The cornerstone of my family lies in the strength of our women.The feminine role is a force that has no equal. A family weaves like a sinew which represents a vessel of an active family. Families are reliant upon the firm support of their women.
Aunty’s clamoring melodies frequently reverberated across the village from dusk to dawn. Her hard mat and pate log instrument being the only noises audible across the village. Instruments obliged thoroughly with the demands she repeatedly ordered the dancers “You need to sway gently like a traditional Samoan female dancer, relax your shoulders and vamp like a girl, not a boy selling bananas on the side of the road! Again!” she chastised with a sudden glare.
I’d carry a Colgate in my Nautica satchel. Every meeting was not in Papauta. It was harshly somewhere else. It was as if we had just met. Boy sees girl and bam! We’re in love.
“See you when you get there” by Coolio was already taken for, like, nine other dedications during the time we were racing to dial “7000” over and over. When all the options were out the window, the deejay would hang up, fed-up with our protests of knowing a song before anyone who had made it through before us. In the end, we chose the song “Mafaufau tasi” by RSA.
Like that one day at church while she was having a conversation with another woman. Ontee reached into her own purse and gave the woman a piece of PK chewing gum. When the woman walked away, Ontee Tali turned to me and whispered, “That gum is going to die in her mouth slowly. Rest in peace, PK.”
Counting days now for the release of my next book #PintailFoundation.
Being a busy mom always sets apart the work schedule from the norms at home..in the kitchen, around the garden, my 3D sticker quotes on the wall and lanterns made out of tissue papers. But this is the great deal of being a crafty mother who uses what is there to bring out the excitement in an 8 year old’s bday parties, last minute book club meetings and hosting events for guests.
As many do not know, I’m a rummage and frugal fan at heart. Everything you’ll see around garage sales from dressers, tables and pallets, I make use of those after sanding down old colors to adding a hot accent color that can blend in with rainbow-colored hinges. Who wants to spend money on expensive things when there’s an 8 year old who fathoms penmanship adventures with permanent markers and pointless pencils? Not I. And who would want to splurge into the fabulous Pier 1 aisles when we can do it ourselves right?
From my lil creative diy ideas, I no longer spend $$$$ on invitations, junkies, decorations and goody bags. I make my own at home from old wrapping papers, construction colorful papers from $1 stores– with just a glue gun, stapler and colorful markers. Being this frugal has saved me a whole lot of money. It has also saved me from the big dreams and dreadful months before a birthday party or last minute events. My family calls me cheapskate but they secretly adore it when my projects are done. Haters!
I love mason jars. When I was young, my grandmother used to always prefer getting her tea poured in an old mayo jar that my mother had rinsed out and reserved for used cooking oil. Grandma practically used this mayo jar for her tea for some odd reason. There was one day when we were planting flowers out back that my grandma shared her thoughts that in the future, someone will develop an entrepreneurship idea and bring value to that type of jar. She didn’t explain why but I couldn’t stop thinking of her when I discovered at a painting party with friends, that the ladies labeled these mason jars and were each stuffed with salsa, margarita drinks and goodies. The bloody Mary drink was the greatest investment I’ve seen so far with dill pickles, a shrimp, bacon, celery and a sausage tooth-picked to the mouth of the jar. My diy idea using mason jars on my daughter’s birthday party was created finely for the goody stand as a set for the M & M’s, gumballs, dark chocolate piroulines and mustard pretzels.
Sweet tooth cupcakes? I used to spend a lot of money taking cupcakes for my daughter’s classmates on her birthday and for her birthday celebration. Now, I calculated the pennies that have all been tossed into something I now know I could’ve done a long time ago. Making my own rocks! I relish being the one baking them cause I get to lick the spoon before the guests arrive. Toothpicks and glue guns always comes in handy for cupcake themes. I printed Disney characters and glued them to toothpicks for the boys. For the girls, I used a plastic snap hairpin (new-bought-make sure to wash) or fake diamond rings and place them finely on cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles. You’d be amazed to see what I used to cream the cupcakes. I didn’t go all out for a Cake Boss inspired theme. I stuck to my own frugal home slice ideas to spark up the moment for my 8 year old.
