Sunday, December 6, 2009

Green Market, Green Tree!

Yesterday, I went to a green market at a church downtown. I picked up a prepaid ticket for a local kine Christmas tree - a Norfolk pine from Helemano Farms in Wahiawa. By buying it from the Kokua Foundations, $10 goes to their charity. Now I can just take the ticket to the farm, and have my tree cut down just for me! No shipping a mainland tree for me! And these stumps grow back - isn't that awesome!

I also picked up a few fliers about local organic produce. I'm excited that you can call an order a box of fresh produce that's in season, provided locally, and grown organically. And the profits go straight to the farmers!

And last but not least, I picked up some Christmas presents!

Here I am, basking in the glory of a good green market!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Time to Change my Title Again!

I changed it once to add 'in Hawaii'. And now I need to change it from 'veggie' to VEGAN! Yay! Go me!

I thought it would be too hard to go vegan, and that there really wasn't much harm in a veggie diet. But then I watched an episode of Ellen, with Jonathan Safran Foer, who just wrote Eating Animals. I was intrigued, so I went to his website, which was of course linked to many other websites, and soon enough, I found myself watching upsetting, disheartening things.

I did some more research, and decided to slowly make a transition, with the goal of going completely vegan by the time my husband left for deployment, which was still several months away. 

But every time I sat down to eat, I felt guilty. I couldn't shake the images, and no food tastes good with a hefty side of guilt.

So there it is. Overnight, I went vegan. And it's really not that hard. It's been a little over 3 weeks, and I have lost a few pounds, increased my stamina during my yoga practice, and generally felt great. It's amazing what a healthy diet can do for you, and the loss of a hefty load of guilt.

So here's to Kind Diets and Kind Lifestyles! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

When life hands you Lemons...

Make Ice Balls!

...wait, what?

So, I have an addiction to lemon juice in my water, in my soda, on my veggies, on my pasta, and with many other meals.

Usually, I buy the bottled lemon juice, and recycle the bottle. But lately, I've been having trouble with that. For some reason the store keeps running out! So I end up with the little plastic lemons, which are a #4 plastic, and not recyclable with the local program.

I've been keeping them, not sure what to do with them, until it hit me! Ice balls!

With such a great screw top cap, they keep a seal, even if they melt. So now I squeeze the air out of them and then suck fresh water into them, and stick them in the freezer. Voila!

Great for lunch boxes, my backpack coooler, boo boos, and probably many other uses I have yet to think of. If I get enough, I think they would be cute to use in a glass bowl with a bottle of perrier 'on ice' for a nice dinner, or a bottle of lemonade for a cookout.

So don't toss your plastic lemons and limes! Reuse them as ice balls - practical and cute too!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Things I love

I feel like there is so much negativity around me lately that I need to combat it. I feel an overwhelming need to put some positive out there. I'm keeping it simple. Here are some things I LOVE, right now!

*My Dogs
*Living in Paradise (And it *IS* paradise!)
*The smell of Plumeria Trees
*Having a good friend point out the beauty of a view I see every day, but never really noticed.
*A good sweat, when I work hard for it.
*A good deal, especially when I don't work hard for it.
*Products made in the USA
*Making things myself
*Supporting local businesses, and small business owners
*The sound of waves - big ones, little ones, and everything in between
*Waving to my husband's submarine, even if he's not coming home
*Babies that smell like baby powder.
*Beautiful fabric
*Vitamin Water - I'm addicted, and I wish I could by it in a gallon size
*Cool morning/evening walks with the dogs, trade winds blowing
*Being able to walk to the homes of so many friends
*Driving the Jeep with the top down on H2, heading to the North Shore
*Hanging out with Sea Turtles
*Wading in the pool of a waterfall
*Hiking to waterfalls I can't wade in
*Mexican food at the beach
*Frozen Yogurt by the ounce with toppings galore
*Snails with the coolest shells ever
*Emails from my husband
*Yellow tangs that swim along the edge of my favorite walking path
*Open air restaurants at the Marina
*The sound of Jets overhead - makes me proud to be American.
*Hibiscus flowers in my backyard
*Tiny little finches in the chain link fence
*Myna birds acting like maniacs
*Mongoose - so darn cute!
*Tide pools
*Skiddle Skedaddle crabs skittering every which way
*My Lipstick Plant
*Thrift Stores
*Yard Sales
*All things beachy and vintage
*Searching for sea glass on Sand Island
*J. Crew - Especially when they have more things not made in China than usual
*Window shopping for designer clothes I'll never buy, but love to look at.
*LuLu Lemon
*Champa Thai Vegetarian Curries - Delish!
*The view when you drive through the H3 tunnel to Kaneohe
*Fresh pineapple all year long
*Lava Flows
*Picking Mangoes, and eating them still warm from the sun
*Tea Sorbet floats
*Genki Sushi's String Bean Tempura
*Edamame with sea salt
*My new camera
*Volunteering for something I believe in
*Reading a good book - at home or at the beach
*Having magazines galore, and someone to share/trade with
*Being organized, even though there's still a lot of room for improvement
*Cartwheels and Round Offs
*Talking on the phone to my niece and nephews without paying long distance fees
*Daydreaming about port call trips of the future.
*Reminiscing about port call trips of the past.
*Singing at the top of my lungs when no one can hear
*Dancing around the house when I'm getting ready
*A good massage
*Feeling tan even though I wear sunscreen
*Seeing muscles emerge where there was just fat before
*Candles burning, and smelling wonderful
*Loving where I am in life... there could always be somewhere better, but there could always be somewhere worse. I love where I am right now.

