culture, food, Uncategorized

2018 New Year Blog

Happy New Year everyone!

I can’t believe it’s been almost five (5) years since I last published something on this blog.  Reading my old blog posts brought back so many memories of the things I enjoyed doing, the people I love, and reminded me that sometimes, life comes around full circle.

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to restart this blog and start writing again.  I stopped blogging in 2013 right after my daughter’s first birthday.  With two kids and my demanding work schedule, I just couldn’t find the time to write.  Just taking the time to think about what to write was time consuming!  Now that the kids are older, I think I can find some time to sneak in some brainstorming and writing.  Here goes!!!

On New Year’s Day, we began our day by eating ozoni, a traditional Japanese soup that’s served as the first meal of the day on January 1.  Ozoni can be prepared in many different ways using different ingredients.

The meal represents good luck and each ingredient has a special meaning: mochi for long life; local produce for a bountiful harvest in the year ahead; lotus root for the wheel of life; and konbu for joy and happiness. Although our family is Filipino, eating ozoni has become one of our family traditions in ringing in the new year.

Ozoni is one of her favorite soups!  I added sliced carrots, lotus root, Chinese cabbage, kamaboko konbu, and green onions.  The grilled mochi is my favorite part about the soup!

Need a recipe for ozoni?  Here’s a link to a great blog post at

Just curious, how do you prepare your ozoni?

As I think about the year ahead, I pray for joy and happiness, prosperity and peace in 2018 and wish all of you the same!

crafts, DIY, quilting, Sewing

Blog Update!

Hi Everyone!
It’s been almost a year since my last blog update, and there are many new things that have happened since then. Life has been very busy with the kids. In a few weeks, I’ll be making some revisions to my blog and adding in more posts. 🙂

I now offer a embroidery service, so if you need custom embroidery done, let me know and I can help you! I’ve also been working on getting an inventory of accessories together while working on new quilts. Here’s a glimpse of what will appear in my next round of posts:

Flash Drive Cases

Zipper Pouches

Quilt Projects

Including Quilt Blocks

Check out my Instagram page at MauiGirl80876 for other photos!

That’s it for now. See ya next time!

Books, Kids, parenting, toddlers

Usborne Books, a Launch Party, and a Giveaway for FREE Books!

Today I’m launching  my consultant website at Usborne Books!  How exciting!!!

Usborne Books are great for all ages, all interests and reading levels, homeschool studies, independent or family reading, gifts and more! There’s something for everyone, and you can do a search according to age and/or subject matter.  I love the quality of these books.  They feature bright, beautiful illustrations and colors, offer important childhood lessons and educational insights and they are made to last.

Here are a few of the titles that were in my consultant kit!

The closing of Borders Bookstore in Central Maui brought a lot of disappointment to many people, including myself.  At the time, my son was just about 20 months old and at the age where he could begin recognizing and pointing out and calling out different objects on pages of a board book.  The closing of Borders left a void in our community.  Where would we find books for our children and for ourselves?

Wal-Mart currently has a selection of books, but not a great variety of fiction and non-fiction titles.  There’s a toy store named “Ollie Pop” at our mall that carries a GREAT selection of picture books, phonics readers, and non-fiction titles, offering a lot more than Wal-Mart. Ollie Pop however doesn’t have very many titles.  Downloading books on to my iPad was an option…but the iPad can be a little too distracting for my son.  Many of you know what I mean.  With all that said, I looked online for children’s books and came across Usborne Books and More.

I recently received my set of Usborne books over the weekend and read them with Trey.  He enjoys reading the story Take Turns, Max and Millie and a “touchy feely” book entitled That’s Not My Monkey…

Herman and Trey reading, “That’s Not My Monkey…”

Usborne also offers books for the littlest readers…even for my Lauren!  It’s never too early to get children to read!

Usborne Books has over  2000 titles covering a wide variety of subjects.  They offer activity books on drawing, cute wind up toy books for toddlers, flash cards, sticker books, phonics readers, fiction series for boys and girls, internet-linked science and history encyclopedias, and more.  Usborne also offers a storybook app that you can download on to your iPad! Just be sure to keep the little ones focused on reading!

If you would like to learn more about Usborne and the books that we offer, please visit my website or email me about my book launch happenning this Saturday (June 23, 2012).  Interested in earning some free books?  Contact me for more information!

To celebrate my first book event with Usborne, I’m offering a giveaway!  Here’s your chance to win up to $30 worth of free Usborne books.

First you’ll need to check out my Usborne Books & More website and find titles that interest you.  I’d like to know what you’re interested in!

