Why am I in Hawaii?


Why in the world would I take off from Christmas tree trimming and holiday baking to go to Hawaii? The reason I’m here is to honor the veterans of Pearl Harbor, those that lost their lives and the ones who survived. 

I always knew about Pearl Harbor but to hear the stories of survivors make me realize how deep of a debt we owe them. 

One story especially grabbed my attention. I was listening to the radio about 9 months ago when I heard about a survivor, Don Stratton I then immediately called my dad, an author, Ken Gire. I said “dad, you have to write this man’s story.”


I’m still in wonderment that he jumped on the story. So, here I am 9 months later, in Hawaii with my dad and survivor, Don Stratton of the U.S.S. Arizona and his amazing family. 


The press surrounding this book has been phenomenal. It is a heartfelt gripping story. The book title is All the Gallent Men.  You can find this book in Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club and Barnes and Noble. You can also click here and buy it on Amazon. It is already a best seller. 

I hope you love the book as much as I do. This weekend I will select one random subscriber to my blog to win a signed copy of this book. It is signed by Donald Stratton and Ken Gire. Please subscribe and I will announce the winner this weekend. Aloha!🌴🙂🌺

Ellaray’s Thrifted Threads

Check out this darling outfit,


This entire outfit from bandanna to Converse tennis shoes cost about $10.00. The t-shirt came from a sale at the Children’s Place for $4. The bandana was at Walmart for $1.00 and everything else was thrifted. 

You can create a stylish wardrobe on any budget. 

End of the School Year Blues

Only a few weeks left till the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. To say that I am counting down the days would be an understatement. The weather is warming up as I delightfully pull my summer wardrobe from the back of my closet to the front. My toenails are painted a cotton candy pink and the sun lingers a bit more each day begging me to stay out and play just a bit longer basking in its warmth.

With all the wonderfulness and warmth of summer surrounding me it’s no wonder why the last few weeks of school are like a warden breathing down my neck telling me to get back in my cell. I don’t want to pack one more lunch, sit in anymore carpool lines or help with any homework. I JUST DON”T WANNA! I want to go out and play.

I feel the school year is very similar to being pregnant. At the beginning you are so excited practically oozing with joy. As the newness wears off you begin to get a little squirmy. The last month seems to take an eternity How is it possible to cram a zillion days into that last month? Then you give birth either to an adorable bouncing baby or in my case summer break and you forget all about that last terribly long month.

Are any of you mama’s feeling this way? I can’t be the only one who has dipped into the depths of despair during this last LONG month. Hang in there summer break is on the horizon. We will make it! We will sip lemonade outside and watch our little ones frolic in the sun. We will. YES, we will!

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My Obsession and Passion for Ebay

Over a decade ago I set out on a mission to start selling on EBay. It took me many years to figure it out. The basic concept was like the stock market buy low sell high.

There are so many different niches on EBay. I found mine with clothing, mainly for the sole reason that it made it convient to shop for clothes for my own family a the same time. I am by no means rich but my children have worn some of the top designer’s clothes that only cost me a couple of dollars.

A few years back I had the opportunity to be filmed about my EBay business. It was such a fun experience. The best part was that I ended up becoming friends with the news anchor. She is just as sweet as she was on television. I thought it would be fun to give you a chance to see me in action, shopping and explaining my EBay business.

Check out my EBay store

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Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

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I made this cake for our family dinner last Sunday and just had to share. It is so moist and light. The only thing I think that would have made this cake better is a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

I used this recipe I found on Pinterest, Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

For more tips and recipes follow this blog and find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and be sure to visit my Etsy store.

Sunday Prep Day

I like to be prepared as I can be for the week ahead. I would love to say I do this because I am an ultra organized person but in all honesty it is because I don’t function well in the morning. It takes about 3 cups of coffee to get me moving. Which means yes, I’m the mom in the carpool line with bedhead and wearing a coat that covers up my pajamas; much to my children’s dismay.

I start by making all of my kids and hubby’s lunches for the next day. This provides for a smoother morning just in case we accidently oversleep. It doesn’t however guarantee they wont forget to grab their lunches on the way out the door to work or school. This happens more often then I would like, but by lunch time I am fully caffeinated and appropriately dressed so that I can drive their forgotten lunches up to school.

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Next I steep enough tea for the week. This is mainly for my husband and I. This week I made orange mint green tea. Once you learn how simple it is to make some fresh energizing tea ahead of time you will feel more creative about making your own flavor combinations. Next week I’m going to try steeping my tea with cucumbers and strawberries. Keep the tea in the fridge and it stays fresh all week.

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Now to the baking. I try and offer a healthy breakfast option that my family can just grab and go. I bake three varieties of muffins and or breakfast cookies. This is what I tried this week; healthy zucchini muffins,  carrot cake oatmeal cookies and applesauce oat muffins. The applesauce oat muffins were hands down my family’s favorite. I always double each recipe and freeze the extras. I individually wrap each muffin and then put them in a freezer zip-lock bag.

Hopefully these ideas will help you out if your morning are anything like mine.

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