just aloha, friday

posted on: 3.30.2012

Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas:
they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.
Russell H. Conwell

Awww... how did another week of living come and go so very quickly.  I guess we'll just have to capture the moments as they happen and be sure to sprinkle sweetness on our local living daily.  Thank you for joining me here.  You have reminded me that the hunt for riches and for life's real treasures can must happen right in one's very own backyard.  I hope you won't wait.  I hope you'll go out and find some of those diamonds  in your own backyard, they are there, 'promise, and they're waiting just for you.  

And I hope you'll meet me here on Monday for "style", Tuesday for "in touch", Wednesday for "hmph day", Thursday for "local grinds", and Friday for "just aloha, friday".  

You put the sugar in my local, Mahalo Nui Loa for making life so sweet. 

Here's just a little sweetness to share with the one's who are "the sugar to YOUR local". 

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint:

1. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water.

2. Stir until well blended.

3.  Mix in a few drops of food coloring.

Use a paint brush and paint away. Let me know if you try this super easy way of coloring your world beautiful.  Oh, super important... this can be messy, fun for sure, but, messy.  You may even want to do all the mixing outside if little ones are involved.

See ya Monday for that pretty flower clip tutorial.

live sweet,

i wander

posted on: 3.29.2012

Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

... some of us are just looking for some good local fried rice.  

We go to random places.  We meet random people.  But lost we are not.  We know where we're going, we know what we want.  We are lovers of rice, fried that is.     And if you're living local in Hawaii you have a pretty good chance of finding it everywhere... lucky, lucky us.  The boys and I found a pretty darn good plate full on our morning trip to Kualoa Ranch.  And that onion filled version inspired this.

Kimchee Fried Rice: Topped with an egg-filled Maui onion ring.

I would love to share my recipe for fried rice, and if I actually had one you know I would.  But I kinda think the thing with really good homemade fried rice is that it's a "clean out the refrigerator" kine dish, you know?  It uses up leftover rice, a day old or more is best, and it can be filled with pretty much any protein or veggies you have on hand.  I tend to keep mine simple but always include, onion, green, sweet or otherwise and scrambled eggs.  Here's a local"ish" recipe if you're not wanting to just heat a pan of oil and leave it up to chance. 

And here's  a link to a recipe for that game changing Kimchee, it's best coarsely chopped and stirred in at the very end.

About that egg...
 A seriously easy topper that will have everyone saying-- "Oh my local goodness".   Heat a flat frying pan on medium high, there's nothing warped about it, if your pan isn't flat the egg will ooze out from under the onion ring-- "Maui onion ring surrounded by egg" just doesn't have the same ring to it.  Generously spray the heated pan with non stick spray.  Cut rings from the center of a Maui onion-- they're the bestest 'cause their big and sweet, but any sweet onion will do and really if you don't mind onion then "sweet" isn't a real requirement.  Place onion rings on pan and brown slightly turning once.  Immediately following the second turn, crack an egg in to the center of each onion ring.  No worries if some of the egg seeps out from under or flows over, this will be easy enough to "clean" off of the ring later, and you can just throw any little egg bits in to the fried rice.  Waste not.  Cook until the egg has reached desired doneness.  You may want to reduce the heat a bit.  Carefully slip a spatula under each egg-filled ring and place on top of a mound of fried rice.  Prepare yourself, "oohs" and "ahhs" are sure to follow.  Just go with them-- it's pretty darn easy but... I won't tell if you don't. 

live sweet,

Outtakes from our little food photo shoot.  Somebody found it very yummy-- Sean!

shades of blue

posted on: 3.28.2012

I've been feeling awfully blue lately. They happen-- the blues.  And even the slightest case of a dark shade can be hard to brush aside. So I went for a walk. 

And I saw this. 

And this.

And now I feel turquoise!

