Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over and the New Year is just around the corner.  Time to clean up and get those resolutions set.  As for me, my New Year's resolution is to be a more balanced individual.  This means being balanced in all of the aspects of health:  emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, social, and environmental.

Here's how I plan on doing it:

  • Emotional- When you start to feel stressed, take a break from whatever you are doing and meditate.  Take 3-5 deep breaths; holding for 4 seconds after the inhale.  This cleanses the body and opens the mind so that you can more clearly understand what is making you stressed.
  • Physical- I will be working out, practicing yoga, and dancing.  These activities are ones that I thoroughly enjoy and have fun doing with friends and family.  I will also be continuing a healthy diet filled with lots of whole grains, protein, and of course fruits and vegetables.
  • Intellectual- This one is really easy for me, mainly due to the fact that I am still a student, but also because I love to read.  Any chance I get, Andrew and I head to the library to find new DVDs about the ocean, books on tape, as well as books to read and learn from.  One of the biggest reasons that more people are getting Dementia and Alzheimer's is because there is not enough reading and social interaction as there used to be.  So, pick up a book and give that brain a good workout!!!! (Believe it or not, you actually burn lots of calories by reading/learning)
  • Social- Speaking of social interaction, my resolution for this domain is to hang out with friends and family as much as I can.  Studies and work are important, but when it all comes down to it, family and friends are what make you strong, happy, and healthy.  It is important to be social. That doesn't mean go out drinking every weekend, but maybe have a dinner party; go out to eat; meet up and go for a walk; and so much more.
  • Spiritual- I try to practice meditation every day, which is great for mental clarity and truly understanding yourself.  I don't pray as much as I used to, but prayer is also a good way to stay grounded and connected with not only yourself, but a higher being as well.
  • Environmental- Last but certainly not least, the environment is definitely worth adding into a resolution.  This doesn't just mean reduce, reuse, and recycle; although those are great things to do if you don't already do them, it also incorporates your living environment and the community around you.  Keep the house clean, stay away from smoke, keep up the personal hygiene, and notice the small details of life around you.  Next time you go for a walk or even just go outside, notice all the sounds and smells that come your way.  Really pay attention to them and notice if you can find where they are coming from.  All the details of the earth are not noticed enough; notice them and you will immediately feel more connected to a greater power and truly feel the greatness of this beautiful planet.
Have a safe an happy new year!

Luana ola!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost Christmas!

It is 4 days until Christmas and I can hardly wait.  Work and school are a huge stress so I have been hitting the cookies and sweets pretty hard.  The good news is that I am gaining control back and feeling the warmth of the Holidays filling my soul.  This link shares some great tips about stressful eating during the holidays.  It is 10 "survival" guides for those of us who tend to reach for the goodies in order to make it through the holidays.

Although many nutritionists and health professionals tell you to eat healthy and keep exercising during the holidays, sometimes we don't have the energy or desire to do those things.  Being a believer in "everything in moderation", I say go for it! Enjoy your guilty pleasures, after all, they only come once a year.  Guilt is the trigger to many peoples' overeating and indulging, so why should we feel sorry for ourselves?  The more we delve in guilt, the more we overeat, the more we feel guilty...and so it goes...

The key to the Holidays is to fill up on veggies and lean proteins first, drink lots of water, and then enjoy and savor every last bite of your favorite treats!  (Yes that's treats...plural!)  To really savor your foods, chew every bite 20-50 times (yes, you read right).  This allows your body to register what you are eating.  Feel every sensation in your mouth, every flavor, the temperature, the texture.  Chew and chew.  Then, notice how the food makes you feel.  Do you feel happy?  Joyful?  Warm and fuzzy?  Absorb that feeling and let it sink in before you go for another round or bite.  Next, talk with some friends or family members you haven't seen in a while.  This alone will make you feel warm and fuzzy without any added calories.

The biggest thing to take away from this post is that the Holidays are for being with friends and family, not indulging on sugar and alcohol or seeing who got the best gifts.  Enjoy those things as well, but remember that your friends and family will always be there for you and that they want to share this wonderful Holiday with you.  Enjoy it with them and celebrate the season!

Luana ola!

