Savvy September

September is HERE, and dare I say, already in full swing?  Today Baby Swo and I are officially at 20 weeks.  That’s halfway through this pregnancy! I find that a bit crazy, and a bit like time is speeding up fast.  Pictures soon;)  As for August, I think I accomplished everything on my list, but let’s check it out:

AUGUST 2014 Goal Recap, The WORK:

1. Go through ALL of my clothing: Done! My closet is sparkling clean, and ready for more maternity clothing!

2. Wash quilting fabric, order cutting mats: DONE! And Jen and I cut out ALL the pieces. Assembly is all that is left.

3. Go through office books, label and move: DONE! With help from Auntie Linda, the office is coming together.

4. Go through bathroom, keep only current products, label: DONE! Except for labels.

5. Go through hall closets, try to free up a shelf (or two!): DONE! Free shelves are more abundant than ever.

6. Go through all of my kitchen towels, cookware: I am CLOSE. Drawers left.

7. Get and STAY a week ahead in class planning: Done, and loving this effort.  I want to keep this up through my last month of teaching, it makes it more enjoyable and less stressful on this soon to be mama.

8. Schedule appointments: Skin, Dental, Eyes: DONE> Scheduled and I WENT to ALL of them!

*Be open to making a creative solutions materials trip: Still want to do this in September, I have some interesting ideas for the office.

The FUN:

1. Queen Emma Summer Home: Yes! With Auntie Linda

2. Unplanned Adventure: Yes! With Maica to the Art After Dark that turned into Kareoke blast, to the sand bar with Yvonne.

3. Begin Blog Course 1: Yes! I want to get further in the course though.

4. Begin AFAA extra online course: Purchased, not done.

5. Singa scrappin’: DONE

6. Return to YOGA: YUP! And it feels so good.

7. Prep Wendy/Brad Korea pix: Prepped and scrapped! Already completed;)

8. Plan out blog (ongoing): Yes, and it is setting the tone for the months ahead.

9. Linda will be HERE! Enjoy and share island!: Linda and I had a lovely time.

Lindsay at Shangri La

I’m telling you, August was a banner month for getting things DONE.  I loved the quote from last month, it was all focused on working in an extraordinary manner.  I feel like I did that.  I focused, pushed, and feel pleased with the results.  This month I want to do more of the same.  Here’s what is centering me in the upcoming 28 days:

Hawaii Sept 14 Goals

September needs to be a creative month.  I always find the return of heavy creating/choreographing refreshing, fun, and DAUNTING.  I can not be afraid to fail.  There is no TRY, there is just DO.

The sooner I get going on the many steps needed to develop my young dancers, the better.  I also am sensing the crunch of Christmas around the corner, gifts to be made, a husband returning (yayyayayayyay), and all the personal projects I want to complete.  September, I’m going to get SAVVY in how I handle you.

Savvy September Goals


1.  Music CUTS for Dance Solos

2.  Choreography: Get 2 minutes into all pieces

3. Stay AHEAD on Zumba and Dance class Lesson Plans

4. AFAA Course

5. Upstairs office closet, ORGANIZE, add shelving.  Price printers.

6. Baby Swo Registry, pick out, figure out how to send out (remember Groupon)

7. Complete Kitchen sort/label

8. Type/Print Kitchen Labels (consider label project for Ry extras)

9. Update BUDGET


1. Mama Wendy is COMING! Enjoy island and baby projects!

2. Get a good start (or finish?!) cool cabinet with Miranda

3. 4 new recipes

4. Finish Korea & Cambodia Scrapbook, order new book once complete

5. Cut/edit 1/2 of Euro photos

6. Read and Attend Book Club

7. Sew 1/2 of my triangles for my quilt

8. Continue Christmas Shopping, set list, how are we sending?

9. Get a HAIRCUT. Seriously.

10. Keep up with BLOG.

I’m a goal-getting girl.  Can I do it? I don’t see why not! It’s all about not being afraid to fail.  It is also about time utilization, and just going after it.  The next few months are my last few of being just me, I want to enjoy and maximize them!

Happy September! What are you planning for the month ahead?

August 2014 Photo Challenge: Pt. 2

I finished! It is pretty exciting to complete the August Photography Challenge with my friends on Facebook, and I am already gearing up for the September one! I learned:

1. How to seek a special moment in each day.  2. Just snap SOMETHING 3. There’s always time

Below are my final photos, enjoy!