And ok... I do have one thing I don't love... dog farts!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Take the Saver Pledge

I'm taking the Saver Pledge. Want to join me?

"I will help myself by saving money, reducing debt, and building wealth over time. I will help my family and my country by encouraging other Americans to BUILD WEALTH, NOT DEBT."

And I'm adding to this, that I pledge to help my country by choosing American products and services whenever possible. And I pledge to help the Earth by choosing green products, and to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as much as I can.

Join me in taking the pledge! It's frugal and patriotic!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Great Day for Deals!

Yard sales are a big deal in Hawaii. Today was the MWR Super Garage Sale, and I am so happy with the deals I brought home.

We used to have an old tool box like this in the basement. I'm going to take the shells off, paint it, sand it, and reinvent it. Maybe I'll use it to hold my herb pots. Or maybe I'll keep my favorite books propped up in it. I'm not sure yet, but I know I love it!

The ladder is my favorite find though. I had just been eyeing a similar one, painted sea glass blue. It wasn't for sale. Then I found this one for $4!!! I'm not sure if I'll keep it in the house, but it's definitley getting a coat of paint, and then attacked with sandpaper. I might keep it on the back porch, or I might just use it as a display rack when we do craft sales and our own yard sales. Or maybe I'll find the perfect use for it in the house. Either way, I am in love with this ladder!

Even though I got great deals at the Super Garage Sale, I think the best part about it was seeing friends. I love shopping with my best friend Lacie, and I also got to meet up with my new friend Kennesha. And all along the way I ran into people I've met since we moved here in April, and I realized just how many friends I've made. That's the best deal of all!

After the Super Garage Sale, we headed out to the neighborhood sales, and then Goodwill. Here are a few more treasures I found. Today was defintely a good day!

Ribbon boards, $1 each.

Faux Bois dish, $0.99. I'm going to a soy candle party on Friday, and this is what I'm pouring my candle into!

There were more treasures, but I think that's enough for now, and these are definitely my favorites. I love days like this - successful thrift shopping for projects and deals, and helping to do my part to reduce, reuse, recycle!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Finally! The Guest Bed Revealed!

It sure took me long enough, but I've finally got the guest bed finished and all made up. The painting was easy compared to the finishing touches. They took a lot longer than I expected! And of course, I'm still not really done, but close enough.

The before:

This was a bed from my grandfather's basement, one of a matching pair from when my Mom and Aunt were growing up. After I started prepping it for painting, I realized it wasn't actually a set! Somehow over the years, we'd gotten the headboards and footboards mixed up. So I have the headboard from the pair of matching beds, and the footboard from another bed. Oops! Still works though, and it's just a little more interesting that way!

Now, the after:

Here you can see what's not done - that sea of blank white wall is screaming for artwork, and these curtains are not staying... but there are a lot of completed projects showing in these pictures.

The bed is the obvious one. The nightstands are a junk store find that I painted roughly and fell in love with. The picture frame is made from salvage wood, spare paint, and extra hardware from hubby's shed. My best friend and I made a bunch of these for a craft show last year. The pillow on the bed is my first attempt at a removeable pillow case... buttons and all. And my favorite piece in the whole world - the couch that belonged to my great grandmother. It used to sit in her row house in Georgetown, and then it made its way to my grandfather's basement for many years. It got a quick revival with forest green fabric some years back, but still looked boring and dated. When I took it home, I decided to really make it mine! I did the painting and distressing, and then had a designer upholster it for me. Ok, enough blabbing, more pics!!!

Here you can really see the couch. I love how the blue-green coral in the fabric pairs with the paint on the bed frame.

Here's my pillow, close up. I'm so proud of it!