Buon Natale! (Merry Christmas in Italian)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pita Chips

I have just created some of the best (both healthy, tasty, and inexpensive) pita chips around.  Yes, if you are a Stacy's Pita Chip lover, like myself, you just might convert to making your own as well!

While buying some groceries today, a thought crossed my mind...We're out of pita chips!  Knowing that a bag of Stacy's (our absolute favorite) would set us back about $3 to $4 for a half-filled bag, I bypassed the chip isle and continued shopping.  Just before the checkout is the bakery, where they sell whole wheat pita bread for $0.99 (you get 10 loaves in the bag)!  I can never pass up this deal because Andrew absolutely adores pita bread, and this was the perfect time to try out my improv skills.  So I bought 2 bags; one for chips, and one of him to take to work as bread for lunch (a whopping total of $2 for 20 loaves!!!...can you tell I love a good deal)

For dinner, I have cooked up some kale and baked the pita loaves.  350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, flipping half way.  I cut each loaf into bite size pieces, sprayed with cooking oil and sprinkled a little salt on them because the loaves are salt free.  Besides making the house smell amazing, the chips turned out nice and crunchy!  My plan is to dip them in hummus and have the greens on the side.

Well, Andrew should be getting home shortly.  I can't wait to surprise him!!

Luana ola!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Working Out

My first day back on the exercise train and it feels amazing!  For some reason, that I still need to analyze, I have not been in the "mood" to work out.  I have just been going for short walks with a good friend and not doing much else.  I used to be either in the gym or just being active all the time.  I did lose a lot of weight and I was tired much of the time, due to lack of calories.  I am glad to say that I am back within my healthy weight range (although I'd like to lose about 5 pounds).  What I really want is to gain my muscle tone back.  After all that unhealthy dieting over the summer (I got waaaay to skinny), I lost so much muscle mass that it is hard for me to even do 10 push ups in a row without taking a short pause at the top.

Today, I did some running and light lifting.  I don't want to push myself too far, but I fulfilled my hour workout (from warm up to cool down).  It is honestly not that hard to schedule a workout, it's getting the motivation to start. I have come to find that although I really enjoy working out with other people, it is truly the motivation that comes from within that gets you through it.  By my 23rd birthday, it is my goal to be working out 7 days a week again.  I now know that I am truly in my prime, working at my best, and ultimately happy and satisfied if I workout every day.  I thought that I could find other ways to relieve stress, but that lack of working out actually ended up taking a toll on my emotional health.  I am feeling so good right now!

On top of all of this good news, Andrew also started his new job today at Wilton!  I am so proud of him for finding a career that can really take him places.  Although I am sad to say that we will not be going to Hawaii as soon as we thought, it is truly a blessing for both of us to be working towards our future together.

I am so thankful for all the people who put up with me as I was going through the crazy things that I have to go through in order to figure out my life.  I am one of those people who has to figure out life lessons on my own.  If someone was to tell me how to do something, I would try it and possibly even believe them; but I would have to ultimately go through ups and downs before finally figuring out teh right path.  (And 9 times out of 10, the people telling me the life lesson is right, I just need to figure it out for myself.)

Luana ola!  and be grateful for everything you have to offer

Friday, December 9, 2011

Finals are Finally Here

It's that time of year that all college students dread...finals.  Beign a senior, I am definitely feeling the sharp edge with my thesis having just finished and intership just arouond the corner.  With all of this going on, I have notice that I have begun to drink more coffee and black tea, and grab a couple of extra sweets throughout the week.  Tis the season!

Today is the last day for secret Santa at the Chapel office, as well as being my last day of work there :(  I really can't believe it's already been 4 years!  It just goes by too fast.  For all of you out there who are worried about getting older, take the time you have now and cherish it!  I know I'm only 22 and have a whole life ahead of me, but it scares me to think about how fast the last 22 years went; while my grandparents are telling me that time goes even faster as you get older.  I don't want to waste any minute of life.  Life is too short to take for granted, so live it up and be the best at whatever it is you do!

Luana ola!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beauty from Within

Now that I have been writing a few posts about nutrition, I figured that it was about time to include another form of health, Mental/Spiritual.

