Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

And the WINNER is...

Didnʻt you win the last time Katrina?

It cost: 18.81

Just heard on the news about HUGE rats in China Town and closures to some of the stores...Hmmm, that doesnʻt sound all that inviting....Should I still go?

We are in Kohala (Big Island) for a couple of weeks, so I guess I have time to forget about the rat situation and will go again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Guessing Time Again

Had so much fun in China Town today....
a little bit too much.

I don't know what it is about it, I can't stop. I passed by some
and decided that I needed to make some spring rolls as it smelled too good to pass up. (I don't really know what else to do with mint.) I also bought:
Thai Basil
Red Pepper
Rice Wraps

How much did I spend?

Go Ahead, GUESS!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just Being Honest

I was going to go
on and on
about how I
HATED Halloween and the candy and the dressing up and, and, and...
But, I decided that I was being really negative and people don't really want to hear me go
on and on
about my expectations and how they get SHOT DOWN...
So, I digress.

I will go on and on about something else.

Do you ever feel like a horrible mom?

Well, I do


Every night I go to bed and think, "What in the heck was I thinking when I did.....this or that?"
I am usually praying for forgiveness and asking to be a better mom tomorrow.

But then,
I was looking at some pictures and, my girls have a pretty good life and are

very lucky

to have a mom like me.

(Good thing the pictures don't show me yelling or scolding them.)

I am hoping that these pictures will help the girls remember the good times we have together and not all the times I am the mother from
H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

Being a parent is freakin' hard, but there are good times and fun times and funny times and happy times and great times and silly times and...I could go on forever. You get the drift.

I just need to enjoy the moment and remember to relax and
stop expecting things
to go a certain way.

Here are some moments I've enjoyed with my girls.

We were playing hide and go seek. Kids, you gotta love 'em!

At the beach. I love it when the girls sit together. I hope they continue to stay close.

Ellie's 2nd birthday. She was so excited to see the balloons and asked all day if she could eat her
"happy birthday cake".

You get to do anything on your birthday....that means all the band-aids you want and you don't even have to have any blood!

Some of her presents! Isn't she so cute?!

The girls love to have their toes painted. Though as soon as we are done Ellie wants to take it off because she HATES to sit there until they are dry. (Not some of my greatest mommy moments with this activity!)

Halloween. We only let them go to 10 or so houses. They were pouring candy into their bags...I kept saying "only 1 please"...they didn't really listen. We have finished all the chocolate and now I regret not letting people put tons in their bag and going to more houses....sure could use some more chocolate!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Here we are AGAIN. At the BEACH. I'm sure you are not surprised. Hey, it's free and we all love it. The surf is starting to get good on the North Shore so this will be our new home for a while.

The girls wouldn't look at me or smile while I was trying to take pics, but I think these are almost as good as getting their cheesy little faces.

Leftovers is one of our favorite beaches. No people to bother us and the girls have the run of the place and can scream and yell as much as they want.

The tide was out and we could explore.

The girls wanted to catch some fish....I don't do that...That's Julius' thing and he was out surfing so I let them do it themselves! (Just so you know....I was just running something back to the tent...I wouldn't just leave my girls there in the water by themselves!) The girls decided catching fish wasn't any fun and started to make pancakes. I can do sand pancakes!

“My life is like a stroll on the near to the edge as I can go.” Thoreau

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Water Babies

Here are my girls. They are my little water babies. Always asking to go to the beach or as Ellie calls it the "BEE".

Here are the girls playing at Ala Moana. Ellie is getting pretty brave my herself. And Lucy likes to swim out as far as we will let her...she would go further, but I'm not ready for that, yet!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Walk A Mile (or 2) In My Shoes

Getting out of the house


is something to celebrate. Sometimes it seems impossible. My getting out of the house begins with screams and crys and "Mommy, mommy, mommy, no, no, no", or giving hundreds of hugs and kisses before I even get my shoes on. But it is always worth it.

Well, I have been able to get out and go


3 days this week.

Usually I just walk and look at my feet and try to get the "exercising" over with as soon as possible. (I was going to say that I went jogging, but that would be an over exaggeration:) (And I NEVER do that!)

