Friday, November 9, 2012

Lego Party, Maui Vacation and Halloween

i know it's been a very (very!) long while since i've posted anything here.  all has been very well, but very (very!) busy, and i wasn't sure if anyone was even reading my blog anymore, until someone commented that she enjoys reading my blog and checks in sometimes to see if there's anything new (thank you for the love, angela, your comment made my day!)  my friends and family, who were my original inspiration for starting this blog, are all facebook friends and know all my business anyway, but then i started catering to a different audience, and haven't yet decided what kind of blog this should be, so it's a little bit of everything and, sometimes, a little bit of nothing.
since my last post we've had some babies born within our extended family, we celebrated my son's 5th birthday, he started kindergarten, my family went on a vacation to maui, i started babysitting my friends daughter again two days a week for the school year, i started a new business that's still sort of in the trial period (mary kay), we battled colds and a stomach flu, i'm currently making more jewelry for my sister to sell in her spa, and i've had so many side-projects going on i wouldn't know where to start telling you about them all!
and to catch up, this post may get a little photo-heavy so hopefully it won't take too long to load.

elliott turned 5 and asked for a lego party.  colin and i made this lego character stand for the kids to have fun with.  he built the structure, i painted the figure.
the goodie bags had homemade lego cookies (sugar cookies with royal icing and smarties for the dots on top), personalized laminated bookmarks (each with a picture of their own lego-self that i made with's mini-mizer 3.0), and a lego mini-figure.
i learned how to make the lego cake from a betty crocker video tutorial.   i was very excited when i finally found the lego candles at target!
there were also colouring pages for the kids (and a couple of the adults) to have fun with.
my little guy is suddenly so big!
here are the kids on the third of three flights (we got rerouted due to unexpected airplane technical difficulties) on our way to maui, hawaii, where we took a 10 day vacation with my parents, my sister and her husband, and my brother and his wife.  the kids were absolutely dreamy on the flights, i did a lot of research for ways to keep them comfortable and entertained.  my favourite advice was to make take-off's and landings a game, upon departure asking the kids if they could tell the moment the plane left the ground and was in the air, and the moment the wheels landed back down on the tarmac.  we also gave them gum for the pressure in their ears, lots of water to drink out of cups with straws, and made sure to pack our tablet, portable dvd player with their favourite videos, colouring books, crayons and stickers, and elliott's nintendo ds.  the two biggest hits were the airplane pillows my husband found at the airport (the fishie in the picture above and a froggie for my son) and wikki stix that the kids received at restaurants during the trip.  they now live in my purse for boring moments.
we stayed at makani sands, a beach-front condominium in honokowai (about 15 minutes north of lahaina).  my parents, my sister and her husband, and my husband, kids and i all stayed together in one of their 3 bedroom rentals very comfortably.  there was also a hide-a-bed that my brother and his wife slept on a couple of the nights we were there (most of the time they stayed at her uncle's house).  we all loved having a kitchen to share, it saved us a lot of money so that we didn't have to eat out for every meal.  we took turns making dinners on the nights we didn't go out, which was really fun.  our unit was on the 3rd and 4th floors, the views were incredible.
the condo pool was such a big hit with the kids, there were no waves and water didn't taste like salt.
thanks to the life jackets we bought for the kids before the trip, elliott was able to swim on his own (with close supervision, of course) in the ocean and the pool.  he loved the independence and we loved not having to hold him the whole time.  we haven't exactly had much time in the water at home, we don't swim much, nor has he taken lessons, so it was a life-saver.  literally ;)
of course molly would find the sliding doors most exciting part of staying in the condo.  silly girl.
i easily got used to witnessing these incredible sunsets every single evening.
me and my (very sunburnt) husband <3
on our "girls day" visit to lahaina we made sure to hang out under the banyan trees where molly put on an impromptu modelling show for us.
all 4 of us in a picture together.  for some reason this doesn't happen very often.
the maui ocean center is a must to visit if you're in maui with kids.  it's gorgeous.
if you ever find yourself in maui, a meal (or two, or three) at cheeseburger in paradise in lahaina is A MUST.  my husband, a connoisseur of burgers, claimed his bbq bacon burger was "the best burger he'd ever had in his life".  it might have had a little to do with the great beer and amazing ocean views, but mostly it was just that delicious.
elliott taking a moment to chill out between swims
we waited an hour in the pool-side line-up for the gazebo restaurant in napili.  again, the kids were champs.
they served the kids mickey mouse pancakes with whipped cream :)
and my banana macadamia nut pancakes with whipped cream and coconut syrup were out of this world!  i couldn't finish them, the portion was so big.
it was pretty awesome to see the very beautiful napili beach, the same beach my dad and i would gaze longingly at in the months before our trip on the napili sunset resort webcam.
it took a few days but finally the water suddenly making its way up the shore didn't freak molly out.
elliott loved it right off the bat.
we had some amazing food while we were in maui, including coconut shrimp at bubba gump shrimp co., the burgers at cheeseburger in paradise, the absolute most incredible ahi poke tacos i've ever had in my life at lahaina fish co., those awesome pancakes at the gazebo restaurant, pasta, burgers, pizza and pulled pork with rice at the maui brew pub, and the best ever flatbread blt (pictured above) at the hula grill barefoot bar, with it's applewood bacon, spinach, tomatoes, and goat cheese.  so good i would have eaten it all over again. 
molly enjoying yet another beautiful maui sunset from our lanai (the hawaiian word for balcony) with her super curly hair (it's usually just wavy, but it curled right up in all that hawaiian humidity).
after some heavy meals it was refreshing to have a simple, healthy breakfast at moose mcgillicuddy's (a bar by night but a fun place to grab breakfast by morning). 
my sibs and our spouses and i went back to cheeseburger in paradise together for happy hour, where everything on the happy hour menu was $3 each at 3:00 and $4 at 4:00pm, including chips and salsa, sliders and fries, a couple different beers on tap, mai tai's, and pina colada's (yum yum!)  that hour was indeed very happy.
even i think a cold beer on a hot day looks refreshing and i don't even like beer.
we visited the maui tropical plantation and took the tram tour, which was fun for the kids and very informative.  i learned more things about pineapples, coconuts, coffee, mangos, bananas and macadamia nuts than i ever thought i would.
aren't my island kids just the cutest?  i love this picture of them together.
baldwin beach in paia was a fun beach to visit, since it's on the north side of the island the waves were much bigger than the west side where we were staying.  we found a section nicknamed "baby beach" on the west end where the waves were blocked by a reef, making the water a little calmer to swim in for the kids.  molly still preferred to play in the sand instead.
before our trip i sewed molly this towel dress to hop into after a swim to help dry her off and keep her warm.  i adapted my pattern using ideas from both crafterhours' "beach towel dress tutorial-ish" and a little inspiration from MADE's "beach robe".  i'm super happy with how it turned out, my mom asked if i'd make one for her ;)
all good things must come to an end, and we had a tearful goodbye with my parents and sister and her husband (they were still staying for another week after we left).  the trip home went so smoothly, though it was a very long day of travel that direction since we essentially lost 3 hours with the time difference.
for this years (very dark and rainy!) halloween the kids wanted to be jake and izzy from disney junior's "jake and the neverland pirates" cartoon.  i wasn't about to spend $50 for a jake costume and $30 for an izzy costume from the disney store, so we figured out ways to make our own with some clothes we already had, some fabric, a horrible wig (haha!) and a little imagination.  most people who opened their door for them while trick-or-treating had no idea who jake and izzy were, but they said they were the cutest buccaneers they'd every seen, and my kids' great manners charmed them all.  i'm so proud of those two!


