Home Sweet Home

I am so happy to be home, yet overwhelmed with stuff to do. Tis the season I suppose.

It is so nice to cuddle the pugs and sleep in my own bed – I have missed both things soooooo much!

Can you tell that 3 of them have lost weight? They had a great time at Stonehaven and have come back a stronger pack. I think they are all happy to be home with their family, but they have bonded and become much closer to each other, it’s fun to watch. They are ALL happy to snuggle in one bed together, they have ALL been licking each others’ faces – things are good! I think Solomon finally decided to become a full-fledged pack member, and the other 3 have accepted him with open arms. I am very grateful for this!

I finally set up our Christmas tree last night. Something I haven’t done in about 5 years! I’m kind of excited about it!

I can’t really take a picture around here without a pug in it. That’s our little Shanny. We are throwing a big Christmas party for some of J’s staff at our house so I have to make sure I get some proper decor put up. I kind of wish we had splurged and bought a real tree this year, beacue they smell so nice and we haven’t had a tree in so long, but it seems like a waste when we have a perfectly good fake one, plus a real tree can be a ton of work!

Other than catching up on things, we haven’t really done much since we got home. I feel a bit like I am running around like a mad hen and not really getting things done – but that can’t really be the case as some things are getting done.

What will you be up to this Christmas season? Is your home decorated yet? Real tree or fake tree?

Aloha Maui…

So today is the day: we are going home. Well actually, we leave late tonight. We were supposed to be leaving at 9:15pm, but as it turns out the plane is already delayed so we won’t be leaving till at least 10:15pm. I have loved Maui, the warm breeze, the salty ocean, the hot sun; but I am not going to lie, I am sooooooo looking forward to going home, sleeping in my own bed and cuddling the pugs! I can hardly wait!

Today is quite warm, but very overcast.

It was even raining! Just a light mist, but still it hardly ever rains while we are here. I had a horrible sleep (I will not miss that bed), so I got up kind of late. I wanted to make sure that I got out to stay goodbye to the turtles, so I got dressed and headed out right away! The water looked beautiful again, and the waves were incredibly soothing. I could sit beside the ocean for hours!

I have learned a few things about turtles while we have been here. One thing is that they are very territorial, so if you see them in a place once or twice, you will probably see them there again. And the other thing is that they come up for air every 4-5 minutes, so if you are patient you will always see one. I was not disappointed today.

I was lucky enough to visit with two turtles. The big one that I have been seeing everyday now, and then a little one. I love to watch them. The little one was more active, but they are so calm and peaceful, it’s hard not to want to jump in and swim with them.

I am so happy that I got a chance to say goodbye to them before we left. I have really become attached to these little guys, and I have loved seeing them everyday over the last week.

Have you ever gotten really attached to something while on holiday?

November Photo-A-Day

I found this great blog a while ago called FatMumSlim (clever name, huh?), anyway the blogger, Chantelle, puts together these cool monthly photo challenges and each day you can post your photos on instagram (if you’re a complete instagram addict like me) or I suppose you could just keep them to yourself (but it’s always more fun to share don’t you think).

Anyway, I decided to the November Challenge, and I even roped my Mom and Stepmom into doing it with me. Actually, it didn’t take much roping as they LOVE to take pictures – but I digress. We set up a “secret” Facebook group (it’s so cool to be part of a secret facebook group. No one knows about it except those in the group, kind of like Fight Club – well except I just broke the first rule, so now I might be kicked out. Oh no!) and shared our photos with each other. It was quite fun, although sometimes a bit challenging as I wanted to be creative, and it was also a great way for me to keep in touch with my Mom & Stepmom while I’ve been away. Plus because I also posted my photos on instagram, I got to be part of that community too! So here’ s a closer look at my November 2012 in photos:

Day 1: something beginning with “C” – perhaps I wasn’t overly creative with this one, but it was day 1

Day 2: Colour – for this one, I was trying to be creative and it was getting kind of late when I still hadn’t come up with any good ideas, but then as I was testing the pH of my newly made liquid soap – it hit me – the pH kit.

Day 3: Breakfast – this really was my breakfast, toast with my cousin’s homemade Apple Pie jam or maybe it’s jelly, I’m not sure, but it’s delicious!

