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March 2013

I Just Need To Chill...

A shift in routine results in chaos.. well, with me that is. Some days I feel like I've got it all under control, but these past few weeks seems like a jumbled up mess in my head.. well at least that's the way I process it.

This week the kids headed back to school on a Wednesday, only to be off Friday (Good Friday). I volunteered at Izzy's school on Thursday to a museum that I went to as a kid.. (pretty cool). The weekend came swiftly and it felt good to feel like "Spring Break" part two. The nice part is hubby was home all weekend. But what was supposed to be a nice relaxing break, never was.

One by one, things seemed to pile up (again, only in my head, everyone seems to be relaxed). My iMac went ka-put! Yup, just like that it wouldn't turn on! Luckily time machine was backing up by the hour.. but still, can you imagine my panic-attack? I've relied on my desktop for most things, work, personal, photos, family related things.. you name it.. And sure it was all backed up, but the idea that it wouldn't even turn on... sent this mom in a frenzy.

It didn't take me long to carry that thing to the mac specialists at the Apple Store.. where they diagnosed it and fixed it! I'm glad to say that "she" is back on my desk and all files have been transferred.

My poor Project Life is behind 3 weeks... (Again, this sends my mind thwarted and at a halt). So in my feeble attempt to catch up (mostly with tons of photos from Keri's visit) I stayed up all night and uploaded photos to the nearest Costco. It still sits on my desk.

Before I know it, it's Easter Sunday and we have planned a BBQ with the family and then some... So (again, I'm the only one in a tizzy because I feel like the house is not clean enough or organized enough to have that many people over). So in my race against time to get this house spic & span clean I've also decided to finally put up all these photos that have been laying around, wash both cars, deep clean the bathrooms, etc.. When really a light dusting and wiping would suffice.

Finally, it's Sunday.. and I'm sitting here at 11pm... thinking I really need to learn to "chill" and realize.. at the end of the day (week) it's all good.. everything turns out fine without the heightened anxiety I constantly feel. The kids had fun with their cousins, we had an amazing feast as usual, and what great company to watch the Season Finale of Walking Dead...

01 Frame12Layered

Camping + Confession.


As soon as Keri got on that plane, we headed out to camp with Izzy's Girl Scouts for a few days. And although we were blessed with nothing but sunshine while Keri was here, the minute she stepped on that plane, the rain became a permanent fixture the entire time we were at camp.

So our 4 person tent (with 2 cots and a sleeping bag felt like a 2 person tent) was covered with a Quick Shade (thank goodness hubby went on camp-mode). Okay, so back to camping... Mind you, this was a pretty "luxurious"camping expedition. With 10+ families joining this soiree, some extensive planning and fancy equipment was at this gathering. We were fortunate to have a huge pavilion that you could easily set up some grills, those camping oven thingies, tons of burners to warm up tons of food. So again, it wasn't just placing hot dogs on sticks and eating that for 3 days in a row.

Even with all those amenities, I can honestly say... I'm not a "camping-kind-of-girl".  Alright before I get the "boos" from all my e-natu-rels out there... We may have to do some back tracking to my childhood days to understand why I am a little (well quite a bit) OCD on issues when it comes to not being in the comfort of my own home. My mama (rest her soul) was the Queen of "Organization & Germ-free living" and a believer in all things Lysol, Clorox, and Rubbing Alchohol.. you name it. Gosh I recall, we were not allowed near our beds if we haven't showered. (Could explain my 2 showers a day routine). She had a thing about our feet, she believed germs just hung on to our toes... so she was a "stickler" I mean wiping rubbing alcohol on our feet before we entered our "sanitized" rooms.  She even boiled our utensils every night before bed and stuck them in the refrigerator. So as much as I think, none of this rubbed off me... I can clearly see her OCD ways has found a way to stick with me. I am not as bad as to boil all my utensils... but I do have "issues" when it comes to a certain kind of cleanliness and living in an organized home.

