Watercolor Coffee Filter Leaves | Fall Toddler Art Project

I really love Thanksgiving but I have to admit that I am more than ready to move on to Christmas this year. With every day that passes, it takes pretty much all of my self control to not bust out the Christmas decorations.

Last week, Lyla and I found ourselves strolling ever so slowly through the Christmas aisles at Target which did not help lower my Christmas-fever so I decided that we needed to do a fall-ish craft ASAP.

Enter these watercolor coffee filter leaves.


The set up for this craft is super simple. While bean was taking her nap, I cut out some leaf shapes (alright, one shape over and over) from plain ol’ coffee filters and then drew on some leaf veins (is that what they are called?) with Elmer’s Glue. 

By the time she woke up, the glue was dried and we were ready to paint! I taped the leaves onto a paper folder that I had laying around, gave her some watercolors and a couple of brushes and let her at it! 

toddler-watercolor-artI let them air dry for a few hours (hello, Hawaii humidity levels) before attempting to remove them from the folder. They were still a little bit wet, so I hung them on the clothesline in our laundry room overnight. 

The next morning, they were dry but the tops of the leaves were funky from being clothes-pinned all night so I stuck them under a stack of books for a while. 

The book-smashing did the trick and the leaves came out nice and flat. 


The last step was to get those bad boys displayed. To do so, I simply strung a piece of baker’s twine through the top of each leaf and hung them in her play area. 

Quick, simple, and easy – just the way we like our toddler crafts (and as an added bonus, we crossed another thing off of our falloha bucket list!)


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Pumpkin Painting: Toddler Edition

Painting pumpkins is something that was pretty high on my fall bucket list this year. Carved pumpkins and Hawaii don’t really mix (hello, mold) but I didn’t want Lyla to miss out on a bit of Halloween fun so yesterday I whipped out some paint and a couple of tiny pumpkins and we got to painting. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well then, this post is worth…err…a lot of words. (math is not my strong point)

For the record: I insisted on the overalls, she insisted on the upside down hair bow. You win some, you lose some. 









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DIY Corn Husk Dolls


I didn’t play with a ton of dolls when I was younger but I do have a pretty vivid memory of playing with a corn husk doll that I made at school. I wasn’t very attached to it, and I’m sure she found a place in the trash can not longer after I brought her home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the simplicity of a good corn husk doll today. 

Call me old fashioned, but the idea of Lyla playing with simple, handmade toys like these makes me all kinds of giddy. I love being able to create things for her that bring her joy which is why I added it to our fall bucket list

There just happened to be 8 ears of corn in the produce box that we picked up at the Farmer’s Market last week so I set them aside while I cooked dinner and quickly got to doll making! 

To make a corn husk doll you need: green corn husks, string and a pair of scissors. That’s it!



[1] Start with 4-5 fresh corn husks. Lay them flat on top of each other and tie together with small piece of string. 


[2] Flip upside down and pull each husk down. 


[3] Using another piece of string, tie a piece around the top of the husks to form the head. 


[4] Grab another husk, lay flat and roll tightly to form the arms. Secure each end with string. 

[5] Place the arms between the long “body” husks, just below the neck. Secure with piece of string to form the waist. 


[6] Take another husk and cut in half. Drape pieces over the body in a criss-cross pattern to form the shoulders and secure with string. 


[7] Take a few more long husks and gather around body to form the skirt. I tied this part with baker’s twine to add a little color ’cause my doll is fancy 😉

You could easily turn these into “boy” dolls by gathering half of the long skirt husks and tying them together at the end to form feet. I left my doll out to dry for a few days before giving it to Lyla to play with and ended up having to tighten up some of the string since the husks shrink when drying. 

Now that we have started crossing things off of our list, I am in full on fall mode. This week I’ve teamed up with Jenna from A Savory Feast as well as some other awesome bloggers to share our favorite posts about fall and to give you a chance to win some cool prizes. The giveaway ends tomorrow so make sure to get your entries in today! 

Happy crafting 🙂


We are so excited about the arrival of Fall, so we are celebrating with a giveaway! Enter to win this fun prize pack filled with all sorts of Fall-themed goodies and a Starbucks gift card. Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall Welcome Week Hosts
To Travel and Beyond // The Beauty Section // Back to Carolina //

Yellow Dog Pink Pig // Natasha Byrd // Glitz & Gritz // Set Free // Mandy Living Life

Wetherills Say I Do // Life w/ Mrs. G. and the Artist // The Gift of Gab

Sustaining the Powers // Bright Green Door // A Savory Feast // No Small Life

Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Entries will be accepted via the Rafflecopter below from 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be randomly selected and will be verified. Winner will be emailed and must respond with a mailing address within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fall Bucket List

Happy first day of fall, everyone! 


