on hanging around...

posted on: 7.30.2012

Being grateful.


So, I got a phone call last week, about mid morning.  I was actually on the phone with Charlie, and so very rarely will stop a conversation mid way to "click" over but the number was not a local one and so I did just that, told Charlie I would call him right-right back if he'd please-please-please forgive me this once for dropping him like a hot rock.  

And, boy oh boy was I glad I did, drop that rockin' Charlie, that one morning.  'Cause who was on the other line but the wonderful, amazing, cleverest girl of all Robin Miller from the Clever Girls Collective calling to tell me I had won their YP.com contest-- No way?!  And also, seriously... NO WAAAY!

You guys I won, we won!  

I wrote my little heart out, oh boy oh boy did I, and they, in what is clearly their infinite wisdom, didn't find my writing to be totally lame and useless.  Oh, pinch me please, somebody, except not Charlie, who may read about his hot rockedness and may not appreciate the dropping him like he's hot.

And now Local Sugar Hawaii has, like, it's very own little budget and while I certainly am spending a whole heck of a lot of time hanging around being grateful and just loving this moment I also have been working day and night to launch Local Sugar Hawaii {the shop} it's like all of the sweetest things about Local Sugar Hawaii in a shop, see?  Clever right?  And I hope you'll love it as much as I do and I hope that when it all comes together you'll see and know just how very grateful I am to you for being with me for this ride and for making it oh so sweet.

I'm just so gosh darn grateful to you for being here and to the Clever Girls Collective for believing in little ole me and to YP.com for the opportunity to write and work and find meaning in this little life we're riding our way through.

Huge Thanks, just big ridiculously huge thanks.

live sweet,

n


Here's a little collection of links to things like...

the reviews I wrote for YP 
(some of which helped win the YP contest)

(I am oh so madly in love with them, really)

our fb page
(where I'll keep ya posted on the progress of the shop)

this week's giveaway
(where I'll be featuring our first line of products)


oh no, no, no...

posted on: 7.28.2012

My internet connection is so slow, slow, slow...

Oh you guys, I have been watching that little blue, "we're loading here lady and we're taking our sweet time and there's nothing you can do about it" circle go round and round and round...  

And I swear it has my thoughts rolling round my head in the most annoyingly circular way and why, why, why... is it taking so long, long, long... and perhaps, I s'pose, it's a sign, sign, sign... to ditch the online busy-ness and grab a good book and a board of some type and go to the beach, beach, beach...

Okay, I'll stop with the words in threes I can clearly see they're getting almost as annoying as watching the circles go round on the tabs for sites that obviously I won't be seeing anytime soon.  So, any hope for any meaningful sort of post today is out.  But, I do hope you are enjoying the Olympics and how about that good 'ole US of A and for my mother's homeland a little whoot whoot for Fiji too.

If you'd like, you can enter our Victoria's Secret Beach Bag Giveaway here.  And if you'd like too you can enter to win a Chanel tote from HipSwap here.  And, as soon as is humanly and computer-ly possible I'll post a peek into our awesome Beach Bag giveaway-- seriously I am drooling over some of the amazing things going into this giveaway, but, sigh, they're not for me guys they're for YOU so enter lots 'kay, and... I hope you win and, also, happy weekend too.


live sweet,

n

how to save a life...

posted on: 7.26.2012

photo by From Me To You and also found here

I so hesitated with this post, partially because it is so very personal and important and worthy of being done well and also,  because I don't like lectures.

So this is no lecture.
Just a few thoughts in the wake of the tragedy in the Colorado movie theater.  And a confession.

  A sharing of the real reason I waited a whole week to sit down to write this.

You see guys, I donated blood for the first time last month and I have to say that while it felt so incredibly good to finally walk through the doors of the Hawaii Blood Bank I also felt ashamed.

Ashamed that I had not been there before.
Ashamed that the Hawaii blood bank reserves are critically low and that I have been somewhat aware of this and still did nothing.  Somewhere in the peripheral regions of my consciousness I knew there was a need and accepted as good enough, that one day soon I'd make it a point to donate.
  
But I didn't.
Not anytime soon that is.
Not until just last month.

And the thing is it really was very easy.  And the need is so great in Hawaii that the hours during which you can donate are pretty wide in range and so you are likely, without even trying very hard at all, to find a time that works for you.  And as I sat in the office filling out their short forms and waiting my turn to potentially save three lives, three lives you guys in less than an hour one early Saturday morning, well, I sat and for a minute let my thoughts turn towards what it means to give blood.