Day 18: From a High Angle.  The weird cemetery in the parking lot area of the mall in Kaneohe.
August Photo Challenge

Day 19: Car. Ry made this little cute race car when he was a kid.

August Photo Challenge

Day 20: Fruit. Our tangerine tree is working on being fruitful again, can’t wait!

August Photo Challenge

Day 21: My Feet. Ready to teach Zumba class.

August Photo Challenge

Day 22: Ribbon. Hello pointe shoes.  I don’t wear them anymore, but I still keep a special pair.

August Photo Challenge

Day 23: Flower. My sweet man sent me flowers;) It made my whole day.

August Photo Challenge

Day 24: Something Purple. My delicious taro bun as part of my pork sandwich.

August Photo Challenge

Day 25: Diptych.  Okay, this was a stretch.  Diptych is supposed to be two like images.  I chose two complimentary items.

August Photo Challenge

Day 26: Macro Option 2: Favorite Souvenir.  I love a lot of our collected treasures, but my favorite would be Ry-guy.  We met on vacation on a cruise ship! You could definitely call him my favorite travel souvenir.

August Photo Challenge

Day 27: Door.  Or little cute doors at Home Depot.

August Photo Challenge

Day 28: Portrait from the back: our nutcrackers.

August Photo Challenge

Day 29: From a low angle.  An art sculpture in downtown Honolulu.

August Photo Challenge

Day 30: Hands.  My sweet friend Miranda’s hand and her baby.  I can’t wait to see my own little baby’s hands.


Day 31: Self Portrait for Goodbye. After a long, lovely weekend I took a delicious nap and have been reading the rest of the day away!

August Photo Challenge

September, you are right around the corner, and I am excited to capture you along the way.

Getting Inspired 2

I had such a good time searching around the internet on the first Getting Inspired I’ve decided I’m going to make it a regular deal.

 My hopes in sharing this links with you today is that you might take a moment to read and feel that crazy inspiration lightening strike, or start working toward it!  These are in no way works of mine, but I respect the authors, masterminds, behind them and thank them for putting them out in the universe to be enjoyed!

Life with Linda and Lindsay

This week I’ve been hunting around for three specific things: paper, food, and home design.  I’m neck-deep in a reworking of our apartment, I’m searching for new ways to preserve our memories, and I want to cook up some specific snacks for my growing belly!

I adored stumbling across Studio Calico, specifically the Project Life section.  After I use up my current scrap photos, my next goal is to switch to the Project Life format.  Studio Calico had some gorgeous pre-made packages!

This At Home With Feature on A Beautiful Mess has me totally delighted.  I love the mix of clean lines, colors, creativity, industrial and farm wood furniture.  My house is definitely more BRIGHT but this calmed down space has me dreaming, that less color can still be WARM and inviting.

SNACK ATTACK! I am loving the reviews of snack bars on KathEats, and I’m especially excited to try the recipe links she’s posted at the bottom of the post.  Ready to bake. Ready to eat healthy for me and babe.

Happy Weekend, Embrace Your Everyday Adventure!

Night Lights

I have been working hard to make our bedroom a relaxing environment.  Mom and Dad helped me rotate the bed so that there’s room for a co-sleeper.  I relocated a dresser to the guest bedroom and moved in the simple metal shelf.  I’m working on a quilt, but for now I’ve kept it very simple and light on the bedding.

However there was still one major problem: the beaming, bright, overhead light.

Night Lights

At night it was really hard to read and feel relaxed with what felt like a thousand suns in my eyeballs.

Night Lights

Cleaning this past month has enabled me to dig up a few fantastic finds I’ve been looking for and lost!  I re-discovered this brilliant D.I.Y. Chandelier that I purchased at the SangSangMaDang Building in Seoul, S. Korea.  It took all of 10 minutes to construct.  I hung it using a few nails, twist ties, and a little creativity.  I wrapped Christmas lights in cream colored tulle, and hung those the same way.

Night Lights Night Lights Night Lights Night Lights

Now at night I have my own twinkling paradise to lay under as I relax.  It is pretty dreamy;)

Button Up Side Table

When I purchased this stool for $5.00 it was HIDEOUS.  I think it belonged to some office supply company, but regardless it had a horrible foam top on it and nasty left over fabric.  I ripped all that away to revel not-so-bad bones.  I knew I could give it a fun make-over.

