Pupukea Road

DIY Miniature Dollhouse

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Perfect gift alert: DIY miniature dollhouse.

My oldest daughter loves to create things and loves anything tiny. So when I showed her this kit, she couldn’t believe how lucky we got finding something so perfect for her. We read a few reviews, talked to a friend who already had one (the same one who tipped us off about the kit), scoured Google, and went for it.

In fact, got so excited waiting for it to come in that she made one out of paper off a photo she found on the internet:

When we got it, it was completely unassembled. Like, completely in a hundred different pieces. See the plant in the photo? You need to glue together every leaf and even the tiny flowers on it. See the lamp? You need to construct it then cut out the lace to put around it. The pillows? Yes, you need to cut, stuff, and sew. You even need to cut out and origami fold the tissue box.
But while I was intimidated by the ALL IN CHINESE directions, Sebbie excitedly dove right in. And of course, she loves it.

It even comes with a light kit that you wire to turn the lamps on and off.

Here’s a video of someone making it and customizing it:

I’m definitely buying more kits for gifts, and maybe – one for myself.

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Thank Goodness for Costco’s Return Policy

I am a snorkeling enthusiast and have always wanted a Ninja H2O mask. So, when I saw this (imitation version) at Costco, OF COURSE it went straight into my cart. 

It’s a neat concept – a one piece snorkeling mask that goes over your entire face. You have the option to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth and there are less wiggly parts to fuss with in the ocean. The straps go around your whole head instead of using the “squeezing method” to suspend itself mid-cranium. The purge is at the bottom near your chin, so you’re never trying to blow-hole the water out like a whale. 

BUT, no matter how much I wanted it to be, this mask was just not for me. 

I’ve tried the original Ninja H2O mask which is made with soft silicone, but this (Costco) version wasn’t very pliable or comfortable. It didn’t suction to my face (ie. I couldn’t make it fart) so any little face movement invited a water leak.  

It also made me feel like I wasn’t getting enough air. I convinced myself should be breathing through my nose (instead of my mouth) because…well, I can. But because of this, I constantly felt like I was hyper-ventilating and not taking in enough air. When I did breathe through my mouth, the whole face piece fogged up. 

So today I sadly sent it back. It is probably  sitting in the “Returns” cart alongside a very dirty car battery and some moldy strawberries. Thank goodness for all of us, you can really return anything at Costco. 

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Texas Caviar 

I cook so rarely I don’t totally remember what my hashtag for food is, but here ya’ll go: 
 2 cans black eyed peas – drained

1/2 c red onion

1/4 c red wine vinegar

1 green pepper

1 clove garlic 

1/4 c olive oil 

Dash of tobasco

Dash of pepper

3 T sugar

Serve with salty corn chips. 😋

If I were still working, this is what I’d be bringing this to a pot luck meeting. 

TMI: Yes I tried a menstrual cup too! 


Same warning as last time. Do not read if:

1. You are squeamish.

2. You’re male.

3. You don’t have a period. 

I’m writing this because when I was searching online, all of the dead honest reviews and instructional blog posts really helped me, so if this helps just one of you, the potential embarrassment is worth it. 

If you recall, last month I spent a lot of money on my period. First I tried Thinx, the period panties (which I really like). Then, I tried the Cleo cup, one of many menstrual cups currently on the market. I chose it for its longer stem, carry bag – zippered pouch vs. drawstring bag, and the fact that it came with 2 sizes.  (A menstrual cup is a silicone bell shaped cup designed to “catch” your period vs. soaking it up like a tampon would. It has a ribbed ‘tail’ at the end you use to maneuver it out so you can empty the blood.)

Pros: environmentally friendly – no waste, less mess (although, this is subject to user error),nothing to carry in your purse during ‘that time’, no known risk of toxic shock (even organic tampons have some degree of synthetic material which is what causes infection).  