I thought about the night I've so conveniently tucked away and so rarely visit in my memory, of an emergency surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured.  And of my dear sweet doctor, who had come to my rescue after another had mistakenly sent me home where I very quickly began bleeding internally.  And how, though it turned out I didn't require it, there was blood donated by some someone who, without having to know who I was or whether or not I was worthy of their gift, donated blood maybe during their lunch hour, or in between errands... just in case somebody, this body, one day needed to be saved.  

I'd like to think that they were sleeping soundly in their beds that night as I cried and struggled my way through that moment.  I let myself believe that they had tucked in their own little ones and said their prayers and closed their eyes and made sure, by their having given blood that one hour... one day... long ago... that I was not alone.


That somehow we stood together and faced those fear filled hours side by side.

And isn't that the mysterious miracle of donating blood?


That you don't have to have super hero abilities to make a difference and to be helpful in the midst of a tragedy, in those moments when a hero is needed most.

That no training or fancy degrees are required. 
That you don't have to be a perfectly flawless human being, oh thank goodness for that.


That you can, in fact, show up ten years later than you intended and be ridiculously ashamed and still somehow save a life.

........
This little family of ours is praying for all who have been hurt by the shootings in Colorado and are hoping that they know they are not alone, that we stand with them and will hope for them in the days ahead.

live sweet,

n

If you would like to join me I will be giving blood on August eleventh at the Hawaii Blood Bank.


summer days, drifting away...

posted on: 7.25.2012


Is it really Wednesday already guys?
  
Like, middle of the week... two more days 'til the weekend... four more days until school starts again for my little big dude... we're almost out of summer days Wednesday?

And also, let's please, oh please, build just one more fort on the beach Wednesday?

Join me if you please for a link up with sweet friends.
'Cause, well, it's Wednesday guys.

live sweet,



if i could save time in a...

posted on: 7.24.2012

big plastic inflatable ball...

 it'd look a little something like this.


And I'd color it every shade of "those were the good ole days, that summer of two thousand and twelve".  And it'd be filled to overflowing with giggles, and hushed secrets whispered oh so quickly on long summer nights, and with the numbering of good days, like bright stars, too many to be counted.




On that little note I'm off to do some shopping for a gazillion number two pencils and such.  

And maybe, you know, we'll catch just a few more sweet summer days in the nets we've laid before we have to pull them back in.

  School starts, in Hawaii, a week from this moment right here.  Sigh.  

live sweet,

   

tons of giggles and...

posted on: 7.21.2012

Happy Weekend.

So, yeah, it's Friday and we should smile a little more this weekend, don't ya think-- just a teensy tinsy bit, so, well, okay, here ya go...


Two guesses as to what this is a photo of.
Hint, it'll bring a sweet smile right to yo face. Yo.

Photo courtesy of LAist and the answer for those, like myself, who might be puzzled can be found here.  
(And to that sweet blogger who I met like, just now and on whose blog I was first introduced to this genius invention... well I so apologize 'cause I tried and tried to retrace my steps but I'm one of those girls who gets lost going down the street and so I couldn't find my way back to ya and if you see this and you know it's you I'm thinking of and you who introduced me to the awesomeness pictured here please do drop me a line so that I might give credit where it's due and also huge thanks for the intro-- you have changed my life, sort of.)


Did ya take a look?  How freakin' cool is that?



And this, this is loads of fun to watch before heading out to the pool to escape the summer heat.


And, see ya tomorrow when we peek into the bag of this sweet blogger right here.  She's clever and from California and sure to make ya giggle til a smile spreads sweetly across your face.


live sweet,


reduce, reuse...

posted on: 7.19.2012

Upcycle.



It's just one of those lovin' the planet earth, our sweet little home, kinda things.  We try, try, try to reuse things in this house at least once maybe thrice or more, but still we seem to fill the big black trash bin every week and like magic the humongous yellow trash truck comes and wipes it clean and we start another week of filling up the trash can and where oh where does it all go on this little island of ours?  

So here's a sweet, if just a teensy weensy way to get one more fabulous use out of what would otherwise be lost to the, "thanks I'm already full keep your stinkin' seconds"-- I'm pretty sure it groans something along these lines every time it hears another trash truck approach, landfill.


Fashion Magazine Brown Paper Bag gift bag.

Supplies

1 brown paper bag

1 newspaper or fashion magazine 

hole punch


Fold over the top of the paper bag inwards, two or three times, so that you have a thick band at the top of your bag.  This will reinforce the bag and prevent tears when you use the handles to lift the bag.  Punch four holes, two on each side, for the handles.  Set aside.


For the handles.

