Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Golf Snowman Christmas Stocking

This is probably my favorite stocking that I made. I just think it's so cute. As with each stocking it is completely hand sewn, beaded, and embroidered. It takes a lot of time, but the end result is great. I usually work on the stockings in the colder months while watching tv or a movie. This is the completed version of Bucilla Golf Snowman Kit that I got on clearance for $5!

Gingerbread House Christmas Stocking

This is my completed Bucilla Gingerbread House Kit that I made for myself. Once again this is one of the stocking kits I found a few years ago after Christmas for $5 at Wal-mart. What a steal!

Sports Santa Christmas Stocking

This the completed Bucilla Sports Santa Kit that I made for my husband. I got the kit after Christmas a few years ago for $5 at Wal-mart. Sadly, I've never seen that deal again :(

Cowboy Santa Christmas Stocking

This is my completed version of the Bucilla Cowboy Santa Kit that I made for my nephew. His mother loves horses so it was definitely a hit. I caught this kit along with about 8 others on clearance for $5 at Wal-Mart a few years back. Thankfully I bought one of each kit they had available!

Mickey Mouse Christmas stocking

I've been making Bucilla felt stockings for over 5 years now as Christmas gifts for my family. It started out for my sister and her new husband and then expanded to new nieces and nephews. This particular stocking is for my newest nephew and his mother is obsessed with Mickey Mouse. My inspiration was the Janlynn Kit I found on Amazon. I didn't really like the price tag and decided I would attempt to make it from scratch. Here's my rendition with a little extra pieces

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park is a great outdoor place a few hours from Seattle. Some of our favorites were hiking up to hurricane ridge, wandering through the HOH rain forest, walking to Cape Flattery, and watching the sunset on Quinalt Lake. If you like driftwood check out Rialto Beach. Be warned though the national park campgrounds do not have showers!

Cape Flattery - the northwest point of the US

HOH River in the rainforest

Vancouver BC

Vancouver British Columbia was a fun little four day adventure. We had fun at the aquarium especially the beluga whales and dolphin shows. Plus, they had a very inquisitive dolphin in a downstairs exhibit that they rescued. She kept swimming up to the window and watching all the people. She'd follow your finger and little kids playing in the window. The sea otters were adorable as usual. We spent most of our time exploring the outdoor places like Stanley ParkCypress Falls, and Lynn Canyon Park. Pay with credit cards and you don't have to worry about converting money. If you drive across the border stay calm, cool and collective. Remember the workers are just doing their jobs even though it's not a dangerous border!

View of downtown from Stanley Park

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is a short drive from Seattle. It's an easily accessible waterfall for everyone.


We spent a few days exploring Seattle Washington. We toured downtown, pacific science center, IMAX, the Aquarium, the Space Needle, harbor tour and the EMP museum with the City Pass. I really wish we would have given ourselves more time at the EMP since my husband is a music junkie and loved it so much. Of course we had to go to Pike's market and see the famous fish throwing. On our last day we went to Museum of Flight which was a very cool museum. They have lots of fun planes in the main gallery, a WWI and WWII section and an outdoor section where we walked through a retired Air Force 1. Our favorites were the WWI and WWII areas. They were very well put together and informative. I'm generally not a big fan of museums, but this one was great. I had to stop and listen to every sound bite.

View of the city from the space needle

Mount Hood

After spending a few days at the Columbia River Gorge we were going to venture to Mount Hood. Unfortunately, we had truck problems and only got to see it in passing. Maybe someday we'll go back and explore it a little more! On a side note a few hours away is a Stone Henge Replica worth checking out.

Columbia River Gorge

We spent a weekend exploring Portland Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge. The Multnomah - Wahkeena Loop Trail was a very pretty hike with over 10 named waterfalls. It's crowded at the start and finish, but the middle section was pretty peaceful. The Indian Point hike gives you great views of the Gorge, but I'd avoid taking Nick Eaton since the views aren't that great and it's more climbing to the top. Ainsworth State Park is located near Horsetail falls and includes RV spaces, pack in tent sites and hot showers!

Waterway on the Loop Trail

Fairy Falls

Horse Tail Falls

Multnomah Falls


Indian Point

The Gorge

Mount Shasta

We spent a few weeks relaxing in Weed, CA waiting for a work assignment. Don't be fooled by the remoteness and lack of hype about this area; there are beautiful places to be seen including numerous Alpine Lakes, Mount Shasta and Black Butte.


We took a one day adventure to Oahu when we were living on Kauai for three months. Most of our time was spent at Pearl Harbor. It was such a moving experience greatly enhanced by the audio tour. Unfortunately not everyone remembers it's a memorial and not just another tourist stop. We also drove around the South, east and north shores with visits to the beautiful beaches and visiting the honu. I never get tired of watching them. We avoided Waikiki and the masses of tourists at all costs.