Now, in talking about spiritual health, this does not necessarily mean going to Church or even praying (although that can be included as well).  Spiritual health is knowing who you are, what you want, your beliefs, taking care of your mind, and so much more.  I would like to advise evryone to take at least 5 miutes out of your day to sit down and calm your mind.  Try not to think abotu anything.  Meditate on any bad thoughts you might be having or any stressors in your life right now and just let them go/let them be as they are.  Nothing can be a burden to you if you don't let it.  Like my mom and grandma used to always tell me, "No one can get under your skin unless you let them".  You have the power to control your thoughts and your reactions to those thoughts.

It is important to believe in yourself anf be thankful for all the good things you have in your life.  Positive self-perception is one of the hardest things to teach because it can only be done by the individual.  In my opinion, beautiful people are those who are self-confident, have humility, and believe that they can make a difference by bettering themselves so that they can help other people.  It doesn't matter what other people think about your appearance.  It is amazing to me that no two people are exactly alike in this world.  We might have similar traits or personalities, but there is always something that makes us unique.  Grab onto those things and never let anyone take it from you.  You are who you are for a reason, embrace it and call it you.  Believe in yourself and know that you can do anything.  Beauty comes from within.

Luana ola!

Note:  This post came to my mind as I was reading the first story in An Amish Country Christmas .  It is an extremely good book that everyone should read with their family during the Holiday season!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Staying Active

During these long cold months, it is really easy to cuddle up with a hot cup of tea (or cocoa) next to a fire and read a good book; but it is still important to get exercise and keep that heart in tip top shape.  Now, I am not one to go to the gym.  I did that for the last 22 years of my life.  I was either with my parents, helping them coach volleyball, practicing volleyball myself, or working out to make sure I was in shape for volleyball.  I think I wore myself out!  Now, I like to take walks, go for bike rides, and just remain active throughout my day.  Some of the ways I do this are by taking the stairs, parking far away, practice yoga a couple times a week, and do some jump rope and calisthenics (push-ups, crunches, dips, squats, etc...body weight).

Here are some other ways to stay active throughout your day:

  1. work up to 10,000 steps every day.  Use a pedometer ($10 at your local store) from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, with the exception of taking it off whenever you are going into water of course.
  2. Stand up at work.  Get off that booty and use it the way it was supposed to be support the rest of your body and propel you through life.
  3. Fidget while you work:  use a stability ball instead of a chair, get up every 15-30 minutes and take a lap around the office, stretch in your chair, try some squats or dips in your chair, or just simply fidget!
  4. Take your dog for an extra long walk.  It's good for both you and him/her.  If you don't have a dog, get one.  Studies have shown that dog owners tend to live healthier and happier lives.
  5. Clean your house.  This will be both physically and mentally clearing.  The harder and faster you work, the more calories you will burn and the faster you will get the job done.
  6. Cook at home.  Preparing your own meals means that you know exactly what is in each bite and you can control the portion sizes.  Get the whole family involved in the chopping, slicing, baking, and flipping.  This will ensure that no one person has to make the whole meal, the food will be ready faster, and the kids will be more likely to try new foods because they helped prepare them!
  7. Dance!  Dancing is one of the most fun and easy ways to burn calories.  Instead of going out for drinks and sitting at a bar or restaurant, go out dancing.  Have one or two drinks and dance your shoes off!  The fun will once again be both mentally and physically stimulating.
  8. Last, but certainly not least, do some light calisthenics during commercial breaks.  No one likes to watch those things anyways, so make use of the time you have and do some push ups, sit ups, squats, and planks!
The point of this entire post is to remind people to get up and get moving.  Even if you don't go to the gym, that doesn't give you the right to be a couch potato.  The more you sit on the couch, the greater your chances of getting disease and sicknesses.  So grab some friends or family and get up, get going, and get active!

Luana ola!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


     It's that time of year when everyone goes to the store to load up on Thanksgiving goodies for the table.  On the top of the list for many families is cranberry sauce.  Naturally, the least time-consuming way to go is to get that vacuum-packed/jellied/shaped-like-a-can stuff.  After all, there are so many other parts of the feast to worry about.  The problem, here, is that the cranberry sauce/jelly from a can is loaded with sugar and preservatives; not to mention the BPA-infested lining of the can (who knew?)!

