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The holiday season is here and while most of us are busy planning for Turkey Day, I’m here searching the net to find out who carries and offers the best holiday greeting cards.  I’ve realized in my search, that the Christmas season happens to be a popular time of year to get married.  Having been a wedding photographer, I honestly didn’t realize it was a trend.  Since I live in Hawaii, wedding season here is year round, so it was interesting to find out.  Well, that’s where Basic Invite comes into play.  This awesome website gives you the ease you need in sending out invitations or holiday cards, no matter the reason for that season.  

What is Basic Invite?

Basic Invite is a web based site that allows you to build your own color theme for your invitations and cards.  They offer an unlimited amount of color combinations so you can make your card as unique as you are.  I love that they offer an instant preview so you can insure your card design is exactly as you like it before you order.  Their prices are great and the list of products available at your finger tips is unbeatable. 

Wedding Invitations done the easy way!

I remember designing my own wedding invitations over 17 years ago.  It took a lot of time and effort.  And, since it was not as easy to order online, it also took a lot of back and forth to the printers to approve and revise my invites.  Now, companies like Basic Invite offer you an easy peasy solution for completing an important task for your big day.  Simply select a design that you can customize with over 180 different color options.  Make your card exactly as you want it, down to the littlest detail.  Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allow customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation.  This way you can see exactly how it will print as well as feel the paper quality before you place your final order.  Didn’t I say it was “easy peasy”?  This is the perfect way for you to get those wedding invitations with a Christmas theme done exactly how you want it and done easily. 

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40 Different Colors of Envelopes?

Besides custom samples and an almost unlimited amount of colors, Basic Invite also has a collection of over 40 different colors of envelopes for their invitations.  Customers have the option to choose their envelopes to make that special invitation pop and stand out before it is even opened.  All envelopes are peel and seal so they can be quickly and securely closed.  

Choose from 900 Wedding Invitation Sets

Yup, you read that right.  900 Wedding Invitation Sets! Each of their wedding invitations is part of a set.  You can find everything on their site from save the date cards to wedding invitations.  And, don’t forget things like the enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards.  

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Basic Invite also offers Free Address Collection Services.  Simply use their free address collection service with just three easy steps.  Share a link, collect addresses and get free envelope printing.  

Seal & Send Wedding Invitations

Basic Invite offers a Seal & Send Wedding Invitation service as well.  It’s an all-in-one wedding invitation with a tear-off RSVP postcard included.  The Seal and Send Invite is their newest collection and brides are loving them.  Currently, Basic Invite offers this service in over 30 designs, including their very popular foil options and each are customizable.  Guests’ addresses are printed on the front of each invitation which means there is no envelope required.  Just share the link, collect the addresses, upload them onto your design and done.  Once you receive your order, all you have to do is add postage, fold your invites and secure.  This makes Holiday wedding plans a breeze, because it’s one less thing you have to worry about when planning a wedding.  And, one less thing to deal with when holidays already have you in a tight crunch.  

Free Wedding Websites

Basic Invite now offers an all-new wedding websites option for their customers.  Each website is completely customizable just like their wedding invitations.  Websites are mobile friendly and super easy to use.  You can instantly upload all of your wedding details as well as images and a map with directions to make things convenient for your guests.  Choose from 180 custom colors and even choose a design to match your wedding invitation suite.  

Holiday Cards 

Now, I’m sure you may recall me mentioning that Basic Invite also offers Holiday Cards.  Photo holiday cards are perfect for the season and it’s one that we send out to family, friends and colleagues each year.  

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Whether you are looking for a simple Holiday card to give out this year, or something that has a personalized twist, Basic Invite has something for everyone.  Their designs offer over 180 color selections to choose from and a plethora of design choices that will suit any personalized requirement.  

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I found a variety of options available to choose from and customizing the card is simple and quick.  Basic Invite offers over 750+ designed holiday cards to choose from.  Select from 5 different paper types, custom foiling, envelope colors and even get address printing.  The holiday season can be a challenge for anyone and Basic Invite takes the guess work out of it and is one less thing we have to worry about during the season.  

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Whether you’re planning a Christmas wedding or trying to get your holiday cards completed on time this season, I highly suggest checking out Basic Invite.  I love how easy their website is to maneuver and they have so many designs to choose from that you’re bound to find something you love.  Don’t forget, personalizing your wedding invitations with a Christmas theme or designing your photo holiday cards are a breeze with their online website.  

Be sure to check out Basic Invite for yourself and see how they can help you beat the Holiday rush with gorgeous wedding invitations and holiday cards.

Visit:  Basicinvite.com for your Truly Custom Invitations


Disclaimer:  This post was done in collaboration with and sponsored by Basic Invite.  However, all opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased.  Affiliate links may be posted through out.  