Yes, still a shade of blue, it's true, but a lighter, brighter shade.  That's what a little beach perspective can do to blue-- transform it with a little light.  "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean". And if you don't have an ocean to stand beside for some perspective or a little Seanzy smiling back at you with love, here's a link to a little song that's sure to improve any shade of blue.

live sweet,

ranch dressing

posted on: 3.27.2012

This big dude was our favorite horse during our visit to Kualoa Ranch, and why was he our favorite you ask-- please ask 'cause I really wanna tell ya... well because he peed of course. 

Yup, that's right.  Seriously, have you ever seen a horse pee?  We were just cruising with him, petting him, saying "we love you horsie worsie", whispering "psst... don't tell the other guys behind ya but you're waaaay cooler" and he seemed to be loving it so we were going with it. And then he walked away and started to pee... and pee... and pee... and pee... and pee... and pee, pee, pee, pee, pee.  Which was way up there on the "awesomeness/ gross out" scale, making him our most definite favorite. 

Do you have litte boys?  Do you have an "awesomeness/ gross out" scale?  Or a "oh my gosh, I can't look... oh no, I'm looking" scale? They're the bestest.

live sweet,

much a do about hair...

posted on: 3.26.2012

Here's a hair wrap that's as easy as 1, 2, 3... 'promise. 

This flower is a clip that I made and slipped 
onto the wrap for a little pop of color. 
I've got a little tutorial in the works, I promise to 
have it up just in time to sprinkle some 
local sugar on your Easter... 

1. Get an old t-shirt.  Beg, borrow, steal... whatever it takes-- you could even, perhaps, sneak into your husband's closet and maybe take an old"ish" shirt of his, one that you're seventy-five percent sure he won't miss, and a hundred percent sure he'll never suspect you're wearing around town, on top of your head as, say, a fabulous new hair piece, I'm just saying... if you wanted to... you could. 

Here I'm using an XL shirt,
just so happens Charlie is an XL, hmmm...

2. Cut that shirt to pieces. Three to be exact. Each about 3-4 inches wide.  

Is it just me, or do the cuts make for a
pretty cool t-shirt, another craft in the making perhaps?

"Look ma, no straight lines!"
No worries, this wrap is very forgiving of crooked cutters,
trust me I'm the "crookedest of them all".
3. That's a wrap. Really... that's it. Now drape a t-shirt piece around your neck like a lei, depending on the shirt size used you can double it up with a little twist (see inspiration link below).  Pretty much any size other than keiki (kids) will require/ allow for doubling. Then simply push it back up over your face and forehead pushing your hair back as desired. Wear one wrap at a time or all three at once. Style away.

See, 'told ya, 1, 2, 3.
But, don't take my word for it. Here's the inspiration for this awesomely easy style project and a ton of variations on it too.

And here's a super cool Kailua shop if you want some cool style without the stealing, wink-wink, and crafting.


Hang on to those leftover t-shirt bits, I think I saw something, somewhere that we can use them for. Meet ya for more island stylin' next week? ...same time? ...same place?

live sweet, 

sugar by mail

posted on: 3.24.2012

We took the boys to the "neighborhood" ranch for breakfast this morning-- how awesome is that, our neighborhood has it's very own ranch, well, kinda-sorta. Actually I'll be posting all about it soon in a sweet little series on hawaii ranches, I'm calling b"ranching" out, I hope you'll come along for the ride, any-who... as cool as that little ranch adventure was it surprisingly wasn't the highlight of our day, 'cause on the way home we stopped by our little neighborhood post office-- yup, we have one of those too, it's about the size of a postage stamp and we love it. There, waiting for us behind the counter in the "one person at a time-- may-be two, M-A-Y-B-E" office, was some sweet sugar sent all the way from Washington, state that is, think rain, green, trees, and more rain... y-e-a-h, that Washington. One of our favorite peeps, Aunty "Kailua" Cari sent us sweetness in the mail. Well, really the package was an exclusive for Tyty and Seanzy, but, they opened it in the car, on the one minute ride home with lots of "ooh's" and "ahh's" in, like, two seconds flat. ( and those ooh's and ahh's and the smiles that went with them, well, those were like a sprinkling of sweet sugar on our already beautiful morn.)  So the package sent for the littlest boys became a gift in all of our day.  Sugar by mail, I love it when that happens!  