So being a Stay At Home Mother for over 17 years... well, I've developed a regime of sorts. And I realized just how OCD I was when I was surprised with a visit from Keri, because not only was I caught off guard (which you will soon learn, if you haven't, I am not one for surprises! I really do NOT like it). Granted she gave me a week to mentally prepare, which really is not enough time for me. But as she sat in my home waiting to head to the beach, I could not leave without wiping down my counters, making 2 sets of meals, covering the food, neatly labeling them, and leaving notes all over the house and the minute she went to bed, I vacuumed, mopped, wiped down the house. (I don't think she knew all of that) LOL! 

So.. back to the outdoorsy thing... I'm not saying I "won't" do it. Granted, I never (cannot, will not) go a day without showering.. but I try my best to venture out to "new" things. With that said, I didn't last very long, I stayed one night (arrived at 3pm, left the next day at 4pm). And yes, I braved the "cold" shower at 10pm.  Luckily hubby doesn't think I'm crazy, cause he needed a shower too... he knows he's got the same issues as me.

Now I must say the rain didn't help my issues.. I can positively say that if the weather was cooperative, I really wouldn't mind. (I still would have made that drive back home to shower and pick up some Starbucks) but I'd stick around.... So despite my camp-deficiency and issues... Isabel had a great time. The rain was not an issue for her at all, and I wish I could have that easy going mentality she does.. IMG_6462

(Above) we are stuck in our tent as we listen to the rain fall.. (Mind you that rain was falling pretty hard). Most people's tents were flooded and leaking (And I'm ashamed to say, they stuck it out) while I jetted out of there.

I can safely admit that I am truly a city-girl. I love the hustle-bustle of places like New York.. or being a part of a huge city like Maryland, DC area... In fact, I do hope we get to move to the East Coast when this tour is over... I love being able to drive to different states just to enjoy a 5 minute roller coaster ride. (There you go, I'm a Thrill Seeker and would tandem dive any day!).

One Week With Her.

After not seeing her for nearly 9 months.. my heart was over whelmed with joy to be near her again, even if it was just for a week. Funny how so much time has passed and yet when we are togther it feels like no time has passed at all. Needless to say, 7 days go by in the blink of an eye.





I have yet to write all my thoughts and gather all our photos from our week togther. But it's nice to see where we started:

Our friendship circa 2004.


See how much we have grown togther :


And continue to remain the best of friends:



Spring Break is officially over for my kids (crazy schedule they have) They head back to school on a Wednesday only to be off Friday ! We've had a crazy 2 weeks.. right after Keri left, we headed to a camping trip!  We are finally home, somewhat rested, and ready to get back to our routine (sort of).

On Repeat.. (A 'M.O.M.S' Post)

If you haven't guessed yet, this girl loves her music and lyrics..

(I'm still working on creating lyrics on these blank canvas' throughout our home) I finally came across some stenciling that I like and still in search for some cute designs to add to them.

I decided to add this as a tid-bit on my Project Life once a week or once a month, a collection of my current playlist of what was on "repeat" that week or month. It's fun to see what "mood" I was in.


Just bought her album.. and worth every dollar. She has a beautiful & powerful voice.
I don't go on Youtube often, but stumbled on a clip of a video and from there I searched her songs till I just decided to buy her album.

I fell in love with this song right off the bat.. "Next To Me"





And when you're crying out.
When you fall and then can't pick, you're heavy on the ground
When the friends you thought you had haven't stuck around.
That's when you feel my kind of love.

Cause when you've given up.
When no matter what you do it's never good enough.
When you never thought that it could ever get this tough,
Thats when you feel my kind of love.


Some other songs that have made it to the top of the list in this house:

"When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
"Stay" - Rhianna -- I also love some of the cover from various artist on this song!
All things Kelly Clarkson, she's still making it big in this house.
Pink is still going strong too.

We are all excited and anxious for JT's new album. It took a while for me to get used to Suit & Tie, but I do love "Mirrors" (BTW he was amazing, as always hosting SNL last weekend).


Hanging Out...

... with my girl, Ashley.
... with an actress from Hungary.
... with a talented hair & makeup crew.
... in a cool a$$ studio with some kick a$$ people.



