Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Like a tourist

Sometimes I get caught up in the day to day and forget that I live in a place that most people consider a vacation destination. This past week I tried out some new things and felt myself acting like a tourist. 

So what things did I get into?

I finally made it to Pint & Jigger. It's a hipster bar known for its bacon and libations. 

Since I don't eat pork, I had two sous vide old fashioned cocktails.

And it isn't a night out without karaoke. I've never been before so I warmed up my voice and practiced the legit pronunciation: car-uh-okay. 

I may not be the best singer, but I put a whole lotta emotion into my performance. 

I also made it to Duke's in Waikiki. The sun was setting, the live music was playing and besides our table it looked like the place was full of tourists!

The tropical version of the Moscow Mule... The Maui Mule ;-)

So based on my week it would seem that tourists drink and act like fools... Sounds about right!

And now for the pic of the week:
I can't take credit for this photo, but these words speak the truth. Ha!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rain, rain

Rain, rain go away
Come again another day

It has been raining almost every day for the last week. Apparently El NiƱo is a real thing. Hawaii has had three hurricanes pass us by and now we've been having the hottest, most humid, rainy weather (and this is coming from a girl raised in the south). 

The positives of all this rain are ... Well I'm having problems thinking of any. 

The negatives are:

I'm wet. Like all the time. Since I walk to work I've yet to find a coat/jacket combo that keeps me dry. 

The road outside my apartment will occasionally have class 1 rapids. Some mornings it might be easier to kayak to work versus walking. 

I miss the sun. It's hard to keep up a gorgeous tan when you're inside all the time. 

And finally my electric bill. Because the heat/humidity has been so nasty I've been forced to use my window AC unit in the evenings. This has doubled my electric bill!

And now for some pics:
At least my rain boots have come in handy. Cause dry feet are nice. 

But some days my feet are the only dry things about me. 

There's so much rain even the rainbows are barely making an appearance. 

This was one of the times it wasn't rainy... I miss those days. 

And now for the pic(s) of the week:

This week we celebrated Grandparents Day. These are my favorite pictures of each set of my grandparents. Aren't they the cutest?!?


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Last year Labor Day Weekend was hard for me. I remember missing my family a lot. Now while it's still hard being away from my family, this year I managed to have the Best Weekend Ever. 

For most people Labor Day means a long weekend. Since I've switched up my work hours I didn't get an extra day, but what I DID get was to spend more time with my friends. It was nice spending Monday with people versus just getting all my errands done. 

And because I was trying to squeeze three days of fun into two days, I was super-duper busy. Check out all the fun stuff I did:
Although I have no pictures to prove it, I helped one of my FitFam girls celebrate her birthday. 

The Okinawian Festival was going on in Kapiolani park. I attempted to get a little cultural lesson. 

Mostly what I ended up doing was eating andagi (okinawian donuts). 

A holiday weekend wouldn't be complete without brunch. Yelp described this place as having a "hipster ambiance". I liked the cocoa/coconut frappe and the ricotta pancakes... Yum-O!

And even though it was a holiday, the local dive bar was still having pau hana specials. It doesn't take many Mai tais before we get silly. (PC: Nathalie)

So if you haven't figured it out yet, all I need to have a good time is good people, good food and some sunshine. This weekend was a wonderful success!

And now for the pic of the week:
The cousins got together & I'm sad I couldn't be there but so happy FlatPenny was there to represent. (PC: KC)


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Real World Hawaii

Anyone remember the MTV show Real World? Everyday I feel like I living my version of it. My version is more PG-rated than the original but it does have a surreal quality to it. I still can't believe I get to call this paradise home!

I just came back from vacation and had to get back to my regular schedule. But my regular schedule involves good friends, good food and lots of sunshine. I'm one lucky girl! 

So this is the true story... of one girl... picked to live in Hawaii... work in paradise and write a blog... to find out what happens... when you stop living on the mainland... and start living in paradise... The Real World, Hawaii. 

So this is what my first week back looked like:
Brunch with ube pancakes. Yep, they're purple!

Hanging out at the pool with a good friend and a good book. 

I tried a new walk up sandwich place, the EARL. I had a turkey hoagie with sweet potato, cranberry sauce and curry mayo. 

Food prep for the week, spicy-honey chicken thighs. Yum-o!

