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Last night I had the privilege of dining with a group of amazing ladies.  The main topic of discussion was vulnerability.

VUL ner A Ble.

Let that word roll off your tongue.

For some, it’s a word that may bring up a negative connotation.  At my first thought of the word, it makes me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable, but at the same time I wish it could be a word that people could describe me by.

I absolutely love when people can let their walls down and be vulnerable with me. It shows me that I am a safe place for them to let go and I want them to feel that way with me.  There is something so beautifully humanizing and gracious about people who can be so raw and honest.  Its comforting to know when others don’t have their shiz niz together.  And that it is OK.  There is true beauty in that mess….And the sun will still come up tomorrow morning.

I only realized last night, after stewing on our dinner conversation in bed, that I did not grow up in a very vulnerable family.  I love my parents to death.  We had an amazing home life and upbringing.  They are stellar examples to many, but they never really talked about the real hard stuff in their own lives.  Maybe they were protecting us.  Maybe they thought they only wanted to to fill us with good positive things.  I don’t know, but I think somehow it’s kept me from being super raw with people until I have spent a good amount of time with them. (Mom, don’t be offended, if you read this)

It makes me think of how clean and organized and put together I was when it was just me and the hubs, no kiddos.  At any given moment, someone could stop by, and my house would be sparkling.  Once I had my first child, many things changed…like my priorities.  I no longer had as much time or strength to keep a sparkling house.  I didn’t feel comfortable having people show up unannounced anymore.  I had to make sure the house was in ship shape before anyone could enter.

A couple years ago, we stayed at a hotel on a mini staycation for my birthday.  Our friends who lived on the other side of the island, stayed late at the hotel with us for dinner.  There was no room left in our room, so instead of having to drive back to their homes, my husband offered them to stay at our house which was only about 40 minutes away.  What the?!?!  Didn’t he know that the house was a total disaster?!  Did he magically forget how busy the week before had been and that we had hardly had time to wash the dishes and do the piling laundry?  He must have forgot about the fact that my son had wet the bed the night before rushing off to the hotel.  I was livid because he knows how I like things when people come over.  He kept reminding me that they were my closest friends and they really didn’t care if I had a messy house.  OF course, he was right.  They didn’t care.  They just wanted somewhere to lay their sleepy heads and brew a strong cup of coffee in the morning.  It was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way.  Even though, crazy as it seemed, it hurt so bad to let them see a real life exposure of how things could get.  M-E-S-S-Y.  I wasn’t being real.  I wasn’t letting my walls down.

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Ever since then, I have let my guard down in the “sparkling clean house department.”  I would rather have people see the mess and feel like they are still welcome in my home, no matter what condition it is in.  I want that more in other areas of my life.

So, in closing, let’s keep it real.  Accessible.  Go out on a limb.  Expose the mess.  Be vulnerable… and reap the rewards of more meaningful relationships.

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Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

Happy New Year! Holy moly, 2014 went by so fast.  I swear, the older I get, the faster time goes by. I started the year off spending the day with my favorite people, my family.

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As I reflect on last year, I realize that I set a lot of goals for myself, and I am proud to say that I accomplished most of them.  Blogging more was one of my goals last year, which I failed miserably at.  Obvs.  Hee hee.  Which prompted me to give the blog a new look for the new year.  Tadah!

 This year, I want to simplify, get back to the basics.  I want to get down to the things that are most important in every aspect of my life- body, mind, and spirit.  I’m getting in declutter mode, from the food that I eat, the relationships I cultivate, the stuff I buy, to my schedule, and most importantly, my faith.

I look around my house and I think, “Whoa, where did all this stuff come from?”

“Oh, wait, I know…I love finding treasures at thrift stores, and I can’t pass up getting an incredible deal on something that could be useful, even though I don’t need it!”

I look at my busy family schedule and think, “Why do I let myself get so exhausted with all the things we have to do and places we have to go?”

“Oh, yup, I almost forgot, I have a complex about not having a social life because I am a stay at home mom.” TMI?!?

The list goes on and on.  I know its not going to be easy…letting go of a lot of things that I am used to, but I feel like its really important for me to re-evaluate what my Enough is.

Here are some inspiring quotes(scalped from the inter web) and more of my photos from yesterday’s adventure:

Say no to the good, so you can say yes to the best.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

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Collect moments, not things.IMG_9931 Make it simple, but significant.

Find joy in the ordinary.IMG_9938

Live less out of habit and more out of intent.

So fill your heart with what is important and be done with all the rest.

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Less is more!

House of the Sun

If there is ever a time that I feel closest to God, it is in nature or with my family.  This is why spending quality time with my family outside is my euphoria.