Day 4: TV – this picture didn’t really turn out, but it’s the TV/movie screen on the plane when we flew to Maui. They still haven’t upgraded these planes that fly to Maui, J says it’s cause they are fazing them out, but anyway, you are stuck with watching whatever they want to show you for like 8 hours.

Day 5: 5 o’clock – we were in the Shops at Wailea and I remembered just in time!

Day 6: A Favourite Thing – I cannot live without lip balm, and I especially love my homemade stuff.

Day 7: Reflection – here I am trying to be creative again, I think I did a good job. That is OUR new Nikon J1 and I love it! Super portable and it takes excellent photos and HD videos.

Day 8: Something you do everyday – I think this is pretty self-explanitory.

Day 9: Small – my wedding ring, definitely one of the smallest things I own, but probably the one with the most meaning.

Day 10: Can’t (won’t) live without – my hubs and his silly grin, making him laugh is one of my most favourite things to do!

Day 11: Night – this was right outside our condo at Hale Kamaole and I love how this picture turned out.

Day 12: Drink – the dreaded Coffee Bean drink, oh how I love thee. (See this post – near the end).

Day 13: Where you slept – this bed in the Hale Kamaole condo was so comfy! The bed in the Kihei Surfside condo SUCKS!

Day 14: Man-made – my flip-flops: a must have for Maui.

Day 15: In Your Bag – I carry around a lot of stuff don’t I?

Day 16: The view from your window – I was really lucky to have such beautiful scenery to photograph during this challenge! This picture turned out really well.

Day 17: The last thing you bought – Batman socks for our stockings (there are 5 pairs so everyone gets some!).

Day 18: Happened this weekend – This was just after we moved into the Kihei Surfside, a wedding right outside our door. I can’t think of a more beautiful place to get hitched.

Day 19: Something awesome – Hubs again and Maui Gold pineapple. It’s the best pineapple ever, super juicy and sweet. If you ever come to Hawaii, you have to have fresh pineapple, it’s a given.

Day 20: Work/play – Stella & Dot of course! Technically it’s work, but all I really do with it is play! I love it!

Day 21: What you wore – I got the cutest tankini just before we came to Maui. It’s super comfy and I think it’s the first bathing suit that is actually flattering! I love it! I got it at this place called  Shapes N’ Figures Swim and Cruisewear. They have an excellent selection of bathing suits for men, women, and kids, and the sales staff were extremely helpful! I also got another tankini top and a cover up and I am so happy with all of it. I also wore the straw hat my awesome cousin made me – my got to accessory for this whole trip. It’s awesome!

Day 22: Grateful – I am so grateful for lazy days with my hubs, and this day was exactly that. We just lounged around and really enjoyed it!

Day 23: Black – This is a cool little crab I spotted on the rocks – they jump!

Day 24: A sound you heard – it was particularly windy on this day and the wind was loud and howling. I think you can see it well in this picture.

Day 25: Sky – again so lucky to be in Maui where the sky is always beautiful and makes a great photo.

Day 26: In the cupboard.

Day 27: Tree – I love palm trees!

Day 28: Vehicle – our Ford Focus rental with my lovely assistant! ;)

Day 29: Big – a big juicy burger from Cool Cat Cafe: best burgers on Maui (best burger I have ever tasted by far!).

Day 30: On the wall – one of the walls in our condo has mirrors on it so that you can see the ocean, really quite clever as it makes the condo seem bigger.

So that’s it! My November in photos. Thanks for hanging in there! I took these photos with my iPhone or my our new Nikon J1. Most photos were edited with either Instagram, Picfx, or PicMonkey (there, now you know all my secrets). I am quite happy that I participated in this challenge and I plan on doing  the December one too. What do you think? Want to join me?

Are you sick of pictures yet?

Well too bad!  I’m just kidding, well maybe I’m not kidding, because I am about to inundate you with pictures, but hey it’s my blog, I can do what I want. ;) I climbed down on the rocks yesterday, and then again this morning, and I got some great turtle shots, and there were even a couple of dolphin sitings! The dolphins were quite far out so the pictures aren’t very good, but I think I make up for that with my amazing turtle shots! (If I do say so myself.)

