Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Picturlicious- New House, Hairstyle and a Butterfly

I was watching t.v. with my daughter today and saw a commercial for a cool toy that I wanted. The new Disney Pixar movie, Tangled, is coming out soon and they've already started to release toys. The commercial was for a Rapunzel doll.

You clip the ends of her hair to these birds and turn a crank and it makes a three strand rope braid. I wish birds would rope braid my hair. It sure would save me a lot of time. But I guess then I'd have to worry about bird poop.

Anyway, the doll was very pretty and of course I have a soft spot for Rapunzel. I know what Sofie will be getting from Santa Claus this year.

 The sellers of the house I wanted finally got back to us with a counter offer, which we promptly accepted. Now I just have to wait for the contract to be signed by the seller. The one thing I'm concerned about it whether or not it has 100 amps and if it's knob and tube wired. If it is, I'm going to have a hard time finding home owners insurance. I'm pretty sure that it's not, but I could be wrong since I'm not an electrician. These are things we'll find out from the inspection. Fingers crossed!

It's listed as a Cape Cod style house, but I've heard it referred to as a Dutch Colonial, as well. My best friend's husband said it looks like something from Amityville. I think it looks like AWESOME!

The back yard is fenced in with chain link fence which is covered in English Ivy. I love English Ivy and I think it makes the fence look beautiful.

The kitchen is tiny and will eventually be remodeled, but it's not something that I'm overly concerned about at this point. Look at these handles on the cabinets. I absolutely adore them and hope I can find them in silver.

While I was on the mainland, I had numerous people comment on my hair. It was so nice to hear people appreciate my hair. I had one lady ask my if I braided it myself or if I needed help. I style my hair all by myself with no help at all.

Just for fun, here's a picture from a few months ago. I was playing with styles and while I'm not thrilled with the results, I do think it has promise.

Also, while on the mainland, I got a few good pictures of a butterfly on a cockscomb (a type of flower that resembles the red "comb" on a male chicken's head.)

Anyone have any idea what kind of butterfly that is? The cockscomb was absolutely covered in them. I haven't seen that many butterflies in ages. It was so exciting to see so many of them at once.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bid on a House and Thinking of My Grandma

We made an offer on an older Cape Cod house right on the water. The basement is finished and it has lovely hardwood floors. I don't want to post pictures of the house until we know it's ours, but you can be sure as soon as I know a thing, I'll be posting pictures here.

The house has been on the market since March and the price has dropped a lot since it was originally listed. It was listed originally about $100,000 too high and apparently the seller realized it pretty quickly since the price dropped so much.

My trip back east rejuvenated me and made me that much more excited to get back to the mainland as quickly as we can. Fingers crossed everything goes well and we end up getting our dream house.

When I got back home, I received some bad news. My mother didn't want to add any stress to my trip, so she didn't break the news until I was settled back home. My grandmother got a blood clot in her leg and the doctors didn't get to it in time. They put a stint in to help it out but discovered there was no pulse in her leg a few days later. The decision was made to amputate her leg. They're trying to save the other leg and I'm just praying that she makes it through this.

When Mom told me the news I felt almost numb. I didn't cry until I told my husband that my grandmother had lost her leg. The floodgates opened and I just sobbed about it. What makes me sad more than anything is that we're in the middle of a very expensive venture and I can't afford to go to see my grandmother.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sale Alert: Grah-toe and A Beautiful Fog

I woke up in Pennsylvania to a beautiful fog. We don't really have fog like this in Hawaii, so I was so excited and took a short walk to take it in.

Also, Grahtoe Studios is having a sale! The "End of Summer" Sale includes everything in stock, but does not include customs. Have you had your eye on a special fork or mermaid tail? Now is the time to buy!

For Saturday and Sunday, everything in stock is 25% off. The 25% will be refunded via paypal after purchase.

Look at this gorgeous mermaid's tail;

The wood is absolutely stunning!

These leaf sticks are so cute;

I love the grain on these ones.

Make sure to head over to Grahtoe Studios to check out what else they have before everything is gone!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sale Alert: Ravenslair

Ravenslair is having another sale, but this one is a little different. Raven's grandfather's tiny poodle had a nasty run-in with a deer. Raven is having a sale to help her Grandad out with what are sure to be exorbitant veterinary fees. (This coming from someone who paid $1200 to save my 8 pound poodle mix, Daisy, from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.)

I have a soft spot for animals and encourage anyone who wants to help and benefit from the sale to head on over to Ravenslair.

Here's a really neat hair sword. It's called The Vorpal Sword (from Alice In Wonderland, which Alice used to slay the Jabberwocky,) and it's one of the few hair swords I would actually consider wearing myself. (With a baby, hair swords aren't really a good idea.)

Here are some pretty finishing pins. They're heart shaped celtic knots.

This is one after my own heart; turtle finishing pins. Living in Hawaii, Honu (sea turtles) are a big deal out here. I love that they aren't colored, so you can wear them with anything.

Anyway, the sale is going on until now and will go until the store is empty. Save between 10% and 35% on all items.

This is the poodle, Nikki.