Goody bags: A bag of small chips with a quantity of 20 for $4.99 worked best for me. The rest of the goodies were all exciting products that didn’t cost me much. If you extreme coupon, you could walk off with everything nearly free for goody bag items. I know budget may weigh down options for others, but you’ll realize that some things you need are really cheap as long as you’re only looking at what you need and not trying to buy 50 Star Wars mink blankets to stuff in a kid’s goody bag. Be simple: stickers, Hubba Bubba gums, juice boxes, animal crackers and a thank you note. If you want to stay on the healthy counter, there’s oranges, apples, milk cartons and cheese sticks and crackers, too. There are many ideas that can be used to stuff a goody bag, but let me just start with saying that colorful papers does the work best. My overworked stapler, glue gun and scissors were magical in procuring the hot pink stash as shown in the picture. I used a blank paper to write a lil “thanks” or “thank you” label out to glue to the goody bag. It is simple, and again, it saves moolah!
A simple menu is always sufficing for the kids. I whipped a pink platter with chips and dip, frosty animal crackers, pretzels, cheese cubes, strawberries and oreos besides pizza and birthday cake. As a Samoan, I marvel at the different boxes (not plate, BOXES!), my friends makes for huge birthday parties.At the end of the day, the kids are too busy playing games at the party, they end up not eating all the huge portions of meals made. This is where the adults start to stroll to their cars with 1, 2, or 3 boxes each. (I’m kidding)
I don’t make napkins or plates, so don’t ask me how they’re made. LOL! However, if you really want to have your event personalized on forks, spoons, napkins, plates, with bottle and wine labels, you can have them custom made @ Oriental Labels Online.
Here’s my water bottle labels. Water bottle labels can be ordered online.
If you’re in American Samoa, you can print your labels with Island Printing Store by the Nuuuli Theaters in Tafuna. I ordered wine labels from them, and they came out really good. Picture below. Thanks to Esther Posala for these! (That wiz behind photo shop guru does an excellent job!)
If you scroll back up and look at my cupcakes, they’re all wavy and purdy from my fork. I instilled a lil Cake Boss design by playing waves several times with it, before giving in to adding sprinkles and displaying them on the table. But how I creamed it? *drums* Simply give up the anxiety of having to stand in the fondant aisle all day trying to be impressive. A scone bag is the same material used to procure a ziplock bag. If you can’t tell by the picture, now you know where I found my homeslice scone cream bag. I’m a simpleton. If someone spends $200 to see a purdy rendezvous, you might want to try a $50 budget to see the same results one day.
My cupcakes are homemade–Tort-made (rich dark chocolate) meshed from Hershey, flour and butter fyi (My sister in law Lysa’s recipe.) Tort is very rich that when you add, cream cheese, powdered sugar, cool whip with sliced strawberries on top, you’ll be salivating for more.
Back then, we didn’t have cake boxes that we can conveniently blend together with an artisan mixer after tossing all the products in, but we had a mother who made miracles from a Hershey can, Milo or Koko Samoa (samoan cocoa) mixed with flour. Every other day when my mother didn’t want to knead the mini dough balls for a Kopai (Samoan dumpling with sweet sauce), she’ll make the chocolautey cake (in a form of a bundt with Samoan jam glazed on top.)
Lastly, my frugal DIY life. Since becoming a mother, military spouse, counselor and law school student, I’ve been crunching so much to the last strand of hair left on my head. Time management has become my pet peeve thus far– which helped to ameliorate the discombobulated last minute events. From doing it myself, I was able to save time, money and allay the headaches after a long day. Essentially, every mother’s dream is to live simply while reducing the hassle and stress from other things around the house, the family, work, and so forth. You can make it happen with these simple diy ideas!