plants, plants, plants.

IMG_0869I Love plants!  I have greenery in every room in my house.  Every plant I keep is super easy to maintain.  No fake plants allowed.

For me, bringing the outdoors in boosts my mood, keeps the air clean, and adds great aesthetics to my decor.  I have bought a few of my potted plants, but most of my indoor foliage comes from my own yard, or has been split from other plants for no cost at all.  Here are some of my favorites….plants

Boston Fern, Aloe, Aridang Orchid, Mother’s Tongue, Monstera.

Many plants can be cut and kept in just water for months, even years.  Here is an example of some of my plants that have been propagated just by taking a cutting and putting it in water.

Philodendron

You can clearly see the root growth.  This was pruned off of an overgrown hanging vine in my son’s room about two weeks ago.IMG_0903

Song of India

I absolutely love these plants.  We had them in our back yard at our old house, so they are a little sentimental. I also took cuttings from a hybrid plumeria tree and a red ti that I have planted in our new yard.  For some plants, its that easy.  IMG_0887IMG_0889

Spider Plant

Here is an example of a Spider Plant that I just brought in. Easy as 1, 2, 3.spiderplant1. Cut a baby off of the main plant.

You can see the yellow stem, where I cut it off.  I like to leave a little of the stem on because it helps balance the plant in the container, before its roots grow.

2. Place in any container with water.

Any container will do.  Its fun to get creative with this part.

Make sure just the bottom of the plant is in the water.  You can already see where the baby root buds are coming out.

3. Put in a well lit area.

Watch your plant grow and add a lively element to your living space.

 

If I’m ever feeling like I need to add more vegetation to my home, without having to actually plant anything, I take a walk outside with my clippers.  I look for pretty flora, put it in a vase, and whalah!  Instant gratification.

Easy Access

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Last night I had the privilege of dining with a group of amazing ladies.  The main topic of discussion was vulnerability.

VUL ner A Ble.

Let that word roll off your tongue.

For some, it’s a word that may bring up a negative connotation.  At my first thought of the word, it makes me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable, but at the same time I wish it could be a word that people could describe me by.

I absolutely love when people can let their walls down and be vulnerable with me. It shows me that I am a safe place for them to let go and I want them to feel that way with me.  There is something so beautifully humanizing and gracious about people who can be so raw and honest.  Its comforting to know when others don’t have their shiz niz together.  And that it is OK.  There is true beauty in that mess….And the sun will still come up tomorrow morning.

I only realized last night, after stewing on our dinner conversation in bed, that I did not grow up in a very vulnerable family.  I love my parents to death.  We had an amazing home life and upbringing.  They are stellar examples to many, but they never really talked about the real hard stuff in their own lives.  Maybe they were protecting us.  Maybe they thought they only wanted to to fill us with good positive things.  I don’t know, but I think somehow it’s kept me from being super raw with people until I have spent a good amount of time with them. (Mom, don’t be offended, if you read this)

It makes me think of how clean and organized and put together I was when it was just me and the hubs, no kiddos.  At any given moment, someone could stop by, and my house would be sparkling.  Once I had my first child, many things changed…like my priorities.  I no longer had as much time or strength to keep a sparkling house.  I didn’t feel comfortable having people show up unannounced anymore.  I had to make sure the house was in ship shape before anyone could enter.

A couple years ago, we stayed at a hotel on a mini staycation for my birthday.  Our friends who lived on the other side of the island, stayed late at the hotel with us for dinner.  There was no room left in our room, so instead of having to drive back to their homes, my husband offered them to stay at our house which was only about 40 minutes away.  What the?!?!  Didn’t he know that the house was a total disaster?!  Did he magically forget how busy the week before had been and that we had hardly had time to wash the dishes and do the piling laundry?  He must have forgot about the fact that my son had wet the bed the night before rushing off to the hotel.  I was livid because he knows how I like things when people come over.  He kept reminding me that they were my closest friends and they really didn’t care if I had a messy house.  OF course, he was right.  They didn’t care.  They just wanted somewhere to lay their sleepy heads and brew a strong cup of coffee in the morning.  It was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way.  Even though, crazy as it seemed, it hurt so bad to let them see a real life exposure of how things could get.  M-E-S-S-Y.  I wasn’t being real.  I wasn’t letting my walls down.

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Ever since then, I have let my guard down in the “sparkling clean house department.”  I would rather have people see the mess and feel like they are still welcome in my home, no matter what condition it is in.  I want that more in other areas of my life.

So, in closing, let’s keep it real.  Accessible.  Go out on a limb.  Expose the mess.  Be vulnerable… and reap the rewards of more meaningful relationships.

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Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

Happy New Year! Holy moly, 2014 went by so fast.  I swear, the older I get, the faster time goes by. I started the year off spending the day with my favorite people, my family.

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As I reflect on last year, I realize that I set a lot of goals for myself, and I am proud to say that I accomplished most of them.  Blogging more was one of my goals last year, which I failed miserably at.  Obvs.  Hee hee.  Which prompted me to give the blog a new look for the new year.  Tadah!