I love meeting new people, working with different people, interacting with anyone who loves this industry. I'm realizing that Hawaii is like hub for up and coming actors from all around the country. Film crews have found a place in Hawaii making it a more prominent place to film. (My co-worker was on set all last week finishing Hunger Games). This place is booming and I am sitting in the thick of it. I haven't quite ventured out like my friend Ashley has in this industry, but I'm learning to "expand" my horizons. I love the family portraits and the lifestyle photography, but I can't help but to want to see all that this business has to offer. Working in a multimedia company, diversity is key and limiting yourself won't get you anywhere. There's so many venues to this industry, I can't wait to see all it has to offer.


Meanwhile, in between work & play.. Ashley threw her Polaroid 195 at me to play with.
I'm not gonna lie, this thing is foriegn to me, but she's adamant about me learning this "thinga-ma-jig". And oh man, it's a tough one!  But like all challenges, they push you to want to learn more.. and learning more I will!


So this is my first ever polaroid! Now mama, wants one too!!! :)


Good times... I was knocked back into reality when I had to rush over to the other side of town to pick up my kids though. All the meanwhile wishing I was still in the studio...

Glimpses of Joy.


"Most of us need to learn to break out of the prison of self.
For joy comes not only from fusion with nature;
it comes from love and creativeness;
from insight and discovery and great emotion.
Perhaps joy is most likely to come
when we forget ourselves in service,
or in the pursuit of a great dream."

Ardis Whitman



Just another day in the life...
Lately life just seems to fall in the same rhythmic pattern with some keys hitting high notes while the others are just monotone. Our walk yesterday was nice and quiet, which is quite the contrary to some days when I just want to zoom to the end and back to get back to start my "To Do" list. But not yesterday. I looked up to see the clouds rolling in and out not able to make up it's mind I guess, nonetheless, still beautiful.


I looked for the early morning light and found it on these plants, simply photo, yet the light was coming through put a smile on my face. 

Whenever it seems like my "motherhood" stress levels are at an all time high, the hubby always manages to diffuse me and take me back down to where I need to be. Even the dog found a relaxing place to lay in the grass and to just "be".  I guess we all need that sometimes... to "stop" and to "just be." 


So instead of rushing back home to begin to tackle my "To Do" list, the hubby decided to stop and have an early lunch by the Pier. It's these little diversions, little acts of thoughtfulness  and kindness, that can add some sunshine through a cloudy day.



“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

2013 Project Life | Week 10 In Photos.


Sunday March 3 was Girl's Day here in Hawaii. Such a nostalgic day for me, because I can remember growing up, Girl's Day was a big thing for us "girls". I wanted Izzy to remember this special day. She spent the night at a sleepover with her "girl" friends and we took her and her good friend, Kyla to lunch at the mall. She chose one of her faves, Bubba Gumps.



  • The week started off with Izzy home not feeling so good. (All the kids and I have been fighting some nasty cold).
  • I finally brought Kai to the beach, sat out, got a good tan, and talked on the phone and caught up with an old friend.
  • Just when I thought I wasn't tan enough, Izzy and Rudy joined me on a quick 4 mile run in the blazing sun.




  • The hubby joined me on my morning routine. He started working mids/shifts this week (sigh, it's been a while since he's done this, I'm still trying to juggle it all). But it's nice to have him home during the day.
  • While waiting for Izzy to come home from school, Kai and I sat and took some pics.. I just love this guy!
  • Lunch (minus the kids) is always enjoyable, we enjoy these little day-dates.
  • And the kid is getting ready for his Senior Prom! It is this weekend!!! I'm more excited than he is.


So last week was a bit on the exhausting side. The hubby's mid/shift schedule gets a bit much when I'm trying to manage several roles in the house and there's only one of me. This is the last wee of school before it's Spring Break! The days are getting warmer (as if it's not warm enough) but I'm looking forward to a fun week.

He Is, Just My Dog...



"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.."

And do they ever... this is a complete understatment. There's so much more to be said about having dogs in our lives. It's amazing how this 4-legged pup can change my entire outlook on life. How he can soothe this sometimes over stressed soul with the wag of his tail. It is hard to wake up on the wrong side of bed when he's so flippin excited to see you every morning. You can't help but to smile. I think everyone would be happier with a dog in their life. Not to mention the connection the kids have with him, and most importantly the bond he has formed with them. (Granted it seems like I'm the only one that takes him out). But he makes me "stop" and "see" what life is really about. And it's not the "hustle & bustle" of a chaotic life with 3 kids or work. He opens my eyes to the real riches of life that money could never buy and it's pure & simple "moments". Ones that I would miss on a daily basis if it werent for him.

