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I was so surprised (and excited!) by how well my tutorial last week (for making your own boho fabric bead bracelet) was received. It saw a lot of action from CraftGawker, some pins, and some FaceBook sharing. It was even my most-viewed post for over a day, which was particularly exciting because my top post almost every single day for months has been the same post. I’m happy something I wrote last spring still gets so much attention, but sometimes it gets me a little bummed out when everyone looks at it instead of newer, better photographed tutorials! I’m not really complaining – just saying.

It may seem strange that I’m doing another bracelet project this week that also involves fabric scraps, but last week’s post got me excited about bracelets again! I’ve actually been mulling this particular tutorial over for about two months and just hadn’t quite worked out how I wanted to string everything together and close it up. After writing last week’s tutorial, I realized that stretch cord was the answer I’d been searching for! Today I’m happy to finally share my tutorial for a mini thread spool bracelet.

Mini Thread Spool Bracelet Tutorial (With Fabric Scraps!) [click to continue…]

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Wordless Wednesday – Seize the Day

seize the day

natashal

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Mango Coconut Quinoa Salad

Quinoa has been gaining popularity for years. I know I’ve been aware of it for at least 7 – but I didn’t try it until less than a year ago! I even have my husband liking quinoa now, which I think is pretty cool. He does love wings, but it’s awesome that he also loves healthier options and doesn’t insist on “man food.” I think he’ll really enjoy this tropical mango coconut quinoa salad once he gets home!

Tropical Mango Coconut Quinoa Salad [click to continue…]

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Visiting Byodo-In Temple, Kahaluu, Hawaii

The Byodo-In Temple at Valley of the Temples on the Windward side of Oahu has been one of my favorite spots to visit ever since my first trip to Hawaii. It’s actually a scale replica of a nearly thousand year old temple in Japan, but it’s beautiful in its own right. I went back again this past Wednesday because I really wanted to take some better photos (now that I’m starting to have a clue about what to do with my camera!). If you’re looking for a few travel tips and advice about visiting Byodo-In, just bear with me for a second or skip down a little bit. =)

Besides actually learning about the settings on my camera, two things that have helped me most in my ongoing journey to improve my photography are shooting with intention and realizing that photos don’t have to be “photorealistic.” If you switch your camera on and just hit the button, the 1/2500 of a second snapshot of what’s before you probably doesn’t convey the same emotional response, connection, or emotion as what’s actually before your eyes. It may well be a very accurate representation of how things looked in that tiny fraction of a second, but it doesn’t convey how what the scene really is and how it feels.

Byodo-In Temple Hawaii

[click to continue…]

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Who out there has trouble throwing away any scrap of fabric, no matter how small or probably useless? I know I do! The only bits I can throw away without regret are the trimmed selvages. I have the hardest time getting rid of these nice little squares created by the method I use to create my rock climbing chalk bags and essential oil bags. I have all these beautiful 2″ and 1.75″ squares that are too small for anything, but look so perfect and pretty!

This project was created with all those little fabric scraps and stash of leftover bits in mind. By turning your fabric scraps into beads, you can both “bust your stash” and make something nifty! The boho style fabric bead bracelets are effortless to wear and are a fun casual summer project, perfect for those rainy days that keep you in when you’d rather be out!

Boho Fabric Bead Bracelet Tutorial

[click to continue…]

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Wordless Wednesday – Mokulua Sunrise

mok sunrise

natashal

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Seeing something labeled a “breakfast cookie” usually makes me laugh out loud. It seems like a lot of the recipes out there are really just cookies that happen to have some oatmeal or dried fruit in them, but still basically seem like a cookie. Paleo cookies also seem a little goofy, too. I mean, if you’re eating Paleo, shouldn’t you be going for whole foods and not “cookies?” I couldn’t help laughing at myself a little when I decided to make these almond banana creations and couldn’t think of anything to call them besides a breakfast cookie. “Small, flour free banana breads” just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

Paleo Almond Banana Breakfast Cookies Recipe [click to continue…]

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Monday Dose of Cute – Whachyou Lookin At?

This is admittedly not one of the best photos I’ve ever taken, but I had to share it because of the look on the giraffe’s face!

giraffe

natashal

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Wordless Wednesday – First Light

first light sunrise

natashal

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Easy Cuban-Style Black Beans and Rice

I’m pretty sure I could serve Papi Chulo black beans and rice every day and he’d be fine with it. Well, as long as I packed him his customary salad for lunch! The night before deployment I made his favorite roast pork tenderloin with black beans & rice and a side of plantains. He loved it. Some people might want a fancy dinner out before leaving or after returning home, but he always wants his Cuban favorites. He is always most excited about made from scratch black beans, but those take a long time to make and are usually a truly special occasion treat. He’s bragged on my homemade black beans to his dad, so I figure they must be pretty good!

On normal days, I use canned black beans, but I doctor them up a bit. This “weeknight” black bean recipe is what I’m sharing here today. In addition to using canned black beans, I also use bacon in this recipe instead of smoked ham hocks. The bacon really adds that certain something, but it is optional. If you don’t have bacon or don’t eat it, feel free to leave it out for a vegetarian-friendly dish.

Weeknight Cuban-Style Black Beans and Rice [click to continue…]

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