DIY Puppy Popsicles

July 23rd, 2014
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The summer time is a blast for dogs and their owners, but it is important for dogs to stay cool during the hot and humid season. Pet nutrition expert and owner of Parker’s, A Natural Dog & Cat Market, Katie Pottenger, offers DIY puppy popsicles to dog owners as a great way to cool off their canine companions.

“DIY puppy popsicles are really simple to make and most of the ingredients are already in your pantry at home,” says Pottenger.

Below is a list of different ingredients that can be mixed together in any way you like. Just freeze your mix of ingredients in an ice tray or in an easy tear paper cup or cupcake wrapper to create your very own puppy popsicle.

●      Peanut Butter (All-Natural, No Sugar)
●      Yogurt (Low fat, Sugar-free)
●      Answers Raw Goat's Milk
●      Honey
●      Canned Tuna or Salmon (In Water, Not Oil)
●      Canned 100% Pure Pumpkin
●      Pureed Fruits and Veggies (Veggies must be steamed)
●      Canned Dog Food (Preferably All-Meat)
●      Chicken Breast or Beef (Cooked, Small Pieces)
●      Chicken or Beef Broth (Sodium Free)
●      Applesauce (Sugar Free)

No one knows your dog’s taste better than you do. Play around with the different ingredients and see what your dog enjoys most. Puppy popsicles are a fun and easy way to keep your dog cool this summer while giving them a delicious treat as well!

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Counting coins

July 21st, 2014
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We're still working on getting Olivia to understand the concept of money. She earns allowance for doing little chores at home, but she has no idea what a penny is versus a quarter, so on and so forth.

I'm sure it'll come eventually, and by way of encouraging her to see the connection between working, saving, and spending, I invited her to bring her coin purse to the mall with me and she could buy something with her money.

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She decided to buy a gold owl necklace at the department store. It was the first thing she saw, and I told her she should look around at a few more stores before just buying the first thing she sees.

I have to give her credit for decisiveness because she still wanted the owl after touring a few other kid-friendly shops. Must be a Diane-gene; I'm very decisive, too.

We returned to the owl, which cost $17.99. She handed over her entire coin purse to me to do the counting. I asked her to pay attention and watch me count.

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Thank goodness there was no line because I'm sure the other shoppers just love to see handfuls of coins tumbling out on the counter to be painstakingly added up.

After we bought it, I asked her if she was proud of herself for saving all that money to buy her necklace. She was; good!

I asked her if she paid attention to how I counted the money so she could do that next time. "No. I'll just let the cashier guy do that for me," she said.  Uh, not quite the answer I wanted to hear. Not even a motivation to try. Hmm.

So. One lesson completed, one more to go. I guess this just means more trips to the mall!

Film director Adam Braff on life in Hawaii

July 18th, 2014
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The new film Wish I Was Here is a story about midlife anxieties and suburban discontent, starring Zach Braff and Kate Hudson. Former Scrubs star Braff co-wrote the dramedy with his brother Adam, who happens to be an Oahu resident.

Film director Adam Braff

Film director Adam Braff

I met up with Adam Braff right before the movie opened and talked to him about life in Hawaii. How did the New Jersey native, and longtime Los Angeles resident, decide to make a life in the Aloha State?

"My wife grew up here and I met her in college. We lived in L.A. for 25 years. I was a writer and she was a costume designer. We decided to get out of town and she had always wanted to move back. What we didn't know was how I'd feel about it but I ended up loving it, not just for the reasons everyone knows but after living in L.A. for 25 years this feels like a small town. I love seeing people I know on the streets," Braff told me.

Film director Adam Braff and me

Film director Adam Braff and me

"I came here with the intention of doing lots of water sports but I have spent time taking care of my house. It's so nice, I own a home. I always lived in a condo in L.A. I take care of my kids."

Braff says his goal for next year is to log more time in the ocean. For now, though, he hints at the difficulty of launching a Hollywood career from 3,000 miles away. "I spend a lot of time writing. I'm not somebody who's a success yet and I hope I don't have to move back to L.A. to get a job writing on a TV show. I want to stay here. That's always a struggle."

Braff believes Hawaii audiences will respond well to the movie because "it's about family, and people respond to that. It's about family, spirituality, going through dreams at the expense of everything else. I think those are universal themes."

The Focus Features movie is out today in theaters.

Shrimp talk

July 16th, 2014
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Reader Tess asked me to update the status of the opae ula. Well, Tess, thanks for asking.

They're the same as at last check: I have the original group living in the ten gallon tank, and I don't feed them anymore because there is a lot of algae growing on the glass.

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I started with about 175 shrimp, which started breeding after about a year. As they hit their breeding peak, I would sometimes see about 12 berried females swimming around, and dozens of juveniles floating vertically.

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I guesstimate there are probably 500 or so shrimp living in the tank now, of all life stages. That's good. It's a healthy population. Now that they've hit population density I no longer see berried shrimp, but I do always see a batch or two of newly hatched larvae floating around.

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I started a second unit, initially in a ceramic flower pot. I wanted to experiment with the substrate and conditions to mimic what I thought might be the conditions of the natural anchaline pond habitat. I postulated that since the pot walls are opaque, it would encourage breeding in cave-like conditions.

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I used abalone shells rather than coral rock as the substrate, wondering if the rough exterior would pacify the shrimps. Plus, it's pretty to view from atop.

Nothing happened with the shrimp after about six months, and then the pot cracked and leaked, so I did that all-too-common "temporary permanent" thing. I grabbed a five gallon plastic bucket from the garage and used it as a stopgap measure, with the intent to buy a pretty pot later. Later has never arrived.

It's been about a year and the shrimp are not yet breeding in the bucket. I'm not sure if it's the wrong substrate, the wrong environment, or plastic leaching chemicals into the water, but nothing is happening. I'll just keep waiting.

Meantime I've created a dozen or so shrimp bowls for friends or my desk, and because the shrimp are hardy, they thrive.

So that's my shrimp update - if you have an idea as to why they're not breeding in the bucket, please comment! Thanks!

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Catching up with singer Charice

July 14th, 2014
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Charice

Charice

She's small in stature - but huge in talent and charisma. Dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as "the most talented girl in the world", Charice released her first international studio album, Charice, in 2010.

The Filipina singer was part of the cast of TV series Glee as Sunshine Corazon, and is also a judges of the Philippine version of The X Factor.

Charice and me

Charice and me

Now, the international sensation has a new album out this summer called Chapter 10. I was lucky enough to spend time with her talking about it. She told me it's a nod to her new identity and image; last June she announced publicly she is a lesbian.

"Since I came out it's like a message I want to send to everyone: This is the real Charice. It's something I've been wanting to record and sing. Some of the songs are covers and one is an original that my friends and I wrote. It's very personal," she explained. "The idea of the album is like the theme song of my life."

She stopped in Hawaii over the weekend to play concert dates on her Charice World Tour 2014. It's her third time in the Aloha State, and she says she always enjoys visiting the Islands. "I love Hawaii. The beaches, you can never go wrong. It's just a beautiful place," she reflected. She also feels right at home because "everyone looks Filipino too!"

What does she do on her spare time? "Shopping, ukulele. I just learned last night how to play the uke. I've always wanted to play and I got a gift, and I love it. I love to say I learned it here in Hawaii," she smiled.

Her tour goes from March to August - and she says it's going well so far. "The traveling is tiring but when you get to then place it always makes you feel good. The people who come to the show, they're amazing."

Her fans would certainly say the same about her!