Tomorrow is November!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hey Everyone - Don't eat too much candy!  This picture is from last year, my first time ever "somewhat" participating in Halloween.  I used a light brown paint pot to define the triangles then filled it in with bronzer and shimmer to create a nice sticky, shimmery base in all three triangles and eyes, then used a brown gel liner and black liquid liner to do the print.  Also used the black liquid liner for the whiskers, and then a kajal pencil for for the bottom of the nose, middle of the lip and lining the lip.  Finished it off with a red lipstick and some mascara.

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Don't Decide on a Blogging Niche

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If you read articles or e-books on how to have a successful blog, you will hear over and over again that your blog should fulfill a niche.  So you rack your brain on putting a unique twist on a certain subject.  While that my work for some, it doesn’t for most.

Quite frankly, coming up with a niche can be intimidating, especially for novice bloggers.  How can you know what:
  1. Will attract your readers;
  2. You will enjoy writing about;
  3. You will be able to produce consistent content on?
Yes, you may enjoy crafting (or makeup tutorials, recipes, etc.) – but the amount of time and effort it takes to create the craft, write detailed instructions and stage it for “blog worthy” pictures can be very time consuming for your average woman with a day job that sits in rush hour traffic.  Besides, the obvious household duties that needs to be done, when are we supposed to take pictures with the perfect, natural afternoon sunshine? Not that it isn’t doable, but time factors should be considered before deciding on your niche.

Instead of deciding on a niche, why don’t we explore our options to DEFINE IT.  Dibble dabble, if you will, in different types of posts to see what type of content you enjoy creating; what type of content is manageable for you to be consistent in your posting; and what your readers respond to.

While defining, opposed to deciding your niche, you can still keep your blog organized!
Answer these four questions:
  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What is my story?
  4. What do I want to do? 

Every one of those answers can be content for your blog for you to explore and define your niche.  After you list all of your items, group them in generalized groups.  
Let’s take a look at my personal blog.  I am a lifestyle blogger, living in Hawaii with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and certification in being a dietary manager and food protection professinoal.  Besides my love for business and entrepreneurship, I enjoy curating random collections like favorite coffee table books; playing with photoshop and posting freebie printables; sharing my awesome recipes; finding new ways to express creativity and humor; and I help take care of my boyfriend’s son who is autistic. 

How do you organize all of that into a blog that flows?  I look at my blog like a magazine.  Certain articles and columns reach different niches in the magazine’s target market.  Those different niches are your different categories. After answering the questions above, I categorize all my answers into the different niches that I enjoy talking about and display them in my sidebar, so that readers can access them easily.  Many of my posts can be in two or more of my general categories and so I can hit different audiences with one post, which may lead to them being interested in another.

Now that you have a few different topics to discuss on your blog (in an organized manner), you can see which posts are received better than others by your readers and also find out which posts you enjoy putting together and the time that goes into them – which leads you to defining and refining your niche as your blog grows!

xoxo, Aukele
keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

The Honolulu Zoo [+ Sponsor Spotlight]

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's been a while since I posted a Hawaii post up in here - so I figured I was way overdue, huh!?  A couple of weeks back my cousin, Alika, from the Big Island brought her third son here with her for a work trip/weekend getaway.  He was so excited.  One of the things he wanted to do was check out the zoo.  So myself, my aunty, my nephew, Noah, and CJ tagged along for the trip.
I love that we can bring food into the zoo because it is a huge money saver for those tourist trap food stations.  I packed a punch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and snack packs, while my cousin brought the waters and juice.
I absolutely love the new elephant exhibit.  It opened up about a year or so ago.  Now the elephants are SUPER up close and personal, opposed to hidden in their old exhibit.  Plus they have a ton more room to roam around and be much more free.  It was fun to watch this fella (or bella?) swish up the grass with his trunk and then swoop it up into his mouth.  Took me a few shots to capture him eating!  I shoulda just taped it!

