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!


Baby Shower Gift, Trey’s Hooded Towel, and Some New Projects

Last weekend, I attended a baby shower for one of my best friends and her husband.  It was the baby shower that I had been waiting for since they got married…I am so happy for them!  I wanted to get them and baby a special gift, so I decided to make a minky rag quilt with matching burp cloths and a diaper clutch.  Here they are…

I enjoyed making these gifts for my friends, and I wanted to make something special and from the heart for them and their little one.  They’re expecting a baby girl in May, so I thought that the colors in the rag quilt were just right for the season. For this quilt, I used 6-inch squares and backed them with green minky fabric.   My baby girl, Lauren, has a blanket just like it.  I am super excited that they’re having a girl.  I’m hoping that our daughters become great friends when they get older. They’ll have matching blankies!

Lauren, the day after she was born.

I didn’t use a tutorial for the burp cloths, but I did find a great tutorial for it at ChickPea Sewing Studio.  For these burp cloths, I used a 3-ply diaper cloth and top-stitched a 6″ wide strip of fabric on it.  The 3-ply diaper cloth is super absorbent and has a thick pad sewed into it.  When I first made burp cloths, I used a thinner diaper cloth, which was ok,  but the spit-ups would either roll off the fabric or seep right through the diaper cloth and on to my shoulder (yuck!).  When you plan on making burp cloths, definitely use a 3-ply diaper cloth or a 6-ply cloth for your projects.

A diaper clutch comes in very handy when you need just a few diapers and wipes to carry in your purse.  I found a great tutorial for the diaper clutch at Diary of a Quilter.  I think I’ll be making a bunch of them not just for diapers, but other things I carry in my purse for my kids (clothes, toys, snacks).  

Trey’s Hooded Towel

So before Lauren was born…seriously, like HOURS before she was born, I completed a hooded towel for Trey.

I had been making so many new things for Lauren, that I felt the need to make something for Trey.  A hooded towel was the perfect thing for him.  He was outgrowing his baby towels, and he needed a towel that covered him from head to toe.  This towel was also great for evening visits at my parents’ home.  It gets pretty windy at their house, so whenever we head into the car, we always try to get him covered up with this towel.  I got the idea for this hooded towel from searching Pinterest (OMG..I love Pinterest!).  Here’s the tutorial for the hooded towel.

For Trey’s towel, I embellished it with fabric from Robert Kaufman’s Urban Zoologie Collection using the Whales print, and matched it with green rick-rack.  I actually started working on the hooded towel a few days before Lauren was born, but Trey’s name on the back of the towel was sewn in just the night before. =)

 New Projects

I’m slowly taking on new projects when I find the time between naps and feedings.  After completing the Echo Charm Pack and Jelly Roll quilt, I was really satisfied with the result and wanted to make something similar for my parents.  This time however, I decided to make a Disappearing Nine-Patch quilt using the following fabric:

I also got the following fabric at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago:

Of all places, Wal-Mart had these prints.  I’ve decided to use them with some linen fabric to create projects from Rashida Coleman Hale’s book, Zakka Style.  There’s a sew along that started during the first week of April, and although I’m a little late in getting started, I do plan on finishing the first project, a linen tote bag, and work on a couple more projects from the book!  Till then, my projects lay quietly on my sewing table, waiting to be picked up…

DIY, quilting, Sewing, toddlers, Uncategorized

A New Diaper Bag! (With Link to Tutorial)

These past few weeks, I’ve been admiring a number of Vera Bradley tote bags at a store in our local mall.  Each time my husband and I would pass by the storefront, I’d often stop and tell him how much I like the vibrant colors and patterns, and the design of the bags.  They’re beautiful!  But I just couldn’t see myself buying one knowing that I could probably make it myself.  And so began my next challenge…a new diaper bag!

I made a diaper bag a few weeks ago using a tutorial from Moda Bakeshop. It had blues and greens in it, perfect for my son!  This time however, I decided to use fabrics in pink and yellow, and to use a tutorial from Andrea’s Originals.  It’s a more “boxier” style than my first diaper bag, but what I like about it are the pockets and that it’s much bigger.  I modified the size a bit to make a wider bag.  My finished bag measures 16″x12″x5″.

I started with these fabrics from Robert Kaufman’s “Free to Grow” collection by Nancy Mimms.

