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Monday, November 29, 2010

While the Kids are Away....

Mama hit the sewing machine.

The kiddos weren't "away-away"....daddy just took them out for the afternoon (THANKS, honey! Not that you read my blog or anything) and I was able to get some sewing done. A few special requests for Christmas and then a couple of extra that I put in my still alive Etsy shop. I still have some pieces sitting on my table waiting to get finished up. All reversible toddler/preschool crayon aprons. Or...as I showed in another post, put clothespins in them and your little helper can help with the laundry!

Cupcakes - well, isn't she? :)

My favorite. Definitely buying more of this fabric!

Who doesn't love mermaids?

Do the colors POP or what? LOVE!

For more handmade gift ideas check out Tip Junkie:

handmade projects

And link up with "this and that's i made THIS tuesday!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be thankful for!

This morning I got to sleep in for a whole extra 20 minutes! WHOO -HOO! (Hey, I'll take what I can get!) 

Soon after we woke Kailani saw a rainbow....right next to the moon that hadn't yet set:

WOW. What an awesome way to start the day!

Another awesome thing was that I wasn't expected to cook a big elaborate Thanksgiving feast. Whew! Thank goodness for Thanksgiving dinner packages offered by nearby restaurants! So, without having to dedicate all that time in the kitchen I used the time to do some fun domestic stuff with the girls. 

Since I opted out of ordering or making the traditional pumpkin pie I decided to have the girls help me with a local Hawaiian/Japanese favorite, pumpkin mochi! If you've never had mochi it's a bit hard to describe. It's gooey, it's sticky, it's yummy....but a lot of people can't get past the texture. Having grown up eating it I don't have any problems with it. The problem I DO have with mochi is that, well, I LOVE it TOO darn much! 

Busy at work!

Using the recipe from AllRecipes here's how it came out:

No.....it's not pumpkin pie but pumpkin mochi with a dollop of whipped cream!

I don't normally cut pumpkin mochi this way but I thought I would try to psych Kailani out and it worked. She truly thought it was pumpkin pie but was not at all disappointed to find out it was pumpkin mochi. 
Pumpkin Mochi

Usually I cut the mochi into bite size pieces. BIG bite size pieces. HA!

After we made the pumpkin mochi we then made pumpkin pie playdough! It was easy, fun, and smelled heavenly! And it was SUPER soft....but not so soft that you can't mold it. According to the instructions the play dough will keep for about a week if you store it in a sealed plasItic bag. (By the way...it also says you need 2-3 hours to make it but it took more like 45 minutes - and that's with having to stop to help the girls with the mixing.Thought it was worth a mention.)   

Pumpkin Pie Spice Play Dough

The girls attempted to make some pumpkins out of the pumpkin play dough.

The play dough kept them occupied for a good chunk of the afternoon. Kailani also used cookie cutters and had her own little bakery going. Check out the sign she posted for her shop:

Notice that the cookies are $.25 but tips are $1.00 or $.50. Well, that is if you don't get the "other cookies" for $.99. What an imagination this kiddo has! 

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Goodbye Rainbow, Hello Happy!

By her reaction you would think that we got her the cutest, fluffiest, puppy in the whole world. But it wasn't a puppy. And it definitely wasn't fluffy. It was this.....

A very happy Kailani with "Rainbow"

A Jackson Chameleon! Both girls were thrilled beyond belief, but especially forever-dinosaur loving, Kailani!

Look at that smile!

Unfortunately after only two days (more like day and a half) Rainbow died. It's a long story and I'd rather not rehash it here, but I wanted to note that it was not at the fault of the girls (or mommy and daddy for that matter!)  It was tough on Kailani and I felt horrible for her. Before she even had a chance to really learn about pet responsibility she had to learn how to deal with the loss of a pet.

Sad, sad, sad! 

But the next day we went to the pet store and let her choose another. This time she chose a baby boy and named him "Happy."

Kailani and Happy bonding

Hungry Happy cathing it's prey. Look at that form!

"Happy" is the perfect name.....because now everybody is! Any other Jackson chameleon owners out there?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pizza Swirls

My friend, Lei recommended that I try out this recipe and I'm so glad that she did! It was a huge hit in our house....everyone loved it (and that's rare. There's always someone that isn't pleased - isn't that always the case?)

I was a bit intimated about baking my own bread but in the end it was worth it and not nearly as difficult as I imagined. The bread was PERFECT! So incredibly soft! I made one roll with pepperoni and one without. While there were a few leftovers they were gobbled up for breakfast! 

Lei found the from Allrecipes but I will post it here as well. The changes I made (just a few) are in blue.


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees F)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 (3 ounce) packages sliced pepperoni (we used turkey pepperoni and only used one package. I chopped the pepperoni into small pieces.)
1 (2.25 ounce) can chopped ripe olives, drained (we did not add olives)


In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add oil, sugar, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Punch dough down.
Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half.
Roll each portion into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle; set aside.

