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Monday, May 28, 2012

A Pinteresting Party

I'm protesting Pinterest. Okay, calm down... I know - EVERYONE is on it. 
I'm aware of how terrific it is... One place where you can view and categorized pictures and ideas for just about anything. You don't have to tell me - Pinterest is where it's at.
But to be honest, I just don't have the time to devote to a new time waster hobby. As I look at my google reader, I already have about 30 blogs that I follow. At lets be real, I just do not have the time to devote to my blogs and my reality TV addiction. As it is, I already get tons of ideas from my Martha Stewart Magazines and the blogs I follow... and although I'm sure there are endless ideas on the Pinterest, I don't need yet another reminder of all the crafts/recipes that I don't have time to make, decor ideas for rooms that I can't afford to decorate, or wedding color combos for a wedding that I'm not planning. Okay so now I've said it... I'M NOT ON THE PINTEREST! 

With that said, I do enjoy making crafts and getting ideas from lots of different places for said crafts. I also have many girlfriends who like making crafts too, and my friend Jessica had the great idea to throw a Pinterest Party. I offered to host the party at my house. And I apologize for not getting this blog up sooner, but this was in... February :)

We sent out an evite inviting some girls over on a Saturday afternoon, instructing them to each bring an idea for a craft they'd like to make as well as the supplies to make their craft. We set up the dining room for crafting by covering the table with newspaper and bringing in a card table for extra seating. 

I also made some yummy foods, which included Pioneer Woman's Pop Pulled Pork and these delicious peanut butter cup cupcakes with the famous Magnolia Bakery chocolate icing.
I substituted half of the amount of butter in the recipe for peanut butter, making the icing chocolate peanut butter and topped each cupcake with a peanut butter M&M

Surprisingly, I only managed to take pictures of these delicious cupcakes... maybe it's cause I spent so much time around the cupcake display :)

After the girls got their snack on, we moved to the dining room for craft time. 
Jessica discovered this yarn wreath craft on Pinterest, and I looked around to see if I could figure out how to make it. I found the wreaths for sale on They're for sale in many different etsy shops, however the ones I liked the best were in the Itz Fitz shop
From looking at them, I decided the base was probably one of those foam forms wrapped with some type of batting. On top of that, yarn is wrapped around, and felt is used for decoration. Here's the look I was going for:
This picture was taken from the Itz Fitz shop on etsy

 Below is the list of supplies you'll need:

  • Foam wreath form (I got the biggest one I could find, and I got one that was more flat on one side rather than rounded on all sides like a pool noodle). I got mine at Hobby Lobby. 
  • About 1/2 yard of batting for each wreath
  • Plain silver push pins (found in the sewing isle)
  • 2 colors of yarn (one big roll and one smaller one)
  • 2 colors of felt (2 sheets in total) if you want to do the argyle print. You'll need more if you want to do the flowers too.
  • Hot glue gun

I got a one pound roll of yard for the base color in my wreath because I wasn't sure how much I'd need. This was really unnecessary as  you could probably make 3-4 wreaths with a huge roll like this.
You'll first want to cut 2" wide strips of batting and wrap them around the wreath form using the pins to pin it in the foam along the way. 

Then you start wrapping the yarn around the wreath, using a pin and hot glue to fix it in the back. This step ended up taking FOR-EV-ER. It really takes about an hour to and hour and a half. But this is perfect for a crafting party cause that's when you get in your girl talk.

Once you get your wreath wrapped solidly... you might have to go in and fill in the gaps with more of your base color... then you are ready for your felt decorations. I decided to just do the argyle print, so I cut enough shapes (6 of each of the 2 colors) to go around the circumference of my wreath. We used a self healing mat with a wide ruler and a wheel cutting tool like this these.

Now this is VERY IMPORTANT! When you are cutting your felt with your wheel, cut AWAY from yourself. I know this sounds obvious, however 3 girls ended up hurting themselves at the party.

Once you've cut the shapes for your argyle print, use your hot glue gun to stick them to your wreath. Then lastly, use your second color of yarn to finish your argyle print.

