Friday, May 31, 2013

Who's In-Charge Here?

It has not even been a week, and I am already missing what it's like to have a husband. With Matt gone, I am realizing all the things he did around the house and in our relationship. 

In the last couple of years, I started to consider myself as the "face" of this marriage. You know, I send the update e-mails out, I blog about our updates, get the doctor appointments, order Christmas cards, pay the bills, keep us organized, etc. etc. etc! 

That paragraph was not to make myself feel really important, but just to clarify my role. 

 I am not any more important than Matt in our relationship, but I'll be honest, I thought I was the one that made sure our life was in working order! 

This is NOT THE CASE! 

Here's what Matt has been doing behind the scenes: 

Taking out the trash and recycling 
Making sure we have stuff for dinner (if I had my way we would just eat sandwiches) 
Laundry (I might just buy new clothes) 
Shutting and locking our front door, which is just a sliding glass door (So, I might have left the door open one night.... oops.)
Making sure I take my medicine 
Putting gas in the car 
Getting my lunch and breakfast ready 
Cleaning the dishes 
And much much more. 

Basically, Matt is the major player in our relationship. Hmmm- who would have thought. 

I sure do miss this guy



In other news, Matt is loving Korea. I can't wait to get there and see everything and teach the kids! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

So, Should I Prepare a Speech? : Liebster Award

I was nominated for a..... Liebster Award! 

What? You've never heard of it? Well, color me surprised! So I'll explain. 


The Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. {Which I think is great cause I actually meet this requirement.} The definition of Liebster is  sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. This award is meant to build your blogging community, and I love that! 

I was nominated by my friend Rita over at Champagne n Pizza. I met Mrs. Rita earlier this month when we were matched for a Cara Box (which is a whole different post.) But this lady and her blog are awesome. If I ever find myself in Texas, although I'm not sure why I'd be there, I will look this lady up! 

I am so happy and shocked about being nominated! I think the last time I was nominated for something was in 8th grade when I was 'Most Likely to Succeed'... So, thanks a bunch Rita! 

Here are the Rules: 

After being nominated, you should- 

Acknowledge the blog that nominated you via post.Write 11 random facts about yourself.Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created.List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition.Post 11 questions for them to answer.Notify all the bloggers you've selected that they've been nominated.You CANNOT nominate the blog who nominated you.


So here we go! 

11 Random Facts About Me: 

1. I still sleep with a blanket that I got when I was 8. Her name is Babushka. I take her almost everywhere, and she is the first thing I pack when going on a trip. 
2. I am addicted to chapstick. I have it with me at all times. I also lose chapstick all the time. 
3. I once stole a Hansen poster because my mom wouldn't buy the magazine for me. 
4. I watch the show Friends on TBS and Nick at Night, even though I owe all ten seasons on DVD. 
5. I could watch a Harry Potter marathon every weekend... and I could easily be convinced to watch a Twilight marathon. 
6. I could spend a whole weekend just reading. 
7. I often talk to myself and to the t.v. {This gets worse when I am by myself for long periods of time.}
8. Lizards creep me out. 
9. I love blog stalking. I do it everyday. 
10. I drink 3 + liters of water everyday. Matt says it's cause white people need more water. {He's half Asian and hates drinking water.} 
11. I teach 7th grade Hawaiian and Pacific history.... and I am 100% Caucasian. 

Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created: 


1. How'd you decide to name your blog?
I think it was pretty random. I like to read and I was sharing everything on our blog, so I put the two together. 

2. What is your favorite thing to do when you get home
Read and go on a walk with my hubby. 

3. First word that comes to mind in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... go!
Castle. 

4. Never have you ever...
Gone skinny-dipping. 

5. Weirdest place you've... eaten.
Above a crypt in London. 

6. Favorite food to eat?  (You must eat it tonight now.)
Turkey Sandwich (boring but so so yummy) 

7. What will you name your first child or next animal (if you don't want a kid)?
Girl: Temperance Kitty Boy: Perseus Tetsuo 
Dog: Bones, or Thor 

8. Hot button issue:  gifboom or A Beautiful Mess.  Which app do you like more?  (If you don't have either, feel free to download them and thank me for letting you know about them.  Now that you have them, what do you think?)
Hmmm... they were both new, but I'm going with A Beautiful Mess 

9. If you were to take me on a blate (blate= blogger date), where would we go?
Go to a Thrift Store- pick clothes for the other person and then go around town in the said Thrift Shop clothes. 