The last time I walked I started to look at STUFF. Wow, there is some cool STUFF out there. So I decided to take a few pics along the way. I'm sure some people thought I was a little crazy or if they were looking out their house windows, they would have yelled at the

crazy Haole girl

but I was sly...well as sly as I can be...I'm not that smooth or coordinated.

Here are a few things I found along my way.

Here is the view from the top of the hill...just minutes....actually seconds from my home. The pic doesn't do it justice. (Unfortunately, we don't have this view from our home, but hey, I'll take what I can get!)

This is the fresh water stream that flows into the only fresh water pond on the Island. It's said that the pond is where the Kings and Queens used to bathe. (I'll have to take a pic of the pond sometime for you...I wouldn't bathe in it for a million dollars....okay, maybe a million.) The pics are from 2 different streets.

An old Chevy. Just sitting around, rusting. It's very cool, though.

Cool house. I think it's connected with the Japanese Library or maybe it is the Library...not sure, it's still cool, though.

The Hsu Yun Temple. (Chinese) It's HUGE!

A huge American flag and huge owl. (The owl is at the American Cancer Society House.)

A koi pond. You can't really see it, but there is a tiny village set up all around. I had to "walk-by" pic as it was in someone's yard:)

The Royal Mausoleum. All of Hawaii's Royalty are buried here...except King Kamehameha I. (His is a secret...shhhhh.)

I think there are 5 or 6 cemeteries on my walk, this is one of them. I have been fascinated with them since my mission in England. They are beautiful...during daylight hours.

Some of the MANY flowers along the way. Actually the last little purpley-blue one is a weed. Even weeds on Hawaii are beautiful!

Not sure if you can see it, but there is a faint rainbow. Always nice to see one of those:
1. It's beautiful.
2. It means that it has rained or is raining's cooler!

Seeing it was a nice way to end my walk.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Being Frugal IS Fabulous

I have been trying to be
BETTER with my money, but I just seem to have this PROBLEM:

It's kinda sad, because I even enjoy going out and buying toilet paper.....I know it's a sickness and I know I don't really have it and there are those out there who are in need of serious help, but I am really trying to live by a budget and be smarter.

So I was looking at some things and trying to get some ideas and here they are:

Save Money Grocery Shopping

  • Shop for produce at a local farm stand.
  • Never buy coffee, soda, or other drinks or snacks out.
  • Always grocery shop with a list.
  • Take advantage of sales on items that you would normally buy.
  • Only shop once a month.
  • Keep a price book and track prices by unit cost.
  • Stockpile staples when prices are low.
  • Buy generic items.
  • Plan meals according to what is on sale that week.
  • Take advantage of rainchecks if the store doesn’t have a sale item that you need.
  • Buy enough of a sale item to last 12 weeks. That’s about how long sales take to cycle.
  • Shop at discount marts: Grocery outlet, The Dollar Store, etc.
  • Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Many stores offer a small discount per bag.
  • Take advantage of stores that double coupons.
  • Watch out for deals on things that your friends need, and have them do the same for you.

Save Money on Cooking and Eating

  • Eat less meat.
  • Become a vegetartian.
  • Eat leftovers.
  • Cook large amounts and freeze extra for busy nights.
  • Scrape out food jars to use the last little bit.
  • Cook from scratch.
  • Never eat out.
  • Eat from your stocked pantry.
  • Bring lunch from home (it’s worth it to invest in proper containers).
  • Eat less. The average American eats too much.
  • Don’t use the vending machines at work.
  • Always have a meal plan. Always.
  • Use the Once a Month Cooking system.
  • Keep soup starter jars in the freezer. A little leftover this, a little leftover that. Nothing is wasted.
  • Get creative with leftovers. Concoct new recipes, so nothing is wasted.
  • Base most of your meals on rice or beans to cut down on meat consumption.
  • Look for events that entertain and feed you at the same time. Church socials, shopping at Sam’s (think about those free samples)…
  • Don’t drink soda. Drink water!
  • Make your own jello cups (or applesauce cups, or pudding cups) for lunches and snacks.
  • If your kids complain about generic cereal, put the generic in a name-brand box. They’ll never know the difference!
  • Rear your own chickens. (in Hawaii you can have 2 chickens per household.)
  • Join a freezer club. Get together with like-minded people to exchange meals for your freezers. It’s cheaper to prepare a lot of one meal and split it up, than to prepare a bunch of different meals.
  • Make your own baby food.
  • Always take a snack and bottle of water wherever you go. You won’t be tempted to stop for expensive fast food or drinks.
  • Grow your own produce. No room? Try a square foot garden! Or use pots on the patio.
  • Freeze, can, or dehydrate your produce.
  • Cook with the crockpot to avoid using the oven, which warms up the house.
  • Use a convection oven to accomplish the same purpose.

