Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Next?

I'm almost finished with my MSW. I complete my practicum hours at the end of July and then it's time to start full time work. Actually since starting Flattery Designs with Bronwen and Eve, I would like to quit work altogether and make shell jewelry and driftwood creations all day...maybe one day. Check out our link to the etsy page on the right hand side of the blog! Things are slow moving, but they are moving and we've had several sales to strangers and quite a few sales to wonderful friends and family members supporting us.

For the ever curious, CRH and I are staying in our living situation until at least the first of the year and then we'll see where things are with our careers and such. Eve is starting 4th grade in a matter of weeks. I'm just going to take a proud Mama moment here and say that she is reading at an almost 7th grade level and is doing math at a 6th grade level. I know where she gets the reading from, but the math part perplexes us greatly as neither CRH nor I can do the basics...lol.

We continue to love, love, love the island and I'll try to do a better job of blogging now that school is finished. I am staying pretty busy with the extreme shelling and jewelry creating though!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

FlatteryDesigns Etsy Shop Opening!

I know I've been really silent in the land of blogging lately. I've been super busy on a new project. I am graduating in a few weeks with my MSW, well technically August, so I've been working hard in school to finish everything up. I'm happy I have a lighter course load this semester and have had time to focus on my newest hobby! Extreme Shelling...

Bronwen and I started FlatteryDesigns on Etsy!! It is an online store where we sell awesome shell jewelry, home accessories, key chains, hair accessories, etc. made from shells that we have hand collected on the beaches of Haleiwa with Eve. Eve is loving this new hobby and happily tags along to help us hunt and even design!

Here's the link, stop by and check us out!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New Fun

We spent a lovely New Year's weekend doing very little except sun and fun. I've been on an antibiotic, so I've had far less sun time than I've wanted for the past many weeks. Alas, this weekend was another weekend of fun.

We received a lovely Christmas check from my grandparents and we decided to use that money to take a sunset, whale watching cruise on the North Shore Catamaran. I've always wanted to do it, but honestly I think they are a little pricey.

Last night, we boarded the boat and headed out. You BYOB and they have a pupu platter set up for the guests. It was a pretty evening and as we headed toward Waimea Bay, we could see the full moon rising! About this time, people started seeing whale spouts. As we turned the boat around toward Ka'ena Point and the sun was setting, we saw a whale breach! It was so cool!!!! He wasn't as close as when we've seen them on bigger boats in Waikiki, but it was pretty awesome!
Sunset was behind the mountain and we rode back to the harbor with the full moon above us...gorgeous Saturday evening!!! Happy 2012!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka 2011

The Hart Family has had another fun Christmas...it was super relaxing and very low key with some beach time added in! Yesterday, I cooked up a storm while CRH worked and gathered last minute items around town I had forgotten. Then, he came home and helped me fix the turkey...lol. Bronwen occupied Eve with the building of a gingerbread house, thankfully! We let Eve open two gifts and then feasted on a huge meal! I finished off the evening with It's A Wonderful Life. I triple love that movie!!

Eve woke up promptly at 7am on Christmas morning and insisted that I immediately get out of bed. I know I'll miss these days, but I kind of look forward to one day sleeping in again on Christmas morning...one day. And then, I'm sure it will suck...anyway, today was awesome. She bounded into the living room and tore through her Santa bag. She was a very good girl this year and got everything on her list, plus a few extra surprises!

Eve played around with Leah and her gifts and we gorged ourselves on the annual Brie and Sausage casserole CRH makes and then headed to the beach in a food coma. It was a gorgeous day and I could have spent hours, but I was burning a little after 3 hours. We took a little walk and found a ton of turtles in the water and on the beach. The neighborhood kids joined us at one point and it was a lovely, lovely afternoon of sun and fun.

Tonight, we are eating a light dinner of pupus (I say light, but it's meatballs and artichoke dip...), drinking some yummy wine, and watching the Christmas Spectacular Rockettes show on Netflix...good times! Merry, Merry Christmas everyone!!! Thank you all for our gifts!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Fun, Hawaiian Style

I love this time of year because we're off and home and relaxed!!! This week we've had fun making cookies and ornaments and going around to see Christmas lights. I drove Eve around Waialua one night and we ooohed and awwwed over all the lights. We've managed to squeeze in some beach time and one day when Eve and I were sitting out we saw a woman in a bikini and a scarf paddle boarding. It was approximately 78 degrees that day...lol.

Last night, we took Eve to Aulani (the Disney resort) to see the decorations, sunset, and have a little dinner. I have to say that I was completely underwhelmed by the decorations. I thought Disney would go big, but it seems they are trying to be low key and culturally appropriate and went small. Oh well, I applaud them for that!

We walked in and they had eggnog, hot apple cider, and hot chocolate with candy canes for people in the lobby. It was super yummy and we took our hot chocolate out to the pool bar for dinner and sunset. Sunset was amazing last night. People here talk about the green flash all the time that occurs at sunset. Here's a link on it, if you are curious. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_flash. I've never seen this phenomena until last night. The sunset was so beautiful and clear and the sun just melted into the horizon and then it happened! It was stunning!

