Friday, March 22, 2013

Recap: Mini Vacation to O'ahu

Last week Friday through Monday, I went on a mini vacation to O'ahu with my boyfriend Jason and my son Lansen for 4 days and 3 nights. We visit O'ahu quite often, about 1-2 times a year. It's just an island away and a very short plane ride, I'd say a little under half an hour. We stayed at the  Hyatt in Waikiki... Our room was on the 17th floor, we had mostly a "City View with a partial Ocean View". I think I enjoyed the city view A LOT more than the ocean view. I live on Kauai, so I see the ocean every day... but I don't get to see the city lights very often. During the evenings during my trip, I enjoyed relaxing on the balcony and admired the view of the Honolulu City Lights. 

While in O'ahu, we had a couple of fun things planned. We visited the Bishop Museum on Saturday and spent our afternoon looking through all of the different exhibits that the museum had to offer. Lansen really enjoyed the X-treme Bugs Exhibit at the Science Adventure Center! We also went to the Planetarium, the Hawaiian Hall (my favorite!) & the Castle Memorial. 

On Sunday, we visited Sea Life Park- it's very similar to Sea World, but much smaller. We spent the afternoon looking through all of the fun attractions- my favorite was the Sea Lion Feeding Pool, Lansen really enjoyed Dolphin Cove.  I haven't been to Sea Life Park for many years. The last time I visited was when I was in the 7th or 8th grade... so it was pretty nostalgic being back there. I was sad to see that they didn't have a Killer Whale at the park anymore, but we still enjoyed our time there very much!

Aside from visiting the Bishop Museum and Sea Life Park, we spent our time taking advantage of the dining and shopping in O'ahu. They have so much more variety than Kauai!  We also spent the evenings walking around Waikiki- it's always fun seeing many people from different walks of life and being able to catch a glimpse of the different conversations people are having. While walking throughWaikiki we ran into Elmo- of course Lansen and I had to take a picture with him!

All in all, we had a wonderful (much needed) mini vacation! The only downside was that it went by too fast, as most vacations do! The exciting news is that we are one week closer to our vacation to Maui in May! Let the vacation planning begin!

Here are a few highlights from our trip:
Cindi & Lansen
Bishop Museum: X-treme Bugs Exhibit

Jason & Lansen
Bishop Museum: X-treme Bugs Exhibit

Jason & Lansen
Sea Life Park: Shark Tank

Cindi & Lansen
Sea Life Park: Hawaiian Monk Seal Exhibit
(You can see Easter Island in the background!)

Sea Life Park: Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Lagoon

Sea Life Park: Dolphin Cove

Sea Life Park: Sea Lion Feeding Pool

Waikiki: Cindi, Elmo & Lansen

Friday, March 8, 2013

Decorating Envelopes

Who says receiving letters in the mail shouldn't be fun?! 
For those of you that don't know me, one of my favorite things of all time is Snail Mail- I loooove sending & receiving letters! My love for writing letters started back in the 4th grade when our class was assigned pen pals! I was partnered with a girl my age named Erin who lived in Austin, Texas! I instantly fell in love with the art of letter writing! A lot of my classmates, wrote to their partners once or twice throughout the school year, but Erin & I, we wrote religiously! I remember receiving letters & postcards from her once a week, sometimes twice a week! Fast forward 17 years later & we still keep in touch. We don't write as much anymore, but we do keep in touch through email & text message! My love for letters have stuck with me throughout the years!

Lately, I have really been into decorating envelopes! I think it's a fun way to be crafty & creative... Also, it makes receiving letters all the more fun! Here are a few ways that I enjoy decorating my letters! 
What I used: "Brown Bag" Envelopes by Paper Accents, Washi Tape, Bear Memo Sheets, Double Sided Tape, Scissors & Sharpie Pen

What I used: "Brown Bag" Envelopes by Paper Accents, Paper Lace Doilies, Double Sided Tape & Washi Tape

What I used: Plain White Envelopes, Washi Tape & Scissors

Do you enjoy sending &  receiving mail? 
If so, when did your love of mail begin?!
I'd love to hear your story!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Paper Lovers Dream...

Can we all agree that the February "It's Paper, Dear!" box is too cute for words?
I can't even tell you how much I'm loving this months box-- I am so in love with the color scheme & the florals- just looking at it puts a smile on my face! Zie did such a great job with this box and I'm already dying to know what next months box will include... I am officially hooked!

If you aren't familiar with "It's Paper, Dear!", it is a monthly subscription box filled with paper goods- from notecards to pencils and everything in between. This box is truly every paper lovers dream one true! If you are a paper junkie like me, I suggest you grab your box now! I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Here are the goodies that I received in my February Box: 

My box included: 
Scrapbook Paper, Die Cut, Paper Flowers, Notecards w/ Envelopes, Playing Cards, Stickers, Ribbon/Trimming, Stickers, Pencil, Paper Straw & a Fudgesicle Eraser! 

You'd be surprised to see all that fits in such a small box! 

