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Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Just Realized- I'm A Pusher- Well Crap

Over the years, I have come across many types of pushers.

{Definition of Pushers- A person or persons that push some activity or thing on another person or persons.}

I have met food pushers, clothing pushers, store pushers, and advice pushers.

And most of the time I am okay with it. I just nod my head, or take some food home with me, or in many cases I just ignore the person.

But I have just realized that I am my own brand of pusher.

I am a blog pusher.

Now, it is one thing to push my own blog.
{Note: You should all be following my blog. Go ahead click follow on the right hand side of the page.}

But I push other people's blogs as well. When I find this amazing blog I want others to appreciate it as well as I do.

I want people to read it and love it and then talk to me about it.

And that really never happens.

That especially never happens with Matt. I am always sharing new blogs and posts with him, and he never really cares THAT much. Don't get me wrong. He listens to me; he just doesn't really care all that much. Which is okay because I never really care about his comic books. Haha.

This is frustrating because I love blogging so much, and I love reading other people's blogs.

I once made a comment to Matt saying: "Man, this blogging is a time suck. I went to write one post and 3 hours later I have written 2 posts and found 3 other blogs to follow!"

In which he replied: "It's a dangerous game you are playing Mrs. Ho."

And it is a time suck, but I love it. I love getting new ideas from these strangers. I love reading funny stories from people I have never met. And I think that is okay.

I can't promise I will stop pushing blogs because it is a passion of mine, but I will be a little more open when I get 0 responses.

Because to be honest- yeah I would love to have hundreds of followers. I would love to have hundreds of comments to go through each week. That would be great. And maybe one day I can get there.

But for now, I love that I have 16 followers. I love hearing people say "oh, yeah I read your blog. You are doing good."

Right now that is enough. Right now I am just journaling my life so I can remember all the fun things Matt and I did in the early years. Or so I can see what interested me at this time period, or what made me laugh.

I am happy with my blog right now. Would I like some more followers- of course. But who wouldn't?!

Thank you for reading and thank you for putting up with my pushing. I love y'all.

{If you want to see what blogs I am pushing- check the right hand side of the blog.}

Well, Here it Goes

So I joined this diet bet. And it starts February 1st. 

I found it on this blog I follow, and I guess diet bets are a big thing. All you do is buy in and then lose 4% of your starting weight. There are tons of diet bets out there, and you can even start one of your own. 

Currently, our pot is up to $350 and if I meet my goal I get part of the pot. 

Pretty Cool! Now I just need to lost the weight! 

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bits of Love

If you have read my past blog posts, or just know the story of Matt and me- you would know that when we first met I thought of him only as my goofy part Asian friend. 

He was skinny... he was awkward... and he hung out with some even stranger people. 

But when I was in London, I was starting to have some feelings towards this skinny Asian, and they were definitely more than 'just friends' feelings. 

In most relationships, there is that point where suddenly friendship is off the table and you are now an item. Which is what happened to us. 

But most relationships don't have physical proof of that turning point. 

I do. 

Yup. This. Is. It. 

When Matt skyped me this photo, I knew Matt and I would not be 'just friends' much longer. 

For awhile, I had been going back and forth on whether I really liked Matt more than a friend. And when I got this picture, I was like "crap. I do like him." 

So here it is the picture that sealed our fate... well at least mine... I still had to get Matt on board. 

{Note: Matt was trying to show me his new beard and hair cut- not his impressive (read-strange) pull up skills.} 

Monday, January 28, 2013

50 by 50

When I was home for Christmas I went through a lot of my old stuff. I was trying to clean and organize all the crap I have stored at my parent's house. 

Anyway, when I went through my stuff I found all my old journals. And it was hilarious! I had the best time reading all my journals, but there was one especially that I just died when I read. 

This was my journal from Fall of 2007- Summer of 2009. 

Be prepared for a few journal entries in the Flashback Friday series. But for now I wanted to share the 50 by 50 list I came up with in August 2009. 

I was in Florida and my cousin Jessie and I made our personal 50 by 50. At the time, I had just turned 21 and I thought it would be a great idea. Now, it has only been 3 1/2 years but it crazy to see all the weird stuff I wrote as goals. I mean some of this stuff is just bizarre! 