Cons: extremely steep learning curve, longer/more care involved.  (When I say ‘steep learning curve’,  I’m not joking. Confidence doesn’t equal ability.  It took me a whole period to figure it out.)

I tried practicing before my period, but it just wasn’t the same. My cervix (wherever it was) was in a higher position than when I have my period, so I couldn’t tell if the cup was actually catching anything, and it just didn’t feel right. The first REAL day I tried it happened to be my heaviest day. I used the “punch down” fold, put it in, did a couple hops and honestly didn’t feel a thing. In fact, I was so busy running around I  completely forgot about it. It didn’t leak for a full 10 hours, then suddenly everything spilled out – cup and all. It was like a massacre ‘down there’. (The cup says it holds 30ml, but I only saw a 15ml label on it. The Internet says the average woman loses 30-60ml total for her whole period – but I don’t know if I agree with that.)

After that experience, I made sure to check it every 6 hours. In, out, rinse, and back in again.  The instructions say you can just wipe with toilet paper and put it back in again, but anyone who is anyone knows you can’t wipe THAT with toilet paper alone. *Hint: take a bottle of water with you if you’re going to be in a public bathroom so you can rinse it cleanly into the toilet. You could buy the wipes they suggest, but those have chemicals and aren’t-we-doing-all-this-to-stay-away-from-putting-chemicals-in-our-bodies?! 

At the end of my period, I used Thinx on their own and sanitized my cups by boiling them in water for a few minutes. (*Another hint: put your cup in a wire whisk so it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot of boiling water and melt unexpectedly.) 

Many, many, MANY women bloggers have instructions, reviews, and opinions online. I read all of the horror stories about having to go to the ER to get a lost cup removed or cups leaking in the most embarrassing situations. My cup did get stuck once – I folded and shoved it in too quickly and it went in folded sideways. After more than a couple pushes and a lot of relaxing, I was eventually able to wiggle it out. (My take away from that is to use the bigger cup!)

Now that I have gotten the hang of it,  I’m not going to look back, ever. I have a drawer FULL of organic tampons and all natural pads, but I think I’m going to donate them.  I am also kind of looking forward to my next period, to use my newfound skill. 

What I’m really excited about is traveling with my cups this Fall. An absence of tampons and pads in my suitcase equals more room for IKEA and random souvenirs! 

Here’s a really good  site with a list of pros and cons as well as potential dangers of using a cup: http://menstrualcupreviews.net/menstrual-cup-dangers/

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Period Panties? Of course I’m going to try them! 

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Warning, TMI. Do NOT read if:

1. You are male.

2. You do not get a period. 

3. You are squeamish. 

Rather than write a long story about how I loathe my period and how a fear of TSS runs my life, I’ll intro this blog with an edited synopsis of my conversation with my girlfriend today: 

Me: So my new thing is I’m trying (Thinx) period panties.

Friend: What?! NOOOOO…

Me: Period panties are totally a thing. I saw them on Facebook! 

Friend: Lots of things are ‘things’ but doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. 😐 Where does the stuff go?!? 

Me: In the panty! 

Friend: Wait, are you wearing Depends?

Thinx are a pad built into a very thin, breathable panty. All the menstrual stuff goes in the panty. At night you rinse, then put into the washer. It sounds really gross, but it’s not too different from cloth diapering – except with a lot less bulk. 

Out of the bag, they feel as thin as a normal cotton panty, nylon on the outside, cotton-y on the inside. They are breathable, soft, and very comfortable. But I  can’t tell you how much BETTER they feel than an ultra thin pad does. (I should preface my hatred for pads with that time in 8th grade when I was wearing a pad and EVERYONE saw it under my shorts.)

I initially bought three styles but the one I liked most was the Sport in XS. The frontside is cute – like a boyshort bikini. On the backside, they are cut little high (think reverse hipster). They aren’t as snug as I would like, but I think it will be ok. I really don’t need them THAT snug because I’m not expecting them to hold up a bulky pad. 

