My Gratitude Journal

Finally Hawaii!

When my daughter, Sabrina, was 18 months old, she went on a vacation to the island of Oahu, Hawaii with her dad and me. Since Sabrina was a little girl, she has been asking me to take her back to Hawaii. I told her that I would take her once she graduated from college. Well, she finally graduated from college in December 2016. She graduated early, taking only 3 and a half years to finish. On top of that, she graduated Cum Laude. We were very proud of her! What an accomplishment. We planned her college graduation celebration trip to Hawaii for April and she had her graduation ceremony in May. What a perfect Spring! So for my gratitude list for Spring, I am grateful for:

*My daughter’s college education.

She did it!

*Our Hawaii trip! Finally, Hawaii!

Here is a list of a few of my favorite Hawaiian things:

yes, I do…

-Pina coladas- there’s nothing like having a pina colada in Hawaii. They actually taste better in Hawaii. It was the first thing I ordered on day one of project paradise.

Ok, let’s just get the food posts out of the way. Seriously, they were part of my favorite Hawaiian things, so I have to add them to my list!

Now, that’s a coconut!

-Fresh coconut- Of course, when visiting Hawaii you must have a fresh coconut. We visited a small mom and pop mini farmer’s market store in Hawaii that was similar to a little Whole Foods market. In there you can order a fresh coconut. They cut a hole in it for you and put a straw in it. When you are done, they cut it half so that you can scoop out the coconut meat. So so fresh…

Shoyu chicken, you sho is good…

-Shoyu chicken and macaroni salad- These are must eat foods while in Hawaii. Macaroni salad is a common side dish in Hawaii. Shoyu chicken is chicken marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and brown sugar. They are very delicious and as I found out later, very easy to make. I made both of these dishes when I got back home.  The chicken turned out great and the macaroni salad was okay. But really, I think they just taste better when eaten in Hawaii.

Don’t worry about a thing…cuz every little thing is gonna be alright…

-Acai Bowls- We love acai bowls so of course, we had to have one while in Hawaii. Josh and I shared a “Bob Marley bowl”. It had pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, and hemp seeds on top of the acai. It was mmmm-mmmm good.

So majestic

-Hawaiian flowers- Another one of my favorite things in Hawaii are the flowers. They are so colorful, majestic and fragrant. Every time I saw a flower, I had to stop and take a picture of it. Of course, the pictures don’t do justice to their beauty.

-My morning view- This is one of my favorite Hawaiian memories. I really enjoyed waking up to the view of the ocean and watching the sunrise. Every morning, I would sit on the balcony, sip my morning coffee and enjoy the view. I loved hearing the sounds of the crashing waves.

-The beaches in Hawaii- I love the beaches in Hawaii. They are the best! One of my favorite Hawaiian memories is watching Josh run on the beach. Without fail, as soon as we arrived at the beach, he would kick off his flip flops and start running. He loved the beach, the feel of the sand and water on his feet and the sounds of the crashing waves. He would laugh and scream with joy as he ran. He was so happy. I couldn’t help but laugh and smile.

Josh enjoying the water, while watching the sunset.

-Hawaiian sunsets- We enjoyed watching the sunset in Hawaii. It was so beautiful. This was our view while we waited in line to enter a Luau.  Can’t get any better than that.

Fire!

-While in Hawaii, we went to a Luau. We enjoyed the traditional Hawaiian music and hula dancing. We tried new foods such as poi which is a Polynesian staple food made from the taro plant and is a traditional part of the Hawaiian cuisine.

-Road to Hana- We went on the Road to Hana. We didn’t drive it ourselves. We took a tour bus. Our tour bus driver was great and provided us with lots of stories, legends and history of the Hawaiian culture. There were plenty of waterfalls to admire and we also stopped at a black sand beach.

I enjoyed every minute of this trip. Hawaii is my happy place.

I am grateful for our trip to Hawaii and these wonderful Hawaiian memories with my kids.

My Gratitude Journal

Book Review: My Happy Place by Sheleen Lepar and Helene Pam

Purplesplashstudios.com

I was given the opportunity to review a wonderful children’s journal. “My Happy Place” by Sheleen Lepar and Helene Pam is a self reflection and personal growth journal filled with creative exercises, activities and inspiring quotes. This journal will take your child on an exciting journey of self-discovery.

By engaging in the activities and exercises in this beautifully illustrated journal, your child will have an opportunity for personal growth and self reflection. They will have a chance to creatively express themselves through writing, drawing and coloring. In addition, each exercise will give them an insight of who they are. It will empower them and give them an awareness of their importance in this world. They will have a chance to discover their dreams and reflect on their accomplishments. In turn, this will build self confidence which leads to a better relationship with themselves and with others. It will take them on a path to happiness by teaching them the habits of happy people.

A true happy place is a place deep inside that bubbles and glistens and glows. It grows from the seed that we plant in the world when love and our gratitude flows. In our happy place, we will treasure all life and love and embrace who we are. We’ll nourish our minds and nurture our souls and radiate light like a star”- Helene Pam

There are 4 sections of this journal. One is self reflection. The exercises in this section will help a child discover their inner beauty, reflect on the things that they like about themselves and the things that make them happy as well as express their dreams and things that they are grateful for. The next section is school and hobbies. This section helps them to write out their achievement and goals. Family and friends is another section in which they list the people that they love and how they can express that love to them. It helps them to reflect on the deeds of love and how to be more thankful. The last section is helping the world and how to help the community in big ways and little ways. It gives them ideas on how to take care of our earth and enjoy nature.