So here it goes, and with personal commentary! 

1. Get my masters (okay not too bad)
2. Get my PHD (doing good) 
3. Adopt at last one baby from China (some would say this is admirable) 
4. Get married in the temple 
5. Go to Africa and volunteer with an AIDS organization (again admirable)
6. Read the Harry Potter books
7. Run a half marathon (bahahahaha yeah right) 
8. Get certified in Yoga (I actually hate yoga. I think Joe and I had just went to our first yoga class and I was really into at the time.)
9. Live in New York City 
10. Serve on a charity board (?)
11. Teach Abroad 
12. Learn to sew (yeah, that ain't ever happening. After teaching this FCS class, I am done with sewing!) 
13. Get published 
14. Learn to bake cookies, pies, and cakes from scratch (ha ha ha) 
15. Sing a solo in church (What the.... I don't think I have ever seen Joe or Matt laugh as hard as when I read this sentence to them) 
16. Get certified in scuba diving (I am deathly afraid of the ocean)
17. Visit China with my family
18. Go to major church historical sties (I went to a bunch in England, does that count) 
19. Go to Washington D.C. 
20. Go to Mount Rushmore
21. Donate Christmas gifts to charity
22. Work on a campaign (?)
23. Start personal library
24. Travel to Europe...a lot (A lot? What does that mean?)
25. Travel to Asia (Doesn't China count)
26. Go to Jerusalem
27. Give up red meat for one year
28. Organize all my photos
29. Work on my genealogy for my dad's side
30. Go to New Zealand
31. Go to Australia
32. Teach at the University level
33. Go see an Opera 
34. Throw a masquerade (Why would this be a goal?) 
35. Go to an Olympic games out of the country (YEAH!)
36. Plan someones wedding (Does mine count?)
37. Learn the thriller line dance (Wow, awesome. Some would say this is just as important as adopting a child.)
38. Learn a different language
39. Learn how to drive a stick shift
40. Learn how to change a tire
41. Learn how to change the oil in a car
42. Ride in a gondola (Wouldn't I do this in Europe.. A lot?) 
43. Drive coast to coast road trip
44. Go to Egypt see the pyramids
45. Take a cooking class
46. Go to my high school reunion (?)
47. Better my piano skills
48. Go on a safari
49. Go on a cruise (I hate cruises) 
50. Learn calligraphy (Wow... what a good life skill)

What I noticed is there is A LOT of repetition- for example: On my road trip, I would probably see Mount Rushmore.

And while in Asia, I would go to China.

Also, there are a lot of things I am NOT going to do. {I.E. Sing a solo in church.}

But at least this ended up as a funny blog post! 

A Guide to Valentine's Day Gifts

{image via

Valentine's Day is coming up and that means- A mad dash to find the right gift for that special someone. 

Here is a little tip: Everyone wants a little something on Valentine's Day. Even if they believe it is a corporate holiday only created to make money, they still want something.  

When I was younger, Barry would always get me and my sister, Chantal, a dozen red or pink carnations, and he would always get my mom red roses or some other type of flower. 

My mom would get each of us kids a few little gifts and place them on the table for us to find in the morning. Now, it was never anything big, but I loved getting something from my parents. It was so exciting and it showed they cared. I am all about 'corporate' holidays because they remind people to think of others, and I think that is okay. 

This year I have been shopping around to find the best Valentine's Day gifts, and I thought I would share. These gifts range in price and some you can even make on your own. Some of us might not have a large budget to use for Valentine's, some of you might, but everyone should think of their loved ones this time of year. 

The best thing is, you don't need to have a lot of cash to make your loved one feel special. 

Last year, Matt and I made each other Valentine's Day Cards and it was a lot better than a store bought card. 

If you don't want to make your own card, there are plenty of sights out there that have FREE printables for you to use. And they are super cute. 

Check out this post from My Owl Barn. 
Or the site hellolucky.com 
You can even type in the words Valentine Printable in Pinterest and get all these links and ideas 

There are so many ideas for those that have a tight budget, or want to make sure their gift is unique. 