PRESS SAMPLE / AFFILIATE LINKS

 

Displaying your artwork and photographs have come a long way over the years, from the standard print and frame.  I love that there are so many other options available to decorate or gift when it comes to imagery.  One of my favorite places to order prints and canvas and other decorative ideas from is Canvas Champ.  I’ve shared Canvas Champ here on the blog before (which you can read about here) and I’m excited to show you another fun idea for displaying your photos.
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Canvas Champ offers a variety of different options for printing your images and artwork, all at reasonable and affordable price points.  I love using this site when giving family members gifts because it allows me to showcase our gorgeous photos without sacrificing the quality that you would want from a canvas printer.  But, as I mentioned before, Canvas Champ offers much more than just canvas prints.  I recently personalized and order a pillow from Canvas Champ with a photo of my husband and I.
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Photo pillows are just as affordable as their other prints and start at just $12.00 for a 12×12 size.  You can easily customize the pillow by adding the image you desire, adjusting the image with different filters if you’d like and adding text.  You can order the pillow in different sizes and different backgrounds.  I love that you can wash them and that they are durable, and you can be rest assured that they are shipped promptly – usually shipped within 3-10 business days.
Canvas Champ’s custom throw pillows are not only fully customizable, but you can select to have them as a square or rectangle.  They come in 80% polyester and 20% cotton blend.  I love that you can easily add photos from your phone, computer, Facebook, Instagram or even Google Photos.  All of the pillows are available to order and customize in 10 popular sizes.
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Ordering your own custom pillow is simple.  Canvas Champ has a website that will allow you to see your design live as you create it.  Simply upload the photo(s) that you want to you and select the specifics for your project.  Your checkout is secure and fast and in a couple of weeks, you’ll have a beautifully “designed by you” piece of art that you can either display or give as a gift.

“In a couple of weeks, you’ll have a beautifully “designed by you” piece of art that you can either display or give as a gift.”

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As I mentioned before, Canvas Champ offers a variety of different options available to choose from.  I love ordering canvas artwork from the site during the holidays because I know that it’s affordable so that each family member (trust when I say it’s a very large gift list), will have something I personalized for them.  The products are made with quality materials and Canvas Champ offers a money back guarantee which is a great addition to their already awesome service.
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Canvas Champ offers a variety of home products, photo products and more to include:  Canvas Prints, metal prints, wall art, photo boards, engraved plaques, pop art, poster prints, panoramic prints or boards, photo calendars and books, mugs and so so much more.  They guarantee the lowest pricing Canvas and while I’ve worked with Canvas Champ several times, I still absolutely love the company and the site and have ordered many many gifts from them.  I definitely suggest checking them out and trying them for yourself.
Interested in more information or to order your own, head on over to their website at:  Canvaschamp.com.

Disclaimer:  The product(s) featured in this post were provided for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased.  Affiliate links are posted throughout which I do get a small commission from if you do click on those links.

PRESS SAMPLE / AFFILIATE LINKS

 

Hello friends.  It seems like forever since I’ve graced the pages of this site with my presence.  The last month has not been the greatest for me and I’m still struggling with all that has happened in June, but keeping busy has helped my mind tremendously through this ordeal.  Last month (June) my daddy passed away unexpectedly.  It was probably one of the hardest things that I’ve had to endure and being the oldest of his four kids, that meant that I was in need of stepping up to plate and taking charge of the situation.  Over the last few weeks, I found myself looking through various photos of my daddy’s life and I’m reminded how important those images are to help jump start our memories.  Photos are timeless keepsakes that can either be stored away or displayed and a great photo display makes a wonderful gift or precious memory something to cherish.  So, today – I introduce you to Canvas Champ.  While I ordered my print just before my dad’s passing, I’m sharing this company with you because it will allow me to provide my family with gifts of memories of my dad once I’m done designing them.

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Canvas Champ offers you the opportunity to have customized canvas products that are affordably priced and utilize industry standard materials.  As a photographer, I’ve used different canvas printing companies in the past and I’m definitely impressed with the companies quality and price point.  Canvas Champ also offers a reseller program and can provide you with bulk ordering as well.

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Canvas Champ’s Canvas prints start at about $5.00 for small sized prints and depending on the size and additions to your print, the price increases from that point.  Shipping is also very reasonable and I love that it ships via Fedex so you receive your order in a timely manner.  Each order comes with Hooks for Hanging (free of charge) and you have the option of adding things like an easel back, stand or dust covers as well as basic editing options as well.

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The website’s interface is very easy to use.  As you can see from the screen capture above, you can select the border and framing options, color finishing and you can also see if you have provided a quality image for printing.  I love that you can upload any image you want and can make any changes or adjust the sizing as you see fit.  I’m in the process of ordering the above image for my mommy as a gift so I’m excited to see how it turns out.

The canvas we received was a stretched canvas over compressed wood board and wooden frame.  It’s reinforced well and strong enough to last for years to come.