Dolphins move fast, so it’s hard to catch them on film, well it’s hard for me anyway. Especially from far away. Today they just kind of swam by, but yesterday they were playing. Jumping in and out of the water, and diving. I was cool to watch. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. Interesting creatures those dolphins.

I saw the smaller turtle first. She is really quite cute and must not be that old. Did you know that green sea turtles can live to be 80! The big one I have been seeing must be pretty old. Here he is:

He was really checking me out. I have really become quite attached to this big sea turtle. I love that he comes to see me when I go looking for him.  Maybe it’s because I miss the animal contact I get from my pugs, and the unconditional loving energy that they bring with them, or maybe I am just a sucker for animals, I’m not sure. I am really enjoying visiting with this turtle and any other little turtles that come for a visit and I am going to miss them when I go home.

I love just being near the ocean. Today and yesterday was so incredibly calm and the water was almost totally still. This made it crystal clear and inviting. I didn’t go right in, but I dipped my toes in.

Is it funny that I love the sound the ocean makes, the feel of the waves on my feet, and I like the feeling of salt water on my skin, but I really don’t like swimming in there? I think it’s because when you go into the ocean from the beach it is usually wavy, and it mixes the sand up in the water so it is hard to see. I like to see my feel when I am in the water, and I don’t like seaweed tickling my legs and feet and not knowing what it is. A bit of a Jaws-phobia I guess. Kind of silly really.

Anyway, I haven’t mentioned this, but I am sooooo looking forward to coming home! I love Maui and the nice warm weather, but I miss my pugs and my house and all my peeps! I think both J and I would have been happy to come home last weekend when J’s business associates left, but that’s okay. The thing that makes it really rough for us is the small uncomfortable bed in the condo and the lack of sleep it is causing! This condo is beautiful and at a great location, but the bed SUCKS!

Oh my gosh! I just saw a rat! My first rat. I am sitting on the sofa and it came right up to the screen door next to me. I told it to “GO AWAY!” and now I feel bad. I feel bad that I shoo’d a rat! LOL. See I am a real animal lover at heart.  It wasn’t really yucky, just an overgrown mouse really. I think it startled me more than anything. YIKES! Have you ever seen a rat?

My new green friend…

So I headed out to the rocks again today to see if I could see any turtles. It was incredibly windy again, so the ocean is very rocky. I was just about to give up and then, I saw him!

The ocean was so rough, he couldn’t get very close, but I was still happy to see him. Maybe one of these days the wind will die down a bit and I’ll get an even better siting. Although I’m not complaining. I am very happy with the little visit I got today, and the one I got yesterday.

I am really liking walking on the rocks and climbing around. I feel a bit like a little kid exploring. Here are some pictures from today.

Can you see the little fish? Who needs snorkeling?

As I was walking back towards the condo, I spotted another little turtle. It was a ways out and quite a bit smaller than my friend, but she was out there. (Don’t you love how I call the big one he, and the little one she – classic stereotyping.)

Can you see her little head peeking out?

And here’s me, enjoying the sun (but not really loving the wind). You would not believe how windy it is, not the normal Hawaiian tradewinds, these wind gusts are way stronger and not very enjoyable.  I wish it would calm down.

So that was my mini-adventure today. In other news, I have been massively addicted to iced coffee drinks, specifically at the new Coffee Bean at the shops at Wailea. It takes about 3 minutes to drive there, and I have been going there almost everyday, and I am ashamed to admit sometimes twice per day. I’m on vacation give me a break! Anyway, today I discovered that the drink I have been drinking that I thought was quite low-cal (a large iced coffee with the famous Coffee Bean vanilla powder, and a little bit of non-fat milk) is actually 400 calories!! 400 CALORIES!! No wonder I’ve been packing on the holiday pounds. I am so sad, as I love this drink, it is the most delicious thing ever, and I thought I was being good by not having lattes! So moral of this story? Do not get addicted to Coffee Bean! It is like the McDonald’s or KFC of the coffee shop world. The same drink at Starbucks is less that half the calories! Can you believe that?!?! Thank goodness there is no Coffee Bean in Calgary!

Anyway, hope all is well with you dear reader. And I also hope that you have not just discovered that your favourite thing is not what you thought it was! LOL