Here are a few of my favorite things: 

"Sweets for My Sweetheart"- if your loved one is into sweets as much as my loved one is, this is a perfect and easy gift for you. You can easily buy these from a Gourmet Gift Basket company, or you can just make it (which is the route I would take). Here is a sample, but you could do it however you want. 

"Candy Gram"- Again, another homemade easy gift that is all about the candy. My Aunt Nickie started making these a while back, and I have always enjoyed when I get the opportunity to make one. You basically get a bunch of candy from the store and turn it into a message. {For example: Honey, some might think you are a NERD, but I think you are one HOT TAMALE.} And you would tape the candy in place of the word. 

{This is one I made for my best friend Beth on her birthday. It was in better condition, I promise.}

"Try Something New: 100 Ways to Spend Time Together" - this book is a great gift because it gives you all these ideas for fun activities. If you are the couple that has the same conversation of "What do you want to do tonight" "I don't know. What do you want to do" This book is for you. 
Pay Scale: $ 

 "Date Night in a Jar" - From the blog Life in the Green House. This is basically the homemade version of the book above, but you make the date ideas varying in price.  Life in the Green House gives you some date ideas and step-by-step instructions on how to make your own date jar. If you have a mason jar and some popsicle sticks you are good to go. *You could also make this with envelopes and paper. 

"Custom Gift Book" by Datevitation. These are the best coupon type books out there. They have books for all occasions {if you have a birthday or anniversary coming up}. They also have all sorts of different categories for you to customize your book. They even have E-dates that you can send for those that don't want to buy a whole book. These books are not just for your spouse or boyfriend/ girlfriend, but you can give one to your kids, or parents, or best friend. They are personalized to whatever you want! 

*If you are going the romantic route check out the 18 or older coupons they are so funny.* 

And of course you could make your own coupon book. For me though,  I think this is the faster route. 

"Your Memory Lane" - by Memory Lane. Okay, if you have a lot of money to spend I would get this. You basically type in all the important events/ dates/ places in your relationship and the company turns it into your memory lane. I think this would be perfect for the couples that have been together for a long time. {I.E. 20, 40, 50 years} My Abuela and Papa will celebrate their 40th this year and I really want to make this for them. The only downside is they are really really expensive. But it might make for a good collaboration gift. 

"The Tie Bar" - by The Tie Bar. If your honey is a fashionista like mine is, or if they just like cool bow ties or ties, the tie bar is the place to go. They have tons and tons of really sweet ties. And the price is really not that bad. The thing I love about the Tie Bar is that they have a collection called the Jesse Tyler Ferguson Bow Ties and 100% of the proceeds go to the TIETHEKNOT.ORG in support of marriage equality. But if you are not into that, just get all the other ties from The Tie Bar. 

"State Art" - I am seriously, seriously in love with state art. This would be perfect to remind each other where it all began, or to see all the places you have been together. Really you could do it for anything. I recently sent some state art to my sister Chantal who just moved from Georgia to Utah. I wanted to remind her where her true home was. And she loved it! I love the state art that is wedding related. There are so many sites on Etsy that do this, I didn't want to just pick one. And if you have never seen or heard of state art- get on the band wagon. *Note: for all my international friends, most of the companies do other countries as well. 

"Personalized Mugs"- From pick any Etsy store ever! Matt loves mugs. He is always trying to get us to buy mugs. But I always turn him down because we live in Hawaii and it is never cold enough for us to have an unlimited supply of mugs. But I do love some cute mugs. 

{image via

{image via

"Reasons I love You"- Homemade. A while ago, I made my mom a jar full of reasons why I love her. And before my Abuela started chemo I made the same type of jar. I wish I had pictures to show you. But basically I got a jar, got cute papers, wrote the message on them, and then decorated the jar with pictures of the family. Anyway, this could be a great idea. And you don't have to have a jar- it could be anything. 

{image via}

{image via}

I hope your Valentine's Day plans go great. Please share any gift ideas you have! 

As an end note, please enjoy these cute cards! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things # 1

I am lucky enough to have been blessed to be an older sister to two crazy boys and one sassy girl, and I have been blessed to have a full time job as a teacher of 11-13 year olds. 

And I say blessed, because with these kids in my life (both my siblings and my students) there is never a dull moment. 

Because I have learned: Kids Say the Darndest Things

So, I decided a new blog series should be born. 