Side Table

 With left over paint from my porch table project, ribbon, and a few stylish buttons, I had a cute Button-up Side Table!

Button-up Side Table

I sanded the top down to reveal as much wood as possible, then I stained it with a mahogany gel stain, and did a polyurethane coat over top so I can set coffee or sweaty glasses on it at my leisure.  I primed the legs and painted them with the cheerful yellow.

Button-up Side Table

The ribbon I picked up at my local craft store, but the buttons, ah the BUTTONS are special.

I love Project Runway.  When I was in New York visiting Katie  last year, I made a jaunt to the fashion district and stopped into Mood.  I picked out a few gorgeous vintage buttons on the sale shelf and bought the lot.

Button-up Side Table

I carried them back to Hawaii with me, and sewed them to the ribbon.

Button-up Side Table

I used a glue gun to attach the trim:

Button-up Side Table

I am now enjoying a bright, crafty little side table when I snuggle into read.

Button-up Side Table Button-up Side Table Button-up Side Table

Scrappy Frames

Our home at the moment has more art than family photos up on the walls.  I want a way to combine both ideas, a way to creatively hang our family memories.  With a few cheap (and we’re talking $1.00 from Goodwill) frames, black and gold paint, I had the inspiration.

Scrappy Frames

My niece sent us a picture she drew herself, so I used that as the back drop for the first frame.  With three photos of my nieces, I styled the “art” like a scrapbook page.  Now I get to save her drawing and display a few favorite moments of these sweet girls.

Scrappy Frames

The second frame utilized a few precious pictures from the past that my mother sent in a recent package.  It showcases my grandparents opening a tablecloth for their wedding shower that is now a part of my vintage collection, my dad, my sister and I being read to, and up at the top, my lovely mother in a homemade dress.

Scrappy Frames

For now, these are surrounding our dining room table.  I think I might want to turn this into the entire “family” wall.  With baby on the way, it certainly makes me look at our home differently.  Even with friends and family living far away, I still want her to be able to look and recognize the faces that love her everywhere!

Scrappy Frames

I hope you can find a place to create your own scrappy frames in your home!

Tango Means Three

Ever have a piece of art or a print you can not part with?  But it isn’t fitting your current design aesthetic anymore?  I felt that way about our Bill Brauer Tango print.  This was the first bit of art I picked for our married-life walls.  I loved the feeling of it, the colors, and of course, the romantic dancing aspect!

My mom purchased it for us, and for a long time it hung in a frame on our main living room wall.  Recently I’ve been itching to change up the whole range of decor on that wall, and it had to start with this print.  But I just couldn’t part with it.  Problem solving kicked in.

Tango Means Three

I went to our local craft store, bought three canvases, and a bright blue acrylic paint.

Tango Means Three

I covered each canvas:

Tango Means Three

Then I measured and cut the print into three panels.  I lined them up on the canvas, but something was missing.  I liked the blue so much, there needed to be much more of it showing.  I tore the edges as artistically as I could and love the result!

Tango Means Three

A little Mod Podge later…

Tango Means Three Tango Means Three

…my print was born a-new!

Tango Means Three Tango Means Three

The panels now hang in our guest bedroom.  They’ll be relocating after baby arrives, but I do enjoy the finished project so much that I know this print will continue on to live another few days in our home.

Tango Means Three

Tiny Closet Space Saver

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been all about nesting, organizing, and SAVING SPACE in our apartment to make way for Baby Swo.  Whilst attacking my clothing clean-out and re-working my closet, I decided something had to be done about my necklaces and scarves.

The way I had them displayed before wasn’t…pretty.  All the scarves were in one jumbled messy bin, the necklaces swinging haphazardly from a plant stand.  This all comes from moving every 2-3 years and just wanting it PUT AWAY. But I realized a year later and I still hadn’t worn a lot of my favorite items because the way they were displayed was so destitute.

Closet Space Saver

After donating a ton of pants, I freed up two racks.   It felt like I went accessory shopping! Once I clipped, knotted and hung up the items on the racks, it was inspired! I have so many lovely pieces, and they’ve been collecting like sad, unwanted clutter.