 How stunning are the giraffes?  I love giraffes.  As a kid, it was on the top of my list to visit when my Dad would take me to this very zoo.  Although, for some reason, I remember being able to climb up a viewing deck to get a closer look at the faces of the giraffe.  Not sure if that was just my imagination, or if the zoo had a viewing deck like that - maybe I should ask??  At any rate - I love the exhibits here because they don't have fences or anything like and it kinda feels like you're just right there experiencing the animals in their own habitat.  Super cool

 After we toured the zoo (lions and tigers included - though they were behind very safe glass and fencing) the kids went into the keiki zoo where the could climb through a tunnel in the middle of the koi fish pond, check out some cows up close, visit with the goats and check out a mini horse and some sheep.

There are a ton of animals that I didn't take pictures of that are at the zoo.  Some of them include: flamingos, storks, lions, tigers, foxes, mere cats, alligators, tortoises, snakes, warthogs, monkeys, orangutans, chimpanzees and others.


So, the most adorable girl ever decided to come and hang out on my sidebar. She is a cute and fun loving, girl that is making waves in blogland.  Take it away Laura... 
Hello! I'm Laura, a girl from a small island in the Caribbean who packed her bags and followed her heart, as well as her newlywed husband, to another small island on the other side of the world! Together G and I have made Okinawa, Japan our home. Over at Inspiration.Sparks you'll find: the inside scoop on living in Japan, home decor ideas, DIY's, among other fun things! Hope to see you there.

Favorite Posts from Laura : First Year of Marriage: What I've Learned | The Inside Scoop: Driving in Okinawa  | The Pet Sitting Diaries (series)
Follow Laura here: Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin' | Pinterest

Well thats all folks!! xoxo, Aukele
keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

Monday Morning Coffee

Monday, October 28, 2013

Good Morning my Dashing Readers - 
Before the week officially starts (ie: I walk into my office building), I just wanted to have some Monday Morning Coffee with all of you peeps and catch up a little bit.  So, first things first, how was everyone's weekend?? Mine?  It was full of taking care of one sick boyfriend.  And that's been my life for the past two days.  A ton of movies, vitamin C, soup, gatorade and cold compresses.
And holy cannoli - the response to the Starbucks giveaway was insane!  1111 entries.  Wow.  That was super cool to see soooooo many people participating in it.  Unfortunately the first winner's winning entry was not valid (stopped following the person on a social media site); and so I had to pick another one.  She wanted to remain anonymous so I didn't post her name in the widget - but I just had to publicly acknowledge on here how happy I was to see the giveaway do so well.  Super awesome sauce!
ALSO - if you didn't read last week's post, I passed my CDM, CFPP credentialing exam (certified dietary manager and certified food protection professional)!  Woo hoo! What am I going to do with that?  Well it is necessary for my job - but I'm also thinking of writing a food safety for the home type of ebook to be a resource for families who don't realize that they may be jeopardizing their family's health (and it's preventable!).
Now that the burden of that exam has been LIFTED off my shoulders I can get back to focusing on some personal priorities such as this here blog, Chick Commander and some other things I'm doing to obtain a side income and start to make some decent money online.  So my goal this week is to mind map my visions and goals for my online presence and figure out a plan.  I know I know - quite vague, but it is what it is.  Maybe I'll have something more concrete to share next week on that.
I'm off to drop off CJ at school and head in to work.  I hope you all have a FABULOUS Monday :)
xoxo, Aukele

keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

Weekend Love

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Wow! What a Saturday today was!  Well first off - I needed some extra sleep.  To the tune of 10:30am.  Yep - that happens every once in a while.  And I'm proud of it, because I probably need it.  Any how - the boyfriend was feeling a lil sub-par so I've been nursing him and catering to him while I got some shizz done around the house.  I spent a good two hours cleaning the bathroom.  It was ... BAD.  I'm just happy I was the first one to use the sparkling clean bathroom before the two boys wreak havoc on it.  Besides that I also kicked laundry's butt today.  The only thing left for me to do tomorrow is the kitchen. 