He looks a lot like my own Daisy and Nikki will certainly be in my thoughts tonight.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Grahtoe Leaf Fork

I just saw this and had to share, as it's absolutely stunning.

Grahtoe Studios have done it again!

The colors are beautiful and I just love the leaf on top. If I were not taking a pretty expensive trip next week, this fork would be mine.

Kimi and Stacy at Grahtoe are just pure artists. How do they keep coming up with better and better designs? I would have run out of ideas by now, and yet they keep cranking them out! Can't wait to see what they come out with next.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Falling Behind

I've fallen behind on this blog and I'm kind of embarrassed about it. I have a couple things that I'm currently working on and I'll fill you guys in.

The first one is...I've been running every night when I'm usually blogging. It started off as just a brisk walk around the block with my dog. Every night, I tried to increase the speed until poor Daisy's short little legs could no longer keep up. Now, I'm running 1.3 miles every night.

Just a little background information...I have a medical condition that's sort of like prediabetes. It's called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. It messes with the way your body processes sugars and causes you to be insulin resistant. It can contribute to weight gain and make it very difficult to lose weight.

My doctor put me on a glycemic index diet in June and I started to lose weight. It happened slowly at first. Then, I started Metformin, which is a diabetes medication. I felt so much better and started doing yoga and walking.

I've lost 26 pounds so far! I'm not going to stop here, though. I'm going to keep going and have a goal in mind (I'm keeping it secret until I reach it, but I'm getting closer!)

I know yoga sounds super crunchy, but I really like it. I have fibromyalgia, which is a chronic pain condition. Yoga has helped out so much that I haven't had to take anything for pain since just after I started doing the yoga. It's weird because those poses look painful and uncomfortable, but you breathe into the pose and it feels good.

Okay, enough of that! The other thing I'm working on is preparing for my flight next week.

I am absolutely terrified of flying. My husband refuses to fly with me if I'm unmedicated.  I think he's afraid that I'll be arrested for acting crazy. I'm a little afraid of that, too. I know you're supposed to face your fears and all that, and I do, believe me, but when there's a possibility I could be arrested, I'll just take the damn medicine to avoid problems.

The last time I took a flight was a little less than a year ago. My husband and I flew to London (yes, from Hawaii,) and I prepared for the flight as if I were going to my death.

In fact, I was pretty convinced either the flight there or the flight home would crash. I got my affairs in order and my husband and I updated our wills. My two older children were staying at home while my mom took care of them and I wanted everything to be in place in case we didn't come back. My husband wasn't amused by the fact that I was planning for our demise, but I couldn't help it. I just wanted to make sure everything was taken care of....just in case.

I'm flying by myself for the first time since I was about 14. I have my medication ready to go and my friend will be picking me up from the airport. I just have to mentally prepare for the flight. It takes a lot of focus to be mentally prepared to fly, even with medication.

Anyway, basically this blog will probably be pretty quiet over the next week until after I land in Pennsylvania. Look for my post announcing that I made it through the trip intact (hopefully.)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cool Find: Buddha Bunz Dryer Balls

I do a lot of laundry with five people in my house (including one in cloth diapers!) Anything that cuts down on my laundry time is awesome to me.

One thing that drives me nuts about laundry is that the wash is done in half an hour, but the dryer is still going. Drying things slows me down on laundry day. I'm not allowed to line dry clothing here due to housing rules, otherwise I'd be doing that quite a bit.

I've been using Buddha Bunz wool dryer balls for a few months now. It's kind of like adding super yummy smelling tennis balls to your dryer. The wool balls bounce around and help the heat circulate, cutting down on dryer time.

Buddha Balls sells wool balls in myriad different colors and even has balls with pictures on them!

Aren't those cute?

You can have them scented in your choice of fragrance. They have a large range of scents from Monkey Farts (pineapple, orange, banana, apple, rum and coconut) to Lemon Drop, Cupcake and Christmas Splendor ("fresh cut pine boughs of balsam, pine and fir with cinnamon sticks, ground clove and a base note of dried holiday fruits and oak moss.") 

You can also choose to buy the fragrance oils and scent the balls yourself. At a mere $1.25 for a bottle of fragrance, you can drench the balls yourself as much as you care to.

I initially bought three purple dryer balls scented in Pumpkin Spice. The fragrance is amazing and months later, I can still smell the scent on my dryer balls.  The seller did a great job of drenching the balls in the scent and, while I was worried that the fragrance oil might harm my clothes, I've had no issues with that.

Buddha Balls has a "color of the month" feature that allows you to purchase a preselected color for a discounted cost of $7 per ball (unscented- add a dollar for scented). You can also select your own color for $11 for the scented version and $10 for the unscented. You can also opt for undyed balls for $5 for unscented or $6 for scented. This month, the color is a vibrant emerald green.

This time, I purchased two more balls in the color of the month and bought fragrance oils in Pumpkin Spice (smells amazing) and Christmas Splendor. (It's August, I know, but I've been known to melt my Laughing Out Loud tarts in Christmas Tree scent in June.)