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If you are looking for quality and affordable options for printing your photo keepsakes on canvas, I definitely suggest checking out Canvas Champ.  Affordable prices, quick service, and quality work will definitely make Canvas Champ a favorite in our family and I love that they offer metallic prints as well because I create metallic prints of my nature and landscape photography for family and friends as gifts.

Interested in getting your own Canvas print?  Be prepared this holiday season and year round and order early.  You can check out Canvas Champ at: https://www.canvaschamp.com/

 

 

 


Disclaimer:  The products featured in this post were sent for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased.  Affiliate links are posted throughout.

PRESS SAMPLE / AFFILIATE LINKS

 

Let’s face it… In this age where technology and the internet practically rule our lives… we need to be one step ahead of the game.  Social networking plays such a huge part in our brands, introducing ourselves to other people and marketing ourselves and with all of that comes the need for some really kick ass business cards or brand cards.  Today I share with you a new brand that was recently introduced to me by a fellow blogger – My Beauty Bunny.  This cool company called Socialcirclecards offers  you cool hip cards for your business or networking for your brand and I love them.

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Gone are the days of the plain business or networking cards that are the basic rectangular shape.  Socialcirclecards offers a variety of designs to help build your brand and network in round scalloped cut cards with designs that are fun and trendy.  Each card is 2 inches in diameter offering you space to put your name, branding or log and your social media sites and contact info.

Socialcirclecards is all about fashion.  Their belief is that while some crave shoes, signature sunglasses or bag – everything they create is all about the details and each team member’s personality peeks through their work.  I found that ideal when I finally decided on a design I wanted, but was not too fond of the choice of color in the original design.  In less than 24 hours, my artist / designer created a design with color choices to fit my need and personality.

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For years I have been a business card holder.  Before I took on blogging full time, I worked in Corporate America and also owned my own business as a Wedding & Portrait Photographer, so a great business card was literally the cover to my book and it spoke volumes of who I am as a person.  Because of this, my standard for a good networking card was quite high and I honestly thought that these couldn’t possibly meet my standards – especially since they are so reasonably priced.

Most card sets start at $35 for a set of 50 cards and a very cute circular case that you can hang on your key chain.  Having ordered MANY business cards in the past, I can honestly say that that is a reasonable cost for the type of card you get and the customer service that backs the brand.  Like I mentioned before, each card has scalloped edges which make them each to see and fun to look at.  They are double sided and the cards come in a variety of different designs.  You can fit up to 5 different social media contacts and the cute personalized socialcircle case has a coordinating tassel and heart charm as well as a clip to allow you to carry where ever you go and have handy at a moment’s notice.

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Socialcirclecards are fashionable and allow you to share your info and your personality.  You can customize the custom contact cards with your social media info and include the following:

  • Your name
  • cell number
  • instagram
  • twitter
  • snapchat
  • blog and more…

Customizing the cards was VERY easy.  I simply chose my design and specified on the custom form what I wanted to see with regard to change in color, etc.  Once my cards were completed, I was sent a draft with my custom design via email and I replied with any customizations I needed in addition to those they already made.

The color theme I chose to go with was Purple, Taupe, Rose Gold & Black with the plumerias in the design to be yellow (the true color you see here in the Hawaiian islands).  I provided the colors and I was immediately in love with the design when it was emailed to me.  I have already handed out a few of my cards to those I’ve come in contact with and they have absolutely loved them.  Since I’ll be attending a Conference at the end of this month, I’m excited to pass these around to network my brand and share socialcirclecards with my community.

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“Be true to yourself, be yourself.  It’s okay to be an individual, or an original.” – socialcirclecards

I whole heartily agree that being an Original is my mantra.  I know these cards have templates that you can select and designs, but definitely work with the company to see how they can customize your card to fit your personality.  I am really loving these cute little flower shaped beauties and I highly suggest checking them out.  Whether you are on the hunt for a new business card or networking card or just want to try something new – socialcirclecards are definitely worth the time for a glance.

You can purchase your own socialcirclecards at: http://www.socialcirclecards.com and check them out on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/socialcirclecards/

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The products featured in this post were provided to me for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased as with anything you find on my site.  Affiliate links may be posted through out.

 

AFFILIATE LINKS

The boys and I have been enjoying our summer months together since my husband is usually working on the weekdays.  Come on now, we live on Maui, which has been rated the number 1 Vacation Destination by Conde Nast many years in a row, so we do have a plethora of sites to see and lots of fun to be had.  While we live on the mountain, we experience really hot days so I decided to pack the boys up into the car and take a drive up to Kula to cool down – since the air is much cooler there.  Our journey led us to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, a place we have visited many times before – but it’s been years since I bought the twins here, so I decided it would be a perfect place to venture.

