Monday, January 31, 2011

eddie would go

eddie aikau was the first lifeguard hired by the city and county of honolulu to work on the north shore.  he was famous for braving 30 ft waves at waimea and for never having lost a life while he was a lifeguard at the bay.  in 1978 he agreed to take part in a 30day, 2,500-mile journey to follow the ancient route of the Polynesian migration between the hawaiian and tahitian island chains.  a leak capsized the canoe and he paddled toward lanai to get help.  the coast guard ended up rescuing the crew but eddie was lost at sea.

in 1985, the quicksilver big wave invitational (better known as the eddie) was created to honor his memory.  it has only been held 8 times because waves must be a minimum of 30 ft faces.  only 28 big wave surfers are invited to compete and they must get to the waves on their own power, not with jet skis.  according to legend, eddie wouldn't hesitate to charge giant waves in order to save someone. at the first competition, organizers were debating whether or not to hold it when one of the pros looked out and said "eddie would go."  so it went.  the last competition was held in 2009 (waves reached 30-50 ft!) and we were hopeful that it would go again this year while we were there.  it was pretty close.  the forecast was up and people and vendors were flocking to north shore.  they ended up calling it off that morning but there were still tons of people around and even if the waves weren't 30 ft they were still huge and guys still went out.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

touch - coconut

Saturday, January 29, 2011


one of the big reasons for our most recent hawaii trip was to get Saraya baptized.  we wanted to have a traditional hawaiian blessing in the ocean.  unfortunately, it rained pretty heavily just before we arrived and that meant the water was not a good place to put a young person with an impressionable immune system in.  that's ok though because we were still able to have the blessing at the ocean using some salt water the minister had reserved just for cases like this.

there are a few reasons we wanted to have her blessed in hawaii.  that's where we met and got married so it is a very special place for us both.  the minister that performed the blessing was Butch Helemano.  a true Kahuna, Butch is a very well-known and respected man and we felt privileged that he wanted to conduct the ceremony for us.  (he's made cameos in a movies and tv shows about hawaii, usually playing a priest - check it out here, and is also a popular reggae artist).  Butch explained that ancient hawaiians believed that life entered the body through the big toe and exited the body through our tear duct.  mahele means to share and aloha is from two words alo (meaning face to face) and ha (meaning breath of life).  as part of her ho'omaika'i ( blessing ), we each honi (kiss noses) and share the breath of life.  he then dipped her toe in the salt water, applied salt water to her face, and then poured the water over her head as he chanted blessings.

it was a beautiful ceremony and we are so pleased that we could share it with our little love.  afterwards, we sat on the beach and reflected for a bit.  i think she was pleased too!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011


you know it's a good day at pipeline when you see broken boards...

i didn't take any pictures of the bloody guys exiting the surf.  but i do want to give them props for getting out.  because everyone knows it's just rude to bleed in the lineup and attract the sharks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

what's for dinner wednesday - mmm

malasadas, manapua, and musubi - oh my!
whenever i'm in hawaii, i gain at least 5 lbs from stuffing my face full of delicious and not so nutritious treats.  some of my favorites are the three things listed above.

malasadas are portuguese deep-fried doughnuts rolled in sugar.  they are insanely good.  and insanely bad for you.  leonard's is the place to get them (all over the island) and even though you can't order them online (they're best eaten fresh anyhow) they are working on their online store to get fun souvenirs...
this is the truck closest to where i used to live (right by the outlets!)

manapua is the hawaiian word for what the chinese call char siu bao, and the filipinos call siopauo.  the original treat is a pork-filled steamed bun.  the hawaiian version is much larger than its chinese cousin (go figure) and can be either baked or steamed.  the hawaiians are also much more liberal in their types of fillings.  instead of bbq'd pork, i like the kalua pig filling.  i'm also a big fan of the purple sweet potato (okinawan).  my favorite place on oahu to get manapua is chun wah kam noodle factory.  they have the most varieties and freshest tasting manapuas ever.  i may or may not have tried them all at some point or another.
and last, but definitely not least, is musubi.  spam musubi to be more exact.  now, i realize that i have probably lost most people with the mention of spam, but i cannot explain well enough how good it really is!  hawaiians love spam and i will have to save that whole story for another post but suffice it to say that musubi is just not the same with other meats.  i've tried the chicken and it's not bad but it's not the same.  so simple yet so delicious.  spam, rice and nori.  when i was deployed, my hawaiian friend sent me my very own musubi maker, some spam, nori and the perfect sticky rice.  i'll share my super easy recipe for spam musubi another time as well.
in the meantime, back to the gym!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

little sand eater

someone is a big fan of the sand here.  at home, Saraya just plays with the sand but here, she's found a taste for it...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

what's for dinner wednesday - giovanni's

giovanni's shrimp truck in kahuku is one of my favorite meals on oahu.  at first glance, you probably wouldn't think it would be a great place to eat but this "hole in the wall" food truck is amazing and has quite a reputation.
people come from all over for this delicious shrimp.  and while they're at it, they sign the truck.  as you can see, there's really nowhere new to sign but that doesn't stop anyone from leaving their mark...  there are three options: their most popular shrimp scampi (drowning in garlic), the hot and spicy (which is still quite spicy when it exits), and the lemon butter.  i like to get the scampi with a side of hot sauce.  and of course a nice sweet hawaiian sun!
and yes, those are huge chunks of garlic you see there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

tuesday's treasury

ahh, my second home...

here's a treasury that pays homage to my love of hawaii.  we are so excited to be taking Saraya on her first of many trips to the land of aloha!