Jaime and her completed wreath... she was done first out of all of us.... she's so crafty!
And here's my wreath.

Here's how it looks on my front door. I love it!!

And close up....
I like how it plays off the front porch light fixture.

These wreaths make great gifts too! I can't wait to make one for the holidays... maybe I'll try flowers too!

Peace, Love, and Pinterest,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Honolulu - The Disney World of Hawaii

Last month, I got the opportunity to go to Hawaii for 5 days. Malibu Ken was there taking part in a conference for his field. He actually was a presenter, which is pretty fancy when it comes to these types of conferences because you have to first do research on something only smart people would know about. Then you have to write a paper on some really nerdy topic, and then you have to be chosen to present it  (don't ask me what the topic was about, cause I have no clue)... So proud of him! Anyway, on the last day of the conference, I rescued him from nerdom, and we stayed an additional 4 more days in Honolulu. 
We did a lot of research before our trip, and so we figured this out early on, but if you're going to Honolulu, just expect to be a tourist while you're there. Honolulu is very tourist-y... Just embrace it... go with it.   Everything from 3 Coach stores all within a 1 mile stretch to mega hotels along the beach to the ABC stores (like 7-11) selling Hawaii trinkets on every single block lets you know you this place caters to tourists. Overall we ended up having a really great time, but I think it was because we came prepared to both be a tourist and also to "go off the grid", if you will, for a part of the time when we'd had enough. 
So here in no particular order are the must dos when you find yourself in Honolulu. 

A Luau
We chose Germaine's Luau from learning that it was featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives through our internet research. This was the activity where I most embraced my inner tourist. First of all,  a gigantic tour bus comes to pick you up from your hotel, and you along with the other 75 tourists on your bus are harassed entertained by your tour guide named "Kali" who is quite possibly the worst comedian ever. But you roll with it because you are being held captive on your way to the luau, so you just laugh at with him. 

Here we are on the bus
Once you get to the Luau, you take in the view of the ocean cause golly it's real nice. At that point, you are forced to get your picture taken by the luau queen. And then (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT), you then ask another nice couple to take your picture with your camera in that same position because it is a real nice picture. And also because the picture the luau queen took for you will be printed out in an 8x10 and presented to you for purchase for $20 on the return ride home. Since you have already gotten the same picture with your own camera, under no circumstances should you feel enticed to purchase an 8x10 picture of yourself on the beach... What is this the Superman ride at Six Flags?! And seriously, who needs an 8x10 of this?

Then you sit down to the community table and meet your new friends! Did I forget to mention this luau has about 500 tourists in attendance? We were lucky to be sitting across from some temporary natives (a military guy and his wife), so obvi we take the opportunity to ask them about the hot restaurants in Honolulu... How could I have known that was a recipe for disaster?  Because we were pointed to (and I quote) "a real authentic Italian restaurant, called Buca Di Beppo". No I'm not kidding. 

Here's our table. How much do you dig those necklaces?
Okay moving onto the food... it's what you came here for right? Wrong. No, you did not come here for the food cause if you did you would be seriously disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was fine. Fine. We'll get to Hawaiian food later, don't you worry. The luau people do however cook the pig in the ground with a bunch of hot stones, and they ceremoniously unveil the roasted pig (and also remove the burning coals with their bare hands, without the aid of so much as an oven mitt)... that part was cool. What you really want to come here for is the show. It's sort of like being on a cruise, but I'd say the level of entertainment is better. Impressive actually. At one point there was a fire dancer... And those Hawaiian dancers, I don't know how someone moves their hips like that. The show was definitely worth it. 

And that's all I have to say about Germaine's. 

Real Hawaiian Food
I alluded to good food in the last section. If you want to know what good Hawaiian food tastes like, go to Ono Hawaiian Foods. It's a little off the beaten path (we had to take our rental car there), but it's sooo worth it. It's the kind of place where a line queues up outside, and the waiter sticks his head out every so often and is like "I'll take the next 2". You get inside, where there's less than 10 tables, and you basically just eat what they bring you, love every minute of it, pay with cash, and then get the heck out of there so some poor chump that's been waiting outside can have his turn. We learned about this place from Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Go there. 