 This year, I want to simplify, get back to the basics.  I want to get down to the things that are most important in every aspect of my life- body, mind, and spirit.  I’m getting in declutter mode, from the food that I eat, the relationships I cultivate, the stuff I buy, to my schedule, and most importantly, my faith.

I look around my house and I think, “Whoa, where did all this stuff come from?”

“Oh, wait, I know…I love finding treasures at thrift stores, and I can’t pass up getting an incredible deal on something that could be useful, even though I don’t need it!”

I look at my busy family schedule and think, “Why do I let myself get so exhausted with all the things we have to do and places we have to go?”

“Oh, yup, I almost forgot, I have a complex about not having a social life because I am a stay at home mom.” TMI?!?

The list goes on and on.  I know its not going to be easy…letting go of a lot of things that I am used to, but I feel like its really important for me to re-evaluate what my Enough is.

Here are some inspiring quotes(scalped from the inter web) and more of my photos from yesterday’s adventure:

Say no to the good, so you can say yes to the best.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

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Collect moments, not things.IMG_9931 Make it simple, but significant.

Find joy in the ordinary.IMG_9938

Live less out of habit and more out of intent.

So fill your heart with what is important and be done with all the rest.

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Less is more!

Maternity Love

miss heartI am so excited to share these photos!  I am enamored with pregnancy and birth.  It’s one of those things that tug on my heart.

That motherly glow is captivating.  And, oh, the wonder of a tiny human formed so snugly with every detail where it was meant to be.  Amazing!  A true, life changing gift.

Yesterday I had the chance to capture this motherly glow in one of my closest friends, Missy.  I have known Missy since we were tweens.  Sheesh, I just realized its been 20+ years!

Missy is compassionate, kind, an all around beauty and a stellar mother.  She is one of those people who exudes friendly.  Friendliness is one of the things I admire most about her.  When we were younger, she would say “Hi” to any and everyone.  Every “Hello” came with a warm smile.  It didn’t matter if she knew them or not.  All the while, in school, I was taught not to talk to strangers.   Missy was homeschooled:)

She still has a cordialness about her.

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I had so much fun photographing my dear friend.  Can you see her motherly glow?

And, here is the shocker (if you don’t know Missy), this is her FOURTH child!!

She is stunning!

Tissue Paper Two

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You guys, I can hardly believe that my littlest love child is already two years old and my number one son is starting kindergarten!!  Lately, I have been working on savoring every sweet moment.  This has been altogether challenging and rewarding.

We just celebrated my baby girl’s birthday.  It was a mellow beach day with close family and friends. I wasn’t going to do any decorations, but at the last minute, I recalled a cute thing I had seen online about a year ago.  I remember thinking it looked simple, so I thought I would give it a go.

Here is how i did it:

I cut out my number with reclaimed 😉 cardboard.  As you can see, I just eyeballed the shape with my Sharpie before I cut it out.  It’s 2′ tall.

Then, I hand tore a colorful assortment of pre-loved wrapping tissue paper in to little squares about 3″ each.

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I glopped some glue on the extra cardboard gathered the center and dipped each tissue into the glue…20140811-160548-57948351.jpg

randomly pasting as I went along.20140811-160549-57949563.jpg

Thankfully the colors I had went nicely together.20140811-160550-57950762.jpg

In the end there were still tiny areas where you could see the princess box in the background.  As a quick fix I pressed my hands down on to the tissue poofs and it covered anything I didn’t want to see.

This was such a fun, easy project to do in a pinch.  Anyone can do it with items  you already have around the house.  It would be really fun to do big letters and spell something out for a party.

And this is what happens when you leave your newly finished, fancy arts and crafts in the reach of a two year old.

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Lucky for me, Elmer’s dries clear!

Foraging on a Friday

I remember watching a tv show where a chef of a well accomplished restaurant would forage for the menu items each day.  “How cool is that?” I thought.  The whole menu would change depending on what the chef could find on his daily walk/hike.

It made me think of one of my childhood fantasies.  I always though of how awesome it would be to be stranded on a deserted island and have to survive off of whatever I could.  This dream was long before Survivor, but maybe watching Swiss Family Robinson or Blue Lagoon one too many times had an influence on me.  Maybe it awakened something from my native Hawaiian roots.  Or, maybe its deeper than that.  It could just be because I live and move on this great planet called earth.

Living off the land is a basic activity for all living creatures since the beginning of time.  We have lost touch with the distance and time it takes/should take for our food to reach our plates, but that is a-whole-nother blog post.

Foraging, FYI, is basically searching for wild food sources, an animal instinct of sorts.

Yesterday, me and one of my besties set out to do just that.

Our mission: Watercress and Pohole Fern Salad

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And yes, we really do hang out in our bikinis and let our children run around naked pretty much every time we are together.

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Beautiful mama.

It was a little adventure carrying naked babies through the river while dodging fiberglass grass and spiderwebs, but i think it was worth it.

And here is our final product…

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The only thing we added that wasn’t wild and free was the tofu and our dressing.  If you are curious, I can’t tell you the exact measurements, but we made our yummy dressing with sesame oil, mayo, vinegar, shoyu and sugar.  At the last minute we added papaya, from outside, of course.