Kids Say the Darndest Things is all about the things my students and little siblings have said or written about at some point. 

This series is all about my students and siblings cracking me up and making me glad they are in my life.  This idea started when I wanted to write down all the funny things Jud and Olivia have said over the years. These kids are seriously the funniest kids ever, and I didn't want to forget anything they said. 

So in thinking this, I came up with this series, but I also wanted to document my students and the great things that come out of their mouths or their pens as they are writing. 

I hope this series gives you as many laughs as it gave to me. 

Here is the first installment: 

This is a short answer response from one of my students. The prompt was to pick another district in Hawaii to move to. Then they had to describe what made them choose that district, using the physical and human characteristics of the district. Here is what Student A came up with- 

Yup, you read it right. She said "Gerafic Park"- which is really "Jurassic Park"
And hungary for hungry 
And you might see some "cerleberties" 

Now, the purpose of this was to make you laugh - not worry/ scare you about the state of our children's writing skills. Cause they are quite bad, but please just laugh with me. 

Hope you enjoyed! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Flashback #36

Halloween 2010 
Sarah Palin and her dead moose 

The Baby Boom

Right now it seems like everyone is getting pregnant, or delivering their first baby. 

With a lot of my friends/ family having babies in the last few months, I have had to buy a lot of gifts for the new little families.

While I love going to Target and picking out whatever cute baby clothes they have at the time (which they always do), I also love looking for more precious gifts that others might not give as a gift. 

I am sure most of you are in the same boat I am with shopping for baby gifts, so I thought I would share some gifts I am loving. And just to be nice I will include a pay scale and a link to the original page! 

*Pay Scale out of $$$$$ (5) 
*Highest gift is $100 

{1. Luxury Plush Stroller Blankets by baby & child Restoration Hardware
Love them! They are so soft and you can personalize it with the baby's monogram
Pay Scale: $$} 

{2. Pottery Barn's Silver Leaf First Year Frame- I am all about documenting the baby's first year and this is a great way to do so. Plus, you can PERSONALIZE it! (You will see this is a theme.) 
Pay Scale: $$$} 

{3. Chinese Birth Year Shadowbox- by Uncommon Goods. This is a keepsake box for baby's first year, and it is personalized by Chinese Zodiac (i.e Dragon, Rabbit, Monkey). 
Pay Scale: $$$$}

{4. Handcrafted Language Blocks- by redEnvelope. These are a spin on the traditional letter blocks. They come in Chinese, Japanese, French, Hebrew, or Spanish! Can you saw awesome!  The new baby can play and learn! 
Pay Scale: $$} 

{5. Baby Monthly Onesie Stickers- by the Etsy shop MaddiesMomE 
Document the baby through these personalized onesie stickers. Cute Cute Cute! 
Pay Scale: $} 

{6. Vulli Sophie the Giraffe- one of the best teethers out there. You can pick one up on Amazon.
Pay Scale: $} 

{7. Land of Nod's Ticking Nod Chair- This, of course, can be personalized and is perfect for babies starting to crawl and walk. 
Pay Scale: $$$$$} 

{8. Honey Bear Lane's Puff Quilt- Perfect for tummy time! I found these through a blog I read called Little Miss Momma (if you haven't heard of her check her out), and I am in love with these puff quilts. Honey Bear Lane has her own blog and Etsy shop where you can buy either a pre made puff quilt or the PDF of the pattern, so you can make your own if you are crafty like that. Or if you have a mother-in-law that is crafty like that! 
Pay Scale: $- $$$$$ (just depends if you are getting the PDF or the quilt.} 

{9. Diaper Clutch- these are all over Etsy shops right now. They are perfect for a quick diaper change. Most clutches fit 2-3 diapers and travel size wipes. This one from the Etsy shop Penelope Pie Boutique 
also can hold some baby powder and includes a changing pad. 
Pay Scale: $$} 

{10. Baby Bliss in a Box- by Chasing Fireflies. This is a perfect gift for getting the family involved in the new baby. The family makes wishes for the baby and they are nicely stored in the box. Love it!
Pay Scale: $} 

What baby gifts do you love? 
I would love to hear your ideas. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

These are a Few of my Favorite Things

Here are a few things that I am loving right now: 


The Civil Wars 

Delta Rae 


If you remember from my summer post about, I have started reading autobiographies. And I love them, especially if they are written by a comedian. Here are my two most recent reads:  

"Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)" by Jenny Lawson

"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns" by Mindy Kaling 


My Owl Barn (For all owlovers) 


Silver Linings Playbook 


Q&A 5 year Journal 

Gadanke's Love Fills a Lifetime wedding journal 

What are you loving right now? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

I Have A Friend- His Name Is Martin

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day my blog readers. 