In this one, you can really see the homemade picture frame. This is actually my least favorite of all the frames we made, but I wanted to use these hazy, grainy pictures of my Mom and I at the beach on a foggy day, and this frame fit them the best.

One more, just for fun, because I can't contain myself! :)

So that's it! I'm so happy I was able to find bedding for it that wasn't made in China. And I'm so proud of the pillow too.

So what's next? Well, here's what I'm thinking. I've got this old gothic mirror frame, also from my great grandmother's house by way of Grampa's basement. I'm thinking of making it a pin board, painting the frame and distressing the heck out of it. Then I could put a poufy insert wrapped in delicious fabric, and hang it over the headboard. But I'm still brainstorming because I don't want it to get too busy. Here's what the frame looks like now. Got any brilliant ideas?

Meanwhile, I'm working on the curtain change. I've got some khaki and white coral patterned sheets that I picked up on clearance, and they were not made in China! I'm working on making those into curtains, and I think they'll be going up soon. I just need to figure out how much I want to embellish them first.

I can't wait to have a *the whole room is done* post! Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A trash to... well not quite treasure. But still useful!

Did you know I'm a volunteer at the Navy's Fleet and Family Support Center? I love the idea of helping sailors and their families, but lately, it's become an opportunity to help the environment at the same time!

They do recycle at Fleet and Family, but in an office so big, there is still a lot going in the trash. So much packaging, colored paper, outdated materials - way too much stuff to toss! Luckily though, they are not too concerned with my trash-pilfering ways, and I've recently brought home two fantastic finds that were headed for the landfill.

First, I found a perfectly good binder. I'm serious about the perfect part. Not a blemish on it, still fully functional, and heavy duty at that - a 3" D-Ring! Where did I find this gem? The trash can. It hurt my heart, and I certainly couldn't leave it there.

It was meant to be trash, but now it's the lovely home to all my resource sheets for my other volunteer job as the Ombudsman for my husband's command.

Today, I burned mass quantities of cd's, and emptied out one of the spindles. I asked what they did with them when they were finished. In my mind, they are too sturdy and useful to throw away. There must be someone who wants to keep a stack of discs neat and organized, right? Nope, they throw them in the trash. I asked if I could keep it - I already had an idea in mind.

It was a lonely, empty cd spindle, but now it's the new home for some of my ribbons!

It's keeping them neat, dust-free, and easy to see! Not all ribbon spools will fit on such a thick spindle, but plenty do. Even better is that the spindle is hollow form the bottom, so I can totally mount this on a peg board in the future.

With all this in mind, I'm thinking of proposing a "Don't Need it? Leave it. Need it? Take it." pile at the Fleet and Family Support Center. Not only for within the office itself, but also for the many volunteers that work oustide of the Center for the individual commands. How great would it be for other Ombudsman and Family Readiness Group Presidents to know there was a stash of used supplies, free for the taking? And maybe people would think twice about what they were throwing away if there was a place they could leave it instead. I'm going to brainstorm on it, and then write up a proposal. I hope my success in reusing their trash will be an inspiration for them to put my plan into action!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

I'm so happy to be celebrating our Independence Day with my hubby, a sailor in the United States Navy!

Days like today remind me how much we have to be proud of, and how much we have to be thankful for. It reinvigorates my drive to continue choosing products Made in the USA!

Short and Sweet... I've got to get back to celebrating!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Patience is a virtue, right?

Well, I'm lacking in that department! After much comparison shopping, I ordered a mattress for the twin bed, but it won't be delivered until the 25th! I'm so ready to take my "after" picture. It's killing me!

Bad news - OMG mattresses are expensive! I've only bought one in my life. Lucky girl that I am, I've been given 2 brand new Queen sets as gifts. I bought one twin set once, when I went home to stay with my Grandfather for 6 months. I bought it at Ikea, and got it very cheap. You can imagine I was in extreme sticker shock buying a mattress in Hawaii with no Ikea to go to!

At this point, my gratitude for my previous mattress gifts has increased dramatically. I had no idea.

Now for the good news - I did get one for a relatively good price. (Relative being the operative word there.) I stuck to my guns and went for a good deal, not the cushiest, most comfy thing out there. This will be my guest bed, but also my escape from awful snoring by the husband bed, so a cushy pillowtop was tempting. But I didn't do it! Yay for determination!

More good news - it's manufactured right here in Hawaii! Whoo Hoo! So my good deal is benefiting local jobs, benefiting the local economy, and cutting down on the wastefullness of shipping - all good things that make me happy.