     The better way to go here is to make your own.  This may sound scary and taxing to those of you who have never even thought about making your own cranberry sauce, but believe me, it tastes so much better.  The better taste comes from 2 main categories:  1) fresh, natural, and whole ingredients and 2)you made it yourself!
Making things from scratch lends a sense of accomplishment to the task and makes you feel good.  I have come to find that things taste better to me when I cook them because I know what I am eating and I have put a little love into the food I am about to share with friends and family.

     Cranberries, not only make a great topping for turkey dinners, they are also loaded with nutritional value.  One reason doctors and dietitians recommend cranberries (usually in 100% juice form, because that's most convenient) is because they are great at fighting bad bacteria that cause bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTI).  On top of all that good news, cranberries are loaded with vitamin C (good for calcium absorption) and antioxidants that can help make your skin look and feel healthy.

Here is a basic recipe for making cranberry sauce:

  • place 1 bag of fresh cranberries in a small pot and fill about 1/2 to 3/4 full with cold water.  Place over medium heat.
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar, or to taste (optional)
  • Now, let it simmer.  There will be some popping noises (my favorite part!).  This means that the cranberries are opening and releasing their juices, turning the water into a gooey sauce.
  • Keep simmering until all the cranberries have popped, and until it is to your desired consistency.  NOTE:  the more sugar that is added, the more gooey the sauce will become
  • Finally, add some of your favorite spices like cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves/etc.
Some other ways to enjoy cranberries:
  • dried and sprinkled in granola 
  • as 100% juice
  • boiled and mixed into oatmeal/pancakes
If you have any other ideas, please feel free to share in a comment!

Luana ola! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I am no longer counting the days because it has finally become easier for me to resist sweets!  I feel so good and I know I will make it the rest of the month.  I am still not eating any sweets for Thanksgiving (I know, it feels crazy to me too, but it is something I have to do).  I will allow myself to eat sweets begining December 1st, but I know I will have gained more self-control.  As I said before, dessert should be something to enjoy with family and friends for a special occasion, not every night.

Well, it's official, the first snow came today.  Although it only lasted about 5 minutes, it was enough to blanket the ground in white.  The good news is that it is already gone!  The ground is still warm, so the snow melted before noon.  I am just not ready for cold weather and snow yet!

I apologise for not posting every day like I said I would, but school work has been busy and has me all tied up.  Andrew is coming to my parents' house this weekend, starting today (he does not have to work on Veterans Day) so I will be making him some split pea soup either tomorrow or Saturday!  Be prepared for a post with pictures of hot soup and fresh bread.

Stay warm out there!

Luana ola!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 5

My man and I were out chopping wood this morning while it was sunny, but now it looks like its about to rain.  The wind has picked up, and the sun is no longer around...

I am enjoying a hot cup of peach green tea while I putz around on the internet, finishing up the emails and things I did not get to do because of work yesterday.

Because it's Sunday, it will be a day of football, food, and work.  I think I'll try to find a fun article to post as well!

Keep reading!  I promise these posts will be getting more interesting soon!

Luana ola!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Haunting!

In honor of All Hallow's Eve, later called Hallowe'en, and now Halloween, this post is a short list of Halloween cards that I have gotten in the past:

Card 1:
When the orange moon is glowing
and the monsters roam about,
When you hear the distant echo
of a scream and then a shout,
When you sense a creature near you
even though it is unseen...
Then bolt your windows-
shut your door-
It's time for Halloween!
*This poem actually tells some truth about the origins of Halloween.  According to Irish Celtic tradition, the ghosts (aka spirits) of persons past were better able to wander Earth and "communicate" with the living.  People did not want bad spirits to harm them, so they would dress up as the opposite gender or as scary creatures to confuse or even scare the bad spirits.  Hence the idea of dressing up for Halloween began.

Card 2:  A Halloween Wish
Autumn leaves
that dance in flight,
jack-o'-lantern light,
everywhere tonight...
Have a Wonderful Halloween!