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The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is located on the slopes of Haleakala and overlooks some of the most beautiful views on the South side of the island.  It is a 25-30 minute drive away from the Kahului Airport (the main airport into Maui) and a popular spot for visitors to stop at and have lunch after watching the sunrise at Haleakala or hiking the crater.  At one time, it used to be free to enter the Lavender farm, so I was surprised to see a guard house at the entry (it was not there my last visit a few years ago) and entry for adults is $2.00.  It’s well worth the cost however.  You can bring your own lunch and have a picnic or hike the grounds for a great adventure.  The air is so cool up there, it was a perfect place for the boys and I to getaway to beat the heat.

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There is a little shop that sells tasty delectables featuring the fresh picked lavender, but the boys and I decided that we would just take in the sites and cool down and head home to eat lunch instead.  We walked around the gardens and admired the fragrant lavender as we took in the sites.

It was a short little adventure, but a beautiful day out so I took this opportunity to take some shots of the boys and my eldest son Kevin helped take a few photos of my casual outfit I wore.

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The best part about our little drive and excursion today was that I was able to spend it with the boys.  They go back to school in about 2 1/2 weeks and this summer break flew by too quickly.  The twins are off to 1st Grade and Kevin is off to 7th Grade.  With Football season starting for all three boys August 1st – I know that times like these will be few in between, so I’m glad we made great use out of our Summer break.

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Kimono Cover up – Forever 21 Plus

Ribbed Tank – Old Navy

Linen Shorts with pockets in black – Torrid.com

Flip flops – Guess Jeweled Slip ons

Watch – Invicta Angel

Sunglasses – Maui Jim Maui (style no longer available)

Nail Polish – Sinful Colors Kylie Jenner Trend Matters Collection in Kozy

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My embedded video above also showcases our dinner for that evening… I made my homemade poor man’s rissotto (recipe coming soon) and we watched a beautiful sunset from our porch to end a wonderful day.  If you’re not following me on Snapchat – my code is in my side bar, come and follow me on my daily journey.  What about you, are you enjoying the summer months?  I’m thankful to live in Hawaii and blessed to have a lifestyle where every day is an adventure and a vacation.

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Since my DSLR hasn’t been working, it’s been really nice to find reasons to take my phone out to practice shooting with it… all the images that you see in this post were taken with my Samsung Note 4.

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  Everything mentioned or featured was purchased with my own money.  Affiliate links may be posted through out.

NOTHING TO DISCLOSE

 

I know, I know… we are literally 24 hours away from saying good-bye to 2015 and I’m finally getting around to posting our family photos for the holiday and winter.  I honestly don’t know what happened the last two weeks, it’s like life took a turn into the twilight zone and I’m still trying to recoop from the crazy.  I look forward to family photos but I regretfully have to admit that we have slacked in this department a lot and this is the first family photo since 2013 – yikes.  With a crazy on going presence in social media, sometimes I forget how important it is to have at least one really good photo for the year to document the growth of not only our children, but our life.

This year’s family photos were a challenge because our schedules are all over the place.  I honestly didn’t think that I would be able to gather the five members of my family (myself included) in the allotted time to get it done.  Normally, I will set up my camera and tripod and use my remote to shoot our photo, but this year – the remote died and I had to use the timer on the DSLR to get it accomplished… let’s just say – it was an interesting morning. lol  Running back and forth between the camera and the group – my husband and I were not only exhausted, we had several images to capture before we got some good ones.  Having children in the photo is no easy task as well as some were blinking, making faces or had their eyes closed – story of my life, lol.

2015 Family Photo

For this year’s photo, we decided it would be casual and relaxed, much like our life has been the last year.  Since we are so busy with home and school and work, we really look forward to days where we can dress casually and just enjoy life.  Since we live right off of the Golf Course in Pukalani, we decided that that would make a fabulous backdrop for our family photos.  Running back and forth working with the timer on the camera was definitely a challenge but overall, I think they came out pretty nice and I’m glad that we were able to document this year with a few images.

Our 2015 Holiday and Winter Family Photos

The twins are using basic black t-shirts from Old Navy and Khaki cargo shorts with their shoes.  My eldest is using a pair of jeans, a heather gray shirt from Old Navy and his shoes and my husband is using a Dickies button down shirt, Dickies khaki shorts and flip flops.  For me, I decided to go with a pair of skinny jeans (YMI) and a black laced top from Forever 21.  My scarf is one of my favorite Pashminas that I have had for at least 3 years now and I’m wearing a pair of black suede boots.  My gosh, my hair sure does stand out, doesn’t it?

Our 2015 Holiday and Winter Family Photos

I absolutely love taking our photos each year, but I think for next year, I may enlist the help of a fellow blogger or friend/family member to help take the images so that we are not putting in so much work lol. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Holiday and from our family to yours, we wish you a prosperous and blessed New Year.