We finished dinner and took a few pictures in front of the Christmas tree at Disney. A very nice man offered to take several with us using both my camera and CRH's phone. The kindness of strangers is so refreshing.

After Disney, we drove by a house that I'd seen on our local news website. This family has a huge Christmas light display that they sync to music. They use LED lights and run it all on solar now. In addition, they also collect donations for gifts for kids at a local homeless shelter where they also serve meals once a month. We were fortunate to meet them standing outside and he told me he starts the process in September!! They go live the day after Thanksgiving and keep it up until January. Again, the kindness of strangers making merry for the neighborhood...very impressed by human nature this week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gearing Up for the Holidays!!

I've been an atrocious blogger as of late, but November was a whirlwind month! I was swamped with school, trying to finish up at a practicum site, and I went home with Eve to NC for an 11 day adventure!! We finally met Haisley Ann, who we loved instantly!!! We were able to see her being baptized and enjoy her 1st Thanksgiving, and her 1st road trip to Atlanta (where my wallet was stolen and I met my future husband, an Atlanta Falcon. Well, a girl can dream!). They don't want a ton of pics of Haisley all over the Internet, so I'm just going to put up this one of the three of them with Eve before we went to Tanglewood to see the Festival of Lights. Aren't they adorable??

This past weekend was a whirlwind of holiday fun! Friday night was the annual Haleiwa parade and Eve was invited by a friend to be a part of the parade. She was over the moon excited. I realized that once your kid goes by and you don't have a kid there to watch it with, it's kinda whatever. As soon as Santa floated by, I was in the car. We decorated the Christmas tree that evening and drank eggnog and watched Christmas specials. Sometimes I can be really domestic...shhhh.

Saturday, Eve and I went to separate holiday parties. Her's was with the same friend and mine was with a group of super fun women that I sadly only get to see about once or twice a year. I do look forward to having some semblance of a life back once I graduate next year.

Since our return home, I have finished the semester. I know I have an "A" in my Health class and my practicum, but I have no idea what my Research grade will be. I'm praying for a "B-". I hope to never, ever, ever have to take another Research class again...ever.

On Sunday, we totally Christmased it up. (I know that's not a word, but I don't care. I'm finished with school for the semester, so grammar is out the window...lol.) We took Eve and her bff, Leah, to Honolulu to do it all in one fell swoop of holiday. We drove into Waikiki and walked through several hotels admiring all of the amazing decorations. There were gorgeous trees up in the hotels, sand sculptures of Santa, and a gingerbread village with working parts, Aloha Tower, and Iolani Palace!
We took the girls to dinner and watched sunset over the harbor and then went to Ala Moana for the annual Santa visit. Prior to this year, the Santa experience was the BEST. This year, not so much. It was still the same awesome Santa, but they initially wouldn't let us take our own pictures and then their camera kept malfunctioning which lead to an hour long wait and finally me losing it and sending the calm representative of this family (CRH) up to negotiate letting us go ahead and take our own pics. It worked and we were pleased and outta there!

The last and final stop of the evening was the City of Lights. I love, love, love this display. This year it was sprinkling a little bit, so it wasn't super crowded like normal and we got some really cute pictures of the girls in front of all the displays. I promise to do a better job over the holidays of updating and putting up pictures of the holiday festivities here in Hawaii!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

This is Halloween

Halloween has been a weekend long event culminating tonight with a lovely festival and trick or treating! Friday night was Trunk or Treat at Eve's school. Initially I thought this might be lame, but it was awesome. The families all come together and make these super cool trunk/van/tent displays and give out candy. The PTO does a haunted house, which did not scare the pants off of her, and we had a super fun evening.

Saturday we went to Turtle Bay and aside from Eve going with a classmate and getting the cute mini pumpkins, I was totally underwhelmed as were the girls. CRH and I enjoyed people watching but it was less than epic.
Today, Eve had a Halloween parade at school and came home with a bag of goodies. I picked her up and took her to a Fall Festival at a local ranch. It was fabulous! They do an entirely free event and it was busy but not so crowded that you couldn't do everything. We ate a lovely dinner, played games, got balloon animals, and had her face painted. They had popcorn, cotton candy, and tons of candy. After the festival, we headed to Waialua and trick or treated along the seashore. AWESOME FUN! At one point, Eve got the song from The Nightmare Before Christmas stuck in her head and was walking around singing " Kidnap the Santy Claws, beat him with a stick". It was a riot.

The people in Waialua went all out and we went through several haunted houses and met up with a friend of hers for a few trick or treating stops. On the way home, we hit one more neighborhood for extra fun and candy. She came home pooped, but we sat on the floor and sorted through all of her loot and ate a good portion!

Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Haunted Lagoon

Every year the Polynesian Cultural Center does a Haunted Lagoon ride. We used to live right across the street, but the lines were insanely long and I thought it would terrify Eve. She didn't seem overly interested because the Laie Lady, who is the main feature, scared her in the posters.

This year, she showed incredible interest and pushed and pushed to go. I agreed and bought Fast Passes on PlayHawaii.com. Incidentally, it was worth every penny for those (which was only $5 more than the regular kama'aina rate) because we went right through it with no lines and no wait time. I was happy to have spent the extra $10 as we passed Disney World style lines.

So I need to back it up, Eve worked herself up pretty well on the way over. She started psyching herself out and when we got there it was dark and cloudy. A perfect night for such an event, if you were not 8 and terrified. We went through 2 haunted houses on the way to the canoe and she clung tighter and tighter to me. In the super short wait for the canoe, I asked again for like the millionth time if she really wanted to go and she said she did. When I called for reservations and asked about the keiki ride, the lady said they recommend it for ages 5 and under. Clearly, she didn't know Eve Hart.

We get into the canoe and sit rather awkwardly in the middle because I thought she would feel the safest. A couple got on and we moved over slightly, but they rearranged and I resumed our middle spot. She got right into my lap and insisted my arms were wrapped tightly around her and off we went. Bless her heart, I've never seen her more terrified in her whole life. She was literally shaking, but to her credit she did not hide her face in me or anything. It was kinda spooky and very well done. Lots of action, lots of people jumping out of the lagoon at the boat, a ton of creepy kids (think The Ring), and great atmosphere to make it spooky. She watched it all and even noted some of the things (smoke bubbles) that she liked in the end. Her most favorite part being the end. She raced off that boat with speed I've never seen from her.

It was a fun kick off to the holiday (for me), but she has confirmed that she would NOT like to do it next year. We have some fun events planned the weekend before Halloween that revolve around costumes, candy, and bounce houses...no more haunted houses!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September Awesomeness

This has been a fabulous month so far! After I returned from Kauai, 2 days later Becky and Bronwen arrived! Bronwen is here to stay and promptly moved into the guest room here at the Hart B&B. We're actually less breakfast and more cocktail hour, but whatever. We've had a blast the last week and a half. We spent crazy amounts of time at the beach, like full days! We did Waimea Bay, Papailoa with baby sea turtles, hiked Diamond Head, rented stand up paddleboards, did a dolphin cruise, drove the other side of the island (Waianae), CRH took them snorkeling one day, saw a mama and baby monk seal, and drank enough wine to float a Navy ship. It was a MUCH needed, super fun, jam packed good time.

Today, we took Eve to the new Disney Aulani resort near Ko'olina. It is impressive! I feel badly that she's made it to 8 years old and has never been to Disney, so I appreciate Disney bringing a piece here to the island. They are stupid expensive with their room rates, so we won't be staying there but we can totally afford the character breakfast and walking around the grounds (free...lol). It was a blast and Eve got to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Stitch.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kauai Weekend

I have been dying to go to Kauai for the longest time. We've talked about, but it's just never happened. A friend of mine was taking his son racing this weekend for the State Motorcross race and invited me along. I am thrilled that I went because it was a fabulous time.

We flew in Friday night and ate dinner and went to bed. They got an early start to the track on Saturday and I laid by the pool literally all day reading my book. O-M-G...it was pure bliss. We started happy hour around lunch time and it was just a day of relaxation.

Sunday was race day and my prissy self spent the day in the dirt at the track. While I was definitely out of my element, it was very fun and Jesse took 3rd place overall. It was a great day followed by a lovely dinner and a party at the track to give out trophies and such.

Today was an epic vacation day! We got up, had breakfast, and lounged by the pool some more. I'm always at the beach here, but for whatever reason the pool was calling me this weekend. After pool time, we took a helicopter tour over Kauai before flying back to Oahu tonight. Robby and Jesse had never been on a helicopter before and it was a gorgeous day to go around the island.

We started in Lihue and flew up the coast into Waimea Canyon.

We were able to see Niihau, which is a private island right off of Kauai that only Native Hawaiians and the guys that own the island can live on. Visitation is limited. There's some trippy stuff going on with that, but we'll save that for another day. From here, we flew over Manawaiopuna Falls (aka Jurassic Falls because they filmed a scene from Jurassic Park here).

Then we hit the Na Pali Coast. This is a stretch of coast that is amazingly beautiful and only accessible by boat, air, or foot. It's an 11 mile hike in from the parking lot if you are so inclined, so 22 miles round trip. I'm thinking this may be above my hiking range abilities, but I bet it's awesome!!

As we flew along the coast, we veered over into Waialeale Crater. This place was chocked full of waterfalls. I mean I've never seen so many at once! It was amazing. I didn't take many pictures because we were flying super close to them and because it was rainy, but wow. After this, we flew over Ha'ena Beach, Hanalei Bay, and by Princeville.

Then we headed back to Lihue with a view of the Sleeping Giant. Awesome trip!