Card 3:
spooky tales
eerie sights...
Halloween is always always filled
with magical delights,
So enjoy all the fun,
and have a spooky, good night!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween and that your new year (according to Medieval tradition) is as good or better as the last!

Luana ola!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Going Green!

I made my first batch of vegetable broth for the season.  My "recipe" is so easy (and sorry for the lack of pictures, it's late and I didn't feel like getting out my camera...) I simply collect scraps of veggies from throughout the week such as:  broccoli stems, the hard vein of greens, carrot tops/shreddings, and leftover uncooked vegetables that are about to go bad, and anything else on hand (especially lots of herbs and spices).  I throw all of it into a large stock pot, cover with water, and simmer for about an hour.  This week, I had some cranberries leftover (story to follow) so I added those and t gave the broth a nice pink hue and a little bit of a stronger taste.  After the veggies are finished, I strain the broth and freeze it and chop the super soft veggies to put in a pocket pie.

Cranberries:  My first attempt at drying cranberries was a major fail, but I learned how to do it right for next time.  I thought that I could just stick the berries in the dehydrator and let it do its thing.  Well, the berries got dry alright; after 3 days and the insides were hollow!  I learned that before dehydrating, you need to either cut each cranberry in half or blanch them to break the skin.

Pocket Pie:  I like to make my own version of pies (like the ones you hear about from old London times).  Basically, I take unbaked bread dough (like the sourdough that I have been religiously using), roll it out to about 1/8" thickness, spoon the veggies in with some fresh herbs/spices, garlic, a little salt, and sometimes tomato sauce/cheese.  You can also play with the flavors.  Adding teriyaki sauce and pineapple would be good.  It all depends on your taste preference and what you have on hand.  This is one of the best quick and healthy dinners that practically cost you nothing!!  Please try and let me know what you did and how it turned out :)

I am also going to try to make my own homemade vanilla extract!  I found a great recipe from here!  A customer from my work said that you only need 3 pods per cup of alcohol!  This can make so much vanilla extract!  Yes, the initial cost is pricey, but the outcome is amazing and will actually save you a great deal of money.  Not to mention the fact that this would make a great gift for the holidays to those of your friends that bake a lot!!!!

Whew!  I guess I had more to say tonight than I expected, but it's time to retire and hit the books one more time before bed!

Luana ola!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere!!

Tis the pumpkin season!   Although the weather is definitely getting colder :( I am happy for the outburst of local pumpkins and apples around!  These two foods are not only my favorite foods of all time, they are also astonishingly good for you!  Here's the facts:

Apple (1 medium = 3" diameter) has:  95 calories, 4.4g fiber, 19 grams of natural sugar, 11mg of calcium (bones), 9 mg magnesium (muscle and nerve function), 8.4 mg vitamin C (eye site/protect from free radicals), and many other essential nutrients.

Pumpkin (1 C cooked, boiled, and drained without salt):  49 calories, 2.7 grams fiber, 37 mg calcium, 22 mg magnesium, 74 mg phosphorus (bone health), 564 mg potassium (electrolyte balance), and 12230 IU vitamin A (bone growth, vision, reproduction, cell division...) Note: an IU is an International Unit, which is used for the fat-soluble vitamins of A, D, and E.

The giant pumpkin that ate the smaller pumpkin! (Andrew and I carved this on Sunday while watching football)

All the other pumpkins that we bought and are going to consume (seeds and all)

My first batch of pumpkin seeds (recipe follows)

Pumpkin Seeds:
Preheat oven to 380 degrees.  Make sure the seeds have been rinsed, and set out to dry over night.
Coat with 2 t olive oil, 1/4 t salt, 1/4 t cumin, and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.  Bake for about 15 minutes, checking and tossing every 5.  They are done when they are golden and crispy!!

Oh, and I have also been making my own bread!  I am using the one from a few posts can store the batter in your fridge for up to 12 days and the longer it sits, the more it tastes like sour dough!  All you need is 3 C warm water, 1 1/2 T salt, 1 1/2 T active dry yeast, and 6 C flour of choice (I have been using rye, whole wheat, and corn meal).  Let it proof for 2 hours then either bake in 1 lb batches at 375 for 45 minutes, or store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready for fresh bread!