Save Money on Cars and Gas

  • Run errands once a week and use the most efficient route.
  • Walk as much as you can.
  • Stay home as often as possible.
  • Keep tires filled to their proper pressure.
  • Don’t suddenly stop or accelerate.
  • Carpool.
  • Bum a ride with friends and chip in for gas.
  • Ride your bike.
  • Use a diesel car if you have one.
  • Coast when you see a red light ahead, instead of hitting the brakes.
  • Use public transportation.
  • Try to get by with one car if you have two.
  • If you have one car that you only drive a couple of times a week, consider getting rid of it and using cabs.
  • Drive your car until it’s old. This works really well when you buy a car that will run for 200,000 miles.
  • Keep up on your car’s maintenance.
  • Turn your car off at lights.
  • Coast when you can.
  • Limit city driving.
  • Turn off the engine and coast to a stop. (Only do this if you know your car and know what you’re doing. It could be unsafe, depending on the car)
  • On a long trip, keep a steady foot.
  • Make it a challenge to see how far you can go on a tank of gas.
  • Use a discount card to buy gas. (Many grocery stores offer them, as well as Costco).
  • Fill up early in the morning when the air is cool, and the gas is dense. You’ll get more gas and less air.
  • Fill up when your tank is half empty.
  • Shop around for insurance. The rates can vary a lot!
  • Use to find the lowest price on gas.

Save Money on Utilities

  • Turn off every electrical item at the plug every night. Putting everything on power strips makes this easier.
  • Keep the lights off during the day.
  • Line dry clothes outside when it’s warm and sunny.
  • Line dry clothes by setting dryer racks over heater vents. Use your shower rod if you need even more room.
  • Let dishes air dry after running them through the dishwasher.
  • Cancel the cable.
  • Don’t use hot water in the summer.
  • Consider a family plan for cell phones.
  • Use CFL bulbs.
  • Turn down the thermostat (or turn it off). Use candles in the room to raise the temperature. A set of little tea candles goes a long way.
  • Don’t run the heater at night.
  • Open windows on summer nights to cool down the house.
  • Use a fan.
  • Get rid of your land line and use your cell phone.
  • Take short showers.
  • Insulate your water pipes.
  • Install low flow showerheads and aerators on all faucets.
  • If you’re going to be in and out all day, park on the street, rather than using the electric garage door opener multiple times.
  • If you live in an apartment, see if you can split the cost of a wireless connection with your neighbors. But make sure it’s legal first.
  • Turn off the PC if you won’t be using it for an hour or more.
  • Use nightlights that only come on when it’s dark.
  • Use nightlights in the bathroom, so if you have to use the bathroom at night, you don’t have to turn on the light.
  • Keep the freezer full. If you have to, put milk jugs filled with water in the freezer. It’s less expensive to keep a full freezer cold than an empty one.
  • Never leave the water running when rinsing dishes, brushing teeth, etc. Only use the water you need.
  • Have your young children shower with you, instead of giving them separate baths.

Save Money on Medical Needs

  • Use a flexible spending account or cafeteria plan, so you can pay out-of-pocket medical expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Ask your doctor to prescribe generic medication.
  • Buy generic medication at Walmart or Target. They have a lot of different medications available for $4.

Saving Money on Clothing

  • Limit clothes shopping.
  • Shop at thrift stores.
  • Shop garage sales.
  • Sew, using discount fabric (easy to find at garage sales).
  • Change into play clothes after school to keep good clothes looking nice.
  • Re-use jewelry. If you lose a beautiful earring, put the one you have on a chain and wear it as a necklace.