Be sure to check out "It's Paper, Dear!"
If you are a paper lover, this is definitely your kind of subscription box! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


My little boy turns 9 today. I can't help but ask myself, 
"Where did these last nine years go?"
It feels like it was just yesterday that I brought my 6 lbs. 14 oz. baby boy home from the hospital. My son thinks he's a "big boy", a grown up... Yet I look at home and still see a little boy. I think as a mother, I'll always think of him as "my baby", no matter how old he gets! 

Lansen is excited about turning nine today. 
Me? Not so much. 

I think it's this very number, that puts things in perspective for me & makes me realize that my little boy is GROWING UP-- This is his last year in the single digits. On his next birthday he'll be ten... TEN! That's double digits! That's a big deal in the world of parenthood, when you first realize that you are now the parent of a child who's in his double digits! Adios single numbers. 

The thing that really gets me, is that with Lansen turning 9, he'll be halfway to being an adult... This very thought saddens me. If these last 9 years flew by, who's to say the next 9 years won't fly by as well?! It's times like these that I wish I could do the impossible and slow down time.

I'm aware that I can't slow down time, I just have to embrace it every moment- 
Embrace every milestone, every hug, every smile, every "I love you", every kiss... I just need to embrace it all. 

To my son, Lansen,
Happy Birthday! 
I'm so proud of all you are & all you'll become...
I love you to the moon & back!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Mug Swap

Happy Valentine's Day!
 Today I am linking up with Sew Caroline & Rags to Stitches for the 2nd Annual #VDAYMUGSWAP! 

Last month I decided to participate in the Valentine's Day Mug Swap that Sew Caroline & Rags to Stitches were co-hosting! I am a huge fan of both Caroline & Alissa's blogs and read them religiously! I love all the DIY Posts that Caroline shares with us & I enjoy Alissa's Coffee Dates very much! If you aren't familiar with Caroline & Alissa, I suggest that you start following their blogs because you are missing out on a lot of fun posts! You won't be disappointed! 

I was partnered with Katherine from Confessions of an Art Major! Be sure check out Katherine's blog and show her some love! 

Katherine was such a sweetheart and sent me a mug that was made & signed by a local artist from Mississippi- how cool is that?! I'm so happy to be adding this mug to my collection! 

Aside from the mug, Katherine also sent me hair elastics (pictured) & some candy in an assortment of flavors (not pictured). Isn't the red elastic so cute? I love all the glittery goodness and plan on wearing it for Valentine's Day! 

Side Note: I don't have a picture of the candy that Katherine sent, because my son Lansen ended up eating them before I could take pictures of it! If you're a parent, you know how that goes... On the bright side, Lansen really enjoyed the sweets! 

Katherine, thank you so much for the goodies that you sent me! I loved everything so much & Lansen really enjoyed the candy! I look forward to reading future blog posts and I hope that you have a fabulous Valentine's Day! xoxo

I'm linking up with Alissa & Caroline for the #VDAYMUGSWAP Link Up! 
If you would like to see what I sent Katherine, click here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The place that I call home...

Okay, so I know a huge part of blogging is letting people into your lives. I personally like to follow people because I enjoy reading about their day to day lives- where they are from, their family, their thoughts, what they like, dislike and everything in between. I enjoy it all! 

So in an effort to let you into my life, I wanted to share with you-
the place that I call home.

I am just a small town girl from Hawaii. I live in the middle of the pacific, on the island of Kauai- born & raised. I won't lie, I often take living here for granted... But I am CONSTANTLY reminded how lucky I am to live here on the Garden Island. I work at a resort here on the island and it blows my mind how many people choose to travel here to celebrate special events in their lives- weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, babymoons, retirement.. The list of celebrations go on and on. It just goes to show just how special it is here- of all the places in the world they could have visited, they chose to spend it on Kauai! 

Here's a few pictures of the place I call home:

I'd love to hear all about the place that you call home...
Leave a blog comment below;
I love hearing from you!

2013 Valentine Blogging Party

Last month I came across a post on Growing Up A Thomas about the 2013 Valentine Blogging Party  that Ashlee is co-hosting along with 4 other bloggers: CaseyNicoleLauren, and Alycia

I don't normally celebrate Valentine's Day but I couldn't pass up on participating in this fun gift exchange for a few reasons:
1. I may not celebrate Valentine's Day, but I do love all the Valentine Goodies that I see in the stores around this time of the year! Pink, red, hearts, florals & chocolates? Yes, please!
2. I love being able to meet new people in the blogging community and I felt this was a good opportunity to make a new blog friend!
3. I looooove getting fun packages in the mail! It almost feels like Christmas! 

I was paired up with Kyla from
 Kyla's blog is about family, faith, food, fun, fashion and all things FORD.
Be sure to check out her lovely blog! 

Here's what Kyla sent me for the Valentine Blogger Party Gift Exchange:

 1. Felt "XOXO" Valentine Tote | 2. Valentine Lollipops, Assorted Flavors

3. Heart Shaped Bean Bag | 4. M&M's | 5. Valentine's Card

(Note to Kyla: Thank you so much for all the goodies you sent me! I loved everything so much & Lansen enjoyed the lollipops! You're such a sweetheart- I look forward to reading your blog posts & getting to know you better! Wishing you and your family a Happy Valentine's Day!)