Enjoy the local harvest and luana ola! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Beautiful Fall Weekend!

Although most of my weekend was consisted of working and homework/studying, Andrew and I did get to spend some time outside to enjoy some of the AMAZING weather we have been having!  It has been sunny and high 70s all week!  After some fun at the Halloween store on Saturday night, we woke to a beautiful sunrise, ate a quick breakfast, and headed outside to start our chores so that we could be done in time for football.

Andrew decided to do a little more relaxing before the work began...

 Flying leaves!!!!
 This is Bailey wearing her skeleton costume:
 It was a wonderful day, although the Titans lost (one of Andrew's favorite teams).  I had to leave at 6AM so I could make it to my 8AM class on time at Carthage and this is what I saw as I was walking down campus to my class...It has been like this all last week, I can't get enough of the lake!  I can't even imagine what Hawaii will be like, especially because Andrew and I will be together more often!
 A spider web in between the branches; kind of hard to see.  I love this time of year!!
 And finally, on the way home from school, I saw this tree while stopped at the red light just before my house.

I hope everyone has had a chance to get outside and soak up all the benefits of being in the sun (like Vitamin D and emotional happiness)!  The sun is one of nature's elements that can cure many illnesses.

Well, look forward to next week's post!  It's our 1 year anniversary (of dating)!!!  I can't believe it.  

I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy experiencing and sharing them with you!

Luana ola!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nuts about Nuts!

I have always been one who is crazy about nuts.  When I started doing some research during nutrition classes, I came to find that nuts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet (seeds are as well, but that'll be another post...).  Many diet-conscious people seem to stay away from nuts because of their high calorie and fat content.  The fun fact about nuts, though, is that the fats (mainly mono- and poly- unsaturated fats) that nuts are comprised of can actually lead to weight loss!  Research has shown that these healthy fats can actually lower blood pressure, reduce HDL (or "bad" cholesterol), and raise LDL (or "good" cholesterol) levels!

The link posted above gives some of the recent research that dietitians have done to prove how amazingly beneficial nuts are to your health!

Personally, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are among my favorites; but in all actuality I love them all.  Ask anyone who knows me and my eating habits and they will tell you that there is not one day that goes by in which I do not eat either nuts or seeds.  I believe in getting most of my protein and fat from plant sources (like beans/legumes, nuts, seeds, and oils like olive and grape small tangent- you can get a lot of the healthy fat benefits of nuts by substituting nut oils for other fats/oils in a recipe.  Just keep in mind that nut oils go rancid quickly, so keep them in a cool dry place, use within 6 months, and do not over-heat.  It is best to use nut oils in baking or dressing salads or to foods after cooking.)

Luana ola!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reading in the Sun

With my busy schedule, I am just not finding the motivation to work out.  I walk a lot during the day and I occasionally practice yoga, but I am content with that for now.  I would like to be more active again, but I get stressed really easily about sticking to a schedule.  For me, exercise is incorporating bouts of physical activity into your day every chance you get.

Today, I walked to my "thinking spot".  I haven't been there since last winter when I took Andrew there for the first time!  And boy has it grown (well, I guess there would be no doubt considering it's the end of summer...)  I read some of my Tests and Measurements book until two teenage boys walked by and interrupted the silence. By that point, I got up and continued my path back home where I have been sitting and working on a bunch of stuff.

On the way there the breeze was making the tall grass gracefully wave in the air.  It was beautiful!
 Looking down from the top of the hill:
 My actual spot is covered with brush in the summer, but it is the middle of the right side of the picture:

I couldn't figure out how to turn the picture...this is looking up from where I  came from.

Looking directly at my spot.  I sit right against that larger tree in the center.

The other side of the hill

There is a small creek that flows only during the summer months around this spot.
Overall, it was a beautiful and productive day!  I hope everyone is enjoying this weather as I am!!

Question of the day:  What is your favorite part about the September/October months?

Luana ola!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Almost the weekend!

First day of football season!!  Packers vs Saints; I hope the Saints win...