Remove two pages from the center of a fashion magazine, the less glossy the pages the more flexible they will be and the easier to work with.  If you use a newspaper you'll get nice long sheets otherwise you may have to work in additional pages to get the desired length.  


Roll the sheets so that you have long layered strips.  Holding two strips together knot one end.  Twist the strips together to make your handle, adding more sheets as needed (you'll want to go a bit longer so that you can tie a knot on the open end).  The twist I used can be found here.  

Thread handle through the punched holes in the paper bag, starting from the inside so that your knots will be hidden on the inside of the bag.  Tie a knot on the open end and trim off any excess.  Fancy.



live sweet,

n 


Hey guys, while we were feeling all good and fabulous, about upcycling and all, Seanzy and I were rockin' steady to this little piece from a Pacific island boy.  You can jam too if ya want to, you know while you're making awesomeness and such. 

pillow fights...

posted on: 7.17.2012

...With friends

...with feather pillows, 
filled with loads of rainbow colored feathers

...in a wood so hidden our mom instincts won't find us
and bother us with

..."who will clean up this mess"
and such.


Or,

maybe we should just link up
...and hit each other with the beautiful sound

 ...of our voice.


live sweet,

n 

Join me, if you please, for a gathering of sweet friends.

i've got nothing...

Unless, and, or, perhaps, maybe this... this could be something.

Am I really the only person in the whole entire world who has ever sat down to write a post or a book or a letter or a... and really seriously drew a blank.  'Cause sometimes I do feel like I've landed on a deserted island and the only one home is well... geesh, it's so deserted here I'm not even sure that I'm home.

  Oh, I'm talking huge blank here guys.  BIG, huge "I've got nothing" and "why do I even bother" and "what's the meaning of life" and "my life is so completely over"... BUH-lank?  Is that just really dramatic guys?  'Cause I don't mean it in a really dramatic way, oh, why certainly not... I mean it in a really completely ridiculously dramatic sort of way.

The funny thing is I was up at one in the morning the other night and the creative juices were flowing and I kept saying "hey, that would be a great idea" and "that would too" and "that one" and... well, it was all so easy, the coming up with all things brilliant, but then again don't all ideas look oh so brilliant in  that "one in the morning" light, well, they were all a comin' all at once and so I thought pshhh "this week'll be a cinch" and "I won't even bother to work on any 'work' stuff right now" and "I'll just watch another episode of Law And Order season 'who cares I've seen them all' reruns", 'cause really why else would I be up at one in the morning.  Netflix instant play-- boosh.  

Well, low and behold I sat down to write this morn and well... I've got nothing.  I've tried changing my perspective, looking at the screen from the right and then the left, with a cup of coffee in my hands, with coffee down, with a cup of coffee balanced precariously on my head... still nothing. 

And, just when I was amassing a pile of pillows to facilitate assuming a "standing on my head" sort of a perspective well, I flipped through the gazillion and one photos I have saved and well, I found this.  
Perhaps maybe this... this could be something.


This is Bacon.  
As in, some tweens wondered by and asked me what his name was 'cause I, in my little heels and ruffly top clearly screamed, "Four H Volunteer Information Person" to them and so I responded with the most appropriate name I could think of, off the cuff and all... "Why this here's BACON".  Giggles.  And feeling oh so clever and ready to take my made up "Four H Volunteer Information Person" job on the road-- I've always wanted a job with travel benefits, I moved over to the cattle stall and waited a VERY long time for no one at all to ask me about "Filet Mignon". 
  
But, really this here's not anything, right?  Yeah, it's pretty much nothing.  And even if it had potential as a "Our afternoon at the Hawaii State Food and Farm Fair" post, well I don't think I could complete the thought and so once again I've got nothing.

Unless, and, or, perhaps, maybe this... this could be something.

Here's a giggle worthy list of other potential post titles I saved and now really probably couldn't tell ya what I had intended for them, except that now when you just list them they are all so ridiculously random that, maybe, perhaps they're something-- if just a good giggle.