  1. Awww yay for it all! The Lego creations were AMAZING. I hope I'm that awesome of a mom if I have kids one day. Also, thanks for listing all of the great places you visited in Maui - Tim and I are going to go over the summer and we'll have to check those places out :)

    1. thanks jennifer! i have a lot of fun planning my kids' birthday parties, i was really excited when elliott picked a "lego" theme instead of the legend of zelda.
      some of the places we went in maui were re-visits from when we'd gone before, some were new, all were awesome. i had a pinterest board devoted to maui, there's wayyyy more to do there than we did but we had the kids and really wanted lots of relaxation time instead of packing in tourist attractions. my brother, his wife and my sisters husband went up to the volcano (haleakala) and said it was completely breathtaking, and on our trip 4 1/2 years ago the three of them (the adventurous ones) drove the very winding road to hana (too scary for me, too many cliffs!) and found many cool waterfalls, black sand beaches, and places to swim and see along the way. a "must", they say.

  2. It seems you have a good bonding time with you family. It is really nice to spend vacation with your family. We also do that before.

    Canadian Visa

  3. Is it possible to get some hints on how to make that Lego photo-prop? I am looking to make one myself soon and just need an idea of how to get started.

    1. There are many methods (google "build a face in hole board") but my husband built ours using 2 large pieces of plywood that we already had lying around and added 2x4 angled supports to attach them together on the back. The weight of the kids standing in the back piece kept it from falling over, if you are outdoors you could also attach the front piece to wooden stakes driven into the ground. Then we used my sons height as a guide to put in a well-sanded hole cutout in the front and I did free-hand painting for the design.
      Hope that helps, good luck!

  4. wow!It's Awesome experience.I think you really well enjoyed.those kids are so pictures.I would love to see this place.It's great idea for me.thanks for share with us.

  5. Wooo...Awesome experience.your kid's look so cute...and one of the picture when they are pose togeter is really awesome.Thank for sharing.