Fall looks a little different here in Hawaii than it does in much of the country. We spend more time sweeping up sand than raking up leaves, there aren’t any apple orchards to explore on the weekends (at least on Oahu) and the temperatures don’t quite dip low enough to justify wrapping up in cozy sweaters and scarfs. Yep, fall in Hawaii is definitely different but it’s exciting and special and I love it. So much so that I’m giving it a pet name this year (cause that’s what you do with things you love right?!) – falloha. Fall + aloha. Get it? 😉

photo 4

^ “really, mom?!”

Falloha is definitely the busiest season for our little family. In the span of a few weeks we celebrate Alex’s birthday, our wedding anniversary and my birthday and then roll riiiiiight on into the holidays. This year, we will throw Simon’s arrival into the mix somewhere and I’m just a teensy tiny bit anxious about that. 

Oh, and by teensy tiny, I mean extremely. 

photo 2 (1)

Of course, like any good blogger fall fanatic, I had to put together a fall bucket list for our family:


Make apple crisp, fall marshmallows, apple cider, pumpkin ravioli and try a new soup recipe.

|| AT HOME ||

Paint pumpkins, make corn husk dolls, watch a Halloween movie, do a fall kid craft.

|| OUT & ABOUT ||

Go on a hay ride, trick or treating, and to a football game. Bring donation to the local food bank. Visit the pumpkin patch. 

Hopefully we will be able to cross everything off of our list this year! 


What is your favorite fall tradition? You can follow along with our falloha adventures here and on Instagram

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dolphin quest oahu

Yesterday, one of my life long dreams came true. 

dolphin quest oahu

HUGE mahalo to the awesome staff at Dolphin Quest Oahu and my wonderful husband for making it happen!

Dolphin Quest Oahu

The booking and check-in processes were a breeze. All of the staff members that I came into contact with during my experience were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. 

Located at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, it is easily accessible for locals and tourists alike. Even though we live right down the street, we hadn’t had a chance to really check out the grounds of the resort until now and we were surprised at how beautiful it was! Definitely wouldn’t mind taking a staycation there 😉

During my program, I got to interact with two different dolphins – Kolohe and Hoku. You can definitely tell that the dolphins are well taken care of and that the trainers genuinely care for them. 

I really don’t have to tell you how perfect the experience was once I got in the water, my goober face in these pictures says it all…

Dolphin Quest Oahu

Dolphin Quest Oahu

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eight days

Going through all of your shit things in preparation for a move is exhausting. We have just eight days left in Ewa Beach and it feels like there is SO much to do. This weekend, we had a garage sale and thankfully got rid of a bunch of stuff we were not planning on taking with us on the move. After that, we filled up the truck with a few things and made a trip to the new house. I am so thankful that we have the ability to gradually move our belongings, because seriously – we have way too much shit stuff.

Today’s feature on my “countdown to ‘goodbye'” series is our LIVE ALOHA | EAT ONO wall. It’s probably the most unique part of our house and definitely one of my favorites.

chalkboard wall dining room

Hawaii has SO much to offer both visitors and kama’aina [long-term resident of Hawaii]. When we moved here, we had a list of things we wanted to do and places we wanted to eat while living here and thought that this wall in our dining room would be the perfect place to keep track of our adventures. Thus, the “LIVE ALOHA | EAT ONO” wall was born.

We painted the wall using chalkboard paint and simply added all of our bucket list items to the wall. During our housewarming party, we asked all of our friends and family for their recommendations to make sure that our wall was nice and full.

Have we accomplished all of them? Not even close. But we have had a lot of fun trying!


Some of my favorites from the LIVE ALOHA side were when we took a sunset booze cruise off of Waikiki Beach with Addie, Doug and Madison.

And when Alex surprised me with a spa day for our anniversary.

And when we rode the Ewa Train on my birthday with Mimi and Keiko – it was so adorable.

And when we did an underwater photoshoot at Alan Davis with TSB and the talented Musashi

chalkboard dining room

We have had more delicious meals than I can count, but some of my favorites from the EAT ONO side were Boots & Kimo’s (that mac nut sauce – YUM), Kona Brewing Company, and Shokudo.

chalkboard wall in dining room

We will have to paint over the LIVE ALOHA | EAT ONO wall this week and I will be sad to see it go. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could leave it for the next family to live here?!

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