Monday, January 30, 2012

Cleaning with Purex

This past December I mentioned cleaning for the New Year.

Not only is it about letting go and moving forward, but we have to star the new year CLEAN.

I got this new laundry detergent from Purex to try out called Purex Ultra Packs.

I like anything that makes my life easier so I was down to try it. Plus its so clean and simple no mess. I dont have a sink in my laundry closet so not having to go to the sink in my kitchen or bathroom to rinse out the measuring cap on the detergent was cool in my book.
Check these cool lil guys out.


They felt really interesting and I had to resist all temptation to squeeze them between my fingers till they burst. Hehehe


All I had to do was pop one in the washer and that was it.
I have to say I really liked it.
It was not messy, easy to use and they made my clothes clean.

I did however have two pairs of my son's jeans that still had a little tint of red dirt on the knees after the wash was done.
I wasnt bummed about it since red dirt here is nearly impossable to wash out of clothes without pre-scrubbing and pre-treating and even then sometimes it never comes out.

I was impressed that it did do as well as it did without any pre-tretment.



Oh and bonus points, they have a free and clear version too!
Over all I really do like using them, I've always had great results with Purex products.
If you want to try them out for yourself check back and I'll be giving away some coupons for ya'll to try them too!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Purex ultra Packs laundry detergent in exchange for writing a review. All opinions are 100% mine .

Friday, January 27, 2012

I love my bloggy friends!!!

Here is just one more reason that I just love this blogging community.

It's kinda a my mother's cousin's brothers girlfriend's aunt who work with her uncle's grandma's classmate from grammar school kind of story.

It begins like this...

The CSI Project has it's weekly challenges.

Visit thecsiproject.com

This week's challenge was Window Treatments.

I have been having the hardest time to figure out what kind of window treatment to do in my kitchen. As you know I am determined to redo my kitchen this year as part of my projects for 2012.

A while back I book marked {this} post from Domestically Speaking who got the idea from Little Green Notebook. Love, love the idea and I still might do it yet.

Well, I thought, especially where I live, if I glue the fabric to the blinds how am I gonna take them off to wash, cause EVERYTHING gets dusty here. So I put that project to the side.
I brainstormed different ideas for curtians for the window above my kitchen sink. I kept going back to the idea of roman shades.

Today, I came across the most amazing idea yet and there are a ton of amazing ideas out there! Ok, maybe not the most amazing one but it was totally what I was looking for!

 So I was checking out the CSI Project for some window treatment inspiration and I came accross this Faux Roman Shades by Sam over at The Junk House
who got the idea from Tatertots and Jello from her post on Faux Roman Shades who got the idea from Faux Roman shade tutorial from Imparting Grace.

Are you guys still with me??

Well... can you guess what I'll be doing as soon as I order my fabric??

I'm so excited to tackle this project!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life happens

Did you see my post on FB today?
Yes I'm on Facebook and why are you not a fan yet?

Not the post about my casserole, but the one about it being Wednesday already.

Kinda like I'm sitting here at my desk now looking at the clock that says 3:44pm, when I started this post at lunch time today when I sat down to eat. Obviouslly that didnt happen.
How is time just flying by?

My baby is turning 3 in just over 3 weeks, taxes are due soon after that... what's next?
Christmas?

Anyway, just a quick note to say hi to everyone and let ya'll know I havent fallen off the face fo this earth.

So.... who's looking forward to next week's Glee?
One reason I'll be glad the week is flying by, hehehe.

I'm planning an orange and blue birthday fish theme party for the lil guys 3rd.
Come check me out on Pinterest where I'm sharing the ideas I got for his party.

Source

If you're not on Pinterest, let me know and I'll send you an invite!
(warning: Pinterest can be very adicting! Please seek professional help if you start to alienate your friend and family and spend all your time on Pinterest. Same goes for Angry Bird and Word's With Friends)

Trying to pick which one of my many projects I have in store for this year that I can get started on. Something I can complete this weekend and something I can afford since payday isnt till next week.

And who else is bumming that GFC is going away?
(Google Friend Connect)
It was so easy to use, especially since I'm such a techno-idiot.
Oh now to get used to Google Reader or whatever it is thats happening now.
So since I'm on the subject, dont forget to subscribe to me so we dont loose touch when GFC goes bye bye. I put the button closer to the top of my page.
Oh and since you're there follow me on FB too!

Note: Just so that were being real here, its now 9:30 am the following day from starting this post and I'm finally publishing this post!

"I can do whatever I want, GOSH"
(name that movie)









Friday, January 20, 2012

Breakfast/Dinner "Cowboy" Casserole

I created this casserole by combining two ideas.