Posts that will never EVER be-- mostly 'cause I don't know what the hey I was thinking when I came up with these titles:

when a toddler chants "pee, pee, pee..."
(seriously there's potential here guys, don't ya think)



dear father...
(okay, clearly this was gonna be very funny, you'd have to know my dad and how very unlikely a letter to him would be)



you put the lime in the...
(if you just whisper- shouted "CO-co-NUT!", we're all in real trouble here, and also I'm pretty sure we'll be best friends forever)



i'm with the noodles...
(um yeah, this was gonna be something about the boys, and by boys I mean ALL three, coming across the big Walmart at me with boinging foam noodles like, as if, there were nothing cooler in all the world.  And, also watching the lady at check out scan them all-- good times)



down dog, up cat...
(no idea here, really)



and then I was like... what?!
(this was probably going to be a post about just another oh so average day in this house)



in case of emergency pull...
(possibly and also sadly, the next line was likely going to be... "my finger".  Clearly this was going to be Pulitzer worthy)



pin the tail on the toddler...
(... and other family night ideas)



And lastly, 'cause I'm sure I'm losing ya by now, If you have been sweet enough and let's face it silly enough to get this far...  I thank you for your time and for treating this "not so post" like an almost real post and here's one last title before we go...



just smile and wave boys...
(smile and wave.)

And that my darling dears is how to turn "I've got nothing" into almost something.  But, not really anything at all.



live sweet,




mo' please...

posted on: 7.14.2012

So, you know what I said when the opportunity arose to receive a sample of Mocafe's Matcha Green Tea and to create a recipe-- "yes please"!  And then, as soon as I hit send on my "oh so very sure of myself... yes, please" email, well, I immediately thought-- "Oh no, what have I gone and gotten myself into".  

Do you ever find yourself volunteering for things you have no business being involved in?  Do you ever wait until the last possible second after having volunteered yourself, hoping that the pressure of deadlines will fuel creativity?  Do you ever get cold sweats in hot kitchens in the middle of summer?  Do you wanna see what I came up with and what I'm  pleased to announce may actually have ya saying "mo' please"?

Mocafe Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream in an Asian Pastry Bowl


Ingredients

2 cups vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons Matcha Green Tea powder

4 sheets of Asian pastry sheets
two tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoon granulated sugar

For White Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Sauce

1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons Matcha Green Tea powder
1 teaspoon coconut or vegetable oil
6 tablespoons heated cream


For ice cream

In blender pulse vanilla ice cream and Matcha Green Tea powder on high until thoroughly mixed.  Immediately place in a freezer proof container and freeze one hour or until needed.

For Asian Pastry Bowl

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.  Carefully separate pastry sheets.  Working with one at a time spread a small amount of butter on sheet and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place another sheet on top and spread with butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture.  Repeat until all sheets have been layered.  Invert a small to medium oven proof bowl onto a cookie sheet.  Place layered pastry sheet over the bowl and arrange the sides so that they have a nicely fluted form.  Bake for about 3 to 5 minutes checking frequently.  Remove when golden brown.

For White Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea sauce

Place white chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave proof bowl.  Microwave on medium for one minute and then remove and stir until heat is distributed.  Repeat until chocolate is melted.  Stir in Matcha Green Tea powder.  Heat cream in a small microwave proof bowl or cup.  Slowly stir cream into chocolate and green tea mixture until desired consistency is reached.  

Assembly

Place Asian Pastry Bowl on serving dish and fill with hardened Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream.  Drizzle with sauce as desired.  Lay bamboo chopsticks across bowl as they go with the theme, although are not the best utensil for eating ice cream... but boy do they go with the theme.  Enjoy.

I hope you'll love the pairing of white chocolate and cinnamon with Matcha Green Tea ice cream as much as we do.  And, I hope you'll bravely volunteer for new challenges and tell me all about them when you do.  And also, I hope Uncle Bobo's, our sweet little neighborhood spot for latte's and such, sees this and calls me 'cause, you know, they wanna know where my ridiculously easy little recipe and I have been all their lives, or something, right?


live sweet,


  

This post is part of a promotional campaign for Mocafe and Blendtec. All opinions and kookiness, sadly,  are my own.

signs of summer...


Somewhere, some little local girl is looking for her perfectly good pair of "not so glass" slippers. 

Ahh... the sweet signs of summer.

And, this weekend we're peeking into the beach bag of one of the beautiful bloggers behind this creative collaboration right here.

Also, you can enter this week's giveaways here and here.

And, Happy Weekend too!

live sweet,

n   


through the looking glass...

posted on: 7.12.2012

I'm uploading like a gazillion photos and it's taking FOR-ever and so I've decided to jot down some thoughts here while I wait, and wait and wait and wait.wait.wait.wait.wait...