One of my favorite places to watch the sunset on Maui is at the tippity-top of Haleakala.  We usually pack a picnic dinner and stuff the car with blankets and our warmest clothes for layering on the way up.haleakalaAbove the clouds, Haleakala boasts the most spectacular views on Maui.  You can see four surrounding islands, sometimes five, from the summit.

This time we were early enough to check out the crater before the sun set.  M thought it was pretty awesome that we have our very own dormant volcano.

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I had to share Little Man’s best dino face….

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It was fah-ree-zing!  My car thermometer dropped down to the 40s!!!  There was about a 30 degree change.  Thankfully it wasn’t too windy.  No chapped cheeks this time :)

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Aaahhhh! Those sunset lined clouds…Ooooh!

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As you can see, we weren’t the only ones with this great idea.  And a great idea, it was.
maksilvs…M posing with a Silversword (‘Ahinahina) in bloom.  Can you believe this lovely indigenous plant only blooms once in its life and then dies? It can live to be over 90 years old.

Visiting Haleakala is always well worth the trip.  I hope it isn’t too long before we are back.

If you want to check out Haleakala a little more click here.

Maternity Love

miss heartI am so excited to share these photos!  I am enamored with pregnancy and birth.  It’s one of those things that tug on my heart.

That motherly glow is captivating.  And, oh, the wonder of a tiny human formed so snugly with every detail where it was meant to be.  Amazing!  A true, life changing gift.

Yesterday I had the chance to capture this motherly glow in one of my closest friends, Missy.  I have known Missy since we were tweens.  Sheesh, I just realized its been 20+ years!

Missy is compassionate, kind, an all around beauty and a stellar mother.  She is one of those people who exudes friendly.  Friendliness is one of the things I admire most about her.  When we were younger, she would say “Hi” to any and everyone.  Every “Hello” came with a warm smile.  It didn’t matter if she knew them or not.  All the while, in school, I was taught not to talk to strangers.   Missy was homeschooled:)

She still has a cordialness about her.

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I had so much fun photographing my dear friend.  Can you see her motherly glow?

And, here is the shocker (if you don’t know Missy), this is her FOURTH child!!

She is stunning!

Tissue Paper Two

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You guys, I can hardly believe that my littlest love child is already two years old and my number one son is starting kindergarten!!  Lately, I have been working on savoring every sweet moment.  This has been altogether challenging and rewarding.

We just celebrated my baby girl’s birthday.  It was a mellow beach day with close family and friends. I wasn’t going to do any decorations, but at the last minute, I recalled a cute thing I had seen online about a year ago.  I remember thinking it looked simple, so I thought I would give it a go.

Here is how i did it:

I cut out my number with reclaimed ;) cardboard.  As you can see, I just eyeballed the shape with my Sharpie before I cut it out.  It’s 2′ tall.

Then, I hand tore a colorful assortment of pre-loved wrapping tissue paper in to little squares about 3″ each.

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I glopped some glue on the extra cardboard gathered the center and dipped each tissue into the glue…20140811-160548-57948351.jpg

randomly pasting as I went along.20140811-160549-57949563.jpg

Thankfully the colors I had went nicely together.20140811-160550-57950762.jpg

In the end there were still tiny areas where you could see the princess box in the background.  As a quick fix I pressed my hands down on to the tissue poofs and it covered anything I didn’t want to see.

This was such a fun, easy project to do in a pinch.  Anyone can do it with items  you already have around the house.  It would be really fun to do big letters and spell something out for a party.

And this is what happens when you leave your newly finished, fancy arts and crafts in the reach of a two year old.

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Lucky for me, Elmer’s dries clear!

Krashing Ka’anapali

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This is me and my little sister, Samara.

I was kidless for a few hours, so we decided to play tourist and have a tubular Tuesday at Black Rock, Pu’u Keka’a.

Two wahines, a tube, and a snorkel set made for hours of Pacific Ocean drenched amusement.

I thought it would be fun to share my beach bag essentials.  I like to stick to the KISS method on this one.  Some days I will beach it with me and a pareau and nothing else, but I knew we would be here for a bit, so I packed up.

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My essentials list

Pareau– also known as lava lava, sarong, beach wrap.  I love this multi functional accessory.   When not at the beach, it can be used as a  dress, scarf, blanket, purse, etc.  Like I mentioned above, if I didn’t have anything else, this would be my number one must.

Beach Towel- I must emphasize the beach towel.  Beach towels are considerably larger than regular bath towels, and it makes a huge difference to me.  I like to have the larger real estate.  My pareau can also double as a beach towel if I’m packing light.

Sunscreen– I like to stick to the natural products as much as I can.