Acai Bowl
This stuff is like crack. I ate it 3 out of the 4 mornings I was there. I wouldn't have tried it unless Malibu Ken suggested getting the most healthy thing on the coffee shop menu (love that hippie). I'm so glad I did though. It's basically the acai berry (which has some kind of unicorn powers and cures cancer or something) blended up with strawberries and other goodness into a thick smoothie consistency and topped with sliced banana and granola. I literally could. not. stop. eating these things. 
Also, I had mine with a delicious macadamia nut latte... BEST BREAKFAST EVER.
Helicopter Tour of the Island
My boyfriend is sent from heaven as an angel of love and got this for me for my birthday. It rocked my socks off. Everyone should get the chance to experience this in their lifetime. 

This is Malibu Ken's 'boyfriend of the year' face and I am happy because I'm in a helicopter

Go Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay
Everyone (even the Buca Di Bepo lady) says Hanauma Bay is the place to go snorkeling. It's basically an inlet that has tons of coral reefs and lots of wild life. A lot of tourists go there, but the park people do a really good job of keeping the park clean and the waters pristine. We saw bunches of colorful fish and would have probably seen more if I didn't get scared of scraping myself on the coral whenever we got too close. It's definitely a great experience, and I highly recommend it as a must do. 

This is the bay
Here we are on the beach where you do your snorkeling. Look at that water!
Watch the Sunset
We finally were able to enjoy the sunset on our last night. We were so busy doing other things the rest of the time that we missed it on every other day. We watched it from the pier on the Hilton Waikiki resort property. It's just one of those things you must do. Let the pictures tell you why. 

You should also schedule a sunset watch because you'll have really good lighting for pictures of yourself and your handsome boyfriend.

In the end, I'm glad I had the opportunity to go to Hawaii. It was a first for me, and it's sort of a once in a lifetime thing, and hey, it may be my last. You never know... I'd definitely like to visit Maui or one of the other islands if it works out. I hear it's not as touristy, which is more our style...

Peace, love, and Mia Tais,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Beauty In A Box

I recently received a monthly subscription to Birchbox from my trendy and stylish sister. I had  never heard of it previously, but I guess that's par for the course for this frumpy older sister because Birchbox is wildly popular amongst the kids. In fact, my sweet sister was on the waiting list to get me in with the "cool kids". Birchbox is a monthly subscription of 7 beauty and lifestyle samples. You can purchase the full size items from their website and review the products, earning points toward future purchases. So far, I've received 2 boxes. And since I received my May box yesterday, I'll share the Birchbox experience here. Here's my box.

May's theme is Gossip Girl, which offers products inspired by New York City's most glamorous events. Like I said, I'm not hip with the shows the kids watch these days so I don't know a lot about Gossip Girl. However, I'm totally down with the fabulous beauty and lifestyle products. Here's what was in my box.

From left to right: 
Stilla sparkle waterproof liquid eye liner - Navy sparkle eye liner, no explanation needed
Color Club nail polish in disco nap - gold metallic nail polish, pretty easy to understand
Birchbox note card - it's a cute note card
Kerastase cristalliste lumiere liquide - makeup designers like to create words to make their products sound fancy. In my words, this is a serum to put on your hair to make it shiny
Dr. Jart waterfuse BB cream - This is a moisturizing tinted makeup with sfp
Kerastase cristalliste bain cristal - Again with the fancy words... this is shampoo
Kerastase cristalliste lait cristal - And this is the shampoo's fancy conditioner counterpart

I have to say, I'm much more satisfied with this box than last month's. I think April's box was more of an introductory box. Unfortunately I had received 3 of the 7 of the samples with my Sephora orders previously. But that's ok... I still got some good stuff... like this:

fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15

This is some pretty stuff for the lips and it's tasty too! The sample size was generous... I've been wearing it almost every day!

I'm looking forward to see what's included in my June box. I'm undecided about continuing by subscription for future months, but I'm enjoying my makeup treat for now... thanks sis!

Peace, Love, and luminescence,