To make even more room in the closet, I put a sticky-hook on the back closet wall.  The scarf rack lives there now, and I can pull straight off of it or bring it out for further inspection.

Closet Space Saver

The necklaces are all dangling very nicely as a part of my wardrobe now.  I love looking at them all together and picking just the right one.

Closet Space Saver

Wherever you live, you can make your space work for you!

This Week Around Here

Aloha ya’ll!  The past few weeks since Linda I’ve been in one major mode:


It is indeed, a thing.  I want to clean, organize, and attack everything in our home!!  I am also starting to really see a baby bump, and I am embracing it.  It is strange to put on articles of clothing a find them not fit, or not fit in the way they used to…but this is all part of the process.  What is keeping me grounded is thinking about how amazing this is that my body can do this, how I am now a home for two.  I have a lot more to say on this topic, but I’m saving it for another day;)

August Life 2014, 1

While in “embrace the BUMP” mode, I went to Old Navy and picked out a bunch of maternity clothes.  I think the new pieces coupled with a few of my comfy skirts/maxi dresses can stretch into the next few months.  I am lucky that my job has me in work out wear, so I have not had to go in search of a whole new wardrobe! Just a few key items that make me feel GOOD.

August Life 2014, 1

NESTING captured below.  Under the kitchen sink war!

August Life 2014, 1

I think a large part of my nest-fever has to do with the fact we are in a smaller apartment.  Now that another person will be living here (and although Baby is small, it’s things are not) I have to be triple the space-savvy.  Each closet/cupboard I clean always has one end goal: Gain a SHELF.  That shelf or drawer can be a place for Baby things.

 We do not have a garage/pantry/or storage shed.  We have a small crawl space under the stairs that even Harry Potter could not sleep in.  We have two crawl alcoves above the bedrooms, two small closets, and two tiny hall closets.  I love it here, and by all means am NOT complaining about the space, it is just time to get CRAFTY!

August Life 2014, 1I am inspired to turn the closet above into an office.  We don’t often access our supplies, so I think that it will be possible to make a cute standing-space closet.

Below, the other hall closet is going to house Baby items.  I want to install a tension rod, perhaps paper the wall in some cute textile, and presto! We shall have a mini-closet for babes. Cute!

August Life 2014, 1

I have also been back to my wild cooking ways, which makes me happy to have both the passion and appetite back.  It makes me feel more like myself.

August Life 2014, 1

I made a banner-fail.  This is how I was originally wanting to intro baby into the world, but it just didn’t happen.  Failure is a good things sometimes, because I love how our real announcement photo turned out!

August Life 2014, 1

The banner is now hanging on my staircase, as a constant reminder that the choices I’m making daily are not just for me, but for US.  Our wee family of three;)

Linda and Lindsay

AUNTIE  in Hawaiian is a respectful term for a woman of your parent’s generation.  It is also utilized as a term of endearment for your close female friends, whether they be a blood relative or not.  It is a way of saying “we are all in this together”.  I can not think of many people in my life that have been in this with me from the very start.  My Auntie Linda is one of them.  She is my mom’s best friend, and in turn took a lot of time to support my sister and I growing up.  I hope my best girlfriends (and the few guys out there I have) can do the same for our baby.

During her visit to Hawaii, we had a wonderful time together.

Life with Linda and Lindsay

It was lovely to share many yummy meals together, and to introduce her to some of my favorite island spots.  Crepes and fantastic red velvet/guava chiffon pancakes ranked up there as all-time TASTY!  We made the most of the Hurricane shut-down by organizing my upstairs books (an all day job!) watching The Monuments Men and making cookies!

Life with Linda and Lindsay

We did not let the storm deter us though.  The day before we went out on a hot hike to Makapu’u, and the day after we hit the road again to tour Byodo Temple and local Kaneohe Botanical Gardens.

Life with Linda and Lindsay Life with Linda and Lindsay Life with Linda and Lindsay

As a treat, we gathered up the girls and went to see Hawaii Ballet perform Peter Pan.  It was a magical evening! I loved having Linda visit my dance classes as well. She’s watched me since my very first recital, so to have her observe how I am now teaching was a real treat.

Life with Linda and Lindsay

I could not be more thankful for the out pour of love and visitors while the Ry-guy has been away.  Thank you Auntie Linda for making some time for me, I loved every moment!