Which by the way - I'm so happy for friends that make too much food and send us home with extras because I only made one meal today in the kitchen.  Steak and eggs for the boys' breakfast.  Other than that we warmed up some mac n cheese for lunch and spaghetti for dinner, while the lovebug had saimin all day.  Geez you would think we were carbo-loading for a marathon or something. N to the O on that one kids.  Anyway - check out these fun weekend love links.  It's a great mix between business, recipes, inspiration, motivation and encouragement - all of my favorite things!

Happy Sunday!

How a Crowdfunding Site Helps Women Support Women +++
Eight Things Every Happy Woman Should Know +++
Position Yourself as a Linchpin +++
How to Follow Your Dreams +++
Overnight Pumpkin Butter +++
Products Supporting Breast Cancer Research +++
Visit Fukushen Garden in Okinawa +++
Do Work That Matters +++
Skinny Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole +++
Accept Your Phobias +++
Fall Favorites for the Home +++
Seven Deadly Sins +++
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bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

How to Generate UNIQUE Blog Post Ideas

Friday, October 25, 2013

A few weeks back I had listened to a few podcasts that should have pumped me up with excitement, but actually put me in the "dumps" for a little bit.  I decided to do something a little different than I had before to come up with new post ideas.  Later on that night while reading Millionaire Messenger, (yep, that's an affiliate link) that very idea was affirmed. I ended up sharing on Twitter about doing the exercise to find inspiration for blog post ideas and it got quite a few of my followers excited and they asked me to share.  So today – I thought I’d share with everyone a great exercise on how to generate UNIQUE blogpost ideas.

Say what?? Yah, that's right - 91DASH's first ever video post / vlog.  In case you're reading this in a feeder, click here to see the video.But if you don't want to watch it - just  read down below how to do it!
First let’s start with a mind map. Get out a piece of paper and write your name smack dab in the middle.  Now start from your first memory and start to map in chronological order big parts of your life.  I chose to do school, college, jobs, etc.  Then from there I listed things that happened during those times – hobbies I enjoyed, trips I took, significant things that happened, etc.

So now I’d like you to take out another piece of paper.  Go through each of these moments in life, and try to find a lesson learned.  Even though it may be small – even if it may seem insignificant right now, write it down.

Congratulations, you should have a ton of NEW and UNIQUE blog post ideas.  Tell a story with them.  Share your tips on how you overcame a situation or what to do to prevent a situation.  Share with others how to develop one of your strong traits so that they can be better at something.

Well – that is it!  Pretty simple.  It takes a little bit of digging, but it has been worth it for me, and I’m sure it will be worth it for you too!

Please leave me a comment below letting me know what you think, if you watched the video and what you thought!?  I know I need to work on my execution - but I don't want to be the editing type so what you see is what you get!!!

Before you go, check out this post on doing work that matters!

Have an amazing ALOHA FRIDAY ---- HOLLA!!

xoxo, Aukele

keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

Get Your Salt!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today is a total BLOG FAIL!  I was supposed to be delivering this awesome sauce post for you all - but then YouTube decided to freeze after waiting almost 2 hours for a video to upload, so we'll have to work on that tonight.

Hopefully that post will be up tomorrow - let's cross our fingers, okay?  So I'm all bummed out because now I'm drawing a blank on what to share with you guys... and then DING DING DING DING DING!!!

I have a ton of new followers since I last talked about my salt shop - Hi dashing readers, welcome!  And so I figured I'd take this opportunity to talk about my baby, Uncle Bob's Salts.
It all started with my grandpa, Walter Askew, and his love for cooking. He was the dominant cook in the house, where my dad, “Uncle Bob”, grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For years my dad and his brother tried to get my grandpa’s salt recipe out of grandpa’s mind and onto paper. However, good ‘ol gramps refused, and as gramps puts it he… “took it to the grave.”

