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Monday, October 29, 2012

October Photo Challenge 2012: Day 22 through Day 28

Day 22:  Bokeh

I love how bright and colorful this picture is, as well as how the bokeh comes through!

Day 23:  Dark

I know, I know, it's technically a silhouette, but it's dark too!  Plus, I can't help but love the sun shining through the clouds =)

Day 24:  Black & White

I think this is probably one of my favorite pictures of Liam.  I just can't decide if I like B&W or color better!

Day 25:  Bright

I absolutely love the colors that you can see at Bellows Beach on the windward side of Oahu.  So gorgeous!

Day 26:  New

It isn't a terribly good picture (iPhone, you failed me!) but this was absolutely a new experience for me!  I've been through countless hurricanes, but never a tsunami.  It was kind of creepy!

Day 27:  Old

For this prompt, I decided to go for a pretty old picture of Liam when he was a puppy -- only a little younger than Lila is now!

Day 28:  Hard

I'd pretty much forgotten just how much hard work and patience goes into raising a puppy.  It definitely is not easy!  (But it's fun to glance up at the above picture and compare how she looks at this age versus how Liam looked!)


If you'd like to join in with the October Photo Challenge 2012, head over to Our Wired Lives to check out the prompts and get the information to link up!  =)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  I can't wait to see what happens in our meeting today!

2.  Teamwork is tough but fun =)

3.  I had a fun day yesterday!  We should do more island exploring together.

4.  I can't wait for all of our interisland travel next year!

5.  Man, it's good to have you home.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October Photo Challenge 2012: Day 15 through Day 21

Day 15:  Accomplishment

When Mr. L and I first moved to Hawaii, one of our "goals" was to see each of the three animals Hawaii is known for -- the Hawaiian Monk Seal ('Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua), the humpback whale (kohola), and the Green Sea Turtle (honu).  I'm happy to say we've accomplished this goal and seen all three!

Day 16:  Edible

One of my favorite pictures from the Nutella Ghost Cakes I made this week -- yum!

Day 17:  Shadow

I had a little trouble coming up with an idea for this picture until I looked over at my window one night and saw my Halloween decorations (foam bats I have hanging from some gauze fabric) throwing their shadows over the walls.  However, I wasn't entirely happy with how the picture came out, so I played around with it post-processing until I found it acceptable.  Kind of looks like the bat signal now, haha.

Day 18:  Corner

Holiday printables like this Halloween subway art make me super happy =)  Check out some more subway art here!

Day 19:  Noise

I am pretty sure it's not hard to imagine the sounds I heard when I took this photo.  Ahh, relaxation...

Day 20:  Nature

I absolutely love the abundance of flowers at the Ho'omalahui Botanical Garden on the windward side of Oahu.

Day 21:  Air

Watching the clouds and mist float over the Ko'olau Mountain Range is a magical, almost otherworldly experience.


If you'd like to join in with the October Photo Challenge 2012, head over to Our Wired Lives to check out the prompts and get the information to link up!  =)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  Date nights are the best.

2.  So are hugs.

3.  And hand holding.

4.  And fishy kisses.

5.  And having you home.  <3

ily <3

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nutella Ghost Cakes

After seeing this deliciously easy recipe over on The Pioneer Woman, I knew it would be an absolutely perfect way to utilize one of the new Halloween cookie cutters I'd just purchased, an adorable little ghost shape.  So I set to work assembling my ingredients!

All you need is a rectangular angel food cake (or a pound cake, if you're me and you can't find a rectangular angel food cake in your store -- go figure!), a ghost cookie cutter (make sure it isn't too big!), some Nutella, some Cool Whip, and some black writing gel for the face.

Get started by cutting some spooky ghosts out of the cake...

And then bring out that delicious little jar of Nutella.

Slather it on one of the ghosts generously...

And make a little sandwich!

Don't forget to toss your pouting Schnauzer a little love (sorry buddy, no chocolately delicious Nutella for you!) when you catch a little break.

Then take your little stacked cake (or cakes) and throw them in the freezer for about a half hour for the Nutella to set.  After it's done, whip out the Cool Whip and frost that bad boy up, then grab your writing gel and go to town!

As you can tell, I'm obviously a little decoratively challenged, but I still found him slightly adorable.  Adorable enough to slice part of his body off, at least.

Let me just tell you, this dessert was cool, moist, and delicious.  One cake is a perfect serving for one person, and you can make them ahead of time, freeze them, and thaw them for a few minutes before serving.  And don't hesitate to get creative with the filling if Nutella isn't your thing!  I'll be trying them again soon with chocolate ganache which is sure to be just as yummy.  You can also test out different shapes (like a pumpkin!) and add a little food coloring to your Cool Whip to get the right look.  The possibilities are endless!

If you decide to make this for your Halloween party this year, I highly doubt any of these little guys will be left behind.  I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October Photo Challenge 2012: Day 8 through Day 14

Day 8:  Close-Up

I love looking at the different kinds of sand around the island and noticing all of the parts each kind is comprised of.

Day 9:  Upside Down

Schnauzer wrestling almost always involves one of the two being upside down, kicking and growling.

