Friday, December 25, 2009

What Santa Brought Us.

We had a white Christmas of our own here, but it was just fog and not snow!

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....

Look at all the Goodies!

Spoons and Photo Ornaments! 

JJ got cigars to go in his new Humidor!

 Random awesome Goodies!

Coffee Brewer (a fancy one!) from JJ and Kitchen Aid in Martha Stewart Blue from Little Grandma and Pop-Pop.

 Navy Gear for the Navy Man

Although we couldn't not be home this Christmas we still had a very memorable one. We had a marvelous dinner with several Navy Families. It is nice to be part of a community that really looks out for each other and we thank those who invited us into their home this holiday season. You have truely made being away from our families at this time bareable.

We missed you all back on the East coast, but I must admit.... I didn't miss the weather!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka.

Here are some pictures of our Christmas-y house!

TREE!!! (Look at all the presents!)

 Close up of a few of my favorites!

 I found a hat and scraf for my mini gesture doll!

Cards, and apothecary jar with glass ornaments. 
 Goose Feather Tree with Navy Colors!

Everyone needs a Poinsettia.

Merry Christmas everyone! I miss you all! xoxox!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So I'm a Little Thrifty.

I went to the Salvation Army last week to drop off 2 boxes of the random things I found while unpacking. I took a stroll inside the store and found some treasures!

Pretty salad plate, $1,  and a "new" dinner plate, $2.

The salad plate is made by a U China company that was manufacturing the first half of the 20th century. The blue and white plate looks pretty old and Viking is stamped on the back. I haven't been able to find out anything about it. We have these old blue and white dishes, but don't have enough dinner plates, so I figured I should be eclectic!

Vintage Glass Christmas tree bulbs!
$2 per package!
I love these bulbs! And I feel like I got a great deal. The original packaging is pretty too.

Humidity is not a Friend to a Gingerbread House.

I bought a gingerbread house kit from Costco for JJ and I to make. I'm sad to say that it didn't even last a week.  I guess the Hawaiian humidity is a disaster zone for them, it melted after. Before it was pitched I did get a couple of pictures.

Its all melt-y!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Island Drive.

Here are a few pictures from an island drive. You can't drive all the way around the island, the roads do not connect.

Our route.
The beginning of the drive. 

We went to the Mac Nut farm to get the Free Coffee!

We were there for about 2 minutes when one of the sales clerks yells "BFB coming!" When we walked out we saw this:

I'll let you guess what "BFB" stands for, haha!

Then a park!

This is the view looking back towards where we live.

Then we headed up to the North Shore which was very crowed since a surf competition was going on that day. That said, we didn't get to stop.

The middle of the island.

Pineapples! The pineapple ice cream is amazing!

So I've had some fun in Photoshop this time!

That was it for our island drive. I think we will do it again soon!

A Redhead Named Lucy.

As beautiful and wonderful Hawaii is, it still gets pretty boring when you are house bound. JJ and I love it in Kaneohe which is a very nice part of the island, but it pretty low key and there is not much within walking distance (ok so not the walking distance that I want to do!). So the hunt for a car began.

We toured the island's military bases to visit their Lemon Lots looking for a cheap car that we thought would be fun. An island fun-mobile, if you will. We decided the best bet would be a Jeep Wrangler. We looked at several Jeeps and put an offer on a blue one, but we were out bid!

We continued to look and still tried to find everything that we needed for our house. I was looking on craigslist one day and saw a listing for some baskets and other random things. The ad was by a girl who was moving back to the mainland and was trying to get rid of her stuff. When we pulled up to her place I noticed a red Jeep outside. I asked her if she was selling it and she stated that she planned to ship it back to Oregon, it was her dream car. I said well if you change your mind keep us in mind. When I returned home I emailed her again to make sure that she had all of our contact information.

A few days later we got an email saying that her dad had talked her into selling her car and wanted to know if we wanted to come test drive it. Well we fell in love with the car and now I have the perfect island vehicle! The car has a bit of a character. It is cherry red so I've decided to call her Lucy!

