, but it's coming together really well. We've been working on her room with any small pockets of time that we can muster together.

I'll post each DIY project that we add to her room and once it's complete I'll do a grand reveal with links to where certain items can be purchased and/or made.

So for now, I'll start with the focal point of her room.... the GRAND WHITE HORSE PHOTOGRAPH. The white horse photograph can be purchased from Art.com . Because we wanted to fill a large space with dramatic art, we opted for the 56x42. Since the piece is insanely large, professionally framing would have cost us an arm and a leg, possibly even our firstborn.... so we did what any DIYer would do-- built our own frame.

photograph on Art.com

  • modpodge
  • foam brush
  • wood glue
  • nails
  • 4 furring strips $1 each at Lowes
  • 1/8 inch plywood $13/sheet at Lowes
  • molding (I needed 3 strips because of the large size, so just measure how much you need.) I used "Sunburst" from Lowes. It's about $18/strip, but you can opt out for something cheaper-- this was the one of the pricier strips, but I just really like the detail on the "sunburst" molding.  
  • clamps
  • spray paint or regular paint

Total framing cost: $73 (please note: your cost depends on the size of your photograph and the style of your molding)


1. Build the backside of your frame with the furring strips according to the size of your photograph. Add enough to each side to allow room from your molding to be sturdy on the plywood, but small enough to have a little overhang. Example: if your photograph is 8"x10", your molding is 2", make your frame roughly 9.5"x11.5".

2. Wood glue the ends and nail together. See photo below:

3. Wood glue your plywood to your frame. Clamp it down till the glue dries, preferably overnight.

4. Using a foam brush, apply modpodge to your plywood and smooth your photograph on top. I started in the middle and worked my way out-- I found that to be the easiest.

5. Next, Modpodge the top of your photograph for a glossy look and to protect it.

6. Cut each edge of your molding in 45* angles. Wood glue the edges together, again preferably overnight for maximum hold. Spray paint the molding to the color of your choice-- I choose silver.

7. Wood glue your "frame" to the top of your plywood. Clam down, so it's nice and tight.

8. Attach hardware to the back sides (not the top) AND YOU'RE DONE!

Shown displayed in Krysta's room:

Happy Creating!!!


16 January 2013

Down in Waikiki

My to-do list for today is full of design projects, heaps and heaps of laundry, and DIY projects. So, I’m coming in for a short and to the point blog post. Please bare with me as I catch-up on the past few months… 

We set out early before the busy streets and city sidewalks awoke. It was nice to get an early start to exploring—to see the beach in different light, new colors and hues.  A lavender and soft turquoise reflected peacefully off of the Waikiki seascape as waves elegantly curled among the sand. It was quit tranquil—like a Japanese garden level of tranquility.

We ate our Starbuck’s breakfast on the Waikiki wall, watching the quiet city grow louder and louder as bikers, walkers, and city buses quickly passed by to their destinations. Street performers pulled out their guitars and set out their hats as tourists formed circles to soak in the entertainment. A girl could get use to this lifestyle. 

As the sun grew more intense, we walked down the Waikiki shoreline to the Waikiki Aquarium.

We became face-to-fin with a variety of tropical fish, coral, and jellies. William was completely mesmerized and we loved seeing all of the vibrant colors.

The Honolulu Zoo was right down the road, so we happily took advantage of our day and ventured in. It was a zoo like all the rest, except for the overabundance lush tropical foliage at every turn. Beautiful.

Happy Hump Day! I hope you all are having a good week so far...if not, you still have 1/2 of the week left to make it into what you want.

Have less. Do more. Be more.