After coming to terms with no salt recipe, my Dad was on a mission to develop his own salt blend.  And Uncle Bob's Salt was born.  Dad never officially named the salt, but whenever friends would ask for a refill for their salt shakers, they would say, "Hey Bob, I need some more of Uncle Bob's salts."

Dad became sick in May 2006 with squamous cell carcinoma, a skin cancer. By January 2008, his oncologist determined, based on dad’s choice to treat with chemo, opposed to a second surgery; that the cancer was terminal. Prior to dad becoming sick, we had toyed with the idea of selling his salts, though nothing ever came of it. After news of dad’s cancer being terminal and emotions calmed down for the time being, we got down to business and dad made sure to walk me through making his seasoning salt until I perfected it.
The process is fairly simple. We layer ten different salts, spices and seasonings and then mix them using an old fashioned crank flour sifter. Then using a funnel and spice bottle, measure out the portions into other recycled bottles to give away to friends and family. Now we don’t use recycled bottles for selling purposes, but I still have family that return bottles to me, hinting kindly to a “refill please!”

Dad loved the salt on pork chops. It bares nicely with pepper jelly, potatoes au gratin and a side of sugar snap peas tossed with slivered almonds that have been toasted then buttered and coated with Uncle Bob’s Salts.
One of our family favorites is to use Uncle Bob’s Salts as a dry rub on baby back ribs. Dad would par boil the ribs, then pack on the salts and put it in the BBQ to cook.

Another option is to rub down the ribs with the salt, par bake them for 10 minutes on each side and then throw them on the BBQ to finish off.

Customers have used the salts to “blacken” seared ahi, add to potato salad, add to macaroni and cheese, season chicken, season steak, sprinkle on a boiled egg, sprinkle on fresh summer tomatoes, add to chili, make a dipping sauce and other ways. A friend even used it as a swap for Old Bay Seasoning when making Cheddar Bay Biscuits and called it Cheddar Bob Biscuits!
He wanted the salt to carry on, which I proudly do, and today it is his legacy. Please enjoy his salts. They are made with love from Uncle Bob, through me and to you! 
PS: I have a special that I do around the holiday season: Buy 5 Original Salts, Get 1 Free  This is really popular because they make great stocking stuffers for guys who like to cook and BBQ and the mom who needs a no-fail seasoning for every day cooking.  You can also buy them individually here.  I also have a new Memphis BBQ Heat Rub that you can use on the grill (or if you live in a cold area in your slow cooker).  Hello delish slow cooked ribs!

Get your salts today!!!  PPS: Are you making your turkey for Thanksgiving??? Uncle Bob's Salts is fool proof when it comes to tasty turkey!!  And if you baste your turkey with beer it'll be even better.  That's the way my dad did it!

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I Passed My Test

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You know a text is well used when it is beat up and has a rip or two!
When I'm not playing blogger and am working my 9-5, I coordinate nutrition services for the health care center of a continuing care retirement community.  Last July, I started an online Dietary Management course through the University of North Dakota.  I completed it this past July and then had about three months to prepare for the national credentialing exam to be a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP).

I am happy to DECLARE that I passed my exam and am now able to apply to be a CDM, CFPP as well as be a member of the professional organization, ANFP (Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals).

So what does a CDM, CFPP do?  Well - it is a requirement for facilities that are governed by CMS (Medicare) to have a staff member have the credentials.  We are a part of the IDT (interdisciplinary team, also made up of people such as Director of Nursing, Social Services, Activities, Therapy - etc) that plays an integral role in developing care plans for each resident.  I work with residents to mesh their food preferences with their diet orders.  I creatively find ways to help residents obtain optimal nutrition.

As a CDM, you need to know physical signs of malnutrition, dehydration, edema among other things.  Types of fruit and starches you can offer a resident on a renal diet. Proper sanitation procedures.  Cross-contamination prevention.  Different diet textures for residents that have dysphagia or ill-fitting dentures.  This is just off the top of my very tired, and fried head.  There is a lot more where that came from.