Monday, January 17, 2011

have a dream

take a few minutes to watch this speech and remember why you have this holiday.

in honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, i created a treasury entitled "have a dream."  my dream is that my family and friends can always count our blessings and be blessings to others.  that saraya continues to be happy and healthy.  and that we never take our freedom, love and laughter for granted...

what's your dream?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

8. learn to crochet a blanket

i actually crossed this off my list back in 2000.  my junior year of college, there were a few senior girls that passed along their knowledge of crocheting to us underclassmen.  i was literally hooked.  in the first three years, i made  about a dozen blankets.  almost all of them were gifts for other people.  i also taught 6 other people how to crochet.  my knowledge was confined solely to 2 types of blankets.  i could make granny squares or long rows.  i didn't feel the need to learn anything else.  it didn't get old because there was enough variety in the colors and thickness of different yarns.  i loved the ease with which hooking came.  it's something i could do while watching tv, riding in the car, or even sitting in class listening to a lecture.  i made baby blankets for showers and full size blankets for those cold nights in colorado, north carolina, and texas.  so what happened in the next few years to change things?  well, there just wasn't a need for the blankets in hawaii or qatar.  but now that i'm in southern california (which i realize never gets that cold) i've found myself pulling out the one blanket i kept and considering making a new one.

i recently learned how to crochet beanies from a dear friend adeline.  she made the most precious pink and yellow beanie for Saraya and i asked her to show me how to make them too.  it was suprisingly easy and since then i've made 5.  i also have seen these rugs that i think would be really cool to make.

i still don't know the "language" or how to read patterns but i think it's more fun to get a personal lesson anyhow.  and so i leave you with a picture of my sunshine blanket, as i like to call it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

saraya kisses

the other day i was showing the baby how to give eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses when she decided to teach me a new kind of kiss.  she puts her forehead against mine and rubs them together.  it's so funny!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

pillowcase dress part 1

in keeping with my resolution for more handmade, i'm attempting to make Saraya a pillowcase dress.  it's supposed to be pretty easy to do and i have been neglecting my sewing machine terribly so wish me luck!  here's the "pattern" i'm basing the dress off of.  stay tuned for an update on my progress!

Monday, January 10, 2011


little miss got to meet some of her alaska and idaho cousins over the holidays! we went to check out the animals at the safari park.  saraya wasn't too stoked on the long line but cheri and evan sure are cute!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

less talk...

i like this reminder.  it helps keep me in line for one of my resolutions.  another thing that helps is fun projects and ideas.  one of my friends on facebook posted this as her status:
Pay it Forward 2011; I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They must in turn post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. *The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.
simple enough, right?  i have a whole year to make something with love and send it to people i care about.  apparently it's an intimidating idea though because i only got 2 responses.  either that, or no one wants something i made.  i prefer to think that other people are worried about making things, not that my gifts are undesirable.  if that is the case, i'd like to encourage people to not be intimidated!  the gift doesn't have to be grand or difficult.  i promise it will be special to the receiver just because it came from your heart.  and you have the whole year to do it!  just do it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

3 words

i took this photo of the lion at the safari park (formerly known as the wild animal park).  the 3 words i'd use to describe mr. lion here are:

1. majestic
2. relaxed
3. meditative

these are 3 traits i'd like to incorporate more into my life.  ok, don't ask me how i plan on being more majestic.  the words i'd like to focus more on are relaxed and meditative anyhow.  he appears to be pretty stress-free on his perch and i think less stress is something we can all appreciate.  and perhaps meditating helped him achieve that level of relaxation.

what words would you use to describe mr. lion?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

what's for dinner wednesday - spaghetti squash

if you've never had spaghetti squash, you are missing out.  it's a fun squash to prepare and really tasty too.  today you guys get to see a super easy recipe for baked spaghetti squash with garlic and butter.  i didn't take my own pictures this time but please check out Jaden's pictures here.  it's really worth it!  and don't be put off by the cook time...

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 60 min

Baking time really depends on how big your squash is - try to get the smallest one, especially if you’re only feeding 4 people. It’s ready if you can pierce the squash with a paring knife with little resistance. If you’re a garlic lover, don’t be shy - use more!

Alternatively, microwave the whole squash for 2-4 minutes (to soften enough to cut lengthwise). Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until tender.


1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

i served this with a nice green salad and pita bread on the side.  it's one of my favorite vegetarian meals.  i know some people like to use spaghetti squash as a subsitute for pasta noodles.  does anyone else have a favorite way to prepare this squash?

Monday, January 3, 2011

movie review - true grit

justin and i got a chance to see true grit in the theater on new year's day.  we are coen brothers fans (fargo, big lebowski, o brother, where art thou?, etc) and no country for old men is one of his favorite movies of all time.  i also enjoy jeff bridges and matt damon, but one of the best things about this movie was hailee steinfeld.  she plays a fourteen year old girl who hires a u.s. marshal played by bridges to help her find the man who murdered her father.  the character development is outstanding and it's pretty amazing that this actress is actually fourteen in real life. 

i've never seen the original movie starring john wayne but this made me want to check it out.  a lot of people are asking whether the duke or the dude did it better.  i'd also like to read the book it's based on.  justin thinks this movie didn't even come close to no country but he still enjoyed it, particularly the characters.

i give this movie two thumbs up.