I found out that I don't have classes On Thursday afternoons, so I took a walk with a friend to the local coffee shop (Common Grounds) and we did some homework by the harbor:

 This is the local hotel (Best Western) where some of the students of Carthage reside.  This picture is for Andrew!!
Got a lot done today and found some good healthy recipes for football season!  Now, watching the game and  getting ready for my birthday weekend (which begins at 1PM tomorrow...that's when my last class ends!)  And enjoying some popcorn :)

Luana ola!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of Senior year!!

Tomorrow is my first day of my last year at Carthage.  I am so excited, but it's kind of scary to think that I am graduating.  It seems to have gone by so fast!

When I got home, I had a quick bite to eat and decided to prep for this busy week.  I made kidney beans and a wild rice blend (wild and brown rice).  I also made some home made pasta sauce because some of the tomatoes that my grandpa gave us were getting a little too squishy to eat.

I have also been doing a lot of Halloween planning and fall-recipe searching on (it is officially my favorite place to look up recipes...besides cookbooks of course).  I will use the beans and rice as a side dish and lots of veggies for the week.

Oh, and since fall is my favorite season, I just set up the fall table-escape (above).  I don't think I have ever set it up this early, but I love it!!

Luana ola!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


It's Labor Day weekend! Today was a day of work and catching up on class work before the real classes start.

Andrew and I went out tithe mall to look around and I remembered that my parents' 25th anniversary is coming up soon! I think I am going to get them a cute picture frame.

Tomorrow, I'm moving back home so I can commute to school. My last year of undergrad! I can't wait to be able to bake and cook all this yummy fall food!!! It's my favorite time of year! I can't get enough apple and pumpkin picking, corn mazes, hot cider, hot soups and stews, fresh bread, and cool crisp air! There is nothing like it! I will miss it in Hawaii next year, but I think I'll be able to get over it considering there won't be any freezing cold winter either!

Going to Cabela's

Luana ola!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pinch of love

I read an article from an old Irish folklore.  It was a story about the people who lived in Acorn Trees.  There was one woman who always put a pinch of something from her special jar in everything she made; whether it was breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drink.  As the years passed, the old woman continued her tradition and none of her family knew what was in the jar.

When she passed away, her husband decided to look in the jar to see what she had been putting in her cooking all those years.  When he opened the jar, he found nothing but a piece of paper.  When he opened the neatly folded paper, it read, "Love".

The woman had been putting a pinch of love in all of her dishes, which is why they tasted so good.

This is such an inspirational story and can be incorporated into life as a whole.  If we put a pinch of love into even just one person every day, our day and that person's day will be much better.

Luana ola!

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's been a while...

We went to the Renaissance Faire again!! Got some pretty cool things because it was Marketplace weekend!! (aka spend $200 and get 2 free tickets...which we did!)  Here's what we got:

 Mom and Son :)
 Love these!!
 Andrew's walking stick (hopefully a broom/walking stick will be in my near future as well...)

 Guess whose...

 Beeswax candles and incense
Masquerade mask!!!!!!!!
 Dragon Incense burner.  I have found a new love for dragons (I think it's due to my love for Gus, our tortoise).  This guy was too cute!  You burn either cones or sticks and the smoke comes through his nose!

 metal roses that last forever! and they smell good!

We also wanted to get some wands, they were just too expensive.  I would really like to get a necklace and a new corset, but once again, too expensive (the corset, not the necklace).

Anyone know of good places to buy authentic wands or corsets for a good price??!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What a beautiful day!!!

I have just had my first two days of work!  I am really starting to get the hang of it, and am really enjoying my co-workers and managers.
After work, I decided to ride my bike to the local fabric store because today was the last day of their 4th of July sale and I needed to pick up some fabric to make some new chemises, skirts, and cloaks for Halloween/ the Renaissance Faire.  I cannot wait for the faire to begin this weekend!  I hope Andrew and I are able to go!  Although we both work on Saturday and have to pick his mom up from the airport on Sunday...well, it lasts until Labor Day at least!! :)

Here's all the fabric I got for just $50!!!!  Each color was under $2 per yard.  I love good deals!!
Luana ola and enjoy the sun (although we could use a little rain)!!!