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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YOLO. 

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You only live once. And it often goes by quicker than you had planned. And while we all know this, it’s always a tragedy that reminds us. It feels almost criminal to go on with everyday life when someone has just lost their child or parent or best friend. 
So many young deaths lately. Is it really just one of those things?  When I hear of another passing so close to the last, I wonder how we we made it this far. 

Why do some people who are  filled with hatred and anger seem to live on and on and  others who are so careful and so kind to the world have to die so young? 

A parent should never have to lose a child. But it happens. And then we all think. We think and we hug and we cry. A lot.

Then I have that familiar worry. I’m not kissing my girls enough or loving them enough or being patient enough. I’m not giving them enough attention and I’m not playing and laughing enough to fill their hearts every minute that I should. 

I realized today what am I doing complaining about a house remodel and even sillier – financial woes when I should be focusing on LIVING and the real reasons I am doing it all in the first place.   

No point to this post. Just a reminder that YOLO. 

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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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Top 10 Essentials for Traveling with Kids

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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. 

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Neso Tent

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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.

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You can learn anything on the Internet! 

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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. 

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