Today I just wanted to simply share this awesome feat.  I'm so excited that I passed, cause I was quite worried about it.  I am thinking about offering a "food safety for the family" ebook or guide for sale.  Your thoughts? I'd love to know!

Happy Tuesday!!

keep up with me at:
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Weekend Love [+ a SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT]

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hey loves!  So this weekend is totally busy.  I am cramming studying for a national credentialing exam on Monday for my job and so I really don't have much to say - since I need to hit the hay so that I can get up at a decent hour tomorrow morning and GET TO WORK!  With that said - here are some MAJORLY overdue weekend love links for you to peruse on a usually carefree Sunday morning - and check out a little sponsor love below! See ya Monday (or maybe Tuesday).

Baked Mostaccioli +++
The Day I Found My Identity +++
8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have +++
Favorite Birthday Freebies +++
Health-ified Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies +++
My Right Boob +++
Chicken Tortilla Soup +++
DIY Beaded Wrap Bracelet +++ 
A Modern Woman's Guide to Life and Love +++
Who Am I Actually Blogging For? +++
The ISFJ Personality +++
How Singapore Got it's Name +++

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Sarah from A Girl Smitten

Hello everyone! My name is Sarah and I blog over at A Girl Smitten. I am a twenty-something spontaneous homebody residing in a small Texas town with dreams of moving back to the grand city of Austin. That place is the bee knees, you guys. I'm serious. On any given day I'm talking about home-y stuff and style stuff and the crazy pups (and boyfriend) that keep things glorious and all the while trying to decide where I ultimately want to be. It's lots of fun all around, I promise. So stop on by and see what makes my little spot in the world into the big, beautiful place that it is!

Connect with Sarah Here: Twitter | Bloglovin' | Instagram
xoxo, Aukele
keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

October Giveaway

Friday, October 18, 2013

Oh HEY HEY HEY it's GIVEAWAY day :)!!  I'm so excited to have my second group sponsor giveaway.  Thank you so much for being a 91 Dash reader.  You truly do not know how much it means to me.  For those that have traveled with me from Instant Mommie - wow you guys rock.  And for those who have gotten to know me here - I'm so happy to have you as a reader and to be apart of the community that I have here at 91 Dash.

Being that Fall is in the air and we are all excited to cozy up in scarfs, boots, snuggies (maybe?? maybe not)... free Starbucks sounds like the perfect thing to giveaway if you ask me!  I have partnered with 3 awesome ladies (Dee, Stacey and Laura) to bless one of you lovely readers with a $35 e-gift card to Starbucks where you can treat yourself to some delish coffee and cafe delights.

keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (+SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I wish I could put a fancier title than the one above - but I rather not give Martha the time of day right now and rather have chances for better SEO in the future.

HOWEVER - I must address this Bloomberg video of Martha calling out bloggers - simply put.

And then this tweet:
That "most" part is just the kicker for me.  Whether her staff wrote it; or it came from her in the third person - it is still a reflection of her.  If it is a staff member - she must have felt that that staff was an expert in social media and trusted her with her own account to be a true and genuine representation of her.

While I could go on and on and on how this was a big mistake for Martha, especially since SO MANY BLOGGERS freely push her products and the things you can do with them, you can see here, here and her or just google - you'll see a ton of rants.

All I will say is this: Martha - You don't know me.  I'm just a small blogger from Hawaii who enjoys sharing her life which happens to include recipes, since I do love cooking.  While I may not have the prettiest pictures, best test kitchen and appliances and top of the line, quality ingredients; I am most definitely 100% an expert in cooking.  Have you taken the time to figure out how to introduce new foods to a child whose diet had consisted of maybe 15 items?  Let's add on another layer of difficulty Martha - Have you figured out how to incorporate veggies into a diet of a child who has autism?  Have you gone from making two separate dinners for your boyfriend or husband's child and the two of you to one dinner that all will enjoy?  I think not.  So who made you the expert and on who is and who isn't an expert?