Right now I’m using  Kiss My Face Sun Spray Oil spf 30.  I always keep a “floating” sunscreen.  This one changes depending my skin’s needs.  I love that it has a spray function.  It definitely comes in handy for all those hard to reach areas.  It also smells yummy.

The second skin product is my Monoi de Tahiti Oil.  This one is very nostalgic for me.  Its a body oil by Yves Rocher.  My mom always used this when I was younger.  I have loved this product for at least two decades. I use it sparingly, and it lasts.  The smell is divine and it keeps your skin hydrated and silky smooth.

Lastly, My homemade sunscreen.  I love, love, love this.  Its great for all ages, but especially the littles.  Its water proof and made with all natural and organic ingredients.  Me and one of my besties started making it when my daughter was under 6 months old.  There was nothing else  I would have put on her.  We started selling our sunscreen, and are in desperate need of making a fresh batch.  I have been trying to prolong the life of this bottle because it is my last.

Hat– This is my go-to hat.  I love marketing for our company.  This is an easy way to do just that while protecting my noggin from the sun’s shiny rays. Plus, I think the colors are radical.

GoPro– I love this little gem of a memory capturer.  I was super stoked to have it on this day, because I just received the bobber extension.  An attached hair band wasn’t cutting it anymore.

And that is it.  Plain and simple.  The less I have, the less I have to carry, worry about, and/or clean the sand off of.

Again, this is my kidless bag.  If I had the kiddos My beach supplies would at least double….maybe in another blog post.

Here is a handful of the photos we took.

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P.S.  I know you are reading this Mom.  See how much fun we are having together on Maui?!? :)

 

Foraging on a Friday

I remember watching a tv show where a chef of a well accomplished restaurant would forage for the menu items each day.  “How cool is that?” I thought.  The whole menu would change depending on what the chef could find on his daily walk/hike.

It made me think of one of my childhood fantasies.  I always though of how awesome it would be to be stranded on a deserted island and have to survive off of whatever I could.  This dream was long before Survivor, but maybe watching Swiss Family Robinson or Blue Lagoon one too many times had an influence on me.  Maybe it awakened something from my native Hawaiian roots.  Or, maybe its deeper than that.  It could just be because I live and move on this great planet called earth.

Living off the land is a basic activity for all living creatures since the beginning of time.  We have lost touch with the distance and time it takes/should take for our food to reach our plates, but that is a-whole-nother blog post.

Foraging, FYI, is basically searching for wild food sources, an animal instinct of sorts.

Yesterday, me and one of my besties set out to do just that.

Our mission: Watercress and Pohole Fern Salad

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And yes, we really do hang out in our bikinis and let our children run around naked pretty much every time we are together.

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Beautiful mama.

It was a little adventure carrying naked babies through the river while dodging fiberglass grass and spiderwebs, but i think it was worth it.

And here is our final product…

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The only thing we added that wasn’t wild and free was the tofu and our dressing.  If you are curious, I can’t tell you the exact measurements, but we made our yummy dressing with sesame oil, mayo, vinegar, shoyu and sugar.  At the last minute we added papaya, from outside, of course.

Soo ono.

Goats Who Surf

 

 

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Today, we took  a quick trip to lower Kula to visit Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy.  I can’t believe it took me this long to go there.  I love their cheese!  The Surfing Goat cheese is widely used in many of the restaurants and hotels on Maui.

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The surfboard laden goat farm is a great place to take the kids to hang out with other kids. Heehee.  Get it?  Kids?

Surfing Goat Farm offers tours and other fun activities.  They also have a kitchen that can whip up a tasty treat made with goat milk products.  I hear they have a mean lilikoi cheesecake.  They even have a children’s play area.

Click here to check out their website.   The recipe section is especially exciting.  Yum.

I highly encourage you to give them a visit.

 

And I’ll leave you with this cheesy joke…

What do you call a goat with a beard?

Goatee.

A Whale of a Date

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I had been waiting for the right time to take my son on his first whale watch boat trip.  He just turned 5 last week.  It was time.

These days, at any given moment on Maui, you can glance at the ocean and see a spout or splash.  Whale season is in full effect.  They are everywhere and the population keeps growing.  Some like to refer to it as Whale Soup.  I refer to it as Pali Traffic.  Heehee.

I still get excited every time I see a whale.

We spotted our first whale seconds after we left the harbor.

I was eager to see the gentle giants of the sea, but I was equally stoked on the more than impressive views of Maui from the ocean.  The Pali looks like what I would imagine the coast of Ireland to resemble.

It was very wet and windy, but non-the-less, it was a great date day with my little man.

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If you want to know more about Maui’s mammoth mammals, click here to get educated.