For sauce, combine the onion and garlic in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Add tomato sauce and basil; cover and cook at 50% power for 3 minutes or until bubbly.
Spoon over crust to within 1/2-in. of edges.
Sprinkle with 3 cups mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and olives.

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal.
Cut each roll into 12 slices.
Place cut side down on a greased baking sheet.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.
Serve warm.

There are so many variations that you could do with this recipe - buy store bought dough  and/or store-bought spaghetti sauce....but seriously.....I'd leave it just the way it was written! This recipe is definitely a KEEPER!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sandy Cheeks

Sandy Cheeks

Fore more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

"Fancy" Clothespins

At least that's what Momo calls them. What a relief because I made them for her friend who recently turned four. She's a great little mama's helper and very creative so I'm sure she'll have fun with them. Last year I made her a crayon/clothespin apron so she already has a place to put them when not in use.

I know that clothespins for a four year old sounds a little odd, but did you see how much fun Momo had with clothespins recently?

Yes, that would be MY child. 

I made a few to more to use around the house. I'm constantly looking for clips to close food bags like cereal, bread, chips, etc. These are much cheaper than the clips you buy from the store and much cuter too! It was super easy and fun to do. There are tons of tutorials out there but I followed this one.

For more handmade gift ideas check out Tip Junkie:

handmade projects

And link up with "this and that's i made THIS tuesday!"

*PS Can I just mention that I did not just give her 12 clothespins for her birthday? Not that there's anything wrong with it if I did....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Personal Favorite

My girlfriend (and one of my biggest cheerleader/supporters) Courtney saw a camera strap that I made and loved the sugar skulls print. She asked me to make an apron using the same print and gave me free reign with the design/coordinating fabric. Here's the finished producted - a reversible, girly, BAM! not-for-the-shy-girl-apron: 

It's definitely one of my personal favorites!

Courtney, I'm SURE you're ROCKING it! :) 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dorito Casserole

Dorito Casserole                    

Yeah. You read that right. DORITO casserole! The oh-so-yummy-super-cheesy-chips-that-leave-an-orange-coating-on-your-fingers-that-you-have-to-lick-them-off Doritos. Now, you are probably totally intrigued or grossed out but you know you're curious (much like a bad accident on the side of a freeway!) 

This casserole is definitely not for the calorie counter (though you can substitute items to make them "healthier".) And may I also suggest, if you plan on making this buy an extra bag of Doritos because I have found that once the bag is open little fingers can't keep their hands out of them. Big fingers too. My husband ate some of the Doritos I had put to the side for the casserole topping. Trust me, he got a scolding! The proof is in the picture. Do you see any Doritos on top? Nooooo.....(though there are probably a few under the mound of cheese!)

Kids enjoy helping with this casserole. Ask them to crush the Doritos for you. But then look for the double-dipping that will most likely occur (crush Doritos, lick fingers. Crush Doritos, lick fingers. Yeah, don't have them help if you are feeding the casserole to people other than your own family!)

Anyways. Here's the recipe. I got the original recipe here but I add a pound of cooked ground turkey. Lots of different ways to alter it to your liking!

Casserole Ingredients:
" 1 large 13-ounce package of Doritos (save 2 cups for casserole topping)
" 2 tbsp. onion, grated
" 1 10-ounce can of chili with beans
" 10- to 15-ounce enchilada sauce
" 8-ounce can tomato sauce
" 1½ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
" optional - 1 lb ground turkey
Topping Ingredients:
" 2 cups Doritos
" 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
" 1¼ cups sour cream
Casserole Directions:
 " optional - cook 1 lb ground turkey. Set aside and let cool.
" Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
" Crumble 6 cups of Doritos with your hands into a large mixing bowl.
" Add the onion, the chili, the enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and 1½ cups of cheddar cheese to the crumbled Doritos (also add 1 lb ground turkey). Stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Place mixture into an 8½ x 11-inch oven-proof casserole dish.
" Bake for 20 minutes.
" Remove from the oven. Spread the sour cream over the top of the casserole with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Top with remaining 2 cups Doritos. Then sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese.
" Bake for another five minutes and serve. 

The casserole reheats well but may I suggest adding some fresh Doritos to the top for the crunch factor. That is, if you have any Doritos left. 

By the way - I have made this for play dates and while people make little snippy comments, there is never any leftovers! As a matter of fact when I made it last night both my kids cleaned their plates and my husband went back for THIRDS (which is very unusual!) 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day in Hawaii

Kailani wrote in her journal today:

November 11

Today is Veteran's Day. Everything is getting sadder. I'm happy that my dad did not die in the war. I really want to put flowers on the grave. The cemetery is called Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. I'm really excited!

Red, blue, white. Soldiers sacrified their selfs so we could be free. Now I am happy. Colors up above. Red, blue, white. USA!"

Paying respects to 1st Lieutenant Nainoa Hoe

 "A veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life."