Day 10:  Favorite

Watching the sunrise at Lanikai Beach is one of my absolute favorite things to do on Oahu.  And this might be cheating just a little bit, but since I only do this with Mr. L, y'all will just have to deal with an older picture from a past blog post!  =)

Day 11:  From Up High

This is another oldie (but goodie!) taken from the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout overlooking the stunning windward side of Oahu.

Day 12:  Hands

This paw might not exactly be a hand, but it's amusing to see how much Liam uses it like one when he needs to open a door or get my attention!

Day 13:  Seat

Easily one of the most comfortable seats in the house (and Liam's favorite!).

Day 14:  Silhouette

I love these little Schnauzer silhouette printables I have hanging up in the house.  On this one, it says, "Keep Calm and Hug a Schnauzer."  =)


If you'd like to join in with the October Photo Challenge 2012, head over to Our Wired Lives to check out the prompts and get the information to link up!  =)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  Plans changing makes me super, super sad =(

2.  On the bright side, it means I get to put in longer hours and make more money which will be great for Christmas!

3.  I'm really getting excited about some of your possible career opportunities for your last sea duty ever.

4.  I can't wait to snuggle on the couch and watch TV with you <3

5.  Not too much longer, my love!

ily <3

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting to Know Hawaii: Byodo-in Temple

The Need to Knows:
  • The Byodo-in Temple is located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe on the windward (eastern) side of Oahu.  The address is 47-200 Kahekili Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744.  Here's the Google Maps link:

View Larger Map
  • It is open from 9AM to 5PM daily, and it costs $3 per adult, $2 per senior citizen, and $1 per child to enter.  I'd allow about an hour or so to explore the grounds and temple -- in fact it would be a great stop for a leisurely picnic lunch.
  • The Temple has appeared in numerous television shows including Hawaii Five-0 and Lost.
  • It is actually a part of the cemetery, so please be respectful when visiting this beautiful area.  Also remember to remove your shoes before entering the temple (there are signs to remind you in case you forget).
  • Fun fact - it was actually entirely built without using a single nail!
  • Wedding and funeral services are both frequently held here.
  • There are woods surrounding the temple and grounds, so if you are prone to mosquito bites it is probably a good idea to bring some bug spray.
  • A gift shop with some novelty items is located on the grounds a bit behind the temple, and restrooms are behind the gift shop.

    The Byodo-in Temple is a gorgeous, picturesque spot nestled at the foot of the Koo'lau Mountain Range in Kaneohe, Oahu.  The Temple was established on the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii and is a smaller-scale replica of the 950-year old Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan (a United Nations World Heritage Site).

    It's relatively easy to find (right off of Kamehameha Highway and through the cemetery) and it's a wonderful place to find some serenity and relaxation in what would probably be a very busy vacation!

    We started off counterclockwise and came first to the Sacred Bell (or Bon-sho).  I can't remember if we wrung it or not, but there was a mom and kid in front of us that did!

    After that we wandered a little around the wooded area and pond close to the bell and admired the beautiful flowers and plants among the grounds.

    We then meandered to the temple itself, removed our shoes, and stepped inside to view the Amida Buddha, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world.  It's huge -- apparently over 9 feet tall.

    Afterwards we checked out the gift shop (a nice selection of potential souvenirs there at decent prices) and the wildlife in the ponds.

    Overall, we had a nice, peaceful visit at the Byodo-in Temple.  Although it doesn't take long to tour the grounds and temple, I still highly recommend stopping by, even if just for a picnic lunch, so you will be able to witness its beauty in person.

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    October Photo Challenge 2012: Day 1 through Day 7

    Welcome to the first week of the October Photo Challenge 2012!  I've decided that for this month's challenge I will be grouping my photos up into weekly recaps every Sunday to make the process easier on me while I juggle work and Schnauzer responsibilities =)  So without further ado, here are this week's prompts and my pictures:

    Day 1:  Self-Portrait

    I'm just going to throw it out there that's it is pretty difficult to get good pictures of both yourself and your pets when you're the one wielding the camera.  I have some little squirmers!

    Day 2:  Fashion

    I love how a cute pair of shoes can make me feel beautiful (and tall!).  These wedges are one of my favorite quintessential summer shoes -- good thing I live in Hawaii and can wear them all year round!

    Day 3:  Home

    As you can tell, I call my mom a LOT.  =)
    Home is a very loaded word for me right now, especially since I don't consider Hawaii to be my home even though I love it here, and I'm very homesick for my "real" home.  So when I feel the need to connect with home, my iPhone becomes my best friend.

    Day 4:  Love

    Let's face it - when you're separated from your husband for long stretches of time with absolutely zero communication, it's next to impossible to show your love for one another.  That's why I framed our wedding day letters to each other and hung them up in our collage of family pictures in the hallway as another way of reminding myself of the day we committed our lives to one another.

    Day 5:  Sunset

    I love Hawaiian sunsets!

    Day 6:  Animal

    What did you think I was going to pick for this prompt, a bird or something?!  I'm so happy with how Liam and Lila have become best friends over the past few weeks.

    Day 7:  From a Distance

    I love visiting the dog beach on Hickam AFB and watching the dogs and families splash around in the water with the Waianae Mountain Range looming in the background.


    If you'd like to join in with the October Photo Challenge 2012, head over to Our Wired Lives to check out the prompts and get the information to link up!  =)