I know it would be greener to buy used. But a girl has to have her limits. And this is one of mine. I could never sleep on it if it came used from a stranger. And I didn't know anyone getting rid of a twin in good shape.

I could have been greener too by buying organic. But that is not in my budget for a mattress - those things are super pricy! And, having to have it shipped in from the mainland would greatly reduce the overall 'green' factor anyway.

So there you have it. I'm not-so-patiently waiting for my cheap, made in Hawaii mattress. I'm scouting out bedding now. At least this delay gives me more time for that!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Almost done!

I wish I could say "Voila!" but I'm not quite there yet. But I am *almost* done. Rehabbing an old twin bed from my grandfather's basement that is. I believe it was either my mom's or my aunt's childhood bed, once part of a matching set. I'm making it beachy-blue-green, and I've been patiently applying coat after coat of paint. Tonight, I scrubbed the old metal bed rails, which will be getting a coat of bright white spray paint tomorrow morning. After that, it's time to shop for a mattress!!!

I still haven't decided what to put on it. A quilt? A bedspread? A comforter? I'm tempted to make a new quilt for it, but I haven't found a good quilt store in Hawaii yet, so I'd have to wait for fabric to be shipped. I'm so excited to put the whole thing together that I think that would take to long!

The thought has crossed my mind to hot glue a few seashells in one corner of the head board... or maybe paint a starfish on it. I just can't decide. I like plain things so much! But it would be fun to really make it feel like a bed in paradise for whoever visits me first. Still thinking on that, and not sure what I'll do, if I do anything at all.

So, this post is really for nothing. It's too dark outside to spray paint right now, and I'm itching to keep working on it. Since I can't, I'm musing about its current stage of exciting-almost-complete-ness. ;)

I can't wait to post a before and after picture of my recycled, free, and oh so cute guest bed!

Friday, June 5, 2009

She works hard for the money...

OK, well I really don't work that hard for the money! LOL! Since moving to Hawaii, I haven't found that perfect job. OK, OK, I haven't found any job that I'm willing to do. But I'm still working hard for the money, and here's how.

My husband and I celebrated our six year anniversary this month, and I wanted to give him something special without using his paycheck. Here is where frugality and living green can really come in handy. Of course I clip coupons and recycle all the time, but last month, I put in an extra effort to save every penny I could. Granted, that money technically still came from his paycheck, but it would have flown out the window if I hadn't been so thrifty and green!

Next, there was the problem of all the stuff I had brought from Virginia, cluttering up this tiny little abode in Hawaii. I teamed up with my bestie, and we participated in the most amazing yard sale I've ever seen in person. The money started piling up, the house started to feel less cluttered, and the landfills stayed full of other people's junk and not mine.

And Craigslist. Oh how I love Craigslist! Especially in Hawaii. Two times now, I have been given MORE money than I asked for. That's right, you read it correctly. MORE. Gotta love Aloha! We had made some purchases that were necessary for the move that we didn't want to keep in the house - like a Giant Sky Kennel for our biggest dog. It practically took up a whole bedroom! Adios outrageous dog crate!

Before moving, I had consigned some ball gowns that I felt were too 'east coast' for Hawaii, and that I'm determined to be too skinny for when I move back. I also donated some to the local Salvation Army. Lucky timing, that check came in just in time for our celebration.

All totaled, I *earned* close to $400! With that much extra cash, I couldn't decide what to buy the hubster, so instead, I sent my pirate at heart on a treasure hunt with clues and small gifts, leading him to the booty of cash in a paper chest. (And yes, I got that paper chest on clearance!) The thought of having free money, money that I won't harp on him about or dictate where it should go, made him so very happy. Giving it to him, knowing that it wouldn't affect our budget in the least and that it helped keep our lifestyle goals on track, made me very happy too!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Choosing to be Happy

I've been thinking about happiness lately, and making an effort to choose it. I think that most of my choices in life ultimately lead to my happiness - like being vegetarian, trying to live green, etc. They may be more difficult paths at times, but knowing that I'm trying makes me feel fulfilled and content.

Lately, in this military life, I find that I have to try much harder to pay attention to my choices, to not let negativity drag me down, and to generally choose to be happy. I feel so empowered when I decide to turn negative thoughts away. Those bad feelings start welling up, my words start to bite, and then I flip the switch and say, "No way. Not Today. I'm not gonna let it take my happy away." And it makes such a difference!

Our life is so easily consumed by the Navy. But I'm going to let it be. I'll take the good with the bad, and be happy that I've got an amazing husband who loves me so much, who serves for his country on a tin can under the sea, and then always comes home to me. I choose to be happy. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Email about Shopping & China

I got a forward today from bestie, and I thought I'd share, since it ties right in to my blog topics. I don't know how legit the math is, and I can't say I totally agree with the politics, but regardless, I like the idea! I bolded the parts that I feel especially strong about. Here it is:


Are we North Americans as dumb as we appear --- or --- is it that we just do not think???