I already had the yellow fabric in my stash, but needed the others for the front and back pockets and the handles.  These fabrics were from Sew Special, one of our local fabric stores on Maui.  The girls there were great in helping me find what I needed!  What I don’t have pictured here is a hot pink gingham print that I used for my lining.

When I pieced the bag together, I decided to sew all the panels first, rather than sew them on to the bottom of the bag.

After sewing the panels, I pinned the bottom section to the panels and sewed around all four sides, starting with the long sides first and finishing off with the shorter sides.

A couple nights ago, I showed my husband my new diaper bag and asked him what he thought.  He asked where I had bought it from.  I found that to be the most perfect compliment!

The cost of the materials added with the time I spent on this bag probably amounted to the same as the cost of those Vera Bradley bags that I saw at the mall, but it was worth the effort and time.  It was sure worth knowing that it was something that I could make for myself!

DIY, quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

New Fabrics!

Robert Kaufmann Fabric!!!

This collection is Robert Kaufmann’s, Pick A Bunch collection, by Nancy Mimms. I believe the yellow print is also from Robert Kaufmann, but in a different collection.

I ordered a layer cake and a jelly roll from Missouri Star Quilt Company a few weeks ago, and it arrived within days! They’re so awesome! The yellow print was from Sew Special, a fabric store here on Maui.

The collection features different prints in shades of blue, green, red, yellow, mauve, and purple.




I wasn’t sure what I would do with the fabric when I bought it. Call me an impulse buyer, but I loved what I saw and knew I could make something out of it. I love bright colors and retro prints. This collection was too cute to pass up. I’ll more than likely create another quilt, but my first objective is to create another diaper bag using the yellow print (in the first picture at the very top) as a the main part of the bag.

Here’s a canvas fabric that I bought over the weekend at Fabric Mart in Kahului….


Cute huh? Not sure what I’ll want to do with this, but I loved the colors and the design! If you’re ever on Maui, check out Fabric Mart on Dairy Road in Kahului. They have a large collection of Hawaiian and Asian prints at great prices.

That’s it for now! I think I’ll get started on my second diaper bag in a little while…Till next time…=)

DIY, Pregnancy, Sewing, toddlers, Uncategorized

Weekend Projects: Boppy Pillow Cover, Rocket Applique T-Shirt, Echo Pillow Cover

I woke up on Saturday morning at about 5:00 a.m. wanting to make a couple things.  Both Trey and Herman were still asleep, so I quietly walked into the craft room to get started.

First thing I started on was a Boppy pillow cover.  Boppy pillows are a great thing to have when you’re nursing or if you need extra support while holding baby in your arms.  My first pregnancy was a C-section, so having a Boppy pillow made nursing a little more comfortable.  When Trey was born, my husband bought me a Boppy pillow with a boyish cover; a blue print with cute green alligators.  Since we’re having a girl in a few weeks, I decided to use some existing “girly” fabric that I had in my stash.  This time, I used a grey and pink asian inspired print for the front, and a coordinating pink print for the back. Here are a few pictures:

I found the tutorial and pattern for this cover on a blog called Vanilla Joy.  The pattern was simple enough to piece together and easy to understand.  The pattern however, called for an invisible zipper.  I had never sewed zippers before, and was pretty fearful of what the end result would look like, but it came out well!  Here are a few more pictures:

It’s not quite an “invisible” zipper, but it does the job.  Best part?  I didn’t break a needle while sewing it on to my fabric!

And finally, here’s what the two prints look like next to each other.  I believe I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance when I sewed the front and back pieces together.  The cover fits the pillow perfectly!

Next project was a no-sew applique project.  My son has been talking about rockets and using words such as, “mission control” or “blast off to space”, so I thought it would be cute to make him a t-shirt with a rocket applique.

Here’s what it looks like and the fabrics I used…

I found a few pictures of rocket appliques from several websites to use as examples, and drew a rocket on to a piece of paper to create a template.  After creating the template pieces, I transferred them on to a piece of Heat n Bond paper, making sure to reverse the template pieces and tracing them on to the bumpy or adhesive side of the Heat n Bond paper.  The next step was to iron the pieces on to the fabric, cut them out, lay them on to Trey’s shirt, and iron.  That easy!