Thank you to all the veterans, active duty military, past and present, and their families for all of the sacrifices they have made for all of us! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: B.J. Penn

Who's more fierce? Momo or UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champtionship) fighter B.J. Penn?

I am truly humbled that B.J. Penn was willing to pause for a picture. Fierce fighter, kind heart!  MAHALO!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Time to catch up on some projects I've been working on!

I haven't had much inventory in my Etsy shop but I've been quite blessed that people have been messaging me asking for special request items. Everyone's been really nice with not putting any pressure on a time frame. Lot's of  "No rush! When you have time!"  so THANKS! That has worked perfectly with my schedule! 

M from N.C. asked for an adult sized reversible cupcake apron like the ones I made for Momo's birthday party:

Thanks M! I hope you enjoyed your trip to Hawaii! i am still keeping my eye out for the coffee you like so much!

I also made a Minnie Mouse costume/dress for Miss Peyton in Virginia:

I added some crinoline to the dress to give it some more oophm. :) Peyton totally rocked it....cast and all! Isn't she precious?

I also had a request from  E in Oregon for an Aloha print camera strap with lens pocket:

E - enjoy your trip to Hawaii! So glad that our lives have crossed paths! Wish we could meet up while you are here! :)

Fellow friend and blogger K from Michigan requested a camera strap cover but needed a skinnier one. The first time around I went a little too skinny. Hopefully this one will fit!

After posting pictures of the car seat organizer K requested one as well. This time I made a few modifications including adding a heavyweight stabilizer to strengthen the pockets; made my own bias tape, and I also added some little straps to the back for the option of inserting a dowel or curtain rod to keep the ends from flopping (thanks for the recommendation, Heidi!) I have to admit, it was a bit more work but the end product and the quality is much better! K - it's on the way!

Love the Heather Bailey fabrics. They totally POP!
Added straps to the back for the option of inserting a dowel/curtain rod.

Test Drive - didn't need the dowel after all!
(I am REALLY liking the way the organizer turned out and am considering making a smaller version to put our Wii controllers and remotes in....)

I've got some more special request items in the works - but this time, with Christmas coming up I have deadlines! A couple of mermaid towels, reversible crayon aprons, an adult apron (loving this one so far!) etc! I feel truly blessed to have been sought out, so thank you!

Back to the sewing machine.....

handmade projects

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hope you had a spooktacular Halloween!

The days prior to Halloween were busy! I finished the spider Tootsie Pops in time for Kailani's class:

Took a bit longer to make this year as I had to make over 30!

Fun with Friends at School

Kailani's school also had a Halloween night with a magic show and pumpking carving at NO COST! They provided the pumpkins and kits - all we had to do was sign up and show up! I couldn't believe it was free, especially after seeing the pumpkins. They were big and beautiful! (Thanks so much to the PTA!)

They even let sibling participate!

And then for the big day! I wanted to make a fun Halloween dinner for the kids and their friends. So I made some black ("worm") spaghetti with "blood" sauce:

Worm spaghetti - ewwwwwww!
Worm Spaghetti with Blood Sauce

The black spaghetti was super easy to make. Just add some of Wilton's black icing color to the boiling pasta! And not to worry - the dye won't stain your teeth!

We also had some braided mummy sausage bread:
Mummy Sausage Bread

Don't eat the spiders!

The mummy bread was DEEEEELISH. Everyone (well, the adults) loved it! I should've made two of them! Here's the recipe. It's definitely a keeper! For the eyes I added and baked two of the eyeballs......

Cheesy Eyeballs (olive cheese bread)
The eyeballs came out okay. When I first started making them I had a hard time getting the hang of molding the dough around the olive. After making about 15 of them I finally figured it out. (I realize that the eyes also look very similar to another female body part but this is not that kind of party!) I seem to have misplaced the recipe for it....when I find it I will repost it here. Thanks to my friends for bringing a yummy tossed spider salad, Chinese chicken salad, a Jack-o-Lantern cake and Halloween cookies!

Finally the moment arrived. Time to trick-or-treat!

We weren't sure where we wanted to trick-or-treat this year. We were told by several places to stick to our own neighborhood as a lot of people go ALL OUT in celebration. So we did. And boy are we glad that we did!

Apparently every year a team of doctors puts on a show for the trick-or-treaters. Our timing was perfect as we arrived just as the show was about to begin. I had no idea that Kailani and Momo and their friends were  going to be part of the show!

Kids waiting for the show to begin.....

They asked for volunteers to participate in the play. Of course Momo volunteered.

They taught her how to "pump it" low.....

And how "pump it" high....
They needed a few more volunteers so Kailani and friends stepped in...
The show has started! See the "Dancing Doctors" performing while the girls pump them up!
After the show it was more door-to-door candy hunting!

Tired kids.....ready to go through their stash!
Hope you had a fabulous night!

For more holiday, craft, and party ideas be sure to check out Tip Junkie!

handmade projects