10. What is the most interesting thing you know about Texas?
Mmmm... it's the lone star state? 

11. How excited are you that I nominated you for this award?
SOOOOOOOO Excited! 


My 11 Nominees: 


11 Questions for my Nominees to Answer: 
1. If you won the lottery how would you spend it? 
2. If a movie was made about you, who would be cast to be you? 
3. What time in history would you have liked to be born in and why? 
4. What would the title of your biography be? 
5. What's your dream job? 
6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
7. Are you a night owl or early bird? 
8. What book are you currently reading? 
9. What's the most adventurous thing you have ever done? 
10. Best date you've ever been on? 
11. Favorite thing about blogging? 

And that's that! Again I am so thankful to Rita for doing this. It's so much fun! 

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Freshman Year Survival Kit

My cousin graduated from high school on Friday, and I wanted to share the gift I gave her for graduation. 


As I mentioned in my Money-Lei post, I loved getting money for graduation to buy stuff for my dorm room, but I realized there was a lot of stuff I didn't know I needed. This when I came up with the idea of the survival kit. When I went to school I knew I needed bedding, mini fridge, etc, but I didn't think of all the little stuff I could use. 

So here's what I included in the survival kit: 


{Magnetic Dry Erase Board, Chapstick, Lint Roller, Pencils, Whistle, Asprin, First Aid Kit, Flip Flos, Sewing Kit, Post-it Tabs, Ear Plugs, Sleep Mask, Swiss Army Knife, Pedicure Set, Notepads}


{Screwdriver Kit, Pens, Journal, Post it Notes, Tide to Go, Flashlight, Laundry Bag, Thank You notes} 

As you can see I put everything in a two-level storage container, which can also be used as dorm storage. You could also buy a hard laundry basket or a shower caddy and store everything in it. I used the storage container because I needed to ship the package 4,000+ miles. 

The great thing about this is you can put whatever you think the grad would use. I wanted to add a blanket (cause for some reason you take a lot of naps in college). You could add DVDs, a candy jar, gift cards, flashdrives, etc. The possibilities are endless! And any way you do it, it looks great!

*Note: I know graduations are mostly over, but this could be a great present for right before the graduate leaves for school in the Fall.* 


Then I just put it in a box and shipped it off. 


What do you think? 

If you make your own survival kit, make sure you share your pictures! 

Happy 10th Birthday Jud

To my little baby, 

Happy Birthday! Matt and I hope you have a great day and I promise your gift is on its way. 

I am so happy you are my brother. Don't ever change. 





Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday Flashback #50

I can't believe this is my 50th Friday Flashback! That's a lot of flashback memories. 

Since it's my 50th one I thought I would share a really good story with you. 

When I was in 3rd grade we lived in a neighborhood close to the elementary school I went to, and my mom would make we WALK to school by MYSELF! 

I don't think it's that far, maybe a mile, but as a 8 year old it seemed like the longest walk in the world!

As you can imagine, I would get really bored on these walks home, so I got creative. 

I would take the mail from one mail-box and then distribute it to other mail-boxes along my walk. Then once I ran out of mail, I would grab some more from another box and continue that until I got home. 

And I thought it was the coolest way to spend my time. I had no idea I was an 8 year old committing a felony! I probably ruined a few people's lives, and maybe even got a mailman fired! I did this for a whole year and no one knew about it until I told Matt and my mom a few months ago. 

Oops. 

So the moral of this story is- don't let your kids walk home alone! 

Also, to any law enforcement that my be reading this... I was only 8! Please don't arrest. 

Happy 50th Flashback Y'all! What'd ya think? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kidney Stones and Korea

Last Monday, Matt woke up around 2:30 in the morning with an intense pain in his back. It was so bad he couldn't stand up straight, he was sweating, and walking was painful. 

He decided around 3 that he needed to go to the hospital. I knew it had to be pretty bad because Matt usually keeps pain to himself and he NEVER wakes me up. Matt was pretty sure it was kidney stones, but the pain was really really bad. This being the first time with stones we just went to the hospital. I quickly called in for a sub, packed my computer, and we went to Kahuku Medical Center. 

We got him checked in and they confirmed it was kidney stones. They hooked him up with an IV, gave him some pain meds, and gave him a pee strainer. While we were in the hospital, he passed three stones. 

We stayed until around 7:30 and then went home. He was still really sore and felt like there were more stones. The doctor gave us some pain meds and strainer to take home and we were good to go.

It was quite the adventure and what a great way to start the week! Matt was a pretty good sport through all of this and the staff at Kahuku were awesome!