Soo ono.

Beauty Full

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I’m 32 and i just started wearing make up.

Well, kind of.

I have always worn makeup on special occasions or if I was going out.

Growing up on Maui definitely had something to do with it.  The girls here were a little more low key in the cosmetics department.  I’m sure the natural tan and the possibility of jumping in the ocean at any given time put a damper on having/wanting  to wear make up.  When I moved to the mainland for college, I couldn’t believe how much makeup everyone wore. Some girls wouldn’t be caught dead with out it.

It wasn’t till last year that I started to enjoy makeup on a weekly basis.  I still don’t wear it everyday, but two to three times a week is a lot for me.  Its amazing how an extra bit of contour and color can enhance your natural features, and make you feel a little more attractive.

Makeup can make me feel pretty, like a new outfit or jewelry can, but it does not make me feel beautiful.

Some of the things that really make me feel beautiful are….

Seeing myself in my children

My children are 1 1/2 and 5.  They are sponges.  Unfortunately, they soak up the good and the bad.  But when I see them do or say something good that I would have said or done, it makes my heart smile.

Helping a friend in need

I don’t help people because I feel like it will make me feel like a better person or put me on some sort of pedestal.  I do it because I love them…and this goes for friends and strangers.   What a pleasant thing that blessing others is a blessing.

A returned smile

A smile has always been my favorite feature in others.  Such a tiny area of the body that can say so much without saying anything at all.

Second hand good gossip

Don’t be confused.  I first heard this term when I was in college.  It’s when someone tells you something positive that another person has told them about you when you were not present.  This one works both ways!

A kiss from my husband

There is something so intimate about a kiss on the lips.  It doesn’t even have to be openmouthed.  A kiss says there are no walls up. Its a reverence for the other person, showing your affection and love.

Knowing that I am child of God

This one is the most fulfilling. Knowing that I was created and thought of by the one who holds the universe in the palm of His hand blows me away.

What makes you feel beautiful?

PS. The makeup pictured above are my current faves:

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Bisque
Garnier BB Cream in Medium/Deep (I mix it with the tinted moisturizer for my shade)
Physicians Formula Happy Booster blush in Warm
Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus
Benefit Boi-ing in Medium
Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart
Hard Candy Glow All The Way in Dollface
Benefit They’re Real in Black

Whitewashed

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My decorating style is ever changing. One thing that have always liked is the use of natural elements and textures. Lately I have really been liking the look of white decor with color splashes here and there. It’s so clean looking, and I sure like that! Too bad Maui’s dirt sticks to everything.

When we first moved into our house about 6 years ago, I had the idea to buy a picnic table at Home Depot, and use it as our dinning room table.

A) It was cheap. A little over $100.

B) It could snugly fit at least 8 people around it.

When I originally purchased the table, I had always planned on painting it. I thought it would be fun to do a lacquered red, bright and shiny.  Boy, am I thankful for not going that route!

Luckily, one bright Saturday morning, while my husband was at work, one of my besties offered to come over and watch the kiddos for me.  She also lent a hand in pre-sanding(my least favorite part).  My palm sander is M.I.A.  😦

You can see the before and after photos below.  Sorry for the bad lighting.

Here is how i did it.

I(we) sanded the whole thing down.  The old juice and oil stains left it with a little more character.  Heehee.  I also left some of the original stamping to give it more of an original feel.

After sanding, I used a semi-gloss white paint.  I knew I would need a bit of gloss for the high traffic this puppy would be getting.  Easy on, easy off.

I made a mixture of equal parts paint and water, an then I went to town.

I worked my way over the table in smaller sections an wiped off the paint as I went.  I just used an old cloth diaper for the wiping part.

When I first began the wiping process, I waited a bit longer that I should have.  I wouldn’t wait more that 2-3 minutes if you want a true whitewash and not an antiqued paint look.  But again, its all about the character of each individual piece, and the sections that I waited around 5 minutes to wipe off still look fab.

Lastly, I sprayed on a semi-gloss protective coat to finish it off. I let the white paint dry for a couple of hours before applying the finish.

Here are the products I used.

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I love our new table! It makes a great background for blog posts.

I even had some left over mixture to white wash a couple of my planters outside.

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DIY Bamboo Floor Cleaner

For some reason I always get into super cleaning mode on Saturdays. So, today I thought I would share my bamboo floor cleaning solution. It’s so easy and smells great too. It makes cleaning a little more fun for me.

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Here are the ingredients:
1/2 cup of white vinegar
3 cups hot water
6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

I chose eucalyptus oil today because the kids had runny noses.
You can find out more about the benefits of eucalyptus EO here.
Other EOs that are great for cleaning are lemon, peppermint, tea tree, lavender and rosemary.

I used a Swiffer sweeper and a microfiber towel, but I think they actually sell micro fiber mops now.
On a side note: make sure not to use any kind of fabric softener or dryer sheet with your microfiber towels. It will take away from their absorbency.

Just combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Make sure to ring out the towel really well after soaking it in the cleaning solution. Attach it to your Swiffer stick and clean away!

Enjoy your freshly cleaned bamboo floors.