I guess you probably get, by now, that I'm currently in a state of waiting.  Which is not an all so bad kind of place to be 'cause you know it kind of opens up the moments for a bit of really anything you'd like.  'Cause technically I'm already loading photos so if someone were to call and I were to oh perhaps, not just let it go to voicemail and were to actually pick up and they were to ask "hey, what are you doing"  I could huff and puff and tell them how I was "oh so busy" loading photos. And I could really blow up that task til it sounded like "oh she's so very busy" which I am you know, busy, with actively loading photos and all, except not so much actively

So, I just freed up a whole ten minutes, seriously there are a ton of photos and they are loading very suh-low-a-lee.  Oh sure, I could throw in a load of laundry or make up a bed or two but ya know, I think I'll just accept these minutes as a gift.  A whole teensy weensy chunk of time wrapped in a pretty little bow tied package.  And I think I'll watch those photos load and unwrap each little memory and savor each little bite and maybe take a trip with Alice through the picture inspired looking glass.  Wanna come? 


The rocker on the lanai of the cottage we stayed in over the weekend.  Little Seanzy rocked here for, like... ever.


Can ya read the words someone wrote on the inside of that old World War II bunker I found myself in here?  "2012 Rockin' Summer, Mark Soandso"... Well said Mr. Soandso.  


And, also... Rock on!
Casting long shadows in the morning light and feeling "oh so" big and then standing near the sea and realizing it's "oh so much" bigger.  

And, okay, yeah fine, so one long shadow does not a big deal make-- that might be good to remember on a particularly shadowy day, except most likely I'll forget by then.  And I'll likely stand looking at a shadow cast across my life at some point and will be overwhelmed thinking "whoa really big huge deal, giant shadow here" and I'll forget that simply by turning around to walk towards the sun you eliminate any shadows from the path in front of you. Wow, that sounds like it could be good to know, in life, sometimes, ya know?  Yup, and now I am so totally sure I won't remember this fancy little thought next time I need it most.  

And isn't life funny that way? 


Breathe.

See how picturesque, this horse by the sea?

See what he is doing here?  
Yeah, he's turning himself so as to kick sand into my camera lens.  
Not nice Mr. Horsie.  Not nice.


More ancient symbols found on the World War II bunker.  I believe this is a message from the "polka dottie hand and goat cheese" tribe.  They're a fierce bunch for sure.

Clearly the henchmen of the "polkadottie hand and goat cheese" tribe are planning their next move.


Don't be fooled by his "oh I'm just a cute little toddler" giggles.  Clearly what we have here is the mastermind of the group.


Old habits are well, hard to break.  These local boys took their slippers off and left them by the front door of the hotel room-- so local.


He sleeps.  We found this little guy sleeping on the beach outside our cottage.  And, took it as a sign, you know, that all is well with the world and such.


live sweet,


from the sea...

To the mountains.
You know guys, Local Sugar Hawaii is so very much all about the sweetest things in life and in Hawaii that clearly means the sea and the beach but it also means the mountains.  

The Ko`olau range that cuts right through O`ahu is just so breathtakingly beautiful and geesh is it awe inspiring.  From the waterfalls that run off of it's narrow cliffs to the streams that carve through it's slopes to the lush tropical forests and pools of sweet mountain water... my goodness is there sweetness to be found in our mountains.  

But, despite what we might like to believe our mountains are not the only ones in this whole wide world and in fact for a time between sixteen and seventeen I spent a year attending, or barely attending as it happened, school in the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains.  My goodness I so do wish I had had the presence of mind to wander up those mountain roads just a bit more while they were literally out my back door.   And if I had I would have breathed in more deeply, really truly is there anything like the crisp mountain air rushing in and filling you right up to bursting with each breath.  

Sometimes I wonder about sponsored posts and sometimes I say no to sponsored posts just because, well, you know I kind of like this thing we have going here between you and me and the stories we share.  But sometimes a thing will drop into my in box and I'll think, "oh, if I were on the mainland the boys and I would so do that" and this is one of those things.  

If it suits you and your family I hope you'll go out and carve out a moment this summer in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.  And, if you do I hope you'll come back and share all about your adventures here so that I might live through your moments and well just kind of, imagine I am wandering up that mountain trail with ya and breathing in that elevated air.  Here's what USA Family Guide would like ya to know:


Is your family ready to escape the heat, breathe fresh Rocky Mountain air and save money on a summer getaway? Then your plans should include Winter Park, Colorado! With Winter Park Play Free, when you book 2 nights of lodging with participating merchants, you’ll get $50 on a Winter Park Key Card to spend on activities, shopping and dining… your choice of play throughout Winter Park & The Fraser Valley. Click here to learn more about Winter Park Play Free.  Winter Park is 67 miles from Denver, has 200+ sizzling summer events, 600 miles of trails and Colorado's longest alpine slide.




live sweet,

n


Thank you to US Family Guide for being a sponsor.  This post is in conjunction with my relationship with US Family Guide.  All opinions expressed here are my own.
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