One I got from a friend who takes her leftovers and choppes some potatoes and calls it cowboy dinner.
The second I got from Giada De Laurentis Italian Sausage and Egg Bake.

I would absolutely love Giada's recipe but I have to also keep my boys happy and they are some picky boys.

So on this particular night, I had no idea what to make for dinner and I had an abundance of potatos leftover from Christmas.
I chopped up some onion and bell pepper and sauteed it with olive oil, salt pepper and some garlic.


Then I took a Turkey Kilbasa sausage, peeled off the casing and sauteed that as well.


I threw everything together and mixed it up.


I also cracked a few eggs over the top of it and poped it in the oven for about 10 mins, just enough to cook the eggs but so that they were still runny.


It was yum yummy!
The boys liked it and it was fast and easy!

Linking at some of the parties at the bottom of my page!
Thanks for checking it out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Viva La Mexico!

I am so not done talking about Christmas, nope, I'm not.

I didn't forget about the Birthday Party pictures either, it's just taking me forever to go through all 633 pictures. Yes, I said 633!

As I promised I would share our best Christmas gift ever!!!

Did you guess what it was with the title of this post??

If not here's another hint....


Our family is going on a 7 day Mexican cruise!!!

Can you hear me screaming with excitement through your computer screen?!

I'll be sipping on these

And the hubby will be sipping on these

 
and my lil guy will be sipping on these
 

Just kidding... but not really.

We are so very excited and lucky to be able to do this.
Infact the whole family is going.
My mom & dad in law, my sister in law, her hubby & their 3 kids, my brother in law his girlfriend and their daughter and we'll be meeting my mil's two sisters and mother as well.
My mil's family is from New York and well, my hubby and I havent seen them since our wedding 11 years ago.

I still can't belive were going on this vacay of a life time... we'll my lifetime since we cant afford anything else!

YAY!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eviction Notice

I grew up in the town of Koloa on the island of Kauai.
I feel very fortunate to be able to have been raised the "old style".

We lived in a Plantation Camp.
Life was simple.
We had no traffic.
We knew EVERYBODY in our town.
(and EVERYBODY knew our parents/grandparents)

We never had to lock our doors.


(pic taken 1/7/12)

Some of us took a bath in outside bathhouses

Going outside to play marbles meant we would go to the cane field up the road and dig marbles out of the ground to play with.

(sugar cane in our front yard pic taken 1/7/12)

Baseball was played with a stick from the mac nut tree and rocks from the road.
The road was (and still isnt) paved. It's a gravel road made out of crushed coral.

(pic 1/7/12)
We rode our bikes and stuck playing cards or our grandpa's old beer cans to the spokes of our bikes to make loud noises.


We played in our neighbors tree houses and knew it best to be home before it got dark or we would get 'lickens'.

Back in November, Grove Farm notified the last of the residents to live in the camp they had 120 days to vacate as they would be demolishing their homes, their lives, all their memories and making room for development and so called 'affordable housing coming from China.
China? Really?

We have a struggling local economy and they want to bring in prefab homes from China?
The first article came and this article followed.
(please do read each article)
The neighborhood has received amazing support from the community even more so proving we are an Ohana.

This past Sunday Lee Cataluna wrote an article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser posted here.
Lee Cataluna's parents lived in this very camp.

This neighborhood is where I lived up untill I got married.
I spent majority of my life there.

I work in the construction industry and so I understand very well the importance of development and new construction. Change is inevitable, I get that.

What I don't get is how they are evicting these people whom majority of the residents are elderly, who have never lived anywhere else in their life, who live on very strict and limited incomes to make way for development.
Money Hungry.