If you're looking to eliminate fabric softener but still want to scent your laundry while cutting down on drying time at the same time, check out Buddha Bunz.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Flying While Long-Haired

My upcoming flight has been on my mind a lot lately. One important detail I haven't figured out yet; how to wear my hair while flying.

I know that may seem like a stupid thing to worry about, but remember, I'll be flying for 10 hours. Since I take medication to fly (for the comfort of all involved, believe me, ) I need to be comfortable. I don't want to mess with it after I take the medication. I may not be capable of fixing it after taking the medication.

Flying with long hair is a complicated affair. Most of my hair tools are capable of being wielded as weapons (if you're really desperate for a weapon), so I'm not going to take the chance that some overzealous TSA agent will confiscate my $80 custom Grahtoe fork. Those puppies are getting packed in the checked baggage.

That also means that my hair sticks are out of the question. I know they recently relaxed a bit and allowed knitting needles past security, but just because my hair stick is made from a knitting needle doesn't mean it falls under the same guidelines. A cursory google check reveals links to stories of confiscated hair sticks. My hair sticks are going checked baggage, as well.

So that leaves me with a few options.

One; I can leave my hair loose for the flight. Two; I'm going to have to get creative.

I don't know about you, but when I fly, it doesn't matter if it's a one hour flight or a ten hour flight- when I get off, I feel like I've scrubbed with a cheeseburger. My hair gets stringy and feels greasy, even if I only washed hours ago. I don't know if it's the recycled air or what, but something in the air makes me feel gross.

So, creative it is. My top two ideas are hair taping and Heidi braids.

Hair taping may sound crazy, but women have been "taping" their hair for centuries. You can find examples of hair taping all throughout history in paintings and drawings, especially Italian ones.

To "tape" your hair, you need a ribbon, an embroidery needle and some elastics. I just put my hair in two braids and pin them (temporarily) around my head. Thread the needle with the ribbon and carefully sew your braids into place in a spiral pattern starting at the back of your head. Leave enough ribbon at the start and end to tie a bow. Remove any hair pins you used and you're done. I did a tutorial on YouTube if you need a visual aid.

Here's what it might look like finished:

Heidi braids are essentially the same thing, except minus the hair taping. I'm not entirely sure I want to look like I'm on my way to the Renaissance Festival (although I'm sure I'd have fun if I were going to one.)

If you're going to do Heidi braids while flying, you're going to need to use hair pins. I usually use my trusty Amish hair pins, but they're made of metal. I sure don't want anyone prodding through my hair to make sure I haven't secreted any sharp pointies in my 'do after setting off the metal detector. In this case, I'd recommend using Good Hair Days hair pins.

Good Hair Days hair pins are awesome. They come in clear (which is what I use) or a tortoise shell-like look. They're plastic and easily slide into your hair.

Good Hair Days pins, while not as bulletproof as Amish Hair Pins, do a pretty good job at keeping your updos secure.

Anyway, I'm currently planning on just doing the Heidi braids, but I'm pretty sure I'll change my mind a million times before I actually get on the plane. I'll be posting photos of what I end up with the morning I leave and will give a review on how well my hair holds up.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Today, I Jumped Off a Cliff...Really!

I am so not an adrenaline junkie. I don't like risk taking or heights or scary movies (unless it's zombies.) Adrenaline rushes just don't feel very good to me for some reason.

We went out to Sea Life Park today, which was really not anything exciting, except when the dolphins jumped out of the water. That was kind of cool.
On the way back to Honolulu, we stopped at Halona Blowhole again so that my sister and dad could jump off the cliffs again before they leave tomorrow. I kind of made up my mind that I would jump off.

I know this sounds insane, but I've never really gone swimming here in Hawaii. I don't even own a bathing suit. There's something in me that panics in the ocean. I'm not even really sure what it is that I'm so scared of.

Anyway, I made up my mind that I was gonna do the jump. I knew that if I didn't do it, I would regret it. Plus, I've been learning so much about myself lately, with the diet and watching my body change, that I felt it was kind of an important jump.

I climbed out onto the rocks with my sister with the fear that I would suddenly change my mind. I was worried that the weight of my jeans would weigh me down. The water was roaring up through the cove and splashing over the cliffs.

My mind was racing. What would happen if I slipped on the rock and hit my head? What if I jumped in and hit my head on the bottom of the sea and drowned? I walked carefully to the edge of the rock.

Looking out, I could see how fierce the sea was. The waves were crashing on the rock and I tried to time the jump with the ebb in the tide. I was standing on the edge and there was no where to go but out.

I carefully gauged how far out I would need to jump to avoid hitting the rocks. I took a breath and leaped!

I surfaced pretty quickly and started swimming back to the shore. I had a moment of panic when I realized I wasn't actually getting closer to the shore, even though I was swimming as hard as I could. Thoughts of sharks and nasty jellyfish flitted through my mind. I consciously relaxed and just allowed the waves to push me to the shore.

This young man was watching me swimming frantically with a strange look on his face and I realized I could stand up. The waves were still pushing me pretty hard as I walked to the shore.

It was such a rush and just an amazing experience. I'm really proud of myself for taking the plunge, so to speak. Besides, now I can say I jumped off a cliff.