And now for the pic of the week:
No matter how many times I fly into Honolulu this sign gets me every time. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ichi-go, ichi-e

This past week I met my parents in Portland. We decided it was the perfect compromise between east coast and Hawaii. Portland was also a perfect choice because of the delicious food, yummy drinks, beautiful gardens, tall waterfalls and tax-free shopping. 

One of the places we visited was the Portland Japanese Garden. Apparently it's the top ranked Japanese garden in the U.S.  
It was a koi feeding frenzy when the snack pellets came out. 

And because our tour guide was full of fun factoids I also learned that Japanese Gardens:
- Use the human perspective. So no tall trees or bushes. 
- Assymetry and open space are often highlighted. That means lots of pruning. 
- Symbolism is everywhere. That flat rock? It represents a turtle and longevity of life. 

Can you spot the "turtle"? 

I also learned about the Japanese saying, ichi-go ichi-e. Roughly translated it means you only live once (YOLO, ha!). I found this phrase resonated with me because this trip really was once in a lifetime. Now that thousands of miles separate me from my family, I really appreciate all the time we have together. 

Now check out some pictures from my trip: 

I don't normally drink beer, but it seemed the right thing to do with a brewpub on every corner. For the record Mom & I really don't like IPAs!

Just me, Dad and a huge waterfall. No biggie. 

Wine makes all family get-together a better... Cheers!

This is what happens when you give your father a selfie-stick....ha!

And now for the pic of the week:
If you had asked me a week ago if I liked roses, I would have said "no way"! But after visiting the International Rose Test Garden I have a whole new appreciation for them. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nom nom nom

If you've gotten into a conversation with me in the last month, then we've probably talked about food. I've decided to take a break from focusing on weight loss and restrictive eating. Instead my focus is on increasing lean muscle mass and eating for joy. 

Yep. That's right, I'm eating carbs! On the menu this week: sweet potatoes, rice, pasta and sweet treats. 

One of the perks of this way of eating is going out to eat without guilt. Another, is I'm cooking yummy and comforting food at home. Finally, the last benefit is the return of food porn! 

I tried out OMG (Oahu Mexicain Grill), a new burrito place on King St.  After finishing the meal I would say it was WAY better than Chipotle, but definitely no Moe's. I'm waiting for my trip home so I can eat real Mexican food again. . . Bring on the queso!

Sissy was kind enough to send me a care package. Inside? A little potato chip that reminds me of family and home. 

I've been eating scrambled eggs religiously for breakfast. I wanted to try something different. This combo of hardboild eggs, tomatoes, avocado and smoked salmon hit the spot!

And because I wanted some comfort food... Turkey stroganoff. Yum-o!

Now what is yet to be seen is the effects this will have on my strength gains and muscle mass. Only time will tell. But no matter the results at least I'm enjoying myself. 

And now for the pic of the week:
Per FB I've been friends with this lady for a year. That seems like something to celebrate :-)

Mahalo !

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I'm a planner

When I met my HI bestie, early on we had a conversation that went something like this...

Me: So, what do you do?

Her: I'm a planner. 

Me: Oh, me too. I love planning. 

Her: Really! What type of planning do you do?

Me: Ummmm, you know I like to make lists and things. 

Her: (stares at me awkwardly) You do know that I meant city/urban planner right!?!

Me: Oh, yeah. Right. (mental palm to forehead)

So it didn't go EXACTLY like that, but you get the idea. And the take home point is that I like to plan!

This week I put my planning skills to use. 

What better use of of my skills then planning a night out? I combined several amazing things: time with my bestie, walking, shopping, eating and drinking. Woot woot! 

And of course I "planned" on drinking a fruity cocktail on a weeknight. If you share, the calories don't count, right?!? (photo credit: Nathalie R)

Next another friend took me to Costco. I bought heaps of food and was able complete my meal planning for the week. 

Here's my loot from Costco. I turned all this goodness into cheesy omelettes, yogurt parfaits and several sides of steamed veggies. Yum-o!

I also got to attend my chigiri-e art class. I think my sensei is really starting to see potential in me. I put all my methodical and critical thinking skills to work. It took several hours & some help, but I finally selected the perfect paper to create my wintery, beachy background. 

Choosing the perfect washi can be stressful, but I did it. I had a lot of input from sensei, my friends and my classmates. If fact even an eight year old had an opinion!

Now I expect some oh's and ah's cause so far this project is darn near perfect. Trust me ;-)

And now for the pic of the week:
I captured this rainbow on my walk home and sent a little aloha to a friend on the mainland.