For years the camp has been so called 'shut down' so no new residents could move there.
At any point if someone would move out or pass away (which remember these are mostly elderly people) the house would be demolished and the lot left empty or leased for agriculture reasons. (Most lots are used to raise fighting chickens) Why they cannot continue to do this, I have no idea. But Grove Farm has decided in this tough economy they want to develop.
To read more on the issues surrounding everything please take the time to read this blog post and the website Save Koloa Camp which was created by another lifelong resident and my childhood neighbor Kepa Kruse.
My question to Grove Farm is touched upon in this article written by Lee Cataluna, who's parents as I mentioned were also residents of the camp. And I have to add the photo in the post, that's my grandparents house where my mom lives till today. The window on the far right was my bedroom I shared with my grandmother.
Grove Farm is proposing this new development and offer affordable homes and the residents that they are evicting will be given first chance at those affordable homes.
Published reports put these affordable homes at around $400,000.
I have two points to make regarding this:
1. My husband and I got suckered into purchasing 'affordable housing' 6 years ago at the height of the big real estate boom.
We purchased our home for $420,000 and took out a 30 year mortgage for $400,00 at 5.75% interest.
Our monthly mortgage payment is $2,900.
My husband and I both have very good jobs and it's a struggle to pay our mortgage every month and make ends meet. We tried to refinance our mortgage but we cannot, why?
Because the market has shifted extremely downwards and now our brand new ocean view home is worth only $320,000 on the HIGH side.
So how is it they figure that $400,000 is fair market value of 'affordable housing' pricing?
2. The rent that these residents are paying currently is $600 & $700.
The residents there are my mom's age and older up to in their late 80's.
Do they think at their age and income these residents are going to first of all qualify for a mortgage and secondly how are they going to afford it?
Needless to say, my mom and the other residents of Koloa Camp didnt have a great Thanksgiving or end of the year.
It has been however, very encouraging to see the community come out to show their support. Thankfully my mom does have a plan and a place to move when the time comes.
Until then the residents and community is asking for Grove Farm to find another location for their planned development.
(Grove Farm does only own half the friggen island!!)
Ok, I know its been a long post I hope you've stuck around and read all the way through.
Please do take the time to read all the articles I posted links to and also check out

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our Christmas

I am a Grinch.
There I said it.

I dont like Christmas.
Correction, I didnt like Christmas, now it's growing on me.

I guess things change when you have a child and see the joy in their face that Christmas brings.


After putting up our tree, he layed under it looking at the lights for the longest time!

He got to visit with his cousin Emily who visited from Oahu.
He was so happy and they played so well.
(so was mommy & daddy cause we got to visit with lil Em's mommy & daddy too)


After Emily went back home, Talon asked for her for almost a week!

The hubs and the lil guy got to go fishing with Emily and her family too while mommy stayed home to finish her baking and gift wrapping and delivering.



We got a Christmas countdown calendar from our friends, but the boy is not even 3 so he still cant get the concept of count down.
On Christmas morning he woke up to this and was so patient and waited till we said he could open his gifts to rip into them.


He played with his train from his grandma (my mother in law) and it totally kept him entertained and out of the kitchen.


Mommy quickly made some fried potatoes, baccon, eggs (boiled is both my boys favs) and mini pancakes just as grandma arrived. (my mom)


The lil guy loved his breakfast, probably more than anyone of us.


Then we spent the next hour letting him open his gifts.
It was so enjoyable seeing all the excitement and his eyes light up.

(my mom)

Around lunch we went to my in law's house for lunch/dinner there and gifts as well.

My friend who gave me the Christmas countdown also made these ornaments for us. There was three in all. This one, a snowflake and an angel.
They are gorgeous and if anyone wants any hit me up.
She makes cards, albums and all kinds of other items.
I'm trying to get her to open an etsy shop.


Finally I got around to giving you our Christmas wrap up.
Hope you all had a good one.

Stay tunned for the best Christmas gift ever that I mentioned before.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Goals for the New Year

I hate Resolutions, just calling them a resolution is like asking for failure in my book.
I noticed a sign outside of a church in the town next to where I live this past weekend and I cracked up out loud. It said:
"May your troubles last as long as your resolutions."

HAHAHAHAHA How true is that! Hilarous!

Ok so I have set goals for myself this year as far as project around the house go and here are a few of my personal goals:


Numero Uno: Spend Less, Payoff Debt!!

source
2. Stop spending because it's a 'good deal'
I love getting a good coupon but I cannot be buying stuff if I dont need it.
You know like those people on tv with like a thousand tubes of toothpaste.

3. Plan our meals better.
I hate coming home from work at 6pm and having to figure out what to make and then having to rush to defrost something to make within an hour. No more!

4. Spend more time doing things my son wants to do.
And speaking of which, I never get a picture doing things with my son because I'm usually the one behind the camera.

5. Read more to my son.
 He is really getting into reading and this past weekend we cleaned out his stuffed animal shelf and filled it up with books.

6. Exercise more or atleast be more active.

7. Use up all my fabric before I buy more.
(with the exception of the fabric for my curtains)

8. File my taxes on time.

I know this one should be a given but to be completely honest, since my son was born I have not filed on time not once.

Alright thats enough to get me started, I dont want to make my list too long and get discouraged!

I'm linking my goals to Fingerprints on the Fridge, how about you guys join in too!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Projects for the New Year

Last year, I was just getting used to doing my own home projects.
This year, I'd like to really go for it!

