Monthly Archive for December, 2012

The Birthday Thank You Card Tradition Continues

This is a copy (albeit purposely blurred) of the Birthday Thank You Photo Card we created and sent this year.

I’m a huge proponent of sending Thank You cards. Claire is finally able to write her own notes, and she loves doing it. If this is one tradition that is passed down to other generations, I’ll feel as though I’ve contributed something beneficial to a polite society.

One thing I’ve always done is take photos of the party and make those into a Thank You Photo Card.  Claire writes a personal note on a sticky-note that we put on the back of each photo.  (I just use photoshop to create the collage and save it as a .jpg.  I then have them printed at Tar-jay.  Cheap!  Easy!  Two of my favorite things…)

A Thank You & a Souvenir of the party all wrapped into one? Perfect!

This year, we had Claire’s party at a “paint your own pottery” place. It was a huge hit! While the party-goers painted, and I helped facilitate the details (and take photos), Daddy painted a plate to commemorate the occasion.

We had all the kids write their name on a balloon that he drew on the plate, and he painted their signatures. You can see the end result in the middle of the above Thank You Card Photo.

He did an amazing job!

For other birthday-related posts, click here!

Our 4th Annual Rasmussen Ladies’ Night Out in Fancy Dresses – a.k.a. An Evening at The Nutcracker!

Claire, Angela, and JoAnn are ready for The Nutcracker! Opening Night, Friday, December 7th

With a name like Maha’ulepu, we just called it Silky Sand Beach with the Roaring Trail.

I took a picture of this sign so that we could remember how to spell the name of our favorite beach: Maha ‘ulepu.

This beach area is on the map of Kauai, but we’d never ventured there before. The last time my husband and I were on the island, back in 2010, we did a lot of exploring for a week, but for some reason, we never checked out this part of the south shore.

It was fantastic!

The roads to get there were a bit tricky, but nothing we were nervous about…especially in a rental car. 😉

The sand on this beach felt like silk. Seriously…it was incredible. We had fun renaming various beaches around Kauai. This one was Silky Beach (with the Roaring Trail), and another was Brown Sugar Beach. You get the picture.

Wait. There was a roaring trail? Yes, there was, and it scared us half to death!

We followed the well-worn hiking trail along the coast line, and the views were just incredible.

In one part, you can take in all the colors of the ocean, and as you’re gazing breathlessly out to sea, little do you know there is a blowhole of sorts behind you, off the trail on the opposite side. It would scream with a hissing roar at intervals. It was so shocking!

As I mentioned, the sand was the softest we’ve ever felt (hence our nickname for it being silky), yet the rocks were sharp and craggy.

It was such a contrast of soft and jagged, dangerous and beautiful.

We spent hours exploring here, playing in the sand with our shadows while hiking the dunes…

Shadow Portraits

…frolicking in the pools left by the lowering tide and then watching the waves rise to reclaim our playground.

Yes, this is real. Unaltered.

These are the pools from the above photo.

…and taking it all in, the peace of the island seeping into every pore.


It was hard to leave.*

*Needless to say, that was a recurring theme of our Kauai Vacation.

Birthday Party Lunch Pack Idea

We had Claire’s 7th Birthday Party at the local pottery painting place (more details on that to come), and the timing was going to put it pretty close to lunch-time.

The party was to be from 10am to 11:30am. The first hour was devoted to painting their masterpieces, and the last half hour would be devoted to a light lunch and ice cream cake and gifts.

The kids at the party are all in the same school and have lunch at the same time, around 11am, so I thought it would be best to serve a lunch before the dessert.

What did we serve? How do you serve kids quickly and with as little chaos as possible? When doing the party plan, this idea popped into my head, and it worked like a charm:

The paper plate fits inside a gallon ziplock bag.

Included in the pack was a spoon wrapped in a party napkin, carton of milk, applesauce, cut carrots, Pirate Booty, and a ham & cheese sandwich.

The plates came in sets of 8, and there were to be 7 party-goers, so I made up all 8 to have an extra, just in case we needed it.  All of these lunches fit in our little cooler, and when it was time to eat, they were extremely easy to distribute, and the kids had fun digging in!

If we have another party that falls around lunch time, we’ll definitely be doing this again!

Our shadows play with the wind, waves, mountains, sea.

The mornings on Kauai are magical. I’m not a morning person on the mainland. I could see that changing if I lived on an island paradise…maybe, just maybe.

East Shore of Kauai – Kauai Beach Resort – Lihue, HI – November 2012

I look at this photo my hubby took, and my heart is happy. Our shadows play with the wind, waves, mountains, sea.