Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! But First, Let's Review.

 Holy cow, I'm gonna warn you now, this is a long blog post. But it's the last one of 2010 and I want to review our adventures over the past year. It's been a great year and it was so fun going back through my old blog posts and pictures and remembering all that happened.

Click the links to hop to old blog posts and get more details!

January Chris and I spent the first two weeks of the New Year savoring each other's company before he headed off on deployment in the Pacific. I started art classes at Honolulu Academy of Arts...

February ... I quit my art classes at Honolulu Academy of Arts. Hated them. It was the best decision of the year. I survived the Tsunami. My little sister, Tori came to visit and we tore up the island. Chris did an 80 mile bike trek around the island of Palau. And he grew a skuzzy mustache. He thought it looked awesome. Me-- not so much.

March  I went to visit Chris in Yokosuka, Japan where we had a blissful week together in delightfully cold weather. We celebrated my 24th birthday a little early. Later that month, my parents came out to visit. It was so nice to get them all to myself (I'm one of 7 kids, that doesn't happen often) and to show them 'our' island.

April I started exploring my passions more this month. I began blogging and painting a lot more consistently. I painted my very first dahlia painting & got my first professional blog makeover. Also, I went to a Jack Johnson concert with lots of buddies. And I missed Chris a lot.

May We celebrated our first wedding anniversary! Apart. Also, Chris' 24th birthday. But the month was full of lots of preparation and anticipation because...

June... Chris came home! June 1st was a happy happy day, when I was reunited with the love of my life. We took a post deployment trip to the Big Island. Later that month, we competed in and won our first tandem surf competition!

July Chris was gone for the month and I was alone once again. So thankful for our mini-church and the Hawaiian ohana we have here. At the end of the month, I flew home to Maryland and got lots of wonderful time with my parents, siblings and growing- at- the- speed- of- light nieces and nephews.

August We met up in Rhode Island where Chris attended a school for three weeks. My artwork was featured on Young House Love and I was astonished at the traffic (and awesome new followers!) it brought to my blog.

September  I opened my Etsy shop, Aisle to Aloha Studio! It's been such a sweet ride and I've loved every bit of it! I also reached my 200th blog post, went to Maui with my girl friends and Chris and I enjoyed a super awesome air show.

October Not a lot went on in October. We got all gussied up for a Cirque du Soleil date, did a lot of sunrise surf sessions on the North Shore and I made a wreath.

November Six members of Chris' family came to visit for Thanksgiving and we hosted them in our tiny house! We also built a sawhorse table and I bought ceiling medallions for the living room.

December Christmas time! I battled with homesickness for a lot of the month and Chris was super busy with work. We are gearing up for another deployment, but excited for what the New Year will bring!

Whew! If you made it through the whole post, you are a saint and I love you so! Thank you for reading my blog--I'm so grateful for each of you that visits. It's been a blast sharing our adventures with you this year. Come back on Monday to read about my New Year's resolutions! 

Have a fabulous time celebrating tonight! Happy New Year, my dear friends! 

Don't forget--I'm having a New Year sale for Aisle to Aloha Studio! Enter HAPPYNEWYEAR15 for 15% off your order! :) 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year Sale in my Etsy Shop!

I took a little break from blogging today since Chris just started his holiday leave, but I thought I'd pop in and let you know that my entire shop is on sale from now until this Saturday, January 1st!

Get 15% your order when you enter the code HAPPYNEWYEAR15 at checkout! Happy shopping!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Etsy Love: Calendars for the New Year

{Yes, I know I said I'd post this on Thursday, but I just couldn't wait! Enjoy!}

A fresh slate, a new start, who doesn't love getting to pick out a new calendar as the last days of December dwindle away? As I was browsing the aisles of Etsy, I found several that caught my eye. Here are my fave calendars for your viewing pleasure.  

Patterned 2011 Wall Calendar-- by lettercdesign 

2011 Colorful Mood Calendar --by dodelinedesign

2011 Desk Calendar-- by Jess Gonocha

Which is your favorite? I can't decide between the second, patterned one  by letter C design or the beautiful, colorful one by Jess Gonocha. And seriously, there are thousands more amazing calendars on Etsy. I had a hard time narrowing it down to these. 

Are you a desk top calendar kind of girl? Or does iCal work just fine for you? Personally, I've gotta have those little boxes to fill in birthdays, special events, etc. 

Have a great Wednesday and don't forget to fill out my survey if you've got a minute!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Improving Aisle to Aloha in 2011!

With the New Year approaching, you may be looking for fresh ways to advertise your handmade/indie shop or blog, and I would love to partner with you! I really love being able to share fabulous shops & blogs with my readers. 

I'm switching up the ad sizes in order to create a more cohesive look for the blog design. Prices are staying the same, but ads are getting bigger! So you get more ad space for your money! Woot!

New ad sizes are: 

Large-- 220 x 150 


Small-- 220 x 65 


Check out my sponsorship page for my growing stats, affordable rates and more information. Email me at aisletoaloha[at] if you are interested in sponsoring Aisle to Aloha or have any questions. 

Also, I am hoping to improve on the blog and my Etsy shop this month with your help. I created a survey with 10 easy questions that will help me to gauge how I'm doing, what you are liking, what you are not liking. I shared it on twitter yesterday and I already have gotten quite a few very helpful responses. 

I love writing this blog and sharing my life with you and I feel so blessed to be able to use my creativity in my Etsy shop. Would you take a minute to fill out my survey, pleeease?

Your responses are totally anonymous, so have it! (But, be kind. Please.)

Thanks guys! Come back on Thursday for a round up of some totally awesome calendars for your 2011 year!


From the Mouths of Painters.

I spent my entire Monday in bed. I wasn't sick, just lazy. :) Chris was on duty so I knew I didn't have to get the house clean or make dinner, so I just sat in bed on my computer and listened to the pouring rain and thunder. Ever need a day like that? It's good for the soul, I think.

Anyway, as I was searching for a quote for the bottom of my blog a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a lot of other great quotes. I think you can substitute almost any creative endeavor for 'painting' and they still ring true. 

Some are hilarious and some touchingly true--I thought I'd share. 

That stroke you are about to make on a painting is as much you as the next word you utter or the next breath you take. (Harley Brown)

Painting, n. the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic. (Ambrose Bierce)

Painting is a source of endless pleasure, but also of great anguish. (Balthus)

I paint because I love to cut mats. (Arthur Alexander)

“The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” (Picasso)

(all photos via weheartit)

“I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.” (Stephen Wright)

Are you getting back into the swing of things after the holidays? Chris' leave starts on Thursday so we're just gearing up for our holiday vacation! I think we might be heading to Maui for a little getaway after the New Year. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Very Hawaiian Christmas

Happy Monday! Hope you enjoyed a fabulous holiday weekend with friends and family! Just a short post today with a few pictures from our Christmas here on the island. And a very Hawaiian Christmas it was. 

Complete with our fake fire crackling away on the tv, lots of presents from family afar...

... and hitting the surf in our Santa hats! 

Here we are fresh from the ocean. 

How was your Christmas day? What fun traditions do you have? Surfing on Christmas Day is definitely one we will greatly miss when we leave this beautiful place. 

Have a lovely day, my friends! (And yes, I'm very jealous of all of you with snow!)