And just when I couldn't find the perfect words to describe what having a dog in our lives means, I found this poem...


He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds;
My other ears that hear above the winds.
He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea.
He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being;
by the way he rests against my leg;
by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile;
by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man.
With him, I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.
He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.
His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.
He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him.
And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
- Gene Hill

2013 Project Life | Week 09


(left side)


To fill out some of the photo-less week, I (once again) have been enjoying quotes that I have pinned from Pinterest. This one stuck with me last week because I've been really trying to push myself to start everyday with a positive attitude and just making the most of it. I know we get so caught up in routine, picking up kids, track practice, volleyball practice, gym, dinner meals, dog walks, etc.. I always feel so exhausted by 7pm only to repeat the again the next day. Weekends have been far less than relaxing, we are always on the go as well. That in the midst of things I just want to be able to enjoy the day.

I also added a snapshot of a short run that I was so proud of. I kept a good pace and felt great running in the heat at 4pm. When we first moved here, I could not even stand jogging outside, let alone running through it. I'm getting used to this tropical heat, luckily I'm always blessed with some trade-winds to keep me cool.


Again, I've been loving quotes from that show "Touch" I just had to add that in.


(right side)


I've been loving adding more white space to my instagram photos. I've been loving the simplicity and the focus shifts to the photo itself.  So lately my Instagram feeds will be filled with lots of white space.


I'm still adding texts to my photos, makes for an easy photo + journaling layout.


Multi-page photos are still the way to go when you have quite a bit you wanna share. Just enough to tell a story without using words. This weekend Izzy's Girl Scouts Troop was at the local Safeway selling Girl Scouts Cookies.. And I'm sure she enjoyed our selling methods here :) We support our kids any way we can. (Can you tell?)

We are in March of this project and creating my pages have become a part of my weekend routine. We never have enough time do much of anything... but you always make time for the things that matter. That's the thing, when people always say "I don't have time to... workout, scrapbook, walk my dog, etc... that is because people do not want to take the time. If something is important to you.. you will make the time.

2013 Project Life | Week 09 In Photos.

I actually got to finish Week 09 (will blog tomorrow) over the weekend while Izzy was a sleep over and hubby and I had some quiet time to relax and watch "Touch" while I scrapbook. Love weekends like that, just relaxing and getting creative.

I found some simple photo templates via Cathy Z on this post HERE to showcase the days I got without blogging and I have several photos I want to share. Frame12Layered

  • (top) Early morning bike ride to school at 6:45 am with Izzy because to get to her Track Team practice.
  • (Top left) Izzy and I in the car saying she's gonna pop some tags with the $20 in her pocket.
  • (Top Right) BBQ'ing some chicken wings for my love while listening to Mumford & Sons, Perfect Evening.
  • (Bottom Left) Quite possibly the best Chicken Pot Pie I've had from Sweet Revenge Honolulu.
  • (Bottom Right) Our morning routine, 3 mile walk along the harbor.





  •  (Top Left) Door to Door selling Girl Scout Cookies. We didn't do a whole lot of presale, I decided to order 150 boxes and determined to sell all of them. Izzy and her daddy has been hard at work going out every afternoon selling the cookies. On this day, I decided to go out with Izzy and try my best to sell as well. I love this way of selling cookies!
  • (Top Right) Kim Chee Fried Rice. So good!
  • (Middle Left) My niece, Audrey and Kai.
  • (Middle Right) While at the park with Audrey, I looked up and snapped. Thought it was pretty cool.
  • (Bottom Left & Right) This weekend we sat outside Safeway to sell cookies with her troop.


The weekend always seems to fly. One by one, my children are catching the cold/flu. My middle guy has been home from school for the past 3 days and is still on the mend. Tonight (Sunday) I noticed Izzy felt a little warm... So cross my fingers while I inhale some Zicam this goes away soon.