Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thought of the Day 1

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Ma

Today is my beautiful mother's birthday! I wish I could be home to see her, but unfortunately Hawaii is quite a ways from Virginia. And since she is in New York today, a flight home to Virginia wouldn't do me any good anyhow. My stepdad is treating my mother like a queen though, and so I trust she is in good care. The two of them took the train up to New York City, where they are doing everything from site seeing to visiting friends, to seeing Wicked on Broadway. I hear the show is AMAZING. I hope they have a blast!

Love you Momma!

This picture is from almost almost 5 years ago, but it's one of my favorite :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Car update (somewhat good, somewhat not)

We finally have our car! It is actually IN OUR POSSESSION! It was towed to our apartment this morning from Honolulu. I thought we would never see our car again. Of course it is not in the best condition. On top of not starting and leaking oil, it has a flat tire. But, thanks to some AWESOME neighbors, it will hopefully be in better shape tomorrow! Further updates will follow. Hopefully they will be positive updates.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Car troubles...

Today was the day Beau and I went to Honolulu to pick up our car! The car was delivered to the shipping company on July 16, and FINALLY on September 21, we have received visual of the car. The newest problem? The car is leaking oil and will not start. Hmm, thank you Transport Services for all your disorganization, lack of communication, and various methods of scamming. Worst company EVER.

This did not make for a happy day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Studio Improvements

I have finally started finding ways to make my little apartment a bit cuter! Check out this adorable chair and bookshelf that Beau and I found at a yard sale this morning! I love Saturday morning yard sales. :) Everything will fit a bit better once we move into a one bedroom apartment. I'm hoping that will happen soon, but probably not til April or June unfortunately. But anyhow, now we just have to paint the bookshelf. Perhaps you can't tell from this picture, but it definitely could use a paint job. But that's for another weekend. Now...homework awaits...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Classes Oh Classes!

The day has finally come...Fall Semester has started! While I was anticipated work, I fear that I underestimated the amount. Beau and I will both be busy busy people for the next 3 months. While today was the official first day of classes, Beau started his part time Student Teaching yesterday. He travels to Mililani (a town about 45 mins north of Laie) every Tuesday and Thursday, working as a Student Teacher for High School Spanish 1, Spanish 3, and AP Spanish. He said everything went great yesterday, and that he really likes the school. The most surprising thing? The kids are actually cool! AND, it appears that one of the Spanish teachers is planning on retiring at the end of the school year. Job opening for my husband perhaps?? I hope so! But we will see. We will have plenty of options for next year hopefully.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Hubby

Today is my wonderful husband's birthday! I will first say that he was extremely happy that Alabama beat out Penn State! Go Bama! I'm still working on becoming a better football fan. I'm embracing it though. We currently have an Alabama triangular flag hanging on the outside of our apartment door. Supportive wife? I think so. :)

We spent a fun evening going out to dinner with friends in the next town over. We went to the famous Kahuku Grill, a favorite of Brigham Young University students. Afterwards we all crammed back in to our little studio, and played games and ate cake! I am proud to admit that I handmade an ice cream cake, and it seemed to be quite a hit. Here's the recipe:
  • 20 oreo cookies
  • 1tablespoon-1 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 8-9 ice cream sandwiches (depending on the size)
  • standard size of ice cream of your choosing (I used a 1.75 quart of Blue Bunny cookies and cream)
  1. Coat bottom and side of a 9 inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line side with waxed paper,using spray to help adhere to pan. Trim paper to height of pan.
  2. Finely crush 16 oreos, in a zip lock bag. Add milk; puluse just until mixture holds togther. Set aside
  3. Unwrap 4 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, cut each in quarters (cut once horizontally, once vertically). Stack strips of sandwiches on end, packing them snugly together, around wax-paper-lined pan. Repeat with remaining sandwiches to form a stand up edge. Spoon cookie crumbs into center of pan; press firmly over bottom. Freeze 1 hour.
  4. Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften for roughly 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer ice cream to a bowl and stir until good but firm spreading consistency. Remove pan from freezer. Spread ice cream, across bottom of pan, on top of oreo crust. Continue spreading, til the ice cream is about even with the top of the ice cream sandwich sides.
  5. Swirl whipped topping on top of ice cream, around inner edge of ice cream sandwiches. Crush remaining oreos and sprinkle over top of the cake.
  6. To serve, remove side of pan, then waxed paper. Cut into wedges. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Living in a Studio

So we live in a little studio apartment on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. I can't wait for the day when I can say we live in a CUTE little studio apartment on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. You get the point though. Right now we are car-less, thanks to Transport Services ( Quick pointer, if you ever want your car shipped, NEVER use this company. They picked up our car on July 16th, and we have still not seen it due to "complications" on the company's part. However, this is not the time for me to complain about my car troubles.

I only bring this up, because as mentioned, I live in this tiny town on the North Shore, where there is not much in walking distance, except for a grocery store (thank goodness), and multiple beaches (which I am always thankful for). But I haven't been able to decorate our apartment yet, because I've sadly had no way to go buy anything to help in the creative process.

We bought a few cute things while we were in India, like a cool bedspread and rug, but I am in desperate need of wall decorations. So this next week, I will be searching for cute (and affordable!) decorating ideas online. I have already found one SUPER cute idea, but I'm a little worried about how it will turn out, so I'll keep it on the hush for now. But I look forward to actually having something on my walls!

India, Food for Life

My hubby and I spent about two weeks in India towards the end of July, beginning of August, working on a research project with a professor and a dozen other students from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. There is this non-profit organization, called Food for Life, that we performed a statistical analysis for, to see how effective they were. Well, six weeks and 500 pages of analyses later, we have finally finished up the project.

Being in India was truly an indescribable experience. The children that attend the non-profit school are some of the happiest, most grateful kids I have seen in quite a while. What is most amazing to me, is that these kids have absolutely nothing, and they are still so incredibly happy. The majority of the families we encountered did not have more than a couple changes of clothes, had no indoor toilets, and made less than 30 US dollars a month.

Food for Life, the program that we worked with takes the kids off the street that are considered too poor to receive an education, and gives them just that. Not only do the kids benefit, but the whole family does. Food for Life tries to employ as many of the parents as possible, whether the position be a bus driver, a farmer, or something else. They also teach skills classes, such as sewing to the widows. They then sell their products, and give the money back to the widows, so that they can sustain themselves with an income that wouldn't have received otherwise. It really is an incredible organization. There are always volunteer opportunities at the school. Their website has more information:

A few pointers about India though:

1) Be careful what you carry, the monkeys LOVE to steal things from people (glasses off your face, cameras, watches, etc.) If you get something stolen however, be sure and have crackers or something on you. Surprisingly the monkeys will barter with you. 

2) The cows are considered holy. Be respectful. 

3) Rickshaws are great ways to get around, but be knowledgeable about your money, don't get ripped off.

4) Offer help when you can, but understand that you won't be able to help everyone. That was the hardest part for me.

5) Just embrace the culture. It's extremely different, but the majority of people I met were very kind. Plus, the clothes are beautiful. 

6) Drink BOTTLED water wherever you go.

7) Be smart in what you eat. Stay away from produce, unless it has a thick skin (bananas, coconuts, etc.)

8) If you hear "Radhe," pronounced "Raw-day," it either means hello, or get out of the way.

9) If at all possible, wear a seatbelt, the roads can be quite scary. And by scary I mean terrifying. Red lights and stop lights were considered suggestions.  Suggestions that no one took notice of. 

10) Be adventurous, stay smart, and have fun!