At the end of the book, the child will receive praise on completing the book along with a beautiful poem written by Helene Pam part of which states that:

Our world is connected; that’s something we share and love and compassion can spread everywhere”- Helene Pam

In reviewing this journal, I can tell that a lot of love went into the making of this journal. That it is the passion of these two women, Sheleen Lepar and Helene Pam ( a mother daughter duo) to spread happiness and inspire young minds. This journal is also well thought out. The exercises and activities contained in this book provide well researched techniques of personal growth and happiness. Not only were the exercises and activities well thought out and researched but they have a positive vibration which is important for a child. The quotes throughout the book help with self reflection. They are simple enough for a child to understand and deep enough to inspire self reflection. The two poems contained in the book and written by Helene Pam are beautiful and touching. The illustrations are beautiful and whimsical, perfect for a little child (or child at heart person) to enjoy.

The message that I received from this book is a message of love- a love of self and a love for others. When I used this journal with my 8 year old son, it made him smile throughout all the exercises. He had a great deal of introspection and then afterwards, a feeling of satisfaction as well as empowerment, confidence and happiness when he was able to see all the achievements, dreams and goals that he accomplished. My favorite page to do with him was the gratitude tree. It was enlightening as well as introspective to talk about the things he is grateful for everyday. His favorite page was the goals page. He had a great time listing his goals and taking pride in them.

My Happy Place journal is beautifully made. The colors on each page are vibrant and bold. The illustrations are beautiful, cute and whimsical. The book itself is excellent quality. In addition, the pages are of good quality. My son was able to use marker to write in his journal and it did not bleed through. This book makes a wonderful keepsake of your child’s thoughts, dreams, goals and wishes. I will treasure his writings forever.

I highly recommend this journal for your child to build self confidence, learn the habits of happy people, develop and exercise self reflection and self expression and in turn, increase empowerment.

Most importantly, the message of a love of self and a love for others is in this journal and I believe that is the best message of all.

Please visit purplesplashstudios.com/my-happy-place to check out and order this book for your child. You can also check out other wonderful books by Helene Pam and Sheleen Lepar at purplesplashstudios.com/books

Also at Purplesplashstudios.com, you can find some fun extras, such as these wonderful printables:

Don’t forget to check out Purplesplashstudios.com

on Instagram: @purple.splash.studios

on Twitter: @PurpleSplashS

on Facebook: @purplesplashstudios

on Pinterest: @PurpleSplashS

Today I am grateful for wonderful opportunities to be a part of something beautiful and inspirational. Thank you Sheleen for this wonderful opportunity to review  the “My Happy Place” Journal. 

Stay tuned for my review of the “My Gratitude and Dream Journal” also by Sheleen Lepar and Helene Pam.

Sewing

Confessions of a baby clothes hoarder: A quilting story

I have a confession. I’m a hoarder. A baby clothes hoarder. Because for 21 years I kept a bag of my daughter’s baby clothes. For twenty one years. I lugged that garbage bag full of clothes from residence to residence. I have been a faithful hoarder to that bag of clothes. Now, they weren’t all of my daughter’s baby clothes, just my favorite outfits and hats. I just couldn’t part with them. They reminded me of her special baby memories.

From the day I put those baby clothes in that garbage bag with every intention of hoarding them, my goal was to make a quilt out of them. I didn’t even know how to sew back then, let alone sew a quilt. But I figured that one day I would teach myself. I knew it would be a long time before I would teach myself how to sew. So I knew that the sentence for these bag of hoarded baby clothes would be long. Yes, they were treated fairly. They lived in a nice cool garage safely tucked inside a box. I sometimes forgot about them. Every once in a while, I remembered that I had them and reminded myself about my intention to teach myself how to sew a quilt. Well, finally, about a year and a half ago, I taught myself how to sew.

Then this happened:

I finally made my daughter a baby clothes quilt! 21 years later. I made it and presented it to her at Christmas. She loved it! It isn’t a perfectly sewn quilt. But it’s a quilt made from clothes that I put on her when she was a little baby girl. And it’s a quilt made with love.

My little baby girl. Now she is a grown woman and the proud owner of a very special quilt made by her mommy with lots of love. This quilt contains very special memories. Her special memories. My special memories of her.

First party dress from Auntie Sherri and her first Minnie Mouse hat from Disneyland

Like her first baby gap outfit that I loved to death and put on her so many times. It even had little matching baby shoes. Her Minnie Mouse hat that we bought for her at Disneyland. Her first Disneyland hat. Her 1st birthday party dress that her Auntie bought for her.

First Baby Gap outfit, my favorite one for her.

What a great way to piece together and preserve all of your baby’s special memories. It was heartwarming to put this quilt together. As I worked with every article of clothing, I reminisced about my daughter when she was a baby. This quilt is so special because it contains the special memories of my daughter from when she was a little baby girl.

Totally worth the hoarding.

Today I am grateful for babies and memories.