Aloha,

Signature Honey

Each year in the Fall, my family and I have journeyed up to the local Pumpkin Patch at the Kula Country Farms to choose out the perfect pumpkin for carving.  This year was no exception and the family enjoyed their time there as we always do so we wanted to share with you the fun and excitement.  The Kula Country Farms located on the slopes of beautiful Haleakala on the island of Maui turns it’s grounds into a fun Pumpkin Patch and Fall Extravaganza with corn mazes, garden games and fun for the entire family.  For the last 4 years my family and I have ventured on over to the patch to spend a few hours enjoying the animals, buying fresh Maui grown produce and of course – picking our own pumpkins.  Today I share with you one of our Family Adventures.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

Let’s face it – living on Maui has its perks and benefits because frankly, we are living in Paradise.  But, it can often mean that we are left without the resources that other towns can offer.  So when the Kula Country Farms started the annual pumpkin patch a few years back, my family and I have taken part in it each year.  There have been many changes and improvements to the patch this year, including a new parking lots that allows for easier parking for families so that they are not limited to parking on a very busy street.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

The pumpkin selections are far and wide in between, giving you the choice to choose a really large pumpkin or something small for coloring and painting.  Prices of the pumpkins range from $5 – $20 depending on the size and my family tends to pick up a pumpkin for each of us to carve or decorate as we see fit.  The location is HUGE – offering a wide variety of activities for your family from picking your own pumpkin to taking part in the corn maze and everything in between.  The boys look forward to swinging on the tire swings (while you can see this up year round) and taking part in any fun age appropriate activities for kids.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

The boys absolutely love seeing the chickens that roam the grounds freely and the ponies / miniature horses that they can pet and feed.  There is also a huge bunny that has been there for years for the children to befriend.  This year we decided that we would take the time to not only choose our perfect pumpkin, but also spend some time checking out the vendors that were stationed up at the farm.  There was a kettle corn vendor that made the kettle corn fresh while we were there (you could smell the chocolate through out the farm) and different food vendors that sold plate lunches and snacks through out.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - Kahoohanohano Family Adventures

The farm was pretty busy on the Saturday we chose to visit.  Cars were parked up and down the street and since I now have a small car, we were able to find a parking spot along the road side.  There were children everywhere, examining all of the fun activities and my boys absolutely enjoyed their time there.  If you are planning to visit the farm in time for Halloween pumpkin carving, I suggest going early in the month of October.  With the weather here in Hawaii being pretty warm, some of the pumpkins were already starting to rot (such a bummer) and last minute pumpkin pickers are scrambling for the perfect find.  We visited at the beginning of October and found that there was a huge selection of pumpkins to choose from, with many different sizes and types.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

My husband picked me up the perfect pumpkin for carving and Kevin Ka’eo chose his pumpkin for his first year of carving on his own.  The twins each chose little pumpkins that they decided they would later paint.  We all hiked the pumpkins up the hill to pay for them and finish off our family adventure for the day.  The pumpkin fields can be dirty and dusty and sometimes icky but seriously, the look on these boys faces each year as they find the choice pumpkin for the holiday are priceless.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

Some of the flowers were in bloom at the farm as well, which was an incredible site.  If you know anything about me… then you know that sunflowers are some of my favorite flowers and I look forward to seeing them.  They scream Fall to me which is one of my favorite seasons.

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

Annual Trip To The Pumpkin Patch - K Family Adventures

Since my husband has a pretty crazy work schedule sometimes and we are constantly busy, we are always looking for opportunities for family time.  With the holidays right around the bend, our daily lives can keep us on our toes so having a fun day like we did definitely helps us to make memories that will last a lifetime.  Our annual visit to the Kula Country Farms Pumpkin Patch is the beginning of our Holiday Family moments and reminds me that family – no matter how big or small, is something to cherish.

What are some of your Fall family traditions? Do you visit a pumpkin patch with your family to pick the perfect pumpkin?  Happy Fall!

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  All products, etc. were purchased by me with my own money.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

We are just a few short days away from Mother’s Day and I can’t help buy reflect on my first Mother’s Day 11 years ago.  It seems like the time has flown all too quickly and the minutes of the day just drift away like they are non-existent.  Looking back on what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished gives me a sense of pride.  I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew how rewarding it would be for me and how much I loved this job with all my heart.

My boys are growing so quickly and I have learned after becoming a mother that sometimes a little acknowledgement, peace of mind and inspiration go a really long way.  I wanted to take the time to write a letter to all moms – new, soon to be and those with years of experience.  This is my Mother’s Day Gift to you and I hope you enjoy!

My sons
Luke, Kevin and Isaiah – 2011

Dear Moms…

1. As much as we wish it would, time stands still for no one and father time ticks and tocks the days and nights away.  While our days may be filled with challenges, they may also be filled with laughter and delight.  Take the time each day to stop and think about the things you are grateful for.  I keep a gratitude journal specifically for this reason.  It allows me to reflect back on other days and remember the memories that we often times soon forget.  Remember that each day is filled with some form of happiness… there is always sunlight at the end of a storm.

