Wednesday, August 23, 2017

freshening up the 'do

it wouldn't be the beginning of a new school year without a fresh haircut, amirite?  not to mention, the ends of the bean's hair were pretty dry and crunchy.  and it's so long and thick that it's actual work to get it brushed up into that high cheer ponytail she needs for practice.  so we made an appointment at the local kids' salon and headed over one day after her math tutoring session.

she'd busted out her favorite accessories that day, so they were part of her "before" shot.


such a goober.  those pom poms!  and the glasses!  oy vey.  i still think she looks cute, and it'll be fun when she gets older and looks back at these pictures and chuckles along with the rest of us.

i teased her about picking one of the circus animals to sit on, and she gave me a look when it was her turn and she was led to one of the regular salon chairs.  but then it was time to settle in and follow the stylist's instructions as she got to work on that thick mane.


we'd asked for a basic straight across, no layers cut.  simple enough.  a few snip, snip, snips and away went all those dry, split ends.


just three inches off and look at how much hair was on the floor:


and the "after":


this length is so much easier to manage, for both of us.  she doesn't struggle with getting the tangles out anymore and the only difficulty i have with doing her braids and ponytails now is that she's getting too dang tall.  it's at the point to where i either have to stand on a stepstool or have her sit down for me to do her hair.  sheesh.

stop growing so fast, kid.  i'm not ready to let my little girl go yet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

when it rains...

no no, of course it isn't actually raining.  heh.  it's just that...well, since we returned from our fantastic hawaiian vacation i've gotten to make what seems like a bazillion cookies.  it'd been a pretty good long while since i had a cookie blitz like this, and the fun thing is that all of the designs were new to me.

you know how i sucked it up and bought a printer dedicated to printing edible images?  it kinda seemed like a frivolous purchase, but in all actuality it's already paid for itself more than a couple of times over by now.  one of my cousins got married (recap on that later), and my mom had me do some cookies to hand out at the rehearsal dinner.  she wasn't sure what sort of designs she wanted, but when i reminded her that i could put a picture of the happy couple on them, she decided that was the best option.


i really need to work on my straight lines and simple circles, huh?  eek.

i also had one of the ladies from the bean's school ask me to do some for a party she was throwing to wish her college-bound daughter good luck for her first year away from home.


and then one of the ladies in the office hit me up to make some for a ceremony they were doing in the gym during the first week of school.


one of my mom friends asked me to do some for her son's 7th birthday, and he's a huge l.a. kings fan.


these were for a lip gloss party.  i was kind of dying a little because i wasn't happy with how they turned out at all, but my friend was stoked and said they were a hit at the party.  thank goodness.


i did these for a mom on my local facebook page.  the plaque cookies were flooded first with plain white icing, left to dry completely and then i went back and painted them with some watered-down gray food dye.  i hadn't used that technique in a really long time, and i really love how these turned out.


my friend amber told me that she ran into someone at her gym who said that she was a longtime blog reader (which is super cool!) and that she recognized amber from it.  how funny, right?  i love when stuff like that happens.  anyway, she was throwing a party for her denver broncos-loving husband, and these were part of the dessert table:


and last but not least, our friend's daughter and son have birthdays really close together.  they're huge, HUGE disneyland fans (even more so than us, if that's possible!) and put together the most awesome party ever, with mickeys galore and E-ticket topped cupcakes.  these ear hats were extra fun for me to make, a twist on the other miskey-themed cookies i've done in the past:


now i have to think of something fun to do for my l.a. county fair submission.  i have to turn them in next week and i'm racking my brain for ideas.  there are a ton of designs i've always wanted to do and of course i can't think of a single one.  and last year i noticed that there's a PINK ribbon for 4th place. i've already taken home 1st, 2nd and 3rd...so this year i want that ribbon.

COME ON, 4TH PLACE.

Monday, August 21, 2017

sneaking in one last hawaii recap

so i was browsing through our pictures from the trip and realized that i'd left out one whole day.  i'm pretty sure you wouldn't care either way, but i know one day i'll want to look back at the trip and wonder why i didn't bother with it and be all bummed, so you're stuck with the recap anyway.  and this was right after we'd eaten at liliha bakery and stopped at the mochi shop.  i bet my phone was being all weird about transferring photos and that's why i forgot all about this stuff.  oh well.

we were just kind of driving aimlessly towards north shore when we came across the site of an old sugar mill that's been repurposed into a surfboard factory and a few gift shops.  it looked interesting, and so we pulled in to check it out.




that last shop offered a free chocolate and coffee tour, so of course we got out of the car and went in to check it out.  they had a ton of old hawaii souvenirs and memorabilia for sale.




there was a coffee and shave ice stand:


and of course, lots and lots of local snacks and coffee and things.



this made me a little sad, because we've had to give up the hula lessons since they conflict with cheer practice.


we headed outside in the blazing hot sun to take our free coffee and chocolate tour and got to see coffee beans as they go from tree to packing.



 they remove the beans from those colorful gourds and spread them out to let them dry in the sun.


we even got to taste one.  it's dry and crunchy, kind of like a nut, and not as bitter as you'd imagine.  the bean, of course, was not a fan.  heh.


here's a cacao tree.  now the bean started getting a little more excited.


back inside the shop, we got to taste a few varieties of the chocolate that they make.  this is the 70% dark chocolate:


they make a delicious chocolate-covered macadamia nut brittle, too.


semisweet chocolate, best for fun stuff like chocolate chip cookies or shoving straight into your mouth.  this was my favorite.


and we got to try the milk chocolate too.


they sell different flavors of peanut butter, too.  this one had a coconut tinge to it that i liked, but the old lady was not a fan.


nor did she care for the elvis version, because it was banana flavored and she hates bananas.


by then we were all hot and sweaty, which could only mean one thing:  beach time!



she'd made so much fun of my parasol when i showed it to her, but when she said she was worried about getting too much sun she sure was happy i'd brought it.


after we'd gotten our fill of the sun for the day, we made our traditional stop at matsumoto's for shave ice.  although we'd already decided that waiola is actually much, much better, it's just not a hawaii trip without matsumoto's.


the line, of course, was incredibly and rather stupidly long.  the hub volunteered to stand in it while we went inside and looked around.  he's such a keeper.


they'd done some pretty extensive remodeling since the last time we were here.




we rejoined the hub in line and noticed that there are actually instructions for how to order now.  i suppose it streamlines the process since there's always a line like that.



i love reading text on japanese snacks.  it's always entertaining and cheerful...like this:


we placed our orders for shave ice and went down the line watching the process as they made it for us.



yum.  and yay!



on our way back to the hotel, we passed aloha tower.  last time i was here was when the old lady was about 2 and we were getting on a cruise ship.  ah, the memories.


so this was the first time that we'd actually stayed on waikiki beach, right in the middle of all the action.  and we found that while we loved the surfrider, we didn't love all the crowds.  and i think it's always like that down there.  maybe next time we'll try a different island, like maui.   or even kauai, which is the hub's preference.  we'll see.
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