Pearl Harbor

Oahu Sunset


We were blessed to have the opportunity to live in Kauai for 3 months. It really is one of the most beautiful places we've seen and a great place for outdoor activity. We explored 2-4 days a week for three months and couldn't do everything we planned. The snorkeling near the Lawai Resort in Poi'pi is like swimming in an aquarium. Hiking to hidden waterfalls and breathtaking views is priceless. We had an incredible time exploring by boat with Na Pali Explorer and air with Inter Island Helicopters. My husband's Kauai Adventure Yelp List provides reviews of numerous places on Kauai and Ultimate Kauai guidebook is how we planned most all of our adventures. 


 Kalalau Valley from the top of Pihea Trail.

The famous Na Pali Coastline from the helicopter tour

Coastline view on the Shipwrecks beach to Maha'ulepu Hike

Kekaha Sunset

San Francisco

We spent about five days exploring San Francisco. There really is so much to do besides wandering through Fisherman's wharf and riding the cable cars. We did a lot of tourist stuff, but it was also fun to just walk through the city streets. We learned a lot about the city from Reed our tour guide at Mr. Toad Tours. Twin peaks gives you a great view of the city, but can be a little tricky to find. Also across the Golden Gate and a short drive through the back country you can find Muir Woods for a little outdoor activity. My favorite thing though was touring Alcatraz with the audio guide. It was very interesting!

The Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field

Hiking in John Muir Woods

The Grand Canyon

We spent a very hot July weekend exploring the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's pretty from the top, but it's easier to take in the beauty from the less crowded area below. Just remember it's easy going down, but you have to climb back out. Pack lots of water and salty snacks to keep your body going.

We did Desert view drive stopping along the way at each vista or pull out and eventually ending at The watch tower. We walked along the Rim Trail to Pima Point where we caught the shuttle to Hermit's rest because there wasn't much daylight left. We road the shuttle all the way back in the dark.

Our big Grand Canyon adventure was hiking on the Bright Angel Trail. We started off later than we planned and my husband wanted to make it all the way down to the river (16 miles), which is not recommended as a day hike especially in the summer. I was pretty sure we wouldn't make it to the river and back up so I had opted to at least make it to Indian Garden Campground (9.6 miles), but hopefully plateau point (12 miles). Less than a mile from Indian Garden I started to hear thunder, but no one else on the path seemed to notice so I didn't say anything. Then out of nowhere the wind picked up with full force. We had to stop and cover our faces because we couldn't see anything from the dirt blowing into our eyes (we now have motorcycle glasses to prevent this). A group of us all strangers huddled together near the wall. Next came the rain a very cold rain especially after hiking in the heat all day. Thankfully, the rain stopped the dirt from blowing in our eyes so we started our long, cold, tiring trek back up out of the canyon. When we reached a shelter we stopped with pretty much every other hiker to wait out the rain, but after 30+ minutes we decided to continue on in the rain. Finally when we were half way up the rain stopped, but the sun never came back out to dry us off. I was now tired, cold, wet, and my hip was hurting so I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings when my husband hollered "look out!" Much to my amazement a Desert Bighorn sheep was a few feet in front of me on a popular trail. I of course scream and startle it and as I jump to the edge of the trail it charges passed. By the time my husband got a picture it was well passed us. We finished our hike and wandered through the south rim.

On our drive back to the KOA way outside of the Grand Canyon we passed a National Geographic Museum. We passed it each day and always commented on the elk statue in front. On this particular day there seemed to be a lot more action in the town than normal and we soon figured out why. A live elk was standing next to the statue. We pulled over to catch a picture and the elk had crossed over into a gas station and finally into a lot behind a hotel. This thing caused a whole lot of commotion by tourist in such a small town, but it didn't seem to care at all.

View from Rim Trail

 My hubby with the Elk

Me with the Elk --- Excited tourist, unexcited elk

Sunny San Diego

We find ourselves frequently going back to a familiar favorite in California partially because we like it, but also to see the amazing Dr. Irwin Goldstein. Some of our favorites are Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. We may be grown adults, but we still love animals. Both places have much to offer. The zoo had steeper prices than we are used to but it was worth it. We've spent hours walking around Balboa Park exploring the museums, the beautiful grounds, and gardens (rose and cactus). We spent 4th of July day at Coronado Island and the evening at Shelter Island for the firework show. We've never been disappointed in San Diego!

The shamu show was tons of fun. If you sit in the splash zone you will get wet!

Who doesn't love panda bears?

This polar bear cub was so adorable!

 San Diego skyline from Shelter Island

San Diego Ocean Bluffs

California Highway 1

The famous California Pacific Coast Highway gives you some very breathtaking views. We took a short adventure up the coast from San Luis Obispo to Monterrey Bay. Great stops along the way include Hearst Castle, veiwing the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas especially in the winter, Big Sur, watching the sunset, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Whale watching in Monterey. Plan your trip in advance and have paper print outs. When we were there in 2010 & we couldn't load Google maps in Big Sur and missed numerous stops.

Beautiful California Coast

California Sunset while finishing up our whale watching adventure.