In other news, we are officially going to South Korea for the next year. About a month ago, Matt signed a contract to teach at a school in Korea. We had been planning this for a while, but didn't want to say too much until it was a done deal. The last few weeks we have been rushing around to get the documents for his visa because the school wanted him to be in Korea on May 27th!

We finally got everything done and Matt leaves this Sunday, May 26th!

I will be finishing my contract here, which ends June 26th, having my cousins visit, selling the car, and then spending a couple weeks with my family before I meet Matt. I should be getting a contract to teach at the same school in the next couple of weeks.

It's all very exciting, but a little nerve racking at the same time. I am still in the mindset that it's not real, and I don't think it will be until Matt gets on a plane and I actually have a contract to sign. But for right now this is plan A and we are getting excited!

We will be living in Suwon, and the school will be providing us housing. I know it's going to be hard to a)live without Matt for 8 weeks and b) to actually live in Korea! and c) to actually live in Korea hahaha, but it's and adventure and we are ready to take it!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Working on Us: Part II

A couple of months ago, I wrote this post called Working on Us. It was all about how Matt and I are working together to keep us well, together! 

What we sometimes forget is that we are never safe. I don't want to sound crazy, but I believe it's when you think things are great you start to get a little lazy. And when you get lazy things start to slip. This is true with every part of your life, so we have to be vigilant. 

We have to remember, "Whatever the quality of your marriage now, it can always be better." (The Five Love Languages)

Our marriage is pretty great, but Matt and I have the potential to be in an AWESOME marriage. 

One thing that I feel is holding us back is my patience, or lack there of. I have the worst patience level ever and it's not just in my marriage, but with everything in my life, especially with teaching. 

I get really frustrated really fast when things aren't being done the way I want and when I want. This is equally frustrating when I have a husband who doesn't have the same level of urgency. 

I recently came across a blog (I can't remember which) and the writer chooses one word to focus on for the year. Just ONE word. She tries to improve in this one area and she keeps track of her progress throughout the year. 

I thought this was a great idea and a great way to work on our marriage and to even carry this out in other aspects of my life. 

So my word is of course: Patience. 


{image via

I want to work on not snapping at Matt when he is five minutes late picking me up, or when my students ask me the same question I just answered. 

So here it goes. 

Love, 
Alex 

Money Lei and Other Cute Gift Ideas

{image via}

Well, graduation season is officially upon us. And for those rushing to find the perfect gift, I think I have an idea for you. 

I know when I graduated I was really grateful for cash because then I could get what I needed for my dorm room. {It's not like they have gift registries for graduating!} But giving cash in a card is just boring! 

So I thought I would try my hand at making a Money Lei. 

I searched Pinterest and I found this tutorial from the blog Lil' Luna

{Click here for the full tutorial.} 



You will need: 
Paper - I used cardstock in the school colors
Crisp $1 bills- I used $20, but you can use however you want
Hot glue gun
Glue dots
Ribbon 
Scissors 

You start with making paper pinwheels. 


{Again, Lil' Luna has the step by step tutorial.} 

Then I just strung the pinwheels onto the ribbon. 




{Thanks to Matt for being my model.} 

*Now, I must warn you that this is time consuming. This lei takes a lot longer than the  one-straw  lei tutorial, which only took about 45 minutes. But you can definitely do it in a day, it just takes some time.* 

Here are some other cute ideas to give money if you don't want to try your hand at the lei. 


{image via


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{image via}



Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Flashback #49

I know this is not about me, but how cute was this kid? 


{Matt and Kevin I would say circa 1988-9?} 

I just hope our babies come out as cute as Matt did. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day


Seriously, where would I be without my momma? 

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers, both new and experienced, in my life. 

And a special shout out to my own mom. 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Olivia

To my little chicken, happy birthday. 

I am so thankful that this beautiful spirit came to our family all those years ago. I love my little sister more than words can express. She is one little firecraker and always keeps us on our toes.

LOVE LOVE LOVE HER!!!! 



Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Flashback #48

It was really cold in England... this is what I looked like most of the time. 



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some Late Night Fun

If you guys have read this blog, or know me at all, you know that I love John Krasinski. I mean love (and may be a little obsessed). Click here and here if you don't believe. 

Anyway, I came across this video and knew I needed to share. 


Oh John, how I love you. 

How to Make a One-Straw Lei

As everyone knows, leis are a big part of Pacific Island culture. I love leis; I find all of them to be so beautiful! There are tons of different leis, some take a lot of time and effort to put together and some are really simple to put together. 