There are 5 different ways to enter…5 chances to win!
1.  Leave a blog comment below and indicate the title(s) that you’re interested in.

2. Tweet the giveaway!  Copy this:
Check out the  @MauiGirl808 Usborne Books Giveaway!  #giveaway #childrensbooks #books
Then make sure to add an additional comment to this post with your Twitter ID

3.  Facebook the giveaway. Copy this:
Check out the Usborne Books Giveaway!  #giveaway #childrensbooks #books
Then make sure to add an additional comment to this post with your Facebook ID

4.  Attend my launch party.

5.  Sign up to host a book party either online or at your home.

Keep entering until the announcement! The winner will be announced on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (Hawaii Time)

Good Luck and Keep on Reading!!!

Kids, parenting, toddlers

Pre Preschool and a 10-Week Update!

It’s been just about one month since my last blog.  The time just flew by so quickly!

Pre Preschool

During my last month of maternity leave, Herman and I decided to enroll Trey in a preschool program for 2-year olds.  We wanted Trey to socialize with other children, develop his language skills, and be exposed to art activities, music, and reading. The center offered a half-day session, so we thought that it would be a good way to ease Trey into eventually transitioning to a full day of school.

Herman and I had never sent Trey to a sitter or daycare, so we were a bit concerned that he would cry all day and not enjoy any of the learning activities that the center provided.  That wasn’t the case at all.

Trey at the year end celebration.

Herman and I accompanied Trey to school on his first day.  We got his Crocs off his feet, put his bags in his cubby hole, and once he saw the other kids playing with the toys, he immediately followed suit and joined in on the fun.  He was so focused on playing with the other kids that we didn’t get a chance to wish him a good day!  It’s not that we didn’t want to say “bye”, we knew that prolonging our goodbyes would confuse him and make him a little apprehensive about staying in school.  Today, we make it a part of our morning routine to talk about how much fun school is, wish each other a good day, and give him his hugs before we get to the doors of the center.  After entering the door, he gets his shoes off, puts his lunch and water bottle away, and heads off to the different toy centers.

Trey loves to sing. Here he is singing, “Slippery Fish” with his friends.

Although Trey has only been in school for a month, Herman and I noticed him using his words a little more, showing politeness, identifying shapes (square, triangle, diamond, star, oval, and circle – yes he now knows the difference between a circle and an oval) and colors, and demonstrating a little more confidence and independence.

Herman and I are really happy with the teachers and the teachers’ aides at his preschool.  They’re very nurturing, sweet, patient, and encouraging.  They have well planned activities and also offer diaper changing for kids who aren’t quite potty trained.  The center is also close to work, and is bright, colorful, and spacious.  There’s even an area for large motor activities, which includes a “rock” climbing wall!  How fun is that!?!?

We’re looking forward to having the regular school year start up again and are excited for the learning opportunities ahead.

Trey gets his certificate and a lei at the year end celebration.

10-Week Update

Who’s this little girl?

It’s Little Miss Lauren!

Lauren is currently 10 weeks old, and at her 2-month checkup, Dr. H. described her growth as “exploding”!  She’s now 22.5 inches long, weighs about 12 pounds, and has a head circumference of 15.5 inches.  Big Girl!

Lauren’s also hitting quite a few milestones which include smiling, cooing and mimicking certain sounds and faces that we make at her, batting at toys and grasping at them, sleeping for longer periods at night, and lifting her head during tummy time.  We’ve noticed that she also likes sitting up in our arms, and oh yeah, she really loves her daddy and is showing a preference for him!  Whenever Herman  talks to Lauren, she coos a lot, smiles, bats her eyelids, and even giggles! She’s developing a personality. =)

People often ask how Trey’s doing as a big brother, and I think he’s great.  He acknowledges his sister when we meet up with people, helps me when I’m diapering her, and also tries to comfort her when she cries.  At times, I’ll hear him say, “Don’t cry baby sister.  It’s ok.”  He loves to pet her head and give her kisses.


I recently returned back to work full-time, and we’re all doing well with the transition.  Herman and I are really lucky that my parents are able to babysit.  Mornings are a bit hectic in our house, but I think we’ve developed a good routine that enables us to get out of the house in time…sometimes…=)

While I loved being at home with the kids, I did miss being at work and with my coworkers.  I love my office and it’s great being back there.

So tomorrow is Father’s Day!  Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there, and most especially to my dad Fred, and my husband Herman. Love to you all!

Herman with the kids. Happy Father’s Day, Love!

quilting, Sewing

Kamehanaokala – The Warmth of the Sun

This colorful little quilt is on its way to the Midwest:

My cousin Amber and her husband Jay are expecting their first child in about a week, and we are very excited for them!  To celebrate their little bundle of joy, I thought I would make a Hawaiian print quilt for their little one.

