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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sea Glass....Bugs!

This past weeked was the annual "Made in Hawaii Festival." Everything being sold was made in the Hawaiian islands including jewelry, clothing, food, furniture, art work, baby stuff, etc. You wouldn't believe how much stuff was there! There were hundreds of vendors and I walked by almost every single booth! It was so inspiring to see so much creativity under one (well two) roofs!

I could go on and on about all the wonderful things we saw but I really wanted to mention one particular booth as it relates to a previous post that I blogged about - sea glass.

While there were several booths that featured sea glass jewelry there was one booth, "Besos Creations" that featured something a bit more unique. Not only did they have jewelry but they also had chimes, bottles filled with sea glass and.....sea glass BUGS!

Of course Kailani fell in LOVE with the little bugs and HAD to have one. You can't deny the fact that they are really cute! What a creative and unique way to display sea glass! The ladies that worked there (sisters, I believe) were so nice and easy to talk to - I could've stayed and talked story with them all day! We had talked about how we had just started collecting sea glass and when they saw how Kailani loved one of their little bugs they gave her a sweet deal on it!

Kailani's been taking her bug everywhere with her!

Close up of the bug

The great thing is that they have an Etsy shop! Their Etsy shop name is Ochoa Sea Glass. Take a moment to visit if you love sea glass like we do! They even have sea glass bugs available for purchase!

I love what they say about sea glass on their profile:

"Although most pieces in our collection is jewelry quality sea glass, we do use pieces with minor blemishes or pieces with so much POWER and character, that throwing them back was not a option. With hundreds of pounds of sea glass in our inventory, it is estimated that over 80% is thrown back with hopes that we will come across them again some day."

Thank you to Besos Creations/Ochoa Sea Glass for your kindness and creativity!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sticker Exchange, Anyone?

Stickers on it's way to California

My girlfriend Sarah ("Hi Sarah!") asked me last week if Kailani would be interested in participating in a sticker exchange. It's much like the recipe exchanges that circulate via email but because this entails sending something tangible you have to send it through the postal system.

After I got all the details I thought the whole process would be a great opportunity for Kailani to practice writing notes and to learn a little bit of geography. Meanwhile she will receive some personal mail with stickers included. After all, who doesn't enjoy receiving snail mail now and then?

Here is what you need. You may already have everything!
1) Six friends to participate
2) One packet of stickers
3) 12 copies of the letter (that will be sent by us)
4) Six envelopes
5) Six stamps

Here is a quickie of how it works:
1) Wait for your letter to arrive (from us).
2) Send one packet of stickers to the person indicated on your letter.
3) Send six people a copy of the letter (as well as a blank copy) asking them to send a packet of stickers to the person designated in their letter (which would be Kailani).
4) Wait patiently!

If everyone does as instructed then your child will receive 36 packets of stickers! Notice I said "If". That's because if one person in the chain doesn't participate it throws the whole process off. Sarah did mention to me that several people had a luke warm reception towards the sticker exchange which is understable. Many may be turned off by the solicitation of friends or the whole idea that this is simlar to a chain letter (trust me though - no bad luck will come your way if you don't participate!)

Sooooo....instead of soliciting friends to participate I thought I would ask here first if there is anyone that would like to volunteer to participate? (Of course friends are welcome to play! ;) ) I'm looking for six kids to send our letter to. We'd like to get our letters out VERY soon (like yesterday!) If you are interested and can follow through with the process please let me know! Leave a comment and then send me an email with your child's name and mailing address to SHARKritzler@aol.com The first six get to play!

Any takers?

ETA: Looking for two more people to join in the fun! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Win 200 Custom Made Postcards from UPrinting!

How would you like to win 200 custom made postcards and all you pay for is shipping? With the help of UPrinting it could happen! They are offering two readers of Mama's a Mess that exact thing!

If you are the winner you can choose between three different sizes (4 x 6, 4.25 x 6, or 5 x 7); 14 pt. matte or gloss; and have full color (4 color choices) on BOTH sides!

Giveaway is open to those with United States addresses only. Shipping is paid by the winner.

So what exactly are you going to do with 200 postcards? Well, my dear friends, in case you have a hard time thinking outside of the box postcards are not just for sending while on vacation. There are so many other creative ways to use them. Here are some of my own ideas:

1) Promote your business! Who said you HAVE to send postcards via mail? Why not use them to advertise your business? Personally hand them out to friends, relatives and prospective clients! While my Etsy shop is far from opening I could do something like this:

(Note: "Happy Hapa" will not be ready on September 1st!)

2) Or I could announce my change of address:

3) Or use them as Holiday cards!
Using postcards as Christmas/Holiday cards has been a great way to save some time and money! Save money on stamps (remember - postage for postcards are a few pennies less) and if you WIN the postcards you save even more!

If you don't want to use your own photograph for your postcard UPrinting also offers premade options as well. Just add your information to it! Check out some of their samples here: Custom Postcards. While you're there check out their Custom Greeting Cards as well!

Now, what would YOU do with 200 custom made postcards? Tell me and you just might win your own set! Here's how:

First of all you MUST have an address in the United States (sorry to my friends outside the USA!) and MUST pay for your own shipping!