Here's what sugar by mail looks like, just in case you were wondering... 
 That adorable little t-shirt with the Henry David Thoreau quote was for little Seanzy, he love... love... loves it Aunty Cari.
  And this long sleeve hoodie currently consuming its wearer, (how creatively cool is that design?!!?), is so very loved that the boy, Tyty, hasn't taken it off.

'hope you find sugar sprinkled on your Saturday, maybe even a little sugar by mail.

live sweet,


posted on: 3.08.2012

It's raining coconuts... 
like, really... it's raining in paradise and I'm sure there are coconuts falling somewhere in a head to head race with the big fat beautiful rain drops that keep our aina (land) lush and tropical. 
But while green and lush it is in paradise (Holy Yoda, how's that for sentence structure!), grey, grey, grey it's also been. Day... after day... after day... 
So, before our local spirits go too far down, down, down... 
Here's a little coconut pick me up:

Extra Super-Dee-Dooper Large
Coconut Filled Cake Balls

It's hard to tell in the photo but these are the Big Kahuna of the cake ball world. 

(Think small orange/ large tangerine)

So here's the deal-ee-oh. All you have to do is prepare your super chocolatey cake ball recipe the way you normally would with just a few "nutty" changes:

First, prepare the coconut filling which is so easy-peasy it's almost embarassing.  Pour a bag, (or the desired amount) of flaked coconut in to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds.  This will chop up the longer flakes so that your cake ball stays some what in tact with each bite. We wouldn't want the entire mound of chocolatey goodness to crumble as you pull at strands of coconut so, chop- chop- chop.  Pulse in condensed milk to taste.  The condensed milk is your glue and will hold the coconut together while also taking the sweetness to candy bar levels, think Almond Joy or Mounds.

Second, form your coconut into little cake balls about the size of a quarter. Place on a pan and refrigerate until ready to use.

Third, Form your chocolate cake ball and just when you think it's pretty perfect go against your better judgement and flatten it like a pancake in the palm of your hand, yes, I know it's so sad to ruin your perfect creation, but trust me it'll get better so, squish- squish-squish. This will create a "wrap" for your coconut layer.  At this point lay a coconut cake ball in the center of your chocolate "cake ball pancake" and fold up the sides around the coconut filling, smoothing out any bumpity bumps as you go.  

Finally, Dip away in melted semi sweet chocolate (the more gourmet-eey the better, I el-oh-vee- ee Guittards!, but frankly I used Nestle Tollhouse Morsels for the ones pictured because, well... 1. They sell them at Costco, 2. I had them on hand, 3. They sell them at Costco, (yup, living local is not cheap, buying in bulk helps).

And if you're really nutty quick before the chocolate sets top each cake ball mound with coarsley chopped roasted almonds (again, Costco has these in a little plastic jar already roasted for ya, yay Costco). 

These are seriously guaranteed to send those lucky enough to partake in your creation, "over the Blue Hawaiian Moon"-- yup just made that phrase up and I'm sticking to it.

If you don't already have a yummy chocolate cake ball recipe here's a link to easy-peasy directions to get ya started:

live sweet, 

powdered sugar

Here ya go... a light dusting of powdered sugar for your soul. 

  A little link to Sara Bareilles, King of Anything.

live sweet,


posted on: 3.07.2012

This is a test of our local blogcasting system. THIS IS ONLY A TEST. In the event of an actual post... tune in to your favorite local radio station, grab a cup of something warm and yummy and sit back and enjoy the ride. It, "the ride" will be sweeter than any natural disaster... ' promise. 
Just a little sugar for the locals. Swanzy Beach Park.

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