While everyone is celebrating their holiday from school and work, I wanted to share a story with you. 

This story involves Jud and Olivia, so you know it's going to be good. 

A couple of years ago, Jud and Olivia were learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So of course, Jud became fascinated and needed to share everything he learned with everyone he came across. 

But he had to do it in his unique way. Here is how it would go: 

Jud: I have a friend named Martin 

Random Person: You do

Jud: Yup, he had a dream and then he got killed

Random Person: ?? 

Mom: He means Martin Luther King

Random Person: Oh... ha ha 

Here is Olivia's Story: 

Olivia: I watched a movie about him {MLK} today. 

Mom: You did?

Olivia: Yup, he was laying in the thing vampires sleep in.

Mom: You mean a coffin? 

Olivia: Yup

You gotta love these kids. 

At least they are getting quality education. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sewing With: Part 3

I guess the old adage is true: Those that can't do, teach. Because I can't sew to save my life, but somehow my students created these cute creatures:

 {Look at that bow}

 {Yup, this student hand stitched the Italian flag and the words "Made in Italy" into her bear}
 {I was really worried about this kid, but their animal turned out good}

 {I mustache you a question} 

For real, aren't these the cutest things ever! I really can't believe my kids did it. They really did! 

I mean these are the same students that couldn't sew a straight line, or thread a needle! 

I am so proud of them. 

But I must say getting to this point was exhausting, and I am so happy I don't have to sew for another ten weeks! 

I am sure round two of sewing with will bring many more funny stories to share .

Click here for the first two parts of the Sewing With Series. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Flashback #35

My mom always loves when I post stories about her and how awesomely mean she was when I was a kid. 

Okay, she doesn't love it, but for some reason the stories that come to mind when I am doing a flashback are always stories of my mom in some way being kinda mean. But I don't want you to get the wrong impression, my mom is a great lady... she really is... I swear. 

I know I am going to get a phone call after I post this, but I really wanted to share this story. 

{Mom, I think you know what's about to happen here.}

Now, I must note that I actually don't remember this story- not because it was so horrible I wiped it from my memory, but because I was too young- I just know it really well because my mom told it to me a lot. 

 Around the age of two I developed a problem with darting off while I was walking with my mom. I guess I would just loosen myself from her hand and I would take off. This would always panic my mom and make her nervous about taking me places. 

Around the same time, we had to go on a trip and take an airplane to get to where we needed to be.  
And as you know, airports are really crowded. 

 I guess my mom was a little worried about how I would be in an airport, so she decided to take precautionary measures. And by precautionary measures, I mean she bought me a leash. 

Now I like to think my mom bought one of those stylish ones parents get to try to hide the fact they are essentially treating their child like a pet. (You know the ones I am talking about -the doggy ones, or the monkey ones.) 

But let's face the facts- we were poor so I probably just got a leash. 

Anyway, we are at the airport and my mom puts my leash I mean "Toddler Harness" on and starts to walk. I quickly start to follow her... you can imagine me half walking half dragging on the ground trying to keep up with my mom's pace. My little toddler legs going a mile a minute. 

Now I hated walking as a child, and I am sure being kept at a fast pace didn't help the situation. So it didn't take me long to figure out what is going on and when I do- I go limp.

 Limp like a rag doll- which causes me to just essentially be laying on the ground being dragged by mom frazzled mother. 

My mom stops and says "Come on Alex- let's walk."

In which I reply my famous last words: "I'm not a dog Mommy." 

The rest of the conversation is hazy, but I do know my mom took that "Toddler Harness" off right quick and I never saw it again. We made our plane safely and I never had to wear a leash again. 

You gotta love my mom for trying.