Save Money Around the House

  • Use only half of a dishwasher tablet at a time.
  • Use rechargeable batteries for electronics and toys.
  • Store batteries in the refrigerator. They last longer.
  • Do repairs (paint touch ups, sewing, etc) one day a week. If you keep things in good working order, they last longer.
  • Accept hand-me-downs. You can donate them if you can’t use them.
  • Do home repairs yourself.
  • Reuse things. An example: Plastic grocery bags can be reused as lunch bags, shoe bags, or laundry bags on vacation.
  • Email for free samples. You can get some good stuff!
  • Wash and re-use Ziplock bags.
  • Make your own Christmas cards by making a collage from the fronts of Christmas cards you received the previous year.
  • See if your local dump or transfer station offers free firewood or garden mulch. Take advantage of it.
  • Use water from boiling eggs or pasta to water your plants.
  • If you’ve bought stuff that you haven’t used, see if you can return it.
  • If you rent, rent from a person, not a company. You’re more likely to have some of your utilities paid, especially if your place is a room inside a house or a basement apartment.
  • Move in with roommates.
  • If you and your family or friends have a lot of websites, consolidate them all into one hosting package and split the cost.
  • Flush toilet only after you use it 2-3 times. (eww...don't really like this one.)
  • Use a kitchen rag instead of paper towels.

Save Money on Entertainment

  • Cancel magazine subscriptions.
  • Use the library for books, magazines, and movies. See if you can reserve them online and then just pick them up.
  • Read newspapers online.
  • Celebrate “no spend” weekends, where you don’t spend anything.
  • Prepare special dinners at home, rather than going out to celebrate.
  • Eat out only once a month.
  • Use hotel points and airline miles for vacation.
  • Split an entree with someone else when you go out for dinner.
  • Do free things for entertainment: Hiking, free city concerts, board games.
  • Only order from the dollar menu when eating out.
  • Go to the park and have a picnic.
  • Take advantage of “get in free” days at the museum, etc.
  • To find special festivals, get a free state tourism guide.
  • If you find that you go somewhere a lot (a zoo, amusement park), buy a season pass.
  • Entertain at home. Have friends over for dinner, or have a game night and just serve snacks.
  • Make your own “take out” style meals. Pizza is a good way to start. And if you do a recipe search for your favorite restaurant foods, there are some good knock offs out there!
  • Trade babysitting with friends who also need a sitter.

Save Money on Miscellaneous Things

  • Only get haircuts every 8-10 weeks, instead of every 6 weeks.
  • Cut your own hair.
  • Do your own manicures.
  • Shop for Christmas gifts year round to catch the good sales.
  • Compost…it’s good for the garden.
  • Dumpster dive, if you’re brave and it’s legal where you are.
  • Sell something every week.
  • Never spend change. Collect it and put it in a savings account.
  • Get rid of excess stuff. It costs less to store and maintain.
  • Sell it on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Or have a garage sale.
  • Or give it away on Freecycle.
  • Don’t watch TV. It cuts down on wants.
  • Get rid of the TV all together.
  • Enter blog giveaways. You never know what you might win.
  • If you get a raise, don’t increase your lifestyle. Save the extra or pay off debts!
  • If you’re a two income family, make sure the second income is more than the expenses associated with working.
  • Use a fee free credit card with rewards. Charge everything to get the rewards. But ONLY do this if you are diligent about paying it off every single month. If you pay interest, it isn’t worth it.
  • Pay off debt as quickly as possible. Saves on interest.
  • Make sure you get get the best interest rate on your savings, CD’s, etc.
  • Invest your money. Make it grow.
  • Use a budget.
  • Use a spreadsheet to keep track of variable expenses.
  • Use cash.
  • Change your mindset. Instead of thinking “what do I need to buy?”, think, “what do I have that I can use?” That’s how people got through the Great Depression.
  • Give stuff you don’t use to others. It gets your mind off of your situation and onto others. And it promotes a sense of contentment and gratitude.
Here are a few things I found. I am already doing a few, but there are a few more things I could be doing that will help. Hope this helps you.

Thanks to

Also go to my friends website, she is really great!