Amber and Jay were here on Maui last summer, along with Amber’s brother Brian, his wife Anna, Uncle Ben, and Aunt MaryLyn.  One of the things Herman, Trey and I did with them was watch the sunrise atop Mount Haleakala.  If you’re ever on Maui, one of the things you need to do is experience a Haleakala Sunrise.  It takes approximately an hour and a half to drive up to the summit (about 10,000 feet above sea level), so you’ll need to plan ahead of time to arrive there before the sun peeps out, and also to secure a good spot for viewing.

The colors at daybreak, once the sun starts rising above the clouds, are amazing!  Imagine for a moment… When you arrive at the summit, you’re surrounded in complete darkness, with the exception of stars and the moon out.  Slowly, an explosion of color of different shades of pink, red, orange, and yellow begin to emerge along with a bright blue sky.  These are the colors that I used as inspiration for this quilt.  I wanted to capture the essence and warmth of the sun (also referred to as ‘Kamehanaokala’ in ‘ōlelo Hawai’i) using different prints and designs.

I also wanted to choose fabrics that featured places in Hawaii, so you’ll see squares that say Hanauma Bay, North Shore, or Lahaina.  The backing also has a strip of fabric with different place names in Hawaii.

I think it’ll also make a good “Eye-Spy” quilt when baby gets older.  Here are a couple of things to find on the quilt:

1.  Find the square with the word Lahaina.

2.  How many squares have surfboards on them?

3.  Can you find the honu (turtle)?

4.  Three lions.

5.  Where is the “Donut house”?

I really enjoyed creating this quilt for Amber, Jay, and their baby; from choosing the fabrics to actually quilting it on my sewing machine.  I’m hoping that it brings them a little bit of sunshine and warmth from Hawaii, all throughout the year!


Pink Chevron Quilt

If someone mentioned chevrons to me a couple months ago, my first thought would have been this:

Although I’m not a traffic engineer, my day job involves public infrastructure which includes roadways and traffic signs.  FYI..this particular sign indicates a sharp turn in the road.

You can kinda guess where my train of thought was regarding chevrons, so when I saw a Pinterest post from a friend of mine regarding her chevron wall, I initially thought it was kinda odd that a traffic sign was being used as inspiration for home decor.  Then realized that it was a brilliant idea! Chevrons serve as inspiration for fabrics, rugs, home design, cards, scrapbooking, shoes and quilts!

Of course…QUILTS!  I just had to get to work on a chevron quilt when I first saw them on Pinterest, and started this project a few months before Lauren was born.

I’ve been meaning to do a blog on Lauren’s Chevron Quilt for some time now, but could never get the right picture to post. The quilt doesn’t seem to show up nicely in indoor photos, so I brought it outside.  I must say, this quilt looks a lot better in real life than on this blog.  Hmmm…not sure what I’m doing wrong with my pictures.  I either need a better camera (than my iPhone 4S) or I should take some photography classes.

I used the pink prints from Robert Kaufman’s “Pick a Bunch”  layer cake that I bought from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and a pink and grey print that I picked up from Walmart along with a white Kona solid for the zig-zag pattern.  The flower border also comes from the “Pick a Bunch” collection, that I bought separately at Sew Special on Maui.  The binding was a purple Kona fabric.

Here’s a close-up shot of the quilt…

I also got to play with my free-motion quilting foot, but only used it on the border.  The more I practice, the better I’ll get….but yay!  I love being able to do free-motion quilting!

If you’re a beginner quilter, like me, you may want to consider a chevron quilt for one of your first projects.  A chevron quilt is a great beginner’s project because it involves squares and triangles, and piecing them into a predictable pattern. Here’s a link to a great tutorial from The Crafty Traveler, entitled Chevron Quilt.

Enjoy! =)

Health & Beauty, Pedicure

Polka Dots and Pedis

Saw this fabric print on the other day…


There’s something about red and white polka dot fabric that makes me smile. It reminds me of two of my favorite childhood characters, Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty.

This past Saturday, I decided to use polka dots as inspiration for my pedicure.


I had been wanting to get a pedi since the day of Lauren’s arrival. In fact, I had planned on getting a pedi that day, but of course, I had much better things to take care of. 🙂

Special thanks to Ang (I hope that’s how her name is spelled) at Color Nail Salon at the Maui Mall. Loved her work and the great service!

*Slippers and slipper charm found at My Sister’s Closet, also at the Maui Mall!