In the season of Mother's Day and Graduations, I thought it would be perfect to share how to make a simple One-Straw Lei. These are easy to make, they look beautiful when you're done, and the best part is they are made of yarn so they last forever! 

 I have seen these around since I started living here in Hawaii in 2007, but it wasn't until Matt's graduation that I became really interested in figuring out how to make them. 

I was sitting by a friend of mine during graduation and she was busting out these one-straw leis like nobody's business. I think she made three during graduation. I watched what she did and was like, okay I can do this. 

And I did! My mother-in-law would be proud. 

Here's how to make your own One-Straw Lei. 


What's great about one-straw leis is that you probably have most of this stuff around your house.

You will need: 
Eyelash yarn - you can use up to three different colors at one time. I think using more would just look a little too crazy, and be really thick. For my leis, I used two colors. Here in Hawaii, you can find eyelash yarn at Longs, but on the mainland you could probably find it at your local craft store. If you want to shop on-line you can click here.  There is long and short yarn and regular and sparkle yarn. Just find what you like. One lei will use one whole spool of each color. 

Scissors
Straw (I used a McDonald's straw because they are wider.) 
Ribbon 
Tape
Kukui Nuts (optional- if you do this you will need a needle) 


Start with threading the ribbon up through the straw. Once it's through the other side, tape the ribbon to the straw. 


Now tie the ribbon to the straw, opposite to the side you taped. I tied a double knot to really secure it to the straw. 


Now you just take the ribbon and twirl it around the straw. You do that all the way to the top of the straw. *Make sure you don't twirl the yarn too tight on the straw. 


When your yarn is at the top of the straw, push it down to the bottom of the straw. You will keep twirling and pushing the whole time. You will get to the point where you have pushed the yarn off the straw onto the ribbon. That is okay, just make sure some of the twirled yarn is still on the straw. 


This is what it will start to look like as you progress. {Hopefully your yarn won't change colors.} You just keep going until a) you have the length you want or b) you use all your yarn.

*If you want to add more yarn just tie the end of the old yarn to the start of the new yarn. 


When you have the length you want push all the yarn off the straw. Un-tape the ribbon from the straw and pull the ribbon free. Now you can either tie the ribbon at the top, or string some kukui nuts to the ribbon. 


Thread the kukui nut to each side of the ribbon. 



And there you go! You have a one-straw lei! 

You can make a one-straw lei in a little less than an hour, and under $7. 

This would make the best gift for your mom on Mother's Day. Or get the school colors of your grad and make a straw lei for graduation day! 

If you feel like this is too easy or you don't like the look there are also two and three straw leis for you to try your hand at. 

If the pictures weren't enough, check out this video. 


Enjoy! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happy 20th Joe Joe


{image via

Happy Birthday Little Brother! 

I love you! 


{Mind you, I think this right after I asked if we could take him back.}

I really can't imagine my life without my little brother Joe Joe. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Flashback # 47


Sorry these Flashbacks have been MIA the last couple of weeks, but they are back and better than ever! 

Happy Alex 

Mad Alex 


This pretty much sums up my personality. 

My mom tells me these pictures were taken as we were driving from Germany to France when my Abuela and Uncle Doug were visiting. 

I guess I was not used to the attention being taken away from me because every time my Abuela tried to talk to my mom I would say: 

Momma, momma, momma, momeeeeeeeeeea! 

And my mom would turn around and say: What Alex? 

And I would be silent. Then she would talk again to my Abuela where I promptly said: 

Momma, momma, momma, momeeeeeeeeeea! 

Oh how things don't change. I still like being the picture and not the frame! 

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is May 12-  Just 11 days away! 

So I thought I would make a list of gifts to give to the mommas in your life! 


{Painted Photo Bottles from eighteen25}


{Balloon Pocket Card from Pretty DIYs.} 


{Memory Jars from Front & Main. I did this for my mom a couple years ago. I added to it by writing notes on why I love my mom and filling the jar. You could also fill it with your mom's favorite candy or treat.} 


{DIY Monogramed Mug from Design Mom. If you didn't want to make a monogramed mug you could buy cute ones from Anthropologie


{Curvy Vase from Anthropolgie


{Georgetown Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes! And don't worry they ship!} 

{Mom and Me journal from the one and only Gadanke


{Less Dishes to Do from Capital B


{Best Mom Ever wall hanging from Lisa Leonard Designs}

{Mother Daughter Letter Book from Amazon


{And just for the Grandma/ Abuela/ Nana/ Obachan in your life from This Etsy shop.}

What are you going to get your mom for Mother's Day?