Archive for the ‘child’ Category

DIY Fairy garden

May 27th, 2016

Olivia and I saw a fairy garden display and wanted to have one for ourselves. Of course, I've seen adorable little worlds of miniature gardening before, but it struck a different chord with me as a mother of a girl.

Our fairy garden!

Our fairy garden!

It's a great DIY project - far better, I think, than buying one. The joy is in the journey of making it, spending wonderful quality time with the kiddo.

Fairies welcome!

Fairies welcome!

I'm a gardening hobbyist, so I have a lot of what we need at home on the plant front. She's eight, so she has a lot of what we need at home on the decorations end.

However, there were still a few things we wanted to pick up specifically to make it enchanted, so we drove to Ben Franklin Crafts Hawaii to buy some fairies, bridges, wishing well, and LED lights. (We failed to find a woodland home.)

SKy, Olivia's fairy

Sky, Olivia's fairy

Violet, my fairy

Violet, my fairy

You can make a fairy garden simple with just a couple of figurines, and it will still be charming. Or, you can get crazy like we did, which adds up unexpectedly fast. I wasn't looking at the prices and we just excitedly threw things in the basket.


If you're inspired to DIY, you've been reminded! Little things can cost a lot. $80 later...

Including travel time to the store, the project took us about four hours. We loved it so much, we played with it for the rest of the day and night.


We invented a whole fantasy world involving a quest riddled with challenges- a bit like the Hobbit. Every little item in the garden has a role and a backstory. So much fun letting out my inner child!


She suggested we make this our new hobby and that we keep an eye out for accessories all the time. I love the idea.



Olivia was so happy about this. "Best day ever! You're my best friend!" she chirped. My heart melts :)

And for me, that's the real magic of the fairy garden.


Have fun making yours!

Tidy and hating it

May 25th, 2016

For about a month, I haven't had to ask my kid to clean her room. For the first eight and a half years of her life, it's been a pigsty. I have blogged about this before.

Olivia's tidy room!

Olivia's tidy room!

Sometimes, we had to go in and deep-clean it, like before guests come to stay in it. That required parental involvement. Ugh. It would always revert to its chaotic state within a day of their departure.

I have made a few comments over the weeks about her room being super tidy, but it hasn't been a prolonged conversation. Until last night.

I praised the consistent cleanliness and order, and asked why she's been keeping it so nice (bed made daily too!) for so long. The answer: "I'm tidy and I hate it."

Well, when I'm tidy I love it. She's halfway to being my kid.

Olivia says she hates keeping it neat, but she hates more when I ask her to clean it on the weekends. Now her new habit is to clean small messes as she makes them instead of spending hours picking up one big mess.

"Don't you feel a sense of pride that your room looks beautiful?" I asked.

"Well, yeah," she admitted.

"So this is the new Olivia?" I hoped.

She shrugged, "I guess."

Not that enthusiastic, but I'll take it!

Mommy's work

May 23rd, 2016

Olivia loves coming to work with me. She is willing to wake up at 3 a.m., but I prefer to let her get her sleep.

Often on a school holiday, Claus will drop her off at 8 after the show's done, and he'll go to work. I can watch her while I do my off-air duties. In this manner, she's even accompanied me to my reporter beat checks at court and the police station, which are places I'd never visited until I was in my teens or even early 20s, as part of college field trips.

This pretty much sums up exactly why she loves Mommy's work:


Not long ago, the Surf Paws Animal Hospital vet told me she'd bring in a kindle of kittens, so I asked if she'd mind if Olivia came on set with us holding a kitty. Dr. Cristina Miliaresis said OK, and Olivia was thrilled.

Luckily that segment is at 7:20 a.m., so it wasn't terribly early for Olivia or Claus to get to the station. (Not like a 5:50 a.m. guest segment.) So, Olivia got to hold kitties and be on TV (the latter, she could care less about).

Surfer China Uemura brought us pastries!

Surfer China Uemura brought us pastries!

Following that, as they left, I invited her to grab a pastry and brownie outside. Pastries, from one of the other guests. Brownies, which I brought for Taizo's birthday.