That said - This recipe is a family favorite, even my step son (who has autism) LOVES it (broccoli and all).  If CJ loves this dish, I'm pretty sure all kids will love it.  And YOU WILL love it because it is crazy simple to whip up on a busy night and the hubby can even help you get it started. (This is taken from my previous blog Instant Mommie - the next time I make it I"ll be sure to get a better picture).

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole:
3-5 chicken breasts, boiled and chopped
2-3 cups of broccoli, boiled and chopped
1-2 cans of fat free cream of chicken (or do full fat, up to you!)
1/4 - 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (we use olive oil mayo, which has way less calories and over half the fat)
Curry Powder, to taste
S/P, to taste
Crunchy Topping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Boil and chop your chicken and broccoli separately.  Combine in an oven safe dish.  Mix cream of chicken, mayonnaise, curry powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Pour over chopped chicken and broccoli.  Add a crunchy topping (french fried onions, crushed crackers, croutons, chips, breadcrumbs etc.)  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.  Let set up and cool for 10 minutes, serve!

Like I said - super simple and easy!  The first time I made it we did 3 chicken breasts and it wasn't enough for my boys so now we do five breasts and we usually have a serving or two left over.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- today I'm introducing you all to Caitlyn - from Chem Grad Boom.  She is a 23 year old, fun loving chemistry grad student hammin' it up in North Carolina.  She enjoys roadtrips, DIYs, recipes and is working on a healthier lifestyle.  What I love about her is that instead of doing the hoity toity at the senior prom; she and her mom went to Cancun.  Dangit I wish I did that.  Well - Caitlyn... take it away!!

Hey everyone my name is Caitlyn and I blog over at ChemGradBoom, I started blogging as a way to improve my writing, which has now turned into something I enjoy! ChemGradBoom is a random blog filled with lessons from college ( all 5+ years of it), DIY's, my love for an awesome Road Trip, dreams of living on a houseboat and other bits that fill my life as a Chem nerd trying to figure out where to go to next in life

Learn more here: The Moment that Changed My Life | Switzerland, an Amazing Memory
Connect with Caitlyn here: Twitter | Bloglovin' | Instagram 
keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

Frizz Free Hair Towel

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Do you have frizzy hair?  I used to.  Gosh I hated it.  It was such a buzz kill when I'd look in the mirror and see all these hairs floating around the top of my skull.  Lame sauce right?

Then I came across a blog post (and I'm so sorry I can't remember who did it and the address), but she shared how she would use a cotton shirt to wrap her hair after washing it because it was gentler on her delicate strands than a towel and helped to reduce some MAJOR FRIZZ.  Then I imagined this harsh terry towel or "staticky" microfiber towel rubbing against my delicate, thin hair and I've never taken a towel to it again!

Currently, I've been using a cotton shirt to help absorb and dry my hair.  I put a shirt over my head, lift my hair out through the neckline, then pull the shirt back up on my head to the top of my forehead.  Then I shake my hair and shirt out so that it is all straight, then I proceed to wrap the shirt, with the hair inside in a low bun secured at my neck. The frizz has gone down drastically.  I can finally let my hair air dry and go about my day without feeling embarrassed about my hair!  So long constant use of heat tools!!

While this works, I'm still using a comfy soft shirt I rather relax in then get wet (and possibly moldy smelling if it doesn't dry right); and it would be much easier to have a "cotton towel" But cotton doesn't absorb well.  That's a PROBLEM.

Frizz Free Hair Towel

So here we have the Frizz Free Hair Towel - soft cotton on the inside to protect your hair and terry or microfiber on the outside to properly absorb the excess water.  This is my original idea that I have submitted to Quirky and I would love it if you would take a couple minutes to vote for it. Currently, I need 189 votes in order to get the Quirky team to look at my product.

So please, go wash your hair tonight, wrap it with a soft cotton shirt and notice the difference in the level of frizz in your hair.  Then vote for Quirky to look at the Frizz Free Hair Towel!  Your hair and favorite cotton tees thank you in advance!

keep up with me at:
bloglovin' | twitter | instagram

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