While the Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American markets, the media wrings its hands and criticizes the ex-Bush Administration for perceived errors.
Yet 70% of Americans believe that the trading privileges afforded to the Chinese should be suspended.

Well, duh. Why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges?


Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says 'Made in China' or 'PRC' (and that now includes Hong Kong ), simply choose another product, or none at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.

Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter? If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some North American farmer. Easter is just an example, the point is do not wait for the government to act.
Just go ahead and assume control on your own.

THINK ABOUT THIS: If 200 million North Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor... fast!!

The downside? Some American businesses will feel a temporary pinch from having foreign stockpiles of inventory. Wahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! And they deserve it for buying foreign!!!

The solution?
Let's give them fair warning and send our own message. Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on implementing this on June 4, and continue it until July 4. That is only one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total, or 8%, of their North American exports. Then they will at least have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance and lawlessness were worth it.

Remember, June 4th to July 4th.


Send this to everybody you know. Let's show them that we are North Americans and NOBODY can take us for granted. If we can't live without cheap Chinese goods for one month out of our lives, WE DESERVE WHAT WE GET AND WE CAN'T BLAME THE GOVERNMENT!

Pass it on, America/Canada !

Work Out Gear Success!

Today I went with my bestie to grab some lunch, and we stopped in Ross to check it out. I've been going to yoga, zumba, and the gym, so I'm in need of more workout gear. I hit the jackpot today!

First, a sports bra / tank that was made in the USA, donated profits to Ovarian Cancer Research, and was a steal at $12.99.

Second, a yoga skort, not made in China, for only $5.99.

Third, another sport bra / tank not made in China, and also for only $5.99.

Absolutely amazing! I got things I need, did it in a frugal way, supported the US, continued my boycott of products made in China, and even supported a charitable cause in the process! I am thrilled!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love local stores!

Ok, I know it's not a big shocker, but I love stores that sell local products! Thanks to Kay over at, I have a new favorite boutique - Plantation Home in Kapolei. (You can check them out at Walking in was overwhelming because I loved everything, including Kay's beautiful furniture pieces. And so much of it is made right here on the Islands! I was good today - just bought a few tea towels and some beachy accents for the house. But I've got my eye on some other things!!! And I'm already forming a Christmas shopping list in my head. There's a pineapple shaped pillow that's got Mom's name all over it.

I was also excited to hear that they are trying to move out their more standard items to make room for more local kine. (Did I pull that lingo off? I'm not sure!) That's an exciting prospect, and I'll be sure to go back and check it out soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


In our never ending string of moves, my career has gotten lost. I've been a High School Spanish Teacher, a Cosmetologist, an Administrative Assistant for the Army, a Customer Service Rep for an airline, a Project Assistant for a luxury homebuilder... the list goes on and on.

So we're in Hawaii now. I'm vegetarian. Trying to live green. And needing to take the next step on my curvy career path. I'm thinking yoga teacher. What could be better? Sure, it won't rake in the bucks, but that's not what I'm really after anyway.

I've been practicing yoga for about 7 years now, on and off. Today I recommited, and I think I'm going to sign up for a teacher certification class in August. I think it fits with everything else going on in my life, and the way I want to live. And most importantly - it's portable!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

After a long hiatus...

I'm back to trying to blog. Now I'm doing it from Hawaii! What could be more inspiring?

With the never-ending move under my belt, I can refocus. Now I'm trying to live green, be frugal, support homemade products and those made in the USA, follow a vegetarian lifestyle, and do it all in paradise! I'm trying to be craftier too - making more and purchasing less.

Moving put a serious crunch on all of these goals. I had to get rid of a lot before we packed out, and then of course I had to buy a lot once we arrived and moved in. Thank goodness for yard sales and craigslist! Shipping all of my household goods certainly wasn't green, but I tried to minimize my impact by getting rid of extra clutter. Now shopping local is presenting a new challenge - even things that are made in the US are usually sent on a big, environment-gobbling cargo ship. Luckily, there is a lot of Aloha pride here, and I'm starting to find products made in Hawaii. On the vegetarian front, fish sauce seems to have it in for me. It's everywhere! And last but not least, craft stores are EXPENSIVE! Oh wait! What about the coupons??? It's like the Sunday circulars are non-existent here.

But fear not! I can do this! I can make it work! I will make it work! (And it will be cute while I'm doing it too!)