2.  It’s okay to want a little “me” time.  I’m still trying to grasp the concept myself, but at least now I have accepted that wanting some time to myself does not mean that I don’t love my children.  It just means that I need a break sometimes.  Even if this means you are gonna vegetate in front of the computer, online window shop and have a glass of Vino… so long as it gives you a moment to yourself – hey, that’s great.

Kevin Kaeo
Kevin 2008

3.  Don’t feel bad about wanting to capture every moment on camera.  Your children will thank you later, trust me.  My three sons grew up in front of a camera and I snapped away at every moment and tried to capture as many memories as possible.  Even with a camera attached at the hip, I found that some of their earlier years were missed because I was caught up doing other things.  It’s okay to stop and tell someone you need to take a photo, it’s okay to capture the moment for your memories.  Snap away and always have a camera on hand.  You don’t want to look back at the past and realize you missed something because you were too busy with something else.

4.  Each parent has their own set of advice for new or soon to be mommies.  It can be difficult to hear sometimes and I know that I struggled with this (still do), for a long time.  If it’s something you can use in your life as a momma, then incorporate it into your own.  If you can’t use, do not worry – just move on and thank the person who gave it to you.  Parents sometimes forget that each child is their own individual and what might work for one child, certainly will not work for another.   Do not feel obligated to make someone’s advice work for you – even if they say it will and you know it won’t.

Luke
Luke 2010

5.  This one might only pertain to moms of twinnies… but needless to say, it had to be said.  Please please do not tell a mom of twins (new or otherwise), that you know exactly what they are going through because your children are just 10 months or a year or so apart.  IT IS NOT THE SAME.  I won’t tell you how many verbal arguments I have gotten into with parents over this.  Having two children exactly the same age (twins) is not the same as having a child just a year older.  By the time you have your second child (or the child born a year after), your first child is already starting to feed themselves, talking, walking, etc.  It is not the same experience as two infants or children the same age.  Many can argue the fact, but as a mother of twins, it was absolutely difficult for me to deal with and it was the cause of MANY arguments with other people.  Does that mean that you are less than I because I am a mother of twins – OF COURSE NOT, but they are not a comparison or similarity by any means.

6.  It’s okay to splurge on yourself once in a while.  I’m pretty lucky in that I have a husband that consistently reminds me that it’s time to buy myself something nice, otherwise, it goes on the back burner and I completely forget.  Choose out something from your wishlist and if you can swing it, get it.  Ask your hubby for a Sephora Gift Card (hint hint) and pick up that new perfume or lipstick you’ve been eyeing.  The choices are endless and I want moms to know that it’s okay to want to spoil yourself once in a while.  It’s too often that we forget about ourselves and are always thinking about others, so it’s okay to have a little treat now and then.

Isaiah
Isaiah – 2010

7.  A child’s smile can warm your heart.  But, don’t let that fool you… that doesn’t mean you have to give-in and give them anything and everything they want.   Sometimes structure is key and I know it has been very essential in raising my children.  There are many out there that will say you are being too harsh… but don’t let them affect how your raise your child.  They are your children after all – not your aunts, sisters, mothers, brother from another mother… they are your children and you set the rules.

8.  Your are a strong woman!  It takes more than just physical strength to handle the job of a mom.  You are not only strong physically and mentally, you are courageous, creative and a complete genius.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!

family

9.  Before having your first child, no one ever tells you that it is a 365 day a year job, no days off, no weekends – no holidays… no pay. lol We don’t get a lunch break, no vacation time off and there is no worker’s comp either.  It has made me appreciate my mom more after having children.  While I knew that my mom was a very hard worker and she kept our family afloat, I truly had no idea what it was like until I stepped into this role.  My mom also made it all work with less than half of what my family has financially.  My siblings and I are all healthy and grown up and I am proud to have learned so much from my own mom.

10.  This is an important one!  After having children, sometimes we lose that sense of sexy.  I know after having my boys, I gained twice my weight and I was not feeling very pretty.  Gaining weight after childbirth is not the only thing that makes us not feel beautiful.  Emotions are running wild, we’re tired, we don’t want to put makeup on and pajamas are our best friend.  All these things add up to feeling frumpy and blue and that doesn’t even include the women who suffer from postpartum as I did.  When someone pays you a compliment, believe them.  For a long time my husband would tell me how beautiful I was and I thought to myself… “what’s wrong with this man?  Who in the world is he looking at?”  I still think that way sometimes.  But when your husband tells you are your beautiful – believe him.  This is not an easy concept for many and sometimes we just don’t feel beautiful.  But beauty is much more than looks and a woman who can survive on two hours of sleep and no food in their belly and still be able to cook a whole meal for the house, pay the bills and make sure each child is happy and healthy – well… she has a beauty within that most only dream of having.