I had just finished the t-shirt when Trey woke up and walked into my craft room.  After wishing him a good morning, I showed him the shirt, and his words were, “Oooh, Mommy…it’s a rocket ship!”  At that moment, he tugged at his pajama shirt as if to take it off so that he could wear his new rocket ship shirt.  I’m so happy that he liked it!

Some things I’d want to do the next time I work on an applique project:

First, use a more thicker shirt.  For this shirt, I used a Hanes shirt that I think is more of an undershirt. We had a couple of these that we bought for his Halloween costume and for wearing under a Barong.   You can’t tell from the picture, but these kinds of shirts look a bit transparent…I really didn’t like that.

Next, although this was meant to be a quick and easy project with no sewing involved, I think I’d want to try an embroidery stitch and outline the design.  I’ve seen other designs where the image was outlined.  It just looks more tailored.  But like I said earlier, this was a fun, quick and easy project that anyone can do!  Here’s a great applique tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company:

Okay, last project…I didn’t quite complete this on Saturday morning, but on Friday night.

I had some leftover jelly roll pieces from my Echo quilt, and I decided to use them for a cover for my 12″x16″ pillow.

Yup…another quick and easy project!  I’ll probably make a few more slip covers using the rest of the left over jelly roll strips in the next few weeks!

That’s it for now.  Hope you all had a great weekend!

DIY, quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized

Quilted Tote Bag – Tutorial from Moda Bakeshop

Moda Fabrics has a great blog at  The contributors have so many great ideas, which include different types of quilt ideas, gifts, apparel, home decor, and all other goodies that use precut fabrics from Moda.  I searched their blog site for a tote bag, and came across the “recipe” for the Hushabye Tote Bag and Coin Quilt made of yardage, jelly roll strips, some interfacing and fusible fleece.  The great part about this recipe is that there’s enough material from the jelly roll to create a small coin quilt.  Well, here’s my take on the tote bag!

While I didn’t have the Hushabye jelly roll on hand, I decided to use some existing fabric I had.  I’m not that great at coordinating fabric colors, but I’m still happy with the end result!

I thought twice about the orientation of the bag. There were times when I would look at the pieces and go “Hmmmmmm…is it this way, or that way?” Instead of a shorter and wider tote, I put together a taller and narrow one with deep pockets.  This was actually done by accident.  I should’ve gone with my original thought, but that’s ok…it still looks great. =)

Here’s a photo of what the side of the bag looks like.

There are four deep pockets in the front and back, and the bag itself has great space for clothes, diapers, and lots of toys.

I like that I can fit a sippy cup in the front pocket.  I could also fit one of my son’s favorite books and a package of wipes!

I started cutting the pieces on Saturday night and completed the sewing in a few hours on Sunday night.  The little one and I replaced his Angry Birds backpack and started using this tote bag this morning.  The tote is so much easier to use than that backpack, and surprisingly enough, could fit more things.  I’ll be giving this “recipe” another try and thinking about different ideas for adding inside pockets and a flap.  I love this bag and can’t wait to give it another try!

Sewing, Uncategorized

Baby Rag Quilt

It’s been a while since my last post, mainly because I’ve been keeping myself busy with numerous quilting and sewing projects.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I will be expecting a baby girl sometime in April.  In preparation for her arrival, I decided to make a couple things for her.  I’m not sure where all this energy is coming from, but there’s something about having a baby that gets you motivated to create things.

Shortly after I finished my patchwork quilt, I moved on to a flannel and fleece rag quilt.  I found a great tutorial from one of my favorite YouTube contributors, Missouri Quilt Company.  They have so many great ideas!

I chose flannel fabrics with a mix of pink, green, and brown for my rag quilt and cut them into 5-inch squares.

Then I created sandwich pieces using the pink fleece squares as a backing and sewing two diagonal lines through the piece.

Here’s what it looks like when you sew the sandwich pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance:

The next step is to snip the edges, being careful not to snip the seam.

And here’s the finished product!

One of the things I love about this quilt is its softness and the texture created by the raggedy edges.  It’s so unique!  This quilt is pretty small, about 24″x30″.  The next time I make a rag quilt, I think I’ll use larger pieces and use a larger seam allowance.  I’d also like to try using minkie fabrics for an even softer quilt!

This was a quick and fun project, and I was super happy with the end result!  I’ll end my post here with the tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Have fun creating your own rag quilt….enjoy!