When I first saw the ad for Thinx, I thought: Less waste! More eco friendly! Never need to buy pads again?! …Why not?! So I took the $32 plunge and so far I’m glad I did. 

I’ll update in a couple months after I’ve tried them for a few cycles. But for now, I think I like them.

Update: I like them. They feel so much cleaner than a pad. I have 5, so I’m in a constant routine of rinsing, washing and wearing. The elastic on all of my sport panties (the one that fits me best – the rest of the styles I tried are too big to feel comfortable) have stretched a bit but not enough for it to be a waste. We’ll see how it holds up through the year. 

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Midori Notebooks for My Girls 

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Apparently, the Filofax is making a comeback. 

Today at the Daikon Festival I found the cutest booth selling fabric notebooks with a variety of inserts. I bought 2  for $15 each (then had my mom buy one more for Ellie), and started the normal progression of obsessive searching online for anything related to it. 

 I’ve now been on Etsy for the last 3 hours browsing anything “Midori”. Actually, I’ve been searching “Fauxdori” because it’s the DIY version of the original Midori Traveler’s Notebook. 

I almost wish I journaled too. 

Inside cover. I’m adding a folder insert and another lined insert later.

Tokidoki charm added after purchase

Every time we take a trip, the girls keep a journal and also glue in their ticket stubs, maps, and postcards – usually in a composition book. Using this will make everything more uniform. They can keep the cover and just change out the insides! GENIUS. 

Bookshelf of the girls’ journaling past

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Someone turn off my Pinterest please! 

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I am accumulating projects faster than I can do them. I’m drowning in yarn (still need to make 1 more mermaid tail and finish my bubble afghan), and yet I can’t stop going to Walmart’s craft section. 

Unfinished bubble blanket. Click on pic to see pinspiration.

The problem is though, that I’ve been on a Pinterest/Etsy binge. Last week was the very funny Taco blanket. This week is this:  


I’m not finished yet. I need to add a balloon for Ellie, finish the surfboard for Ross, and add the date. But otherwise, this basically took me 8 hours (wee hours of the weekend) to do. 

The hardest/most time consuming part was making a pattern. I couldn’t figure out the proportions of the figures and luckily I didn’t try to free-hand it on the canvas. Trying to pirate patterns off the internet wasn’t as simple as it seems. So what I did which made it easy-ER, was investing ($60) in a pattern book.

Click ok the pic for a link to order a book like mine

I really hemmed and hawed about buying it at first because it’s so PRICEY, but after reading through it, I’m so glad I did. 


After sketching my pattern, I brought out my long-lost cross stitching skills that my mom taught me when I was 12, and…voila!  
My favorite Uncle Don asked me what I’m doing with my life now that I’m gainfully “unemployed”. I told him: PLENTY.  😉

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I don’t even really like cats.

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Have you heard of Neko Atsume? 

I saw it on my Facebook feed and thought it was something right up my girls’ alley. Cute Japanese drawings of cats doing everyday things like sitting in buckets or playing in cardboard boxes. I thought to myself, “They’ll love it!”


Being the good mom I am (not), I thought I should try it out first. Well, it’s 24 hours in and I can’t stop opening it to check on my cats. (I’m currently saving up fish for a bigger yard to attract more cats.)

R said it sounds like a colossal waste of time. He’s right, but it’s still fun.

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Taco blanket or gigantic dog bed? 

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Yesterday I took a break from my non-stop crocheting binge to make this taco blanket. 

Here’s the pinspiration: 

And here’s my finished product: 

I had big plans for this blanket. I was going to make tons of them and give them as birthday and Christmas gifts for celebrations to come! 

But after 4 hours of non-stop cutting, tying, and sweeping (lint), I realized this will be a SINGLE production. If I DO make it again, I’ll cut the strips thinner and longer. I’ll also cut my overall taco shape even slimmer.)

If you want to make one of your own, grab the pattern here 👉🏼 Taco Blanket

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