Pupukea Road

DIY Miniature Dollhouse

Leave a comment

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.

This gallery contains 5 photos

Midori Notebooks for My Girls 

Leave a comment

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

This gallery contains 0 photos

Someone turn off my Pinterest please! 

Leave a comment

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.  😉

This gallery contains 0 photos

Top 10 Essentials for Traveling with Kids

Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I was asked to contribute to a post about traveling with kids and honestly, I can’t remember what I wrote because I was happily at home – not traveling. 

But now that I’m actually on the road, I am able to recall what the essentials are. Here are my top 10:  

1. Timeless Beauty Bag: Each girl got a timeless beauty bag for Christmas and I filled it with random toys like NEW notepads, stickers, small toys (not new, just ones I hid a few months ago so they would feel new). This bag keeps everything in one spot instead of loose or in separate pouches. 

2. Kindle: I always go online to the public library before we leave and load the older girls’ kindles up with (free) books. We bring iPads, but kindles allow them to read without getting distracted playing games.

3. Doterra Petal Diffuser : no introduction needed. It has taken the place of carrying a nebulizer for Sebbies asthma. It also doubles as a room freshener for a musty hotel room.

4. Lemon essential oil: I don’t diffuse this. I save it to clean our water bottles. I use 1 drop with hot hot water into the bottle and shake all the gunk away. 

5. Cloth bag with waterproof liner: plastic baggies are expensive to buy, so we bring these. They zip tight, don’t leak and are great for carrying snacks and fruit. To clean I throw them in the wash or turn inside out and wipe down. I bought mine here

6. Hydroflask insulated water bottle: As heavy as they are, we still bring them. We buy large jugs of water and fill our bottles daily with ice and water. This is especially handy because a lot of restaurants outside of the U.S. don’t offer free water. It’s always bottled and ridiculously expensive.

7. Chip clips: We don’t ever bring enough of these. They are so handy when buying foods that are being saved for later. 

8. Beach towel: For a family of 5 squeezing into a small hotel room, there are never enough bath towels – let alone beach towels. The girls hold these in their carry-ons and it doubles as a (clean) airplane blanket. 

9. Skateboards: Totally necessary when sightseeing with kids. It buys us so much more distance and time! Because we are still traveling with a car seat, I pop these right into the car seat bag!

  10. Scissors and reusable shopping bag: Something so simple yet we always overlook! 

Oops, sorry that was 11. I pack pretty heavy. 

This gallery contains 0 photos

Neso Tent

Leave a comment

This review is all my own. I bought this tent  and am writing a review without compensation or consideration. (I’m actually writing this because I already convinced 8 of my friends to buy one without any of us actually trying it out first so I needed to make sure it actually worked before I end up with 8 former friends!)

For a beach tent, it’s a very simple yet genius design. It’s made up of a large, very stretchy nylon/lycra  sheet with bags at the ends for tying to fences at the park, pinning down with stakes or filling with sand at the beach. It’s propped up with collapsible aluminum poles, similar to the ones you get with camping tents.  

The hardest part about this tent is the first-time set up. I wish I had taken a before picture because when I asked Sebbie what she thought when I first put it up, she said, “pretty ridiculous”. Lucy said, “looks flat.” And they were both right. Even the tourists next to us laughed as I clumsily tried to hold up the poles to keep it from turning into a suffocating neoprene blanket or a giant wind sail. 

But I slowly figured out the trick is to lay it completely flat, stretch out the strings as far as possible, fill the bags as much as you can – you won’t believe how much you can fit until you squish it all in, then put up the poles. You need to put the poles facing the wind – even if that means your tent is facing sideways from the ocean.  Try to also put the poles at the farthest corners of the tent. You also want to make sure the fabric is really stretched out. Any part sagging will make it collapse even with the slightest breeze. 

When I put it away, instead of using the bag it came with, I ball it up and put it in a small shopping bag.

Overall, I really like it. It is everything I bought it for – it weighs less than 4lbs (it fit right in my suitcase!) and is much more open and inviting for others to join us than a normal beach umbrella. It’s not a good wind block (in fact, it’s actually the opposite), but I like that it IS waterproof, has SPF blocking, and is machine washable. 