My boys

So, at the end of the day – we are here on this Earth because of our Mothers… well, our Dads too.  Most of us are who we are because of these women and those who are mothers, well – we are strong, stealth ninjas with a heart of gold.  At the end of the day, our lives are no longer our own and times can be tough, but there is one thing I know about being a mom… it is the BEST, MOST REWARDING JOB IN THE WORLD and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

To all the mommies out there, new, soon to be and those that are experienced just know that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!  Wishing you all a wonderful Mother’s Day!

xo

Signature Honey

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am a photographer for weddings and portraits.  I love capturing photos that evoke love and happiness and have enjoyed capturing images of couples for several years.  With a growing photography industry, there are a plethora of companies that are available for prints, personalization and design for yourself and to offer your clients.  Over the years I have used many different sites and vendors and quality is a definite a must when providing anything to a client.  Today I want to share with you an online site that makes customization easy and the prices are definitely on par with what is on the market today.  Today I introduce you to Minted.com.

minted sample 3

 

Minted is not a normal print website.  It is a design marketplace.  Creative content from a global community of artists can be found online and can be purchased in the form of art, home décor and stationery directly to consumers.  Minted not only allows you to be creative, the site offers challenges that are open for submission and voting which makes Minted. unique in that it gives an additional option for creators.

Photo by: Honey Kaho'ohanohano
Photo by: Honey Kaho’ohanohano

 

Started by Mariam Naficy in 2007, Minted held their first design challenge with a save-the-date card design competition that attracted 66 entries.  Now a few years later and thousands of design and art entries, the company has expanded into the art business and home décor business and their products have now reached 40 million homes Worldwide.  Founder Mariam loved art & design after seeing a variety of types through out her travels as well as those created by family members and for this reason, she wanted to have the hidden creative talent of those around the World accessible to consumers.

Use inspiration from the available artists or create your own artwork with an easy to use interface via Minted’s online site.  As easy as uploading your own images, adding text and purchasing, everything about Minted provides you with an ease of use, quality product and a plethora of art work to decorate your home, office and everything in between.

Minted Sample

 

Minted.com is the perfect solution if you’re looking to give a house warming gift.  How great would it be to offer the new home owners a personalized gift for display.  Newlyweds and newly engaged couples will love this option as well.   If you are an artist, photographer or someone who just loves art, Minted is a site that I know you will love and if you are anything like me, you’ll be spending hours going through all the options available.

Image by Minted.com
Image by Minted.com

Minted is not just for photogs alike.  Get great DIY tips for your special events or day to day as well as fun items to add a little spunk to your everyday.  Complete your party with favor bags, straws and all the fun decor you need to make a simple party an absolute blast.  From stationery, invitations and announcements and decoration, Minted offers more than you could ever imagine.  After hours of browsing through Minted’s website, I have yet to discover everything it has to offer.  You will be amazed at everything available and how much you can customize.

Check out Minted.com for all the fun and inspirational ideas for your life and everything in between.  Have you heard of Minted before?  What do you think about sites like these that offer you a creative outlet as well as inspiration?

Signature Honey


It’s no secret that I am Photography obsessed.  Since the day my dad put a camera in my hands many many moons ago, I have a love of photos and taking images that is beyond passion.  After having my children, that love and passion turned into an addiction – so much so that most times when my children see a camera… they are already smiling. lol  And, if you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I’m also a Selfie Obsessed Makeup Addict – self proclaimed, of course.  Taking photos constantly and on a daily basis is a part of my life and sharing them with family and friends is important to me.  But, what if my family members don’t have Facebook or Instagram?  Well, that is where the Seahorse app makes my life in photos fun and interesting…

seahorse appThe Seahorse app is available for both iPhone and Android and is a way to privately share your images with Family and Friends.  Our life is full with different scenes whether it be a trip, a celebration, a wedding or just a day where you want to take a bunch of photos. Share those photos with those that are special to you without sharing them with the World is now easier than ever.  Gone are the days of emailing a limited amount of images because you are going over your email limit or texting galleries to family and friends.  Now you can share your images on one little app while your family/friends can add their own images and video to your scenes too.

seahorse app

Using the app is easy as pie… I have an Android Phone so here is what I did.

  • Download the app directly to your phone, iPad or Tablet.  Search “Seahorse” and you’ll see an icon with a little white seahorse against a purple toned background.
  • Download Seahorse via iPhone.
  • Download Seahorse via Android.
  • Log in (if you already have an account) or Sign Up.  Signing up is easy – simply use your Facebook, Google + or your email address to sign up for a free account.  Already have an account?  Then go ahead and log in.
  • After you have signed up, follow the prompts to create a new scene to share with your friends and family… Select… New Scene or Tap the Camera Icon on the top right of your screen and a pop up with be visible stating to “Take a Photo or Video, Import from Gallery, Import from Other services, + New Scene”.
  • Tap the “New Scene” and name your gallery – i.e. Twins Birthday Celebration
  • Be sure to invite some of your friends and family to view the gallery.  You can manually type in an email address or it will search for contacts through your contact list.
  • Select or Tap “Create”
  • You can now start adding images to your scene and your friends will receive an email with directions to download the app.