Justin Cruz as Darth Vader, for Taizo's birthday

Justin Cruz as Darth Vader, for Taizo's birthday

When she got to school, some of the kids told her they'd seen her on TV, which was a little fun for her. Mostly, she enjoyed bragging that she got to play with kittens.

With Dr. Miliaresis and all the felines!

With Dr. Miliaresis and all the felines!

To sum:


I'm glad she thinks I have a cool job. I do, too.

Olivia's Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

May 18th, 2016

My daughter made us a pie, mostly by herself. It was a recipe my mother used to assemble for us, and I loved it.

I haven't had this exact recipe since she stopped baking due to Alzheimer's, and her final baking phase was about cakes, so she hadn't made the blueberry dessert for years and years.

Some bakeries sell it with cake on the bottom but I prefer it this way. Comfort dessert, I guess. It's what I grew up with.

Olivia's pie!

Olivia's pie!

It's very easy, and it doesn't require baking. It's a kid's recipe, if you think about it.

It's basically cream cheese with sugar and whipped cream, plus a touch of vanilla, topped with blueberry filling, set on top a crumbly pie shell. What's not to like?

It took Olivia about 15 minutes to put it together. It's so delicious!

She took great pride in watching us devour her pie, and has now declared this "her" recipe. I'm encouraging her to make this for us again.

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a whirl:

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

1 eight oz. package cream cheese

1 bottle whipped cream

3/4 c. powdered sugar, unsifted

1 t. vanilla

1 can blueberry pie filling

1 nine inch pie shell (I like the graham cracker ones)

Put cream cheese and sugar in a mixer and blend. Add vanilla. When it's mixed, fold the whipped cream in. Pour half into the baked pie crust. Add half the blueberry filling. Repeat to create a second layer of cheese then fruit filling. Refrigerate it to set it.


Mother's Day reflections: Mom's best lesson to you?

May 11th, 2016

Happy belated Mother's Day! I love my mother so much. She taught me so many things and gave me a good foundation in life. I'm grateful to have her.

Mom & me, Oahu

Mom & me, Oahu

She taught me to live life to the fullest ("Every day is Christmas") but she also taught me to balance that with fiscal responsibility. She makes friends wherever she goes, and I'd like to think she handed at least part of that skill to me.

I'm a mother too, and I asked my eight year old what's the best lesson I've taught her so far. "To write cursive," came the quick answer. We've been working on that recently since she didn't learn it in the third grade. She thinks it's fun.

14-10-30 Mommy hug

Here's how some friends answer that question:


Robert Cazimero- musician, kumu hula, all-around Island institution

"My mom, Elizabeth Cazimero, forced me to play piano in the third grade! She did it with that famous phrase, 'Someday you'll thank me.' I swore over my body I'd never say thank you, and of course look where I am today. I thank her every day."


15-2-20 Di Taizo

With Taizo. We got the green memo.

Taizo Braden- KHON2's Wake Up 2day traffic anchor, Living 808 co-host

"My mother (Sachi Braden) is a well-known businesswoman so our relationship, while great, has always had a business-tinge to it. Even when I was younger, my mom always said, 'Taizo, under-promise but over-deliver. I didn't get it until much later. She's a Realtor, so she said, 'Always be closing!' And she would always say in Japanese, 'Keep one eye on the future with a telescope, and one eye on the present with a microscope.'"


15-9-21 DA-KG-KS black

Kanoe Gibson Nitta- singer, local personality, Miss Hawaii 2003

"There are a lot of valuable lessons I learned from my mom, but probably the biggest lesson is on becoming a better mother. I learned that through watching her be grandmother to my children."



Jennifer Fairbanks- actress, model, Hawaiian Telcom spokesperson, Miss Hawaii USA 2005

"I'm half-Korean and I learned all my cooking from my mom. I love to cook. Her cucumber kim chee is a winner. That's my favorite thing she cooks, and that's what I take to every potluck! It's one of my favorite things about my mom. Food is love, and it's nice to share my Korean heritage through food."

What's the most valuable lesson your mother taught you? Sending all the moms love on this Mother's Day!