Lucy is a ton of fun for cruising around the island!

Hand in the wind on an island drive!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Teal-mobile's Tragic End.

This past year my beloved '95 Isuzu Trooper, Ole Betsy Blue, started to give me some trouble down in Charleston. Since I was some 500 odd miles away from my go to mechanic aka my Dad, we decided it best to retire Betsy for a 2009 Yaris. After a few months I noticed a grinding in the gears from 1st to 2nd. I took it into the local dealership for inspection. Well they couldn't determine the cause of the grinding so they decided to replace the maunal transmission. Since it was under warranty I really didn't mind. So they fixed it and all was good again.

Then I moved back to Maryland, where in the mean time my Dad fixed Betsy's aliments. I still drove the Yaris, I mean as much as I love my Trooper I can't argue with the mpg of the Yaris. I began to again notice a problem with the transmission. The more I drove the worst it got. So we took it over to the dealership to get a check up. Lo and behold the transmission was shot! However this time it was not a mechanic error, but a human one.

Oh yes, the mechanic in Charleston forgot to put transmission fluid back into the car when they replaced the first transmission. So by September the '09 Yaris was on it's 3rd transmission after it only being in my possession for 6 months.

The deal was that once I moved to Hawaii my Dad would take the car to replace his truck. I was hoping that this was the end of the issues with the Yaris and that we were in the clear from getting a Lemon. Then this happened......

My Dad was in the car and stopped to make a left hand turn when he was rear ended. Thankfully, my Dad was ok, just some whiplash. He told me that the guy hit him so hard that the drivers side seat was broken. Apparently the other driver just wasn't paying attention and plowed into the back of the Yaris. I'm just glad that my Dad wasn't hurt.

So after having the car for about 8 months, the 2009 Teal-Mobile has been declared totaled. I guess some cars are just not meant to be.

Now when I go home in March I will be reunited with Betsy! I just don't think she was ready to be put out in the pasture!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Weather Report.

This is why I love living in Hawaii! This was today's weather forecast which made me giggle!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Girl Effect. My Pledge.

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

The old man smiled, and said, "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

I don't remember who first told me this story when I was a little girl, but I have never forgotten this story or the message. In fact I have retold the story a few times to other people. Its one of my favorites.

I recently saw an Oprah show that inspired me. Now I will be the first to admit that I've seen several Oprah shows and have seen the stories of countless compassionate people who inspire to make the world a better place. I have often thought that those people were amazing and that I wish I could do something like that. To have that much passion for a cause.

In the past I generally only made donations when friends were participating in a charitable event. And there was the only summer were I began to fill out an application for the Peace Corps, but didn't have the guts to go through with it. Needless to say I have considered doing lots of good, great things, but have never quite come around to doing them. So it is time for me to change, for me to do something, anything.

Today I watched The Girl Effect, a simple, yet striking video. I encourage you to watch it. The statistics told on the site are astonishing. I have decided that this will be my something.

My Pledge:

I pledge to make a donation each and every month to help a girl. Whether it is to buy a school uniform so that a young girl maybe educated; to purchase a midwife kit for the safe delivery of a baby; or to keep a safe house for women for one night.

I would like to thank you for reading. I know that everyone gets up on their soap box from time to time and this was my time. I don't mean to impose my beliefs or to burden anyone with these thoughts. However, if you are feeling inspired and would like to join me in helping the world of women one starfish at a time please do!

I will use the For All Women Registry to make my donation this month.

Thank You!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hawaiian inspired stockings.

As I unpacked my Christmas decorations this year I realized that JJ and I did not have stockings. Which I have always believed that they are oh so important. That probably extends from my childhood, where it was always the first thing I went for on Christmas morning.

So I decided to make some. I went to the local fabric store, Fabric Mart (creative!) where they have a million Hawaiian prints and about 10 Christmas patterns. Which was really ok with me because when in Hawaii have a Hawaiian stocking!