If you would like to see what I sent Kyla, click here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Introducing the Shoe Box Swap!

On New Years Day, I asked my friend Dana if she was interested in doing a Shoebox Swap- I have actually participated in a couple Shoebox Swaps that Dana hosted a few years ago! My friend Dana found this fun swap idea when she came across this post on The Homespun Heart back in 2007. She and I haven't participated in a Shoebox Swap in years, so it was pretty exciting deciding who to invite to participate in this swap & picking out a fun theme! 

Dana picked out the theme COZY! Dana invited her friend Nichole to participate in the swap & I  invited my friends Marilyn, Ronya & Brittany. Once we heard back from each of our friends we emailed them a questionnaire to fill out:

Shoebox Swap Questionnaire 
1. When you think of "COZY" what comes to mind?
2. What are your favorite colors?
3. What are your favorite hobbies?
4. Tell us a little bit about yourself/What would you want your partner to know about you?

Once partners were assigned, we sent everyone an email with their partners information & questionnaire answers, and the swapping began! 

Partner Assignments: Nichole & Ronya | Dana & Brittany | Marilyn & Cindi

Swap Pictures:
Since it was our first time co-hosting a Shoebox Swap together, we decided our first swap be "invite only" among our friends... However, Dana & I are hoping that fellow bloggers, followers & friends will be interested in participating in future Shoebox Swaps! I think that it would be a fun way to get to know one another better & make new friends! 

If you think you'd be interested in future Shoebox Swaps, be sure to leave a comment below! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

DIY Valentine's Day Pocket & Coupon Code

Hi Ladies! This is Dana from Sunflower Stationary, and today I’ll be sharing with you a simple Valentine’s Day (or any day!) project.

Before I get started, there is one thing you should know about me: I am a big believer that when you give someone something (big or small), it should be packaged as cute as possible! It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Have a Tupperware of brownies you want to share with a friend? Simply tie a little baker’s twine around it, to add a little “cute.”

Have a notecard you want to give? I say, ditch the envelope and stick it in a decorated glassine bag instead!

Nothing says THOUGHTFULLNESS, than a little extra effort. But extra effort doesn’tnecessarily mean it has to be difficult.

Here, let me show you:

Today, we are going to make a little pocket that can be used for holding Valentine’s Day cards, treats or any other little item(s).


glassine bag or kraft paper bag
scrapbooking paper
-baker’s twine
gift tags
glue stick
 -small hole punch

I like to start with the gift tag, first. I selected a multi-colored polka-dot gift tag that has a baby blue backside. I put a small hole-punch at the top. I cut out a heart from some scrapbooking paper (you could use a heart-shaped punch, if you have one) and positioned it on the gift tag. To attach, I used my glue stick on only the half of the heart that touches the tag, and let the folded half remain sticking upward.

When the heart is attached, I usually take this time to personalize it. In this instance, I will be giving the finished product to my sister, who is expecting her first child and is due the first week of February!

Now we’ll get to work on our glassine bag. What I did here was, I took a 12 x 12 piece of scrapbooking paper, and I cut a strip about 1.25” wide off of one end to create a band.(You really don’t need to be so precise.) Then, I laid my newly-cut band face-down and positioned my glassine bag (also face-down) on top of it. Then, I folded the sides of the band so that they would overlap around the bag. When I was comfortable with how everything was positioned, I removed the glassine bag, and using my glue stick, applied glue to the entire back-side of the band. Then I carefully placed the glassine bag (still face-down) back onto the band, being careful to line the sides with the creases I had made on the band earlier.

At this point, your glassine bag should look like this:

Now, we are going to tie a little baker’s twine around it. I usually just sort of eye-ball it, so I don’t have an exact length for you to cut. I determined how long I wantedmy baker’s twine to be, and then I took the baker’s twine and back-tracked it to create a double layer.

You want your baker’s twine to be long enough to tie a simple bow. I usually make mine extra long and trim the excess later. Better safe than sorry, right? 

So, next begin tying your knot. I usually make mine a little off to the side, and not-so-centered, but hey...this is YOUR project, so feel free to make any adjustments that suit you. We’re not ready to complete the knot just yet...just get to this point:

Remember that tag we made a few steps ago? It’s time to thread that through the ends of the baker’s twine “like so” (as my grandma would say!):

Position your tag the way you want, and then continue tying your knot to secure the tag in place, also making sure that the twine is tight enough to stay snug on the bag.

You could trim the ends of the twine at this point, but I always like to add a little bow when I can:

Now you have a super cute pocket that is just waiting to be filled up with thoughtful items! Me? I’ll be using this as an envelope for a very special card to my sister, letting her know how proud I am of her and that I’ll be praying for her & the days ahead as she experiences the adventures of motherhood.

Thank you for reading my post. I hope I was able to inspire you to be creative and to put that little extra effort into something you can share with someone special!

Interested in purchasing something from my etsy shop? Now through Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), you can use the coupon code BECREATIVE13 to receive 30-percent off your entire order.