“Uploading images from your galleries on your device or computer is simple.  Just select the image from one of your galleries or a video and you’re good to go.”  

seahorse app

A huge huge benefit for me when it comes to Seahorse is that I can also upload and add images directly from my computer which is a big convenience for me.  Since a lot of my images are taken with my DSLR and imported directly to my computer, this allows me to upload directly into Seahorse without the additional steps that I may need from other applications.  I also like to have a break from my phone and tablet from time to time and this really allows me to use the source of choice easily.  And, this photog is all about resolution so I’m happy to say that Seahorse saves your images in their original resolution.

“Use Magic to shake your phone for random images from across scenes to discover a forgotten moment, milestone or celebration”

seahorse app

Uploading images, viewing your scenes and sharing images is very easy. Simply tap to upload, tap to view and tap to share. And, what I love is that the friends that are added to your scenes can also upload and add images and video to share with you.  It’s like a personal gallery that you each can enjoy.  I especially love this option because family parties or gatherings can be turned into a scene full with images from each person that attended.

“All photos and videos shared in a Seahorse scene are co-owned, or belong to, everyone invited to that scene.  Intuitive organizing and sorting by date, location, friends and scenes make it easy to find and share memories.”

Girls night out?  Yay – simply add your friends and you can each share images and video that you captured that evening.  

Since my parents don’t use social media sites, this gives all of us the opportunity to connect and share our treasured moments with one another without being bogged down by a news feed.  For those of you that have family or friends that are trying to stay away from Social Media – this is a great way to share your life’s scenes with them instantly and quickly.  Seahorse is ALWAYS private.  So feel confident knowing that you only share what you are comfortable with and whom.

seahorse app

Seahorse is offering my readers an extra 5GB of storage by using promo code: CLEVERHORSE.  This promo code is good until October 31, 2014 and it can only be used once per user.

To redeem:

    • Tap the icon on the top left corner to access your account settings
    • Tap “Redeem”
    • Tap “Write code” and enter CLEVERHORSE
    • Tap “Go” on your keyboard

Technology offers so many advancements now a days and sharing your life with those you love is now much simpler and fun.  The Seahorse app made my favorites this month and I know it will be a favorite of yours too.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


I am a lover of all things photography and most of my blogger friends don’t know that I actually photograph weddings and portraits and have been doing so for years.  Having worked with a variety of clients and vendors, I always find it very important to work with a client that provides great service and standard for their customers and because I live in Hawaii, it is important that shipping is affordable and it gets to me quickly so I can deliver the product to my clients in a timely fashion.

PRESS SAMPLE

Canvas HQ

Canvas HQ is a printing company that offers high quality (get it – HQ) work, quick and fast, affordable but nonetheless a great product.  Printing anything from small scale Canvas prints to Artwork size large scale prints, Canvas HQ does it all in a jiffy.

Canvas HQ

My artwork piece arrived shortly after placing the order.  I ordered a 14″ x 11″ semi-gloss canvas ($53.95) and it printed and shipped in about 1 day and was on its way to Hawaii.  Shipping was free (though shipping may be determined on the size or price of your canvas piece) and was sent via Ground UPS.  It arrived in about 8 days and was delivered to me safe and snug.  As you can see from the photo above, the canvas was shipped with a plastic bag or covering over it and taped into the box so there would be no movement.  The box itself held the canvas piece into place and everything arrived well and safely.

Canvas HQ

 

The frame is 1.5″ thick and I opted for a black frame instead of an image wrap or mirror wrap that are also options available.  When I normally order canvas prints for my clients, I select the image wrap to continue their photo around the frame, but I thought the black for my photo would make the picture stand out more.  The quality of the canvas material is nice and definitely uses high quality products (or as they say, ingredients) to create my artwork.  The colors were true to color from what I seen on my computer, so I also loved that as well.

Canvas HQ

 

If you like to mount your artwork on a wall, Canvas HQ also provides Free Hanging Hardware.  It’s easy to use and install which makes that a definite plus.

Overall, I’m very impressed with the product as well as the company.  I have used many different canvas and artwork printers over the last few years and I consider this one to great quality – awesome value.  My family is definitely enjoying our artwork and I will continue to be a customer of Canvas HQ for years to come.  It’s difficult to find a canvas printer that can offer you a great price point but still give  you the type of artwork you would pay hundreds for.  I especially love canvas prints because I am a photographer of nature and they are the best way to display your art when it comes to landscape and floral.  If  you are considering purchasing a canvas for the first time, I definitely recommend checking out Canvas HQ.

Signature Honey

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.