Next you have to enter! Your first entry is M-A-N-D-A-T-O-R-Y. Did you read that? MANDATORY! That means you MUST, HAVE TO, are OBLIGATED to DO IT before you try to earn extra entries! Here's what you HAVE to do:

1. Leave a comment telling on how you would use your 200 postcards. Please include your email address if it's not easily found on your Blogger profile.

Once that is done (and only after) you can then go for extra entries! Be sure to leave a seperate comment for each extra entry. Leave your email address as well (unless it is easily found on your Blogger profile).

Here's how to earn extra entries:
1. Follow this blog.
2. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a link to your Tweet.
3. Earn TWO extra entries by blogging about this giveaway. Leave a link to your blog post. Be sure to comment TWICE to increase your chance of winning!
4. Visit my other blog Mama's Empty Pockets and become a follower.
5. While my Etsy shop is not yet open go visit and add me as your "favorite."

Two winners will be chosen at midnight on Monday, August 31st via Random.org. Winners will be notified via email and must reply within 48 hours.

Be sure to check out UPrinting for other custom printing ideas such as greeting cards, business

Thanks to UPrinting for this fabulous offer!

Friday, August 14, 2009

We Have Sunflowers!

Remember back in June when I tried growing some sunflowers? Little buds had started to form before we left North Carolina but now they are in full bloom! Thanks to my father for taking a couple of pictures and sending them to share! Here is a picture update:

Day one: Wet the seeds.

Week one: We see sprouts!

Week two: Time to take them out and plant them!

We picked a spot:

This is what it looked like before we put it into the ground:

Week 5: You can clearly see three plants growing!

Week 9: A flower is forming!

Week 10 - We have a flower!

Week 11: We have MANY sunflowers!

Of course the little buggers were a bit camera shy and decided to face towards the fence rather than the camera.....

I'm not sure which variety of sunflowers each of these are - while we labeled them in the glove I forgot to label them when we planted them into the ground. Whoops! That's okay. I am just tickled to death that this experiment worked! From beginning to end the entire process took approximately 2.5 months. It was well worth the wait!

Please see my original post for more details or head over to JesseKate Designs where the idea originated!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baby Makapuu - Beach Treasures

Over the weekend we went to one of our favorites spots - the tide pools at Baby Makapuu. I had been looking forward to going - we used to bring Kailani all the time but this would be Momo's first visit. It's such a wonderful place to bring your kids as the water is usually calm and if you're really careful you can walk around on the rocks and explore. You can see fish, hermit crabs, snails, sea cucumbers, and other marine life that look like they came from outer space. You're sure to find something that will make you wonder.

Years ago I used to have a collection of sea glass - glass that I had found washed up on the beach. Nothing store bought or given to me. I have no idea what happened to that small collection but now that we are back in Hawaii the girls and I will start another one. The only requirement is the glass have soft edges. Big, small, brown, green, clear....we're going to take it! For now we will just store them in a jar. Later I would love try wire wrapping a few and making them into jewelry.

This was a big chunk of glass.
Can you see "Nestle" imprinted on it?

On our little hunt for sea glass we also found some small shells as well as chips of shells. The girls want to collect those as well. Of course Momo found rocks to be equally fascinating - but we will leave those behind unless there is something incredibly unique about them!

When we came home from the beach I realized I didn't have anything to put our little treasures in so I bought some small jars from Target. Upon removing the price stickers I noticed on one of the jars there were multiple stickers (they were intact...in my pictures you can tell that I started to remove them). I started to remove them only to find......

What's that you see? Is it a Walmart sticker on the very bottom? Yes it is. And to think that I purchased the jars from Target! What's that all about?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Lanikai

Look to the right....

Look to the left...

Look straight ahead.....

For more Wordless Wednesay click here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Day of 2nd Grade

Who said it gets easier?

Okay. Maybe it does - but just by a smidget. That's it.

I just got back from walking Kailani to her first day of 2nd grade. I still can't get over it! Second grade?!? I didn't cry but boy did I come close. Kailani on the other hand was fine. She did admit to being a little bit nervous (which made me even more anxious) but she was more excited than anything.

This morning I woke up at about 5:00 a.m. to make Kailani a cake. My girlfriend Betsy came up with a tradition of making a cake for her daughter every year on the 1st day of school. I loved the idea and have been doing it as well.

Need I remind you that I am not a pastry chef. Not even close! But as long as Kailani thinks I am I will continue to make boxed cakes and use store bought tubs of frosting! :)

Here is Kailani on her first day of kindergarten:

And her first day of 1st grade:

And then today, her first day of 2nd grade:

I had totally forgotten about making a cake until yesterday morning. I am so glad that I remembered. I would've been totally bummed had I completely forgetten!

So after posing for a picture with the cake we were off. We are fortunate to live close enough to the school so we can walk.

I'm already looking forward to the school day being over so I can go and pick her up! I can't wait to hear about her day! :)

Good luck to all you mommies and daddies out there that are sending your kiddos off to school for the first time (or the second....or third!)

ETA (edited to add): So as I'm finishing up this post I notice Momo is unusually quiet. You know that's not good. Here is why:

Those would be Momo's fingerprints. Can you make out the frosting on her face?