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How to Make Your own Reusable Hot/Cold Pack

Folks who know us also know that Papi Chulo and I tend to be pretty active people. We love heading to CrossFit, but also enjoy hiking, paddling, surfing, and rock climbing. All this activity means waking up with sore arms and legs is at least a once a week occurrence around here. For me, the best way to soothe aching muscles is with a hot pack, but I got sick of buying boxes of them. Remembering a reusable hot pack I used to own (it was a furry, stuffed animal fox that draped over your shoulders!), I decided to make a versatile, reusable hot/cold pack for myself. It’s great for sore muscles, headaches, toothaches, and more!

DIY Reusable Hot/Cold Pack

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Motocross Track

motocross track



Etsy Treasury Tuesday – Fall Flowers

Fall here isn’t very similar to the fall most other people in this hemisphere are experiencing, but they do have one thing in common – flowers! Sure, they are different types of flowers, but they’re still flowers. Fall Flowers is the theme for today’s Etsy treasury. I hope you enjoy!

Fall Flowers Etsy treasury



So y’all know I usually post pictures of cute critters on Mondays, but certainly not always! Sometimes there’s something else cute in my life that I really want to share (like our wedding photos that were posted on Monday a couple months ago!).

I was browsing Etsy a few days ago when I saw an ornament that read “Our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.” Hey, I realized, that’ll be us! This was quickly followed by another realization; maybe we should send out Christmas cards. Isn’t sending Christmas cards one of those things you’re supposed to do as ‘an adult?’ The problem is that, as I’m sure you realize, I’m not really the type of person who’s happy with mailing things “out of a box.” I like giving handmade gifts, I made Easter and Mother’s Day cards this year, and I even made our wedding invitations! A box of cards from the store just doesn’t seem “us,” but I’m honestly a little carded-out at the moment. I’ve made a lot of invitations and thank you cards recently!

That’s why I was pretty excited when I realized that Minted.com has way more than wedding invitations and save the date cards. I kept seeing the website advertised in emails from various wedding websites I’d visited, but I didn’t know it had such a variety of non-wedding items, too. The holiday card collection, in particular, caught my eye because it’s fun. In a nice way, not a goofy way. The cards are classy, customizable, and look like they’re designed by creative people.

So now I have a problem – I like too many of the designs! Oh, and I have too many “favorite” wedding photos to choose from, plus Papi Chulo is currently out to sea so I can’t badger him for an opinion. That means I need your help picking which card design and photo to use! It was really hard to narrow it down, but I finally picked out my top three choices:

This first card is a favorite because it has hand-painted looking bunting on top and it’s foil pressed. I think theres’s something really cool about a Christmas card that shines! I also like the overall “handmade” vibe.

Watercolor Bunting card from MintedThis “Merry and Married” card is fun and definitely fits the ‘our first Christmas’ theme! Plus, I like the hand lettered feel (you know how interested in hand lettering I’ve been recently!)

Married and Merry Minted Card

And, of course, I had to search for something Hawaiian and found this Mele Kalikimaka card:

Mele Kalikimaka Minted Card

Now for the top photo choices! I already included my very favorite picture as a wallet-sized photo in thank you cards, so I don’t want to use a picture that’s too similar to that one. I really like this picture of us on a dock right next to the ceremony site. It would work well with the first card option.


This picture of us by the tree we got married under has been Papi Chulo’s favorite since he first saw it.


We do also have several “traditional” wedding portrait shots, too, like this one:


Now that you’ve seen my favorite options, I need your help! By the time Papi Chulo returns to port, it will be a little late to order custom-made cards and get them sent out from Hawaii, so I can’t bug him for help, but I also can’t make up my mind.

Which card design is your favorite?

Which photo do you think would look best with it?

Thanks so much for your help!


This was posted in collaboration with Minted, who gave me permission to post screenshots, but all opinions and dilemmas are my own!



How to Make your Own DIY Bamboo Wedding Arch

Remember that pretty paper flower garland tutorial from a few weeks ago? Today I’m going to show you how to make your own bamboo wedding arch to hold all that garland and transform it into a beautiful backdrop for your wedding ceremony or photo booth. It cost less than $50 and an hour of active involvement to make, which I think is pretty good since bamboo wedding arches typically cost a couple hundred dollars to buy and aren’t as easy to set up virtually anywhere!

DIY Bamboo Wedding Arch [click to continue…]


Wordless Wednesday – PSA Hawaii Style

clean up after



Etsy Treasury Tuesday – Because I’m Happy

Something pretty cool happened yesterday; I got my 100th review on Etsy!

100 reviews

They’re even almost all positive. All but one, in fact. That lone, one star review ruined my week because the “problem” could have been completely, quickly, and satisfactorily resolved if the buyer had contacted me at any point in the two months between the purchase and writing the review. Very frustrating, but the 99 positive reviews mean I still have a 5-star average. I’m pretty pleased and proud of myself for that! Several months ago I started including a note asking customers to please take the time to leave feedback, if at all possible, and to contact me if they feel tempted to leave less than five stars. Now a greater percentage of my customers leave feedback and I’ve been able to help a couple people with minor issues like a headband being a little too large.

This week’s treasury is a celebration of how I’m feeling about reaching 100 reviews and the common theme is things that make me smile! I hope you enjoy Because I’m Happy.

Because I'm Happy Etsy Treasury



Goat is as Goat Does

Anyone who’s familiar with goats will not be surprised by this picture!

goat's a goat



I’ve been meaning to share presentations and activities I created while student teaching for several months now, but I’ve never gotten around to it. Since earning my MaT last December, I moved across the country, got engaged, planned our wedding, got married, and have been taking care of paperwork, thank you notes, etc. ever since then. Actually, I feel like things have been pretty nonstop since the first half of June last year!

In the upcoming months, I plan to post PowerPoint presentations, homework assignments, and more. I think it’s pretty much impossible to find exactly what you need for you class in someone else’s presentations and work, but hopefully these materials can help others at least a bit. Please feel free to use portions of my work, ideas, etc. in your own classroom. Everything posted will be at the high school level and deal with social studies content.

The presentation I’m sharing today is a lengthy one – I used it for almost a week. It deals with the Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, Federalists vs. Antifederalists, and more. It was presented to an 11th grade US History class. Without further ado – the Articles of Confederation PPT.

Articles of Confederation, from the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


DIY Folding Felt Bins/Mini Desk Organizers Tutorial

I try to have tutorials at least vaguely mapped out for a couple weeks ahead of time to make sure I can gather supplies, practice my ideas, get good photographs, and then put the written tutorial together. Despite my best intentions, sometimes life has other plans. This week I thought I knew exactly what I’d share, but then I was struck by a random idea that I knew I had to follow through on. Lots of paper sketches and scraps later, I came up with a super easy pattern to make your own folding felt bins. They’re great as little desk organizers, a place to drop your keys, or just a fun accessory around the house!

Easy DIY Folding Felt Bins Tutorial (with Printable!)

Even though I demonstrated making the bins with felt for this tutorial, they also work with cardstock or even watercolor paper. How cool would watercolor bins look on your desk?

DIY Mini Desk Organizers

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