I decided on 2 Hawaiian patterns for the main portion on the stocking and a classic Christmas pattern for the cuff. I googled stocking patterns, but determined it was probably better to come up with my own after looking at the limited selection. So I winged it, and that is why there is such a thing as a stitch ripper! Ha.

After a few hours of sewing and re-sewing, I finally had 2 Hawaiian inspired stockings!

Making the pattern.

Cut out, wishing I had a good pair of scissors.

Figuring things out and adding the cuff.

Action shot, I believe this was a re-sew! ha!

All done!

The whole picture! I made the tree skirt the other day!

I'm no where close to giving Martha a run for her money, but at least I had fun (when the frustration was at its low points!)

Never thought I'd miss a Palmetto bug.

Ok so moving to Hawaii has it's pluses, nice weather, plenty of beaches and really cheap pineapples. However, I have to admit that since we moved here there is a constant fear of the potential spider I might meet. Since we live in a more tropical area I imagine that the bugs are huge! Lucky for me, I have yet to meet a gigantic spider and hope to keep it that way.

In Charleston there were palmetto bugs, basically huge flying cockroaches. Which didn't bother me too much, unless it flew into my hair.

My fear in Charleston was the banana spider! ugh! I get the wee-bee gee-bees just thinking about them. If you don't know what on looks like and are curious I suggest you google it. I refuse to look them up. The last time I encountered one I was forced to cross the street.

Today, I discovered the above critter, a centipede. Fortunately, it was already dead, but GROSS! Our sponsor told us that if you kill one they let off a pheromone that attracts others. Not a very intelligent bug going toward the danger!

They have blue legs.

So far this is the worst of the Hawaiian bugs and I hope that there are no more that decide to show up! When it comes to this thing above, I'd rather have a palmetto bug!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Breaking down boxes.

It been an interesting experience moving into our own place. I have discovered that I now have about 27 spatulas and 4 can openers and other absurd amounts of random kitchen wares. However, we lack in common area furniture and other everyday use items. I guess its a right of passage to be in the middle of an activity whether it is baking pumpkin bread or installing a door when you realize you do not have the proper tools to continue. This can be very frustrating at the time, but its kind of comical now that I can reflect back on it.

We have lived in the new place for about 2 week now and it is still a wreck. It is slowly coming together and JJ and I have bought more furniture. We found out quickly that we had a lot of things and no where to put them! Plus we have run into to a few set backs, like a good portion of funiture broken during the move. Naturally the items broken have a lot of sentimental value and are irreplaceable. I wish they had broken the TVs! To add to the frustration the items broken can't even be partial used as the movers broke the legs off. It really looks as if someone dropped and entire container of our stuff. The amount of damage is not a ding here or bang there. It is apparent that there was negligence in the transportation of my things.

The beautiful antique dress that is part of a complete set.

The base of the oak table my dad refinished for us.

I'm really just hoping that as we move through the claims process, it is quick and painless. I have contacted an antique appraiser and it will be interesting to find out more information about the pieces regardless of their damage. I am comforted that I do not plan on ever selling these items so I'm not too concerned about the market value being decreased by 75% (breaking a leg makes them pretty much useless and drops the value by that much!). I really just want them to be fixed, usable and to look good.

So besides that hiccup we have just continued to organize our stuff. I think that we have filled the dumpster 3 times with packing material and boxes. Boxes must be broken down or a fine will ensue, or so we have been told by a lady watching JJ throwing a box full of trash into the dumpster. Since then we have tried to be a little more sneaky with our box disposal, going only after dark. Ha! it seems silly, but I guess people are concerned about the trash here. The trash man does come twice a week at 6:30 am and if you dare to be sleeping....

Well I better get back to my organizing. I will update again soon with something more fun! And once our new furniture is delivered next week I will take you on a tour!

Stay tuned!