It’s a little pricey, so I’m hoping it stands up to wear and tear. We are daily beach-goers and after a few uses, I probably won’t be able to live without it. 

I’m pretty sure my friends will still like me after this purchase too. 

If you want one, you can go straight through their website at http://www.nesotents.com . Use the coupon code PUPUKEAROAD and get 10% off! 

This is how NOT to set up the tent. I laugh everytime I look at it.

I packed all of this in my suitcase.

Correct set-up – into the wind.

Mini neso. I’ve spent a fortune on these tents but in the long run a lot less than on beach umbrellas which break after a couple uses.

This gallery contains 4 photos

You can learn anything on the Internet! 

Leave a comment

I was browsing PINTEREST probably looking for an oil remedy and TOTALLY got distracted and found this –> free pattern on yarnutopia.com to make a mermaid tail lap blanket: 

I thought to myself: ‘The girls would really LOVE reading on the papasan with this!’  

I knew it was a lofty goal, so I refrained from buying every skein of yarn ar Walmart and got only what I needed (3 for the body and 1 for tail). I brushed up on my crochet skills by watching these gifs: http://crochet-gifs.tumblr.com

I pretty much didn’t see my family for a week, my forearms feel like they are going to fall off, and I’m cross-eyed, but I did it. ( There is no modeling photo because it’s waaaay past midnight.)  One down, two more to make. 

This gallery contains 0 photos

Wreck This Journal 

Leave a comment

Today we bought this:

Now we have this:  

and this: 

This journal / activity book encourages the owner to step on it, throw it off a building, drag it through dirt, get messy, and be creative. It doesn’t ask you to write down your life dreams or favorite colors, but certainly leaves enough room if you choose to.

Apparently I missed the bus on this because it’s been around for years and a quick Google search will bring up TONS of finished pages competed by young and old. Just check out this page flip on You Tube: 

Artist’s note: The pages are thick enough to withstand water coloring, but bleed when using sharpie. We found using a plain old ball point pen worked best. 

This gallery contains 0 photos

Special blog by a special teacher 

Leave a comment

When parents send their children to school, they are hoping that their teacher will love that child as if it were their own. 

This blog is by a teacher, and I seemed to find it at the perfect time.  With all the hate and terrorism and scandal and child-crimes, it’s so inspirational to watch someone teach the concept of love. If we teach love, that will be their norm. Hate will be strange to them. 
You can’t ask a teacher to be fun, silly, or interesting, but you should be able to ask that they provide a place where a child feels safe.  I think he is doing it all. 

Watch this video: 

Check out their Facebook page: 

Special Books by Special Kids

This gallery contains 0 photos

Mosquito bite remedy

Leave a comment

When my toddler gets bitten by mosquitoes, it doesn’t just go away. It turns into a big welt, hard to the touch, warm, and red.  But I just discovered a new oil to put in my “need to carry at all times” keychain: Purify. 

Here’s the before (she gets bit, scratches it to death and it turns into an open sore):  

Here’s what I used:  

And here it is 2 days later (I used a bandaid to keep her from scratching): 


Here’s my keychain (note: I now carry 2, but they are a lot smaller than carrying 5ml bottles): 


This gallery contains 0 photos

Leave a comment

What genius invents this stuff anyway?

Remember using magic pens? The markers you use to write in one color then change it to another with color changing pen? Then if you don’t like your work you use another pen to erase the color completely?


 Well, they brought them back and they are just as amazing as I remember them to be.   

The same week, R bought them “Friendship Wheels”. These foam gadgets make professional looking embroidery floss bracelets, A LOT easier than the confusing knotted friendship bracelets we grew up making. All you do is move the strings around the disc in a pattern and voila! A perfect bracelet. It’s actually pretty addicting – like mindless crochet. 


They also make great  “Auntie” gifts.  

My next fun purchase will be Zipit bedding – the fitted sheets with blankets attached that you zip. But it’s been so humid lately, I can’t even mutter the word “blanket” without breaking into a sweat.