Starting with this project.

We have only ONE water spicket in our front yard.
Its such a pain to drag the hose all the way to the side of the yard, either side of the yard to water the grass or plants that I used to have there. I say used to because they have since dried up and died from lack of watering!

Our plan is to tie into the one existing water spicket and run a  water pipe along the slab of our house and make another water spicket on the other side.
See below:


In theory, it all sounds simple... but we'll see.

This second project has been on my wish list since we moved in.
We have a fenced in backyard which is perfect for my son to run around and play and I dont have to worry about him going too far. Problem is, our backyard faces west and in the afternoon it is soooooo hot that I can't stand to be out there. When we have friends come over to BBQ we sweat so bad and its so uncomfortable. We need a pergola or some sort of shade above our back patio.


This is a big project for us, we need to watch out for our roof line and cannot permanently tie into the house or we'll have to get permits and drawings and inspections, blah, blah... all stuff that is just too much trouble for a little shade.

Our backyard also used to be home to my hubby's little crabbing boat. It took up a good portion of our already small backyard and the spot where it sat wont grow grass.
I want to reclaim that space in our backyard and put the boat somewhere else.

Luckily right now, it is at our friends house down the road taking up temporary residence since they use it more than we do.
(I offered permanent residence to which my hubby was not pleased about! LOL)

We want to take down this portion of the fence below and push it back approx 8 -10 feet and create a little parking space for it here.
 


This past year we tackled our garage project and put up a partial wall. Well now the corner to our backyard is super dark. I would like to put a light up on this side wall so that we can light up that area.


This project feels like something I can only dream of doing.
Our kitchen needs so much work, I pray each time I go into Home Depot that I run into the crew from Kitchen Crashers.

I would like to replace the light fixtures, change out our flooring and the BIG one, paint the cabinets.

BTW, my kitchen isnt always this messy. I took this picture during New Year's Day cleaning.

 

This room is SCARY!
It's our spare room and right now is being used as storage for just about everything.
My mom will be moving into a smaller house in the near future (I will explain in a future post) and so in order to get rid of some of her things, I convinced her to do a garage sale.
(my mother is a HOARDER!!)
The catch, I have to store everything and have it at my house.

I would like to make this my son's big boy room. If you follow me on pinterest, I've been posting ideas for the room there.

If I can pull it off, I think it will be pretty darn cool!
He'll be a lucky kid.


For the simple projects, I picked up these palets a while back with the intention to make rustic looking planter boxes for my backyard.

Also I scored some really nice pavers from a demo job my boss guys did a while back and we need to put those down as well. I was thinking a walk path from the side of the garage to the backyard since we cannot grow grass. I dont know but grass just wont grow.



Last but not least, I scored this lamp at the Salvation Army for $5.
I liked the shape of it even though it didnt have a shade $5 was a steal.

I actually was holding it checking it out and a man came from out of nowhere and told me if I didnt get it he was gonna. Oh that settled it, it was mine.


So theres a run down of the projects I'd like to tackle this year. Keep posted on my progress or stick around and stay on me to keep going!



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pick your Plum


Lookie lookie what I scored today at Pick you Plum!
I got one for myself and one for a gift!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year! It's 2012

Yay! We all survived 2011 and I've already hit the ground running in 2012.

Hope ya'll have a safe and good one.

Last year I posted about my "2011 Goals"
So how did I do??
Let's see....

I am still a procrastinator, but I have made an attempt to get better and NOT being that way.

With everything that I have been through this year, I think I have done my best to stay positive always look for the good in things and be greatful for all that I have.

 I'm still working on getting rid of clutter and simplifing my life. Slowly but surely I'm getting there. I have spent a lot of time getting rid of the unnecessary and even with the last few days I'm getting there. Now just to keep up with it and stop hoarding!

I still have yet to learn PSE8, but I have made a deal with my friend who likes to borrow my camera that she must in turn teach me how to use it.

I sadly still have yet to sit down and get my Etsy Shop going, someone just spank my hand and make me to it already!!

I also havent been a great blogger. I take forever to check and respond to my emails and I dont post regularly. For that I appologize.

My blog just like me and my life is random.
As much as I wish I could be a stay at home mom and blogger, I cannot afford to.
So I work full time, mostly 9 hr days and I get home and cook and try to spend as much time with my family as I can.

My family will always come first in my life, my blog, happens when I have time.
I will try to be a better blogger though, because I find that I really enjoy it... and as the saying goes "a happy wife is a happy life" hehehe

So stay tunned for what 2012 will bring!


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